Monthly Archives: January 2019

Three Generations and Three Approaches to Orthodox Europe

Foreword

Although this brief article concerns the future of Russian Orthodoxy in Western Europe, it also concerns any nationality of any generation in the Orthodox Diasporas, for example, in the Americas and Australia, since human psychology and human nature are the same everywhere. The only difference is that historically the Diaspora in North America is a generation older than in Western Europe, which in turn is a generation older than in Australia.

Generation One: The Ghetto

The first generation of the Russian emigration, which was born before 1917, formed the ghetto. It therefore died out. This is a suicidal mentality, common to all the Russian jurisdictions. Thus, I saw ROCOR in England destroy itself and die out between the 1970s and the 1990s. I saw the Rue Daru jurisdiction in France do the same and that of Moscow too. The first generation dreamed of returning to an idealized Russia, which no longer existed – if it ever did. As a Non-Russian I, like the descendants of this first generation, was never going to move back to Russia.

This generation lived in Europe, but in no wise associated with it, it was in no wise ‘of’ Europe. Thus, I can remember the aristocratic Parisian mitred archpriest, Fr Alexander Rehbinder (+ 1980) condemning the use of French in France not just in church, but also at home! And he was typical of tens of thousands of others, who have now gone the way of all flesh. Their churches have nearly all closed, disappeared off the face of the earth. You have to live in the real world, not the ghetto, otherwise you will lose your children and grandchildren and certainly fail to convert the natives.

Generation Two: ‘European’ Orthodox

These are the children of the first émigrés. These are the rebels (‘soixante-huitards’, as the rector of Saint Serge Fr Alexei Kniazev (born 1913) termed them in 1979 to their face). These are those born in the emigration in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, who in revolt formed the OCA and tried and failed to do something similar in Paris. They wanted to conform to and integrate the world around them, rejecting their parents’ ghettoes. In France they were almost Uniats, in the USA almost Protestants. They have stood in the way of progress of Orthodox and of the next generation, dismissing them and chasing them out, rejecting authentic Orthodoxy (calling it Russophilia, which they so despise) and especially monastic life as relics of their parents’ age. Instead, they claim to be ‘relevant’, ‘modern’ and ‘European’, though they do not have a drop of Western European blood in their veins! Thus, they reject us, the real Europeans and also Orthodox! And they want to be ‘European’ Orthodox!

In reality, no new Local Church can be born if it is not based on Orthodoxy, the real thing. The rest is intellectual fantasy and dreamers’ folklore. In the case of the Rue Daru members (now aged mainly between 70 and 90 and, excluding the Moldovans and new Russians, less than 1,000 individuals), the only logical future is to do what the Greeks want them to do: they must integrate into the Greek dioceses of the countries where they live, mainly in France. Having two Constantinople bishops in Paris is uncanonical! They must get over their psychological complexes towards their parents’ generation and their illogical ideology, which is basically built on their own psychological problems. Either lose your imagined self-importance and superiority complex racism and go to the semi-Uniat and now uncanonical Greeks (they already have the ‘new’ (= Roman Catholic) calendar and Greek vestments), or else be assimilated and go straight to the Roman Catholics. You cannot be ‘of the Russian Tradition’ and yet hate Russia and the Russian Church.

Generation Three: Orthodox Europeans

This is the generation that wants to remain Orthodox, confessing a grounded Orthodoxy, with roots, that is, without compromise, but which also wants the services in the local languages and venerates the local saints of Europe. We are Orthodox Europeans, not ‘European’ (i.e. semi-Orthodox) Orthodox. This is the way ahead because this is the way of the coming generations, our children and grandchildren. This is Orthodox Europe, the path of Orthodox Europeans. And this is the way of the new Exarchate under the new Metropolitan John of Paris and Western Europe, following in the footsteps of his missionary patron, St John of Shanghai and Western Europe.

It is this which is called on to become the Autonomous Church of (and not ‘in’) Western Europe and in due course the Autocephalous Church of (and not ‘in’) Western Europe. The Exarchate of the future, composed of 23 countries (Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Spain, Sweden, France, Switzerland and the UK), is our future, regardless of our nationality and background. Let us leave the past to the past, for we leave the dead to bury the dead and look to the future of our children and grandchildren.

 

To the Younger Generation of the Future Orthodox Church of Western Europe

As soon as the tiny Rue Daru Exarchate in Paris under the ex-Patriarchate of Constantinople was closed down just a few weeks ago on account of its Phanariot Russophobia, so the Russian Orthodox Church opened its own Exarchate of Paris and Western Europe, centred in the new Cathedral there. It is led by Metr John of Western Europe, whose patron saint is our very own St John of Shanghai. This, my vision of thirty years ago in 1988, which was almost immediately dismissed as a dream and contemptuously thrown away by a German Archbishop into the waste paper basket of his study in Asnieres sur Seine came true in 2018.

