The Serbian Orthodox Church, SPC, has never had the status of a legal person in Montenegro. Never. Neither in the previous period, nor today, and therefore, it cannot use any property.
However, we don’t believe this is a property issue and that we have a property dispute with the state of Serbia, President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, said in an interview with Reuters. He also pointed out that the SPC has initiated litanies in Montenegro due to the recently passed religious freedom law.
The President recalled that Serbia’s President, Aleksandar Vučić, repeatedly reiterated that Serbia intended to protect the endangered rights of Serbs in Montenegro, “although neither we nor objective observers from the region see any threat to citizens’ rights.”
“His interference didn’t stop there, but as you know he came out several times claiming that these were sacred objects, i.e. property which belongs to the SPC and Serbia as well. I want to assure you that based on a very careful reading of all the documents that determined the legal and political order of the independent Kingdom of Montenegro, there is no need to question it,” President Đukanović underlined.
According to him, this is not a matter of property and some kind of property dispute with Serbia.
“We think this issue is being misused to manifest paternalism towards Montenegro, which is specific, but again, I would say not unknown, because the 90s scenario is repeating, where Serbia enters the dangerous trap to protect allegedly endangered rights of Serbs in the region, by jeopardizing the sovereignty of other countries, and so it [Serbia] engages in disputes, which, unfortunately, as we know from experience, can lead to instability and conflict. You mentioned the interference of another country, primarily Russia. And you’re right about that,“ the President stressed.
He also assessed that the SPC, being the instrument of a great Serbian nationalism, represents the latest anti-Montenegrin community on the territory of Montenegro, which is an unsustainable issue in a long run.
“We have to deal with this issue through resolving the status of the Orthodox Church in Montenegro. That is why I raised the issues of restoration of the Montenegrin Autocephalous Orthodox Church, having in mind its history and the canonical tradition within orthodoxy.“
cdm.me / balkantimes.press
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