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Author Topic: The Russian Orthodox church Not spreading the faith  (Read 8028 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2012, 02:24:23 PM »

Permit a non-Orthodox outsider to give his point of view.

The Russian Orthodox Church went through 74 years of Communist rule, followed by a decade of immense national stagnation, confusion and impoverishment (which few seem to want to factor in). In that decade (and the decade that followed it) it has had to confront everything from nationalist schisms (Ukraine, Estonia and, to a much lesser extent, Belarus), the foundation of innumerable "Catacomb" and "True Orthodox" groups, sects from East and West, numerous theological disputes within the Church itself, the arising of long-suppressed ultranationalist pathologies combined with the rapid invasion of Western-style consumerist and liberal ideologies, and relentlessly negative media portrayals within and outside Russia. While trying to deal with these problems, the Russian Orthodox Church also had to improve its seminary system, restore its traditions, build its own media and communications system, and basically find its bearings in a rapidly-changing world -- all the while being led by a relatively small group of bishops, few of whom had the education or background to effectively deal with these things.

It received thousands of churches and buildings back from the Russian State in the past two decades, but these tended to be dilapidated if not completely ruined inside, and many of the great churches that have been restored tend to be in places where people no longer live; hence the drive to construct new churches in the suburbs where people actually live.

To this outside observer, it is a miracle that not only is the Russian Orthodox Church alive, it is also growing in terms of the number of churches and the number of adherents, even if there are debates regarding the extent of that growth.

In contrast, my own Church, the Catholic Church, has had relative peace and prosperity for the past many decades, and even to this day; the media attacks on it, while on a terrible scale, hardly compare to a bloody persecution, and the great majority of Catholics are free to exercise their faith. For 26 years it was led by a Pope who commanded unprecedented international respect and prestige. It has spent untold sums, invested unimaginable resources on every program of evangelization that one can think of, from all sorts of youth programs to massive social works. And yet, we close thousands of churches all over the world every year, and thousands more await closure in the next 2 decades as the last priests ordained prior to Vatican II enter retirement. There is much hype about the explosive growth of the Catholic Church in newly-evangelized areas Asia and Africa, but it remains to be seen how deeply the faith has actually been planted in these areas. (If the recent history of African countries with large Catholic populations such as Uganda, the two Congos, Central Africa, Rwanda, and Burundi are any indication, the answer is -- not very deeply.)

Meanwhile, in the "old countries" of Catholicism the only story is one of rapid secularization and loss of faith.

I've read, from time to time, of Orthodox who urge their co-religionists to adopt Protestant methods. Oh, no, you don't know what you are talking about. We Catholics have adopted almost every Protestant / Evangelical / Pentecostal trick on the book, from charismatic worship to a style of apologetics and preaching that is de facto 'sola scriptura'. Has this helped the Catholic Church in the long run? I think these have only contributed to the Protestantization of Catholicism and the loss of millions to Protestantism. Why imitate Protestantism when you can be a real Protestant? Be careful what you wish for.

Perhaps this is the best path of evangelization: the tried and true path of keeping to the traditions of the Church. I think this is what the Russians are doing. It may not necessarily bring in the crowds, but it surely keeps the faith, in the hope of a better tomorrow. This is the same path used by Traditional Catholics and Traditional Anglicans.

I do not know what scandalizes me more: the fact that most Russians are "unchurched", or the fact that other Orthodox are more than happy to put down and denigrate their fellow Russian Orthodox for not being a perfect Church.

Well speaking from my point of view as a True Orthodox Christian, the point is not that the members of the Moscow Patriarchate are not perfect. We're certainly not perfect, either. The point is that the MP stands for something besides merely "keeping the traditions"; it stands for compromise with worldly, even Satanic power. How come the MP got to keep the few church buildings it did, while the Catacomb Church had to make do with serving liturgy in apartments and hidden places? Because the MP hierarchs chose to subordinate Christ to the atheist State. Even though the aims of the Communist State were diametrically opposed to those of Christ's Church, the MP agreed to proclaim that the aims of international socialism were the same as those of the Church. This is, of course, a lie, and we can't find the Truth among lies.

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP. But take the examples of the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste. Certainly we could feel sorry for the one who gave in before the end, but even if we can sympathize with him, the Church does not identify with or honor the one who gave in under terrible torture, but those who never gave in at all, because of their unshakeable faith in Christ. I can feel sorry for many in the MP, given their circumstances, but ultimately I can't consider them, rather than the steadfast Catacomb Church, to be the "rock" upon which Christ builds His Church.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #46 on: March 12, 2012, 03:35:17 PM »

Its not going to be easy to undo the damage of the communist wretches and their mindF$!@ing of the Russian population.

This, in my view, is part of the problem.  All ills of Russian society are blamed on "communism" by outsiders.  Lately that is becoming more and more of fashionable excuse domestically.   This is branded about as if "communism" were some tiny element of society that wreaked havoc on the rest.  The reality is that a very large percentage of society supported the early Bolsheviks because of their political agenda.  Thousands upon thousands gleefully destroyed their churches.   To this day the Orthodox Church has no real comprehension of its own culpability in this. 

 Well for every one compliant 100 were martyred, probably more, and its a bit easier to be compliant with a gun to your head. Even Sergius needed to be tortured for a few years or so. The fact of the matter is, the powers that be put in all sorts of programs to de-Christianize Russia. This anti-theist mentality permeated only well after the revolution and it was more the rulers or officers in the military. Now at the time of the revolution, there might have been some anger towards conceived corruption in the church(so said the Bolsheviks to be sure), and surely against the aristocrats, but in general it was not against Orthodoxy per se.  That was an outright campaign from the commies to blot it out.  Thier mission was to erase that from the hearts and minds so they could forge in their own sick godless image as you being an instrument of the state. Whatever the Russian soldiers problems were with the ruling class it was most likely exaggerated and inflamed by communist elements in the first place to gain power, but to say the mind set of the Russian people towards the church en masse was anything like how it was after being raped by an atheist state for 80 years is ludicrous. 

Do you have any sort of academic sources to back up your claims?  I'm particularly interested in your quantitative claims.  Off the top of my head the numbers I remember from my university courses on the topic were about 20% active supports of the regime (i.e party members, members of the police, actual material supporters).  That's a far cry from 1%.  The fact remains that people were willing to abandon the Church fairly quickly (not all of course, but in large enough numbers to make it feasible to persecute the Church).  Have you read much by Ivan Bunin?  The more I read, the more accurate I think his depiction of rural life in the Russian Empire was.  Christianization was very superficial in many aspects, hence quickly abandoning it when it became politically expedient to do so. 

I would not be surprised if a bell curve existed: 20% Bolsheviks, 60% passives, and 20% opposed/martyred.
Stalin insisted on including a question about religion, asked of everyone over 16, in the All Soviet Census of 1937, expecting that the results would show a self-identified atheist majority.  He scheduled it on Christmas Eve Dec 24/Jan 6.

56.7% of those replied stated a religion, 43.2% self-identified as atheist, the rest refusing to answer. This after nearly two decades of the war on the Church. Suspicions are that many of the self-identified atheists were just dissimulating believers.
Quote
Historian V. B. Zhiromskaya stated that people expected to be persecuted if they declared themselves as belonging to a religion but considered the answer to be important: If many people would say they are religious, the authorities would have to open the churches, was a common attitude.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_Census_(1937)

Stalin destroyed the results and sent the census takers to the gulag.  The Soviets never asked a religion question again.
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« Reply #47 on: March 12, 2012, 03:35:17 PM »

Over a decade after the events under question in the OP, a lot has changed.

Gee, do you think something new may have happened since the early 2000s?

But let's just throw the implication out there that it hasn't, which is what he did. And still I am the one who questions this, and we see what happens. Sigh...

 Tongue

Figures. Again, I should have known what to expect.


All right, I get it. We have always been at war with Eastasia. There is no man behind the curtain.

Happy Pascha. I'll get out of your way.

 Wow what is with this dude?  Legit question. Its not going to be easy to undo the damage of the communist wretches and their mindF$!@ing of the Russian population. I can see the same stuff beginning here how kids dont even know about Genesis and Christ, when I grew up it was taken for granted.

 I think copies of Alexander Schmemmans "For the Life of the World" would do wonders. If that book doesnt seriously contribute to a conversion I dont know what will. Such an organic picture of salvation history and the sacraments it makes the more legalized western take seem almost perverse.  But one thing they will need above all else is a heart. If you have a heart, you can be converted.  Most of these people are at the state in what CS Lewis describes in 'Abolition of Man'. Basically you're nothing but a robot. You're not human because you have no heart which affects your worldview, etc... etc...
Fr. Schmemann said the highest honor he ever received was finding out that his "For the Life of the World" was being distributed by samizdat' in the Soviet Union.
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« Reply #48 on: March 12, 2012, 03:35:17 PM »

In fact, it is a pity that the UGCC is Catholic, because apart from being in communion with Rome, it is just as good Orthodox Church should be: Welcoming, a strong faith but without fanatism, beautiful liturgies in the language of the people, putting a strong emphasis on education...
The problem of the allure of the Vatican....

When the curtain fell and the wolves rushed in, I stated that it should be a good thing, as pure gold fears no fire, and if there were competition maybe the shepherds would not take the flock for granted.

I don't recall your impressions about Romania.  I haven't been in nearly twenty years, but then the Churches in Bucharest were full (even on weekdays) of the young, the Church had just put out a new updated translation of the Bible and Divine Liturgy, and priests teaching on TV and in school had just started.
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« Reply #49 on: March 12, 2012, 04:04:39 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2012, 04:31:37 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.
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« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2012, 05:19:14 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #52 on: March 12, 2012, 05:36:08 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?
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« Reply #53 on: March 12, 2012, 05:44:59 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #54 on: March 12, 2012, 06:34:39 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?
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« Reply #55 on: March 12, 2012, 06:38:36 PM »

Nektarios is trying to say that Jonathan Gress, as truly Orthodox as he is, isn't orthodox enough for some truly true and genuine Orthodox conventicles ou there. i hope that helps.
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« Reply #56 on: March 12, 2012, 06:42:21 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 
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Jonathan Gress
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« Reply #57 on: March 12, 2012, 06:47:57 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.
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« Reply #58 on: March 12, 2012, 06:49:45 PM »

Building churches alone doesn't prove much, if the churches are empty. How about statistics about church attendance, baptisms etc?

Ok, here you go Jonathan:

Percentage of Russians who attend church reaches 71% - poll

Moscow, February 27, Interfax - The number of Russians who go to temples increased considerably over the past two decades. Sociologists have found that the most frequently observed ritual is the placement of candles in. Over the past 16 years, the number of Russians who go to church, mosque, or synagogue increased ... 83% of Orthodox respondents reported going to church. 11% of the respondents said they go into churches rarely or from time to time... The poll, which was conducted in 138 populated areas in 46 regions, territories, and republics of Russia in mid-February, shows that a considerable number of people who go to temples (38%) just speak to God, 31% read prayers, 27% kiss holy relics, 33% give alms, 29% donate money to temples, and 9% go to temples to sanctify things.


You omitted the most important facts (from the article that you cited):

Over the past 16 years, the number of Russians who go to church, mosque, or synagogue increased from 57% to 71%.

