Monthly Archives: September 2022

The Russian Orthodox Church and the Tragedy of Soviet Centralisation

Introduction: Soviet Centralisation in Kiev = The End of the Ukraine

I was recently asked a strange question: Do you think that the Ukraine has a right to exist? To which I answered: Obviously, yes! The Ukraine is for Ukrainians! And that is precisely the problem, the Ukraine is for Ukrainians, not for Non-Ukrainians. I believe in self-determination. What the Soviet-style Kiev government did not have the right to do is to ban and oppress the languages and cultures of others and even ‘ethnically cleanse’ the non-Ukrainian minorities. Sadly, that is what has been going on since 1945, starting in what Kiev still calls ‘Transcarpathia’, even though it is Kiev which is Transcarpathian. And in the last three decades that were supposedly ‘post-Soviet’ the centralising Soviet-style oppression has got worse everywhere.

Clearly, the independent Ukraine after 1991 either had to become a loose Confederation, as suggested by the leaders of Germany at the time, or else it had to change its unnatural borders, returning to its pre-1922 borders, returning land to Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania. Instead, it rejected both options, rejecting democratic referenda, remaining a centralised Soviet State. So now it is being forced to return to its natural borders by the drama of military action and appalling bloodshed. Therein lies its horrible tragedy, all so avoidable, the tragedy of all those who have not thrown off the atheist Soviet heritage with its disregard, plain lack of love, for others. It is all so typically Soviet: close the churches and padlock their doors, so people cannot go to them. ‘Hate your neighbour’ is our slogan.

Soviet Centralisation in Moscow = Autocephaly in the Ukraine

In the Russian Church, unlike in other Local Churches, there is a tradition of praying for not just the diocesan bishop, but also for the Patriarch. If you are in the Russian Church, you should do this. However, over the decades, there have been inside and outside Russia, numbers of bishops and priests who have refused to do this. Thus, after the fall of the Russian Empire in 1917, the Church in the Polish part of the former Empire received autocephaly and the parishes in Finland left for Constantinople. This was also in order to avoid praying for a Patriarch who was under the orders of atheists.

Then, for over 80 years, bishops and priests in the émigré Church, ROCOR, refused to commemorate the head of the Russian Church because they considered that the Metropolitans and Patriarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate were slaves or hostages of the atheist Communists who were persecuting the Church, and therefore they were not Orthodox. Indeed, if they had commemorated the Russian Patriarch, the people would have walked out, so not to pray for him publicly was a pastoral necessity. And in the neophyte 1990s there were protesters inside Russia who also refused to commemorate their Patriarch. These non-commemorators justified themselves as they considered that the Patriarch was an ecumenist and so was not Orthodox.

Today, in the Ukraine clergy have stopped commemorating Patriarch Kyrill for the same reason as ROCOR, because they do not consider him to be Orthodox and therefore, at the mention of his name in churches, the people walk out or else they refuse to go to church anyway. Rightly or wrongly, they consider him to be the slave of the post-Soviet State, a politician and not a churchman. As a result, the canonical Ukrainian Church has had to declare itself ‘fully independent’. It had no choice. The decision was forced on it by the people. Far more importantly than this, however, is the fact that when the conflict in the Ukraine is over, and whatever the outcome, there will be an independent/Autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church. It will not return to centralised, Soviet-style Moscow. Moscow is still in denial about this, but this will not change the reality. Indeed, arguably, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church should have been given Autocephaly decades ago.

Soviet Centralisation = Autocephaly Elsewhere

I have always been opposed to ‘Autocephalitis’, the idea that all problems can be solved by the granting of autocephaly to groups of Orthodox, however small, in any country in the world. Autocephaly can only be justified, when there are sufficient numbers of Orthodox with spiritual maturity in any particular location. However, after the fall of the Soviet Empire in 1991 and the formation of many new independent states, it should have been clear that new independent (Autonomous or Autocephalous) Churches would have to follow. Probably the time for partial independence (Autonomy) is over – it is already too late. Full independence, Autocephaly, is now on the cards for virtually the whole Russian Orthodox world outside the Russian Federation and the Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Belarus. Autocephaly means precisely that His Holiness Kyrill, the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, will no longer be commemorated at services.

True, it is too early for Autocephaly in the new and small Russian Orthodox Exarchates in South-East Asia and Africa, but Autonomy will have to be envisaged for both within the next ten years and then Autocephaly. Elsewhere, it is full steam ahead. The Latvian Orthodox Church has already taken the chance of Autocephaly, with the excuse of pressure from the Latvian government. However, as it has only three bishops, perhaps, as we have suggested, a single Baltic Orthodox Church (grouping all Orthodox in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, together with all Orthodox in Finland who use the canonical date for Pascha). This would solve the problems and schismatic pressures in Lithuania and in Estonia, and provide at least six bishops. (For Autocephaly, four bishops are a minimum). How long before governments in other countries also impose Autocephaly on local Russian Orthodox? 20% of Moldovan parishes have already gone to the Romanian Church. Moldova is certainly large enough to become an Autocephalous Church, indeed it would become one of the larger Local Churches.

Apart from the Baltics and Moldova, there is also considerable dissidence among multinational Russian Orthodox in Western Europe, in the Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Western Europe of the MP (potentially eight or more bishops), the Western European Archdiocese of the MP (three bishops) and in Western European ROCOR (Autocephaly impossible with its four present bishops, but clergy and people are already voting with their feet), from which many have walked out. Autocephaly in Western Europe could be envisaged, providing it was done with the co-operation of the other Local Churches, and not done, schismatically, against them. Since parts of the New York-run ROCOR have gone into schism, with the Moscow Patriarchate itself! (the Western European Archdiocese) and with the treacherous backing of politicians in the Moscow Patriarchate in Moscow!, there is no hope of this happening on the part of ROCOR. The latter has walled itself off in a schismatic bout of ‘OneTrueChurchism’, which is very American and highly political. But others are free to pursue the path of a new Local Church of Western Europe and clearly some want to.

Soviet Centralisation = Crisis

Interestingly, when Japan started a war against Russia in 1904 with a treacherous and unprovoked attack against Russia (not Russia against Japan), the Russian Bishop of Tokyo told his parishes to pray for the Japanese Emperor, the authorities and the Japanese armed forces. He locked himself away for the duration of the war. It seems to me that he, a future saint, set an example and the same should apply now. In any case, the fact is that Ukrainians consider that they cannot pray publicly for Patriarch Kyrill and the people refuse to attend churches where his name is commemorated. They see him as a politician, not a churchman.

If England were under military attack from Russia, whatever the reason, I don’t see that anyone in this country would wish to hear public prayers for Patriarch Kyrill. Either the Russian Church here would declare itself Autocephalous (as happened with the canonical Church under Metr Onuphry in the Ukraine), or else the State would declare it Autocephalous (as happened in Latvia), or else everyone would join another Local Church. Indeed, many people were forced to take the latter course by the Moscow Patriarchate itself in this country even before the war, because of the schismatic actions of some in the Russian Church, whose political support Moscow needed, even though the actions Moscow was supporting were schismatic.

