All the commandments are founded on the commandment of love.
All people, all nations and all lands are called to the true faith.
‘I commemorate Patriarch Alexiy I at the proskomidia every day. He is the Patriarch. And our prayer remains. We have been cut off by circumstances, but liturgically we are one.’ (1949).
We pray the Lord that He will speed that desired and awaited hour when the Patriarch of All Rus, going up to his throne in the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow, will gather around himself all the Russian bishops come from the whole Russian and foreign lands.
St John of Shanghai
We apologise for not publishing this questions and answers rubric for six months, though we did reply to questions individually. The reasons for the delay in publishing this section were circumstances beyond our control, about which only a few know the truth so far. Glory to God for all things!
Q: Should we get vaccinated? Were you ever afraid of dying from covid during the pandemic? Do you believe that covid is manmade or natural?
A: The question of vaccination is a question which only you can answer. It is not for me, but for you to answer it. What I have noticed, however, is that wherever there is an authoritarian State or ex-Communist and corrupt States, such as France, or in Eastern Europe and Russia, which have for generations lied to the people, there is much hostility to vaccination. Such is the distrust fostered by States that usually lie or else force people to get vaccinated. Even when such States are telling the truth, people think they are lieing. In any case, vaccination must be purely voluntary.
I was never afraid of dying of covid. I covered over 30,000 miles in my car during covid, giving confession and communion to Orthodox over a very wide area, as there was no-one else to do it, especially in London. I would have happily accepted death, if it had been God’s will, as I was under cruel persecution all that time.
I don’t know if covid is natural or manmade, but, whatever the case, most certainly some sinister people took advantage of covid after it appeared, in order to manipulate society and ordinary people. This makes you think that maybe it was in fact all planned and therefore there is no coincidence. But there is no proof of that, only suspicions. The main strange thing was the replacement of common sense by State diktat. For example, if I feel unwell, I stay at home. If I have a nasty virus, I do not spread it to others. I do not need the State to tell me about ‘self-isolation or ‘social distancing’. I have common sense!
Q: There seems to be a division in the Church in this country between liberal ex-Anglican converts and anti-vaxxer sectarians. I get depressed by this. Can you recommend anything?
A: I think you spend too much time on the convert fringes of the Church, where in truth such a division between extremists does exist. Vaccination is not a Church question, the Holy Trinity, the Person of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Eternal Virginity of the Mother of God, the qualities of the Church, the communion of the saints, these are. Do not get distracted by such worldly matters as the vaccination of the body.
As regards Anglicanism, hardly any Romanian, Russian or Greek has even heard the word. If you ask them what religion English people are, they will say either that they are atheists, or else that they are Catholics. Fine distinctions between different varieties of Non-Orthodox are quite beyond ordinary Orthodox, who are the vast majority here, for they are too busy making a living, paying the rent and bringing up their children. I would say that here is a case of ignorance is bliss.
Leave the world, with its disputes about vaccines and varieties of religious error alone, concentrate on the salvation of your soul. The issues of accepting or rejecting vaccination and abstract differences between one heterodox and another will not help in the question of the salvation of your soul.
The Russian Church
Q: Is it desirable to restore the pre-Revolutionary Russian Church and remain faithful to it?
A: Of course, we must remain faithful to the Church, but you cannot live in or restore the past. In any case, we should not be faithful to decadent practices, neither from any point in the past nor in the present. And despite the illusions of convert idealism and ignorance, there was much that was decadent in the Church before the Revolution. Just a slight acquaintance with people who lived then (now, true, impossible), or with the Russian history and literature of the period confirms that.
Put simply, if all had been well in Russia before the Revolution, there would have been no Revolution. Clearly then, there were grave problems. We know from the accounts of Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky) that seminaries before the Revolution were full of atheists (like Stalin), careerists and idlers. We know that after the Revolution, immediately 90% of Russian soldiers stopped attending previously obligatory services and that later, according to St John of Shanghai’s description at the ROCOR Church Council in the 1930s, some 90% of émigrés did not bother with Church life (something we often witnessed ourselves, so we know it to be a fact). We know that after the Revolution nearly 500 priests voluntarily gave up the priesthood. What was the point for them any more? ‘There was no more money in it’. Above all, we know that before the Revolution communion once a year was the norm even for the Church-going and only the extremely pious took communion two or three times a year. In other words, the Revolution took place because Russia was no longer in communion with Christ, it had left the Church. Do we want to return to this? What do we want to imitate there?
