Monthly Archives: July 2023

The Sorry Tale of the Anglo-American Empire

Not allowing our imperial history to be rubbished is important because if indeed our imperial history was all that they say it was, namely a litany of atrocity, then the moral authority of the West is eroded.

The Oxford Professor of Theology, Nigel Biggar, interviewed on the Conservativehome website, 16 September 2020

The Western Gulag

No people has ever with greater brutality better prepared its economic conquests with the sword and later ruthlessly defended them than the English Nation’.

Adolf Hitler (1)

When Gandhi was asked in London in the 1930s what he thought of Western Civilisation, he allegedly replied: ‘I think it is a very good idea’. It is what we Orthodox Christians think too. Ask any Serb, who knows all about the effects of Western depleted uranium shells on unborn children and RAF bombs marked ‘Happy Easter’, murdering women and children on Easter Night. The Anti-Civilisation of Gulags is an inherent part of all four materialist Western ideologies: the Feudalist, the Communist, the Fascist, the Globalist.

How else can you enforce your millennial ideology of organised violence on the rest of the world? For the Western world, with its British ‘rule of law’ or its US ‘international rules-based order’, law is a medieval construct of regulated force, legalised violence, the high priest of Imperialism, the theft of land and resources from native peoples with bits of parchment and paper. Ask the medieval European serfs, herded into concentration camp ‘villages’ beneath the newly-built castles, inhabited by ‘evil men’, as the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle wrote, such that English peasants thought that ‘Christ and His saints slept’. Ask the Irish. Ask the Native Americans. Ask the Africans. Ask the Asians. Ask the Aborigenes. Ask the Ukrainians about the feudal Blackrock corporation.

The USSR, like China, had its own State camp system, the Communist Gulag (the abbreviation ‘lag’ taken from the German Lager – camp – camps being the new castles), inspired by the latest Western ideology of Communism. But all the Feudalist empires had their Gulags too: Spain in most of South and Central America and Mexico; Portugal in Brazil and parts of Africa; France in West and North Africa and Indo-China; the Netherlands in the ‘Dutch East Indies’; Belgium in the Congo; Germany in South-West and East Africa; Austro-Hungary in Carpatho-Russia; Italy in Libya and ‘Abyssinia’.

And Britain had them almost everywhere, most notoriously and most literally in the slave plantations of the Caribbean and Virginia, in the Indian subcontinent and only five generations ago in South Africa. Camps, camps, camps – so much admired by Hitler that he copied Britain and made his own Fascist Gulag in Eastern Europe.  And after Hitler’s suicide, the British, perhaps flattered by his admiration, carried on their millions-strong Gulag in the late 1940s and 1950s, in Palestine (yes, Israel was a British invention, thank you Lloyd George and Balfour for your ‘contract with Jewry’, as you called it (2)), Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus and finally Northern Ireland under the heartless Thatcher (3).

However, the USA also copied the British Gulag, at home (‘Indian reservations’ = concentration camps for Native Americans on the worst land), in Hawaii, Cuba, the Philippines, Guam, Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite the anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism of Wilson, Roosevelt and Kennedy (the latter got murdered for his), the awful British Empire survived and became the American Empire. First, there was Rhodes and then Milner, who wanted the US in. So in 1917 their followers engineered a coup to get the Russians out and a few weeks later they brought the US in. But in 1941, when Britain had gone bankrupt and could have starved, the US took over completely to keep the Germans down. The world was America’s and so they invented NATO to continue their out, in and down.

The American Empire

America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without going through the process of civilisation.

Oscar Wilde

A piece of European snobbery, proclaims the American on reading the above. And probably rightly so, for surely it is not just America, but much of the Western world which did not go through the process of civilisation. For what is America, if not a European colony? After 1945 the British elite presented their Empire as a bastion of anti-Communism and so sold it to the US, knowing that that was how to pull the Americans’ strings. And so, economically, they held on to it, even when militarily they had become bankrupt pygmies.

Where did you think the CIA got its waterboarding from? It had been a small part of the long-perfected British ‘dilution technique’ of beatings and torture. And Guantanamo? Just a copy of illegal detentions in Northern Ireland and elsewhere. Of course, the Americans never used the words ‘Empire’ or ‘Imperial’. Instead, they disguised the American Empire behind the words ‘Globalism’ and ‘Modernization’. And then the British copied them in turn, cottoning on to the slogan ‘Global Britain’ instead of ‘Imperial Britain’. Same thing. Just sounds better.

Yes, it is true that the hoodwinked Western peoples, at least outside the capitals and main cities, had little idea of what was being done abroad in their name by their elites. Most never went any further than a few neighbouring villages. They were told that it was all a ‘civilising mission to enlighten backward peoples’ – and they believed it, beneath the weight of the censorship and propaganda of the elite. Stevenson’s Jekyll and Hyde approach (the novella was written at the height of Victorian Imperialism in 1886), the beast inside and underneath, was always the Western approach. Ditto for Stoker’s Dracula in 1897, the symbol of Victorian blood-sucking Imperialism.

It is also reflected in the novels of Agatha Christie (and countless other imitators, like the inventor of Cluedo), in which a nice, quiet, innocent, English village becomes the scene of dastardly murder, committed by a member of the elite. The village-murder meeting of opposites was noted by George Orwell, inspired by the British example of the wartime British ‘Ministry of Information’, in fact the Ministry of Disinformation. In his 1948/1984 world of Doublethink he commented: ‘War is Peace’. ‘Freedom is Slavery’. It had virtually been the feudal slogan of Hitler’s death camps: Arbeit Macht Frei – Work Liberates. The Americans reflected it all in their satirical film Arsenic and Old Lace. Two sweetness and light old ladies, whom we might well nickname Freedom and Democracy, have their mad brother burying their dead victims, the ‘backward’ outcasts of society, in the cellar. ‘They are so much happier now’.

Charming politeness and law-abidingness on the surface, pitiless and ruthless bloodshed underneath, in the cellar of the Western world, that part of the house the polite never speak about, but hypocrisy will not make it go away. The whole of Western double standards is satirised. ‘Sorry we murdered you. But it was for your own good’. Such precisely is the history of Western Imperialism and its aerial bombing ‘back to the Stone Age’ (aerial bombing – another British invention from the 1920s, faithfully copied by the Americans). If you do not believe me, look at today’s murder of the Ukraine. ‘It is all for their own good’, claim the neocons. ‘Why, once all those who resist are dead, they will be civilised – like us’. If anyone is left. After all, they do want to fight ‘to the last Ukrainian’.

The Narcissist Club

The Capital of that beacon of light, the USA, is named after a slave-owner. How many slaves did he own and exploit – 200, or was it 300? It is as if Berlin was called Hitlerstadt. They would complain about that name, but not about the Washington name. Isn’t it time to give Washington a native name? The same hypocrisy goes for the British arch-imperialist Churchill. He complained about Hitler murdering 5.4 million Jews, but what about the 5.4 million Bengalis that he allowed to die in the Bengal famine of 1943? It did not matter. They were brown. The Jews were not. And, besides, the Jews had plenty of money. Isn’t it time to take down Churchill’s statue in London? We have had enough of the apologists for Western crimes. They are after all no more than apologists for Hitler.

I love Old Europe, but not New Europe. Like Dostoyevsky I approach New Europe as the cemetery of a dear friend. In the first millennium Europe gave us those who, surrounded by death, preached the Divine message of Resurrection from death and so offered Eternal Life. These are the saints of Europe, the apostles and martyrs in Rome and such as St Irenaeus in Lyon, St Maurice in Switzerland, St Ursula in Cologne, St Eulalia in Barcelona, St Ambrose in Milan, St Martin in Gaul, St John Cassian in Marseilles, St Patrick in Ireland, St Genevieve in Paris, St Benedict in Umbria, St David in Wales, St Martin in Braga, St Columba in Scotland, St Gregory in Rome, St Willibrord in the Netherlands, St Boniface in Germany, St Eulogius in Cordoba, St Anskar in Denmark, St Edmund in England, St Olaf in Norway, St Stephen in Hungary, St Sigfrid in Sweden.

In the second millennium Europe gave us those who, surrounded by death, preached the humanitarian message of Resistance to evil and so offered cultural life. Despite all the surrounding evils, they gave us such as Boccaccio and Dante, Giotto and Chaucer, Van Eyck and de Vinci, Michelangelo and Rembrandt, Shakespeare and Cervantes, Moliere and Mozart, Blake and Keats, Beethoven and Goethe, Chopin and Heine, Dickens and Strauss, Dvorak and Grieg, Rodin and Renoir, Monet and Mucha, Verne and Wells, Orwell and Mann. Then Europe began to dry up, as in 1914 it started on its long, slow and bloody process of suicide or rather genocide of the peoples of Europe by the elites. And that suicide/genocide is ongoing. This time in Zelenskyland, in a conflict which implicates the whole spineless European elite. Europe lost its way, and so its culture, when it lost its foundations, and so its principles.

Here I am in France, yes, the independent France that existed until the CIA mounted its colour revolution against De Gaulle in 1968 and is now ruled by the effeminate banker ‘Micron’, as many call him. Here I was struck last week by the wording on the clothing of a little girl. I suppose she must have been about seven years old. She was wearing a T-shirt with words which surely she did not understand. They said, naturally in English: centre for self-love. And I thought how those words actually sum up the present-day Western world, with its Facebook and likes, me-time and iphone, Twitter and Instagram (‘I buy buy branded clothes, so I can take pictures of me wearing them and then post them on my Instagram account’). It is a selfie world, an ‘I-world’, an ‘I love me’ world, a world of narcissism. As such, it is therefore a doomed world. Creation only ever comes from sacrifice and suffering, whether from childbirth and concertos, never from egoism and self-satisfaction, from Tik Tok and Instagram. The century-long suicide of Europe continues, long ago exported to the rest of the West.

