When we talk about Archbishop Nicholas of Plovdiv, name one important thing that explains everything else. From the autumn of 1994 to 1996 he was on theological specialization at the Moscow Theological Academy.
Посещение на Нейно Превъзходителство посланика на Руската Федерация в Пловдив (plovdivskamitropolia.bg)
He was born on 19.07.1969 in Sofia. He was born in 1919 in Sofia. After military service, he continued his education at the Sofia Theological Seminary, and since the autumn of 1990 he has been a student at the Theological Faculty of Sofia University "St. Nicholas".
Снимка на деня | Руската визита на гости на пловдивския митрополит Николай (capital.bg)
Since the head of Pazardzhik is the District Governor Trendafil Velichkov frequent guest is the Metropolitan of Plovdiv Nicholas.
Bulgarian children, educated in the West, are instruments of evil, behaving like religious fanatics, professing a "religion of hate", and the adults who "incite" them should be denounced. This is from the speech of Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolai on the occasion of the celebration of the 137th anniversary of the Unification. "Since the beginning of the transition, Bulgarians have been sending their children to the West, by the thousands and thousands, to study there and absorb Western values. Now they have begun to return and it turns out that, in addition to the knowledge that we have yet to see them apply, some of them have imbibed contempt for their homeland, disrespect for their parents, extreme individualism, materialism, selfishness and, on top of that, a willingness to impose what they have learned by force, with the methods of the Inquisition,"
According to him, "they talk about politics, but in practice they behave like religious fanatics professing some 'religion of hate', if there can be such a thing."
"This war of hate, in which our children are becoming instruments of evil, must stop immediately. We all have a duty to do so. And if there are adults who are bullying them and taking advantage of their inexperience, they must be severely reprimanded by the whole of society," Nikolai added.
В словото си за Съединението митрополит Николай нападна училите в чужбина българи, които се връщат у нас | Общество | Новини от България и Света | OFFNews.bg
He begins his speech with quotes from his own speech in 2013 when he said:
"You will ask if today, on the day we celebrate the Unification of Bulgaria, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church will say a few words on current political events? Will the Church take sides? What words will it use to describe what is happening. How will it comment on it? What appeal will it make?"
He then lists several headlines from "independent observers" from 9 years ago that focused on hate and adds:
"These are the words of independent commentators and they very clearly name the state our society has fallen into. Hate. A mindlessness. Anger. Selfishness."
But there has been a certain development, today hatred has been personified, says Nikolai and gives examples - the young hated the old, those working in high technology treated ordinary workers with contempt, people from the centre hated those from the suburbs.
"It turns out that you can no longer identify with a certain social circle if you don't necessarily hate people from other social circles. Let's not talk about hatred on political grounds at all, there it already borders on hysteria", concludes the Plovdiv Metropolitan.
He then refers to the Inquisition, explaining in detail that it is "an institution of the Western Church" and that harassment, humiliation and abuse are medieval practices introduced in the West.
"I have the feeling that we are going back to the days of the Spanish Inquisition, when self-absorbed men who had arrogated to themselves secular power burned at the stake those who did not think like them, after contrived, farcical trials conducted supposedly from a position of some values. No values were at stake, only the exercise of brute, inhuman power. About politics presented as religion. I want you to remember very well that the Inquisition, as an institution, is an invention of the Western Church. The harassment, humiliation, mistreatment, and destruction of people because of their beliefs, or because we consider them inferior to us, or simply because we don't like them, are medieval practices introduced in the West, which we in the Holy Orthodox Church consider heretical and strongly reject and condemn. If there the most important value is to exert domination, and the method of achieving domination is "divide and conquer", by sowing hatred, then for us the most important value is love, and the method of reconciling contradictions is called dialogue and conciliarity", says Nicholas.
Archbishop Nikolai of Plovdiv made an extremely sharp comment on Pope Francis' visit to Bulgaria after today's archiepiscopal holy mass in St. George's Cathedral in Plovdiv, BNR reports. He called the visit a "political act" and even suspected dark thoughts behind it.
