Macedonia authorities to discuss autocephaly for MOC with Serbian Patriarch

29 June 2021 17:29
Macedonia authorities to discuss autocephaly for MOC with Serbian Patriarch

The President of North Macedonia is convinced that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is a body that can undoubtedly grant autocephaly to the “Macedonian Church”.

The issue of autocephaly for the "Macedonian Church" unrecognized in the Orthodox world should be discussed with the new Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Porfirije. This was stated by the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, after a recent meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in Istanbul, reports the Serbian edition Novosti.

Pendarovski noted this is "a procedure in which the canons of the church will be observed." At the same time, according to him, “the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the body that can undoubtedly grant autocephaly to the Macedonian Church.”

“Now the Serbian Orthodox Church, which opposes the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and where we should go to obtain autocephaly, has a new Patriarch. He also needs to be consulted. I would not like to comment further,” he said.

Pendarovski explained that he could not disclose the details of his conversation with Patriarch Bartholomew, which took place the day before in Istanbul, but he had already communicated all the details to the leadership of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.

He also stressed that, unlike the Serbian Orthodox Church, there is “no problem” with the Bulgarian Church, “but, as I heard from the leadership of the MOC, from the moment we asked for help until today, the BOC has not lifted a finger to help us.”

Recall that on September 16, 2020, Stevo Pendarovski wrote a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, in which he asked for autocephaly for the "Macedonian Orthodox Church - Ohrid Archdiocese" (MOC-OA), unrecognized in the Orthodox world.

On June 19, 2021, Pendarovski visited Istanbul, where he met with the head of Phanar.

There is only one canonical Orthodox Church in North Macedonia – the Ohrid Archdiocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church, headed by Archbishop Ioann (Vraniskovski). The authorities of the Republic of North Macedonia refuse to register the Archdiocese of Ohrid despite the decision of the European Court of Human Rights.


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