Voices from Russia

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Orthodox France

A model of the proposed Russian Cultural and Spiritual Centre, which will be in Paris on the Quai Branly (7e arrondissement de Paris… I believe that the Underground stop is Alma-Marceau on Métro Line 9 and the RER stop is Gare de Pont de l’Alma (Line C) (both on either side of the Pont de l’Alma), or, the Underground stop is Invalides on Metro Lines 8/13 and the RER stop is Gare des Invalides (Line C)) 

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The plan to construct an Orthodox church in Paris shall usher in a new era for the MP. In an international competition earlier this year, the unusual design for the project won a clear majority of votes…

Plans envisage that the new church on the picturesque banks of the Seine near the Pont Alexandre III won’t only be a cathedral, open for services, but it’ll also function as a Russian cultural and spiritual centre. Preparatory work will begin in the autumn, and the actual construction of the cathedral will start in January 2012. Today, the architects described their vision for the Russian Cultural and Spiritual Centre on Quai as a “church like an ocean wave”. According to current plans, the centre will have a five-domed white stone church; a “high-tech” wavy glass shelter will not only protect it and the centre’s other buildings from the elements, it’ll also cover an extensive attached park. Some of the money for the project comes from allocations from the RF state budget, whilst the rest came from private donations.

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias said, “The construction of such an unusual spiritual centre is symbolic and indicative of the closely-held and longstanding cultural ties between Russia and France. Because of these links, a large part of the emigration after the 1917 revolution ended up in France. Many of the émigrés made their lives here, of which a high proportion left Russia after the end of the Civil War, so, there’s an Orthodox diocese in France. At that time, the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Paris was in a building that was a converted garage. In the ‘30s, it was difficult to build a church, and it wasn’t any easier in subsequent years, so, the centre of Russian Orthodoxy in Paris was a converted garage”.

This new church in Paris isn’t the only new one in France. A Russian church will soon appear in Strasbourg; the patriarch took a personal hand in this project, too. For the local Orthodox, this church’s advent is a great event. Igumen Filaret Bulekov, the former rector in Strasbourg, and, now, the Deputy Chairman of the MP DECR, said, “For quite some time, we’ve had to use premises at Catholic and Protestant churches. Our parish in Strasbourg is large compared to other overseas parishes of the MP, for it has 2,000 to 3,000 people. Of course, not all of them regularly attend services. However, the potential of this parish is very great. Most of the parishioners are people who came to work or to teach and study at the university. Some are simply those who chose to make this their home. It’s not just people from the Russian Federation, for there are many Ukrainians, Moldovans, and Georgians here”.

Not long ago, the RF took possession of another Orthodox church in France, St Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, the largest Orthodox church building in Western Europe. The battle for it, in both the literal and figurative sense, lasted several years. Archbishop Mark Golokov of Yegoryevsk said, “The matter even went to court. Well, the Russian state built the church; it belonged to the Imperial Household. Then, as it were, responsibility for the cathedral passed to the local church community in order to hold services. However, the lease expired, and the Russian embassy in France, on behalf of the RF state authorities, demanded a renegotiation of the occupancy contract. However, the church community refused to vacate the premises. A French court found in favour of the RF’s position on the matter”.

MP sources believe that the keen interest that some Frenchmen show to Russian Orthodoxy is largely due to the fact that Europe is at a crossroads in its history. The increase in ethnic minorities in Europe leads many to question what we might call the “Modern European” concept; they ponder the future of European civilisation… all this makes ordinary sorts in the EU attend to Russia and to the Orthodox Church, for they find in it a key defender of Christian tradition and European spiritual roots.

10 August 2011

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service

http://rus.ruvr.ru/2011/08/10/54441553.html

Editor’s Note:

Note who wasn’t invited to the love-feast and Dixie Fry… the EP Parisian Russians were left out in the cold… in Siberia, even! No mention of them whatsoever… in the section on St Nick’s in Nice, Bishop Mark spoke of a “church community” (церковная община) not a “parish” (приход), nor the Paris Exarchate by name. Nor was the Rue Daru cathedral or St Sergius Theological Institute even mentioned (does that mean that the MP wrote off the building and the institute?). In short, the MP didn’t even give the Rue Daru sorts the courtesy of being named as opponents. They’re simply irrelevant, pointless, and without a future. Don’t forget… SVS is Parisian to the core… ADS, von Meyendorff, and Behr came out of that milieu. Shall SVS “come home” after the OCA’s coming collapse, or, shall it go on a hegira to the EP? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…

Also, the ROCOR is MIA in the article… does this mean that the MP is getting ready to abolish the ROCOR as a discrete body and replace it with territorial Metropolitan Districts? The article doesn’t point us in any useful direction… but it COULD be there.

BMD

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11 August 2011. “Do as I Say… NOT as I Do”… Matthias Moriak, Michael Dahulich, and Jonas Paffhausen Do NOT Speak the Mind of the Church Regarding Homosexuality

THIS is the “Christ” of Paffhausen and all those like him… none dare call it blasphemy and impiety. After all, “The records simply don’t exist”, and we should all be “forgiving” to clerics who abuse and attack us… JP’s not going to do anything about it, after all. THIS is why so many embrace atheism… the most putrid and rancid flowers of evil grow in the altar’s shadow… NEVER forget that.

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More and more I pray for the Prodigal Son’s brother. A persistent contemplation prods me… the Prodigal awoke from his life of sin… as for his elder brother, will he awake from his life of virtue?

Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara

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The following appeared on the Orthodox Forum (I thank my thoughtful friend that sent it on to me):

I agree with you that we need open and thoughtful discussion [on the topic of homosexuality]. I remember how chest-thumpingly proud we were when the Russian Church bulldozed a church in Nizhny Novgorod in 2003 after a priest had dared to marry a gay couple there. However, we then began to hear of the impact of this act of destruction. We heard through priests and others in Russia that teenagers, confused about their sexual identity, and receiving no real counselling, were committing suicide, thinking that God and the Church rejected and hated them. We must find ways to speak to these conflicted teens, and it shouldn’t be by way of dramatic acts of destruction.

Hieromonk Ambrose

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What’s the “Mind of the Church” on this? Let the First Amongst Equals, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, speak (I’m pasting here a snippet from an earlier post that’s relevant to the question at hand):

We accept any human choice, including in the field of sexual orientation. This is the private affair of an individual. However, recognition of this fact in no way changes our position with regard to the phenomenon itself. The religious traditions of all nations show that homosexuality’s a sin; it’s the loss of the moral orientation of the individual. We shouldn’t punish people with homosexual tendencies, so, we’ve always stood firmly against any repression or discrimination against people of different sexual orientation. We recognise homosexuality as a sin; we’re firmly opposed to equating homosexual relations with natural ones.  

https://02varvara.wordpress.com/2009/12/24/patriarch-kirill-believes-homosexuality-is-a-sin-but-opposes-discrimination-against-gays/

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=33485

My comment on His Nibs was simple:

His Nibs is friends with rockers like Yuri Shevchuk, gives great parties for kids, shows REAL compassion for the sick and handicapped, and he gets real protection against child abusers passed in the Gosduma… what’s not to like? He doesn’t bow down to Almighty Mammon and to his consort, Unbridled Lust n’ Licence, that’s what. We can disagree on this or that detail (and we do… but practising Christians don’t push that), but we agree emphatically on what I wrote in the previous sentence. His Nibs fights Evil… he’s going three out of four falls with Ol’ Nick… he’s gonna win the Derby on Old Reliable against Ol’ Scratch’s I Gotta Be Me. It’s a good time to be Russian Orthodox, isn’t it, despite first appearances?

