Talk:Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

KGB??

What about reports of KGB infiltration of the Orthodox Church during the Soviet period? As a high ranking cleric, the Patriarch would have been involved.

Good question! I added more information about it. Actually, Farther Gleb Yakunin (one of well known dissidents in the Soviet Union) was given access to KGB archives and published some of the documents about this subject. He also wrote a letter to the Patriarch with codenames of the top hierarchs who were KGB agents: ADAMANT, ABBAT, TOPAZ, MIKHAILOV, and DROZDOV (the Patriarch himself). This letter was unprecedented in the history of Russian Ortodox Church. (see pages 660-661 in the book Christopher Andrew and Vasili Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive: The KGB in Europe and the West, Gardners Books (2000), ISBN 0-14-028487-7.) See also book Yevgenia Albats and Catherine A. Fitzpatrick. The State Within a State: The KGB and Its Hold on Russia--Past, Present, and Future. 1994. ISBN 0-374-52738-5.Biophys 06:11, 21 November 2006 (UTC)
BTW, someone is trying to dispute your information without references. I reverted his/her edit, but (s)he repeated it again. Colchicum 20:30, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
The Mitrokhin archive has documented fairly clearly in The Sword and the Shield how the KGB systematically infiltrated and recruited Russian Orthodox seminarians in the USSR in the 1950's and 1960's, including the rapidly-promoted seminarian who became the Patriarch Alexey II. Mitrokhin has published his documentary evidence that active collaboration with the KGB was a virtual neccesity for promotion within the heirarchy of the Sergianist Orthodox "Church" in Soviet Russia. There is also a great deal of circumstantial evidence that the KGB and Russian Orthodox heirarchs (if a meaningful distinction can be made between these two entities)of the Moscow Patriarchate, at the behest of President Vladimir Putin, himself, have now successfully infiltrated and "recruited" the Synod of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR)under Metropolitan Laurus, which voted in May of 2006 to submit to the canonical authority of the Moscow Patriarchate. Very little has been written in the Western press about the events leading up to this rather startling reversal of the ROCOR's longstanding condemnation of the KGB-controlled Moscow Patriarchate, and it is possible that very little ever will be written on the subject. The free press in Russia has now been effectively silenced, and the leaders of the ROCOR around the world have essentially whitewashed any trace of controversy within their own jurisdictions in the name of Russian nationalism and "unity." The late Metropolitan Vitaly, the former first heirarch of the ROCOR was forcibly removed from office in Montreal, Canada in 2000 by unidentified plainclothesmen (graphic photos of this whole spectacle appeared on the internet) at the time that Metropolitan Laurus first ascended to power as the new first heirarch of the ROCOR, and initiated the process of reunification with the Alexey's Moscow Patrarchate. While it is important to refrain from unsubstantiated libel against anyone, there can be little doubt that people within the KGB--Moscow Patriarchate-ROCOR infrastructure are now carefully monitoring and expunging any public record or discussion of their current and recent activities, including, I suspect, any information posted on Wikipedia. It would, therefore, be better for us to err on the`side of openness and a full disclosure of the truth, than to collude silently with their carefully orchestrated campaign of disinformation about the relationship between the KGB and the Russian Orthodox Church in- and outside of Russia.

--Raskolnikov



It was a common practice for the KGB to give code names to people they kept files on. Patriarch Alexius being a high ranking church official was obviously under KGB surveillance. It does not make him a KGB agent. It is also quite ridiculous to use obviously biased Gleb Yakunin ( a controversial priest expelled from the Orthodox church) and Yevgenia Albats (liberal Russian-Jewish journalist) as “independent confirmation”. Fisenko 21:49, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

It is not an established facts but the rumors are notable. Should be put as rumors Alex Bakharev (talk) 03:58, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
We have around 10 to 20 reliable sources including published books claiming this to be the case based on KGB archives and other information (such as words of Alexius himself to Kalugin - allegedly). The reliable secondary sources also cite exact pages in those archives. These are not "rumors" but sourced information. If we treat this as a "controversy" (which is fine), we can provide "pro" and "contra" opinions, as usual. Then it will be perfectly NPOV.Biophys (talk) 04:05, 9 January 2008 (UTC)


There should be information added about his reluctance to having dialogue with the Catholic Church, and his refusal to allow a visit by Pope John Paul II.


Support of suppression of other religions

  • Let's also have something about his opposition to foreign and minority religions - he supported the Russian gov in bringing in a law that meant religious orgs had to register... and have their activities scrutinised by the authorities. This led to the Salvation Army being closed in Moscow and described as a 'paramilitary organisation'. Basically, as Memorial say, he's a bit of a fascist. Malick78 19:09, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

The Gay Parade plot

Being critical of the subject of the article? Let's anyway try not to disinform people, even if someone happens to be an GLM activist. The Wikipedia is not the right place to disinform on ANYONE. -- just someone

Yakunin and Albats as "reliable sources"

Since when diatribes of a priest who was excommunicated from the Russian Orthodox Church are regarded as reliable sources for Wikipedia? And Albats is the most severely partisan journalist in Russia; her allegations are anything but partial and/or reliable. Currently the article reads like a deliberate slur and contradicts our policies on WP:BLP. --Ghirla-трёп- 16:10, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

These are not reliable sources, but notable and well-known. The article shouldn't claim that their information is true, and it doesn't claim so. This is not a kind of I heard it somewhere and there is in principle nothing derogatory in being an alleged agent of a secret service, so I don't see how BLP applies here. Colchicum 16:17, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
The opinions of dissidents are all too predictable and in a short article like this one give the appearance of undue weight. I don't see how Yakunin can "independently confirm" anything, given his background, and why his opinions are notable to be mentioned in an encyclopaedia. Perhaps I should raise the issue on WP:BLPN. --Ghirla-трёп- 16:30, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps. But as far as I could see, these are allegations very well-known in Russia, much better than details of his official biography, hence notable and not undue. Mindreading of dissidents or whoever is not up to us.Colchicum 16:40, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I mostly agree with Colchicum, but the aricle about Alexius II can indeed be extended to describe many other aspects of his life. As for books by Mitrokhin and Albats, they are notable and reliable sources according to WP:SOURCEBiophys 19:44, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Code Names

The reference provided makes the clear point that prior to the 1980's the KGB normally referred to everyone with one code name or another... even those whom they were persecuting. That is simply a fact, and examples of people whom the KGB was after being referred to by a code name can easily be provided. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 21:35, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Of course everyone in KGB files had a code name. But code name is simply irrelevant here. These sources assert that he WAS a KGB agent not because he had a code name, but because the found documents indicate explicitly that he worked for the KGB. Furthermore, he admitted his work for KGB to Kalugin ("that was for peace"...), according to sources. So, what is the subject of the dispute?Biophys (talk) 01:40, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
First off, the fact that he had a code is used to suggest that this proves he was an agent, and the fact is, as you concede, this does not prove any such thing. Which original documents state that he explicitly worked as a KGB agent? Where did they come from? The alleged quote regarding Kalugin is hearsay from an individual who has an axe to grind against the Moscow Patriarchate, and has made numerous outrageous statements that would indicate that he is a crack pot, and not a reliable source.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 01:51, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
There are around eight reliable sources claiming him to be a KGB agent. That is more than enough per WP:BLP and WP:Verifiability. Some of them are reliable secondary sources - scholarly books. Do you suggest these sources insufficient? I can bring more. I suggest however that we both stop this struggle. Otherwise, we will increase this article twice by including a lot of materials about his work as a KGB agent, and we both do not want that.Biophys (talk) 04:38, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
And how about that: "Among his controversial "non-profit" connections, Patriarch Alexius II has been a patron of Gulnaz "Gulya" Sotnikova, president of Vertex Aero who is being investigated for corruption and white-collar crime. ... Vertex, informed sources tell RRM, specializes in obstetrical and gynecological practices and runs maternity centers and abortion clinics. Moscow police believe Vertex is behind a large, unlicensed fetal organ harvesting operation in a clinic of the Moscow Institute of Biological Medicine." (U.S. Food Aid Through Patriarchate May Be Abused, Priest Says; Distributor Tied to Illegal Activity & Trafficking in Parts of Unborn Babies - by Russia Reform Monitor No. 584, February 11, 1999). Do we want to include that? And I am not even talking about murders of Russian priests to take over the Russian Orthodox Church abroad (see [3]).Biophys (talk) 05:10, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

"Personal blog"

Biophys raised an objection to my referencing in a footnote the material on this page as being from a "personal blog": http://pages.prodigy.net/frjohnwhiteford/patalexei.htm

As can easily be seen it is not a blog, and I did not write what it one it. It contains a post to a yahoo group by a ROCOR priest who was on the joint commission for reconciliation between the MP and ROCOR -- Fr. Alexander Lebedeff. He has simply provided a translation into English of an interview in Isvestia. Now, I could have made the same edit, and simply referenced Isvestia, but I think most readers who do not have backlog copies of Isvestia around the house, and do not speak or read Russian would like to to read a translation of what is actually referred to. The information is from a reliable source, and is a translation of a reliable source.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 01:58, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Someone cites the following words by Alexius on this blog:

Pat A.: "Being a person of the Church, I must take on myself responsibility for all that occurred in the life of my Church: not only for the good, but also for the difficult, the sorrowful, the erroneous."

Pat. A.: "Today we can say that falsehood is interspersed in his Declaration, which stated as its goal 'placing the Church into proper relations with the Soviet government.' But these relations--and in the Declaration they are clearly defined as the submission of the Church to the interests of governmental politics--are exactly those which are incorrect from the point of view of the Church."

Pat. A.: "Of people, then, to whom these compromises, silence, forced passivity or expressions of loyalty that were permitted by the Church leadership in those days, have caused pain -- of these people, not only before God, but also before them, I ask forgiveness, understanding, and prayers."

Unfortunately, this is not too informative. It is not clear at all what he means. Of course "Izvestija" can be cited, but you should check yourself that citation is correct.Biophys (talk) 02:31, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

These are direct translations of the Russian by a notable Russian Priest from a reliable source, and unless you have some evidence to suggest that he has mistranslated the material, there is no basis for not including it. References to Isvestia are provide on the page linked, which in turn provides a link to said notable Russian Priest's original translation of said reliable source. And it is quite clear what he is saying if you are familiar with the history in question. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 06:45, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, but we have to assume that a reader is not familiar with the question. But I think your last edit is fine. I also commented in Mitrokhin Archive. Thanks, Biophys (talk) 16:35, 31 December 2007 (UTC)
I have provided an additional reference for those who may not be familiar with the history in question.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 17:14, 31 December 2007 (UTC)

Yahoo group is not a reliable source, Izvestia is. Please provide the reference to Izvestia, and add something like English translation is available at [yahooaddress] Alex Bakharev (talk) 04:03, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Alleged KGB Award

A reliable source that supports the following assertion of fact is needed, or else the assertion needs to be deleted:

"Alexius was awarded an Honorary Citation by the KGB chairmen in 1988, according to archive documents."

Which archive documents are we talking about here, and where did you get this information.? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:13, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

I do not find a single reference to this assertion on Google, and so I am removing it until we are provided with reliable source documentation. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:29, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
I included exact citation with page. This is a book, a reliable secondary source, which is much better than any Google garbage.Biophys (talk) 17:19, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Which archive does the book say this is to be found in? Who found it? Where can I find it? Based on the reference you provide, I take it that this is one of those archive documents that Yevgenia Albats claims to have seen, but which no document is available for independent verification. As such, the assertion that this is verified by documents in the KGB archive should be qualified that it is according to the testimony of a person who claim to have seen it, rather than according to any documents that anyone else might examine. Also, you say that this has been discussed by many KGB agents. How do you know that? Please provide a source, or stop inserting that claim. Also, please stop deleting the statement about the meaning of having a KGB code name, for which I have provided a source. It is certainly pertinent. It is verified by a reliable source. It is a matter of fact. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 17:40, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Code name is irrelevant. Sources claim that he worked for KGB not because he had code name. I cite exactly what source says. If you disagree, you can check this in a library. Since, you insist on developing this segment, I will have to include more sourced materials.Biophys (talk) 18:42, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
The Code name is relevant, or else it would not be cited. It would suffice to say he is alleged to be a KGB agent, no? If you want to delete all references to the KGB Code name, I will be OK with deleted by qualification of that fact. Feel free to bring in more sources... just be sure not to make assertions that are not supported by the sources, and make sure that they are reliable sources. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 18:49, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
O'K, I left the irrelevant material about code name but explained it, so a reader can understand what is all about.Biophys (talk) 19:13, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Put it all the accusations you can document... but do not mix them, as you are doing. Specify which accusations are supported by what sources. As a matter of fact, there is no document you can quote from that states Patriarch Alexei received an award from the KGB... you have the testimony of someone who claims to have read that. We do not know what she may have read into the text, or what the text actually said... or if the text even exists. Please keep it straight.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 21:02, 5 January 2008 (UTC)


Russian Orthodox Church and the KGB

Do not you know that collaboration of Russian Orthodox Church and Alexius with the KGB is very well established in numerous reliable sources? Look, for example this article by Keith Armes who is is associate director of the Institute for the Study of Conflict, Ideology and Policy of Boston University:

The opening of some KGB archives since August 1991 has made available for the first time clear evidence of the subordination of the Orthodox hierarchy to the Soviet government. An investigative journalist, Alexander Nezhny, was able to establish the close relationship between a number of bishops and the “organs,” and to determine the identities of the bishops involved on the basis of the chronology of missions abroad undertaken by hierarchs at the behest of the KGB and references to the agent names by which they were known. In particular, the KGB affiliation of three prominent hierarchs is now established: the recently deposed Metropolitan Philaret of Kiev (code name “Antonov”), Metropolitan Yuvenali of Krutisk and Kolomna, who was head of the foreign relations department of the patriarchate (code name “Adamant”), and Metropolitan Pitirim of Volokolamsk and Yurev, head of the publishing department of the patriarchate (code name “Abbat”). It is also established that the present patriarch, Aleksi II, served the KGB under the poetic name “Blackbird” (Drozdov).

Investigations carried out in the KGB archives by Lev Ponomarev, chairman of the short-lived Russian Supreme Soviet Commission to Investigate the Causes and Circumstances of the Putsch, and Father Gleb Yakunin, who served as a member of that commission, make it clear that the chain of command for controlling the church ran directly from the Politburo through the CPSU Central Committee Department of Agitation and Propaganda, to the USSR Council of Ministers' Council on Religious Affairs, and finally to the KGB, which had a special subdivision (Fourth Department of the Fifth Administration) for religion.

There is abundant evidence of the KGB's control of the church's activities abroad and its success in ensuring that the World Council of Churches (WCC) consistently adopted positions advantageous to the Soviet leadership. Thus in 1980, a KGB report signed by the head of the Fourth Department states, “. . . the secretary general of the World Council of Churches, Philip Potter, has been in Moscow as a guest of the Moscow Patriarchate. A favorable influence was exercised on him by agents `Svyatoslav,' `Adamant,' `Mikhailov,' and `Ostrovsky.' Information of operational interest was obtained on the activities of the WCC.” In 1983, the KGB dispatched 47 agents to attend the WCC General Assembly in Vancouver. In the following year, KGB reports make it clear that the Uruguayan Emilio Castro was elected WCC general secretary with the assistance of its agents attending the session of the selection committee.

At a major Orthodox Church conference in Moscow in 1988, the “situation among the participants was checked” by clandestine means, and a “positive communiqué was adopted in which a principled appraisal was adopted by the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church of the activities of religious extremists [dissidents] in our country.” The KGB reported on its work at the July 1989 WCC meeting in Moscow, “As a result of measures carried out, eight public statements and three official letters were adopted which were in accordance with the political line of socialist countries . . . Thanks to our agents a positive effect was exercised on the foreigners, and additional ideological and personality data were obtained, [as well as] information on their political views and the positions they occupied in their own countries. Numerous interviews took place that were favorable to us.”

A facsimile document dated November 1987, and published by the former KGB officer Stanislav Levchenko, confirmed in striking fashion the extent of Party control over the Orthodox Church's affairs. According to this paper, the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the KGB, the Council on Religious Affairs (in the person of its chairman, Konstantin Kharchev), and the CPSU Central Committee's Propaganda Department, was required for the church to send priests to serve Orthodox parishes in Brazil and Uruguay. There is evidence that KGB officers were sent to study at seminaries abroad in order to become priests and serve in the Soviet Union.

The KGB paid particular attention to relations with the Vatican. A 1989 report by Col. V. Timoshevsky, head of the KGB's Fourth Department, states, “The most important journeys were those by the agents `Antonov,' `Ostrovsky,' and `Adamant' to Italy for negotiations with the Pope on questions of future relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church, in particular the problems of the Uniates.” The patriarchate's External Affairs Department consisted almost entirely of KGB agents. The department's main ideologist, Buevsky, a KGB officer now venerable leastwise in years, has been responsible for writing the patriarch's public statements and encomia on successive national leaders since 1946.4

A prominent priest, Father Georgi Edelshtein, has stated that one-half of the clergy were overt or covert KGB employees through the end of the Gorbachev era. He has confirmed that the hierarchy took large bribes from priests seeking transfers to rich parishes and from candidates for bishoprics. Father Edelshtein comments, “Do you know where our present-day church ends and the KGB begins? The only difference was that some wore hoods and some had shoulder boards.”5 Until very recently, the conduct of some members of the episcopate showed no trace of aggiornamento. In 1990, a group of students asked the Bishop of Chelyabinsk for help in organizing an Orthodox youth group to look after new converts. This prelate requested a list of the organizers, which he then sent to the local KGB. The KGB, however, wrote back to the bishop informing him that their duties no longer included such “internal matters,” and passed on copies of the correspondence to the city soviet for publication. Father Gleb Yakunin has stated that within the top church hierarchy, nine out of ten were KGB agents.

Significantly, none of the prominent bishops attending a conference in Moscow on 19 August 1991, condemned the putsch. Not one came to the White House to bless its defenders who faced death protecting the legal government of Russia from the overthrow attempt by military forces.8 It is a reasonable assumption that many hierarchs were recruited by the KGB at the seminary—or even initially sent to the seminary by a patron with blue epaulettes—and marked out from the beginning for a distinguished clerical career. For these men, the practice of religion meant the search for and attainment of warm places and high preferment. So far, however, documentary evidence for such recruiting is lacking. In January 1992, further access to the archives was denied to Supreme Soviet investigative commissions with the approval of the chairman of the Supreme Soviet, Ruslan Khasbulatov, after joint presentations had been made to him by the chairman of the Russian External Intelligence Service, Yevgeny Primakov, and Patriarch Aleksi.9

Particularly damaging to the credibility and moral stature of the Orthodox hierarchy is the degree to which the current patriarch is morally compromised by a career of subservience to the Politburo. According to the KGB archives, in February 1988, the KGB chairman rewarded Aleksi II with a “Certificate of Honor” for successful performance.10 In 1965, as Archbishop of Tallinn, Aleksi demanded that Archbishop Hermogen of Kaluga, who at the time was undoubtedly the most courageous of all the bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate, go into forced retirement for signing a protest against the complicity of the Synod in the Soviet government's campaign of church closures.11 The patriarch's behavior during the August coup was a classic case of temporization. After initially failing to condemn the putsch, the following day he released a carefully measured statement: “[The] situation is troubling the conscience of millions of our compatriots who are beginning to question the lawfulness of the newly formed State Emergency Committee. . .We are hoping that the USSR Supreme Soviet will give a principled assessment and take resolute measures to stabilize the situation in the country.” Aleksi was well aware that there was no prospect of the Supreme Soviet's meeting in the immediate future, nor a possibility for taking “resolute measures.” It was not until the afternoon of August 21 that the patriarch, sensing which way the wind was blowing, agreed to sign an appeal that condemned the putsch leaders' shedding of innocent blood and rejected Communist ideology.12

Despite repeated calls upon him for a public and formal expression of contrition for his servility to the Communist leadership and lies on its behalf, Aleksi has always declined to make a public declaration of repentance. For those who still hoped for change at the highest level of the hierarchy, a recent episode proved especially discouraging. There is indisputable evidence that in recent months Patriarch Aleksi lied in denying charges that, in November 1991, he had approached a U.S. undersecretary of state to put pressure on Voice of America to change its programming about the Russian Orthodox Church.13 The patriarch felt impelled to make this extraordinary démarche by his concern about the “bias against the patriarchate” displayed in programs produced by a prominent priest of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Father Viktor Potapov.

Do we want all of that appear in this article and other articles?Biophys (talk) 21:19, 5 January 2008 (UTC)

That the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate was subjugated by the Soviet government is not in dispute. That Patriarch Alexei collaborated on some level with the Soviets is also not in dispute. That he was a KGB agent, on their payroll, willfully doing their bidding, is another matter entirely. I happen to know Fr. Victor Potapov personally, by the way, and while he would agree with that which is not in dispute, he would also agree that the level of the Patriarch's collaboration with the KGB is in dispute, and has not been proven. There was not a lot of choice given to clergy and bishops in Russia... and this goes for the non-Orthodox clergy as well. You either cooperated, or you were in a gulag, or shot. Some cooperated more fully and willingly than others, however -- but in most cases, God and those individuals only know the truth about each individual complicity. You have to understand a few things here: 1) the Russian press is quite free, but not always fair and balanced. 2) you have many atheists still looking for ways to undercut the Church. 3) You have cold warrior individuals and organizations, who hate Russia, and are always willing to repeat and believe anything bad they can come up with about Russia. 4) We unfortunately do not hear the full conversation in English, because most of what is written on this subject is in Russian. Again, feel free to post any accusations you can document from a reliable source... just be sure to keep them straight, identify the source, and the basis for the claim, and make sure you do not make assertions of fact that are not supported by the source. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 22:02, 5 January 2008 (UTC)
Ofcourse there may be atheists looking for ways to undercut the church, but there must be a distinction made between the church and individual. Sure there are cold warriors who hate Russia, but we are talking about the Soviet Union. By the same token, there are those who attempt to whitewash the past of those who willingly compromised their values and collaborated with the KGB in the persecution of the church. I find it particularly disengenuous for those collaborators to now hide behind the real suffering of church members who sacrificed their lives for their faith. That Alexei does not give a full account of his involvement only damages the church, for the sake of his own personal ambition. You talk of Russian sources, note that Biophys is a native Russian speaker. Martintg (talk) 02:40, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I know many native Russian speakers who have a much better handle on Russian Church history than does Biophys. Also, if you read the history of the hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate under the Soviet period, it is quite clear that they suffered as well. It is also clear that they did press for the rights of the Church whenever they could. Probably there were better ways in many instances they could have responded, but for those of us sitting in comfort, who have never had a gun to our heads, it is easy for us to judge them. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:33, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Was it a gun to his head, or an offer of facilitated promotion through the ranks of the church hierarchy, that motivated Alexei's collaboration? Given that Stalin and his methods were long dead, I'd say the latter was the more likely scenario. Martintg (talk) 06:19, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
At what point are you suggesting that the Soviet government ceased using coercive methods against Church leaders? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:20, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Right. There is a good Russian source about. Martintg is right, as clear from numerous Russian sources, such as Orthodox Taliban.Biophys (talk) 03:22, 7 January 2008 (UTC) It tells for example: только от отравления населения России махоркой - продажи беспошлинно ввозимого табака в 1995 г. - Отдел внешних церковных сношений получил 75 млн. долларов, в 1996 - 23 млн. долларов. Николо-Угрешский монастырь ( находится в прямом подчинении у Патриарха) только от спаивания населения "зеленым змием" - реализации алкоголя - получил 350 млн. долларов. Факт торговли подобной "гуманитарной помощью" с перечислением денег "табачным митрополитам" и "водочным монахам" официально подтвержден по моему запросу прокуратурой.

