Skopje, North Macedonia, May 24, 2022
His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Church joyously announced today that the Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church approved and recognized the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The announcement was met by thunderous applause in St. Clement of Ohrid Cathedral in Skopje, where another festive Liturgy was concelebrated by Serbian and Macedonian hierarchs today, continuing the joy of reconciliation that began when the Serbian Bishops’ Council announced the restoration of canonical communion with the Macedonian Orthodox Church, initially as an autonomous body within the Serbian Patriarchate last Monday.
The Macedonian Church had previously been in schism for a period of 55 years.
A week before the Serbian Church’s initial decision to restore communion with the Macedonian Church, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Constantinople also resolved to restore communion with it. The Constantinople Synod declared at that time that it was up to the Serbian Church to further handle administrative matters of the precise relationship between the Serbian and Macedonian Churches.
The Serbian Council of Bishop’s then announced the autonomy of the Macedonian Church, which decision was then liturgically confirmed with a joint Liturgy in Belgrade last Thursday—an event that His Eminence Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid, previously the head of the Serbian Church’s embattled canonical Archdiocese in North Macedonia, described as among the greatest spiritual joys of his life.
The Council further resolved to grant autocephaly to the Macedonian Church. According to the Patriarch, the Holy Synod of the Serbian and Macedonian Churches will work together on all the necessary details and to plan a date when autocephaly will be formally given. All Local Churches will be invited to celebrate the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, “and we are all sure they will all rejoice in this decision,” His Holiness exclaims.
The Patriarch’s relevant announcement can be heard at 2:38:15 in the video below: