Voices from Russia

Friday, 4 November 2011

4 November 2011. A Photo Essay. “If This is 15.00, This Must be Nizhny… Misha, Where ARE We?” His Holiness’ Fabulous Adventures…

The day started on Red Square… Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF

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Serving Liturgy at the Kazan Cathedral. Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF

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With Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (1958- ), Superior of the Sretensky Monastery, at the Orthodox Rus-Day of National Unity exhibition at the Manezh Exhibition HallMoscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF

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His Nibs encouraging young talent at the Orthodox Rus-Day of National Unity exhibition at the Manezh Exhibition Hall. Moscow (Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District) RF

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His Holiness deplaning at Strigino Airport in Nizhny. Archbishop Georgi Danilov (1964- ) of Nizhny Novogorod and Arzamas is behind him. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal District) RF

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Exiting the cathedral in Nizhny. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF

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Nibs at a rubber-chicken reception in Nizhny with PM Vladimir Putin (1952- ). President Medvedev was also present. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF

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His Holiness with Muslim leaders. From the left: Mufti Ravil Gainutdin (1959- ) (in white turban), KMG, Metropolitan Varsonofy Sudakov of Saransk and Mordovia (MP Chancellor) (1955- ), (in fur hat, unknown), and Mufti Talgat Tadzhuddin (1948- ) (in green turban). They seem to be getting on quite nicely… no problem with new mosques here! Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF

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Nibs with Archbishop Georgi and Metropolitan Varsonofy before emplaning at Strigino Airport to return to Moscow from Nizhny. Nizhny Novgorod (Nizhny Novogorod Oblast. Volga Federal Region) RF

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Friday, 29 July 2011

29 July 2011. The Pot Calls the Kettle Black, Syosset Edition

Bobby and Lyonyo are playing up to the ignorant fancies of the rightwing konvertsy… for now. They’re going to fall out, and in short order, mark my word… Bobby will try to knife Lyonyo (and vice versa), and the konvertsy will find both of them “not pure enough” for their tastes. It’s certainly NOT boring…

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It’ll certainly be to the advantage of Paffhausen and to Bobby’s camp if they can prove that Dickie’s involved with something “homosexual”. For example, there are stories out there (if I’ve heard ‘em, they’re widespread… I don’t claim “insider” knowledge on this) that he “groped” Fr John Dresko (presently Rector of St Paul parish in Las Vegas NV… Wood’s mother, Nadine, attends liturgy there). That may or may not be true, but it’s a fact that Dresko’s a dirty-handed former Syosset operative… and part of Bobby’s faction. Bobby’s playing up to the crackbrained notions of the konvertsy gang, who’re spinning the split in the OCA as “noble Paffhausen, who signed the Manhattan Declaration” vs “Mark Stokoe, who lives with another man”… let’s not forget that Dickie had a hand in Bobby’s downfall with the tape he made in Moscow. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bobby’s behind Wood’s fall. All the not-so-clean players at high levels in the OCA may be thinking the same thing… they’re wondering who’s next, especially if things don’t break the way Bobby wants them to… that is, Paffhausen retains his puppet sinecure, Potapov remains the Éminence Grise of the OCA-ROCOR duopoly, Bobby receives public absolution, and Bobby and his cabal retake their place as the power behind the throne in Syosset (the fly in the ointment is Lyonyo… Bobby’s going to try to cut his throat, which may bugger it all in the end).

Bobby’s playing with fire… all too many saw him at Veselka’s in the old days, and know what’s what. All too many know the truth about him and HIS proclivities. It’s why he fell, in the first instance. Bobby got on famously with Feodosy, Herman, and Pierre… all those “in the know” need no prompting to appreciate what I’m talking about. Bobby’s trying to take down Dickie as a perv, so, Bobby’s past may come back and bite him. After all, Bobby’s not subtle, nor is he an educated or cultured man. He’s clever, there’s no doubt on that; he’s a political animal, a George Washington Plunkitt in a riassa (without the wit and wisdom). He did extort (legally) 250 Gs from the OCA via a thinly-veiled threat… someone stupid couldn’t do that. So far, his close connections with Feodosy, Pierre, and Herman haven’t stuck to him… but that doesn’t mean that they won’t.

Don’t forget, the konvertsy have the conceit that they’re “pure”… that God has deputed them to “purify” the Church. This is especially so in the case of the former Episkies, and most definitely so in the case of Touchstonistas such as Reardon, Freddie M-G, and Mattingly… yes, the Terrible Trio named are officially in the AOCANA, but the konvertsy are Gnostics who ignore Church boundaries… they’re “above” all that, dontcha know! The first two are former Episkie “culture warriors” who lost a power struggle in the TEC… as a perceptive priest-friend of mine in the MP put it, “The Anglicans said ‘good riddance to bad rubbish’, and there’s more there than meets the eye at first glance”. Mattingly’s a former Baptist Sectarian with pretensions of being an “expert”… obviously, he was one of those sorts ashamed of his “Born-Again” roots. Yet, the konvertsy crowd ignores the glaring evidence that Fathausen fibs outrageously about his intimate relationship with Gleb Podmoshensky (remember GP? He appears to keep popping up to dog JP at every turn)… and the stories that won’t die concerning Mel Webber and Gerasim Eliel.

Bobby does have the lumber over Fathausen… after all, JP served openly with Izzy Brittain, and JP continues to shelter Peterson, even though it’s openly bandied about that BP’s a closeted gay. There’s one thing about the konvertsy that JP’s forgetting… they’re manically single-minded. Make no doubt on it, Bobby’s going to tell JP, “Do what I say, or, I’ll go public with what I know about you, GP, and BP”… that is, Bobby thinks that he’s got things sewed up in the bag. However, he’s already made threats against Reeves, and that’s a stupid move. In addition, Lyonyo may have his reasons for deep-sixing Dickie, but he’s no ally of Bobby’s… nor is Potapov. Potapov’s a former government official (he’s rumoured to have American intel ties… so much so that RF Embassy personnel avoid his parish, even though it’s closer to the embassy and more traditional than St Nick’s) and Lyonyo’s a CFR member with State Department ties (he got his daughter a job at the International Herald Trib). Bobby’s an embarrassment to them… he’s useful, but a “low” sort. If Bobby tried to move against Lyonyo (probably, by striking at Lyonyo’s protégé, Stokoe), Lyonyo could go “public” with what everyone knows about Bobby. That would discredit him with the konvertsy permanently.

That’s not to mention the angle with Fr Tikhon in Moscow. Obviously, Fr Tikhon knows about Dickie’s drinking problem, and, maybe, he knows about his proclivities as well. Fr Tikhon doesn’t play kid’s games, so, this is why his relationship with Dickie may have reached the breaking point. Bobby and Love BT, amongst others, contend that Dickie’s an RF Humint asset, passing intel from the American and other foreign embassies to the FSB/SVR. I tend to think the opposite… probably, he was an American asset controlled from the US Embassy in Moscow. It’d explain why Lyonyo didn’t move against him earlier. Obviously, Dickie’s cover at the Centre was blown in some unmentioned way (that’s not come out, it’s fruitless to speculate on what it is… there’s simply no intel whatsoever); he was of no more use to his controllers, giving Bobby an opportunity to strike (I believe that the RF gave him the standard “get out of Dodge in 48 hours” order… that’s how unmasked oppo assets are usually treated). Mind you, I don’t believe for a moment that Bobby’s allied with Lyonyo… their feud is that serious and that deep. Lyonyo merely decided that defending Dickie wasn’t worth the risk, so, he cut Dickie’s throat without any shame, pity, shilly-shallying, or compunction; their years of working together meant nought to Lyonyo and Potapov… “It ain’t personal, it’s only business”.

