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Condolences for death of Patriarch of Bulgarian Orthodox Church

 Condolences for death of Patriarch  of Bulgarian Orthodox Church  ING-012
22 March 2024

Pope Francis offered his condolences following the death of His Holiness Neofit, Metropolitan of Sofia and Patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, who passed away on Wednesday, 13 March. The following is the English text of the Holy Father’s telegram, which was sent to Metropolitan Yoan of Varna and Veliki Preslav, locum tenens of the Patriarchal Throne.

I learned with deep sorrow of the death of your beloved Patriarch, His Holiness Neofit, who was a great witness to the faith of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, and I send heartfelt condolences to you, to the Holy Synod over which you preside, and to the entire Bulgarian Orthodox Church.

His Holiness Neofit gave valued service to the Gospel and to dialogue, and despite his many sufferings remained a man of humility and joy, an example of a life consecrated to the Lord and his Church. Since the Body of Christ on earth — the Church — is the gateway into the life of the Risen Lord, so for the Christian faithful, death marks a passage from this world to Life Eternal. Thus, it is our prayerful hope that His Holiness Neofit is now living “where there is neither sorrow nor pain nor groaning” (Trisagion for the dead).

I assure Your Eminence, the Holy Synod and all the members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church of a special remembrance in my prayers, that Jesus Christ, who “rose from the dead, conquered death by his death and gave us life” (Paschal Troparion), may fill your hearts with consolation and peace.


Rome, Saint John Lateran,
15 March 2024