Voices from Russia

Saturday, 10 October 2015

10 October 2015. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Belarusian Border Guards Stopped Armed Ukrainians at Ordinary Border Checkpoint

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Today, Belarusian TV channel Belarus-1 reported that Belarusian border guards barred 200 Ukrainians from entering Belarus, as some of them carried camouflage uniforms, bats, batons, and other weapons. A number of those attempting to enter the country were on the international wanted list as members of illegal armed terrorist groups. Sunday is the presidential election in Belarus. The border guards barred the Ukrainians from entry as they couldn’t explain their purpose in coming to Belarus and it turned out that the people that they said invited them were fictional.

10 October 2015

RIA Novosti

http://ria.ru/world/20151010/1299921412.html

Editor:

Can you believe this? You can’t make up shit like this. Chowderheaded Galician Uniate nationalists in CIA pay decided to enter Belarus at a regular border checkpoint instead of infiltrating as real pro operatives do! They carried uniforms and weapons. My God, this is a Kholkhol joke… but it’s for real. This is why the American project in the Ukraine is going to fail… look at who’s their allies. I need say no more…

BMD

DNR Doctors Saved Baby from LNR with Unique Skin Transplant Operation

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Today, Professor Emil Fistal, Director of the Gusak Institute of Emergency Reconstructive Surgery, told us that specialists at the Donetsk Burn Centre saved the life of an infant girl from the LNR by performing a complex skin transplant operation:

In the middle of September, a two-week-old girl came to us from Lugansk in serious condition. She had extensive necrosis of the skin. To save her, we had to perform a risky and complex operation to transplant skin tissue from the mother to the child. In my 50 years of medical practise, this was only the third such operation performed on a newborn. Implementation of such procedures in practical usage is extremely rare. Today our little patient feels well; we’re ready to discharge the baby.

The Donetsk Burn Centre is the informal name of the Department of Thermal Damage at the Gusak Institute of Emergency Reconstructive Surgery. It started operations in 1999 as part of the Oblast Central Hospital. Its specialists saved hundreds of lives of children and adults with burns of varying severity. One of the most severely injured patients at the facility was a 7-year-old boy wounded in the 24 September terakt* at the Torez Polygon*. Doctors continue to fight for his life.

  • Terakt: Russian acronym for “terrorist action”
  • Polygon: Russian colloquialism for a military base, due to polygonal concrete blocks on the drill ground and airfields

9 October 2015

DAN Donetsk News Agency

http://dan-news.info/obschestvo/vrachi-dnr-spasli-zhizn-mladenca-iz-luganska-s-pomoshhyu-unikalnoj-operacii-po-peresadke-kozhi.html

10 October 2015. A Thought from St Nikolaj Velimirović of Ohrid and Žiča

00 velimirovic. russia child with candle 101015

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10 October 2015. Something I Saw in the “Forward” Inspired Me…

00 A Word of Wisdom for Antsy Priests. 04.12

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I saw an article in the Jewish Daily Forward that fit our Orthodox Christian situation here in the diaspora. I found that by simply switching a few words (and dropping a sentence or two), an article relevant to Jews became pertinent to us as well. Give it a chance to speak to you, and give it a good look… it’s of “read n’ heed” quality…

BMD

The original article is here.

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Given the dramatic rise in the number of interfaith families amongst Orthodox, any move to accept clergy candidates with non-Orthodox spouses may seem like a logical advance. At some point, however, inclusion leads to diminishment. At some critical point, boundaries become so porous that they no longer function as boundaries, and standards become so vacuous that they lose all meaning. Such a move would bring us to that point, to the degree that it places pressure on all Orthodox… history suggests that it will… it risks damaging our religious, moral, and spiritual leadership at a time when we need it the most.

A suggested goal of this is to mirror the complexity and diversity of Orthodox life today. However, I fundamentally disagree. Clergy don’t reflect their congregations. Clergy lead their congregations… they do so not as leaders who bow to the fashion and trends of the moment, but as vivid exemplars of our best norms and intentions, as strong aspirational figures. After all, we don’t expect clergy… even clergy in liberal (much less strict) groups… to pray only sporadically… to go to liturgy just three times a year… to be more interested in tennis than the Holy Scripture. We don’t expect clergy to consider Russia or Greece or Serbia (to name just three of the Orthosphere homelands) just another place to visit when London and Paris get too expensive.

Why, then, shouldn’t we expect clergy to marry other Orthodox, to raise their children in an Orthodox home, to maintain that home as the most sacred place in the Orthodox ecosystem? Good clergy can and should welcome and relate to interfaith families; since so many in our congregations fit that description, clergy have done this for years. However, the mission must be to encourage and nurture Orthodox commitment in the home, parish, and beyond. Why else be a clergyman?

It doesn’t take much creativity to imagine the inherent complications when one has intermarried clergy. What if their spouse wants to baptise the children Anglican or Catholic? Attend “charismatic” meetings? Reject religion entirely? How, then, should we measure and judge our clergy’s commitment? Isn’t it less intrusive to continue to say that if you wish to become clergy, your spouse should be or become Orthodox? Some would say that such a stance reinforces a tribalism that they find personally alienating and morally troubling. Reinforcing tribalism?! Is that what commitment to the Orthodox oikumene has become… an alienating immoral tribalism? That’s depressing and perplexing.

The growing numbers of intermarried Orthodox pose a serious challenge to our Church in America, but also an exciting one. It’s a propitious time to offer bold ideas to make Orthodoxy more accessible and welcoming, to strengthen commitment amongst ethnic Orthodox, and to encourage others to join us. We need leaders to model that commitment, fully, without embarrassment or hesitation, even at personal sacrifice. That is what aspirational leadership requires, and what 21st century Orthodox deserve.

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We got over the crisis of the Church War… we’re getting over integrating non-ethnics into the Church (not as many as some fear or some want, though)… we’ve accepted English as the main liturgical language here in the American/Canadian diaspora (with holdouts here and there). I believe that the next hurdle is uniting the three “Russian Orthodox” bodies here. “Pan-Orthodox” dreams are delusions… chimeras that won’t see fruition in our lifetime, if ever. However, “all-Russian” (OCA, MP, ROCOR) unity is within our grasp. Do think on it. The yearning is there, both amongst clergy and amongst believers… I believe that’s the challenge that God is setting before us. That they may all be as one

It’s certainly doable and possible… however, who’ll make the first step towards it? That none of us know at present… yet, I’ll say this… it’ll be a surprise and seemingly contradictory. That’s how God works… in mysterious ways. Think and pray on it tomorrow, when you’re at liturgy…

BMD

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