Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria visits Phanar
On Friday, September 20, 2013, His All-Holiness welcomed His Beatitude Patriarch Neophyte of Sophia and all Bulgaria to the Phanar with members of the Holy and Sacred Synod and other Hierarchy of the Ecumenical Throne.
This was the Bulgarian Patriarch’s first official visit, or irenic visit as it is referred to in Church protocol, to another Orthodox Church since his election earlier this year, in accordance with the common practice of newly-elected Orthodox First-Hierarchs. Upon Patriarch Neophyte’s arrival to the Phanar in the afternoon, a doxology was held in the Patriarchal Church of St. George. Afterward, there was a formal lunch at the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which was preceded by a reception for the Bulgarian delegation in the Chamber of the Throne. The irenic visit of His Beatitude concluded on Monday evening, September 3, 2013.
The delegation of Patriarch Neophyte included Metropolitan Joseph of the USA, Canada and Australia and Metropolitan Amvrosios of Dorostol, Bishops Naum of Stovi and Ioan of Znepol, Archimandrite Dionysios, Deacon Ivan Petkov, the Hon. Theodoros Athanassov, Director of the Patriarchal Office, and the Hon. Kyril Dimitrov, Interpreter.
His Beatitude’s three-day visit included official talks, which took place between representatives of the Churches of Constantinople and Bulgaria, a tour of the Mother Church of Constantinople’s sacred sites, a concelebration with His All-Holiness and members of the Holy and Sacred Synod in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George, a visit to the local Bulgarian Community Church of St. Stephanos in the Phanar district, a concert at the Church of St. Irene hosted by local businessman Mr. Ömer M. Koç and held at the Halki Theological Seminary, featuring Greek and Turkish artists.
Source: Ecumenical Patriarchate