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Constitution of the Macedonian Orthodox Church
To begin with the historical fact that Macedonia and Macedonians got their eternal dimension in the Holy Scripture - the Bible;
Regarding the fact that in the holy biblical and the blessed land of Macedonia, Christianity has been preached by Apostle St. Paul who has established the first Christian Church Communities and Episcopacies of the Macedonian cites: Philippi, Thessalonika (Solun), Beroea and others;
Having in mind the deeds of the Macedonian apostles Gaius and Aristarh (Acts19, 29) and the Macedonian Churches (Episcopacies), at the time of the Apostles and afterwards, as well as at the time of Iustiniana Prima, and activity of the pan-Slavic and enlighteners and even to the Apostles, the holy brothers Cyril and Methodius, including the deeds of their most talented disciple Saint Clement of Ohrid the Miracle-worker, Bishop of the Macedonian Diocese of Dremvic (893-916) who left behind the Holy Scripture and the books of worshipping to his people, the Macedonian nation, in old Macedonian language, upon which foundations later the Ohrid Archbishopric was erected;
To begin with the extraordinary results of the Archbishopric of Ohrid in establishing the Orthodoxy among Macedonians and other nations, as well as the educational mission of the first Balkan and European University - the School of Ohrid;
Knowing that in the 10th century, in the Macedonian State of Tzar (King) Samoil, the Archbishopric from Ohrid was raised onto the dignity of a Patriarchy; The fact that the Archbishopric of Ohrid had never been canonically abolished, that in the year 1767 the Turkish Sultan, as a ruler of another religion, ended its autocephalous activity with "Irede";
Considering that the Macedonian nation in its centuries long struggle for Orthodox Church-educational, spiritual, cultural, national and social freedom and statehood, approached to renewing the Archbishopric of Ohrid in the image of its canonical sucessor - the Macedonian Orthodox Church;
Having in mind that with: The Resolution of the First Council of the priesthood, held in October 21, 1943, on, for the first time liberated territory of Macedonia during the time of the war, a resurrection of the Archbishopric of Ohrid as an independent Macedonian Orthodox Church was announced;
The Decision of the First Church and Lay Council, held on March 4, 1945, in Skopje, was for a renewing of the Archbishopric of Ohrid in the image of the Macedonian Orthodox Church;
The Decision of the Second Church and Lay Council, held in October 4, 1958, in Ohrid, which renewed the Archbishopric of Ohrid in the image of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which Decision was sanctioned by the Bishop’s Council of the Serbian Orthodox Church with the Decision No. 44, 24/11 May, 1959, i.e. the Serbian Orthodox
Church has RECOGNIZED the autochephality of the Macedonian Orthodox Church; and
The Decision of the Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council, held in July 17, 1967, in Ohrid, renewed i.e. has proclaimed the AUTOSEPHALITY of the Archbishopric of Ohrid in the image of the Macedonian Orthodox Church;
Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council this 31 day of October and 1 day of November 1994, with the alterations and additions, has brought down the
of the Macedonian Orthodox Church
I. BASIC DIRECTIONS
The Macedonian Orthodox Church, as an autocephalous is a part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. The Macedonian Orthodox Church protects the dogmas, canons and the unity of the Divine services with the Eastern Ecumenical Orthodox Church.
The Macedonian Orthodox Church has unique organisation: it arranges independently the Church activities and administers them.
The Macedonian Orthodox Church has the dignity of an Archbishopric.
The coat of arms of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is in the centre of a purple coloured cloak ornamented with the cross from the right side and the Archierarchal scepter from the left side. A shield with golden Archierarchal crown is placed above it and there is, the temple of "Saint Clement of Ohrid" in Ohrid at its midst.
The Macedonian Orthodox Church has its own flag: red coloured cloth, with the proportion of 1 x 2m. In accordance with the coat of arms of the Macedonian Orthodox Church the picture of the temple of "Saint. Clement of Ohrid" in Ohrid is imprint at its centre. The picture is in golden colour with the proportion of 30 x 40 cm.
In the Macedonian Orthodox Church the official language is the Macedonian language and its Cyrillic letter; public-worship languages are the Church-Slavic and Macedonian. Into the parts of the Church-services other languages may be used too, under the conditions and in a way determined by a decision of the Holy Bishop's Synod (hereinafter refereed to as “Holy Synod”).
The Macedonian Orthodox Church (hereinafter referred to as “MOC”) is governed on the basis of:
- a) The Holy Scripture and the Holy Tradition, according to the teaching of the Holy Orthodox Church;
- b) Apostolic rules, canons of the Ecumenical Councils, the Local Councils and the Holy Fathers;
- c) Acts of the Local Councils and Patriarchal Synods so long as they have been adopted by the MOC;
- d) on the basis of the regulations, rules, statutes, by-laws, decisions and other constitutional acts of the competent Church authorities, which are made on the basis of the Constitution.
The Macedonian Orthodox Church is organised as an Archbishopric and is titled with Macedonian Orthodox Church. In its canonical and administrative organisation the MOC covers the following Dioceses:
- Orthodox Diocese of Skopje, with its seat in the capital of the Republic of Macedonia - Skopje;
- Orthodox Diocese of Prespa and Pelagonia, with its seat in Bitola;
- Orthodox Diocese of Bregalnica, with its seat in Shtip;
- Orthodox Diocese of Debar and Kichevo, with its seat in Ohrid;
- Orthodox Diocese of Polog and Kumanovo, with its seat in Skopje;
- Orthodox Diocese of Povardarie, with its seat in Veles;
- Orthodox Diocese of Strumica, with its seat in Strumica;
- Macedonian Orthodox Diocese of America and Canada, with its seat in Toronto;
- Macedonian Orthodox Diocese for Australia, with its seat in Melbourne;
- Macedonian Orthodox Diocese for Europe.
The seats of the Dioceses may be determined with the Holy Synod’s special decision too.
The seat of the MOC is in Skopje, the Capital of the Republic of Macedonia.
At the head of the MOC is the Archbishop as its Governor. The title of the Archbishop is Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia and he is addressed with "Your Beatitude".
The MOC is an Episcopal and in terms of its internal administration is organised in Dioceses. The Diocese represents a territorial unit of the MOC, constituted of a certain number of parishes, organised in Diocesan Provinces and as well as of the monasteries, which are in that territory.
On the proposal of the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee the borders of the Dioceses are determined by the Archbishopric Church and Lay Council. At the head of each Diocese is the Diocesan Bishop as its Governor. The Diocesan Bishop has the dignity of a Metropolitan and he is addressed with "Your Grace".
The Metropolitan, as Diocesan Bishop, has the title of the Diocese which he governess.
The Vicar Bishops have the title of some ancient Diocese.
Changing the title of the Diocesan Bishop i.e. the Diocese, its foundation, encircling and abolishing, is within the authority of the Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council on the proposal of the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee.
II. ESTABLISHMENT OF THE AUTHORITY, THE BODIES AND ORGANS IN THE MACEDONIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
The organisation of the MOC is an Archbishoprical (central) and Diocesan (local).
Archbishoprical (central) administration
The Archbishoprical (central) administration is comprised of:
- Legislative bodies
- a) Holy Bishop's Synod, and
- b) Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council
- Executive organs
- a) Archbishoprical Ruling Committee, and
- b) Archbishoprical administration.
- Juridical organs Church Court and prosecution.
Diocesan (local) administration Diocesan (local) administration is comprised of:
- a) Diocesan Ruling Committee;
- b) Diocesan administration
- c) Church Court and prosecution;
- Diocesan Province;
- Parish, and
The government in the MOC is Church-hierarchical and Church-administrative.
THE CHURCH-HIERARCHICAL BODIES AND ORGANS IN THE MACEDONIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ARE:
- Holy Bishop's Synod;
- Archbishoprical Church Court, and
- Archbishoprical Church - educational Council.
- Metropolitan - Diocesan Bishop;
- Diocesan Church Court, and
- Diocesan Church - educational Council.
- Deputy Prelate.
- Parish priest.
- Elder (Head) of the Monastery brotherhood-sisterhood.
B.THE CHURCH-ADMINISTRATIVE BODIES AN ORGANS IN THE MACEDONIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH ARE:
- Archbishoprical Church and lay Council, and
- Archbishoprical Ruling Committee.
- Diocesan Assembly, and
- Diocesan Ruling Committee.
- Diocesan Province Assembly.
- Church-Community General Meeting;
- Church-Community Council, and
- Church Office - Administrative Committee.
All the Church bodies and organs of the MOC have their own common seal and square stamp. The common seal is with the Church coat of arms in its centre; at whose around first appears an inscription "Macedonian Orthodox Church," and afterwards the title of the body i.e. authority.
- Archbishoprical Administration 1.Archbishop
The Archbishop is elected from the order of the active Diocesan Bishops of the MOC who at the day of the election have not less than 40 and more than 75 years age. It is necessary for the candidate who is going to be elected Archbishop, at the day of the election to have spent at least 5 years acting as Diocesan Bishop.
The election of Archbishop is conducted by the Archbishoprical Electoral Church and Lay Council in accordance with the canonical and constitutional provisions in the Holy Orthodox Church, from the candidates’ list containing three (3) candidates, which is determined by the Holy Synod.
The election of Archbishop of the MOC is accomplished in accordance with the general determinations of this Constitution and the Regulation for election of Archbishop of the MOC, which on the proposal of the Holy Synod is brought down by the Archbishoprical
Ruling Committee and in accordance with the canons and the rules of the Holy Orthodox Church and this Constitution.
The Archbishoprical electoral Church and Lay Council is comprised of:
- All members of the regular Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council; and
- Two(2)moreclergyandtwo(2)layman,delegatedrepresentatives from each Diocese, who are elected by the Diocesan Assembly from its composition.
The place, the day, the hour and the temple in which the election of the Archbishop will occur are determined by the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee on the proposal of the Holy Synod, and that at the latest of 4 (four) months from the day when the throne of the Archbishop will remain vacant.
The Electoral Church and Lay Council, in agreement with the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee is convoked by the oldest (by ordaining) Diocesan Bishop in written form, at least 30 (thirty) days before the day of assembling of the Council will take place.
At the Electoral Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council presides the oldest (by ordaining) Diocesan Bishop.
- Holy Bishop's Synod
Holy Bishop's Synod (hereinafter refereed to as Holy Synod) of the MOC is the highest/supreme authority of the MOC, considering all Church-spiritual and canonical questions.
The Holy Synod functions in two compositions:
- a) Plenary (full composition), and
- b) Operative/standing composition.
- a) Plenary (Full) Composition of the Holy Synod
The plenary composition of the Holy Synod is comprised of:
- The Archbishop as its President, and
- All the Diocesan and Vicarious Bishops as its members.
In the absence of the Archbishop the seating of the Holy Synod are chaired by the oldest ordained Diocesan Bishop.
The Holy Synod Authority
The Holy Synod (in its full composition) performs the following affairs:
- Interprets the Orthodox Church’s teaching, adhering to the definitions established by the Holy Orthodox Church on the basis of the Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition;
- Preserves the dogmatic and canonical unity with all the local Orthodox Churches; Provides care for the purity of the Christian Orthodox teachings, of the faith and morals, and strives for erroneous teachings to be eradicated;
- Provides care for the spreading of the Orthodox faith and manages the affairs of the internal and external mission of the Church;
- Provides care of bringing closer together and strengthening the unity of the Orthodox Churches;
- Provides care of the correctness, uniformity and resplendence in performing the
6. Holy Sacraments, public services and prayers;
- Sets a program for religious education and takes care of the religious-moral
enlightening of the faithful;
- Establishes the universities, post-secondary and secondary theological and monastic institutions and schools, takes care and directly or indirectly over its emissaries supervise its work;
- - Confirms the election of the dean of the Theology Faculty;
- - Appoints the rector and the principal to the monastic school and, appoints the teachers and professors to the schools;
- - Affirms the election and re-election of the elected (re-elected) teachers and professors of the schools;
- - Confirms the election and re-election of the elected (re-elected) teachers and professors of the Theology Faculty;
- - On the proposal of the Teacher’s Council accepts educational programs and curriculums of the schools and catechism;
- Appoints and discharges: the secretary of the Holy Synod, of the Church Educational Council, and of the departments of the MOC;
10Provides care of the perfecting and applying of the original Macedonian Church singing in the MOC;
- Canonises Saints and ascribes services for their worshipping;
- Takes general care about preserving the Holy ashes and relics;
- Provides care of publishing of divine services’ and other books;
- Gives guidance and approves making of icons for Church and private use;
- Gives directions for building of churches (temples) and monasteries;
- Provides care of the stability of the unity of the spiritual Church
administration and discipline in the MOC.
17. Brings forth regulations for the entire MOC on questions relating to authority, Church teachings and clerical activities for spiritual disciplinary matters, which relate to Church order and discipline, and for all the subjects of the spiritual life and order;
18. Brings disciplinary regulations for all the spiritual and Church organs and bodies;
- Approves the regulations, statutes and rules of the Constitution;
- Brings forth and changes its Working Manual;
- Determines regular, monthly and all other remuneration of the Archbishop and the Bishops; it brings forth the annual budget of the Synod, which as a particular position is integrated into the general budget of the Archbishopric;
22, Oversees the work of the Archbishop and the Bishops;
- Provides care of consistent respect of the constitutionality and the lawfulness of the MOC;
- Interprets the general, obligatory and particular canonical and Church regulations;
- Brings a Marital rules;
- Brings forth regulations for the organisation of the internal life and order of the monasteries, according to the monastic and Church rules;
- Follows the situation of the monasteries and gives guidance to the Diocesan Bishops for their preservation, advancement and work;
- Prescribes educational and other qualifications for all the regular officers in Church;
- Provides care for the maintaining and developing good and constructive relationships of the MOC with the State of the Republic of Macedonia upon the questions which are of common and special interest for the Church and the people;
- Runs a list of all persons of the monastic rank who are worthy to be elected Bishops of the MOC;
- Together with the ARC engages itself actively in electing the Archbishop:
- Provides a “Gramota” (certificate) to the elected Archbishop; Decides upon the request of a Bishop of the MOC for the retirement from
duty, because of illness or some other justified reasons;
- Appoints titles of Vicar Bishop to the Archbishop and other Diocesan Bishops;
- Elects Diocesan and Vicar Bishops in the MOC;
- Appoints and dismisses the temporal Administrator of separated or vacant Diocese; Gives proposal to the Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council for founding, abolishing and encircling of Dioceses of the MOC;
- After the written and elucidated proposition of the responsible Diocesan Bishop, assigns rank of Aarchimandrite and chest cross to the Very Reverend Fathers, and the Decoration of St. Clement of I, II and III order to the meritorious clerics and laymen;
- Inspects the annual reports of the Diocesan Bishops and approves their
- Provides special care for the Dioceses and Church Communities/Parishes of the MOC which are outside the borders of the Republic of Macedonia;
- In co-operation with the Diocesan Bishops, follows the situation and provides care of creating a necessary working conditions within the passive and missionary parishes and especially for the Priests who are commissioned with the missionary activity;
- Provides special care in preserving and protecting the cultural and historical buildings of the MOC. Provides special care in preserving and protecting the icons and other Church relics, which are of sacral, cultural and historical value; In the accomplishment of the aims from the previous attitude, the Holy Synod co- operates with the competent and specialised State authorities and institutions;
- Provides care of the arrangement and functioning of the Church Museum and other historical and educational institutions of the MOC, appoints and dismisses chiefs and personnel and supervises its work;
- Brings forth rules for the work of the Church Courts;
- Decides upon requests as to the preserving of legality, as well as to the soothing the penalties or amnesty of the judgements passed by the Archbishoprical Church Court;
- Judges in first and last instance over the trials between the Archbishop and the Bishops upon canonical faults (of spiritual or material nature) and contrary to the Constitution activities of the Archbishop and the Bishops;
- Upon request of the Priest, brings forth final decision in case of a dispute, as to the canonical reception and discharge (dismissal);
- Executes other affairs in its authority, according to the Constitution of the MOC and its other Church regulations.
The plenary composition of the Holy Synod holds a regular sessions twice a year, in the months of May and October, and, if necessary additional sessions. The President convokes the sessions with the proposed agenda at least 15 days before the session will take place.
The Holy Synod may work if 2/3 of its total number of the members are present, and make legal determinations with a majority vote of the present members. When the number of votes is equally divided the President has the decisive vote.
The regular sessions of the Holy Synod in its plenary composition continue until the agenda exhausts.
The Holy Synod (in its full and in its standing composition), may call on the session, representatives of the clergy (priesthood), monasteries, education-pedagogical institutions and the Church services, for the purpose of consultation regarding some special questions.
When in case of urgency and unavoidable of the matter, in the Archbishop absence, the Holy Synod have to bring forth some Church-legislative regulation of the Archbishopric, that particular regulation afterwards must be submitted to the Archbishop for inspection into and an agreement. If the Archbishop does not agree, the regulation goes on second time to be envisage at the session of the Holy Synod which is held under the presidency of the Archbishop.
On every session of the Holy Synod a separate Minutes is taken, which must be signed by all members who took part at the session.
In accomplishing its affairs the Holy Synod leads itself by the canonical teachings and cannon rules of the Holy Orthodox Church, the Constitution of the MOC and the other regulations which are made on the basis of the Constitution, and as well as in accordance with its Working Manual.
In order of accomplishing the administrative affairs the Holy Synod appoints a secretary, clergyman, with the high theology education having a special Christian and moral characteristics with at least 10 years of priestly or 5 years of educational or administrative service.
Upon necessity, the Holy Synod may appoint subsidiary office personnel.
- b) AN OPERATIVE (Standing) COMPOSITION OF THE HOLY SYNOD
The operative composition of the Holy Synod is comprised of: - The Archbishop, as its President, and - Two members of the Diocesan Bishops.
The members are elected of the Holy Synod with mandate of two years. Every year a new member of the Holy Synod is elected. The members have their deputies. If the Holy Synod found that there is a need of, it can prolong the mandate of a member of the operative composition at most for two years more. The operative composition of the Holy Synod is in constant session. The President of the Holy Synod convokes the sessions of both compositions when required, or upon request of the two Bishops with a concrete proposition.
An operative composition of the Synod functions in between the sessions of the Holy Synod’s full composition accomplishing the authority of the plenary composition with the exception of the following paragraphs of article 24 of this Constitution: 1, 7, 8, 9,10,11,17,18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 43, 44 and 46.
The Holy Synod in its operative composition gives approval of absence of the members of the Holy Synod up to three months.
In the absence of the Archbishop, with the session of the operative composition of the Holy Synod chairs the older by ordaining member. The decisions made in the absence of the Archbishop, if he does not agree with, are rewired at a new session chaired by the Archbishop and are subject of an afresh resolving.
The Holy Synod in its operative composition oversees the work of the executive bodies and organs of the Archbishophical and the Diocesan administration.
The Holy Synod in its operative composition carries out all other affairs that are given to its authority over the laws, statutes or regulations.
- ARCHBISHOPRICAL CHURCH AND LAY COUNCIL
Archbishoprical Church and Lay Council (hereinafter referred to as ACLC) is the highest Church-administrative and legislative body of the MOC for all economical- administrative and legislative questions, as well as for those which do not come within the authority of the Holy Synod.
The ACLC has a regular and electoral composition. The members of the regular and electoral composition elect the Archbishop of the MOC, from the list of the candidates determined by the Holy Synod.
The ACLC is comprised of members by virtue of position and of members by virtue of election.
Members of the ACLC by virtue of position are those who by their rank and position, enter the Council with all the rights and obligations. Those are: The Archbishop, the Diocesan, Vicarious, and the retired Bishops, the Dean of the Faculty of Theology, the Rector of the Seminary, the Principal of the monastic School, the Elders: of the Cathedral Church of the Macedonian Archbishopric "Saint Clement of Ohrid" in Skopje, of the monastery "Saint Naum of Ohrid" in Ohrid, of the “stavropigial” monastery "Holy Mother of God" in Kalishta-Struga, and the representative of the monastic Elders-a monk, appointed by the Holy Synod.
Members of the ACLC by election are: by five (5) members of each Diocese, including those outside the borders of the Republic of Macedonia consists of two priests and three laymen, who are delegated by the Diocesan Assemblies. The electoral members of the regular ACLC also have their deputies.
By virtue of his position, the Archbishop is the President of the Council. The Vice President of the Council is elected from the lay members of the Council.
