Voices from Russia

Saturday, 24 September 2011

24 September 2011. Interesting Intel about a Disgraced OCA Priest I Got From Some Greek Informants…

Archbishop Melchisedek Pleska (1942- ) and Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev (1946- ) flank JP in Moscow… I somehow think that they’re not happy with JP at all… keep this image in mind as you read what’s below…

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Earlier today, I wrote about Raymond Velencia, a disgraced OCA priest who has the brass to air a parishioner’s private affairs in front of the whole OCA Metropolitan Council. I noted that he was still on the OCA clergy list, attached to St Nicholas Cathedral in DC, despite all the news that he’d gone over to the Greeks. Well, some of my Greek confrères were happy to clue me in on the straight story on the matter.

Even though he’s still officially attached to St Nick’s in the District, my contacts swear that he’s never set foot in the place and he’s cosied up to his pals in the GOAA, hoping they’d take him in. My sources tell me that Garklavs put out the word, right after Velencia’s removal from his parish, that not only did JP deny Velencia’s request for a release, but that the GOAA told Ray that they wouldn’t take him, even if he did get a release. Apparently, he gadded around GOAA parishes in the Bawlmor area assisting and filling in, mainly at Annunciation and St Demetrios. During the summer, when he was allowed to work at that GOAA kids camp, a camp counsellor reported that Velencia was shadowed by Fr Manny Burdisi, and that Velencia, along with his stooge and former assistant Duane Johnson, was assisting at a miniscule parish, Ss Mary Magdalene and Markella in Cecil County, which is over an hour’s drive one-way from Velencia and Johnson’s home base in Columbia. Some tell me that they no longer allow him to assist at Annunciation, although that’s a large parish in downtown Balto with only one priest.

JP is allowing “spoilt goods” to circulate amongst the faithful. To put it bluntly, Velencia’s a contumacious criminal who broke the law. Pastoral confidentiality is a LEGAL concept, not a canonical one, ergo, the secular courts have jurisdiction in such matters. Don’t forget, as civil secular government didn’t break down in the provinces of the Empire that didn’t fall to the Western barbarians, the Church understands that some things are in its purview… others are the state’s responsibility. That’s what symphonia is all about, kids. If a priest breaks the secular law, the Church has no problem with handing him over to the secular authorities for judgement and sentencing. As a result, the Church could depose a priest for shaming Christ’s Church and Priesthood by breaking the civil law… indeed, it should. Shame on Paffhausen and all who support him, they allowed this criminal priest to continue to serve. JP had the duty to defrock Velencia. Full stop. JP had to see to it that Ray harmed no more people. He refused to do his duty… just as the OCA Holy Synod refused to do its duty in the case of Benjamin Peterson. I know of no Local Church or any other church body that’s allowed a bishop to serve after a DUI arrest. Indeed, the EKD deep-sixed its leading bishop, Margot Kässmann, because the coppers nicked her for DUI.

If JP can’t protect the people from a ravening priest, he’s got to go. As one of my Greek friends put it, “We’d be brain-dead to accept someone like that. As soon as they heard about it in 79th Street {GOAA HQ: editor} they’d send the guys down here a message telling ‘em to knock off the monkey business”. JP’s secrecy is unbecoming of an Orthodox bishop. JP has to go for not doing his duty vis-à-vis Ray Velencia. If I’ve heard of Velencia serving outside of his archdiocese… so has Fathausen. Think on that. He KNOWS of this and he hasn’t stopped it. He smiles a drooling smirk of approval at this flagrant violation of the canons. If Ray wants to serve in the GOAA… let him get a release. However, he can’t get one, so, that means that he’s still an OCA cleric… which means that he’s JP’s headache. IT ALSO MEANS THAT RAY’S PRESENT SERVING IN GOAA PARISHES IS AN UNCANONICAL BREACH OF ORDER. I passed this to a priest friend, who informed me that, according to Hoyle, there has to be EXPLICIT permission from the bishop for “foreign” clergy to serve in a given diocese, even clergy from another diocese in the same archdiocese/metropolia. Ray Velencia is spitting on the good order and name of the Church… and JP does NOTHING. THAT should tell you something…

JP’s got to do what the ROCOR Holy Synod had to do in the end. Gleb Podmoshensky finally got le sabot from the ROCOR Holy Synod… they also acted in the case of Sam Greene’s band of merry men in Texas and Antony Grabbe in the Holy Land. All of these cases were embarrassing as all hell… it made the ROCOR bishops look like a bunch of schlemiels. Yet, they stepped up and did what they had to… these clerical poseurs were kicked out, deposed, or made redundant very rapidly. The OCA had to pay out an undisclosed settlement to Kristi Koumentakos (trust me, I know no more details of that than anyone else does)… that only happened because it was clear that Ray Velencia, acting as an agent for the OCA, breached pastoral confidentiality. They paid up rather than have an adverse verdict.

