Metropolitan Nikodim, secular name Boris Georgiyevich Rotov, died on Sept. 5th, 1978 during the reception of Pope John Paul I in Rome the death was ruled as heart attack.
A friend and ally of Pope John Paul I.
John Paul I called him “a real saint.”- Raymond and Lauretta Seabeck, The Smiling Pope, p. 64.
He was Archbishop of Leningradand Marxist leader of the Russian Church.
He played a large role in the ecumenical movement.
“He was the chairman of the Commission at the Holy Synod for the ecumenical questions. He strove for the establishing of the extensive foreign contacts of Russian Orthodox Church, he achieved the improvement of the cooperation with the Local Orthodox Churches. He was elected the member of Central Committee of the World Council of Churches after the Russian Orthodox Church was accepted in the World Council of Churches in 1961, in 1975 he was one of presidents of the World Council of Churches. From 1971 to 1978 he was the President of the Christian Peace Conference; from 1974 he was the Patriarch Exarch of West Europe. He was a Magister of Theology (1970) and a Doctor of Theology (1975).” – http://enclo.lenobl.ru/object/1803556112?lc=en
He also a KGB subversive agent code name ‘Adamant’. – Andrew, Christopher (2000). “The Penetration and Persecution of the Soviet Churches”.
“ Cardinal Willebrands led the Metropolitan into the Pope’s private study… A delegation of Orthodox clergy assembled outside the room awaiting an audience audience …The Pope poured two cups of coffee placing one in front the Russian. Nikodim brought the cup to his lips he found the coffee too hot. As he set it down, he fell back into his chair grasping his throat. John Paul felt briefly for signs of life, then opened the door which brought a Swiss Guard and others into the room… The archbishop had previously had heart attacks…” – September 6, 1978 L Osservatore Romano
There was never an autopsy performed by the Vatican or even when his body returned home.- Murder in the Vatican
By Lucien Gregoire pg 159
Father Miguel Arranz S.J.
Father Miguel Arranz S.J. was present during that meeting as translator.
On July 16, 2008 Father Miguel Arranz S.J., the well-known liturgics professor who taught at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, in Moscow and in St Petersburg, passed away. The funeral took place two days later, at the Jesuit chapel of the Vatican Curia in the Vatican.
He gave an interview to Stefania Falasca, he mentioned the events that took place on that day in front of the Pope, during the official reception of the Orthodox delegates who had come to congratulate him after his election and enthronement and, as already mentioned, the interview was published in the magazine «30 Days». Read it in full here.