Voices from Russia

Friday, 17 January 2014

17 January 2014. Maymon is WRONG for Eastern PA… He’s Disobedient… He Belongs in a Monastery, NOT as a Ruling Bishop

01 Wolf In Sheeps Clothing

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Fr John Kowalczyk just sent a letter dated 10 January 2014, stating that there’s only one “candidate” for the vacant Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania. Mark Maymon is the wrong man for the job. He’s nothing but a crank legacy of Paffso, and we should send him to a far-off monastery to work his repentance… he openly defied and disobeyed Philip Saliba, his then-ruling ordinary. All things being equal, if he did such once, he’ll do it again, especially, as he suffered no adverse consequences from the first instance. We all know what happened in the MidwestMoriak was sweetness and light until he took power… then, he placed his son in a parish instead of several priests more fitted for the post, and he caused such a ruckus that the OCA had to shitcan him (the newspaper article makes it clear that he wasn’t sorry for any of the mess that he made in the real parishes). Right now, Alexander Golitzin has the unenviable task of cleaning up after Moriak’s toot. Let’s not be coy… Maymon’s a Moriak… he’d push policies that wouldn’t “fit” his diocese… like all konvertsy, he’s bull-headed, and he’s an over-literal rigourist. He’d smash down people who’ve been acceptable in their parishes for years. He has a place… but NOT in Eastern PA… and NOT near any decent human beings.

Paffso was a disaster… Moriak was a disgrace… Peterson shamed the Church… Fitzgerald was a character… Soraich roiled the waters… we all know what’s “out there” on the late Dmitri Royster. In short, there’s been a lot of shenanigans going on. Do we need more of the same? Maymon’s a piss-poor fit for Eastern PA, and there’s still time to stop the train before it hurtles into the abyss. Shall they stop it, though? That’s the question…

BMD

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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Metropolitan Philip Saliba Decries Syrian Rebel Attacks Near Monasteries in Public Radio International Interview

00 Allentown Protest. Syria. 31.08.13

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Syrian military forces continue to battle Islamist rebels near the ancient Christian town of Ma’loula, where some residents still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ. Most Ma’loula residents fled, but nuns and orphans remain holed up in Mar Tekla, one of the town’s two early Christian monasteries. They are members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch. Its leader in the USA, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, is concerned about their safety. Philip is a strong supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He joined church leaders in calling for a special “Day of Solidarity” in churches yesterday, with a special collection made for victims in Syria “who are suffering so terribly”.

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Robin Young, Host:

Today, we heard about a report from the UN in which inspectors concluded that there’s clear and convincing evidence that chemical weapons were used against civilians on a large scale in Syria last month. Meanwhile, the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group the al-Nusra Front is claiming responsibility for killing at least 30 members of President Assad’s minority Alawite sect during an attack on three villages in central Syria this last week. Syrian military forces continue to battle rebels near the ancient Christian town of Ma’loula. That’s home to some of the oldest Christian sites in Syria, including a convent where nuns and orphans remain holed up, refusing to leave as fighting rages around the city. They’re members of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch, and their leader here in the USA, Metropolitan Philip Saliba, is concerned about them. Metropolitan Philip, tell us more about your fears.

Metropolitan Philip Saliba:

My concern is about the Mar Tekla Convent and other holy places in Syria, which are threatened. The people of Ma’loula still speak Aramaic, the language of Christ, this is the uniqueness of this town, and we’re worried about its destruction. Already 400 families have left from Ma’loula. They fled to Damascus.

Young:

Can you describe it more? Describe the sites that are there.

Metropolitan Philip:

The sites, they’re caves, in the rocks. It’s a mountain full of ancient archaeological sites like Mar Tekla and Sarkis.

Young:

So, the monastery and the convent there are carved into the mountain?

Metropolitan Philip:

Yes.

Young:

We understand the sites are 2,000-years-old.

