Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Just When You Thought That You Saw It All…

Filed under: Metropolitan Jonas Paffhausen,moral issues,Orthodox life,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Golgotha: from the triptych “The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor

Ilya Glazunov

1983

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Every day that we delay our unity is another day of self-inflicted pain.

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A correspondent send me the following. Their identity is concealed, of course, for there are nasty sorts about. Not only did Feodosy Lazor and Herman Swaiko concelebrate yesterday at St Tikhon Monastery, it appears that there is a question about one of the deacons who served, Michael Pasonick. Here is a quote from a local newspaper:

A federal judge has sentenced former Luzerne County Housing Authority Board member Gerald J. Bonner to two years of probation for his role in a bribery scheme involving another board member and a prominent Luzerne County businessman. Bonner, 66, admitted to passing a $1,400 bribe from engineering contractor Michael J. Pasonick Jr. to board member William J. Maguire. Prosecutors recommended the sentence of probation, in part because of Bonner’s “age, health problems and cooperation”. Bonner would have been able to withdraw his plea if the sentencing judge did not accept the recommendation of probation.

http://citizensvoice.com/bonner-sentenced-to-probation-for-role-in-bribery-scheme-1.736266

There appears to be a systemic crisis within the OCA that requires radical surgery. Let me be blunt… no segment of the “Russian Orthodox Church” in the US and Canada is free from this ailment, be it OCA, MP, or ROCOR… it is present in all in one form or another. As another friend of mine put it:

You know, some time ago you wrote that the whole “old order” as we knew it (with its respective ROCOR and OCA royal families and Good Ole Boys clubs, etc.) is collapsing, and that something completely new is emerging in its place. This is precisely right. The problem is that the members of said royal families, Good Ole Boys clubs, et al., know this as well, and they are terrified. The notion of a world where being Schmemann’s grandniece-in-law twice removed, or an Ossorgin relation, or whatever will not settle an argument is too much for them to handle.

Yes, the OCA is unsound… as is the entire “Russian Orthodox” edifice in this country and Canada. Is the MP perfect? No… not by a long shot. But it did deal with Diomid Dzyuban… it did deal with Dmitri Banditsky and some of his cronies… it did remove Nikon of Yekaterinburg for moral turpitude. Are there still some crooks in the MP? No doubt, they are there… but they’re not as blatant as some of their American cousins (the rot is in the entire Russian-American institution, not merely the OCA). It’s not like the OCA paying off Bobby, Feodosy and Herman serving yesterday, and a known briber being amongst the clergy (there are interesting ROCOR stories too… the OCA simply is at a more advanced stage of rot… both are in dire need of replacement).

We are in need of a truly united Russian Orthodox Church in the USA, a united Russian Orthodox Church in Canada, and a united Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska. In my view, both the OCA and the ROCOR were frankly transient structures… it’s now time to join all decent Russian Orthodox people in one Church body and get down to healing our wounds… wounds that are mainly self-inflicted. As I wrote to a friend recently:

Be good and love X for me, please. They have a great deal of healing ahead of them (it shall take time… it can’t be rushed).

Just as individuals need time to heal properly, so do institutions. For the next generation, at least, we have to set our house to rights, and that cannot be done overnight. It shall take YEARS… and many of us shall not see the fruits of it here on earth. However, that is our task… but how many of us will have the courage and self-sacrifice necessary? The time for “reforms”, of “band-aids”, of “temporary fixes” is over. Shall we grasp the unity that is our birthright or shall we fritter it all away on a fruitless search for “Pan-Orthodox Unity in Our Time?” That, I think, is up to you.

This is truly too much of a muchness.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

A priest sent me the following, it needs no commentary from me:

I just had to write. Congratulations! You’ve hit so many nails on the head this time. The Russian emigration (all parts) has for far too long been just another corrupt family business, a mafia… just like the Patriarchate of Antioch with its four ruling families. Thank God, we are getting new blood into the Russian emigration from Russia.

