Some have said, “never.” But the “Mother Church” of the OCA does recognize the OCA’s autocephaly. So do several of the other autocephalous Orthodox Churches. So part of the Orthodox world already accepts the reality. Those that have not recognized the autocephaly, still have for the most part granted a de facto recognition by accepting the clergy and faithful of the OCA in Communion.
As Alexander Bogolepov notes in his book, TOWARD AN AMERICAN ORTHODOX CHURCH: THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN AUTOCEPHALOUS ORTHODOX CHURCH (written in 1963, 7 years before the OCA officially received its autocephaly from the Moscow Patrachate):
“Although not recognized de jure, a new Church may enjoy de facto recognition by other autocephalous Local Churches.” (p 50)
In fact Bogolepov notes that there have often been lags in time (some quite long) between when a local Church saw itself as autocephalous, and when the rest of the Orthodox world also accepted its status:
“The Patriarchate of Constantinople, for example, had to recognize the self-proclaimed independence of the following Churches in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries: the Church of Greece in 1850, 17 after it had proclaimed itself autocephalous; the Romanian Church in 1885, 20 years after; the Albanian Church in 1937, 15 years after; the Bulgarian Church in 1945, 72 years after. In the fourteenth century the Serbian Church was recognized by the Patriarch of Constantinople 30 years after it had proclaimed itself independent (1346, 1375), and in the sixteenth century the Russian Church– 140 years after (1448-1589). In the twentieth century the Patriarch of Moscow recognized the Finnish Church 35 years after it had been granted autonomy by the Ecumenical Patriarchate (1923-1958).” (pp 47-48)
Bogolepov notes there are many exact parallels between why the Russian Church declared itself autocephalous from Constantinople and the OCA’s own situation in the mid-20th Century. He writes that even though Constantinople refused to recognize the autocephalous status of Moscow for 140 years after Moscow deemed itself autocephalous, when in 1948, the Russian Church celebrated its 500th Anniversary of its autocephaly, the Ecumenical Patriarch joined the celebration and congratulated them on their 500th Anniversary. Constantinople not only accepted Moscow’s autocephaly but also Moscow’s timeline and self-understanding for when this happened.
A major difference for Moscow and the OCA is that Moscow was able to assert its own authority over a certain imperial territory and was not just one jurisdiction competing among many for ecclesiastical recognition in Russia. The OCA remains one jurisdiction among many working in the Americas, and while the other jurisdictions show varying degrees of interest in having all Orthodox under their ecclesial authority; in fact some Orthodox jurisdictions in the America are not interested in competing at all for authority over all Orthodox in America and are content to be one limited jurisdiction among many limited jurisdictions.
The history of how autocephaly is ultimately recognized in the family of Orthodox Churches shows that it takes time. Moscow waited 140 years, the OCA has so far waited 40 years. While the OCA has recognized Orthodox unity in America as a priority, its best course of action is to take the current time to establish a viable jurisdiction, and then at an acceptable time it will be recognized by the family of Orthodox sister autocephalous churches.