Voices from Russia

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin: “We Have No Future if We Allow Them to Divide Us and to Oppose Each Other”

00 Pavel Sokolov-Skalia. The Mother of All Russian Cities... Kiev is Free! 1943

The Mother of All Russian Cities… Kiev is Free!

Pavel Sokolov-Skalia

1943

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Editor:

Lately, some liars in Western media sources, abetted by unscrupulous “Orthodox” elements in the West, insinuated that HH doesn’t support the rejoining of the Crimea to Russia, and that he opposes President Vladimir Putin. Fr Vsevolod is the closest advisor to HH, and he often speaks for him on sensitive topics. Once you’ve read what’s below, you’ll know that what Radio Liberty and Sophia Kishkovsky are spouting is dezinformatsiya of the first order. However, don’t get too hot about them… they’re only doing what their paymasters demand of them… low sorts will always be with us, no?

The truth will set you free. Check out what Fr Vsevolod says…

BMD

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Undoubtedly, the events in the Ukraine cause pain and anxiety to many of our believers, not to mention many Orthodox people around the world. To put it mildly, one saw bloodshed and there were untoward actions against canonical Orthodox communities. The situation remains volatile. In many places, one hears anti-Russian diatribes and anti-Russian slogans. There was a great deal of that in the last few days. However, now, as we take a more in-depth look at the situation, one sees fewer grounds for contentment and complacency every day. The future of the entire Orthodox civilisation is in jeopardy; what’s at stake is its ideological and social identity, which affects its ability to decide its own path, both in the context of life in Europe and in the world at large.

On the one hand, it’s good to note that Orthodox bishops, clergy, and believers continue to show clearly their allegiance to the Orthodox Weltanschauung and lifestyle. Immediately after receiving disturbing news, the people came to those monasteries and churches endangered by events. People aren’t afraid to talk about their hopes. Not accidentally, in his speech of 21 February, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill thanked “those members of the Ukrainian episcopate and clergy who… despite the clamour from every side… found the strength to consistently urge peace and brotherly love upon those in conflict, who firmly stood behind the right of Ukrainians to live in harmony in all faith and piety, who demanded that we preserve the Ukraine’s traditional moral and religious values, the source of which was the baptismal font of Kievan Rus, which determined the civilisational development of the peoples of Holy Rus”.

On 26 February, the Supreme Church Council, headed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, also appealed “to all Orthodox Christians in the Ukraine, regardless of their political stance, to stand up to prevent attacks on [Orthodox holy places]“. It expressed gratitude to those “who stood up to protect churches and monasteries, to prevent their desecration, and to oppose those who wanted to tear away from the true Church”. Indeed, often, Orthodox believers showed their commitment in standing up for the faith, for the Church, for their churches and holy places.

However, on the other hand, I’m convinced that what faces us today calls for a much more organised, meaningful, and unified response. We can’t embody the ethos of the Orthodox civilisation if another bloc takes over chunks of its territory, a bloc contrary to our political, ideological, and moral ideals. We have no future if we allow them to divide us and to oppose each other. We’d betray the memory of our ancestors and our great saints if we reconciled with those who allowed the spiritual enslavement of any of the peoples of our civilisation, if we showed shallow lukewarm apathy, if we lived according to the principle “his house is on the other side of the fence”, if we preferred our personal everyday comfort to those great goals laid before the Orthodox world… the transformation of our lives and the lives of all mankind through the law of Christ.

Due to the behaviour in the recent events of some of the Ukrainian and Russian élites, I’d remind everyone of these significant words from the Gospel, Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also (Gospel according to St Matthew 6.21). These words couldn’t be more relevant today. Many have their treasure… both material and spiritual… in foreign parts. As soon as there’s a real danger of serious dispute with the West, they have a visceral fear of losing their treasure, which they then wrap up in seemingly reasonable political, legal, and even twisted theological arguments. However, he who fears, always loses. Whoever retreats, loses everything. Anyone who negotiates primarily on Western terms, which gradually become ever more onerous, will suffer defeat; they’d destroy them, leaving them no ability to set any conditions or even rely on the West’s charity. History shows what happened to those leaders who tried the path of endless concessions.

Today, we should respect the choices of the people who make up Ukrainian society, including supporters of the Western orientation. Nobody should declare this choice impossible or try to force them to change. However, it’s also true that one can’t rule out as an alternative for the country’s future the choice of tens of millions of people, who identify themselves as Orthodox, who believe in Orthodox civilisation, who say that Kiev, Pochaev, Kharkov, Odessa, Kherson, and Sevastopol are significant Orthodox centres. if these people can’t take part in the future of the Ukraine, if there’s no possibility for them to build their lives according to their outlook in their country, as well as throughout Eastern Europe, we won’t have a truly just peace in the world.

One can’t achieve true peace through the brutal suppression of others. Moreover, of course, God and history will punish us severely if we allow others to transform the Ukrainian people into a people hostile to the Russian people and hostile to the Orthodox world, if we allowed others to turn them into a people enslaved by external forces, Western or Eastern. Such a future is unworthy of the Ukrainian people… wise, faithful, of strong character, who never bowed down to enslavers… they’re capable of being one of the main actors in our universal Orthodox civilisation, both in Europe and throughout the world.

vsevolod chaplin4 March 2014

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin

Head of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society

Pravoslavny Vzglyad (“Orthodox View”)

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=radio&div=2094

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Thursday, 20 March 2014

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Sez It’s Time for Russian Politicians to Choose Between Following Russian National interests or Having Money in Foreign Bank Accounts

Tues Moscow 06 VRNS V Chaplin

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Editor:

Secular leftists would do well to read the third paragraph… it has the Church’s view on “libertarianism” and crapitalism. I think that it may win us some friends… we DO march on the same road…

BMD

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On Tuesday, Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO), urged Russian politicians not to fear sanctions, and more resolutely uphold Russian civilisational values ​​and the Russian national interest, saying, “I think that when the USA, Canada and the EU imposed sanctions against some of our politicians, it actually honoured them. This is especially true of Yelena Mizulina, who wasn’t involved with the Crimea at all, but she’s consistently spoken for the need to protect childhood’s innocence and she’s against homosexual propaganda [amongst minors]; in general, she resolutely supports eternal and unchanging moral values​”.

In his view, those who stand for such traditional Russian values are radically at odds with “progressive” Western élites, noting, “By the way, this isn’t true of everybody in the West. Even there, more and more people, thank God, support a return to these moral values, which our Unchanging Creator gave to mankind. It’s time to choose for our politicians… will you follow the supreme truth or will you seek a fat bank account abroad, will you choose the freedom of our civilisation to choose its own way or will you choose to choose to go to fishy foreign resorts, will you listen to the people or will you heed shouts and orders from abroad”.

Fr Vsevolod was glad that the RF Gosduma expressed solidarity with those subjected to sanctions, he emphasised, “All would do well to follow suit, and all should withdraw money from accounts abroad and give up foreign property, all should give up, at least during Lent, profits from excessive bank interest, which has its foundation in an unjust global economic system. We must have the will to stand for our civilisation… we must give the greater good of our civilisation priority over private appetites; we must foster spirituality and patriotism, not consumption, we must emphasise eternal ideals, not fickle passions and vices. We must show our determination to stand firm until victory. Indeed, many in the West will stand with us; more and more people are disillusioned with empty ideals and meaningless so-called education, they despair of a political culture devoid of a higher dimension, without a link to the supreme truth”.

19 March 2014

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=54769

Editor:

Hear, hear! Note well that the certain factions in the Vatican (whose mouthpiece is AsiaNews) hate Fr Vsevolod and they hate what he said here in particular. Above, you have Fr Vsevolod’s words in full. Choose for yourself.

Do you support King Zbig and his drooling acolytes like Victoria Nuland, or, do you support Fr Vsevolod? It’s up to you…

BMD

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Monday, 24 February 2014

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Warned Those Who Might Attack Russian Orthodox Holy Sites in the Ukraine

Patriarch Kirill Ukraine 2010 02

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On Monday, at a roundtable in Moscow, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO), warned those who might think to seize the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra or any other holy site in the Ukraine. He said, “If you tried to change people’s minds about religion by using brute force, of course, you’d face that it’d increase the people’s determination to defend their shrines. You’d see that it’d strengthen the faith of the people, and you’d meet God’s eternal punishment, maybe, you’d even get God’s punishment in this life. We saw this many times in the lives of the Bolsheviks who assaulted our national holy places in the 1920s and 30s in the former USSR“.

He went to say, “I hope that no one raises a hand to encroach on the holy places of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra and its monastic brotherhood, which stems from centuries of monastic life in this ancient monastery, which belongs to the canonical Church”. He also said that for believers in Russia, Belarus, and Moldova, indeed, in all the countries where the MP has parishes, “what’s happening today in the Ukraine is a very sensitive issue, particularly, whether the canonical Church can defend its churches and holy places. Of course, I’d hope that our believers are willing to protect the ancient shrines of the millennium-long history of Orthodoxy in the Ukraine from any attacks.  In the case of any aggression against our national Orthodox shrines, Orthodox believers not only have the right, they have the duty, to protect these shrines”.

Fr Vsevolod also noted, “Perhaps, someone’s trying to set us at each other’s throats”; he urged his listeners not to listen to such promptings. He emphasised, “Likewise, it’s important to do everything not to inflame political passions, to enable the reasonable element amongst the Ukrainian people to make an informed choice, so that the country would find a decent path to the future, a path that would exclude transforming the Ukraine into a hostile state with respect to anyone whatsoever… to Europe, to Russia, to Poland, to the different ethnic communities resident there”. Fr Vsevolod pointed up, “Ukrainians are a Christian people, mostly, they’re Orthodox; they’re a people with a deeply rooted and profound wisdom. I’m confident that such insight wouldn’t allow the peoples of the Ukraine and of Russia to become enemies, even though some parties would love to see such. However, we must always remember our closeness and our amity, which has endured for more than a thousand years, despite all the differing and various political beliefs that have come and gone”.

24 February 2014

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=54547

Editor’s Note:

Vsevolod Anatolyevich often speaks for HH. That gives HH “deniability”… it also allows HH to float “controversial” projects or ideas without involving the patriarchal office’s dignity. I think that the takeaway here is clear… HH distrusts the American motives in the present coup d’état attempt in Kiev. He’s giving them a warning… “Call off your attack dogs, for our people WILL defend our holy places from Uniate or schismatical desecration”. HH doesn’t want this to happen, but he’s ready for trouble if trouble comes looking for him. He doesn’t want any violence… but he WILL defend the canonical Church and its rights. That’s the way it’s ‘sposed to be…

BMD

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Monday, 17 February 2014

17 February 2014. Whatever Happened to Deacon Andrei Kuraev? What Meaning Can We Pull from His “Fall?”

andrei-kuraev

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In the early 2000s, Deacon Andrei Kuraev was one of the leading lights in the Orthodox cyberworld. Lately, he’s become more and more strident, making all kinds of oddbod statements. I asked around and one source told me:

For years now, Kuraev has gone off. His problem is his self-obsession. Pro-Western media outlets, eager for any scandal, pay him much attention. Moreover, producing scandal so that people quote him consumes him; besides which, he’s obsessed with how many hits he gets. Charlie‘s right… Kuraev’s going Protestant; he’s gone Renovationist. He’s become an enemy of the Church in his egoistic quest for celebrity.

I agree. Deacon Andrei has gone off the rails. Once, he was a “go-to” source… today, he’s an embittered “dissident”. I think that he’s well on the way to being another Gleb Yakunin (who was one of the few people personally anathematised by the Church). I don’t think that he’ll be another Rusantsov, but he does have the potential for being defrocked.

Remember, the Church always does the least-invasive thing to solve a problem. For instance, in this case, the Centre used the least-invasive method of shitcanning him. “He didn’t attend to his duties as an MDA faculty member”. This was like the ROCOR Holy Synod stopping the Toll House Wars about thirty years ago by saying, “There’s not much revealed on this topic. All discussion of it should cease” (they should revisit that decision and muzzle the loud konvertsy who perpetually call the Toll Houses “an important Church Doctrine” (which it isn’t)). In the case of Podmoshensky, the ROCOR gave him the drop for serving under suspension (Lebedeff said that was a great relief; nobody wanted to go near the issue of sexual perversion unless that they absolutely had to).

This first disciplinary action… removing Kuraev from the MDA faculty… was a salutary warning. If he continues to fuck up… well, the Church hopes that he doesn’t. I noted that they said nothing of his connection with PSTGU… I wonder, does such need approval from the Vorobyov Mafia (perspirin’ minds wanna know)? Bear in mind how the Church dealt with the rank heresies of Bulgakov and Florensky… it condemned the heresies, but it showed mercy to the people involved.

For instance, to give a good example of such, the Church should send Seraphim Storheim off to live in a monastery, far from children, without any pastoral role. This would be fair to all parties. It’s fair to the victims… for it’d show that the Church implicitly believes their story by denying Storheim a public role. It’s fair to the believers… for they’d be spared worrying that there’d be a relapse. It’s fair to Storheim… for it’d spare him some shame and pain (look, a court found him guilty… that’s harsh enough for me… it DOES put the “Scarlet Letter” upon him, after all). It shows respect to the Court… it shows that the Church intends doing something to neutralise Storheim, removing the need for further legal action or imprisonment. Last of all, it’s fair to the Church… it means that the issue will die a natural death (that is, it’ll persist for as long as Storheim’s alive…  but after he’s dead, people would say, “Y’know, they did the right thing…”. Shall this happen? I’d truly like to see it happen, but given the nasty-ass attitude of Syosset and the First Families, I expect more legal manoeuvring, obfuscation, and denials… I’m not hoping for such, but that’s what I see.

It’s not just Deacon Andrei… it’s our whole attitude to dealing with dissidence and malfeasance. Frankly, we’d do well to stick to our traditional ways… they work. Take it one step at a time, and don’t dump on someone all the way all at once. Shall Deacon Andrei turn back? I don’t have a working crystal ball, do you? Things are never boring following the Church, are they?

BMD

 

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