Voices from Russia

Friday, 20 October 2017

20 October 2017. Monastics and Clergy are Real People First, Last, and Always


I’ve never put clergy on a pedestal. Firstly, there are too many rum sorts in riassas. “You have to respect me because I’m a priest”… yadda, yadda, yadda. These men are the greatest recruiters for atheistic secularism that I know. They make Christ’s Church look like a cheapjack personality cult (or an Anti-Christian Evangelical conventicle).

Secondly, clergy and monastics are real people. They aren’t special. They don’t have anything that the rest of us don’t have. They have the same feelings and urges that the rest of us do. They’re as capable of friendship as any of us are (and of hate, too). Unfortunately, too many people only see the riassa. They don’t see the real person in the riassa! They think that they have to be “religious” with clergy and monastics. That’s absolute bullshit and hooey. Be REAL with clergy and monastics. That’s showing them real respect. Interact with them as people. Don’t make them into something that they’re not. You’ll find that decent clergy and monastics will thank you for that. As for the rest, what need I say? Ignore them, for the most part, and oppose them if you must.

Remember… real people EARN real respect. Anyone who “demands” it is rather dubious (some men are in the clergy because they know that they couldn’t do as well in the secular world). Have a care. There be rum sorts afoot…



Sunday, 7 July 2013

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin sez that Priests Shouldn’t be Affluent… but They Shouldn’t Live in Poverty Either

01s Faces of a Religious Procession


Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the MP Department for Coordinating Church and Society (ОВЦО/OVTsO), warned that well-heeled affluence (мажорства) and miserable poverty amongst the clergy were equal dangers, saying at a Moscow panel discussion on the public perception of the Church’s image, “Of course, most emphatically, the clergy mustn’t succumb to the consumerist notion that we see today… affluence and access to material goods can cause stratification within the clergy, dividing them into rich and poor. This is very bad”.

He went on to say that ordinary people “internally rebel when they see an affluent clergyman”, yet, equally, he doesn’t believe that “it’s beneficial to the Church if the clergy become marginalised outcasts”. He said that there’s a “diminution of the clergy’s status” amongst Catholics and Protestants in the West, which is due to the fact that “secular forces squeezed them out and made them social outcasts. The same thing could happen with us… it’ll drive priests crazy or force them into the labour market if we allow the notion that clergy should live in miserable poverty to settle amongst us. In Russia and Greece, indeed, in all Orthodox lands, the priests usually had a living standard a little bit better than the average working-class family”.

According to Fr Vsevolod, if there’s wealthy people in his parish (or, at least, the comfortably well-off), if the priest lives in want, if he must constantly beg on his knees for his livelihood, “it’s a shame upon the flock, upon that church community, upon all those who frequent the place where that priest serves”. Fr Vsevolod concluded, “Don’t attend to people who imply that a priest shouldn’t live in dignity, with enough material goods”.

5 July 2013



Editor’s Note:

Many priests are at the mercy of obscurantist parish boards… let’s not be coy about it. That’s wrong. It’s forced priests into the labour market, and, as Fr Vsevolod points up, it’s warped them. It has created a two-tier priesthood here in the Orthodox diaspora… and it’s toxic in all respects. On the one hand, you have affluent priests like Potapov or Warnecke, who’re more bureaucrats or managers than clergy… on the other hand, you have priests on food stamps. That’s wicked. It also means that affluent priests have more effectual power than the bishops do, for “money talks and bullshit walks”.

We’re in the deep kimchi… and the sooner that we realise it, the better off we’ll all be. However, shall we?


Thursday, 13 June 2013

13 June 2013. Fr Michael Kovach’s Health is Failing… Say a Prayer Today

00 Fr Michael Kovach. 13.06.13


Fr Michael Kovach, who’s in his nineties, is in worsening health. Say a prayer for him, and have your priest mention his name at the Proskomidi at Liturgy this Sunday. Light a candle for him, too… it’s what Christians do. The Mystery of Death… the End of Life… it’s comin’ for all of us, sooner or later. It’s one of the reasons why we’re Christians… what is, IS… there’s nothing more to say, is there?


Saturday, 6 April 2013

6 April 2013. Was Ray Velencia Caught in Church in Priestly Clericals Again? Such is the Report…

01 looking for the exit


One of the Cabinet sent this dispatch in:

Ray Valencia was at a funeral in a Serbian parish, wearing a clerical suit.

This is outrageous, if true. Mr Velencia is a suspended clergyman, which means that he can NOT, under ANY circumstances pass himself off as a clergyman in any venue, public or private. The OCA Holy Synod stripped him of the right to identify himself or act as a clergyman when it suspended him in January 2012. It’s interesting, I have court papers in my possession after that date listing a “Rev Raymond Velencia” as the complainant. That means that he engaged in a legal imposture. He isn’t a clergyman in good standing, so, he can’t use the title “Rev” under any circumstance whatsoever. Indeed, he’s spitting in the face of the OCA Holy Synod. When will they depose this jabronie for contumaciously masquerading as a priest in good standing? He won’t sue me, despite all his threats. He can’t allow himself to be exposed before an objective court of law as the disgraced suspended clergyman that he is.

I can’t be sued for reporting that the OCA Holy Synod booted this guy out of the ranks of its active and respectable clergy, for it happened. Oh, yes… I made a copy of the relevant PDF just in case certain parties try funny stuff… it’s happened before. When will the OCA Holy Synod act? Mollard should can the New Age pabulum and start acting like the late Vladyki Kiprian… then, there’d be joy in Mudville (for Casey will have hit a grand slam bases-loaded homer)…


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