ALEXIUS II: THE MESSAGE OF THE POPE

A "relentless minister" of the Lord, our companion in the "common commitment in the path to mutual understanding and collaboration between Catholics and Orthodox". Thus, Benedict XVI defined Alexius II in the telegram of condolence sent to the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, to which the Pope expressed "fraternal affection" as well as "spiritual solidarity at this time of great sadness". "Thinking of our common commitment in the path to mutual understanding and collaboration between Orthodox and Catholics – wrote the Holy Father, – I am pleased to recall the efforts which the deceased Patriarch made for the new birth of the Church, after its tough ideological oppression, causing the martyrdom of so many witnesses of the Christian faith". As for Alexius II, the Pope also recalled "his fair struggle to defend human and evangelical values. In particular, Alexius II carried on this struggle in the European Continent, hoping for his commitment to produce fruits of peace as well as real, human, social and spiritual progress". "In the painful hour of farewell, while his mortal body is entrusted to the land, waiting for resurrection – it was the final prayer of the Pope, – may the memory of this server of the Gospel of Christ support all the people who are now suffering, and may it encourage all the people who will follow him in guiding the venerable Russian Orthodox Church". ” “

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