Despite it all, I’m a believer… I believe that God WILL put things right… but only if WE act as His instruments. What kind of Church do you want for your kids and grandkids? Think on that with some care before answering it…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Friday 29 July 2011

Albany NY

Thursday, 28 July 2011

28 July 2011. Dickie Wood on “Leave of Absence”… First Families Throw Another “Inconvenient” Person off the Train

Read this:

Dean of St Catherine’s on Leave of Absence

Archimandrite Zacchaeus Wood, Dean of St Catherine the Great Martyr-in-the-Fields Church in Moscow and representative of the Orthodox Church in America to the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, has been placed on a leave of absence and recalled to the United States by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah. He’s prohibited from exercising any liturgical or sacramental ministry. Priest John Kechkin, who is attached to St Catherine Church, will provide pastoral services for the time being. Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs of the Orthodox Church in America, will assume duties as the representative of the OCA to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

28 July 2011

oca.org

Official OCA Website

http://oca.org/news/headline-news/dean-of-st.-catherines-on-leave-of-absence

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Now, read this:

Archimandrite Zacchaeus Wood Placed on Leave

In a carefully worded statement from Syosset today, it was announced that the highly visible Archimandrite Zacchaeus Wood, representative of the Orthodox Church in America in Moscow, “had been placed on a leave of absence and recalled to the United States”. While avoiding the word “suspension”, the statement noted that Fr Zacchaeus is “prohibited from exercising any liturgical or sacramental ministry”. The announcement concluded by stating, “Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs of the Orthodox Church in America, will assume duties as the representative of the OCA to the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia”. Given the Archimandrite’s position, the statement was also published in Russian. No reason for the action by Metropolitan Jonah was given by the OCA, but OCANews.org has learned that an allegation of possible misconduct has been levelled against the Archimandrite. OCANews.org also learned that the Archimandrite had been called back to the USA this past weekend, but checked himself into a hospital in Russia instead. He has since been released, but it remains unclear if he is on his way back to the United States at this time.

28 July 2011

Mark Stokoe

Orthodox Christians for Accountability

http://www.ocanews.org/news/ZaccheusonAbsence7.28.11.html

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Finally, here’s a rant from “Love BT” posted on the Indiana List:

It seems just yesterday that the Archimandrite’s lawyer, son of an OCA Archpriest, sent an e-mail to Protopresbyter Rodion S Kondratick, which stated that if the Protopresbyter tried to “touch” Fr Zacchaeus, “I will destroy you!” I hope that His Beatitude took this into consideration before acting as described in this OCA notice at oca.org! No one wants to be destroyed at all, let alone by a doughty Archpriest’s son! Such matters must be approached with utter sobriety. May God be with the Archimandrite.

(His “May God be with the Archimandrite” rings hollow… it’s like Fr Lebedeff’s “With love in Christ”… hypocrisy on stilts, kids.)

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My guess would be that Lyonyo, Garklavs, and (maybe) Bishop Mel want Dickie out. Wheeler, Hunchak, and Johnny Hopko also don’t care for Dickie. Probably, Tosi’s in on it, too. Some think that the First Families shit-canned Dickie because Dickie was playing about with fire… some stories have it that he’s got connections with the American special services… a little outré, but not improbable… after all, Potapov’s neck-deep in Foggy Bottom politics, he’s more of a politician than a priest. Dickie was playing footsy with Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov (the superior of the Sretensky Monastery (where Dickie lived for a while)), who’s the confessor to the Putin family. On top of that, Dickie was using the English side of Pravmir and Pravoslavie.ru to push HOOMie shit.

