by the mercy of God, Orthodox Metropolitan of Veles and Povardarje and Exarch of Ohrid, with all the bishops of the Orthodox Archbishopric, we send Our best wishes to all the clergy, monastics and believing people of our local autonomous Church, sending them blessings and praying for the peace of God to be between us all, on occasion the celebration of Christmas and the new year, with the joyous Christmas greeting:


God and the Father, Who is the root of all initiative, had good will to send among the created His beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in order to make a bridge between Himself, uncreated by nature, and us, the created, so that we can by crossing through Him enter communion with God’s nature, just as the apostle says (2 Pet. 1:4). The purpose of Christ’s coming to earth, His acceptance to take on Himself the created nature and all the consequences, such as the suffering and the death, is non other than the fulfilment of a unity between God and man, between the uncreated and the created nature, predicted from eternity to happen in the Word of God, Who is Christ. God didn’t create the world so that it would perish, but to transform itself in communion with Him, and to achieve eternal life. Adam had this task, to transform himself and the world and never to cease the communion with the One Who breathed life into him and the created nature. But, he showed incompetent for this honour, unworthy for this expectation.

This is why the Father sent the New Adam, His beloved Son Who fulfilled that which was expected of Adam, to unite God and man, the uncreated and the created in an unbreakable unity of love and life. Christ came and became one of us, He took upon him the characteristics of the human nature, the hunger, the thirst, the fatigue, the pain, and finally the death, although by His godly nature He does not suffer, he voluntarily tasted suffering having one goal, to bring us to the point when we will not suffer, when we conquer death, to the pint of eternity.

This is why, as a Church, we sing to Him: “Christ is born, celebrate. Christ from the heavens, come out to greet Him.” When a new man is born, his birth is celebrated and makes happy the parents, the relatives and the friends. But, when the Saviour of the world is born, His birth is celebrated by the entire created nature, for Christ is its liberator and redeemer. Only by taking upon Himself the created nature, He deified the same, He transformed it, He made it worthy for a unity with God. Exactly this is man’s greatest joy, the fact that after Christ’s incarnation all hopelessness and meaninglessness of the fallen man was abolished. By coming to the world and receiving a human body, Christ gave meaning to man’s life, He introduced hope into the future, He presented the purpose of existence. He clearly showed the world that the unity between God and man is the basis for building a future in eternity.

Beloved brothers and sisters in God! Without the unity with Christ, Who is being born today because of us and our salvation, our life is meaningless, aimless and tragic. But, the unity with Christ is not only a theory and benevolence, it is work and practice. In order to have unity with Him it is necessary to leave the old man behind, the old Adam within us and to change into a new man, into Christ Who is the New Adam. Let us leave behind the deeds that cause discord between us, for life is short and we should use it for deeds that will be valued in eternity, and not on deeds that will be consumed by the tooth of time. Let us unite in Christ with the bond of peace that the world recognized on the day of His birth, a bond which should tie us together, not in order to enslave each other but to liberate ourselves, for the only bond that does not enslave and liberates is the bond we have with Christ.

Beloved children in God! The godless communistic regime that ruled in the Republic of Macedonia for 45 years, created the conditions for the present-day’s spiritual desolation in this country that constantly gives birth to new spiritual cripples. This communist government, in order to accomplish its atheistic plans, created a schism of the Church in the Republic of Macedonia with all the other Churches in the world, a schism that is very difficult to heal now. The mission of the communists was the destruction of the Church, and they considered that the easiest way to do this was by creating schisms. And they weren’t wrong. Indeed, they failed to destroy the Church, for it is God’s and indestructible, but they created the conditions for the birth of the already mentioned spiritual cripples that now sit in the Synod of the unrecognized by anyone Macedonian Orthodox Church. They infiltrated their people in the highest positions of the Church and now, those people, being unable to recognize the new reality of the social relations, as well as the need not only for the inter-orthodox integration, but also for the integration into Europe, and even the world, they act schismatically, separationisticaly, conformably, working only for their own pocket and for the interests of their closer family. Being placed to protect the interests of the godless regime, the bishops of the so-called MOC were chosen from among those who had more than one canonical obstacle to have this rank. Only if they were sinful before God, they were considered “worthy” for the trust of the atheists. The communism fell apart, but at the greatest misfortune of the Church these people remained at the highest positions and are the only monument of the atheistic regime in the Republic of Macedonia. It is not so important that they are incompetent for the responsible position they occupy, it is corrigible, say the people, it is not so important that they pile up treasures to leave to their successors, it can be forgiven, but the fact that they lead the people to disaster, that they lie and manipulate them, that they separate them from the rest of the orthodox ecumene, by which they separate them from Christ, and the Holy Trinity, that cannot be forgiven, not in this, and not in the century to come.