РАО "Международное экономическое сотрудничество", где Патриархия - основной учредитель, экспортировало в 1994-95 гг. 14,7 млн. тонн нефти (оборот в 1996 г. - 2 миллиарда долларов). Пока не открыты сведения по другим предприятиям, торгующим нефтью, алмазами, золотом, в котором замешана патриархия.

Алмазные звезды церкви - агенты "Адаманта", - не чураются и бриллиантового бизнеса. Так, например, АОЗТ "АРТГЕММА", контролируемая ОВЦС Московской Патриархии, получила только в 1994 году от Росдрагмета алмазов для переработки и сбыта на сумму в 6 млн. долларов.

В 1994-95 годах Московская патриархия заключила некие почти секретные договоры со всеми силовыми структурами: Минобороны, МВД РФ, погранвойсками и даже ФАПСИ (Федеральное агентство правительственной связи и информации). К чему договор с такой экзотической организацией как правительственная связь? Ведь и так патриарх имеет прямую связь с Президентом, а также "вертушки" (АТС-1 и АТС-2). Наверное, весь корпус епископата желает подключиться к телефонно-номенклатурным благам, а заодно к прослушиванию разговоров своих духовных братьев. С ФСБ договор заключать нужды нет, так как все агенты КГБ СССР, проходившие в качестве "иерархов" Патриархии, либо остались на тех же церковных должностях, либо даже продвинулись еще выше.

Среди духовенства чекисты с панагиями хотят видеть бездумных требоисправителей, "православных шаманов", поощряющих всевозможные суеверия и магизм, законсервированных на уровне сельского жителя XIX века.

5 мая 1995г. в церкви "Всех скорбящих радости", в центре Москвы, священник Олег Стеняев вместе с благочинным о. Борисом Гузняковым провели средневековое действо "изгнания духов", а затем во дворе "чин очищения огнем", известный по деятельности католической инквизиции. На костре О.Олег сжигал неправославную литературу. И это видела вся страна в "Вестях" РТР.

Наряду с этим процветают антисемитизм и черносотенство постоянного члена Священного Синода митрополита Санкт-Петербургского Иоанна, призвавшего к этническим чисткам в системе госучреждений наподобие Германии 1933 года. Biophys (talk) 03:30, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

He's right about what? He never answered my question. When do you think the Soviets ceased to use coercive methods on the Church? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 00:50, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, of course, Soviets widely used coercive methods on the Church, and Alexius II was one of those "Soviets"/KGB agents who widely used coercive methods on others.Biophys (talk) 02:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
You are trying to have it both ways here. You are saying on the one hand, Patriarch Alexei was completely free to choose his level of involvement with the Soviet government, but apparently he was the only one with such freedom, because he and the KGB widely used coercive methods on everyone else. And you believe your approach to this subject is neutral? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:42, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
As I said, I know via a very good friend what Gleb Yakunin's assessment of the actual evidence is... when the cameras are not rolling... and it was that there was no smoking gun. Of course, he has become much more antagonistic to the real Orthodox Church, after he helped form a phony one... which consists of a handful of clergy, and no laity to speak of. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:33, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Unconstructive Edits / Head of the Russian Orthodox Church

Biophys has made an edit which I reverted. He removed the identification of Patriarch Alexei as the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. The Russian government recognizes him as the head of the ROC. Every other Autocephalous Orthodox Church recognizes him as the head of the ROC. The Pope recognizes him as the head of the ROC. And Wikipedia recognizes him as the head of the ROC... see Russian Orthodox Church. It is not a disputable point. These sorts of edits are really not constructiveFrjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:51, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

What I mean is this:

"The fact that the Moscow Patriarchate has been engaged in espionage is no great secret. This organization, being a church of the Communist revolutionists, has been corrupt from the start. It was created in 1943 by Stalin with the help of the NKVD (later known as the KGB and today as the FSB – ed.) for purely political reasons – patriotic indoctrination at home and hoodwinking the happy-go-lucky West. The real Orthodox Russians joined the underground. They continue to suffer persecution even today, in Putin’s Russia." [4].

As far as I know, there are other Russian Orthodox organizations (including those abroad) and individual priests who do not obey the Moscow Patriarchate. Equating them with KGB/FSB Moscow Patriarchate is an offense. Please note that wikipedia and other wikis are NOT reliable source per WP:Verifiability. so, your arument is not valid.Biophys (talk) 04:48, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Which Russian Orthodox Church does not recognize Patriarch Alexei as being the head of the Russian Orthodox Church? Who recognizes them? Preobrazhensky is a kook, by the way. The article on the Pope identifies him as the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church. There are of course Old Catholics, and other schismatic groups that do not recognize him as such, and in articles on such groups it would be perfectly legitimate to mention that they hold such opinions, but it is undue weight to refuse to state what is a recognized fact, simply because there is a small minority that is not part of the Church in question, who do not recognize the head of the group that they have separated themselves from. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:52, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
So, you are telling that a KGB crook is a "spiritual leader" of Russian Christians? That is really offensive and hardly consistent with WP:NPOV policy.Biophys (talk) 06:33, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
I am telling you that the assertion that he is a KGB crook is inconsistent with the NPOV policy, because that is a judgment you are making, and is in fact an opinion of yours. That he is the spiritual leader of the Russian Orthodox Church is simply a demonstrable fact... just as is the fact that Pope Benedict is the head of the Roman Catholic Church. You may think Pope Benedict is a heretic. You may think he is a liberal or a reactionary. You may think he is a closet homosexual. In any case, he is the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Church.
I got to spend a week in Russia this past year, and was at three very long liturgies in which Patriarch Alexei served. He does such services almost every day. I am about half his age, and I found them difficult. If he were a KGB crook, I think he could easily find excuses to avoid such services in most cases. He is certainly old enough now to claim infirmity as a reason, without too many questions being raised. There are far too many other ways to make a living, if you aren't a believer... and if you are not a believer, standing for several hours twice a day during the services is not something you would want to do just for the fun of it.
If you read the history of the Russian Church during the Soviet period, the Church went through the most severe persecution in all of Church history. The Church went through 70 years of hell, most of the bishops, clergy, and monastics that it had in 1917 were shot or starved to death in prisons, and it was incredibly difficult to just go to Church, much less to be a clergyman. Even the clergy and bishops that did collaborate were treated horribly, and often killed. I am sure that Patriarch Alexei did collaborate on some level. What was in his heart at the time, I have no way of knowing. I do know he had the choice to collaborate, or go to a gulag. Whatever happened, I don't doubt his sincerity or piety today... but in any case, God is his judge... not I, and not you. It is easy for people who sit in comfort like kings every day to pass judgment over people who endured things we have never had to face... but until you have walk a mile in their moccasins, you have no idea of whether or not you would have faired any better.
I heard an old priest tell of another priest in Russia who was arrested by the KGB and told to sign a document accusing other clergy of crimes they had not committed. All the clergy in question were already in prison, and he was not being asked to deny Christ, just to sign a statement that was a lie. He refused. After a day of beatings and interrogations he was told that tomorrow he would sign it. The next day began with them bringing in his son, and the KGB breaking each of his fingers, one by one. He signed the document. He collaborated with the KGB. Do you judge him? I cannot. That is what clergy faced at the hands of the KGB, and that is why we have many martyrs and many collaborators, but not many in between. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:36, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for expressing your opinion! I agree that judging someone would be wrong and against WP policies. We are here to provide reliable information. Certainly, it is a matter of fact that many hundreds thousands priests and true believers have been prosecuted for refusing to collaborate with the Soviet authorities, NKVD, KGB and other similar organizations. But we are not talking here about them. We are talking about someone who collaborated willingly with the KGB (and latter FSB) to pronmote his career, and who actually prosecuted others and had never been prosecuted himself. Alexius sided with the KGB people who were broking other people's fingers (as you correctly said). If you want to describe him as a victim, you must justify this by sources. So far, all sources tell that it was him who was "breaking" the others.Biophys (talk) 16:10, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
Even if we assume that all the documents in question are legitimate -- which I don't -- those documents would only represent what the KGB had to say. The same and more so goes for all the documents which have never been presented but for which we only have the interpretation of partisan individuals (if the documents in fact exist at all). They give no insight into what was going on in the head and heart of Patriarch Alexei. I am no t so quick to assume that KGB was always honest and even handed in their presentation of the facts on anything. I am also not so quick to believe Russian partisans with an axe to grind, such as Gleb Yakunin -- particularly since I know that his frank assessment of the evidence to a friend of mine was that there was no smoking gun which indicated that Patriarch Alexei had engaged in any bad behavior. I am also not so quick to assume that the Estonian government might not have fabricated the documents that allegedly came from their KGB archives... particularly since they use a font that did not exist at the time the documents allegedly were produced, and the Estonian government certainly has an anti-Russian and anti-MP agenda. I am also not so quick to believe former KGB agents who are making a career out of their former KGB agent status, and so have an incentive to provide scoop to keep their stock value high, and also often have their own political and religious (or Anti-religious) agendas.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 01:01, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
The Estonian KGB was fully controlled by Moscow, as were all regional KGB offices. Alledging that the Estonian government was somehow involved and they had an "anti-Russian and anti-MP agenda" is, with all due respect, displays your total ignorance. All KGB archives in Estonia were removed and returned to Moscow by the Russian government when the Soviet Union collapsed. To suggest it is an Estonian government forgery is just plain wrong. Martintg (talk) 03:10, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
What you say about the KGB in Estonia is certainly true. The question of whether the document came from the KGB Estonian archive, or the Estonian government is another question. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
I think you are grasping at straws here. At the time the Estonian KGB were in existance, the Estonian government was a communist government controlled by the Kremlin, so I doubt they would have fabricated anything without approval from Moscow. Beside, as Wikipedia editors, it is not for us to make a personal speculations, what is required is a published reliable source that confirms that the Soviet Estonian government fabricated these documents. Martintg (talk) 06:11, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
The documents in question did not surface until after the Kremlin ceased to control Estonia. They are alleged to date from the 1950's, but whether they date from the 1950's, or date from immediately after the independence of Estonia is in fact the question in dispute. This is not my personal speculation. This has been the discussion in Russia. I will see what I can get my Russian finds to find on the subject, but it is certainly a fact that the authenticity of these documents has been debated. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:29, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Just a minor note to get the facts straight - Estonian KGB archives (altogether with agent's personal files) were evacuated to Russia somewhere around 1990 when things got "too hot" in Estonia, by the same old KGB itself, no Estonian government official probably never had even a opportunity to see these files. And as far as I remember, all claims about Patriarch's past have been coming from Russian historians, probably from people who have been able to see these evacuated documents, so I have to think that theory about "Estonian smear campaign" against Patriarch is a bit far fetched. About Patriarch - who knows. I don't. So please leave me out of this dispute (which unfortunately already seems to turn quite ugly). Põhja Konn (talk) 21:20, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
While it is certainly true that this is what happened to the Estonian KGB archive, that did not stop this alleged document from appearing. The fact you cite makes the authenticity of this document all the less likely. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 00:49, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
P.S. A judgment that someone is a "spiritual leader" is highly subjective and can not be represented as fact, although it may be a verifiable opinion of someone. However, work of someone in a certain organization (such as KGB) is a factual information supported by multiple sources. Biophys (talk) 16:20, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
When you have similar statements removed from all the other 1,549 pages in wikipedia that speak of spiritual leaders, then you can make the case that this violates wikipedia policy. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 01:01, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
So, what exactly did he do or said to become a "spiritual leader"? Such things should be mentioned in his BLP. I am not aware of anything.Biophys (talk) 03:09, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
He is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church. As such, he is by definition the spiritual leader of said Church. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:24, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
So, he is a spiritual leader simply by definition, just like Great leader of North Korea. Fine, he is a spiritual leader of "Putin's espionage Church" (as Preobrazhensky said). Everything makes sense.Biophys (talk) 05:58, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
That label is an assertion of opinion. The Russian Orthodox Church is a recognized religious entity. As such, it has a spiritual focus. Like most religious groups, it has spiritual leaders. In the case of the Russian Orthodox Church, the spiritual leader over the entire Church is the Patriarch of Moscow. If you have problems with the phrase "spiritual leader", take it up with the other 1,549 wikipedia pages that use it. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:29, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Conflict of interest?

I have looked at your WP page. Do I understand correctly that you work as a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church led by Alexius II?Biophys (talk) 19:48, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

I am a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, which reconciled with the Moscow Patriarchate this past May, and so the head of ROCOR is Metropolitan Laurus, but ROCOR is now an Autonomous part of the larger ROC headed by Patriarch Alexei. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 20:14, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. Then you may have a conflict of interest and should not edit this article - please review WP:COI policy. For example, it would be inappropriate if a manager of The Coca-Cola Company started edit warring trying to glorify the Coca-Cola president E. Neville Isdell over the objections of others. Same thing is here. There is a noticeboard in WP to report such cases.Biophys (talk) 21:05, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
That's nonsense. I don't think you can successfully argue that a Roman Catholic may not edit articles that relate to the Roman Catholic Church because of a conflict of interest. In essence, you could argue that anyone who knows what they are talking about on a subject has a conflict of interest because they have some commitment to the subject that they have studied. I do not even receive a salary from my parish, much less from Moscow... but even if I did, it would be from my parish and not from Moscow. Feel free to report me to administrators of Wikipedia, if you wish. And by the way... what is your interest in this subject? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 21:40, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
Of course I do not claim that "a Roman Catholic may not edit articles that relate to the Roman Catholic Church". If someone believes in God, that is his private business. But you officially work in a certain organization and glorify the official director of that organization as a great "spiritual leader", although he is a former KGB agent. Hence my concern. Besides, you have made a reference to your personal site and your parish in this article: [5]...Biophys (talk) 02:44, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
So you would argue that a Roman Catholic priest could not edit an article relating to the Catholic Church. I note you did not answer the question of what your interest in this subject is. I don't care if you believe there is a conflict of interest. Your claim is ridiculous. I do not work for Patriarch Alexei. I did not glorify him as a spiritual leader. The New York Times, among others have given him that very objective label, given that he is the head of a patricular religious organization. And just for your information, my parish web site is www.saintjonah.org. The prodigy page account is my own, it just points to my parish page at the root directory. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 03:46, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I think that you simply promote your boss Alexius II in wikipedia. This has nothing to do with Catholic Church. What is my interest here? Nothing except promoting knowledge in general, as one can see from my edits on a variety of topics from biology and physical chemistry to history and politics.Biophys (talk) 06:37, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
You rather clearly have an axe to grind on this subject, and your edits here have been anything but an attempt at a fair presentation of a neutral point of view. Patriarch Alexei is not my boss. I am not on his payroll. He is my Patriarch. Were I a Roman Catholic Priest, the Pope would be my pope. The analogy is the same... and so according to you, Roman Catholic Priests should not be allowed to edit articles related to the Roman Catholic Church. Unlike a Roman Catholic priest, I do not even draw a salary from my parish here in Texas, much less from anyone in Moscow. You are engaging in harassment here, and I would advise you to stop this line of personal attack before you find yourself on an incident board. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:38, 8 January 2008 (UTC)
I've asked the wider community to assess if there is a conflict of interest here: Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest/Noticeboard#Patriarch_Alexius_II. Hopefully some opinions of some uninvolved third parties will sort the matter out. Martintg (talk) 23:35, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Hello. I'm a neutral third party (I'm a software developer from Canada with no particular religious affiliation) who came here via the COI Noticeboard. I've reviewed the last week and a half's edits. Not deeply and thoroughly because I'm not here to fact check or resolve a content dispute, but well enough I think to comment on the COI. I've also reviewed the COI Guidelines. Here is my conclusion, going point by point through the COI guidelines:

Analysis

Frjohnwhiteford has not cited himself (that's good). He does not likely recieve monetary benefits to edit Wikipedia, nor is it likely that he expects to derive monetary benefits. (I don't see his edits causing the Church's coffers to bulge and trickle down to him). There are no legal antagonisms involved. There are no indications of Self-Promotion or Campaigning. There is no conflict due to Autobiography or Close Relationships.

Frjohnwhiteford has not suppressed well sourced information. It looks like he attempted good faith efforts at rewriting claims in a more neutral way.

Here are some specific quotes from the COI Guidelines that I believe apply here:

"Closeness to a subject does not mean you're incapable of being neutral" ... "Be guided by the advice of other editors"
"An article about a little-known band should preferably not be written by a band member or the manager. However, an expert on climate change is welcome to contribute to articles on that subject, even if that editor is deeply committed to the subject."

(It clearly looks like Frjohnwhiteford has excellent access to references, and good knowledge of the subject.)

The "How to avoid COI edits" section does not explicitly prohibit those who HAVE a COI from editing, but it advises to avoid editing, and if you do edit to "excercise great caution".

Frjohnwhiteford's affiliation with the same Church may create a perception of a COI, however reviewing his edits I can not find evidence that it has resulted in a detectable level of bias in his edits.

Furthermore - one method of handling the perception of a COI is to a) clearly indicate your potential COI, and b) to adhere ever more tightly to the guidelines for neutral POV wikipedia editing. I do not see any clear evidence that Frjohnwhiteford has violated those guidelines to warrant asking him to stop editing the article.

In fact, Frjohnwhiteford's edits seem more neutral than those of Biophys. And I quote - straight from the COI Guidelines: "However, using COI allegations to gain the upper hand in a content dispute is frowned upon."

Conclusion

What we have here is a content dispute, with user Biophys using a COI allegation in order to gain the upper hand.

There may be a perceived (and I stress perceived) COI due to Frojohnwhiteford's affiliation, but I see no clear evidence of bias. I recommend that he state his possible COI on his user page, and (perhaps?) on this discussion page.

However I would not suggest that he not be allowed to edit the article. I believe his edits have been positive.

Both users should review Wikipedia:Biographies_of_living_persons, and keep in mind Wikipedia's policies and guidelines.

Advice

I'll be honest, I have no experience in trying to mediate something like this. So I'm only guessing as to good advice to give. But here goes:

Biophys and Frojohnwhiteford - When replying to one another in discussion threads - try and write as little as possible, instead stick to individual facts and discussing the neutrality of the language used to discuss and present the facts, and reference Wikipedia policies and guidelines to support your opinion. Try and discuss small individual changes one by one, instead of wide breadths of stuff all in one place.

Cheers. CraigWyllie (talk) 02:56, 12 January 2008 (UTC)


Incident Report

In light of his ad hominem attacks, and his unilateral edits, in which he has continually reverted sourced material, I have made a report on the incident board: Repeated reverts of sourced statements, harassment, and tendentious edits by Biophys Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:54, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Neutrality

As it is now we have more than a half of the article on a living person, the head of a large church, liked by millions churchgoers, devoted to a collection of badly-sourced rumors. It is a severe violation of WP:BLP and WP:NPOV, Wikipedia is not an English version of compromat.ru. We need either urgently expand the article filling it with positive and neutral; information or remove controversies or move controversies to a separate article, akin to John Kerry and John Kerry military service controversy or Ward Churchill and Ward Churchill 9/11 essay controversy and Ward Churchill misconduct issues. I would prefer the later Alex Bakharev (talk) 04:45, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

It would be best to expand the "positive" part of the article (compare with Russian version), as this better serves to WP purpose. I disagree though that present version is badly sourced. It is supported by 15-20 reliable sources per WP:Verifiability. If that is not enough, I can easily add more. Would you like to expand the "positive" part? Of course everyone is welcome to do this. Biophys (talk) 05:22, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

But if you think that a separate "controversy" article is better, what title would you suggest for such article?Biophys (talk) 05:24, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

In its current form it violates the verifiability policy by claims to consensus that are based on individuals who hold an opinion. According to policy, each opinion should be identified by the person who expressed it. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:36, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I have found a good bit of balancing material in the book "A Long Walk To Church", by Nathaniel Davis, and will be adding some references this evening, but in the mean time, I have made some edits which I think brings the article a bit closer to compliance with the BLP policy. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 12:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

If you knew Russian, I would recommend you this source and links indicated there. It even includes a photocopy from the KGB archive about Alexius. There is enormous information about Alexius. No one simply tried to write a good article about him. Should we?Biophys (talk) 18:58, 9 January 2008 (UTC)
I am familiar with the document. This is the one that allegedly comes from the Estonian KGB archives. There is already a link in the footnotes to an English translation, and a photocopy of the Russian text. I am working on references to show that the authenticity of this particular document has been debated. When I get them, I will post them. I have found some of what I am looking for, but am having some of my Russian friend track down more. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:44, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
O'K, just take your time, study sources, and include new materials. We should not edit this article simultaneously to avoid edit warring (it is extremely unpleasant when someone deletes things you just included in the article).Biophys (talk) 03:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, there is a photocopy from this site [6] It tells "about Patriarch Aleksei’s involvement in the Estonian KGB from February 1958 on, in an article by Felix Corley, “KNS Russia: The Patriarch and the KGB”, Thursday, September 21, 2000. The Keston Institute at Oxford was kind enough to furnish me with a photocopy of the extract from the “Report on agent/operational work of the Fourth Department of the KGB attached to the Council of Ministers of the Estonian SSR for 1958, signed by Chairman of the Estonian KGB [Col. I.P.] Karpov and Head of the Fourth Department, Belyayev, as found in the Estonian State Archive, record group 131, file 393, pp 125-126. These Estonian records may well have been moved since to FSB Archives in Russia. The final entry on agent Drozdov is from February 1988: An order of the USSR KGB chairman was prepared to award to Agent “Drozdov” the Certificate of Honor.” FSB Central Archive, f.6, op.11, por. No. 148, d.Ch-175.t.1, p.209. Thus Patriarch Aleksei II was not only an agent of the KGB, he was singled out to receive honors for thirty years of outstanding service.”"Biophys (talk) 19:55, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with both Alex and Biophys that this article needs to be greatly expanded. Biophys mentioned there is good material in the Russian language wiki version, so it shouldn't be a problem for you guys to translate the appropriate portions. At present I don't think the controversies section should be reduced, nor is it big enough to be split off into a separate article at present. Martintg (talk) 22:46, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

I think the Sotnikova controversy section is given undue weight. I finished reading the extensive, and well documented book "A Long Walk to Church: A Contemporary History of Russian Orthodoxy", it has a section on funding of the ROC, it was written after this controversy occurred, and was not thought notable enough for reference. This is, by the way, from an Academic publisher, and he is a college professor, and former U.S. Foreign Service officer. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:44, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
It is very common that something is described in one source but does not described in another. You are welcome to add positive materials about Alexius to make this article more balanced.Biophys (talk) 03:52, 10 January 2008 (UTC) P.S. But I added four additional sources about Sotnikiova below - just in case.Biophys (talk) 05:21, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
  • As the main author of the Russian article i can attest that that is the most exhaustive factual documents-based outlay of all major facts related to the subject you can possibly find in one piece. The sources are naturally mostly in Russian, but then they mostly exist in Russian only. Two "negative" facts: his marriage and recruitment to the KGB. As for the former, it is a well established fact (you can find info on his wife Алекссева (Мянник) in the Encyclopedia of Russian emigration [7], it has been in the Russian press, in articles far fron critical of him; as for the latter it is pretty much a badge of honour in to-day's Russia run by the KGB.Muscovite99 (talk) 18:04, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
    • As for Sotnikova, it has blown over, by and large. The whole thing was blown out of proportion by her business rivals. She was indeed fairly close to him at the turn of century but no more.Muscovite99 (talk) 18:22, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Since you are well familiar with the subject, could you please improve this article in agreement with WP:NPOV? But I think this article should be much shorter than in Russian WP.Biophys (talk) 18:35, 24 January 2008 (UTC)
Several months ago i tried (then anonymously) but was promptly repelled by censoring. The Texan padre, as i can see from the article's history, is giving free rein to his sensorial proclivities, instead of adding some "positive" purely clerical info that could well be added. I believe all his recent edits here are quite unlawful.Muscovite99 (talk) 19:24, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
Please do not warry. Just go ahead and correct whatever you think should be corrected. If you need to delete or rewirite my contributions - please do. Main idea of couse to add more sourced content and make the article more interesting and readable (I think that Russian version was too long and boring). Your help is appreciated.Biophys (talk) 23:40, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Collecting some Russian sources

Could anything like that happen in the US?Biophys (talk) 05:17, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Patriarch Alexei was 16 when the war was over. He would have been 15 when the Nazis left Estonia. What work with the Gestapo do you think he would have been involved in at that tender age? No doubt he helped Hitler formulate the final solution... no? Given that your sources contain such obviously ridiculous charges, you might want to reconsider the sources for the others as well. The source I referenced is a truly reliable and scholarly source. Not an example of Russian yellow journalism.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 12:07, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
That is why I have marked this "???". We have to double check everything. Age does not prove anything. For example, Pavel Sudoplatov started executing people as a member of Cheka at the age of 14.Biophys (talk) 21:23, 10 January 2008 (UTC)
It may not make the claim completely impossible, but it makes it highly unlikely. Furthermore, if there were any evidence to support the claim, wouldn't the KGB have found it, and would there not be record of such in the vast KGB archive views by Gleb Yakunin and company? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 12:13, 11 January 2008 (UTC)
As you probably know, KGB archives have never been opened and remain state secret. It is exactly after the leakage of information about Alexius (and because of the leakage), these archvies were closed. A Duma commitee that investigated KGB actions (Albats was a member of that Commitee) has been disbanded by Ruslan Hasbulatov because Alexius asked him. So, did you finish your edits? If you did, it is my turn. If not, please do.Biophys (talk) 00:12, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
If the Estonian KGB document was legitimate -- which I doubt -- it would have contained such an important piece of information, had the KGB been aware of it. Aside from that, Yakunin and company did in fact go through the archives, and found no such thing... and such a tidbit would have not gone uncommented on, because collaboration with the Nazis would generally be considered far less forgivable than collaboration with the KGB. I am finished with my edits for the time being. I am still waiting to get my hands on some additional information. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 00:50, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
What evidence do you have that leads you to doubt the legitimacy of these KGB documents? Martintg (talk) 05:06, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
First off, my intent is not to document an extensive argument against this particular document in this article, but simply to document that there is such an argument (which is a fact) -- not being a Russian or being particularly fluent in Russian, I don't think that I am personally in a position to make the argument myself... though, as I said, I am waiting for some information, and we shall see what I am given by the people I asked to do some digging. I remember when the article first appeared, and a very well educated and thoughtful Russian friend of mine filled me in on the dispute about the fonts in the document (with the argument being that the font used did not exist at the time the document ostensibly was produced). There is also the fact the document is a bit too cute and convenient for those wishing to undercut Patriarch Alexei (the Estonian government, anti-religious elements, maybe the CIA, for that matter)... The Protocols of the Elders of Zion being another example of what I would call a too cute forgery (one that reads like it was written by Boris Badenov). There is also the fact that this document presents Patriarch Alexei as only being "compliant" when the objective facts would indicate that he was attempting to defend the Church, although clearly by working within the system, rather than by pursuing the path of the Catacomb Church, or the path of Martyrdom. It just seems to me that if there was such a document, the record would be a bit less lopsided. Also, if Patriarch Alexei was a KGB agent, rather than just a bishop who had to interact with KGB agents, there would be documents that bear his signature... and to date, not one such document has surfaced, or to my knowledge even been alleged to have been seen by anyone. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 06:08, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

A few English sources. That is interesting [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28] [29] Biophys (talk) 05:13, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

Future Edits to address BLP problems

I am going to follow Alex Bakharev advice, that is to reduce "Controversies" section and extend Biography section, without deleting any major sourced information of course.Biophys (talk) 00:20, 12 January 2008 (UTC)
Just as long as you reduce the accusations, and not the answers to those accusations... unless of course you remove an accusation entirely, in which case material responding to such accusations would not be needed. I would suggest eliminating the hear say material, for starters. Unless you have a quote directly from Oleg Kalugin, for example, having a third hand characterization of a conversation is far less notable than a first hand characterization. I also think the Sotnikova material would be more appropriate in an article on her, and perhaps a reference with a link would be sufficient here. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 00:50, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

So, you are also editing [30] in Orthodox wiki. It said:

"On July 17, 2007, the Wall Street Journal published a front page article in which it identified Patriarch Alexei as a former KGB agent, with the code name "Drozdov"."[31] The article also presented documents from the Estonian archives, indicating that Agent "Drozdov" actively informed upon priests in the Soviet Union."Biophys (talk) 02:53, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure what your point is. If your point is that prior to my edit, the article had the quote you reproduced... that is true, though if you go back one more edit you will see that the article made no mention of the KGB at all. If you look at the edit history of this article on this wiki, you will see that I added a reference to that same article in the Wall Street Journal, here. The document in question is the same one whose authenticity is in dispute. It actually only mentions one priest, and what it says is that he provided information that was useful in the case against this priest. What we don't know is whether the document is legitimate, and if it is, what the information was, or who the priest was, or what the case against him was, or what he stood accused of. For all we know, if the story is true, the priest in question might have been a pedophile, an axe murderer, or a collaborator with the gestapo who helped plan the final solution. Interestingly, one reason we don't know who this priest is, is because he is referred to by a Code Name. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 08:18, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
That is your personal opinion/analysis which is not admissible per WP:NOR.This particular source (an article in Wall Street Journal says:
"biographical details of an agent named Drozdov, found in a 1958 KGB annual report, match the cleric's Estonian background, year of birth, education and career path. Oleg Kalugin, a former KGB general now living in Maryland, says Patriarch Alexy told him at a 1991 dinner party that "I had to collaborate. That is the price of survival." When around ten reliable secondary sources tell approximately the same, this becomes an alleged event of someone's biography.Biophys (talk) 17:05, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
That he had to collaborate on some level with the Soviets is not in dispute (this is about the tenth time I have pointed that out). What is in dispute is whether he was a KGB agent, or whether he informed on other clergy. You do not have ten reliable sources that provide any evidence that he was an agent, or that he informed on other clergy. You have this Estonian document alone that provides evidence that he informed on other clergy -- and there are fishy aspects to this document. Also, we should perhaps define the term "reliable source" here. Konstantin Preobrazhensky for example, is not a reliable source. He is a CIA agent, and spreading disinformation. Third hand hearsay evidence is not reliable source information either.
In short, Patriarch Alexei is a very prominent figure in Russia. He is vulnerable to these sorts of accusations, because as a bishop of the ROC, he was forced to collaborate on some level with the Soviets. There are a number of people who are trying to make a name for themselves with such accusations, but aside from the Estonian document, you have nothing that can be independently verified, that document is questionable, and you have no documents signed by or in the hand of the Patriarch... that would be a real smoking gun, but there is not one.
Also... some food for thought, have you ever pondered why Patriarch Alexei would be motivated to share such information with Oleg Kalugin, and why, as KGB General, he would have had to have told him this? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 22:43, 13 January 2008 (UTC)
I understand your concerns here, however speculating whether these KGB documents are fakes created by Estonians with an axe to grind without some secondary source to back it up, is really counter productive, since many independent people like Kalugin basically confirmed Alexei's collaboration. Slurring Estonians in order to defend Alexei is not really the way to go. In my view, the best solution is rather than continue to focus on that contraversy, how about expanding the article with other more positive aspects of his life, such as his achievements, etc. Presumably Alexei has done something in the 18 years or so since the fall of the Soviet Union. Martintg (talk) 17:26, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Using article from Russian WP

Martintg suggested to use article about Alexius II from Russian WP. However Russian article provides too many boring and unimportant details, some of which are unsourced. I have selected some most interesting and well referenced information that can be translated and used here.Biophys (talk) 06:04, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Согласно исследованию, проведённому группой авторов и опубликованных[1] Комаровым Е. В.[2], сотрудником Московской Патриархии в 19871995, 11 апреля 1950, в Светлый Вторник, студент 1-го курса Академии Алексей Ридигер венчался браком с Верой Георгиевной Алексеевой (Мянник по второму мужу), дочерью о. Георгия Алексеева, настоятеля Александро-Невского собора в Таллине.

С 1961 начинается активная международная детельность Преосвященного Алексия: в составе делегации Русской Православной Церкви участвовал в работе III Ассамблеи Всемирного Совета Церквей (ВСЦ) в Нью-Дели (1961); избирался членом Центрального комитета ВСЦ (1961—1968);

В 1990-х годах получили огласку материалы, якобы обнаруженные в архивах КГБ в Москве и Эстонии, говорящие о сотрудничестве Патриарха с этой организацией начиная с 1958, ещё в бытность белым священником [3][4].

Во время октябрьских событий 1993 Патриарх предложил посредничество обеим противоборствующим сторонам; при его участии начались переговоры в московском Даниловом монастыре, ни к чему не приведшие.

Алексий II участвовал в процедуре инаугурации Ельцина в 1996; присутствовал на церемонии передачи президентских полномочий В.В. Путину 31 января 1999[5].

Несмотря на иное, согласно мнению многих наблюдателей, отношение к этому вопросу светской власти, отказывался дать согласие на визит Папы Римского Иоанна Павла II в Россию, ссылаясь на неразрешённые проблемы между Церквами[6][7][8].

Уже в 1989 государственные органы прекратили осуществлять активный контроль за жизнью религиозных организаций. В 1990-е государство начало оказывать деятельную, в том числе юридическую и финансовую, помощь Церкви в деле восстановления храмов, развития духовного образования, пастырского окормления в государственных ведомствах, в войсках, в местах лишения свободы и т. п. Многие высокопоставленные государственные служащие получили в это время высшие церковные награды. Ряд крупных храмов был построен на средства региональных бюджетов, либо крупных компаний, что вкупе с полной финансовой непрозрачностью всех структур Патриархата вызывает вопросы у общества[9]. В своём ответном слове Патриарху 12 января 2008 в Иверском (бывшем Успенском) соборе Валдайского монастыря Президент России В. Путин в частности сказал: «Сбербанк России вложил десятки миллионов долларов в реконструкцию храма. Осталось только возродить роспись, позолотить купола. Обещаю Вам, что сделаем это в самое ближайшее время.»[10][11]

Конфликтными ситуациями в ряде случаев сопровождается передача церковным структурам имущества, находящегося в ведении музеев[12][13].

В 2000-е некоторые аналитики, правозащитники и представители иных конфессий начали высказывать опасения, что Церковь начала притязать на роль носителя фактически государственной идеологии[14][15]. Подобные опасения особенно усилились в связи с дискуссией о введении предмета Основы православной культуры в программу общеобразовательных школ в качестве регионального компонента[16][17][18][19]. Высказываются обвинения в политической подоплёке некоторых канонических прещений, накладываемых на священнослужителей[20][21].

