Belgrade, June 5, 2022
A joyous moment in the life of the Orthodox Church occurred today, as the Macedonian Orthodox Church received its tomos of autocephaly from the Serbian Orthodox Church.
His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Porfirije and His Eminence Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia concelebrated today, together with a number of other Serbian and Macedonian hierarchs, in the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael in Belgrade.
Following the Patriarchal homily, the Secretary of the Serbian Synod of Bishops read out the tomos of autocephaly, granting complete independence to the Macedonian Church-Ohrid Archbishopric, reports the Serbian Church’s tvhram.rs.
“Today, by the grace of God, we have the opportunity to ratify what already exists between us, this unity that was once disturbed,” Pat. Porfirije stressed.
The Macedonian Church was previously in schism from the Serbian Patriarchate and the broader Orthodox Church for a span of 55 years. Beginning in 2017, it launched a concerted effort to resolve its status. Finally, last month, the Serbian Bishops’ Council announced that the Macedonian Church was being received back into the Serbian Church with the status of broad autonomy.
Serbian and Macedonian hierarchs concelebrated in Belgrade a few days later, and again in Skopje, North Macedonia, a few days after that. During the Liturgy in Skopje, Pat. Porfirije announced that the Serian Bishops’ Council had resolved to grant full autocephaly to the Macedonian Church.
The whole process concluded today with the formal granting of the tomos of autocephaly.
His Holiness preached about indivisibility of the Orthodox Church:
When the Church multiplies, we must know that it’s in the spirit of the Gospel of Christ and His word, that it’s not divided, but multiplies and grows in love, multiplying in love. The Church isn’t divided according to its constituent parts in the general unity of the Church of Christ and the commandments of Christ, closing in on itself, to nurture purely earthly goals, but multiplies and is organized in such a way that what is earthly, that which is a gift from God multiples and grows in the best possible way. Thanks to this growth, relatively speaking, every part of the Church can sacrifice itself to other parts, other members of the Church, and that we all grow together in love and the unity of faith, and this is the lesson and message of today’s feast of the Fathers of the First Ecumenical Council.
Abp. Stefan of Ohrid also addressed the gathered faithful.