Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Video. Praise Befits the Just! (music by Rakhmaninov)

This is a video tribute to Metropolitan Laurus Škurla of New York. On 17 May of this year, the Russian Orthodox Churches in the homeland and abroad reconciled after some 80-odd years of estrangement. It was mainly due to the courage, determination, and vision of Metropolitan Laurus. This healing of an old wound is the fruit of his efforts and sincere desire to overcome old divisions. That’s why Patriarch Aleksei is kissing his hand in respect in the last image of this video.


Vladyki Laurus Škurla is 80 today: A Salutary Exemplar

Metropolitan Laurus Škurla of New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, is 80 today. Greetings were sent by His Holiness Aleksei Rediger, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias and also by President Vladimir Putin. Last year, on 17 May, a historic reconciliation took place in Moscow between the MP and the ROCOR. This was due to the efforts, wisdom, and determination of Vladyki Laurus. He ended the obscurantist policy of Vitaly Ustinov, and brought the ROCOR back into the Orthodox mainstream. There’s much loose talk concerning “church unity” these days, mainly aired by unformed and recent converts. There’s no hope of such on the horizon. SCOBA is nothing but an EP “talk shop”, there’s no actual and substantive move towards a real corporate unity. Vladyki Laurus showed us the way to a practical and attainable union. He joined the ROCOR to the MP, and Patriarch Aleksei wisely didn’t raise onerous conditions. The only real unity on the horizon in North America today is the bringing together of the three Russian bodies on the continent… the ROCOR, the MP/US, and the healthy portions of the OCA (the looney-left fringe at New Skete and SVS can go off to AOCANA, and they’re welcome to them). We have two examples to follow. We can emulate Vladyki Laurus and seize the attainable unity that is within our grasp, or, we can listen to pied pipers such as Peter Gillquist, Chad Hatfield, or Joseph Honeycutt. Either we can have an actual and limited unity, or we can waste our efforts in the pursuit of a chimerical and reductionist “unity” that can’t be (and shouldn’t be, in my opinion). The choice is ours. I choose to follow the path of Metropolitan Laurus. What about you?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

1 January 2008

Albany NY

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