by Thanos Thanopoulos
The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Moscow expressed its deep concern at the deterioration of the position of the Metropolises under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Serbia in Montenegro.
During the meeting, the Holy Synod expressed support to the bishops, clerics and faithful of the Patriarchate of Serbia in Montenegro.
“The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church expresses its deep concern at the deterioration of the position of the Metropolises of the Patriarchate of Serbia in Montenegro, where for several years the unity of Orthodoxy has been undermined due to the division created by the so-called ‘Montenegrin Orthodox Church’,” said the Holy Synod in its statement.
“In Montenegro, there was an increasing pressure exerted by the authorities on the canonical clerics and faithful. The Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church, held on May 9-18, 2019, stated that in Montenegro there are ‘attempts to seize sacred objects for the benefit of the non-existent ‘Orthodox Church of Montenegro’ while there are calls to destroy certain temples. The President of Montenegro Milo Dukanovic at a party rally in Niksic on June 8, 2019, expressed his intention to ‘restore the Montenegrin Autocephalous Church’,” stated the Holy Synod.
“One particular area of concern relates to the draft law on freedom of religion or belief, and the legal status of religious organizations, which contains some discriminatory measures, including confiscation of part of the assets of the Patriarchate of Serbia, such as churches and monasteries. The Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church described the draft law as ‘anti-European and anti-cultural’, which serves as a discrimination against the Patriarchate of Serbia in Montenegro, and as a “direct interference in the internal affairs of the Church’,” adds the Holy Synod.