Voices from Russia

Friday, 19 November 2010

SPC Synod Defrocks Rebel Bishop

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

THIS is what REAL legit Churches do with disobedient bishops… and they do it QUICKLY… they don’t “forgive” ’em as JP does. Artemije should have broken into an OCA monastery… JP would slobber all over him and JP’s konvertsy amen corner would be in orgasmic ecstasy. Which do you want? The swift action of the SPC Holy Synod or the languid passivity of JP’s Synod? I KNOW where I stand…


Retired Bishop Artemije Radosavljević served liturgy at a SPC monastery in Kosovo today, despite the Holy Synod’s decision prohibiting him from performing the sacraments.

About 50 monks and lay supporters arrived at the Duboki Potok Monastery last night and this morning. On Friday, Artemije’s followers also occupied Devine Vode Monastery in northern Kosovo. Artemije’s replacement, Bishop Teodosije Šibalić, appointed yesterday in Belgrade, returned to the province with some haste. Superiors from several other monasteries in Kosovo came to Duboki Potok this morning, and the ceremony went without incidents or problems, according to reports. Bishop Artemije arrived to the monastery last night, accompanied by monks who support him, and faithful laypeople were there to greet him, as well. The decision to go to Duboki Potok followed after the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) appointed Bishop Teodosije as the new administrator of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren in the place of Bishop Artemije. Bishop Artemije refused to accept the decision and claimed that it wasn’t canonical. Artemije was forced to retire because of allegations that one of his advisors defrauded the diocese, and was first temporarily forbidden to perform the sacraments at the previous meeting of the SPC Holy Synod.

Today, in Duboki Potok, the retired bishop addressed the congregation after the service, saying, “We are gathered here to lay a new foundation, to bring back order, peace, and unity to the Diocese of Raška-Prizren, which, for the past nine months, has gone through a Golgotha. We haven’t separated from anyone, we aren’t schismatics, and we aren’t creating anything new. We are simply striving to maintain what our glorious forefathers and ancestors have left us”. The bishop said that he expected new attacks against him and the monks loyal to him, but that he felt no fear. “Every new beginning is difficult, every awakening comes out of a desert, and this is our desert, where we are gathered now. Instead of being in the church, in the temple of God, we’re here, at this narrow table, because those who have power have ordered that we cannot enter the church”, he said, and compared today’s service to those held by the early Christians. “Certainly, churches are consecrated places for religious service, but in a sticky situation, even the Roman catacombs were holy places. Let us guard our faith, and our unity with the Holy and Apostolic Church, and, then, God will bless our homes, our villages and towns, our Kosovo and Metohija, and our whole country”, Vladyki Artemije said.

The abbot of the monastery, Romilo, first refused to hand the keys over to Artemije, but Monk Kiprijan threatened the abbot, “and took two mobile phones, and the keys to a cell and to his car”, according to an official diocesan statement, adding that Romilo was “to all intents and purposes a hostage, because Artemije’s followers essentially occupied the monastery”. Fr Romilo stayed in his cell; he didn’t attend the service, and he didn’t wish to speak to reporters. Meanwhile, in Belgrade, SPC sources told B92 that the bishop would likely be defrocked today, “since he has followed in the footsteps of Miraš Dedeić, the so-called metropolitan of the uncanonical Montenegrin Orthodox Church”.

SPC: “Attempt at Usurpation”

In the meantime, the administration of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija issued an announcement, stating that retired Bishop Artemije’s intent to serve today at the Duboki Potok Monastery represents “usurpation”. The diocesan spokesman said that Artemije came to the monastery last night unannounced, “together with a group of fugitive monks and a group of activists of the so-called Serbian National Council of Kosovo and Metohija led by Milan Ivanović and Dragan Velić, without the knowledge or blessing of the SPC Holy Synod of Bishops”. The announcement added that Bishop Artemije “is retired and that any unauthorised serving of the liturgy and the abuse of SPC premises represents the crudest violation of the church canons and rules”. The Diocese of Raška-Prizren Eparchy announced that the diocesan clergy and the monks living in the monasteries in the diocese are completely loyal to their newly appointed administrator, Bishop Teodosije, who has the support of the Holy Synod of Bishops and Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović.

On Friday, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) decided to defrock retired Bishop Artemije Radosavljević.

