Voices from Russia

Sunday, 24 July 2016

24 July 2016. WE are the Church… NOT the Bishops… NOT the Priests… NOT the Monks and Nuns… WE ARE

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Recently, a friend lamented to me that the bishops aren’t doing enough to stem the onrush of rightwingers into the Church. According to our Apostolic theology, the bishops FOLLOW the People… they aren’t papistical monarchs nor are they self-appointed Proddie tin-pot dictators. Here are two excerpts that illustrate this.

BMD

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The Russian Church is contained entirely in its liturgy, and to understand it there’s no point reading books: one has to go and see the Church at prayer. The Russian Orthodox service is an emotional experience. The entire spirit of the Russian people, and much of their best art and music, has been poured into the Church, and at times of national crisis, they’ve always turned to it for support and hope. The liturgy never became the preserve of scholars or the clergy, as happened in the medieval West. This is a people’s liturgy. There are no pews, no social hierarchies, in a Russian church. Worshippers are free to move around… as they do constantly to prostrate and cross themselves before the various icons… this makes for an atmosphere not unlike a busy market square.

Orlando Figes

Natasha’s Dance: A Cultural History of Russia (New York: Henry Holt & Co., 2002 ISBN: 0-312-42195-8)

From Chapter 5, In Search of the Russian Soul, p. 297

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From its dawn to the present-day, our Church has been the People’s Church, inspired by love, embracing all, without distinction of class. The faith sustained our people in times of privation and calamity; only one thing can sustain, strengthen, and regenerate them… the faith, but only the Faith of the Church. They reproach our people with ignorance in its religion; they say that superstition defiles its faith, that it suffers from corrupt and wicked practises, and that its clergy is rude, inactive, ignorant, and oppressed, without influence on its flock. Then, what is essential? I’d say, the love of the people for its Church, its conception of the Church as a common possession, as a congregation common in all things. There’s a total absence of social distinctions; the people are in communion with the ministers of the Church, who spring from the people, who don’t differ in manner of life, who share their virtues and failings, who stand and fall with their flocks. This soil brings forth rich fruits with good cultivation. It has less concern for the amelioration of life than it does with the betterment of the soul; it has less concern for the number of churches than it does for the fact that it should satisfy the spiritual needs of the people.

K P Pobedonostsev

Oberprokurator of the Most Holy Synod

1880-1905

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That is, the bishops will move when WE tell them to. The Apostolic Church will overcome the rightwing slimers trying to take it over. Truly, they won’t amount to much in the long-term, but they’ll be a huge pain in the near-term. They’ll leave us when they realise that we won’t put up with their monkeyshines and juvenile antics.

BMD

Long Island Church Sued for Allowing Sexual Assault of 4-Year-Old by Priest’s Perv Teenage Son

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A lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan alleges that last year, a 4-year-old Long Island boy was sexually assaulted by the former parish priest’s teenage son on the grounds of a Greek Orthodox Church as the little boy’s 6-year-old sister watched in horror. The victims’ parents say the attack took place in May 2015 after Sunday services at Holy Resurrection Greek Orthodox Church in Brookville NY. To protect the identities of the children, the Daily News isn’t naming the parents. In papers filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, the parents say that while they chatted with the parish priest, the priest’s son, then a teenager, sodomised, fondled, and ejaculated on their half-naked son as his sister “helpless observed”. Immediately afterward, when the boy returned to his parents wearing no underwear and with his pants unbuttoned and the zipper down, his father asked him what happened. The suit says that the boy told him that the teenager had taken off his pants in a secluded area on church grounds.

