Monthly Archives: November 2022

Is There any Future for the Russian Orthodox Church in the Western World?

Foreword: The Wages of Sin Are Death

In the old days, the hierarchy of the Persecuted Church inside the Soviet Union (called the Moscow Patriarchate) was held hostage by compromises with militant atheism, whereas the Persecuted Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) was the surviving free remnant of Russian Orthodoxy, largely clean of the stains of either form of atheism, both Communist and the perhaps even worse Capitalist atheism. Since 2007, when the two parts of the Russian Church linked together, their potential to transform themselves into one worldwide missionary Church has continually been pointed out. But also, again and again, people warned of the dangerous temptations of money and power, which could poison them both.

The last four years in particular have seen that poison spread very, very rapidly. And so, very sadly, their potential has not been realised and both have fallen to the temptations of Mammon. The heritage of St Seraphim of Sarov, St John of Kronstadt and St John of Shanghai have alike been falsely accused, put on trial once more and unjustly condemned. In reality, however, only those who have carried out these uncanonical acts have been condemned, or rather have condemned themselves. As a result of these grave sins, spiritual crimes, the faithful of the Church have been deprived of grace and are, literally, at war. And the blood spilt divides them cruelly. Once more the Russian Church has lost its freedom to the State, as before the Revolution, so after the Revolution, so also today.

The dead hand of the State is, as always, killing spiritual life, reducing all to a mere right-wing, State-controlled Protestant denomination with rituals. Bureaucratisation, centralisation and politicisation mean that many have once more put the State above Christ and harshly punish all who witness to Christ. Protocols above the Holy Spirit! When, long before the Revolution, St Seraphim was asked why Russia would fall, he answered that it was because Orthodox no longer kept the fasts, including Wednesdays and Fridays. For St John of Kronstadt, who prophesied the consequences of the imminent Revolution in detail, it was the refusal to prepare for and take communion, reinforced by the clericalist hypocrisy opposed to frequent communion, scandalously depriving the people of the Body and Blood of Christ.

For St John of Shanghai and Western Europe, the Ukrainian Saint who after the Revolution lived all over the world, hounded and put on trial in San Francisco by pharisaical Statist bishops, even though they had no State, and who so hastened his repose, it was the ethnically-based refusal of the racist ghetto to tell the Non-Orthodox world about Christ which was destroying Church life. Today’s disastrous and tragic war in the Ukraine illustrates the consequences. All are being chastised in the Russian Church for their sin of not loving one another. Here are the consequences of sin – lack of love and so war. Where in the Gospel does it say that we should destroy or close churches and kill each other? The wages of sin are indeed death, both spiritual and physical death.

Introduction: The Conflict in the Ukraine

After nine months of its present and second phase, the conflict in the Ukraine is about to enter a third and far more intense phase. So far it has largely been fought between Russian-backed Ukrainian militias with their Chechen and contracted allies and the Western-backed Kiev Army with their NATO training and immense amounts of arms and tens of thousands of Polish troops and mercenaries, dressed in Ukrainian uniforms. Over 100,000 have been killed and 400,000 injured, just on the Kiev/NATO side, and at least another 10,000 killed and 40,000 injured on the other side. Millions of young men have fled the Ukraine to avoid conscription and almost certain death or mutilation. Now the actual Russian Army is preparing to enter the fray with its winter campaign. There is going to be a real war.

The Ever-Smaller Russian Church in the West

As a result of the first phase, the Western elite’s choice between February 2014 and February 2022 to take over, arm and train the Kiev forces, nearly 14,000 Ukrainians were massacred in the Eastern Ukraine by Nazi elements from Kiev and the rest of the population were told to leave. As a result of the second phase since February 2022 and the ensuing sanctions, it is clear that in the future only very few Russian Orthodox from Russia will be allowed to settle in the Western world. In the Ukraine Ukrainians refuse to attend churches where the Russian Patriarch’s name is mentioned. Like them, very, very few of the, for the moment, 3.5 million newly-arrived Ukrainians in Western Europe, unlike the Orthodox among the 6 million Ukrainians who have been forced to flee to Russia since 2014, wish to attend Russian churches.

