Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Patriarch Kirill Regrets that Intrigue Accompanies Preparations for the all-Orthodox Sobor



On Thursday, at a ceremony bestowing an honorary degree upon him at the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Federation, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias said that the all-Orthodox Sobor set for Istanbul in 2016 will still be held, but its preparation hasn’t been easy. He said, “If everything goes according to plan, the Sobor will take place in 2016”. He pointed up that this historic forum would address topics related to the relation between Church and society, to address the concerns of believers on the issues of the day, “As always, around important historical events, there’s some intrigue, some hidden agendas, with some trying to influence the outcome, including some political forces. This faces all of us, especially, with the crisis in the Ukraine”. He also touched upon the Middle East, commenting that a large-scale exodus of Christians from the region would violate local stability, creating a breeding ground for extremism, “In Syria, [terrorists] destroyed 400 Christian churches just because they didn’t like the fact that the country historically has harboured a Christian community”.

30 April 2015




Saturday, 27 September 2014

27 September 2014. “Thanks, But No Thanks”… OCA Rains on EP-Sponsored “Canonical Restructuring” Parade

00 Why they They Talk the Talk... and Don't Walk the Walk. 15.09.12______________________________

We’ve all heard the wind from the so-called “Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America”. This group is nothing but an EP-sponsored “talk-shop”. A notional “Proposal for Canonical Administrative Restructuring” surfaced from this social networking group (for such is what it is)… the EP groups are for it, everyone else is underwhelmed and less than enthusiastic about it… even the OCA! Read this for the OCA response to it… let’s boil it down to a sentence… “No way, no how, no Bart in our Town”. I think that the real reason the Centre shitcanned Fatso (for he did lose the Mandate of Heaven, no doubt on that score) is that they weren’t sure on how he’d react in re Bart and his pretensions to being the “Orthodox Pope”. Mollard is much more malleable and controllable… as the Centre showed by its showering of awards upon his party when he made his ad limina visit (for that is what it was, kids)… something that it NEVER did for Fatso and his drooling pack of konvertsy admirers. As a Cabineteer wrote me:

Sounds like the OCA is finished…. still insisting that its autocephaly is relevant…

I quite agree, but expect the OCA to linger on life-support for at least two more years, for it suits the Centre’s purposes. I believe that the Centre is using the OCA (and the pliable Mollard) to fuck up Bart’s planned Dixie Fry in 2016. You see, the Centre, Serbia, Poland, Czechia/Slovakia, and Bulgaria will insist that the OCA receive a seat at the “all-Orthodox Sobor” as a full discrete independent voting member. Bart won’t give in on that point… that’s clear. It’s also clear that HH will use this to scupper the assembly… and probably convene a Sobor of his own, maybe, at the newly refurbished Novy Ierusalime Monastery. HH wants to force Bart to come out openly as a Vatican puppet… and the OCA is one of his “cards” to make him do so. That is, the OCA has usefulness for the Centre now, and up until 2016. After the scuttling of the “all-Orthodox Sobor”, all bets are off. None of the OCA sorts have ANY cred at the Centre. By the way, Fatso and Dickie Wood had no real cred or tread at the Centre… if they had, firstly, Fatso would still be in charge and, secondly, Dickie wouldn’t be suspended. Both were pals of Tikhon Shevkunov, quite another thing entirely. For instance, Dickie’s getting no support from any real powers like Varsonofy Sudakov or V A Chaplin. The most that he’s getting is posts on questionable sites such as Portal-Credo and posts on oligarch-friendly venues (as Tikhon Shevkunov is part of M A Gelman‘s circle at the Vanil Restoran). Fatso has no real support at the Centre at all… if he did, his petition to enter the ROCOR would’ve been a done deal, and it wasn’t.

Besides, the status quo suits most normal people in the OCA quite well… as one told me:

Mollard’s our choice… no, he isn’t competent… no, he isn’t a leader… no, he isn’t inspiring. But he’s our choice… we need peace, and that’s that, as you say. Mollard won’t rock the boat and he’ll give us peace. Nothing else matters at this point. In any case, we had to stop Dahulich. As I said, Mollard’s our guy, not because we like him, but because he’s going to leave us alone.

That says it all… however, isn’t the LACK of news refreshing? Remember the old saying, “Happy is the land that has no history”… indeed…

I’m constantly learning… boy, I’ve learned much in the past seven years… what I see doesn’t speak well for the long-term survival of the OCA… however, in the near-term, it’s a done deal, and that’s that.


