He who places his hope on thee, O Virgin all-glorious, will prosper in all he does.

Inscription on Byzantine coin during reign of Romanus III

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Gone Fishin'

I don't plan to post anything during Great Lent. See you after Pascha!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Excellent Economic Primer

I haven't taken enough time to commend to your attention the marvelous articles populating Orthodoxy Today, a link to which appears elsewhere on this blog page.

In particular, I highly recommend the "A Primer on Capitalism" by Chris Banescu.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bank Nationalization? A Sequel

Alan Greenspan has joined the selective chorus advocating bank nationalization.

Jerome Tuccille reported that Ayn Rand called Alan the "Undertaker" because of his dress and manner. Little did she know how apt that moniker would become.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Bank Nationalization?

I read a news report that a growing chorus of economists and others are recommending the nationalization of American banks. That'd be surprising, except that the chorus members were never too awfully committed to the market anyway.

Maybe we should invite back Alan Greenspan to run the banks the same way in which he ran the Fed. He set the real Federal Funds rate below zero for three years, which set the stage for the leverage orgy that we're unwinding.

While we're discussing the nationalization of our commerical banks, why don't we discuss the privatization of our Central Bank?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cessation Of Artificial Life Support

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin of the Moscow Patriarchate considers the cessation of artificial life support:

"No doubt, there are cases when it’s not clear whether a soul still remains in the body, when the body doesn’t show any signs of conscious life, though some of its functions can be preserved. Perhaps, in such cases there’s no sense to artificially preserve bodily activities with complicated equipment..."

"A Christian remembers that the most important, real life starts beyond the limits of this world when a person worthily faced the end of his temporary life, with repentance, prayer and readiness to meet God – it’s not customary to artificially preserve life in his body when he doesn’t show any signs of conscious life. It is not in Christian tradition, our predecessors have never done this,” the priest said.

Subversion Is The Sticking Point

Moscow and Old Rome won't be meeting anytime soon, owing to remaining concerns about Old Rome's "proselytism" in Orthodox countries. As noted, I prefer to use another term.

Area 51 Fans Will Be Disappointed

Orthodoxy excludes the possibility of extraterrestrial intelligence, according to a Russian theology professor.

I agree, although not for the same reasons. Given the matter and forces in the universe, any other intelligent life would be pretty much like us. There's really no room for variation. The exotic-looking intelligent being is safely relegated to science fiction, except for spiritual beings.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm Beginning To Like Him

From Kyril, the new Patriarch of Moscow:

A believer can’t look and feel gloomy,

“A bishop mustn’t smile,” that’s a deeply erroneous idea of a model Christian. Believer’s outlook is characterized with tranquility and wisdom and faith gives him inner joy,”

Christianity is “eternal joy, it is not a false hundred-dollar smile, but everlasting joy about the Lord and peace of God.” “A believer in Christ has no reason to sprinkle ashes on the head,”

Cloths in black-grey-brown color grade characteristic for some believers, gloomy faces without a hint of smile “have nothing to do with Orthodoxy, with sightlines, with dignity and modesty,” being in fact “a travesty of Church, a vicious taste,”

When we preach folk, museum, costumed Orthodoxy, we make signals to the society and people that our faith is supposed to bear no relation to recent life. While the place of Orthodoxy is in the streamline of life and in the inner abode of our feelings,”

Try to tell me that something special isn't going on over there.



Moscow, January 30, Interfax – Delegate to the Local Council from the Sumy Diocese of the Ukrainian Church Hegumen Simeon (Gagatik) known for his critical publications against inter-Christian contacts, suggested that the Patriarch of All Russia should be granted one of the Pope’s functions.

Fr. Simeon, in course of the Local Council discussions, offered to introduce a provision into the Russian Church Statute that “the Patriarch is a guarantor of observing traditions and canons of the Holy Fathers,” professor of the Moscow Theological Academy Deacon Andrey Kurayev told Interfax-Religion on Friday.

Newly elected Patriarch Kirill reminded this provision couldn’t be applied to the Primate of the Russian Church as it is characteristic of Catholics to consider the Church head a keeper of the purity of faith while “for us it is the Council that guards the purity of Orthodoxy.”

[Emphasis mine]