Macedonian Autocephalous Orthodox church – History Of Ohrid
The Peoples’ Liberation War of Macedonia also had a component that included the struggle for the reestablishment of the Ohrid Archiepiscopate. The First Church Council was held 21st October 1943 in the village Izdeglavje (30 km from Ohrid), in the first liberated territory. The participants reached a decision on rejecting the jurisdiction of other churches and reestablishing the Ohrid Archiepiscopate.
The First Church and Peoples’ Council took place on 4th and 5th March 1945. The Council adopted a Resolution with the following contents: “1. The Ohrid Archiepiscopate shall be restored as an independent Macedonian Orthodox Church that shall not be subordinated to any other national Orthodox church; 2. The Church shall have its national bishops and clergy in order to incorporate the characteristics of the Macedonian people and for them to be closer to their mother native church; and 3. The first Macedonian archpriest shall bear the title “The Archbishop of Ohrid”, and the Macedonian Orthodox Church shall bear the title “St’ Clement’s Ohrid Archiepiscopate”.
The Second Church and Peoples’ Council took place from 4th – 6th October 1958 in the cathedral church of St. Sofia in Ohrid. The first point of the adopted decision stated: “This Church and Peoples’ Council made a decision on restoration of the old Macedonian Ohrid Archiepiscopate that was forcefully abolished, and its eparchies attached to the Constantinople Patriarchate in 1767, and hereby it shall be named the Macedonian Orthodox Church”. His Reverence Dositej was elected Archbishop.
The Third Church and Peoples’ Council was assembled by the Holy Synod of the Macedonian Orthodox Church on 17th and 18th July 1967 in the church St. Sofia in Ohrid. A decision was passed on adopting the Declaration on Proclamation of Autocephality of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
With this decision the Macedonian Orthodox Church, successor of the restored Ohrid Archieposcopate, shall be declared Autocephalous.
Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church shall be the Archbishop with the honourable title “Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia”.
The present head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, His Reverence Dositej shall be designated the honourable title of “Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia”.
The diocese of the Macedonian Autocephalous Orthodox Church shall be concurrent to the borders of the Macedonian national state – the Socialistic Republic of Macedonia.
The Macedonian Autocephalous Orthodox Church, as a part of the one, holy, congregational, and apostlehood Church, shall receive and preserve the Holy Bible, as well as the provisions, in the same manner as the other Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, and shall reject any other teachings preached by other religions.
The Macedonian Autocephalous Orthodox Church shall be conducted in accordance with the Holy Bible, Holy Scripture, The Apostles Rules, the Canons, and the Constitution of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
A copy of the Decision shall be submitted to all Autocephalous Orthodox Churches, as well as to all eparchies and church municipalities of the Macedonian Autocephalous Church.
This Decision shall be proclaimed in the Church and peoples’ Council of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, clergy, and Christians during the holy Archpriests’ liturgy in the church of St. Clement of Ohrid in Ohrid.
The decision shall come into force upon its adoption.
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