Monthly Archives: December 2015

Five Digits

In recent years scientists have come up with remarkable discoveries concerning the human body; for example, that over 99% of human DNA is identical to that in chimpanzees. Though this should be put into perspective by the fact that, apparently, some 50% of human DNA is identical to that in bananas! All this merely confirms that all Creation does indeed have the same Creator. In any case, from the first verses of Genesis it is clear that it is not human and animal bodies that are particularly different, for animal bodies and human bodies are all made of the same chemical elements that can be found in ‘the dust of the earth’. The only vital difference between the animal world and the human world is simply that human-beings have an immortal soul, the breath of God (Genesis 2, 7).

This is why the concept of the descendance of the human-being (body and soul) from the monkey (‘animal primates’) is absurd. If it were so, then monkeys would also have immortal souls, which they do not. For the sign of the soul is the presence of the Word, intelligent and sophisticated human speech, far above the instinctive or imitative grunts of the animal world. Of course, there is also another argument against the above absurd argument. If human-beings were descended from monkeys, why do monkeys still exist? Surely they should all have become human-beings by now!

However, there is another and far more interesting question. Why do human-beings (and most jawed vertebrate animals) have five digits? Scientists suggest that the more primitive animals had six to eight digits, so that five digits would be a sign of advance and intelligence. However, this would not explain why many primitive animal species have two, three or four digits. So why do human-beings specifically have five digits? We would suggest that human-beings, who alone among created beings are endowed with souls, have five digits so that they can make the sign of the Cross, thus recognising the Trinitarian God-Creator (‘Let us make man in Our image and after Our likeness’ – Genesis 1, 26) and the two natures of the God-Man Christ. It is as simple as that.

Personalism or Eschatology: Unreal Theology or Real Theology? A Parish Priest’s Point of View

There is a story from the life of the much-revered Elder John (Krestiankin) (+ 2006) of how a young student came to see him from the Theological Academy and introduced himself as a ‘theologian’. Elder John replied: ‘So you are the fourth?’ In his immaturity the young student naturally did not understand, so he asked the Elder what he meant. Elder John answered: ‘There are three theologians in the Church: St John, St Gregory and St Simeon the New. Are you claiming to be the fourth?’ The humbled student was shamefaced.

It is a curious fact that ‘Orthodox’ academic theology (we would rather call it academic philosophy) differs enormously from Orthodox theology. Academics like the late Fr Nicholas Afanasyev, Fr Alexander Schmemann or Metr John Zizioulas and their huddle of followers in New York, Istanbul, Paris and Oxford all concentrate on personalism, in other words the strange mixture of unrepentant fallen human nature (humanism) inside an outward shell of Orthodoxy, or, as we might call it, ‘humanism with icons’. With its resurrection of Origen’s heretical ‘salvation for all’ and intellectualistic Gnostic mystification, personalism is an abstraction that has no life of its own outside academia.

However, real Orthodox theologians, like St Justin of Chelije, concentrate not on humanism (or personalism to give it its disguised name), but on Godmanhood. In other words, this is how fallen human nature must be transfigured by repentance before it can obtain dignity, that is, before the human heart can become worthy of any knowledge of God and so revelation, which it can then pass on to the mind. It is strange indeed that ‘Orthodox’ academic ‘theologians’ should have been inspired by Non-Orthodox humanists like the Lutheran Jakob Boehme via the semi-Marxist philosophy of disincarnation of Berdyayev for their ideas about personalism.

Rather than try to speak to post-Christian and indeed atheistic Western academics in the humanistic terms that they might just be able to understand, though would have very little interest in and would regard as irrelevant, would it not be better to speak to the whole Western world about the fullness of Orthodox theology without compromise? Not only would the spiritually living minority of Western people be interested to hear about undiluted Christianity (which is what Orthodoxy simply is), but also we Orthodox ourselves would be interested. Faith is not deepened by intellectualism; Faith is deepened by the revelations of God to the human heart. That is precisely what the Gospels are about.

The fact is that the average devout Orthodox has never heard of, let alone read, the obscure and poorly-selling books of any of the contemporary academic ‘theologians’ like Metr John Zizioulas who claim to be Orthodox; they would appear only to be for Non-Orthodox intellectual consumption, not for the fishermen of Galilee. But the average devout Orthodox has most certainly heard of and reads and knows and venerates the best-selling St Paisius the Athonite, Fr Seraphim (Rose), Fr Arsenie (Boca) and Elder John (Krestyankin), real Orthodox theologians, who feed our hearts, not our brains, in the spirit of the fishermen of Galilee.

Perhaps the academic ‘theologians’ should address themselves to the real, and not unreal or virtual Orthodox world, by speaking to real Orthodox in the parishes and the monasteries. In the real Orthodox context they would forget the philosophical fantasy of ‘personalism’ (the word is unknown to the Fathers and to all Orthodox) and speak about Repentance, Messianism and the Third Rome. We live, after all, in an age of apostasy, in the last times and in a globalized world, when Repentance, Messianism and the Universality of the Third Rome are as relevant as it is possible to be. In other words, eschatology, the theology of the last times, is what they need to speak and write of.

Orthodox Christianity is Alpha and Omega, speaking not only of the beginning of the world, but of the end too. We speak not of some fashionable ecological crisis or of any other ism, however fashionable they may be in incestuous academic circles, but of the mystery of iniquity and how we can counter the appearance of Antichrist, while awaiting the Second Coming. Today, as we speak of the Universal Civilization of Holy Rus as opposed to anti-Christian Western liberal ideology, we need to speak of the ultimate things, of eschatology, not of humanism, with or without icons.

The Russian Orthodox Church is the last barrier to Globalization and Westernization. This is why Zbigniew Brzezinski publicly admits that he wants to destroy her. She is the last bulwark defending her flock from the demonic game of post-modernism, to which virtually the whole Western world is subjugated and with which sickness it decomposes everything it touches. The Russian Church is the last fortress of Faith, which continues to restrain (2 Thess 2, 6), ever since the ‘Council’ of Florence and the internal and external fall of New Rome in the fifteenth century.