Q: What is Sergianism?
A: This was a term popularised in the USA by the CIA to try and discredit dogmatically the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, whose episcopate, originally under Metropolitan and later Patriarch Sergius (+ 1944) was oppressed by the atheist State. It referred basically to the forced co-operation of certain representatives of the Church authorities (very different from the Church!) with atheists. Basically, in Western languages this is a form of what has down the centuries been known as erastianism, named after the sixteenth-century Swiss Protestant Erastus, who maintained that the State is superior to the Church in Church matters.
The irony of the use of this Cold War term of ‘Sergianism’ is that it was popularised by Orthodox who were controlled and paid by the CIA, the US State spy apparatus! These agents tried to make out that somehow, ‘magically’, because of personal compromises by a few bishops the whole Russian Church inside Russia had ‘lost grace’. It was only one step from here to make out that therefore the only grace in the Russian Orthodox Church was that in the émigré Russian Church. And of course from there on, it was only a step to inventing a Protestant-style ‘One True Church’ theory, dragging down the small émigré Russian Church based in New York, into a sectarian and pharisaical existence. In other words, it was all about the very primitive and infernal pride of self-justification: ‘We are right and you are wrong, we alone have the correct Tradition and you do not, we are going to heaven and you are going to hell’, if I may quote two representatives of that Church in this country today.
Indeed, this is exactly what happened in and after 2007, when some émigré descendants and their naïve neophyte followers refused to enter into communion with the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia and its representatives outside Russia, whom they condemned as ‘belonging to the Moscow Patriarchate’. (In reality all parts of the Russian Orthodox Church belong to the ‘Patriarchate of Moscow’). Even among those who remained we can see there are some who now want to leave that communion and persecute our faithfulness. Yet this normal communion was exactly what we had been desperately waiting for. In other words, I would be very cautious about those who use this political term, as they are probably themselves ‘Sergianists’, or more exactly ‘CIA-ists’.
Q: When will you consider that the influence of the Soviet Union no longer exists? When they have removed Lenin’s corpse from public display in Moscow?
A: That is, I think, only the first step. The second step is when they rename the metro stations, streets and towns and remove all statues and references to the Bolshevik monsters. The next step is when ordinary Russians realise that the disaster of the Second World War was due to Stalin. 27 millon dead and Moscow, Saint Petersburg and Volgograd/Tsaritsyn nearly taken. In the First World War 600,000 died and the Germans got no further than Poland and Lithuania and victory was imminent, with Berlin and Vienna falling to the Tsar’s Army, only treachery of the Russian atheists stopped victory then. The final victory, after the disaster, in the Second World War was due to the heroism of the people and leaders like Zhukov, not to the monstrous Stalin, who massacred his own peoples. Finally, there must be the rebuilding of the Russian Empire: something that for the moment seems light years away. We have only just begun.
Q: Should we take the blessing of bishops who are under Constantinople?
A: If they are not schismatics, yes of course you should. Personally I know of only four who actually are schismatics, that is, who actively support the Phanariot schism in the Ukraine. That means the majority are not like that. However, we should be courteous even to the four schismatic Phanariot bishops, treating them as we would Roman Catholic bishops. There is nothing wrong in this treatment, as that is what they want to become according to their own public statements.
Above all, however, we should pray for them. Repentance is still possible and it may be that the small number who have created schism and chaos may yet be taken from us and the majority of traditional bishops there will vanquish the schismatic elements, who have taken over for the moment. We can certainly take their blessing. There are some wonderful priests and people in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, not least locally and also on much of Mt Athos, who do not at all agree with what a few individuals have done in the Ukraine. A new Local Church will on part be built on the faithful (obviously not on the unfaithful) of Constantinople.
Q: What are we to do if at the Patriarchal visit here in October 2022 the Patriarchate of Constantinople gives the Archdiocese of Thyateira autocephaly and creates a ‘British Orthodox Church’?
A: Any ‘autocephaly’ given will be a fictitious one, like that given to the schismatics in the Ukraine. Of course what you say is likely, as Thyateira now has bishops in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff. The same may happen in North America now, while Patriarch Bartholomew is there, North America being a trial run. The Greek Archdiocese there (GOARCH) may be given a new charter (‘tomos’) and become an Autocephalous American Orthodox Church. The Phanar can do whatever it wants in Britain and North America, or anywhere else – for if it does what it wants there, it will surely do the same in Australia. However, will that make any practical change on the ground? Will English people then be made welcome there, in these flag-waving, ethnic clubs, or will they continue to be told to go away and become Anglicans? This is the only thing that counts. Titles and names change nothing, if the contents do not change.
However, the possible Phanariot action should also be a wake-up call for other Orthodox to unite at long last and leave aside any sectarian activities and extremes. We, after all, should be in spiritual and administrative unity when we live on the same territory. Indeed, an envoy from Moscow went to New York last July, so that the three fragments of the Russian Church there can prepare to merge into one. The anachronistic and uncanonical divisions of the past are to end, as they have no further reason to exist. Hopefully, the same process of unity can occur in Western Europe, Latin America and Oceania, which must all obtain their own Metropolias and so become future Local Churches. And perhaps in Africa too, where Moscow seems to be thinking about establishing an Exarchate for Black Africa.
Q: Do we always owe obedience to our bishop?
A: We owe obedience to God. This means to our bishop, providing that he is a true representative of God. Thus, if he asks something of you that is against God, for instance, something that is uncanonical, schismatic or heretical, all is different. For example, if your bishop asks to commit an immoral or criminal act or asks to allow him to commit an immoral or criminal act (this would include acts he demands of you if he is an operative of the secret services), of if he has individually broken communion with another Church without any Synodal decision about that other Church, or if he is preaching heresy. The point is that we must be obedient to Christ and His Church; obedience to your bishop depends on his obedience to Christ and His Church. Christ was not obedient to the pharisees, high priests and money-changers. Similarly we are not obedient to the Archbishop of Constantinople, Nestorius. A stress on blind obedience is Protestant and Old Testament, pharisaic and sectarian, and is always employed by cult leaders and sectarians. Our stress is on Faith, Repentance, Mercy, Holiness, the Resurrection and the Holy Spirit.
Q: Why do Churches contract and even disappear?
A: When a Church grouping plays politics, that is, when it fails to be faithful to its mission and becomes ritualistic, sectarian and cultish, it contracts and can even disappear. It happened in North Africa, in the fifth and sixth centuries because of sectarian Donatism, it happened in Asia Minor from the seventh century on, it happened in Russia in 1917 because of the ritualistic lack of the living Spirit and State control. Only when people stand up to enemies and face either martyrdom or take on the cross of confessing the Faith, do Churches grow again (as in Russia after 1991). One group I can think of that has time and again failed to grow, has failed because some there have an extraordinary ability to mistreat, persecute and slander their unpaid priests, who prefer to confess the Faith with integrity and a Christian conscience, rather than take part in activities which clearly lack love. The Church has only two pillars: martyrdom and confessordom. There is nothing outside them.
Q: Will Non-Orthodox be saved?
A: We should not even be thinking of asking such a Protestant-style question. Our only concern should be our own salvation. And we know that this is possible only by the Mercy of God.
Q: Some Orthodox priests receive Non-Orthodox by chrismation, others by baptism. I have heard of some who receive Catholics by confession and communion. What is the logic in all these different practices?
A: Non-Orthodox Christians are not pagans, but for the most part believe that God is a Trinity and that Christ is the Son of God become man. And they have sacramental forms, which are relics of their distant Orthodox past. Thus, most, though not all, Protestants have a ‘baptism’, in which water touches the body of the person to be baptised and the act is carried out in the Name of the Holy Trinity. Roman Catholics have the same and also several other sacramental forms, including a ‘chrismation’, though they call it confirmation and it is carried out only by bishops. Let me explain:
All Orthodox churches give out holy water. However, in some Orthodox churches people come with their own bottles and take holy water, whereas others supply their own bottles and people come and buy one of these bottles and then fill it with holy water. Obviously, what is sacramental is not the bottle, but the holy water, not the cover, but the book, not the envelope but the letter. And so it is with Non-Orthodox sacramental forms. They are the bottles that people bring from home, in which case there is no need to take the bottles from the church, as you already have one with you. The only important thing is the holy water, the contents, not the container. The container is the Non-Orthodox sacramental form, which is activated or ‘sacramentalised’ by the contents.
