|Patriarch Alexy II|
|Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia|
|Church||Russian Orthodox Church|
|Installed||10 June 1990|
|Term ended||5 December 2008|
|Predecessor||Patriarch Pimen I|
23 February 1929|
|Died||5 December 2008
Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia (Russian: Святе́йший Патриа́рх Моско́вский и всея́ Руси́ Алекси́й II) (23 February 1929 – 5 December 2008), (secular name Alexey Mikhailovich Ridiger Russian: Алексе́й Миха́йлович Ри́дигер) was the 15th Patriarch of Moscow and of All Russia and the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.
His name (secular Алексей, clerical Алексий) is transliterated from the Cyrillic alphabet into English in various forms, including Alexius, Aleksij, Aleksi, Aleksiy, Alexiy, Alexis, Alexei, Alexey, and Alexy. When he became a monk, his name was not changed, but his patron saint changed from Alexius of Rome to Alexius, Metropolitan of Moscow whose relics repose in the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow.
Alexey Mikhailovich Ridiger was born in Tallinn, Estonia. His father Mikhail Ridiger (1902–1962), born in Saint Petersburg, was a descendant of a Baltic German family. His ancestor Captain Heinrich Nicolaus (Nils) Rüdinger, the commander of a Swedish fortification in Dünamünde, Swedish Livonia, was knighted by Charles XI of Sweden in 1695. After Swedish Estonia and Swedish Livonia became part of the Russian Empire in the aftermath of the Great Northern War in the beginning of the 18th century, another forefather of Alexy II, Friedrich Wilhelm von Rüdiger (1780–1840), adopted Orthodox Christianity during the reign of Catherine II of Russia. From the marriage with Darya Fyodorovna Yerzhemsky was born the future Patriarch's great-grandfather, Yegor (Georgi) von Rüdiger (1811–1848).
After the Russian October Revolution in 1917, Alexey Ridiger's father Mikhail became a refugee and the family settled in Estonia, first in Haapsalu where a shelter was provided by priest Ralph von zur Mühlen. Later Mikhail moved to Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, where he met and married in 1926 Yelena Iosifovna Pisareva (1902–1959), who was born and later died there.
Alexey Ridiger's father graduated from the theological seminary in Tallinn in 1940 and was ordained a deacon and later a priest and served as the rector of the Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God in Tallinn. Later, he was a member and the chairman of the Diocesan Council in Estonia.
Patrilineal Family Tree
|Heinrich Nicolaus (Nils) von Rüdinger
|Peter von Rüdinger||Karl Magnus von Rüdinger
|Friedrich (Fjodor) Wilhelm von Rüdiger
|Yegor (Georgi) von Rüdiger
|Aleksandr von Rüdiger
|Aleksandr von Rüdiger
|Mikhail von Ridiger
|Christine Elisabeth von Wickede
|Elisabeth Wiesner||Charlotte Margarethe von Maltitz
(1758 – 1786)
|Darya Fjodorovna Jerzhembska||Margarita Feodorovna Gamburger||Yevgenia Germanovna Gizetti
|Aglaida Yulyevna von Baltz
|Jelena Iossifovna Pissareva
From his early childhood Alexey Ridiger served in the Orthodox Church under the guidance of his spiritual father: Archpriest Ioann Bogoyavlensky.
Alexey Ridiger attended the Russian secondary school in Tallinn.
From May to October 1946 Alexey Ridiger served as an altar boy in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Tallinn, from 1946 as psalm-reader in St.Simeon's Church and from 1947 in the Church of the Kazan Icon of the Mother of God in Tallinn.
On 15 April 1950, he was ordained a deacon by Metropolitan Gregory (Chukov) of Leningrad, and on 17 April 1950, he was ordained a priest and appointed rector of the Theophany church in city of Jõhvi, Estonia, in the Tallinn Diocese. On 15 July 1957, Fr. Alexiy was appointed Rector of the Cathedral of the Dormition in Tallinn and Dean of the Tartu district. He was elevated to the rank of Archpriest on 17 August 1958, and on 30 March 1959 he was appointed Dean of the united Tartu-Viljandi deanery of the Tallinn diocese. On 3 March 1961 he was tonsured a monk in the Trinity Cathedral of the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius.
