01 May 2007, 16:39
Patriarch Alexy II philosophic about rumors of his 'death' - patriarchal circle
Moscow, May 1, Interfax - Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia
'treated philosophically' the rumors about his 'demise', Sergey
Kravets, director of the Orthodox Encyclopedia church research
center, told Interfax.
'I inform you that I am still alive', these were the words, according
to Kravets, with which the patriarch greeted him the day after
disturbing news appeared in some mass media.
Alexy II's first reaction to these rumors was 'a sincere astonishment
at the incompetence of some journalists', Kravets said adding that
'the patriarch began to wonder even more why the false report
continued to be replicated even after the official refutation'.
'Significantly, Patriarch Alexy, contrary to what has been reported
about him recently, has never undergone coronary artery bypass
grafting, nor has he survived an apparent death, though some wrote
there were even two of them. In other words, the only truth was that
the patriarch's name is Alexy', Kravets remarked.
He said on May 1 the patriarch, as was expected, would return to
Moscow and already on May 2 his rather tough schedule of divine
services and working meetings would begin.
He also shared his opinion that 'the mass media which put the
patriarch into an intensive therapy ward and hastened to 'bury' him
should apologize to the primate'.
Kravets described the rumors as 'absolute nonsense'. 'We will find
out if there was a malicious intent. But I would remind my colleagues
that they should learn to use the freedom of information they enjoy,
not to turn it into a phantom'.
In conclusion, Kravets noted that 'in popular belief, if a rumor
seeks to 'bury' a person, it means he will live a long life'.