"The Pope's visit is a political act, the aim is to unite all the churches around Rome and, when the Antichrist comes, the Pope will welcome him," he said.
He said there was no way the Orthodox Church in this country could support such a visit. "We welcomed the Pope as the head of state of the sovereign state of the Vatican, but no one can force us to worship together with him."
Nicholas's words made it clear that he also supports reunification in Christianity, but, apparently, not in the proposed way: 'We all want the Christian churches to unite. However, this can only be done by church people when the bishops get together and discuss how this can be done. The politicians don't want that, they aim for the opposite."
Archbishop Nikolai of Plovdiv cursed practise of yoga , criticized King Kaloyan and revealed that there is an all-out war against the Orthodox Church. All this happened during the presentation of the book "Yoga - a path to darkness" by theologian Darin Alexiev, which took place at the Plovdiv Fair.
The speech of the Plovdiv bishop was the apogee of the evening and managed to eclipse the book itself, it becomes clear from the report of "24 hours". A total of 500 priests and two metropolitans attended the event - Joanik of Sliven and Gregory of Veliko Tarnovo. In the front row was Plovdiv's regional governor Zdravko Dimitrov, who is an old fan of Archbishop Nikolai.
The abrupt turn to the yoga topic began with a reminder of the lawsuit over the ownership of the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Nicholas. Alexander Nevsky, which was decided in favor of the Orthodox Church in the first instance.
"You all saw how Patriarch Neofit sat on a bank in the courtroom - something unheard of in the entire Bulgarian history. Because some people decided to mock the Church and to take away the Patriarchal Cathedral "St. Alexander Nevsky". Supposedly it was a gallery in the crypt. What is the guarantee that if the church gives it (the cathedral) up, it will not become a place for yoga courses?", the Plovdiv metropolitan, quoted by "24 hours", began to sort out the problems.
He has pointed out that the case is not over and if necessary, he will take the priests to Sofia to help the Patriarchate. Metropolitan Nicholas has not explained how exactly the priests could help, but he has moved on from this lawsuit to stating that "the war against Orthodoxy is a fact." An example of this was the torture to which they were subjected because of the canonization of the martyrs of Batak.
"There was no question of taking away the Church of St. Sunday" in Batak, but to canonize the saints. What is this if not war?" the bishop asked.
He learned from the media that a frontal attack on the church was being prepared and through the history books. They would no longer say that the Bulgarians had converted to Orthodox Christianity 1,150 years ago under the reign of Prince Boris the First, but would talk about Christianity in general.
"In the time of Prince Boris Christianity was united, but no longer. We Orthodox are not to blame for this. The Great Schism was not caused by us. Will someone explain to the children why after 1054 the East and the West went their separate ways? Why do we look different from Western priests, and our churches and icons are not like theirs? Or is that not important," Father Nicholas has gushed on the subject of common history.
He added that since there was to be no Orthodox Christianity anymore, only Christianity in general, someone could ask our priests to take off their races and shave their beards to look more European.
The Bishop of Plovdiv also began to denounce the historical role of the Bulgarian king Kaloyan because of the union with the Catholic Church. Metropolitan Nicholas strongly disagreed with Bulgarian historical scholarship that this was a diplomatic measure on the part of the ruler.
"Three times in Bulgarian history someone has decided to make a union. Always for political and supposedly pragmatic reasons. Simply put - for profit. All three times it ended in failure. It comes to me to say, "O unreasonable Jewrode!"(on Bulgarian Jew- urod, bad word for dark person) I hope they will spare St. Paisii Hilendarski, because his place in the textbooks does not seem very secure either," Nikolai added. He was convinced that one day the Church would become one and united again, but when God asked.
Then he drove the nail in his speech: 'Again someone will say that the Bishop of Plovdiv is crazy and talks nonsense. Those who name the truth in our country consider them mad. But you see what is happening. He is crazy who thinks that there is no war against the faith, but it is in full swing and without a concrete expresser," the bishop said. He denied that he had banned Muslims from working on church renovations.
