Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev met Christian Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul Thursday.
“We prayed for the soul of the late Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim. We prayed for the Bulgarian people and Church, and for the swift election of a new patriarch,” said Bartholomew after the meeting.
“The Bulgarian Orthodox Church is the first spiritual sister of the ConstantinoplePatriarchy and has always been deep in our hearts,” added he.
The Bulgarian President expressed his gratitude regarding the support his country has from Constantinople.
“Patriarch Maxim‘s role for the unity and vitality of the Bulgarian Church through some difficult times was tremendous,” said Plevneliev.
“Bulgarian politicians have learned their lesson and the state has no intentions to meddle in the election of a new patriarch,” added he.
The Bulgarian president also expressed hopes that the office of the head of the Bulgarian Church will not stay vacant for long.
As part of his visit to Istanbul, Plevneliev also visited the Bulgarian St. Stephen Church, which is currently undergoing reconstruction.