During the Cold War, when citizens of the USSR were also not allowed to settle in the West, Russian Orthodox clergy, like those in the tiny Moscow Patriarchal Sourozh Diocese in England, run by the late Metropolitan Antony Bloom, turned their attentions to missionary work, to bring Orthodoxy to the native people. They had to attract local people into the Diocese simply in order for their group to survive. This too is now not an option, for a free Church no longer exists. The old freedom has gone. Missionary work is being stopped and even hounded by harsh and compassionless ritualists and bureaucrats, who take pleasure in trying to steal and then close the most popular churches. Today, no Western people are attracted to the politicised, centralised and bureaucratised Russian Orthodox Church, which appears to persecute its own faithful openly and quite shamelessly, on the internet for the whole world to see. And even if people were attracted to such, would they be allowed to join it?

Russian Orthodox churches under the Russian Patriarch are now banned in much of the Ukraine and completely in Latvia, and perhaps soon in Lithuania and Estonia, where government interference in Church matters is becoming ever more aggressive. In the UK and the USA all Russian bishops from Russia are banned and they are now in exile. Their churches have no bishop. In the UK, USA and Canada you are not allowed to belong to the Russian Orthodox church if you work for the local ‘security services’. In addition, the Russian Patriarch is physically banned by personal sanction from the UK, as also from Lithuania and Canada. It is also very difficult to obtain insurance for Russian church buildings in the UK. And without insurance, you cannot legally operate.

Over fifty years ago, at the height of the Cold War, a way out for Russian Orthodox who were long settled in Northern America was found. This was in the ideological heart of the then Cold War. This took the form of autocephaly (full independence), given to them in the form of a new Local Church, the ‘OCA’ (Orthodox Church in America). Thus, they had their own Church, independent of any political or other connection with the Russian Church in Moscow, which was then held hostage by the Soviet regime. But today, with unheard-of Soviet-style centralisation, no such autocephaly is being given to Russian Orthodox in Western countries. The results are ever smaller churches, as there is no possibility of doing missionary work: the centralised, ethnic Russian authorities will not allow it. They do not want ‘foreigners’ in their Church. The Russian Church in the Western world is closing down, or rather, closing itself down and being closed down.

Once the Russian Orthodox Church was rightly seen as the Persecuted Church, the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors. It was the bearer of the multinational ideal of Holy Rus. As such it attracted sympathy, prayer and members. The faithful wanted to stand together with the New Martyrs and Confessors. However, today, as a result of careerist power structures many see the Russian Orthodox Church as a single Persecuting ‘Church’.

Thus, many see it as the secular and political ideology of a ‘Church-Business’. Their ‘executives’, or ‘effective managers’, scandalously task their clergy with extracting as much money as possible from the faithful. Complaints are swept under the carpet and whistle-blowers absurdly and uncanonically punished. Naturally, principled clergy and faithful refuse to take part in this and have gone into exile. Loyal to the old Russian Church, its martyrs, saints and its spiritual values, they have left because of their principled refusal to accept the ideology of a money-making ‘Church-Business’, which is the moral low ground, where Caiaphas and Judas live.

Others left for a totally different reason – they were political disciples of the liberal Parisian Metr Antony Bloom, as in, for example, the Netherlands and Italy, where they have gone to Constantinople, and in Spain. (In the 1970s Metr Antony Bloom was himself demoted by the Moscow Patriarchate for his support of Solzhenitsyn, which led him to requesting admission into ROCOR. That was turned down by ROCOR, as he was considered to be a liberal, among other things).

In any case, the new structures, concerned with careerist power politics and money, the sin of Judas, no longer seem to represent the old Russian Orthodox Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors, which we knew and loved. Faithful clergy and people always belonged to it in the past, spiritually belong to it now, and spiritually will always belong to it in the future.

Three Paths

When you are cut off, because the central Church structure in another country has temporarily been taken captive by a Non-Orthodox ideology, whichever it may be, and there is no chance of independence or autocephaly from that Centre, you can take one of two secular paths:

You can go outwards to the secular left, taking the path of new calendarism, ecumenism, liberalism and modernism, assimilating into the secular world and disappearing into it. This is happening now. However, this wholly outward-looking path sooner or later leads to assimilation and disappearance into the woke sects of liberal pseudo-intellectuals. So they die out.

Or you can go inwards to the secular right, taking the path of old calendarism, extreme conservatism, ‘catacombism’ and ghettoism, cutting yourself off from all others and so becoming disembodied. However, this wholly inward-looking path sooner or later leads to Protestant-style right-wing sects of apocalyptic judgemental pharisees. So they die out.

