Voices from Russia

Saturday, 25 December 2010

A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… Christmas Hopes

Light a candle of hope this Christmas… fight for what’s right and true… don’t capitulate to the Sectarian Republican money-grubbers. God will bless you for it!

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Traditionally, people give and receive gifts at Christmas. True to this tradition, Washington gave a generous gift to Americans. However, it wasn’t for all Americans, it was only for the 2 percent at the top of the income pyramid, the most affluent citizens who account for 46 percent of the USA’s national wealth. On 23 December, the tax breaks for the very wealthy will lapse if they’re not renewed. A Republican administration adopted this measure right after the inauguration of George W Bush. One of the main points of Barack Obama’s election platform was a pledge to abolish this dodge for the rich, as it was categorically unfair to the majority of the American people.

However, just before the forthcoming Christmas holidays, the President succumbed to bullying from the Republican Party, he agreed to compromise, and he consented to the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest segment of the population for two more years. According to expert estimates, this concession to the neoliberal Free Marketers (“conservatives” in US political argot) will cost the US Treasury the mind-boggling sum of some 4 trillion dollars (122.305 trillion Roubles 3.048 trillion Euros 2.59 trillion UK Pounds). It’s perfectly clear who will put this huge sum into their bank accounts. Commentators point up that President Obama’s decision to compromise with the GOP was a necessity; it was what he had to do to prevent objections from the Republican Party leadership to the ratification of the START-3 treaty by the US Senate, although, frankly speaking, the new START is non-negotiable. The treaty in question is in the national interest of the USA, so official Washington should be interested in ratifying it, regardless of any given Senator’s party affiliation.

Therefore, some on Capitol Hill are only concerned about the wellbeing of the most privileged 2 percent of the US population, but all signs are that the rest of Americans shouldn’t count on the mercy of the powers that be. Ordinary Americans don’t regard the enormous national debt figures swirling across a huge LED monitor in downtown Manhattan as a Christmas present. The figures have already gone over the crushingly onerous level of 13 trillion dollars (397.493 trillion Roubles 9.907 trillion Euros 8.416 trillion UK Pounds), and they keep on rising, in evidence of the national debt’s continuous and threatening growth. These are by no means abstract quantities; they are of immediate concern to every single American. According to the US Department of the Treasury’s official reports, every US citizen, including old people and children, has 42,000 dollars (1.285 million Roubles 32,008 Euros 27,191 UK Pounds) as their share of the national debt, as of this year’s Christmas holidays. Nevertheless, this is only a mere piffle compared to what’s on the way.

Shortly before the government decided to extend the tax benefits for the rich, Federal statistical agencies in Washington made public data showing that one-seventh of all US citizens are living on the edge of poverty or below that level, in what proved the worst figure for the past 15 years. The US Department of Agriculture specified in a report, unusual for American politicians, that 17 million US families, or 50 million people, are short of the money needed to buy a sufficient amount of food. They won’t have a traditional roast turkey on their table at Christmas to share with their in-laws and other guests.

Therefore, there’s nothing to be happy about at the year-end. Unfortunately, our chat wasn’t quite what I would have liked on the eve of a holiday. However, Christmas is a holiday, a holiday of love and hope. Yes, of Hope! С праздником Рождества Христова и с Новом Годом! Let’s celebrate the Birth of Christ, and a happy New Year to all of you!

22 December 2010

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2010/12/22/37452218.html

Editor’s Note:

Mr Zorin pulls no punches. If you support the Republican Party, you smash your boot full-force on the faces of the weakest people in America… and you cackle with glee! If you support such godless filth as Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, and Glenn Beck, you place yourself outside of the Church and you place a pinch of incense on Moloch’s altar… the very stones of the church building accuse you of hypocrisy and sinful greed. His Holiness has spoken… the Free Market is a fraud… it’s an evil will o’ the wisp.

From the very beginning, Bush’s tax cuts for the rich were unaffordable… then, he started two mind-numbingly expensive foreign wars and paid for them on tick. This is what the GOP defends… this is what the Tea Party stands for… this is what Limbaugh, Palin, Beck, et al proclaim in their media messages… Greed is GOOD… Consumption is BETTER… Wealth is BEST. To think that there are those who call themselves Orthodox Christians who stand up for such satanic delusion. The Republican Party’s anti-abortion stance fools them… merely criminalising abortion is not “Pro-Life”. Just as Satan quotes Scripture, just as he can turn himself into an “angel of light”, he also can say that he’s anti-abortion. Every other plank of the GOP platform is anti-life and pro-war, and it plans to redistribute the wealth of the nation to the richest 5 percent… all others can suck wind.

Indeed, we must reject the GOP… despite its anti-abortion stance. As Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome, put it:

A Catholic would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil, and so unworthy to present himself for holy Communion, if he were to deliberately vote for a candidate precisely because of the candidate’s permissive stand on abortion and/or euthanasia. When a Catholic does not share a candidate’s stand in favour of abortion and/or euthanasia, but votes for that candidate for other reasons, it is considered remote material cooperation, which can be permitted in the presence of proportionate reasons.

In general, we agree with this formulation. In plain terms, you’re under no compulsion to vote for Republican moneygrubbers merely because they’re anti-abortion. Indeed, outright Secularists are less dangerous to our Faith than Sectarian scummers are. At least, the former make no pretence of being religious… the latter are wild-eyed fanatics set on spreading their error throughout the world.

The choice isn’t clear at first… it’s not simple… however, Orthodox Christians must stand against Mammon and all his works. Mr Zorin is an Orthodox Christian… Limbaugh, Palin, and Breck are not. I say that we stand with Mr Zorin, even though it means that we must stand alongside those who favour abortion. We aren’t saying that we favour abortion when we do so… and we may do some good. As for the Republican position… that’s so obviously in contravention of Evangelical and Gospel Truth that one needn’t go into detail.

Let’s stand for Hope this holiday… not the Almighty Dollar!

BMD

 

Roman Catholics Gathered in Moscow for Christmas Mass

Filed under: Christian,Christmas,religious,Roman Catholic,Russian — 01varvara @ 00.00

Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow

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On Friday evening, the first service of Christmas was held at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Moscow. About a thousand people attended the Mass, including many children who were taking a special interest in watching what was going on. Some of the parishioners held lit candles in their hands. Christmas trees and garlands decorated the interior of the cathedral; at the entrance of the church, a special festive mural depicting the Holy Family greeted parishioners as they arrived. Before the beginning of Mass, priests in white robes carried a figure of Christ the Divine Child in procession, and put it in a specially arranged crib in the courtyard. The celebrant of the first Christmas service at the cathedral said a brief prayer at the manger, asking for God’s blessings, and for peace and love. During the Mass, the Christmas gospel listing the genealogy of Christ was read in Russian. There will be two other Masses at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Friday in Polish and Russian. Archbishop Paolo Pezzi will celebrate the main Mass at 23.00 MSK (20.00 UTC 15.00 EST 12.00 PST).

24 December 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=38892

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Editor’s Note:

I’m going to give a note in passing to a website known as Byzantine Texas… its webmaster doesn’t use their actual name… they call themselves “Josephus Flavius”. I’d warn all owners of Orthodox websites to spam this weasel whenever he tries to comment. He’s a fanatic Uniate and an ultramontane papist… don’t argue with him… spam him and be done with it. In fact, spam all Uniates… most people don’t have the background to argue with these fanatics. This fellow has the god-damn gall to sit in judgement on all “Eastern Christian” websites. Firstly, there’s no such thing as “Eastern Christian”… Uniates and Orthodox are completely different creatures under the skin. Secondly, I’ve got more hits than he or any of his pals have, so, do I need their “approval?” I think not. That being said, ordinary RCs are normal sorts, and we should be as well-mannered to them as we are to those in the Church. They’re not responsible for the Great Papal Schism, and we shouldn’t act as though they are. DO say “Merry Christmas” to your Catholic friends… and MEAN IT (and do have a place for them at the Christmas table)!

BMD

25 December 2010. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… The Diocesan Assembly of the City of Moscow 22 December 2010

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

This is NOT a national gathering… this is NOT a regional gathering… this is the diocesan assembly for the City of Moscow alone. This is NOT all the clergy assigned to the city… there may be one representative from each parish. All those screaming about the “importance” of the OCA and ROCOR should shut their mouths… there are more clergy here than there have ever been at any gathering of the two named diaspora bodies. This is the REAL DEAL.

These men aren’t pastors of Lilliputian parishes with less than one hundred average attenders. Their parishes range in the thousands of members… they’re REAL priests… not “hobbyist priests”, as are so many in the USA (such as Patrick Reardon, who’s a UPS delivery driver, who moonlights as a priest). THIS is why the Mother Church is SERIOUS… here, in the USA and Canada, all too many diaspora Orthodox (especially konvertsy) are playing a game with themselves and God… they should stop it, but they won’t… it shall lead to “interesting” times.

THIS is why SVS, New Skete, John Behr, Joans Paffhausen, Andrei Psaryov, and Vassa Larina are all wet… they’re out of step with the Mother Church. Take heart… it won’t go on indefinitely. Keep your dinner down… better times ARE on the way.

BMD

A Photo Essay. Now, Let’s Move On to Something MEANINGFUL… the Third International Teddy Bear Exhibition in Moscow

Filed under: cultural,Russian,social life and customs — 01varvara @ 00.00

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