Before our very eyes, within the last ten years, Russia has visibly become the Third and Last Rome and the Russian Church has become the Church of the last times. Eschatology, the revelation and knowledge of the last things, is the great contribution of the Russian Church to the contemporary world. This has been arrived at not through the speculations of academics in Non-Orthodox and indeed anti-Orthodox cities, but through the sufferings of millions of New Martyrs and Confessors. This is the ministry and offering of the Russian Church to the contemporary world.

Speaking of Dostoyevsky, the great Serbian theologian and saint, St Justin of Chelije, wrote prophetically: ‘Orthodoxy is the bearer and keeper of the most radiant image of Christ and all Divino-human forces and this is the ‘New Word’ that Russia…must tell the world’. This ‘New Word’ is drawn not from some modernist mishmash of ‘personalism’, but from Eternity and, as such, must be heeded, for ‘when you see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors’ (Matt 24, 33).

The Russian Orthodox Church: Pessimism, Idealism and Realism

Any reading of the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, not least from the many volumes of the biography of the Patristically-minded Metropolitan Antony of Kiev and Galicia (1), confirms that there were many negative aspects to her life before the Revolution. Notably, partly because she had been deprived of a Patriarch by Peter I some 200 years before, a careerist mentality had developed within her senior clergy, some of whom had become civil servant administrators on behalf of a bureaucratic State. This meant that many a bishop had been appointed to his position without reference to his zeal for the Faith or to any Faith in general, but only with reference to his ability to ‘administrate’.

Also the Academies and seminaries had become hotbeds of German Protestant and protesting philosophical influence. Some reckon that 90% of pre-Revolutionary seminarists were atheists and revolutionaries – among them many a Bolshevik, including Joseph Jugashvili, later called Stalin, who was ejected from one. An example of a product of an Academy was the very senior Protopresbyter George Shavelsky, a treacherous bureaucrat who had little time for piety, which he dismissed as ‘mysticism’. He was also an enemy of Tsar Nicholas II and the spiritually alive, as is made quite clear in his detailed and self-condemning autobiography (2). In the emigration his sympathies were entirely with the masonic-led Paris Jurisdiction which actually abandoned both parts of the Russian Church!

The paralyzing hand of State bureaucracy, eminently disloyal to the Tsar and infected with the Revolutionary virus, with its careerism, conformism and nationalist centralization seemed to penetrate everywhere. These bureaucratic abuses all formed the suicidal basis of the later Soviet regime, in which the old ‘chinovniki’ (civil servants) simply turned overnight into Communist ‘apparatchiki’; their stifling spirit, so detested by the people, was exactly the same. Thus, the State bureaucracy had made the ancient Church of Georgia into a department of the Russian Church! And when Russian forces at last liberated Eastern Galicia (the area centred around Lvov) from Austro-Hungarian control in 1915, incompetent Saint Petersburg bureaucrats soon turned the people away from Orthodoxy and back to Uniatism.

Sadly, there was decadence in many a wealthy monastery too; the stories are legion. As for some village priests, often through no fault of their own, their lack of education, impoverished situation and need for money simply to survive had discredited the Church in many places. The fact is that the Church looked after the State, but for the most part the State did not look after the Church. This was because the State was increasingly run by atheist bureaucrats, which is why they had no problem in serving the atheist Bolshevik State and why the State machine, Duma masons and generals among them, betrayed the Tsar, the Lord’s Anointed. For example, the grandfather of a relative of mine was the last pre-Revolutionary ambassador to Washington – and an atheist….

Indeed, a generation or two ago there was no need to read to read about all this. It was enough to talk to old émigrés who had been adults before the 1917 Revolution or whose parents had accurately described the then situation to them. They were the best remedy for the idealism of later émigrés and others who idealized pre-Revolutionary times for ideological reasons. I well remember one émigré’s grandson who condemned contemporary Russian bishops for having comfortable black cars, driven by their deacons. The ever-memorable patriot and missionary, Archbishop Antony of Geneva, soon corrected him: ‘And what about pre-Revolutionary bishops who each had a black carriage and horses with their driver?’

Another émigré, Prince Boris Galitsin (may his memory be eternal), told me of his youthful naivety and that he only realized that brothels had attached themselves to the First World War Russian Army when he was in his thirties. (Though any reader of the late Archimandrite Sophrony’s version of the life of St Silouan can read of the same and also of how the future saint had lived before the Revolution, not keeping the fasts and getting a village girl pregnant). Another émigré aristocrat told me that the Church in the emigration was like a glass of clear water, inside Russia it was dirty water. I asked him why then we in the emigration had so many defrocked priests and such a severe shortage of priests in general. He had no answer.

The simple fact is that if the members of the Russian Church had all been as they should have been, then no Revolution would ever have happened. The betrayal of the living spirit of the Church is why some bishops then betrayed the Tsar in 1917. This is why the 1917-18 Church Council took place without freedom, under the masonic influence of the democrat Aaron Adler (later called Alexander Kerensky), though it did at least restore the Patriarchate, despite the vigorous opposition of many lay professors of theology and bishops. One of Kerensky’s first and typical acts had been to remove the saintly, such as Metr (now St) Macarius of Moscow. No saints for him! This is why the Bolshevik-sponsored Renovationists (under Metr Alexander Vvedensky and his three wives) prospered for a few short years, many of their clergy being graduates from the decadent pre-Revolutionary Academies and seminaries.

This betrayal is why Metr (later Patriarch) Sergius could make his infamous Declaration of loyalty to a militant atheist government, thus guaranteeing division, so that many inside enslaved Russia and virtually everyone in the entirely free Russian Church in the emigration would not follow him. This is why one small part of the emigration, members of which had created and welcomed the February Revolution, left the Russian Church altogether. And this is why such second generation émigré Parisian academic rebels like the late Fr Alexander Schmemann (born 1921) and their American disciples turned to cynical Renovationism, denying that Holy Rus had ever existed (!), and that the only hope for the Church (!) was in its thoroughgoing American-style Protestantization, that is, Desacralization, which produces not a single saint. These were words he said to me, but also words that he wrote in books that are heretical.