The reception of Greek Catholic priests in their orders had been the Tradition of the Russian Church long before the Revolution, as witnessed by the Great Synod of Moscow in 1666–67. This went back to Canon 95 In Trullo, which states that Arians and other heretics could be received by chrismation, not that this means a recognition of their sacraments, but the desire to ease their return to the Church. As the future Patriarch Sergius, then the disciple of the great theologian and canonist Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky), the founding First Hierarch of ROCOR, put it :
‘Если во втором чиноприеме инославный принимается чрез миропомазание, это отнюдь не значит, чтобы крещение, полученное им в инославии, признавалось действительным, а только то, что, не повторяя формы крещения из снисхождения, Церковь преподает принимаемому благодать крещения вместе с миропомазанием и под его формою. Точно так же если, например, латинский или армянский священник принимается третьим чином, чрез покаяние, в сущем сане, то это значит, что под формой покаяния ему преподаются сразу все нужные Таинства: и крещение, и миропомазание, и хиротония’. (https://www.portal-slovo.ru/theology/38937.php). ‘If the heterodox is accepted through chrismation by the second rite, this does not mean that the baptism received by him in heterodoxy is recognized as valid, but only that, without repeating the forms of baptism out of condescension, the Church presents to him who has been accepted the grace of baptism together with chrismation and under its form. Similarly, if, for example, a Latin or Armenian priest is accepted by the third rite, through repentance, in his present rank, it means that under the form of repentance he is granted all the necessary sacraments at once: baptism, chrismation, and consecration’.
Thus also, at the first session of the Seventh Universal Council it was decided to receive iconoclast bishops in their orders on the insistence of St Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople. As Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky) commented: ‘Patriarch Tarasius taught us by his example how attached we should be to the peace of the Church’. For the first celebration with an Orthodox bishop serves as a valid ordination for him who was outside the Church. (Письма Блаженнѣйшаго Митрополита Антонiя (Храповицкаго) Jordanville 1988, p. 202).
The future St Tikhon received Carpatho-Russian priests like this in North America. Before him St Alexis of Wilkes-Barre was received exactly in this way. This is the normal practice of the Russian Orthodox Church today (Hieroschemamonk Gabriel (Bunge) was received like this in Western Europe) and in the Ukraine, as also it has been the constant practice of the hierarchy of what is now the Archdiocese of Western Europe (Metr Evlogy in Nantes in the 1930s, Archbp George (Wagner) in Paris in the 1980s).
Q: What should converts be careful of?
A: Those new to the Church suffer like those who are new to anything, to a new religion, to a new political party, to a new club or any other new human institution. Their suffering is twofold.
On the one hand, there are those who never really accept the new faith and go on living in the past, never putting new wine into the old bottles. On the other hand, there are those who not only reject everything from their past, including the good, but also turn violently against it, rejecting even their families and former friends. For example, I know one ex-Anglican who may or may not be Orthodox. The only thing I am sure about is that he is violently anti-Anglican. Here we see what the Apostle calls ‘zeal not according to (= without) reason’, whereas the first case could be called ‘reason not according to (= without) zeal’. In such cases we see how psychology plays a far greater role than any theology.
In both cases no conversion has ever taken place.
What should converts be careful of? Extremes.
Q: Who don’t Orthodox women want to be priests? Plenty of Anglican women do and there are thousands of women-priests in the Church of England, which more and more depends on them.
A: We have to put the answer into the context of the difference between non-clerical (Orthodox) Christian Civilisation and clerical (filioquist = power to the clergy) Western Civilisation.
In the Church of England, which is a historic part of Western Civilisation, founded in the sixteenth century, vicars receive a good salary and a free house. In some places vicars still have prestige and social standing. This is part of the clericalism inherent in that historic Civilisation, according to which the Holy Spirit proceeds from the vicars of Christ. Why should women be deprived of these clerical advantages and authority, when the Church of England generally has little concept of sacraments and in particular of the sacrament of the priesthood? For most vicars are really social workers. And women can be very good at being social workers. Hence equality.
However, in the Orthodox Church nearly all priests receive a very small salary or often no salary at all and often depend on their wife’s salary. It is also very rare that they receive a free house. And in the Orthodox Church you have to stand for long periods, you have to fast and so on. What is the attraction? Career women simply do not want that. I have never heard of a single case of a woman brought up in Orthodox Christianity who desires to be a priest.
What I am saying is that clericalist attractions are very few for worldly people in the Orthodox Church. As for those who are not worldly, but who are grounded in Orthodoxy, there cannot even be a thought about the idea of women-priests because Church people know the Scriptures, which relate how the future Apostles were chosen, the Fathers, the Lives of the Saints and the whole Tradition of the Holy Spirit. When you live outside the Tradition, you can imagine all sorts of things.
