Macedonian-Ohrid Church issues statement on its name and autocephaly

Skopje, North Macedonia, February 22, 2023

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The Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric has every intention of guarding and maintaining both its name and its autocephalous status.

The hierarchs of the Synod gathered in a regular session yesterday, February 21. Among the topics discussed was the Church’s relations with other Local Churches.

The hierarchs “welcomed the decisions of those who have recognized the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric as an autocephalous Church or received it into Eucharistic and canonical communion,” reads the Synodal report.

The majority of Local Churches have formally entered into communion with the Macedonian Church since it was granted autocephaly by the Serbian Orthodox Church last June, though not all have recognized its autocephalous status.

Most recently, the Churches of Romania and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia explicitly recognized Macedonian autocephaly, while the Holy Synod of the Georgian Church chose to simply enter into communion with it, without explicitly recognizing its autocephaly.

Moreover, the name of the Macedonian Church remains a contentious issue, but its Holy Synod states clearly:

The Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric is the guardian of the statutory order and norms that refer to its statutory name of MOC-OA and its autocephalous status, and is guided by the holy canons, dogmas, the Holy Scriptures, and the Holy Tradition. The primate and bishops—the members of the Synod of the Holy Macedonian Orthodox Church categorically keep them, maintain them, and do not renounce them.

In general, the Hellenophone Churches reject to the Macedonian Church’s use of the title “Macedonia,” as that is also the name of the bordering region in Greece, while the Bulgarian Church objects to the use of the title “Ohrid,” as it understands itself as the historical continuation of the ancient Ohrid Archbishopric.

The tomos of autocephaly granted by the Serbian Church explicitly refers to the “Macedonian Orthodox Church-Orchid Archbishopric,” while calling on the MOC to work out its name in fraternal dialogue.

Meanwhile, the Patriarchate of Constantinople announced in May that it accepts the Macedonian Church into communion only under the name of “Ohrid”—the word “Macedonia” or any variation thereof may not be used in the name of the Church in Constantinople’s view. Likewise, the Church of Greece accepts the Macedonian Church into communion, while rejecting its autocephaly and its name.

In a spirit of compromise and reconciliation, the Macedonian primate, His Eminence Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid, said in an interview in July that the Greek-speaking Churches are welcome to refer to them as the Church of Ohrid, but they will continue to refer to themselves as Macedonian.

The Bulgarian Church accepted the MOC as canonical already in June, but it took the further step of accepting its autocephaly in December, although stipulating that its primate will be commemorated as “His Beatitude Stefan, Archbishop of North Macedonia,” until a pan-Orthodox consensus can be reached about its name.

Similarly, the Antiochian Patriarchate has entered into communion with the MOC, 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.”

The announcements of the Church of Poland, the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and the Georgian Church all refer only to the “Orthodox Church in North Macedonia,” though they don’t specify how Abp. Stefan will be commemorated in the Divine services.

The Romanian Church accepts the autocephaly of the MOC under the name of the “Archdiocese of Ohrid and North Macedonia, with headquarters in Skopje.”

The Russian Church explicitly refers to the MOC as the “Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric” in its announcement, while the Ukrainian Church announcement refers to the “Macedonian Orthodox Church” and specifies that its primate will be commemorated as “His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia.”

The Macedonian Synod ends its announcement with a brief message about the upcoming fast:

Standing before the Holy Quadragesima (Great Lent), the Holy Synod of the MOC-OA calls its faithful children to mutual forgiveness and blesses their fasting, so that we can worthily welcome the Bright Resurrection of Christ.

