Sunday, November 23, 2014

Michail Dandár elected archbishop of Czech Lands

Prague, Nov. 23 (ČTK) — Michail Dandár was elected new Prague archbishop of the Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands, and his election ended the personnel disputes in the church, the Prague eparchy (diocese) office told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) today.

The personnel disputes started after Bishop Kryštof was forced to step down as Prague archbishop and head of the church in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in April 2013.

The Church leadership then installed Archbishop Jachým in the top post, but a large part of the Church members did not recognize him as their legitimate head. They said he was not elected in accordance with the Church rules.

This opinion was shared by Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the head of the world Orthodox Church. Jachým's critics say the departure of Kryštof was masterminded by a group of Czech priests supported by the Moscow-seated patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

The election held Nov. 22 was allegedly an attempt to confirm Jachým in the post of Prague archbishop.

According to ČTK’s sources, Jachým did not advance to the second round of the secret election, in which Marek Krupica and Dandár competed for the post.

Neither Krupica nor Dandár won the required two-thirds majority in the secret vote. Finally, a new vote followed, this time not secret, and Dandár won 78 percent of the vote.

A source within the church said fear of attachment to the Russian Orthodox Church has increased with Dandár's election. Dandár is said to come from the German eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Amid the personnel dispute, Czech Orthodox believers applied for the registration of a new Czech Orthodox Church.

A few days ago, the Czech Culture Ministry suspended the distribution of the financial compensation to the Orthodox Church as part of church restitution due to current internal disputes.

As a result, the 40 million Kč the Orthodox Church should receive in January might end up in judicial or notarial deposit.

"I have done what was needed to prevent a possible abuse of the money," Culture Minister Daniel Herman (Christian Democrats, KDU-ČSL) said.


  1. I have profound yet guarded respect for the Ecumenical Patriarch, and quotes like this make me uncomfortable:
    "...Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, the head of the world Orthodox Church."

    Of course, he is the universal primate in the Orthodox Church, i.e., "first among equals", but clearly not in the same sense as a primate of an autocephalous Church functions as its first hierarch, and certainly not like the Roman Catholic Pope. Quotes like this are confusing & misleading, in my view.

    I haven't been following this so does anyone know if the decision to vote on a widely recognized bishop of Prague was an internal choice that the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands & Slovakia made on its own, or was it "forced" externally by Constantinople or Moscow?

  2. I am not sure what this is all about. But it is my understanding that the Archbishop of Prague is under the authority of the primate The Archbishop of Presov who is the Metropolitan of the Czech and Slovak Church. That part hasn't changed. So is this a compromise?

  3. If the maneuvering behind all of this was to reduce Muscovite influence in Czechia, then it failed rather badly - Bishop-elect Michal, although Czech-speaking and born in Slovakia, was educated in the USSR and has long served in the Eparchy of Berlin of the Moscow Patriarchate.