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Archbishopric of Ohrid and Macedonia
Coat of arms of MPC.png
Symbol of the Macedonian Orthodox Church
Founder N/A
Independence (see below)
Recognition Unrecognised by other orthodox churches[1]
Primate Archbishop Stephen
Headquarters Skopje and Ohrid
Territory Republic of Macedonia
Possessions United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand
Language Church Slavonic and Macedonian
Adherents approx. 2,000,000
Website http://www.mpc.org.mk/

The Macedonian Orthodox Church - Ohrid Archbishopric or just Macedonian Orthodox Church (Macedonian: Македонска Православна Црква - Охридска Архиепископија; translit.: Makedonska Pravoslavna Crkva - Ohridska Arhiepiskopija) is the body of Christians who are united under the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, exercising jurisdiction over Macedonian Orthodox Christians in the Republic of Macedonia and in exarchates in the Macedonian diaspora.

The church gained autonomy from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1959 and declared the restoration of the historic Archbishopric of Ohrid. On July 19, 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church declared autocephaly from the Serbian church, a move which is not recognised by any of the churches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion, and since then, the Macedonian Orthodox Church is not in communion with any Orthodox Church.

Iconostasis of the Church of the Trinity in Radoviš

Contents

History

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Origins

Church of St. Leontine, near Strumica

After the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire, the Emperor Basil II acknowledged the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and by virtue of special royal decrees set up its boundaries, dioceses, property and other privileges. The Archibishopric was seated in Ohrid in the Byzantine theme of Bulgaria and was established in 1019 by lowering the rank of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate and its subjugation to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[2][3]

In 1767 the Archbishopric was abolished by the Turkish authorities and annexed to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Efforts were made in 19 and the first part of 20 century to restore the Archdiocese, and in 1874 it became part of the new established Bulgarian Exarchate. The Christian population of the bishoprics of Skopje and Ohrid voted in 1874 overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Exarchate, the Bulgarian Exarchate became in control of the whole of Vardar and Pirin Macedonia.[4] The Bulgarian Exarchate was also represented partially in Aegean Macedonia. In 1890 the citizens of Ohrid sent a petition to the Great Patriarch of Constantinople to ask for the renewal of the Macedonian Archbishopric of Ohrid[5]. During this time period Metropolitan Bishop Theodosius of Skopje made several pleas to the Bulgarian church to allow a separate Macedonian church, he viewed this as the only way to end the turmoil in the Balkans.

Quote: Is it not high time to put an end to hatred between blood brothers? And how could this be achieved if not by the way of our national Church, by way of the Archbishopric of Ohrid? I shall be sincere, my dear brother in Christ, and shall openly declare to you: we, the Macedonians, do not suffer as much by the Turks, long live our Padishah, as by the Greeks, the Bulgarians and the Serbs, who have set upon us like vultures upon a carcass in this tortured land and want to split it up.[6]

As Vardar Macedonia became part of Serbia after World War I, since 1918 and before the World War II several of the Bulgarian Exarchate's dioceses were forcefully taken over by the Serbian Orthodox Church. During the Bulgarian liberation in World War II the local dioceses became again part of the Bulgarian Exarchate.

Struggle for Autocephaly

In March 1945, the People's Republic of Macedonia became one of the six republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, governed by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. In 1944, in Skopje, a Resolution of Archdiocese of Ohrid restoration as Macedonian Orthodox Church was submitted to the Serbian Orthodox Church who had since 1919 been the sole titulary. This resolution was rejected, but a later one, submitted in 1958, proposing the Ohrid Archdiocese of Saint Clement as a Macedonian Orthodox Church was accepted (June 17, 1959) under strong pressure from the Socialist authorities. Dositej was appointed the first archbishop. The Macedonian Orthodox Church at that time only held autonomous status.

The Serbian Orthodox Church agreed with these decisions in the resolution AS. No 47/1959 and 6/1959, minutes 57 of June 17/4, 1959. That agreement was celebrated in a common liturgy by the Macedonian priests and the Serbian Patriarch German in 1959 in Skopje, as a sign that Serbian church recognises an autonomy of the Macedonian church. In 1962 Serbian Patriarch German and Russian Patriarch Alexis visited the Macedonian Orthodox Church. On the feast of Saints Methodius and Cyril in Ohrid two patriarchs and the Macedonian Metropolitan Dositej concelebrated Holy Liturgy as the first liturgy of the head of the Macedonian church with heads of other Orthodox churches.

