On 1 March 2013, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia sent a message to His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pontifex Emeritus
HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI
On these days so special for you, I would like to express to you my feelings of fraternal love in Christ and respect.
The decision you declared with such simplicity and humbleness on February 11 has found a lively response in the hearts of many Catholics.
We have always held dear your consistent position characterized by uncompromising stand in the questions of faith and commitment to the living church tradition. In an age when the ideology of all-permissiveness and moral relativism tries to force moral values out of people’s life, you boldly raised your voice in the defense of the Gospel’s ideal, the lofty dignity of human beings and their calling to freedom from sin.
It is with warmth that I remember our meetings before your election to the chair of Rome. In the years of your pontificate, a good development was given to relations between our Churches who bear a great responsibility for common witness to Crucified and Risen Christ in the modern world. I sincerely hope that good and confidential relations established with your active participation will develop under your successor.
Kindly accept my heartfelt wishes of good health, many years of life and God’s help in your life devoted to prayer and in your theological work.
“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace” (Rom. 15:13).
With love in the Lord,
PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA