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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: The Vanishing Russians Parts I-III: What Responsibility Has the MP Taken?

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  • George Edward Green III
    ... This reads like the major media apologetics for the Albanian Muslims in Kosovo. The genocide of Muslims in Kosovo and Serbia, etc were MADE UP. It s been
    Message 1 of 22 , Nov 2, 2006
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      On Nov 1, 2006, at 12:57 PM, Mike Woodson wrote:

      > Rather than engaging in false analogies with the Clinton
      > Administration's internationalist era, and absolutizing ALL Serbs as
      > angelic beings with no responsibility for what they've done in Europe
      > and the Balkans, and, sliming ALL Western journalists in general, why
      > don't we put the absolutizing of human behavior aside and turn off the
      > fog machine. Also, let's not engage in dueling hypocrisies of extreme
      > claims, either. To do my part, I'll keep citing hard data, since I'm
      > not a clairovoyant.

      This reads like the major media apologetics for the Albanian Muslims
      in Kosovo.

      The genocide of Muslims in Kosovo and Serbia, etc were MADE UP. It's
      been proven there was no genocide, plans for genocide, nor apparent
      interest in genocide.

      I do not see how any Orthodox Christian could come to the defense of
      invading Muslims who have killed Orthodox Christians and blown up
      churches at a consistent pace since this began.

      Serbs may not be angels but they were certainly trying to defend the
      historical religious center of their nation from an invasion by
      Muslim terrorists. Terrorists who've setup a heroin and human
      trafficking hub in Kosovo since.

      Me thinks you should check out:
      http://www.interfax-religion.com/kosovo/

      Also there is a book on the Orthodox Christian Heritage of Kosovo
      which you can purchase in the bookstore in Jordanville.

      George

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Melissa Bushunow
      Reporters Without Borders puts Russia as 140th out of 168 countries in rankings of journalistic freedom and safety. This latest ranking is based on events from
      Message 2 of 22 , Nov 2, 2006
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        Reporters Without Borders puts Russia as 140th out of 168 countries in
        rankings of journalistic freedom and safety. This latest ranking is
        based on events from September 2003 to September 2004. September
        2006's murders of ITAR-TASS Journalist Anatoly Voronin and Novaya
        Gazeta's reporter Anna Politkovskaya and all the other cases of
        journalist murder and intimidation for the past two years aren't
        figured in. http://www.rsf.org/article.php3?id_article=11716

        If those -- whose profession is to make their voice heard -- are not
        safe in the Russian Federation then a) it is not surprising that those
        without a voice are abused; b) the the scale of immorality and
        lawlessness of Putin's Russia is underreported. Below are a few
        incidents which did come to light.

        "Yekaterinburg, Russia � A massive child sex ring was exposed in
        downtown Yekaterinburg... The accused were caught selling young boys,
        renting them for sexual services and routinely raping them. Their
        victims were over 1,000 boys, ages 12 through 17. This �business� has
        been operating for five years..."
        http://www.russiablog.org/2006/08/boys_for_sale_and_sexual_servi.html

        In Putin's army young men and boys are being raped and beaten to death
        in the armed services, and no one in the upper ranks of officers has
        had to take any responsibility for the senseless brutality. One of the
        "victims is 19-year old Radik Habirov from Kazan, who was brought in
        to a local hospital weighing only 65 pounds and is now in a coma. This
        is the worst case of documented abuse in the Russian Army since the
        widely reported case of Pvt. Sychev six months ago. Last week in Moscow
        more details emerged from closed hearings about the extent of Pvt.
        Sychev�s mutilation. Even Army doctors accustomed to seeing scars and
        broken bones from abuse have been shocked at how severely Pvt. Sychev
        was tortured by his comrades. Army doctors had tried to cover up the
        crime, blaming the loss of Sychev�s legs on a pre-existing medical
        condition, but a civilian panel of medical examiners concluded that
        Sychev was gang raped in the barracks while taped to his bunk. After
        being sodomized repeatedly, he was forced to do squats, then made to
        hold in the squatting position for hours, until he lost circulation in
        his legs. By the time he was brought to a hospital, doctors could only
        save Sychev�s life by amputating his legs and genitals.
        http://www.russiablog.org/2006/07/russian_army_needs_a_reform.html


