Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

1 January 2013. From the Russian Web… You Can’t Make Shit Like This Up. Flour War in Spain… No Lie… Look at the Images

00a Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


00b Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


00c Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


00d Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


00f Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


00e Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


00g Flour War in Spain. Ibi in Valencia. 01.01.13


In Spain, there’s a small town in Valencia called Ibi. It doesn’t have much in the way of historical sites; it sure isn’t a typical resort with luxury hotels. Nevertheless, the town has an interesting tradition that annually draws in tourists and journalists. The town holds a flour war. Yep, every year, on 28 December, the town’s almost completely covered with flour by the time it’s all over. The festival of Els Enfarinats is part of the celebrations of the Day of the Innocents. The tradition is over 200 years old, and had its modern revival in 1981. It’s part of the Twelve Days of Christmas

It’s clear that all concerned have tons of fun. How much vino español flows during this, I wonder? Truly, you can’t make shit like this up…



Pope Slams Capitalism and Inequality Between Rich and Poor in New Year’s Message… This is Why Timothy Dolan did NOT Endorse Wet Willy for US President

Boris Olshansky. Jesus and the Money-Changers. 2006

Jesus and the Money-Changers

Boris Olshansky



On Tuesday, Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger said in his New Year‘s message that he hoped 2013 would be a year of peace and that the world was under threat from unbridled capitalism, terrorism, and criminality. The 85-year-old pope rang in the New Year with a mass for about 10,000 people in the Papal Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican on the day the Roman Catholic Church marked its World Day of Peace with initiatives around the world. He also spoke of peace after the mass, addressing tens of thousands of people who had followed the service from outside in St Peter’s Square from a balcony overlooking the square, saying, “A new year is like a trip. With the light and the grace of God, may it be the start of a path to peace for every person, every family, every country, and for the entire world”.

He thanked the world’s peacemakers, saying that they deserve praise for working, often behind the scenes, tirelessly, thanklessly and armed only “with the weapons of prayer and forgiveness”. Peace marchers carrying rainbow banners released blue balloons in a sunny but cold St Peter’s Square as the pope spoke. Earlier, in his homily, the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics decried “hotbeds of tension and conflict caused by growing instances of inequality between rich and poor”. He also denounced “the prevalence of a selfish and individualistic mindset which also finds expression in an unregulated capitalism, various forms of terrorism, and criminality”.

Benedict said he was convinced of “humanity’s innate vocation to peace” despite many problems and setbacks. A personal relationship with God could help all believers deal with what he called the “darkness and anguish” that sometimes defines human existence. He pointed up, “This is the inner peace that we want in the midst of events in history that are sometimes tumultuous and confused, events that sometimes leave us shaken”. In his full message for World Day of Peace, the pope called for a new economic model and ethical regulations for markets, saying the global financial crisis was proof that capitalism doesn’t protect society’s weakest members. He also warned that food insecurity was a threat to peace in some parts of the world. The pope strongly reaffirmed Roman Catholic opposition to gay marriage, stating that heterosexual marriage had an indispensable role in society.

Thousands of people took part in a peace march to the Vatican led by the Community of Sant’Egidio, a Catholic peace and charity group, which negotiated the Rome General Peace Accords, which led to the end of the Mozambican Civil War in 1992. Other peace marches took place in Italian cities, and Catholic dioceses around the world held their own events.

1 January 2013

Philip Pullella

Angus MacSwan



Editor’s Note:

I originally saw this on the Huff Post (see here for their post), as the wording chosen by Benedict Ratzinger was very precise and damning to crapitalism and the warfare state, I wanted to see the original post to make certain that the same emphasis was there. In short, it was. This means that all of the Catholics and Orthodox attempting to link us with rightwing “conservative” movements aren’t only wrong, they’re evil; they’re in opposition to direct teachings from Pope Benedict and HH. Both B16 and HH believe that the crapitalist nostrums of the Hard Right are fraudulent. This means, for us as Orthodox, that Victor Potapov, James Paffhausen, Rod Dreher, Patrick Reardon, Josiah Trenham, Alexander Webster, Terrence Mattingly, and all those who agree with them are outside the ambit of Christ’s Church as far as its social teaching is concerned.

