Patriarch Alexy II, who led the revival of Orthodoxy in the country after the demise of communism, died of heart failure at the age of 79 in December 2008. Kirill, Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, was chosen by the Holy Synod as interim patriarch.
The shortlist includes Metropolitans Kirill, Kliment and Filaret.
Senior members of the Russian Orthodox Church met at the Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow on Sunday to draw up the shortlist. A full Church Council, including lay people, will then gather on January 27-28 to elect one of the three candidates as Alexy II's successor.
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Image Galleries: Removing Protesters’ Barricades in Kiev
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Some people are trying to make the reality in Russia at least a bit more humane. The amnesty should apply not only to persons involved in high-profile cases, but also to individuals who are not as well-known. It is better to set free at least some of the individuals who deserve to be released than no one at all.