Voices from Russia

Monday, 11 March 2013

11 March 2013. St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church Puts GOAA Between Rock and Hard Place… You’re NOT Supposed to Allow a Clergyman Suspended by a Proper Holy Synod to Act as a Clergyman on Your Property

00 Devil Stirring a Pot


Click here… it’s more evidence that St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church is spitting on the OCA Holy Synod by allowing Ray Velencia to act as a clergyman there. This is highly irregular and more than slightly wacky. Firstly, the parish didn’t get permission from Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis to defy the OCA Holy Synod. No way, no how… no matter how much ‘rasslin’ may go on between the Russians and the Greeks, both sides respect the other’s Synodal decisions. That is, to invite Ray Velencia to act as a clergyman on GOAA property was inappropriate and it was an idiosyncratic action of the parish, which dragged in the whole GOAA. You see, if this parish has RV act as a clergyman, they say, in effect, “We reject the disciplinary action of the OCA Holy Synod and we hold it in contempt”. No matter which way you slice this rotten hunk of bologna, it stinks to high heaven.

That is, Ray Velencia holds the OCA Holy Synod in contempt, for his acting as a clergyman in a GOAA venue is contrary to his suspension. St Demetrios parish holds the OCA Holy Synod in contempt, for refusing to comply with a legit decision. Velencia is a clergyman incardinated in the OCA, NOT the GOAA. Indeed, the only way that Ray could serve in a GOAA parish is with the permission of his ruling bishop, which he doesn’t have. Conversely, the only legit way for St Demetrios to have Ray serve there is with the permission of their ruling bishop, which they don’t have either. In short, this rebellious OCA priest and this rebellious GOAA parish have committed their respective archdioceses to a pointless and bootless wrangle. Frankly, it’s easy to solve. Vladyki Demetrios should say, “I’m sorry that this untoward event happened. I didn’t know about it, but I’m responsible for this mess”. Tikhon Mollard should say, “You don’t need to apologise… YOU didn’t do anything. I know that you’ll keep this suspended cleric from ever serving in any of your parishes ever again”. Actually, Demetrios Trakatellis would be the “lawnmower”, and the St Demetrios clergy would be the “grass” (as in, “Your ass is grass and I’m the lawnmower”).

Howard Needle claims that RV’s case is “highly meritorious”…  I wonder what any judge would say after finding out that Sir Ray represented himself as a clergyman after his public, merited, and quite-in-order suspension from the clergy (he’s not supposed to dress as or represent himself as a cleric). That would blow RV’s cred all to hell. After all, a “suspension” in canonical terms is the equivalent of being found guilty of a misdemeanour in legal terms (defrocking is the equivalent of a felony, I’d say). That is, Ray is a convicted criminal in Church terms… and the OCA Holy Synod handed out an appropriate punishment… which he refuses to respect (and the jerks at St Demetrios back him up… as their repeated invites to RV to speak there prove).

Here’s how a reasonable and decent person would solve it. Demetrios would give a pro forma apology to Tikhon, who’d graciously refuse it. Demetrios would “bad dog” St Demetrios for making him step in a cow pat unnecessarily (and in public, no less). Tikhon would convene the OCA Holy Synod, which would then defrock Ray for representing himself as a clergyman whilst under suspension. The two bishs “win” and the bad boys “lose”… what’s not to like?

Quo vadis? This IS a defining moment, after all…




11 March 2013. Ray Velencia Deliberately Misrepresenting Himself as a Priest in Good Standing… The OCA Holy Synod is Now Under Obligation to Defrock this Defiant and Disobedient Poseur

01 busted


The following is from a publication of St Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Parkville MD*:

The Way

The Orthodox Christian Way – The Orthodox Christian Way – Tremendous Success  

The Orthodox Christian Way program began most successfully on October 9th in the Hermes Center with more than 100 participants. This adult education effort was first conceived under the guidance of the late Sandy Sarantinos, in whose memory the program is being offered. Three 4-week sessions are planned, beginning with the current one in October, to be followed by programs in March and October 2013. Fr Lou and Fr Ernie have led the planning efforts, and, with Fr Ray Valencia, comprise the panel of clergy which answers questions about the topic of the evening after the presentation. Fr Ray’s talk covered “What is Orthodoxy? History and Comparative Religion.” It was a most informative and thought-provoking activity, which included small group discussions, a light dinner, and fellowship. All are looking forward to future sessions ~ be looking for sign-up opportunities in the coming months!


I have saved the above PDF in my files. I was unable to download the photo attached to it, but its caption read, “Our Panel of Priests  … Fr Ray Velencia, Fr Ernest Arambiges & Fr Louis J. Noplos”.

* For those not in the know, Parkville MD is close to Howard Needle’s office. One wonders… is Mr Needle a friend of someone in the St Demetrios parish?


