The Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, unanimously elected 47-year-old Bishop Grigorii on March 12 as the new Metropolitan of Vratsa.
Grigorii got 13 votes and the other shortlisted candidate, Bishop Yerotey, none.
Grigorii becomes, as Metropolitan of Vratsa, the newest member of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body. He succeeds Vratsa Metropolitan Kalinik, who died on December 26 2016.
Born Krassimir Tsvetkov on September 19 1970 in Botevgrad, Grigorii attended the natural sciences high school in the town and then attended a two-year course at the St Ivan Rilski Sofia Seminary.
He became a monk on November 17 1996 and the next day was ordained a deacon.
On December 21 1998 he became an Archimandrite and in 1999 graduated from the Athens University theological faculty. On November 1 2007, he was appointed coadjutor of the Sofia bishopric.
Grigorii was consecrated as a bishop on in October 2010 and was the second bishop vicar of the Sofia Metropolitan, a post held by the Patriarch. In February 2011, he was appointed Abbot of the Troyan Monastery.
On May 1 2014, he was appointed vicar to Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit.
His election on March 12 followed his shortlisting a week earlier by an electoral college of clergy and laity in the diocese of Vratsa.
(Main photo, of the headquarters of the Holy Synod in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)