Voices from Russia

Monday, 24 February 2014

Fr Vsevolod Chaplin Warned Those Who Might Attack Russian Orthodox Holy Sites in the Ukraine

Patriarch Kirill Ukraine 2010 02


On Monday, at a roundtable in Moscow, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO), warned those who might think to seize the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra or any other holy site in the Ukraine. He said, “If you tried to change people’s minds about religion by using brute force, of course, you’d face that it’d increase the people’s determination to defend their shrines. You’d see that it’d strengthen the faith of the people, and you’d meet God’s eternal punishment, maybe, you’d even get God’s punishment in this life. We saw this many times in the lives of the Bolsheviks who assaulted our national holy places in the 1920s and 30s in the former USSR“.

He went to say, “I hope that no one raises a hand to encroach on the holy places of the Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra and its monastic brotherhood, which stems from centuries of monastic life in this ancient monastery, which belongs to the canonical Church”. He also said that for believers in Russia, Belarus, and Moldova, indeed, in all the countries where the MP has parishes, “what’s happening today in the Ukraine is a very sensitive issue, particularly, whether the canonical Church can defend its churches and holy places. Of course, I’d hope that our believers are willing to protect the ancient shrines of the millennium-long history of Orthodoxy in the Ukraine from any attacks.  In the case of any aggression against our national Orthodox shrines, Orthodox believers not only have the right, they have the duty, to protect these shrines”.

Fr Vsevolod also noted, “Perhaps, someone’s trying to set us at each other’s throats”; he urged his listeners not to listen to such promptings. He emphasised, “Likewise, it’s important to do everything not to inflame political passions, to enable the reasonable element amongst the Ukrainian people to make an informed choice, so that the country would find a decent path to the future, a path that would exclude transforming the Ukraine into a hostile state with respect to anyone whatsoever… to Europe, to Russia, to Poland, to the different ethnic communities resident there”. Fr Vsevolod pointed up, “Ukrainians are a Christian people, mostly, they’re Orthodox; they’re a people with a deeply rooted and profound wisdom. I’m confident that such insight wouldn’t allow the peoples of the Ukraine and of Russia to become enemies, even though some parties would love to see such. However, we must always remember our closeness and our amity, which has endured for more than a thousand years, despite all the differing and various political beliefs that have come and gone”.

24 February 2014



Editor’s Note:

Vsevolod Anatolyevich often speaks for HH. That gives HH “deniability”… it also allows HH to float “controversial” projects or ideas without involving the patriarchal office’s dignity. I think that the takeaway here is clear… HH distrusts the American motives in the present coup d’état attempt in Kiev. He’s giving them a warning… “Call off your attack dogs, for our people WILL defend our holy places from Uniate or schismatical desecration”. HH doesn’t want this to happen, but he’s ready for trouble if trouble comes looking for him. He doesn’t want any violence… but he WILL defend the canonical Church and its rights. That’s the way it’s ‘sposed to be…


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Monday, 11 November 2013

11 November 2013. A Point to Ponder… It IS the Big Tent

Ilya Glazunov. Golgotha. from the triptych 'The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor'. 1983


(From the triptych The Legend of the Grand Inquisitor)

Ilya Glazunov



He STILL owns the House!


One of the Cabinet shared this with me:

We all have our preferred corners, but we must remember that we’re still in the house with others. Moreover, we DON’T own thе house!

Indeed… one must be leery of those who draw the boundaries of the Church too narrowly. It’s NOT our House… its Christ’s House. He’s the Master of the Manse… He decides who’s in and who’s out. Most definitely, He doesn’t exclude people on “political” grounds. That’s why we must oppose creepos like Paffso and Reardon with all our powers. They DO exclude people if they don’t parrot their oddbod rightwing shibboleths, and, sad to say, it’s all too prevalent amongst konvertsy in general.

I’m tired of people picking on Mark Stokoe… yes, he’s a complete and utter twit; he thinks much too highly of himself… but he’s an Orthodox Christian. Vladyki Job threw his mantle of protection over him, and that’s that. The ignoranuses who attack Mark for being gay don’t have a clue what the Real Church teaches… the Real Church doesn’t excommunicate homosexuals… it merely says that active homosexuality is a sin… a sin not as serious as adultery… or simony… or greed (according to Scripture, the Mother of All Sins). In fact, I’d observe that most konvertsy are puffed up with Pride… and that one makes homosexuality look downright innocuous.

I say that there’s room in Christ’s Church for all sorts of people… we shouldn’t tut-tut if a bishop offers the oikonomia of the Church to this one or that one. After all, the konvertsy who attack oikonomia are all fans of Dmitri Royster and Seraphim Storheim… methinks that their “gaydar” is FUBAR.

We DON’T own the house! (Hat-tip to the Cabineteer who sent me that one!)



Thursday, 3 October 2013

The Orthodox Ghetto

a fork in the road


Editor’s Note:

I don’t totally agree with this, but it’s ORTHODOX. Orthodoxy is the Big Tent. Don’t listen to ignorant children such as Rod Dreher. He hasn’t the slightest clue of the BREADTH of the Church.



Pope Francisco loves the atheists; he doesn’t believe in a merely Catholic God. He even revels in the fact that Christians are a minority globally. A lifelong Jesuit, he doesn’t hide his anticlerical stance. In his youth, he appreciated the idealists of “materialism”, dissociating himself from the anti-Semitism of his beloved mentor, St Augustine. Now, he wants to take Catholicism out of its cultural ghetto by having a dialogue with today’s “illuminati” promoting secularism. This resulted from an exchange of letters and an interview granted to the founder of the most important left-wing daily of present-day Italy, La Repubblica. Eugenio Scalfari defines himself as an atheist fascinated with Jesus. In response to this, Pope Francisco pointed up that, without the Church, he wouldn’t have really met Jesus. This is why he conceives his pontificate as a reformist one.

All doctrine, legislation, and administration aside, the Church is a way of life. In other words, it’s a culture. Moreover, this culture is in crisis. This crisis isn’t hypothetical, like the one vaguely named “the values crisis”. Pope Francisco puts things in perspective… this isn’t about “Christian” culture, some kind of answer to humanism higher than religion. This is about cohabitation, beyond tolerance and politeness, without the haughty attitude of someone convinced about his “truth”. Of course, we can wonder how much rhetoric there is in this papal campaign in favour of dialogue with atheists and non-Catholics. We don’t believe that it’s dishonest. However, dialogue isn’t only a matter of goodwill, although without it, it can’t even start.

This clash with modernity was painful for Catholics. For a long time, it was largely contradictory. The post-war era led to a more decisive attempt to end this “culture war”. However, as even the Pope said, too little was done in this regard. Nevertheless, what happened with “the other lung of Europe”… the expression of John Paul II… with Orthodoxy? The formal rhetoric uses the apologetic argument of the grand Orthodox opening towards culture, referring either to Byzantium (sic), or to the golden age of national culture. Artists temporarily retire to monasteries in order to complete their works and “enlightened” bishops are major cultural personalities, whilst the presence of clerics in cultural events, book launches, or shows is something usual. The Orthodox press has pages dedicated to “Church and Culture”, and, often, some intellectuals gather large audiences when they hold conferences on religious topics. However, what lies behind this beautiful curtain?

Orthodox mentalities are rather “reactionary”… if we use the standard of papal rhetoric. Firstly, there’s the essence of “Orthodox culture”, that is, of creativity exerted within the “walls of the Church” or, at least, containing Orthodox “values”. In other words, dialogue with atheists and non-Orthodox believers is useful only if it is apologetical, targeting the conversion of the interlocutor to Orthodox truth. This isn’t specific only to Orthodoxy, as one can easily find it within Catholicism, whilst the Jesuit-styled stance of the present Pope is in the minority, actually. What do contemporary Jesuits believe in this regard? I think that they believe that God speaks through the qualities of art created by anyone, atheists included. An Orthodox full of pride in his identity can’t believe this.

