Bulgaria Involved in Macedonian-Serbian Church Brawl

Diplomacy | November 19, 2010, Friday // 08:59|  views

Detained Serbian priest Jovan Vranishovski, who was active in Macedonia.

Bulgaria is now unwillingly involved in the church conflict between neighboring Macedonia and Serbia, after it detained Serbian priest Jovan Vranisovski.

Vranisovski was detained by Bulgarian authorities late Thursday night upon entering the country, based on an order from Macedonian Interpol.

He was traveling from Greece to Serbia via Bulgaria. In Macedonia, he has a 2.5-year sentence enacted against him, which is why he left the country.

Formerly, Jovan Vranishovski acted as a cleric in Macedonia, but presented himself as the Exarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the country.

The problem is that the Macedonian Orthodox Church split from the Serbian in 1967 and is not recognized by it as a separate ecclessiastical entity.

The Serbian Orthodox Church regards the self-proclaimed Macedonian Church as schismatic and sees its territory as falling under its Ohrid Archbishopric.

This is why Jovan Vranishovski's activities were seen as encroaching in Macedonia, all the more that an Ohrid Archbishopric is not a registered religious entity in the country.

Vranishovski's actual 2.5-year sentence was nevertheless given for abuse with church money.

Friday both the Macedonian and Serbian press drew strong attention to the issue. It is yet to be seen how it's going to be resolved.

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Tags: Serbian Orthodox Church, Serbia, macedonia, Christian Orthodox


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