Bulgarian Church Honors Late Patriarch Maxim
The Bulgarian Christian Orthodox Church honors Saturday 40 days after the passing away of Patriarch Maxim.
The solemn mass will be served in the Troyan Monastery, where the late Patriarch was laid to rest, the Holy Synod announced.
The liturgy will be led by Varna Metropolitan Kiril, who is acting as Sofia Metropolitan and interim Patriarch.
Patriarch Maxim, who led the Church since 1971, passed away on November 6 at the age of 98.
In the aftermath of the Patriarch's death and of the controversial election of Kiril for Sofia Metropolitan and interim Patriarch, Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolay declared he was withdrawing for 40 days for mourning and would not attend any Holy Synod meetings.
Nikolay was the first one to be chosen as acting Patriarch, but the metropolitans later replaced him with Kiril.
Bishop Nikolay is holding Saturday his own mass in honor of Maxim, which will be served at the Plovdiv "Saint Marina" Church.
On November 26, Nikolay made a surprise appearance at the Holy Synod sitting.
The news came a day after, during his first mass as Sofia Metropolitan, Kiril hinted that those who would miss the Holy Synod's sittings in sign of opposition for his election could face sanctions.
Approached by the media then, Nikolay only said he would speak up after the 40-day mourning. He refused to answer if his attendance could be interpreted as reconciliation with the new Holy Synod leadership.
Also in November, in an open letter, sent to the media and the Bulgarian Holy Synod, the Plovdiv clergy declared firm support for their Metropolitan, condemning the continuing attacks and pressure on him.