"We express our confidence in the political maturity of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, who in the upcoming referendum will exercise their democratic right of choice freely and in their own confidence”, the Synod said in a statement after yesterday's session.
This decision, according to the connoisseurs of church circumstances, was expected, and it could have been hinted at by the statements of the Synodic spokesman, Bishop Tomotej.
"The church summit starts from the fact that among the believers there are citizens with a variety of political provocations and that with their position on the "for" and "against" the referendum would cause reactions and revolt from the "opposite" side, says religious analyst Branko Gjorgevski.
The arguments in the claims about the church's purposefulness are gaining significance when it comes to the statute of the MOC within the Orthodox Church family. The period after the signed name agreement with Greece brought out many sparked reactions from the Serbian church dignitaries that the Ecumenical Patriarchate will give autocephaly to the Macedonian church without asking the SOC, which considers it has jurisdiction over the MOC. This summer, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew decided that he could announce the independence of the churches and without the consent of the other local Orthodox churches. That paved the way for the recognition of the MOC, despite the opposition of the Russian and the Serbian church, above all. For these reasons, the MOC top was carefully making its moves, starting from the request to the Bulgarian Church to become a mother church in the paving of the road to the fulfillment of the centuries-old dream – autocephaly and equality among the brotherly churches. The church top did not oppose loudly against the name agreement, although there were bishops in the interior ranks who openly opposed the agreement. One of them is the member of the Synod, the Metropolitan of Vardar Agatangel, who called on VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski to summon the membership and supporters of the boycott. In the letter that he sent, he begins with the historical VMRO 125 years ago, mentions the suffering of the Macedonian people throughout the generations in order to gain independence and freedom, but that today we were still surrounded by public and secret enemies in order to break the Macedonian tissue.
"You, Mr. Mickoski, have that opportunity and that historic responsibility, to be the leader of the people, who without pathetic calculating and politicizing, will stand in the forefront of the Macedonian national disobedience. The Macedonian people currently do not have many options available. They only have the opportunity to organize themselves and to prevent the attempt to be completely destroyed. This does not mean that I'm suggesting you take a rifle in your hand and go to the mountains. Be on the right side and openly in front of the whole world, and in front of all the Macedonian public, call for a boycott of the upcoming referendum, which in the near future is preparing to destroy Macedonia and the Macedonian people. I sincerely hope that you will be on the right side and you will not allow to be remembered as the first leader of the VMRO, who succumbed and in cooperation with the dark forces of this world has trampled the national interests of the Macedonian people”, said Bishop Agatangel.
Mickoski did not call for a boycott, but left every citizen to decide whether and how to vote. An attitude that is almost identical to the one that has been announced by the MOC as well.
"I would not put a sign of equality between this one and the position of VMRO-DPMNE, although they are of the same content. The Synod has so far backed the deal with Bulgaria, and has not reacted to the agreement with Greece as the largest opposition party. The MOC is awaiting recognition of autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and the condition for that is that the referendum be successful. So, the MOC top is very interested in its success. I take this attitude as a desire to remain neutral, aside, and not to create additional tension in society. Although, of course, the MOC top has the right to take such important issues under consideration. They chose to keep silent due to their own interests, and the public will be the judge of it”, Gjorgjevski concluded.