Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

22 May 2018. A Good Word on “Converts”

________________________

I recently visited a “convert church”’ which had a notice by the entrance with the words: “Warning: This Church May Contain Nuts”.

We’re talking now about a small minority, an eccentric fringe, so we shouldn’t get things out of proportion. I think that those who consider that they’re “converts” aren’t Orthodox; those for whom Orthodoxy is a way of life, who’ve forgotten a time when they weren’t in the Church, are simply Orthodox. Orthodoxy is second nature to us. However, “converts” (that is, a minority of converts) seem to cultivate exotic eccentricity, especially strange dress and hairstyles. Yet, the Mother of God was a “convert”, as were all the apostles. Nevertheless, they never spoke of themselves as “converts” and we never think of them as “converts”. Of course not… because they were converted… i.e. finished products.

Here we come to the essence of the matter… there are “converts” and there are the converted. The difference is that “converts” are people who want to remain in a stew for beginners, forever and ever, and there are people who’ve been converted and are trying to improve themselves. In other words, quite simply, there are neophytes and there are Christians.

Those who are neophytes want to remain at the Church doors, forever ranting against their former beliefs (there is nothing so anti-Anglican as an ex-Anglican) and there are those who have entered the Church and really can’t be bothered by what goes on at the Church doors. Those who remain at the doors forever read books for converts (Bloom, Ware, Schmemann, The Way of a Pilgrim, Kalomiros, etc) and cultivate eccentricity and exoticism in dress, hairstyle, or speech, sometimes for some pathological reason (to look different from others); they are “converts”. It’s time for them to move on and become normal Christians, which is what the word Orthodox actually means.

The word “eccentric” is another word for vanity, the desire to be different, to be attention-seeking. Such “converts” need to move on from the first course to the main course with its meat, which has the promise of the sweet dessert to come. Those who remain converts need to be converted. However, they must first want to be converted and not remain “converts”.

Personally, I’m against religion, that is, the artificial invention by States of religious establishments to repress people. However, I’m for faith, that is, for spiritual experience, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, which is the foundation of the Orthodox Church.

17 May 2018

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Editor:

I’ve seen that many converts, especially, convert clergy, adopt a “hyperdox” attitude. That’s something that I’ve noticed in a young convert priest. Everything has to be “correct”, to hell with what the parish customs are… can you believe, he’s even invented “traditions!” Before communion, at every liturgy, he makes a bombastic announcement that communion is only for Orthodox Christians who’ve prepared themselves, but then communes all and sundry! I’ve never seen the like… never. I’ve been at liturgies served by famous hierarchs, esteemed elders, and seasoned archpriests… none of them ever made such an announcement, ever. God willing, he’ll grow out of such fanciful juvenile notions and come to realise that the Church’s tradition is best… we don’t make such announcements, for we assume that Christian people know that… that one doesn’t come forward unless one has prepared (it doesn’t mean that one must attend the evening service beforehand, that’s a monastic practice, best kept in the monastic milieu, where it belongs, and where it’s salutary).

Such immaturity is irritating, but it isn’t a deal-breaker. It simply means that someone got ordained before they were truly ready for ordination. You pray for them and hope that they’ll grow up… God willing, they will.

BMD

Advertisements

Sunday, 13 May 2018

13 May 2018. To Be Or Not To Be… That’s the Question! Shall Bart Grant Autocephaly to the Uncanonical Ukrainians?

Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky of Kiev and all the Ukraine, First Hierarch of the UPTs/MP, the only canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine

________________________

Three weeks ago, a news item flashed through the Orthosphere:

Poroshenko wants Bart to make Kiev an Autocephalous Church!

I decided to “wait and see”… this looked “interesting”, but would it have “legs?” A senior archpriest commented:

This move of granting autocephaly will completely disrupt the worldwide Orthodox Church into a mess that won’t be healed for a long time if ever.

Another senior voice said:

I can’t see it working out without lots of pain and suffering.

After getting communications like this, I decided to let the issue sit and develop. Interestingly, it seems to have gone doggo, if not dead. Buffeted from all sides, Bart checked himself into hospital, then, he left, apparently none the worse. It appears as though HH spoke and Bart listened. Patriarch Kirill is the effectual primus inter pares in Orthodoxy, and all know it. Apparently, Bart was getting pressure from both ends (his American minders and HH), so, he checked into hospital to cool things down. It appears to have simply fallen off the face of the earth. My guess is that American and Canadian Galician nutters working for the American and Canadian special services came up with this cockamamie idea, sold it to their superiors, getting Poroshenko on board, without really informing Bart of what was going on. After this hiatus, the whole thing does appear to be “something run up by the apprentice whilst the blacksmith was out”.

