Mark (Arndt) of Berlin
His Eminence the Most Reverend Mark (Arndt) is the Archbishop of Berlin, Germany and of Great Britain of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Overseer of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.
Archbishop Mark was born Michael Arndt on January 29, 1941 in Chemnitz, Saxony, Germany.
As a child, Michael attended the schools in Frankfurt am Main, graduating in 1960. After finishing school he volunteered for military service in West Germany for one year. Later he was called back to serve several times, rising to the rank of lieutenant-senior. In 1962, he entered Frankfurt University, then later transferred to the University of Heidelberg. His academic program included studies in English and Slavic languages and literature.
In the course of his study of Slavistics, he became a specialist in a number of Slavic languages and literature, including Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Slovak, Czech and Macedonian. He completed his PhD with the doctoral thesis "Biographical Literature of the Tver Duchy in the 14th and 15th Centuries". During his studies of Russian, he became acquainted with the Russian émigré community in Frankfurt. While studying under Professor Dimitri Chizhevsky at the University of Heidelberg, he visited the ROCOR Church of St. Alexander Nevsky in Mannheim. In 1964, he converted to Orthodox Christianity and became a reader. He later made trips to Mount Athos where he developed friendships with many of the elders, including two Hiero-schema-monks named Seraphim and Hiero-schema-monk Avel.
He continued his theological studies in 1973 in Belgrade, Yugoslavia graduating with a degree in theology in 1979. In Belgrade, Michael became part of a tightly-knit group of Serbia elder's students through Archimandrite Justin (Popovic), hieromonks Amphilochius, Afanasi, Artemije, and Irinj, now bishops of the Church of Serbia. In 1975, Michael chose a monastic life and was tonsured a monk with the name Mark by Abp. Paul (Pavlov) then Bishop of Stuttgart and Southern Germany. He was ordained a deacon in the summer of 1975, and a hieromonk three days later by Abp. Paul. Hieromonk Mark was appointed Deputy Rector of the Russian church in Wiesbaden, Germany. In 1976, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.
In 1980, he was consecrated bishop, and was installed as the (ROCOR) Bishop of Munich and Southern Germany. In 1982, he was assigned as Bishop of Berlin and All Germany, succeeding Abp. Paul (Pavlov). In the mid-1980's, he was appointed Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Great Britain and Rector of St Alexander Nevsky Parish in Copenhagen. In 1990, he was elevated to the rank of Archbishop. In 1997, he was also appointed Overseer of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.
Abp. Mark has been one of the most ardent supporters of Church unity between ROCOR and the Moscow Patriarchate, and worked tirelessly to see this goal achieved. From 1993 to 1997, he headed the dialog between the German based dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate in the re-united Germany. Since 2000, he has been the President of the Committee on the Unity of the Russian Church, and since 2003, the President of the Commission on talks with the Moscow Patriarchate. This was a large part of the impetus which brought about the reunification of the ROCOR and Moscow Patriarchal churches, which finally took place in 2006.
Mark (Arndt) of Berlin
|Bishop of Stuttgart (ROCOR)
|Bishop of Berlin, Germany and of Great Britain