Voices from Russia

Monday, 8 January 2018

Patriarch Kirill: Russia Helped to Protect Christians in Syria

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Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia said in his Christmas interview with Rossiya-1 TV:

Operations of Russia’s Aerospace Forces in Syria helped to protect the Christian minority from persecution and killings. Besides solving some issues linked to stabilising the situation, preventing military threats, and preventing the takeover of power by terrorists, a very important part of Russia’s participation was to protect the Christian minority. Thanks to Russia’s participation, we thwarted genocide of Christians. If Islamist forces had maintained their influence and activity, the situation in Syria would’ve repeated the Iraqi scenario after the toppling of Saddam Hussein.

During Hussein’s rule, I visited Iraq and its northern areas, and I was in Mosul. I visited ancient Christian monasteries. I saw this pietism of people and was glad that Christian churches peacefully existed in a Muslim environment. Now, almost nothing is left. The monasteries were destroyed, the churches were blown up, and 85 percent of Christians were either eliminated or expelled from Iraq. This could’ve happened in Syria. Both the Russian Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church will continue efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to Syrians. We also have bilateral agreements with the Catholic Church to provide humanitarian assistance together. There are different areas in which we’re acting. I hope they’d make their contribution to providing real assistance to those who still suffer in Syria.

7 January 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/984135

Editor:

Note well that Iraqi Christians were safe until the USA imported “democracy” and empowered Islamists (whom the Anglos used to destabilise the situation). What does this tell you about Evangelical sectarians and their loud yelps of “Christianity?” I’d say that it proves that Born-Agains aren’t Christians at all… I do daresay that I’m not alone in thinking that way.

BMD

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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Patriarch Kirill: If Love is There, Christ is There! If There’s No Love, There’s No Christ!

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There’s unity where there’s love; where there’s love, God is there. If someone comes up with an idea to say something about our doctrine that diverges from the tradition of the Holy Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils, then, thinking people should ask, “For what, in the name of what purpose, do they offer a particular innovation?” If from the mouth of a man we hear invective, sometimes, we even hear dirt that afflicts the Church and its ministers, if we hear fervent appeals to struggle, for separation, to save Orthodoxy even at the cost of one’s death, when we hear them exclaim and shout, “Orthodoxy or death”… you need to be wary of these preachers.

Never did the Lord say, “My teaching or death”. None of the Apostles said, “Orthodoxy or Death”. Because Orthodoxy is life eternal, it’s joy in the Holy Spirit, it’s the joy of life, but death is decay that came because of the Fall and the devil’s action. Now, we see, from time to time, false teachers who seduce people by calling to save Christianity, to save its purity, who repeat this dangerous, sinful, and self-contradictory slogan “Orthodoxy or death”. In the eyes of these people, you won’t find love; there burns a fire of demonic pride, a desire for power, which destroys the Church’s unity. Of course, they put on a good show, they hide behind pious visages, and they enjoy adulation from a certain set of people.

What we say against heresies, is true of any other division. Sometimes, in our parishes, there are divisions amongst the clergy and believers. Often, these divisions are associated with a struggle for superiority, for a certain power in the parish. We know how sometimes congregations divide, clustering around one or another priest. The veneration of a shepherd and adulation for him… so-called division in the name of love… is sinful, because there can’t be separation where love exists.

We must keep the unity of Universal Orthodoxy not only free from any heresies and schisms, we must keep the unity of our Local Church as our foremost care, as the suffering of the Martyrs of the Church gave us the gift of being one and indivisible. We must maintain the unity of our parishes and monasteries, bearing in mind that the most important criterion for evaluation of any Christian… from the Patriarch to the simplest believer… is love. If Love is there, Christ is there! If there’s no love, there’s no Christ!

Yes, may the Lord help all of us to keep the unity of our Church, to keep it as our foremost care, taking heed of chilling and dangerous examples from the past, but at the same time being inspired by the podvigs* of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, who protected and maintained the unity of the Church of Christ, asserting that Church life is based only on the tangible Law of God… only the law of love saves.

  • Podvig: Should NEVER be “Englished”… one of the most powerful words in the Russian language. There are literally no English equivalents strong enough. Podvig has overtones of “epic”, “heroic”, “bravery”, “self-sacrifice”, “victory”, “effort”, and “triumph”. It’s best to leave it as is, and admit that English lacks the necessary material to give meaning to this word.

Sunday of Orthodoxy 2009

His Holiness Kirill Gundyaev

Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias

8 March 2009

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/print/577278.html

Sunday, 22 May 2016

22 May 2016. Some Thoughts on REAL Christian Love

00 st luka love 230715

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There was a real colloquy on love on FB:

Love is “all the law and the prophets”. It’s also the cheapest and most misused word in any language. Too many Christians destroy other human beings from fear and malice, and claim that they do it “from love”. For rightwing fundamentalists, law negates love.

My contribution was:

Love took a body… so St Chrysostom taught us. I believe that. That’s why I believe in an inclusive Church. Yes… there’s room even for the loudmouth haters. God WILL sort them out in the end… that’s the meaning of the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares.

You may have the exclusive “church” of the haters… with its rules, rules, rules… with its long faces and its long list of those excluded for not being “pure” enough or not simply not there as often as the Savanarolas dictate. I prefer the Church that Our Lord Christ founded… the BIG tent… with room for everybody, INCLUDING the haters. Remember what the Parable of the Wheat and Tares means… if you try to “purify” the Church, all that you’d do is to kill it. Do reflect on that the next time that you hear a young immature priest or recent convert ramble on about this-or-that fault or this-or-that sinner…

The Lord Christ forgives… the phonies don’t… bear that in mind…

BMD

Sunday, 1 May 2016

1 May 2016. The Greatest Thing… LOVE

00 Polar Bear cub. Moscow Zoopark. 010516

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Now, here’s the most appropriate thing that I can think of posting on Holy Easter… For God so loved the world

BMD

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