Cetinje –– July 2016

Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and Litoral has stated that he did not sign the document “Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World” adopted during the work of the Council held on Crete June 18-26, 2016.

The bishop spoke about it on the program “Living Truth” of the Montenegro channel “Atlas,” reporting that namely this document caused sharp controversy at the meeting on Crete.

At the same time Metropolitan Amfilohije considers that the document itself was inadequately prepared, which the Serbian delegation pointed out at the preceding preparatory meetings on Crete.

“I must tell you that I was one of those who did not sign the sixth document,” emphasized Metropolitan Amfilohije, answering the question of journalist Darko Sukovich.

The message itself states that the number of Serbian bishops not signing the controversial document could be much bigger. Greek media has reported the name of Bishop Irinej of Bačka in this context, and several other sources have reported that the document was not signed by a few Serbian bishops. However, in Serbian media itself this question until now remains veiled in mystery.

It is noteworthy that the publication of the adopted documents on the official site of the Council doesn’t allow for accurately understanding who precisely signed the document and who not. Under the document itself stands the names of every member of the delegations without exception, which gives the impression that they were all signatories.

The names of the Local Church representatives who refused to sign the document were earlier reported by the media. Among them were Metropolitan Athanasius of Limassol, Neophytos of Morphou, Nikolaos of Amathus, Epiphanios of Ledra, and Porphyrios of Neapolis of the Church of Cyprus, and Met. Hierotheos Nafpatkos (Greek Orthodox Church).

Some of the bishops enumerated came forward at the end of the meeting on Crete with open theological criticism of the document, stating that they were prepared to defend their position.

 Translated by Jesse Dominick