Voices from Russia

Monday, 17 March 2008

The Jewish and Muslim Communities Praise the Significant Contributions Made by Metropolitan Laurus to all Russians


Rav Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia

Rav Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia, said that the death of Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop of New York and Eastern America, is a great loss not only to Orthodox Christians, but also to all believers. “Our country is unique, as people of various religions have lived in friendship and accord for centuries. The joy of other traditional confessions is our joy, and their sorrow is our sorrow. Metropolitan Laurus was an authoritative cleric, who actively sought responses to the 21st century challenges to the flock of his church”, said a message of condolences the chief rabbi sent to Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias. Interfax-Religion received a copy of the message.

The Russian Jewish community “watched with great respect the efforts of Metropolitan Laurus to strengthen relations between Orthodox Christians”, Rav Lazar noted. “We saw the good fruit that his activity bore for all of us in our multinational and multiconfessional Russian motherland. It contributed to a greater mutual understanding between our peoples, a greater openness of our country to the outside world, and, at the same time, it showed all of us that believing people are capable of solving problems in a positive spirit, on the basis of love for neighbour”, he wrote. Rav Lazar expressed confidence in the fact that Metropolitan Laurus devoted his life “to the awakening of spirituality in the life of mankind and restoring unity in the life of our religious communities, and this effort shall not disappear fruitlessly, but, it shall be further developed”.


Mufti Ravil Gainutdin (1959- ), Chairman of the Russian Council of Muftis

The Russian Council of Muftis also sent its condolences to the Holy Synod, clergy, and faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). “The vigorous efforts of Vladyki Laurus helped to restore the canonical unity of the Orthodox Church in the motherland and abroad that was broken after the Red victory in the Civil War”, according to a statement of the Council of Muftis posted on its official website on Monday. “Metropolitan Laurus shall go into history as a great leader of the ROCOR, for he restored the unity of its flock with the Russian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Laurus did much for the unity of Orthodox believers, and all people, including the followers of Islam, shall remember him as a constructive and creative figure”.

17 March 2008



The Union of Orthodox Citizens Suggests Building a Church in Memory of Metropolitan Laurus and Naming a Street in His Honour

Metropolitan Laurus Škurla (1928-2008), Archbishop of New York and Eastern America, First Hierarch of the ROCOR


The Union of Orthodox Citizens (SPG) named the late Metropolitan Laurus Škurla, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) a “national hero of Russia”. “The unification of the Russian Orthodox Church was a great deed on the part of Vladyki Laurus, who achieved it despite diabolical resistance from opponents of the Church and Russia”, Kirill Frolov, the head of the SPG Moscow Department, told Interfax-Religion on Monday. “The fact that Metropolitan Laurus passed away on the day of the Triumph of Orthodoxy is the best proof that all of the aforesaid is correct. The unification of the Russian church is indeed a great triumph for Orthodoxy”, he said. “The merits of Vladyki Laurus are so great that we should name streets in our cities after him. We should also build a majestic cathedral in memory of this outstanding man and in honour of the unification of the Russian Orthodox Churches”, Mr Frolov advised. In his opinion, this memorial cathedral should be located at a significant site in Moscow, for example, at the proposed Moscow City business complex. The duty of every Orthodox believer is “to follow Metropolitan Laurus’ call for strengthening the unity of the Russian Church in the face of modern challenges”, Mr Frolov said. He remarked that Metropolitan Laurus began his service to the Church in Carpatho-Russia (in modern Slovakia), “a place where the people resisted many attempts over the centuries to deprive them of their religious and national self-consciousness. It is precisely from his Carpatho-Russian roots that he drew his strength in the faith, which allowed him to become the spiritual leader of the Russian emigration”.

17 March 2008



Patriarch Aleksei thinks that the Name of Metropolitan Laurus shall be an Eternal Part of Orthodox Church History


Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias thinks that the name of Metropolitan Laurus, who reposed yesterday in the USA, shall be an eternal part of the history of the Orthodox Church. “I think that Metropolitan Laurus has written his name down in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, and his memory shall be fresh from generation to generation”, the patriarch told journalists in Moscow on Monday after a service marking the 25th anniversary of the restoration of the St Daniil Monastery.

Patriarch Aleksei expressed his condolences in connection with the death of Metropolitan Laurus and said that the funeral of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR would be held in Jordanville NY on Friday. The Moscow Patriarchate shall send a delegation to the funeral led by Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov of Krutitsy and Kolomna. “During the next few days, we shall remember him in our prayers, and thank him for his contribution to the reconciliation of the ROCOR with the Moscow Patriarchate”, the patriarch said.

17 March 2008



President Putin Sent His Condolences on the Occasion of the Death of Metropolitan Laurus of the ROCOR


President Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin (centre) with Metropolitan Laurus (left) and Patriarch Aleksei (right) after the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion on 17 May 2007 at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow

The presidential press-service reported that President Vladimir Putin sent his condolences to Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias on the death of Metropolitan Laurus of New York and Eastern America, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR).

“Metropolitan Laurus spent more than half a century fulfilling the responsibilities of an Orthodox clergyman with selflessness and love. In recent years, the weight of his concerns increased immeasurably”. According to the president, the entire thrust of the activity of Metropolitan Laurus was directed towards the “spiritual and moral education of the Russian emigration, so as to encourage faithfulness to Orthodoxy and love for the motherland. Metropolitan Laurus played an outstanding role in the events leading to the reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the signing together with you of the Act of Canonical Communion. This historical deed will be forever remembered by our grateful descendents”, Mr Putin emphasised in his note of condolences. He also asked the patriarch to convey his sincere condolences to the clergy and parishioners of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The funeral of the metropolitan, who died on Sunday at the age of 80, is scheduled for Friday, 21 March. It shall be held at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville NY, and Vladyki Laurus shall be buried in a special cemetery next to the previous First Hierarchs of the ROCOR.

17 March 2008



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