Monthly Archives: August 2015

Can You Help?

We believe that the time has come to create a website for all Russian Orthodox Churches in Western Europe. We already have an address in mind.

Such a website should be done by country in alphabetical order, with an entry with information for each church and some information about it. It should be in the local language and in Russian. It would cover: Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Wales. (There are at present no Russian Orthodox churches in Gibraltar, Liechtenstein, Monaco and San Marino).

Each church could indicate whether it is ROC or ROCOR and its diocese. A common directory would further our unity. Initially this could be done by cut and past, but could gradually be expanded, with reports and photos from each parish and monastery. We have no time to do such a job, but perhaps you have. Do you know someone who could help? If so, please contact me.

Which Church do I belong to?

My Patriarch is Mordovian.

My Metropolitan is Canadian.

My Archbishop is German.

I am English.

My Deacon is Romanian.

His wife is Latvian.

Last Saturday’s baptisms were of a Lithuanian and a Frenchman.

After the Liturgy last Sunday I spoke in particular to seven parishioners: An Italian, a Norwegian, a Turk, a Bulgarian, a Slovak, a Ukrainian and a Cretan.

Today I baptized a Moldovan.

Clearly, I belong to the Russian Orthodox Church.

Towards Palmyra

From Recent Correspondence – August 2015

On Current Events

Q: At present there is great concern about financial events in China. What do they mean?

A: I cannot say, I am not an economist, but it seems to me that there are two things to be said which are no doubt apparent to many. First of all, it is significant that because of stock exchange turmoil in China, the Western world is panicking. This marks a turning point, for it shows that the Chinese economy is now the most important in the world. This was unthinkable even five years ago, let alone twenty-five years ago. Secondly, and as a result of this, I think there is behind this crisis some artificial manipulation to stop China becoming even more important and to protect the US dollar as a reserve currency and so as a global control mechanism. For the powers that be, China must not be allowed to become independent of their global control. This speculation is artificial. I cannot help wondering if the recent massive and deadly explosion in the Chinese city of Tianjin is also connected. Could that have been sabotage? I don’t know.

Q: What is happening in the Ukraine now?

A: It is very difficult to know what is happening there. There are many rumours. I would not pretend to understand, since reports are so mixed and chaotic. I would much rather quote what a well-informed person has said about the reason for the crisis and civil war in the Ukraine – and also in China. Thus, in an interview with ‘The Saker’, Paul Craig Roberts has explained this and also the general hatred towards Russia among the governing elite in Washington:

‘While the US was focused on its Mid-East wars, Putin restored Russia and blocked Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. The “first objective” of the neocon doctrine was breached. Russia had to be brought into line. That is the origin of Washington’s attack on Russia. The dependent and captive US and European media simply repeats “the Russian Threat” to the public, which is insouciant and otherwise uninformed.

The offense of Russian culture is also there – Christian morals, respect for law and humanity, diplomacy in place of coercion, traditional social mores – but these are in the background. Russia is hated because Russia (and China) is a check on Washington’s unilateral uni-power’.

I think that it is clear from the Ukraine, not to mention the Middle East, that although Washington is not insane in its single-minded and ruthless logically thirst for world power, it is morally insane. We already saw the beginnings of this moral insanity after World War II, first in the Korean War and then in the Vietnam War, but since the fall of the Soviet Union it has become blatant. Who can forget the first Gulf War, an artificial provocation, in which thousands of US troops were affected by ‘Gulf War syndrome’, poisoned by their own side.

On White Russia

Q: Does the White Russian Movement today have any meaning almost one hundred years after it began?

A: The words ‘The White Russian Movement’ are meaningless! It is rather like the phrase ‘The Catholic Church’. You can find Catholics of all sorts, many very far from Orthodoxy and some very close to Orthodoxy and a great many inbetween.

So, in the same way, firstly, you must define ‘The White Movement’. The White Movement was very varied. Sadly, only about 10% of those who fled for their lives from the Soviet Union continued to live in the Church and supported the Tsar. The majority were not interested in Church life and indeed had not been when still in Russia. They were simply anti-Bolshevik for political reasons. That is not the same as Orthodox. This was clearly pointed out by St John of Shanghai in his report to the Second All-Diaspora Council of 1938. Such ‘White Russians’ were soon assimilated into Western society, as they had no interest in Russian Orthodoxy, the source of their identity. An English example of this is the notorious secularist and former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, whose grandmother was ‘White Russian’, but there are many others.

Yet other so-called ‘White Russians’ went into schism, leaving the Russian Church altogether and joining the Patriarchate of Constantinople. These modernist aristocrats and intellectuals of the Paris schism supported renovationism, both the primitive, pseudo-Protestant sort and the sophisticated, pseudo-spiritual sort, which was inspired by perennialists like Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon with their Hindu and Muslim concepts. The first group was and is purely secularist, but the second group was and is equally secularist – through its spiritual impurity which flattered and flatters the immense, narcissistic vanity of such intellectuals.

Therefore, if we wish to speak of the true White Movement today, then we can only mean today’s Church Outside Russia, ROCOR. However, since the Church inside Russia has been free, those who are Churched there share identical views with us. So true ‘White Russians’ are all who follow the Church and support ‘the White Tsar’, regardless of whether we live inside Russia or outside.

Q: What do you mean by ‘those who are Churched there’?

A: The Church inside Russia is huge and you can meet all sorts of individual viewpoints, shared by those who are at various stages of being Churched, who have not yet moved on to ‘Churchliness’ (tserkovnost), the understanding of the Church and Church life, who belong to the mainstream. For example, inside Russia there are small numbers known as ‘kochetkovtsy’, who are modernistic and ecumenistic, but at the other extreme, there are those who are called ‘Orthodox Stalinists’ i.e. nationalists who imagine Stalin to have been a supporter of the Church! There are extremes of all sorts on the fringes of Church life. Then there are those who are corrupt, who exploit the Church to enrich themselves, a few clergy among them. Clearly, such small, unChurched groups do not belong to the mainstream of the Church. ROCOR has nothing to do with them, but with the mainstream inside Russia.

The Crisis in Europe

Q: What is to be made of the present migration crisis in Europe, as hundreds of thousands of refugees come here from the Middle East and North Africa?

A: How interesting that since the word ‘immigration’ has brought the Establishment into disrepute, they have changed the word to ‘migration’! It is the same in France. The elite has changed the vocabulary in the hope that the people are stupid enough not to understand what is happening. Newspeak!

I would say this of the tragedy, in which hundreds are dying, usually by drowning, every week.

Each of our actions has an inevitable consequence, there is always a price to pay. For example, why was the First World War fought over Belgium? Because Belgium had to pay for the genocide that it had allowed its King to carry out in the Belgian Congo, where he slaughtered between five and ten million people and maimed millions of others, according to even conservative estimates. And why did Hitler carry out his genocide of 50 million precisely in Europe? Because Europe had to pay for the racist genocides it had carried out in its colonies in the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Africa. What Hitler did to the Slavs, Jews and others in Europe, was no more than what Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal had already done outside Europe. As one cynical comment has it, if the Jews had been black, the USA would have been on Hitler’s side. The First and Second ‘World’ (= European) Wars simply brought Europe’s crimes back to Europe.

