Patriarch responds to criticism from deposed spokesman


RISU, 29 December 2015


"I am shocked. Twenty years of trust and loyalty. And suddenly! I can justify it only by a mental breakdown. When there is such unrest in the world, the most important thing is the unity of the church. If we will not be united, we will be easily crushed," the head of the RPTsMP, Patriarch Kirill, stated on 27 December in commenting on recent statements by Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin.


Patriarch Kirill gave his commentary to the director of radio Radonezh, Evgeny Nikiforov, the latter's blog says.


We recall that Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who was dismissed from his position as an official representative of the Russian Orthodox Church, foretold catastrophe for Russia. The priest declared to journalists that the situation in the country continues to worsen because of the lack of public discussion and the attempts by authorities "to hush up any kinds of problems."


"If we try to hush up any problems, we may postpone the catastrophe for a year or two, but we make it thereby inescapable," Chaplin warned.


During the last six years, Vsevolod Chaplin was the virtual official representative of the RPTs. He spoke out on many controversial issues and was associated with the conservative wing in the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church.


On 24 December, Archpriest Chaplin was dismissed from his position as chairman of the synod's Department for Relations of Church and Society. Immediately after his dismissal, he made a series of critical statements about the Russian Orthodox Church and its patriarch, Kirill.


"I consider that in the church decisions—about whatever matter—should be made collegially, seriously, and with discussion. Nowadays many of our decisions are made unilaterally by His Holiness, the patriarch. This is incorrect; it should be changed," Chaplin said in a conversation with the Russian service of the BBC immediately after his dismissal.


Chaplin said that the RPTs should change its approach to discussion and permit substantive ideological variety within the church. (tr. by PDS, posted 29 December 2015)
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