Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

PACE Refused to Recognise the 1930s Soviet Famine as an Act of Genocide

Filed under: history,politics,Russian,Soviet period,the Ukraine — 01varvara @ 00.00

Memorial to the repressed in Us-Nera, Sakha (Yakutia) in Siberia. I honour ALL the victims… anything less is racism.

The Commission on Political Affairs of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) refused to approve an amendment to a report of the famine of the 1930’s in the Soviet Union that would recognise it as an act of genocide against the Ukrainian people, said Leonid Slutsky, the deputy head of the Russian delegation to PACE, the first deputy chairman of the RF Gosduma International Affairs Committee, according to RIA-Novosti. He also added that PACE endorsed all the amendments that Moscow wished added to this report. Thus, attempts to use this historic tragedy for the development of anti-Russian rhetoric in PACE came to nothing. In addition, Mr Slutsky reminded us that a resolution on the famine of 1932-1933 in the former USSR will be presented at the January session of PACE. The rapporteur, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Vice-Speaker of the PACE, visited Moscow in late November.

During last year’s spring session, the PACE Bureau of the Assembly supported the proposal of the Ukrainian delegation to investigate the 1930s famine in the Ukraine. Factions in Kiev planned to prepare a document that would request the PACE to recognise the 1930s famine as an act of genocide. The Russian delegation objected, it opposed such an interpretation of the events and proposed a merger of all documents commemorating all the victims of the 13930s famine. The official viewpoint of nationalist circles in Kiev says that the authorities directed the famine only against the Ukrainian people and they make every effort to press this opinion upon the world community. This Ukrainian stratagem advocates an unconditional rejection of Russia by the world community.

16 December 2009

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

One of the saddest lots that I have ever encountered is Galician Uniate nationalists. They take virtually all of their imagery and culture from Russian Orthodox originals; yet, they run about screaming that they reject everything “Moskal” (Galician dialect for “Muscovite”). They would be merely humorous and pathetic if it wasn’t for their cruelty, nastiness, and brutality. Never forget Fr Mikhail Shuvar, a staunchly Orthodox Galician priest who went to a premature grave because of lasting injuries inflicted by Uniate thugs. Never forget Fr Dmitri Sidor, beaten severely by Yushchenko’s CIA-trained SBU goon squad. Never forget the brave Carpatho-Russian people, savagely repressed by Galician nationalists.

This is why I stand foursquare against all the attempts of the Uniate nationalists to spread their “Golodomyr” myth. Yes… there was a famine… no, it was not confined to the Ukraine. We spit on the memories of the victims if we accept the racist fantasies of “Ukrainian nationalists”. You recognise ALL of the victims or you honour none of them. I prefer to recognise all of them. It is my duty as a human being and Orthodox Christian.



Indians could become the Main Ethnic Group in the American Orthodox Church: A Conversation with Jonas Paffhausen, the “Metropolitan of all America and Canada”

In all my fifty years of public service, I have never seen such a document that was more crowded with infamous falsehood and distortion… Scoundrels and piss-ants.

Cordell Hull

US Secretary of State

Speaking on the occasion of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor


Apply his words to the OCA article below…


Archbishop Jonas Paffhausen of New York and Washington (1959- ), “Metroplitan of all America and Canada (sic)”… we must state for the record that only 115,000 out of 986,000 Orthodox Christians in the USA are under JP. That is, he only controls 11.66 percent of all Orthodox in the USA (we must further state that some 25 percent of that number is Alaska natives).


Editor’s Foreword:

Be forewarned. This is sheer GIGO from stem to stern, and note well that no secular media outlet interviewed JP when he was in Moscow. Trust me; both Hilarion Kapral and Laurus Škurla have had more secular press coverage than this poseur. If his visit were on the up and up, he would have had an Interfax “Exclusive”. All this proves is that Alfeyev has a confederate in the Sretensky Monastery. By the way… my sources tell me that the MP Holy Synod is discussing the diaspora, and they summoned JP to answer questions (why wasn’t he honest about it?). After all, he was there for five days incommunicado… but, he was there for the anniversary and “buy vestments” (that takes five days?) according to pro-JP sources. After all, they’d piously inform you, the OCA doesn’t lie… if you believe that, go the “Monastic Communities” page on oca.org, and Holy Cross Monastery in Niagara Falls NY is still listed as 1400 16 December 2009. They left for HOCNA years ago. That’s how reliable any official information from the OCA is. Caveat lector. I warn you, the interview is fluffy to the point of being fawning and saccharine, and, trust me, no real questions are asked of JP. I’d LOVE to see the Der Spiegel guys who interviewed Alfeyev go after JP. He’d never know what hit him. The preface is so full of lacunae that it’s inadvertently humorous to anyone who has knowledge of the situation. See ya later, after you slog through Wonderland below.



The Orthodox Church in America is an integral part of Russian Orthodoxy. It originated in 1794 with the dispatch of a group of monks from the Valaam Monastery, under instructions issued by the Holy Governing Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to establish a spiritual mission on Kodiak Island (Alaska). In 1840, the Holy Governing Synod established the Diocese of Kamchatka, the Kuriles, and the Aleutians, headed by Bishop (later Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna) St Innokenty Veniaminov (1797-1879), “The Apostle to America and Siberia”, now glorified in the choir of the saints.

In 1924, the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in North America declared temporary autonomy, and, in 1937, full autonomy in the status of the Metropolitan District {Editor’s note: This is a bald-faced lie. The Metropolia had been a constituent part of the ROCOR since 1934. Where’s the history of the US Church from 1892 to 1924?}. In 1946, the Seventh all-American Sobor in Cleveland (Ohio) decided to bring the Metropolia into the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate. However, contacts with Moscow began only in the 1960s, and, on 31 March 1970, canonical relations were restored. The American Metropolia was granted autocephalous status by the MP on 10 April of that same year. Today, the Orthodox Church in America has more than 700 parishes with more than one million believers as members (sic).

The official title of the First Hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America is the Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of all America and Canada. For more than a year now, His Beatitude Jonas Paffhausen (secular name: James Paffhausen) has held this title. He was born in Chicago (Illinois) in 1959 and was baptised in the Protestant Episcopal Church USA. Later, his family moved to California. He attended the University of California at San Diego and the University of California at Santa Cruz. In 1978, he converted to Orthodoxy at Our Lady of Kazan parish of the MP in San Diego. He studied at St Vladimir’s Seminary of the Orthodox Church in America in Yonkers (New York), and he holds the degrees of Master of Divinity and Master of (Dogmatic) Theology.

In the late 1980’s, he spent some time in the USSR, where he studied the Russian language, cooperated (сотрудничал) with the Publications Department of the Moscow Patriarchate, became familiar with church life in the MP, and showed particular interest in monastic matters. Archimandrite Pankraty Zherdev (later, a bishop), the Abbot of Valaam Monastery, was [reputed to be the] spiritual father of James Paffhausen. In 1994, he was ordained to the diaconate and, then, to the priesthood. In 1995, he took monastic vows at St Tikhon Monastery in South Canaan (Pennsylvania) under the name of Jonas. Upon returning to California, he served several mission parishes, founded a monastery, and a number of missionary communities (sic). In spring 2008, he became an Archimandrite. On 12 November of that year {Editor’s note: Only 11 days after his consecration, one must note… that means JP is a rank and trifling neophyte as a bishop, even today.}, the Fifteenth all-American Sobor in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) elected him Archbishop of Washington and New York, Metropolitan of All America and Canada. On 28 December 2008 in St Nicholas Cathedral in Washington DC, the Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America solemnly installed Bishop Jonas in the office of First Hierarch.


Published below is a conversation that took place in early December 2009, during the visit of Metropolitan Jonas to Russia to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Moscow representation of the Orthodox Church in America, and it is devoted to the activities of the Church in Latin America.

Miguel Palacio

Where can one find the Orthodox Church in America in Latin America?

Jonas Paffhausen

The jurisdiction of our Church extends into Mexico. Previously, we had also parishes in Argentina, Brazil, Peru, and Venezuela {Editor’s note: That’s a total fib. The parishes there were under the ROCOR.}. However, some of them left for the ROCOR, the others closed. Several communities in Latin America want to join the Orthodox Church in America. We would be happy to take these believers, but, there is no one to care for them because we have very few priests who speak Spanish or Portuguese. A priest, I hope that he will soon become a bishop, began a mission in Ecuador in Guayaquil, where there is a major Palestinian colony. Unfortunately, in recent years, his good initiative has lost steam. I heard that many Palestinians live in Central American countries, particularly in El Salvador. Curiously, they do not go to the parishes of the Antiochian Church, but they ask to under our omofor. The EP and the Patriarchate of Antioch claim jurisdiction over the Greek and Arab diaspora. We do not understand this. Above all, a Local Church must give pastoral care to everyone in its region. This is the considered position of the Orthodox Church in America.

Miguel Palacio

When was the Mexican Exarchate established?

Jonas Paffhausen

The Mexican Exarchate has been in existence since the early 1970’s. At that time, the Bishop of the Mexican National Old Catholic Church, José Cortés y Olmos, initiated contact with our Church and together with community converted to Orthodoxy. Thanks to his work, hundreds of Mexicans entered Orthodoxy. Recently, 5,000 Indians from 23 localities in the State of Vera Cruz were baptised into Orthodoxy. However, this large number of believers has only one priest. In general, the Mexican Exarchate has very few clergy. All of them are Mexicans, including the ruling bishop, Alejo Pacheco-Vera.

Miguel Palacio

Have you ever been in Latin America?

Jonas Paffhausen

I only visited Mexico. Soon, I am going to Guatemala. My friend, Igumena Inés Ajau lives there. She is Abbess of Holy Trinity Convent, which is under the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch. In Guatemala, a large group of people wishing to convert to Orthodoxy attracted my attention. Most of them are Mayans. If we take in these Guatemalans, as well as other indigenous people from other countries in Latin America, Indians could become the main ethnic group in the American Orthodox Church. Personally, I would welcome this.

Miguel Palacio

It is clear that you sympathise with the original inhabitants of the American continent…

Jonas Paffhausen

I have very warm feelings for the Indians. At university, I studied anthropology; I was fond of the Mayan and Aztec cultures. This is a great and wonderful civilisation {Editor’s note: I wonder if he is referring to the Aztec practise of tearing the beating hearts out of the breasts of their living captives as “great and wonderful”.}. In general, I like Latin America, its art, music, literature, and cuisine. Latin Americans love life, they are open and hospitable people. I grew up in California, one of the most “Hispanic” states in the USA, I learned a little Spanish from my Mexican friends (although I speak it poorly). The priest who received me into the Orthodox Church was a Mexican. His name was Fr Ramon Merlos.

Miguel Palacio

What are the similarities and differences in missionary work in the USA, Latin America, and amongst the Indians?

Jonas Paffhausen

To be honest, I don’t know… Our church has missionary experience in Alaska, exemplified by Fr Michael Oleksa, a wonderful priest, an anthropologist by profession. He is Carpatho-Russian, and his wife is from the Yupik people. Fr Michael wants to hold an Orthodox Congress of American Indians in Alaska. It will be an extremely interesting event. While serving as rector of the seminary, Fr Michael invited the community from Guatemala that was enquiring into Orthodoxy to send two of its members to obtain theological education. The idea is certainly good, of course, but, people accustomed to a tropical climate are unlikely to care for the Alaskan cold.

Miguel Palacio

Are there Latin Americans amongst your parishioners in the USA?

Jonas Paffhausen

Of course. In California, they are 35 percent of the population, in Texas, even more {Editor’s note: JP isn’t well informed on this… California has a slightly higher proportion of “Hispanics” than Texas does.}. Latin Americans are found amongst our believers and in the clergy of our Church. At St Tikhon Seminary, there is a Mexican student of Indian ancestry named Abraham. He is a subdeacon. Another subdeacon in San Francisco is of Colombian origin. In late November, this year, I consecrated a new convent in honour of the Nativity of Our Lord in Dallas, whose abbess is Brazilian.

Miguel Palacio

In your opinion, what do Latin Americans find attractive in Orthodoxy?

Jonas Paffhausen

Latin Americans love our liturgy and icons; they perceive the deep reverence for the Mother of God that is inherent in the Orthodox Church. I must say that the Catholic Church is rapidly losing influence in Latin America, the main cause being its close ties with the upper classes of society. A large proportion of the poor, who constitute the majority of those in the region, are disappointed with Catholic pastors and they join the Protestants, Mormons, and other sectarians.

Metropolitan Andres Chiron, the head of the Order of the secular clergy of St Basil the Great in Guatemala was formerly a Catholic priest. He saw that the Catholic leadership focused on the rich, and, in the early 1990’s, he left the Catholic Church because he wanted to work for the people. Recently, Metropolitan Andres said, “I am already old and sick. Please, join my people to the Church for their salvation”. His community has to work more until they are fully Orthodox, but, they gradually learn the faith and internalise the traditions of the Orthodox Church. In addition to Guatemala, Bishop Andres opened parishes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other cities in the United States where Guatemalans are settled.

Miguel Palacio

You aren’t afraid of conflict with the Catholics? Even now, despite everything, Latin America is still considered the “principal diocese of the Vatican”.

Jonas Paffhausen

There’ll be no conflict, it won’t happen. The Catholic Church is a loyal friend to Orthodoxy (Католическая Церковь лояльно относится к Православию). Moreover, I see great potential for collaboration with the Catholic Church, particularly in opposing sectarianism.

15 December 2009

Православие.Ru (Pravoslavie.Ru)


Editor’s Note:

This is no interview. As I said in the foreword, I’d love to see JP “Spiegeled”… isn’t that a great word? Of course, those of you with some facility in German know that a “spiegel” is a mirror. Hmm… in other words, let’s hold up a mirror to JP and see if it fits what this meretricious article stated. Firstly, there aren’t one million members in the OCA, and there aren’t 700 parishes. Supposedly, JP admitted at the Pittsburgh Sobor that it was false. Well, it appears that he’s repeating Schmemann’s old lies. Secondly, there’s nothing stated of the history of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska, the USA, and Canada from 1840 to 1924. NOTHING. One wonders why.

The Metropolia in 1937 was nothing more than the North American district of the ROCOR. It wasn’t autonomous (do ask Fr Alexander Lebedeff, he’ll back me on this, I am sure). Note well how there’s no mention of the fact that the Metropolia was a constituent part of the ROCOR from 1934 to 1946. The Cleveland Sobor was a rebellion of laity and married priests against the episcopate, who stayed loyal to the ROCOR. That is, from 1946 to 1970, the Metropolia was a renegade organisation. It wasn’t in communion with anyone else officially. On an informal level, the priests and faithful of the Metropolia could receive communion in any Orthodox parish except for those of the ROCOR (naturally enough). This was an act of oikonomia on the part of the other Orthodox archdioceses in the country, nothing more.

JP hides part of his past. No mention is made of his connection with Gleb Podmoshensky and St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina CA. Everyone knows that the ROCOR Holy Synod deposed GP for good reason. The only two members of the Platina brotherhood to stick around after GP was deposed were Gerasim Eliel and Damascene Christiansen. That’s to say, GP’s status as a renegade didn’t bother them. Reflect well on the fact that JP wants to make Gerasim Eliel a bishop.

However, the most interesting part is that JP no longer claims to have worked for the MP Publications Department, he “cooperated” (сотрудничал) with it. I give the Russian word here, because “employed” is represented by a different word in Russian. This is a retreat from earlier releases. Also note that he’s dropped any reference to Russky Palomnik, as too many know that was an unofficial rag put out by GP. He also doesn’t refer to being a member of the Valaam brotherhood. After all, he just lived there over an extended period, he had no official connection with it, nor did he ever raise any substantial funds for it.

Don’t you love his words on the papists? “There’ll be no conflict, it won’t happen. The Catholic Church is a loyal friend to Orthodoxy (Католическая Церковь лояльно относится к Православию)”. Tell that to the family of Fr Mikhail Shuvar. “Loyal friends?” I’ll retire to Bedlam… friendship as expressed in crowbars to the face, stealing of church buildings, and assassinations of clergy. Tell that to Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan. The “loyal friends” want us to join their wheezy establishment to prop it up. No, thank you. No Pope for me, or for any other faithful Orthodox Christian, that’s for sure.

