Home page News
Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary: …

Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary: Metropolitan Amfilohije was surrounded with love of all Montenegrins

Metropolitan Amfilohije (Radović) of Montenegro and the Littoral passed away in the Lord on October 30, 2020. Metropolitan Antony of Borispol and Brovary, chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, told about his personal contacts with the hierarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church and his ministry in the interview given to ‘Orthodox Life’ web portal.

Vladyko, you have met Metropolitan Amfilohije many times. What is your main impression?

He was a saint. It is difficult to find a more recognized authority in the Church. He was a real national spiritual leader! His demise is a great loss for the people of Montenegro, Serbia and South America for which he had cared as well as for many Orthodox Christians living on all continents.

Have you made your acquaintance in Montenegro?

I have learned about Metropolitan Amfilohije when I was a student. He was an outstanding contemporary theologian. We read his books and had an opportunity to meet him when he visited the Laura of the Holy Trinity. A more close acquaintance happened when I was rector of the Kievan Theological Academy. Metropolitan Amfilohije was awarded an academic degree of doctor of theology. Alas, we missed an opportunity to present it.

When I visited Montenegro I saw with my own eyes his love of his people and his anxiety about the situation in the country. It is well known that Metropolitan Amfilohije was surrounded with love of all Montenegrins, from child to old man. He was called a father, a grand-father and an apostle. The secret of such appreciation and reverence involves his being a real father of the nation. Metropolitan Amfilohije sermons were always permeated with evangelical love and power and were so topical and timely that people took his words as addressed to them personally. He loved people and cared for his flock.

A year ago Metropolitan Amfilohije invited me to the celebration of the feast of Archangel Michael. There are no traditional name days in the Serbian Church as we understand them, but there is Slava – glorification of one’s family patron saint. This custom is passed from generation to generation. Radović family’s patron saint is Archangel Michael. After the Divine Liturgy I saw him, aged eighty-two, standing the whole day surrounded by people who wanted to congratulate him. I was told later that he received congratulations the whole week through.

He was a part of the Montenegrins. Orthodoxy in Montenegro is inseparably linked with Metropolitan Amfilohije. He became hierarch after the fall of the socialist regime and began to revive the life of the Church. Church buildings were built, monasteries were open. Over seven hundred churches and monasteries after the years of devastation and desolation! The monasteries were open not as buildings or architectural complexes, but as real monasteries. Knowing his spiritual zealotry and love of monasticism many people came to Montenegro from various corners of the world to take monastic vows. There were many people from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus among them. He made all tonsures himself.

His monastic way is unique because he was conversed with people who were canonized later. He was a spiritual son of St. Justin (Popović) and St. Paisius of Mount Athos. They all had in common the unity of the spirit and friendship of souls.

Metropolitan Amfilohije was a zealot of our time, a sincere and audacious opponent of any church schism. Certainly, we wish such courageous, strong and authoritative people – and he was a most authoritative theologian and hierarch in the whole Orthodox world – to stay with us much longer. His words in defense of canonical order, concerning our situation in Ukraine in particular, were always effective and had precise value. Many hierarchs of other Local Churches took their lead from him.

His demise is very sad to us, yet I believe that he will remain a defender of the Orthodox Church in Heaven praying at God’s Altar and beseeching the Lord to make us wiser and grant us unity, correct understanding and responsibility for the destiny of the Orthodox Church.

Vladyko, you attended the funeral service for Metropolitan Amfilohije. Please share your impressions with us.

It seemed to me that the whole country attended. The people’s love was seen in this doleful hour when the Lord was receiving his soul. But this hour was mournful only in terms of the earthly life as the Lord knows when to give us life and when to take it away.

The main feeling at the funeral was that the unlinkable was linked. It was the weeping crowd of thousands, including children, young people and adults, but there was no despondency. The weeping that tears your soul because of frustration is one thing, but weeping at this funeral filled the soul with hope, because Metropolitan Amfilohije managed to educate the Montenegro flock in correct understanding of life and death.

This weeping and lamentation was a spiritual joy and triumph for Montenegro when it was paying last respects to its son and its father. Metropolitan Amfilohije had been the father for the people, not afraid to endure anything for the sake of the Church and devoting his energies to its revival and flourishing.

A lot of people have come to see Metropolitan Amfilohije to his last journey. The whole square in front of the Cathedral that he had built was filled with people. Everything Metropolitan Amfilohije had done, the construction of the cathedral including, had been done thoroughly and has a spiritual meaning.

What is the meaning of the construction?

Looking at the beautiful large Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica, we see its lower part consisting of rude stones, the worked stones higher, and fine tiles of exquisite workmanship atop. I would like to add that the stones for construction had been brought from all parts of Montenegro.

