Metropolitan Naum of Ruse issued a statement regarding the closure of the Russian Church, which contrasts with that of another high representative of the clergy – Metropolitan Daniil of Vidin.
While Daniil expressed indignation at the expulsion of the Russian priests, Naum claimed that the closing of the “St. Nikolay Mirlikiski” church is unacceptable and that it is Bulgarian property.
The leader of the Rousse Metropolitanate called on the Metropolitan of Sofia, who is Patriarch Neophyte, to immediately order that the temple be opened and services resumed. This confirms the unofficial information that there is a disagreement in the Holy Synod regarding the espionage scandal in the Russian Church, which is why an official and unified position has not yet come out of it.
Bishop Naum of Ruse is the second highest dignitary from the Holy Synod to take a stand on the case.
He explains that he is doing it on the occasion of inquiries by the laity after the expulsion from the country, as a threat to national security, of the three priests, representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, among them the head of the courtyard in our country, Vasian.
At the same time, Naum reveals that until some time ago, Bulgarian priests, removed in recent years, served in the Russian Church.
“In recent years, the Bulgarian ephemeral priests, for reasons unclear to us, were successively removed from this temple, which is fundamentally absurd, due to the fact that its functions are only representative in nature.
“We believe that the closing of the temple “St. Nikolay” by outsiders is inadmissible, as it follows that the Metropolitan of Sofia should immediately order that it be opened, and that services in it be restored in a timely manner,” Naum is categorical.
His position is entitled “On the status of a temple “St. Nicholas” in Sofia”.
“Regarding inquiries addressed to us about the status of the temple “St. Nikolay Mirlikiyski” in Sofia, known as the “Russian Church”, we would like to share with the public audience the following information we have about this house of prayer. The temple was built with the blessing of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church as a legation church (1914 .), was located in the common yard of the then Russian Legation, located at the corner of Rakovski Street and Moskovska Street.