You can’t dialogue with such… you can only oppose them with everything that God has given you. Socialism and Christ are congruent… the Free Market isn’t. Christ drove the merchants out of the temple, he didn’t approve of them. Christ said:

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Gospel according to St Matthew 6.24

That’s from the Sermon on the Mount. You can serve Christ (love and cooperation) or you can serve Mammon (greed and individualism). I’ve chosen. Now, it’s your turn… choose well…


400 Years Since Coronation of the First Romanov Tsar in 1613

01 imperial family nikolai II


11 June 2013 will mark the 400th anniversary of the enthronement of MikhailFyodorovich, the first tsar of the Romanov dynasty. The election of Mikhail as tsar by the Zemsky Sobor put an end to the Smuta, an era of great political instability. During the following three centuries, the Romanov dynasty did much to make Russia the world’s largest country… strong, united, and influential in the world politics.

In 1598, the Rurikid dynasty, which ruled Russia for more than 700 years, died out. The next 15 years were a period of political instability. Within this rather short period, many rulers sat on the Russian throne. Finally, in 1613, Mikhail Fyodorovich Romanov ascended it. In fact, few people expected Mikhail to become tsar. The two main pretenders for the throne were from the boyar families of the Godunovs and the Shuyskys. Neither of them looked upon Mikhail Romanov, the 16-year-old son of the First Hierarch of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias, Patriarch Philaret Nikitich Romanov as a serious rival. However, at the Zemsky Sobor, the majority voted for him.

Historian Yevgeni Pchyolov said, “To a large extent, members of the Romanov dynasty made the Russian Empire one of the world’s largest and strongest countries… Pyotr Veliki, Yekaterina Velikaya, Aleksandr Pavlovich, Nikolai Pavlovich, and others. The golden age of Russian civilisation was during the period of Romanov rule”. Many Romanovs married members of other European royal families, which also strengthened the position of Russia in the world. Historian Faina Grimberg stated, “Initially, the Romanovs tried to conclude marriages with Scandinavian royal families. From the time of Pyotr Veliki, a grandson of Mikhail Fyodorovich, an energetic pro-western reformer, who ruled Russia from 1682 to 1725, marriages between Romanovs and other European royal families became common. Mainly, these marriages were with German noble families… in particular, with the ducal family of Hessen-Darmstadt. In the late 19th century, the last Russian tsar, Nikolai Aleksandrovich, married a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, and Nikolai’s uncle, Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich, married another of Victoria’s granddaughters. This strengthened ties between Russia and Great Britain”.

However, probably, the closest kinship ties the Romanovs had were with the German Holstein-Gottorp dynasty. A daughter of Pyotr Veliki, Anna Petrovna, married Duke Karl Friedrich of Holstein-Gottorp. Their son, Pyotr Fyodorovich, ruled Russia for less than a year in 1762. He was the husband of Yekaterina Velikaya (ruled 1762-96) and the father of Pavel Petrovich (ruled 1796-1801). In Europe, often, the Romanov dynasty was referred to as the Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov dynasty. Other members of the Russian imperial family married into the ducal families of Württemberg and Baden. Tsar Nikolai Pavlovich (ruled 1825-55) was married to Princess Charlotte of Prussia of the House of Hohenzollern (known as Tsaritsa Aleksandra Fyodorovna in Russia). The Romanovs also had family ties with the Nassaus of the Netherlands, the Hanovers of Britain, and the Danish and Greek royal families.

Of course, it wasn’t only ties of kinship, but also the farsighted foreign policy of the Romanov emperors, that made Russia respected by all of Europe. Historian Yevgeni Pchyolov said, “After the 1917 revolution, the Communists tried to distance Russia from ‘bourgeoisWestern Europe. In the Soviet era, Russia maintained more ties with Eastern Europe, Asia, and other regions than with Western Europe. Now, the Russian government realises that Russia should be a full-fledged member of the European family. Here, the experience of Russian emperors, who always tried to maintain close ties with European countries, might be very helpful for us”. Meanwhile, for many Europeans, the Romanov dynasty is associated, firstly, with the well-known jeweller Karl Fabergé, who lived in Russia and made caskets in the form of eggs especially for the Russian imperial family.

31 December 2012

Aleksandra Dibizheva

Voice of Russia World Service



1 January 2012. A Scene Enacted in Millions of Homes This Morning…

00 Tiger. 01.01.13. Git Outta Here!


“I’m never going to drink like that again”… until the next occasion for a party arises. L’condition humaine strikes again… here’s some pickle juice and some aspirin… I understand… New Year‘s and all that…


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