Bulgarian Bishop Kiril found dead, foul play suspected

July 9, 2013 at 2:33 PM
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VARNA, Bulgaria, July 9 (UPI) -- The body of Bishop Kiril, a powerful member of Bulgaria's senior clergy, was found on a beach Tuesday, and prosecutors say they suspect foul play.

Kiril, 59, was metropolitan bishop of Varna and Veliki Preslav, on the coast of the Black Sea, since 1989, and was chosen as interim patriarch of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in 2012, a position he held until election of a new patriarch in 2013.

His body was discovered on a beach in the Varna suburb of Trakata, and prosecutors suspect foul play, Bulgarian National Radio reported Tuesday.

The incident has renewed debate over the income sources of wealthy members of Bulgaria's clergy. In 2011 and 2012, Kiril raised controversy after being seen riding in a Lincoln automobile, and in 2012 he was exposed as a former agent of State Security, the Bulgarian secret police during the Communist dictatorship, the Sofia News Agency said.

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