Metropolitan Philip:

Yes, 2,000 years, because Christianity started in Palestine and in Syria.

Young:

Therefore, as you said, most of the families, over 400, have fled the city, but the nuns are still there. What are they doing?

Metropolitan Philip:

The nuns are taking care of a group of orphans, and they refuse to leave the convent. They say we’re still… we’re ready to die and not leave these orphans behind.

Young:

I know that you’ve spoken to a mother superior at the convent. What did you hear?

Metropolitan Philip:

When I spoke to the mother superior, the rebels surrounded her. She couldn’t speak very freely. She said, “We’re OK, everything’s all right”, but that wasn’t the case. Later on, I understood that one of the rebels knocked on the door of the convent, the nuns said, “Who is it?” He wouldn’t answer. He told them, “Open the door, otherwise, I’ll put a bomb underneath the door and walk in”. So, they opened the door.

Young:

When you say rebels, we know that there are different rebels in Syria. Some are nationalists. Some are Syrians. At the beginning of the uprising…

Metropolitan Philip:

I’m not concerned with the Syrian rebels. I’m concerned with the foreigners, the mercenaries who came to Syria from Chechnya, from Turkey, from Saudi Arabia, from Libya, from Tunisia. I’m concerned about al-Qaeda and al-Nusra. They are sister organisations.

Young:

So, it’s not the Syrian rebels who’re part of the nationalist movement that wanted to overthrow President Assad initially, it’s the rebels that came in since, many are from Islamist groups like the ones you’ve named. What would you like to see happen?

Metropolitan Philip:

I’d like to see a conference, an international conference, to bring in the opposition in Syria. We have some Syrian rebels, but they aren’t vicious like al-Qaeda.

Young:

 Your church and church members supported President Assad. His régime is in the minority in Syria. You felt protected by Assad in the past. You say you’d like to see a conference. Are you at all encouraged by the international conversation that’s going on? You were against the strikes because maybe they’d strike more than just the weapons of mass destruction. Now, the conversation is about Syria giving up all of its chemical weapons. Who knows, with the spotlight on that and with Russia involved, maybe, there’ll be a lessening of the civil war there. What’s your hope with the current conversation?

Metropolitan Philip:

My hope is that the régime stays. The alternative is to have al-Qaeda, al-Qaeda that destroyed the Twin Towers in New York City, attacked the Pentagon, and exploded a plane over Pennsylvania. They’ve fought us all over. They hate us as Americans. They hate Christians. They have… they call us blasphemers, you know.

Young:

Therefore, it sounds like you have no sympathy for the original uprising against Assad by the majority of Syrians who, whilst you and the Christians felt protected by him, they didn’t.

Metropolitan Philip:

Robin, the original rebels were Syrians.

Young:

Right.

Metropolitan Philip:

Al-Qaeda came later on, and al-Nusra came later on. However, the original rebels are good people. I’d call them the real, genuine opposition. They were asking for something genuine. They want more democracy. They want more freedom. Some of them are still in Damascus, and they’re talking to the government. They’re very good people. I’m not saying that the original revolution was composed of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra, you see.

Young:

However, now, obviously, you feel it’s different; it’s a different battle.

Metropolitan Philip:

Yes, it’s very, very different, and I hope that we won’t surrender Syria to such people, because if we do, then, there’d be no more Christians in that country.

16 September 2013

Public Radio International

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2013/09/16/orthodox-christian-syria

Editor’s Note:

Ms Young showed herself unprepared, dogmatic, and unwilling to listen. In short, she was a typical self-centred navel-gazing zapadnitsa. She knows little or nothing about the Orthosphere… and will learn nothing more in future. After all, the zapadniki are superior to us, dontcha know. To them, we’re dullard children… we’re not as greedy and grasping as they are, and they interpret that as weakness and/or stupidity. It’s too much of a muchness, isn’t it? They want to chastise us for our own good… we’re such wayward sullen sorts in their eyes. God preserve us from becoming like that…

BMD

Sunday, 15 September 2013

15 September 2013. An Update on American Orthodox Coverage of the Syrian Crisis

01 woman reading newspaper

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One of the Cabinet was kind enough to send me this roundup:

GOAA:

No mention of any fundraising for Syria, even through their pet organisation, IOCC, but the kidnapping of the Antiochian & Syriac bishops is front and centre on the home page.

