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11 May, 2008 23:11

Russian Orthodox Church Abroad to elect new head

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia is preparing to elect a new spiritual leader, following the death of Metropolitan Laurus. The Church’s Synod of Bishops is meeting behind closed doors in New York, where the Church's new First Hierarch will be

Metropolitan Laurus passed away nearly two months ago.

Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand is favoured for the position.
Hilarion, First Deputy Head of the Synod of Bishops grew up in the same New York monastery with Metropolitan Laurus, and he says he's ready to take on the job.
“Our flock is spread out throughout different continents outside Russia, that's why this is a very accountable and challenging position,” he said.

The election takes place as the Russian Church, home and abroad, is once again united. The new First Hierarch’s position is not only focused on spiritual leadership but also reconciliation.

Metropolitan Laurus passed away less than one year after signing the Act of Canonical Communion with Alexy the Second, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia – a historic moment following an 80 year rift.