Ruse Metropolitan Neofit Elected Bulgarian Patriarch
Ruse Metropolitan Neofit has been elected Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod's national church council.
Neofit prevailed over two other candidates at runoff.
The news about Neofit's election was announced Sunday by interim Patriarch and Sofia Metropolitan, Kiril.
Neofit collected 90 votes at runoff against Gavrail, who got 47.
The announcement was accompanied by solemn church bells in downtown Sofia.
Neofit was born on October 15, 1945 in Sofia.
He is a graduate of the Theology Academy in Sofia, and has specialized in Moscow.
Neofit is a former lecturer and conductor of the Theology Academy choir, coadjutor at Sofia Bishopric, President of the Theology Academy, first Dean of the restored Faculty of Theology at Sofia University, and was Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod.
He is known to have been very close to late Patriarch Maxim.
Bulgaria's Patriarch Maxim, who led the Church since 1971, passed away on November 6, 2012, at the age of 98.
A solemn procession is about to begin from the Holy Synod building to the Alexander Nevsky cathedral. There is a cordon of representatives of all military divisions of Bulgaria.
At the end of the enthronization ceremony, the new Patriarch will step to the throne, when two Bishops will promulgate three times "Worthy" for him, followed by the clergy and then the laity.
The new Patriarch will receive the patriarchy attributes: robe, crown, scepter, the patriarchal cross and the engolpiya (small icons) – the latter two worn on the chest.