During the Third Clergy and Laity Assembly on July 19, 1967, in Ohrid, the Macedonian Orthodox Church was self-proclaimed as autocephalous, which was the official public will of the people in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia[citation needed].

Many[citation needed].Orthodox Churches admit the faithful of the Macedonian Orthodox Church to communion. The hierarchy of some Churches serve with the priests of MOC, but will not serve liturgically with the hierarchy of MOC. Some also recognise the need for MOC clergy to be able to serve with hierarchs from outside MOC, and to provide an open channel for the resolution of various pastoral problems MOC clergy cannot resolve within MOC.[citation needed]

Relations with the Serbian Orthodox Church

Lamentation of Christ (1164). Fresco from Nerezi near Skopje

Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Serbian Orthodox Church has been in conflict with the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which has yet to gain recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople or any other autocephalous church. The issue of dispute is the method used to gain autocephaly, the issue of the Serb Orthodox minority (according to the last census, there are 40,000 citizens of the country declared as Serbs) and the question of some hundreds of Serb Orthodox shrines from the medieval Nemanjić period.

The two Churches had been negotiating the details of a compromise agreement reached in Niš, Serbia in 2002, which would have given the ethnic Macedonians de facto independent status just short of canonical autocephaly. The agreement was signed and agreed upon by three Bishops in the Macedonian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan Petar of Australia, Metropolitan Timotej of Debar and Kicevo; and Metropolitan Naum of Strumica). After political officials exerted pressure on the clergy of the MOC for accepting the agreement, the Bishops later reneged on the agreement, leaving only Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid (secular name Zoran Vraniškovski) from the Macedonian side in agreement. Suddenly the signed agreement was rejected by the Macedonian government and the Holy Synod of MOC. In turn, the Serbian Orthodox Church granted full autonomy to the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, its embattled branch in the Republic of Macedonia, in late May 2005 and appointed Jovan as its Archbishop.

Part of the series on
Eastern Christianity
00058 christ pantocrator mosaic hagia sophia 656x800.jpg
Eastern Christianity Portal

History
Byzantine Empire
Crusades
Ecumenical council
Christianization of Bulgaria
Christianization of Kievan Rus'
East-West Schism
By region
Asian - Copts
Eastern Orthodox - Georgian - Ukrainian

Traditions
Church of the East
Eastern Catholic Churches
Eastern Orthodox Church
Oriental Orthodoxy
Syriac Christianity

Liturgy and Worship
Sign of the cross
Divine Liturgy
Iconography
Asceticism
Omophorion

Theology
Hesychasm - Icon
Apophaticism - Filioque clause
Miaphysitism - Monophysitism
Nestorianism - Theosis - Theoria
Phronema - Philokalia
Praxis - Theotokos
Hypostasis - Ousia
Essence-Energies distinction
Metousiosis

The later chain of events turned into a vicious circle of mutual accusations and incidents involving SOC and, partly, Serbian government on one side, and MOC, backed by the Macedonian government on the other. The Macedonian side regarded Jovan as a traitor and Serbian puppet. Jovan complained of a new state-backed media campaign against his Church. "They are creating an unstable, explosive atmosphere among the population and are virtually inviting people to lynch us," he told Forum 18 News Service [1]. The government has denied registration of his Church [2], attacked its places of worship and launched a criminal case against him. He was arrested, removed from his bishopric and then expelled from the country. He returned in 2005 and, after attempting to perform a baptism, he was arrested, sentenced to 18 months in prison [3] and jailed [4] with "extremely limited visitation rights" [5]. On March 19th, 2006, after spending 220 days in prison, archbishop Jovan was released [6].

Also, a much greater impact for the decision of Jovan's arrest made his financial malversations, that is, his inappropriate usage of the church fund.[citation needed] In September 2005 he was also accused of embezzlement of church funds at the time when he still was MOC clergyman.

In turn, SOC denied Macedonian delegation access to the monastery of Prohor Pčinjski, which was the usual site of Macedonian celebration of the national holiday of Ilinden (literally meaning St. Elijah Day) on August 2[7] and the site where the First Session of ASNOM was held. Macedonian border police often denied Serbian priests entry into the country in clerical garb [8].