Today, irony of ironies, European secularization, the anti-Christian spirit responsible for Europe’s exploitation of its colonial empires, is leading directly to mass immigration, that is, European Islamization. Europe is to become ‘Eurabia’. Today Europe has to pay the price for inventing the crazy borders of countries like Libya, Syria and Iraq. It has to pay the price for invading, or supporting the invasion of, and creating the present chaos in Yugoslavia (from where the immigrants are entering the EU), Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and standing by and doing nothing during the massacres of Christians in those countries as well as in Syria, Nigeria, Eritrea and Turkey. This wave of immigration (‘migration’ as Western governments now camouflage it as) is the consequence of Europe’s meddling in other countries or else its fiddling while they burned.

Germany is paying an especially high price. Why? Because it brought Eastern Europe into the EU in order to exploit those countries and Germany played the main role in destroying Yugoslavia. These immigrants are not stopping in Macedonia or Serbia or Hungary or Slovakia (which says that it only accepts Christians), they are heading for Germany first.

A: So Europe is in crisis. What is to be done?

Q: Europe has been in crisis since 1914, more especially since 1918 when the members of the Russian Royal Family were slaughtered. Do not forget that the Russian Royal House was European. Tsar Nicholas II was Russian in spirit, in his soul, by racial origin he was almost entirely a Western European, as was the Tsarina. Tsar Nicholas was an immensely cultivated man, with two degrees, who spoke five languages, including his mother’s Danish. To kill the Russian Royal House was suicide for Europe, which is why the order for their slaughter came not from Russia or from Europe, but from New York. Until European nations realize this and assert their sovereignty, they will for ever be US colonies and vassals. Europe must repent.

Today, nearly 100 years after those events, Europe sits between secularism and Islamism. Therefore, the present struggle is for the very soul of Europe. I fear that Europe may disappear, that it is lost, too late, for there appears to be no repentance. The European struggle is between dark and light, between Europe’s spiritual identity and its spiritual nonentity, for its very survival. Can the peoples of Europe survive against the unprincipled venality of their elites, their Establishments? I am increasingly pessimistic.
The spiritually conscious in Europe seem to be sailing to Russia on the wreckage of the European Titanic, fleeing the Dead Sea of Sodom.

Q: Are you thinking of the British Establishment, when you speak of the ‘venality of their elites’?

A: We now know, as was long suspected, that the British Establishment, like the Ancient Roman, is corrupted by pedophilia, but the other Western Establishments are in general no better. I know the murderous French Establishment in particular.

Q: So, do the Churched members of the Russian Orthodox Church, what you would perhaps call ‘the true White Russia’, have a message for Europe in its present spiritual crisis?

A: The Russian Orthodox Mission to Europe is to save the best of Old Europe, that which is compatible with the Orthodox Faith and Church, compatible with Holy Rus. This means that our Mission is to Resurrect Holy Europe – the Saints of Europe. It is the Saints of Europe, the best of Old Europe, who speak to Holy Rus, for our ideals are the same.

The West fell into hedonism and hedonism has become bestiality; the West fell into the cult of comfort and comfort has become the end of culture, moral ruination. The two first Romes, Rome and Istanbul, cannot help here, because they are only relics, albeit very important and historic ones. They Have both been nationalized, one by the old pagan Roman mentality, the other by Hellenism. Only a New Rome with a strong State and Faith and multinational spirit can resist. Thus, our Mission is to give Europe the commandments of Holy Rus in order to save her.

Q: What are these commandments?

A: These commandments are to keep:

1. Orthodoxy, uncompromised as is in the best of Holy Rus, what we may call the true White Russia, regardless of whether it is inside Russia or outside Russia.

2. Sovereignty, the sovereign spiritual identity of each European people and tongue.

3. The People, respect for each people and culture of Europe by showing them that we do not live by bread alone.

If the West ignores these commandments and offers no spiritual resistance, its future is Palmyra.

Who is the Greatest Enemy of the English?

Who is the greatest enemy of the English? Could it be the Irish? Or perhaps the Germans? Or perhaps the Argentinians? Or perhaps the French? Or perhaps the Kenyans? We think none of these.

First of all, in order to answer such a question, we must ask ourselves what being English means, what the most fundamental English values are. We would suggest, and we believe that this is not a subjective answer and that a great many people, both English and Non-English, would agree with us: Freedom, Respect, Tolerance, Fair Play and Honesty. Now let us look at those who reject these values. If we can find out who rejects them, then we can find out who the greatest enemy of the English is.

Freedom

Which country, a great slaving nation but apparently ‘mother of the free’, has invaded nearly 90% of the world’s countries during its history, imposing itself on them in naked aggression, with only 22 out of the world’s 193 countries not on the receiving end of its warlike and exploitative imperialism? (Its State spies also monitored the freedom-loving George Orwell of ‘Big Brother’ fame for the last twenty years of his life).

Respect

Which country courted the Libyan leader, used torture chambers in Libya to torture its enemies, then bombed it, destroyed its infrastructure, watched as its leader was sadistically murdered and has now created a refugee crisis of millions, which has led to thousands of Libyans drowning in the Mediterranean Sea? (Moreover, it has repeatedly done the same thing in many, many other countries over the last ten generations and more).

Tolerance

Which country massively monitors the telephone calls and e-mails of its citizens and threatens them for their opinions, but denies that it does so?

Fair Play

Which country over 900 years ago massacred 5% of its population and continually maintains that this was a huge triumph, the beginning of its history?

Honesty

Which country continually lied to its people about its massacres of the peoples of dozens of other countries around the world in their name, opened the first concentration camps, and calls itself democratic, even though its governments are chosen by an often small minority of its people?

The answer to all these questions is Britain. The Norman-founded British Establishment, 6% of the population, established by invasion, massacre and occupation 949 years ago, champion of lies and hypocrisy, is the greatest enemy of the English people, 94% of the country, and of England, and has constantly betrayed us. Is it not time to start an English Liberation Movement (E.L.M.), its logo an elm tree, a symbol of our age-old roots in England and Englishness, and fight against the British occupation?

As Tsar Nicholas II’s younger sister, the Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, said in an interview fifty-five years ago: ‘My best friends and so many of my relations are British, and I am devoted to them and to much in the English way of life…But, of course, it has never been possible to discuss with my best friends the utterly vile politics of successive British Parliaments. So much of British policy is wholly contrary to their own tradition of fair play’ (2).

Notes:

1. www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/…/04/britain-invaded-countries.
2. The Last Grand Duchess by Ian Vorres, P. 240, 1964

Our Hope for a Russian Orthodox Church in Norwich (Update 5)

£55,000 Reached in Eight Weeks! Thank you!

The Update

On Wednesday 3 June we launched an internet appeal for £55,000 in order to set up our own church in Norwich. By Wednesday 29 July, eight weeks after the appeal launch, total gifts and pledges had reached £55,000. We are now waiting for legal documents to be exchanged. Once this has happened we can start building work to transform the building into an Orthodox church. With God’s help we hope to start services in November. At last a permanent home for Russian Orthodoxy in Norwich after over thirty years of struggles. Thank you!

All donations, when required in September, will be made to our charitable trust: East of England Orthodox Church (Registered Charity No 1081707). May God bless you for having considered the Russian Orthodox Community in Norwich in your almsgiving.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

20 August 2015

The History

On Friday 8 May, Fr Andrew saw a leasehold property for sale on the rightmove website for £50,000 at 134, Oak Street, Norwich. It measures 88 square metres externally and is at present used as offices and rooms for a cultural centre. It has electricity, heating and water and is in very good condition. It is so cheap because it is leasehold, in other words, you have to pay £100 rent per month for the ground it is built on. This amount is fixed until 2032. The lease itself is even longer – it lasts until 2047.

On Wednesday 13 May we organized a visit to these premises, attended by 9 local Russian Orthodox.

