Voices from Russia

Sunday, 11 April 2010

SVS Invites Osborne Fanatic to Speak at the Campus

I really shouldn’t have invited that guy Moody after the flap over Rowan Williams… ooh, ooh, ooh, my tummy hurts… why doesn’t anybody love me?


He’s a disciple of the defrocked Basil Osborne (now Dr Osborne), and he serves under Constantinople (of course) in Portugal (his wife is Portuguese). He’s a composer of classical-style music. Pretty modernist…

An MP priest-friend with Parisian connections


12. 04. 10 Correction to the above:

My informant e-mailed me with the following correction:

Woops! He joined Constantinople in the 1990s and is under the Galician-Ukrainian bishop in Portugal who’s under Constantinople.

However, my thesis stands on all fours… Mr Moody’s a ravening modernist without a stitch of Tradition behind him. SVS is sucking up to the EP lately… for instance, they’re denying that Moscow had a united Church here in the early 20th century (a volte face for them, they used to support the Moscow view). In short, all of my conclusions hold water, but I wished to correct an error in fact. Ciao, folks.



Do read this. As with most things from SVS, there’s much missing, and there’s much that simply doesn’t add up. Firstly, Mr Moody isn’t a famous or well-known composer… he’s a second-rate hack. Secondly, he’s one of the rebels that left with Basil Osborne in ’06… the group that attempted to hold a knife to the throats of all Russian Orthodox Christians in Great Britain. As all grounded people know, the SVS crowd allied itself with the Osborne schismatics from the top. Because they did the right thing by holding public meetings and being completely aboveboard, the MP defused the situation. Only some 300 soreheads left with Mr Osborne and ended amongst the Parisian Renovationists under the EP. The vast majority of the faithful stayed loyal to the legitimate Church authority and Archbishop Yelisei Ganaba has not only put things right, he has given his all to the task of Russian Orthodox unity in the British Isles.

I wonder if Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov knows of this little soirée? Has Behr told him of it? No doubt, Vladyki Yustinian would be VERY interested, and he’d inform His Holiness immediately that SVS is hobnobbing with the enemies of the MP. That’s not a wise move. It’s true enough that they’ve been taking “stupid pills” lately. The Rowan Williams fiasco was unwise in the extreme. The so-called award in Moscow was a put-up job by their friend Alfeyev… Behr was locked out of the private audience that His Nibs gave the other honourees (as well he should have, the other three were legitimate heavyweights, President Medvedev, Patriarch Karekin, and Emir Kusturica… Behr is nothing but the rector of a third-rate seminary in an insignificant backwater of the Orthodox world). The OCA is nothing but a dependency of the MP… its autocephaly is a sham. At present, the MP finds it useful… nothing more. As a priest-friend of mine remarked to me, “It’s a pawn in the great game between the MP and the EP… and pawns are expendable”. Indeed… SVS had best watch its step. If it hobnobs too closely with the Paris bunch… well, Moscow may very well jerk its leash tight. Don’t forget… the Parisian poseurs are causing the Russian government much grief over the church in Nice. SVS is going to be seen hobnobbing with them? If there ever was a bad idea, this is it.

Finally, here’s a meditation. Mr Moody’s a cleric of the Paris group… the Paris group withheld communion from Mme Plas (an exclusion that Moscow condemned… Alfeyev sent her family condolences that obviously came from the Centre)… SVS backs the Paris cabal to the max. That means that they approve the thuggish tactics of this group… could it be because they use the same methods themselves? Do think on that…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 11 April 2010

Albany NY

A Note of Some Interest from Your Intrepid Editor:

As of 19.00 11 April 2010, there’s still no news item or photo on oca.org of JP’s ecumenical love feast in Texas with the Anglican sectarians. He has nothing but contempt for you. This guy makes Herman Swaiko look like Mr Clean. To think that the konvertsy slobber over his every word…

Monday, 5 April 2010

I’ve Heard of Stale News, Kids…

Your intrepid editor at the keyboard… oops! It’s a cat! It’s not one of ours (we have three of the little furballs)… actually, the snap is off one of my fave Russian sites… remember how John Dresko called all of us “keyboard commentators” with a sneering dismissal when he was in Syosset? Does it surprise you to find out that Benjamin Peterson is giving him asylum in the West? I didn’t think so...


