New Archbishop Consecrated For the Orthodox Church of Slovakia

PRESOV, SLOVAKIA -- His Eminence, Archbishop Ratislav was consecrated as Bishop and enthroned as Archbishop of  Presov on Sunday November 18, 2012 at  St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral  in Presov, Slovakia. 

Upon the death of Archbishop Jan, Fr. Rastislav was nominated as his successor at a Special Assembly of the Orthodox Eparchy Presov, Slovakia.  The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and Slovakia later confirmed the decision of the Assembly and canonically elected him Archbishop of Presov.

His Eminence,  +Metropolitan Christopher, Archbishop of Prague and Metropolitan of Czech lands and Slovakia, together with Orthodox bishops from Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine and  Poland, in the presence of hundreds of faithful, consecrated  Fr. Rastislav as bishop by the Grace of the Holy Spirit through the laying on of hands. 

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At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, based on the resolution of the Sacred Synod of Metropolitan Christopher Bishop presented  Bishop Rastislav the episcopal staff and enthroned him as Archbishop of  Presov, and shepherd of the Orthodox Church in Slovakia. 

In his remarks following his enthronement, Archbishop Rastislav Archbishop remarked that he begins his new labors in the Church with a great sense of responsibility. In his speech, he reminded the faithful that with the help of Jesus Christ, all things are possible. He added that he is aware of all the problems and complexity of the current situation of church and social life, and with the help of God and the faithful of his diocese he looks forward to laboring to meet these challenges. 

"Standing before you, I ask you all for your prayers and blessings, as I begin the arduous road to service as bishop," said the new archbishop.

Metropolitan Christopher in his exhortation to the new archbishop, charged him to be a good pastor to the faithful he has been entrusted with. 

 In his remarks throughout the day,  Archbishop Rastislav also reached out to the larger Christian family.

"Christ Church is the body, whose clothes were torn thousand years ago, but still remains one body. We are Christians, even though we have differences in doctrine , customs, or perhaps a way of life, but that does not mean we have to  have enmity towards one another," said Archbishop Rastislav.

The 34 year old newly consecrated Orthodox Archbishop of Presov, Rastislav, whose baptismal name is Andrew Gonta, is a graduate of the Orthodox Theological Faculty of Presov University and participated in several international internships.

Prior to his election and consecration as bishop he was a chaplain at the St. Nicholas Home for Children in Medzilaborce, Slovakia. 


- Translated and adapted from an article from the Presovsky Korzar Journal