Varna Bishop Kiril Chosen Interim Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch
Varna metropolitan bishop Kiril has been elected as interim patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod at a special sitting Saturday.
The other candidate for the position, open after the recent demise of Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim, was Lovech metropolitan bishop Yoaniky.
Kiril will lead the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for four months which will be marked by preparations for elections for a new Patriarch.
Bulgaria's Patriarch Maxim, who has led the Church since 1971, died Tuesday, age 98, and was solemnly buried Friday.
It is yet to be determined whether bishop Kiril will also be handed the other position occupied by the Bulgarian Patriarch - that of metropolitan bishop of Sofia.
After Maxim's death, the Synod gave the position of Sofia bishop to current Plovdiv metropolitan bishop Nikolay.
During 2011 and early 2012, bishop Kiril raised controversy after being spotted riding a top modern Lincoln MKZ Hybrid car.
This incident has renewed debate about the sources of wealth among senior Bulgarian clergy.
On his part, Plovdiv bishop Nikolay, Bulgaria's youngest metropolitan, is renowned for his hardline religious stance.