Archimandrite Neophyte in Skopje to Bulgarian Exarch Joseph in Constantinople, 1910!

June 25, 1910
Archimandrite Neophyte in Skopje to Bulgarian Exarch Joseph in Constantinople:

Starting from some time ago, as I have already informed You several times, matters in the eparchy, and especially here have not developed as they should. The Eparchy Council, which, as You know, consists of the town’s elders, has decided to send You a letter in which it strongly condemns the candidature of the former Metropolitan of Skopje, Theodosius, and among other things, upon my suggestion writes the following in the protest: “Outraged, we read in the newspapers that a group of villains wishes at any cost to urge the population – the voters of the Skopje Eparchy – to bring back that typical intransigent, Theodosious, as the Metropolitan of the Skopje Eparchy. This is the same Theodosius who 17 or 18 years ago wanted to separate the Skopje Eparchy from the Exarchate and proclaim himself an independent Metropolitan. For this purpose, he then made a special seal on which he deleted the words “Bulgarian Exarchate”, so sacred to us, and printed his own baptismal certificates, marriage certificates and other documents; he did not fulfill the circular letters and the orders of the Exarchate, etc. Yet, since at that time there were not such a strong anti-Bulgarian movement among the local Bulgarians, it was possible for the Exarchate to remove this dangerous schismatic in time and thereby preserve the unity of the Bulgarian Church in Turkey. Now this same schismatic, contrary to Exarchist interests, wishes to restore his eparchy and continue his dishonest business of disuniting our Bulgarian people. We protest most strongly against his nomination as Metropolitan of Skopje, because he insults the Bulgarian feeling among the population”. Unfortunately, Your Grace, if the Eparchy Council has such people with common sense, this is not the case with some craftsman’s circles, which have come under the influence of Mr. Petar Pop Arsov, a teacher, who has taken the idea into his head that he is a leader of the people. He constantly speaks against the Exarchate and its leadership, including myself, and urges the craftsman to support Metropolitan Theodosios’ candidature, since he once suffered for defending the interests of the Macedonians. It would not be superfluous if I informed You about another problem, which, I presume, will represent a kind of plot in this whole election propaganda. I have understood from some members of the Council that Krste Petkov, who at one time started “Misirkovism”, had requested from certain relative of his, living here in Skopje, that he put him in touch with this teacher, Petar Pop Arsov, in connection with collecting songs about Krale Marko in the Skopje district, and Mr. Pop Arsov was so kind as to agree immediately. I am writing this to you, Your Grace, a justified suspicion that schismatic forces are being brought to life here. The said Mr. Krste Misirkov expressed in a letter to his relative has desire to return to Macedonia, more precisely, to come to Skopje as soon as Macedonia was liberated. The man wished to be a professor at the Skopje university (?!). If this is true, and there are no reasons for lying to me, then You may conclude Yourself what danger threatens the Bulgarian idea in these historic times. Just imagine if the “Misirkovism” of Mr. Krste, the “separatism’ of His Grace Theodosius and the “autonomism” of Mr. Petar Pop Arsov joined together! I am of the opinion, Your Grace, upon the basis of the protest by the Eparchy Council (which was, after all, published in the press) that the candidature of His Grace Theodosius should be withdrawn, by which a danger of as yet unseen proportions for the Bulgarian cause in Macedonia would be evaded. I remain Your Grace’s younger brother in Jesus Christ and I pray for You.

From the book “Diskusija – K.P. Misirkov i nacionalno-kulturniot razvoj na makedonskiot narod do Osloboduvanjeto”, Zbornik Misirkov, Simpozium, Skopje, Institut za makedonski jazik, by S. Dimevski, 1975, pages 338-339.

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