The President of Northern Macedonia: The Bulgarian Church has not moved a finger to help us
The President of Northern Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, met with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul on June 19th, where he paid an official visit. On June 26th, he commented for the Macedonian media on the meeting at which the issue of the church status of the Macedonian Church was discussed, saying that it was necessary to talk with the new Serbian Patriarch Porphyry.
Commenting on Macedonia’s Nova TV, the northern Macedonian president said the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the body that can undoubtedly grant autocephaly to the Macedonian Church. Now the Serbian Church, which is against the autocephaly of the Macedonian Orthodox Church and where we have to go to get autocephaly, has a new patriarch. He should also be consulted. I would not like to comment further. “
The president added that his country has no problems with the Bulgarian Patriarchate, unlike the Serbian one. “However, as I know from the leadership of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Church did not move a finger to help us.”
The North Macedonian president is clearly referring to the intensification of Bulgarian-Macedonian church contacts in 2017, when the BOC undertook to petition the other local churches to settle the status of the Macedonian Church. Then the Bulgarian Synod established a special commission chaired by the Stara Zagora Metropolitan. Cyprian to deal with the problem and negotiate with the other local churches. However, it has not been known since then that anything has been done by the commission in question.