On 22 April 2021, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia stated that he agreed with Prime Minister of Montenegro, Zdravko Krivokapic, in regards to signing the Fundamental Agreement between the state of Montenegro and the Serbian Orthodox Church, as well as that it was agreed in principle that he would go to Montenegro after the Easter holidays and sign that document.
Patriarch Porfirije told the Tanjug agency that he is deeply convinced that the signing of the Fundamental Agreement between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the state of Montenegro, on the basis of which the state’s relationship with the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro will be regulated, will put an end to misunderstandings on the matter.
The Patriarch of Serbia mentioned that there is nothing secret regarding the content of the Agreement, considering that negotiations on that have been going on for years, as well as that the content of the Fundamental Agreement will be available to everyone.
“Thank God, we have reached an agreement with the Prime Minister of Montenegro on the Fundamental Agreement that the Church should sign with the state of Montenegro, and I am completely sure that the Agreement will be signed soon,” said Patriarch Porfirije.
The Patriarch said that there were various media speculations and contradictory voices reaching the Serbian Orthodox Church, but that none of that was founded.
“I think that very soon, to the joy of all Orthodox Christians and all members of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro, we will sign this Agreement, which will finally be the only agreement missing in terms of Church-state relations or the state and religious communities in Montenegro,” Patriarch Porfirije said.
When it comes to the very act of signing the document, the Patriarch said that the details of when exactly it will be signed have not been coordinated and agreed yet, but that he will go to Montenegro with great joy. “I think in the nearest future, now the Easter holidays are coming, and when they pass, in direct contact with the Prime Minister, we will easily agree,” the Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church stated.
The Patriarch added that it was an agreement in principle and that he thought it was logical for him to sign the document.
“I am deeply convinced that the signing of the Fundamental Agreement between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the state of Montenegro will put an end to the misunderstandings we encounter both in public and in political contexts, and I believe that in fact there was no need for any tensions and misunderstandings. since this type of agreement is signed by all countries, especially in Europe, with churches and religious communities. ”
As he pointed out, there is an established and generally accepted context and principle on that issue, which was absolutely respected during writing the Agreement, which should be signed in Montenegro.
When asked how he interprets the fact that the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic said that the signing of the Fundamental Agreement was conducted behind the scenes and that the process was not transparent enough, the Patriarch replied that he was not familiar with the statement, but that everyone could have their own view of everything that was happening.
“As far as the Agreement is concerned, nothing is hidden, nor is it secret, and those negotiations and talks have been going on for years. Ultimately, the content of that Agreement will be available to everyone. On the basis of that Agreement, the attitude of the state towards the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro will be regulated, but also the attitude of the Church towards the state. I do not understand the wording of the President of Montenegro, and I believe that he also understands that there is no problem there “, stated the Patriarch.
The Patriarch of Serbia added that he would be in Belgrade for Easter and that he would serve the Easter Liturgy at the Saint Sava Cathedral, as the Patriarch Irinej of blessed repose did.
Source: Serbian Orthodox Church