Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky, the First Hierarch of the UOC/MP, Served Liturgy at St Nicholas Monastery in Khust Raion on the Feastday of Righteous St Aleksei Kabalyuk Confessor of Podkarpatskaya Rus

00 Khust. Carpatho-Russia. liturgy 01. 22.10.14

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00 Khust. Carpatho-Russia. liturgy 02. 22.10.14

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00 Khust. Carpatho-Russia. liturgy 03. 22.10.14

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00 Khust. Carpatho-Russia. liturgy 04. 22.10.14

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On 21 October, on the feastday of the Righteous St Aleksei Kabalyuk Confessor of Podkarpatskaya Rus (2001), as part of an archpastoral visit to the Diocese of Khust, Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky of Kiev and all the Ukraine, the First Hierarch of the UOC/MP, served Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Monastery in Iza-Karpovtlash (Khust Raion) in Podkarpatskaya. Besides, this day was the 100th anniversary of the tragic Maramorosh-Sigotsky trial of Orthodox activists in 1913-14. The accused were on trial because they professed the Orthodox faith openly. The main defendant was Priest Aleksei Kabalyuk… an active partisan in the movement to revive Orthodoxy in Podkarpatskaya. On 21 October 2001, the late Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan canonised St Aleksei at the St Nicholas Monastery.

At the service, which took place outdoors to accommodate a crowd of thousands of believers, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry served along with Metropolitan Mark Petrovtsy of Khust and Vinogradov, Metropolitan Fyodor Gayun of Kamenets and Gorodok, Metropolitan Sergei Gensitsky of Ternopol and Kremenetsk, Metropolitan Vladimir Moroz of Pochaev, Metropolitan Antony Pakanich of Borispol and Brovary (UOC/MP Chancellor), Archbishop Ioann Siopko of Kherson and the Tauride, Archbishop Fyodor Mamasuev of Mukačevo and Užgorod, Archbishop Melety Egorenko of Chernovtsy and Bukovina, Bishop Antony Borovik of Ugolsk, Bishop Efrem Yarinko of Berdyansk and the Primorsky, Bishop Kliment Vecherya of Irpensk, Bishop Paisjusz Martyniuk of Gorlice (Orthodox Church of Poland), Archimandrite Iov Stec (Secretary of the Diocese of Khust), governor Monastery Archimandrite Adrian Maleta (Superior of St Nicholas Monastery), the clergy of the monastery, and many clergy from the Diocese of Khust, the Orthodox Church of Czechia and Slovakia, and the Orthodox Church of Poland. Local officials came to the liturgy, including Vasili Gubal, the head of the Podkarpatskaya Oblast OGA, Podkarpatskaya Oblast Soviet Chairman Ivan Balogh, and Mayor of Khust Vladimir Kashchuk.

In his sermon to the assembled believers, Metropolitan Onufry described the tragic events of a century ago, and noted the example of courage and resilience in the faith shown by St Aleksei, along with all the other confessors with him. During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Onufry prayed for peace in the Ukraine. He also lifted up prayers for the repose of the souls of all those who fought for the Orthodox faith in Podkarpatskaya. After the end of the festive Liturgy, in gratitude for the archpastoral visit, the thousands of believers sang Many Years for Vladyki Onufry, along with the choir.

21 October 2014

Media Service of the UOC/MP

http://news.church.ua/2014/10/21/zakarpattya-v-den-proslavlennya-prepodobnogo-oleksiya-karpatoruskogo-predstoyatel-ukrajinskoji-pravoslavnoji-cerkvi-zvershiv-bozhestvennu-liturgiyu-u-svyato-mikolajivskomu-cholovichomu-monastiri/

Editor:

The Uniate pig who is the “Governor” of Podkarpatskaya Oblast refused to show up at the Liturgy. The head of the OGA (Oblast State Administration… the administrative apparat of the oblast) DID show. Note well that I I Balogh (the brother of V I Balogh) was at the Liturgy… that means that Vladyki Onufry confabbed with him. No one knows what went down… but it sure looks like Onufry is deep into plotting. The Balogh brothers (“Clan Balogh”… Viktor, Ivan, and Pavel) are the “bosses of Podkarpatskaya”. Nothing goes down without their say-so. Some say that V I Balogh (the most powerful brother) is in Hungary now (or has gone and has returned), for what, no one knows, although people have reported that he’s confabbed with both government and Jobbik figures. The Triumvirate shitcanned Geletei… Geletei was a major pal of the Baloghs. There’s no doubt that the Baloghs believe that they’re next on the shit list. There’s also no doubt that Vladyki Onufry believes that the junta isn’t long for this world and he’s gathering intel personally.

