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. He also serves as the First Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops.
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 Popovich, 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, succeeding Archbishop Paul (Pavlov), who became Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, and New Zealand. As a result, Bishop Mark moved to the Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev in Munich, where he helped re-establish and reinvigorate the monastery. In 1982, due to the serious illness of Archbishop Philotheus (Narko) he accepted the title of as Bishop of Berlin and All Germany. However, he continues to reside at the Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev in Munich. 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.
7-12 June 2009 he was a participant of the Pan-Orthodox Pre-Council Conference IV of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Since July 27, 2009 he is Member of the Inter-Council Presence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Archbishop Mark celebrated his 35th anniversary of his episcopal consecration in late 2015. Over the course of this time, these are some of the things that his influence has been instrumental in accomplishing. Among these are the following:
- Reviving monastic life in Germany, specifically through his leadership at the Monastery of St. Job of Pochaev in Munich, and with the founding of the Convent of St. Elisabeth, Grand Duchess in Buchendorf, Bavaria.
- Encouraging people to take their faith seriously, and to do things, such as fasting, which many have ignored.
- Producing and providing quality materials on Orthodoxy in the German language, even though the number of "native German" Orthodox in Germany is quite small. Encouraging parishes to have some services available in German, as well as having priests who can speak German well.
- Encouraging those of Russian background to not forget the Russian and Slavonic languages.
- Supporting and bringing aid to parishes in his diocese which were struggling.
- Understanding the shifts in demographics within the Orthodox church-goers in Germany, and helping the individual churches minister to people according to these shifts.
- Leading in the efforts of reunification between the Moscow Patriarchate and ROCOR.
Mark (Arndt) of Berlin
|Bishop of Munich and Southern Germany (ROCOR)
|Bishop of Berlin, Germany and of Great Britain
Articles, Sermons, and Interviews
- The Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia (2001)
- Advice to Potential Monastics
- Interview: "Attaining Church Unity is a Spiritual Podvig" (2006)
- Our Primary Goal is Missionary Work (2011)
- Interview: We Christians are not of This World and Should Not Adapt to it. We Have One Duty: To Be Orthodox Christians (2015)
- Interview: "Learn to See Each Other" (2016)
- Interview: People Don't Fast Because They Don't Know the Meaning of Lent (2016)