Voices from Russia

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Is Russia Becoming a Theocracy?

00g Patriarch Kirill. 04.09.12 Central Pediatric Oncology Hospital

THIS is what HH is REALLY up to. The West hates him for that. That speaks volumes…

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Editor’s Foreword:

Caveat lector! The author of this piece is a neoliberal pro-Western fanatic who graduated from Harvard. Its chock fulla shit, but you need to know what’s out there. Don’t just read what pleases you… that’s what the Rush Limboob Fan Club droolers do. Always attend to reality… or, reality WILL deal with you.

BMD

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This weekend, the MP held its Archpastoral Council at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. In his speech to the assembly, President Putin said that, of course, Russia isn’t a theocracy, but, “We’re a secular state of course, and can’t allow state life and Church life to merge, but at the same time, we must avoid too, a vulgar and primitive interpretation of what being secular means. Traditional values, believers’ religious feelings, and people’s rights, freedoms, and dignity must all be protected by both the power of public opinion and the power of the law” (emphasis in the original).

He also said that the Orthodox Church and other traditional Russian religions must be involved in “important fields as the support of family and motherhood, the upbringing and education of children and youth, social development, and the strengthening of the patriotic spirit of the armed forces” (emphasis in the original). The social conservatism inherent in having the Church play a greater role in family life (with “fathers” notably absent from the equation), schooling, and, somewhat counter-intuitively perhaps, the war machine, is nothing new. However, whilst the Russian state has actively promoted the Church since the early Yeltsin years, perhaps the most interesting aspect of the statement was the legal element.

Putin’s statement confirmed that some of the most bizarre parts of the prosecution’s case against the members of Pussy Riot… namely, that their actions contravened medieval Church law… may not have been the surreal aberration they seemed at the time. In fact, the following day, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev also spoke in favour of giving legal weight to religious doctrines. Russian news sources reported that Kirill “backed the idea of criminal prosecution for blasphemy similar the Pussy Riot’s punk performance in Cathedral of Christ the Saviour”; he was quoted as saying, “The law must protect not only symbols of secular importance, but also objects with sacred meaning for the believers and guard their religious feelings from insults”.

The Orthodox Church has been in the news these days. Last weekend, the Financial Times published a long profile of Fr Tikhon Shevkunov, who’s said to be Putin’s personal confessor; whilst the latest issue of The Economist reviews a new history of religion after the fall of communism. The FT noted the paradox that, whilst “only a small minority of Russians attend church regularly” the MP has become one of the country’s most trusted institutions. Geraldine Fegan, author of the book reviewed in The Economist, was quoted as saying, “Putin wants to capitalise on Orthodoxy’s image of permanence, even as his own legitimacy crumbles”.

Certainly, there’s an intimate relationship between the Church, the Kremlin, and big money. After all, Yeltsin financed the Church, in part, by granting it the right to import and sell tax free cigarettes, whilst the most avid sponsors of new houses of worship over the past 20 years have been oligarchs. Many senior members of the Church hierarchy have themselves become quasi-oligarchs, driving expensive supercars, wearing Swiss watches, and living in multimillion dollar apartments. Today, it’s become very fashionable among the megarich to have their own personal confessors… the latest badge of élite status. However, whilst we know that the church, state, and army have refashioned the old tsarist three-legged stool, it’s much harder to see which of them wields the most power in the equation.

In short, is Putin using the church, or is the church using Putin? As the embrace between them becomes ever closer, the key power struggle to come may no longer be between the Kremlin and the liberals, but rather Putin and his Patriarchate.

3 February 2013

Vadim Nikitin

Foreign Policy

http://foreignpolicyblogs.com/2013/02/03/is-russia-becoming-a-theocracy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=is-russia-becoming-a-theocracy

Editor’s Afterword:

This is what the crapitalist crowd in the West truly believes… and Orthodox swine like Lyonyo Kishkovsky, Victor Potapov, James Paffhausen, and Alexander Webster nourish their delusions by feeding them crank and bogus intel (in short, they give the Westerners what they want to hear, receiving attaboys and material rewards in return). Do remember how Jordanville lied about its non-existent ties to a putative “catacomb church” during the Cold War to receive Langley’s shilling… the main enablers of that were Basil Rodzianko and Victor Potapov… and how Schmemann worked for the American propaganda machine (how much Langley money did SVS get for that? Perspirin’ minds wanna know… there’s been no OCA analogue of Alexander Lebedeff (a First Family apparatchik, but an honest man when it comes to Church history) to tell the truth).

This is what the American Establishment believes… and there are traitorous Russians, both in the Rodina and in the diaspora, who sell out to them for filthy lucre and personal gain (after all, Potapov DID (or DOES) suck directly on the US government tit). The truth is that HH is a supporter of fundamental social justice, and he argues that it’s imperative for the state to provide a broad palette of social services (INCLUDING universal access to state-provided single-payer healthcare)… and the people that I named do NOT. Where is HH on every major holiday? He’s out in the hospitals and orphanages visiting sick and orphaned kids, that’s where (he also runs the niftiest Yolka in Moscow)… I’d remind you that James Paffhausen did NOT do that… which one of those two is god-pleasing? I’d say that it was HH… and Paffhausen was a gibbering and posturing poseur. Think on that…

BMD

Monday, 8 October 2012

8 October 2012. Interesting Feedback from the Cabinet on Tikhon Shevkunov

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I got interesting feedback from the Cabinet on Tikhon Shevkunov:

You should be aware that Fr Tikhon is quite opposed to the left and to Zyuganov personally.  He rather PREFERS the capitalists and Western-leaning oligarchs. He’s a great spiritual leader and he’s entitled to his opinions. I don’t dislike him, but don’t look to him to agree with you. I know that he rather likes JP.

