Macedonian Greek Catholic Church

The Macedonian Greek Catholic Church is a Byzantine Rite sui juris Eastern Catholic Church in full union with the Catholic Church which uses the Macedonian language in the liturgy.

The Macedonian Church comprises a single eparchy, the Macedonian Catholic Eparchy of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed in Strumica-Skopje.[1]

Macedonian Greek Catholic Church
ClassificationEastern Catholic
BishopKiro Stojanov[2]
RegionNorth Macedonia
LiturgyByzantine Rite
HeadquartersAssumption of Mary Cathedral, Strumica, North Macedonia
FounderJohn Paul II
Separated fromByzantines of Križevci
Other name(s)Macedonian Greek Catholic Eparchy of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed in Strumica-Skopje[1]


An Apostolic Exarch was appointed for Macedonia as early as 1883 and lasting until 1922/1924 as part of the Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church.[4] After the end of World War I and the foundation of Yugoslavia, the Exarchate was absorbed into the Eparchy of Križevci.

Interior of the Cathedral of Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary (Strumica)

In January 2001, a separate Greek Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia was formed for Eastern Catholics of the Byzantine Rite in Macedonia. It was separated from the Eparchy of Križevci and constituted as immediately subject to the Holy See.[5] On the same day (11 January 2001) the Holy See appointed the Latin Bishop of Skopje as the first Apostolic Exarch of Macedonia.[6]


As of 2010, the Church's membership was estimated at approximately 15,037 faithful, with one bishop, 7 parishes, 11 priests, and 18 religious sisters.[3]

Year Members Priests Parishes
2000 10,000 10 8
2001 6,320 9 5
2002 11,000 8 5
2003 11,367 8 5[7]
2004 11,367[8] 9 5[7]
2005 11,398 9 5[8]
2006 11,483 8 5[9]
2007 11,491 8 5[10]
2008 15,175 10 6[11]
2009 15,041 11 7[12]
2010 15,037 11 7[3]

List of Hierarchs

Apostolic Exarchs

Eparchs of Strumica

  • Kiro Stojanov (2018 – present), Latin-Rite Bishop of Skopje


  1. ^ a b c "Macedonian Church". Catholic Dioceses in the World. GCatholic. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia". Catholic Dioceses in the World. GCatholic. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2010 Statistics" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 9 June 2018.
  4. ^ Кратка история на Католическата апостолическа екзархия. (In English: A conscise history of the Catholic Apostolic Exarchate - retrieved from the official website of the Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church on January 16, 2012.)
  5. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 93 (2001), p. 339.
  6. ^ Acta Apostolicae Sedis, 94 (2002), p. 152.
  7. ^ a b c Cheney, David M. "Apostolic Exarchate of Macedonia". All Dioceses. Retrieved 10 January 2012.
  8. ^ a b Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2005 Statistics" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  9. ^ Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2006 Statistics" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  10. ^ Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2007 Statistics" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  11. ^ Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2008 Statistics" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  12. ^ Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2009 Statistics" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 11 January 2012.

External links

Byzantine Rite

The Byzantine Rite, also known as the Greek Rite or Constantinopolitan Rite, is the liturgical rite used by the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Greek/Byzantine Catholic churches, and in a modified form, Byzantine Rite Lutheranism. Its development began during the fourth century in Constantinople and it is now the second most-used ecclesiastical rite in Christendom after the Roman Rite.

The Byzantine Rite was originally developed and used in Greek language and later, with introduction of Eastern Orthodoxy to other ethnic groups it was translated into local languages and continued further development. Historically, most important non-Greek variants of Byzantine Rite are: Byzantine-Slavonic and Byzantine-Georgian. The rite consists of the divine liturgies, canonical hours, forms for the administration of sacred mysteries (sacraments) and the numerous prayers, blessings and exorcisms developed by the Church of Constantinople.

Also involved are the specifics of church architecture, icons, liturgical music, vestments and traditions which have evolved over the centuries in the Eastern Orthodox Church and which are associated with this rite. Traditionally, the congregation stands throughout the whole service, and an iconostasis separates the sanctuary from the nave of the church. The faithful are very active in their worship, making frequent bows and prostrations, and feeling free to move about the temple (church) during the services. Also, traditionally, the major clergy and monks neither shave nor cut their hair or beards.

