Voices from Russia

Friday, 13 July 2012

13 July 2012. Now, For Something TRULY Important…


Now, let’s talk about something TRULY important… the Right Honourable Larry, the Present Incumbent Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Let’s all give a hand to one of the more active and useful civil servants in Her Majesty’s Government. Indeed, 10 Downing Street is free of rodent infestation due to Larry’s ceaseless and mostly unsung efforts.

All hail to the Most Puissant Larry, Chief Mouser Extraordinaire! Ura! Ura! Ura! …and don’t forget to put the salmon in the bowl, y’hear…



13 July 2012. Rumour Mill Working Overtime… HH NOT Coming to the USA This Autumn


Of course, JP’s fall has unleashed the rumour mill. Here’s something from Monomakhos:

I believe that Patriarch Kirill’s scheduled to be in the USA in the fall {not so: editor}, and I’ve heard that unity is on his mind… the Moscow patriarchal parishes, ROCOR, and the OCA joining together… they may even pick up a few ACROD parishes along the way. The first step is a leadership change at the top… Jonah out, Hilarion in. Justinian as the rector of the 97th St cathedral as the representation church in the USA, the Baker Mansion goes, and the historic 2nd St cathedral is the NYC cathedral… ROCOR loses a cathedral and the OCA loses a metropolitan. Now, why did the OCA, all of a sudden, create a plethora of archbishops? Posturing, all posturing. the question becomes, “What’s next?” There have already been a slew of concelebrations and invitations… almost as though it’s, “Get your acts together before I get there or I’ll ensure that you do”. Bottom-line… stop focusing on Jonah… he made some mistakes and got caught. The question to focus on is what’s next… perhaps, autonomous Russian jurisdictions for the USA, of Canada, and South/Central America…  three autonomous church groups of similar national character, with consistent policies, consistent liturgies… each parish gets to choose their calendar, for the time being, at least. The milk is spilled, stop crying over it… the question is what the future will bring, and we must consider all three groups in this.



Firstly, “rjklancko” has the “feel” of initials, rather than a phoney username. “R J Klancko” has a “Pittsburghpo-nashemu quality to it, doesn’t it? That in itself means that this poster is more serious than the usual Monomakhos bloviator. Its pure speculation, but it’s pretty good, to speak frankly. For instance, the Synod HQ on Park Avenue is going to remain MP property as a spiritual and cultural centre… the present “cathedral” there will keep on, downgraded to chapel status (which is what it truly is, in any case). There’s no rumour of any move by HH towards a North American visit in the autumn. Such would require visas and preparations, and such aren’t in evidence. It’s not even in the rumour mill pipeline at the Centre. However, our present interlocutor may not have Centre contacts; so, give them a break. It’s logical… and it’s a much more grounded submission than the usual konvertsy blather that you hear on the internet. There’s no mention of the London Conference in October… perhaps, that’s what our interlocutor confused it with.

Now, if we speak of the London Conference, it’s going to be a meeting of Russian bishops from all over the world (outside of the CIS countries). London’s the venue as it’s a central location with good airline connections all over. Many (if not most) of the bishops are coming from Western Europe, and London allows them to use high-speed trains to get there (Western Europe is far ahead of the USA in rail technology). There are contradictory reports out there on whether HH is going to be present, but I’d say that it’s a good bet. The good word “out there” is that the ROCOR and MP dioceses abroad will merge under the ROCOR’s legal framework (legal incorporation’s a much more important thing than most realise). Metropolitan Hilarion Kapral will retain First Hierarch status of the ROCOR-at-large (all reports that I’ve heard indicate that he’s going to retain Australian residence). A new man will become Metropolitan of the North American District. St Nick’s on East 97th on the Upper East Side (it’s three loud farts from the Guggenheim, and a leisurely 15-minute stroll from the Met) is going to remain a podvorie of the Patriarch, Park Avenue’s becoming a spiritual/cultural centre (and residence of the Metropolitan), and the Cathedral in the Lower East Side on 2nd Street will be the cathedra of the Diocese of New York (if the OCA falls apart, as it very well might). There’s no news on Jordanville; although one of my contacts said scornfully, “It’s become nothing but a minor Ukrainian skete”. Do note that no bishop for Jordanville was named after Laurus Škurla‘s death… a first since 1948.

