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Author Topic: The State of the Macedonian Orthodox Church  (Read 10467 times) Average Rating: 0
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AntonI
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« on: May 16, 2004, 04:59:47 AM »

This is my third post...so please be gentle with me...


What is the current status of the MOC in relation to the Orthodox Church? I know that it is seen as being uncanonical by many but its Synod was hoping that it would be recognised by the Bulgarian Church (three bishops were present at the celebrations of the restoration of the Bulgarian Patriarchate). Anyone hear more of this?

I understand the Macedonians need for a church of their own and no dount they will be eventually recognised, but I cannot help but wonder at the actions taken against those who profess loyalty to Patriarch Pavel of Serbia. What is happening with Metropolitan Jovan, for example?

I know that there is one Macedonian poster here so...ZDRASTI! KAK CI?

Anton
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2004, 01:52:07 AM »

As long as the church remains a tool for the political aspirations of the former Slavic state, I don't see them being recognised.

John.
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2004, 02:07:36 AM »

ah the bias of a greek speaking.  Wink  sorry couldnt' resist you being greek and the serbs being slavic and all.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2004, 02:12:32 AM »

Quote
As long as the church remains a tool for the political aspirations of the former Slavic state, I don't see them being recognised.

John,

I don't know a thing about the Macedonian Orthodox Church, so I was wondering if you might be able to go into some more detail about your comments above.

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2004, 02:41:59 AM »

http://www.mpc.org.mk/English/default.asp
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2004, 03:04:53 AM »

hey, aren't the Macedonians ethnically slavic? isnt' this from whence Sts. Kyril and Methodius got the Slavonic alphabet?  

I do not know much about the Macedonians and would be interested as well.

Joe Zollars
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2004, 03:11:00 AM »

hey, aren't the Macedonians ethnically slavic? isnt' this from whence Sts. Kyril and Methodius got the Slavonic alphabet?  

I do not know much about the Macedonians and would be interested as well.

Joe Zollars

I think it's the other way around. I believe the Macedonians got their alphabet from St. Cyril and St. Methodius.

I'm half Greek, but my my people come from the province in Northern Greece called Macedonia, where St. Cyril, St. Methodius, St. Demetrios, Alexander the Great, Aristotle etc.. came from. There's also a country called Macedonia, but most of those folks are ethnically Slavic, and not Greek like the ones in Northern Greece. That's not to say that some in Northern Greece don't have Slavic blood, and some in Macedonia the nation don't  have Greek blood, but it's not the norm.

P.S. Most of my family can speak Macedonian. Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2004, 03:12:16 AM »

gosh Balkans politics is confusing.

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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2004, 03:12:42 AM »

gosh Balkans politics is confusing.

Joe Zollars

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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2004, 05:07:40 AM »

What is going on now with the MOC is this.......the daughter church is trying to be the mother church to its mother IE the serbs doing that to Macedonia.

Alot of politics are involved, I do tend to find it hypocritical of the Greeks arguing with the EP over what they say is there nations churches, when the Macedonians are doing the same thing with the Serbs.....

I think this has to do with alot more then just religion when dealing with the Macedonian question, you take away the basis of the Macedonian faith you are basically taking away the nation.

It is well known the Greeks/Serbs/Bulgars have argued over the land Macedonia for centuries but have never really cared what the people of Macedonia have thought for themselves........I am ethnically Macedonian, the church I go to is the Macedonian Orthodox Church.......the Macedonian nation has a great religous history....its to bad that the politics of some are trying to erase that.

As with Jovan, he was disrobed by the MOC......his mother church and is not considered a valid bishop......he has no power in Macedonia .......he has done things against the law and I am sure the state of Macedonia will prosecute him for that.

As for the serb Pavle....he says us Macedonians that worship in the MOC are going to go to hell.......I have no respect for him.......and I am sure alot of you can sense that.


As of right now its cause of the greeks and the serbs that the MOC is not recognized.



This is the latest news about the MOC and items relating to the MOC:


Quote
Kumanovo Region, Macedonia: Monastery at Matejche Damaged Again, Icons Jeopardized

-The monastery was a stronghold of the National Liberation Army (NLA) during 2001 conflict in Macedonia. The wounded fighters of the NLA had been treated in the monastery during the ethnic Albanian insurgency [sic] three years ago.

Unknown perpetrators have damaged the "Sveta Bogorodica" monastery situated in Kumanovo's nearby village of Matejche. Part of the roofing and the gates of the monastery had been reportedly damaged, Makfax news agency reported.

The Kumanovo Museum custodian has cautioned of potential threat of destruction of frescoes and icons. The estimated damage caused by late Thursday's act of vandalism was Denars 100,000.

The monastery in Matejce is a significant cultural monument dating 14th century. The monastery is of 1st category and the law protects it. The latest act of vandalism took place one day ahead of Day for Preservation of Cultural Monuments, 14 May.

The monastery was a stronghold of the National Liberation Army (NLA) during 2001 conflict in Macedonia. The wounded fighters of the NLA had been treated in the monastery during the ethnic Albanian insurgency three years ago.

The monastery at Matejche was completely demolished in 2001, the frescoes had been overwritten with graphite, the inventory had been demolished, and the altar was removed.

The monastery was rebuilt last year through donation of the Dutch Government. The icons and frescoes underwent preservation, new gates were placed and the roofing was rehabilitated.


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[Official announcement by the Macedonian Orthodox Church]

On 13-01-2004 on the official website of the Orthodox Church in Greece the following appeared:

Serbian Orthodox Archbishop arrested again
A bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been taken in custody in Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (F.Y.R.O.M) (...) The move represents the latest blow in an old dispute between the FYROM and Serbian branches of the Orthodox Church.”

Father David Ninov, the former spiritual guide in the sisterhood in the monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God in Jankovec, in relation with this news on a Skopje TV station, +áutel TV, said that he would ask an apology from the Greek Orthodox Church, and also the statements to be changed which refer to their ethnical and spiritual affiliation with the Serbian Church. Here is how the Greek Church “apologised” after this statement of his through its official website in the news of 24-02-2004:
Metropolitan Jovan (Vranisskovski) of the Serbian Orthodox Church in FYROM, has accused state officials of attacking to the monastery of St John Chrysostom (...) Metropolitan Jovan (Vranisskovski), leader of the Ohrid Archdiocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church in FYROM, has accused state officials of organising the 20 February attack on the monastery...”
This once again confirms what everyone already knows: that in the case with the Macedonian Orthodox Church it is not about a church dispute at all, but the whole problem originates from the fact that the powerful ethnophyletistic circles from the top Greek and Serbian clergy do not yet want to recognise the existence of the Macedonian people, and which is even worse they lack spiritual illumination at least for a Christ-like pastoral approach to the problem.

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Arson of Vranishkovski's Villa: Investigation Continues, Perjury Suspected


By Pece Stefanovski, A1 TV

Investigation into last night's arson attempt of the weekend-house of the Serbian Exarch Vranishkovski in the village of Nizhepole continued, with a U-turn.

The two nuns of the sisterhood, Renata Mizhimakovska and Dana Stojanovska, who initially reported that their hair was forcibly cut by five masked persons armed with assault rifles, gave new statements for the investigators, now in the presence of their lawyer.

After investigating the scene of the crime this morning, the investigating judge decided to make a reconstruction of the event in the afternoon, Mizhimakovska and Stojanovska to undergo a polygraph test, not excluding the possibility to submit Vranishkovski to the lie detector also. The authorities sent the uncovered bottles of gasoline, with fingerprints on them, to be examined in Skopje.

A complete investigative team and representatives of the Proxima mission took part in the reconstruction. The results of the expert analysis will be revealed in a few days.

According to the initial report to the police, last night about 18:30 five armed person forcibly broke and entered the weekend house of [Zoran, AKA Bishop Jovan] Vranishkovski, which he sanctified as a monastery "St. John Chrysostom" of the so-called "Ohrid Archbishopric" [of the Serbian Orthodox Church].

The nuns stated that the attackers took 10 valuable icons with them, and that the two of them extinguished the fire afterwards, which caused negligent damage.

Due to contradictory content of the statements and in view of the material evidence in the weekend-house and its yard, the investigators decided to officially inspect the arson and perjury about imagined armed assailants.



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Additional information:

Seriban Television follows this case with big publicity, and victimization spin.
The Public Prosecutor of the Veles Court charged Vranishkovski with tax evasion this Friday. He is suspected for misappropriating over 1 million denars, while he was a Bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church of the Povardarichka-Pelagonisko-Prespanska eparchy.

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Belgrade-Based Politika Daily Interviews HH Stefan, Head of MOC

Belgrade, February 9 (MIA) - "I would like the future to be better than the past and the present. Only in this way we will witness to be the real believers and Christ's followers," the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, HH Stefan said regarding the future of the relations between the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC) and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), in the interview of the Belgrade-based Politika daily.

Explaining the today's position of the SOC towards the MOC, HH Stefan stressed that the MOC is a natural continuation of the Ohrid Archbishopric, which was autocephalous during its entire existence, until its non-canonical abolishment by the Sultan in 1767. One year earlier the same Sabolished the Patriarchate of Pec and many years before the Patriarchate of Trnovo.

"We did not imagine something new by renewal of the Ohrid Archbishopric in the MOC but we followed the example of our neighbours," the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia said. He added that the Macedonian nation was the last in the action for renewal of its ancient church because it was the last to gain its statehood, language, cultural and church independence from all Balkan nations.

HH Stefan underlined that MOC is not a new product but is a connection and active continuation of the famous Ohrid Archbishopric. "No new church was created in 1959 and then in 1967 in Macedonia but St. Clement or St. Paul Church was renewed and began to live," HH Stefan said.

Three autocephalous churches emerged from the three centres in the Balkans, Ohrid, Trnovo and Pec. Bulgarian Church originates from Patriarchate of Trnovo, Serbian Church originates from Patriarchate of Pec and Macedonian Church originates from Ohrid and Ohrid Archbishopric, he said. "This heritage is clear, precise and historically confirmed since each of these three ancient churches were spiritually connected with their nations. Trnovo Church with the Bulgarian nation, Pec Church with the Serbian nation and Ohrid Church with the Macedonian nation," the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, HH Stefan said in the interview of the Belgrade-based Politika daily
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CRIMINAL CHARGES AGAINST TWO MONKS OF MARKO'S MONASTERY

Skopje, February 9 (MIA) - The Interior Ministry has brought criminal charges against V.V. and G.A., monks of the monastery "St. Dimitrij" - Marko's monastery in a village of Markova Susica, for a crime "robbery". The monks in a period of January 1-11, who left the monastery due to joining the Ohrid Archbishopric, took away two seals and five books with theological contents written in Old Church Slavic, as they misused MOC for Denar 150,000.

MIA
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Amnesty International Confirms Its Irrelevence- the Case of Jovan


Yesterday was the official 'name day' for St. Jovan [John] in Macedonia, a mini-holiday for all those born with that name in the country. There was little celebrating, however, for "Jovan the Schismatic," as Reality Macedonia memorably dubbed this sycophant of the Serbian church, bent on causing disruption and defamation of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

For his divisive and long-standing behavior, Jovan was imprisoned on 12 January. O the times, o the ways!

One would think that this medieval farce could not get any worse- but then again, one would hardly have expected the likes of Amnesty International to get involved.

The official report on the international do-gooders' website sums up quite well the reason for its intervention in the case:

"...Amnesty International believes that the reason for his arrest and detention is due to his support for the ecclesiastical control of the Serbian Orthodox Church over the Macedonian Orthodox Church and considers him to be a prisoner of conscience."
That this represents a new low for the human rights watchdog needs no further explanation. AI has said it themselves- after all, they suspect Jovan's detention (and national unpopularity, by the way) owes to his "support for the eccelesiastical control of the Serbian Orthodox Church over the Macedonian Orthodox Church." Yet should "supporters" for what amounts to a hostile takeover- and an international one at that- be rewarded for their interventionism, by the supreme interventionism of a card-carrying representative of the "International Community?"

