Presenter Information

Stafford Poole C.M.


Bulgaria’s nineteenth-century nationalism had a cultural focus, rather than a political one. Seeking freedom, not from the Ottoman Empire but from the cultural domination of Greek Orthodoxy, Bulgarians tried to form an independent church through union with Rome. The Vincentian mission and college of Saint-Benoit in Constantinople was a center for this movement. Eugene Bore also played a key role in it. He thought France’s duty in the Middle East was to limit the expansion of Russian and Orthodoxy there. He believed that the reunion of the Bulgarian church with Rome would be a means of accomplishing this. It was partly through him that the Bulgarians became affiliated with the Church. They were then admitted to the Church in December 1860 with their own hierarchy and other considerations. Bore was an important member of the Committee of Bulgarian Union and began a Bulgarian seminary at Saint-Benoit in 1861. Vincentian houses in Macedonia also helped Bulgarian rite Catholics, but in general, the rite was short lived. Bore’s career is recounted and the ideas that guided his life and work are explained.