2008 News Archives

Passing of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia - Archbishop Demetrios Expresses Condolences to the Russian Church

New York – This morning, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America received the sad news of the passing of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. Archbishop Demetrios, who has known the late Patriarch for many years, had been with him in Moscow last May, and recently at the Synaxis of the Heads of the Autocephalous Churches in the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, said in his letter of condolence to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church:

On behalf of the Holy Eparchial Synod and the Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, I am offering our profound condolences on the falling asleep in the Lord of the most blessed Father of the Russian Orthodox Church, the deeply beloved and respected late Patriarch Alexy II. The passing of the Patriarch is a deeply felt wound not only for the pious Russian People, but for all Orthodox Christians who have admired his wise and pastoral stewardship of the Russian Orthodox Church during this most significant period of Her rebirth, after decades of very harsh times for Her.

Having learned that only yesterday the Patriarch served the Divine Liturgy for the Entrance of the Virgin Mary into the Temple, we take a measure of comfort from the knowledge that he is now within the Holy of Holies not-made-by-hands, and in the presence of the Theotokos and her Lord and Son.

Your Eminences and dearly beloved and respected brothers in the Lord, as you reflect on this incalculable loss, prepare to bid farewell to the beloved Patriarch Alexy II, and face the extraordinary task of electing his successor, please be assured of our prayers for you and all the pious Russian People. As we remember you in this time of national grief and mourning, we shall also offer our fervent supplications to God for him, that he may find the reward of “the faithful and wise steward” that he most surely was, and that he may rest in the blessed hope of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. May his memory, the memory of this exceptional leader of the Church, be eternal.

Archbishop Demetrios will attend a Memorial Service this evening at the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Moscow Patriarchate in New York City.

Orthodox Observer Online