Author Topic: FYROM church requests to rejoin Ecumenical Patriarchate- dropping “Macedonia"  (Read 1108 times)

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Offline orthoreader

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From what I've read, the MOC requested to be brought in under the Archdiocese of Ohrid and retain their autocephalous status- but will not be removing Macedonian from their constitution. In reality, the only churches that will be using Archdiocese of Ohrid will be the Greek controlled ones. Good news nonetheless:

https://greekcitytimes.com/2018/05/31/fyrom-church-requests-to-rejoin-ecumenical-patriarchate-after-dropping-macedonia/

n what is seen as a historic move the schismatic Orthodox Church of FYROM, which in 1967 declared its autocephaly and independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church, has now requested canonical recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate that heads the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. Specifically, the self-proclaimed “Macedonian Orthodox Church” applied to be re-incorporated in the canonical order of the Church under the name Archbishopric of Ohrid

Offline Tzimis

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Its work in progress.  Im sure without a constitution change the EP will be hesitant to accept the request.

Offline orthoreader

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Its work in progress.  Im sure without a constitution change the EP will be hesitant to accept the request.

That would be a real problem if the EP would expect the MOC to change their constitution and it would be really offensive if Greece pressures him into making this a stipulation. The name in reality is not an ecclesiastic issue. The MOC went as far as to humble herself and accept reference as the OA.

Offline PJ26

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Am I missing something or is this basically the same thing as what’s happening in Ukraine?  The schismatic Macedonian group split from the canonical Serbian Church but now wants to be reintegrated into the Orthodox communion through the intervention of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  Sounds a lot like what the so-called Kiev Patriarchate is attempting to do.  It might not be as high profile as the situation in Ukraine but might it not have similar results were the EP to grant them autocephaly or even just make them a part of the EP? Would the Serbian Church break communion with Constantinople?  How would Moscow respond?
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 07:14:14 PM by PJ26 »

Offline Tzimis

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The Balkans have always been under the EP.

Offline PJ26

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I know next to nothing about the history of Orthodoxy in the Balkans, but the OP states that the Macedonian group split from the Serbian Orthodox Church, so doesn’t the Serbian Church consider it their canonical territory?  Are they just going to accept the EP granting them autocephaly or incorporating them into the EP?  I wouldn’t think so.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2018, 07:24:17 PM by PJ26 »

Offline Tzimis

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Its work in progress.  Im sure without a constitution change the EP will be hesitant to accept the request.

That would be a real problem if the EP would expect the MOC to change their constitution and it would be really offensive if Greece pressures him into making this a stipulation. The name in reality is not an ecclesiastic issue. The MOC went as far as to humble herself and accept reference as the OA.
We now live under nationalistic governments so the church has adjusted to that.

Offline Alpha60

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I know next to nothing about the history of Orthodoxy in the Balkans, but the OP states that the Macedonian group split from the Serbian Orthodox Church, so doesn’t the Serbian Church consider it their canonical territory?  Are they just going to accept the EP granting them autocephaly or incorporating them into the EP?  I wouldn’t think so.

The Serbian Orthodox Archbishop of Ohrid has been imprisoned for many years in Macedonia and treated harshly.  If the EP enters into communion with Macedonia against the wishes of the Serbian church, and with the UOC-KP or UOAC, against the wishes of the MP, it will basically be trading communion with two large, conservative churches with two smaller churches which are probably theologically traditional at present, but potentially subject to being arm-twisted by the Phanar into embracing some of the more controversial material to be published by EP hierarchs, most especially the Metropolitan of Bursa (did he get a promotion btw?  if I am referring to him by an obsolete title do forgive me).  This will be a severe schism, although its quite possible the Orthodox churches not immediately involved, like Poland, Alexandria, Romania and Cyprus, might seek to remain in communion with both.  Ironically the OCA could be virtually counted on to try and remain in communion with both except for the nagging problem that the EP never recognized its MP-granted autocephaly.

I really don’t think the EP should do this.  The best way to canonically regularize those churches would be for the EP to negotiate with Moscow and Serbia for it.

Council of Nicea:
Εθη ἀρχαῖα κρατείτω. 
Mores antiqui obtineant.
The ancient ways shall prevail.

The sentiment of Nicea in Greek and Latin, translated into English.

Offline PJ26

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“its quite possible the Orthodox churches not immediately involved, like Poland, Alexandria, Romania and Cyprus, might seek to remain in communion with both.”

