New development in the case of the establishment of the Montenegro Orthodox Church after media in Montenegro published an alleged letter sent from Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew. In the letter, a clear message is conveyed. That the Montenegrin Orthodox Church does not exist and its Patriarch, Miraš Dedeić, is not the Bishop of an Orthodox Church.
“In recent days, at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, we were informed with consternation that you expressed support for the creation of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro and that the Government of your land has ratified a draft legislation regarding freedom of religion, which envisions the nationalization of all Orthodox churches constructed prior to 1918, as well as of ecclesiastical property. This means that your nation is expropriating the churches and property of the Holy Metropolis of Montenegro, as well as of another three Eparchies of the Orthodox Church in Serbia.
Your Excellency, we hereby boldly apprise you that Ecumenical Patriarchate, along with all the other Orthodox Churches, recognizes as the only canonical Orthodox in Montenegro that which lies within the jurisdiction of His Eminence Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro, a Hierarch of the Most Holy Church of Serbia. The Church of Montenegro was never autocephalous, while today’s so-called Orthodox Church of Montenegro under Miraš Dedeić does not belong to the Orthodox Church. Mr Dedeić does not belong to the Orthodox Church. Mr Dedeić is not a Bishop of the Orthodox Church, but a person defrocked by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The sole canonical Hierarch there is our brother Metropolitan Amfilohije, who belongs to the Patriarchate of Serbia that is recognized on a Pan-Orthodox level.
We are addressing this letter to you because we do not want our beloved people of Montenegro to reach the point of ecclesiastical isolation and severance from the body of the entire organization of Orthodox Churches, inasmuch as no single Church among them recognize or support the anti-canonical fabrication of Dedeić.
We repeat what we wrote to you in the year 2000: “We are convinced that Your beloved Excellency also understands the danger facing the spiritual cohesion of the people of Montenegro, as entailed by the movement of the said Dedeić, and that you will wish to disassociate yourself from him for the sake of the unity of your people.“
Your Excellency, we entreat you not to consider the above as interference into the internal affairs of your nation, but as a desire on the part of our Mother Church in Constantinople to assist your pious people at a critical crossroads of its history.“
But, when the media asked from Montenegrin president, Milo Đukanović and the Cabinet to comment, they were quite surprised with the answer – The Cabinet claimed that the letter did not come to this office. Moreover, they heard of the letter from the media.
Meanwhile, the PM of Montenegro, Duško Marković, said that the disputed Draft law on freedom of religion will be in front of MPs by the end of July. He said that people who have never read it have been talking about this law for weeks.
“The highest officials from Serbia, including the president of that country, did not read it. The highest church representatives also did not read it”, Marković said, adding that the law was made in accordance with the highest possible standards and with the Council of Europe’s approval./ibna