Scripture plays a large role in Byzantine worship, with not only daily readings but also many quotes from the Bible throughout the services. The entire psalter is read each week, and twice weekly during Great Lent. Fasting is stricter than in the Roman Rite. On fast days, the faithful give up not only meat, but also dairy products, and on many fast days they also give up fish, wine and the use of oil in cooking. The rite observes four fasting seasons: Great Lent, Nativity Fast, Apostles' Fast and Dormition Fast. In addition, most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year are fast days and many monasteries also observe Monday as a fast day.

Canon law

Canon law (from Greek kanon, a 'straight measuring rod, ruler') is a set of ordinances and regulations made by ecclesiastical authority (Church leadership), for the government of a Christian organization or church and its members. It is the internal ecclesiastical law, or operational policy, governing the Catholic Church (both the Latin Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches), the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches, and the individual national churches within the Anglican Communion. The way that such church law is legislated, interpreted and at times adjudicated varies widely among these three bodies of churches. In all three traditions, a canon was originally a rule adopted by a church council; these canons formed the foundation of canon law.

Catholic Church in North Macedonia

The Catholic Church in North Macedonia is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome and is one of the major religious communities that exist on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia. Catholic believers from North Macedonia mostly include Albanians, ethnic Macedonians and Croats and are most concentrated in the Skopje Statistical Region and the Southeastern Statistical Region of North Macedonia. There are around 20,000 Catholics in the country — around 1% of the total population.

Catholic particular churches and liturgical rites

A particular church (Latin: ecclesia particularis) is an ecclesiastical community of faithful headed by a bishop (or equivalent), as defined by Catholic canon law and ecclesiology. A liturgical rite depends on the bishop (i.e., the particular church).

Thus, though closely related, in this context "church" refers to the institution, and "rite" to its practices. There are two kinds of particular churches:

An autonomous particular church sui iuris: an aggregation of particular churches with shared, distinctive liturgical, spiritual, theological, and canonical emphases and traditions. The largest such autonomous particular church is the Latin Church, while the other 23 are referred to collectively as the Eastern Catholic Churches, some of which are headed by bishops who have the title and rank of Patriarch or Major Archbishop. In this context the descriptors autonomous (Greek: αὐτόνομος, translit. autónomos) and sui iuris (Latin) are synonymous, each meaning "of its own law".

A local particular church: a diocese (or eparchy) headed by a bishop (or equivalent), typically collected in a national polity under an episcopal conference. However, there are also other forms, including territorial abbacies, apostolic vicariates, apostolic prefectures, military ordinariates, personal ordinariates, and personal prelatures.

Eastern Catholic Churches

The Eastern Catholic Churches or Oriental Catholic Churches, also called the Eastern-rite Catholic Churches, and in some historical cases Uniate Churches, are twenty-three Eastern Christian particular churches sui iuris in full communion with the Pope in Rome, as part of the worldwide Catholic Church. Headed by patriarchs, metropolitans, and major archbishops, the Eastern Catholic Churches are governed in accordance with the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, although each church also has its own canons and laws on top of this, and the preservation of their own traditions is explicitly encouraged. The total membership of the various churches accounts for about 18 million, according to the Annuario Pontificio (the annual directory of the Catholic Church), thus making up about 1.5 percent of the Catholic Church, with the rest of its more than 1.2 billion members belonging to the Latin Church, also known as the Western Church or the Roman Catholic Church.

The Maronite Church is considered the only one of the Eastern Catholic Churches to have always remained in full communion with the Holy See, while most of the other churches unified from the 16th century onwards. However, the Melkite Catholic Church and the Italo-Albanian Greek Catholic Church also claim perpetual communion. The largest five churches based on membership are: the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite), the Syro-Malabar Church (East Syriac Rite), the Maronite Church (West Syriac Rite), the Melkite Catholic Church (Byzantine Rite), and the Armenian Catholic Church (Armenian Rite). These five churches account for about 80% of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Full communion constitutes mutual sacramental sharing between the Eastern Catholic Churches and the Latin Church, including Eucharistic intercommunion. On the other hand, the liturgical traditions of the 23 Eastern Catholic churches, including Byzantine, Alexandrian, Armenian, East Syriac, and West Syriac, are shared with other Eastern Christian churches: the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, the Assyrian Church of the East, and the Ancient Church of the East. Although some theological issues divide the Eastern Catholic Churches from other Eastern Christian ones, they do admit members of the latter to the Eucharist and the other sacraments, as governed by Oriental canon law.Notably, many of the Eastern Catholic Churches take a different approach to clerical celibacy than the Latin Church does and allow the ordination of married men to the priesthood (although not to the episcopacy).