Church Life and the Sacraments
Q: Is it true that there are only two ways in life, to get married or to enter a monastery?
A: I would say there are two and a quarter ways, in the sense that there are the two above ways and then there are the exceptions. Let us not be too rigid when we speak of the variety of human-beings and of life.
Q: I was told that you should not kneel on Sundays, but I recently went to a church and dozens of people were kneeling. Can you explain this?
A: You can always recognise a convert: he is the one who does not kneel on Sundays because he wants to be ‘super-correct’!
Yes, according to Canon XX of the First Council, you should not kneel on Sundays, as this is the day of the Resurrection, when we should stand. But piety and zeal are very strong and many kneel on Sundays. I certainly would not ‘correct’ them. Some pious Romanians, for example, kneel not only throughout the Gospel, but even throughout the liturgy. That is painful. And everywhere on the Sunday of the Cross, we kneel before the Cross, ‘before which we bow down’. And if there is a service of intercession (moleben) after the Sunday liturgy, then we will all kneel at the prayer at the end. Please do not be a convert and ‘correct’ piety!
So many canons are completely ignored in today’s practice. For example, that bishops may not be appointed by the secular authorities (which so many have been and are and that throughout history). Or the canon about bishops not being transferred from one see to another. Yet, St John Shanghai, a saint, was transferred from one continent to another, twice! There are many canons which are ignored and they are far more important than the one about not kneeling on Sundays. Sadly, there lies a lot of pride (and ignorance) behind the motivations of those who use the word ‘uncanonical’ so selectively.
Q: What advice would you give to those attending a baptism?
A: Learn the Creed by heart, if you do not know it already. Come to the church on the Sunday before and, if possible, have confession and communion. And please, please do not stand behind the godparents, or else you will get spat on!
Q: Why is it so difficult to get confession in Greek churches?
A: There is a tendency for confession to disappear from Church life. This is on account of protestantisation, for in Protestantism there is no confession because there is no priesthood. Thus, until the 1960s Roman Catholics needed confession in order to take communion. Now many there seem to have abandoned confession. The Greek Orthodox world, much Americanised, seems to be going the same way.
However, there is also an enormous practical problem. In most Greek churches, there is only one priest. How can he have time to confess thousands of parishioners, as for example in the Cypriot parishes in London? But is it any better in the Russian Church? In the Russian Church inside Russia and sometimes outside there is still a practice of ‘General Confession’. This is pure invention, dating back to the Soviet period when there were hardly any priests. It should be outlawed today…but again you have the same problem with the lack of priests. Some in the Russian Diaspora condemn General Confession as uncanonical (which it is), but when you go to their own parishes, which are often very small, you tend to find that priests listen to confessions very briefly, thus they may take 25 confessions in 30 minutes! What sort of confession is this? Or else, and this is even worse, they have hardly any people coming to communion, as in the bad old days. Then you could have a priest and 2,000 inside the church and it would not matter because you would only have 5-10 communions. As I say, the bad old days.
The fact is that there is a real problem here and it mainly all comes down to the lack of priests. In my experience for every 100 people in church you must have at least one priest and one spare priest to do the proskomidia, so in a parish where you may often have 300 at the Sunday liturgy, as in Colchester, you must have four priests, three for confessions and one for the proskomidia.
Q: Why do some priests cover the penitent’s head during confession and others do not?
A: It is simply a question of the size of the church and how close others are standing to the penitent. If it is a small church and other penitents are standing close by, then the priest should cover the penitent’s head so that others cannot accidentally overhear.
Q: Why are some saints sometimes portrayed as being incredibly tall? Sometimes they seem to be about ten feet tall.
A: In frescoes saints are often portrayed as being tall. This is to give perspective as people look upwards, and it seems as though the saints are floating in heaven. In icons even short saints, like St John of Shanghai who was at most five feet tall, is portrayed as being of average height. This represents his spiritual grandeur. However, to portray saints as giants in icons is an iconographical mistake. It is to confuse fresco iconography with icon iconography.
Q: Who was St Thomas’ twin?
A: In the Gospels Thomas is called the Twin, but this is actually the translation of his Aramaic nickname, Thomas = twin. Thomas’ real name was Jude. He was nicknamed the twin, not because he had a twin brother, but because he was physically so similar to Christ. This is why his witness to Christ’s Resurrection was so important. He had to recognise Christ because he looked so like him, the only obvious difference was Christ’s wounds.