I don’t think that KMG would act in such a fashion. Look at the image at the head of the post again. Does it look like Mel and Nibs are happy with El Gordo? I leave it to your decision…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 September 2011

Albany NY

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24 September 2011. Reaction to Putin’s Announcement from Merkel Aide: “Germany and Russia are Linked in a Strategic Partnership”

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (1952- ) with Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (1954- )… he speaks German… she speaks Russian… hmm… I see something here, don’t you? After all, “Germany and Russia are linked in a strategic partnership”.

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There’s much unmitigated bullshit in the air after the announcement that VVP’s running for the Presidency yet again. Here’s the only comment that’s worth your attention:

[Chancellor Merkel] works very well with President Medvedev and will do the same with any other president, because Germany and Russia are linked in a strategic partnership.

Steffen Seibert

Spokesman for Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel

http://news.yahoo.com/analysts-view-putin-return-kremlin-105256141.html

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If I were a politician in the Baltics or in Georgia (or an Orangie in the Ukraine), I’d investigate job openings in the USA… “Germany and Russia are linked in a strategic partnership”. Do remember Lipetsk… there was a matter of circumventing the Versailles Treaty, wasn’t there? The neighbours were nice, then… they remain nice, now. It’s clear what’s up… Russia will have its old sphere of influence… up to the old Soviet border (perhaps, an embodiment of the Eurasianist idea). Germany will reign supreme in Mitteleuropa. What the USA and the UK want is of no consequence. They can suck wind as far as the continental powers are concerned… it’s the Orwellian constructs of Oceania and Eurasia, isn’t it? If “Germany and Russia are linked in a strategic partnership”, then, NATO’s dead, and its official abolition is only a formality.

Let’s keep it focused. The USA has NOTHING to offer Germany save bellicose and windy threats (which it can’t deliver upon). Russia can offer Germany both raw materials and “strategic depth”. Besides that, Russia could easily place Germany under its nuclear umbrella, without any of the annoying baggage imposed by the Americans (such as interference in internal affairs under the rubric of “humanitarianism”, in particular). The USA is a “Gummi Löwe” (Rubber Lion)… made toothless by the bungling and reckless policies of the Bush Administration, which led to a raging economic meltdown caused by its Radical Nihilist Libertarian ideology. Make no mistake on it… Russia and Germany see that, and they’re drawing the proper conclusions. After all, countries do look after their own interests, don’t they?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 September 2011

Albany NY

24 September 2011. Canadian Parish Gives Notice on its Website of Visit by Suspended Hierarch… What Gives?

What’ll a judge say of all this?

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Read this:

SNAP Orthodox is appalled that suspended Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, a credibly accused child molester, is visiting a Canadian church this weekend. Less than a year ago, the Winnipeg police issued an arrest warrant for Storheim. He turned himself into the police in Edmonton last November. Storheim was questioned by the authorities, and released after posting a 500 dollar CDN (15,620 Roubles. 485 USD. 360 Euros. 315 UK Pounds) bond and surrendering his passport. The terms of his release also forbade Storheim from having contact with minors. The case involves the abuse of two ten year old boys.

At a special meeting on 30 November 2010, the Orthodox Church in America’s synod of bishops suspended Storheim. Yet, now, he’s allowed to travel across the country to visit an All Saints of Alaska Orthodox Church in Victoria BC this weekend.

see : http://www.allsaintsofalaska.ca/

A copy of the announcement is below. This further hurts those who’re already suffering… wounded clergy sex abuse victims and concerned laity who were led to believe that clergy sex crimes and cover ups were being taken seriously by the Orthodox Church in America officials. We also question whether this violates the conditions of his release on bond that forbids having contact with minors.

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of All Saints,

Vladyka Seraphim will be visiting our parish on September 23rd. He will be with us for Vespers at 6:00 pm to celebrate the Synaxis of All Saints of Alaska. We will then have a dinner at the parish with Vladyka. This will be a potluck dinner. Fr Michael will also be present and serving the vespers. Fr Larry will be arriving from Alberta on the 23rd and is planning to be at vespers.

