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    Ohrid Church Metropolitan: We will recognize OCU after we get Tomos of Autocephaly

    Metropolitan Naoum of Strumica commented on the recent statements by Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid regarding the conditions set by the Ecumenical Patriarchate for granting the Tomos of Autocephaly during an interview to local media.

    This is according to Orthodox Times.

    He emphasized that the Bishops of the Church of North Macedonia will steadfastly support their Primate and the decisions of the Holy Synod, one of which is the request for the granting of Autocephaly by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

    “We seek a Tomos that will be recognized universally, not by just two Churches. Any stance we take in the current conflict between Constantinople and Moscow could jeopardize our precious autocephaly and everything we have gained,” said Metropolitan Naoum.

    When asked about the three conditions associated with granting the Tomos of Autocephaly to the Archdiocese of Ohrid, which Archbishop Stefan recently rejected, Metropolitan Naoum clarified that the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s request is not to recognize the Church in question but to concelebrate the Divine Liturgy with Bishops of the Church of Ukraine.

    “This issue is not insurmountable, especially considering that other Churches have resolved similar problems in this manner. With such a solution, no one will be entirely satisfied—neither Constantinople nor Moscow—but no one should be completely dissatisfied either. It is crucial to maintain ecclesiastical unity as a whole, directly or indirectly,” he stated.

    Metropolitan Naoum believes that neither Moscow nor anyone else seeks a full schism. “It is easier to stay in a comfort zone and avoid taking responsibility, but that path never leads to a positive outcome. We will have the right to recognize the autocephaly of a local Church only after we have been granted the Tomos of Autocephaly from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. If we are truly Orthodox, we must find a way forward, especially since almost all of us have faced similar situations. Ultimately, these matters will be decided by the Holy Synod. The Orthodox leadership faces a significant test: will it succumb to secular influences and dangerous maneuvers, risking a total schism, or will it rise above these challenges? May God preserve our unity.”

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