Voices from Russia

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev Believes that the Attacks on Metropolitan Kirill Gundyaev Come from Outside Sources


Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev of Vienna and Austria (1966- ), Representative of the MP to the European Institutions. Like his patron Kirill, he is more a church diplomat than a diocesan archpastor.

Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and Austria believes that those who criticise the remarks made by Metropolitan Kirill Gundyaev of Smolensk and Kaliningrad are nothing but outsiders. “Vladyki Kirill has a very extensive body of work, in literary, video, and audio sources. Therefore, one can cavil at some of his statements. But, it seems to me that all of this is simply an ploy, it could be coming from outsiders or it come from people who are simply lacking in conscience”, Bishop Hilarion said in a broadcast on Radio Radonezh, in reply to a question from a listener about why there were recent attacks against the remarks of Metropolitan Kirill. Vladyki Hilarion expressed his regret that, today, “our expectation of the Local Council, which is an extraordinary event in the life of the Church due to its responsibility to elect a new patriarch, is sullied with human passions”.

“Apparently, some parties are speaking out against some of the candidates, most of all, of course, against the Locum Tenens,  because his work is easily accessible, one can read his books, watch his videos, or look up his articles”, he said. Other candidates, he continued, “are criticised less, simply because there are fewer writings and speeches from them. I think that if we find that a man has made no public speeches, if he has no books or articles available, of course, one cannot find anything to criticise in his remarks, because those statements are simply not there”, Bishop Hilarion noted.

He also believed that rumours of opposition to Metropolitan Kirill are false. “There is no real opposition to Metropolitan Kirill. There are some marginal groups, who are nothing but provocateurs, who try to ascribe to Metropolitan Kirill something that he did not say, to say that he did what he did not do, in an attempt to confuse church people, to introduce amongst them such sentiments”, Vladyki Hilarion said. In this case, he noted that, on the contrary, he meets peoples at random that indicate, “Now, we pray for the Metropolitan Kirill, but, when we look for his videos, no one seems to know where to find them. I have heard the like from all sorts of people. I have never met any real enemies of Metropolitan Kirill. They exist only on the Internet, but, in real life, I have not yet found any”, Bishop Hilarion said.

16 January 2009



Editor’s Note:

I wish to state clearly, from the start, that I have no “insider” information whatsoever. However, I believe that an analysis of the words of Bishop Hilarion betray an insecurity in the camp of Metropolitan Kirill. For instance, he denies that Kirill has real enemies. That is false, and why did Hilarion made such a statement? It is ludicrous. Kirill has been a controversial and ambitious figure over the years. For instance, is all the brouhaha concerning the Kapalins simply Internet rumour? If so, why did not Hilarion say so directly? Or, is he is saying that all opponents of Kirill are to be smeared? Do remember that Hilarion played an equivocal role in the English crisis concerning Basil Osborne. Is this another instance of the same? There is a record of the proceedings in that instance…



Delegates from 64 Different Countries are going to Participate in the Local Council of the MP


The Patriarch and the Children (Yelizaveta Starikova, 2005). “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not…” Patriarch Aleksei Rediger (1929-2008), a VERY hard act to follow.

On Thursday, the diocesan assembly of the Moscow clergy completed its election of delegates to the Local Council of the Moscow Patriarchate, which is to be held from 27-29 January. According to preliminary information, over 700 people are to participate in the work of the Council. Lists of participants keep coming to the organisational committee. Each diocese (today, there are 157 such bodies) named three delegates to the Council, consisting of one clergyman, one monastic, and one layman. According to the decision of the Holy Synod, the parishes of the MP in Canada, the USA, Turkmenia, Italy, and Scandinavia elected two delegates each (a clergyman and a layman).

Lay diocesan delegates are usually activists of local Orthodox communities and represent various fields of activities; there are officials of regional administrations, businessmen, scientists, journalists, a director of the circus, and an actress, for instance. “Our Church is rich in the variety of its faithful, and we should not question the status of any of these people as Orthodox Christians. Moreover, if the representatives of the clergy and laity of a diocese decided in assembly that a particular person is worthy to participate in the deliberations of the Council, we should respect that”, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, Deputy Head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, said. According to Fr Vsevolod, members from the Russian Federation will make up less than half of the delegates to the Council, as the canonical territory of the Russian Church spreads far beyond the borders of Russia.

The Moscow Patriarchate has parishes in 12 CIS countries (apart from the RF) and in 51 other foreign countries. Today, in total, there are 203 bishops in the MP. According to the Regulations of the Local Council, its participants shall include the heads of Synodal institutions, the rectors of theological academies and St Tikhon Orthodox Liberal-Arts University, five delegates from the theological seminaries, the members of the Council’s Preparatory Commission, four delegates from stavropegial convents, and the Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem.

15 January 2009



Editor’s Note:

No other particular Church is spread as widely across the globe or embraces as many nationalities as does the MP. No other Local Church celebrates the liturgy in as many languages, nor is any other Patriarchate as dynamic in its interrelation with the contemporary world. Some 65 percent of all Orthodox belong to the MP, which makes it, obviously and without doubt, the standard-bearer of the Faith in its contact with the outside world, both the secular and the religious. In its way, it is the Orthodox analogue of the Church of Rome, which is why the Pope of Rome is so desperate to enlist the MP in the fight against radical humanist secularism (he needn’t worry… we are on his side, but, for our own reasons, not his).

In short, these 700 delegates shall be electing the de facto head of the Orthodox world, a very heavy responsibility, indeed. Who shall emerge the new First Hierarch from this Council? I shall admit, frankly, that I have no bloody idea whatsoever. However, do not forget… the Holy Spirit DOES have the last word in the Church. Prepare to be surprised…


The Fastest Skaters in the World shall Gather in Moscow

Filed under: Olympics,Russian,sport,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00


On Saturday and Sunday, 17-18 January 17-18, in Moscow, the World Championship Speedskating Sprint Competition shall be run. For the first time, this prestigious event will be held in Russia. Athletes from 21 counties shall take part in this contest. According to Vladimir Komarov, the President of the Skating Union of Russia, without a doubt, the Russian skaters have every chance to win prizes and set new records. The best skaters in the world will come to one of the best ice rinks in Europe, the new Krylatskoe Palace of Sports. The President of the International Skating Union (ISU), Ottavio Cinquanta, dubbed this sports complex “the Bolshoi Theatre of skating sports”. Incidentally, he is coming to the championship. From the current competition, experts await good results and new records.

Sergei Klevchenya, the head coach of Russian national sprint team, hopes for wins by Dmitri Lobkov in the 500-metre distance, and Yevgeni Lalenkov in the 1,000-metres. As a coach, he is confident, “Both athletes are well-prepared and able to win. The main leader in our team is Dmitri Lobkov. This season, at the previous stages of the World Cup, he has shown good results. Now, he feels quite confident. Therefore, I hope that the athletes will cope with the stress and show their best time”.

There are strong rivals to the Russian skaters, the Japanese Joji Kato, the winner of the “gold” at the 2005 World Cup in Inzell in Germany, the American 2006 Olympic champion Shani Davis, and a whole constellation of Dutch skaters. But, the Russians are not disheartened, indeed, they have the home-ice advantage, and as the saying goes, “the very walls help”.

15 January 2009

Sergei Mizerkin

Voice of Russia World Service


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