25 December 2015, 16:03
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin says was dismissed due to differences with Patriarch Kirill
Moscow, December 25, Interfax - Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who was dismissed from the post of the Synodal Department on Church and Society Liaison by the Synod's decision on Thursday, said he links his dismissal to differences with Patriarch Kirill.
"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," Father Vsevolod told Interfax-Religion.
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.
"I am confident that church administration and the tone of the church's position should be reformed. Speaking about the effectiveness of specific church structures, one should primarily give attention to the huge number of voiceless valetry that surround His Holiness and the staff, which was formed without any discussion," the priest said.
According to earlier reports, 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 have never held on to this post. I believe the amount of work that was very effectively done in the department that I created and led was unprecedented in our Church. I am happy to get a lungful of fresh air and hopefully have some free time," Father Vsevolod said.
He called himself a free man who now has much more freedom. "No one will take my position, my right to argue with anyone, the patriarch, high-ranking statesmen or public and media authorities, away from me. I will do it at the top of my voice now," the priest said.
Responding to a question as to whether he has left the post of father superior of the Church of St. Nicholas on Three Mountains, Father Vsevolod said he has not been dismissed from the post yet. "But I am not holding on to anything and I do not expect anything," he said.
Speaking about his prospects in church, the priest said he had been given "some vague promises of future appointments" on Thursday morning, but he considers them "deceitful and aimed at making the situation less tense."
"However, in this situation it is better to say the truth than to wait for something good for ever," the priest said.