New Orthodox leader elected by February

The National Council of the Russian Orthodox Church is to choose a successor to Patriarch Aleksy II early in the new year. Voting will start on January 27 and will last for three days, Russia’s Holy Synod has decided.

The newly-elected Patriarch will be enthroned on February 1, according to Metropolitan Kirill – Aleksy’s temporary replacement.

In keeping with the rules, the Assembly of Hierarchs will gather before the election, on January 25, to nominate candidates for the Patriarchal seat. 

The National Council is the highest body in the Russian Orthodox Church. It includes not only Bishops but also delegates from the clergy and ordinary laymen.

The last time it sat was in 1990.

Patriarch Aleksy II died on December 5 and was laid to rest in Epiphany Cathedral not far from Moscow’s centre, in accordance with his own will.