Voices from Russia

Monday, 18 March 2013

18 March 2013. Sergei Yolkin’s World. Argentina’s in the Finals!

00 Sergei Yolkin. Argentina's in the Finals! 2013

Argentina’s in the Finals!

Sergei Yolkin



Note the blue and white stripes on Bergoglio’s cassock… no doubt, it’s meant to symbolise “team colours” in the World Cup. Pope Francisco is a big-time footy fan, so, Yolkin’s playing this for a laugh… as if it was a sports match. In other words, Turkson (for instance) was the favourite going into the match, but the “dark horse” won.

The RIA translator did a shitty job again. The title wasn’t “Winner Take All”, and “What a letdown” wasn’t a good translation of какая боль.


Despite all predictions that the conclave would elect the first black pope, the new Pope of Rome chosen on 13 March was Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. He wasn’t among the favourites amongst the “papabili“, unlike Cardinals Peter Turkson of GhanaAngelo Scola of Italy and Odilo Scherer from Brazil. Sergei Yolkin thinks that we should feel sorry for the “papabili” who didn’t make it.

14 March 2013

Sergei Yolkin






Sunday, 10 March 2013

The New Pope of Rome: Shall He be One of the Expected Papabili or Shall He be a “Dark Horse?”

01 canadian catholic at st anne de beaupre


On 12 March, a conclave of 112 Roman Catholic cardinals will gather in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel to elect a new, the 266th, Pope of Rome. Observers expect that the name of the new pope will be known before Catholic Palm Sunday (this year, on 24 March), or, at the latest, before Catholic Easter (31 March). Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger retired on 28 February. He’s the first pope in the last 600 years who’s left the Fisherman’s Throne before his death. At present, Vatican watchers name five men as the most-probable winners of the upcoming papal conclave (all are cardinals):

However, it’s still hard to guess with certainty who will be the next Pope of Rome. Not long before his retirement, Benedict changed the procedure of electing a new pope. Aleksei Bukalov, a Russian expert on Vatican affairs, said, “The new conditions are very demanding. According to the amendments made by Benedict, a new pope needs a two-thirds majority of votes to win election. One should mention that Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II Wojtyła, contrariwise, simplified the procedure. According to the rules that he introduced, after a certain number of ballots, a new Pope could be elected by a simple majority of votes”. The amendments made by Benedict might hamper the process of electing a new pope… although, of course, there was an instance in the 13th century when it took three years for church leaders to elect a new pope… that’s unlikely to recur.

If none of the above-mentioned five candidates gets two-thirds of the votes, an alternative figure might arise, as it was in the case of Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II. During the elections for a new pope in October 1978, at first, no one predicted any serious chances for Polish Cardinal Karol Wojtyła (John Paul II’s secular name). Many of his rivals seemed to have much better chances to win. However, Wojtyła won the election in the end. By the way, he was the first non-Italian in more than four-and-a-half centuries to ascend the papal throne.

Russian analyst Pavel Svyatenko said, “It’s practically impossible to predict now who’ll be the next pope. In fact, the list of the allegedly most-probable candidates isn’t very reliable. It’s quite possible that none of them would get enough votes, and the conclave would suggest an alternative candidate”. Judging by several statements by some of the cardinals who’d vote for the new pope, they’ve divided into two parties. Both parties recognise that the Roman Catholic Church needs a certain amount of modernisation, but one faction believes that only a person who knows life in Vatican very well “from the inside” would be able to reform the Church properly. However, others believe that the Church needs a leader who has no earlier links with the Vatican bureaucracy, and who, thus, would have a fresh, non-prejudicial, approach to the Church’s problems. Theoretically, according to Catholic canon law, any male Roman Catholic can become Pope of Rome, even if he’s never been a priest or a monk. However, since the 14th century, only cardinals have become popes.

10 March 2013

Andrei Fedyashin

Aleksei Lyakhov

Voice of Russia World Service


Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Who Will Be the Next Pope of Rome?

Pope Benedict XVI 4


Recently, very unexpectedly, Pope Benedict XVI Ratzinger announced that he’s going to resign. Now, the world’s guessing who’ll be the next Pope of Rome and what the destiny of the Roman Catholic Church in the rapidly changing world may now be. Quite a few analysts predict that, most likely, the next pope would be of Latin American origin, and that he’d conduct a very tolerant policy towards Muslims.

