Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad (centre) is congratulated by members of the Russian Orthodox Church National Council in Christ the Saviour Cathedral, Moscow, after being elected as the new Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia on Tuesday.
He had the overwhelming support of the 700 priests, monks, and lay people who represented the Church’s dioceses and foreign missions. The 62-year-old, who was born in Leningrad (now St Petersburg), will be installed on Monday. He had been the Church’s head of external relations for nearly 20 years. Church leaders welcomed his election.
The general secretary of the World Council of Churches, Dr Samuel Kobia, said that Metropolitan Kirill had had been an active member of the WCC. His predecessor, Patriarch Alexi II, led the Church from 1990 until his death on 5 December last year