Chaplin, ‘a Zhirinovsky from the Orthodox Church,’ says mass repressions necessary and reasonable

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin of the Russian Orthodox Church -- Moscow Patriarchate (Image: Wikipedia)

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin of the Russian Orthodox Church -- Moscow Patriarchate (Image: Wikipedia) 

2016/08/19 • Analysis & Opinion, Russia

Mass repressions don’t just start; the groundwork has to be laid in advance. And that task is being carried out by among others Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who until a year ago was a close aide to Patriarch Kirill but now judging from his remarks is most accurately characterized as “the Zhirinovsky from the Orthodox Church.”

Kirill, the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, with Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin (Image: 3rm.info)

Kirill, the Moscow Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, with Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin (Image: 3rm.info)

In the course of an interview on Ekho Moskvy, Chaplin effectively gave his blessing to the idea that national leaders, Russian otherwise, have the right to destroy their opponents.

“What in the final analysis,” he asked rhetorically, “is bad in the destruction of a certain part of internal enemies?”

Indeed, he said, invoking several cases from the Old Testament, “it is sometimes necessary to destroy a certain number of those worthy of destruction.” And in support of that notion, he argued that Ivan the Terrible and Joseph Stalin were among those who had demonstrated the truth of that proposition.

His words touched off a firestorm of criticism. Numerous commentators denounced his words. And Ekho Moskvy to its credit announced that the churchman would no longer be welcome as a guest on their programs.

But perhaps the most thoughtful and important conclusions were drawn by the editors of Moscow’s Gazeta newspaper who pointed out that

Chaplin’s words along with those of some other religious and secular leaders were dangerous because they helped make cruelty into an accepted norm of thought and action.

After Chaplin lost his position as a senior aide to and frequent spokesman for Patriarch Kirill a year ago, the paper noted, the archpriest has become a kind of “Zhirinovsky from Orthodoxy,” someone who will say openly what others are only thinking. But even for him this “direct justification of mass murders” takes things to a new level.” 

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin: “Humanism is an anti-Christian worldview, a Satanic worldview.”

Russian soldiers line up to kiss an “icon” of Putin, while a Russian Orthodox priest of the Moscow Patriarchate blesses them. (Image: Social media)

Russian soldiers line up to kiss an “icon” of Putin, while a Russian Orthodox priest of the Moscow Patriarchate blesses them. (Image: Social media)

But just as with Zhirinovsky, there is good reason to think that Chaplin’s words reflect more than just his own thoughts, especially since the archpriest was close for so long to Kirill and shares his former boss’s hatred of humanism, a trend of thought the patriarch blames for “almost all the ills of the 20th century from Bolshevism to the bombing of Yugoslavia.”

Thus, the editors of Gazeta say, “the role of Father Vsevolod [Chaplin] here is not to be reduced to that of a banal provocation. He is saying what others risk passing over in silence” but what they too think and may even be glad to have said by someone else so that certain actions will follow.

Many in Russia and elsewhere are accustomed to think that no one really believes in the use of force and violence as a means to political ends at least in domestic affairs. But such people exist, and Chaplin is articulating their point of view. The fact that he has, the paper suggests, will make it easier for others to say the same and ultimately to act on that as well.


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Edited by: A. N.

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  • Dagwood Bumstead

    Chaplin should remember that priests of the Orthodox Church were among the victims of the Bolshevik persecution and mass murders. He may well end up becoming one of the victims of the new mass murders he is now calling for. After all, there’s no guarantee that the Church won’t become a victim of the present or a future leader of Dwarfstan’s paranoia.

    • Quartermaster

      Stalin killed thousands of Orthodox priests. This man is, to put it simply, being an idiot and he is no Christian. No Christian calls for, or supports repression.

  • Alex George

    This man is an archpriest, quite senior in the Orthodox Church. And Patriarch Kiril in Moscow knows what he is saying and does nothing to discipline him or disagree with him.

  • digpig

    Chaplin should be defrocked and excommunicated.