Voices from Russia

Friday, 1 June 2018

Pardon Me, Buddy


On Thursday, following his recent pardon of conservative author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, US President Donald Trump informed reporters aboard Air Force One that he’s “seriously thinking” of exercising his power to benefit both lifestyle mogul Martha Stewart and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. Critics believe Trump’s motivation for pardoning these particular public figures is to send a message to the US Department of Justice and the FBI amid as Robert Mueller continues his special counsel investigation. Considering that former FBI Director James Comey had ties to both Stewart and Blagojevich’s past cases in some way, suspicions were raised even further when it became clear Trump knew little about the individuals he’s thinking of pardoning. Trump claimed on Thursday:

[Martha Stewart] used to be my biggest fan in the world… before I became a politician.

While Trump is correct about her not being a fan of his politics (as evidenced by her vocal support for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election), to claim that she was even a fan prior to 2016 appears to be a stretch, considering this 2007 video. In the case of Blagojevich, Trump concocted his own facts related to the former governor in the same 31 May remarks. Possibly mixing up years with actual corruption charges, Trump added four years to Blagojevich’s actual 14-year sentence saying:

Eighteen years is, I think, really unfair.

Either Trump is doing his former Celebrity Apprentice stars a solid, or there’s something strange behind his pardon party.

1 June 2018

Sputnik International



Kim Jong-un: Commitment to Denuclearise Peninsula Unchanged


On Thursday, DPRK state outlet KCNA reported that Kim Jong Un announced that Pyongyang’s determination to denuclearise the Korean Peninsula hasn’t changed since agreeing to a summit with US President Donald Trump. Kim made the remarks during a meeting with Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov. Moscow and Pyongyang will hold a bilateral summit during 2018. Lavrov arrived in Pyongyang roughly 15 hours ago, after DPRK Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong Ho asked him to come. Kim said the country’s will for denuclearisation is “unchanged and consistent and fixed”, and that he hopes it, as well as developing a relationship with the USA, can be arranged “stage by stage”. Lavrov commended Kim’s commitment and the DPRK’s decision to warm relations with the ROK and the USA, saying the Korean Peninsula had entered a “phase of stability”. Russia hopes the potential Washington-Pyongyang summit is a success. The two officials and their delegations also discussed developing political and economic coöperation.

The same day, speaking aboard Air Force One, the US President’s personal aircraft, a White House aide told reporters that Trump expects that DPRK General Kim Yong Chol, a high-ranking official in the DPRK’s ruling Workers Party, to visit the White House on Friday and deliver a letter from Kim. Trump and Kim will potentially meet in Singapore on 12 June. Trump agreed in principle to the summit in March, backed out weeks later, and then agreed to consider it again within hours. On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted a dinner with DPRK officials in New York City. The former CIA director called it a “Good working dinner”. In remarks Thursday, he noted that US and DPRK teams are at work in Singapore preparing for the possible summit, and said:

We think that working together, the people of the USA and the DPRK can create a future defined by friendship and collaboration, not by mistrust and fear and threats.

1 June 2018

Sputnik International              



The DPRK is making it clear, even to the clueless and racist Anglos, that Russia and China are watching its back. The USA had best heed this, for if it were to attack the DPRK, Russia and China WOULD intervene, just as they did in 1950. Ponder this… in 1950, the PLA was a light infantry force. The Chinese accepted heavy losses to drive back the American aggressors. Today, the PLA is a fully modern mechanised army. It has the power to throw the hubristical Anglos into the sea and out of the Korean peninsula. Shall the Anglos take heed? I’d say that they should…


On Injustices in Church Life


The Church, the Incarnate Body of Christ, has always been the central battlefield between God and the world, whose prince is Satan. For this reason, the world constantly tries to destroy and corrupt the Church, infiltrating it with those who foolishly and blindly do Satan’s will. History is full of notorious examples of internal enemies and traitors in Church life. Indeed, this was the foundation of monastic life in the fourth century. All this is because the presence of Christ is abhorrent to Satan, who wants the world for himself, as we see in the temptations of Christ, related in the Gospel of Matthew 4. Satan has always tried to make the Church into the world, to make Faith into a mere State or institutional “religion”. He makes bishops and priests into anti-pastors, into scribes (vain and pompous intellectuals like Arius and so many pompous academics who, puffed up with futile knowledge as the Apostle Paul describes (2 Timothy 3.4), think that they know everything) and Pharisees (ritualists), not to mention persecutors and bureaucrats. Thus, in Church history, every heresy and every schism was an attempt, usually unconscious because of the spiritual delusion of those who led heresy and schism, to compromise the Church with the world.

Thus, in the seventh century in these Isles, organised but cold Roman religion bewildered disorganised but holy Irish monks; during the later first millennium, iconoclast emperors and empresses with their pro-Islamic political projects cruelly persecuted zealous monks of New Rome (Constantinople); in the eleventh century, Old Rome fell into the temptation of making its bishop into a universal emperor who commanded armies and torturers, replaced God and from whom, they said, proceeded the Holy Spirit and so all truth and authority; a few centuries ago in Russia, a great debate arose between non-possessing hermits and those who ran monasteries as economic units with farmlands and peasants; a little over a century ago, the Russian Church, though with great institutions, was compromised as part of State machinery and the people flocked not to wealthy bishop-bureaucrats, city career priests, and professional Italianate opera choirs in stone city churches, but to poor spirit-bearing elders in wooden chapels in provincial monasteries; and in our own times the greatest saint of the Diaspora, St John of Shanghai, was put on trial by bishops who backed secular-minded people who had money and power, and not the faithful and the true.

What are we to do in the face of injustices in Church life?

Firstly, we may be wrong… we can only know that we are right if we face persecution. Christ tells us so (Luke 21 and John 16). So, let us accept persecution if it doesn’t force us into breaking the commandments. If it does mean compromising the commandments, we must leave for another canonical, and not uncanonical, diocese. Persecution is no self-justifying excuse for falling away into schism. The Church is everywhere littered with little groups, or rather sects of extremists, for instance of New Calendarists and Old Calendarists, who were often initially victims of episcopal injustices, but who now have no canonical status and so discredited themselves. Conversely, the Church calendar is also everywhere littered with those who bore injustices, only recently St Nektarios of Aegina and St John of Shanghai, and so became saints. They didn’t take off their crowns.

Secondly, while you stay in the Church with those who cause injustice, don’t participate in that injustice, side with the victims of the injustice. They’re anti-pastors, but you must remain pastors, your conscience clean. The bullies, narcissists, and manipulators of the naive, with their “gaslighting” lies, hypocrisy, and attempts to discredit, won’t win. They don’t think of the Last Judgement and tremble at it, but you do think of it and tremble at it.

Thirdly, we must know that, as they say, what goes round comes round. Our persecutors should tremble… in any case, they soon will be. I’ve seen so many who have persecuted Church people, terrible things happened to them all sooner or later, without exception. Over the last forty years and more, I’ve seen them, bishops and priests dying suddenly after acting outrageously. They thought they could get away with it…they couldn’t. Be patient… the Truth will out. God is always on the side of the good and the faithful. Be patient, justice is always done, for man proposes, but God disposes. Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6.7).

28 May 2018

Fr Andrew Phillips

Orthodox England


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