The Expelled Priest: Bulgarian Priests have No Right to Serve in the Russian Church in Sofia
"The Bulgarian priests appointed by Patriarch Neophyte in the Russian Church in Sofia have no right to serve there."
This was announced to TASS by the ex-supervisor of the temple, Vasian (Zmeev), expelled for espionage.
The Bulgarian authorities obliged the archimandrite and two employees of the Church of "St. Nicholas Mirlikiskii the Miracle-Maker" to leave the country - as they posed a threat to national security, within 24 hours.
Later, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church Synod announced that Patriarch Neophyte had appointed Bulgarian priests who "will take care of the temple and perform the usual services." It was also reported that Patriarch Kirill was informed of this decision.
The Moscow Patriarchate - i.e. the Russian Patriarch Kirill (also known for his past in the KGB) had to appoint new clerics there himself, Vasian now claims.
"Strictly speaking, this parish belongs to us - to the Russian Church, and only the Patriarch of Moscow can appoint priests there. I cannot expect decisions, but as far as I understand, another priest should be appointed in my place. We have two full-time clergymen in the yard. Two are extradited and two others can come," Vasian says.
Besides, the Bulgarian priests would not be able to enter the Russian Church anyway, which is locked.
It would only be opened when the new rector arrived - a cleric of the Russian Orthodox Church appointed by Kiril.
The Embassy of Russia is the official owner of the temple and has the relevant notarial deed for this, writes TASS.
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