By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them

Another gem from



Moscow, April 10, 2019

The Russian Orthodox Church is planning to open 70 different projects in 2019 to help pregnant women, women with children in difficult situations, and families in need.

His Grace Bishop Panteleimon of Orekhovo-Zuevsk, the head of the Synodal Department for Charity noted in his recent report to the Supreme Church Council that the new project will be opened with funds raised in churches specifically for the purpose of helping to prevent abortions and help women in crisis situations.

“13 new shelters for mothers will be opened with these funds in 2019. One of them has already opened in Kurgan. Thus, 72 such shelters will soon be operating in Russia,” Bp. Panteleimon said.

The center in Kurgan was opened on February 7 by His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of Kurgan and Belozerskoe under the banner of the diocesan social project “House of Mercy Center for the Protection of Family, Motherhood, and Childhood.” Since, Bp. Panteleimon gave his report, at least one more shelter has been opened, in Urzhum.

In addition to the shelters, 32 new centers of humanitarian aid and 25 other projects for helping women in crisis situations, offering consultative, legal, and psychological help will also open.

“54 already operating projects for helping women will also be able to expand their work this year,” His Grace added.

Bp. Panteleimon also reported that the Church opened 6 such shelters in various dioceses in 2018, and 11 new cities joined the “Save a Life” program that has saved more than 100,000 children from abortion since 2015.

35 new humanitarian centers were opened in 2018, mostly in small towns and villages where the situation is particularly difficult. 11 dioceses opened support centers for drug addicts. 5 new church communities appeared where they provide assistance to the deaf, totaling 71 churches in 45 dioceses that work with the deaf and hard of hearing.

Bp. Panteleimon also outlined a number of other projects the Church undertook in 2018 and which it plans to undertake this year to help people who are suffering in a variety of ways.


  1. Solitary Priest says

    Interesting, non of the anti-Russian folks here have offered any comments.

  2. This is wonderful news. Thank you for sharing.

  3. r j klancko says

    As we continue our ethnic squabbling,,, as we debate to pew or not to pew,,, as we throw stones at protestants and catholics,,,, as we refrain to become part of the fabric of America or even fund a wing at St. Judes hospital,,,, as we focus on externalities – beards, miters, worry beads, etc. look at what Christianity is all about — where are our programs to promote the value of life,, even one life? So a few of our bishops, and truly mean a few, take part in a walk in Washington once a year — what do they do the other 364 days to further the cause? How do they rally their members into makeing a true committment? We all need to get our priorities straight, we all need to return to the message true Christianity — we need to stop cutting bait and begin to activiely fish — or are we going to follow the parable and keep our wealth and our faith hidden under the rock. May God bless us all and give us the couragre to truly live our Chrisitan faith. Why don’t our bishops begin by donating their miters and jeweled crosses to the cause????? Lead by doing not by polemics! Let us wear the internalities of our faith through our actions and committment to basic Chrisitan principles, and not by focusing on the prideful externalities. Just ask your selves every day WWJD! Russian Orthodox Church, despite it all, YOU GO GIRL- YOU ARE EXHIBITING, IN THIS RESPECT, HOW YOU CAN TRULY BE THE PROVERBIAL BRIDE IF CHRIST!

    • Friend, Mr Klanchko, I agree with you totally. I AM NOT OBSCESSED RE BEAERDS Organs . I am just politely stating and defending the lived tradition of the Church. If i am in wrong for defending the tradition of the Church well what can i say.?
      I have just come from the akaathistos hymn service, here in Bulgaria. The young priest, married man with family, fr David has normal collars length hair and a full trimed beard. End of. We all sang the service together.
      Now can we get down to the really important points you bring up. All I can say my friend is bless you. YOU SO TOTALLY TOTALLY RIGHT. it’s in this context that i bring up mitres and crowns.
      God forgive me for those who will be saints but humanly I see so many bishops living a very comfortable life fully stuffed as they preached to the people.WORDS WORDS WORDS, like communist party aparatchiks. IT WILL NOT DO ANY MORE. As you say how many walked to Washington?? OR ANYWHERE??

