2005-08-11 12:42:00

Russian Orthodox Old Belief Church gets new leader

Moscow, August 11, Interfax - Archbishop Ioann of Yaroslavl and Kostroma (Ilya Viktorovich Vitushkin) became Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Old Belief Church on Thursday.

Early in 2004 he performed metropolitan's duties after the death of Metropolitan Alimpy.

The new metropolitan, 79, was elected in Moscow by the Council of Bishops, whose absent members had been polled by phone.

The Council is to meet on Thursday evening to decide when the late Metropolitan Andrian will be buried. Like his predecessors, the late Metropolitan Andrian will be buried at Moscow's Rogozhskoye Old Believers' cemetery. Metropolitan Adrian's body has not yet been brought to Moscow.

The leader of the Russian Old Believers' largest community died of a heart attack on Wednesday evening.