Monthly Archives: March 2020

An Important Message from Athos

Святые отцы горы Афон призывают сегодня всех православных христиан сделать Крест на обратной стороне дверей домов. Если у Вас нет Креста, то можете его сделать пальцем, окнув его в оливковое масло. Это серьёзно, так как вчера был отслужен Параклис Божией Матери и эти указание были даны (открыты) самой Богородицей монахам на Святой Горе. 

The Fathers of Mt Athos call on all Orthodox Christians to make the Cross on the inside of the doors of their homes today. If you do not have a Cross, then you can make it with your finger dipped into (olive) oil. This is serious. Yesterday a service to the Mother of God was celebrated and this instruction was given/revealed by the Mother of God herself to monks on Mt Athos.

Faith and Responsibility

The present coronavirus crisis has divided opinion. There is a minority who say that they do not fear anything and we should continue as usual. They look on those who follow government instructions to the letter as blind zombies, victims of government and media propaganda, who lack faith and believe too much in their own reason. For the majority, however, such people are just crazy and irresponsible conspiracy theorists who should be locked away, as dangerous to the public.

It seems to me that, as Christians, we should not fear. Faith does not fear. We do not fear death. We are not cowards. We have courage. However, on the other hand, all wise and reasonable precautions must be taken. To disobey the law is wrong. Irresponsibility must be condemned. And there is no contradiction between faith and responsibility. Over 90% of the victims of the virus are aged over 70. We may not feel that we are going to suffer. But this is pure selfishness. We can spread it! Think of others.

We should be praying especially for the elderly and the sick. Thus, for the moment there are hardly any victims in Africa, where there are few old people, but in Italy at present over 90% of victims are over 70 and there are hardly any victims under the age of 50. But also we should pray for those who are depressed and anxious, for those in big cities like London, where the situation is disturbing, unlike in the countryside and in small towns, where all is quiet. And also we should pray for the self-employed and disabled, who lack money, and those with children who live in flats. And also for the USA, where there is no health system for tens of millions and much homelessness and other diseases, and there may, God forbid, yet be large numbers of victims.

There is now a Facebook fashion of applauding heath workers at 8.00 pm. It would be better to pray. And on Mt Athos this evening (Friday 27 March) (beginning at 5.00 English time) begins an All-Night Vigil to the Mother of God and St Haralampius, whose relics have often delivered from epidemics. This is the evening is when at any time we should all pray, perhaps reading an akathist to the Mother of God. The world has forgotten that miracles can, depending in our faith, happen. We have not.

Akathists in Slavonic:

https://akafistnik.ru/god/akafist-pokrovu-presvyatoj-bogoroditsy/

http://akafistnik.ru/akafisty-svyatym/akafist-svyaschennomucheniku-kharlampiyu/

 

Akathists in English (We have substituted the akathist to St Panteleimon since, as far as we know, there is no translation as yet into English of the akathist to St Haralampy)

Akathist to the Protection of the Theotokos

https://www.akathists.com/saint-panteleimon/akathist/

Article Number 1200 on this Blog: Thanksgiving for April 2019 to April 2020

The Truth will set you free (John 8, 32)

A year ago, in 2019, there came to us revelation upon revelation amid the visit of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. The rest of that year followed the same course, with great events, both in Church life and in personal life. The schism created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Ukraine had become worldwide and that Patriarchate, with its adoption of many secular values, fell out of communion with the Russian Church. The positive result was the miraculous and long-awaited return of the Orthodox half (58% to be precise) of the Rue Daru Archdiocese from Constantinople to the Russian Church. This followed less than a year after the establishment of the Exarchate for the new Russian-speaking emigration to Western Europe, centred in Paris.

Another miracle took place when in July 2019, after more or less fifty years without a resident bishop in good health, our Diocese of the Church Outside Russia was at last received a resident Bishop Irenei, moreover with the title ‘of London’, which I had much encouraged, and ‘of Western Europe’, for which I had also been pleading for very many years. On the 35th anniversary of my ordination to serve at the altar, I gave thanks for this to the parish in front of Bishop Irenei when he visited us.