While ecclesiastical squabbling is one of the oldest and most intractable dimensions of the Orthodox experience, it seems utterly implausible that the average liberal intervener in the West possesses the knowledge or insight to adjudicate on this case- as with so many others. Depending on the individual, the spat with Serbia might be comic, tragic, disastrous or something other still. But does Amnesty International- or any other interventionist body- have the right to get involved? In this case, it unwittingly empowers the Serbian Church, and gives its members an inflated sense of their own self-importance, intervening on issues of which they are absolutely ignorant.

Indeed, consider the farcical nature of it all: an international body asks everyone and anyone with a heart to write a letter telling an Albanian (Muslim) justice minister to stop the Macedonian Orthodox defenders from stifling and "persecuting" an agent of the Serbian Church, probably with the blessings of both the Greek and Bulgarian Churches- as if he cares.

This is a case in which everyone is laughing, except the clerics (because they are too angry) and AI (because they are too ignorant). God help us all
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MOC Appoints New Chiefs in Three Monasteries


a. MOC Appoints New Chiefs in Three Monasteries

The Skopje eparchy of the Macedonian Orthodox Church yesterday appointed new chiefs of Markov Manastir and St. Ilija monasteries in Skopje. A new chief was assigned to the Jankoec monastery in Resen, while only the chief of Treskavec in Prilep was not replaced yesterday. In the MOC they said that the monks from Markov Manastir and St. Ilija left the monasteries two days ago of their own will, without any pressure. They left the keys and stressed that they are definitely joining the so-called autonomous Ohrid archbishopric. The Skopje eparchy banned the seven monks and nuns and the two novices from entering all objects owned by the MOC.

Fathers Maksim, David, Sofronij and their brotherhoods and sisterhoods, which have less than 30 people, on Christmas decided to leave the MOC and join Zoran Vraniskovski and the Ohrid archbishopric, which according to them is the only recognised church in Macedonia. The daily Utrinski Vesnik finds out that Vraniskovski promised to make them bishops soon. Asked why they left the MOC, Fathers Maksim and David told Radio Deutsche Welle that the reputation of MOC and the state are sacrificed for the seven spiritual invalids who are members of the Synod. “They have no communication with the world and until now we haven’t been able to express our patriotism when we go to Agion Oros (Holy Mount), Serbia, Romania and the entire orthodox world”, they said. According to father Maksim, they decided to make this move because nine years after they became monks the MOC didn’t manage to solve its status as an autocephalous church.

Also, after they were kept for 24 hours by the Bitola police, Zoran Vraniskovski, three monks and seven nuns were handed over to the investigative bodies of the Bitola court. Prosecutor Tasevski said that Vraniskovski is suspected of inciting national, religious and racial hatred. Vraniskovski will be kept in detention because the circumstances point out that he might leave the country, having in mind that he frequently travels to Serbia and Greece.
Government Spokesperson Colakovski at yesterday’s press conference said that defending the name of MOC, which is directly related to the identity of the Macedonian people and state, is a strategic interest of the Church, the people and the Government.

Sources: Dnevnik, Utrinski Vesnik; Vecer, Vest, Makedonija Denes, Nova Makedonija, Fakti, A1, Telma, Kanal 5, Sitel, MTV, MIA, Makfaks

b. Fakti Editorial: Serbia Penetrating in Macedonia!

Fakti writes in its today’s editorial that a phenomenon is occurring these days, which until now was a taboo, and that is that the Serbian Orthodox Church is breaking all the barriers in Macedonia. Traditionally, the SOC has always influenced the political processes in Serbia and indirectly it has also managed to control the Macedonian politicians of the pro-Yugoslav provenience, as Crvenkovski’s social democrats publicly used to call it. Vraniskovski’s arrest the other day proved to be counter effective, because around 30 other sympathizers of Serbia showed up, among them eminent professors of the Theological School for clerics, while the Macedonian Orthodox Church lost control over four monasteries that certainly and in normal circumstances are recognized as the cradle of the Macedonian cause. It seems at first sight that the Albanians should stand aside this and observe the drama between the two Churches, but the reality is unfortunately the quite opposite, when the old Serbian connections are showing up. Based on all this, the question on where the true danger to Macedonia comes from arises. Based on the so far polls, which often are made with certain purposes, the greatest danger is artificially put on Kosovo’s independence, something that the former president Kiro Gligorov, the old man of Macedonian diplomacy and known as the closest person to the official Belgrade policy, has repeatedly stated before the media. That is why there is no doubt the Albanian official policy must raise its voice high against this Serbian imposed position. The Albanian politicians must make it clear to their Macedonian colleagues that the adventure with Serbia has ended, the daily concludes.

Source: Fakti
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a. Vraniskovski Annexes Four Monasteries of MOC

The schismatic Zoran Vraniskovski [Vranishkovski] annexed four monasteries of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Markov Manastir and St. Ilija from Skopje, Treskavec in Prilep and Jankovec in Resen are willing to be in liturgical and canonical unity with the self-proclaimed Ohrid Archbishopric. The daily Dnevnik writes that there are around 30 monks and nuns in the four monasteries, which is one third of the total number of monks in Macedonia. These monasteries decided to make this step only several days after the Serbian Patriarch Pavle called the clergy and the people of Macedonia to join the Ohrid Archbishopric and the Serbian Orthodox Church. Bishop Timotej, the MOC Spokesperson, said that all churches and monasteries on Macedonian territory are part of the MOC and that nobody has the right to annex the monasteries to some other church. He added that the monks and the nuns can join anybody they want as individuals, but having in mind that they are clerics of the MOC, what they are doing is un-canonical. Bishop Timotej says that the MOC Chief Stefan and the bishop of the Pelagonija- Prespa eparchy, Petar, should urgently undertake adequate measures. This means that the chiefs of the monasteries will be replaced.

Opposition VMRO-DPMNE called the Government to review this case at an urgent session today and find a solution. VMRO-DPMNE wants the Government to prepare a new law on MOC and protect its autocephaly. The party also insists that the authorities should state their position about the declaration for supporting the MOC Holy Synod which VMRO-DPMNE submitted to the Parliament.

Sources: Dnevnik, Utrinski Vesnik; Vest, Makedonija Denes, MIA, A1, Telma, Kanal 5, Sitel, MTV, MIA, Makfaks

b. Vraniskovski Detained Because He Threatened Neighbours With Weapons

Yesterday in Bitola the Ministry of Interior detained Zoran Vraniskovski who was holding a service in his father’s flat together with several priests and nuns. The police intervened after an anonymous phone call and detained Vraniskovski together with 5 monks and 7 nuns. MoI Spokesperson Kontevska said that the police undertook the action after the citizens complained that their safety is threatened with weapons.

“Immediately after the phone call, the police searched the flat and it was concluded that some kind of a religious ritual was held. Measures are undertaken for solving the case”, Kontevska said, stressing that Vraniskovski wasn’t detained because of the ritual, but because he was threatening the neighbours with weapons. Vraniskovski and the other 12 detained persons can be kept by the police for 24 hours.

Sources: Dnevnik, Utrinski Vesnik; Vest, Makedonija Denes, Vecer, Fakti, MIA, A1, Telma, Kanal 5, Sitel, MTV, MIA, Makfaks

c. HCS Criticises SOC for Its Negating Attitude Towards MOC

The Helsinki Committee of Human Rights in Serbia (HCS) criticised the Serbian Orthodox Church for its negating attitude towards the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Macedonian statehood and the identity of the Macedonian people, pointing out that some of the Serbian high clerics still have the illusion that Macedonia is “southern Serbia”. This reaction was caused by the Christmas message of the Serbian Patriarch Pavle to the Macedonian faithful, saying that MOC is a communist product.

Sources: Utrinski Vesnik, Dnevnik, A1 TV
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HH Stefan: Dialogue With Serbian Orthodox Church Impossible


Skopje, January 5 (MIA) - "The dialogue with the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC), in conditions of spiritual barbarism and shameless blackmails, by formation of parallel Holy Synod and ignoring of our church and national reality, is impossible," the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Stefan said in the interview for Christmas edition of Dnevnik newspaper.

He has said that the talks will continue only when SOC will withdraw its allegiants from Macedonia and all its decisions, which refer to Macedonian territory and jurisdiction of the MOC.

"It is clear that SOC does not choose means in accomplishing its goals. Under the allegations on conducting a canonical order in Macedonia, it violates all canonical rules: appointed the dismissed bishop and elected and appointed 25-years-old boy for episcope, which was a precedent as it is never remembered in the history of the church," HH Stefan said.

"The problem that MOC faces with is at least church problem. Further more if the attempts for installation of this Serbian Holy Synod in Macedonia are connected with this year's humiliations of the Macedonian nation and country, through humiliations of the state delegation during the visit of St. Prohor Pcinjski monastery marking the 100th anniversary of Ilinden Uprising, then the character of the latest attempt of SOC to operate in Macedonia is explained. The SOC in its statements has never pronounced the name Macedonia, and always names our country with 'the former Yugoslav republic,' although Serbian country, as part of Yugoslavia, recognised Macedonia under its official name long time ago," HH Stefan said.

The Head of MOC has stated that he expected Macedonian officials to continue the support as a contribution in resolving of the church issue.
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Zoran, Formerly Known As Jovan, The Schismatic Bishop, No Longer A Priest



The layman formerly known as Jovan. His efforts promoting Serbian assimilation of the Macedonian Orthodox Church met opposition both by clergy and the people.
The Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church had deprived bishop Jovan (Zoran Vraniskovski) from holy dignity, and, he can no longer hold the post of Serbia’s vicar in Macedonia.

“I have an unpleasant news to announce. Bishop Jovan has been deprived from the holy dignity and sent back to the order of ordinary people,” said the spokesman of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC), Bishop Timotej.

He added that the decision was made Wednesday at the session of the Holy Synod.

“Macedonian Church will urge the relevant authorities to make sure that Zoran Vraniskovski never wears the insignia of a priest or bishop,” said Bishop Timotej, adding that Vraniskovski does not have the right to the post of Serbian vicar in Macedonia.

“According to the Holy Orthodox [Christian] canons, Zoran can not switch to any other Orthodox Church unless his mother church, i.e. the Macedonian Orthodox Church, agrees to it,” said Bishop Timotej
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Macedonian Reactions To Attack From Serbian Orthodox Church


Holy Synod of Macedonian Church to convene for session

Skopje, 26.05.2003. (Makfax) - The Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) will convene for session to define its stance over the latest decision by the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).

Bishop Agatangel as well as a number of high-ranking priests of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, in particular the priests in Polog-Kumanovo Bishopric, condemned Sunday the decision by Serbian Church to set up a ‘Holy Synod of Independent Ohrid Archbishopric’ through assistance of Zoran Vraniskovski, the schismatic bishop of the Macedonian Church. Vraniskovski, who was named recently a Vicar of the Serbian Orthodox Church, told the local media in Bitola that the inauguration ceremony and the procession of the new Holy Synod will take place in Ohrid in August. Serbia’s Patriarch Pavle will attend the inauguration ceremony.

FrontPages 26.05.2003

"Utrinski Vesnik" - ‘SPC Establishes Holy Synod of Ohrid Archbishopric’ - this daily quotes the decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).

"Nova Makedonija" - ‘Most Dangerous Anti-Macedonian Move by Serbian Bishops’ - the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) decided to void the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

"Dnevnik" - ‘Serbian Church Sets New Synod in Macedonia With Its Own Bishops’ - this daily comments the latest decision by the Holy Synod of the Serbian Church to renamed the Macedonian Church into Ohrid Archbishopric. Macedonian bishops Joakim and Marko were given new posts in the new church due to be established by Serbian Church. These bishops were students at Serbian Bishop Amfilohije Radovic and close to the former bishop of the Macedonian Church, Bishop Jovan.

"Vest" - ‘SPC Names Parallel Church in Macedonia Headed by Jovan’ - Vest daily writes about the latest attempt of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) to annul the Macedonian Church.

"Makedonija Denes" (independent daily) -This daily criticizes the latest decision of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on renaming Macedonian Church into Ohrid Archbishopric.


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Macedonian Church rejects decisions by Serbian Church

Skopje, 27.05.2003. (Makfax) - The Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) rejected and voided the decision of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) to constitute Ohrid Diocese and name members of the Holy Synod. The Holy Synod of the Macedonian Church sees this move as indecent attempt to create a parallel church and diocese in the Republic of Macedonia.

The Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church convened Monday for emergency session to address the unexpected attitude of the Serbian Church toward the Macedonian Church and the latest decisions made by the Holy Synod of Serbian Orthodox Church.

Government and Church share view on SPC

Skopje, 27.05.2003. (Makfax) - The Republic of Macedonia, its people and the Macedonian Orthodox Church have a common strategic interest to defend the name and the status of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC), says the press release by the Macedonian government following today’s talks between the Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski and the Head of Macedonian Church, Archbishop Stefan.

‘Preserving and defending the independent status and entirety of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, preserving and defending the name of Macedonian Church, which is directly connected to national identity of the Macedonian nation and Macedonian State, are of common interest to the Church and the people alike,’ says the press release by the government’s Information Agency.

As regards the latest decision by the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), the government reckons that such decision is a tendentious provocation and challenging momentum.

The Government and the Church made it clear that they have a joint stance in this momentum of challenge given the high significance attached to this issue.

Prime Minister Crvenkovski met with Archbishop Stefan one day after the emergency session of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. The Holy Synod attaches no significance or validity to the latest decision by the Serbian Church to establish an autonomous Ohrid Archbishopric.

FrontPages 27.05.2003

"Utrinski Vesnik" - ‘SPC Strikes on MPC’ - the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) rejected the latest conclusions of the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).

"Nova Makedonija" -‘SPC is Servant to Policy Not to God’ - this daily quotes the spokesman of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC), Bishop Tomotej, as saying after Monday’s session of the Holy Synod of MPC.

"Dnevnik" - ‘Serbian Bishops Want to Destroy Macedonian Nation and Church’ - this daily writes about the reaction of the Holy Synod of Macedonian Church to latest provocation of Belgrade Bishopric.


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FrontPages 28.05.2003

"Utrinski Vesnik" - ‘Government Stands Behind Church Independence’ - the Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski and the Minister of Interior Hari Kostov met Tuesday with the members of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and Archbishop Stefan.

"Dnevnik" - ‘Serbian Patriarch Won’t Be Allowed to Pass Macedonian Border’ - representatives of Macedonian Orthodox Church threatened that Serbian Patriarch Pavle will not be allowed to enter Macedonia should he attempt to come to Ohrid, to attend the ‘inauguration ceremony’. Macedonian Church said the bishop Vraniskovski will be suspended if he is found guilty of robbery charges.

"Vest" - ‘Government and Opposition United over Church’ - Archbishop Stefan met Tuesday with the Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski and VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski to discuss the latest move by Serbian Orthodox Church.

"Vecer" - ‘Serbian Church Attempts to Usurp Macedonian Church’ - this daily quotes the reaction of the Holy Synod of Macedonian Church following the latest decision by Serbian Church.

"Makedonija Denes" -‘Strong Support to Identity of Macedonian Orthodox People’ - Prime Minister Branko Crvenkovski met with the Head of Macedonian Orthodox Church, Archbishop Stefan to discuss the latest decision by Serbian Church.

Bishop Petar says Serbian brothers take off their masks

Skopje, 28.05.2003. (Makfax) - "The masks of Serbian brothers fell down, the problem has nothing to do with the Macedonian Orthodox Church but with the name of the Republic of Macedonia," Bishop Petar told Bitola’s television Tera.

‘The very existence of our country is at stake, and we are well aware that certain countries are displeased with the existence of our state,’ said Bishop Petar while commenting the alleged thesis that Macedonian Orthodox Church could acquire independence providing that it accepted a temporal autonomy status.

"If Macedonian Orthodox Church gives up its name, the next thing that the Republic of Macedonia will be forced to give up is its constitutional name. Our country will be forced to give up its name under a strong international pressure," said Bishop Petar.

Commenting the alleged jurisdiction of Serbian Orthodox Church over the soil of the Republic of Macedonia, Bishop Petar said that according to decision of Serbian Orthodox Church, made last century, the canons of Serbian Church can not be applied to dioceses in Macedonia.


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FrontPages 30.05.2003

"Vecer" - ‘Nation is Unique and Inseparable’ - this daily quotes Bishop Petar as saying at Thursday’s press conference in response to recent decision of the Serbian Orthodox Church to create a parallel church in Macedonia
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Jovan's Curse: May You Never See A Good Thing


Citizens of Negotino replied: "Let what comes out from your mouth fall unto your bosom," driving the dispossessed bishop out amid clangor of the church bells.

And so it came to pass after a tremulous and sleepless night
that the congregation of Negotino managed to drive
the dispossessed bishop Jovan out of the local monastery quarters.
Talebearer close to the banished bishop informed Dnevnik that
he and his "spiritual children" have taken refuge in Bitola since yesterday.


Jovan sought asylum in Bitola
Upon his departure from the monastery,
Jovan cursed the attendees, holding a cross in his hands:
"May you never see a good thing for the rest of your life" spoke he.

But the believers repulsed the curse:
"Let what comes out from your mouth fall unto your bosom,"
the people of Negotino cried unanimously.
And then they tolled the church bell; so that Jovan
can remember the day when he last hearkened its sound.

It all begun the day before yesterday at 7 pm.,
in the courtyard of the monastery "Saint Great Martyr George,"
when multitudes gathered to drive away
the former bishop who they claim is not
of the people, for the people and by the people.
Folks came to Negotino from nearby towns also,
heeding the call of the Interim Monastery Committee,
which includes members of the
Committee for Salvation of Vardar Eparchy.
And while Jovan conducted an evening service
in the monastery church with his friends,
the protesters blasted the song
"Traitors be damned" on the monastery's sound system.

"People remain displeased because Jovan the Schismatic
spoils this monastery, one of the most beautiful in the land,"
stressed the upset believers, who dubbed Jovan "Judah,"
because he attempted to change the traditional religious customs.
According to Dime Stojmenov, Jovan leads a
Greek-sponsored anti-Macedonian propaganda effort.

People of Kavadarci condemn the MOC's decision
[to allow Jovan stay in the Negotino monastery].
Kiro Uroshev from Kavadarci said: "Jovan is a snitch,
who managed to make more stupidities in 4 years,
than all his predecessors did in a century."
According to Uroshev, "Jovan enjoys fast cars,
young maidens and large amounts of cash,
which runs contrary to the canon laws."

And then the people stood on the intended path of
Jovan and his followers, hindering their way towards
the inner rooms of the monastery.
And then the people locked the monastery gate,
leaving Jovan and his friends standing before it
for eight hours.

When asked what will they do next, Jovan replied: "We'll persist on this street, even if we had to die for Christ."

Then, one of his followers added that Jesus sacrificed himself
in the same manner once upon a time.
In the meantime, locksmiths came from the people's side
and changed the locks of all doors of the monastery.
When they realized that they cannot cross the threshold of the monastery,
Jovan's cohorts agreed to people's proposal to enter it
for the purpose of packing their possessions only.
And the pleased parishioners of Negotino feasted
upon the content of the freezer of the monastery kitchen,
eating cake and watermelons,
which supplemented the sweet taste of success.

About the fourth hour a worshiper came with his truck
and they all loaded the things that Jovan and his friends possessed.
And amongst the clothes, the witnesses noticed
edible things, and bottles of whiskey.

Based on Dnevnik article by Biljana Naumova
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=2971
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2004, 05:14:40 AM »

By the way the Macedonian church is alone I guess, they themselves recognize the churchs around them but they are not recognised.......but I do remember hereing something about one church trying to help the Macedonians.........I am sure it wasn't the bulgarian one it could have been the Antiochian (sp? is that right, I don't even know if thats how its said) but I am not sure.
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2004, 06:28:23 AM »

In a nutshell, the countries north of Greece covet Northern Greece's access to the Aegean and what they can't lay claim to by force, they try to through revisionist history and propaganda. During the first world war, it was the Bulgarians who were claiming to be the "true" Macedonians, being liberated by the Germans from Ottoman rule. It failed to have any impact because the people in power knew history and the Bulgarians didn't have much in the way of financial backing. After the second world war it was the southern Yugoslav state's turn. This has been much more successful as initially it was strongly funded by the former Soviet Union, and as Henry Kissinger stated, the people in power did not know history.
They have spent the last half century teaching each successive generation that they are decendants of the ancient Macedonian Empire which they are also taught is not Greek. They have artificially altered their language (a Slavic dialect) so that they can claim it is a language in its own right. They have sponsored numerous research programs to provide some sort of academic basis to validate their particular version of history (think Microsoft sponsored comparisons between Windows and Linux Wink). Their school geography textbooks depict Northern Greece as "occupied territory" rightfully belonging to them and they claimed autocephaly for their church. All of this was to fabricate a national "Macedonian" conciousness.

Greece, unfortunately, did nothing to counter this for a long time because
a) they didn't expect that anyone would believe the propaganda since it flies in the face of history.
b) they were still weak after the 2nd world war.
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2004, 07:48:09 AM »

Well I should probably state that I am a Bulgarian by birth but currently live in the United Kingdom...

I am also a historian by training (well currently undertaking my MPhil), so I would like to think that I can spot biased ideas (and believe me...now studing Catholics and Protestants in Elizabethan England does require a clear mind!).

I have been on the MOC website and whilst it is full of interesting information, it appears to be very nationalistic in its outlook. It seems to pride itself more on its Macedonianims than its Orrthodxy but that is a common factor amongst many of the local Orthodox Churches. I am, however, surprised by various claims concerning historical figures such as Tsar Samuil and St Clement as well as various "freedom" fighters from the 19th20th century.

As for Patriarch Pavel, I was under the impression that he is considered to be one of the pillars of leadership in the Church and is seen as wise, intelligent and well versed in the thology of the faith,.

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« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2004, 05:55:48 AM »

Macedonia used to be part of medieval Serbia. Whether the people who lived there back then considered themselves Serbs, spoke the same language, and so on, I don't know. One way or another, however, their language is a bit different now (sort of like a dialect of Serbian or Bulgarian) and they consider themselves another people - and perhaps, racially they are. I don't know. If they want their own state, and they have it now, I really couldn't care less to counter this (unless I were to know some good reason against it, and for now I don't, it's probably best for the Balkans to have a state for each ethnicity). However, churches are another matter. When you make an autocephalous jurisdiction, you can't just declare yourself separate. You have to be granted autocephaly. Czechoslovakia separated a decade ago into the Czech and Slovak republics, but the local Orthodox Church is still one for both the Czech lands and Slovakia. If they want autocephaly, they have to get it through the proper channels to remain canonical.
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2004, 06:45:05 AM »

Quote
Greece, unfortunately, did nothing to counter this for a long time because
a) they didn't expect that anyone would believe the propaganda since it flies in the face of history.
b) they were still weak after the 2nd world war.

So renaming villages is nothing, refusing to recognize a macedonian minority is nothing, oh but I forgot greece is the only pure ethnic state in all of europe.....the region is called Macedonia my heritage is Macedonian not bulgarian serbian or greek.......I actually find it hilarious that one calls us a greek, the other says we are bulgars and one says we are serbs......we are a conqured people by our neighbours thats all we are.



Quote
you talk about If they want autocephaly, they have to get it through the proper channels to remain canonical.



The Macedonian church is older then teh serb church.......Ohrid is your mother church.......it was cause of muslims that the serb church gained power over Ohrid.


The serbs make me laugh.......they are losing there religous heartland and are now trying to take over the Macedonian one.......


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« Reply #15 on: May 18, 2004, 09:23:38 AM »

So renaming villages is nothing, refusing to recognize a macedonian minority is nothing, oh but I forgot greece is the only pure ethnic state in all of europe.....the region is called Macedonia my heritage is Macedonian not bulgarian serbian or greek.......I actually find it hilarious that one calls us a greek, the other says we are bulgars and one says we are serbs......we are a conqured people by our neighbours thats all we are.

Since this is what you have been taught from day one, I'm willing to cut you some slack. The fact is there are no ethnic Macedonians and if there ever was such a thing as a Macedonian ethnicity, it became one with the rest of the Greeks during the time of Philip II and Alexander the Great. If they weren't Greek (which the overwhelming bulk of the evidence says they were) then they certainly wanted to be Greek and succeeded in that aim.