Despite public appeals from both churches for "Christian brotherhood and unity", both sides did little to settle the dispute.

Organisation

Map of the seven diocese of Macedonia

As of 2005, the Macedonian Orthodox Church is headed by Archbishop Stephen of Ohrid and Macedonia. He presides over the Holy Synod of Hierarchs of the MOC, consisting of 9 metropolitans and titular bishops.

Dioceses on the territory of Republic of Macedonia:

  1. Diocese of Skopje, headed by Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia;
  2. Diocese of Polog and Kumanovo, headed by Metropolitan Kiril;
  3. Diocese of Debar and Kičevo, headed by Metropolitan Timotej;
  4. Diocese of Prespa and Pelagonia, headed by Metropolitan Petar;
  5. Diocese of Strumica, headed by Metropolitan Naum;
  6. Diocese of Bregalnica, headed by Metropolitan Ilarion;
  7. Diocese of Povardarie, headed by Metropolitan Agatangel

Other bishops include Metropolitan Metodij of the American-Canadian Diocese; Pimen of the European Diocese; Gorazd, former head of the European Diocese, and Bishop Kliment, Auxiliary Bishop of Heraclea.

Outside the country, the MOC is pastorally active in 6 dioceses in the diaspora. The 13 dioceses of the MOC are governed by ten Episcopes, with around 500 active priests in about 500 parishes with over 2000 churches and monasteries. The church claims jurisdiction of about twenty living monasteries, with more than 100 monks.

Church calendars use the archaic names of the months of the year instead of the common Latin-derived names

Gallery

Footnotes

  1. ^ The Macedonian Orthodox Church claims continuity with historical Archbishopric of Ohrid, an autonomous Eastern Orthodox Church under the tutelage of the Patriarch of Constantinople, which existed between 1019 and 1767, but these claims are not recognized by any other Orthodox churches.
  2. ^ Nevill Forbes, Arnold J. Toynbee, D. Mitrany, D. G. Hogarth (2004). The Balkans: A History of Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Turkey. Digital Antiquaria. pp. 28–29. ISBN 1580573142. 
  3. ^ Treadgold, Warren T. (1997). A History of the Byzantine State and Society. Stanford University Press. p. 528. ISBN 1580573142. 
  4. ^ Gawrych, George Walter (2006). The Crescent and the Eagle: Ottoman Rule, Islam and the Albanians, 1874-1913. I.B.Tauris. p. 28. ISBN 1845112873. 
  5. ^ DA DSIP - Beograd - PPO, F.7, d.6, p.br. 962, 1890.
  6. ^ Theodosius of Skopje Centralen D'rzhaven istoricheski archiv (Sofia) 176, op. 1. arh.ed. 595, l.5-42 - Razgledi, X/8 (1968), p.996-1000.

See also

External links

Dioceses

Churches and Monasteries


Archbishopric of Ohrid and Macedonia
File:Coat of arms of
Symbol of the Macedonian Orthodox Church
Founder N/A
Independence (see below)
Recognition Unrecognised by other orthodox churches[1]
Primate Archbishop Stephen
Headquarters Skopje and Ohrid
Territory Republic of Macedonia
Possessions United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand
Language Church Slavonic and Macedonian
Adherents approx. 2,000,000
Website www.mpc.org.mk

The Macedonian Orthodox Church (Macedonian: Македонска Православна Црква, Makedonska Pravoslavna Crkva) is the body of Christians who are united under the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia, exercising jurisdiction over Macedonian Orthodox Christians in the Republic of Macedonia and in exarchates in the Macedonian diaspora.

The church gained autonomy from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1959 and declared the restoration of the historic Archbishopric of Ohrid. On July 19, 1967, the Macedonian Orthodox Church declared autocephaly from the Serbian church, a move which is not recognised by any of the churches of the Eastern Orthodox Communion, and since then, the Macedonian Orthodox Church has no communion with any Orthodox Church.

of the Church of the Trinity in Radoviš]]

Contents

History

Origins

]]

After the fall of the First Bulgarian Empire, the Emperor Basil II acknowledged the autocephalous status of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and by virtue of special royal decrees set up its boundaries, dioceses, property and other privileges. The Archibishopric was seated in Ohrid in the Byzantine theme of Bulgaria and was established in 1019 by lowering the rank of the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate and its subjugation to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.[2][3]

