Petition against ‘smear campaign’ again st Bulgarian Church
Left-wing intellectuals petition against ‘smear campaign’ against
Bulgarian Orthodox Church
Tue, Jan 03 2012 12:57 CET
by The Sofia Echo staff
A group of left-wing intellectuals, in an open letter to Bulgarian
Orthodox Church head Patriarch Maxim, have spoken out against what they
call a smear campaign against the church.
The group, which includes writers and academics – several of them former
members of the Bulgarian Communist Party and some of them identified by
the Dossier Commission as having collaborated with the country’s
communist-era State Security – expressed outrage at what they called the
"intrigues and dirty attacks against the Holy Church".
They said that they saw an ominous trend, "to revile everything old
Bulgarian, anything reminiscent of the great traditions of our national
identity and culture".
The letter, sent to several Bulgarian-language media, made no specific
reference to what constituted this campaign.
However, in recent weeks, there has been a series of controversies, from
the new luxury car being used by Varna Metropolitan Kiril, the row about
senior clergy being checked by the Dossier Commission for affiliations
to State Security and the Holy Synod’s controversial opposition to in
vitro fertilisation and surrogate motherhood – in a country in the grip
of a demographic crisis.
"Without the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Bulgarian people and the
country of Bulgaria have no future," the group said.
They said that politicians and "unfortunately, some media" were involved
in repulsive manipulation in an attempt to do away with fundamental
values, causes and national objectives.
Those involved in this alleged campaign had the "vile purpose to pursue
worthy prelates who defend Orthodoxy and native dignity and honour, to
diminish them in the eyes of the congregation".
The statement said that "any reasonable person" knew that "the greatest
contribution to the survival of the fatherland in the past 1100 years is
precisely the Bulgarian Orthodox Church".
"We cannot be indifferent and unconcerned when the unscrupulous and the
non-believers, with evil words, lies and slanders, are trying to
destroy, to break Bulgaria and make it (undergo) utterly new pain and
"We know that this has not been accidental, but a measured and
well-organised action against everything sacred and dear to Bulgarians
and to Christians," said the group, calling for unity in defence of the
church and inviting further signatures to their statement.