On account of its suicide/genocide, today we can no longer speak of Europe being able to stand alone, not even of Eurasia, but of Afro-Eurasia. It is Russia, Asia and Africa that can together still save the Half-Continent at the Western end of Darkest Europe from itself. (European Russia and Belarus already managed to save themselves from all four materialist Western ideologies of Feudalism, Communism, Fascism and Globalism – all variations on the same exploitative theme. We look to BRICS to save the North American Brave New World and to BRICS to save the Australian and New Zealand Brave New World. As for Europe, its only meaning now is, like Zelensky, to surrender and bear responsibility for the crimes of its millennial elites whom most Europeans obeyed. But first Europe must reject its aberrant Imperial history of pride and return to its roots of humility.


  1. Mein Kampf
  2. Lloyd George, Memoirs 2: 721
  3. See, for example, Caroline Elkins’ excellent cataloguing of twentieth-century British Imperial genocidal crimes in her Legacy of Violence (London 2022). It confirmed everything we had long suspected and forms a suitable reply to the whitewashing of the British Empire by Lawrence James in his Rise and Fall of the British Empire, (was that part-funded by MI5?), or the absurd nonsense of Ferguson’s ‘the West and the Rest’ with his Empire: How Britain Made the Modern World (paid for 2003 propaganda?) and Nigel Biggar’s pure Establishment Ethics and Empire project in 2017, in which like an extraterrestrial from Oxford academia he still appears to be clueless about the millennial reality. The West’s moral authority ‘eroded’? It never had any.







‘’Owing to personal ambition, Patriarch Kyrill has lost the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and other Churches in the lands of ‘Holy Rus’’’.

The above are the words of my dear friend, Archbishop Victor (Bykov) of Artsyz, Vicar-Bishop of the Odessa Diocese of the UOC, on 23 July. They followed the devastation to the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odessa, which I knew so well and whose present ruinous state is so saddening. Vladyka Victor, who is a real monk, stressed that the Patriarch has repeatedly spoken about the unity of ‘Holy Rus’, which he ‘has utterly destroyed with his blessing and his actions’. ‘In my opinion you seem to have forgotten that, just as in Russia, so in Ukraine there are (were) your children, whom you consider as such, and you have blessed those who are now killing them’, wrote the Archbishop. ‘The words ‘Great Lord and Father’ do not come to my tongue when addressing you, for you are a father who has sacrificed his children to destruction and killing’. So sad and yet so true.

The problem is that the Patriarch has lost not only the Ukraine and Latvia, but probably also Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, England and probably all the lands of Western Europe and indeed, probably ultimately everything outside the territory of the Russian Federation. He has transformed himself from the Patriarch of All Rus into the Patriarch of All Russia. Three letters more tacked on to the word ‘Rus’ may sound like a minor change, but in fact it is everything. A once great multinational Church is rapidly becoming a minor nationalist Church. The multinational quality of the Church of the old Russian Empire (1721-1917) and then of the Soviet Union (1917-1991) has been destroyed by ambition, which led to the twofold disease of inward corruption and outward nationalism, exactly, to the letter, as in the Patriarchate of Constantinople.

When the Soviet Union collapsed into 15 different countries at the end of 1991, the Russian Church retained the chance of being multinational. Now that has largely been lost in this wave of militant Russian nationalism. True, the temptation of national exclusivism was always there, and in every part of the Russian Church, as we know only too well from fifty years of experience inside it, but we thought that the victory of that nationalism could be avoided. Great figures in the Russian Diaspora Church like Metr Anastasy, St John of Shanghai and Archbishop Antony of Geneva thought so too. Now it all seems to be too late! The only hope now is a wave of autocephalies, which could at least keep the Russian Church as the historic head of a family of ten, with nine fully independent, canonical Autocephalous Churches forming part of the new ‘Holy Rus’.

By Divine Providence, the list of Autocephalous Churches would start with the older Polish, Czechoslovak and Northern American (formerly OCA) Churches, but now would extend to new Ukrainian, Baltic, Belarussian, Central Asian, Japanese and African Churches. As regards the Russian parishes in Moldova and Western Europe, they will probably pass to the majority Patriarchate of Romania, which, by Divine Providence, already has Autonomous Metropolias there and a flock of well over four million with a thousand parishes and ten, and soon, eleven, bishops. If those on those territories directly or indirectly under Moscow did not join into the symphony of those future Local Churches, they would become uncanonical sects. Such a situation would still leave Autonomous Churches under Moscow in Latin America, South-East Asia and China.

The ideal of ‘Holy Rus’ can survive, but not in its old administrative unity. Its unity is what Patriarch Kyrill has destroyed, as Vladyka Victor said above. ‘Holy Rus’ can no longer survive in a centralised/Sovietised form, but only in the form of a Family or Confederation of independent adults. The Autocephalous Church of Poland, once within the Russian Empire and the Russian Church, proved a century ago that this is possible. Others must now follow its example. For the Holy Spirit cannot be regulated by pieces of paper and intimidating threats, as bureaucrats and young and inexperienced neophyte bishops imagine. In the words of Christ, the only Head of the Church: The Spirit blows where it wills. And it does not blow in the direction of Moscow (or Constantinople), of corruption and nationalism, it blows in the direction of Autocephaly and freedom.





After Odesa Cathedral shelling, UOC bishop addresses Patriarch Kirill

23 July 14:12


Author: Elena Konstantinova

The vicar of the Odesa Eparchy believes that Patriarch Kirill, “due to personal ambitions, lost the UOC and other Churches in the countries of ‘Holy Rus'”.

On July 23, 2023, after the missile shelling of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Archbishop Victor (Bykov) of Artsyz, the vicar of the Odesa Eparchy of the UOC, addressed Patriarch Kirill and all members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. His letter was published on the Facebook page of the St. Elias Monastery.

At the beginning of his address to Patriarch Kirill, Bishop Victor reminded that “at the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 27.05.2022, a decision was made that we, led by our Primate of the UOC, completely come out of Your submission” and stressed that the Patriarch has repeatedly spoken about the unity of “Holy Rus”, which he “completely destroys with his blessing and actions”.

The bishop also believes that it is precisely the “personal blessing” of the Patriarch that has led to the Russian military committing lawlessness and open warfare on the sovereign territory of the Ukrainian State.

“In my opinion, you seem to have forgotten that, just like in Russia, in Ukraine, there are (were) your children, whom you consider as such, and you have blessed those who are now killing them,” the bishop writes.

He noted that to his immense disappointment, during the last Bishops’ Conference in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill “did not say a single word about the need to stop this Cain-like war, to cease these killings and the destruction of peaceful cities and villages, to stop the bloodshed.”

“Your bishops and priests sanctify and bless tanks and rockets that bomb our peaceful cities,” the archbishop reminded.

“Today, when I arrived at the Transfiguration Cathedral of Odesa after the curfew, I saw that the ‘blessed’ missile from Russia flew right into the altar of the temple, into the Holy of Holies. I realized that there is nothing left in common between the understanding of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and yours,” Bishop Victor believes.

He is convinced that Patriarch Kirill “due to personal ambitions, has lost the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and other Churches in the countries of ‘Holy Rus.'”

“The words ‘Great Lord and Father’ do not come to my tongue when addressing you, for you are a father who has sacrificed his children to destruction and killings,” the archbishop writes.

The hierarch emphasized that for UOC believers, their “loving father and Abba” is Metropolitan Onuphry, who was elected by the Council of the UOC, and he demanded “not to ignore our Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine”.

The bishop also requested the Patriarch “not to discredit our Church and not to destroy it with your own blessing”.

“As of today, neither you nor your representatives, such as Metropolitan Leonid or Archpriest Andrey Novikov, who fled the Odesa Eparchy, supposedly persecuted by the SBU, are doing anything to support us as your brothers,” the hierarch says.

Moreover, he believes that these people, “in their internet posts, only tarnish the name of the Holy Church without showing any respect for its Primate and the voice of our Ukrainian Church”.

“How can you call us, faithful children of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and its Holy Council those who ‘follow the path of schism’?” Archbishop Victor asks, continuing that this schism, mentioned by Patriarch Kirill and his clerics, is voiced by individuals such as Metropolitan Leonid and Archpriest Andrey Novikov.

“Today, you and all your followers are doing everything to destroy the UOC within Ukraine. There is no understanding of oikonomia in relation to the UOC,” the hierarch writes.

“Today, we (speaking on behalf of many hierarchs of the UOC) condemn this senseless aggression of Russia against our Independent country. We condemn the barbaric seizures of our eparchies in the East and South of Ukraine. We condemn the repressions and persecutions carried out by your authorities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine!” declared the hierarch.

He demanded, “Stay away from our Church, our hierarchs, and our Primate,” emphasizing that “we have our own path, which was chosen by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.

“Sincerely, I ask you to stop. Every missile that comes to Ukraine’s territory is perceived by its inhabitants as your ‘blessing’ to your children,” concluded the vicar of the Odesa Eparchy, calling himself a “faithful obedient servant of his Primate”.

As earlier reported, His Beatitude expressed condolences regarding the shelling of Odesa.


When Will the Russian Orthodox Church Emerge from its Spiritual Ruins?


After the fall of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the Russian Orthodox Church began to emerge from the physical ruins of 75 years of atheism. Tens of thousands of surviving churches lay half-destroyed, only a few monasteries survived, its senior clergy were accustomed to being minded by the KGB, its other clergy, often very poorly educated, were tiny in number, its potentially huge flock was unbaptised and uncatechised, prey to the ignorance of unbelievable superstition and magic ritualism. The situation was catastrophic.

