Friday, August 31, 2012

Olga The last High Duchess

"Olga The last High Duchess", 
Some photos and history from Old Russia
-shared by Abbess Juliana in Chile

Dear Daniel
If you will have the patience, you can hear some English only, at the  end of the film.  The video is about HRH Olga the youngest sister of the Royal Martyr Nicholas II- maybe it will be interesting to some old Russians,
It says: Olga the last high duchess

Letter From OCA Bp. Matthias

On-going turmoil inside of the OCA: "Letter to Clergy & Faithful, From Chicago Bp. Matthias"

Date: Friday, August 31, 2012
Dear Clergy and Faithful of the Diocese of the Midwest,
Christ is in our midst!
It is with regret that I inform you that a formal complaint was made against me last Friday, August 24, 2012. The allegations are that I made unwelcome written and spoken comments to a young woman that she regarded as an inappropriate crossing of personal boundaries and an abuse of my pastoral authority. I deny these allegations and I plan to respond in due course. 
According to the OCA's policies, I am on paid administrative leave until the investigation is completed. Fr. John Zdinak, the Chancellor of the Diocese, will be the temporary administrator in my absence.
Please pray for all of us who are involved in this matter.
Your Shepherd in Christ,
Bishop of Chicago and the Midwest

Were Is the OCA going?...will Moscow 'save it', from itself?...or who?

"PUT not your trust in man, for vain is the help of man!"

Category: Another update on the on-going internal MESS that the American OCA, dependent spiritually on the Moscow MP, as it's 'Patriarchate', has seemed to have become:

See: .......August 31, 2012  12:15 AM

"Statement from His Grace Bp. Mathias, to the Clergy and Faithful of the Midwestern Diocese" (OCA)-

*Regarding why he has just been 'disciplined' ( or in fact, suspended, from his episcopal duties, while being  officially/formally investigated for these new charges of sexual impropriety) by the OCA central administration.

Comment: Currently, on many levels, the OCA is in dire internal flux, from top to bottom, basically, suffering from a lack of trust and confidence, and is perhaps, in a self-destruct mode. Truly, it does seem so, mainly to members of it.

We hear of numerous reports of average local laity, seeking... 'other jurisdictions',  to flee to.

Unfortunately, with the overall general OCA Russian-church  historical ignorance/American typical-naiveté, of both many of their clergy and laity, of what is the true HISTORICAL nature and real purpose, of the still KGB/FSB Putin run, Joseph Stalin founded in 1943, still to this very day enslaved totally uncanonical/Sergianist... 'Moscow Patriarchy', ...a bogus 'church' organization, many such unhappy American OCA people, honestly struggling to BE ORTHODOX CHRISTIANS, are openly saying that they wish to ...join ROCOR/MP....or... MP parishes!. seeing such entities, as  more solidly Orthodox/SAFER spiritually, than their crumbling 'autocephalous' OCA.

***How many poor American OCA members actually still believe the original major communist lie, that the Stalin-appointed "Pat. Sergius Stragorodsky, 'SAVED THE CHURCH'" !!!.. and thus, his KGB agent, successors, are real Russian patriarchs!

Others are searching for local Antiochean or EP-Greek or other Ethnic Orthodox parishes, anything BUT the OCA!

Many inside the OCA are openly wondering, if they can ever... find or have, decent, sane, moral, STABLE Orthodox... bishops, truly holy men that they can trust, & fully respect,  and follow. 

And in all this mess, MOTHER-CHURCH, MOSCOW...has it's arms ever open to receive, en masse, the disgruntled American OCA refugees (fleeing ....from their own, MP-granted,  1970 granted 'autocephaly'?)

Rd. Daniel Everiss...
loyal to our ROCA under our honorable and trustworthy Metropolitan Agafangel (Pashkovsky) who heads our Synod which is, the true continuation of the old/free Russian Church Abroad, which was and now still is, the lawful/canonical, genuine continuation of the Exile Russian Church, blessed to exist by Holy Confessor, St.  Patriarch Tikhon –the last real Russian Patriarch! of the pre-Bolshevik church in Russia.
Not any of the: OCA, nor the ROCOR/MP nor the MP itself, fits this qualification or legitimacy.

*For a taste of this internal OCA dissention and confusion, read some of this OCA dissenter's blog, (generally, the OCA member, blog owner ....George Michalopoulos,.. is a  pro-Jonah-Paffhausen, loyalist, and himself critical of his own OCA administration), read... especially the many comments from OCA folks, both clergyand laity,  under the main articles:

Thursday, August 30, 2012


"Smiles on every face!"

FW: SHARING: Glowing/Happy MP & ROCOR/MP & OCA-hierarchs, (i.e., including, 'resigned'?, Met. Jonah)

Category: What our former old-ROCOR, now in slavishly in union with the MP, bishops, priests, and brothers and sisters are up to:
These accounts, dealing with Fort Ross celebrations and the SF diocese of ROCOR/MP.

One can be also assured, that at all of these 'Russian' celebrations, as is always the case in San Francisco activities of the 'Russian Colony' there, that representatives of the Putin-Russian Federation Government, were in doubt, 'praying and crossing themselves and lighting candles'.

Afterall, in their twisted KGB/FSB mind, all "Russians" in the entire world, BELONG body & soul, to the Putin regime and it's MP-'church'!

Below here, is the ecstatic report from an OCA priest, of the recent 200 Year Founding Celebration at Ft. Ross, California, by a collage of ROCOR/MP hierarchs, OCA-'resigned' Met. Jonah, and a collection of visiting/'guest'  MP hierarchs and other clergy ... all one big happy family!,  


... and all of them there, subservient to the KGB run, pseudo-'Russian Church' named 'The Moscow Patriarchia' founded in 1943 by Comrade Uncle Joseph Stalin!

1) photo of Met. Hilarion-Kapral next to OCA Met. Jonah, as the two chief & main celebrants, in the San Francisco ROCOR/MP Cathedral, for Dormition: ....which church was built by St. John Maximovitch, and their 'celebrations' in the presence of his relics!  (other MP hierarchs are also in the church, or serving at other ROCOR/MP altars in the SF area).

2) "Feast of the Dormition @ SF (ROCOR/MP) Cathedral of Holy Virgin Mary"        read- the entire descriptions......on Archb. Kyrill'-Dmitrieff's diocesan web..  And, one can choose either the Russian version or the English version-as this is a VERY slick web site.

3) From: "Archpriest Basil Rhodes"
      To: yahoogroup
      Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:55:03 AM
      Subject: Re: Ft Ross

Fort Ross was a wonderful, and inspiring love feast.

I also served Dormition Vigil last evening at the Cathedral "Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow"
(ROCOR) with Metropolitans Jonah and Hilarion, Archbishops Benjamin, Kyrill, Justinian,
& Bishop Feodosiy. Two OCA deacons served, along with ROCOR deacons. All of
our clergy served together. There were smiles and genuine friendliness everywhere.
If the goal of the divine services is to be united with and in Christ...there it was!


On Aug 28, 2012, at 9:09 AM, John Beal wrote:

*.... For more than a century America had no other Orthodox Church save the
Russian Orthodox, or as it was then known, the Russian Greek-Catholic

Great missionaries of the Russian land, such as St. Innocent (Veniaminov)
and St. Tikhon, the future Patriarch of All Russia, strove here for a
unified national church. And in this missionary work, they were motivated
by one desire alone: to bring the light of Christian faith to as many
people as possible, regardless of ethnicity or mother tongue. Today the
Orthodox Church in America, though divided into multiple jurisdictions,
keeps the heritage of Russian missionaries and remembers them as pillars
and founders of Orthodoxy in this land.

*Interesting words by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) at Fort Ross.
Interesting because good, but also because 'Orthodox Church in America' is used ambiguously.  It could mean the autocephalous Orthodox Church in America - but in church life the word autocephalous has often been used in such statements, especially by the Russian Church - or it could mean simply the generality of the Orthodox Church in America, that is the sum of all Orthodox in America, which would be perhaps the correct reading in light of the subsequent use of the term 'jurisdictions' and the statement earlier in the paragraph that *over a million people profess the Orthodox faith* in America.

The significance of this celebration, and related local celebrations over
the weekend, and the phrasing of this statement may bear some deep thinking.

Indeed, I was already thinking, ruminating, worrying about what the
subtle language of liturgy would convey at Ft Ross' anniversary.
Worrying about how the status of the OCA was be presented there in an
overwhelmingly Russian cultural setting. Metr. Hilarion Alfeyev's
intentional problematizaton of the phrase "Orthodox Church in America"
by the representative of the Autocephaly that once fostered the OCA's
says a lot. To me, it says that we can forget about the MP 'having the
OCA's back' and that North America is open territory for jurisdictional jockeying, the OCA enjoying no place of privilege in the face of the Chambesy mandate and the reality of a fractured Orthodox jurisdictional administration, under increased immigration and resultant re-ethnification of church life.

The Metr. lays it out simply: Russia maintains the honor of historical
pre-eminence here by virtue of actual sole diocesan organization;
Orthodox Church in America is not a 'brand name' of our autocephalous
church but a general term semantically on par with "Orthodoxy in.. and
"Orthodox churches in..." The OCA as such, from this speech, enjoys no
special distinction as far as Moscow is concerned, no mandate to serve
the faithful of all nations here.

I would like to hear from people who went to Ft Ross about their impressions.

Fr John

Monday, August 27, 2012

Obama is not black...

FW: General Sharing: "Obama is not black...",,, and, he NEVER tells the truth about anything!-here is further proof

Category: The American political scene: Our disgraceful and incompetent current Liar-President:
PLEASE SHARE these gems of truth, so that everyone finally wakes up about this pathetic man!
If he wins another 4 years, America is finished.


1.) Selma March, Got Me Born - NOT EXACTLY, your parents felt safe enough to have you in 1961 - Selma had no effect on your birth, as Selma was in 1965.
(Google 'Obama Selma ' for his full March 4, 2007 speech and articles about its various untruths.) ! !

2.) Father Was A Goat Herder - NOT EXACTLY, he was a privileged, well educated youth, who went on to work with the Kenyan Government. 

3.) Father Was A Proud Freedom Fighter - NOT EXACTLY, he was part of one of the most corrupt and violent governments Kenya has ever had. 

4.) My Family Has Strong Ties To African Freedom - NOT EXACTLY; your cousin Raila Odinga has created mass violence in attempting to overturn a legitimate election in 2007, in Kenya . It is the first widespread violence in decades. The current government is pro-American but Odinga wants to overthrow it and establish Muslim Sharia law. Your half-brother, Abongo Obama, is Odinga's follower. You interrupted your New Hampshire campaigning to speak to Odinga on the phone. Check out the following link for verification of that....and for more. 

Obama's cousin Odinga in Kenya ran for president and tried to get Sharia Muslim law in place there. When Odinga lost the elections, his followers have burned Christians' homes and then burned men, women and children alive in a Christian church where they took shelter... Obama SUPPORTED his cousin before the election process here started. Google Obama and Odinga and see what you get. No one wants to know the truth. 

