Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Love Them Banner-Bearers… Church Activists Disperse Pussy Riot Supporters with Holy Water


On Sunday, activists from the Union of Orthodox Banner-Bearers, a lay Russian Orthodox organisation, dispersed a group of protesters gathered in downtown Moscow near the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour supporting the jailed punk rockers from Pussy Riot by dousing them with Holy Water. Several dozen opposition activists gathered near the Cathedral for an unsanctioned rally in support of the members of the all-female punk group Pussy Riot, who’re in custody for performing a protest song against President-elect Vladimir Putin in the Cathedral in late February. The rally, a flare-up of the anti-government protests that spread across Russia since December, had the intent of uniting both believers and atheists in a mass prayer. However, the police cordoned off the territory in front of the Cathedral and detained two organisers of the protest to avoid “provocations”. Members of the Banner-Bearers quieted other participants of the prayer by pouring Holy Water on them and chanting, “No Sodom!” The Cathedral management refused to comment on the rally.

Vandalism and church desecration cases have become more frequent in Russia after Pussy Riot performed what it called “a punk prayer” in front of the Royal Gates (a place where only clergy are allowed, normally) at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in February. Five group members, clad in balaclavas, chanted a song entitled Holy Shit against Putin that also contained lines such as “Holy Mother, Blessed Virgin, chase Putin out!” The girls said the performance was a response to MP First Hierarch Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev’s backing of President-elect Vladimir Putin in the run-up to his landslide 4 March election victory. The Patriarch called the 12 years of Putin’s rule a “miracle of God” in a televised meeting. Pussy Riot can face up to seven years in prison if found guilty on hooliganism charges.

29 April 2012



Editor’s Note:

Late week, according to revised RF MVD figures, 75,000 people showed up to support HH and the Church… this week, “several dozen” showed up for a pro-Western demonstration (one wonders what McFaul had to do with it all). I seem to see a slight difference. Good on the Banner-Bearers, they dispersed the anti-Church pukes. God DOES see and judge, kids…



29 April 2012. A Short Chat with My Readers… Why I Report Some of the Things Posted Here

We CAN do it… all that we have to do is come together… and “go home”… we are wanted, after all…


One of the reasons that I report what’s “out there” vis-à-vis the Church is that a smothering secrecy oozes forth from the official websites. As far as oca.org’s concerning, Ginny Nieuwsma is a loyal running-dog follower of Fathausen… the site has no real news on it at all, only fluff. For instance, I was able to confirm from multiple sources that OCA did, indeed, engage armed security men (at no small cost) for the recent trial of Dickie Wood, but as far as oca.org was concerned, it didn’t happen. I can assure you that Metropolitan Leonty Turkevich didn’t need armed guards… Archbishop Kyprian Borisevich didn’t need armed guards… neither did Metropolitan Laurus Škurla nor Archbishop Antony Bartoshevich. That’s a sign of sclerotic dysfunction and systemic failure. Another sign of terminal disease amongst us was the unhinged “open letter” by Fr Victor Potapov on the official ROCOR website. At best, it was ill-conceived; at worst, it was an unwarranted public attack by a clergyman without responsibility for a given parish on a layman (it doesn’t matter what the layman did… BISHOPS are the public leaders, guardians, and spokesmen of the Church, NOT self-appointed archpriests).

So, what does one do? One thing that you do is to report the “buzz”. You see, if the “buzz” gets “air time”, then, quite often, replies come in from the kitchen cabinet. For instance, on the “buzz” concerning Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral, one of my contacts, an MP priest, crossly remarked that the main Reconciliation ceremony at the Centre was still on-track… that’s true, but there was no report on the ROCOR official website stating, “His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion has undergone surgery. The Holy Synod sends its best wishes and prayers, and requests that all parishes and faithful keep His Eminence in their prayers and remembrance”. That’s what a pro would’ve done. That’s what Vladimir Romanovich would’ve done.

Peter Perekrestov had an obligation to do likewise. However, his failure isn’t incompetence and running-dog loyalty, as in the case of Ginny Nieuwsma. In his case, it’s more a combination of weakness and overburden (after all, he’s the rector of the cathedral parish in SF… that DOES take up his time). I’ll warrant that he didn’t want to waste his time arguing with Potapov… and gave in for “a peaceful life”. Another thing that they should’ve reported was, “His Eminence is having visa problems with the US State Department. Pray that this situation be rectified quickly and without rancour”. If I were in charge of the website, I’d send it to all other “official” Orthodox websites with the request to publicise the situation, and I’d send the State Department, the US Representative from Manhattan, and both US Senators from New York a copy of the URL so that they could “read all about it”. How much do you wanna bet that the pols involved would solve the situation, and rather quickly at that? Cookie the Bookie would call it a “sure thing”.

The situation in the OCA and the ROCOR resembles that of the USSR in late Perestroika. No one trusts the apparat, but no one fears it, either. The USSR fell apart, not because of the Cold War, not because of Slobberin’ Ronnie, not because of the supposed “superiority” of unbridled capitalism… it fell because the system failed to tell people what was going on, the apparat lost all credibility, and the people lost all faith in what the powers-that-be told them. Rumour replaced fact… and a weak man stood at the helm. Like Potapov and Paffhausen, Gorbachyov blustered and postured; like Potapov and Paffhausen, it came from weakness and insecurity, not grounded strength.

That’s why I report the “buzz”… and I try my best to label it as such, it’s how we can make sense out of what’s “out there”. A friend once told me, “You dare to say openly what most of us only whisper”. I seem to notice that more of you are starting to speak up… it’ not just me; I’m only an ordinary spear-dragger with the rest of y’all. I’m noticing that people of all stripes are finding their courage… good on all of you. That’s how we’ll win… one person at a time… which’ll lead to one parish at a time… which’ll end with all of us in the three “Russian Orthodox” bodies here in the diaspora joing hands as one under the Mother Church. It won’t be me… it won’t be you… it’ll be all of us TOGETHER. Then, we’ll have the hard job of rebuilding it all. THAT will be our children’s and grandchildren’s task, too. Yet, one DOES have to start off… shall you take my hand?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 29 April 2012

Albany NY   

29 April 2012. A Point to Ponder… Don’t Sweat It… God Gave You Life… DO Enjoy It… It’s What He Expects of You, After All


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