H.E. Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad
Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations
Russian Orthodox Church
Geneva, 5 December 2008
"Among the spirits of the righteous perfected in faith, give rest, O Saviour, to the soul of Your servant Patriarch Alexy. Bestow upon it the blessed life which is from You, O loving Lord"
(Hymn from the Orthodox Memorial Service).
Meeting in Geneva for our regular encounter, we received the sad news of the passing away of the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Alexy II.
On behalf of the fellowship of the WCC, in deep sadness we join our voices to those of the Russian and worldwide Orthodox faithful and pray, together with them, for Patriarch Alexy II of blessed memory.
Message from Mr José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, to the Holy Synod of the Russian Church8. December 2008 - 9:55
It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of His Holiness Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow and of all Russia, and I would like - in my personal name and in the name of the European Commission - to send my condolences.
At its extraordinary session of 6 December 2008 the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church elected Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad the Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal Throne of the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Kirill will be the primate of the Moscow Patriarchate until the election of the new Patriarch, which will take place at the Local Council. The latter is due to be scheduled not earlier than 40 days and not later than 6 months after the death of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II.
Session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church will take place on December 6 to elect Patriarchal Locum Tenens who will chair the Memorial Commission. The Holy Synod will announce the time of the funeral of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy.
Patriarch was born as Aleksey Mihajlovich Ridiger in Tallinn,Estonia on February 23, 1929 into the family of Russian emigrants , and he is a descendant of German Baltic noble family ofvon Ridiger which adopted Orthodoxy in 18th century.