Bulgarian Orthodox Church, leadership have always Been legitimate: Prime Minister of Bulgaria

Creating a new topic called “Bulgarian Sergianism on Trial”.

SOFIA, March 23 (BTA). The Bulgarian Orthodox Church and its leadership have always been legitimate, Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev told journalists Monday, emerging from a meeting with Patriarch Maxim. Stanishev specified he had requested the meeting to discuss yet again the situation involving a judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. He said he regarded the judgment with great concern because it was important and all ways and instruments should be found to defend the authority and unity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

The judgment was delivered by the Strasbourg Court on January 22 in the Case of “Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Metropolitan Inokentiy) and Others v. Bulgaria.” Metropolitan Inokentiy headed the so-called alternative synod which was set up in 1996 after the Bulgarian Orthodox Church split. In its application to the European Court of Human Rights, it claimed that it had been deprived of churches and monasteries and that its priests and staff were evicted in an operation of the law-enforcing authorities in 2004 whereby the Bulgarian government effectively intervened in church matters. The Court awarded the applicants jointly 8,000 euro in respect of all costs and expenses, reserving the question of non-pecuniary and pecuniary damage claimed by the applicants.