Message by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the Funeral Service of the late Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow12. December 2008 - 20:15
"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 First Catholic-Orthodox Forum, organised by the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE) with the support of the Archdiocese of Trent and its Archbishop Mgr Luigi Bressan, is set to begin in Trent (Italy) on the afternoon of Thursday 11 December.
Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and CCEE President said, "It is also to honour the memory of His Holiness Alexis II that together with the Russian Orthodox Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria that we have decided to go ahead with this Catholic-Orthodox Forum in Trent".
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.
Message from Mr José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, to the Holy Synod of the Russian Church8. December 2008 - 8:55
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.