Voices from Russia

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin says that Recent Victories in Sport and at the ESC Prove the Strength and Confidence of Russia to the World

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, said to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda that the Orthodox Church shares the collective joy of Russians over their recent victories in football, ice hockey, and the Eurovision song contest. “Goals, trophies, and golden microphones are not the only important things. It’s important that, once again, Russia stands with confidence on the ground of European culture; it feels strong, independent, and has something worthwhile to say to the world”. Fr Vsevolod confessed that he watched the game between FCs Zenit St Petersburg and Glasgow Rangers and the match between the national ice hockey teams of Russia and Canada “with the greatest pleasure”. In his opinion, in both games, Russian sportsmen demonstrated will-power and a command of the skills necessary for victory, “team-play and organisational talents. We Russians often lack these qualities and we have to develop them in ourselves”. 

He also admitted that he wasn’t “a great admirer” of the musical style of Eurovision Song Contest winner Dima Bilan. “It’s interesting that there is a conscious or unconscious link to the faith and to the highest cultural tradition in both his song and the song that won first place for Serbia last year. It’s not for nothing that Dima’s Hungarian violinist played a Stradivarius”, Fr Vsevolod emphasised. Most of all he liked the way the people from the various countries voted in the ESC. “The people of the Ukraine, Georgia, Greece, the Baltic states, and Central and Eastern Europe clearly expressed their good opinion of Russia in spite of all the political conflicts. This made me very happy”.

7 June 2008




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