Bulgaria's Lincoln-Driving Bishop Resigns after Scandal

Society | December 7, 2011, Wednesday // 18:23
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Lincoln-Driving Bishop Resigns after Scandal Bishop Kiril is serving part of his flock on St. Nikola's Day (above), while the rest of his flock is being startled by the "Lincoln" waiting for him outside (below). Photos by BGNES

The Bishop of Varna and Veliki Preslav, Kiril, has resigned from his post a day after he startled his congregation with a 2012 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

Kiril quit his job late Wednesday, citing "dissatisfaction with the management of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church" as the reasons for his resignation.

However, many in Bulgaria have been quick to suggest that Varna Bishop Kiril – who is known to have harbored hopes to become Bulgaria's next Patriarch after the current head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Maxim – has caused a scandal with his luxury limo, which might be the real reason for his resignation.

Bishop Kiril arrived Tuesday for a service at the St Nikola church in the Black Sea city in a brand new "Lincoln MKZ Hybrid" - model 2012. The vehicle is not offered on the Bulgarian market and is possibly the first such model in the country.

The car is the first hybrid vehicle of Lincoln. It provides top-notch luxury with a real-wood interior and seven safety technologies. In the US its starting price is about USD 35 000. It is considered to be the most luxurious hybrid vehicle in America.

Until now the Bishop used a French Peugeot, but says he had to get rid of it over high gas consumption.

"This car has been delivered especially for me, before coming on the market. Only the American President uses such model," Kiril bragged, pointing out he was not afraid of audits, because the car had not been purchases with Church money.

"Some friends of mine gave me money for it. They bought it. I didn't want it but they insisted. It is a hybrid, and a new model. They brought it from America. I haven't paid anything, they gave it to me. The Bishopric hasn't paid a cent. The Bishopric is paying for the fuel. My previous car spent lots of gas – it was a Peugeot," explained Tuesday the 57-year-old Kiril, as quoted by BGNES.

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Tags: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, bishop, Kiril, Varna, Bishop Kiril, Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Maxim, Holy Synod, resignation, scandal

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