Monthly Archives: July 2013

To Be or Not To Be: The English Disease

‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy’.

The well-known soliloquy from Shakespeare’s longest play and most famous tragedy, Hamlet, beginning, ‘To be or not to be…’ is much more than the meanderings of a suicidal mind, an individualist opposed to society, who wonders about whether life is worth the living. These words appeared on the cusp of a new century, in about 1600. This was the time when England was turning its back on its rural, sacramental, collective, Catholic past and looking towards an urban, vacuous, individualistic, Puritanical future, which would bring bloody civil war, regicide, foreign invasion and ultimately an industrial future. In Hamlet’s words, all England was wondering about being and not being.

This national trauma, inaugurated by the blood-soaked Tudors and their land grab from the monasteries and their care for the poor, has marked England ever since. Shakespeare’s eloquent words have immortalised the dilemma, the quandary of not being sure what to do, of which path to take, of pure indecisiveness. Hamlet questions the meaning of life and whether or not it is worthwhile to live when life contains so many hardships. He comes to the conclusion that the main reason people stay alive is due to a fear of death and uncertainty at what lies beyond life. Here we see the lack of faith which came about as a result of the Reformation which had shaken fundamental beliefs.

Thus, there is no uncertainty about what lies beyond death for the believer. Above all, however, there is the falsity of the question. Life or death, to be or not to be, is not a choice. There can be no choice here, no doubt. Unfortunately, this false choice, between right and wrong, reality and illusion, heaven and hell, is the one that has haunted English history since Shakespeare’s time. Thus, a whole British Empire was built on compromises between right and wrong. A whole foreign policy and a whole home policy were built on the unprincipled hypocrisy of compromise. There are even those who cannot decide between the ‘choice’ of the integral Church of God and some false ‘Christianity’…..

Resisting Globalisation

new world order

The Life of Christ, Orthodoxy, witnessed three horrible deaths:

Firstly, there was the death of Herod. He who through lust had instituted physical and economic slavery was eaten by worms from inside.

Secondly, there was the suicide of Pilate. He who through cowardice had instituted intellectual and political slavery did away with himself.

Thirdly, there was the suicide of Judas. He who through greed had instituted spiritual and religious slavery, who had replaced the worship of life and the living by the worship of death and the dead, hanged himself and his guts spilled out in his fall.

These three deaths are also the deaths that are necessary if all Christian nation states and legitimate hierarchies are to be liquidated in order to enthrone Antichrist:

Firstly, monarchies had to be destroyed by physical revolutions so that Herod can take control: the English Protestant in 1688; the French Catholic in 1789; the Russian Orthodox in 1917.

Secondly, national sovereignty has had to be destroyed by intellectual revolutions so that Pilate can take control; this means transnational organisations: UN; NATO; IMF; WTO; EU; NAFTA etc

Thirdly, a unipolar Global Empire must be constructed by religious revolutions so that Judas can take control; this means what we are seeing at this very moment, with his capital planned in Jerusalem.

This globalisation, the new feudalisation, the movement towards a unipolar world against a multipolar world, the syncretistic, unionistic movement to prepare the enthronement of Antichrist in Jerusalem, can only be resisted by a united Orthodox Christian Empire. It is time to see visible Orthodox Unity under the Third Rome and Second Jerusalem. Local Churches, fallen into decadent practices, have to remove themselves from their political and spiritual manipulation, from nationalism, protestantisation, vaticantwo-isation, secularisation and modernisation, by spiritual renewal and so movement towards spiritual purity.

With the mighty Russian Orthodox Church, paralysed by its Babylonian captivity and Golgotha, and so absent from the world scene for three generations between 1917 and the 1980s, the manipulated modernist and pro-secular forces on the fringes of and even in the midst of the Local Churches fell into this decadence. Since the canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors, these forces have largely been defeated by the resurrection of the Russian Church, so long awaited and so long prayed for by lonely White Orthodox exiles outside Russia and, in spiritual unity with them, by the people, monastics and faithful clergy of the Church inside Russia.