That is, the Church DOES give communion to lay homosexuals as pastoral oikonomia, not as pastoral approval of their choice. Why can’t the extremist boobs of either flavour catch that? As a priest-friend wrote to me once:

It doesn’t matter if they’re SVS Renovationist Schmemanndorf zealots, or, if they’re obscurantist fanatics on the other extreme, bitching and backbiting on internet forums, they’re all the same, they’re all Protestants… protesting against normality. In a word, they’re all on the same ego-trip, and they have no time at all for the Church… or for anything greater than themselves. Woe betide anyone who points out this self-evident truth to them!

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I also wrote the following in the comboxes:

We have many amongst the konvertsy element who uncritically voice the so-called “Evangelical (Protestant)” position as the teaching of the Church. Terry Mattingly is one of the worst offenders in this (he’s a barely-converted Baptist). Nothing could be farther from the truth. The Church takes a very nuanced position in its pastoral approach. Homosexuality (which is strictly defined as sexual relations between people of the same sex) is a sin, but it does not excommunicate a person or bar them from the Mysteries. Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (no Renovationist he) writes that he has heard the confessions of homosexuals. That is, homosexuals may receive the Mysteries, but the Church is not going to bless same-sex unions. Terry Mattingly once wrote glowingly of a bishop who tore down a chapel after an unauthorised homosexual “marriage” took place. He said, “That’s why they call it the Orthodox Church”. No, Mr Mattingly, it isn’t… we’re the Orthodox Church because we give the “Right Glory” to Our Lord Christ. Sometimes, that means throwing the mantle of the Church over the unpopular to protect them from the mob (I hasten to add that we aren’t going to be sanctioning “gay marriage” any time soon (or, any time later, for that matter)).

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Yes… homosexuality’s a sin… as is greed… as is pride… as is ambition… as is bribe-taking… as is gossip… as are a thousand other things, too numerous to mention, many of which are FAR worse than homosexuality is. For instance, what of the executive who moves a factory to a compliant Third World location, not only throwing thousands out of work here, but winking at the oppression of thousands others in foreign parts? That’s FAR worse than homosexuality is… and Fathausen kisses the bums of the Radical Right (in so doing, approving with glee of our hypothetical executive)… and he does so openly and without shame. Don’t forget the time when he could’ve gone to New York to be at the side of a bishop of the confessor UOC/MP at the opening of a major Orthodox art exhibition at a major venue… no! He couldn’t be there! He HAD to be at a “within the Beltway” cocktail party to kiss the bum of the First Profit of the Mormons, for the entire world to see (and to be photographed so doing, too).

In short, the present brouhaha over “homosexuality” by the three named individuals is a phoney smoke screen… they don’t bloody care what the upshot of it is for troubled individuals, either. As a correspondent wrote to me:

Just one observation… during all those years when Feodosy pranced around Greenwich Village, when we saw the antics of Herman and others, who was there, right in the middle of things? None other than Bobby Kondratick… persistent reports keep surfacing that JP wishes to “rehabilitate” this self-same Bobby and reinstate him in the priesthood. Did he just “turn a blind eye?” Was he a “facilitator?” Or…

THIS is why the bleating of the three individuals in the title is meaningless hot air, contentless drivel, and self-serving hypocrisy. Dahulich and Moriak are disappointing… they’re from the ACROD, which takes a good-sense attitude to life, all the po-nashemu people that I’ve known are “live, and let live” types. Take, for instance, the artist Andy Warhol… by all accounts, he was openly gay… but the Uniates gave him a funeral and hushed up any idle talk (which was good on them, let me say clearly)… as the ACROD would’ve done, too… they’re of the same ethnicity, after all. Did the ACROD let these two ambitious paladins go with a sigh of relief? The late Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko, who made it clear that they could succeed him, tried to help both of these two guys. Hmm… most people would’ve been patient, then, they’d have taken the prize… “Matt stuck in his thumb and pulled out a plum, saying, ‘God, what a good boy am I’”. Note well that both of ’em ran off to the OCA… just as Tom Hopko did. Shall they be just as disastrous an acquisition? Frankly, only time will give us the answer to that one…

