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Pope Francis elevates Bulgarian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate into Eparchy

Photo: Kremena Dineva

Pope Francis has elevated the Bulgarian Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Sofia Diocese into Eparchy in Bulgaria assigning it the name of “Eparchy of Saint John XXIII of Sofia for Catholics of Byzantine-Slavic rite in Bulgaria”. Monsignor Hristo Proykov has been appointed as the first bishop. The new eparchy was erected on October 11, the day on which the Catholic Church celebrates the liturgical feast of St. John XXIII. Angelo Roncalli, who was later to become Pope John XXIII, was a representative of the Catholic church in Bulgaria from 1925 to 1934. Thanks to his assistance, in 1926 Rome established the Catholic Apostolic Exarchate with its seat in Sofia. Roncalli is known as the "Bulgarian Pope". He arrives in the country during a difficult period of history and started extensive humanitarian work.

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