Voices from Russia

Saturday, 7 November 2015

7 November 2015. Science and Theology… A Harmonious Duet… Not a Tusslin’ Twosome

Sergei Yolkin. To Science Day! 2010


I made this comment on FB:

My commitment to the findings of natural science doesn’t harm my faith at all. Evolution was simply the means of Creation… not the Source! Once one clears that (nonexistent) hurdle, it’s easy-peasy… theology and science are but two snapshots of the same situation… taken with different cameras. In like manner, you consult a doctor about medical matters or a lawyer on legal matters, never an elder! Conversely, don’t ask your doctor or lawyer about your soul’s health… that’s the elder’s job. Why are people making such a fuss about this? Here’s another analogy… science is the music… God is the composer. That’s an old chestnut, really… why have we forgotten it? However, there are those amongst us who buy into sectarian rot… they don’t know what Professor Andreyev said or what Vladyki Averky taught or what Fr Vladimir lived… but they insist that we enshrine heterodox fancy as fact. Our Faith is afraid of NOTHING… why don’t we act likewise?

I find that I need add nothing to the above. Any addition would be superfluous; it’d muddy my intent and meaning…



Friday, 14 August 2015

14 August 2015. A Thought from Elder Nikolai Guryanov… and a Plea to Attend to What’s Needful

00 st sergei radonezhsky nikolai guryanov 150815


I have sad news to report. The MP Holy Synod meeting on 13 July 2015 in St Petersburg (zhurnal nr 41) set aside a special day of prayer for God’s Creation. Of course, the ROCOR is an integral part of the MP, so, obviously, all MP Holy Synod decisions are binding upon it. The OCA is effectually a dependency of the MP, as all know.


The MP has written a special molieben for the occasion, this is not usually done, which indicates the importance that His Holiness attaches to this. However, to look at the OCA and ROCOR official websites… it might as well not be occurring. They do obsess about I V Stalin and about same-sex marriage… two topics that affect the Holy Church not at all. Whatever the US Supreme Court decided about civil marriage doesn’t affect the Church. There is NO persecution in the works in the near-term, nor in the long-term either. I’m sick of the konvertsy blathering on homosexuality and abortion. These topics do NOT lie at the centre of our Faith. Our Church, pre-eminently, WORSHIPS. It stands before the Holy of Holies and PRAYS. That’s what I was taught, that’s what I believe, that’s what I think that we should concentrate on. We shouldn’t wave placards. We should follow godly hierarchs like Bishop Panteleimon Shatov, who shows the world what true Christian charity is through his actions, NOT HIS WORDS. We shouldn’t follow poseurs like Jonas Paffhausen, who protected abusers and who lies about his past… we shouldn’t follow poseurs like Victor Potapov, who obsesses over Stalin and bloviates on same-sex marriage. We should follow His Holiness, who bids us pray for God’s Creation, that we should do so as Church, in an all-Church effort (after all, the Church did issue a decree to that effect through the Holy Synod). We should follow His Holiness, who is friends with the Castro brothers… NOT THE KOCH BROTHERS.

This is disgusting. However, it gives us a choice… you may follow Potapov and Paffhausen, and embrace the rightwing enemies of Holy Rus and our Holy Church… you may follow His Holiness, who bids us to care for the environment, to care for social justice, to reject the Free Market hell of the neoliberals (“conservatives”), and who embraces the LEFT. Those be the choices… those be the ONLY choices. They’re mutually exclusive. Choose wisely.

For more information on Respect God’s Creation Sunday, click here and here


Saturday, 18 July 2015

MP Holy Synod Established a day of Special Prayers for God’s Creation

00 Vlad Sokolovsky. A Little Waterfall in Podkarpatskaya Krai. 2015

A Little Waterfall in Podkarpatskaya Krai

Vlad Sokolovsky



The MP Holy Synod meeting on 13 July 2015 in St Petersburg (zhurnal nr 41 ) set aside a special day of prayer for God’s Creation. The members of the Synod approved the Synodal Commission of Liturgical Rites text of a Molieben for the Preservation of God’s Creation, which all parishes should serve on the first Sunday of September. The Synod also moved that archpastors and pastors should devote their sermon on the first Sunday of September to the care of God’s Creation.


The Russian Orthodox Church takes special care to preach that mankind should relate to God’s Creation… the world around them. At the end of the 20th and the beginning of the 21st century, this led to the creation of a number of church documents stating the Church’s position on environmental issues. In particular, the Archpastoral Council in 1997 raised the topic of ecology, developing it in the document Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church, adopted by the Jubilee Archpastoral Council in 2000. In 2008, we raised this issue in the document Basic Teaching of the Russian Orthodox Church on Human Dignity, Freedom, and Human Rights. In the same year, a meeting of the First Hierarchs of the Local Orthodox Churches in Turkey resulted in a final document in Message of the First Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches, which highlighted the topic of ecology. In this document, in particular, it stated, “In this regard, we reaffirm the previously set [by the EP] day of special prayers for the Protection of God’s Creation on 1 September at the beginning of the Church Year. We support the introduction of the topic of environmental protection in catechesis, preaching, and pastoral work of our Churches, as is already happening in a number of them”.

Keeping our commitment to all-Orthodox decisions, the Archpastoral Council in 2013 adopted a working document The Position of the Russian Orthodox Church on Important Environmental Issues. This document stimulated activity by clergy and laity in environmentalism. In its meetings of 17 February, and from 25 June 2015, the Supreme Church Council proposed a public environmental organisation with the Synodal Department for Church and Society, to develop the intentions expressed by the 2013 Archpastoral Council document. In particular, it proposed to establish a special day of prayer for God’s Creation. As regards the decision of the meeting of the First Hierarchs of the Orthodox Churches in 2008, on the date of 1 September, the canonical Russian Orthodox Church marks the beginning of the school year in church and secular schools, with special moliebens for students, so, the conflation of these two significant themes wasn’t thought appropriate. We also noted that there are substantially more people at services on Sunday, so, such a commemoration and molieben would have a wider resonance. In this regard, we proposed to establish a special day of prayer for God’s Creation of the first Sunday of September.

14 July 2015


Official MP website


Wednesday, 20 March 2013

State Darwin Museum in Moscow Shows True Evolution

00 State Darwin Museum. Moscow. Russia. 20.03.13


01l Kirill Star City

His Holiness SHOWS his opinion of modern science in this image… he’s not on the side of the bible-punchers and Young Earthers, that’s for sure!


When the State Darwin Museum first opened in 1907, its collection could fit in just a few cupboards. It’s since expanded into Moscow’s largest natural science museum, capturing the immense diversity of life on Earth. Click here for a 3½ minute vid in English on the museum.


20 March 2013


Editor’s Note:

Russian Orthodox people should take note that HH is on the side of modern science, not the six-day-creation nutters. We acknowledge all truth… and the evolution record is there in the fossils… it’s true. Mind you, we don’t subscribe to Spencer‘s oddbod ideology of positivismlaissez-faireutilitarianism, Social Darwinism, and survival of the fittest, nor do we engage in mindless and nihilistic scientism. We don’t hold to perversions of the scientific record to fancy this or that notion. Evolution is true… that’s all that science can tell us. It can’t tell us about God; it can only tell us about physical reality. As for me, I believe that God both used evolution as His “tool” and set it in place as one of the natural laws of the universe… the Church blesses such a stance… it doesn’t bless Young Earth creationism of any sort. If you wish to believe such rot, become an evangelical sectarian… you’d be at home there with your fellow ignoramuses…


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