President Stevo Pendarovski called on the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartoholomew to give full independence to the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Bartholomew declared the MOC as part of the Orthodox faith, but stopped short of granting independence, which led to the current talks with the Serbian church, whose opening offer is only broad autonomy within its ranks.
Pendarovski expresses gratitude to Bartholomew for his initial decision, which he says acknowledges the MOC’s historic continuum with the ancient Archbishopric of Ohrid.

With one just and wise step you justify the hope of my fellow Orthodox Christian citizens that it is precisely the Ecumenical Patriarchate that can help our church finally assume its rightful place in the Orthodox world. Timely decisions on your part can be decisive for the spiritual identity of the current and future generations. It is not the same whether out unity with the Orthodox world will be based on the living reality of our church or on anachronistic decisions imposed from the outside, against the will of our numerous faithful. Together with my fellow citizens, I hope that soon the administrative status of our church will be resolved with a Tomos of autocephaly issued on your part, Pendarovski says in his message.