Voices from Russia

Friday, 23 January 2015

State and Church Share “Close Views” on Kosovo

00 Nikolic and Irinej. Serbia. 23.01.15

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On Thursday, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić met with Serbian Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović “to discuss his proposal for a final settlement for Kosovo”. Nikolić, who often meets with the SPC head, said that his recently announced platform “would go towards what Serbia can accept as a final solution, without threatening its sovereignty and territorial integrity”. After a meeting that lasted almost two hours, President Nikolić told reporters that he and the Holy Synod have “very close views” about the issue, saying, “We talked about Kosovo and Metohija, the fate of our nation, our territory, the SPC, security in Kosovo and Metohija, and about how I see a solution”.

He noted that these are still “only discussions and consultations” and that there’s no “formal document” to present to the President of the Government, and, then, to the public. Nikolić said, “I presented some of my thoughts and I didn’t meet disapproval or disagreement from the Holy Synod. So, we’re very close in our thinking about what it should look like in the end”. Asked when the public would see the document, he said that he’d work “closely and intensively” to agree on this with President of the Government Aleksandar Vučić, “because such a document requires general agreement, or at least consent from the assembly, for what the government would propose on behalf of the President. It isn’t something that we should argue about, it’s a document in which we must find solutions that the government would support, as the body that needs to implement it and that’s negotiating in Brussels”. He called for patience, saying that we must wait for the meeting between Belgrade and Priština in Brussels, scheduled for 9 February, “to attempt to continue where (the dialogue) came to a halt a while ago. It seems to me that in that time we’ve all had time to think about what’s happening and what awaits us, and I think that we understand that procrastination and wasting time isn’t working in favour of Serbia”.

Nikolić said the other topics covered today included problems in the functioning of the Church, its relationship with state authorities, and the issue of restitution, saying, “The church has concerns about developments in Kosovo and Metohija, and I think it’s proper for His Holiness and the Synod to want to be informed about what’s being done, how far we’ve come”. Nikolić added that, as a member of the SPC, he’s anxious to know the views of the Synod, whilst exchanging thoughts with the Patriarch “helps make many things clearer. Now, I think that the need to meet more often is very manifest, at a time when we might face great temptations in solving major Serbian issues”.

22 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=22&nav_id=92956

Macedonia: Bishop Jovan Kept in Prison Despite Deal to Release Him

00 Police handcuffing Abp Jovan. 06.12

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The Prokuratura in Skopje filed a complaint against a decision to release SPC Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid, thus, he must stay in prison. Previously, a court decided that Bishop Jovan should receive conditional release and leave prison on 19 January. According to Macedonian media, the turnabout came “at the last-minute”. Archbishop Jovan is serving a sentence for allegedly embezzling 250,000 Euros (18 million Roubles. 1.75 million Renminbi. 17.45 million INR. 282,000 USD. 352,000 CAD. 353,000 AUD. 189,000 UK Pounds); the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) brought the charges against him. On Tuesday, Beta said that Vladyki Jovan was once in the MPC, but later sought “canonical unity with the SPC”; he’s now the head of “the SPC Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid“.

The Prokuratura Office for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption announced that it believed that the court should re-examine the circumstances of the decision to release him, as well as “whether the release would achieve the objectives intended”. It also stated that the Prokuratura believed that there’s evidence of “changed circumstances which indicate that the convicted person in the future may continue to commit criminal acts, so, therefore, doesn’t justify the trust shown toward him when granting provisional release”. The Prokuratura said in a statement on 12 January, after receiving the ruling to set Archbishop Jovan free, “After analysing the circumstances, we determine that the solution was lawful”, announcing at the same time, “We wouldn’t appeal against the decision”.

The MPC, which laid the original charges against Vladyki Jovan, is now in favour of his release. After mediation from the MP in late 2014, the MPC called on the government to “show mercy” toward Archbishop Jovan. Since he’s been ill, the imprisoned bishop recently had a brief stay in hospital in Skopje. After the announcement that he’d receive release “for good behaviour”, the SPC in Macedonia said that it’d seek “unconditional acquittal of all charges” against him. The SPC believed that the bishop’s incarceration was due to political decisions, namely, due to the dispute between the churches. The SPC doesn’t recognise the MPC as autocephalous.

