Montenegro’s National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases (NCB), at the session held on Monday afternoon, chaired by President Milutin Simović and attended by Prime Minister Duško Marković, stated that the epidemiological situation in the country has consolidated, and that the greatest threat to re-escalation of infection, and thus public health, represent the unauthorized and epidemiologically extremely risky gatherings organised by the Serbian Orthodox Church and certain political actors.
“Public gatherings organised by the Serbian Orthodox Church and certain political actors directly contribute to the growth of the number of infected people and endanger the health and lives of the people who participate in these gatherings, their families and all citizens. The organisers of these unauthorized gatherings bear direct responsibility for the health and lives of all citizens of Montenegro and foreigners residing in our country. There is not and must not be a policy that can be an obstacle to the health and life of citizens. The risk of these unauthorized and dangerous gatherings is all the greater because the disease of those who are infected at unallowed gatherings these days will manifest during the election process, which carries certain risks in case of non-compliance with the prescribed measures by all participants”, concluded the NCB.
The Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral was quick to react to the accusations by the state body.
“With its unjustified and reckless attack on the Church, the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases has ended the last remnants of its reputation”, the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral said in a press release, emphasizing that all Orthodox dioceses in Montenegro have reduced their activities below any minimum.
“If this body, now certainly fully politicized and in the service of the anti-church regime, in its statement had in mind the events that have taken place in recent weeks, as a reflection and a kind of continuation of processions to defend holy places from those who want to finally destroy Montenegro’s discriminatory and shameful law on freedom of religion, then the address is not the institutions of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The resistance to lawlessness that you wholeheartedly support is organized by the people themselves. This claim is not demagogic populism – but the full truth. When the Church was the organizer, it was always made public, and it could be concluded from the illegal actions of the Police Administration and the Prosecutor’s Office, who very zealously prosecuted priests and members of church boards, who appeared as organizers of liturgies and prayers, arresting them, detaining them and accusing them of nonsense”, the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral said.
As such, the statement reads, when church bodies organize something – it is known to the entire public. “Given that this is not the case here, we can only say that you have deceived the public by telling this lie”./ibna