Voices from Russia

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Spoke in Britain of the Need for the West to Respect the Traditions of Eastern Europe


Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (1968- ), deputy head of the MP DECR

The Moscow Patriarchate believes that it is impossible to build a pan-European house without respect for the mentality and traditions of the peoples of Eastern Europe. “In order to build a common European civilisation, both the West and the East must change”, said Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy head of the MP Department of External Church Relations, during an international conference held at Staining in the UK, To Work with Russia? Following Steps in the Social and Economic Dialogue. Therefore, in his opinion, “In the East, it is necessary to finally understand that not everyone in the West is our enemy, but, the West must finally recognise that there are different traditions, laws, and social and political systems in Europe”.

In his presentation to the conference, Fr Vsevolod emphasised that European civilisation is based historically on several religious and political traditions, including the traditions of Rome and Constantinople, the world of Western Christianity and the world of Eastern Orthodoxy. This fact, amongst other things, created differences in political cultures and social structures, he pointed up. He went to explain that if the West places a high value on competition between political parties, the government, and leading economic players, then, in the East, both historically and in the contemporary world, the Orthodox ideals of the unity of the people, government, and church are given equally-high authority.

Diplomats, scholars, journalists, and other activists took part in the conference, which was sponsored by the Wilton Park Research Agency, a body that often works with the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

16 November 2008




Fr Vsevolod Chaplin says that the EP Should Not Trespass on the Canonical Territories of the Other Local Churches


The Moscow Patriarchate believes that the Ecumenical Patriarchate should abandon its universalist ambitions and it should open itself to fraternal inter-Orthodox dialogue. “When a question arose regarding the status of the Church in Estonia, the EP unilaterally and without any consultations established its own parallel structure there. Brothers do not act like that”, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, said in the course of a programme on the television channel Soyuz (Union).

Fr Vsevolod, along with other spokesmen for the MP, spoke on the situation in Estonia, where the EP set up the so-called “Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church” in 1996, a body not recognised by any other Local Church in the Orthodox world. He noted that the Orthodox world should be united so that the Local Churches could answer the challenges of the contemporary world together. “We should always be careful, polite, and sincere with each other, and we should always seek out an exchange of ideas if we should encounter problems over different visions of the future of the Church, different traditions, or different particular opinions. It is only on this basis, through a constant fraternal dialogue within the Church, that we can strengthen the unity of the Orthodox world, as is commanded by Our Lord”, Fr Vsevolod is convinced.

As far as the Estonian question was concerned, he stated, “It is utterly wrong to make use of political movements to tear believers away from the body of their Mother Church. As soon as factions in the Church think that they can benefit from political changes, if they think that they might obtain this by humiliating their brothers and sisters, by trampling on their rights, history shall hold them up to scorn. Therefore, the MP does not act like our brothers from the EP do”, he emphasised. “When we were petitioned to establish our jurisdiction over part of the Georgian Church, we said clearly that the solution of the question of who has pastoral guidance of the faithful in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is possible only through direct dialogue between the Patriarchates of Moscow and Georgia”, he said. Fr Vsevolod also questioned the assertion of the EP that “the entire Orthodox diaspora, that is, all the Orthodox believers living outside the canonical territories of the recognised Local Churches, is under its authority”.

He observed that, in practise, this means that ethnic Greek bishops are assigned to dioceses in the diaspora. “These bishops are in complete subordination to the Phanar, they act only in its interests, and they force the people in the diaspora, that is, people of entirely different nationalities, to kowtow to these interests. Most Orthodox nationalities do not agree with this at all, and that includes Russians, Ukrainians, Moldavians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Orthodox Arabs, amongst many other peoples. The faithful of the different Local Churches have different traditions, different ideas on pastorality, and use different languages”, Fr Vsevolod reiterated. In his view, we cannot breach the ancient Church traditions, therefore, it is important to structure the life of the Orthodox diaspora “so that each group, which relates to one or another Local Church historically, shall preserve the right to preserve its entire Church tradition, including its language, its distinctive way of serving the liturgy, and its own pastoral approach, as they were formed in their particular motherlands and Local Churches. Moreover, the faithful living in the diaspora from the various Orthodox homelands wish to preserve a spiritual connection with their motherland and with its Local Church. No one has the right to or can deprive them of this link against their will”, Fr Vsevolod emphasised in conclusion.

13 November 2008



Editor’s Note:

(Drum rolls and blaring trumpets sound)

If you are sensing the announcement of yet another infamous “Big Green Weenie Award”… you are entirely correct! Less than half of the Russian text found its way into the English translation.


The translator (or translators) appears to be soft-headed concerning the Catholics and the EP. Chunks of Russian text go missing that make the point. That is CRIMINAL.

The EP has to be taken down a peg or two. Black Bart is not the “Orthodox pope”, and the Orthodox world does not answer to the Phanariot conventicle. Over 70 percent of the Orthodox faithful worldwide are in the MP. Since 1453, it has been the centre of the Orthodox world. It is the largest Church, it is the strongest, and it is the only Church capable of withstanding the heterodox unaided. Russia stands against the materialist nihilism of the West; the Phanar has surrendered to it, being led by a cabal of Masonic prelates. Russia is being kind; it is giving every chance for the EP to repent and return to ordinary Orthodoxy. If not, the EP may cease to exist. After all, Rome was once a recognised Orthodox patriarchate…


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