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Russian Orthodox official, dismissed in December shake-up, reports media blackout on his views

January 13, 2016

A leading official of the Russian Orthodox Church, who was dismissed from his post in December because of disputes with Moscow’s Patriarch Kirill, has been denied access to Russia’s secular media, the AsiaNews service reports.

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, who had headed the Russian Orthodox Synod’s department for Church and Society, said that he has been denied an opportunity to explain his side of the internal dispute. He charged on his Facebook page that news agencies “are trying to avoid any of my statements from being carried on almost all Russian media.” He said that the media blackout must be the result of a “directive given by the Patriarch himself” with the support of Russia’s government leaders.

The Russian cleric, who has criticized the tight partnership between the Orthodox Patriarchate and the Russian government, reported that a press conference he had scheduled with the news agency Interfax had been canceled. The Russian News Service reported on his dismissal, but never called him for a comment, he said. And interviews recorded before his dismissal have never been published or broadcast.

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