After my death our beloved Church abroad will break three ways ... first the Greeks will leave us as they were never a part of us ... then those who live for this world and its glory will go to Moscow ... what will remain will be those souls faithful to Christ and His Church. ~St. Philaret of NY


Axios! Axios! Axios!

Ordination of Father Anthony St. Nicholas Monastery. Cleveland, New York


Repose of Siméon

Memory Eternal

From Fr. Gregory:
Tue, May 31, 2011 at 2:25 PM
To: Parish

Christ is risen!  Please remember in your prayers one of our eldest parishioners at St. Augustine's in Jacmel, who reposed yesterday.  Fr. Amboise (who just returned thence) will go again on Wed. to celebrate his funeral.

Photo Essay of Ordination

Bishop Nicholas Potinsky

From previous post:
Decided: Clergy Nicholas (Modebadze) be suffragan bishop of the Chairman of the Synod for the care of parishes in the Georgian part of the ROCOR with the title "Bishop Potinsky". The consecration was performed by His Eminence Archbishop Sophronia, Bishop Cyril, Bishop Dionysius and Bishop Nikon in Voronezh temple in honor of the saints in the sec in the Russian Land shined, 16/29 May this year.

YouTube - ?ruschurchabroad's Channel?

Pascha in several Roca churches

Extraordinary Meeting of Bishops


The session of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad took place on May 14\27, 2011, in the chancery of the Church of All Saints of Russia in the city of Voronezh.  The following Synod members were present: the Most Reverend Agafangel, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York and First Hierarch and Chairman of the ROCA Synod of Bishops; the Right Reverend Sofroniy, Archbishop of St. Petersburg and Northern Russia; and the Right Reverend Afanasiy, Bishop of Vologodsk and Veliko-Ustyuzhsk.

The following were invited to attend the Synod session: the Right Reverend Ioann, Archbishop of Buinsk and Volzhsk; the Right Reverend Kirill, Bishop of Voronezh and Southern Russia; the Right Reverend Dionisiy, Bishop of Novgorod and Tver; and the Right Reverend Nikon, Bishop of Verkhoturia.

The Synod session began at 10:00 with the singing of “Christ is Risen…”
Archpriest Sergey Kondakov, Archpriest Mikhail Karpeev and Fr. Aleksandr Malykh are invited into the meeting room.

The Chairman asks the priests from the Izhevsk-Udmurtia diocese of the ROC MP, Archpriest Sergey Kondakov, Archpriest Mikhail Karpeev and Fr. Aleksandr Malykh, to speak before the bishops present at the session of the Synod of Bishops. The priests ask that they and their parishioners be accepted as parishes of the ROC Moscow Patriarchate under the omofor of the ROCA. The Chairman expresses his concern over the possibility of such an arrangement, as no such precedent exists to date in the canonical practice of the ROCA.

The decision is a serious one. The Church Abroad in the past has tried to avoid interfering in the internal matters of the Moscow Patriarchate in the hope that conditions would change inside the Church. Since May 17, 2007, such a hope is no longer realistic. Since the Moscow Patriarchate deemed it possible to accept the ROCA(MP) into its ecclesiastical body, then we, it would seem, could do the same. Personally, the Chairman favors this idea as it would set a precedent that may be an important step forward to the possible convening of a Local Council of a free Russian Orthodox Church, since the three fundamental parts of the Russian Church (ROCA, the Catacomb Church and ROC MP) which once made up the entirety of the Church, would then be represented under the omofor of the ROCA. The Chairman stresses that he is not sure of the correct answer, but that is why the bishops have met here to make a correct decision together, as there are many arguments “for” and just as many “against.”

Archpriest Sergey Kondakov relates the history surrounding the decision of this group of clerics to make public their letter announcing they would no longer commemorate the Primate of the ROC MP and the subsequent events. The priest states that a large number of the faithful have remained loyal to their clerics and support them. Presently, they oversee two parishes, but a third or fourth may join them. The parishes are named in honor of the Holy Royal Martyr St. Nicholas and St. Sergius of Radonezh. A Regulation was adopted at a General Parish Meeting which dictates their religious activity. Fr. Sergey reads the leading points of the Regulation along with comments discussing their canonical and dogmatic aspects. 

