From Recent Correspondence (March-April 2015)
On the Destiny of the Church Outside Russia
Q: What was the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) supposed to do in the eighty-five years between its formation in the early 1920s and the reconciliation with the Church inside Russia in 2007?
A: Our first calling was to obey the Gospel by beginning the preaching of Orthodoxy worldwide before the end (Matt 24, 14), which we were providentially enabled to start by virtue of being scattered throughout the world. In other words, it was our calling to bring the serious (and not superficial hobbyists) into the Church, to contact all those who realize that the Church is higher than the spiritual impurity of any national establishment and local culture.
Our preaching was called to be the preaching of Orthodoxy without either of the compromises caused by spiritual impurity, that is, to be real Orthodox Christians free of both provincial and inward-looking Russian nationalism on the one hand, and of the modernist, Protestant-style illusions of disincarnate modernism on the other hand. This preaching was to lay the foundations of the preaching of the Gospel in the Orthodox context so that then, once the Church inside Russia was free and we were strengthened and reinforced from Russia, we could accomplish this great task together.
Our second calling was to canonize the New Martyrs and Confessors. This was the only way of conquering atheism inside Russia and so working for the restoration of the Tsar, the Orthodox Monarchy, the protector of all Orthodox peoples and all who know that beyond the veil of this secular world there is a world to come, the world of spiritual reality, the real world. Atheism inside Russia could not be conquered by military means. Both the White Movement after 1917 and the Vlasov Movement of the Second World War failed precisely because they tried to use military means to conquer atheism. You can only fight evil spirits with spiritual weapons, as the Apostle Paul wrote: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Ephesians 6, 12).
This need for spiritual weapons is why it took until 1981 for the Church Outside Russia to canonize the New Martyrs and Confessors. It should have happened much earlier but, very sadly, political and nationalistic elements in ROCOR resisted. The True White Movement, which is the essence of the whole Russian Orthodox Church, is a spiritual movement, not a political movement and those political elements had to be overcome before their canonization was possible. I personally knew many parishioners in various ROCOR churches, not least in the London parish, who were opposed to the canonization. To the scandal of the faithful, they thought in secular and nationalistic categories and held back our part of the Russian Church from accomplishing her mission and so fulfilling her destiny.
Q: What is the calling of ROCOR today?
A: As soon as Russia was freed, we were called on to ally ourselves with Her as closely as possible, thus strengthening both parts of the Church. The earthly remains of Russian Orthodox heroes like Ivan Ilyin had already been returned to the Centre, we too were to return, although spiritually we had always been there. In order to return, we had to avoid the various nationalistic and political traps that had been set us by the world. It is sad that some political, that is secular-minded, elements fell into them. The destiny of the whole Russian Diaspora and her missions was to return to the liberated Centre, in order to stand together with her in solidarity. The alternative was to fall into a hopeless provincialism and parochialism, which is exactly what befell the marginal fringes who broke away from the Church in the Diaspora for various ghetto-like sects, whether renovationist and modernist on the left (Paris, North America) or old calendarist and nationalist (ROCOR dissidents) on the right.
Q: You say ‘as soon as Russia was freed’. So why did ROCOR not reunite as soon as 1992, after the fall of the atheist government there?
A: There were naïve, patriotic, nostalgic and very emotional individuals in ROCOR, often very elderly, who did reunite or wanted to do so immediately. I do not judge them. But since 1972 I had known the leaders of the old ‘Moscow Patriarchate’, as it was called, from inside and I knew how corrupt it was, especially in the Diaspora. The fall of atheist government was one thing, the spread of a Non-Soviet and fully Orthodox mentality to the top of the Church took time.
For example, there was no possibility of unity with it in England until the self-cleansing of 2006 when at long last Moscow appointed an Orthodox and not a renovationist bishop, the present Archbishop Elisey. It was one thing not to have an atheist government after 75 years, but it was another for the old Soviet-style reflexes to change and see the practical consequences of freedom in the Church hierarchy, with the deaths of the old school of Soviet appointees who did incalculable harm to the Church, rejecting the faithful and self-sacrificing and persecuting the zealous and God-loving.
There were so many appalling scandals from that time. ROCOR could never unite with such spiritual impurity which was working against the Church. Our hearts are still deeply wounded by what we went through at that time and we feel so sorry for those who died without repentance. Indeed, the real Orthodox inside the old Soviet-style Patriarchate, like Archbishop Anatoly in England, actually told us to have nothing to do with the Patriarchate until it was inwardly free. I can remember him saying that in 2003. And inward freedom only came to it in May 2006. It then took us in ROCOR one year to get ourselves ready for the inevitable.