In other words, nearly one third of the Russian Orthodox Church, the Non-Russian part, is in crisis. Interestingly, this ‘independence movement’ inside the Russian Church has brought no benefit to the ‘Churches’ which the US-manipulated Patriarchate of Constantinople set up in Estonia a generation ago and in 2019 in the west of the Ukraine. Most of their church buildings, stolen by violent thugs from the canonical Church, stand empty and padlocked. People know they are fake and refuse to go there. It must be depressing to be inside the Russian Church in Western Europe today. All the more so, as most ‘Russians’ here do not come from Russia itself, but are Russian-speakers from the Baltics, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Belarus and, especially, from the Ukraine.

Conclusion: New Jerusalem and All Rus

In the light of the conflict in the Ukraine, what can be said about the concept of ‘Holy Rus’? This conflict is between the largest of the supposedly Orthodox peoples of ‘Holy Rus’. Clearly, the majority are not Orthodox and indeed have not been since 1917. Today the majority still acts in the old Soviet way, with its atheistic mentality. For a long time now it has been our suggestion that the Moscow Patriarchate, a name that reminds many of the old Soviet heritage of the Russian Orthodox Church, be renamed ‘The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus’. Physically, it could quit Moscow and establish itself in the now renewed New Jerusalem Monastery by the River Istra (Jordan) nearby, and so justify that new name and new reality.

Whatever the present tragedy in the Ukraine, the Trinitarian ideal of ‘Holy Rus’ of Unity in Diversity, remains. As to whether it will be incarnated before the end of the world, we do not know, for we do not know when the world will end. It depends on mass repentance, which has been absent since 1917. Thank God, we have been released from the post-Soviet Church, in both its Russian Federation and its American political incarnations, and are able to go on in freedom to help build up the future multinational Local Church with the free Local Orthodox Churches. These are neither American, nor post-Soviet, neither CIA, nor FSB, and so, by the grace of God, can remain outside the geopolitical games of the Superpowers, as can we.


Q and A September 2022

Q: Why do some people talk so much about what is canonical and uncanonical?

A: That is often the talk of converts from Protestantism who have replaced citing chapter and verse in order to try and catch out others and now cite the canons in order to try and catch out others. They love to call the canons ‘holy’, indeed they will put the word ‘holy’ anywhere: ‘Holy Church’, holy council’, holy bishop’, holy father’. This is all part of the self-justifying religion of the pharisees, they make themselves holy. ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and land to make one convert and when he is made, you make him twice more the child of hell than yourselves’ (Matt. 23, 15).

Canons are guidelines to Church administration. If they are interpreted and said without love, then they are just empty laws, ‘sounding brass’ (I Cor 13, 1), the lack of love, worthy only of the Synod-Sanhedrin, and have no spiritual meaning. We exist on earth in order to learn how to love. That is the meaning and purpose of all human life. Everything else, like the religion of the pharisees, is spiritually meaningless and even spiritually harmful. For it does not teach us how to love, but only how to condemn.

Nobody is canonical, if you actually read the canons. For example, Canon XXX of the Holy Apostles deposes all bishops who have been appointed by the secular authorities, Canon LXIV forbids fasting on Saturdays, Canon LXXXI says that bishops may not hold political office, Canon XX of the First Council forbids kneeling on Sundays, Canon XXI of Antioch forbids bishops to change dioceses etc. etc. And we have not even mentioned the widespread problem of simony…

Q: Do we absolute obedience to anyone except Christ?

A: No, only to Christ.

Q: Can we pray for Non-Orthodox?

A: First of all, we have to distinguish between private and public prayer. We can and do pray for anyone in private prayer, including for the unbaptised.

As regards public prayer, which I think is what you are referring to, we should only pray for Orthodox by name. This is why the mention of the late Queen Elizabeth II in the litanies in this country was controversial. We did it because that was what our bishops imposed on us, out of obedience. That time is now over.

However, in general, we always pray in general for the civil authorities and the armed forces (nobody by name). The Apostle Peter told us to do so (I Peter 2, 17). There are some people who object to this because they do not like the authorities and the armed forces. This is unChristian. As Christians we are told precisely to pray for our enemies, for people we do not like, though we do not do this by name in public prayer. Thus, prayer for the armed forces does not mean that we pray that they will kill lots of people, it means that we pray that they will not kill lots of people. Sadly, there are some so-called Christians who refuse to pray for their enemies in private prayer. They are not Christians. I pray for my enemies every day.

Q: Is ecumenism a problem in the Orthodox Church today?

A: Frankly, nobody ever talks about it. It appears to be a dead duck. To me it seems like something from the last century. Most Orthodox do not even know what it is. We live alongside Non-Orthodox as we always have done. The main problem today is to keep the Faith despite the oppression of militant secularism/atheism all around us. It is not some mysterious and non-existent ‘ecumenism’.

Q: Your life’s work was to promote Russian Orthodoxy. As you were forced into leaving the Russian Church for the Romanian Patriarchate because of the schismatic activities of the Russian Orthodox bishop, do you feel that your work has been wasted?

A: First of all, let me correct your statement. My life’s work has NOT been to promote Russian Orthodoxy. That is a fundamental misunderstanding. My life’s work has always been to promote a Local Church in the British Isles and Ireland and in Western Europe. True, the Russian Church for decades said that this was its objective and therefore I supported it. I have always opposed those of any nationality who opposed that aim for either racist (Greek, Russian etc) or else ideological reasons, that is, sectarianism of both left (new calendarism) and right (old calendarism).

Many bishops of both parts of the Russian Church, and indeed Patriarch Alexis II at one time, very actively promoted in words and deeds our vision of multinational Russian Orthodoxy and, in particular, wanted a Local Church of Western Europe. My loyalty to the Russian Church was based uniquely on that shared vision. As long as that was the policy of the Russian Church, I supported or, as you say, ‘promoted’, the Russian Church. When, alas! the Russian Church renounced that shared multination vision of spreading the ideal of ‘Holy Rus’ and become Russian nationalist (or American nationalist), at least for the time being (repentance is always possible) and so renounced all of us, we could no longer support that.

In this way the Russian Church is becoming like the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which was and in most places still is – mononational or nationalist. We consider that the Russian Church is committing a kind of spiritual suicide, renouncing the views of its own best Diaspora bishops of its recent past and of Patriarch Alexis II, going into reverse by falling prey to nationalism. That is too bad for the salvation of their souls. It is their loss.

As a result, they have lost most of the Non-Russian Church, in the Ukraine, in Latvia and now this movement is spreading to Lithuania and may spread to Estonia and Moldova and all though the Diaspora. (Not to mention the opposition to the conflict in the Ukraine shown by the Russian-founded OCA in North America). As for us, we shall continue in the footsteps of all the saints of the Ancient West and in the footsteps of St John of Shanghai, continuing to work towards the multinational Local Church, for the time being without the Russian Church, which has excluded itself from this process for its own perdition. But it may all come back.

