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Metropolitan of Kyiv attends funeral of late Bulgarian Patriarch

His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv, head of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, is currently in Sofia, Bulgaria, and is visiting the Patriarchal Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky.

As depicted in the photos, Metropolitan Epifaniy stands inside the church alongside representatives of the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid.

It is worth noting that Bishop Nestor of Korsun, representing the Russian Orthodox Church, is also present in the church.

In response to inquiries from the Bulgarian outlet regarding this matter and its potential implications, Metropolitan John of Varna and Great Preslav emphasised that “the Church maintains a separation from the state, and in matters concerning these relations, the Church tends to remain reserved. Personally, it concerns me. Indeed, the situation involving the Russian Orthodox Church is sensitive and requires careful consideration. An individual whose status has not been determined may be in attendance. And this is the individual representing the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifaniy, who has not been formally invited by us, but I understand that he will be present. And if he participates in the funeral service, it could potentially cause confusion for many. Prudence is needed.”

According to information reported by the Bulgarian media, Metropolitan Epifaniy will remain in prayer and will not partake in the funeral service.

Photos: Nikos Papachristou / Ecumenical Patriarchate