Voices from Russia

Monday, 4 June 2018

Pope Francisco Spoke Against Encroachments on Integrity of Russian Church

________________________

On Thursday, Pope Francisco Bergoglio said at a meeting with a group of Russian clergy that the Roman Catholic Church is in favour of the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church in the wake of Ukrainian President P A Poroshenko’s plan to institute an independent local [national] Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, the chief of the MP OVTsS, led the group visiting the Vatican. The Pope of Rome said:

I want to confirm most of all in front of you, dear brother, and before you, that the Catholic Church will never allow an attitude of division to be born on its own. We’ll never allow it; we don’t want it. In Russia, there is only one Patriarch, yours. We won’t have another. Unification as a method isn’t acceptable in relations between the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians at the current stage and only a sisterly dialogue between these two denominations of Christianity is possible. The Catholic Church, the Catholic Churches, shouldn’t interfere in the internal affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church, not even in political matters. This is my position and the position of the Holy See today. Those who meddle don’t obey the Holy See.

At the end of April, the Verkhovnaya Rada supported President Poroshenko’s appeal to Patriarch Bartholomew Archontonis of Constantinople, who has the titular status of “first amongst equals” in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. He asked Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to grant autocephaly to a “united” Orthodox Church in the Ukraine. The global Orthodox Christian community recognises only one canonical Orthodox community in the Ukraine… the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of to Moscow Patriarchate. Operating simultaneously are another two bodies, unrecognised by global Orthodoxy… the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of to the so-called Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.

In the meantime, experts and analysts say that Poroshenko’s aspirations received substantial backing from the so-called Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (Eastern Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite), which is under the Vatican. Earlier this month, Metropolitan Ilarion told NTV that Archbishop (sic) Svyatoslav Shevchuk, the leader of the Ukrainian Uniates “repeatedly stated his support of the project for a unified Local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, while saying that the unity of this Church should be built on the successor of St Peter, that is, the Pope of Rome”.

31 May 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/1007457

Editor:

Francisco is telling the Uniates to cool it. However, they’re refusing to obey him. They’ve taken the CIA’s shilling for years; they more listen to Washington than to Rome. The Uniates don’t care what Francisco wants… their leadership are fanatics, as is the leadership of the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox”. Ukrainian nationalists are evil… they push an agenda mired in falsehood and lies. The Habsburgs sicced these nutters on the world… the Austro-Hungarians have the blame for starting this kerfuffle (they wanted to weaken Russia… it led to their death camp at Thalerhof). Don’t forget, the Uniates blessed the SS, as did the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox”. They’re unrepentant of that… hell, they’re proud of it! Ponder that… ponder it well…

BMD

Advertisements

Friday, 1 June 2018

On Injustices in Church Life

________________________

The Church, the Incarnate Body of Christ, has always been the central battlefield between God and the world, whose prince is Satan. For this reason, the world constantly tries to destroy and corrupt the Church, infiltrating it with those who foolishly and blindly do Satan’s will. History is full of notorious examples of internal enemies and traitors in Church life. Indeed, this was the foundation of monastic life in the fourth century. All this is because the presence of Christ is abhorrent to Satan, who wants the world for himself, as we see in the temptations of Christ, related in the Gospel of Matthew 4. Satan has always tried to make the Church into the world, to make Faith into a mere State or institutional “religion”. He makes bishops and priests into anti-pastors, into scribes (vain and pompous intellectuals like Arius and so many pompous academics who, puffed up with futile knowledge as the Apostle Paul describes (2 Timothy 3.4), think that they know everything) and Pharisees (ritualists), not to mention persecutors and bureaucrats. Thus, in Church history, every heresy and every schism was an attempt, usually unconscious because of the spiritual delusion of those who led heresy and schism, to compromise the Church with the world.

Thus, in the seventh century in these Isles, organised but cold Roman religion bewildered disorganised but holy Irish monks; during the later first millennium, iconoclast emperors and empresses with their pro-Islamic political projects cruelly persecuted zealous monks of New Rome (Constantinople); in the eleventh century, Old Rome fell into the temptation of making its bishop into a universal emperor who commanded armies and torturers, replaced God and from whom, they said, proceeded the Holy Spirit and so all truth and authority; a few centuries ago in Russia, a great debate arose between non-possessing hermits and those who ran monasteries as economic units with farmlands and peasants; a little over a century ago, the Russian Church, though with great institutions, was compromised as part of State machinery and the people flocked not to wealthy bishop-bureaucrats, city career priests, and professional Italianate opera choirs in stone city churches, but to poor spirit-bearing elders in wooden chapels in provincial monasteries; and in our own times the greatest saint of the Diaspora, St John of Shanghai, was put on trial by bishops who backed secular-minded people who had money and power, and not the faithful and the true.

What are we to do in the face of injustices in Church life?

Firstly, we may be wrong… we can only know that we are right if we face persecution. Christ tells us so (Luke 21 and John 16). So, let us accept persecution if it doesn’t force us into breaking the commandments. If it does mean compromising the commandments, we must leave for another canonical, and not uncanonical, diocese. Persecution is no self-justifying excuse for falling away into schism. The Church is everywhere littered with little groups, or rather sects of extremists, for instance of New Calendarists and Old Calendarists, who were often initially victims of episcopal injustices, but who now have no canonical status and so discredited themselves. Conversely, the Church calendar is also everywhere littered with those who bore injustices, only recently St Nektarios of Aegina and St John of Shanghai, and so became saints. They didn’t take off their crowns.

Secondly, while you stay in the Church with those who cause injustice, don’t participate in that injustice, side with the victims of the injustice. They’re anti-pastors, but you must remain pastors, your conscience clean. The bullies, narcissists, and manipulators of the naive, with their “gaslighting” lies, hypocrisy, and attempts to discredit, won’t win. They don’t think of the Last Judgement and tremble at it, but you do think of it and tremble at it.

Thirdly, we must know that, as they say, what goes round comes round. Our persecutors should tremble… in any case, they soon will be. I’ve seen so many who have persecuted Church people, terrible things happened to them all sooner or later, without exception. Over the last forty years and more, I’ve seen them, bishops and priests dying suddenly after acting outrageously. They thought they could get away with it…they couldn’t. Be patient… the Truth will out. God is always on the side of the good and the faithful. Be patient, justice is always done, for man proposes, but God disposes. Be not deceived; God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6.7).

28 May 2018

Fr Andrew Phillips

Orthodox England

http://www.events.orthodoxengland.org.uk/on-injustices-in-church-life/

Saturday, 26 May 2018

26 May 2018. Bishop Lazar On Allowing Politics to Trump Faith (Pun Intended)

_________________________

As followers of Christ, we shouldn’t expect the secular authorities to do for us what we can’t accomplish through our faith and moral leadership. Too often, instead of being moral leaders, we Christians become nagging moralists, with a skewed concept of what constitutes true morality, as we compartmentalise our moral concepts and precepts into “people we’re for” and “people we’re against” without stopping to think that we’re against no one and for everyone. We don’t recall that the only people Jesus spoke harshly to and about where the political moralists of His day. We also forget that the moral leaders of the secular world and the religious leaders compromised themselves with the secular world who finally crucified Christ. The religious leaders used the political leaders and system in order to accomplish the execution of Christ.

Apostle St Paul wished to make it clear that one can’t do evil hoping that good will come of it. Yet, that’s precisely what so many Christians in America are doing today. Primarily, the Evangelicals and Fundamentalists support wickedness and immorality, hoping that thereby the American Supreme Court will be loaded with fanatical rightwing people who’d place religious ideology above the rule of law and the US Constitution. They’re willing to fall into a political idea and political idolatry for the purpose of accomplishing an agenda that has itself become idolatry. This idolatry is surely based in the heresies of raptureism, chiliasm, and apocalypticism. These heresies are based in egotism.

Christ redeemed us as members of the Bride of Christ, the Church, which is in the world, but not of the world. We’re saved by faith, not by political power. As the Desert Fathers said, ”One Christian is no Christian”. We’re a community, but we’re not a community which is here to persecute other people. We aren’t here to support one nation against another, as is done in the Middle East, but there are Christians willing to sell their souls in order to accomplish this. It isn’t a moral act or a Christian act to sell your soul to wickedness in order to accomplish an agenda. We’re here to proclaim the Gospel to those who’d hear it and to continue to love those who won’t hear it and to desire even their salvation. We aren’t here to load the political system with our doctrines. We must remember that when you dance with Caesar, Caesar always leads. Let’s not partake of evil hoping that some good would come of it.

