Rosen Zhelyazkov, the chairman of Bulgaria’s national assembly, met with Pope Francis on May 24. He was accompanied by other Bulgarian officials from different political parties.
The Pope praised the members of the group for “being together in the name of Bulgaria, despite their differences,” according to the Bulgarian News Agency. The Pope said “it’s wonderful that we’re both different and so united,” according to Zhelyazkov.
Zhelyazkov said that his meeting with Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Holy See’s Secretary of State, was “more political, but again with the understanding that in a Christian Europe the most important thing is to build bridges.”
Bulgaria, a Southeast European nation of 6.9 million (map), is 83% Christian (79% Orthodox) and 14% Muslim. Pope Francis made an apostolic journey there in 2019.