Russian Orthodox Church head dies

December 5th, 2008 - 5:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Dec 5 (DPA) Alexi II, the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, died at his home Friday at the age of 79, the church reported.Alexi II was the head of the church in Russia since 1990. Born Alexei Ruediger, he had ethnic ties to Germany and the Baltic region.

While Alexi II had backed incremental moves to improve ties to the Catholic church, he had, until his death, opposed a visit to Russia by the Catholic pope, arguing that the Catholic church was trying to proselytize in Russia.

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