Voices from Russia

Friday, 6 September 2013

What Was It? Rector of OCA Cathedral Parish in NYC Likened the Church in Russia with Inquisitors

00 What was it. 06.09.13


Editor’s Foreword:

Someone removed the English original of Calin’s statement from the cathedral website. I think that this is grounds for Bishop Michael Dahulich to remove Christopher Calin from his position (but he should do it with the least amount of “blood on the floor”). I post the English original from my post on this site. Crazy world, ain’t it?



The author of a post placed on the website of the Cathedral of the Protection (OCA) in New York NY on the Assumption of publicly distanced himself from the “inquisitorial harassment” and “xenophobia” found in Russia and in the Church in Russia. We post the text of the statement, an interview with a prominent MP priest from New York, and context on the situation below.

The official website of the Cathedral of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey (OCA), posted the following statement on 28 August 2013, the feastday of the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God posted the following statement from its rector:

A statement of the relationship of our cathedral with the Russian Church and the Russian government

The NYC Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, a parish of the autocephalous (self-governed) Orthodox Church in America, is completely independent from the Church in Russia (Moscow Patriarchate), its political actions and statements, and its inquisition-like persecutions and xenophobia in concert with the Russian government‘s promulgation of draconian laws limiting freedom of speech and civil rights of its citizens.

Archimandrite Christopher Calin


28 August 2013

The MP DECR didn’t comment on the American priest’s comments, saying that local clergy in New York are probably better-informed on the reasons for this outburst. Archpriest Georgi Roshchin, one of the clergy at St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral of New York (the MP podvorie in the USA), was as surprised by the statement no less than his Moscow counterparts were.


Fr George, what do you think Archimandrite Christopher’s statement meant and how should we take it?

Archpriest Georgi Roshchin

After reading this post on the cathedral’s official website, I asked myself the same questions. What prompted the Archimandrite to make such a declaration, and, most importantly, what possessed him to place it on the cathedral’s official website? It’s unclear whether this is the OCA’s official position or whether it’s the private opinion of this Fr Christopher. It’s clear that a debate’s raging in American society about some new laws in the Russian Federation, but everyone knows that the Church and state are separate in Russia. People in the Church in America are also well aware of this, so, such statements raise more questions and incredulity, rather than to help to clarify the discussion. I hope that someone [in the OCA] would give us further clarification regarding this statement.


Would you say that this priest is an eccentric, known to all in the city for his unusual statements?

Fr Georgi

That’s without doubt, but his statement accused the MP. However, in general, the MP and the OCA share a common Tradition, rooted in Scripture, which leads to a shared teaching on moral imperatives. From this point of view, accusing the Church of xenophobia and cosiness with the state is a little illogical. The only thing that comes to mind as an explanation of what happened is that this priest lacks knowledge of what’s really going on in Russia, especially, in the area of ​​church-state relations. If you lack knowledge of a situation, then, perhaps, you have to be careful in how you assess things, and, as a minimum, the very first thing to do is to find out the actual opinion of the MP on the issue. Unfortunately, no one asked us for a clarification [of the Church’s stance]. We don’t even know why Fr Christopher decided to speak out on this matter.


A Possible Explanation

At this time, official spokesmen for Protection Cathedral were unavailable for comment, so, it wasn’t clear as to what law [Fr Christopher] considered draconian… whether it was the law banning adoptions by Americans of Russian orphans (the so-called “Dima Yakovlev law“) or whether it was the law banning the promotion of homosexuality. Most likely, it was the latter, because the statement refers to freedom of speech. Indirect evidence in favour of this is the fact that in San Francisco CA on 25 August 25 gay activists held a demonstration at the MP Cathedral. This statement may be a reaction to that. That is, to reiterate, last week, LGBT activists protested in front of St Nicholas Cathedral (MP/USA). The protesters expressed their dissatisfaction with the Russian law banning the promotion of homosexuality amongst minors. In reaction to this, the two ROCOR Archpastors in the area came together in solidarity at the Cathedral of the Icon of the Mother of God “All Those Who Sorrow” [on Geary Boulevard]. To bring a measure of solace to believers, Archbishop Kirill Dmitrieff and of San Francisco and Western America and Bishop Feodosy Ivashchenko of Seattle (Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America) brought out a reliquary with relics of St John Maximovich of San Francisco and Shanghai. The Archpastors prayed together with the clergy and believers, then, they received the Holy Mysteries.