"Nothing of the sort! I have banned stealing from the repair of temples. We want total control that not a single penny and cent will be misused. And that's why we get total war," Nicholas has said.
Only then did he return to the subject of yoga, giving the floor to theologian Darin Alexiev to present his book. In it, the author claimed that this teaching was being pushed as a religion. It was suggested that the exercises brought health, spiritual harmony and prosperity. There were yoga schools in every major city, but it was a categorical lie that it was a wonderful physical system. "Yoga is the worship of Hindu deities. In Bulgaria, the totalitarian government in the person of Lyudmila Zhivkova tolerated occult teachings," the theologian said.
Yoga was diametrically opposed to Christianity because it deluded man into making his own decisions without seeking help from Jesus Christ.
"With whose permission is a dangerous religious teaching allowed to enter Bulgarian kindergartens and schools? And at the same time the BOC is being given a pass for introducing religious teaching," the author of the book said.
In 2008 the Archbishop of Plovdiv, Nicholas, anathematized Madonna's concert in Bulgaria. Saying that the Devil was waiting for everyone at her concert.
Сатаната дебне от концерти и йога (bgdnes.bg)
Astronomy and the young
"I am going to interfere drastically with astronomy because it has already interfered terribly with the morals, with the lives of Orthodox Christians in Bulgaria. Tonight the young people will be lying in various meadows to look at the stars and God knows what else they will be doing. These are young people who, instead of studying God the Lord Jesus Christ, study yoga in school, even write about this corrupting gymnastics on the matriculation exam. These young souls are in need of salvation, that is why I am banning the Perseids! Anathema!" So Nicholas condemned the observation of the Perseids meteor shower of stars. But once again, the Lord did not hear the anathema of His bewildered servant - about 100 shooting "stars" per hour were visible in the firmament. According to the Bishop of Plovdiv, the celestial show was predisposing to debauchery.
Николай, Сатана ли е папата? - Политика в Пловдив (politikavplovdiv.com)
In 2010, on the 6th of September, the Day of the Unification of Bulgaria, after the liturgy the Archbishop of Plovdiv Nicholas said that ma people who want to unite the nation around materialism and chalga. According to Father Nicholas, Bulgarians now have to choose what they prefer - Europe of faith or Europe of greed. Later in the day, the Plovdiv Metropolitan awarded an order to the mayor of Pazardzhik, Todor Popov, and the prosecutor of Pazardzhik, Stefan Yanev, who prevented a gay pride parade from taking place in the town.
Дядо Николай: Гейовете и чалгата вредят! - коментари страница 7 - Последни Новини от DNES.BG
Дядо Николай награди кмет за анти-гей политика (blife.bg
Plovdiv Metropolitan Nikolai lashed out at gays and accused them of sodomite sin in 2013. It is our duty to condemn the most harshly held film festival in Plovdiv, which glorifies vice and promotes the corruption of the family. Our position adheres steadfastly to that of the Holy Synod, which categorically opposes this public, unceremonious and shameful demonstration of Sodomite sin.
Дядо Николай анатемоса пловдивския гей фест - Статии - inews.bg
Is the Bulgarian Church Moscow's Trojan Horse?
Has the elite of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church fallen under Kremlin influence? On the face of it, a rhetorical question, especially as those in the know explain, the proximity has been around for years, but lately there has been nuance.
Now, however, our bishops are officially deactivated, but the dependencies on Moscow are still very strong. And this is far from the case with the older clergy, who have long resigned themselves to being under the wing of the authorities. The younger bishops have also decided to take this path of subordination and total commitment to the Brothers.
The Synod, as experts on the subject note, has for years not taken a say on any public issue. Most recently, at the events in front of Parliament in January 1997, then-Partharch Maxim and the Synod appeared publicly at the south doors of Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
Today to meet a bishop, even an ordinary priest on the street is almost impossible, they are moving in cars. The Synod has remained completely silent about the cowida and vaccines, also now that Russia is burning Ukraine.
Insiders say that there are actually three bishops who have a say in the Synod, while the others are just mimans. The trinity includes Nicholas of Plovdiv, Gabriel of Hunting and John of Varna. Of course, the strongest among them is Grandfather Nicholas, but it is Gavrail's Russian connections that stand the most firmly.
