Sofia. Bishop Ioan of Znepol is the newly elected Bulgarian Orthodox metropolitan of Varna and Veliki Preslav. That is what Patriarch Neofit announced, cited by FOCUS News Agency.
Bishop Ioan of Znepol has won with nine of the votes, while his opponent Melnik Bishop Serafim received only three votes.
The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church held Saturday a meeting to scrutinize the procedure of the last week election of two top runners for Varna Metropolitan. The Synod had to decide if the election was conducted in adherence to the Church cannons. Eparchial voters elected their front-runners for new Bulgarian Orthodox metropolitan of Varna and Veliki Preslav on December 15 in coastal Vana. Bishop Ioan of Znepol and Melnik Bishop Serafim ran for Varna and Veliki Preslav Metropolitan Ioan of Znepol after receiving 22 votes and Melnik Bishop Serafim – 19 votes.
According to the statute of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the new metropolitan of Varna and Veliki Preslav was elected by the Bulgarian Patriarch and the bishops of the Holy Synod.
Bulgarian Orthodox metropolitan of Varna and Veliki Preslav seat became vacated – or “widowed” in Bulgarian Orthodox Christian parlance – after the July mystery drowning death of controversial former bishop Kiril.