Metropolitan Amfilohije on rally controversy: I could not do otherwise
Metropolitan on rally controversy: I could not do otherwise
May 17, 2013
SPC Metropolitan Amfilohije has commented on his address during a recent
rally in Belgrade, to say that he "could not have done otherwise."
The rally was held by the Kosovo Serbs opposed to the Brussels
agreement. The Serbian Orthodox Church dignitary addressed it to, among
other things, say a prayer for the repose
the country's parliament and government.
"The things that are happening, this agreement -- it is not an
agreement, it is a dictate, violence... Kosovo and Metohija, it is the
Church, it is my cry," the metropolitan said in an appearance on Radio
Television of the Serb Republic (RTRS) on Thursday night.
The Serb people are on the Balkan crossroads, constantly at the focus of
historic events, not only those concerning the Balkans but the rest of
the world as well, he stated, and added: "This has been especially
prominent since the Battle of Kosovo, until today."
Amfilohije, who is the highest ranking SPC dignitary in Montenegro as
head of the Church's Metropolitanate of Montenegro and Lateral, said
that he first commented on the issue of Kosovo and Metohija in 2008,
when the Montenegrin administration recognized Kosovo.
But he dismissed accusations that his latest statements meant he was
meddling in politics, stressing that "the Church is the primeval soul of
the people who did not give anyone, including those in power, the right
to renounce on their behalf everything that Kosovo represents."
The metropolitan's words spoken at the rally met with widespread
condemnation from parties and officials, while SPC Patriarch Irinej
distances himself from the controversy.
Speaking for the Montenegrin state television on Friday, Amfilohije said
that the patriarch "reacted hastily when he distanced himself," and added:
"I told Patriarch Irinej that, had he had a chance to see and hear what
Bishop Atanasije and I were saying -- which he did not at the time -- he
would have realized that we said nothing that he himself did not say on
During his appearance on RTRS -- the public broadcaster of the Serb
entity in Bosnia -- the metropolitan also touched on the issue of
Srebrenica, saying that it was a "misfortune", but that the treatment
afforded to it meant that "new massacres are being prepared," and
mentioned WW2 crimes committed against Serbs in Bosnia by the Muslim
Hadz(ar Division, and the Croatian Ustasha fascists.
"The question of Srebrenica is indeed a great wound. If Tomislav
Nikolic' says he is already kneeling in front of Srebrenica -- what
shall we do about Bratunac, about the several thousand (Serbs) killed
before that... Now all of a sudden, you are taking over what they
created, the Srebrenica myth. Well this Srebrenica has now become
something bigger that Dachau and Auschwitz. By pushing this misfortune,
which it was, new massacres and new hatreds are actually being prepared
for the future," he was quoted as saying.
He then referred to the crimes committed against Bosniaks and Croats
during the wars of the 1990s as a misfortune and "a mutual consequence
of the evil and misfortunes of the Second World War."
Speaking about Serbia's efforts to join the EU, the metropolitan said
the country "cannot disintegrate its own being in order to enter the
mirage of the EU," as this policy was "no realpolitik", and added:
"The poor EU itself is falling apart. Hope to God that it is preserved."
Amfilohije also stated that President Nikic' should work with everyone
-- "only, guarding the honor of his people, guarding the Constitution,
what has been confirmed in the United Nations."
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