Voices from Russia

Monday, 17 February 2014

17 February 2014. Whatever Happened to Deacon Andrei Kuraev? What Meaning Can We Pull from His “Fall?”



In the early 2000s, Deacon Andrei Kuraev was one of the leading lights in the Orthodox cyberworld. Lately, he’s become more and more strident, making all kinds of oddbod statements. I asked around and one source told me:

For years now, Kuraev has gone off. His problem is his self-obsession. Pro-Western media outlets, eager for any scandal, pay him much attention. Moreover, producing scandal so that people quote him consumes him; besides which, he’s obsessed with how many hits he gets. Charlie‘s right… Kuraev’s going Protestant; he’s gone Renovationist. He’s become an enemy of the Church in his egoistic quest for celebrity.

I agree. Deacon Andrei has gone off the rails. Once, he was a “go-to” source… today, he’s an embittered “dissident”. I think that he’s well on the way to being another Gleb Yakunin (who was one of the few people personally anathematised by the Church). I don’t think that he’ll be another Rusantsov, but he does have the potential for being defrocked.

Remember, the Church always does the least-invasive thing to solve a problem. For instance, in this case, the Centre used the least-invasive method of shitcanning him. “He didn’t attend to his duties as an MDA faculty member”. This was like the ROCOR Holy Synod stopping the Toll House Wars about thirty years ago by saying, “There’s not much revealed on this topic. All discussion of it should cease” (they should revisit that decision and muzzle the loud konvertsy who perpetually call the Toll Houses “an important Church Doctrine” (which it isn’t)). In the case of Podmoshensky, the ROCOR gave him the drop for serving under suspension (Lebedeff said that was a great relief; nobody wanted to go near the issue of sexual perversion unless that they absolutely had to).

This first disciplinary action… removing Kuraev from the MDA faculty… was a salutary warning. If he continues to fuck up… well, the Church hopes that he doesn’t. I noted that they said nothing of his connection with PSTGU… I wonder, does such need approval from the Vorobyov Mafia (perspirin’ minds wanna know)? Bear in mind how the Church dealt with the rank heresies of Bulgakov and Florensky… it condemned the heresies, but it showed mercy to the people involved.

For instance, to give a good example of such, the Church should send Seraphim Storheim off to live in a monastery, far from children, without any pastoral role. This would be fair to all parties. It’s fair to the victims… for it’d show that the Church implicitly believes their story by denying Storheim a public role. It’s fair to the believers… for they’d be spared worrying that there’d be a relapse. It’s fair to Storheim… for it’d spare him some shame and pain (look, a court found him guilty… that’s harsh enough for me… it DOES put the “Scarlet Letter” upon him, after all). It shows respect to the Court… it shows that the Church intends doing something to neutralise Storheim, removing the need for further legal action or imprisonment. Last of all, it’s fair to the Church… it means that the issue will die a natural death (that is, it’ll persist for as long as Storheim’s alive…  but after he’s dead, people would say, “Y’know, they did the right thing…”. Shall this happen? I’d truly like to see it happen, but given the nasty-ass attitude of Syosset and the First Families, I expect more legal manoeuvring, obfuscation, and denials… I’m not hoping for such, but that’s what I see.

It’s not just Deacon Andrei… it’s our whole attitude to dealing with dissidence and malfeasance. Frankly, we’d do well to stick to our traditional ways… they work. Take it one step at a time, and don’t dump on someone all the way all at once. Shall Deacon Andrei turn back? I don’t have a working crystal ball, do you? Things are never boring following the Church, are they?



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Monday, 10 September 2012

Patriarch Kirill Sez that the Foes of the Church Aimed a Premeditated Blow Against It


Editor’s Note:

English version expanded and corrected using materials from the Russian side of RIA-Novosti. Many thanks to the priest-friend who sent me on the cut n’ paste… it simplified my task enormously. As I always say, this site is NOT an isolated individual effort (God spare me from that… that’s a denial of the Church).



On Sunday, during a broadcast of the TV programme Вести недели (Vesti Nedeli: News of the Week) on the channel Россия-1 (Rossiya-1: Russia-1), Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias stated that the Church sustained an intentional blow recently, intended to test the depth of faith of its believers. As of late, the Church came in for unprecedented criticism both at home and abroad over the case surrounding the punk group Pussy Riot and the perceived luxurious lifestyle of its leading figures. His Holiness noted, “I can’t get rid of the thought that it was a kind of probing attack to check the depth of the faith and devotion to Orthodoxy in Russia. In fact, many such opinions were long-repressed, but it also brought to light the long-buried ability of our people to organise themselves to protect their values, to defend their outlook. I won’t quote some of the offensive remarks made against our people by some in the so-called creative class, but they were generally derogatory from start to finish”.

