“The Law on Freedom of Religion should be adopted on democratic principles; otherwise it will not be ratified unless the highest possible consent of all religious communities in Montenegro is reached first.”
This is a message from Vatican Secretary of State, Peter Parolin, to Montenegrin Prime Minister Duško Marković, that was contained in a letter by the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, to the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).
According to the Montenegrin Littoral Metropolitanate, Pope Francis, responding to a letter from Serbian Patriarch Irinej, noted that the SPC’s remarks and concerns over the Draft Law were discussed with particular attention in the Roman Catholic Church.
“I thank you for your brotherly support with such a bill, because of the negative consequences it can produce, not only for the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, but for the local Catholic Church. In this regard, Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin personally addressed the Prime Minister of Montenegro, Mr. Duško Marković, not with the aim of interfering with the internal affairs of the Montenegrin state, but in the hope that the proposed law on religious freedom would be adopted on democratic principles. Otherwise, it will not be confirmed unless the highest possible agreement of all religious communities in Montenegro is reached first,” concluded the head of the Roman Catholic Church.
The Government of Montenegro, at its session of December 6, adopted the text of the Law on Freedom of Religion or Belief and the Legal Status of Religious Communities and forwarded it to the Assembly, which included it in the agenda of the next session, scheduled for December 24.
The Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolitanate and the Budimlje-Nikšić Diocese will organize a church-folk prayer congregation in Nikšic on December 21, which will be a follow-up to the congregation on the occasion of the holiday of Trinity that was held in June./ibna