Unfortunately I jump into the mix with a heavy heart. I have read much of what has been "spewed" by a select few on these boards about the "Macedonian Church" and I felt compelled to respond.
First I'll get to my bias. Many people do the same, so I will let you know that I am ethnically Serbian from a geographic area located in Northern FYROM. This area runs along the Serbian border with Kosovo and is home to one the most scenic mountain ranges in region (Sar Mountain Range or Sar Planina if you will). I give my ethnic background as a preface of my "built in" bias.
The reason why I am saddened by writing this email is because I consider myself and "Orthodoxy Nationalist", if you will. That is to say, I have always felt it paramount that all "Orthodox Churches" and their constituents work together for the propagation of the one and only true faith. I feel as though the "Macedonians" and their Church have worked to undermine this, over and over again.
Furthermore, the fact that CanMak (one of the within posters) would come on this discussion and denounce one of the pillars of modern orthodoxy (Patriarch Pavle), is an utter disgrace. You will here no such characterizations from me about individuals in the MOC. Aside from CanMak's absolute use of revisionism, he shows the highest disregard for collective orthodoxy when he "mischaracterizes" the statements of Patriarch Pavle and publicly disparges him on an Orthodox discussion board. For that, you should be ashamed.
But back to the substance. In September 1967 the Serbian Orthodox Synod declared the Macedonian Orthodox Church to be a schismatic religious organization and broke off all liturgical and canonical links with its hierarchy, although not with its faithful. This decision has been supported by other Orthodox churches, as none has recognized the legitimacy of the Macedonian church.
Since that time, the MOC has gone to many lengths to be recognized as an "authocephelus Church" but has been rejected each and every time by ALL branches of Orthodoxy, including Constantinople.
Unfortunately, it is impossible to separate the political issues from the religious so I must put this in a context. Let me explain a bit of how we got here with modern FYROM...
My family moved from Kosovo in the late 19th Century to the Sar Planina region of modern FYROM. Our history and bloodlines are all Serbian. However, as the communists came to power in Yugoslavia, they sought to undermine the strength of the Serbian majority under the guise of "brotherhood and unity" (bratstvo i jedenstvo - actually means brotherhood and oneness). So here is what they did in the republic of Macedonia...
Families like mine, who were all ethnically Serbian had their names arbitrarily changed to "Macedonian" names (that meant you changed vic to ski). So, you were born and raised with the last name Stojanovic and the communists say... "hey we've got to wipe out the Serbian identity in the republic of Macedonia" and "Macedonianize all the names" So, Stojanovic became Stojanovski.
Thousands of years of History, wiped out, with the stroke of a pen. Overtime, Serbs started to actually believe they were Macedonian. In fact, so warped was the logic, many Serbs in the Tetovo region of FYROM will say something like this... "Well, I may be Slavic, but I'm the same as Alexander the great". And to that, you say... huh??? Believe it. Most non-muslims in the Tetovo region of FYROM admit 100% that they are Slavs, but also think they are somehow the descendants of Alexander.
Let me make it more personal. My wife's maiden name is Jovanovski. Recently we returned to FYROM and I insisted that we gain access to public records for her family (First in a village called Vratnica and then later Tetovo). We looked through all of her family records and low and behold, what did we find. Every single recorded document which predated 1953, was registered as Jovanovic.
Furthermore, after reading through these documents (my cousin actually read the documents for us, he is a local attorney and reads cyrillic), we found notations on two recorded property documents (kind of like deeds but not as sophisticated) from 80 years ago, which identified my wife's great grandfather as being "Serbian".
There was absolutely NO documentation ANYWHERE that would indicate that he was in anyway Macedonian or belonging to the MOC. In fact, we couldn't find ANY documentation to even show the existence of the MOC in North FYROM until 1961. However, over time, a portion of my wife's family actually started to believe they are "Macedonian" like Alexander. Hogwash! She knows it and now, by copying many of these documents, I have been able to prove it to many of her family members.
Lastly... is the issue of Slava. You can pretty much derive what every FYROMian is by looking at Slava. Those of us stuck in FYROM that celebrate Slava are all Serbs. That is probably about 30% of the Country including almost all of the non-muslim North and Northeast. Only Serbs celebrate this religious event. My Slava is St. Nicholas (December 19).
Those who celebrate name days are split between Greek and Bulgarian with the majority leaning Bulgarian. I would guess about 20-30% of the population is Bulgarian. A small percentage in the South has Hellenic roots and the remainder of the Country is mixed between various groups. I haven't included Albanians in these numbers as they don't factor (too much) into the Orthodox issues.
This point is primarily for my Greek brothers and Sisters as well as my "Macedonian" brothers and sisters. Many of us (primarily in the North) make no claims to Macedonia or Alexander. We are happy to have the Greeks as our neighbors in geography and our family in faith. Please don't paint us all with a broad brush.
In the end, what I would like to see happen here, is for the MOC to come to its senses and accept being an autonomous Church under the auspicies of the SOC.
In addition, the Macedonian government should officially take a position of never seeking historical Macedonian lands in Greece, Bulgaria & Serbia. Once that is accomplished all of the Orthodox nations in the region (Serbia & Montenegro, Greece, FYROM, Bulgaria & Romania) should enter into an independent trading block working with and within the EU for mutual prosperity.
This group could work together as a collective voice for various Orthodox issues....ie - freeing Cyprus from Turkish tyranny, expelling terrorist Albanians from South Serbia and Northwest Macedonia, slowing the spread of Islam in the Balkans. Working on "secularizing" Islamic countries such as the fraud known as Bosnia, Albania and Turkey. Promoting Orthodoxy as the one true faith, first in the Balkans and then to the rest of Europe and the World.
Only when we resolve our ridiculous inner squabbles can Orthodoxy move forward. Until then, we will be left eating the scraps thrown to us from the Vatican and other Western political forces.