The battleship Borodino sinking at the Battle of Tsushima (she finally went down after a direct hit from a Japanese 12-inch shell detonated her magazines… only one of her crewmen survived the explosion)… I find this a fitting metaphor for SVS and the OCA. They are sinking, it is obvious to everyone, yet, they won’t let the crew escape… for now.
First, read this article on oca.org: http://www.oca.org/news/1991
That sounds impressive, doesn’t it? I say… wait a minute! There’s a great deal less to this than meets the eye. This is the BEST that this bunch can do… they are crowing about a third-tier RF cabinet minister and a complete unknown from a nebulous foundation. The International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN) probably has the same reality as the Hallelujah (or, is it Hosanna?) Community of Seraphim Sigrist… that is to say, it smells like an “internet special” with no real presence anywhere.
Vitaly Churkin, the RF Ambassador to the UN and Sergei Garmonin, the RF Consul General in New York were not present at this love-feast (Ambassador Churkin WAS at the MP/ROCOR Unity Service at St Nick’s last year… Nicky and I saw him there with family members). Sergei Kislyak, the Ambassador of the RF to the USA wasn’t there either. This means that none of the permanent representatives of the RF in the New York City metro area or in Washington DC was there. Ergo, Mr Konovalov’s visit was strictly unofficial, on his own nickel, without the RF government’s sanction, and, probably, at Hilarion Alfeyev’s instigation (trying to bolster up his pseudo-intellectual friends at SVS, no doubt). Nobody from the MDA, the SPDA, or St Tikhon Orthodox Humanities University accompanied Mr Konovalov on his visit to SVS. That is, no accredited Russian theologian wished public association with ADS. I find that interesting, don’t you?
This proves nothing beyond the bare fact that a relatively unimportant member of the RF governing apparatus who dabbles in theology as a hobby has a yen for ADS. Mr Konovalov is not a first-rank silovik (“power-player)… I would be impressed if President Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin, Finance Minister Kudrin, Foreign Minister Lavrov, Interior Minister Nurgaliev, or Defence Minister Serdyukov had shown up. Indeed, such second-tier figures such as Boris Gryzlov, Igor Shuvalov, Sergei Mironov, and Lyubov Slishka are higher in status than Mr Konovalov is. His visit had no official dimension to it whatsoever. In short, this is more complete and utter GIGO from SVS and oca.org (did Mr Konovalov continue on to Jordanville or visit Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral afterwards… or did he confine himself to this self-serving pack of modernists? Did they tell him about Nashotah House and their covenant with heretics? Perspiring minds want to know!).
They are doing their best to pump up the IFUOCN award. A friend of mine in Moscow said that they are going to hold the ceremony in one of the conference halls underneath the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, not in the church itself, and that His Holiness normally does not attend such fetes. Trust me, KMG spends a great deal of his time in audiences and ceremonies (reflect on the fact that he must meet with a bishop on every one of his working weekdays in Moscow (excluding time off for trips and holidays) if he is to meet each of his bishops in private once a year). He scribbles his signature on hundreds of documents… mostly, sight unseen. Friends tell me that he spends two hours a day in minor audiences… that is, five minutes in total, a handshake, photo, and a gramota from the hands of His Nibs Himself (that’s 24 minor audiences each working day… poor old sod…). Oh, yes… this award didn’t rate such an audience, did it? It wasn’t even handed over by a senior MP cleric… it is nothing but a pretty piece of paper proffered by an unknown professor (this Professor Alekseyev is not as well-known as Profs Kirill Frolov or Aleksei Osipov or Deacon Andrei Kuraev).
I often start to feel sorry for this wretched and pathetic little set of posturing and gibbering Sad Sacks… until I realise that what is happening now is just the inevitable result of the accumulated nastiness of the past two generations coming home to roost. These reckless poseurs ran many good people out of the Church in their mad attempt to transform our Church life to fit their imagined and fevered notational fancies. I knew many of those they chased out… trust me, the least of them were superior people to JP, BP, and Hatfield. We are paying for it now. SVS and Syosset are like the Soviet Union of the late 80s and early 90s. The system has rotted to the core, everyone knows it (Behr told a friend of mine, “There is no future in the OCA”.), but, no one knows what shall replace it, so, there is a great deal of fear about the future. I would like you to remember a scene from the early days after the collapse of the USSR. Wherever one went, one saw old red party-membership books littering the pavement. People got rid of them as quickly as possible. It shall be the same when the ship of the OCA and SVS sinks.
People shall discard their volumes of ADS and breathe a sigh of relief. The true believers shall gather around JP, BP, and the rest of their obsequious hangers-on. Let them go… their ship will have sunk and they shall spend the rest of their days like Kerensky… blaming the world for their own personal failings. Deus videat et iudicare (Let God see and judge)…
Friday 6 November 2009