Bulgarian President Praises Late Patriarch for 'Unifying Church'
Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev has praised the country's late Orthodox Patriarch Maxim for his efforts to unify his church in times of trouble.
Plevneliev apparently referred to the fact that Maxim withstood a schism in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church after the collapse of communism in the country back in 1989.
Back then, a split between supporters of Patriarch Maxim and breakaway clergymen, who viewed him as a communist-appointed figurehead and attempted to oust him and then formed their own synod. The church united in 1998, with the last rebel priests repenting 10 years later.
On Friday, Plevneliev also told reporters that Maxim was a "good and kind-hearted man." He said he hoped the next Patriarch would be as praiseworthy as him.
Bulgaria's government decided to declare Friday a day of national mourning over the death of n Orthodox Patriarch Maxim, who passed away early on Tuesday at the age of 98.