Russland: Metropolitan Vladimir (Kotlyarov) reposes in the Lord
On 19th January 2022 in his retirement the most senior hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church His Eminence metropolitan Vladimir (Kotlyarov) reposed in the Lord aged ninety-three. The reposed bishop’s life was full of many concerns, labours and achievements which he attained to the glory of the holy Orthodox faith. The church hierarchy many times entrusted metropolitan Vladimir with important obediences in the sphere of external church relations. In his time, in particular, he was destined to be the deputy head of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem, the representative of the Moscow Patriarchate to the World Council of Churches and the representative of the Patriarch of Moscow to the Patriarch of Antioch.
The youngest son of a large priest’s family, Vladimir followed in his father’s footsteps and upon graduating from the Dzhambul technical institute of statistics he joined the Moscow Theological Seminary. Upon successfully completing his studies, Vladimir returned to Kazakhstan and in August 1952 he became a psalm reader at the St. Nicholas Cathedral of Alma-Ata.
On 22nd May 1953 at the St. Nicholas Cathedral he was ordained to the diaconate by the archbishop of Alma-Ata Nicholas (Mogilevsky) and on 24th May of the same year to the priesthood and was retained at the cathedral.
In 1953 he joined the extra-mural studies department of the Leningrad Theological Academy and in September 1954 he was transferred to the daytime studies department, from which he graduated in 1958 with the degree of candidate of theology. From 1958 to 1962 he taught at the Leningrad Theological Schools. For five years Father Vladimir was also in charge of the domestic chapel, which was closed in 1961, of the metropolitan of Leningrad in the Holy Spirit building of the St. Alexander Nevsky Monastery.
In 1961 he was included in the first delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church at the session of the World Council of Church in New Delhi.
In 1961 he was tonsured a monk and appointed deputy head of the Russian Spiritual Mission in Jerusalem and elevated to the rank of archimandrite.
In October 1962 as an observer from the Moscow Patriarchate he was present at the sessions of the Second Vatican Council in Rome and on 29th November of the same year he was appointed representative of the Moscow Patriarchate to the World Council Churches in Geneva, by which time he had already been elected a bishop. Archimandrite Vladimir was consecrated bishop of Zvenigorod, an auxiliary of the Moscow diocese, on 30th December 1962.
In 1964 His Grace Vladimir was appointed to the see of Voronezh, and from February 1965 as bishop of Podolsk he was representative of the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia to the Patriarch of Antioch in Damascus.
On 19th November 1966 he became bishop of Kirov and Slobodskoi, and on 7th October he became bishop of Berlin and Central Europe and Patriarchal exarch to Central Europe; on 20th October 1967 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.
Over the years His Eminence Vladimir was put in charge of the diocese of Rostov, Irkutsk, Vladimir, Krasnodar and Pskov.
In 1992 archbishop Vladimir was elevated to the rank of metropolitan.
On 27th December 1995 he was put in charge of the diocese of St. Petersburg and became a permanent member of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. His Eminence Vladimir spoke of his arrival in the northern capital as a return thirty-three years later to the city he associated with becoming a priest. During his time in the St. Petersburg diocese metropolitan Vladimir managed, in particular, to maintain a stable and trustful dialogue with the city and regional authorities, good relations with public organizations, places of study and cultural centres.
The late bishop carried out all the obediences laid upon him by the church hierarchy in the various periods of life with characteristic diligence and responsibility, for which he was remembered fondly by the clergy and laity and all those who were fortunate to have encountered him.
May the Lord rest in the mansions of the righteous the soul of his faithful servant the newly-departed metropolitan Vladimir. (Quelle: www.mospat.ru, 21. Januar 2022)