награждён Государственными и иными наградами СССР:

  • орденом «Дружбы народов» (22.11.1979),
  • орденом Трудового Красного Знамени,
  • почетной грамотой Советского фонда мира (23.08.1969),
  • медалью Советского фонда мира и почетной грамотой (13.12.1971),
  • памятной настольной именной медалью Советского фонда мира (1969),
  • медалью Всемирного совета мира, в связи с 25-летием движения сторонников мира (1976),
  • медалью Советского комитета защиты мира, в связи с 25-летием образования комитета 1974,
  • почётной грамотой Советского комитета защиты мира 11.1979,
  • почётной грамотой Советского фонда мира и памятной медалью 11.1979,
  • памятной медалью Всемирного Совета Мира (в связи с 30-летием движения сторонников мира, 1981),
  • почётным знаком Правления Советского фонда мира за активное участие в деятельности фонда (15.12.1982),
  • По информации Keston News Service, в 1988 награждён Почётной Грамотой КГБ СССР[22][23].
  • 12 июня 2006, в День России, в Георгиевском зале Большого Кремлевского дворца Президент Путин вручил Государственную премию 2005 года[24].

представитель пресс-службы Московской патриархии сообщил, что Патриарх Алексий не будет подавать в суд на СМИ, распространявшие ложные сведения о его болезни и даже смерти[25]. В связи с последним скандалом многие журналисты обвиняют Патриархию в крайней закрытости и неумении работать со СМИ[26]

«Письмо десяти академиков» — открытое письмо десяти академиков РАН (Е. Александров, Ж. Алферов, Г. Абелев, Л. Барков, А. Воробьев, В. Гинзбург, С. Инге-Вечтомов, Э. Кругляков, М. Садовский, А. Черепащук) «Политика РПЦ МП: консолидация или развал страны?», направленное президенту РФ В. В. Путину 23 июля 2007 года. В письме выражена обеспокоенность «все возрастающей клерикализацией российского общества, активным проникновением церкви во все сферы общественной жизни». [27]

Ряд видных правозащитников и представителей общественности выступил в поддержку письма [28]

15 августа было опубликовано заявление мусульманской общественности России [29], которое солидаризируется с письмом академиков по вопросу о необходимости противодействия клерикализму.

21 мая 2007 митрополит Лавр, находясь в Курске, сказал: «Препятствовала старая эмиграция, к которой я не отношусь. У её представителей очень распространено настроение недоверия к советской власти, и тому, что с ней было связано. Трудно было переубедить их в психологическом плане»[30].

Епископ Анадырский Диомид на вопрос о том, что он думает в свете того, что многие пункты его Обращения совпадают с позицией РПЦЗ, сказал, что «если бы Зарубежная Церковь твёрже настояла бы на том, чтобы были удовлетворены все эти пункты, и только после этого объединилась с РПЦ МП, то было бы лучше. Но будем надеяться, что присоединение Зарубежной Церкви к Московскому патриархату послужит его оздоровлению»[31]

Ряд клириков и мирян РПЦЗ (РЗЦ) негативно относятся к единению, которое считают поглощением РПЦЗ Патриархатом. Ещё до подписания Акта, в среде духовенства и мирян РПЦЗ начались оживлённые дискуссии о правомерности или целесообразности подобного шага [32][33][34][35]; в адрес митрополита Лавра были выдвинуты обвинения в связях с российским государством и спецслужбами[36][37].

С идейной точки зрения, оппозицию в РПЦЗ вызывает отказ РПЦ выйти из Всемирного совета церквей и других экуменических организаций, поскольку в прошлом РПЦЗ осудила экуменизм как ересь[38]. Кроме того, для многих неприемлемо молитвенное вознесение имени Патриарха Алексия II, о связях которого с КГБ существуют свидетельства [32][33][34]. Клирики РПЦЗ обеспокоены тем фактом, что назначения в РПЦЗ, в особенности первоиерарха и епископов, должны будут утверждаться в Москве.

Американская консервативная газета WSJ 25 мая 2007 писала: «Речь идет не только о богословских и нравственных сторонах дела – есть подозрения, что Путин формирует новые разветвленные каналы влияния, используя церковь для укрепления связей с общинами русских эмигрантов по всему миру»[35]

С наиболее ясно артикулированной позицией неприятия выступил Епископ Таврический и Одесский Агафангел из РПЗЦ[36][37], фигура которого стала центром притяжения для многих, не желающих принять Акт[38].

18 мая 2007 было опубликовано Постановление Собрания Вдовствующей Восточно-Американской Епархии Вдовствующей Русской Зарубежной Церкви[39].

Высказывается мнение, что одним из последствий Акта будет «усугубление царящего здесь [в Северной Америке] канонического беспорядка»[40] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Biophys (talkcontribs) 06:25, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Евгений Сидоренко. ЗАМУЖЕМ ЗА ПАТРИАРХОМ: Московские новости. 22 мая 2001 г., стр. 2-3.
  2. ^ Евгений Комаров//Библиотека Якова Кротова
  3. ^ Александр Подрабинек. Агент аккуратен, Общителен
  4. ^ The Guardian. Russian Patriarch 'was KGB spy'
  5. ^ Александр Верховский. Религиозный фактор в президентской кампании и в формировании идеологиинового правления
  6. ^ Алексий II готов к личной встрече с папой Римским, но лишь после урегулирования разногласий между двумя Церквами: Интерфакс.ru 10 ноября 2006 г.
  7. ^ архимандрит Тихон (Шевкунов). РИМСКИЙ ПАПА ПРИГЛАШЕНИЯ НЕ ДОЖДАЛСЯ
  8. ^ Наталия Бабасян. Почему Папа не едет в Россию: БиБиСи 4 мая 2001 г.
  9. ^ Интервью Боже, гектар храни: Новая газета № 38 от 24 мая 2007 г.
  10. ^ Выступление президента России в Иверском соборе Валдайского монастыря. Официальный сайт МП 12 января 2008 г.
  11. ^ Беседа с Патриархом Московским и всея Руси Алексием II. cайт Президента России 12 января 2008 года
  12. ^ Дмитрий Шушарин. Новые крестоносцы. журнал The New Times №40 от 12 Ноября 2007 г.
  13. ^ Станислав Минин. Несговорчивость наказуема. Препятствий для передачи Церкви Рязанского кремля становится все меньше. НГ Религии 19.12.2007.
  14. ^ Все ли действительное разумно? Религиозный плюрализм в России: закон и реалии: НГ Религии 16.05.2007
  15. ^ Светское и советское в церковно-государственных отношениях 23.9.2005
  16. ^ Почему нам нужны «Основы православной культуры»? 18.9.2006
  17. ^ Мозговой Сергей. "Основы православной культуры" в российской светской школе: социально-правовой анализ: РЖ 7 ноября 2006 г.
  18. ^ ЮЛИЯ Ъ-ТАРАТУТА. День знаний Закона Божьего: ГАЗЕТА КОММЕРСАНТЪ № 163 от 02.09.2006
  19. ^ Русский перевод статьи Клиффорда Дж. Леви. Православие вернулось в российские школы Оригинал в Нью-Йорк таймс 23 сентября 2007 г.
  20. ^ "КОММЕРСАНТ": С. Берг, А. Терентьева, П. Коробов. "Священника разоблачили за Михаила Ходорковского" Коммерсантъ 24 марта 2006 г.
  21. ^ Вернуть сан бывшему священнику, осудившему приговор Ходорковскому, может лишь правящий архиерей, отмечают в РПЦ NEWSru.com 13 ноября 2007 г.
  22. ^ Rev. Andriy Chirovsky. The interplay of union and freedom
  23. ^ Seamus Martin. Russian Patriarch was a KGB agent, files say The Irish Times 23 сентября 2000 г.
  24. ^ [1][2]
  25. ^ Патриарх не будет подавать в суд на СМИ за сообщения о его смерти
  26. ^ Дмитрий Хаустов. Патриарх почти не виден. В России заботятся об имидже Алексия II. Порой даже слишком: НГ Религии 16.02.2007
  27. ^ «Письмо десяти академиков» на сайте «Научный атеизм»
  28. ^ "В поддержку письма академиков" : "Мы видим, как под видом религиозного возрождения, в нашей стране, по сути, формируется новая национально-религиозная идеология, пронизанная отрицанием демократии, ксенофобией и культом власти."
  29. ^ "Клерикализм — угроза национальной безопасности России"
  30. ^ Митрополит Лавр: главным препятствием при подготовке к подписанию Акта о каноническом общении была позиция старой русской эмиграции: Newsru.com 21 мая 2007 г., 18:32
  31. ^ Епископ Анадырский и Чукотский РПЦ МП ДИОМИД (ДЗЮБАН): "Будем надеяться, что присоединение Зарубежной Церкви к Московскому патриархату послужит его оздоровлению" 23 мая 2007
  32. ^ Александр Подрабинек. Агент аккуратен, Общителен
  33. ^ The Guardian. Russian Patriarch 'was KGB spy'
  34. ^ Документы
  35. ^ Надя Кизенко. Слияние Церквей – приобретение для Путина
  36. ^ Оповещение епископа Таврического и Одесского Агафангела (Пашковского) в связи с вхождением части РПЦЗ в состав Московской патриархии.
  37. ^ Кому нужно объединение Русской православной церкви за рубежом и Московской патриархии?: Интервью епископа РПЦЗ(Л) Агафангела (Пашковского)
  38. ^ сайт РУССКАЯ ПРАВОСЛАВНАЯ ЦЕРКОВЬ ЗАГРАНИЦЕЙ. Одесская и Запорожская епархии.
  39. ^ Постановление Собрания Вдовствующей Восточно-Американской Епархии Вдовствующей Русской Зарубежной Церкви 5/18 мая 2007 года
  40. ^ Протоиерей Игорь Шитиков (РПЦЗ, США). КАНОНИЧЕСКИЙ ПОДРЫВ. "Акт" 17 мая вносит каноническую путаницу в мир "официального православия" и может иметь силу закона только на канонической территории Московского патриархата. 28 мая 2007 г.
not surprisingly, you find the positive information boring, and the negative interesting. For those who are interested, the entire article can be found here.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:40, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Russian Wikipedia is full of pages which are biased towards Russian establishment figures (such as mayor of St Petersburg Valentina Matviyenko's page - half of which is taken up by her medals), so I concur with Biophys. As for you Frjohnwhiteford, since Coca Cola employees shouldn't edit their company's page, I humbly suggest you take a backseat in this discussion about a member of your church. Malick78 (talk) 12:52, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
That ploy has been tried, and has not gone very far. As for you, I suggest you actually read the COI policy. It does not apply in this case, and in fact you're attempt to use it to gain the upper hand in this discussion is a violation of that policy. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 01:30, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
  • I was being quite polite but since you didn't appreciate that let me be a little clearer: in Wikipedia:Conflict of interest under Examples:Close relationships, it says:

"Friedrich Engels would have had difficulty editing the Karl Marx article, because he was a close friend, follower and collaborator of Marx.[2] Any situation where strong relationships can develop may trigger a conflict of interest. Conflict of interest can be personal, religious, political, academic, financial, and legal. It is not determined by area, but is created by relationships that involve a high level of personal commitment to, involvement with, or dependence upon, a person, subject, idea, tradition, or organization." (my bolding)

Can you really say you have no "personal commitment" to the head of your church? Hand on heart? I'm sorry, I think this policy applies to you 100%. IMHO. Malick78 (talk) 12:46, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
I am totally committed to the head of my Church... Jesus Christ. Patriarch Alexei is the primate of the Russian Orthodox Church... the first among equals among the bishops of the Russian Church... the one who presides over local councils of the Russian Church. He is also the spiritual leader of the Russian Church, being the spokesmen for the Church. If you read more carefully the WP:COI policy, you will see that having a personal commitment to a subject does not constitute a conflict of interest:
"The definition of "too close" in this context is governed by common sense. An article about a little-known band should preferably not be written by a band member or the manager. However, an expert on climate change is welcome to contribute to articles on that subject, even if that editor is deeply committed to the subject."
Patriarch Alexei is not my chewing buddy. We don't go out for beers together. I do not know him personally. Therefore I am not "too close" to him. By your logic, no American could edit an article on the President of the United States. No Democrat could edit an article on Bill Clinton. No Catholic could edit an article on the Pope. No homosexual could edit an article on homosexuality. No hunter could edit an article on hunting. That is nonsense. Furthermore, Wikipedia would come to a screeching halt were it enforced universally. Biophys is a Russian who has evident hostility towards the Russian Orthodox Church... is he a Russian Baptist, a militant Atheist...? I don't know, but he does not have a neutral view of this subject, and uninvolved editors have commented that between the two of us, my edits have been fair more neutral. The only difference here is that I am upfront about where I am coming from.
From here on out, any arguments you wish to make about conflict of interest need to be taken up on the conflict of interest notice board, because what you are doing on this talk page is simple harassment, and it needs to stop from you and it needs to stop from Biophys. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 05:04, 19 January 2008 (UTC)
Accusing me of harassment when I have addressed you just twice is slightly out of order itself. If I feel there is a problem with your edits, I have the right to mention it in a civil tone and will do so. Malick78 (talk) 22:12, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
When the "just twice" comes after the issue has already been covered, it is harassment... particularly if you continue it on this board. If there is any merit to your concerns, you should get some results from the COI incident board. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 23:50, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

Expanding the Criticisms of Patriarch Alexei rather than on any positive or neutral information

Biophys' latest edits continue to violate the WP:BLP policy. Instead of balancing the article, as we were told by an administrator, he is furthering the expansion of criticisms... particularly the whole KGB link line of attack.

