International Orthodox Christian News

Stanishev: We should defend the unity of the Bulgarian Church

We should find ways, legal and other instruments, to defend the authority and the unity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

This claimed the prime minister Sergei Stanishev after discussing with the Bulgarian patriarch Maxim the situation with the decision of the European court for human rights in Strasbourg and the actions of the Bulgarian state.

Stanishev said that he was worried about this decision and that he has requested the patriarch to inform him about his meeting with the representatives of all orthodox churches throughout the world.

The decision of the European human rights court is an attitude not only towards the Bulgarian orthodox church but also to the orthodoxy as whole and its autonomous actions, claimed Stanishev.

We will do everything necessary to defend our arguments, stressed the prime minister and added that the Bulgarian orthodox church was, is and will be united, with a united clear leadership, which is respected not only by all orthodox people in Bulgaria.

“The whole orthodox world recognizes this leadership and the unity of our orthodox church”, claimed Stanishev. He said he wanted to hear the opinion of the Bulgarian patriarch, the ecumenical orthodox church and the viewpoint of the canonic law.

Exactly the canonic law is the basis for the decisions which are taken by the orthodox people throughout the world during their gatherings, pointed out Stanishev. The PM added he would request the judicial minister Miglena Tacheva, who leads the established interinstitutional group to prepare a report on the case and the council of ministers to take a decision.

Sergei Stanishev underlined the special role of the Bulgarian orthodox church, which according to him is a special part of the Bulgarian identity. Due to orthodoxy we have endure hard centuries under foreign yoke and we have preserved ourselves as a people, marked Stanishev and added that in the contemporary history the Bulgarian church was passing through a lot of hardships.

In the 90s there was an acute political intervention in the deeds of the Bulgarian orthodox church which led to tension and schism, said Stanishev and stressed that this schism was overcome with the Church convention in the autumn of 1998, when the unity of the Bulgarian orthodox church and its legitimate leadership was completely restored.

“There is one Bulgarian orthodox church, which is legitimate. Its leadership is confirmed also by the orthodox convention and is accepted by all orthodox churches in the world and this should be clear to everyone”, claimed Stanishev.


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