5.) My Grandmother Has Always Been A Christian - NOT EXACTLY, she does her daily Salat prayers at 5am according to her own interviews. Not to mention, Christianity wouldn't allow her to have been one of 14 wives to1 man. 

6.) My Name is African Swahili - NOT EXACTLY, your name is Arabic and 'Baraka' (from which Barack came) means 'blessed' in that language. Hussein is also Arabic and so is Obama. 

Barack Hussein Obama is not half black. He is the first Arab-American President, not the first black President. Barack Hussein Obama is 50% Caucasian from his mother's side and 43.75% Arabic and 6.25% African Negro from his father's side. While Barack Hussein Obama's father was from Kenya , his father's family was mainly Arabs.. Barack Hussein Obama's father was only 12.5% African Negro and 87.5% Arab (his father's birth certificate even states he's Arab, not African Negro). Go to:

7.) I Never Practiced Islam - NOT EXACTLY, you practiced it daily at school, where you were registered as a Muslim and kept that faith for 31 years, until your wife made you change, so you could run for office. 

4-3-08 Article 'Obama was 'quite religious in Islam''
8.) My School In Indonesia Was Christian - NOT EXACTLY, you were registered as Muslim there and got in trouble in Koranic Studies for making faces (check your own book). 

February 28, 2008. Kristoff from the New York Times: Mr. Obama recalled the opening lines of the Arabic call to prayer, reciting them with a first-rate accent. In a remark that seemed delightfully uncalculated (it'll give Alabama voters heart attacks), Mr. Obama described the call to prayer as 'one of the prettiest sounds on Earth at sunset.' This is just one example of what Pamela is talking about when she says 'Obama's narrative is being altered, enhanced and manipulated to whitewash troubling facts.' 

9.) I Was Fluent In Indonesian - NOT EXACTLY, not one teacher says you could speak the language. 

10.) Because I Lived In Indonesia , I Have More Foreign Experience - NOT EXACTLY, you were there from the ages of 6 to 10, and couldn't even speak the language. What did you learn except how to study the Koran and watch cartoons? 

11.) I Am Stronger On Foreign Affairs - NOT EXACTLY, except for Africa (surprise) and the Middle East (bigger surprise); you have never been anywhere else on the planet and thus have NO experience with our closest allies. 

12.) I Blame My Early Drug Use On Ethnic Confusion - NOT EXACTLY, you were quite content in high school to be Barry Obama, no mention of Kenya and no mention of struggle to identify - your classmates said you were just fine 

13.) An Ebony Article Moved Me To Run For Office - NOT EXACTLY, Ebony has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist. 

14.) A Life Magazine Article Changed My Outlook On Life - NOT EXACTLY, Life has yet to find the article you mention in your book. It doesn't, and never did, exist. 

15.) I Won't Run On A National Ticket In '08 - NOT EXACTLY, despite saying, live on TV, which you would not have enough experience by then, and you are all about having experience first. 

16.) Voting 'Present' is Common In Illinois Senate - NOT EXACTLY, they are common for YOU, but not many others have 130 NO VOTES. 

17.) Oops, I Miss-voted - NOT EXACTLY, only when caught by church groups and Democrats, did you beg to change your misvote. 

18.) I Was A Professor Of Law - NOT EXACTLY; you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE. 

19.) I Was A Constitutional Lawyer - NOT EXACTLY, you were a senior lecturer ON LEAVE. 

20.) Without Me, There Would Be No Ethics Bill - NOT EXACTLY, you didn't write it, introduce it, change it or create it. 

21.) The Ethics Bill Was Hard To Pass - NOT EXACTLY, it took just 14 days from start to finish. 

22.) I Wrote A Tough Nuclear Bill - NOT EXACTLY, your bill was rejected by your own party for its pandering and lack of all regulation - mainly because of your Nuclear donor, Exelon, from which David Axelrod came. 

23.) I Have Released My State Records - NOT EXACTLY, state bills you sponsored or voted for have yet to be released, exposing all the special interests pork hidden within. 

24.) I Took On The Asbestos Altgeld Gardens Mess - NOT EXACTLY, you were part of a large group of people who remedied Altgeld Gardens . You failed to mention anyone else but yourself, in your books. 

25.) My Economics Bill Will Help America - NOT EXACTLY, your 111 economic policies were just combined into a proposal which lost 99-0, and even YOU voted against your own bill. 

26.) I Have Been A Bold Leader In Illinois - NOT EXACTLY, even your own supporters claim to have not seen BOLD action on your part. 

27.) I Passed 26 Of My Own Bills In One Year - NOT EXACTLY, they were not YOUR bills, but rather handed to you, after their creation by a fellow Senator, to assist you in a future bid for higher office. 

28.) No One on my campaign contacted Canada about NAFTA - NOT EXACTLY, the Canadian Government issued the names and a memo of the conversation your campaign had with them. 

29.) I Am Tough On Terrorism - NOT EXACTLY, you missed the Iran Resolution vote on terrorism and your good friend Ali Abunimah supports the destruction off Israel . 

30.) I Want All Votes To Count - NOT EXACTLY; you said let the delegates decide. 

31.) I Want Americans To Decide - NOT EXACTLY, you prefer caucuses that limit the vote, confuse the voters, force a public vote, and only operate during small windows of time. 

32.) I passed 900 Bills in the State Senate - NOT EXACTLY, you passed 26, most of which you didn't write yourself. 

33.) I Believe In Fairness, Not Tactics - NOT EXACTLY, you used tactics to eliminate Alice Palmer from running against you. 

34.) I Don't Take PAC Money - NOT EXACTLY, you take loads of it. 

35.) I don't Have Lobbyists - NOT EXACTLY, you have over 47 lobbyists, and counting. 

36.) My Campaign Had Nothing To Do With The 1984 Ad - NOT EXACTLY, your own campaign worker made the ad on his Apple in one afternoon. 

37.) I Have Always Been Against Iraq - NOT EXACTLY, you weren't in office to vote against it AND you have voted to fund it every single time. 

38.) I Have Always Supported Universal Health Care - NOT EXACTLY, your plan leaves us all to pay for the 15,000,000 who don't have to buy it. 

39.) My uncle liberated Auschwitz concentration camp - NOT EXACTLY, your mother had no brothers and the Russian army did the liberating. 

So, who EXACTLY is this Obama guy and what is he trying to sell us?! Please get to work now...not enough of your loved ones and friends know about this fraud.

Does this Muslim ever tell the truth?????

Sunday, August 26, 2012

OCA Snubbed at Ft. Ross Celebration

FW: SECOND Informational Sharing: (From 'Monomakhos'): "OCA Snubbed at Ft. Ross Celebration?"

 Category: What is the KGB run MP up to now!? Is it deliberately trying to..insult and 
degrade the OCA, in favour of ROCOR/MP?...or what

Read both this article, and as many comments as you can.

Clearly, from what all I have read of this 200th. year, grand celebration, (mainly from SF ROCOR/MP 'Archb'. Kyrill-Dmitrieff's web) of  ROCOR/MP and the  MP's, .... of the original founding of Russian, Ft. Ross, California, (on the northern Californian coast), on tomorrow, August 25, 2012, the OCA is not being given any prominent a schedualed  con-celebratory position, though according to that 1970 'Autocephaly' granted it by the MP, it is THE primary/if not SOLE, canonical local-church, for all of North America (!)...or so it says in that 1970 Tomos of Autocephaly.

Fort Ross, was originally and still is, in North America!... and the legal property of the State of California, a 'historical monument'. No Orthodox jurisdiction has any 'rights' there, ( as does neither the Russian Federation government) unless the State of California allows them to enter it's premises and use it, such as for periodic religious services, etc. 

The flag of old Czarist-Russia, flies over the fort, every day, raised up by the Park Ranger, a State employee.

BBC Interviews

FW: Informational Sharing: (From BBC): "Heart And Soul, Putin And the Patriarch"-Recorded 25 minute BBC Live-Interview, of various people, in Moscow

Comment: I have listened to this recent live-recorded interview of various important MP clergy, of some others who either defend or are critical of the patriarch, and/or Putin, or 'liberals' who defend the Punk band-rioters, etc.... i.e. a variety of opposing opinions (and by the way, the terms 'conservative' and 'liberal' have a very different meaning in Russia, than in the west here).

One must listen very carefully, to the pro-MP mouthpieces, as they tend to contradict themselves a lot, (which fact shouldn't surprise us!) and some utter some rather surprising words (such as regarding the love for Rock music of a sizable number of MP clergy!), etc..

All-in-all, even with a variety  of the honest  ignorances of certain basics of Russian Orthodoxy by this BBC reporter, this is an interesting 25 minute live interview of these various people in Moscow. (MP distortions/sophistries aside).  To gain knowledge from this interview, one must sift what one hears, with a critical sense. 

Church and Kremlin are Separate?

From Novosti: "Orthodox Church and Kremlin are Separate, Insists Patriarch" (!-?) 

Well, this is more proof, that KGB/FSB agents do have a sense of humour.

Manton monastery travesty

Subject: Limited Sharing: Some Startling Information About the Manton, California OCA Monastery-founded by Met. Jonah-Paffhausen-

WHAT IS GOING ON!? ..this OCA Manton Monastery was spared from these recent terrible fires, but now, this!

 Is this?... modernist/ecumenist/'relevant', new-age? "Orthodox Monasticism"  via the OCA-Manton  mode???  It certainly seems so.  What a scandal!  Though, I cannot believe that everyone in the OCA, which has many basically-conservatively-oriented Orthodox believers, either knows of this Manton travesty, nor practices  themselves such unOrthodox and utterly bizarre and/or immoral, 'monastic' norms, as seems to be in current use, in the Manton, California, monastery founded by (former-OCA Metropolitan) Jonah.  And too, it is named after St. John Maximovitch!

Under the Title: The Fires of Manton:

scroll down to: 
"An Open Letter to the Orthodox Church in America"
from: Stepan Hatting, 'an Orthodox novitiate and former Summer Novice'-
(and referenced via in regards to defrocked-Archimandrite Michael Rymer, and his residence/position  at that OCA monastery, he now...under a new name.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Honeymoon is over

FW:Sharing: "HAPPY GRAM Honeymoon is over" 
(American political humour – Obama is now the object of jokes!) –

Note: The very popular TV comedians here mentioned, are all prominent American late-night  TV show hosts, watched and respected and listened to by millions of Americans, every night, all of whom, not long ago, used to strongly defend President Barrack Hussein Obama, and cover up his multitudes of mistakes/flaws/lies.

Now, they have turned on him, as have many Americans who once voted for him. So now, many in this country are crying out: "But the emperor has no clothes!"


Shared with me by a retired Orthodox priest: a fellow loyal American, and one who also doesn't want an America hating, Marxist, pro-Islamic president to rule over us.

In this November election we all need to VOTE THIS RASCAL OUT!...him and his Leftist
Democrat party!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Analysis: Syrians, Christians and Russia

ANOTHER!- "Analysis: Syrians, Christians and Russia" (not a bad one, in general) – 

Category: Certainly, an interesting analysis, and one that I can, more-or-less, agree with ...much..of.