He bases the request for a special status for their parishes in the need to deflect the charge that they are “abandoning the gravely ill part of the Russian Church,” the Moscow Patriarchate, and to avoid tempting the weak-willed and to avoid turning away the many faithful who could assume an active role in the fight to cleanse the ROC MP from its tendencies toward apostasy.  A lengthy and comprehensive discussion ensues among all present on the dogmatic, canonical and administrative details involved in the acceptance of the three priests under the bishopric authority of the ROCA and the determination of the status of their parishes. The clerics from Izhevsk are apprised of the traditional views of the ROCA on the question of grace in the mysteries of the Moscow Patriarchate, the rise of globalism, so-called “patristic legacy,” and other matters.

After resolving a series of questions, the Izhevsk clerics leave the meeting room to prepare an official request to be accepted under the omofor of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.

The Chairman reads the agenda for the session.
Resolved: To approve the agenda for the Synod of Bishops session:
1. To review the request to join the ROCA.
2. To consider the matter of cleric Nikolay (Modebadze).
3. To discuss the matter of parishes in Ukraine under Bishop Iriney, Bishop of Western Europe.
4. To designate a Dean for the Sts. Cyril & Methodius seminary.
5. Other.

1. The Chairman reads a letter from the Right Reverend Gregory, Bishop of Sao Paulo and South America, on the matter. After the letter is read and discussed by the bishops, the Chairman proposes to issue a conditional Determination, which will be officially approved at the Bishops’ Council.
Resolved: After reviewing and discussing the request, the Synod of Bishops RESOLVES: That until their status is decided at the upcoming Bishops’ Council, the parish of Holy Royal Martyr Nicholas in Zavyalov, the parish of St. Sergius of Radonezh in Meshcheryak (Udmurtia oblast, RF), and priests Archpriest Sergey Kondakov, Archpriest Mikhail Karpeev and Fr. Aleksandr Malykh will be considered parishes of the Moscow Patriarchate within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad and temporarily under the authority of the First Hierarch.

2. Discussed: Archbishop Sofroniy tells of his trip to Georgia to visit the parishes under cleric Nikolay (Modebadze). A moleben was held at the parish in Poti. Archbishop Sofroniy notes that the local people and other clerics support cleric Nikolay (Modebadze). The overall impression was a good one and he feels that they can consider the proposal to consecrate cleric Nikolay (Modebadze) as a vicar bishop of Georgia.

Bishop Afanasiy agrees with Archbishop Sofroniy’s good impression and adds that cleric Nikolay (Modebadze) is planning to start a parish in Tbilisi. Bishop Afanasiy believes that parishes started by cleric Nikolay (Modebadze) have the potential to be successful.

The Chairman provides the biography and ecclesiastical history of cleric Nikolay (Modebadze) and how he was consecrated a bishop by Archbishop Ambrose (Katamadze) of the Georgian Orthodox Church. Archbishop Ambrose had at one time asked to be received under the omofor of the ROCA, but was denied largely due to the efforts of Archbishop Mark (Arendt), who feared the bad effects it would have on relations between the ROCA and so-called “World Orthodoxy.” 

The Chairman says it is not possible for ROCA to recognize the consecration of cleric Nikolay as bishop, since it occurred in the uncanonical jurisdiction of “Metropolitan” Raphael and it was performed not only by Archbishop Ambrose (Katamadze), but also “Bishop” Arseniy of that jurisdiction.

Bishop Dionisiy poses several questions in order to determine the possibility of exercising the maximum amount of ekonomia in accepting cleric Nikolay. The other bishops offer their views.

The Chairman underlines the need for a public and open consecration.

13:16 - Cleric Nikolay (Modebadze) is invited into the room.

The Chairman relates the findings of the bishops and their decision on this agenda point: he may be consecrated a vicar bishop to serve the ROCA parishes in Georgia.

Cleric Nikolay expresses the concern that his consecration as a bishop may trouble many of the faithful who received the Church Mysteries from him in the past and may lead them to question their sanctity.

The Chairman explains that all mysteries performed by cleric Nikolay in the past may not be questioned after he is accepted into the ROCA, as he was a cleric of the Georgian Orthodox Church at that time.

Cleric Nikolay agrees to be accepted into the ROCA on the terms proposed by the Synod of Bishops.  A title for the new vicar bishop is discussed.
Resolved: cleric Nikolay (Modebadze) will be named a vicar bishop of the Synod Chairman to serve the ROCA parishes in Georgia and will have the title “Bishop of Poti.” The consecration will be performed by Archbishop Sofroniy, Bishop Kirill, Bishop Dionisiy and Bishop Nikon in the All Russian Saints Church in Voronezh on May 16\29, 2011.

