Macedonian hierarch certain of autocephaly after Patriarch Bartholomew receives large delegation

Prespa, North Macedonia, December 20, 2021

Patriarch Bartholomew meets with a large delegation from the unrecognized MOC. Photo: Patriarch Bartholomew meets with a large delegation from the unrecognized MOC. Photo:     

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is consistent in his actions, and if he started something, he will see it through, said one bishop of the “Macedonian Orthodox Church” (MOC) when asked about the status of the unrecognized MOC’s search for autocephaly.

Thus, Petar (Karevski), the MOC hierarch of Prespa and Pelagonia, is certain the process of recognition of the MOC by Constantinople will begin soon, he said on North Macedonian television, reports

His comments come just after Pat. Bartholomew received a large MOC delegation in Constantinople to discuss the autocephaly process.

Perhaps this work may be postponed a bit because of the pandemic and other conditions, “but I hope that through his wisdom he will take certain steps as soon as possible so that we as a people and as an Orthodox Church can be just as respected as others because we are not schismatics, as some call us,” the MOC hierarch said.

Recall that the MOC separated from the Serbian Orthodox Church in the 1960s and has been considered schismatic by the Orthodox world ever since, although, unlike the situation in Ukraine where the canonical Church is the largest confession and the schismatics are divided amongst themsleves, the MOC unites the overwhelming majority of the North Macedonian population.

On December 8, OrthoChristian reported that monks of the MOC’s Bigorsky Monastery received Holy Communion at a Liturgy celebrated by Bishop Philotheos of Oreoi, vicar of the Greek primate Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens, although the Greek Church doesn’t canonically recognize the MOC or share canonical communion with it.

OrthoChristian also reported that a MOC delegation met with Pat. Bartholomew and that the discussion went well for the unrecognized church, although the Patriarch stipulated that it must remove the word “Macedonian” from its title if it wants to receive autocephaly.

The story was covered by North Macedonian and other outlets a week later, after which Petar of Prespa was asked about the status of the autocephaly project.

MOC hierarchs, including Petar of Prespa, have repeatedly expressed confidence over the past few years that their negotiations with Pat. Bartholomew will continue to move forward and that they will eventually receive a tomos of autocephaly from him.

North Macedonian politicians have also called upon Constantinople to grant autocephaly to the MOC.

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Marko5/25/2022 10:51 am
@orthochristian, 'North Macedonian' is not the correct reference to the people of this state according to the Prespa agreement. The adjectival reference for the people remains "Macedonian" as part of that agreement, perhaps you should read the agreement before reporting on issues concerning use of the terms Macedonia, North Macedonia and Macedonians. The Archbishopric of Ohrid is older than the Serbian Church, so how can the younger Church grant autocephaly to a Church that is older than itself? Only a little reading and you can find that Ohrid held many dioceses that are in Serbia today and lost its power under the Sultan who backed the Constantinople Patriarch at the time to abolish the Ohrid Archbishopric in the 1700s.
Panagiotis12/22/2021 1:01 am
To Orthodox Brother Misirac: As far as I know, everything that you said is true and makes sense... The Imposter Tito hated the Serbian People and he intentionally dismembered and weakened Serbia... The real Josip Broz Tito died in the Spanish Civil War... The Imposter Tito was from a wealthy family from Poland... Per Declassified NSA report, the Imposter Tito did not speak serbo croatian like a native inhabitant of Yugoslavia would, but instead spoke serbo-croatian like someone from Poland or Russia would.. The man called Tito was an imposter... original Tito was born into a peasant family and lost at least one finger in a work accident... The Imposter Tito played the piano and he had all 10 fingers and was aristocratic.. Just my opinion...
Mariko Hishamunda12/21/2021 6:51 pm
Please God this situation will be regularized soon. The Pech Patriarchate should be mature enough to let its older sister (the Church of Ohrid) go from its jurisdiction, but if it can't accept history or the present day reality, then isn't this precisely when the first among equals should receive appeals and heal this unnecessary schism?
Ivan12/21/2021 1:35 pm
What’s the worst is that these Macedonian people from Bigorski monastery(the delegation that went to Pat. Bartholomew) are not even claiming that they are Macedonians, they claim that they are Bulgarians. So the goal is only political. Everything is according to the canons in MOC but they do not accept our identity. Neither of our neighbors accept it. My grandfather as a boy had to escape at dark through the mountains just to save himself from the Greek aggression, I don’t know why they are not accepting the fact that there is Macedonian language, my ancestors spoke this language and there are hundreds of thousands who still do on the Greek territory, but guess what? It is still not recognized as a language of a minority. It is what it is. We are not schismatics because our neighbors are not accepting the name “Macedonian” and these traitors probably want to erase the name “Macedonian” from the MOC and to recognize the Bulgarian as their “mother” church, whatever that means. But God will save us and holy people are saying that soon God will intervene and sort our this mess we have made. God be with you and may He help us to unite all of us who are Orthodox Christians, amen.
antonio parra12/21/2021 1:11 pm
Misirac12/21/2021 12:12 pm
@Panagiotis: With such ideas in few decades we could have every region, town or village asking for own "church", Orthodox protestantism. All those temples, monasteries and churches in Vardar Macedonia was build by Serbian kings and Serbian people, that part od land was known as "Old Serbia", so if some other nation wants own buildings they should build them by them own, not to retake from others. Besides, so called "macedonian church" was founded under blessing of Communist Party of Yugoslavia 1967, their spiritual and national leader was Tito, there was no "macedonian" nation nor state before WW2 and communism.
Panagiotis12/21/2021 4:36 am
To Orthodox Brother Nick: Most of the Macedonian People do not want to remain part of the Serbian Church, so why does Serbian Church want them to? Why doesn't Serbian Church let them go, and let them have their own independent church? The Macedonian People have a right to their own Independent Macedonian Orthodox Church, just like the Serbian Orthodox do, just like the Greek Orthodox do, just like the Russian Orthodox do, and so forth... the Truth is the Truth, and we should not be hypocrites, and the North Macedonian Slavic People should have their own independent church... I do not take any pleasure in saying this since I love the Serbian People... All of the Orthodox People are my brothers ..... Just my humble opinion...
Bradney Thomas12/21/2021 12:41 am
Sorry to say that Pat. Bartholomew has become a political hack. He will sell anything for more power. I am beyond disgusted. After 50 years, I am sadly having to contemplate leaving his jurisdiction. How very sad.
Nick Przita12/20/2021 10:06 pm
Constantinople Patriarch in 1919 sold dioceses in the territory of Vardar Macedonia (part liberated by Serbia from Turks) to Serbian Church for 1.8 million gold “Napoleons “. Serbian Church have titles deeds to all churches in North Macedonia built up to WW2. Apart of being schismatic Bartholomew is also conmen, selling same property to to parties. Normal people go to jail for that.
Alex12/20/2021 6:48 pm
Well, Bartholomew sure knows how to dig himself into holes...with the help of the U.S. Does he really also want to antagonize the Serbian Church, too?!
Alexander Leitner12/20/2021 4:44 pm
Schismatics in communion with schismatics. Let's forget Bartholomew now and the Greek Church. We have to accept that they are outside the Church and case closed. How ling will we play this game? The Church of Constantinople should officially be called: Greek-Protestant Church of Constantinople. Bartholomew Ecumenical Patriarch of All Greek Protestant
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