    • I listened to a marvellous u tube by fr Michael Oleksa on ‘The difficulties of being Orthodox in America’.
      You all should watch it if you do not know it.
      While you have clergy of his calibre and others hope lives as does the Church. Very Very sensible genuine man.

  4. r j klancko: “Why don’t our bishops begin by donating their miters and jeweled crosses to the cause?????”

    You overestimate their value. They look impressive but it is only an appearance, it is more about traditional esthetics and symbols. Business suits of some parishioners might cost more.

    “It could have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.”

    • Martin for me actually it’s aesthetics!! They look stupid. And if faux status even more pathetic. I just think that for today’s bishops it’s a wrong message to send. And no we do not need to remove from icons etc but many icons of bishop saints do not show in crowns,some do though and not a problem at all. All I am saying is that some non protestant simplicity would aid church better.
      In his superb book Light Out of Darkness, Fudll states that after some years in the Gulag, seeing a bishop in church with his train held by a altar server, made him think of the court of catherine the great, as also the ‘concert -style’ singing of the choir.

      • Nikos: “Martin for me actually it’s aesthetics!! They look stupid.”

        Yeah, anything that is ancient looks stupid to you. Hey Buddhist monks and Arab rag-heads in flowing robes, dress in jeans and t-shirts to look smart and normal.

        There is another edition of Gulag – it is located in Disneyland.

        • No I did not say everything ancient looks stupid to me PUT YR OWN WORDS IN YR OWN MOUTH PLEASE.
          I said that i am in favour of a humble simplicity, i worked in Uk health service with Muslim doctors and many indians in Saris etc as something natural I love it.
          I merely making a comment on need for church to humble itself. As with anything you can wear a mitre and be humble as late bishop Anthony Bloom or not and be an arrogant PIG.
          But re mitre this came in after fall of byzantium and there is a simpler pre 16c bishop attire which i think is more in tune with reality at the moment. But in long run it’s the attitude. Empty titles and faux humility language that grates long before a mitre. But for me mitres and Imitating Christ do not seem to go together.

          • Nikos: “Empty titles and faux humility language that grates long before a mitre. But for me mitres and Imitating Christ do not seem to go together.”

            I do not recall Christ telling priests to dress in everyday clothes for the Temple service.

          • Johann Sebastian says

            It’s just a hat. They look good and fit the setting. Keep them.

            I reckon Muslim doctors dress very much the same as Orthodox ones. They’re taking care of patients, not leading Juma’at.

            Celebrating a Divine Liturgy is beyond an Orthodox doctor’s scope of practice, unless he happens to be an ordained priest as well.

            Look up Sheikh Imran Hosein on Youtube. He speaks favorably of us Orthodox. Even did a series with the Saker.

    • Claes vanOldenphatt says

      I get so tired of this haranguing to strip the altars. The agenda is twisted in a Protestant direction – he is offended by Byzantine aesthetics and wants to see our Churches denuded of our artistic expression which we’ve only begun to win back in the last century!
      Mitres as Nikos says are not expensive by modern standards and certainly worth very little used – his demand is of course symbolic – but OCA bishops live very ascetic lives even compared to many parishioners. Bp. Benjamin for example lived in a 3rd floor room above Rafael House in SF’s Tenderloin for several years before he finally got to move into Holy Trinity Cathedral’s rectory, which is nice but no palace.

      If we want to positively impact American society we mist end the jurisdictional redundancy and division that impoverishes the churches. We must work to contextualize our faith in this land, not long lost empires. And quit finding vestiges of Ottoman domination. Not the least drain of AmericanOrthodox resources is the fulfillment of requirements of Turkish law over GOA bishops to hold Turkish citizenship, which must maintained by frequent visits and paying fees to Ankara.
      The cost of maintaining the sham that is the Fener and loyal support of it dwarfs the cost of episcopal regalia.

