Voices from Russia

Friday, 8 July 2011

8 July 2011. What Kind of America Do I Want? What’s the ONE Thing that I Want the Most?

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

America has to cease its evil habit of attacking anyone who displeases the ruling junta in Washington. Indeed, the troops must come home… there are thousands of families across the country who go to bed nightly not knowing whether a loved one will return or not. The profits of the oligarchs “aren’t worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier”, as Bismarck famously put it. Each and every last soldier who died so that the rich could live in leisure had a family… they had relatives… who wept for them… who weep for them still. I’ve seen war widows at their husband’s gravesite… it’s not a sight for the faint of heart. If these men had died in the defence of their motherland, that’d be one thing… but to realise that their deaths are used by a system that grinds under the families of the soldiers, in the name of “economy” and “deficit reduction”, makes one’s blood boil.

Bring ’em all home… slash the war budget, as Ike urged us to. Starve the politicians of money, so that they can’t wage their pointless foreign aggressions. Realise that these families bear the full brunt of the warmongers’ folly… the political and media class do NOT (nearly all of the Fox Media crew and Rush refused to serve, dontcha know). They pay the cost in full, but the five percenters party mindlessly on… doesn’t that disgust you?

Look at the image… we can have our loved ones back amongst us for good… or, we can have perpetual warfare in a pointless pursuit of global hegemony. I choose the former… what about you?



All-Ukrainian Sobor will Strengthen Church Unity

Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan (1935- ) of Kiev and all the Ukraine, the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/MP… the only canonical First Hierarch in the Ukraine, the other two are schismatical poseurs…


Today, in Kiev, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church/MP convened a Sobor; it held it’s last one nearly 20 years ago…

The most important issues related to the Orthodox Church in the Ukraine and Russia will be on the agenda. Even before the meeting began, some expressed the opinion that the UOC/MP will attempt to gain a greater degree of autonomy from the Centre. On the other hand, Ukrainian bishops said that the Sobor shouldn’t endanger Church unity. According to Archbishop Mitrofan Yurchuk of Belotserkov and Boguslavsky, the Chancellor of the UOC/MP, “We convened it due to urgent necessity. In recent years, the Church in the Ukraine has changed both qualitatively and quantitatively. There’s been an increase in the number of dioceses, monasteries, and Synodal departments. We’ve intensified not only our internal, but also our external, activities. There’ve been amendments in the statutes affecting the Church. Accordingly, we needed to call a Sobor to sort things out and put some order into all these changes”.

However, this explanation didn’t satisfy some experts in Moscow. The UOC/MP announced the news of the convocation of the Sobor only a few days ago. Moreover, Ukrainian and Russian media reported that some in the UOC/MP want to raise the question of a Locum Tenens for the First Hierarch at the Sobor. If this happens, practically, it means that there’s an increase in independent sentiment in the UOC/MP. Normally, one names a locum tenens when the First Hierarch can no longer carry out his duties of the Church. For quite some time, there have been rumours that Metropolitan Vladimir Sabodan of Kiev and all the Ukraine, the current First Hierarch, has been ill. Some believe that supporters of separation are spreading these tales. Others wonder why the UOC/MP called such a Sobor shortly before a pastoral visit of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russia to the Ukraine, and ask why delegates from the Centre weren’t invited. Traditionally, the First Hierarch of the MP visits Kiev in order to participate in celebrations marking the Baptism of Rus on 28 July.

The brouhaha surrounding the Sobor doesn’t ruffle the MP. The Centre considers it an important milestone in Ukrainian Church life and in the relations of the UOC/MP with the Mother Church. Igor Gaslov, an expert in Church relations, said, “I’m confident that the Sobor won’t divide us, rather, it’ll strengthen the canonical unity between Moscow and Kiev. The adoption of a new charter for the UOC will be the centrepiece of the Sobor. The one in use at present dates from 1990, that is, prior to the splitting off of the Ukraine in 1992. Besides, some parts of it no longer correspond to analogous documents adopted at the Centre. Therefore, today, there’s a need for a new version of the charter, which will bring it into agreement with contemporary MP documents, as the UOC/MP is a constituent part of it”. The amendments provide for, amongst other things, the introduction of a system of ecclesiastical courts. They’ve appeared only recently at the Centre, but they’re already quite busy. In addition, the Sobor is set to confirm the status of the UOC/MP as a self-governing autonomous part of the MP.

Gaslov was clear that the strengthening of the relationship UOC/MP with the Centre through the harmonisation of internal church regulations might trigger a new wave of autocephalous sentiment in the Ukraine. However, he sees more pluses than minuses. In his opinion, “It may briefly reinvigorate the schismatics already out there, but it won’t provoke a new schism. Seeing the strengthening of the unity amongst canonical Orthodox, schismatics may well consider returning to the fold. I’m confident that no new schism will come out of the decisions of the Sobor”. There are three “Orthodox” bodies in the Ukraine, but the other Local Orthodox Churches in the world recognise only one, the UOC/MP, as being a canonical Church. The conflict around the establishment of local “autocephalous churches” worsened in the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, due to the machinations of politicians opposed to Russia. Today, the vigorous activity and frequent pastoral visits of Patriarch Kirill have overcome schismatic sentiment amongst most Ukrainian believers. Former schismatics return to canonical Orthodoxy more and more, and the activity of the “autocephalists” has markedly diminished.

