Voices from Russia

Sunday, 17 February 2019

17 February 2019. A Warning on “Enemies Within the Gates”

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The REAL Church doesn’t uphold the rich and the present order… I thought that you might like to know that

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I fear that the plug-uglies won’t go quietly into that dark night. Sadly, Bezos and Buffett will find defenders amongst ordinary sorts. A tip-off is whether someone is Evangelical or not. Interestingly, Mormons and JWs are Evangelicals socially, but not religiously. Evangelicals take Calvin to the extreme, teaching that God blesses the rich. To be fair, Jean Calvin himself would’ve rejected such an interpretation, but American Evangelicals do believe that. The richer you are, the more blessed by God you are. The historical ignorance of most Americans enables the spread of this lunacy. They simply don’t know that Evangelicalism is a relatively-recent heresy, being a product of the Second Great Awakening of the early 19th-century. Since its inception, Evangelicalism devolved into nothing more than a barely-religious apologia for American Exceptionalism, with no resemblance to any form of historical Christianity. The amorphous religious anarchy present amongst Evangelicals mirrors the social anarchy of laissez-faire Capitalism of the most feral sort.

If it came to it, Bezos and Buffett could call on White Evangelicals to uphold their buccaneer Crapitalism. It doesn’t matter that the order of society now regnant is repugnant to and counter to all tenets of historical Christianity. The White Evangelical is ignorant; furthermore, they revel in and relish their ignorance. That’s why Orthodox must be wary of all converts from this movement, as it isn’t Christian in any possible way. Indeed, a “whole new world” must arise in the mind of anyone who transits from Evangelicalism to any form of Christianity (let alone Orthodoxy). That’s why we shouldn’t ordain former Evangelicals as clergy. Experience taught us that they never give up their Evangelical heresy; they merely become Evangelicals with a liturgical itch… one need only look at Trenham and Damick to see the truth of this.

Yes, the White Evangelical would take up arms to defend the rich. In return, the rich would allow them to attain some of their goofier societal notions. That’s why the pro-life movement is evil to the core. It’s not so much about pro-life as it’s become an apologia for the most feral wing of the Republican Party. I fear that real Christians and other people of good will would have to take up arms to defeat this diabolical system and its deluded defenders. No, the neoliberal buccaneers won’t go quietly into that dark night (whether they call themselves “conservatives” or “liberals”, they’re all the same). Whether led by Trump or by Clinton, they’re the culmination of the evil that arose and mushroomed in the age of Reagan and Thatcher. Don’t be deluded. The White Evangelical will form ranks around the rich and their Upper Middle running dogs. Never mistake them for Christians.

Sadly, I’d remark that we must say that of virtually all converts from Evangelicalism to Orthodoxy. They drag Christ and His Church through the mud to defend the rich and the present neoliberal order. Yes, the rich do run things and democracy is deader than the dodo, as the last presidential election proved. Trump and Clinton are two sides of the same evil debased coin. Here’s the most curious part… the typical White Evangelical doesn’t share in the prosperity of the One Percent, but they defend the present order as God-given.

Have a care; we live in parlous times. Yet, there’s hope… the Oak of Mamre collapsed, but new shoots came forth and local Christians nurture and protect them. That’s a sign for us… the times will be difficult, our trial may be very harsh, but we’ll prevail, and life will blossom forth anew. However, in the near term, we must defend ourselves against “enemies within the gates”. Remember, “Not all that glitters is gold”. In like manner, not everything that claims to uphold life does so. Take my hand… the road ahead is very rocky, indeed…

BMD

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Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Lavrov Slams New Ukrainian Church as “Travesty of History” Aimed at Dividing Both Nations

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On Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov said at the Russian-Tajik Slavonic University that the establishment of the so-called Orthodox Church of the Ukraine violated the precepts of state non-interference in ecclesiastical life as well as the canons of Orthodox Christianity:

The decision was totally illegitimate under all canons… both the canons of state non-interference in ecclesiastical life and the canons of Orthodox Christianity itself, because the 1686 decision on transferring that church under the Moscow Patriarchate’s auspices made in Constantinople is irrevocable. All you have to do is to read it. I believe that this travesty of history, which  pursues the objective of sowing discord between Russia and the Ukraine, in addition to preventing our peoples from being friendly, is essentially a crime [by the current Ukrainian régime] against their citizens.