So much for both second-generation emigre cynicism and second-generation idealism. Fortunately, that is only part of the story and, by far the least interesting part. Beyond the superficial froth of both faithless, academic cynics and naïve and ill-informed idealists there is a far deeper story, a real story, an edifying story, the story of saintliness, of the real Church of God.

Before the Revolution the Russian Orthodox Church was what any real Church should be – a seedbed of saints, a saint-making machine. We only have to think of St Seraphim of Sarov, the Optina and Glinsk Elders and St John of Kronstadt. But above all we can think of the preparation of the millions of martyrs and confessors for the Faith under the Soviet yoke (3), the tens of thousands of martyred and confessing clergy and laypeople, as well as confessor-saints like St Seraphim of Vyritsa, St Matrona of Moscow and St Luke of Simferopol, who had been prepared by the pre-Revolutionary Church. It was their victory that guaranteed the cleansing of the Church inside Russia by blood and persecution from the abuses from before the Revolution and her Resurrection after the atheist Golgotha was over.

However, there was a parallel situation in the emigration. We can say that perhaps 50% of the emigration was not only anti-Orthodox, but also (and as a result) anti-patriotic. These were those who had carried out the Revolution with pride, largely aristocrats. In the emigration, highly politicized, they deserted the Russian Church and Russian history, and went to one or another extreme. Either they became unChristian, narrow-minded nationalists who died out and disappeared, or else they became enamoured of the countries where they lived, lost the Russian language, culture and culture and never even thought of repenting for their treason, cowardice and deceit. Just the opposite – they actually justified their apostasy! Not for the Parisian Renovationists either St John of Kronstadt or St John of Shanghai, both of whom they ferociously slandered and rejected, and I am a witness to this.

However, another perhaps 50% of the emigration were not only Orthodox but also, and as a result, patriots. Indeed, the more saintly the Orthodox, the more they were patriots. For them exile was a call to repentance, a chastisement deserved for the sins of the fathers. The cases of the saints of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, St Jonah of Manchuria, St John of Shanghai and the future St Seraphim of Sofia, are well-known. However, there were a great many others, their graves scattered all over the world, seeds of spiritual renewal for the whole earth, from France to Serbia, from Brazil to Australia, from Ireland to New Zealand, from Canada to Germany, from Italy to Venezuela, from the USA to Portugal, from Finland to Tunsia.

Among those I could mention are the holy cave-dwelling hermit Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, buried in the tiny village cemetery of Limeray near Tours in western France. Viciously condemned by Paris émigrés for his love for the saints, surely the relics of this highly-educated ascetic will soon be taken up from obscurity and oblivion and moved to the new Russian Cathedral in Paris? What of the White Russian general Anton Denikin, whose last words in distant exile in the USA in 1947 were: ‘So I shall not see how Russia will be saved’, demonstrating his innate faith that Russia would be saved. What of the great Russian philosopher and patriot Ivan Ilyin, whose words are now rightly considered as prophetic?

What of Metropolitan Antony of Kiev, whose relics lie in Belgrade and whose works are still slandered and deliberately distorted by modernists, but are loved by the saints like St Justin of Chelije? What about Archbishop George (Tarasov), Bishop Methodius (Kulmann) and Bishop Roman (Zolotov) in France? They all loved the Church and Russia to the core. Then there was Bishop Mitrofan of Boston, a man ingrained with patriotism who desperately wanted to return to Russia. Or Fr George Sheremetiev in London who, as Count Sheremetiev, went from being one of the richest men in Russia to one of the poorest men in England, so that he could repent for the sins of his class, whose betrayals he blamed for the Revolution.

What can I say of the patriot parish priest Archpriest Igor Vernik in Paris? Or, in the same city, Vladimir Ivanovich Labunsky, the last of the 4,000 White Russian officers in our parish. In 1990, on introducing him to the first visiting priest from Russia, he begged him: ‘Bless me with the blessing hand of Holy Rus’. He was typical of so many. And what of the suffering heart of Lyudmila Sergeevna Brizhatova, the delightful Russian émigré poetess, faithful to the end in her lonely Parisian exile? The more saintly, the more Orthodox, the more missionary-minded but also the more patriotic. To some the idea of being both Russian patriots and missionary-minded may seem contradictory, but it is not.

This is because those who were Russian patriots were not simply patriots of Russia, but patriots of Holy Rus, the multinational ideal of the Orthodox Church, the Imperial ideal, the missionary ideal. Not for them nationalism and narrow-minded chauvinism, but the message to the whole world that God is with us. Not for them treason, cowardice and deceit, the slogan of the other 50% of the emigration, but faithfulness, courage and the truth. Faithfulness to Holy Rus, courage in the face of temptation, slander and exile, and words of truth against both the lies spread by the Bolsheviks and against the Russophobic myths spread by Western academics and politicians.

As widespread repentance and so the restoration of Holy Rus begins (and it has only just begun – you have seen nothing yet), old bad habits, a casual and nominal attitude to Church-going, fasting and prayer, a superstitious mentality based on ignorance, a few money-grubbing and compromised clergy, still exist. However, since 1917 the Church has been through a great movement of cleansing. Inside Russia, she has been cleansed by blood and persecution; outside Russia she has been cleansed by poverty and confession. Temptations have been taken away so that we can be faithful.

This is why, in 2007, at the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion by both parts of the Church, inside and outside Russia, there took place not the ‘reunion’ of the two parts of the Russian Church, inside and outside Russia, but the reaffirmation of our mutual unity, which had always existed, for we were always One and never spiritually divided. We, the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church of all nationalities and tongues, have always believed in the Resurrection, Restoration and Recreation of Holy Rus, not in her national garments from before the Revolution, but in her heavenly raiment all over the world.

