Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church elects a new patriarch with pro-Russian views

(AP News).

Bulgaria’s Orthodox Church on Sunday elected Daniil, a 52-year-old metropolitan considered to be pro-Russian, as its new leader in a vote that reflected the divisions in the church and wider society since Russia invaded Ukraine more than two years ago. Growing divisions between pro-Russian and anti-Russian factions within the senior clergy began after some of them attempted to warm relations with the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, which was recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarch in Constantinople in 2019. Russian and most other Orthodox patriarchs refused to accept the designation that formalized a split with the Russian church.mUnlike his late predecessor, who in his last prayers criticized Russia’s aggression in Ukraine, Daniil has taken the side of the Moscow Patriarchy in its dispute with the Ecumenical Patriarch over the independence of Ukraine’s Orthodox Church.

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