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Bulgarians pay their last respects to the late Orthodox patriarch

SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) — Thousands of Orthodox Christians from across Bulgaria have flocked to Sofia’s Alexander Nevski Cathedral to pay their respects to their late spiritual leader, Patriarch Neophyte, who passed away on Wednesday. He was 78. The government declared a two-day period of national mourning. Black-clad priests held a memorial service as lines of worshippers passed by the open casket where Neophyte lay in state, in a white robe and a golden crown. On Saturday, the patriarch’s body will be taken to St. Nedelya’s Church, where he will be buried. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, is expected to arrive for the funeral.

Article Topic Follows: AP National

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