Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of condolence on the occasion of the death of Patriarch Maxim, the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church who died on November 6 2012 at the age of 98, having headed the church for 41 years.
“It is with deep sorrow that I heard the news of the death of our beloved brother in Christ, His Holiness Maxim, Metropolitan of Sofia and Patriarch of Bulgaria, who served our Lord and his people with devotion for many years,” the head of the Roman Catholic Church said, in the text of the message quoted by Vatican Radio.
“On behalf of the Catholic Church, I wish to assure you and all the bishops, priests, and faithful of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria that I join in prayer in your grief. May the Lord, Who is good and merciful, welcome our beloved brother Maxim into His heavenly home. May He grant him peace and eternal memory,” Pope Benedict said.
“Participating in the pain of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, I thank God for all the blessings of the late Patriarch for his church and the people of his country. In particular, I remember the warm hospitality accorded to Blessed Pope John Paul II during his visit to Bulgaria in May 2002. I thank the Lord for the good relations that the Patriarch has fostered with the Catholic Church in these lands, and I sincerely hope that the good relations can continue in order to promote the proclamation of the Gospel,” the Pope said.