The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has rejected reports in Ukrainian media that its governing body has decided to support the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
The Ukrainian reports emerged after the governing body of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, the Holy Synod, held a formal meeting at the beginning of this week.
The Bulgarian church’s Holy Synod meeting ended without, just as happened with its previous meeting, any statement on what it had discussed. However, there had been reports in the Bulgarian media that it would discuss the question of Ukraine.
In an issue that is among the most divisive in the Eastern Orthodox Christian world, the Ukrainian church has been declared autocephalous by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartolomeos I, a position rejected by the Orthodox Church of Moscow and All the Russias, along with the Russian church’s closest allies.
The Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod said that it had not dealt with the issue of Ukraine and no decision had been taken.
The church said that it was continuing to examine the documents related to the case.
Kiprian, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church metropolitan of Stara Zagora, head of the committee set up to deal with the Ukrainian question, said that the committee still had not come up with an opinion because it was still examining the documentation.
Reports in Ukranian media on January 26 that the Bulgarian church had decided to back the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church were “unreliable,” Kiprian said.
(Photo, of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Alexander Nevsky cathedral in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)