Head of Roman Catholic Church in Bulgaria sends condolences on death of Patriarch Neofit

The head of the Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria, Bishop Hristo Proykov, expressed condolences in a message on March 14 on the death of Bulgarian Orthodox Church Patriarch Neofit.

Neofit’s death, at the age of 78 from multiple organ failure, was announced by the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s governing body the Holy Synod on the night of March 13.

“It is with deep sorrow that we learn the news of the death of our beloved brother in Christ, Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia Neofit, who served the Church and the Bulgarian people with great devotion to the Lord,” Proykov said in a message on the Catholic church in Bulgaria’s website.

“The Episcopal Conference of the Catholic Church in Bulgaria offers its condolences to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, to the clergy and the faithful, as we prayerfully ask God for repose for his soul,” he said.

Condolences on Neofit’s death were also sent by the leaders of Bulgaria’s Muslim and Jewish communities.

Pastor Roumen Bodzhiev, president of the United Evangelical Churches of Bulgaria, sent a letter of condolences to the Holy Synod.

The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew – in Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the first among equals – held a special service on the morning of March 14 for the soul of Neofit.

Bulgarian National Television reported on March 14 that the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Daniel, had sent condolences on Neofit’s death.

In a message sent to the Holy Synod, Daniel said: “It is with deep sorrow that we learned that after a long illness, our beloved brother in Christ – Neofit, Metropolitan of Sofia and Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church – a respected and well-known person in the modern Orthodox world, has passed away.

“We share the grief of this loss. On behalf of the bishops, clergy and laity of the Romanian Orthodox Church, we express our fraternal condolences to the members of the Holy Synod and to the entire Bulgarian Orthodox Church,” Daniel said.

(Archive photo of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Sofia: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)

The Sofia Globe staff

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