Voices from Russia

Friday, 18 May 2012

The Podvig of Patriarch St Germogen the Martyr… A Legacy to His Descendants

A Procession of Patriarch St Germogen

Ilya Repin



At a meeting of the World Russian People’s Council (VRNS), His Holiness said that the spiritual and moral unity of believers should serve to strengthen Russian society. Several hundred people gathered at the hall of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour to discuss plans for celebrating the 400th anniversary of the end of the Smuta (Time of Troubles) in Old Rus, which will be solemnly celebrated on the Day of National Unity, 4 November 2012 {this is an old Tsarist holiday revived in 2005: editor}. The meeting had the theme, Patriarch St Germogen: The Russian Clergy and Church in Service to the Motherland… and the VRNS didn’t just idly choose it, either.

In the history of the Russian State, the decades around the turn of the 17th century witnessed one of its deepest predicaments; later generations called it the Time of Troubles. The Poles and Swedes invaded, there were many natural disasters, the power vacuum gave rise to confusion and disarray in the society of Old Rus, a crisis so deep that it threatened the very existence of Russian culture, Russian Orthodoxy, and the Russian state. The rising of the First and Second Opolchenie (People’s Militia) saved the nation and state. Ordinary people banded together to oppose the invaders, fought against them, and they elected a new tsar after they threw the foreigners out. Patriarch St Germogen, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church, was the spiritual leader of the Russian people; he inspired and blessed the people to defend the Motherland. He died a martyr’s death in February 1612.

Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias spoke at the meeting, saying, “St Germogen’s feat (подвиг) isn’t just a legacy of bygone days, it hasn’t lost its significance for us, his posterity. The lessons of the Smuta are relevant nowadays, as Russia’s subject to similar temptations and challenges. Once again, as 400 years ago, we see hostile acts aimed at undermining our spiritual values, at the weakening of the state. Once again, we see confusion in our society, sowed by those who rebuff our worthy national values, searching for “saviours” from outside Russia. They warn us not to bring our faith, our culture, and our ethics into the public square. They tell us that if we don’t shut up, things will get worse for us; they’ll desecrate our churches and smash our icons. As it was in times past, we can only oppose such if we have a unified Russian society, which they can’t browbeat or ignore. We must base our unity on loyalty to our spiritual and moral traditions”.

Yevgeni Yuryev, Advisor to the RF President on Social Policy, said, “Modern Russian society needs a so-called civil action or a peaceful mobilisation in defence of its traditional-national values and the Church. Even though sceptics may criticise it, the active intervention by the Church and its believers in public life is inevitable. Don’t be afraid, from the standpoint of the state and of reasonable believers and nonbelievers, in any country, in any time, the unshakeable authority of traditional religion, the authority of the Church, is a powerful prop underpinning the institution of the state. Those who seek to harm the Church’s credibility do harm to the state. Those who strengthen and promote its efforts benefit the country. In our recent past, our country went through a period of persecution and genocide at the hands of the Soviets. They killed hundreds of thousands of people, crucified priests before the Royal Doors, and hundreds of thousands were buried alive and left to rot in the camps. Yet, in today’s world, Russia is one of the more religious countries. Today, from the standpoint of the state, one of the most promising avenues of action is acting in partnership with the traditional religions of the country. We have to work on unleashing their potential, to contribute to our development”.

10 May 2012

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

What His Nibs condemns is the wretched Western meddling in the Orthosphere (not just Russia; not just the lands of Historic Rus). The West has nothing but tawdry atheism and materialism to offer (even though some of it comes packaged in “religious” verbiage). Yet, I find the Western Left LESS of a threat than the Western “conservatives”. Most Western Leftists are openly agnostic or sceptical at best, which means that believers are on their guard concerning them. One can work with them, as their faults are obvious.

The Western “conservative” is another story… especially the American Religious Right. There, irreligion comes vested in tawdry supposed pseudo-religious garb… that’s blasphemous… the sceptic is merely mistaken, but the Sectarian takes what’s of God and profanes it. Note well that “traditional religions” build up society. If such is so, then, the corollary is that Radical Religiosity tears down an ordered society. That’s to say that Mormonism, Pentecostalism, and any other form of Fundamentalism (in the loose colloquial sense) that you can imagine is Anti-Christian, in the apocalyptic sense, literally. The centre of Christian devotion is the Eucharist, which embodies Christ-With-Us (one finds the Eucharist even amongst the Radical Reformers); it isn’t “giving your heart to Jayzuss”, writhing “in the Spirit”, or wearing magic gotchies. One’s the Lord Himself Incarnate Amongst Us… the other’s sheer hypocrisy and a profanation of the Lord’s Name and the Holy Scripture.

The Church teaches Social Justice… the Church teaches Cooperation… the Church teaches, “You ARE your brother’s keeper”. The Sectarians are nothing but a religious apologia for social, religious, and economic anarchy (with a strong streak of self-satisfied philistine ignorance thrown in)… but they want to patrol your bedroom to make sure that you’re not using The Pill. There’s a real choice here. You can have “the race goes to the swiftest” or “come unto Me, all ye that are heavy-laded”… it’s your choice.



18 May 2012. A Point to Ponder…


There’s much smarmy pietism in the Western media over how the so-called Russian opposition is challenging “Russian Paternalism” and how great it is that Russians are becoming like Westerners. I wish that they’d all get a life and leave us alone. We don’t need their advice, we’ve nothing to learn from them, and we don’t want to ape them. What the Good Lord wants is Happy Warriors, like the people in the picture above. We don’t need Western “civilisation”… no sir, not after Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo.

You can have Glenn Beck or you can have His Holiness… is that such a difficult choice?


18 May 2012. Is Alikov Coming to the USA?


Some of us are following the events at the OCA Representation in Moscow… the starosta, Sergei Alikov, allegedly is skimming off the top. The grapevine sez that some of the OCA pooh-bahs sent for him or demanded an explanation (it’s not clear which). If I were the Moscow authorities, I’d watch the airports or (better yet) keep a tail on Alikov… if  he IS skimming, he’s got every motive to bolt and the OCA pooh-bahs have every motive to protect him… to keep it quiet. The names I hear whispered are Tosi, Jillions, and Kishkovsky… but there’s nothing solid on these jabronies. Yet, everyone knows that they’ve all been up to their ears in other schmutz… do recall that Tosi said, “The records simply don’t exist”, that Jillions willingly took the Uniates‘ shilling, and that Lyonyo’s been a hardball practitioner of ecclesiastical politics for years. That’s what out there now… it could change in a flash. Cookie the Bookie ain’t laying odds…


The Russian Church… Five Years of Unity


Today, the MP marks one of the most significant days in its history. Five years ago, the MP and the ROCOR overcame a Church schism by signing an Act of Canonical Communion at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour. The signing of this historic document not only put an end to an almost century-long rift between these Churches, it also reunited Russian people scattered by fate throughout the world. Archpriest Nikolai Balashov, Deputy Chairman of the MP Department of External Church Relations, said, “Yes, it was difficult to overcome our ideological estrangement, but it was necessary for both Churches and for all believers around the world. Ten years ago, it was difficult to imagine that we’d pray and take Communion together, and that nothing would separate us. Today, it’s hard to believe that only five years ago we couldn’t serve the Divine Liturgy together and receive Communion from one Chalice because so many things separated us. This is a great and happy day not only in the history of the Church in Russia, but in the history of Russia too, because the Church reunion meant that the Civil War’s effects were finally over”.

After the 1917 Revolution, some clergy fled because the Soviet government opposed religion, it didn’t recognise the Church. In their places of exile, Russian clergy set up their own Church, which became the ROCOR. In 1927, the ROCOR broke all links with the MP because the Church in Russia maintained relations with the atheist authorities. Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger of Moscow and all the Russias and Metropolitan Laurus Škurla of New York and Eastern America began the process of overcoming this rift, ending in the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion in 2007. Archpriest Seraphim Gan, the Private Secretary of the First Hierarch of the ROCOR, believed, “Still, several more years passed before the rift was overcome not only on paper but in people’s souls. At first, many people doubted the need for us to be in communion, but later, their attitude changed. They see what benefits came with the reconciliation. They began to travel to the homeland, visit the holy places, and talk to priests and believers in Russia. Now, this process has led many of them to review their attitude towards the MP”.