Every adult Orthodox Christian who belongs to the MOC and distinguishes himself with the religious - moral and other qualities can be a member of the Council. Persons who live together into an unblessed marriage by the church, and persons who do not fulfil their religious and other obligations which arise from membership of the Church, cannot be members of the Council and other Church bodies and organs. The members of the Administrative Committees or, the Church-Community Councils whose mandate has expired, on whatever basis, lose their mandate in the ACLC and other bodies and organs of the MOC.
The legitimacy of the delegated members of the ACLC at the time of its establishment is identified and confirmed by the verifiable commission of the Council.
The mandate of the members by election of the ACLC lasts 4 (four) years. The Archbishop, or the Bishop who is replacing him, convokes the Council once in a year on the regular session and, an extraordinary sessions when required.
As to the necessity of an extraordinary session decides the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee.
If one third of the members of the Council through the written explanation and with the proposed agenda made a request for an extraordinary session of the Council to be called, then the President is obliged to convoke the Council within thirty (30) days from the day of such request being made.
The ACLC makes legal determinations when more than half of the Councils’ members are present and legal determinations are made with votes of more than half of the members present. In case of an equal number of votes, President has the decisive vote.
The secretary function of the Council is accomplished by the secretary of the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee who runs a minutes of the session.
The Council elects two (2) persons who ratify the Minutes of the sessions.
The regular and additional sessions of the Council continues until the agenda is exhausted.
The President cannot postpone the session of the Council or, dissolve the Council. The council decides over the postponing of its session, however, at the same time it must define the place and the time where it will assemble again.
The ACLC brings forth a Working Manual for its work.
Within the frames of its authority (jurisdiction), the Council lawfully and independently decides, and through its organs it manages and executes the affairs provided for in Article 38 of this Constitution in particular:
- It defends and guards the interests and the rights of the Macedonian Orthodox Church;
- On the proposal of the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee,itdecidesanychangesandadditionstotheConstitutionof theMOC;
- On the proposal of the Holy Synod and the Arshbishoprical Riling Committee it brings forth Regulations for the organisation and the authority of the Archbishoprical and Diocesan departments and councils;
- On the proposal of the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee it decides on the number and the borders of the Dioceses of the MOC;
- It elects and releases the members of the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee;
- It makes decision in regard to the management, use and control of the Archbishoprical properties, funds and legacies;
- It oversees the properties which are managed by the Archbishop and Diocesan Bishops;
- Brings forth the rules and regulations, which arise from its authority;
- It examines the annual reports prepared by the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee and approves the annual financial statements on the revenues and expenditures of the Archbishopric and of all Dioceses of the MOC, including those from the Diaspora of the Republic of Macedonia;
- It gives directions and approves the acts of the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee, as to the expenditures made for Archbishopical, the Church and Educational aims, for the funds, institutes and monasteries;
- On the proposal of the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee it decides on the ordinary and the special reserves.
The electoral ACLC can make the legal determinations only if at least 2/3 of the active Bishops and at least 2/3 of the total number of the members of the Electoral Council are present.
It is considered that the elected Archbishop is that candidate who won more than half of the votes of the present members of the Electoral Council.
In case that any candidate does not win the majority of the votes from a previous election, the election is repeated.
If after the second ballot an Archbishop is not elected, a third ballot between the two candidates who have won the most of the votes is carried out and, it is considered that the elected one is the one who won more than half of the votes. When after the third ballot as well the candidates win equal number of the votes, the election is carried out by drawing of lots.
The Electoral Council works in accordance with its Working Manual and, as to the procedure of the election the Council passes a Regulation.
The minutes of the election of an Archbishop is signed by all members of the Electoral Council. If some of the members of the electoral Council do not wish to sign the Minutes, that is noted in the Minutes with verification of the Chairman and the secretary of the Council.
After completing of the election, the elected candidate become an Archbishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church with all the rights and obligations awarded to him by the Holy Canons and the Constitution of the MOC.
The following morning, after the formal ascending at the throne, the newly elected Archbishop, after the receiving of the Archbishoprical “insignia” (panagia and scepter), from the oldest ordained Bishop, takes an oath:
"We N.N. elected and ascended Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia swear to Almighty God; that we shall be loyal and devoted to the Macedonian Orthodox Church and to our Motherland, the Republic of Macedonia; that we shall guard the purity and teachings of the Holy Orthodoxy, the Holy Canons and Church regulations, and we shall keep canonical unity with all other local Orthodox Churches; we shall respect the Macedonian Orthodox Church in every aspect, especially its Constitution and regulations which arise from
the Constitution; in all our deeds and actions we shall act only in accordance with the interest of our Holy Church and Motherland; and we shall not agree with any change contrary to their interest. As we believe, confess and work, thus the Almighty God, the Holy Mother, the Holy Macedonian and Pan-Slavic even to the Apostles, the Holy brothers Cyril and Methodius of Solun, Saint Clement and Saint Naum, the Miracle-Workers of Ohrid, the Macedonian and all other Saints shall help us."
The Archbishop publicly signs the text of the oath personally and it is entered in the Council's Minutes and, the original of the oath is kept at the Holy Synod’s archives.
As a specific characteristic, the Archbishop wears a white "panakamilavka" with a diamond cross and, during the divine-services “panagia” of the Holy Mother, of the Saint Clement of Ohrid and a Cross.
The Archbishoprical “panagia” which is left as a heritage from one Archbishop of the MOC to another, is with the figure of Saint Clement of Ohrid and, the figures of the Macedonian Saints are ensued on the necklace.
Within the Orthodox Diocese of Skopje, the Archbishop has the all rights and duties as Diocesan Bishop. The Archbishop’s authority includes the following:
- He represents the MOC before the other Orthodox Churches, before the authorities, religious groups and confessions in the Republic of Macedonia and abroad;
- He maintains unity in the hierarchy of the MOC;
- He sends brotherly advises to the Bishops and reconciles personal misunderstandings between them;
- In accordance with the Church regulations, personally and together with other Bishops or through out authorised Bishops, ordains and dedicates elected persons for Diocesan and Vicar Bishops;
- Consecrates chrism for the entire MOC;
- Leads onto the divine services in the MOC;
- He is mentioned by the Bishops of the MOC at all of the Archierarchical Liturgies;
- With an approval of the Holy Synod sends pastorals for the entire MOC;
- Together with the Holy Synod manages all the spiritual- religious affairs of the MOC;
- Carries out canon visits to the MOC in accordance with the canon rules and with the responsible Bishop;
- Convenes and chairs with the Archbishoprical bodies and organs of the MOC;
- By previous invitation, he can attend the meetings of all administrative organs and bodies of the Dioceses within the entire MOC;
- Issues “Gramotta” (certificate) to the ordained Bishop;
- Provides care that all employees within the Archbishopric performs their duties conscientiously and supervises their work through the secretary of the Archbishopric;
- Performs all other duties which are delivered to his authority by the Holy canons and all the Church regulations.
The eventual jurisdictional disputes between the Archbishop and the other organs and bodies in the Archbishopric of the matters which are of a purely spiritual and hierarchical character, they are resolved by the Holy Synod and, the others by the ACLC.
While the throne of the Archbishopric is vacant due to the death of the Archbishop or due to other reason which lasts for the period of at most four months, the functions of the Archbishop are carried out by the “mestobljustitel” (replaceman), i.e. the oldest ordained Diocesan Bishop.
The appearance of the conditions as to when the throne of the Archbishopric is vacant is determined by the Holy Synod over its official duty.
- ARCHBISHOPRICAL RULING COMMITTEE
The Archbishoprical Ruling Committee (hereinafter referred to as “ARC”) is the highest administrative organ as to the business affairs of the entire Church and an executive organ of the ACLC.
The members of the ARC are elected by the ACLC.
The Dean of the Theology Faculty, the Rector of the Seminary and the Principal of the monastic School are the members of ARC by virtue of their position.
In the composition of the ARC are included: The Archbishop as its President, two Diocesan Bishops who are not members of the Holy Synod’s operative (standing) composition one of whom is the Deputy President, one priest and one layman from each Diocese delegated by the Diocesan Assemblies; and one monastery elders’ representative, a monk appointed by the Holy Synod.
The members of the ARC also have their elected deputies. The mandate of the ARC lasts four years.
The secretary of the ARC is elected via the competition and, he is appointed and dismissed by the ARC.
The secretary of the ARC can be a priest or a monk with the high theological education with the moral qualities and qualifications, having at least 10 years priestly or 5 years administrative or pedagogical-educational service.
The ARC every three months holds regular sessions and additional sessions when required.
The ARC is convoked of its President or his deputy. The ARC validly works if majority is in presence and, decides with majority of the votes of the present members.
The questions which are of urgent matter and are not to be postponed, are solved presidentially, i.e. by the closer composition of the ARC which consist of: the President of the ARC or his Deputy, one clergyman and one layman elected by the ARC from its members. The solutions over those questions have to be additionally submitted to the ARC for its approval.
The President and the members of the ARC are obliged to compensate any eventual damage caused by their inattention. The compensation is sought through regular procedure, i.e. the case is investigated by initiating proceedings for court procedure for criminal responsibility before the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Church Court.
The ARC executes the affairs, which are of the ACLC’s jurisdiction, except the matters provided for in Article 49, paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8 and 9 of this Constitution.
The authority of the ARC includes the following Church administrative affairs:
- Controls the work of the Church-administrative Archbishoprical and Diocesan organs, where if necessary sends its special emissaries; 2 Brings forth a settling of account of the revenues and expenditures of the
Archbishopric and, inspects and submits the budgets and the final financial
reports of the Archbishoprical institutions for an approval by the ACLC;
- At the end of the annual budget settling of account, inspects the financial and material work of all Dioceses of the MOC: It submits the annual financial reports of the Diocesan Riling Committees and of the ARC for an approval by the ACLC;
- Directly supervises the Administrative Committees which are under the management of the Archbishop and the Diocesan Bishops and, from time to time sends its authorised persons on the very spot;
- With the Secretary of the Archbishopric, forms commissions for the patron of the temples, monasteries and the Church feasts, important holy-days and the Church- monastery gatherings, in order of a control to be executed for its material and financial work submitting thereof a reports to the ARC and, for the offences submits charges to the Diocesan Church Courts;
- Brings forth on principle the decisions for the salaries and for the fees beside the salary of the parish priests and for all employees in the MOC;
- By way of the competition when necessary elects qualified persons for the Archbishopric office clerks as well discharges off because of criminal actions or on the basis of a sentence for criminal charges;
- Brings forth a decisions on the organisation and systematisation of the working
spots within the Archbishopric;
- Provides care and strives that the churches, the monasteries and all other Church- religious institutions have a legal documentation on the property rights onto their real estate;
- Controls the closed contracts to lease the Church-parish, monastery and the
Dioceses real estate;
- Approves finances to finance a construction or repairments of all building facilities which were not included into the annual budgets of the Dioceses, i.e. for the entire MOC;
- Approves the final alienation of real estate within the entire MOC and, for the annulling of debts of the Churches, monasteries, Dioceses and the Archbishopric;
- Strives for of the establishing of the funds and “zaduzbini”(donations) for the benefit of the Church;
- Brings forth a Working Manual for its work;
- Carries out other affairs, which will be transferred by the Holy Synod and the ACLC to its authority.
