Patriarch Alexy II undergoing medical examination

Moscow's Patriarchy has confirmed that Alexis II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, was taken yesterday to the Central Clinical Hospital.

The Holy Father is undergoing medical examination, consulting medics and is communing with the people around him, said Protopope Vsevolod Chaplin, second in charge of the Moscow Patriarchy's Foreign Church Relations Department.

He emphasised the Patriarch's hospitalisation was not due to his flight from Astrakhan, in southern Russia, to Moscow.

The Russian Patriarch appeared to be in "ambulatory regime" in Astrakhan. Arrived in Astrakhan on October 26 for festivities dedicated to the 400th establishment anniversary of the Astrakhan diocese. The Patriarch was scheduled to fly back to Moscow on October 28. However, the Holy Father felt unwell and decided to extend his Astrakhan sojourn for one more day for a "short rest and treatment" and be back in the capital on October 29, said Vsevolod Chaplin.

When in Astrakhan, Alexis II suffered hypertonic crisis.

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