Sunday, April 01, 2012

Church Slavonic dispute in Bulgaria

CHURCH SLAVONIC is mixed up in a political controversy developing in the Russian Orthodox Church in Bulgaria:
Row over Russian churches in Bulgaria

Fri, Mar 16 2012 14:43 CET
byThe Sofia Echo staff

The Russian Orthodox Church in Bulgaria is wracked by controversy ahead of a scheduled April 2012 visit by Russian Patriarch Kirill, with some Bulgarian parishioners demanding the recall of the abbot in Sofia for allegedly sowing discord between Bulgarians and Russians.

Further, the abbot in Sofia is requesting autonomy for the Russian church in Bulgaria, which if granted would give it direct control over property including the landmark St Nikolay the Wonder-Worker church in central Sofia as well as, among others, the memorial church on the slopes of Shipka Peak.

Controversy began some weeks ago when the new abbot of the Russian church in Sofia, Filip, announced changes including his intention to have liturgies conducted in Church Slavonic instead of vernacular Bulgarian.

A significant proportion of those who attend the church in Sofia are Bulgarians and conducting services in ancient Slavonic would make the language inaccessible to them.