Now, Benedict XVI is 85 years old. His tough attitude towards homosexuality, abortion, and the Harry Potter book series is well-known. Besides that, he’s made several tough statements against Islam during his pontificate. He’s always sharply condemned those ensnared in paedophile scandals. Considering all this, some analysts now suppose that the pope’s decision to resign wasn’t really of his own volition. They suspect, probably, that Curial factions forced him off the Fisherman’s Throne. If this supposition were true, any new pope would have to be more liberal and tolerant than the elderly Benedict. However, John Moody, a former correspondent for Time magazine in Vatican City, believed that, for all his conservatism, Benedict XVI prepared the grounds for radical reform in the Roman Catholic Church.

As was said above, quite a few analysts are predicting that the new pope will be from Latin America. After all, more than 40 percent of all Roman Catholics live there. However, about 50 percent of the cardinal-electors in the next conclave are from Europe. Amongst possible candidates, analysts name Archbishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo in Brazil, Archbishop Angelo Scola of Milano, and Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson of Ghana.

Most likely, one of the main criteria for choosing the new pope would be his ability to defend the interests of the Roman Catholic Church in the modern world. Vyacheslav Kostikov, former Russian ambassador to the Vatican, said, “This is a very acute problem for the Catholic Church. At present, Europe is full of Islamists, and their influence on the Christian world is becoming stronger every day. The task of the new pope will be to resist this onslaught of Islamists, being at the same time tolerant and friendly towards peaceful Muslims. On the other hand, for all this tolerance, the pope should firmly stand for Christian values, because these values are traditional for both Europe and America”.

As for the new pope’s domestic policy, analysts also have practically no doubts about what it most likely will be. The new pope would have to take the mistakes of his predecessor into account, having an ability to make compromises. Theologian José Manuel Vidal said, “Today, it’s no secret that the Roman Catholic Church is losing popularity among European young people. To bring young people back to the Church, the church leaders should now be more flexible. Too many problems now need new approaches… the problems of women, of sex freedom, of contraception, of prostitution, and so on”.

The election of the new pope will take place on 24 March. Who will it be… an Italian or a Latin American? On the one hand, the world is changing, and the Church should, to a certain extent, change with it. On the other, the role of the Church is to stand for traditional values. The new Pope of Rome, whoever he’d be, would have to be very wise to find a compromise between these two opposite trends.

13 February 2013

Daria Manina

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Do note WHEN Benny made his surprise abdication announcement. He made it during the canonisation ceremony of the Martyrs of Otranto… who suffered martyrdom for refusing to convert to Islam in 1480. Remember, not only is the content of a statement important, so is the setting. Firstly, this was a personal statement of the Pope of Rome; its shock flabbergasted Rome, coming completely out of the blue. That militates against it being a Curial intrigue… such things always lead to “whispers in the loggia”… there was no hint of such prior to B16’s announcement.

If the statement were made in the context of canonising a group of martyrs whom the RCs beatified as far back as 1771 means that Benny meant it to be a sign to those in the know. If he announced his resignation in the context of “sainting” those killed by Muslims, I don’t think that he meant to promote a more tolerant or conciliatory policy towards Islamists. Rather, it smells like divide et impera to me. The RCs would talk and interact civilly with reasonable Muslims whilst waging war on Islamists (that’s what the MP does, by the way).

The real danger to the Catholics (and to us, too) are the twin and related foes of Militant Secularism (anti-religion per se, not mere irreligion) and Evangelical Anti-Christianity (excluding Classical Reformation Low Churches). Firstly, most secular people aren’t militant attackers of religion… don’t go after false targets. Most are people who simply aren’t believers, full stop. In like manner, most Evangelicals (which would include Mormons, AdventistsPentecostalists, and JWs) are simply dupes… they aren’t aware that their “faith” has NO resemblance to Classical Christianity in the least. They’ve never heard of the Second Great Awakening, William MillerCharles Parham and Agnes Ozman, Charles Taze Russell, or even the notorious polygamist Brigham Young. Both Militant Secularists and Evangelical Anti-Christians are obdurate and unceasing proselytisers. Both are equally dangerous… Christians have to oppose both, for both are enemies of Christ. Again… be careful! Most secular people aren’t attackers of religion… don’t be misled. Also, most Evangelicals are unaware that their pseudo-religion isn’t the Christianity of the Ages. Be discerning in your opposition.

