PM Thanks Church for Supporting COVID Vaccination

Sofia, December 29 (BTA) - Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko
Borissov thanked the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for backing
COVID-19 vaccines. "Meeting with Bishop Evlogi of Adrianople, I
thanked him for the support of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for
 the COVID-19 vaccination campaign," Borissov wrote in a
Facebook post.

"The vaccine is the only solution [to the coronavirus crisis],
and I hope that an increasing number of Bulgarians will choose
to get a shot," the Prime Minister said.

Bishop Tihon of Tiveriopol, who is Vicar to Bulgarian Patriarch
Neophyte, was the second Bulgarian to get the shot - live on
camera - after Health Minister Kostadin Angelov on Sunday, the
first day of a nationwide vaccination campaign, which received
broad media coverage.

Angelov said in a televized interview that "today's most
important news is the support from the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
 in the person of Patriarch Neophyte's Vicar. I thank them for
this, we will never forget the extended hand. What the Church
did means a lot to us."

Bishop Tihon said on bTV on Tuesday that he cannot claim to
represent the whole clergy. He denied being supported by the
Holy Synod, specifying that "this had little to do with the
Church and religion" and that he set an example in his personal

On Monday, approached the Spokesperson for the
Holy Synod about the position of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church
on the vaccination campaign and whether Bishop Tihon got his
virus shot in his capacity as an official representative of the
Church. The query remained unanswered until Tuesday.

Last year, the Holy Synod's Press Attache, Oikonomos Nikolai
Georgiev, told "The Holy Synod does not have an
official position on vaccines. It does not come up with a
position on each issue that is outside the scope of the faith."
Georgiev was asked for comment on the refusal of a priest from
Sliven to have one of his children immunized.

Borissov's post followed his inspection of construction works on
 the road between the Town of Rila and Rila Monastery
(Southwestern Bulgaria).
Having met with the Prime Minister, Bishop Evgeni, who is the
Hegumen of the Rila Monastery, told BTA that a local wastewater
treatment plant will be built for the monastery in the spring of
 2021. RY, NV/LN, LG

Source: Sofia