Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Suicide of a Civilization

Пусть кто-то от Общей-Европы,
А я – от Всея Руси!

Нина Карташева, Порфира и Виссон

There may be some from a Common Europe,
But I am from All Rus!

Nina Kartasheva, the contemporary Russian poetess

Some speak of the contemporary crisis in Western countries as ‘the death of a culture’. It is worse than this; it is the suicide of a civilization. I have personally lived through the last 50 years in England and seen this tragedy with my own eyes and the eyes of my parents, grandparents and whole family, lived it and deeply felt it. My grandparents’ generation, born in Victorian times and dying between the 1960s and 1980s, was able to tell me of the first phase of the suicide in the First European and then World War; my parents’ generation, born just after that War and dying over the last 25 years, was able to tell me of the second phase of the suicide in the Second European and then World War. Both those wars were phases of the suicide, the killing not of a mere culture, but of the Christian roots of that culture, that is, of Western civilization.

However, the third and final phase of the suicide, which made it ‘successful’, has come in the last 50 years, without a World War, but with a spiritual war, resulting in the massive loss of Faith in the West since the 1960s. This began with the apostasy of Catholic and Protestant clergy, who publicly declared that they had lost their faith in the Holy Trinity, in the Divinity and Resurrection of Christ, in the Ever-Virgin, in the Saints and in the moral commandments of the Scriptures, which they saw as a mere literary work. And, worst of all, they justified this loss of Faith, replacing the Divine with the belief that fallen humanity should have the ‘sacred’ freedom to mutilate and destroy the image of God in itself and mutilate and destroy the world around it. Having destroyed the Fatherhood of God, they destroyed the Brotherhood of mankind. Having rejected Christian belief, which is at the root of Western civilization, they killed that civilization and so committed suicide.

What remains today of Western civilization is ‘sights’, monuments for tourists, museums, a ‘heritage industry’; what was vibrant and living has gone from this huge cemetery of Western civilization, which the curious flock to see from all over the world as a historical theme park. With the Christian faith that underpinned that civilization gone, the centre has gone and two tendencies have come to dominate Western countries in the last two generations. These are tasteless vulgarity and boorishness, with the suicidal obesity and mutilating tattoos that go with them, or else the love of money and mammonism, with the futile vanity and snobbish pride that go with them. These two tendencies can be seen everywhere in the Western world, from North America to Western Europe to Australia. Little wonder that a Christian world leader, perhaps the only one left, Vladimir Putin, has said that ‘the West has replaced God with Satan’.

Some point to contemporary Russia, the rejection of militant atheism there and the return to the Faith and ask: ‘Why could the same return to the Faith not happen in the West?’ It could not happen in the West, because in Russia there was vicious persecution of the Faith by an alien ideology, whereas in the West there has been no persecution, only voluntary self-liquidation by a home-grown ideology. An attempt to kill a civilization, as happened under the foreign ideology of militant atheism, imported from Switzerland (Lenin) and the USA (Trotsky) and financed from overseas, is not at all the same thing as a voluntary suicide. Suicide was sooner or later inevitable in the West, as the seeds of destruction were all along contained in the compromised Halfodoxy of the Catholic/Protestant mindset. This long ago began adapting and reducing the original Orthodoxy of the first Christianity to a mere humanistic ideology, centred first in Rome and then in a multitude of places all over the Western world.

As Orthodox in the West, it has always been our task to go in the opposite direction to the contemporary West and its chosen path of spiritual catastrophe. Instead of rejecting the roots of Western civilization in the original Christian Faith, preached and lived by the first martyrs and saints of the Western Lands in the first millennium, it has been our task to be radical, to call the West back to those roots. In other words, it has been our task to call for the restoration of Orthodoxy, the return in repentance to Orthodoxy, to the original Christian Faith at the roots of the West in the first millennium, which is identical in spirit to the Orthodoxy of Holy Rus. It has been our task to try and save what is valid in Western civilization, the precious fragments and vestiges which have survived in the remoter parts of the West and which relate to its Christian roots. This is a struggle against all the odds, a struggle for the Orthodox Faith against the prince of this world.

Unlike in the West, whenever there have been temptations to renounce the Faith in Russia, there have always come outsiders to call back to repentance. No matter whether it was the Tartars and the Teutonic Knights, the Poles and the Lithuanians, Napoleon and Hitler, or now the American elite and their European puppets in their futile attempt to take over the Ukraine. This latter attempt has only served to strengthen the peoples of Rus against the temptations of the corrupt, Western-sponsored oligarchs and the other contemporary Westernisers. The peoples of Rus have not lost the fear of God – unlike in the West, where they are even preparing to legalize incest, the marriage of father and daughter, mother and son, to die in self-inflicted deformity, sterility, dementia and euthanasia. In the West the old paganism has been reborn as the new paganism, as all the old demons come back from hell.

The difference between the peoples of Rus and the West is that no-one in Rus justifies atheist apostasy, whereas the West not only does justify it, but also aggressively tries to foist it onto the rest of the world, denying any other civilization the right to exist. We are reminded of the words of the philosopher: ‘He whom God wishes to destroy, He first makes mad’. Only this can explain the insanity and self-destruction of the contemporary Western world. As for us, we shall continue regardless, in faithfulness to the Church of All Rus and the commandments of the saints and martyrs new and old. It may be that the present Western apostasy, which is now proceeding at breakneck speed, can be halted for a time. But it may be that we shall come to be persecuted by the atheist Western authorities, which will first stop us from baptizing. Then the prophecy of St Seraphim of Vyritsa will come true and ships of people will sail to St Petersburg to be baptized. And then we shall either face martyrdom in the West or refuge in Russia. In any case we shall be ready, for we have no illusions.

Freedom for England?

Whatever the result, the forthcoming Scottish referendum is proof of the forthcoming dissolution of the United Kingdom. Sooner or later the centralized London/Westminster British State is doomed to fail. Invented in 1707 through the bribery by London of unprincipled Scottish opportunists and careerists, the Union with Scotland (in fact the colonization of Scotland by London) cannot last and may even end in a few days’ time. Once it has ended, Northern Ireland will eventually at last be united with the rest of the island of Ireland and Wales too will throw off the colonial yoke.

Little wonder that the Westminster Establishment, shaken out of its complacency by recent polls, is now in panic and making its usual empty promises to the Scottish people. However, the real question for us is whether all of this will lead to the death of the British Establishment and at last to the freedom of England. Ever since 1066 the obsessive idea of Empire has haunted London. First England went under, then Wales, then Ireland, then Scotland. The medieval Anglo-Norman Kings were also intent on subjugating France, naturally, since they were more French than English.

However, the real and ruthless imperialism came under the Germanic Georgian usurpers and the Victorians, who were obsessed with a worldwide Britannia, an obsession which dragged us into two World Wars. Now in the 21st century it is time to give up imperial pretensions and return the lands of the Isles to their rightful status, an island archipelago off the shores of North-Western Europe, forming four independent countries, united by friendship and not political intrigue and bribery. Only freedom from the alien British Establishment and its Norman elite can bring long-awaited freedom to England.

Some Frank Thoughts about the Jurisdictional Situation in the Isles of Britain and Ireland

Introduction: Division

Seven of the fourteen universally recognized Local Orthodox Churches have diasporas, that is, jurisdictions outside their homelands. However, four of those seven Local Churches, the Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian and, for the most part, the Romanian Patriarchates, are mononational, catering only for one ethnicity. Of the remaining three groups, that is, the Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch and Moscow, the Patriarchate of Moscow is separated into two parts, one dependent on Moscow, the other based outside Russia and autonomous.

This separation is because we have to await the full implementation of the 2007 agreement between the two parts of the Russian Church and so, locally, the merging of the parishes of the Sourozh Diocese, still dependent on the Church inside Russia, into ROCOR (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia). Each of these four above groups of three Local Churches, Constantinople, Antioch and the two Russian groups, has its own strengths and weaknesses. In chronological order of their ethnic presence in Great Britain and Ireland, they are:


Firstly, there is the Thyateira Diocese, part of the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople, formed after the Russian Revolution. This is largely made up of post-War Greek Cypriot immigrants and their descendants. Representing Cypriot national clubs (even mainland Greeks and Cretans can find acceptance difficult), their parishes commonly tell English people who try to join them ‘to go away’ (and sometimes less politely than that). Without any missionary concept, they now face a generational crisis, as the original immigrants die out and their descendants, understanding hardly any Greek, have drifted away from the Church entirely.

This jurisdiction also includes some western Ukrainians, formerly of Polish nationality, very nationalistic and until relatively recently uncanonical, who are now also dying out. And it also includes some 250 mainly elderly, Establishment ex-Anglicans, rather naïve and Russophobic admirers of the late Metr Antony (Bloom) with his peculiar and unique variety of Orthodoxy. The great problem of the foreign-named Thyateira Diocese is that it faces extinction as its parishes literally die out. Those who immigrated in the 1950s and 1960s have now reached old age and it has to face up to its failure to keep its young people – the same mistake which the Russian dioceses also had to face up to thirty to forty years ago.


