Voices from Russia

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Patriarch Kirill Warned People about Demonstrations and Urged Them Not to Listen to Demagogues

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On Wednesday, in remarks made after the Liturgy at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, on the third anniversary of his enthronement, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias called on believers to share his prayers for Russia, “which is passing through a very important and delicate stage in its development. Let’s unite all our forces. Most Orthodox people don’t know how to demonstrate, however, they went to the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God, and, if the Belt had been in Russia for six months, not just one, then, we would’ve have seen 40 to 50 million people in the queues, not the three million that we saw. We know that’s true, because we live in a predominately-Orthodox country”. In his opinion, most Orthodox “don’t go to protest marches, we don’t hear their voices, as they pray in silence in their rooms in monasteries and homes, with heartfelt feeling for all that’s happening today with our people”. His Holiness believed, “God can enlighten and strengthen our people and rulers, leading them on a path that’ll promote spiritual and moral order amongst individuals and society, the development of national consciousness, and the basic values of life in our multi-ethnic nation”.

At the same time, he urged people to be alert, saying, “Bear in mind that the loudest scream or the most emotional word isn’t always correct, true, and honest. In such ways, our people were tempted over the last hundred-odd years. Our strength lies in prayer and spiritual podvigs, because in doing so, we open God’s Truth and God’s Plan for our Motherland of Holy Rus. We know that God always punishes all deceivers, seducers, and provocateurs. Where are they in history?” Patriarch Kirill also gave his assessment of the Russian religious situation, noting, “We enjoy an unprecedented freedom, unusual in the history of the Church in Russia, as we ourselves determine what the Church’s course, no one interferes with the decisions reached by Church Councils, Synods, and the hierarchy. This freedom was given to us as a kind of respite, we must be prepared for the fact that, in future, something might change”. In this regard, he urged everyone in the Church, “Don’t waste your time, build churches, educate children, form a new generation of clergy, enter into every aspect of society, bring the Christian message to the world, as we now have this opportunity, and let’s hope that this will stop the terrible hand of God”.

1 February 2012

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=44020

Editor’s Note:

There are two ways of engagement with the world. One is illustrated by His Holiness… we should pray for our country and work diligently in pragmatic ways for its betterment. As for demonstrations, they’re not important. In any case, the real Church refuses to get involved in partisan politics, even for “good” causes.

The other, more sinister, way is illustrated by Fathausen’s antics at the so-called “March for Life”. This March has degenerated into a partisan political event of the extremist rightwing, which we as Christians should best avoid as “Church” (if this-or-that individual wishes to participate in such a crackbrained enterprise… let them… but as individuals, NOT as “Church”). In any case, it advocates a position that the real Church does NOT take. As V R Legoida, the head of the MP Information Department, explained recently, the Church is interested in minimising abortion, it’s interested in helping unwed mothers, and in putting restrictions on abortion, but it does NOT advocate the outlawing of the procedure. I shall speak plainly… the Church’s position on the matter is closer to that of Barack Obama than it is to the position of Rick Santorum.

Pro-Life is NOT synonymous with Anti-Abortion. When one considers that the loud rightwingers oppose Social Justice, oppose spending on social welfare, advocate the promiscuous use of the death penalty, loudly shout for jingoistic warmongering in foreign parts, and support a war budget far in excess of our actual defence needs, it’s clear that the “March for Life” is a pietistic fraud… it’s prelest embodied… in its most demonic form. Satan’s very subtle, indeed… after all, most Orthodox “don’t go to protest marches, we don’t hear their voices, as they pray in silence in their rooms in monasteries and homes, with heartfelt feeling for all that’s happening today with our people”. That’s the way to beat Ol’ Scratch… the ONLY way…

BMD

Thursday, 26 January 2012

MP will Raise Funds to Aid Greeks Hit Hard by the Economic Crisis

Greek Economic Crisis

Carlos Latuff

2010

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Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias announced that an all-MP fund drive would raise funds to help Greeks impoverished by the results of the economic crisis. On Thursday, at a meeting with Antonis Samaras, the leader of the Greek rightwing New Democracy Party, he said, “Presently, we must establish relationships between our Church social services and the Local Church of Greece, so that the MP can take part in the good work of helping the needy in Greece”. His Holiness felt that Russians should “take to heart” the problems of the Greek people, and he commended the activities of the Church of Greece to help those in need. He noted that the traditionally-cordial interaction between the Orthodox Churches in Russia and Greece was “one of the strongest ties that bind our two countries together. Political configurations come and go, they change, but ancient links going back into the depths of the centuries always remain. Orthodoxy’s an important factor in the Russian and Greek national identity”.

