Voices from Russia

Friday, 23 January 2015

State and Church Share “Close Views” on Kosovo

00 Nikolic and Irinej. Serbia. 23.01.15

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On Thursday, Serbian President Tomislav Nikolić met with Serbian Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović “to discuss his proposal for a final settlement for Kosovo”. Nikolić, who often meets with the SPC head, said that his recently announced platform “would go towards what Serbia can accept as a final solution, without threatening its sovereignty and territorial integrity”. After a meeting that lasted almost two hours, President Nikolić told reporters that he and the Holy Synod have “very close views” about the issue, saying, “We talked about Kosovo and Metohija, the fate of our nation, our territory, the SPC, security in Kosovo and Metohija, and about how I see a solution”.

He noted that these are still “only discussions and consultations” and that there’s no “formal document” to present to the President of the Government, and, then, to the public. Nikolić said, “I presented some of my thoughts and I didn’t meet disapproval or disagreement from the Holy Synod. So, we’re very close in our thinking about what it should look like in the end”. Asked when the public would see the document, he said that he’d work “closely and intensively” to agree on this with President of the Government Aleksandar Vučić, “because such a document requires general agreement, or at least consent from the assembly, for what the government would propose on behalf of the President. It isn’t something that we should argue about, it’s a document in which we must find solutions that the government would support, as the body that needs to implement it and that’s negotiating in Brussels”. He called for patience, saying that we must wait for the meeting between Belgrade and Priština in Brussels, scheduled for 9 February, “to attempt to continue where (the dialogue) came to a halt a while ago. It seems to me that in that time we’ve all had time to think about what’s happening and what awaits us, and I think that we understand that procrastination and wasting time isn’t working in favour of Serbia”.

Nikolić said the other topics covered today included problems in the functioning of the Church, its relationship with state authorities, and the issue of restitution, saying, “The church has concerns about developments in Kosovo and Metohija, and I think it’s proper for His Holiness and the Synod to want to be informed about what’s being done, how far we’ve come”. Nikolić added that, as a member of the SPC, he’s anxious to know the views of the Synod, whilst exchanging thoughts with the Patriarch “helps make many things clearer. Now, I think that the need to meet more often is very manifest, at a time when we might face great temptations in solving major Serbian issues”.

22 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=22&nav_id=92956

Macedonia: Bishop Jovan Kept in Prison Despite Deal to Release Him

00 Police handcuffing Abp Jovan. 06.12

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The Prokuratura in Skopje filed a complaint against a decision to release SPC Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid, thus, he must stay in prison. Previously, a court decided that Bishop Jovan should receive conditional release and leave prison on 19 January. According to Macedonian media, the turnabout came “at the last-minute”. Archbishop Jovan is serving a sentence for allegedly embezzling 250,000 Euros (18 million Roubles. 1.75 million Renminbi. 17.45 million INR. 282,000 USD. 352,000 CAD. 353,000 AUD. 189,000 UK Pounds); the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) brought the charges against him. On Tuesday, Beta said that Vladyki Jovan was once in the MPC, but later sought “canonical unity with the SPC”; he’s now the head of “the SPC Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid“.

The Prokuratura Office for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption announced that it believed that the court should re-examine the circumstances of the decision to release him, as well as “whether the release would achieve the objectives intended”. It also stated that the Prokuratura believed that there’s evidence of “changed circumstances which indicate that the convicted person in the future may continue to commit criminal acts, so, therefore, doesn’t justify the trust shown toward him when granting provisional release”. The Prokuratura said in a statement on 12 January, after receiving the ruling to set Archbishop Jovan free, “After analysing the circumstances, we determine that the solution was lawful”, announcing at the same time, “We wouldn’t appeal against the decision”.

The MPC, which laid the original charges against Vladyki Jovan, is now in favour of his release. After mediation from the MP in late 2014, the MPC called on the government to “show mercy” toward Archbishop Jovan. Since he’s been ill, the imprisoned bishop recently had a brief stay in hospital in Skopje. After the announcement that he’d receive release “for good behaviour”, the SPC in Macedonia said that it’d seek “unconditional acquittal of all charges” against him. The SPC believed that the bishop’s incarceration was due to political decisions, namely, due to the dispute between the churches. The SPC doesn’t recognise the MPC as autocephalous.

