JORDANVILLE: September 26, 2006
Statement by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus

Bowing before the will of God, we, the archpastors, pastors and flock of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, sadly report the repose of Metropolitan Vitaly (Oustinov), which occurred on September 12/25, 2006, at around midday.

Vladyka Metropolitan Vitaly, living in retirement, to our great sorrow—and one cannot say of his own will but of the will of those around him—separated himself from us. Despite that, we commemorated him in our churches as one who was ailing. And now, when his soul is in need of our prayers, we call upon our pastors and flock to pray for the peace of his soul.

During World War II, as a hieromonk and then archimandrite, Fr Vitaly saved the lives of a great many people, helped deliver them from horrifying repatriation and consequent misfortunes and suffering.

We cannot forget that Vladyka Metropolitan labored for the good of our Holy Church. In his youth, he joined the monastery in Ladomirovo in the Carpathians. There he typeset Church Slavonic service books. Then, after the war, he became a bishop and published spiritually-educational material.

Vladyka was an archpastor in South America, in Brazil, and in Canada. He was the fourth First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, from 1986 to 2001.

Our parishes are hereby instructed to commemorate the newly-departed Metropolitan Vitaly, and to conduct pannikhidas on the third, ninth and fortieth days.

+ Laurus,

Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierach of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

September 12/25, 2006