According to the filing, the priest reacted by saying, “I know what’s going on and what happened”. The papers say the priest then “slammed his fists on the table … and uttered words to the effect: ‘I’m gonna kill him’”. The lawsuit says the priest and the child’s father found the teenager cowering in a closet. The priest said, according to the filing, “This won’t happen again. You’re finished. You’re going to be arrested this time. The priest then told the victim’s father that he’d called the police and stated, ‘This has happened before and he has to learn’”. The parents accuse the church of knowing about the teenager’s behaviour and failing to protect the parish children by keeping him away or warning parents of the danger. Demanding 10 million USD in damages for each child, they say their children are now fearful about their safety, losing sleep, depressed, and otherwise scarred. It is unclear from court papers if police pressed charges on the teenager, who is identified by initials. The News is withholding the priest’s name to protect the son’s identity because he, too, is a minor. There was no response from the spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America or Archbishop Demetrios Trakatellis, who also were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

22 July 2016

Barbara Ross

New York Daily News

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/long-island-priest-didn-protect-4-year-old-perv-son-article-1.2722264

Editor:

Betcha that the GOAA will try to lay a big hunk of cash on the plaintiffs in an attempt to make this “go away”. The Greeks have used the Green Poultice in the past… that and social ostracism may very well bury this.

BMD

Friday, 22 July 2016

22 July 2016. Clergy are NOT Immune From Criticism…

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Priests are there are for all of us… that’s why they should NEVER make partisan political posts. NEVER… we do have a right to speak out if it does occur.

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There are those who “demanded” that I take down my post on Fr John Sorochka going over the line in his public support of the fascist Donald Trump. That’s wrong. Priests are NOT immune from public criticism, as they’re OFFICIAL SPOKESMEN of the Church. When he posted his anti-leftist screed, Fr John involved the WHOLE CHURCH, as he’s a senior officer of the Church apparat. Priests must follow different rules than the rest of us do. Is that “fair?” No… but that’s what is. Priests have to watch their every public move and utterance, as what they do and say involves not only themselves, but the entire Church. The Church forbids priests from involving themselves in partisan politics, as it isn’t only against the canons, it’s against the secular law. Churches have tax exemption… an exemption that priests can put in jeopardy by involving themselves in partisan politics.

Whether one likes it or not, priests can’t have private opinions… or, better put, they must have extreme care in publicly airing their private opinions, as they’re not independent actors. If I say something, I’m only speaking for myself. If Fr John speaks, he speaks not only for himself, but for the Church as well. He’d do well to consider any future social media posts. I like the guy… I think that he has character… but he went over the line, and that’s that. Priests are there for all of us… ALL OF US. His post left that in doubt. I won’t remove my post, as it stated a fact and it did so without insulting the guy (you don’t solve things by sweeping things under the rug). He’s one of the good guys. However, our priests are Christ’s priests… not “left” or “right” priests… a fact that I’ll stand by and for.

Shame on you, Fr John. That meme wasn’t kosher…

BMD

22 July 2016. SHAME ON YOU, FR JOHN! Take This Down, Immediately!

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The image I used is a scurrilous anti-leftist meme posted by Fr John Sorochka of Mayfield PA. His doing that was out-of-line and scandalous. Priests are there for all of us… not only rightwing swine…

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Priests aren’t allowed to take part in partisan politics. I saw the above on FB, posted by Fr John Sorochka of Mayfield PA. I think that he’s a good guy… I don’t count him as one of the more feral priests out there (he’s no Whiteford or Potapov, that’s for sure). However, in posting the above, he went over the line. The very obvious implication is that we leftists aren’t patriotic and that only violent McCarthyite rightwing sludge are patriots. No priest should post such. Priests are there for ALL the people. His son is even worse… but he’s not a priest, he’s only a deacon; the rules aren’t as stringent for deacons as they are for priests (’tis true, young Sorochka does post gnarly goofy rightwing rubbish, but he’s not a priest). Whenever a priest (especially, a parish rector with the standing of Fr John) posts anything on social media, it involves the whole Church apparat, as priests are official spokesmen for Christ’s Church.

This is disgusting. This is untrue. Fr John should remove it and apologise for taking part in partisan politics. Shall he? I hope that he would… but I’m not holding my breath. There is rather too much coddling of rightwing trumpery in Church circles. Shame on you, Fr John… I expected better of you.

This is why so many young people become anti-theists… I’ve spoken my piece…

BMD

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