Remember, Russian Church, that those who live by the ghetto will die by the ghetto. In other words, you will lose all your children, all over again, and die out, if it really is your choice to be a mononational Church for Russians outside Russia. But that is your choice.

Q: Has the parish in Colchester grown in recent years?

A: With immigration over the last 15 years as a result of Eastern European countries joining the EU (the Baltics in 2004, Romanian and Bulgaria in 2007), all parishes in this country have grown or should have grown. In our own case, we witnessed a slow and gradual tripling of numbers between 2008 and 2019, as word got round that we exist. Then came covid, which brought an extra 50% of people, as we remained open, when others closed. A simple witness to the fact that we consider faith greater than fear of some virus was enough. Then when persecution began in 2021, we saw another 50% increase. People identify with a church that is persecuted. True, a few left, but they were the ones who were weak in faith, swam with the tide and had to be carried. Those who were more solid joined us.

Now we are facing the challenge of new Ukrainian parishioners. As we are outside the Russian Church, we have a great opportunity here. Every Sunday we see new Ukrainians in church and soon we shall have a Ukrainian priest for them. There are 400,000 Romanians in the UK, who nearly all came here between 2007 and 2020 and now 100,000 Ukrainians, who have arrived here since April. There is an immense amount of pastoral work to be done here and new churches to set up.

Q: I couldn’t help noticing that Queen Elizabeth II died on the Feast of the Birth of the Mother of God and that her funeral was on the Feast Day of St Theodore of Canterbury, new style.  Do you think there is any message for English people in that?

A: As neither of those feasts would have entered her consciousness or had any significance for her, I rather doubt it. What I find more instructive is the rainbow that appeared over Windsor on the news of her passing.

Q: What is the strangest thing you have heard from a Protestant?

A: There are two things. The first is something that was said to me almost fifty years ago, which was: ‘We don’t have saints’. I took this and take this as meaning: ‘We don’t have the Holy Spirit’. For me that means that Protestantism is not part of the Church, as the Church is founded on the saints who follow Christ. The second thing was four years ago, when a Protestant visitor asked me: ‘Are you an inclusive Church?’ I was thrown by such a strange question at first, but then answered: ‘All our churches are inclusive, on one condition, which is that people who come here are repentant. This is the condition set by St John the Baptist. Those who do not repent exclude themselves from the Church.

What happened to our parish was the work of the devil, and those who dared to lay hands on God’s temple and God’s people are acting like bandits.

Below we report the latest news from our dear friend of over 30 years, Fr Joseph Feysak. in Brno in Moravia, who for two years now has been under persecution from his ‘bishop’. Sadly, this is a familiar story. Clearly, the work of closing a church is the devil’s work – and also the work of this ‘bishop’, who claims he is doing God’s work!

Today’s Sunday holy, divine liturgy was held contrary to the customs at our historical church of St. Wenceslas, because it was not possible to hold services in our temporary shelter on Karásková náměstí.

Although the prospects for Sunday morning did not sound too favorable in terms of weather, in the end we were in for a pleasant surprise.

Father Jozef started the holy liturgy with his helpers and singers even in light rain. However, no one was deterred by these small drops and moisture from above. Believers and their children came throughout the holy liturgy so that they could confess and later receive the Pure Gifts of Christ.

The Holy Liturgy was held in the same place where a similar big event took place this year before Easter – on Palm Sunday.

The green color of the surrounding grass and leaves on the trees also colored the pleasant impression of today. We felt as if the sky had come down to earth and turned into the purple of the green branches.

The conclusion of the holy liturgy was a sermon by father Jozef, followed by a 40-day panichida for the innocently killed brother in Christ, Ruslan. All those present were moved to join in the common prayers, sympathizing in their hearts with the relatives of the slain young man.

Father Jozef’s sermon today was no less significant. With its content, inner message and open confession, it awakened in each of us a fiery faith, hidden in our hearts. It was so clear and true that in all of us, the flames of our faith began again powerfully, encouraging us to remain in unity and love regardless of the heavy adversities and discomfort that each of us suffers, most of all our spiritual shepherd himself.

Father Jozef quite clearly and openly described the injustice that has been going on for a long time on the part of vicar bishop Izaiáš and his priests, who illegitimately and anti-churchly occupied our holy temple here in Brno.

This occupation of our temple was something illegal, unchristian and impious. It was a barbaric act of violence. And whoever committed such violence in the Church, against God’s people, could not have acted out of God’s love. Or do you think so?

No, no!

What happened to our parish was the work of the devil, and those who dared to lay hands on God’s temple and God’s people are acting like bandits.

The famous elder Gabriel Svatohorec told father Jozef clearly that he must separate himself from such people. He must not serve either with the vicar bishop Isaiah or with those who support him, because such people have fallen away from God and His love.

Today was sad and happy at the same time, as it usually is.

However, our grief and dismay, as well as the initial rain, eventually gave way to joy and sunshine. God remembered us. As a reward for our perseverance and steadfast faith, He sent us His gracious caress in the form of God’s blessings from above.

May the Lord bless all our parishioners, may he have mercy on our enemies.

The Lord is with us!

And we hope that it will continue to be so!

In the true love of Christ

Your bro. Michael

ROCOR in Desperate Search of an Identity


The small émigré Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which was formed after 1917 largely from White Russian refugees, has desperately been in search of an identity since 2007. Then, as it joined up with the rest of the much larger Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate or MP), at a ratio of 1% to 99% (300 parishes to 30,000 parishes), it gave up being a museum or heritage church. After all, the old  generation, adults before the 1917 evolution, had completely died out by then. Many of their children had abandoned Church life and it was increasingly dependent on people and clergy from the ex-USSR.

The traditional ROCOR position was to keep its pre-Revolutionary heritage, to stand with the New Martyrs and Confessors and to condemn the collaboration of bishops inside the USSR with the atheist State. However, once the USSR and the atheist State had ceased to exist in 1992, once the post-Soviet MP had begun canonising its New Martyrs and Confessors and reviving its pre-Revolutionary heritage in 2000, then ROCOR had to find a new role to justify its existence. There was nothing distinctive any more. Since 2007, there have been discussions as to what that role should be. Two schools of thought have appeared in the past fifteen years.

The First Choice

The first choice was to be absorbed by the Moscow Patriarchate and their immigrant parishioners all over the world since the collapse of the Soviet Union, clearly outnumbering the old ROCOR parishioners, who were dying out. Unfortunately, at the same time corruption from inside the oligarchic ex-USSR spread to ROCOR too. Bishops became corrupted by the temptations of money, prestige and property. Some ROCOR churches became virtual embassy churches for the Moscow Patriarchate and its nationalist policy in the Ukraine, others became nationalist nostalgia clubs, ghettos which are irrelevant to others. Others became tiny, inward-looking and sectarian and cultish groups for rather right-wing US Protestants with the OneTrueChurchism of some converts with their conspiracy theories, as also in England and Belgium, for example.

