Met Amfilohije (Radović) – to all in Montenegro: Bring fraternal love back
The hierarch called on Montenegrin authorities to stop actions against the people, and the people – not to provoke the authorities for the sake of fraternal love.
On May 14, 2020, Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radović) of Montenegro and the Littoral called on the authorities and people of Montenegro to return to mutual fraternal love: the people should not provoke the authorities with their actions, but the authorities should release the representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church arrested in Niksic, and if necessary – punish Metropolitan Amfilohije instead of the detainees.
“If someone has to answer for something, I ask those in power – I will write this in a letter to the President and the Prime Minister these days – let me answer. And, if someone needs to be arrested and judged, let it be the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, the successor to St. Peter of Cetinje. And if he is guilty, let him be judged,” his words were quoted on the website of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolis.
Metropolitan Amfilohije reminded of the representatives of the Serbian Church who would suffer for the faith at different times.
“I ask everyone if someone should be judged for what is happening in Montenegro, then they should judge me first. I am ready to go to court and, if necessary, be sentenced to five or ten years, or as much as necessary,” the Serbian hierarch emphasized.
He called on the Montenegrin authorities to stop actions against the people, and the people – not to provoke the authorities with their behavior.
“And together, kissing the relics of St. Peter, the conciliator and healer, and St. Basil of Ostrog, to unite in brotherly love <...>,” he appealed to both sides of the conflict. “All of us, no matter where we are or whom we belong to, need to return to this path of God, the path of St. Peter of Cetinje and St. Basil of Ostrog. This is my prayer, my request, my blessing to everybody in Montenegro. And I am convinced that this is also a blessing of St. Peter of Cetinje.”
On May 12, 2020, the Montenegrin police detained Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja-Niksic and 7 clergymen of the SOC for participating in celebrations and a cross procession in honor of St. Basil of Ostrog during the quarantine period. Patriarch Irinej and the President of Serbia called for the release of Bishop Joanikije, but the authorities did not heed their call. This gave rise to mass protests, during which tear gas was used against the faithful.