Take a look at this, kids! Wow, I’ve heard of stale news, but this is positively mummified. Wow! That’s FOUR MONTHS OLD, friends and neighbours. I can attest to you that the only reference to this was one official blurb on the official MP website. THAT’S ALL IT HAD, FOLKS. It did NOT occur in the press release sent out to the secular press by Vladimir Legoida, so none of the Russian agencies publicised this at all. A friend informs me that Vlad Legoida makes up the releases in advance for the general press. In other words, Behr was a last-minute addition by the Boy Blunder, no doubt, and there was no time to modify the press releases (or, there is a bureaucratic dispute going on between Legoida and the ambitious Boy Blunder… very probable). All of the usual reliable secular sources mentioned President Dmitri Medvedev, Patriarch Karekin Nersessian, and film-maker Emir Kusturica… there was no mention of the jumped-up fraud from Yonkers (he’s rather too much like his father Nicolas Behr for my taste, frankly).

This means that SVS is recycling old news. Old news is like old fish… it smells to high heaven! Ya gotta hand it to ’em… they’ve got chutzpah… tons of it. However, if all they can release is this sorry rehash, it means that they’re on the downward slope. Keep on withholding… it’s working. You can’t blame the local journalists… they’re ignorant in an innocent way, and John Behr looks legit… they don’t know real Orthodoxy, you’ve got to cut them some slack. If they met the real deal like Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov, Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, or Professor Natalia Narochnitskaya, they’d sing another tune… and be pissed at the Yonkers poseurs for leading them on! I’d pour ’em all a good stiff shot and say, “Crazy world, ain’t it?” I think that we’d all have a healthy and cleansing laugh together…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Easter Monday

5 April 2010

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

Can you believe that this showed up again in my Yahoo alerts again today (Tuesday 6 April)? That tells me whenever the terms “Russian Orthodox” or “Orthodox Church in America” show up in an on-line article. It gives the impression that this happened recently. I’ll say it bluntly… Behr, Hatfield, JP… the whole lot of them are liars. This proves it for even the slow learners. Click on the above link… you’ll see that no date is given. I’ll also report that the MP official report (the only one that mentioned the jumped-up frauds from SVS, by the way) stated that there was a private audience given by His Holiness before the service to the main awardees… and the spurious poseurs from Yonkers were excluded. I know that it takes all kinds… but these jerks believe that you are boobs. Don’t send ’em ANY dinero… let them rot on the vine “for the good of the Church”. Delicious irony, isn’t it?


Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Whoppers from SVS! Read all about it!

01 Clown behind the wheel

Here’s the latest Pravda from Syosset and Yonkers… guaranteed 100 percent total BS and totally LATE. Abandon hope, all ye who believe her.


Do read this. Sound impressive, huh? Ms Belonick is a liar by omission. SVS played only a very minor role in that evening. I translated the actual Russian dispatch. It follows below.


In the Hall of Church Councils of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour Cathedral, His Holiness Kirill Gundyaev, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, there occurred the Tenth Annual Awards Ceremony of the International Public Foundation for Unity of Orthodox Peoples (MFEPN) “For Outstanding Work In Strengthening The Unity Of Orthodox Peoples”, this was given in recognition of promotion of Christian values in society, in the name of His Holiness Patriarch Aleksei, in 2009.


Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin Nersessian of All Armenia (1951- )


The Foundation awards this prize annually to heads of states, governments, and parliaments, to Orthodox Churches, and to well-known public figures for their contribution to the enhancement of economic and political ties between states with historic ties to Eastern (sic) Christian Eastern traditions, who assert high standards of Christian morality in the life of the Orthodox community. The recipients of the MFEPN Award for 2009 are President Dmitri Medvedev, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin Nersessian of All Armenia; filmmaker Emir Kusturica (Serbia); and St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (Yonkers NY USA). Before the ceremony, His Holiness held a private audience with the President of Russia and Catholicos Karekin Nersessian.

