Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Patriarch Kirill: If Love is There, Christ is There! If There’s No Love, There’s No Christ!

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There’s unity where there’s love; where there’s love, God is there. If someone comes up with an idea to say something about our doctrine that diverges from the tradition of the Holy Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils, then, thinking people should ask, “For what, in the name of what purpose, do they offer a particular innovation?” If from the mouth of a man we hear invective, sometimes, we even hear dirt that afflicts the Church and its ministers, if we hear fervent appeals to struggle, for separation, to save Orthodoxy even at the cost of one’s death, when we hear them exclaim and shout, “Orthodoxy or death”… you need to be wary of these preachers.

Never did the Lord say, “My teaching or death”. None of the Apostles said, “Orthodoxy or Death”. Because Orthodoxy is life eternal, it’s joy in the Holy Spirit, it’s the joy of life, but death is decay that came because of the Fall and the devil’s action. Now, we see, from time to time, false teachers who seduce people by calling to save Christianity, to save its purity, who repeat this dangerous, sinful, and self-contradictory slogan “Orthodoxy or death”. In the eyes of these people, you won’t find love; there burns a fire of demonic pride, a desire for power, which destroys the Church’s unity. Of course, they put on a good show, they hide behind pious visages, and they enjoy adulation from a certain set of people.

What we say against heresies, is true of any other division. Sometimes, in our parishes, there are divisions amongst the clergy and believers. Often, these divisions are associated with a struggle for superiority, for a certain power in the parish. We know how sometimes congregations divide, clustering around one or another priest. The veneration of a shepherd and adulation for him… so-called division in the name of love… is sinful, because there can’t be separation where love exists.

We must keep the unity of Universal Orthodoxy not only free from any heresies and schisms, we must keep the unity of our Local Church as our foremost care, as the suffering of the Martyrs of the Church gave us the gift of being one and indivisible. We must maintain the unity of our parishes and monasteries, bearing in mind that the most important criterion for evaluation of any Christian… from the Patriarch to the simplest believer… is love. If Love is there, Christ is there! If there’s no love, there’s no Christ!

Yes, may the Lord help all of us to keep the unity of our Church, to keep it as our foremost care, taking heed of chilling and dangerous examples from the past, but at the same time being inspired by the podvigs* of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, who protected and maintained the unity of the Church of Christ, asserting that Church life is based only on the tangible Law of God… only the law of love saves.

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

Sunday of Orthodoxy 2009

His Holiness Kirill Gundyaev

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

8 March 2009

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/print/577278.html

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Patriarch Kirill on Betrayal

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Betrayal is a terrible sin, as traitors abuse natural feelings and relationships. Betrayal facilitates the victory of evil, hypocrisy triumphs, arrogance prevails, and slyness wins. The actions of a traitor intensify all of these terrible vices. A traitor is always a negative person, not only in the eyes of honest people but also in the eyes of other betrayers. Traitors never get respect; often, no one deems them worthy witnesses. This is why the suicide of Judas seemed a lucky stroke… as if there was no betrayal if there wasn’t any Judas. He left life, solving a knotty problem for the priests and scribes. They could boldly accuse the Saviour… no one would know that his closest disciple betrayed an innocent man.

Kirill Gundyaev

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

Holy Wednesday 2017

Editor:

The ROCOR has to disassociate itself from those who honour the Vlasovtsy and Krasnov’s traitors. “A traitor is always a negative person, not only in the eyes of honest people but also in the eyes of other betrayers”. Note well how so many of them ended as CIA hacks and rightwing fringe nutters… one treason wasn’t enough, I guess. It’s ironic… the greatest examples of Sergianism and “Chekists in riassas” are found here, in the USA, not in the Rodina. They sold out the homeland in the Cold War and they continue to do so. “A traitor is always a negative person, not only in the eyes of honest people but also in the eyes of other betrayers”. What an epitaph for them…

BMD                                             

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Patriarch St Tikhon on Vengeance

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Today, many suffer resentment and frustration. They urge you to thirst for vengeance; they’d put a sword into your hands. Orthodox Rus would see carnage; people would see enemies everywhere. So far, what we’ve had is minor… a most serious test and agony lay ahead. However, never… never… deify or reach for the sword. Don’t do it. Don’t wish to wield it. Truly, in these current parlous days, to repay evil with good is a podvig* in Christ, a legacy and an exemplar for future generations, and an unsurpassed testament and blessing. You’ll build up the indestructible glory and greatness of our Holy Orthodox Church in the Russian Land and even her sworn enemies will call her Holy and laud the purity of the podvig of her ministers and believers. I wish mercy and peace on all those who can accept and follow this.

Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.

Epistle of St Paul to the Galatians 6.18

St Tikhon Bellavin

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

1917-25

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

Editor:

To provide context, St Tikhon wrote this in 1919, at the height of the Civil War. I dedicate this translation to Vladimir Saemmler-Hindrichs, who passed yesterday as the result of a stroke. He was a man of good repute and character… although we often didn’t agree. I believe that he would’ve been as touched by this as I was…

BMD

Friday, 7 April 2017

7 April 2017. Patriarch Kirill on Evil

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All the innocent victims of America will accuse the Anglo Establishment on the Last Day… when shall the evil and bloodthirstiness of American neoliberals end?

BMD

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