Voices from Russia

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Yustinian Ovchinnov to Leave the Apple for Kalmykiya… Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin to Replace Him in the City

00 Fr John Roschin. NYC. 25.07.14


JOURNAL Number 66 of the MP Holy Synod, 25 July 2014


  1. Archbishop Yustinian Ovchinnikov of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, transferred to be Archbishop of Elista and all Kalmykiya.
  2. We express gratitude to Archbishop Yustinian for all of his archpastoral labours.
  3. Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin, cleric of St Nicholas Cathedral in New York NY USA will be the new Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, and shall be consecrated Bishop of Naro-Fominsk (vicar of the Diocese of Moscow).
  4. Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev will choose the place and time of consecrating Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin to the episcopate, elevating him to the rank of Archimandrite for the time being.


Biographical Details for Hieromonk Ioann Roshchin

A graduate of the Moscow Theological Academy and Seminary, in 1996-97, worked as an employee of the MP Publishing Council. In 1997, he joined the staff of the MP Synodal Department for External Church Relations (OVTsS). In December 1998, he was a member of the MP delegation at the Eighth Assembly of the WCC (Harare ZIMBABWE) and he became a member of the WCC Central Committee. In 2000-02, he studied at the Faculty of Philosophy at the Catholic University of America (Washington DC USA). From 2003 to 2009, as a member of the OVTsS Secretariat on Church and Society, was in charge of inter-religious communication, including interaction with the Interreligious Council of Russia and the SNG Interreligious Council, and international interfaith organizations, was a member of the Commission of the Conference of European Churches “Islam in Europe”, participated in the preparation and conduct of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Meetings of the joint Russian-Iranian commission “Islam-Christianity”.

On 27 July 2009, the MP Holy Synod appointed him Deputy Chairman of the MP Synodal Department for the Coordination of Church and Society (OVTsO). In 2009, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, he was a member of the Council for the Study of Religious Materials to identify extremist materials in the RF Ministry of Justice. He was the official MP representative in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union of Belarus and Russia, a member of the Commission on organising state support and the development of original Cossack culture, a member of the Public Council under the Federal Drug Control Service, and a member of the Public Council under Rosreestr. From 2010 to 2013, he was the Executive Secretary of the SNG Interreligious Council. In October 2012, the Holy Synod appointed him representative of the World Russian People’s Council (VRNS) at the UN and assigned him to St Nicholas Cathedral in New York NY USA. On 11 March 2014, with the blessing of Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias, the Superior of the Trinity-St Sergei Lavra, Archbishop Feognost Guzikov of Sergiev Posad, tonsured him a monk with the name “Ioann” in honour of St John Maksimovich of Shanghai and San Francisco. A MP Holy Synod decision on 25 July 2014 (Journal Number 66) selected him as Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, and Vicar of the Diocese of Moscow with the title “Naro-Fominsk”.

25 July 2014

Russian Orthodox Church in the USA


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Christian Leaders Urge Churches to Mobilise Behind Syria Peace Plan

00 Give Peace a Chance. atomic fireball. 21.09.13


On Thursday, the World Council of Churches (WCC) urged its Protestant, Orthodox, and Anglican member churches to lobby their congregations and national governments to support a political solution to the war in Syria. The Genève-based WCC made the appeal after a meeting with international envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who both asked Christian leaders to help mobilise public opinion for peace. The appeal by the WCC, representing about a quarter of the world’s 2.2 billion Christians, follows similar calls by the Roman Catholic Church, which makes up over half of global Christianity. A WCC communiqué released after a meeting near Genève on Wednesday said, “Churches must continue to raise their voice in their congregations and with their governments. We must strengthen the public outcry so that those in power will protect the common interest of humanity”. WCC General Secretary Rev Olaf Fyske Tveit told Reuters that there was “consensus in the whole Christian family” for a negotiated peace in Syria, and Brahimi and Annan convinced church leaders it could happen “if there’s enough political support”.

21 September 2013


As quoted in AsiaOne


Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Russian Orthodox Church Raises Fears Over Pro-Gay Protestant Churches

Olav Fykse Tveit

Olav Fykse Tveit (1960- ), General Secretary of the WCC


Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias told the head of the World Council of Churches of his concerns over the position of some Protestant Churches towards homosexuality. WCC General Secretary Dr Olav Fykse Tveit met the Patriarch in Moscow today as part of his first visit to the Russian Orthodox Church (sic) since taking up office last September. According to the WCC, Kirill expressed a “serious concern” about some of the challenges facing ecumenical dialogue in view of what he termed the “new positions of some Protestant churches” on several important moral issues, including their understanding of homosexuality. The Episcopal Church in the USA, in particular, has pursued a liberal agenda in the last decade, consecrating its first openly-gay bishop in 2003, and consecrating its first partnered lesbian bishop this year. The actions angered traditionalist Anglicans worldwide and met with alarm from other denominations, including the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.

Dr Tveit said the discussion with the Patriarch was “frank”. He said, “His Holiness challenged the council to articulate how it can contribute to build bridges in this situation”. In spite of this, Kirill spoke of his “deep commitment” to the WCC. Dr Tveit praised the work of the Russian Orthodox Church in reaching out to youths. “The Russian Orthodox Church can play an inspiring role in the fellowship of WCC member churches”, he said. “Bringing the younger generations to the faith is a common concern for all of our member churches. We’ve learnt about some of the initiatives taken in this regard under Kirill’s leadership and I think all WCC member churches could benefit from them”.

