“As a state and Church, we expect the highest institution in Orthodoxy to provide us with the official document on ecclesiastical independence – the Tomos of Autocephaly.”
In these words, the President of North Macedonia addressed Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew during a visit to Constantinople.
Stevo Pentarovski visited the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople with his wife and senior members of the presidency.
In his statements appearing on the website of the presidency of North Macedonia, President Pentarovski expressed his gratitude to the Ecumenical Patriarch “for his special role in resolving the ecclesiastical conflict related to our Church.
With the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on May 9, our Church is in canonical communion with the other Orthodox Churches, accepted as equal to all others”.
According to the announcement of the presidency of the neighboring country, “the meeting found that the only way to obtain a legitimate and fully accepted Tomos on Autocephaly is the one issued by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
As a state and Church, we expect the highest institution in Orthodoxy to provide us with the official document on ecclesiastical independence – the Tomos of Autocephaly.”
The President of North Macedonia also stressed that with the decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Church of the neighboring country is granted the right to use the name “Ohrid Archdiocese, which means ecclesiastical continuity of 1000 years”.
Finally, the announcement of the presidency with the statements of Mr. Pentarovski from the Phanar, underlines that “the full completion of the Autocephaly process is of the highest national interest, because it opens the possibility for the new and spiritual development of the Ohrid Archdiocese, for progress and reconciliation in society and the state of North Macedonia.”
The Ecumenical Patriarchate also issued a statement for the meeting, stating that the President of the Republic of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, was received with great honor at the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
In the vicinity of the Patriarchate, the President, who was accompanied by his wife, high-ranking members of the Presidency, and the Consul General of his country in Constantinople, Aktan Ago, was welcomed by Grand Protosyncellus Theodore, together with the clergy of the Patriarchal Court.
Subsequently, Pendarovski with his wife and members of his Delegation venerated the Patriarchal Church, where the Grand Syncellus Iakovos informed them about its history and about the sacred relics kept in it.
Then, the President was received by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Patriarchal Office, where they had a cordial private meeting. The meeting was attended by Elder Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Grand Ecclesiarch Aetios, Director of the Private Patriarchal Office.
Afterwards, the Ecumenical Patriarch welcomed the members of the Presidential Delegation to the Throne Room and expressed his joy at the visit of the President and his wife to the See of the Holy Great Church of Christ. An exchange of gifts followed, and before his departure, the President signed the guest book of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Photos: Nikos Papachristou / Ecumenical Patriarchate