Monthly Archives: September 2019

Q and A September 2019

The Orthodox Faith and Constantinople: The Fall from being the First among Equals to being the Last without Equals.

Q: What is the situation of the Rue Daru Archdiocese now at the end of this very important month for it?

A: As I understand it, after the meeting of its clergy in Paris on 28 September, some three-quarters of the parishes that had not already left (those in Scandinavia and the two in Italy) have remained faithful to Archbishop Jean. The exceptions appear to be only five communities in Continental Europe (mainly those under a troubled young priest in Belgium, the one in Germany and the modernist, anti-iconostasis group in Meudon near Paris). However, several tiny communities of Protestant-minded dissidents in England, who have existed as part of Rue Daru since 2006, when they were adopted into the Rue Daru set-up by the late Archbishop Gabriel, who did not understand the real problems. Among the Rue Daru Orthodox in Paris, these provincials are seen very much as trouble-makers.

Thus, it seems that the majority of Rue Daru have returned to the Russian Orthodox Church, scrambling up out of the ever-deeper ditch dug by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which is now negotiating with Uniats in Rome, between itself and the rest of the Orthodox Church. In other words, 99% of the Orthodox world stands shoulder to shoulder with the Russian Orthodox Church, while the tiny, US-run Constantinople, stoops in unsplendid isolation

Q: There are Orthodox who say that the dispute between Constantinople and the Russian Church about the Ukraine is simply a racial and political one, all about power, and we should not get involved. What would you answer them?

A: This is the self-justification of those who, precisely, do not want to get involved, that is, who are disincarnate Orthodox, who think of Orthodoxy as a mere idea. These are the fence-sitters and, as they say, fence-sitters are those who refuse to climb the fence. The fact is that 12 Local Churches, including the Alexandrian, the Jerusalem, the Cypriot and the Albanian (their episcopates are all basically ethnic Greeks), the Romanians, the Georgians, the Arabs, as well as Slavs, support the Russian Church, against 1 Local Church, the US-controlled Constantinople. This is not therefore a racial argument. Nor is it a political one, for the Cold War is long over (except in the minds of those who like wars to make money from arms sales and like hating others). In fact, this is a dogmatic argument. Either you are Orthodox (13 Local Churches) or not (1 Local Church). Either you have an Orthodox understanding of the Church (ecclesiology) (13 Local Churches), or a Non-Orthodox one (1 Local Church).

Q: Will the Patriarchate of Constantinople be punished for its schismatic actions in the Ukraine?

A: It has already punished itself, as it has cut itself off from the majority of the Church. It has gone from being the first among equals to the last without equals. We must never forget that God is not mocked, for He is an all-consuming fire. I fear for the terrible events that will now follow if there is no repentance on the part of those in the Phanar who have carried out these acts because of US bribery and political threats.

The Russian Orthodox Church

Q: Many traditional aspects of the Russian Orthodox Church remind me of the Church of England and the Catholic Church before the 1960s. Surely, the Russian Orthodox Church is just backward? Once it catches up with the West, exactly the same things will happen to it as here. I mean Slavonic will be replaced by modern Russian, guitar music will accompany the liturgy, there will be happy-clappy services with people sitting down (as in Greek churches already), women will not cover their heads, there will be no Eucharistic fasts or fasts in general and no confession before communion, there will be women priests and gay marriage. Don’t you think so?

A: The idea of ‘catching up with the West’ is very amusing! I think in reality that it is the West that has to catch up with Russia, as the West is still stuck in its so-called ‘post-Christian’ and modernist time-warp dating back to the now old-fashioned 1960s. You are forgetting that today’s post-modernist, post-post-Christian Russia has seen the future already and not only survived and rejected it, but overcome it. The West, on the other hand, has still got to go through open persecution. However, I fear that the Catholic-Protestant West (and modernist Orthodox on the fringes, like some in Constantinople and Greece) will not survive that persecution. In which case, only faithful Orthodoxy will survive.

