Voices from Russia

Friday, 24 October 2014

24 October 2014. Something to Think About… Shouldn’t We Be One?

00 OCA family. 19.05.14


Here is a picture of one of our Russian Orthodox clergy families. I really think that we Russian Orthodox people here in the English-speaking diaspora have to have a serious discussion about Church Unity. Before we can reach out to anyone else, we have to solve our own internal disunity and intramural problems first. There’s no such thing as “American Orthodox”, and you don’t have to be “Russian” to be “Russian Orthodox”. We’re a social and sociological whole… we should unite, the way the Antiochians did.

Let’s start the discussion… that’s the first step on the road, isn’t it? That they may be as one… that’s what Our Lord Christ wanted… and the best way to start it is to unite all the Russian Orthodox first. That’s my thought, any road…


Sunday, 23 March 2014

23 March 2014. Is You Is or Is You Not My Baby… You Pays Your Money and You Takes Your Choice.

01 red-question-mark


There’s duelling e-mails on whether the ROCOR took in Paffso. “In this corner, in the blue n’ red trunks, we got Fr Ambrose from New Zealand. In this corner (moving finger to point at the other “corner”), we have Fr Alexander from LA in the black n’ white striped trunks (is he a black horse with white stripes or is he a white horse with black stripes… it’s all in the eye of the beholder, no?)”. Fr Ambrose is in italics, Fr Alexander is in plain type… I quote the  e-mails “as is”, without editing:

Metropolitan Hilarion was informed of the release last night.  ROCA’s Synod will meet to discuss accepting him and also His Grace Bishop Nikolai Soraich. Glory to God!

Fr Ambrose

One should not “jump the gun”. Metropolitan Jonah has NOT been granted a canonical release by the OCA. The Holy Synod of the OCA has made it clear that there are a lot of matters that still need to be discussed and certain conditions that have to be met before this can be resolved. The approval of His Holiness the Patriarch of Russia must also be obtained for this to occur. Bishop Nikolai (Soraich), on the other hand, HAS received a canonical release from the OCA, and his transfer has been approved by the Patriarch of Russia.

With love in Christ,

Prot.  Alexander Lebedeff

Dear Father, one may consult various sources, including our Clergy list, to be assured of the accuracy of what I wrote. It is “breaking news” and perhaps not known to all.

Fr Ambrose

You pays your money and you takes your choice. There’s no official news out on this, nor is there “righteous intel”… there’s intel, all right… all over the map, so much so that no one in their right mind would draw any conclusions yet.

Wait for the official word. Until then, I hope that Paffso stays in limbo… the ROCOR doesn’t deserve such a headache (he’d tag-team with Potapov, creating a gigantic pain in the ass to the ROCOR Synod).



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Thursday, 4 July 2013

Gay Abusers of Russian Boy Get 40 Years in the Slam

01 hurt teddy bear child abuse


Right after the UK-based Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP) issued a warning report about a rise in live streaming and the number of indecent images of children posted by offenders online, a court sentenced an Australian man to 40 years in prison and ordered him to pay 40,000 USD (1.33 million Roubles. 31,000 Euros. 26,500 UK Pounds) in restitution for trafficking his eight-year old adopted Russian son to paedophiles around the world. Mark Newton, a dual American/Australian citizen, and his Australian partner, “bought” the boy for 8,000 USD (265,000 Roubles. 6,200 Euros. 5,300 UK Pounds) from a Russian woman. In their bid to adopt, the couple travelled to Russia, the top American-adopters destination, and found a woman who they paid for granting them sole custody of the boy right after his birth. Police claim to have evidence that the boy called Adam suffered abuse since he was two.

The police arrested the perps in 2011 after New Zealand authorities discovered that they used the boy in child pornography; the cops raided the couple’s homes in Australia and in California, and found evidence. Police sources say that the couple took the child around the world, including the USA, Australia, France, and Germany where numerous men abused him, adding that the offenders also recorded the abuse and uploaded the footage online. US District Judge Sarah Evans Barker claimed that the couple deserved a harsher punishment. The abuse case will probably impel Russia to set even-tougher standards on foreign adoptions. On 3 July, President Vladimir Putin signed a law sharply limiting the adoption of Russian children by people from countries that allow same-sex marriage. The new law bans adoption by same-sex couples whose homeland recognises their union as marriage, as well as by single people or common-law couples from those countries.

VOR senior producer Andrew Hiller examined just what happened and what went wrong with Diane Black of BMT Counselling, who’s worked on many abuse cases involving international adoption, several of which dealt with Russian children. Fist of all, Diane agreed with Judge Barker that the sentence was too light, as “no sentence could be too harsh in a hideous situation like this”. Diane also told VOR that the abuse became possible due to a number of paedophilia rings uniting offenders throughout the world. Diane explained that these people don’t consider their behaviour as a disorder, they try to justify it as ordinary conduct, getting support from each other. She added that it’s also much easier to conceal abuse of children adopted overseas as they lack connections with their homeland.

In this regard, Ms Black called for Russian adoptees to have contact with people from their country to know that there are people who care about them and that they aren’t forgotten. In some cases, this could be Russian diplomats, who’re sometimes denied access to kids by local authorities in the USA. Ms Black also mentioned the necessity of a pre-adoption psychological evaluation of future parents as well as all adults in a kid’s new home. Diane illustrated the point by telling a story of three Russian kids that were recently placed in “an awful place” due to poorly-conducted home study. A possible solution could be regular studies conducted by several professionals, with a psychologist among them, not just a single social worker. Diane also called for regular weekly post-adoption checks, concluding, “Anyone who ignores the best interest of a child is guilty”, saying that all similar situations are preventable by doing simple things and following a single procedure that should be streamlined standard for all states.

4 July 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Monday, 1 April 2013

Cat Threat: New Zealand to Give Puss the Boot

00 kitty cat in gaol. cartoon. 01.04.13


In an attempt to turn New Zealand into a sanctuary for flightless kiwi birds and other endangered local wildlife, the island nation’s parliament is considering a measure to expel all cats from the country, bringing a disdainful hiss from all feline lovers. The issue has divided New Zealanders for years, with wildlife activists claiming that the domesticated balls of fluff are still “natural-born killers”, genetically-coded to dispatch a kiwi with a single paw swipe. Only some 5 percent of kiwi chicks manage to survive to adulthood, whilst struggling against an onslaught of invasive purry predators. Prof Phil Kummer {this may be an insider’s joke, профиль кума in Russian is “the godfather’s profile”… a “godfather” being the chekist in charge of internal security at a GULag camp: editor}, leading expert at the Organisation for Helping Ground Animals with Defence (OHGAWD), said, “If we’re serious about kiwi conservation, we must give up our cat addiction. Cute and fluffy as they come, our felines are birds’ natural enemies. We must stop kiwi killings by cats once and for all, to secure a future for New Zealand’s national symbol”. One proposal is to load all cats onto a barge, then, to ship them off to a more suitable place, one ready to give this mewing cargo a new home. This Noah’s puss ark could drop anchor in Australia, amongst other destinations, where they could set up a shelter to let the exiled tabbies frolic around and bask in the sunlight without wreaking havoc on defenceless kiwis.

1 April 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Are you thinkin’ what I’m thinkin’? Look at the date… my, my, my… Barnum WAS right, wasn’t he? Give a round (of applause and drinks, both) to the VOR gang… this was top-shelf tongue-in-cheek ironic comedy… from people whose native tongue isn’t English. This restores my faith in humanity… and in its enduring good-sense…


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