JP’s removal had nothing directly to do with this. It’s becoming clearer that the coup (for such it was) was an attempt on the part of the First Families to remove someone that they felt was a danger to their notions of “autocephaly”. Publicly, so far, we’ve seen that Lyonyo, Tosi, Jillions, and the Synod are involved. No one else has stepped forward. It may well be that this was a bad attempt at a Bennigsen moment. I’d say, “If you wish to strangle the tsar, you’d best do it right, or, it’ll come back to haunt you”. The hutsky-klutsky way in which events unfolded… there’s still no “narrative” from the putschists a week after the event… points to something ginned up on the fly and on the sly. We don’t even know the details of the meeting between Jillions and Fathausen. No one will say whether someone else was present or not. My guess (for guess it is) is that Jillions had Potapov at his side. Kish took Gan through the OCA Chancery at the same time… so, it’s not inconceivable. That’s probably what disarmed JP… JP considered Potapov a friend, but Potapov was nothing of the sort (do recall Potapov’s recent vituperative attack on one of his relatives on the main ROCOR website… that’s the evidence for his nasty personality). Don’t forget, Potapov’s related to the Rodzianko clan through marriage, and he’s ALWAYS been the “fixer” and facilitator in OCA/ROCOR relations, even during the Church War.

The present brouhaha is the Last Hurrah of the First Families apparat. With the most desperate tenacity, they’re trying to hold on to their Grand Fenwickian titles and fiefs. For instance, Lebedeff’s been silent… this is the same way that he acted after the August Events in ’91. He was silent for two weeks, and only opened his yap when he was sure of the Jordanville line… just like he made a 180 in his attitude after Laurus changed policy at the turn of the millennium. It’s NOT going to work. HH has a candidate for the white hat here, and it’s nobody “local”. Indeed, the plotters may have made HH’s work easier, paradoxically enough, as nobody but First Family members, HOOMie cultists, and clueless konvertsy believe in the OCA anymore, because of the events of the past ten years. Do recall that Herman was at St Nick’s in Wilkes-Barre PA when Yustinian was there, and Yustinian was seen berating Hermie in public. The Centre’s going to “clean house”, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see the HOOMies and some of the konvertsy clomp off and form a vagante “rump OCA” (shades of Alex Riggle)… with Peterson or JP as “Metropolitan?” It’s a possibility…

Watch the London Conference closely… that’s the real deal. Of course, the coup could collapse before then. There’s no groundswell of support for the putschists… and the Centre’s ignoring the coup. There’s no news of the “resignation” on patriarchia.ru or Interfax-religion.ru… pravoslavie.ru (both sides of the site) has no new information… that’s not good news for the putschists. It’s as if it “didn’t happen”. That’s not what the putschists or JP need. There are no news items, but there is this on patriarchia.ru in its section on the OCA (click here to access it in Russian):

On 9 July 2012, a decision of the Holy Synod of Bishops appointed the most-senior member of the Holy Synod, His Eminence Nathaniel Popp, Archbishop of Detroit, the ruling bishop of the OCA Romanian Archdiocese, as Locum Tenens of the OCA. It named Bishop Michael Dahulich of New York and New Jersey as the Administrator {that’s in the Russian original: editor} of the OCA.

Note well that there’s no mention of “resignation”. However, to repeat what a contact told me, “If he survives, so be it; if he doesn’t, so be it. We’re not getting involved. You know the old saying, ‘If you don’t touch it, it won’t stink’”. There IS change afoot. That’s why the First Families moved. I don’t think that the Centre orchestrated it, but trust me, HH is going take full advantage of the opening that he’s been given. The OCA is dead… the only question is, “When will the coroner write up the death certificate?” I wonder what that’ll do to Sir Ray’s lawsuit against Fr Mike? That would be a pretty titbit to present to a judge and jury, wouldn’t it? Perspirin’ minds wanna know…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 13 July 2012

Albany NY

13 July 2012. You’ve Heard Me Talk of “The Jug”… Here It Is and Here’s What’s It In It…



When I say, “Pass the jug”, I mean it, and it better have the good stuff in it…


13 July 2012. It’s Friday the Thirteenth! RUN AND HIDE!


How many of you out there have triskaidekaphobia, or its cousins paraskevidekatriaphobia or friggatriskaidekaphobia? NO! I’m not making these up… it’s for real (the terms, not the fear). Your intrepid editor says to fill a shot glass with your fave adult beverage and chug it down. Afterwards, shout out a heartfelt, “Fuck all superstition!” Repeat as often as necessary. I take no responsibility for what happens if you happen to take my advice too… ENTHUSIASTICALLY. You’re on your own…


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