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Panagiotis4/6/2023 4:49 am
To Orthodox Brother Macedonia is Greek: This is what happens when people are brainwashed by an imposter. The imposter was Tito, whose real surname was Weiss, or variation thereof. The real Josip Broz Tito died in the Spanish Civil War and was replaced by this imposter Tito. The devious internationalists brought the Imposter Tito into power. The Imposter Tito (Weiss) was of Ashkenazi descent from Poland. He did not have a drop of South Slavic blood in him. Not a drop. This clown was the one who created the Macedonian Slavic MYTH in order to prevent them from rightfully joining their blood BULGARIAN Brothers, and Tito clown also did this to DESTROY the SERBIAN Orthodox Church in the so-called North Macedonia. I love my Orthodox Brothers in "North Macedonia", but the truth is the truth. Now we see in the UKRAINE another IMPOSTER president who some brainwashed people think is ethnic Ukrainian, but he actually does not have a drop of ethnic Ukrainian blood in him. The president of the Ukraine is of full Ashkenazi descent. His ancestors came from the west and spoke Yiddish. The midget clown president and other deceivers are brainwashing Ukrainian people so they hate their own blood Russian relatives. DNA, history, language, customs, and religion ALL PROVE that the Ukrainian people and the Russian people are of the SAME BLOOD. Truly tragic that ethnic Ukrainian Orthodox People are being USED as cannon fodder by the GANGSTER state of the CORRUPT Ukraine, while the sinister internationalist puppet masters are laughing. I speak the truth my friends, and I have no vested interest to do otherwise. Let us hope and pray to Almighty God and the Panagia that the Orthodox people WAKE UP. All glory to our God. All glory. Just my humble opinion.
Macedonia is Greek4/4/2023 4:31 am
The lies and forgeries of these propagandist skopians trying to steal Greek identity and history have been condemned by great Saints of God such as Saint Paisios, and this website must not aid in spreading the wicked lies and deceit of these people. Schismatics and heretics until they repent and drop their communist propaganda and deliberate falsification of history. No wonder the Saints have prophesied the collapse of their fake state.
Mdim4/3/2023 2:27 pm
Slap in the face for Patriarch Bartholomew and the Greeks. I pray that this does not open Pandora’s box like it did for the Ukrainian church and it’s faithful.
Panagiotis2/25/2023 4:18 am
According to the Great Macedonian Slavic scientist named Mr. Skita B. Skitasky, who studied the ancient Dead Sea Scrolls in 1733, year of our Lord, ALL of the twelve disciples of Jesus were Macedonian Slavs! Oh yes my friends, you did not know this? You see there has been a global conspiracy against the glorious Slavic Macedonians, a conspiracy committed by Bulgarians and Serbs and Greeks and Albanians and many others, to deny the Glorious Slavic Macedonians their rightful true history! The original Bible was written in Slavic Macedonian, and in fact Jesus Himself spoke Slavic Macedonian! What is also most shocking is the lineage, the true lineage, of Jesus, which proves that He was 100% Slavic Macedonian! You did not know this my friends, now you do. The Slavic Macedonians were also responsible for creating Western Civilization, and in fact they are responsible for all of the major inventions over the last two millenniums. Macedonian Slavs invented the automobile and the airplane and electricity and so much more. But the invention of the Macedonian Slavs that they are most proud of is TOILET PAPER. We must all Bow Down and Worship the Glorious Macedonian Slavs! All glory to the Macedonian Slavs who created everything! GLORY, GLORY, GLORY!!!... Just my humble opinion.
Александар Македонски2/24/2023 2:26 pm
@Jason from st Ephrem, beyond reading, breath it: "O Lord and Master of my life, take from me a spirit of despondency, sloth, love of money, and idle talk. But give to me, your servant, a spirit of sober-mindedness, humility, patience, and love. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own sins and not to judge my brother, since you are blessed to the ages. Amen." Matthew 28:19 “Therefore go disciple all the nations and baptize them in the name of The Father and The Son and The Holy Spirit.” Act 16/6-10 The Macedonian Call "6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. 7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them. 8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a Macedonian was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 And when Paul[c] had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." 2 Corinthians 8/1-5 "Encouragement to Give Generously 8 We want you to know, brothers,[a] about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor[b] of taking part in the relief of the saints— 5 and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us." Philippians 4:15 "And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only." 1 Thessalonians 1:8 "For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything". I invite everyone who is sincerely interested in the Macedonian matter to read the doctorate thesis of Tome Boshevski and Aristotel Tentov. The PDF is available online in English, just type their names on Google and you will find it. It deciphers the middle text of the Rosetta Stone proving in an unambiguous way that antic Macedonians spoke the same language as current Macedonians ie Macedonian Slavic language. Unlike Romans who often destroyed other nations, Macedonians gladly accepted everything positive one has to offer, eventually rejecting the rest. For example Greek language was widely spread in the antiquity and late middle age especially for trade over the sea thanks to strong involvement from Greek native sailors and cities all over world. Native Macedonians, after conquering these cities just started to use the same as something convenient for administrative purposes supporting as well business, just as I write in English nowadays, without being a native English. Cyril and Method were native Macedonians from Solun, and Church Slavonic is originally a dialect from Solun. Olga and most probably Vladimir too were baptised in Ohrid by Macedonians and the future clergy of Russia was certainly educated in st Clement's theological University in Ohrid. Following the ottoman invasion and after centuries of reproduction by Russian natives Church Slavonic became closer to the Russian dialect.
Jesse Dominick2/23/2023 8:11 pm
Yes, because the name of a country is just dripping with theological content. It's a real distortion of the inner life of the Trinity and the Person of Christ.
Jason Th2/23/2023 10:37 am
Will always be schismatic heretics to me, until they let go of their satanic propaganda and lies.
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