© Holy Synod of the BOC
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With today’s order, Patriarch Neofit, who is also the Metropolitan of Sofia, appointed priests from Sofia who will take care of the church “St. Nicholas the Wonderworker”, also known as the Russian Church. This was announced by the official website of the Holy Synod. The number and names of the priests were not announced, but a photo was published with the clarification that they had a personal meeting and received the blessing of the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
The temple was left without priests and was closed after, at the request of the State Agency for National Security (DANS), the superior of the Sofia court, Vasian Zmeev, and two other priests were expelled from Bulgaria, “because of actions that do not correspond to their status in Bulgaria.” A week earlier, the Macedonian state declared Zmeev persona non grata.
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Patriarch Neofit expects assistance from the embassy of the Russian Federation in Sofia for the opening of the temple and “the continuation of its blessed life, which plays an important role in the spiritual upliftment of Orthodox Christians”, informed the Synod.
The Holy Metropolis of Sofia guarantees that no part of the property of the church will be lost or damaged. As before, believers will be able to bow before the relics of Saint Seraphim of Sofia.
The message emphasizes that the actions of the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and Metropolitan of Sofia are dictated by concern for the faithful, preservation of good order in the church and should be understood only in its spiritual aspect. It does not affect the real or other rights of anyone, which are guaranteed to them by secular laws, the Holy Synod specifies.
All other questions of a secular legal and administrative nature relevant to the case will be discussed at the regular meeting of the Synod.
Patriarch Neofit has informed the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kirill about the actions taken.