Is it dead? I think not. The Yanks are getting desperate, as none of their foreign policy initiatives are working out at all. China and Russia set up the historic peace meeting in Korea… China, Russia, and Iran stymied American efforts to topple the legitimate Syrian government… China and Russia, possibly joined by the Continental members of the EU, signalled their intent to ignore Trump’s ripping up of the Iranian nuclear accord… the Ukraine can’t get its act together; it can’t topple the patriot Peoples Republics. Therefore, the USA may continue to press Bart to do this. So far, he’s resisted them. It’s been a behind-the-scenes affair… but Bart knows that if events actually came up to a decision, if he didn’t give in to Washington, he’d suffer the same fate as Emmanuel Vaportzis in 1948… the CIA would depose him and replace him with a willing stooge. Would he stand firm or would he punk out? No one knows (I hope that we never have to come to that point).

If Bart were to do this, it’d set up a schism as serious as the one of 1054. Happily, he appears to realise this and isn’t eager to do the bidding of the Anglos. Shall it pass? Only time will tell us… what with the usual shortage of crystal balls and time machines, I don’t know what’ll happen… no one does. Pray for this chalice to pass…

BMD

Thursday, 26 April 2018

26 April 2018. “Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA” Issues Delusionary Statement

This action may mean that the USA is losing in the Ukraine and is trying desperately to recover the situation. It seems ill-considered and hasty. Remember… Bart is a lapdog of Langley… look at the above image…

_________________________

Read this. This means that Bart may grant “autocephaly” to the uncanonical UPTs-KP. Bart is a creature of the American special services… the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been such ever since the CIA toppled Patriarch Emmanuel Vaportzis in 1948, as Patriarch Emmanuel was a socialist and an opponent of the American-fomented “Cold War” (the USA replaced him with the reliable lickspittle American Archbishop Athenagoras Spyrou). The Yanks may be planning something… remember, the fascist collaborator Galician Uniates and “Orthodox” have been on the Langley dole since the end of World War II. The fascist spymaster Gehlen brought them into the American service when he flipped sides in 1945… they served the German fascists loyally, they’ve been loyal running dogs for the American capitalists… no difference, really, is there?

This is absolute delusionary rubbish. This isn’t only a danger to the Ukraine and its loyal Orthodox Christians (85 percent of whom remain true to the canonical UPTs-MP), it’s a danger to the unity of the Orthodox Church. Not only is this disastrous in Church terms, it means that in secular terms, the USA is upping the ante in its gambit to take over the Ukraine and use it as a springboard to threaten Russia. I’d point up that this is laying the groundwork for a repeat of 1612 and 1709… both Poland and Sweden wanted to use traitorous elements in Malorossiya to attack Russia. The Hapsburgs wanted to use this scenario against Russia in the 19th and 20th centuries. That died with the end of the Dual Monarchy in 1918… then, as now, the Uniates were the main collaborator with the Westerners (the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox” are mostly drawn from the same Galician cohort). One of my interlocutors put it this way:

This is beyond bullshit. Tony Scharba and his fake church would be a joke if this didn’t have serious ramifications.

This is beyond delusion… it’s a sign that things aren’t getting any better. It’s why the mood in Moscow is “grim” (how my local contacts put it). The mood isn’t depressed, it isn’t scared, it isn’t bitter… my contacts say “grim”… that is, serious… a sense of foreboding… but not yet a crisis, not yet an actual conflict, yet, the possibility of untoward events is too high for comfort. This has ramifications far beyond its religious setting. It’s a deliberate provocation and an increase in American aggression on Russia. The times are “grim”… my Russian interlocutors are right. I have no idea how this is going to end… no one does. In religious terms, it could end with a schism in the Orthodox Church at large and it could lead to the rupture of the union between the ROCOR and the Mother Church (the appointment of the CIA lickspittle Webster to the J’ville seminary doesn’t give much hope, does it?). In secular terms, it means that the USA may cross the line, which would force Russia’s hand.

As I say, this is a volatile situation. Bart was reckless in doing this. It sets up such an unstable situation, both religious and secular, that no one can really chart a reliable course. May God have mercy on us.

BMD

Saturday, 21 April 2018

21 April 2018. Science and Religion Don’t Argue… Just Because Fundies Don’t Like Science Doesn’t Mean the Rest of Us Are Like That

00 Charles Darwin humanity 210418

This is what Darwin taught. The rightwingers hate this. What does that tell you about them?

________________________

Several trolls attempted to draw me into certain subjects that appear controversial. Let me give a simple straightforward reply. If anyone tells you or asserts that the earth is only about 10,000 years old, that the species didn’t evolve from a common ancestor, or that the Book of Genesis is in any way literally true, don’t bother to listen to them about anything, no matter what else they may try to tell you. Fundamentalists almost always miss the meaningful reality of the Genesis stories. Once we recognise theology as a search for meaning and not an immutable expression of a concrete reality, we begin to grasp the meaning in these stories. Until that time, sheer ideology traps our theology.

Bishop Lazar Puhalo

Editor:

By the way, Patriarch Kirill agrees with Vladyki Lazar, not his detractors. In his words, “Genesis isn’t a textbook on anthropogenesis”. The loudmouth konvertsy rightwingers not only distort what our true archpastors actually teach, they make a mockery of Christ and His Church. They’ve refused to reject their evangelical rot…

BMD

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.