At this point, in early 2020, I had seen my many hopes of nearly half a century realised: The Saints of the Isles and other Western European Saints had been recognised by the Church and some included in the official calendar (despite the hostility of some); the Russian Church was One, as the Moscow Patriarchate was slowly becoming deMoscowised, that is de-Sovietised, which had allowed ROCOR to be in communion with the Patriarchate and the Rue Daru Archdiocese to return from schism to the Patriarchate; the Church had effectively been cleansed by the Phanariot schism; there was a Moscow-run Exarchate for the new generation in Western Europe and for the native Orthodox in the Isles and those who wished to integrate Western Europe but remain truly Orthodox; there was our own Bishop, whom I had had petitioned to be sent to us from the USA.; in Moscow an Orthodox missionary society dedicated to our very own St Felix of Felixstowe, Apostle of East Anglia, had been founded. On top of this, on 1 February 2020 the UK had refound its freedom, by leaving the insular EU straitjacket after 47 years.

Then my eldest son found a little church in Little Abington, between Cambridge and Haverhill, for sale. That was on Thursday 13 February 2020. I managed to view it inside the following Sunday afternoon and the day after that, 17 February, I received a loan to buy it. Two days before the Triumph of Orthodoxy, on 6 March, we heard that we had obtained it after an auction process. This was a miracle. Little Abington is seven miles to the south-east of Cambridge, where we had first searched for a church forty years before, in 1980, but had been let down by the powers that then were. This place was where three counties, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, joined. It was the third church I had founded. (As someone said Colchester, Norwich and Cambridge made a triangle). The three churches were to represent unity in diversity. It was also near Cambridge, that centre of anti-Trinitarian theology, which we thus challenged.

On a personal level, I had known Little Abington almost all my life – it was on the very edge of all those villages, where for centuries my ancestors had been born, lived, worked and died. And all those villages, the Abingtons, Ridgwell, Hadstock, Bartlow, West Wratting, Shudy Camps, Castle Camps, Great Chesterford, Steeple Bumpstead, Helions Bumsptead, Sturmer, Kedington, Withersfield, Stambourne, Baythorn End, Hundon, their names poetry and music to me, were all haunted not by the cold conceits of atheist Cambridge, but by the humble martyr St Edmund. Clearly, there would have to be an icon of him on the iconostasis as THE local saint. Moreover, the church here was a church that had belonged for 100 years, since it had been built, to the Non-Conformist ‘United Reformed Church’. This was a Protestant group to which many of my local forbears had belonged.

When, by the grace of God, we obtained the church, someone said that ‘at last Fr Andrew has been unleashed’. I had been frustrated for over thirty years before Colchester had come in 2008, Norwich in 2015 and now Little Abington in 2020. The three churches were all very different, but united in our One Faith. There is justice; we had overcome our anti-missionary enemies, and there were so many of them who had not wanted a church here, through forty years of patience.

Glory to God for all things!

 

The Churched, The unChurched, Consumerism and Holy Communion

The Church has always been composed of the Churched and the unChurched, those who fear nothing and those who are fair-weather Christians only. However, these two groups, the former always being smaller than the latter, are not two separate groups, with no passages from one to the other. We are saved together. For all those who are Churched were once unChurched, as there is no such thing as ‘a cradle Orthodox’, though some persist in saying such falsity. And all who are unChurched may one day become Churched. Thus, I can say as a parish priest that most of my Churched parishioners were relatively recently unChurched and have been Churched only over the last twelve years.