20 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=20&nav_id=92925

Editor:

Obviously, this is due to American interference… you can thank such champions of “American Exceptionalism” as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio. These guys posture as “Christians”… I think not. It’s clear that the MPC wasn’t behind this, as it’d scupper all talks between them and the SPC. If you marched in the March for Life, you marched AGAINST Vladyki Jovan, as you marched in support of the amoral sectarian Republican opponents of Christ’s Church. Think things through, or you might end by doing the opposite of what you intended. Do think twice before agreeing with such pro-sectarian traitors as Josiah Trenham, Jonas Paffhausen, and Patrick Reardon. Some “Pro-Life”…

BMD

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

BREAKING NEWS… Russian Mediation Springs Archbishop Jovan from Macedonian Slam… Alfeyev Confabbed with Macedonian Leaders in December

00 Archbishop Jovan in Prison. 06.12

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A court in Skopje granted conditional release to Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski, the head of the SPC Orthodox Archdiocese of Ohrid, on 19 January. Meanwhile, Tanjug reported that the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC) expects that a dialogue with the SPC on its status would begin afterwards, with mediation from the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS). Metropolitan Petar of Prespa and Pelagonija, the MPC administrator for Australia and New Zealand, announced in an interview with TV Sunce that the MPC Holy Synod would most likely discuss this. Skopje media reported that he said that the MPC expects a positive response from the MP, which has stepped in to mediate in the dispute over the status of the MPC. The MPC is uncanonical; the SPC considers it schismatic since it declared autocephaly unilaterally in 1967.

Following “insistence” from MP sources, Macedonia will free Archbishop Jovan on conditional release after spending three years in prison. Visiting Macedonia on 21 December 2014, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, the head of the OVTsS, urged Vraniškovski’s provisional release. Metropolitan Ilarion made the request during meetings with the head of the MPC Archdiocese of Ohrid, President of the Macedonian Government Nikola Gruevski, and President of the Republic of the Macedonia Ǵorge Ivanov… who has the constitutional power to pardon… and also met with Vraniškovski.

Since 2003, the Macedonian authorities arrested Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski six times on different charges, including public disorder when he tried to conduct a baptism ceremony in a church the MPC sees as its own. He also faced charges of “inciting ethnic and religious hatred” for having “slandered the MPC” and spent a total of almost 18 months in prison. The authorities last arrested Vraniškovski on 12 December 2011, upon entering Macedonia from Greece, on charges of having misappropriated 250,000 Euros (17.8 million Roubles. 1.84 million Renmnbi. 18.4 million INR. 296,000 USD. 349,000 CAD. 363,000 AUD. 196,000 UK Pounds). He returned to the country to request a retrial, only to have the cops arrest him and dump him in Idrizovo prison near Skopje, where he remains to this day.

The MPC defrocked Archbishop Jovan and the SPC appointed him as Serbian exarch in Macedonia. The SPC believes that Archbishop Jovan is a victim of rigged political trials because of his opposition to the schism, while Amnesty International and Freedom House said that he’s a prisoner of conscience. Tanjug reported that the stated position of the MP is, “We’d be unable to help in the Macedonian-Serbian church dispute for as long as Vraniškovski remains in prison”.

13 January 2015

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/region.php?yyyy=2015&mm=01&dd=13&nav_id=92852

Editor:

Note that this was due to Russian mediation. Is the MP up to something? Is the Russian state up to something? If the MPC and SPC reconcile, will the Phanar sit at table or will it pout and stay away on American orders? This would complicate any all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016. Besides that, is this part of a Russian effort to prise Macedonia out of the American orbit? Look at Russian efforts in Hungary, Slovakia, and Greece… it’s also tempting Romania with pieces of the Ukraine. It looks like the American project in Eastern Europe is unravelling, and right quickly, too.

