We have made this statement today in the hope that they will reconsider their decision, that no exarchs will go to Kiev. However, in the event that the decision is not reconsidered, we will be forced to think of retaliatory measures. At the moment, such measures are being discussed by our Holy Synod.
“There are times when I forget that I’m the abbot. I remember when I was here just as a monk. Not long ago, people were waiting for me in the office; I went there and I thought, “Why is the abbot calling me? Then a little time passed and I thought, ‘And now I’m the abbot here myself!’”
The 1030th anniversary celebration of the Baptism of Rus’ revealed new tendencies in the church life of Ukraine, made manifest in the hidden attitudes of society towards the church. What were the spiritual results of this anniversary? Has the danger of the non-canonical legalization of the schism ceased? What is the spiritual status of the Ukrainian flock? When will peace finally come to Ukraine?
Monasticism does not exist for any specific purposes related to this world. To quote an anonymous author of The History of Egyptian Monks (fourth century), “From the very beginning, the purpose of monasticism was following Christ in the desert, singing hymns and psalms and waiting for our Lord to come.” This seeming “uselessness” makes monasticism free from any services within the Church structure.
In 2009, the well-known Russian Protestant pastor Igor Zyryanov converted to Orthodoxy along with his entire community of neo-Pentecostals. We spoke with Fr. Igor about his discoveries in Orthodoxy, as well as about the best way to speak with Protestants about the true faith.
This interview was recorded in 2003 by brothers of Sretensky Monastery who had visited Metropolitan Cornelius at his Estonian residence at Pukhtitsa Monastery, asking the now-reposed archpastor about the USSR and the years of persecution, independent Estonia, the schism in Estonian Orthodoxy, and the daily lives of Estonians.
I am sure that such feelings and experiences are shared by a great many believers. Year after year, spiritually accompanying the Myrrh-bearing Women, we successively experience fear, astonishment, and awe at the view of the stone miraculously rolled away from the entrance to the Savior’s tomb by an invisible power.
Bishop Mitrophan (Badanin) of Severomorsk and Umba (the far Northeast of Russia) talks with two young men, one a priest and the other an editorial writer, about the meaning of the podvig of the New Martyrs and confessors of Russia for us who live today, about the process of canonization of this great host of saints, and whether we live up to the great name of “Christian”.
On the second day of the Nativity, January 8, on the eve of the evening services, about thirty men in balaclavas and masks from the radical right organization C14 (“Sich”) blocked the entrance to the territory of the Holy Dormition Kiev-Caves Lavra. Shouting political slogans and lighting fireworks, they demanded a meeting with the abbot of the Lavra, Metropolitan Paul (Lebed).
The elder, who just celebrated his 85th birthday in 2017, almost never speaks about himself, but he made an exception for the sake of the feast. This is a story about Nativity in a long and arduous, but joyful life, through which shines the 2,000-year history of this truly central event in human life…
They asked me if I would go to Sura, in Archangelsk Province, in the Far North. I replied, “I won’t just go there—I’ll walk there!” And I’ll admit that throughout the whole time I’ve been here, never once—not one hour, not one minute—have I regretted that I ended up here.
Every time I find myself in the Monastery of St. Mary in Techirghiol, I am filled with trepidation at the thought of the multitude of my sins, known and unknown. And my first desire is to go to the cell of the great spiritual father Arsenie (Papacioc), to at least take his blessing. And when you are honored with the great privilege of speaking with him, time begins to take on some kind of special dimension.
How does a monastery that was never closed in the Soviet years and that has raised up abbesses for many convents in various dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church live today? Does it preserve the inheritance left by former abbess Mother Barbara? We spoke with the current Pukhtitsa mother superior, Abbess Philareta (Kalacheva) on these questions and on monastic life in general.
—It has always seemed to me that no one has really treated these remains seriously. Just as people were negligent toward the Tsar during his lifetime, so also now there is a rather haphazard way of dealing with his supposed remains. As a result, mistrust has arisen in peoples’ awareness as to what has actually been preserved.
Wherever there are people, there is protest. We always protest everywhere: at school, at work, in the kitchen, the government, during travel, in the hospital, when we are both young and old. We protest against our relatives, neighbors, bosses, presidents, emperors, patriarchs, bishops, summer and winter, rain and drought, the traffic light when it’s red, and yes, that’s right, even when it’s green.
What difficulties do we have in the monastery? For me the most difficult is when you speak to people, pilgrims, about salvation, and they don’t listen or don’t believe—they don’t want to be saved. And then I pray that the Lord would open their souls.