Q: Why do all the Local Orthodox Churches accept the baptisms of Non-Orthodox, but not give them communion?
A: Baptism is the first sacrament and the only one that can be given by laypeople, that is, by those who have been baptised by water in the Name of the Holy Trinity. All other sacraments are different, as they require a priest, such as chrismation and confession, only after which can communion be given.
As regards the form of baptism, the norm in the Church is by immersion (different from submersion!), but emergency baptisms by sprinkling are also accepted, as in countless Orthodox baptisms of new-born babies in hospitals and in homes. Here it is the intention that is important, not the ritual.
Q: Can Non-Orthodox receive a gift of the Holy Spirit?
A: Obviously, yes! Why else would people come to the Church asking to be received, when they are still outside the Church? The Holy Spirit has called them, they have had some spiritual experience. The Holy Spirit can come to us from God the Father in two different ways, through (but not from) the Son (= through the Body of Christ, in the sacraments of the Church) and directly and independently, as to the Apostle Paul on the Road to Damascus and to so many others.
Q: What do you think will happen in the Ukraine and in Church life once the war there is over?
A: Let us look at reality. Rightly or wrongly, 87.5% of the world either supports the Russian campaign or else remains neutral towards it. This shows the increasing isolation of the USA/Western elite. In Italy, Germany, France, Moldova, the Czech Lands, Romania (the former Defence Minister), Bulgaria, Serbia, even in the UK, dissident voices are protesting. For God’s sake, negotiate with Russia! The Ukraine is their business, not ours. We want gas and food! This Hell-begotten war must end. Europe needs a common economic home, from Reykjavik/Dublin/Lisbon to Vladivostok. The USE (United States of Europe, that is, the EU) has been USED. It is over.
There are very many and very unanimous Orthodox Christian prophecies on the war, like those of the very well-known and quite recent St Laurence of Chernigov, St Kuksha of Odessa, Elder Zosima of Donetsk, Elder Nikolai (Guryanov) and also Elder Jonah (Ignatenko) of Odessa (+ 2012). The latter, who said that Odessa will be liberated last, said: ‘After President Putin there will come a Tsar and there will be peace for a time’. The same prophets say that the new Tsar will then cleanse the Church of its unprincipled careerist-bishops, so disastrously corrupted by the Western money of the 1990s, exactly as St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied 200 years ago. According to him the Persecuted Church would become the Persecuting Church, the Church of Altruism would become the Church of Mammon. Exactly as it has turned out.
After this momentous Battle for the Holy Spirit, could then the whole Russian Orthodox Church be cleansed and transformed into the Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus? The at present Fifteen Local Churches of today could become Twenty-Four, with new Autocephalous Churches in the New Ukraine, in the three Baltic States plus Finland, with the restitution of those unjustly defrocked in Lithuania, in Moldova, an NAOC, Northern American Orthodox Church, including all Orthodox there, excluding none, and a WEOC, Western European Orthodox Church, including all Orthodox here, excluding none, a South American Orthodox Church, a Central American Orthodox Church, and a Mexican Orthodox Church, with a Metropolia for the Caribbean, and an Oceanic Orthodox Church for Australia and the Pacific Islands.
Q: What is the significance of the Battle of Hastings in the European context?
A: The Norman Invasion and Hastings was only a detail in the whole apostasy of the Church of Rome in the eleventh century. What began with the expulsion or persecution of Orthodox from Moravia, Hungary, Mozarabic Spain, Sicily, Southern Italy and Croatia ended with the same in England, Milan (the Ambrosian rite) and later in Scotland and Wales, then spreading to Scandinavia and Ireland.
Let us take just one example, the persecution of the Church in Croatia, which happened on the very eve of Hastings. (I quote from ‘The Early Medieval Balkans’ by John Fine): ‘In the mid-eleventh century the Slavonic liturgy became an issue in Croatian Dalmatia.
Written in Glagolitic, it was widely used particularly
in northern Dalmatia, where its chief centres were on the islands
lying in the Gulf of Kvarner, formed by the Istrian peninsula. In this
regard the island of Krk was the most important. In the 1060s, when
the Pope was demanding general Church reform, many high clerics in
the old Roman towns of Dalmatia, which had always used the Latin
liturgy, wanted to prohibit Slavonic and standardise church practices.
Kresimir IV, a religious man who had founded a Benedictine monastery
at Biograd, his favorite residence, sympathized with the Latinisers.
One wonders why: perhaps he wanted papal support; perhaps he
sought support from the Latin Dalmatian cities, toward which he may
already have had ambitions; perhaps it was a result of his Venetian
upbringing. (His mother was a Venetian and he had been educated in
In any case the reformers or Latinisers were upset by the situation
in the Croatian Church; many priests (like the Greeks) married and
wore beards. Many of them did not know Latin. A Council was held in
Split in 1060 which declared that priests must know Latin and declared
it the language of the church. The Council condemned Slavonic. It also
banned priestly beards and marriages. Some churches were closed as a
result and there seems to have been a degree of unrest. Parties developed
for and against Latin, with the high clergy and nobles tending to
support Latin. In 1063 the Pope demanded application of these decisions
and he too called Slavonic heretical.
In 1064 a rebellion for the Slavic church broke out on the isle of
Krk under a man named Vuk. He set up an autonomous church under
its own bishop and wrote to the Pope. Various misunderstandings followed
and envoys from each side were rebuffed by the other. Kresimir
then sent a naval expedition against Krk (whose church was branded
heretical by the Pope). By the end of 1064 Vuk’s rebellion was crushed
and Latin clerics were in control of the church of Krk. Thus the national
Church organisation suffered a further blow and its organisation
rapidly died out. Surely, however, in inland villages Slavonic priests
continued to function over the next several centuries, owing to the lack
of an educated clerical class there. In addition, though the established
church opposed it, Slavonic seems to have survived in places along the coast presumably because the local population wanted it. Glagolitic
manuscripts from Croatia survive from each subsequent century
throughout the Middle Ages. But as an established accepted movement
the Slavonic Church collapsed and the main reason for its collapse
was that the leading Croatian political and religious figures opposed it.
In 1074 a second Council was held in Split which reissued the edicts of
1060 against Slavonic. This second Council also re-established the bishopric
of Nin’ (Pp. 280-281).