Voices from Russia

Saturday, 21 July 2012

21 July 2012. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Russia May Consider Early Repayment of Its World Bank Debt


Russia May Consider Early Repayment of Its World Bank Debt

Sergei Yolkin



Russia may consider early repayment of the greater portion of its World Bank debt. According to Deputy Finance Minister Sergei Storchak, Russia may be able to repay approximately 80 percent of its outstanding loans; however, this would require preliminary discussions and arrangements with the World Bank.

23 October 2007

Sergei Yolkin





Washington Post: OCA Head Metropolitan Jonah Dismissed Over Alleged Rape Cover-Up


The Orthodox Church in America announced that it forced its controversial leader, Metropolitan Jonah, to resign earlier this month chiefly because he’d failed to remove a priest accused of rape. in a statement dated Monday 16 July, the Holy Synod, the OCA leadership board, said, “In light of the recent widely-publicised criminal cases involving sexual abuse at Penn State and in the Philadelphia Archdiocese and the Kansas City Diocese of the Roman Catholic Church, the extent of the risk of liability to which Metropolitan Jonah exposed the Church can’t be overstated”.

The case concerned a priest who Jonah accepted into the OCA despite knowing about the man’s past problems with alcohol and record of violence toward women. Then, the synod said, in February of this year, Jonah, 52, learned that the priest was accused of rape in 2010 and he didn’t alert the police or church authorities or investigate the matter. OCA leaders also said Jonah, who was elected metropolitan in 2008, was involved with unnamed others in attempting to keep the alleged victim and a relative of hers from pursuing the case, telling them, “Their salvation depended on their silence”. Jonah resigned last week and in a letter “begged forgiveness … for whatever difficulties have arisen from my own inadequacies and mistakes in judgment”. Monday’s statement was an effort to clarify rumours that he’d been forced to resign over a rape case. The incident was only the latest in a long-running drama that has shaken the OCA, which includes about 85,000 members in North America, during Jonah’s stormy tenure. The OCA is one of several Orthodox Christian bodies in the USA.

Jonah was born James Paffhausen in Chicago, and raised Episcopalian, but converted to Orthodoxy when he was 18. Soon after his election as bishop, and then, First Hierarch, of the OCA, he sparked tension by appearing to try to align the church with conservative culture warriors. The tensions only grew worse over time, and what synod leaders called his “unilateral” style of decision-making led them to ask him to go on medical leave last fall. The alleged rape cover-up was apparently the last straw. The synod said in a statement detailing “a long series of poor choices that have caused harm to our Church”, “When this latest problem came to our attention at the end of June, we felt that we had no choice but to ask him to take a leave of absence or submit his resignation”. Church authorities are cooperating with police on the rape investigation against the unnamed priest, and the OCA said it’d continue to pay Jonah’s salary and benefits, at least until the next meeting of the Holy Synod, due in October.

20 July 2012

David Gibson

Religion News Service

As quoted in the Washington Post


21 July 2012. A Colloquy on “Reliable Sources” on Orthodoxy…

Despite all the talk of books and scholars below… THIS is where it’s at… it’s the PEOPLE’S CHURCH, it’s not dead and lifeless paper n’ ink spilled by overweening and hubristical scholars. One of these ordinary believers counts more in the balance than ALL of the scholars mentioned below. That’s the way it is…


I sent this to a friend… she asked me what books to read on Church History. God love me, the best stuff’s in Russian, but she’s got no facility in it. Therefore, I racked my brain and came up with this:

OUCH! Most of the works that I rely on for Church History are in Russian. Ostrogorsky’s The History of the Byzantine State is available in English… you need to have a handle on the story of the Christian Roman (“Byzantine“) Empire to have a handle on “Church History” per se. Vasiliev’s History of the Byzantine Empire is a must, along with Fyodor Uspensky’s History of the Byzantine Empire (both available in English). Another good work is The Eastern Orthodox Church: Its Thought and Life by BenzWhy Angels Fall: a Journey through Orthodox Europe from Byzantium to Kosovo by Victoria Clark is a good read… not always spot-on, but a rollicking read, and not purely Western pabulum. That’s not to mention the crackpot History: Fiction or Science? by Anatoly Fomenko… it’s a complete utterly nutters theory. It’s something that one has to read to have a good sense of what’s completely crackbrained… it’s sheer flapdoodle and nonsense from stem to stern (like all overeducated intellectual phonies, Fomenko’s utterly humourless… he’s a credentialised mathematician dabbling in history… he performs the miracle of making SVS look PROFESSORIAL by comparison).

As for online sources, go to pravoslavie.ru, stick to the Russian side and run a “machine translation” (the English side is contaminated by HOOMies)… too much of the English translation online in “Orthodox” websites is done by HOOMies such as Nectaria Rees… and they leave things out! A warning to the wise.

