The Russian Orthodox Church chose Metropolitan Kirill as an interim leader on Saturday after the death of Patriarch Alexiy II, a move that could open the way for more cooperation with Catholics.
Kirill, the Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, is an articulate public speaker and heads the Church's department for external relations. Most Russians see him as the public face of the Church, frequently appearing on television.
A group of 12 senior clergy, the ruling body known as the Holy Synod, selected Kirill by secret ballot at the patriarchal residence in the village of Peredelkino outside Moscow...
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