Voices from Russia

Saturday, 8 October 2011

8 October 2011. A Name to Know: Mark Anatolyevich Golovkov

Archbishop Mark Golovkov of Yegoryevsk (1964- ), the head of the MP Secretariat for Foreign Institutions, KMG’s “shadow DECR”… the REAL “power behind the throne” as far as external relations goes… Alfeyev’s only in the kiddie seat…



Archbishop Mark was born Sergei Anatolyevich Golovkov on 31 March 1964 in Perm (Perm OblastRSFSR) USSR. Ordained a bishop of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias on 14 January 2004, he was elevated to Archbishop on 1 February 2010; as a Vicar of the Diocese of Moscow, his title is Bishop of Yegoryevsk. Archbishop Mark heads the MP Secretariat for Foreign Institutions, and is temporarily the ordinary of the Diocese of Vienna, Austria, and Hungary. He’s the rector of Holy Life-giving Trinity parish in Khoroshyovo in Moscow (Khoroshyovo-Mnyovniki Raion. North-Western Okrug), and he’s the chief editor of Православный паломник (Orthodox Pilgrim).


Born in Perm, his father was a church choir member; he was one of a large family. He has three sisters and two brothers. His parents were believers; they brought up their children in the Christian faith. He did well at school, and he could’ve gone to any college or university. His heart was set on the priesthood, and, in 1981, he completed his secondary education. Mark did his compulsory military duty (serving in the Air Force) between 1982 and 1984. After completing this, he entered the Moscow Theological Seminary in 1984, graduating with distinction in 1988. In the same year, he passed into the Moscow Theological Academy; twice, he won patriarchal scholarships. On 19 October 1990, during his third year at the academy, he received monastic tonsure at the Academic Church of the Protection of the Holy Mother of God, taking the name Mark in honour of Apostle and Evangelist St Mark. Later on 21 November 1990, he received ordination as a hierodeacon, and became a hieromonk on 7 January 1991. After ordination to the priesthood, he taught Holy Scripture at the Moscow Theological Seminary. In 1992, he graduated from the Moscow Theological Academy, defending his thesis, Блаженный Диадох Фотикийский и его богословские и аскетические взгляды (Blessed Diadochos of Photiki and His Theological and Ascetic Views), at the Department of Early Church History.

On 12 August 1992, the MP Holy Synod assigned him as a member of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem. “I would’ve have stayed teaching, had Metropolitan Kirill, the Chairman of the DECR, not sent me to Jerusalem in August 1992”, Vladyki Mark said. From December 1992 to December 1999, Fr Mark was the second-in-charge of the MP Representation to the Local Church of Jerusalem and all Palestine. His duties were very extensive, he had to stay in touch with Israeli officials, as Fr Mark was the only member of the Mission who could speak Hebrew, he learned it whilst he was in the Holy Land, as there were many legal and financial matters in regards to not only Representation activities, but also the revival of large-scale pilgrimages. By 1993, pilgrimage to the Holy Land had increased greatly in scale, and much of the credit for this belongs to Fr Mark. He prepared pilgrims’ itineraries, arranged receptions with the Patriarch of Jerusalem, and trained guides; he ensured that every bus had a translator, and, sometimes, he had to secure drivers as well. For more than seven years, Fr Mark worked at this obedience. Incidentally, when he was in the Holy Land, with full Patriarchal approval, Fr Mark celebrated celebrity weddings. For instance, at the nuptials of Alla Pugachyova and Filipp Kirkorov, there was much TV coverage of the event. Archbishop Mark laughed and shrugged it off, “I only found out about [the coverage] when I went outside to the street”.

