BELGRADE (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 21st September, 2020) Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic expressed hope on Monday that Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople would refuse to support the initiative of the North Macedonian authorities regarding the autocephaly of the breakaway Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC).
On Sunday, North Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski asked the Patriarch of Constantinople to recognize the MOC, which unilaterally declared its autocephaly and independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in 1967. The SOC, other local orthodox churches and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople did not recognize the move. The MOC is supported by the Macedonian government and is the only official orthodox community recognized by the country's authorities.
"We want an agreement to be reached, but the rules of the Orthodox Church must be observed. We expect that the Patriarch of Constantinople will take the same position as when he opposed the creation of the so-called Montenegrin Orthodox Church," Dacic told reporters.
In June 2019, Patriarch Bartholomew warned in a letter the Montenegrin president against supporting the non-canonical Montenegrin Orthodox Church and taking any steps to the detriment of the SOC, recalling that he warned the authorities of Montenegro about the inadmissibility of such actions back in 2000.