We’d like to make this an organised potluck so please volunteer for:

  1. Salad
  2. Main Dish (Vegetarian and Meat)
  3. Drinks
  4. Dessert

The following day, the 24th will be the official installation of Fr Larry as our Priest. Following the Divine Liturgy, we will have a celebratory lunch to officially welcome Fr Larry and Matushka Myra. This will also be a potluck lunch. Fr Larry will be here for this, but probably not Matushka Myra.

Please, sign up for:

  1. Salad
  2. Cheese tray
  3. Meat tray
  4. Drinks
  5. Main dish
  6. Vegetarian
  7. Drinks
  8. Dessert

Please, remember that Vladyka does not eat meat (fish and shellfish are fine), and is on a low carbohydrate diet. Things like quinoa that have a high protein content are acceptable for him to eat. Also, Fr Larry is on a restricted diet. He does not eat gluten (wheat), dairy, cane-sugar, or red meat.

See you soon…

Don’t forget that the semi-agm is planned for October 02, after the liturgy.

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URL for both of the above items:

http://www.snapnetwork.org/suspended_bishop_is_still_working_snap_responds

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That’s NOT “the end of the story”. Look at this (a friend sent me this with no URL):

I don’t really see what the problem is. The announcement said nothing about Archbishop Seraphim celebrating any of the divine services. Archbishop Seraphim is allowed to attend services and spend time with friends, which apparently include this parish in Victoria. There is nothing to suggest that he will have unsupervised contact with minors. The only part that gives me pause is the part about the “official installation of Fr Larry”, but as long as whatever that entails doesn’t involve Archbishop Seraphim celebrating a service in contravention to the direction he has received from the Synod, there’s no problem.

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The above was from “Helga” (another brave username commando)… she tried attacking me once… I skewered her right properly. This ignorant little konvert is setting herself up as an interpreter of both civil and canon law… I know that the konvertsy are impetuous and boorish, but this is breathtakingly arrogant and STUPID. I know where the “stupid pills” are! Helga’s hogged ‘em all!

Seraphim’s pissing on the Winnipeg magistrate with full malice aforethought. He thinks that he’s untouchable. How many other “visits” of this sort has this paladin made? Remember, the konvertsy extremists have no respect for the law, either ecclesiastical or civil; they’re deluded and fanatical cultists of the worst sort (especially the former HOOMies… who have a history of questionable activities in re child abuse). After all, they’re defenders of Gleb Podmoshensky… they don’t care that a canonical Church (ROCOR) defrocked him for good reason. Let’s see… who else has ties to Mr Podmoshensky? There’s Freddie M-GRod Dreher… AND PAFFHAUSEN.

These folks have no regard for you. Full stop. They intend to flout the law, defy both Church and state, and they dare you to do something of it. As a friend of mine wrote me:

Fuck them… they want to be on the side of child molesters and convert swine.

Harsh, but true, I’d say. Another wrote:

The OCA allowing Seraphim to visit other parishes while he’s suspended is unconscionable.

I quite agree with this spot-on observation. I noticed something else. As of 10.00 EDT 24 September 2011, oca.org still listed Ray Velencia as a clergyman of the Archdiocese of Washington of the OCA. I saved a copy of the page to my files. Supposedly, he received a canonical release to the GOAA, but Greek friends of mine say that’s not so… one said to me, “Let him show a real release like Bishop Mel has… I’ll betcha that there isn’t any”. In addition, there’s NO NEWS WHATSOEVER on oca.org concerning the reinstatement of Dickie Wood (if he has been, that is). Moreover, I can state after searching patriarchia.ru that there’s no notice of any “patriarchal blessing” on any meeting between El Gordo and Ovchinnikov at East 97th. This means that Ginny Nieuwsma is nothing but a willing liar and shill for Fathausen and the Syosset cabal. I’d say to the oca.org staff, “If Velencia’s been released… remove his name from the clergy listings. If Dickie’s been reinstated… say so in a post on oca.org. If there’s been no patriarchal blessing on JP’s little soiree on East 97th, apologise to the readership”. Don’t hold your breath… Ms Nieuwsma isn’t going to do any of the above. She’s committed to keeping you in the dark and in ignorance of what her masters are up to.

Don’t send them any money… that’s the only thing that they understand. One last thing… it’s been 18 days since his last post… WHERE IS STOKOE? If nothing else, this shows the paralysis in the upper levels of the OCA apparat. Here’s what I find interesting… it appears that the ROCOR apparat is distancing itself from Syosset. Lebedeff waffled on the number of autocephalous Churches… that’s “tealeaves” of interest, I’d say.

