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    Russian Orthodox Church to end election council Wednesday

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    MOSCOW, January 28 (RIA Novosti) - The Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church will complete its session ahead of time on Wednesday evening, the council said.

    The council had been expected to work until Thursday, but on the first day of its work it fulfilled its key task by electing Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad the new Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

    The Local Council, which is an assembly of bishops, priests, monks and laymen, gathered in Moscow on Tuesday to elect a successor to Patriarch Alexy II, who died in December at the age of 79 after leading the revival of the world's largest Orthodox church since 1990.

    The council session is taking place in the Christ the Savior Cathedral in central Moscow.

    The new Russian patriarch is expected to be enthroned on Sunday.

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