Kiev, September 8, 2021
Multiple representatives of the graceless and schismatic “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” have spoken out in defense and in favor of the recent protests, which resulted in violence, against the enthronement of Vladyka Joanikije as the Metropolitan of the Montenegrin Metropolis of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
His Eminence Metropolitan Joanikije was enthroned in Cetinje, Montenegro, on Sunday by His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije. Due to the unstable situation created by the protests, the hierarchs visiting from other Local Churches were unable to participate in the event.
In his first interview after the ceremony, Met. Joanikije identified Montenegrin President Milo Đukanović as the main culprit behind the protests. The head of state is known for inciting ethnic enmity and for persecuting the Orthodox Church in the tiny Balkans country, just as did former President Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine, who created the “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” as a political weapon against Russia and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Given their similar political and ethnic focuses, it comes as no surprise that the schismatics of the OCU would come down in favor of the anti-Serbian nationalist movement in Montenegro, which includes the schismatic “Montenegrin Orthodox Church” (MOC).
As the Union of Orthodox Journalists reports, “Bishop” Gabriel Krizina of the OCU posted on his Facebook page a video from a hierarch of the schismatic Montenegrin group, who called the enthronement of Met. Joanikije a “disgrace” and “occupation of Cetinje.”
To this, Krizina added his own comment that, “The Serbian Orthodox Church has no prospects in Montenegro, just like the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine—because you can’t fool the people with lies.”
A “priest” of the OCU, Ivan Makovei, comments on Krizina’s post that knows both the Montenegrin “bishop” being quoted, as well as the head of the Montenegrin group, and that “we have gone through a lot together.”
In fact, it was the same MOC representative, Boris Bojović, who concelebrated with hierarchs of the Patriarchate and Constantinople and the OCU in June 2019, while still an “archimandrite.” The schismatics of the OCU, formerly of the “Kiev Patriarchate,” have a long history of the Montenegrin schismatics.
Meanwhile, “Archbishop” Evstraty Zorya, the speaker and main propagandist for the OCU, also played on ethnic tensions in Montenegro, stating: “The Serbs, under the protection of special forces, are imposing a hierarch on the Montenegrins who believes that the Montenegrin nation doesn’t exist.”
However, in the aforementioned interview, Met. Joanikije responds precisely to the accusation that he has been “imposed” from abroad by reminding that he was born and raised in Montenegro, and that as soon as he received his education in Belgrade, he returned to serve the Church in Montenegro as a monk and cleric and eventually as a hierarch.