Bulgarian Interim Patriarch Kiril Takes Over Sofia Bishopric
Varna metropolitan bishop Kiril will serve as interim Sofia metropolitan bishop, in addition to being the interim head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.
Saturday Kiril was elected interim patriarch by the Holy Synod of the Church at a special sitting.
The other candidate for the position, vacant after the recent demise of Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim, was Sliven metropolitan bishop Yoaniky.
Kiril will lead the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for four months and will be instrumental preparting the convention of a National Church Council to elect a new Patriarch.
Bulgaria's Patriarch Maxim, who has led the Church since 1971, died Tuesday, age 98, and was solemnly buried Friday.
After Maxim's death, the Synod initially gave the position of Sofia bishop - a position held by Bulgaria's Patriarch - to current Plovdiv metropolitan bishop Nikolay.
During 2011 and early 2012, Varna and Veliki Preslav 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.