BMD

Sunday, 9 November 2014

The Religious Roots of Russia’s Mistrust towards the West

aleksandr-nevsky-2007-rf

Right-Believing Grand Prince St Aleksandr Nevsky stopped the absorption of Russia into Catholic Europe and thus saved the Russian Orthodox faith

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There’s something in the Russian collective memory that causes Russian mistrust towards the West. Does this mistrust have religious roots? I don’t disagree completely with some of the points made in the article Anti-Western Sentiment as the Basis for Russian Unity, heavily criticised by fellow RI contributor Eric Kraus. Russian identity has a deeper anti-Western sentiment than implied by the recent rise of anti-Western sentiment among Russians, primarily caused by what they perceive as American and NATO aggression. So what is one of the main causes of Russia’s historical mistrust towards the West? For centuries, the Vatican tried to convert Russian Orthodox Christians to Catholicism. They succeeded in doing so with Orthodox Christians in the Western Ukraine and in parts of the Western Balkans. Even today, Vatican zealotry is alive and well. The Vatican is trying to achieve a “church union with Orthodox Christians”, of course under the primacy of the Pope. Russians saw foreign invaders… the Vatican, together with Swedish and Polish forces, Napoleon, Hitler, and NATO… as violent symbols of Western civilisation.

However, Russian identity didn’t gel as a reaction or historical reflex to Western expansionism. In its nature, Russian culture isn’t anti-Western or based on antagonism towards foreign civilisations or concepts.Many Russians would argue that Russian identity belongs to a different civilisational “code” as a successor of the great traditions and civilisation of New Rome. That’s the reason the Russian Empire was for centuries considered the Third Rome. Orthodox civilisation differs from its Western counterpart in terms of values, tradition, religion, and so on. Just read Samuel Huntington’s A Clash of Civilisations. Huntington posits that people’s cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Many would argue that this is exactly what’s happening in today’s world. Most of the recent conflicts have either religious or cultural causes. In addition, bloody civil wars in the Balkans, and now in the Ukraine, had a strong religious and civilisational dimension to them.

Let’s not forget that many American and European Christian conservatives support Putin because of his Christian vision and pro-family values. Maybe, could this be a reaction to their own governments’ openly anti-Christian and anti-family approach to social issues?

7 November 2014

Danmir Marinović

Russia-Insider

http://russia-insider.com/en/culture_christianity_society/2014/11/07/09-33-37am/religious_roots_russias_mistrust_towards_west

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00 russia 01. Viktor Vasnetsov. Three Bogatyrs. 1898

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Here’s what Mr Marinović wrote to an interlocutor in the commboxes:

I was referring to the Vatican, not to ordinary Catholic believers. There’s a big difference between good ordinary Catholics on one side and the corrupted Vatican and “infallible” Pope on the other. Click here for an excellent article about Vatican and Russia. As Dostoyevsky pointed up, “Papism is more dangerous than atheism, since it presents to us a profane and desecrated Christ usurping the earthly throne”, the Pope took the sword and added, “lies, intrigue, deception, fanaticism, and villainy”. Papism is dangerous precisely because it offers a counterfeit Christ.

You obviously deceive yourself when you claim that the Popes didn’t want to subordinate Orthodox for centuries. Yes, they didn’t ask for the Latin Mass, but they did ask us to admit the primacy of the Pope and to consider him “infallible in matters of faith”, which is blasphemy. As far as the power-hungry Vatican is concerned, you can worship God as you want, as long as you subordinate yourself to the Pope. The Pope replaced Christ; he’s the God in the Vatican church. There’s no place for Christ next to the Pope; you just need to adore the Pope and you’ll be saved. In regard to theological and other important differences between Catholics and the Orthodox Church, please, click here, here, and here.

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If you’d like to learn more what Catholic clergy did to “their Christian brothers”, to Orthodox Christians, in the Second World War, please, look at this documentary. Moreover, this documentary only relates the Vatican’s misdeeds in World War II; I’m not even mentioning any other tragic historical events related to the Vatican and Orthodox Christians. THE VATICAN’S HOLOCAUST isn’t a misnomer, an accusation, and even less a speculation. It’s a historical fact. Rabid nationalism and religious dogmatism were its two main ingredients. During the existence of the Independent State of Croatia (NDH) as an independent Catholic State, over 700,000 men, women and children perished. Many were executed, tortured, died of starvation, buried alive, or were burned to death. Thousands were forced to become Catholic. Catholic padres ran concentration camps; Catholic priests were officers of the military that committed such atrocities. 700,000 in a total population of a few million, proportionally, would be as if a Catholic militia exterminated one-third of the American population.

