Patriarchal Locum Tenens emphasizes the positive significance of the primatial service rendered by the late Patriarch Alexy

Speaking at the opening of the Bishops’ Council of the Russian Orthodox Church on 25 January 2009, the Patriarchal Locum Tenens, Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, reminded the assembly that only a half year had passed since the previous Bishops’ Council. ‘And now we have again assembled in the Church Councils Hall of the Church of Christ the Saviour. This magnificent church has risen from non-existence through the will and efforts of Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russia of the blessed memory’, His Eminence Kirill said, pointing out that thousands of churches and hundreds of monasteries arose from ruins during nearly twenty years of the ardent service rendered by the late Primate.

‘But is it to be credited to His Holiness alone?’ the Patriarchal Locum Tenens continued, ‘After decades of the domination of state atheism, church life in all its aspects has been reviving and developing. Sunday schools and Orthodox orphanages have been established; clergy have been given an opportunity for serving in military units, to bring the Good News to prisoners and to participate in public life. Orthodox people have set up nursing services, social and charitable structures… The word of Russian Orthodoxy has been implanted in many, for it is powerfully voiced through books, television and radio programs and church-public forums. We have done all these good works together with the clergy and the faithful upon the blessing of His Holiness’.

‘The 15th Patriarch of the Russian Church was known and loved not only within its fold. The high authority that our Church enjoys throughout the church is associated in many ways with the name of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy’, His Eminence Kirill pointed out.

He testified that in the December days when Moscow and the whole world paid last respect to the late Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church, people came to the Church of Christ the Saviour, where he lied ay in state, in an endless flow, day and night. They were not prevented either by the bad weather or the long hours of standing in line. ‘And recalling those days, we cannot but realize the greatness of the task we face – to be worthy of the memory of this great luminary of the Russian Church’, he emphasized.

The Council members sang ‘Eternal Memory’ to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy of the blessed memory.