In 1767 the Archbishopric was abolished by the Turkish authorities and annexed to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Efforts were made in 19 and the first part of 20 century to restore the Archdiocese, and in 1874 it became part of the new established Bulgarian Exarchate. The Christian population of the bishoprics of Skopje and Ohrid voted in 1874 overwhelmingly in favour of joining the Exarchate, the Bulgarian Exarchate became in control of the whole of Vardar and Pirin Macedonia.[4] The Bulgarian Exarchate was also represented partially in Aegean Macedonia. In 1890 the citizens of Ohrid sent a petition to the Great Patriarch of Constantinople to ask for the renewal of the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid[5]. During this time period Metropolitan Bishop Theodosius of Skopje made several pleas to the Bulgarian church to allow a separate Macedonian church, he viewed this as the only way to end the turmoil in the Balkans.
Quote: Is it not high time to put an end to hatred between blood brothers? And how could this be achieved if not by the way of our national Church, by way of the Archbishopric of Ohrid? I shall be sincere, my dear brother in Christ, and shall openly declare to you: we, the Macedonians, to not suffer as much by the Turks, long live our Padishah, as by the Greeks, the Bulgarians and the Serbs, who have set upon us like vultures upon a carcass in this tortured land and want to split it up.[6]
As Vardar Macedonia became part of Serbia after World War I, since 1918 and before the World War II several of the Bulgarian Exarchate's dioceses became part of the Serbian Orthodox Church. During the Bulgarian annexation in World War II the local dioceses became again part of the Bulgarian Exarchate.

Struggle for Autocephaly

In March 1945, the People's Republic of Macedonia became one of the six republics of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, governed by the Communist Party of Yugoslavia. In 1944, in Skopje, a Resolution of Archdiocese of Ohrid restoration as Macedonian Orthodox Church was submitted to the Serbian Orthodox Church who had since 1919 been the sole titulary. This resolution was rejected, but a later one, submitted in 1958, proposing the Ohrid Archdiocese of Saint Clement as a Macedonian Orthodox Church was accepted (June 17, 1959) under strong pressure from the Socialist authorities. Dositej was appointed the first archbishop. The Macedonian Orthodox Church at that time only held autonomous status.

The Serbian Orthodox Church agreed with these decisions in the resolution AS. No 47/1959 and 6/1959, minutes 57 of June 17/4, 1959. That agreement was celebrated in a common liturgy by the Macedonian priests and the Serbian Patriarch German in 1959 in Skopje, as a sign that Serbian church recognises an autonomy of the Macedonian church. In 1962 Serbian Patriarch German and Russian Patriarch Alexis visited the Macedonian Orthodox Church. On the feast of Saints Methodius and Cyril in Ohrid two patriarchs and the Macedonian Metropolitan Dositej concelebrated Holy Liturgy as the first liturgy of the head of the Macedonian church with heads of other Orthodox churches.

During the Third Clergy and Laity Assembly on July 19, 1967, in Ohrid, the Macedonian Orthodox Church was self-proclaimed as autocephalous, which was the official public will of the people in the Socialist Republic of Macedonia.

Many Orthodox Churches admit the faithful of the Macedonian Orthodox Church to communion. The hierarchy of some Churches serve with the priests of MOC, but will not serve liturgically with the hierarchy of MOC. Some also recognise the need for MOC clergy to be able to serve with hierarchs from outside MOC, and to provide an open channel for the resolution of various pastoral problems MOC clergy cannot resolve within MOC. Template:Fact

Relations with the Serbian Orthodox Church

near Skopje]] 
  • Since the breakup of Yugoslavia, the Serbian Orthodox Church has been in conflict with the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which has yet to gain recognition from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople or any other autocephalous church. The issue of dispute is the method used to gain autocephaly, the issue of the Serb Orthodox minority (according to the last census, there are 40,000 citizens of the country declared as Serbs) and the question of some hundreds of Serb Orthodox shrines from the medieval Nemanjić period.

