Message by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Funeral Service of the late Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow12. December 2008 - 21:15
"As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race ..." (2 Tim. 4.6-7)
Like a sharp arrow, the heart of the Orthodox Church worldwide was pierced in recent days by the announcement of the unexpected repose of the venerable Primate of our sister Autocephalous Church in Russia, our beloved brother and concelebrant Alexei. Therefore, we open our occasional farewell address with the timely words of the heavenly Apostle Paul to Timothy inasmuch as we are absolutely convinced of the unbroken continuity in the martyric confession, perpetual expression and dynamic faith that are manifest from time to time in virtuous individuals, who follow St. Paul's example in their life. Of course, there is never an absolute identification between St. Paul and these individuals. Nevertheless, we are able to draw this intimation because, in all places, indomitable fighters boldly bear the cross of the same "good fight," continuing in this way the same ministry and mission through the centuries.
The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church at its session on 10 December 2008 took decision on the dates of the Bishops' Council and the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church to elect Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
The Holy Synod resolved that The Bishops' Council will be held on 25-26 January 2009, and the Local Council on 27-29 January 2009.
On December 10, a session of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church chaired by the Patriarchal Locum Tenens Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad opens at the Patriarchal residence at St. Daniel's Monastery.
Taking part in the session are Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine; Metropolitan Vladimir of St Petersburg and Ladoga; Metropolitan Philaret of Minsk and Slutsk, Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus; Metropolitan Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna; Metropolitan Clement of Kaluga and Borovsk, Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Metropolitan Vladimir of Kishinev and All Moldova; Metropolitan Valentin of Orenburg and Buzuluk; Archbishop Alexander of Kostroma and Galich; Archbishop Tikhon pf Novosibirsk and Berdsk; Bishop Feofilakt of Bryansk and Sevsk; Bishop Stefan of Tura and Mozyr.
Mission Team Chicago, an organization promoting Orthodox missions, announced today that His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of SCOBA (Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, will speak at its benefit dinner at 6:30pm on Thursday, February 26, 2009.
The 12th annual dinner, benefiting the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC), will take place at The Carlisle in Lombard, Ill. The cost of admission is $75 per person. Reservations are now being accepted for tables of 10 ($600 per table). Table reservations after December 1, 2008, will be $750.
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.