Daniil of Vidin Elected New Bulgarian Patriarch by Narrow Margin

With a difference of three votes, Daniil of Vidin has been elected as the new Bulgarian patriarch, marking him as the fourth patriarch since the restoration of the autocephaly of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. He secured the position after a runoff against Gregory, following the death of Patriarch Neophyte on March 13 due to a serious illness.

Initially, none of the three metropolitan candidates managed to secure the required two-thirds majority of the 138 council delegates, leading to a second round of voting. In this decisive round, the head of the Vidin Metropolis, Daniil, narrowly defeated Bishop Grigoriy of Vratsa with a vote count of 69 to 66, with three ballots declared invalid. Daniil's election has been seen as somewhat unexpected.

The event was notably attended by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who made his first visit to Sofia for this occasion. Some observers interpreted his presence as a sign of support for the other candidate, Metropolitan Grigoriy, perceived as a compromise choice between the Russian and non-Russian factions within the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (BOC).

Metropolitan Daniil of Vidin, born Atanas Trendafilov Nikolov on March 2, 1972, in Smolyan, initially pursued English Philology at St. Kliment Ohridski University in 1996 before switching to Theology the following year. In 2008, he became the vicar of the Metropolitan of Neurokop and later served under the Metropolitan of the USA, Canada, and Australia, Joseph. Daniil was elected Metropolitan of Vidin in February 2018.

Daniil's monastic journey began at the Hadjidim monastery "St. George" under the mentorship of the late Metropolitan Nathanael of Nevrokop. He continued his monastic service in the Rozhen monastery before being appointed as a vicar bishop...

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