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How the FDA Manipulates the Media


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How the FDA Manipulates the Media

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been arm-twisting journalists into relinquishing their reportorial independence, our investigation reveals. Other institutions are following suit

                                     

                                    How the FDA Manipulates the Media

 

WWW.SCIENTIFICAMERICAN.COM

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been arm-twisting journalists into relinquishing their reportorial independence, our investigation reveals. Other institutions are following suit

 

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Why is the FDA funded in part by the companies it regulates?

The window of Pfizer world headquarters.

 

THECONVERSATION.COM

The FDA receives almost half its funding from companies it regulates, such as drug and medical device makers. Is this something you should be concerned about?

 

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Crackdown on Corruption in FDA in India

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AROGYALEGAL.COM

Two separate incidents, one relating to India's central drug law enforcement body- the Central Drugs Standards Control Authority (CDSCO), and another relating to a State drugs law enforcement...

 

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How the FDA & Big Pharma Collusion Can Kill Us While Taking Our Money

Dr Paul Lynn MD

 

SFPMG.COM

FDA Levies Large Fine Against Johnson & Johnson It's not Really the Good News you'd Think it Would be. Recent press releases from the FDA and Justice Department proudly announced Johnson &...

 

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PSYCHOLOGIST SAYS FDA IS CORRUPT—BAN ECT

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Dr. Toby Watson, who says electroconvulsive therapy is anything but therapeutic, is outraged the FDA isn’t doing something.

 

WWW.CCHR.ORG

Dr. Toby Watson, who says electroconvulsive therapy is anything but therapeutic, is outraged the FDA isn’t doing something.

 

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Illustration of scientists at a table voting on decisions

 

Among the investigation's key findings:

  • Of 107 physician advisers who voted on the committees Science examined, 40 over a nearly 4-year period received more than $10,000 in post hoc earnings or research support from the makers of drugs that the panels voted to approve, or from competing firms; 26 of those gained more than $100,000; and six more than $1 million.
  • Of the more than $24 million in personal payments or research support from industry to the 16 top-earning advisers—who received more than $300,000 each—93% came from the makers of drugs those advisers previously reviewed or from competitors.
  • Most of those top earners—and many others—received other funds from those same companies, concurrent with or in the year before their advisory service. Those payments were disclosed in scholarly journals but not by FDA.

 

WWW.SCIENCE.ORG

 

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Unforgivable Hypocrisy From FDA’s Career CDER Leadership

Dr. David Gortler | FDA Drug Safety & Investigational Medicine News
Former FDA Medical Officer and Senior Advisor to the FDA Commissioner
 
WWW.FORBES.COM

The same career FDA bureaucrat who crowed about “following the science” to discredit President Trump has approved a failed Alzheimer’s drug.
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A Legacy Of Corruption In The FDA And Big Pharma – OpEd

Our healthcare system is broken, a fact nobody would have disputed in precovid days. Regulatory capture is a reality, and the pharmaceutical industry is fraught with examples.

Yet we trusted private-public partnerships to find an optimal solution to a global pandemic, assuming a crisis would bring out the best in historically corrupt institutions.

Here is a brief list of less-than-savory behavior demonstrated by our titans of healthcare: 

  • Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson plead guilty to “misbranding with the intent to defraud or mislead” and paying “kickbacks to health care providers to induce them to prescribe [their] drugs,” resulting in fines of $2.3 billion in 2009 and $2.2 billion in 2013, respectively. 
  • Pfizer settled another lawsuit for “manipulating studies” and “suppressing negative findings” just a few years later. 
  • Moderna has never developed an approved drug, yet one of their board members was placed in charge of Operation Warp Speed. This certainly is unrelated to the fact that they received the most federal vaccine research and development funding and have received over $6 billion from our government since the start of the pandemic.
  • Gilead Sciences paid $97 million in fines, because it “illegally used a non-profit foundation as a conduit to pay the Medicare co-pays for its own drug.”
  • In 2005, AstraZeneca’s drug Crestor was shown to be linked to a life-threatening muscle disease while the company withheld evidence of this and two dozen other effects from the public.
  • In 2012, GlaxoSmithKline paid $3 billion in fines, as it “failed to include certain safety data” relating to their drug, since labeled as connected to heart failure and attacks.