The Russian Golgotha delayed us for 100 years, but it has not stopped us, on the contrary it has strengthened us. Thus, one hundred years ago the Russian Church was on the verge of creating Metropolitan districts so that the people and the bishops would be brought together. That is at last happening only today. 100 years ago the most devout and much slandered Metr Pitirim of Saint Petersburg, in charge of churches outside Russia, was proposing to build a Russian church in every Western capital and translate the liturgical treasures of the Church into every Western language. That is at last happening only today. As the deputy of the last lay administrator of the Most Holy Synod in Russia, the spiritually alive Prince D. N. Zhevakhov, wrote prophetically over ninety years ago:

‘Educated society in Russia neglected its duty before God and the Tsar and cast Russia into such a state of terrifying chaos that only God and only a Tsar can extract her from it’ (4).

Notes:

1. See especially the first four of the seventeen volumes of his biography, as compiled by Bishop Nikon (Rklitsky), Jordanville, 1957-1971. Characteristically frank, Metr Antony, who taught in all the Academies, leaves us in no doubt as to the real situation of the Church at the time.

2. Fr George Shavelsky’s autobiography was first published in New York in the 1950s, but is now freely available electronically in Russian and also in a recent French translation.

3. See especially the two volumes of lives of the New Martyrs of Russia by Fr Michael Polsky (original editions in 1957 and 1980) or the thousands of pages in the more contemporary volumes researched and written in Moscow by Fr Damaskin Orlovsky.

4. P. 338 of the first two volumes of his 900-page ‘Reminiscences’ covering 1915-1923, first published in Munich in 1923 and republished by Tsarskoe Delo in Saint Petersburg in 2014. Sadly, the two later volumes are still lost.

The Curious Council

The Inter-Orthodox Council, with a token number of bishops from each of the fourteen Local Churches and supposed to take place in May 2016 to discuss administrative issues, is looking increasingly troubled. First, there is the schism between the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Antioch. Then there were rumours after contacts with top US officials that the US State Department was trying to set the agenda, specifically regarding homosexuality. Then there was news from the Russian Orthodox Church that delegates from several Local Churches, notably the Russian, the Romanian (the second biggest) and the Georgian, had failed to agree on the contents of several points in the seemingly US-determined agenda.

Hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church then expressed popular concern that the Council was taking place at all. After all Constantinople had not long before sent schismatic representatives of the Ukrainian Church in Canada (the fraction under Constantinople) to Kiev for reasons which the Ukrainian Church naturally found sinister. After this came the news that the elderly Patriarch Bartholomew had erected a statue to himself and that he would never recognize the Carpatho-Russian Metr Rostislav as the representative of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. Then came the Patriarch’s visit to Bulgaria when he insulted the Bulgarian people and a diplomatic incident followed and the Bulgarian Prime Minister refused to meet the Patriarch. Some even asked if Patriarch Bartholomew’s behaviour was designed to sabotage his own Council.

After this the Synod in Constantinople sacked the hierarch appointed only two years before for the modernist Paris Jurisdiction, Archbishop Job. Next came the shooting down by Turkey – some say at US instigation – of a Russian aeroplane. The result of this is that the Russian delegation felt unable to attend the next preparatory meeting in Istanbul for the future Council. Indeed, the question was asked if the Council could even take place in Istanbul, as had been proposed. Some have suggested, as we suggested in our booklet, ‘The World Council of Orthodoxy’ in May 2007, that any future Council take place at the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow, where alone a politically free Council could take place.

Next came the Pope’s welcome for the Council – in effect compromising it, making it appear just to be a cheap copy of the Vatican’s disastrously divisive and US-Protestant-style Second Council of 50 years ago. Then came the Pope’s greeting to Patriarch Bartholomew on the Catholic St Andrew’s Day, looking forward to the day when Catholics, without repentance, would be in full communion with Constantinople. Then came the news that a joint commission of the Russian and Bulgarian Churches had agreed that there were no objections to the canonization of the much revered Archbishop Seraphim (Sobolev), the archbishop in Sofia of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia who was the hero of the Moscow Council of 1948, which denounced ecumenism.

Now news has come that Archbishop Jerome of Athens, the head of the Church of Greece, will not attend the next preparatory meeting in Istanbul. There is speculation that this is connected with the imperialistic and meddling claims of Patriarch Bartholomew to Greek territory. And also the news that Rome and Constantinople are celebrating (!) the 50th anniversary of the highly controversial (and some would say meaningless) lifting of the 1054 anathemas between Rome and Constantinople does not help. As Patriarch Alexis I of Moscow pointed out at the time this event has no importance whatsoever for the mass of the Orthodox Church as a whole, since it is an event that concerns only the tiny Local Church of Constantinople and Roman Catholicism. Even so the event was rejected at the time and is still today rejected by the devout and politically free of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

It can be concluded without hesitation that the Patriarchate of Constantinople is looking increasingly isolated from mainstream of the Orthodox Church and its Council project, at least in its old form, is looking increasingly in doubt. As has been said throughout Christian history: man proposes, but God disposes.

On Mr Trump et al

In the UK only last week Parliament decided to bomb IS in Syria. It seemed very strange when only two years ago, it was considering bombing the enemy of the IS, the Syrian Army. How you can change sides in just two years is something of a mystery. However, an even greater mystery is why you should bomb in a foreign country thousands of miles away without asking the permission of its government. Had President Assad requested British help, it would look very different. It seems that the UK Establishment is so arrogant that it thinks that it has the right to bomb other countries regardless of what the local government wishes. For example, the Syrian government does not vote on whether to bomb criminal groups in the UK. Apart from a murderous fanatic in east London, probably no-one is very alarmed by any of this token bombing, however. This is because the tiny number of air strikes by the tiny number of British aeroplanes from the tiny Royal Air Force will make very little difference at all.

