Voices from Russia

Sunday, 12 June 2016

12 June 2016. A Point to Ponder…

00 Have Mercy on Me O God. 08.03

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If the Gospel’s about anything, it’s about a God who meets us where we are, not where we ought to be.

Fr Robert Farrar Capon

Reflect on this whenever you hear loudmouth clergy issue thunderous claptrap from the ambo in re “purity” and “right conduct”… I’d say that the Church is right to offer oikonomia and that the “pure” are wrong in their akrivia. They want to “protect” the Church… I’d counter by saying that Our Lord Christ preferred the company of whores and tax-farmers to the company of priests and “religious”… do ponder that… moreover, do ponder who called for His death!

BMD

Thursday, 12 July 2012

The Hegira of the Manton Six: Zealotry Without Knowledge

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Our starting point is always wrong. Instead of beginning with ourselves, we always want to change others first and ourselves last. If everyone would begin first with themselves, then, there would be peace all around!

Elder Tadej Štrbulović of Vitovnica

Our Thoughts Determine our Lives

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Save your own soul, and thousands will be saved about you.

St Serafim Sarovsky

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By now, most of you have heard of the six monks who up and left St John of San Francisco Monastery in Manton CA because they disliked the pastoral dispensation that Meletios Webber gave an individual (note well who took them in… the rather questionable bunch at PlatinaPodmoshensky‘s old haunt). Here’s what passed between a friend and me (I’m in italics):

That’s what I was alluding to in my latest post. Transgendered, ungendered, supergendered… it’s no one’s business. If the Church extends oikonomia, they should shut up or go to the bishop. It’s that simple.

I’d agree. Those monks who left are the bad guys in this latest.

The main actor in this little Kabuki play is one Martin Gardner. It’s another konvertsy melodrama (just like the Toll Houses and an obsession with homosexuals)… it’s turning out to be the same ol’, same ol’, kids. The only thing to say is, “Gad, sir, that ain’t Orthodox!” Virtually all Anglo-Saxon converts are addicted to akrivia of one sort or another, especially former Episkies. If a bishop or priest shows pastoral oikonomia towards anyone, they all crawl out of their dustbins and caterwaul about how the Church’s going to hell in a handbasket, and they “know” what they’re talking about, ‘cause they saw what happened to PECUSA. If they were to ask a real canonist like Alexander Lebedeff, he’d tell them, “Read the canons! It says, ‘or as the bishop shall prescribe’… that’s the Orthodox way!” Indeed, we drive the papists absolutely nutso at times…

But X agrees with us!

Yes, they do… it’s their opinion.

You mean that you don’t agree with it?!?

No… the Church doesn’t define it… it’s not central to salvation.

That’s the Orthodox way. Orthodoxy is fond of giving people the “second chance”… hell, it loves giving people “third” and “fourth chances” too. We’re willing to bend the rules, if it’s going to save a soul. Mind you, oikonomia does carry a “price tag”. Second marriages are “allowed”, not “blessed”. Someone married twice may not become a priest (as the Church recognises civil marriage, unlike the RCs, Matthew Tate has to be defrocked immediately, as he’s a divorced man). Homosexuals are not driven out of the Church (click here for the bio of Nikon Mironov, a gay bishop (who got into trouble for personality problems unrelated to his sexual orientation… however, do note that the Church doesn’t make an issue of his orientation as Mironov supports the public teaching of the Church))… all the former Episkies bloviating on “gays” are full of it and should shut up. The Church opposes homosexual propaganda and the notion that homosexuality and heterosexuality are equal.

That being said, HH said, “We respect all human choices, including those involving sexual orientation. However, we reserve the right to label sin as ‘sin’”. This isn’t what the extremist konvertsy want to hear. For instance, the late Patriarch Aleksei Rediger of Happy Memory gave Nikon Mironov a high Church decoration and HH gave him a panagia in 2010… for Nikon is a defender of traditional Church order and Tradition. He burned Schmemann’s books on a public bonfire; he can’t be all bad! Note well how the Church dealt with Nikon… they sent him to the Pskovo-Pechersky Lavra to do penance for his abuse of the laity in Yekaterinburg (at the Lavra, the late Elder Ioann Krestiankin (a real saint) dealt lovingly with him). Then, the Church authorities allowed Nikon to settle near Moscow; the Church made him the honorary rector of a parish (he was NOT deposed from the episcopate; my understanding is that he agreed not to serve publicly). Therefore, one can see that the Church just doesn’t kick homosexuals in the arse and abuse them, as the former Episkies do (that’s why I contend that very few of them are converted-in-fact).

In short, Martin Gardner and his five confrères are not only chock full of beans, they’re prime candidates for punishment, as they made public a private pastoral matter. I only deal with “public figures”, “public occurrences”, and “public matters”. Private pastoral matters are not for us to publicise. If you have a “problem” with the pastoral oikonomia extended by a priest or bishop, go to the ruling bishop. I know what an Old School ROCOR priest said many moons ago about giving communion to a gay person (it was LOUD, trust me)… (heavy Russian accent) “If you have problem with this, go talk to bishop!!” Need I say that the person making the complaint didn’t go to the bishop? Fancy that…

That’s the way it is in the real Church. It’s the salvation station for every nation… and it’s more compassionate than the zealots wish to admit.

NB:

The fact that Nikon Mironov is a “retired bishop” indicates that such a status is fully-canonical, and that those who question such a status aren’t in the mainstream of the Church. For instance, Nikolai Soraich is a “bishop”, so is Jerome Shaw, but neither are “ruling bishops” or “vicar bishops”, they’re “retired bishops”… kapish? They CAN serve as clergy, but they have NO authority (they CAN wear a mitre, but one doesn’t serve hierarchical liturgy when they’re present). To make a “grey” situation even “greyer”, in 2013, Nikon was made a vicar bishop of the Diocese of Perm, thus “unretiring” him (the MP HS said that he might become a ruling bishop again if he was a good boy)… confusing, but that’s Orthodoxy for ya! If you want consistency, join the papists

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Thursday 12 July 2012

Albany NY

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