The Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, will on December 11 choose from between two candidates to be the next Metropolitan of Stara Zagora, shortlisted from a field of eight after an election in the city on December 4.
The two shortlisted candidates are bishop Kipriyan, vicar to Sliven Metropolitan Kalinik, and Mesembria bishop Yakov.
The election was held among 36 voters from the diocese, 16 clergy and 16 laypersons.
At the first round, only Kipriyan got more than half of the votes, a total of 24. Yakov was chosen as the other candidate after a further round of voting.
Voting was by secret ballot.
The leadership of the Stara Zagora diocese is vacant following an announcement by the Holy Synod that Metropolitan Galaction had been released from the post because of inability to carry out his duties, understood to be for reasons of seriously ill health.
The Holy Synod will meet on December 10 to hear a formal report on the election, to decide whether to certify it as valid in line with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s canon law.
Whoever is chosen on December 11 will take up his duties immediately and, by virtue of his office, will be a permanent member of the Holy Synod.
(Photo, of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod headquarters in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)