BENEDICT XVI: MOURNING THE DEATH OF THE BULGARIAN ORTHODOX PATRIARCH, MAXIM ” “

"It is with deep sadness that I learnt of the news of the demise of our most beloved brother in Christ, His Holiness Maxim, metropolitan of Sofia and patriarch of Bulgaria, who had served with devotion the Lord and His people for many years. In the name of the Catholic Church, I wish to ensure to you, as well as to all bishops, priests and devotees of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, that I join your pain in prayer". This was written by Benedict XVI in a telegram to the interim president of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, His Eminence Grigorij of Veliko Trnovo, for the death of patriarch Maxim, aged 98, in Sofia this morning. "In sharing the grief of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria – Benedict XVI’s telegram goes on –, I thank God for all the good things done by the deceased Patriarch for his Church and for the people of his country. Above all, I remember the friendly welcome he gave the Blessed Pope John Paul II during his journey to Bulgaria in May 2002. I thank the Lord for the good relations the Patriarch had entertained with the Catholic Church in that land and I express the wish that such relations may continue for the proclamation of the Gospel".” “

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