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


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



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.


Sunday, 19 May 2013

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

00 Patriarch Neofit of Bulgaria. 19.05.13


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


Sofia News Agency


Wednesday, 27 February 2013

IOC Tries to Emasculate Wrestling

Mavlet Batirov


The proposal of the International Olympic Committee to exclude wrestling from the Olympics aroused indignation among athletes all over the world. Some of the Olympic wrestling champions decided to give back their medals to the IOC in protest against this plan. In addition, politicians are indignant at the IOC’s scheme. The professional sport world is still boiling mad after the plans to exclude wrestling from the Olympics by the International Olympic Committee became known.

In protest against this plan, the renowned Bulgarian wrestler and 1996 Olympic champion Valentin Jordanov returned his Olympic medal to the Committee. Russian Olympic champion Sagid Murtazaliev decided to follow his example and to return the medal he had won in Sydney. Murtazaliev explained his decision by saying, “It’s a human act and my position as the Olympic champion. People are asking me whether it’s hard for me to part with this medal. However, I hope that by parting with the medal I won for our great country, I’ll help to keep wrestling as an Olympic sport; so, later, I’ll be able to win new medals for Russia and the Republic of Dagestan, where I come from. I think that all the Olympic wrestling champions will join me and the IOC will listen to us”.

The final verdict about the future of wrestling will come in September and wrestlers hope that their protest campaigns won’t be in vain. Mikhail Mamiashvili, President of the Russian Wrestling Federation (FSBR), said, “As long as there’s a chance for reconsideration, it’s necessary to use all the means to stop this process. We’re holding consultations and already working with the IOC. In the coming days, the new president of the International Wrestling Federation is to meet IOC Chief Jacques Rogge. We’re waiting for the meeting of the executive committee, which is to be held in St Petersburg. I hope that these efforts would bring results”.

The opponents of excluding wrestling from the Olympic list emphasise that this sport wasn’t only part of the first modern Olympics, but also part of the Ancient Olympics in Classical Greece. Natalya Yarygina, Vice President of the FSBR, said, “The IOC’s refusal to hold wrestling events at the Olympics would ruin the dreams and ambitions of thousands of devoted athletes. You can imagine what it means for those who devoted all their lives to this sport, and also for the many young boys in Dagestan who’d lose interests in wrestling and be back on the streets”.

Considering that, traditionally, Russian wrestlers rank highly at the Olympics, there were suspicions that someone wants to undermine the positions of our Olympic team by excluding wrestling from the Olympics. However, not only athletes, but also politicians all over the world are indignant at the IOC’s proposal. Amongst them are those who can’t be suspected of sympathy for Russia, for example, former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld. In his youth, he was a wrestler, and he’s still fond of the sport. The 80-year-old politician even said that he’s ready to enter the wrestling ring to defend the right of professional wrestlers to take part in the Olympics.

27 February 2013

Artyom Kobzev

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

This was in the commboxes for this post:

The Olympics are supposed to be a display of sports from around the world. No sport is more historically global than wrestling. Every culture and nation throughout history has created their own form of the sport. Secondly, it’s a sport that costs nothing to participate in. No fancy equipment, no sports complexes, etc… wrestling is a sport where even the poorest-of-the-poor countries can have success in. Plus, in the past 12 years, the amount of countries that have participated in women’s wrestling at the Olympics have DOUBLED. If a sport is growing so fast, why cut it? Dropping wrestling is a slap in the face to the history of sports.

Wrestling Roots

I need add nothing to that, save to say, “hear, hear!”


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