Head of Macedonian schismatics: Phanar’s actions give us optimism
After Patriarch Bartholomew accepted for consideration the appeal of Macedonian schismatics in a non-canonical church structure, they are full of hope for autocephaly.
The head of the schismatic Macedonian church, "archbishop" Stefan Veljanovsky of Ohrid and Macedonia, believes that with the help of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the Orthodox Churches will "learn the truth" about the unrecognized MOC and take it into their family. The “hierarch” publicly shared his optimism regarding the possible recognition of the church structure he leads on January 19, according to a story from the Macedonian television channel Sitel Televizia.
Veljanovsky recalled that on January 13, at Phanar, Patriarch Bartholomew received Prime Minister of North Macedonia Oliver Spassovsky and his predecessor Zoran Zaev, with whom he discussed ways to resolve the church situation in the state, and thanked the patriarch “for his determination to accept the appeal from the Macedonian Church and put the issue of its autocephaly on the agenda.”
“We thank His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew for what he started, for the fact that he accepted the appeal and heard the voice of our Orthodox people that we wish eucharistic unity with all Orthodox Christians,” the “primate” of the Macedonian schismatics emphasized.
He added that he was optimistic that, with the help of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Orthodox Churches would “learn the truth about the MOC” and recognize it as part of their family. At the same time, he prays that "the Lord will enlighten the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Church of Northern Macedonia so that they move in the right direction to resolve ecclesiastic problems."
Recall that in the territory of the state of Northern Macedonia there is a canonical Ohrid Archdiocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church and a breakaway Macedonian Orthodox Church, which does not have recognition in the Orthodox world.
Earlier, the Macedonian media reported that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople intends to resolve the issue of autocephaly of the Macedonian Church. According to journalists, Phanar officially reaffirmed its desire to resolve the issue of autocephaly of the unrecognized MOC, "despite the opposition of the Serbian and Russian Orthodox Churches."