- ARCHBISHOPRICAL ADMINISTRATION
The Archbishop directly manages the Archbishoprical administration whereas, he is assisted by the administration Principals:
- a) The Secretary of ARC - the Archbishopric Secretary General;
- b) The Secretary of the Holy Synod;
- c) The departments administration Principals – that are the Secretaries.
SECRETARY OF THE ARC - ARCHBISHOPRIC SECRETARY GENERAL
In order of the execution of the affairs from the sections of the Church administration and of the material-financial working of the ACLC and the Archbishop, pursuant to Article 59 of this Constitution, the ARC appoints and releases from duty a Secretary of the Archbishopric who is the Secretary of the ACLC, ARC and the Archbishoprical Church Court and, at the same time he is the Archbishopric Secretary General.
DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE MACEDONIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Within the MOC exist the departments of :
- Materially-financial and administrative work and real estate-legal relations;
- Church education, culture, publishing and information activity;
- Building, Church art and architecture;
- Foreign Church relations, missionary work and charitable activities;
Each department is administered by its President - a Bishop appointed by the Holy Synod. All mentioned departments have their administrative principals - secretaries with an appropriate qualities and qualifications of 10 years priestly or 5 years administrative or educational work.
Each department works in accordance with the Regulation, which is brought down by the ACLC on the proposal of the Holy Synod and the ARC.
With the Regulations of the departments the questions of the internal organisation and the way of its work are determined.
The Holy Synod appoints the administrative principal - a Secretary for the department of the Church education, culture, publishing and information (hereinafter refereed to as “Department for Church education”), who by virtue of his official duty is the editor-in chief of the Church periodicals at the Archbishopric level and, that the appointed principal can be a person, graduated at the Theology Faculty with at least 10 years priestly or 5 years administrative or educational work.
ARCBISHOPRICAL CHURCH EDUCATIONAL COUNCIL
The Archbishoprical Church Educational Council (in the following text “Council for education”) is the Holy Synod’s Church-hierarchical organ and it is comprised of:
- 1 (one) Diocesan Bishop, the President of the Council, appointed by the Holy Synod;
- 4 (four) clergyman appointed by the Holy Synod; and
- The department’s Church education administrative Principal who is the Secretary of the Council.
The collaborators to the Council for education may be appointed by the Holy Synod as well, the lay persons who are experts or who have experience within the Church education, publishing and informative activities.
The Archbishoprical Church Educational Council has the task, through its activities to enrich: the spiritual, cultural and educational life and as well the publishing activity in the MOC.
For its annual activity within the religious teaching and the publishing activities the Council prepares annual program with the co-ordination with the Dioceses departments for education, culture, publishing and the information service sector of the MOC.
The Council acts according to the Regulation Manual, which is passed upon the proposal of the Holy Synod by the ACLC.
- DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATION
- Diocesan Bishop - Metropolitan
The Diocesan Bishop, as a spiritual head, rules the Diocese (a territorial unit composed of certain number of parishes, organised into the Diocesan Provinces and the monasteries that are in existence on that territory).
The Diocesan Bishop represents the Diocese and rules the entire spiritual and Church life and order of the Diocese. The Bishop executes his Church-hierarchical authority independently within the co-operation of the clergy and the monks in all dogmatic, theological and Liturgical questions and, the Church-administrative affairs regarding the material and financial work together with the clergy, monks and the Orthodox people of that Diocese delegated in its bodies and organs.
The Diocesan Bishop is elected through the secret ballot by the Holy Synod (in its plenary composition) from its candidate’s list.
The Holy Synod executes the election of a Bishop when 2/3 of the Diocesan Bishops are in attendance at the session.
The election of the Diocesan Bishop is conducted in accordance with the Regulation Manual adopted by the Holy Synod.
A person that fulfils the canonical conditions prescribed for the Bishop's rank in the Holy Orthodox Church may be elected a Diocesan or Vicarious Bishop. Except for that, the candidate should fulfil the following conditions:
- a) To have graduated at the Theology Faculty;
- b) To be distinguished with a moral life and to have a good reputation in the surrounding he lives;
- c) Not to be younger than 30 years and not to have over 60 on the day of the election;
- d) To be a citizen of the Republic of Macedonia.
The Bishops of the Macedonian Orthodox Dioceses in the Diaspora can have double citizenship.
The Holy Synod can discharge (remove) from administering the Diocese the Diocesan Bishop after the canonic condemnation and the judgement.
The Diocesan Bishop ceases administering with the Diocese after proved physical and physchological incompatibility as well or in the case that some of the conditions of Article 73 ceased to exist or on the basis of the application for retirement.
In case when the Diocesan Bishop without any special decision of the Holy Synod is absent from the Diocese for more than a year is dismissed from that Diocese and the Holy Synod appoints a Bishop-administrator for that Diocese or a regular Diocesan Bishop.
The Diocesan Bishop lives at the seat of the Diocese.
The Archbishop, the Diocesan Bishop-the Metropolitan and the Vicarious Bishop who are no longer at the position as an active Bishop have the right to live at one of the monasteries (of his, that is i.e.) the Diocese he used to be a Bishop.
For the retired Diocesan or Vicarious Bishop in whose Diocese there is no monastery and there is no possibility to ensure a wellbred living conditions the Holy Synod shall appoint another monastery in the MOC.
The Diocesan Bishop has all the rights and obligations which are provisioned with the Holy Canons, this Constitution and with the Church regulations.
The rights and obligations of the Diocesan Bishop are:
- To teach and guide/educate the clergy, monastic orders and people in the Diocese with the words, deeds and pastoral ministrations;
- To direct and approve to the clergy, monastic orders and people to establish and organise welfare, spiritually-educational, charitable and the like useful institutions for the furtherance of the faith and the moral;
- Gives blessing for building of churches, monasteries, chapels and cemeteries
where necessary and takes care for their upkeep; 4 Takes care for the Church heritage and for that purpose co-operates with the
competent expert institutions;
- Consecrates temples, a Holy Linens, etc.
- Ordains worthy persons with the fulfilled theological preparation as deacons, priests and monastic rank, directs them in their duties and provides them with “Gramota” (certificate) for that;
- Gives canonical reception and dismissal to the priests and monks.
- Appoints and dismisses his own Deputy and for that informs the Holy Synod too;
- Appoints orators and religious-teachers in the Diocese, as well the confessors for the clergy in the Diocese, the Diocesan provinces;
- Upon the proposal of the monasteries' elders or upon his personal initiative gives blessing to the worthy persons for the monastic orders;
- Appoints and dismisses elders of the monasteries;
- Decides dispensation and revalidation of Church-marital and other bans, according to the canons and regulations;
13 Gives leave of absence to officials and clergy in and outside of his Diocese;
- Sends out a special representatives to inspect the Diocesan and the Deputy Prelates' offices, monasteries' administrative offices and Church Parishes;
- Passes judgement over summary offences committed by the clergy of both ranks and imposes sentences for disciplinary offences by oral and written warning, fines, suspension (epythymy) of fifteen days and prohibition from clerical duties for one month and, for more serious disciplinary offences delivers them to the Diocesan Church Court; to pass judgement and sentences for a temporary denial of certain rights and honours in the Church. These are all executive decisions.
- Removes from clerical duties clergy found guilty by the Diocesan Church Court and appoints replacements;
- In case of serious and demonstrable liability within his Diocese, he may suspend from function the church personnel from any order, even prior to the commencement of the investigation procedure which must commence no later than 30 (thirty) days from the date of the suspension;
- Convenes and presides over the bodies and organs of the Diocese and takes care for the completition of their decisions;
- Intends all solutions and decisions of the higher Church authorities to be announced and executed in the Diocese on time. As to the constitutionality and regularity of his own work, he is responsible before the Holy Synod.
- For his own work and the state of the Diocese he provides to the Holy Synod an annual report;
- He awards and honours clergy, monks and lay persons;
- Executes all other duties arising from this Constitution and the Church regulations based upon it, as well the duties that have arisen from his membership of the Holy Synod.
As the property of the Bishop is considered the real estate he obtained himself, at most 25% of that real estate after the Bishop's death belongs to the Diocese while the rest is distributed according to the State legal regulations, unless otherwise mentioned in a Will.
The library, the Bishop's vestment and other Church items after the death of the Bishop belong to his Diocese.
- DIOCESAN ASSEMBLY
The Diocesan Assembly is a Church-administrative body for all administrative and material questions of the Diocese.
The Diocesan Assembly includes representatives of the clergy and the layman. The mandate of the members of the Diocesan Assembly lasts four years.
Members of the Diocesan Assembly are:
- a) Ex Officio:
- The Diocesan Bishop or his Deputy;
- All Deputy Prelates within the Diocese
- b) By election:
- One monk elected by the Elders of the monasteries;
2.One priest elected by the Diocesan Province Assembly;
- Two representatives of the layman, elected by the Diocesan Province Assembly.
Deputies, are elected to the members mentioned under b) paragraphs 1 and 2, and the deputies under paragraphs 2 and 3 are elected from the same Diocesan Province.
The Diocesan Bishop is the President of the Diocesan Assembly or with his authorisation his Deputy, when/if the Bishop is unable to attend at the session.
The Vice President of the Diocesan Assembly is elected from the laity.
The Diocesan Secretary is the Secretary of the Diocesan Assembly. He has only an advisory capacity.
The Diocesan Assembly is convened by the Diocesan Bishop or his deputy 14 days before the Assembly takes place at the seat of the Diocese at least once a year for a regular session and, an additional one when required.
The Diocesan Assembly has the full authority to make decisions if the majority of its members are present and, the decisions are passed with the majority of votes by the attending members.
In case the votes are equally divided the President’s vote is the decisive one.
The jurisdiction of the Diocesan Assembly includes:
- a) To delegate two clergy and three lay persons for the regular ACLC (Article 41 of the Constitution of the MOC),
- b) To elect two clergy and two lay persons for the election of an Archbishop (Article 19 paragraph 3 of Constitution);
- c) Elects the members of the Diocesan Ruling Committee;
- d) Elects or dismisses the members of the Diocesan Church Educational Council;
- e) Ratifies the annual accounts of the Diocese, its institutions and funds;
- f) Observes and ratifies the administrative and financial work of the Diocese;
- g) With the agreement of the Diocesan Bishop gives proposals for founding, abolition and the fixing of territorial boundaries of the Diocesan Provinces and submits these proposals to the Holy Synod for an approval;
- h) Decides for buying and alienating of the personal and real estate of the Diocese;
I) Establishes Diocesan funds, donations and other institutions;
- j) Submits to the ACLC a report in relation to its own work.
The election mode, the functioning and the dismissal of the Diocesan Assembly is ratified by the special Regulation Manual, which is passed by the ACLC.
- DIOCESAN RULING COMMITTEE
The Diocesan Ruling Committee (hereinafter referred to as DRC) is the executive and supervisory body of the Diocesan Assembly regarding the matters, which fall, within the scope of work of the Diocesan Assembly.
The DRC is comprised of:
- The Diocesan Bishop as its President or his Deputy;
- One (1) of the monastery’s Elders;
- Two (2) clergy;
- Three (3) lay persons; and
- The Secretary of the Diocese.
The members of the DRC under paragraphs 3 and 4 have their deputies as well and, they are elected by the Diocesan Assembly.
The mandate of the members of the DRC lasts four (4) years.
In circumstances of inactivity or destructive behaviour of the member of the DRC, on the proposal of the Diocesan Bishop the Diocesan Assembly may remove the mandate of such a member.
The DRC is convened by its President for: regular sittings every six (6) months and, an additional ones when required.
The DRC has the full authority to make decisions if the majority of its members are present. Decisions are passed with the majority of votes of the attending members. In case the votes are equally divided the President’s vote is the decisive one.
For the matters that are of an urgent nature the DRC has the presidential (standing) composition that includes: the Bishop, one (1) clergy and one (1) lay person of the seat of the Diocese or of its surrounding elected by the DRC of its composition. Decisions of this type additionally have to be submitted for an approval by the DRC.
The DRC submits a report for its own work to the Diocesan Assembly and, the minutes from the Committee’s sittings are to be submitted for inspection.
The President and the DRC members as well, are responsible for their work and the deeds before the Diocesan Assembly. Those persons are obliged to compensate the damage caused by their unscrupulous work. The damage compensation may be sough before the State legal organs (civil court of law).
The DRC conducts its work in accordance with the Regulation Manual determined by the Diocesan Assembly pursuant to this Constitution.
The Diocesan Ruling Committee’s authority includes the following Church- administrative affairs:
- Prepares the final account relating to the income and expenditure of the Diocese and submits the same to the Diocesan Assembly for an approval which forwards the same to the ARC;
- Approves the budgets and the annual final accounts of the Church- parishes, churches, monasteries, funds and other goods of the Diocese, and the latest of the 31 March (every year) provides the same for inspection and approval by the ARC and ACLC.
- To supervise and control the administrative work, to strive for keeping inventory books for the Churches real estates and chattels in the Diocese, to ensure that the title deeds are provided for the real estates, to take care that the real estates are ensured against fire and other disasters;
- Gives directions for administering with, instructing with and controlling with over the Diocese’s real estate, funds, donations and other institutions;
- Brings forth decisions and solutions for alienating and mortgaging of the Churches’, Monasteries’ and Diocese's real estates and informs for that the Diocesan Assembly which forwards the cases to ARC for the final decision.
- Brings forth final decisions upon tenancies of Churches’, Monasteries’ and Diocese's real estates;
- Determines the writing-off of the Diocese’s real estate, which cannot be paid by debtors and determines the writing-off of depreciated Diocesan’s items. Advertises the sale of Church assets and objects by auction;
- To take up litigation regarding the Diocese's, Churches’ and Monasteries’ real estates and chattels or to decide to transfer the litigation to a body of lower authority; to decide on the settlement in litigation over real estate and chattel;
- Authorises the building of new Diocesan buildings, buildings for Church- administrative bodies and organs of the Diocese and major repairs of Churches and sacred objects;
- Executes direct supervision over the material and financial workings of the Church Parishes and Monasteries and may send its own representatives and commissions at the very spot;
- Where the Church/temple does not have a priest or the Monastery does not have monastic order, with the agreement of the Diocesan Bishop elects or confirms the Church Administrative Committees and Monasteries’ overseers, where the Monasteries do have monastic orders a Monasteries’ overseers shall not be appointed.
- DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATION
For the execution of its duties of the determination and fulfilling of the Church life and order in the Diocese, the Bishop is assisted by:
- a) Administration of the Diocese which is led by the Secretary of the Diocese;
- b) The controlling and auditing body;
- c) Diocesan Church Educational Council and the other Councils.
The Administration of the Diocese consists of: the Secretary of the Diocese, the Accountant of the Diocese, administrator-archivist and other necessary office and technical staff appointed by the Bishop with an agreement of the DRC.
The Administration of the Diocese executes all administrative affairs of the bodies and organs of the Diocese, and especially:
- a) To lead the registry and archives;
- b) ToleadthedocumentationoftheChurches’goods-therealestates
- c) To lead the accountancy and treasury; and d) To supervise the technical staff.
The auditing and control organ consists of:
- a) The Diocesan Church auditor;
- b) One (1) Monastery representative - a monk;
- c) One (1) clergy person; and d) One (1) lay person.
The members of the auditing and control organ are elected and dismissed by the Diocesan Assembly with the mandate of four (4) years.
The auditing and control organs beside the Commissions, which are formed by the DRC, supervise and control the administrative and the material-financial work of the Diocese.
- DIOCESAN CHURCH EDUCATIONAL COUNCIL
The Diocesan Church Educational Council (hereinafter referred to as Educational Council) (Article 93 p. v,) is elected by the Diocesan Assembly for the mandate of four (4) years. The Educational Council consists of:
- The Diocesan Bishop as a President or his Deputy;
- Two (2) clergy persons; and
- The Secretary of the Diocese as the Secretary of the Diocesan Church
Other persons may be consulted and included within the work of the Educational Council who with their professional knowledge may contribute to the work of the Council.
The Educational Council within its activities has the aim to enrich: the spiritual, cultural and educational life and the publishing activities of the Diocese.
For its annual activity in the filed of creed and publishing, the Council is to prepare an annual program within co-ordination with the department of the Church education and culture and the ACLC.
- DIOCESAN PROVINCE
The Diocesan Province is comprised of a certain number of the Church Parishes, which in relation of the spiritual matters are under the spiritual supervision of the Diocesan Prelate.
In relation to the number, founding, abolition and alteration of the Diocesan Provinces decides the Holy Synod over the proposal of the Diocesan Assembly and with the agreement of the Diocesan Bishop.
Within the seat of each Diocesan Province, the Deputy Prelate has its own office.
The Deputy Prelate directs co-ordinates and supervises the Church activity of the Parishes at the Diocesan Province. He visits the Parishes of its Province at least once a year, controlling the registers, archives and libraries and the conditions of the temples and Churches’ buildings, the cemeteries and other Churches’ real estates and chattels providing a written report in relation to this to the Diocesan Bishop who provides the same to the Diocesan Assembly.
The Deputy Prelate gives leave up to seven (7) days yearly to the parish Priests of its Province in the Diocese, thereby informing the Diocesan Bishop for that.
The other affairs of the Deputy Prelate are regulated by the clergy Regulation Order.
- DIOCESAN PROVINCE ASSEMBLY
The Diocesan Province Assembly is comprised of the parish Priests and the Vice Presidents of all Church Parishes in each Province.
The Province Assembly with the approval of the Diocesan Bishop is assembling over the necessity and over the invitation by the Deputy Prelate at its seat, which observes the matters of its interest.
The Church-Parishes, which include more than one parish at the Province Assembly, participates with that many layman as is the number of the parish Priests of the Church- Parish .
The Province Assembly elects representatives from the clergy and laity for the Diocesan Assembly.
The Parish is a Church community of clergy and believers from the Orthodox religion settled upon a certain territory under the spiritual leadership of one parish Priest, i.e. Parson.
In a certain settled territory may exist more than one Parish and at the same time more than one settle territory may comprise one Parish.
Upon the proposal of the Deputy Prelate or upon its initiative the Diocesan Bishop in agreement with DRC, brings a decision for organising of a new and regulating of the existing Parishes.
Every Orthodox Christian as a member, belongs to that Parish at which district he lives with all rights and obligations into the Church, which belong to him pursuant to this Constitution.
The members of the Parish are obligated to confess, to practice, to support, to confirm and spread the religion of the Orthodox Church, to operate in such a way that all believers live in accordance with the Orthodox faith, to attend the Holy Liturgies, to receive the Holy Secrets, to do the deeds of the mercy and to maintain and help the Church and its servants.
The Parish has its own parish Church the Temple. Several parishes may have a common Church-Temple. If in one Parish has more than one Churches-Temples only one of those is the Parish Church while the others are territorial churches of the adequate Parish.
The Parishes which have no Church/Temple of it’s own, in agreement with the Monastery Office if there is any at the territory of the Parish or in its neighbourhood, with the decision of the Diocesan Bishop, the Monastery temple may be used as a Parish Church/Temple. In that case the Churches’ fees for the religious performances go into the treasury of the Monastery.
The Parish is comprised of at least 500 and at most 700 Orthodox homes. Exceptions are possible on these localities and territories where the terrain conditions and the other circumstances do not allow such grouping of the Parish as well as to the parishes abroad. Under the name of Orthodox home is encompassed every Orthodox family and as well as certain mature persons with single status.
The Parish has its Office, Church registers, other prescribed books and its seal. If there are more parishes within the Church then the Parish Office is the same for all and will be in use the same official books and seal.