3. The Chairman discusses the matter of the Ukrainian parishes of Bishop Iriney. At one time, he kept the Chairman informed about the parishes and clerics in Ukraine, which Bishop Iriney was hoping to bring gradually into the ROCA. The Chairman allowed this but on certain terms that were not obeyed. Bishop Iriney has also exceeded his given authority and has acted in ways not permitted
by the canons.

Bishop Dionisiy says he was present at the discussions about the Ukrainian parishes and the three priests when Bishop Iriney was accepted into the ROCA. The First Hierarch gave Bishop Iriney his permission at that time to temporarily tend to these parishes until the three priests would be ordained by the ROCA, as they received their previous ordination from the UOC KP. Bishop Iriney shied away from fulfilling these requirements and now finds himself involved in an escapade involving the church and politics. Without condoning his actions, Bishop Dionisiy asks that allowances be made for Bishop Iriney in light of his age (72), difficulties experienced in the past and his health issues.  All the bishops participate in a discussion of the matter.

Resolved: To limit the Right Reverend Iriney, Bishop of Lyon, to the bishopric See determined by the Council Declaration (the Western European diocese and the parish in Burnoye in Kazakhstan).  All parishes served by him which are found in other dioceses must become part of those dioceses and administered by the bishops of those dioceses. Until they are accepted into those dioceses by those bishops, they are not to be considered part of the ROCA. Ordinations which took place in dioceses without the approval of the bishops of those dioceses and the Synod of Bishops will be considered invalid. Since Bishop Dionisiy was not able to attend this session, he is invited to explain the matter at the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

4. The Chairman proposes to sing “Eternal Memory” in honor of Archpriest Valeriy Alekseyev, the former Dean of the Sts. Cyril & Methodius seminary and a distinguished cleric of the ROCA, who passed on March 25 of this year, on the feast day of the Annunciation of the Holy Theotokos.

The bishops and all attendees sing “Eternal Memory” in honor of Archpriest Valeriy Alekseyev.

The Chairman proposes to name the Right Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad and Belgorod- Dnestrovsk as the Dean of the Sts. Cyril & Methodius seminary.
Resolved: To name the Right Reverend Georgiy, Bishop of Bolgrad and Belgorod-Dnestrovsk as the Dean of the Sts. Cyril & Methodius seminary.

The Request to accept the three priests of the Izhevsk-Udmurtia diocese of the ROC MP is presented.

After the bishops listen to the reading of the Request and hold a short discussion, the Chairman proposes that along with this Request, an Act announcing the joining of these priests to the ROCA should be formulated and it should include a clear and precise declaration which dogmatic deviations of the ROC MP they renounce.  The bishops agree to the First Hierarch’s proposal.

5. The Chairman and the bishops discuss matters relating to the ROCA parish in the Washington, D.C. area.

Archbishop Sofroniy relates that a priest in his diocese, Fr. Georgiy Galets, has gone over to the Old Believer Church, which also baptized him.  The bishops note that such an action, baptizing a person a second time, is a blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

Archbishop Sofroniy proposes defrocking Fr. Georgiy Galets.
Resolved: To defrock Fr. Georgiy Galets, as he has rejected all ordinations performed over him by the ROCA.

Bishop Nikon discusses the issues in Ishim involving Hieromonk Ermogena and Fr. Sergey.  A discussion of the matter follows.
Resolved: To ask Archbishop Sofroniy to look into the matter and bring peace to parish life in Ishim.

The session of the Synod of Bishops concluded at 15:20 with the singing of “The Angel cried...”

+Metropolitan AGAFANGEL
+Archbishop SOFRONIY
+Archbishop IOANN
+Bishop KIRILL
+Bishop NIKON

More Wonderful News!

(Former MP) Three priests and parishes of Udmurtia, join ROCA and Met. Agafangel


 28/05/1911. Priests of Udmurtia: Archpriest Sergei Kondakov, Michael Karpeev and Priest Alexander Lesser with supporting their parishes were reunited with the Russian Orthodox Church.


