Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Archbishop Jovan Released from Prison in Macedonia

00 Police handcuffing Abp Jovan. 06.12

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On 2 February 2015, a court decision in Skopje released Archbishop Jovan Vraniškovski of Ohrid (SPC) from Idrizovo Prison. On 15 November 2014, during their meeting in Belgrade, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias and Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović of Serbia discussed Archbishop Jovan’s health and general situation. On 20 December 2014, with the blessing of Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej, Metropolitan Ilarion Alfeyev, Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS), visited Skopje and met with Archbishop Jovan. On the same day, Metropolitan Ilarion met with Macedonian government leaders, President of the Republic of the Macedonia Ǵorge Ivanov and President of the Macedonian Government Nikola Gruevski. He also met Archbishop Stefan, head of the uncanonical Macedonian Orthodox Church (MPC). On 28 January 2015, Patriarchs Kirill and Irinej blessed Bishop Irinej of Backa and Archimandrite Filip Vasiltseva to visit Archbishop Jovan at the prison. With the blessing of Patriarch Irinej, and at Patriarch Kirill’s invitation, Archbishop Jovan will soon go to Moscow for medical treatment. Both the MP and the SPC give thanksgiving to God for the welcome release of Archbishop Jovan.

3 February 2015

Patriarchia.ru

MP official website

http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/3980105.html

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Friday, 23 January 2015

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

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Patriarch Irinej Slams Proposed Gay Pride March in Belgrade

gay parade in st petersburg

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On Tuesday, Patriarch Irinej Gavrilović, the head of the influential Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC), denounced a gay pride march planned for the weekend, adding to tensions over the event, which faced threats from extremists. He issued a statement that the “shameless” event casts a moral shadow on Serbia… a conservative Balkan country whose gay population faces harassment. Officials suggested that they could allow Sunday’s event despite fears of a repeat of the violence in 2010 when rightwing groups attacked a gay march in Belgrade, triggering clashes with police that left more than 100 people injured. Authorities banned gay marches planned for the following three years, citing security reasons. Some see that holding the march is a test of Serbia’s pledge to respect human rights as it seeks EU membership. Irinej said that the gay organisers “and their mentors from Europe” haven’t learned the lesson from past marches, adding that “a great majority” of Serbs are against holding the event, saying, “Thousands of policemen will have to be brought to Belgrade”, adding that they face the threat of injury and death. Several far-right groups, which include soccer hooligans, announced anti-gay marches in the capital a day before the gay event. On Tuesday, police said that they have filed charges against eight people who made threats against gays on social media. Milorad Todorović, a police officer in charge of cybercrime, said, “Police are here to secure the safety of all citizens. I hope that the gay event will be held on Sunday”.

Associated Press

http://news.yahoo.com/head-serb-church-denounces-gay-pride-march-105151087.html

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An official SPC statement, signed by Patriarch Irinej condemned an announced gay parade, “You have the right to make a parade, but only at your own cost and expense of your principals, no matter how they’re called; that is, both the cost for the organisation of the parade, and for security, but not at the expense of Serbia… bombed, destroyed, morally and economically crippled, impoverished, flooded, nailed to the pillory. It’s absurd grandstanding that the state should spend millions in its current poverty to secure a handful of citizens and their guests for a parade of several hundred metres in the centre of Belgrade. These days, we’re seeing an unbelievable gay parade again imposed on Belgrade and Serbia. The organisers of this grandstanding and their mentors from Europe don’t want to learn from the events of the last parade”. Patriarch Irinej warned of the dangers that a parade could cause to both sides. The statement also pointed up that previous parades provoked resistance from the majority of citizens, unleashing rioting and aggression, awakening chaos and destructiveness in some sections of society, especially amongst younger people. The SPC asked the organisers and participants of the parade if they can and must exercise their rights to privacy by causing “humiliation and oppression of the moral sentiments of the majority of mankind. If the gay sexual orientation is justified and we should propagate it, then, why isn’t it true for paedophilia too, widespread in the Western world, as well as incest? Why are their rights less important than the so-called right of your sexual (dis)orientation? Are you so blinded by your lust and selfishness that you don’t mind putting the whole state apparatus in your service and imposing it to high and unjustifiable costs for organising your parade?”

23 September 2014

B92

http://www.b92.net/eng/news/society.php?yyyy=2014&mm=09&dd=23&nav_id=91690

Editor:

HH put it clearly… “We respect all human choices, including those of sexual orientation, but we reserve the right to call sin ‘sin’”. HH, Patriarch Ilie of Georgia, and now Patriarch Irinej of Serbia have spoken of the inadmissibility of gay rights initiatives on the Western model in their countries. The societies involved won’t have it. One of the reasons for their strong stance is that such gay actions would be counterproductive. They don’t want to empower schmidiots like K Yu Dushenov, who’d use the turmoil around such events to twist them to the ends of far-right creeps. Yes, we still have some of the Old School anti-Semite haters amongst us, I’m afraid… Dushenov did three years in an IK for anti-Semitic agitation… he’s just as anti-gay as he’s anti-Semitic.

That is, the motive isn’t hatred of gays, as one sees amongst American konvertsy… the motive is two-fold… firstly, to forestall gnarly elements within the Church that’d cause untoward kafuffle, not only in gay matters, but in other things as well (as one can see with the American konvertsy obsession with the questionable notion of the toll houses). Secondly, it’s to protect the majority of gay people who do NOT march in such parades… who do NOT push themselves into people’s faces… who do NOT wish to upset the larger society about them. The Church DOES stand for those hated by the “respectable”… it does its best to further their interests. Gay parades are counterproductive in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus. The Church understands this, so, it opposes them forcefully.

The Church, most of all, is a bastion of Good Sense… it knows that a small fraction of people are homosexual, and it wishes to see that they don’t suffer. It does NOT bless homosexuality (just as it doesn’t bless abortion)… but just as it tolerates abortion in some limited cases (the Church has a prayer for a woman who’s aborted a child), it doesn’t persecute the homosexual people in its midst. The Church does NOT bless abortion or homosexuality… but it has mercy on those enmeshed in them. That’s a subtle point, which most loudmouthed konvertsy miss. I know that some loudmouthed Anglo konverts are going to accuse me of saying that the Church blesses abortion and homosexuality… it does NOT. However, I believe that the Church follows the lead of its Founder… who was a solid good-sense workingman who “judged not”… we’d do well to follow His lead (that’s a lifelong pursuit, I’ve found)…

BMD

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