By Friday 15 May, Orthodox in Norwich had generously promised to donate £5,250.

On Monday 18 May Fr Andrew received Archbishop Mark’s blessing to buy the building if possible, meaning we could start obtaining pledges to donate.

On Thursday 21 May we heard from the surveyor that it would cost £3,000-£5,000 to knock down the internal walls and make good the floor and ceiling, so we could use this building as a church. This was lower than Fr Andrew had estimated.

On Wednesday 27 May we heard that our offer of £42,500 had been accepted. However, since conversion and furnishing costs will come to £12,500, this meant that we would need £55,000 in all.

On Friday 29 May we submitted the planning application for change of use from offices to a place of worship. This would take at least 6-8 weeks but should result in a positive answer.

Wednesday 3 June we launched a public internet appeal for the remaining funds, given that £5,250 had already been pledged.

The Continuing Crisis in Rue Daru

There is now great dissatisfaction in the Paris Exarchate (‘Rue Daru’) with its new archbishop. In blogs and comments, criticisms abound. Whatever the truth behind the sometimes serious accusations, one thing stands out. This is that Archbishop Job’s critics appear to have no concept of what a bishop (or a liturgist) is. Some of the behaviour criticized is that of almost any bishop of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and of other bishops in other Local Churches. We fail to be scandalized by this. A bishop who quotes the canons and is guided by them is a normal bishop. The impression of some of those who complain is of a group of people who have been living without the canons for a very long time. After all the liberals and modernists who are complaining are the very people who persecuted ordinary Orthodox for decades and chased them out of the Church. Now they are suffering in their turn and now they know what it feels like. There really is no-one as intolerant as a liberal.

The fact is that the Rue Daru jurisdiction always had weak bishops, who were appointed by exiled laypeople, at first by aristocrats, who had wanted the anti-Church Revolution and so power for themselves, and then by intellectuals. Whether it was Metr Eulogius, who was so indecisive that he kept changing jurisdictions, or the saintly but weak and openly mocked Metr Vladimir and Archbishop George (Tarasov), or the bishops born in Western Europe who followed them, the Paris Exarchate never had a bishop who stood up to its powerful laypeople, least of all Archbishop George (Wagner), who ordained several of those who are now in trouble. Now that the jurisdiction has an appointee of Patriarch Bartholomew, of course some in it are very dissatisfied. The problem is that when your Patriarch has appointed your bishop, who is a Phanariot loyalist, there is only one way you can avoid him and that is to leave his jurisdiction. Essentially, what is happening is that the jurisdiction is at last having to face reality after decades of fantasy.

After all, the Rue Daru jurisdiction has always been a ‘Protestant’ jurisdiction, both in the sense that its elite is composed of protestors (les ‘frondeurs’ et ‘soixante-huitards’, as Protopresbyter Alexis Knyazev used to call them) and also in the sense that it is composed of rationalists (like Protestants). This is clear from the code of camouflaged words, with which its elite defines itself. For example, they talk of their spirit of ‘renewal’ ( = in fact, pseudo-intellectual, renovationist modernism), their combination of ‘Orthodoxy with Western rationalism’ (= in fact, desacralization and spiritual decadence), their ‘creativity’ (= in fact, the condescending pride of those who imagine themselves to be the centre of the world, when it is in fact marginal French navel-gazing, ‘du nombrilisme hexagonal’) and of course ‘ecumenism’ (= in fact, apostasy from the Tradition). In many respects, it would make sense for the Roman Catholics to set up a Russian Uniat Exarchate in Paris which such individuals could join, as modern Catholic values differ little from rationalistic Protestant values.

It is said that Rue Daru is divided between those who want to remain ‘Russians’ and those who are ‘open’ and want to build a ‘Local Church’. What utter nonsense! All that was 30-40 years ago under Archbishop George (Wagner). This is now just self-justification for a gerontocratic ideology, which lives on notions removed from reality (sobornost, being, communion), and consistently avoids everything that is practically and concretely Orthodox. The daydream of ‘building a Local Church’, or rather, talking about building a Local Church, purely secular-liberal in its progressivism, is leading nowhere in Rue Daru. Elsewhere we are faithful to the Russian Tradition and also celebrate in the local languages and venerate the local saints. There is no either/or between faithfulness to the Russian Tradition and being a Local Church, it is both/and. The modernists play on the ambiguity of locality, appropriating arguments which require an Orthodox Church to be an Orthodox Church in a particular location. It then misuses those arguments to claim that therefore their own secularist foibles – which they have managed to enforce in that particular locality (Paris) – should be normative for the Orthodox Church there.

All of this illustrates the identity crisis of Rue Daru, a jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, supposedly of the Russian Tradition (though as someone said to me, the Russian Tradition never even stayed the night in most places in Rue Daru). Is it Greek or is it Russian? Before its former representative in England, Bp Basil (Osborne), was defrocked, he had the title of Bishops of ‘Amphipolis’. Various wags soon deformed this into Bishop of ‘Amphibious’ and Bishop of ‘Ambivalence’. Joking apart, there is here a serious question. Who do you think you are? The clergy that I knew and knew of in Rue Daru were all clergy who wanted Rue Daru to return to the Russian Orthodox Church as soon as the political obscenities in Russia were over. They have long been over. Archbishop George (Tarasov), Archbishop Sergiy (Konovalov), Bishop Alexander (Tian-Shansky), Bishop Methodius (Kulmann), Bishop Roman (Zolotov), Protopresbyter Alexis Knyazev, Archpriest Alexander Rehbinder, Archpriest Vsevolod Dunaev, Archpriest Igor Vernik, must all be turning in their graves at what is happening today. They would all long ago have returned to the Mother-Church, together with a mass of laypeople, who wanted none of this nonsense.

Apart from the hopelessly old-fashioned modernist ideology of its elite (an anachronism in a post-modernist world) Rue Daru has enormous financial problems. The Cathedral on Rue Daru needs two million euros, St Serge appears to be bankrupt and the pre-revolutionary church in Biarritz needs expensive repairs. It is difficult to see how such a group can maintain the pre-revolutionary churches in Florence and San Remo – also part of the Russian (not Greek) Orthodox heritage in Europe. Then there is the problem of finding priests to serve – more and more of them come from Eastern Europe and have no time for or understanding of the modernist ideology of the elite or its liturgical fantasies. Two people have said to me that one day Rue Daru will have more defrocked than frocked clergy. Here is the result of decades of easy ordinations of the untrained and uncanonical, showered with high awards – presumably for chasing out and persecuting faithful Orthodox. All this was carried out in order to build a jurisdictional empire. As a parting thought, perhaps if we do not get the bishop we need, then we get the bishop we deserve.

The Greek Tragedy

The Church unites East and West, looking both ways like the double-headed eagle. Therefore the Church finds itself in the middle, that is, on the Cross between the two thieves. The Church hangs between Eastern terrorism, with its crucifixions and beheadings of Christians in the Sudan, Libya and Syria which cause mass emigration, and Western terrorism, with its enslavement to usury (cloaked by the word ‘debt’) and the Western-sponsored destruction of stable governments, such as those in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yugoslavia. Which of the two thieves, who both railed against Christ at the beginning will repent? (Matt 27, 44, Mark 15, 32 and then Luke 23, 42-43). We do not know, but for the repentance of the Western thief, we can say this much:

Debt is usury and usury is enslavement, and enslavement is always a source of evil. Therefore, debt is always to be avoided as far as possible; at best it can only be a temporary necessary evil. Usury was and is forbidden by the Church. Catholicism, which for many centuries kept much of the heritage of the Church from the first millennium, forbade usury until the late 18th century. Thus, in France, usury in its modern, capitalistic form, was introduced with the atheists of the French Revolution. In Protestant England modern usury had was introduced in the seventeenth century under Cromwell, who was financed by Dutch Jews. In both cases, usury was connected with mass murder, with millions of dead.