        The Soviets made it illegal for the Orthodox Church and Orthodox
        institutions to take care of the the ill, the orphans, the poor. The
        heirs of the Soviet system -- Putin and his soviet oligarchs (the
        soviets who were in power when the system "fell" maintained their grasp
        on power) -- have ignored the societal obligations that the soviet
        system seized and at least gave lip service to. And the MP since
        regaining its "freedom" has not taken up the slack.


        Yes, rebuilding churches is God-pleasing, printing literature is
        God-pleasing, but Christ said to the pharisees (St. Matthew 23:23) that
        they should have done the one and not ignored the other. Woe unto
        you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and
        anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law,
        judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to
        leave the other undone.


        Christ addresses the excuse of withholding care of the poor (in this
        case elderly parents) in order to donate to the temple: 3Jesus
        replied, "And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your
        tradition? 4For God said, 'Honor your father and mother'[a] and 'Anyone
        who curses his father or mother must be put to death.'[b] 5But you say
        that if a man says to his father or mother, 'Whatever help you might
        otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,' [meaning
        that it is a gift to the temple] 6he is not to 'honor his father[c]'
        with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your
        tradition. 7You hypocrites! Isaiah was right when he prophesied about
        you:
        �8" 'These people honor me with their lips,
        ������but their hearts are far from me.
        �9They worship me in vain;
        ������their teachings are but rules taught by men.'[d]"

        The church is to be both Martha and Mary. We are reminded on the
        Sunday of the last Judgment that we will be judged for our care of the
        poor and ill.


        Why has the Orthodox Church MP not taken this subject up? Because it
        involves criticizing their past soviet masters, who are still their
        present day masters. If the MP would truly throw off the soviet yoke
        by complete confession of its past and continuing complicity, then its
        penance could include fulfilling its scriptural obligations. It would
        have the spiritual strength and legitimacy to criticize and help remedy
        the horrors and lawlessness occurring under Putin.