Closer To or Further from Moscow?

It’s ironic that it was, in fact, the MP, from which Archimandrite Christopher so strongly disassociated himself, that gave the OCA autocephaly in 1970. By the way, the Local Churches of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Romania, Cyprus, Greece, and Albania still don’t accept this. For them, the OCA is just a self-governing part of the MP. There are factions in the OCA… one part of the clergy wants closer relations with Moscow, on the other hand, another bloc wants to distance themselves from any ties to Russia and wish to emphasise the particularity of American Orthodoxy (sic). As an example, we can cite an episode in October 2008. Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev, then-Bishop of Vienna (now Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, head of the MP DECR was considered as a possible candidate for the vacant post of OCA First Hierarch. One of the voices at the time said:

Bishop Hilarion would be a perfect candidate … If Moscow would release him to allow him to lead us, what could be better to strengthen the links between the different Russian Churches and even different jurisdictions in America?

One of those who signed petitions in support of the candidacy of Bishop Hilarion was the recently-ordained Vicar Bishop Jonas Paffhausen, who later became Metropolitan of all America and Canada (sic). Later, Metropolitan Jonas proposed to change the OCA’s canonical status, from being autocephalous to being autonomous within the MP {there’s no solid evidence for this save in autocephalist nutter circles, from such questionable sources as Mark Stokoe: editor}. This desire, along with specific instances of authoritarian decision-making {after all, a First Hierarch isn’t a Primate or a Pope, Brum Doctrine or no Brum Doctrine: editor} led to Jonas’ resignation on 7 July 2012 at the request of the OCA Holy Synod. Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, a highly-placed priest in OCA, said, “It didn’t fit the identity of the majority of our faithful, many of whom aren’t part of the Russian community, as they’re Romanians, Albanians, or converts from Protestant denominations”.

5 September 2013

Kirill Milovidov

Arseny Zagulyaev



Editor’s Afterword:

Let’s take last things first. Look at Lyonyo’s statement again:

It didn’t fit the identity of the majority of our faithful, many of whom aren’t part of the Russian community, as they’re Romanians, Albanians, or converts from Protestant denominations.

That’s a lie. Most believers in the OCA are ethnic Russians or po-nashemu Hunkies (in full or in part). Yes, there’s a plurality of non-Russian clergy, but that’s because SVS favours them, as they’re easier to indoctrinate into Schmemannite Renovationism… they lack Orthodox “souls”… and they’ll never acquire them, as they’re jumped up too quickly and without proper formation. There are former Proddie clergy in the OCA and ROCOR who lack ANY proper Orthodox seminary formation… we all know who they are, many are prolific loudmouths on the internet, distorting the Church’s teaching and history. I’ll give only one example… Chad Hatfield, the so-called rector of SVS, accepted an honorary degree from Nashotah House, his TEC alma mater. I’ve never heard the like before… a convert going back to his former group and accepting an honour from them. If that isn’t “dogs returning to their vomit”, I don’t know what it is. It’s clear that the konvertsy lack Orthodox hearts, and that we should defrock all former heterodox clergy, repent of our stupidity in ordaining them, and have fewer (but better) priests for the near term.