According to the significance of the Parishes is concerned that there is a categorisation of Parishes in the MOC. The categorisation of the Parishes is regulated by the clergy Regulation Code.
- PARSON - PARISH PRIEST
Each Parish is headed by the Parson - a Parish Priest who is a spiritual Elder in its Parish and within the administrative system an administrator of the Parish administration and an executive body of the Church-Parish Council and the Church Office ( Administrative Committee).
The Parson is temporary or permanent. He is appointed through the competition by the Diocesan Bishop.
For a parish Priest who is not a citizen of the Republic of Macedonia (as to the appointment to the Parish) upon the proposal of the Diocesan Bishop, decides the Holy Synod.
For a temporary parish Priest may be appointed a person who has graduated at the Theology Faculty or theology High school (Seminary) and who has no canonical obstacles for a clerical order.
For a permanent parish Priest shall be appointed such a clergy who has been in clerical order at least 10 years and has graduated at the Theology Faculty or 15 years, with theology High school (Seminary) after he has passed the exam for a permanent parish Priest. The exam for a permanent Priest is taken according to the Regulation Manual, which is brought down by the Holy Synod.
From the examination for a permanent parish Priest are to excused: the professors of the Theology Faculty, the Seminary, the Monastic School who were teachers for 5 years in these institutions, the religious-teachers with catechism examination passed, Diocesan Secretaries, the Secretary of the Archbishopric, the Secretary of the Holy Synod and of the departments with the 5 years required experience for their positions.
The years spent within a deacon service are recognised as well as the years spent in a priestly one.
The responsible Bishop may displace the permanent Parson from the Parish only by his own application or with his consent or, with the judgement of the responsible Church Court.
The responsible Bishop may displace the temporal parish Priest in need of the service.
When there are more parishes’ priests at one Church/Temple, the Diocesan Bishop appoints an Elder of the Church from one of them. The Elder of the Church is responsible for the Church and the order of the Parish office is to be in order.
Each parish Priest executes its parochial duties and runs its affairs independently. As to his work he is under the supervision of the Elder of the Church, the Deputy Prelate and under the chief supervision and control of the Diocesan Bishop.
The parish Priest has the following rights and obligations:
- a) Fulfils all the determinations of the Constitution decrees and Regulation Manuals of the MOC, which relate to the parish Priest and the Parish;
- b) To convene and to chair with the Church-Parish Council and the Church Office (Administrative Committee);
- c) Takes care that the determinations of the Church authorities are implemented;
- d) Runs the register (the parishioners evidence) for all the persons of the family with the following data: surname, name, date of birth and baptism, conjugal status, profession, death and possible changes within the Parish;
- e) Runs the card-index for the home-festive visits, widowed, divorced old homeless loners and for the children with no parents, as well for the sick persons for whom he initiates and organised aid and support from the Parish;
- f) Runs a register of the Church real estate and chattels and the Church objects of a sacramental, cultural, historical, and artistic value and the inventory book as well;
- g) Upon his official duty or upon the request of an individual issues a certificates and assurances;
- h) Regularly provides annual reports and statistical data regarding the activity and the state of the Parish to the Deputy Prelate and the Diocesan Church Court;
- I) Runs annals for its Parish.
All other rights and obligations of the parish Priest are determined with the special Regulation Order by the Holy Synod.
Upon the proposal of the ARC a Regulation Manual is brought down by the ACLC as to the material receptions and belongings of the parish Priests.
- CHURCH COMMUNITY AND CHURCH-COMMUNITY COUNCIL
Each parochial Church with its own ward represents the Church Community.
If at one Church (Temple) there are two or more parishes, they all together represent one Church Community.
The Church Community is represented by parish Priests and all the Orthodox Christians who belong to the parochial Church.
If in one place there are two or more parochial Churches, by mutually convenient agreement of the Church Administrative Committees and in agreement with the DRC and the responsible Diocesan Bishop the united (common) Church Community may be organised. The status of the certain parochial Churches, their participation in the organs of the Church Community, the financial working and the like in those cases shall be determined with special by-laws which on the proposal of the ARC is brought down by the ACLC.
Within each Church Community exists a members’ Church General Meeting which consists of all adult Orthodox Christians from the region of the parochial Church (the Parish) who fulfil the religious, moral and material duties towards the Church and its institutions.
The members of the Church Community who have become adults and have fulfilled the conditions of Article 107 of this Constitution have attained the right to elect and to be elected to the Church-Community Council.
The right to elect and to be elected is lost by those persons:
1) Who do not have pious and moral life;
2) Who do not perform conscientiously their Church and religious duties and do not fulfil their obligations towards the Church and the family;
3) Who are under investigation or are convicted of a criminal offence or an act against public morality;
4) Who live together out of wedlock or are in a marriage that is not blessed by the Church;
5) Who are members of some society or organisation whose work is against the Orthodox faith and the interests of the Orthodox Church.
The assembly for the election of members of the Church Community Council is called 10 days before it takes place. The parish Priest leads the Meeting and within the Church Community, in which there are a few Priests, the President of the Meeting and the Council is the Elder of the Church Community, i.e. the Elder of the Church/Temple.
The assembly can validly elect members to the Church-Community Council, if at least 5% of the total registered members are present.
The assembly elects 20 to 30 members to the Church-Community Council depending of the quantity of the Church Community membership.
The Church-Community Council has the following business:
- a) Selects the members of the Church Administrative Committee;
- b) Controls the activity of the Church Administrative Committee;
- c) Decides the annual budget and adopts the annual final account of the Church Community which it submits to the DRC for approval;
- d) Makes decisions for building, renovating and restoration of the Church and other buildings of the Parish for which ask for a final approval of the DRC;
- e) Decides for founding of funds with Church, cultural or humane purposes and determines the ways of raising the material means;
- f) Approves and checks the annual working and management of the Church Community;
- g) May buy and alienate real estate only with the approval of the DRC;
- h) Provides care for the maintenance of the parish Priest and the Parish according to the directions and orders of the higher Church organs and bodies.
The Church-Community Council is assembled at regular sessions once a year, and an additionally when required.
The organisation of the Church Communities is determined with a special Order, which on the proposal of the ARC is made by the ACLC.
- CHURCH COMMITTEE - “NASTOJATELSTVO”
The performance of the regular affairs connected with the life of the parochial Church and the Church Community is taken care of by the Church Committee (“Nastojatelstvoto”).
The Church Committee consists of the following members: the Parish Priest i.e. all the Parish Priests in the larger Church Communities, and 5 to 7 Committee men elected by the Church-Community Council among its members.
The members of the Church Committee have a mandate of four (4) years.
With the termination of the mandate of the elected members in the Church Committee and the Church-Community Council their mandate also terminates in the higher Church bodies and organs.
The Elder of the parochial Church by virtue of his position, is a President of the Church Committee (“Nastojatelstvoto”).
The composition and work of the Church Committee by a special Order is determined by the ACLC in agreement with the Holy Synod.
- PAROCHIAL ADMINISTRATION
The Parish administration consists of:
1) The Parish Priest - Elder of the Church - by virtue of his position;
2) The Secretary - bookkeeper, layperson; and
3) The Treasurer, layperson.
The Secretary and the Treasurer are elected from its members by the Church Committee and are confirmed by the DRC.
The Parish Priest - the Elder of the Church as a spiritual leader of the Parish is responsible for the proper performance of the registers: the business matters, for christenings, weddings and deaths; controls and has the inspection into the work of the Secretary and the Treasurer and without his signature accounts cannot be paid off.
The Secretary - bookkeeper does the bookkeeping (revenue and expenditure) within the Parish, he administers the total real and personal property of the Parish keeps a record- inventory book of all gifts.
The Treasurer runs the parochial treasury from which, with the approval of the Church Elder he pays the regular and extraordinary expenses of the Parish.
The Treasurer is responsible for the total property with which he has been entrusted and is answerable for it before the Church organs and bodies; and in regard to unlawful activities, he is civilly (i.e. materially) and criminally liable.
The way of the keeping of the treasury is determined by a special Regulation made by ACLC on the proposal of the ARC.
The Parish administration provides an annual report to the Church-Community Administrative Committee, which, in turn, submits a report to the DRC.
The Secretary and the Treasurer’s administration of the Parish is honorary work, but so long as there are activities for full time work and so long as the Church has at its disposal larger properties and budgets, by a decision of the DRC, it can decide upon a fee: that is, a paid working position.
The Monastery is a clerical place with the Temple and other necessary buildings i.e. living union of the persons within monastic order, who are associated in a spiritual union and who over the solemn oaths have given an obligation that they shall live in accordance with the monastic rules.
Metochs are detached monasteries’ real estates with charitable purposes.
The foundation of a new, as well as the incorporation of more existing Monasteries into a union is approved by the Holy Synod on the basis of the explained proposition by the responsible Diocesan Bishop.
Prior to the foundation of new Monasteries the material means for survival and proper life of the spiritual union must be provided.
The metochs are detached Monasteries’ real estates with or without a Church/Temple, which are inseparable parts of the Monasteries and are under their administration.
- a) Monastic brotherhood (sisterhood) Article 136
All priestly-monks, monks and nuns, those who live in a Monastery and those who, due to their official Church duty, outside the Monastery, are members of the monastic brotherhood (sisterhood).
- b) Monastery's Administration
The Monastery administration consists of Elder of the Monastery and a brotherhood- sisterhood of the Monastery within the Diocese who, in a spiritual sense in accordance with the canons and Monasteries’ rules are to respond to the responsible Diocesan Bishop.
The Diocesan Bishop is a supreme overseer and a supervisor of all male and female Monasteries within his Diocese.
The Elder (overseer) of the male Monastery (or the nun’-Elder - the nun’-overseer of the female Monastery) are responsible to act and to execute their duties together with the brotherhood (sisterhood), in accordance with the Monastery Constitution.
Beside the affairs which are determined with a special Order of the Holy Synod, they executes the following affairs:
- Brings forth an annual statement of account (budget) for the revenues and expenditures of a special needs of the Monastery, prepares the annual final financial report and provides the same for an inspection and approval by the DRC;
- Writing-off the claims that can not be paid;
- With the approval of the DRC makes decisions for the taking or leasing of the Monasteries’ real estate which are provided to the DRC for an approval;
- With a previous approval of the DRC, alienates the Monasteries’ real and personal estate;
The determinations from this Constitution, which relates to the Monasteries, are to be in force for both male and female Monasteries.
