Voices from Russia

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Veteran’s Last Wish Granted by Anonymous Donor

00 flowers on grave. 18.11.12

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Editor:

If you can send a fin or two to help in a good cause, attend to the phone number listed at the bottom of the article. This is on the up and square.

BMD

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This old soldier didn’t quite make it to Veterans Day. Jim Ayers’ failing heart gave its final beat on 7 August. He was 91. Ayers left the world penniless and with no relatives around to pick up the tab for the cost of his send-off. Of course, those who served can always receive free burial in a national VA cemetery. However, one of Ayers’ last wishes was that he be laid to rest in the neatly groomed graveyard that’s just a short walk from where he worshipped with those he called his family… St John The Baptist Antiochian Orthodox Church in Post Falls. Thanks to an anonymous donor who paid 2,650 USD (123,000 Roubles. 16,200 Renminbi. 163,000 INR. 3,000 CAD. 3,030 AUD. 2,120 Euros. 1,680 UK Pounds) for mortuary and gravesite costs, Ayers’ got his wish. Since then, people raised about half that figure to repay the generous donor. Though important, getting the rest of the bill settled was only part of the reason they invited me to St John’s last week.

Those who knew the retired insurance salesman best believe that we should remember his service to our country and the positive way that he lived his later years. Jenny Dancy, a spokesman for St Johns, said, “Jim was a happy, good-natured guy. He was easy to make friends with and you could tell that he wanted to make the rest of his time on Earth as meaningful as he could”. Dancy met Ayers in 2007, just after she landed a job driving a bus for the independent living home where he lived. She was also working on her University of Idaho undergraduate degree in psychology with a specialty in gerontology. In simple English, Dancy has a real heart for the elderly. It didn’t take long for her to become fast pals with this aged guy addicted to Lifesavers and the raw oysters served at a nearby restaurant. It also didn’t take long for Dancy to become aware of Ayers’ service during World War II.

One giveaway was the large black-and-white photograph that Ayers hung outside his room. It showed that Ayers was a proud member of the 604 Field Artillery Battalion, which fought and bled in support of the élite 10 Mountain Division. It also didn’t take long for Ayers to tell Dancy about the nickname they had for the mules that hauled shells and artillery pieces up and down the steep and primitive terrain that was impassable for motor vehicles. They called them “Jennies”. Laughing heartily, Dancy said, “He loved telling me that one”. Dancy related that Ayers told her, “The conditions were brutal. Brotherhood and camaraderie were necessary just for sheer survival. Italy was a war-torn country and terrain made troop and supplies movement very difficult”. The army drafted Ayers in 1943; he trained in the Rockies where conditions sometimes reached 30 below zero Fahrenheit (-34.5 degrees).

She said that his medals included the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the American Service Medal, and the Bronze Star. By the way, they buried the medals along with the old soldier. Dancy said of her friend, “You could tell that in his younger days he’d been quite a strong man, but he also had a tender heart and really cared about his fellow man”.

Anyone wishing to help can call Dancy at (208) 640-8596

11 November 2014

Doug Clark

The Spokesman-Review (Spokane WA)

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/nov/11/doug-clark-veterans-last-wish-granted-by/

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Court Reserves Decision in Ex-Archbishop’s Sex Assault Appeal

01 Canadian gavel

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Manitoba’s Court of Appeal reserved its decision on an appeal by Seraphim Kenneth Storheim, a former archbishop convicted of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the 1980s. On Friday morning, Storheim’s lawyer, Jeff Gindin, appeared before the court with photographs that he claims call a key witness’s testimony into question. Gindin said that the photographs show that the witness was not with Storheim in 1985, but in 1986. However, the appeal court justices questioned the validity of the photos… whether they show the boy in question and whether they were, in fact, taken in 1986. They pointed up that the witness who presented the photos to Gindin hasn’t signed an affidavit. The justices also questioned why the witness didn’t come forward during the trial. The judges said that the new evidence isn’t particularly “material”. The Crown argued that the photos are unverified, and even if they were admissible, they wouldn’t be enough to overturn the conviction. Prosecutors told the court that the only affidavit signed regarding new information was by an administrative assistant who was unable to verify the identity of the boy depicted in the photographs. Gindin argued that there wasn’t a “fair analysis of evidence” during the trial. The hearing continued until about 13.30, with the justices reserving their decision on the matter.

