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Father Vitaly Borovoy

Condolence letter to His Holiness Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

10 April 2008


His Holiness Alexy II
Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia

Geneva, 9 April 2008


Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ,
the Son of the father, in truth and love (2 Jn 1:3).

"With the saints give rest, o Christ, to the soul of your servant Protopresbyter Vitaly Borovoy
where there is no pain, nor sorrow, nor suffering, but life verlasting".

Through this prayer we join our many sisters and brothers in the Russian Orthodox Church for whom the late Father Vitaly Borovoy had been a spiritual father, a wise counselor, a professor, a mentor, a precious colleague, a trusted friend.

We also mourn the loss of a pioneer of inter-Christian dialogue. In difficult times for the Russian Orthodox Church and her people, Father Vitaly of blessed memory took courageous steps and played a leading role in the movement for Christian reconciliation and unity.

The World Council of Churches honours today the memory of Father Vitaly who served as Representative of the Russian Orthodox Church at the WCC (1962-66 and 1978-85), as member of the Faith and Order Commission and assistant director of the Secretariat for Faith and Order (1966-1972), as Deputy Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate (1985-1995).

We also remember with gratitude the role he played as observer at the Second Vatican Council, as one of the visionaries of the theological dialogue between the Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian (Eastern and Oriental Orthodox) churches, as the church historian who would read and interpret the signs of the times. Father Vitaly Borovoy generously shared with all his love for the Orthodox Church, theology, tradition and spirituality, his commitment to the Russian Orthodox Church and her people, his readiness to encounter and dialogue with all Christian sisters and brothers and all people of good will.

On behalf of the fellowship of churches constituting the World Council of Churches and on behalf of my colleagues here in Geneva, kindly accept our most sincere condolences and ensure Father Vitaly's family and his friends, his co-workers and his disciples, that we join them in prayer, expressing our deep gratitude to Christ, our common Lord, for the life and work of Father Vitaly Borovoy.

May the Lord of Resurrection and Life give him rest! May his memory be eternal!

Yours in our Risen Lord,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary