Dositej, Metropolitan of Skopje
|Metropolitan of Skopje|
|Other posts||Bishop of Toplica (1951–58)|
|Birth name||Dimitrija Stojkovski|
|Born||7 December 1906
Smederevo, Kingdom of Serbia
|Died||20 May 1981
Skopje, SFR Yugoslavia
|Buried||Church of St. Demetrius, Skopje|
|Alma mater||Bitola theological school|
Dositej Stojković (Serbian and Macedonian: Доситеј Стојковић) was the Metropolitan of Skopje, under the canonical jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church from 1959 to 1967, when he became the primate of the self-proclaimed Macedonian Orthodox Church. He remained on that position until his death in 1981.
Dimitrije Stojković (Димитрије Стојковић) was born on 7 December 1906 in Smederevo, Kingdom of Serbia, to father Lazar and mother Sofija. His family were Serbian Patriarshists from Mavrovo, Ottoman Macedonia. He finished primary school and gymnasium in Belgrade. Dositej entered the theological school in Sremski Karlovci in 1922. He took monastic vows in the Kičevo Monastery in 1924. Between 1924 and 1932 he was a fellowman of Hilandar and then Gračanica. He finished theological school in Bitola in 1937. He graduated from the Theological Faculty in Belgrade in 1942. In 1947 he was appointed administrator of the Patriarchal Court in Sremski Karlovci, and in 1948 he was appointed archimandrite.
The Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church appointed archimandrite Dositej as vicar bishop of Toplica in 1951, as an aide bishop to the Serbian Patriarch. He was included in negotiations to resolve contentious church issues in Macedonia. At the end of 1951, the "Initiative Board" in Skopje demanded from Patriarch Vikentije II that Metropolitan of Skopje Josif Cvijović be replaced by bishop Dositej. Although the demand was not met, it was followed by several in the coming years, with growing support from the regime. On 4 October 1958, Dositej was uncanonically proclaimed the "Archbishop of Ohrid, and Skopje, and Metropolitan of Macedonia" in an assembly in Ohrid. He then left his regular duties in Belgrade and put himself as the head of this schismatic group, which banned the canonical archiereus Josif Cvijović to return to his eparchy. Following the Communist regime's pressure, the Assembly of the Serbian Orthodox Church, after its 3–19 June 1959 session, recognized Dositej as the Metropolitan of Skopje. Despite the canonical order, Dositej and two other bishops established the "Archieretical Synod of the Autonomous Orthodox Church in NR Macedonia". In order to preserve peace, the Serbian Orthodox Assembly formalized Dositej's decisions, as he had committed to that certain irregularities in the constitution of the Macedonian Church be removed. However, in the following years it was shown that gaining autonomy was only an intermediate step towards requesting autocephaly. In an assembly in Ohrid in 1967, the autocephality of the Macedonian Orthodox Church was uncanonically proclaimed, leading to an open schism, the move not recognized by the Serbian Orthodox Church nor any other autocephalous church. Dositej and the other bishops of the schismatic Orthodox Church in Macedonia were indicted in the canonical Serbian Orthodox Church court. In the coming years there were repeated negotiations on settlement, but without results. Dositej continued holding the status of schismatic.
- Slijepčević, Đoko M. (1958). The Macedonian Question: The Struggle for Southern Serbia. Chicago: The American Institute for Balkan Affairs.
- Вуковић, Сава (1996). Српски јерарси од деветог до двадесетог века (Serbian Hierarchs from the 9th to the 20th Century). Београд: Евро.
- Пузовић, Предраг (1999). "Раскол у Српској православној цркви - македонско црквено питање (The Rift in the Serbian Orthodox Church - The Macedonian Church Issue)". Вардарски зборник (1): 155–173.
|Eastern Orthodox Church titles|
|Metropolitan of Skopje
|Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia