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University of Sofia awards honorary degree to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew arrived in Sofia, Bulgaria on November 14, 2007, for a two-day visit where he was greeted by His Holiness, Patriarch Maxim and the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Church of Bulgaria.

Shortly after his arrival, His All Holiness traveled to the University of Sofia for Librarian Studies and Information Technology where he was awarded the Doctor honoris causa degree by Dr. Stoyan Denchev, President of the University.

After the ceremony, the Ecumenical Patriarch lectured on the topic “Truth and History” before students and guests which included the Vatican’s representative in Bulgaria, Giuseppe Leanzathe; Bulgarian National Ombudsman, Ginyo Ganev; and former Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Simeon Saxe-Coburg, along with other prominent clergy and senior government officials. [Read the Ecumenical Patriarch’s message]

The following day, His All Holiness met with Bulgaria’s Interior Minister, Rumen Petkov and twenty orphans of slain Bulgarian police officers from the Ministry of Interior, who perished in the line of duty. During the meeting, the Ecumenical Patriarch invited the children to visit Constantinople, confessing later that it was one of the most moving meetings on his travels abroad. His All Holiness encouraged the children to have strong faith, courage, and love. “When one loves, they see life differently”, he said.

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