On 14 August 1961, he was chosen to be the Orthodox Church Bishop of Tallinn and Estonia. On 23 June 1964, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop; and, on 25 February 1968, at the age of 39, metropolitan.
From 1986 until his election as Patriarch, he was Metropolitan of Novgorod and Leningrad. After the death of Patriarch Pimen I in 1990 Alexiy was chosen to become the new Patriarch of The Russian Orthodox Church. He was chosen on the basis of his administrative experience, and was considered "intelligent, energetic, hardworking, systematic, perceptive, and businesslike." He also "had a reputation as a conciliator, a person who could find common ground with various groups in the episcopate." Archbishop Chrysostom (Martyshkin) remarked "With his peaceful and tolerant disposition Patriarch Aleksi will be able to unite us all."
Patriarch Alexy II was "the first patriarch in Soviet history to be chosen without government pressure; candidates were nominated from the floor, and the election was conducted by secret ballot."
Upon taking on the role of Patriarch, Patriarch Alexy became a vocal advocate of the rights of the church, calling for the Soviet government to allow religious education in the state schools and for a “freedom of conscience” law. During the attempted coup in August 1991, he denounced the arrest of Mikhail Gorbachev, and anathematized the plotters. He publicly questioned the junta's legitimacy, called for restraint by the military, and demanded that Gorbachev be allowed to address the people. He issued a second appeal against violence and fratricide, which was amplified over loudspeakers to the troops outside the Russian "White House" half an hour before they attacked. Ultimately, the coup failed, which eventually resulted in the breakup of the Soviet Union.
In July 1998 Alexy II decided not to officiate in the Peter and Paul Cathedral of Saint Petersburg at the burial of the royal family murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918, a ceremony attended by President Boris Yeltsin, citing doubts about the authenticity of the remains.
Under his leadership, the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia who suffered under Communism were glorified, beginning with the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev, and Metropolitan Benjamin of Petrograd in 1992. In 2000, after much debate, the All-Russian Council glorified Tsar Nicholas II and his family (see Romanov sainthood), as well as many other New Martyrs. More names continue to be added to list of New Martyrs, after the Synodal Canonization Commission completes its investigation of each case.
Patriarch Alexy II repeatedly affirmed the traditional stand that the Orthodox Church has always taken and opposed the display of homosexuality in Russia, and in particular, opposed gay parades in Moscow and St. Petersburg. The Church, according to the Patriarch, "has invariably supported the institution of the family and condemns untraditional relations, seeing them as a vicious deviation from God-given human nature". He also said, "I am convinced that gays' desire to organize a parade in Moscow will not help strengthen the family as the foundation of a strong state". He also said that homosexuality is an illness and a distortion of the human personality like kleptomania.
Patriarch Alexy has also issued statements condemning anti-Semitism.
On 27 April 2007, he was reported by some Russian media to be in grave condition and even dead, though this was later shown to have been a hoax. Patriarch Alexiy has stated that the motivation behind these rumors were to scuttle the upcoming reconciliation between the Russian Church inside of Russia with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. "As you can see, I'm healthy, I'm serving, I'm alive," he is quoted as saying. Despite his age, he appeared healthy, and had been leading an active pastoral life. He was frequently seen on Russian TV, conducting Church services, and meeting with various government officials.
In February 2007 a controversy erupted when Diomid, Bishop of Chukotka, condemned the ROC's hierarchy and personally Patrirch Alexy II for ecumenism, supporting democracy and misguided loyalty to the Russian secular authorities. Bishop Diomid also took the position that taxpayer IDs, cell phones, passports, vaccination and globalisation were tools of the antichrist, and that the leaders of the Russian Orthodox Church have "departed from the purity of the Orthodoxal dogma" in its support of the Russian government and of democracy, as well as its ecumenism with other confessions. After a decision of the All-Russian Council, and Bishop Diomid's refusal to appear, he was defrockedin July 2008, 
Patriarch Alexiy died at his residence in Peredelkino, outside Moscow on 5 December 2008.
