Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Metropolitan Kirill of Varna Died in Mysterious Circumstances in Bulgaria

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Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Velikopreslavsky (Bulgarian Orthodox Church) died. On Tuesday, his body was found on a beach near the city of Varna. According to local media, the police are investigating the death. Metropolitan Kirill stood in for Patriarch Maksim Minkov of Sofia and all Bulgaria during the Patriarch’s final illness, and he was patriarchal locum tenens after the death of Patriarch Maksim.


Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias expressed his condolences Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov of Sofia and all Bulgaria and to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in connection with the death of Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Velikopreslavsky. On Wednesday, the Patriarchal Press Service quoted Patriarch Kirill as saying in a telegram, “The newly-departed Bulgarian archpastor [Kirill] was a great friend of our Church. We knew and loved him in Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the other countries that make up the MP’s canonical territory, which he often visited as a dear and welcome guest”. His Holiness noted that he knew Metropolitan Kirill for many years.


The Chancellery of the Holy Synod wishes to inform you that, today, 9 July 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Velikopreslavsky reposed in the Lord. According to information from the Diocese of Varna and Velikopreslavsky, the body of a Metropolitan Kirill was found on a beach in near the metropolitan residence located in Trakata district. Currently, the body is in the Varna Institute of Forensic Medicine. At this stage, the requisite authorities haven’t confirmed the media reports that his death was due to violent causes. Church authorities in Varna and at the Synod urge all Orthodox Christians and patriotic people to direct their gaze in earnest prayer to God, to ask that he accommodate the soul that left us in Varna in the realm of the righteous.

Pursuant to Article 84 Paragraph 1 of the Statute of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, all members of the Holy Synod will gather tomorrow, 10 July, at 10.00, to meet to set a date for the funeral and burial service; after reading a report message from the Varna Diocesan Council, they’ll appoint a locum tenens for the Diocese of Varna and Velikopreslavsky, to canonically manage the affairs of the diocese until the Synod chooses a successor to the late Metropolitan Kirill. Again, we turn with sincere feelings of condolences in our heart to the bereaved clergy and believers of Diocese of Varna and Velikopreslavsky and renew our call for respectful and sincere prayer for our dearly lamented worthy hierarch, who was a member of the Holy Synod.

Eternal, blessed, and bright memory to the departed Metropolitan Kirill of Varna and Velikopreslavsky!

God rest his soul!

9/10 July 2013





Editor’s Note:

I’ve checked some other sources… they say basically the same thing… there’s NO confirmation that the death was due to violence. However, the body was found in an upscale nouveau riche area, so, the chances that the bishop WAS killed by nogoodniks, whether accidentally or on purpose, can’t be ruled out.



Monday, 25 February 2013

Metropolitan Neofit Dmitrov of Ruse Elected Patriarch of Bulgaria

00 Patriarch Neofit Dmitrov of Bulgaria. 24.02.13


The national church council of the Holy Synod elected Metropolitan Neofit Dmitrov of Ruse as Patriarch of all Bulgaria. Neofit won over two other candidates in a runoff. The three candidates chosen after prolonged debates and stalemates last weekend were Neofit, Galaktion Tabakov of Stara Zagora, and Gavriil Dinev of Lovech. On Sunday, the news of Neofit’s election was announced by the Patriarchal locum tenens Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Veliki. Neofit received 90 votes at the runoff against Gavriil, who got 47. The solemn ringing of church bells in downtown Sofia marked the announcement.

Neofit was born 15 October 1945 in Sofia. He is a graduate of the Theological Academy in Sofia, and did graduate work at the Moscow Theological Academy. Neofit is a former lecturer and conductor of the Theological Academy choir, vicar-bishop of the Diocese of Sofia, President of the Theological Academy, first Dean of the restored Faculty of Theology at the St Clement of Okhrid University of Sofia, and was Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod. He was very close to the late Patriarch Maksim Minkov. Patriarch Maksim, who led the Church since 1971, passed away on 6 November 2012, at the age of 98. A solemn procession went from the Holy Synod building to the St Aleksandr Nevsky Memorial Church; troops from all the Bulgarian armed forces lined the procession route. At the end of the installation ceremony, the new Patriarch will ascend to the throne, when two Bishops will proclaim “Axios” (“Worthy”) three times for him, followed by the clergy, and, then by the laity. Then, the new Patriarch will receive his regalia… vestments, crown, sceptre, the patriarchal cross, and panagia (small icons)… the last two worn on the chest.

24 February 2013


Sofia News Agency


Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bulgaria to Elect New Patriarch on 24 February 2013


At a meeting on Tuesday, the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church announced that an election to pick a new patriarch to succeed the late Patriarch Maksim Minkov would take place on 24 February 2013. A rift amongst the bishops shook the Holy Synod after Patriarch Maksim, who led the Church since 1971, passed away on 6 November at the age of 98. They had an obligation to organise the election of a new Patriarch within six months after Maksim’s death, the deadline being 6 March 2013.

27 November 2012


Sofia News Agency



Monday, 26 November 2012

Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv Makes Surprise Appearance at Bulgarian Orthodox Holy Synod Meeting


On Monday, Metropolitan Nikolai Sevastiyanov of Plovdiv made a surprise appearance at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. A rift among the Bishops shook the Holy Synod after Patriarch Maksim Minkov, who led the Church since 1971, passed away on 6 November at the age of 98. In the aftermath of the Patriarch’s death and of the controversial election of Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Veliki Preslav as patriarchal locum tenens, Nikolai declared he was withdrawing for 40 days for mourning and wouldn’t attend any Holy Synod meetings.

Last Sunday, during his first liturgy as locum tenens, Kirill hinted that those who missed Holy Synod meetings as a sign of opposition to his election could face sanctions. Approached by the media Monday, Nikolai only said that he’d speak up after the 40-day mourning period. He refused to answer journalists when they asked him if they could interpret his attendance as reconciliation with the new Holy Synod leadership. The Holy Synod is discussing the details of the election of a new Patriarch, which take place no later than six months after Maksim’s death, thus, the deadline is 6 March 2013. One day earlier, in an open letter, sent to the media and the Bulgarian Holy Synod, Plovdiv clergy declared their firm support for Metropolitan Nikolai, condemning the continuing attacks and pressure on him.

26 November 2012



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