PM Marković in interview with Vikend novine: Serbian Patriarch’s statement is despicable and inaccurate, interests of SPC in Montenegro are primarily political

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    Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the statement by the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) about the position of Serbs in Montenegro was despicable and inaccurate, that the Serbian Orthodox Church has in the first place political interests in Montenegro, and then religious and spiritual, that this religious community continuously disputes all citizens’ decisions on the future of Montenegro, as well as that it does not respect the constitutional order of Montenegro as a civil, not a national state… PM Marković in interview with Vikend novine: Serbian Patriarch

    PR ServicePrime Minister Duško Marković said that the statement by the head of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) about the position of Serbs in Montenegro was despicable and inaccurate, that the Serbian Orthodox Church has in the first place political interests in Montenegro, and then religious and spiritual, that this religious community continuously disputes all citizens’ decisions on the future of Montenegro, as well as that it does not respect the constitutional order of Montenegro as a civil, not a national state.

    “This Government will not allow disrespect of Montenegro, in which the same principles of the rule of law must apply both for the citizen and for the priest. One cannot be beyond the reach of the Constitution and the law simply because you serve a church or a religious community, while not respecting the state and its institutions. The fact is that the Serbian Orthodox Church through the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral has interests in our country, which are primarily political, and then religious and spiritual,” Prime Minister Duško Marković said in an interview published today in Vikend novine.

    Asked to comment on a recent statement by Serbian Patriarch Irinej, who compared the position of the Serbian people in Montenegro to that of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH), the Prime Minister said that everyone who thinks rationally received this statement with disbelief, indignation and contempt.

    “However, the statement is still a sequence of official attitudes of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Metropolitane of Montenegro and the Littoral and its leaders towards Montenegro. It starts from the thesis on Montenegro as a Serbian state in which, as they say, the church is older than the state. It means that it should not be respected and contributed to it. It is disputed and all citizens’ decisions about the future of Montenegro are continuously being disputed. The constitutional order of Montenegro as a civil, not a national state, is also not respected. Therefore, the claims made by Patriarch Irinej about the position of Serbs in our country are incorrect and despicable,” PM Marković said.

    Asked whether he recognises in this statement an attempt to pressure Montenegro and the Government which announced the adoption of the Law on Religious Communities, Prime Minister Duško Marković said that such pressure is absolutely recognisable.

    “It was recognised in a subsequent statement to give up the alleged seizure of property, and then he will change the statement. But, this Government will not allow disrespect of Montenegro, in which the same principles of the rule of law will apply both for the citizen and for the priest. One cannot be beyond the reach of the Constitution and the law simply because you serve a church or a religious community, while not respecting the state and its institutions. The fact is that the Serbian Orthodox Church through the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral has interests in our country, and they are primarily political, and then religious and spiritual. Montenegro cannot be anymore denied access to public, state properties, which are used by the Metropolitane of Montenegro and the Littoral. As a state, we have built and helped, and we did not seize anything. The question is whether there would have been the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ today in Podgorica if the Government had not allocated significant funds for this valuable object. Accordingly, vulgar attacks on the state and its institutions will have to stop. These attacks most often come after secret supper with the opposition. So, if the Patriarch wanted to discourage us, he failed. The law will be adopted,” the Prime Minister said.

    (This text will be updated on Saturday late afternoon with other interview segments)

    PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO

    Source: Government of Montenegro