|Archbishop of Prešov and Slovakia, Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia|
|Church||Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church|
|Archdiocese||Archdiocese of Prešov and Slovakia|
|Predecessor||Metropolitan Christopher of Prague|
|Birth name||Ondrej Gont|
|Born||January 25, 1978|
|Alma mater||University of Prešov|
Metropolitan Rastislav (secular name Ondrej Gont; born January 25, 1978, in Snina, Czechoslovakia) is an Eastern Orthodox bishop and the Primate of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, holding the rank of Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
Snina is a town in Slovakia located at the confluence of the Cirocha river and the small river Pčolinka in the valley between the Beskydy foothills and the Vihorlat Mountains. It is the closest town with rail and bus connections to Poloniny National Park.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially the Orthodox Catholic Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 200–260 million baptised members. It operates as a communion of autocephalous churches, each governed by its bishops in local synods, although roughly half of Eastern Orthodox Christians live in Russia. The church has no central doctrinal or governmental authority analogous to the Bishop of Rome, but the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is recognised by all as primus inter pares of the bishops. As one of the oldest surviving religious institutions in the world, the Eastern Orthodox Church has played a prominent role in the history and culture of Eastern and Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus, and the Near East.
The Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia is a self-governing body of the Eastern Orthodox Church that territorially covers the countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Archbishop Rastislav of Prešov was elected by the Extraordinary Synod held on January 11, 2014, as the new primate. On December 9, 2013, the Synod removed Archbishop Simeon of Olomouc and Brno from his position as Locum Tenens, and appointed Archbishop Rastislav in his place, an action against which Archbishop Simeon protested and which was deplored by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
Rastislav graduated from the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the University of Prešov in 2002, and completed courses abroad, especially in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.
The University of Prešov is the only public university in the Prešov self-governing region of Slovakia. It focuses on the areas of social, natural, and theological sciences, sport, arts, management, and health care. It was established by law in December 1996 by splitting the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice into the University of Pavol Jozef Šafárik in Košice and Prešov University in Prešov. It was officially established on 1 January 1997. The outcomes of its active education and research programmes stretch significantly beyond the borders of Eastern Slovakia. Among its organizational units are three centres of excellence:
The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is the sixth oldest and among the most highly ranked tertiary education institutions in Greece.
He received the name "Rastislav" when he entered monastic life. He completed his pastoral ministry in St. Johns' Nicholas in Medzilaborce, while serving in a nearby orphanage.
Medzilaborce is a town in northeastern Slovakia close to the border with Poland, located near the towns of Sanok and Bukowsko. Its population is approximately 6,500.
In October 2012, he was elevated to the rank of hegumen, and on November 18, 2012, he was consecrated as the bishop of Prešov. In July 2013, he led a delegation of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church to the festivities devoted to the 1025th anniversary of the baptism of Russia.
Hegumen, hegumenos, or igumen is the title for the head of a monastery in the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, similar to the title of abbot. The head of a convent of nuns is called a hegumenia or ihumenia. The term means "the one who is in charge", "the leader" in Greek.
Prešov is a city in Eastern Slovakia. It is a seat of the administrative Prešov Region and Šariš as well as the historic Szepes County of the Kingdom of Hungary. With a population of approximately 89,000, it is the third-largest city in Slovakia. It lends its name to the Eperjes-Tokaj Hill-Chain. There are many tourist attractions in Prešov such as castles, pools and the old town.
In December 9, 2013, he replaced Archbishop Simeon as the Metropolitan Administrator, who, however, declared that his replacement was invalid. Simeon's opinion is shared by all the Orthodox Churches in the world. For this reason, Archbishop Rastislav was proclaimed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as persona non grata.Simeon refused to recognize the church assembly, which elected Archbishop Rastislav in Prešov on January 11, 2014, by the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. The Church's unlawful acts, began with the controversial dismissal of Archbishop Simeon and continued with the unlawful appointment of Lord Jáchym Postoj to Bishops Rastislav, Jáchym and Juraj, as expressed by Patriarch Bartholomew in an official letter to the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic.
In diplomacy, a persona non grata is a foreign person whose entering or remaining in a particular country is prohibited by that country's government. Being so named is the most serious form of censure which a country can apply to foreign diplomats, who are otherwise protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and other normal kinds of prosecution.
The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name, Czechia, is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. The Czech Republic has a landlocked and hilly landscape that covers an area of 78,866 square kilometers (30,450 sq mi) with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. It is a unitary parliamentary republic, with 10.6 million inhabitants. Its capital and largest city is Prague, with 1.3 million residents; other major cities are Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc and Pilsen.
After his alleged election, Archbishop Rastislav was not invited to the Synaxis of the Heads of the Orthodox Churches,which is a manifestation of his non-recognition and thus the isolation of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church from the rest of the Orthodox world.
The constitution of the Orthodox Church governs the election of bishops and metropolitans. According to the constitution, the proposal of the council, approved by the Sacred Synod of Canonical Capability, and then the election by the eparchial assembly, by a majority of two-thirds, is required for the establishment of a bishop. No other way is permitted by the constitution. The election of the metropolitan is carried out by the Orthodox Church from two candidates - the Archbishop of Prague and the Archbishop of Prešov.In the case of the election of Archbishop Rastislav, the illegitimate archbishop of Prague, Jáchym, was illegally appointed by a Synod composed of 3 people, while Jáchym also voted in his own favor, which makes him elected by his own choice, making the choice of the metropolitan illegal.