I don’t wish to derail this thread, but I don’t understand the idea of jurisdictions not being in communion with one another while other jurisdictions are in communion with both.  If jurisdiction A is not in communion with jurisdiction B but jurisdiction C is in communion with both jurisdiction A and B, then aren’t jurisdictions A and B really still in communion with one another?  You know what I mean? :)

Offline Tzimis

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I dont think ABorC is in communion with the MOC

Offline PJ26

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I know that no one is currently in communion with the Macedonian group, but as Alpha said above, were a break in communion to occur between the Serbian and/or Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, some jurisdictions might remain in communion with both groups.  I imagine something similar is occurring in the Orthodox world with regard to jurisdictions remaining in communion with both Jerusalem and Antioch even though they are not presently in communion with each other.  I just don’t understand how that works.  It seems to me that if two jurisdictions with a broken communion are themselves both in communion with a third jurisdiction then those two jurisdictions in actuality remain in communion with one another...

Offline Volnutt

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I know that no one is currently in communion with the Macedonian group, but as Alpha said above, were a break in communion to occur between the Serbian and/or Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, some jurisdictions might remain in communion with both groups.  I imagine something similar is occurring in the Orthodox world with regard to jurisdictions remaining in communion with both Jerusalem and Antioch even though they are not presently in communion with each other.  I just don’t understand how that works.  It seems to me that if two jurisdictions with a broken communion are themselves both in communion with a third jurisdiction then those two jurisdictions in actuality remain in communion with one another...

I don't think it does "work." It's just an unfortunate reality of broken people trying to make the best of things.
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Offline Tzimis

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I know that no one is currently in communion with the Macedonian group, but as Alpha said above, were a break in communion to occur between the Serbian and/or Moscow Patriarchate and the Ecumenical Patriarchate, some jurisdictions might remain in communion with both groups.  I imagine something similar is occurring in the Orthodox world with regard to jurisdictions remaining in communion with both Jerusalem and Antioch even though they are not presently in communion with each other.  I just don’t understand how that works.  It seems to me that if two jurisdictions with a broken communion are themselves both in communion with a third jurisdiction then those two jurisdictions in actuality remain in communion with one another...

I don't think it does "work." It's just an unfortunate reality of broken people trying to make the best of things.
I completely agree. Trying to find an identity is a hard thing no doubt but, trying to steal someone else's isnt the answer.  Eventually these people have too face that they are starting from scratch.  There isn't anything wrong with that. In some ways its better.

Offline Justin Kolodziej

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I know next to nothing about the history of Orthodoxy in the Balkans, but the OP states that the Macedonian group split from the Serbian Orthodox Church, so doesn’t the Serbian Church consider it their canonical territory?  Are they just going to accept the EP granting them autocephaly or incorporating them into the EP?  I wouldn’t think so.

The Serbian Orthodox Archbishop of Ohrid has been imprisoned for many years in Macedonia and treated harshly.  If the EP enters into communion with Macedonia against the wishes of the Serbian church, and with the UOC-KP or UOAC, against the wishes of the MP, it will basically be trading communion with two large, conservative churches with two smaller churches which are probably theologically traditional at present, but potentially subject to being arm-twisted by the Phanar into embracing some of the more controversial material to be published by EP hierarchs, most especially the Metropolitan of Bursa (did he get a promotion btw?  if I am referring to him by an obsolete title do forgive me).  This will be a severe schism, although its quite possible the Orthodox churches not immediately involved, like Poland, Alexandria, Romania and Cyprus, might seek to remain in communion with both.  Ironically the OCA could be virtually counted on to try and remain in communion with both except for the nagging problem that the EP never recognized its MP-granted autocephaly.

I really don’t think the EP should do this.  The best way to canonically regularize those churches would be for the EP to negotiate with Moscow and Serbia for it.
I (shock! horror!) agree.
Actually I'd be a bit harsher and say he should tell them "Show me the tomos from the Church of {Serbia, Russia} and I'll call them to confirm and then rubber-stamp it. Until then, no soup for you!"
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Offline ialmisry

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“its quite possible the Orthodox churches not immediately involved, like Poland, Alexandria, Romania and Cyprus, might seek to remain in communion with both.”

