Dear citizens of Russia,
A great sorrow has befallen our nation, our society – the death of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II. He was an outstanding religious figure and true spiritual leader, and he was also a great Citizen of Russia, a man whose destiny reflected all the great trials and upheavals that our country traversed in the twentieth century, a critical time in our country's history. He was a true pastor and an example of spiritual steadfastness and noble acts throughout his life. He was with his flock during the days of persecution and during the revival of faith.
He played a direct part in the Russian Orthodox Church’s revival and in the genuine affirmation of the principles of freedom of conscience and freedom of religion, and helped establish civil peace and concord in this multiethnic and multi-faith country that is Russia.
The Patriarch’s force of character has had a huge impact on Russian society’s spiritual life and moral state. He preached the unifying and universal values of humanism, goodness and compassion. He called for mutual respect, tolerance and trust between people of different faiths and traditions. He initiated dialogue between churches and peoples. Through his words and acts he wisely reconciled conflicting views and worked to unify the entire Russian nation.
Under his direction the Russian Orthodox Church became one of the country’s most influential institutions and engaged in fruitful cooperation with the state. The Moscow Patriarchate gained respect and authority not only in Russia but also in the international religious community.
From the moment he became Patriarch, Alexy II sought to mend the tragic split in the Russian Orthodox Church and return the Church to its fullness and greatness. That this reunification has taken place is to his enormous personal credit.
Selflessly shouldering his pastoral duties, the Holy Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia was conscious of his responsibilities not only before the Church but before the entire nation. We are all deeply grieve at his passing. This is a great loss for me personally too. We will always remember his spiritual assistance, wisdom and his endless devotion to his country and people.
We will always feel his support. May his memory live forever.