The Ustaša slaughtered Serbs, Jews, and the Roma were in their villages after unspeakable tortures or burned alive in their churches. Those they didn’t murder, they expelled to Serbia proper after despoiling them of all their property or forcibly converting to the Roman Catholic faith by Franciscan and Roman Catholic clergy. Many suffered as slave labourers. The remaining people went to concentration camps where the majority perished. From gold and money stolen from these people, the Vatican enabled Nazis to escape to Argentina, on the so-called “ratlines”. Pope John Paul ll declared war criminal Alojzije Viktor Stepinac beatified in 1998.

I’d add that a good place to find some more intel on this is here, scroll down to “Dmitri Anatolyevich at the Radonezh Orthodox Gymnazia in Moscow”, then, scroll past the Vasnetsov painting and under the image of D A Belyukin, read that. There’s a lot of good stuff in that post… D A Belyukin is a People’s Painter of Russia, an Orthodox activist, a Russian patriot, and a world-class painter. Here’s the main quote:

Dmitri Anatolyevich asked, “Did you know that Prince Aleksandr Nevsky had a dilemma? He could go to war against the Horde or against the enemies from the West. Why do you think that he chose to face the latter threat?” The students replied, “Because they wanted to force Russia to convert to their faith!” Dmitri Anatolyevich replied, “The answer’s correct, harsh as it is. That is, the Tatars were content with tribute, they didn’t infringe upon the Faith, and they didn’t notice that Igumen Sergei of Radonezh had started to stir up the depths of the Russian land. The Westerners, on the other hand, wanted to bring their crusades to Russia, which, in many respects, the current popes carry out both covertly and openly. Therefore, it’s even more necessary for all of us to protect Orthodoxy as the mainstay and foundation of the unity of the nation”.

I also posted this… here’s the main quote:

It’s a frightening snapshot of the mindset of the Tea Party. They’re nothing but nativist Know-Nothings. It’s why we as Orthodox Christians can have nothing to do with them. They’re American Sectarians through-and-through. Their defining ideology is “Dominion Theology”, which states that the Bible (in its distorted and bowdlerised Proddie recension) trumps all civil law. Orthodox can’t have anything to do with that… our theology speaks of the symphonia of Church and State, each in its proper sphere, each with its own proper laws.

Many American Orthodox have succumbed to the siren song of American Sectarianism. After all, there are MILLIONS of them and only about a million Orthodox all told, of all “flavours”, in the USA. We must recognise that sectarianism is the greatest enemy to Our Lord Christ that exists in our country. Atheism doesn’t even come close to them… secularism is a pale opponent in comparison. A Russian priest wrote to me, “Sectarians use the name of Christ, but they aren’t of Him or in Him. They aren’t Christians, they’re of Satan”.

Orthodoxy isn’t defined “against” anything or anyone… it has its own positive dynamic. It stands alone… it’d exist even if there wasn’t a West or a Vatican or a Protestantism. We don’t define ourselves in comparison with anyone else. We are what we are… they are what they are… that’s what sober normal people think, any road. The same is true of Russian and Holy Rus… we aren’t Russian because we’re “not Westerners”… we’re Russians as Holy Rus is the successor of New Rome… we owe NOTHING to the West, and certainly not to drooling Anglo American toddler “conservatives” or “liberals” (both are two sides of a perverted neoliberal ideology that’s satanic to the bone). Russia has its own inner logic, wisdom, civilisation, faith, and folkways. We wish to live in peace with all people of good will… however… all those who march on Russia will be put to death! As it was, as it is, as it ever shall be!

One last thing… Samuel K Huntington did NOT originate the idea of “civilisational blocs”… that goes back to S M Solovyov in the 19th century (he was the father of the famous religious thinker V S Solovyov). Sergei Mikhailovich was one of the greatest Russian historians, but how many Westerners are even aware of his existence?

BMD

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