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Russian Church recognizes Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid as Autocephalous Sister Church

DECR Communication Service, 25.08.2022.

On August 25, participants in the regular session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church heard a report by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia concerning the granting of autocephaly by the Serbian Orthodox Church to the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid.

Earlier, at its session on May 27, 2022 (Minutes No. 43), the Synod gave thanks to God for the news of the communion having been restored on May 16, between the Serbian Patriarchate and the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid as an autonomous Church – the status it had received in 1959. It was also reported that on May 15-21, 2022, in reply to a petition from the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid, the Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church with one accord blessed its autocephaly.

On June 5, 2022, His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Porfirije and His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of the Holy Archangel Michael in Belgrade. Hierarchs of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid were their concelebrants. After the Liturgy, in compliance with the decision of the Bishops’ Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije handed the Tomos to His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia, confirming the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid.

His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Porfirije informed thereof His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia in his letter of August 8, 2022, expressing his wish and request to the Russian Orthodox Church to embrace “the Church, now fully canonical, as the youngest sisterly autocephalous Orthodox Church and thus set an example for the rest of the Local Orthodox Churches.”

On July 13, 2022, His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia also sent a letter to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, informing him of “the joyful events that our Local Church was vouchsafed by God.”

Giving thanks to God the Lord for the canonical resolution of the matter of status of the Orthodox Church in North Macedonia, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church resolved, at its meeting on August 25, “to recognize the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid as an Autocephalous Sister Church and to add the name of its Primate, His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia, to the sacred diptychs.”

The Synod members also expressed their “hope that the Macedonian Orthodox Church – Archdiocese of Ohrid, the youngest in the family of the Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, will firmly uphold the holy Orthodox faith in purity and immaculacy and remain faithful to the Orthodox canonical tradition.”

His Holiness Serbian Patriarch Porfirije and His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia will be informed of the aforementioned decision of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.

 

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