That is why. It is a start for a previously Atheist country. There are lots of Christeasters (Come only for for Pascha and the Nativity) in every country. Haven't you seen the number of people at your parish at least triple for these great Feasts too?

We have 90 communicants and we average about 75 on regular Sundays. At Pascha, we have lots more people but we rarely exceed 125--may be because our space is limited.
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« Reply #59 on: March 12, 2012, 06:51:28 PM »

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions?

Check them:
http://3rm.info/22214-dlya-rossiyan-gotovyat-plastikovye-pasporta.html
http://www.3rm.info/21410-fms-plastikovaya-karta-zamenit-rossiyanam-pasport.html
http://www.3rm.info/21624-polovina-rossiyan-za-zamenu-pasporta-plastikovoj.html


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Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

It's them who talk nonsense.
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« Reply #60 on: March 12, 2012, 06:51:39 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

Jonathan--I have never observed Nektarios make an statement that he cannot back up. You may want to reconsider.
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« Reply #61 on: March 12, 2012, 06:59:02 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

Pan Michał was kind enough to provide links already.  And actually one quick google search would have yielded the same links. 

BTW, you said "do you ever make sense" which is an ad hominem at my character -  "ever" means in general, not in this specific incidence. 
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« Reply #62 on: March 12, 2012, 07:34:21 PM »


Um after running these through Google Translate all I've got is a neutral news report about the introduction of biometric identity cards. No mention of conspiracies, except an unclear reference to the concern of some Orthodox Christians about them. No indication at all that the official position of all True Orthodox groups is that these ID cards are unacceptable. Maybe that's what these guys think, but how do you know they speak for all the True Orthodox?

Is this the best you can do?

Oh yeah, and my own Synod has considered this issue with respect to the introduction of similar cards in Greece, and guess what? We don't consider it a matter of faith.

I guess "Pan Michal" isn't quite the bulldog you thought he was.
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« Reply #63 on: March 12, 2012, 07:36:36 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

Jonathan--I have never observed Nektarios make an statement that he cannot back up. You may want to reconsider.

There's a first time for everything.
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« Reply #64 on: March 12, 2012, 07:37:19 PM »

This one from the website Michał linked is a real gem:
http://3rm.info/22060-8-marta-2012-goda-purim-maksim-leskov.html

Now do you see what I mean that these "true" Russian churches are a bit out there?
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« Reply #65 on: March 12, 2012, 07:39:40 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

Pan Michał was kind enough to provide links already.  And actually one quick google search would have yielded the same links. 

BTW, you said "do you ever make sense" which is an ad hominem at my character -  "ever" means in general, not in this specific incidence. 

Yeah, links which prove absolutely zilch. And I'll admit, I have a poor impression of your character so far, given that you are making these nonsensical assertions with zero evidence.

What exactly am I supposed to Google? Biometric passports? Hm, here's something interesting

http://www.edri.org/book/export/html/1851

But look at that! These are New Calendar Romanian Orthodox protesting! Looks like your theory gets weaker and weaker.
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« Reply #66 on: March 12, 2012, 07:44:23 PM »

This one from the website Michał linked is a real gem:
http://3rm.info/22060-8-marta-2012-goda-purim-maksim-leskov.html

Now do you see what I mean that these "true" Russian churches are a bit out there?

Yeah, looks weird. So? Are these guys representative? Who are they anyway? What's their jurisdiction?
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« Reply #67 on: March 12, 2012, 07:47:39 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name.  
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« Reply #68 on: March 12, 2012, 08:03:29 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name.  

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org
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« Reply #69 on: March 12, 2012, 08:04:08 PM »

Yeah, links which prove absolutely zilch. And I'll admit, I have a poor impression of your character so far, given that you are making these nonsensical assertions with zero evidence.

What exactly am I supposed to Google? Biometric passports? Hm, here's something interesting

http://www.edri.org/book/export/html/1851

But look at that! These are New Calendar Romanian Orthodox protesting! Looks like your theory gets weaker and weaker.

My statement was that these groups are far out there on issues across the board.   Take a look at forums in Russian.  Read Russian ecclesiastical news.  What I said isn't controversial.   Unfortunately some of this "zeal not according to knowledge" has spilled over and infected the MP and other Orthodox Churches.  The difference is that a subset within the MP believe such things, and they are not presented as matters of faith.  If you read the justification for schism by a lot of these groups (just google their websites, it isn't very hard), a vast Jewish conspiracy that has undermined the MP plays heavily.   If this is the justification for a groups schism, then I'd say conspiracy theories have been elevated to the level of dogma.  
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« Reply #70 on: March 12, 2012, 08:07:00 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name.  

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org

And any such source coming from someone in schism from the MP is also going to be biased.  Nonetheless you are missing my point - you sent my two links to groups in the United States.  I'm talking about Russia and former USSR.  What I'm getting at (and what a few others have as well) is that the sanitized version of these groups that is marketed in English is nothing like the on the ground reality in the old country. 
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« Reply #71 on: March 12, 2012, 08:07:23 PM »

Yeah, links which prove absolutely zilch. And I'll admit, I have a poor impression of your character so far, given that you are making these nonsensical assertions with zero evidence.

What exactly am I supposed to Google? Biometric passports? Hm, here's something interesting

http://www.edri.org/book/export/html/1851

But look at that! These are New Calendar Romanian Orthodox protesting! Looks like your theory gets weaker and weaker.

My statement was that these groups are far out there on issues across the board.   Take a look at forums in Russian.  Read Russian ecclesiastical news.  What I said isn't controversial.   Unfortunately some of this "zeal not according to knowledge" has spilled over and infected the MP and other Orthodox Churches.  The difference is that a subset within the MP believe such things, and they are not presented as matters of faith.  If you read the justification for schism by a lot of these groups (just google their websites, it isn't very hard), a vast Jewish conspiracy that has undermined the MP plays heavily.   If this is the justification for a groups schism, then I'd say conspiracy theories have been elevated to the level of dogma.  

