Voices from Russia

Thursday, 1 March 2012

1 March 2012. If the Current OCA Leadership is Unworthy of Respect, Whose Example Should We Follow?

Metropolitan Leonty Turkevich (1876-1965) of New York, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America, the Metropolia… he could’ve said, and rightly so, “Après nous, le déluge“. Shall we see the end of the Schmemanndorf silliness in our time? God willing, yes! 

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A leader is best when people barely know that he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him.

Lao Tzu

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You can’t “turn back the clock”, but if one is on the wrong path, the only way forward is to go back. The apogee of what’s now called the OCA was in 1965, five years BEFORE its formal “autocephaly“.There are no published figures, either official or unofficial, but I think it’s no stretch to conclude that the Metropolia had at least double the number of adherents that the present OCA has. The OCA’s suffered a membership haemorrhage fully as critical as that found in the TEC, but it refuses to ‘fess up to the reality (especially not the juvenile konvertsy “experts” such as the HOOMies and Oliver Herbel, et al). My submission is that the Metropolia had 250,000 members in about 400 parishes. The present OCA has some 120,000 members in about 600 parishes. That is, the Metropolia could afford to give its priests a living, but the OCA finds it impossible to do so. Of course, another reason is that there are too many bishops in the OCA… ten active and ten retired, twenty in total,  all on the Church’s payroll.

Let’s give you some perspective… if the RCs in the USA were to have a similar proportion of bishops (1/6,000 believers), they’d have about 11,500 bishops. They actually have 440 bishops and cardinal bishops, active and retired, making their ratio one bishop per 156,000 believers (assuming that the ballpark estimate of 68.5 million RCs in the USA is accurate (I think that it is)). That means that the OCA has 26 times the number of bishops per capita as the RCs do! Or, to look at it another way, the RCs have an episcopate that’s only 4 percent the size of the OCA’s, in percentage terms. In Greece, there are about 10 million Orthodox believers, with 101 bishops and metropolitans (about 100,000 believers per bishop). The MP has 207 bishops for its 150 million believers, if the proportion were the same as in Greece, it’d be 1,500. The MP is working towards a “Greek proportion”, so, its obvious that there are too many “useless eater” bishops in the OCA squandering its resources. The most that the OCA can afford is a bishop in New York, Chicago, and San Francisco in the USA, another in Canada, and one for Alaska. That’s all that we have resources for… the other 15 bishops are taking away needed money from the parishes and priests. We may as well call it the Ruritanian Orthodox Church, Archdiocese of Grand Fenwick.

It’s clear that the path blazed by Schmemann, von Meyendorff, and Royster was a disastrous failure, it brought in a gradual rot, which led directly to the scandal of a priest having the damned gall to sue another priest during the first week of the Great Lent. What is to be done? I’d say it’s clear… go back to the old path. No, we can’t “unlive” the past. No, we can’t regain a lost “innocence”. Yet, we DO have SOMETHING. It IS the “pearl of great price”… we now know what DOESN’T work. Autocephaly’s a bootless and hubristical chimera. It’s time to go back to being a daughter-Church of the Mother Church in the Rodina. Let’s recover the modesty and pragmatism of the Metropolia and put all the asinine and unhinged “missionary vision” of the OCA into the nearest dumpster, where it richly belongs (and defrock all the former Anglican “priests” whilst we’re at it). I doubt that I’m alone in thinking that way…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 1 March 2012

Albany NY

1 March 2012. Things Do Get Curiouser and Curiouser Department

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A well-connected individual sent me the following:

The Metropolitan suspended him right after he sued them.  However, [Velencia] refused to pick up the certified letter.  I think it was finally sent to his lawyer.

If this is so, then, why hasn’t the OCA PUBLICISED the suspension of Raymond Velencia OFFICIALLY and FORMALLY with a prominent post on its official website? Trust me, the slothfulness and laggardliness of this has led to nothing but SCANDAL, and during the first week of Lent, at that. It’s led to a legal summons sent to a priest by another priest during one of the holiest times of the Church Year. THAT would’ve been unthinkable in Vladyki Leonty’s time! Nevertheless, if this intel is true, and I rate it as highly probable due to the source, I think that the Federal court would LOVE to hear about it! Oh, well… it sure isn’t boring, is it? Oh, yes… another kitchen cabinet member thinks that this is a rather unsubtle ploy to get the OCA to vacate the suspension (it hasn’t been publicised, after all). I’m no mind reader or Kreskin, mind you, but that deduction does make good sense and it fits the character of the principal, doesn’t it?

