The Dispute between the Macedonian and Serbian Orthodox Churches “Becomes” a NATO Conspiracy to Shatter Orthodoxy
A recent visit by Technical Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski and ex-Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to the Ecumenical Patriarchate headquarters in Istanbul and their talks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew have stirred great interest in the Serbian public. But in addition to news intended to inform the public, examples of developing conspiracy theories against the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and against Orthodoxy, in general, can be found
A recent visit by Technical Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski and ex-Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to the Ecumenical Patriarchate headquarters in Istanbul and their talks with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew have stirred great interest in the Serbian public. But in addition to news intended to inform the public, examples of developing conspiracy theories against the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) and against Orthodoxy, in general, can be found.
One of the more remarkable examples can be seen in an article that is supposed to resemble an analysis in the Serbian online media, “Justice” – entitled – DARK PLOT OF THE WEST DISCOVERED! SERBIAN CHURCH UNDER ATTACK!: “The Eastern Pope” as a soldier in the global NATO attack against Orthodoxy.
Under such a shocking headline, the article begins with a brief quote from a statement given by the Constantinople Patriarchate after the meetings. This can be confirmed by two to three sources, including the IBNA agency, the Orthodox portal Romfea and some other sources.
But, instead of just informing the public, the media continues with an interview from the church publicist Vladimir Dimitrijevic and then, from informing, switches to conspiracy theories.
The point he discloses is that after a failed attempt for an Ecumenical Congress in Crete, boycotted by the Russian Orthodox Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and its leader, Bartholomew, “with the help of NATO friends begins to play a global game aimed at proving to the Slavic Orthodox churches that they are ‘premature churches’ and that only Bartholomew has the right to grant autonomy and decide which church is autonomous and which one is not.”
The beginnings of this “game”, according to Mr. Dimitrijevic,` could be traced to a 2014 statement by Swedish diplomat Carl Bildt, when he warned of the danger of Russian Orthodoxy. The text goes on to state the situation in some of the Orthodox churches around the world, thus reaching the thesis that the target of the present game was, in fact, the SOC, since it was in the most sensitive place between the East and the West, and that Bartholomew, in doing so, wanted to confirm that he is also in the rank of a pope.
By this act, the Patriarch of Constantinople, when it comes to the SOC, wants to show that there is something that the Orthodox tradition has never allowed him – the right to be an Eastern Pope – “Justice” quote their interlocutor.
Since this thesis is supported by the intention to grant autonomy to the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC), regardless of the SOC response, it then goes on to the problem with the Montenegrin Orthodox Church and the current situation in Montenegro with protests over the new legal solutions related to the SOC and so on. The article concludes that the main aim is, in fact, to weaken the Serbian Church.
These unsupported claims would have been avoided only if the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s statement had been cautiously re-quoted following the Patriarch’s meeting with political representatives from Skopje. That statement clearly shows that the focus of interest of the Constantinople Patriarchate is mediation and that Bartholomew, besides the position of MOC, wants to hear the position of SOC as well.