      • Claes. You express it so well. Agree EVERY WORD. . Every word. Bishop Anthony Bloom in London lived a simple life. His life was a living sermon. He wore a mitre. I never really noticed because his humility, his ascetic Figure, gave it dignity. And yes. We can learn a lot from byzantium and yes we want no stripping of the altar, or REMOVAL of iconostas. Just some simple humility and connection to reality.

        • r j klancko says

          rhe byzantine emperor no longer exists so our bishops need not compete with them and show that they reign in their kingdom as did the emperor in his — so, that being the case, why must men adorn themselves with costly reignment while their flock is suffering — i am not advocating that we dsassemble our churches but that we shore up our churches by diverting needless spent moneys on self adornment toward better uses. the most humble priest i knew was fr arcady who had vestments so tattered that one of his cuffs fell off during the great entrance yet no one really noticed because of the radiance that encompassed him — our holiness is not equated to what wear but how we wear what se have. ask your bishop how many miters he owns and how many jeweled crosses ( i am not touching the panagia area) and how many does he really need. i remeber bishop bogdan – in his photos he wore the same panagia that bishop joseph zuk wore, and i did not see him wear any other —- on the otherhand everytime i see a bishop there are new robes, new miters, and new panagias and crosses — i can only ask why????? Is the money we give being used in a responsible manner? let us take all of these funds and build an eastern orthodox christian wing at st judes and really walk our talk!

          • Greatly Saddened says

            Bravo! So well said. I couldn’t agree with you more. If I didn’t know any better, I would think I am at a Broadway production, rather than the Church of Jesus Christ! Time has come to get off the high horse and get real, as well as “humble!”

    • r j klancko says

      You missed the point entirely

  5. Damian Vansuch says

    Hello everyone. First-time poster, long time reader here.

    While agreeing with your points, Orthodoxy in America is too fractured with all of the jurisdictions. In ’94 @ Ligioner, the impossible was started to be put into motion, however, the EP put a crumble to it, as it would affect his cash flow.

    It would be nice to see the Assembly of Bishops in North America put something together to become part of the fabric of America and go fishing. I just don’t think they can come to a consensus (which is a shame). If one jurisdiction does do something, another jurisdiction would try to one up them (again, which is a shame)

    During the Lenten Season, we say an incredibly powerful prayer, the Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem. If only everybody, starting with hierarchy down to laypersons, could only try to live that prayer daily, what a world it would be.

    Asking forgiveness, as I am the greatest of sinners. Wishing everybody a Blessed rest of Great Lent.

  6. Beryl Wells Hamilton says

    Hello, I thought about this verse, “By their fruits you shall know them” as I watched a beautiful video of His Grace Bishop NIKOLAI (Soraich) and many from his parish in Las Vegas, on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Any who judged him falsely need to watch this and think again about what was done to him while he was bishop over the Alaskan diocese. He is as innocent as he can be. May the Lord grant him many years! He just celebrated his 70th birthday! Here’s the link: Enjoy!

    • Gail Sheppard says

      The music is beautiful! Hope His Grace is doing well.

      • r j klancko says

        of course the music is beautiful and inspirational but i must warned the purests out there that it is western music music of those heritics we love to criticize however, there is good in many things and we must recognize that good this music should be embraced by the orthodox church and we should employ it in our services — why you ask? this is part of our american tradition and as americans this is what makes us as unique as the russians and greeks — this music moved me and the words are also moving – the only sin there is is that we are betraying our ethnic ethos if we embrace this music and this then is a breaking of man’s not God’s rules. If the Greek God dictates Greek and Byzantine chant and the Russian God dictates Old Church Slavonic and Zananemny Chant then what should the American God dictate ,,,,,, oooh oops I am sorry, there is but one God and in him is East and West, North and South so this music should then be acceptable by us,, for in fact it praises and glorifies our Lord. and isn’t that what it is all about?

