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New Primate for the Church of Slovakia and the Czech Lands

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  • Al Green
    Archbishop Christopher elected Primate of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia Article posted: 5/2/2006 4:12 PM His Eminence, Archbishop
    Message 1 of 1 , May 2, 2006
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      Archbishop Christopher elected Primate of the Orthodox
      Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia

      Article posted: 5/2/2006 4:12 PM

      His Eminence, Archbishop Christopher of Prague and the
      Czech Lands recently was elected the fifth Primate of
      the Czech-Slovak Church on May 2, 2006.

      VILEMOV, CZECH REPUBLIC [OCA Communications] — On May
      2, 2006, an All-Church Council of clergy and laity of
      the autocephalous Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands
      and Slovakia gathered here to elect a successor to the
      Church's late Primate, His Beatitude, Metropolitan
      Nikolaj, who fell asleep in the Lord after a lengthy
      illness on January
      30, 2006.

      Elected by the Council delegates as the new Primate of
      the Church was His Eminence, Archbishop Christopher of
      Prague and the Czech Lands. With his election, he
      becomes the fifth Primate of the Czech-Slovak Church
      since it was granted autocephaly by the Patriarchate
      of Moscow in 1951. His enthronement will take place on
      May 28, 2006.

      Archbishop Christopher was born Radim Pulets in Prague
      in 1953. He was ordained to the diaconate and
      priesthood in 1974. He completed his studies at the
      Orthodox Theological Faculty in Presov,
      Czechoslovakia, in 1979, after which he pursued
      graduate studies at the Moscow Theological Academy,
      from which he graduated in 1984. In 1987, he completed
      additional theological studies at the Theological
      Faculty of the University of Athens, Greece.

      In 1985 he was tonsured to monastic orders at the Holy
      Trinity-Saint Sergius Monastery in Sergiev-Posad [then
      known as Zagorsk], Russia, taking the name
      Christopher. Two years later His Beatitude, the late
      Metropolitan Dorotheus, the Primate of the Orthodox
      Church of Czechoslovakia, elevated him to the rank of
      archimandrite. He also served at Prague's Cathedral of
      Saints Cyril and Methodius.

      In 1988, Metropolitan Dorotheus presided at his
      consecration to the episcopacy and election as Bishop
      of Olomouc and Brno. After the repose of Metropolitan
      Dorotheus in 2000, he was named Archbishop of Prague
      and the Czech Lands and oversaw the work of the
      Church's Metropolitan Council.

      Archbishop Christopher has participated in numerous
      theological conferences and has represented his Church
      in many venues. He is well known for his academic
      pursuits in the fields of theology and philosophy, and
      is fluent in several languages, including Russian,
      Greek, German, and English.

      Upon learning of Archbishop Christopher's election,
      His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the
      Orthodox Church in America, sent congratulatory
      greetings on behalf of the clergy and faithful of the
      Church.

      "The Orthodox Church in the former Czechoslovakia has
      faced numerous difficulties after the fall of
      communism, especially with the breakup of the country
      into two separate states -- the Czech Republic and
      Slovakia," according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak,
      director of the OCA Office of Communications. "With
      the majority of Orthodox properties given to
      non-Orthodox confessions and communities, the Church
      embarked on an ambitious program to build and rebuild
      dozens of new churches and chapels, especially in
      eastern Slovakia. During Metropolitan Nikolaj's
      five-year tenure, the Church was stabilized, and today
      continues to build upon its 1000 year tradition freely."

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