Tuesday, 27 May 2014

27 May 2014. Jillions Did His Usual Slovenly and Incompetent Job in Posting Pastoral Changes.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. It came from Syosset. 2012


It took John Jillions TWO MONTHS to post important pastoral changes on oca.org. SINFO gets equivalent official news out on patriarchia.ru THE SAME DAY THAT IT HAPPENS. I seem to notice a difference. Using modern technology, a single person can scan an official signed document and have it posted online in PDF format in MINUTES. Seraphim Storheim’s OFFICIAL retirement announcement (with a PDF facsimile of the official signed document attached) should have been up on the site on 23 March… but Jillions is lazy and incompetent, so, it languished until 21 May (nearly two months)… he has nothing but contempt for the people. He does LOVE the Uniates though… he was their running dog hireling for years. Do we really need such a quisling in such a sensitive position, especially, as his actions prove him bone-idle and clueless (but he does jump swiftly to defend his Uniate pals, though)? This, I fear, must play out to the end… the OCA will sink and no one will miss it. However, more than one Sobor participant told me, “We CHOSE Mollard… he was the only choice… we had to choose SOMEONE”… the real world’s like that, kids. It ain’t perfect. However, the fragile peace will hold until the next major storm hits… shall it be the notional 2016 all-Orthodox Sobor? We can only wait and see.  For the time being, enjoy the peace n’ quiet… ain’t it good to have no news for a change (that means that’s there’s no food-fight or shitstorm going on)?


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Sunday, 27 April 2014

27 April 2014. DARVO: Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender… It’s Time to End the OCA’s War on Abuse Victims… It’s Time to Tell the TRUTH for a Change

00 Barbara-Marie Drezhlo. OCA pilates. 01.12


For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.

Epistle of St Paul to Titus 1.7

Now, as I write, the judicial farce in Canada isn’t over yet. I think that it’s time to stop coddling clerical miscreants and to start thinking of their victims. For instance, the tactic taken by Storheim’s defence counsel sickened me… essentially, it was, “They’re nuts, so, you can’t believe them”. This is why victims often don’t come forward… not only do they suffer abuse at the hands of their abusers, they suffer further abuse at the hands of attorneys, institutional officials, and “goodthinkers”. If they win, then, the powers-that-be in the Church tell them that they have to “understand”… that is, “We’re not going to apologise to you publicly as it’s not only an embarrassment, but our lawyers told us not to”.

The Church’s only real authority is its moral authority. For instance, the Church in the homeland doesn’t want to be a “state church”. Why? It’d compromise its moral authority, that’s why. It’s bad enough to be accused of such… which does lead to some degradation of moral authority (but not as severe as an actual state relationship would have). In the OCA’s case, it can’t hide behind “we admit no legal wrongdoing” forever. One such case is bad enough… the EKD had it when the cops nicked Frau Kässemann for drunk driving. She realised that shredded her cred, so, she did the only honourable thing… she resigned, and apologised publicly. You can see where I’m going, don’t you?

Storheim’s shenanigans aren’t the first legal monkeyshines in the OCA… the coppers arrested Benjamin Peterson… Herman Swaiko (to his credit) demanded that he face the consequences, but the Holy Synod refused to act. A court convicted Storheim in Canada, and the Holy Synod still hasn’t acted… Tosi did give us a classic lawyerly evasion, though. Now, Isidore Brittain, a favourite of both Peterson and Paffhausen, faces kiddie porn charges. Sources tell me that the Holy Synod is trying to claim that since they defrocked him, they need do nothing else. This is ludicrous. The OCA desperately needs, not only peace, but also its moral authority restored. That means that it should apologise publicly that a priest of its jurisdiction (for Brittain was certainly that) engaged in such a horrific assault on children. It can’t say, “Well, we washed our hands of the matter by defrocking him”. What was the nature of Brittain’s relationship with Paffhausen and Peterson? Both shielded him, after all. One of the Cabinet said that if Brittain didn’t cop a plea, he could take Peterson and Paffhausen down with him.

Moral authority begins by protecting the weak… not attacking them. We can’t “deny” anymore. We need to say, “Yes, Seraphim Storheim did what the court said that he did. We apologise and we intend to make amends. We’ll see to it that he’s sent to a remote monastery where he can no longer hurt children”. We need to say, “Yes, Benjamin Peterson chose to drive drunk. It was an inexcusable lapse of judgement, for bishops need moral authority. Therefore, we’re sending him off to Manton, to live out his days in repentance. May God look over him”. We need to say, “Yes, Stanley/Isidore Brittain committed gross acts whilst being a priest of the OCA. We apologise for that. We’ll do our best to compensate his victims”.

That’d restore moral authority, and then some. However… I urge you not to hold your breath… not as long as Eric Tosi, John Jillions, and Lyonyo Kishkovsky keep power. Here’s the paradox… if one follows the path of “institutional survival”, one ends by killing the institution, as it’d kill moral authority. Yet, if one did the “crazy” thing and admitted the wrongdoing and did one’s best to put it right, it’d save the institution. It seems counterintuitive and a contradiction to those raised on “legalese” and evasion. However, it IS the only way out. There are many healthy elements in the OCA… but if the present apparat continues its current course, the body won’t survive the next tremor (which will occur… maybe, as soon as the proposed all-Orthodox Sobor in 2016). Mind you, the healthy parishes would survive… they’d merely find a body with real moral authority.

For a Church, if it lacks moral cred, you may as well roll it up and put it to bed… its dead. THAT’S the bottom-line…


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