The Uniates are taking “stupid pills” big-time. They should have gone to this affair… but they didn’t… or the UOC/MP didn’t report it. The Uniates rant that they’re “Orthodox in Union with the See of Rome”. Until they recognise Ss Maksim Sandovich and Aleksei Kabalyuk… they aren’t. They’re peddling utter horseshit. These bodies have become nothing but Roman Catholics with a funny liturgy… as institutions, they’re NOT very Orthodox at all (note well that the “Byzantine Catholic” clergy and hierarchy kiss the junta’s ass, whilst the people don’t). God willing, “Byzantine Catholic” believers will see this… and do something of it. Your place at table IS waiting for you in the Last Homely Home…

BMD

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

21 October 2014. A Wrinkle on the OCA’s “Background Checks”

01 money down toilet

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Due to the bad publicity stemming from the Storheim affair and the well-known homosexual hijinks of some higher clergy, the OCA is requiring clergy and altar servers to undergo “background checks”. That isn’t what’s wrong… it’s that the OCA is making them pay for it out of their own pockets! In other words, the OCA has to run checks so that its insurers and lawyers are happy, but the institutional Church is refusing to pay for it and is trying to fob the costs onto the clergy and servers. Lyonyo and Jillions deserve a Cossack horsewhipping for this. Watch ‘em crawl outta their holes and claim that it ain’t so. They have money for ecumenical lovefeasts with the papist attackers of the Mother Church (and for indifferentist meetings with the Uniate killers of our compatriots in Novorossiya), but they have no money to pay for the background checks demanded by their insurers and lawyers. I’ll check into Bedlam with Mr Scrooge…

The OCA continues to deteriorate as Mollard drools vacuously (yet, more than one source has told me that’s preferable to Dahulich having the white hat… I tend to agree). Yet, that may be for the best in the end… each day sees one less true believer in the OCA Myth… that’s a GOOD thing. Let it mature in God’s good time…

BMD

Monday, 20 October 2014

20 October 2014. A Call for Pastoral Sanity… It’s Time to Gag the Rigourist Idiots

a fork in the road

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I adapted the following from an article on the Catholic Church here. It spoke to some problems that we have too. I’ll have more to say, but let’s get the raw meat on the table, first. Again, what follows is an adaptation!

BMD

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I don’t call for discussion to change teaching, but to expand it to include missing parts… the “missionary” and “pastoral” dimension… the merciful, healing, loving, welcoming part of the Church, which those outside the Faith don’t get to see. If you come to understand why they don’t, well, you get the point of my call. Those of us who know the Church know that in our parishes, schools, and institutions, our pastors pastor. They tend to us, nurture us, help us, and support us… whoever we are, and whatever our stage of moral development. Most of us live in a gap between who we are and who we’re called to be; being Orthodox isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. The doorway is wide; inside, essentially, it’s warm and welcoming… a clinic for the feeble, not a club of the smug. It’s nuanced and compassionate, even if it keeps the goals clearly in the spotlight.

So why do so many people see only judgementalism and rejection, even pharisaism? It’s because some concentrate on asserting doctrinal clarity and uniformity, partly to restore direction following divisions opened up in the early 1960s (the time of the Church War… SVS and Jordanville had a real Cold War going on). This meant keeping out the pastoral. We just didn’t discuss awkward pastoral questions, so, existing teaching and practise suffered, too. We have to bring the peripheral into the centre, breaking open the Church to a new (yet ancient and old) pastoral language. We need to ask tough questions with unprecedented frankness… how does one bind the wounds of the divorced, whilst promoting indissolubility? How do we embrace gay people, whilst celebrating marriage as a conjugal institution? How can the church be, like a good parent, both clear teacher and merciful mother? The tensions are as old as Jesus, who called people to lifelong sexual fidelity yet saw the adulteress as both sinner and victim. What’s new is bringing the tension into the governance of the Church.

A few think this is deeply misguided. They make a lot of noise… but compared with those who consistently favour a pastoral and missionary reset, they’re a tiny number. However, that means only that we need a lot more discussion and reflection before we can come up with concrete proposals. What matters is that we bring the pastoral to bear on the doctrinal… the Church decided to live in that tension. It’s a lot less tidy, but a lot more holy.