You didn't answer my question. What is the jurisdictional affiliation of this website, 3rm.info?
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« Reply #72 on: March 12, 2012, 08:11:02 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name.  

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org

And any such source coming from someone in schism from the MP is also going to be biased.  Nonetheless you are missing my point - you sent my two links to groups in the United States.  I'm talking about Russia and former USSR.  What I'm getting at (and what a few others have as well) is that the sanitized version of these groups that is marketed in English is nothing like the on the ground reality in the old country. 

But you just admitted the same applies to the "official" Churches. Paranoia seems to be a general feature of people in the "old country"; it's not unique to the True Orthodox.
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« Reply #73 on: March 12, 2012, 08:15:53 PM »

Weird. Does this mean your "True Orthodox" website is actually affiliated with the MP?

http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=ru&tl=en&u=3rm.info

And this is the official website of the RTOC in Russia, which is in communion with the church in America under Bishop Stefan of Trenton. Please read through it and let me know what scandalizes you.

http://catacomb.org.ua/
« Last Edit: March 12, 2012, 08:17:28 PM by Jonathan Gress » Logged
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« Reply #74 on: March 12, 2012, 08:17:08 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name.  

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org

And any such source coming from someone in schism from the MP is also going to be biased.  Nonetheless you are missing my point - you sent my two links to groups in the United States.  I'm talking about Russia and former USSR.  What I'm getting at (and what a few others have as well) is that the sanitized version of these groups that is marketed in English is nothing like the on the ground reality in the old country. 

But you just admitted the same applies to the "official" Churches. Paranoia seems to be a general feature of people in the "old country"; it's not unique to the True Orthodox.

The difference is that IME, it approaches levels of 100% and is very much tied to the raison d'etre of the various true Orthodox groups.  Official Orthodoxy is more representative of society in this regard.  It's just a fact of life that you can't really pick up from your computer in America, sorry.  
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« Reply #75 on: March 12, 2012, 08:18:41 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name.  

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org

And any such source coming from someone in schism from the MP is also going to be biased.  Nonetheless you are missing my point - you sent my two links to groups in the United States.  I'm talking about Russia and former USSR.  What I'm getting at (and what a few others have as well) is that the sanitized version of these groups that is marketed in English is nothing like the on the ground reality in the old country. 

But you just admitted the same applies to the "official" Churches. Paranoia seems to be a general feature of people in the "old country"; it's not unique to the True Orthodox.

The difference is that IME, it approaches levels of 100% and is very much tied to the raison d'etre of the various true Orthodox groups.  Official Orthodoxy is more representative of society in this regard.  It's just a fact of life that you can't really pick up from your computer in America, sorry.  

Wow. Well, I guess your "estimation" is all the evidence we need. Thanks for not wasting my time.
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« Reply #76 on: March 12, 2012, 08:23:01 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name. 

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org

And any such source coming from someone in schism from the MP is also going to be biased.  Nonetheless you are missing my point - you sent my two links to groups in the United States.  I'm talking about Russia and former USSR.  What I'm getting at (and what a few others have as well) is that the sanitized version of these groups that is marketed in English is nothing like the on the ground reality in the old country. 

But you just admitted the same applies to the "official" Churches. Paranoia seems to be a general feature of people in the "old country"; it's not unique to the True Orthodox.

The difference is that IME, it approaches levels of 100% and is very much tied to the raison d'etre of the various true Orthodox groups.  Official Orthodoxy is more representative of society in this regard.  It's just a fact of life that you can't really pick up from your computer in America, sorry. 

Wow. Well, I guess your "estimation" is all the evidence we need. Thanks for not wasting my time.

I've offered my opinion and never claimed it was anything more than that.  On the other hand, I'm going to wager a guess that you've been to neither Russia nor Ukraine.  You've already stated that you don't speak Russian.  So you really have no ability to use primary sources or contextualize what you read (btw, google translate's Russian to English is terrible). 
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« Reply #77 on: March 12, 2012, 09:02:58 PM »

If you read through the 3rm website already linked, you'll get a decent enough picture.  This is typical of every opinion piece I've seen from "true" Russian churches.  anti-raskol.ru is a more comprehensive source, although the bias is obvious in the name. 

Well I for one don't know where they give their affiliation. Could you point it out? And I'm afraid generalizing from just one example is not legitimate reasoning. Give me something from the RTOC or ROAC that's scandalous and maybe you'll have something worth discussing.

And yes, pardon me if I don't take a source called "anti-sectarian" as an unbiased source of news about True Orthodoxy.

This is far more representative of True Orthodoxy.

http://www.rocor-trenton.com/index_EN.htm
www.hotca.org

And any such source coming from someone in schism from the MP is also going to be biased.  Nonetheless you are missing my point - you sent my two links to groups in the United States.  I'm talking about Russia and former USSR.  What I'm getting at (and what a few others have as well) is that the sanitized version of these groups that is marketed in English is nothing like the on the ground reality in the old country. 

But you just admitted the same applies to the "official" Churches. Paranoia seems to be a general feature of people in the "old country"; it's not unique to the True Orthodox.

The difference is that IME, it approaches levels of 100% and is very much tied to the raison d'etre of the various true Orthodox groups.  Official Orthodoxy is more representative of society in this regard.  It's just a fact of life that you can't really pick up from your computer in America, sorry. 

Wow. Well, I guess your "estimation" is all the evidence we need. Thanks for not wasting my time.

I've offered my opinion and never claimed it was anything more than that.  On the other hand, I'm going to wager a guess that you've been to neither Russia nor Ukraine.  You've already stated that you don't speak Russian.  So you really have no ability to use primary sources or contextualize what you read (btw, google translate's Russian to English is terrible). 

You are libeling the True Orthodox Church. You offer your worthless "opinions" based on no substantial evidence, and then you expect to be treated with respect. All I can say is that I would not extrapolate from your behavior anything about the "World Orthodox" in general.

Of course, the faithful should always expect to be slandered, so what you say is not surprising.
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« Reply #78 on: March 12, 2012, 09:08:46 PM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

Pan Michał was kind enough to provide links already.  And actually one quick google search would have yielded the same links. 

BTW, you said "do you ever make sense" which is an ad hominem at my character -  "ever" means in general, not in this specific incidence. 

Yeah, links which prove absolutely zilch. And I'll admit, I have a poor impression of your character so far, given that you are making these nonsensical assertions with zero evidence.

What exactly am I supposed to Google? Biometric passports? Hm, here's something interesting

http://www.edri.org/book/export/html/1851

But look at that! These are New Calendar Romanian Orthodox protesting! Looks like your theory gets weaker and weaker.

Jonathan--May I give an informal warning here, as I am not this section's moderator and I have also engaged in the discussion with you. It is simply this: you are getting mighty close to crossing the line into ad hominem territory, which is prohibited by the rules. Second Chance
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« Reply #79 on: March 12, 2012, 09:32:54 PM »

Over a decade after the events under question in the OP, a lot has changed.

Gee, do you think something new may have happened since the early 2000s?

But let's just throw the implication out there that it hasn't, which is what he did. And still I am the one who questions this, and we see what happens. Sigh...

 Tongue

Figures. Again, I should have known what to expect.


All right, I get it. We have always been at war with Eastasia. There is no man behind the curtain.

Happy Pascha. I'll get out of your way.

 Wow what is with this dude?  Legit question. Its not going to be easy to undo the damage of the communist wretches and their mindF$!@ing of the Russian population. I can see the same stuff beginning here how kids dont even know about Genesis and Christ, when I grew up it was taken for granted.

 I think copies of Alexander Schmemmans "For the Life of the World" would do wonders. If that book doesnt seriously contribute to a conversion I dont know what will. Such an organic picture of salvation history and the sacraments it makes the more legalized western take seem almost perverse.  But one thing they will need above all else is a heart. If you have a heart, you can be converted.  Most of these people are at the state in what CS Lewis describes in 'Abolition of Man'. Basically you're nothing but a robot. You're not human because you have no heart which affects your worldview, etc... etc...
Fr. Schmemann said the highest honor he ever received was finding out that his "For the Life of the World" was being distributed by samizdat' in the Soviet Union.

Ha! Thats good stuff! Its so simple and so awesome. I can thank this forum for leading me to that book.
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« Reply #80 on: March 13, 2012, 03:39:22 AM »

Yeah, looks weird.


If you knew anything about them you wouldn't be surprised.

Quote
Are these guys representative?


It's one of the most popular such Russian website.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2012, 03:39:35 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged
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« Reply #81 on: March 13, 2012, 10:08:17 AM »

You are asking people to feel sorry for the MP.

The MP doesn't need anyone to feel sorry for it, and I'm not asking anyone to do so either. What I AM trying to do is to understand why it is where it is nowadays. And I can see you're from HOTCA: no need to lecture me on what you think of "World Orthodoxy", or of Latin "papists" such as myself.

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.

Do you realize how tiny such anti-MP groups are?  They are also pretty far out there on pretty much every issue. 

Firstly, what's the relevance of being tiny? Secondly, far out in what way? On every issue? Including shaken or stirred?

When we are talking about dozens of people, it is an issue.   The funny thing is they'd reject you since in order to go visit them you'd need a biometric passport.   Cheesy

What on earth are you talking about? Do you ever make sense?

Must you resort to an ad-hominem?  What I was pointing out is that the real version of "true Orthodoxy" in Russia is over the top and not really similar to the American variant thereof.  Find every possible conspiracy theory on the planet and then some.  What I meant, is that to visit Russia you would presumably need a biometric passport (unless you have a CIS internal passport); biometric passports are the 666 to them. 

Do you have any evidence for your ridiculous assertions? Because if you don't, my statement that you're talking nonsense stands.

Pan Michał was kind enough to provide links already.  And actually one quick google search would have yielded the same links. 

BTW, you said "do you ever make sense" which is an ad hominem at my character -  "ever" means in general, not in this specific incidence. 

Yeah, links which prove absolutely zilch. And I'll admit, I have a poor impression of your character so far, given that you are making these nonsensical assertions with zero evidence.

What exactly am I supposed to Google? Biometric passports? Hm, here's something interesting

http://www.edri.org/book/export/html/1851

But look at that! These are New Calendar Romanian Orthodox protesting! Looks like your theory gets weaker and weaker.

Jonathan--May I give an informal warning here, as I am not this section's moderator and I have also engaged in the discussion with you. It is simply this: you are getting mighty close to crossing the line into ad hominem territory, which is prohibited by the rules. Second Chance

Thank you and duly noted.
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« Reply #82 on: March 13, 2012, 10:25:36 AM »

Yeah, looks weird.


If you knew anything about them you wouldn't be surprised.

Quote
Are these guys representative?


It's one of the most popular such Russian website.

I admit I don't know anything about them. I have no idea who they represent. As I pointed out above, they seem to be affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate, since they have a section concerning "official church positions" which consist of statements and publications by the Moscow Patriarchate. But if you can show evidence that they are in fact affiliated with a True Orthodox jurisdiction then I'll accept that.

Let's say that they are True Orthodox. Would they be representative of the whole of True Orthodoxy? Not necessarily. So far I've heard assertions about the True Orthodox that they are all crazy, but when pressed for evidence all I get are pages from this dubious website, and then claims that these impressions are founded upon certain generalistic impressions which can't be justified by evidence available online. But what are these impressions based on? Has Nectarios met with True Orthodox or catacomb Christians? Or has he just read second-hand reports on sites like anti-raskol, or from talking with people in the official Church?

I'm quite happy to disclose that I don't have first-hand acquaintance with True Orthodox people in Russia, and only slight acquaintance with those from Greece. My experience is mostly based on what I know from them in America, although many of them are first-generation immigrants from the old country. Have I encountered paranoid or conspiratorial thinking? Definitely. But these are not "official" positions. It's not a matter of faith to believe that the earth is the center of the universe or that the world is controlled by a hidden Judeo-Masonic conspiracy.

FWIW, I find that the Orthodoxy you find on the internet is more extreme and laden with paranoid thinking than what you would encounter in real life. The people I know from church, both in the Greek and Russian True Orthodox churches, are mainly characterized by normality (to the extent that any fallen being can be considered normal). Sure, those are my subjective impressions, and Nectarios is entitled to his subjective impressions, but I think that if you're going to say bad things about other people, as he is doing about the True Orthodox in Russia, you should at least have something better to support your case than what he has offered so far.
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« Reply #83 on: March 13, 2012, 10:58:44 AM »

Another article:

Over 90% of citizens of central and southeastern Ukraine believe in God, 84% are Orthodox Christians

Kyiv, March 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – An overwhelming majority of citizens in the central and southeastern parts of Ukraine describe themselves as Christians, according to the results of the poll held by Research&BrandingGroup and announced by its founder Yevhen Kopatko.

Kopatko said at a press conference at Interfax on Monday that 84% of those polled consider themselves to be Orthodox believers, while 3% said they are Christians but do not belong to a definite denomination, 2% are Protestants (Lutheranism, Calvinism, Pentecostalism, Adventism and Baptism), 3% named other religions, 3% were undecided, 4% said they are atheists and 1% found it difficult to answer....

(The bad news comes after what I quoted)
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« Reply #84 on: March 13, 2012, 11:39:04 AM »


[/quote]

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.


 I think you have misread certain statements. It is not a matter of being sympathetic to the MP, but an understanding of what the Russian Church had to face after the fall of communism. After 40 years of atheistic rule ,the people have to be re-educated. This is not a simple task. The very fact that churches, monasteries, seminaries and church schools have either been returned to the Russian Church or have been built is a major step. My major issue is the fact that schismatic groups have arisen, refuse to repent, have caused confusion with the people, and are blatantly judgemental. The MP is facing many issues, striving to cope with certain religious groups outside of Russia and evangelizing the Russians, and also the growing Muslim population. Disunity in the Orthodox Church is counterproductive. All one has to do is look at the chaos in the Ukraine. One must never forget the past, but it is important to face the future as brothers and sisters in Christ.
[/quote]
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« Reply #85 on: March 13, 2012, 11:42:31 AM »

Another article:

Over 90% of citizens of central and southeastern Ukraine believe in God, 84% are Orthodox Christians

Kyiv, March 13 (Interfax-Ukraine) – An overwhelming majority of citizens in the central and southeastern parts of Ukraine describe themselves as Christians, according to the results of the poll held by Research&BrandingGroup and announced by its founder Yevhen Kopatko.

Kopatko said at a press conference at Interfax on Monday that 84% of those polled consider themselves to be Orthodox believers, while 3% said they are Christians but do not belong to a definite denomination, 2% are Protestants (Lutheranism, Calvinism, Pentecostalism, Adventism and Baptism), 3% named other religions, 3% were undecided, 4% said they are atheists and 1% found it difficult to answer....

(The bad news comes after what I quoted)


But, even in the "bad news" there are nuggets of good news. Let me go ahead and quote those "bad news" first:

'Among the respondents only 12% regularly go to church, and observe their religion's ceremonies and rituals. Fifty-one percent of those polled believe in God, but go to church only on holidays and do not observe all of their religion's ceremonies and rituals; 27% think God exists, but are little interested in church life; 4% say they are staunch atheists; 8% did not think about it and 1% found it difficult to answer.

For 42% of the respondents religion is a national tradition, 32% said it represents the observance of moral rules, 24% said it was personal salvation, 17% said it was a part of world culture, 13% said it meant keeping to religious rituals and 4% found it difficult to answer.

At the same time in general 67% of citizens of central and southeast Ukraine trust the church, 21% do not and 12% found it difficult to answer."

Here are the good news that I am gleaning from the above:
- 12% regular church attendance is 2-3 times what he polls have shown in Russia.
- Only 4% are staunch atheists.
- There seems to be a cultural shift in favor of religion as indicated by penultimate paragraph.
- 67% trust the Church.

The bad indicator is that only 24% indicated a specific Christian reason for religion but this could be a reaction to the wording of the question (personal salvation) that may have Protestant connotations.

All in all, I am encouraged by this poll. Nothing to crow about but a solid turn-around from the Communist era.
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« Reply #86 on: March 13, 2012, 12:20:26 PM »

Quote

I think you're being disingenuous. You ended your post by an appeal to others not to "judge" the MP, which you preceded by a list of the ways in which the MP suffered, which were obviously intended to elicit sympathy from the reader. I'm saying that's all very fine, but I'm still not sympathetic to the MP, since MP hierarchs themselves did just fine, earning their salaries and dachas by kowtowing to atheism in public. And I don't see anything miraculous in the MP having built lots of churches, given that they're all paid for by the state. What's more miraculous is e.g. True Orthodox groups like those under the late Met Valentine of Suzdal repairing dilapidated church buildings out of their own pockets, only to see the refurbished churches seized by the MP later on.

