Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Almost all bishops in Bulgarian Synod spied for Communists

(Sofia Echo) - Bulgaria's commission charged with announcing the names of people who collaborated with the country's former communist-era secret services announced on January 17 2012 that 11 out of 15 members of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church's governing body, the Holy Synod, had worked for State Security.

The commission also identified senior Roman Catholic clergy and Muslim leaders who had been communist secret service agents or who had collaborated.

Not among the Bulgarian Orthodox Church names was that of Patriarch Maxim, the church's spiritual leader, who has headed the church for more than 40 years.

But the names identified as former collaborators include some who spoke out publicly against the church being scrutinised by the Dossier Commission - including Varna Metropolitan Kiril, recently also caught up in controversy about the expensive hybrid car that he had been using.

The other top clergy identified by the commission were metropolitans Galaktikon of Stara Zagora, Dometian of Vidin, Ignatii of Pleven, Yoanikii of Sliven, Grigorii of Veliko Turnovo, Yosif of the United States, Canada and Australia, Kaliniki of Vratsa, Nataniel Nevrokopski, Simeon of Western and Central Europe and Neofit of Rousse.

Galaktikon was agent Misho; Domitian, agent Dobrev; Ignatii, agent Penev; Yoanikii, agent Kirilevich; Grigorii, agent Vanyo; Yosif, agent Nikolov; Kalinik, agent Rilski; Kiril was a secret collaborator with the code name Kovachev and was an agent code-named Vladislav; Nataniel was a collaborator code-named Blagoev; Simeon of Western and Central Europe was a collaborator, as Toris, and an agent, code-named Hristov; Neofit's code name as an agent was Simeonov.

The process of check-ups among top clergy of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church was continuing, the commission said. The commission is checking clergy of senior rank including metropolitans and heads of monasteries and theological seminaries.

The Dossier Commission said that Georgi Yovchev, bishop of the Roman Catholic eparchy of Sofia and Plovdiv from July 31 1988, was agent Petar.

Among Muslims, chief mufti Moustafa Alish Hadji was named as agent Andrei. Other senior Muslim clerics were Iskren Dobrouzhaliev, as agent Dobromir, Hasuf Halil Hasuf, a regional mufti and an agent code-named Hristo, Hedim Gendjev, collaborator, Osman Ismailov, collaborator, Ridvan Kaduov, an agent and Shefket Murad Hadji, an agent.


  1. Not too surprising. Are some new public apologies in order, or resignations?

  2. Met. Joseph too? The same man who expelled St. Isaac of Syria Skete from his Archdiocese was a communist spy?! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!

  3. I find it incredible that many religious leaders in Bulgaria -- Orthodox, Catholic, and Muslim -- spied for the communists in that nation for some 40 years after World War II.

    I find it horrendous that these religious leaders of the highest level would stoop so low as to put their faith in a godless communist government, rather than in Christ.

    1. We don't know that they did that at all.

      Just because they were "handled" doesn't mean they were spies. It does not mean that they betrayed anyone.

      I'd be careful in making assumptions.

  4. The real question should be: What did they do when they were 'spies'? Did they actually betray anyone, or did they simply register as agents (perhaps under some pressure) but do nothing?

    In the USSR every senior prelate was given a code-name regardless of whether he really spied or not.

    It is easy for us who live in freedom and plenty to condemn.