New attacks from TSN: UOC is a handler of Kremlin and Serbia in Montenegro

The UOC delegation's visit to the enthronement of the Montenegrin Metropolitan is Serbia-Kremlin's anti-NATO work, TSN believes. We analyze its make-believe.

TSN delivers another attack on the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Once again, this channel's assault looks ridiculous, aggressive and extremely unprofessional. This time, TV host Alla Mazur and others of that ilk accused His Beatitude Onuphry of working for the Kremlin and Serbia, as well as countering NATO. 

"Right before the eyes of the whole world, the Kremlin conducted a lightning-fast special operation. But the strangest thing is that one of the key roles in this ecclesiastic-political detective story, which experts call a 'Trojan horse' for NATO, was played by the Ukrainian priests of the Moscow Patriarchate,” TV presenter Alla Mazur assures viewers.

It all looks like a funny prank, but the 1+1 journalists are extremely serious. For more than 10 minutes, they convince the audience that the enthronement of the new head of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolitanate, a purely internal event of church life, is in fact Moscow's sabotage against Montenegro, which the Kremlin committed with the hands of Ukrainian hierarchs.

TSN: “The Serbian Orthodox Church, supported by the Russian Church, with its Ukrainian branch, has decided to inaugurate a new Serbian metropolitan ... The Kremlin takes on the role of a strategic partner of the Serbian Church and appoints the Ukrainian pan-father of the Moscow Patriarchate as a crisis manager."

Let's take a look at the situation in Montenegro and the claims from TSN.

On September 5, 2021, the enthronement of the new head of the Montenegrin-Littoral Metropolis of the Serbian Church Joanikije took place in the Cetinje Monastery. It is here that the enthronements of the Montenegrin-Littoral metropolitans have traditionally been taking place for several centuries. As we know, the enthronement of a new primate is an exclusively ecclesiastical and exclusively peaceful event. But this time it did not work in a peaceful way, but not at all the fault of the Church. Several dozen or even hundreds of radicals organized by President Djukanovic, in protest against the enthronement of Metropolitan Joanikije, staged pogroms and riots. They attacked law enforcement officers, burned fires and set fire to tires. Among the activists were the leaders of the Montenegrin schismatics – Mikhail Dedeich and Bojan Bojovic, for concelebrating with whom Sergei Dumenko in 2019 apologized to the former Metropolitan Amphilochios of Montenegro and the Littoral.

The activists blocked the road from Podgorica to Cetinje with barricades and completely blocked the city. As a result, the hierarchs of the Church were forced to travel to the enthronement in Cetinje by helicopter.

Arrival of the hierarchs of the Serbian Church to the Cetinje Monastery. Photo: RTCG

Please note that Patriarch Porfirije and Metropolitan Joanikije leave the helicopter and return to it under the cover of an anti-sniper shield. It is unlikely that law enforcement officers would use it without a reason. Hence, there was a real threat of murder. The TSN journalists themselves use the expression "anti-terrorist enthronement". Even OCU spokesman Eustratiy Zoria speaks of the threat of a terrorist act: "It was a counter-terrorist measure."

However, in the eyes of TSN, the people who attempted the life of the bishops are not terrorists at all, but simply concerned citizens who are labeled as extremists by Russian propaganda: "Montenegrin citizens, whom the Russian propaganda calls extremists, barricade the entrances to the city. Serious clashes ensue." 

Well, if Russia refers to someone as extremists, then these people are virtually heroes for TSN.

So, according to Mazur, civilized society was shocked by the shots with the helicopter. But not because bishops may be in danger of murder in the modern world Orthodox, but because their lives are protected by Special Forces: “The video footage where the clergy fly by an army helicopter and then hide behind a special squad have stunned the civilized world. Why did the Orthodox fathers need the support of the submachine gunners?" What an interesting question from Alla Mazur. We will answer it. Usually, Special Forces are involved where there is a real threat to human life.

But it seems that for TSN to protect one’s life is almost a shame. Journalists scoff that, due to the threat of a terrorist attack, enthronement did not take place as solemnly as it should have.

TSN are sure: the civilized world was stunned by the fact that the bishops of the Church took advantage of the protection of Special Forces with machine guns. Photo: screenshot of the TSN YouTube channel

TSN: “One had to forget about the pathos of the ceremony, the new Metropolitan is anointed under the guise of submachine gunners. However, the handler is pleased."

