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Cardinal Parolin: meeting with Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit

At the start of his second day in Bulgaria, the State Secretary met Bulgarian Patriarch Neofit. The cardinal gave him Pope Francis’ greetings that the leader of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church reciprocated. During their talks, they also mentioned the meeting between Pope Francis and Russian Patriarch Kirill, and the pan-Orthodox Council, which cardinal Parolin assured he will be praying for. Patriarch Neofit answered that the success of the Council will affect the process of reconciliation between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. They also spoke of the good relations that exist between the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Holy See. The Patriarch emphasised the importance of the traditional Bulgarian delegation that is given audience by the Pope every year, to coincide with the Day of Saints Cyril and Methodius, and its great contribution to the development of relations between the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the Holy See. In addition, cardinal Parolin spoke of the option to build more frequent, closer relations between the leaders of the Bulgarian Catholic community and Orthodox priests in different areas. In his opinion, potential areas of cooperation include working with young people and helping the poor. The Orthodox side expressed gratitude for the opportunity to study provided to young Orthodox theologians in the Pontificio Istituto Orientale and in other Catholic educational centres. Cardinal Parolin’s schedule goes on, with meetings with the Bulgarian Prime Minister, the President of the Republic, and the Grand Mufti.

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