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

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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, 26 October 2013

Uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church Bans Facebook

00 Cracked Facebook Logo. 26.10.13

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Editor’s Note:

This “Church” is uncanonical and no legit group considers it one of the Local Churches. It’s a breakaway rebel group like the so-called “Patriarchate of Kiev”. Remember, ALL oddbod groups in the Church (including some factions in the canonical Church) have squiffy attitudes about this or that. If you wish guidance, don’t look at people like James Paffhausen, Victor Potapov, Patrick Reardon, John Whiteford, Gregory Jensen, or Rod Dreher… look at HH, for instance! He LIKES Facebook and encourages his priests to use it. He also allowed his priests to urge their parishioners to vote against the Right in the last election… and they didn’t vote for them! The rightwing candidates, Prokhorov and Zhirinovsky, got only 15 percent of the vote. The Real Church teaches the Truth… the Others teach Something Else… never forget that, it’ll save you much grief. That’s why you must ignore all the rightwing rubbish posted by the konvertsy… it doesn’t reflect HH’s attitude… and that’s that.

BMD

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On Friday, Metropolitan Timotej Jovanovski of DebarKičevo, a spokesman for the Macedonian Orthodox Church (Ohrid Archbishopric), ordered its priests and nuns not to use Facebook or face unnamed sanctions, saying, “All clergy will face sanctions if they use Facbook”. He didn’t state a reason for the ban, but sources from the church said that they’d “impose it especially on those expressing personal opinions on Facebook”. Local media reported that one of the senior hierarchs, Metropolitan Petar Karevski of Prespa and Pelagonija, suggested the ruling. He defended the move by saying it was meant to “protect (the faithful) from confusion and manipulations”. The ban seemed to show a rift between senior and junior priests, who often use social networks to attract younger generations to the church by offering them religious education and advice. However, some of them also expressed their personal views on the political situation in the country, sometimes, criticising the government.

Although they’re officially separate, the church has gradually increased its influence in state affairs since Macedonia proclaimed independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. The MOC (OA) split from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967, but no other Local Orthodox Church recognises it. Most of Macedonia’s Christians are Orthodox, making up three-quarters of the country’s population of 2.2 million. Ethnic Albanians make up the remaining quarter, being mostly Muslim.

26 October 2013

Sky News

http://www.skynews.com.au/tech/article.aspx?id=918734

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