Some Bulgarians dissatisfied with results of elections of candidates for Patriarch
- [Edited machine translation] http://www.sedmitza.ru/news/3496435.html
Part of Bulgarian society is dissatisfied with the results of elections of candidates for Patriarch
SOFIA. Protest meetings against the "illegitimate" election candidates for the Bulgarian Patriarchal throne is scheduled for Feb. 21, according to the Bulgarian edition of the "Monitor."
One of the organizers of the rally, the lawyer K. Stefanov, said that his participants will appeal to the Synod of the Bulgarian Church to postpone the date of the Patriarchal Electoral Council and, in the second vote, to elect candidates for the Patriarchal throne in full agreement with the Statute of the Bulgaian Orthodox Church [BOC]. Also, meeting participants will require the bishops, in case of failure to comply with these requirements, to resign voluntarily.
The reason for the action was the decision of the Synod of the BOC, taken on February 15-16, at the special meeting for the election of three candidates for the Bulgarian Patriarch's throne, to reduce the number of necessary votes for the election of candidates from 10 to 9. This decision was prompted by the fact that only one candidate was able to get 10 votes, and there was a threat that the other two candidates would not be elected at all. As a result, the candidates elected were Metropolitans Galaktion of OldZagorski (10 votes), and Neofit of Ruse, Gabriel of Lovech (9 votes each).
The meeting is to be held on February 21, at 17.30, near the Synodal Chamber in Sofia. More than two thousand Sofia residents have signed for it to be held. Given the current active position of Bulgarian society (several days ago in all major cities in Bulgaria there were numerous protests against increasing the price of electricity, which led to the resignation of the government), it is assumed that in the meeting no less than 4 thousand people.
The Bulgarian press received information that the hierarchy plans to receive approval of their decision to lower the number of votes in the election at the Electoral Council
scheduled for Sunday, February 24. The hierarchs supposedly believe that the approval by the Church Council will reflect public onslaught and avoid the threat of contesting in court the elections of both candidates and the new Patriarch.
"According to the Statute of the BOC, the Patriarchal Council has no power to engage in anything other than the election of the Patriarch. If the bishops make such a decision and the delegates will vote for it, it will give the opportunity for each of their subsequent decisions to be challenged in court by any Bulgarian. The BOC Statute indicates that the new Patriarch signs documents for each metropolitan, certifying that they are legitimate representatives of the Church, "- said Dilian Nikolchev, head of faculty of Canon Law at the Theological Faculty of Sofia University.
This view is supported by lawyers, according to whom, violations in the election of the new Patriarch will make him appear essentially illegitimate.
Suddenly, those who disagree with the election of candidates for the Patriarchal throne, were supported by the President of the Synod, Metropolitan Kirill of Varna. "Anyone can challenge the election of the Patriarch. You can not undo nearly 30 rounds of elections of candidates for Patriarch, and on Day 2 to change the rules. This is both uncanonical and inappropriate "- said Vladyka Kirill, who was not among the three candidates, but signed the Act of their selection.
Metropolitan Kirill said that some people in the Church want for the Church the same thing that happened in the government; their aims are far-sighted, but not good. He declined to name them, saying that they are well known anyway. Moreover, the bishop allows for the possibility that a compromise person will be selected to head the Bulgarian Church. According to him, many organizations choose people, obedient to a certain group, but this is not good for the Church.
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