JP’s NEVER offered public repentance for his continued and intimate dalliance with the deposed sodomite Gleb Podmoshensky… and, trust me, he never shall. In short, any fulminations concerning homosexuality from JP or from any bishop consecrated by him is a crank imposture, best ignored by the faithful. If you want a reliable guide, look at His Holiness… if pastoral oikonomia is good enough for the Mother Church, it’s good enough for me, too. Remember… the Church is the Big Tent, it’s full of sinners… it isn’t the Little Flock, filled with the self-centred, self-satisfied, and smug Elect… if you believe the latter, you shouldn’t be Orthodox, can I interest you in some one-owner Calvinism? It IS closer to what you believe, after all…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 11 August 2011

Albany NY

11 August 2011. “I’m Worried for My Country”… What More is There to Say?

THIS is what Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, John Boehner, Sarah Palin, “Citizens United”, S&P, Fox News, the Fed, and Chilly Hilly Clinton advocate… it’s “for our own good”… workers were too greedy, dontcha know!

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Editor’s Foreword:

Mostly, I’m going to give you excerpts from some things that made me think over the past few days. I’m not going to say much at the end… I‘ll confide that hitting people over the head overly much has the opposite effect of what one intends… so, read it, heed it, and make up your own mind. Somehow, I think that we’ll all come to a reasonable consensus in the end, after all.

BMD

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No matter where you look, fewer people are doing the work because fewer are out there buying, ordering, and building. More people are spending their days worrying… not about who’ll get the blame or who’ll win election, but how they’re going to make ends meet. Do they get this in Washington? Do they feel our pain? I know they all claim they do. However, that’s certainly not how it seems. It doesn’t feel like they’re asking us to pull together; if feels like they’re tearing us apart. It doesn’t feel like the various “leaders” are working together, but like they’re scoring points at one another’s expense. …

However, the whole idea of government is that there are some things individuals can’t do, some things we can only do together, some problems that are too big to solve one grain of sand at a time. We’re decent people, but we can’t do it alone. I‘m worried for my country.

http://news.yahoo.com/im-worried-country-070000548.html

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Economic fears are weighing heavily on Americans, with a large majority saying the United States is on the wrong track and nearly half believing the worst is yet to come, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said Wednesday. …

The Reuters/Ipsos poll found 73 percent of Americans believe the United States is “off on the wrong track”, and just one in five, 21 percent, think the country is headed in the right direction. The survey found that 47 percent believe “the worst is yet to come” in the US economy, an increase of 13 percentage points from a year ago when this question was last raised. This is the highest measure since March 2009, when concern peaked at 57 percent, at the height of the recession. Ipsos pollster Julia Clark said the wrong-track measure reflects widespread unhappiness with the economy and frustration at both political parties, but “you can’t say it’s a predictor of how Obama will fare” in 2012. The level of discontent was 10 points higher than a July survey and is the highest in an Ipsos poll since it reached 73 percent in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. The polling organisation found 77 percent felt the country was on the wrong track in July 2008, during Bush’s final year in office. Gallup found even higher levels of dissatisfaction at various points over the past 30 years, but it’s rare.

http://news.yahoo.com/most-americans-u-wrong-track-reuters-ipsos-poll-005513321.html

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Obama’s failure to challenge the idiocy demanded by S&P, along with the Republicans… that government spending be dramatically cut in the face of an economic crisis… cast his remarks as terminally tepid. How dare a credit rating agency that got it so wrong, one that we should investigate for malfeasance in the creation of the banking meltdown, dictate public policy? For S&P to insist on massive government cuts that would only increase joblessness is like a burglar shifting blame for his crimes to the poor quality of locks. This from a credit rating agency that, as NYT columnist Joe Nocera pointed out, “has consistently fallen short”. S&P judged Enron to be an exemplary company until shortly before the corporation imploded, and it gave its triple-A seal of approval to the toxic securitised mortgage debt that caused the great recession. There are serious problems with the US economy, but they aren’t the ones that Standard & Poor’s outlined when it sent the stock market into a tizzy. We don’t need draconian cuts in government spending at a time when the economy remains mired in deep unemployment, when state and municipal governments are shedding jobs, and when the housing market is on life support. If some Americans thought that we did, so they voted to put irresponsible Republicans in charge of the House of Representatives, isn’t it the duty of the president and his fellow Democrats in control of the Senate to fight back? That’s called democracy, and we need more of it, not the false unity for which Obama settled.

