Voices from Russia

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Who’s NOT There is as Important as Who IS There

Here’s a member of the “Orthodox” delegation to the Orientale Lumen conference… there’s no one from the grounded Church who is going, save for a fairly-low-level Moscow archimandrite, who, no doubt, is KMG’s spy. We shouldn’t be going to such trumpery…


Before we deal with the question posed by the title, one of the things that I’ve dealt with, not only in the last few days, but over the long haul as well, is the accusation that I’m being unfair to the person and ideas of Jonas Paffhausen. Am I being such? Firstly, didn’t Mr Paffhausen say at his election, “It’s all over?” Apparently, he meant that the secrecy and high-handedness of the Swaiko administration were over. Were they? Certainly, there was a change in the attitude towards the faithful… the administration became twice as secretive and twice as evasive. For instance, no information was released on the recent Holy Synod meeting in Colorado on oca.org (beyond a bare mention of its meeting); there wasn’t even a mention of the topics under discussion. In short, nothing was told to the faithful and Mark Stokoe just smiled an idiot’s smile. Would he have done so if Herman had been half as secretive? Recently, Terrence Mattingly (another self-appointed konvertsy “expert”) gushed all over Stokoe, and attacked all the rest of us, saying that we did no original work. Mr Mattingly… I challenge you. I translate from the Russian press weekly, therefore, are you saying that I am an “uninformed commentator?” I’d argue that I’ve access to Orthodox material that you don’t even know about because of your lack of facility in Russian. Interesting, no? Well… let’s move on to the nub of the submission…

However, I was looking at the items on oca.org, and one did catch my eye. This is disturbing in the extreme. Indeed, when one combines this with Paffhausen’s syncretistic pact with the TEC via Nashotah House and Behr’s embrace of the heretical “hierarch” Rowan Williams, it can mean only one thing. The OCA‘s signalling to the entire world that the boundaries of the Church mean nothing to it. We’ll return to this, but first, let’s look at an error in fact in the above post. One of the speakers, according to the OCA handout, is “Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun, Director of Religious Education, Moscow”. Does it surprise you that they didn’t get it right? Kirill Nikolaevich Govorun (no Russian source uses the incorrect dialectical “Hovorun”) holds a rather more modest office in Moscow… he’s First Deputy Chairman of the Education Committee of the MP. MUCH less than what the OCA handout implies… let’s not be too harsh, of course, it’s probably just a consequence of the utter incompetence of Belonick and Matusiak. Oh, another little wrinkle that’s not in the article due to the boobishness of Matusiak and Belonick… Kirill Nikolaevich IS the head of the DECR for the UOC/MP… I believe that he’s a lower-horsepower stand-in for the Boy Wonder, who’s sitting this one out (after the der Spiegel débâcle, he’s laying low, no doubt). Indeed, no MP bishop is on the agenda. THAT is interesting in the extreme. Bart is strutting his stuff and NO MP bishop is involved. Note well that Fr Kirill’s the highest-ranking MP figure in this ecumaniac love feast. In fact, he’s the ONLY MP figure named, save for Vassa Larina, who is from the ROCOR, which is a constituent part of the MP.

Also, note that the only ROCOR personality involved is Vassa Larin. Her academic and personal ties to Bob Taft are well known, and I don’t need to attack them… all of the Church knows of them, and very few (save for a few pseudo-academic poseurs) support her dalliance with this Uniate Jesuit charlatan (I believe that she’s doing so to “further her academic career”). So, look at who’s there, and who isn’t there. The Boy Wonder isn’t there. He’s not moving from Moscow, thank you very much (or he’s sticking close to KMG). That means that his errors over the past year have caught up with him, and he’s repairing his fences. No major figure from the MDA or SPDA or PSTGU is there. There’s no one from Jordanville, either from the monastery or the seminary. None of the major MP department heads is there, not even the layman Vladimir Legoida. NO MP bishop is there. Now, if Fr Vsevolod Chaplin or Prof Natalia Narochnitskaya were there, I’d sit up and take NOTICE. I’d truly take a second (and long) look if the name of Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov cropped up. Truly, none of the real big-name players in the MP is involved in this EP/papal farce.

All too many newcomers in the Church are unaware of the factional fight that is going on right now for the soul of the Russian Orthodox Church. It’s why the decent people in the MP wanted the ROCOR back into the fold so badly… they’d be valuable allies against such dangerous and mendacious poseurs as SVS, New Skete, and St Sergius (Paris). As I said, note who isn’t there… Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev isn’t there… Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral isn’t there… no MP or ROCOR bishop is there… no one from any major MP or ROCOR seminary or higher institution is there. The only MP figure named is a low-octane substitute for the Boy Wonder… who’s not going to be there either! The only ROCOR figure named has unwisely (and publicly) kissed the bum of a Jesuit Uniate phony (I hasten to add that every ROCOR voice I’ve heard on this (save for the pseudo-academic poseur Psaryov) condemns her actions in re Taft unreservedly). It’s not wise for ANY OCA figure to be there, under such circumstances, as Moscow is their sole canonical lifeline.

What is this, after all? It’s a papist meeting called to further a papist agenda in a papist venue. Excuse me whilst I hurl. To my Catholic friends I’d say, “It’s one thing to be polite to one’s neighbour and to show kindness to the people about one. That’s only right and proper. However, I draw the line at actions that transgress the boundaries of the Church… for that’s spitting on Our Lord Christ Himself”. Somehow, I don’t think that I’d get an argument from the Mark Sheas of this world… we’d agree to disagree, and we’d move on to things that we could share. We wouldn’t hold such a conference, though… it’s demeaning to both parties. Jonas Paffhausen and SVS have told all of us what they think of Christ by this action. If the Church is Christ’s Body, then, anything that we do concerning the Church concerns Christ. If one follows my chain of logic by starting with the stipulation, “JP and SVS are disregarding the boundaries of the Church”, I think that it’s obvious where that syllogism leads. Yes… JP, you were right. “Everything has changed”… yes, it most certainly has… not for the better.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 8 May 2010

Albany NY


“Satan Reigns There…”

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

O Holy Russia!

