2007-04-16 13:51:00

Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and All Russiaís greetings letter to Pope Benedict XVI on the occasion of his 80th birthday

Your Holiness,

I cordially greet you on the occasion of your 80th birthday.

On this solemn day of your jubilee, may I express my special admiration of your life that has wholly been dedicated to the church ministry. You were young when you were ordained and since then you have led a praiseworthy life culminating in your election to high and eminent position of the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church.

As a minister of the Church, you have long been a famous theologian fully dedicated to defending and affirming of traditional Christian values. What makes your position especially convincing is that you as a theologian are not merely a theoretically thinking scholar, but above all a sincere and deeply devoted Christian who speaks of the abundance of his heart (cf. Matthew 12.34).

I share many of the insights of your theological works and I would like to underline coinciding of our Churchesí views on most vital issues with which the modern world challenges Christianity. I am deeply persuaded that it should become a solid basis for good relations and mutually beneficial cooperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church.

I wholeheartedly wish you good health, many years of life, and Godís help in your high ministry.

Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia
April 16, 2007