During the last part of his visit today, Dr Tveit will meet the Very Rev Arkady Shatov, chairman of the Department for Church Charity and Social Services, a visit to the St Dmitri School of Sisters of Charity, and meetings with Russian government officials. The Russian Orthodox Church joined the WCC in 1961, and is its largest member today, with five of its representatives currently sitting on the WCC’s 150-member Central Committee. Joining him on the visit is the WCC deputy general secretary Georges Lemopoulos, as well as WCC staff members, Rev Dr Dagmar Heller (Ecumenical Institute Bossey/Faith and Order) and Fr Dr Daniel Buda (Church and Ecumenical Relations). Following the visit, the Russian Orthodox Church will host the annual meeting of the Permanent Committee on Consensus and Collaboration, which has the responsibility for continuing the dynamic of the Special Commission on Orthodox Participation in the WCC.

29 June 2010

Brian Hutt

Christian Today


Editor’s Note:

I’m not going to ignore the friendly gorilla sitting in the Barcalounger (Mr Gorilla, there’s a cold brewskie on the lamp stand and a pizza on the coffee table). So, His Nibs has a “serious concern” with overt homosexuality amongst Christians. That’s not surprising, given the Scripture’s teaching on sodomites. Do remember Nikon in Yekaterinburg in ’99… he was doctrinally solid, but he was bounced because of unnatural doings (and his highhanded treatment of his diocese didn’t help matters). Everyone knows the stories that circulated (and still circulate) about Feodosy Lazor, Peter l’Huillier, and Benjamin Peterson. There’s no need to repeat them here (I’m not saying that they’re true… I’m saying that they’re circulating… draw your own conclusion, dearies). One should mention that the konvertsy make VERY loud noises about how they’re “superior” to the rest of us as far as morality and Christian life is concerned (they don’t say such overtly, but one picks that impression up easily from all their writing). I’ll content myself by saying that they defend a certain crowd tooth-and-nail… and ignore the obvious evidence of tolerance of a certain perversity. It’s why I pay Reardon, Jacobses, Freeman, Herbel, Honeycutt et al no mind… they have no complaints about the West Village Cowboy or the Iliff cover-up, after all.

In 2009, per friends of mine, Moscow paid for three junkets by JP… two to Moscow and one to Georgia. This year… NADA. I wonder if that had anything to do with JP’s shameless kissing up to the TEC at Nashotah House? After all, KMG has “serious concern” about overt homosexuality in Christian circles… and the TEC is known for such, isn’t it? Indeed… it’s no secret; it’s rather open and notorious. Then, why did JP ink a concordat with such a body? One wonders if he discussed it with Moscow beforehand… one Moscow friend assures me that JP was called to Moscow in late ’09 not only to answer questions from the Holy Synod concerning the diaspora, but also to be taken out to the woodshed by KMG for this stupid move.

I believe that the Centre is well aware of the rumour and innuendo that surrounds many figures in American Orthodoxy. I believe that they’ve investigated the same and drawn their conclusions from it. The only reason that the OCA is still in existence is that it’s useful to the MP in its chess match with the EP… once it loses its utility, it’ll be discarded like a used tissue. Trust me, there’ll be familiar names bandied about… KMG shall have such a PIOUS look on his face… and so shall Bart.

By the way, what’ll be the effect of the end of the OCA on the normal American parish? … Zilch to nada. The Syosset/SVS superstructure is only crudely welded on to the main body of the old Metropolia. Normal parish life would go on… we’d lose some of the HOOMie parishes and a few would go over to Saliba’s bunch (especially those headed by ill-digested Espiskie converts with no real Orthodox formation)… that’s all. Most people wouldn’t even notice the passing of SVS and New Skete… they’re the lucky ones, aren’t they?


Thursday, 6 March 2008

Orthodox Should Not Join in Common Prayers with Christians of Other Confessions According to Fr Vsevolod Chaplin


Fr Vsevolod Chaplin (1968- ), deputy head of the MP DECR


According to Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the deputy head of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, it’s acceptable for Orthodox believers to pray at shrines that are holy to all Christians, but he recommended that they avoid formal joint prayer with Christians of another confession. “The Orthodox faithful can visit Catholic or Protestant churches, they can attend heterodox services, without joining the common prayer, of course, and they can say Orthodox prayers in shrines common to all Christians, all of these are permissible, it goes without saying. However, we should decline participation in common public or private prayer with the heterodox”, Fr Vsevolod said in an interview given to the newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta-Religii. In a subsequent interview with Interfax, he stressed “that he’s presenting his own personal opinion on the matter”. In his comments in the newspaper interview, Fr Vsevolod acknowledged that at the recent session of the Central Committee of the WCC held in Geneva, he didn’t take part in common prayers with the heterodox, and that all other members of the Moscow Patriarchate delegation refrained from taking part in such as well. Fr Vsevolod noted that from the ’60s through the ’90s, such involvement in joint prayer did occur, but the hope of many Orthodox participants was that this would lead to a return to the unity and faith of the ancient Church by other Christians. “Today, no one believes in earnest that such a return shall occur, therefore, almost no one in the MP approves of such joint prayer and, in my opinion, we have deepened the conciliar understanding of the Church on this question”, he remarked. In his view, “the original purpose of the WCC, to unite Christendom into a single body, is becoming ever more nebulous, and even grizzled and veteran advocates of ecumenism understand this”. However, it isn’t expedient for the MP “to leave a forum in which it’s possible to discuss such topics as economic globalisation, the ecological crisis, world conflicts, and the public role of religion”.

5 March 2008



Editor’s note:

Of course, Orthodox Christians can always pray with and for other Christians in informal settings. That’s an act of charity. Our greatest modern saints have done such and given us an excellent example to follow. Fr Vsevolod is talking about organised ecumenical services with their syncretism and indifferentism.


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