We have personally lived through and seen both these above tragic paths and seen specifically various different parts of the Russian Church of the émigré past of two generations gradually disappear almost completely into both these black holes. Thus, we witnessed the agonising suicidal deaths of the groups that took those paths. Just as we did not go there then, we are hardly going to go there now. Suicide is not part of our mentality. We prefer life to death.

The Third Way

There is another path, a third way. If you wish to survive as a Church, you must follow this path. This is the path of the saints of all the Local Churches, ancient and modern, of the whole Church. This is the path of the Church which is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. These four words stand for the Four Pillars of the Church, the Martyrs, the Confessors, the real Monastics and the real Pastors:

The Church is One because of the Unity of her Martyrs. The Church is Holy because of the Holiness of her Confessors. The Church is Catholic because of the Catholicity of her real Monastics. The Church is Apostolic because of the Apostolicity of her real Pastors. These are the Four Pillars of the Church on Earth, as in Heaven. We follow them.

If you live in the Western world and you refuse either of the two secular paths and follow this third path, you will inevitably find yourself developing into part of a new Local Church. As the saints have no nationality, no passport, you will find yourself in a multinational parish and network of parishes, an international Deanery and even Diocese. You will find the children of immigrants turning to you, for they no longer identify as citizens of the countries which their parents emigrated from, but as local and speaking the local language. This is a foundation stone of a new Local Church. For we look forwards to local enrootment, not backwards to the past and dependence on the elsewhere. Local Churches define and embody the Dogma of the Incarnation and also the Teaching of the Holy Spirit, which means the spreading and enrootment of the Church to countries where once it was not.

And if you are not allowed to take the path of the saints, which is the only future for the Russian Orthodox Church in the Western world, what do you do? You leave it and take refuge in the jurisdiction of, and under the canonical protection of, another Local Church until new times. This is called Divine Providence, which is the salvation of the Holy Spirit and keeps the flame of hope alive.

Conclusion: A Future?

Is there any future for the Russian Orthodox Church in the Western world? Yes, there is, but only for the Russian Orthodox Church of the New Martyrs and New Confessors, the Church of the saints and the fools for Christ, the Church of the ignored Spirit-driven prophets and the persecuted elders, and their multinational ideal of Holy Rus and charismatic universal missionary work. This was witnessed to by the Three Saints of the Russian Emigration, St Jonah of Hankou, St Seraphim of Boguchar and St John of Shanghai. Thus, there is a future, but only for the authentic Russian Orthodox Church, the Church of the Saints of God, of the Martyrs, the Confessors, the real Monastics and the real Pastors. The Holy Spirit is greater than all the narrowness and nasty politics of mere men. Victory awaits the faithful for their patience.





A Simple Reply to Archbishop Elpidiphoros

‘When you elevate one religion above all others, it is as if you decide there is only one path leading to the top of the mountain. But the truth is you simply cannot see the myriads of paths that lead to the same destination because you are surrounded by boulders of prejudice that obscure your view’.

Archbishop Elpidiphoros, a Greek Orthodox Archbishop in North America, speaking at an American-funded Political Conference on Religion on 16 July 2021


We can all agree about three things:

God is at the top of the mountain.

We are all at the bottom.

There are many paths that leave from the bottom that appear to go upwards.

As the view of the speaker was surrounded by boulders of prejudice, for example, that all religions are the same or that only CIA-funded Greeks are true Orthodox, we can all ask three questions about these paths:

Do all the paths that start at the bottom lead straight up to the summit?

Do all the paths that start at the bottom actually even go as far as the summit?

Do some of the paths that start at the bottom go round and round the mountain and lead nowhere or even back down again?

Finally, we can draw one conclusion:

The only path that that starts at the bottom and leads straight up to the summit is the path of humility.

Someone has asked me: ‘How do you obtain humility’? All I can answer is that you will not find the answer to that question at CIA-funded Conferences about Religion. The answer is to be found in life and faith.



The Time of the Fulfilment of the Prophecies Has Come

In a recent interview, shortly to be published elsewhere, Fr Andrew expressed his views on the situation in the Ukraine, which has brought the whole world and the whole of the Orthodox Church into crisis.


Q: What has brought about the crisis in the Ukraine, which has affected inter-Orthodox relations so badly and led to a huge and historic schism?

