Rastislav (Gont)

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Archbishop of Prešov and Slovakia, Metropolitan of the Czech Lands and Slovakia
Mitropolit Rostislav. Aktovyi den' SPbDA. 1 sentiabria 2016.jpg
Church Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church
ArchdioceseArchdiocese of Prešov and Slovakia
PredecessorMetropolitan Christopher of Prague
Personal details
Birth nameOndrej Gont
Born (1978-01-25) January 25, 1978 (age 41)
Snina, Czechoslovakia
Denomination Eastern Orthodox
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 Town in 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.

Eastern Orthodox Church Christian Church

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.

Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church Christian Orthodox-oriented denomination in the Czechia and Slovak republic

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.


Early life

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.

University of Prešov university

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:

Aristotle University of Thessaloniki University in Thessaloniki, Greece

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 Town in Slovakia

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 profession

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 City in Slovakia

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. [1] 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. [2]

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.

Czech Republic Country in Central Europe

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, [3] 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. [4] 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. [5] Archbishop Rastislav is considered by many not to be the legitimate primate of the Czech and Slovak Orthodox Church, [6] except for some such as Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, [7] 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.

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  1. "UŽ JE TO TADY. RASTISLAV JE PERSONA NON GRATA!!!". pravoslavnacirkev.info. 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  2. "Dopis Konstantinopolského patriarchy Bartoloměje Ministerstvu Kultury ČR". sul-zeme.cz. 2014-07-04. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  3. "Naše pravoslavná církev je dnes jedinou pravoslavnou církví na světě bez uznané hlavy". sul-zeme.cz. 2014-03-06. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  4. "ÚSTAVA PRAVOSLAVNÉ CÍRKVE V ČESKÝCH ZEMÍCH A NA SLOVENSKU". pravoslavni-obec-bilina.webnode.cz. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  5. "Dodnes nemáme arcibiskupa pražského. A dodnes nemáme metropolitu - prvního archijereje naší autokefální církve". pravoslavnacirkev.info. 2014-08-12. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  6. "Posvätná Synoda". eparchiapo.sk. Retrieved 2015-11-19.
  7. "Moskevský patriarcha Kirill podpořil metropolitu Rastislava". pravoslavnacirkev.cz. Retrieved 2015-11-19.