I don’t wish to derail this thread, but I don’t understand the idea of jurisdictions not being in communion with one another while other jurisdictions are in communion with both.  If jurisdiction A is not in communion with jurisdiction B but jurisdiction C is in communion with both jurisdiction A and B, then aren’t jurisdictions A and B really still in communion with one another?  You know what I mean? :)
Not a problem. Just look at history. Either the bonds of A and B through C are strengthened by that pull and communion restored, or what separates A from B separates C from one of them (think Old Rome, New Rome and Antioch in the 11th century).
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Offline ialmisry

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The Balkans have always been under the EP.
Uh, no. It was under Old Rome until the Iconoclast Emperors seized it for New Rome.
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Offline RaphaCam

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The Balkans have always been under the EP.
Uh, no. It was under Old Rome until the Iconoclast Emperors seized it for New Rome.
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Offline orthoreader

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I know next to nothing about the history of Orthodoxy in the Balkans, but the OP states that the Macedonian group split from the Serbian Orthodox Church, so doesn’t the Serbian Church consider it their canonical territory?  Are they just going to accept the EP granting them autocephaly or incorporating them into the EP?  I wouldn’t think so.

The Serbian Orthodox Archbishop of Ohrid has been imprisoned for many years in Macedonia and treated harshly.  If the EP enters into communion with Macedonia against the wishes of the Serbian church, and with the UOC-KP or UOAC, against the wishes of the MP, it will basically be trading communion with two large, conservative churches with two smaller churches which are probably theologically traditional at present, but potentially subject to being arm-twisted by the Phanar into embracing some of the more controversial material to be published by EP hierarchs, most especially the Metropolitan of Bursa (did he get a promotion btw?  if I am referring to him by an obsolete title do forgive me).  This will be a severe schism, although its quite possible the Orthodox churches not immediately involved, like Poland, Alexandria, Romania and Cyprus, might seek to remain in communion with both.  Ironically the OCA could be virtually counted on to try and remain in communion with both except for the nagging problem that the EP never recognized its MP-granted autocephaly.

I really don’t think the EP should do this.  The best way to canonically regularize those churches would be for the EP to negotiate with Moscow and Serbia for it.

The Archbishop has been out of prison for over 5 years. He was actually treated rather well in prison. The only issue the splinter group has is that the government has refused to register it as a religious organization. The Belgrade project was a bad idea and he should come back to the ranks of the MOC because his mission has failed. +Jovan has not succeeded in bringing Macedonians into communion. He was too busy declaring himself as Byzantine and yelling schismatic on the internet.

Offline orthoreader

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PS. The Serbs and Moscow had over ten years to work and restore communion. Unfortunately, Moscow has no interest in "fixing" Macedonia when then folks well ask them why haven't your "fixed" Ukraine?

Also, His Grace, Irinej+ only seems to care about Kosovo and has no interest in seriously working to restore communion with the Macedonians. Hence, they went elsewhere. Besides, it might be that the Serbs need to be asking Ohrid to be brought in. Not vice versa.

Offline IreneOlinyk

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The Serbian Orthodox Archbishop of Ohrid has been imprisoned for many years in Macedonia and treated harshly.  If the EP enters into communion with Macedonia against the wishes of the Serbian church, and with the UOC-KP or UOAC, against the wishes of the MP, it will basically be trading communion with two large, conservative churches with two smaller churches which are probably theologically traditional at present, but potentially subject to being arm-twisted by the Phanar into embracing some of the more controversial material to be published by EP hierarchs, most especially the Metropolitan of Bursa (did he get a promotion btw?  if I am referring to him by an obsolete title do forgive me).  This will be a severe schism, although its quite possible the Orthodox churches not immediately involved, like Poland, Alexandria, Romania and Cyprus, might seek to remain in communion with both.  Ironically the OCA could be virtually counted on to try and remain in communion with both except for the nagging problem that the EP never recognized its MP-granted autocephaly.


The Archbishop has been out of prison for over 5 years. He was actually treated rather well in prison. The only issue the splinter group has is that the government has refused to register it as a religious organization. The Belgrade project was a bad idea and he should come back to the ranks of the MOC because his mission has failed. +Jovan has not succeeded in bringing Macedonians into communion. He was too busy declaring himself as Byzantine and yelling schismatic on the internet.

Nice to see someone posting the truth.  The current state of Serbia has to get over the fact that Yugoslavia no longer exists.  The Macedonians are no longer part of the older state of Yugoslavia.  The Macedonians want their own church with the liturgy in their own language.

Offline Fr. George

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I just don’t understand how that works.  It seems to me that if two jurisdictions with a broken communion are themselves both in communion with a third jurisdiction then those two jurisdictions in actuality remain in communion with one another...

There was a similar conundrum viz-a-viz ROCOR before their rapprochement with Moscow.  They were in communion with folks in communion with Moscow & the EP, but not directly with either.
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