Metropolitan Hilarion: Djukanovic repeats Poroshenko’s antichurch policy

Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and former President Petro Poroshenko. Photo: Priamyi

The President of Montenegro can repeat an anti-church policy of ex-President Poroshenko to create an “autocephalous Church,” said Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk.

On July 14, 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations, commented on the similarity of policies in ecclesiastic matters of the Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and former President Petro Poroshenko, reports RIA Novosti.

The hierarch recalled that Djukanovic initiated a bill whereby all church property, built before 1918, should be nationalized.

“The goal of this nationalization is to take property from the canonical Montenegrin Church, which is part of the Serbian Patriarchate, and transfer it to the schismatic structure, which calls itself the ‘Montenegrin Orthodox Church’,” he said.

Metropolitan Hilarion added that the schismatics "are led by the pseudo-metropolitan, there are pseudo-priests, this marginal structure being backed by the state."

He noted that if this support continues, then the “Montenegrin schism can begin to swell just as the Ukrainian one did”.

The bishop said that the ROC considers it his duty to speak out in defense of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

“We ourselves went through this experience in Ukraine, we know what this kind of action leads to, and we raise our voice in defense of our Serbian brothers, who want to preserve the canonical Montenegrin Church as part of the Serbian Orthodox Church,” he stressed.

Earlier, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church called on the leadership of Montenegro to stop discrimination and detriment to the unity of the Serbian Orthodox Church, as this "increases the pressure on the canonical clergy and believers."

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