Voices from Russia

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Don’t Buy a Pig in a Poke: JP in Moscow

Hmm… all too appropriate for the situation, no?

Look at this (bear in mind that it is less than it appears, I’ll explain after you look at it):


It appears that JP has gone to Moscow, all of a sudden, with no prior announcement on oca.org (as there was for his two earlier junkets this year). Besides that, he travelled light, with only a cell-attendant, no Garklavs, no Lyonyo, no priest, or no deacon accompanying him. This is highly unusual. A First Hierarch normally travels to the see city of another First Hierarch with at least a small entourage… it’s the expected thing, after all. Furthermore, a First Hierarch greets another First Hierarch in person; it’s what we Orthodox do at such events. There is a whole set of rigmarole and protocol and folderol that goes its accustomed and merry way. Why didn’t JP get the usual treatment? JP received the reception that one would give a run-of-the-mill bishop of another Local Church… nothing special. Who showed up to meet him? Hilarion Alfeyev, a high-level flunky (remember, he is not a ruling bishop and KMG trimmed his department), despite all the noise concerning him in pseudo-intellectual circles. As for Bishop Aleksandr Agrikov, he is a flunky under Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov. If Vladyki Yuvenaly had shown up… that would have impressed me. He’s KMG’s unsinkable satrap (he is the Vicar of the Moscow Diocese), just as he was for Patriarch Aleksei. Do remember that Metropolitan Yuvenaly outright and explicitly forbade OCA clergy to serve in any role at the funeral of Metropolitan Laurus in ’08. The pretext is lame… fifteenth anniversary? Who is JP trying to fool?

As I say, this is ODD. There is a regular session of the MP Holy Synod due this month with the topic of the diaspora on the agenda. Firstly, one must understand that the MP, like all organisations, has factions within it. Hilarion Alfeyev does lead one of the factions, but, one that is not as strong as Amerikantsy konvertsy believe. I note well that KMG did not deign to meet JP in person. I believe that the MP Holy Synod summoned JP to Moscow to answer questions. Let’s not equivocate… the OCA’s autocephaly does not exist in fact; it is only a mere shell of a formality. No other Local Church recognises it as an actual Local Church save for a few small bodies that everyone knows are dependent on Moscow. The EP does not… Serbia does not… Antioch does not… that is why all of the named Local Churches have branches in the USA and Canada.

It’s time to lay the cards face up for inspection. JP is not a First Hierarch… he is just a senior metropolitan of a metropolitan district. The so-called OCA is nothing more than the old Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia of North America with an altered title. He is not the “Metropolitan of all America and Canada”… tell that one to Demetrios Trakatellis! Hell, tell that to Philip Saliba… note well that Philip has never placed one iota of his archdiocese under OCA authority. The OCA is a failed experiment, a rusted relic of the Cold War, and the last remnant of the Soviet Union left in existence (remember how the OCA always denied that there was persecution in the USSR? I do). Do recall that the Reds vetted Lyonyo Kishkovsky and found him suitable to their ends. He’s still the head of the OCA DECR…

I had an interesting chat on the phone with Matushka Nina Stroyen tonight. It seems that JP and his HOOMie buddies are trying to shut down St Tikhon’s because they claim that it’s in the red! As she said, the place isn’t rolling in cash, but, it’s in the black. It’s causing one hell of a smell amongst the alumni. Add this to JP’s addled remarks at Antiochian Village before the OCL pirates and his jabs at the GOA; it could very well be that the MP Holy Synod called him to The Centre for a “come to Jesus” talk and a session in the woodshed.

As a priestly friend of mine in the MP put it, his words are well worth pondering:

The OCA will definitely fall apart… it always was a temporary Cold War creation, but, I do not know when or how it will fall apart. Moscow will pick up Alaska (what they really want, ask  Metropolitan Kliment), Canada, the healthy element at St Tikhon’s and in Pennsylvania, and a few others who still have some sense of the Faith and the Tradition. The natural place for the Episcopalian/Ancient Faith Radio convert group etc is Antioch. However, of course, Antioch with a new Patriarch may yet send all these Protestants packing…

Moscow plays a long game, it can afford to. You are right; it takes its time to work out who is reliable and who is not, who gets birthday greetings and Russian passports from the Patriarch and who does not. If Metropolitan Jonas wants to cut his throat, as he seems to want to, Moscow will let him. However, if he finally proves he is not a convert, actually understands the Church, and has some Orthodox common sense, they will take him.

Wait for the December synod in Moscow.

That’s a good way to end this. JP is a pig in a poke. Send him no money… send him no cheques. Moscow is looking him over… quo vadis, Jonas Paffhausen?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 6 December 2009

Albany NY


Aleksei Rediger: A Unique Personality in Russian Orthodoxy

Patriarch Aleksei Rediger (1929-2008) of Moscow and all the Russias

A Divine Liturgy at the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow was the first commemorative event to mark the first anniversary of the death of the fifteenth First Hierarch of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias. A year ago, on 5 December 2008, Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Moscow and all the Russias departed this life. “Even now, many consider his death to have been an irreplaceable loss to Russian Orthodoxy, but, believers have lovingly locked his memory in their minds and hearts”, said Fr Vladimir Vigilyansky, an MP spokesman, in an interview with Voice of Russia World Service.

He went on to say, “His Holiness Patriarch Aleksei was a unique personality, very important for this stage in the history of Russian Orthodoxy. After all, he became the First Hierarch of the MP after a long period of persecution by the state of the Church and of Orthodoxy in general. During this time, the Lord sent us this patriarch, who was born outside Russia as the son of émigrés. During the Civil War, his grandfather on his mother’s side fought in the White Guard and the Reds shot him. His paternal ancestors were staunch monarchists, for they had served the tsar over several centuries. Aleksei II was a bridge that connected the old pre-revolutionary Russia, a Russia that was scattered in the diaspora, with the Russia that suffered oppression for decades during the Bolshevik régime. That’s why he embodied the ideals of the Russian world and the mission of Russian Orthodoxy, and, to the very end of his ministry, he tried to bring them to life”.

