Voices from Russia

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Patriarch Ilya of Georgia to Discuss Reconciliation in Moscow

00 Patriarch Ilie of Georgia. 20.01.13


On Sunday, Catholicos Patriarch Ilya Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili of all Georgia will arrive in Moscow on a visit that could create a general background for progress in bilateral relations that have been almost non-existent since the two countries fought a brief war in August 2008. On Saturday, after Epiphany services at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi, Patriarch Ilya said, “I’m going to Moscow to discuss issues that are vital for Georgia”. During his six-day visit, Ilya’s expected to meet Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and with the Russian leadership. On Monday, he’ll receive an award from the International Fund for the Unity of the Orthodox Peoples {editor: a non-existent “paper” organisation} in recognition of his contribution to strengthening ties between Orthodox believers and Local Churches worldwide. The Georgian patriarch, a known strong advocate of normalising relations with Russia, maintains active ties with the MP.

On 11 January, President Vladimir Putin sent greetings to Ilya on his 80th birthday and on the 35th anniversary of his enthronement, saying, “We greatly value your warm attitude toward Russia and the Russian Orthodox Church (sic). Your personal efforts … greatly helped in maintaining the centuries-long ties of friendship and mutual understanding between our peoples during a difficult phase of history”. Georgia broke off diplomatic relations with Russia after its August 2008 war over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgia lost one-fifth of its territory after the two republics broke away. Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili, whose Georgian Dream coalition won the 1 October parliamentary election, said in November that Tbilisi is restarting its ties with Moscow “from a clean slate”, but that restoration of diplomatic relations will be linked to the issue of Georgia’s territorial integrity. Moscow, however, rules out any negotiations on the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which Russia recognised as independent states. Russian and Georgian official representatives held a meeting on 14 December in Genève in a first attempt to launch the reconciliation process.

20 January 2013




Thursday, 17 January 2013

Archbishop Gabriel de Vylder of Comana Retired for Health Reasons

00 Archbishop Gabriel de Vylder. 17.01.13


On 15 January, Archbishop Gabriel de Vylder of Comana, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Western Europe (EP), the successor of Metropolitans Yevlogy Georgievsky and Vladimir Tikhonitsky, Archbishops Georgi Tarasov, Georgi Wagner, and Sergei Konovalov, retired for health reasons). The title “Comana” refers to an ancient defunct EP diocese, where St John Chrysostom died in exile in the early 5th century. At present, Comana is in Abkhazia.

Guido de Vylder was born in 1946 in Belgium, in a noble Flemish Catholic family. Being the eldest son, he was, according to local custom, supposed to have entered the employ of his father’s company, but instead he entered Catholic seminary, and, then, the University of Louvain. He converted to Orthodoxy in 1974, during his seminary years. De Vylder became a priest in 1976, and a bishop from 2001. Since 2003, Archbishop Gabriel has been the First Hierarch of the EP Russian Exarchate in Western Europe. Archbishop Gabriel was one of many Orthodox Christians in the West who converted in adulthood. Among them are bishops… Archbishop Mark Arndt of Berlin (ROCOR), and Metropolitan Tikhon Mollard, the First Hierarch of the OCA… and there are many others besides. In 1999, then-Archimandrite Gabriel, together with Archbishop Sergei Konovalov, visited Russia and was present at the consecration of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Thus, for the first time after many years, a Russian bishop of the EP Exarchate served with the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias.

After ten years of service as First Hierarch of the Exarchate, Archbishop Gabriel ordained many deacons and priests, and he created a number of new parishes. The exarchate has a two-fold mission… one is to see to the spiritual care of both the Russian émigré community and newer Russian immigrants, another is to act as a mission to Western Europe. At present, about half of the parishes serve in Slavonic, and the other half serve in local Western European languages. The Russian Exarchate in Western Europe claims to remain faithful to the Russian liturgical tradition.

