Cetinje, Montenegro, May 21, 2020
President Milo Đukanović of Montenegro “preaches a satanic church and wants to turn Montenegro into a demonic, satanic association,” His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro of the Serbian Orthodox Church said in his talk on Tuesday, May 19, following the Divine Liturgy at Cetinje Monastery, reports Pravoslavie.ru.
The hierarch’s comments came in response to the President’s own comments from a press conference the day before in which he spoke of the need to found a new church in Montenegro along ethnic lines, and of the Serbian Church as instrument of greater Serbian hegemony.
“We have resumed the state. The time has come to renew the Church. We have proposed a solution for an Orthodox Church that would unite all Orthodox believers. If the Serbian Orthodox Church refuses, it will be the Church of ethnic Serbs in Montenegro. But then we will definitely create a Church of ethnic Montenegrins. We will do everything possible to ensure that this Church receives autocephaly and recognition,” the head of the republic said.
“Enough of this circus! [The hierarchs] should become what they should be: a religious community that will be part of society, and nothing more,” the President said.
However, in his response, His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia commented that the state’s true goal is “for a Serbian Orthodox Church not to exist there; their ultimate goal is for the Orthodox faithful and Orthodoxy not to exist.”
In his response, Met. Amfilohije emphasized that “the atheists who renounce the life of St. Peter of Cetinje, and baptized Montenegro, and all Montenegrins, and all Serbs who have lived throughout the centuries, want to create their own satanic churches.”
In the Metropolitan’s view, the modern Montenegrin government is again turning to the godless, satanic, God-fighting and anti-Christ path, building the country’s future on fratricide, on what happened in Montenegro during and after World War II, when it was engulfed in civil bloodshed and the Church was brutally destroyed.
“Only those who have lost their minds and are possessed by satan could base the future of Montenegro on this,” Met. Amfilohije lamented.
At the same time, he expressed hope that the Montenegrin government will return to the age-old values of its people.
In his own response, His Grace Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Nikšić, who endured an unjust 72-hour detention at the hands of Montenegrin police and authorities last week, emphasized that, “No ruler of this world, not even Milo Đukanović, has the right to found any Church, especially not an Orthodox one. Đukanović directly violates the constitution of the state of which he is the president, which states that the Church is separated from the state, which is an important achievement of civilization.”