In canonical terms, the FYROM (Macedonian) church issue cannot be resolved without the leading role of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC).

This is according to Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, who spoke for the SPC broadcaster TV Hram.

“We are convinced that settling the ‘Macedonian’ church issue must be resolved within the canonical framework, and it is inconceivable not to, in this process, take into account the leading role of the Serbian Orthodox Church, from which ‘the Macedonian Church’ seceded 50 years ago,” he said.

The so-called “Macedonian Orthodox Church” was formed through non-canonical separation from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967.

The SPC and other Orthodox churches remain in canonical unity with the Orthodox Ohrid Archbishopric, the only canonical church in the area of Macedonia, headed by Archbishop of Ohrid Jovan.

Neither the Serbian Orthodox Church, nor other autocephalous Orthodox churches recognize “the Macedonian Orthodox Church.”

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