Bulgaria: The Russian Embassy has a Property Deed of the Russian Church in SofiaPolitics | September 27, 2023, Wednesday // 08:43| views
The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has a property deed of the Russian Church - this confirmed the verification of the Registration Agency. The notary confessed to he transaction in 1997, according to Lovech Metropolitan Gavriil. Metropolitan Gavriil added that neither the Sofia Metropolitanate nor the Holy Synod owns such property. The prime minister said that SANS was slow with the report on the expelled Russian priests.
On July 27, 1997, a notarial deed of ownership of real estate acquired by land donation, church construction and legal succession was entered by the Russian Imperial Diplomatic Agency of the Embassy of the Russian Federation, the Agency said. The deed was drawn up by notary Ivan Dakhterov after attached written evidence, with the Embassy of the Russian Federation recognized as the owner.
"The property is owned by the embassy of the Russian Federation at the moment. There was a hesitation whether I should recognize as the owner Russia as a country or the embassy. But since the deed was issued to the embassy of tsarist Russia, it was therefore re-issued to the embassy," said Ivan Dakhterov, a notary.
Lovech Metropolitan Gavriil also confirmed that the Russian Church is the property of the Russian Embassy:
"There is no doubt that the property of the Russian Church belongs to Russia, it was built first by Russia, with the money of Russia, and in 1997 they got a new notary deed based on all these documents that they have, so there can be no doubt about that. Besides, I was 10 years in the Sofia Metropolitan, now I am in the Holy Synod, the chairman of the Supreme Church Council, which deals with the properties of the Holy Synod, I must say that such property of the Russian Church is not accounted in the Sofia Metropolitan, nor among the properties of the Holy Synod."
Yesterday, Prime Minister Nikolai Denkov said that he believed the discussion about the temple's ownership would continue:
"I have seen the notarial deed, it was issued in 1997, but it is yet to be analyzed how the legal issues with the property stand, as they must be on a reciprocal basis in relation to the Bulgarian churches in Moscow and the Russian Church in Sofia."
Controversies continue as to whose jurisdiction the church is under - the Bulgarian Orthodox Church or the Russian Orthodox Church. According to Metropolitan Gavriil, the Russian Court has its own statute, which in 2011 was registered by St. Synod. It will be sought out and presented at the meeting on October 3, and then it will become clear who has what rights.
"I think the jurisdiction is of the Russian Church, because it is an embassy of the Russian Church, but I cannot be sure until we see what is written in this statute," Lovech Metropolitan Gavriil said.
The Prime Minister also commented on the case with the note delivered to the Bulgarian ambassador in Moscow, saying that this will not change the decision of the State Agency "National Security". According to him, the SANS report is extremely clear, but it is late.
"Actually, a lot of the information is from previous years, so the question of when we should have reacted is open, we will have a conversation with the chairman of SANS, he is on a business trip, when he returns, this conversation will be held," explained Denkov.
GERB leader Boyko Borissov also commented on the actions of SANS:
"As of today, the offices belong to President Radiev, this is what the colleagues from the WCC-DB claim. I hope they had sufficient grounds when they prepared the documents for these citizens respectively. The first question is for them, the second for me should be the immediate opening of the church."
In the meantime, the information was refuted three priests were with Ambassador Mitrofanova to ask for the keys to the church. Mitrofanova is waiting for instructions from the Russian Patriarch Kirill on whether to open the temple. Patriarch Neophytus appointed the priests to the church and said he expected the embassy to open it. He also informed the Russian patriarch about the incident.
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