Придружите се нашој ВИБЕР ГРУПИ на ЛИНКУ
Two members of an art collective were detained for flinging holy water at the Moscow mausoleum containing Vladimir Lenin's corpse, in an apparent bid to resurrect the revolutionary leader.
In video footage of the incident published by news site Grani.ru, artists Oleg Basov and Yevgeny Avilov can be seen emerging from a nearby church and approaching the mausoleum with two bottles of water labeled with crucifixes.
Basov and Avilov, members of the art collective Blue Horseman, then managed to bypass a security gate before flinging holy water at the walls of the mausoleum while chanting “Arise and be gone!”
Their performance, entitled “The Exorcist: Desecration of the Mausoleum” took place on Monday, when Orthodox Christians celebrated Epiphany — a religious holiday marking the baptism of Jesus.
The two men were soon apprehended and taken to a nearby police station, where they were detained overnight, police monitoring site OVD-Info reported.
Basov and Avilov now face charges of disorderly conduct, which is punishable by a fine of up to 2,500 rubles ($38) or 15 days in jail.
Vladimir Lenin, whose embalmed corpse has been housed in the mausoleum since shortly after his death in 1924 barring a wartime evacuation, was one of the founding fathers of the Bolshevik party. He famously rejected religion as “opium for the masses.”
His Grace Bishop John of Glavinitsa of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church reposed in the Lord this morning in a Sofia hospital after a brief battle with cancer, reports Dobrotoliubie.
Bp. John served as Vicar Bishop to His Eminence Metropolitan Kiril of Varna and Veliki Preslav and in recent years carried out his ministry at the world-famous St. John of Rila Monastery. He will be remembered as a hierarch who loved the service of God and the liturgical services.
His Grace was born Stoyan Kostadinov Stoykov on November 29, 1949 in Sofia. He received his secondary education at the St. John of Rila Sofia Seminary, and on January 11, 1969, he took his monastic vows in the Bachkovo Monastery, and was ordained as a hierodeacon later that year. He was ordained as a hieromonk in 1971, and raised to the rank of archimandrite in 1976.
n 1976, he graduated from the St. Clement of Ohrid Theological Academy in Sofia. He served as a priest in the Metropolis of Vidin, as the Deputy Rector of the Sofia Theological Seminary, and as the head of the Synodal Liturgical Department before becoming a bishop.
He was consecrated as the Bishop of Glavinitsa on November 30, 2010, serving as a vicar to the Metropolitan of Varna.
May his memory be eternal!
The Romanian Holy Synod met today under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel for its first session of 2019. Among the agenda items was the ongoing crisis situation in Ukraine.
In a January interview, Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, one of Constantinople’s two Exarchs to Kiev who helped prepare for mid-December’s scandalous “unification council,” predicted that the Greek and Romanian Churches would be the first to recognize and accept, by the end of February, the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” that was created by Constantinople at the “council” and given a tomos of autocephaly on January 6.
In his opening remarks, Pat. Daniel spoke about the tension in Ukraine and noted that there are currently 127 parishes in Ukraine with Romanian communities, calling on the Holy Synod to consider their pastoral care, reports the Basilica News Agency. These parishes, mainly in northern Bukovina, are reportedly very troubled by the recent events in Ukraine.
The Synod made several points about the Ukraine situation in the official communiqué on the session’s results.
The bishops first note that the schisms in Ukraine have persisted for 30 years and that there was not even an appeal for pan-Orthodox mediation, as was done in the case of the schism in Bulgaria. Seeing this impasse, the Ecumenical Patriarchate granted a tomos of autocephaly to the hierarchs, clergy, and laity who were in schism from the Russian Church and the entire Orthodox Church. As the Synod notes, this tomos was accepted only by those Ukrainians not in communion with the Russian Church.
It is important to note here that the Romanian Church thus still considered the members of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” to be schismatics when they received the tomos on January 6, even after they were received by the Patriarchate of Constantinople on October 11.
Therefore, ecclesiastical unity has not yet been achieved in Ukraine, “because there is a large population of Russian ethnicity that keeps a direct link with the Moscow Patriarchate,” the Romanian Synod writes.
However, the canonical Ukrainian Church under His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine remains by far the largest Church in Ukraine, with millions of ethnic Ukrainians also remaining faithful to the Church that is an autonomous body within the Russian Church.
The Synod then reiterates the view expressed at it May 24 and October 25 sessions, recommending that the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates find a solution to the conflict through dialogue, preserving the unity of the faith, respecting the administrative-pastoral freedom of the clergy and faithful of Ukraine (including the right to autocephaly), and restoring Eucharistic communion. In their October statement, the bishops emphasized that synodality is “a permanent necessity in the life of the Church.”
In the event of the failure of bilateral dialogue, then it will be necessary to convene a Synaxis of the primates of the Orthodox Church to solve the problem, the Synod writes.
For a concrete decision, priority will be given to the consideration of the 127 Romanian parishes at a future Synod session. It is necessary to consult with these parishes, the bishops state, as they are concerned about preserving their ethnic and linguistic identity.
Thus, the Synod writes that it is necessary to obtain written guarantees from the Church authorities that the Romanians’ ethnicity and language will be respected and that they will have the opportunity to organize into a Romanian vicariate and to cultivate their spiritual connection with the Romanian Patriarchate.
The statement also mentions that a Ukrainian vicariate has operated in Romania since 1990.
The Romanian Church will also request that Constantinople clarify the problem of the non-canonical hierarchs and priests in the West, who belonged to the former “Kiev Patriarchate.”
The Holy Synod will express its official position following the above-mentioned consultations.
Commentary on the Ukrainian Issue for the Cypriot Holy Synod
The Holy Synod of the Church of Cyprus issued a very diplomatic statement on the Ukrainian issue yesterday, though it was not signed by every bishop on the Synod. Without directly placing any blame, the statement is hard on the Russian Church while not criticizing any of the actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Nevertheless, the Cypriot Synod did not recognize the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” as a legitimate church and has not entered into Eucharistic communion with them.
A translation of the Synodal statement is available on Orthodox Synaxis.
After the Synod’s statement was released, a personal statement from His Eminence Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos was published on the Greek site Romfea, which speaks much more directly about the errors of the Patriarchate of Constantinople’s actions in Ukraine and the impossibility of having communion with the Ukrainian schismatics.
From the moment that the question of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church first arose, we have openly spoken in its favor. In communication with various people—both Church and secular—I have insisted that, in essence, the practice that a politically independent country has its own autocephalous Church prevails in Orthodoxy today.
However, I had hoped that this—certainly desirable—autocephalous Orthodox Ukrainian Church would be established not in haste and in a rush, but gradually, with great attention and in agreement with Orthodox tradition, the sacred canons, and generally the totality of the Church-canonical law of our holy Orthodox Church.
Unfortunately, the entire process of proclaiming and recognizing the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church did not proceed by the democratic Orthodox conciliar process; it was not democratic and conciliar sentiments and tendencies that triumphed in it, but, as sad as it is to admit, authoritarian and autocratic.
Although His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople acknowledged and confirmed by his letter more than twenty years ago the deposition and excommunication of Metropolitan Philaret and his followers as schismatics from the Russian Orthodox Church and in general from the Body of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church; although three years ago, at the Synaxis of Primates in 2016, as His Beatitude Patriarch Kirill of Moscow reports in his open letter, the Patriarch of Constantinople promised that he wouldn’t do this, that he wouldn’t unilaterally grant autocephalous status to the Ukrainian Church and especially to schismatics—despite all of this, he completely without any reason began the process of granting autocephaly to the above-mentioned church. Moreover, what’s even sadder, after twenty years, and his own written agreement with the reprisals imposed on Philaret notwithstanding, he nevertheless restored the above-mentioned condemned person, contradicting himself and restoring those deposed and condemned by the Russian Orthodox Church.
In my humble opinion, this action is anti-canonical from the point of view of the sacred canons, which say that any reproach, deposition, and excommunication can be removed only by that body which imposed it and only under the condition of the repentance of those condemned. Therefore, only the Orthodox Moscow Patriarchate had the right to restore Philaret and the canonical jurisdiction to return him to the bosom of the Orthodox Church.
The biggest mistake made by the Ecumenical Patriarch, from my humble point of view, is the contemptuous disregard for Metropolitan Onuphry, the Metropolitan of the only Ukrainian Orthodox Church having general canonical recognition, and also the recognition, instead of him, of Epiphany, having no canonical ordination, as Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine, and also the handing of a tomos of autocephaly to him while concelebrating with him.
Most blessed and most holy brothers!