We reported April 4 about three clergy from the Izhevsk and Udmurtyia
Diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) -- Archpriest Sergey Kondakov,
Archpriest Mikhail Karpeev and Fr. Aleksandr Maliy -- who wrote an open
letter asking Patriarch Kirill to take steps to rid the MP of Sergianism
and ecumenism.  In sending the letter, the priests said that they would
cease commemorating the Patriarch.  In response, MP Metropolitan Nikolai
of Izhevsk and Udmurtyia issued an ukaz April 1 forbidding these priests
from serving, and police came to change the locks at their churches to
prevent them from gaining access.

The three priests -- Archpriest Sergey Kondakov, Archpriest Mikhail
Karpeev and Fr. Aleksandr Maliy -- and their parishes have now joined
They met with Metropolitan Agafangel May 28.

For photos of both events please go to Metropolitan Agafangel's website at


Russia today America tomorrow

The prophecy of the holy and clairvoyant Elder Ignaty of Harbin, made some 30 years ago, no longer seems remote: 
"What began in Russia, will end in America."

Bitter Fruits of Sweet Captivity

Is now in pdf form and available for download:

Wonderful News!

Toronto, Canada-Holy Resurrection Church, Priest & Parish abandons MP-union, and returns to our ROCA
Photo and short story-

A joyous event has occurred in our Russian Orthodox Church AbroadExactly 4 years after the signing of the Act of the union of a part of the ROCA with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP), the ROCOR(MPChurch of the Holy Resurrection in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has rejoined our Church
During the week of the Samaritan Woman, the Right Reverend Andronik, Archbishop of Ottawa and Canada, received the parish and served with its rector, Fr. Georgiy Sachevskiy, and Protodeacon Job Chemerov

ROCA members in Toronto, who did not have their own parish but had remained loyal to our Church Abroad, joined in the jubilant event. ROCA members from London, Ontario, who also did not have a church or a pastor, were also present

The parishioners who had remained true to the ROCA for four years, but were left without a church or a priest, experienced much joy as they joined with the parishioners of the Resurrection parish

Everyone felt a great spiritual uplifting during the service and it was like the joy felt on the first day of PaschaMany remarked that the presence of Gods blessing was strongly felt

After the celebratory Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Andronik welcomed Fr. Georgiy and all the parishioners of the Church of the Holy Resurrection

Fr. Georgiy then expressed his thanks to Archbishop Andronik

A festive lunch was held after the Liturgy for all the parishioners and guests.

Letter from George Priest Archbishop Andronicus
Dearest Vladiko Andronik.
In my name as Rector including the Church Council of our parish of the Holy Resurrection, 213 Winona Dr, Toronto, ON., Canada we extend to you our deepest gratitude and joy regarding our return, long over due, to the True Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, You are on the righteous path and we feel no other place for us to be.
Being a careful and vigilant priest, I chose my moves very carefully, never with the slightest doubt that we would soon be together again.
The situation and timing is clearly God's Will. now and always. Our time has come. after a short time in error, to not quiver or be frightened by the agents of the evil one.
Please pray for us, those mandated to carry this cross, families and pious believers.
I look forward soon to co-concelebrate with you and move forward in such fashion.
Rev. Rector, George Sachewsky and the Council.

Welcome Home!
Holy Resurrection Church!

Visit their website which has a photo of the Church

A Glimpse Back at the Plot

Minutes of the ROCOR Bishops’ Synod 
September 2005

Participants: Metropolitan Lavr; Archbishops Alypy, Mark, Kyrill; 
Bishops Gabriel, Michael, Agapit and Peter

On those same dates was heard Archpriest Aleksandr Lebedev’s report on the latest meeting of the two negotiating committees, which occurred in July, 2005, in Moscow. His Excellence Bishop Evtikhii participated in the meeting replacing Bishop Ambroise, who could not attend due to illness. Fr. Aleksandr handed all the hierarchs folders containing documents from the 5th joint session. The first document, a communiqué from the 5th session, was read. It explains that “discussions of church-canonical matters occurred during the session. They went on to discuss the status of several clerics and parishes of the Russian Church Abroad which are currently located on the territory of the MP, and (ROCOR’s) association with other groups that do not have relations with the primary Orthodox churches.”

The Protocol of the 5th joint meeting of the MP Commission for negotiations with the Russian Church Abroad and the Russian Church Abroad Commission for negotiations with the MP was read. The Protocol of the Subcommittee containing Archpriest Nikolay Balashov and Archpriest Vladislav Tsypin from the MP side and Archimandrite Luke and Archpriest Aleksandr Lebedev was read. This Protocol discusses the difficult question of the canonical status of clerics who went over to either one or the other side, many of which did so under censure.

