ACN News: Monday, 23rd April 2012 – BULGARIA
Bulgaria: Capuchin friar condemns the uncritical adoption of western trends
By Eva-Maria Kolmann
Many people in Bulgaria uncritically adopt trends from the west. This was criticised by Capuchin friar Elko Terziyski, who works in Bulgaria's capital city, Sofia, in a meeting with the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).
In the communist period, the Bulgarians were accustomed to receiving and carrying out instructions from the USSR. As a result of this, suggestions and tendencies coming from the European Union, of which Bulgaria has been a member since 2007, tend to be perceived as “commands” and are carried out uncritically.
(Capuchin priest Elko Terziyski)
It is particularly important for parents to take an interest in what their children are taught in school, the friar emphasised. Thus, for example, there have been recent cases where boys at school were made to dress as girls, and girls as boys, in an attempt to break down traditional gender roles as propagated in the west.
In its pastoral work, the Catholic Church tries to help people to acquire a “solid foundation”. For example, numerous discussions are held with couples preparing for marriage during the year before their wedding. This is important because “communism has left behind great devastation in people’s hearts,” Terziyski explained.
This year, the Catholic Church in Bulgaria will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II to this south-eastern European nation. Catholics make up around 1% of the Bulgarian population. 83 % of Bulgarians belong to the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, 12 % are Muslims, and the rest belong to other faiths or are of no faith. However, surveys show that only 52 % of Bulgarians consider themselves “religious”.
Directly under the Holy See, Aid to the Church in Need supports the faithful wherever they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need. ACN is a Catholic charity – helping to bring Christ to the world through prayer, information and action.
The charity undertakes thousands of projects every year including providing transport for clergy and lay Church workers, construction of church buildings, funding for priests and nuns and help to train seminarians. Since the initiative’s launch in 1979, Aid to the Church in Need’s Child’s Bible – God Speaks to his Children has been translated into 162 languages and 48 million copies have been distributed all over the world.
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