Russian Orthodox leader of UK and Ireland dies

 His Eminence, Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh, died peacefully at the age of 89, on Monday, the Diocese of Sourozh of the Russian Orthodox Church has announced. The Diocese said in a statdement: 'Metropolitan Anthony served the Russian Orthodox Church in the UK and Ireland for more than fifty years, earning the respect and affection of many thousands of people throughout the world for his deep humanity and tireless witness to the Gospel of Christ. May his memory be eternal!' Special prayers for the repose of his soul take place in the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition and All Saints, 67 Ennismore Gardens, London SW7 1NH, at 12.30 pm and 6.30 pm each day, except Saturday evening and Sunday morning. Arrangements for the funeral of Metropolitan Anthony are now being made and will be posted on the diocesan website Paying tribute to Metropolitan Anthony, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster said: "I was deeply saddened to hear of the death of Metropolitan Anthony. He was a man of deep prayer and great spirituality who guided and influenced many Christians within and beyond these islands. " I would like to extend my sympathy and condolence to all the clergy and people of the Russian Orthodox Church in Great Britain. They can be assured of the prayers of the Catholic community in England and Wales at this time of great sadness." The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, said: "It is with great sadness that I learnt this morning of the death of His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. Metropolitan Anthony was a dearly loved and respected teacher, pastor and bishop, whose wisdom and spirituality touched the lives of countless people within and beyond the Russian Orthodox Church. "Metropolitan Anthony has made an immense contribution to the Christian life of this country over fifty years, and the whole Church is richer for his teaching and ministry. I was deeply moved that he was able to be present for a dinner at Lambeth Palace two months ago, at which I and others were able to express some small part of our thanks for all he had given to us in the Anglican Church by his life and teaching. I send my prayers and condolences to Bishop Basil, Archbishop Anatoly, and the Diocese of Sourozh." Source: ANS/Archbishops House

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