I would recommend you avoid the information published by FYROM and the research and books sponsored by FYROM unless you are able to look at their sources critically. Instead, read from pre World War II historical sources outside of Greece so you can get a picture of history that is not biased by any nationalistic agenda.

John
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« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2004, 12:45:56 PM »

And besides Ochrid is a daughter of the Bulgarian Church. With a few exception when under Serbian/Byzantine rule, it recognised Bulgaria as its mother. When the Veliko Turnova capital fell, the patriarchate moved to Ochrid. The famous Archbishop of Bulgaria, Theophylact Hephaistos had his see there. You still have not addressed my initial question: why do Macedonians claim Tsar Sanuil as their own when he was patently Bulgarian?

Cheers,
Anton
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« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2004, 05:39:33 PM »

So renaming villages is nothing, refusing to recognize a macedonian minority is nothing, oh but I forgot greece is the only pure ethnic state in all of europe.....the region is called Macedonia my heritage is Macedonian not bulgarian serbian or greek.......I actually find it hilarious that one calls us a greek, the other says we are bulgars and one says we are serbs......we are a conqured people by our neighbours thats all we are.


The Macedonian church is older then teh serb church.......Ohrid is your mother church.......it was cause of muslims that the serb church gained power over Ohrid.


The serbs make me laugh.......they are losing there religous heartland and are now trying to take over the Macedonian one.......




You left out language police. Many of my relatives were beaten for speaking Macedonian. I love how the Greek leaders expected 80 year olds to learn a new language or become mutes.

P.S. The Greeks and Macedonians that hate each other are both usually extremly ethnocentric racists. Not very Christian of them at all.
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« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2004, 05:42:44 PM »

Also a good point you raised. The Greeks want the Macedonians to say their Greek, but as soon as they do the Greeks claim they are either Slavs or Gypsies. As if being called Slav is a bad thing. Have the Greeks not noticed that the majoirty of people that share their Orthodox Christian faith are Slavs?
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« Reply #19 on: May 19, 2004, 06:24:23 AM »

Dear Andreas,

for many centuries now, the term Macedonia has only described a geographic or administrative region. Within that geographic region now live Bulgarians, Slavs, Greeks and Albanians.

The so called modern "Macedonian" language is nothing more than a Slavic/Bulgarian dialect, something you don't need to be a linguist to recognise. The differences it has from other Slavic dialects have, for the most part, been artificially created so that it could be claimed as a distinct language. The only thing that the modern "Macedonian" language and the ancient Macedonian language have in common is the name. Ancient Macedonian is itself an ancient Greek dialect.

I'm trying to dig up some census data from years ago that showed a sizeable Bulgarian population in the "Republic of Macedonia". What was interesting was the fact that in subsequent years, the Bulgarians completely vanished (despite there being no exodus) and the number of "ethnic" Macedonians suddenly increased accordingly.

John.
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« Reply #20 on: May 19, 2004, 08:45:01 AM »

I recall from the last years of the former Yugoslavia. My parents and I knew some people who were apparently Serb or part Serb, but if I remember right, called themselves Macedonians because they had lived in that republic.
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« Reply #21 on: May 19, 2004, 09:37:43 AM »

The only thing that the modern "Macedonian" language and the ancient Macedonian language have in common is the name. Ancient Macedonian is itself an ancient Greek dialect.


Exactly so, John.
The ancient +£+¦+¦+¦+¦+++++++¦ were Greek speakers, albeit with a dialet for which they were usually ribbed about as being "hillbilly" Greek.
I am not, however, such a phil-hellene as to deny that the Greeks of today do not have a good bit of Slav in the gene pool. Cheesy

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« Reply #22 on: May 19, 2004, 05:33:53 PM »

Dear Andreas,

for many centuries now, the term Macedonia has only described a geographic or administrative region. Within that geographic region now live Bulgarians, Slavs, Greeks and Albanians.

The so called modern "Macedonian" language is nothing more than a Slavic/Bulgarian dialect, something you don't need to be a linguist to recognise. The differences it has from other Slavic dialects have, for the most part, been artificially created so that it could be claimed as a distinct language. The only thing that the modern "Macedonian" language and the ancient Macedonian language have in common is the name. Ancient Macedonian is itself an ancient Greek dialect.




Hey Prodromos, Wink

But what does that really mean? Almost all languages are a modification of another languge. However, nobody would question Portuguese being a language because it's a modified version of Latin, and shares words with Italian, Spanish, Latin etc. So why would one question the Macedonian language?

A bunch of people that are called Macedonians speak a language which stems from other Slavic languages. So like we call what the Frence speak, French, we call what the Macedonians speak, Macedonian.
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« Reply #23 on: May 20, 2004, 03:27:03 AM »

Almost all languages are a modification of another languge. However, nobody would question Portuguese being a language because it's a modified version of Latin, and shares words with Italian, Spanish, Latin etc. So why would one question the Macedonian language?

Because Portuguese wasn't called Portuguese in order to bolster claims to an entire geographic area the people speaking that language happened to live within part of. Also, since Latin is a dead language, it would be rather odd to refer to Portuguese as a Latin dialect.

Many Macedonian youth are in denial regarding their language heritage and refuse to acknowledge its Slavic roots, claiming instead that it is a distinct language directly related to the language of the Ancient Macedonians. I have visited "Macedonian" forums where posting in Bulgarian is a banning offense! Why is that, when a "Macedonian" has no trouble reading Bulgarian despite never having studied the language in his/her life? Why should "Macedonians" find reading Bulgarian so offensive?

John.
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« Reply #24 on: May 20, 2004, 05:22:00 PM »

Because Portuguese wasn't called Portuguese in order to bolster claims to an entire geographic area the people speaking that language happened to live within part of. Also, since Latin is a dead language, it would be rather odd to refer to Portuguese as a Latin dialect.

Many Macedonian youth are in denial regarding their language heritage and refuse to acknowledge its Slavic roots, claiming instead that it is a distinct language directly related to the language of the Ancient Macedonians. I have visited "Macedonian" forums where posting in Bulgarian is a banning offense! Why is that, when a "Macedonian" has no trouble reading Bulgarian despite never having studied the language in his/her life? Why should "Macedonians" find reading Bulgarian so offensive?

John.

But what difference does it make if it's called Macedonian to bolster the claims of an area? It may be offense to some. But it by no means takes away the fact it's a language.

Macedonians take offense to the Bulgarian thing, because Greek nationalists have used it as an insult against the Macedonians. Plus, each and every person in my household speaks Macedonian, and not one can understand Bulgarian. The Macedonian language of the modern nation called Macedonia is different from what was spoken less then a hundred years ago in it what is now Northern Greece.
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« Reply #25 on: May 21, 2004, 06:36:44 AM »

Plus, each and every person in my household speaks Macedonian, and not one can understand Bulgarian.

Below is the same text in "Macedonian" and Bulgarian. Are you telling me that you really cannot understand the latter? So what if Bulgarian is usually written using the Cyrillic alphabet. If you made the effort to learn Cyrillic script, you would suddenly discover a wealth of literature that you are able to read. I am afraid your above statement suggests that you and your family are of way below average intelligence, something I have no doubt is not true at all, but that is the picture you paint. Perhaps you ought to investigate a little to see if what you have been raised to believe is actually true or not, otherwise you will end up becoming the laughing stock of linguists all over the world.

BTW, the text is Matthew 6:9-13
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« Reply #26 on: May 21, 2004, 07:41:07 AM »

So renaming villages is nothing

You mean places like these;

Ber - Veria
Postlo - Pella
Solun - Thessaloniki
The River Vardar - Axios

Hmm, lets see, Alexander the Great built his palace at Pella and called the city by that name. Thessaloniki was named after the sister of Alexander the Great who herself received the name due to her father's victory (NIKI) over the Thessalians. The Axios river is mentioned by both Homer and Euripides in their works. And finally, the Apostle Paul writes to the the Christians in Thessaloniki and commends the people of Veria, two cities in Macedonia, and he writes to them in Greek no less. It seems to me that it was the Bulgarians who were doing the name changing. All the Greeks did was restore the names they had always used.

True, some place names were changed when there was a huge influx of Greek refugees from Turkey. They renamed their new settlements after the cities they left behind.

John.
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« Reply #27 on: May 21, 2004, 11:45:52 PM »

Below is the same text in "Macedonian" and Bulgarian. Are you telling me that you really cannot understand the latter? So what if Bulgarian is usually written using the Cyrillic alphabet. If you made the effort to learn Cyrillic script, you would suddenly discover a wealth of literature that you are able to read. I am afraid your above statement suggests that you and your family are of way below average intelligence, something I have no doubt is not true at all, but that is the picture you paint. Perhaps you ought to investigate a little to see if what you have been raised to believe is actually true or not, otherwise you will end up becoming the laughing stock of linguists all over the world.

BTW, the text is Matthew 6:9-13

First off, my family wouldn't spit on Macedonia, and feel they have no use for their European or even Chrstian background. They consider themselves to be Canadians and that's that.  Roll Eyes

My friend, I know English so that means I can read Latin script. But I tell you I know not a word of Spanish. Wink My point is that obviously because you know a script doesn't mean you know every language that uses that script.
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« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2004, 12:00:49 AM »

P.S. My family who speaks Macedonian can also read and write in Greek.
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2004, 04:54:19 PM »

Bump for Canmak's benefit
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« Reply #30 on: August 23, 2004, 08:15:50 PM »

Quote
Human Rights Watch International Condemns Greece for Oppressing the Macedonians
Human Rights Watch / Helsinki

Denying Ethnic Identity - Macedonians of Greece, New York, 1994

 

 

The 80-page human rights violation report on Greece entitled "Denying Ethnic Identity - Macedonians of Greece" was published in May 1994. After visiting Aegean Macedonia, the Human Rights Watch/Helsinki concluded:

"Although ethnic Macedonians in northern Greece make up large minority with their own language and culture, their internationally recognized human rights and even their existence are vigorously denied by the Greek government. Free expression is restricted; several Macedonians have been persecuted and convicted for their peaceful expression of their views. Moreover, ethnic Macedonians are discriminated against by the government's failure to permit the teaching of the Macedonian language. And ethnic Macedonians, particularly rights activists, are harassed by the government - followed and threatened by the security forces - and subjected to economic and social pressure resulting from this harassment. All of these actions have led to a marked climate of fear in which a large number of ethnic Macedonians are reluctant to assert their Macedonian identity or to express their views openly. Ultimately, the government is pursuing every avenue to deny the Macedonians of Greece their ethnic identity."

The Helsinki Watch has, therefore, confirmed that the Macedonians indeed exist in Greece as a large minority. Helsinki Watch found the Greek government guilty for oppressing the Macedonian minority and demanded they be given their basic human rights to which they are entitled.  Another human rights organization, Amnesty International, also urged the Greek government to respect the human rights of the ethnic Macedonians. The European Union has furthermore recognized the Macedonian language as one of the languages spoken within the EU borders. The Republic of Macedonia is not a member of the European Union, but Aegean Macedonia in Greece, is within those borders.




You didn't have to bump it up......Regardless around the world we are known as Macedonians, there is a country now known as Macedonia.

We are a recognized people for the most part.

Nations such as Israel, America, China etc are now signing official documents with the Macedonian constitutional name on it.

Cry all you want but I am an ethnic Macedonian.

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« Reply #31 on: August 23, 2004, 09:01:24 PM »

Forgive me, friend, but may I seek some clarification? In Ireland before the old language was largely 'stamped out' there were four variations and the same language with further variations spoken in across the water in Scotland, and then again a further variety in the small Isle of Man. This ignores the influx of Saxons, Vikings, Normans and others. Different geographical areas and political entities which shifted and developed over time. The language of Serbs and Croats is both the same and yet has differences. Regional forms of English varied again very markedly before the development of mass transportation. The lowland Scots have another tongue too, which again is perhaps losing ground. (So in Scotland there are three languages but a single identity with diverse roots, and in Ireland two languages and diverse roots with a more complex and sometimes 'bloody' approach to identity).

