Monthly Archives: November 2015

The Russian Orthodox Church: Yesterday and Tomorrow

The Emperor and the Empress thought that they were dying for their homeland. But in fact they died for all mankind.

Pierre Gilliard, Swiss tutor to the Tsar’s children.

Foreword

Ten years ago, in 2005, debate raged in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) about our relations with the Church inside Russia. Was it at last free and so could we enter into canonical communion and work together, building the future? Such was the debate that a Pan-Diaspora Church Council was called in San Francisco in 2006 in order to answer the questions posed. At that time we had to counter some very false arguments which were advanced in favour of sectarian self-isolation, arguments that were shaped by the impurity of politics and psychology, and not by the purity of theology. Below are examples.

Yesterday

The human weakness of Metropolitan (later Patriarch) Sergius (+ 1944) and his followers, as revealed in compromises with the atheist persecutor Stalin, known as ‘sergianism’, was erected by some into a ‘theological’ heresy. In fact, it was just another form of erastianism, of placing the State above the Church, of which there had already been so many examples in other forms in the Old Testament and in 1900 years of Church history. There was nothing theological in this, for it was only human weakness on the part of one who had found himself under huge pressure from a militant atheist State. No-one is to judge him for his weakness, there is no place for phariseeism here, for God is the Judge of all.

Though there was nothing of a dogmatic or theological nature in such compromises, certain individuals, partly under the influence of North American political puritanism, even concluded that the present-day sacraments of the Church inside Russia had somehow mysteriously ‘lost grace’ on account of this compromise of three generations before. As a ROCOR priest, I first came across this astonishing piece of politics masquerading as theology in 1992 from someone who was under the influence of this North American error. In fact, of course, sergianism is not a heresy, whereas puritanism, with its inherent impurity of Novatianism, Donatism and Eustathianism, as seen in the light of the canons of the Council of Gangra of 340, most certainly is.

The political and diplomatic support which a few in the Church inside Russia sought from Roman Catholics and Protestants, and called ecumenism, was also condemned. However, it was a very curious idea that the opinions or actions of a handful of individuals could be held up as a sign that the whole of the Church inside Russia, 160,000,000 people, was therefore somehow tainted by the heresy of ecumenism! In reality, most of the faithful inside Russia had never heard of ecumenism and those who had were utterly opposed to it. This was all the stranger, in that by 2005 ecumenism had in any case come to mean something very different from in its political heyday between the 60s and 80s. Instead of concerning itself with politically-enforced syncretistic compromise, in fact heresy, it had turned to having good-neighbourly relations with heterodox, something that ROCOR, with the many mixed marriages among parishioners and regular need to use heterodox premises for services, had always cultivated.

The strangest argument heard at that time was that we could not associate ourselves with the Church inside Russia in any way because of the compromises of a few individuals in it. This was an appalling error, for it would have meant that we could not associate ourselves with the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors. True, we, in freedom, had canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors first, in 1981, 19 years before the Church inside Russia had been able to do so by freeing itself. However, many, including myself, had wondered why we in the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), living in freedom, had so scandalously not canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors long before, from the 1920s on. We felt shame for ourselves.

The sad reason for the delay had been because elements in ROCOR were themselves contaminated with politics. Indeed, I well remember how in 1981 certain parishioners at the ROCOR Cathedral in London, as also elsewhere, had actually been opposed to the canonization. And in any case, the ROCOR canonization had only ever been a first step, a beginning. As I wrote at the time: What has begun in New York must come to completion in Moscow. Moreover, for lack of trustworthy information we had canonized only some 8,000; the Church inside Russia, with greater access to archives, has canonized well over 30,000 and that number is increasing.

Others said that we in ROCOR could have nothing to do with a Church whose bishops belonged to the KGB. I would have agreed with this – if any had belonged to the KGB, such as, we suspect, the defrocked schismatic Filaret Denisenko, now the darling of the CIA. In fact, they did not. The senior bishops inside Russia merely had KGB code names – in the same way as Western secular leaders, whom we prayed for in our services as civil leaders, had KGB code-names. The Church inside Russia could just as well have said: ‘We will have nothing to do with ROCOR because you pray for individuals who have KGB code-names’. It would have been just as false an argument.

