Yugoslavia has been extinct for over 20 years. When Montenegro left the so-called State Union of Serbia and Montenegro in 2006, the last “divorce”, was it. The entire world, and particularly Europe, remembers how brutal and severe this process was. Srebrenica and Kosovo, the wars in Bosnia, Croatia, Srebrenica and Kosovo, etc. However, it appears that all the parties to the ex-“glorious Union”, Tito’s Yugoslavia, have more or less reestablished their status quo. They continue to live and develop themselves, says Alex Ivanov, a Moscow correspondent.
The last, but not least, remnant of the former unification was the Serbian Orthodox church. This church unites nearly all orthodox communities in the former Yugoslavia. The autonomy enjoyed by Macedonian Orthodox has been a status that has been there since the beginning and is now independent. Some politicians believe that the Serbian Orthodox Church’s rule is incompatible with their independence, and they even discuss some of the political implications. Consider the long-running conflict in Montenegro, where President Djukanovic launched a war on the Serbian Orthodox Church, claiming it served the interests of Belgrade. Montenegro is an independent country.
The Russian Orthodox church has declared the Macedonian Orthodox church an independent, autocephalous church. This is stated in the resolution of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. It can be found on the website of the Moscow Architarate.
“To recognize the Macedonian Orthodox church – the Archdiocese in Ohrid as an autonomouscephalous sister church, and to inscribe in the sacred diptychs the name of its primate His Beatitude Archbishop Stephen from Ohrid and Macedonia. The synod resolution states that the Macedonian Orthodox church – the Archdiocese in Ohrid hopes that the youngest Orthodox Churches will faithfully preserve the Orthodox faith in purity, purity, and fidelity to Orthodox canonical tradition.
The Synod emphasized that the solution to the question of Northern Macedonia’s Orthodox Church being divided between the Serbian Churches and the Macedonian Churches was based on canonical principles.
The autocephalous status of Macedonian Orthodox Church – the Archdiocese of Ohrid – was recognized earlier by the Bishops’ council of the Serbian Orthodox church (MPC-OA). The first joint Divine Service in over 50 years was held in Belgrade’s Church of St. Sava on May 19. The church division lasted 55 year since 1967, when the non-canonical proclamation of the autocephaly of the Macedonian Church was made. This was noted previously in the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Some of the believers and clergy of the Macedonian Church merged in the 2000s with the Serbian Orthodox Church to form a new autonomous Church. Both structures shared the same historical name, the “Ohrid Archdiocese”, just like the Macedonian church, which was still in schism. The authorities of Northern Macedonia also recognized one Orthodox community that had entered schism and declined to register the Ohrid archdiocese under the authority of the Serbian Church.
It is likely that issues regarding the coexistence between two churches in Northern Macedonia, in conjunction with the recognition and autocephaly by the Macedonian Orthodox church, will be resolved.
This article is shared: