пятница, декабря 05, 2008

Born as Aleksey Ridiger,died as Patriarch Alexy II

The head of the Russian Orthodox church, Patriarch Alexy II (Born as Aleksey Ridiger), who played an influential role in denouncing the KGB coup against Michael Gorbachev, has died (79-year-old) outside Moscow on Friday.

As patriarch, Alexy II vigorously advocated the return of the Orthodox church to the centre of Russian life and spirituality. He oversaw a major religious revival in Russia, with hundreds of churches built or restored across the country.

He also denounced the coup plotters who tried to topple Gorbachev, the Soviet leader, in August 1991.

According to the British-based KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, Alexy worked for the KGB for over 40 years - and was mentioned in KGB archives under the codename Drozdov. The Moscow patriarchy has denied this claim - though Alexy II has himself acknowledged that under communism, bishops were forced to compromise with Soviet power.
Slide-show "Orthodox's rights" here... (Flash, sound)
(Patriarch Alexy II (right) in Belgrad, photo by Oleg Klimov)