Two Bulgarian Orthodox Church bishops at variance over Ukraine
The Bulgarian media outlet Faktor has reported some hot news: on June 12, at the meeting of the Synod of the Bulgarian Church, Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv and Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin announced the mutual breakup of the Eucharistic communion.
The reason is the pro-Russian campaign on the part of Metropolitan Daniel, his unauthorized dissemination of letters to representatives of local Churches, trips to Moscow without the blessing of the Patriarch and the Synod, where he made statements that are detrimental to the Bulgarian Church and the national security of Bulgaria.
In the follow-up of such Daniel's actions, Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv went to Istanbul where he explained to the Ecumenical Patriarch that the position of the Metropolitan of Vidin does not comply with the position of the entire Bulgarian Church.
On June 12, the Synod of the BOC dissociated itself from the statements of Metropolitan of Vidin "in defense of the canonical Church in Ukraine," explaining that the BOC has not yet developed a conciliar decision about the Ukrainian autocephaly. In turn, Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin started to protect "his own opinion". On June 12, both Metropolitans announced the suspension of the Eucharistic relations, the refusal to concelebrate and raise prayers for each other and the ban on the service for the Metropolitan of Vidin in the Diocese of Plovdiv, and for that of Plovdiv – in Vidin.
As noted by Faktor, it will be most difficult for Daniel of Vidin, who comes from Smolyany located in the territory of the diocese of Plovdiv.
According to the media outlet, the division in the BOC due to this conflict between the two bishops is three to one: 75% support Nikolai and 25% are taking the side of Daniel.
It is expected that on June 19, the Synod of the BOC will continue its work, where it will assess the "personal opinion" of Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin, and decide on accepting the invitation of Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus, with the blessing of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, to participate in an informal meeting of the delegations of Orthodox Churches on the Ukrainian Church issue. If the Synod makes a positive decision, it needs to create a delegation led by Metropolitan Cyprian of Starozagorski, who is the Chairman of the Commission on the Ukrainian Church issue. It was reported by Сerkvarium.