All the information regarding clerics who were accepted from the MP has not been received from several of our hierarchs.

Bishop Michael says he disagrees with the point in the Protocol of the latest session of the commissions about the illegitimacy of our parishes on the canonical territory of the MP. Bishop Michael believes that since we are also a part of the Russian Church, our parishes in Russia cannot be considered uncanonical.

Met. Lavr says we are also the Russian Church and we had the right to accept the parishes in Russia that appealed to us at one time to come under our omofor.

Fr. Aleksandr reads the section under point #3 in the Protocol of the 5th session, which describes the proposal to sever Eucharistic communion with the Old-Calendar Greek, Romanian and Bulgarian groups, who disagree with our possible Eucharistic communion with the MP. It was decided to resolve this question at the next Bishops’ Synod in 2006.

Fr. Aleksandr says that at all the meetings, B. Mark insists that the MP return at least one piece of property taken away from us in the past.

Met. Lavr says that would help matters greatly, and would calm down many of the faithful of our church in light of the ongoing negotiations. Following that, Met. Lavr notes that point #9 in the Protocol from the last session discusses the question of how to facilitate the conversion of people to Orthodoxy. Metropolitan believes that we should not change our requirements, for example insisting on baptism with total immersion for Catholic converts.

Fr. Aleksandr says the question of Eucharistic communion between ROCOR and the MP is still unresolved. Therefore, the main topic for discussion at the next meeting of the commissions will be the resolution of all questions preventing Eucharistic communion. Along with that, Fr. Aleksandr reminds everyone the folders also contain a draft copy of the Act announcing Eucharistic communion, which also describes the after effects of our canonical union.

Met. Lavr says that this proposed canonical union contains several points which may lead to a schism, as many of our clergy and parishioners will not accept them.
The meeting concluded at 8 PM with the singing of a prayer.

Wednesday, September 7 (August 25)
The meeting began at 9 AM with a prayer and in the presence of the Kursk Mother of God icon. The same hierarchs participated in this meeting as in the previous day.

Wednesday, September 7 (August 25)
Fr. Aleksandr Lebedev continues his report.
The “Act of Canonical Union,” which is found in the folders, is read.
Met. Lavr says that the 4th point, which states that the Moscow Patriarch will designate the ROCOR hierarch, needs to be clarified to explain that only in some unusual instances that involve canonical questions, would the ROCOR hierarch not be designated by the Patriarch.

Fr. Aleksandr says that Metropolitan’s comment on this point will be taken into account by both committees at the next meeting.
The 5th point from the draft of the canonical union is read, which states that “The (ROCOR) hierarch’s name will be commemorated during every liturgy in every ROCOR parish after the name of the Patriarch of Moscow and All-Russia.”

B. Michael says that the Patriarch has not been commemorated for 80 years and that we do not yet officially recognize him as such. Our flock will not understand why this order of names is necessary. The flock has to be prepared for this and that first all DOUBT has to be removed regarding such a commemoration.

B. Peter says that we find ourselves in a particular situation and they must take this into account. When the time comes and our flock will calmly accept this commemoration, then we can discuss this question.

Fr. Aleksandr reads the 7th point of the Act, which discusses the Moscow Patriarch’s approval of all bishops chosen by ROCOR.
Archbishop Kyrill says that this point, like the 4th point, has to be clarified to note that only in some unusual instances that involve canonical questions, would the ROCOR bishops not be designated by the Patriarch. Etc, etc.

held on September 6 & 7, 2005 
(At the monastery at Jordanville, NY)

Dr. Eugene Magerovsky commented:
This may seem like an April Fool’s joke, but unfortunately, it is not. What really interests me is why this was kept under wraps for seven months? When I received this recently from an acquaintance, I simply could not believe my eyes. The parish priests know nothing about this, let alone the flock. It is interesting to consider what else is not being shared with us? Apparently, this is being done in the hope that we will not notice, and when we finally realize what is going on, it will be already too late and our descent into subservience to evil will be complete. ELM



The night of May 20-21, the new church of the ROCA Parish of Holy
Ascension was burglarized in
Barnaul, Russia. The church was locked after the All Night Vigil the
evening of May 20.  The next day,
when the parish priest arrived to conduct the Liturgy, he discovered that
the lock to the church was torn off and the
church door was open.  The intruders took two vestments and altar vessels.
They did not take money from the church and
other valuable church articles.  There was evidence that they had tried to
start a fire.

