The patriarch Irinej and the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) have rejected the request that was sent by the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and have banned Macedonia from celebrating Ilinden at the premises of “Prohor Pchinski” monastery.
As the Serbian portal Alo reports, SPC’s management and patriarch Irinej have no intention to grant a visit to the monastery for an official delegation from Macedonia led by Zoran Zaev.
-Patriarch Irinej is very divisive about the ban. As he said, until SPC’s status and of its priests is improved in Macedonia there will be no talks for the possibility of allowing any delegation from Skopje to visit the monastery in Serbia and to celebrate the Ilinden uprising. The patriarch and the patriarchy have demanded from the Macedonian authorities to do something about the status of Serbian priests in Macedonia, but have always hit a wall with the state institutions in Macedonia. Patriarch Irinej is mad and has said many times: “No way I will allow our monastery to celebrate Ilinden. They wanted our monasteries in Kosovo to be given tot he Albanians and now they won’t be able to celebrate their own holidays” – said ALO’s source in the Patriarchy.
The Head of the Serbian Diplomacy, Ivica Dachic, has given a statement for the portal that only SPC can decide whether it will approve Macedonia to have a celebration at the monastery.
-The Republic of Macedonia is sending a request each year to celebrate the holiday. We, both as a ministry and a government, are forwarding the request to the SPC, and there is no reply from there at all. The reason for that is because the monastery is owned by SPC so it has to agree first regarding this request – said Dachikj.
A day before yesterday in Sarajevo, Zaev said that Serbia is a great friend to Macedonia and that he hopes for additional improvement of the relations between the two countries. He also stated that they still haven’t received a request for the request by the Macedonian delegation to celebrate Ilinden at “Prohor Pchinski monastery.