The old monument is not broken, but a new one has been installed and all the locals of the village of Klepac are behind it. They wanted to send a message that they do not agree with the falsification of history by Bulgaria. Yes, Duke Velko Skocivirceto and the eight of his generals died in a battle with Turkish army in 1904, but they did not fight for the unification of Macedonia with Bulgaria, as it was written on the monument, but for an independent Macedonia. The monument was placed between 1914 and 1918, during the First World War, when the Bulgarians wrote about “Macedonia’s accession to Bulgaria” on it. However, all the locals of Klepac unanimously decided to change the monument and to change that part of the content, so that it would be in Macedonian language, because there are current direct heirs to some of the dead, Metropolitan of Prespa and Pelagonija, Bishop Petar told Pressing TV.
Bishop Petar emphasizes that according to the Constitution, the Church is separate from the stat, ie politics has no right to interfere in church affairs, just as the Church has no right to interfere in state affairs.
We have been exposed to provocations and pressures by Bulgarian politicians for a long time, especially the consuls. Two of them, until I told them that I no longer wanted to come to me, nor I to go to see them, they took the liberty of attacking us, for example, over the change of the icon of the “Holy Trinity”, which is located in the church “St. Bogorodica” in Bitola.`It was placed non-canonically and we decided to place a new icon, and they started using tricks, supposedly, how can you change the icon now, they wanted to prevent us from doing that, says Bishop Petar.
According to him, the goal of the Bulgarian politicians is to present the church as their own and to say that the population is Bulgarian, which has nothing to do with reality.
Simply, they want to divide us. There is no way that churches can be determined by the former jurisdiction. The Serbian, Constantinople Patriarchate, the Bulgarian and even the Albanian Church had jurisdiction over these areas. And here there are ulterior motives. The purpose of such provocations and pressures is to show that we did not have a church until 1958, when the independence of the MOC dates back, and thus that there was no Macedonian nation, emphasizes Bishop Petar.
Bishop Petar also underlined that for the last twenty years they have not had any disputes or misunderstandings with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.