KIEV: March 17, 2008
His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine Sends His Condolences on the Repose of the First Hierarch
TO HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP HILARION OF SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND, CHIEF DEPUTY OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA
We learned with profound sadness of the death of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York.
The dearly departed was an eminent hierarch of the Church in the history of the Russian diaspora. As a person deeply rooted in church tradition and especially renowned for his great piety, he also had the gift of envisioning the paths along which the Church of Christ is to proceed.
In accordance with this vision, with humility and modesty, he achieved the great task of renewing the unity of the Russian Church Abroad with the Russian Orthodox Church. The reestablishment of canonical unity between the two Churches became an inspiring example for other Churches as well, where, unfortunately, divisions and schism still exist. For this reason, the work of the late Vladyka has great significance not only for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia but for Universal Orthodoxy as a whole.
On behalf of the Holy Synod, the episcopate, the clergy, the monastics and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, I express our condolences to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which has lost such an eminent archpastor. Let the Lord bring peace to his soul in the abode of the righteous.
With love in the Lord,
Vladimir, Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine
Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church