Thankfully, our public health guardians are in place to protect us from the greed and deceit of the private sector, right? Wrong. Enjoy another brief list:

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) worked behind the scenes with company Biogen to alter previously conducted trials of their $56,000 per year Alzheimer’s treatment, and “by removing the subset of people for whom the drug didn’t work, they found a slight statistical effect in favor of the drug.” Even after doing this, an advisory committee voted 10–0 against approving the drug. The FDA approved the drug anyway, causing three committee members to resign.
  • In that case, the third-party advisors did the right thing. This is not always the case: a study by Science Magazine tracking 107 FDA advisors for four years found that 62 percent received money from related drug makers, with 25 percent receiving over $100,000 and 6 percent receiving over $1 million. It only takes a few corrupt advisors to fix a panel and feign medical consensus.
  • In 2017, it was revealed that the acting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director for heart disease and stroke prevention had been secretly communicating with Coca-Cola, providing guidance on how “to influence world health authorities on sugar and beverage policy matters.”

The American healthcare system remains mired in good old-fashioned crony capitalism, fascism, corporatism, mercantilism, protectionism … fancy words for when private companies work with governments to subvert the forces of competition. The suppression of research into off-patent drugs is a nasty symptom of this problem.

While there are countless drugs to which this applies, we will discuss ivermectin. First, addressing the drug’s dismissal by its own manufacturer, Merck, let it be known that ivermectin is no longer under patent. Merck no longer owns exclusive rights to the drug’s production. The forces of competition have been bestowed upon the drug, thus making it far cheaper. Meanwhile, Merck is also currently rolling out an oral covid treatment, which the US government is providing $1.2 billion in funding to research. This would be under patent and may explain the company’s opposition to using ivermectin.

The usefulness of ivermectin remains debatable. However, it’s important to note that in early April 2020,  a study at the University of Monash in Australia suggested it can be effective. Moreover, the drug is FDA approved, has existed for forty years, won a Nobel Prize, and is extremely safe when used at recommended levels. Given the crisis and ivermectin’s safety—safe even if not conferring big benefits for covid sufferers—the rush to condemn use of the drug appears suspect. Indeed, a week after the Australian study was published, the FDA advised against using ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment, forcing desperate people to the black market and to self-prescribe versions of the drug intended for animals.

The FDA noted subsequently that “additional testing is needed.” Yet, to date, there has not been a single completed government-funded study on the effectiveness of ivermectin against covid-19. Meanwhile, they have funneled billions toward research into vaccines and patented treatments. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded trials for remdesivir, still under patent with Gilead, despite it being less effective and having more severe side effects than ivermectin. The FDA approved remdesivir under emergency use authorization (EUA) despite published trials, later stating “remdesivir was not associated with statistically significant clinical benefits.”

One would think that if “additional testing” is so important, the US government might be interested in funding research to examine the potential benefits of cheap, safe, and proven drugs that have shown some promise in treating covid. But that’s clearly not what going on. Funding is geared toward helping huge pharmaceutical companies develop new patented drugs. As long Big Pharma wants it, and if there’s a profit to be made, apparently our government will be there to provide funding.

This article was published by the MISES Institute

 

 

 

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GAB | The Global Anticorruption Blog

Law, Social Science, and Policy

 

Regulatory Discretion and Corruption in the FDA

In the United States, the regulatory agency responsible for ensuring safe food and medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has been marred by numerous scandals – from a 2016 insider trading prosecution to a 2009 politicized medical device approval to a 2013 ProPublica investigation that found the FDA overlooked fraudulent research and let potentially unsafe drugs stay on the market. These scandals have, understandably, undermined public confidence in the FDA. What’s the explanation for these problems? Why is there such a large public perception of corruption, and so many questionable incidents, at the FDA?

Much of the explanation has to do with institutional design: Corruption blooms where transparency and accountability are lacking, yet the FDA has vast discretion over the regulations it sets, incredibly loose restrictions on the money it can receive from industry, and little public accountability. The following steps can be taken to reform the FDA, in the interest of rooting out corruption and restoring public confidence in the agency:

 

  1. End the Influence of Corporate Money in FDA Regulation—The FDA is responsible for the approval of pharmaceuticals, which are incredibly expensive to develop, in the hundreds of millions of dollars per drug. Drug companies therefore spend heavily on lobbyists to influence FDA approval policy. As in other contexts where well-resourced interest groups spend heavily to influence government policy, this conduct, even if lawful, raises at the reasonable suspicion of impropriety and undermines public confidence in the agency. Furthermore, the FDA suffers from a pervasive “revolving door” problem: many FDA administrators, either before or after their time at the agency, receive payments from (and sit on the boards of) large pharmaceutical companies. For example, President Trump’s nominee for FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, received $200,000 in 2015 from drug companies. But this is not a new or partisan issue: President Obama’s FDA Commissioner, Robert M. Califf, received $30,000 from drug companies in the year preceding his nomination, and President George W. Bush’s former FDA Chair continues to receive $50K-$70K from drug companies, mostly for “consulting.” When FDA administrators stand to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in the years following their service from the very companies they are charged with regulating, they face strong incentives to behave in ways favorable to those companies. The ability to pay a drug administrator for approval is antithetical to the need for safe and fair drug trials; that the payments come a few years before and after their service does not change this fact. The federal government could take steps to limit the revolving door with a mandatory deferral time of at least a few years between employment at the FDA and participation in FDA-related lobbying activities.

2. Improve Transparency of the FDA’s Regulatory Processes—While the FDA makes claims about the safety of certain food and drugs, there is little transparency into what goes into the decision-making process behind those claims. The agency’s secretive behavior contributes to the public perception of wrongdoing and the lack of trust in the agency’s conclusions. The Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society has an excellent post describing some basic reforms that would improve transparency and generally improve the way in which the agency conducts business. The recommendations are astoundingly simple, including “Making public FDA’s clinical and statistical reviews of products not approved or for which the marketing applications are abandoned or withdrawn.” Current FDA regulations that limit public information are self-imposed, rather than statutory, and therefore could be changed if the agency faced pressure to do so.

3. Provide Oversight of the Agency—The FDA falls under the purview of Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an agency also charged with administering Medicare and Medicaid. The FDA is a very small part of HHS, receiving about $2.7 billion of HHS’s $1 trillion This organizational structure means that the main oversight agency for the FDA is the Office of the Inspector General for HHS, an office also tasked with overseeing the massive federal insurance programs. This lack of effective oversight, when coupled with FDA’s vast regulatory discretion, substantially increases the risks of improper behavior. Decisions by the agency are mostly final and lack an effective appeals process, and failure to act by the agency requires litigation by activists to correct. If so much discretion and secrecy are truly necessary to the FDA’s regulatory process, there must be a third-party oversight body whose main focus is the integrity of this agency.

 

GLOBALANTICORRUPTIONBLOG.COM

In the United States, the regulatory agency responsible for ensuring safe food and medicine, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has been marred by numerous scandals – from a 2016 insider trading...

 

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Institutional corruption of pharmaceuticals and the myth of safe and effective drugs

Abstract

Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of medicine through its influence over what drugs are developed, how they are tested, and how medical knowledge is created. Since 1906, heavy commercial influence has compromised congressional legislation to protect the public from unsafe drugs. The authorization of user fees in 1992 has turned drug companies into the FDA's prime clients, deepening the regulatory and cultural capture of the agency. Industry has demanded shorter average review times and, with less time to thoroughly review evidence, increased hospitalizations and deaths have resulted. Meeting the needs of the drug companies has taken priority over meeting the needs of patients. Unless this corruption of regulatory intent is reversed, the situation will continue to deteriorate. We offer practical suggestions including: separating the funding of clinical trials from their conduct, analysis, and publication; independent FDA leadership; full public funding for all FDA activities; measures to discourage R&D on drugs with few, if any, new clinical benefits; and the creation of a National Drug Safety Board.

© 2013 American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics, Inc.

PUBMED.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV

Over the past 35 years, patients have suffered from a largely hidden epidemic of side effects from drugs that usually have few offsetting benefits. The pharmaceutical industry has corrupted the practice of...

 

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Institutional Corruption of Pharmaceuticals

Risky Drugs: Why The FDA Cannot Be Trusted

By Donald W. Light
Harvard University, The Lab @ Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics

A forthcoming article for the special issue of the Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics (JLME), edited by Marc Rodwin and supported by the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, presents evidence that about 90 percent of all new drugs approved by the FDA over the past 30 years are little or no more effective for patients than existing drugs.

All of them may be better than indirect measures or placebos, but most are no better for patients than previous drugs approved as better against these measures. The few superior drugs make important contributions to the growing medicine chest of effective drugs.

The bar for “safe” is equally low, and over the past 30 years, approved drugs have caused an epidemic of harmful side effects, even when properly prescribed. Every week, about 53,000 excess hospitalizations and about 2400 excess deaths occur in the United States among people taking properly prescribed drugs to be healthier. One in every five drugs approved ends up causing serious harm, while one in ten provide substantial benefit compared to existing, established drugs. This is the opposite of what people want or expect from the FDA.

Prescription drugs are the 4th leading cause of death. Deaths and hospitalizations from over-dosing, errors, or recreational drug use would increase this total. American patients also suffer from about 80 million mild side effects a year, such as aches and pains, digestive discomforts, sleepiness or mild dizziness.

The forthcoming article in JLME also presents systematic, quantitative evidence that since the industry started making large contributions to the FDA for reviewing its drugs, as it makes large contributions to Congressmen who have promoted this substitution for publicly funded regulation, the FDA has sped up the review process with the result that drugs approved are significantly more likely to cause serious harm, hospitalizations, and deaths. New FDA policies are likely to increase the epidemic of harms.

 

PNHP.ORG

Risky Drugs: Why The FDA Cannot Be TrustedBy Donald W. LightHarvard University, The Lab @ Edmond J. Safra Center for EthicsA forthcoming article for the special issue of the Journal of...

 

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FDA Corruption and Bad Science (The TRUTH!)

A Lethal Problem

More than 100 million Americans have received prescriptions for unsafe drugs that later had to be pulled from the market because of safety concerns. Every year, about 2 million Americans experience significant side effects from FDA-approved drugs.

And every year, about 100,000 Americans die as a result.

This according to a 2006 study in the International Journal of Health Sciences.

The same study found that out of every 100 new drugs that make it through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s drug evaluation process, there are 27 “black-box” safety warnings and outright market withdrawals within the first 16 years.

Why are so many Americans falling victim to adverse drug effects? The reasons are complex, but many of them are attributable to structural problems with the drug approval process, and with corruption within the U.S. Food and Drug Administration itself.

Who Funds the FDA?

Many people think the FDA is funded directly by the taxpayer. But this is only partially true. As of Fiscal Year 2019, only about 55% of the FDA’s $5.9 billion budget came via Congressional authorization. The other 45%, about $2.7 billion, comes from “user fees” paid by the regulated food and drug companies themselves — an arrangement many observers believe leads the Agency into serious conflicts of interest.

Furthermore, in order to keep the user fees flowing, the FDA must negotiate new user fee terms with the drug industry every five years, as the Prescription Drug User Fee Act expires. This means that the drug industry has a great deal of leverage over their regulators.

As a result, the FDA has to serve the industry it regulates, more than it needs to serve the tax-paying public. But it’s the public who bears the cost of unsafe drugs.

Lower user fees may help lower the cost of new drug development. But it also increases the risk of unsafe drugs being released on the market.

 

AstraZeneca and the FDA

In one such case, U.K.-based drug manufacturer AstraZeneca, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a single cardiologist on the panel that approved the drug ticagrelor – a promising heart medication marketed under the brand name Brilinta.

The company didn’t disclose any conflict of interest at the time. Instead, the payments to the cardiologist came in the form of consulting fees and honoraria over several years.