It....seems.... largely level headed.  However, for anyone on this earth!,  to put any genuine degree of actual trust or hope, in the KGB-front, called, "The Moscow Patriarchia" – aka, 'The Russian Orthodox Church' (so-called by worldly Orthodox and by the secular heterodox world in general) or it's actual head, V. Putin, is totally absurd and pathetic.  To believe that it represents the ..historical authentic Russian Church of historical, Russian Nation, is dumb, dumb, dumb!

Putin and his 'church's' only interests in Syria,(as with anywhere else in this world), have to do with the Kremlin's  military and political power schemes,  and that's it!........ NOT saving the necks or the souls of Christians, or Moslems, or anyone.  And, the very idea, that.... KGB Agent Michael (Kyrill-Gundaev) is truly The  Russian Patriarch? (ha! ha! ha!) –  what a joke of the century!

That 'church', especially in foreign places,  solely expounds and serves the political/military/espionage/propaganda  interests of the current Kremlin KGB Putin gangsters, and thus, how!? is it possible that such dastardly proven corrupt atheistic criminals, care one iota about... spiritual matters or with 'saving fellow Christians', etc, in bloody revolution-wracked suffering Syria, ...or anywhere?

It is RUSSIAN-Federation,  bombs and bullits and armaments, sent to dictator Assad, by pious Vladimir Putin,  which are slaughtering Syrian men, women, and little babies, every day!...and reducing their homes and cites to rubble, daily.

One wonders: perhaps, pious Orthodox Christian,  Vladimir Putin is lighting candles in church, crossing himself hundreds of times,  and buying many many panachidas, for all those he is helping to kill? (Even Ivan the Terrible, contrary to Putin, had much true heart anguish & guilt for those he caused to suffer and die! even as he continued his foul deeds).

The Communists and their KGB/FSB....have ever? ,.. 'saved souls'? They have indeed, sent many souls out of this world, to meet their Maker, by murder,  that is for sure.

We call them, Holy Martyrs!

Just my musings-
Disgusted with KGB/FSB agent V. Putin, KGB agent, Pat. Kyrill, and their..mass-murdering pal, Assad, and the whole world, for just standing by, while the population of Syria is slaughtered like animals.

WHEN will this be brought to an end???.

If not soon, then I fear that Almighty God, will let fall upon the entire world, His final punishments, and we will all get, World War III, a thermo-nuclear war to end all wars.No one will escape that, no one.

