Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church Elects New Leader

Source: ABC News By VESELIN TOSHKOV Associated Press SOFIA, Bulgaria February 24, 2013 (AP) - Metropolitan Neofit of Ruse was elected Sunday as the new spiritual leader of Bulgaria's Orthodox Christians amid social unrest threatening to throw the Balkan country in a serious political crisis. The 67-year-old Neofit was picked among three candidates shortlisted in a secret ballot by the 14 bishops that make up the Holy Synod of the church. An electoral college made up of 138 members … [Read more...]

Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod chooses shortlist of three candidates in Patriarchal election

Source: The Sofia Globe by CLIVE LEVIEV-SAWYER After a day and a half of voting in more than 24 rounds, the governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, chose on February 16 2013 the three metropolitans who will be the candidates in the election for the next Patriarch – Galaktion of Stara Zagora, Neofit of Rousse and Gavril of Lovetch. This puts Gavril – the only metropolitan eligible for election who was not a communist-era State Security agent – back in the race … [Read more...]

Sofia Bishopric Claims Patriarch’s Election Is Sabotaged

Source: Sofia News Agency The Sofia Bishopric has labeled the Friday refusal of the Diocesan Council of prelates and vicars to sign the list of representatives from the Sofia Diocese to elect a new patriarch a "sabotage." The list was prepared by interim Patriarch and Sofia Metropolitan Kiril. The Bishopric admits that there have been disagreements in the process of preparing the list, but their escalation, they say, was a clear sign that the story aims at sabotaging the … [Read more...]

Interim Patriarch Calls for Unity of Bulgarian Orthodox Church – UPDATED

Source: Sofia News Agency The unity of the Holy Synod and of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the most important issue for Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria, according to Varna Metropolitan Kiril. Kiril made the statement Sunday in the Bulgarian capital during his very first mass as Sofia Metropolitan and interim Patriarch. "When opinions differ, each must be well-grounded. I hope that all metropolitans will attend the next meeting of the Holy Synod and that those who would be absent … [Read more...]

Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim Leaves Hospital

Source: Sofia News Agency  Bulgarian Christian Orthodox Church Patriarch Maxim has left the Lozenets Hospital, where he was for a second prolonged treatment during 2012. Patriarch Maxim was hospitalized in early August and left the hospital for a short stint at Dormition of Mary (August 15), with doctors requesting him to return promptly. In early September doctors at Lozenets Hospital head informed that the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is in a much better … [Read more...]

Bulgarian Bishop: Surrogacy Equals Prostitution

Source: Sofia News Agency Surrogate motherhood is no different from prostitution, according to Bishop Nikolay, the radical Bulgarian Orthodox Bishop of Plovdiv. Speaking after a service in Plovdiv on Wednesday on the occasion of the arrival of holy relics of Saint Joachim and Saint Anne, the parents of Virgin Mary, Nikolay mentioned surrogacy while commenting on a recent case in which Bulgarian heroin-addicts offered their newborn baby "on sale" in an online forum for EUR 5 000. "Two … [Read more...]

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church: Angels and Demons?

Source: The Sofia Echo | Clive Leviev-Sawyer [January 27, 2012] If there is a hell with a department specially set aside for Bulgaria’s communist-era State Security and leaders of the atheist state, they may be chuckling right now, between being prodded with pitchforks and otherwise tormented. In its early history in power, the communist regime used brutal tactics against all its enemies, the church included. Clergy were executed or murdered, jailed with or without trial, sent to "labour … [Read more...]

Bulgarian Orthodox Church Controversies Deepen

Source: The Sophia Echo | By Clive Leviev-Sawyer Officials from the National Revenue Agency will begin interviews and checks of financial records in January to follow up allegations that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church owes huge sums in unpaid social security contributions and to clarify what the church has been doing with its state subsidies. This is among the latest developments as the church is caught up in controversies ranging from questions about its finances to the row about senior … [Read more...]