        On Oct 28, 2006, at 10:48 PM, Mike Woodson wrote:
        > Below I reproduce two key paragraphs buttressing my arguments of
        > neglect, and specifically, because the paragraphs discussed conditions
        > of 3 years ago, versus the LA Times report now, I argue that the
        > Moscow
        > Patriarchate, acting as the social policy arm of the government, has
        > been partially responsible for these status quos. At the time of the
        > below report excerpts from a 2003 US State Department Country Report
        > <http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27861.htm> , Patriarch
        > Alexei II who had been asserting that there had been a spiritual
        > revival
        > in Russia back in 2003, had been in office for twelve years (12) when
        > the below statistics about the MP's government power, and about
        > homeless
        > children came out. What is said, and what is done, is yet again
        > different. The virtous thing is written or said, and the reality is
        > something else. See how this applied to children in 2003:
        > The status of many children has deteriorated since the collapse of
        > communism because of falling living standards, an increase in the
        > number
        > of broken homes, and domestic violence. Authorities cited 253,000
        > parents in 2001 for leaving children on the street unattended, up from
        > 248,000 in 2000. In Moscow, approximately 6,000 children per year were
        > brought to the Center of Temporary Isolation of Minor Delinquents
        > (COVINA). These children stayed in COVINA for no more than 30 days.
        > During this period, the child's case was investigated, and his or her
        > guardian was located; however, in 90 to 95 percent of these cases, the
        > police simply returned the children to their families or to the
        > institution from which the children ran away. Many officials
        > considered
        > domestic problems private affairs and preferred not to interfere.
        > Trafficking in children was a problem (see Section 6.f.)."
        >
        > Figures for homeless children were unreliable. According to the
        > Ministry
        > of Labor, there were estimates from 100,000 to 5 million neglected
        > children in Russia. In 2002, about 681,000 vagrant children were
        > detained by law enforcement agencies, 2.5 times the 2001 rate. About
        > 50,000 adolescents were on the local and federal wanted lists in 2002,
        > 13.5 percent more than in 2001. The Russian Children's Fund estimated
        > in
        > 2001 that there were approximately 2.5 million children living on the
        > street, although other estimates reached as high as 4 million;
        > scientific studies used differing methodologies to count street
        > children. During the year, Moscow authorities indicated that 40,000
        > working street children lived in the capital but claimed 80 percent
        > were
        > from places other than Moscow. In addition, there were approximately
        > 3,000 young persons ageed 18 to 24 in Leningrad Oblast, most of them
        > discharged from state institutions and given state housing, who had
        > difficulty maintaining a residence and adapting to non-institutional
        > life in general. Homeless children often engaged in criminal
        > activities,
        > received no education, and were vulnerable to drug and alcohol abuse.
        > Some young girls on the street turned, to or were forced into,
        > prostitution in order to survive.
        >
        > And here is the report on the Moscow Patriarchate's true relationship
        > to
        > the Russian government, indicating its influential, yet apparently
        > ineffectual and neglectful role during these years:
        >
        > Many religious minority groups and NGOs complained of what they
        > believed
        > was collusion between the Russian Orthodox Church and the state.
        > Neither
        > the Constitution nor the 1997 law accords explicit privileges or
        > advantages to "traditional religions;" however, many politicians and
        > public figures argued for closer cooperation with them, above all with
        > the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow Patriarchate. Public statements
        > by
        > some government officials, including President Putin, and anecdotal
        > evidence from religious minority groups, suggested that the Russian
        > Orthodox Church increasingly enjoyed a status that approached
        > official.
        > The Church has entered into a number of agreements with government
        > ministries giving it special access to institutions such as schools,
        > hospitals, prisons, the police, the FSB, and the army. The Russian
        > Orthodox Church appears to have had greater success reclaiming
        > pre-revolutionary property than other groups, and many religious
        > workers
        > believed that the Russian Orthodox Church played a role in the
        > cancellation of visas held by non-Orthodox foreign religious workers.
        >
        > The child neglect problem was actually worsening 11 years into
        > Patriarch
        > Alexei II's reign over the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia. Same
        > with
        > the broken family problem. And if you consider health care part of
        > Christian ministry, as I do, there were apparently very few if any
        > attempts by the MP to spearhead reforms in on that front for the past
        > fifteen (15) years.
        >
        > Neglect kills people just as sure as abortion does. St. Paul said, "He
        > who knows to do good, but does not do it, to him that is a sin."
        >
        > It is this Moscow Patriarchate that the ROCOR stands to legitimize by
        > lifting the suspension on communion. The suspension was never
        > governing
        > the same communion between those members of the Russian Church in
        > Russia
        > and Outside of Russia. It was always for the purpose of bringing the
        > MP
        > to repentance and Russia to freedom. The information on record shows a
        > stunning bankruptcy in ethics at the MP for allowing its conflict of
        > interest and cronyism with the Kremlin to numb it to the need to
        > preach
        > out and be the conscience and the moral leadership in getting the
        > government and business to act to improve the health, welfare and
        > development of Russia-at-Large.
        >
        > Is the Moscow Patriarchate that has still not repented of these
        > lapses,
        > really what the ROCOR wants to legitimize with the lift on the
        > suspension of communion planned for 2007, given what we know of the
        > MP's
        > unrepentant priorities over these past 15 to 20 years?
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Fr. John R. Shaw
        ... JRS: If that is what you believe, then you are simply misinformed about the current role, voice and and activities of the Moscow Patriarchate. I would
        Message 3 of 22 , Nov 2, 2006
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          --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Melissa Bushunow <cafeconlechemom@...>
          wrote:

          > The Soviets made it illegal for the Orthodox Church and Orthodox
          > institutions to take care of the the ill, the orphans, the poor. The
          > heirs of the Soviet system -- Putin and his soviet oligarchs (the
          > soviets who were in power when the system "fell" maintained their grasp
          > on power) -- have ignored the societal obligations that the soviet
          > system seized and at least gave lip service to. And the MP since
          > regaining its "freedom" has not taken up the slack.