What DNA, historical, linguistic and written evidence as opposed to popular mythology may be sited to support your contentions? What sets you apart from the Orthodox Serbs or Bulgars? Tito appears to have had a deliberate policy of clipping Serbs wings in 'creating the Yugoslav 'Makedonian' entity. Are you and your compatriots building on his gross mischief making an dentity in order to seperate yourselves? I ask not out of mischief but mindfull that the nation state is a relatively new phenomena. Europe's political map has changed very much over the last century alone.

In my case my ancestry is like home very, very mixed and against that experience which is not uncommon both in my homeland and in the Balkans can you really make the case you do? I know that whereever I have been in Greece you never go far without seeing graffiti saying, 'Makedonia is Greek'.

I also have talked to Vlachs, who for some reason, never seem to get mentioned here.

Human Rights Watch also get it wrong - without wishing to attack them - very wrong!
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« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2004, 09:54:11 PM »

Quote
So in Scotland there are three languages but a single identity with diverse roots, and in Ireland two languages and diverse roots with a more complex and sometimes 'bloody' approach to identity

Don't forget Norn! (Everybody forgets Norn Sad ) It didn't die out till the 1600s. And the Cumbrian and Northumbrian Brythonic dialects were still around as late as the 1100s.
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« Reply #33 on: August 24, 2004, 02:12:46 AM »

Dear Canmak,

I was giving you an opportunity to respond to the points I had made in responding to your earlier posts seeing as you had neglected to do so up until now. Are you able to respond or not?

Regarding your last post, the West has demonstrated again and again that they really don't have a clue in the Balkans, the current mess in Kosovo notwithstanding.

John.
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« Reply #34 on: August 24, 2004, 04:40:27 AM »

To all brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, greetings.

I will not let myself jump into sulphuric fires which this member has prepared with this particular post. I am talking about Canmak.

This post is fully against the spirit and methods of this forum. It is contrary to the Orthodox way and not in concord with the manifestation of the Orthodox life and living.

The post is hundred percent political, it brings destruction of moral dignity and it should be destroyed, and member punished.

Canmak stated:"As for the serb Pavle....he says us Macedonians that worship in the MOC are going to go to hell.......I have no respect for him......."

Firstly, this "serb Pavle" is PATRIARCH OF AUTHOCHEPAL CHURCH and he (Canmak) should have measue his words. Canmak is not talking about his mates, school friends or penpals, and so on. This "serb Pavle" is Episkopos, holy man and the leader of a recognised  Orthodox Church.

Secondly, I just do not belive that Patriarch would say that people worshiping in so called MOC could go to hell. If you knew the man you would know that HH Pavle is such a Godly man.

Thirdly, how can somebody say that he or she is without respect for one of the Bishops of the Lords Militant Church, and not be punished?

This member (Canmak) has repetedly stated blasphemous words, lies, against highest members of the Orthodox Militant Church, against some of the sister Churches.

I ask the moderators to:
1. Ask Canmak to refrain from posting political post in the future.
2. Destroy his political and anti-Orthodox posts already written.
3. Offer an apology to all members of Orthodox Church (namely Serbian and Greek) for insults and lies aimed towards these sister Churches.

And if the member does not agree onto terms, be baned from further participation on this forum.


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« Reply #35 on: August 24, 2004, 04:57:51 AM »


Quote
I was giving you an opportunity to respond to the points I had made in responding to your earlier posts seeing as you had neglected to do so up until now. Are you able to respond or not?


What points have you made? You have made nothing that is of value to respond too:

Quote
In a nutshell, the countries north of Greece covet Northern Greece's access to the Aegean and what they can't lay claim to by force, they try to through revisionist history and propaganda.

In a nutshell Macedonia was divided by its neighbours....just like the kurds are divided by thier neighbours.

Quote
They have spent the last half century teaching each successive generation that they are decendants of the ancient Macedonian Empire which they are also taught is not Greek.



Half century = 50 years if I am correct........so how many generations could be brainwashed? One at the most? See how your arguement lacks logic?  Do you honestly think a new culture or language can be made in 50 years......your out of your mind if you think that.  Do you not realize that the Macedonian empire was huge and did not only cover the balkans......do you not realize there are decendants of that empire all the way up to India......do you see where your logic fails.  Do you not think that there are no Roman decendents any where else in the world except Italy....


Quote
They have artificially altered their language (a Slavic dialect) so that they can claim it is a language in its own right. They have sponsored numerous research programs to provide some sort of academic basis to validate their particular version of history (think Microsoft



LOOOOOOOOOOOL so according to you in 50 years there was a new language.....Lack of logic once again.  

Its alright for the greeks to sponsor research but the Macedonians can not...........don't you think thats a bit selfish and one sided......are not the greeks doing the same thing as that of what you are accusing the Macedonians off.......Oh I am sorry the greeks are only allowed to do it..........Lack of logic once again.


Quote
Their school geography textbooks depict Northern Greece as "occupied territory" rightfully belonging to them and they claimed autocephaly for their church. All of this was to fabricate a national "Macedonian" conciousness.

It is occupied land, and as for the Church we were there before the Serbs.  

This is not a fabricated national consciousness.....you should know that nationalism runs deep in the balkans......so if these Macedonians where as you say.....Bulgarians or Serbians........don't you think they would have remained that......have you ever seen anyone from the balkans deny there ethnicity?  Once again your arguments lack logic.......an ethnic identity or a national conscious can not be made in 50 years....its impossible.......just ask any of the immigrants (that are from the balkans) that have lived in N.America for 50 years if they feel Canadian or American or if they still feel there hearts belong to thier native land........you know what the response would be...it would be that the hearts belong to the native land.



Quote
Greece, unfortunately, did nothing to counter this for a long time because
a) they didn't expect that anyone would believe the propaganda since it flies in the face of history.
b) they were still weak after the 2nd world war.


Greece did do everything to counter this........they renamed villages, cities and towns......they outlawed the Macedonian language.........they refused Macedonian refugees entry into Greece after the Greek civil war (they are still not allowed to go back to thier birth places or even have there land returned to them)........it was until recently that that region was called Northern Greece......Macedonia was not mentioned but when the greeks realized that Yugoslavia was breaking apart they felt terrified of a independent macedonia and tried telling the world that it was a titoist creation.....but the world is not blind and the world see's us as we are.......we are ethnic Macedonian.


PS how weak could they be with the American and British gov'ts giving them aid left and right?  




Quote
Eugene Borza
Professor of Ancient History at the Pennsylvania State University
Makedonika and In the Shadow of Olympus

 

The American Philological Association refers to E. Borza as the "Macedonian specialist". In the introductory chapter of "Makedonika" by Carol G. Thomas, Eugene Borza is also called "the Macedonian specialist", and his colleague Peter Green describes Eugene's work on Macedonia as "seminal". Do Ancient Historians hold Eugene Borza in high esteem? Please read what P. Green thinks of Borza's approach to the studies of ancient history, and of his method of abstraction of truth: "Never was a man less given to the kind of mean-spirited odium philologicum that so often marks classical debate. Gene could slice an argument to pieces while still charming its exponents out of the trees."

Ernst Badian from Harward University writes: "It is chiefly Gene's merit that recognizably historical interpretation of the history of classical Macedonia has not only become possible, but it is now accepted by all ancient historians who have no vested interest in the mythology superseded by Gene's work. Needless to say, I welcome and agree with that approach and have never disagreed with him except on relatively trivial details of interpretation." Here are some excerpts from Borza's writings regarding the Ancient Macedonians and the Ancient Greeks. I will offer no interpretations, for none is needed, indeed. On the matter of distinction between Greeks and Macedonians:

[1] "Neither Greeks nor Macedonians considered the Macedonians to be Greeks."

[2] On the composition of Alexander's army: "Thus we look in vain for the evidence that Alexander was heavily dependent upon Greeks either in quantity or quality."

[3] "The pattern is clear: the trend toward the end of the king's life was to install Macedonians in key positions at the expense of Asians, and to retain very few Greeks."

[4] "The conclusion is inescapable: there was a largely ethnic Macedonian imperial administration from beginning to end. Alexander used Greeks in court for cultural reasons, Greek troops (often under Macedonian commanders) for limited tasks and with some discomfort, and Greek commanders and officals for limited duties. Typically, a Greek will enter Alexander's service from an Aegean or Asian city through the practice of some special activity: he could read and write, keep figures or sail, all of which skills the Macedonians required. Some Greeks may have moved on to military service as well. In other words, the role of Greeks in Alexander's service was not much different from what their role had been in the services of Xerxes and the third Darius."

[5] On the policy of hellenization with Alexander conquest of Asia and the Greek assertion that he spread Hellenism: "If one wishes to believe that Alexander had a policy of hellenization - as opposed to the incidental and informal spread of Greek culture - the evidence must come from sources other than those presented here. One wonders - archeology aside - where this evidence would be." On the ethnic tension between Macedonians and Greeks, referring to the episode of Eumenes of Cardia and his bid to reach the throne: "And if there were any doubt about the status of Greeks among the Macedonians the tragic career of Eumenes in the immediate Wars of succession should put it to rest. The ancient sources are replete with information about the ethnic prejudice Eumenes suffered from Macedonians."

[6] On the issue of whether Alexander and Philip "united" the Greek city-states or conquered them: "In European Greece Alexander continued and reinforced Philip II's policy of rule over the city-states, a rule resulting from conquest."

[7] "The tension at court between Greeks and Macedonians, tension that the ancient authors clearly recognized as ethnic division."

[8] On Alexander's dimissal of his Greek allies: "A few days later at Ecbatana, Alexander dismissed his Greek allies, and charade with Greece was over."

[9] On the so called Dorian invasion: The theory of the Dorian invasion (based on Hdt. 9.26, followed by Thuc. I.12) is largely an invention of nineteenth-century historography, and is otherwise unsupported by either archeological or linguistic evidence."

[10] "The Dorians are invisible archeologically."

[11] "There is no archeological record of the Dorian movements, and the mythic arguments are largely conjectural, based on folk traditions about the Dorian home originally having been in northwest Greece.

[12] "The explanation for the connection between the Dorians and the Macedonians may be more ingenious than convincing, resting uncomfortably on myth and conjecture."

[13] On the Macedonian own tradition and origin: "As the Macedonians settled the region following the expulsion of existing peoples, they probably introduced their own customs and language(s); there is no evidence that they adopted any existing language, even though they were now in contact with neighboring populations who spoke a variety of Greek and non-Greek tongues."

[14] On the Macedonian language: "The main evidence for Macedonian existing as separate language comes from a handful of late sources describing events in the train of Alexander the Great, where the Macedonian tongue is mentioned specifically."

[15] "The evidence suggests that Macedonian was distinct from ordinary Attic Greek used as a language of the court and of diplomacy."

[16] "The handful of surviving genuine Macedonian words - not loan words from Greek - do not show the changes expected from Greek dialect."

[17] On the Macedonian material culture being different from the Greek: "The most visible expression of material culture thus far recovered are the fourth - and third-century tombs. The architectural form, decoration, and burial goods of these tombs, which now number between sixty and seventy, are unlike what is found in the Greek south, or even in the neighboring independent Greek cities of the north Aegean littoral (exception Amphipolis). Macedonian burial habits suggest different view of the afterlife from the Greeks', even while many of the same gods were worshipped."

[18] "Many of the public expressions of worship may have been different."

[19] "There is an absence of major public religious monuments from Macedonian sites before the end of the fourth century (another difference from the Greeks)."

[20] "Must be cautious both in attributing Greek forms of worship to the Macedonians and in using these forms of worship as a means of confirming Hellenic identity."

[21] "In brief, one must conclude that the similarities between some Macedonian and Greek customs and objects are not of themselves proof that Macedonians were a Greek tribe, even though it is undeniable that on certain levels Greek cultural influences eventually became pervasive."

[22] "Greeks and Macedonians remained steadfastly antipathetic toward one another (with dislike of a different quality than the mutual long-term hostility shared by some Greek city-states) until well into the Hellenic period, when both the culmination of hellenic acculturation in the north and the rise of Rome made it clear that what these peoples shared took precedence over their historical enmities."

