“Don’t worry,” his confessor comforted him. “Do this: at your ordination, when the bishop places his hand on your head with the prayer invoking the Holy Spirit—at that moment ask God for everything you want that is spiritual and beneficial; and believe that it will all come true. Don’t doubt it".
You wouldn’t suspect that the jovial Orthodox priest who carries the gold chalise with such reverence from behind the iconostasis of “Mother of Unexpected Joy” church was once a drug dealing, rambling hippie and coffee-house owner with his own underground band.
On November 16, 2017 the self-proclaimed “Patriarch” Philaret (Denisenko) of Kiev and all Rus’-Ukraine wrote a letter of reconciliation and restoration of communion to the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC). But two weeks later he denied any apologies or formal unity with the ROC. So why then did he write that ambiguous letter?
As part of reporting for a piece in this week’s issue about the relationship between the Russian state and the Russian Orthodox church, The Economist spoke to Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, the Church’s external affairs boss. The full transcript, lightly edited for readability, is published here.
As the reader will take notice, the waters David Bowie thought he could wade through turned out to be a rip current of no return. Sometime after releasing Young Americans, Bowie entered a stage of heavy drugs and dabbling in the occult. He would snort cocaine, and read books on white magic and the occult, doing what he thought would safeguard his psyche against evil powers.
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).
Only a handful of specialists now know about a liturgical rite called “the Furnace Act” practiced in Russia from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries, and mentioned as early as the tenth century in Byzantium. It was a rite that was celebrated on the great feasts. With this rite also began the forefeast of the Nativity of Christ.
On October 7, 2017, several prominent European intellectuals published a Paris Statement titled “A Europe We Believe In”, which consists of 36 points postulating the loss of European identity due to the prevailing political, economic and cultural codes adopted and enforced by the EU, and pointing out ways to address this challenge.