God does not turn His blind eye to the sufferings of the innocent, to the murder of the stranger, the orphan and the widow, even if...we...His supposed servants, do.
Rd. Daniel 
Analysis: Syrians, Christians and Russia
by Samer Libdeh
Since the beginning of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, Christian leaders have been divided over whether to support Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime. Historically the Christian community (mainly those affiliated with the Orthodox Church) have enjoyed certain privileges and protections from Assad’s secular-leaning regime, serving in important security, economic and political positions. Whilst Christians were barred from serving as President due to their religious status, they were able to practice their religion freely.
With each passing day the Assad regime looks weaker, and indeed many policymakers and pundits are now talking about when rather than if the Assad regime will collapse, especially following the recent wave of defections. The majority of Syrian Orthodox Christians, much like their brethren in Egypt and in Iraq, now find themselves on the wrong side of history. Will they now decide to throw their support behind opposition forces, thereby ensuring that they have a seat at the post-Assad political table or will they simply flee?
Christians’ Critical Situation
The Christian community in Syria constitutes around 10 percent of the population (approximately 2.6 millions). The majority of Christians belong to the Orthodox Church (approximately 60 percent), which has historic links and ties with Russia. As is well known, Russia is not only a significant political ally of the Assad regime but it is also an important trading partner to Syria. The Assyrians, Protestants and Catholics comprise Syria’s other main Christian denominations.
Low birth rates and immigration to Europe, US, Canada, and Australia especially since the military coup in 1970 that brought the Assad’s dynasty to power has resulted in a steady decline in its numbers vis-a-vis Sunnis and other groups. Nevertheless, Christians continued to enjoy a relatively privileged position under Assad. Understandably the majority of Christians in Syria fear a loss of this status and worse still, potential reprisals from the majority Sunni and opposition groups in the event of the collapse of the Assad regime.
Rather predictably, the Assad propaganda machine has played upon these fears and attempted to present itself as the ‘bulwark against Sunni extremism’ – arguing that life under Assad is better than under a Sunni-dominated government. The view from neighbouring Egypt is hardly an encouraging one for Christians, where the parliamentary and presidential elections won the Muslim Brotherhood and more extreme Salafi parties political power, leaving Egypt’s Christians and secular forces concerned about the possibility of further Islamization of Egyptian culture and open discrimination against religious minorities.
Whilst Syria is not Egypt, the Assad regime’s claims of a sectarian war has been greatly assisted by reports suggesting that Christians have been targeted and killed by Syrian opposition groups.
On July 25, Der Spiegel reported that thousands of Syrian Christians have fled the country to neighbouring Lebanon due to attacks waged by rebel forces. “Thirty-two Christian families have found shelter and asylum in Qa, which is located only 12 kilometres away from the Syrian border.’’ According to one refugee, Christians don’t have much choice other than to align themselves with a strong leader who can protect their interests. “The rebels haven’t managed to convince me they are fighting for more democracy.
Christians and the Russian Orthodox Church
The Russian Orthodox Church has historic ties to Middle Eastern Christians. In 1774, after the treaty of Kucuk Kaynara, the Russian Federation became the official protector of the Orthodox Christians in the Ottoman Empire. Accordingly, Russian became a stakeholder of domestic politics in countries including Syria, Iraq, Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon.
The influential Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Kirill I, has publicly opposed any “international intervention” (read Western intervention) in Syria and has offered its support to the Assad regime out of fear that Christian interests will be much diminished or even extinguished in a post-Assad Syria. A report suggests that during the Patriarch’s recent visit to Syria, Christians expressed concern over the possible loss of basic freedoms and the protection of their religious rights. Furthermore, there is increasing anxiety and concern regarding the growing militarisation of the anti-Assad uprising and the failure of opposition forces to engage with Christian intellectuals and local leaders.
The Russian government has actively encouraged the Orthodox Church to speak out against opposition forces in an apparent effort to obtain some “cover” for its continued support of the Assad regime, including the repeated blocking of UN sanctions. Reports suggest that the Russian Orthodox Church has been working closely with the Russian Foreign Ministry in an effort to ensure that Syrian Christians concerns and voices are heard. The Church recently hosted an exhibition near the Kremlin dedicated to Syrian Christianity. Speakers at the event were reported as repeatedly expressing great concern about the fate of Christians and Christianity in Syria.
Christian Opposition
Nevertheless, a growing number of Christians, including George Sabra, Fayez Sara, Michel Shammas and Michel Kilo have joined opposition groups like the Syrian National Council and the Assyrian Democratic Organization, which has openly opposed the Assad regime since the initial uprising last year, in clear defiance of the official Church.
Sabra in particular has argued that the Christian community has not been served well by its leaders, and the Orthodox Church’s hesitancy in aligning itself with revolutionary forces may be a significant strategic error as it potentially leaves the majority of Christians politically isolated in a post-Assad Syria.
Indeed, the Orthodox Church appears to be ignoring the fact that continuous fighting has led to senior Christian figures being exiled from Syria, including Father Paolo Dall’Oglio, who was exiled in June after criticising Assad. The Assad regime has also been accused of firing rockets on Churches who they claim have been financially supporting the opposition. Additionally, security forces killed Priest Basilius Nassar while he was helping an injured Christian during clashes between government and opposition forces. There have also been reports that security forces have entered Orthodox Churches and stolen its contents, leading to anti regime protests by some Christians.
Policy recommendations
Orthodox Christians and their leaders would be much better served if they reached out to opposition groups, including Assyrian Christians who have been advocating for a secular Syrian state that protects and respects the rights of all minority groups, including Christians. Christians could be an important ally for the opposition groups, given the Syrian Orthodox Church’s historic connections with Russia.
The Orthodox Church may be able to put pressure on the Russian government to support any future proposed United Nations sanctions directed against the Assad regime, thereby adding more pressure to an already embattled government. Further, given the perilous state of the Syrian economy, foreign investment, including investments from Russia will be critical to supporting and sustaining many businesses and key sectors of Syria’s economy, which has been badly damaged by years of failed state-led policies and now due to internal conflict.
Christian groups and leaders should also be reaching out to their counterparts in the West and elsewhere by advocating for future foreign aid and investment to be linked to the protection of minority rights. Christians have important cards to play, but they need to be played carefully. Christians need to develop allies and push to ensure that their rights are respected and that they can live with dignity and respect. It’s going to be a long and difficult path ahead, and one that few have traveled. It is vital now more than ever that Christians from all denominations come together and agree the way forward for their community through a national dialogue.
While the West is currently nurturing relationships with the new Syrian leadership, mainly the Sunni-dominated Syrian National Council, it is important that the West also lends support to minority groups, including Christians – in order to avoid a repeat of the Iraqi case where violence and religious persecution followed the collapse of the Saddam Hussein regime.
Christian politicians and intellectuals have been the main source of liberal and progressive enlightenment in many parts of the Levant following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and have made an enormous contribution to Arab cultural, and the economy. Whilst the collapse of Arab secular-leaning dictatorships in Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and possibly now Syria presents many challenges for Christians, this important community must be allowed and encouraged to play an important political role in shaping the post-Assad era.

various ancient Byzantine chants

A random SMALL selection of various ancient Byzantine chants: Greek, Arabic, Serbian, - etc.

Among all the world-wide types of ancient worship chants, this tradition is what I am most familiar with.

Missing from this selection are Romanian, Russian, Bulgarian, Georgian, Armenian, Coptic chants, also of ancient or early origins, some of pure Byzantine musical roots,or of even more ancient, PRE-BYZANTINE ROOTS & USAGES others showing a degree or so, of westernization – i .e., the use of HARMONY but – all of these chants, as most of the liturgical texts which are being chanted,  are of ancient origin, no matter what language they are sung in.......)

Note: Various... western... 'Gregorian' Chants, also, originate from the basic same, early/ancient worship-musical roots, as Byzantine.  Traditionally, no musical instruments, only the human voice, are permitted/utilized in these ancient sacred chants, and still in the Eastern Orthodox Church, are proscribed. Only the human voice is used in divine worship, just as the angels use only their voices to praise God.

1)Byzantine chant-Praise the Lord from the heavens

2) O Trisagios Ymnos (Thrice Holy Hymn)-

3) Cherubic Hymn-Theodoras Vasilikos-Our Home

4) Agni Parthene Despoina

5) "Byzantine Hymn"

6) An Arabic Christmas Carol (sung in Arabic, -'Syro-Byzantine' chant)

7) The Great Doxology (sung in Arabic & in  Arabic-Byzantine chant)

8) (Ancient) Hilandar (Serbian) Monastery, (on Mt. Athos in Greece),
Liturgy sung by monastic brotherhood, in Serbo-Byzantine/Old Slavic-chant, with some Greek) 
Apparently, showing in these many photos by these visitors there, the extensive recent earthquake
damage to many of the buildings. We have  also heard, that similar heavy earthquake damge has also hit
many other of the ancient Mt. Athos monasteries. Very sad!