The interview about Latin America was a total bust, but, I had to do it. I know what I’d have asked. “Why is Bobby K still pulling an OCA salary?” “Why did you fire your treasurer and communications director and not replace them?” “Why are you ceasing to print the OCA’s periodical? I hear it was lack of funds”. “Why is Lyonyo Kishkovsky still in the OCA chancery despite your earlier statement that all members of the ancien régime were gone?” “Why do you back Raymond Velencia to the hilt when you know he publicised personal information about a parishioner… that is normally considered inviolate under the law (there is such a thing as pastoral confidentiality respected by the courts)?” He’d jump out of the first available window and howl that I was persecuting him and not showing him any respect.

Well… if there are clergy reading this, you get the respect that you earn. If you’re a lowlife, don’t expect me to go bowing and scraping in front of you. In any case, Orthodox clergy are not papist or Proddie clergy who are higher than their flocks. Interestingly enough, the fact that civil government didn’t collapse in the Roman Empire except in the Barbarian West gave rise to differing attitudes to clerics. In the Empire (and the lands affected by it), the clergy were just a social estate, and not a particularly important one at that. In the Barbarian West, the clergy took on the airs of government officials, which led, ultimately, to the idea that clergy must be respected simply because they are clergy.

It is now 1800 on 16 December. Holy Cross Monastery of the HOCNA is still listed as an OCA establishment on the “Monastic Communities” page on oca.org. If they refuse to keep their webpage up to date… and this community has been out of the OCA for at least two years… you can’t trust them at all. I expect to be criticised. OK… why haven’t you removed this listing? This monastery left you; it’s no longer yours. Then, remove the listing. That’s what honest people do. I think this proves that JP is an utter and complete liar with no cred whatsoever. You know what to do.

Remember Eric Iliff…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 16 December 2009

Albany NY

Chisinau Abuzz about Jewish Pogroms: Orthodox Priests Destroyed a Hanukkah Menorah

City centre in Chișinău (Municipality of Chișinău) MOLDOVA


A scandal has erupted in Chișinău with international resonance. In the central park of the Moldovan capital, Orthodox priests tore down Jewish religious objects placed in honour of the holiday of Hanukkah. In this regard, the Israeli Foreign Ministry protested to the Moldovan government, the US Embassy condemned what happened, and the Moldovan Ministry of Justice recognised that it was an anti-Semitic riot and claimed that the only beneficiary of this action would be the Communist Party. Vulgar elements shook out a bag full of monkeyshines. The destruction of the menorah, a set of ritual candlesticks placed by the Jewish community in Moldova to mark a religious holiday, happened on Sunday, and, by Wednesday, the situation grew into a sizable scandal, rippling far beyond the republic.

Meanwhile, people in the Moldovan capital remembered the Kishinyov anti-Jewish pogroms in the last century. They also called to mind the World War II-era concentration camps in present-day Transdnistria, where Romania exiled Jews under armed guard. Not only are the Jews in the city uneasy, but, Russian residents of Moldova have not forgotten the terrorisation of the early 90s, when yobbos threatened to send them “beyond the Dniester”. In short, the city is abuzz about where the country is heading, about the authorities, “those folks who sent a minority up the river”, and who want to hand it over “to those Romanians”. The communists, who ruled Moldova for the eight previous years, made the blunt declaration that the incident was the fault of the new leadership.

Moreover, what happened came as a bolt from the blue. Every year, Hanukkah is marked in the city centre, but, no one ever interfered with it and it never caused a stir amongst the Orthodox population. The fact that, this time, people dressed in Orthodox vestments disrupted this holiday, came to many as a shock. Alexandru Tănase, the Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova, assured our NG correspondent that the vandals were not ordinary people in costume. He said that it was a group of priests from the Society of St Matrona of Moscow headed by Archpriest Anatoly Chibrikov. According to Mr Tănase, the Society belongs to the Moldovan Metropolia of the MP. Videotape caught everything that happened in the park on 13 December. Mr Tănase said that the group had previously organised protests, and always “followed certain elements”. This time, he claimed that the beneficiaries of the incident are the communists. Mr Tănase said that, without a doubt, the rally was anti-Semitic, as evidenced by the actions of its members and the insulting slogans they chanted.

