Voices from Russia

Friday, 5 March 2010

Holy Synod Resolves to Reopen Zaikonospassky Monastery in Moscow: Closed by the Bolsheviks 90 Years Ago

Nearly 90 years after its closure by the Bolsheviks, the ancient Zaikonospassky monastery on Nikolskaya Street in Moscow will reopen. On Friday evening, the Holy Synod resolved to do this at their meeting in St Petersburg. Igumen Pyotr Afanasyev is the new superior of monastery. This ends a long period of tense conflict between the local Orthodox community and tenants and developers in this historic part of the capital, a few dozen metres from Red Square.

Two years ago, considerable attention was drawn to the news that a new shopping mall would be built next to the walls of the monastery. An investigation verified that the mall would damage the buildings of the monastery, it was declared against the code, and the project was abandoned. Another problem was the reluctance of RITU to vacate the premises and move to a new location in accordance with the decision of the arbitration court. However, Mayor Yuri Luzhkov sided with the monastery in its conflict with the university, reminding the RITU authorities that the city gave them a large complex at the site of the former Higher Party School. “The fact that they fought with the Church, that’s not God’s work, it’s wrong”, the mayor said. Later, in June 2009, it was announced that it was planned to restore the monastery within two years.

Zaikonospassky Monastery, founded in 1600 by Boris Godunov, was the first centre of Russian theological education. The school founded there by Ioanniky and Sofrony Likhudy {Greek monks from Kefalonia in the Ionian Islands, educated at Padua, who were brothers in the flesh: editor} developed into a Slavic-Greek-Latin Academy, which was the ancestor of the Moscow Theological Academy and Moscow State University. After the October Revolution, the monastery was closed, services in its church resumed in 1992.

6 March 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=34529

Editor’s Note:

Note well that this decision was released at 00.50 MSK… that’s nearly one in the morning, kiddies. KMG is making ‘em work. Is there more to come yet? I’m going to keep an eye out on this, there may be more to come, as I say, time will tell.

BMD

Première of film “Pop” will be held at Easter in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

The première of a new film by Vladimir Khotinenko, Поп (“Pop”, a sardonic usage for a priest), will be on Easter, 4 April, at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, the official website of the film said. From 1 to 15 March, in 23 Russian cities, there shall be a series of private screenings for the clergy. These screenings are under the auspices of the church-scientific centre The Orthodox Encyclopaedia in response to numerous appeals from dioceses all over Russia. Screenings will be held in St Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Krasnodar, Kursk, Tver, Stavropol, Yaroslavl, Astrakhan, Kemerovo, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Orenburg, Chelyabinsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Oryol, Krasnoyarsk, Vologda, and Kaluga. In total, some 6,000 clergymen shall see the picture in the course of these previews. The film was created with the blessing of the late Patriarch Aleksei Rediger and also received the blessing of the current patriarch, Kirill Gundyaev. A special screening of Pop for the press will be held 29 March in Moscow at the Federal Agency for Press and Mass Communications.

The movie tells the story of Fr Aleksandr (he was played by Sergei Makovetsky), a missionary priest in the Pskov mission, who served during the Great Patriotic War on territory occupied by the Fascists in Pskov oblast. In addition to reviving church life, Fr Aleksandr helped the partisans, raised and educated orphaned children, and sheltered Jews from the Nazis. After the liberation of these areas by Soviet troops, all members of the Pskov mission were sent to labour camps.

Official website for the movie:

http://www.pop-movie.ru/

5 March 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=34512

Work of the March 2010 Session of the MP Holy Synod

On Friday, a number of important decisions on church administration and personnel changes within the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russia were adopted in St Petersburg at a meeting of the MP Holy Synod. Vladimir Legoida, the chairman of the Synodal Department of Information, told journalists, “The Synod decided to establish a new Synodal Division for Prison Ministry. It will address questions related to our ministry to our prisoners”. Bishop Irinarkh Grezin of Krasnogorsk, formerly the ruling bishop of the Diocese of Perm and Solikamsk, shall head the new body. In addition, the Moscow Patriarchate founded a Patriarchal Council on the Arts, which will interact with museums and other cultural institutions. The Synod appointed Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, the superior of the Sretensky Monastery in Moscow, as its executive secretary. It was also decided to establish a Commission on Church Shelters and Guardianship of Children, headed by the chairman of the Department of Religious Education and Catechesis, Bishop Merkury Ivanov of Zaraisk. The hierarchs at the meeting also established a Synodal Committee on Interaction with the Cossacks, headed by the superior of the Donskoi Monastery in Moscow, Bishop Kirill Pokrovsky of Sergeyev Posad, who was named to the Presidential Council for the Cossacks. Within the Synodal Department for the Relationship of Church and Society (headed by Fr Vsevolod Chaplin), the Synod established a new Council of Orthodox Associations.

Among the important personnel changes approved by the Synod, was the transfer of Metropolitan Mefody Nemtsov from Astana in Kazakhstan to Perm and Solikamsk in the RF. Archbishop Aleksandr Mogilyov is becoming the new Metropolitan of Astana and Alma-Ata, transferred from the Diocese of Kostroma. In addition, he will be the acting head of the Synodal Department for Youth Affairs. Archbishop Aleksei Frolov of Orekhovo-Zuevsk shall take over the Diocese of Kostroma and Galich. Vladyki Aleksei shall step down as the head of the Synodal Commission for Monasteries; at the same time, he shall retain his position as head of the Synodal Liturgical Commission. The new Chairman of the Synodal Commission for Monasteries is Archbishop Feognost Guzikov of Sergeyev Posad, the governor of the Trinity-St Sergius Lavra. Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov of Tiraspol and Dubossary was named the head of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA with the title of Naro-Fominsk. Bishop Savva Volkov of Krasnogorsk shall take his place in his present diocese. Metropolitan Sergei Fomin of Voronezh and Borisoglebsk was removed as the head of the Division for Church Charity and Social Service. A clergyman of the Moscow diocese, Archpriest Arkady Shatov, replaced him. Archimandrite Veniamin Tupeko was appointed a vicar bishop of the Minsk diocese with the title Bishop of Borisovsky. He is the superior of the Annunciation Monastery in the Diocese of Minsk. The formal election and ordination of Fr Veniamin to the episcopal dignity will occur in Moscow.

5 March 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=34523

Editor’s Note:

There is one thing you should notice… two of KMG’s most bitter rivals, Sergei Fomin and Mefody Nemtsov were demoted. They weren’t dismissed by any means… but they were demoted. Quite obviously, KMG shall brook no opposition. Note well that the Boy Wonder has been given no diocese. Oh, it can happen… but it hasn’t happened yet. KMG must not trust him… wise move, I say.

BMD

MP Holy Synod Decrees that an all-Church Missionary Congress be held in Moscow

Fr  Dionisy Zemlyanov working with kids at summer camp

In the autumn of this year, the Fourth all-Church Congress of Diocesan Missionaries of the MP will be held in Moscow. On Friday, a special session of the MP Holy Synod held in St Petersburg made the relevant decisions to hold this meeting. Many assume that the forum participants will discuss the missionary practise of the MP over the past twenty years. Previous all-Church Congresses of Diocesan Missionaries were convened in 1996 in Belgorod and in 1999 and 2002 in Moscow.

5 March 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=34527

Editor’s Note:

Another seemingly minor item released at an ungodly hour… 23.06 MSK (20.06 UTC 15.06 EST 12.06 PST). Is the Synod working even later on the important stuff? Only time shall tell us…

BMD

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