BTA News

President, Vice President Meet with Bulgarian Patriarch

President Rumen Radev and Vice President Iliana Iotova met with Bulgarian Patriarch and Metropolitan of Sofia Daniil in Sofia on Thursday, the head of State’s press centre said. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Holy Synod.

“For our people, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is not only a religious institution and a community of faith, but an awakener and savior of the Bulgarian people in the most difficult times of foreign yoke. Once a factor in achieving our national liberation, today our society relies on the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to continue to be a pillar of our moral and spiritual foundations so that we can be worthy and responsible for our freedom,” Radev said.

In times of challenges for Bulgaria and humanity, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has shown the strength of unity around traditions and fundamental values, Radev said and congratulated Daniil on his election as Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. “Our common mission is to unite. I believe that in your person this extremely important function of the Church will continue,” Radev said and wished His Holiness health and strength in his highly responsible work to promote the faith, strengthen the unity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and defend its independence.

The President and the Patriarch united around the position that overcoming the spiritual crisis in Bulgaria and the unity of the Bulgarian people require joint actions of the State institutions and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. “Ensuring the security and well-being of Bulgarian citizens must go along with our moral and spiritual growth as a nation,” Radev and Daniil stressed. The head of State also noted the significant contribution of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in preserving and transmitting through generations the Bulgarian national traditions, language and culture, in preserving the national identity and historical heritage.

The possibilities of introducing the subject of Religion as part of the compulsory education in Bulgarian schools were discussed during the meeting. Positive examples of such practice in neighbouring countries were highlighted.

Radev and Iotova highlighted the importance of the institutions’ cooperation with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for the development of relations with Bulgarians abroad, for the education of children from Bulgarian communities abroad and for the preservation of the Bulgarian language.

At the end of the meeting, Patriarch Daniil presented the President with a collection of silver medals  depicting Bulgarian monasteries. In turn Radev gave His Holiness an icon of The Good Shepherd.

The integration of new and modern technologies in the promotion of Bulgarian spiritual heritage, church diplomacy, as well as the role of the State in finding successful models for financing and preserving property belonging to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church were also discussed during the meeting.