LAST UPDATE: 16:01
In a rather bellicose… climate, the enthronement of the new Metropolitan of Montenegro took place this morning in the Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos in the town of Cetinje by Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia.
Since yesterday, there was tension in the city and police forces clashed with protesters who have tried to cancel the enthronement ceremony.
Protesters blocked the town of Cetinje with roadblocks to prevent Serbian Orthodox Church hierarchs from reaching the monastery by road.
Throughout the night, as well as this morning, shots were heard constantly while groups of protesters clashed with the police in an effort to invade the monastery.
The Patriarch of Serbia and the newly enthroned Metropolitan arrived this morning at the Monastery by military helicopter and under the protection of the special forces. So the enthronement ceremony took place without any incidents.
Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia officiated the Holy Hierarchical Liturgy with the concelebration of Joanikije, Bishop of Budva-Niksic and the elected Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, and Bishop David of Krusevac, a member of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, in the Cetinje Monastery on September 5, 2021.
On that occasion, Patriarch Porfirije implemented the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church and introduced the newly elected Metropolitan Joanikije of Montenegro and the Littoral to the ancient, sacred throne of the Metropolis of Montenegro and the Littoral.
With the blessing of Patriarch Porfirije, the decision of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on the election of Bishop Joanikije as Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral was read by Bishop David of Krusevac. David, a member of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic welcomed the enthronement of the new Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral, Joanikije, in the town of Cetinje, despite reactions from citizens who do not recognize the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Aleksandar Vucic congratulated the Montenegrin government for creating safe conditions for the enthronement ceremony and denounced the opposition parties, namely the Social Democratic Party of incumbent President Milo Đukanović for causing incidents.
The church issue has divided Montenegrin society since the founding of Yugoslavia after World War I.
According to the ANA-MPA, there have been constant disputes since 1920, when the autonomy of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church was abolished by a royal decree of Aleksandar Karadjordjevic and annexed to the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The autocephaly of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church was renewed in the 1990s by some hierarchs, but neither the Ecumenical Patriarchate nor any other Orthodox Church in the world recognized the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, which the Serbian Patriarchate considers schismatic.
About a year and a half ago, the then government of the Social Democratic Party tabled a bill that was passed in parliament for the confiscation of the property of the Serbian Church, that is, monasteries and temples for which it did not hold a title deed before 1918 (before the establishment of Yugoslavia).