Although usury has always existed and always been condemned, modern, approved usury, part of the system, is the product of Protestantism, especially of Calvinism. This is why Protestant countries are famous (or notorious) for their banking systems and their peoples are famous (or notorious) for being careful or ‘economical’ with money and savings, even encouraging small children to save in ‘money-boxes’. For example, we only have to think of Switzerland (Calvin’s homeland), the Netherlands, Scotland (homeland of John Knox, a disciple of Calvin), England, Scandinavia and colonies in North America and South Africa. England is, in the words of Adam Smith, ‘a nation of shopkeepers’ (like Mrs Thatcher), obsessed by consumerist shopping, and run by accountants. It is always very strange how on the news in England, you hear about bank rates, interest rates, exchange rates and stock exchange rates as if they were important. They are not news.

Modern Capitalism is Mammonism. The Son of God tells us that you cannot worship God and Mammon. For a long time, people in Protestant countries hypocritically said in self-delusion, ‘But we do not worship Mammon, only God’, relieving their guilty consciences by setting up charities and trusts. Now post-Protestantism, what is called ‘Consumerism’, is at least honest and not hypocritical. It says: ‘But we do not worship God, we only worship Mammon’. Thus, at least the pretences have stopped. And so we can clearly see that modern Capitalism is simply not Non-Christian, but anti-Christian. Christ or Antichrist? We had better decide whose side we are on.

As for once Orthodox countries, they have copied the Mammonism of the West. For the first time, this year, 2015, people in Russia have at last talked about Orthodox banking. But it may be too late. Too late, it would seem, for Greece. The Greek fault, and it is the fault of all Orthodox, was and is to accept usury-based Western banking and so debt. The Greek elite accepted loans from greedy Western bankers, so then they could buy greedy Western consumer goods. Now the Greek elite which took the money is in hiding together with the bankers who gave them the money. As for the Greek people, they are like children who were told that they had been given free toys. Only the toys turned out to be time-bombs which are now exploding.

Worse still, having committed apostasy by joining the EU, Greece is now having to face a tidal wave of immigration from countries which have been destroyed or destabilized by Western meddling, caused by that delusion of pride that the West has something to teach the rest of the world, that it ‘knows better’. Most of these immigrants are Muslims whose countries are in the grip of terrorists whose violence has been unleashed by money from Western allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Thus, Greece is caught between the terrorism of Western usury and the terrorism of Eastern chaos. However, this is not the Greek tragedy – this is only the consequences of the Greek tragedy. The Greek tragedy, like the Russian tragedy in and after 1917, is the abandonment of Orthodoxy. The price for that is now being paid.

Afterword: The Euro-Orthodox Alternative to an Orthodox Europe

Following the recent trilogy of articles on gathering together Russian Orthodox of all nationalities and languages in Western Europe into a Metropolia, the first of which was posted on 25 July and the last, the article ’The Path to Unity’, on 5 August, a member of the Paris Exarchate (Patriarchate of Constantinople) has written to reject this vision for an Orthodox Europe, or a ‘Russian Europe’ as he strangely calls it. Since he is not Russian Orthodox and, according to his very undiplomatic words, never will be, his rejection of something which does not concern him seems not relevant. However, if he is interested in one day seeing a Local Church of Europe, we must recall that the only Local Church which is proposing an Orthodox Metropolia in Europe, precisely the basis for a future Local Church of Europe, is the Russian Orthodox Church. In other words, the offer by Patriarch Alexis II over ten years ago is the only offer on the table.

The only purely theoretical alternative consists of a now very old-fashioned, autocephalist, that is, nationalist, ideology. This was once again put forward by the Greek Orthodox ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe in Western Europe’ at its Fifteenth Congress in Bordeaux in Spring 2015. With absolutely no offer of autocephaly (canonical independence) made at any point over the fifty years of its existence to this small, mainly French group by the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople (to which virtually all its members belong), doubts were long ago raised about its practicality. No autocephaly can ever be given to this small group because it is on a shared canonical territory.

No-one would want to repeat the error that the Soviet-epoch Patriarchate of Moscow made in the USA nearly fifty years ago, giving a canonically disputed autocephaly to a small and rather nationalistic American group, led by Parisian intellectuals, now called the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). One does have the impression of leaders blinded by their autocephalist ideology misleading sincere and idealistic but also blind converts, who have no concept of the practical problems and realities of the Local Orthodox Churches and Diasporas outside their own narrow, intellectual horizons.

A French TV film of their recent Congress shows members of the Paris-based Brotherhood singing in French at a meeting or service (it was unclear what it was) in a modern conference hall in Bordeaux. There were virtually no icons, no iconostasis, no candles and no-one at the meeting or service, standing in lines in front of rows of chairs, appeared to make the sign of the cross. The atmosphere presented was that of a ‘charismatic’ event, common to Catholic modernism (or Protestant modernism – it is the same thing). Present were two Greek bishops, one of them the controversial leader of the schismatic ‘Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church’, and a Catholic bishop. The impression was that many of those present were either Catholics or else ex-Catholics. The meeting was certainly highly ecumenical and also political.

The atmosphere of exaltation, of a lack of sobriety and prayer, and the absence of any Orthodox dress code indeed gave the impression of a political meeting, rather than of a Church service. Most of those shown in the film looked to be middle class people, mostly of the same older generation, aged between 60 and 75. Could this be because they joined the Fraternite in its heyday in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, after the French social revolt of 1968? Enclosed and isolated in the same intellectual ghetto for so many years, without exposure to the realities of the contemporary Diasporas of the Local Orthodox Churches in Europe or in their homelands, members have had no opportunity to evolve. In this way they have not adapted to reality and the generation which has grown up in the Orthodox Churches since the fall of Communism and the liberation of the Local Churches in former Communist countries. Could this be why ‘passeiste’ (living in the past) members still insist that ‘nothing has changed’ in Russia and Eastern Europe and still appear to be living in the Cold War?

Of course, a film can give a false impression. Unfortunately, it is exactly the same impression that was given to us by Fraternite members in the 70s and 80s and also that given to Orthodox from other Local Churches who have visited their Congresses in recent years. They have all said the same thing: that this is a divisive group driven not by spiritual concerns but by political concerns. Its spirit, different and alien to that in the vast majority of Orthodox monasteries and parish churches in Western Europe, gives the impression of a New Age cult or sect. There is a ‘pick and mix’ mentality, for example, you fast and confess only if you really want to, taking communion freely, as in modern Catholicism. It takes what it likes from the Russian Church and the Greek Church, but rejects the disciplines of both the Russian Church, both inside Russia and outside Russia, and of the Greek Church in Greece. (It should be noted that this group is quite outside the discipline of the diocesan jurisdictions of Greek bishops in Europe).

A great many contemporary Protestants will tell you that the empty moralism of their ahistorical and now dying denominations has been suicidal for them. A great many contemporary Catholics will tell you that they do not believe in the Pope and think that compulsory clerical celibacy is wrong. In other words they agree with us. And some look to the Orthodox Church for sustenance. The one thing that the Orthodox Church can offer those who live in the contemporary spiritual desert of the desacralized Western world, whether of Catholic or Protestant origin, is spiritual food. This is the food of faithfulness to the discipline of the Church Tradition that alone unlocks the door to the Holy Spirit, that alone gives spiritual beauty, spiritual nobility and spiritual elegance, the food that feeds the soul. This means not transmitting our little selves, but transmitting that which is far greater than ourselves, that which is both collective (cat-holic) and eternal. This is that which only the Church can give and provide the sense of the sacred, a sacralized faith that brings heaven down to earth and so makes the earthly spiritual.