He told our NG correspondent that he had created a special investigatory commission in the Justice Ministry to look into the incident. According to Moldovan law, the Justice Ministry is responsible for oversight in anything concerning the affairs of religious and non-governmental organisations. In this case, Mr Tănase said, the ministry will work with the Moldovan Metropolia of the MP, which declared that, on the one hand, this scandalous action was contrary to its teachings, but, on the other, it asked the question why the Jewish community chose the central park of the city for its holiday commemoration. According to Mr Tănase, this question is not to the point.

Meanwhile, the public asks questions of not only the Metropolia, but, also, of the Moldovan government. One of them is, “Why did the municipal police remain passive in the face of an actual riot?”

16 December 2009

Svetlana Gamova

Независимая Газета (Nezavisimaya Gazeta: The Independent Newspaper)

As quoted in Interfax-Religion


Editor’s Note:

NG is one of the leading media outlets in Moscow. It is clear that there were “Orthodox” elements engaged in this riot. As the Association of Orthodox Experts pointed up, these elements are Diomidovtsy (those who supported the deposed Bishop Diomid Dzyuban of Andyr and Chukhotka). That is to say, they are extremists outside of the mainstream of the Church.

I condemn this riot without equivocation, just as St John of Kronshtadt spoke out clearly against the Kishinyov Pogrom of 1903. I would say to all who try to exculpate the vandals, “Read your true Orthodox history”. Remember St John of Kronshtadt. Remember the unnamed Greek country pappas who stood against the Fascists in World War II by saying, “Our Lord Christ was a Jew”. If you wish to hate… well, I can’t stop you… but, I will stand against you.

This is shameful. This is a blot upon us. I would say to all decent Jews and all decent people, “I am sorry that some used the Church as a cover for their hatred”. That was wrong. However, I refuse to abase myself before loud self-appointed “spokesmen” or throw a pinch of incense on the PC altar. Will an honest and decent Jew step forward to offer an apology for how some Jews treat Christian clergy in Israel? It’s a two-way street, after all.


Patriarch Kirill Accuses the Strasbourg Court of Infringing the Rights of Believers

Thorbjørn Jagland (1950- ), the Danish-born Secretary-General of the Council of Europe

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias believes that the European Court of Human Rights does not take into account the rights of believers in its rulings. “In our view, the Court’s rulings often make a unilateral use of individual interpretations of human rights at the expense of the collective rights of the traditional religious organisations that are rooted in the history and culture of the peoples of Europe”, the patriarch said in a message to Thorbjørn Jagland, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, released on Wednesday by the patriarchal press service. According to Vladyki Kirill, the foregoing indicates the need for “serious debate on the issues and practises of the Court, where secular law interacts with canon law and the ancient moral and spiritual traditions of the peoples of Europe. We are convinced that ignoring the moral aspects of the implementation of human rights threatens to undermine the credibility of the concept of rights and freedoms, which is one of the achievements of modern history”.

According to His Holiness, it is important to realise that when we discuss the prospects for development at the Strasbourg court it is “one of the main institutions of the Council of Europe and many of its rulings had the aim of protecting the dignity of specific people”. He reminded us that, in 2008, Russia adopted a document entitled The Fundamentals of Dignity, Freedom, and Human Rights, whose inspiration came from Orthodox social doctrine. In this regard, he expressed the hope that the Council of Europe would “seriously consider the content of this document, as it has received worldwide interest and it is addressed to all who care about human dignity and rights”. Patriarch Kirill noted “with great satisfaction the cooperation of the Council of Europe with European religious communities, which, in recent years, was part of the promotion and development of intercultural dialogue. We look forward to increased efforts by the Council of Europe aimed at implementing our repeatedly stated proposals to create tools and systems of permanent cooperation between the Council of Europe with the religious organisations that represent the major European religious traditions”, the message concluded.

16 December 2009



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