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On 19th August 2019, the Feast of Transfiguration of the Lord, Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral officiated at the Divine Liturgy in the Church of the Holy Transfiguration in the Monastery of Saints Cyril and Methodius on Mount Ključka Tavor (Bjelasica Mountain Range). Concelebrating with him was Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka, representative of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to the European and International Institutions.

The divine service, bringing together numerous pilgrims, was celebrated in the Church Slavonic, Serbian and Greek languages. A procession with the cross around the church and a rite of blessing the fruit of the new harvest followed the Liturgy.

Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral greeted all those present with the feast and wished strength and God’s help to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine.

Bishop Viktor conveyed to Metropolitan Amfilohije cordial greetings from the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, thanked him for the opportunity to celebrate the Eucharist together and expressed gratitude for the unceasing prayerful support given to the Orthodox Ukrainian people.

Bishop Viktor of Baryshevka read out a letter of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry to Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral concerning the discrimination against the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro.

The letter said, in particular: “The news about the deterioration in the Orthodox Church’s situation in Montenegro brings deep sorrow to us in Ukraine. The reports reaching us indicate that there is a danger of forcible expropriation of shrines, of the destruction of certain places of worship and of many other things that cannot but worry our souls and hearts.” Metropolitan Onufry noted that the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church are also suffering from the actions of certain officials who continue to divide the Body of the Church of Christ. “Therefore, in our prayers for each other our hearts beat in unison today,” His Beatitude wrote in his letter to Metropolitan Amfilohije.

“On behalf of the episcopate, clerics and laypersons of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church I express fraternal prayerful support to you, dear Vladyka Amfilohije, and to the flock entrusted to your care, and wish you God’s unceasing help in defending firmly the purity of the Orthodox faith and the unshakeable unity of the Church of Christ and our God, which is ‘the pillar and ground of the truth’(1 Tim 3:15),” the message also said.

That same day the hierarchs visited the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, and a number of monasteries in the Metropolis of Montenegro and the Littoral.

The day before, 18th August, a brotherly meeting of the two archpastors took place at the residence of the Metropolitan of Montenegro and the Littoral in Cetinje. Discussed at the meeting was the situation of the Orthodox Church in Ukraine and Montenegro. The hierarchs of the Ukrainian and Serbian Orthodox Churches also discussed joint participation in various international human rights initiatives with the view of defending the rights and freedoms of Orthodox Christians of the two countries, Information and Education Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church reports.

DECR Communication Service