During the festal liturgy for Pentecost in 1997, Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias raised him to the rank of Igumen. He became a deputy chairman of the MP Department of External Church Relations on 28 December 1999, with responsibility of caring for the administrative and practical affairs of the DECR, carrying out practical cooperation with state institutions in Russia and other countries. A patriarchal ukase of 26 January 2000 appointed him rector of Holy Life-giving Trinity parish in Khoroshyovo in Moscow. On 3 May 2000, Metropolitan Kirill Gundyaev of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (at present, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias) elevated him to the rank of Archimandrite. On 26 December 2003, the Holy Synod named Mark Bishop of Yegoryevsk, a Vicar of the Diocese of Moscow. Mark’s ordination to the episcopate was on 14 January 2004 at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow; his chief consecrator was Patriarch Aleksei. On 31 March 2009, Mark became the head of the MP Secretariat for Foreign Institutions, and temporary ordinary of the Diocese of Vienna, Austria, and Hungary. Patriarch Kirill promoted Mark to Archbishop on 1 February 2010. Patriarch Kirill announced at the Diocesan Assembly in Moscow on 22 December 2010 that Vladyki Mark would oversee the parish churches in the North-Western Okrug of Moscow (Uspenskoe Deanery). On 22 March 2011, he became a member of the MP Supreme Ecclesiastical Council, and, on 26 April 2011, he won election as Deputy Chairman of the Conference of Orthodox Bishops in Austria.


  1. Order of Friendship (20 July 2011). “For his great contributions to the development of spiritual culture, and to the strengthening of friendship amongst peoples”.
  2. Order of St Sergei of Radonezh, 2nd Class
  3. Order of St Seraphim of Sarov, 2nd Class (2006)
  4. The Order of the Holy Sepulchre of the Local Church of Jerusalem and all Palestine

Editor’s Note:

There are two churchmen close to His Holiness… Fr Vsevolod Chaplin and Archbishop Mark Golovkov. Yet, there’s hardly anything in English on these two men. The SVS crowd, in particular, keeps a jealous hand on what’s translated into English, and ROCOR has turned cowardly as of late (especially see the indifferentist vapourings of Vassa Larina and Andrei Psaryov). They sit on news about figures who offend their Renovationist sensibilities (actually, they do their best to see to it that nothing’s said in English about them). I’ve done my best to translate the Russian Wikipedia articles on Fr Vsevolod and Archbishop Mark, and I’ve interpolated material from other sources.

Reflect on this… you can’t find “Vsevolod Chaplin” or “Mark Golovkov” easily (or at all) in the so-called “OrthoWiki”. Frankly, I only use it if there’s no other source. Like all Wikis, it’s user-edited, so, it’s dicey… OK for dates and attested events… tottery on anything controversial. If you can’t find influential and important figures like Fr Vsevolod or Archbishop Mark in OrthoWiki (which isn’t related to the main Wikipedia, by the way), it’s not surprising that they don’t have a whisper about up-and-comers like Yuri Maksimov. As an MP priest said to me, “It’s nothing but convert rubbish”.

You’ll find much in English on Hilarion Alfeyev and his SINGULAR pronouncements. The Church at large condemns Clement of Alexandria and his apocatastasis… but the Blunder goes ga-ga over it. The Church rejects Hilarion’s acceptance of papal supremacy and the Unia… he’s a loose cannon tolerated because he’s a channel to Western-leaning oligarchs. Once VVP settles their hash, we won’t need him any more… God willing, he’ll be gone… he’ll become another Isidor of Kiev.

There were Three Caballeros under Nikodim Rotov… Aleksei Rediger, Vladimir Sabodan, and Philaret Denisenko. One became a patriarch, another a king-maker, and the third spun off into heresy. There were Three Caballeros under Kirill Gundyaev as well… Vsevolod Chaplin, Hilarion Alfeyev, and Mark Golovkov. Aleksei was the quiet one… he became patriarch. Philaret was the flashy one… he spun off into heresy. Vladimir was the canny one… he “made kings” (he decided the two elections in 1990 and 2009). Vsevolod is the canny one… he’s going to step into Vladimir’s shoes… he’ll not be the “king”… but he’ll be the Prime Minister (a churchly Putin, if you will). Hilarion is going to spin off into heresy, maybe even become a Uniate (that wouldn’t surprise me… nor many others). As for Mark Anatolyevich… he’s our next patriarch, I believe… and I’m NOT alone in wanting that outcome…







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