The Serbian Orthodox Church accepted the request of the Church of North Macedonia to acquire autocephaly.
This development was announced by Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia, who presided over the Divine Liturgy today at the Cathedral of Skopje with the primate of the Orthodox Church of Northern Macedonia, Stephen.
“Mostly thanks to your prayers brothers and sisters, and thanks to the prayers of all the Saints, unity has come. And now we bring you more good news. The Holy Synod of the Church of Serbia responded unanimously to the appeals of the Orthodox Church of (Northern) Macedonia and has accepted and recognized its autocephaly,” Patriarch Porfirije said.
The Patriarch of Serbia expressed confidence that the other Orthodox churches of the world will agree to grant autocephaly to the Church of North Macedonia.
On his part, Archbishop Stephen stressed that “Let God allow this act of love to be eternal.” He thanked the Church of Serbia and said that this is a great moment, which the Church of his country has been waiting for 55 years.
It should be noted that the President of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, sent a letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, thanking him for the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to restore the canonicality of the Orthodox Church of his country.
In this letter, the President of North Macedonia expressed his hope and expectation for a final settlement of the administrative status of his country’s church in the near future through the granting of an Autocephaly Tomos by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, stressing that the completion of the autocephaly of the church of North Macedonia is a top national interest.
It is also recalled that on May 9, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate accepted the appeal of the Orthodox Church of North Macedonia and decided to restore the canonicality of this church, recognizing it as the “Ohrid Archdiocese” while excluding the term “Macedonian” and any other derivative of the word “Macedonia” for its name.
On May 16 the Serbian Orthodox Church also accepted the return to the canonicality and the Eucharistic communion of the Church of North Macedonia, which is no longer considered schismatic.
The country’s Orthodox Church seceded in 1967 from the Serbian Patriarchate and proclaimed its autocephaly as the “Macedonian Orthodox Church”, which is not recognized by any official Orthodox church in the world.
More developments on the request of the Church of North Macedonia to acquire autocephaly may take place on June 5, the day of Pentecost, when Archbishop Stephen of Ohrid is expected to visit the Phanar and meet with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.