Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Abbot Theodor Micka, Abbot of Holy Cross Monastery in California, Dies… Will be Buried at His Monastery Per His Last Request… Вечная ему память!

00 Archimandrite Theodor Micka. 18.06.14



As usual, oca.org did a shitty job on this story. I found the following after a quick Google search. Lil’ Mizz Ginny’s living down to her lazy reputation.

Do remember to light a candle for Abbot Theodor and do ask your priest to mention his name at Proskomidi and have Pannikhida said for him. We’re Christians, that’s what we do.

Вечная ему память!



For nearly 35 years, Abbot Theodor Micka tended to the grounds of his 9-acre (3.65-hectare) monastery in Castro Valley CA. Now, the 75-year-old is asking state lawmakers for a rare exemption to California law that would allow him to remain at the monastery he co-founded after he dies. State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), whose district includes the monastery, said, “From the moment the request was made, we got on this immediately. We looked at the best way to address the request with all due haste so he knows his final request will be granted”. SB124 would allow Alameda County to issue a burial permit for Micka on the Holy Cross Monastery grounds. Existing state law requires a burial at a cemetery, unless a person is cremated. Because the monastery isn’t a designated cemetery, burying the abbot on the property would be considered a misdemeanour without the special law. With the legislative deadline to introduce bills having passed, Corbett employed a routine process known as a gut-and-amend, where new language replaces the contents of a bill. In this case, a bill to create incentives for the state to hire clean-energy contractors who use California products had stalled and was going nowhere.

Assembly Hearing

Now, the bill is scheduled to be heard Thursday in the Assembly, where it’s expected to pass and head to the Senate on Monday. Corbett said, “We’re hoping to have this on the governor’s desk by next week. This is something we should do so the abbot can rest in peace”. Ordained in 1964, Micka knew he wanted to build a monastery with the inheritance his mother left him. Micka and Fr Stephen Scott made a pact in 1970 to open the monastery, spending nearly a decade raising the additional money needed. The pair expanded the monastery over the years by buying properties next to their rural lot, surrounded by regional parks, wineries, and a few homes. Scott said Holy Cross is the only Orthodox monastery in the Bay Area. The monks provide weekly religious services, along with baptisms, weddings, and memorials for Orthodox Christians.

In April, Micka was diagnosed with advanced cancer at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach. Scott said Micka continued to deliver services up until recent months, when his condition worsened. Scott, who’s now Micka’s caregiver, said, “He’s restricted to his bed. He gets a lot of visitors. He’s very much loved”. Scott said he envisions the abbot’s final resting place to be somewhere near their chapel. After working with the Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford University, Scott said they decided to pursue a narrowly crafted state law that allows Micka to be buried at the monastery.

Not Unprecedented

The state Legislature passed a similar exemption in 2005 that allowed Metropolitan Anthony Gerigiannakis, a spiritual leader of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco, to be buried on the grounds of St Nicholas Monastery, which he founded in Fresno County. Gerigiannakis died a month before then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the bill. Scott said that he hopes to be able to tell Micka that his final request has been granted, saying, “We’re trying to get this done, while Fr Theodor is still alive, so he has the peace of knowing where he’ll be”.

20 March 2014

Melody Gutierrez

San Francisco (CA) Chronicle



On Tuesday morning, his fellow priests awakened Abbot Archimandrite Theodor Micka with some good news. Governor Jerry Brown had signed legislation allowing the ailing 76-year-old abbot, who has terminal cancer, to be buried on the grounds of his Alameda County monastery. Micka said in a phone interview, “I’m in really high spirits now”. Despite continuing chemotherapy, he said, “I have strength that’s almost superhuman this morning”.

Micka spent decades developing an Orthodox monastery in Castro Valley, buying the first plot of land in 1979. In addition to daily prayer and study, Micka and other monks planted trees, tended gardens, and stacked stones for walls. Micka said, “I want to be part of the earth again. That’s why it’s important to be buried here at the monastery. It’s a place that I’ve laboured in, both spiritually as well as physically”.

Because the law requires the deceased to be buried in cemeteries, Micka needed an exemption to be laid to rest at the monastery. A legal clinic at the Stanford Law School and State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), whose district includes the monastery, pushed for legislation granting that exemption. It wasn’t lost on Fr Stephen Scott, who helped create the monastery with Micka, that the governor who signed the legislation considered becoming a priest himself before entering politics. Brown spent four years studying at a Jesuit seminary before attending UC Berkeley and Yale Law School. Scott said, “He probably understands what a sacrifice the abbot must have made in his life”.

25 March 2014

Chris Megerian

Los Angeles (CA) Times



Abbot Theodor Micka, whose dying wish to be buried at his Castro Valley monastery was granted by California lawmakers, died Tuesday in the arms of a long-time friend. Fr Stephen Scott said in a message to friends of the monastery, “I was with him feeding him breakfast just five minutes after the hospice nurse left. Suddenly, his eyes rolled back and he sighed. Then, he breathed no more. It was a peaceful, painless, and blessed passing”.

Abbot Micka and Scott opened the Holy Cross Monastery in 1979, the fulfilment of what Abbot Micka called a lifelong dream. Monks provide weekly religious services for Orthodox Christians, along with baptisms, weddings, and memorials. Abbot Micka, 75, was diagnosed last year with advanced cancer at the junction of the oesophagus and stomach. When his condition worsened, the monastery sought the help of the Religious Liberty Clinic at Stanford to help Abbot Micka and Scott pursue an exemption to state law so the abbot could be buried on the 9-acre monastery property. State law requires burial at a cemetery, unless a person is cremated. Failure to do so is a misdemeanour. Because the monastery isn’t a cemetery, the abbot needed an exemption. State Senator Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), whose district includes the monastery, said it was important to get a bill through the Legislature and onto Governor Jerry Brown’s desk as soon as possible. When Brown signed the bill in March, Abbot Micka said he was “filled with enthusiasm”. Abbot Micka’s funeral will be Saturday at the monastery.

18 June 2014

Melody Gutierrez

San Francisco (CA) Chronicle



Schedule of Events:

Archimandrite Theodor will lie in state at the monastery through Friday, 20 June, when the Trisagion will be celebrated at 19.00 PDT (16.00 EDT. 21.00 BST. 00.00 Saturday 21 June MSK. 06.00 AEST). The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday, 21 June, at 10.00 PDT (07.00 EDT. 12.00 BST. 15.00 MSK. 21.00 AEST), followed by the Funeral Service and interment. A memorial meal will follow.

The time in various zones is given so that priests and believers can coördinate their prayers with the service times in California, if they desire


Sunday, 1 June 2014

1 June 2014. Moscow IS the CENTRE of the Orthodox World…

00 Patriarch Kirill w Mar Dynka of Assyria. 01.06.14


00 Patriarch Kirill w patriarch neofit of bulgaria. 01.06.14


00 Patriarch Kirill w abp antony of Mexico (Antioch). 01.06.14


00 Patriarch Kirill w Metr Ambrose of Greece. 01.06.14


Unlike the Phanar, nestled in a set of dilapidated buildings in an Istanbul neighbourhood, the Centre is the bustling beating heart of the Orthodox World. For instance, in the top image, HH meets the Catholicos-Patriarch of the Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the EastMar Dinkha IV Khanania. In the next, we see HH with Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov of Sofia and all Bulgaria, a fellow First Hierarch. Then, he’s with Archbishop Antonios Chedraoui Tannous of Mexico (Patriarchate of Antioch and all the East). In the last, he’s with Metropolitan Amvrosios Lenis of Kalavrytas (Church of Athens and all Greece). In short, Moscow is THE CITY… remember:

“Old Rome fell to the axes of the barbarians, Constantinople New Rome fell to the infidel Turk… Moscow is the Third Rome, and a Fourth, there never shall be!”

In short, Bart’s pretensions and “agreements” in Jerusalem with Frankie were LESS than nothing. Will HH meet with the “Bag o’ Donuts?” No… Rome refuses to call off its Uniate attack dogs… THAT has its price. Pope Francisco is a sincere human being with proper social justice stands (which HH shares, by the way)… but there are no real concessions on his part in the Church realm, so, a meeting can’t take place. That’s the long n’ the short of it…

By the way, ignoranus Western sources claim that HH is cool towards V V Putin. Nothing could be further from the truth. As the above images indicate, he’s a BUSY man… his role as First Hierarch of the Patriarchate of Moscow and all the Russias takes up a HUGE amount of time. After all, he’s the leading Orthodox leader in the world, and that doesn’t leave him much time for secular politicking… he leaves that to his able satrap for the Diocese of Moscow, Metropolitan Yuvenaly Poyarkov (who DOES show up at the proper venues at the proper times). Oh yes… one last thing… the RCs, Uniates, and “Ukrainian Orthodox” are crowing about a UOC/MP priest concelebrating with Denisenko’s crank schismatical crew. Yes, that happened, and Metropolitan Onufry Berezovsky of Kiev came down on him like a ton of bricks… the guy got a one-month suspension, with a warning that if he did it again, he’d get le sabot. They ARE outside the Church, after all…


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Saturday, 29 March 2014

“It’s Symbolic that this Historic Event coincided with the Return of the Crimea to Russia”: Orthodox Church of Poland SHITCANS Catholic Calendar

00 put it in the trash. 29.03.14


On 18 March, the website Drevo reported that the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in Poland, after 90 years, returned to the sacred traditional Orthodox Julian calendar. Given the fact that most of the parishes of the Polish Church (96 percent) celebrate Christmas on the traditional calendar, and at the believers’ request, the Holy Synod invalidated its decision of 12 April 1924 introducing the Catholic calendar for fixed feasts, deciding to return to the Julian calendar starting from 15 June 2014 (Week of All Saints). Parishes can use the Catholic calendar only in cases of strict necessary. This is the first case where a canonical Local Orthodox Church officially revoked the Catholic calendar, returning formally to the Julian calendar.  The editors of Holy Fire commented on this event, “In view of this positive precedent, it’d be most reasonable and beneficial for universal Orthodoxy at the upcoming 2016 all-Orthodox Sobor if the Moscow Patriarchate, as the largest Local Church, would call all those Orthodox following the Catholic calendar to return to the Julian calendar, so that we have no division in prayer”.

Commentary from Deacon Vladimir Vasilik (Kandidat of Philological Science, instructor at the Faculty of History St Petersburg State University (SPBGU)):

It’s symbolic that this historic event coincided with the return of the Crimea to Russia. I experienced it, as I was present as this event entered history at the meeting at the Great Kremlin Palace. I can say that this event had great grace behind it. It was the feastday of St Luka Voino-Yasenetsky the Confessor. I’d say that St Luka prays not only for Russia, but also for the entire Orthodox world. His prayers came true… that’s a wonderful event for our Polish brothers in Christ, which is welcome. With this step, the Polish Church showed its spiritual character, despite all the difficulties of being in a heterodox country; it witnessed its loyalty to Orthodoxy and to the sacred Julian calendar. The Polish Church witnessed its deep connection with Russia, with Russian Orthodoxy, especially, as many of its believers consider themselves a part of the Russian world. It helps to restore all-Slavic unity, as Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Serbs all use the traditional calendar. The Church of Bulgaria has the same intention. This is a sign of all-Slavic accord.

Of course, at any future all-Orthodox Sobor, the MP should invite all other churches to go back to the traditional calendar, in order for us to have unity in all things, including unanimity about our feastdays. That liquidation of our unity was a sad legacy of the questionable Patriarch Meletios Metaxakis, who hobnobbed with Renovationists, promoted Masonic projects, engaged in poaching on the canonical territory of the MP, and tore away the Polish and Finnish Churches. He left the Catholic calendar as a legacy; it’s become a cause of disagreement. I hope that we can eliminate this sad legacy eventually.

