Ecumenical Patriarch Extends Accolades to Bulgarian PMDiplomacy | May 18, 2010, Tuesday // 15:11| views
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, who is in Bulgaria Tuesday, gave high marks to the Bulgarian center-right government. Photo by BGNES
The visit of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, to Bulgaria is a way for the cabinet to show Christians Orthodox how much those leading the country value the Orthodox Church.
The words belong to Bulgaria's Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov who greeted Tuesday, in the Black Sea City of Burgas, his All Holiness upon arrival in Bulgaria.
The Patriarch, on his part, expressed his appreciation for the help of the Bulgarian government for the Orthodox Churches, saying Bulgaria has a Prime Minister, who understands the value of good relations among neighbors as a way to provide stability for the Balkans and end the crisis.
Both visited the exhibit showcasing the projects realized by the Burgas City Hall in the last years. The Burgas Mayor, Dimitar Nikolov, pointed out the municipality and the cabinet are helping the construction of 5 new churches in the city, including the large-scale church complex in the “Meden Rudnik” district and the fact Burgas is the first to introduce religion classes at schools.
“It is a great honor for me to he here, especially on the day Mayor Nikolov celebrates his birthday. I wish you for many years from now to keep leading the people of Burgas with the same strength and enthusiasm. The prayers of the Church will be always with you,” his All Holiness said.
In Burgas, Bartholomew I will be also awarded a doctor honoris causa by the Burgas Free University.
His visit to Bulgaria is related to the opening of a new church in the Sveti Vlas resort along the Black Sea coast for which the Constantinople Patriarchate donated holy relics.
The visit is said to be sponsored by the wealthy brothers, Yordan Dinev and Dinko Dinev, who are construction and resort entrepreneurs, known for donating money for new churches. Unofficial information states the brothers even provided the plane that brought the Constantinople Patriarch from Istanbul to Burgas.
Bartholomew I's agenda in Bulgaria, however, does not include a meeting with the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Maxim. The Constantinople Patriarch is accompanied during the trip by the Bishop of Sliven, Yoanikiy.
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