Within the MOC are the following “stavropigies”:
- The Monastery of "the Holy Mother of God" in Kalishte, Struga which is excluded of the regular Diocesan administration and is to be put under direct supervision of the Archbishop of the MOC; with the obligation to respond to all commitments towards the MOC and, is delivered only of the Diocesan tax (levy).
- The Monastery of "Saint Pantelejmon" in Skopje, which together with its whole real estate and chattel it is proclaimed as a real estate and chattel of the Holy Synod and it is put under its direct spiritual and material administration.
A special Order regarding the internal and external monastic life is brought down by the Holy Synod.
C CHURCH JUDICAL ORGANS
All disciplinary and canonical offences of the lay monastic and clergy persons and of the Bishops within the MOC are investigated and judged by the following judicial organs:
- The Holy Synod, in its full composition, acting as a Church Court;
- The Archbishoprical Church Court;
- The Diocesan Church Court;
- The Diocesan Bishop, acting as a Church-judicial organ;
The court procedure before the Church courts is determined with a special Regulation Manual passed by the Holy Synod.
- The Holy Bishop’s Synod
The Holy Synod (in its full composition) is the supreme Church-judicial organ within the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
The Holy Synod appears as a judicial organ in the cases determined with the Articles: 21 and 24, paragraphs 43, 44 and 45 of this Constitution.
- The Archbishoprical Church Court
The Archbishoprical Church Court is a first-rate judicial organ for investigation and passing judgements upon the offences of the persons that serve the MOC (the Archbishopric, the Theology Faculty, the Theology High school-Seminary, and the Monastic School) and a second-rate judicial organ of all spiritual judicial indictments, judged by the Diocesan Church Court, within a procedure determined by the Holy Synod.
The Archbishoprical Church Court has the following composition:
- The Archbishop, as its President and one Diocesan Bishop, who is a Vice President of the Court;
- Three clergyman, from various Dioceses, with a Theology diploma or Attorney Faculty if possible, with experience of at least ten (10) years clerical or five (5) years administration or, service within the education.
The Secretary of the Court is the Archbishopric’ Secretary who has only an advisory capacity.
The Archbishoprical Church Court has necessary office personnel appointed by the Holy Synod.
Within the composition of the Archbishoprical Church Court a Bishop as a Deputy to the Vice President is elected who in case of absence of one of the Bishops takes over the Vice President function.
The members mentioned in the Article 145, paragraph 2 item b) of this Constitution in case of their absence have their deputies.
The members of the Archbishoprical Church Court and their deputies are elected and dismissed by the Holy Synod with a mandate of four years and a possibility for one more re-election.
The Archbishoprical Church Court decides, as an appeal court, the appeals against the judgement of an original jurisdiction of the Diocesan Church Court.
In its official capacity, the archbishopric church court makes decisions on all cases thereby passing the sentences of life prohibition of performing priestly duties, defrocking from the priestly rank, and the final excommunication from the Church community and an anathema.
A regular legal remedy against the judgements of the Archbishoprical Church Court is not permitted before the judicial organs of the MOC.
Upon request for the protection of the legality against the passed judgements decides the Holy Synod in its plenary composition.
The Court is summoned when required and, is convoked by its President, i.e. his Deputy.
A Working Regulation Manual of the Archbishoprical Church Court is brought down by Holy Synod.
- Diocesan Church Court
The Diocesan Church Court (hereinafter refered to as Diocesan Court) is a Church- judicial organ of original jurisdiction within the Diocese.
The Diocesan Court has the following composition:
- The Diocesan Bishop - President or his Deputy;
- Two clergyman; and
- The Secretary of the Court is the Diocesan Secretary, who has only an advisory function.
The members and their deputies too, of the Diocesan Court are nominated by the Diocesan Bishop and, are approved by the Holy Synod.
The mandate of the Diocesan Court lasts (4) four years.
The authority of the Diocesan Court includes:
- To pass judgement for the responsibility of the clergy from both ranks;
- To pass judgement for the responsibilities of the believers which to drag along a temporary or final excommunication from the Church community;
- To pass judgement for a dissolution of a Church marriage;
- Announces and executes the orders and decisions of the Archbishoprical Church-judical organs;
- Takes care for a correct work of the Diocesan Committee;
- Provides an annual report for its work to the Diocesan Bishop and the Archbishoprical Court;
A Working Regulation Manual of the Diocesan Church Court is brought down by the Holy Synod.
- Diocesan Bishop
To pass judgement on the clergy of both ranks for minor disciplinary offences and punishes with the limited punishments in accordance with the regulations of this Constitution, Article 77, paragraphs 15, 16 and17.
The Diocesan Bishop’s punishments are executive.
- Church Prosecution
For bringing a judgement against the disciplinary and canonical violations within the conducting of the Church-judicial procedure too, is to give its contribution the Church prosecutor.
Within the MOC are to be appointed:
- The Archbishoprical Church Prosecutor; and
- The Diocesan Church Prosecutor.
The organisation and the work of the Church Prosecution are determined with a special Regulation Manual, which is passed by the Holy Synod.
The Holy Synod for an Archbishoprical Church Prosecutor appoints a priest, who graduated at the facility of Theology or law with at least ten (10) years priestly service or at least ten (10) years administration or education service.
The Archbishoprical Church Prosecutor informs the Diocesan Prosecutors for any possible actions contrary to the Constitution or illegal actions of the Church organs, the clergy and the laity in the MOC. For the actions that are of higher responsibility files charges in his official capacity.
The Diocesan Bishop appoints the Diocesan Prosecutor from the order of the clergy who graduated at the facility of Theology or law, with at least ten (10) years priestly or five (5) years administration or education service.
The Diocesan Church Prosecutor notes eventual actions contrary to the Constitution or illegal actions of the clergy or laity in the Diocese and against them over his official capacity or by way of reporting files charges- complaints.
A member of the clergy of the MOC may be only that person who holds the necessary religious and moral qualities and education qualifications.
As to the necessary conditions to step into a clergy rank too, as to the sphere of action to the clergy obligations the Holy Synod passes a special Order for the clergy. (Clergy Order)
For the purpose of perfection and improvement of the priests into their Church services and all parish activities; for the penetration into the theology and their improvement as a orators, spiritual leaders and religious-teachers a clergy Assemblies at the Diocesan and Provincial level are formed.
The Diocesan Clergy Assembly is composed of all the clergy within each Diocese.The Assembly holds its meetings several times and, at least once yearly.
The Assembly is convoked by the Diocesan Bishop or by his authorisation by the Deputy Bishop. A Working Manual is passed by the Assembly, which is approved by the Holy Synod.
The Province Assembly is composed of all clergy within the Diocesan Province.
The Assembly is to be convoked for regular sittings twice yearly or, more when required; it is convoked by the Deputy Prelate who seeks a blessing for each sitting from the Diocesan Bishop to whom provides a report from the meeting.
The Assembly pass a Working Manual, which inturn is approved by the Holy Synod.
The clergy Assemblies for their work passes a Statute, which is approved by the Holy Synod.
The Diocesan Bishop or the Holy Synod may award with a decoration a member of the clergy for the distinctive achievements into the pastoral-missionary work, years long activity, for the distinctive achievements into the field of theology, and performing of certain functions in the MOC.
The Church decorations are to be awarded in accordance with a special Regulation Manual, which is passed by the Holy Synod.
- CHURCH EDUCATION
For the education of its personnel the MOC founded the Faculty of Theology, the Theology High School (Seminary) and the monastic School.
The MOC in cooperation with the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Macedonia takes care of the religious studies into the primary and high schools.
Teachers at the Faculty of Theology and the Seminary too, as in the monastic School, may be only persons of Orthodox Christian religion, with moral qualities and appropriate qualifications for educational service.
The Holy Synod approves the Statute of the Theology Faculty, passed by the Academic Council of the Faculty.
The Holy Synod passes the Regulation Manual for the Seminary and the monastic School.
The Rector of the Seminary is appointed by the Holy Synod in its full composition.
The professors, in agreement with the Rector, after a previous consultation with the Academic Council of the Theology Faculty, are appointed by the Holy Synod in its full composition.
The Rector and the professors are dismissed or retired by the decision of the Holy Synod.
The MOC and the State of Macedonia are obligated to take care for the financial support the educationally pedagogical institutions of the MOC.
- CHURCH REAL ESTATE
The integrity of the real estates and chattels which belong to the MOC, the Dioceses, the Church-Parishes and the Monasteries comprise the Church real estate of the MOC.
In the MOC, within the Department for material-financial and administrative work and the real estates-legal relations there is a special Titles Office for the entire real estate and chattels of the MOC for all its Dioceses in Macedonia and abroad.
The way of the running of the Titles Office and its organisation are determined by a special Regulation Manual, which is passed by the ACLC, upon the proposal of the Holy Synod and the ARC.
The Title Office is run as a special office within this Department.
- a) Legal representatives in the MOC
In the MOC the attribute of a legal representatives have:
- The Archbishopric of the MOC;
- Macedonian Orthodox Dioceses;
- Macedonian Orthodox Church Parishes;
- Memorials; and
- The independent institutions and funds, legates and certain temples of the MOC with their real estates and chattels.
These legal representatives in accordance with the directions of the MOC and the existing State regulations have to obtain real and personnel estates on behalf of and for the Church; they administer with, in accordance with this Constitution and the Church directions which are appointed on the basis of this Constitution.
All Churches, Monasteries, “Paraklises”, Holy waters, cemeteries, and Orthodox cult places, with its entire real estates and chattels that are under canonical and spiritual jurisdiction of the MOC, are the property of the MOC.
The real estates and chattels of the Macedonian Orthodox Dioceses in Macedonia and abroad, (i.e. out of its territory), are organised with a Statute of the Dioceses and the By- Laws of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Parishes, approved by the Holy Synod which are in accordance with this Constitution.
- b) Revenues, expenditures and taxes
The MOC supplies its needs from:
- The revenues of the Churches’ and Monasteries’ goods, the temples, funds, memorials and from various Church organisations and institutions, too, as from the State of Macedonia;
- Church fees;
- Stocks’ revenues;
- Taxes (levy) from the Churches and Monasteries;
- Membership fees from the members of the Church Parishes;
- Donations, charities, gifts and legacy;
- The Achbishoprical candles factory and other production and service activities.
