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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Can You Dig It? I Know That You Can.

Moscow, June 21, Interfax - Fr. Nikolay Kokurin, an Orthodox priest from the Nizhny Novgorod Region, appeared at an anti-drug rock concert held in St. Petersburg

He pronounced a sermon, blessed the audience and played an electric guitar, the 5 Canal reports.

Fr. Nikolay writes songs to praise God. He has a home music studio which he calls 'the church of underground "rockodoxy"'. He posts each new song in the Internet.

A well-known St. Petersburg musician Ilya Chyort (Russian for Devil) included several songs written by Fr. Nikolay in one of his recent albums.

'Rock-n-roll - King David said he would rock and roll and twist before God. Therefore, he may be considered a patriarch of rock-n-roll,' the priest said.

Now he is going to release a new album of his songs. He never sells his discs but prefers to distribute them to believers and grateful listeners.

Rockodoxy? I like that sound of that.

How About Property Rights, Father Vsevolod?

Russian Orthodox Church can give ethical evaluation to everything, including economics

Moscow, June 28, Interfax - Orthodox Christians will continue to call things moral and immoral, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations, said at the Russian-Italian conference entitled 'Economy Needs Ethical Regulators' held in Moscow.

'Everything that concerns people, everything that affects their life and daily bread, the wellbeing of their families, and the future of their society, is naturally an area of concern for believers, the Church,' he said.

The priest said he and 'the entire Christian tradition' disagree with the people who say that 'it is not the responsibility of the Church and believers to speak about economics and that economics is an area restricted to economists and those who take an active part in economic processes on the level of the elite.'

He recalled that Pravoye Delo's new leader Mikhail Prokhorov 'said that "the responsibility of the Church is religious or spiritual life and the worldly things should be left to us" - that's about what he said.'

'It's difficult to agree with that because if a businessman has decided to become a politician and is trying to decide for the entire society what is good and what is bad for it, believers - the clergy, monks, and laymen, including those who take part in economic processes - can offer society what they see fit, especially in the sphere of morals, including economic morals,' he said.

Father, under a system of property rights, free people decide about economics, not power-hungry priests.

Greece's Sad Song

Get out my fiddle--a chest fiddle, not a chin fiddle. It's time to sing a sad song for Greece.

Greece will default, but probably not tomorrow. Europe hopes that Greece won't default until Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Italy recover sufficiently to move out of the Euro zone's weak-sisters category. The latter four countries are working on their problems, and the likelihood is high that their efforts will succeed, given enough time.

The funny aspect of the Greek situation is the attitude of the Communists and other leftists. They like the unrest, and they like to talk about how debt repayment is really a conspiracy by globalized powers to control the Greek economy. In taking this stance, the leftists play on the EU's fear of financial contagion upon a Greek default. They're looking for a sweeter bailout deal. Ah, the tradition of marketplace haggling hasn't died.

Everyone knows that a default wouldn't produce any benefits for Greece. Deep budget cuts would be necessary since Greek debt wouldn't be marketable in normal channels. The banking system would be jeopardized. Drachnas would replace euros.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Is Anyone Surprised At This One?

I am opposed to anonymity in Internet; I think an individual communicating with others should not conceal his or her name, just as we never cover our faces while talking to other people. If an individual wears a mask or a nickname, there are reasons to distrust him or her, Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations told Interfax-Religion.

Ryan Dunn, Memory Eternal

I'm a fan of the Jackass series of films, and I'm sorry to hear of Ryan's death.

Patriarch Kirill Warns Against Disregarding Beauty

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia urged Russians to stay beautiful, both internally and externally.

Russian Priests Jump Alongside The Paratroopers

Parachuting can be daunting. Take it from one who knows.

Monday, June 13, 2011

China's Hard Landing

China avoided a hard landing during the global credit crunch but faces a downturn after 2013 as it will struggle to keep increasing fixed investments, Roubini said.

"There is a meaningful probability of a hard landing in China after 2013," he told a financial conference in Singapore.

That's the closest we've been to agreeing about anything.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Monetary Tyrants Are Jealous

Governments want to keep their monopoly on monetary issuance because of its profitability through seigniorage, but their monetary management is terrible.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

More China

Four Wall Street Journal articles cover different aspects of the same decline.

The outgoing head of Hong Kong's securities regulator warned investors against rushing headlong to buy shares in Chinese companies, calling China "the new dot-com" of the investment world.

Hedge-fund titan John Paulson is hardly alone in his wager on a Chinese company whose stock lately has swooned. Several other prominent money managers, including mutual-fund giants that invest individuals' money, made similar bets on stocks now struggling.

After years of housing prices gone wild, China's property bubble is starting to deflate.

When global growth fell off a cliff in 2008, China's huge monetary stimulus was part of the rescue package. But with the recovery now losing some steam around the world, investors shouldn't expect a repeat performance. The inflationary costs of that stimulus still mean China's ability to act is constrained.

News Flash: Congress Lied, Not Goldman

Government tries to screw another business.

SoGen's Hayekian/Wicksellian Analysis Regarding China

Mr. Grice is right on the money about that overblown windbag called China. The unfolding of economic causality doesn't occur overnight, but operates with long and variable lags. China has been trying to command itself into becoming a global economic power, but that artifice has been wearing at the fringes for about eighteen months. The trigger for its comeuppance will be the Fed's upcoming change in monetary policy.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

John Gets It Right, Again

I've borrowed this wonderful video from Ad Orientem. We Orthodox love our monastics, and we appreciate their struggle for our salvation.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

My Official Position On Anglican Holy Orders

Bishop Peter Robinson of the United Episcopal Church of North America has written a piece on Anglican orders that's been posted at the Continuum blog. I won't be relying on his piece for this posting.

My position on Anglican orders corresponds with the following statement posted by Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Overland Park, Kansas:

1) Six Churches have made declarations which seem to recognize Anglican ordinations as valid: Constantinople (1922), Jerusalem and Sinai (1923), Cyprus (1923), Alexandria (1930), Romania (1936).

2) The Russian Church in Exile, at the Karlovtzy Synod of 1935, declared that Anglican clergy who become Orthodox must be reordained. In 1948, at a large conference held in Moscow, the Moscow Patriarchate promulgated a decree to the same effect, which was also signed by official delegates (present at the conference) from the Churches of Alexandria, Antioch, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Georgia, and Albania.

To interpret these statements aright, it would be necessary to discuss in detail the Orthodox view of the validity of sacraments, which is not the same as that usually held by western theologians, and also the Orthodox concept of ‘ecclesiastical economy;’ and these matters are so intricate and obscure that they cannot here be pursued at length. But certain points must be made. First, the Churches which declared in favour of Anglican Orders have not apparently carried this decision into effect. In recent years, when Anglican clergy have approached the Patriarchate of Constantinople with a view to entering the Orthodox Church, it has been made clear to them that they would be received as laymen, not as priests. Secondly, the favourable statements put out by group (1) are in most cases carefully qualified and must be regarded as provisional in character. The Ecumenical Patriarch, for example, when communicating the 1922 decision to the Archbishop of Canterbury, said in his covering note: ‘It is plain that there is as yet no matter here of a decree by the whole Orthodox Church. For it is necessary that the rest of the Orthodox Churches should be found to be of the same opinion as the most holy Church of Constantinople .’ In the third place, Orthodoxy is extremely reluctant to pass judgment upon the status of sacraments performed by non-Orthodox. Most Anglicans understood the statements made by group (1) to constitute a ‘recognition’ of Anglican Orders at the present moment. But in reality the Orthodox were not trying to answer the question ‘Are Anglican Orders valid in themselves, here and now?’ They had in mind the rather different question ‘Supposing the Anglican communion were to reach full agreement in faith with the Orthodox, would it then be necessary to reordain Anglican clergy?’

This helps to explain why Constantinople in 1922 could declare favorably upon Anglican Orders, and yet in practice treat them as invalid: this favorable declaration could not come properly into effect so long as the Anglican Church was not fully Orthodox in the faith. When matters are seen in this light, the Moscow decree of 1948 no longer appears entirely inconsistent with the declarations of the pre-war period. Moscow based its decision on the present discrepancy between Anglican and Orthodox belief: ‘The Orthodox Church cannot agree to recognize the rightness of Anglican teaching on the sacraments in general, and on the sacrament of Holy Order in particular; and so it cannot recognize Anglican ordinations as valid.’ (Note that Orthodox theology declines to treat the question of valid orders in isolation, but considers at the same time the faith of the Church concerned). But, so the Moscow decree continues, if in the future the Anglican Church were to become fully Orthodox in faith, then it might be possible to reconsider the question. While returning a negative answer at the present moment, Moscow extended a hope for the future.

Such is the situation so far as official pronouncements are concerned. Anglican clergy who join the Orthodox Church are reordained; but if Anglicanism and Orthodoxy were to reach full unity in the faith, perhaps such reordination might not be found necessary. It should be added, however, that a number of individual Orthodox theologians hold that under no circumstances would it be possible to recognize the validity of Anglican Orders.

Sleazoid Indicted

I'm no fan of election financing laws, but John Edwards is.