Election shortlists two candidates to be member of Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body

An election in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s diocese of Sliven on February 18 shortlisted two candidates to be the next Metropolitan and thus a member of the church’s governing body, the Holy Synod.

The election was precipitated by the January 9 announcement by the Holy Synod of the death of Sliven Metropolitan Ioanikiy, who died at the age of 84 after a long illness. Ioanikiy had been Metropolitan since 1980.

In the election on February 18, forty-two voters from the seven parishes in the Sliven diocese chose from among 10 candidates.

Bishop Mihail, vicar bishop of the Metropolitan of Lovech, got 22 votes at the second round, defeating Bishop Arseniy of Zniopol. The other shortlisted candidate is Bishop Herotei, who got 26 votes at the first round.

In the second round of voting, three candidates got one vote each and four got none. In both rounds, voting was by secret ballot.

The Holy Synod will meet on February 24 to examine the documentation to decide if the election was canonical, and if deciding that it was, will proceed on February 25 to choose the new Metropolitan of Sliven from the two shortlisted candidates.

(Photo, of St Demetrius church in Sliven: Edal Anton Lefterov, via Wikimedia Commons)

The Sofia Globe staff

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