Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Patriarch Aleksei is troubled by Ukrainian Political Interference in Orthodox Church Affairs

His Holiness Aleksei Rediger (1929- ), Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, First Hierarch of the Moscow Patriarchate

Patriarch Aleksei of Moscow and all the Russias stated that the attempts of Ukrainian politicians to interfere in the internal affairs of the Orthodox Church were intolerable. “The schism in Ukrainian Orthodoxy has arisen precisely because of the intrusion of political elements into church life”, His Holiness said in his opening remarks to the MP Archpastoral Council in Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Moscow on Tuesday. “Understandably, when there is a confrontation in society on religious grounds, the state cannot remain indifferent, since such a conflict threatens its stability”. The patriarch informed the Council that the Ukrainian president, prime minister, and other officials expressed their uneasiness concerning the situation in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in their talks with him. “Sharing their concern, I stated firmly on my part that it was intolerable for politicians to interfere in church affairs”.

In his opinion, the Ukrainian government could make a contribution to the settlement of the crisis by fulfilling their direct task to ensure law and order, especially by implementing court rulings concerning the recovery of churches taken away from the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the MP. “The Church lives according to her own rules and sacred canons, and it is only through their unfailing observance that turmoil in the church can be ended. Any attempt at a de jure unification of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and schismatic groups without their repentance for the sin of schism is doomed to failure. The people of God shall not support such an artificially created Church, and there shall be a new round of conflicts between bothers of the same faith in the Ukraine”.

Patriarch Aleksei stressed that the pressure bought to bear today on the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church to force it to accept autocephaly causes concern among many bishops, priests, and lay people. In particular, this is evidenced from the great number of appeals with thousands of signatures coming to His Holiness from all over the Ukraine. In them, the faithful ask the patriarch to defend the unity of the Church, which they cherish and which they are ready to defend even in the most trying circumstances.

According to His Holiness, the conditions of “incessant and furious attacks” by schismatics and nationalists against the canonical Ukrainian church “requires [of the faithful] a special courage, in order to fearlessly defend the canonical battlements of church unity”. Patriarch Aleksei concluded by saying, “We all are called to support our brothers in their podvig (exploit is a very weak translation: editor’s note). They must manifest fearlessness, since they are on the front-lines of the fight for Orthodoxy, for Church unity”.

24 June 2008




Members of the MP Archpastoral Council Working Group Condemned Bishop Diomid of Chukotka, His Fate to be decided on Friday

Bishop Mark Golovkov (1964- ) of Yegoryevsk

A working group of the MP Archpastoral Council condemned the course of action of Bishop Diomid Dzyuban of Chukotka, but, his fate shall be decided by the entire Council. At their session on Wednesday, the participants in the working group “unanimously expressed their censure of the actions of Bishop Diomid”, Bishop Mark Golovkov of Yegoryevsk, the secretary of the working group of the Council examining the case of Bishop Diomid, told Interfax-Religion. At the same time, he emphasised, “It is necessary to wait in patience until Friday. Then, the Council shall make its decision on the future of the Bishop of Chukotka and assess his behaviour”. Bishop Mark advised journalists not to hype the tension around the issue concerning the future of Bishop Diomid. “You should not be led astray by partisanship or anticipate the decisions of the Council”. Bishop Diomid of Chukotka repeatedly made public statements in the past eighteen months calling for the separation of the Church [from the sinful world]. He also called for the end of all dialogue with the government or other religions and confessions, as well as rejecting active missionary efforts in the youth culture.

25 June 2008



Dr Fyodor Uglov, Renowned Russian Surgeon, dies at 103

Filed under: health care/social issues,history,inspirational,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Renowned Russian physician Dr Fyodor Uglov [1905-2008]

The renowned Russian physician Dr Fyodor Uglov died in St Petersburg at the age of 103. He performed over 6,500 operations and won an entry in the Guinness Book of Records in 1994 as the world’s oldest practising surgeon. Dr Uglov was a great champion of healthy lifestyles.

Dr Uglov was a pioneer of many new international trends in surgery, especially in regards to operations on the lungs and heart. His book, The Surgeon’s Heart, became a bestseller. The surgeon, whose motto was “there are no completely hopeless situations, and there should always be a way out”, shall be remembered as being fearless by his colleagues. Often, he took on board cases that his colleagues considered hopeless, and completed the operations successfully.

In a well-known case, he was performing an operation during the siege of Leningrad during World War II and a shell exploded outside the window and the shock wave sent glass fragments flying into the room. Without thinking of his own safety, Dr Uglov bent over the patient to protect the wound. When the nurse told the surgeon that the explosion had made her drop the only clean scalpel on to the floor, Dr Uglov did not hesitate and completed the operation with a razor.

“The life of Fyodor Uglov won admiration across the globe; this veteran surgeon saved many thousands of lives”, said Vadim Tyulpanov, the speaker of the St Petersburg Legislative Assembly.

23 June 2008

Voice of Russia World Service

St Petersburg Times



Rouble to Emerge as Regional Reserve Currency

Filed under: business,economy,politics,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

President Dmitri Medvedev (1965- )

President Dmitri Medvedev believes that under the present conditions of global financial instability Russia faces the strategic task of making the rouble a regional currency. He said as much during his meeting with Andrei Kostin, the chairman of the board of directors of Vneshtorgbank, Russia’s second largest bank. Most analysts agree that chances for the rouble to become one of the world reserve currencies are higher then ever.

Dmitri Smyslov, a senior expert at the Institute of World Economy and International Relations, took a look at the issue. “The current state of the Russian economy is quite favourable in terms of helping the rouble transform at least into a regional reserve currency in which other CIS countries and neighbouring states would keep their currency reserves. There have been some positive shifts in this direction. Of course, it’s hard to say when exactly the rouble will convert itself into a full-blooded reserve currency because this depends on a varied collection of circumstances. The main prerequisite is the removal of all barriers on capital flows between Russia and neighbouring countries. The second requirement is stable economic growth in neighbouring countries and their capacity to buy Russian goods. Other important circumstances include the opening of an oil exchange in St Petersburg where oil is traded in roubles only. These are the conditions that needed for the rouble’s transformation into a reserve currency, first, for the Commonwealth of Independent States and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and, then, probably, into a world currency”.

Vneshtorgbank President Andrei Kostin said the Russian banking community is already at work on fulfilling the tasks assigned to it. He believes Moscow is a real candidate for becoming a regional reserve financial centre. The rouble as a potential reserve currency is gaining more weight as the dollar continues to fall. The idea of creating regional currencies along with the dollar and euro is becoming increasingly popular with some countries. For example, Brazil’s initiative to build a regional currency union has met with enthusiastic support in Latin America. Similar proposals have been launched by a number of Middle East and Asian countries as they begin to search for an alternative to the weakening dollar.

25 June 2008

Vyacheslav Solovyov

Voice of Russia World Service


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