In January, a Manitoba court found Storheim guilty of sexual assault involving one of two brothers, who claim that the then-priest assaulted them when they were pre-teens. The brothers, who are now in their 30s, testified during the trial that they lived with Storheim briefly, on separate occasions, when they worked as altar boys in 1985.

31 October 2014

Katie Nicholson

CBC

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/court-reserves-decision-in-ex-archbishop-s-sex-assault-appeal-1.2819696

Editor:

Gindin is a weaselly sack o’ shit who based his defence on shredding the cred of the victims. That’s why many victims don’t come forward… the lawyer for the defence clobbers ‘em in the court without mercy and all the goodthinkers trash them in all sorts of public venues, especially, the internet. It’s a wonder that anyone comes forward at all… I’d say that the loud claques around clergy are the worst… they show such unbridled mean and nasty behaviour that one does doubt the reality of Christianity at times. I don’t know who’s worse… the clergy claques or the pompous phonies such as Freddy M-G and Rod Dreher. Trust me… it does makes me think at times that religion is just a grand n’ glorious mind-fuck, then, we die, for good-and-all. It doesn’t last… but I’ll say that the best argument against Christianity… is so-called “Christians”. Do think on it…

BMD

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Religious Roots of Russia’s Mistrust towards the West

aleksandr-nevsky-2007-rf

Right-Believing Grand Prince St Aleksandr Nevsky stopped the absorption of Russia into Catholic Europe and thus saved the Russian Orthodox faith

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There’s something in the Russian collective memory that causes Russian mistrust towards the West. Does this mistrust have religious roots? I don’t disagree completely with some of the points made in the article Anti-Western Sentiment as the Basis for Russian Unity, heavily criticised by fellow RI contributor Eric Kraus. Russian identity has a deeper anti-Western sentiment than implied by the recent rise of anti-Western sentiment among Russians, primarily caused by what they perceive as American and NATO aggression. So what is one of the main causes of Russia’s historical mistrust towards the West? For centuries, the Vatican tried to convert Russian Orthodox Christians to Catholicism. They succeeded in doing so with Orthodox Christians in the Western Ukraine and in parts of the Western Balkans. Even today, Vatican zealotry is alive and well. The Vatican is trying to achieve a “church union with Orthodox Christians”, of course under the primacy of the Pope. Russians saw foreign invaders… the Vatican, together with Swedish and Polish forces, Napoleon, Hitler, and NATO… as violent symbols of Western civilisation.

However, Russian identity didn’t gel as a reaction or historical reflex to Western expansionism. In its nature, Russian culture isn’t anti-Western or based on antagonism towards foreign civilisations or concepts.Many Russians would argue that Russian identity belongs to a different civilisational “code” as a successor of the great traditions and civilisation of New Rome. That’s the reason the Russian Empire was for centuries considered the Third Rome. Orthodox civilisation differs from its Western counterpart in terms of values, tradition, religion, and so on. Just read Samuel Huntington’s A Clash of Civilisations. Huntington posits that people’s cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Many would argue that this is exactly what’s happening in today’s world. Most of the recent conflicts have either religious or cultural causes. In addition, bloody civil wars in the Balkans, and now in the Ukraine, had a strong religious and civilisational dimension to them.

Let’s not forget that many American and European Christian conservatives support Putin because of his Christian vision and pro-family values. Maybe, could this be a reaction to their own governments’ openly anti-Christian and anti-family approach to social issues?

