N E W S in F U L L T E X T
|”When state, church and people live together in harmony and pray together, God will bless them” Metropolitan Simeon of Western- and Central Europe said during the prayer in the church of Sts. Vincent and Anastasius near the Trevi fountain in Rome, which was given for use in the orthodox church services of the Bulgarian Orthodox Community in Rome by Pope JOHN PAUL II in connection with his voyage to Sofia last year. urch and people live together in harmony and pray together, God will bless them” Metropolitan Simeon of Western- and Central Europe said during the prayer in the church of Sts. Vincent and Anastasius near the Trevi fountain in Rome, which was given for use in the orthodox church services of the Bulgarian Orthodox Community in Rome by Pope JOHN PAUL II in connection with his voyage to Sofia last year.|
The members of the delegation from Bulgaria and Metropolitan Simeon were later
on received in audience by Pope John Paul II. Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon
Saxe-Coburg Gotha presented a replica of famous Krupnik Evangile to Pope John
Paul and the order of “Stara Planina” to Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal
Next day morning Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg Gotha opened a memorial remembering last years papal voyage to Bulgaria. In the Vatican gardens 3 giant pebbles from the “Golden Bridges” area of Sofia´s Mount Vitosha and prepared by the bulgarian artist professor TODOR BARADSHIEV symbolize the Christian virtues of Faith, Hope and Love. The prayers at the opening were led by Metropolitan GAVRIIL of Plovdiv and attended by all members of both Vatican and Bulgarian delegations – together with the Metropolitan bishops of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church prayed the three Roman Catholic bishops of Bulgaria.
Already at Easter Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, visited with the Bulgarian Orthodox Christians of Rome, who - in the presence of the ambassadors of Bulgaria to the Vatican and to Italy, as well as the ambassadors to the Vatican of Serbia-Montenegro and Macedonia had gathered to celebrate the first Easter services presided over by Archimandrite TIHON, protosyncel of the Bulgarian Orthodox Diocese of Western and Central Europe.
It is in this spirit, that the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity organized a symposium of Catholic and Orthodox theologians and representatives, held in the Vatican from May 21-24.
2002 - EASTER MAY 05
President Parvanov and Prime Minister Simeon Sakscoburgotski are to attend together the Easter service at the Saint Alexander Nevski Cathedral
President Georgi Parvanov and PM Simeon Saxe-Coburg-Gotha this year will attend the Easter service at the Saint Alexander Nevski Patriarchal Cathedral to be celebrated by Patriarch Maxim, sources form the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church said. President Parvanov accompanied by his wife and the Prime Minister (Zar) Simeon also accompanied by his wife and his sister Princess Marie-Louise. Ognian Gerdjikov, Chairman of the National Assembly, is also expected to attend the service.
"Performing this act, the top Bulgarian statesmen give a clear sign that an end should be put to the schism," priests elaborated. "It is an undisputable recognition of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on behalf of the power-vested," said Associate Professor Ivan Zhelev, head of the Department of Ecclesiastical Matters with the Council of Ministers, who will also attend the service at Alexander Nevski Cathedral.
"STANDARD": Antoaneta Peteva Elena Yaneva
2002 January 19
is the first President of the Republic of Bulgaria since 1990
to speak OATH OF SERVICE on BIBLE and CROSS
The newly elected President Georgi PARVANOV chose to speak his oath of office not only on the constitution but also in front of the Holy Gospel and the Holy Cross and in the presence of Bulgarian Patriarch MAKSIM. This ceremony was restored 6 month ago by Prime Minister SIMEON SAKSKOBURGGOTSKI (Zar SIMEON who reigned Bulgaria in his childhood allready).
Now it is even more remarkable that the former head of the Socialist Party Georgi Parvanov followed this example. Since the end of Communism he is the first president of Bulgaria to take oath of office on the Gospel and Holy Cross, not only on the Constitution and not only in the National Assembly but in the presence of Bulgarian Patriarch Maksim. Bishop Neophyte from the Holy Synod informed that Patriarch Maksim and the Metropolitans thoroughly read the protocol sent from the President's Office. "Georgi Parvanov was baptized, he is Orthodox Christian, so we see no reason to refrain putting the Holy Gospel and the Holy Cross in front of him", the bishop explained.
For the ceremony Bulgarian Orthodox Church has chosen an exceptionally valuable silver-encased example of the Holy Gospel having been printed in 1926 in Istanbul (then seat of the Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarchate).
2002 January 9
POPE JOHN-PAUL´s VISIT to BULGARIA
is in preparation
for May 23 - 25 2002
Delegation from Vatican headed by Archbishop LEONARDO SANDRI visited Bulgarian Orthodox Patriarch MAKSIM.
Preliminary talks were held in Sofia last Nov. 27 by the papal chief of protocol Mons. RENATO BOKARDO and the Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop ANTONIO MENINI with the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Muslim Community. As a result of a meeting with Bulgarian Patriarch Maksim the General Secretary of the Holy Synod Archimandrite Boris informed that Pope JOHN-PAUL would be welcome to meet the Patriarch and the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Church.
