Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Moscow Celebrated Despite Coldest Christmas Night “In 120 Years”




Bitterly cold temperatures didn’t stop worshipers from celebrating Epiphany and Orthodox Christmas. Christian believers across the globe joined in celebrations. Those who attended midnight liturgy at Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour had to bundle up for the bitter cold as temperatures in the capital dropped to about -30 (-22 Fahrenheit) on Christmas night. In Moscow Oblast, temperatures dropped below -32 (-26 Fahrenheit). Extremely cold weather hit the whole country, with some regions such as Siberia and Yakutiya recording temperatures of -40 (-40 Fahrenheit). In Moscow, the MChS deployed around 500 emergency personnel to help worshipers. Authorities provided around 200 mobile food tents with hot meals during the Christmas celebrations due to the cold. RIA Novosti quoted a meteorologist from Fobos weather centre:

This Christmas night was the coldest in the last 120 years, although the absolute record was more than 130 years ago in 1881, it was -35 (-31 Fahrenheit).

Frost hits Russia as Christmas Comes for Orthodox Christians (IMAGES)

The Orthodox Church follows the Julian Calendar, which is 13 days behind the Gregorian Calendar adopted by the Catholic Church in the 16th Century. This is why Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January, and not on 25 December. The Local Churches of Jerusalem, Serbia, Poland, Czechia/Slovakia, and Georgia, as well as the so-called Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Uniates) and some Protestants, use the Julian calendar, so they also celebrate Christmas on 7 January.



On Friday, in Serbia, where temperatures dropped below -15 (+5 Fahrenheit), Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas Eve in front of St Sava Cathedral in Belgrade with a traditional oak log fire.



In Turkey, Orthodox Christians also joined the celebrations despite sub-zero temperatures. On Friday, believers jumped into the Golden Horn strait in Istanbul in a traditional ceremony celebrating the Orthodox celebration of Epiphany, or the baptism of Christ. Traditionally, Orthodox Epiphany is on 19 January, according to Julian Calendar. However, some Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany on 6 January as they use the Catholic calendar for fixed feasts.



Orthodox believers in Bulgaria waded into the icy waters of the Tundzha River and danced the Hora, in a traditional male-only event to celebrate Epiphany. The men dressed in folk costumes and dived into the freezing waters to find a crucifix thrown in by the priest, before handing it to the youngest participant of the dance. The folk belief is that the person who retrieves it will be healthy all year.

7 January 2017




Thursday, 21 January 2016

Is the “all-Orthodox Sobor” a Hairsbreadth Away from Failure? Bulgarian Patriarch Will Only Take Part if ALL Canonical First Hierarchs Participate in the Synaxis

00 Patriarch Kirill w patriarch neofit of bulgaria. 01.06.14


In Genève, from 21 to 28 January 2016, a Congress (Synaxis) of the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches supposedly will prepare the final agenda for a so-called “all-Orthodox Sobor”, awaited for about a century in certain Church (especially modernist) circles. However, differences amongst the local Orthodox Churches, the refusal of certain First Hierarchs to take part in the Synaxis to prepare the “all-Orthodox Sobor”, and more importantly, the fervent prayers of believers, following the teachings of Holy Fathers and Confessors of the 20th century condemning the putative Sobor as apostasy, could lead to a complete breakdown of the meeting, since all decisions at the Sobor and the Synaxis would be via consensus, and if any of the First Hierarchs were absent, that would render that impossible.

On 12 January 2016, the Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Sofia and all Bulgaria referred to the principle of consensus in making a number of conditions specifying their conditions for allowing Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov to take part in the meeting in Genève. In particular, the Synod stated that the lack of an agenda for the Synaxis and the likely presence at the said meeting of uncanonical representatives of the PCČZS/PCČKS (Orthodox Church of Czechia and Slovakia) is unacceptable. Apparently, they mean the so-called “Archbishop” Simeon Jakovlevič of Olomouc and Brno (supported by the EP), the pretender to the seat of First Hierarch Metropolitan Rastislav Gont of Prešov. Moreover, the Bulgarian Holy Synod declared the fundamental importance of the principle of consensus in the coming Synaxis, and that such consensus could only exist if the all the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches are present.

In this connection, the Bulgarian Synod ruled that the Patriarch Neofit could only take part in the Genève meeting if “the Patriarch and the Holy Synod promptly receive the agenda of the meeting and if all outstanding disputes receive resolution before convoking the meeting in Chambésy”. Besides this, on 15 January, the Church of Athens and all Greece decided definitively that Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis wouldn’t take part in the upcoming Synaxis, sending instead a delegation consisting of Metropolitans Germanos Paraskevopoulos of Elis and Oleni, Chrysostomos Zafyris of Peristeri, and Chrysostomos Savvatos of Messinia. Orthodox media reported that amongst the reasons for this decision was pressure put on Archbishop Ieronymos… including political pressure… by the EP from the moment it became known that the First Hierarch of the Church of Greece wouldn’t be at this meeting.