On 17 August, a Moscow court sentenced three Pussy Riot punk group members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, Maria Alyokhina, 24, and Yekaterina Samutsevich, 30, to two years in prison over a “punk prayer” in Moscow’s largest cathedral in a trial that attracted both mass media attention and sharp international criticism. Lawyers for the group say that their clients’ actions were a protest against overt Church support for Vladimir Putin ahead of the 4 March presidential poll that returned the former KGB officer to the Kremlin. Less than a month before the election, Patriarch Kirill called Putin’s first two presidential terms a “miracle from God” in a televised meeting.

In his view, the time for such a test was ripe, especially, since everyone saw what happened in Russia in connection with the visit of the Vatopedi delegation to Russia carrying the Belt of the Mother of God. “Do recall the reaction of those millions of people who came to bow before the relic. Therefore, apparently, it’s time to check whether our people are committed to the faith, and whether they’ll do anything to protect it… today, I think that those who made such provocations can see that the people aren’t a faceless amorphous mass, and they can now see that the people are able to defend what they hold holy”.

Vladyki Kirill described the problem facing us wasn’t just aggression against the Church, but also an attack “against the heart of our culture, against the very basis of our civilisation. However, such sallies always fail. Look at what the statistics say. The vast majority don’t want public blasphemy. Only a small percentage approve of blasphemy and social deviation. The vast majority are in favour of laws that’d limit the spread of sin. What does that mean? It means that a sense of morality is alive in the people”.

He pointed up that one avenue of attack against the Church were accusations that there are elements fomenting a union between the Church and State, saying, “It’s a myth; a deliberately-created myth. After all, if you wish to attack the Church, you need to stake out your ideological position. That’s what we’re seeing today. One of the central tenets of the myth about a union of Church and State is that the clergy are trying to run our lives. Why do they say this? It’s to show that a union of Church and State has the intent of controlling your mind and your will”. He observed that he’s issued no document, approved any statement, or made any public utterance that could support such a thesis.

His Holiness went on to say, “In the past 20 years, our Church, which earlier faced charges of inaction, of being unable to carry out its mission in the modern world, has achieved impressive results in reaching our people. Our people are becoming Orthodox. Today, just look at the crowds at the Easter services, at all the services in our parishes. Orthodox believers are people of all different ages and conditions. Therefore, why should we conclude from the fact that the President or Prime Minister pray together with the patriarch once or twice a year that there’s a union? Are we supposed to deprive these people, who’re believers, after all, of the right to worship with their patriarch?”

He said that his opponents tried to prove that a relationship existed between Church and State by the fact that the Patriarch visited a submarine base at Vilyuchinsk, noting, “What of it? Are we to conclude that there’s a union of Church and State in the USA because the US forces have chaplains in Afghanistan? Furthermore, don’t the regular armies of almost all European countries have regularly-appointed chaplains? I went there because the sailors invited me to visit them. I came to visit my flock because most of the sailors are believers. Where is there a so-called ‘union’ in that?” The Patriarch observed that such visits are pastoral calls by clergy, that they’re missionary outreach.

In April, Patriarch Kirill came under fire after he insisted in an interview with a Russian journalist that he’d never worn a 30,000 USD (955,000 Roubles. 23,500 Euros. 18,750 UK Pounds) Breguet watch that he received as a gift. He suggested that any photographs of him wearing the watch must have been doctored. However, attentive bloggers quickly discovered a photograph on the Church’s official website of Patriarch Kirill with the expensive watch on his wrist. Less than 24 hours later, someone had photoshopped the timepiece out of the photograph. Unfortunately for the Church, the inattentive editor left intact a telltale reflection of the luxury wristwatch on a varnished table, sparking weeks of online mockery. In mid-August, there was more unwanted publicity for the Church when the abbot of a downtown Moscow parish faced accusations of being drunk behind the wheel after a Maltese diplomatic vehicle he was driving ploughed into another vehicle. The online Gazeta.ru newspaper reported that witnesses said that Igumen Timofei’s eyes were “glazed and crazy” after the crash, but the abbot refused to take a breathalyser test.

9 September 2012



Editor’s Note:

There’s nothing but ordinary “wheat n’ tares” here. If this is the worst that Ksenia Sobchak and Marat Gelman can come up with… it’s no biggie. After all, it’s not a Seraphim Storheim court case or that whole Sam Greene tits-up in Texas. Considering what’s been achieved in the last twenty years, what’s utterly amazing is that there’s been so LITTLE idiocy. The Church will survive Philaret Denisenko, Diomid Dzyuban, and Valentin Rusantsov... it did before, it shall again. However, we in America have a monstrous shit-pile in the byre to tackle. Having a lawyer unctuously intone, “We admit no wrongdoing” is satanic and demonic… there’s no other way of putting it. We either put things right or we won’t have a Church… full stop. After all, don’t you see signs of Laodicea in all too many quarters (especially, loud n’ strident “religious” ones)? I should be clear… I mean the reference to “poor, blind, and naked” (Apocalypse 3:17-18), not “I will spew thee out of my mouth” (Apocalypse 3:15-16).

