Voices from Russia

Thursday, 18 June 2015

St Sergius Theological Institute in Paris Suspends Operations

01 OOPS plane crash


On 16 June 2015, at a time when it celebrates its 90th anniversary, the faculty of St Sergius Theological Institute (SSBI) published on its website a statement about a dramatic situation in this, the oldest Orthodox educational institution of the Russian emigration. The statement reported that SSBI would suspend its activities for the 2015 academic year because of a sharp conflict between SSBI and Archbishop Job Gecha, the ruling bishop of the Archdiocese of Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe (ARPTsZE) (Ecumenical Patriarchate), who has jurisdiction over the school. In its statement, the SSBI faculty said that since its establishment in 1925, the school has never suspended operations, even during the war years. Now, however, the SSBI faculty stated that this unprecedented step was due to actions of Archbishop Job, which the professors qualified as “canonical strangulation and ideological seduction” of the school. They also accused Archbishop Job of having an excessive love of power and a false understanding of the episcopal ministry as an absolute dictatorship, as well as trying to destroy the internal autonomy of SSBI, enshrined in its charter. The statement said that during a meeting with SSBI students, Archbishop Job announced a plan to reorganise the institution on a completely new basis. The SSBI faculty requested Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis of Constantinople and Metropolitan Emmanuel Adamakis  of France, who heads the Assembly of Orthodox Bishops of France, to intervene in the situation surrounding their institution.

Archbishop Job was born on 31 January 1974 in Montreal QC (Canada) in a family of Ukrainian immigrants. He belonged to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC), which originally had schismatic origins, but then went under the jurisdiction of the EP. He graduated from the Institute of St Andrew in Winnipeg MN and University of Manitoba (Canada) in 1996. He received tonsure as a rassophore in 1996, and became a deacon in the same year. He moved to France and became a monk in the Monastery of St Anthony the Great (podvorie of Simonopetra Monastery on Mt Athos) in 1998, then, he became an Archdeacon to 1999. In 2003, he transferred from the UOCC to the ARPTsZE. In 2003, he became a hieromonk at the St Sergei Podvorie in Paris, after graduating from SSBI. In 2003, he defended a doctorate in theology at the Catholic Institute of Paris and SSBI on The Liturgical Reform of Metropolitan Kiprian of Kiev. He taught church history and liturgy at SSBI, being a professor since 2004. In 2003-2004, he was Dean of ARPTsZE parishes in Spain. In 2003-2006, he was on the editorial board of the magazine Diocesan Herald of the ARPTsZE and of its French-language edition of Messager diocesain: Archeveche des eglises orthodoxes russes en Europe Occidentale. On 9 January 2004, he became an Igumen, and he became an Archimandrite on 18 July 2004. In 2004-10, he was a member of the ARPTsZE Diocesan Council. Since 2004, he was a member of the Commission for Relations with the MP. He taught liturgy at the Institute of Higher Studies of Orthodox Theology at the EP Orthodox Centre in Chambésy-Geneva (Switzerland) and at the Catholic Institute in Paris. From December 2005 to December 2007, he was Dean at SSBI. Since 2003, he was a member of the Orthodox-Catholic St Irenaeus International Dialogue Group. Since 2005, he was a member of the Committee for Dialogue between Orthodox and Catholics in France. Since 2006, he was a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches (WCC). He was a member of the Kiev Religious-Philosophical Society and of the Society of Eastern Liturgics Scholars. Archimandrite Job won election as the ruling bishop of the ARPsZE on 1 November 2013. On 2 November 2013, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis confirmed Archimandrite Job as head of the ARPTsZE, with the title of Archbishop of Telmessos. The episcopal consecration of Archimandrite Job was on 30 November 2013 in Istanbul, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St George in the Phanar, on the feastday of St Andrew the First-Called, with Patriarch Bartholomew being the leading consecrator.

18 June 2015




Friday, 20 February 2015

St Sergius in Paris in LIMBO… Money Missing and Students Apparently Gone



It’s a oddbod situation at St Sergius in Paris, A D Schmemann’s alma mater. Part of the facility appears open, for public lectures still occur there periodically, but it appears closed as a school. Several sources told me that the French state pulled its accreditation and no longer recognises its diplomas, so, the students left to study at the new MP seminary in Paris. Besides that, there appears to be missing money… some talk of 400,000 Euro (28.08 million Roubles. 2.83 million Renminbi. 28.15 million INR. 452,000 USD. 564,000 CAD. 576,000 AUD. 294,000 UK Pounds) missing from the kitty. When you add in the fact that the Paris Gang is no longer getting any money from Nice (it charged a pretty penny for tourist coaches to visit the cathedral there), it looks very bleak for them, indeed. Bishop Job… a Ukrainian from Canada… has a job of work ahead of him. Some say that he’s pro-Centre… others, pro-Phanar… time WILL tell us. That’s the long and short of it all… the story is so confusing that I refuse to make any solid statements, yet. However, I think that it’s a sign that the EP Russians aren’t long for this world.

Schadenfreude is never in good taste or decent… let alone Christian. It does make one wonder about the future of the Obnovlentsy/Renovationists left… that would be SVS and Syosset. Their roots were set solidly in St Sergius’ ideology ever since Schmemann’s putsch against Florovsky. Again… patience… we’ll have to see…


Monday, 9 February 2015

9 February 2015. The Blunder is in England… WHY?

00 Alfeyev in England. 09.02.15


Read this and this. The Blunder is in England, rattling on about ecumenism. In light of one of his employees getting nicked for spying for the USA by the Genprokuratura, it leads to interesting questions… is he there on his own nickel? Is he there on the Centre’s orders? Is he there at the behest of the Western special services? Is he there to show support for the West over Russia? NO ONE KNOWS, LEAST OF ALL ME. One of the things that isn’t going to happen is that Langley would use him to set up a “counter-ROCOR” based on Jordanville. Everyone knows that Potapov is Langley’s loyal running dog… elements in Jordanville and Fathausen (and his claque) do back him… however, he’s just a puffed-up archpriest with an inflated sense of self-worth, with no real following outside the District (Fatso has a bigger fan club, believe it or not) and everyone knows his CIA ties, anyway. The disloyal elements have almost all left the fold and the ROCOR episcopate appears solid behind the Centre… no one more so than the repentant Archbishop Gabriel Chemodakov. Do note that the Blunder stopped at Sophoney’s old haunts in Tolleshunt Knights… that’s an EP asset and supporter of the Paris Gang.

Things sure ain’t boring covering the diaspora Russian Orthodox beat… pass the jug… there’s more to come, no doubt.


Tuesday, 5 November 2013

5 November 2013. Cabinet Intel on Vassa Larina and the Rue Daru Election

00 a whisper in the loggia. 08.12


I got this from a trusted and reliable Cabineteer. Again, I’m going to stand back and let my informant speak to you directly. They DO know what they’re about, I KNOW…



Check out Vassa Larina’s CV at her University of Vienna page (click here, then, click on the first link). Stylish picture, no? Is her monastic habit nothing but a prop for her talks and her YouTube videos? Shameful. Also, don’t miss the otherwise unknown fact that she was offered a position teaching Church History at SVS just last fall!

Did you hear about the Rue Daru election last Friday? Their new Bishop-elect is Archimandrite Job Getcha. He’s 39, Ukrainian-Canadian, and has personal and professional ties to the UOC (MP) in the homeland. Given that the other candidates were a Frenchman converted from Catholicism and a Greek, I think the vote was illustrative. Are they trying to stave off the repossession of Rue Daru after the Nice events by electing the only candidate that could generate good-will with Moscow (through Kiev), whilst still being personal loyal to the EP? It seems more than a little bit likely to me. Whether it will work out remains to be seen.


This source is nonpareil… read n’ heed, kids.


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