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Bulgarian Holy Synod 'Extends Hand' to 'Rebel' Bishops

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=145219 Bulgarian Holy Synod Extends Hand to Rebel Bishops Society | November 17, 2012 The Holy Synod of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2012
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      Bulgarian Holy Synod 'Extends Hand' to 'Rebel' Bishops
      Society | November 17, 2012

      The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has decided to send
      letters to three metropolitan bishops to urge them to attend all its
      "winter" sittings, which will conclude on December 19.

      The decision, made Friday, was to send the invitations to Veliko Tarnovo
      Metropolitan, Grigoriy, Pleven Metropolitan Ignatiy, and Plovdiv
      Metropolitan, Nikolay.

      The announcement has been posted on the official site of the Bulgarian
      Orthodox Church.

      The sittings have been scheduled for November 26 – 29, December 10 – 14,
      and December 18 – 19.

      The three missed the November 14 meeting of the Synod, along with Vratsa
      Metropolitan Kalinik, the Metropolitan of America, Canada and Australia,
      Yosif, and the Western European Metropolitan, Simeon.

      The Synod reminds the absentees that Article 54 from its Code mandates
      the bishops to attend the sittings except in cases of excusable emergencies.

      Kalinik and Ignatiy have submitted doctor's notes for illness and for
      this reason will not receive a letter. Ignatiy has notified the Synod he
      was to join them by the end of November. Yosif has informed he would be
      in Bulgaria on November 19 to attend the sitting, but Simeon declined
      citing health issues.

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

      On Wednesday November 14, the Holy Synod confirmed at a sitting the
      legitimacy of Kiril's election.

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

      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 was not signed by Nikolay, Grigoriy, Yosif, Simeon,
      Ignatiy, and Kalinik.

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

      Meanwhile, the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, reported that Kalinik has
      sent a note acknowledging the legitimacy of Kiril, and has asked to not
      be considered for becoming the next patriarch of Bulgaria. Yosif and
      Simeon have also recognized Kiril in letters they sent to the Synod,
      thus leaving only Nikolay, Grigoriy and Ignatiy in opposition.

      When asked to comment when the new patriarch will be elected, the Varna
      metropolitan said it could be as early as December or January, but
      stressed preparations for it involve a long process.

      The deadline for the election, which can be held only on Sunday, is
      March 6, 2013.

      During 2011 and early 2012, Varna and Veliki Preslav bishop Kiril raised
      controversy after being spotted riding a top modern Lincoln MKZ Hybrid car.

      In mid-January, Bulgaria's so-called Files Commission – a panel
      investigating the Communist era secret files, exposed eleven out of a
      total of fifteen Bulgarian Metropolitan bishops as former DS agents.
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