“The Holy Synod considered the draft program for Pope Francis’s visit and the modifications received, took a vote, and unanimously decided the following:
– That a letter of reply be prepared and sent to Anselmo Guido Pecorari [the Apostolic Nuncio to Bulgaria, TN], in which it will be emphasized that the invitation to Pope Francis to visit Bulgaria came from the State authorities, and that the main events related to his visit should therefore be coordinated with State institutions.
– With regard to the part of the draft program proposed to us, which includes the participation of the representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, we would like to inform you that His Holiness the Patriarch of Bulgaria, with the members of the Holy Synod, are ready to receive Pope Francis for a meeting at the synodal palace on May 5, 2019, as provided for in the draft program sent to us.
– The visit at the St. Alexander Nevsky Patriarchal Cathedral is possible, but we would like to stress that any form of liturgical celebration or common prayer, as well as wearing liturgical vestments for the occasion, is unacceptable to us as it is not allowed by the holy canons. In connection with this point, the participation of the patriarchal choir is impossible.
– With regard to all the other points of the draft program presented to us, the participation of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church is impossible.
– Concerning the proposal that Deacon Ivan Ivanov be a translator during Pope Francis’s visit to Bulgaria, the Holy Synod does not give him the blessing, except for the visit to the premises of the Holy Synod and at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.
– No blessing is given for clerics of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church to participate in other events of the program of Pope Francis’s visit to Bulgaria”.
Source in Bulgarian