Indeed, the reality thirty years on is even better than my vision of a Western European Metropolia, because we now have an Exarchate, a step above a Metropolia, just a step beneath an Autonomous Orthodox Church of Western Europe. Time and time again we see that those who have no vision die. And that is the way it is. They have all died out, the opportunities missed. Here is simply the greatest example. In one sense now, my hopes have been realized. I can now rest and disappear, all my hopes which seemed impossible even 15 years ago, let alone 30 years ago, let alone 45 years ago when they were first born, have been achieved.

However, many unresolved problems remain. For instance, the Iberian Peninsula today has its own Orthodox Archbishop Nestor of Madrid, and celebrates its own saints. It follows the list that I drew up 25 years ago when I was the rector of the first ever Russian Orthodox parish in Portugal. On the other hand, the Exarchate includes only thirteen countries. Austria and Hungary and the Nordic countries (Scandinavia) are not yet  included in the Exarchate and the Nordics still do not have their own bishop. Then France and Italy (with San Marino and Malta, we presume) must share Metropolitan John. And there are local problems in Benelux and especially in the British Isles and Ireland, which have to share their bishop with parishes in North America.

Then there is the problem that Germany is not included in the Exarchate either. No doubt this is connected with the problem that the 70 or so ROCOR parishes in Western Europe are not part of the Exarchate. And many of these parishes are bigger than the Exarchate parishes. For example at the Paris Cathedral with its three priests there were only 170 communions at Orthodox Christmas, not much different from 7 January in provincial Colchester (the 500th largest town in Western Europe) with its three priests. There is much to do! Above all we need hundreds more priests, hundreds more parishes, hundreds more church buildings of our own.

We need far better pastoral care and internal mission. Thirty years ago my vision did not exist. Today it does. In thirty years time we should be aiming at another vision – at least 1,500 parishes in a united Exarchate of 23 countries, with their own buildings, one Metropolitan and at least eight dioceses (Germany, German Switzerland and Liechtenstein; France, French Belgium, Monaco, French Switzerland and Luxembourg; Italy, Italian Switzerland, San Marino and Malta; the Isles; Iberia with Andorra; Scandinavia; Austria-Hungary; the Netherlands; with at least fifteen diocesan archbishops and bishops, 1750 priests, 250 deacons and numerous monasteries and convents, Orthodox parishes accessible to the whole population of Western and Central Europe.

And we need an Exarchate which, though faithful to Orthodoxy and our calendar, is truly multinational and multilingual, and where Non-Russians (priests and people) are not treated as second-class citizens by phyletist bishops and their favourites, who continually persecute and abuse them, sacking them for no reason, never giving justice. Give us Christians and Christian attitudes! Here is a vision and here is a challenge for you, the coming generation. We have exhausted ourselves, having done our part without the slightest support and against all the odds in constant battle. Now it is your turn. Do not be disheartened. God is with us!

 

Who Are Orthodox Christians?

For nearly two thousand years we Orthodox Christians have been on Christ’s critical mission of salvation — our own salvation from sin and death and so that of the rest of mankind, of all living things, and indeed of the whole planet. We believe that the world can still be saved from self-destruction, spiritual, moral, political, social, military, and today ecological, chemical, bacteriological and nuclear. For nearly a thousand years this chaotic self-destruction has been the ever-accelerating agenda of greedy Western terrorism, which has been asset-stripping the Non-Western world, even more after its ‘World Wars’ of the last century.

Since the end of the World War in 1945 this terrorism has become ever more relentless and ferocious, using ever more barbaric technologies, massacring millions. The relentless Western military machine has been leaving its bloody traces in genocides all around the world, from all over South America to Korea, from the Congo to Haiti, from Guatemala to Iran, from Vietnam to Cambodia, from Italy to Belgium, from Rwanda to Serbia, from Iraq to Myanmar, from Afghanistan to all of Africa, from Syria to the Ukraine, from Libya to Yemen. This war is part of the war between Good and Evil, which affects all peoples and each one of us.

However, we believe in self-sacrificing service for our common goal of the salvation of the soul. We believe in the final victory over the war-creating enemy of mankind, Satan, who rejoices in death as he is the prince of death. This is the victory of the Church and Her Master, Christ, now and forever. For He is coming again as the Just Judge to judge all the nations and each one of us. Our nationality is Orthodox Christian, our flag is the flag of God, our faith and hope are the certain knowledge that Christ the Son of God and King of Love will win. It is this knowledge that gives us the strength to go on in the struggle for salvation.