All is beginning to change as a result and now, whether in the first-fallen Phanar or in Alexandria, Bucharest, Antioch, Athens, Nicosia, Prague, Sofia, Warsaw, and also in sorely tempted Belgrade, Jerusalem, Tbilisi and Tirana, even some repentant secularists are beginning to realise that the choice is clear. It is either the pagan First Rome, the false globalist US/EU path they have already taken or are being bribed into taking, or else the multinational but united Orthodox path of resistance set by the Christian Third Rome, the Second Jerusalem. The resurrection of the Orthodox Empire and Monarchy is now the only path that can and does lead to freedom from global slavery, the only path that can and does lead from death to life, from Judas to Christ.

St Sergius Theological Institute in Paris on the Verge of Bankruptcy.

An appeal for assistance has recently appeared on the Institute’s website. It noted that the Institute, which may soon celebrate the 90th anniversary of its founding, is well-known for several Russian philosophers and renovationists. These were expelled from Russia in the early twenties of the last century, but had mainly died out by the 1950s. At present, the St Sergius Institute is experiencing a financial crisis that threatens its existence, though not for the first time. Now teachers’ salaries have not been paid for several months.

This difficulty comes on top of the fact that its jurisdiction is now a deanery under the Greek Metropolitan, since it no longer has any bishops. Thus, no ordinations are taking place.This is the direct result of the anti-monastic current in the Rue Daru jurisdiction and cultivated at St Serge over the decades. Having recently lost St Nicholas Cathedral in Nice, which had been on loan from the Russian Mother-Church, and with other properties possibly having to be returned to their lawful owners, the Rue Daru splinter group seems unlikely to be able to continue for much longer.

This is all the more the case when there is a real Russian Orthodox seminary in Paris and a new Cathedral and spiritual centre are to be built there. In this context, the old Russophobic factionalism and infighting of this tiny St Petersburg emigration to Paris seems increasingly irrelevant in the 21st century world of a united and large-scale Russian Orthodox Church and world-view.

Ethiopia and Russia

Between 1880 and 1910 the Western European Empires completed their bloody invasion and occupation of Africa in a mad and immoral scramble for power, territory, resources and prestige. Only two African countries remained relatively free of this imperialism. One was Liberia – ‘the Free Country’ – effectively a US-founded dumping ground for unwanted ex-slaves, the other was Ethiopia, for which Italy and Great Britain vied in their envy.

The latter was unique – the only Black African country with an ancient Christian tradition, close in many ways to the Church. As such, it was therefore the only African country which attracted the interest of the leader of the Orthodox world, the Russian Empire. It understood that if Africa were to be converted to the authentic Christ, it would be through an Orthodoxy with practices similar to those of the Ethiopian Miaphysite (more exact than Monophysite) Church.

Russians had first had contact with Ethiopians in Jerusalem, certainly at latest in the 15th century. This distant interest remained constant until 1718 when Peter I tried to establish direct contact with Ethiopia. Meanwhile, at this time a part-Ethiopian courtier appeared in Russia – the ancestor of the greatest Russian poet Alexander Pushkin.

However, in 1874 and 1876 Emperor Yohannes IV called on Russia to help it against an Egyptian invasion and asked to enter into communion with the Church. His letters went unanswered until 1887 when they were at least acknowledged. Clearly, until then, the Russian Emperor had no intention of getting involved in Africa. Unlike the Emperor, the Church had other, spiritual, interests. Already in 1867 the messianic Russian missionary in the Middle East, Fr Porphyry (Uspensky), had called for the Ethiopian Church to unite with the Orthodox Church. His report was approved by the Holy Synod.

From this period on, sympathy for the Ethiopians increased in Church circles in Russia. Devoid of any type of anti-black racism, unlike Western Europeans, and devoid also of any sense of colonialism, to which Russia was vehemently opposed, Russians felt that Ethiopians were ‘Black Orthodox’. They had been isolated from the mainstream of the Church and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, thus keeping certain Judaising customs, but otherwise they were relatively closer to Orthodoxy.

Notably in 1888 the distinguished Russian Professor Bolotov (1854-1900) made a serious study of the whole question. He noted that Ethiopians had already clearly rejected the aggressive, colonising and militaristic missions of the Roman Catholics and Protestants, but if Orthodox missionary work were to be successful, it would take patience and understanding, i.e. love. The greatest problems, in his view, were Ethiopian nationalism and politics, with their desire to obtain military technology to fight off Western imperialism. Above all, there was the fact that, officially anyway, apart from its Jewish characteristics, the Ethiopian Church did not recognise the true humanity of Christ.

It was between 1889 and 1898 that Russia began to take a special interest in Ethiopia. Then the Metropolitan of Kiev sent a delegation to Emperor Menelik. It was headed by a Guards Officer, Lt Vasily Mashkov. The mission had a spiritual meaning and, arriving in October 1889, Lt Mashkov spent most of his time with Ethiopian clergy. In January 1890 Russia was swept by a wave of indignation against Italy which was trying to colonise Sovereign Ethiopia. Such were the cultural and spiritual ties then that it was felt that Russia should send an advisory mission. Mashkov returned in February 1891 only to set out on another mission, with a grant from the Russian Geographical Society and was accompanied by two monks and an interpreter. This mission was to last for one year. This was followed in January 1895 by another mission under a Captain Eliseiev.

These missions were all successful and the latter mission was followed by a visit of an Ethiopian mission to Russia. This consisted of the Ethiopian Bishop of Harrar and a group of nobles. The Ethiopians were impressed by the warmth and sincere esteem of the Russian welcome and their lack of colour prejudice. On 4 July the embassy was received by Tsar Nicholas II, who was awarded the Order of Solomon by the Ethiopians and given rich presents. Russia wished to see the ancient Christian kingdom unmolested by colonialism, for Russian anti-colonialism was absolute, as was later seen in the universal and popular Russian defence of the Boer cause and the Russian volunteers who fought on the Boer side.

After this, Russian expeditions and medical missions arrived in Ethiopia, preserving tens of thousands of lives, right up until 1906. The first diplomatic mission opened in October 1897. Its head, was told to promote economic and political relations and to bring about co-operation between the two Churches. It had some thirty members. Unfortunately, however, these Russian efforts in Ethiopia came too early. Ethiopia was locked in its own ancient mindset and Russia was to be distracted from missions in Ethiopia, as also from its missions in Tibet and Siam (Thailand), by the Western-backed Japanese aggression in 1904 and, in 1914, by direct Western European aggression. It remains to be seen whether the 40 million and more Ethiopian Christians of today will ever be brought back to Orthodoxy.

A Centre for the Christian World

Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, head of the Department for Church and Society of the Russian Orthodox Church, believes that Russia is moving in the direction of greater self-sufficiency, which would allow it to become the centre of world Christianity. As he wrote in an article published in the newspaper Sovereign Rus, ‘It is no coincidence that many today see Russia as a defender of Christian ideals and traditional morality, as a place that can offer a real alternative to the world’s golden calf and its destructive concepts of freedom. To begin with, Russia should act as though it were the centre of the Christian world. That is the only way it can work. Anything else, firstly, is petty, and, secondly, self-destructive’.

Fr Vsevolod went on to say, ‘During the past few months, Russia has shown the world that she can speak confidently, as a strong and independent nation with a tradition and experience of life that gives it the right to its own path. Russia is not only entitled to defend its vision of social order, but also it can offer it to the world’. He also pointed out that fringe groups based on foreign ideologies are trying to pressure the Russian authorities. They claim to act ‘on behalf of Russia’s future’, in the name of the ‘other Russia’, for the ‘real Russia’, but they accomplish nothing.

Fr Vsevolod noted, ‘Today, despite the West’s objections and reproaches, we mean it when we say, ‘We insist that we must protect our children from premature sexual awareness, and even more, from the promotion of homosexuality. We hold that the adoption of Russian children by foreign families at a time of demographic crisis is a highly irrational move. We do not want perverts to adopt these children, so that they will lose the faith into which they were baptised, to lose the hope of a normal life’’.

1 July 2013