Polish Church officially recognizes Macedonian Orthodox Church

Warsaw, October 27, 2022

Photo: orthodox.pl Photo: orthodox.pl     

The acceptance of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric into the global Orthodox communion continues as another Local Church has officially resolved to recognize its canonical status.

The Council of Bishops of the Polish Orthodox Church gathered in Warsaw on Tuesday under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and All Poland, with the participation of every bishop of the Polish Church, reports the chancellery of the Polish Council of Bishops.

The hierarchs addressed a number of internal and external affairs, including the Serbian Church’s recent granting of autocephaly to the Macedonian Church:

The information from the Serbian Patriarch about the independence of the Orthodox Church in North Macedonia was read. The Holy Council of Bishops joyfully took note of this information and confirmed the prayerful connection with the given Church.

It’s noteworthy that, like the Russian Church in August, the Polish Church explicitly recognizes the Macedonian Church as autocephalous.

Earlier this month, the Antiochian Holy Synod resolved to enter into eucharistic communion with the Macedonian Church, though with “the general Orthodox consensus about the name and legal status of this Church will be reached as soon as possible.”

Thus far, the canonicity of the MOC has been formally recognized by (in addition to the Patriarchate of Serbia) the Synods of the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Bulgaria, Russia, Antioch, and the Churches of Greece and Poland.

Whereas the Russian and Polish Churches explicitly recognize the autocephaly of the Macedonian Church, the Church of Greece explicitly rejects it on the grounds that only Constantinople can grant autocephaly, though it nevertheless accepts the Macedonian Church as canonical.

MOC hierarchs and clergy have also concelebrated with hierarchs and clergy from the Churches of Jerusalem, Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and the Orthodox Church in America, though their Synods have not formally addressed the issue.

Thus far, there have no been Synodal decisions from or concelebrations with hierarchs or clergy of the Churches of Alexandria, Georgia, Cyprus, and Albania.

The Polish Council of Bishops also warned about the ongoing “destructive activity” of the Ukrainian schismatics.

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Jacob10/29/2022 11:09 am
Michael: Yes, and to be more precise: The schismatic OCU may hold 33% of the parishes, but let's not forget how they got those parishes--through brute force and deception. And most of them are empty. If we talk about the will of the actual church-goers, the figures change significantly in favor of the canonical Ukrainian Church.
Michael10/29/2022 1:29 am
There are three major differences between the Macedonian issue and the Ukrainian issue: (1) In the Macedonian case the schismatics had never been defrocked and anathematized, thus they remained real clergy and were universally recognized as such (although in schism). In the Ukrainian case, the schismatics trace their "ordinations" to a handful of "bishops", one of whom was an imposter that was never ordained in the first place, while the others were defrocked (i.e. they were ex-bishops); so the "clergy" of the Ukrainian schismatics were never properly ordained. (2) In the Macedonian case, the Church that the schismatics broke away from agreed to grant them autocephaly. In the Ukrainian case, the Church that the schismatics broke away from did NOT agree. So the Ukrainian issue raises the question "is it possible to grant autocephaly AGAINST THE WILL of an existing Autocephalous Church?", while the Macedonian issue does not raise that question. (3) In the Macedonian case, the schismatics included well over 99% of the Orthodox parish churches in their country. In the Ukrainian case, the schismatics hold only about 33% of the churches in their country. Thus public opinion is divided in Ukraine, while in Macedonia it was united.
Georgios10/28/2022 11:40 pm
This ecclesiastical body, deriving from the Schisms out of UFOlogical pseudonationalistic reasons, has nothing to do with Macedonia, which is greek and only. They are a slavic population, actually Bulgarians, they have nothing to do with Macedonia, I don't understand why they are ashamed for their real identity and they are trying to usurp the greek heritage.
Jesse Dominick10/27/2022 4:58 pm
I did a quick review of the Polish Church's previous statements, and from what I saw, they have been calling for a pan-Orthodox discussion specifically about the Ukrainian ecclesiastical issue, which is far more complicated than the Macedonian issue. It doesn't seem that what they've been saying is that autocephaly can only be granted by a pan-Orthodox council, but rather that very specifically the Ukrainian issue needs a pan-Orthodox decision.
Common Sense10/27/2022 4:15 pm
What happened to the Polish Church constantly complaining that autocephaly can only be granted by a Pan-Orthodox consensus? Now they recognize an autocephaly that was unilaterally granted by the Serbian Church. Hypocrisy.
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