In the US, Mr Trump, a Republican candidate for the Presidency has suggested that all Muslims should be banned from the USA. Of course this may simply be an attack on President Obama, whom a majority of Republicans believe to be a Muslim. It is true that at present, whether in the Middle East, or in Paris, or in California or in London, fanatics who are Muslims are murdering the innocent. It is also true that, like Judaism, Islam is inherently an Old Testament religion with an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, ethos, an ethos that encourages violence and revenge, that it has not known the Christian reality of love and forgiveness that flow from the Resurrection. On the other hand, it is also true that there are plenty of so-called Christians who are no less Old Testament in their mentality and have as little idea of love, forgiveness and the Resurrection as the average Muslim. Mr Trump may well be one of them.

Any reader of the history of how Charlemagne slaughtered the Saxons will confirm the Old Testament mentality of many so-called Christians. Any reader of the history of the Crusades will confirm this. Any reader of the history of how the Catholic conquistadors and the Protestant cowboys massacred Native Americans will confirm this. Any reader of the history of how Britain and France carved up the Ottoman Empire after the First World War and created artificial client states like the Lebanon, Syria, the Jordan and Iraq, thus guaranteeing civil wars, will confirm this. And any reader of the history of how the Western Powers have over the last 25 years massacred in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria will confirm this. Sad to say, for many tens of millions of Muslims the only terrorists in the world are the Western Powers which massacre in the Muslim world and bring the Western weapons of mass destruction to their bloodied lands. Mr Trump’s concept shows the sort of xenophobic arrogance and insular ignorance that is familiar in the UK only through its most crass and discredited tabloid newspapers.

At the present time the world is on fire. Madness has seized the world. It is as though new words from the Book of Revelation are being read every month. Hundreds are being massacred every day, in Syria, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, in Mali and in Nigeria, and many others are drowning in desperate escape bids across the Mediterranean. What is required to avert an even more terrible and widespread war than those already taking place in North Africa and the Middle East is water, not oil.

A Destiny

Our destiny is to do God’s Will, each in the way that God has appointed for us. Nobody’s destiny is easy. I started to become aware of my own in early childhood. It was something that I never sought, but that was given to me. A series of revelations more or less every three years heightened my awareness of it, bringing others to call me single-minded. My destiny called me, its signposts were everywhere for me to follow and by my early teens all the essentials without exception had become clear to me.

This individual destiny, like all individual destinies, is merely an infinitely minute part of the world’s destiny and of the overall mystical struggle against spiritual impurity and slander, against Cowardice, Deceit and Treachery. Three groups which were dominated by these three weaknesses tried to stop me fulfilling this destiny. In the order in which I experienced them, they were:

1. The Rejecters, who showed Cowardice through their inward-looking narrowness.

They had no vision of the Universal Christian Empire, Worldwide Rus. They were narrow-minded and sectarian and among those who persecuted St John of Shanghai. They rejected, saying that I was English and too well-educated.

2. The Thwarters, who showed Deceit through their fraudulent claims.

They could brook no rivals and sought only popularity for themselves, so falling into renovationism and a jealous and persecuting upper-class personality cult. They thwarted, saying that I was too young and told the Truth.

3. The Preventers, who showed Treachery through their unfaithfulness.

They were unfaithful compromisers, weak academics and unprincipled anti-patriots, who were frightened of the Truth and so betrayed the Church. They prevented, saying that I was a mystic and had too many children.

But my destiny consisted and consists of three tasks which opposed and oppose them all:

1. To Spread the Message of the Universal Christian Church and Empire despite the Cowardice of the sectarian Rejecters.

2. To Guard the Message of the Universal Christian Church and Empire despite the Deceit of the renovationist Thwarters.

3. To Bring Together into the Universal Christian Church and Empire despite the Treachery of the schismatic Preventers.

For carrying out these three tasks which they never wanted me to do, they will never forgive me, but my destiny is fulfilled despite them all.

In the Ukraine

As for the lion whom you saw rousing up out of the forest and roaring and speaking to the eagle and reproving him for his unrighteousness and all his words that you have heard, this is the Anointed One, Whom the Most High has kept until the end of the days against them and their impieties…He will denounce them for their ungodliness and their wickedness and will cast up before them their contemptuous dealings…He will deliver in mercy the remnant of My people, those who have been preserved within My borders, and He will make them joyful until the end comes, the Day of Judgement…

(3 Esdras 12, 31-32 and 34 – the last book of the Russian Orthodox Old Testament; in the Protestant RSV this appears as 2 Esdras 12, 31-32 and 34)

A week-long visit to the Ukraine has confirmed the impression in me that the average Ukrainian is morose, fed up with his lot, especially with the broken promises of a generation of politicians. Nothing has been done in the Ukraine since the fall of the Soviet Union: roads are of Third World standards, they flood when it rains because of poor drainage, buildings, shoddy even when new under the old Soviet regime, are falling down, infrastructure is decaying. Anything of value was long ago sold off by bandit-oligarchs.

There is no freedom of speech – speak in public against the government and you will go to prison, and the media are dominated by the crudest government propaganda. African-style nationalism is rife. The Kiev junta, which represents less than a quarter of the country, advertises a credit card in the national colours and printed ‘Glory to the Ukraine’, but where is the glory? Amidst the endemic corruption of the 100 Ukrainian oligarchs who own the ruined and bankrupt country, the mentality is hopelessly provincial, primitive.

Where is the glory? A salary of $200 a month is a dream. Understandably, the local population dreams of the EU. Everywhere there are slogans: Eurovalues, Eurostyle, Eurorepairs, Eurostandards. They dream of a country where corrupt oligarchs languish in prison, where the State is honest, where roads and pavements exist, where the infrastructure works, where there is a future. In reality, the EU does not even want the Ukraine. In any case, the EU is a myth, but then the grass has always been greener on the other side.

In reality, the EU is the most corrupt organization in the world: 100 billion euros disappears yearly and its accounts have never been audited. Ukrainians dream of the EU myth, just as once they dreamed of ‘the bright future’ promised them by Communism, not least by the Ukrainian Communist leader, Khruschov, an ignorant provincial peasant and a brutal persecutor of the Church. In history all manner of bandits have fraudulently promised utopia and given dystopia: the CIA-appointed junta in Kiev is just another one.