However, physically and miraculously, the Church did gradually re-emerge, though still only half the size of what it had been in 1917. Tens of thousands of half-ruined churches were renovated after their return from a bankrupt State, others were built from scratch, nearly a thousand monasteries were opened, new clergy were taught the basics in dozens of reopened seminaries, a 100 million and more were baptised, though mainly without instruction, billions of church books were published and factories began issuing a billion icons and huge quantities of church furnishings and millions of sets of vestments.

However, a disease also appeared. As the money of oligarchs fed restoration, their disease fed into the Church. Bishops made for themselves luxurious palaces and began living like oligarchs themselves. Instead of monastic bishops, there appeared large numbers of young homosexuals in cassocks, called ‘bishops’, who hardly knew what a monastery looked like. Popularly people spoke of ‘priests in Mercedes’. Sadly it was true, as mere careerists became priests, often in return for ‘gifts’ of money to bishops. Very expensive black Western cars appeared in monasteries. Moreover, even more alarmingly, this same disease spread abroad all too quickly and infected clergy in the Russian Church outside Russia who copied very precisely the vices inside Russia.

The list of resulting clerical scandals and injustices with properties and money is too long to list. But it was clear that virtually overnight atheists had been made bishops and priests and they continued to live as atheists. Bishops, heterosexual or homosexual, who spent money on depravity and drugs, priests who beat their wives or cheated on them, other priests who had self-sacrificingly restored properties with their families and a handful of faithful saw them stolen by their bishops and themselves suspended or defrocked for ‘disobedience’, that is for having a conscience and denouncing criminal injustice.

This was not the Church that we had fought for during the era of Soviet persecution. The Persecuted Church, which we had sacrificed our lives for as confessors, had become a Persecuting Church. We had no place in it. We shook the dust from our feet and left it in disgust.

2022 – 

Then in February 2022 came the war in the Ukraine. This led to a wave of Russian nationalism, which meant that the vast majority of parishes outside the Russian Federation and Belarus left the Russian Orthodox Church altogether – about a third of the parishes in all. The Russian Orthodox Church had moved from being a broad, multinational Church to a narrow, nationalist Church. Why should Non-Russians belong to it? Especially affected were all the churches in the Ukraine, in the Baltics, especially in Latvia and Lithuania, in Moldova and elsewhere, from England to the Netherlands, from France to Spain. Many left the Russian Church, with large numbers leaving the nationalist Russian Church Outside Russia in Germany for the Ukrainian Church.

Politics had taken over and those who had always sought the spiritual were abandoned and persecuted. Divisions took place. However, the sad thing was not the divisions, but the corruption of the clergy, especially of the episcopate, which had made the divisions inevitable. The war in the Ukraine made a great and long overdue cleansing of the Church inevitable. The Russian Church, just like the Church of Constantinople before it, had to rid itself of those who had put politics and nationalism above Christ, and rid itself of atheists, careerists, mini-oligarchs, thieves, ecumenists, homosexuals, secret service agents and minders in cassocks, all whose only interest was money and not the salvation of souls.

I have always supported the Church and always will, putting it above the State, any State. Christ comes above politics. However, many members of the senior hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church are living in the oligarchic, money-money-money 1990s. And the State has a multinational vision, not the new nationalist Church. I have a very good friend in the Russian Ministry of the Economy who is deeply involved as a senior figure in building BRICS and who is close to President Putin. He has told me that for the Russian government the ‘Church’, that is its senior hierarchy, stuffed with the financially corrupt, homosexuals and FSB-minded, is a laughing-stock among them.

Once the conflict in the Ukraine is over, the Russian government will have to turn its attention to rebuilding the Church as a multinational and non-corrupt entity. The injustices will have to be reversed and many bishops defrocked. I have told my friend that it may be too late to reverse the damage done by the corrupt. I hope I am wrong. The fact is that the Russian Orthodox Church must now emerge from its spiritual ruins, just as thirty years ago it had to emerge from its physical ruins. Divine chastisement is a terrible thing, for God is not mocked.

As regards the situation in the Diaspora, we left the Russian Church after fifty years, and I left after nearly forty years service as an unpaid cleric. There has not been a day when we did not feel relief and gladness at our decision. The crazy right-wing converts and others whom we left thought they were special, better than others, like pharisees: such was their hubris. Now those embittered persecutors are in court on criminal charges. It is payback time for them. We, however, are not on trial, because we refused to compromise the Faith, for we do not belong to the Persecuting Church and never will. But they did and do.







A Seventh Bishop for our Metropolia

Our three million-strong Autonomous Metropolia of Western and Southern Europe of the Patriarchate of Romania now has seven bishops with the addition of the newly-consecrated Bishop Nectarie of Brittany (western France). The eight bishops who will meet in their local Synod are: Metr Joseph of Western and Southern Europe, Bishop Mark of France, Bishop Nectarie of Brittany, Bishop Silouan of Italy, Bishop Athanasie (Italy), Bishop Timothy of Spain and Portugal and Bishop Theophil (Spain).

The Church of Romania also has a second one-million strong European Metropolia, of Central and Northern Europe, consisting of three bishops: Metropolitan Seraphim of Central and Northern Europe, Bishop Sofian of Germany and Bishop Macarie of Sweden. We knew Metr Seraphim quite well when he was a young priest in Paris in the 1980s and he came to our home in Paris several times.

Talk now is of the need for an eighth bishop, a Bishop of the British Isles and Ireland, to join our Metropolia. A candidate will be considered at the autumn Synod in Bucharest. This question is going to become increasingly important, as more and more Moldovan clergy and people in their parishes all over Europe transfer to the Patriarchate of Romania.


ROCOR shaken by yet another scandal of exactly the same sort, this time in the USA

Here is a letter that we could have written ourselves, word for word, It is the same playbook, elaborated by the same centralised secret document, the same intimidation, the same jealous persecution of the married clergy especially, the same aggression, the same bullying, the same threats, the same attempts to seize the properties of the faithful, the same basic ignorance of the Gospel of Christ, of the Liturgy, of Church history, of the Tradition, of ROCOR tradition, of pastoral sense, of the canons, the same arrogance – ‘I know everything and I am always right’, the same motives, the same Soviet mentality which demands obedience, not to the Gospel, but to the would-be oligarchs who seek property and income, the same imperialism, the same GI swagger that forbids you to speak your native language, the same racism, the same individuals, the same refusal to listen, communicate and consult those who are experienced, the same sectarian and cultish mentality, the same half-baked newcomers to the Church who never studied at seminary, who never knew the old ROCOR, or anything of the wider and deeper Orthodox Tradition.

We have seen it all before, all this voluntary Sovietisation which makes even those inside Russia blush, for it is all more Soviet than Soviet. It is clear that it has been orchestrated from on high, this is not a coincidence. The old and loved ROCOR of St John of Shanghai, Bishop Sava of Edmonton, Archbishop Antony of Geneva, Archbishop Seraphim of Brussels, Metr Lavr and the tragically ill Metr Hilarion, this latter usurped by coup d’etat, all of eternal memory, no longer exists. Those bishops were authentic Archpastors who were indifferent to money, they were not isolationist ideologues interested only in money and property. The new ROCOR, ruled by the well-known multi-millionaire family, is intent on chasing out all the educated priests and people, faithful to the old ROCOR, those of us who lived Church life before they were born, us who have a conscience and pastoral sense, until there is nothing left. They say: Bow down to Mammon. But we prefer Christ to Mammon, so we have no place there. As the y say in the US: ‘Money talks’, Thus, in England two years ago, 16 clerics and thousands of people left schismatic ROCOR for canonicity . None of us returned – a return to schism is unthinkable.

Who is paying them to commit spiritual suicide in this way? Redbank, House Springs, Geneva, Miami with its absurd accusations (there was never any forgery of documents by Fr Alexander Belya), Colchester and now Fr Tikhon, to name but the main cases, the tip of the iceberg. Thank God, in the USA all the conscientious will probably have to go to the Greek Archdiocese (since the OCA refuses to wake up from its weakness and so misses the opportunity to unite all Russian Orthodox in North America). In Western Europe we shall probably all go to the Patriarchate of Romania and its Moldovan sections (since the Paris Archdiocese, with which ROCOR created a schism nearly three years ago, was forbidden by Moscow to take us in February 2022 and they were too weak to stand up to Moscow because of internal traitors).

This is the ignominious end of ROCOR, replaced by the new Soviet ROCOR of the pretend oligarchs. Did they really think they could get away with this? Did they really think that we were so naive that we did not know what was going on? Did they really think we could not defend ourselves? Did they really think they could destroy the real Russian Church? Did they really think we wanted to belong to the Persecuting Church and not the Persecuted Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors? Did they really think they could destroy our life’s work? Did they really think that they could conceal from the world that they had entirely discredited themselves? If so, then what hubris on their part!


The Hermitage of The Holy Protection, 333 Weymouth Rd, Buena NJ 083I0

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

As the days of Holy Paschal joy are with us, we see that the Lord, as always shows us His love, and leads us out of the darkness of ignorance into the light of prudence. The anniversary of the blessed death of our First Hierarch Metropolitan Hilarion is also approaching, let us spend this day in prayer and quiet joy for Vladyka.

My name is Abbot Tikhon (Gayfudinov). For 10 years I was the personal assistant of the late First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral). And for the last 8 years and up to the present, I have been entrusted as Abbot of The Hermitage of the Holy Protection (the Skete) in Buena, (in the village of New Kuban) in southern New Jersey. Since Passion Week there has been a wave of hatred directed against us, unfounded threats, lies, and accusations have rained down upon us. I consider it my duty to clarify the situation that has developed at The Hermitage of The Holy Protection.

