Voices from Russia

Saturday, 18 November 2017

From the Speech of Professor A I Osipov at the Yekaterinskaya Zale in the Moscow Kremlin at His Investiture with the Order of Friendship on 15 November 2017

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We live at a time when we face many problems. True, this isn’t new for Rus; it always seems to be in such a state. You can point up many reasons why it arises in different spheres of life. However, I’d like to speak about the most important things, about roots. One can see the basis for such turmoil in the spiritual and moral state of our society. As F I Tyutchyov put it 150 years ago:

In our day, our flesh isn’t corrupted, but our spirit is, so people are in great distress.

For this reason, a terrible and hellish revolution took place; we just marked its 100th anniversary. Is there any solution to this problem? You hear much talk about it. For my part, I’d like to say that I V Kireyevsky, that remarkable thinker of the 19th-century, pointed up the main line of reasoning very well:

Every moral victory in the soul of one person is a great triumph for all of mankind.

The ancient Romans said:

Vive ut vivas… “Live to live [well]”.

However, is life possible without a soul and without God? Vladimir Vladimirovich, your attention to the spiritual and moral side of our society’s life inspires both optimism and hope. Thank you very much!

A I Osipov

Honoured Professor of the Moscow Theological Academy

17 November 2017

Official Site of A I Osipov

http://alexey-osipov.ru/video/intervju/vystuplenie-v-ekaterininskom-zale-kremlya-15-noyabrya-2017-goda/

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Monday, 13 November 2017

13 November 2017. Mitred Archpriest Michael Margitich Died… Вечная ему память

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Sermon of St John Chrysostom for Easter. Santa Rosa CA USA 2012

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Fr Michael was one of the first Orthodox military chaplains in the US forces, serving in the US Air Force from 1954 to 1984, retiring at the rank of colonel. He was in the OCA. I always remind my readers (especially, the younger ones and newbies) that we pray for everyone at their passing, not only those whom we find pleasing. Fr Michael was one of the “good guys”…

Remember to pray always for the departed… we’re Christians; that’s what we do.

Вечная ему память

BMD

Sunday, 12 November 2017

12 November 2017. How to End Arguments With Toll-House Nutters

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If some half-salted idiot starts nattering crackbrained nonsense like the toll-houses or dribbling about the latest “guru” elder, don’t get suckered into a pointless argument. Be wise like a serpent, as the Apostle bade us. If someone spouts such rubbish, simply say:

The toddlers do say such INTERESTING things, don’t they?

AFTER THAT, SMILE WICKEDLY. Only then, come out and say:

There are many mansions in Our Lord’s House. That’s only one. I choose not to live in it.

That’ll normally lead to a pause. They truly don’t know how to respond. Then, say with great emphasis:

Orthodoxy is the freest of all the Churches. We’re not a gulag or prison-house. Do think on that… and not just for five minutes.

Then, break off all further discussion, bidding them to think about it for at least a month or so, considering the ENTIRE debate, not just the konvertsy pabulum. It just may work… for some, at least. After all, I AM an “elder” (63-years-old) and that does mean something.

BMD

Friday, 10 November 2017

10 November 2017. Whither Thou Goest, ROCOR?

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I wrote the following to a clergyman I consider a friend:

However, [the ROCOR Synod] dances to Potapov’s tune because he has money. Apparently, Langley wants to revive the old CIA-ROCOR alliance. This time, the people won’t have it. There’ll be those who’ll remain loyal to Ilarion and his Synod (I don’t see him losing Australia), but that won’t be due to Langley money, most will simply be Brother Junipers. However, most of our people are post-Sov emigres, not anti-Red DPs or ex-White elements (most of those are gone outside the Golden 400). Indeed, both the KPRF and CPUSA not only allow believers, they DEFEND them (one of the critics of Matilda was from the Moscow KPRF Gorkom… she said that no one has the right to offend believers).

We live in a new world where the verities of the 60s, 70s, and 80s are gone forever. We live on the “new shore”… where Reds and believers not only coexist but are one and the same… the old shibboleths are gone… for good. Remember… Nikodim Rotov was once a demonic figure to most of us, but most of us now know that he did his best to preserve the Church under harsh conditions. We have a seemingly-new Church that’s really the old Church. We find that all our Russian legacies… Old Russia, Moskovy, Imperial Russia, and the USSR… must live together or we have no legacy at all. If we try to cut anything off, we’d do what Stolypin warned us against (“If you cut off one of our Russian eagle’s heads, it’ll only make him bleed to death”). It may sound odd, but Marxism, tsarism, and Christianity are converging. I know that you may not agree with me totally, but I know that you are a fellow traveller of good heart, and that suffices for me. Have patience and keep good cheer. You do have a friend, here…

I removed all tell-tales that might hint at the identity of my interlocutor. The ROCOR is in serious straits indeed. The episcopate is isolated from the people and doesn’t seem to realise that times have changed and that the old ways and old expressions no longer work. The people are post-Soviet, so they ignore all diatribes against I V Stalin. The ROCOR is now mostly former-Sov émigrés, so the former anti-communist shibboleths no longer have traction. If the ROCOR Holy Synod continues on its present course, it’ll lose many parishes to the direct jurisdiction of Moscow. In fact, in Geneva, elements in the ROCOR Synod threatened to boot out clergy unless they signed a questionable document expelling a pious couple. Some feel that Metropolitan Ilarion Kapral is too lenient and not up to it. If things continue as they are, much of the present ROCOR may go under Moscow because of sheer incompetence. By the way, Paffhausen now weighs about 400 pounds (@180 kilos)… he’s ballooned since the OCA got rid of him. It’s ultra-obesity… a real tragedy.

No one knows how this play will end. However, it’ll be “interesting”, and we all know what that Chinese idiom really means…

BMD

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