Tbilisi, February 16, 2023
The Holy Synod of the Georgian Orthodox Church resolved to enter into communion with the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric at its session on Tuesday, reports the Patriarchate’s press service.
The chairman of the Foreign Department of the Patriarchate of Georgia, His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasime of Zugdidi and Tsaishi read a report on the matter, introducing the hierarchs to the letter of His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the Serbian Church announcing the end of the decades-long schism with the MOC and its elevation to autocephalous status.
Met. Gerasime noted that several Local Churches have recognized the autocephaly of the MOC, while others have recognized it as canonical but not autocephalous.
Both the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and the Romanian Orthodox Church recognized MOC autocephaly last week.
Having heard the report, the Georgian Holy Synod decided:
The Church of Georgia should enter into a Eucharistic union with the Orthodox Church in North Macedonia, headed by His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan (Veljanovski).
The autocephaly of the Macedonian Church is recognized by the Churches of Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania, in addition to the Serbian Church that granted it.
Conversely, the Church of Greece explicitly rejects the MOC’s autocephaly on the grounds that only Constantinople can grant autocephaly, though it nevertheless accepts the MOC as canonical, following the earlier decision of Constantinople.
The Antiochian Patriarchate has also accepted the canonicity of the MOC and entered into communion with it, though with the “aspiration that the general Orthodox consensus about the name and legal status of this Church will be reached as soon as possible.”
MOC hierarchs and clergy have also concelebrated with hierarchs and clergy from the Churches of Jerusalem and and the Orthodox Church in America, though their Synods haven’t formally addressed the issue.
Thus far, there have no been Synodal decisions from or concelebrations with hierarchs or clergy of the Churches of Alexandria, Cyprus, and Albania.
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