Serbian Church disagrees with Bartholomew's Ukraine move
Metropolitan Amfilohije says that granting autocephaly of the Orthodox church in Ukraine will not affect the status of the church in Montenegro.Source: Tanjug
The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) dignitary, who is at the helm of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral, added that after the latest decision of its head, Patriarch Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople was "absolutely no longer considered as the supreme church authority by the SPC."
In an interview with Vijesti TV, Amfilohije said that he informed Bartholomew during their recent meeting of the decisions of the SPC Assembly, which is not in agreement with his decision to give autocephaly to the church in Ukrainian.
Amfilohije said that he has known Bartholomew since he was a deacon, and that they studied together in Rome - "but what he is doing now in Ukraine is not absolutely adequate to the spirit of the Orthodox church, because it is destroying centuries-old unity among Orthodox churches."
"And from that standpoint our Church and many other patriarchates do not accept such a position, I've told him this openly. I still have hope, however, many theologians in Greece and archbishop are also against this and his current behavior," the metropolitan said.
Asked if the move could affect the status of the church in Montenegro, Amfilohije stressed that this "absolutely has nothing to do with the status of the church in Montenegro."
"An independent Montenegro is one thing, an autocephalous church is another. A completely different story", Amfilohije was clear. Asked whether the Ecumenical Patriarchate remains the supreme church authority as far as the Serbian Orthodox Church is concerned, the metropolitan replied: "Absolutely not."
He explained that only the Catholic Church has supreme authority, i.e., the pope.
"In the Orthodox church, it's a ten-century struggle for every bishop to have their authority. And from that viewpoint Bartholomew made a mistake of meddling in the life of the Russian Church," said Amfilohije, adding that for this reason, he has been rightly being criticized for (wanting) the role of a pope.
In the Orthodox church, there is no pope, nor has there ever been one - and that is why it remained Orthodox, the SPC dignitary concluded.