T L Kotovskaya


Oak Park… it’s a place with broad lawns and narrow minds.

Ernest Hemingway

Of course, I received a mixed mailbag on my latest effort… but there was more support than criticism. Certainly, there are Renovationists out there, and they were angered. It’s against all the canons of niceness to be openly against something, so, I received smarmy accusations that I was hateful and that I was being “negative”. I “approved” one of them… let it stand as an exemplar of the rest (I actually chose the least repulsive one of the lot). Let’s look at the latter… it says a great deal about these sorts. Firstly, it means that they’ve capitulated to the zeitgeist and that they’re addicted to its terminology. To be frank, “negative” isn’t a synonym for “bad”, “evil”, erroneous”, or “mistaken”. It’s a weasel word that crept into the language during the 80s. Truly, it didn’t exist before then. It’s beloved of the godless and those addicted to Atheist California New Age Therapeutese (like unto to it is “moving on”, another weaselling phrase much loved by the godless). You can’t say “bad”… EEK! That’s JUDGEMENTAL. That’s saying that “I’m OK, you’re OK” is wrong! OH, THE HUMANITY!

Is it “negative” to say that former Anglicans, in particular, aren’t Orthodox in ethos, and are only amongst us because of disputes in their former confession? I would go so far as to say that most of the Anglicans we have received are former clergy… there is no mass movement of laity from Anglicanism to Orthodoxy. Would these clerical gentlemen have converted if they had been told that they wouldn’t be ordained? “You may convert… yes, we welcome you. However, we shall never ordain you. You’re contaminated by your previous Proddie formation”. I would predict that most of them, like the Rich Young Man of the Scripture, would have turned away. They did not wish to be Orthodox… they only came to us because their faction lost a power struggle in the TEC. One has only to look at the recent pact with Nashotah House. NH is nothing but a typical Anglican seminary… complete with 39 Articles and female ordination. It’s interesting… apparently, it’s “negative” to point up that JP loudly proclaimed a break with the TEC in July ’09, then, he turned around and signed a pact with one of its seminaries just two months later. People such as Joseph Honeycutt loudly praised it (and took an image off my art site to illustrate it… that’s OK (in fact, I’m laughing at the delicious irony of it all)… but when you link to another site, your computer snitches on you!)… it does make one wonder about the depth of their “conversion”.

The Russian Market: Satan Reigns There

Vasili Ostrovsky


This is an apt illustration of the heterodox who have come to us… it’s why we must be more careful with them… they have NOT given up their idols, after all.


What makes it particularly hard for the American suburbanite to convert is that they refuse to see that they aren’t just converting from Protestantism to Orthodoxy… that’s fairly obvious. They refuse to understand that they must replace American Suburban Hedonism root-and-branch with an Orthodox weltanschauung… not merely reject it. If there’s only a facile and superficial rejection, such as “I refuse to watch television”, it means that the contagion is still ensconced firmly at the heart of one’s consciousness. This is the sickness of the HOOMies. They are nothing but rejectionists. They see nothing wrong in such “feel good” declarations as the so-called Manhattan Declaration. Why we would even meet with those who hate us and who try to proselytise us at every opportunity escapes me. We aren’t united with such sorts in any way. We don’t agree with their take on morals. The Church has a much more “nuanced” and pastoral approach that it’s worked out over the centuries. No, we don’t approve of “homosexual marriages”… no, we don’t approve of abortion… but our rationale for such is 180 degrees removed from that of the Proddies. We shouldn’t legitimatise them or their heretical movement. Tserkovnost does NOT mean that we spout the Canons and Holy Fathers (in bad translation, no less) ad infinitum… the konvert refuses to see that the Church in the Orthodox homelands is the inclusive national Church of ALL the People, not an exclusive little sectarian set at war with society.

To wrap it up nicely, to put the cherry on the top on the sundae, so to speak, they’re still dancing around the golden calf of Mammon. They still support globalisation and all its works. They haven’t rejected American Exceptionalism. Can an American convert? Yes… Frank Schaeffer is a good example of such. There is my cyber-friend Kevin, who worships at a GOA parish… and has no trouble with its “ethnicity”. There is Fr John Whiteford… who came to us from the Radical Proddies (which made it “easier” for him to convert… he had none of the baggage that the Episkies carry about ostentatiously on their backs). However, a recipe for disaster is being followed by the OCA and AOCANA. They ordain people all too soon and don’t tell them up-front that they have to “slow down” and learn… they aren’t telling them that because of their ideological imperatives. That’s the subject for another essay, isn’t it? Nevertheless, I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that it concerns not only me, but also all grounded Orthodox Christians. The konvertsy are heading for a crash, and the fallout is going to splatter all of us.

What do I say? Well, they have a saying in the Argentine, “Gardel cada día canta mejor” (Gardel sings better every day). For them not in the know, Carlos Gardel was the personification of the Tango… yes, I’ve been to his tomb, and, yes, like everyone else, I put a lit cigarette in the hands of his statue (Buenos Aires is the only place that I’ve been in South America). This means that the Old Tradition just gets better. The older I get, the more I appreciate the Church’s wisdom, and the more it makes sense to me. Yes, “it sings better every day”. The konvertsy haven’t even begun the process that would let them hear that. They have “broad lawns and narrow minds”, as Hemingway so evocatively put it. Shall they “narrow their lawns and expand their minds?” Only time will tell us…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 8 May 2010

Albany NY

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