Bulgarian Metropolitan expresses communion with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church
In a liturgy presided by Nikolaj (Sevastianov), bishop of Plovdiv, the name of Epifanyj of Kiev was mentioned. Moscow accuses the Bulgarian church of "international conspiracy" against Russia and its Church.
Moscow (AsiaNews) - The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is also taking a step towards communion with its sister Church in Ukraine, recognized by Constantinople, but not by Moscow.
On November 28th, a Bulgarian bishop cited the name of the new Ukrainian primate Epifanyj (Dumenko) during a solemn morning liturgy presided over by the Orthodox Metropolitan of Plovdiv Nikolaj (Sevastianov) in the Greek church of St. Athanasius and the Saints Acacius and Damascene at Langades , where the prelate had visited Bulgaria. As reported by the Greek website Romalewfronimati, two metropolitans and a bishop of the Hellenic Church concelebrated with Nikolaj.
During the ceremony, at the time of the commemorations of the patriarchs and church leaders, the deacon proclaimed the official diptychs of the Greek Church, in which the name of Epifanyj is inserted, and Metropolitan Nikolai concluded the litany with the final prayer. In this way, even if the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has not yet pronounced itself on the recognition of the Ukrainian autocephaly, it is clear that even among Bulgarians the feelings of communion hang more towards Constantinople, than towards Moscow.
Bulgaria, along with Serbia, is traditionally the Slavic country most closely linked to the Russians, but evidently Moscow's claims are not easily accepted even in Sofia. The Patriarch of Moscow Kirill (Gundjaev) recently visited Bulgaria, and was deemed to have spoken in “patronizing” tones towards Bulgaria, as if the Russians were the true liberators of the country. In reality, the Bulgarians consider themselves the ancient "masters" of the Russians, having transmitted ecclesiastical literature to them, and the recent Soviet past certainly does not help the "Slavic brotherhood".
The Greek diocese of Langades is part of the "black list" issued by the Patriarchate of Moscow, among those not to be visited even for tourism, and in no case participate in the liturgies of the Greek "traitors", who declare themselves in communion with the Church of Epifanyj of Kiev. The Russian websites point out that the Bulgarian patriarch Neofit (Dimitrov) recently met with the ambassadors of Greece and the United States, becoming complicit in the "international conspiracy" against Russia and its Church.