Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: our beloved brother, Archbishop Jovan is persecuted solely because of his adherence to the canonical Church
In his homily during the Divine Liturgy which he officiated during the celebration of 1700 years of the Edict of Milan, His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew spoke of several burning issues for the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church.
Patriarch Bartholomew also indicated the persecution that is being performed against Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, the canonical Church in FYR Macedonia! In his addressing, he stated:
“… furthermore, in our orthodox ecclesiastical milieu, various schisms, apostasies, and even heresies are appearing; thieves and robbers who do not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climb in by some other way (John 10, 2-3). Hierarchs are being persecuted, as for example His Beatitude and our beloved brother, Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid; priests, monastics and faithful people are being persecuted because they respect the canonical order, they recognize their spiritual adherence to the canonical Churches and they do not enlist in the anti-canonical – supported by various state factors – seemingly ecclesiastical formations, and thus, as the blessed John the Chrysostom says, they are being persecuted “only because the bear Christ’s name”.
Every soberly-thinking man will understand that these words are loudly witnessing across the world, that the state apparatus of FYR Macedonia is not capable of practicing the Edict of Milan, hence it demonstrates that our homeland is brought back to the times before the Edict and not all citizens are equally allowed to enjoy religious freedoms!
Despite all this, may St Constantine the Great be a motivation and an example for every political leader!
It should not be forgotten that the Edict of Milan was signed by two Emperors who at the time of the signing were not Christians, but they knew what was the interest of the state: “may each one have the free opportunity to worship as he pleases; this regulation is made that we may not seem to detract from any dignity of any religion” (from the text of the Edict of Milan)!
No matter how hard they try to mislead and misinform the domestic public by spreading untruths about Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid and the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, the reality is revealing them, hence certain political figures, schismatics and journalists in the Orthodox world are being recognized exactly as those who raise their hands against Christ himself!