Some in ROCOR admitted that there were members of our Church, in good standing, who worked or had worked for the CIA and other Western spy services. They countered this by saying that there were members of the KGB in churches inside Russia. This was totally false: the only KGB members who attended churches there were those who went there to spy, to note down names of priests or young people and create problems for them.

Sectarian elements in ROCOR objected that if we entered into canonical communion with the Church inside Russia, we would then be in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church! I first heard this incredible argument, I think, in about 1999, when a ROCOR priest from London concelebrated with a priest of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This had raised an objection from a sectarian priest trained in North America. In the Western European Diocese of ROCOR, where I had been ordained and celebrated until 1997, such concelebrations were perfectly normal and happened regularly. As a ROCOR priest, I was amazed at this sectarian spirit, which I had hardly met before. The logic of this argument would be that we in ROCOR were no longer in communion with Mt Athos, which is in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Absolutely unthinkable! (Naturally, such sectarians later left ROCOR).

On a much more serious and practical level, there were those who pointed out that among representatives of the Church inside Russia in the Diaspora there were still corrupt and renovationist clergy at even the highest level, even though several had by then died out. This was a problem. Although these renovationists called us slanderers for telling the Truth and so shaming their false idols (as renovationists elsewhere still do), the problem was largely overcome in 2006, when most such clergy in England and France left the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia in a schism which they created; since then, two or three other such individuals have simply been removed, so they can no longer cause scandal and can at last learn the basics of the Faith.

Finally, there were those who said that we could not work together with the Church inside Russia because the situation in Russia was not as it had been before the Revolution. Soviet practices had infiltrated Russian society, alcoholism, abortion, corruption and divorce were rife, the mummy of the Russophobic murderer Lenin still lay on Red Square, and the squares and streets of Russia were littered with his statues or named after his henchmen. They demandingly demanded in fact that the post-Soviet Russian State (in charge of such matters) behave as though it were part of the Russian Church! In the face of this argument we pointed out that pre-Revolutionary Russia had not been ideal either (otherwise there would never have been a Revolution), we asked for compassion for a people deprived for three generations of a free Church, asked for patience and said that with time the Church will influence the State, since repentance, which we too are in need of, changes people.

Victory

The above arguments were rejected, with repentance for ever having entertained them, by well over 95% of ROCOR, dismissed as the arguments of schismatic impurity, of a tiny, sectarian, inward-looking and politicized minority, which had been trying to take over ROCOR, holding us back and impeding us from fulfilling our universal calling together with the rest of the Russian Orthodox Church, the great majority. As we know, in 2007 the vast majority of the hierarchy, clergy and people of our little ROCOR were happy to enter at last into canonical communion with the vast majority of the rest of the Church, of which we had always spiritually been a part. The separation, caused purely by political events exterior to the Church, was over. We were sure that the Church inside Russia had freed itself, as had already been made evident by the Jubilee Council of 2000. At long last, our inward unity could become outwardly apparent and, impediments removed, we could progress together towards our common destiny and ever more urgent mission.

Tomorrow

A generation after the fall of State atheism in the Russian Federation, we see in Russia today most interesting developments, promising for the future. After the awful period of ‘law of the jungle’ capitalism in the 1990s, with its rule of seven bankers, ‘Wild East’ bandit privatizations and the appearance of pro-Western criminal oligarchs and liberals, Russia has largely seen through that alternative to Communism that was offered it by the consumerist Western world, which we too, living in the Western world itself, had already seen through.

Thanks largely to the chaos and misery that the Western Powers have been causing in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, Syria and above all in the Ukraine, Russian society has seen through Eurosodom and Gomorrhica. If the CIA-installed Poroshenko junta, set up in Kiev, the Mother of Russian cities, wants the suicide of ‘European values’, it can have them. We will remain faithful to the values of St Vladimir and St Olga of Holy Kiev. Believing in Christ, Who trampled down death by death, we choose life. Believing in satan who tramples down life by death, they choose death. That is the difference between us.

Providentially, through the Western attacks on Holy Rus, Russian society has for the most part now come to understand that the West is not the solution. Russia must follow its own, historic, God-given way, the way that our saints and other lucid elements in ROCOR have always preached. As for Russia, it must heal itself and restore Holy Rus. Outside Russia, we can only pray and encourage, learning as we go, for our main task is to spread Orthodoxy outside the Russian Lands in faithfulness to Holy Rus. We are only humble disciples who follow the precepts of Holy Rus.