In recent years bulgarian politicians have always pronounced the usual invitations, Pope JOHN PAUL had always responded positively provided a friendly attitude of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church would be granted. Now Bulgarian Foreign Minister Solomon Passi declared with special referring to the wish of Prime Minister Zar Simeon that "the new Bulgarian government supports the visit and will make the greatest efforts" to receive the Pope.
The Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop ANTONIO MENINI since many years worked continuously in this direction. Visits to Sofia by Bishop Dr. JOSEF HOMEYER of Hildesheim (Germany) organized by Monsignore Dr. NIKOLAUS WYRWOLL of the Catholic Institute for Eastern Churches in Regensburg favoured a postive atmosphere between the two churches.
As the Bulgarian Orthodox Church sees it the program for this visit should be prepared by a joint commision of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church in Bulgaria "working synchronized with the Bulgarian Government to give a good example of the hospitality of the Bulgarian People and the Bulgarian Church.
For the Roman Catholic Church Bulgaria is very much linked to the commemoration of later Pope JOHN XXIII who had witnessed bulgarian orthodoxy during his years as Nuntius in Sofia.
This is also in the center of a movie now prepared in Bulgaria by an italian and US film team.
Specially coming on May 23 to 25 for the occasion of the feast of St.Cyril and Methodi (with St.Benedict together co-patron saints of Europe) the ancient Christian tradition of Bulgarian Orthodoxy as cradle of Eastern, Northern and Southern Slav Christianity will be honored by the Holy Father.
The Head of the Roman Catholic Church may also do a pastoral visit to the few bulgarian catholics, organized since 1994 in 3 dioceses. (1 of byzantine and 2 of western Rite)
Only 2 % of the bulgarian christians are catholics (approx. 90 % of western rite / 10 % of byzanine rite). Recently growing over 2 % are considered protestants (over 20 different registered denominations) but 96 % of the christian believers still belong to Bulgaria´s traditional Orthodox Church. Christians today represent over 80 % of the Bulgarians.
2001 December 21
2001 December 2
VISIT of OECUMENICAL PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMAIOS in BULGARIA:
PLOVDIV, 2001 SEPT 05
The Patriarch of Constantinopel BARTHOLOMAIOS is attending the scientific conference 'The Byzantine cultural heritage in the Balkans' which is held from Sept. 5 - 8 in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria.
His Allholyness was welcomed by Bulgarian Patriarch MAKSIM, Metropolitan ARSENIJ of Plovdiv and the Roman-Catholic Bishop Georgi Yovchev.
In Plovdiv Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew got a letter of greetings to the conference from Pope John Paul II :
'Today we should recall the mission of the sacred brothers Cyril and Methodius which is inseparable from Europe's cultural heritage,' the Pope writes. In the letter he calls for 'another evangelization of Europe', in order that it may return to its Christian roots. The address of Pope John Paul II was interpreted as a token of thawing relations between the Vatican and the eastern Orthodoxy.
In his speech the Oecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew stressed that today too, the Byzantine civilization should be an example of a peaceful co-existence in the Balkans and tolerance between the religions. 'In this way we could spare our troubled peninsula many of its present problems,' he pointed out.
After the opening of the conference Patriarch Bartholomew, Patriarch Maxim and Monsignor Georgi Yovchev prayed in the Plovdiv cathedral of Our Mostholy Mother of God for Bulgaria's well-being.
2001 August 12
On SUNDAY´S Prime Minister SIMEON
The newly elected Prime Minister of Bulgaria SIMEON SAKSKOBURGGOTSKI (Zar SIMEON II. of Bulgaria - from the royal house of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha) is giving another example of christian normality.
It is only natural for him to attend church service on sunday and on church feast days. Now being the prime minister of the country and living in the capital city Sofia he will thereby set standards for society.
When he last sunday attended church service in the cathedral this fact was judged important enough for the most prestigous daily newspaper of Bulgaria to publish an illustrated article.
Though in the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral there is a representative place for the tsar, where Simeon´s ancestors have attended service, the former tsar now serving as prime minister was humble enough standing among the faithful for the whole service, thereby creating a safety problem for his guards, who now have become regular church goers themselves.
The second surprise for the public became visible, when polite church clergy at the time of the creed thought it necessary to bring the text to the prime minister. As the newspaper writes Simeon allready had pulled the text out of the pocket of his jacket and was most naturally reading it with all the other faithfull.
After he left the church with the serving patriarchal vicar bishop and renowned church poet and author HILARION the crowd and journalists wanted Prime Minister Simeon to adress the people. He did not give the political speach they expected, but only explained that he was now on his way home to have lunch with the family. Then he apologized to the bishop that despite the sunday he will have to work in the afternoon to go through the 150 papers of the candidates for vice ministers and provincial governors to give the country a working government as soon as possible.
