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Metropolitan of Plovdiv declines candidacy for Bulgarian Patriarchal Throne

His Eminence Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv made a resolute statement, firmly declining any consideration as a candidate for the patriarchal throne in the upcoming procedures of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

Addressing clergy and laity, Metropolitan Nikolai denounced media speculations surrounding the succession process even before the funeral rites of the late Patriarch had concluded. He criticized the involvement of individuals whom he referred to as “experts” on church matters, alleging their past associations with schisms and state security.

“Before the solemn viewing of His Beatitude’s body, the media commenced their speculative discourse on the succession to the Bulgarian patriarchal throne. These discussions, often tainted by sensationalism and innuendo, involve individuals professing expertise in church affairs, some of whom have previously been associated with schismatic groups and state security agencies. Their unwarranted focus on predicting Patriarch Maxim’s successor in 2013 demonstrated a penchant for baseless conjecture. Now, these same individuals have resumed their divisive and sacrilegious discourse, attempting once more to prematurely determine the future leader of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church,” the Metropolitan said.

Reflecting on the 2013 succession, he emphasised that those speculators were unaware then and remain so now, as the selection of church leaders is divinely ordained. Despite their continued slander and hostility towards the Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Nikolai vowed forgiveness but urged introspection on their part.

Metropolitan Nikolai firmly declared his refusal to be considered for the patriarchal throne and pledged to inform his fellow members of the Holy Synod accordingly.

“I announce and declare that I do not wish and will not accept to be included as a candidate for the Patriarchal Throne in the procedures that the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church,” stated Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv.

He urged devotees to observe 40 days of humble prayer for the soul of Patriarch Neophyte, entreating divine intercession for his eternal rest among the righteous.

It is recalled that, under the new circumstances, the new Patriarch of Bulgaria and Metropolitan of Sofia will be elected from among eight Metropolitans of the Bulgarian Church.

The eight Metropolitans eligible for the election of the new Patriarch of Bulgaria:

  1. Metropolitan Josef of USA, Canada, and Australia
  2. Metropolitan Gregory of Veliko Tarnovo
  3. Metropolitan Ignatius of Pleven
  4. Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovech
  5. Metropolitan John of Varna and Veliki Preslav
  6. Metropolitan Naum of Rousse (Cherven)
  7. Metropolitan Gregory of Vratsa
  8. Metropolitan Daniel of Vidin