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3287Serbian Church Severs Ties With Macedonian Church

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  • Fr John Brian
    Jun 4 7:48 AM
      REGION: Serbian Church Severs Ties With Macedonian Church
      06-01 12:17:20

      Nis Bishop Irinej said on May 27 that the Serbian Orthodox Church's decision
      to sever ties with the Macedonian Orthodox Church and recognize the autonomy
      of the Ohrid Orthodox archbishopric in Macedonia "was a difficult step that
      the Serbian Orthodox Church had been forced to take." On May 26, Serbian
      Patriarch Pavle issued a special decree granting autonomy to the Ohrid
      Orthodox Christian archbishopric, and promoting former Metropolitan of Ohrid
      Jovan to the rank of archbishop.

      Irinej told BETA and Radio Free Europe that the decision "was a painful
      step," but that the Serbian church could not "give the so-called Macedonian
      church what it desires," and that it had been "forced to call it to return
      to the existing canonical order" and "to seek what it wants through
      legitimate channels." On May 27, the highest-ranking member of the
      Macedonian clergy, the archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, Stefan, called on
      believers and citizens to "bear the Serbian Orthodox Church's spiritual
      terror with dignity." He also said that the Serbian Orthodox Church's
      decision had no power and that the Macedonian church was independent.

      Stefan said that truth and justice were on the side of the Macedonian church
      and people and that the church would persevere, with the help of God, in
      defending its rights and dignity. A few years ago, Serbian Patriarch Pavle
      invited the clergy and people of Macedonia to join the canonical order of
      the Serbian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Jovan accepted the invitation, and
      is now recognized by the Serbian Orthodox Church as the only valid Christian
      representative in Macedonia.

      Source: Betanews and Press Review
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