March 29, 2012

Bulgarians Untouched by Hierarch's Communist Spy Past

March 5, 2012

The opening of the files of Bulgarian senior clergy and their exposure as agents and collaborators of the former Communist State Security, DS, failed to impress or outrage the majority of Bulgarians.

According to a poll of the Alfa Research Agency, only 17% are deeply scandalized by the files, while another 36% answered they did not like the fact, but did not find the revelations important anyway.

14% of the respondents have not even heard the news and 33% state that it does not interest them at all.

Among those who describe themselves as deeply religious, 36% felt outraged; 19% said they are ready to refuse having church services for their families performed by a priest, who has been exposed for ties with DS, and 34% would close their eyes for his past if they knew well and trusted the said priest.

In mid-January, Bulgaria's so-called Files Commission – a panel investigating the Communist era secret files, revealed that eleven out of a total of fifteen Bulgarian Metropolitan bishops were former DS agents.

So far, only Vratsa Metropolitan Kalinik has asked his congregation for forgiveness, if they felt affected. Ruse Bishop Neofit said he does not feel guilty because he had been forced to collaborate.