Today, on Western Christmas Day, the birthday of Baby Jesus, while other people are rushing to the manger bearing gold, frankincense, myrrh, and even a few gag gifts, I bring unto ye this solemn story about religion. It’s from VESTI, and the headline reads:
The Head of the New Ukrainian Church Was Punked Over the Telephone
Once again as the astute reader has guessed, the perpetrators of this prank are none other than those Russian scalliwags Alexei Stolyarov (aka “Lexus”) and Vladimir Kuznetsov (aka “Vovan”). It is amazing how these guys continue to get away with one prank after another, and important people in the world continue to pick up the phone and take their calls!
So, this past Friday night (December 21), pretending to be David McAllister from the European Parliament, these goofballs phoned Metropolitan Epiphany, the head of the new Split-Away Ukrainian church.
Epi picked up the phone, and an interesting conversation ensued. Recall, that Epiphany (aka Sergei Dumenko) was elected head of the new “Ukrainian Orthodox Church” on December 15; that the Moscow Patriarchate does not recognize this new church and regards it as a split-away heretical church; and that both sides condemn each other to anathema. The goal of Lexus and Vovan, as always, was to get the mark to say something controversial, something that he really believes, thinking that he is speaking privately to bosom friends and can be completely candid! The pranksters usually start off gently, and then build up to (not with all that much subtlety) provoking the mark to drop some kind of bomb or commit a gaffe. Towards the end of the conversation, they often go for broke (usually raising the gay-LGBT issue) and this is where the mark sometimes starts to smell a rat and ends the conversation. As occurred in this case as well.
Here is the link to the full audio of the prank call, on the Vovan-Lexus youtube channel, Vovan-Lexus speaks in (heavily accented) English with a broad Slavic (not German!) accent. Russian subtitles translate his accented English into Russian. The Metropolitan speaks in regular Russian and does not need subtitles. Presumably there is a simultaneous English-Russian translator onboard the phone line to help with the mutual communication.
Here is another link, with the same video, and also a transcription of the conversation. I hereby undertake to translate the transcription from Russian to English. Except that since Vovan-Lexus speaks in English, I will transcribe from his actual English rather than back-translating from the Russian. Which is a much harder job, by the way (due to his thick accent), than translating the utterances of Metropolitan Epiphany! So here goes:
All That Is Hidden Will be Revealed
Pranker: Hello! First of all, Metropolitan Epiphany, I would like to congratulate you on your election as the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Pranker: Unified Sobor on December 15 is a big step for Ukraine to full independence from the influence of Russia. This is very important… We know how hard was this union for you, and I know about Moscow pressure.
Epi: Yes, this is so. This was a historical Sobor and this was an important moment for the Ukrainian people. The Ukrainian people now has the possibility to unite in a single Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
[to be continued]