Amongst the honoured guests at the ceremony were: First Lady of Russia S V Medvedeva; Presidential Plenipotentiary in the Central Federal District G S Poltavchenko; Vice-Chairman of the RF Gosduma L K Sliska; Minister of Foreign Affairs S V Lavrov; Mayor of Moscow Yu M Luzhkov; President of the RF Chamber of Commerce and Industry E M Primakov; Hero of the Soviet Union, Hero of Russia, Deputy of the RF Gosduma A N Chilingarov; Ambassador of Armenia to Russia A B Sambatyan; Chairman of the Union of Armenians in Russia A A Abramyan; Ms Maya Kusturica, Bishop Ezras Nersisyan of the Armenian Apostolic Church; the representative of the OCA to the MP, Archimandrite Zacchaeus Wood; and clergy of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Bishops and clergy of the MP also attended the ceremony, Archbishop Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the MP Department for External Church Relations; Bishop Savva Volkov of Krasnogorsk, Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Moscow; Bishop Sergei Chashin of Solnechnogorsk, Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Moscow; and Archpriest V A Chaplin, chairman of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society.

The President of the MFEPN, Professor V A Alekseyev, addressed the opening remarks to the audience. He noted that winners of the prize in the past included His Holiness the Patriarch and heads of state, and people of lesser status in the political and societal arenas, but who were no less significant for the entire community of our common Eastern (sic) spiritual space. As noted by Professor Alekseyev, over the past ten years, 45 individuals and organisations from 22 countries worldwide were given awards. He said, “This year marks fifteen years since the establishment of the International Public Foundation for Unity of Orthodox Peoples. We’re grateful to honour the memory of His Holiness Patriarch Aleksei, with whose blessing and active participation that we created and developed our Foundation. We’re deeply grateful to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias for his decision to head our Board of Trustees. His presence not only blesses us and strengthens our Fund, but it also means that our First Hierarch cares for our Local Church and for the development of civil society, of which, the Orthodox community is an integral part”.

After his opening remarks concluded, Professor Alekseyev asked His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias, to ascend the podium in his role as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the MFEPN. His Holiness addressed a welcoming speech to the laureates and guests of the ceremony.

“By their example, the importance of which one can’t overemphasise, the winners clearly demonstrated that you can and should live with dignity, dedication, and sacrifice at all times, that you can be faithful to the spiritual values and historical roots of our people, and that you can serve both those near you and those far away, to carry out your duties as Christians and human beings.

I’d particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of President D A Medvedev that aimed at strengthening the community of nations, especially those belonging to the Orthodox Christian tradition. This is extremely important in the context of building relations between the countries of the post-Soviet space, as they’re connected by a common history, common culture, and, I’m sure, a common future.

Another one of the honourees is a great friend of our Church, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos Karekin of All Armenia. I see in this a testimony to the fraternal love that characterises the relations between our churches. For many centuries, we felt ourselves to be brothers, despite the fact of our different national languages and the theological differences between our churches. We’ve long lived within the borders of one state and have affinity with each other.

If the fruits of human creativity meld together in the crucible of religious experience, culture ceases to be a purely earthly artifice, then, it’s open to coöperation with God, it elevates and ennobles man. These aspirations are typical of the art of Emir Kusturica.

For decades, St Vladimir’s Seminary was a part of the Russian theological tradition, through its origins, its prominent founders, and its tradition of theological thought. It remains a place of inter-Orthodox coöperation. Among the graduates of the seminary are 30 bishops and 700 clergy”.

Then, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and Professor Alekseyev awarded the prizes to the 2009 honourees, who were President Medvedev, Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin Nersessian, film director Emir Kusturica, and Dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary Archpriest John Behr. By tradition, a speech from the honourees accompanies the presentation of the award.

President Medvedev said, “I’m sincerely grateful to the MFEPN for awarding me such a prestigious award. I see it as a high recognition of the role of Russia in the development of the inter-Orthodox dialogue. Over the past two decades, our state and the Orthodox Church had an exceptionally fruitful collaboration in addressing key challenges for our country. Especially, such things as the education of our youth, the safeguarding of our national traditions, the preservation of our culture, and the strengthening of societal harmony, helped to build up the unity of our country. Ultimately, this secured the national life of our state. The Church contributed to this great achievement of the Church, generally, and, His Holiness Kirill did so personally”. The President made it clear that the money from his prize would go the fund for the restoration of the Resurrection-Novy Ierusalime Stavropegial Monastery and to a number of educational institutions.

Catholicos Karekin Nersessian said, “We accept this high award as a sign of the importance that the Moscow Patriarchate attaches to the mission of the Armenian Church in the life of the Armenian people and in Christendom in general. Today, our peoples are enacting historical reforms, confidently and optimistically building a new life in hopes of a brighter future. Our rich traditions of friendship should help us to unite our efforts for the strengthening of our countries, and to care for the welfare and happiness of our peoples. We should further strengthen the mission of our churches, their interaction, because the revival of spiritual life is now more important than ever”. Catholicos Karekin announced the start of construction of a new Russian Orthodox church in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. He asked the Board of Trustees of the MFEPN to send his prize money to help fund the construction of the new Russian church in the Armenian capital.


Famed Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica (1954- )


In his remarks, Emir Kusturica spoke about the impact of Dostoyevsky on his creative work. He said, ”The works of Dostoevsky helped me find solutions to life’s problems. During my youth, when I still hadn’t formed a real concept of religion, his novel The Brothers Karamazov left a particularly strong impression on me. I began to understand Dostoyevsky better after my baptism. One of the heroes in The Brothers Karamazov, the elder Zosima, said that a star would shine from the East. Consequently, for me, matters of life and death became connected with this image of the star. The life and death of our Patriarch Pavle shone forth like this star. I see the light of this star in the reception of this award from the MFEPN”.

Giving his thanks for the award, Archpriest John Behr, the Dean of St Vladimir’s Theological Seminary, noted that it recognised the work of the seminary founded in 1938. He said, “We are particularly happy that this award is based in Russia, as our own roots go back to the spiritual traditions of the Russian Church”. He said that, thanks to tireless work of such prominent church figures as Metropolitan Leonty Turkevich, Protopresbyters A D Schmemann and I F von Meyendorff, and Archpriest G V Florovsky, St Vladimir’s Seminary graduated more than a thousand students, many of whom made significant contribution to Orthodoxy in North America and around the world.

A concert performance of the Svetlanov State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia, the Sveshnikov State Academic Choir, the Klassika Chamber Choir, soloists of the Moscow musical theatre, and other artists concluded the ceremony.

21 January 2010

Press office of Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia


MP Official Website  



President D A Medvedev (1965- )



There’s the real deal. Let’s see… out of 17 paragraphs, only four dealt with the OCA, and only two did so in their entirety. Out of 1,540 words in the main body of the text, only 179 words dealt with the OCA. In short, Deborah Belonick and John Matusiak are LIARS and they lie with the full support and coöperation of JP, Hatfield, and Behr. I must also note that this is the only note of SVS in ANY Russian language source. All other mentions of this affair only mention President Medvedev, Catholicos Karekin Nersessian, and Emir Kusturica. That’s to say, they expect you to swallow their rubbishy nonsense… they have nothing but the most consummate contempt for you. Do recall that those two lied in Herman’s time. They lie now. Pass this link on to journalists… the MP dispatch is verbatim… translated to the best of my ability.

SVS played a VERY minor role in all of this. Ms Belonick despises you… she expects you to take her handout and say, “Thank you”. Also, note the fact that she and Matusiak are bone-idle lazy dogsbody layabouts. It took them SIX DAYS to give you a bowdlerised and castrated version. In addition, I can testify that I’ve never heard of this foundation; it’s gotten a mention in any important news dispatch from any major Russian news outlet. This Professor Alekseyev is also an unknown… he’s no Professor Aleksei Osipov or Dr Leonid Roshal, that’s for certain!

