The greatest crime committed in relation to the Sovereign must be erased by ardent veneration for him and the glorification of his feat. The Russian Lands must bow down before the humiliated, the slandered and the martyred…Then the Tsar-Passion-Bearer will be granted great audaciousness before God and his prayer will save the Russian land from the misfortunes that are borne by it. Then the Tsar-Martyr and those who suffered with him will become new heavenly advocates of Holy Russia. Innocently shed blood will regenerate Russia and cover it with new glory.
St John of Shanghai
We remember some twenty years ago a conversation on the future of Russia with a young Paris emigre of the third generation. He stated that there could never be reconciliation between the two parts of the Russian Church, inside and outside Russia, until the Patriarchal part inside Russia had repented. When he was asked what such repentance meant, he came out with an answer that was purely political and did not concern the Church. However, we did not believe then, and do not believe now, that repentance is political – it is always spiritual. Moreover, true repentance always begins with demands made of ourselves, not with demands made of others.
In today’s Russia many are at last realising that anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox Communism was the greatest illusion and greatest deceit in Russian history. It was in fact an anti-patriotic, foreign-imposed conspiracy whose aim was to destroy the Orthodox Empire, which naturally included destroying its spiritual essence and historic consciousness, its multinational Church. Indeed, the Russian Lands were to be saved only after a generation of brutal atheist persecution by another catastrophe – the Nazi invasion, which alone renewed national consciousness. However, it was not for another fifty years after that invasion that the country officially and finally rid itself of the atheist regime.
However, that political change, momentous though it was, did not and still does not mean full repentance. Today’s Russian Federation, and all the other now separated lands that made up the pre-1917 Russian Empire, are still not fully repentant – just as the Russian Emigration, its descendants and missions, are still not fully repentant – hence all the divisions between those lands and in the Emigration. Full repentance is when all, and not just some, repent for their ancestors’ sins of slander, deposition and regicide, the slaying of Tsar Nicholas II and the millions who died with him and after him. He who does not love the Tsar, does not truly love Holy Russia. And he who does not love Holy Russia does not truly love God.
Russia and all who belong by birth or by choice to the worldwide Russian Church, in Europe, in the Americas, in Australasia and elsewhere, will not walk the Earth as Resurrected until all realise who the Tsar was. Only when there is true repentance by all will the Tsar be truly glorified. And the Lord will not grant the Russian Lands a new Tsar, and so unity of all Russian Lands, until we sincerely repent for the fact that we allowed and still allow those who rejected and still reject our Faith to blacken his name and ritually murder him and his Family. The Lord will grant the Russian Lands a new Tsar and unity only after profound and general repentance, after ‘ardent veneration for him and the glorification of his feat’.
Here it must be said that it is only with a Tsar in Russia that Orthodox outside Russia will be strong again. For example, Tsar Nicholas II built seventeen churches in Western Europe and a magnificent Cathedral in New York. And that was at a time when there were few Russian Orthodox living there. Moreover, he ensured unity among Orthodox living outside Russia and the Orthodox homelands. It is for those of the Russian Emigration and its missions, including the disincarnate and so not belonging to the Church Outside Russia, to become aware of this. Let us of all nationalities everywhere bring forth fruit worthy of this repentance, as the Patron of the Russian Emigration, St John of Shanghai, calls us to do.