His Beatitude the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje kyr kyr Jovan (John) went to Prison Idrizovo
His Beatitude, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, kyr kyr Jovan (John), after confirming several times before the public that he would voluntarily go to serve the sentence to which he was convicted, went on his way to the prison Idrizovo, near Skopje. Previously, the Court of Appeal in Bitola rejected his demand to postpone the serving of the prison sentence. As those who gave the written order resolutely pointed out, the Archbishop kyr kyr John was given time until 26 July 2005, midnight, to appear in the prison Idrizovo. As a loyal citizen of the Republic of Macedonia and a man who respects the laws of the state, with the putting into effect of the resolution, went voluntarily to report in the prison.
However, the Macedonian society once again failed the exam of following the standards of democracy of the Euro-Atlantic civilization. During his traveling from Bitola to Skopje, the Archbishop kyr kyr John was followed and was stopped by the police on several occasions. When he was stopped, the Archbishop kyr kyr John and the vehicle in which he traveled were thoroughly inspected, however, not even once did the police give a written confirmation that it conducted an inspection.
When he was entering Skopje, in the suburb Avtokomanda, the police patrol stopped once again the Archbishop kyr kyr John asking for driving permits. After he gave those to the police, with verbal maltreatment and psychological harassment the same ordered the Archbishop kyr kyr John to transfer into the police vehicle. When the Archbishop asked them if they had a court order and if he could have a copy of the probable warrant, the policemen answered that they would give him a copy at the police station in Avtokomanda, where they invited his traveling companions as well. Yet, the police lied most brutally. Without allowing him to say good bye to his closest, without allowing his closest to take a blessing from their Arch-Pastor, asking him for his prayers, the police cruelly took him to the prison explaining that he was supposed to turn up there before 3 pm.
In the future we recommend the police of Bitola and of Skopje to agree if the period for appearing in the prison is 24 hours or if it is until 3 pm!!!
We remain with the bitterness of the uncivilized gesture which was referred to, even by some of the reporters, as kidnapping of the Archbishop kyr kyr John by the police so that the scenes of his sending away by the numerous priests, monks and members of the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric would be avoided.
Still, even when we think that this is the bottom of the being uncivilized of the contemporary Macedonian society, its being uncivilized proves to be a bottomless pit. When his closest arrived to the prison to bring him his necessary personal items and books, the policemen most ruthlessly threw away the book of the New Testament and his cassock (anteri - the priests black mantle) loudly shouting that these were strictly forbidden.
Bitterness befell you Macedonia when you treat like this an Archbishop recognized and confirmed by the entire Orthodox ecumene. You put him behind bars stripping his cassock from him, which is not a uniform but his skin, and you spit on the New Testament for the Christians, on the Koran for the Muslims, the Talmud for the Jews, where these are most needed.
Just as a reminder, we will mention that in the period, which as it proves was unjustly called, Ottoman oppression, he cassocks were never stripped from the imprisoned priests; as a matter of fact there are old documents and photographs to testify this.
His Beatitude the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje kyr kyr John actually testified that he is an icon of Christ of our holy Church. “And as blameless lamb before its shearer is dumb, so He opened not His mouth”. We testify that during all that time he did not utter a single foul word for those who persecute the Church in the Republic of Macedonia. This is exactly why, respecting the laws of the state, he went to serve his prison sentence. Then again, we will say that the verdict is completely unlawful, and we will not make a mistake if we emphasize that it is utter uncouthness. It is truly miserable that in the 21st century a court tries and convicts an Archbishop of a Church for his act according to the Gospel he preaches. It is a great shame for the Republic of Macedonia that the greatest part of its judges in the Courts of Fist Instance and in the Courts of Appeal are just a gang of ignorant and uneducated people who never touched either the Gospel, or other parts of the Holy Scripture. These people still live the communist’s dream of destroying the Church.
Yet, those who need to be ashamed are not. We, the Church of God, the most conscious part of the society are burdened with the shame they should carry. Indeed, after the mindless verdict for the Archbishop kyr kyr John we are ashamed to say that we are the citizens of this country called Republic of Macedonia.
For those who convicted His Beatitude, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, kyr kyr John for his Orthodox faith, showing Republic of Macedonia as a country that nurtures a fierce religious discrimination, we can only say what the Gospel teaches us: “Lord forgive them for they know not what they are doing”.