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#5 - JRL 2006-178 - JRL Home
Almost all the lay informers implanted in Church in Soviet times left it when the regime changed - Moscow Patriarchate

Moscow, August 7, Interfax - In Soviet Russia, the number of people, “normally lay ones, ‘implanted’ in the Church was extremely small”, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, deputy head of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, has stated.

“Almost all of them left the Church when they ceased working ‘on the instruction’”, Father Vsevolod writes in another part of his dairy entitled Little Shreds published in the July issue of the Pravoslavnaya Moskva newspaper.

According to him, in the Soviet time, almost every clergyman had to meet with the Council for Religious Affairs staff who conveyed his reports to special services. Sent to them were also reports on trips abroad, ‘quite formal ones which can hardly be called denunciations’, the priest notes.

He adds that some clergy really ‘denounced’ their fellow-clergymen, “some from malice, others to remove rivals, still others to settle personal scores. ‘This, unlike natural contacts the Church should maintain with any authority’ is really a sin’, Father Vsevolod stresses.

However, he adds, this sin has not gone with the Soviet time. “It existed under czars and it is committed nowadays (both in Russia and in the West) and it may stay for ever, as long as the authority pays heed to denunciations’.

The representative of the Russian Church tells a story about a well-known Lutheran human rights woman worker who, during a European inter-Christian gathering, spoke about the need for church communities to purify themselves of those who collaborated with Communist special services.

“Then I rose and said: I do not see how they differ from those who collaborated with Western special services. Shall we get after them as well? The answer was deathly silence. As if the fact of ‘victory’ in the Cold War wrote off any actions of the winners’, the priest writes.