Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, February 6, 2019
His Eminence Metropolitan Cyprian of Stara Zagora of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church expressed hope that the Ukrainian crisis would be resolved in a canonical way and his conviction that the Church will remain united with His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine as its primate, in comments recently made to Vesti while he was in Moscow for the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill as primate of the Russian Church.
Met. Cyprian, who chairs the Bulgarian Synod’s commission for investigating the Ukrainian issue, as spoke about whether the Bulgarian Church is ready to recognize the Ukrainian nationalist church.
“The Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church appointed a commission to deal with the ‘Ukrainian issue.’ With God’s help, the dispute will be resolved in a canonical way,” the metropolitan said.
The commission was created when the Bulgarian Synod met on October 4. At that time, three metropolitans urged the Synod to call for a pan-Orthodox council to deal with the issue, though the Synod did not favor this proposal overall. Their statement, outlining the many problems with Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine, was later posted on the Bulgarian Patriarchate’s website.
The Bulgarian Holy Synod last met on January 26, after which Ukrainian media reported that the bishops had resolved to support the schismatic Ukrainian Church, though Met. Cyprian denied such reports, emphasizing that no decision had yet been made.
“I am happy to recall how I was in Ukraine, at the Kiev Caves Lavra, for the 1,000th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’. I was chosen as a delegate by decision of our Holy Synod. I saw a cross procession—people showing support for the canonical Orthodox Church. I really hope this issue will be resolved in a canonical way,” Met. Cyprian recalled.
And turning to the personal example of Met. Onuphry, he recalled: “I was very impressed by the words and prayer of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry—he is a man deeply immersed in prayer and spiritual questions. I am certain that with such a primate, the Church will be one, apostolic, and catholic.”
Vladyka Cyprian also noted that “Bulgaria has always been a country that loves Orthodoxy and is friendly to Orthodox people. We’re ready to extend a hand to those in need. Love between people, especially Orthodox people, will strengthen our faith. And we believe that the UOC will remain while by God’s mercy and allowance.”
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