Metropolitan Hilarion meets with Montenegrin Prime Minister Igor Luksic

On the second day of the visit, Metropolitan Hilarion met with Prime Minister of Montenegro Mr. Igor Luksic, where he once again repeated the position of the Russian Orthodox Church that in Montenegro one canonical Serbian Orthodox Church exist, which on the territory of Montenegro include the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral and the Diocese of Budimlje-Niksic, as well as partly Diocese of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and Mileseva.

Prime Minister Luksic emphasized that in Montenegro a vast majority of people lived that declared themselves as believers, which was confirmed by the last census, particularly the interest for faith was present among young people. He added that all that obligated also the state that respect the canonical structure of the Church, as well as he also expected that the Orthodox Church respect the structure of the state.

Metropolitan Hilarion concluded the visit to Montenegro with the press conference in Podgorica. The presence of almost all media is confirmation of the importance and significance of the visit of Metropolitan Hilarion to the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral and the state of Montenegro.

Metropolitan Hilarion said to the present journalists that he came to Montenegro upon the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kyrril and that he met with the highest state officials during his two-day visit.

His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion talked about the many-centuries-long relations and the rich tradition of the relations of Russia and Montenegro and that these two peoples were united by the Orthodox faith. He pointed out that Montenegro was the multinational country, and as in Russia also in Montenegro there was the Church of the majority, and that was the Church led by Metropolitan Amfilohije.  

He expressed a view that had been repeated several times in conversations with the highest state officials, that the unity of the Orthodox Church was beyond the political and national boundaries, citing many examples throughout the Orthodox universe, in which the boundaries of the Church did not coincide with political boundaries. Metropolitan Hilarion said that he heard that the Orthodox believers were divided in Montenegro, but that he did not agree with this opinion. In Montenegro there is the canonical Orthodox Church, to which belongs the vast majority of Orthodox and a small group of the self-proclaimed that are trying to present themselves as the Church.

He stressed, that from canonical point of view, that two Orthodox Churches could not exist on one territory, as well as that on one territory could not coincide two states, as well as the fact that if one Church could become autocephalous, an appearance and forming of one state would be enough; because if each time when one state form, an autocephalous Church would form, then we would have fifty autocephalous Churches.

Insisting on the division of the Orthodox Church on the national basis is just an attempt of weakening of the state, and not its building. In the Orthodox Church there is a clear boundary between the canonical Church and the schismatics, who always remained on the margins and with the time they vanished. Metropolitan Hilarion concluded that the responsibility was both on the state and the politicians, as well as on the media, how they treated the shismatics because when they supported them, they destroyed the unity of the Orthodox Church.

Metropolitan Amfilohije thanked Metropolitan Hilarion, pointing out that he was the second man of the Russian Church and that his visit and experience that the Russian Church contributed to the solution of many issues that existed in Montenegro regarding the state and the Church.

This was the first official visit of Metropolitan Hilarion to the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral and to the state of Montenegro.

Source: Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral