January 27, Interfax – The delegates to the Church Council meeting under way in Moscow have elected Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad the 16th Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia. Metropolitan Kirill garnered 508 (72%) out of the 702 votes during the election on Tuesday.
To be elected Patriarch, a candidate had to be supported by more than half of the delegates. Another 169 votes (24%) went to Metropolitan Kliment of Kaluga and Borovsk.
Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and Slutsk, who was also nominated for Patriarch by the Bishops’ Council several days ago, had withdrawn from the elections in favor of Metropolitan Kirill about two hours before the voting.
Out of the 702 ballots given out to the delegates for voting, 700 were retrieved from the ballot box, and 677 of them were found valid and the other 23 invalid.
Metropolitan Isidor of Yekaterinodar and Kuban, the head of the tabulation board, proclaimed the result of the voting from the ambo of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior.
The belfry of the Cathedral of Christ the Savior announced the election of the 16th patriarch of Moscow and All Russia by a peal of bells. The Czars’ Bell started tolling first, and then all the other bells played a historic melody dating back to the 17th century. The Reut, one of the oldest bells in the Kremlin, also started chiming immediately after the voting result was announced.