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President Confers Highest State Award to Bulgaria's Orthodox Leader

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    2004.10.29 BNN: 23:38 - 29.10.2004 President Confers Highest State Award to Bulgaria s Orthodox Leader SOFIA, Oct. 29 (bnn)--World Orthodox leader Ecumenical
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 31, 2004
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      2004.10.29 BNN:
      23:38 - 29.10.2004

      President Confers Highest State Award to Bulgaria's Orthodox Leader

      SOFIA, Oct. 29 (bnn)--World Orthodox leader Ecumenical Patriarch
      Bartholomew I (left) and Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim (right) meet at the Holy
      Synod office in Sofia Friday as Maxim celebrates his 90th birthday.

      SOFIA (bnn)- President Georgi Parvanov on Friday conferred Bulgaria's
      highest order of Stara Planina to the country's Orthodox leader Patriarch
      Maxim as the latter celebrated his 90th birthday.Parvanov based the award
      on Maxim's "big merits in the spiritual life of the Bulgarian people, on
      his wise handling of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church affairs and on his 90th
      anniversary."

      Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Maxim and Orthodox clerics from
      around the world joined earlier in the day a holy mass at Sofia central St.
      Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

      Bartholomew's presence at the celebrations was seen as a sign of
      international support for Maxim, whose church is split between his Holy
      Synod and dissenting clerics looking for his ouster.

      "The presence of representatives of Orthodox churches from the
      neighbouring Balkan states means that the Bulgarian Orthodox church
      commands significant respect and trust," Parvanov said in his speech at the
      awarding ceremony.

      "Orthodox Bulgarians are more than ever united behind His Holiness
      Patriarch Maxim and the Holy Synod," Parvanov said.

      Maxim was born in the central Bulgarian village of Oreshak, some 100
      kilometres (62 miles) east of Sofia. His layman's name is Marin Naydenov
      Minkov.

      He became metropolitan of the Lovech diocese in 1960 and assumed the
      patriarchal post in 1971.

      Maxim opponents say he co-operated with the former Communist regime and
      should resign and retreat to a monastery.

      Maxim has dismissed the allegations and refused to step down citing a
      rule under which patriarchs serve for life.

      Earlier this year police evicted the dissenters from more than 200
      churches, chapels and monasteries citing a law declaring Maxim's synod as
      the only rightful owner of the buildings.

      Human rights organisations have protested the evictions calling them
      encroachment on religious rights and freedoms.
      /bnn/
      11:25 - 29.10.2004

      World Orthodox Leader Joins Mass in Sofia as Bulgarian Patriarch Celebrates
      90th Birthday

      SOFIA (bnn)- The world Orthodox leader Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
      and Orthodox clerics from around the world on Friday joined a holy mass in
      Sofia as Bulgaria's Patriarch Maxim celebrated his 90th birthday.

      Bartholomew's presence at the celebrations is an important sign of support
      for Maxim, whose church is split between his Holy Synod and dissenting
      clerics looking for his ouster.

      The spectacular service was held at Sofia's central St. Alexander Nevsky
      Cathedral and was attended by senior state officials and many diplomats.

      Later in the day President Georgi Parvanov was scheduled to confer to
      Maxim the highest Bulgarian order of Stara Planina.

      Maxim was born in the central Bulgarian village of Oreshak, some 100
      kilometres (62 miles) east of Sofia. His layman's name is Marin Naydenov
      Minkov.

      He became metropolitan of the Lovech diocese in 1960 and assumed the
      patriarchal post in 1971.

      Maxim opponents say he co-operated with the former Communist regime and
      should resign and retreat to a monastery.

      Maxim dismisses the allegations and refuses to step down citing a rule
      under which patriarchs serve for life.

      Earlier this year police evicted the dissenters from more than 200
      churches, chapels and monasteries citing a law declaring Maxim's synod as
      the only rightful owner of the buildings.
      Human rights organisations have protested the evictions calling them
      infringement on religious rights and freedoms. /bnn/
      09:02 - 28.10.2004

      World Orthodox Leader Travels to Bulgarian Monastery

      SOFIA (bnn)- Visiting World Orthodox leader Ecumenical Patriarch
      Bartholomew I was set to travel to a monastery in Central Bulgaria Thursday
      to congratulate Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim for his 90th
      anniversary.Bartholomew was expected to deliver an address to Maxim in the
      historical Troyan Monastery, some 100 kilometres (62 miles) east of Sofia,
      next to Maxim's native village of Oreshak.

      Bartholomew and the senior clerics of several Orthodox churches, who
      arrived for Maxim's birthday on Friday, were also expected to visit the
      district town of Lovech.

      Bartholomew, who landed in Sofia late Wednesday, said he had "great love
      and respect" for Maxim, who is facing fierce opposition by dissenting
      Bulgarian Orthodox clergy seeking for his ouster.

      The foreign delegations for Maxim's anniversary include clergy from
      Orthodox churches in Russia, Georgia, Poland, Romania and Greece.

      They will join a mass due at Sofia's central St. Alexander Nevsky
      Cathedral on Friday.
      /bnn/
      22:35 - 27.10.2004

      World Orthodox Leader Visits Bulgaria for Patriarch Maxim's 90th Anniversary

      SOFIA (bnn)- The World's Orthodox leader Ecumenical Patriarch Bartolomew
      arrived in Bulgaria Wednesday to join celebrations of its Patriarch Maxim
      90th birthday.Maxim, whose birthday is on Friday, welcomed Bartholomew at
      the Sofia international airport together with the Holy Synod clerics.

      Earlier in the day, President Georgi Parvanov announced he would award
      Maxim with Bulgaria's highest order of Stara Planina.

      "I cherish big love and respect to the celebrating Bulgarian Patriarch,"
      the Sofia-based Darik Radio quoted Bartholomew as saying.

      "The Ecumenical Patriarchate has always been close to the Bulgarian
      Church in good and difficult moments," he added.

      Bartholomew's support is important for Maxim, who faces opposition by
      dissenting clergy seeking for his ouster.

      The dissenters blame him of co-operation with the former Communist
      regime. Maxim denies the allegations.

      Prosecutors have evicted earlier this year the dissenters from more than
      200 churches, monasteries and chapels under a law that has declared Maxim's
      Synod as the only rightful owner of the above property.
      /bnn/

      Copyright © 2002 Bulgarian News Network (BNN)

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