The Macedonian Tendency: The Clash of Orthodoxies

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Clash of Orthodoxies

Dear Ulrich Buechsenschuetz

Radio Free Europe

This is a very interesting article, however, to my knowledge you have never discussed the status of the followers of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Greece and the persecution of the Macedonian priest, Father Tsarknias.

Greece's policy with regard to minority rights in general, and the rights of ethnic Macedonians in particular, is a model for every racist, every fascist and every ethnic cleanser in the Balkans. Radio Free Europe's decision to exclude Greece from its coverage is a leftover of cold war politics where there was no criticism of America's anti-communist allies. Continuing to ignore human rights violations in Greece just adds to the current instability in the Balkans.

Ulrich, you ... personally ...are hurting the Balkans.


The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) has confirmed information that it will recognize only the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid as canonical and that it will issue a decision granting the archbishopric autonomy, the private Kanal 5 TV reported on 25 May. Thus, the Serbian Orthodox Church fully legitimizes the archbishopric, which is headed by Jovan Vraniskovski, a former bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which is not recognized by other Orthodox churches. The SPC's decision has yet to be confirmed by Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew. When Vraniskovski put his bishopric under the canonical jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church in July 2002, he was excommunicated by the Macedonian Orthodox Church and subsequently indicted by Macedonian authorities for embezzlement and inciting religious hatred. The archbishopric was founded by the Serbian Orthodox Church as a rival church to the Macedonian Orthodox Church (see 'RFE/RL Newsline,' 22 October 2004 and 'RFE/RL Balkan Report,' 23 January and 6 August 2004). UB"

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