A: First of all, we must know that since the fall of the USSR in December 1991, the US elite (with all its underlings) has had as its main aims firstly the destruction of the Islamic world and secondly the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the cement of the Russian-speaking world and the numerical centre of Orthodoxy. The US elite failed in the first task, though it did create chaos and death throughout the Middle East and in North Africa. In the second task it is also failing, though again it has created chaos and death, threatening nuclear war. This is Satanism. Of this there is no doubt. Only Satan loves blood and death.

This became apparent to me when the former US ambassador to Kiev, John Herbst, infiltrated the Fourth Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in San Francisco in 2006. His then comment to a future schismatic Ukrainian bishop was that, given the ROCOR decision for unity with Moscow, they (meaning the US Establishment via the CIA) would now have to infiltrate all the Local Orthodox Churches and in particular the Russian Orthodox Church from inside. This is exactly what they did. Thus, they created the scandal of persecution of the faithful from inside the Church, using its corrupted agents inside the Church.

‘Hand over the keys to your church so we can close it’, is the US chant, whether through its agents in the West or through its agents in the Ukraine. There is exactly the same attempt at the intimidation of the pious and the manipulation of the naïve everywhere. So, the technique clearly has the same origin. In the Ukraine, any priest who loses his church also loses his job and possibly his home, once the keys to his church have been stolen from him. Here it is not so bad because most priests do not depend on the church for their income or home. However, the flock will still be scattered, the work of decades in building up the Church destroyed and the people scandalised by the persecution coming from on high. This is how people, ;the little ones’ of the Gospel, lose their faith. In our own case we were saved by the personal friendship between Patriarch Kyrill and Patriarch Daniel, so we were able to remain free and open, which the people recognise and so flock to us, despite the jealousy and slanders of others. The people refuse to be intimidated by the CIA. Unlike the dreaded secret police in the totalitarian Ukraine, the ‘authorities’ are reluctant to kidnap and torture here.

In the Ukraine, the CIA have so far managed to close 2,000 churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church out of 12,000, but thousands more will be closed in the coming months. Metr Onufry is a heroic confessor and may yet be martyred by the Americans through their proxies. We are with him 100%. We are not afraid of them! We have seen their sort before and seen them off before.

Q: When did the war in the Ukraine begin?

A: In 2014, the centenary of the First World War. As I have written many times before, this is a generational process: 1914, 1939 (the Second War), 1964 (the Moral Collapse, leading to 100 million abortions, mass family breakdown and open perversion without repentance), 1989 (the fall of the Berlin Wall, followed by the first invasion of Iraq and the Soviet collapse) and 2014. That was the first year of World War III, of which covid was only a phase that killed nearly seven million, a War which is due to last ten years in all. This is as long as World War I and World War II added together. Thus, we have seen a world crisis every twenty-five years.

Q: You have recently helped a Ukrainian refugee-priest to try and set up a new church in London. How did that go?

A: With the blessing of our own Metr Joseph and the senior hierarchy in Kiev, who know all about how we have been persecuted and how we were received into the Romanian Church (Metr Joseph is well-known and well-respected there and has met them), we received a priest from the Ukraine who stayed with us for three weeks. However, the British Establishment told our priest in no uncertain terms that as long as he is with Metr Onufry, he will not be tolerated in this country. He could in no way obtain premises or anything. The USA will not allow it. However, he was told that if he had been in the schismatic CIA/Dumenko church or in the Greek Catholic (Uniat) church, he would have at once received everything he had ever dreamed of.

Q: Why did he come to you in the Patriarchate of Romania and not address himself to the Russian Church?

A: The Kiev regime punishment for ‘collaboration’ (= concelebration with the Russian Church) is five years imprisonment.

Today the situation in Eastern Europe is worsening rapidly. In the Ukraine you can be imprisoned for possessing Russian books. In the Baltics it is the same. The Pjukhtitsy Convent in Estonia has been ordered to join the American pawn of Constantinople. Eternal shame on the Estonian government. In Latvia doctors can now legally refuse to treat Russians who cannot speak Latvian. People will die. Such is the racism allowed by the EU. I strongly suspect that Russia will this decade be tempted to take over desperately poor Moldova and then the dying Baltic States, in order to free their persecuted minorities there.

Q: What hope do you see for the Russian Church in this crisis?

A: My personal hope is Metr Hilarion (Alfeev) of Budapest. I know him personally. From a liberal diplomat he has developed and matured over the last several years through his sufferings, and is now a hero in chains. He has always openly opposed the war in the Ukraine. He clearly sees the difference between Church and State. He speaks several languages, quite good Greek, French and excellent English. He is for autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Even if it will only be temporary, it will still be necessary for a time.

