Macedonian Orthodox Church Rejects Conditions Set by Constantinople for Autocephaly

Macedonian Orthodox Church Rejects Conditions Set by Constantinople for Autocephaly

OCP News Service with inputs from  – 24/05/2024

Ohrid- Macedonia: The head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archdiocese (MPC-OA), Archbishop Stefan, has declared that the conditions set by the Patriarchate of Constantinople for full recognition of the Church’s autocephaly are unacceptable.

In a statement to Star Television, Archbishop Stefan outlined the three demands made by Constantinople:

  • Renunciation of the name “Macedonian Orthodox Church”
  • Abandonment of the Macedonian diaspora
  • Recognition of the Orthodox Church of Ukriane (recognized by Constantinople)

The Archbishop emphasized that these demands are “unacceptable” and that the MPC-OA will not compromise on its identity or its responsibility towards its diaspora.

While the MPC-OA received its tomos of autocephaly from the Serbian Orthodox Church in June 2022, its independence remains unrecognized by some local Churches, including Constantinople and the Church of Greece. These Churches specifically object to the use of “Macedonian” in the Church’s name, due to the existence of a region named Macedonia in Greece. Additionally, Constantinople expects the MPC-OA to relinquish control of its diaspora communities.

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Archbishop Stefan reiterated that the MPC-OA will continue to use its full name and build relationships with other local Churches. He emphasized that the Church’s name is integral to its identity and cannot be abandoned. Regarding the diaspora, he stated that the MPC-OA will consider the issue only if other Orthodox nations renounce their diaspora communities.

This stance aligns with previous statements by other MPC-OA archbishops and the Macedonian Holy Synod, who have vowed to defend the Church’s autocephalous status and name.

OCP News Service 

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