The schismatic so-called “Macedonian Orthodox Church”,is attempting to trade with the sufferings that Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje is undergoing for the unity of the Church

The schismatic so-called “Macedonian Orthodox Church”,is attempting to trade with the sufferings that Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje is undergoing for the unity of the Church



Today (28.03.2013), for the fifth time, the trial of Bishop Marko of Bregalnica, Bishop David of Stobi, two priest-monks, two abbesses and ten layman of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, who are accused by the state organs of FYROM, together with His Beatitude Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, for the alleged crime of “money laundering” is postponed! The court is not officially stating for what reason there has not been any court hearing for whole four months, since the last court hearing held on 11.12.2012!

Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid for more than one year is being placed in detention, he has been denied the right to be visited, not even by his mother nor his sister, who have been accused for the same deed. Hence, it is very hard to authentically learn about is his health condition in the current moment. But, from the last contacts we had with him, on the court hearing four months ago, we know that his health has been seriously deteriorated!

Recently, from certain people of good will in the prison, we found out that Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid is being by various means put under constant pressure to waive the service of Archbishop, which has been entrusted to him by God, for the benefit of the schismatic archbishop Stefan. A proof for this is also visible in the frequent continuous postponements of the court process, which have their purpose of causing disheartenment and disappointment due to the uncertainty of the situation not only to Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid – who has no one to encourage him in the prison, but God himself – but as well to the rest of the accused, whose pastor has been imprisoned.

These methods are not unknown to the totalitarian regime which has governed our homeland for decades, and it is more than certain that it has not been changed until this day. Nevertheless, it is miserable, meanly and even disgusting that such totalitarian methods are being most likely suggested, and if not suggested, then certainly supported, by the archbishop Stefan of the schismatic MOC. While the problem with the schism of his church remains unsolved, he is fighting, using utterly immoral methods, for the place of the archbishop, which he does not deserve by any means. Neither by his abilities, nor by his character, nor by his behavior, and the least by his education. In what kind of misery of the spirit should one be dwelling in order to – by means of imprisonment – force the other one to leave to him something that does not belong to the schismatic archbishop, it is not very difficult to assume. At best, that person could be named obnoxious!

By the means of pressure that is being put upon Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, through the authorities of FYROM, Stefan is attempting to gain church-wide recognition of his uncanonical election. It is known to everyone that Stefan was not elected canonically for his service, but was set an archbishop of the schismatic MOC by the political party that was at rule at that moment.

We believe and pray that Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid will not succumb to the pressures, but whatever happens, it should be known that the Archbishopric of Ohrid is not only Archbishop Jovan, but it has a full church structure: Bishops, priests, monks and laymen. As for the question for which Archbishop Jovan is being put under pressure, by imposing upon him ruthless terror in a situation in which he is being helplessly imprisoned, the other members of the church structure of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric should also agree. And they would, not only disagree, at least while they have clear minds and strong faith, but they have already, one-heartedly with all Orthodox Churches in the world, stated that without freeing of Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, there can be no talks for the situation of the schismatic MOC, nevertheless for the position of Mr Stefan in the case of an eventually established unity. The unseriousness of Mr Stefan, in attempt to gain a position for himself, even before the problem with the schism is solved, can be compared with the proverb: “he who is not accepted in the village, asks for the hand of the priest’s daughter!”