Bishop Agatangel of Veles issued a statement to respond to the praise and the criticism he received after he prayed for the restoration of Macedonia’s name and national dignity. Agatangel made the remarks during the celebration of St. Trifun in Kavadarci, where he also endorsed the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party and its leader Hristijan Mickoski, praying for God’s guidance for them in the task.

I was withdrawn from the public eye for a longer period, and did not respond to the current political events, as I was hopign that the Macedonian people will clearly see through the traps it has fallen into with the actions of this fully deracinated Government, which forcefully and inexplicably pushed forward with the name change, the “good neighborly debates” with Bulgaria to revise our history and placed the Macedonian people in a subordinate position toward others. This led of the rise of anti-statehood sentiments and the Government greatly overstepped its authority as executive. As bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church I’m daily in contact with our brothers and sisters from various ideological backgrounds and political convictions, who often express their concern and disappointment with this Government, which certainly does not listen to the pulse of the people and its needs and least of all looks after its pain that grew without measure over the past years, This is the people who the Government neglected, increased its existential woes, but also harmed its soul, the bishop said.

He added that he listened to the praise he received, but also to the criticism and came to a conclusion that “our Macedonia is not headed in the right direction. And all can see it now. We can’t get away from that fact any more”.