Plovdiv Clergy Rise in Support of Bishop Nikolay
Eccentric Plovdiv Bishop Nikolay is one of the very few Bulgarian Metropolitans not associated with the former Communist State Security, but too young to be elected the country's next Patriarch. Photo by BGNES
In an open letter, sent to the media and the Bulgarian Holy Synod, the Plovdiv clergy have declared Sunday firm support for their Metropolitan Bishop Nikolay.
Singed by eight priests, the letter voices their joy that God did not allow for Nikolay to become Metropolitan of Sofia, so that he could stay with them.
At the same time, they express deep disappointment from the continuing attacks and pressure on him.
They say the hints Nikolay and other Bishops could be punished for "unknown misconduct" were seen by them as insinuations and an outside attempt of intervening in the matters of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
"We cannot believe that the Holy Synod can be the source of such ideas. We reject leading the Church with threats, humiliation, and dictatorship. These are methods attributed to notorious in the near past secular entities of the Communist State Security, but deeply uncharacteristic for the Orthodox Christian moral," the letter reads.
The clergy declare they were following Metropolitan Nikolay's call for 40-day mourning and are asking the Holy Synod to abstain from arguments and disputes, which were offending for the memory of the late Patriarch Maxim.
Last Sunday, Varna Metropolitan Kiril, during his very first mass as Sofia Metropolitan and interim Patriarch, hinted that Metropolitans, who would miss the Holy Synod's sittings in sign of opposition for his election, could face sanctions.
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