Macedonia's Orthodox Church removes ban on its clergy using Facebook, will impose restrictions

SKOPJE, Macedonia – Macedonia’s Orthodox Church has backtracked from an initial ban on its clergy using Facebook, but says it will instead impose social networking restrictions.

The decision to prohibit use of the site in October sparked tensions between older Church dignitaries who don’t use the Internet and the younger clergy.

Church officials at the time had said the ban was intended to prevent “new phenomena of confessions and intimate conversations with young people.”

On Thursday, Bishop Clement, secretary of the Holy Synod, which governs Macedonia’s Church, said officials would “clarify” how members of the clergy would be allowed to use Facebook. He did not offer further details.

About two-thirds of Macedonia’s 2 million people are Orthodox Christians.