7 November 2014

Danmir Marinović

Russia-Insider

http://russia-insider.com/en/culture_christianity_society/2014/11/07/09-33-37am/religious_roots_russias_mistrust_towards_west

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00 russia 01. Viktor Vasnetsov. Three Bogatyrs. 1898

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Here’s what Mr Marinović wrote to an interlocutor in the commboxes:

I was referring to the Vatican, not to ordinary Catholic believers. There’s a big difference between good ordinary Catholics on one side and the corrupted Vatican and “infallible” Pope on the other. Click here for an excellent article about Vatican and Russia. As Dostoyevsky pointed up, “Papism is more dangerous than atheism, since it presents to us a profane and desecrated Christ usurping the earthly throne”, the Pope took the sword and added, “lies, intrigue, deception, fanaticism, and villainy”. Papism is dangerous precisely because it offers a counterfeit Christ.

You obviously deceive yourself when you claim that the Popes didn’t want to subordinate Orthodox for centuries. Yes, they didn’t ask for the Latin Mass, but they did ask us to admit the primacy of the Pope and to consider him “infallible in matters of faith”, which is blasphemy. As far as the power-hungry Vatican is concerned, you can worship God as you want, as long as you subordinate yourself to the Pope. The Pope replaced Christ; he’s the God in the Vatican church. There’s no place for Christ next to the Pope; you just need to adore the Pope and you’ll be saved. In regard to theological and other important differences between Catholics and the Orthodox Church, please, click here, here, and here.

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If you’d like to learn more what Catholic clergy did to “their Christian brothers”, to Orthodox Christians, in the Second World War, please, look at this documentary. Moreover, this documentary only relates the Vatican’s misdeeds in World War II; I’m not even mentioning any other tragic historical events related to the Vatican and Orthodox Christians. THE VATICAN’S HOLOCAUST isn’t a misnomer, an accusation, and even less a speculation. It’s a historical fact. Rabid nationalism and religious dogmatism were its two main ingredients. During the existence of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) as an independent Catholic State, over 700,000 men, women and children perished. Many were executed, tortured, died of starvation, buried alive, or were burned to death. Thousands were forced to become Catholic. Catholic padres ran concentration camps; Catholic priests were officers of the military that committed such atrocities. 700,000 in a total population of a few million, proportionally, would be as if a Catholic militia exterminated one-third of the American population.

The Ustaša slaughtered Serbs, Jews, and the Roma were in their villages after unspeakable tortures or burned alive in their churches. Those they didn’t murder, they expelled to Serbia proper after despoiling them of all their property or forcibly converting to the Roman Catholic faith by Franciscan and Roman Catholic clergy. Many suffered as slave labourers. The remaining people went to concentration camps where the majority perished. From gold and money stolen from these people, the Vatican enabled Nazis to escape to Argentina, on the so-called “ratlines”. Pope John Paul ll declared war criminal Alojzije Viktor Stepinac beatified in 1998.

I’d add that a good place to find some more intel on this is here, scroll down to “Dmitri Anatolyevich at the Radonezh Orthodox Gymnazia in Moscow”, then, scroll past the Vasnetsov painting and under the image of D A Belyukin, read that. There’s a lot of good stuff in that post… D A Belyukin is a People’s Painter of Russia, an Orthodox activist, a Russian patriot, and a world-class painter. Here’s the main quote:

Dmitri Anatolyevich asked, “Did you know that Prince Aleksandr Nevsky had a dilemma? He could go to war against the Horde or against the enemies from the West. Why do you think that he chose to face the latter threat?” The students replied, “Because they wanted to force Russia to convert to their faith!” Dmitri Anatolyevich replied, “The answer’s correct, harsh as it is. That is, the Tatars were content with tribute, they didn’t infringe upon the Faith, and they didn’t notice that Igumen Sergei of Radonezh had started to stir up the depths of the Russian land. The Westerners, on the other hand, wanted to bring their crusades to Russia, which, in many respects, the current popes carry out both covertly and openly. Therefore, it’s even more necessary for all of us to protect Orthodoxy as the mainstay and foundation of the unity of the nation”.

