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Aleksy II, Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Dies at 79

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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 06:01 AM
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Aleksy II, Russian Orthodox Patriarch, Dies at 79
Source: New York Times

MOSCOW -- Aleksy II, the Russian Orthodox patriarch who led a revival of the church after the fall of Communism and built close ties to the Kremlin under Vladimir V. Putin, died Friday at his residence in Moscow, news agencies reported.

The patriarch was 79, and the church did not disclose the cause of death. He had long suffered from heart problems. .

Aleksy II was named patriarch in 1990, just before the end of the Soviet Union, ascending to the leadership of a church that had often suffered brutal discrimination under the officially atheistic Communists. Under Stalin, many priests were killed or sent to labor camps, and cathedrals were destroyed.

First under President Boris N. Yeltsin and then under Mr. Putin, Aleksy II significantly deepened the role of the church in everyday life --- erecting and restoring cathedrals, introducing Orthodox religious education in public schools and becoming a prominent voice on moral issues. While church attendance has remained low, growing numbers of Russians identify themselves as Russian Orthodox.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/06/world/europe/06patria...
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happyslug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-05-08 08:47 AM
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1. Last Patriarch appointed by the Politburo?
The patriarchy was vacant form the time of time of Peter the Great to 1943, when Stalin re-established the position (There was one Patriarch appointed in 1917 but he died in 1925 and no one was named his replacement till Stalin picked a new Patriarch in 1943):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriarch_of_Moscow

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Metropolitans_and_...
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