The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is saddened to have learned about the passing of Polosko-Kumanovski Metropolitan Kiril of the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric.
“Bishop Kiril was one of the pillars of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and our national movement, not only at home but abroad, one of the most well-respected Bishops by the Diaspora. His loss is a great loss not only for the MOC but also for the entire Macedonian nation,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski.
“I participated in numerous meetings at the American-Canadian Diocese level, and heard Bishop Kiril speak at numerous functions in the U.S. and Canada, and you could not find a more eloquent and charismatic spokesperson and advocate for the MOC and its communities abroad. We will miss him dearly,” concluded Koloski.
Polosko-Kumanovski Metropolitan Kiril, the oldest member of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and only surviving signatory of the 1967 autocephalous declaration of the Church, was born June 23, 1934 in Carev Dvor, Prespa region, Macedonia. He finished secondary religious school in Prizren, in present day Kosovo.
In 1964, Bishop Kiril entered monastic life at the Monastery of the Immaculate Mother of God (St. Bogorodica Precista) in Kicevo. In 1965, he went on to study at the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1967, he returned to Macedonia to help resurrect the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric, which was abolished by the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in 1767.
He was the only surviving signatory of the historic autocephalous declaration, which was signed by then Archbishop Dositej, and Metropolitans Kliment, Naum, and Metodij. Bishop Kiril was a vocal advocate for an independent Republic of Macedonia, and was under constant pressure by communist Yugoslav authorities.
Bishop Kiril was the founder of the American-Canadian Macedonian Orthodox Diocese in 1969 and served as its administrator till 1987. He also founded and served as Administrator of the Australian Diocese till 1982. Under his leadership, many Macedonian Orthodox communities were started in Australia, Canada, and the United States. He was declared an honorary citizen of more than fifteen cities in these countries.