          JRS: If that is what you believe, then you are simply misinformed about the current role,
          voice and and activities of the Moscow Patriarchate.

          I would recommend following the news and historical articles at "pravoslavie.ru" and
          "sedmitza.ru". Every day, there are key developments.

          You might be quite surprised, if you listen other voices besides those who attack the
          Patriarchal Church.

          In Christ
          Fr. John R. Shaw
        • Fr. John R. Shaw
          ... JRS: 1) You are representing the current hierarchy of the Church of Russia as being somehow false bishops, mostly because they agreed to be bishops. Not
          Message 4 of 22 , Nov 2, 2006
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            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson" <singingmountains@...>
            wrote:

            > To the Russians: when are you going to throw these counterfeits off of
            > your backs and bring in the humble who have not sought the power seats
            > and therefore who can rightfully represent Christ's leadership in the
            > One Russian Church? Where are the men who don't allow themselves to be
            > called humble or thank God in public that *they* led the spiritual
            > renewal of Russia, thinking more of their legacy than the reality.

            JRS: 1) You are representing the current hierarchy of the Church of Russia as being
            somehow false bishops, mostly because they agreed to be bishops.

            Not only are the accusations you bring against them false and undeserved: the same
            supposed guilt of "having sought the power seats" could be applied to anyone else who
            was willing to become a bishop.

            2) Calling on "the Russians" to rise up and overthrow the Church hierarchy is completely
            contrary to Orthodox Christianity.

            It is the way of the Protestant reformation, and if followed, could lead to nothing good.

            3) However, the Moscow Patriarchate and its bishops and clergy are, if anything, much
            more popular today than the Russian clergy were before the revolution, when anticlerical
            attitudes were a well-known (and well-documented) problem.

            Ironically, the older Russian emigration sometimes preserved those anticlerical attitudes,
            whereas the new arrivals from Russia usually are respectful towards the clergy, and
            constantly seek their prayers and advice.

            4) The overwhelming majority of the Russian clergy, including the majority of the bishops,
            have been ordained since the fall of communism, mostly in the past few years.

            There are no canonical grounds for replacing them, few candidates with any training to
            could take their places, and in any case, the next generation of bishops, priests and
            deacons would still be "the successors" of those who went before them: thus they too
            would be attacked in the same way, by persons of your mindset.

            Consequently, what you are calling for is both unreasonable, and impossible to achieve.

            > The L.A. Times, however, put a reporter on the ground who made
            > contrary reports as to the exaggerations. ... I remember citing the
            > Times in some letters written to a national news outlet, ... and that was
            > the beginning of the wider media
            > exposure of the KLA as a drug-running organization in Europe with ties
            > to the Afghan Mujahadeen.

            JRS: Unfortunately, that "wider media exposure" has been anything but wide. I would
            recommend waiting until a few more people learn of it, before taking credit.

            > The central question in all of this seems to be: how do the people
            > deal with sin, fellow sinners and with overcoming passions? Is there a
            > spiritual light for them to follow in that land and in authority?

            JRS: The spiritual light for them, and for us, can only be in the Church.

            In Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw
          • DDD
            On Thu, 2 Nov 2006 12:38:24 -0500, Melissa Bushunow wrote: Why has the Orthodox Church MP not taken this subject up?  Because it involves criticizing their
            Message 5 of 22 , Nov 2, 2006
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              On Thu, 2 Nov 2006 12:38:24 -0500, Melissa Bushunow wrote:

              Why has the Orthodox Church MP not taken this subject up?  Because it
              involves criticizing their past soviet masters, who are still their
              present day masters.  If the MP would truly throw off the soviet yoke
              by complete confession of its past and continuing complicity, then its
              penance could include fulfilling its scriptural obligations.  It would
              have the spiritual strength and legitimacy to criticize and help remedy
              the horrors and lawlessness occurring under Putin.
              __________________________________________________________

              Wow. By this logic, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia "would
              have the spiritual strength and legitimacy to criticize and help remedy" Clinton's mass-murder and bombing of Orthodox Serbs and all the "horrors and lawlessness" that occurred under Clinton.

