Voices from Russia

Friday, 17 May 2013

Patriarch Ilia Called for Calm After Orthodox Groups Thwarted Gay Rights Rally

00 Patriarch Ilie of Georgia. 20.01.13


Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili, the head of the Georgian Orthodox Church, called for calm after violence erupted after aggressive anti-gay protesters, led by Orthodox clergy, thwarted a rally by a small group of gay rights activists to mark International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May. Patriarch Ilia said in televised remarks on Friday evening, “We distance ourselves from violence”. However, in reference to the gay rights rally, he said, “It’s something that shouldn’t be propagandised. We should know that this is a sin before God. We can express our sorrow without interfering in anyone’s private life. I hope that everything will calm down. I call on our people on all sides to go from the streets and return back home and to pray for each other”.

On 16 May, the Patriarch released a written statement calling on the authorities to ban the gay rights rally in downtown Tbilisi. Speaking to Orthodox believers gathered in Holy Trinity Cathedral, after the 17 May developments in Tbilisi, a senior cleric, Bishop Jakob Iakobishvili of Gardabani and Martqopi, said, “What happened today was an order coming from the nation. You know very well that the United National Movement required two-and-a-half months to gather 5,000 people [for its 19 April rally], then, they boasted, ‘See how many people we gathered’. Today, people came into [the streets] on their own initiative… Several millions would’ve come [into the streets] if needed”.

17 May 2013

Civil Georgia


Editor’s Note:

What the Church opposes absolutely is “gay propaganda”… that is, the suborning of minors and gay rights marches are beyond the pale. On the other hand, the Church takes a nuanced view of individual homosexuals… unlike the crazed konvertsy in the USA and their hysterical leaders such as Paffhausen and Moriak (Paffhausen shouldn’t have thrown stones given his mentor and hierarchical sponsor… the roads in his case DO lead to Platina and Dallas). The Church does NOT agree with sectarian Evangelical nonsense.

In short… some people overreacted and the Patriarch made it clear that the Church doesn’t condone violence… even violence supposedly in the service of “morality”. We don’t resort to the iron boot to impose “moral behaviour” (such is a contradiction in terms, no?). That’s the way of it in Christ’s Church…



Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Will Georgia Ban Abortions?

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. Respect for Life from Beginning to End. 2012


The Georgian state has begun thinking of banning abortions after influential Georgian Orthodox Patriarch Ilia Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili pitched the idea in his Easter sermon on 5 May. Many churches may be pro-life, but in this devout Christian country, which cherishes the Church leader above any other public figure, words from the patriarch can carry as much power as papal bulls once did in Europe. During his sermon, the patriarch called on the government to stop the “terrible sin” of abortion and “filicide”, aside from a few circumstantial exceptions. He blamed both Bolshevikatheists” from the past and modern liberal philosophy for the prevalence of abortions. Georgia tops the South Caucasus for abortions, with 408 performed per 1,000 live births, according to a study by the WHOthe Caucasus Research Resource Centres reported (By comparison, the EU rate is 222 per 1,000 live births).

Georgian government officials, who can’t hold a candle to the patriarch in terms of public support, quickly gave the nod to the Church on considering an abortion ban. Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili responded by saying that baby-boosting legislation is in order. However, he sensibly suggested that if one wanted to improve the country’s bleak demographic situation, the focus should be on economic incentives rather than abortions. Amongst top Georgian officials, only female Justice Minister Tea Tsulukiani ventured to express outright scepticism, saying that the ban could make abortion an underground business. She said that prohibiting informing parents about the sex of a future child is as far as she is personally willing to go as a way to prevent selective abortions, which favour boys.

With one eye on the country’s modest population of 4.48 million, the patriarch has long pushed Georgians to have more babies. After he offered to baptise every third child as an incentive, the Church held mass baptism ceremonies several times a year. Now, he’s proposed to cash-strapped parents that, rather than aborting any additional children, they hand them over to the Church’s care. However, gender researcher Nargiza Arjevanidze cautioned that Georgia’s Soviet experience actually illustrates the dangers of an abortion ban. She said in comments to EurasiaNet that a ban during the Stalin era “led to the rise of back-room abortions that often ended in health complications and even death. Another ban could result in similar problems. Those who can afford it would travel to neighbouring countries; others would resort to illegal procedures”. She believes than an anti-abortion law would do little to reduce Georgia’s high abortion rate. Rather, Arjevanidze thinks that promotion of contraception and family planning is the real need.

7 May 2013

Georgi Lomsadze



Editor’s Note:

There are those who believe that we can solve the problems associated with abortion by simply outlawing it, and making those who provide it criminals. That’s simply hogwash of the worst possible sort. Before Roe, abortion was readily available to women who had the money to pay for it. Those who didn’t have the money to access proper medical intervention turned to quacks or “homebrew solutions”. In short, there was plenty of abortion going on despite the formal ban on the procedure.

In any case, the Church doesn’t bless political action to solve moral problems. That’s a Catholic solution (said with no rancour towards individual Catholics). It’s not Christ’s solution… it’s the solution of Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor. That is, when we try to address moral problems with the police power of the state rather than with the moral authority of Our Lord Christ, not only does the effort usually fail, it ends in exacerbating the problem. Thus, to march in “Pro-life” rallies and to support rightwing politicians because they’re anti-abortion is clearly anti-Christian (it certainly ain’t Orthodox).

St Serafim Vyritsky didn’t carry on a political protest… he prayed for the Soviet state and for its conversion. He prayed for the victory of the Red Army in the VOV, as that was preferable to a Fascist victory. He was typical of many in the Church. We didn’t carry signs… we didn’t sign petitions… we prayed. That’s right… we prayed. It worked. By the 1980s, the KPSS abandoned the anti-religious struggle… the rebirth of the Church began, not in 1991, but in 1985. If all things are equal, then, Christ calls on us to pray. He calls on us to aid unwed mothers anonymously. He calls on us to show civility to Pro-Choice people. I’ll tell you a “secret”… virtually all Pro-Choice people view abortion as a nasty alternative, one that they’d like to see minimised. They’re not pro-abortion ogres. We should have nothing to do with Randall Terry and all those even remotely of his ilk.

To take the current Pro-Life narrative as a given is to reduce a full-blown moral dilemma (for there’s no “clean” moral solution to the abortion mess) to a cartoonish, juvenile, and fundamentally-untrue fairy tale. It’s not simply “good anti-abortionists” against “evil pro-abortionists”. It’s a case where all people who favour life over death (and most Pro-Choice people DO fall in that category) have to face stern reality and unyielding facts. We can have our own opinions, but we can’t have “our own facts”.

Are we Christians? Are we Orthodox Christians? Then, we face the dilemma that Dostoyevsky posed using the figure of the Grand Inquisitor. Think hard on that one… remember, “simple” doesn’t mean “easy”, it doesn’t mean “obvious”. Do bear in mind St Serafim praying for four years for the victory of the Red Army… it led to setting up a situation that led eventually to the relaxation of the ‘80s that led to the Church’s liberation. In like manner, we may have to keep abortion legal in order to reduce it.

I fear that many will call me pro-abortion for what I’ve written. One takes that risk. I’m not such, but you have no control over what others think of what one says or does. However, I’ll say this much… I’ve got the guts and grit to speak my mind, and that’s being “honest to God”. I don’t think that displeases the Almighty… and I’m not alone in thinking that way…


Friday, 4 January 2013

Georgian Orthodox Church Leader to Visit Moscow



Ilia Ghudushauri-Shiolashvili, Catholicos-Patriarch of all Georgia, the First Hierarch of the Church of Georgia, will visit Moscow later this month to receive an award from the MP’s International Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations (IFUOCN). Patriarch Ilia, who turns 80 on 4 January, said on Wednesday that he’d receive an award at a ceremony in Moscow on 21 January. IFUOCN grants awards annually to political and religious leaders, as well as public figures for contribution to “strengthening unity of the Orthodox Christian nations”. Award ceremonies are in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour.

3 January 2013

Civil Georgia


Editor’s Note:

This so-called IFUOCN is a sham organisation that only exists to give out this award. It has no independent existence… and the awards ceremony has become a “Lenin’s Tomb” venue… one can tell who’s up and who’s down by the seating arrangement. Last year, Balashov, Mark Golovkov, and Vsevolod Chaplin were far closer to HH than the Blunder was… the last named was seated out with the hoi polloi in “Siberia”, across the aisle and far from HH.

The interesting question here is, “What’s the real reason for Ilia’s visit?” It’s clear that it’s cover for something. The IFUOCN award is a meaningless piffle, an empty prize from a nonentity, a nonstarter on all counts. It means nothing in and of itself. Is Ilia going to talk with VVP? He’s certainly going to confab with HH. Is Ilia going to chew the fat with Nino Burdzhanadze (who’s on the outs with Saakashvili and Ivanishvili‘s Georgian government)? It’s certainly going to be used as a neutral venue to get Russians and Georgians together. Is a deal on South Ossetia and Abkhazia in the works (either in the political or religious sense)? Now, of course, if the “award” gets pulled at the last minute… that would be a rather different kettle of fish, no?


Friday, 23 November 2012

23 November 2012. Paffhausen Thinking of Jumping to the ROCOR… God Willing, They’ll Reject this Rotted Piece of Goods

JP’s never what he appears to be… remember, he was a salesman with a line of bullshit a mile long…


One of the Cabinet and I were discussing Fathausen’s chances of jumping to the ROCOR, I said:

Yes… he wants to join ROCOR… they’d be stupid to take him in. The guy’s a former salesman and can sell fridges to Eskimos. There’s not an honest bone in his body. He’d join the Blunder‘s faction and fuck up the Church, bluntly speaking. Is Langley involved? Potapov’s the Langley/Church connection, and he needs to preserve his usefulness to his secular paymasters. That’s why the Georgian Church came to the USA… that’s why Fathausen went to Georgia. Tell your contacts that JP’s BAD juju. In short, if Potapov’s a “whip”, JP’s a “scorpion” (to use the biblical analogy). I’ve no doubt that the Blunder and Shevkunov are trying to grease the ways for Paffhausen. Kompromat? Moriak’s spoilt goods for morals charges… Dahulich’s a quasi-papist and such an ambitious twit that he makes Schmemann/Meyendorff look positively normal. Just you watch… Mollard will serve with sugar-daddy Herman at the next Pilgrimage. However, if the Centre wants to get any of the OCA when it crashes and falls, it has to reject Fathausen… I can’t be too emphatic about that.

There’s a lot of buzz about Fathausen wanting to go the ROCOR. I’ve no doubt that’s what he, Potapov, and Shevkunov discussed in the District. I can’t stress it too highly… if the ROCOR where to take in this charlatan, it’d blow its chances of picking up any healthy parishes from the OCA when it crashes. Paffhausen is HATED amongst healthy Russian Orthodox elements. God willing, the ROCOR will just string him along… we don’t need such Radical Right rubbish amongst us… his social stands are antipodes removed from those of the Centre. You can agree with HH or you can agree with Fathausen… it’s that clear.

God willing, no other legit Local Church will take this “bishop” in… trust me, I know what I’m talking about…


Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.