8 July 2011

Milena Faustova

Viktoriya Smirnova

Marianna Ozhereleva

Voice of Russia World Service


8 July 2011. There are GAYS in the Church, Mildred! The Sky is Falling!

Filed under: Christian,moral issues,Orthodox life,religious,USA — 01varvara @ 00.00

Lately, there’s been much Sturm und Drang in Stokoe’s comboxes on the topic of homosexuals in the Church. Firstly, homosexuals have received communion in the Church for centuries… as far as I know, no one has suffered anathema solely for homosexuality. However, the Church did depose many clerics once it discovered their homosexuality, which means that the OCA’s inaction concerning Feodosy Lazor, Herman Swaiko, Nikolai Soraich, and Pierre l’Huillier (and, possibly, Seraphim Storheim) was culpable and beyond the pale (but that’s another question and another post).

Hell, for that matter, Mark Stokoe’s a partnered homosexual; it’s a matter of widespread common knowledge. All of the bishops know this… most clergy know this… many of the laity know this. Yet, keep in mind that Mark Stokoe isn’t a cleric, and the rules binding clerics don’t bind the laity in many instances. If you have a problem with Mark receiving communion, I suggest that you take it up with the ruling bishop of his diocese directly and personally. Otherwise… shut up… in fact, shut up in any case… St Serafim Sarovsky put it best… Save your own soul and thousands will be saved about you. THAT’S the Orthodox way… we’re NOT a bunch of New England Puritans out to “save” the world with sombre “sober” faces and pettifogging long lists of “thou shalt nots”. We ARE a group of sinners groping our way in the dark for the Holy Kingdom… all of us, without exception. Am I the only one to note how GRIM these sorts are? I think not! JOYFULNESS is the mark of a Christian… grimness is the mark of a single-minded, mulish, and defiant heretic.

I think that I see a multitude of fellow “gropers in the dark” out there… just remember, the “saved” and “born again” refuse to listen to God, so, why do you think that they’re going to listen to you or me? Pour yourself a drink and thank the Almighty for this crazy, mixed-up, wonderful, and crank world that He created. Don’t forget, he rested on the seventh day… It is good. If it’s good enough for Him… it’s good enough for me. Don’t give yourself a bird by arguing with the invincibly ignorant and immovably earnest. Pray for their souls; let them go on their way… they’ll leave us eventually; we’re not “pure” enough for them.

That being said, do look at the quotes from Stokoe’s comboxes in the post below, and my replies to them. I’m not infallible, but never forget… in my Father’s House there are many mansions… and, please, make no noisy fuss as you pass the house containing the “experts”, the “pure”, and the “elect”… they think that they’re the only ones here…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 8 July 2011

Albany NY 

8 July 2011. Some Vox Pop on the Gay Issue Culled from Stokoe’s Comboxes… and Your Intrepid Editor’s Asides (For What It’s Worth)

THIS is what the prune-faced and tight-arsed konvertsy lust for in their heart-of-hearts… they want a public and humiliating auto-da-fé for all those who fail to meet their notional idiosyncratic criteria of “holiness”. Hell, they’d crucify Christ yet again if He were to return… “for the good of the Church“. Do ponder that…


Editor’s Foreword:

All copy in italics is the original comment from Stokoe’s comboxes, with a name appended. All copy in plain type is my comment on it. The konvertsy truly don’t get it… they’ve memorised this or that obscure canon, they quote musty old Fathers that not even theologians remember, and, most of all, they’re better Orthodox Christians than we are… and they have the god-damned gall to say so in so many words. I kid you not… you should see some of the former Episkies in Stokoe’s comboxes… they state baldly that we don’t know our faith and that we’re unfit stewards of the Church’s truth. So, here’s three of their posts in their own words… do attend to it, yes, I know that it’s tiresome and dreary at times, but you have a NEED TO KNOW. Also, there’s a good guy sprinkled in, so that you don’t get the impression that all converts are empty-headed and ignorant jackasses (although most of the former TEC crowd IS such, especially those who became Orthodox “clergy”). Read and heed…


Christ’s response to the woman caught in adultery was to shame her accusers, then, to urge her to go and sin no more. So, while standing up for the homosexual is right, it’s only “half right” if we’re also allowing them to continue in sin. Love must be tough.

