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Ask Father Vasiliy

Ask Father VasiliyThis installment was first broadcast on April 1, 2006.

After a lengthy hiatus, Father Vasiliy’s warm and personal touch once again graces our pages with another question-and-answer sesssion. Father Vasiliy is parish priest at Saints Boris and Gleb and Vladimir and Olga Russian Orthodox Church in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, as well as official spokesman for the Church Overseas of Russian Orthodox Christians (COROC).

Dear Father Vasiliy:

This month on my church calendar I saw the feast of the Venerable Zacharia to the Rescue. What does that mean, “to the Rescue”? Was he a superhero? Did he save people?

Signed, Perplexed in Port Angeles

Dear Port Angeles:

You are not perplexed, only needing new prescription lenses. This is not Venerable Zacharia to Rescue, this is Venerable Zacharia, Recluse. Yes, he was superhero, because he was lover of God, and keeper of righteousness. And yes he saves people even now by most holy prayer. You could pray to holy Recluse while waiting in optometrist’s office for new lenses. Please to mention sinful Father Vasiliy.

Signed, Father Vasiliy.


Dear Father Vasiliy:

I am not Orthodox, but my mother is converting to Orthodoxy, and I’m terribly afraid she might be making a huge mistake. Please confirm that you believe in the Bible, and my mind will rest at ease.

Signed, Baptist in Bellevue.

Dear Bellevue:

Believe in Bible? We wrote Bible! What is more we know what it means, unlike some groups of so-to-call-them Christians whose interpretations of Bible are little more than three or four hundred years old, which I could name but I refrain. You join your very smart Mama on this trip, and come home to Church of Jesus and Apostles. We will keep light on for you.

Signed, Father Vasiliy.


Dear Father Vasiliy,

I don’t like tofu.

Signed, Tasteful in Toronto

Dear Toronto:

Who does? Orthodox fasting is not about eating what we are liking, but about seeking God. But please to try it floured and pan-fried, with steamed broccoli and oyster sauce.

Signed, Father Vasiliy.


Dear Father Vasiliy,

Why are shrimp considered vegetables in Orthodoxy?

Signed, Loophole Lover in Lakewood

Dear Lakewood:

This is employment security for writers of Orthodox question-and-answer columns. Ha ha! I make little joke. Some say that they were left off lists of forbidden foods so poor people could have source of protein. This however implies compassion on part of makers of rules, but we all know compassion comes from “com” meaning “with” and “passion” meaning “evil desire which drags one away from God,” so this cannot be true. Fact of matter is, decision is buried in rubble of ancient history and we will probably never know why shrimp are vegetables, at least in this life. Rumors that ancient fathers who made rules were heavily invested in harvesting and marketing shellfish and mollusks are surely probably completely false, presumably.

Signed, Father Vasiliy

Copyright © 2006-2012 Alex Riggle. All Rights Reserved.

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About Your Intrepid Blogger

I live in the Tacoma area. When not writing things some people think are funny, I teach technology to 7th and 8th graders at a local middle school.

One comment on “Ask Father Vasiliy

  1. Reblogged this on Orthodox in the District and commented:
    Father Vasily Vasilievich is back with another helpful response to readers’ questions about saints, the place of the Bible in Orthodoxy, how to make tofu more bearable, and that oddity of oddities- why shrimp are considered “vegetables” for Lenten fasting purposes! Courtesy of “Your Intrepid Blogger” at The Onion Dome 2.0.

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