Another said:

I’m rather ambivalent about him. Spiritually, he’s top-drawer; after all, he kicked Kochetkov out on his arse. Personally, he’s a disaster area; he sucks up to the rich. He introduced Dickie Wood to the Vanil Restoran crowd. He’s the MP‘s culture czar because he’s a pal of Marat Gelman. I hear that he and Charlie don’t get on well.

Yet a third piped up:

I didn’t like the title either, I think that Nectaria Rees may have played an unfortunate role… again. Of course, SVS doesn’t like him; he took back Sretensky from Kochetkov and threw him out.

I got some more replies, but they were in the same vein, with no new info. In short, Tikhon Shevkunov is utterly reliable spiritually, but he’s a suck-up to the oligarchs and their American paymasters. He’s not representative of the MP episcopate. Indeed, whispers tell me that he’s never going to be a bishop:

He’s the chaplain to the oligarchs… he’ll go down when they do.

HH isn’t stupid… he didn’t lift a finger to help Dickie or Fathausen. Yet, Fr Tikhon is ambivalent about JP, too. He didn’t get himself photographed with JP when El Gordo was at the Centre. I think that he knew that JP was “radioactive” and acted accordingly…

In short, the world’s being itself. I’ve always wondered why Tikhon Shevkunov wasn’t a bishop… now, I know (hell, I have lacunae in my knowledge, I’m human). HH is a leftist politically… that explains why he’d want to limit the influence of a cleric that he thought was in the thrall of the oligarchs (and, quite possibly, the Americans). That’s sad… Tikhon’s solid spiritually and writes well. As I said, the world’s being its crank self. Pass me the jug…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Monday 8 October 2012

Albany NY 

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Russian Orthodox Church Forgives Pussy Riot

Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (1958- ), Superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow and the confessor to the Putin family

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The original image was ruined by being overly dark, having a glarey light in the corner, and two anonymous “busy” figures (an el crapo image in all respects)… so, I “cut” Fr Tikhon out from that and mounted his image on a nice Carpatho-Russian scene… that’s a legit use of PhotoShop.

BMD

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On Saturday, two top clerics in the Russian Orthodox Church said that it has forgiven the members of feminist punk band Pussy Riot, convicted by a Moscow court of hooliganism and sentenced to prison, for briefly taking over a cathedral and performing a raucous prayer for deliverance from Vladimir Putin. Fr Tikhon Shevkunov, the superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow, who’s widely believed to be the Russian president’s spiritual counsellor, said on state television that his church forgave the singers right after their “punk prayer” in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow in February. The bespectacled cleric said, “The church has been sometimes accused of not forgiving them. We did forgive them from the very start, but such actions should be cut short by society and authorities”.

Archpriest Maksim Kozlov agreed, but he also said on state TV that his church hopes the young women and their supporters change their ways, saying, “We’re simply praying and hoping that these young women and all these people shouting in front of the court building, committing sacrilegious acts not only in Russia but in other countries, realise that their acts are awful. Despite this, the church is asking for mercy within the limits of law”.

Both clerics supported the court’s decision to prosecute Pussy Riot, despite an international outcry that labelled the action unfair. Governments, including those in the United States, Britain, France, and Germany, denounced the sentences as disproportionate. The Pussy Riot case has emphasised the vast influence of the Russian Orthodox Church. Although church and state are formally separate, the church identifies itself as the heart of Russian national identity and critics say its strength effectively makes it a quasi-state entity. Some Orthodox groups and many believers had urged strong punishment for an action they consider blasphemous.

The head of the church, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev, made no secret of his strong support for Putin, praising his leadership as “God’s miracle”, and he described the punk performance as part of an assault by “enemy forces” on the church. The Orthodox Church said in a statement after Friday’s verdict that the band’s stunt was a “sacrilege” and a “reflection of rude animosity toward millions of people and their feelings”. It also asked the authorities to “show clemency toward the convicted in the hope that they will refrain from new sacrilegious actions”.

18 August 2012

Mansur Mirovalev

Associated Press

http://www.centredaily.com/2012/08/17/3302917/pussy-riot-members-sentenced-to.html

Editor’s Note:

Do note the smug, smarmy, and sanctimonious tone of the above post. The West has no moral high ground… not after the Easter bombing of Belgrade in ’99… not after the selling of organs from murdered Serbs in Kosovo… not after the repeated use of “black sites” for torture. I simply say that all groups have multiple sins on their plates… and that the West has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to teach those of us whose spiritual or physical home is in the Orthosphere.

I find the schoolmarmish condescension of Western institutions and people noxious and hypocritical in the extreme. I’d say that they have their own disordered house to put in order. Let them do that before they lecture the rest of us…

BMD

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

6 March 2012. The Truth is EXCITING… Heaven is Joyful… Hell is in Earnest… Ponder That…

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To hear some people talk, all the fun’s on the hell-bound train, whilst the road to Heaven is paved with tears and sadness, and one has to subsist on a diet of thin gruel, Brussels sprouts, stewed prunes, and water on the way. Actually, the opposite is true. Heaven’s full of joyful abandon and GOD SMILES… hell’s full of deadly earnest seriousness, humourless keenness, and Satan‘s perpetual grimace of all-consuming care. Makes one wonder, doesn’t it? Heaven is more like the child-like simplicity that Fr Vladimir Sukhobok showed during his life than it’s like the high-minded purposefulness of Panteimon Metropoulos or Gleb Podmoshensky. It’s NEVER “pious”… it’s loving… it’s NEVER “serious”… it’s playful.

Know this… as Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov put it, we need to grasp “unholy holiness”… think on that one… now, there’s a Lenten meditation…

BMD

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