Q: What about those elements in the Church inside Russia who are themselves still today modernist or otherwise sectarian?
A: There are a few rather absurd and very old-fashioned individuals on the fringes of the Church inside Russia, leftist dissident leftovers from the recent Soviet past, like Fr George Kochetkov (whom the modernists wanted to serve at the Patriarchal Cathedral in London), the hippyish and disgraced Deacon Andrei Kuraev or naïve admirers of the heretic Fr Sergiy Bulgakov and modernists and dreamers of the schools of Schmemann, Bloom and other strange émigré cults, or others who are simplistic, rightist Old Ritualist-type sectarians, but they are all irrelevant to the mainstream. In a Church of 164 million, you will inevitably find a few marginal types. In Russia they have no authority or role whatsoever and people generally mock them.
A few eccentric individuals hardly prevent us from our great task of resurrecting Christian Imperial Russia, which we are all engaged in together, inside and outside Russia, in total unity of purpose. Everywhere in Russia you will find icons of the Royal Family – that is key. we work very closely with all who venerate them because they are Churched Orthodox. If Christian Imperial Russia is resurrected, then the whole Orthodox world will be resurrected, and so we can protect all who have values and understand that the ultimate destiny of all humanity is in the life to come and not in primitive Darwinism and pagan Secularism. It is foolish to spend much time dwelling on such marginal individuals; we must not waste our time looking at eccentric, individual and irrelevant trees who are so easy to resist, we must speak with and move forward with the great and irresistible forest, ever onwards to what God is calling us to do. We are people of destiny.
Q: At the 2006 Diaspora Council in San Francisco at least one voice spoke with concern about the present Patriarch who was then a Metropolitan. Was that a reasonable concern?
A: Thee greatest miracle of God is that He changes people. Look at the apostles, Peter lied, the disciples fled from the Cross, Paul persecuted the Church. But they all repented – except for Judas who despaired and hanged himself. Repentance is always possible – only pharisees, like those who criticized Christ’s visit to Zacchaeus, do not understand that. I think that the Soviet-born Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad who twenty years ago opposed reconciliation with the Church Outside Russia was one person, our Patriarch Kyrill is another. And make no mistake, he is OUR Patriarch. He has been transfigured by the grace and international responsibility of becoming Patriarch and is now able to represent all Russian Orthodox all around the world, as no-one else. I have only met him twice, but I am convinced of this. He understands us and has a profound sense of the role of the restoration of Holy Rus, of the global mission of the Russian Orthodox Church and Her Tradition. This is a miracle.
Q: Can you explain in the simplest of terms and without mentioning the word filioque the difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy?
A: Catholicism came into existence some 1,000 years ago, theologically and then immediately structurally. Although it preserved the Revelation of the Old Testament, that there is only One God, and the Revelation of the New Testament, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God become man, it failed to preserve the Revelation of the Church, that Christ is with us and we are with Him by the Holy Spirit. This happened when at the defining moment of its foundation Catholicism replaced the Holy Spirit with the Pope of Rome. In this way Catholicism replaced the authority of the Church, which is holiness, whose source is the Holy Spirit, with a mere man. Here is the difference between Catholicism, which is essentially a Trinitarian heresy, and the Church: The Pope or the Holy Spirit. As St Seraphim of Sarov, whose resurrection we now await, said: ‘The goal of Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit’. It is not to obey a man who lives in Rome.
Q: Do Catholicism and Protestantism have sacraments?
A: There are no sacraments outside the Church, however, there are sacramental forms. These have been preserved as a heritage, as vestiges from the past. In other words, outside the Church there are wine-glasses (however deformed and defective they may be) but they contain no wine. Thus, Catholicism has seven sacramental forms and classical Protestantism (the sort that baptizes by water in the Name of the Holy Trinity) has one – baptism. Thus, in receiving people from what I call ‘Frankish religion’ (Catholicism/Protestantism) into Christianity, the Church does not absolutely need to repeat the sacramental form (though She can if She considers it better to do so in the specific circumstances). What is vital is to communicate the wine, not the wine-glass. For example, Uniats have a wine-glass which is almost identical in form to the Orthodox wine-glass, but it still contains no wine.
Q: Are you saying then that Catholics and Protestants have no grace at all? That seems harsh.
A: No, I am not saying that at all. That is old calendarist ‘light-switch’ black and white ideology – one moment you have grace, the next you do not. The truth is much more subtle.