Patriarch Kirill pointed up that when the relics of the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God and of St Dmitri the Great Martyr of Salonika came to Russia, “the Russian people responded to the bringing of the relics with enthusiasm, millions of people, despite frost and cold, stood in queue for long hours to venerate them. No political rally or sporting event attracts as many people as do the relics that come amongst us. Therefore, we have hope for the future”. He also said that he looked forward to an official visit to Russia on the part of Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis, the First Hierarch of the Local Church of Greece, and hoped that this visit will give new impetus to the development of inter-church relations. For his part, Samaras said that Orthodoxy was a foundation “that strengthens people, enabling them to survive difficult situations”.

26 January 2012

Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=news&div=43942

Friday, 20 January 2012

More Than 100,000 People Signed Online Petition Demanding the Release of Archimandrite Ephrem

THIS is why Abba Ephrem’s in prison… he brought the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God to Russia, and millions of believers bowed before it, including leaders of the state… and the American special services wanted to punish him for that. You have a choice… you can support the godliness embodied in Holy Rus, or, you can support the demonic Evangelicalism (a religious apologia for the radical rightwing) regnant in the USA, which is Satan’s simulacrum of Christianity. Reflect on this… Paffhausen’s chosen the latter, not the former, course… interesting, no?

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According to a website favourable to the release of Igumen Ephrem, the Abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos, more than 100,000 people signed a petition calling for his release from custody in a Greek prison for dangerous criminals. The website “Free Elder Ephraim” has a petition that you can sign to appeal to the President and Prime Minister of Greece, as well as the Supreme Court (Areopagus) for the release of Igumen Ephrem. A portion of the protest posted on the site reads, “We’re convinced that the decision to remand a respected spiritual elder to preliminary custody is a political provocation, with the aim of undermining the authority of Holy Mount Athos and the Church in general”. A counter of signatures on the site shows that the number overtopped 100,000 on Thursday, reaching 103,155 on Thursday evening. This document is available in Russian, Greek, Serbian, Georgian, Bulgarian, English, Romanian, French, and German.

19 January 2012

Pravoslavie.ru

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/news/51076.htm

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Actions of the Greek Authorities Against Igumen Ephrem Disgraced Orthodox Greece

The god-pleasing Abba Ephrem of Vatopedi (1955- ) sits in a prison cell… the bum-kissing American-puppet politicians sit scot-free in the Canaries… what’s WRONG with that picture?

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The archpastors of the Local Church of Greece strongly criticised the decision by the Greek authorities to arrest Archimandrite Ephrem, the abbot of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. In the view of the Greek episcopate, the arrest of the well-known Athonite elder was only a trick by the authorities, who’re trying to cover up their crimes and to divert people’s attentions from the economic problems, thereby, dishonouring Orthodox Greece, RIA-Novosti reported. Last weekend, the cops arrested Archimandrite Ephrem on the orders of a Greek court, and confined him to his cell at the monastery, as the doctors with detected a viral infection, an aggravation of degenerative disc disease, and elevated blood sugar levels. The time limit on the enforcement of the warrant will expire on Monday afternoon.

On a broadcast of Skai TV, Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki said, “I wondered… why should anyone consider [Igumen Ephrem] dangerous? Does he want to sell [the government] the lake a second time? Or, does he want to take the [Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God] and go with it to Russia, and never come back? You can’t see any logic in this decision by the court. I can see the intent in all of this. Firstly, they’re trying to cover the responsibility of those who brought us to the current tragic situation, and, secondly, to attack the concept of the Church in modern society by striking at the person of Fr Ephrem”.

