Voices from Russia

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Alfeyev Expressed Condolences for Castro’s Death at the Cuban Embassy in Moscow


An image of the Sunday of Orthodoxy from the Island of Freedom…


On 30 November 2016, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), visited the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba in Moscow. He met with the head of the diplomatic representation of Cuba in the Russian Federation Emilio Lozada Garcia, to express condolences for the death of the former Cuban leader, Fidel Castro Ruz. At the Embassy, Metropolitan Ilarion laid flowers before Castro’s portrait, saying to Ambassador Lozada:

I’d like, on behalf of His Holiness Kirill the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias and myself, to express my heartfelt condolences to you personally, to the Cuban government, and to all Cuban people in regards to the death of Comandante Fidel Castro. As Patriarch Kirill stated in his condolence message sent to the brother of the deceased, Chairman of the Council of State and Council of Ministers of Cuba Raul Castro Ruz, Comandante Fidel led Cuba for many years, he became a national symbol and a legend in our country. In Russia, there is probably no one who doesn’t know his name. The friendship between our two peoples, and the respect that the Russian people feel for the Cuban people, all this is largely due to the years when every Soviet citizen knew the name of Fidel Castro.

Metropolitan Ilarion pointed up that His Holiness Patriarch Kirill had a special feeling for Cuba, he repeatedly visited the island, and he met with Fidel Castro. Metropolitan Ilarion reiterated that the construction of a Russian Orthodox church-building in the centre of the Cuban capital took place due to the personal participation of Fidel Castro:

It wasn’t a chance occurrence that the meeting between the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias and the Pope of Rome took place in Havana. This was a deliberate decision of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill… the meeting should take place there, and not somewhere else. This visit of His Holiness gave him a last opportunity to see Comandante Fidel. I’d like to express my sympathy to all of you and I wish that the friendly feelings that the Russian people have for the Cuban people and Cuba would endure in Russia for many more years.

In turn, Ambassador Lozada thanked Metropolitan Ilarion for his kind words and gave assurances that the Cuban leadership would continue to strengthen friendly relations and to preserve the long-standing fruitful coöperation between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Government of Cuba. M Kh Palacio, the head of the Office of Public Relations and Protocol for the Ss Cyril and Methodius all-Church Postgraduate and Doctoral Institute, was also present at this meeting. Metropolitan Ilarion left a note in the Condolences Book for Fidel Castro at the Cuban Embassy:

On behalf of His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias, I express heartfelt and sincere condolences to the Cuban government and to all Cuban people due to their heavy loss… on the death of Comandante Fidel Castro, who became a symbol of the struggle of the Cuban people for independence. For more than half-a-century, Comandante Fidel led Cuba. In Russia, everyone knows his name. The Russian Orthodox Church is grateful for his role in building a church dedicated to the Wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God of Kazan in Havana, due to which our compatriots in Cuba have a place to worship and to meet. I wish that those good feelings of friendship and mutual respect between the Cuban and Russian peoples, which the departed did much to foster and develop, should remain in our hearts.

On 25 November, Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz died in the 91st year of his life. On 26 November, Cuba announced a nine-day mourning period. Fidel Castro’s funeral will be on 4 December in Santiago de Cuba.

30 November 2016



Monday, 8 February 2016

Kremlin Welcomes Historic Meeting Between Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill

00 A Thought from HH. Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. 12.10.13


The leaders of the two churches are due to meet for the first time next Friday in Cuba. On Monday, Kremlin spokesman D S Peskov told reporters:

Russia welcomes the historic meeting between Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill. You know, it’s a mutual step forward and, of course, like everyone else, we expect that this meeting will be successful, and we very much appreciate the willingness of the two religious leaders to hold such a meeting.

Most expect Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill to discuss the persecution of Christians, amongst other matters, and sign a joint declaration.

8 February 2016



On Sunday, Pope Francisco Bergoglio called on Christians gathered in St Peter’s Square in Vatican City to pray for his historic meeting with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The leaders of the two churches are due to meet for the first time next Friday in Cuba. He said:

I ask you to support with a prayer my trip to Mexico, which begins in a few days, and my meeting in Havana with dear brother Kirill.

7 February 2016



On 12 February, Pope Francisco Bergoglio will meet with Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Cuba, in what will be the first face-to-face engagement between the heads of the two churches. Pope Francisco and Patriarch Kirill will meet at the Havana airport; reportedly, the persecution of Christians in the Middle East is the primary issue on the agenda of the meeting. On Saturday, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, chairman of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), said on the TV show Vesti v Subbotu (Vesti on Saturday) that a joint declaration following the meeting might contain a call for “people of good will“ to form a coalition to end terrorism:

There’s constant talk of creating various coalitions. They say, “Let’s create a coalition to fight terrorism; let’s create another coalition”. Coalitions are being created here and there, but to overcome this evil, there needs to be a coalition of all people of good will. Political games have to give way to reality; we must give up political interests when people face real suffering and death. We follow the same gospel, the same Christ and the same commandments. Despite differences in theology, we’re united in the essence of Christian faith, and we mustn’t forget this. We need to find common solutions to global problems.

6 February 2016


Sputnik International

Friday, 25 December 2015

EP and MP at Loggerheads Over Notional all-Orthodox Sobor Proposed for Istanbul

00 Metropolitan Rastislav Gont of Prešov PCČKS. 13.01.14

Metropolitan Rastislav Gont of Prešov of the PCČZS/PCČKS (Orthodox Church of Czechia and Slovakia)… the MP insists on the seating of this Church and the OCA… the EP is balking… I wonder why…


The preparations for the all-Orthodox Sobor proposed for 2016 encountered difficulties. On Thursday, V R Legoida, the head of the MP Synodal Information Department (SINFO), told reporters:

Today, the [MP Holy Synod] expressed concern that there are disagreements in the correspondence between the EP and MP on the impeding preparations for upcoming all-Orthodox Sobor.

In October, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), told Interfax-Religion that a meeting is due in January in Istanbul of representatives of the Local Orthodox Churches dedicated to preparing for the proposed all-Orthodox Sobor. However, he pointed up that preparations for the event are far from complete, and even the starting date is still up in the air. There hasn’t been an Ecumenical Council for over a thousand years; the preparations for the proposed Sobor have been underway for more than half a century.

24 December 2015



On Friday, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS) expressed doubts about the notional all-Orthodox Sobor proposed for Istanbul:

It’s doubtful whether the we can even hold an all-Orthodox Sobor when some Orthodox Churches are in a state of unresolved conflict, and some Orthodox Churches don’t recognise the First Hierarch of the Church of Czechia and Slovakia, not to mention the highly volatile general political situation in the world. However, the MP has always participated and continues to take an active part in preparations for the Sobor, despite the obvious difficulties in preparing for such an event. As for the specific timing of the meeting, I think that it’s premature to talk about it yet.

In 2014, the Orthodox Church decided to convene an all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016 in Istanbul, but it also added a caveat… “if not prevented by any unseen contingency”. Metropolitan Ilarion pointed up:

They thought that they’d be able to edit… and in some cases, completely rewrite… a significant part of the draft documents on the Sobor, many of which had become outdated since their adoption 30 years ago. The work on revising these documents moved very slowly. Consequently, of the eight position papers supposed to bring the Sobor up-to-date, we only agreed on three; work on the rest isn’t yet complete. So far, the Local Churches have no common understanding of what rules the all-Orthodox Sobor will follow, and what should be its agenda. A special commission formed to discuss these issues had to recess without agreement as there was no consensus. Many questions about preparations for the Sobor remain unanswered, even though Patriarch Kirill repeatedly raised them over the past year in his letters to Patriarch Bartholomew.

25 December 2015



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.


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