Earlier in the day, the SPC Holy Synod declared that Bishop Artemije Radosavljević, who was forced into retirement earlier this year because of a financial scandal involving his associates, was in open schism with the Church. Late on Thursday and early on Friday, the bishop and about 40 of his followers usurped control of two northern Kosovo monasteries. Artemije served liturgy this morning in the dining room of one of the monasteries in violation of the orders of the SPC Holy Synod. The bishop’s followers also attempted to enter a third monastery, said reports, but elements of Kosovo police, the KPS, prevented them from doing so. According to a statement of the Diocese of Raška-Prizren, now headed by Bishop Teodosije, several monks were placed under arrest. The statement said that late on Friday, Teodosije, accompanied by clergy, ordinary Serbs from northern Kosovo, and “Serb police”, entered the Devine Vode Monastery.

19 November 2010





Schema-Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin (Patriarch Kirill’s Confessor): Orthodox Confessors Have No Right to Suppress a Person’s Free Will

Orthodox confessors should respect a person’s free will, just as Christ did, according to Optina Elder Schema-Archimandrite Ilya Nozdrin, who is the confessor of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias. “Look at how the Saviour acted, and how the apostles acted. That’s what a confessor must do, too. If he doesn’t act according to the teachings of the Scriptures, if he doesn’t keep to the Evangelical Counsels, if he tries to use force… how can he claim to be a spiritual teacher of Christians?” Archimandrite Ilya said in an interview in the December issue of the magazine, Фома (Thomas).

In his opinion, it’s necessary to encourage people to change their path, it’s necessary to correct and direct individuals, “but at the same time, in any case, [a confessor] shouldn’t try to suppress [a penitent’s] personality”. Fr Ilya went on to say, “Could the Lord have saved Judas from his treason? Of course, He could have done so, but why didn’t He do this? It was because the only way to do this was through violent means. It’s unacceptable to use coercion in God’s Name, it would invalidate everything, and it would be against God’s Holiness. Coerced goodness isn’t goodness at all”. He cited another example, of the crucified Saviour, who “could have made the world perfect, so that no flaws remained in it, so that mankind would no longer require armies and governments. However, the Lord could do so only by using coercion, by suppressing people’s free will; He didn’t want to do that, rather, He wanted to give mankind the opportunity to choose between good and evil”.

Fr Ilya also noted that the aim of spiritual life is knowledge, saying, “This is, perhaps, the most important lesson in our world, without which our society is doomed. In this sense, ‘lessons’ in terms of the spiritual life means that we should combine prayer and education. Of course, it’s particularly important to understand that a confessor can’t give someone in five or ten minutes what only comes in a normal spiritual life after some years. Often, in fact, there are those who come to the services, who think that makes them automatically holy, and that it means that they have special spiritual gifts from God. Nevertheless, such doesn’t happen, in reality”, Fr Ilya emphasised.

In his opinion, true and humane spiritual growth can only occur when a penitent and confessor cooperate, when they are co-workers, with an open channel of communications between one another. Fr Ilya urged people to choose a confessor carefully; he said that people should understand that “even a very good confessor may, for some reason, not fit you personally”. In his view, if a person has learned to repent, has a change of heart, and prays, he can interact with any confessor, for he has made an independent decision himself to make a choice in favour of the good, ergo, he strives for it, but if he hasn’t learned that, “the holiest confessor couldn’t help him”.

19 November 2010



Editor’s Note:

One sees posturing internet gurus such as Stephen Freeman, Joseph Honeycutt, and Patrick Reardon (and such phonies as Paffhausen and Matthew Tate)… they’re so obvious that I’m going to waste no words on these Renovationist charlatans… they’re SO transparent and pathetic. Rather, I’d like to speak of something much more dangerous. There are bogus “elders” amongst us, and they have caused more mischief than the internet gurus and spiritual phonies. I could cite the examples of Panteleimon Metropoulos, Lawrence Mancusco, Gleb Podmoshensky, and Sophrony Sakharov (“Fr So-Phoney”). They are not only in our past… they exist now… they are leading people astray as I write this.

In one case, I saw a reputed “elder” circulating amongst his adoring matushki after liturgy, having his hand kissed, and handing out his “blessing”. If Vladyki X had been still amongst us, he would have eaten this poseur up alive! A friend of mine reported to me that he liked to put a “pious” expression on his face in the refectory… I peeked into the men’s side one Sunday, and, sure enough, it was true (sadly). Yet… he threatens people without even meeting them or speaking with them… and then cowardly sends his condemnation via third parties (he has a confederate who’s as bad, but as he’s a copycat, I can’t assess him as harshly). This is in a “conservative” and “traditional” monastic community.

So… in American Orthodoxy we must be vigilant. There are many “false elders” out there. A sweet nun in the OCA told me, “There are very few real elders in America… none of the married priests who claim such are such”.

Caveat auditor.