That is, Benedict sees the threat to Catholicism coming from three sources:

  • Islamism
  • Militant Secularism
  • Evangelical Anti-Religion

Watch for the next Pope of Rome to tackle these three problems, whoever it is. Also note well that Benny intends to live in Castel Gandolfo, which the new pope will go to in the summer, I’m sure. This smells as if Benny’s trying to stage-manage his succession as much as possible. Remember, he’s German… Germans plan… Germans plan THOROUGHLY. That doesn’t mean that his plans will work… but it DOES mean that they’re well-organised and well-thought-out, probably, with several different scenarios catered for. We’ll have to see, no?

However, here’s the oddest detail of all… the conclave is to begin on 24 March… Catholic Palm Sunday. That’s highly unusual; it appears to be a goad to a “fast” conclave. SOMEONE is anxious… VERY anxious. Is B16’s health that bad or does he fear an open rebellion amongst some of the RC hierarchy? I think that it’s a combination of the two.

By the way, I checked patriarchia.ru… HH has NO official comments on B16’s resignation… there’s only the usual boilerplate bullshit from the Blunder.


Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Could the Next Pope of Rome Come from Africa?

Pope Benedict XVI 3


With Pope of Rome Benedict XVI Ratzinger due to officially step down as the head of the Catholic Church on 28 February, speculations are mounting as to who may follow in his place. Already, bookmakers have started placing odds on Benedict’s successor, with some Vatican-watchers speculating it’s time for an African or a South American pope. Strong candidates could emerge from Southern Hemisphere regions with heavily-large Catholic populations. However, many experts are less enthusiastic. They think that supporters of Ghana‘s Cardinal Peter Kodwo Appiah Turkson or Cardinal Francis Arinze of Nigeria won’t be able to rally around their candidatures quickly enough. Since many of the recently-appointed cardinals who’ll take part in the upcoming conclave come from Italy, odds are high that the next pope will also be Italian, per tradition, or at least European. The election of a Canadian or American pope could occur, but that’d still be historic.

Now that Pope Benedict XVI said that he‘d step down, experts now engage in guesswork as to who could succeed him. According to the BBC, they feel it’s highly likely that the next pope will be Latin American, since the region accounts for more than 40 percent of Catholics world-wide. Some of the more likely candidates are Archbishop Odilo Pedro Scherer of São Paulo in Brazil, and Archbishop Leonardo Sandri of Argentina {Sandri is Prefect of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches, the Curial enforcer who cudgels the Uniates into line with the Vatican: editor}. However, there’s no clear frontrunner thus far among the candidates. On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI said that he’d resign on 28 February for health reasons. The papal conclave to elect a new Pope of Rome is due before the end of March.

On Monday, European Commission President José Manuel Durão Barroso and European Council President Herman Achille Van Rompuy expressed their understanding of Pope Benedict XVI’s decision to resign. A statement issued by the chairman of the EC said, “President Barroso highly appreciates the work done by Pope Benedict XVI, in his continued efforts to uphold ecumenical values, such as peace and human rights”. For his part, European Council President Van Rompuy said that the pontificate of Benedict XVI “was short but very difficult”. On Monday, the 85-year-old pontiff announced he could no longer lead the Catholic Church because of age and declining health. His official leave-taking will be on 28 February. This is the first case of a pope’s abdication in modern history. Despite the fact that rumours swirled concerning the pope’s ill-health, Benedict’s statement came as a surprise even for the highest levels of the Catholic hierarchy.

The Vatican is confused… Pope Benedict XVI, 85, announced his abdication and plans to quit on 28 February, saying he’s stepping down, as he’s too weak to fulfil his duties. A voluntary papal resignation is rare, especially in recent centuries, so Russian experts speculated what’d happen to the Roman Catholic world. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI became the 265th Pope of Rome; he was the oldest pontiff elected since the late 18th century.

In his resignation statement, given Monday at the ceremony of canonisation of the Martyrs of Otranto, Benedict said, “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I’ve come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise”. Vatican expert Aleksei Bukalov told VOR, “The cardinals were caught by surprise with this announcement. As one of the cardinals put it, everyone was ‘very shaken by the unexpected news’. The announcement was a surprise, even though popes can resign, and some of them went to monasteries in the Middle Ages. But Benedict XVI was the first pope to leave voluntarily in six centuries”.

Some sceptics say the true reason for Benedict’s resignation were scandals in the Holy See, like numerous charges against paedophile priests or conflicts in the Curia after Benedict XVI gave the top post of Secretary of State to Cardinal Tarcisio Pietro Evasio Bertone. Religious studies expert Aleksei Yudin has another version of situation, saying, “These scandals were very unlikely to affect the pope personally. They threatened no catastrophic aftermaths”. Another expert, Yuri Tabal, thinks that the pope’s ill-health has nothing to do with the resignation, noting, “No pope resigns voluntarily due to ill-health, as it’s a very honoured post, and popes, the same as secular rulers, leave it reluctantly. There are many questions surrounding Benedict XVI, especially taking into account his turbulent papacy. Maybe he had pressure from cardinals who favoured his predecessor John Paul II more”.

A conclave will elect the new pontiff in late March. Those cardinals eligible to vote would enter sequestration in Vatican City and take an oath of secrecy. The cardinal-electors burn the ballots after each round. White smoke signals that cardinals have chosen a new pope. Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk, the head of the MP Department for External Church Relations, voiced optimism that Benedict’s successor would safeguard Christian values and contribute to the development of ties between Catholics and Orthodox.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters that the Curia could organise a conclave to choose a new pope within 15 or 20 days of Benedict’s departure on 28 February. On Monday, a Vatican spokesman said that a conclave would probably elect a new pope by the end of March, after Pope Benedict left his aides “incredulous” with his announcement that he’d resign because he was too weak to fulfil the duties of his office. Fr Federico Lombardi told reporters at the Vatican that Benedict said that he’d step down on 28 February, and that he wouldn’t take part in the conclave to elect a new pope. After resigning, the former pope will move to his summer residence near Rome. Lombardi said that after that, he’d live in a former monastery within the Vatican State.

On Monday, Fr Federico Lombardi, a Vatican spokesman, told reporters that Pope Benedict XVI didn’t resign because of “difficulties in the papacy”. Lombardi told reporter, “In the last few months, he’s seen a decline in vigour, both of the body and spirit. It was his personal decision”. Lombardi added that the pope plans to pray and write books after his resignation takes effect on 28 February. Benedict XVI announced his resignation in a statement Monday. The name of the new pontiff will be revealed in March.

On Monday, Pope Benedict XVI said that he’d resign on 28 February because he can’t fulfil the duties of his office due to advanced age. According to a statement from the Vatican, he said, “For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, the Successor of St Peter”. The pope explained his decision to a meeting of cardinals, saying that his strength “deteriorated” in the last few months. He told the meeting, “After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I’ve come to the certainty that my strengths, due to advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. In order to govern the bark of St Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which, in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I’ve had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfil the ministry entrusted to me”.

French President François Gérard Georges Nicolas Hollande described the pope’s decision to resign as “eminently respectable”. Meanwhile, Steffen Seibert, a German government spokesman (the pope’s home country) expressed “respect” and “gratitude” for the pope, saying, “The [German] federal government has the greatest possible respect for the Holy Father, for his accomplishments, for his life-long work for the Catholic Church”.

Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’s going to resign on 28 February. On Monday, a Vatican spokesman told reporters that Pope Benedict XVI announced that he’d resign on 28 February, which would make him the first pope to do so in centuries. The spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said, “The pope announced that he’d leave his ministry at 20.00 CET (11.00 PST 14.00 EST 19.00 UTC 23.00 MSK 06.00 1 March AEST) on 28 February”.

Krzysztof Tomasik {is this a typo? The only person with this name that I could Google was a gay activist… certainly, not the same person!: editor}, the editor of the Catholic Information Agency in Warsaw, commented to VOR on the news of the resignation of Benedict XVI, saying, “It’s certainly a surprise, not only for Catholics, but also for the whole world. Nevertheless, I can say that one could expect such a decision from Benedict XVI. Two years ago, in an interview with a German journalist, Benedict XVI answered in the affirmative to the question on whether he considered the possibility of resigning as pope in case his physical strength wouldn’t allow him to perform his duties. Therefore, on the one hand, it took us by surprise, and, on the other hand, he conceded such a possibility. We should note that Benedict XVI hasn’t demonstrated aspiration for authority in the Church afterwards. His decision is rightly justified, especially if he is unable to perform his duties as pontiff for objective physical reasons”.

Ivica Maštruko, Yugoslavian Ambassador to the Holy See at the time of the Yugoslav collapse in 1992 {currently a Croatian MP of the People’s Party, a neoliberal “nationalist” anti-working class party: editor}, called the situation “very unusual and complicated”, telling VOR, “This happened for the first time in several centuries. The decision was quite groundbreaking in regard to Vatican”. He said that the pope must’ve decided to step down because he felt too drained in body and in mind to carry on. Benedict hinted at a possible resignation in his latest interviews, he pointed up. Maštruko said that the cardinals would gather on 28 February in conclave to choose Pope Benedict’s successor, noting, “It’s impossible to tell how long the meeting would last. A new pope might win election on the first, second, or even third ballot. In any case, we can expect to have a new pope by Catholic Easter in April”.