Q: Why is it so important for Orthodox to have a saint’s name?
A: Since you will find that you will begin to live the life of the saint you choose, the choice of a saint whom you feel attached to is vital. Therefore, it must be a saint with whom you share traits of character. The same is also true of parishes, at least for the priests. They find that they begin to live the life of their patron saint. For example, St John of Shanghai was slandered, put on trial by his fellow-bishops and (briefly) deposed as Archbishop of San Francisco by them, as they were jealous of him.
Q: What is your view of Fr Seraphim Rose and Fr Herman Podmoshensky?
A: Fr Seraphim was a repentant homosexual and so an example for those who have that problem. He did an enormous amount of missionary work, with a lot of translations and also original writing. True, some of his writings were marked by the Creationism, literalism and apocalypticism of Californian/American Protestantism, but much of his work, directed at the glaring errors and indeed sectarian and schismatic nature of the ‘super-correct’ old calendarist ROCOR, now seems very relevant in Europe too. They were obviously in the wrong: he really did need to spend so much time challenging them in the US context then, as in Europe today. His rejection of their heresy of Donatism was worthy of one who was a disciple of St John of Shanghai.
Also his polemics against Moscow seem very outdated now, a political product marked by Cold War Russian émigrés who were financed by the CIA. However, although Fr Seraphim’s writings were coloured by the ‘crazy California’ of the 1960s and 1970s, he did a great deal of good and I do not think we should judge him for having been a man of his times. Indeed, it was remarkable that he joined the Orthodox Church at that time and did so much. Was he a saint? I don’t know, let us wait till God reveals the truth. In the mean time we should pray for his repose. He was certainly a very gifted monk who sought the Holy Spirit.
Fr Herman (Gleb) Herman Podmoshensky did a remarkable amount of very useful translation work. And he also did a lot of writing in Russian after the fall of the Soviet Union for converts there. Unfortunately, it was all coloured by his literalist mistranslations (‘slave of God’ instead of ‘servant of God’, ‘desert-dweller’ instead of ‘hermit’), and use of quite unnecessary and deliberately mystifying Russian words such as ‘prelest’, which added to the esoteric and sectarian ‘Californian’ feel of his movement. You felt that he was trying to manipulate ignorant converts by being ‘exotic’, with his cult of ‘Holy Russia’. Generally, he was marked by great emotionalism, which is unpleasant and undesirable, especially in a monk. This became much worse after the death of Fr Seraphim, whose benign influence had helped to restrain Fr Gleb from his excesses.
It was this emotional blurring, even verging on hysteria, that later led him to leave the Church for a time and join a sect and to write some very strange and very untrue things about ‘stavroclasm’ in his absurd polemics against Metr Antony of Kiev and Archbishop Antony of San Francisco. I wrote to him at the time in the 1980s, urging him to return to the Church and I received a very florid and emotional letter back. Sadly, Fr Herman seemed never to have thrown off his chronic moral weakness, which it is embarrassing to speak of. All we can do is to pray for him. May the good he did outweigh his moral failings.
The Secular World
Q: What do you make of the incident heavily reported by the BBC in June this year, when a Royal Navy ship tried to enter Crimean territorial waters and provoke an incident?
A: What was a Royal Navy ship, in fact a small gunboat, doing off the Crimea? Defending the United Kingdom?! HMS Defender should be renamed HMS Offender. What possible threat is there to the defence of this country from the Black Sea? This is an attempt to repeat the British invasion of Russia that took place in the so-called ‘Crimean War’ (= invasion of Russia) in 1854-56. ‘Send in the gunboats’, cried the Victorian imperialists. Some things never change….The fact that a BBC journalist/agent was on board the little ship was hardly a coincidence. He and his cameraman had been sent to film the premeditated incident and make cheap propaganda.
This was clearly a premeditated provocation, as proved by the leaking of Ministry of ‘Defence’ papers connected with the operation a week later and found at a bus stop in Kent. Perhaps the provocation had been agreed by Johnson and Biden, whose son virtually runs the puppet Ukraine, the week before at the Cornwall meeting of the US-run G7 rich club? As for the BBC propaganda report that Russia ‘annexed’ the Russian Crimea, this is absurd to anyone who knows anything about 20th century history. It is as if France had occupied Kent and then called its liberation by London as a ‘British annexation’. The whole world would laugh. This is how the Western world has become a laughing-stock to those outside it.
Q: Why does the BBC not report the war in the eastern Ukraine?
A: Tightly-controlled Western State propaganda mouthpieces like the BBC do not generally report anything where the West is guilty of crimes, whether it is the civil war in the Ukraine (the people against the Western-imposed junta in Kiev), Afghanistan, the Yemen, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, the Congo, South Africa etc.
Q: Why do conservative Evangelicals in the USA like President Putin?
A: Not all of them do. For example, many are Globalists. However, it is true that some do. This is because they see in him a social conservative. To some extent this is true (though post-Soviet Russia’s appalling abortion statistics belie it). However, he is not a political conservative, unlike rich right-wingers, as he says he believes in social justice (though again, Russia’s appalling corruption and oligarchy also belie this).
Q: How did Globalism become so powerful in the Western world?
A: Let us be clear: We define Globalism as an ideology that proclaims that the whole world should be ruled by a chosen people, an elite, regardless of their race.
Thus, when we say ‘Globalists’, we would certainly include both ancient figures in Babylon and pagan Rome from Nebuchadnezzar to Caesar, as well as more recent figures like Cromwell, Napoleon, Lenin, Churchill, Hitler, yes, Hitler too was a Globalist, and most contemporary US Presidents in our definition. For example, the British Empire was a purely Globalist project, from Clive to Rhodes, like the Spanish Empire before it. And today David Cameron (whose family were slave-traders) and Boris Johnson are certainly Globalists. However, your question concerns the history of how this ideology became prevalent in the Western world and indeed became the very essence of the Western ideology.
When in the seventh century the Muslims invaded Spain, financed by the then Globalists, the latter became very influential at the highest levels. Within a century they were educating the future filioquist clergy and advisors of Charlemagne (another Globalist, who wanted to restore the Globalist pagan Roman Empire) in Aachen at the end of the eighth century. Many of these advisors were precisely from Spain. It was they who at the end of the eighth century wrote the iconoclastic and filioquist ‘Carolingian Books’, which rejected the Seventh Universal Council and proclaimed that only the schismatic West had the True Faith, for the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Vicar of Christ, i.e. the Pope of Rome, and not from God the Father alone. This act was the foundation stone of modern Globalism, even though it was not systematically and institutionally implemented until the Germanic takeover of the Papacy in the mid-eleventh century.
From then on the Globalists moved very quickly. Thus, in 1066, Globalists, centred in North-West Europe, moved for the first time to consolidate power in the West by taking over England. They made their Capital in London, as they had financed the Globalist Norman Conquest. Then thirty years later, they invaded Palestine, financing and sending gangs of murderous barbarians in what they called a ‘Crusade’. The Globalists also introduced Gothic architecture with its pointed arches, which was inspired by Muslim architecture in Spain.
In the next century in what is now Italy, merchants and bankers in Lombardy in Northern Italy grew in wealth on the strength of local cereal crops and many Globalists from Spain were attracted to the trade, bringing with them ancient trading practices from the Middle and Far East. They entered the trading places and halls of Lombardy and set up their benches (‘banks’) to trade in crops. Hence the word ‘lombard’, used in Europe to mean a pawnbroker, and ‘Lombard Street’ next to the Bank of England
In the twelfth century, the need to finance more anti-Christian Crusades stimulated banking. Thus the Templars and Hospitallers acted as the bankers of Henry II of England in the Holy Land and this marked the beginning of Europe-wide banking, another cornerstone of Globalism. Indeed, in 1156 the earliest known foreign exchange contract was signed in Genoa in order to reimburse the bank’s agents in Constantinople. The next year the first bank was established in Venice with a guarantee from the State in 1157. This was due to the commercial agency of the Venetians, acting in the interest of the Crusaders of Pope Urban II. And in 1204 Constantinople was plundered and devastated precisely from and by the Globalists of Venice.
The most powerful banking families were then established in Florence, who later influenced banking in France, but Genoa was also very important. Its importance influenced Catalonia, on the other side of the Mediterranean and in 1401 the magistrates of Barcelona, the Catalonian capital, established the first replication of the Venetian model, creating the first public bank in Europe. Their influence spread to the rest of Spain and Portugal, at the end of the century financing the Genoese Columbus in his aggressive and purely Globalist invasion of the Americas, which led to the Spanish, Portuguese and then French, British and then North American genocides which lasted right into the 21st century. The Globalists notably held great power in the slave-trading empires of the Caribbean.
In the seventeenth century Globalists in Amsterdam who had financed Cromwell’s Old Testament Civil War and mercantile ‘English’ Revolution, with its usurpation of legitimate power and beheading of King Charles I, moved to London. This was to become the centre of their Empire from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries on until World War One. Only then did power move from there across the Atlantic to New York and later to California. And this is where they hold power today.
Q: Why aren’t dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
Why isn’t God mentioned in books about dinosaurs?!
First of all, dinosaurs were only discovered 200 years ago, long after the Bible was written down. On the other hand, since the Bible, right at the beginning, very, very briefly mentions the period when there were dinosaurs, you may ask why it does not mention them. That is simply because when dinosaurs existed, people had not yet been created, so there was no-one to see dinosaurs and describe them.
However, there is a much more important reason why the Bible does not mention dinosaurs. You see, the Bible does not mention giraffe, zebra or kangaroos and lots of other things. But they all existed at the time when the stories in the Bible were written down. This is because the Bible is not interested in them. The Bible is not a handbook on fossils, animals, insects, astronomy, engineering, geography, medicine, laws, business, history, French, maths and all sorts of other things. For example, if I want to know about dinosaur fossils, I will read a book on dinosaur fossils, but I will not expect that book to tell me about God, or what I can do to become a better person and save myself from bad things (salvation), like the Bible.
So, if I want to know how to fix my car, I get a handbook on my car. But if I want to know how I can fix my life, then I read the Bible.
In fact, we can say that there are two types of book. The first type will tell me about all sorts of things that we might see in the world today or might have seen in the world in the past or even what we might see in the future. These books are called fiction and non-fiction. They can be compared to a microscope, which is used for looking in detail at people and the world around us.
Then there are ‘The Books’, what we call in English the Bible, which means precisely ‘The Books’. Now the Bible only mentions people and the world around us in passing. This is because it is not a microscope, but a telescope. And it is a telescope which we use to see beyond the universe, beyond creation, to God. In this way we can understand how our whole life changes because God is here and so we can make sense of our past, present and future and how we can save ourselves from bad and become better.
So, the Bible is a book that is very different from all other books: it is not a microscope to look at life around us, at Creation, but a telescope to look at the source of life, the Creator, so then we can make sense of our life. The Bible is not interested in dead fossils, but in the life of the Spirit.
Q: My son is being bullied at school. What should he do?
A: We must stand up to playground bullies. If they grow up and are not challenged, they will become tyrants, throwing their adult toys out of their adult prams. You cannot always rely on the oldest boy in the playground to protect you. You need a more military approach. It takes guts. The best thing to do is to ensure that your son learns how to fight back. Usually bullies cave in at once if they are challenged, because they are cowards. And only cowards can smell out other cowards. Let our model be Aleksandr Usyk, the Ukrainian Orthodox world heavyweight boxing champion and faithful subdeacon of our Church.
Q: Is it a sin to visit the Dead Sea?
A: No. But it would be a sin to visit it and experience it as a place of pleasure, and not of repentance. We bathe in the Jordan, the River of Life, not in the Dead Sea, the Sea of Death.
Q: What has been the purpose of your life? Is there anything you regret?
A: The purpose of my life has been to witness to the fullness of the Orthodox Christianity of the Gospel by serving in and founding churches (not philosophical theories and fantasies about churches) locally, in Western Europe, where by God’s will I was born and live. This is why I have followed firstly Christ and the Mother of God, whose protecting veil my patron saint saw and has protected me, and to whom the first church I founded was dedicated. Then came the local saints, then the fools for Christ who were very unfoolish, saints who opposed the extremes of East and West like St Alexander Nevsky, and more specifically contemporary spiritual leaders and hierarchs like St John of Shanghai and his successor Archbishop Antony of Geneva. However, this down-to-earth or Incarnational attitude has meant battling against extremes and deviations of a psychological and psychopathological, political and nationalist, or sectarian and ideological nature. These deviations wanted to make the real Church of God variously into some sort of personality cult, or else an ethnic and political ghetto, or else a cultish sect of onion domes for show for recent converts, a kind of fake or ‘Disneyland’ Russian Orthodox Church.
Regrets? We must all regret our sins. Of course, I regret that I am not a saint, but there still remains the possibility of martyrdom.