Over the 18 years of his reign, Patriarch Aleksei Rediger accomplished much. He oversaw the restoration and construction of thousands of Orthodox churches, not only in Russia, but, also, throughout the world. He created a social concept for Russian Orthodoxy in the 21st century, he had a particular interest in youth work, he was skilful and subtle in the dialogue between church and state, he made many efforts in the spiritual revival of Russia, and he always worked for peace. This is only a small fraction of those things that he managed to accomplish during the years of his patriarchate.

The high point of his service as First Hierarch of the MP was the reunification of the MP with the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). For almost 90 years, a schism separated these two branches of Russian Orthodoxy. Over several decades, Patriarch Aleksei worked hard on establishing a dialogue between these churches. This resulted in the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion of the Churches, which took place in a solemn ceremony in the main cathedral of Russia, the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow on 17 May 2007. All over the Orthodox world, believers call this event “the ingathering of the Russian people” («собиранием русского народа»).

Patriarch Aleksei Rediger died on the morning of 5 December 2008 at his residence in Peredelkino outside Moscow. According to his wishes, his grave is in the Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow because that is where he started his archpastoral service.

Fr Vladimir Vigilyansky said, “Patriarch Aleksei outlined the path of development of contemporary orthodoxy. In this current phase, one of the main directions of church life is the missionary activity of the clergy and laity of the MP. He led people to church and brought them to churchliness (воцерковить). He made all of our people understand the purity, holiness, and grace of the Church. Many of the most significant church works in the MP were initiated in the patriarchate of Aleksei Rediger”.

Today, not only Epiphany Cathedral in Moscow, but, all Russian Orthodox churches throughout Russia, the CIS, and foreign countries will hold funeral prayers, and the faithful will again remember the fifteenth First Hierarch of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias, Patriarch Aleksei Rediger.

5 December 2009

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service


An Orthodox Confessor of the Cross of Our Day: Archpriest Mikhail Shuvar

Fr Mikhail Shuvar (1958-2009), contemporary confessor of the Orthodox faith in the Ukraine. Note well the silence of the Uniates (and their Orthodox supporters, I fear) on their violence against God’s priests… is it because they do not wish the world to know of their thuggish violence against Christ’s Church? Remember Fr Mikhail’s suffering any time that you hear some Uniate mewling out their drivel. Don’t listen… don’t argue… but, be like Fr Mikhail! Don’t let ‘em hog the podium!


On the eve of the Exaltation of the Cross, 26 September 2009, Archpriest Mikhail Shuvar departed this life. In the early ‘90s, he became a public figure at a time when Uniates and schismatics from the so-called “Patriarchate of Kiev” were seizing and vandalising Orthodox churches. At that time, Fr Mikhail, along with a group of priests and laity, attempted to defend the cathedral in the city of Ivano-Frankovsk (Stanislavov). Vicious and unruly Uniate and Neo-Banderovtsy thugs {editor: Banderovtsy was a colloquialism for OUN terrorists because their leader was the convicted murderer Stepan Bandera (1909-59). Neo-Banderovtsy are their modern successors} (their extreme nationalist ideology is the official line in the post-Soviet Ukraine) beat Fr Mikhail, dragged him by the hair, and severely beat him with spikes taken from the iron fence surrounding the cathedral.

Because of that attack, Fr Mikhail was permanently disabled. Lilia Grigorovich, one of the present members of the cabal surrounding Viktor Yushchenko, was one of the planners of these attacks on Orthodox churches. However, Fr Mikhail was not silent, and, even in the darkest years, he told the truth about the anti-Church terror in Galicia instigated by the Uniates. He was very direct and uncompromising in his opposition to corruption, including in the “canonical” autonomous UOC/MP, and he publicly denounced the attempts of the EP to interfere in the church situation in the Ukraine. For doing that, not only Fr Mikhail, but, his family as well, received threats. In the village of Konyushkov in Ivano-Frankovsk Oblast, Fr Mikhail built a new church dedicated to the Archangel Michael. The newly-built church was seized {editor: the original doesn’t state whether the thieves were Uniates or schismatics}. This didn’t deter Fr Mikhail and he built another church in the same village, raising the funds necessary himself. Moreover, for shame, he received no assistance from Moscow!

In recent years, Fr Mikhail served in Italy, being a pastor to Ukrainian workers, testifying to the truth of Orthodoxy. Thus, it pleased God that this crusader and confessor, Archpriest Mikhail Shuvar, departed to the Lord on the eve of the Exaltation of the Cross. He prayed for the unity of the Russian Church and opposed its persecutors in the Ukraine. He also opposed the interference of the EP in the Ukraine. We must note that the EP Holy Synod, in its meeting on 28 September, took a step that may be the fateful for the Orthodox world by its treacherous anti-canonical decision to intrude upon the canonical territory of the MP in the Ukraine (using the so-called crypto-Uniate schismatical “Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church” as provocateurs). Fr Mikhail wasn’t afraid to speak out “Urbi et Orbi” about the anti-Church terror of the schismatics and Uniates in the Ukraine. His surviving associates, both clergy and laity, indicate that not only everything written here is true, but also, there’s still a great deal more to be told about the terrorism of the Neo-Banderovtsy against the Church.

28 September 2009

Kirill Frolov

Русский Обозреватель (Russki Obozebatel: Russian Browser)


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