It’s only going to get “better”. God do help us…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 September 2011

Albany NY

24 September 2011. What’s Right IS Right… No Matter Who Says It

An interesting colloquy occurred recently on the Orthodox Forum. Take a look:

I’m not Greek Orthodox, I’m not Russian Orthodox, I’m not Serbian Orthodox, I’m not Rumanian Orthodox, I’M ORTHODOX, and the quicker folks realise this, the better. Since when did Christ establish the “fill in the blank” Christian church? He established the Christian Church devoid of ethnicity and the sooner we realize this, the better. When or if we get to heaven will Christ divide the Russians from the Germans, from the Serbians from the “fill in the blanks” folks? It’s about time we stop this INSANE NONSENSE of ETHNICITY…

Joe Stearne

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Sorry, Joe…

There’s no such thing as being a member of a “generic” Orthodox Church. In order to be an Orthodox Christian, canonically, you have to be a member of one of 14 or 15 mutually-recognised Orthodox Church structures. You can be a member of the following Local (meaning “regional”) Orthodox Churches:

(NB: “Archdioceses” and “Metropolias” are identical structures… the former is the Greek usage, the latter is the Slavic terminology… confusing… but true. That is, in the Greek style, an “archbishop” outranks a “metropolitan”… in the Slavic formulation, a “metropolitan” outranks an “archbishop”. This is Orthodoxy… did you expect consistency? BMD)

There’s also the Orthodox Church of America, recognised as autocephalous by some {only by the MP, Georgia, Poland, Bulgaria, and Czechia/Slovakia: editor}, but not all, of the other canonical Orthodox Churches.

There’s NO other choice.

Either you’re a member of one of these “national” Churches, or you’re not an Orthodox Christian. If you don’t accept this, you’re NOT an Orthodox Christian. If your priest and bishop aren’t members of one of these “national” Orthodox Churches, they’re uncanonical and their mysteries are invalid and devoid of grace.

That’s the way it is.

With love in Christ,

Archpriest Alexander Lebedeff

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This exchange points up a truth that all of us should all keep in mind. It doesn’t matter WHO says this-or-that… what matters is WHAT they say. That is, the question of WHO says it is minor compared to WHAT they say. For instance, Mr Lebedeff is one of the leading lights in the First Family apparat. That means that one should be wary of his motives, but it doesn’t take away from the fact that he’s the leading canonist in the USA (“They don’t know an ecclesiastical court from a tennis court”) and one of the leading church historians (I know a great deal, but he’s got at least double my storehouse of knowledge). I wrote to a friend:

Did you see the hardening of attitude on Lebedeff’s part towards the konvertsy? I think that the ROCOR First Families are going to “rend their garments” over the OCA fagorama. They’ll raise such a righteous howl… they’ve always known… but the party-line was to ignore such. Now, the party line’s changed, so, they’ve changed. Lebedeff’s intelligent, but he’s an apparatchik. He’s a smart one, but he’s for himself first, last, and always. You forget that at your peril.

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I take Mayor Ed Koch’s attitude (as do all mature people)… “If we can agree on what’s in front of us, we can work together. If you agree with me on everything, you’re either crazy or you’re an ass-kisser”. In short, I can cut a deal with and work with Lebedeff or Gan… why not, if the cause is just? Mel Pleska’s soft on Uniatism, but he’s still the best bet to topple the OCA’s rolling and continuing fagorama. Ask yourself, “What’s the most important thing out there?” Quite obviously, the most important thing out there is restoring order to a chaotic canonical situation in Russian Orthodoxy in the diaspora. Fr Alexander would agree with me wholeheartedly on that one. We might not agree on many other things, but we’d agree on THAT (we probably agree on many other things, as well, all things being equal). Believe me, that’s enough for a working relationship… no, it wouldn’t establish either a friendship or an acquaintanceship, but we COULD work together.

I’d advise all comers that Alexander Lebedeff isn’t a “trusty” individual… he’s been a First Family infighter for too long and he’s left too many bodies on his trail. However, you shouldn’t turn up your nose at this one or that one showing up on the right side. EVER. Allies are where you find them… but never forget that they have THEIR reasons for fighting your foe, NOT your reasons. Accept their aid… but never slacken your vigilance… never let down your guard. You’ll be sorry if you do.

That being said, it’s a sign that the creaky edifice is swaying upon its foundations. It bids fair to be “interesting times”… may God preserve His Church (and us, too).

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Saturday 24 September 2011

Albany NY 

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