For the vicinity of the taxes (levy) of the Churches, Monasteries and Dioceses which are of the general needs of the Church with an approval of the ACLC decides the ARC.
In relation to special needs of the Diocese the decision is made by the DRC which is approved by the ARC.
Upon request of the Diocese the Holy Synod decides upon giving a financial assistance to a less powerful Diocese for enabling its normal functioning.
Obligation of paying taxes (levy) have all Church Parishes and Monasteries.
A decision to release from paying taxes (levy) may be made by the DRC only upon the Diocesan part. For a release upon the archbishoprical taxes (levy) decides the ARC upon the request by the DRC.
All annual revenues and expenditures of the MOC are provided in the annual budget for the revenues and expenditure, which are composed and conducted for each calendar year separately.
A budget of a general revenues and expenditures upon the general needs of the Archbishopric is brought by the ARC.
The annual financial statement for its approval is provided by the ARC to the ACLC (Article 64, paragraph 2).
As to the special needs of the Diocese, Church Parish or Monastery, a budget for the revenues and expenditures is brought forth by the competent organs in accordance with this Constitution. The budgets of the Dioceses are approved by the ARC and, the budgets of the Church Parishes and Monasteries by the DRC.
The Diocesan Ruling Committees are provided the annual final financial statements of the Dioceses to the ARC and, the annual final financial statements of the Church Parishes and Monasteries are provided to the DRC.
- c) Commanders to the Churches budgets
Commanders to the Churches budgets are:
- The President of the ARC i.e. his Deputy to the budgets for the general revenues and expenditures of the MOC.
- The President of the DRC to the budget of the Diocese;
- The President of the Church Parish to the budget of the Church Parish;
- The Elder of the Monastery to the budget of the Monastery;
- The President of the DRC to the budgets of the Dioceses abroad;
- The President of the Church Parish to the budgets of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Parishes abroad.
The commanders to the Church budgets are responsible for the on time payments of the taxes (levy).
The outstanding payments of the Church taxes (levy) are subject to responsibility and a disciplinary procedure before the Church organs.
The Bishops responsible for the realisation of the affairs of the material and financial work of their Dioceses due to the non-paying of the taxes (levy) are responsible before the ACLC.
Accountants are those persons and organs to whom with this Constitution or, with the Orders and other Church directions are trusted to lead with the Church-material and financial resources.
The commanders and the accountants to bear civil and criminal responsibility for their work if are contrary to the Church directions.
It is necessary that the Church is real estate has legal titles of the property.
For the entire Church is real estate must be run orderly proprietary and inventory books which are regulated by those organs that directly manage the estate.
- Institutions of production and service activities
For the content of the needs of the Churches, Monasteries and the believers with the candles and other needs within the MOC is founded a candle Factory and other institutions, for production and service activities. The financial means from these activities are of use for the upkeep of the MOC.
The MOC with a decision of the ARC and DRC may to establish legal and other persons, i.e. institutions, public and other enterprises for the execution of economic and other activity under the conditions determined by the Act.
The candle Factory and the other productive and service activities and enterprises of the Archbishopric are under the direct supervision of the Archbishop together with the Secretary of the ARC, and, within the Diocese of the Metropolitan together with the Secretary of the DRC.
The organisation and the work of the Archbishopric candle Factory and the institutions for the other productive and service activities and enterprises are regulated with a special Regulation Manuals passed by the ACLC, upon the proposal of the Holy Synod and the ARC.
- Official gazette of the MOC
The Church Acts, regulations and other special or general acts of the organs of the MOC are published in the "Gazette" (“Vesnik”) - the Official gazette of the MOC in a time- limit of the latest of 15 days from the date of its passing and, come into force at the earliest 8 days from the date of its publishing. In exception, determined by the body or the organ of the MOC the Church laws, regulations and other general or special acts come into force on the date of its passing.
- Dioceses of the MOC outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia.
The Dioceses of the MOC which are outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia are under the canonic and spiritual jurisdiction of the MOC in the Republic of Macedonia.
The head of each Diocese outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is the Diocesan Bishop.
The supreme Church-administrative body of the Dioceses of the MOC outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is the Diocesan Assembly.
The President of the Diocesan Assembly is the Diocesan Bishop whereas the Vice- president is elected from the laity.
The structure of the Diocesan Assembly as well as, the organisation of the Diocesan bodies and organs of the Dioceses of the MOC outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia are determined with a special Statute which in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution is approved by the Diocesan Assembly, after the expression of the prior opinion of the Holy Synod of the MOC at its plenary session, and confirmed by the ACLC.
The Statute of the Diocese of the MOC must be in accordance with the Orthodox canons and in agreement with this Constitution and the current laws of the particular States.
Beside the certain number of the Representatives of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Parishes which shall be determined with the Statute mentioned in the above Article the structure of the Dioceses Assemblies includes:
- The Diocesan Bishop, or on his authority, the Bishop’s Deputy as the President of the Assembly;
In the event that the Diocese is without a responsible Diocesan Bishop the Diocesan Assembly is convened and presided by a member of the Holy Synod as per Article 82 of the Constitution.
- The Priests of all parish Churches in the Diocese; and
- The Elders (heads) of the Monasteries
The right to be full members of the Diocesan Assembly ceases for those Representatives (delegates) of the Church Parishes who did not establish a regular spiritual life (there is no parish Priest, they have not built or they have not started to build the Church/Temple, or there are no regular Church services held) in the four years after being admitted under the jurisdiction of the Macedonian Orthodox Church.
If during the four years period, the Church Parishes admitted under the jurisdiction of the MOC did not fulfil the conditions mentioned in the previous paragraph they should request renewal of their application to be accepted under the jurisdiction of the MOC.
The organisation and the work of the Church Parishes outside the territory of Macedonia are determined with separate by-laws which are brought in accordance with the Holy canons, the Constitution of the MOC and the Statute of the Diocese, which in agreement with the Diocesan Bishop are submitted by the Church Administrative Committees at the General Meetings of the Church Parishes.
The by-laws of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Parishes outside the territory of Macedonia after detailed consideration by the Holy Synod of the MOC are approved by the ACLC.
When there are two or more parochial Churches in one township i.e. two or more parishes of the one Macedonian Orthodox Church Parish than the districting of the parishioner’s homes is done territorially.
The territorial districting of the parishes, in agreement with the Church Administrative Committees and the DRC, is settled by the responsible Diocesan Bishop.
The parish Priest of the Macedonian Orthodox Church Parish outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia, by virtue of his position is the head of the Parish Church and as such he has all the entitlements as a member of the Church Parish and as a member of the Administrative Committee. He is appointed and discharged by the responsible Bishop.
He has access to the material dealings of the Church Parish and he is the one of the signatories of the documents for the material and financial work.
The election (appointment) of parish Priests for the Dioceses outside the territory of the Republic of Macedonia is done in agreement between the Holy Synod and the Church Parish.
The parish Priest on a pastoral, missionary and other church duty is obliged to respect the laws and other rules of the particular State, and has the right to be respected and observed by the Church organs while performing his work (activity).
- ALTERATIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION
The Constitution of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is altered and is added with the Constitutional amendments.
At least 1/3 of the total number of the members of the ACLC, at least three Dioceses of the MOC and the Holy Synod of the MOC are entitled to submit a proposal for passing of a new Constitution of the MOC, i.e. a proposal for alteration and completion of to this Constitution.
A decision for passing bringing of a new Constitution, i.e. a decision of approaching for alteration and completion of to this Constitution is made by the Holy Synod in its plenary composition.
The Draft of the new Constitution of the MOC, i.e. the Draft of the alterations and additions to this Constitution is determined by the Holy Synod’s plenary composition, upon the proposal of the constitutional Commission appointed by the Holy Synod and it is put on public debate before the clergy and the believers of the MOC.
The public debate lasts for three months from the date of the determination of the Draft.
The proposed Draft of the new Constitution of the MOC, i.e. the proposed Draft for the alterations and additions to this Constitution of the MOC, upon the proposal of the constitutional Commission is determined by the Holy Synod and is provided to the members of the ACLC in a term of (30) thirty days after the termination of the public debate.
The ACLC separately ratifies the text of each disposition - Article of the proposed Draft of the new Constitution of the MOC, i.e. the proposed Draft for the alterations and additions to this Constitution.
After the ratification of the text of each disposition - Article, with a decree of the ACLC the complete new Constitution of the MOC, i.e. the alterations and additions of the Constitution is/are proclaimed.
The proclamation Decree of the new Constitution of the MOC, i.e. of the alterations and additions to this Constitution is signed by the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia.
- CONCLUSIVE DIRECTIONS
The organisation of all bodies and organs of the MOC, provisioned with this Constitution, shall be executed in a term of six months from the date of the entering into force of the Constitution and, the Holy Synod and the Archbishoprical Ruling Committee introduce the organisation.
All bodies and organs of the MOC are obliged within a term of one year, from the date of the entering into force of the Constitution, to accord all their acts and regulations.
The Holy Synod of the MOC and the ARC are to be engaged to bring forth the Regulation Manuals in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution, in the term of six months after the date of the entering into force of the Constitution, for:
- Systematisation of the work posts and duties in the MOC;
- Church-judicial procedure;
- The parochial clergy;
- The management with the Church real estate; and
- The election of the Archbishop.
Other Regulation Manuals, which are provisioned by this Constitution, have to be brought within the term of one year after the entering into force of the Constitution.
The Diocesan Ruling Committees are obliged to bring forth Orders for the Diocese’s Provinces and the categorisation of the parishes within the term of (6) months, after the entering into force of the Constitution.
With the entering into force of this Constitution are to cease to be valid all the dispositions of the Church regulations which are contrary to this Constitution.
The alterations and additions to this Constitution have to be accorded with the Acts and other regulations of the Republic of Macedonia, which are refereed, to the MOC, except those, which are not acceptable for the MOC.
The alterations and additions to this Constitution of the MOC from 29th October 1974 were passed by the ACLC and this Constitution comes into force 15 days after the publishing in the "Gazette" (“Vesnik”) - the Official Gazette of the MOC.
The ACLC was held in October the 31st and November the 1st, 1994 in Skopje.
PRESIDENT OF THE ARCHBISHOPRIC CHURCH AND LAY COUNCIL, ARCHBISHOP OF OHRID AND MACEDONIA