ROCOR:

No mention of the MP fundraising drive for Syria, although they, at least, issued a call for prayers on 7 September, during the ROCOR Synod meeting.

OCA:

As you mentioned, no news item. There are links to two IOCC items.

AOCANA:

Of course, the Syrian situation is of utmost importance. Two new items from earlier this week, HH wrote a letter to President Obama expressing his concern on Syria, especially for Christians. Antiochian Metropolitan Philip Saliba then wrote HH, in gratitude for the MP’s support of Syrian Christians.

That’s where it stands at present. Why the silence? That’s disgusting and nauseating. They’d best put away their “Pro-Life” placards and attend to this… which is far more pressing, as Syrian Christian lives are at stake. It’s too much of a muchness.

BMD 

Addendum 16.47 EDT 15 September:

I’ve received word that, in the Western European parishes of the ROCOR, there’s a special petition at the liturgy for Syria and the Middle East.

BMD

Sunday, 8 September 2013

8 September 2013. Metropolitan Philip Saliba Weighs in on the Syrian Catastrophe

00 blood splotch. 08.09.13

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I write to you today as our President and the US Congress contemplate military action against Syria. As those of us with deep roots in that land already know, more bombs and destabilisation of the country will only lead to further bloodshed and devastation. In my opinion, based on a lifetime of knowledge in that area of the world, it doesn’t serve the interests of the USA, nor those of the Syrian people (or the people of the Middle East at large for that matter) to bomb and further destabilise the country. Extremists groups such as al-Qaeda wait in the wings to prey on any weakness in the Syrian government and infrastructure. The results of such a bombing would be yet another step in the extermination of our Christian presence in the Middle East, a presence that dates to the dawn of Christianity. Our Church has already suffered greatly and has new martyrs awaiting glorification… we don’t need any more! Therefore, I urge all of you during the next few days to contact your respective Senators and Representatives to urge them to vote NO to any unilateral American military action in Syria. Time is of the essence, so, please, distribute this e-mail to everyone you know as quickly as possible, and share this message on Facebook and other social networking sites.

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An Open Letter to President Obama Regarding the Situation in Syria

We write to you with a heavy heart having heard the recent news of the attack on the ancient Syrian Christian town of Ma’loula by the rebel forces.  This town houses one of the oldest and most important monasteries, the Covent of Mar Taqla, which is considered a holy place by both Christians and Muslims. This attack by rebel forces supported by the US government was an unspeakable act of terror, and it speaks volumes of the viciousness of those rebel forces that seek to overthrow the Syrian government.  Apparently, nothing’s sacred to these people, and it’s very disturbing that our government supported these people. Mr President, we appeal to your humanity, and to your compassion for people to halt consideration of any American military action against the Syrian government.  This would be a deadly and costly action, and you’d gain nothing by it.  Indeed, if chemical weapons were used (and this is still to be determined by the UN inspectors who recently returned from Syria), there’s no compelling evidence which points to the use of these weapons by the Syrian government.  On the contrary, there’s some compelling evidence that rebel forces had both the means and the will to launch such a heinous attack against innocent people, Christians and Muslims alike, who’re all children of God. May our Lord and God guide you to find a peaceful solution that relies on negotiation, not bombs.

3/6 September 2013

Antiochian.org

http://www.antiochian.org/metropolitan-philip-urges-faithful-contact-congress-syria-vote

http://www.antiochian.org/open-letter-president-obama-regarding-situation-syria

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