Sofia, January 26, 2018
His Holiness Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria recently expressed hope for the future of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, stating that there is a consensus on the main issues for moving forward in the future. His statement came in response to a question of what to expect in the near future regarding the rapprochement between the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church, reports religija.mk.
The Macedonian Orthodox Church is currently in schism from the rest of the Orthodox world, unrecognized by any Local Autocephalous Church.
“There have been strong meeting and talks. We try to listen attentively, to maintain a good tone, and to meet the hierarchs and the people on whom the movement of this matter depends. Thank God for having a consensus on the main issues for future unity,” His Holiness emphasized.
Asked if he would participate in the upcoming celebrations on the occasion of the 1,000th anniversary of the creation of the Ohrid Archbishopric, situated in present-day Macedonia, Pat. Neofit replied, “We will try to think of how to mark this event… We will strive to serve the love and peace of Christ.”
In November, the Macedonian Orthodox Church reached out to the Bulgarian Church, stating that it was prepared to accept the Bulgarian Church as its Mother Church, and asking its help in becoming a canonical, recognized Orthodox Church. The Bulgarian Church replied that it would do what it could to help, which has caused consternation in the Serbian Orthodox Church, from which the Macedonian Church originally schismed, and the Greek Orthodox Church, which fiercely objects to the use of the name “Macedonia.”
Meetings between the Bulgarian and Macedonian Churches began on December 21.