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The Metropolitans forming the triprosopon for new Bulgarian Patriarch were elected

Their Eminences, Metropolitan Grigory of Vratsa, Metropolitan Daniil of Vidin, and Metropolitan Gavriil of Lovchan have been selected to form the triprosopon, from which the new Patriarch of Bulgaria will be chosen.

The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Church convened today to elect these three Metropolitans, who will be considered for succession following the late Patriarch Neophyte. During this process, several Metropolitans were not eligible for election due to age and experience requirements outlined in the Charter of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

When asked about any major debates in today’s selection process, Metropolitan Cyprian remarked that detailed discussions couldn’t be disclosed but noted that 42 rounds of voting indicated significant deliberation.

Yesterday, it was announced that Metropolitan Joseph of the USA, Canada, and Australia has withdrawn from the election for Patriarch due to his age, being 83 years old.

The Holy Synod was at full composition with 14 Metropolitans. Yesterday’s voting was conducted in secret.

The individual elected as the Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia must meet the following criteria: they must be a serving diocesan Metropolitan of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, be at least 50 years old, have governed a diocese as a Metropolitan for at least five years, and be distinguished by sound Orthodox faith and strict adherence to church order.

Specifically, Metropolitan Antony of Western and Central Europe, Metropolitan Seraphim of Nevrokop, and Metropolitan Cyprian of Stara Zagora did not meet the age requirement of 50 years, as specified in Article 40, paragraph 2. Additionally, Metropolitan Yakov of Dorostol did not qualify due to the requirement in Article 40, paragraph 3, which mandates five years of service as a Metropolitan. Metropolitan Arsenij of Sliven was also ineligible due to both reasons mentioned.

According to the results of the vote, Metropolitan Grigory of Vratsa received 11 votes, while Metropolitans Daniil of Vidin and Gavriil of Lovchan each received 9 votes. These Metropolitans secured the required two-thirds majority of the synodal bishops’ votes, as stipulated in Articles 45 and 47 of the Charter, thus deeming them worthy candidates for the Patriarchal throne.

The election and enthronement of the new Patriarch of Bulgaria are scheduled to take place on Sunday, 30 June, in Sofia, in the presence of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. “I received a kind letter from our brother and locum tenens, Metropolitan Grigory of Vratsa, inviting me to be present at the election and enthronement of the new Primate of the Bulgarian Church. It is very kind of you to extend this personal invitation to the Ecumenical Patriarch for such a historic moment in your Church’s life,” the Ecumenical Patriarch said on Saturday, 18 May 2024, when he welcomed a large delegation from the Holy Church of Bulgaria at the headquarters of the Mother Church.

The Ecumenical Patriarch mentioned that although he had planned to visit the Holy Metropolis of Arta on 30 June, the date of the election, he would endeavour to adjust his schedule. “I consider this invitation very important and blessed, and I hope the Metropolitan of Arta will understand and allow us to modify the program.”

The enthronement of the new Bulgarian Patriarch, who will be the Metropolitan of Sofia, will occur on the same day at the Patriarchal Cathedral “St. Alexander Nevsky.”