Interestingly, voices have been saying that Russian society today resembles 1917 Russia. However, unlike in 1917 the direction of today’s Russia is not 1918, but 1916. In other words, although the situation is delicate, Russia is not heading towards catastrophe as it was in 1917, but is heading back from it. Here is the difference. If, God willing, we continue on this God-given path, the Church of Russia will lead us to our destiny. What is this?

On account of the utter failure of imposed Western ideas there, we can say that Russia has seen the future and knows from bitter experience that it does not work. Today it is struggling its way back up from the pit, at the same time as the Western world, led by the United States, is hurtling headlong into it. Today, some of the more aware Western politicians and thinkers are going to Russia or following events in Russia in order to learn. Gerhard Schroeder, Nicolas Sarkozy, Phillippe de Villiers, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Franklin Graham and others all follow events in Russia closely or visit.

Russia’s mystical and historic role now is to act as an intermediary between East and West, between China and Western Europe. For the spiritual destiny of China is to enter the authentic Orthodox Christian world, becoming the Eastern provinces of Holy Rus, just as the spiritual destiny of Western Europe, with its roots in Orthodox Christianity, is to return to it, with the help of its ancient saints, by becoming the Western provinces of Holy Rus. True, the towering national pride of Europeans largely prevents this, for where there is no humility, there is no salvation. Indeed, Russia’s task is now not to save Europe from the USA, as some have put it, but to save Europe from itself. Just as Russia, and not the West, was to blame for choosing the Western ideology that created the Russian Revolution in February 1917, we do not blame others for the present misfortune that Europeans have chosen for themselves.

The key to universal salvation in these last times is atonement, in the restoration of Holy Rus and in Holy Rus becoming universal. Following the Holy Trinity, we are called on not only to be Guardians and Gatherers of Holy Rus, following the Father and the Son, but also Spreaders of Holy Rus, following the Holy Spirit. Those, in East and West, who want to work with the Russian Orthodox Church and so, by following the Tradition, build up new Local Churches are welcome to do so. If some do not wish to do so and set themselves against the prophetic and mystical Church Tradition in tired, old, secularist and humanist neo-renovationism, then God be with them. We shall do God’s Will without them. We force no-one to follow the Church; the Church sails ahead without those who reject Her.

In 1917 the last Christian Emperor, the Tsar, did not abdicate. In 1917 Russia and the whole world abdicated from him, from the Christian Emperor and Christian Empire, and so from Christ. Since then there has been no peace on earth so that we have all had to atone, each receiving our penance in order to learn humility. Inside Russia the people faced the penances of persecution and Nazi invasion, outside Russia those in the emigration faced the penances of exile and isolation. As for Europe, like today’s USA also, it has faced the penance of war and humiliating loss of power and greatness. As for the rest of the world, it has faced constant strife and war, ever since ‘he who restrains’ (2 Thess 2, 7) was in 1917 removed. All the suffering of the world since 1917 has been the opportunity of all to learn humility.

Our destiny, mystical and prophetical, is to preach Holy Rus, the message of the last Christian Emperor, to the whole world for repentance before the end. The time is coming when the world will at last be ready to hear of Holy Rus, of the universality of the Incarnate Christ, authentic Christianity, and not the two diluted isms shaped by Western heathenism, pagan Romanism and northern barbarianism, that is, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

Afterword

My great-grandfather was born in the same year as Nicholas II, the last Christian Emperor who was martyred in Ekaterinburg in 1918. One hundred years after the Emperor’s birth and fifty years after his martyrdom, I, born on the anniversary of the day when the remains of the Imperial family were finally destroyed, received the message from the east that I was to learn and then go and speak of Holy Rus, Christ Incarnate, to those whom I met. This is not only my personal destiny, but also that of many others, as described so well in the poem ‘The Apostles’, written in exile in 1928 by the bard of the Tsar, Sergey Bekhteev:

Amid the darkness of the slavish world
We bear the spirit’s torch in victory
And we call loud to those chosen by God
To enter the hall where the Orthodox feast.

We walk along a road of thorns,
We soar above worldly vanity,
We are the apostles of Christ’s Faith,
We are the heralds of holy truth.

We call the races and the peoples,
Made scarlet with their brothers’ blood,
To the kingdom of true, eternal freedom,
To the kingdom of goodness, light and love.

The hopes and prayers for the future turn to Ekaterinburg, to restoration and coronation.

World News and UK News

Western secular news in November has been dominated by two stories. Firstly, there has been the athletics doping scandal with the disclosure of the hangover of old Soviet doping practices in Russia, though the practices were not much different in the so-called ‘free’ world. The only real difference was that in the free world they were not State-motivated, but money-motivated, as in the case of the notorious US cyclist Lance Armstrong. Secondly, there has been the Halloween crash of a Russian airliner over Sinai. The Western media have been hoping desperately that it was a terrorist attack, so as to support their view that Russia should not be defending the Syrian people against the terrorism of ‘opposition rebels’. Russophobic cartoons on the subject in the anti-Christian Charlie Hebdo in France have underlined this. Some have even suggested that, since IS terrorism like all other terrorism in Syria appears to be Western-sponsored, perhaps some Western organization lies behind the possible placing of a bomb on board the Russian airliner.

However, beyond this froth, there have been real though unreported stories, like the huge political demonstrations in Romania and changes in Moldova (ignored by the Western media – who cares about Eastern Europe?) and the continuing little reported invasion of Europe by millions of migrants. Nobody in the German-run Western EU (unlike Viktor Orban in Hungary and other Eastern European leaders) wants to face the real problem, which is the need for the Western world to stop creating chaos in the Middle East, North Africa and the Ukraine and instead create peace, the pre-condition for prosperity. If that could be achieved, no Asians and Africans would even want to emigrate to Western Europe. Here, embarrassingly for US-enslaved Western leaders, the only country that is doing anything positive is Russia, notably in Syria.

In the UK, however, the main story has been the British Prime Minister’s attempt to renegotiate UK membership of the EU. This is, of course, absurdly arrogant. When you belong to a club of 28 members whose rules are unacceptable to you, you do not try to impose your will on the 27 other members, you leave. Clearly, this is all mere shadow-boxing, a piece of political theatre, done for the sake of public relations. However, behind this farce, there are real questions about the future direction of the countries that have for nearly 100 years made up the UK, whether they liked it or not.

Since the invasion of the bankrupt UK by 2,000,000 US troops in 1942-4, the UK has been considered as a giant and unsinkable US aircraft carrier situated off the coast of Europe. When the Washington circus threw a ball, the British circus dog always went and fetched. This was called ‘the special relationship’, though for whom it was special was never clear. However, since disastrously losing two US-sponsored wars, that in Afghanistan which cost the British taxpayer £35 billion and that in Iraq, which cost £8 billion, and together cost hundreds of British lives, even scarred British MPs, a good number of whom are notorious for their venality and lack of principle, have said ‘No’ to further US meddling. They refused to allow the bombing of government forces in Syria in favour of US-sponsored ‘moderate terrorists’ and are now selling out the bankrupt UK to China and India – the allies of Russia.

Much to the public dismay of Obama and his henchmen, on top of all this, the UK government last year allowed Scottish people to vote on ending the UK (which is inevitable, later if not sooner) and will soon allow the British people to vote on leaving the EU Fourth Reich. Democracy? Whatever next? Little wonder that the US has been looking to Germany as its main vassal in Europe. For it appears that now Germany wants to be humiliated by Washington.

Of course, it is by no means certain that the British people will choose freedom from the Fourth Reich in the coming EU referendum. The City, Big Business, the BBC and the rest of the brainwashing Establishment media are clearly programmed against freedom by the powers of Mammon. In a country where the Establishment’s main magazine mouthpiece is called ‘The Economist’, we could hardly expect issues of morality and principle to dominate any argument where money is concerned. However, some of us do put principles, such as national sovereignty and identity, above filthy lucre. What a remarkable thing it would be if ‘some of us’ turned out to be the majority……….

The Tragic Russian Civil War

‘So I shall not see how Russia will be saved’.

The last words of General Denikin said in 1947 in exile in the USA.
In 2006 his earthly remains were interred in Moscow.

