Voices from Russia

Saturday, 5 October 2013

5 October 2013. You Can’t Make Up Shit Like This… Orthodoxy as Belligerence?



Editor’s Foreword:

I can’t get over the obsession that some in the Catholic blogosphere have with Rod Dreher. Sir Roddie isn’t important… he has NO following in Orthodoxy, none at all (he IS part of that loud bootless bunch around Freddie M-G, Mattingly, and Reardon… but they’re known quantities and nudniks amongst real Orthodox). Roddie doesn’t reflect real Orthodox or real Orthodoxy at all. By the way, he’s established a “mission” that’s really a “personality parish”, but more on that later. Firstly, read this… do take a drink and hold your nose, but do read it all… it’s a key to how the zapadniki think of us due to the distortions spread by konvertsy like Dreher.



Rod Dreher is famously orthodox. He’s also enthusiastic about why that’s not going to change anytime soon, at least in the direction of Catholicism. Dreher’s latest for Time cites lots of good evidence against the church of “God is love”. From his catechesis at a university parish to the next 13 years of hanging on through “therapeutic” and “saccharine” homilies, Dreher’s experience of (what he terms) American Catholicism was par for the course. His analysis of what went wrong… that this was the church of “Christ without the Cross”… is also spot on. Therefore, in the wake of the major sex abuse crisis a decade ago, and feeling that “American Catholicism was not pushing back against the hostile age at all”, Dreher “finally broke”. It’s hard to point a finger. Orthodoxy is, after all, a beautiful tradition. It calls to mind very acutely the necessity of constant conversion… the fact that we must align our everyday lives with the sacred mysteries of the Incarnation. Orthodoxy is a paradigm of piety and, as far as I can tell from my trasteverian* post, the bane of platitudes. For a thoughtful person… especially, one seeking refuge… it’s an easy sell.

* “Beyond the Tiber”, “plebeian”… one can’t tell what the author means without further context. It sounds like a typical pseudo-intellectual trying to demonstrate their “superiority” over the great unwashed. If the author wanted to say “my post on banality”, that would be much clearer, but that would mean that the hoi polloi could grasp the meaning. Oh, the humanity!


Thus, its Dreher’s thumb-to-nose sign-off that makes me wonder just what part of Orthodoxy I’ve failed to appreciate. In professing to “admire” and “understand” Pope Francisco’s message of mercy, Dreher predicts that it may be the ultimate undoing of important doctrinal reform, which characterised the previous two papacies. However, far from shaking him, the author reminds us that his involvement with the church of “God is love”… with American Catholicism… is history: “[T]hat’s no longer my problem”. I’m a big fan of the Eastern (and especially Russian) tell-it-like-it-is mentality. Yet, I doubt that Dreher’s doing justice here in two regards… firstly, by failing to see (or at least to acknowledge) the profound interconnectedness of orthodox piety with universal ecclesial wellbeing; and secondly, by continuing to prop up as some sort of hypostasis the concept of “American Catholicism”… that’s to say, the small-C church of “God is love”. However, it isn’t best to offer a response to Dreher’s snub as a syllogism. Moreover, I don’t intend to give one now. The splendour of orthodoxy… in the broader sense… is that it’s most compelling when left unspoken. It should strike anyone who professes faith in Christ that a crisis of belief for all but a handful is incompatible with denying the “problem” of evangelisation. It should also be at least notionally distinct, to one as intellectually and culturally tuned as Dreher {now, that’s a whopper if I’ve heard one: editor}, that the church of “God is love” is not the Church of “God is love.” In a word, that “American Catholicism” is fundamentally different from Catholicism, insofar as the latter is de facto coextensive with the universe, and not with any particular nation or people.