According to Orthodox Christian theology, the Holy Spirit can come to us in two different ways. Firstly, He comes to us through the Body of Christ, the Church. This only works if we are real Orthodox, that is, practising members of the Church, living limbs (and not withered or nominal branches) of the Body of Christ. If we are outside the Church, we can receive no grace in this way. Secondly, however, the Holy Spirit can come to us directly. This is what happened to the prophets of the Old Testament, who were also outside the Church, and this is also what happens to those outside the Church who receive the calling of God to join the Church, whether they were first-century Jews and Greeks, third-century Latins, sixth-century English, tenth-century Kievans, nineteenth-century Alaskans, Chinese and Japanese, or twenty-first century Western European Catholics and Protestants.
Q: Speaking on the subject of married priests, a French Catholic bishop recently said that the life of Orthodox priests is ‘infernal’ because they have to combine family life and parish life, and therefore he is against married priests. What would you say?
A: The life of an Orthodox priest is certainly difficult. But who said that it would be easy to get into Paradise? I find it amazing that a Catholic bishop would think that it is easy to get into Paradise! This is the same spirit that asks why we Orthodox stand at services, whereas they sit down in comfort. They have no concept of the ascetic. As for Catholic priests – and I know many of them in various European countries – many (usually the best ones) have a mistress and children, many others – and I have met them – are homosexuals and pedophiles. Recently I was speaking to a Polish taxi-driver in Colchester. He comes from Krakow, which is the Polish Canterbury. He told me that he had made his living there ferrying priests, monks and seminarians to brothels. When I was in Portugal 20 years ago, I visited the Portuguese Canterbury, a city called Braga. Local people called it the city of the two Ps – priests and prostitutes. Now that is what I call infernal. What infernal hypocrisy on the part of that Catholic bishop…Has he met the pedophile former Catholic Bishop of Glasgow?
Q: How would you describe the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion?
A: Anglicanism is a Gothic shell, the shell of Catholicism, a kind of Protestant Uniatism, preserving an outward semblance, even a ritual imitation of a sort of Catholicism, but devoid of even Catholic content. The Church of England is State-founded and State-run, founded by a mass murderer and destroyer of monastic life, an English Lenin, who like him also died of syphilis. The Head of the real Church is no such murderous blasphemer, but Christ the Son of God.
Q: Do you think that the Church of England will one day have a female Archbishop of Canterbury?
A: It would be thoroughly logical. Since any secular institution can be headed by a man or a woman, why should the Church of England be any different? As a matter of fact it was a woman, Elizabeth I, who composed the doctrines of the Church of England and it is a woman, Elizabeth II, who heads it at present. Only misogynists can be against female heads of secular organizations.
Q: Do you think the Church of England will eventually introduce homosexual marriage?
A: It is highly likely. It always takes orders from the British Establishment, whether on its doctrines, the EU, fox-hunting or buggery, which is so widespread in that public-school Establishment. The Church of England has always followed the government of the day, ignoring the truism that the American writer Mark Twain expressed: ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it’.
Q: Can those of what you call ‘Frankish religion’ help us in combating secularism, abortion, euthanasia etc?
A: Individually definitely, but sadly the institutions that such virtuous individuals belong to are actually part of the problem, not part of the solution. More and more of them are realizing this. For instance, I was talking to a group of anti-abortion Catholics last year and I saw that they were horrified by their own episcopate, whom they completely distrusted.
Q: Are any of the Orthodox jurisdictions in England close to the Church of England?
A: Virtually all the 300 or so English members of the Antiochian jurisdiction in this country are former clergy and laypeople of the Establishment Church of England. Many seem to be profoundly Anglican, using the Anglican calendar, church-buildings and vestments, so I am not sure why they made the change. They seem to be dedicated to converting other Establishment Anglicans to themselves, ordaining men within days of their reception into the Church in order to do so. This policy of Anglicans only seems very narrow to me, as it repels the vast majority. This is not the way of the Church – our mission is to the people, to the masses, to the whole country, to the 99% of people in England who have never had any real link with the Church of England.
Thus, I know of one ex-Anglican Antiochian priest who has banned the use of any language other than English in his chapel and sends away Romanians telling them that he has no time for them, yet spends hours with prospective Anglican converts, whom he receives very quickly and then very soon lapse. He rejects reality. The clergy are here to serve the people of God, not ourselves, not our personal fantasies. This is just Anglican clericalism. Another wealthy ex-Anglican (in another jurisdiction, it must be said) told me that he liked ‘small churches’ with select groups of English people only and did not want any ‘foreigners’ in his church. This is typical of Establishment racism, regardless of jurisdiction.
Q: But surely the mere existence of the Antiochian jurisdiction in the UK is because of Greek and Russian racism? The Anglicans in question asked to join both the Greek and Russian Churches first and were refused on racial grounds, so the Anglicans got into the Orthodox house ‘by the back window’, that is, through a special arrangement with Antioch.
A: I absolutely agree that the then Soviet-enslaved Moscow Patriarchate and the Church of Constantinople refused them, the latter because of racism and both because they were not politically free to receive them because of their ecumenist compromises. However, the Anglicans in question made one huge mistake on account of their Establishment mentality – they came with their own agenda and list of demands. In this way they refused the Cross, that is, they refused to ask to join ROCOR, the free Russian Church which had and has no ecumenist compromises. We would have received all sincere Anglicans happily, only we would have made sure that they became Orthodox first and would have trained their future clergy how to celebrate etc.
It is no good joining the Orthodox Church without first becoming Orthodox. Otherwise it is just the religion of the Establishment, Anglicanism, or Anglo-Catholicism, with icons. All Churched Orthodox reject that; we know in our guts that it is wrong. What has happened since their refusal to come to ROCOR is that the ex-Anglicans in question have become marginal, finding themselves on an isolated wing of the Church, outside the Orthodox mainstream. So much has been wasted in this way. Similarly Establishment Anglicans who joined the Church of Constantinople have had to undergo Hellenization, having to take on hyper-Greek names like Kallistos, Pankratios, Aristovoulos, Panteleimon etc., whereas the Greek clergy themselves anglicize their names and are called John, Gregory, Peter, Paul etc!
On the Contemporary Western World and the End of the World
Q: What would you say of the present spiritual state of Western Europe in general?
A: Western European countries are increasingly and paradoxically typified by Secularism on the one hand and Islamism on the other hand. For example, the name Mohammed in its various spellings last year became the most common boy’s name in London and there is a wave of mosque-building throughout Western Europe. However, at the same time the secularists who control Western governments and media are completely indifferent to the tens of thousands of Christian victims of Islamist fanaticism throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa and the tens of thousands of Christian victims of the Nazi junta in Kiev. Why? Because those being killed ‘are not Charlie’, in other words, not anti-Christian secularists like themselves. And who will say at the end of time: ‘Je suis Charlie’? It is Antichrist.
So in the West we have the perfect combination of Secularism and Islamism.
Q: Are there not aspects of Islam that we can appreciate?
A: Moderate or Traditional Islam, as opposed to Islamism, condemns violence and keeps certain universal practices like other traditional religions. Thus, Muslim women dress modestly, for instance, wearing a head covering, a universal practice except in the post-1914 secular West.
Q: More and more Western countries allow euthanasia. What do you think of this?
A: In his short story ‘The Veiled Lodger’, written over 100 years ago, a secular writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said: ‘If there is not some compensation hereafter, then the world is a cruel jest…The example of patient suffering is in itself the most precious of all lessons to an impatient world’. In other words, euthanasia, like any other form of suicide, is the result of an ideology that does not believe in the immortality of the soul and in life after death. All belief rejects euthanasia, but where there is no belief, there is suicide. In this sense euthanasia is symbolic of today’s Western world as a whole – as a suicidal world.
Q: What do you think of the experiment with the Large Hadron Collider on the French and Swiss borders? Some people say that it could lead to a catastrophe.
A: I am not a scientist and am simply not qualified to have an opinion and say whether it will lead to a catastrophe or whether it is perfectly safe. However, since it a vast and vastly expensive experiment concerning the nature of matter, I think we can say that it does represent the Western obsession with the material world as opposed to the spiritual world. In general, I am suspicious of such large experiments and operations. As someone said centuries ago: ‘The chief proof of man’s greatness lies in his perception of his smallness’. And as has been said more recently, ‘Small is Beautiful’. In other words, this is all a question of humility. But I am not able to say any more than that.
Q: How should we vote in the forthcoming elections in the UK?
A: Pray and then vote according to your conscience, voting for whomever you consider to be the lesser evil.
Q: Is there a change you would like to see in Great Britain?
A: I would like to see the concept of ‘Britain’ rejected once and for all. It would mean freedom for all of us from tyrannical ‘Britain’ and its Norman Establishment. As a dream, I would like to see four independent but friendly and co-operating nations, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Their representatives would gather in a round building, a ‘Council of the Isles’, on a high point on the Isle of Man, from where alone the four countries in question are all visible.
Q: Where is the Western world going?
A: The USA controls the Western countries through their elites which have been installed by US PR companies as feudal vassals. All that the Western elites do is in imitation of the USA, its clothes, its food, its television series, its media. Here are four recent statistics about the sex and violence of the USA, which God-fearing Americans know and for which they detest the White House:
85% of the world’s pornography comes from the USA.
Every day 24 former GIs who served in Iraq and Afghanistan commit suicide.