24 May 2018

Vladika Lazar Puhalo

Facebook

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Archbishop Oscar Romero, Martyr, to Become Saint at Vatican Ceremony on 14 October

________________________

After a 38-year-wait, it’s now official. Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, murdered in 1980 for speaking out against military oppression, will become a saint of the Roman Catholic Church at a Vatican ceremony on 14 October. On 19 May, Pope Francisco, the first pontiff from the Americas, announced the decision during a meeting with cardinals based in Rome. Romero, long considered a saint by Catholics across the Americas, will be elevated to universal veneration at the Vatican ceremony alongside Pope Paul VI, the pontiff who first appointed him a bishop and made the fateful decision in 1977 to make him archbishop of San Salvador. Four others… two Italian priests and German and Spanish founders of separate women’s religious orders… will also become saints at the ceremony.

The Salvadoran’s canonisation, while expected in recent months, nonetheless represents the culmination of one of the clearest turnabouts of Francisco’s nearly five-year papacy. The cause for Romero languished for decades under Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, who expressed unease with his connection to liberation theology and his vocal denunciations of government killings and kidnappings. Less than two years after his election as pontiff, Francisco placed Romero firmly on the sainthood track, formally decreeing in February 2015 that the archbishop was assassinated as a martyr for the Catholic faith. He then authorised his beatification, the last step before sainthood, in May of that year. El Salvador’s ambassador to the UK, Elisabeth Hayek-Weinmann, told us:

Romero’s coming sainthood represents a unique opportunity for us to heal our historical wounds, restore our social fabric, and build a new sense of national identity based on common values, with social justice and respect for human dignity at its core. His teachings and legacy provide us, as a nation, a strong moral compass.

During the 19 May meeting with cardinals, known as a consistory, Francisco formally received the request to authorise the canonization of the six persons by Cardinal Angelo Amato, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes. Amato gave Francisco a brief biographical sketch of each of the sainthood candidates. He said:

Romero was archbishop during a time of great political crisis in El Salvador and was outraged at seeing the violence against the weak and the killing of priests and catechists, he felt the need to assume an attitude of fortitude. On 24 March 1980, he was killed while celebrating Mass.

After hearing each candidate’s history, Francisco announced their canonisations as a group and set the date and place of the ceremony. As it became clear in recent weeks that Francis would announce Romero’s canonisation, discussions in Rome focused on whether the pontiff would decide to hold the ceremony at the Vatican or in El Salvador. Considerations included trying to make the event accessible to Salvadorans wishing to attend but wanting also to emphasise that, as a saint, Romero will be an example of Christian witness not just for El Salvador but the entire world. Carlos Colorado, a Salvadoran who runs the popular Super Martyrio blog that closely followed the process of Romero’s canonisation, said in an interview:

A ceremony in San Salvador would’ve been a blowout with people attending numbering in the hundreds of thousands.

In a recent blog, Colorado hypothesised that Francisco may still go to El Salvador soon in order to venerate the new saint’s tomb and bring a sense of celebration to the country. One opportunity would be for the pontiff to make a stopover there during his expected January 2019 visit to Panama for World Youth Day. Paulita Pike, an American who lived in El Salvador off-and-on since the early 1970s, knew Romero and now helps coordinate the popular Amigos de Romero/Cultura Romeriana Facebook page, said:

By canonising Romero in Rome, Francisco is holding him up as the model pastor, the model bishop, for the bishops gathered there. Wherever he’s canonised, he’s going to be our saint.

Pike kept vigil at Romero’s tomb in San Salvador’s cathedral overnight on 18 May with members of her group, awaiting news of the canonisation. She said:

He isn’t ours but he’s St Romero of the Americas. Now, he’s going to be St Romero of the world.

19 May 2018

Joshua McElwee

National Catholic Reporter

https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/archbishop-romero-martyr-be-made-saint-vatican-ceremony-oct-14

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.