What Christ has united no one has the right to divide. No one has the right to divide the Church that Christ created. He came to the world to unite and he paid for that unity with His own blood. It is heartbreaking that the people positioned to direct towards that unity, which first of all are the bishops in the Church, work contrary to that. The bishops of the schismatic MOC do everything that is in their power to disunite Christ and the orthodox people of the R. Macedonia, and the orthodox people between each other. By protecting only their own interest and their own chair, they work against the Church, and at the same time against the people, they defend the schism using heretical methods and they are not far from being condemned for heresy. All the schisms in the Church, until now, have shown that if they weren’t healed in time they turned into heresies. For that is the tragedy of the schism, it defends its own weaknesses by all permissible methods, even by heresies, as nowadays the hierarchy of the schismatic Church in the R. Macedonia does.

But Christ who is the head of the Church will not allow laymen, who by some chance happened to be in the high hierarchy of the Church, to destroy the Church. The people in the R. Macedonia are no longer hopeless. They have their own Church, the Ohrid Archbishopric, their native episcopacy and a Synod of the archbishopric. Of course, it takes much time to organize the uninterrupted work of the spiritual authorities of the Ohrid Archbishopric on the whole territory of the R. Macedonia. The Synod of the schismatic organisation that calls itself MOC constantly spreads lies about he hierarchy of the Ohrid Archbishopric. Unfortunately, the media are subject to one part of those insinuations and now, by limiting the freedom of speech to the representatives of the Ohrid Archbishopric, the people remain uninformed and confused in relation to the events happening. But, still, those who believe that the Ohrid Archbishopric is a Serbian Church are rare, as are those who believe that, “as if” the Serbian Church through the bishops of the Ohrid Archbishopric tries to make the Macedonian people Serbian, or that the Serbian Patriarch and the Assembly of the SOC have national and territorial pretensions towards the Macedonians and the R. Macedonia. These are, of course, notorious lies that have no future, at least in this society of information. Not only because everything is transparent nowadays, but before all, because the time of all sorts of national propaganda is over. No one is interested in a national or territorial domination over someone else, but only, if it is possible, to make him financially dependent. No one needs one more territory for it is but one more headache. People need a wider region of economical rule, and this is gained by the abolition of the borders. This is why we are not afraid of the Serbs or anyone else from our neighbours, but we are afraid of those who are powerful enough to occupy us financially. And for this to happen, or at least to be delayed, it is necessary to unite with those who are our brothers by faith, the Orthodox. These, before all are the orthodox brothers from Serbia, but also from Greece, from Bulgaria, Romania, and even from Albania.

This is the message of today’s great feast, a feast of the unity between God and man, but also of the unity of people between each other. This unity begins with the personal renewal, renewal of the relations in the family, at the place of work, in the neighbourhood, on the street, at the market. The Christians are not much different from the others by their physical features as they are different by the belief that every person separately makes the total unity of the world. This is what Christ taught when He came in flesh so that He would transform each of us separately. This is why the real Christians start to build the unity through their own repentance. They do not wait for the others to make the first step, but they start to walk the part expected of them so that they could meet the other in the inseparable unity of love in which there are no divisions to Jews and Greeks, as the apostle Paul says (Gal. 3,28), but we are all one in Jesus Christ.

We wish that in the New Year all schisms in the R. Macedonia will cease, but also the one between our people in Australia, where the schismatic organisation MOC creates discords between the believers, unjustly taking from them what they have earned as property of the Church with tears and blood, once again because of the personal interests of certain individuals. We pray that the one-piece chiton of God stays in one piece, for the Church is much more than the personal earthly interests of each of us separately, but also of us together. The Church is a ship of salvation and is not for a one-time use as the schismatics think.

Summoned to unity by God Himself, Who, because of us, received a human body and became one of us, we use this occasion, through this circular missive, to summon once again that part of the God-loving clergy and the venerable monastics who still reside in schism, to throw off this soul-destroying condition and to enter the canonical frames of the Church, because outside of these frames there is no salvation. It is sad to waste years in an ambience of a spiritual desolation as is the ambience of the schism. It is sad to be a priest with schismatics who put the petty personal interests of their fake-bishops before Christ and the unity with His Body, but it is even sadder to be a monk in a schismatic organisation which doesn’t give the fruits of salvation. If you officiate and receive Communion with schismatics and bishops who have canonical obstruction to have that rank, or if you officiate and receive Communion with those who co-officiate and receive Communion with such, you are no different from them. You have a communion with their crime, and not a communion with the Church, which is the Body of the incarnate Christ, to Whom is the glory of all times.


Given in the Ohrid Archbishopric with a temporary location in Bitola, at Christmas 2003.

Your prayers before the incarnate Christ:

+ JOHN Metropolitan of Veles and Povardarje and exarch of Ohrid

With the members of the Holy Synod of the Ohrid Archbishopric:

+ JOACHIM Bishop Velichki and administrator of Polog and Kumanovo and

+ MARKO Bishop Dremvitski and administrator of Bitola