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No Comment: Bulgarian Monarch and the Russians

by Voices Bulgaria, owned by the journalist Yavor Dachkov

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Archbishop Antony of Volokolamsk met with Simeon Saxe-Coburggotsky yesterday, according to reports on the website of the Moscow Patriarchate and on Simeon II's website.

The meeting at the Vrana Palace was also attended by Russian Ambassador to the country Eleonora Mitrofanova, Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church (OCA) Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk, the Superior of the Russian suburb in Sofia Archimandrite Vassian and the Assistant Chairman of the OCA Alexander Ershov.

On behalf of Russian Patriarch Kirill, Archbishop Anthony thanked Simeon Saxe-Coburggotsky for his efforts to strengthen relations between the Bulgarian and Russian Orthodox Churches and noted "his contribution to preserving the unity of the BOC and strengthening its position in Bulgarian society," the statement added.

Archbishop Anthony, who serves as the "foreign minister" of the Russian Orthodox Church, celebrated the St. Nicholas Day Mass yesterday at the Russian St. Nicholas the Wonderworker in Sofia together with Metropolitan Gabriel of Lovchan. The event sparked the discontent of citizens who staged a protest in front of the church and Archbishop Anthony and Eleonora Mitrofanova, who was also present, had to be escorted out through the back entrance.

And here is the announcement of the meeting posted on the Simeon II website:

His Majesty received a delegation from the Russian Orthodox Church, which is in Sofia for the 70th anniversary of the Priory and the feast of the Church of SS. His Holiness.

Archbishop Anthony offered greetings on behalf of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, noting His Majesty's contribution to the preservation of the unity of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the strengthening of its position in Bulgarian society.

In turn, Tsar Simeon II sent greetings to the head of the Russian Church.

The meeting was attended by H.E. Russian Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova, the Primate of the Priory Archimandrite Vassian Zmeyev, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk and Priest Alexander Ershov.

The guests also visited the Orthodox Chapel in the Vrana Palace and prayed for the health of the Royal Household and the Bulgarian people.

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