Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Archbishop Jovan Released from Prison in Macedonia

00 Police handcuffing Abp Jovan. 06.12

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On 2 February 2015, a court decision in Skopje released Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid (SPC) from Idrizovo Prison. On 15 November 2014, during their meeting in Belgrade, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović of Serbia discussed Archbishop Jovan’s health and general situation. On 20 December 2014, with the blessing of Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), visited Skopje and met with Archbishop Jovan. On the same day, Metropolitan Ilarion met with Macedonian government leaders, President of the Republic of the Macedonia Ǵorge Ivanov and President of the Macedonian Government Nikola Gruevski. He also met Archbishop Stefan, head of the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC). On 28 January 2015, Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej blessed Bishop Irinej of Backa and Archimandrite Filip Vasiltseva to visit Archbishop Jovan at the prison. With the blessing of Patriarch Irinej, and at Patriarch Kirill’s invitation, Archbishop Jovan will soon go to Moscow for medical treatment. Both the MP and the SPC give thanksgiving to God for the welcome release of Archbishop Jovan.

3 February 2015

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/3980105.html

Friday, 23 January 2015

Macedonia: Bishop Jovan Kept in Prison Despite Deal to Release Him

00 Police handcuffing Abp Jovan. 06.12

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The Prokuratura in Skopje filed a complaint against a decision to release SPC Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid, thus, he must stay in prison. Previously, a court decided that Bishop Jovan should receive conditional release and leave prison on 19 January. According to Macedonian media, the turnabout came “at the last-minute”. Archbishop Jovan is serving a sentence for allegedly embezzling 250,000 Euros (18 million Roubles. 1.75 million Renminbi. 17.45 million INR. 282,000 USD. 352,000 CAD. 353,000 AUD. 189,000 UK Pounds); the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) brought the charges against him. On Tuesday, Beta said that Vladyki Jovan was once in the MPC, but later sought “canonical unity with the SPC”; he’s now the head of “the SPC Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid“.

The Prokuratura Office for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption announced that it believed that the court should re-examine the circumstances of the decision to release him, as well as “whether the release would achieve the objectives intended”. It also stated that the Prokuratura believed that there’s evidence of “changed circumstances which indicate that the convicted person in the future may continue to commit criminal acts, so, therefore, doesn’t justify the trust shown toward him when granting provisional release”. The Prokuratura said in a statement on 12 January, after receiving the ruling to set Archbishop Jovan free, “After analysing the circumstances, we determine that the solution was lawful”, announcing at the same time, “We wouldn’t appeal against the decision”.

The MPC, which laid the original charges against Vladyki Jovan, is now in favour of his release. After mediation from the MP in late 2014, the MPC called on the government to “show mercy” toward Archbishop Jovan. Since he’s been ill, the imprisoned bishop recently had a brief stay in hospital in Skopje. After the announcement that he’d receive release “for good behaviour”, the SPC in Macedonia said that it’d seek “unconditional acquittal of all charges” against him. The SPC believed that the bishop’s incarceration was due to political decisions, namely, due to the dispute between the churches. The SPC doesn’t recognise the MPC as autocephalous.

20 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=20&nav_id=92925

Editor:

Obviously, this is due to American interference… you can thank such champions of “American Exceptionalism” as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. These guys posture as “Christians”… I think not. It’s clear that the MPC wasn’t behind this, as it’d scupper all talks between them and the SPC. If you marched in the March for Life, you marched AGAINST Vladyki Jovan, as you marched in support of the amoral sectarian Republican opponents of Christ’s Church. Think things through, or you might end by doing the opposite of what you intended. Do think twice before agreeing with such pro-sectarian traitors as Josiah Trenham, Jonas Paffhausen, and Patrick Reardon. Some “Pro-Life”…

BMD

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

BREAKING NEWS… Russian Mediation Springs Archbishop Jovan from Macedonian Slam… Alfeyev Confabbed with Macedonian Leaders in December

00 Archbishop Jovan in Prison. 06.12

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A court in Skopje granted conditional release to Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski, the head of the SPC Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid, on 19 January. Meanwhile, Tanjug reported that the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) expects that a dialogue with the SPC on its status would begin afterwards, with mediation from the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS). Metropolitan Petar of Prespa and Pelagonija, the MPC administrator for Australia and New Zealand, announced in an interview with TV Sunce that the MPC Holy Synod would most likely discuss this. Skopje media reported that he said that the MPC expects a positive response from the MP, which has stepped in to mediate in the dispute over the status of the MPC. The MPC is uncanonical; the SPC considers it schismatic since it declared autocephaly unilaterally in 1967.

Following “insistence” from MP sources, Macedonia will free Archbishop Jovan on conditional release after spending three years in prison. Visiting Macedonia on 21 December 2014, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, the head of the OVTsS, urged Vraniškovski’s provisional release. Metropolitan Ilarion made the request during meetings with the head of the MPC Archdiocese of Ohrid, President of the Macedonian Government Nikola Gruevski, and President of the Republic of the Macedonia Ǵorge Ivanov… who has the constitutional power to pardon… and also met with Vraniškovski.