Reality gives us the measure of the “reactionary” credo. Who would imagine that, in a town that hosts an important university, where the metropolitan bishop goes to the Opera and the Museum, the Orthodox parochial school that the bishop founded has pupils whose parents totally forbid them watching TV? Teachers have problems choosing what stories to tell children, as they must avoid Walt Disney cartoon characters… as Disney’s “guilty” of having been a freemason. Artists with academic ranks regard Western art after Byzantium as degenerate. Confessors of students discourage them from dabbling in “modernist” culture. “Folklore” is a safe topic in relation to “disputable imports”. A star of the young generation of theological authors prints at his (otherwise prestigious) publishing house texts with ridiculous anti-Semitic quotes from St Cosmas the Aetolian.

The “foremost Romanian theological personality” considers that “our kin” isn’t the Jewish neighbour living in the same building, but the relative living in the “Romanian” village where we originated. People who dreamt of a totalitarian, repressive, and bellicose Orthodoxy are regarded as saints. Still, often, nationalism becomes a surrogate for culture. Even the patriarch had to back off with regard to ecumenical dialogue. What culture can result from such an understanding of Orthodoxy? Let’s get serious; Orthodoxy’s cultural crisis is severe. We can easily see its effects. Perhaps, as Pope Francisco suggested, a Church needs to become a minority in a country in order to return to its role as fruitful yeast. Too much arrogance due to strong influence can be fatal for it.

3 October 2013

Bogdan Catalin

Nine O’ Clock


Sunday, 7 July 2013

Pope of Rome said that All Papal Representatives Everywhere Should Reject the Bourgeois Lifestyle

00 2012 homeless in Moscow. meal in parish.


On Friday, Italian media sources reported that Francisco Bergoglio, the Pope of Rome, urged Vatican representatives to turn away from the bourgeois way of life to avoid looking foolish, saying, “There’s always a risk in embracing a bourgeois state of mind and lifestyle, which leads to slackness, to a cosy and passive life. When we embrace such a state of mind, it makes us foolish. Perhaps, some might flatter us, but watch out for those who praise us to our faces and criticise us behind our backs”. The media noted that the Pope, for the first time during his reign, gathered papal representatives from around the world, reminding them, once again, of their role in the appointment of local bishops. He said, “Make sure that the candidates are close to the people, that they’re humble, patient, and compassionate. Make sure that they believe in poverty and lead a simple and austere life”.

21 June 2013



Editor’s Note:

The above isn’t good news for the First Things and Acton Institute crowds (Timothy Dolan should take note as well). You see, they want to ally the Catholic Church with the American rightwing and its love of money and its global hegemonic vision. For Orthodox people, it means that Hannes Jacobses must cut all ties with the Acton Institute, as it spits on Pope Francisco’s teaching, by embracing and defending the bourgeois way of life. However, do note that the konvertsy won’t do such… their political notions are more important to them than Christ and His Church are. It doesn’t matter what the Fathers say… it doesn’t matter what our REAL leaders say (poseurs such as Fathausen and Potapov don’t count)… it only matters to them what the Republican Party says.

Bear in mind that both HH and Pope Francisco oppose the “Me First” crapitalist system and have said so explicitly. That means that all Orthodox clergy and laity attempting to ally the Church with godless rightwing forces aren’t only mistaken, they’re in league with evil, full stop. Mind you, most are unaware that they’ve taken Satan’s shilling (the Potapovs, Drehers, Paffhausens, and Berzanskys are rare, thank God). Is Hannes Jacobses a dupe, or, is he a fully aware rebel? God alone knows… until it’s clearer, we should give him the benefit of the doubt. However, that means that we should watch him even more carefully… that’s the only way to find the underlying cause of it.

For now, simply don’t attend to anything issuing forth from Potapov, Paffhausen, Reardon, Whiteford, Freeman, or Dreher… they’re all soldiers in the wrong cause. If you want a sane voice on American politics, I’d recommend Val Zorin of VOR. Click here for my translations of his “A View from Moscow”… it’s a continuing effort, new ones keep coming out. Valentin Sergeyevich has over fifty years of experience in covering the American scene… certainly, he’s a more sure source than ignoranuses (no misspelling) such as Josiah Trenham and Alexander Webster.

Have a care… there be cowpats out there in that there field…


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