17 January 2016

Inform Religia


Friday, 27 February 2015

An Attempt at Ecclesial Revenge

00 Patriarch Kirill w Mar Dynka of Assyria. 01.06.14

His Holiness Kirill Gundyaev, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias is the effectual First-amongst-Equals in the Orthodox World, and everyone except for Bart acknowledges that… Moscow is the centre of the Orthosphere, whether Bart likes it or not…


During the 19th and 20th centuries, the Patriarchate of Constantinople (EP) controlled much of the Orthodox world. One of the first bodies to become autocephalous was the independent Church of Greece. Then, the Bulgarian Orthodox Church separated from the EP. The rise of several independent patriarchates, including the Serbian and Romanian, marked the first half of the 20th century. It seemed that the EP shrank like drying leather. However, the end of the 20th century, apparently, began an era of revenge. How did that happen? Firstly, it had a new role in the diaspora, especially the Greek diaspora in America. Secondly, the collapse of the USSR brought on the collapse of the bipolar world, with the USA seeking a counterpoise to limit the MP’s influence.

Accordingly, the current situation, starting with creating the so-called Estonian Apostolic Church in attempt to steal the Estonian parishes, continuing with the situation in Czechia, where the EP refused to recognise the autocephaly granted by the MP, only to “grant” it in 1998, and ending with its desire to steal the Ukrainian Orthodox Church… it’s not a move to seek revenge for past wrongs, but an attempt to impose a new geopolitical reality and implement a new grand order. However, what are they trying to do? They want to destroy the Russian World, to restrict the MP’s influence to within the Russian Federation, and ideally restrict the RF to its central core. Otherwise, there’s no explanation for any of their actions. The claims to universal jurisdiction of the EP are ridiculous. Constantinople is no longer “The City”, the universal capital; it’s only the Turkish city of Istanbul. That’s especially true since there is no Christian Emperor or Senate there. It justifies its pretensions on Canon 28 of the Chalcedonian Council. However, I’d point up that this canon, which the EP hierarchy loves to quote, doesn’t say anything about Estonia or about Australia or about Czechia… it only refers to Pontus, Asia, and other outlying areas. Really, does this mean that the new boundaries of the EP stretch from the Baltic coast to Czechia?!

The EP has flawed logic. Today, it’s degenerated into a kind of “eastern rite”, the worst condition of all. Due to its arrogance, the EP doesn’t really know what it’s doing with the Pope of Rome. Orthodox hierarchs who’ve fought papism, who’ve experienced the struggle with it, understand how sinful and unjust their policy is. If they persist in it… that means that the EP’s in the wrong.

26 February 2015

Fr Deacon Vladimir Vasilik

Candidate of Philology

Candidate of Theology

Associate Professor of the Faculty of History, St Petersburg State University

member of the MP Synodal Liturgical Commission

Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya



Fr Deacon Vladimir’s essay points up how evil Vassa Larina’s actions were in sucking up to the Uniates. One of the heresies of the Church of Rome is that the “Eastern Church” embraces both Orthodox and Uniates. This is ridiculous. There’s no such thing. We have NO connection with Uniates… they chose to leave the Church and kiss the Pope of Rome’s ass. They’re not part of the Church anymore. I don’t think that we should fight such people or kill them (unless they come with guns in hand to kill us, as they do in Novorossiya)… we should leave them be. However, they’re NOT in the Church and we shouldn’t give them the impression that they are.

Vassa Larina isn’t alone, sadly enough. Most of the former Episcopalian konvertsy keep the “branch theory” in their hearts and lecture us on how “unloving” we are… you hear this from such sorts as Freddie M-G. Then, you have those like John Jillions… he was a paid hireling of the papists… well, isn’t that true of Vassa Larina as well? She works at a Catholic university… she got her position due to Bob Taft, a phony Jesuit “archimandrite”. Therefore, she really should preface any of her public statements with, “I’m a paid employee of the papists and I must do as they tell me. I may not agree with everything that I do”… that’d be honest. Otherwise, it gives the impression that she’s surrendered to the papists and become an in pectore Uniate.

That’s not “nice”… but it’s what I believe to be the truth. May my right hand wither if I refuse to speak out what I believe to be true… otherwise, I’d turn into a Victor Potapov or Vassa Larina… and I won’t do that, no I won’t.


