Voices from Russia

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

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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

http://www.inform-relig.ru/news/detail.php?ID=11333

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

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Editor:

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!

BMD

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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

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Abbot-s-last-wish-burial-at-his-Castro-Valley-5332773.php

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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

http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/25/local/la-me-pc-jerry-brown-religion-abbot-20140325

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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

http://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Monk-who-asked-lawmakers-for-special-burial-dies-5561582.php

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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

BMD

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Metropolitan Kirill of Varna Died in Mysterious Circumstances in Bulgaria

01 red-question-mark

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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.

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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.

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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

Interfax-Religion

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=51896

http://interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=51908

http://www.bg-patriarshia.bg/news.php?id=114784

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.

BMD

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Patriarch Neofit: Our Kids Need to Know the ABCs of Orthodoxy

00 Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria. 19.05.13

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Patriarch Neofit Dimitrov stated that Bulgarian kids should have the opportunity to learn about their Orthodox Christian heritage. On Sunday, Neofit addressed clergy and believers on the 60th anniversary of the restoration of the Bulgarian Patriarchate. The message, read out by Bishop Naum Dimitrov of Stob, Chief Secretary of the Holy Synod, made a strong case for the introduction of religion as a subject in school, with a special emphasis on Orthodox Christianity. It also reflected on the last 60 years of history for Orthodoxy in Bulgaria. Neofit wrote, “The past decades weren’t easy, but with God’s help, immutably led by the spirit of truth, all of us, according to the measure of our powers, bore witness to the resurrection of Christ. Today, we call for, and will continue to call for, more mission and witness to eternal salvation in our dear homeland and beyond her confines. What’s been accomplished isn’t little, but it isn’t enough either”. Patriarch Neofit also reflected on the “spiritual crisis” that Bulgarian society is going through, which is deeper than any financial and political troubles, saying, “There is a crisis of values, a crisis in thinking through the eternal truths about God, the world, and humanity”.

19 May 2013

Novinite.com

Sofia News Agency

http://www.novinite.com/view_news.php?id=150534

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