Patriarchal Letter to the Prime Minister of FYROM Mr. Vlado Buckovski.
Prot. No. 799
While we were in the process of resolving a peaceful way for our Holy and Great Church of Christ to
mediate between the Holy Churches of Serbia and Skopje that are in a dispute and as we were
coming to a conclusion of this matter, the arrest and imprisonment of His Eminence Metropolitan
John, which received great attention from the Mass Media, has deeply saddened and puzzled us.
We are of the opinion that in inter-ecclesial issues of such grave importance that self-restraint, the
study of the problem in the spirit of the Gospel and with Christian-like patience, and peaceful dialogue
should prevail. This is due to the fact that the Church cannot justify in any case adopting worldly means
in her administration and in this way being exposed to the whole of the Ecclesiastical body.
Since we have ascertained from our personal meeting with you that you indeed honestly wish for the
settling of this ecclesiastical issue according to unchangeable Canon Law of the Orthodox Church, we
would like to ask paternally Your Excellency to give counsel to Their Eminences the Hierarchs to
return to the table of negotiations with the Holy Church of Serbia, stating that our Modesty is always
willing to assist and intercede in the peaceful resolution of this problem that has greatly saddened the
entire body of the Local Orthodox Churches.
In addition, as a demonstration of good will, we encourage Your beloved Excellency to order the
immediate release of His Eminence John from prison, since the impression that has been formed
abroad about the infringement of human rights in your country, as we have witnessed, is very
unfavourable and works against your international relations, especially in view of your country's
aspiring accession to the European Union.
Thus, invoking the abundant grace and enlightenment of God upon the prime ministerial work of Your
Excellency, we remain with deep love in the Lord and every esteem.
11 August 2005
fervent supplicant before God,
+ Bartholomew of Constantinople
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