[23] "They made their mark not as a tribe of Greek or other Balkan peoples, but as 'Macedonians'. This was understood by foreign protagonists from the time of Darius and Xerxes to the age of Roman generals."

[24] "It is time to put the matter of the Macedonians' ethnic identity to rest."

[25] "There is other aspect of Alexander's Greek policy, and that is his formal relationship with the Greek cities of Europe and Asia. In European Greece Alexander continued and reinforced Philip II's policy rule over the city-states, a rule resulting from conquest. As for the island Greeks and the cities of Asia Minor, their status under the reigns of Philip and Alexander has been much debated. Fortunately, for my purposes, the status of these cities, whether as members of Philip's panhellenic league or as independent towns, is not crucial, as they were in fact all treated by Alexander as subjects. Much of the debate on this issue, while interesting and occasionally enlightening, has sometimes obscured a simple reality: Greeks on both sides of the Aegean were subjects to the authority of the king of Macedon." Ethnicity and Cultural Policy at Alexander's Court. Makedonika

[26] "I have not cited several pieces of anecdotal evidence from the sources on Alexander that establish the continuing tension at court between Greeks and Macedonians, tension that the ancient authors clearly recognized as ethnic division. A fuller version of this study will consider these incidents to support my view that Greeks and Macedonians did not get along very well with one another and that this ethnic tension was exploited by the king himself." Makedonika p.158

[27] "What did others say about Macedonians? Here there is a relative abundance of information", writes Borza, "from Arrian, Plutarch (Alexander, Eumenes), Diodorus 17-20, Justin, Curtius Rufus, and Nepos (Eumenes), based upon Greek and Greek-derived Latin sources. It is clear that over a five-century span of writing in two languages representing a variety of historiographical and philosophical positions the ancient writers regarded the Greeks and the Macedonians as two separate and distinct peoples whose relationship was marked by considerable antipathy, if not outright hostility."

 

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« Reply #36 on: August 24, 2004, 05:02:21 AM »

Quote
The King of the Greeks on the Greek Occupation of Macedonia

 




In the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913, the Greek army crossed into Macedonia and took possession of 51% of the whole country including its largest city of Salonica.



The Greek army captures Salonica

The decree of Georgios I, the King of the Greeks, issued on October 31, 1912, acknowledges by the king himself that the "territories in Macedonia (are) occupied by the Greek army":

Georgios I - The King of the Greeks

Taking into account the developed need for the urgent and temporary organization of the administration of the territories in Macedonia, occupied by the Greek army. At the proposal of the Ministerial Council, we have decided and command the following. The Minister of Justice Mr. K. Raktivan, as representative of the Greek Government, is instructed to organize the affairs concerning the temporary administration of the occupied territories. The president of the Ministerial Council is to announce and carry out this decree.

Salonika, October 31, 1912

Georgios Ministerial Council President Elefterios Venizelos Members:L.K.Koromilas K.D.Raktivan Eman Repulis I.D.Cirimokos L.Mihalakopulos H.A.Stratos


 

By the way: " One liberates ones own territory from foreign rule, and only foreign territories are occupied."

The Greek King clearly states he occupied Macedonia........I wonder why?



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« Reply #37 on: August 24, 2004, 08:39:11 AM »

If I recall correctly, in a recent article about the Macedonian Orthodox Church, didnt the MOC make overtures to the Roman Vatican for membership in the Roman Catholic church sometime back?  And didnt the Pope, because of political considerations refuse because it would have been seen as stealing sheep?  It seems to me that the MOC wanted nothing to do with Orthodoxy.  Im puzzled as to where the MOC stands now.  Is she autonomous or autocephalus, or is she considered legitamate at all by her sister Orthodox churches?  Is she still looking to Rome for help and is she still willing to be assimilated into the Roman Catholic church?

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« Reply #38 on: August 24, 2004, 11:25:53 AM »

Canmak, I give you a point although I don't think you deserve it.

In the book 'Man of God - St John of Shanghai & San Francisco, published by the Nikodemos Orthodox Publication Society  in 1994, on page 21 the following line appears:

  "In Bitol, Hieromonk John revealed himself as a fervent man of prayer. The
   local Macedonian and Greek population, for whom he served in Greek, came
   to love him."

Now Saint John was of noble family and Little Russian stock. He traced his lineage ultimately from Serb nobility. Does this shed any light on the either your protestations as a vociferous spokesman for Macedonian nationalism or the counter arguments of others who take issue with the whole premise of a distinct 'Macedonian' slav identity. At least in Bitol the Macedonians loved this ascetic struggler who served in Greek for them and their Greek neighbours!
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« Reply #39 on: August 24, 2004, 02:34:13 PM »

Quote
If I recall correctly, in a recent article about the Macedonian Orthodox Church, didnt the MOC make overtures to the Roman Vatican for membership in the Roman Catholic church sometime back?  And didnt the Pope, because of political considerations refuse because it would have been seen as stealing sheep?  It seems to me that the MOC wanted nothing to do with Orthodoxy.  Im puzzled as to where the MOC stands now.  Is she autonomous or autocephalus, or is she considered legitamate at all by her sister Orthodox churches?  Is she still looking to Rome for help and is she still willing to be assimilated into the Roman Catholic church?


Honestly I heard that as well, from what I understand it was all rumours and not true.



I believe the following quote could answer your question a bit more clearly:

Quote
The Macedonian Orthodox Church
and the Serbian Orthodox Church ( 21.04.2003 )



The Macedonian Orthodox Church, Ohrid Archdiocese, is facing a new, possibly the greatest ever challenge for her and her pastoral activity in the Republic of Macedonia. Ever more frequent are the threats on the part of the Serbian Orthodox Church and her exarch in the Republic of Macedonia that unless the Macedonian Orthodox Church accepts their demands, she will face an attempt of formation of a hierarchy, parallel to her own, and by this also of formation of another ecclesiastical organisation, parallel to her own, which on behalf and under the government of the Serbian Orthodox Church will carry out its activity on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Even though the probability for this parallel structure to start functioning in the foreseeable future is minimal, still, due to the support that they are receiving at the moment from some of the other Orthodox Churches and if the same continues further on, no one can predict with certainty to what extent this structure would manage to develop in ten or twenty years time nor how great negative influence all this would have on the final resolution of the Macedonian ecclesiastical question. What can be expected with certainty, if events continue developing in this direction, is that this will also be a schism, no matter how great, in the Macedonian national being on the ecclesiastical plan, along with the already existing divisions on religious, ethnic, ideological, political, economic, social, and cultural plans. Hence the most immediate task of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is to prevent this internal ecclesiastical schism and to prevent further deepening of, we would say, the administrative schism with the Serbian Orthodox Church and the other local Orthodox Churches.

But, what in essence is the problem between the Macedonian Orthodox Church and the Serbian Orthodox Church, that is, where have the negotiations stopped? There are two issues on which the two Churches cannot come to agreement. First, the official name of our local Church, that is, whether she will officially name herself Macedonian Orthodox Church before all the other local Churches, in accordance with the name of the state in which she performs her mission, as we ask, or she will use only her historical and ecclesiological, ecclesiastical name, Ohrid Archdiocese, as the Serbian Orthodox Church now agrees to and asks. And second, what the administrative system of our Church will be called, that is, autocephaly, as we ask, or autonomy, as the Serbian Orthodox Church wishes.

How much, though, these issues (an official name of a Church and a title of her administrative system) are actually connected with what has happened - interruption of the eucharistic community - or with what is called a pure, Orthodox faith and Divine love and community between brothers in Christ our Lord, unfortunately, we have brought ourselves to a position this to demand to be the subject of a special theological analysis. It is to my opinion that such an analysis, for every well-intentioned person who has so far not been introduced with these matters, among other things will be also liberation from the wrong idea about certain notions (official names of Churches), and, yet to other notions (autocephaly and autonomy) it will restore their true meaning. In this case it also ought to be determined and defined what a true pastoral problem is here, and what penetration of the worldly, the world and its politics and interests into the life of the Church. All these questions ought to be the subject of a study and a serious theological interpretation at a symposium (as for example the one announced and prepared jointly by the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church) at which the Macedonian Orthodox Church ought to participate as well. These questions will also have to be the subject of a theological discussion and taking a clear Orthodox stand at a future all-Orthodox conference as well, and this before actual steps are taken in surpassing of the problem that certain Churches have with the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

1) The main ecclesiological basis of this text is the issue about the constitution of the local Church in the world being conditioned by the structure of the very Liturgy (Eucharist) of the Church and by the place of the Bishop in it. It is my belief that this sacramental aspect is also the only authentic basis for proper understanding of the meaning of the notions 'autocephaly' and 'autonomy'.

If we wish to realise the structure of the Church, we will discover the same in the structure of the Holy Eucharist because there we will find exactly such structure, as was formed in the first Church and as it has been transmitted to us through the Orthodox Tradition until today. It is the only basis on which is built the canonical constitution of the Church, such as we respect in the present, too. The visible canonical constitution of the Orthodox Church cannot and does not represent serving her organisational needs, but first of all it is a manifestation of the constitution of God's Kingdom here and now. Thus, the Church in her nature is a community of the Eschaton, that is, of the Kingdom of God, and her constitution ought to be adequate to her eschatological hypostasis. Naturally, the visible canonical constitution ought to express the essence of the Church in the concrete historical circumstances as well.

The Church is one. The Lord has not established many churches, but only one. And this one Church is identified with the one Body of the one Christ. Still, since this one Church actualises, manifests, and iconically portrays herself in the eucharistic community she, in the nature of things, appears as many Churches, because it is inconceivable that there should exist a single eucharistic community, one Holy Liturgy, for the whole world. Thus, where the faithful gather 'at one place' around their Bishop to actualise the eucharistic assembly, there actualises the whole Body of Christ as well, that is, there the mystery of the Divine Economy is headed and the Kingdom of God is wholly portrayed. Therefore we speak of one Church, which comprises many local Churches. Along with this, since every local Church in which the Holy Eucharist is performed represents a whole Body of Christ, each such local Church is, ought to be and can be called an all-embracing, whole Church. In other words, just as the Holy Eucharist actualises the whole Christ, not only a certain part of Him, so does each local Church represent the whole Body of Christ, not only a certain part of It. Thus, according to Orthodox ecclesiology, each local episcopal Church represents a whole, catholic Church, filled with all the graceful theanthropic gifts of God necessary for salvation of people, that is, represents the whole Body of Christ, because the concept Church is based on the Holy Eucharist.

As we have already said, the assembly of the people of God at one place is necessary for the existence of the Church, yet the centre of this assembly can only be the person of Christ. The Bishop, who heads this assembly, for his part, is the icon of the eschatological Christ. Since Christ is Head of the Body, the Church, i.e. headship of all and since this Head is directed towards God the Father, therefore the Bishop, too, as the icon of Christ is president at the Holy Eucharist, which is offered up towards God, that is, towards His throne: "Offering You Your own of Your own - in all things and for all things". The Bishop is the one who, standing in front of the Church and on her behalf offers the gifts of the Church before the throne of God, before God. Through him the mystery of the catholic mode of existence is performed: let us entrust ourselves, one another, and our whole life to Christ our God, and in Him, to God the Father. Thus, the Bishop accomplishes gracefully, sacramentally this headship in the way Christ accomplishes it and he is the icon of Christ and is in the place and in the image of Christ.

From all that has been written until now, we shall draw several conclusions. First, according to Orthodox ecclesiology, each local episcopal Church is a Church in her entire fullness. The unity of the local and the universal (catholic) Churches is not some 'collective unity' (where the local Churches would constitute 'parts' of a certain bigger 'unit'), but is graceful unity in identity, where all the local episcopal Churches, in the Holy Eucharist, are identified with one another and with the Body of Christ, that is, both with that original Apostolic Church in Jerusalem and with the eschatological Church of the Day without evening of the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Thus as a Church in her entire fullness, the local episcopal Church can neither be a 'part' that is within the frames of a 'bigger' Church nor can she be, by this same ecclesiological logic, a certain 'smaller' Church, which is subordinated to a certain 'bigger' Church. In conformity with the previously written, to my opinion at least this question is elucidated to us: what in fact the notions 'autocephaly' and 'autonomy' do not and cannot mean. An autocephalous Church is not and cannot be some 'bigger' Church within the frames of which comes as 'part' of her some 'smaller', incomplete, autonomous Church, which is at the same time under her authority. Yet lay, or in the best case administratively, things are understood exactly in this way. However, as we have observed, such understanding of the notions 'autocephaly' and 'autonomy' is not in conformity with the doctrine of Orthodox ecclesiology. In addition, as we can see, the context in which these notions are used in the present-day is utterly secularised, politically burdened, and pastorally current. Therefore, is it not time for the Orthodox Church to free herself from these and such notions, which have been used in Orthodox terminology and ecclesiastical life in their wrong context, and this for less than two hundred years, yet are not at all recognised in her holy canons?