        • Gail Sheppard says

          I would agree this music is acceptable as a backdrop for a travel video.

          • r j klancko says

            This is our myopic problem. We cannot accept or praise we are experts on the side ways praise. This music is used for worship. Accept the fact and look to our future in America an see how we can incorporate it. Just look at the difference between that horrible Byzantine chant and the magnificent music of Tchaikovsky and his fellow composers. Or even the music of bishop Phillip. We need to stop being so judgement. Oh oops was I with my statement about Byzantine chant. I must be human

            • Johann Sebastian says

              Western music has been in decline since about 1770. Unfortunately, the development of Russian music was only in its infancy at this time and followed the trajectory of Western musical development: the apex of Russian musical achievement came during the late Romantic period. By this time, Western music had degenerated into an unbalanced “wall of sound” relying on virtuosic pyrotechnics, force, and volume. The rhetorical element of musical expression had been lost–contrapuntal dialogue, articulation, affectation. Russia missed the boat, unfortunately.

              The Greeks never got on the boat.

              As much as I rant about the West, I don’t think any of our musical efforts can hold a candle to theirs. That the Russians were masters of the Romantic idiom tells me, though, that had the adoption of polyphony occurred in Russia just 150 years earlier, our people might likely have made contributions to Western music rivalling the best of what Palestrina, Monteverdi, Bach, and Handel left to us.

              • ” The Greeks never got on the boat.”

                Byzantine music is based on the ancient Greek music.
                Historians say that Ancient Greeks had developed music as much as Architecture. Just look at the government buildings in the Us and else where:
                They look like Ancient Greek buildings with Corinthian columns etc.
                Unfortunate no Ancient Greek has been …recorded. Effort has been made to decipher ancient Greek musical notation and some beautiful results can be found in YouTube.
                The Greeks have never got on the boat of Western Ecclesiastical Music, because Greeks use different musical scales going back, yes, even to the Greek mathematician Pythagoras (you know the Pythagoras Theorem). He was a musician too and designed “natural” scales of absolute precision. The Western Musical scale is not natural and thus not absolutely harmonical. On the other hand, however, music is somehow like recipes or drinks, you get used to it and you then like it.
                I think some of Orthodox parishes in Africa or Far East have music which is neither Byzantine nor Western. So what?

                • Ioannis, byzantine music is incredibly rich AS all monophonic music is as jaz. Similarities in ability to improvise. And yes agree totally re Africa etc. You know a liturgical music that is truly Orthodox will speak in what ever tongue.
                  The saddest thing told me by korean students is that in korea in greek Cathedral in Seoul, they have sakallarides and harmonium. What is that doing in korea?? What is it doing in any Orthodox church.?
                  I have heard piece of African Orthodox singing and it is theirs, and Orthodox. God bless. Καλή Ανάσταση φίλε.

                  • Yes Niko, in some countries they are trying to sing Byzantine Music as simple as they can get, not only Sekellarides but even by using western staff notation. They think they are making life easier but that is not true.
                    Also by using piano to teach it the completely lose the natural intervals of the notes.
                    Any way music is secondary. It is better to have western-style music and a real Orthodox parish than the other way round. I guess the perfect is done by Fr. Ephraim in Arizona. Καλή Ἀνάστασι ἀδελφέ μου.

                    • Thank you. Yes agree. As long as acapella. Here in my bulgarian Parish it’s folk harmonised byzantine. Very simple, moving, and easy to Sing as congregation does and expressing a wide range of liturgical emmotions. God bless.

        • Beryl Wells Hamilton says

          The post is about Bishop Nikolai and the trip he and his sheep took, AND the fact that he is a good man devoted to God, which is evident in the fruit he bears. Not about the background music.