Conjecture would lead one to think that he stepped in three distinct (and equally malodorous) cow pies:

  1. Fr Tikhon was suspicious of his questions and snooping around, so, he had the FSB check out Dickie, or, the FSB became suspicious of him on its own… Fr Tikhon is VVP’s confessor, after all… Fathausen withdrew Dickie just as the cavalry was closing in (no doubt, Potapov got the word from his contacts at the Centre… JP’s too dumb to have a good intel network)
  2. Fr Tikhon was suspicious of Dickie’s HOOMie pals, got in touch with his American contacts, found out the truth, hit the roof, and told KMG
  3. Lyonyo got rid of Dickie as he had become a liability… it’s rumoured by some that Dickie’s a gay blade (he was tight with Feodosy), it’s known that he’s been hospitalised for drink-related problems

This isn’t the Final Scene… we ARE in the Final Act, but there’s a while yet to go before we can put this one to bed. What’s obvious is that the First Families are getting desperate enough to take open control of certain offices. If you were to ask me, I’d say that Potapov and Lyonyo are the effectual leaders of the OCA-ROCOR duopoly. Fathausen and Hilarion are fronts… the first is an ignorant and grinning boob… the second is the son of a Galician peasant from the hard-scrabble Canadian prairies, so, he knows how to be silent when it’s indicated. I’ll say this… Hilarion Alekseyevich is NOT “playing it by ear”… I’m convinced that he’s in touch with the Centre, and the Centre wants things to develop to the point where they can identify clearly who’s naughty and who’s nice. It’s going to take some time, yet, for the Centre takes the LONG view. It’s not going to be over tomorrow, or, next week, or, even next year, maybe. The Centre is waiting for the fruit to ripen fully, and it’s not going to move until then. In addition, the Centre wants us to see the mess that we’re in. We’re paying dearly for receiving so many rightwing nutters… they’ve distorted the Church, enough so to concern the Mother Church. Remember… the internet exists in Moscow… they KNOW what’s going on here. It’s getting more confusing… and it’s going to get more so before we resolve this. Dickie’s on the way out… if I were Bobby K, I wouldn’t be complacent. Well… this proves the existence of the Fall, yet again. If I weren’t a believer, I’d just walk away from it all. I feel sorry for the Mark Stokoes of this world… their cherished dream is unravelling in front of them, and they think that they can have the same place in the new order as they did in the old one… silly wabbits…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 28 July 2011

Albany NY   

Editor’s Update:

I just received this:

Garklavs went to pick him up at JFK & he wasn’t on plane… OCA bought him a ticket and he never cancelled...

The plot thickens… by the way, Bobby and Love BT are off the beam to claim that Dickie was working for the FSB. I believe it was the other way ’round. It’s not like the movies… if someone catches the other guy’s assets, usually, they’re given 48 hours to get out of Dodge, except in the case of putting political pressure on the other side. C’mon… if Dickie were an FSBnik, he’d be staying at the Centre, he wouldn’t be skedaddlin’ back here… sheesh.

BMD

Editor’s Second Update:

As of 00.45 EDT Friday 29 July 2011, Zacchaeus Wood is no longer on the clergy listings of oca.org. There is NO posting on oca.org explaining this. Slowpoke Matusiak strikes again! Well… we’ll find out tomorrow… or, maybe we won’t!

BMD 

Monday, 12 July 2010

Reactions to the “Forbidden Art 2006” Verdict

Orthodox pickets protesting the “Forbidden Art 2006” exhibition… these are the kind of people that SVS derisively calls “Orthodox skinheads” so that they can curry favour with the Episkies and secularist academics. Words DO matter, as Rav Lazar points up… it appears that SVS doesn’t want to be part of healthy Orthodoxy…

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Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, the Executive Secretary of the Patriarch’s Council on the Arts, found that the sentences handed to Andrei Yerofeyev and Yuri Samodurov, the organisers of the controversial art exhibition “Forbidden Art 2006”, were light. “Insulting religious and national sentiment is unacceptable and it is important that the court should have handed down a sentence that would condemn such actions”, he told Interfax-Religion on Monday. At the same time, in his opinion, the fine imposed on Samodurov and Yerofeyev “should have been higher”. When you consider the support that the defendants have in this case, of course, this punishment is purely symbolic”, Fr Tikhon said. He expressed the opinion that the verdict may even be a boon for Samodurov and Yerofeyev, since they will be able to announce to the world that they are persecuted and oppressed. Fr Tikhon doubted that the verdict would make the defendants reflect on their guilt. “Their disgusting little rat’s dance will continue. For them, in a sense, this conviction is a gift, it will just lead to the next phase of the same old vile amusements”, he concluded.