I, like many other Catholics, esteem Orthodoxy for its beauty. At times, this includes a certain bellicose approach… not so much ad extra but ad intra, directed toward the conversion of heart that occurs through the mundane, the familiar; all the beautiful things Dreher loves, and for good reason. On the other hand, I’m left unimpressed when one uses Orthodoxy as a vehicle of belligerence… hostility… aimed at perpetuating a rift that, as Christians, none of us should wish to settle for. Dreher says, “There is, of course, no such thing as the perfect church”. On this point, I disagree with him profoundly. While individual Christians are, even collectively, imperfect and sinful, the community of believers united by the Spirit is, amongst other things, holy. If we limit ourselves to mean by “church” simply a local expression of faith, then Dreher’s claim holds water. Then, such a church is hardly the sort worth living and dying for. One can easily make it a means to an end… an instrument of war… rather than an end itself. If the true Church is the Body of Christ, how then could it turn out to be anything less than perfect? Moreover, how could it end up as anything more than the simple reality that “God is love”?

30 September 2013

Andrew Haines

Ethika Politika


Editor’s Afterword:

Typical ultramontane claptrap… using Dreher as a convenient straw man. I tried leaving a comment on this post, but it didn’t show. Then, I laughed and realised that the commboxes there are nothing but an echo-chamber where ultramontane Catholics get together to either congratulate each other or to dispute favourite hobby horses. I shouldn’t have wasted my time, but I did. They all kiss the pope’s arse at high noon; they all worship papal infallibility and papal supremacy. It’s why we won’t have union with the papists… they’d have to give up their distinctive heresies, and they won’t. The only course for decent people is to “send us letters of friendship only”… now, that’s what the “Church of Love” would do… and that Church ISN’T headquartered at the Vatican

Dreher? Why waste your time on inconsequential nonentities? He’s busy playing “church” with his make-believe “mission”, in any case. God willing, it’ll keep him busy so that he won’t write further shitty articles like the one in Time. After all, Dreher thought highly of Dmitri Royster… that gives you the measure of his judgement (we all know what Iriney Bekish thought of Mr Royster… ‘nuff said).



Wednesday, 28 August 2013

28 August 2013. A Slip of the Lip from Our Favourite Jesuit



The real attitude of the Jesuits to the Orthodox Church, in particular, came out back in 2005, in a statement by Archimandrite (sic) Robert Taft, the prestigious and highly-placed Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Oriental Institute:

The motivation for the actions of the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church (sic) comes from a rootless idiosyncrasy; the Orthodox are unable to perceive reality, for they don’t understand the lessons of history. Don’t think that the Patriarch and Synod have as firm a control over the bishops of their Church to the same extent as the Pope of Rome does. The Patriarch of Moscow isn’t equivalent to the Pope of Rome.

There one has it… an unambiguous and unashamed ultramontane statement of papal supremacy. We don’t accept that now… and we never shall. It makes one wonder about Vassa Larina and her obsequious bumsucking of this foul sort, doesn’t it? Why does Hilarion Kapral allow such? After all, it wouldn’t have happened before 2000, would it? I think that in this instance we should go “back to the future”. It’s as always when dealing with official representatives of the papacy… “The Franks speak out of both sides of their mouths”. A Greek said that to me some thirty years ago… it hasn’t changed one iota.

I have NO animus against any Catholic (or against the Catholic Church, for that matter). My belief is simple, “Send us no more letters on doctrine; send us letters of friendship only”. I think that most Orthodox and Catholics would agree with that. The neighbours ARE so nice…



Wednesday, 15 February 2012

15 February 2012. Kiev is the “Mother of All Russian Cities”… Always Has Been, Always Will Be

The Mother of All Russian Cities… Kiev is Free!

Pavel Sokolov-Skalia



Kiev is “the Mother of all Russian Cities”,  NOT the “Mother of all Ukrainian Cities”. Don’t forget, “Ukrainian nationalists” were by-and-large willing collaborators with the Nazis (this was especially true of Galician Uniates, “Ukrainian Catholics“) during the VOV. After ’91, they were willing lickspittles of the Americans… they ran some of the secret torture facilities for the Bushies.  Bear that in mind when you hear cries of “hate speech” from that crowd. They were willing running-dogs of the various occupying foreign powers in Little Russia… that was true under the First Polish Rzeczpospolita, the Habsburgs, the Second Polish Rzeczpospolita, the Nazi occupation, and the American Dark Age after ’91. On the contrary, Carpatho-Russians (the po-nashemu people) were patriots and fought for the idea of one Holy Rus. They still fight for it today… the blood of St Maksim Sandovich (the Protomartyr of the Lemkovshchyna) testifies to it… I wonder… do the Uniates venerate St Maksim? If not, they’re not “Orthodox in union with Rome!”