In March 2015 the American police killed twice as many people than the British police have killed since 1900.
In a recent global poll representatives from all the countries of the world, except for the USA, UK and France, declared that Public Enemy No 1 is the USA.
Should not such statistics make us think? It seems to me that either the Western world, especially the USA, is on the point of some great disaster, a hurricane, a tornado, a volcano, an earthquake, a tidal wave, or else it is on the point of repentance, of realizing its foolishness and turning back. It can go either way, but it cannot continue with impunity as now. It is not possible. Our actions always have consequences. It is called responsibility.
Q: Is Antichrist coming soon?
A: Nobody knows if he has even been born, let alone if he is coming to power. However there are clear signs that his coming is being PREPARED. Notably, there are these four signs: worldwide sodomy imposed by Washington and willingly promoted by the Western European elite; the genocide and expulsion of all Christians from of the Middle East; the war between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims, actively encouraged and financed by Zionism; the invasion of the western marches of Rus by the forces of Satan and their occupation of Kiev, the Mother of Russian Cities.
As yet, however, the Temple has not been rebuilt on Zion and, in general, we should not despair and certainly not fall into fatalism. I think that the coming of Antichrist has been delayed many times in history, not least last year, when the Ukrainian people rose up and fought the Satanic forces that the White House has put into power in Kiev. Despite the American threat of nuclear war, Russia did not rise to the bait and sweep away the junta within a fortnight, as it could have. That would have led to the end of the world with nuclear war started by the Nazi neocons in Washington and their paid allies: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Condoleeza Rice, Tony Blair, Carl Bildt and all those other satanists who have spoken directly of destroying the Church of God. As long as we fight and resist Satan, Antichrist cannot come. It all depends on us.
Q: ‘It all depends on us’. But what can we do?
A: At present we are resisting and fighting. There is no time to lose. Together all Orthodox who have an understanding of Orthodoxy have to work together. The visit of the new Greek Prime Minister to President Putin is a great sign of hope. President Putin gave the Greek leader, who says he is an atheist but in fact is just spiritually inexperienced, an icon which had been stolen by the Nazis from Greece. This was highly symbolic. The soul of Greece has indeed been stolen by the West. Now is the time of restoration. This is a personal message to the young Greek leader, but also a message to the whole Greek people. Restore your soul and give up on Nazism, both the old form and the new neocon form of the US/EU.
It is the same in Romania and Bulgaria. Satan is now trying to steal the souls of the Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova, Georgia – everywhere the same processes. Even in Western Europe there are those of us who are also fighting – for the liberation of the Western Lands from the West, for the ‘de-Europeanization of Europe’ and the restoration of Orthodoxy here too. Together, as conscious Orthodox, as the Army of Christ, we can conquer the Satanic spirit of Mammon and its sinister and idolatrous forces.
When asked how Russia could defeat the far superior American armed forces (each year the USA spends eleven times more on arms than Russia), over twenty years ago now the great and newly-revealed St Paisios the Athonite replied: ‘The Russians will win because the angels will help them’. We see such huge solidarity between all the conscious Orthodox peoples, from Damascus to Nicosia, from Belgrade to Kiev, from Bucharest to Sofia, from Athens to Moscow.
The time will come when Constantinople will be freed. And make no mistake Constantinople will not be freed so much from the Turks as from the Americans. But first there will be a Tsar in Russia for all Orthodox and he will call a real and free Council of all the Orthodox, not a diplomatic nicety. And that Council will not waste time talking about the US-imposed secularist agenda of human rights, racial discrimination and gender equality, it will thunder out the truths of the Church, about the Nation and the Family, which the Western world has deliberately forgotten in the cold and dark tomb, where Satan has buried its soul.
And then there will be a new generation of bishops in Constantinople, not appointees of the US State Department, but taken from the monks of Mt Athos, who, never forget it, are in the jurisdiction of Constantinople and who so eagerly support and pray for the Risen Russia. The old decadence will be gone and those pseudo-bishops who parrot the politically correct doctrines taught them by the Zionist CIA, visit synagogues and change the services will be gone. Great difficulties, but also great days, lie ahead for us all. The time will come, as St John of Shanghai prophesied, when you will hear ‘Christ is Risen’ shouted all through the Orthodox world, with an intensity and faith and conviction and unity that you have never heard before.
On Easter Night, after the Gospels at the Liturgy, I heard an insistent voice in my head speaking in Russian. It said: ‘Budet Tsar v Rossii’ – ‘There will be a Tsar in Russia’. Do not ask me how or when or who. That was the voice. I wonder if others heard the same voice?
Christ is Risen!