Rare Documents about Macedonia - Petition of 1904 to the Sultan by Patriarch Joachim

Petition to Η. I. Majesty the Sultan

Your wise Imp. Majesty which from your High Impe­rial Throne overlooks your world-wide realm and has in your royal hands the reins of the complicated administration, knows everything and provides for everything and for everybody.

Your Imp. Majesty and your Government know all the horrible and detestable crimes that it are being committed by a certain class of desperate and rash Bulgarians, who are called commitadjis.

Their crimes and especially their murders of Greek priests and teachers and notables, and other aggressions and oppressions for their criminal and brutal purposes have excited the cons­cience of your loyal subjects, the Greeks. The seriousness and gravity of these murders and crimes has produced correspondent horror and indignation in the hearts of tho Greeks, who demand justice only, from your Majesty, whose faithful sub­jects they remain.

On behalf ot this loyal race, the Greeks, we request and demand justice, 0, Emperor ! Justice and deliverance from persecution and murder on the part of the commitadjis and safety of honour and life and conscience.

We feel deeply grieved to state that these infamous commitadjis are instruments of an Ecclesiastical Authority. The fact can he clearly shown from the nature of their crimes. They murder priests and teachers and notable Greeks, all those who will not become followers of the Schismatic Bulgarian Exarchate.

And they kill especially those persons, who are consi­dered to be the strong supports of the Orthodox Greek Church because, by their murder they hope to frighten and discourage those who remain faithful to their old principles and Eccle­siastic and National traditions. And thus indeed many are forced to give way.

Taking courage from the justice of your Majesty, wo make our earnest and hearty petitions that your Majesty will order the stopping of the Bulgarian persecutions against the Greeks and that liberty and freedom may by restored in the pra­ctice of the rights of the Patriarchate in connection with the Orthodox Christians who are faithful to its spiritual jurisdi­ction and are praying in the language of the Gospel to God, the Common Father and Ruler, that he may protect You and save You.

August 29, 1904. Patriarch JOACHIM

Source: “Official Documents concerning the Deplorable condition of Affairs in Macedonia”

By Christos

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