Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

18 July 2018. Let’s End the Pietistic Claptrap About the Tsar’s Death

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One of the more scurrilous stories going about in recent days is that the killing of Tsar St Nikolai and his family was a “Jewish Ritual Murder”. I kid you not! Firstly, Ya M Yurovsky wasn’t a practising Jew. How could he carry out a “Jewish” act if he wasn’t part of the “Tribe”? Some sources detail that he dallied with Lutheran Christianity before becoming a Marxist. In short, those making such accusations know more about Judaism than Yurovsky probably did. He came from a non-religious Jewish family in Tomsk, in Siberia, far from the usual venues of Jewish community life. Today, this goofy submission mainly comes from one Tikhon Shevkunov, a Far Right cleric with political and oligarch connections. He embarrassed HH by bringing this fantasy up at a serious legal and historical forum at the Centre. HH didn’t take long to react. He “promoted” Shevkunov… he made him a metropolitan in charge of a minor metropolia that only covers Pskov Oblast. Pskov Oblast is a backwater that’s been in decline for many decades. HH had to determine the depth of Shevkunov’s real support amongst the siloviki*, and when he concluded that Shevkunov wasn’t as powerful as he seemed, he kicked Shevkunov out of the Centre. The Church rejects the “Jewish Ritual Murder” submission as anti-Semitic rubbish, unfit for Christian people. Yes… there are anti-Semites amongst us pushing this noisome theory… many in the ROCOR, of old White Guard families. A priest told me that this idiocy has become a “litmus test”, so many people who seemingly support it, don’t… they simply don’t want trouble with the elements who foster such nonsense.

  • silovik: “person of power”, an “operator” or “person of influence”… generally used of those in the political or military apparat

Secondly, V I Lenin and the VTsIK didn’t order the deaths of the imperial family and their retainers. According to the testimony of three telegraphists from the Yekaterinburg post office received later by Sokolov’s commission, Lenin in conversation with Berzin on direct wire ordered:

Take under your protection the whole royal family and don’t allow any kind of violence against them. If such occurs, you’ll forfeit your own life.

According to historian A G Latyshev, the telegraph communication between Lenin and Berzin is one of the proofs of Lenin’s desire to save the life of the Romanovs. Latyshev believes that Lenin, unwilling to spoil relations with German Kaiser Wilhelm, a close relative of the Romanovs, didn’t approve the shooting. If we proceed from the available documents, the fate of the royal family as a whole wasn’t discussed at any level in Moscow. The only discussions were on the fate of Nikolai, and most prefered to have a trial. According to a number of historians, there was a fundamental consensus that the former monarch was to receive a death sentence. According to investigator V N Solovyov, F I Goloshchekin, referring to the complexity of the military situation around  ​​Yekaterinburg and the possibility of the capture of the royal family by the Whites, proposed shooting Nikolai without a trial, but the VTsIK categorically denied this option. The Ural Soviet sent a telegram received in Moscow on 16 July at 21.22. G Z Ioffe suggested that the “justice” referred to in the telegram referred to the execution of Nikolai or even of the whole family. There’s no answer from the central leadership to this telegram in the archives. Indeed, Archpriest V A Chaplin, some years ago, confirmed that the VTsIK sent no telegram ordering the family’s death. A few hours before the shooting of the royal family, on 16 July, Lenin prepared a telegram as a reply to a Danish newspaper that asked him about the fate of Nikolai, which denied rumours of his death. At 16.00, the text went to the telegraph office, but the telegram wasn’t sent. According to Latyshev:

This means that Lenin didn’t even imagine the possibility of the execution of Nikolai (not to mention the whole family) the next night.

According to the RF Genprokuratura, the official decision to shoot Nikolai came on 16 July 1918 from the Presidium of the Ural Regional Soviet of Workers, Peasants, and Soldiers Deputies. No one preserved the original document of this decision. However, a week after the shooting, the Ural Soviet published the official text of the sentence:

Decree of the Presidium of the Ural Regional Council of Workers, Peasants and Red Army Deputies

In view of the fact that Czechoslovak gangs threatened the capital of the Red Urals, Yekaterinburg, in view of the fact that the crowned executioner might escape the people’s justice (a White Guard conspiracy was just discovered, aimed at kidnapping the entire Romanov family), the Presidium of the regional committee, in fulfillment of the will of the people, decided to shoot the former Tsar Nikolai Romanov, guilty before the people of countless bloody crimes. The decree of the Presidium of the Regional Soviet was carried out on the night of 16-17 July. The Romanov family was transferred from Yekaterinburg to another, more secure place.