Raymond Velencia is under suspension, ergo, he can’t represent himself as a priest under any circumstance. Sir Ray dressed in clericals in the photograph, and he allowed himself to be represented as a priest. As he’s under canonical suspension, this is a disgusting abomination of the worst sort, and the OCA Holy Synod is under the obligation to defrock him immediately, without any delay, and without shilly-shallying. That’s what JP’s pal Podmoshensky did too… he represented himself as a priest whilst under suspension. That’s a grave no-no. Therefore, the ROCOR Holy Synod gave Podmoshensky the heave-ho. The OCA Holy Synod has the duty to do likewise to Mr Velencia. In addition, Mr Velencia has represented himself as a priest in legal documents, which I could present to any court in the land to prove my assertion.

Does Howard Needle even know that his client is under canonical suspension? Does Mr Needle know that for Mr Velencia to represent himself as a priest is a breach of canonical order of the highest sort, and that it’s not a minor offence in the least? Indeed, does Howard Needle know ANYTHING at all about the canons and practises of the Orthodox Church? If he did, he’d know that Sir Ray had committed one of the foulest acts in the book… one punishable by deposition from the clerical state. I’m not afraid of RV and his loud disgusting claque of admirers. He’s a man who’s been ORDERED to deport himself as a layman and to NOT act as a cleric in any way, shape, or form… but he’s refused to obey the wishes of the OCA Holy Synod. Such rebellion has only one result… deposition.

Mr Needle, I’d disassociate myself from Raymond Velencia if I were you. Do you really want to be mixed up with someone who’s representing himself as a clergyman in good standing, when he’s actually a disgraced cleric publicly disciplined by the Holy Synod having authority over him?

It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? Bite the coin before accepting it…



The Final Days of Hugo Chavez: How He Actually Died

00 Hugo Chavez. Venezuela. funeral. 11.03.13


Sources report that Venezuelan President Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías slid into a coma the day before he died of respiratory failure after cancer spread into his lungs. Chávez’s precise condition was one of the world’s best-kept secrets ever since he announced that he had cancer in June 2011. However, since his death this week, details emerged of the 58-year-old president’s battle with cancer and his last moments in hospital with close family and senior aides. One government source told Reuters, referring to ministers’ visits to the Havana and Caracas hospitals where he spent his final weeks, unable to speak and breathing through a tube, “They used iPads and other tools to give him policy presentations”. When it was time to appoint a new Foreign Minister, aides showed Chávez a list of several possible names, and he put a tick-mark beside one… Elías José Jaua Milano… before signing the document.

After he announced in 2011 that doctors detected cancer in his pelvic area, and had a “baseball-sized” tumour removed, Chávez insisted on the most restricted discretion over the publication of the details of his health. That was one reason that he chose to have treatment in Cuba, where his friendship with past and present leaders Fidel and Raúl Castro Ruz and the ruling Communist Party‘s firm grip on information guaranteed him such discretion. Chávez spent several months there on various visits, and underwent four operations, the last of which on 11 December was the most complicated. His last words to aides before flying to Havana for that operation were, “I’ll be back for sure”. Indeed, Chávez did fly home, but in such a bad state, that he couldn’t appear in public. Two sources said that he died of respiratory failure on Tuesday afternoon after the cancer had metastasised into his lungs.

A medical source said that during two initial operations in mid-2011, Chávez had a tumour removed from his intestines, and doctors diagnosed sarcoma in the psoas muscle that runs from the lower part of the vertebral column to the pelvis. Though chemotherapy and radiotherapy kept the disease at bay and allowed him to run for re-election in October 2012, Chávez took heavy doses of medicines to enable him to make some heavily-staged campaign appearances, albeit in much pain. On the last day of the campaign, standing for hours under a heavy rainfall, Chávez could bear it no longer, so, he cancelled a final rally. After he won the 7 October election by an impressive 11 percentage points, an exhausted and suffering Chávez made only a few more public appearances before he had to return to Cuba a few weeks later.

The 11 December operation lasted six hours and left Chávez in a dire state, haemorrhaging, with a severe lung infection. He lost his pulse several times during the surgery and doctors had to resuscitate him. A medical source said that Cuban doctors designed a special antibiotic to counter the infection, but even so, Chávez had to undergo a tracheotomy to enable him to breathe through a tube in his windpipe. In his last few days, a heavily-medicated Chávez met only with his closest family and aides despite clamour from his Venezuelan supporters… and opponents… to see him. They didn’t even allow one of his closest friends and allies, Bolivia‘s leftist President Juan Evo Morales Ayma, in to see him on his visits to Caracas and Havana. On Saturday, government ministers were with him for about five hours, before a rapid deterioration began. He slipped into a coma on Monday and died at 16.25 VET (12.55 PST. 15.55 EST. 20.55 UTC. 00.55 MSK Wednesday. 07.55 Wednesday AEST) on Tuesday.

10 March 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


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