Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church is electing a new leader and a new relationship with the world

by | Jun 28, 2024 | Religion

ISTANBUL (RNS)—On Sunday, leaders of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church will gather in Sofia to decide on their new spiritual head — the Patriarch of All Bulgaria.The Bulgarian Church’s last patriarch, Neophyte I, died in March, and according to church law, his successor must be elected in four months. The election will be held by a 140-member council of church leaders on June 30.
Coming just a few weeks after Bulgaria held national parliamentary elections, the choice for a new patriarch has been the subject of national attention.
Though the church is fully separate from the state, its constitution names Eastern Orthodoxy as the “Traditional religion of the Republic of Bulgaria,” and 85% of Bulgaria’s 6.5 million citizens identify as Orthodox Christians.
The new patriarch will be elected by a council made up of clergy and lay leaders coming from each of the church’s 14 eparchies, two of which represent the church’s diaspora (one serving in Europe with a metropolitan, or provincial leader, based in Berlin, and the other covering North America and Australia with its metropolitan based in New York City).
Church law dictates that candidates must be over 50 and have served as metropolitans for at least five years. Of the 14 metropolitans, nine meet the qualifications, and afte …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nnISTANBUL (RNS)—On Sunday, leaders of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church will gather in Sofia to decide on their new spiritual head — the Patriarch of All Bulgaria.The Bulgarian Church’s last patriarch, Neophyte I, died in March, and according to church law, his successor must be elected in four months. The election will be held by a 140-member council of church leaders on June 30.
Coming just a few weeks after Bulgaria held national parliamentary elections, the choice for a new patriarch has been the subject of national attention.
Though the church is fully separate from the state, its constitution names Eastern Orthodoxy as the “Traditional religion of the Republic of Bulgaria,” and 85% of Bulgaria’s 6.5 million citizens identify as Orthodox Christians.
The new patriarch will be elected by a council made up of clergy and lay leaders coming from each of the church’s 14 eparchies, two of which represent the church’s diaspora (one serving in Europe with a metropolitan, or provincial leader, based in Berlin, and the other covering North America and Australia with its metropolitan based in New York City).
Church law dictates that candidates must be over 50 and have served as metropolitans for at least five years. Of the 14 metropolitans, nine meet the qualifications, and afte …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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