Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

24 November 2010. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… “Oh, How the Worm Turns!”

In the centre of this photograph from the 1980s, seated, is Patriarch Pimen Izvekov (1910-90) of Moscow and all the Russias. To the left, standing, is Metropolitan Aleksei Rediger (1929-2008) of Leningrad and Tallinn (later, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, 1990-2008). To the right is Metropolitan Philaret Denisenko (1929- ) of Kiev, the head of the MP DECR. Later on, Philaret was defrocked for fraud and money-laundering, in 1995, he became the head of the illegitimate and uncanonical “Patriarchate of Kiev”, a body that is unrecognised by any other real and canonical Local Church.

However, none of that “interesting” stuff was apparent in the 80s…. everyone thought that Denisenko was going to succeed Pimen; indeed, he was locum tenens of the MP after Pimen’s death. Who threw his weight behind Aleksei Rediger and ensured his election? None other than Vladimir Sabodan, now Metropolitan of Kiev and all the Ukraine, First Hierarch of the UOC MP, who marked his 75th birthday yesterday.

The worm did turn after thirty years, didn’t it? Therefore, don’t take verities as being set in stone… especially those concerning Jonas Paffhausen… he may end like Denisenko. At the time of this photo, Denisenko was quite the figure… today, he’s a discredited schismatic… are you thinking what I’m thinking?



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