Orthodox Teaching and Practice

Q: What is the sense of the sacred?

A: The sense of the sacred is normal for anyone who has some sort of spiritual life or sense, who senses the spiritual presence of the other world, just beyond the veil of this world. It is why in Church we have an iconostasis, why there is no instrumental music, why icons have a different perspective, why we stand and do not sit and why we use an older form of liturgical language. Everything in Church is different from this world, which has no sense of the sacred.

Q: Do Orthodox believe the dogma that Adam and Eve were real people, from whom we are all descended? Or are they symbolic myths?

A: Of course, we are descended from them. They are portrayed in the Icon of the Resurrection, being freed from hades. We also inherited ‘the sin of Adam’, ancestral sin, from them. Moreover, DNA is now confirming our descent from them. However, this is not a dogma. A dogma is the Holy Trinity or that Christ is true God and true man, that He has two natures in one Person. That Adam and Eve are our ancestors is a belief, not a dogma.

Q: Do Uniats have the same three-bar cross as the Russian Orthodox world?

A: Interestingly, not quite, for of course like everything Uniat, it is not quite the same, it is ‘off’, askew. Significantly, the lowest bar of the Uniat three-bar cross does not point to the right, to Dismas, the good thief who repented, but it is always horizontal. This signifies that the Uniats have not repented. This is clearly the case, since they are Uniat, i.e. in a state of non-repentance for their apostasy.

Q: Why is the old calendar so important?

A: First of all, it is not ‘the old calendar’, but the Church calendar, which all the Fathers, East and West, agreed to at the First Universal Council in 325, nearly 1700 years ago. It was accepted by all until the end of the 16th century, when for purely secular reasons a change was made by heterodox, who had long before already split away from the Church and introduced a heretical teaching on the Holy Trinity. Their calendar is called the (Roman) Catholic calendar.

First, the Bolsheviks under Lenin tried to impose this Catholic calendar, then in Finland the Lutheran Finnish State persecuted churches there under the homosexual Archbishop German Aav, in Greece there was and is St Catherine the New Martyr who was martyred resisting it, then there were the Fascists under Hitler in the Ukraine who also tried to impose it. We too shall resist to the end, remaining faithful to the Church. Are you faithful – or not?

Q: Have you ever served on the new calendar and would you ever do so?

A: I never have done and would certainly avoid doing so. However, I have served and would serve with clergy who are obliged to serve the fixed feasts on the new calendar out of obedience. As I said to one who used to be a member of ROCOR (why, I am not sure), I have never been, am not and never will be an old calendarist – which is quite a different thing from being on the old calendar. Interestingly, the priest I said this to, in despair that ROCOR would not support old calendarism, left ROCOR and joined a sect which in his heart he had always wanted to belong to.

Q: How do we answer feminists who say that God is as much a woman as a man and the term ‘God the Mother’ is quite acceptable?

A: First of all, they contradict the words of Christ, the Son of God (not the Daughter of God), Who always refers to God the Father, as recorded in the Gospels. So to refer to ‘God the Mother’ is anti-biblical, anti-apostolic, anti-patristic, anti-spiritual, anti-Church and by origin worldly or secular, contradicting 2,000 years of revelations of the Holy Spirit. I think it is interesting, that such extremists want God to be female. So why don’t they want the devil to be female too? After all, in the name of equality, it should be so!

Q: Surely St Paul’s command that women should cover their heads in church (1 Cor 11) is just Jewish ritualism? Why should we observe it? Especially when Orthodox clergy have long hair!

A: Some things are Jewish (or rather Middle Eastern) hygiene ritualism, for example, circumcision or not eating pork, as it is observed by both Jews and their Muslim cousins. Other things are not and this is one of them – it is universal.

