Fico Attends Consecration of Slovak Wooden Church in Iceland

Capuchin bishop David Bartimej Tencer with nuns in front of the wooden church from Slovakia in eastern Iceland. (Photo by TASR)

Reydarfjordur/Bratislava, June 17 (TASR correspondent) – Catholic bishop of Slovak origin Capuchin David Bartimej Tencer consecrated a unique wooden church in the Icelandic town of Reydarfjordur on Saturday, with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak and Finance Minister Peter Kazimir in attendance.

The wooden church is in the shape of the San Damiano Cross and is 16 metres long and 12 metres wide. It was made in the Slovak town of Hrinova (Banska Bystrica region) out of wood from the Podpolanie area. It was subsequently dismantled and transported to Iceland. The church is unique in Iceland, as wood is very precious on the rocky island.

Tencer, despite his nationality, is the bishop of Reykjavik and the top representative of the Catholic Church in Iceland. The local parish in Reydarfjordur is administered by a community of three Capuchin brothers from Slovakia led by Peter Kovacik.

“We had a very strong reason to stay here one day longer after Friday’s (June 16) working meeting with Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson. The reason is that a Slovak bishop has been working in Iceland, taking care of local Catholics. He’s made enormous efforts to build a wooden church for a small Catholic community that represents around 3.5-4 percent of the Icelandic population,” said Fico following the consecration ceremony.

“Following communications with the bishop, we’ve helped somewhat via the Slovak Catholic Church. So, I’m happy that such a piece of Slovakia from Hrinova, including the bishop, who is also from Slovakia, is representing our country in Iceland,” stated Fico.