On 8 January 2013, Archbishop Gabriel submitted a formal request to the Patriarch of Constantinople for leave to retire due to serious illness. On 15 January, Patriarch Bartholomew named Metropolitan Emmanuel, the Greek Metropolitan France, as locum tenens of the exarchate. He will head the diocese until the election for a new ruling bishop in May 2013. Archbishop Gabriel returned to his home in Maastricht (the Netherlands) and remains in treatment. In a pastoral letter issued before his retirement, he wrote, “I treasure the freedom in the Church and the universal nature of the Orthodox Faith; I’ve tried to keep the example of my predecessors as First Hierarch of this Diocese … my last words to you are a request that you should remain in love and unity, there isn’t anything more precious than our Church”.

17 January 2013




Friday, 4 January 2013

Georgian Orthodox Church Leader to Visit Moscow



Ilia Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili, Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, the First Hierarch of the Church of Georgia, will visit Moscow later this month to receive an award from the MP’s International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN). Patriarch Ilia, who turns 80 on 4 January, said on Wednesday that he’d receive an award at a ceremony in Moscow on 21 January. IFUOCN grants awards annually to political and religious leaders, as well as public figures for contribution to “strengthening unity of the Orthodox Christian nations”. Award ceremonies are in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

3 January 2013

Civil Georgia


Editor’s Note:

This so-called IFUOCN is a sham organisation that only exists to give out this award. It has no independent existence… and the awards ceremony has become a “Lenin’s Tomb” venue… one can tell who’s up and who’s down by the seating arrangement. Last year, Balashov, Mark Golovkov, and Vsevolod Chaplin were far closer to HH than the Blunder was… the last named was seated out with the hoi polloi in “Siberia”, across the aisle and far from HH.

The interesting question here is, “What’s the real reason for Ilia’s visit?” It’s clear that it’s cover for something. The IFUOCN award is a meaningless piffle, an empty prize from a nonentity, a nonstarter on all counts. It means nothing in and of itself. Is Ilia going to talk with VVP? He’s certainly going to confab with HH. Is Ilia going to chew the fat with Nino Burdzhanadze (who’s on the outs with Saakashvili and Ivanishvili‘s Georgian government)? It’s certainly going to be used as a neutral venue to get Russians and Georgians together. Is a deal on South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the works (either in the political or religious sense)? Now, of course, if the “award” gets pulled at the last minute… that would be a rather different kettle of fish, no?


Saturday, 13 October 2012

13 October 2012. BREAKING NEWS Georgian Patriarchate May Have Accepted No-Nun Nuns in Maryland Under its Omofor


I got this from one of the Cabinet:

I just got word that apparently the Patriarch of Georgia disregarded warnings about the Maryland nuns and received them.

Indeed, this proves to all, even to the slow learners, that the Georgians may have replaced the OCA and ROCOR as Langley‘s cat’s paw in “Russian Orthodoxy“. Georgia is a desperately-poor country, made poorer by Ivanishvili, who’s stolen about a quarter of the country’s economy. The Local Church there is in dire straits, and they can’t get Russian funds, due to the Georgian government‘s anti-Russian policies. US Dollars go a long way in poor countries… and Georgia’s desperately poor. Remember Fathausen’s trip to Georgia? That got no mention on  patriarchia.ru or Interfax or VOR or RIA-Novosti. I’m told that the Centre was NOT told of it beforehand. Put two and two together… this trip plus the fact that the Georgians suddenly started parishes in the USA soon afterwards (it hadn’t any before as it supported the OCA)… that means that Georgia and the Phanar are Langley’s stooges in Orthodoxy. Do act accordingly.

Here’s something to watch for. Do note that the Georgians took these GREEK nuns under their omofor. That means that if the konvertsy party loses at the Parma Sobor (a virtual certainty), they’d run off to the Georgians and form a “Rump OCA” (shades of Alex Riggle and the Onion Dome). In short, the “interesting times” wouldn’t cease, but at least the schmidiots wouldn’t be a Russian Orthodox headache any more. If that happened, the crackbrains would elect Fathausen their “First Hierarch”… it could precipitate big-time troubles between the Centre and Georgia (with the Phanar supporting Georgia). That could lead to Moscow taking over the Church in Abkhazia and South Ossetia… which could deter the Georgians from doing it in the first instance. Let’s hope that happens…


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