Voices from Russia

Friday, 7 May 2010

With a Little Help From My Friends…

Filed under: Christian,Orthodox life,religious,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Here’s something that all goodhearted people will recognise immediately… a samogon still. You outlaw vodka in Russia… out come the stills! Just like they are trying to “outlaw” free speech in the OCA… I observe there are plenty of “stills” and “moonshiners” out there! You just won’t find them on oca.org or on Stokoe’s website, that’s all (and Rod won’t tell the folks at Templeton about them, either)…

It appears that I’m not alone in my concerns about the konvertsy. One of my cyber-friends sent me the following. As I know that the OCA/AOCANA Renovationists are nasty and ugly to those who disagree with them, I am keeping my friend “anonymous” (the last thing they need is the tender mercies of “Gavriil”, “John” of Ad Orientam, or “Hank Leaf”). One can tell readily from the style that I didn’t write it (although I do agree wholeheartedly and wish that I DID think of it… the Good Lord DOES have his ways of teaching humility, no?). Reflect on this… the OCA is about 40 percent of its size in membership as it was in 1970, but it has 50 percent more parishes. All things being equal, that tells us that the standards of the “average” priest in the OCA/AOCANA have fallen… there are people such as Matthew Tate (who was nothing but a self-appointed HOOMie cult guru) who were ordained without a proper seminary formation… and such a man is a close advisor to JP (it does not matter if they went to seminary AFTER ordination… that means that unformed and unqualified sorts are being ordained). Then, there are shake n’ bakes such as George Washburn or Peter Gillquist who were ordained without any Orthodox formation at all… makes one’s head spin! Well, here’s my friend’s thoughts, and I agree with them wholeheartedly and unreservedly…



Once they infiltrate among us, they proceed to form their own “set” (jurisdiction, vicariate, deanery, parish… call it what you will). This is what they did as Protestants, setting up their own convenient little “church”, i.e, sect, so that shouldn’t surprise you. Today, this situation has led to two forms of Orthodox parish, there are normal ones, but there are others that are downright weird, the two, of course, are mutually exclusive. In normal parishes, founded by this or that Orthodox ethnic group, the babas and iaias keep things on the straight and narrow. Then, there are tiny “convert” parishes. They’re scary in the extreme, they may go on for years without any positive development, although, fortunately they’re always very small and exclusive ghettos, usually set up in front rooms or back gardens. They’re the same in all countries. Why? They all suffer from the same spiritual disease.

The ethos is beardy-weirdy, stuck-up, self-important, and absurdly pretentious, with lots of bookworm theories. Any normal person can see their inflated egos from miles away. They are generally bookish and self-satisfied, a priggish set with miserable and constipated faces (have they ever heard the word “happy?”), lists of fantasy rules, pettifoggery in ritual, and weird clothes, with a hatred and contempt for reality. Get a life, all of you. They are forever quoting this or that ancient canon, telling us that we should follow it, not our practise, which we inherited in our childhood from our parents and grandparents. Therefore, they never kneel on Sundays… unlike most Orthodox. They refuse to use any other language than English, which is because they can’t be bothered to learn a little to show sympathy with others. All this is under the camouflage of a false “universalism”. In fact, they’re racist. I know what I’d do to cure them… I’d give them all a very strong laxative every day for six months. That would clean it all out of them.

A Grounded and Observant Orthodox Christian


The Run-Up to Victory Day…

A Frontline Vet (Arkady Plastov, 1942)

St Nicholas Church in Sevastopol consecrated the world’s largest St George’s ribbon, 300 metres (984 feet) long by 3 metres (@10 feet) wide. Vasili Stadolsky, the project manager, informed Interfax that it took a seamstress from Sevastopol nearly two weeks to fabricate the gigantic campaign ribbon. The silk for the ribbon came from Belarus. For his part, a representative of the national project Книга рекордов Украины (The Book of Ukrainian Records), Igor Pidchiby, told reporters that the campaign ribbon would not only be a Ukrainian record, it would be a world record, as well”. Cadets from the Nakhimov Schools in Moscow and Odessa, students from the Naval Lyceum in Sevastopol, and ordinary citizens carried the campaign ribbon into Nakhimov Square and carried it through the main streets of the city. On 9 May, the ribbon will be carried to Sapun Hill, where it shall be part of activities honouring the heroic defence and liberation of Sevastopol, as well as during the celebration of the anniversary of the Great Victory.

