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17022Elderly Bulgarian Patriarch to Withdraw from Post

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Oct 15, 2012
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      Elderly Bulgarian Patriarch to Withdraw from Post
      October 13, 2012

      The Bulgarian Holy Synod is calling an emergency meeting on October 16
      and 17 when, reportedly, the Head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
      Patriarch Maxim is going to withdraw from the post.

      The information was reported Saturday by the Bulgarian Pressa (Press)
      daily, citing insider sources speaking off-the-record.

      The Holy Synod Chief Secretary, Bishop Naum, has warned all members that
      they must attend and absences would not be excused.

      Under the Code of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church the title "Patriarch" is
      lifelong, but he can withdraw on reasons admissible by church canons. In
      such case, Maxim will hold the title "Former Patriarch of Bulgarians,"
      and will be addressed as "You Holiness," along with keeping all
      privileges of an acting Patriarch.

      Maxim's reasons to retreat will most likely revolve around his ailing
      health, the same sources have said.

      He was listed in the hospital in the summer and is now under homecare,
      requiring round-the-clock medical attention.

      Maxim was enthroned July 4, 1971, and will turn 98 on October 29.

      The second key item on the agenda of the Holy Synod meeting is the
      election of Maxim's successor. According to unofficial information, the
      favorite is Sliven Bishop Yoanikiy.