Metropolitan of the Bulgarian Patriarchate concelebrates at the liturgy in Istanbul, during which the Primate of the OCU was mentioned

01 January, 16:02
Orthodox
Metropolitan of the Bulgarian Patriarchate concelebrates at the liturgy in Istanbul, during which the Primate of the OCU was mentioned - фото 1
Metropolitan Cyprian of Starozagor (Bulgarian Patriarchate) took part in the Liturgy on December 26, where Metropolitan Epifaniy (Dumenko) was mentioned as the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.

The Liturgy at St. Stephen's Church, owned by the Bulgarian community of Istanbul (under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople), was led by senior Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedony.

It should be noted that Metropolitan Cyprian of Starozagor in early 2019 was the chairman of a special commission created by the Bulgarian Patriarchate to study the issue of Ukrainian autocephaly.

The speaker of the OCU, Archbishop Yevstratiy (Zorya), has already responded to this event. In a message on his Facebook page the archbishop said:

"According to the Light of Phanar website https://fosfanariou.gr/.../mnimoneusi-kievou-epifaniou.../ Metropolitan Cyprian of Staro-Zagorsk (Bulgarian Patriarchate) concelebrated last Sunday, December 26, to Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedony in the Bulgarian Church of Istanbul.

During the Liturgy, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy was mentioned as one of the Primates during the diptych reading.

The website notes that this event is an important step towards the Bulgarian Church's recognition of the Tomos of autocephaly of the OCU.

The website emphasizes that in 2019, Metropolitan Cyprian made a statement in favor of the head of the structure of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine, Metropolitan Onufriy, and also headed the Commission of the Bulgarian Patriarchate on "studying the Ukrainian issue" (the results of its work have not yet been made public).

Therefore, the concelebration of the BOC hierarch with Metropolitan Emmanuel, who headed the Unification Council in Kyiv, and participation in the Liturgy, which commemorated the name of Metropolitan Epifaniy, indicate a shift in the views of the Bulgarian Church on the "Ukrainian issue".

A possible explanation for this fact is that the BOC actively supports the autocephaly of the Archdiocese of Ohrid (North Macedonia), which is historically associated with the Bulgarian Church. It is known that just the day before, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew officially received a church delegation from North Macedonia headed by the bishop. This was assessed by observers as a positive sign regarding the consideration of the "Macedonian" issue.

Therefore, the Bulgarian Church, which hopes for such a decision and for the Tomos for the Archdiocese of Ohrid, cannot but recognize the Tomos for the Orthodox Church of Ukraine."