Patriarch appeal in vain

Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski has no authority over the investigation against Serbian Orthodox bishop Zoran Vraniskovski, a source in the president’s office told Beta news agency.

The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Pavle, wrote to Trajkovski yesterday, calling for the immediate release of Traniskovski, known as Bishop Jovan.

The bishop was arrested on Sunday by Macedonian police and remanded in custody for 30 days. He was charged with disseminating religious and racial hatred.

The arrest was the latest incident in a decades-old dispute between the Serbian and Macedonian Orthodox Churches.

Trajkovski returns to Macedonia tomorrow from a trip to Portugal. It is not yet known whether he has agreed to Patriarch Pavle’s request for a meeting.