As it happened, Brilinta was a huge commercial success. And it is effective at helping to prevent blood clots in heart disease and heart attack patients. The drug made the company more than $1 billion. Which meant there was plenty of money for them to pay to the members of the approval panel.

But this one cardiologist wasn’t alone.

AstraZeneca also paid $63,000 to a Duke University cardiologist who sat on a panel that approved quetiapine, an antipsychotic medication marketed under the brand name Seroquel.

But Seroquel, when used in combination with certain other drugs, is associated with a statistically significant risk of sudden cardiac death. This is also true of other compounds that are chemically similar to Seroquel.

According to Science Magazine, the problem arose when AstraZeneca officials were pitching FDA review panels to approve the drug for additional applications: schizophrenia and childhood bipolar disorder. Although researchers knew that Seroquel and similar compounds increased the risk of sudden cardiac death, the company minimized those risks in presenting to the panels.

The panels approved the drug – and the panel members received significant consulting fees, speaking fees, honorariums, and other payments in the months and years after they approved the medication.

This is an example of what critics call a “pay-later” conflict of interest.

According to an investigation by Science magazine:

  • 40 out of 107 physician advisors on drug approval committees studied received at least $10,000 in consulting fees, honoraria, or other benefits within four years of granting approval.
  • Twenty-six of those physician advisors received at least $100,000.
  • Six of them received over $1 million.
  •  

 

WWW.SIDEEFFECTSMAYVARY.COM

Drugs are big business in the United States. Between consumers, health care institutions, and insurance companies, Americans spent nearly half a billion dollars on medicines in 2018. And Americans...

 

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FDA's top vaccine leaders are leaving

Illustration of the FDA logo sweating under a spotlight.

 

Two of the FDA's top vaccine regulators, Marion Gruber and Phil Krause, are leaving the agency, which was first reported by BioCentury.

Why it matters: The FDA appears to be increasingly rudderless at a crucial time in the pandemic. The agency still has no permanent commissioner and now is losing two highly regarded vaccine experts all while officials weigh full approval of the COVID-19 vaccines for adults, initial authorization for kids, and booster shots for many.

State of play: Gruber is retiring in October, and Krause is leaving in November, according to a memo from Peter Marks, a top drug director at the FDA. Gruber and Krause weren't immediately available for comment.

What they're saying: The departures shocked people throughout the industry, considering the FDA still has consequential decisions to make about the COVID-19 vaccines and that Gruber and Krause are considered top experts in this field.

  • Luciana Borio, a former top FDA scientist, said on Twitter the agency is "losing two giants who helped bring us many safe and effective vaccines over decades of public service."

Between the lines: The Biden administration left a bad taste within the science community last month after officials said booster doses of the mRNA vaccines would be available for Americans starting Sept. 20, pending FDA evaluation of data.

  • But many vaccine researchers thought the Biden administration neutered the FDA by saying boosters were going to happen on a specific date, even though the FDA's review had barely begun.
  •  
WWW.AXIOS.COM

The FDA appears to be rudderless at a critical time.

 

 