Introduction

During the First World War the aristocratic Russian military elite, obsessed by old-fashioned fortresses and cavalry, which stood little chance against modern artillery and machine-guns, for the most part began the War by sacrificing their armies (much as the British, French, Austro-Hungarian and German aristocrat-generals). If they had been concerned for the ordinary soldier and his welfare, this could not have happened, for they would have followed sensible military tactics. Instead of blaming their own failings on a mainly illusory ‘shell shortage’, they would have overcome corruption, bureaucracy and inefficiency, training, preparing and equipping their soldiers properly. More generally, however, the War was lost because the continuity and development of the Tsar’s Russia was sabotaged by the selfish acceptance of alien ideologies by groups inside it. They could only think of their own interests and not the national interest. It was this that made the Revolution and then the Civil War inevitable.

The Civil War in the Russian Empire (1917-1921) is said to have caused 1.5 million deaths, including those of well over 200,000 who died in brutal mass executions. This figure does not include the many who also died of war-caused famine and pestilence, especially typhus, during and after this tragic period. A common myth, deliberately propagated by the old Soviet regime is that this was a war between two sides, the Reds and the Whites. This is untrue, for three sides were involved: the Greens, the Reds and the Whites, as well as small nationalist groups in outlying future republics. At various points any of the three sides looked as if they would be victorious. In reality the Reds defeated the Whites only because of help from the Greens, but then the Reds defeated the Greens, massacring their peasant representatives into the 1930s, long after the Civil War as such had officially ended. Who were these three ‘coloured’ groups?

The Greens

The Greens were the partisan populist army of the peasant masses, though among them there were political ideologues who called themselves Social Revolutionaries or Anarchists. Their interest was in owning land and their enemies were those driven by ideologies, Communist and Capitalist alike. Their slogans included: ‘Land and Freedom’. ‘Down with the Bolsheviks/Communists/ Commissars’. ‘Long live the free Soviets’ (councils). ‘Power to the People’. They resented the way that the Communist elite had taken over administrative councils or soviets, appointed top-down, and wanted freely elected soviets, democratically representative councils of the people, appointed from the grassroots. They rejected not only the injustices of the old bureaucrats and aristocrats, but also the injustices of the new Communist bureaucrats and aristocrats, the apparatchiks and commissars.

After the defeat of the Whites by the Reds in November 1920, next the Greens were defeated. By March 1921 the Civil War was officially over, although revolts continued in some outlying regions right up until 1928 and even after. The Greens had lost because of their divisions and anarchic lack of organization and national infrastructure. However, in reality the Green masses in their hearts never accepted the Communists and their sullen and terror-enforced acceptance of the new Bolshevik regime was punctuated by rebellions. These were ended only with the massacres of collectivization and the Stalinist purges, which themselves ended only with the second German invasion of the Russian Lands in 1941. Opposition went underground, it was suppressed, but it was still present and was only released when Soviet coercion and intimidation ceased in 1991.

The Reds

The Reds were anti-Tsar and therefore, as they were against this unique representative of the people, they were anti-people. And as they were anti-people, they were against the Church of the people and so anti-Church. Driven by the inhuman ideology of alien Communist policies, they committed the most bestial tortures and unspeakable massacres and martyrdoms. Most victims of the Civil War must be attributed to them. The Reds behaved as feudal lords, introducing a new serfdom. Terrorizing the population through violence, torture, denunciation and intimidation, they were never popular and their empire eventually collapsed in 1991, with little regret. They were inherently corrupt because they had no morality and their assumption of totalitarian control removed all initiative, causing the people to become irresponsible, demotivated and alcoholic (Why bother? The Party will do it and does not allow me to do anything anyway).

Nevertheless, the Reds won the Civil War. This was on account of their cunning organization and the ruthless efficiency of the elite Red Army that was their main weapon, allied with very effective propaganda. Their Red State was inherently a militaristic one which survived by force, a force which was highly privileged and produced a new ruling class, the nomenklatura. The Reds’ real failure was to become apparent only in the longer term, long after the Civil War, when the Communist ideology proved itself incapable of providing freedom, economic success and so gaining popular consent. This caused corruption and careerism, shortages and a black market, all of life being patterned by the ingrained dishonesty of socialism, which claimed to bring the ‘bright future’ of happiness, but instead brought the misery of oppression.

