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New bishop consecrated in Prague

Dr. Pavel Benedikt Stránský was consecrated as bishop of the Old Catholic Church of the Czech Republic in Prague on Saturday 1 April 2017. The consecration service took place at the Benedictine monastery church of Bøevnov, which is located close to Prague Castle. Also close by is the Old Catholic Cathedral of St. Lawrence, where Bishop Stránský was enthroned on Sunday 2 April.

The main consecrator at the festal service was Archbishop Dr. Joris Vercammen, who also preached. His co-consecrators were Bishop Dr. Heinz Lederleitner from Austria and Bishop Pierre Whalon from the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe. The other incumbent Old Catholic bishops also took part in the laying on of hands: Dr. Matthias Ring from Germany, Dr. Dick Schoon from the Netherlands, and Dr. Harald Rein from Switzerland. Bishop Dr. Wiktor Wysoczanski from Poland was unable to attend due to illness. Also in attendance were the Austrian bishops emeriti Bernhard Heitz and Dr. John Okoro, and the Anglican bishops Dr. Robert Innes (Diocese in Europe), W. Michie Klusmeyer (West Virginia, Representative of the Presiding Bishop to the Union of Utrecht), Michael Burrows (Cashel and Ossory, Ireland) and Jorge de Pina Cabral (Lusitanian Church of Portugal).

Among the guests were many ecumenical representatives and members of the general public.

The newly elected bishop was born in 1978, is married and has two children. Before being ordained bishop, he was a part-time parish priest and a full-time police commissioner. This was referred to in numerous interesting and amusing observations about the Church during the speeches after the consecration service. Dr. Stránský was elected bishop in spring 2016. The Old Catholic International Bishops’ Conference approved his election in June 2016 and unanimously voted in favour of his ordination. Its members wish Dr. Stránský every blessing in his new ministry.

Bishop Dr. Harald Rein, Secretary of the International Bishops’ Conference

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