|Bulgarian Patriarch His Holiness Neofit |
Photo:Department for External Church Relations
of the Russian Orthodox Church
Etchmiadzin,01 March, 2013: His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, sent a congratulatory message to the newly elected Patriarch of the Bulgarian Greek Orthodox Church, His Holiness Neofit.
"We ask for the Lord’s help and support for Your Holiness, with the wish that the heavenly God decorate Your Pontifical service with new achievements for the vibrancy of the Church of Bulgaria and for the spiritual comfort of Your pious and faithful flock. It is also our prayer that the Lord grant that the efforts of Your Holiness and Your Church to yield great success for the sake of increased peace and solidarity, for promoting and fortification of the dialogue and friendship between the churches and religions, "says the pontifical congratulations in part.
His Holiness noted with happiness that there is a flourishing community in Bulgaria which is a testament to the longstanding historical ties and cooperation. He expressed his hope that during the pontificate of Patriarch Neofit, the fraternal and friendly relations existing between the churches would continue to blossom and give new results for the glory of God and for the well-being of the faithful.
Source: Information Service of the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin
Ruse Metropolitan Neofit Elected Bulgarian Patriarch
Sofia,February 24, 2013, Sunday: Ruse Metropolitan Neofit has been elected Patriarch of the Bulgarian Greek Orthodox Church by the Holy Synod's national church council.
Neofit prevailed over two other candidates at runoff.
The three who were were chosen after prolonged debates and stalemates last weekend were: Neofit, the Stara Zagora metropolitan Galaktion, and Lovech's Gavriil.
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.
External LinksOrthodox Church of Bulgaria Elects New Patriarch
Delegation of Russian Greek Orthodox Church takes part in the enthronement of Bulgarian Patriarch