20 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=20&nav_id=92925

Editor:

Obviously, this is due to American interference… you can thank such champions of “American Exceptionalism” as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. These guys posture as “Christians”… I think not. It’s clear that the MPC wasn’t behind this, as it’d scupper all talks between them and the SPC. If you marched in the March for Life, you marched AGAINST Vladyki Jovan, as you marched in support of the amoral sectarian Republican opponents of Christ’s Church. Think things through, or you might end by doing the opposite of what you intended. Do think twice before agreeing with such pro-sectarian traitors as Josiah Trenham, Jonas Paffhausen, and Patrick Reardon. Some “Pro-Life”…

BMD

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

BREAKING NEWS… Russian Mediation Springs Archbishop Jovan from Macedonian Slam… Alfeyev Confabbed with Macedonian Leaders in December

00 Archbishop Jovan in Prison. 06.12

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A court in Skopje granted conditional release to Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski, the head of the SPC Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid, on 19 January. Meanwhile, Tanjug reported that the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) expects that a dialogue with the SPC on its status would begin afterwards, with mediation from the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS). Metropolitan Petar of Prespa and Pelagonija, the MPC administrator for Australia and New Zealand, announced in an interview with TV Sunce that the MPC Holy Synod would most likely discuss this. Skopje media reported that he said that the MPC expects a positive response from the MP, which has stepped in to mediate in the dispute over the status of the MPC. The MPC is uncanonical; the SPC considers it schismatic since it declared autocephaly unilaterally in 1967.

Following “insistence” from MP sources, Macedonia will free Archbishop Jovan on conditional release after spending three years in prison. Visiting Macedonia on 21 December 2014, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, the head of the OVTsS, urged Vraniškovski’s provisional release. Metropolitan Ilarion made the request during meetings with the head of the MPC Archdiocese of Ohrid, President of the Macedonian Government Nikola Gruevski, and President of the Republic of the Macedonia Ǵorge Ivanov… who has the constitutional power to pardon… and also met with Vraniškovski.

Since 2003, the Macedonian authorities arrested Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski six times on different charges, including public disorder when he tried to conduct a baptism ceremony in a church the MPC sees as its own. He also faced charges of “inciting ethnic and religious hatred” for having “slandered the MPC” and spent a total of almost 18 months in prison. The authorities last arrested Vraniškovski on 12 December 2011, upon entering Macedonia from Greece, on charges of having misappropriated 250,000 Euros (17.8 million Roubles. 1.84 million Renmnbi. 18.4 million INR. 296,000 USD. 349,000 CAD. 363,000 AUD. 196,000 UK Pounds). He returned to the country to request a retrial, only to have the cops arrest him and dump him in Idrizovo prison near Skopje, where he remains to this day.

The MPC defrocked Archbishop Jovan and the SPC appointed him as Serbian exarch in Macedonia. The SPC believes that Archbishop Jovan is a victim of rigged political trials because of his opposition to the schism, while Amnesty International and Freedom House said that he’s a prisoner of conscience. Tanjug reported that the stated position of the MP is, “We’d be unable to help in the Macedonian-Serbian church dispute for as long as Vraniškovski remains in prison”.

13 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=13&nav_id=92852

Editor:

Note that this was due to Russian mediation. Is the MP up to something? Is the Russian state up to something? If the MPC and SPC reconcile, will the Phanar sit at table or will it pout and stay away on American orders? This would complicate any all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016. Besides that, is this part of a Russian effort to prise Macedonia out of the American orbit? Look at Russian efforts in Hungary, Slovakia, and Greece… it’s also tempting Romania with pieces of the Ukraine. It looks like the American project in Eastern Europe is unravelling, and right quickly, too.

BMD

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

RT Presents… Orthodox Christmas Celebrations in Russia and Abroad

00 global orthodox christmas 01. 07.01.15Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias gave the traditional Christmas address to believers at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF on 6 January

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00 global orthodox christmas 02. 07.01.15

Believers gathered for Christmas Eve services at the Church of the Nativity in Krasnoyarsk (Krasnoyarsk Krai. Siberian Federal District) RF

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00 global orthodox christmas 03. 07.01.15

Christmas Day in Russia marks the birth of Jesus Christ according to Orthodox Christian Orthodox tradition

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00 global orthodox christmas 04. 07.01.15

Serbian believers took part in a ceremonial burning of the badnjak (dried oak branches), a Yule log symbol for Orthodox Christmas Eve, in front of a church in Smederevo, some 60 kilometres east of Belgrade, on 6 January 2015

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00 global orthodox christmas 05. 07.01.15

The vast majority of people in Georgia are Orthodox Christians. Early on 7 January, Georgian Orthodox believers went to Christmas services at Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi

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00 global orthodox christmas 06. 07.01.15

Songs play an important role in Christmas traditions, and Georgian Christmas carols have a spirit of beauty and dignity

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00 global orthodox christmas 07. 07.01.15

Christmas is a major holy day in the Orthodox world; in Cairo, Coptic Pope Tawadros blessed the communion bread during Christmas Eve services at St Mark Cathedral, the seat of the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate

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00 global orthodox christmas 08. 07.01.15

The total number of Orthodox Christians around the world is about 300 million… Bosnian Serb Orthodox Hieromonk Andrej Kovacevic prayed on the eve of Orthodox Christmas in Sokolica Church, in Ravna Romanija, on 6 January 2015

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00 global orthodox christmas 09. 07.01.15

Greek Orthodox clergy waiting for the arrival of the Greek Patriarch of Jerusalem Metropolitan Theophilos before the Eastern Orthodox Christmas procession outside the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, 6 January 2015

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7 January 2015

RT

http://rt.com/in-vision/christmas/

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