MINSK, 13 January (BelTA) - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent condolences on the death of Metropolitan Filaret, Honorary Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus. The text has been posted on the website of the Russian Orthodox Church, BelTA has learned.
"It was with great sorrow that I learned the news of the death of one of the outstanding hierarchs - Metropolitan Filaret, Honorary Patriarch of All Belarus (secular name Kirill Vakhromeev). This is a truly great loss not only for believers of Belarus but also for our entire church," the message reads.
Patriarch Kirill noted Metropolitan Filaret's significant contribution to strengthening the fraternal ties between local Orthodox churches and developing the interfaith dialogue. “Performing various responsible duties in Europe, being the chairman of the external relations department of the Moscow Patriarchate, he served with great diligence and earned sincere love and respect of many people outside his country,” Patriarch Kirill said.
For a long time Filaret had led the Minsk Metropolitan See. The years of his archpastoral work in Belarus were marked by the comprehensive revival of church life, restoration and construction of new temples and monasteries, development of theological education and educational activities. “Aiming to shepherd the flock of God not under compulsion but willingly, not domineering over those in his charge, but being examples to the flock (1 Peter. 5:2-3), Metropolitan Filaret worked with apostolic zeal to show the beauty and truth of Orthodoxy to the neighbors and beyond, contributed to the peace and civil harmony in the Belarusian land,” Patriarch Kirill added.
Metropolitan Filaret was hospitalized with a disease linked to the coronavirus on 16 December 2020. He passed away in hospital on 12 January 2021.