2001 July 24
For the first time since 1944:
PRIME MINISTER speaks OATH OF SERVICE on BIBLE and CROSS
and receives BLESSING of the PATRIARCH
The newly elected Prime Minister of Bulgaria SIMEON SAKSKOBURGGOTSKI (Zar SIMEON II. of Bulgaria - from the royal house of Saxony-Coburg and Gotha) is probably not only the first king in history who had the courage to humbly accept to work for his motherland under a republican president but at the same time he took the effort to revive christian traditions.
In Bulgaria, one of the oldest christian countries in Europe (first independant christian state in the 8th century), none of the former prime ministers - no matter whether socialist or anti-communist - had the courage to confess his christianity and pledge his oath of service in front of the Holy Cross and the Holy Bible.
In the very center of the Parlamentary Assembly and after having spoken the last words of his oath of service, SIMEON venerated the Holy Cross and the Holy Bible for this occasion specially braught to Parliament from the Patriarchal Cathedral. Then he crossed himself and took blessing from Bulgarian Patriarch MAKSIM before accepting first congratulations from the parlamentarians of his broad multiparty-coalition.
After the end of the official state ceremony in the Parliament Building Prime Minister SIMEON at the head of all newly sworn-in members of his government went to the Cathedral, where Bulgarian Patriarch MAKSIM held a prayer service to ask God´s blessing for a successfull work to the benefit of the people of Bulgaria.
The Bulgarian Newspaper STANDART gives the following details:
Bulgaria's Simeon, Ex-King Turned Prime Minister
By Anatoly Verbin
SOFIA, July 24 (Reuters) - Bulgaria's ex-King Simeon II, who became the Balkan state's prime minister on Tuesday, says a sense of duty to his motherland has forced him to enter politics at the age of 63.
"This choice is a turning point in my life and I will do all I can for the country and for every Bulgarian," he told parliament before it voted in his government.
"Today we are given a real chance to lead Bulgaria into the 21st century and take the place we deserve in the united Europe.
"This is the meaning of my life and the reason why I take this heavy responsibility."
"I am proud to be a Bulgarian."
The first ex-monarch to regain political power in post- communist eastern Europe, he turned 64 on June 16, one day before his National Movement for Simeon II won a parliamentary election in which he voted for the first time in his life.
A successful businessman in Spain, he entered politics only in April, after the Constitutional Court banned him from running for president.
Simeon Saxe-Coburg, whose huge estates across Bulgaria were confiscated by the communists and returned by the previous government, has consistently denied charges of his opponents that he wants to restore the monarchy.
Following explanations given by the internet publishers:
Proposing to the parliament to revive the christian traditions of Bulgaria and to pledge his oath of office on the bible in the presence of the Bulgarian Patriarch Maksim, the spiritual leader of 95 % of Bulgarians, who are of Christian Orthodox faith, was not as easy for Prime Minister SIMEON as it would sound in a country with a long christian heritage as Bulgaria.
While the members of parliament from the broad multiparty coalition Simeon has gathered around him voted for this ceremony, 17 MPs from the former "anti-communist" government, with the former premier Ivan Kostov among them, voted 'against' whereas 2 MPs from the Socialist 'Coalition For Bulgaria' abstained.
The tall, bald and bearded ex-monarch, who speaks several European languages fluently, won popularity on promises of a "new morality" in politics and pledges to uproot corruption.
After the ceremony in the parliament building the new cabinet walked to the "Alexander Nevski" cathedral, where Patriarch Maxim himself held a service for the success of the Premier and his ministers. Hundreds of citizens closely followed the ministers to the building of the Council of Ministers. They chanted "Simeon!" and "Many Years !".
He will face huge popular expectations after his promise to improve living standards of the impoverished nation of eight million people within 800 days.
But to achieve that, he, and his inexperienced ministers will have to learn how to activate the levers of political power.
The son of King Boris III of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Queen Joanna of the House of Savoy, he is related to many European monarchs, including Britain's Queen Elizabeth. In 1937 his birth was marked by a 101-gun salute and an amnesty for prisoners and tax evaders. He acceded to the throne at the age of six after his father's sudden death in 1943, ruling through a council of regency. He, his mother and sister Maria-Luisa fled Bulgaria after a rigged referendum abolished the monarchy in 1946.
The family first settled in Egypt. In 1951 the Spanish government granted them asylum. At the age of 18, in Madrid, Simeon issued a proclamation re-affirming his commitment to the monarchy.
He is a graduate of the Valley Forge Military Academy in the United States.
Married to a Spanish aristocrat, Margarita, he gave Bulgarian names to his four sons Kardam, Kyril, Kubrat, Konstantin and daughter Kalina. They have all visited Bulgaria and Kyril is one of President Petar Stoyanov's advisers.
His late mother first returned to Bulgaria with Simeon's sister Maria-Luisa in 1993.
At all occasions and everywhere in Bulgaria Simeon and the members of his family received an enthousiastic welcome during their numerous visits.
derived from an
article in the Sofia Daily STANDART