The impression given, and not only by this film, is the opposite. What appears to be on offer here is a desacralized cult, worship made comfortable for the Western consumer, a castrated and rationalized piece of theatre that makes the spiritual earthly. Nowhere was there any mention of the glorious European heritage of the saints, those who had been earthly but became spiritual, neither of the ancient saints of Europe, like St Irinaeus of Lyon, St Hilary of Poitiers, St Martin of Tours, St John Cassian and others who combated heresies and died for the Faith, or of the new saints of Europe, like the Russian New Martyrs, St Nicholas of Zhicha, St Justin of Chelije and St Paisius the Athonite. This is the result of doing away with the ‘sanctoral’ and applying the other decrees of the Second Vatican Council to the Orthodox Church, as was the heartfelt desire of Fraternite lovers like Fr Elie Melia, the teacher of Pastoral Theology at the St Sergius Institute of Theology in Paris in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The overall impression of the Fraternite is of a disincarnate form of faith invented in the past, of a rather late and old-fashioned monogenerational offshoot of the ‘charismatic movement’ of the late twentieth century, unknown to the Orthodox Church. Theirs appears to be a phyletistic or nationalistic ideology, a Euro-Orthodoxy, that puts modern Europe first and Orthodoxy second, exactly the opposite to what the Russian Orthodox Church is proposing in its forward-looking vision of an ‘Orthodox Europe’. New Local Churches have always been built on strict adherence to the Church Tradition and had a heavily ascetic, monastic and episcopal foundation, for example among all the Slavs, the Alaskans and the Japanese. Unlike their examples, the intellectuals of the Fraternite, stuck in the 1960s, seem to be proposing building a Church on the basis of an ideology that is anti-ascetic, anti-monastic, anti-episcopal, anti-Tradition and therefore in effect anti-Orthodox. Needless to say, this cannot succeed.

The Path to Unity

The Path to Unity

Woe unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the Lord…And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Jeremiah 23, 1 and 3

The Path to Disunity

Since 1917 and the Western-organized fall of the Christian Empire, the Third Rome, the forces of this world have contrived to divide the Confederation of Local Churches which forms the Orthodox Church. This they have done in three stages.

Their first aim was to attack, paralyse, dupe and so divide those in the key Church, by far the biggest, the most multinational and missionary-minded and that on which the others largely depended, the Russian Orthodox Church. If extremists of any sort, whether modernists, nationalists or sectarians, could be brought to divide this Church, its territory being one sixth of the planet, then its influence there and all over the world could be destroyed. Thus, the forces of this world provoked Protestant-minded, renovationist modernists, both inside Russia (the Communist-sponsored Vvedensky and those with him, including the present neo-renovationists) and outside Russia (the Protestant-sponsored YMCA Paris Schism), nationalist groups (Ukrainians – Galician autocephalists and the present careerist Philaretists, Belarussians – autocephalists, misled Carpatho-Russian Americans – autocephalists) and tiny right-wing sects (Suzdalites, Agathangelites, Tikhonites (from Tikhon Paseka), Diomidites etc). It did not matter to them what ism they used in order to attack, paralyse, dupe and so divide, whether Marxist Communism, Hitlerite Fascism or liberal-consumerist Capitalism. More directly they also used other isms, Catholicism and Protestantism, sending in the 1920s Catholics (D’Herbigny) and in the 1990s more Uniats and US Protestant sectarians to try and divide the Russian Church.

Although the struggle continues, against all that the forces of this world planned, the Russian Church and so Orthodox Russia are gradually being restored. The forces of this world have largely failed and will fail, as long as the blood and seed of the New Martyrs and the tears and sweat of the Confessors who are rebuilding the Russian Church oppose them.

The forces of this world then set out on the second part of their campaign. This was to attack, paralyse, dupe and so divide those in the other, smaller Local Churches by introducing modernism and its symbol, the Catholic-Protestant calendar. They started in the weakest link in the chain, Turkish-occupied Constantinople, and began replacing its Patriarchs with Western puppets. This of course created schism. The forces of this world expanded their activities, interfering in the other four Greek Churches (the Church of Greece, its autocephalous offshoot in Greek Albania, the Church of Cyprus and the Patriarchate of Alexandria) as well as in the Latin Church (Romania, where they have yet again recently meddled in the appointment of a Patriarch), in the weakest of the Slav Churches (Bulgaria) and in the Arab Patriarchate of Antioch (where they have created a terrorist war), as well as trying to subjugate the Czechoslovak and Polish Churches. Everywhere they tried to introduce the Catholic-Protestant calendar and other modernist practices. Thus, altogether 20% of the Church was contaminated.

They have succeeded only in part and only temporarily.

The 20% contamination by modernism left the other 80% of the Church, in the Russian Lands, Serbia, Georgia and Jerusalem, all but uncontaminated. As they could not be allowed to remain intact, the forces of this world proceeded to the third and most recent part of their campaign. They have attacked the Serbian Church (dividing its territory, handing over some to Catholic control, some to Muslim control, some to Macedonian and Montenegrin nationalist schismatic control, and then trying to divide its episcopate), the Georgian Church (supporting a pro-modernist and anti-patriotic coup d’etat, calling it ‘regime change’ and trying to introduce consumerist sodomy), the Patriarchate of Jerusalem (where the previous Patriarch strangely languishes in prison and a schism has been established via the former US ambassador in Qatar, who allowed US premises to be used for services outside the canonical territory of Jerusalem on that of the Patriarchate of Antioch) and again in Russia (a coup d’etat by Western-backed Catholic nationalists from Galicia who have started massacring the Ukrainian Orthodox people. Everywhere they have also used the tiny, US-controlled Patriarchate of Constantinople to sow discord and division against the Russian Church, whether in Finland and Estonia (age-old territories of the Russian Church), using dissidents in the Russian emigration in France, North America and England, or more recently in Czechoslovakia (refusing to recognize its autocephaly and dividing its episcopate) and the Ukraine (where the Patriarchate’s US masters are tempting it to recognize politically-backed, uncanonical schismatics, as they have already done in Estonia)).

Here too, in this still continuing third part of their campaign, what the forces of this world have forgotten is that though they propose, God disposes. For only He lives in eternity and shows His loving and visionful Providence, whereas they live in their visionless spiral of infernal hatred, which they are trying to establish as an earthly kingdom.

The Path to Unity?

We do not know the future, how God will dispose. That is in His hands. But we can already see where the forces of this world may lose their way:

In Syria, as a result of the US-fomented war, contrary to what was proposed, the Patriarchate of Antioch has recognized who its friends are. Recognizing that it has no support from Constantinople, which is in the hands of the US-backed, anti-Syrian Turks, the Patriarchate of Antioch is now looking to the Russian Church.

In Africa, the Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa, once run as a colonial department of the Greek Foreign Ministry, is too poor to expand very much. It needs Russian help and such help would inevitably be anti-phyletist. In such a case the Patriarchate could be taken over, as would only be just, by native African bishops, just as the once-Greek colony of Antioch was taken over by native Arab bishops with anti-phyletist Russian help.

In another Greek colony, Jerusalem (as also in Constantinople), most of the faithful are now Russian. And in Jerusalem Russians support, as is only just, native Arab candidates as future bishops.

Many in the Churches of Greece (and so also in the Church of Greek Albania) and Cyprus (here the US-backed Turks were allowed to invade and occupy the island, which made anti-US feeling even stronger), their economies brought low and their peoples impoverished by joining the neo-feudal EU vassal of the US, are now looking to Russia for help.

The Church of Serbia still looks to Russia and adheres to the Orthodox calendar despite EU-backed political interference in its internal affairs and the now US-owned media.

The Churches of Romania and Bulgaria, in difficulty as the old generation of monastic elders has died out and members of the spiritually impoverished and so pro-Uniat middle generation, which grew up in the simoniac Communist period, has come to power, still have spiritual power in the monasteries and among many in the younger generation.

The Church of Georgia still has excellent relations with the Russian Church, despite US attempts to destroy them by encouraging the 2008 Georgian invasion of Russia-protected territory, where the US-run regime slaughtered 2,000 civilians in half an hour in an unprovoked and compassionless attack by its puppet government.

The Churches of Poland and Czechoslovakia are allied to Russia, the latter all the more so after recent US-backed Greek meddling there.

The Church of Constantinople looks ever weaker, as the rest of the world begins to recognize that it has since 1453, quite literally, been wearing the Emperor’s (new) clothes, that the real leader of the Orthodox world is the Russian Patriarch and that they have to talk to him if they want to talk about serious problems. More and more members of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and not only on Mt Athos, can see this themselves. The illusion of the absurd but vanity-consoling US interpretation of Canon 28 of Chalcedon is transparent to nearly all. Even some in the US are wondering whether it is worth spending more money that they do not have in Istanbul in order to maintain the vain illusion.

In the Diaspora, the Russian Church, recovering from paralysis, has begun to take responsibility and bring unity. And in the Ukraine itself, where the forces of this world thought they could destroy the Russian Church, their plans are backfiring. Most are now talking about the disintegration and dissolution of the purely artificial Ukrainian ‘State’, a conglomerate creation of four imperialist tyrannies, the Habsburg, the Leninist, the Stalinist and that of Washington. Its collapse is for many now just a question of time (according to some, months, though others reckon a few years). 84% of the Ukrainian people are now publically asking for their country to be run by President Putin – far better than continuing under the tyranny and poverty of the corrupt and unrepresentative Kiev puppet junta. This is completely reliant on US subsidies for survival, at great expense to the EU, whose members are suffering bitterly from its anti-Russian, or rather anti-European, sanctions.

Some 55% of the Ukraine, the east and the south, together with Transdnestria, may well return after nearly 95 years to Russia (some of it, the Crimea, already has done so by democratic referendum). 25% of it, centred around Kiev, may become once more the ancient Malorossiya, a southern variant of Belarus. The only part, some 15%, that is really Ukrainian and where the various dialects of Ukrainian are spoken, the largely Catholic Galician borderland, which is what the word ‘Ukraine’ means, may mostly return to Poland. It was from here that the Georgian tyrant Stalin tore it away in 1939, earning the undying and understandable hatred of its people. The two small remaining parts of the present Ukraine, some 5%, may return to Romania (the Orthodox calendar intact, so again helping the Romanian Church to return to the Tradition) and Hungary. And the part that may return to Hungary, that which the Kiev bureaucrats still call ‘Transcarpathia’, even though they are the only Transcarpathians, as they are the ones who live across the Carpathians, could become the kernel of a fifteenth Local Church, a Hungarian Orthodox Church.

Given the excellent relations between Hungary, which has a democratically-elected anti-EU government, and the Russian Federation, which supports all National Resistance and Sovereignist movements against the tyrannical EU, this could happen. Only a few years ago the Russian Church won its legal battle for control of the Budapest Orthodox Cathedral – all is set for a new Local Church to be born. Thus the 500 parishes of ‘Transcarpathians’, that is Carpatho-Russians (or Ruthenians = Latin for Russians), would be at the heart of another Local Church. For it is they who are at the heart of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, they who have contributed to the Polish Church, one of whose constituent peoples is the Lemkos (north-western Carpatho-Russians), and it is they who through their noble and illustrious son from Presov Rus, Metr Lavr (Skhkurla), contributed to Diaspora unity between the Russian Church and one of its constituent parts, the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). The vast majority in the latter had only been waiting for freedom at the Centre of the Church to be reconciled with Her.

Of course, nothing is certain; the above are all possible scenarios, only some of which may actually happen. Nevertheless, they are possible, whereas only a few decades ago, when we lived oppressed and isolated by all the forces of this world, they seemed impossible. The visionless who thought short-term, unlike St John of Shanghai and those like him, whose world-view they should have been trying to live by instead of studying philosophy, failed to see that the world would change. Today, we live in a different world from the past. Now a small minority of countries that have stopped being Christian huddle together in a bankrupt union of less than a billion, a union of Eurosodom and Gomorrhica. And the three largest Christian countries, Brazil, Russia and China, are bound together in a union with others, covering half the world’s population.

What the forces of this world were proposing only three or four decades ago, and which made those who had no faith in the Holy Spirit despair, today seems ever less probable. Then the Establishment-compromised, who had in their youth taken the easy, Establishment-approved path and refused to take up the Cross of the Russian Church, mocked us, denounced us and despised us. Now, older, they have only to take up the Cross and they too will walk. Unlike the Donatists and Neo-Donatists, we will welcome them back with open arms, as the loving Father did the Prodigal Son of old.

An Appeal for Faithfulness and for Unity

The Past

When eight years ago in Moscow a senior archpriest of the Moscow Diocese asked me to write the full story of Metr Antony, I answered him that, straight after a schism, it was not yet time, that people were not ready for it. I maintain that point of view today – only bit by bit can the story be told, only inasmuch as it serves the edifying and overriding goal of faithfulness and so unity. A bit more has been told this month at the instigation of a ‘Patriarchal’ priest of the Russian Church in the Diaspora, and only in order to point the way towards further unity. All revelations are for a good reason, not by chance, and are thought out beforehand. As for the rest, I have maintained silence on the whole story for 33 years – it can wait longer.

Thus, the article we published on 25 July regarding the past of English Orthodoxy and, most importantly, to provide a vision for the future unity of Russian Orthodoxy and all Orthodoxy in Europe has been like a stone thrown into a pond – it has created ripples, many for and some against. That shows that people are alive. It also shows just how divisive Metr Antony was, especially considering that the article was written most diplomatically, quoting Metr Kallistos. The conclusion must be: divisive personalities create division. Let us recall that the goal of the Church is to bring down the Holy Spirit on earth to produce saints, like St John of Shanghai, not to produce personalities.

Sadly, the truth hurts. And the article pained some, especially the naïve who are still in denial. But without growing pains, there can be no maturity. I have been there. As they say: ‘No pains, no gains’. And, in this case, although we would rather not talk of any of this, but keep it quiet just as everyone else keeps it quiet, this truth that hurts must be heard now. This is because to keep quiet now is to impede unity and the prize of unity is too great, for no Church or spiritual life can ever be built on myths and illusions, just as no Church or spiritual life can ever be built on schism and fragmentation. And schism and fragmentation were the case of the old Sourozh Diocese and the Paris Exarchate and, indeed, to a lesser extent, the case of both once divided parts of the Russian Church Diaspora.

Some have criticized details in the article. Two criticisms were quite right. These mentioned quite correctly that the Greek Metropolitan for Benelux is Metr Atheagoras (not Panteleimon, who was his predecessor) and that Maximos is not a Greek name. Thank you. As these were mistakes, like all the mistakes that I make, they were corrected at once. As a matter of historical fact, the Fr Maximos in question (he formerly had the fine Christian name of Michael) quit the Greek Orthodox priesthood after only two weeks. (Sadly, not a record; last year this was beaten by one recent convert, ordained without preparation, who stayed for only one day).

Another correspondent asked what was wrong with Greek vestments. He had missed the point; there is nothing wrong with Greek vestments – except when you claim to be following ‘the Russian Tradition’. Or do those words mean a consumerist, ‘pick and mix’ attitude to the Church? Another asked about Russian dress code in the spirit of, ‘But I know someone who…’, and also missed the point. I was talking about the context of general Christian dress code (which only the Russian Orthodox Tradition seems to have kept), not about the exceptions of loose sharivari trousers as worn by some peasant women in Serbia or African or Asian native dress. Orthodox dress code is universal and can be summed up by the words, ‘modesty without provocation’. Sadly, some in the name of an ideology alien to the Church, but not alien to secularism, like to provoke.

One asked me about my view of the ‘unusual and unique practices’ of Fr Sophrony (Sakharov). To which I simply answered that it is hardly for me to judge the spiritual value of such practices which take place in the Patriarchate of Constantinople. That is for the Church and Her hierarchs to judge. In this matter I am a mere observer who simply states facts and accepts the judgement of the whole Church, whatever that will be.

Another asked why we should have confession before every communion. Again he had missed the point. I was talking not about a pious convert monk who took communion every day and did not need confession every day (though his inexperienced and over-rigid convert confessor was demanding it!), but about the average Orthodox in the average parish who takes communion every two or three months and therefore needs confession before each communion. Even more so for the Greek who takes communion at every liturgy, but hotly denies even the existence of confession; since he has never heard of it and as he has never been asked to do it, it does not exist for him.

In this context, confession before communion is not some exotic Russian Orthodox tradition, it is the universal tradition of the Church – visit any Local Church and ask the faithful; everything else is mere decadence. There is only one Tradition, despite the vain attempts by Protestant-minded and Protestant-backed liberals to invent a new and alternative one and then reject the Tradition as ‘old-fashioned’ or ultra-conservative’, so moving the goal posts so that they can justify their conformity to secularism. Their technique of calling the Tradition ‘ultra-conservative’ was well-practised by the modernist Catholics and Protestants long before fringe Orthodox blindly copied it.

One said that the article was simply untrue; however, he was quite unable to reject a single point, as he is in denial of reality. All such articles are written from experience. You can deny that someone has experienced something if you wish, but it makes no difference to the fact that the experience has taken place. You are simply in denial, because you have some personal axe to grind. You are welcome to disagree with my interpretations of the facts, but to deny the facts is to deny reality and dwell in fantasy. Another who had been there at the time, squirmed and then reluctantly admitted that the whole article was true. The truest statement came from a third person who simply said: ‘We all know that this is the truth, it is just that no-one has dared say it out loud until now’. Such is the fear of the political correctness of the modern Jews.

One asked about naïve young Russian women in Russia who admire Metr Antony’s Russian (not English) writings, which Patriarch Alexis II expressly asked him to write in the 1990s. In my view, they are right to admire them, they are very well-written, ideal for beginners, just as beginners in Russia also admire the writings of C.S. Lewis. New to the Church, they need food for the mind and the highly talented Metr Antony gives this. That is why he was so popular with Anglicans, others outside the Church and those on the fringes of the Church. He wrote for them. From an atheist and secular background, he was well able to address the rationalistic doubts of people from that secular background. However, if such young women wish to be Churched, to enter the Arena, they will need to move on beyond introductions and rationalizing food for the mind and find writings with food for the soul. As for the tragic legacy of Metr Antony in England, which is what we were writing about, such young women, new to the Church, have no idea about it. We do, because we were subjected to the tragedy which wasted so much and drove so many away.

One correspondent asked about the need for a European Metropolia, and not a local English Orthodox Church. It is my polite suggestion that he should think about what I wrote of a ‘British Orthodox Church’. I wrote that we must avoid nationalism on the one hand and on the other hand admit that we are far too small to dream about a Local Church now. There may be at least 300,000 Orthodox in the UK, but fewer than 10% (30,000) practise and of that 10% it is doubtful if even 5% (1,500) are English people who practise. And most of the 30,000, including hundreds of the English people, have no desire for an English Orthodox Church; they are quite happy to belong to a Church that is based in another country. This is exactly what happened in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) – most Orthodox Americans of Non-Orthodox origin do not belong to it, thus making its claims strange.

In any case, who would provide the initiative for such a new Local Church? Not the Russian Church, for it has learned from its sad experience precisely with the OCA, whose canonicity is denied by most, as it received its contested Cold War autocephaly on a shared territory. What I was saying to this correspondent, and what I am saying here, is that now is the time for unity in a Metropolia, which could with time become autonomous and then, only with the consent of all, become a new Local Church. Now is not the time for narrow national division.

In a word, I am slightly disappointed, though not at all surprised, that some, perhaps a few on purpose, criticized the details of the trees, but forgot to look at the forest – which was, after all, the point. Above all I am disappointed that some seemed to pay less attention to the second part of the article, a vision of unity for the future, which to my mind is ten times more important than the first part. That simply lists the mistakes of the past and so explains how NOT to build unity and the future – on divisive personalities and divisive modernism. Perhaps some are not ready for the future. I am.

The Future

On what then can future Church unity be built? It can only be built on faithfulness to the Tradition. You cannot build unity on faithfulness to compromise, as I remarked thirty years ago to Archbishop George (Wagner) in Rue Daru, who could provide no answer to this truism, after he had just preached about the need for faithfulness, but never explained faithfulness to what. Why faithfulness? Because the Church that is faithful produces saints and, as we said above, this bringing down of the Holy Spirit to produce saints is the goal of the Church. A so-called Church that is against fasting, monasticism and asceticism, radically shortens and changes the services, destroys a prayerful atmosphere, conforms to the secularist spirit of the Western world, constantly berates Mt Athos, compromises on everything, and does not prepare the next generation of spiritual heroes, the saints and martyrs, as were produced by the Russian Church in the nineteenth century, is not a Church.

In a word, that is a Church that is unfaithful, it is disrespectful of the saints, does not produce saints, it produces only intellectuals who have no role to play in an organism where all the most important and so saving knowledge comes from the Holy Spirit, not from dry books of philosophy that only give you headaches. That is the Church of the philosophers, not the Church of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, of illiterate Galilean fishermen, of the Saints of God. Such an unfaithful Church is no longer a Church at all and instead of saints produces only apostates, heretics and schismatics. A glance at twentieth-century Church history confirms this in abundance.

As I said to a former Sourozh priest in Cambridge in 1982, one who had just denied to me the need for spiritual heroes or even their existence and had just launched a magazine about such a new ‘Church’, that Church is just another rationalistic, secular and anti-spiritual organization, for it has nothing to feed our souls with. The Church has one foot in heaven and one foot on earth; the modernists want to make a Church with two feet on earth. They can do so if they want, but it will no longer be a Church, just a Protestant-type social club.

We have in recent years turned a generational corner in the Diaspora. Some in the old generation still seems to think that there are two parts to the Church, those who celebrate the services in ‘foreign’ languages and those who do not. At the mere mention of the word ‘faithful’, they think of their departed parents’ or still earlier generations who culted ‘the old country’ and a ‘foreign’ language. This old generation with all its complex of identity is hopelessly old-fashioned and is dying out. Today, everybody in all jurisdictions in the Diaspora uses English or another appropriate local language.

