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Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle  USA As previously reported, Metropolitan Vladimir of Chisinau and All Moldova wrote a surpisingly strong letter to Patriarch Kirill on September 5, 2023. (https://cubreacovblog.wordpress.com/2023/10/20/mitropolitul-vladimir-cantarean-ne-aflam-intr-o-situatie-de-faliment-institutional-mitropolia-basarabei-a-demonstrat-ca-este-o-forta-care-nu-mai-poate-fi-oprita/ )  The letter contained many grievances including the failure of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate to elect Archimandrite Filaret (Kuzmin) as a bishop as requested by the Synod of the Orthodox Church of Moldova (OCM).  Some people speculated that such a strong letter might be the first step in the OCM leaving the Moscow Patriarchate.  The Moscow Patriarchate acted quickly.  At its Synod meeting on October 11, 2023, Archimandrite Filaret…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Very Rev. Dr. John Behr Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen In recent days several articles have appeared on this site raising profound, difficult, and unsettling questions. Sr. Vassa bravely asked whether “heresy” is a charge that can be applied to the “Edict” of the XXV “All-World Council of the Russian People,” approved under the chairmanship of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on March 27, 2024, concluding, rightly, that it does indeed express, in the words of St. Basil about heresy, “a clear difference in the very faith of God” (see also this analysis by Serhii Shumylo).…

Source: Public Orthodoxy by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis Executive Director of the Huffington Ecumenical Institute at Holy Cross School of Theology In previous years, weeks, and days, I have seen—and, in one instance, supported—a variegated condemnation of the Moscow Patriarch—his preaching and practice alike—as heretical. The “Russian World” ideology has been denounced as unorthodox and heretical. The “Edict” of the World Russian People’s Council has been characterized as distorted doctrine. And the commemoration of Patriarch Kirill has been called in question. All of the above have been justly promoted and justifiably promulgated, among others, by dear friends across the globe. While I am not…

Source: The Atlantic A hard-line Russian bishop backed by the political might of the Kremlin could split the Orthodox Church in two. By Robert F. Worth In late August 2018, Patriarch Kirill, the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, flew from Moscow to Istanbul on an urgent mission. He brought with him an entourage—a dozen clerics, diplomats, and bodyguards—that made its way in a convoy to the Phanar, the Orthodox world’s equivalent of the Vatican, housed in a complex of buildings just off the Golden Horn waterway, on Istanbul’s European side. Read the complete article here

Source: Kyiv Post Moscow Patriarchate calls for the conquest and absorption of the Ukrainian and Belarusian nations into an ultranationalist ‘Russian world’. By ISW The Russian Orthodox Church Moscow Patriarchate (ROC MP), a Kremlin-controlled organization and a known tool within the Russian hybrid warfare toolkit, held the World Russian People’s Council in Moscow on March 27 and 28 and approved an ideological and policy document tying several Kremlin ideological narratives together in an apparent effort to form a wider nationalist ideology around the war in Ukraine and Russia’s expansionist future. ROC MP Head Patriarch Kirill, reportedly himself a former Soviet…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Moldova (OCM) met on October 25.  The minutes of this meeting can be read at (link) However, before considering these minutes, it is helpful to review various events occurring prior to the meeting.  On September 5, Metropolitan Vladimir of Chișinău and All Moldova sent a very strong letter to Patriarch Kirill with a long list of grievances.  An English translation of the letter was provided in my last newsletter.  See (link) (20 October 2023).  The authenticity of this leaked letter has not been denied by either the Moscow Patriarchate or by the…

Source: Orthodox Public Affairs Committee The Orthodox Public Affairs Committee (OPAC) decries the punishment of clergymen of the Russian Orthodox Church under Patriarch Kirill for opposing the war against Ukraine. Although there are tens of thousands of Russian Clergy, around three hundred have actively opposed the war and its support by Kirill. They have defied the Russian Church leader by substituting the word “peace” for “victory” in Putin-centric prayers mandated by the Russian Church Hierarchy. Some, like Father Ioann Koval have been defrocked and sought refuge under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Not only does Kirill and his cronies continue to compromise the integrity of the…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA On August 7, 2023, Metropolitan Pavlo, vicar of the Kyiv Lavra, was released from the Kyiv pretrial detention center following the posting of bail in the amount of UAH 33,300,000 ($902,183).  https://www.ukrinform.ua/rubric-society/3745466-mitropolit-pavlo-vijsov-izpid-varti-pid-zastavu-advokat.html   The attorney for Pavlo, Archpriest Nikita Chekman, posted the details on his Telegram site.  https://t.me/s/nikita_chekman  His description is as follows: Today, August 7, 2023, the Vicar of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra was finally released from custody.  We will remind you that the Solomyansky district court of the city of Kyiv changed the preventive measure of Metropolitan Pavlo from 24-hour house arrest to detention with bail in…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA Metropolitan Hilarion of Budapest has given a long interview to RIA Novosti, the Russian state news agency.  https://ria.ru/20230725/mitropolit_ilarion-1886120415.html   To the best of my knowledge, this is the first significant interview that Metropolitan Hilarion has given since his transfer to Budapest in June 2022.  Most of the interview relates to Constantinople and the document presented by Metropolitan Hilarion at the recent Bishops’ Conference (https://mospat.ru/ru/news/90540/ ).  However, the Metropolitan also addressed the discussion at the Conference concerning  the “current armed confrontation between Russia and Ukraine.”  Thus, the Metropolitan stated: I would like to quote the words of His Holiness the Patriarch…

Source: Peter Anderson, Seattle USA On December 29, 2022, the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate decided in Journal Entry 121 to set a “bishops’ conference” for July 19, 2023.   https://mospat.ru/ru/news/89905/  It is important to note that this is not the “bishops’ council” that been repeatedly postponed because “the international situation continues to hinder the arrival in Moscow of many members of the Bishops’ Council.”  A Bishops’ Council is a decision-making body while a Bishops’ Conference is not.  Rather this Bishops’ Conference is to be “a fraternal discussion of current issues of church life” with an agenda to be prepared by…

Source: Public Orthodoxy Tiffany Butler Ph.D. Candidate, University of Edinburgh In an interview reported by The Russian Orthodox Church Department for External Church Relations, Rossiya TV asked Patriarch Kirill about his visit to Latin America in February 2016. At the time, Kirill commented about his impression of South America and his hopes for that country. As a comparative lesson, he reflected on the experience of the Soviet Union under a single monopoly in pursuit of one goal of development. He suggested that Latin America is at a similar crossroads between secular and religious influences. In 2016, Kirill responded, Russia seeks…

Source: Public Orthodoxy Andrey Shirin Associate Professor of Divinity, John Leland Center for Theological Studies In his 2006 book titled The Civil War as a Theological Crisis, historian Mark Noll argued that the American Civil War of the 19th century was, among other things, a crisis not only of differing biblical interpretations but of the very concept of the Bible. The South and the North interpreted the Scriptural outlook on slavery very differently, with Southern interpretation being more straightforward and the Northern one more nuanced. Therefore, at issue was the concept of the Bible as a clear source that could offer transparent…

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