As for Calin, I’d say to Bishop Michael:

Calin delenda est. He has powerful allies; you can’t humiliate him, but you can winkle him out. Think on this… he’s going to have to smile as you pour insincere regrets over his premature stepping down at his retirement banquet. You’ll play your fiddle prettily, no doubt. It’d be sweet recompense for all the shit that he’s dealt you, Vladyki. Sometimes, it’s better NOT to knife your foe, leaving a huge pool of blood on the pavement for all to see. You’d wear the white hat… but do it quickly, for the window will be open for only a moment. After it’s done, then, send him out of the New York metro area (indeed, out of the Boswash megalopolis entirely)… preferably, to a parish full of Old School hardcore po-nashemu Hunkies. That’d learn him.

This is too much of a muchness. Not only Calin, but also Lyonyo, has to go. Shall we do it, though? That remains to be seen…


Monday, 2 September 2013

2 September 2013. Christopher Calin of OCA Cathedral in NYC Pisses on Orthosphere… Attacks Rodina Without Cause

00 the finger. the bird. 02.09.13

This is Calin to HH and the rest of the Church. Should we take it? I hope not…


One of the Cabinet sent me this:

Notice how silent the OCA is about Syria? See below:

The NYC Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, a parish of the autocephalous (self-governed) Orthodox Church in America, is completely independent from the Church in Russia (Moscow Patriarchate), its political actions and statements, and its inquisition-like persecutions and xenophobia in concert with the Russian government‘s promulgation of draconian laws limiting freedom of speech and civil rights of its citizens.

Archimandrite Christopher Calin, Dean

For that alone they should pull the Tomos.

I quite agree. Calin is kissing the arse of the Council for Foreign Relations crowd and the American Enterprise Institute, thus sucking up to Lyonyo, SVS, Fathausen, Potapov, and the konvertsy in general. Did he issue his pleasant little statement as a “protest” against the recent trip of Mollard to Russia? Calin should be knocked down a peg or two in public. This is inexcusable and indefensible. We’re Russian Orthodox, and if Mr Calin doesn’t like that, he should join someone else. What a maroon! Calin refuses to follow the lead of HH and the Mother Church in re Syria. He needn’t… but he shouldn’t call himself Orthodox either. Obviously, this is “something run up by the apprentice whilst the blacksmith was out”. Lyonyo or Hatfield would’ve nixed this as provocative, needless, and harmful… it does tell one the extent of Mr Calin’s intelligence and street-smarts, doesn’t it? The Church is UNITED on the issue of Syria, and if Mr Calin, SVS, Lyonyo, and Fatty wish to differ, they should just leave us, but they won’t. There’ll be blood on the floor before they do… I’m not wishing that; I’m ruefully predicting that. God do help us…



Tuesday, 10 July 2012

10 July 2012. Is There Trouble in “Paradise?”

Some of the usual suspects on the Internet forums are spouting their usual stuff. It’s almost as bad as the interminable Toll House argument… oh, yes, I do think that such sorts belong in the playpen whilst we adults have a pleasant drink and chat.


There’s much Sturm und Drang over supposed events at Manton and over Meletios Webber. Let’s keep this simple. If Meletios Webber is, indeed, going against Church order in the case of this or that private individual, then, the proper way to handle it is to make a formal complaint against him to the bishop. If there are irregularities at Manton, that’s the logical first step. No… it isn’t the only step… but it’s the first logical one. Yes, Benjamin Peterson could decide to stonewall it or sweep it under the rug, but that would put him in the spotlight, so to speak. All those having problems with Webber should make a formal complaint, the sooner the better. Then, if Peterson defends him… go to the Holy Synod. If they fail in their duty, then, make an appeal to the Centre… to ask them to pull the Tomos from the OCA. It CAN be done… but only in the proper order, and one thing at a time.

