Bulgarian Orthodox Church elects Bishop Daniil as new Metropolitan of Vidin
By a vote of 11 to two on February 4, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body, the Holy Synod, elected Bishop Daniil as the new Metropolitan of Vidin.
Daniil, who since 2010 has been vicar to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Metropolitan of the United States, Canada and Australia Yosif, will be ex officio a member of the Holy Synod.
The vacancy in Vidin was created by the death of Metropolitan Dometian in September 2017.
Daniil defeated his rival for the post, Bishop Gerasim of Melnik. The two were shortlisted in a diocesan election by clergy and lay people in Vidin on January 28.
The only two members of the Holy Synod to vote for Gerasim were Patriarch Neofit and Western and Central European Metropolitan Antoniy.
On February 3, the Holy Synod voted to declare that the diocesan election that shortlisted the two candidates on January 28 had been conducted in accordance with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s canon law. The only member to vote against this decision was Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolai.
Daniil was born on March 2 1972 in Smolyan, where he attended school before going on to enrol for a degree in English at Sofia University in 1996. In 1997, he switched to the theological faculty at Sofia University.
He became a monk in 1999. Daniil graduated from Sofia University’s theology faculty in 2002. In 2004, he was sent to Rozhen Monastery and in 2006 was appointed as an Archimandrite.
Daniil was consecrated as a bishop in 2008 and was appointed vicar of the Metropolitan of Nevrokop, the diocese headquartered in the southern Bulgarian town of Gotse Delchev. Two years later, in June, he was appointed vicar of the Metropolitan of the United States, Canada and Australia.
As a result of deaths and resignations, there have been a number of new elections of Metropolitans of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in recent years.
These include the Metropolitan of Western and Central Europe in October 2013, of Varna in December 2013, of Nevrokop in January 2014, of Rousse in 2014, of Stara Zagora in December 2016 and of Vratsa in March 2017.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the majority religious denomination in Bulgaria, with about 86 per cent of Bulgarians declaring themselves to be Orthodox Christians.
(Photo: Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarchate)