Voices from Russia

Sunday, 15 November 2015

15 November 2015. A Blast from the Metropolia Past…

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Frs Dmitri Ressetar, Kohanick, and Kuby in Jersey City NJ in the pre-World War II period.


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Fr Daniel Ressetar (son of Fr Dmitri) with the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tikhvin” (1967?), Harrisburg PA


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Archbishop John Garklavs of Chicago and the Midwest with the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tikhvin” (1967?), Harrisburg PA


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Another image of the Icon of the Mother of God “of Tikhvin” visit in Harrisburg PA (1967)


If we don’t know where we came from, we can’t know where we’re going. Most of the loudmouth konvertsy voices on the internet know nothing of the REAL history of the Church here, nor do they have a clue about who the real heroes and villains were. They don’t know who Bishop Kip was, they haven’t heard of anyone other than Schmemann, Seraphim Rose, and the “Evangelical Orthodox” set. Well, if it hadn’t been for the spadework by the pioneers, none of those people would have mattered… ordinary working people and the priests who served them founded our Church… not the rich, not the powerful, not the people in the “big house on the hill”.

I honour what our forebears did. THEY founded the Church, but they get no credit on worthless chatter-sites such as Monomuckos. Keep this in mind… our Church did NOT begin in the “right” suburb… it did NOT begin amongst the garden party set. Our Church started in countless mine and mill towns off-the-beaten-track. Our Church started in obscurity. It didn’t have anyone like Freddie M-G or Rod Dreher in it… but it did have thousands of ordinary Joes and Marys who built up the Church that we have today. THEY ARE THE REAL HEROES.

I will NEVER stop saying such until the day I die. Grasp the real… not the phantasmagorical… that’s where God is…


Tuesday, 27 October 2015

27 October 2015. Seraphim Storheim Out as Bishop… OCA Dithers and Does Nothing Further

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Have a care with Paffhausen… he supported (and probably still supports) this nasty jabronie…


Firstly, here’s the official OCA statement and a reply to that statement. Commentary will follow.



During their annual spring (sic) session in Detroit MI on 19-23 October 2015, the members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops canonically deposed retired Archbishop Seraphim from the status and all sacred functions of the episcopacy, removing him from the ranks of the clergy, and returning him to the status of a lay monk.


23 October 2015

To the Clergy, Monastics, and Faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada:

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America concluded its Fall Session, held during the past week in Detroit MI. One of the most difficult tasks of that meeting was the convening of the Synodal Court in Windsor ON to hear the case of the former Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, His Eminence Archbishop Seraphim. After much prayerful and intense deliberation, the Synodal Court determined that Archbishop Seraphim should be deposed from the episcopacy, removed from the ranks of the clergy, and returned to the status of a simple monk.

The Holy Synod made this decision with much sorrow, but with the conviction that it was a necessary action both for the salvation of the now Monk Seraphim and for the preservation of the good order and stability of the flock of Christ. At the same time, we offer our prayers for the victims, their families, and all those who have been affected by the events surrounding this case. We acknowledge the anguish that has been expressed by many who love and support their former pastor and understand that some may feel that our actions were unfair. Nevertheless, every bishop, as the shepherd of his flock, is called upon to place his own needs in the second place and to provide care to all, especially those who have been wounded or hurt in any way. Sexual abuse is a sad reality of our fallen world, one that destroys the lives of many victims and is a manifestation of the brokenness of our world that is in need of healing.

The bishops have a God-given responsibility to address the wounds of those suffering and to help bring them to healing. We are bound to this primarily by the Gospel of Jesus Christ and by the canonical tradition of the Church. Therefore, we must always take allegations seriously and respond in the proper pastoral way for all concerned. We express our love and concern for all the faithful of the Archdiocese of Canada, which has endured much turmoil over the past several years because of this difficult situation. We ask you to exercise discernment in processing these events and, above all, to have recourse to prayer, so as to not be weighed down with emotion, but rather seek to attain the peace of Christ.

