International Orthodox Christian News


Alexei II was born as Aleksey Ridiger in Tallinn on February 23rd 1929 into the family of a priest. Died on December 5th 2008 in Peredelkino, near Moscow.

In 1949 he graduated from Leningrad Theological Seminary and in 1953 – the Leningrad Theological Academy.

In April 1950 he was ordained a priest and appointed rector of the Theophany church in Johvi, Estonia.

1957-1959 – Fr.Alexius was appointed Rector of the Cathedral of the Dormition in Tallinn and Dean of the Tartu district.

In 1958 he was elevated to the rank of Archpriest.

1959-1961 – he was appointed Dean of the united Tartu-Viljandi deanery of the Tallinn diocese.

In March 1961 he was tonsured a monk in the Trinity Cathedral of the Trinity Lavra of St.Sergius.

In September 1961 he was chosen to be the Bishop of Tallinn and Estonia.

1961-1964 he was deputy chairman of the Foreign Relations Department in the Moscow Patriarchate.

In June 1964 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop of Tallinn and Estonia and became a permanent member of the Holy Synod.

1964-1986 – was in charge of Moscow Patriarchate and from 1965 – Chairman of the Training Committee under the Holy Synod.

In February 1968 Alexei was elevated to the rank of metropolitan.

1986-1990 Alexei II was Metropolitan of Novgorod and Leningrad. He was also chosen to manage the affairs of the Tallinn and Estonian diocese.

On June 7th 1990 he was chosen Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. The enthronement ceremony took place on June 10th 1990. Alexei became the 15th primate of the Russian Orthodox Church since Patriarchy was introduced in Russia in 1589.

From March 2004 he was co-Chairman of the Presidium of the CIS Religious Council.

Alexei was elected people’s deputy of the USSR.
He was chairman of the Public Council for the Restoration of the Cathedral of Christ Our Savior.
He was Doctor of Theology and member of the Russian Education Academy and the International Information Technology Academy.
Alexei II was a member of the World Council of Churches, the Conference of European Churches (1987-1992 – Chairman of the Presidium and the Advisory Committee of the Conference of European Churches).
Laureate of the State Prize of the Russian Federation for humanitarian work
He was awarded the Order of Red Banner, the Medal of Honor, two Orders of Friendship, the Orders for Merits to the Fatherland of the First and Second Categories, the Order of Apostle Andrew the First Called, the Order “Glory to Russia”, the Order of Peter the Great and the Gold Cross for Service to Society. And he was conferred with many other international awards, including the Dove of Peace Prize for relentless peace-making effort.
Alexei II was the author of more than 20 theological and church history articles, speeches and works.
Patriarch Alexius died at his residence in Peredelkino outside Moscow on December 5th 2008.



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