Sure, it would’ve been much better if a phoney populist movement (the Tea Party), financed by fat cats out to preserve their unseemly tax breaks, hadn’t gained control of the House. That undermined what S&P termed “the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions that have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges…” However, as S&P acknowledged with its downgrade after the congressional vote on the debt ceiling, the fact that the president caved was of no help. The result is that Obama agreed to effectively remove the elected federal government from the battle to restore economic health; instead, he left us to the tender mercies of the banker-dominated Federal Reserve, which, like the folks at S&P, condoned the reckless Wall Street policies that got us into this mess. At a time when we need a full-throated defence of the role of government in protecting the interests of a majority of Americans, suddenly made deeply vulnerable by the chicanery of the financial oligarchy, we’re denied even the logical clarity of a former community organiser who once promised hope.

http://news.yahoo.com/another-bailout-joins-goofball-economy-141133031.html

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Fareed Zakaria, the brilliant CNN/Time foreign policy analyst, really hit the unthinkable head-on. It didn’t make him popular or liked. In short, Zakaria dared to ask whether we should not cut our mammoth military budgets. “It’d be a much-needed adjustment to an out-of-control military-industrial complex. … The Pentagon’s budget has risen for 13 years, which is unprecedented. Between 2001 and 2009, overall spending on defence rose from 412 billion USD (12.178 trillion Roubles. 290 billion Euros. 254 billion  UK Pounds) to 699 billion USD (20.66 trillion Roubles. 491 billion Euros. 431 billion UK Pounds), a 70 percent increase, which is larger than in any comparable period since the Korean War. Including the supplementary spending on Iraq and Afghanistan, we spent 250 billion USD (7.39 trillion Roubles. 176 billion Euros. 154 billion UK Pounds) more than average US defence expenditures during the Cold War… a time when the Soviet, Chinese, and Eastern European militaries were arrayed against the United States and its allies. “Over the past decade, when we had no serious national adversaries, US defence spending has gone from about a third of total worldwide defence spending to 50 percent. In other words, we spend more on defence than the planet’s remaining countries put together”.

This enormous spending on defence… and the phoniness with which we embrace virtually anything military, in which we now go out looking for wars, like Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia… has led to a tragic imbalance between the military and diplomacy. Robert Gates liked to point out that there are more members of military marching bands than men and women in the entire Foreign Service. Therefore, yes, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to start thinking things through. It’s not just a matter of forming “supreme” councils to tell us what to do… we already know what to do. We need to cut back on all levels, particularly, in military spending. We need to raise revenues from the Americans who are making fortunes off of this country. We need to bring home the earnings of companies such as General Electric, who live off the American body but invest overseas. The question is whether our complaisant young president can do this, for it demands making, well, demands. Nevertheless, if he can’t do it, then, we must.

http://news.yahoo.com/time-cut-defense-spending-223202084.html;_ylt=AkreUBOzSHffRnUYXCmOiVb9wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTM1a21qczk2BHBrZwM0YWY3MGNjZC1lYzJhLTNmNDMtYjhhYy02NTcxNzk4ZmE2ZTIEcG9zAzUEc2VjA3RvcF9zdG9yeQR2ZXIDNjc1YjJhYTAtYzJkNy0xMWUwLWJmZmItYjY1ODAzYWYyODli;_ylg=X3oDMTIwOGFubmMwBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lfG9waW5pb24EcHQDc2VjdGlvbnMEdGVzdAM-;_ylv=3

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Finally, a descent into the Jabberwockian world of the rightwing:

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, who plans to announce whether she will run for president sometime next month, said Monday night that she predicted the credit rating downgrade long ago.