My question to you… “What do you consider an indispensable read for the non-specialist in English on the topic?” I’m an internet journalist, NOT a scholar… so, as Toad said to Frog, “Will you still be my friend?” I need some help with this one… I wanted to refer her to the Tolkaya Bibliya (the fully-annotated version of the Synodal translation), but that’s only in Russian. We’re paying dearly for sucking up to godless “Evangelicals” (a Russian bishop called them “Christian atheists”… and he was RIGHT) and their arrant nonsense. Be good… “Yes, I have no bananas”… that’s why I’m asking you…


Here’s one reply:

Definitely, the Ostrogorsky, I would’ve mentioned that, too. A neighbour who’s also a Byzantinist recommended it highly as well. I’d also recommend W H C FrendThe Rise of Christianity. That’s good for up to the Arab invasions, which is the formative period for all the major doctrines, so she’d learn a lot from that. It covers all the personalities and controversies in sufficient depth to get a clear picture of the topic. It’s written in a direct and clear, not too high, not too low style and it’s occasionally humorous. Frend was an excellent scholar, both a historian and archaeologist. He’s that old style of Anglican scholar, from a lost world of integrity in scholarship. Of course, there’s always Eusebius, the Ecclesiastical History. Eusebius is still a great read. Penguin has a nice paperback edition, and there’s a nice illustrated edition edited by Paul Maier, for those who would prefer more maps, etc. Those are for the very early stuff, of course, just up to the fourth century. However, Eusebius really is indispensible. His is the first church history, after all!

I’d also recommend the Louth (Greek East and Latin West) and Papadakis (The Christian East and the Rise of the Papcy) volumes in that SVS Press (I know, I know, but these two are good) The Church in History series. The other two volumes are awful (Kesich and Meyendorff) and one should avoid them. Nevertheless, the Louth and Papadakis are very helpful and are excellent in correcting the self-serving lies published in Catholic and Protestant (church and other) histories. People seem not to be writing single volume Church History books anymore, unfortunately. On the other hand, you get things like the Ware or McGuckin books, which are transparently presentations of pet theories and whatnot, and quite light on the actual history. Another in the same vein as Virginia Clark is William DalrympleFrom the Holy Mountain. He goes to the places that St John Moschos visited way back when, and describes the generally grim state of Christianity in the various Middle Eastern hellholes that those places have become. He’s a lively writer, though, so it’s a good read. That’s about all I can think of!


I also got this:

The first (history) part of Ware’s Orthodox Church is OK (NOT the second part on the teachings). Strangely enough, two weeks ago, a person who wanted a short brochure, not a book, on the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, asked me the same thing. There’s just nothing, except Cold War propaganda (from both sides). The Wikipedia entry on the history of the Russian Church is, as usual, SVS crap (they seem to control Wikipedia). However, ALL of Bishop Alexander Mileant’s stuff on the internet is brilliant… he has a very good one on the teachings of the Orthodox Church.


This is a good example of the level of correspondence that passes between my Cabinet and me. That’s quite unlike Rod Dreher, who’s an idiosyncratic American Rightwing loner, who writes from his own selfish and cramped perspective. One has to feel sorry for those contaminated by Sectarian thought as he is; they simply don’t have a feeling for the fullness of life because they don’t exercise the full communitarianism of Real Christianity (they believe in the crackbrained individualism and individual salvation of the Sectarians).

There IS a REAL Church… and Rod Dreher, Freddie M-G, Terrence Mattingly, and the HOOMies do NOT represent it.    


A View from Moscow by Valentin Zorin… “Bilderbergers” Try to Rally the Troops


The heads of the two most powerful financial empires of the world 97-year-old David Rockefeller, and 76-year-old Lord Jacob Rothschild, decided to combine a large portion of their assets. Although the participants of the transaction preferred to operate in an environment far away from publicity, news of it still leaked out to the media. An influential and well-informed source on big business affairs in Britain, The Financial Times, reported that after long negotiations and secret meetings, the Rockefellers and the Rothschilds “seem to have decided to form a fundamental and long-term union, joining their forces”. This is all the more sensational because these two families have keenly competed in global financial markets for nearly 150 years. The fact that age-old enemies formed an alliance demonstrates the anxiety felt by the captains of capitalism, as they realise the depth and seriousness of the current threats to the global economy.

Combining the power of these two powerful financial groups is actually a continuation of a policy that started over half a century ago. In May 1954, the then-heads of the same two families, Edmond de Rothschild and Laurence Rockefeller, met in the Bilderberg Hotel in Amsterdam in an atmosphere of great secrecy. The most influential financiers and politicians conferred on a private agenda. Experts believe that they outlined the basis of the political and economic policies followed by the Western powers in the decades ahead. Since then, these secret gatherings are held annually. This year, the secret meeting of financial and political bigwigs lasted from 31 May to 2 June in Chantilly VA. As always, the deliberations and their outcomes were shrouded in mystery.

Members of the “club” still shun “daylight” and any publicity. We only know that bankers, prime ministers, ex-presidents, and other famous world leaders meet away from prying eyes, usually in expensive hotels and luxury resorts. All come alone, without advisers and translators. Of course, the press isn’t present, since no outsiders know where and when these secret meetings occur. The authoritative Encyclopaedia Britannica stated that these meetings comprise what’s called the “Bilderberg Group”:

The meeting takes place in an informal setting, and those who have an impact on national and international politics discuss important issues. After each meeting, an unofficial “Top Secret” report is distributed to past and current participants, ensuring the continuity of the Group’s policies.

Some politicians, including well-known figures, have called the Bilderberg Group a world government. That’s an exaggeration, but the fact that an informal body, operating on a continuous basis and surrounded by secrecy, determines much of the political and economic direction in the West, we can hardly doubt. A new alliance of the Rockefeller and Rothschild clans… the Founding Fathers of the Bilderberg Group… when a global crisis threatens the foundations of the post-war economic model of the West, is intended, as they say, to “close ranks” and increase the influence of a secret community of Western bankers and politicians in the course of affairs in world economic and political policy.

12 July 2012

Valentin Zorin

Voice of Russia World Service


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