Voices from Russia

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Kuraev Meets Pussy Riot

00 Pussy Riot


Protodeacon Andrei Kuraev, an outspoken Russian Orthodox cleric, said that there’d be no more controversial protest performances inside another Russian Orthodox church by the all-female band Pussy Riot, after holding a meeting with two of the band’s recently released members. He met with freed members of the Pussy Riot band, Mariya Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. After the meeting, he said that he was confident that they’d never stage another protest inside a church. Pictures published after the meeting showed Kuraev having a cup of tea with Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova. Kuraev posted on his Facebook page after the meeting that he was glad that the women would seek to open churches in prisons and to help inmates. According to him, Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova recognize that the church world had both diversity and change. Immediately after Pussy Riot’s controversial stunt at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and during their subsequent trial, Kuraev’s reaction was more lenient than the official Church position. He condemned the Pussy Riot performance as “ugly and unacceptable from a moral standpoint”, but urged mercy and forgiveness on the part of the church. Snob magazine organised Kuraev’s meeting with Pussy Riot.

Kuraev himself was in the spotlight recently. Late last year, the MDA sacked him from his teaching position. He responded by saying that he had fallen victim to “the gay lobby”. Kuraev was referring to his blog post about the Kazan Theological Seminary, where students allegedly complained of sexual harassment from some teachers. Kuraev believes that he lost his post because he made the controversy at the seminary public. Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, an official Church spokesman, insisted that the Church wasn’t persecuting Kuraev for ideological reasons. However, Chaplin pointed up that Kuraev often missed his lectures and violated internal regulations, which may have prompted his dismissal.

13 January 2014

Marina Obrazkova

Russia Behind the Headlines


Editor’s Note:

Usually, those with oddbod theological views try to justify them by quoting a fictitious “gay lobby”. Now isn’t the time to go into detail, but we all know how the konvertsy caterwaul about gays and how they’re so “expert” in ferreting them out. Hmm… a lot of ‘em were ordained by Feodosy Lazor and those like him… a lot of ‘em hung out with the nutty crew in Platina (even after Podmo got le sabot from the ROCOR… such as Paffso, Freddie M-G, Reardon, and Eliel, just to name a few)… need I go on? In short, the ranting about false gays (whilst accepting ordination from the hands of gay clerics!) and persecuting relatively harmless sorts such as Lazar Puhalo leads me to a conclusion. Those who rant the most about gays are the ones most likely to be led astray by a gay guru.

They all revere Podmo… they all think that the toll houses are an “important doctrine of the Church” (it had NO real push until Rose brought it up in the 70s)… that says it all, doesn’t it? They’re all Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future and nothing else. Beam me up, Scotty


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Thursday, 9 January 2014

Ho, Hum… Tempest in a Teacup Department… “Russian Orthodox Church” Under Fire Over Stalin Calendar

Unknown Artist. Long Life to the Stalin Cat! contemporary


Editor’s Note:

One of the reasons that non-stories such as this have tread is that all Russia is on holiday until Monday. Every year, Russia “shuts down” from 1 January to the Monday closest to 10 January. It’s like France in August. Nothing happens… so, of course, 24/7 news agencies are frantic for SOMETHING to report. The guy responsible for this calendar got the shitcan back in July… ergo, it’s a dead story. As for Andrei Kuraev, he’s become a crankish figure, only taken seriously by the Western media apparat (he’s a new Yakunin… only half the brains, but twice the chutzpah). Kuraev lost out to Vsevolod Chaplin, Varsonofy Sudakov, and Mark Golovkov in the turf war that followed HH’s accession in 2009 (Kuraev doesn’t have the savoir-faire of a Kliment Kapalin, who managed to hang on to cred despite being out of favour with the Gundyaev Mafia). He and the Blunder were the biggest losers (remember, the Blunder’s only a “Patriarchal Vicar”… a vicar bishop with a bigger title, that’s all) in the reshuffle after Aleksei Ridiger’s death. They were bright stars in the early 2000s… much dimmed as of late (justifiably so)…

Oh, should I mention that this story (like the Pussy Riot non-event) has no cred in Russia? Don’t get your knicks in a knot over an obvious media non-event. When will they ever learn? Silly wabbits…

O Tempora! O Mores!



This week, the MP came under heavy criticism on the internet this week over a 2014 wall calendar published by a revered monastery’s printing-house featuring portraits of Soviet leader Iosif Stalin. The publisher flogs the black-and-white calendar, entitled Stalin, costing 200 Roubles (USD. CAD. AUD. Euros. UK Pounds), as “a great gift for veterans and history fans”. Historian Mikhail Babkin brought it to public attention on his blog on 7 January. One person wrote in one of nearly 200 comments under Babkin’s post, referring to the millions who died because of Stalin’s farm collectivisation and political repression, “Disgrace, shame, and insult to all those who perished”.

Stalin severely persecuted the Church, but it’s enjoyed revival since the collapse of the USSR in 1991. A Church official said that the head of the printing-house got the boot in July once authorities found out about the incident, but only after the delivery of the calendars. A Church spokesman, Vakhtang Kipshidze, told Reuters, “The Church was subject to the most severe repressions during Stalin’s rule when he ordered the deportation and execution of thousands of priests. Releasing such a publication in a Church establishment … is morally unacceptable”. However, reflecting the sympathy for Stalin still felt by many Russians who credit him with victory in World War Two, and giving their country superpower status, Kipshidze added, “Nonetheless, one should work on the assumption that both in the Church and in Russian society there are differing views on the role Stalin played in Russian history and everybody has the right to hold to their own views”.

Critics of the Kremlin accuse President Vladimir Putin of burnishing Stalin’s image and celebrating the USSR’s modernising achievements to prop up national pride. Since returning to the Kremlin in mid-2012, Putin also seeks to appeal to conservative voters to boost his authority; increasingly, he promotes the Church as a standard-bearer for national values. In turn, the Church faces growing criticism from critics who say that it fosters excessively-close ties to the Kremlin and seeks too powerful a role in secular life. Andrei Kuraev, a {disgraced: editor} cleric and religious activist, wrote on his blog, “This is business. The Church uses its resources to make money. This is where the trouble is, not in Stalin pictures”.

9 January 2014

Maria Tsvetkova

Gabriela Baczynska




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