Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin (1968- ), head of the Synodal Division for Church-Society Relations
Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Synodal Division for Church-Society Relations believes that the Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias will make the MP into one of the strongest religious communities in the world. “Patriarch Kirill is a man of great intellect, he desires to work for the people, and he has great organisational skills. I hope that all the clergy and laity of our Church would be worthy of our First Hierarch and will be able to tailor their works and initiatives in response to his writings and ideas”, Fr Vsevolod said on Monday at a press conference at the central offices of Interfax.
Fr Vsevolod believes that it is “absolutely clear” that the First Hierarch of the MP is amongst the “several best religious leaders in the world”. In his view, Patriarch Kirill could bring the MP to a place amongst the most powerful religious communities in the world, a position that is its prerogative, based on its strength”. Fr Vsevolod stated that the MP under Patriarch Kirill’s leadership can “fully realise the earnest and ardent hopes and expectations that our contemporary society addresses to her, not only in Russia, but, also, in the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and other countries in our canonical territory”.
Fr Vsevolod believes that the main event of 2009, besides the election of a new patriarch, was Patriarch Kirill’s reform of the organisation of the Synodal Departments, as he established new offices and revamped old ones. In addition, His Holiness directed that some church feastdays became celebrated throughout the MP, in particular, the feastday of the Icon of the Mother of God “of Kazan” on 4 November and the feastday of Ss Cyril and Methodius on 24 May. He said, “[The feast of Ss Cyril and Methodius] should not only be a celebration of folklore, but, it must become a coming together of disparate elements of national importance, no less bright than the highest holidays of pre-revolutionary and Soviet times. Moreover, at the same time, it should be a forum where people could discuss the momentous and important questions facing our country and its people”.
28 December 2009
This is important… not for what was said, but, for who is saying them. Fr Vsevolod Chaplin is one of the closest confidants of KMG. SVS and the OCA autocephalists constantly bleat about Archbishop Hilarion Alfeyev. Let’s speak bluntly here. HA does NOT have half the power and influence of Vsevolod Chaplin. FULL STOP. The OCA fanatics never tell you about the 31 March reorganisation, for it left their idol, HA, out in the cold. The DECR was picked clean of all of its more powerful elements and HA was demoted from being a ruling bishop (“of Vienna and all Austria”) to being a mere vicar (“of Volokolamsk”, a region under the actual authority of the patriarchal vicar, Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov).
Where there was one figure before (KMG as head of the DECR under Aleksei), there is now three (HA, Fr Vsevolod, and Bishop Mark Golovkov (a man with a sterling and solid reputation)). HA appears to have been relegated to being a prettily-dressed diplomatic courier with a fancy title. Fr Vsevolod speaks often in public for His Holiness. Bishop Mark… has the ability to be quiet. He is the one to watch. HA is a loud jackass laden with books. Fr Vsevolod is a crafty bureaucratic infighter. Bishop Mark… does what needs to be done with no fuss and muss made of it.
They are all of an age (Bishop Mark was born in 1964, HA in 1966, and Fr Vsevolod in 1968)… they’re all going to be on the stage when KMG passes some twenty years ahead. In short, I confide that there is going to be a repeat of 1989… Back then, people were expecting Philaret Denisenko to be the next patriarch; indeed, he was the Patriarchal Locum Tenens. However, Aleksei Rediger became the next patriarch. I would say that the personalities of HA and Bishop Mark are close analogues to those of Philaret Denisenko and Aleksei Rediger. Therefore, I think that it is very probable, barring something unforeseen, that Mark Golovkov could be our next patriarch… moreover, a most excellent one he would make, too…