Voices from Russia

Friday, 22 July 2016

22 July 2016. Clergy are NOT Immune From Criticism…

00 fr nabil hanna thou art a priest forever...01  030416

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.


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…


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

00 Trump Bullshit 210716

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…


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…


Tuesday, 19 July 2016

19 July 2016. A Thing of Beauty and Grace

00 Byodo-In Temple, Oahu, Hawaii. 180716

Byodo-In Temple in O’ahu (Valley of the Temples)

Penny Adams


Real Orthodox Christians live in peace with all others of good will. Full stop. Truly, the hate spewed by Anglo konvertsy on the web has to stop…


The Byodo-In Temple is at the foot of the Ko’olau Mountains in Valley of the Temples Memorial Park. It opened 7 June 1968, to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to Hawaii. The Byodo-In Temple in O’ahu is a small-scale replica of the over 950-year-old Byodo-In Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Uji, Japan. The Byodo-In Temple is a non-denominational Buddhist shrine, which welcomes all people to worship, meditate, or simply appreciate its beauty. It isn’t a functioning temple in the proper sense; it doesn’t host a resident monastic community or an active congregation. Hawaiians and Japanese visitors often use the temple grounds for wedding and other family events.


This is the temple website


I’ve visited religious sites of other faiths many times. I’ve never made a rumpus nor tried to proselytise anyone. I’m a Christian… that’s what we do. We respect others for what they are. I apologise for the unfounded, hateful, and unreasonable posts by “Orthodox” konvertsy on the web. It’s just too much of a muchness…


Sunday, 17 July 2016

Bishop Peter Lukianov Cleaning House in Missouri… Long Overdue… Monomakhos Chock Fulla Shit, As Per Usual



Monomakhos is all at-tizzy about a situation in a ROCOR parish in House Springs MO. Supposedly, Vladyki Peter is persecuting the parish, stealing the property, and handing it over to a dippy nun of doubtful provenance. However… the truth is somewhat more prosaic.

Originally, the monastic brotherhood at Wayne WV (Holy Cross Monastery) started here many moons ago. Opponents of Fr Kallistos started a shitstorm with Vladyki Alypy… as we all know, the brotherhood moved to Wayne and prospered (they reburied Fr Kallistos in WV earlier this year). Fr Christopher Stade took over… somewhat of a rigorist, he came into Orthodoxy in Greece via the Matthewite schism. Eventually, he ended in the ROCOR; Alypy ordained him without Orthodox seminary formation. Stade was a disaster. The parish in St Louis MO (St Basil) under Fr Martin Swanson is full of those who had to leave the toxic House Spirngs parish and the Stade idiocracy.

Alypy liked the Stades and the Stades adored Alypy. That hasn’t been the case with Peter Lukianov; he acts like a bishop and he rules the diocese, he visits his parishes… laying down the law in those that have problems. Alypy was a terrible administrator; this problem parish, like many others, just festered for many years. Now, Peter runs the diocese; it’s easy to put the blame on him, since Alypy swept everything under the rug. A few years ago, Vladyki Peter finally got the parish to sign over the deed to the diocese (that should’ve happened years ago). Slowly, the diocese sorted out the mess. Recently, Vladyki Peter refused to appoint another rector; he gave the antimens to Fr Martin in St Louis, so that Fr Christopher couldn’t serve (he’s incapacitated and unable to serve, really). Since there’s a functional parish in St Louis with a new church building, this older, more problematic, one is just an unnecessary redundancy.

There are two residential buildings on the property in House Springs…the parish uses both as rental properties. The starosta/caretaker lives in one. Down the hill is an apartment building, which (in theory) could house monastics. For the record, the generous former parishioner who purchased and donated all the land to the parish has belonged to St Basil parish in St Louis for many years. They “rent” the apartments to bring income into the parish. Unfortunately, reports have it that they have a bunch of freeloaders who don’t pay anything, who rarely come to church, and who trash the place. The word has it that some are “illegals”. They were legal at first, but their visas or passports expired, so, now, they exist here off the map. The whole situation is screwy.

Therefore, we have a dying parish with a decent property in need of a major cleanup, both in terms of property and personnel. Rumour has it that they offered the property to JP, but he didn’t want it (which is proof positive that he’s not honest and sincere about “founding a monastery”). Honestly, no one has any idea why the diocese is giving this Nun Eisodia this property (indeed, if that’s the case… it could be just another Monomakhos fairytale); she’s unstable and just plain weird. However, if he’s trying to found a monastery here, Vladyki Peter is just trying to fill a vacuüm by turning a “white elephant” property into a monastic community. In the end, as the Ruling Bishop of the Diocese, if Vladyki Peter wants to dissolve a parish, it’s within his power to do so.

In short, Monomakhos fucks up again… spectacularly, in public, and shamelessly. I’d like to see the bishops sit on that bunch of asshats. They do no vetting… there’s no fact-checking. I got my reports from sources… then, I vetted and checked them. The only things here are the things that I could verify from more than one source. I’d advise all comers to stay out of this dispute. It’s obviously a tussle between Vladyki Peter and the Stade family. Let the Church sort it out, in the person of the Ruling Bishop of the Diocese. Vladyki Peter has had to sort out the mess that Vladyki Alypy left him… much as Vladyki Antony Medvedev had to clean up the mess left by St Ioann. Yes, St Ioann was a holy man, but he sure wasn’t an administrator and institution builder. Vladyki Antony was such… he put the SF Diocese on a very firm footing indeed. In like manner, I confide that Vladyki Peter will do likewise. The Stades and the Monomakhos lot will vilify him… much as Platina vilified Vladyki Antony for mucking out the shit-spattered byre there. So be it. God willing, history will record Vladyki Peter as a conscientious ruling bishop… much as Vladyki Antony was.

Monomakhos screws up again… is that a surprise? Christ is STILL with His Church… He always will be.


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