Montenegrin authorities said they would seek the provision of autocephaly for the non-canonical Montenegrin Orthodox Church. However, the repeat of the Ukrainian model in the Balkans is impossible, the Serbian expert on church law, the protoists Velibor Jomic, said.
“In Ukraine there was a canonical metropolitan, who then separated from the Moscow Patriarchate with a part of the church hierarchy. In Montenegro, the situation is different: the canonical structure was not separated from the Serbian Orthodox church. Mirash Deleić (head of the unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church – ed.) was deprived of church dignity by the Ecumenical Patriarch”, said Jomic in an interview with the Belgrade newspaper Politika.
In Constantinople, the public relations department also responded that the Ecumenical Patriarchate is in unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church and recognizes its jurisdiction in the territory of Montenegro.
In this country, in parallel with the canonical Serbian Orthodox Church (Metropolis of Montenegro-Primorsk), the unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church operates, which enjoys political support from the pro-Western authorities.
The church split in Montenegro has worsened recently against the background of the Ukrainian precedent. President Milo Djukanovic announced that he would fight for the provision of autocephaly for the CPC. Before that, a law was passed in Podgorica, depriving a canonical SPC of its property in favor of the state.