First episcopal consecration in Estonia in over 30 years

Tallinn, Estonia, February 5, 2024

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Yesterday, Sunday, February 4, a new vicar bishop was consecrated for the Tallinn Diocese of the Estonian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, marking the Church’s first episcopal consecration on the territory of Estonia in over 30 years.

The last such consecration took place 34 years ago when His Eminence Metropolitan Cornelius of Tallinn was consecrated there, the Estonian Church reports.

Archimandrite Daniel (Lepisk) was elected as Bishop of Tartu, vicar of the Tallinn Diocese by the Estonian Synod on January 29 and approved by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on February 3.

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His formal liturgical nomination was held that same night in the St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn. In his speech, Fr. Daniel noted that his religious life began at Estonia’s Pukhtitsa Monastery—a monastery originally under the guidance of St. John of Kronstadt, which was never closed during Soviet times. In 1993, he enrolled in the Moscow Theological Seminary with the blessing of Elder John (Krestiankin).

The next morning, Fr. Daniel was consecrated to the episcopacy by His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Tallinn, His Grace Bishop Lazar of Narva, His Grace Bishop Sergei of Maardu of the Estonian Church, and His Eminence Metropolitan of Vilnius and his vicar His Grace Bishop Ambrose of Trakai.

At the end of the Liturgy, Met. Evgeny addressed the newly consecrated Bp. Daniel with a hierarchical word and handed him his bishop’s staff.

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The consecration of a vicar for the Tallinn Diocese takes place against the background of Met. Evgeny’s impending departure from Estonia after the state, deeming him a threat to national security, decided not to extend his residence permit, which expires tomorrow. Met. Evgeny, the Holy Synod, and the Council (hierarchs, clergy, lay representatives) of the Estonian Church have petitioned the state to extend his permit and allow him to stay.

In August, the Latvian Orthodox Church celebrated its first episcopal consecration in Riga in 80 years.

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