              --Dimitra Dwelley
            • Mike Woodson
              Dear Very Rev. Fr. John, See my responses below your comments. ... ... Fr. John, that s your take. I said throw these counterfeits off,
              Message 6 of 22 , Nov 3, 2006
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                Dear Very Rev. Fr. John,

                See my responses below your comments.


                --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
                <vrevjrs@...> wrote:
                > --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson"
                <singingmountains@>
                > wrote:
                > To the Russians: when are you going to throw these counterfeits
                > off of your backs and bring in the humble who have not sought the
                > power seats and therefore who can rightfully represent Christ's
                > leadership in > the One Russian Church? Where are the men who don't
                > allow themselves to be called humble or thank God in public that
                > *they* led the spiritual renewal of Russia, thinking more of their
                > legacy than the reality.
                >
                > JRS: 1) You are representing the current hierarchy of the Church of
                > Russia as being somehow false bishops, mostly because they agreed to
                > be bishops.


                Fr. John, that's your take. I said "throw these counterfeits off,"
                which refers to the counterfeits among them. You generalized it to
                all, something I did not do. That was a mistake, or, yet another spin.

                Other items:


                Why haven't you responded about MP Bishop Clement's admission to the
                Episcopal Church in New York in 1998 that the Soviets had destroyed
                the Orthodox hospitals or commandeered them, and needed to be rebuilt?


                What are the names, locations and dates of Orthodox Christian
                hospitals rebuilt since 1992 when Bishop Clement said Perestroika had
                opened the door? Really, point them out. I can't find records.


                Why was Bishop Clement in New York thanking the Episcopalians
                (protestants) in the first place?


                By speaking ill of the protests of protestants, do you imply that the
                Roman Catholic Church was in their right not to be protested against?
                Just sit there and let them burn folks to death? Don't protest? Don't
                speak up?


                Today the equivalent would be: Don't preach against the neglect of the
                young, old and dying by the Putintocracy. Let their sacrifice be a
                gift to the Patriarchate's needs, right?


                Rather, you have singled out the elderly and their distrust of the
                clergy for special mention -- bad 'ole folks -- they ruin the
                sanitization of the Soviet legacy going on now, messing up the agenda.
                They're a problem because they remember the truth and don't sell it out.


                The USSR got so many people so sick with the pollution, neglect, and
                indifference to human life, that Putin knows it would be easier just
                to let entire generations die off than it would to take care of them.


                It's either that, or he was unaware while President of Russia for six
                (6) years that Russia was so sick before he announced spending. "As
                you do to the least of these, so you do unto me."

                > Not only are the accusations you bring against them false and
                > undeserved: the same supposed guilt of "having sought the power
                > seats" could be applied to anyone else who
                > was willing to become a bishop.

                Willing to become a Bishop is one thing. Accepting posts and seeking
                out higher posts by carrying out KGB/FSB orders to get there is
                another. From the 1950s to 1991 everyone acts like Drozdov (Alexei II)
                didn't exist. The highest posts are the men with tenure. They call the
                shots, and pick their picks.

                Which of those ordinations did not require the approval of the
                Patriarch Alexei II (Agent Drozdov)?

                Why haven't those MP Bishops been preaching against Vladimir Putin's
                conduct of a repressive government and neglect of the Russian people's
                colossal medical, agricultural and preventive health needs?

                If blood could be on their hands, shouldn't they step down? If the KGB
                /FSB elicited info from clergy (now the higher ups) about people in
                their communities, and they gave it up to protect their families,
                while that is understandable and forgiveable under the stress of the
                regime, just as Judas was forgivable had he repented, how do they know
                whether their information was used for killing human beings?

                > 2) Calling on "the Russians" to rise up and overthrow the Church
                > hierarchy is completely contrary to Orthodox Christianity.

