Communique of the Diocesan Council of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro

After conciliar Holy Hierarchal Liturgy served in the crypt of the church of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica and participation in a formal St. Simeon's  procession from the Church to Nemanja's town on the Ribnica, place of birth of St. Simeon the Myrrh-gusher, Diocesan Council of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro held its session at the temple of the Resurrection.

The Diocesan Council thanked for the brotherly visit and participation in the ceremony to Their Graces Bishops Vasilije of Zvornik-Tuzla, Jovan of Shumadia, Sava of Slavonia, Joakim of Polog-Kumanovo(the Archbishopric of Ohrid), as well as priesthood from their and other dioceses.

We remind once more, from this session of the Diocesan Council, representatives of public life and media, and the generall public that the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church at its regular session from May 26, 2006, led by Patriarch Pavle of blessed repose, respecting the reputation of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and its historical role in the life of Montenegro and our local Orthodox Church, and for more successful achievement its salvational mission of the Church, made the decision (AB no. 95/not. 208) that the Orthodox Church in Montenegro consisted of the Dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church: Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral and Dioceses of Budimlje-Niksic, Zahumlje-Herzegovina and Mileshevo. Bishops of these Dioceses, according to the decision of the Assembly are members of the Diocesan Council under the presidency of Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral. Hence, it is unacceptable, irresponsible and contrary to the church any sort of giving different names and representation in the media not only of the Metropolitanate but also of the Orthodox Dioceses in Montenegro.

Special attention is devoted to new media hunt and abuse of religious feelings of the faithful of the Orthodox faith regarding a restored Holy Trinity Church on Rumija. The decision was brought that the legal representatives of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro, legally admissible and in a way permitted by the law request a repeat of the procedure due to the fact that it is about a renovation of the church of the Holy Trinity on the ancient blessed church site, which, as well as the newly built facilities of other religious communities and private object of the citizens in an immediate vicinity, located outside the spatial planning documents and outside the protected zone of the national park.

The Diocesan Council ruled that on March 25 this year - on the occasion of the announcement of construction of the system of large hydropower plants on the Moraca that would especially endanger, among other things, very important for this area,  the Nemanjic's ancient monastery - is organizing a roundtable on the topic of hydropower plants and vulnerability of the monastery Moraca. After learning about the expert opinions and scientific papers of eminent experts from various fields, the Diocesan Council of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro will, with due regard to this holy place and the people of this region, report its position to the representatives of the state authorities and the investors, as well as to domestic and international public.

With regret, it was concluded that a legal status of traditional churches and religious communities in Montenegro has not yet legally regulated according to the international standards and the practice of the modern European states. Once again we invite representatives of the Government of Montenegro to finally begin fulfilling  their responsibilities in the process of restitution of the church property, unjustly confiscated after the Second World War, and also to allow an introduction of religious teaching in schools.

The Diocesan Council expresses its concern over the fact that Bishop Filaret of Mileshevo was unable to attend today's church-people's assembly and this Diocesan Council given because it is still limited his freedom of movement in Montenegro. We expect that the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro in the most recent time allow Bishop Filaret the full freedom of movement under the same conditions as other free citizens.

To all Orthodox Christians in Montenegro and the entire world we congratulate upcoming merry Easter holidays by greeting them with a salute of peace and hope:




Source: Svetigora Press