CULTURE

Bulgarian prime minister meets ecumenical patriarch at Phanar

Ecumenical Patriarch Vartholomaios was on the list of nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize, as was the World Council of Churches, for the part they have played in reconciling different religions. In the photograph above, taken at the Patriarchate at the Phanar, Vartholomaios receives Bulgarian Prime Minister Simeon Saxe-Coburg, former aspirant to the throne of Bulgaria. On an official visit to Turkey, Simeon asked that his program include a visit to the leader of the Orthodox Church. After the handshake, Simeon leant respectfully and kissed the hand of the patriarch, to who he offered an icon of Saint George, painted by a Bulgarian artist. And when Vartholomaios offered him a vanilla sweet in a glass of cold water, Simeon replied, «Thank you, Your Holiness, for the ipovrychion» (or «submarine,» as this sweet is known in Greek).