The original Sviato Pokrovski church in New Kuban was left abandoned and in disrepair for more than 20 years. There are pictures of the Church and the cemetery, which shows the terrible condition in 2015, when the ever-memorable Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) transferred the neglected property to the Hermitage of the Holy Protection. Metropolitan Hilarlon appointed me, a sinner, to be Rector. At that time, Vladyka blessed that the property of the Hermitage of the Holy Protection would be administered by trustees: Vladyka himself, and I, as the Rector.

By 2015, The Church in New Kuban, was in a deplorable state. The cross on the main dome had rotted and fell off, the roof was leaking, there was even a hole in the floor inside the church from rainwater damage over the years. From the outside, the plaster on the walls of the church had fallen off, the windows in the refectory were chipped and sealed with adhesive tape. There were no basic church utensils, liturgical vestments or books. Everything was abandoned, the cemetery was overgrown with bushes and trees. There was no proper care for the ownerless graves. Most importantly, there were no accurate records maintained for the graves of the deceased. I wondered how in the USA, without atheistic persecution of the Church, in our time, could an Orthodox temple be left in such desecration.

Over the course of 7 years by the prayers of our First Hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion the life of the small Hermitage flourished. The number of parishioners increased. The church property, cemetery, and the church house were returned into functioning order.

The liturgical life was established. Colossal work was performed to return the holy place into its proper honorable state. In order to save money, I performed most of the labor myself. Initially, I lived in the church basement. Eventually, I turned the basement into a usable refectory; installed a bathroom for parishioner use with a new industrial septic system; but back in 2015 there were mountains of construction debris lying around; the wind was blowing through the broken windows and there was terrible dampness and mold everywhere. All the years I worked for free.

In 2019, Metropolitan Hilarion blessed the Fund for Assistance (FFA) to carry out a fundraising campaign for the needs of the Hermitage of the Holy Protection. Vladyka Hilarion appealed to donors through a film about the Skete for financial assistance. Vladyka requested that the donations be sent through the Fund for Assistance and many caring Christians responded to Metropolitan Hilarion’s request and signed up for monthly automatic transfers of funds or made one-time donations to the Hermitage. I deeply thank all the donors who generously gave to the Skete.

After the death of our beloved Archpastor Vladyka Hilarion in May 2022, the Fund for Assistance unexpectedly stopped sending funds from our donors to the Skete, but the automatic transfers from the donors’ accounts did NOT stop. When I asked Metropolitan Nicholas why donations through FFA ceased coming to the Skete, he replied that: “Metropolitan Hilarion has died, and now the Synod has more important projects to finance.” Over the ensuing months, the Treasurer of the Hermitage, as well as, our lawyer, sent letters to the administration of the FFA, to Metropolitan Nicholas, and other Bishops of the Synod of ROCOR with a request to audit the FFA and find out why the directed funds to the Hermitage of the Holy Protection were not being forwarded to the Skete? There was no reply from anyone.

In December 2022, I was invited to meet with Priest George Temidis, Diocesan Secretary and Archpriest David Straut. I was asked to sign the deed of the Hermitage to the Eastern American Diocese (EAD) as per the request of Met. Nicholas. I inquired if this was optional, or an order, but my question was left unanswered. I explained that I cannot speak on behalf of all of the Hermitage trustees, but that I would raise this issue at our annual meeting.

On December 28th, the Board of Trustees of the Hermitage met for their annual meeting. I raised the issue of Metropolitan Nicholas’s demand for us to transfer all Skete property to EAD. We decided that everything should remain the same, as blessed by Metropolitan Hilarion. Our decision was based due to our respect for the will of Metropolitan Hilarion, who founded and blessed the Hermitage. The Skete remains exactly as Met. Hilarion organized it to this day. It is the practice of many parishes and monasteries, which are canonically part of ROCOR, to own church property via incorporation outside of the diocese. These parishes and monasteries are responsible for covering maintenance, all repairs, utilities, heating, air conditioning, insurances, etc.

On March 21 of this year, at the meeting of clergy in the Holy Trinity Monastery of Jordanville, I was invited to meet with Metropolitan Nicholas, his vicar Bishop Luke, the Secretary of the Diocese, Priest George Temidis, as well as Archpriest David Straut, and Archpriest Serge Lukianov. The atmosphere was heavy. The topic of discussion was that I had to sign over the deed of the Hermitage to the Eastern American Diocese. If the property of the Hermitage of the Holy Protection is not transferred to EAD, that I will be banned from serving; I will not be able to perform my liturgical and pastoral activities.

Metropolitan Nicholas said that there would be no compromises on this issue. Bishop Luke insisted that I was neither a monk, nor a priest, that I did not have the proper humility and obedience to fulfill the will of the new First Hierarch. The Secretary of the Diocese said that in his opinion, I should have been banned by now. Arch priest Serge Lukianov demanded that I provide a precise and unambiguous answer: whether I will transfer the property of the Hermitage to the EAD or not. Arch priest David Straut was silent.

I tried to explain that I am not solely responsible for making this decision, as there is a Board of Trustees. Amongst other things, we needed to consider the blessing of our dear Metropolitan Hilarion, who had created the Hermitage and appointed the trustees. Metropolitan Hilarion, himself became the founder and trustee of the Hermitage together with me. Metropolitan Hilarion gave his blessing in 2015 to transfer the abandoned parish to the Hermitage of the Holy Protection. Is it possible to question Metropolitan Hilarion’s adequacy and foresight? They didn’t want to listen to me; they just wanted to take away the property, and threatened me to be banned from serving for no other reason. I was put against the wall and was left with no choice. I bowed to the ground to the new First Hierarch of ROCOR, and after spending a long time at the grave of dear Vladyka Hilarion in tears and prayers, I left Jordanville.

On March 23rd of this year, the Board of Trustees of the Hermitage of the Holy Protection discussed the evolving situation. The Hermitage’s future was at stake. EAD wanted to take the property away from the lawful Rector and eliminate the board of trustees, and ban the Abbot from serving.

Therefore, the Hermitage Board of Trustees, having assessed the situation, made the only decision possible to turn to the Chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros, Head of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. We asked to be received under the omophorion of His Eminence, Archbishop Elpidophoros.

Archbishop Elpidophoros showed us not only his Archpastoral wisdom, but also his fatherly love. He learned about our situation and accepted the Skete under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as evidenced by the decree of His Eminence and the Holy Antimension issued to us for Divine service.

The Greek Orthodox Church was founded by the Apostle Andrew, the First-Called and has kept the canons of Holy Orthodoxy pure for many centuries. In July 1993 Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow said this about the Patriarchate of Constantinople: “In Constantinople, as the Russian people called the “City of King” with love from ancient times, the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Princess Olga received the grace of baptism; her grandson, the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir sent there his ambassadors, looking for the right faith. There are no words that could express the feelings of gratitude experienced by the Russian believing people to the Holy Church of Constantinople, which brought the saving Orthodox faith to Russia, which determined all spheres of life of Holy Russia”.

Since ancient times, the Patriarch of Constantinople has been the highest authority in the Orthodox world, where disputes, or interpretations regarding the canons of the Holy Church, or its administrative questions were resolved. The spiritual authority of the Patriarchate of Constantinople is still recognized by Orthodox churches throughout the world. Therefore, the Skete, in order to protect itself from uncanonical actions on the part of the new leadership of the Eastern American Diocese, had no other choice but to seek protection from Archbishop Elpidophoros. Dear brothers and sisters! I was and remain a faithful child of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. We remain a Russian Orthodox Hermitage, under the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. We preserve our liturgical traditions and our habitual way of life. Access to the Hermitage of the Holy Protection and its cemetery is still OPEN for everyone.

We honor and value the memory of the blessed venerable First Hierarch of ROCOR Metropolitan Hilarion. We pray for him and believe that he is with us, and will not leave his Hermitage in a difficult moment. We will not allow the Hermitage of the Holy Protection to be closed, we will not betray the works and prayers of Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion, and with God’s Help, as planned, we will mount the sculpture of the blessed, reposed First Hierarch Metropolitan Hilarion at the Skete.


I remain faithful, with deep love and respect to the Russian Church Abroad. I know what great people stood at its origins, shaped its cultural and moral uniqueness, and what a colossal spiritual inheritance that the Russian Orthodox Church has left for all of us. I hope this legacy will not be forgotten. May God be merciful to all of us at the Great Judgement. The Paschal joy and the words of our Savior console us: “Blessed are you when they reproach you and persecute you and slander you unjustly in every possible way for Me. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven; so, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11)

Christ is Risen! With love in Christ,

Abbot Tikhon, Rector of The Hermitage

An Answer from the Patriarchate of Romania to the Moscow Patriarchate.

We continue our commentary with a document of 6 July on the situation of the Church in the Republic of Moldavia (Moldova). We note that this article quotes exactly Canon XV of the First and Second Council, under which we were received into the Patriarchate of Romania by the canonical authorities, when we were fleeing persecution in February 2022, and which we quoted in our commentary yesterday, and adds that: ‘The fact that the structure of Russian Church occupation in the Republic of Moldova is based on abuse of power and coercion, not on free choice or conviction, is demonstrated by the mechanism of sanctions or threats of disciplinary sanctions against priests who choose to escape from Moscow jurisdiction and ask for admission under the protection of the Romanian Orthodox Church, through the Metropolia of Bessarabia; and also; ‘The Metropolia of Bessarabia is a Church of peace and unity and has endured persecution and slander from the Russian structure for decades, but we cannot remain indifferent when simple believers or priests are attacked and intimidated’. It now seems inevitable that, exactly as we have been predicting for over a year now with our pleas for autocephaly, the tragic nationalism of the Patriarchate of Moscow has not only lost the territories of the Ukraine and Latvia, but also soon Moldova (with all its parishes in the Diaspora) and also Kazakhstan. (See:



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We note with sadness that the Metropolia of Chisinau, the structure for ecclesiastical occupation of the Moscow Patriarchate, continues to misinform public opinion, falsifying the truth, distorting reality and presenting truncated or tendentious aspects of Church history or canons. This situation denotes imperial reflexes, fear of the loss of power and influence in society, opacity to the truth, inadequacy before the social processes of de-Sovietisation and the inability to engage in constructive dialogue in the interest of Orthodoxy.