Metropolitan Chrysostomos Sklifas of Patras believed that those who decided to arrest [Abba Ephrem] directed it against the Church itself. Romfea.gr quoted him as saying, “They struck at the credibility of the monks and the Church in a way that defied good-sense and religious feeling, especially during this holy season”. The Church of Greece celebrates Christmas on 25 December, but the Athonite monasteries, as well as Russia, continue to use the traditional Church calendar, and celebrate Christmas on 7 January. For his part, Metropolitan Andreas Trebelas of Dryinoupolis, Pogoniani, and Konitsa and Exarch  of Northern Epirus said, “These actions are mainly directed against the Church, and, of course, against Holy Mount Athos, to the delight of the Church’s opponents”. Vladyki Andreas pointed up that he didn’t know the exact content of the judicial decisions. Metropolitan Nikolaos Protopappas of Phthiotis stated, in his opinion, “The dark forces decided to strike at Athos”.

In an article on the site Romfea.gr, Metropolitan Pavlos Ioannou of Sisanion and Siatista wrote, in his opinion, the arrest of Igumen Ephrem was revelatory, as the police arrested none of the politicians responsible for numerous economic scandals. He said, “Was anyone arrested by the Greek judges for the ‘bubble’ on the stock exchange, for the bribes taken in the Siemens scandal, for the economic catastrophe in our country, for the international humiliation of its people? Finally, the Greek justice, albeit belatedly, found the guilty party, the one responsible for all the troubles… Igumen Ephrem”. Vladyki Pavlos related that with a bitter smile. Metropolitan Athanasios Nikolaou of LimassolAmathous, and Kourion, of the Local Church of Cyprus, supports Igumen Ephrem, who’s a native of Cyprus. Metropolitan Athanasios, who formerly was a member of the brotherhood of Vatopedi Monastery, said, “It seems that Greece has solved all its other problems, but, now, there’s a threat from Elder Ephrem”.

The First Hierarch of the Local Church of Greece, Archbishop Ieronymos Liapis,  Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, said earlier that although he wasn’t fully informed on the situation, however, he was “deeply concerned” by the arrest of [Igumen Ephrem] so close to Christmas. The Monastic Republic of Mount Athos isn’t under the omofor of the Church of Greece; nevertheless, it has close ties with it. The twenty ruling monasteries of Mount Athos are the under the EP’s canonical umbrella, which had no immediate comment on the situation. Greek television also cited in detail the negative comments from Russia concerning the arrest of Igumen Ephrem. For instance, the Foundation of St Andrew the First-Called, which sponsored the tour of the Vatopedi delegation with the Belt of the Most Holy Mother of God in Russia, said, “We believe that such actions can only be explained by the political perspective of certain circles in the Greek establishment, who wish to demonstrate to the West their willingness to deny the principles of spiritual life enshrined in the Greek constitution”. In response to this comment, an unnamed source in the Greek judiciary told Mega TV in Athens, “We must condemn the interference of third parties in Greek justice”.

Emilios Poligenis, the head of the Greek church news website Romfea.gr, told RIA-Novosti that, in the meantime, Fr Ephrem performs his monastic obedience in prison and carries out his priestly duties, saying, “Today, they brought his vestments to the prison, and, on Sunday, he’ll be able to serve in the prison chapel. The elder’s calm and in as good spirits as anyone can be in such trials. The prison authorities treat him very well. Whatever he needs, they give it to him”. He added that they allow Fr Ephrem to follow a special diet because of his diabetes. So far, [Abba Ephrem] doesn’t complain of any health problems, but he recently had a viral infection. According to Poligenis, Fr Ephrem didn’t resist his arrest, and he doesn’t comment on the progress of the case, referring his interlocutors to his lawyers. Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki and Metropolitan Pavlos Tsaousoglou of Glyfada and Aexoni, of the Local Church of Greece, visited Igumen Ephrem in prison. The arrest of Igumen Ephrem provoked a series of protests in Greece and abroad. In particular, the RF MID and the MP expressed their concern over the detention of Fr Ephrem, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all the Russias urged Greek President Karolos Papoulias to release him from imprisonment.

3 January 2012

Metropolitan Nikolaos Hatzinikolaou of Mesogeia and Lavreotiki

Pravoslavie.ru

http://pravoslavie.ru/smi/50756.htm

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