Voices from Russia

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Putin… the New Orthodox Tsar… “He Who Restrains”

00 putin on athos 290516

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The Abbots of Mount Athos insisted that President V V ‪Putin stand where the Emperor of New Rome stood; they’re right. As a man, Putin is a truly devout ‪Orthodox believer; as a statesman, Vladimir Vladimirovich devotes himself to the security (not physical expansion) of his country. He’s the head of the most powerful Orthodox country. By this, they sent out a powerful message. The Athonite Fathers know what sort of man they look at… the Defender of ‪Holy ‎Orthodoxy.

29 May 2016

This is Christian Syria

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Editor:

By this, the Athonite Fathers aren’t only making a political statement… they’re making a theological one as well. Only the Christian Emperor can call an Ecumenical Council. No Patriarch can do so… no local synod can do so… no assemblage of bishops, clergy, or lay believers can do so. Only the Christian Emperor can do so according to our practise. Thorough this, I think that the Athonite Fathers commented upon the upcoming “Council”  in Crete (really, nothing but a talk-shop meeting) and about him who called it. If only the Christian Emperor can call a Council, and V V Putin is the current “emperor”, what does that say about the legitimacy of the upcoming meeting? After all, VVP didn’t call it and he’s the only person who can do so, according to our customary usage.

The Mountain speaks… shall we listen? Shall we attend to their advice and standpoint? I think that the MP and its allies shall… they have the Mountain on their side. What does that tell us about the EP and its machinations? Nothing good, I’d warrant…

BMD

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Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Religious Roots of Russia’s Mistrust towards the West

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Right-Believing Grand Prince St Aleksandr Nevsky stopped the absorption of Russia into Catholic Europe and thus saved the Russian Orthodox faith

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There’s something in the Russian collective memory that causes Russian mistrust towards the West. Does this mistrust have religious roots? I don’t disagree completely with some of the points made in the article Anti-Western Sentiment as the Basis for Russian Unity, heavily criticised by fellow RI contributor Eric Kraus. Russian identity has a deeper anti-Western sentiment than implied by the recent rise of anti-Western sentiment among Russians, primarily caused by what they perceive as American and NATO aggression. So what is one of the main causes of Russia’s historical mistrust towards the West? For centuries, the Vatican tried to convert Russian Orthodox Christians to Catholicism. They succeeded in doing so with Orthodox Christians in the Western Ukraine and in parts of the Western Balkans. Even today, Vatican zealotry is alive and well. The Vatican is trying to achieve a “church union with Orthodox Christians”, of course under the primacy of the Pope. Russians saw foreign invaders… the Vatican, together with Swedish and Polish forces, Napoleon, Hitler, and NATO… as violent symbols of Western civilisation.

However, Russian identity didn’t gel as a reaction or historical reflex to Western expansionism. In its nature, Russian culture isn’t anti-Western or based on antagonism towards foreign civilisations or concepts.Many Russians would argue that Russian identity belongs to a different civilisational “code” as a successor of the great traditions and civilisation of New Rome. That’s the reason the Russian Empire was for centuries considered the Third Rome. Orthodox civilisation differs from its Western counterpart in terms of values, tradition, religion, and so on. Just read Samuel Huntington’s A Clash of Civilisations. Huntington posits that people’s cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Many would argue that this is exactly what’s happening in today’s world. Most of the recent conflicts have either religious or cultural causes. In addition, bloody civil wars in the Balkans, and now in the Ukraine, had a strong religious and civilisational dimension to them.

Let’s not forget that many American and European Christian conservatives support Putin because of his Christian vision and pro-family values. Maybe, could this be a reaction to their own governments’ openly anti-Christian and anti-family approach to social issues?

7 November 2014

Danmir Marinović

Russia-Insider

http://russia-insider.com/en/culture_christianity_society/2014/11/07/09-33-37am/religious_roots_russias_mistrust_towards_west

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00 russia 01. Viktor Vasnetsov. Three Bogatyrs. 1898

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Here’s what Mr Marinović wrote to an interlocutor in the commboxes:

I was referring to the Vatican, not to ordinary Catholic believers. There’s a big difference between good ordinary Catholics on one side and the corrupted Vatican and “infallible” Pope on the other. Click here for an excellent article about Vatican and Russia. As Dostoyevsky pointed up, “Papism is more dangerous than atheism, since it presents to us a profane and desecrated Christ usurping the earthly throne”, the Pope took the sword and added, “lies, intrigue, deception, fanaticism, and villainy”. Papism is dangerous precisely because it offers a counterfeit Christ.