It is said of him that he knows nothing but the Russian world, the Russian soul and outlook. Sent to Moscow at the time by the partisan commander Slavcho Transky, he was brought up and educated in Russia, only to emerge later in his homeland as a senior cadre of the church.
A curious and revealing example is a letter from the 1990s, drafted by the then Minister of Finance Muravei Radev. It states that the money of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church has been transferred to a Russian bank, and only two bishops have the right to order transfers. "
They are today's Russian Patriarch Kirill, then still a metropolitan and a KGB officer, and the Bishop of Lovchansk, Gavrail, who would later have an interesting role in the church schism and more precisely in the redistribution of church properties.
But let us return to the present day. At first glance, Patriarch Neofit and Metropolitans Nicholas and John condemned the war that Russia had started. However, in the Patriarch's speech pulled on the war, victims and aggressors are on the same plane and it is not at all clear that Moscow attacked Ukraine and not the other way around.
The Holy Synod in turn tried to explain that it could not criticize the Moscow Patriarchate because it could not interfere and have a position on another parish!
In the same way, the Synod spoke in general terms about the refugees, saying that the issues would be dealt with locally, as had happened with the Syrian refugees, i.e. the complete absence of the Church to comfort and cradle those in need. Moreover, especially for the refugees from Asia, the clergy's position was clear - to go back to where they came from, even though the church is called to comfort all the destitute and suffering.
Let us also recall that Metropolitan Nicholas and his colleague from Lovech, Gabriel, have for years been considered the leaders of the lobby in the Holy Synod that does not want to recognize, of course to please Moscow, the independence of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine. It was granted it by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew back in 2018.
In the beginning, insiders recall that Nicholas gave the impression that he was ambitious to push the Ukrainian autocephaly in Bulgaria. However, this has not happened to this day, but a commission has been made which has never ruled before. That is why it has always been claimed by the Fathers to the Greek media that we are firmly in favour of recognition!
A significant moment is the speech that Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv pulled on the Unification Day this year. In a scandalous speech he strongly condemned the rotten and corrupt West. "Since the beginning of the transition, Bulgarians have been sending their children to the West, by the thousands and thousands, to study there and absorb Western values," he explained and continued with even greater fury.
"Now they have begun to return and it turns out that, in addition to the knowledge that we have yet to see them apply, some of them have imbibed contempt for the native, disrespect for parents, extreme individualism, materialism, selfishness and, on top of that, a willingness to impose what they have learned by force, with the methods of the Inquisition" - considers the "grandfather", who has always impressed with luxury watches and cars that are by no means "made in Russia".
Just a few months before he shared these insights publicly, "Grandpa" Nikolai warmly embraced Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova at the unveiling of yet another Russian monument, this time to General Nikolai Brock in Pazardzhik.
Mitrofanova had assured the gathering that "Russia has never been a threat to Bulgaria and has always worked for Bulgarians to determine their own destiny." Side by side with Metropolitan Nikolai then stands out the red oligarch Georgi Gergov. In July, "grandfather" Nikolai made the archon in question honorary consul of the Russian Federation in Plovdiv because of his great kindnesses to the church, including that he gave it some property.
In his turn, the Metropolitan of Stara Zagora "Grandfather" Kiprian also gave a proper account to Mitrofanova. In September, when the war in Ukraine was wiping out the lives of thousands of peaceful Christians, when their homes and also churches were being destroyed, Cyprian presented the ambassador with an honorary plaque and a diploma on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the consecration of the Church-monument "Nativity of Christ" in the village of Shipka.
Indeed, our bishops send strange signs of homage to Moscow. At the same time, the Holy Synod has not yet found time to respond to the petition submitted on 30 March, which seeks to deprive Putin of the highest award of the Orthodox Church - the golden Order of St. Boris the Conqueror. It was awarded to him in 2003, unclear exactly for what merits. So far, however, no word on whether the golden order will be taken away from him, as if such a question had never been raised.
