The Ecumenical Patriarch categorically rejected any possibility of granting autocephaly to the so-called Montenegrin Orthodox Church.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in an interview with Belgrade’s Kurir newspaper, made it clear that for the Phanar, Montenegro is under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) and assured that this position would not change. “For the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the only canonical Church in Montenegro is the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral of the Serbian Orthodox Church headed by Metropolitan Amfilohije. I repeat, we will never grant autocephaly to the so-called Montenegrin Orthodox Church,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said.
Referring to the law recently passed by the Montenegrin Parliament for Religious Communities, which sparked SPC’s reaction, he stressed that he himself had sent a letter to the President of the Republic, Milo Djukanovic, asking him to prevent the passing of this law.
Commenting on the efforts of some Serbian bishops to cause a crisis in the Serbian Church’s relations with the Phanar over the Ukrainian issue, the Ecumenical Patriarch emphasized that “all children of the Mother Church are treated with affection and love, even those who are ungrateful.”