Pope's Telegram of Condolence to Bulgarian Orthodox Church

"I Give Thanks to God for all the Good Things Done by the late Patriarch for His Church"

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VATICAN CITY, Tuesday, November 7, 2012 (Zenit.org) - Here is the telegram of condolence sent by the Holy Father Benedict XVI to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church regarding the death of the Metropolitan of Sofia and Patriarch of Bulgaria, His Holiness, Maxim, who passed away yesterday at the age of 98.

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To His Emminece Grigorij Di Veliko Trnovo

Interim President 

of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church

It is with deep sadness that I have learned of the death of our beloved brother in Christ, His Holiness Maxim, Metropolitan of Sofia and Patriarch of Bulgaria, who for many years has served with dedication to Lord and his people. On behalf of the Catholic Church, I want to assure you, as to all the bishops, priests and faithful of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, that I join you in your pain through prayer. May the Lord who is good and merciful, welcome into his heavenly home our beloved brother Maxim! Grant him peace and eternal memory!

By participating in the pain of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria, I give thanks to God for all the good things done by the late Patriarch for his Church and for the people of his country. In particular I remember the warm welcome given to the Blessed Pope John Paul II during his visit to Bulgaria in May 2002. I thank the Lord for the good relations that the Patriarch had developed with the Catholic Church in that land, and express the hope that these good relations will continue to proclaim the Gospel.

In renewing my condolences and assuring you of my remembrance and my prayers, please accept, Your Eminence, the expression of my sincere greetings in Christ.

Benedictus PP. XVI

[Translation by Pietro Gennarini]