9) Hymn of St. Kassiani-Boston Byzantine Choir (sung in English)-

10) O Virgin Pure-Byzantine chant, sung in English

Russians Want Church Out Of Politics

(From a poll of population): "Russians Want Church Out Of Politics"  – WAKE UP! ROCOR/MP!!!

Note: This, RIA Novosti article, can be read in it's original Russian, or machine translated into  English (or perhaps into other languages?), ... which choice, any reader has on this site, or through google or some other translation link:

Category: ...interesting,  another glimpse of attitudes among average Russians in the Russian Federation. Many, obviously, are more and more, not sympathetic to the MP, and they....see's strong ties to the Putin regime.

Why? ... Oh Why?  couldn't the clerical leadership of the ROCOR/MP, also, ( who mostly live here in the free west!, not see these obvious links?, or in the least, NOW-?...even if they were mostly hoodwinked and duped, in the recent past, into that Putin-engineered 2007 're-union' fiasco-?

The 'Moscow Patriarchia',... IS..... VLADIMIR PUTIN and his KGB/FSB gang!
WAKE UP! ROCOR/MP! ... you are in/under/subservient to,  a pretend 'church', actually run by the KGB! ........ one which has zero spiritual or canonical connection to that real Russian Church of Holy Patriarch Tikhon or of the countless Holy Russian New Martyrs.

From RIA Novosti/Aleksander Vilf  14 August, 2012,16:28 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

But, the emperor has no clothes!

Actual short video of the full "Punk Band Cathedral Performance" (filmed by themselves)

And why give any serious importance to the 'Patriarch's" condemnation words of it as, 'blasphemy'?

Of course, no Orthodox people anywhere, can condone such a (seeming)  irreligious display, inside any Orthodox church., nor any disrespectful acts inside Orthodox churches, including, TAKING THE NAME OF GOD, IN VAIN!

(Just as most Orthodox would not condone those current MP impious blasphemer invader/raiders inside  our ROCA Malin, Ukraine Pokrov Church,
urinating into the Theophany Holy Water container, and then boasting of their feat!) – and all of the impious, MP and governmental seizures and  impious outright robbery of the holy objects, even of the holy relics of saints!, of those Suzdal ROAC churches, plus the ever growing blasphemous, attacks, and even burnings, of how many other Orthodox churches or places of worship, by that HOLY 'Patriarch Kyrill' in cahoots with his fellow KGB/FSB pal, V. Putin and gang-?

But, please!...let us keep these matters in their true perspectives.

This relatively mild/short clown act protest act, (actually more silly than truly impious), was directed... not against religion, but against Putin, but it was performed inside a prominent  MP show-piece cathedral- ( built largely with Russian-Mafia monies), under which, there are  enormous worldly business enterprises going on, daily!, which in itself, is disrespecting the sacred precints, i.e. blaspheming? of a temple of God,-and violating all sorts of ancient Orthodox canons, that corrupt MP church-organization which  is 100% always supportive of the corrupt Putin oppressive regime.

And to my view: Who is more guilty of blasphemy?...if not this very
KGB agent wearing patriarch's garb, PIOUS (?)  Mr. Kyrill-Gundaev..Putin's .fellow KGB/FSB agent, and the  entire false-"Russian Church' named, 'The Moscow Patriarchia'-???  (founded by Joseph Stalin back in 1943),
Constantly, that ...pious?....MP patriarch and his MP-'church' impiously,
attack and confiscate and destroy and...even desecrate, those Russian Orthodox clergy, people, ( some clergy or laity who are murdered!), who reject that false MP'church'.

So, who are the, 'blasphemers'...? (defilers of the Name of God)-?
Certainly not these sincere but clown-like young women.

To me, they are more in the category of the proverbial court jesters (who were often the only ones who dared to mock the king to his face, and live to tell of it), or of the children watching the proud emperor in procession, who was  wearing his new 'invisible clothes', who were the only members of the throng, who were honest, and who thus shouted out,
 "But, The emperor HAS NO CLOTHES!"
But, just my observations-
Rd. Daniel

P.S. However, we are told by his admirers about V. Putin: "He is a sincere Orthodox Christian, – he crosses himself in church and he lights candles there."

"We want Russia to be a better place"-Punk Band allies to continue protests against Putin- 
"Our protest is not at all, anti-religious, but is against Putin!"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monopolies for Monks

YOY&YUCK!--"[pastoralcr] Monopolies for Monks | The American Conservative"

The Chaotic American-Orthodox Scene:

Category: ?...perhaps?: current confusing inter-Orthodox/Vagante false-'uncanonical'-"Orthodox"? .... shenanigans(?) 
 (the reader of this, a conversation from the internet,  needs to decide who they label with which-ever label! and who they think is in the right or in the wrong, etc.

At any rate, this information is mainly shared for those that might be, somehow, affected by it, as it  was sent to me by a retired Orthodox priest, to be... shared.
IF... you, do not feel affected by this, then just forget it!