Thus, in English, we have the expression ‘to let your hair down’. This means to stop being sober and modest. In English history we can see how the Cavaliers, who were morally rather loose, especially in sexual matters,  had long hair, but the Puritans were ‘roundheads’, with short back and sides – still the British and US Army haircut even today. In the 1960s sexual ‘liberation’ was marked by young people growing their hair long, throwing off the old restraints of Protestant moralism. It is everywhere well-known that women can make themselves sexually attractive with long hair – you only have to look at any street and you will see three or four times as many women’s hairdressers as men’s barbers, and women spend far more on haircare than men. The Apostle’s instruction is simply about modesty and sobriety.

As regards long hair as worn by some Orthodox clergy (probably a minority), this started to come in very late, probably in about the 15th century, under the influence of ascetics and hermits, who did not trim their hair (head or facial), simply because they had no scissors. Thus, the Old Ritualists in Russia, who date from the 17th century, still never trim their beards, but always have very short hair. In the early centuries laymen and clergy always trimmed their hair (and monastics wore tonsures, like St Gregory Palamas), as the Apostle commands (1 Cor 11, 14). When clergy do have long hair (this is usually monastic clergy), then they tie it back neatly, still not ‘letting it down’. Anything else seems either vain or else effeminate.

 

The Centre Can Hold Because of the Cleansing of the Church

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

William Yeats, The Second Coming

 

All three groups of Russian Orthodox émigrés have now been cleansed off their extremes:

In 2006 the Patriarchate of Moscow suffered schism in Great Britain and France as the vestiges of old-fashioned modernism and ecumenism finally cast themselves off. Those who adhered to their Russophobic cultural prejudices and desire to dilute Orthodoxy into just another department of Western Establishment ideology left the Russian Orthodox Church for the pseudo-Orthodox US-run Phanariot group in Turkey. The Church was cleansed of those who had no love for the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Christian Empire of Orthodox Civilization and preferred compromised Western secularism to the fullness of the Church of God.

In 2007 ROCOR, the Church Outside Russia, in turn at last lost its censorious, sectarian fringes in tiny schisms to various strange and extremist sects which justify phariseeism. The Church was cleansed.

Now, in 2019, the Rue Daru Archdiocese (the former ‘Paris Jurisdiction’) has lost its extremists, in fact rather a large minority of modernist marginals. Why has it taken so long? Because this was the group most deeply infected by extremism, in this case, of the ‘liberal’ kind, so well-known for its intolerance and terrorist witch-hunts against faithful Orthodox over the decades. As a result, many had already left, even decades ago, persecuted by modernists and freemasons in the group. The minority dissidents, who prefer to celebrate Parisian philosophers who died 60-80 years ago rather than the Saints of God, will now fully merge with the US-run Turkish group in the Phanar (if they have not already done so).

Many of this dissident group are in England. There is also one parish in Brussels that has left for the Romanian Church (its Russophobic priest had already been suspended by the Turkish group a few years back, so he could not return there) and some parishes in France which still remain undecided. However, the fact is that Church has been cleansed, with the Orthodox returning to the Russian Church, the extremists falling away. Moreover, many in Paris who had left in disgust that the Church there was not commemorating the Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill, the leader of the Orthodox world, already returned last Sunday to congratulate Archbishop Jean, who was in tears of joy, on his final decision.

As perhaps the only priest who had suffered from ‘the blood-dimmed tide’ of all three groups of aggressive, troll-like extremists, I cannot but rejoice with our brothers and sisters who have at last escaped the clutches of the Phanariots. The plot of the Phanar to hand over St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris to Ukrainian schismatics and rededicate it to apostate traitors and mass-murderers like the robber of souls, Andrei Bobola or Josaphat, has failed.

Meanwhile, the Phanar’s incoherent and schismatic head, Patriarch Bartholomew, yesterday met Pope Francis and the head of the Ukrainian Uniats in Rome to discuss merging the Uniats with his tiny and failed OCU organization in the Ukraine. A joint Phanariot-Papist Galician Synagogue of Fascist Ukrainian xenophobes may soon be formed there, uniting all haters of the Church of God. It will be financed by the State Department in Washington, which has already sent out its ambassadors in the Balkans to bully and bribe Local Churches into recognizing the Galician Synagogue. In this they failed.