Considering the declarations in the statement ‘The opinion of the Orthodox Church of Moldova regarding the press release issued by the Metropolia of Bessarabia’, the Metropolia of Bessarabia wishes to make the following clarifications:

Until 1812, the area between the Dniester and the Prut was shepherded by the Metropolia of Moldova based in Suceava and then in Iași, and for a period, the territories placed under Turkish military administration (the kingdoms of Reni/Tomarova, Chilia, Ismail, Cetatea Albă/ Akkerman, Tighina/Bender and Hotin), were under the jurisdiction of the Metropolia of Proilavia based in Brăila, both canonically subordinated to the Ecumenical Patriarchate;

On May 16, 1812, the Tsarist Empire annexed the eastern part of the Romanian Principality of Moldavia, located in the area between the Rivers Dniester and Prut;

In August 1813, the Tsar of Russia Alexander I, without consulting the hierarchs, clergy and believers, decided to establish, by imperial decree (ukaz), that our national territory be annexed by Russia, forming a diocese called Chisinau and Hotin. For this structure of ecclesiastical occupation, Tsar Alexander I designated a hierarch placed under ban and anathema by the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople, as requested by the Metropolitan Synod of Iași headed by the Metropolitan of Moldova Veniamin Costachi;

The ukaz of the Russian Tsar Alexander I was a usurping secular-political act and was issued in gross violation of Church law, especially Canon 34 of the Apostles, Canon 2 of the Second Universal Council in Constantinople (381), Canon 8 of the Third Universal Council in Ephesus (431), of Canons 13, 21 and 22 of the Council of Carthage, of Canons 15 and 16 of the local Council of Constantinople and others.

This imperial ukaz was, from a canonical and ecclesiastical point of view, null and void ab initio, since a diocese can only be established by the canonically justified ecclesiastical authority for it.

The Metropolia of Moldavia based in Iași and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople officially formulated vigorous protests in relation to the arbitrary and abusive act of the Russian Tsar Alexander I. The protests of the Metropolia of Moldavia and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople were completely ignored both by the imperial court in Petersburg, as well as by the Russian governing Synod, led by the Ober-Procurator Alexandr Golitsin, a layman appointed by the Tsar’s ukaz;

The Church annexation and the non-canonical occupation of the area between the Dniester and the Prut triggered and maintained a process of forced Russification, the Romanian language of worship being gradually replaced until its complete elimination, with the Slavonic and Russian languages. The savagery of this process culminated in the burning by Archbishop Pavel Lebedev (1871-1882) of church books in the Romanian language and in the exile to Siberia of Romanian priests who opposed Russification;

In 1940, in the context of the Second World War, the atheist Soviet state annexed Bessarabia. The hierarchs, as well as part of the clergy and faithful of the Metropolia of Bessarabia, were forced either to flee to Romania or to endure martyrdom. Orthodox priests and believers remaining in Bessarabia were forced to join the abusive jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate, an entity subordinate to the Soviet secret police (NKVD, later KGB);

Both in 1940 and in 1944, the Metropolia of Bessarabia, composed of the Archdiocese of Chisinau, the Diocese of Hotin and the Diocese of the White Citadel – Ismail, had to temporarily suspend their activity until the end of the Russian military, administrative-political and canonical occupation;

Beginning in 1940 and 1944, the abusive jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate was implemented by the Soviet secret police through the so-called ‘Apparatus of the Plenipotentiary for the Affairs of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Moldavian SSR’;

The Metropolia of Bessarabia was canonically reactivated on 14 September 1992, under conditions of freedom, shortly after the end of the state of foreign occupation, being re-admitted into the canonical communion of the Romanian Patriarchate on 19 December 1992, when a Patriarchal and Synodal Act was issued regarding the recognition of the reactivation of the autonomous, old calendar Metropolia of Bessarabia, with its residence in Chisinau;

The local structure in the Republic of Moldova of the Moscow Patriarchate, titled pompously and abusively as the ‘Metropolia of Chisinau and ALL Moldova” or the “Orthodox Church of Moldova” is a non-canonical structure, subordinate to the center of power in Moscow, being infiltrated by representatives of the secret services of the Russian Federation. It has constantly been in open complicity with the unconstitutional and separatist regime in Tiraspol and was marked at its peak by the degrading phenomena of corruption, cronyism, abuse of power, immorality and depravity. The main promotion criterion in the non-canonical structure is anti-Europeanism and anti-Romanianism, fuelled by Russian propaganda structures.

Corruption, simony, abuse of power, immorality and depravity of the leaders of the Russian structure of occupation, as well as propaganda in favor of the war to which the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate indulges, are the main objective causes for which Bessarabian priests and believers decide to flee from the captivity of the Russian Church and return to the historical traditional and canonical jurisdiction of the Metropolia of Bessarabia (Romanian Patriarchate);

The attacks against the Metropolia of Bessarabia, to which the Russian ecclesiastical occupation structure in the Republic of Moldova indulges, have contributed significantly to the deterioration of relations between the Romanian and Russian Patriarchates. These attacks are in flagrant contradiction with the decision of the two Patriarchates of 15 January 1999, that their Metropolitans in the Republic of Moldova “move from hatred and confrontation to understanding and cooperation”;

The fact that the structure of Russian Church occupation in the Republic of Moldova is based on abuse of power and coercion, not on free choice or conviction, is demonstrated by the mechanism of sanctions or threats of disciplinary sanctions against priests who choose to escape from Moscow jurisdiction and ask for admission under the protection of the Romanian Orthodox Church, through the Metropolia of Bessarabia;

The Metropolia of Bessarabia receives and will receive into communion all Romanian priests and deacons from the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine who leave the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Moscow, based on a series of Orthodox canons that allow clerics to separate themselves from an abusive and oppressive hierarchy, immoral, corrupt and simoniac, propagating the heresy of war and murder, as seen today in the case of the unjust war in Ukraine. In support of these priests comes Canon 15 (part II) of the I-II Council of Constantinople (861), which says: “those who separate themselves from communion with their superior for some heresy condemned by the holy Councils, or of the Fathers, naturally [of communion] with the one who preaches heresy in public, and teaches it in the Church with his head uncovered, some such as these will not only not submit to canonical argument, exposing themselves and communion with the one who is called a bishop [even] before synodal investigation, but they will also be worthy of the honour due to Orthodox. For they did not condemn bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers, and they did not break the unity of the Church with schism, but they tried to free the Church from schisms and divisions”;

An additional argument that the priests, deacons and believers who leave the abusive jurisdiction of the local structure of the Moscow Patriarchate and return to the traditional canonical jurisdiction of the Metropolia of Bessarabia have in their support concerns ethnic reality or the nation. More than 82% of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova are ethnic Romanians and a good half of them have already regained their Romanian citizenship, so the Moscow Patriarchate’s claims to exercise its abusive jurisdiction over them are devoid of any real foundation. Aware of this and in an obvious identity crisis and incoherence, the hierarchs and clerics of the Moscow jurisdiction come to the holy places in Romania and imitate the Romanian spirit, and in Moldova they slander Romania and Romanians.

All the clerics who come out of Muscovite ecclesiastical oppression are canonical and blessed clerics, and the Metropolia of Bessarabia officially classifies them as employees of the Romanian Orthodox Church, benefiting from all the advantages, including financial support, according to the legislation in force applicable to all religious cults.

The Metropolia of Bessarabia is a Church of peace and unity and has endured persecution and slander from the Russian structure for decades, but we cannot remain indifferent when simple believers or priests are attacked and intimidated, in an attempt to perpetuate Soviet occupation, under their new form, in the Republic of Moldova. Today, when attempts to leave the Russian sphere are punished by wars, military occupations and tens of thousands of deaths, we are obliged to testify clearly and firmly to the truth, because if we remain silent, even the stones will cry out (cf. Luke 19, 40).

The Communications, Media and Public Relations Department of the Metropolia of Bessarabia and the Exarchate of Plaiurilor.


On the Transfer of Clergy from One Local Church to Another Without Letters of Release and the Present Church Crisis in Moldova

All Local Churches have accepted clergy, even suspended or defrocked clergy, without letters of release throughout history. Indeed, it has been common practice among all the different parts of the Russian Church in the Diaspora for many decades, but also among many other Local Churches down the generations. There is nothing new in this practice for the simple reason that suspensions and defrockings are often carried out for purely political purposes or to attempt to seize properties or money. In one extreme case, in 2006 a bishop from the Diocese of Sourozh (Moscow Patriarchate) issued letters of release to his clergy addressed to himself, then joined the Patriarchate of Constantinople where he was named Bishop of Amphipolis, and received those selfsame clergy into his new Diocese with his previously written letters of release. Apparently, this was acceptable.

