The newly appointed bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, Parteniy, was welcomed by his followers with a carpet of flowers strewn in the Bigorski monastery.

Parteniy will lead a newly established bishopric in the church – covering Debar and Kicevo, from a see in the Bigorski monastery. In his message, shared by the monastery, Parteniy promised to work for love and goodness, which he said is the foundation of the brotherhood and sisterhood of the monastery.

His appointment drew divided comments, as he would welcome high ranking Bulgarian politicians to the monastery in the midst of the divisive talks about the Zaev – Borisov treaty. Parteniy’s critics say that his appointment will increase the influence of the Bulgarian church in the Macedonian synod as the two countries remain locked in a dispute over the national history and identity.