Metropolitan Nikolai of Plovdiv of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on November 28, for the first time, commemorated Metropolitan Epifaniy of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine during a divine liturgy that was concelebrated with Metropolitan Ioannis of Langadas and an additional unnamed/unidentified metropolitan and bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church at a church in Langadas, Greece.
During the liturgy, the deacon read the commemorations of the leaders of the various Orthodox Churches (diptych) that are recognized by the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Earlier in November, Metropolitan Epifaniy led a pilgrimage of OCU clergy and laity to Langadas and Mt. Athos, where divine liturgies were celebrated in Greek and Ukrainian.
Metropolitan Ioannis, who was a visiting professor at the Uzhhorod Theological Academy, served with Metropolitan Epifaniy in Kyiv during the July celebration of the 1,031st anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan-Rus’ during the feast of St. Volodymyr the Great.
The Patriarchate of Bulgaria and the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria’s prime hierarch, Patriarch Neofit (Neophyte), metropolitan of Sofia, have yet to announce officially that it has recognized the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, while Archbishop Ieronymos II of Athens, prime hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Church, and Patriarch Theodore II of the Patriarchate of Alexandria have officially recognized the OCU after the signing of the Tomos of Autocephaly of the OCU by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in January.
On December 9 of this year, Metropolitan Onufriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (also known as the Russian Orthodox Church in Ukraine) sent a delegation to Bulgaria to meet with Patriarch Neofit, as reported by the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department for External Church Relations. Russian websites have labeled Patriarch Neofit’s meetings with Greek officials as being complicit in the “international conspiracy” against Russia and its Church.