Also, note that there was a monetary prize involved. Hatfield, JP, Belonick, and Matusiak are MUM! They don’t tell you how much it is or what they gave it to! I’ll bet ya it went straight into their gaping maws… the Island and Westchester ain’t cheap, ya know. TRANSPARENCY! Where’s Mark Stokoe now? Hey, Mark, why don’t you ask your buddies about the money? You weren’t afraid to excoriate Herman when he wouldn’t fess up… what about it?

It sure isn’t boring covering THIS beat. Be good, all of you. Don’t send these lying jerks a dime. Buy yourself a beer and smile… now, THAT’S the best revenge! 


Tuesday, 26 January 2010

It’s Time to Stand Up and Speak Out!

The Four Freedoms: The Freedom of Speech

Norman Rockwell



I’m like the ordinary fellow in the painting. I’m an ordinary woman with no money, no influence, and no power. I speak for myself. However… I’ll speak the truth and I shan’t be silent… neither should you.


A priest correspondent sent me the following:

Dear Varvara,

God bless you.

[Our bishop] sent the clergy under his omophor this news by e-mail:

His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, presented the “Unity of Orthodox Peoples Award” to Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS), Crestwood, NY, at a special ceremony in Moscow on Thursday, 21 January 2010. Neither my wife nor I can quite fathom why His Holiness would grant an award to SVS. All I can come up with is that Patriarch Kirill may be signalling that SVS is part of his territory . . . Might you have a theory about this puzzling event?

An unworthy priest

(I am protecting the identity of my correspondent… I have a duty to stand by my friends! The priest involved is in the OCA, I shall not throw him to the wolves like Patrick Henry Reardon and other konvertsy would.)


Firstly, the above event didn’t happen in a vacuum. It didn’t receive much coverage at all in the Russian secular media, which means it means considerably less than what the Syosset cabal is saying. Indeed, the only mention it received was a small paragraph on the official MP site, and, trust me, President Medvedev and a Serbian filmmaker got the lion’s share of the attention. On secular sites, there was mention of the President and Emir Kusturica, but none of SVS, nothing at all. That is, I checked ANN, ITAR-TASS, Interfax, Voice of Russia, and RIA-Novosti. There was nary a peep at KP or NG-Religii either. This is pure hokum… it’s cut out of whole cloth… it’s PRAVDA (in the old sense of the world… the present Pravda’s pretty good, I’ve got to admit).

Secondly, Moscow DOES claim North America as its canonical territory. An informant of mine in the ROCOR tells me that there was a meeting of ROCOR and MP clergy in Nyack (at George Larin’s parish) before the Reconciliation of 2007. A ROCOR clergyman asked that very question and received an affirmative answer. Do remember that OCA clergy were banned from serving at the funeral of Vladyki Laurus in 2008 and weren’t allowed to take part in the unity service at St Nick’s later that year either. Lyonyo Kishkovsky tried butting into the reconciliation process but Fr Vsevolod Chaplin brusquely told him that it was an intra-Russian matter, and if the OCA wished to part of it, it would have to rejoin the MP. When President Putin visited the US, he met with Metropolitan Laurus, but not Metropolitan Herman Swaiko of the OCA. The objective information favours the interpretation that the MP has NOT given up its claims to North America.

Thirdly, there is the matter of so-called “transparency”. Paffhausen screams much about it. I submit that it doesn’t exist. To wit, it’s now 26 January, and there was supposedly a collection taken in the parishes for Haitian relief on Sunday 17 January… well, how much was collected? The ROCOR had no problem telling the world about his efforts, hell, they even got attention in Russia! As far as the OCA is concerned, it’s a deep and dark secret! Let’s hope that the money collected didn’t go where the Diocese of NY and NJ financial records went (“The records simply don’t exist”). In England, when there was trouble in the MP there, open meetings were held and the faithful were urged and begged to come and say their piece. That’s why the crisis was nipped in the bud, and it’s why only some 300 soreheads left with “Bishop” Osborne. I’d also mention that there was a figure that totally screwed up… HILARION ALFEYEV… Fr Mikhail Dudko had to clean up his mess. Yes, Virginia there IS transparency in the Church… in the MP, NOT the OCA. Is that a hint to us? Don’t forget how the SVS cabal supported Osborne rabidly and uncritically (especially, I recall a “user” on the Orthodox Forum who called themselves “KAren Jermyn” who was a strident and fanatical supporter of that schismatical rebel).