                Only the "counterfeits," just as I said. The real hierarchy, the
                sincere, would not be overthrown. Overthrowing counterfeits means
                calling the pretenders to publicly resign. That requires an
                investigation to ferret out those who were active Soviet informants
                and agents. As I said, it would be easier if they would resign. If
                that doesn't happen, or an investigation is impossible because of
                destroyed records or lack of witnesses, it would be better to have
                patience until the dark cloud of their falsity has passed.

                Perhaps this is another reason for the neglect: so that all of the
                aging witnesses of the actions of KGB informants would die off. It is
                the ultimate sanitization of a record; killing the memory of the truth
                by hastening the death of those with the memory. But don't worry,
                there is a Higher governing Church Triumphant, and there are clouds of
                witnesses there.

                The investigation is not going to happen with Putin in power, so it
                will have to be a while. Another perestroika is needed to get the FSB
                and associated agencies to release all concealed KGB records.
                Independent and honest investigators loyal to the Russian laws of the
                Russian people, would also help. By now, I am concerned that the
                records are sanitized or destroyed.


                > It is the way of the Protestant reformation, and if followed, could
                > lead to nothing good.

                Yes, it would, and it wouldn't be a reformation, it would be a
                correction within the true Church, pruning the tree of that which the
                atheists grafted into the Patriarchate.

                > 3) However, the Moscow Patriarchate and its bishops and clergy are,
                if anything, much
                > more popular today than the Russian clergy were before the
                revolution, when anticlerical
                > attitudes were a well-known (and well-documented) problem.

                Popular in what way? Are pollsters calling the Russian households with
                polls to extrapolate approval ratings on the clergy in general? Since
                when were political perceptions of clergy measured by pollsters? Why
                would that be an emphasis or expenditure?

                It seems to me the Russian people have some reason for their
                anti-clerical attitudes, considering that there were clerics informing
                on their families, or participating with authorities in hunting down
                innocent people.


                > Ironically, the older Russian emigration sometimes preserved those
                > anticlerical attitudes,

                I wouldn't count distrust as anti-clerical. And their distrust comes
                from knowing how the regime worked. The younger generations don't take
                these things as seriously because they witnessed the USSR/Russia after
                opposition, dissidents and truthtellers had already been crushed. The
                elder emigres fully understood the single-minded focus of the
                Committee for State Security and its resolve to finish the job on the
                Church.

                I am really, really glad St. John wrote his concise history of the
                ROCOR. That has really helped us see the light about how dogged the
                pursuers of the flock have been, especially since the Russian
                government is reverting to Soviet practices again.


                > whereas the new arrivals from Russia usually are respectful towards
                the clergy, and
                > constantly seek their prayers and advice.

                You mean the people who left Russia to live here? They've come to the
                ROCOR. Doesn't that beg the question?

                >
                > 4) The overwhelming majority of the Russian clergy, including the
                > majority of the bishops,
                > have been ordained since the fall of communism, mostly in the past
                > few years.

                We're talking about Bishops here Fr. John. When were they ordained as
                priests, that's the question. Were they informants? That's what
                determines who they're loyal to, Christ or the worldly government?

                >
                > There are no canonical grounds for replacing them, few candidates
                with any training to
                > could take their places, and in any case, the next generation of
                bishops, priests and
                > deacons would still be "the successors" of those who went before
                them: thus they too
                > would be attacked in the same way, by persons of your mindset.

                There would be no canonicity to the placement of the counterfeits in
                the first place, would there? Formal removal would not seem necessary.
                It would be easier to tell who was who with a thorough investigation
                and release of all KGB records. If the KGB and USSR are history, then
                why are their records active secrets? Too embarrassing what could be
                in there about the leadership, I'll bet.

                > Consequently, what you are calling for is both unreasonable, and
                > impossible to achieve.

                How about a formal, careful, professional investigation to get to the
                truth?

