Memory Eternal!


His Holiness, Patriarch Alexei II of Moscow and of All Russia, fell asleep today in his home near Moscow.

He was elected as Patriarch in 1990 at the critical moment when the winds of freedom were at last blowing through the Orthodox Church in Russia. The nearly two decades since that event have been years of tumultous change in Russia and in the Orthodox world. There were no clear road maps for the task that was ahead.

In his time as Patriarch, he oversaw the healing of the schism between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, an occasion that is still quite fresh and promises much fruit in the future. Finding the right path for the Church in a secular but friendly state (which Americans think is obvious) is far more difficult than many in the West might imagine. Time will tell how well the past 18 years have been spent in that pursuit.

I will not forget that he has been a steadfast friend of the Orthodox Church in America and will offer prayers for the repose of his soul.

May his memory be eternal!


  1. “We join the hierarchy and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church in commending Patriarch Alexis to our heavenly Father’s eternal love, that he may be rewarded for his long and dedicated ministry to the Church he loved.”

    Cardinal Walter Kasper, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.

  2. “I will not forget that he has been a steadfast friend of the Orthodox Church in America”

    Was he? I am not doubting, I just really didn’t know much about him, other than he and Met. Laurus got the MP and ROCOR “back together.”

    May his memory be eternal.

  3. Indeed he was a steadfast friend. He spoke warmly of the OCA and always encouraged us in the gift of autocephaly. You should read the various news postings on the website.

  4. In 1993, my wife and I were privileged to see Patriarch Alexei II at Sergiyev Posad (Zagorsk) and to receive a drop or two of holy water. His role of transposition was more radical than it might seem: unchurched Russians were suddenly face-to-face with their millenium of Christian history and did not know what to make of it. With all due reverence, Alexei was the face of Christ for many who thought Jesus was mythology. Surely, the memory of Patriarch Alexei II will be eternal.

  5. Lewis,

    I know that many outside of Russia (particularly non-Orthodox Americans)underestimate the role he has played in the last 18 years. The American distortion of Russia (not that it does not have plenty of problems) has been a sadness for me and, I think, some lost opportunities in the world community. But that is another tale…

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