Source: Serbian Orthodox Church (here)
Archbishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coastlands, His Eminence Amphilohije said today that the 1,700 years after Emperor Constantine the Church in Montenegro is persecuted.
“It is with sadness that we say that 1,700 years after Emperor Constantine in Njegos’ Montenegro, which was founded on the honorable Cross and St. Petar of Cetinje, and his Code of Law of 33 articles, which he wrote in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in that Montenegro where the Church of God, this Metroplitanate of Cetinje was and remains the backbone, the Church today is persecuted,” said the Bishop at Cetinje Monastery in his homily at the liturgy for the feast day of St.Constantine and St. Helen.
The bishop said that Montenegro is at a crucifixion.
“It does not exist for this government for, as they said, it is not registered. Instead of the Church of God, the Church of St. Petar, registering them, so that then they would truly exist and be a true country.”
The bishop reminded everyone that the Church, per the government requirements, reported itself as it has been for centuries.
“Today the Montenegrin government, the students of those who destroyed churches, who destroyed the golden cross of Njegos on Lovcen, say there is no Church, it has to be registered by them so that at the moment of registration they can say, Now you started here. So that they can blackmail it and create their own idealogical-patrisan church and religion,” metropolitan explained.
He said that the problem of clergy living in Montenegro was a result of this relationship of the government towards the Church and he added that the government is doing this on behalf of some partisan-tribal, pagan position they have.
“On behalf of this position they hold, just as in the time before Emperor Constantine, they deny the Church of God which exists here and will exist and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it,” said Bishop Amphilohije.
“Instead of them looking to Emperor Constantine, who returned property stolen from the Church of God and desecrated churches returned to the Church, our people here, even though they want to enter Europe, the church property, which was stolen, they do not want to return. And not only that, but they also try to steal our churches,” said bishop, citing the examples of churches on Cipur and Krusevac in Podgorica.
“Now they are trying to take from us the shrine of St. Vasilije of Ostrog and with it, naturally, they are preparing the stealing of the shrine of St. Petar of Cetinje. God grant that the Lord enlighten them with the honorable cross, the cross of Constantine, just as Emperor Constantine took the pagan rulers and turned them into Christians, equal-to-the-Apostles witness to Christ’s Name and bearer of His honorable Cross,” said Metropolitan Amphilohije.