                > > The L.A. Times, however, put a reporter on the ground who made
                > > contrary reports as to the exaggerations. ... I remember citing the
                > > Times in some letters written to a national news outlet, ... and
                that was
                > > the beginning of the wider media
                > > exposure of the KLA as a drug-running organization in Europe with ties
                > > to the Afghan Mujahadeen.
                >
                > JRS: Unfortunately, that "wider media exposure" has been anything
                but wide. I would
                > recommend waiting until a few more people learn of it, before taking
                credit.
                >

                At the time the Washington Times was the at the forefront of
                Washington newspapers keeping the Clinton Administration honest, and
                their KLA coverage spurred Washington Post and Wall Street Journal
                competition to widen that publicity. It's staff gets the credit for
                breaking the KLA connections stories I'm referring to. You can see
                them referenced online, or you can go to their archive. I saw
                irregularities at CNN, including one report in which Kosovar Albanians
                were sitting on a hillside laughing, and the camera turned on them and
                they began lamenting and crying for the camera. Too many things were
                irregular, much as is true for the Annexation of the ROCOR by the MP
                today.

                > > The central question in all of this seems to be: how do the people
                > > deal with sin, fellow sinners and with overcoming passions? Is there a
                > > spiritual light for them to follow in that land and in authority?
                >
                > JRS: The spiritual light for them, and for us, can only be in the
                > Church.

                Yes. And the boundaries of the Church God sets, not you or me. It
                seems to me the boundaries don't include false prophets and politicos
                installed by governments. Wouldn't you agree?

                >
                > In Christ
                > Fr. John R. Shaw
                >

                God help us.
                Michael
              • Mike Woodson
                Dear Dimitra, If that was the ROCOR s mission, yes. We are talking about the Church of Christ, living in faith. Yes. Michael ... would ... remedy Clinton s
                Message 7 of 22 , Nov 3, 2006
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                  Dear Dimitra,

                  If that was the ROCOR's mission, yes. We are talking about the Church
                  of Christ, living in faith. Yes.

                  Michael

                  --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, DDD <dimitradd@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Wow. By this logic, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                  "would
                  > have the spiritual strength and legitimacy to criticize and help
                  remedy" Clinton's mass-murder and bombing of Orthodox Serbs and all
                  the "horrors and lawlessness" that occurred under Clinton.
                  >
                  > --Dimitra Dwelley
                  >
                • DDD
                  On Fri, 03 Nov 2006 13:11:38 -0000, Mike Woodson wrote: Dear Dimitra, If that was the ROCOR s mission, yes. We are talking about the Church of Christ, living
                  Message 8 of 22 , Nov 4, 2006
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                    On Fri, 03 Nov 2006 13:11:38 -0000, Mike Woodson wrote:
                    Dear Dimitra,

                    If that was the ROCOR's mission, yes. We are talking about the Church
                    of Christ, living in faith. Yes.

                    Michael

                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, DDD <dimitradd@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Wow. By this logic, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
                    "would
                    > have the spiritual strength and legitimacy to criticize and help
                    remedy" Clinton's mass-murder and bombing of Orthodox Serbs and all
                    the "horrors and lawlessness" that occurred under Clinton.
                    >
                    > --Dimitra Dwelley
                    ________________________________________________________________