Today, the leaders of the united Russian Orthodox Church are facing a difficult and important responsibility. Russian theologian Yuri Tabak said, “The survival of the Russian Orthodox Church all over the world depends on how we address this task. We can’t overcome the schism (раскол) definitively until before both Churches resolve certain historical facts associated with the schism (расколом). This is hard to achieve, as it implies providing answers to several questions. To what degree must the Church remain independent of society and to what extent should it show flexibility to survive under a persecutorial régime? Was Metropolitan Sergei Stragorodsky’s recognition of the Soviet government an unavoidable necessity? Was that step justified by the need to preserve the Church or was it evidence of weakness? Until we answer these questions, we can’t achieve full unity in the Church”.

A ROCOR delegation headed by its First Hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral of New York and Eastern America, will take part in the celebrations marking the fifth anniversary of signing the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow. The delegation will visit the Butovo Poligon in Moscow where tens of thousands of people were shot by the organy in the first decades of the Soviet rule, and will serve a Pannikhida for Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger. After visiting Moscow, plans call for the delegation to proceed to the Diveyevo Convent and St Petersburg.

17 May 2012

Milena Faustova

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

The most important part of this, for us as diaspora Russian Orthodox Christians, is the submission by Professor Tabak. Take for instance, the heart of his proposition:

We can’t overcome the schism (раскол) definitively until before both Churches resolve certain historical facts associated with the schism (расколом). This is hard to achieve, as it implies providing answers to several questions. To what degree must the Church remain independent of society and to what extent should it show flexibility to survive under a persecutorial régime? Was Metropolitan Sergei Stragorodsky’s recognition of the Soviet government an unavoidable necessity? Was that step justified by the need to preserve the Church or was it evidence of weakness? Until we answer these questions, we can’t achieve full unity in the Church.

Firstly, note that Professor Tabak uses the strong word раскол, which always takes the meaning “schism” in Church contexts. This means that the ROCOR has a responsibility to abjure, publicly and without guile, its Cold War schism, which was the result of Hard Rightwingers hijacking it, not having a basis in matters of faith at all. In terms of “classical” heresy, it was closest to Donatism, with VERY STRONG elements of actual Sergianism (in its abject dog-like devotion to the woollier elements of the Mammon-worshipping US Republican Party). That is, “Sergianism” didn’t exist in the USSR, but it did in the USA (interesting titbit that, no?)!

The degree of pollution from rightwing politics depended on where one “came from”, in Australia and on the US West Coast, the people came from the interwar China ROCOR, which meant that they were less contaminated with the contagion brought by the Vlasovtsy and KONR collaborationist pigs than people in the Eastern US and South America (the worst pesthole of neo-fascism) were. Jordanville was the centre of this soulless rot in many ways (and the centre of great holiness at the same time… go figure… the flowers of Holiness and of Evil grew up together). Jordanville in its Classical Period (1948-2007) had all too many Fruit Loops rightwingers… they accepted Langley’s money freely; they lied about the existence of a crackbrained Fairy Tale “catacomb Church” (something that Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn debunked in the ‘60s).

Yet, what the ROCOR has most to bow in repentance for is its filthy theomachistic actions after the Fall of the Soviet Union (it advanced the cause of the foes of the Motherland and the Church, in exchange for filthy lucre). I remember the fanatics at Jordanville saying, “The communists are still in charge”… and they savaged anyone who advocated reunion mercilessly, in the most unchristian and nasty manner. I know… I advocated reunion, then… I expect never to hear, “I’m sorry” on this side of the veil. NEVER… it’s why it shall take another generation or two for the break to heal properly. The ROCOR refuses to repent for its consecration of schismatic filth such as Valentin Rusantsov and Agafangel Pashkovsky, it refuses to repent for its uncanonical formation of an anti-Church on the canonical territory of the Mother Church, and it refuses to repent for its collaboration with godless forces such as the Nazis and the CIA. It does NOT undo the holiness that’s obviously there… but it DOES delay proper healing by adherence to manifest lies (such as the refusal to admit that Vitaly Ustinov was booted out… he did NOT resign).

We must stand for the truth… but that’s HARD, so, we’ll probably take the “easy route”. That’s why the healing is going to take so long… because we will it so by our actions. God have mercy on us all.


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