The lower rude stones can be compared to people who have just come to church, being rough, uncut, with their irregularities and inequalities. The worked stones are like people being transformed in the Church by the grace of the Holy Spirit that cuts away all their inequalities. The stones atop can be compared to those who are really growing in the Church thus becoming a work of art.

The Orthodox world is so divided at present. What can be done for its unity?

Just stick to the truth courageously. St. Mark of Ephesus said, “O man, whatever concerns the Church can never be put right through compromise; there is nothing in between truth and falsehood.”

It is a difficult time in the history of the Church now. Both the Ukrainian Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro are suffering persecution and seizure of church buildings. Let us recall Metropolitan Amfilohije’s behavior all that time. When the previous authorities of Montenegro decided to seizure the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church, he courageously rallied to its defense, and people have heard his voice. It was a real miracle to see enthusiasm of the tens of thousands believers who defended their faith and their Church.

Once Metropolitan Amfilohije learned of the arrest of some people. He went to the police station and said, “Arrest me and release them, I am the ringleader.” Despite his age and all his health problems he did not hide but was ready to be imprisoned for the release of those people.

Metropolitan Amfilohije’s courage and integrity are an example to follow. He was a kind-hearted and steadfast warrior of Christ! Let us remember him in prayers and hope that he will pray for us at God’s Altar.

Поделиться:
Patriarch Kirill congratulates Metropolitan Porfirije on his election to the Serbian Patriarchal See

18.02.2021

Patriarch Kirill presented with Serbian highest national award

15.02.2021

Supreme Church Council holds first online session

11.02.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral marking 12th anniversary of his enthronement

01.02.2021

Congratulations from the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church to Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada on the anniversary of his enthronement

27.01.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over passenger plane crash in the Java Sea

09.01.2021

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s condolences over passenger plane crash in the Java Sea

09.01.2021

Patriarch Kirill Gives Christmas Interview to Rossia TV

07.01.2021

Christmas Message by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia

06.01.2021

Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church to take place in November 2021

29.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill chairs Holy Synod’s last session in 2020

29.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Primate of Orthodox Church in America hold telephone conversation

21.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill congratulates Joseph Biden on his election as President of the United States of America

15.12.2020

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill’s address at the session of the Holy Synod held on 8th December 2020

08.12.2020

Holy Synod takes a number of decisions concerning external relations of the Russian Orthodox Church

20.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Church and religious communities are becoming targets for LGBT groups

28.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Patriarch of Constantinople has no flock in Ukraine

27.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Christians in the Middle East need our compassion and prayer

22.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: At the heart of dialogue with the Catholic Church is the situation of Christians in the Middle East, culture and charity work.

22.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Western human rights lawyers prefer to remain silent on the seizure of church buildings in Ukraine

22.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Brotherly relations between the Russian and Serbian Churches will remain with the new Serbian Patriarch

21.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion spoke at an online seminar of the International Hellenic University

16.02.2021

"Freedom and Responsibility as Viewed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill". Address by Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk (International Hellenic University online seminar, 16th February 2021)

16.02.2021

Representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Holy See discuss cooperation in cultural and social spheres

12.02.2021

Christian response to the pandemic challenge discussed at online-conference

12.02.2021

Supreme Church Council holds first online session

11.02.2021

Online conference «The Church and the Pandemic» will be held on February 12

11.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion on the Annulment of Anti-Church Provisions in Montenegro’s Laws

07.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk expressed his condolences on the death of Protopresbyter Daniel Hubiak, one of the oldest clerics of the Orthodox Church in America

06.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: Restoration of unity in our common Orthodox family is possible only through the denial of false ecclesiology

01.02.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord always grants to us the opportunity to display our talents

24.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: The Lord has imbued the waters of Jordan with his divine presence to wash away human sins

19.01.2021

Metropolitan Hilarion: to repent means to change your way of life

17.01.2021

On commemoration day of St. Catherine, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk officiated at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr In-the-Fields  the representation of the Orthodox Church in America

07.12.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We can always show compassion for people

29.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion celebrates on commemoration day of St. Varlaam of Khutyn at the church of ‘Joy to All the Afflicted’ icon of the Mother of God

19.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should remember that the life of each human being is in the hands of God

06.11.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For God there is nothing impossible

25.10.2020

Metropoplitan Hilarion: The cross which was an instrument of dishonourable execution becomes the symbol of salvation for millions of people

27.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Eucharist is the wedding feast, to which Lord Jesus Christ invites each of us

13.09.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: Faith alone is not enough for salvation

30.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: God is willing to give everyone a wonderful gift of faith, but people must be willing to accept it

16.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: We should be mindful of the value of human life

02.08.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk celebrates liturgy at Church of Antioch’s Moscow Representation on its patron saint’s day

26.07.2020

Metropolitan Hilarion: For Orthodox Christians Hagia Sophia will always remain a church dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ

24.07.2020

Feedback

Fields marked by * are mandatory required

Send a message