The centre can hold – because only extremes fall apart, and this is how the Church is cleansed. Glory to God for His Providence, for the evil inflicted by the Phanariots has had the reverse effect. The Orthodox have been strengthened, being cleansed from the pseudo-Orthodox fringes who have fallen away.

 

 

His Holiness Speaks about the Return of Rue Daru

“Reunion must happen forever”

09/16/2019

According to His Holiness Patriarch  Kyrill, the reunion of the Archdiocese of the Western European parishes of the Russian Tradition with the Russian Church is the final act that closes the drama of the Revolution…

The Sunday, 15 September, the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, the Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias Kyrill celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church of St Olga in the district of Ostankino in Moscow. At the end of the service, His Holiness gave a sermon.

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In today’s apostolic reading, and this was an excerpt from the First Epistle to the Corinthians of the Apostle Paul, we find the words: “Brothers, watch, stand in the faith, be courageous” (1 Cor. 16:13). We must take these words as the great command of the apostle, ”called the High Hierarch. – It is remarkable that the list of virtues that a Christian should possess begins with the word “watch.” What does it mean to stay awake? It means not to sleep, to be conscious; and a person in consciousness is able to establish a connection with the outside world, perceive the outside world, analyze what is happening around him, and thus build his relationship with the outside world. ”

“This raises a very important question. What criteria should we be guided to evaluate the world around us, everything that happens around us? – asks the Primate of the Russian Church. – Of course, you can use political, scientific, artistic criteria, but they do not cover the entirety of the human worldview. And more often than not, we evaluate the world around us, assuming ourselves as a criterion. What is right from our point of view, what is good for us, then becomes the measure of the assessment of everything that is happening around. This is a great mistake, because the assessment of the world around cannot be reduced to a personal understanding of what is happening or to personal interests. But not only individuals suffer from this sin – sometimes whole groups, communities of people are subject to this sin. So, starting from the 18th century, godlessness gradually began to supplant faith from the consciousness of our intelligentsia. And when, instead of the Divine truth and the word of God, personal interests, the interests of the bearers of certain political and ideological views became the criterion, then the death of the people began, which led to the catastrophe of the Revolution and civil war. ”

“We are talking about the Revolution, about the civil war as a distant past – indeed, for the modern generation it is the time of their great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers. But, having gone into the past, these terrible events of our history should not be left without a nationwide assessment, the First Hierarch is convinced. – After all, this is what happened: people laid the basis of their actions for the political and ideological criteria that divided the people, divided the country. The result of this division was the expulsion of a huge number of Russian Orthodox people, our people, our fellow citizens, abroad. This outcome greatly weakened our intellectual, spiritual strengths, and it took decades to restore everything that was lost as a result of the breakdown of our whole life. ”

“However, the consequences of this outcome persist in some sense to this day,” he said. – We know that the Russian Orthodox Church was divided. Emigres created the Russian Church Outside Russia with its center in Sremsky Karlovtsy in Serbia, but there was another group of Orthodox people who grouped around Metropolitan Eulogius – it was conventionally called the Paris emigration. And those children of the Russian Orthodox Church who maintained contact with Moscow made up the third part of the entire Russian emigration. This division reflected political contradictions, which led Russia to the Revolution. And our cherished dream was the unification of the whole Russian emigration, the unification of the Russian Church outside Russia. We know that in 2007, by the grace of God, the miracle of reunification with the Russian Church of that part of the emigration was revealed to all of us, which belonged to the Russian Church Outside Russia. This reunion solemnly took place in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, but it did not affect the emigres grouped around Paris. ”

“It so happened that the Russian Orthodox people who had Paris as their center and Metropolitan Eulogius as their ruling bishop ended up in the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and this state of affairs persisted to this day. But yesterday there was an event that could become historic. I say “it could become,” because much remains to be done to ensure that this action brings results. But such an act – Archbishop John, who is in Paris and leads the very fragment of the Russian emigration that did not belong to the Russian Church Outside Russia or the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, sent me a request for reunification with the Russian Orthodox Church, ”said the Primate.

“This happened yesterday, September 14, that is, September 1, according to the old style, on the first day of the church new year, or, as we say, the beginning of the indiction. Opening this petition, I realized that the deed of Archbishop John is full of many meanings. Because the implementation of this petition closes the topic of the division of the Russian Church outside Russia, the separation of Russians living abroad, and the fact that this happened on the first day of the Church New Year, helps to understand that reunification should happen forever, for all the times that lie ahead. This opens up the possibility of establishing the full unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, in the homeland and abroad, ”said Patriarch Kyrill.

“Yesterday, we held a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church by telephone, because there was no time to gather the Most Reverend members of the Synod. But I talked with everyone and received not just consent, but ardent consent. It was necessary to hear the intonations with which the members of the Synod responded to my message about what had happened. When I asked them if they voted for this decision, I received an enthusiastic answer: “We don’t just vote, we vote with all our hearts.” And indeed it is so. Because it cannot be a matter of secondary importance, indifferent to every Orthodox Russian person, for every member of the Russian Orthodox Church, regardless of his nationality, the restoration of the unity of our Church and the unity of our people, ”the Primate was convinced.

“Having satisfied the request of His Grace John, who headed the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Western Europe of the Russian tradition, the Holy Synod reunites by its decision all Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe with the Mother Church. We thank the Lord for the mercy that has been shown. This is not just a church act – most likely, this is the final act that closes the drama of Revolution, civil war, the drama of the division of our people. Therefore, today our prayer to the Lord is a prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that He, having led our people in Russia and scattered abroad through divisions, through unrest, through persecution and upheaval, today opens up the possibility for us to feel like a single people, united by a single Russian Orthodox Church. Thank God for everything! Amen, ” concluded the Primate of the Russian Church.

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2019/09/16/vossoedinenie_dolzhno_proizojti_navsegda/

 

A Warm Welcome

We warmly welcome into the Russian Church those who yesterday, the first day of the Church New Year, left the Patriarchate of Constantinople for us. Now their Russian Tradition can be affirmed and renewed. For the rest of us the final piece of the émigré jigsaw has fallen into place, a century after it began to fall apart. The freed Russian Church inside Russia has now been reunited with Carpatho-Russian parishes in the USA (the OCA), with the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) (in 2007) and now with the faithful of the parishes of the Paris Archdiocese under Archbishop Jean (Renneteau), known as Rue Daru.

On this historic day we now look forward to the renewal of fraternal contacts and relationships and concelebrations. Today, in unity, angels and men alike rejoice.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

St Alexander Nevsky Parish,

Norwich, England,

15 September 2019

Why Join the Russian Orthodox Church?

 Introduction

Once Western people have spiritual understanding and experience, they can begin to escape from the box of their cultural conditioning and the manipulations imposed on them by their controllers. Then they will recognize that Catholicism, Anglicanism and the other forms of Protestantism, all rapidly dying out in the Western world today, are only a few hundred years old and are only human inventions, as defined by Western political powerbrokers, Popes, Kings and politicians, past and present. They ask: Where then, as Christians, do we belong? Where then can we go to church and worship the Holy Trinity, our God Who is not mocked?

With such a basic level of understanding, it becomes obvious that only the Orthodox Church is the Church, founded by Christ, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. From here, however, arises the question, but which Local Church do we join? For the Orthodox Church is a family of fourteen, universally recognized, canonical Local Orthodox Churches, of which seven represent their immigrants and their descendants in Western countries. These seven Local Churches are the Russian, the Greek (correctly, the Constantinopolitan), the Antiochian, the Romanian, the Serbian, the Bulgarian and the Georgian.

Most people join the geographically nearest Orthodox community belonging to one of these seven Churches, providing that one exists nearby (the Bulgarian and the Georgian are very, very few and far between) and which is welcoming to other nationalities. However, most Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian and many Greek ones are not welcoming to other nationalities, but represent an ethos of national clubs, ethnic ghettoes. These latter churches are called mononational (sometimes just ‘nationalist’). In other words, they prominently display their national flags, cater only for one immigrant nationality and will even ask those of other nationalities to leave, which visitors do anyway because they do not understand the language which these nationalities use. The real choice therefore is often very limited: Greek, Antiochian and Russian.

For many the very small and impoverished Greek Church of Constantinople is not an option because of its oriental manner and curious music, as well as its doctrinal compromises, forced on it in its weakness by outside pressures and finance over the last 100 years. On top of this, there is its extraordinary racist imperialism, which has led it into schismatic and even heretical acts in recent times, putting it out of communion with the majority of Orthodox. The Antiochian Church would seem like an option to Anglicans. However, since there are only some 750,000 practising Anglicans in England, this leaves 55 million who are not attracted and do not at all feel at home in an ‘Angliochian’ church, with its untrained clergy (who often attempt to dress and sing like Russian Orthodox clergy, but make basic mistakes) and its ethos of ‘Anglicanism with icons’. Anyone who has experienced the real thing, real Orthodoxy with its living Christian values, senses this at once. Its Establishment mentality makes it seem like a branch of Anglicanism, a culture alien and quite unknown to the vast majority of ordinary English people. Given this lack of choice on the ground, what are the pros and cons of joining the Russian Orthodox Church?

Reasons Put Forward for Not Joining the Russian Orthodox Church

For those who live in the past, the Russian Orthodox Church is a centralized, Soviet steamroller. Of course this was to some extent true generations ago during the Soviet period, when all the Russian bishops representing the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow were vetted by the KGB. Then some such bishops freely committed gross violations of the canons of the Church in places like London, Paris and Vienna, as well as inside the Soviet Union. This was not the Russian Orthodox Church, but the ‘Soviet (and therefore, by definition, unOrthodox) Church’. However, this is all ancient history. Let us rather live in the present for the sake of the future.

Some accuse the Russian Orthodox Church of not being open enough to the secular world. Here there is a profound misunderstanding: it is not for the Church to become like the world, but for the world to become like the Church! Those who have not yet become Orthodox Christians, though attracted by some aspects, sometimes find Russian (and actually all other) Orthodox bishops authoritarian. However, this is because they have a Protestant, and not Apostolic, understanding of what a bishop is. When bishops reject the secular ‘democratic’ fantasies or support for homosexual ‘marriage’ (doing like the anti-Christian world) of such individuals, they are often very offended. Thus, their criticisms of ‘authoritarianism’ are simply psychologically-motivated self-justifications for their disobedience and secularist mentality, which they justify as their ‘culture’!, but which is in reality not part of the Christian mindset.

Finally, there are those who have been so brainwashed by Western Cold War propaganda and political prejudices that they have become Western cultural nationalists and as a result Russophobes. This Russophobia comes from the Western nationalist secular mentality and refusal to look at the facts of history, trusting rather in incredibly ignorant journalists who pour out their absurdities, paid for by wealthy political groupings. For example, such people will actually believe the propaganda that the Russian Federation State controls the Russian Orthodox Church! They are of course thinking in Anglican terms, since the Church of England is indeed controlled by the British State. This is why if you are a British spy, based in London or Cheltenham, for example, you will not be allowed to join the Russian Orthodox Church, only the Greek. Others will say in a similar vein that they cannot be Russian Orthodox because there are so many abortions and so much corruption in post-Soviet Russia. But this is like saying, I cannot be a Protestant because there are so many abortions and murders in England!

Reasons for Joining the Russian Orthodox Church

The first reason to do this is that the Russian Orthodox Church is by far the biggest of the fourteen Local Churches. Over 75% of all Orthodox are members of the Russian Orthodox Church. More exactly, of 220 million Orthodox Christians in the world, 164 million are members of the Russian Orthodox Church, over a third of whom are not Russians. It is clear that only such a Church can even hope to provide the necessary infrastructure. Indeed many others are dependent on it for this.

Secondly, as we have seen above, the Russian Orthodox world (sometimes called ‘Rus’) is not necessarily Russian in an ethnic sense. The Russian Orthodox Church is by far the most multinational. It has at least seventy nationalities in it, its singing (unlike that of other Local Churches) can be adapted to any language, it has founded independent Churches in Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Autonomous Churches like ROCOR – the Church Outside Russia (centred in New York and catering mainly for the English-speaking world), in Japan and China and has Exarchates (future Autonomous Churches) in Western Europe and South-East Asia. Its culture, like its singing, is very much European, unlike in the Greek Orthodox Church. As a result of its multinational and multilingual qualities, the Russian Orthodox Church can be called ‘Imperial’, though definitely not ‘Imperialist’.

Finally, today the Russian Orthodox Church is politically independent and so is faithful to the Christian Tradition. Thus, it is not controlled by any government, including the State Department in Washington, which fully controls the tiny Greek (Constantinopolitan) Church and which also appointed the leader of the Romanian Church, as well as exerting huge political and financial pressure on Local Churches in small countries like Greece, Cyprus and Georgia. Clearly, only such a large Church as the Russian Orthodox Church can resist pressure from States of any sort to compromise itself and its Christian teachings. With its spiritual treasure-chest of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Communist Yoke, at least 100,000 of them and perhaps many more, of whom some 35,000 have been canonized so far, the Russian Orthodox Church is spiritually resistant. Therefore, it is traditional, for instance faithfully keeping the Orthodox Christian calendar, though it does not consort with the tiny uncanonical sects of extremist ‘old calendarists’, as can be found in Greek Orthodoxy.

Conclusion

Following the golden mean between extremes, the Russian Orthodox Church has attractions. Its weakness is its lack of infrastructure in countries like the UK and in Western Europe in general. Here there are still large areas and cities where you cannot find a single Russian Orthodox Church! Over the last 45 years it has fallen to our lot, as to that of others, to begin to remedy this chronic lack of coverage. Progress is here, but is very slow, as we have to fight against extraordinarily difficult conditions, lack of finance and lack of support. Can you help us?

 

Chamberlain or Churchill?

Political parties are always made up, on the one hand, of people who actually believe in something (conviction politicians) and, on the other hand, of careerists and opportunists, some strong, some weak, but for all of whom the money and power of business sponsors is the main thing. The latter use their chosen party as a mere springboard for (and victim of) their personal ambition and narcissism. They are always willing to sell out on principles for personal gain. In France, for example, no-one can become President without his personal political party, usually set up specifically to fulfil his ambition. In the UK, the division between conviction and career has always been the case in history in both the Conservative and Labour Parties.

In the latter case, this careerism has been clearly visible in recent times in the case of Prime Minister Blair. His policies led to the deaths of thousands as a result of his meddling in several countries and also to tens of billions of British pounds being wasted, in the end bankrupting the country. In the former case we can clearly see the same opportunism in the career of Prime Minister Cameron, in part responsible for the deaths and misery of a great many in Libya. (However, he who opened Pandora’s Brexit box already had as his ancestors both slave-traders and bankers, who financed the Japanese War against Russia 115 years ago).

Some eighty years ago we can see the same thing in the career of the Conservative Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. When, eighty years ago, on 3 September 1939 the UK finally took the decision to stand up to Hitler, his fate was sealed. For years before Chamberlain had been dilly-dallying with Hitler, cruelly betraying Czechoslovakia, carved up by Nazi Germany, Fascist Hungary and Fascist Poland (many forget the ruthless Polish persecution of Non-Poles and the German-Polish non-aggression pact of 1934). Thus, eventually, even Chamberlain had to stand up for principles, though he proved far too weak to lead, unable (like Theresa May?) to stand up to traitors and collaborationists like Lord Halifax, and he had to be replaced by Churchill.

One national newspaper had on 4 September the headlines: ‘Parliament Surrenders to the EU’. We cannot help recalling that Parliament as such was founded by the genocidal tyrant Cromwell, with a million murders on his hands, whose statue actually still stands outside Parliament. Once more today, the countries which make up the UK are faced with a choice: to live by principle or to swim with the tide of Continental divide and rule drift. Eighty years ago in 1939 it was the same. Now the choice may even come on the Feast of St Andrew the Fool for Christ, 15 October.

The choice, whenever it happens and whoever the Prime Minister is, will be between national identity and lucre. For some the former is higher than the latter. For others, many of them now elderly, only thirty pieces of silver count and the national principle can be betrayed. What will happen? Will Brexit happen? Nobody knows. The country is paralysed by a Business-sponsored Parliament which refuses to implement the will of the people and lacks the courage to hold a General Election.

 

Rue Daru Ends

At its General Assembly meeting, held, typically for it, in a Catholic church in Paris last Saturday, the delegates of the parishes and communities of the small Rue Daru Archdiocese voted by 58% to return to the Russian Orthodox Church and by 42% not to do so. It seems that as a result each community, most of which are tiny, will join whichever Orthodox Church it wishes to – providing of course that any Local Church wants them. (Most Local Churches do not want to take on untrained clergy and individuals who have a reputation as troublemakers, who do not have even their own church buildings and yet believe that, though they are in reality a tiny group of marginals, they stand at the centre of the universe!)

Moldovans who have taken over several previously virtually empty parishes in Paris, including the church on Rue Daru itself, will naturally return to the Russian Orthodox Church, as will those who still consider themselves to belong wholly to the Russian Tradition, as were the first three Rue Daru hierarchs, the last of whom reposed in 1981. Those in Belgium may plead with the Romanian Church to take them, though the Romanian Church is loath to do so. Some in England are looking with hope at Antioch, but again there is no certainty that it will want them. Others have already left for the Bulgarian Church (in Scandinavia) or the Church Outside Russia (in Italy). Some communities will simply be absorbed into local modernist Greek Dioceses and so disappear.

The 77-year old ill French Archbishop Jean, the very last bishop of the anti-monastic and anti-episcopal Rue Daru group, was so upset at the meeting at not getting the two-thirds majority he needed to take the group as a whole back into the Russian Orthodox Church that he threatened to retire. It is the ignominious end of a group founded by rebellious aristocrats and protestantising intellectuals, who, secularized to the extreme, were always prone to personality-driven, French-style rebellions, arguments, splits, libels and threats, a ‘panier de crabes’ as it was called in Paris forty years ago. Indeed the previous Archbishop Job, a schismatic Ukrainian, could only attend the Rue Daru church protected from physical assaults by five burly bodyguards who would stand during the services and escort any protestors out.

Meanwhile at the Greek church in Paris yesterday, Ukrainian schismatics were concelebrating with the notorious Greek Metropolitan Emmanuel. It is said that the Greek plan is to take over the historic Rue Daru church and hand it over to the schismatics. The whole Rue Daru debate has been characterized by the fantasies of priests who do not know how to celebrate services and unChurched but highly politicized laypeople who have no idea what the Church is, how the Church works and what it needs to make a bishop – three other bishops. Now it seems that Rue Daru parishes and communities who do not want to remain in the schismatic Patriarchate of Constantinople will be received back into the Russian Orthodox Church individually, not as a group. As to whether any other Local Church will want the others is unclear.

Over 12 years ago the main part of the Russian emigration, the Church Outside Russia with its Synod of Bishops, some 80% of the emigration, returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. They had understood that the Church in Russia was by then completely free from the Russian State. Clearly the Rue Daru émigré splinter fragment, which had broken away from the Church Outside Russia under political pressure in the 1920s, should have done the same then. This whole death-agony has dragged on for decades too long.  It refused to return and its then Archbishop Gabriel, yesterday’s convert, showed himself to be an intense Russophobe, uncanonically ordaining men priests without first training them and receiving all sorts of dissidents and strange individuals from elsewhere. Here then is the result.