According to Father Georgiy (Titov) the parish summoned the police.  But
they seemed more interested in how the
parish found the means to acquire the church property than in
investigating the crime.


Appeal for Books

Eastern Orthodox Saints - O/S, not in library; copy needed
Sabine Baring-Gould

History of the Arians - O/S, not found in library
St. Athanasius the Great

These are the two Eastern Orthodox Book publications we are seeking.   However, we might be interested in other writings published by EOB.  Please let us know if you find EOB materials that have not been republished by SJKP.

O/S means out of stock

New York Times Article

Was It Something I Wrote?
Published: May 21, 2011


IT’S a warm evening in the summer of 2010. I am leaving a cafe in the very center of Moscow when I notice my car is missing its license plate. I know what this means: I am being followed.

Because the senior officers in the F.S.B. (the main successor to the Soviet K.G.B.) don’t trust their agents, they demand not only an account of the subject’s movements but additional proof, in the form of a license plate, that the observation is being carried out, that the report is not made up, that the target is indeed being followed. It would be silly to pretend that I am not afraid. I am afraid.

I call my friend Marina Litvinovich, an editor who has had many years of experience dealing with the Russian security services. More than once she has been attacked on the street. When this happens they call you by name, beat you half to death, then leave you, taking no money or valuables, thereby ensuring that you never, even for a moment, think you have just been mugged.

“Marinka, what do I do if my license plate has been unscrewed from my car?”

“Look through the car,” Marina answers gravely. “They could have planted a gun, drugs or extremist literature. But I wouldn’t particularly worry about explosives. They don’t usually blow up journalists.”

In conversations like these, “they” always means the same thing: the security services, the government, the ones in power.

I look over the car, first the outside, then the inside, at once anxious and amused. No guns, no drugs, no literature, besides the copy of the Declaration of Children’s Rights I’d left there that morning. It is especially peculiar to turn the ignition key. God forgive me! I turn the key, and there is no explosion. Am I paranoid? Perhaps. Alas, as in the old axiom, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.

I have been advised that it is best not to inform the police that my license plate has been removed, or that I suspect it is tied to my activities as a journalist. If I do, an investigation will commence.  But the police will not want to question the security services. They will simply impound my car for a few months, maybe a year. What would I do without a car? Tomorrow I have to drive to the Vladimir region northeast of Moscow for a work assignment. By car, it will take a few hours, but without one, the trip involves a train and two buses and takes two days. And so, in order to get a new license plate, I explain to the police that the old one fell off all by itself.

But perhaps I can complain to the security services directly. I say to my editor: “Let’s file a formal query with the F.S.B. Why are they following me?”

He fires back: “And what exactly will we say? That they took your license plate?”

He understands exactly what the unscrewed plate means. And I understand exactly what he means by refusing to get involved: businesses won’t advertise in a newspaper that has provoked the government.

A few days later, I am detained at a train station. A policeman stops me as I am about to board, demanding to see my documents. I demand to see a warrant, and he displays a creased fax. I can’t make anything of it; it shows neither my name nor any cause of complaint.

Ten minutes later he lets me go, just in time to make the train. Now I am angry. I call into the radio station Echo of Moscow and tell the host what has happened. One minute later I hear: “The well-known journalist Valery Panyushkin has been detained for questioning by the F.S.B.” The radio station calls the security services’ press representative, wanting to know what I am suspected of, but the representative says there is no information. Still, I feel better: now everything is public, exposed, and this is preferable to being the silent victim of concealed forces.

I try to make out what might have aroused the government’s interest. Was it my article about the shortage of medicine for people with H.I.V., or the one on how the police protect a studio that produces child pornography? Was it my report that the F.S.B. has forbidden the export of blood samples from Russia to protect the profits it makes from the market in donated bone marrow?  Could it be because I once juxtaposed Barack Obama at his inauguration, striding through a crowd of supporters lining Pennsylvania Avenue, with Dmitri Medvedev, riding toward his swearing-in in a bulletproof car through streets emptied for the occasion?

It must have been something I wrote a few years ago. I no longer write about politics because it increasingly feels pointless to do so in a country with no real public involvement in political life.  But whatever it was that angered the government, as with many things in Russia, there is no way of knowing.

