The Very Reverend Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin is the chairman of the Synodal Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society of the Moscow Patriarchate, in addition to being a member of the Public Chamber of the Russian Federation and rector of St. Nicholas on the Three Hills Church, Moscow.
Vsevolod Anatolyevich Chaplin was born on March 31, 1968, into the family of an agnostic professor. He went to school in Golyanovo, Moscow.
After he graduated in 1985, he joined the staff of the Publishing Department of the Moscow Patriarchate. On recommendation of Metropolitan Pitirim, he entered the Moscow Theological Seminary, graduating in 1990.
From October 1990 to March 2009, he was in the Department for External Church Relations (DECR) of the Moscow Patriarchate, beginning as an ordinary fellow (1990-1991) before moving into public affairs (1991-1997), then being secretary (1997-2001) and vice-president (2001-2009). At the same time as being in the DECR, he continued studies at the Moscow Theological Academy, defending his thesis and graduating in 1994.
Vsevolod was ordained to the diaconate on April 21, 1991, and to the priesthood on January 7, 1992. He was elevated to archpriest in 1999.
Fr Vsevolod has no children.
In addition to his other work, Fr. Vsevolod was or is a member of:
- The Council for Cooperation with Religious Associations under the Russian President on March 4, 1996, May 14, 1997 and May 28, 2009
- The Central Committee of the World Council of Churches
- The Conference of European Churches
- The WCC Commission on International Affairs
- The Expert Council under the Committee of the State Duma on affairs of public associations and religious organizations
- the expert group the OSCE on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
- March 31, 2009: Chairman of the Synodal Department for the newly formed relationship between the Church and society.
- January 3, 2010: Member of the Russian Organizing Committee "Victory".
- July 26, 2010: Member of the Patriarch's Council of Culture.
Fr Vsevolod's role as Chairman of the Department for the Cooperation of Church and Society means that he makes public statements on religion and ethics, including:
- Opposing the confusion of the terms 'religion' and 'denomination', claiming that confessions can be just Christian.
- Commenting on the positive side of Stalin and Ksenia Sobchak, but negatively on Madonna
- Advocating the establishment of 'Orthodox National Teams'
- Opposing euthanasia
- Opposing the anonymity of the Internet
- Criticised Darwin's doctrine on the origin of man
- Criticised idea that faith is a private matter
- Refuses to pray with Christians of other denominations
- Considers that, to avoid rape, Russian girls need to be 'more serious in appearance'. Proposed that a 'nationwide dress code' could help.
- Supports the beautification of church buildings, iconostases, ornaments and vestments, as befits a religion at the centre of national life, giving the Church the opportunity to speak to rich and poor alike.
- The Order of Friendship (January 21, 2009) - for outstanding contribution to the development of spiritual culture and strengthening friendship between peoples.
- Diploma of the Russian Federation President (July 20, 2011) - for services to the development of spiritual culture and strengthening friendship between peoples
- The Order of St. Prince Daniel of Moscow, second class (2010)
- The Order of St. Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow (2005)
- The Order of St. Prince Daniel of Moscow, third class (1996)
- The medal "For peace and harmony between peoples" (International Federation for Peace and Harmony, 2007) - for their active participation in the peace, charity, peace and mutual understanding, cooperation among peoples and for strengthening relations and fruitful cooperation between the regional diocesan and secular non-governmental organizations
- The Order of the Russian Imperial House St. Anne's II degree
- Commemorative Medal "The highest visit to Kiev - the mother of Russian cities. 1911-2011" (The Russian Imperial House, 2011)
- Commemorative Medal "The highest visit to the Crimea. 2011" (the Russian Imperial House, 2011)