B92: Serbian Church Bringing Canonical Charges Against Macedonian Bishop

BELGRADE — The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) announced Tuesday its decision to bring ecclesiastical charges against Archbishop Stefan.

He is the head of the canonically unrecognized Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC).

The Synod issued a statement saying that by “inveterate persistence in schism the MPC participates in un-Christian persecution of Archbishop Jovan, canonically recognized head of the autonomous Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid, and its priests, monks and believers.”

At the Holy Assembly in May, the SPC underlined that it is ready to start a dialogue “on establishing the canonical order, religious peace and brotherly love with the church in the neighboring and friendly Macedonia”, stressing that the condition for this is the release of the unjustly incarcerated Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid.

The Assembly noted that Archbishop Jovan was arrested on the demand of top dignitaries of the Macedonian church, which it considers as schismatic.

It also noted that the same message to the canonically unrecognized Macedonian Orthodox Church was also sent by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Patriarch Kyril I of Moscow.

In July this year, the Macedonian Appellate Court upheld the first instance ruling sentencing Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje Jovan Vraniskovski to three years in prison for the embezzlement of EUR 250,000.

SPC Archbishop Jovan received a three-year prison sentence on July 2, 2013 in Skopje. He appealed this judgment in November, but the second instance court dismissed the appeal as unfounded.

In his submission to the Skopje Appellate Court, Vraniskovski stated that “12 years since it was established, the Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid has been subjected to persecution by the Macedonian authorities who to this day deny its application to be entered in the court register, which would make it a legal religious organization”.

Since 2003, Macedonian authorities have arrested Archbishop Jovan Vraniskovski six times, on different charges, including public disorder when he tried to conduct a baptism ceremony in a church the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) sees as its own.

He has also been charged with “inciting ethnic and religious hatred” for having “slandered the MPC” and spent a total of almost 18 months in prison.

He was last arrested on December 12, 2011, upon entering Macedonia from Greece, on charges of embezzlement of EUR 250,000.

He returned to the country to request a retrial, but he was arrested and brought to Idrizovo prison near Skopje, where he is still held, according to his lawyers, in difficult conditions.

Read the full article here.

_______________________________________
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network.  You can find the Orthodox Christian Network on Google+.

written by
avatar
Orthodox Christian Network brings you news of events and people…
Related Posts

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I have exciting news! This week, the Orthodox Christian Network surpassed 500,000 Facebook fans, making our ministry the largest Orthodox Christian presence on the internet. Thank you! Because of your support;

  • – Our programs have a weekly reach of five million people on Facebook.
  • – 75% of our fans are under the age of 34.
  • – OCN is watched, read and listened to in 196 countries.

Please join us in celebrating this tremendous success by giving to the “10 Cent A Day” campaign. 100% of your gift will go directly to expanding this ministry, 0% to overhead. Help us continue our mission of comforting, inspiring and informing the next generation of Orthodox Christians, persecuted Christians and faith-seekers around the world.

On behalf of all of the Orthodox Christian Network, I thank you for 20 years of support for our beloved ministry.

— Fr. Christopher T. Metropulos, OCN Executive Director

$
     Click Here »