Antonije Abramović

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Metropolitan Antonije (Antonije Abramović)
Born (1919-10-31)31 October 1919
Dobrota, Kingdom of SCS
Died 1996
Podgorica, FR Yugoslavia

Metropolitan Antonije, (Antonije Abramović, Cyrillic: Антоније Абрамовић, 31 October 1919 – 1996) was the first Metropolitan of the uncanonical Montenegrin Orthodox Church and self-proclaimed Metropolitan of Montenegro.

He was an orphan adopted by the Abramović family as a child. His past is shrouded in mystery for the simple reason that he would not speak of his childhood to anyone, stating only that he was an orphan and that 'Abramović' was his adopted name. As a teenager he left the Abramović household in Montenegro and took monastic vows and the monastic name of 'Antonije' at Decani, the Serbian Monastery in Kosovo, in 1933. The Abbot there at the time was Dionisije Milivojević, who in 1940 was sent by the Serbian Orthodox Church to the United States of America as Serbian Orthodox Bishop of North America. Antonije remained at Visoki Dečani throughout World War II, somehow surviving German, Italian, Albanian and Bulgarian raids.

It was always evident that Abramović's grade school education prevented him from accomplishing his life's ambition—to become a Metropolitan. There is no record of him being a candidate for the position of Metropolitan of the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral in 1961. In fact, in 1961 he fled from Communist Yugoslavia to Greece and from there came to Canada. He settled in Montreal where the Russian Orthodox Church in America, then known informally as the Metropolia, offered him a position as assistant to the parish priest of St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Church on Champlain Street. In 1963 he joined members of the Croatian Orthodox Church which was being formed clandestinely in Montreal but was soon disbanded from fear of causing religious strife among South Slav ethnic groups. Bishop Dionisije who had a falling out with the Serbian Orthodox Church at the time, reluctantly recruited Antonije and made him a parish priest somewhere in New Jersey, but his stay there was rather short. Apparently, the parishioners were not pleased with his behavior. Forced to leave, he returned to Montreal where the Russian Metropolia, then unrecognized, graciously took him back into their fold. Years later, his behavior again got him into trouble with the Russians. He was banished from the St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Church. In 1986 he retired.

During the breakup of Yugoslavia, with a group of followers, Antonije unabashedly proclaimed himself the Metropolitan of the new Montenegrin Orthodox Church in Cetinje in 1993. In 1996 he suddenly sustained a heart attack and died.

References[edit]

Preceded by
post created
Metropolitan of Montenegro
31 October 1993 – 1996
Succeeded by
Metropolitan Mihailo