Ecclesiastical standoff in the Ukraine

The current leadership in the Ukraine sought to create a local Orthodox church independent of the Moscow Patriarchate ever since it came to power after a violent coup in 2014. Last April, Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko sent a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew Achontonis of Constantinople requesting autocephaly for the Ukrainian church. The Poroshenko régime cobbled together a “unification council” held in Kiev on 15 December 2018, which announced the creation of a new church, the so-called Orthodox Church of the Ukraine. The EP handed over a Tomos of Autocephaly (a clerical decree on establishing an independent church) to its head, “Metropolitan” Epifany Dumenko, on 6 January 2019. Both the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church/MP and the central apparat of the Moscow Patriarchate consider the newly-established ecclesiastical institution schismatic. Other Local Churches either condemned Constantinople’s actions or chose ostentatious silence. None of them congratulated Epifany on receiving a Tomos of Autocephaly.

5 February 2019

TASS

http://tass.com/society/1043295

Putin sez that Russia Reserves the Right to Defend Religious Freedom in the Ukraine

Peace procession of the canonical UPTs/MP in 2016… it contains 85 percent of the Orthodox believers in the Ukraine

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President V V Putin noted that the struggle for power is a problem in church life in the Ukraine; it seems that a project based in speculation and politicking is taking place. He stated that Russia doesn’t wish to interfere in the situation, but it reserves the right to react to human rights abuses there. On Thursday, Putin spoke at a solemn ceremony noting the 10th anniversary of the MP’s Local Council:

Fraternal inter-church ties historically united and brought people together, serving to develop equitable relations between Russia and many foreign countries. However, unfortunately, we see other examples where speculation, politicking, and parasitism affecting questions of religious life led to disunity amongst the people, provoking anger, and fanning fanaticism. Such projects aren’t related to faith, but are obvious fakes, being entwined with the struggle for power taking place in the Ukraine. It’s regrettable that it involved the Patriarchate of Constantinople. In fact, this was blatant interference in church life. Its initiators looked as though they had learnt from the godless of the last century, who expelled believers from churches, and harassed and persecuted the clergy. The Russian authorities consider it unacceptable to interfere in church affairs. We respect and will respect the independence of church life, especially, in a neighbouring sovereign country. Nevertheless, we reserve the right to react and do everything to protect human rights, including freedom of religion.

31 January 2019

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=71945

Sunday, 21 October 2018

21 October 2018. Quo Vadis OCA? To the Centre or to the Phanar?

Mollard has the white hat now… but what about the future?

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Everyone here in the American diaspora is wondering how the OCA will fall on the Ukrainian Crisis. Of course, not all bishops are created equal. Mollard, although nominally the First Hierarch, is a cypher chosen for the fact that he wouldn’t rock the boat nor utter any controversial statements. The issue will pivot on how Michael Dahulich stands. A senior archpriest told me:

Dahulich is the most ambitious cleric in the USA, not only in the OCA. Look at how he disrupted the Sobor where Mollard was elected. I’ll lay you any money that both sides are politicking him hard. Wherever he falls, he’ll carry most of his students from STS with him. My view is that he’s a “Paris is worth a mass” man. He’s going to follow whoever gives him the most. No one knows. Watch him. He’s the only bishop who can influence the whole shooting match.

I agree with the above assessment. Mollard is a marshmallow, chosen precisely for that reason. The Church had enough of Paffhausen and his libertarian antics. BTW… I think that Paffhausen is trying to position himself to take over the white hat in the OCA again. I doubt that very highly. Firstly, the Centre knows how much of a pain in the ass he was the last time, and, secondly, it’d want a figure that could unite all wings of the OCA. Paffhausen isn’t that. Dahulich could do that… he’s ethnic, but he has a following amongst convert clergy (mostly, amongst his students at STS). Nevertheless, no one knows what’s going to come out of the OCA meeting, least of all, me. It could very well be that the Synod would deadlock in the short term. Therefore, we may see a whole lot of nothing. However, both of the contending sides will get an idea about where the bishops stand. Don’t expect much… I’ll bet that they’d issue a worthless piece of fluff, GIGO from top to bottom. However… eppur si muove… events will simmer beneath the surface.

Watch Dahulich… you don’t have to like someone to realise their importance…

BMD

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