I have been to ROCOR churches in the USA four times since 1996, once as a speaker at the 2006 ROCOR Council in San Francisco under the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (only six out of the nine ROCOR speakers there remain in ROCOR). No fewer than three ROCOR bishops (I know them all) told me since 2017 that their hero is Trump. I was told never to say anything against Trump or else face censorship! If ROCOR follows this political, indeed totalitarian, path, it will not only fall out of communion with the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Alexandria and the Western European Archdiocese of the Moscow Patriarchate, as it already has, but with all the other Local Churches, as seems highly likely. In fact one of their bishops told us that this was his aim!

The Second Choice

The second choice is to insist on ROCOR autonomy and freedom, realising the full potential of ROCOR, and remain faithful to the Russian Orthodox ascetic and liturgical tradition of the old bishops, clergy and laity, whom I knew and loved so well. Completely unmercenary, they had no love of money, prestige, power, fancy apartments and cars and of what we may in general call ‘bling’. This is faithfulness to the New Martyrs and Confessors and the Three Diaspora Saints: St John of Shanghai, St Seraphim of Boguchar and St Jonah of Hankou. It would be well if ROCOR ceased commemorating Patriarch Kyrill, as they have already ceased doing in the Ukraine and Latvia. No Ukrainian refugees will ever set foot and stay in any church that commemorates him. We know: we do not commemorate him, as we are not under him, and so plenty of Ukrainian refugees from the canonical Ukrainian Church come to us.

The fact is that the only long-term purpose of any Orthodox presence and structure in Western Europe, North America, Latin America and Oceania is to help lay the groundwork for future Local Churches in those four Continents and regions in the local languages. Witness is essential. This has been patently obvious for at least two generations. And this means inter-Orthodox, inter-calendar and multinational co-operation, being part of the mainstream, not being part of a schismatic sect or cult. Down with politics and racist ideologies! Long live Orthodox Christianity!


The choice for ROCOR is simple: Either to side with the Persecuting Church or else to stand with the Persecuted Church. The first way is spiritual death, as some with suicidal tendencies here have already done, the second way is spiritual life. The clash between these two visions of the Church has already taken place here. The result of this was that, because of years of persecution and being ignored, half a ROCOR diocese and most of its people left for the Patriarchate of Romania. Will this pattern be repeated elsewhere? Today we have heard that the new First Hierarch of ROCOR is Metropolitan Nicholas (Olhovsky). It was the obvious choice, since the two senior candidates had compromised themselves in politics. Metr Nicholas is a candidate of the Lukianov group, but also has many qualities, not least that he is a son from the post-1945 generation and knew Metr Laurus very well, as his cell-attendant. But some fear that this young bishop may be manipulated by others and compromise himself by obeying them again.

If Metr Nicholas wants to survive in the much contracted ROCOR (that has all but lost South America, where forty years ago it had six bishops, Indonesia and much of Western Europe), he will now have to allow parishes to cease commemorating Patriarch Kyrill, deal with the Western Rite problem, the House Springs scandal and the Belya scandal in the USA, and then all the scandals in what remains of the tiny ‘Western European Diocese’. He may be tempted to avoid many problems by doing the swap that Moscow has long wanted and exchange the ROCOR parishes in Western Europe (after, or as regards the 20 mainly small parishes of the Western European Diocese even before, Metr Mark has gone) for the bishopless MP parishes in North America. This will leave him with his American Synod in control of Russian and convert parishes in North America and Australia. Then he will have to steer ROCOR towards co-operation with the OCA. Otherwise, ROCOR will simply die out.



Does England Have a Romanian Orthodox King?

The English name Charles comes directly from the French version of the name, Charles, which is itself their form of the late Latin Carolus. In German the name is Karl, which gives the Romanian form Carol. Romania had two kings of Germanic origin, King Carol I (+ 1914) and King Carol II (+ 1953). Now, according to some there is King Carol III. There is just one thing: he is not the King of Romania, but the King of England, or rather of the UK and the Commonwealth.

King Charles III has long been a lover of Romania, and owns property there. As one who has always been interested in the Orthodox Faith, makes pilgrimages to Mt Athos every year, making a generous donation to the Serbian Monastery of Hilandari after a fire there in 2004, and converses with Orthodox clergy. Years ago the now Metr Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov assured me that the then Prince Charles had been received into the Orthodox Church. Indeed, rumour has it that he had been received into the Orthodox Church by a well-known Romanian Orthodox priest. Any search of the internet will confirm this, for example, An internet search also reveals a photograph of Prince Charles together with our His Beatitude, Patriarch Daniel, and making the Orthodox sign of the cross.

and several photos of him with our dear Metropolitan Joseph of Western and Southern Europe.


Will the Russian Orthodox Church Survive as a Church for Non-Russian Citizens?

Since February 2022, the once multinational Russian Church has slowly been breaking apart. First there were the parishes in England, including the largest former ROCOR church in Western Europe, which, incredibly, was expelled from the Moscow Patriarchate by ROCOR with explicit Moscow Patriarchal agreement. 5,000 Orthodox and 12 clergy happily left for the Romanian Church. These churches had merely followed the path already taken by some 300, or 20%, parishes in Moldova that have left the Patriarchate for the Romanian Church over the past thirty years. Then in March 2022 came events in Amsterdam (a very large parish and all its clergy left for Constantinople), a parish in Italy and a parish in Germany (Constantinople too), sanctions against a Russian priest in Spain and four priests defrocked in Lithuania (all for disagreeing with the Moscow Patriarchate). Others elsewhere in Western Europe may face similar sanctions.

Dissidence has spread and the Russian bishop for the UK, Ireland and North America has been confined to Moscow. Its bishop in the Netherlands seems to have disappeared. Its senior Metropolitan in Western Europe, a very young man, was sent back to Moscow, meaning that he is not in Western Europe to look after his dioceses and churches. Then came the events in the Ukraine, when essentially the whole Ukrainian Church of some 10,000 parishes under Metropolitan Onuphry, one quarter of the whole Patriarchate, declared autocephaly and stopped commemorating the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. Then came tensions and divisions of opinion within the 300+ parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. These were tensions between the pro-Russian wing and the pro-Ukrainian wing. Some, especially Ukrainians and other Non-Russians have ceased attending those churches.

Now we have the situation in Latvia. Here the head of the Latvian Orthodox Church. Metropolitan Alexander (Kudryashov) of Riga, asked the Latvian Parliament (Saiema) that his church be declared Autocephalous – something he had long been dreaming of. This was duly done on 8 September. Specifically, Artuss Kaimiņš, Chairman of the Human Rights and Public Affairs Committee, said: ‘With the adoption of the Law, the historically existing autonomy and independence of the Latvian Orthodox Church is strengthened, preventing the Russian Orthodox Church from having influence or power over our Orthodox Church’…‘Such a decision is in the interests of Latvian Orthodox Christians, society as a whole and national security’. A few years earlier the Latvian Parliament, again specifically at Metropolitan Alexander’s request, had already passed another anti-Russian law.

