Voices from Russia

Sunday, 31 July 2011

31 July 2011. A Point to Ponder: The Gosei (The Five Reflections)… and What They Tell Us About Our Church

Anyone who’s had contact with serving JMSDF officers knows of the Gosei. They’re very simple:

  1. Were you straightforward?
  2. Did you do anything dishonourable?
  3. Did you act with character?
  4. Did you do your utmost?
  5. Were you lazy?

Japanese officers learn these simple precepts at Etajima; they’re the basis of their code of honour. If we were to judge Jonas Paffhausen, Bobby K, Dreher, Lyonyo, Potapov, Reardon, Gan, Mattingly, Lebedeff, Stokoe, Love BT, Silver, and Freddie M-G (amongst others) by this standard, it’s obvious that they’re dishonourable, disreputable, liars, layabouts, and slackers. It’s says a great deal about us as an institution doesn’t it?

You don’t attack homosexuality, and, then, wink at it in your colleagues. You don’t refuse to give details on why you sacked someone. You don’t attack those who tell the truth. You don’t report unimportant fluffy news in place of giving important information. You don’t transfer malefactors to another archdiocese so that they can avoid the consequences of their actions. You don’t savagely castigate laypeople who (rightfully) took a priest to the secular courts for a civil wrong (a breach of pastoral confidentiality is a violation of ordinary professional ethics that binds all professions, not merely the clergy… it’s a legal, not a moral, transgression).

In short, El Gordo’s fulminations about homosexuality this weekend are a hypocritical sham and a crook attempt to divert attention from his own crank actions and the doings of his nasty cronies. He’s taken the believers’ trust and smashed it on the floor, with no regard for what it means in future. If you think that’s unimportant, or that it’s easy to put right, do think again. Now, people’s confidence in the clergy of the Church is shattered, and it’ll take at least a generation to restore it. It’s like planting a crop or carrying a baby to term… you can’t rush it, and if you do try to hasten it, it not only won’t come out well, it’ll come out distorted and deformed.

Paffhausen and the First Families left THAT as a legacy for the future of the Church.


Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Sunday 31 July 2011

Albany NY  


Thursday, 16 June 2011

16 June 2011. Some of My Favourite Things… Yokosuka Navy Curry… Good Eats in Any Language!

How ’bout a lighthearted romp through Westernised Japanese cuisine… I knew that you wouldn’t mind…


Yokosuka Navy Curry

8 servings


  • 1 litre/4 cups beef stock
  • 400 grammes/1 pound beef, cubed
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced (400 grammes/1 pound)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced (200 grammes/8 ounces)
  • 4 small onions, thinly sliced (400 grammes/1 pound)
  • 30 millilitres/2 tablespoons lard
  • 15 millilitres/1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 15 millilitres/1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 30 millilitres cornstarch dissolved in cold water
  • salt/pepper, to taste


Melt the lard in a large pot over medium heat. When it has liquefied, add the beef, and brown it well, tossing it frequently to ensure an even result. Remove the beef and reserve it. Add the potatoes, carrots, and onions, and cook them for about 10 minutes, stirring them often, until the onions are translucent. Add the beef stock, bring it to the boil, and reduce the heat to low. Return the beef to the pot, adding the curry powder and soy sauce, stirring the mixture well to combine everything thoroughly. Cover the pot, and cook it for 40-50 minutes, stirring it occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t stick on the bottom. Make a slurry of the cornstarch dissolved in cold water, whisking it thoroughly to remove any lumps in the mixture. Turn the heat to medium-high, bring the curry to a boil, add the slurry, and stir the curry until it thickens. Reduce the heat to low, put the cover back on the pot, and cook it for a further 10 minutes. It’s usual to ladle the finished curry over cooked Japanese medium-grain rice. The yield of 8 servings assumes that you’re going to serve this in deep soup plates over the rice. This isn’t eaten with chopsticks, kids… it’s ALWAYS been eaten with a spoon. This came into Japanese naval usage in the 19th century, as the Royal Navy had adopted it as part of its culinary routine. The RN was the premier navy of its time, and the Japanese sent young men to learn from it. Officers of the formative IJN, such as Togo Heihachiro, studied in England and sailed aboard RN ships, so, certain practises of the Senior Service become part of the IJN tradition (moreover, the JMSDF continues them today).


Many Western sources add garlic to the recipe… I haven’t found it in my Japanese sources. I’d leave it out if I were you. You’re eating NIHONGI curry… NOT Indian curry… there’s a difference.

Приятного аппетита. Bon appétit.

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