Powerful Bulgarian Bishop Found Dead, Foul Play Suspected
The dead body of Varna metropolitan bishop Kiril, a former interim Patriarch and one of the most powerful members of the country’s senior clergy, was discovered near Varna on Tuesday.
The body was discovered on a beach in the exurban area of Trakata.
Prosecutors suspect foul play, according to the Bulgarian National Radio.
Bishop Kiril was born as Bogomil Petrov Kovachev on June 8, 1954. He has been metropolitan bishop of Varna and Veliki Preslav since 1989.
In November 2012, Kiril was chosen as interim Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church following the death of 98-year-old former Patriarch Maxim. Kiril remained interim Patriarch until February 2013, where new Patriarch Neofit was elected.
This incident has renewed debate about the sources of wealth among senior Bulgarian clergy.
In 2012, the wealthy bishop was exposed as a former agent of State Security (DS) the Bulgarian secret service during the Communist dictatorship (1944-1989). Kiril worked as a secret agent under the aliases "Kovachev" and "Vladislav."