While the Bulgarian popes, many of whom are known, officially and unofficially, to be under-race cops, nevertheless prefer to be more low-key and not comment on their obvious sympathy for the Kremlin, in other countries the church also performs some combat tasks.
In mid-October, an unusual spy scandal broke out in Norway. It turns out that the Russian Orthodox Church, through a network of parishes in the country, had purchased property next door to NATO military facilities in Norway. At the same time, several Russians have been detained in the country, using professional cameras and drones to film these very sites.
One of those arrested is Andrei Yakunin, whose father, Vladimir Yakunin, is a former head of Russian Railways and one of Kremlin dictator Putin's closest friends. Insiders explain that a major role in the espionage activities of the Russian church in Norway is played by the parish of Epiphany in Bergen, near which, in the town of Håkonsvern, there is a naval base with submarines.
Several years ago the parish purchased a building ostensibly for a house of prayer next to the base. Only services are held there once a year. In the "house of prayer" at that, only the second floor of the building is accessible, and all the windows of the first floor are covered with thick curtains. Another similar 'church' facility is located in Stavanger, next to the NATO Joint Military Centre (command post).
The third suspicious supposedly religious site of the Russian Orthodox Church is in Kirkenes, near the Norwegian-Russian border.
Therefore, the rector of the parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Bergen, priest Dimitri Ostanin, according to eyewitnesses, gave the impression of a man who was not privy to any secrets.
He even distanced himself from the position of the Moscow Patriarchate, saying that his in-laws were refugees in Norway and his wife's relatives were being bombed in their native Ukraine.
He said the parish in Bergen supports a crisis centre in Ukraine that searches for children under the rubble of buildings destroyed by rocket attacks and takes them to safe places. "That Patriarch Kirill supports this horror, fortunately, does not apply to all who profess Orthodoxy," the priest reiterated.
In Paris, the Russian Orthodox Church has a complex of four large buildings in the city centre.
Moreover, the Holy Trinity Cathedral is surrounded by mysterious office buildings with small windows. The construction of the centre, despite gigantic funding from Russia, has dragged on for almost 10 years due to constant protests from the local community and the distrust of the French authorities, who fear the emergence of a large spy nest in the heart of Paris.
As French journalists have noted, the construction of such a spectacular facility in the centre of the French capital is part of "a global strategy to legitimise the Putin regime in the West with the help of the church, and also a demonstration of Russian influence in France, and in Western Europe".
The Russian "spiritual centre" in Paris happens to be next door to important government buildings. It was officially consecrated by Patriarch Kirill in 2019, and insiders say with bitterness that the Moscow Patriarchate has gradually succeeded in absorbing the Paris archdiocese.
Since the 1920s, it has been the main centre of Russian church life in France, and until recently it was out of Moscow's hands. Having formerly submitted to the odious Russian Patriarch Kirill, the archdiocese is now forced to use all its strength to distance itself from the militaristic stance of its leadership and to prove that "not all Russian Orthodoxy is the same."
Administratively, the parishes of Russian Orthodoxy abroad are subordinate to the Department for External Church Relations in Moscow, whose head is Metropolitan Anthony, extremely close to Patriarch Kirill.
Until July this year, Antony headed the Western European Exarchate in Paris, and when he was returned to his homeland he was already quite openly showing himself to be a devout Putinist, even being among those invited to the Kremlin for the ceremony of the admission of the unrecognised Donetsk and Lugansk republics and two other regions of Ukraine to the Russian Federation. They say the metropolitan will soon come under European sanctions.
Experts are adamant that in many places around the world the "centres of Russian Orthodoxy" are far from being purely religious sites and for many of them the religious function is far from being the main one. Rather, they are fully exploited by the Kremlin's intelligence services and various Chekists venture into them under the guise of
of clerics and monks, archimandrites and bishops. It is no coincidence that many bristle at Moscow's declarations that it will "defend" "Russian interests," "Russian spirituality," but also Orthodox Christians in general in various countries.
Пета колона на Москва ли е българската църква? - Narod.bg