Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

My Photo
Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Alexy II - May he rest in peace

The patriarch of Moscow and All Russia has died. Alexy II has been head of what is arguably the largest of the Orthodox Church bodies since 1990.

One can google him and read all about him, good and bad. I had a roommate in seminary who was an exchange student from Moscow, who worked in the patriarch's office, and loved him dearly. That has always shaded my opinion of him to the positive!

He led the Church in Russia through a time of great transition in Russia, and we pray for her continued health in leading people to Jesus and to greater holiness.

The current and late bishop of Rome and Alexy certainly had their squabbles, especially since he felt the Roman Church was intruding into Russia (yes, the Orthodox and Romans have issues of bishops crossing boundaries too). But both pray/prayed for closer cooperation for the sake of the Gospel.

May he rest in peace.

With a recent transition from John Paul to Benedict in Rome, there was a lot of attention to how the College of Cardinals elect a pope. How is the new Patriarch chosen? (they don't have cardinals in the Orthodox Church).

According to the Kommersant, "Russia's Daily Online"
The preparation for the election is going to be implemented according to the following scheme. On December 10 a meeting of the Holy Synod will be held, where the date of the patriarch election will be determined. Not later than in half a year bishops' council meeting will be held, where nominees as well as the number of delegates will be announced. Then a meeting of the national council of bishops, priests, monks and laymen will follow, where electors will vote. The council’s quorum is not less than two thirds of delegates from bishops, representatives of clergy, monks and laymen.

Officially, church leaders refuse to comment on successors of Alexy II. “I consider that speculating about the name of the next Patriarch when Alexy II hasn’t been buried is immoral,” chief of the Moscow Patriarchate’s press service, priest Vladimir Vigilyansky, told Kommersant. “We set our hopes upon the Lord’s will. He will determine who will be the next Patriarch.” According to Vladimir Vigilyansky, any higher bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church may become the new church head. “A candidate must have the higher theological education and be over forty years old. In addition, he must be absolutely respected with local bishops and abroad. Thank God, there are a lot of such people in the church,” the cleric summed it up.