Daily Archives: March 31, 2023

Questions and Answers March 2023


Q: It is said that Patriarch Bartholomew intends to establish a common Easter calendar with the Catholics in 2025. What do you think?

A: The Roman Catholics and the Phanariots have been talking about this for at least the last fifty years. The point is that if the people do not follow, they can say and sign whatever they want, it is all irrelevant. Thus, the first who will not obey their Patriarch are his very own monks of Mt Athos. How then could others outside his jurisdiction follow? This common calendar idea is just a recipe for more divisive schisms.

Q: Why are most German Roman Catholic bishops (38 against 21) in favour of blessing homosexual ‘weddings’?

A: Because most of them are homosexuals. Just like many an Orthodox bishop, like one recently reposed Greek metropolitan who made no secret of his support for homosexuality. (See below).

Q: Why is Scripture not the only authority for the Orthodox Church?

A: It is the Holy Spirit that is the authority and the unity of the Church. When the Holy Spirit is rejected, then the Church on earth suffers from a lack of authority and a lack of unity – as we can see today. The Holy Spirit is expressed in Scripture, Tradition, Councils, the Saints etc. As the Holy Spirit wrote Scripture, it requires the Holy Spirit to interpret it. As Shakespeare wrote over 425 years ago: The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose (The Merchant of Venice Act 1, Scene 3, l. 96).

Q: It is said that Judas did not repent and therefore is considered to be a traitor. But in the Gospel, it says that he did repent. How do you answer that?

A: I am afraid you are reading a poor translation! The archaic meaning of ‘to repent yourself’ is to regret’: ‘I repent me of all I did’. This is why the King James translation in Matt 27, 3-5, which relates that Judas ‘repented himself’, returned his pieces of silver and ‘went and hanged himself’ is not helpful. Those who repent do not go and hang themselves, but they do regret.

Q: What happens to those who try to take advantage of sincere Christians?

A: Sincere Christians are always kind. The evil-minded try and take advantage of us because we are kind, but then discover that underneath kindness we have rock-solid principles, which we shall never abandon. If we are asked to do something demeaning to ourselves, we will obey. But if we are asked to fall into schism or heresy, we will refuse to obey. Underneath we are as hard as nails. This is humility – very different from the wishy-washy woke nonsense that the world imagines humility to be. And the enemies always break themselves on our principles, just like a ship that wrecks itself on the rocks.


Q: Will Non-Orthodox be saved?

A: Ask God.

I would be very cautious in even asking such a question. Why do some experience a need to condemn others because of their own choices?

Q: What are the characteristics of convert churches in the USA?

A: The first is tithing. It simply does not happen in Orthodox churches, though the voluntary custom is not wrong in itself. Then there are reader services. Again it does not exist in our churches, although in itself there is nothing wrong with it. The problem is rather that it leads to clericalism, whereby for example, when you ask someone their name, he may tell you ‘Reader John’ etc. We do not use this title and certainly readers should never wear cassocks outside the services.

Russian Psychology

Q: A Russian has told me that if children are disabled, it is because their parents conceived them on a fasting day. What should I think?

A: You should think that this poor and unchurches Russian soul has plumbed the depths of phariseeism.

Q: Why are Russians so divisive?

A: On this subject there is the old Russian émigré story about a Russian who has been shipwrecked and lives alone on a desert island. When after many years he is rescued, his rescuers are astonished to see that he has built three churches on his island. When he is asked why, he answers that he built three churches so there would always be two which he did not have to go to.

I think such sectarian divisiveness comes simply from the fact that some unChurchly Russians  confuse politics with Church life, rendering to Caesar what is God’s, putting the personalities of this world above Christ.

Q: Is it true that Russian Orthodox are superstitious? A Protestant friend told me that in his view that are not Christians?

A: Well, is your Protestant friend Christian?!!

You have to remember that today’s Orthodox in Russia are nearly always converts from Sovietism. Therefore, they often bring with them superstitions, ignorance, prejudice and hangovers from the Soviet period, which betray a almost magic, ritualistic phariseeism, belief in the letter over the spirit. These include: clericalism such that you should not pray for yourself, for only a priest is allowed to pray for you, belief that the evil eye is stronger than the cross, a ritualistic and magic understanding of confession before communion, a superstitious belief in the power of holy water, that it is greater than holy communion, that baptism is important only because it prevents babies falling ill etc

Q: Given the evil of Western governments, their encouragement of sexual perversion and even Satanism, would you think of moving to Russia?

A: I have often thought of it over the last fifteen years for myself. If I were single, I would have done it long ago. But only as I speak the language. For others I would certainly not recommend it, if you do not speak the language. And certainly not if you have older children who do not speak the language. (Who will your children marry?). And not if you do not work in Russia and get your income locally (living in a virtual world, getting income by working on computer is harmful spiritually).  In principle, God put us where we were born for your salvation. We should beware of the romantic fantasies of escapism. I know too much about the harsh realities of life in Russia, especially in the Church, to entertain any illusions. Why do you think so many Russians take refuge here?

