Church or political issue? The request of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to declare a church mother open dilemmas: is this the way to resolve the name issue? Now the SOC wants negotiations? How Much History Will Help the Present? The response of the Bulgarian church is expected in a few days. Will this issue open the Pandora’s box in Orthodox churches for the mother-daughter relationship? We analyze with the historian Vlado Popovski and the professors Cane Mojanovski and Ljupco Ristovski. I asked this question from the first ambassador of Bulgaria to Macedonia, Angel Dimitrov.
Vlado Popovski: The request may be an opportunity to press the SOC to be more flexible towards the request of the MOC.
When the Bulgarian Exarchate was formed in the documents from that time, a protest was reported to the Macedonians who perceive the bulgarization that is being done through it.
It is not the expectation that the BOC will lead a totally independent policy towards the Bulgarian state. In Orthodoxy churches are in the midst of independence and the state.
The question of the MOC will be resolved within the circle of the Orthodox churches and according to the canons everyone should agree. But there are no churches to declare until they see how Macedonia’s affairs are moving with the EU.
Vlado Popovski: The agreement with Bulgaria is not clear and is asymmetrical. Bulgaria has formulated the right to take care of its citizens in Macedonia, and in the country there are 90,000 people a Bulgarian passport. Macedonia is again obliged not to interfere in the protection of the Macedonian minority there.
Cane Mojanovski: The letter is a good indicator that shows that the Synod of the MOC-OA is responsible and is a cry to motivate the other Orthodox churches to be activated in its inclusion in their family.
The Bulgarian Exarchate was not related to the Macedonian Archbishopric.
There are real interests behind every church question.
For the SOC, the church issue in Macedonia has been resolved and it is difficult to predict its reaction. However, there are certain structures that are ready to negotiate.
Ljupco Ristovski: The MOC has not yet built a consistent approach to its recognition. The lack of transparency of the Synod for the letter shows that there is a great deal of division in this issue in the Synod. Scripture is a sign of despair.
Ljupco Ristovski: If the issue does not solve church relations then it is a purely political issue.
Outside the Orthodoxy, the MOC is also recognized by the Catholic Church and the Protestant Church. This shows that the situation in Orthodoxy is unfortunate. The CPC will not make the decision on its own – they will consult with the SOC, the Greek Church, the Moscow Patriarchate and it can take several years.
Bulgarians will try to invade in the area of church language and politics.