This is why we reject any form of censorious and condemning phariseeism on the part of the Churched, a kind of Protestant ‘I have already been saved and you have not’ attitude. Similarly, we also reject both the excesses of over the top ‘neophytism’ and lax, anything-goes liberalism on the part of the unChurched. The Churched and the unChurched together combination is spiritually beneficial. On the one hand, the unChurched help prevent temptations of phariseeism and ‘ghettoism’ among the Churched. On the other hand, the Churched protect the unChurched from the twofold temptations of ‘convertitis’, zeal not according to knowledge, or a falling back into the worldly baggage with which the unChurched first came.

Much has been written for the unChurched, especially by authors of the Russian Diaspora. Surrounded by Non-Orthodox and Orthodox who knew very little, as intellectuals, philosophers and artists, they wrote for the educated in order to explain themselves. Such, for example, were the interesting books by Metr Antony (Bloom), Metr Kallistos (Ware), Fr Alexander Schmemann, Fr John Meyendorff and Fr Sophrony Sakharov, among many others. They were good at doing this because most of them came themselves from unChurched, though highly intellectual, rationalistic and wealthy, even aristocratic, backgrounds, with hardly any real experience of the inner Church.

Thus Metr Antony had been an atheist, Metr Kallistos an Anglican, Fr Sophrony had lapsed as a young man into Hinduism with its ashrams and mantras, and, by their bourgeois pianos, Fr Alexander and Fr John had little concept of ascetic and monastic life. Such writers give a very introduction to the Church for the University-educated. Once the contents of their books have been understood, however, we can move on from the ‘starters’ which they provide to the main course, the serious food, the food for the soul, not for the brain, the food of the saints and  the martyrs.

Today the secular baggage which the unChurched of all nationalities (we live in a globalised world) bring often contains a magical attitude towards the Church, that of consumerism. For them what the Church provides can be selected, just as people selects products from supermarket shelves. Of course, this is wrong: the Church comes as a whole package; you cannot choose one thing against another. When we go into the forest, we do not look just at one tree in isolation, we look at the whole forest. This consumerist attitude also implies a magical attitude towards holy communion. Holy communion is not a panacea, which automatically cleanses. It is effective only if we prepare for it, confess for it, dress properly and modestly in church, and live in the Church, live in Christ. The Church is a whole, it is Life, not a hobby or an ‘add-on’, it is everything.

 

 

The Breath of Satan

The current flu virus is going around the world – like most seasonal flu viruses in the past, SARS, MERS, bird flu, swine flu etc. However, the difference this time is in the State reactions to it, which seem to be suicidal for many economies and businesses. They are unique. Conspiracy theories therefore abound. Such that this was all an attempt by a certain jealous State to sabotage the Chinese economy through bacteriological warfare. But the scheme went wrong, catastrophically backfiring and spreading worldwide. Though there is no proof at all of this, it would at least explain the extreme measures.

Some 500,000 died in the 2009-10 swine flu pandemic without any extreme measures. On the other hand, the present death toll of over 16,000 could easily double, double again and double again within a few days or weeks. However, it remains true that so far virtually all, if not all, the victims have been very elderly, already very ill and dying of respiratory illnesses, heart disease, cancer, obesity, high blood pressure, or had extremely low immunity.

We have seen some extraordinary stupidity, official and unofficial: panic buying; racism towards Chinese-looking people; the refusal to ban the visits of relatives to by far the most vulnerable in care homes; the refusal by the government and care homes to give sick pay to care home workers, so that they had to work when not feeling well; the government decision to stop most London Tube trains and then their surprise when the few that were allowed to run were overcrowded. There are always opportunities for stupidity.

More frightening is that the whole planet is being turned into a prison – indeed many have already volunteered to imprison themselves. In many countries nearly all churches voluntarily closed themselves – a situation never achieved by the atheists in the Soviet Union! The silence of Church hierarchies is stunning. Therefore we all have to pray at home, reading the Psalter and the New Testament especially, and the Lives of the Saints. And we all have an opportunity to fast. The word quarantine means 40 days – the same as Lent. Relatively soon, this will be over. It is a great Lenten temptation. Like all temptations it can be defeated. If Satan breathes on us, then we can turn away from him.