CRASH! go the chariots… that’s not to mention St Aleksei Kabalyuk or Blessed Gavriil Kostelnik (nasty little rascal, ain’t I?). The Uniates don’t venerate the three Righteous mentioned, ergo, when they talk of an invisible “Eastern Church” of both Orthodox and Uniates (isn’t that whole idea SO Protestant in its vague and unspecified vacuity?), they lie. They want us to accept papal supremacy as they do. That’s why Orthodox can’t have anything to do officially with such sorts. They want to tear out our heart and soul and replace it with a foreign and alien spirit. Look at them dispassionately… don’t hate them, but don’t encourage them either. Don’t EVER be nasty personally to ANY Uniate… then, the devil wins. Don’t encourage them either by agreeing with their blather in any way, shape, or form… the devil wins in that case, too.

Remember… the loudest voices aren’t always true… they might just have access to a microphone given by an interested party… think on that.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 15 February 2012

Albany NY 

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Truth on Talerhof… What the Catholics REALLY Did to Us

March held in Lvov by Orthodox to memorialise the Confessors and Martyrs of Talerhof… Sophia Kishkovsky, Victor Potapov, Anya Schmemann, the New York Times, and CNN didn’t tell you about it, did they? Oh, yes… Archbishop Avgustin Markevich of Lvov and all Galicia was one of the marchers…


Editor’s Foreword:

In light of the smarmy declaration just issued by the OCA regarding “Pan-Orthodoxy” and its fawning subservience to papist institutions, it’s time that we spoke the truth about the relations of papist states with Orthodox minorities. The papists have NEVER apologised for the atrocities of Talerhof and Terezín. Ordinary RCs and Uniates aren’t responsible (cut them a break, kids)… but the papist hierarchy is, and we should cut them no slack whatsoever until they show signs of abandoning papal supremacy and infallibility (which they won’t… don’t hold your breath… it’s not only unhealthy, it’s undignified, and it’s funny as all hell to all about you).

What follows is a translation of the Russian Wikipedia article on Talerhof, with information interpolated from other sources. Expect to hear the usual sources slam Wikipedia. I’ll simply observe that SVS is aggressive in its “editing” of English-language Wikipedia articles on Orthodoxy, removing all references to unpleasant truths such as the internecine Church war of the 60s through the ‘90s, and whitewashing thoroughly-questionable figures such as Aleksandr Schmemann, Pierre l’Huillier and Dmitri Royster. Ergo, it’s NOT an unimportant and unreliable source, otherwise, interested parties like the First Families wouldn’t get involved… the ROCOR’s as deeply involved in projecting a false image on Wikipedia as the OCA is, informed sources tell me that Whiteford (a real expert, no?) even edited an article or two.

If you do nothing else, click on the link to the Pravosalvie.ru article listed below. If you don’t know Russian, run a “machine” translation. It’s better than nothing, and, after you’re done, you’ll see the lying duplicity of people like Paffhausen, Psaryov, Behr, and Larina… they suck up to the worst sort of papists (and to Uniates… who attack the Church!), trampling Christ and His Church into the mud. As for me… I’m dead set against ecumenism, but I’m all for friendly relations between Christians. All decent people know what I mean…



Memorial Chapel in Feldkirchen bei Graz (Bezirk Graz-Umgebung. Bundesland Steiermark) AUSTRIA for the Martyrs and Confessors of Talerhof


