Daily Archives: March 16, 2020

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.