Secondly, there is the Diocese of the Isles (of Britain and Ireland) of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), also formed after the Russian Revolution. Although in the 1930s it had its own Bishop of London, it is now very small, though at least solid after the recent crisis, which dated back to the 1970s. At that time elements in its headquarters administration in New York accepted money from the CIA and political motives began to divide it from the persecuted Russian Church inside Russia. Politically and nationalistically motivated Russians, many of them in the USA working for the CIA, together with sectarian Greeks and conservative, Protestant-minded converts (in England converts of a sectarian Anglo-Catholic background), began to dominate it.

Traditional Russian Orthodox spiritual values, represented by Metropolitans Antony and Anastasy, the Jordanville Monastery, St John of Shanghai, Fr Seraphim (Rose) and the whole older generation of clergy and laity, were thus somewhat overshadowed by politics. The crisis came to a head in the two decades between 1986 and 2007, with the victory of traditional spiritual values and consequent unity with the by then free Church inside Russia and their common and uniting veneration of the New Martyrs and Confessors. Today, the great problem of this well-named local diocese of ROCOR is its lack of a resident bishop, which means that growth is painfully slow and the diocese numbers only about 2,000.


Unlike ROCOR, the Russian Orthodox Sourozh Diocese, formed in the 1950s and dependent on the Church Inside Russia, has a resident Russian bishop. However, it suffers from a severe lack of clergy, with many of the few clergy left elderly or untrained, and from a crisis of a lack of property. These two difficulties are both the sad legacy of the late Metr Antony (Bloom), who instead of building up a diocese, which he refused to do, built up a highly divisive personality. Belonging in ethos not to the Russian Church but to the liberal Paris School, his diocese, mainly unvisited by him, largely never knew the Russian Church Tradition at all.

However, since 2006, under new management, Sourozh has begun to return to the practices of ROCOR and the identical practices of the Church Inside Russia. Thus, icons of the New Martyrs and the Royal Martyrs have at last appeared in its Cathedral and elsewhere and its bookshops now sell the once banned books by Fr Seraphim (Rose). The great problem of the foreign-named Sourozh Diocese is its inability to turn outwards to the world around it, thus providing a real (and not fictitious) infrastructure of real, staffed parishes for local Russians and for English people. Its weak infrastructure, the legacy of the visionless past, is a real problem.


The fourth, smallest and most recently-formed group, under the Patriarchate of Antioch and still awaiting the appointment of a diocesan bishop, is often dismissed by outsiders as a club for retired Anglican vicars and their small flocks, with no consciousness of the real Orthodox Tradition. Its members, so it is said by its critics, have confused joining the Orthodox Church (through its Arab branch) with actually becoming Orthodox. Its Anglican ethos and practices has brought some to call it ‘Angliochian’. Certainly it is highly clericalized, one wonders if Non-Anglican vicars will ever be ordained for it and it is not attractive to Non-Anglicans, who feel out of place in it.

However, beyond such criticisms, fair or not, this group is probably the most vibrant of these four dioceses. And, in fairness, it must be said that its founding members did in 1995 ask to join both the dioceses of Sourozh and Thyateira. Through no fault of their own, they were refused, as the bishops of both dioceses were highly compromised by ecumenical accords with the Church of England and their own divisive attitudes. Sadly, they did not think to ask to join the uncompromised ROCOR. This was partly because, with an Establishment Anglican mentality, the Anglicans in question rejected the Orthodox calendar and the other disciplines of traditional Orthodoxy as practised by ROCOR, and partly because ROCOR, tragically without a local resident bishop, was also still dealing with its own inner crisis, which was not fully resolved until 2007.

Conclusion: Unity?

As we can see from the above, opportunities for unity have been lost in the past, although at least the two Russian dioceses are now spiritually united. It is especially tragic that the Antiochian diocese had to be formed because of the ecumenical compromises of the Russian and Greek bishops. It is even more tragic that the only local figure who could have united everyone, the now elderly Metr Kallistos (Ware), has for thirty years been trapped as a titular bishop in the Thyateira Diocese, unable to act as a diocesan bishop.

Had he overcome his Establishment concerns and joined either Russian diocese in his youth, or the Antiochian group in 1995, he would most certainly be their respected diocesan bishop today. Lacking him and a traditional Orthodox monastery to supply unity, it seems therefore that unity can only now come as a result of the vast changes in the wider Orthodox world since the fall of Communism inside Russia and the restoration of Holy Rus as a world power and therefore as a centre for worldwide Orthodox unity, as it was before 1917.