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Nordmakedonien: Macedonian Holy Synod assigns dioceses to former Serbian Church hierarchs

28. Juni 2023

The process of autocephaly and Church unity in North Macedonia is finally complete following the session of the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church-Ohrid Archbishopric on June 20. Under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Archbishop Stefan of Ohrid, the MOC hierarchs assigned dioceses to the four hierarchs who formerly made up the Serbian Orthodox Church’s Ohrid Archbishopric. Recall that the MOC’s decades-long schism was healed in May 2022, and on June 5 of that year, it was formally granted autocephaly by the Serbian Church. However, the SOC’s Ohrid Archbishopric, which was established in 2002 following a failed attempt to heal the schism, was not immediately dissolved and continued to operate in North Macedonia.

Then, in April of this year, the Holy Synod of the MOC announced its intention to bring the SOC structure into its fold, which was also approved by the Bishops’ Council of the SOC in May. On June 5, on the first anniversary of MOC autocephaly, His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije of the SOC and Abp. Stefan of the MOC and other hierarchs concelebrated in Ohrid, liturgically marking the union of the two structures in the MOC. And yesterday, the MOC Synod assigned dioceses to the former SOC hierarchs.

Thus, His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan is now the Metropolitan of Krushevo and Demir Hisar. Met. Jovan was already a bishop of the MOC before 2002, but chose to switch to the SOC after the failed attempt to heal the schism at that time. The Metropolitan then endured years of persecution, including imprisonment, but joyfully accepted the rapprochement with the MOC that occurred last year.

His Grace Bishop Joakim is now the Bishop of Deljadrovci and Ilinden. His Grace Bishop Marko is now the Bishop of Delčevo and Kamenica. And His Grace Bishop David is now the Bishop of Dremvica, vicar of the Skopje Diocese, under Abp. Stefan. (Quelle:, 21. Juni 2023)