Wednesday, 16 July 2014

St Herman Monastery LIES and PUFFS UP Podmo’s Funeral

podmo funeral 02. 15.07.14

Podmo’s funeral at Holy Dormition parish in Santa Rosa CA… do note the lack of a proper iconostas


A Cabinet member sent me this (hold on to your cookies… it’s off kilter and divorced from all reality)… no URL available, just copies of two e-mails:

E-mail One:

Fr Herman was buried in Sebastopol CA in the new Orthodox section of one of the cemeteries in the area. It was the decision of our Bishop Maxim to not allow his burial at the monastery. The below is a report sent out by one of the parishioners at the Holy Dormition Church. If you like, I’ll ask her permission to send you a link to the photos that were taken during the funeral and burial.

Yours in Christ,

The unworthy Hieromonk Paisius, secretary


E-mail Two:

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As most of you know, Fr Herman reposed in the Lord on the morning of 30 June 2014 in Minneapolis MN. The funeral for Monk Herman Podmoshensky, the former Abbot of St Herman of Alaska Monastery, was served at Holy Dormition Orthodox Church in Santa Rosa CA (USA) on Thursday, 3 July 2014. His Grace Daniil, Vicar Bishop of the Bulgarian Eastern Orthodox Diocese of the USA, Canada, and Australia of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church (Bulgarian Patriarchate), officiated. He was assisted by the clergy of Holy Dormition and Hieromonk Paisii of the St Herman of Alaska Monastery, and by nearly 20 priests, hieromonks, and other clergy of many canonical Orthodox jurisdictions, and by monastics and laypeople from all over America and from as far away as Mt Athos and Moscow.

The graveside burial service took place in the Orthodox section of the Pleasant Hills Memorial Park in Sebastopol CA. The address of this cemetery is 1700 Pleasant Hill Road, Sebastopol CA  95472; it’s only a 15-20 minute drive west of Santa Rosa CA, deep in the countryside. After the graveside service, those who didn’t have to leave immediately to the airport gathered under the redwoods next to the Holy Dormition Church for a memorial meal. Bishop Daniil, who became a monk in Bulgaria when converted as a young man by the writings of Fr Seraphim Rose, never met Fr Herman, so many of those present shared dozens of stories about their encounters with Fr Herman.


An interlocutor commented on the situation:

It happened at the OCA (sic) church in Santa Rosa CA, a bit north of San Francisco. If that’s their iconostas, how strange! … Did they do his funeral in their church hall, not in their church proper, for some reason? This church in Santa Rosa belongs to the Bulgarians; it’s a bunch of HOOMies.


Another Cabineteer opined on California Fats, and why he’d avoid going to his guru’s funeral:

He won’t go… that type forgets the past and expects us not to bring it up… he also doesn’t honour his friendships.


Firstly, here are images of the church and of its parishioners:

00 Holy Dormition 'Orthodox' parish. Santa Rosa CA. 15.07.14


00 Holy Dormition 'Orthodox' parish 02. Santa Rosa CA. 15.07.14


A careful headcount gives fifty people (including clergy) in this “parish”. For his miniscule conventicle, there are THREE PRIESTS and TWO DEACONS. I shit you not (click here for the proof). There’s no real iconostas in this “church”… NONE. One can tell that the funeral was in the church proper by the presence of the bema. The “About” section of the website doesn’t give the foundation date for the parish (odd… that’s one of the most important titbits on a normal parish’s site), but it does refer to the patronal feastday in 2007, so, this odd lot is at least seven years old, if not older.


Here’s an image of the “crowd” at the funeral and of the trapeza after the burial:

podmo funeral 03. 15.07.14


podmo funeral 01. 15.07.14


podmo funeral 04. 15.07.14


There are ten seats at each table; it looks like there are six or nine tables in all, not counting the clergy table (do note the empty seats at the tables… there may be another row of three tables out of sight). That is, at most, there could be 60 or 90 people at the funeral (but there wasn’t… the empty seats are mute testimony to that)… this tiny conventicle couldn’t fit that many, to be frank. My guess is that about 40 to 60 people, all told, attended this affair. I only counted six clergy in the images, and the largest number of laypeople in any one image was 33. There wasn’t 20 clergy present… that figure is fiction at best, a self-serving lie at worst. In short, a small bunch of groupies gathered for Podmo’s funeral. The OCA, ROCOR, MP, GOAA, Serbian, or Antiochian bishops and clergy were no-shows. None of ‘em showed up. NONE. Fatso didn’t show up, even though Podmo was his guru for years (including after his 1988 deposition… James Paffhausen went to Russia under Podmo’s auspices in that Russky Palomnik boondoggle, remember?). Note well that the Serbian bishop refused to allow the burial of Podmo at Platina. That means that he doesn’t trust the Seraphim Rose groupies. Maxim refused to come to the funeral… yet, the Platina brotherhood (and the nuns nearby) came to the affair. This means that they’re unrepentant and haven’t truly turned away from Podmo’s oddbod teachings. Actions DO speak louder than words do. Never forget, we live in a crank world where first impressions can be misleading. Have a care… there be dragons…


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