Meeting with H.E. Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv
In the context of the presence of the members of the International Secretariat and the Regulation Amendment Committee of the IAO in Sofia, the presentation of the Volume “Hagia Sophia. The Churches of the Wisdom of God around the world” in the Bulgarian language, was held in collaboration with the Center for Slavic-Byzantine Studies “Prof. Ivan Duichev” at the Byzantine Church of St. Sofia in Sofia on Friday, November 24, 2023.
Addresses were presented by the Director of the Center for Slavic-Byzantine Studies “Prof. Ivan Duichev”, professor of the University of Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski” Ms. Vasya Velinova, the Rector of the Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” Mr. Georgi Valchev and the member of the IAO International Secretariat, Head of the Bulgarian parliamentary delegation to the IAO Mr. Radomir Cholakov. Reports on the volume were presented by the assistant professor of the Center for Slavic-Byzantine Studies “Prof. Ivan Duichev” Mr. Albena Milanova and Dr. Svetozar Angelov. The event was moderated by the IAO Advisor Dr. Kostas Mygdalis. Among the participants of the event were also the Assistant Bishop Polykarpos of Lefkopolis of H.B. Neofyt, Patriarch of Bulgaria and the Assistant Bishop Ierotheos of Agathoupolis of the Metropolitan Ioannikiou of Sliven.
The IAO Secretary General, during his speech at the presentation of the Volume, emphasized, inter-alia: “Our obligation is to resist rationales that underestimate or ignore the universal humanitarian principles of respect towards monuments, their spiritual mission, their historical origin. We must not succumb to anachronistic mindsets that project power as the ultimate principle that determines all individual principles. If that happens, then humanity is regressing.”
In the context of the official visit of the IAO members to Bulgaria, a visit to Plovdiv took place and a meeting with H.E. Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv.
The IAO Secretary General, in his responsive address to Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv, who warmly welcomed the IAO members, pointed out the following: “The primary responsibility of the church is to train its flock, because in our days the state can be friendly towards the church, may realize that Orthodoxy is an important element of our culture, but in the future may have a different opinion. That’s why the church must always be ready for the worst!”.
The meeting which took place at the initiative of the head of the Bulgarian parliamentary delegation to the IAO Mr. Radomir Tsolakov, was also attended by the assistant bishops. Vissarion of Smolyan and Arsenios of Znepoli.