                    Dear Michael,
                    Criticizing the U.S. government was not at all ROCOR's mission. I'm sorry you don't see the absurdity of it. It is for men to come to the Church. The Church does not *force* repentance, nor does it start taking on governments. If you remember, in the Gospels, the Jews had your same point: they wanted the Saviour to do something about the un-Jewish Roman rule. He refused. He even condoned paying tribute to (pagan) Caesar, which pious Jews considered to be the same as apostasy, since Caesar set himself up as a Roman god. This passage is worth serious reflection.
                    But the Church in Russia "took on" the government in a far different way: by its podvigi of existence under the cruel soviet regime, by prayer, by maintaining contact with God-bearing elders, by God's might working when we ourselves were powerless--and by martyrdom (yes, in the Moscow Patriarchate, which even the first Catacomb people were part of, since they recognized St. Peter of Krutista as patriarchal locum tenens.) By this means--spiritual means--the atheistic government in Russia was overcome and bloodlessly overthrown. This is a miracle for which we should all now be giving thanks to God!
                    I am reading the life of St. Seraphim of Vyritsa, who was a wonderworking, clairvoyant starets born before the Revolution and who reposed in 1949. Many who were not believers would somehow end up visiting him in times of personal sorrow--someone would say to them, "There is an old man in Vyritsa who can help you." And these people would come away believers. *This* is how the Russian Church has conquered atheism.
                    As for Putin, anything done by him as far as government goes is also done by our own government. That's why your accusation of the Orthodox Church is absurd--ah! the government has done something (you say) wrong, therefore the Church is not real. To go back to my comparison: that's like saying, "The Roman government was crucifying thousands of Jews; if Jesus were the Son of God He would come down from the Cross and overthrow the Roman government." But that's not what happened. He overthrew it in an entirely different way.
                    Meanwhile, under Putin, thousands of churches are being rebuilt, going to church is legal and not only allowed, but thriving. For this we should be giving thanks. If you don't like something else he is doing, by all means move to Russia and get involved in politics and speak up. Or, you could simply pray that the pious and God-fearing Tsar prophesied by the Optina Elders, St. Theophan of Poltava, Starets Lavrentii of Chernigov and others will now appear.

                    --Dimitra Dwelley
                    PS: In writing, it is impossible to convey tone of voice. I do not mean this in any kind of hostile tone of voice, Michael.
                  • Fr. John R. Shaw
                    ... JRS: You seem fond of accusing us of spin and of misrepresentation of the facts, and of all manner of things you do yourself. If only some of the clergy
                    Message 9 of 22 , Nov 4, 2006
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                      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Woodson" <singingmountains@...>
                      wrote:

                      > Fr. John, that's your take. I said "throw these counterfeits off,"
                      > which refers to the counterfeits among them. You generalized it to
                      > all, something I did not do. That was a mistake, or, yet another spin.

                      JRS: You seem fond of accusing us of "spin" and of misrepresentation of the facts, and of
                      all manner of things you do yourself.

                      If only some of the clergy in Russia are "counterfeits", how do you claim to know which is
                      which, when you seem to gain all information from American newspapers?

                      And who is supposed to decide that in Russia?

                      In any case, revolutions and overthrowing of bishops and priests by the laity is not
                      accepted in the Orthodox Church.

                      If a cleric is guilty of some specific offense, he can be tried before an ecclesiastical court.

                      > Why haven't you responded about MP Bishop Clement's admission to the
                      > Episcopal Church in New York in 1998 that the Soviets had destroyed
                      > the Orthodox hospitals or commandeered them, and needed to be rebuilt?

                      JRS: I do not read everything you write. I believe in getting to the point, and keeping my
                      remarks as concise as I can.

                      In 1998, he was already Archbishop Clement.

                      As for his remark as quoted, obviously it's true: the Church's hospitals, that it had before
                      the revolution were all taken away from it, and today they are being gradually rebuilt.

                      > What are the names, locations and dates of Orthodox Christian
                      > hospitals rebuilt since 1992 when Bishop Clement said Perestroika had
                      > opened the door? Really, point them out. I can't find records.

                      JRS: Two suggestions:

                      1) Learn to read Russian, and

                      2) follow the daily accounts of these things at the several MP websites.

                      > Why was Bishop Clement in New York thanking the Episcopalians
                      > (protestants) in the first place?

                      JRS: Who knows? Who cares?

                      Our own bishops (among them, Patriarch St. Tikhon) did that often enough in times past.

                      > By speaking ill of the protests of protestants, do you imply that the
                      > Roman Catholic Church was in their right not to be protested against?
                      > Just sit there and let them burn folks to death? Don't protest? Don't
                      > speak up?

                      JRS: What has that got to do with the time of day?

                      > The USSR got so many people so sick with the pollution, neglect, and
                      > indifference to human life, that Putin knows it would be easier just
                      > to let entire generations die off than it would to take care of them.

                      JRS: There are some writers on the internet that make ME sick, you know...

                      In Christ
                      Fr. John R. Shaw
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