Voices from Russia

Friday, 12 January 2018

12 January 2018. Is the ROCOR in Europe a Dead Letter?

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Rumour says that the ROCOR is collapsing in Europe. Since the 2007 reconciliation, some wonder why it still exists. In Europe, the MP now is far bigger than the ROCOR is, as the ROCOR shows ineptitude in managing its parishes. Sources say that the main problem is Archbishop Mark Arndt, who moved against the very popular Archbishop Michael of Geneva. The same sources say that Mark had help from the main ROCOR apparat in New York in sending Michael into exile in France. Interestingly, the buzz has it that if Mark were to show his face in the UK again, they’d throw eggs at him. I’d say that it’s difficult to understand what’s truly going on, but it seems the MP has to clear up yet another ROCOR mess. Is the ROCOR simply dying out in Europe? It lacks an effective episcopate there, so some say that the only solution is a takeover by the New York apparat. However, is that what the Centre wants? Watch this… time will tell us…

My gut feeling is that the people will resolve this. If the ROCOR doesn’t act responsibly, they may very well opt to go directly under the Centre. In the present climate of Russian-baiting and Russophobic hysteria (some of it even coming from senior ROCOR figures based in the USA), the Centre might consent to that in order to counteract what it sees as infiltration by the American special services in the Church (do recall Pashkovsky in Odessa… those suspicions aren’t groundless). We shall see…

BMD

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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

Sunday, 29 October 2017

ROCOR Remembers the Guardian of the Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God

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On Saturday, the ROCOR marked the anniversary of the death of José Muñoz-Cortes, the guardian of the miraculous Montréal Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. Hundreds of believers from all over the USA and Canada gathered at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville NY (the ROCOR’s main monastery). Clergy served pannikhida and an akathist at the monastery cemetery in honour of Brother José, murdered 20 years ago in Athens. Believers put dozens of candles that burned for several hours at Brother José’s grave. One of the ROCOR’s main holy objects… the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God… was present at all the services. Amongst the believers was Angela Muñoz-Cortes, the sister of José Muñoz-Cortes. In an interview with us, she said:

In October 1982, I witnessed how the icon of the Mother of God began to glow in my brother’s house. I saw the miraculous flow from the icon, which happened at night. It woke up José with its strong odour. He didn’t know what it was. José thought that a friend who lived with him at that time used some cologne. Then, he saw the oily stains on the icon and thought that his friend carelessly poured oil on it. José wiped the icon, but soon the spots reappeared, then he realised that it was myrrh. My brother took the icon all over; it became one of the main holy relics of the Russian diaspora for fifteen years. He was very fond of the people that he met in parishes throughout the world. He was open to everyone and tried to help everyone.

José Muñoz-Cortes was a Chilean who converted to Orthodoxy in his youth at the Russian church in Santiago. In 1982, monks on Mount Athos gave him the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, which in a few months began to exude myrrh, and continued to do so regularly for almost fifteen years. Brother José was brutally murdered on 31 October 1997 in Athens, then, the icon disappeared. Presumably, the day before his death, he gave it to friends. Believers believe that the icon returned to Athos. The ROCOR Eastern American Diocese has set up a commission to collect documents for the glorification of Brother José. Ten years after the disappearance of the Montreal icon, in 2007 in Hawaii, a smaller copy, the Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, appeared, which exudes myrrh to this day. Believers believe that in this way the Montréal image returned to them.

29 October 2017

Dmitri Zlodorev

RIA Novosti 

https://ria.ru/religion/20171029/1507761157.html

See also:

Metropolitan: ROCOR Commission collects documents for the glorification of José Muñoz-Cortes

First Hierarch of the ROCOR: We don’t sense problems from ordinary Americans

ROCOR thinks that the meeting of the Patriarch and the Pope of Rome didn’t bring together two churches

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

25 October 2017. Romanov Sainthood… Passionbearers NOT Martyrs

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The Imperial family and their retainers are NOT martyrs. They didn’t die because of their Christian faith. They’re passionbearers… people who met an undeserved death in a Christian manner. This isn’t a minor point. Some irresponsible elements in the ROCOR (often under the influence of such Sergianist clergy as Potapov) are claiming that the Imperial family are martyrs. This isn’t so and the Centre hasn’t changed its position. Not only has the Centre not changed its position, it has no plans to do so, nor does it even have such a move under discussion. One of my interlocutors at the Centre said that we shouldn’t be too harsh on ROCOR clergy for going along with this goofiness. After all, if a clergyman were to go against Potapov and his clique, it wouldn’t be pleasant and it could affect a clergyman’s mission. Have forgiveness on such men… the times are evil and corrupt men such as Potapov and Alfeyev have undue influence. Ordinary priests and deacons find themselves in positions where they must “toss a pinch of incense upon the altar” to be left alone. That isn’t culpable.

The imperial family lost their lives because the Upper Middle class turned against them in February 1917. If that hadn’t occurred, at worst, the tsar would’ve had to make peace with a victorious Germany (more likely, it would’ve led to a stalemate in the East). If you want to find the culprits who laid the groundwork for Red October and the murder of the Romanovs (recall who imprisoned the Romanovs in the first place), look amongst the families of the Golden 400 (that is, clans such as the Potapovs and Schmemanns). Reflect on that whenever you hear Potapov’s lying rants…

BMD

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