Eastern Catholic Churches have their origins in the Middle East, East Africa, Eastern Europe and India. However, since the 19th century, diaspora has spread to Western Europe, the Americas and Oceania in part because of persecution, where eparchies have been established to serve adherents alongside those of Latin Church dioceses. Latin Catholics in the Middle East, on the other hand, are traditionally cared for by the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem.

Full communion

Full communion is a communion or relationship of full understanding among different Christian denominations that share certain essential principles of Christian theology. Views vary among denominations on exactly what constitutes full communion, but typically when two or more denominations are in full communion it enables services and celebrations, such as the Eucharist, to be shared among congregants or clergy of any of them with the full approval of each.

Greek Catholic Church

The Greek Catholic Church refers to a number of Eastern Catholic Churches following the Byzantine (Greek) liturgy, considered collectively or individually.

The terms Greek Catholic, Greek-Catholic, Greek Catholic church and Greek-Catholic Church may refer to:

Individually, any 14 of the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches which use the Byzantine rite, a.k.a. Greek Rite:

the Albanian Greek Catholic Church

the Belarusian Greek Catholic Church

the Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church

the Greek Catholic Church of Croatia and Serbia

the Greek Byzantine Catholic Church, in Greece and Turkey

the Hungarian Greek Catholic Church

the Italo-Albanian Catholic Church

the Macedonian Greek Catholic Church

the Melkite Greek Catholic Church

the Romanian Greek Catholic Church (officially the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic)

the Russian Greek Catholic Church

the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church

the Slovak Greek Catholic Church

the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church

Any other group of Eastern Catholics following the Byzantine rite:

the Georgian Byzantine-Rite Catholics

an Ordinariate for Eastern Catholic faithful without proper ordinary, in 6 countries

The Catholic Church in Greece, a Roman Catholic hierarchy following the Latin rite in the country of Greece

Kiro Stojanov

Monsignor Dr Kiro Stojanov (9 April 1959 in the village of Radovo, Bosilovo Municipality) is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Skopje and the Eparchial Bishop of the Macedonian Catholic Eparchy of the Blessed Virgin Mary Assumed in Strumica-Skopje of the Macedonian Byzantine Catholic Church. He is the first Catholic bishop of Macedonian ethnicity in 104 years. He was ordained as a priest in 1986, and from 1999 to 2005 he was the Auxiliary and Titular Bishop of the Skopje Diocese which was then led by Monsignor Joakim Herbut. In 2003 he joined the Maltese Order.

List of Christian denominations by number of members

This is a list of Christian denominations by number of members. It is inevitably partial and generally based on claims by the denominations themselves. The numbers should therefore be considered approximate and the article an ongoing work-in-progress.

The list includes the following Christian denominations: the Catholic Church including the Eastern Catholic Churches; all the Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox churches with some recognition and their offshoots; Protestant denominations with at least 0.2 million members; the provinces of the Anglican Communion with at least 0.2 million members; all the other Christian branches with distinct theologies, such as Restorationist and Nontrinitarianian denominations; the independent Catholic denominations; and the Church of the East. With about 2.42 billion adherents all over the world, Christianity is the largest religious group in the world.

Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric

The Macedonian Orthodox Church – Ohrid Archbishopric (MOC-OA; Macedonian: Македонска православна црква – Охридска архиепископија (МПЦ-ОА), tr. Makedonska pravoslavna crkva – Ohridska arhiepiskopija (MPC-OA)), or simply the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC; Macedonian: Македонска православна црква (МПЦ), tr. Makedonska pravoslavna crkva (MPC)), is the largest body of Christians in the Republic of North Macedonia. It claims ecclesiastical jurisdiction over the Republic of North Macedonia and is also represented in the Macedonian diaspora. In 1959, the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church granted autonomy to the Macedonian Orthodox Church in the then-Socialist Republic of Macedonia as the restoration of the historic Archbishopric of Ohrid, and it remained in canonical unity with the Serbian Church under their Patriarch. In 1967, on the bicentennial anniversary of the abolition of the Archbishopric of Ohrid, the Macedonian Holy Synod unilaterally announced its autocephaly and independence from the Serbian Orthodox Church. The Serbian Holy Synod denounced the decision and condemned the clergy as schismatic. Thenceforth, the Macedonian Church has remained unrecognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople and all the other canonical Orthodox churches in defense of Serbian opposition. Since May 2018 however, the Church′s status has been under examination by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The primate of the Macedonian Orthodox Church is the Metropolitan of Skopje and Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia and of Justiniana Prima.

Outline of North Macedonia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to North Macedonia:

The Republic of North Macedonia is a landlocked sovereign country located on the Balkan Peninsula in Southern Europe. The Republic of Macedonia is bordered by Serbia and Kosovo to the north, Albania to the west, Greece to the south, and Bulgaria to the east.

It was admitted to the United Nations in 1993 under the provisional reference the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia commonly abbreviated to FYROM, pending resolution of a naming dispute with Greece. Many other international institutions and countries have recognised the country under the same reference, although an overall majority of countries recognise it under its constitutional name.North Macedonia forms approximately 35.8% of the land and 40.9% of the population of the wider geographical region of Macedonia, as it was defined in the late 19th century. The capital is Skopje, with 506,926 inhabitants according to a 2002 census, and there are a number of smaller cities, notably Bitola, Kumanovo, Prilep, Tetovo, Ohrid, Veles, Štip, Kočani, Gostivar and Strumica. It has more than 50 natural and artificial lakes and sixteen mountains higher than 2,000 meters (6,550 ft).

The country is a member of the UN and the Council of Europe and a member of La Francophonie, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Since December 2005 it is also a candidate for joining the European Union and has applied for NATO membership.

Outline of the Catholic Church

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the Catholic Church:

Catholicism – largest denomination of Christianity. Catholicism encompasses the body of the Catholic faith, its theologies and doctrines, its liturgical, ethical, spiritual, and behavioral characteristics, as well as a religious people as a whole.

Religion in North Macedonia

In North Macedonia, the most common religion is Orthodox Christianity, practiced by most of the ethnic Macedonians. The vast majority of the Orthodox Christians in the country belong to the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which declared autocephaly from the Serbian Orthodox Church in 1967.

Muslims are the second-largest religious group with almost one-third of the population adhering to Islam, mainly from the country's Albanian, Roma and Turkish minorities. There are also many other religious groups in North Macedonia, including the Catholic Church, Protestantism, and Judaism.

In 2011, through a survey carried out by Ipsos MORI, the religious composition of North Macedonia was found to be 70.7% Christian, divided in 69.6% Eastern Orthodox and 0.4% Catholics and Protestants, and 28.6% Muslim, with unaffiliated Muslims making up the 25.6%.In 2020, Pew Research Center estimates that due extremely low fertility rates, Christians will fall to 55.1% of the country's population (53.7% Eastern Orthodox, 0.4% Catholic, 0.6% Protestant and other Christian denominations), while 43.6% will be Muslim, 1.3% Atheist, 0.2% Jewish, and 0.2% other.

Sui iuris

Sui iuris, also spelled as sui juris ( or ), is a Latin phrase that literally means "of one's own right". It is used in both civil law and canon law by the Catholic Church. The term church sui iuris is used in the Catholic Code of Canons of the Oriental Churches (CCEO) to denote the autonomous churches in Catholic communion:

A church sui iuris is "a community of the Christian faithful, which is joined together by a hierarchy according to the norm of law and which is expressly or tacitly recognized as sui iuris by the supreme authority of the Church" (CCEO.27). The term sui iuris is an innovation of the CCEO, and it denotes the relative autonomy of the oriental Catholic Churches. This canonical term, pregnant with many juridical nuances, indicates the God-given mission of the Oriental Catholic Churches to keep up their patrimonial autonomous nature. And the autonomy of these churches is relative in the sense that it is under the supreme authority of the Roman Pontiff.

—Fr. Thomas Kuzhinapurath, Salvific Law, 1998

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