You obviously deceive yourself when you claim that the Popes didn’t want to subordinate Orthodox for centuries. Yes, they didn’t ask for the Latin Mass, but they did ask us to admit the primacy of the Pope and to consider him “infallible in matters of faith”, which is blasphemy. As far as the power-hungry Vatican is concerned, you can worship God as you want, as long as you subordinate yourself to the Pope. The Pope replaced Christ; he’s the God in the Vatican church. There’s no place for Christ next to the Pope; you just need to adore the Pope and you’ll be saved. In regard to theological and other important differences between Catholics and the Orthodox Church, please, click here, here, and here.

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If you’d like to learn more what Catholic clergy did to “their Christian brothers”, to Orthodox Christians, in the Second World War, please, look at this documentary. Moreover, this documentary only relates the Vatican’s misdeeds in World War II; I’m not even mentioning any other tragic historical events related to the Vatican and Orthodox Christians. THE VATICAN’S HOLOCAUST isn’t a misnomer, an accusation, and even less a speculation. It’s a historical fact. Rabid nationalism and religious dogmatism were its two main ingredients. During the existence of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) as an independent Catholic State, over 700,000 men, women and children perished. Many were executed, tortured, died of starvation, buried alive, or were burned to death. Thousands were forced to become Catholic. Catholic padres ran concentration camps; Catholic priests were officers of the military that committed such atrocities. 700,000 in a total population of a few million, proportionally, would be as if a Catholic militia exterminated one-third of the American population.

The Ustaša slaughtered Serbs, Jews, and the Roma were in their villages after unspeakable tortures or burned alive in their churches. Those they didn’t murder, they expelled to Serbia proper after despoiling them of all their property or forcibly converting to the Roman Catholic faith by Franciscan and Roman Catholic clergy. Many suffered as slave labourers. The remaining people went to concentration camps where the majority perished. From gold and money stolen from these people, the Vatican enabled Nazis to escape to Argentina, on the so-called “ratlines”. Pope John Paul ll declared war criminal Alojzije Viktor Stepinac beatified in 1998.

I’d add that a good place to find some more intel on this is here, scroll down to “Dmitri Anatolyevich at the Radonezh Orthodox Gymnazia in Moscow”, then, scroll past the Vasnetsov painting and under the image of D A Belyukin, read that. There’s a lot of good stuff in that post… D A Belyukin is a People’s Painter of Russia, an Orthodox activist, a Russian patriot, and a world-class painter. Here’s the main quote:

Dmitri Anatolyevich asked, “Did you know that Prince Aleksandr Nevsky had a dilemma? He could go to war against the Horde or against the enemies from the West. Why do you think that he chose to face the latter threat?” The students replied, “Because they wanted to force Russia to convert to their faith!” Dmitri Anatolyevich replied, “The answer’s correct, harsh as it is. That is, the Tatars were content with tribute, they didn’t infringe upon the Faith, and they didn’t notice that Igumen Sergei of Radonezh had started to stir up the depths of the Russian land. The Westerners, on the other hand, wanted to bring their crusades to Russia, which, in many respects, the current popes carry out both covertly and openly. Therefore, it’s even more necessary for all of us to protect Orthodoxy as the mainstay and foundation of the unity of the nation”.

I also posted this… here’s the main quote:

It’s a frightening snapshot of the mindset of the Tea Party. They’re nothing but nativist Know-Nothings. It’s why we as Orthodox Christians can have nothing to do with them. They’re American Sectarians through-and-through. Their defining ideology is “Dominion Theology”, which states that the Bible (in its distorted and bowdlerised Proddie recension) trumps all civil law. Orthodox can’t have anything to do with that… our theology speaks of the symphonia of Church and State, each in its proper sphere, each with its own proper laws.

Many American Orthodox have succumbed to the siren song of American Sectarianism. After all, there are MILLIONS of them and only about a million Orthodox all told, of all “flavours”, in the USA. We must recognise that sectarianism is the greatest enemy to Our Lord Christ that exists in our country. Atheism doesn’t even come close to them… secularism is a pale opponent in comparison. A Russian priest wrote to me, “Sectarians use the name of Christ, but they aren’t of Him or in Him. They aren’t Christians, they’re of Satan”.

Orthodoxy isn’t defined “against” anything or anyone… it has its own positive dynamic. It stands alone… it’d exist even if there wasn’t a West or a Vatican or a Protestantism. We don’t define ourselves in comparison with anyone else. We are what we are… they are what they are… that’s what sober normal people think, any road. The same is true of Russian and Holy Rus… we aren’t Russian because we’re “not Westerners”… we’re Russians as Holy Rus is the successor of New Rome… we owe NOTHING to the West, and certainly not to drooling Anglo American toddler “conservatives” or “liberals” (both are two sides of a perverted neoliberal ideology that’s satanic to the bone). Russia has its own inner logic, wisdom, civilisation, faith, and folkways. We wish to live in peace with all people of good will… however… all those who march on Russia will be put to death! As it was, as it is, as it ever shall be!

One last thing… Samuel K Huntington did NOT originate the idea of “civilisational blocs”… that goes back to S M Solovyov in the 19th century (he was the father of the famous religious thinker V S Solovyov). Sergei Mikhailovich was one of the greatest Russian historians, but how many Westerners are even aware of his existence?

BMD

Sunday, 19 October 2014

19 October 2014. 1,000 Years of St Olav!

00 King St Olav II of Norway and Stefan Uros III of Decani Nemanjić 01. 19.10.14.

Right-Believing Kings St Olav II Haraldsson of Norway and Stefan Uroš III Dečanski Nemanjić of Serbia

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00 King St Olav II of Norway 06. 19.10.14.

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00 King St Olav II of Norway 05. 19.10.14.

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00 King St Olav II of Norway 01. 19.10.14.

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00 King St Olav II of Norway 04. 19.10.14.

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00 King St Olav II of Norway 03. 19.10.14.

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00 King St Olav II of Norway 02. 19.10.14.

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It’s been 1,000 years… a full millennium… since the Baptism of Right-Believing King St Olav II Haraldsson of Norway in Rouen. He baptised and enlightened his people, stopping endemic civil strife, but he died in battle in 1030 fighting rebellious nobles. A year later, in 1031, the Church canonised him “with the agreement of the whole Norwegian people”. In his homeland, people call him “the eternal king”. He’s amongst the last of the Western European Orthodox saints and there are churches in Russia dedicated to St Olav, notably in Novgorod and in Staraya Ladoga, where he lived for several years. There’s another link with Orthodoxy and Norway… the most loyal soldiers in Constantinople New Rome were the Varangian Guard, who served from the 10th to the 14th centuries… who came from England, the Nordic countries, and Russia. Most of them fell in battle in the Fourth Crusade fighting the papist invaders. This unit lost its mostly Nordic character after that event.

Raise a glass and cheer, Norskis… it’s your day!

BMD

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Turkey and Greece Feud over Hagia Sophia

00 Hagia Sophia Cathedral of the Holy Wisdom. 17.12.13

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On Wednesday, a war of words existed between Turkey and Greece over the possible conversion of Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul‘s most stunning landmarks, into a mosque. The feud over the 1,476-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site is the latest to erupt between the two neighbours over religion. Greece reacted furiously to remarks by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç that he hoped to change the status of Hagia Sophia, which is now a museum. On Monday, Arınç said, “We’re looking at a sad Hagia Sophia, but hopefully we’ll see it smiling again soon”, describing the complex in Istanbul’s historic quarter as the “Hagia Sophia Mosque”.

Hagia Sophia, which dates back to 537, was a church for centuries… and the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople… before the Ottoman conquerors converted it to a mosque in 1453. After the emergence of modern secular Turkey, it opened as a museum in 1935. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, “Recurrent statements made by high-ranking Turkish officials about converting Byzantine (sic) Christian churches into mosques offend the religious feeling of millions of Christians”. However, on Wednesday, Turkey bluntly retorted, “We have nothing to learn” from Greece about freedom of religion. The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement, “Greece’s spiteful treatment of Ottoman-era cultural artefacts and places of worship is well-known by all”.

Greece was once part of the Ottoman Empire; it and Turkey share a history marred by bitter territorial disputes and Christian-Muslim feuds. Mosques are a thorny issue in Greece, where the population is predominantly Greek Orthodox. Athens is one of the few European capitals without an official mosque. On Monday, Arınç, a member of the ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) said that two other religious sites in Turkey, also named Hagia Sophia, would become mosques (here and here). Its secular opponents often accuse the government of forcing Islamist values on the predominantly-Muslim, but strictly-secular country.

20 November 2013

The Daily Star (Lebanon)

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Nov-20/238455-turkey-and-greece-feud-over-hagia-sophia.ashx

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