He married Vera Alekseeva, the daughter of a priest from Tallinn Georgi Alekseev, on 11 April 1950, on the Tuesday of Bright Week when marriages are normally prohibited according to Church tradition; however, permission was granted by Metropolitan Gregory of Leningrad, at the request of Bishop Roman of Tallinn and the fathers of both the bride and groom (both of whom were priests, and who concelebrated the marriage together). Moskovskie Novosti has alleged that according to a denunciation written by a priest-inspector Pariysky to the Leningrad Council of Religious Affairs, the marriage had been expedited in order for Ridiger to become a deacon and avoid being drafted into the Soviet Military (marriage is impossible after ordination in Orthodoxy). Up until 1950, seminarians were given a deferment from the draft, but in 1950 this was changed, and only clergy were exempt. For reasons which have remained private, they divorced less than a year later.
The Patriarch's private residence is located in the village of Lukino (near Peredelkino), now a western suburb of Moscow; it includes a 17th century church, a museum, and a spacious three-storey house built in the late 1990s. According to the Patriarch's May, 2005, interview, on the residence's compound there are nuns who are drawn from the Pühtitsa Convent who are in charge of all the household chores.
There is also a working residence in central Moscow—a 19th century town mansion, which was turned over to the Patriarchate by Stalin's order in September 1943. Both residences act as living quarters and Patriarch's office at the same time. He commuted in an armored car and was under the protection of federal agents (FSO) since January 2000.
The formal residence (infrequently used for some official functions) is located in the Moscow Danilov Monastery – a two-storey Soviet building erected in the 1980s.
Awards and honours
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2000 – Russia, the national Man of the Year prize and the Outstanding People of the 1990–2000 Decade.
Patriarch Alexy II was an honorary member of the Theological Academies in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Crete, Greece. Doctor of Theology honoris causa at the Theological Academy in Debrecen of the Reformed Church in Hungary; St. Vladimir's Seminary and St. Tikhon's Seminary an at the Alaska Pacific University, Anchorage in the USA; honorary professor by the Omsk State University and the Moscow State University , honorary Doctor of Philology by St. Petersburg University. Honorary Doctor of Theology by the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade. Honorary Doctor of Theology by the Tbilisi Theological Academy in Georgia. Golden Medal holder by the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of the Kosice University in Kosice, Slovakia and honorary member of the International Charity and Health Foundation.
Alleged work for the KGB
Patriarch Alexy II was alleged to have been a KGB agent according to multiple sources, including Gleb Yakunin and Yevgenia Albats, who both were given access to the KGB archives. He was mentioned in the KGB archives by the code name DROZDOV. It should be noted, however, that it was very unusual for any person to be referenced in KGB documents prior to 1980 without a code name, regardless of their affiliation with the KGB. It has been alleged that archival documents seen by Yevgenia Albats stated that Alexy was awarded an Honorary Citation by the KGB chairman in 1988. It has also been claimed, based on documents allegedly taken from the Estonian KGB archives that Alexy was a highly successful agent who "pacified" rebellious monks. According to Oleg Gordievsky, Alexy had been working for the KGB for forty years, and his case officer was Nikolai Patrushev. These claims are supported by the British-based Keston Institute.
The Moscow Patriarchate has, however, consistently denied that Patriarch Alexy was in fact a KGB Agent. Konstanin Kharchev, former chairman of Soviet Council on Religious Affairs, explained: "Not a single candidate for the office of bishop or any other high-ranking office, much less a member of Holy Synod, went through without confirmation by the Central Committee of the CPSU and the KGB". Professor Nathaniel Davis points out: "If the bishops wished to defend their people and survive in office, they had to collaborate to some degree with the KGB, with the commissioners of the Council for Religious Affairs, and with other party and governmental authorities."
