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Welcome to MONTENET the window with a view of MONTENEGRO
New Coat of Arms of MOC
Restoration of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church (MOC) 
New Basic or Universal Coat of Arms of the MOC
index of montenet
Introduction to Religions in Montenegro
Montenrgin Orthodox Church and Institution of 'Vladikat'
The Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro
Islam in Montenegro
Roman Catholics in Montenegro
The Legal Foundations of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church
The Montenegrin Orthodox Church after the WW2
Restoration of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church
The Saints of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church
Best Wishes from the Ecumenical Patriarch to the Head of Montenegrin Orthodox Church
All Known Prince Bishops (Vladikas) of the Montenrgin Orthodox Church


Monastery of CetinjeMonastery OstrogAfter the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe the first steps towards the restoration of the MOC were undertaken. The people of the village Bajice near Capital Cetinje petitioned a demand to the religious and civil authorities of the Republic for the return of the name to the Cetinje monastery and the restoration of the MOC. This action prompted a hot ‘scientific’ and ‘quasi scientific’ debate between followers and sympathizers of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and those of the MOC.

Adherents of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church on X-mas Eve 1997 in Cetinje'Vlaska Crkva' - Cetinje - Its fence is made of the rifles captured from TurksThe opponents of the restoration of the MOC saw and qualified those Montenegrins who favored the restoration of the MOC as "heresy" (jeres) or "tribal religion" (plemenska religija). They argued that 'Montenegrins and Serbs are the ‘same nation’ and of the ‘same religion’, and therefore, should have only one church (the SOC). Re-establishing the MOC would weaken the SOC and undermine traditional unity between Montenegrins and Serbs and therefore be at the expense of both'.

The sympathizers of the MOC stressed that they did not demand any alteration of orthodox learning or orthodox dogma. Accordingly, they claimed that they were merely asking for proclamation of the MOC George's Pillars Monastery - Berane - From 1219 the base of Budimlje's Mitropoly - (built at the very end of XII cent. by Stefan Nemanjic )'Saborna Crkva' - Niksic (‘according to national and state principle characteristic for the Christian orthodoxy’. They also insisted on their historical right to the property confiscated by the SOC (650 churches and monasteries), as well as to be able to choose themselves a Metropolitan of their own ethnicity, and to be able to baptize their children as Montenegrins of the Christian Orthodox faith. It was noted that, regrettably, since the abolishment of the MOC (1920), Montenegrins could not exercise these rights in the Serbian Orthodox Church, because the SOC did not recognize the Montenegrin nation and consequently could not issue the baptismal certificate to those who wanted to be baptized as Montenegrins. Therefore, the restoration of the MOC has become more than the question of wounded national pride and dignity for many Montenegrins. 

Monastery RezeviciMonastery Rezevici - InteriorAs noted before, the feelings of the supporters of the MOC gained momentum with the collapse of communism and with the collapse and separation of former Yugoslavia. Following the centuries-old tradition of popular election of the Montenegrin Metropolitans, on October 31, in capital Cetinje, ‘the General Montenegrin People's Assembly’ elected their own Metropolitan, His Holiness Antonije Abramovic. For many Montenegrins the election of the new spiritual leader signified the renovation of Montenegrin Autocephalous Orthodox Church. However, Vladika's counterpart from the SOC, His Holiness Risto Radovic, who also calls himself Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Coast (disputes that he is a Metropolitan of SOC) denied legality of the new Metropolitan claiming that "the proclamation of the MOC and election of the new Metropolitan is not a religious but a political act". In addition His Holiness Risto Radovic, dismissed any possibility of returning the property of the MOC.

Piva Monastery'Ascension of the Holy Virgin' (Uspenje Bogorodice) Monastery - Moraca (built in 1252)Refusal of the SOC to return the property to the MOC forced the clergy of the MOC to hold religious ceremonies under the open sky following an old Christian tradition. Even though, according to independent media reports, the MOC has been immensely more popular in Cetinje than the SOC, it has no support of the two main political forces in Montenegro. Leaders of the governing party in Montenegro, Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), use to claim that, ‘since the church and the state are separate, the Government has nothing to do with the church’. G-din Amfilohije RadovicNevertheless, after the split in the DPS, its legal successor DPS CG, and thus the Government of Montenegro, declared (15.03.1998) that it only supports "materially and politically the orthodox metropoly established 800 years ago (thus SOC), which is being led by (mitropolit crnogorsko-primorski, zetsko-brdski i skenderijski i egzarh peckog trona) Mr Amfilohije". The Republic's strongest opposition party (excluding Bulatovic's fraction of DPS which supports SPC by default), People Party (Narodna Stranka), openly supports the SOC and opposes the MOC. On the other hand the supporters of MOC are reported to be Liberal Alliance of Montenegro and Social Democratic Party of Montenegro.

Nevertheless, in January 2000, the civil authorities decided to allowed the MOC to add its name to the register of religious institution. In the further emancipation of the People Party, its leader, Dr. Novak Kilibarda, acknowledged that the MOC indeed was autocephalous during the reign of prices (vladike) and  that "Montenegrin Constitution, states that clearly". Dr. Kilibarda further wandered why Mr. Radovic keeps denying to be a Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Metropoly in Montenegro (MontenaFax 31.01.2000). 

Antonije AbramovicMr Miras DedeicDuring his reign, His Holiness Antonije Bishop of Cetinje and Metropolitan of Montenegro was subjected to an orchestrated campaign of intrigues and smear. His Holiness Antonije answered by preaching peace and love and praying for all including ‘the sinners who tried to undermine authority of the MOC by attacks on his own personality’. 

Following the death of His Holiness Antonije, it is reported that the General Montenegrin people's assembly chose Mr Miras Dedeic to be the new head of the MOC.

Christmas Eve 2000Chrismas Eve 2000On 14.03.1998. according to media reports, the Montenegrin Orthodox Church got a successor of the throne of Montenegrin metropolitans(daily "Pobjeda" 15.03.98). In the cathedral of Saint Paraskeva in Sofia, archimandrite Mihailo (Miras Dedeic) was ordained into a bishop (episkop). The ordination took place after the decision taken by the Saint Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and was conducted by the Patriarch Pimen assisted by seven bishops and four priests. Ordination into a metropolitan is expected to take place in Cetinje in the following months ( daily "Pobjeda" 15.03.98).

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Montenet 1997
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