We do not know who ordered the killing of Anna Politkovskaya, the journalist and human rights activist, nor why. She accused the president of Chechnya of kidnapping and murder. Was this the cause?

We do not know who savagely attacked the journalist Oleg Kashin, nor why. He criticized a highway that municipal authorities planned to build through the middle of a forest, angering those who stood to gain by it. Was this the cause? We do not know because the crimes were not fully investigated. In crimes like these, the hired killers can sometimes be found, but never the people who paid them. Journalists covering the cases know only one thing for sure: that they are in danger as well. But these threats are not the worst of it.

Imagine that Bob Woodward reports on Watergate, and the next day there is only silence; no one responds, no one investigates. Anna Politkovskaya reported dozens of Watergates, but none of her revelations have been seriously pursued; the prosecutors, the Parliament, her colleagues at the official newspapers have remained silent. No one has fully investigated Oleg Kashin’s disclosures. An investigation did result from my reporting on child pornography, but someone tipped off those involved, and all the suspects disappeared.

In Russia today, journalists are murdered like Anna Politkovskaya, beaten like Oleg Kashin and intimidated like me, but — as terrible as this will sound — that is not the real problem. The real problem is that journalists are ignored. The risks they take in challenging Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchy have ceased to have meaning. One is valued only for telling a harmless story, an amusing anecdote that can exist, side by side, with ad space.
Valery Panyushkin is the author of the forthcoming “12 Who Don’t Agree: The Battle for Freedom in Putin’s Russia.” This essay was translated by Yevgeniya Traps from the Russian.

Genesis, Creation and Early Man

We can easily guess why Platina refuses to reprint Russia's Catacomb Saints.  If it does get reprinted, it will be a "revised" version.  Russia's Catacomb Saints is powerfully anti-Sergianistic and it offends the MP.

But why does Platina refuse to reprint Genesis, Creation and Early Man?  This book upsets no political agenda.  

The reason just might be found in a report given by a RocoMP priest at a symposium on faith vs. science held in Boston in 2009.  Here is the telling excerpt from the report:

...There are several reasons why Bishop Alexander's commentary upset some members of the audience in Cleveland. First, it contradicted what was taught at St. Herman's Youth Conferences for nearly 20 years before, namely, that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, we must understand «day» in Genesis as a literal 24 hour period as today, true scientists really don't believe in evolution and any attempt at reconciling evolution with Orthodoxy is at best an error and perhaps even a heresy. This view is rather wide spread in Russia today as well. These arguments were repeatedly made by Priest Nikita Grigoriev who presented this view again at the youth conference the following year in Montreal in 2004. Father Nikita stated that Bishop Alexander was wrong and he (Fr. Nikita) was sent to «set the record straight». Needless to say, this only led to more confusion and among the Orthodox youth.

The second reason why Bishop Alexander's approach troubled some of the older members of the conference was the influence of Father Seraphim Rose.  Father Seraphim Rose was an American convert to Orthodoxy in the 1960s and jointly founded the St. Herman’s Monastery in Platina California. A prolific writer and translator who died rather young at the age of 48 in 1982, Father Seraphim has become an authority within some Orthodox circles in both Russia and the West. In the 1970s until his repose, Father Seraphim wrote many letters, articles and gave a number of lectures strongly arguing against the idea of incorporating an evolutionary model within Orthodoxy. In 2000 the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood published a 700 page collection of Father Seraphim's work on creation. Versions of Father Seraphim's thoughts on creation and evolution have appeared in Russia as well. Thus the critical reaction among some to Bishop Alexander's lecture in Cleveland in 2002 can be explained by the influence of both Father Seraphim Rose and Priest Nikita Grigoriev on segments of that audience.

            Several points I believe need to be made about Father Seraphim's «Genesis, Creation and Early Man» in the context of our symposium. Father Seraphim's postmortem monograph -- although rich in quoting the Church Fathers and has much that  is healthy --  is rather narrow in scope vis-à-vis the question of science. Very little mention is made about science at all, and in discussing the six days of creation, he almost completely ignores astronomy and cosmology. His main concern is fighting against scientific culture and its pretense to control the minds of men. Therefore, he feared that any acceptance of evolution among Orthodox will sooner or later lead to agnosticism, since evolution seeks to explain the appearance of man without God.  I would suggest that it is very likely that specialists in patristics may come to a different conclusion on Church Fathers vis-à-vis the creation of the world....

