Q: Do you think that the government restrictions against churches during the coronavirus lockdown were really necessary?
A: Were government restrictions on churches during the peak of the coronavirus epidemic really necessary? What began as sometimes relatively sensible restrictions (stay at home if you are ill, stand back from others) to protect the poor health of the tiny minority of vulnerable in society has been used all over the world as an excuse to persecute us. Supermarkets were open for bread for the body, but bread for the soul did not matter. Car boot sales and beaches have for weeks been full, with thousands of people milling around. But churches are still officially closed.
This is all part of the persecution against us, from various channels. Clearly, the devil is behind it. If Christ had overturned the tables of the moneychangers, today’s Pharisees, now bureaucrats and literalists, would imprison Him, demanding a health and safety review, a risk assessment and impose fines because Christ was not wearing a mask and standing two metres away. Such is the cunning and ongoing persecution of the Church today, conducted from behind the (transparent) screen of health and safety and political correctness and promoted by all those internal traitors and narcissists who always swim with the secular tide.
There are those in the governing elite who, having seen this virus and the zomby-isation of large parts of the population under relentless State propaganda, who are thinking of the next time and how much further they can go then. Unless there is repentance, this really is the beginning of the end.
Q: What should our attitude to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement be? I have heard that an Antiochian priest in America has excommunicated anyone who takes part in their demonstrations.
A: Obviously, we would never support violence, anarchy, law-breaking, looting etc or Marxists or LGBT activists who have jumped on the bandwagon in the USA. However, those are just the opportunist fringes, it is not what that movement is about. It is about restoring the human rights of all human-beings. All Lives Matter. I cannot see how anyone can be against that. As for some untrained and unintegrated crazy American convert, or rather semi-convert, from the conservative evangelicals, I think we can forget him. No priest has the right to excommunicate anyone.
Q: Why do many people look on different religions in such an unstable way, always changing just as they might change the brand of goods they buy in a shop?
A: That is the reflection of the secular approach, imported from the USA under the name of ‘globalisation’, that is, of American imperialism. Secular people think of themselves as consumers and of churches as different supermarkets. The most important thing for them is not the Truth (which alone sets free), but their own individual choice, like a consumer in a supermarket, choosing a brand which suits their own comfort. Secular society is founded on selfishness, on whatever makes you comfortable. On the other hand, the Truth does not make us comfortable, but challenges us to repentance, to change, making us free.
The traditional approach to faith is not in selfish, individual and temporary choice, in some passing fad, but in our roots in a place and in our shared values. This creates stability.
Q: How do we square St Paul’s statement that ‘man is the head of woman’ with modern values?
A: You mean squaring it with secular values? It is impossible. For Orthodox Christians, as in the universal Orthodox proverb: ‘Man is the head and woman is the neck’. Or to put it more poetically: The king rules the country, but the queen rules the king’s heart.
Q: If a homosexual is not actively homosexual, why should he not become a priest or a bishop?
A: The problem is that even a sexually inactive homosexual still has a homosexual psychology. This psychology combines the worst temptations of both men and women, the male weakness being pride, the desire for power and control, which creates backstabbing jealousy and bitchiness, the female weakness being vanity, which creates the love of money and luxury.
Jealousy comes when homosexual bishops see married priests who have everything they cannot have: a wife and children. Homosexual bishops then ordain boyfriends and persecute the married clergy, trying to obtain power over them. This compounds as gay mafias form and this corruption destroys. I knew just such a Greek archbishop, not to mention others. One of his ordinees, a former boyfriend, realised the depth of the corruption he was in and, in despair, turned to alcohol.
The love of luxury – and the need for money to fund this – also corrupts Church life. Whistleblowers are suspended or sidelined. Let us recall that the main reason why the practice of married bishops stopped was because married priests were passing on Church property to their children. Yet the same sort of corruption is now happening because of homosexual bishops, whose interest in amassing money is so that they can live in luxury. A real monk loves poverty and has no interest in villas, luxury cars, antiques, ‘beautiful objects’ etc.
The only solution is to make only real monks, those who have spent many years in a monastery first, bishops. Celibacy cannot be the main criterion to become a bishop. That just creates career opportunities for homosexuals.
Q: What do you think about how some papists have both male and female names? Is this, ironically, the root of contemporary gender confusion and widespread sexual sins (sodomy and all that follows)? Seems like seeing names like “Jose Maria” should tip everyone off that something is remarkably off, but I’ve never seen this addressed anywhere.
A: I don’t think we should read too much into this. The Latin tradition (Romanians keep it as well) is to have two names, the name you like first and then a second name, to whom the child is dedicated, especially the Virgin. For example, the Romanians will call a girl, say, Christelle, but she will be baptised Maria. I think this is purely cultural. There are lots of Romanian men called Marian, Marius etc.
But I do think that the current gender confusion comes from Catholicism/Protestantism, whose Puritanism (it is deeply anchored in both of them) suppressed sexual identity. The present satanic movement is a revolt against this.
Q: What Orthodox name would you suggest for someone called Roxana?
Q: What is a spiritual father?
A: The term ‘spiritual father’ is vastly overused, all too often used by the psychologically disturbed and weak who want a guru. Already in nineteenth-century Russia spiritual writers said that there were no more spiritual fathers left. Its use in Western Europe today, where and when there are certainly no spiritual fathers left, indicates dependency and psychological strangeness. The term confessor is, however, worthy of spiritual maturity.
Q: What is the difference between academic theology and theology that comes from ascetic suffering?
A: An academic theologian knows but does not understand. A real theologian knows and understands.
Q: A priest told me that the greatest problem of the Church today is that we have no leadership. What do you think of that?
A: I would agree, but we must first be very careful to define the word ‘leadership’. Many think of it in a secular sense, that what we need is some bishop or patriarch who can manipulate the media, who is good at PR and soundbites. That is nonsense, that would be to fall into the same secularism as the current Roman popes. I am talking about those who have the authority of the Holy Spirit, who have spiritual presence, that is, apostolicity. And this is the problem today, the ‘shortage’ of the Holy Spirit in our leaders because real leadership is the fruit of the Holy Spirit, neither the fruit of academic and theoretical study, nor of the ability to manipulate journalists.
Q: Why are people suddenly talking about fake news nowadays?
A: Fake news is the result of the virtual, or fake, reality which is all around us. People are more and more living in a bubble world of fakery. This is the result of computer life, virtual life, the use of the imagination, which leads to spiritual emptiness. There is nothing more dangerous than living in the imagination. That is where the demons live.
Q: What do you think of the book ‘Being as Communion’ by Metr John Zizioulas.
A: This is philosophy, not the Gospel. I don’t even understand the title and I rather think the fishermen of Galilee would not have understood it either.
Q: Why do so many modern churches have such hideous architecture, made of great concrete blocks? Some of them look like gymnasiums or offices, but not like churches.
A: This is because those who built these monstrosities confused humility with bad taste. You can build beautiful buildings quite cheaply. Good taste is almost always cheaper than bad taste. You don’t need to use gold and marble (indeed perhaps those materials should be banned, though marble can be cheap if it comes from the local area). But also you don’t need to build eyesores. The whole point of Church Art (for some, of all Art) is to point to the sacred and transcendent, but using and so sanctifying human materials. Theologically, this represents the Incarnation. If the sense of the sacred is missing, then this is not a Church building, just a building of fallen humanity, without any presence of the Divine, as you say, an office or a gymnasium.
Q: What in your view is the essential difference between Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy?
A: If I may rephrase your question, the difference between Christianity and the Western deformations of Christianity is this:
Christianity is the faith in Christ the Life-Giver, as related in His triumph over Death in the Gospels, but the Western deviations are essentially a form of Gothic barbarianism with a Christian veneer. For example, the first, full-blown, anti-Orthodox form of Church architecture is known as Gothic, because it looks so barbarian. In the nineteenth century this dead style was revived and called ‘Gothic revival’ or ‘Neo-Gothic’ (the London Parliament was built in that style). In that century Dostoyevsky visited Western Europe and related that it was like visiting a cemetery, where dear friends had been buried. It was in the same century that the West became obsessed with reviving the dead, with novels like Frankenstein and Dracula and the concept of blood-sucking exploitation (Marx). Today the same obsession is there with the cult of death, with ‘Goths’, Hallowe’en, zombies and the undead. Having rejected the life in Christ, the Western world is haunted by death.
Q: When did it become normal for Catholics to kneel down to pray and hold up and fold their hands in prayer?
A: The position of feudal homage of the vassal began in the first half of the twelfth century. Until then it seems to have been unknown. It represents the feudalisation of Christianity in the West, its compromise with pagan culture, in the same way as the new ‘theology’ of Scholasticism represents the paganisation of Christian theology by Aristotelianism. This movement, beginning after 1050, later triumphed in the total repaganisation of the Renaissance with its largely pornographic art, painted by homosexuals like Michelangelo and those in Venice, and Caravaggio (probably also like many others in Florence a pedophile) or sex maniacs like Titian. No Christians ever did this or do this, though Protestants (and a few marginal Orthodox) imitate them.
Q: I find the Orthodox Church attractive, but it is all so disorganised. Surely that is wrong?
A: I have faith and live by faith. Faith comes from real spiritual (if you like ‘mystical’) experience. Therefore, quite naturally, one of the things that I dislike the most is religion. Religion is a fraud, a purely manmade manipulation used by the powers that be to control the masses. We can see this quite clearly in the Pharisees at the Temple in the time of Christ. We can see it in the elitist religion of Western Europe (Catholicism/Protestantism – it is all the same thing, the two sides of the same coin), which are designed to line up, make stand up and sit down, to order and to control. The more religion is organised or institutional, the worse it is. I therefore much prefer our Orthodox ‘disorganised religion’, that is to say, our faith, which is our spiritual belief made incarnate. Beware of organised, institutional religion, it is the practice of the scribes and the Pharisees (woe to them), atheists, careerists, bureaucrats with their paperwork and protocols, of those who have lost the faith – if they ever had it.