“You know, some time ago you wrote that the whole “old order” as we knew it (with its respective ROCOR and OCA royal families and Good Ole Boys clubs, etc.) is collapsing, and that something completely new is emerging in its place. This is precisely right. The problem is that the members of said royal families, Good Ole Boys clubs, et al., know this as well, and they are terrified. The notion of a world where being Schmemann’s grandniece-in-law twice removed, or an Ossorgin relation, or whatever will not settle an argument is too much for them to handle”.

The above lines are the story of my life. I did not have the right family connections… therefore, I was out of it by the Russian émigré mafia from the beginning.

In this, ROCOR has only one advantage over the OCA and Paris groupings. It is bigger and, consequently, the power is more dispersed… but even so… size does matter in rooting out the crooks. The OCA is 27,000 strong according to the Wikipedia entry on religion in the USA, not 2 million! How’s that for a Soviet-style lie! There’s 90 years of cleaning up to do in the Russian emigration… all of it delayed by the Cold War.

“Are there still some crooks in the MP? No doubt, they are there… but they’re not as blatant as some of their American cousins (the rot is in the entire Russian-American institution, not merely the OCA). It’s not like the OCA paying off Bobby, Feodosy and Herman serving yesterday, and a known briber being amongst the clergy (there are interesting ROCOR stories too… the OCA simply is at a more advanced stage of rot… both are in dire need of replacement)”.

ROCOR will be replaced… but not by some ridiculous and uncanonical freemason-run OCA, but by proper Russian Orthodox Churches in different parts of the world.

“We are in need of a truly united Russian Orthodox Church in the USA, a united Russian Orthodox Church in Canada, and a united Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska”.

Take Alaska back into the Russian Church proper; then, have a proper though self-governing Russian Orthodox Church in the Americas… North, Central, and South.

“In my view, both the OCA and the ROCOR were frankly transient structures… it’s now time to join all decent Russian Orthodox people in one Church body and get down to healing our wounds… wounds that are mainly self-inflicted”.

You said it! Keep repeating it till they get the message. It is so simple, but blinded by American phyletism (i.e. the American Dollar) or anti-Orthodox French cultural chauvinism, the OCA and the Paris group just don’t get it. For them, “Russian Orthodox” are dirty words linked to a narrow ethnic group and Soviet history.

When will they even begin to understand? Only when they understand that they and their structures are built on and motivated by HATRED… hatred of everything authentically Russian Orthodox. Moreover, you cannot build a Church on hatred… this is the real reason why they will disappear, just as the fragments of ROCOR which did not love the Russian Church inside Russia have already disappeared into the abyss of irrelevant sectarianism.

Keep right on!

THIS is meaty. I shan’t reply now, it’s the basis for another post, I have to give it some proper thought, and I have things to do in any case.

BMD

If This Be True…

I’ve received word from several sources that Herman Swaiko and Feodosy Lazor concelebrated with Paffhausen at the Memorial Day Pilgrimage at St Tikhon’s. This was done without any prior announcement, of course, and my sources told me that it caused quite a flutter. If one adds this to the recent news of the payoff to Bobby K, one must come to an obvious conclusion. If this is true (for I wasn’t there), it tells even the slow learners that Jonas Paffhausen is a secretive and arrogant SOB… that means that he’s evil to the core. He’s nothing but a Diomid Dzyuban, an Aleksandr Vvedensky, a Pavel Florensky, or a Sergei Bulgakov… all of whom were enemies of Christ’s Church. He’s a worthy son of Kirill Terlecky, Avvakum Petrov, and Arius. It means that anyone who supports him is an enemy of Christ and His Church (that’s particularly true of Mark Stokoe, I fear). I’m NOT glad to hear this news. It’s not edifying and it means that the crisis is upon us. God help us all.

Paffhausen delenda est.*

*In our litigious times, the above is meant rhetorically… but I assure you that it is quite sincere and heartfelt.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Albany NY

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