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Trois informations concernant les relations entre le Monténégro et le Saint-Siège

  • October 2022

2022 could be named the year of historical documents for Montenegrin-Holy See relations : firstly, in January the first tome of edition “Monumenta Montenegrina Vaticana” was presented, as a collection of documents on the Concordat of the Principality of Montenegro and the Holy See from 1886. Secondly, during the official visit of the Prime Minister of Montenegro Dritan Abazović to the Holy See on 10-11 October, the correspondence of the ruler of the first Montenegrin state Duklja with three Roman popes dating from the 11th century was exposed. During this visit, Prime Minister Abazović suggested to the Pope Francis a meeting of World religious leaders in Montenegro. A couple of days earlier, the new Apostolic Nuncio for Montenegro was appointed.

Historical documents
The first volume of the edition of "Monumenta Montenegrina Vaticana" was published in 2020 by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, with the help of the Embassy of Montenegro at the Holy See. The book contains documents from Vatican State Archive and the Fide Propaganda Archive, the State Archives of Montenegro, the Archive-Library Department of the National Museum of Montenegro, as well as the archives of the Archdiocese of Bar, and materials published so far. It is a bilingual edition of 400 pages, prepared by Montenegrin historians Slavko Burzanović and Boban Batrićević.

As presented in the Governmental press, in honor of the Prime Minister Abazović visit, the Apostolic Library exposed manuscripts of historical importance for Montenegro : “The first is the correspondence of King Mihailo Vojislavljević of Duklja with Pope Gregory VII, dated 9 January 1078, while the second is the original monumental work ’Church Chronicle’ by Archbishop Andrija Zmajević, handed over to the Vatican in 1694 personally by the author, and discovered in 2021 and 2022. The manuscripts were discovered thanks to Lenka Blehova Čelebić, a historian and philologist from the Charles University in Prague, who discovered the correspondence of rulers of Duklja with three Roman popes during the 11th century”.
Prime minister Abazović announced that Montenegro will celebrate 960 years of these documents as a jubilee of Montenegrin-Holy See diplomatic relations.

Idea of the world religious leaders meeting
During the meeting with the Pope Francis, the Prime Minister of Montenegro Abazović presented the idea of organizing a meeting of the world religious leaders in Montenegro.
” The Pope reacted positively to my proposal that Montenegro be a place of unification, a place where meetings of world religious leaders, who at this moment must promote peace in the world, would take place. I tried that if Montenegro can play a role, it is that role. That would be historic for Montenegro, but it depends on a million factors. We are sending a message that Montenegro is a bridge”, said Prime Minister Abazović after the meeting.

New apostolic nuncio
Pope Francisco appointed on 1st October Mons. Francis Assisi Chullikatt as a new apostolic nuncio in Montenegro, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. He was titular archbishop of Ostra, served as apostolic nuncio in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Iraq and Jordan. In the years 2010-2014, he was a permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations in New York and a permanent observer at the Organization of American States.
The seat of Apostolic Nunciature is in Sarajevo, the Capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

D 13 octobre 2022    ANikola B. Šaranović

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