01/26/2009, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Vote for new Moscow Patriarch set for tomorrow; three candidates running, Kirill favoured

Kliment of Kaluga and Filaret of Minsk are also in the race. Tomorrow’s election will include representatives of men and women religious as well as lay people from around the world.
Moscow (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Metropolitans Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk and Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk are the three candidates for the post of Patriarch of Moscow chosen yesterday by the Council of the Russian Orthodox Church.  Tomorrow an extended Episcopal Council will pick the new patriarch in replacement of Aleksij II who passed away last month.

Kirill appears to be favoured. In yesterday’s vote, the 62-year-old lieutenant of the Patriarchate won 97 votes against 32 for Kliment, who is 59, and 16 for Filaret, the 73-year-old head of the Byelorussian Orthodox Church.

The Episcopal Council has more than 200 members, including patriarchs and metropolitans.

Tomorrow the electoral college will include priests, men and women religious and lay people elected as representatives of the various regions where the Russian Orthodox Church is present.

Photo: the Moscow Patriarchate

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