The President of the National Assembly, Mihail Mikov, has met on 18.06.2013 with His Holiness, Bulgaria’s Patriarch Neofit. The meeting was held in the building of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church’s Holy Synod where all members of the synod have taken part.
The Speaker of the National Assembly offered as present to His Holiness a copy of the facsimile edition of the Diaries of the first Constituent Assembly, held in Tarnovo in 1879. He noted the diaries contain an important testimony about the creative mission of the founders of the contemporary Bulgarian state, many of whom were priests and spiritual leaders of the Bulgarian nation, pointing out the example of the first Bulgaria’s parliament president Antim I. During the meeting Mihail Mikov underscored that the Bulgarian legislature appreciates highly the unstinting activity of our orthodox church for the advancement of Bulgaria and for the unity of the Bulgarian people. He confirmed this mission of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church will always meet the unconditional support of the National Assembly.
His Holiness Patriarch Neofit shared that the church, being always alongside the secular power, was following with attention and concern the events occurring in the socio-political life in the country.
The two officials exchanged opinions on a broad range of issues covering the activities of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and in particular on those in need of legislative solutions. Special emphasis was put on the need of amendments to the Bulgarian Confessions Act, which should clearly define the status of the clergymen in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church and the other religious denominations. The members of the Holy Synod raised the problem related to the formal ownership of the places of worship asking for clear rules about who is the owner. They also stressed the need to amend the Local Taxes and Fees Act in order to provide for special trash collecting fees for the churches and the places of worship. Not least the members of the Synod asked for legislative regulation of the school curriculum to include religious education.
The President of the National Assembly took personal commitment to consider and analyze the issues put forward, together with other competent institutions, and proceed to the legislative solutions.