Message of Patriarch Kirill regarding the Pope's resignation
To Your Holiness, Benedict XVI, Pope Emeritus of Rome
In these special days for you I would like to express feelings of brotherly (fraternal) love in Christ and respect. The decision to leave the office of the bishop of Rome, which you announced on February 11 this year with humbleness and simplicity, has found a warm response in the hearts of millions of Catholics.
We have always been close to your consistent position, which were uncompromising in matters of faith and unswerving adherence to the living tradition of the Church. At the time when the ideology of permissiveness and moral relativism tries to dislodge from life human moral values, you boldly raised your voice in defense of the evangelical ideals, high dignity of man and his call for freedom from sin.
I have warm memories of our meeting when you were elected Pope at the throne of the bishops of Rome. During your ministry, we received a positive impetus to the relations between our Churches, bearing more responsibility for modern world in witnessing Christ, Crucified and Resurrected. I sincerely hope that developed good relations between the Orthodox and the Catholics during your office, will continue to grow stronger with your successor. Please accept my sincere wishes for good health, long life and help from above in prayers and theological work.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace" (Romans 15:13).
With love in Christ
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA