We were expecting this reaction from Belgrade, but it came from Moscow. This is about the first reaction to yesterday’s announcement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, by which it received the Archdiocese of Ohrid in Eucharistic Communion under Archbishop Stefanos.
And whereas, after the initial surprise and the discussion concerning the decision of the Phanar, the focus was on Belgrade and how the Patriarchate of Serbia would respond (especially after the meeting of Patriarch Porphyry of Serbia a few days ago with a representative of the Church of North Macedonia, which indicated developments on the part of the Serbian Church), the -first- reaction came from Moscow.
In particular, the secretary of the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for Foreign Church Affairs, Igor Yakimchuk, said that the Russian Orthodox Church recognized the exclusive canonical rights of the Serbian Orthodox Church in North Macedonia.
“The Russian Orthodox Church will primarily take into account the approach to the problem from the side of the Serbian Church, to which we continue to recognize exclusive canonical rights in North Macedonia,” the archpriest stressed.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate announced yesterday that it was receiving in Eucharistic Communion “the hierarchy, clergy, and people of this Church under Archbishop Stefanos”.
In this way, according to the communiqué, it is healing the wound of the schism and pouring “oil and wine” into the wound of the Orthodox brothers and sisters there.
It clarifies that it is up to the Church of Serbia to settle the administrative issues between itself and the Church in North Macedonia.
It makes it clear that it excludes the term “Macedonian” and any other derivative of the word “Macedonia”, and recognizes the name of the Church as “Ohrid”.
It promises that it will continue to be interested in the progress and stability of the ecclesiastical entity of Ohrid.