The first bru-ha-ha started with the announcement of the discovery of supposed relics of St. John the Baptist The alleged relics are very few: bone fragments of a human skull, hand and tooth.
Shortly after the announcement of the discovery appeared, some Bulgarian archaeologists (along with archaeologists from other countries) expressed reservations about what they considered (1) a premature and (2) sensationalized announcement of the alleged discovery. For instance, the bones have not been scientifically dated and there is no way to ascertain to whom they would have belonged in any event, even if it is ultimately determined that the bones are of the correct age and the reliquy is actually from the 5th century CE -- so what? John the Baptist was killed in the first third of the 1st century CE and his alleged relics are claimed to rest in many churches. Not mentioned at all is under what conditions the reliquy was opened, which may become critically important later on.
It was then that Bulgarian Disaspora Minister Bozhidar Dimitrov, an allegedly "renowned historian," cut loose, lambasting those who had criticized both the manner of the announcement and the announcement itself without further study:
Diaspora Minister and renowned historian Bozhidar Dimitrov...has expressed absolute certainty in the fact that the relics found on the St. Ivan Island belonged to St. John the Baptist. He has pointed to an inscription on the marble sarcophagus holding the relics as the greatest evidence for their origin.
“The other archaeologists are shaken by wild envy of their colleague, Professor Kazimir Popkonstantinov. He is a rarely lucky man. It is very seldom that one would find an inscription, and in archaeology the inscription is considered the most authentic proof,” stated Dimitrov, who is a former Director of the Bulgarian National History Museum and a native of Sozopol.
The inscription in question found on the reliquary states that “some time in the 5th century a man named Toma transferred the holy relics exactly on the birthday of St. John the Forerunner.”
More insults were hurled and comments exchanged on August 6, 2010:
Bulgarian Minister Exchanges Insults with Top Archaeologist over St. John the Baptist Relics
Archaeology | August 6, 2010, Friday
“Why, damn it, why, where is all this envy coming from?! This is what I cannot find an explanation with this fucking people, with these fucking colleagues,” the Diaspora Minister and a former Director of the Bulgarian National History Museum, said when expressing his indignation that some of the Bulgarian archaeologists had declared the triumph over the relics of St. John the Baptist premature.
“Please don’t interpret literally the words of a 65-year-old nationalist who has proven himself to the Bulgarian people. I did not say “fucking people, fucking colleagues”. The second part of this sentence makes it clear that I had in mind a group of people calling themselves archaeologists. You can see from the context of the conversation that this does not refer to the entire Bulgarian people and its qualities. I am condemning several archaeologists, who had made anonymous statements in the press, and who did not express doubt but, rather, envy and hate for their colleague. I was just defending out colleague Popkonstantinov,” Minister Dimitrov told Darik Radio Friday.
He further identified Prof. Nikolay Ovcharov as the main critic from among those “anonymous archaeologists”. This has resulted from a comment by Ovcharov published Friday in the 24 Chasa Daily.
“I am starting a discussion. Today Ovcharov came out with his name, and started quarreling with me. The “fuckers” are no longer anonymous. We are now going to be fighting personally, with our names,” Dimitrov said.
Outraged Bulgarian Archaeologists Strike Back at Minister
Archaeology | August 9, 2010, Monday
The Bulgarian Archaeologists’ Association has expressed its deep distress and resentment over the recent “offensive” and “cynical” statements made by Diaspora Minister Bozhidar Dimitrov after the finding of alleged relics of St. John the Baptist.
This has been made clear in an open letter sent by the Archaeologists’ Association to Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov in which they scold Minister Dimitrov for describing the Bulgarians and the archaeologists as “fucking people”.
Minister Dimitrov evidently believes in the honored age-old game known as tit-for-tat, except in the Bulgarian some players use the "f" word a lot on the record:
Bulgarian Archaeology Scandal Grows as Minister Declines to Apologize
Archaeology | August 9, 2010, Monday
“I have no intention of apologizing to anyone,” the Diaspora Minister told bTV on Monday explaining once again that the Bulgarian word for “fucking” or “damned” that he used did not actually have a pejorative connotation. [Really? LOL!]
“I cannot issue an apology to anonymous people. The apologies must be personal. Do you understand. I need to be able to apologize to that man, and that man, and that man. None of them has shown up with specific arguments, and they aren’t able to do that. They are just repeating that we must carry out tests of the relics of St. John the Baptist. What kinds of tests exactly – they never explain!,” he declared attributing once again the criticism by archaeologists through media publications of the discovery of the relics in the town of Sozopol to the envious nature of certain individuals.
“I will cite here a 10th century Arab chronicle which says about the Bulgarians that whenever somebody among them rose above the others, they would come to him, and would say, “You surpassed us, we are not good enough for you, you are good enough only for God.” And they would then hang him,” says Dimitrov who is known as a renown historian.
Dimitrov has pointed out that with the discovery of the holy relics the Bulgarian Black Sea coast should be able to develop as a destination for pilgrims throughout the entire year, not just with the finds in Sozopol but also with the nearby town of Nessebar, which has remains of 44 churches.
Not one to know when to stop inserting his big foot into his even bigger mouth, the Minister had some choice things to say about Bulgarian women who were coming to view the alleged relics:
Minister: Nude Bulgarian Women Come to Venerate St. John Relics
Society | August 9, 2010, Monday
“The Bulgarian women go to church in very revealing clothes, with only their nipples covered; compare them with the Russian women, of whom even the lowliest whore would put a headscarf on, and then enter a church,” Dimitrov commented at the end of last week. On Monday he elaborated his point:
|Bulgarian Diaspora Minister Dimitrov. Hubba hubba! |
I love everyone, especially naked Bulgarian women!
“Some people are now angry with me, and they want me to apologize to them. I am not going to apologize. When they put clothes on, then I will apologize. Nobody can say about me that I don’t love the Bulgarian women. I have shown that in past 60 years or so. I am always loved the Bulgarian women, and they have always loved me. But one must know when to take their clothes off and when to put clothes on,” the Diaspora Minister concluded.
****************************************No, I do not have any photos of the naked women at church but no doubt some enterprising Bulgarians have already come up with thousands of them!