In general, TSN people are loyal to themselves: they perceive activists who organized riots and threatened the lives of bishops as heroes, while their potential victims are cowards and scoundrels.

But let us return to the bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

At the very beginning of the program, the authors significantly demonstrate the arrival of the delegation of the UOC in Montenegro and present it almost like a visit of saboteurs.

TSN: “A civil plane flying from Ukraine to the Montenegrin land delivers very important passengers. A couple of those who have just arrived are the top managers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate who have been presented Putin's friendship awards – its Chancellor, Metropolitan Anthony and Metropolitan Sergiy of Ternopil and Kremenets."

The author highlights two words pronounced by Metropolitan Sergiy, puffing them up into a whole conspiracy theory.

TSN: “It is he who, after hugs and kisses, utters the words ‘there will be a victory’. What kind of victory is meant?"

As we managed to find out from the participants in the meeting, it was about the Resurrection of the Savior. Just as Christ gained the victory over death, the Church will triumph in spiritual warfare, and the gates of hell will not prevail against Her. What did the TSN mean? Apparently, the victory in the enthronement in Cetinje. But when the hierarchs of the UOC arrived in Montenegro, there was no need to talk about victory, since there had been no pogroms from the activists.

What is the logic of TSN then? Do they really think that it was the hierarchs of the UOC who first organized the riots of Djukanovic's supporters, and then ensured victory over them?

TSN: “Everything happened, as by Metropolitan Sergiy of Ternopil and Kremenets promised shortly before to the head of the Serbian Church in Montenegro: ‘There will be a victory!’”

For any normal person, this sounds ridiculous, but the hints that this visit of the UOC hierarchs and in 2020 the visit of His Beatitude Onuphry are a kind of spy special operation of the Kremlin against the Montenegrin statehood sound even funnier.

TSN: “The Kremlin takes on the role of a strategic partner of the Serbian Church and appoints the priest of the Moscow Patriarchate as a crisis manager of the Ukrainian pan-father ... In fact, Onuphry was appointed a handler of the situation in Montenegro from the Moscow Patriarchate. He even went there and participated in some events."

The fraternal visit of His Beatitude Onuphry to Montenegro in 2020 at TSN was called by TSN channel as the arrival of the handler. Photo: UOJ

What can be said in this regard? Is the visit of a bishop to another country a sign of his collaboration with the special services?

Let us remember that the Church in Montenegro and the Church in Ukraine are one and the same Church of Christ, which are just located in different territories.

We know that in neighboring villages, priests and parishioners very often come to visit each other on church holidays. Does this mean that they thereby want to seize power in this village? No, they just visit their brothers and participate in the general worship. Likewise, hierarchs and priests of one Church visit hierarchs of another Church, participate in joint services, processions of the cross, share the joy of holidays or ordinations of new bishops.

It can be recalled that delegations from all Local Churches, including Constantinople, came to the enthronement of His Beatitude Onuphry. Does this mean that TSN considers the Phanariots to be Erdogan's saboteurs working against the Ukrainian state? It sounds downright ridiculous. But, unfortunately, the central Ukrainian media, with top-ranking TSN, from year to year are engaged in outright anti-church propaganda at the most primitive level. Over the years, the composition of these propagandists has changed, some journalists were forced to change their image, but they did not change their rhetoric, which is disappointing. Anyway, we know that God cannot be mocked; nor will He let his Church be subject to mockery. People in Montenegro and in Ukraine publicly declare their support for their faith, their Church. They declare it because the Church for them is not political squabbles, but the road to Eternity. True, there are forces that are annoyed both in Montenegro and Ukraine. But can their slander harm us? Let us hear what His Beatitude Onuphry says on this matter:

“They want us to forget about Eternity, so that we leave it and engage in secular, political squabbles, with no end in sight, and which always end ingloriously. Politics is 'hosanna' today and 'crucify' tomorrow. People want the Church to change like a political movement. But the Church cannot change, because the truth of God is unchanging. Christ said that in this world those who want to follow Him will be persecuted, hated and cursed. So this is our road, the road of the Church.

Our Church is called the "Militant Church" i.e. She resists evil. And if She resists evil, then evil will take up arms against Her. The Church will never get off this road. As for me, I want to be in this Church, I do not want to fall away from this Church but to confess what the Church confesses – to love people, to do good to people. Let God judge them for what they say about me.”

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