On Cleaning Up the Mess After the Phanar

After the falling away of the see of Constantinople from the Orthodox Church and today’s Tomos, we are starting to see how the fashionable tendencies it has long represented are also being rejected. These are freemasonry, modernism, renovationism and dreamy, pseudo-theological intellectualism (philosophy). Thus, this ideology of semi-Orthodox intellectuals, both clerical and lay, is at last being rejected, also in Moscow and Saint Petersburg where they mainly live. This is because such tendencies are now clearly associated with the uncanonical ecclesiastical invasion of the Ukraine by the US-run Phanariots.

Thus, Orthodoxy is at last being cleansed from generations of Protestant-style, modernist philosophers, especially Russians, from Solovyov to Bulgakov, from Berdyayev to Afanasyev, from Schmemann to Yannaras, from Clement to Zizioulas. For it is their ideologies which have led directly to Ukrainian autocephalism. They are what leads directly to the break-up of the Orthodox Church, as Brzezinski and his heirs in today’s US State Department, like Hitler before them, so much desire in their ‘divide and rule’ policy. For the heresy against the Church preached by the modernists is not a theory, it leads to the destruction of the Church.

Nationalist ‘Churches’ in the EU and the USA, in Belarus and Moldova, and anywhere else, is what the modernists and their US sponsors want. This is what Poroshenko and the Phanariots have created in the Ukraine. But the faithful there do not attend their conventicles. Why? Because they give no faith, no spiritual food, they are dead. This nationalism is associated with crude Russophobia. This is cultivated by the phyletists only because they reject the obvious numerical predominance, multinational nature, piety and faithfulness to the Tradition of the Russian Orthodox Church. They want power for themselves.

Lacking humility, they cannot accept the reality of Church life. Russophobia is only their self-justification for this. Of course, we are not talking here about the promotion of some sort of Soviet imperialism or Russian nationalism, which we, like all Russian Orthodox, also naturally wholly reject. We are talking about the rejection of Orthodoxy itself, which has been kept so faithfully precisely by the Russian Church above all. This is why the eight undecided Local Churches (outside the Russian, Serbian Bulgarian, Antiochian, Polish and Czechoslovak Churches) will sooner or later have to choose who they are with: Christ or Belial?

Will the other Local Churches (essentially Greek, apart from the US-influenced Romanian and Georgian Churches) side with the Phanariot modernists or will they remain faithful? In other words, will they recognize the Poroshenko-Phanariot pocket ‘Church’, under US pressure, or will they recognize the faithful and canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church under the Confessor Metropolitan Onufry? If they choose the to do the latter, then the US will form Macedonian and Montenegrin ‘Orthodox Churches’ and many more. ‘Divide and rule’ is after all the Protestant disease which the Americans understand and spread so well.

Just like the former see of Rome, the see of Constantinople is now ceasing to be an Orthodox Church. The process of apostasy is the same: Hildebrand and Bartholomew. Gathering to itself a motley group of freemasons, LGBT activists, schismatics, phyletists, dissidents, ecumenists, modernists and Russophobes, it wars with the spiritual enemies of Orthodoxy, whose last bastion is the Russian Orthodox Church. Their greatest fear is the resurrection of the Imperial, that is, multinational, Church of Rus, of New Jerusalem, of the Orthodox world, of the Orthosphere, of Orthodox Civilization. Their hearts are elsewhere.

Orthodox Civilization stands for everything that is not petty and provincial, that is not Ukrainian-style nationalist ‘Churches’, without spiritual life and monasticism, which wave flags and chant to their Caesars like the Jews of old: ‘Glory to the Ukraine’, ‘Glory to the EU’ and ‘Glory to the USA’, instead of ‘Glory to God’. The support of US/EU globalism and liberalism for petty nationalism is only because nationalism is defenceless before their Eurosodom and Gomerika. What is the way ahead? The clearest course of action is to summon a Church Council, like that in Moscow in 1948, held to condemn ecumenism.

Such a Council might not initially gather all the Local Churches, some of which are still fence-sitting ‘for fear of the Jews’. However, its decisions, like those of other Local Councils in the past, the Palamite Councils, for example, could easily come to be accepted in due course by the whole Church. The agenda would have to include:

  1. The condemnation of the absurd US-recommended, State-run ‘Unifying Council’ (sic), held in Kiev on 15 December 2018, and of its decisions.
  2. The condemnation of the century of ecclesiological heresies, canonical crimes and modernist liturgical aberrations of the Phanar (all of which were present at its Crete meeting in 2016).
  3. In the light of Constantinople’s apostasy, the long-overdue review of the archaic Church Diptychs.
  4. In the light of Constantinople’s apostasy, the discussion of the future close co-operation of the six Local Churches (the Churches of Russia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Georgia) directly concerned by the Diaspora.
  5. The condemnation of worldly phyletism and Protestant autocephalism (Schmemannism) and the formulation of the ecclesiological principles for the granting of Autonomy within a Local Church and, above all, for the granting of Autocephaly by all the Local Churches together, thus cleansing the Church of secular nationalism.