That law declared that any bishop of the Latvian Orthodox Church must have lived for at least five years in Latvia serving in the Church and be a Latvian citizen. In this way, the Metropolitan ensured that no outsider from Russia could become a bishop in Latvia, where there are three Orthodox bishops. Now Metropolitan Alexander has by political means obtained his dream of seceding from Moscow. We wait to see the reactions of Moscow, which seems at the moment to be powerless, and, above all, in which countries where they have also long been yearning for autocephaly, refused for decades by Moscow, will Russian Orthodox do the same. The situation looks like ecclesiastical suicide. You simply cannot continue as a multinational Church when you administrate from Moscow on the basis of nationalist centralisation, which is a hangover from the Soviet period.

It is true that Ukrainian nationalism, with its refusal to form a Confederation from the very different peoples in the modern Ukraine, started the problem. However, the correct response was not Russian nationalism. That has only made things worse. It looks as though the Russian Orthodox Church, which has already lost one quarter of its parishes and people, may lose altogether one third, reducing it to a Church of only 100 million, making it only 50% of the whole Orthodox Church. If, as we believe, the conflict in the Ukraine will be won by Russia, this does not solve the problem. The Russian Church may ask all who have left to return to it. It is likely to be met with stunned silence and the question: Why should we? It is one thing to win the war, it is quite another to win the peace. You cannot force people to go to your church. Having committed its very gross and anti-canonical blunders, Moscow has yet to realise this.

An Interview on the Turmoil in the Church

The Past Local Turmoil

Q: You spent nearly four decades serving as a clergyman, and were a layman for ten years before that, in the Russian Church, but in February 2022 you left, together with many others. Why the mass exodus?

A: The irony is that we did not leave, we were forced to leave. Why? Well, they know better than us why they acted in their bizarre and suicidal way and forced us out! Perhaps they do not want Non-Russians in the Russian Church? Perhaps they want to become as small as possible? I don’t know. But here is what happened to us:

At the end of our tethers after three years of persecution, at the beginning of May 2021 we alerted the authorities to the grabbing, alienisation, sectarianisation, papalisation, politicisation and so self-destruction of that part of the Russian Church. As we were whistle-blowers, we were persecuted and punished. Nobody wanted to know the Truth which we were clearly telling them. They preferred to brush the reality under the carpet. The problem is, and I have observed this so many times in my life, for example in the case of Metr Antony (Bloom) in the 1970s, which led straight to the Sourozh break-up in 2006, or in the case of Metr Vitaly (Ustinov) in the 1990s, which led straight to his deposition by the other bishops in 2001, that if you brush reality under the carpet, it will come back and hit you in the face with much greater force later on. This is exactly what happened to them when they tried to punish us for telling the Truth. As Christ says: ‘The Truth will set you free’. This means that telling untruths will enslave you. And that is exactly what has happened to them.

Part of the Russian Church fell into a top-down, colonial, sectarian and cultish schism, without any understanding of the Tradition of the Church or the need for missionary-work among local people, both Orthodox and Non-Orthodox, who live in this country and to whose language you must adapt, rather than try to impose on them a foreign jargon. This situation had obviously been carefully prepared for it as an entrapment by the infiltrators all through the Russian Church, including their agents in Moscow itself, but we acted canonically and tried to join one of the two other parts of the Russian Church. This was not allowed by one part since they too had been entrapped, and although the other part received us, they were not allowed by the powers behind them to keep us for more than six months. Both rejections were clearly 100% political acts.

In this way, ironically, they all condemned themselves as ‘Sergianists’, that is, people who put loyalty to their political masters above loyalty to Christ. In this, they simply showed their hypocrisy, for they had always condemned Sergianism in others who were forced to be Sergianists when they were political hostages, and yet when they themselves were politically free, they made themselves into Sergianists! The attempts to persecute the faithful and close our churches here differ in no way from what the Soviet State tried to do inside the USSR generations ago, or what the US-created Kiev government is doing against Metr Onuphry today. It suggests that they are all Trostkyists. Their underlying anti-Christian and ultimately Satanic ideology, whatever the various masks it may wear, is the same.

Q: So what did you do after you were forced out of the Russian Church?

A: If the Russian Church were to reject its own despite our loyalty to it, our Plan B had always been to join the Patriarchate of Romania. Discussion and consultation in mid-February 2022 only confirmed that Plan. So, having been released from the Moscow Patriarchate, this is exactly what we did. Indeed, our old family friend, going back nearly 50 years, Metropolitan Jean of the Western European Archdiocese of the Moscow Patriarchate, who had been forced to release us by certain individuals (we know their names), actually told us, after we had informed him that we had joined the Romanian Church: ‘That is exactly what I thought you would do and I actually told the Patriarchate that that is what you would probably do, to their loss. To which they had replied: ‘Too bad’’. He laughed ironically at the suicidal action of the Moscow Patriarchate. It had lost, discrediting itself, showing that it put careerist State politics first, spiritual integrity second. This act will go down in the history books as an act of self-destruction. Will the Russian Church here ever recover? Will it now only ever be an Embassy Church?

Q: Why had your Plan B always been the Romanian Church?

A: As soon as 2001, when Romanian immigration started, we had had Romanian parishioners, later a deacon and a priest, and by 2021 six of the twelve clergy and three-quarters of the people in our group of parishes were Romanian-speaking, that is Romanians or Moldovans. We were received into the Romanian Patriarchate on 16 February, within exactly four hours of applying, though we did not receive our signed antimensia until 27 February 2022. We had found canonicity and no longer feared having our property taken or being in a colonial and schismatic sect and alien, politicised cult, which is what that part of the Russian Church had become. Since then we have been in weekly contact with our Metropolitan Joseph, whom members of our family have known since the 90s, when he first moved to Paris.

When they tried to deny and complain about our reception in April, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel rejected their nonsense, though they had actually dared to contact him in Bucharest personally not once, but twice! Since then all has been plain sailing, we soon opened two new parishes, receiving more antimensia from Metr Joseph. That had been on hold until then, and now other clergy and people are joining us, with a nice surprise coming in October, God willing. Every day we thank God for bringing us to the safe and canonical haven of the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate. Glory to God for all things!

Q: So for your group, firmly entrenched inside the Romanian Metropolia, and consisting of six parishes, 5,000 faithful and 12 clergy, the turmoil has been over since 16 February, but for the rest of the Church, it started on 24 February.

A: Yes, and what an irony that was. We had found a safe and quiet canonical haven out of the awful political mess of the Russian Church, but for others the mess had only just begun. Actually, at the beginning of March, a priest from the MP Sourozh Diocese contacted us and told us he was jealous! Our situation shows Divine Providence towards us in getting us out of the Russian mess a few days before the Ukraine tragedy unfolded. We thank God.

Q: What is the situation of the Romanian Church in the Western European Diaspora?