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      This unique film documents two decades of the rescue, recovery and rebuilding at the World Trade Center site in New York City. It is the longest running time-lapse project in the company’s history, including never-before-seen EarthCam footage spanning 20 years.
      EarthCam has been on site since 2001 when EarthCam CEO & Founder, Brian Cury, installed a webcam just days after the attacks to webcast the rescue mission to the families of the missing. As rescue became recovery and eventually rebuilding, EarthCam set to work to develop new robotic DSLR camera technology necessary to document this revered 16 acre site in the highest resolution possible.
      Every few minutes for 20 years, panoramic images captured the transformation of downtown Manhattan from over 100 viewing angles, totaling 13.3 million individual photos.
      “We appreciate EarthCam’s unprecedented contribution of 20 years of historic images, which have meticulously recorded the rebuilding that transformed this sacred space,” said 9/11 Memorial President and CEO Alice M. Greenwald, “This creative time-lapse both honors the legacy of those who were killed and embodies hope for the future, as we see these remarkable new structures that surround the Memorial as evidence of lower Manhattan’s resilience and renewal.”
      All two decades of content, in addition to the original EarthCam camera have been donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum.
      “This is an emotional milestone for EarthCam, as the history of the company has been so intertwined with this site.” said Brian Cury, CEO and Founder of EarthCam, “We’re grateful to so many partners, friends, and to the extraordinary dedicated team at EarthCam whose innovation drove this process for 20 years to deliver this historic record for the world.”
      Produced & Directed by Brian Cury Archival Producers: Lana Moskalyova & Juan Navas Webcam Technology: Bill Sharp, Colin Sheehan, Dylan Stark, Michael Winfield Editors: Travis Cooper & Brian Cury Special Thanks: Riese Restaurants, Millenium Hilton New York Downtown, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine, Empire State Realty Trust, Hyatt Regency Jersey City On The Hudson, The Statue of Liberty - Ellis Island Foundation, Inc., National Park Service, Kaitlyn Leubling, Daniel Ortiz, Madison Housel, Joseph Alon, Kyle Storm, Taylor Smith, Joseph Nizza, Amanda Valentin, Charles Dilkes, Elisabeth Van Rensalier, Lisa Kelly, Jason Brossa, Todd Maloof
    • Од Поуке.орг - инфо,
      -Saint Basil of Ostrog - a wonderworker who has been pouring out the living grace of God for three and a half centuries-
      Author's text of His Grace Kiril (Bojovic), Diocesan Bishop of Buenos Aires and South-Central America, written on the occasion of the 350th anniversary of repose of this great wonderworker of  Ostrog, with a review of the program "St. Basil of Ostrog – a witness of the Resurrection", the author of which is  catechist Branislav Ilic from Novi Sad, broadcast by the Diocese of Backa Radio “Beseda”

      Christ is Risen!
      “1I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
       2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.
       3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
       4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
      5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
       6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
       7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
       8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
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      . 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. (Jn. 15, 1-10)
       
      Christ is Risen!
       
      New people are constantly being born on this planet of ours; these people are being born in different peoples, in different cultures, in different environments, ethical, religious, climatic, economic ... But there are few people whose birth represents not only an  appearance of one person on this world, but represents a place or a moment in time where and when whole peoples are born, generations of personalities ... Such people become, in accordance with the above words of the Gospel-writer John, those fertile branches of vineyards that are planted, grafted, cultivated on the only life-giving vine, the root of life, the corner-stone that merged human nature with divine nature, that breathed into human nature the breath of eternal life. From that root which is Christ the Lord, these people, like fertile branches, draw life and give it to all those who approach them with faith, and so they produce many fruits in the Vineyard of the Heavenly Father. 
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      "Glory and mercy to him", each of us listened to our grandmother or mother whispering the name of Saint Basil, standing up abruptly and making a sign of cross with awe. Each of us grew up in the ambience of that magical name. And so for three and a half centuries.
      Stojan Jovanovic, i.e. monk Basil, heard Christ's words, "Stay in me and I will be in you" and walked straight along the path of Christ, from his parents' home to the monastery of Zavala, then via the monastery of Tvrdosh to the Cetinje monastery, to Russian Empire for aid, and then and to the monasteries of Chilandar and Mount Athos for vigil services until late at night. Then back to the Patriarchate of Pech, our patriarchate, the hub where the fruit-bearing branches of our vineyard branch out in our share in the Vineyard of Christ. No philosophy of this world, no Turkish tyrants, no Latin inquisitors , no demonic power, no substance could separate Stojan from that path, because he knew the Holy Scriptures and the words of the Apostles: “38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[a] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”  (Rom. 38, 39). Both that and such knowledge of the Holy Scripture, knowledge of the Word of God which he stored in his pure heart, brought Stojan into a state of pure prayer, a state of pure service to God as the hierarch of the Church of God, which led him into a state of holiness, to St. Basil.
      What did the monk Basil so important that God chose him to be archpastor of his Church? He had good intentions, as it is said in his troparion, he had a good disposition in his mind and heart which he supported with hard labor, fasting, prayer and good deeds. And He had both a motive and a reason: "Basil, by the grace of God, Metropolitan of Zahumlje and Herzegovina, I am writing to confirm the truth, so that Christians know how I was in Ostrog, in the wasteland, for a while. And I have voluntarily contributed my spiritual labors here. And I did not spare my property for the sake of the mercy of the Holy Mother of God. Many have hurt me, but God has been my spporter in every good deed. In Ostrog, in the cold rocks of heat for God's sake,… God sees it and the Most Holy Mother of God. ” And so for three and a half centuries.
      The masses of the Hagarenes, wanting to abolish the visible presence of Christ in our people of Saint Sava, burned the relics of Saint Sava, which were the refuge of our people in those difficult times. And God did not let us wander for long without a lighthouse. From the seventeenth century, the relics of St. Basil have been a beacon and a source of miraculous power, which showed the way and fed our people and all the people who came to him regardless of nationality or religion, by the power of Christ's Resurrection at all times and in joy or in a trouble. One should not go far into history; it is enough to remember that miraculous visitation of the hierarch of St. Basil in 1996. to Herzegovina and back where many people  were born in the faith. Or that miraculous visitation of the Saint, but now together with all his people in the cross processions of 2019 and 2020. And so for three and a half centuries.
      (My father  held my hand, I remember, while I was reaching somewhere up to his waist, we were on a plateau, deep down you could see the valley where the river meanders, everything around it was green, the river feeding the whole plain with water giving it life; the sun was shining very brightly illuminating  the white edifice up a little above but as if nailed to the sky, it was the edifice of an ancient monastery, which was shining in the sun and seemed to radiate light itself. A huge line of people seemed to be waiting for someone, but somehow serenely, without haste, as if that Someone had already been there, as if that Someone was waiting for the people, while a pious whisper, “Saint Basil, glory and mercy to him!” could be heard everywhere. Mu father was making a sign of cross ...)
      And so for three and a half centuries, each of us has stood in line knowing that St. Basil will receive and reward him, that he will understand and forgive, that he will heel our soul and body. Standing in line before the Holy One, I am reminded of the words of a psalm, “Let a righteous man strike me—that is a kindness; let him rebuke me—that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.”(Ps 140, 5).
      Each of us presents to the Saint what he can, some of us tears, some sighs from the soul, some wine and oil, some woolen socks, some a soap, some coffee or sugar, some salt and a flour, some a shirt, some honey, some money, someone promises that he will not sin any more, someone says a prayer, but it is always deep from the soul with full confidence that the Saint will hear and that he will respond. 
      We welcome it that Radio-Beseda (Diocese of Backa) and Television Hram produced such wonderful broadcasts about Saint Basil on the occasion of  his jubilee. May St. Basil reward all those who have worked hard in this project, and may he bless all those who will listen and watch the broadcasts with a pious heart. In the future, it would be nice to present to the audience - if the financial means and conditions allow – personal testimonies and words of bishops, priests, believers about the living grace that St. Basil has been granting for three and a half centuries. Glory and mercy to him!
       
      Christ is Risen Indeed!
       
      On the feast-day of Saint Basil of Ostrog, 12th May, 2021, in Buenos Aires.
      + Bishop KIRIL
       
      Translated into English by Sanja Simic de Graaf
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      This inaugural video of The Academy of St Juliana focuses on the history of Orthodoxy in the British Isles and the role of the liturgical arts in the renewal of the spiritual and cultural life of the community and the nation.
      This video features interviews with:
      Archimandrite Philip of the Monastery of St Antony and St Cuthbert
      Fr Stephen Maxfield of The Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Fathers of Nicaea, Shrewsbury
      Aidan Hart, renowned iconographer, artist and writer.
      The Academy of St Juliana is intended to be a centre for culture and education in the heart of Shrewsbury, UK.
      If you would like to participate and support the project and to follow the work to create a hub of culture in the heart of the UK contact:
      [email protected]
      "We are are not the first (Orthodox) people here, not the first Orthodox Christians here at all... we have an enormous number of previous witnesses of the resurrection (of Christ)" - Archimandrite Philip
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