At present, there’s confusion over what actually happened. Well, I’d say that since JP was a follower of the Imyaslavie heresy, by all accounts that I heard, the fact that there’s screwy things afoot shouldn’t surprise anyone. However… if you think so strongly about Webber and personal pastoral matters, do make a formal complaint. I wonder if they’d do such a thing… I think not. In fact, the “news” that’s coming out made me think of an old saying of Fr Alexander Lebedeff’s, “They don’t know an ecclesiastical court from a tennis court”. Lebedeff may be a First Family apparatchik, but he’s also a competent historian and canonist… which none of the loudmouths on the internet forums are. It’s one thing to talk of public figures… when one starts flinging about private pastoral matters… you really should take such things up with the bishop (I always PhotoShop out non-public figures if I can… there’s something known as privacy). I’m going to hold all priests and hierarchs up to scrutiny… they’re public figures. However, if you have something against a private individual or the pastoral consideration shown them, not a public figure (priest, bishop, elected lay official), don’t drag it into the internet fora… do something of it in such a way that the person involved has some privacy. If I can observe limits… so can these people (you don’t know the stuff that I reject because it either involves private people or its the private doings of public people (an image of Jillions at a private party isn’t mine to publish)).

Put up or shut up.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

13 March 2012. Pasonick Officially Asks to “Do His Time” at Fed Slam Near STS

OCA Deacon Michael Pasonick (1942- ) (in shades) at his sentencing


It’s as I thought it would turn out… click here for a story reporting that suspended OCA Deacon Michael Pasonick officially requested to “do his time” at the fed slammer in Canaan (it’s down the road from STS). Of course, oca.org has nothing up on this. If Pasonick’s to face a spiritual court, an announcement of that would be appropriate. However, the OCA’s actions in re Benjamin Peterson give no one grounds for hope that they’ll “do the right thing”. Peterson was arrested for DUI, yet, the OCA allowed him to continue to serve as a bishop. Any other church body would’ve shitcanned him for shaming the church, and that’s that. For instance, in Germany, the presiding bishop of the EKD, Bishop Margot Kässmann, was nicked for DUI… she had to resign immediately, before any court action. That’s what should’ve happened to Peterson, but it didn’t. Seraphim Storheim should’ve resigned after his indictment, but he didn’t. In short, we have a feckless apparat that refuses to discipline wayward clergy. As Tosi said of Iggy’s “loss” of 115,000 bucks (3.4 million Roubles. 88,000 Euros. 73,000 UK Pounds)… “The records simply don’t exist”. When the TEC faced a similar case here in New York State, the treasurer involved was turned over to John Law and she did hard time in a state slammer. That’s why people don’t believe the OCA’s “line” on Eric Iliff… the court case DID disappear with his death, didn’t it? When you look at such schmutz, Moriak’s false, hypocritical, and bloviating attack on Mark Stokoe is seen in its full noxious context. It’s disgusting, isn’t it? When a group refuses to remove a hierarch arrested by the coppers and refuses to remove one under indictment (and given a plea offer to boot… that’s usually only given to those who’re certain of conviction), it’s a sign of advanced rot and decay, no matter what Dreher and Mattingly say.

The OCA’s refused to “do the right thing” for many years now… the full bill for the Schmemanndorf {a portmanteau neologism combing “Schmemann” and “Meyendorff“: editor} madness is coming due. It’s time to rip up the Tomos and “go home”. If you’re on the wrong road, the only way forward is to go back to where you turned off the road in the first place. It’s time to become a part of the Mother Church, reclaim the title “Russian Orthodox” (for that’s what we are), close SVS, and fire at least half the bishops (there’s no need for 10 active and 10 retired bishops for about 100,000 faithful… talk about top-heavy “useless eaters”). We should let the Romanian diocese go to unite with their compatriots and let the Albanians and Bulgarians go too. There’s NEVER going to be a “united” Orthodox Church in the USA; reality dictates that. Do you want more antics like those of Peterson, Pasonick, Tosi, Burdikoff, and Storheim? Then, support Paffhausen and his HOOMie pals. If you want a REAL Churh… it’s time to go home “There’s no place like home”…

Today’s the fifth anniversary of Eric Iliff’s death… do NOT forget him.

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Tuesday 13 March 2012

Albany NY

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