In Odessa men sell themselves to foreign companies, hopefully they can work as sailors on the container ships and tankers of foreign companies, not least the Chinese. Young women sell their bodies to Western men, either on the streets or else through dating agencies. Go abroad: Who wants to have and bring up children in such a country? Even by any objective standards, the only beauty in the Ukraine today is in the Church, which, as it is beautiful, is persecuted by the nationalistic junta-supported sects and schisms, which promote ugliness.

Today, with the Ukrainian birth-rate collapsed, where is the glory of this gloryless land? We are reminded of the ever-memorable Fr John Romanides ‘Wyoming syndrome’ parallel. He said: ‘Try to imagine that everything in the USA has disappeared except Wyoming; this is what modern Greece has been since the fall of Constantinople – a provincial fragment of a once great empire. And this is what the modern Ukraine is: a fragment left over from a once great empire. What was that empire and how was its destruction organized?

The Empire was the multinational Christian Empire of Holy Rus and its destruction has been planned by the enemies of Christ over a century, in three different phases:

1. In 1914 there began the first phase in their operation to destroy the Christian Empire of Holy Rus, the Russian Empire, replacing it in 1917 with a militant atheist ideology developed in Western Europe. Three generations passed.

2. In 1991 there began the second phase, for it was to dismantle the successor Empire, the Soviet Union, which contained the Russian Empire’s cultural heritage, reducing it to oligarch corruption, dependence and poverty. One generation passed.

3. In 2014 there began the third phase, as it marked the beginning of the occupation of one of the countries that belongs to the former Christian Empire of Holy Rus, the Ukraine.

The coming months may mark either the End of that Empire or else its Restoration, when on the world stage the Lion will reprove the Eagle. On page 16 of the book ‘Elder Schema-Archimandrite Jonah of Odessa’ (1925-2012), recounting the life of the clairvoyant healer and prophet, we find the Odessa Elder’s words written:

‘We ask all Russians to pray that an Orthodox Tsar be granted us. If there is a Tsar in Russia, then he will be God’s Anointed. The grace of God will be upon him and then there will be a great help for Russia’.

May Thy Will be done, O Lord!

Русская Православная Церковь: вчера и завтра

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2015/12/02/russkaya_pravoslavnaya_cerkov_vchera_i_zavtra/

«Император и императрица думали,
что они умирают за Отчизну.
Они умерли за все человечество».

(швейцарец Пьер Жильяр, учитель царских детей)

Предисловие

Десять лет назад, в 2005 году, в Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей начались споры о наших взаимоотношениях с Московским Патриархатом. Обсуждался вопрос: стала ли Русская Церковь в России наконец-то свободной, и можем ли мы вступить в каноническое общение, чтобы вместе трудиться и строить будущее? Споры настолько разгорелись, что даже был созван IVвсезарубежный собор РПЦЗ в Сан-Франциско, чтобы разрешить поставленные вопросы. Нам тогда предстояло опровергнуть ложные аргументы, выдвинутые ради сектантской самоизоляции и продиктованные политикой и психологией, а не чистым богословием. Ниже приведем примеры.

Вчера

Человеческая слабость митрополита (а позднее патриарха) Сергия (Страгородского; 1867-1944) и его последователей, выраженная компромиссами с правительством атеиста-гонителя Сталина и известная как «сергианство», возведена некоторыми людьми в «богословскую ересь». На самом деле, это была разновидность эрастианизма – ложной идеи о верховенстве государства над Церковью, чему мы видели много примеров в Ветхом Завете и в 1900-летней истории Христианской Церкви. Фактически здесь не было ничего богословского, но лишь человеческая слабость иерарха, находившегося под огромным давлением воинственного безбожного государства. Никто не может осуждать патриарха Сергия за его слабость, ибо только Бог судья нам всем, и здесь не должно быть места фарисейству.

Хотя эти компромиссы не имели в себе ничего догматического или богословского, но нашлись те, кто, под влиянием североамериканского политического пуританства решили, что таинства в Русской Церкви в России мистическим образом «потеряли силу» из-за компромиссов с властью на протяжении трех поколений. Как священник РПЦЗ я впервые столкнулся с этим ошеломляющим политическим мнением, выдаваемым за богословское, в 1992 году. Конечно, сергианство не является ересью, в то время как пуританство с его врожденной нечистотой новатиан, донатистов и евстафиан (как видно из канонов Гангрского собора 340 года) – очевидная ересь.

В 2006 году в Сан-Франциско также осуждался экуменизм – то есть политическая и экономическая поддержка, которую просили некоторые представители Русской Церкви в России у католиков и протестантов. Однако это очень странная идея, будто мнения и действия нескольких людей должны восприниматься как свидетельство о том, что вся Русская Церковь Московского Патриархата (а это примерно 160 миллионов человек) запятнала себя ересью экуменизма! На самом деле, абсолютное большинство членов Русской Церкви в России никогда и не слышали об экуменизме, а те немногие, кто слышали, отвергали его. К тому же, к 2005 году экуменизм уже означал не то, чем он был в период своего зенита – в 1960-е и 1980е годы. Вместо компромиссов под политическим давлением – фактически ереси – он превратился к тому времени в поддержание добрососедских отношений с инославными христианами, чем РПЦЗ всегда и занимается, принимая во внимание многочисленные смешанные браки наших прихожан и необходимость во многих случаях совершать богослужения в помещениях неправославных храмов.

Самым странным предложением, которое мы тогда услышали, было не связывать себя никак с Русской Церковью в России из-за компромиссов отдельных представителей Церкви. Это была вопиющая ошибка, потому что, следуя такой логике, мы не должны были вступать в общение с Церковью новомучеников и исповедников российских! Да, мы, будучи свободными, канонизировали новомучеников в 1981 году – за 19 лет до того момента, когда это смог сделать Московский Патриархат. Но многие из верующих РПЦЗ, включая и меня, удивлялись, почему мы, имея свободу, не прославили новомучеников и исповедников гораздо раньше, начиная с 1920-х годов? Нам тоже было стыдно за себя.

