On Tuesday February 2, 2021, our brother Friar Martin KMETEC was ordained the Archbishop of Izmir (Smyrna) Turkey and will perform pastoral ministry in that Archdiocese. He succeeds the Most Reverend Lorenzo PIRETTO (Dominican) who had held the office since 2015.
The ceremony was held in the Church of St. Mary in Izmir. The principal consecrant was the Most Reverend Paul Fitzpatrick RUSSELL, the Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey. He was assisted by Archbishop Lorenzo PIRETTO and the Most Reverend Ramzi GARMOU, the Chaldean Archbishop of Diyarbakir, Turkey. Others present included the Metropolitan of Smyrna of the Greek Orthodox Church, Bartholomew SAMARAS; the Auxiliary Bishop of Moscow, Nikolai DUBININ, OFM Conv.; representatives of the Patriarch of the Armenian Apostolic Church (Catholic Armenians); and representative from other churches, as well.
Our Order was represented by the Assistant General for the Foederatio Europae Mediae et Orientalis (FEMO) Friar Tomáš LESŇÁK. Some of our confreres working in Turkey were present along with Friar Igor SALMIČ, the Minister Provincial of the Province of St. Joseph in Slovenia and Friar Anton BULAI, the Provincial Custos of the Orient and the Holy Land. During the celebration, Friar Anton held the book of the Gospels over the consecrated bishop.
Others attending included various priests from Izmir, Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya, Iskenderun, Samsun, and Trabzon. There were clergy present from several European countries (Slovenia, Poland, Slovakia, etc.) who filled a significant portion of the church.
A number of guest dignitaries attended as well, including Slovenia’s Ambassador to Turkey, Primož ŠELIGO; Paraguay’s Ambassador to Turkey, Ceferino Adrian VALDEZ PERALTA; a number of other consuls; representatives of the Municipality of Izmir; and other representatives from cultural and educational institutions in the city.
Grateful for the gift of our brother who has worked for more than thirty years in the Near East, we offer him our prayers as he begins this new mission.
Friar Lucian ABALINTOAIEI