Patriarch Alexy has, acknowledged that compromises were made with the Soviet government by bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate, himself included, and publicly repented of these compromises:
- "Defending one thing, it was necessary to give somewhere else. Were there any other organizations, or any other people among those who had to carry responsibility not only for themselves but for thousands of other fates, who in those years in the Soviet Union were not compelled to act likewise? Before those people, however, to whom the compromises, silence, forced passivity or expressions of loyalty permitted by the leaders of the church in those years caused pain, before these people, and not only before God, I ask forgiveness, understanding and prayers."
According to Nathaniel Davis, when asked by the Russian press about claims that he was a "compliant" bishop, "Aleksi defended his record, noting that while he was bishop of Tallinn in 1961, he resisted the communist authorities' efforts to make the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in the city a planetarium (which, in truth, they did do elsewhere in the Baltic states) and to convert the Pyukhtitsa Dormition nunnery to a rest home for miners." Official records show that the Tallinn diocese had a lower number of forced Church closings than was typical in the rest of the USSR during Patriarch Alexy's tenure as bishop there.  Timothy Ware notes, "Opinions differ over the past collaboration or otherwise between the Communist authorities, but on the whole he is thought to have shown firmness and independence in his dealings as a diocesan bishop with the Soviet State."
Death and burial
On 7 December 2008, Russia President Medvedev issued a decree which "enjoined" that on the day of the Patriarch's burial Russia's cultural establishments and broadcasters should cancel entertaining programmes and assistance be furnished to the Patrirchate on the part of the federal and city governments for organisation of the burial. However, the order did not amount to a formal national mourning.
On 9 December 2008, the Order for the Burial (funeral service) of the deceased Patriarch was presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, whereafter he was interred in the southern chapel of the Epiphany Cathedral at Elokhovo in Moscow.
During the service in the Christ the Saviour Cathedral, which was broadcast live by Russia's state TV channels, after Kathisma XVII had been chanted and Metropolitan Kirill set about proceeding towards the altar to do the incensing, he appeared to teeter and, being propped up by his subdeacons, was ushered into the sanctuary, whereafter he was absent for about an hour. Reuters reported: "Kirill was helped away by aides at one point and a Kremlin official said he had apparently fainted. The metropolitan later rejoined the funeral." The ROC official spokesman Vsevolod Chaplin lashed out at the news media that had reported the incident "incorrectly" saying that Kirill had not fainted, but did "feel unwell".
On 6 December 2008, the Holy Synod of the ROC elected Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad Locum Tenens of the Patriarchal See. Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna became a ruling bishop of the Moscow diocese, pursuant to the Statute of the ROC.
- "PATRIARCH ALEXY II OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA Biographical note". orthodox.ee. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- The spelling of the names here is transliteration from Russian in the Patriarch's official biography - АЛЕКСИЙ II Orthodox Encyclopaedia (2000)
- Veedla, Aarne (04.02.2003). "Patriarhi suguvõsa saladused" (in Estonian). ekspress.ee. Retrieved December 5, 2008. Check date values in:
- "Chronology" (in Estonian). Museum of Laanemaa. Retrieved December 5, 2008.
- ALEXY II, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA, BIOGRAPHICAL NOTE, Biography, on the Moscow Patriarchate Official website.
- Encyclopedia Britannica Online, s.v. Alexis II, http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9005644/Alexis-II 1/19/2008
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy, 2nd Edition.(Oxford: Westview Press, 2003),p 85.
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy, 2nd Edition.(Oxford: Westview Press, 2003),p 86.
- Zhurnal Moskovskoi Patriarkhii, No. 10 (October), 1990, p.16, quoted in Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy, 2nd Edition.(Oxford: Westview Press, 2003),p 284.
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy, 2nd Edition.(Oxford: Westview Press, 2003),p 96.
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy, 2nd Edition.(Oxford: Westview Press, 2003),p 97.
- Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, New Edition, (London: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 164, see also New Martyrs, Confessors, and Passion-Bearers of Russia
- Sophia Kishkovsky, Russian Orthodox Church is set to mend a bitter schism, International Herald Tribune, May 16, 2007; Second day of bishops' council: Nicholas' canonization approved, Communications Service, Department of External Church Relations, Moscow Patriarchate, August 14, 2000
- Maxim Massalitin,The New Martyrs Unify Us: Interview with Archpriest Georgy Mitrofanov, participant of the All-Diaspora Pastoral Conference in Nyack (December 8-12, 2003), Pravoslavie.ru, December 13, 2003
- "Interfax-Religion". Interfax-religion.com. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Castle, Stephen. "Patriarch Alexy of Russia assails gays in speech at Council of Europe - International Herald Tribune". Iht.com. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Updated, Last. "Gay people are ill, says Russian patriarch - Telegraph". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- Патриархия: Алексий II жив, здоров и вернется к исполнению обязанностей уже на майские праздники. NEWSru.com April 27, 2007.
- Патриарх между жизнью и смертью. Gazeta.ru April 27, 2007.
- MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE CONDEMNS MEDIA SPREADING RUMORS ON PATRIARCH'S HEALTH Interfax, May 1, 2007
- PATRIARCH ALEXY II PHILOSOPHIC ABOUT RUMORS OF HIS "DEATH" Interfax, May 1, 2007
- PATRIARCHAL PRESS SERVICE IDENTIFIES GUILTY IN SPREADING OF FALSE INFORMATION, Religiia v svetskom obshchestve, May 3, 2007
- WHO ORGANIZED THE PROVOCATIVE RUMORS ON EVE OF MAY 17?, "Postscript" TV program, May 12, 2007
- Russian Patriarch confounds rumors: 'I'm alive', Ecumenical New International, May 5, 2007
- "Russian church tells rebel bishop: repent or leave". Reuters. 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-12-09. Check date values in:
- "Controversial bishop defrocked in Russia's Far East". RIA Novosti. 2008-06-27]]accessdate=2008-12-10. Check date values in:
- "Unrestful congress". Lenta.ru. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-06-27. Check date values in:
|date=(help) (in Russian)
- "ОБРАЩЕНИЕ ко всем архипастырям, пастырям, клирикам, монашествующим и всем верным чадам Святой Православной Церкви". Retrieved 2008-06-27. (in Russian)
- "Епископ Диомид предал анафеме патриарха Алексия (дополненная версия)". Interfax. 2008-06-17. Retrieved 2008-12-09. Check date values in:
- Interfax News Agency, December 5, 2008
- Wife of the Patriarch, by Evgeniy Sidorenko, Moscow News, № 21 (2001-05-22)
- Евгений Сидоренко. Замужем за Патриархом Same article, but with the original photographs of the printed article.
- Интервью Святейшего Патриарха Алексия ежедневной газете «Газета». «Загородную резиденцию в полной мере ощущаю своим домом».
- Колода Российской Федерации. Коммерсантъ Власть. №44  10.11.2003.
- "Alexy II is awarded the highest Muslim Order". interfax. 04.07.2006. Retrieved December 7, 2008. Check date values in:
- "International Religious Freedom Report 2004". US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- "HIS HOLINESS PATRIARCH ALEXY II AWARDED". Russian Orthodox Church. 12.28.200. Retrieved December 7, 2008. Check date values in:
- "His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and all Russia". RUC Representation to the European Institutions. Retrieved December 7, 2008.
- Президент России
- Alexiy Ridiger, by Yakov Krotov
- Felix Corley (2008-12-08). "Patriarch Alexy II: Priest who stayed close to the Kremlin while guiding the Russian Orthodox Church into the post-Soviet era". The Independent. Retrieved December 6, 2008.
- Confirmed: Russian Patriarch Worked with KGB, Catholic World News, retrieved 29-12-2007
- Russian Patriarch "was KGB spy" The Guardian February 12, 1999
- Chekists in Cassocks: The Orthodox Church and the KGB – by Keith Armes, Demokratizatsiya
- The Russian Orthodox Church under Patriarch Aleksii II and the Russian State: An Unholy Alliance? – by Leslie L. McGann, Demokratizatsiya
- Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West, Gardners Books (2000), ISBN 0-14-028487-7
- Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia — Past, Present, and Future. 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5, page 46.
- Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy – Putin's Espionage Church, an excerpt from a forthcoming book, "Russian Americans: A New KGB Asset" by Konstantin Preobrazhenskiy
- The Wall Street Journal, 'Cold War Lingers At Russian Church In New Jersey' December 28, 2007
- The Putin System, video N4
- Patriarch Alexy II was KGB informer: Institute
- "Official spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchy Father Vsevolod Chaplin labeled such reports as "absolutely unsubstantiated" in a Wednesday interview with Interfax. "There is no data indicating that Patriarch Alexy II was an associate of the special services, and no classified documents bear his signature," he said. "I do not think that direct dialogue between the current patriarch and KGB took place," Father Vsevolod continued. However, "all bishops communicated with representatives of the council for religious matters in the Soviet government, which was inevitable, since any issue, even the most insignificant one, had to be resolved through this body. It is quite another matter that the council forwarded all its materials to the KGB," he said." Moscow Patriarchate Rejects Times Report of Alexy II'S Collaboration with KGB, Sept 20, 2000 (Interfax) "Chaplin, the church spokesman, said in March, "Nobody has ever seen a single real document that would confirm the patriarch used his contacts with Soviet authorities to make harm to the church or to any people in the church." Russia's Well-Connected Patriarch, Washington Post Foreign Service , 23 May 2002; "Father Chaplin said: 'In recent times many anonymous photocopies of all sorts of pieces of paper have been circulated. In none of them is there the slightest evidence that the individuals we are talking about knew that these documents were being drawn up, or gave their consent. So I don't think any reasonably authoritative clerical or secular commission could see these papers as proof of anything.'", Russian Patriarch 'was KGB spy', The Guardian (London) , February 12, 1999
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy,(Oxford: Westview Press, 1995),p .96 Davis quotes one bishop as saying: "Yes, we -- I, at least, and I say this first about myself -- I worked together with the KGB. I cooperated, I made signed statements, I had regular meetings, I made reports. I was given a pseudonym -- a code name as they say there... I knowingly cooperated with them -- but in such a way that I undeviatingly tried to maintain the position of my Church, and, yes, also to act as a patriot, insofar as I understood, in collaboration with these organs. I was never a stool pigeon, nor an informer."
- From an interview of Patriarch Alexy II, given to "Izvestia" No 137, June 10, 1991, entitled "Patriarch Alexy II: -- I Take upon Myself Responsibility for All that Happened", English translation from Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy,(Oxford: Westview Press, 1995),p 89. See also History of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, by St. John (Maximovich) of Shanghai and San Francisco, December 31, 2007
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy,(Oxford: Westview Press, 1995),p. 89f
- Nathaniel Davis, A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy,(Oxford: Westview Press, 1995), fn. 115, p. 272
- Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church, New Edition, (London: Penguin Books, 1997), p. 164
- (in Russian)"Russian Orthodox Church leader Alexy II dies - 2". Moscow: RIA Novosti. December 5, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- Указ Президента № 1729/2008 kremlin.ru
- (in Russian)Печаль без траура: Медведев велел ограничить развлекательные мероприятия в день похорон Алексия II NEWSru.com December 8, 2008.
- (in Russian)Патриарх Алексий завершил свой земной путь NEWSru.com December 9, 2008.
- "Russia bids farewell to patriarch". Moscow: BBC NEWS. December 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- "Russians bid farewell to Patriarch at grand funeral". Moscow: Reuters. December 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- (in Russian)"Упокоился с миром". Moscow: Gazeta.ru. December 9, 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-09.
- (in Russian). Moscow: Interfax. December 9, 2008 http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=27802. Retrieved 2008-12-09. Missing or empty
- Митрополит Кирилл избран временным главой Русской православной церкви Lenta.ru December 6, 2008 (in Russian)
- (in Russian)Местоблюстителем Патриаршего престола избран Митрополит Смоленский и Калининградский Кирилл December 6, 2008.
- (in Russian)Митрополит Смоленский и Калининградский Кирилл избран патриаршим местоблюстителем NEWSru.com December 6, 2008.
- (in Russian)Устав РПЦ, Гл. 4, п. 15, г)
- Выборы патриарха Interfax December 5, 2008 (in Russian)
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