Prominent church spokesman stripped of authority



The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, in session on Thursday, established the Department for Relations of Church with Society and News Media.


This decision was made "for the purpose of streamlining the work and increasing  efficiency, as well as eliminating parallel processes in the activity of synodal institutions," the press service of the synodal Information Department reports.


The newly formed department was created by merging the synodal Information Department and the synodal Department for Relations of Church and Society. In addition, some functions of the above mentioned institutions were transferred to the synodal Department of External Church Relations and the press service of the patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus.


"The Holy Synod released Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin from the office of chairman of the Department for Relations of Church and Society, expressing to him thanks for many years of participation in dialogue with government agencies for development of legislation affecting religious organizations and also for participating in the work of the Inter-Religious Council of Russia," the report says.


Vladimir Legoida was appointed chairman of the synodal Department for Relations of Church and Society and News Media, who previously headed the synod's Information Department.


Metropolitan of Volokolamsk Ilarion was appointed the representative of the church in the Inter-Religious Council of Russia. (tr. by PDS, posted 29 December 2015)

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