Prime Minister of North Macedonia Dimitar Kovachevski welcomed the decision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate to recognize the Orthodox Church of North Macedonia as the Church of Ohrid.
At a meeting with Archbishop Stefan in Skopje on Tuesday, Kovachevski called the decision historic, noting that it was expected. He also congratulated Stephen on the fact that the patriarchate considers the hierarchy, clergy and people of the church under the leadership of Archbishop Stephen to be in Eucharistic communion, and that they are no longer at odds with the Orthodox world.
The statement of the Ecumenical Patriarchate notes that the Church of Ohrid does not use the name “Macedonia” or any of its derivatives. Now the Church of Serbia must resolve some administrative issues with the Church in North Macedonia.
The Orthodox Church of Skopje broke away from the Serbian Patriarchate in 1967, declaring itself the “Macedonian Orthodox Church”, which is not recognized by any other official Orthodox Church. In November 2009, the “Macedonian Orthodox Church” added the suffix “Ohrid Archdiocese” to its name, declaring itself the successor to the old Ohrid Archdiocese.
On Tuesday, the Holy Synod of North Macedonia thanked the Ecumenical Patriarch for the decision. [АМНА]
The DECR secretary stressed that the ROC does not recognize decisions on the status of the church in North Macedonia taken without the participation of the Serbian Church.
“The position of the Russian Orthodox Church will, first of all, take into account the approaches to this problem of the Serbian Church, for which we still recognize exclusive canonical rights in North Macedonia,” Yakimchuk said.