12/28/2015, 00.00
RUSSIA
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Moscow Patriarchate, "fires" Archpriest Chaplin: I disagreed with Patriarch Kirill

by Marta Allevato
The representative of the Russian Orthodox Church has been removed from the role of head of the Synodal Department for Relations with Society: "I tried to say that we should be more critical of immoral actions undertaken by the authorities".

Moscow (AsiaNews) – After clashing with the Patriarch of Moscow, Kirill, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin  has been removed from his post as head of the Synodal Department for Relations between the Church and Society, by decision of the Synod on December 24th .  According to the representative of the Russian Church, his dismissal is related to differences in positions with the Orthodox primate.

Speaking to Interfax-Religion, Fr. Chaplin said: “I have been trying to tell his Holiness that the tone in the relations with the state that the Church tends to take is wrong, we should be more critical about the immoral and unjust actions by the authorities, we should be more direct when speaking to society, we should in no case suck up to structures that challenge Orthodox faith so clearly as the current administration of Ukraine. We should generally prophesize, not think every time as to who will think and say what, and we should not be afraid of getting into a conflict with those who have power in this world".

The second area in which Father Vsevolod has major differences with Patriarch Kirill is the current church administration. "Many decisions are made unsystematically, without consultations with the relevant synodal establishments, in the lobby, in haste. One can't do that. A system that works in this way is sure to make mistakes," the priest said. He also said he has warned people about that many times, but was not heard”.

According to Russian media, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on Thursday founded the Department on Liaison between the Church, Society and the Mass Media. This decision was made "to optimize the work and increase effectiveness, and also to rule our parallel processes in the work of synodal establishments." The new structure is led by Vladimir Legoyda, the head of the Synodal Information Department.

"I think the amount of work that was actually done in the department that I created and led is unprecedented in our Church - said Chaplin - I'm happy to get a breath of fresh air". Describing himself as a free man now, the priest says he is convinced that no one will take its defenses in the Church and that it is unclear what future awaits him within the structures of the Patriarchate "But I am not holding on to anything and I do not expect anything, "concludes speaking to Interfax.

Recently, the editor of the Moscow Patriarchate’s magazine, Serghei Chapnin, has denounced the "new silence" that Patriarch Kirill has forced the Russian Church. "In the public space only one voice is heard, that of Patriarch Kirill," wrote Chapnin, noting that "all others mostly silent, are not allowed to make detailed statements, only brief comments". The journalist was fired a few days later.

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