Biography of His Grace Bishop Ambrose (Peter Cantacuzene, Bishop of the Diocese of Geneva & Western Europe

    Bishop Ambrose was born in 1947 in Vevey, Switzerland. His father was Prince Peter Georgievich Cantacuzene, and his mother was Olga Alexievna, {Orlova). He studied classical philology and continued his studies in the juridical faculty at the University of Lausanne. In 1972, he was tonsured a reader at the church of the Great Martyr Barbara in Vevey. From 1968 to 1975, he taught French and Law at a secondary school. From 1975 to 1978, he was sacristan at the Elevation of the Cross Cathedral in Geneva, and received his theological education under the direction of Archbishop Antony (Bartoshevitch, +1993) of Geneva.

    In 1976 he was ordained to the diaconate and the priesthood, and served at the Geneva Cathedral. From 1978 to 1993 he was rector of the parish in Vevey, and served in numerous parishes of the Western European Diocese: Brussles, Meudon, Lyon, Bari, Rome, and Montpellier. In 1991 he was elevated to archpriest.

    On 24 August/06 September 1993, Fr. Peter was tonsured a monk and given the name Ambrose, after Saint Ambrose of Milan. On 13/26 September 1993, he was consecrated to the episcopate as Bishop of Vevey, Vicar of the Diocese of Geneva and Western Europe, responsible for the parishes in Switzerland and Italy. The consecration of Bishop Ambrose took place in the Geneva Cathedral, and was presided over by Metroplitan Vitaly (Ustinov), concelebrating with Archbishop Antony of Geneva, and Archbishop Mark (Arnst) of Berlin and Germany. This was the last Episcopal consecration that Archbishop Antony participated in, as he reposed three weeks later.

    In September of 1999, the Synod granted a leave of absence to Archbishop Seraphim (Dulgoff) of Brussels and Western Europe due to health concerns, and gave temporary administration of the parishes in the Diocese to Archbishop Seraphim's two Vicar. Bishop Ambrose was assigned oversight of the parishes in Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, Italy, and Switzerland.

    On 06/19 October 2000, the Bishop's Sobor accepted the petition for retirement of Archbishop Seraphim from his duties as ruling hierarch of the Western European Diocese. Given Bishop Ambrose experience, competence and sound pastoral judgement, hewas named to take over those duties, and given the title "of Geneva and Western Europe."

    Since taking over the Diocese, Vladika Ambrose has been active in negotiations with the city government of Bari, Italy, concerning their proposal to turn the church of Saint Nicholas there over to the Moscow Patriarchate.

M. Woerl
June 2002

"Khirotoniya Episkopa Veveiskago Amvrosiya"

"Kratkaya Biografia Episkopa Amvrosiya Veveiskago"
both articles from:
Pravoslavnaya Rus
No. 21 (1498)
01/14 November 1993
Jordanville, N.Y.

"Resolutions of the Hierearchical Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad of 01/14 December 1999"
Orthodox Life
No. 1, Jan.-Feb. 2000
Jordanville, N.Y.

"Resolutions of the Hierarchical Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad from 04/17 to 14/27
October 2000"
Orthodox Life
NO. 1, Jan.-Feb., 2001
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