The two Churches had been negotiating the details of a compromise agreement reached in Niš, Serbia in 2002, which would have given the ethnic Macedonians de facto independent status just short of canonical autocephaly. The agreement was signed and agreed upon by three Bishops in the Macedonian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan Petar of Australia, Metropolitan Timotej of Debar and Kicevo; and Metropolitan Naum of Strumica). After political officials exerted pressure on the clergy of the MOC for accepting the agreement, the Bishops later reneged on the agreement, leaving only Archbishop Jovan of Ohrid (secular name Zoran Vraniškovski) from the Macedonian side in agreement. Suddenly the signed agreement was rejected by the Macedonian government and the Holy Synod of MOC. In turn, the Serbian Orthodox Church granted full autonomy to the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, its embattled branch in the Republic of Macedonia, in late May 2005 and appointed Jovan as its Archbishop.

Part of the series on
Eastern Christianity
File:00058 christ pantocrator mosaic hagia sophia 656x800.jpg
Eastern Christianity Portal

History
Byzantine Empire
Crusades
Ecumenical council
Christianization of Bulgaria
Christianization of Kievan Rus'
East-West Schism
By region
Asian - Copts
Eastern Orthodox - Georgian - Ukrainian

Traditions
Assyrian Church of the East
Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Catholic Churches
Oriental Orthodoxy
Syriac Christianity

Liturgy and Worship
Sign of the cross
Divine Liturgy
Iconography
Asceticism
Omophorion

Theology
Hesychasm - Icon
Apophaticism - Filioque clause
Miaphysitism - Monophysitism
Nestorianism - Theosis - Theoria
Phronema - Philokalia
Praxis - Theotokos
Hypostasis - Ousia
Essence-Energies distinction
Metousiosis

The later chain of events turned into a vicious circle of mutual accusations and incidents involving SOC and, partly, Serbian government on one side, and MOC, backed by the Macedonian government on the other. The Macedonian side regarded Jovan as a traitor and Serbian puppet. Jovan complained of a new state-backed media campaign against his Church. "They are creating an unstable, explosive atmosphere among the population and are virtually inviting people to lynch us," he told Forum 18 News Service [1]. The government has denied registration of his Church [2], attacked its places of worship and launched a criminal case against him. He was arrested, removed from his bishopric and then expelled from the country. He returned in 2005 and, after attempting to perform a baptism, he was arrested, sentenced to 18 months in prison [3] and jailed [4] with "extremely limited visitation rights" [5]. On March 19th, 2006, after spending 220 days in prison, archbishop Jovan was released [6].

Also, a much greater impact for the decision of Jovan's arrest made his financial malversations, that is, his inappropriate usage of the church fund.Template:Fact In September 2005 he was also accused of embezzlement of church funds at the time when he still was MOC clergyman.

In turn, SOC denied Macedonian delegation access to the monastery of Prohor Pčinjski, which was the usual site of Macedonian celebration of the national holiday of Ilinden (literally meaning St. Elijah Day) on August 2[7] and the site where the First Session of ASNOM was held. Macedonian border police often denied Serbian priests entry into the country in clerical garb [8].

Despite public appeals from both churches for "Christian brotherhood and unity", both sides did little to settle the dispute.

Organisation

As of 2005, the Macedonian Orthodox Church is headed by Archbishop Stephen of Ohrid and Macedonia. He presides over the Holy Synod of Hierarchs of the MOC, consisting of 9 metropolitans and titular bishops.

Dioceses on the territory of Republic of Macedonia:

  1. Diocese of Skopje, headed by Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid and Macedonia;
  2. Diocese of Polog and Kumanovo, headed by Metropolitan Kiril;
  3. Diocese of Debar and Kičevo, headed by Metropolitan Timotej;
  4. Diocese of Prespa and Pelagonia, headed by Metropolitan Petar;
  5. Diocese of Strumica, headed by Metropolitan Naum;
  6. Diocese of Bregalnica, headed by Metropolitan Ilarion;
  7. Diocese of Povardarie, headed by Metropolitan Agatangel

Other bishops include Metropolitan Metodij of the American-Canadian Diocese; Pimen of the European Diocese; Gorazd, former head of the European Diocese, and Bishop Kliment, Auxiliary Bishop of Heraclea.

Outside the country, the MOC is pastorally active in 6 dioceses in the diaspora. The 13 dioceses of the MOC are governed by ten Episcopes, with around 500 active priests in about 500 parishes with over 2000 churches and monasteries. The church claims jurisdiction of about twenty living monasteries, with more than 100 monks.

Church calendars use the archaic names of the months of the year instead of the common Latin-derived names

Gallery

Footnotes

See also

External links

Dioceses

Churches and Monasteries


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