|Bulgaria||MARTYR EXONERATED BY STATE|
The Catholic Church in Bulgaria has welcomed a court decree annulling the death sentence passed on the Blessed Eugen Bossilkov, who was executed in 1952 by Bulgaria's Communist government.
The Tablet quotes Mgr Blagovest Vanghelov, vicar-general of the Catholic Byzantine-rite Apostolic Exarchate of Sofia, who says that while the rehabilitation was strictly a state matter, it was also important for the Church. "The verdict is a clear moral exoneration," he said.
The Blessed Eugen Bossilkov, born in 1900, became a Passionist priest, and was made Bishop of Nikopol in 1947, the year that Bulgaria's Communist constitution was imposed. He was arrested with 27 other priests in July 1952 on charges of undermining the security of the state by giving "secret economic, political and military information" to the "Vatican and French intelligence services and to other imperialist spy services".
In spite of pleas for clemency from the President of the United States and other world leaders, he was shot by firing squad in November 1952, although confirmation of the execution only reached the Vatican in 1975.
Tablet 11:26am 31/5/99