American Bulgarians petition to enter the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, leave OCA

Washington, September 3, 2010

Metropolitan Joseph Metropolitan Joseph
American Bulgarians have expressed their desire to leave the jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church in America for the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, reports the Bulgarian website ""

Bulgarians living in the U.S. and Canada are gathering signatures on the petition to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Church. The letter will contain a request to the Synod about the transfer on Bulgarian parishes that are currently under the jurisdiction of the OCA, to the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., Canada, and Australia. This jurisdiction, headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, currently has 27 parishes and monasteries.

The petitions states that today 80 percent of the clergy in Bulgarian churches are not Bulgarian, do not celebrate the feast days of Bulgarian saints, or observe Bulgarian national holidays and traditions.

A resolution to the problem is in part seen by the authors of the petition to be the Bulgarian Orthodox Church's non-recognition of the autocephalous status of the OCA. The Bulgarian Diocese of the OCA currently has 19 parishes and monasteries in the U.S. and Canada.

Amongst the authors of the letter, a copy of which will be sent to the Bulgarian Government, are three Bulgarian scholarly organizations: The Historical Institute of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, The Union of Bulgarian Scholars, and the "Historical Archive," an organ of the Union of Bulgarian Scholars, as well as other Bulgarian scholars and social activists in Bulgaria, the U.S.A., Canada, and other countries.