The Gay Mafia

Q: Do you really think that your battle against the ‘lavender mafia’ of homosexual bishops can be won? They are so powerful.

A: Yes, of course it can be won. Because God is on our side. This is not arrogance, this is simply a fact. Surely you don’t believe that God is on the side of the homosexual and bisexual bishops in the Church?!!!! And the Patriarchs are with us, because they have protected us. This is a Conciliar process and history is on our side. We never sought this battle, but we obey God, Who put us in front of this scourge. The Church must be cleansed of them. We, like others, must take part in this end-time battle.

For years I recall how we tried to fight against their takeover – it all began in 1994. I remember how the latest phase of the battle began two years ago. Our profound suspicions from the beginning had been undermined by the fact that we could not prove anything. Then, one of our parishioners heard about the case of the Russian bishop Ignaty who had been found out by parishioners who were convinced he was homosexual. So they went on to an international homosexual dating app called ‘Grinder’. There they found compromising photos of him. The Patriarch deposed Ignaty at once and sent him off to a monastery.

So to check on the bishop in question, of whom this parishioner, like us, had had the same bad impression, though no proof, he put the ‘Grinder’ app onto his mobile phone. Apparently, this app shows at what distance you are standing from a member of the dating site. It went off only once – when that notorious bishop visited us, indicating that the dating app had picked up that he was standing just two metres away from the phone. There was only one person it could have been. We had received the confirmation of our impression. We could clearly identify him. Since then he has gone on to scandalise many, destroy the church, supported by another seven homosexual and bisexual bishops and priests, rejecting the offer of a monastery, scandalising a monk to whom the bishop made an advance and who then, quite naturally, ran away, tried to close churches, and ordained a homosexual and a bisexual. And yet such people are actually defended by others in the same mafia. But God is not mocked. You will see.

English History

Q: In your opinion, who was the best and who was the worst figure in the history of England?

A: The best: The holy King Alfred the Great, the Truthteller, England’s Darling.

The worst: Either Duke William the Bastard, or else Cromwell. It is difficult to choose between them. One was a Catholic tyrant, the other was a Protestant tyrant. Both killed hundreds of thousands.




The Capital of the Multipolar World

A Moscow Diary


In Moscow you feel no crisis. No effects of sanctions. No unemployment. No homeless people in the streets. Minimal inflation.

How sharp was Lenin, prime modernist, when he mused, “there are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen”. This global nomad now addressing you has enjoyed the privilege of spending four astonishing weeks in Moscow at the heart of an historical crossroads – culminating with the Putin-Xi geopolitical game-changing summit at the Kremlin.

To quote Xi, “changes that haven’t been seen in 100 years” do have a knack of affecting us all in more ways than one.

James Joyce, another modernity icon, wrote that we spend our lives meeting average and/or extraordinary people, on and on and on, but in the end we’re always meeting ourselves. I have had the privilege of meeting an array of extraordinary people in Moscow, guided by trusted friends or by auspicious coincidence: in the end your soul tells you they enrich you and the overarching historical moment in ways you can’t even begin to fathom.

Here are some of them. The grandson of Boris Pasternak, a gifted young man who teaches Ancient Greek at Moscow State University. A historian with unmatched knowledge of Russian history and culture. The Tajik working class huddling together in a chaikhana with the proper ambience of Dushanbe.

Chechens and Tuvans in awe doing the loop in the Big Central Line. A lovely messenger sent by friends extremely careful about security matters to discuss issues of common interest. Exceptionally accomplished musicians performing underground in Mayakovskaya. A stunning Siberian princess vibrant with unbounded energy, taking that motto previously applied to the energy industry – Power of Siberia – to a whole new level.

A dear friend took me to Sunday service at the Devyat Muchenikov Kizicheskikh church, the favorite of Peter the Great: the quintessential purity of Eastern Orthodoxy. Afterwards the priests invited us for lunch in their communal table, displaying not only their natural wisdom but also an uproarious sense of humor.

At a classic Russian apartment crammed with 10,000 books and with a view to the Ministry of Defense – plenty of jokes included – Father Michael, in charge if Orthodox Christianity relations with the Kremlin, sang the Russian imperial anthem after an indelible night of religious and cultural discussions.

I had the honor to meet some of those who were particularly targeted by the imperial machine of lies. Maria Butina – vilified by the proverbial “spy who came in from the cold” shtick – now a deputy at the Duma. Viktor Bout – which pop culture metastasized into the “Lord of War”, complete with Nic Cage movie: I was speechless when he told me he was reading me in maximum security prison in the USA, via pen drives sent by his friends (he had no internet access). The indefatigable, iron-willed Mira Terada – tortured when she was in a U.S. prison, now heading a foundation protecting children caught in hard times.

I spent much treasured quality time and engaged in invaluable discussions with Alexander Dugin – the crucial Russian of these post-everything times, a man of pure inner beauty, exposed to unimaginable suffering after the terrorist assassination of Darya Dugina, and still able to muster a depth and reach when it comes to drawing connections across the philosophy, history and history of civilizations spectrum that is virtually unmatched in the West.

On the offensive against Russophobia

And then there were the diplomatic, academic and business meetings. From the head of international investor relations of Norilsk Nickel to Rosneft executives, not to mention the EAEU’s Sergey Glazyev himself, side by side with his top economic adviser Dmitry Mityaev, I was given a crash course on the current A to Z of Russian economy – including serious problems to be addressed.

At the Valdai Club, what really mattered were the meetings on the sidelines, much more than the actual panels: that’s when Iranians, Pakistanis, Turks, Syrians, Kurds, Palestinians, Chinese tell you what is really in their hearts and minds.

The official launch of the International Movement of Russophiles was a special highlight of these four weeks. A special message written by President Putin was read by Foreign Minister Lavrov, who then delivered his own speech. Later, at the House of Receptions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, four of us were received by Lavrov at a private audience. Future cultural projects were discussed. Lavrov was extremely relaxed, displaying his matchless sense of humor.

This is a cultural as much as a political movement, designed to fight Russophobia and to tell the Russian story, in all its immensely rich aspects, especially to the Global South.

I am a founding member and my name is on the charter. In my nearly four decades as a foreign correspondent, I have never been part of any political/cultural movement anywhere in the world; nomad independents are a fierce breed. But this is extremely serious: the current, irredeemably mediocre self-described “elites” of the collective West want no less than cancel Russia all across the spectrum. No pasarán. They shall not pass.

Spirituality, compassion, mercy

Decades happening in only four weeks imply precious time needed to put it all in perspective.

The initial gut feeling the day I arrived, after a seven-hour walk under snow flurries, was confirmed: this is the capital of the multipolar world. I saw it among the West Asians at the Valdai. I saw it talking to visiting Iranians, Turks and Chinese. I saw it when over 40 African delegations took over the whole area around the Duma – the day Xi arrived in town. I saw it throughout the reception across the Global South to what Xi and Putin are proposing to the overwhelming majority of the planet.

In Moscow you feel no crisis. No effects of sanctions. No unemployment. No homeless people in the streets. Minimal inflation. Import substitution in all areas, especially agriculture, has been a resounding success. Supermarkets have everything – and more – compared to the West. There’s an abundance of first-rate restaurants. You can buy a Bentley or a Loro Pianna cashmere coat you can’t even find in Italy. We laughed about it chatting with managers at the TSUM department store. At the BiblioGlobus bookstore, one of them told me, “We are the Resistance.”

By the way, I had the honor to deliver a talk on the war in Ukraine at the coolest bookshop in town, Bunker, mediated by my dear friend, immensely knowledgeable Dima Babich. A huge responsibility. Especially because Vladimir L. was in the audience. He’s Ukrainian, and spent 8 years, up to 2022, telling it like it really was to Russian radio, until he managed to leave – after being held at gunpoint – using an internal Ukrainian passport. Later we went to a Czech beer hall where he detailed his extraordinary story.

In Moscow, their toxic ghosts are always lurking in the background. Yet one cannot but feel sorry for the psycho Straussian neocons and neoliberal-cons who now barely qualify as Zbig “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski’s puny orphans.

In the late 1990s, Brzezinski pontificated that, “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical center because its very existence as an independent state helps transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire.”

With or without a demilitarized and denazified Ukraine, Russia has already changed the narrative. This is not about becoming a Eurasian empire again. This is about leading the long, complex process of Eurasia integration – already in effect – in parallel to supporting true, sovereign independence across the Global South.

I left Moscow – the Third Rome – towards Constantinople – the Second Rome – one day before Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev gave a devastating interview to Rossiyskaya Gazeta once again outlining all the essentialities inherent to the NATO vs. Russia war.

This is what particularly struck me: “Our centuries-old culture is based on spirituality, compassion and mercy. Russia is a historical defender of sovereignty and statehood of any peoples who turned to it for help. She saved the U.S. itself at least twice, during the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. But I believe that this time it is impractical to help the United States maintain its integrity.”

In my last night, before hitting a Georgian restaurant, I was guided by the perfect companion off Pyatnitskaya to a promenade along the Moscow River, beautiful rococo buildings gloriously lighted, the scent of Spring – finally – in the air. It’s one of those “Wild Strawberry” moments out of Bergman’s masterpiece that hits the bottom of our soul. Like mastering the Tao in practice. Or the perfect meditative insight at the top of the Himalayas, the Pamirs or the Hindu Kush.

So the conclusion is inevitable. I’ll be back. Soon.

(Republished from Strategic Culture Foundation by permission of author or representative)