Voices from Russia

Monday, 23 January 2012

23 January 2012. A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words… THIS is “Pro-Life”… NOT Right-Wing Anti-Abortion Marches

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

The Gospel According to St Matthew 25.40


This is the children’s shelter at the Marfo-Mariinskaya Convent in Moscow. THIS is “pro-life”, as His Holiness defines it. That’s not all that His Holiness considers essential to a TRUE Pro-Life stance. He also advocates:

  • government stipends for large families
  • preferential treatment for large families in housing allocation
  • government subsidies for mothers
  • generous maternity leave
  • government subsidies for large families so that they can afford to go on holiday

Besides that, His Holiness believes that a Social Democracy, where all share in the burdens and joys of life, is the way to go. Note well that the loudmouths who march in “Pro-Life” demonstrations OPPOSE most of what His Holiness advocates, and, indeed, attack these proposals at every opportunity, no matter who raises them. They’re “self-reliant”… they’re “productive”… they’re “independent”… and NONE of that’s Christian in the least. When you add in the support of most “Pro-Lifers” for the death penalty, regressive taxes, class warfare, and war in foreign parts, it certainly does alter the picture, doesn’t it? They deride Social Cooperation and Social Justice, and they exalt greed and personal gain… is that Christian? That’s the inevitable and ultimate end-point of “Jayzuss as my Personal Saviour“… a soul-corrosive mind-rotting lie becomes embedded at the centre of all things, making one see white as black and black as white.

I once thought that marches could help. Now, I realise that they’ve been taken over by the extremist rightwing, who use them for narrowly partisan ends, and good Christians should stay away from them. One day of working in a soup kitchen or giving ten bucks to an unwed mother is more God-pleasing and useful than a year of bootless protesting and waving signs. We can emulate the good sisterhood of the Marfo-Mariinskaya Convent (their foundress was Grand Princess St Yelizaveta Fyodorovna the New Martyr of Happy Memory), and aid the poor, unwed mothers, prisoners, the families of the soldiers who’re away fighting in useless colonialist wars, and large families in whatever and whichever way we can, or, we can emulate Jonas Paffhausen and engage in loud, clanging, narcissistic, and showy political theatre. I stand with the Apostle:

But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth  not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. 

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

First Epistle of Apostle St Paul to the Corinthians 12.31-13.13

That’s the choice facing us… ponder it well, for your eternal destiny DOES depend on it!



23 January 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World: An Overly Warm Winter

An Overly Warm Winter

Sergei Yolkin



According to Roman Vilfand, the Director of the RF Hydro-Meteorological Centre December 2011, December 2011 may set a record for warm temperatures, higher than any other recorded during the whole history of meteorological observations in European Russia. The temperature anomaly is about eight degrees (17 degrees Fahrenheit), and significant cooling isn’t expected.

16 December 2011

Sergei Yolkin



Abbas Promises To Return All Russian Orthodox Properties in Palestine to the MP… His Holiness Supports Palestinian Statehood… Abbas Says Israel Stymies Just Peace in Middle East

Mahmoud Abbas (1935- ), the head of the Palestinian National Authority with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev (1946- ) of Moscow and all the Russias in Moscow on 21 January 2012.


Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian National Authority, expressed his willingness to facilitate the transfer of Russian Orthodox properties in his area to the MP. On Saturday, at a meeting with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, he said, “We believe that everything that ever belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church in the Palestinian territories should be returned to it. There are now one or two cases before the courts. I’m sure they’ll be resolved in favour of the Russian Church”. He also said that the situation in Palestine has promoted the development of pilgrimage, as the number of Christian pilgrims from Russia now is about 250,000 per year, saying, “Next year, we’d like to see it grow to a million”. Abbas advocated the development of relations with Russia, noting that the Imperial Orthodox Palestine Society, which notes its 130th anniversary this year, makes a special contribution to this process.


Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias Kirill supported the aspirations of Palestinians for their own state. At a meeting in Moscow Saturday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, he said, “I’d like to congratulate you, and, through you, all the Palestinian people who’ve undertaken and implemented the crucial steps needed for the recognition of a Palestinian state by the international community. A positive sign of a change for the better in the situation was Palestine’s official entry into UNESCO. I’m convinced that Palestine can bring people together and make a constructive contribution to the establishment of inter-religious peace in the Middle East, where, today, amity lies in the dust”.