Given how much state support the MP has gotten since the end of communism (if it really ended), I think the slow, if not stagnant, growth of church attendance speaks of the indifference of the MP hierarchs towards their evangelical mission.


 I think you have misread certain statements. It is not a matter of being sympathetic to the MP, but an understanding of what the Russian Church had to face after the fall of communism. After 40 years of atheistic rule ,the people have to be re-educated. This is not a simple task. The very fact that churches, monasteries, seminaries and church schools have either been returned to the Russian Church or have been built is a major step. My major issue is the fact that schismatic groups have arisen, refuse to repent, have caused confusion with the people, and are blatantly judgemental. The MP is facing many issues, striving to cope with certain religious groups outside of Russia and evangelizing the Russians, and also the growing Muslim population. Disunity in the Orthodox Church is counterproductive. All one has to do is look at the chaos in the Ukraine. One must never forget the past, but it is important to face the future as brothers and sisters in Christ.

Perhaps I misread it, in which case I apologize. I'm not sure I really agree with the analysis, however. It is true, on the one hand, that the State actively discouraged church membership and attendance during the communist years for the majority of the population, but those few who did seek careers in the church were able to live comfortable lives, provided that they were completely compliant with respect to communist ideology. It's this last feature which is the problem that the Catacomb Church, and the Russian Church Abroad, had with respect to communion with the MP. Yes, I know there were dissidents in the official Church, and I respect their bravery, although they were still working from within an essentially corrupted and false institution (Met St Philaret of New York has a valuable commentary on the late Fr Dimitri Dudko that I can try to find for you).

Even leaving that aside, what is the point that the Economist article was making? From their purely secular point of view, they nevertheless reasonably noted that, given the vast amount of resources the MP had from the State, they should have been able to expand membership much faster by that point (2000) than they actually did. Now, what exactly is the situation now? That is disputed, but the statistics we've seen so far are not that impressive, and certainly don't support some of the fevered pronouncements made by some MP apologists that the whole of Russia is returning en masse to Orthodox piety. Again, given the enormous resources the state church in Russia has, the less than impressive performance seems strong evidence of a leftover Soviet mentality pervading the upper hierarchy of the MP. These are bishops who were trained in Soviet times, when the purpose of the church was not seen as active evangelization of souls, but as serving certain ritualistic needs for a small number of people, and otherwise as acting as a mouthpiece for Soviet foreign policy in the World Council of Churches.

I think you also need to consider the actual facts of how these "schismatic" groups arose. The True Orthodox or Catacomb Church simply consist of those who refused to accept Met Sergius' Declaration of 1927, in which he identified the joys and sufferings of the Church with that of the communist state, which was and is a theological falsehood. Can you blame the faithful for refusing to accept this? The consequence of refusing to accept the declaration was, of course, that the "official" Church of Met Sergius declared them to be schismatic. But given that the grounds for this excommunication was the refusal to confess a lie, who do you really think is the guilty party here?
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« Reply #87 on: March 13, 2012, 12:24:52 PM »

There is no doubt that the Russian Orthodox Church is doing a great deal to spread the faith.  Of course, that does not mean that Russia has now been transformed into a society of saints, but such a society has never existed.  While certain polls exist regarding church attendance, the success of such missionary labors is found in the salvation of souls, and this is not something that can be captured by polls and quantifiable metrics. 

While it is true that the building of churches alone is not a sufficient indicator of the Church’s efforts to spread the faith, neither can the building of churches be dismissed as irrelevant.  While spreading the faith must certainly go beyond the building of churches, the building of such churches is nevertheless essential to the spreading of the faith. 

Along with the building of churches, we have also witnessed the repopulation of numerous monasteries, we have heard of the labors of Orthodox missionaries in Russia, of those missionary priests who attach small chapels to boats and trailors and travel far and wide to minister to those in remote places, of the thousands of people who travel across the country to venerate miracle working icons and other relics, of Patriarch Kirill giving talks on the faith to stadiums full of youth answer diligently answering their questions, of the Patriarch’s sermons given at concerts and other unconventional venues, of his calls for the clergy to go out of their churches to meet and minister to people where they are, of his homilies and talks on the Orthodox faith that are broadcasted on public television, of the Church’s efforts to have courses on the Orthodox faith incorporated into the public school curricula, etc. 

Again, one could always argue that more should be done, and one can always claim that people are not responding to these efforts as one would hope, but nevertheless it is clear that the Russian Orthodox Church is doing a lot to spread the faith.  Before one criticizes such efforts, they should look to themselves and ask how much they are doing to spread the faith by comparison.

Below are a few quotes from various articles regarding this subject:

Patriarch Kirill on the mission of the church, and that building churches isn’t enough
Quote
The Orthodox Church has come around to the importance of missionary work in Russia in recent years. Zolotov says it is a trend that has been especially evident under the new patriarch, Kirill, who has led the church for less than a year.

“In the last several years, missionary work has been increasingly recognized as a top priority, or one of the top priorities," Zolotov says. "Basically, the election of Patriarch Kirill to a large extent was the manifestation of this recognition that we need to carry out a mission. It is not enough to just be reconstructing the church or sit there saying how important we are for Russian history.”

http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2009/12/murder-of-priest-highlights-missionary.html

The missionary labors of the martyred priest Fr. Daniel Sysoev are described in detail here:

http://www.pravmir.com/article_793.html

On the second anniversary of Patriarch Kirill’s enthronement, Fr. Vsevolod Chaplin stated:
Quote
"the Church life becomes really animated under the current Patriarch and all barriers which prevented proactive people from being involved in it are removed," he noted.

Patriarch Kirill calls for a “second Christianization” of Russia:
Quote
Moscow, November 16, Interfax - Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia urged believers to establish a consistent and efficient Church mission which will produce a revolution in the mind of Russian people.

"What is happening in the Church now may be called the "second Christianization." This country with a thousand years of Christian tradition, which gave birth to many saints and deserved the name of Holy Rus, has denied its historic heritage and ruined the tradition," the Patriarch said Tuesday at an opening ceremony of the Fourth All-Church Congress of Diocesan Missionaries in Moscow.

According to him, "a new generation has grown on the spiritual ruins of the Orthodoxy" and it's impossible today "to preach Christ just by appealing to the tradition and inherited memory, we need to make specific missionary efforts."

He emphasized that the Church's goal is to make an impact on people; this goal is comparable to the one pursued by the revolutionaries (with the opposite sign); the goal is to "restructure the Orthodox tradition."

"What huge resources were spent, what kind of organization was established! Today, we need even more powerful organization with a greater potential, challenge, courage and sacrifice," the Patriarch said. 

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=7912


Patriarch Kirril has organized mass gatherings in stadiums specifically to address the youth and respond to their questions:
Quote
MOSCOW, May 19 (RIA Novosti) - Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, will break new ground this month by attending mass gatherings with young people at sports arenas in Moscow and St. Petersburg.

Church spokesman archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin told journalists on Tuesday that the patriarch would for the first time address thousands of young people and answer their questions, with events in Moscow on Saturday and in St. Petersburg on May 29.

-SNIP-

Patriarch Kirill has also urged priests to reach out to society, especially to young people.

Speaking earlier this year during a visit to the Tula Region, south of Moscow, Patriarch Kirill said that if a priest merely "rings the bells, sits and waits for believers to arrive" then the Church will not meet people's demands, which he said included improving the moral climate in society, as well as reducing the number of divorces, abortions and crimes.

"The Lord said: 'Go ye therefore, and teach all nations.' He did not say: 'Sit there and wait until people arrive,'" he said. "I think today the main object of our efforts should be schools, education and youth."

The patriarch also said then that it was necessary to learn how to talk to young people correctly.
http://www.directionstoorthodoxy.org/n/patriarch_kirill_to_hold_mass_meetings_with_young_russians_in_ma.html

The Patriarch gave a sermon at a rock concert, which was followed by these words from Met Hilarion of Volokalamsk:
Quote
Today Church and society is in fact one and the same thing. Our church believers go to discos and rock-concerts, and if there’s a chance to give some church tinge to such youth meetings and punches, if young people are glad to hear a few words from a priest, why doesn’t he go there and say these few words?” Bishop Hilarion said on Friday at Interfax press conference.

-SNIP-

“Model of such Patriarch will surely inspire bishops, priests and laymen. This missionary dimension of our church activity will be intensified thanks to His Holiness Kirill’s personality,” the bishop promised.

According to him, “every responsible church worker and priest should have inner feeling that will prompt him where he can go where better not.”

“When we speak about very notion of mission, we mean that we will go and preach, not that people will come to us. We mean that priests should come out from their churches, officials of church departments should step out of their organizations. We should go and meet people, even at the so-called youth hangouts even if it’s not usual to see a man in cassock there,” the Russian Church official said.

http://www.interfax-religion.com/?act=news&div=5912


These are just a few examples, but they demonstrate Patriarch Kirill’s commitment to the strengthening of the faith of the Orthodox in Russia, and his labors in this direction. 
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« Reply #88 on: March 13, 2012, 12:40:17 PM »

I hope the above is genuinely indicative of a rebirth of piety. Of course, even if true, there would still be the problem of the dubious dogmatic positions of the official Russian Church vis-a-vis their continued membership of the WCC, or their refusal to completely and explicitly repudiate the declaration of Met Sergius and its spiritual legacy of obedience to atheist communism. After all, one can find evidence of increase in piety and evangelization among heterodox groups: look at the spread of the Catholic and various Protestant churches in Africa. Does that mean those groups possess the truth, because we can see them winning over souls? I interpret all these phenomena as laying the foundations for a potential return to true Orthodoxy on the part of all these people, whether in Russia, Africa or elsewhere. We can't mistake the foundations for the actual return to the truth, but we can hope it will lead there.
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« Reply #89 on: March 13, 2012, 12:57:07 PM »

I admit I don't know anything about them. I have no idea who they represent. As I pointed out above, they seem to be affiliated with the Moscow Patriarchate, since they have a section concerning "official church positions" which consist of statements and publications by the Moscow Patriarchate. But if you can show evidence that they are in fact affiliated with a True Orthodox jurisdiction then I'll accept that.

They declare themselves as "MP parishioners" who stopped commemorating heretical bishops like Patriarch Cyrill". I have no idea what that means and I doubt they know. Such groups ususally do not clearly state their affiliation because they spread info from many, sometimes inconsistent, sources.

Quote
Let's say that they are True Orthodox. Would they be representative of the whole of True Orthodoxy? Not necessarily. So far I've heard assertions about the True Orthodox that they are all crazy, but when pressed for evidence all I get are pages from this dubious website, and then claims that these impressions are founded upon certain generalistic impressions which can't be justified by evidence available online. But what are these impressions based on? Has Nectarios met with True Orthodox or catacomb Christians? Or has he just read second-hand reports on sites like anti-raskol, or from talking with people in the official Church?

Each and every "true Orthodox" (isn't that a tautology?) websites tend to write things about passports, Jews, masons, false greenhouse effect, world government etc.

Quote
Have I encountered paranoid or conspiratorial thinking? Definitely. But these are not "official" positions. It's not a matter of faith to believe that the earth is the center of the universe or that the world is controlled by a hidden Judeo-Masonic conspiracy.

Don't you find it suspicious?
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