Znepol, Melnik Bishops Voted Finalists in Varna Metropolitan Race
Bulgarian Znepol Bishop Yoan (John) and Melnik Bishop Seraphim were selected Sunday as the two finalists in the election of a new Varna and Veliki Preslav metropolitan
Yoan received 22 votes and he leads the race. Bishop Seraphim received 19 votes.
The decision came after representatives of both clergy and laity said they have grounds to believe that the election was rigged.
The first round vote, which took place on November 17, elected Bachkovo Monastery abbot Boris and little-known bishop Ignatius as contestants for the second round.
If no violations are established, the Holy Synod will make the choice between the two frontrunners on Sunday, December 22.
The Varna and Veliki Preslav metropolitan bishop seat became vacated - or "widowed" in Bulgarian Orthodox Christian parlance - after the July mystery drowning death of controversial former bishop Kiril.