Эта задержка в РПЦЗ произошла из-за того, что некоторые элементы нашей Церкви были заражены политикой. Хорошо помню, как ряд прихожан кафедрального собора Зарубежной Церкви в Лондоне и других местах возражали против этой канонизации в 1981 году. В любом случае, это был только первый шаг, самое начало. Как я уже писал в свое время: начатое в Нью-Йорке должно завершиться в Москве. Кроме того, ввиду недостатка достоверной информации мы канонизировали только около 8000 новомучеников, в то время как Русская Церковь с ее хорошим доступом к архивам уже прославила более 30 000 новомучеников, и этот процесс продолжается.

Некоторые на Соборе в Сан-Франциско заявили, что мы не должны иметь ничего общего с Церковью, чьи епископы работали на КГБ. Я бы согласился с этим утверждением, если бы и правда нашлись такие епископы, каким был (как нам верится), например, отлученный от Церкви еретик Филарет Денисенко – ныне любимчик ЦРУ. Но в реальности таких архиереев не было. Старшие архиереи в Церкви в России просто имели кодовые имена КГБ, так же как и наши светские гражданские власти, за которых мы молились на богослужениях. Точно так же имели право сказать и в Московском Патриархате: «Мы не должны иметь дело с Церковью, молящейся за лиц, которым присвоены кодовые имена КГБ». Это был бы такой же ложный аргумент.

Некоторые в РПЦЗ признали, что у нас были члены Церкви, ранее работавшие на ЦРУ и другие Западные шпионские службы. Но они оправдали это тем, что в церквях России тоже были члены КГБ. Это снова ложная информация: единственными членами КГБ, заходившими в российские храмы, были шпионы. Они записывали имена священников и молодых людей, которым собирались создать большие проблемы.
Сектантски настроенные представители РПЦЗ говорили, что мы не можем вступить в каноническое общение с РПЦ, потому что придется находиться в общении с остальной частью Православной Церкви!

Впервые я услышал такой невероятный аргумент году в 1999, когда один священник Зарубежной Церкви из Лондона сослужил со священником из Константинопольского патриархата. Против этого сослужения высказывался один священник-изоляционист, обученный в Северной Америке. В Западноевропейской Епархии РПЦЗ, где я был рукоположен и служил до 1997 года, такие совместные богослужения были нормой и совершались регулярно. Как священник РПЦЗ я был поражен таким сектантским духом, который мне до этого почти никогда не встречался. Логика этого аргумента была такова, что мы в РПЦЗ больше не находимся в общении со Святой Горой Афон, которая относится к юрисдикции Константинопольского Патриархата. Абсолютно немыслимое утверждение! (Эти изоляционисты позднее сами покинули РПЦЗ).

Более серьезно и практично настроенные делегаты РПЦЗ указали на то, что среди представителей Московского Патриархата за пределами России все еще оставались обновленцы и священнослужители с дурной репутацией, в том числе и на высшем уровне, хотя некоторые из них к тому времени уже умерли. Это была проблема. Хотя эти модернисты называли нас клеветниками за то, что мы говорили правду и «порочили» их идолов (так делают обновленцы до сих пор), проблема была почти преодолена в 2006 году, когда большая часть этих клириков в Англии и Франции ушла из Русской Церкви Московского Патриархата в созданный ими же самими раскол; с тех пор два или три таких представителя были сняты, и теперь они не смогут устроить скандал.

Наконец, ряд делегатов сказали, что мы не можем сотрудничать с российской Церковью потому, что ситуация в России сегодня отличается от ситуации до революции. Советские практики перешли в российское общество, алкоголизм, аборты, коррупция и разводы стали обычным делом, мумия русофоба-убийцы Ленина все еще лежит на Красной площади, а площади и улицы городов изобилуют его статуями или носят его имя и имена его последователей. Они требовали, чтобы постсоветское российское государство (ответственное за эти дела) вело себя так, словно оно часть Русской Церкви! На этот аргумент мы возразили, что дореволюционная Россия тоже не была идеальной (тогда бы и не было революции). Мы попросили их быть снисходительными к людям, которые целых три поколения были лишены свободной Церкви, попросили терпения и сказали, что со временем Церковь будет иметь влияние на государство, потому что покаяние (в котором нуждаемся все мы) меняет людей.

Победа

Приведенные выше аргументы были отвергнуты более чем 95% членов РПЦЗ как принадлежащие крошечному, сектантскому, изолированному и политизированному меньшинству, пытавшемуся захватить РПЦЗ, сдерживавшему нас и мешавшему в осуществлении нашего универсального призвания вместе с остальной частью Русской Православной Церкви. Как мы знаем, в 2007 году абсолютное большинство иерархов, духовенства и народа нашей маленькой Русской Церкви Заграницей были счастливы наконец-то вступить в каноническое общение с огромным большинством остальной части Церкви, духовной частью которой мы всегда оставались. Наше разделение, произошедшее чисто по политическим причинам, не связанным с Церковью, было преодолено. Мы были уверены, что Церковь в России стала свободной, о чем свидетельствовал Юбилейный Архиерейский Собор 2000 года. Наконец-то полное единство – внутреннее и внешнее – стало возможным и, преодолев все преграды, мы смогли пойти вместе к нашей общей судьбе и важной миссии.

Завтра

Сегодня, спустя поколение после падения государственного атеизма, мы видим в Российской Федерации интереснейшие перемены, обещающие будущее. После ужасного периода капитализма по «закону джунглей» 1990-х годов с властью «семибанкирщины», бандитскими приватизациями «дикого Востока» и появлением прозападных преступников-олигархов и либералов, Россия увидела истинную суть этой альтернативы коммунизму, предложенной Западным миром с его культом потребления.