Remember… the most foul flowers of the Evil One grow in the shadow of the altar… and all too many were planted by clerical hands…


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

25 January 2012. Whaddaya Want? Do You Follow in the Steps of St Alexander Schmorell, or, Do You Believe the Fulminations of the Rightwing Vlasovtsy…. AKA The Honourable Decency of the White Rose versus the Soulless Rapacity of the Red, White, n’ Blue


Isn’t it true that every honest German is ashamed of his government these days? Who amongst us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that’ll befall our children and us when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes… crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure… reach the light of day?

The first leaflet of the White Rose Circle



I needn’t go into detail on St Alexander Schmorell… if you want more info on him, click here, here, or here. In short, he’s the “good guy”… he wears the “white hat” in this particular oat-burner. He’s Christ’s Own Saint, worthy of our admiration and emulation, who gave his very life for Truth, Justice, and Faith… to say more would be disrespectful.

Now, let’s get down to the plug-uglies, the baddies, the Black Hat Brigade. Lately, the Vlasovtsy in the ROCOR have been loud n’ active. One of my Cabinet members was wondrin’ why, and I think that the reason’s obvious. Next month, the Church is celebrating the formal glorification of St Alexander Schmorell in München. That means that the Church will speak, yet again, in approval of the Anti-Fascist Crusade against Hitlerism and show its respect to those who fell in it (the Church gives tribute to ALL of the honoured dead… not merely those of the VOV).


Here is Valentin Rusantsov (1939-2012) openly with Kyle Hatcher (is he a spook? Your guess is as good as mine is), a flunky of the US Embassy in Moscow… this is proof that Rusantsov’s a Langley asset, and that’s that.


The Vlasovtsy hate this. Their fathers and grandfathers were Nazi collaborators… they helped the Nazis round-up Jews for extermination; they aided the Fascists in their press-ganging of Slavic people for slave labour in Germany. They bore arms for the occupier… they raised their hands against their compatriots, killing many, making life easier for the aggressor (much like the Karzai junta in Afghanistan does today). That makes them traitors and filth in anyone’s book. They came to America on Langley’s rat-line, along with the scum from the Baltic Legions (see here, here, and here), the Ustaše, and the Galician Uniate SS Galizien Division. For years, they had a stranglehold on the ROCOR leadership; their especial champions were Gregory Grabbe and Vitaly Ustinov. For all intents and purposes, they ran the ROCOR after ’65 (after the death of Metropolitan Anastasy Gribanovsky of Happy Memory). They applauded Vitaly’s treacherous stab-in-the-back to the Mother Church in the ‘90s… all that got us was Valentin Rusantsov and Agafangel Pashkovsky, and everyone knows how wretched that pair was (both were/are certified lickspittles for Langley… Rusantsov even had himself photographed with a US Embassy flunky).

St Alexander Schmorell’s glorification as a New Martyr and Passion-Bearer means that the ROCOR’s turned its back (officially) on the extremist rightwing nonsense spouted by Potapov and Paffhausen. This pisses off the Vlasovtsy… it means that the ROCOR (at least in part) no longer gives approval, either officially, or sub rosa, to their agenda. The Vlasovtsy are just like the Batista Cuban émigrés in Miami, the Vietnamese RVN émigrés on the Gulf Coast, and the Iranian Imperial émigrés in the Northeast. They’ve become an embittered group, they’ve sought “release” in the most extreme factions of the American rightwing fringe (even the Birchers are more “liberal’ than they are). Here’s what’s most exasperating… these pigs are now attacking Carpatho-Russian people, claiming that they were Nazi collaborators and turned in Jews to be killed. That’s an underhanded attack on the memory of Vladyki Laurus Škurla, make no mistake on it. It’s a sign that some of them consider the Great Reconciliation of 2007 a mistake. Is Potapov one of them? God alone knows… but, fact is, he’s still active in extremist rightwing circles inside the beltway and he was/is an official at a known CIA-front organisation (RL/RFE is overrun with spooks, and everyone knows it) high enough to be a bearer of an official “red” US passport. However, do look for Potapov to issue a statement lauding the glorification (if he hasn’t already)… Langley doesn’t want to lose its best asset in the ROCOR (and, thusly, the MP).

