ROCOR Synod elevates Archbishop Mark of Berlin to Metropolitan

His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia has been elevated to the rank of Metropolitan in honor of his 40 years of episcopal service.

The decision to honor Metropolitan Mark, the longest serving ROCOR hierarch, was made by unanimous decision of the ROCOR Holy Synod, which met in New York from December 6 to 10, reports the Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe.

The white klobuk, worn only by metropolitans in the Russian tradition, was laid upon Met. Mark, the Vice President of the Holy Synod, by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of ROCOR, following the dismissal at the Divine Liturgy on December 10, the feast of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.

A decree of elevation was also read out, noting that the matter had been raised by Met. Hilarion at the previous Synodal session on June 28, at which Abp. Mark was not present.

“Now, having studied the responses of the Hierarchs of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, with great joy we report to Your Eminence that your brethren archpastors, prayerfully glorifying Christ the Chief Pastor, piously venerating the miracle-working image, the Hodigitria of the Russian diaspora, boldly and with kind heart declare ‘axios’ as you are being elevated to the lofty rank of metropolitan,” the decree reads.


Metropolitan Mark was born in then-Eastern Germany in 1941 and moved to the west in 1954, settling in Frankfurt am Main. He studied Slavic Languages and completed his doctorate in Ancient Russian Literature, entering the Orthodox Church in 1964 and later enrolling in the Theological Faculty of the University of Belgrade. There he came under the influence of the renowned Serbian Orthodox Theologian, St. Justin Popovic and he decided to enter the monastic life. He was tonsured by Bishop Paul of Stuttgart in 1975 and ordained priest in 1976. Four years later Father Mark was consecrated as Vicar Bishop of Munich and Southern Germany in November 1980, and he moved the bishop’s residence to the Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev where he revived the monastery along Athonite lines. Since 1982 he has been Ruling Bishop of Berlin and Germany, and in 1990 was elevated to the rank of Archbishop. In 1997 he was appointed overseer of the Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, which role he still fulfils.

From 1986 to 2017 His Eminence additionally served as Ruling Hierarch of the Diocese of Great Britain and Ireland. The current Diocesan Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God and Holy Royal Martyrs in Chiswick, London, was constructed at Vladyka Mark’s initiative and under his careful guidance.

Metropolitan Mark is amongst the most senior hierarchs of the whole of the Russian Orthodox Church, by length of time since consecration, and is an authority on Church dogmatics, canons and liturgical life.

May God grant his newly-elevated Metropolitan Mark many years!