Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric
Holy Metropolis of Veles and Povardarje

Protocol no.11 from 26 February 2004


of the untruths told by the Metropolitan Peter who dwells in schism in the TV- show hosted by Stevo Bashurovski on 24 February 2004

In the show Direct on TV Terra on 24 February 2004, in which the Metropolitan Peter who still dwells in schism was a guest, many untruths were spoken regarding our personality as well as the personalities of the rest of the members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric. We believe that TV Terra will agree to publish this disclaimer, not only because of its legal obligations, but also because of its objectivity of information.

This disclaimer is not debating with Peter, as we have no need whatsoever to do that and for several reasons. First of all because every untruth has no essence and it will perish, if not in time, then certainly in eternity. But, together with it will also perish the one who has spread such an untruth. Thus, it is pointless to deal with someone or something that has no meaning, that is, eternal existence. And second of all because each answer would put us at the same level with him, and this is something that we really wouldn’t want, and we shouldn’t.

More than 90% of the show consisted of besmirching my personality with tasteless words and comparisons of the abovementioned with a special accent put on my nationality as well as the nationality of the members of the Ohrid Archbishopric. If a nationality can be chosen, if one can get out of his own skin and change it into another, if one can disregard the physical features that impose, and one of these is the national affiliation, then I would chose to be a Byzantine, and one belonging to the high aristocracy of the czar’s court. This is how I would like to feel, but in this case is unimportant. Still, I was born in Bitola, by a Macedonian father and a Macedonian mother, and what I really want to be is a completely different story. However, what a person cannot change because of the natural predetermination, he changes by the power of faith. And there, in the faith of my grandfathers, “there is neither Jew nor Greek” as the apostle Paul says. So by the law of nature I am Macedonian, just as are most of the members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, even thought, under our jurisdiction there are Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, Albanians, even Gypsies, but by faith I am free. That means that with the Macedonians I am Macedonian, but with the Gypsies I am a Gypsy, and all this just to win them over for Christ, as the apostle Paul in a different place. In other words, I don’t think of nationality as the person’s most important belonging, and neither do I give up my own national belonging. Just as no one asked me whether I wanted to be born, also, no one has ever asked me if I want to be Macedonian. I do not know what position I will take on Peter’s scale, who probably invented some sort of a scale to measure the Macedonian in every person, just as it is done with the potatoes on the market place, but, however, by the physical features of my identity I am Macedonian.

It seems pretty distasteful when you hear out of the mouth of a person for whom you expect to be spiritual such hearsay and gossip unsuitable even for old ladies. To speak of the embezzlements the Bishop John has done, when even the birds in Bitola know how much of the church money was taken from the abovementioned by TAT, the interest rate of which filled his pockets, to speak of money stolen by the monks of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, and to forget that there is no believer in Macedonia who doesn’t know that Peter secured houses and cars for all his nephews on his former wife’s side then you must be with a really short-term memory. There is no monk that he ordained that stayed with him. This last thing will be better understood by the monks. If I have indeed embezzled so many capital assets, as is said through the media, then why did they keep quiet and wait for the Metropolis of Veles and Povardarje to enter liturgical and canonical unity with the other Orthodox Churches, and then blame the Metropolitan John?

But to blame the Metropolitan John as well as the monks and nuns of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric that their goal is to ruin the state is an actual proof of utter weakness. It is a search for false protection, protection from the state. We say false because so far history hasn’t shown that the state can protect the Church, where on the other hand, the Church has the power to protect the state. The Church that waits protection from the state is to be pitied. But there is nothing else left for Peter and his company. To exult over the burning of John’s monastery, to call him a psychopath, a term so bland that it is not used even for the people who are admitted to mental asylums is not only weakness, it is called despair.

The self-delusion that his propaganda against the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, which he calls a Serbian wing, will succeed seems quite clumsy. The Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric is an autonomous Orthodox Church, just as are the Orthodox Churches in Finland, Ukraine, Estonia, Japan etc. As each Church belongs to the people who are its member, so does the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, it belongs to the people who live on the territory of the R. Macedonia. The prevalent percentage of the people is Macedonian, although, as we mentioned before, there are also other nationalities. The Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric is an autonomous Church and is under no one’s jurisdiction. It is self- ruled by a Holy Synod of Bishops consisted of native bishops, all with Macedonian origin and citizens of the R. Macedonia. The difference between the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric and the Macedonian Orthodox Church is the fact that the latter dwells in schism and is not recognized by any other Orthodox Church in the world. The seven bishops of the schismatic Macedonian Orthodox Church have managed to persuade the state leadership to protect their skin even at the price of immense loss of the country’s international reputation. However, this is more at the fault of the Government, for it thinks that it can protect the Cominternally produced schism through the usage of repressive measures.

The Church is “one holy catholic and apostolic.” At least this is how we have been taught by the apostles and the fathers of the church. This is why it is impossible for those who dwell in schism to be a Church just as those who are recognized. To deceive oneself that despite being in schism you are still a Church is completely incorrect and incompatible with the theology of the Orthodox Church. And to teach the others that there is salvation in the schism is utterly impious, to be more precise, it is the greatest sin a man can do, and the Gospel terms it as “blasphemy of the Holy Ghost”. This is the sin of the abovementioned, the subject to this disclaimer.

The disclaimer is signed by:
+ John
Metropolitan of Veles and Povardarje and Exarch of Ohrid