Oleg Kassin, the head of the NGO Народный собор (National Assembly), who filed charges in the criminal case against the organisers of the “Forbidden Art 2006” exhibition, did not rule out that he would press other charges under another article of the Criminal Code. “We will carefully study [the verdict] and do not exclude that we would press charges under the article covering ‘hooliganism””, Mr Kassin told reporters on Monday. In his opinion, the court’s verdict against Samodurov and Yerofeyev reflects the presence of obscene language in the exhibits. “The exhibits should be destroyed as they are criminal instruments”, he concluded. He criticised the verdict as being too soft. “Samodurov the Jailbird got off again with a fine. If an offender doesn’t receive enough punishment, he doesn’t feel that he’s guilty, so, he continues to commit crime”, Mr Kassin noted. He added that those who have initiated the criminal case against Samodurov and Yerofeyev should appeal to the authorities with the plea that the case was not investigated fully.

The Council of Muftis of Russia considered that the sentence against Samodurov and Yerofeyev set a precedent. “It’s not so much that a fine was imposed, rather, it’s the fact that there was a conviction that set a precedent”, Gulnur Gazieva, the press secretary of the Council of Muftis, said to our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Monday. She pointed up that, at the time of the trial, Muslims expressed the opinion that those who held such an exhibition shouldn’t get off scot-free, but as far as prison terms were concerned, the Council of Muftis held the view that “fines would suffice as a punishment”. Ms Gazieva emphasised that everyone has the opportunity to influence the minds and hearts of others, but there “must be self-control. We are opposed to the type of censorship that developed in the Soviet period, we believe that those who have artistic talent, who have the ability to influence other’s consciousness, should feel a great sense of responsibility”, Ms Gazieva said. She added that people should act “without fear of judicial punishment or social stigma, but they should not wish to offend or insult another’s feelings”. She told us that Muslims believe that every person has a moral sense initially, but in some people, it is “buried somewhere, it’s suppressed. We need to revive it, and it shall enrich any artist, poet, or writer [who does so]”, Ms Gazieva noted. She also noted that she knows writers, artists, musicians, and journalists. “Often, ineffectual people hide behind their vulnerability to repel and upset society. Even when you understand them, you still want to call them back to express good feelings rather than to issue outrageous challenges”, Ms Gazieva added.

The conflict between the organizers of the “Forbidden Art 2006” exhibition and believers wasn’t really a legal matter, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar said. “To drag artists through the court system, no matter what they have created is, shall we say, somewhat boorish. We are dealing with a conflict in the moral order… I think that the right way to combat such manifestations is to use moral condemnation, but not prosecution”, Rav Lazar told our Interfax-Religion correspondent on Monday. In his view, the courts “already have much to do. In our society, unfortunately, there is still a lot of violence, including nationalist or racist violence. As not all such incidents come to court and not all perpetrators receive just punishment, I think that it wasn’t worth going to court against the organisers of an art exhibition, no matter how offensive to me their ideas were”, Rav Lazar said. “You have to understand that the line between free speech and offensive speech often walks a very fine line, sometimes a carelessly spoken word brings more harm than direct violence. The pain of the blow lingers longer than any bruise, the pain of inappropriate words remains in the soul a very long time”, he said. Rav Lazar pointed up that believers do not impose their views on atheists, but they do try to show everyone “something positive, which comes from our faith in God, from the beauty of the religious worldview. Unbelievers may not share our values, but I would ask them not to insult those values. For us, as believers, insulting someone’s religious beliefs… this is the same as if someone insulted your parents, or insulted those who are dearest to you. I think that you only need good sense to refrain from such behaviour, from such expressions of ‘artistic expressions’”, he added.

12 July 2010

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=36434

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=36435

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=36436

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=36437

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