Voices from Russia

Monday, 22 August 2016

22 August 2016. What are Martyrs?

00 coptic martyrs of libya 210816

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The 21 Coptic Martyrs of Libya are true Martyrs in the Church sense. That is, they died precisely because they were Christians and they showed great courage and endurance until the end. The Royal Passionbearers aren’t Martyrs… the Church rejects that. The Imperial Family didn’t die because they were Christians… they died because they were the Imperial Family. Passionbearers are those who suffer an unjust death at the hands of enemies and who show Christian forbearance unto the end. There is no “ranking” involved in being a Martyr or a Passionbearer. They’re equal. However, the terms recognise a difference in the objective reality of how the subject met their death. In the one case, they died because they were Christian. In the other, they met an unjust death in a Christian manner. It’s clear to all but the most pigheaded rightwing apologist that the Imperial Family didn’t die for the Faith… they died as they were representatives of a particular social and political order. To call them Martyrs is to blaspheme Martyrdom and spit on the Church’s Judgement.

Martyrdom is what it is… the Imperial Family aren’t Martyrs (it’s equally true that Lenin didn’t order their deaths… ROCOR rightwing lies to the contrary notwithstanding). Have a care… there are charlatans and poseurs afoot…

BMD

Saturday, 20 August 2016

20 August 2016. A Point to Ponder…

00 Glory to the Young Heroes of Novorossiya. 13.03.15

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I want to express my faith in today’s young people. I have said before, and repeat again, that I believe that this generation, the Millennials, is better than my generation. Moreover, I don’t think that they are less spiritual, if anything, they are more spiritually inclined than my generation. It’s true that some previous generations were more externally religious, but they lacked many of the better qualities of humanity such as openness and acceptance of others. The millennials are less prejudiced, more compassionate, and more desirous to know the truth of matters before judging and condemning. When they do seek something spiritual, they aren’t looking for religious tribalism, but spiritual meaning… a more genuine faith, and not a religious tribe that regards other religious tribes with suspicion. I take comfort in the under-30s and teens of this era, they do give me hope for better things to come. The Orthodox Church has much to offer them, and ultimate answers; many of our clergy, however, have little indeed to offer to them except more tribalism, more prejudice, and (sometimes) more hate. One might hope that over the next decade that we might correct this, as we see young men entering the priesthood, that they’d be better educated about humanity itself, and less given to mediaeval superstitions. We should be far more involved in speaking to the aspirations of our present generation and not being critical of their better qualities, rather than striving to inculcate them with our own fears, angst, prejudices, and cynicism.

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Friday, 19 August 2016

Patriarch Kirill: “The Readiness of the Northern Fleet Depends Largely on the Spiritual Strength and Faith of its Sailors”

Kirov class battlecruiser

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On Thursday, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias visited the flagship of the Northern Fleet, the nuclear-powered battlecruiser TARKR 099 Pyotr Veliki, the world’s largest non-aviation warship. On 28 July 2012, a decree of the President of the Russian Federation awarded the Order of Nakhimov to the cruiser “for the courage, dedication, and professionalism shown by the ship company in performing its command assignments”. During his pastoral visit, he told sailors:

The readiness of the Northern Fleet, which keeps the peace in Russia and abroad, depends largely on the spiritual strength and faith of its sailors; spiritual support of our forces is one of the key tasks of the Church. Those who take the military oath especially need spiritual help; we all believe that the sailors of the Northern Fleet will show full combat readiness if they have strong faith and strong spirit.

Addressing the staff of the Northern Fleet after his arrival in Severomorsk, Vladyki Kirill emphasised:

As we’re a nuclear power, spiritual healthiness in our personnel is key to maintaining the peace, both domestically and globally; it guarantees that they can carry out their duties, with all that such brings to the life of the Motherland. Maybe, one day, there may come a time that the outcome of a battle or a successful endeavour will depend precisely on the spiritual state of our soldiers.

In turn, Vice-Admiral N A ‪Yevmenov, Commander of the Northern Fleet, told the patriarch:

For all Orthodox, a word from our pastor and the Word of God mean a lot. Let’s take some examples… Admirals Ushakov and Nakhimov are holy names for every one of the Orthodox warriors under the flag of St Andrew the Apostle. Our grandfathers fought under this flag… under this flag, we go out to sea and carry out our service. The words, “All those who go to sea pray to God”… these aren’t empty words for us.

18 August 2016

Aleksei Mikheyev

RIA Novosti

http://ria.ru/religion/20160818/1474695054.html

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

17 August 2016. When Can One Preach “Purity” to Others?

00 subbotnik cleanup in Donetsk. 22.03.15

I’m too busy cleaning up my own sins to be going about and reading this one or that one out of the Church. Have a care with those who do so. I’d call them phonies and “loud clashing cymbals” (as the Apostle put it)… I’m not alone in thinking that way…

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One wonders why so many Christians feel that they have a right, nay a duty, to regulate and legislate everyone else’s life, when they so obviously have so much trouble regulating their own? Of course, once we exhaust so much energy telling everyone else how they should live and how they should think, it’s hardly surprising that we have so little energy left to set our own lives in order.

Archbishop Lazar Puhalo

Hear, hear! You set your own house in order… only when you’re done, can you go forth and preach to others how “imperfect” they are and how they fall short of the Church’s standard. I confide that I’m still cleaning up my mess… what does tell you about loud moralists like Dreher and Whiteford (and those akin to them)? Nothing good, I’d warrant…

BMD

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