I also posted this… here’s the main quote:

It’s a frightening snapshot of the mindset of the Tea Party. They’re nothing but nativist Know-Nothings. It’s why we as Orthodox Christians can have nothing to do with them. They’re American Sectarians through-and-through. Their defining ideology is “Dominion Theology”, which states that the Bible (in its distorted and bowdlerised Proddie recension) trumps all civil law. Orthodox can’t have anything to do with that… our theology speaks of the symphonia of Church and State, each in its proper sphere, each with its own proper laws.

Many American Orthodox have succumbed to the siren song of American Sectarianism. After all, there are MILLIONS of them and only about a million Orthodox all told, of all “flavours”, in the USA. We must recognise that sectarianism is the greatest enemy to Our Lord Christ that exists in our country. Atheism doesn’t even come close to them… secularism is a pale opponent in comparison. A Russian priest wrote to me, “Sectarians use the name of Christ, but they aren’t of Him or in Him. They aren’t Christians, they’re of Satan”.

Orthodoxy isn’t defined “against” anything or anyone… it has its own positive dynamic. It stands alone… it’d exist even if there wasn’t a West or a Vatican or a Protestantism. We don’t define ourselves in comparison with anyone else. We are what we are… they are what they are… that’s what sober normal people think, any road. The same is true of Russian and Holy Rus… we aren’t Russian because we’re “not Westerners”… we’re Russians as Holy Rus is the successor of New Rome… we owe NOTHING to the West, and certainly not to drooling Anglo American toddler “conservatives” or “liberals” (both are two sides of a perverted neoliberal ideology that’s satanic to the bone). Russia has its own inner logic, wisdom, civilisation, faith, and folkways. We wish to live in peace with all people of good will… however… all those who march on Russia will be put to death! As it was, as it is, as it ever shall be!

One last thing… Samuel K Huntington did NOT originate the idea of “civilisational blocs”… that goes back to S M Solovyov in the 19th century (he was the father of the famous religious thinker V S Solovyov). Sergei Mikhailovich was one of the greatest Russian historians, but how many Westerners are even aware of his existence?

BMD

Saturday, 8 November 2014

8 November 2014. Lyonyo to be Protopresbyter…

00 The First Families Recurring Nightmare 03.12

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Here’s an announcement from Lyonyo Kishkovsky (one of the uncrowned “kings” of the Golden 400, or First Families):

Dear Friends:

Mimi and I would like to bring to your attention in a personal way two events this coming weekend. On Saturday, 8 November, at the Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Church of Our Lady of Kazan by Bishop Michael of New York, honors will be bestowed on the two priests of the parish… the jeweled cross for Fr John Bartholomew and the rank of protopresbyter for me. The greeting of the Bishop will be at 09.30 EST. The prayers for protopresbyter and jeweled cross will be read by the Bishop at the very beginning of the Liturgy. After the service, there’ll be a reception in the parish hall and church garden. On Sunday, 9 November, right after the Divine Liturgy (around 11.15 EST), we’ll celebrate a moleben for our daughter Sophia and her husband, Nicholas Sluchevsky, who were married in California on 26 October . Sonia and Kolya are with us this weekend. At the Sunday coffee hour, we’ll offer cake and champagne in honor of the newly-weds. No gifts, please. We’ll  be very happy if you can join us!

Fr Leonid

Note the smarmy “No gifts, please”… he wants everyone to know how “humble” he is. A truly humble man wouldn’t have written that… but he’s a typical First Family poseur. One wonders if Dickie Wood is going to tag along with Seraphim Gan, or whether he’s persona non grata. All the “people who matter” will be there. The rest of us peasants “can eat cake”. Ain’t that grand…

BMD

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