Mark (Arndt) of Berlin

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Archbishop Mark was born Michael Arndt on 29 January 1941 in the city of Chemnitz, Germany.

In 1964, while he was studying English and Slavistics at the University of Heidelberg, he converted to Orthodoxy. 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".

He began his theological studies in 1973 in Belgrade, then finished his degree in theology in 1979. He was ordained a deacon in the summer of 1975, and was ordained a heiromonk three days later, then appointed as Deputy Rector of the Russian church in Wiesbaden. In 1976, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

In 1980, he was elevated to the rank of bishop, becoming the (ROCOR) bishop of Stuttgart and Southern Germany. In 1982, he was promoted to be bishop of Berlin and Germany. 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.

Archbishop 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 1993-1997, he headed the dialog between the two dioceses (of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate) in the 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 MP churches, which finally took place in 2006.

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