Between 20 to 26 June 2013, Metropolitan Onufrie (Pop), Archbishop of Bergamo and Primate of the Autonomous Old Calendar Church of Italy, made a visit to the canonical Orthodox Vicariate General of Spain.
A Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Orthodox Christian Mission of the Assumption in Castellon, Spain. At the Divine Liturgy, Deacon Nicu Danaila Mladinov was ordained priest and made Secretary of the Vicariate in Spain.
At the conclusion of the liturgy, Fr. Nicolae Marius Constantin, vicar, and Fr. Claudiu Marius, missionary priest from the Christian Mission of Saints Constantine and Helena in the city of Valencia, Spain, received the Metropolitan’s highest honor – the Order of St. John the Baptist.
The Metropolitan’s visit further establishes the West European Church’s commitment to the lands of Western Europe to which the Milan Synod was originally assigned. Spain had always had a presence of the West European Dioceses of the Old Calendar Church of Greece until their assignment of autonomy by Archbishop Auxentios of Athens in 1984. With the Milan Synod’s destruction in 2011, Metropolitan Onufrie was assigned as First Hierarch of the Church in Western Europe, and given a restorative Tomos by Metropolitan John (Lobue) of New York in August 2012.