Мы сами, живя в Западном мире, в свое время тоже не дали себя обмануть. Во многом «благодаря» хаосу и страданиям, посеянным западными силами в Ираке, Афганистане, Ливии, Сирии и на Украине, российское общество увидело истинное лицо евросодома. Если порошенковская хунта, поставленная ЦРУ в Киеве – матери русских городов, хочет самоубийства в виде «европейских ценностей», то пусть их имеет. Мы же останемся верными ценностям святых равноапостольных Владимира и Ольги из святого Киева. Веруя во Христа, своейсмертию поправшего смерть, мы выбираем жизнь. Веря сатане, поправшего смертью жизнь, они выбирают смерть. Вот в чем разница между нами.

После нападения Запада на Святую Русь, российское общество сегодня в большинстве своем осознало, что Запад – неверный выбор. Россия должна следовать по своему, историческому, Богом предначертанному пути – как проповедовали наши святые и подвижники РПЦЗ. Россия должна исцелиться и восстановить Святую Русь. Мы, живущие вне России, можем только молиться и поддерживать, ибо наша основная задача – распространять Православие за пределами русских земель и быть верными Святой Руси. Мы всего лишь смиренные ученики, следующие заветам Святой Руси.

Сегодня говорят, что нынешнее российское общество напоминает Россию 1917 года. Но, в отличие от 1917 года, современная Россия движется не к 1918, а к 1916 году. Другими словами, хотя ситуация щекотливая, но Россия идет не к катастрофе, как это было в 1917 году, а в обратном направлении. Если, даст Бог, мы продолжим двигаться в этом избранном Богом направлении, то Церковь России однажды приведет нас к исполнению нашей судьбы. В чем же оно состоит?

Из-за полного провала Западных идей, Россия, увидев свое возможное будущее, поняла, что это не ее путь. Сегодня она изо всех сил пытается выбраться из ямы, в то время как Западный мир во главе с США стремительно падает в нее головой вниз. Сейчас некоторые трезвые Западные политики и мыслители посещают Россию и следят за событиями в ней, чтобы правильно ориентироваться. К таковым относятся Герхард Шрёдер, Николя Саркози, Филипп де Вилье, Патрик Бьюкенен, Рон Пол, Пол Крейк Робертс, Франклин Грэм и другие.

Теперь мистическая и историческая роль России – быть посредником между Востоком и Западом, между Китаем и западной Европой. Духовная судьба Китая – войти в подлинно православный христианский мир, став восточными провинциями Святой Руси; ровно как судьба западной Европы – это вернуться к своим православным корням с помощью своих древних святых, стать западными провинциями Святой Руси. Чрезмерная национальная гордость европейцев пока мешает осуществлению этого, потому что там, где нет смирения и кротости, нет и спасения. На самом деле, одна из задач России – не спасение Европы от США, как думают некоторые, а спасение Европы от самой себя. Как Россия, а не Запад, виновата в том, что выбрала Западную идеологию, которая привела к революции в феврале 1917 года, так и европейцы не должны винить никого другого в бедах, которые мы себе выбрали.

Ключ ко всеобщему спасению в эти последние времена лежит в восстановлении Святой Руси и ее распространении на весь мир. Следуя Пресвятой Троице, мы призваны быть не только хранителями и собирателями Святой Руси (следуя Отцу и Сыну), но и распространителями идеалов Святой Руси (следуя Святому Духу). Те, кто живут на Востоке и на Западе и желают трудиться вместе с Русской Православной Церковью, следовать ее традициям и строить новые Поместные Православные Церкви, всегда будут радостно приняты. Но если кто-то не желает этого делать и отворачивается от пророческой и мистической Церковной традиции ради усталого, старого, секулярного и гуманистическогонеомодернизма, то Бог с ним.

В 1917 году последний христианский император не отрекся от власти. Это Россия и остальной мир отреклись от христианского императора и христианской империи и, в конечном счете, от Христа. С того момента земля не знала мира, требовалось воздаяние за грехи всех: каждый получил свое наказание, чтобы научиться смирению. В России народ столкнулся с гонениями и фашистским вторжением; за пределами России, в эмиграции, люди получили изгнание и изоляцию; европейские страны были наказаны войной, а также унижением в виде потери былой силы и величия; остальная же часть мира постоянно мучилась от войн и раздоров. Все это продолжается с тех пор, как в 1917 году был взят от среды «удерживающий теперь» (2 Фесс. 2:7). Все страдания мира после 1917 года являются возможностью научиться смирению.

Наше призвание заключается в том, чтобы проповедовать Святую Русь, послание последнего христианского императора по всему миру ради покаяния перед концом. Приходит время, когда мир наконец будет готов услышать о Святой Руси, об универсальности воплотившегося Христа, о подлинном Христианстве, а не о двух обманчивых «измах» (подготовленных Западным язычеством, языческим Римом и северным варварством): римо-католицизме и протестантизме.

Заключение

Мой прадедушка родился в том же году, что и Николай II, последний христианский царь, убитый в Екатеринбурге в 1918 году. Спустя сто лет после рождения императора и 50 лет после его мученической смерти, я, рожденный в годовщину уничтожения останков Царской Семьи, получил откровение с востока, что должен познать сам, а затем идти и говорить о Святой Руси, о воплотившемся Христе всем, кого встречу на своем пути. Это не только мое личное призвание, но и многих других людей, как прекрасно описано в стихотворении «Апостолы», написанном в изгнании в 1928 году царским поэтом Сергеем Бехтеевым:

Мы во мглу раболепного мира
Светоч духа победно несем
И в чертог православного пира
Божьих избранных громко зовем.

Мы идеи по дороге терновой,
Мы парим над мирской суетой,
Мы – апостолы веры Христовой,
Провозвестники правды святой.

Мы зовем племена и народы,
Обагренные в братской крови,
В царство истинной, вечной свободы,
В царство света, добра и любви.

Надежды и молитвы на будущее устремляются в Екатеринбург, к восстановлению монархии и коронации нового царя.

Протоиерей Андрей Филлипс,
Колчестер, Англия.