Coronavirus Again

Today, like every day, some 350,000 children will be born into the world and 150,000 people will die, among them some hundreds, mainly elderly or already seriously ill, from coronavirus. Whatever happens in the coming months, whether, despite all the media hype, the virus soon peaks as in China, though leaving tragically many thousands with their lives shortened, or if it does indeed become a worldwide tragedy in which several million will die, three things may happen.

Economic

Economically, this could be the beginning of the end of consumerism, that is, the worship or idolatry of things (materialism). This would mean the start of a new way of life of self-limitation, as the Russian writer Solzhenitsyn, horrified by Western consumerism, called for nearly fifty years ago. Certainly, such a new moderation of consumption will be welcomed by all who put the spirit above matter.

Political

Some politicians, seeing how they can control the masses with the help of manipulative media may be tempted to curtail freedoms more permanently. This is already clear in Western European countries of Roman Catholic culture with their dictatorial states. A global concentration camp may be possible – what a temptation for some – control, mass hysteria induced by the thought police media.

Spiritual

Some are already suffering from paranoia and depression as a result of hysteria and panic created in all the Western and Westernised countries of the world. Why should this tragic virus not be a call to repentance? Could it develop into the end of the Western illusion of consumerism in post-Soviet Russia? Even before the Revolution the prophets foretold that salvation would come from China.

What can we say, except that all is possible and that any more speculation is a waste of precious time? Much depends on us being responsible, but all is in God’s hands.

Coronavirus: The Failure of Humanism

In countries where the majority no longer believes in God, there remain only two taboos. They are not any form of self-indulgence, drug-taking, foul language, depravity or even incest, they are sin and its wages, death. Why death? Because death is the only thing that the ideology of secularist humanism, which is indulgence in sin, cannot prevent. Death is the failure of  humanism, indulgence in sin. To stand up and say that we are all going to die and that is the only certain thing in our lives is taboo. And yet it is true, we are all inevitably dying.

Thus, in the UK, about 1,500 people die every day. Out of a population of 67 million this is an average. Although there are very tragic accidents, with children dying, road accidents and the tragedy of suicides, most die of old age. True, the illnesses that come with age, heart disease, cancer, breathing difficulties, are specific, but, quite simply, they come as the body wears out, they come as a result of old age.

As yet there is no reason to think that the number of deaths per day, anywhere in the world, will increase dramatically or even more than slightly because of this new strain of flu popularly called coronavirus. In this country, on average five people die every day of ordinary flu; fewer even than this of coronavirus. In China coronavirus already appears to have peaked.  Most people will not contract coronavirus and even if we do, tragic though it may be, at present there is only a one in a hundred chance of dying of it

Of course, none of this means that we should not take the precautions that common sense always dictates. We do not seek death. If you feel ill, stay at home! That is what people have always done. (Though the current jargon for staying at home is ‘self-isolation’). On the other hand, the emptying of supermarkets and the stockpiling of foods and other products make no sense. Depression, hysteria and panic are simply unChristian. We are all going to die and we all hope to go to Paradise, where there is no depression, hysteria and panic. (= Sorrow, pain and sighing in the Church language of the kontakion for the departed).

Some are already asserting that coronavirus is the result of some form of bacteriological warfare that went wrong. They blame China or the CIA. After all, whole industries are now threatened with bankruptcy.  And individuals who are not paid when they are ill. (Is the remedy far worse than the illness?). However, we shall leave such conspiracy theories to conspiracy theorists. However, there is one who is definitely rejoicing at all this. That is the devil. Not only has he already prematurely ended the lives of over 4,000 people around the world, mainly elderly and already seriously ill, but he has also managed to close churches in many countries. More may follow. Coronavirus is his attack on Easter, he does not want us to tell the world that Christ is Risen, that Christ has defeated his most evil invention, death. That is what is really sinister.