Once the south-western province of Zakarpatie, as Kiev calls it, has become part of Hungary, as it will do, there will be a need for an Autocephalous Hungarian Orthodox Church. This could be a possible position for Metr Hilarion. But he could do more. He could take over responsibility for the Sourozh Diocese and Moscow parishes in North America. In this country he could restore the fallen Russian Church here, which is now in a disastrous state. He could at last create that long-awaited united Russian Church out of the three warring Russian jurisdictions here, one of which is allowed to refuse to be in communion with one of the others! He could take over the now moribund Western European Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Moscow and revive it, working together with other jurisdictions. Or quite simply, he could become the next Patriarch of Moscow.

Q: Is this the end of the world? The Apocalypse?

A: We are in pre-Apocalyptic times. The War against the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia will, conditionally, end on 5 May 2024. Exactly eighteen months from now. These are not my words, but the words of the prophets and holy elders. If there is repentance (all prophecies are dependent on repentance) then there will be a great cleansing of the Church and the State. All the perverts and money-minded careerists will be turned out, like the money-changers from the Temple, for that is exactly what they are. He who endures to the end will be saved. Fear not, little flock. This whole period is a time of testing.

Q: You sound optimistic?

A: In the longer term, of course I am optimistic, but not in the short term. There is much suffering to go through in the coming months and year. This is why the Lord was merciful to Queen Elizabeth II and took her – so that she would not see these horrors.

The commander of the US Strategic Command in charge of the US nuclear triad, Admiral Charles Richard, has just said that ‘the Ukraine crisis is just warming up. The big one is coming, and it won’t be long before we get tested in a way we haven’t been tested in a long time’. The US is flying nuclear weapons into its base in Spain. According to the EU Foreign Minister, Borrell, the EU alone has spent 22 billion euros on Ukraine in 2022, not counting direct military aid from individual EU members. The Ukraine is going to need billions of dollars just to stay afloat in the next few months and probably more than $100 billion to stay afloat in 2023.

This is not to mention the potential flood of refugees from the Ukraine into Europe, sparking the powderkeg of existing internal discontent in these countries. For example, here Ukrainian refuges were sponsored for six months, when they began to come here last March. Now that that period is up, many are being turned out onto the streets, where they live as beggars and tramps. Local councils will not and cannot help them. They too are bankrupt.

Now is the time of the fulfilment of the prophecies. The saints long ago foretold that at the end there will be many churches and the golden cupolas will gleam, but you will not be able to enter them. This is exactly the situation in the Ukraine today, where the churches are locked and empty. As St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied, at the end there will be bishops even worse than those in the time of Emperor Theodosius the Younger (401-450). Here begins our long, long march to freedom. We are living through the end of that old Westocentric world and seeing the return to the original multicentric world. But as St Alexander Nevsky said: ‘God is not in force, but in truth’.




On the Sadness of Mammon: Whatever Happened to the Russian Orthodox Church? (1992-2022)

Thirty years have gone by since Communism fell and the Russian Orthodox Church began to revive on a mass level. But over the last three or four years, before the events in the Ukraine, more and more have become disgusted with the behaviour of some in the Russian Orthodox episcopate, both in the Moscow Patriarchate (MP), based in the former Soviet Union, and in the émigré Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), based in New York. When did this decadence among the Russian episcopate begin?

The historically-minded would go back to the Judaisers of Skhariya in fifteenth century Russia, or to the Old Ritualist schism in the seventeenth century, yet others to Peter I and the German Catherine II (both dubbed by Westernisers ‘the Great’). In any case, the decadence certainly began well before 1917 and there are probably very few nowadays who still believe the old ‘lightswitch’ myths of the children of émigrés about how everything was perfect before 1917 and suddenly everything was awful afterwards. Revolutions do not happen without a cause.

A reading of the early volumes of the works of the incredibly frank Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky) (+ 1936) or of ‘The Russian Ideology’ by St Seraphim of Boguchar (Sofia) (+ 1950), describing the deviations of a State Church, is enough to see through that nonsense. As the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva used to point out to us with a shrug of his shoulders: ‘They complain about the Russian bishops inside Russia who have swish black cars. Well, before the Revolution they had swish black carriages with swish black horses’.

However, none of the above distant historical references explain, let alone justify, what is going on today, with calls to ‘cancel’ (1) scandalous Russian Orthodox bishops, both in the Moscow Patriarchate and in its ROCOR subsidiary, for whom everything is wonderful. We are talking about the here and now. As one recent correspondent has put it: ‘I really think this is the reason why Orthodoxy is in such a mess today, it comes from the top down. Nowadays bishops have no humility, they’re full of pride and have a never-ending love of luxury which is corrupting them. Bishops in the MP and ROCOR live in a far more luxurious way them the vast majority of their parishioners and the worst thing is they think it’s normal.’

We were used to the old decadence of the Patriarchate of Constantinople: its careerist bishops, usually homosexuals, ordaining their boyfriend who then turned alcoholic, occasionally pedophiles, the womanisers with their mistress(es), the amassing of money for a villa in Greece, getting their teeth whitened in Turkey so they could look even more like the Hollywood stars they adore. But then exactly the selfsame disease spread to the Russian Church. What is the difference?

We can remember Metropolitan Philaret Denysenko of Kiev who in the 1970s (!) built himself a palace with the help of his Communist friends. The fact that he was married and had two children bothered no-one: in Moscow they turned a blind eye to married bishops – there were a lot of them then (as there are today, including in Western Europe), with at least one in the then ROCOR. The only problem was that Denysenko, like all careerists, wanted to be the Patriarch and then, like so many Communists, in 1992 turned overnight into a nationalist in the hope of achieving his aim (2). So he created a schism. Understandably, Moscow turned against him then. You could turn a blind eye to his moral weakness and his pickpocketing of money from the Church till, but not to schism. He is now defrocked, a shame, but also one who makes you shudder.

I remember Dmitry, an old émigré of the second generation (those nostalgic for something they had never known were always the worst – the real emigres, adults before the Revolution, knew all about what it had really been like and all the scandals). He told me in 2005 that ROCOR could not possibly be linked to the Moscow Patriarchate because that would be like a glass of pure water being mixed with a glass of dirty water. Pure phariseeism. I mentioned the word ‘Grabbe’ to him. Not the CIA and freemason father George/Gregory or Nasty News Nastia, but the notorious womanising son (3), Antony, who in ROCOR was called ‘the six-million dollar man’. That, after all, is how much he had made by selling Russian Church property in the Holy Land to the Jews. Poor old Dmitry pretended to know nothing about it. But he did, just as he knew about the alcoholic ROCOR protodeacon, the defrocked ROCOR priest, the womanising ROCOR priest who stole tens of thousands from his church and was awarded for it all by his naïve (or not so naïve?) archbishop. No, Dmitry, there were two glasses of dirty water.

Inside Russia, some blame the 250 bishops consecrated over the last 14 years by Patriarch Kyrill, too many of whom were clearly unworthy. Yet the search for more bishops was necessary. True, too many of them were not men of prayer, just ‘effective managers’ (code for ‘fundraising bureaucrats’) and they turned out to be just homosexuals and careerists (often one and the same, as among the Greeks), on the thrones of whose vacant souls sat the mocking satan. But despite even their numbers, the Russian Church still needs to find another 1,000 bishops, build another 100,000 churches and real Christian communities (rather than trying to persecute them and close them down) and find another 100,000 priests (rather than expelling them to other Local Churches), before it can say that it has really revived. The path for them has barely begun, as I have said time and time again.

Sadly, since the fall of Communism and the USSR in December 1991, many have fallen by the wayside in Russia. First there were the liberals like Kuraev, who adored Bulgakov, Schmemann and Meyendorff etc more than the saints. Then there were the ‘Orthodox Stalinists’, yesterday’s left-wing Bolsheviks who became today’s right-wing nationalists, under the cloak of Orthodoxy (2). These extremes all lead nowhere. The liberal Kuraev is defrocked, just as the anti-Semitic, right-wing ‘worshipper of Tsar as God’ Sergei Romanov from the Urals Convent. I met them both.

But perhaps the worst cases are in the Russian emigration. How we recall a very naïve young man from the ex-USSR seeing in Europe in the 1990s an elderly emigre bishop sweeping the floor of his church. He blurted out: ‘Clearly, he is a saint’. What nonsense. All émigré bishops and priests swept (and some of us still sweep) the floors of our churches. Are we all saints then?! We well remember the old school, of all jurisdictions: Archbishop George Tarasov in Paris, the widowed World War One pilot who became a bishop and had no clothes to wear; Archbishop Seraphim (Dulgov), the ROCOR bishop who lived in poverty and was happy so; Metropolitan Benjamin (Fedchenkov), whose only food was that given to him by his few parishioners and who slept on a concrete floor because he had given his bed to a beggar. Let me assure you that all this was completely normal. We never thought of ourselves as saints. We were, and are, simply confessing Orthodox Christians. It is you who are abnormal, which is why we are calling you to shame and repentance now.

And then in recent years there have come to Europe new ‘princes of the Church’, as they call themselves. There were a young bishop whose first act was to buy himself a fancy car and another even younger one, who refused to live next to his church and instead rented a whole very expensive house miles away, near a foreign embassy, from where he took his orders as their asset, so depriving a married priest of a salary! Both then tried to grab properties and cash, bullying like racketeering Chicago gangsters. Both discredited themselves immediately among their flocks, though they were lauded by their fellow-bishops. They convinced no-one and their dioceses are visibly and actually quite rapidly contracting as a direct result. But they say that everything is wonderful. Because they cannot see the elephants in the room. Themselves.

The curse of today’s Russian Orthodoxy, MP and ROCOR, is undoubtedly love of money. And this is not because ROCOR has been corrupted by the money of the MP. The MP never gave ROCOR a penny. You could perhaps argue just the opposite: ROCOR corrupted the MP with its American love of money. Already fifty years ago, the new ROCOR celibate priests sent to Europe in the 70s and 80s were not like the old ones, the authentic poor monks and probable saints. Fr George Sheremetiev (+ 1971) warned us even then of ‘the American disease’ coming to ROCOR. The new ones all wanted to live like the wealthy Americans they already were or else wanted to be. One turned out to be a pedophile, others were long ago defrocked. On the other hand, in 2018 I met a priest in Russia, who had been through the Americanisation of Russia in the 1990s, who boasted that he had 15 kilos of gold inside the magnificent church he had built. I told him to sell it and give it to the poor. ‘In England we use gold paint. That’s good enough for us’.

We know all their stories and all their names, from the photos with the ostrich feathers down. (You know who you are). But as St Paisios the Athonite told me in 1979: ‘When you see the excrement of wild animals on a path between monasteries, you gather it together and throw it away into the bushes, so that the next passer-by does not walk in it and spread it around’. As with the excrement of wild animals, so we do with the scandals of bishops.

I remember that same old son of an émigré, Dmitry, who told me that we in ROCOR could not possibly concelebrate with the corrupt of the Moscow Patriarchate. I quietly reminded him that all the New Martyrs belonged to the Moscow Patriarchate, for there were none in ROCOR, and that we belonged to the New Martyrs. He had no answer. We Orthodox belong to the Persecuted Church, not to the Persecuting Church and we are not afraid, for as it is written:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, inhuman, implacable, slanderers, incontinent, fierce, haters of the good, traitors, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. From such turn away…But they will not get very far: for their folly shall be made plain to all.

Prophecies of Paul the Apostle, 2 Timothy 3, 1-5, 9

And if you are disheartened by all this, know that we are still here, despite all the mud they have slung at us and which has stuck only to them. And then read the prophecies from outside Russia and from inside Russia:

The Lord has already chosen the future Tsar. He will be a man of fiery faith, having the mind of a genius and a will of iron. First of all, he will introduce order into the Orthodox Church, removing all the untrue, heretical and lukewarm hierarchs. And many, very many – with few exceptions, all – will be deposed, and new, true, unshakeable hierarchs will take their place.

Archbishop Theophan of Poltava, in exile in France (+ 1940)

The bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church will fall away from the truth of the Orthodox Faith, they will not believe in the prophecies of the resurrection of Russia. To reprove them, St Seraphim of Sarov will be raised from the dead. He will reprove the clergy for their treachery and betrayal and will preach repentance to the whole world.

Blessed Pelagia of Ryazan (+ 1968)

Judgement Day is coming.



  1. In the same way as the recent ‘cancelling’ of the scandalous Metr Joseph of the Antiochian Archdiocese in the USA has already led to his ‘retirement’.
  2. Communists who see that they have lost always then play the nationalist card, as in Russia, the Ukraine, Poland, Yugoslavia etc. And in China. The overnight techniques are the same, as are the results. The biggest Nazis in today’s Ukraine were the biggest Communists thirty years ago. Denysenko is but one example.
  3. The old ROCOR quip on father and son clerics has always been: ‘Yes, I saw the father and the son, only I didn’t see the Holy Spirit’.