Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow
His Holiness Patriarch Alexei II (Ridiger) of Moscow (born February 23, 1929) is the current Patriarch of Moscow and the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. He was born as Alexey Mikhailovich Ridiger in Tallinn, Estonia, to the family of a priest. He graduated from Leningrad clerical seminary in 1949; was ordained deacon in 1950; graduated from Leningrad clerical academy in 1953. On August 14, 1961, he was chosen to be the Bishop of Tallinn and Estonia. On June 23, 1964, he was promoted to archbishop; and, on February 25, 1968, at the age of 39 - to metropolitan. After the death of Patriarch Pimen I in 1990 Alexei was chosen to become the new head of Russian Orthodox Church.
Despite his age, Patriarch Alexei II is quite healthy and leads an active political life. He is frequently seen on Russian TV, meeting with politicians and expressing opinions that are usually in line with political opinions of the President of Russia.
His name (secular