A: As regards the Diaspora situation in Western Europe today there are just over 4 million Romanian speakers (Romanians and Moldovans) in Western Europe ( This is by far the largest Orthodox group in Western Europe. They are everywhere, though half of them live in Spain and Italy. As one Londoner who frequents the ageing Cypriots in their emptying churches there told me: ‘When you see children in a Greek church, you know they are Romanians’. (Sadly, the Greek-Cypriots have repeated exactly the same error as the Russians two generations before them, that is, they have completely failed to pass on the Faith to their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren etc. And just like the post-1917 Russians, they are now dying out).

The Western European Metropolia of the Patriarchate of Romania, which is Autonomous, has six bishops, one of whom is French, several Non-Romanian clergy and it uses both calendars. Our Metropolitan Joseph, who is an engineer by education and a real monk, comes from the north of Romania near the Ukrainian border – Metr Onuphry comes from just across the border on the other side, where Ukrainians and Romanians live side by side and there are many bilingual churches. Metr Joseph is very active in promoting the use of local languages, especially French, as he realises that the children born in Western Europe need them. One of our parishioners is his distant cousin, from the same village as him. Metr Joseph has been active in helping Ukrainian refugees, who, quite naturally, refuse to attend any Russian churches.

The Present Universal Turmoil

Q: Leaving aside the actions of Divine Providence in your case, what would you say about the general turmoil that the Orthodox Church finds itself in today?

A: Well, first of all, at least the turmoil proves that the Church is living. We are not dead. On the other hand, there is good turmoil and bad turmoil. This is bad, though God can always bring good out of bad.

The turmoil was initially caused by the catastrophic and deliberate failure of the ideology-bound Western elites to recognise the human rights of the large Russian minority in the Ukraine. This was Russophobia. However, for the Ukrainian majority, even if compromised and manipulated by the West for its own political advantages and by the theft of Ukrainian land and resources by US corporations like Monsanto and that of Hunter Biden etc, this was no solution. We support the Romanian-speaking Metropolitan Onuphry and have prayed for him and his suffering flock at the Great Entrance at every Liturgy since 2018. We cannot support war. His line is ours. They tried to take our churches and failed; they are taking his churches and succeeding. So we understand and suffer with him.

For a long time, the Orthodox Church was seen as either Greek or Russian. The ‘Greek’ Church was seen as basically Greek-speaking – Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Greece, Romania, Cyprus and Albania on one side. The ‘Russian’ was seen as basically Slav – Moscow, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia and the OCA on the other side.

In fact, that was never true, as, for example, Romanians, Georgians, Arabs and Albanians are neither Greeks nor Slavs. Today, it has become quite untrue, because both certain Greek and Russian bishops have played politics – and lost the sympathy of their own Greek-speakers and Slavs alike. In reality, the Church is like a see-saw, with Greek extremists at one end and Russian extremists at the other end. The balance is maintained by those inbetween, including non-political Greeks and Russians. At the centre of the whole contemporary storm is the provincial Ukraine, which is only a plaything in the hands of the geopoliticians. Make no mistake, this is a war of the USA and its vassals against Russia and China. The Ukraine is just a location, a battlefield. This is not a war between Russians and Ukrainians, this is not a racial or a religious war, but a political and economic war for the future of the world.

As you know, in 2018 Constantinople agreed, under the bribery of American ‘pressure’, to set up a pro-American, pro–LGBT etc, pseudo-‘Church’ in the Ukraine. This was a scandalous act, as it meant that it had accepted the morally fallen and Neo-Nazi nationalists, thugs and criminals and proclaimed that they were Orthodox clergy and laity! In a word, the ‘Greeks’ had sided with the persecutors of the Church for a mess of American pottage. They had lost any moral high ground that remained to them. At once they found that they had not only caused a schism in the Ukraine, but that the ‘Russians’ refused to concelebrate with them, that they had virtually caused schisms inside the Churches of Greece and Cyprus, that the Churches of Romania, Antioch and Albania did not support them and that the Church of Alexandria had lost half its clergy and people to the new Russian Exarchate in Africa. Constantinople had lost all down the line, isolating itself from the Orthodox world in its own self-made schism.

A Russian victory? No!

As you know, from February 2022 Moscow began persecuting its own, first us in England, then others, in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, and now Latvia and, above all, in the tragic Ukraine. The ‘Russians’ had stabbed their own most loyal supporters in the back, also for a mess of political pottage! They too had lost any moral high ground that remained to them. At once they found that they had not only isolated themselves from their own Church in the Ukraine, but that the world had seen that the ‘Russians’ were quite capable of betraying their own all over Western Europe and creating a division on the canonical territory of another Patriarchate (Alexandria), in exactly the same way as the ‘Greeks’ had done on the canonical territory of another Patriarchate (Moscow). Their natural supporters in the Churches of Poland, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia and the OCA stood aside in silence and either failed to support the Russian Church or else outright opposed it. Moscow had lost all down the line, it too had isolated itself from the Orthodox world.

Holy Rus is a fine ideal, but you will never spread it with missiles and shelling. We had warned about the danger of this temptation continually for fifteen years! Go back to your Sergianism at your peril! Or else prefer the freedom that God has given you. All was possible, we said, one or the other. Well, they chose the other, the rejection of mass repentance.

As we have already said, for a long time the Orthodox Church was seen as either Greek or Russian. Today, both Constantinople and Moscow have disqualified themselves from the moral leadership of the Church. Both have shown themselves to be victims of their own nationalist and racial politics, the ‘Greek world’ and the ‘Russian world’. Neither talked about the Orthodox world! Non-Russians are not interested in the Russian world. Non-Greeks are not interested in the Greek world. We need the Orthodox world. This means that both Constantinople and Moscow have lost the moral high ground, including the chance to lead the cause of unity in the Diaspora. Neither Greek nor Russian is now the future, precisely because of Greek and Russian misbehaviour. It is now up to all the other Local Churches to lead the way.

A Council

Q: Do you see any end to this turmoil between the Greeks and the Russians?

A:  Only a Church Council can resolve all the Inter-Orthodox problems. Not the political manipulation of a Council of Moscow in 1948 or of a Council of Crete in 2016, but a real Council of all the Churches, a Council that is politically free of both Washington and Moscow. Sadly, for the moment, that is not going to happen. Constantinople is enslaved to its US-backed and quite absurd project of universal domination. Everyone must become a Greek! Moscow is enslaved to supporting the Russian State, come what may – regardless of whether the Russian State even wants its support! It is a catastrophe and plunges the Church into a new period of paralysis.

However, there is hope. The Greek Patriarch is in his 80s, the Russian in his 70s. Great changes lie ahead, as US hegemony falls after the routs of the US and its NATO vassals in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in the Ukraine. It is yet another disastrously lost war for the overweening and now bankrupt West, which through its military incompetence and immense hubris has not won a single war since 1945.

However, when the ‘Greeks’ lose their US backers, that does not at all mean that the Russians will have won. The Russian State can win the war in the Ukraine, but how will it win the peace? That is quite another matter. The Moscow Patriarchate has betrayed its multinational vocation through backing narrow Russian nationalism, just as the Patriarchate of Constantinople backed provincial Greek nationalism before it and lost the broad, imperial vision of the old Constantinople. The only hope for Constantinople is a generation of bishops who were not bishops in the ‘US’ period of Constantinople, and for the Russian Church a generation of bishops who were not bishops in the Soviet period and so do not have that State mentality.

Q: What should be on the agenda of a free Council?

A: It hardly depends on me! But there are some problems which everyone can see and which have been crying out for solutions for generations.

Firstly, in order of size, the Churches of Romania, Ukraine (which, like it or not, is now de facto, though not de jure, an Autocephalous Church under Metr Onuphry), Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Antioch, North Macedonia (presumably all recognise it), Poland, Cyprus, Alexandria, Czechoslovakia, Albania and Jerusalem, all the universally-recognised Local Churches, except for Constantinople and Moscow, will have to meet initially and discuss something like the following:

  1. The canons must no longer be weaponised for political, racial and territorial reasons. For example, let us drop the nonsense of the deliberate Greek misinterpretation of Canon 28 of Chalcedon, which was introduced 100 years ago. Let us drop the gagging, sacking and even ‘defrocking’ of clergy, as in Lithuania, because they do not vote for the same political party as their bishops! This was not in the Gospels!
  2. You cannot go back on autocephalies and territories recognised by the whole Church as granted to Local Churches in the past. Canonical territories must be respected. Stop the Greek nonsense in Estonia, the Ukraine and elsewhere. Stop the Russian nonsense in Africa or at least, divide the African territory into two, North Africa for the Greeks and Black Africa for the Russians, for example, or something like it was 100 years ago, so that there are no overlaps.
  3. There must be four new Autocephalous Churches for the Diasporas, in Western Europe, North America (which would solve the OCA problem), Latin America and Oceania. New, multinational Local Church structures are the only way the Church can exist long-term outside the old homelands. This is a problem that should have been solved 100 years ago, but instead we have had 60 years of hot air and the loss of generations of Orthodox who were assimilated because they could not understand anything in their parents’ churches. If the Church authorities had put pastoral care first and not political and racial ideologies first, this problem would have been solved long ago.
  4. The great crisis in the Church, arguably for centuries, has been the lack of leadership. The essence of this crisis is that the authorities have not for the most part appointed genuine monks to the episcopate, but only single men, ‘monks’ in name only. Thus, they have appointed careerist bureaucrats and scandalous homosexuals (‘the lavender mafia’, as is so often the case with the Greeks), not to mention secular failures, alcoholics, freemasons, womanisers and ‘secretly’ married men (as is so often the case with the Russians), to the episcopate. A Council should proclaim and enforce a canon that all candidates for the episcopate should be monks who have spent at least ten years in a genuine, working monastery, or else that married bishops should be allowed. It must be one or the other – or both.

Once these matters have been discussed by all the other Local Churches, Constantinople and Moscow could be invited to a full Council to take them further, provided that they show that they are at last politically free, have repented for their past and so are worthy of taking part in a non-political Council.


Some Notes on the Chronology of Christ’s Earthly Life

Usually it is said that Christ began his public ministry at the age of 30 (Lk. 3, 23) and was crucified and rose from the dead after three years, as can be calculated from the Gospels, at the age of 33. This has been taken to mean that he was born in the Year ‘0’ and died and rose in the Year 33. This is not the case. Apart from anything else, the Year 0 did not exist. Moreover, nearly all scholars now agree that Christ was born somewhere between 4 ‘BC’ and 8 ‘BC’. Can we be any more precise?

Here we examine the chronology of Christ’s life on earth in the light of the traditional Orthodox date of His birth, 5,508 since the Creation. This date is of course purely symbolic. The figure 5,500 refers simply to the tradition that as Adam fell in the middle (‘at noon’, for there was the noonday demon) of the sixth day (Friday), so Christ died for us and for our salvation in the middle of the sixth day (Friday), being crucified at noon (the sixth hour, Lk. 23, 44) and then giving up his spirit at 3.00 (the ninth hour, Matt. 27, 46; Mk. 15. 34). As a day is a thousand years, according to the Apostle Peter (2 Pet. 3, 8), five and a half days makes the number 5,500.

However, what interests us is not the symbolic 5,500, but the 8. It indicates that Christ was born in what mistaken Western dating calls 8 ‘BC’. Here it must be understood that in that mistaken system of dating, there was no Year 0. Therefore, that chronology goes from I BC to 1 AD in one year. In other words, if Christ was born in 8 ‘BC’, it means that He was born eight years before the end of 1 AD, not eight years before the end of ‘Year 0’.

We do not know Christ’s date of birth – though that too makes no difference to our salvation. The 25th December, as is well-known, is also purely symbolic and was chosen only because it is connected with the winter solstice of the northern hemisphere. Thus, some speculate that God was born as man in the summer, or at least between April and October, of not May and September, shepherds were in the fields with their flocks when he was born (Lk. 2, 8), so clearly there was no snow and it was not cold. (We recall how cold it still was in Jerusalem at Christ’s crucifixion in April, for ‘Peter was warming himself,’ (Mk. 14, 67). Christ was born in a shepherd’s cave/home/sheepbarn outside the village of Bethlehem, as there ‘was no room for them in the inn’ (Lk. 2, 7). The then village of Bethlehem (meaning ‘The House of Bread’), is 6 miles south of Jerusalem (meaning perhaps ‘The City of Peace’).

Later (see below) Wise Men (not ‘kings’) followed a ‘star’ and came from the East to give Christ presents (Matt. 2, 1-2). No number is mentioned but it is presumed, as Tradition relates, that there were three Wise Men because they came with three presents (Matt. 2, 11). The Wise Men had been guided to the house where the Christ-Child was by a light in the sky, called ‘a star’ (Matt. 2, 9). However, it is clear that this was not a star, since stars are so high in the sky that they cannot be followed and they cannot come and ‘stand over where the young Child was’ (Matt. 2, 9). The Church believes that this was not a star, but the same light of the Holy Spirit as guided the Israelites in the wilderness.

The use of the word ‘house’ clearly means that the Wise Men came after Christ was born. They did not come to the cave of His birth, but to a ‘house’ (Matt. 2, 11), where the Child lived with His Mother. Indeed, the lapse in time between the Birth and the arrival of the Wise Men would explain why, as the Apostle Matthew relates, Herod the King then ordered all male children under the age of two who lived in the region of Bethlehem to be killed (Matt 2, 16). This suggests that the Wise Men came to Christ about two years after He had been born.

Later in history the Wise Men were taken symbolically to represent the three Continents of the Old World, Asia, Africa and Europe (the New World too was and is populated only by those from the Three Continents of the Old World). However, the Gospels simply say that they all came ‘from the East’ (Matt. 2, 1), which is taken as meaning the Persian Empire, perhaps Babylon, where the science of astronomy/astrology was advanced. After all they were also called by the Persian word, ‘Magi’, meaning astronomers/astrologers.

Now Herod almost certainly died in or around 4 ‘BC’. Since he had already tried to kill Christ, and so killed all children under the age of two (traditionally 14,000), this means that Christ was born in 6 ‘BC’ at the very earliest. However, even that presumes that Herod died immediately after his massacre of the innocent children. We do not know that that was the case. Some time may have elapsed between the Massacre of the Holy Innocents and the death of Herod. All we know is that Herod died after an excruciatingly painful, putrefying illness.

Meanwhile, Herod failed to kill Christ because His Mother had fled with their guardian Joseph to Egypt (Matt. 2, 13), 120 miles to the south-west of Jerusalem, that is, several days’ walk. Tradition says that they stayed in Egypt for two years, though the Gospel says only that they returned when Herod had died (in 4 ‘BC’). If they did stay in Egypt for two years then Christ could easily have been born in 8 ‘BC’.

In order to avoid further persecution from Herod’s son, the new and ferocious ruler Archelaus, Christ was taken to live in Nazareth (Matt. 2, 22-23), a mountainous hamlet 93 miles due north of Jerusalem towards Galilee, the home of His guardian Joseph (Lk. 2, 4 and 39). The name Nazareth may mean ‘a watchtower’, which one might expect to find in a mountainous area. Here Christ grew up.

Later, during Christ’s public preaching, we hear of another place where he lived called Capernaum, a fishing village on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Thirty miles to the north-east of Nazareth, it means ‘village of comfort’ and is situated 100 miles to the north-north-east of Jerusalem. The Gospels refer to Capernaum, which was big enough to have a synagogue (Mk. 1, 21) and a Roman centurion (Lk. 7, 2 and 5 and Matt. 8, 5) and so a garrison, as ‘His own town’ (for example, Matt. 1, 9). This suggests that Christ had some time earlier moved to Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee from Nazareth. At the very least, He centred the last three years of his life, the period of His public ministry, there.

If Christ was born in 8 ‘BC’ and was crucified at the age of 33, then he must have started his public preaching in 24 AD before he became 31. This means that April 27 AD would mark His Crucifixion and Resurrection at the age of 33, a few months before his 34th birthday. This is during the time of Pontius Pilate, the fifth governor of Roman Judea, who served under the Emperor Tiberius from 26 to 36 AD. Pilate’s cowardly fear of the mob is more understandable if he were a newly-appointed governor, still unsure of himself.

Some have tried to date the Crucifixion by finding the date of an eclipse. Of course, there was not an eclipse at Christ’s Crucifixion, for no eclipse lasts for three hours: ‘And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour’ (Mk. 15, 33). That event was metaphysical, not an eclipse. There is also the mystery of when the Jewish Passover fell on a Saturday/Sabbath, as it did in the year of Christ’s Crucifixion (Jn. 19, 31), for it was Sunday, the first day of the week when it was discovered that Christ had risen (Matt. 28, 1; Mk. 16, 2; Lk. 24, 1). Here different researchers provide different dates for the Jewish Passover. There seems to be a lot of uncertainty here, some suggesting that the Passover did not fall on a Saturday at any time between 26 and 36 AD.

This then is our suggestion for the chronology of Christ’s life on earth, that He lived from 8 ‘BC’ to 26 AD. It would mean of course that today we are not in the Year 2022, but in the Year 2029 AD. Here are only suggestions, in effect a defence of the traditional Orthodox Christian date. These suggestions are not and cannot be categorical. Probably we shall not know when Christ was born as man in earthly time until after the General Resurrection. These are mysteries as yet unrevealed; they are, literally, beyond time.

Will Religion Triumph Over Faith?

When the Son of Man comes, will He find Faith on earth?

Luke 18, 8


Some might be surprised by the above title. This is because they have not yet understood the difference between Religion and Faith.

Religion is an artifice, the opium of the people, a primitive, idolatrous, manufactured, State-manipulated substitute for Faith.

Faith is the spiritual experience of the Divine Spirit, the inward illumination by the Holy Spirit, which softens the heart, which transfigures the mind and so converts the will. In the first century the Apostle Paul spoke of this experience when he was taken up into the seventh heaven, as did St Symeon the New Theologian some 950 years later, as did St Silouan the Athonite some 950 years after that. As did all the saints in all the ages.

Today they are preparing for the Coming of Antichrist by replacing Faith with Religion, for only when Faith has been destroyed can Antichrist come. Thus:

Hinduism is being replaced by Indian nationalism

Buddhism is being replaced by racism.

Islam and Judaism are being replaced by the hatred and violence of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’.

Roman Catholicism is being replaced by sexual perversion and pedophilia.

Protestantism, with its Puritanical fear and hatred of womankind and so witch-hunts, as though sexual attraction were unnatural and in fact the only possible sin, is being replaced by Anti-Puritanism, which is endless sexual depravity and gender confusion in the name of ‘equality’.

Only Atheism need not be replaced, for Atheism denotes that you have given up the struggle anyway.

To ask ‘Will Religion Triumph Over Faith’? Is tantamount to asking, ‘Will Antichrist triumph over Christ?’ The answer is the same: Of course not.

Yes, today they are preparing for the Coming of Antichrist by replacing Faith with Religion, by altogether removing the Holy Spirit from human life, the millennial temptation of the Western world. But after Antichrist will come Christ. And His are the last words and the last acts in history, which make all else that came before them utterly irrelevant.




The Looming Disaster

The news for the Western world is grim. The much-vaunted Ukrainian counter-attack near Kherson has been a catastrophe. 1,700 Ukrainian troops killed. No doubt thousands of others wounded, deserted and surrendered. Nearly all their equipment, including their Polish tanks, destroyed. This was the last gasp.

Meanwhile, on this 1st September, dozens of European business are going bankrupt every day. Yesterday we received this e-mail from a business supplier:

‘Thanks for your email,

Just to give you some idea of the current manufacturing costs here in Slovakia and to be brutally honest throughout the upside down world, We paid last year 85,000 euros for electricity, This year its going to be around 500,000 euros, As of Jan 1. 2023  its going to be 1.2 million euros at best.

So that’s just the electricity, never mind the gas, the increase in raw materials, salaries and all other manufacturing costs, This is a hard way of saying its impossible to reduce and every customer of ours has to accept it or not, Surprisingly we have never ever been as busy! You cutting margins down low is of course difficult, but at least you have margins, We simply do not have anything to reduced’.

In conclusion, expect revolutions and riots in Western countries. Russia has plenty of cheap oil and gas. All that Western countries have to do is to buy them from Russia in roubles. It is not complicated. The West has sanctioned its own people. Russia is awash with money that has come from the refusal of Western countries to buy their commodities.

If you don’t believe me, read the article below by Professor Geoffrey Sachs. He should know.