28 March 2014

Russkaya Narodnaya Liniya



There’s NOTHING on this on oca.org… one wonders why. I wonder what the loquacious Michał Kalina thinks about this! His ship sinks, and no one mourns it. THIS could torpedo the whole “all-Orthodox Sobor”… and the Centre knows it! It could lead to TWO “all-Orthodox Sobors”… one at the Phanar, one at Novy Ierusalime, after the common meeting dissolves in acrimonious disagreement. The Phanar won’t budge on the Catholic calendar, not with a papist-trained and Western-subservient First Hierarch. The Centre won’t budge on the traditional calendar, not with this event in hand. Yes… there’d be TWO Sobors… there’s a chance of a rupture in communion as well (I’m not wishing for such… I’m reporting what I’m seeing).

What does this portend for the OCA, seeing that it’s an effectual dependent metropolia of the MP? We’ll have to see, but my thought is that the body would split… with some going to the EP to preserve the Catholic calendar, and others cleaving to Moscow and traditional Orthodoxy. It does bid fair to be INTERESTING.


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Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Metropolitan Kirill of Varna Died in Mysterious Circumstances in Bulgaria

01 red-question-mark


Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Velikopreslavsky (Bulgarian Orthodox Church) died. On Tuesday, his body was found on a beach near the city of Varna. According to local media, the police are investigating the death. Metropolitan Kirill stood in for Patriarch Maksim Minkov of Sofia and all Bulgaria during the Patriarch’s final illness, and he was patriarchal locum tenens after the death of Patriarch Maksim.


Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias expressed his condolences Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov of Sofia and all Bulgaria and to the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church in connection with the death of Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Velikopreslavsky. On Wednesday, the Patriarchal Press Service quoted Patriarch Kirill as saying in a telegram, “The newly-departed Bulgarian archpastor [Kirill] was a great friend of our Church. We knew and loved him in Russia, the Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and the other countries that make up the MP’s canonical territory, which he often visited as a dear and welcome guest”. His Holiness noted that he knew Metropolitan Kirill for many years.


The Chancellery of the Holy Synod wishes to inform you that, today, 9 July 2013, His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill Kovachev of Varna and Velikopreslavsky reposed in the Lord. According to information from the Diocese of Varna and Velikopreslavsky, the body of a Metropolitan Kirill was found on a beach in near the metropolitan residence located in Trakata district. Currently, the body is in the Varna Institute of Forensic Medicine. At this stage, the requisite authorities haven’t confirmed the media reports that his death was due to violent causes. Church authorities in Varna and at the Synod urge all Orthodox Christians and patriotic people to direct their gaze in earnest prayer to God, to ask that he accommodate the soul that left us in Varna in the realm of the righteous.

Pursuant to Article 84 Paragraph 1 of the Statute of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, all members of the Holy Synod will gather tomorrow, 10 July, at 10.00, to meet to set a date for the funeral and burial service; after reading a report message from the Varna Diocesan Council, they’ll appoint a locum tenens for the Diocese of Varna and Velikopreslavsky, to canonically manage the affairs of the diocese until the Synod chooses a successor to the late Metropolitan Kirill. Again, we turn with sincere feelings of condolences in our heart to the bereaved clergy and believers of Diocese of Varna and Velikopreslavsky and renew our call for respectful and sincere prayer for our dearly lamented worthy hierarch, who was a member of the Holy Synod.

Eternal, blessed, and bright memory to the departed Metropolitan Kirill of Varna and Velikopreslavsky!

God rest his soul!

9/10 July 2013





Editor’s Note:

I’ve checked some other sources… they say basically the same thing… there’s NO confirmation that the death was due to violence. However, the body was found in an upscale nouveau riche area, so, the chances that the bishop WAS killed by nogoodniks, whether accidentally or on purpose, can’t be ruled out.


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