Monopolies for Monks | The American Conservative
     Last Thursday a Boston district court judge ruled in favor of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, finding that a former member, now an archbishop in another Orthodox sect, illegally copied seven of the monastery’s texts and posted them to his website.
     It’s a fascinating case but difficult to break down as it lies at the intersection of two particularly arcane subjects — copyright law and the politics of the Orthodox church. Even the appeal ruling’s single-sentence conclusion conveyed some bewilderment: “Our pilgrimage through the complexities of copyright law concluded, we keep our words here few — for the foregoing reasons, we affirm the decision of the district court.”
     At its most basic level, the dispute concerns how to balance the right of the monks to make a living — via a government-granted monopoly — against internet-age understandings of fair use, and the church’s evangelical interest in religious texts being openly available. The texts in question run the gamut from an original translation of the Psalter based on the septuagint to a set of homilies by the seventh-century bishop St. Isaac the Syrian.
     The Holy Orthodox Church of North America, a small synod of which the Holy Transfiguration Monastery (HTM) is effectively the spiritual seat, and the Genuine Orthodox Church of America, which Archbishop Gregory now leads, both have their spiritual roots in the Russian Orthodox Church but separated during the movement toward ecumenism in the mid-1980s, which both groups consider a heresy. According to OrthodoxWiki, “HOCNA is not in communion with any mainstream Orthodox church.” Prior to that time, the HTM was “spiritually affiliated” with the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
“When the bishops … who took over after the death of the metropolitan in 1985 had a different mind and began changing the direction of the church—which is a very long and complicated story—we broke that,” says Father Pacomius, a monk at HTM who worked on several of the translations in question. “But there was no legal bond between us that gave them any control over our property or copyrights. The copyrights were in the Holy Transfiguration Monastery’s name.”
     In the late 1970s, Gregory left the monastery, obtaining permission from the church to start his own monastery in Colorado. Around the same time, the first of what became a pattern of allegations of sexual improprieties began to arise. The ROCA, for its part, decreed the HTM schismatic in 1987 and suspended its leader, Archimandrite Panteleimon, saying the monastery dissolved its affiliation to protect the members from having to openly account for their sins.
     In the process of researching the Holy Orthodox Church of North America, I came across this website calling the faction a “cult” and sent an email asking who operated it. Fifteen minutes later I received a phone call from Archbishop Gregory.
     Which is to say, the man who has most vocally opposed the monastery’s actions — going so far as to operate a website cataloguing its many sins and in 2000 penning a “Call to Repentance” — has now been successfully sued by them. Given the conspicuous bad blood between Archbishop Gregory and the HTM, and the fact that other illegal copies of these works exist, which Fr. Pacomius concedes, it’s important to question why he was targeted. The monastery claims it was due to the unusual amount of work he posted online: ”He’s the only one who’s done it to this magnitude. He has infringed more than everyone else put together. And this is the second copyright infringement he’s committed against us. In 2005 he printed one of our translations without giving us credit or getting permission.”
     Archbishop Gregory claims the copied texts constituted a mere “one percent of one percent of their documents,” and that by suing the monastery is “using the court to get at me. Keep in mind, they never sued anybody else.”
     Furthermore, the HTM translations were in wide use at the time they dissolved their ties with ROCA.
     “They’re very similar to other translations, but our Russian bishop said ‘let’s get standardized and we’ll use the translation that the monastery did in Boston.’ So we’re all using it, then they leave the church because they’ve been caught in immorality, now they’re saying to the church, which gave them the authority to translate it, ‘no you can’t use it anymore or you have to recognize us.’” As to any further action, he says, “We’re going to talk to the lawyers and see what we can do.”
     “One of the works copied was called the Octoechos, his pdf ran to 300 pages,” says Fr. Pacomius. “The work called the dismissal hymns, his pdf ran to 600 pages. Both of those were unpublished, so he was forestalling our right to decide when to publish these works and in what form.”
     “The archbishop’s lawyers said our work was merely derivative. We take older translations, cobble them together, they used the word ‘cobble’ over and over again, and slap our copyright on them and sue other people for infringement. We called their bluff. The originals are ancient texts in the public domain. In some cases we consulted previous translations. But we revised them so much that it’s not a simple matter of copying; there isn’t what is called ‘substantial similarity.’”
     Needless to say, these distinctions are often difficult to make. “We could have put up others, the translations are so close,” says Archbishop Gregory. ”When you say ‘Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us,’ there’s only one way you can translate that from the Greek. But now if we put up a translation that was made in 1860, and there are translations from the Russian church done very well in England, they could say ‘hey that’s our translation.’ And the judge there in Boston will say ‘yup, that’s word-for-word,’ and find us at fault.”
     Some readers might instinctively recoil at the notion of the government intervening to prevent the open dissemination of religious texts, which is what happened in this case. Still others might object to religious texts being used as a revenue-generating device. In any case, given contemporary trends toward open information and free-content business models, it might have made more practical sense for the monastery to post its own pdfs of the texts online for free. Had they done so the entire dispute would have been avoided and the wider distribution would have probably led to more people buying the lucrative hard copies anyway — the kind of people who want a copy of the Horologion aren’t generally going to settle for a pdf on an iPad. It’s also worth noting that the dispute wouldn’t have occurred if the monastery and Archbishop Gregory had remained in the same synod.
     Nevertheless, it’s pretty clear that by any reasonable definition, copyright infringement occurred. The court made the right decision, but was the monastery right to seek one? The argument that making the files available cut into the monks’ ability to make a living seems exceedingly weak.  Moreover, even if it did — and I very much doubt it would — if the freely-available files led to more people becoming interested in the True Faith, wouldn’t that be worth the potential loss? It’s hard to see the monastery’s actions as motivated by anything other than personal resentment. And it isn’t behavior one would expect from a community concerned with saving souls.
Jordan Bloom is the Associate Editor of TAC. Follow him on Twitter.