Talerhof was an Austro-Hungarian concentration camp in existence between 4 September 1914 and 10 May 1917, in the early days of World War I. It was in a sandy valley at the foot of the Alps, near Graz, the main city of Steiermark; it was one of the first concentration camps in the history of the 20th century. The Habsburg authorities deported real and suspected Carpatho-Russian Russophiles from Galicia and Bukovina to Talerhof, usually due to denunciations from Roman Catholic Poles and Uniate Catholic Ukrainophile nationalist separatists. [1]

History of the Camp

The first batch of Russophiles from Galicia and Bukovina arrived in Graz on 4 September 1914, convoyed by soldiers. In September 1914, the Austrian authorities arrested almost the entire Russophile-oriented Lemko intelligentsia. Among them were priests, lawyers, and cultural activists. The Habsburgs suspected them of possible collaboration with the advancing Tsarist Russian Army that invaded Galicia at the outset of World War I. In the winter months of early 1915, there were no barracks at Talerhof, so people slept on the ground under the open sky in the rain and cold. [2] According to US Congressman  Joseph McCormick, the Austrians beat and tortured prisoners. [3] In an official report on 9 November 1914, Schleer reported that Talerhof held 5,700 Russophiles. Of this total, around 1,915 people (according to other sources, up to 5,000) were Lemkos from 151 villages in the Lemkovshchyna[4] Of those Lemkos incarcerated, 168 died, and many others had their health destroyed. The Habsburgs imprisoned about 20,000 Galician and Bukovinian Russophiles at Talerhof during its time of operation; they killed nearly 3,000 prisoners only in the first half-year. [2] According to Galician public figure Dmitri Markov, the imperial authorities executed 3,800 people only in the first half of 1915. [5] In May 1917, a decree of the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor, Karl I, ordered the camp’s closure. The barracks at the campsite stood until 1936, when the Austrians demolished them. At the same time, the Austrians exhumed 1,767 corpses, which they reburied in a mass grave near the village of Feldkirchen. [4] Currently, Graz-Thalerhof airport stands on the site of the former concentration camp, obliterating all traces of the enormity committed here.

Famous Inmates

On 29 August 1996, the ROCOR Holy Synod glorified Maksim Sandovich, the Protomartyr of Lemkovshchyna, who suffered death at the hands of the Habsburg authorities for his faith.



Here’s another excellent source (in Russian), it’s from Pravoslavie.ru, so, its semi-official, (also, Kirill Frolov’s the world-acknowledged expert on the genocide of the Carpatho-Russian Russophiles):



Note well that the HOOMie poseur Cornelia Rees did NOT translate this article… that means that Dickie Wood didn’t send it to her (I wonder what role he and Vlad Berzansky Jr played in the covering-up of pro-Russian and pro-Russophile material on English versions of Russian websites? Do they still do so after Dickie’s disgrace?)

A more “popular” grass-roots American po-nashemu account is here:


This is from Matushka Nina Stroyen… one of the first to publish “popular” material in English in Orthodox circles here in the diaspora. I’m honoured to know her… and humbled that she thinks well of me, by and large.


Editor’s Afterword:

Fathausen and the konvertsy are squalling about notional lunacies such as “Pan-Orthodoxy”… and they’re going to do it at a papist venue. They can’t even do it on their own turf (click here for a saccharine post on oca.org… be warned… it’s offensively treacly). Let’s keep it focused. You can honour the martyrs of Talerhof and keep the Faith as they did, or, you can follow Fathausen and spit on the Lord Christ’s very image by sucking up to the heterodox… indeed, to the very group that murdered the Confessors and Martyrs of Talerhof. They’ve NEVER repented of it, and they never shall. Ergo, we should politely refuse all invitations to take part of their convocations… to go and observe, that’s fine; to take part in such, with the unrepentant murderers of our co-religionists… no, a thousand times, no! You can emulate the Martyrs of Talerhof and St Maksim Sandovich… or you can support Fathausen, Vassa Larina, John Behr, and Andrei Psaryov. The two positions are utterly incompatible… however, is that such a hard choice?


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