I can draw only one conclusion. Sadly enough, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s granting of autocephalous status to the schismatic community of Philaret and Epiphany not only did not heal the existing schism in Ukraine, but on the contrary, aggravated it. Now, after the granting of the tomos, we see a tragic reality: In Ukraine there exists a canonical Church under Metropolitan Onuphry and a schismatic community under the leadership of the defrocked Philaret and Epiphany. Obviously, there is a danger that after three years of military confrontation, the Ukrainian people will now be divided by a religious confrontation. Even greater is another danger: The unhealed Ukrainian schism could affect, as many have already said, the entire Body of universal Orthodoxy, with which, alas, it proved to be connected.
Thus, I believe that we, the Holy Synod of the Cypriot Church, cannot recognize the schismatic Epiphany, having no canonical ordination, as the canonical Metropolitan of Kiev and All Ukraine. It is even more unacceptable for us to have Eucharistic communion with unordained schismatics.
Thus, my humble proposals are as follows:
1. Our Holy Synod should not side with either the Moscow Patriarch or the Ecumenical, so as not to damage the mediation efforts of the Church of Cyprus to achieve a canonical solution to the problem.
I also express the fear that the worst would happen—that the Slavic Churches would side with the Moscow Patriarchate and the Greeks with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. That would make it a long-lasting schism (to the great joy of the enemies of universal Orthodox).
2. Our Holy Synod should support the proposal of His Beatitude Patriarch John of Antioch to soon convene a pan-Orthodox council or (if it is difficult or even impossible) a Synaxis of the primates, where the Ukrainian issue can be discussed and a canonical resolution will be found in agreement with the sacred canons and Tradition of the Orthodox Church.
3. I believe that the Cypriot Church, having received autocephaly at the Third Ecumenical Council, endowed with authority and crowned with the light of the Eastern Church, can and should play a decisive mediating role in the implementation of the above proposals and the resolution of the problem situation.
Metropolitan Nikiforos of Kykkos
The body of His Grace Bishop Athanasius of Kisimu and Western Kenya was laid to rest yesterday at the Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral where the diocesan headquarters are located, reports nyxthimeron.com.
Thus, the Kenyan faithful bid farewell to Bp. Athanasius, their greatly beloved hierarch of the Patriarchate of Alexandria, on the feast of the 3 Holy Hierarchs.
His Grace became very ill while visiting America in November and was admitted to the ICU at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts. Social media was flooded with heartfelt stories and memories of the kind and gentle hierarch. He reposed in the Lord on January 4, having suffered from a rare form of blood cancer. He was only 48.
Bp. Athanasius’ body arrived to the Nairobi airport on January 27 and to the Kisimu airport the next day, from where it was taken to his home, where hundreds of people came to pray for and remember His Grace. A memorial All-Night Vigil was celebrated in the evening of January 29, where His Eminence Archbishop Makarios of Nairobi reminded those who had gathered to mourn of how such moments underscore the importance of our reliance on the salvation of Christ, Who is our final judge and our hope.
A hierarchical Liturgy was celebrated the next day, January 30. The Liturgy was followed by a number of eulogies in Bp. Athanasius’ honor, and at 4:00 PM, a procession to the cathedral at the diocesan headquarters began to serve his funeral, according to a schedule posted on the Facebook page of the Orthodox Christian Missionary Center (OCMC).
The children of the St. Tabitha Mission in the Kibera Slums sang in honor of Bp. Athanasius:
The OCMC also reports that more than $50,000 were raised to fund transportation and funeral arrangements, to organize an event in his honor, and to support his diocese during this time of transition.
Abp. Makarios offered a moving homily at the funeral, which he opened by exclaiming “Christ is Risen” in several languages. “Today is a very special day, a day of joy, a day of celebration, because we have seen our brother and co-celebrant in Christ, Bishop Athanasius, departing from this life to eternal life, the real life, the life in the bosom of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,” he preached, focusing on the joy of the coming Resurrection.
But, we never know when our time is coming, and thus we have to be ready. “Be ready,” the archbishop said. “Are we ready? Are we ready to forgive one another? Are we ready to love one another? Are we ready to embrace one another? Each and every one of us has to answer this question.”
As Abp. Makarios told the crowd, Bp. Athanasius was a man who lived a life of preparation and readiness to meet Christ.
May his memory be eternal!