Bulgarian President 'Tangled' in Neighbors' Church Brawl

Diplomacy | November 20, 2010, Saturday // 12:09|  views

Bulgaria's President, Georgi Parvanov, has been asked for help in the release of a Serbian priest, currently under house arrest, reportedly, near Sofia. Photo by BGNES

The Serbian Orthodox church is lobbying with Bulgaria's President, Georgi Parvanov, for the release of Serbian priest Jovan Vranisovski, according to Macedonian media.

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. He left Macedonia over a 2.5-year sentence for embezzling EUR 250 000 of church money.

Formerly, Jovan Vranishovski acted as a cleric in Macedonia, but presented himself as the Eparch 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 ecclesiastical entity.

The office of the Bulgarian President declined any comments on the case on the grounds Parvanov is Lisbon for the NATO Summit, according to Macedonian TV while the daily "Vecher" writes Vranisovski is under house arrest in an undisclosed monastery near the capital Sofia.

The house arrest was imposed after the 72-hours of jail detention expired before the extradition papers were ready.

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Tags: Serbian Orthodox Church, Serbia, macedonia, Christian Orthodox, Jovan Vranisovski, Georgi Parvanov


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