The Whites

On paper the Whites were those who wanted the return of the old regime. In reality, this was not the case, for there were two sorts of ‘Whites’. The fatal and fateful division between the real Whites, who wanted the restoration of the people’s Tsar and so justice, and the so-called ‘Whites’, who merely wanted the return of their own advantage with some form of Tsarless government, just as long as they could get their privileges and property back, was great. Indeed, this is why the Whites lost the Civil War; they had no uniting figure or belief, no clear social policy and policies on land and decentralization, which is why they were ill supported by the workers and peasant masses. Thus, the good elements in the White Movement, deprived of the Tsar, were often frustrated and totally compromised by the bad elements, self-seeking Duma masons and treasonous industrialists, aristocrats and generals, many of whom had rejected and slandered the Tsar long ago, broken their oath of allegiance to him, and had only self-interest at heart.

Examples included the ‘White’ General Kornilov, who had placed the Tsar and his family under arrest on behalf of the traitor Kerensky, the traitor-politician Shulgin, an anti-Semite who carried out acts of brutality in Kiev, or representatives of Admiral Kolchak, some of whom carried out the most brutal atrocities, for example in Omsk. Even some supporters of the very religious and moral White leader, General Denikin, carried out brutal acts of plunder and revenge, such as the killings in 1919 in Tambov. Such atrocities made some Whites seem no better than the Reds. Opinions vary regarding White leaders like Generals Yudenich and Wrangel, whereas real Whites like Generals Keller, Dieterichs and Nakhichevansky, who were murdered before they could obtain positions of authority, were admired. The Whites nearly won the Civil War in 1919, but they lost because some of them had rejected and broken their oath of allegiance to the Tsar, the only clear leader, and so had no united political platform and direction to meet the needs of the people.

The Tsar’s Non-Divisive Policies

Today, a generation after the fall of the Soviet Union and nearly a century after the events in question, the spiritual principles of the Tsar, whom not only the Reds, but a good many of the Whites betrayed, seem ever more relevant. In 1914 the Tsar had already wanted to restore Poland, once he had freed the parts of Poland occupied by Germany and Austria-Hungary, thus moving towards the inevitable decentralization and federalization that in fact would come only in the 1990s. Similarly, it was clear that he would also have given even greater home rule to Finland. As regards the land issue, it should be remembered that the vast majority of land already belonged to the people; however, Tsar Nicholas proposed to give every soldier 25 acres of land after the war, a proposition laughed at by treacherous aristocrats and bourgeois Duma politicians, who wanted power and land only for themselves. These called themselves White, but were not. The Tsar’s policies would thus have satisfied the Greens and undermined the key Green support for the Reds.

The Tsar’s ‘Green’ social policies from before the Revolution, many of them already far in advance of those in Western countries, would undoubtedly have developed further, unlike those of certain Capitalist-minded ‘Whites’, who in areas under their jurisdiction actually reversed them. As regards the future Tsar Alexei (born 1904), who, his haemophilia outgrown, could have lived until the 1970s or 1980s, as a child he had wished only for peace, prosperity and justice for the whole world. Who knows what reforms he, his son and his grandson, who would probably be on the Russian throne today, would have brought? The Tsar was a people’s Tsar, not an absolutist, in the Western model, and was betrayed by the selfish aristocracy. The one thing the Tsar refused to do was to kill his own people, which the Reds and some of the ‘Whites’ did. Had they all had the Tsar’s love for his people, instead of betraying him, and protected the people from Bolshevik ideologues and given them land and social protection, as did the best of the White Movement, they would have won the Civil War.

Conclusion

Had there been no Revolution, there would have been no Russian Civil War and Europe would have looked very different in 1918 from what it did. With Vienna and Berlin liberated in 1917 by victorious Russian armies, the First World War would have ended a year earlier and millions of lives would have been saved. Eastern and Central Europe would have resembled something like it does today, only it would have been a patchwork of sovereign nations, not nations controlled by the EU Reich, and nations with borders that reflect the ethnicity of their peoples. Nations like Turkey, Syria, Iraq, the Ukraine, Armenia and Serbia would look very different, and the borders of present-day Poland, Hungary and Slovakia would be different. As for Germany, the Tsar mentioned his clear intentions of dividing it back into separate nation-states, undoing the pernicious harm of Bismarck’s militarist unification of his Second Prussian Reich. Without the foolish Versailles Treaty of 1919, such a Europe would never have seen the genocidal massacres of the Third Berlin Reich, or the economic massacres of today’s Fourth Brussels Reich.

