site.btaNorth Macedonia's Historians Participating in Joint Commission Denounce False Information in Local Media

North Macedonia's Historians Participating in Joint Commission Denounce False Information in Local Media
North Macedonia's Historians Participating in Joint Commission Denounce False Information in Local Media
Skopje (BTA Photo)

The members of the Republic of North Macedonia’s team participating in the joint expert commission with Bulgarian counterparts on historical and educational matters came out with a position on some publications regarding the subjects discussed by the expert body. Some high-ranking members of the Orthodox Church in the country also reacted. 

"Certain media published articles spreading untruths that the Commission is resolving the issue (between Bulgaria's and North Macedonia's churches) and is discussing theological and ecclesiastical matters, dogmas and canons or is determining whose the Archbishopric of Ohrid is," the position says.  

"The subject of the Commission's work is how the history of the Archbishopric of Ohrid is presented in primary education history textbooks in both countries, its role and significance for Christianity, the Slavonic alphabet and literature, not ecclesiastical and theological issues or the determination of the status of the Orthodox Church of North Macedonia," North Macedonia's historians said further in their statement.  

"We will consider misinformation about the work of the commission a deliberate instrumentalisation of its work to achieve political goals," the North Macedonian team's response to the joint historical commission said.

After last Friday’s meeting of the joint commission, the Democratic Union (North Macedonia) declared the body does not have the competence to discuss and negotiate historical aspects of the Ohrid Archbisopric producing a harmonized text that would be included in primary education schoolbooks. 

"The Ohrid Archbishopric is linked to the centennial survival and uniqueness of the Macedonian people, which is why negotiations on whether this archdiocese is Macedonian or Bulgarian are tantamount to treason," the Democratic Union said.

Representatives of the Orthodox Church of North Macedonia, as well as Darijan Sotirovski, Director of the Committee on Relations with Religious Communities and Religious Groups, also reacted to the publications. According to Sotirovski, ecclesiastic matters should not be a subject of discussion by the joint historical commission and the establishment of the Ohrid Archbishopric has a clear and well-established history.

Bishop Peter expressed displeasure that the commission had "discussed and defined the historical character of the saints of the Middle Ages who were active within the Ohrid Archbishopric".

After a prolonged schism, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church declared it entered into canonical and Eucharistic communion with the Orthodox Church of North Macedonia on June 21.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has a problem with the designation "Ohrid Archbishopric" because that was the name of an autocephalous Eastern Orthodox Church, also known as the Bulgarian Archbishopric of Ohrid, which was established after the Byzantine conquest of Bulgaria in 1018 by demoting the autocephalous Bulgarian Patriarchate due to its subjugation to the Byzantines. In 1767, the Ohrid Archbishopric's autocephaly was abolished, and it was placed under the tutelage of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

On May 9, 2022, the Ecumenical Patriarchate issued a statement according to which it recognized "Ohrid" as the name of this Church (understood as the region of its jurisdiction solely within the boundaries of the territory of the state of North Macedonia), as also promised in writing to the Ecumenical Patriarchate by its Primate. Thereby excluding the term "Macedonian" and any other derivative of the word "Macedonia".

/BR/

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By 01:57 on 04.02.2023 Today`s news

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