Finally, there’s the upcoming visit of Rowan Williams to SVS. This, too, doesn’t come isolated. Note well how JP and Hatfield sucked up to the official Episcopal Church at Nashotah House. Yes, Nashotah House is a TEC institution; it’s under Jefferts-Schori and her merry band. By signing an agreement with such, JP and Hatfield allied the OCA with the TEC and all of its works. In Orthodoxy, we don’t ask you what you believe… we ask you who you’re in communion with. Therefore, Nashotah House is in communion with Jefferts-Schori; thus, when SVS penned an agreement with it, it penned an agreement with the TEC and its episcopate. JP kisses Jefferts-Schori in public… that’s all one can say. Mr Munday is under the TEC, and he’s not going to leave it… he prepares women for ordination, after all. What’s unusual in this is that JP and Hatfield supposedly converted from Episcopalism… what’re they doing kissing up to the TEC? What’re they doing inviting Rowan Williams to SVS? I repeat, I’ve never heard of someone converting from a given body and going back to suck up to the leadership of the group they had left, in public, no less. JP and Hatfield don’t care how badly they scandalise the faithful, especially the ethnic faithful (although I’m sure that grounded converts share my disquiet, I am sure). All the old faces are coming back… Lyonyo Kishkovksy, John Matusiak, and Piggy Iggy Burdikoff… just wait, Alexei Karlgut and Raymond Velencia shall join them openly. John Garvey will beam (and tell us all how badly adjusted we all are) and Patrick Henry Reardon will wring his hands, but, ultimately, do nothing.

It’s time to stand up and speak out! You needn’t do it in words. JP, Hatfield, Kishkovsky, Bobby K, and the rest don’t give a damn about you and have made it abundantly clear. They won’t listen. Send the central church no money. Pay your parish’s bills and pay the priest by setting up a charitable foundation. That’s legal… starve Syosset and SVS of funds. JP and Kishkovsky made four expensive junkets abroad last year in the midst of a depression (two to Russia, and one each to Georgia and Kazakhstan). Oh… none of these were in the published budget. A faction under Alfeyev in Moscow… not the entire Church, supports JP and SVS. In addition, the OCA is making much of a conference in Chambésy. Well, they didn’t translate the following… I did, please, read it… click here. Things are going to happen… the players are on the stage. Just, don’t be quiet… Moscow may hear… God willing, they shall.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 26 January 2010

Albany NY

Editor’s Postscript:

A correspondent with ties to Paris tells me:

Did I tell you that ‘Bishop’ Osborne is getting married?

If so, interesting! Remember, SVS LOVES this guy! You know what to do! Don’t give ’em a red cent (or any other colour, for that matter).


Editor’s Postscript 2:

I can tell you that the SVS fanatics are foaming at the mouth. They want me to post some idiotic snaps of KMG and JP together from Freeman’s site (of all places). It does NOT change the facts… this was a non-event not covered by the Russian press… FULL STOP. Do read the EP/MP agreement on autocephaly… the OCA doesn’t fit the criteria. Checkmate, guys… your pal Alfeyev is in the soup after his Spiegel interview (and Spiegel’s known for its thorough fact-checking… the der Spiegel guys cut him a new one in public) and one wonders what JP did with the money collected for Haiti… did any of it go to aid Orthodox people or did it all go to ecumaniac “good works”? One does wonder. In short, do shut up… all you’re doing is digging yourself in deeper. It DOES take all kinds.


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