Montenegro to regulate CPC status

PODGORICA -- Montenegro has a historical duty to regulate Montenegrin Orthodox Church (CPC) status, a legal expert says.

Author of the expert version of Montenegrin Constitution draft Mijat Šuković told Podgorica daily Pobjeda it would be for the best to solve the issue of Montenegrin Orthodox Church by means of the Constitution.

“If the State of Montenegro failed to enter the CPC into the Constitution, it should regulate its status by drafting and adopting proper legislation,” he said.

Šuković added that a state had to regulate legal status of a church in the secular context, regardless of whether the church in question was recognized in Orthodox churches ranks.

In his opinion, the conflict between the CPC and the Montenegrin Archbishopric of the Serbian Orthodox Church had also been caused by certain statements given on behalf of the Montenegrin state.

“Montenegrin insitutions have been evading the duty to legally define property rights over Orthodox churches, monasteries and other objects in the Republic which triggered misunderstandings between the two Churches,” he added.

The draft Constitution mentioned the Montenegrin Orthodox Church as the primary religious community in the country, which brought about fierce reactions from the Opposition.

In the meantime, the CPC announced it would demand to carry out religious services in the churches and monasteries currently used by the Serbian Orthodox Church. However, Montenegrin President Filip Vujanović said the state would protect the property of SPC Montenegrin Archbishopric.