On the question of Patriarch Alexei's marriage. It is certainly true that he was married. It is also true that he was divorced in less than a year. Anyone who has ever been married can probably imagine why... the first year is usually fairly tough for any couple, and apparently it was too tough for at least one of them. It is also true that the typikon of the Orthodox Church does not normally allow a marriage to take place during bright week... but it also true that the typikon says they should not occur on the eve of any fast day (which excludes about 1/2 the year), or on the eve of any great feast, or on the eve of any Sunday. However, there are often reasons why weddings due take place during such times. And generally speaking, doing one during bright week would be seen as far less objectionable than doing it during the previous 40 days of Great Lent or Holy Week. We do not know why it would have been allowed in this case. During the Soviet period, the niceties of the typikon often could not be observed due to any number of factors. You even had priests conducting secret funerals over a clump of earth taken from the grave of a loved one, because such a funeral could not be done publicly. It is not true that Patriarch Alexei needed to get married to be ordained a Deacon. Unmarried Deacons are ordained all of the time... it's just that once you are ordained a Deacon, you cannot marry. Now if the marriage was a sham marriage of convenience, it was completely unnecessary, because the only reason to have done it would have been if it was Patriarch Alexei's intention to remain married (and a clergyman cannot divorce and remarry either)... and obviously this did not happen. He become a monk, and has remained one ever since.

Also, just a note to Biophys, while it is generally nice to not edit an article at the same moment someone else is, there is no rule that says that you get to do what you want to this article, because now it is your turn. If you want to make such a radical re-write of the article, it would be a good idea for you to take it to the talk page. When you engage in edits that an administrator has already stated are violations of the WP:BLP policy, there is no reason at all that you should expect that it would be the burden of others to go to the talk page first. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 11:54, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

It is perfectly fine to provide well sourced information in BLP, even if this is a negative information (negative or not is often a subjective judgement). But deletion of well referenced and relevant materials is a violation of WP:NPOV policy. If you want to balance the article, please provide more sourced information on a person, rather than delete everything that you do not like. It is not for you to decide waht is true and what is not. We simply write down what reliable sources tell. Please remember: "verifiability, not truth".Biophys (talk) 16:02, 18 January 2008 (UTC)
You are for the most part not bringing in new points, just expanding on the points that are already in the controversies section, and can be had by reading what was there, or the footnotes already in place. You have made the article even more imbalanced than before, contrary to what an administrator has said needed to happen. There is nothing in the NPOV policy that says that you can hijack an entire article to push your own POV here, which is what you are doing. Furthermore, if your read WP:BLP you will see that the first principle is to do no harm, and to make every effort to provide a fair and balanced treatment of the subject. Your edits have done nothing of the sort and clearly violate that policy. As such, if these edits remain as they are, I will be posting this issue on the BLP incident board so we can get some outside intervention. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 05:19, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Policies?

How about a section on this to fill out the article with more general less controversial things? As patriarch he decides the direction the church takes... He has had to deal with ties with the Vatican and building bridges between Orthodoxy and Catholicism... What about these things and others? Malick78 (talk) 16:25, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

Good suggestion. At one point Russia refused to let the Pope to enter the country on the insistence of Alexius. But later the relationships improve. See article in The Guardian for example [39].Biophys (talk) 17:13, 18 January 2008 (UTC)

WP:BLP Violations Reported to BLP Notice Board

See the notice, by clicking here. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 21:01, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

I reviewed the article and moved Controversy KGB items from Carrier to Controversies. Sections should only contain topics related to the section header. Per Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons all the controversy material should be written in a manner that does not overwhelm the article or appear to side with the critics; rather, it needs to be presented responsibly, conservatively, and in a neutral, encyclopedic tone. I was surprised to see the controversy topics have multiple references while the non-controversial topics are poorly referenced or not referenced at all. Here are my suggestions.
  • Reference the non-controversial content
  • Shorten the "Controversial content" to about a third of the "non-controversial content"
  • Site reliable sources for all content.
  • Use clean in line reference throughout the article, see User:Jeepday/Cite or ask me if you need help with references.
  • Make it a goal to have the article cleaned up in a week
  • If you have a disagreement between yourselves and need assistance and can't work it out, leave a note on my talk page.
  • This time next week (or sooner), leave a note on my talk page when the article is ready.

Will this approach work for everyone involved? If so please place your ~~~~ below under "Yea this will work, let's fix it!". If it does not work for you, and you have a solution that is supported by policy please suggest it under "How about this instead?". Jeepday (talk) 02:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Thank you for coming here. But how do you define what is "controversy" and what is not? His work for the KGB is a majority opinion. That is why it is supported by multiple reliable sources. He is notable for being a Patriarch and KGB agent - for someone like me who is not a member of his Church. He privately admitted this himself (per reliable sources), and never personally denied his work for the KGB publicly (at least I do not know such sources - such claims were made by others). This is an important part of his biography.Biophys (talk) 02:22, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I did not define the KGB as controversy it, an admin who's opinion I respect did, Diff. Is your goal to build a balanced encyclopedic article or do you have a different goal that will prohibit you from working towards this goal? Jeepday (talk) 02:34, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure this administrator is familiar with the subject. I would be happy to discuss this matter with him. I am ready to compromise here and already made some changes according to your recommendations, and I am ready to follow the basic WP:NPOV and WP:Source policies. According to them all sourced views must be represented in the article, no matter if this is BLP or not. If we all agree on that, we can move forward.Biophys (talk) 02:48, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
It certainly is a matter of controversy, that is disputed:
"The Moscow Patriarchate has denied a The Times of London report alleging that the current head of the Russian Orthodox Church collaborated with KGB in the Soviet era.
Official spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchy Father Vsevolod Chaplin labeled such reports as "absolutely unsubstantiated" in a Wednesday interview with Interfax. "There is no data indicating that Patriarch Alexy II was an associate of the special services, and no classified documents bear his signature," he said.
"I do not think that direct dialogue between the current patriarch and KGB took place," Father Vsevolod continued. However, "all bishops communicated with representatives of the council for religious matters in the Soviet government, which was inevitable, since any issue, even the most insignificant one, had to be resolved through this body. It is quite another matter that the council forwarded all its materials to the KGB," he said." MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE REJECTS TIMES REPORT OF ALEXY II'S COLLABORATION WITH KGB, Sept 20 (Interfax)
"Chaplin, the church spokesman, said in March, "Nobody has ever seen a single real document that would confirm the patriarch used his contacts with Soviet authorities to make harm to the church or to any people in the church." RUSSIA'S WELL-CONNECTED PATRIARCH, Washington Post Foreign Service , 23 May 2002
Could you please provide some better links than website of Stetson University?Biophys (talk) 02:52, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Those are complete text news articles, which are reliable sources. What is your problem with it? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 03:41, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Yea, this will work, let's fix it! Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

How about this instead?

Last edits

The last series of edits by Frjohnwhiteford represents a clear WP:NPOV violation. He deleted all sourced information he did not like. This should be corrected.Biophys (talk) 03:31, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I deleted biased commentary, NPOV spin on meager facts, original research, and double and triple references to the same documents. Biophys has reverted my attempts to correct the problems identified by the Admin. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 03:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

The problem is very simple. You have deleted a lot of perfectly sourced contributions of other users - without any discussion and consensus building. This is contrary to WP:NPOV and WP:CIV. Do not be surprised if someone simply reverts your changes.Biophys (talk) 03:50, 26 January 2008 (UTC) So far I only reverted myself. Biophys (talk) 03:51, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
No, so far you reverted most of my edits. I only began editing the article when I saw that you were charging ahead and editing it without discussion, and decided that rather than allowing you to create facts on the ground, I would do some edits of my own, which I did step by step, and with explanations in my edit summaries. My edits were entirely consistent with what we were asked to do with the article. At this point, I would would say that reaching a consensus via debates on this talk page is unlikely given your POV pushing, and unwillingness to reach any reasonable compromises or to tone done the criticisms that have been recognized by at least two admins now as clear violations of WP:BLP. I have not tried to remove from the article any reasonable criticism that can be documented from reliable sources, and do not constitute original research... I have only tried to reduce the amount of material that you have inserted, to make it conform to the BLP policy, and provide a fair presentation of the facts. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:02, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Problems with the Article

Biophys' new divisions, and changing of the titles do not make sense. You have three "criticism", and only one response, which is to the first criticism, but which comes after the third criticism. You also continue to have overkill double and triple references to the same sources. You have POV commentary and original research regarding the nuns that clean the Patriarch's residence, and the appropriateness of the date of his marriage, and his alleged reasons for getting married. I have previous addressed the issue of his marriage, and as things are we have tabloid commentary...using actual tabloids from sources known to be hostile to the Russian Orthodox Church. We also have a further reading section, which is entirely redundant, given the footnotes, and highly selective. It also references sources that are themselves controversial. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 03:54, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I would rather wait for opinion of Muscovite99 who is main author of article about Alexius in Russian WP. He seems to be the best expert here. If he wants to be involved, I would simply allow him to make a neutral article and limit myself and you to this talk page.Biophys (talk) 04:56, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I don't agree with your assessment on a number of levels. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 15:33, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


New Approach

There are two goals here, the first and foremost is to build a good NPOV article, the second is to get all parties to work together towards the first goal. You both have good points, and you both have different perspectives. You also both have a good grasp of the subject.