Fr Raphael Barberg

Izzat so? “Love must be tough?” The Church doesn’t think so… it allows divorcées to remarry… it allows homosexuals to commune at the chalice, for that’s up to the priest involved, after he investigates the particular case in front of him. If you disagree with Fr Ted Bobosh’s oikonomia, you should be open about it, Fr Raphael. The above comment is one of the reasons why I find konvertsy offensive and reprehensible as a group. They take the most acrid and harsh interpretation of the remedies found in the Church’s pharmacopoeia, and, then, they claim that’s the Church’s exclusive and binding position. Love is merciful, Fr Raphael…


  1. Treat those who engage in sex outside of marriage as you’ve always done, irrespective of gender
  2. Don’t hold children accountable for what their parents do; hold them accountable for their own actions
  3. If one is unwilling to embrace the Church and her teachings, they do NOT desire Christ, so, yes, prima facie, “turn them away”

Gail Sheppard

Boy, am I glad that Ms Shepard isn’t a priest (yes, I know that she can’t be)… “I won’t allow anyone who doesn’t fit my views of ‘respectability’ and ‘holiness’ in the door! The Great Oz has spoken!” The Church is the Big Tent, dear… it’s the People’s Church (in the sense of the Russian Tserkov Narodnaya); it isn’t a small and self-centred set of the elect with their autogenetic and self-glorifying lists of rules, rules, rules… if you believe that, Calvinism exists… it’s a better fit with what you actually believe.


There are Orthodox people that are gay that have children; sorry if this disturbs you. If homosexuality’s a sin, as suggested by the Church, they’re merely sinners like me. When the Metropolitan of the [OCA] suggests that a “lavender mafia” exists that might be out to get him for his stance on gay marriage, perhaps, then, a discussion about Orthodox gays has merit. Frankly, the treatment of gays in general by all of us has merit, not just pastoring to them. I’m not gay and I’m a far cry from being a member of any perceived or real lavender mafia, but I’m on the lookout for bad behaviour toward gays by the hierarchy, and it isn’t because I owe Mark Stokoe a thing. What’s a worse sin, maligned treatment of gays, or being gay? I propose it’s the former. 

Daniel E Fall

Let’s keep the reply to this (generally spot-on) comment focused. James Paffhausen’s guru was Gleb Podmoshensky. JP went to Russia under GP’s auspices. The ROCOR Holy Synod defrocked GP, supposedly for serving under suspension, but actually for sodomy (as Alexander Lebedeff admitted in a post on the Indiana List), long before JP went to Russia. That’s to say, Paffhausen’s had a long and intimate relationship with a known and public sodomite, and he maintained that relationship after the ROCOR defrocked JP, in contumacious and juvenile rebellion against the Church. At present, Paffhausen has close relations with Benjamin Peterson, Nikolai Soraich, and Isidore Brittain, all of whom are reputed to be closeted homosexuals. In short, it’s not JP’s critics who’re gay… it’s his closest supporters and his known spiritual mentor!

My own personal “take” is that Paffhausen’s a classic illustration of the danger of the closeted homosexual in our midst (as are BP and Soraich, as were Feodosy Lazor, Herman Swaiko, Seraphim Storheim, and Pierre l’Huillier). Don’t forget… JP served openly with Feodosy and Herman at the St Tikhon Memorial Day Pilgrimage last year… thereby implicitly telling believers that he accepts Feodosy’s and Herman’s behaviour. In short, there’s NO lavender mafia… except for the one surrounding Jonas Paffhausen. Also, in particular, note that the Episkie konvertsy defend Fathausen and his rebellious actions tenaciously. It makes one wonder about them… they left a body with openly homosexual clergy to become defenders of a closeted “lavender mafia” in the OCA hierarchy. They didn’t come to us because they loved Orthodoxy… they came to us because they lost a power struggle in the TEC… sadly, we were stupid enough to have ordained some of them to the clergy. We’re paying for that, now, aren’t we?

Who’re the big losers in all this? In the immediate short term, it’ll be ordinary lay homosexuals in the Church, who’ve received the Mysteries for years. The konvertsy Yahoos will go on witch hunts, and anyone who has the misfortune of not being a “respectable” well-off suburban prig will suffer. I, for one, will stand against them… and I think that I’m NOT alone…


Editor’s Afterword:

These were the three most applicable comments… most others were “heat and light signifying nothing”, or simply restated what’s in the above comments in a more or less verbose fashion… these had “hooks” in them. Sadly, the konvertsy are looking for “answers”. They’re anxious to find out “what the Church teaches”… but they refuse to take the time to “grow into” the Church. The saddest are the former heterodox clergy who’ve become “Orthodox” clergy. It’s readily apparent that their formation was NOT Orthodox; it’s clear that they’re nothing but Anglicans and Sectarians in New Roman costume. I’m thinking of Reardon and the Touchstonistas… they believe in a “mere Christianity” that not only doesn’t exist… it NEVER existed. The Branch Theory walks openly amongst us… the konvertsy slobber over Uniates, Old Ritualists, and Oriental Orthodox (I’m not making a personal statement of dislike… these groups are objectively outside the communion of the Church, and that’s that). Oh, yes… the Most Holy Church of Moscow and all the Russias has definitively condemned the Branch Theory… and the author of the document explaining the Church’s stand was… Kirill Mikhailovich Gundyaev. There you have it… you can stand with Behr, Paffhausen, Reardon, and Stokoe, or, you can stand with the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias… that’s not a hard choice, is it?


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