Today there are still two parts to the Church, but their division has nothing to do with language; of today’s two parts, the vast and often silent majority are trying to be faithful, a small but very vocal minority are not. The latter is not trying to be faithful because it believes in being ‘modern’, in other words, because of psychological and sociological complexes it is trying to conform to the world. ‘Faithful’ no longer means old-fashioned ethnicism; only old calendarists believe because of their chronic insecurity that faithful means a mere aping and anti-creative parroting of the past with pharisaical, imitative, almost Anglo-Catholic ritualism. Faithful means following the practices and spirit of the Church in whatever language we need. Language is totally irrelevant to faithfulness, languages are only permutations of a variety of consonants and vowels, of God-given human speech, of the Word and Breath of God that distinguishes men from animals.

True, one Georgian Orthodox priest did once tell me that God only speaks Georgian. And, some years before that, the same Archbishop George (Wagner), a convert from Catholicism and with an amazing complex about his Berlin past, while railing against the ‘modern’ Romanian use of Romanian in services, told me quite seriously that God only understands Latin, Greek and Slavonic in the services. (Little wonder that the Peckstadt parish and family, like so very many others, left his jurisdiction in those years). However, they were and are wrong! Thank God that that generation, the ones who said quite literally, ‘we would rather see our church close than hear French (or English) here’ has gone. Today, there are still two parts to the Church – but they are divided not according to language, as some in the old generation still think, they are divided according to faithfulness and lack of faithfulness. Agree with me or not, as you like, but my combat has always been with those who want to destroy the faithfulness of the Church and to pray for their enlightenment.

Faithfulness is so important because we know that our Russian Church has produced tens of thousands of saints and so survived, whereas renovationism has produced not a single one – it has produced only apostates, heretics and schismatics, those who conformed to the world, collaborated with atheists and secularists and persecuted and persecute the faithful. So why is faithfulness so necessary in the Diaspora just now?

I believe that we are now at a unique time, a turning point in our Russian Church Diaspora history. In both North America (ROCOR/MP/OCA) and Western Europe (ROCOR/MP/Paris Exarchate) there are three groups of Russian Orthodox (or at least two which are Russian Orthodox and one which has Russian Orthodox origins). All three groups are now faced with the possibility of further unity – or disunity. And unity becomes possible precisely through faithfulness, whereas disunity becomes possible precisely through lack of faithfulness, as we saw with all those tiny sects which rejected the unity between the two parts of the Russian Church in 2007, or with the old calendarists and their 12/13/14/15/16? tiny synods.

Today, in North America, the former leader of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) is a member of ROCOR – a unity unthinkable in the bad old days of the Cold War. The OCA itself is now held by a steady hand, Metropolitan Tikhon, whose very name takes the group back to its historic origins with a Saint of the Russian Church. It may be that unity is at hand, that the modernist-minded and divisive extremes, which have for so long impeded OCA unity with the rest of the Russian Church in North America, will leave the OCA, just as the extremes of ROCOR and the Sourozh Diocese had to leave before their unity and that of both parts of the wider Russian Church could be achieved in 2007. Extremes, mainly Protestant-minded, ‘autocephalist’, fringe modernists, who could not accept united episcopal authority could join the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople or Antioch. This would leave the former OCA free to join a united Russian Orthodox Metropolia in North America.

Today, in Western Europe, the Paris Exarchate is now also held by a new hand, Archbishop Job, whose very name indicates the suffering that must be endured if this group is to return to unity. It may be that there too unity is at hand, that the modernist-minded and divisive extremes, which have for so long impeded Church unity with the rest of the Russian Church in Western Europe, will leave the Paris Exarchate, just as the extremes of ROCOR and the Sourozh Diocese had to leave before their unity and that of both parts of the wider Russian Church could be achieved in 2007. Extremes, mainly Protestant-minded, ‘autocephalist’ fringe modernists, who could not accept united episcopal authority could join the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople or Antioch. This would leave the former Paris Exarchate free to join a united Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe.

I have always refused to take part in anti-unity, anti-mainstream, fragmenting, fringe movements, whether of the Sourozh Diocese, seeing where it was heading in 1982, or of the Paris Exarchate, seeing where it was moving in 1988, when Archbishop George (Wagner) preferred to celebrate the thousandth anniversary of the Baptism of Rus with a Catholic cardinal rather than with the Russian Church, or of old calendarism which had infiltrated the local Diocese of ROCOR in 1974 and was still there in 1997, but is now gone. This is because anti-unity movements are by definition unfaithful.

You can agree with me for wanting faithfulness and so unity, or else throw stones at me for wanting faithfulness and so unity, as some indeed have done. That is your choice, though God is your Judge too. But I will not change the fight for faithfulness and so unity, that is, for true unity, the unity that is founded only on the truth and which comes only from faithfulness, not founded on myths, delusions and faithlessness. For it is no use papering over the cracks and indeed the chasms, as old-fashioned ecumenists, stuck in the 1960s, do, unity is always in truth, that is, in faithfulness. Ask St Photius the Great, St Gregory Palamas and St Mark of Ephesus.

Let me be even clearer. What I am saying is this:

When ‘The History of the Orthodox Church Diaspora, 1917-2027’, comes to be written, what will it read? Perhaps:

‘The history of the Orthodox Church Diaspora is a sad one. Apart from the one bright moment of intra-Russian unity in 2007, it is a history of disunity and bickering because of divisive personalities with divisive policies. This has continued to this day and there is little hope for the future. Starting from Pan-Orthodox Diaspora unity under the Russian Orthodox Church in 1917, which was destroyed by the tragic Russian Revolution, Pan-Orthodox unity in the Diaspora has still not been restored after 110 years, to this very day’.

Or will it read like this? Perhaps:

‘Starting from Pan-Orthodox Diaspora unity in 1917, today, 110 years after the tragic Russian Revolution which destroyed that unity, unity is once more within our grasp. This has been achieved by restored Russian Church unity, the firm foundation of which was laid in 2007 by the adherence of both parts of the Russian Church, inside Russia and outside Russia, to the Russian Orthodox Tradition by the blood of the New Martyrs and Confessors, as represented in the Diaspora by the universal spirit of St John of Shanghai. Then came the confirmation of that unity when two former fragments, the former Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and the remains of the Paris Exarchate, overcame their politically-inspired Russophobia, as well as their equally divisive American and French phyletism, and, having jettisoned that secularism, joined in with Russian Church unity.

Today, other national groups in the Diaspora, now again faithfully adhering to the unity-creating principle of the Tradition, rediscovered after generations of decadence and conformism to the practices and values of the Non-Orthodox world (in North America thanks greatly to the monasteries founded by Fr Ephraim), are uniting around this example of responsibility. For they are joining in the life of the Four multinational Metropolias, formed on the initiative of the Russian Orthodox Church, in Western Europe, North America, Latin America and Australasia. The formation of four new multinational Local Churches, following the impetus and examples of these Russian Metropolias, is now within sight. The cleansing of Church life from spiritual impurity, from heterodox-inspired secularism and historic injustice, is now leading to restoration and the return to canonicity’.

In other words, Diaspora unity, which is what we all want, cannot be built on divisive compromises, but only on faithfulness to the One Saint-making Tradition, our lifetime combat.

In other words, the ship is preparing to leave the port. We should make sure that we have tickets for it. Otherwise we shall find ourselves isolated and stranded on the dilapidated jetty of the desert island of dying heterodoxy – a lonely place to be at the best of times.