Jesús de las Heras, director of the religious magazine Ecclesia, told VOR, “The news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation stunned me. I admire Pope Benedict XVI as a person and I’m deeply grateful and appreciative to him. I believe that he was a remarkable pontiff; this decision does him credit, as it was most obviously meant for the good of the Church. We’re about to witness quite a unique event in the Church’s history; it’s the first voluntary retirement [of a pope] in many centuries. It’s really normal in the course of events, quite similar to situations in any other sphere of life”.

Tiberio Graziani, President of the Institute of the Higher School of Geopolitics, editor of Geopolitica and former editor of Eurasia, Rivista di Studi Geopolitici in Italy, responded to the question whether the news of the pope’s resignation came as a bombshell to him, as well as to many Italian observers by saying, “No, I must say that to me this news wasn’t a total bombshell. The thing is, the current papacy has all the distinctive features of a papal transition period. That is, we can talk about the papacy for a certain period. What’s exactly is at issue? The fact is that all of us are experiencing a time of global changes, and very rapid changes at that. Therefore, with a high degree of probability, one can argue that the Church itself and the support groups of the future pope decided that the time came to bring into power a more flexible pope, who’s more open to the fundamental changes occurring in the world today than the current pontiff. Moreover, quite probably, in the opinion of the mentioned circles, Pope Ratzinger isn’t the person who meets the requirements of the changing times. Pope Benedict is more in line with a settled period, not a period of global shocks”. However, Graziani noted that we shouldn’t wait for radical changes in relations between the Vatican and the MP, saying, “The Vatican, with all its current problems, including the countries of the former third world, is in a very delicate phase. It’s very vulnerable. That is why, I believe, today, the Vatican can’t afford to fall out with the Moscow Patriarchate. It definitely can’t!”

Journalist Dimitri de Koshko said, “The issue of Benedict XVI’s successor isn’t currently on the agenda of the Catholic Church. According to the Archbishop of Paris, Monsignor André Armand Vingt-Trois, this issue isn’t on the agenda yet. Someone asked if he himself considered becoming pope. Of course, he confirmed that he’d take part in the conclave, but he said that so far, no one has discussed possible candidates. Perhaps, the new pope will be younger, as Benedict XVI has touched upon the issue of age and health, although this topic arose after the pontificate of John Paul II. During the latest appearances of Benedict XVI, the question arose if there’d be another pope in distress, as happened with John Paul II. Another reason for Benedict XVI’s resignation could be intrigues within the Roman Curia, but now the Pope is able to prepare his retirement and the transfer of the throne, although it’s difficult to say exactly”. De Koshko noted, “In my opinion, it’s too early to speak about a crisis of the Catholic Church. It’s not a crisis, but rather a ‘death’ of the pope. The pope is leaving; of course, after going through a psychological struggle, he decided, ‘I can no longer manage affairs, I’m too old’. He could be disappointed over intrigues within the Curia. He could’ve decided that his time has passed, that he lacks dynamism to invent new things, new approaches (in particular, taking into account the competition with Islam). However, that doesn’t permit us to speak about a crisis; Catholicism is just losing ground, especially, in Western Europe“.

12 February 2013

Voice of Russia World Service


Editor’s Note:

Here’s something to chew on… Benny intends living in Castel Gandolfo to “write books”. My ass… Benny intends to set the stage for the next pontificate as much as he can. He’s GERMAN… Germans PLAN… that doesn’t mean that their plans necessarily “come off”, but it DOES mean that they plan. He’s “not going to take part in the upcoming conclave”. My ass… if you believe that one, “I’ve got a lovely one-owner bridge on 59th Street… let me tell ya…” you catch my drift. Note the timing of the conclave… mid-March, right before Catholic Holy Week. Benny’s in a rush… is his health that bloody bad, or, has he smelt rebellion on the wind? I’d wager the latter. He’s a canny old Kraut… you’d best get up VERY EARLY in the morning if you wish to outwit him… he’s NOT senile or doddering in the least. Keep your ears opened and your eyes peeled… stuff is comin’ down…


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