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MOSCOW: March 17, 2008
President Vladimir Putin Expresses His Condolences Over the Death of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad

President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation expressed his condolences over the death of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II, reports the government press service.

“Metropolitan Laurus fulfilled the duties of an Orthodox clergyman with selflessness and love for more than half a century. In his final years, the burden of his cares grew immeasurably,” states the President’s message.

In the words of President Putin, the multifaceted activities of Metropolitan Laurus were aimed at “the spiritual and moral education of the Russian emigration, the preservation within it of faithfulness to Orthodoxy and of love for the Fatherland.”

“Metropolitan Laurus played an eminent role in the work of preparing for the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church and the signing, together with you, of the Act of Canonical Communion. This historic event will remain forever in the memory of our grateful descendants,” states the message of consolation to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II.

The President asked that his earnest sympathies be related to the clergy and parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The funeral of Metropolitan Laurus, who died on Sunday at the age of 80, will be held on Friday, March 21.

Vladyka Laurus will be buried at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, the spiritual center of ROCOR and the resting place of the previous Primates of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.