 

 

 

On Empire Building

Over the past few decades we encountered several groups on the fringes of the Church whose manipulative leaders were engaged in ecclesiastical empire building, recruiting all and sundry. These included more recently ‘the Kiev Patriarchate’, various old calendarist groups, including one in Portugal, and before that the Kovalevsky group (l’ECOF) in France, the latter two both claiming on paper to have some 100 priests and parishes. However, as soon as their leaders died, the groups suddenly dissolved and disappeared. They had had virtually no property. Their technique was to ordain any man who came to them, usually an individual on an ego-trip, sometimes someone quite spiritually ill, within a month or two of his appearance. He and his fictitious community would disappear very quickly after the death of the cult leader.

Thus were created impressive-looking lists of parishes and clergy – on paper. In reality, very few of their clergy had any idea how to celebrate, sing, be pastors or anything else. All the cracks in the façade were papered over – until the inevitable scandals began. Some personalities in canonical groups were allowed to do similar things, but none of it lasted; fragmentation always took place within a decade or two of the death of the personality. Unity cannot exist amid sectarianism and personality cults. One tiny diocese created by such a personality, is now split into three even tinier groups, and another elderly group is now literally dying out.

The current administration of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, based in Turkey and backed to the hilt by the US State Department, is set on building just such an ecclesiastical, or rather political, empire, pins in maps and the whole works. Why? Because it is in reality very small and very weak. Real Churches do not engage in such empires of the imagination. For the trouble with all empire building is that it focuses on quantity, not on quality, on surface, not on depth. The result always means dirtying yourself in politics, which in turn means anti-canonical actions. It is much better to stay small and be authentic. Artificial empires never last very long because they are built on fantasies and fictions, not on spiritual realities; they are houses built on sand, not on the Rock of Christ.

This we have seen over the last fifteen months in the far west of the Ukraine with the violent sect established there by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Now we are seeing it in the Diaspora, especially in the USA with another group:

https://www.helleniscope.com/2020/03/10/many-new-vicars-no-real-orthodox-leadership/ If some Orthodox in the USA, the Ukraine or elsewhere wish to become second-class citizens in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, never receiving authentic autocephaly, and wish to consort with some whose legality, let alone canonicity, is questionable, they are welcome to do so. Unity is good: but that does not mean that God can be united with Mammon. There is such a thing as morality – right and wrong. Anyone, including bishops, who claims that he is a Christian and yet does not know the difference between right and wrong should return to Sunday School for Lesson One: Secular Empires always crash.

 

Towards the Fifth Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

Foreword

At the present time, in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) are thinking about the significance of this our centenary year. Many will be thinking about the past, the last hundred years, and its important events. However, I would rather focus on the future, though it is also perfectly true that we cannot think of our future if we do not first understand our past. Here is a small offering.

Introduction: Four Councils

Church Councils are called whenever major decisions have to be taken, whenever there are controversies, for which solutions are urgently needed. Thus, a period without Councils can in some respects be seen as a calm and positive period, a period without divisive controversies. For we do not hold Councils just for the sake of them. This is as true of the Seven Universal (Oecumenical) Councils as it is of Local Councils. Thus, in the one hundred year history of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which was founded effectively by a Russian and an American citizen, St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, by his decree No 362 of 20 November 1920, four ‘All-Diaspora’ ROCOR Councils of clergy and laity have so far taken place. These were in 1921, 1938, 1974 and 2006. Although not occurring exactly every generation, they have in effect marked generational change, turning-points in our history.

The Four Councils

  1. The First Council – Foundation and Organisation – 1921

The First Council was called by Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev, who was the most senior Russian bishop forced into exile. It took place in 1921 in Sremsky Karlovtsy, in what later became Yugoslavia, with the blessing of the Serbian Orthodox Church. This was in the foundational period of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and this Council was devoted to organizing administrative and canonical structures for the Church. In this way, the thirty-four Russian bishops forced into exile worldwide were able to establish a united Church structure of metropolia, dioceses and parishes for their flocks, composed almost uniquely of Russian Orthodox refugees.

  1. The Second Council – Consolidation and Pastoral Care – 1938

The Second Council was held in 1938, also in Sremsky Karlovtsy. This Council, led by the second primate of ROCOR, Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky), consolidated the organization of the Church for the second generation. It considered the spiritual rebirth needed by the émigré flock and the new generation, the struggles against sectarianism, political schisms, the persecutions of the Church inside Russia and the missionary sense of the Russian Diaspora. Here, ROCOR continued to assert that ‘the part of the Russian Church which is outside Russia is an indissoluble, spiritually united branch of the Russian Church. She does not separate Herself from the Mother Church and is not autocephalous’.

  1. The Third Council – Resistance and Canonisation – 1974

The Third Council was held in 1974 at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, under the third primate of ROCOR, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky). Facing the challenges met by the third generation, this Council examined Church life in the ever more difficult conditions of the Western world where most had been born or were settled for ever. It also called for unity among the parts of the Russian Diaspora that were in schism from the Church Outside Russia. It noted the dangers of ecumenism and modernism in Church life and the need to resist these disintegrating movements. It also drew attention to the continuing persecution of the Church inside Russia, thus paving the way for the heroic and history-changing canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in 1981.

  1. The Fourth Council – Reconciliation and Mission – 2006

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and so the end of persecution, the situation of the Church inside Russia changed radically. ROCOR now had to re-examine attitudes to the once Soviet-enslaved Church and hierarchy there. Following the long-awaited canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors in Moscow in 2000, which confirmed the ROCOR canonisation of 1981, and other acts showing new freedom and at last the beginning of the multi-generational process of de-Sovietisation, in 2003 the ROCOR Council of Bishops entered into dialogue with the Patriarchal administration. Very important questions had arisen, relating to normalizing relations with the Church inside Russia and to ROCOR’s temporary self-governance, which in its fourth generation needed to become permanent. Also examined were issues regarding ROCOR’s future identity, purpose and mission as an integral yet also spiritually independent part of the Western world, with only very few of the faithful, many of them born in the ex-Soviet Union, ever intending to return to their impoverished native lands.

The Fifth Council?

In 2020, our centenary year, no-one is as yet talking about the need for a Fifth Council. Indeed, such a Council could easily be a generation away, in 2045, or even after. However, whatever may happen, it is clear that there are temptations to avoid in the second century of our existence. These temptations come about because, whatever our origins and native languages, we, the fifth generation, and our children, grandchildren and all our descendants in the 21st and perhaps 22nd centuries, are here to stay. We are clearly outside both disappeared (Imperial) Russia and the disappeared Soviet Union. We are not abroad. We are not a Diaspora.

Indeed, most of us are not Russian, but Ukrainian, Moldovan, Latvian, Kazakh, American, English, Australian, but most hold the passports of Anglosphere countries. Though there are faithful in Germany as well as in Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Venezuela and other countries, most members of our Church now belong to the English-speaking world, whether to the USA, which is our centre and almost unique source of bishops, or Canada, Australia, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand or countries in some way dependent on the Anglosphere (Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica etc). In this, our real situation, what are the two temptations to avoid, temptations which in one way or another will certainly be discussed at any future Fifth Council?

  1. The Temptation of being a Church, but not Local

The first temptation to avoid is that of ceding to any form of political pressure from Russia, direct or indirect, and so becoming a mere mouthpiece for some form of post-Soviet nationalism. This was the error of parts of the old ROCOR, which died out because they looked back only to a disappeared past, a past that was irrelevant to the generations born here. Any forms of nationalism and cultural nostalgia, Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet or other, are not the way to go. They are an indulgence that rapidly becomes spiritually perilous. That is the way to the ghetto which will inevitably die out, like all ghettoes, the way to the old people’s home and the cemetery.

  1. The Temptation of being Local, but not a Church

The second temptation to avoid is that of ceding to local Western pressure, direct pressure by persecution from local Western States or indirect pressure by assimilation, and becoming, like so many ‘ethnic’ and flag-waving ‘jurisdictions’ of so many nationalities, just another mouthpiece for US/Western nationalism and secularism. Then we would be just another secularist organization, integrated not into Western society but into Western secularism, an organisation with a mere religious and ethnic façade, that has lost its identity, except for titles, folkloric food recipes and folk dancing and costumes. Salt that has lost its savour. Such organisations are always absorbed and disappear into history.

Conclusion

In order to avoid both temptations we must at one and the same time be faithful to the (Imperial) Russian Orthodox Tradition which we have gratefully received from the past of ROCOR and continue to receive, but also be local in the present, for the sake of the future. We must be transcendent, but also immanent, be godly, but also incarnate locally, be divine, but also human. We must be pastoral and so stop losing generation after generation of young people through their assimilation. We have to look back to our inheritance, but also to be incarnate in our present for the sake of our future. In short, we have to be a real Church, but also really Local.

 

Apostasy in Istanbul

For nearly one hundred years faithful Orthodox patiently continued to concelebrate with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, awaiting its repentance. This was despite the fact that nearly 100 years ago its leaders broke Church unity in the Diaspora, that they accepted a bribe of £100,000 from the Church of England (an agent of the imperialist British State) to abandon the Orthodox calendar for the fixed feasts, that they supported atheist-sponsored modernist sects in persecuted Russia and worldwide against the Church, and that they took part in ecumenist compromises, besmirching itself in anti-canonical activities. Since in 1948 the US State took over the worldwide meddling carried on for a century before by the British State, the once glorious Patriarchate of Constantinople is becoming an inglorious minor sub-department of the US State Department and the Vatican. And still we wait patiently for their repentance, but now our patience is coming to an end.

The meddling of racist individuals in Turkey among Ukrainian immigrants after World War II, in Estonia since 1996, in the Autocephalous Czechoslovak Orthodox Church in 1998, their recent uncanonical acts against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church by sponsoring a nationalist ‘Church’ there, their threats to the Church of Serbia and their sponsoring of fanatical xenophobes in Montenegro and Macedonia, countered by two heroically faithful Orthodox hierarchs, Metropolitan Amfilochie and Metropolitan Onufry, and now new threats of blackmail against the Czechoslovak Church, are too much. They are a disgrace to the word ‘Christian’. We have tolerated them  for a  long time. We are distressed for the fate of its faithful clergy and people. But they would be welcome to join us in our battle against the common enemy of our salvation, militant atheism, and so abandon their US-appointed leaders to their apostasy. Salvation through repentance is still possible.

The isolation of the hundred or so bishops of the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople, its two agents in Athens and Alexandria and a handful of abbots on Mt Athos, who obey only the local US and Greek ambassadors in preference to the Gospel of Christ, have shocked the Orthodox world with their treachery. They proclaim that Washington, with its pagan temple White House, is the Third Rome. We disagree. It is now up to the rest of the Church to join together against the common secularist enemy apparently supported by this little band of apostates. This is in faithfulness to the Orthodoxy of the Gospel, of the Fathers and of Canon Law, in faithfulness to the Tradition, to the sum total of the inspirations of the Holy Spirit over 2,000 years. Recent events are a wake-up call to repentance to all Orthodox, to shed themselves of petty nationalism, be it Greek, Russian, Ukrainian, Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian. Macedonian, Montenegrin or Arab. Whatever its language, petty nationalism is the same evil attachment to the prince of this world and his minions. Seven and a half billion human-beings are waiting to hear the call of the Gospel of Christ to His Church from the representatives of His Church.

The Triumph of Orthodoxy 2020