|Wednesday, 21 August 2019|
The Hellenic Radio (ERA): News in English, 09-01-27
From: The Hellenic Radio (ERA) <www.ert.gr/>
 Kirill Elected Russia's New PatriarchNews
The Russian Orthodox Church, the world's second largest Christian one, elected Tuesday Metropolitan Kirill as its new leader. Succeeding the first Patriarch elected since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 Alexiy II, Kirill, 62, is seen as a modernizer. A Church official told the state-run television that the 700-strong Local Council, made up of senior clergy in purple and sky-blue mantles, black-cloaked monks and laymen, opted for Kirill over his main rival conservative Metropolitan Kliment, 59, who supervises the Church's internal management. The new Moscow Patriarch will be enthroned on Sunday 1 February.
The Russian Press commented on the election process, underlining the voting rights given to laymen, including several businessmen and state officials, thus proving the prestige of the Russian Church.
Born in Leningrad, now called St Petersburg, into a priest's family, Kirill was ordained a priest in 1969. He later served as rector of the Leningrad seminary, regarded as one of the one most open to the West.
Before his election as patriarch, Kirill headed the Church's department for external relations, the same role filled by Alexiy II before his election, and one which gave him significant exposure on Russian television.
News item: 18239