Podgorica, Montenegro, August 4, 2022
His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Orthodox Church was overjoyed to finally sign a Fundamental Agreement with the government of Montenegro yesterday, enshrining the Church’s rights and its relation to the Balkan state.
The Patriarch expressed his deep gratitude to all who worked to make the agreement happen, especially His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije, who reposed in the Lord in the fall of 2020 after 30 years of heading the Montenegrin Metropolis.
“He actually did much more than all of us together from the Church who came here. I am sure that he’s also rejoicing with us in Heaven today, and I ‘m sure that his prayers from there contributed” to the signing of the Agreement, His Holiness reflected.
However, not everyone shares the Church’s joy.
“The signing of the agreement came under immediate criticism by human rights activists and pro-Western political parties, including President Milo Djukanovic's Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), which said it gave the church too much power compared to other religious communities,” reports Radio Free Europe.
“The agreement signed today, which is against the constitution of Montenegro, will be suspended immediately after the election of the new government,” the DPS said in a statement.
After a tense government session following the signing, 36 opposition deputies from various parties in Montenegro initiated a parliamentary no-confidence motion, reports Premier Christian News.
The government has wasted time focusing on relations with the Church when it could have been working on getting the state into the EU, the deputies argue.
The no-confidence vote will be held August 19. It needs a majority of the 81 deputies to pass.
Follow OrthoChristian on Twitter, Vkontakte, Telegram, WhatsApp, MeWe, and Gab!