Saturday, January 05, 2008

Formation of the Autocephalous Church of FYROMacedonia

the below article is abstract from the great book of George Papavisas with the title Claiming Macedonia: The Struggle for the Heritage, Territory and the Name of the Historic Hellenic Land, 1862-2004 and has as subject the formation of the Autocephalous Church of fYROMacedonia

Formation of the Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia"Continuing efforts to sever the link between the newly created "Mace­donians" and the other Balkan Slavs and Bulgarians, and to boost the Macedonian consciousness (Palmer and King 1971), the government of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia, with CPY's support, formed the Orthodox Church of "Macedonia" in 1967 with Skopje as the seat, despite protests by the Serbian Patriarchate. None of the other five Yugoslav republics had an autocephalous church. It was the only church formed by a communist regime, whose motto in the past was Lenin's dictum: "Religion is the opium of the masses." The Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia" broke the reli­gious ties of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia's Slavomacedonians with the Serbs and Bulgarians. Little by little everything became "Macedonian" in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia: history, culture, heroes, monu­ments, music, events, locations, language, even the Greek Civil War of 1946-1949 (which they renamed the "Macedonian National Liberation War") and, finally, the church in 1967.

By playing with the two meanings of the name, the ethnic and the geographic, history revisionists in Skopje constructed an artificial "Macedonian" nationality from Serbs and Bul­garians and created such confusion among unsuspecting foreigners who were unable to distinguish between the two meanings," assuming that everything Macedonian must belong to the Slavs of the Vardar Province or "Macedonia."

The formation of the independent Church of "Macedonia" solved the religious affiliation problem faced by the diaspora Slavic emigrants. From the beginning of the twentieth century to 1967 slavophone immigrants in the United States, Canada, and Australia attended the Macedono-Bulgar-ian Orthodox Church affiliated with the Bulgarian Exarchate. After 1967, however, the members of the Macedonian Patriotic Organization (MPO) split into two groups, the Bulgarophiles, who still attend the Macedono-Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and the Skopje-oriented slavophones, who attend the Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia."

The Autocephalous Church of "Macedonia" was formed in violation of the rules of the Orthodox Church to strengthen Macedonia's autonomy vis-a-vis Serbia —autonomy expressed with the slogan "one state, one church, one nation" . The independent "Macedonian" Orthodox Church also founded an extremely active bishopric in America and propagandized extensively on the Macedonian Question as a CPY tool. The church's intense "Macedonian" activism in the United States and Canada is supported by about thirty thousand Slav-speakers who continue to stir provocatively the Macedonian problem. The slavophones in Amer­ica, mostly of Yugoslav origin, who emigrated after 1950, became the most vociferous people on the Macedonian issue, with their activism continuing unabated today in the press, on television, and on the Internet.

"for fair use only"

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