The full report is in the Jordanville Seminary News Archive:

Faith and Delusion

our Fr. Nikita [Grigoriev] has written and published a book.

Faith And Delusion          

By Father Nikita Grigoriev
  • Published: May, 2011
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)           
  • Pages: 240
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781426969539

This book is a giant jig-saw puzzle that took a lifetime to put together. The author has always been driven by a need to know, really know, and understand the essence of things and how they all relate to each other. To that end, he has studied many things, lived and worked in many countries and learned to do many different things. This book is the result of much reflection and inspiration in putting all the pieces together. This is an eagle's eye view of the human story from Adam to the Antichrist. It is the story of man's relationship with God, full of remarkable insight and touching compassion and inspiration. This is the story of the war against God for the heart of man. It is a unique and unprecedented book in its scope, clarity and conciseness.
to order the book:

SJKP Features

The Narrow Path: The Life of a Priest's Wife in Poetry; Matushka Tatiana Federoff. A charming collection of poems which should entice just about anyone. Many of them are specific to the life of an Orthodox priest's wife, many of them of far more general interest (nature, family, words and thoughts). A welcome diversion from "headier" reading, something to come back to from time to time for a fresh insight, or an echo of one's own life. Highly recommended.
Item# 3438. Spiral-bound, 5.5x8.5" $20.00
The Ark of Salvation; St. Edward Brotherhood. A Young Adult's Guide to the Orthodox Church. A remarkably comprehensive treatment, equally suitable for someone who has grown up in the Church and for a newcomer, this work sets out the basic tenets of the Faith, provides a guide to the services and Mysteries of the Church, and moves on to "life" issues as diverse as fasting, music, sexuality and relationships, medical issues and evolution. The language and style are readily accessible to any competent reader from pre-teen on, yet valuable for "young adults" in their golden years. The treatment avoids equally harsh pharisaism and mushy liberalism. Highly recommended. JUST RELEASED.
Item# 3437. Perfect-bound, 6x9" $20.00.
trans. Isaac Lambertsen
Akathist hymn for 00.16.
Item# 1570. (DC: S) . $2.60

The Coming Pseudo-Council


Folks in world Orthodoxy have been welcoming, defending, and/or
tolerating injuries to the Holy Church for some time.

Now, with the coming psuedo-council, we see that world Orthodoxy has
come to the threshold of union with Rome [again].  And a big rend is
expected in world Orthodoxy, because many folks in world Orthodoxy
will not accept union with Rome - this is where they draw the line.
Where will these folks go?  Where will they find refuge?

Will they want to come to ROCOR?  And bring with them their beardless
priests, their communing of heretics, their new calendar, their
abbreviated services, their rewritten histories, their heroes like
Schmemann, Meyendorff, and Bloom, their willful blindness to
Antichrist, their pews, their masons?  God forbid!  Maybe a few will
wake up to these horrors and desire to correct these things; but most,
I think, will instead want to start their own new world Orthodox
jurisdiction for themselves without the Romans.

When the OCA imposed the new calendar on its parishes [except for
Alaska, where they could not pull it off], certain parishes that
refused to go on the new calendar came over to ROCOR.   That is where
they drew the line - the only thing that mattered to them was keeping
the old calendar.  For some this was just to be able to keep the
Russian Christmas they grew up with.  For others this was because
their parents had taught them to fight to the death for the old
calendar.  We know what happened to these parishes -  most all of them
went with the RocorMP union.  Well, they got to keep their Russian
Christmas, didn't they?

Some in world Orthodoxy don't mind the Romans, and they tolerate most
of the new calendar, but draw the line at Pascha.  If ever world
Orthodoxy succeeds in changing Pascha to coincide with the world's
Easter, then that is where these folks will draw the line.

Some Russians in ROCOR fled to the OCA because of the RocorMP union.
Their parents had taught them never to set foot in an MP church.  And
some Americans also fled to the OCA not wanting to be in a commie
church.  Do neither of these folks realize that the OCA is also an MP/commie

This reminds me of the vision of St. Macarius that Metropolitan Vitaly
recalls in his report [see previous post 5/8/11].   One way or
another, depending on their taste, all these have been lured into
world Orthodoxy.

So, what's the conclusion or the moral to the story?  Be grateful we
belong to the ROCOR.  Cherish this Church, and let no compromise
adulterate Her beauty.  Don't draw any lines - no flirting allowed -
be faithful [chaste].