Rav Berel Lazar, Chief Rabbi of Russia, thanked veterans for saving not only Russia, but also the entire word, from enslavement by the Nazis. “If it wasn’t for you, not only our country, not only Europe, but the whole world would have been plunged into the darkness of barbarism for many years, perhaps forever. I give you special thanks on behalf of my people, on behalf of all Jews, wherever they may be. We are alive today due to the fact that you risked your lives during the war”, according to the text of a message from Rav Lazar to all veterans, released on Friday by his press office. In Rav Lazar’s opinion, the main lesson for the present generation is that during the war, all of the peoples of Russia “stood shoulder to shoulder to defend the Motherland”. His message noted that people risked their lives, and often gave their lives, to save their comrades, “because they were all brothers, even though they had different backgrounds, different cultures, and different faiths. Only together can we successfully confront the challenges and dangers of the twenty-first century, above all, we must oppose the revival of the misanthropic ideology of Nazism. The soldiers who hoisted the banner of victory in Berlin believed that they destroyed this threat to mankind once and for all. But, unfortunately, history has proven otherwise”, Rav Lazar noted.

He pointed up that now there are politicians, even those in positions of power, who want to “rewrite history to whitewash the Nazis and those who collaborated with them, to belittle the heroism of not only Russian soldiers, but all the soldiers of the [Anti-Hitler] coalition. Today, we see ideologues call for the killing of others just because they have a different origin, a different faith, or a different skin colour. This is true even here in Russia… in a country where over 25 million people were cut down by the Nazis and their collaborators, a country where every family has photos of their grandfathers and great-grandfathers who fought at the front”, Rav Lazar’s message said. Rav Lazar urged veterans to continue the struggle to cement the victory that they won 65 years ago. “Back then, you fought against not only the soldiers of another country, dressed in different uniforms, you fought a godless ideology of hatred and murder. To eradicate this ideology, definitively, we need to educate our youth. It’s necessary that all of our young people become aware of the danger involved in any appeal to national or religious hatred”, he observed.

Likewise, Aleksandr Boroda, the President of the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia (FEOR), in his message to veterans, pointed up that the Nazi régime killed six million Jews, one-third of the Jewish people, “and they would have killed all of us, if it were not for the heroism and courage of the Soviet soldier-liberators and their allies. We will never forget their immortal feat of bravery (подвига). Every one of the surviving veterans must be unconditionally respected and cared for”, Mr Boroda emphasised.

A Memorial in Nevozrozhdennoy Village (Mikhail Savitsky, 1984)

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias ordered the offering of special prayers annually on 9 May to commemorate the Great Victory. “Given the importance to the historical memory of our people of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-45, we find it right to introduce a special annual liturgical commemoration to mark the celebration of Victory Day”, according to the ukase of the Patriarch, as transmitted to the Interfax-Religion website by Vladimir Legoida, the Head of the MP Synodal Information Department. The document stipulates that special petitions will be offered whilst serving the Divine Liturgy on 9 May, and, at the end of the liturgy, the celebrant shall offer a molieben of thanksgiving to God for the gift of Victory, written by Patriarch Kirill, and, then, the priest shall serve a memorial litiya for the souls of the soldiers fallen in the war. His Holiness noted, “The 65th anniversary of the Great Victory is a national holiday that unites all people regardless of their nationality, religion, age, or political beliefs, because, as we celebrate Victory Day, we remember the indomitable strength of the spirit, courage, and great sacrifices of our people. The feats (Подвиг) of the fallen, who sacrificed their lives for their Motherland and for their neighbours are immortal… immortal both in the eyes of God and in our human memory”.

On Friday, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias laid a wreath at the eternal flame at the Kremlin wall. Together with His holiness, some 200 clergy from the Moscow area were present at the solemn ceremony. Accompanied by priests, Patriarch Kirill laid a wreath at the monument with a large red cross in the centre, fashioned from red flowers. Then, a chorus sang Eternal Memory “for the soldiers who gave their lives for their country”, following which, an honour guard solemnly placed the patriarch’s wreath at the monument. Addressing the troops, His Holiness praised the armed forces of Russia and the CIS, “all those who are the heirs of the Great Victory. We won partly because we proved to be very strong in spirit. May God protect us, and give us the fortitude and ability to defend our homeland on the battlefield, and to bless our labour, to multiply the glory of our multinational Motherland”. The soldiers greeted the patriarch by ceremoniously slamming their rifle butts on the pavement. Then, Patriarch Kirill appealed to the clergy and urged them on the eve of Victory Day to remember, “The Church is the spiritual backbone of the whole nation. The Church has always been a great patriotic force, because patriotism is love. We exercise our ministry through our love for the Motherland and for its people, so that we can impart to them the Christian virtues”.

7 May 2010






Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.