Upon learning of the shocking terrorist attack on a Moscow theater during the fourth week of October 2002 and the tragic deaths of numerous hostages, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, sent a letter of condolence to His Holiness, Patriarch Aleksy II of Moscow and All Russia on behalf of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops and the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America.
The complete text of the letter reads as follows.
“Your Holiness, dear Brother and Concelebrant in the Lord:
“On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, as well as the clergy, monastics, and laity of our Church, I wish to express deep sympathy to the Russian Orthodox Church in connection with the hostage crisis in Moscow. We prayerfully join your Holy Church and all citizens of the Russian Federation in today’s observance of mourning for those who have tragically died. At the same time, we are relieved that so many of the hostages have been saved.
“In the United States the feeling of sympathy for the people of Russia at this time of tragedy and grief is certainly not limited to the members of the Orthodox Church in America, but is shared by Americans of all faiths. Our country has become familiar with terrorism since September 11th of last year and its citizens observe with alarm and concern the many increasing manifestations of terrorism and violence around the world.
“As Orthodox Christians we pray always for ‘the peace of the whole world,’ and we pray that the governments of the United States and Russia, as well as leaders of other nations, may act wisely and firmly in bringing terrorism to an end and in securing peace and reconciliation for all peoples.”
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada