The governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, will meet this week on questions including whether it should accept a request from the Macedonian Orthodox Church to become that church’s mother church.
The metropolitans of dioceses throughout Bulgaria will be presented with letters from other Orthodox Christian churches on the stated commitment of the Bulgarian church to assist in resolving the question of the Macedonian church’s autocephaly.
No mainstream Orthodox Christian church accepts the Macedonian church as autonomous of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod decided on November 27 2017 to hold talks with the Macedonian Orthodox Church and other Orthodox Christian churches on recognising the neighbouring country’s church as autocephalous and agreeing to be its mother church.
The letters from the other churches oppose the Bulgarian church recognising the Macedonian church in any form.
The majority back the Serbian Orthodox Church’s stance that the Macedonian church issue is an internal one for the Serbian church. The Ecumenical Patriarchate said recently that the mother church of all Balkan Orthodox Christian churches is Constantinople.
The Bulgarian church’s Holy Synod also will discuss legislation on religious denominations tabled in the National Assembly last week. Church news website Dveri said that the Synod was divided on the legislation, with metropolitan not wanting to blindly comply with “the desires and interests of political parties.”
The session of the Holy Synod this week will not include Patriarch Neofit, who is ill in hospital. His condition is not known.
(Photo, of Sofia’s landmark Alexander Nevsky cathedral: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)