May our merciful and loving God strengthen all of us to do His will in all things and to preserve in our hearts the grace of the Holy Spirit, who is everywhere present and fills all things.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Tikhon Mollard

Archbishop of Washington

Metropolitan of all America and Canada

24 October 2015




Canada: Convicted Orthodox Archbishop Defrocked; Victims’ Group is Grateful

Finally, his synod defrocked a Canadian archbishop criminally convicted of child sexual abuse. As a support group for victims, we’re grateful for this decision, but we’d like to see the bishops do more. According to the OCA official website, this past week, the OCA Holy Synod removed Archbishop Seraphim Storheim, once the highest-ranking clergyman in Canada for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), from the priesthood.



As leading figures in SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), we’re grateful that the OCA finally applied the mandates of its sexual misconduct policy to Storheim.


Section 10.05(B)

However, the victims’ group wants church officials to do more. Melanie Jula Sakoda, the Orthodox Christian Director for SNAP explained:

I’m grateful that the OCA has permanently removed Archbishop Seraphim from ministry. It was the only option according to their guidelines. However, I think the faithful and the public need more from the synod.

Sakoda pointed out that SNAP wrote to the bishops on 23 July 2015, following Storheim’s release from prison. In that letter, the group not only asked the synod to defrock Storheim, they also asked them to:

  • Inform the faithful and the public of the archbishop’s current whereabouts and any restrictions imposed by the Canadian government
  • Use their authority to restrict Storheim’s access to children and parishes
  • Caution and alert families at risk, particularly, those who believe the archbishop was wrongfully convicted and who may put children at risk to demonstrate their trust in Storheim.


Cappy Larson is the other Orthodox Christian Director for SNAP. She added:

The synod still needs to make public what they know about the conditions of the former archbishop’s release from prison. If Fr Seraphim, as monks are addressed in the Orthodox Church, is residing in an OCA facility, the bishops need to make sure that he’s forbidden to be alone with minors and that he only attends services where authorised. Even if the Canadian government didn’t impose any restrictions on the former archbishop, the Church can go the extra mile to protect kids who may not understand the significance of his change in status… “Fr Seraphim” is still a potent title to a child.

Finally, the Executive Director of SNAP, David Clohessy, urged the bishops to have church officials reach out to every parishioner in Canada, reminding them that they mustn’t put children at risk:

There are people in the archdiocese who believe that the former archbishop was wrongfully convicted. These “true believers” may not see any danger in allowing their young ones to interact with Fr Seraphim, but the bishops have a responsibility to do what they can to prevent this from happening.


Sakoda concluded:

The OCA has a moral duty to continue to monitor Fr Seraphim and to alert and caution families who may be at risk.

26 October 2015

Melanie Jula Sakoda

SNAP Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests



This is a colloquy between a respected Cabinet Member and me (I’m in plain type):

This smells like the Centre’s doing… he’s not a “retired bishop” or other such rot. Moscow said, “He’s out”, and Tikhon thumped his forehead and said, “Your wish is my command”. That’s why he got the white hat… he’d do as they told him, without trouble. A secular court convicted him of a felony, which are grounds for deposition. Gnarly world, ain’t it? The older I get, the less it surprises me, but, by God, there’s a lot of repeated bullshit, isn’t there? Now, the question is, where is Storheim going?

I don’t think Storheim is going anywhere. He’s been living somewhere now, and I’m sure he still has supporters who will continue their support. Don’t know if, as a Canadian, he contributed to the OCA Pension plan. If he did, he most likely will get those benefits. We don’t have numerous monasteries around, so that’s no choice. Moreover, since we do have “unaffiliated” monks running around, my guess is that he’d just continue as a private citizen in Canada.

Here’s a FB colloquy (I’m in plain type):

They didn’t answer any questions… where is he going to live? Shall he have access to kids?


There are too many “hyperclericalists” out there. The priests I know aren’t like that… but there are those who encourage it… they’re usually bad to the bone…

Yes, it’s usually a danger sign for a priest to encourage this behaviour.

(Serious proposal, not a joke) Perhaps, we should give him a one-way to the Mountain… that would solve it neatly. Ergo, it won’t happen. If I remember rightly, that’s how ROCOR handled a distasteful situation in the 80s.

I agree… send him to Mt Athos… but please keep him away from kids… I’m not saying any of this to be nasty or punitive, but we should keep him away from children for their sake and for his sake too. Since he’s a convicted sex offender, he may have restrictions put upon him by the Government of Canada.

In short, the OCA answered NO questions, save for announcing his deposition from the clergy. It’s the usual muddle and kerfuffle… I’ll say that the ROCOR hasn’t a better track record… Sam Greene and Podmo, anyone? The OCA should have announced:

The Canadian government put the following restrictions on Seraphim Storheim:

(list of restrictions)

To comply with the spirit of these restrictions, We order that Monk Seraphim live at X Monastery in X. We order that he have no contact with minors. We order that Monk Seraphim spent the rest of his life in prayer and repentance.

This didn’t happen. The OCA didn’t announce where he’d be, what restrictions he’s under, and it didn’t order him to avoid contact with minors EXPLICITLY. Jillions is an incompetent boob… but he has First Family connections and he’s sweet in Lyonyo’s circles. I just hope that no minor child gets hurt. That’s the real world consequence of such shit.

Pass me the jug… the world is gnarly, I know, but must it be such so often and so blatantly?


Monday, 12 October 2015

12 October 2015. St Mary’s on Baxter St is Now 100! My Nicky Went to Religious Ed Classes There!

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“St Mary’s on Baxter Street” (officially, Dormition of the Virgin Mary parish, Binghamton NY (OCA)) just turned 100. My Nicky went to religious classes here, under Fr Kuharsky.

На многая лета!



Sunday, 13 September 2015

13 September 2015. Vote AGAINST the Republican Anti-Life Programme

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I wrote this 2½ years ago… it’s still as true as ever…

The so-called “March for Life” is coming up. The usual cast of suspects is making the usual Sturm und Drang concerning it. At one time, before I wised up, I supported the Pro-Life Movement. Then, I looked beneath the surface, and what I saw appalled and repelled me. The same pols who supported so-called “Pro-Life” measures were also for:

  • perpetual warfare in foreign parts
  • the gutting of the social safety net to fund corruption-riddled defence contracts
  • opposition to single-payer healthcare to benefit their corporate paymasters
  • derisory tax rates upon their wealthy contributors
  • the promiscuous use of the death penalty
  • the increasing role of the “security state”
  • using prison as a “solution” to the so-called “drug problem”
  • shitcanning all labour and environmental regulations in favour of libertarian “economic freedom”
  • the extending of personal and human rights to corporations

Whew… and that’s NOT exhaustive! In short, they OPPOSED what the late John Cardinal O’Connor rightfully called “the seamless garment”. There’s a reason why Timothy Cardinal Dolan didn’t come out in favour of Wet Willy in the late presidential election… Willy was AGAINST the “seamless garment”, and Dolan couldn’t support him without ripping up Catholic social teaching.

We have loud sorts amongst us. Follow the money… Potapov is (or was) a mid-level US government flunky (a propagandist targeting the Orthosphere, no less!)… Freddie M-G is (or was) an apparatchik at NPR… Dreher and Mattingly are rightwing stink-tankers… Webster is a stink-tanker and a chaplain in the US Army Reserve. When you add in that Lyonyo’s a member of the CFR (Anne Schmemann works in a CFR office that issues mendacious and self-serving apologias for American aggression abroad) and that Serge Schmemann and Sophia Kishkovsky are part of the New York Times Pravda-machine (the jewel in the crown of the American Corporate Media), well, what does that tell you? They’ve all sold out to the godless powers-that-be for a comfortable life and above-average incomes. You can follow Christianity or you can follow Sergianism. It’s interesting… the ones who loudly accused the MP hierarchy of “Sergianism” during the Sov era now stand exposed as Sergianist cheerleaders for Free Market buccaneering and bloodsucking. Fancy that… what they criticised, they now espouse. God DOES have a sense of justice, doesn’t He? Do you want to honour Christ, or shall you worship Mammon (the Almighty Dollar)?

Choose well… your eternal destiny does rest upon it…


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