Just when you thought that you’d seen it all…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 1 March 2012

Albany NY 

Russia Votes Against UN Human Rights Council Resolution on Syria

Libyan militia thugs after their Western-backed victory… THIS is what the USA and its running-dogs want in Syria… with the Christians and Alawis as the victims. THIS is why Russia takes a principled stand against American warmongering in Syria. Take a good look… this is what your tax dollars buy (and Rick Santorum would do twice as much mayhem… reflect on that). I have a religious objection to such… does that mean that I can get a refund on my share of the money spent in foreign parts on aggressive warfare?

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On Thursday, Russia, China, and Cuba voted against a UN Human Rights Council resolution calling on Syria to immediately end violence against civilians and grant humanitarian organisations access to the country. The results of the vote, posted on the council’s website, show that 37 countries voted for the resolution and three nations abstained. On Tuesday, the Syrian delegation left the Human Rights Council discussions in protest against the “unfriendly” resolution. Syria also said it refuses to acknowledge the meeting and the resolution as legitimate.

The resolution “strongly condemns the continued widespread and systematic violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms by the Syrian authorities” and “deplores the brutal actions of the Syrian regime over the past 11 months, such as its use of heavy artillery and tanks to attack residential areas”. It also urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to allow “free and unimpeded access by the United Nations and humanitarian agencies” and permit deliveries of humanitarian cargo to the areas in need. Both Western and Arab nations increased their pressure on Assad’s regime, calling for an immediate end to bloodshed in Syria, which according to Syrian rights groups has claimed more than 7,000 lives since the uprising against the current authorities began 11 months ago.

1 March 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/world/20120301/171669049.html

Byelorussia vs EU Spat Unlikely to Affect Moscow-Minsk Relations

NO! Byelorussia’s Not For Sale!

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Here’s the REAL reason that Byelorussia’s vilified in the Western media… a little different than the propaganda, no? The rightwing wants to smash Byelorussian socialism, and that’s that.

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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that EU sanctions against Byelorussia wouldn’t affect the integration underway between Moscow and Minsk. On Monday, the EU announced that it blacklisted another 21 Byelorussian officials over their alleged involvement in the present crackdown on domestic opposition elements. In response, Belarus asked Ambassador Maira Mora, the head of the EU delegation to Byelorussia, and Polish Ambassador Leszek Szerepka, to leave Minsk. Putin said, “First of all, I hope that the EU and Byelorussia would normalise their relations. However, definitely, it won’t affect our [Russian and Byelorussian] integration”.

More than 200 people are already on the blacklist, including President Aleksandr Lukashenko, two of his sons, and most of the country’s top leadership. The EU bans them from entering its territory, and it’s frozen their European assets. Putin said, “These are relations of a political nature between the European Union and Byelorussia”, adding that he doesn’t see a threat to the Customs Union of Russia, Byelorussia, and Kazakhstan. In November, the Russian, Byelorussian, and Kazakh presidents signed a declaration on Eurasian economic integration, a roadmap for integration aimed at creating a Eurasian Economic Union, which would have its basis in the Customs Union and common economic space existing amongst the three states.

29 February 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120229/171620167.html

Editor’s Note:

One of the reasons that the Eurasian Union’s going to succeed is that the USA is doing everything necessary to advance it, albeit unwittingly. Byelorussia needs Russian help… and it’s getting it. Now, the USA’s trying to interfere in Ukrainian internal affairs, which will drive them straight into Russia’s embrace. You see, the Western media talks only to English-speaking “middle class” dweebs in the two capitals… they don’t go to Bibirevo or Lyubertsy and talk to real people. In short, the lazy bastards only talk to those who resemble them, who echo their prejudices and opinions. The Western press has no clue about the real nature of the Orthosphere, let alone any clue of the Islamic world (who’re all demented bomb-throwers or keffiyeh-clad nomads in the media’s twisted narrative).

The West has no moral high ground from whence to lecture all others, especially not Americans. The USA is the only country in the world where illness can lead to personal bankruptcy. THAT is unconscionable. Think on that one…

BMD 

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