Joanikije II. Mićović

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Bishop Joanikije (2014)

Joanikije II. Mićović , Serbian - Cyrillic Јоаникије Мићовић , real name Jovan Mićović, (born April 20, 1959 in Velimlje , SR Montenegro , SFR Yugoslavia ) has been the Serbian Orthodox Metropolitan of Montenegro and the coastal region since 2021 .


Joanikije Mićović studied theology and philosophy in Belgrade. Since 1992 he has headed the Serbian Orthodox Seminary in Cetinje . In May 1999 he was ordained bishop of Budimlje and Nikšić ( Northern Montenegro).

In 2016, Bishop Joanikije criticized the efforts of the Montenegrin government to join NATO. He spoke in Budimlje at a memorial event for the victims of the NATO bombing in 1999 and described this as an act of a “criminal armada”.

Bishop Joanikije was the closest collaborator of the Metropolitan Amfilohije . Both opposed a religious law planned by the then socialist government of Montenegro, according to which all religious communities had to prove that they owned their real estate before 1918. (In 1918, Montenegro had become part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes ; the autocephalous Montenegrin Orthodox Church was made subordinate to the unification of the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1920. Its autocephalous status was only granted in 1903 and 1905 by Prince Nikola I. was created in the course of his Greater Montenegro policy, without the population or the powerful clan heads at the time having been involved in this reorganization.) The law was passed by parliament at the end of 2019.

On May 12, 2020, Bishop Joanikije and other clergy from Nikšić were arrested for 72 hours because they (according to the allegation) had violated the ban on gatherings in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic . According to the clergy, a crowd had gathered for the annual procession in honor of St. Vasilije Ostroški , and the clergy led this spontaneously. On May 13, demonstrations against the imprisonment of clergy took place in Nikšić and Pljevlja ; this led to clashes with the police.

After the death of Metropolitan Amfilohije on October 30, 2020 caused by COVID-19, Bishop Joanikije administered the metropolis. He tested positive for COVID-19 after the funeral for Amfilohije himself, his eparchy announced on November 8, 2020.

The new Montenegrin government, in office since December 2020, is considered close to the Serbian Orthodox Church and changed the controversial law on religion. On April 22nd, the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije announced that a fundamental agreement between the Serbian Orthodox Church and the government of Montenegro was ready to be signed, regulating mutual relations. To critics who saw in this agreement a loss of autonomy for the metropolitan area of ​​Montenegro and the coastal region, Bishop Joanikije declared that “no new reality or any new subject of ecclesiastical organization would be created”. The metropolis has no other independence than that of every eparchy of the Serbian Orthodox Church. During the Bishops' Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church on May 24-29, 2021 in Belgrade, Bishop Joanikije (Mićović) was appointed the new Metropolitan for Montenegro and the coastal countries. According to press reports, Patriarch Porfirije proposed Bishop Joanikije as the new Metropolitan, who was then elected by acclamation.

On September 5, 2021, Bishop Joanikije was inaugurated in the Cetinje Monastery by the Patriarch Porfirije as the new Metropolitan of Montenegro and the coastal region. Police protection was necessary for this, as opponents had already erected barricades the day before with burning car tires and stones to prevent access to the inauguration. Hundreds of demonstrators gathered in downtown Cetinje and threw stones and bottles at police officers, who then used tear gas. Metropolitan and Patriarch had to be flown in by helicopter and left the city immediately afterwards. President Milo Đukanović called for the protests . The protesters saw the state independence of Montenegro violated because the Serbian Orthodox Church does not recognize the sovereignty of Montenegro and has now introduced its new metropolitan in the historic capital of Montenegro, where the Cetinje Monastery, the official seat of the Orthodox metropolitan, is located. The Montenegrin Orthodox Church - not recognized by the other Orthodox churches - sees itself as the successor to the Archdiocese of Cetinje, which was independent until 1920, so that Cetinje is also claimed by it as the seat of its metropolitan. Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić , who heads a coalition supported by the Serbian Orthodox Church during the election campaign, called the attacks by protesters on police officers a "terrorist act". At least 60 people were injured and 15 were arrested; According to the government, among those arrested was Veselin Veljović, a high-ranking advisor to Đukanović, who was formerly the country's police chief. Veljović is accused, among others, of the Montenegrin Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazović of staging the riots.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Bishop Joanikije new Montenegrin Metropolitan (May 29, 2021)
  2. Pro Oriente : Bishop Joanikije commemorates victims of the NATO bombing 17 years ago at a memorial event (April 1, 2016).
  3. On the law of religion see: dw: Church dispute in Montenegro (January 19, 2020)
  4. Hans-Michael Miedling: On the question of the ethnicity and identity of the Montenegrins in the past and present . In: Zeitschrift für Balkanologie 42 (2006), pp. 146–165, here pp. 152f. ( PDF )
  5. ^ Message service Eastern Churches: Montenegro: Bishop arrested for violating coronavirus measures (May 14, 2020).
  6. Serbia / Montenegro: Thousands of believers say goodbye to Metropolitan Amfilohije (November 13, 2020)
  7. Serbian claim to rule , taz, September 6, 2021
  8. Protests against the new head of the church (September 5, 2021)
  9. Montenegro: Agreement between Church and State ready to be signed (May 11, 2021)
  10. ^ Message service Eastern Churches: Serbia / Montenegro: Joanikije (Mićović) new Metropolitan of Montenegro (June 3, 2021)
  11. Consecration under police protection (September 5, 2021); Zeit Online: Protests against the new head of the church in Montenegro (September 5, 2021).
  12. Cf. on the membership figures of both churches: US Department of State, 2020 Report on International Religious Freedom: Montenegro : According to 2020 data from the nongovernmental organization (NGO) the Center for Democracy and Human Rights (CEDEM), the SOC [= Serbian Orthodox Church] is estimated to account for approximately 90 percent of the Orthodox population, while the MOC [= Montenegrin Orthodox Church] makes up the remaining 10 percent .
  13. Neue Zürcher Zeitung: Tear gas instead of incense: Serious riots accompany the installation of the highest bishop of Montenegro (September 5, 2021)
  14. BalkanInsight: Montenegro Opposition Accused of 'Coup Attempt' Over Cetinje Riots (September 6, 2021)
  15. New Head Of Serbian Orthodox Church In Montenegro Inaugurated As Police Clash With Protesters. Radio Free Europe , September 5, 2021, accessed September 6, 2021 .
  16. ^ Protests against Orthodox Church Head (September 6, 2021)