Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Today is a Day of Mourning for the Domodedovo Victims… DON’T Forget Them! They All Had Faces… They All Had Names.

Patriarch Kirill Gundayev of Moscow and all the Russias (1946- ) serving a Memorial Litiya for those killed at the Domodedovo terrorist attack…

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My dear and beloved brothers and sisters! All the churches of the Orthodox Church in Russia offered up prayers for the victims of the terrorist attack today. In our Moscow Diocese, we will pray for forty days for the repose of the victims of this tragedy, but I feel the needs of the hearts that came here to this place, to lift up their prayers for all those who died or lost their loved ones and friends.

I want to remind you of the words of the Holy Bible, where, in the fourth chapter of Genesis, it describes the first homicide, when Cain slew his brother Abel. Here is what the Lord said to the first murderer, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the earth, and now you are cursed from the earth, which hath opened her mouth to take his brother’s blood from thy hand” (Genesis 4. 10-11). Other words don’t come to mind, except those that the Lord refers to the killers. Moreover, I think, as a man of the Church, that I shouldn’t speak mere pleasantries, but that I should comfort the bereaved, and raise fervent prayers for the repose of the innocent victims.

Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov of Krutitsy and Kolomna

Patriarchal Vicar for the Diocese of Moscow

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/1394477.html

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Editor’s Foreword:

This, I believe, is a good way to wind down the coverage of the Domodedovo tragedy (there may be one or two other items yet, if they come up). After today, I’ll get back to my ordinary routine. It’s always exhilarating when a big story hits… but it’s also good to get back to “normal”. What always saddens me is how the Western press relies on shoddy and misleading translations of Russian news items (as a recent article by Sophia Kishkovsky illustrated all too abundantly). That’s why I started this site… God willing, it’s done some good.

If you’re a believer, remember the victims of the Domodedovo incident, both the dead and the injured, and mention them in your prayers. If you aren’t a believer, remember the victims, hoist a glass, and toast their memories with a moment of silence. Certainly, all of us, believers and non-believers, stand in silence at the mystery of death… that’s something that all of us agree upon, isn’t it?

It’s time to comfort the grieving, care for the wounded, and bury the dead…

BMD

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Vladimir Legoida, the head of the MP Synodal Information Department, believes that if society wants to counter terrorism effectively, it must change its current system of values. “People in a consumer society are tied hand-and-foot to the material side of life, they have short-term goals and values; therefore, it’s easy to shake their equilibrium, to frighten them. On the other hand, the terrorist lives according to another raison d’être, even if its perverse… he’s much less fearful of death”, he said live on-air on the TV channel Дождь (Shower). Vladimir Romanovich thought that if we were to consider what the Church can do to help society in confronting terrorism, primarily, it’s a matter of pointing up that our values are a “weapon” [against evil]. “We must fight against terrorism not only with our technology and techniques, but also with our values”. He noted that the ideology of the modern civilisation of leisure “aims at creating an earthly paradise, so any ‘trouble in Paradise’ seriously destabilises such a society, exposing the vulnerability of the society and the fragility of its public safety”. Speaking about the terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport, Vladimir Romanovich emphasised, “Today, solidarity is very important to us, although, until recently, the word was something of a cliché; it even had some negative connotations. It’s important for all of society to understand that there are some elemental things, which we have neglected for some time, but, at the same time, for us, today, the most important thing is that we form sincere and personal ties with our fellow citizens”.

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Abbas Abbasov, Co-Chairman of the Advisory Committee of the Interreligious Council of the CIS, and former Azerbaijani First Deputy Prime Minister, called on the Russian leadership not to spare the terrorists and their accomplices. “We had such attacks in Azerbaijan, but as we used well thought-out preventive measures, we eliminated this threat to us. The Russian state must radically strengthen its defences against terrorist attacks and attack the extremist operatives and their supporters. Don’t feel sorry for the terrorists and their accomplices… that’s the only way to stabilise the situation”, Mr Abbasov told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Tuesday. On behalf of the Azerbaijani community in Russia, he expressed indignation at the terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport and gave his condolences to the relatives of the victims.