It’s All Over Save for the Shouting… Little Miss Sarah’s NOT a Viable Candidate for 2012

Filed under: Alaska,politics,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Sarah Palin is nothing but a money-grubbing TV presenter masquerading as a politician… a Pentecostalist Sectarian in Christian drag… a pathetic failure who can’t even win an election for a favourite in her own backyard… this is the GOP’s Great White Hope for 2012? It DOES take all kinds…


Read this:


Sarah Palin is the sorriest excuse for a politician going. She tried her hardest for Joe Miller… and Miller went down to ignominious defeat… by a write-in candidate! Sarah Palin can’t even deliver an election in her home state! On top of that, she did her utmost to topple Harry Reid, and Mr Reid is still a US Senator from Nevada (and mad as hell at the baggers who tried to sandbag him). In short, Ms Palin is an utter dolt, and the Republicans would be insane to nominate her for any spot on the 2012 national ticket. Far from being a success, she was an utter failure, and was probably the single-most important factor in the embarrassing GOP defeat last week (yes, it was a major defeat; the GOP needed supermajorities in the House and Senate to override presidential vetoes, and it didn’t get them… its agenda is dead in the water).

Lisa Murkowski had little use for Little Miss Sarah and her ridiculous posturing before the election; she has less, now. Ms Murkowski is from a political family… she knows how to play REAL hardball. Firstly, she’s gonna vote against (and obstruct) the bagger agenda, not out of spite… because it’s bad, not only for Alaska, but for the country at large. Secondly, Alaska isn’t a large place in terms of people… it has fewer people than the Albany-Schenectady-Troy NY MSA where I live. Trust me, Lisa’s put out feelers… and there’ll be takers. When Queen Sarah least expects it, Lisa’s gonna insert a stiletto between her ribs and bring her down… Sarah’s not covering her back… silly wabbit…

Notice how her protégé Miller lied egregiously during the campaign… he attacked government programmes, then, it was discovered that his own family and his parents benefited from using those very same programmes… what a hypocrite. Don’t forget how he had his security goons handcuff a reporter… it was similar to how Glenn Beck’s hired toughs threatened a peaceful Russia Today TV crew in New Jersey… it looks like the Tea Party doesn’t like free speech!

Most of all, Joe Miller is a bezkulturny slob… he refuses to concede when he’s clearly beaten. Compare Miller to Richard Nixon, who conceded graciously in 1960, although he had a more than even chance of victory in a recount. RMN believed that such a court case would polarise and harm the country, so, he refused to go through with it, to spare the country unnecessary division and strife. Note well that Joe Miller doesn’t care if he rips open all the old wounds in the Alaska electorate… he will contest this election in the courts.

This gives you the measure of the Tea Party, and you should thank Mr Miller for showing it to you. The only things that matter to them are political office and personal gain, and it doesn’t matter how they obtain them. That is, the present GOP is covered with the muck of corruption and reeks of ambition, and the baggers are the worst of the lot. Yes, the Democrats are no better… but, at least, they don’t moralise as much, nor do they cover their sinful greed with a “Christian” patina (that makes the GOP worse than the Democrats… they should stop all talk of “morality”… Newt the Wife-Discarder is still one of their leaders).

A certain clerical gentleman should remove the link on his website to Rush Limbaugh, and apologise for his intemperate attacks on President Obama. He supports Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Joe Miller, and after the last election and its shenanigans, that’s not kosher for any Orthodox Christian. His Holiness doesn’t consider socialism sinful, so, he should stop calling people “commie zombies”. After all, both His Holiness and Vladimir Vladimirovich honoured Gennady Andreyevich on his birthday and angel day, so, this clerical gent should temper his language about “leftists” and “reds”… the Church has NO problem with such people, and neither do I (you can say the same of most Russian Orthodox people).

In a related vein, I’m sorry at how National Review and First Things have degenerated into mawkish mouthpieces for the worst teabagger and neocon rot… I’m certain that William F Buckley and Rev Neuhaus are looking down from Heaven aghast at what their publications have become. The crowing about the so-called GOP victory is not only unseemly, juvenile, and false, it’s not in the grand intellectual traditions of their late editors (am I am the only one to notice the passing of the gentle wit of Rev Neuhaus and the acerbic realism of Mr Buckley?).

Sic transit Gloria mundi…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 18 November 2010

Albany NY

Editor’s Note:

I was planning to post this last night, but there was a glitch at Word Press. Of course, I gave out a shout to Support, and the geek-on-call, Andrew, responded, and everything’s back in the  order that it should be. A big THANK YOU to all the geeks out there…. we non-techies appreciate the fact that you make the Web accessible to the rest of us. Pour yourself a good measure of your favourite adult beverage, Andrew, you deserve it. The world isn’t always crank… God be praised, sometimes, it DOES work.


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