The Presidium of the Regional Soviet of Workers, Peasants, and Red Army Deputies of the Urals

Genprokuratura investigator V N Solovyov, who conducted a criminal investigation into the death of the royal family, examined the memoirs of those personally involved in the shooting, as well as the testimony of other former Ipatiev House guards, concluding that their descriptions of the shooting didn’t contradict each other, differing only in small details. He didn’t find any documents that directly proved the involvement of Lenin and Sverdlov. However, if he thought that Lenin and Sverdlov accepted the shooting of the royal family, he said:

I believe, of course, they did. On 18 July 1918, having learned that the whole family had been shot, they officially accepted the execution, punishing none of the organisers and participants in the shooting.

Meanwhile, Latyshev noted that the Presidium of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, under the chairmanship of Sverdlov, approved (recognised as correct) the decision of the Uralbolsovet about the execution of Nikolai II. However, the Sovnarkom, headed by Lenin, only “took note of it”.

Solovyov completely rejected the “Jewish Ritual Murder” thesis. He pointed up that most of the participants in the discussion of the shooting were Russians, only one Jew (Yurovsky) took part in the murder, and the rest were Russians and Latvians. The investigation also disproved the version advanced by M K Diterikh about “chopping off heads” for ritual purposes. According to the conclusion of forensic medical experts, the cervical vertebrae of all skeletons show no traces of post-mortem separation of the heads. In October 2011, Solovyov decided to end the investigation. The official conclusion indicated that the investigation didn’t find documentary evidence of the involvement of Lenin or anyone else from the top leadership of the Bolsheviks in the shooting of the royal family.

In short, the shooting was a panicked decision by the local authorities. The Whites were on the doorstep, so to speak, so they decided to put an end to the family, to avoid their liberation by the Whites. It wasn’t a “foreign killing” nor was it a “Jewish murder”… the facts simply don’t support such moonshine. Besides, many of those pushing such nonsense today are those who whitewash fascist collaborators such as Vlasov and Krasnov. You can see that their anti-Semitism, although not identical to that of the Nazis, was similar enough to it so that they were comfortable with collaboration with the German fascist persecutors of the Rodina. Does it surprise you that most of them went to work for the USA after the end of the VOV?

The Church considers the royal family “Passionbearers”, those who met their fate in a Christian fashion, NOT “martyrs”, as they didn’t die in defence of Christianity. As for me, I believe it a great historical tragedy, one that we besmirch by bringing in such nonsense as “Ritual Murder”. Let them rest in peace. The Romanov dynasty died with them… the actual chance of a “restoration” is next to nil. Let history and the Almighty see and judge.

BMD

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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

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

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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

Monday, 8 January 2018

8 January 2018. A Thought from St Nikolaj Velimirović of Ohrid and Žiča

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I know of a young priest who’d do well to take this advice to heart. People will follow a man who’s working on rooting out his own shortcomings without pompously hectoring others… and do so without murmuring and with all respect. If all one does is to hector and berate… need I continue? St Nikolai speaks truly…

BMD

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

25 October 2017. Romanov Sainthood… Passionbearers NOT Martyrs

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The Imperial family and their retainers are NOT martyrs. They didn’t die because of their Christian faith. They’re passionbearers… people who met an undeserved death in a Christian manner. This isn’t a minor point. Some irresponsible elements in the ROCOR (often under the influence of such Sergianist clergy as Potapov) are claiming that the Imperial family are martyrs. This isn’t so and the Centre hasn’t changed its position. Not only has the Centre not changed its position, it has no plans to do so, nor does it even have such a move under discussion. One of my interlocutors at the Centre said that we shouldn’t be too harsh on ROCOR clergy for going along with this goofiness. After all, if a clergyman were to go against Potapov and his clique, it wouldn’t be pleasant and it could affect a clergyman’s mission. Have forgiveness on such men… the times are evil and corrupt men such as Potapov and Alfeyev have undue influence. Ordinary priests and deacons find themselves in positions where they must “toss a pinch of incense upon the altar” to be left alone. That isn’t culpable.

The imperial family lost their lives because the Upper Middle class turned against them in February 1917. If that hadn’t occurred, at worst, the tsar would’ve had to make peace with a victorious Germany (more likely, it would’ve led to a stalemate in the East). If you want to find the culprits who laid the groundwork for Red October and the murder of the Romanovs (recall who imprisoned the Romanovs in the first place), look amongst the families of the Golden 400 (that is, clans such as the Potapovs and Schmemanns). Reflect on that whenever you hear Potapov’s lying rants…

BMD

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