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This Friday, in the village of Usovo, at the new church of the Saviour on the Rublyovo-Uspensky Highway there will be an evening concert of sacred music, devoted to the memory of those killed in the attack at Domodedovo Airport. “The theme of the evening will be Скажи мне, Господи, кончину мою (Tell me, O Lord, My End), the opening lines of the memorial spiritual concerto by 18th century composer Dmitri Bortniansky”, historian Konstantin Kovalev-Sluchevsky told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Tuesday. Those attending the concert at Usovo-Spasskoe Orthodox Educational Centre will hear some of the most significant works from the Znamenny repertoire, as well as works by Bortniansky, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Kastalsky, Sviridov, and others, performed by the Chamber Ensemble of the Moscow Synodal Choir under the direction of Honoured Artist of Russia Aleksei Puzakov. Recently, visitors at the recently opened Centre saw a performance of an Italian folk group from the city of Bari, where the relics of St Nicholas rest, as well as a concert by soloists of the Early Music Studio directed by Ilze Liepa, and a poetic evening with actress Alla Demidova. Last summer, patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias consecrated the local church in the presence of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Entrance to the concert is free. Drive to the to 11th kilometre marker on the Rublyovo-Uspensky Highway (right after Zhukovka, there’s a car park), or, take the shuttle bus from the Krylatskoye Metro station on the Arbatsko–Pokrovskaya Line (Blue Line) (20 minutes), or, take the yelichtrichka (suburban train) from the Belorussky station on the Usovskoy Line to the terminal station at Usovo . The rail siding is located near the church and educational centre.

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The leadership of the Central Spiritual Administration of Russian Muslims (TsDUMR) expressed its condolences to all who lost loved ones in the explosion at Domodedovo Airport. “We pray that the Almighty grant to rest to the souls of the departed and to forgive them whatever sins they committed in this life! We beseech Him to bring healing to all those wounded. We express our sincere condolences to the families and relatives of the deceased, in light of their considerable burden, we ask the all-Merciful, the Compassionate One, the Creator, to send down to them fortitude and perseverance”, as quoted from a telegram of the TsDUMR received by Interfax-Religion on Tuesday. Their statement recalled the words of Allah, who, according to the text of the Holy Koran, strictly warned that if one killed even one person outside of the law, it would be as though he killed all mankind. “Yet, the Koran also warns us about those who don’t hear God’s commandments, who plug up their ears in their embittered fury, who are oblivious to the great mission of both the individual and mankind as a whole… to be God’s instruments on earth, accountable to their Creator for all things on it”, the statement said. It went on to say, “Subhumans planned and carried out this inhuman atrocity at Domodedovo Airport, they shall suffer inevitable punishment from God, but they chase away this thought from their heads, so, because they still walk the earth, there is no other way out but to relentlessly pursue them using the strength of all people of goodwill, regardless of their nationality or religion… those who are guided by the prophetic words, “All people are one family created by God, and the most pleasing to Him are those that exert themselves in His family’s cause”.

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This piece never fails to move me to tears… literally…

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On Wednesday, a day of mourning in connection with the attack at Domodedovo Airport, Orthodox churches, Muslim mosques, and Jewish synagogues will hold memorial services for victims. “On this day, all the churches in the City of Moscow and in Moscow Oblast will serve Pannikhidas”, Archpriest Vladimir Vigilyansky, the head of the patriarchal press service told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Tuesday. Prayers for the dead and injured will be offered tomorrow and throughout the week at the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, according to the press service of the Russian Council of Muftis. Jews will also commemorate the victims of the terrorist attack. “Tomorrow, at the Moscow Jewish Community Centre, we will remember the dead and pray for the recovery of the wounded. Rav Berel Lazar, the Chief Rabbi of Russia will speak on themes related to the terrorist attack”, said a spokesman for Chief Rabbi Andrei Glotser. As reported, Moscow Oblast Governor Boris Gromov and Mayor Sergei Sobyanin of Moscow declared their decision to name 26 January a day of mourning in the capital and its suburbs. Because of the terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport on Monday, 35 people died and 110 were injured. In particular, seven are in critical condition, 40 are in serious condition, 49 are in moderately serious condition, and 14 more are in satisfactory condition.

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Benedict XVI Ratzinger, the Pope of Rome, condemned the terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport, calling it a “heinous act of violence”. In a letter sent on Tuesday to President Dmitri Medvedev, the pontiff expressed his deep sorrow and condolences to the bereaved families. Benedict XVI said he would pray for the souls of the dead in the attack and will give special attention to prayers for the 110 hospitalised victims, 43 of whom were in serious condition.

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Russian Orthodox believers in the British Isles prayerfully commemorated the victims of the terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport, which claimed the lives of 35 people, and prayed for the recovery of the injured. On Wednesday, the third day after the tragic event, the Assumption Cathedral in London will serve a Pannikhida after the Divine Liturgy, the MP Diocese of Sourozh, which includes parishes in Britain and Ireland, told our Interfax-Religion correspondent. For his part, Archbishop Rowan Williams, the head of the Anglican Communion, sent a message to Patriarch Kirill, writing that he prayed for all the injured and the dead and he deeply regrets the fact that “the Russian people bear a new injury. Alas, we know from our own experience what it means to be exposed to such brutality, and I’m sure that many here will share my feelings of sympathy and condemnation of violence against innocent people”, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion wrote.

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On Wednesday, a day of mourning for those killed in the attack at Domodedovo Airport, President Dmitri Medvedev visited one of the suburban churches. He lit a candle for the repose of the souls of the people killed in the attack.

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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin went to Holy Trinity Church on the Sparrow Hills, which served a Pannikhida for those killed in the terrorist attack at Domodedovo Airport on 24 January. Presiding clergy were Archpriest Sergei Suzdaltsev and Archpriest Georgi Studenov, the Dean of the District. Vladimir Vladimirovich, along with the other parishioners at the service, lit a candle for those who died in the Domodedovo attack and two candles for the health of survivors and for those in hospital after the attack. He also venerated the relics of St Matrona.

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25-26 January 2011

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39243

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39246

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39247

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39249

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39250

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39251

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39257

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39264

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39265

Vladimir Legoida Said that the Church Opposes Abortion but Also Doesn’t Want to Restrict Women’s Rights

Dmitri Petrov. The Prayer of an Expectant Mother. 2005

The Prayer of an Expectant Mother

Dmitri Petrov

2005

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Vladimir Legoida, the head of the MP Synodal Information Department thought that Patriarch Kirill didn’t intend to restrict women’s rights when he proposed restrictions on abortions. “The Church doesn’t propose that we resort to repression… rather, it defends a woman’s maximum freedom of choice. A choice can be only be truly free if one has a full awareness of all the consequences, risks, and threats”, he was quoted as saying on Wednesday in Российская газета (Rossiyskaya Gazeta : The Russian Newspaper). Therefore, he went on to say, the first proposal of the patriarch to reduce abortion was to introduce a mandatory waiting period for the procedure, so as to fully acquaint women with all the negative consequences and risks of abortion. “However, the main proposals put forward by the Church aim to create a society where the number of abortions would be minimal, although the ideal would be no abortions at all. Our main emphasis is not on the banning of abortion”, he said.

Responding to the concerns of Tatiana Yakovleva, a member of the United Russia faction, that the exclusion of abortion from the list of taxpayer-paid procedures will put teenage girls at risk because they will use self-induced abortion methods or resort to questionable midwives, Vladimir Romanovich pointed up that the Church understands “the complexity of the issue, therefore, it doesn’t seek a rigid ban. Teenage girls in such a predicament should have a choice in the matter…  they can resort to an expensive abortion, which carries with it extensive, and sometimes fatal, health risks, or, they can accept aid from the Church to carry their child to term. Supported by action from laypeople, the Church proposes to help women who’ve decided to keep their baby; it’ll help with the adoption of children, in cases where young women aren’t ready to raise a child”.

Moreover, in his view, society’s main priority should be “to seek prevention of the need for abortion through education for adolescents, so that the question of abortion per se wouldn’t arise. The Mystery of the relations of men and women must be a part of family life, not profane promiscuity. The Church wants society to return to healthy moral principles, to return to normal ideas about the relationship between a man and a woman, to reject notions distorted by sin”, Vladimir Romanovich said. In the pursuit of that, in paying for abortions out of the pockets of taxpayers, “we’re violating the rights of religious citizens (not only Orthodox, but also Muslims, Catholics, and believers from other faiths) who believe that abortion is beyond the pale, actually forcing people to pay for what they consider to be a moral crime”.

26 January 2011

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=39261

Editor’s Note:

There’s a world of difference between pro-life and anti-abortion… to be rigidly anti-abortion, to wish to criminalise the procedure, isn’t Christian. All too many “pro-lifers” want to execute doctors who perform abortions and to treat women who resort to it as moral pariahs. There are too many Randall Terrys out there for comfort. The same people who want to criminalise abortion want to slash government social programmes (if not eliminate them for the profit of the overclass). Such schemes aren’t perfect; yes, they’re subject to abuse (what human endeavour isn’t?), but they’ve been a lifeline for many. I speak with personal experience on the matter. Christians have a responsibility before Christ for their fellow man… Christianity is communitarian; it’s not individualistic or self-centred. Here in the USA, that’s distorted by the confusion of American Sects with Classical Christianity. Such sects are wrong, they’re heretical in their religious doctrine, and their social teaching is straight from the wingnut faction of the Republican Party. Indeed, they’re not Christian at all, not in the very least. “Jayzuss” has no resemblance to the Lord Christ… we forget that at our peril. Don’t forget… Palin and Beck are Sectarian ignoramuses, not Christians… it puts a new spin on their rants, doesn’t it? Let’s follow the Church… not the Republican Party. Let’s help unwed mothers, not carry placards in bootless demonstrations. His Holiness wants to do the former; Fathausen wants to do the latter. THAT tells you what you should do, does it not?

BMD

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