The Bulgarian Orthodox Church elects Metropolitan Neophyte—like most of the church’s leaders, a former Communist agent—as its patriarch:
His reputation as one of the most deserving candidates for the patriarchal throne risked being marred last year after revelations that he was among 11 of the 15 top bishops of Bulgaria’s Holy Synod — the Orthodox Church’s highest authority — who were former secret intelligence agents under the Communist dictatorship.
Neophyte’s thin file however was later proven to contain mostly reports against him.
“I never wanted to defame anyone or benefit from the privileges of the Darzhavna Sigurnost secret police,” he then commented.
Neophyte had asked to be relieved from his duties as agent immediately after the regime fell on November 10, 1989. . . .
He will now be entrusted with the key task of bringing disillusioned Bulgarians back to the church, which has been slow to play any significant role in society after being severely crippled during the 45-year communist rule.