Russian Orthodox Church to pick leader in January - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Russian Orthodox Church to pick leader in January

MOSCOW (AP) - Russian Orthodox Church will pick a new patriarch in January to replace the longtime leader who died last week.

The church says a council will chose the new leader at a meeting to be held Jan. 27-29.       Russian news agencies quote temporary leader Metropolitan Kirill as saying Wednesday that the new patriarch would be installed on Feb. 1. Kirill is seen as a likely candidate.

Patriarch Alexy II died Friday at age 79 after serving 18 years as the head of Russia's dominant church.

Alexy is credited with guiding the Russian Orthodox Church through a major revival after the officially atheist Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. He was buried Tuesday after a funeral attended by Russia's political leaders.            

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