He also mentioned the significant growth of pilgrimage to Palestine amongst Russian Orthodox believers, saying that such is largely thanks to the cordial relations that Russia and the MP have with Palestine. Patriarch Kirill noted that the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in the Holy Land existed from 1847; it founded establishments throughout Palestine. Today, the MP is in the process of restoring its ownership in “places that are historically significant for us”. He thanked Abbas for his support to the MP “in this important endeavour”. His Holiness pointed up that Mahmoud Abbas was one of the winners of the award of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples, saying, “It’s very symbolic, because you aren’t Orthodox. However, through this award we wish to pay special tribute for what you’re doing to preserve the holy places, to help the maintenance of religious life in the Holy Land, including the life of the Orthodox community, which is a special contribution to development of relations between the people of Palestine and Russia”. In turn, Abbas stated that the award was an “honour for all Palestinian people”.


Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian National Authority, reproached Israel for opposing the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. On Saturday, at the awards ceremony of the International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Peoples at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, he said, “We’re continuing our efforts to achieve a just peace, creating an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, living side-by-side with Israel. These efforts remain stymied by the Israeli government’s stubbornness”. In his view, what’s happening in the Palestinian territories and in East Jerusalem, “namely, the continued building of settlements, the confiscation of land, and preventing Palestinians from visiting churches and mosques destroys the ability to start the peace process”. Abbas also stated that the reception of this award “was an incentive to continue our efforts in the name of promoting a culture of peace and dialogue among civilisations, religions, and peoples”. He said that he decided to donate the monetary portion of his award to Palestinian students studying in Russia.

For his part, Serbian tennis player Novak Đoković, “the first racket of the world”, couldn’t attend the ceremony because he was at the Australian Open tennis  championship, so, he sent a video message. He noted that he received this award “for the execution of his duty to God and the Church, to repay his debt as an Orthodox Christian”. In his view, the good luck that he’s had in sport for the last couple of years are “a miracle from God”.

23 January 2012





Editor’s Note:

The Mother Church’s principled stand on Palestine creates a dilemma for rightwing pukes like Fathausen, Potapov, Lyonyo, and Reardon (amongst others). If they support the Mother Church, they piss off their extremist rightwing pals. If they support their rightwing partners-in-crime, they risk incurring the displeasure of the Centre. Not a pleasant place to be, no? However, them’s the breaks… and it couldn’t have happened to nicer folks…

Oh, one last thing… do note that President Abbas turned over his monetary prize to Palestinian students… just like Catholicos Karekin, who turned over his prize to the building of a Russian Orthodox parish in Yerevan. Do note that when John Behr won this award, the OCA was secretive about the monetary award… where did it go? It gives the impression that Behr and his shrewish wife blew it on celebrations in chi-chi oligarch watering holes recommended by Dickie Wood. One of these things is NOT like the others!


23 January 2012. The Unity of Holy Rus… A Lemko Epiphany in Sanok

This is Epiphany from the Lemkovshchyna in the Far Western marches of Holy Rus. The priest is blessing the San River near Sanok (Subcarpathian Voivodeship) in Poland, the traditional boundary between Poles and Lemkos in the region.


The Great Blessing of the Waters takes place all over the space of Holy Rus, from Alaska and the Primorsky Krai in the Far East to Zakarpattya and the Lemkovshchyna in the Far West, from the Solovetsky Islands and Salekhard in the Far North to Tskhinval and Central Asia in the south… not to mention such diaspora outposts as Australia, Brighton Beach in Brooklyn (USA), Nice (France), Harbin (PRC), and Essex (England UK). Disregard all “Ukranian” fulminations… the similarities between the Orthodox peoples of Holy Rus are much deeper than our differences. We are the people of the Orthosphere… we are NOT Westerners… we’re Eurasians, who look both East and West. That’s why Uniatism is anathema to us, foreign to our very identity, hateful to our sense of “right glory”, and completely “other” (“Eastern Christianity”… I think NOT!). No one who cowers in front of the Pope of Rome is part of our naroda; all those on our space who confess the Orthodox Faith whole and entire ARE part of our “people”, and that’s that.

THIS is “Russian” Orthodoxy. We have a united culture, a united faith, and a united community… why aren’t we united as “Church?” Yes… why aren’t we?



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