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/palin-downgrade-knew-happen-151730478.html;_ylt=AtL7EaGMNNzfIDR4Zi62336s0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTNwcjhvM2tjBGNjb2RlA3dlaWdodGVkY3QEcGtnAzUxNDE5Njg3LWVjMTEtM2E4Ny1hMGYxLTUyOGQ5ZjI1NTVjZgRwb3MDMgRzZWMDbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHZlcgM1YjlmYTg5MC1jMmE0LTExZTAtOWZkZC00MTZmZjJhNTM0OTg-;_ylg=X3oDMTFvdnRqYzJoBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25zBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

In a pig’s arse… there’s nothing else to say of such arrant rubbish… if anything deserves the description of “bollocks on stilts”, this does. It does illustrate the mindset of the ‘baggers… reality need not apply.

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Editor’s Afterword:

Let’s say that I want you to think on all of that above. If we were to cut the defence budget by 50 percent, it would still be one-third of total world spending on war material and war. S&P thought Enron was a good deal… why should we trust their “credit rating?” It does stink of a partisan coshing of a political opponent, doesn’t it? Only government can do MANY things… a society of over 300 million individuals can’t have a “minimal” government… if it did, anarchy would result, and only the ruthless and evil would prosper. That’s why a “Reuters/Ipsos poll found 73 percent of Americans believe the United States is ‘off on the wrong track’, and just one in five, 21 percent, think the country is headed in the right direction. The survey found that 47 percent believe ‘the worst is yet to come’ in the US economy”. Sobering stuff, eh? Note the Palin idiocy… however, there ARE ignoranuses who eat that up… don’t turn your back on them. They’re ignorant… they’re fanatics… and they have leaders who know what they want… and what they want is a theocracy where all non-Born Againers would suck hind tit (if they’d allow us to live at all). It’s up to us to fight them and kill their Satanic movement. It’s our God-given duty…

BMD

11 August 2011. We Don’t Know Whether Moriak’s a Bad Man… We DO Know that He’s a Weak One…

Patriarch Sergei Stragorodsky (1867-1944) of Moscow and all the Russias blessing members of the “Dmitri Donskoi” Tank Brigade during the VOV… he HAD to bend in order to save the Church (but he bent only so much as he had to)… he suffered imprisonment TWICE… Moriak’s a gutless coward who folded without any resistance… DO note that.

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Moriak’s recent anti-Stokoe missive wasn’t about homosexuality or “respect” at all… not really. After all, the rolling fagorama in the upper reaches of the OCA has been going on since ADS’ accession to effectual power in 1965. In fact, one of my correspondents wrote me:

If the rumours are true, and Moriak still had the nerve to write that mess to Mark… well, nothing’s changed… same old hypocrisy… same old shit.

Feodosy Lazor’s homosexuality is well-known, indeed, it’s why the OCA removed him as First Hierarch (the rumour that he had AIDS was a result of the hushed-up truth that he was a faygeler)… he was supposedly in ill-health in 2002, but he’s still alive n’ kickin’ some nine years later! Herman Swaiko’s homosexuality’s a matter of open knowledge; he lives openly with his partner near the grounds of St Tikhon Monastery in South Canaan PA. Jonas Paffhausen served publicly with both of these men at the same time at the St Tikhon Memorial Day Pilgrimage in 2010. It was a SCANDAL to all the faithful… it UPSET most people who heard of it. It was a grave blow to the Church’s cred. Does Matthias Moriak take Fathausen to task publicly for this very public enabling of the homosexual agenda by a high churchman? NO! There’s utter silence… Matthias Moriak’s as mute as a fish… he says NOTHING about this or about any of the other questionable actions of the present and past OCA hierarchy.