The Soviet Union, founded in a three-way Civil War, lasted for three generations. Although the worst of the Communist massacres were ended in 1941, but only by Fascist massacres, the enforced Union dragged on for another 50 years after that. Some would point to Soviet achievements, the victory in World War II and the conquest of space. However, the victory in World War II would not have happened because the war itself would not have happened. As regards achievements, all these, including electrification, had been prepared in the Tsar’s Russia and would have happened anyway, together with many other achievements that did not take place because the pre-Revolutionary elite had been murdered and exiled. And, above all, the massacres of Lenin and Stalin would not have taken place. The fact is that positive aspects of the Soviet Union were built on the solid education system (85% literacy in 1916) and well-advanced industrial infrastructure (the ability to win the Kaiser’s War by 1917) of pre-Revolutionary Russia. But all that was destroyed by the ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’ (the Tsar’s own words) of those who pursued their own selfish interests, instead of the interests of the whole of Russia and its economic modernization, all the while keeping its spiritual integrity.

Three ROCOR Saints for the Life of the Twenty-First Century World

On the surface of the Church, like foam on the ocean waves, we can find the froth of ‘Establishment Orthodoxy’, with its institutes and personalities, its theories and its philosophies, its doctorates and its ologies. If we take that froth for the deep ocean, we are sadly mistaken. We must forget the surf on the surface and head for the deep ocean where we will find the real thing, the depth of the Faith. Incredible though it may sound, some, thinking superficially, forget that the Church does not exist to create intellectuals and academics, but to create saints. The life of the Church is not vain, futile and superficial, as are so many intellectuals, but purposeful and serious, as are the saints.

Indeed, when there is no longer anyone who wants to become and strives to become a saint, then will come the end of the world, because its existence will no longer have any purpose as the seedbed of saints, to be nurtured by the Church. This quest for holiness, which is what real Orthodoxy is, is to be found in the monasteries and convents, among faithful clergy, families and parishioners, not among academics and intellectuals who live on booklore and fleshly reasoning. The Church exists to provide our ‘daily’, that is, ‘essential’ bread, spiritual food, soul food, and not brain food, for humanity does not live by bread alone and if it tries to do so, it dies, as we can see.

This is why the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has brought the world three saints. They are St Jonah of Hancow (+ 1925), St John of Shanghai and San Francisco (+ 1966) and the future St Seraphim of Sofia (+ 1950). St Jonah represents Asia, St John, though he lived long in China and Western Europe, represents North America, and St Seraphim represents Europe. His long-awaited canonization is now being prepared by the Churches of Russia and Bulgaria, but most of his life after the fateful events of 1917 was spent in the Church Outside Russia, where he wrote against the foolish heresy of Sophianism and of the Resurrection of Rus as a spiritual and political entity, as the Christian Empire.

All three of these saints were faithful to the Russian Church, all three were hierarchs and ascetics, all three struggled within living memory, and together represent three different parts of the Church Outside Russia. Some will say, surely, our Church has produced more than three saints? They are right. Suggestions have been put forward about other candidates for canonization in other parts of the world, in Australia, in South America, in China, in Western Europe, holy men and women, laypeople, monastics and parish clergy. In God’s good time these three holy hierarchs will be joined by others, whose earthly remains wait to be revealed from their places of rest all over the world.

However, at the moment our attention is turned to these three and especially to the coming canonization of St Seraphim, the preparation for which was announced at the meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on 23 October 2015. All three saints came forth from Russia and were given as a gift and witness to the world. All three announced the freedom of the Church and awaited its arrival inside enslaved Russia so that they could return to administrative unity with the Church there. All three mystically proclaimed the providential arrival of the Message of Holy Rus, of the Gospel of Christ in its authentic Church context, to the world outside the Russian Lands.

St Seraphim of Sarov (+ 1833) had already prophesied that his veneration would spread worldwide and that he would glorify him who glorified him, meaning that he would bring the worldwide veneration of Tsar Nicholas II (+ 1918), as it is indeed coming about. And as for St John of Kronstadt (+ 1908), he announced that the rebirth of his church in Kronstadt, which has now taken place, would proclaim the rebirth of all Russia. These three saints, representing Asia, North America and Europe, mystically represent not only the first fruits of worldwide veneration, but the actual physical presence of contemporary holiness outside Russia, without which the world will die.

19 October/1 November 2015
St John of Kronstadt