In recent years the Patriarchate of Constantinople has accepted many clergy from the Russian Church without letters of release and I am talking about suspended and even defrocked clergy, suspended or defrocked for political reasons, for example for praying for peace in the Ukraine. In turn, the Russian Church, especially zealously its American Synod, known as ROCOR, has recently accepted many clergy from the Patriarchate of Constantinople without letters of release, six in Western Europe alone. As for the Moscow Patriarchate itself, it has recently accepted over 200 clergy from the Patriarchate of Alexandria, also without letters of release.

The Romanian Orthodox Church has also accepted many clergy with large numbers of Romanian-speaking parishioners without letters of release. This situation is especially topical in Moldova, where even before the present phase of the conflict in the Ukraine erupted in February 2022, some 20% of the Church (720,000 people) had transferred from the Russian jurisdiction of Chisinau to the Romanian jurisdiction of Bessarabia. Since then, this tide has been turning into a flood, with the result that the once monopoly of the Moscow group of Chisinau is smaller and more impoverished and may soon become a minority. Below is the statement of the Metropolia of Bessarabia in Moldova issued by its Communication, Media and Public Relations Department on 29 June:

The Metropolia of Bessarabia receives into its jurisdiction all clerics and believers who want to be in the jurisdiction of the National Church

In the course of the last centuries, the Orthodox Church in Bessarabia went through trying times, caused by the Tsarist and the Soviet Communist occupation (1812, 1940 and 1944). Then the clergy and believers in this region were abusively included in the jurisdiction of the Russian Church, without canonical leave and without the Russian Church taking into account the provisions of Church legislation.

This imposed its authority contrary to the wish of the Bessarabians to remain under the jurisdiction of the Metropolia of Iași and its dioceses, which had spiritual and canonical responsibility on the left bank of the River Prut. Thus, they went against the will of the inhabitants of Bessarabia, they forgot about the religious freedom of the people to choose, a fact also recorded by the historians of the time. 

At present, when in a canonical, free and legal way, the clergy and the faithful want to return to the bosom of the Mother Church, the descendants of the former aggressors issue administrative acts of intimidation and stop nature and the natural process of things. In this sense, we must specify that the change of canonical jurisdiction is a legal act, guaranteed by the legislation of the Republic of Moldova, of which we cite only a few laws: 

“A religious community may join any religious cult or dissociate from it by the freely expressed will of its members, without additional approvals or hindrances from outside.” (LAW No. 125 of 11-05-2007, Art. 6, paragraph 3, regarding freedom of conscience, thought and religion). 

“The right of religious association of believers and their communities is defended by legal or administrative means.” (Art. 7, para. 1).

“The State guarantees religious communities the defence of their legitimate rights and interests.” (Art. 7, par. 3).

Because no child denies his parents, except when he is forced, as happened in Bessarabia during the more than 150 years of Russian occupation, it must be understood that the Metropolia of Bessarabia is the only Church structure canonically and historically entitled to shepherd and protect its believers in Bessarabia.

It operates within the Romanian Patriarchate, according to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church of 19 December 1992, when it was decided to make an act of reparation, and ‘all clerics and their pastors who are already, or will become, members of the Metropolia of Bessarabia under the Romanian Patriarchate are canonical clerics and blessed believers, and, as such, any ecclesiastical disciplinary sanction directed against them on the grounds of belonging to the Metropolia of Bessarabia is considered null and void’.

From the above, it is understood that the arguments of those who say that this is how things are known to them, that they were baptised in this Church, are not natural arguments, but show an ignorance of the suffering of our forefathers who were tortured, persecuted, exiled and killed for truth, faith, and the desire to express their God-given identity.

Considering all of this, we make it known to the believers and clerics of the Republic of Moldova that the decrees issued by the Metropolia of Chisinau (a religious structure of Russian affiliation) against the members of the Metropolia of Bessarabia have no value and are administrative acts that do not affect the spiritual state of those who come to the Mother Church, the Romanian Patriarchate.

In order to avoid the syndrome of the victim who sympathises or identifies with oppressors (Stockholm syndrome), believers must be correctly and honestly informed about the realities, in order to heal the wound and rectify the state of affairs in accordance with canonical, statutory and regulatory provisions and according to historical truth.

In this context, we make it clear that Archpriest Alexei Sîrbu, the parish priest of St Nicholas church in the village of Puhoi, Ialoveni district, a former cleric of the Chisinau Metropolia, at the community’s request has since 2022 been a cleric of the Metropolia of Bessarabia, specifically of the Diocese of South Bessarabia. All the measures taken against His Reverence are null and abusive, as he has a working priesthood and can celebrate without any restriction all the holy services.

In this sense, we urge all the spiritual sons and daughters in the parish to be with their priest and spiritual father to share in the grace of the Holy Spirit poured out through the intercession of Christ’s servants.

Knowing the decisions of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church regarding Church life in the Metropolia of Bessarabia, the clerics who wish to come under the jurisdiction of the Mother Church are welcomed with joy into the Romanian Patriarchate.

To this the Moscow-run Church of Chisinau replied very aggressively and polemically on the very next day:

The Opinion of the Orthodox Church of Moldova Regarding the Press Release Issued by the Metropolia of Bessarabia

The Metropolia of Chisinau and All Moldova regrets the fact that in the press release issued by the Metropolia of Bessarabia on 29 June 2023, there is talk of canonicity, but no canon of the Orthodox Church is cited that would justify the reception of clerics from the Metropolia of Chisinau. The Metropolia of Bessarabia considers that the transfer of the clergy and the faithful into their jurisdiction represents nature and the natural process of things. In the Church, the corruption of priests and believers cannot in any way be called nature and the natural process of things, but on the contrary a violation of the canons. Selling anyone, like Esau, for a plate of lentils (Exodus 25; 29-34), was and will remain an abomination before God. The representatives of the Metropolia of Bessarabia state that the change of canonical jurisdiction is a legal act, guaranteed by the legislation of the Republic of Moldova. But we ask ourselves: Is this act also justified by canon law? How can a Church entity put the Law of the Land above the Canons of the Church?

In this sense, we quote the canons of the Orthodox Church:

Apostolic Canon 11 (condemnation of communion with the Catholics)=

If someone, being a cleric, were to pray together with a cleric who had repented, let him also repent. (28 ap.; 4 Antioch.; 10 Carthage);

Apostolic Canon 12 (letters of release)

If any cleric or layman condemned, or (yet) not received (into communion), and goes to another city has been received without a letter of release, let both the one who received him and the one who is received him be damned; (So the Moscow Patriarchate damns itself?)

Apostolic Canon 15 (transfer of clergy)

If any priest or deacon or, in general, any of the clergy, leaving his parish, goes to another, moving altogether he will go to another parish, contrary to the judgment of his bishop, we command that he should no longer serve, especially if, after being called by his bishop to return, he did not obey, remaining in disorder, be nevertheless received there into communion as a layman; (And if he leaves because he is fleeing schism?)

Apostolic Canon 16 (transfer of clergy)

And if the bishop to whom (some like these) were to be found, disregarding the suspension decided against them, receives them as clerics, let him be damned, as a teacher of disorder. (15 ap.; 15 sin. I ec.; 17 Trul.; 3 Antioch). (And if the suspension was uncanonical, but carried out for reasons of personal hatred, jealousy and greed and for schismatic reasons?)

The Metropolia of Bessarabia, in order to argue its reactivation, talks about the decision of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church of 19 December 1992. However, we wonder to what extent this decision respects the canons of the Orthodox Church established by the Holy Fathers at the Universal and Local Councils. In this connection:

Canons 129 – 133 of the Council of Carthage

If someone (the Metropolia of Chisinau and All Moldavia) … has shepherded a territory for three years and no one has asked for this territory (the Romanian Patriarchate), then they will never ask for it again, especially if during this period there was a bishop to do it and did not do it; (This interpretation ignores the total lack of freedom under the USSR for Romanian bishops to do so and the support of the Soviet Establishment for the Russian Orthodox takeover of the region). 

Canon 17 of the Fourth Universal Council establishes a term of thirty years to litigate disputes concerning the property even of individual parishes; (See above). 

The parishes in each diocese…must remain unaltered under the authority of the bishops in charge of them—especially if for thirty years they have undoubtedly had the given parishes under their jurisdiction and management; (See above).

Canon 8 of the Third Universal Council

Let it be observed, in certain situations and everywhere in dioceses, that none of the bishops who love God should extend their jurisdiction over dioceses that do not belong to them… that the rules of the fathers should not be violated and that the arrogance of secular authorities should not be allowed to creep into the bosom of the Church and let us not gradually and unnoticed lose that freedom, which our Lord Jesus Christ, the One who freed all mankind, gave us by His Precious Blood. (See above).

The Metropolia of Bessarabia states: ‘Considering all this, we inform the believers and clerics of the Republic of Moldova that the decrees issued by the Metropolia of Chisinau (a religious structure of Russian affiliation) against the members of the Metropolia of Bessarabia have no value and are administrative acts that do not affect the religious status of those who come to the Mother Church, the Romanian Patriarchate’. We ask ourselves: how is it possible that the act of ordination, the decree of appointment as a parish priest, the acts of awarding distinctions by the hierarchies of the Metropolia of Chisinau and of All Moldova are truthful, recognised and have religious value, and the act of suspension issued by the same bishop loses its value, being considered null and void? We have the same question regarding the priest Alexei Sîrbu, stopped from serving the holy things. How is it possible that his ordination and its distinctions are valid, and the decision of His Holiness Vladimir to stop serving is not valid? (Perhaps because one act is canonically valid and not the other, because the latter is political?)

We believe that the attempt of those from the Metropolia of Bessarabia to corrupt clergy and laity from the Metropolia of Chisinau and the whole of Moldova, defending themselves with certain decisions of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, flagrantly violates the Canon Law of the Orthodox Church. The current mode of action on the part of this Church entity also leads to the violation of the teachings of Holy Scripture: Eager to evangelise where Christ was not called, so as not to build on a foreign foundation (Romans 15, 20). (But who evangelised this territory first? It was not the Russian Church). 

We urge all clerics who have left the Metropolia of Chisinau and All Moldova, within which they received the gift of priesthood, to remember the oath given at ordination and its violation, the slander they caused and continue to cause. Let us remember the words of the Saviour:

And whoever offends one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world, because of the fools! For folly must come, but woe to that man through whom folly comes. (Matthew 18, 6-7). To also take into account the canons of the Orthodox Church, which they must respect until death. (What if the bishops involved are offending the little ones and not obeying the canons? And surely this extract concerns pedophiles?)

Misleading the clergy and the faithful through their behaviour and personal life (Matthew 18: 7; First Universal Council, Canon 3, Sixth Universal Council, Canon 5): (And if the bishop is misleading through their behaviour, personal life, as the public photographs show?)

Violation of Oath (Apostolic Canon 25);

Public slander and blasphemy of the Metropolitan, the bishops (Second Universal Council, Canon 6). (What slander and blasphemy? Is this an attempt at censorship despite Christs’ words that ‘the truth will set you free’).

Celebrating the Divine services after ceasing to serve the holy ones (Apostolic Canon 28);

If someone has been suspended from liturgical communion and goes elsewhere to be received into liturgical communion, let him be deposed from the clergy. The canonical Epistle of the Council to Pope Celestine also tells us the same: “Those who are excommunicated in their diocese cannot be perceived as sanctified by your communion… Any misunderstandings that arise should end in their dioceses”. (Canons 116 – 118 of the Council of Carthage); (What if the original diocese is under a schismatic bishop?)

The Challenge of Schism in the Church

With regret, we note that the decisions taken by the Metropolia of Bessarabia in recent times have led to its unfavorable position in relation to the canons of the Church. Any admission of clerics from the Metropolia of Chisinau and the whole of Moldova without a letter of release is uncanonical and attracts all the canonical provisions against him who leaves, and the clerics who transferred should understand that the duty of His Eminence Vladimir is to gently rebuke those they stand against, that only God will give them repentance to the knowledge of the truth and they will escape from the race of the devil, by which they are caught, to do his will (II Timothy 2:25-26). And again the Apostle says: Rebuke those who sin in front of everyone, so that others may also fear (I Timothy 5:20). Like a loving Father, the Metropolitan waits for his prodigal sons to come home! (Where is the love of one who intimidates, threatens and damns others to hellfire because they are obeying the canons?) 

Synodal Department of Institutional Communications and Media Relations

Some of the Scriptural extracts and canons above seem very clear and very strict, but they are all quoted out of context and without any discernment. Moreover, they are quoted by a part of the Moscow Patriarchate, which organisation just in recent years has accepted hundreds of priests from other Churches, also without letters of release! Clearly, Church canons, often called ‘holy’ by those who infringe them (!) are being used politically, not spiritually. As one bishop screamed: ‘I don’t care what happens to you, what I want is the keys! (to the property). In other words, most of these problems are simply about property and the income that comes from it. They have nothing to do with canons and the spiritual, only about lucre and the material.

As we have commented in the text above (comments not in bold), these canons cannot be applied to many situations, especially that in Moldova/Bessarabia, a territory disputed for political and historical reasons between two countries, each having its own name for it, having been conquered by the Soviet Union and taken by military force from Romania. (Somewhat like the Church of Georgia, whose age-old independence was completely and uncanonically suppressed by the Russian Church for some 200 years; once the USSR fell, the Church was restored). Clearly, this is a political problem and these canons cannot be exploited to answer such a question.

Furthermore, the above canons presume that all bishops are Christians. What if they are not and are in fact corrupt and immoral, full of schismatic sectarianism, bullying and racist hatred, publicly declared against other nationalities, who form the vast majority of the parishioners and who therefore want to leave such oppression? The twisted interpretations of the above canons are also contradicted by other canons and by the practice of the Church. Letters of release are only necessary if priests and deacons are corrupt and others have to be warned not to accept them. As we have said, what if clergy, innocent victims of such bishops, are not corrupt, but rather the very bishops who refuse to issue the letters of release most certainly and obviously are?!!! Is there any consultation before such predators are made bishops?

To quote actual real cases in the Russian Church over the last forty years:

What if a bishop wants to sleep with the wife of a cleric or that of another man (as happened in the 1980s elsewhere and as has happened recently under a bishop precisely of the Metropolia of Chisinau?) What should that cleric do? Remain, or flee to another bishop without a letter of release? (There was no letter of release simply because the lustful bishop in question refused to issue it in order to preserve his power).

What if a bishop wants to sodomise a cleric (as happened recently under a bishop of the Metropolia of Chisinau in Moldova, and elsewhere in the Russian Church)? What should that cleric do? Remain, or flee to another bishop without a letter of release? (There was no letter of release simply because the homosexual bishop in question refused to issue it in order to preserve his power).

What if a bishop insists that a cleric become a freemason, what should that cleric do? Remain, or flee to another bishop without a letter of release? (There was no letter of release simply because the corrupt bishop in question refused to issue it in order to preserve his power).

What if a bishop creates a schism? What should that cleric do? Remain in schism against his conscience, or flee to another bishop without a letter of release? (There was no letter of release simply because the schismatic bishop in question refused to issue it in order to preserve his power).

In this latter case, Canon XV of the First and Second Council of the 318 Fathers in 861 does supply a clear-cut answer:

But as for this persons, on the other hand, who, on account of some heresy condemned by the Holy Councils or Fathers, withdrawing themselves from communion with their presiding bishop, who, that is to say, is preaching heresy publicly and teaching it bareheaded in church, such persons are not only not subject to any canonical penalty on account of them walling themselves off from any and all communion with the one called a bishop before any conciliar decision has been pronounced, on the contrary they shall be deemed worthy to enjoy the honour which befits them among Orthodox Christians. For they have defied not bishops, but pseudo-bishops and pseudo-teachers, and have not sundered the union of the Church with any schism but instead have been diligent to rescue the Church from schisms and divisions.

Beware, God is not mocked.


On the 1350th Anniversary of St Audrey

Praying before the icon of St Audrey on the iconostasis of St Edmund’s Romanian Orthodox church in the High Street of Little Abington just outside Cambridge, we sang a service of intercession to her, taking hymns from our untampered service composed to her. Then we went to her birthplace in the the village of Exning and her holy well and then on to Ely to pray and sing in front of the holy relic of her right hand. Today is not only her feast-day, but precisely the 1350th anniversary of her repose. St Audrey is the Mother of East Anglia and it is only because of the saints of East Anglia that this part of England survives.

May she who has protected us from the persecution of sectarians and schismatics continue her intercessions for us, always now and ever and unto the ages of ages.

Holy Mother Audrey, pray to God for us!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,

Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of Western and Southern Europe

6 July 2023


Where Are You Going, Russia?

The situation in the Ukraine is not a regional conflict, but the total opposition of the Collective West and the rest of the world, caused by diametrically opposed views about the future development of humanity…The hybrid war they are waging against us now is their last chance to maintain the status quo in their favour and not to lose their weakened power and influence…The aspiration for independence of the countries of the Global South and East is not at all to the liking of the former colonial powers, which cling to the past with all their might’.

Dmitry Medvedev, 2 July,

Introduction: The Communists and Oligarchs of the Past

In Russia today you can still find Communists. They are mainly elderly, sometimes living in retirement homes, sometimes having held high positions in the old USSR, and never recovering from the shock of the collapse of the USSR, which they want back. President Putin long ago stated the obvious majority view of the USSR: ‘Those who are not nostalgic for it have no heart. Those who want it back have no brain’. The Communist Party is then basically the Pensioners’ Party and they have a dream of another 1917 Bolshevik takeover. But where is their leader, Lenin? Lenin is a rotting mummy, embalmed in a chemical soup in his Moscow ziggurat, the Time Museum. These are the dinosaurs – they have no future.

In Russia today, though above all outside Russia, you can still find the next generation, the oligarchs – those who robbed Russia blind (‘privatised’ it) in favour of the West. These are the fifth columnists, all manner of totalitarian liberals, such as the CIA asset Navalny, who worship the so-called values of the West. Most, however, long ago fled to London, New York and Tel Aviv, with some on the French Riviera or in Malaga. Those who remain in Russia and supported Prigozhin (who is one of them and is typical of their age group) may soon be getting a knock on the door from the FSB, which replaced the KGB, about a matter of treachery. The conflict in the Ukraine is the final nail in their coffin and they know it. They too belong to the past.

The Present

Such is the past. What of the present? As a result of constant Western aggression, President Putin, who came to power at the end of 1999, has over the last generation moved from a position that was rather favourable towards to the West to one that is completely hostile to it. This is no surprise, since the West through its organisations like NATO, the EU and the IMF, only even displayed a predatory Russophobia and since 2014 has declared war on Russia through its Nazified Ukrainian proxy, which it has armed to the teeth as an Anti-Russia, openly stating that its aim is to destroy Russia and kill all Russians. Therefore, as the primary Eurasian power and by far the largest country in the world, Russia has over the last fifteen years been forced to ally itself with others, with China, the most populous country in the world, and with what we may in general call the former Western colonies of the Global South and Global East. This means all Afro-Eurasia and Latin America.

Working in close collaboration with China, the world’s No 1 economy, the Russian Federation, the world’s No 5 economy, belongs to a multipolar world. There is no place here either for Soviet Communists or for post-Soviet oligarchs. How exactly will the recently Russian-founded economic and political organisations expand? Here we are speaking of the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the SCO (Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, now including Iran) and BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa). The latter already has many dozens of applicants, from Afghanistan to Algeria, Egypt to Indonesia, and will probably come to include the whole Non-Western world, including most of Eastern Europe, at present in the increasingly dysfunctional and defunct EU. What will that future BRICS be called? What will its common gold-backed reserve currency (unlike the dollar, which is backed only by debt and a printing press) be called? How will China’s Belt and Road Initiative and the Greater Eurasia Partnership work out?

Many such absolutely vital details have yet to be elaborated in the coming years, but clearly this is where Russia is today – defending the new multipolar world whose founding Russia has initiated and helping to elaborate it because Russia is the principal Eurasian Power. Above we wrote that there is no place here either for Soviet Communists or for post-Soviet oligarchs, but in a multipolar world there is no place either for narrow and sectarian Russian nationalism. And that is a huge problem for the Russian Orthodox Church, whose leading figures have got onto bad terms with almost everyone, losing sympathy and support everywhere. That is no way to conduct yourself in a multipolar world. It seems that the senior administration of the Russian Church is stuck in a narrow and sectarian mindset, painting itself into a very dark corner.

Forward to the Future

The two great Super-Power victors to emerge from 1945 were the white star American Empire and the red star Soviet Empire. As we know, after the fall forty-four years later of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the Soviet Empire crumbled. As we can see today, after the fall of the US puppet government in Afghanistan in 2021, it is now the turn of the American Empire to crumble. It too has had its day. In the twentieth century, over a period of seventy-five years, former Orthodox Christian countries fell to atheist Communism, ending in 1991. Former Roman Catholic countries fell to Fascism and that ended in suicide in a bunker in Berlin in 1945. As for former Protestant countries, they fell to Capitalism. Led by the USA and its senile President, with its nearly 32 trillion dollars of unpayable external debt (not to mention internal debt), Capitalism too is now failing.

As we have said, former Roman Catholic countries fell to Fascism until 1945. However, at the Second Vatican Council held under American pressure sixty years ago, they next fell to secularist Protestantism. From then on, the Americans began choosing the popes, most obviously the Polish John-Paul II (they appointed an English-speaking actor, just as later they appointed Zelensky). Official Roman Catholicism is like post-Protestantism now part of the Great Western Reset, and it is unclear what its present elderly and ill pope believes in. Conversely, in the twentieth century formerly Orthodox Christian Russia had fallen to Communism, but that ended in 1991. What replaced Communism? For some it was the apostasy of secularist American Capitalism – the ideology of the oligarchs. For most it is today the multipolar, Eurasian path of President Putin. However, there are others, who want to see Orthodoxy fully restored in a monarchy and a new Tsar.

For now this seems to many to be completely irrelevant and even laughable. However, in 2033, ten years on from now and forty-four years after 1989 (remember Communism emerged victorious in 1945 but lasted only forty-four years), President Putin will be 80 years old – if he lives that long. What and who will replace him? One possible answer is this Orthodox monarchist movement in contemporary Russia, which can be called ‘Forward to the Tsar’. This means the restoration of the People’s Orthodox Monarchy, Tsardom. This implies a prominent future role for the Russian Orthodox Church. This movement has support among a minority and there is a huge question mark as to how much support it has both inside and outside Russia. The problem is that the Church administration is severely compromised by the present.

Future Restoration Compromised

The fact is that several senior administrators of the Russian Orthodox Church (not ordinary clergy, monastics and people, who in the past were martyred in their millions and who in the present remain faithful to the memory of those martyrs) have long compromised themselves with the State authorities. Not to the extent of changing the Faith, but to the extent that they have collaborated with State authorities. This is the error of what in Protestant history is called ‘erastianism’, the unprincipled collaboration with the State ( Thomas_Erastus). The most obvious Russian examples up until early 1917 were in seventeenth century Russia, when many senior Church administrators took part in the State persecution of Old Ritualists, and then at the Russian February Revolution, when they abruptly renounced their oath of faithfulness to the Tsar in favour of Kerensky. They were swimming with the tide.

Then, later in the twentieth century, came another example with ‘Sergianism’, named after the Soviet Metropolitan and then Patriarch Sergius (+ 1944). Here supposed churchmen collaborated with the Soviet atheist State, making themselves into ‘Orthodox atheists’, holding to a rite without any Christian content, to the scandal of the faithful. And after the collapse of Soviet Communism, some such senior ‘churchmen’ promptly made themselves into mini-oligarchs, simply copying the example of secular post-Soviet oligarchs. As a result of their yet again swimming with the tide, ‘the Church’ understandably came to be perceived by the masses as a mere Business, a money-making institution, exploiting the zeal of sincere priests and the superstitious and sectarian desire for ritualistic magic of the by then baptised but still unChurched post-Soviet masses. As a result, the huge problems of post-Soviet Russia, alcoholism, abortion, divorce, very low demographics, have not been solved.  The masses do not attend Church or follow Her ways. Simply because they are not led by example. ‘Why should I bother? The senior ones don’t’.

Apart from the corruption of several senior Church administrators, there is also the threefold problem of their homosexuality, their work as minders and assets for secret services (mainly FSB, but also CIA), and their compromises with the Vatican. Curiously, these three problems often go together. It is exactly the same liberalism, homosexuality and collaboration with spies as in the seventeenth century, for example, the notorious Paisios Ligarides, ‘Orthodox’ bishop and Roman Catholic cardinal, business fraudster who sold indulgences and spy, traitor and intriguer, schismatic and sodomite. ( strange-case-paisios-ligarides). These liberal, homosexual, secret agent ‘Sergianists’, lovers of the State-Church, quite naturally love the Vatican Church-State. As they say, ‘birds of a feather flock together’.

The Third Rome or The Second Jerusalem?

The Russian Orthodox Church is still cruelly suffering from Soviet-style centralisation – Communists relied on central planning. As a result, the Church has largely ceased to be multinational. This centralisation is key to understanding why so many believing Ukrainians rejected the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church, preferring their own Ukrainian Orthodox Church, sometimes preferring Orthodox, Roman Catholic or Protestant sects, and even atheist secularism. However, the Russian Church has as a result of nationalism lost not only the territory of the Ukraine to its jurisdiction, but also Latvia and is now rapidly losing Moldova (to the Romanian Church) and Lithuania as well as many, many other countries. The Russian Church is then going in precisely the opposite direction to the multipolar President Putin.

A nationalist, and not multinational, multipolar Russian Church, an inward-looking, for-Russians-only ghetto, attracts neither Ukrainians, nor anyone else. Such a Church does not export outside Russia. Moreover, many faithful priests have in recent years been defrocked by the Russian Church merely for protecting their church properties and flocks from corrupt and predatory oligarchic bishops, or simply for expressing different political viewpoints from senior figures. To put it mildly, this does nothing for the reputation of the Church. The absurd and over the top ‘defrocking’ of faithful clergy, as practised by Russian Church administrators all over the world, have made those same administrators the laughing-stock of the world. In other words, nationalist sectarianism repels all Russian Orthodox who are of Non-Russian ethnicity from the Russian Church. And that is some 35% of the whole.

After the fall of the Second Rome, Constantinople, in 1453, the concept of Moscow the Third Rome came to Russia and was first clearly formulated in 1492. However, being Rome is automatically a temptation. The First, Second and Third Romes all fell because power went to their heads. The Gospel says nothing positive of Rome. Salvation came not through Rome, but through the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, which took place not in Rome, but in Jerusalem. Let us stop speaking of a Third Rome. It would be more helpful to speak of a Second Jerusalem. This is why we some time ago suggested that the Russian Orthodox Church administration should change its name from the Soviet-invented ‘Patriarchate of Moscow (MP in Russian)’ to the ‘Patriarchate of New Jerusalem’ (NP in Russian) and move to headquarters in the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow.

Conclusion: The Cleansing of the Russian Orthodox Church

It is clear that Russia and its Church are far from ready to bring forth an Orthodox Tsar even ten years from now. Of course, a lot could happen within future years – nobody predicted the present conflict in the Ukraine between the USA and its vassals on the one hand and Russia on the other hand. The conflict in the Ukraine is clearly a historic turning-point. It could lead to a great cleansing of Russian society and also to the cleansing of its Church. After all, you have to be worthy of a Tsar. The Russian Orthodox Church I grew up in was a Church of Saints, of New Martyrs and Confessors, a Persecuted Church and not a Persecuting Church, the Church of the New Jerusalem, not of Soviet or post-Soviet Moscow. It can still (just) survive as a multinational Church, but only as a decentralised Family of Russian-founded Autocephalous and Autonomous Churches reflecting the broader Family of the sixteen multinational Local Orthodox Churches. Otherwise, it will just slip into sectarian and nationalistic irrelevance.

If the faithful of the Russian Orthodox Church should by some miracle bring forth a Tsar, He will first cleanse its administration of spiritual corruption and nationalist centralisation and so serve the whole multinational Confederation of the fifteen other Local Orthodox Churches. A cleansed Russian Orthodox Church would be a Godsent opportunity to witness to Christ amid the spiritual, moral and financial bankruptcy of the Western world, now led by a senile old man, appointed as puppet by business interests in Washington. In Europe new national-oriented governments have already come to power in Hungary, Italy and Finland. Now France has burned, increasing the popularity of the anti-EU National Party of Le Pen. Germany is in recession and the AdF (the German equivalent of Le Pen’s National Party) is ever more popular. As for the now bankrupt and freedom-hating UK, anti-EU brexiteers see their former leader, Farage, about to be exiled from his native land by the corrupt British Establishment. In a world like this, where populist patriots are making elitist globalists tremble, anything is possible.

St Alban’s Day, 5 July 2023