If he attacks Mark for “disrespect”… well… the Church deserves it for its unconscionable actions. As for the promotion of homosexuality… look at the example I cited above. It’s far more glaring and egregious than anything that Mark or his correspondents have done. In short, Jonas Paffhausen has done more to advance the “homosexual agenda” in the Church through his actions than Mark ever did through what he or his correspondents wrote. Let’s get a grip and keep a proper perspective on things! I don’t bloody care what people SAY… time and again, that’s utter bullshit, and one must disregard it (often enough, good people have to say crook things to survive in crank times such as these are… any other attitude is outright Donatism). I care for what they DO… that’s God’s standard, too. He didn’t say, “Talk about others as you would be talked about”… He said, “DO unto others as you would be done by”.

Moriak fails the test utterly by this standard. All that he needed to do was to continue Vladyki Job’s oikonomia. There are a thousand and one ways to obfusticate an importunate superior. “You know, that’s a serious question, I’ll have to discuss that at my next annual Clergy Conference… certainly, I need more input on such an important and weighty topic”… then, when one’s superior presses again, “I really have to get the sense of what the laity feel on this… I’ll have to bring it up at the next annual Diocesan Convention”. Of course, when El Gordo came champing at the bit, again, Moriak would say, “We found that there were serious ramifications for the Church in this… we formed a clergy/laity committee that’ll give its report at the next Diocesan Convention… when’s that? Oh, next year… it’s an important issue; you can’t rush on such things, can you?”

In short, a clever and wily bishop would KNOW how to spin out the process so that it would take YEARS (trust me, I mean that literally, kids), resulting in either the importunate superior dying, or, the crisis/question would “die” a natural death without any action being taken to roil the waters unduly. That’s why one of my heroes in Church History is foxy Bishop Mensurius of Carthage… I’ll talk of him at length in a later post (he inspired the opposition of the Donatists)… he and the pagan magistrate were close bros and Bishop Mensurius knew how to twist the “letter of the law” during the Maximian persecution in such a way that he safeguarded the Church, protected his pal the magistrate, and kept the Imperial authorities satisfied… all at the same time! Moriak had an OBLIGATION to do likewise… he chose not to emulate Bishop Mensurius… yes, he chose his present path.

Indeed, circumstances can restrict one’s options (and can even make one unable to intervene positively), but one does have the obligation of taking the least injurious route. However, Moriak’s a gutless punk coward (there are rumours that Moriak has a “partner” himself… did Bobby use that to pressure him?)… but, then again, Fathausen ordained him, so, he’s El Gordo’s creature, which means that one would expect him to be JP’s toady and Step n’ Fetchit. Sergei Stragorodsky couldn’t do much in the face of the Early Soviet persecution of the Church, but he never “threw a pinch of incense on the altar”… he wasn’t a sacrificator, thurificator, or libelliticor (categories of lapsi… “one who sacrificed”, “one who threw incense”, or “one who attested, but didn’t”). At most, he was a traditor (one who handed over holy things) and acta facientor (one who made false statements to survive)… which were necessary, under the given circumstances… that’s why his hometown of Arzamas put up a statue in his honour. Moriak didn’t even do that… don’t forget that the Chekists imprisoned Sergei twice… he just didn’t roll over and “play dead”, as Moriak did.

Don’t fear evil men… there’s not as many of them as we think there are. Don’t fear corrupt men… they’re obvious to kids and fools… for instance, a Piggy Iggy or an Alexey Karlgut is an object of general scorn, not respect. Don’t fear apparatchiki… they’re rather clear, too… a Lyonyo or a Potapov fools no one. Don’t fear the professors… they’re just full o’ stuff n’ nonsense… no one pays attention to a Vanya Behr or a Paul Meyendorff. DO FEAR WEAK MEN. Most iniquity in the world enters because of weakness, not because of outright evil. “My hands were tied”… what arrant nonsense! Is that what they’re going to tell Almighty God on the Last Day? Are they going to tell Him (as they did in more than one secular court document), “We admit no guilt or wrongdoing” (with a pious look on their face, no less)? Don’t forget what Our Lord said, “Throw them into the outer darkness, where there’s wailing and gnashing of teeth”. That’s a meaty reflection, kids…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 11 August 2011

Albany NY  

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