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17 May, 2002, NIS


The Serbian Orthodox Church, that is the Patriarchate of Pec, bearing in mind the actual, spiritual and pastoral needs and the decisions of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, No. 47/1958, 6/1959- record 57 from 17 June,1959, recognizes broad church independence, that is, broadest church autonomy to the existing eparchies of the orthodox church in the Republic of Macedonia, that is, the Ohrid Archbishopric and its diaspora, leaving the question of the final resolution according to the canonical order of the Orthodox Church, to the future pan-orthodox concord of the Fullness of the Church in the Holy Spirit.

In its concrete content it means the following:

1. In its internal affairs, as well as in its church and pastoral activities the respective Orthodox Church has autonomy in accordance to the generally-accepted canonical norms. Therefore, it would have its own Holy Synod of Bishops and a Primate.

2. The respective Church is to be administered on the basis of the generally-accepted canonical order of the Orthodox Church and its own Constitution.

3. The Primate represents his Church before the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the establishing of the eucharistic communion and canonical unity with the Serbian Orthodox Church is the witness for the church unity with the remaining local Orthodox Churches.

4. The Primate is to be addressed to by His Beatitude/His Grace and will wear a white epanokalymafko with a brilliant cross.

5. The Patriarch of Serbia confirms the consecration of the Primate, above all, by celebrating the Divine Liturgy with him.

6. The Patriarch of Serbia or his deputy partakes in the act of enthronement together with one of the bishops of the respective Church.

7. At the Divine Liturgy, at “Among the first remember…’’ the Primate mentions the Patriarch of Serbia and at the Great Entry he can mention the primates of other local Churches, while the eparchial bishops and the vicarious bishops mention the name of the Primate.

8. The Primate, or his deputy, partakes in the boiling of the holy myrrh together with the Patriarch of Serbia as a sign of unity in the Holy Spirit.

9. The Patriarch of Serbia informs the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the local Churches about the choice and consecration of the Primate of the respective Church. The Primate can also inform about this with a serene letter.

10. The Holy Synod of Bishops makes decisions about the formation of new and the redistribution of the existing bishoprics and officially informs the Patriarch of Serbia about that.

11. In the case of a trial of a bishop, or in any other case of similar gravity, where, according to the canonical order of the Orthodox Church, a Council of at least twelve bishops is required to make decisions, then the number of the missing bishops will be provided from the episcopacy of the Serbian Orthodox Church.

12. The eparchial bishops, as well as the vicarious bishops, are appointed by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the respective Church.

13. During the co-officiating with the Archbishop of Pec, Metropolitan of Belgrade and Karlovci and Patriarch of Serbia, the Primate stands at his right hand.

14. In accordance with the ancient Church Tradition and historical practice, the name of the respective Church is the Ohrid Archbishopric. The Ohrid Archbishopric may, according to the long-established practice, use the name it has used so far in its internal official communication with the Patriarchate of Pec.

15. For the same reason, the Primate officially bears the title Archbishop of Ohrid and Metropolitan of Skopje, and the present title can be applied in internal use.

16. The respective Orthodox Church will partake in all pan-orthodox conferences, consultations and celebrations and with the blessing of the Ecumenical Patriarchate it can also partake in the meetings of the Primates of the autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox Churches.

17. In the spirit of these decisions it is necessary to harmonize the constitutional regulations concerning the agreement on establishing canonical unity.


It is necessary to provide the correct pastoral care for the members of the Serbian people in the Republic of Macedonia as well as for the members of the Macedonian people in Serbia and in other regions of Serbia, as well as in Croatia, Slovenia and elsewhere in the canonical area of the Serbian Orthodox Church with a brotherly agreement on appointing parish priests of the same nationality as those in his parish and who will speak the same language during the officiating, the homilies and the administration. The parish priests will be under the jurisdiction of the competent eparchial bishop.