Each of you tell me the one section header that you feel is most important in this article, you don't need to explain it just name it. Jeepday (talk) 04:29, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Frjohnwhiteford - As the article currently stands "Criticism", but if you are asking where to start, I would suggest we start with the most blatant WP:BLP violation still in the article, which is in the "Personal Life" section, and is the bit about the nuns, and the violation of the canons. This is clearly original research, irrelevant, and an attempt to imply a scandal that is not otherwise documented. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 04:44, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Biophys - "Relations between Orthodox Church and Russian State under Alexii II" Biophys (talk) 04:51, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I hear what you are saying Frjohnwhiteford, one step at a time. I would ask each of you to write one section, Frjohnwhiteford write "Criticism"; Biophys write "Relations between Orthodox Church and Russian State under Alexii II", keep it about 500 words or less. use good references, and don't worry about the what the other is doing. Take a couple days, do it well and when it's ready leave me a note and I will come look. Like we said before the section should only contain topics related to the section header. If you start feeling frustrated read Wikipedia:The Most Important Thing Possible or Wikipedia:There is no deadline. I believe you are both working in good faith to do what you think is best, you are both trying to work towards the same goal you just have different visions of the goal. If you finish your section before the other, just wait until you are both done before starting something new. Will this work to start? Jeepday (talk) 05:10, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

That works for me, although 500 words may be insufficient. Of course, other users might appear during next few days, and they are very welcome to edit this article...Biophys (talk) 06:20, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Edit by adding or clarify not removing, leave all references in place as appropriate. Do not remove references or referenced material unless you added it. When everyone gets done adding we can look at removing content as needed. If you feel that specific contend is untrue, or not supported by references and you beleive that other editors may not agree with your assessment. Bring it to my attention and I will offer a neutral perspective. Will that work? Jeepday (talk) 16:05, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Your "New approach" is going to work only if me and Frjohnwhiteford agree on it. Unlike me, Frjohnwhiteford did not state that he agree, and instead started editing this article. So the deal is off?Biophys (talk) 18:04, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Actually, if you look above, you will see that I am the only who was formally agreed to approach suggested. I have every intention of working with the resolution process, and I will remind you that it is you who began editing and reorganizing this article immediately, and without asking for imput. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 18:10, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
So, are going to stop editing this article (say for two-three days) and prepare your segment of text as suggested by Jeepday? If you do, I will do the same.Biophys (talk) 20:19, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
I am waiting for some clarification on what it is that we are supposed to be doing. I am not clear on whether we are editing the article, or preparing drafts to be presented on the talk page. Also, so long as we are in the mode of not removing redundant content, it would be difficult for me to edit the section I had in mind. I could produce some additional content in Patriarch Alexei's defense, but that will increase the size of that section, rather than reduce it. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 20:31, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Sounds reasonable. This is not quite clear for me too.Biophys (talk) 21:08, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Sounds like you are both content to work on drafts, that is probably the best approach. If you don't know how to make a sub page let me know, unless you would prefer to work on your user page or off line. Jeepday (talk) 22:35, 26 January 2008 (UTC) Jeepday asked me whether or not I supported his approach. I certainly do. DGG (talk) 18:41, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Removing Content

A big part of the argument here is editors removing other editors work. I am seeing what looks like reliably sourced material being removed. While we are striving for balance, please let the contributing editors shorten their own work. If you feel strongly that a single reference is not sufficient for some content then it is appropriate per WP:BLP to remove it from the main article. But when doing so please bring it to the talk page (with the references supplied) indicate your specific concerns and give the contributing editors a chance to supply additional references or adjust the text as needed. Thanks :) Jeepday (talk) 16:18, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Since content in defense of Patriarch Alexei has in fact been removed, how or when will it be put back, since it was removed contrary to your instructions above? Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:34, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Nuns Removed by Jeepday (talk) 16:48, 26 January 2008 (UTC) per comments below

It has been suggested that the content on nuns below represents WP:OR, it does not appear that there is previously published reference supporting the claim that there are nuns working in the household in violation of the canon. Please provide references supporting the assertion of wrongness, and seek approval for reliability of the sources here before reposting. Thanks Jeepday (talk) 16:48, 26 January 2008 (UTC) the nuns are in charge of all the household chores and duties. The presence of unrelated women in an Orthodox bishop's house is canonically forbidden by the First Ecumenical Council (Canon 3[40]) and Sixth Ecumenical Council (Canon 5[41]).

Alexius himself said that nuns are working in his house - a reliable source provides and interview with Alesius where he said just that. That is a Russian language source. Since you and Frjohnwhiteford do not know Russian (if I understand correctly), please avoid unilateral deletion of statements supported by reliable Russian sources without consulting with at least two users who know Russian.Biophys (talk) 18:12, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
He did not say that they lived there, and he certainly did not suggest this was a violation of the Ecumenical Canons. There is a difference between having women living in the same area, who come to clean the house, and having women share a residence. I do not speak Russian fluently, however, I read it well enough to know that you are engaging in original research here that is not substantiated by the source.Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 18:40, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
The remaining statement "On the residence compound there is a de-facto rotating women's monastery, according to the Patriarch's interview" is also original research, because the interview says nothing about a defacto rotating convent. This is an extrapolation by the person who inserted this irrelevant material. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 17:04, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

There is also nothing in the sources to warrant the inclusion of the commentary "originally it was meant as Patriarch Alexius I's dacha". Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 17:41, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

  • Biophys the general assessment made by Frjohnwhiteford is correct, if the reference does not say there is a violation of Ecumenical Canons, then per WP:BLP you can't say it in the article. Because of the nature of the content, you would probably need to find at least 2 published reliable sources that support wrong doing. If you have questions I am more then happy to answer them. Jeepday (talk) 19:52, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Jeepday asked me whether or not I supported his edits. I do support this edit.DGG (talk) 18:39, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
  • The article as it stands does not assert any wrongdoing: it says "the nuns are in charge of all the household chores and duties. The presence of unrelated women in an Orthodox bishop's house is canonically forbidden by the First Ecumenical Council (Canon 3[1]) and Sixth Ecumenical Council (Canon 5[2])." Just read the words, not your own assumptions.Muscovite99 (talk) 19:04, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Right. There are two supporting links/sources here which tell about First Ecumenical Council (Canon 3[1]) and Sixth Ecumenical Council (Canon 5[2]). Unfortunately, those are Russian sources, so DGG can not read them. May be a partial translation is needed?Biophys (talk) 20:43, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
"does not assert any wrongdoing" Either it is intended means just that, or it is irrelevant. DGG (talk) 23:34, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree. But the statement is completely sourced. First of two sources tells, for example (this is old but fully understandable Russian language): "Великий Собор без изъятия положил, чтобы ни епископу, ни пресвитеру, ни диакону, и вообще никому из находящихся в клире, не было позволено иметь сожительствующую в доме женщину, разве матерь, или сестру, или тетку или те только лица, которые чужды всякаго подозрения." It says that any Orthodox priest is strictly forbidden to have any women living in his house except his own women relatives (no matter what they are doing and who they are). Alexius has such women living in his residency according to his own interview (another reliable source). So, I do not see any problems here. Frjohnwhiteford raised the question if the "residency" qualifies as a "house". But Alexius said himself in the interview something like "my residence is my home". I personally prefer not to include such things in BLPs, but this is a legitimate edit by Muscovite99 Biophys (talk) 04:09, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
When you take source #1 which asserts fact "A" (that in the Patriarch has nuns who live in the compound in which his home is, and source #2 which asserts fact "B" (that the canons forbid women living in the home of a bishop), and connect the two to make the conclusion that A+B=C (Patriarch Alexei is violating the canons), that is original research. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 05:17, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  • 1. On the residence compound there is a de-facto rotating women's monastery, according to the Patriarch's interview;[1] the nuns are in charge of all the household chores and duties.
  • I removed sentence two above, again this morning per WP:BLP and WP:SYN. If an editor has questions, notices any other BLP concerns or requires a dispute resolution please leave a note at my talk page. Jeepday (talk) 12:17, 2 February 2008 (UTC)
FWIW, I agree with Jeepday on this, for the reasons he gives. WP:SYNTH is very clearly applicable. Synthesizing an implied accusation from an equivocal fact and millenium-old regulations is altogether excessive. DGG (talk) 09:00, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Three Choices

There are three choices for my participation in this article, which would the editors of this article prefer? Jeepday (talk) 14:22, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

  • 1. I don't participate at all
  • 2. I facilitate the dispute resolution with the agreement of the majority of the editors here
  • 3. I enforce Wikipidia policy
    • I agree with this too... which is crucial. We obviously need an arbiter who ensure that a reasonable process is observed in getting this article into compliance with WP:BLP, which it currently is not. Experience has shown that the editors are not going to come to a consensus that will be both in accordance with Wikipedia Policy, and respected by all the participants, and so we definitely need your help. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 01:45, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
  • I am available for dispute resolution. It is not my intent to be a primary editor of this article or monitor activities here to any great degree. I will keep this on my watch list and assume that editors will work in good faith to resolve amongst themselves most disputes. Jeepday (talk) 12:29, 2 February 2008 (UTC)

Please stop removing the NPOV Tag

There certainly remains a dispute about the neutrality of this article. There is no justification for removing it until the dispute is resolved. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 15:03, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Work for KGB claim and loyalty to the Soviet State

While I do not comment on Patriarch's alleged work for KGB -- I want to make a point that Sergian loyalty to the Soviet state which was oficially discussed by the Patriarch does not equal to the alleged KGB work.

Indeed, that's true that Patriarch Alexius acknowledged that compromises were made with the Soviet government by bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate, himself included, and publicly repented of these compromises:

"Defending one thing, it was necessary to give somewhere else. Were there any other organizations, or any other people among those who had to carry responsibility not only for themselves but for thousands of other fates, who in those years in the Soviet Union were not compelled to act likewise? Before those people, however, to whom the compromises, silence, forced passivity or expressions of loyalty permitted by the leaders of the church in those years caused pain, before these people, and not only before God, I ask forgiveness, understanding and prayers."

But it's important to note it wasn't Patriarch's reply on his alleged KGB work, but rather than that, justification on his own loyalty to the state and Sergian principles in Soviet time. Suggesting that it concerned KGB work is original research. ellol (talk) 01:29, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

I never said it was a response to his "KGB work", it is a response to the whole question of his collaboration with the Soviets. See my comments below. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 05:21, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

It's not original research when you state the proper context of a quote, and then quote it, and that quote is from a reliable source. It is only original research when you try to string several facts together from various sources, to reach a conclusion that is not found in either. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 12:00, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

By common sense that it refers to the accusations does seem to be the implication. But in the absence of direct evidence some qualification in the wording is needed. DGG (talk) 18:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I must agree with ellol here. Simply serving Soviet authorities and being a KGB agent (not a KGB officer but an agent; some Russian Orthodox priests are KGB officers with a military rank, visit SVR headquarters in Yasenevo, etc.) are two different things. All sources (ten or more) claim that he was a KGB agent. Like ellol, I am not aware of any public statements by Alexius where he denies (or publicly admits) of being a KGB agent during Soviet times.Biophys (talk) 04:29, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
As has already been pointed out to you, the Moscow Patriarchate certainly has denied it:
"The Moscow Patriarchate has denied a The Times of London report alleging that the current head of the Russian Orthodox Church collaborated with KGB in the Soviet era.
Official spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchy Father Vsevolod Chaplin labeled such reports as "absolutely unsubstantiated" in a Wednesday interview with Interfax. "There is no data indicating that Patriarch Alexy II was an associate of the special services, and no classified documents bear his signature," he said.
"I do not think that direct dialogue between the current patriarch and KGB took place," Father Vsevolod continued. However, "all bishops communicated with representatives of the council for religious matters in the Soviet government, which was inevitable, since any issue, even the most insignificant one, had to be resolved through this body. It is quite another matter that the council forwarded all its materials to the KGB," he said." MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE REJECTS TIMES REPORT OF ALEXY II'S COLLABORATION WITH KGB, Sept 20 (Interfax)
"Chaplin, the church spokesman, said in March, "Nobody has ever seen a single real document that would confirm the patriarch used his contacts with Soviet authorities to make harm to the church or to any people in the church." RUSSIA'S WELL-CONNECTED PATRIARCH, Washington Post Foreign Service , 23 May 2002 Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 02:35, 31 January 2008 (UTC)
The question is to what extent did the Patriarch collaborate with the Soviet government. He is accused of going so far as to be a KGB agent. He denies this (contrary to Biophys' assertion), but acknowledges that he did collaborate on some level. The citation does not constitute original research, nor is the quote taken out of context, but is entirely appropriate. Frjohnwhiteford (talk) 05:19, 29 January 2008 (UTC)
  1. ^ Интервью Святейшего Патриарха Алексия ежедневной газете «Газета». «Загородную резиденцию в полной мере ощущаю своим домом».