Bulgarian Holy Synod Upholds Interim Patriarch Choice


Bulgarian New York Metropolitan Yosif is going to travel to Sofia next week to participate at the next meeting of the Holy Synod.

Speaking before Darik radio, the Bishop of America, Canada and Australia, stated he would refrain from commenting on matters involving the Bulgarian Orthodox Church ahead of his report before the Holy Synod. He stressed the other members of the Synod get irritated when they learn information from the media.

Also speaking for Darik radio, Western European Metropolitan Simeon said: “I support everyone,” in a reply to a question how would he had voted in the appointment of an interim patriarch. He did not reveal plans to travel to Bulgaria.

The two did not take part in the election of Varna Bishop Kiril as interim patriarchand interim Sofia metropolitan bishop.

On Wednesday, the Holy Synod confirmed at a sitting the legitimacy of Kiril‘s election.

On November 10, Kiril received support from 7 of the 12 attending metropolitansin a secret vote, making him the interim head of the Church. He is now also serving as interim Sofia metropolitan bishop.

On Tuesday, Veliko Tarnovo Bishop Grigoriy withdrew his signatures from the protocol of the Saturday sitting of the Holy Synod which elected Kiril as interimPatriarch.

Plovdiv Bishop Nikolay also voiced his objections to the appointment.

The Bishops stressed after the Wednesday sitting that the Code of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian and the international legal systems did not include a possibility of someone withdrawing their signatures, labeling it “legal absurd.”

The Holy Synod further announced the November 10 sitting has been legal since it had a quorum and no one voiced strong disagreement with Kiril‘s choice. The Synod underscored the secret vote allowed those voting to exercise their true will.

The eight Bishops, who signed the Wednesday statement, also say they would not allow anyone to pressure them.

The document has not been signed by NikolayGrigoriyYosifSimeon, PlevenMetropolitan Ignatiy, and Vratsa Metropolitan Kalinik.

Bulgaria’s Patriarch Maxim, who led the Church since 1971, passed away last week at the age of 98.