So, kids, there’s a reason for the terrific “noise” in Vlasovtsy circles now. I’d say, it’s time to honour a true hero and saint, and that’s its time to “clean house”. For instance, the ROCOR should transfer Potapov out of the District… send him to Alaska, Seattle, or Salt Lake City… that’d be far enough away to break his easy ties with Langley. We shouldn’t persecute people… we should just not make it easy for people to collaborate with the enemies of the Rodina and of Christ’s Church. Let’s revisit the quote I gave at the top of this post, revised slightly for relevance:

Isn’t it true that every honest American is ashamed of his government these days? Who amongst us has any conception of the dimensions of shame that’ll befall our children and us when one day the veil has fallen from our eyes and the most horrible of crimes… crimes that infinitely outdistance every human measure… reach the light of day?

Think on that… we much to repent for… the Easter bombing of Belgrade… “Humanitarian Intervention”… the sale of human organs in the American-sponsored statelet of Kosovo… the indefinite detention of “terrorism suspects”… the torture of detainees in secret Eastern European prisons by the CIA…. and much, much more.

I stand against the Vlasovtsy and their self-serving lies. I’m not alone…

Barbara-Marie Drezhlo

Wednesday 25 January 2012

Albany NY

Monday, 16 January 2012

Suzdal Schismatic Valentin Rusantsov Dies in His 73rd Year

Valentin Rusantsov (1939-2011) with Kyle Hatcher of the US Embassy to the RF… this shows, even for the slow learners, that the RPATs is probably a Langley front organisation, and that chances are good that Rusantsov was an asset for the American special services. One wonders if Hatcher fronted cash to this schismatic pig… it’d be just like the stories in the Ukraine linking John Herbst with Denisenko and Pashkovsky (is Hatcher a Langley spook himself? It’s a possibility…). Take a GOOD look at this picture, Orthodox Christians… Paffhausen, Potapov, Lyonyo, and Webster defend the rightwing advocates of such machinations on the part of the US government against our Holy Church… do act accordingly.


In Moscow, on the morning of 16 January, “Metropolitan” Valentin Rusantsov of Suzdal and Vladimir, the self-proclaimed head of the “Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church” (RPATs), died in the 73rd year of his life. He was due to undergo treatment for diabetes and heart problems. Due to the death of Valentin, “Archbishop” Fyodor Gineyevsky of Otradnensky and the North Caucasus took over the leadership of the RPATs.

“Metropolitan” Valentin (in the world, Anatoly Petrovich Rusantsov), was born in 1939 in Belorechensk (Krasnodar Krai). In 1956, he became a cantor (псаломщик: psalomshchik) in one of the parishes of Krasnoyarsk Krai; the next year he became a novice at Holy Spirit Monastery in Vilnius, where he received monastic tonsure in 1958. In 1960, he became a hierodeacon, and, then, Archbishop Antony Romanovsky of Stavropol and Baku made him a hieromonk. He served in the MP Diocese of Stavropol and Diocese of Vladimir, advancing to the ranks of Igumen and Archimandrite. In 1973, Rusantsov became rector of the Holy Mother of God of Kazan parish, and in 1977, he took over St Constantine parish in Suzdal. In 1970, he graduated from the Faculty of History, Dagestan State University, in 1973, he completed the Moscow Theological Seminary, and he took his final degree in 1979 at the Moscow Theological Academy, where he received a kandidatura in theology. In 1987, he transferred to serve in Pokrov. He did not actually serve there; he obtained a release from his position.

In April 1990, along with his parish in Suzdal, Rusantsov came under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR). On 10 February 1991, the ROCOR ordained him Bishop of Suzdal and Vladimir. Because Rusantsov quarrelled with its hierarchy, the ROCOR Holy Synod asked him to retire in July 1993. In March 1994, he created the so-called “Higher Church Administration of the Russian Orthodox Church” (VTsURPTs). In winter 1994, he reconciled with the ROCOR Holy Synod, but, in February 1995, the ROCOR Holy Synod placed him under discipline. Then, in June 1995, he definitively broke with the ROCOR Holy Synod and revived the VTsURPTs, under the authority of “Archbishop” Lazar Zhurbenko. The VTsURPTs then elevated Rusantsov to the rank of “archbishop”. In 1996, he created the “Archpastoral Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church” (ASRPTs). On 19 February 1997, the MP Archpastoral Council deposed Rusantsov from the clergy for perpetrating a schism. In 2001, a decision of “Archpastoral Synod of the RPATs” elevated him to the rank of “Metropolitan”, and recognised him as the “First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church”.


On Monday morning, in Moscow, in the 73rd year of his life, Valentin Rusantsov, the head of the sect of Suzdal schismatics known as the “Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church” (RPATs), died, according to the website of the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. Rusantsov founded the RPATs in 1994. Previously, he was an MP cleric, then, he went under the ROCOR, which also expelled him. Currently, in Russia, there are several dozen parishes and about 10,000 followers in the RPATs. Rusantsov received widespread notoriety thanks to his scandalous trial on charges of child molestation, following which the court conditionally sentenced him to probation for four years and three months.

16 January 2012





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