Since 2003, the Macedonian authorities arrested Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski six times on different charges, including public disorder when he tried to conduct a baptism ceremony in a church the MPC sees as its own. He also faced charges of “inciting ethnic and religious hatred” for having “slandered the MPC” and spent a total of almost 18 months in prison. The authorities last arrested Vraniškovski on 12 December 2011, upon entering Macedonia from Greece, on charges of having misappropriated 250,000 Euros (17.8 million Roubles. 1.84 million Renmnbi. 18.4 million INR. 296,000 USD. 349,000 CAD. 363,000 AUD. 196,000 UK Pounds). He returned to the country to request a retrial, only to have the cops arrest him and dump him in Idrizovo prison near Skopje, where he remains to this day.

The MPC defrocked Archbishop Jovan and the SPC appointed him as Serbian exarch in Macedonia. The SPC believes that Archbishop Jovan is a victim of rigged political trials because of his opposition to the schism, while Amnesty International and Freedom House said that he’s a prisoner of conscience. Tanjug reported that the stated position of the MP is, “We’d be unable to help in the Macedonian-Serbian church dispute for as long as Vraniškovski remains in prison”.

13 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=13&nav_id=92852

Editor:

Note that this was due to Russian mediation. Is the MP up to something? Is the Russian state up to something? If the MPC and SPC reconcile, will the Phanar sit at table or will it pout and stay away on American orders? This would complicate any all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016. Besides that, is this part of a Russian effort to prise Macedonia out of the American orbit? Look at Russian efforts in Hungary, Slovakia, and Greece… it’s also tempting Romania with pieces of the Ukraine. It looks like the American project in Eastern Europe is unravelling, and right quickly, too.

BMD

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Archbishop Jovan Vraniskovski of Ohrid Remains in Prison

00 Archbishop Jovan in Prison. 06.12

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On Thursday, Macedonian media reported that the Macedonian Appellate Court confirmed the first instance ruling against Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje. He’s serving a three-year prison sentence on charges of embezzling 250,000 Euros (11.85 million Roubles. 339,000 USD. 363,000 CAD. 360,000 AUD. 198,000 UK Pounds). The Appellate Court also confirmed the probation for 18 followers of Archbishop Jovan, including his mother and sister, on charges of aiding the embezzlement. Previously, the second instance court denied Metropolitan Jovan’s appeal as unfounded and found him guilty of embezzlement of funds that he used to purchase land in Ohrid during his mandate as a bishop of the non-recognised Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC). Macedonian media reports stated that the Appellate Court’s decision is crucial for further talks with the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) on canonical recognition of the MPC. A court in Skopje sentenced Archbishop Jovan on 2 July 2013 to three years of imprisonment and he appealed the decision in November. In keeping with the ruling of the Skopje Criminal Court, the authorities seized 4.9 million MKD (3.78 million Roubles. 108,000 USD. 116,000 CAD. 115,000 AUD. 80,000 Euros. 63,000 UK Pounds) from the bank account of the Association for Enhancement of Civil and Religious Freedoms in the village of Nizepolje near Bitola to the benefit the canonically non-recognised MPC, the damaged party. Archbishop Jovan said in the appeal that the ruling is discriminatory and was political, adding that the verdict is also unclear and lacked a single piece of tangible evidence backing it. The appeal Archbishop Jovan filed in the Skopje Appellate Court stated that the Macedonian authorities persecute the Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid in various ways, even though 12 years have passed since its establishment, adding that the government denied request of the Archdiocese to have formal registration, whereby it’d be a legitimate religious organisation, to this day.

Since 2003, Macedonian authorities arrested Archbishop Jovan six times, on different charges, including public disorder when he tried to conduct a baptism in a church the MPC sees as its own. The authorities also charged him with “inciting ethnic and religious hatred” for having “slandered the MPC” and he spent a total of almost 18 months in prison. Then, the Veles Basic Court sentenced him to 2.5 years of imprisonment for alleged tax evasion in the period during his mandate as a MPC bishop. His last arrest was on 12 December 2011, upon entering Macedonia from Greece, on charges of embezzling 250,000 Euros. He returned to the country to request a retrial, but the authorities arrest him and took him to Idrizovo prison near Skopje, where he’s still being held. His defence team said that he’s detained under very difficult conditions.

The MPC is canonically non-recognised, and the SPC considers it schismatic since it declared autocephaly unilaterally in 1967. The MPC defrocked Bishop Jovan, but the SPC appointed him as Serbian exarch in Macedonia, leader of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid. The SPC believes Archbishop Jovan is a victim of rigged political trials because of his being against the schism, whilst Amnesty International and Freedom House said that he’s a prisoner of conscience.

18 July 2014

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2014&mm=07&dd=18&nav_id=91024

Editor:

Archbishop Jovan’s persecution is due to American pressure, full stop. The main opponent of Serbia (and Russia) in the government at present is Joe Biden, whose mentor was an unrepentant Croat Ustaše RC priest. Close behind him is John McCain, who hates Russia for the fact that a Soviet SAM shot him down (McCain was a reckless cowboy who disregarded all prudent advice from seasoned combat vets… he paid the price). In light of the American government’s nasty war against Serbian and Russian Orthodoxy, Orthodox people have to really think twice about serving the USA (we shouldn’t obstruct the US government, refuse to pay taxes, or any such other unhinged shit… all that’d do is land you in prison)… ergo, Lyonyo is a traitor for being part of the CFR… Potapov is a traitor for being part of Radio Liberty… Paffhausen is a traitor for his incestuous ties to most of the rightwing stink-tanks on K Street. Have a care, the times are evil… Archbishop Jovan’s persecution is proof of that.

BMD

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