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President of North Macedonia Requests Autocephaly from Phanar

BOSTON – President Stevo Pendarovski of North Macedonia sent a letter to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Bartholomew, requesting the granting of Autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of his country. President Pendarovski expressed hope and expectation for a swift final settlement of the administrative status of the local Church by the awarding of the Tomos of autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

The full text of President Pendarovski’s letter to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew follows:

“Your All Holiness,

It was with great pleasure that I received the news of the historic decision of May 9, 2022, of the Holy and Supreme Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. By accepting our Church into canonical unity and Eucharistic communion, you are correcting the historical injustice inflicted on the Church and its believers and healing the deep wounds caused by the decades of isolation. It is especially important that you recognize our Church and its historical continuity with the ancient Ohrid Archbishopric, which has been a refuge and a source of spiritual strength and hope for the Orthodox believers for centuries.

Your All Holiness enjoys a great reputation and respect among the vast majority of Macedonian citizens, regardless of their ethnic, religious, political and generational affiliation. With this just and wise step, you justify the hope of my fellow citizens of Orthodox Christian faith that it is exactly the Ecumenical Patriarchate that can help our Church finally take its rightful place in the Orthodox world, and thus erase the artificially created divisions and open the space for building spiritual unity of the Orthodox believers.

In this crucial period, the timely decisions of the Ecumenical Patriarchate can decisively influence the spiritual identity of current and future generations, and thus the spiritual and social environment in the Republic of North Macedonia. Hence, it is indeed important whether our unity with the Orthodox world will be based on the living reality of our Church, or on anachronistic solutions imposed from outside, which are against the will of many believers.

Having in mind the historical and canonical right of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, together with my fellow citizens of Orthodox faith, we sincerely hope and expect the soon final settlement of the administrative status of our Church by granting the Tomos of autocephaly by you. The completion of the autocephaly of our Church is of supreme national interest for us because it opens the possibility for new and unburdened spiritual growth of the Ohrid Archbishopric, as well as progress and reconciliation in the Macedonian society.

In the end, Your All Holiness, I take this opportunity to convey to you and to the Holy and Supreme Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate the assurances of my highest consideration.”


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