Second, there is no and cannot exist any authority over the Bishop, because he is the icon of Christ and Head of the Church gathered around him at the Holy Eucharist. Just as there is no authority over the Godman Christ, thus there is no authority over the Bishop either, who is the icon of Christ. Therefore the Bishop as Head of his episcopate or diocese is the only bearer of a real autocephaly, and this alike in the aspect of his sacramental activity as in the aspect of his pastoral activity and administrative work, with no obligation for him to ask for anyone's opinion. Accordingly, he is Head of the Church and there is no 'head' above him that will decide, instruct, and supervise instead of him. This is what the notion 'autocephaly' signifies sacramentally, pastorally, administratively, and etymologically. Any construction of whatever authority over the Bishop of the local Church manifested in a certain superstructure of a "canonical", "juridical", "organisational", or even less a "national" or similar character is sickness, anxiety, and sin of the papal-centrism. Thus let us conclude: the term 'autocephaly' is canonically applicable only to the place of the Bishop in the structure of the local episcopal Church, whose structure of organisation, for its part, is determined by her eschatological hypostasis.

The Bishop, as a pastor, is free to organise the life of his diocese, in conformity with the dogmas, canons, and the Constitution of the Orthodox Church, giving account of this only before God. No one interferes, nor can anyone, in his pastoral activity: neither a local Council of Bishops (Holy Synod) nor an Ecumenical Council. Let us in addition say here that the first in honour Bishop (Archbishop, Patriarch) is entitled to the same rights as any other Bishop; these are rights which are at his disposal only in his diocese. In a case he wished to visit a certain other diocese and do something in it, he could only do this with the permission and blessing of the Bishop of the given diocese, and vice versa. Naturally, the Bishops must not do anything of consequence without the consent of the First among them; but each may do those things only which concern his own diocese. But neither let Him (who is the First) do anything without the consent of all the other Bishops (Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles).

The Council of Bishops, as a body, an institution, may appear and impose itself only in a case when a certain decision or activity of the Bishop of the local Church is opposite to the dogmas, canons, and the Constitution of the local Church and it also influences negatively the life of the other local Churches. This is the main and basic rule of synodality. Yet, the Council is not an institution, a superstructure that has authority over the local Church, but is rather a body, an institution that expresses the unity, identity, oneness in mind, communion, and the interrelation of the local Churches. This, in the sense of constitution and organisation, is accomplished with the fact that all Bishops participate at the Councils equally (with the equal right to vote, including here the one first in honour, or the president of the Council), voluntarily, and freely. By this very thing the conciliar decrees are also obligatory for the local Church.

It is here where the notion 'autonomy' naturally belongs and ought to be explained, since this notion is connected only with the activity of the Council of the local Church. For a local Church, the notion 'autonomy' etymologically and administratively means that she is the one that adopts her own Constitution and her own regulations at her Council, not someone from outside or some other Church. Such Constitution and regulations and all the other decisions and acts adopted autonomously by the local Church, which almost always refer only to her administrative system and work, are valid and adequate only on the state, political, and administrative territory on which that Church is organised; whereas for issues of a dogmatic, liturgical, and canonical character neither ours nor any other local Church can decide independently, autonomously, and irrevocably at her Council. For definitive resolutions on such kind of issues a common, conciliar decision is necessary i.e. an Ecumenical Council. This is also one of the crucial deficiencies that as a local Church we cope with in the present position. Therefore, the effort made in our times by the Macedonian Orthodox Church through her active ecclesiastical-diplomatic activity is exactly the effort to enter in these conciliar structures of decision and not to allow anyone on her behalf and instead of her to make decisions of essential importance to the life and the mission of the Orthodox Church in the world.

And third, the administrative structure of the local Church is also determined by the structure of the Holy Eucharist: just as the Bishop presides the assembly of the faithful at the Holy Eucharist, he also presides the administrative committee of his diocese. And just as clergy, deacons, and devout laity are organised around the Bishop at the Holy Eucharist, each with his own function - they are also given such corresponding duty under the guidance of the Bishop in the administration of the diocese. At this there are ministries that do not subdue to change, because they belong to the eschatological nature of the Church; yet there are also ministries that subdue to change, because they belong to the historical nature of the Church, since the Church has to meet various historical needs. In other words, in the Eschaton, in the Kingdom of God, there will be no need of any missionary activity, of preaching, of monastic communities, of any humanitarian activity, and so forth. Furthermore: just as there is no other 'head' or 'authority' over the Bishop at the Holy Eucharist, he is likewise the administrative head of his diocese and no one imposes on him, nor can anyone interfere in his administrative, material-financial, and pastoral management of his diocese, as long as this is in conformity with the holy canons and the Constitution of the local Church.

Therefore, if we use the terms 'autocephaly' and 'autonomy' properly and in their true Orthodox ecclesiological sense, we may conclude that: each Church organised on a certain state, political, or administrative territory, that is, each local Church (the Russian Orthodox Church, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, and the others) is autonomous in relation to all the other Churches, because she adopts at her Council her own Constitution, her regulations, and other acts for the territory on which she is administratively organised; but also that the Bishops of that local Church are the only bearers of real autocephaly regarding their sacramental, pastoral, and administrative activity in their local Churches, and they ought to be in liturgical and canonical unity with all the other Orthodox Bishops; and furthermore, that the local Church is absolutely dependent on the decrees of the Holy Ecumenical Councils, the past and also the future ones, provided she equally participates at them with her Bishops. In the spirit of the abovesaid, the main objective of an inter-ecclesiastical agreement is and would have to be achievement of such position of the Churches that would exclude any real interference and demonstration of authority of one Church in the life of another, and this just as in the sacramental and pastoral activity, which goes without saying, so also in the administrative work. Only such canonical constitution of the mutual relations of the local Churches will represent a manifestation of the constitution of God's Kingdom, and not serving their earthly (ethnophyletistic) organisational needs. The Church is God's gift to man in Christ, and not some human "creation" or privatised "organisation" of Rome or Constantinople, of Belgrade, Moscow, or Athens or of any person, people, or place, which is commanded or judged to by someone outside and above the reality itself of the legitimate local episcopal Church, which is a bearer of apostolic fullness, of catholicity, of true faith, of grace, of community of the Holy Spirit.

2) How is a name of a Church determined? From a dogmatic aspect our Orthodox faith is a faith in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Hence, whichever Orthodox country you may go to or whichever Orthodox shrine you may enter in and whichever language you may hear the Orthodox Creed in, everywhere will be testified and confirmed this faith only: in the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church - nothing else. Orthodox Christians receive this faith in the Holy Sacrament of Baptism, they live with this faith, and with this faith they die. If necessary, they will bear witness to this faith even with martyrdom. Not a single true Orthodox person will confess faith in some Greek, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian, or whichever church.

In the light of the above exposed, the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church (the Orthodox Church) only manifests in certain political, state, and ethnic boundaries in order to bear witness and preach to the people of God settled there, in conformity with their language and mentality, the Economy of the Godman Jesus Christ for salvation of every human. Hence, from a dogmatic and thus unchangeable aspect, and in concord with the given administrative division, the name of a local Church would sound more precisely and would more express her unity if thus formulated: Orthodox Church in Greece, in Macedonia, in Serbia, in Russia; not as it is in practice - Russian Orthodox Church, Macedonian, Serbian, Bulgarian. For those who are not introduced with ecclesiastical problems, the usage of these nominal possessive adjectives denotes more the national than the territorial.

From an ecclesiological aspect, the true and the only theologically justified name of a Church active on a certain territory is determined by the seat (cathedra) of the first Bishop in honour. Then again, the seat of the first Bishop in honour has moved throughout history depending on where the centre of state and political power has been. Not one state has wanted the Church active on its sovereign territory to have her centre of administration outside this area, and with the aim of easier communication both the Church and the state have preferred their seats to be in one and the same place, town. The Church has never made absolute any of the historical stages of the process of her administrative organisation since this would be idolatry. Due to it, throughout history there has been observed dislocation of ecclesiastical centres and of the seats of the first in honour Bishops, even formation of completely new ones. Such pastoral adaptation of the Church is also manifested in Canon 34 of the Holy Apostles: The Bishops of every nation must acknowledge Him who is First among them and account Him as their Head... In this sense the true ecclesiological name of the Orthodox Church in Greece is Archdiocese of Athens, in Macedonia - Archdiocese of Skopje, in Serbia - Patriarchate of Belgrade, in Bulgaria - Patriarchate of Sophia... (The old ecclesial names are still in use today, and this as their only official names, by the oldest Churches: Patriarchate of Constantinople, of Alexandria, of Jerusalem, of Antioch). Still, in order to preserve the historical continuity and the remembrance of the continuous ecclesiastical life and testimony throughout history, a certain ecclesiological exception has been made and the so called minimum ecclesiastical jurisdiction has been introduced. That is, by allowing, for instance, Skopje Metropolitan to administer only one shrine in Ohrid, his title of Archbishop of Ohrid is also justified; or by allowing the Metropolitan of Belgrade to administer one shrine in Pe-ç, his title of Archbishop of Pe-ç is justified as well...

Therefore, from dogmatic and ecclesiological aspects, the names certain Orthodox Churches use today are only a wrong outlook inherited from the period when church leaders have also been involved in the struggle for national identity and state independence, and they are not names based on the Holy Tradition and the holy canons of the Church. Certainly our Church will also keep her official name for external communication, Macedonian Orthodox Church, as long as the other local Churches use the adjectives: Serbian, Bulgarian, Russian, and alike, and as long as this issue is regulated at an all-Orthodox council as applicable to all the local Churches. Nonetheless, the Macedonian Orthodox Church, with her name, has only fitted in the already established scheme. It would be correct those who, as it were out of understandable reasons a hundred years ago, introduced these names in usage in the Orthodox world, to find virtue now and bring into line the names of the local Churches with their evangelical mission. If they have no courage for this, let them at least not judge us.

Furthermore, every Church ought to devote herself to ministry to the people among which, by God's Providence, she is active pastorally. Yet, none of the local Churches may identify herself with a whole people, fostering at this ideas that this people is chosen by God. Such connection has proven in history, and still proves itself to be fatal both for that people and for that Church. According to the Old Testament, to be chosen by God is a privilege only for the Hebrew people and for no other. According to the New Testament of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church of God, the New Israel, even now, in the liturgical 'today', lives the eschatological reality that there are no longer Jews, or Greeks, or Macedonians, or Serbs, or Bulgarians, or slaves, or free, there is neither male nor female, for we are all one in Christ Jesus (cf. Gal. 3:28). The demand, from an ecclesiastical aspect, each concrete, formed Orthodox people as such, during its historical existence, to offer to God fruits of repentance and holiness is a pastoral issue, not an eschatological one. These two notions should not be confused. The Church is not what is visible, but what she will be in the Heavenly Kingdom. That is, the eschatological condition of the Church represents her identity, not the historical. He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

3) What is a pastoral problem, and what entangling in worldly problems for a Bishop? Let us stick to several basic thoughts, which we consider to be sufficient, with no further going into details. Every issue, on whichever plan, in the resolution of which the congregation of a Bishop is immediately interested is at the same time a pastoral issue for the Bishop in question. There are natural or normal pastoral issues, yet there are also occasioned, subsequent to certain events. For instance: the sense of ethnic affiliation of a people and its language is a fact which the Orthodox Church in particular cannot overlook. Thus, wherever she may start her mission, the Orthodox Church must address the concrete person or the people with full respect of at least one's ethnic affiliation and language. The Holy Apostle Paul says: I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel's sake, that I may be partaker of it with you (1Cor. 9:22-23). Any other conduct of the Church would be an ontological failure in the mission and in the accomplishment of the Gospel. Hence the Orthodox Church should never, and in fact cannot ever, act as an instrument of national oppression of any people by another.

Along with the immediate pastoral issue, which is the mission among the Macedonian people, the bishops of the Macedonian Orthodox Church have also an additional, occasioned pastoral issue, particularly after the last year's events with the so called Ni+í Agreement and the separation of the Metropolitan of Povardarie from the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. It is the issue about the official name and the title of the administrative system of our Church. This same issue is not in the least a pastoral one, for instance, for a Bishop in Serbia, Montenegro, or Russia, because their congregation is not immediately interested in this issue, and it is a question whether the Orthodox Christians there have heard about the existence of this problem at all. In fact, everyone who truly lives in repentance is far from these worldly problems, especially if he is a conscientious Shepherd who has behind him a spiritual flock with much more essential needs. Thus, here a crucial question is raised: if for an Orthodox Bishop the problem with the official name and title of the administrative system of the Orthodox Church active on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is not a pastoral issue, then whom or whose interests does he represent when directly and destructively intervening in the resolution of the pastoral problem of the Holy Synod of Hierarchs of the Macedonian Orthodox Church? From what has been abovesaid we can only conclude that this Bishop in his activity of such kind is certainly not a representative of the people of God entrusted to his spiritual guidance. Whose interests he, then, represents is a question of which, naturally, anyone thinking in this direction will be worried.

It is possible for the Church of Greece the name Macedonian Orthodox Church to represent a pastoral issue, even though, if this is so, she herself has occasioned it through organising public meetings, nevertheless there is a solution to this as well, which is: at an all-Orthodox conference to be decided all the local Churches in their mutual official relations to use only their ecclesial names. For instance: Ohrid Archdiocese enters into liturgical unity with the Patriarchate of Pe-ç and the Archdiocese of Athens. Is this not the simplest and most ecclesiastical solution to the problem? Who closes our eyes so that we do not see? Such a move of the Orthodox Church would also be the first step towards the resolution of the problems in the diaspora and a basic precondition for the start of a mission of certain Churches active outside their pure "ethnic" territory (for example, the Serbian Orthodox Church in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and even, all things considered, in Montenegro and in Kosovo, respectively). Such a move would be a new and powerful testimony before the disunited world.

Thus, the Serbian Orthodox Church, instead of considering establishment of a parallel hierarchy on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, should rather show pastoral care for one of the two possible solutions: either the terms autocephaly and autonomy to be used in their real sense, as we have proposed above, or them to be entirely abandoned as secularised and politically burdened terms and instead of them in an inter-ecclesiastical agreement the term independence, for instance, to be used. Also, it is a priority pastoral task of the Serbian Orthodox Church to see to the establishment of eucharistic unity between our Churches, because of the obviously worldly character of the problems we have entangled ourselves in, and this before we find together a certain final resolution. Such as is, for instance, the present state in the mutual relationships of the Russian Orthodox Church and the American Orthodox Church with the other local Churches, respectively. I think that this is the only way to find ourselves in the Tradition of the holy Apostles and the holy Fathers: not to allow our spiritually free and independent Churches to come under any other dependency or subordination to one another apart from the evangelical "dependency" in the same faith, same grace, love, and community - a community that actually and in its whole fullness manifests in the holy Eucharist. Who is the one whom the resolution of the problems in this manner upsets?

4) Our problem has an ethical or ascetical-hesychastic dimension as well. No one can claim that he guides independently himself in the spiritual life ('autocephaly') or that he establishes independently rules of spiritual living for himself or others ('autonomy'), yet being at this a slave to his distorted and filthy passions: pride, avarice, and pleasure-indulgence. Vainglory or pride is the passion of the mind through which the demon beguiles and captures man. Nationalism or ethnophyletism is only a kind of individual self-love and egotism and captivity of a man and is rather deeply rooted in his emotional life. Only mediocre and empty people, without Christ in them, whose life has no spiritual content, feel themselves exalted above the others and filled with greater feeling of authority through affiliation to the "national". The irony lies in that by becoming a slave and serving to the idol "nation" a man feels exalted. And, yet even worse, nationalism is betrayal and infidelity to the Gospel of Christ. It is a grievous sin against the image of God in man. The one who refuses and does not want to see a brother in Christ in a person of other nationality is not only a non-Christian, but he also loses his human depth. This captivity can only be opposed by a person with spiritual content.

What, then, happens when a person suffering from ethnophyletism guides spiritually others or when he falls into self-conceit that he saves the whole Church? We are well familiar with the results. We have seen them in the last less than two centuries, and we see them in the present as well: the Orthodox Church is rendered weak in the preaching and testimony of Christ before the world due to her division and enclosure in certain ethnoses, often even hostile with one another. Thus, a man suffering from ethnophyletism, and by this stripped of God's grace as well, not only will not be able to help his people and the Church in which he ministers, but will also do them much harm. Still, for everyone with a bit of sincerity in himself, there is hope. Let such one try, when in prayer, to enter prayerfully with his mind in the heart. May all who will not be able to stand with their mind at the altar of their heart and offer on it a pure prayerful sacrifice, and will run inside into darkness and an impenetrable wall instead, know that their heart is closed. A 'closed heart' means a heart captured by passions, by sinful habit, by the demon. An 'opened heart' is a heart freed from the crucial influence of the afore-mentioned evils, a heart in which Baptismal grace manifests. The mind that dwells in prayer in the sufficiently 'purified heart' constantly transforms and illumines by Divine grace. Thus, only the one who is free can guide spiritually himself and the others in God ('autocephaly'), led by the 'illumined mind' in the light of the manifested grace. The captured one will be led by the captor, yet will at the same time be convinced that he is his own guide and that he guides the others spiritually.

The problems the Orthodox Church is engaged with in our times - official names of Churches and the title of their administrative system - did not exist at all during the persecution in the first three centuries. Hence we will either gather strength and wisdom to find a solution ourselves or the problems will be resolved by themselves during the last persecution, for the mystery of lawlessness will then be at work openly and mightily, and it will be completed, for the One who now restrains will be taken out of the way (cf. 2Thess. 2:7).
« Last Edit: August 24, 2004, 02:57:54 PM by Canmak » Logged

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« Reply #40 on: August 24, 2004, 04:14:56 PM »

Whew, thats a lot of reading.  Well thank you for the  explanation as to why the MOC wanted its own name and autocephaly.
Can you answer who in the MOC hierarchy (it must have been at the highest level there) approached Rome and the Pope personally about the integration of the MOC into the Roman Catholic religion, because the Pope refused this request because of political considerations and her delicate relationship with the MP.


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« Reply #41 on: August 24, 2004, 08:22:07 PM »

Joe..
I hope you didn't read all of it.
If you did, you rhead might've exploded.

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« Reply #42 on: August 25, 2004, 04:53:57 AM »

Quote
Can you answer who in the MOC hierarchy (it must have been at the highest level there) approached Rome and the Pope personally about the integration of the MOC into the Roman Catholic religion, because the Pope refused this request because of political considerations and her delicate relationship with the MP.


JoeS can you give some of the sources where you read this sort of thing?  I asked around and well everyone I asked said those where false rumours, The reply I think answers that question is a Macedonian Delegation went to Rome to Celebrate St Cyril and St Methodius or St. Clement....(I am sorry I forget which one)  regardless that is the only time that I have been told that the Macedonian Orthodox Church had been to Rome.

I have tried looking deeper into this and will try to find out more as well.

If you could give me some sources (Links) I would appreciate it.
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« Reply #43 on: August 26, 2004, 01:46:50 AM »

If you could give me some sources (Links) I would appreciate it.

Not a bad idea. Perhaps you could do the same instead of cutting and pasting large amounts of text. Ideally you should post a link to the article in question (so we can get some idea of how reliable the source is) as well as one or more short excerpts which are pertinent to the question. That way threads do not become unnecessarily bloated and those who don't wish to wade through a mountain of text simply don't click on the links.

I don't respond to massive cut'n paste jobs as I simply don't have the free time to respond to everything.as it deserves. Each post should make no more than a few points so that discussion can flow smoothly and can easily be followed, just like in a conversation or debate. If you want to make more points from the same article just post the same link again or refer back to the link in your earlier post.

John.
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« Reply #44 on: August 26, 2004, 08:12:00 AM »

Quote
In a nutshell Macedonia was divided by its neighbours....just like the kurds are divided by thier neighbours.

The geographic region known as Macedonia was divided up. There were no ethnic Macedonians to divide, unlike the Kurds.

Quote
Half century = 50 years if I am correct........so how many generations could be brainwashed? One at the most? See how your arguement lacks logic?  Do you honestly think a new culture or language can be made in 50 years......your out of your mind if you think that.

Since 1945 almost 60 years have passed. There are easily three generations born in that period plus the generation that went before. Check you logic my friend.
I have never claimed that a new language was created, in fact a few posts back I showed that it is essentially the same as Bulgarian (though you obviously didn't consider it worth responding to). In any case your statement simply ignores history. Just look at what Stalin did to Russia in his mere 30 years of power.

Quote
Do you not realize that the Macedonian empire was huge and did not only cover the balkans......do you not realize there are decendants of that empire all the way up to India......do you see where your logic fails.  Do you not think that there are no Roman decendents any where else in the world except Italy....

All the archaeological finds in the ancient Macedonian Empire are Greek. My mother-in-law's family is originally from what is known as Pirin Macedonia, now part of Bulgaria. They are Greek through and through. Your point?

Quote
Its alright for the greeks to sponsor research but the Macedonians can not...........don't you think thats a bit selfish and one sided......are not the greeks doing the same thing as that of what you are accusing the Macedonians off.......Oh I am sorry the greeks are only allowed to do it..........Lack of logic once again.

When much of the research on Ancient Macedonia was done by the major Western learning institutes (Oxford, Cambridge, etc.) Greece was in no position to sponsor anything. Its as unbiased as it can get. Anything Greece is sponsoring these days is simply in response to the propaganda sponsored by Skopja.

Quote
It is occupied land, and as for the Church we were there before the Serbs.

What you just stated shows how successful Tito's propaganda campaign has been.

Quote
This is not a fabricated national consciousness.....you should know that nationalism runs deep in the balkans......so if these Macedonians where as you say.....Bulgarians or Serbians........don't you think they would have remained that......have you ever seen anyone from the balkans deny there ethnicity?  Once again your arguments lack logic.......an ethnic identity or a national conscious can not be made in 50 years....its impossible.......

Once again I need only point to what Josef Stalin acheived in 30 years, turning a largely Orthodox country into a largely atheistic one.

Quote
Greece did do everything to counter this........they renamed villages, cities and towns.....
You mean like the following...
Ber - Veria
Postlo - Pella
Solun - Thessaloniki
The River Vardar - Axios

Hmm, lets see, Alexander the Great built his palace at Pella and called the city by that name. Thessaloniki was named after the sister of Alexander the Great who was given the name by her father due to his victory (NIKI) over the Thessalians. The Axios river is mentioned by both Homer and Euripides in their works. And finally, the Apostle Paul writes to the the Christians in Thessaloniki and commends the people of Veria, two cities in Macedonia, and he writes to them in Greek no less. It seems to me that it was the Bulgarians who were doing the name changing. All the Greeks did was restore the names they had always used. (I had posted this before but you didn't consider it worth responding to)

Quote
it was until recently that that region was called Northern Greece......Macedonia was not mentioned but when the greeks realized that Yugoslavia was breaking apart they felt terrified of a independent macedonia and tried telling the world that it was a titoist creation.....

False. The area of Northern Greece has always been known as Macedonia, just as the region to the East has always been known as Thrace, that to the South and West as Epirus and Thessaly and so on.

Quote
but the world is not blind and the world see's us as we are.......we are ethnic Macedonian

Unfortunately the world is blind, or at least ignorant of ancient history. Henry Kissinger stated that Greece had history on her side, but that unfortunately most people in positions of power do not know history, particularly those who shape foriegn policy.

John.
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