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His Holiness said, “The Church respects all human decisions, including those of sexual orientation, but we reserve the right to call sin a ‘sin’”. That is, I’m not calling for throwing out actual synodically-defined doctrines of the Church. The Councils are what they are… the Lived Tradition is what it is… the Canons as actually wielded by the Church reflect what it truly is.

To hear some, you’d think that homosexuality and abortion are the central questions in Christianity. They are not. Emphatically, they’re not. Our Lord Christ left us no clear guidance… the Church simply tells us that homosexual activity is sinful… and that abortion is a sin, too. However, neither is at the level of greed… the Mother Sin, as it were. As the Apostle put it, ῥίζα γὰρ πάντων τῶν κακῶν ἐστιν ἡ φιλαργυρία (Root for all the evil is the love of money)… “Love of money is the root of all evil”. In Latin, it’s Radix malorum est cupiditas… cupidity is ardent desire, inordinate longing or lust; covetousness. Yet, the modern-day moralists say nothing about this… they urge us to vote for Republican greedsters due to their stance on “morality”. However, if greed, cupidity, the love of money, is the root of all evil… and Apostle St Paul IS an authoritative source… it means that we can’t vote for a faction whose mottos are “Greed is good”… “Winning is the only thing”… “America is a spotless city on a hill”.

Note well that there’s no tension in their world-view… as there must be in all forms of Truth. Its all “black n’ white”… yet, the Church is the most Zen-like of all the Christian bodies… it out-Zens Zen! As a priest told me once, “The Church keeps certain things undefined so as to give its clergy the pastoral freedom to deal with specific cases. When a teaching comes under attack… then, the Church MAY define it… but only after reaching a consensus”. Orthodoxy gives us the right questions to ask to come up with the right answers… it isn’t a stereotyped set of responses, regardless of the circumstances. Orthodoxy is authoritative… but only after long and often acrimonious debate. It took the Church CENTURIES to deal with Arianism… it wasn’t an overnight thing.

We face the same sort of thing here. There are pastoral problems in the Church… but they’re pastoral, not doctrinal. I truly don’t see a major problem with homosexuality in the Church (sorry, the konvertsy obsessed with it don’t seem to realise that they’re in a body that really doesn’t have much of a “gay problem”). It’s simply not there… as the Church doesn’t excommunicate gays… it doesn’t shun them… but it also doesn’t bless “gay marriage” nor does it bless homosexuality. It realises that a certain number of people are gay… it recognises this. It doesn’t bless it… it doesn’t commend it. When Bishop Job Osacky allowed Mark Stokoe to take communion, he wasn’t blessing homosexuality… that was oikonomia… an exception that didn’t overturn the rule. That’s how we do things. The rule stands… but we interpret it compassionately and with the intent of keeping people within the Church. We don’t use the rules as clubs… as one sees in certain konvertsy circles (Paffhausen is a good example of this). We deploy the canons as positive tools of healing and integration.

I know that this will cause certain of the rigourists to come out of their holes. So be it. I am NOT arguing for “anything goes”… however, I AM saying that we can’t allow a loud set to take over the direction of the ship. Remember, the same people who obsess on homosexuality and abortion also obsess on questionable doctrinal positions like the so-called “toll houses” (I believe that the ROCOR Synod was correct in closing down all discussion on them).

As a priest at Jordanville once told me, “St Serafim said, ‘Save your own soul, and thousands will be saved around you’. That means that you should concentrate on cleansing yourself. If you can do this little thing, the larger will fall into place”. The older that I get, the wiser that gets! If you can work on yourself, it affects the world around you… now, that’s what I believe. If you want to go out to crusade against this or that, my advice is to leave Orthodoxy… that’s not what we do. However… do ponder what the “big tent” means… and the big tent does exist in Russian Orthodoxy. There’s room for all sort of people in Christ’s Church. It’s a House of Sinners… not the Haven of the Saved. The older that I get, the more “lenient” that I get… the Church is all about Ultimate Things. Anything that distracts from that is wrong. The Crusaders against gays and abortion should reflect on that. There IS a wrong way on focusing on the right things… now, THAT’S a meaty bone to gnaw upon!

BMD

Sunday, 19 October 2014

19 October 2014. A Church Service in Poland

00 Metropolitan Rastislav Gont of Prešov PCČKS. 13.01.14

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The young bishop in the vid is Rostislav Gont, the First Hierarch of the Local Church of Czechia and Slovakia.

BMD

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