This issue is theoretically addressed by various authors, and extensive analysis is available.Archbishop Rastislav is considered by many not to be the legitimate primate of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, except for some such as Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, the Orthodox Church in America, and the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. Rastislav was even titled as the "Archbishop of Prague" when congratulated by the Patriarchate of Antioch regarding his election. Furthermore, according to the tomos of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Archbishop Rastislav is no longer a canonical bishop. This issue has been addressed by the Canadian Commission of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which, among other things, is responsible for preparing documents for bishops' tribunals.
The Eastern Orthodox Church, like the Catholic Church, claims to be the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The Ecumenical Patriarch is the Archbishop of Constantinople–New Rome and ranks as primus inter pares among the heads of the several autocephalous churches that make up the Eastern Orthodox Church. The term Ecumenical in the title is a historical reference to the Ecumene, a Greek designation for the civilised world, i.e. the Roman Empire, and it stems from Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.
The Czechoslovak Hussite Church is a Christian church that separated from the Catholic Church after World War I in former Czechoslovakia.
Christopher of Prague, born 29 June 1953 as Radim Pulec is the Orthodox Metropolitan of the Czech lands and Slovakia since 2006 and Archbishop of Prague. He has participated in numerous theological conferences and has represented the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia in many venues. Fluent in his native language and also Russian, Greek, German and English, he follows academic pursuits in theology and philosophy, having a doctorate in both.
The Slovak Greek Catholic Church, or Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church, is a Metropolitan sui iuris Eastern particular Church in full union with the Catholic Church. Its liturgical rite is the Byzantine Rite. L'Osservatore Romano of January 31, 2008 reported that, in Slovakia alone, it had some 350,000 faithful, 374 priests and 254 parishes. In addition, the 2012 Annuario Pontificio gave its Canadian Eparchy of Saints Cyril and Methodius of Toronto as having 2,000 faithful, 4 priests and 5 parishes. The Slovak Greek Catholic Church is in full communion with the Holy See.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in the United States. It consists of two eparchies (dioceses), ruled by two bishops, including about 85 active parishes and missions. The Church's current leader is Metropolitan Antony. The Church's head offices and Consistory are based in South Bound Brook, New Jersey.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia is the Australian archdiocese of the Greek Orthodox Church, part of the wider communion of Orthodox Christianity. The archdiocese is a jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. As of 2015, there were over 120 parishes and eight monasteries in the four diocesan districts of the archdiocese.
The Korean Orthodox Church or the Metropolis of Korea is an Eastern Orthodox diocese under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople in Korea.
Metropolitan Jonah is a retired American Orthodox bishop who served as the primate of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) with the title The Most Blessed Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada from his election on November 12, 2008, until his resignation on July 7, 2012. Metropolitan Jonah was the first convert to the Orthodox faith to have been elected as the primate of the OCA.
The Ruthenian (Greek) Catholic Apostolic Exarchate of Czech Republic, also known as the Apostolic Exarchate in the Czech Republic, is an Eastern Catholic institution overseeing Catholics of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church. It uses the localized Byzantine Rite in archaic Slavonic language and is based in the Czech Republic.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church (UOGCC) is an unregistered Eastern Independent Catholic religious movement that was established by Basilian priests predominantly from Slovakia declared the creation of the new "church" in 2009 based in Pidhirtsi, Ukraine.
The Pan-Orthodox Council, officially referred to as the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church, was a synod of set representative bishops of the universally recognised autocephalous local churches of Eastern Orthodox Christianity held in Kolymvari, Crete. The Council sat from 19 to 26 June 2016.
The Eparchy of Mukachevo and Prešov was an Eastern Orthodox diocese (eparchy) of the Serbian Orthodox Church, that existed from 1931 to 1945. It had jurisdiction over regions of Slovakia and Subcarpathian Rusynia, at that time parts of former Czechoslovakia. Its seat was in Mukachevo.
Metropolitan Makariy is the former Archbishop of Lviv and a retired bishop of the unified Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU).
The Moscow–Constantinople schism, also known as the Orthodox Church schism of 2018, is a schism which began on 15 October 2018 when the Russian Orthodox Church unilaterally severed full communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. This was done in response to a decision of the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on 11 October 2018 which confirmed the intention of moving towards granting autocephaly (independence) to the Orthodox Church in Ukraine, to reestablish a stauropegion in Kiev, to revoke the legal binding of the letter of 1686 which led to the Russian Orthodox Church establishing jurisdiction over the Ukrainian Church, and to lift the excommunications which affected clergy and faithful of two unrecognized Ukrainian Orthodox churches. Those two churches, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church (UAOC) and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate (UOC-KP), were competing with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC-MP) and were considered "schismatics" by the Patriarchate of Moscow, as well as by the other Orthodox churches.
The Diocese of the Philippines and Vietnam, is a diocese of the Patriarchate of Moscow created on 26 February 2019, directly under the Patriarchal Exarchate in Southeast Asia (PESEA).
The Unification council of the Orthodox churches of Ukraine is a council which was held on 15 December 2018 in the St Sophia's Cathedral in Kiev. The council voted to unite the existing Ukrainian Orthodox churches through their representatives, on the basis of complete canonical independence. All the members of the UOC-KP and the UAOC, and two members of the UOC-MP, merged into the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the unification council elected Epiphanius I as its first primate.
On 15 October 2018, the Russian Orthodox Church broke the communion with the Ecumenical Patriarchate because of a dispute concerning the canonical jurisdiction over Ukraine. This led to the 2018 Moscow–Constantinople schism. Numerous Orthodox churches took position concerning the dispute over the canonical jurisdiction over Ukraine, whether before or after this schism.