Author Archives: Father Andrew

On the Importance of ROCOR inside Russia

The following article on the importance of ROCOR theology and the end of Paris School influence in Russia, taken from the Russian ‘Independent Newspaper’ (Nezavisimaya Gazeta), was written by Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, a senior archpriest in Moscow. For those who do not read Russian, it would be of interest to go to google translate to appreciate its importance.

«Карловацкий дух» и Церковь будущего. Протоиерей Всеволод Чаплин надеется на востребованность традиций РПЦЗ в РПЦ МП “после ухода старшего поколения иерархов и церковных бюрократов”

“НГ-РЕЛИГИИ”, 7 июня 2017 г.

Насколько востребовано духовное наследие русского зарубежья
Церемония освящения храма Воскресения Христова и Новомучеников и Исповедников Земли Русской в московском Сретенском монастыре 25 мая с.г. ознаменовала сразу несколько дат в истории Русской церкви, трагическим образом связанных друг с другом. Возведение храма было приурочено, с одной стороны, к 100-летию революции и годовщине Большого террора 1937 года, ставшего последствием этой революции, а с другой – 10-летию воссоединения Московского патриархата и Русской православной церкви Заграницей. 17 мая 2007 года был подписан Акт о каноническом общении разделенных Церквей. При освящении нового храма в Сретенском монастыре патриарху Московскому и всея Руси Кириллу сослужил глава РПЦЗ митрополит Иларион (Капрал).

Президент Владимир Путин, принявший участие в церемонии, в своей речи коснулся темы воссоединения Церквей, связав ее с общегосударственными задачами национального примирения. «Создание общности целей, главная из которых – благополучие каждого нашего человека и нашей Родины в целом, и есть тот ключ, который помогает преодолевать разногласия, – заявил политический лидер. – Ярчайшим подтверждением тому служит и восстановление единства Русской православной церкви, десятилетие которого мы отмечаем в эти дни». Президент, который сыграл в процессе объединения большую роль, напомнил, что «путь к возрождению церковной целостности… был непростым»: «За долгие годы разобщенности, уходящей своими корнями в драму братоубийственной Гражданской войны, накопилось слишком много противоречий и взаимного недоверия».

Путин отметил, что «раны расколов», как церковных, так и гражданских, «тяжело затягиваются». «Восстановление единства… стало и остается событием огромного нравственного звучания, символом и примером того, что история нашей страны, ее прошлое могут и должны не разъединять, а объединять всех нас», – сказал президент. «НГР» попросили публицистов с различными взглядами на историю и миссию Православной церкви в обществе оценить уровень церковной консолидации за прошедшие 10 лет, а также рассказать о той роли, которую сыграло воссоединение русского православия в жизни страны.

10-летие воссоединения с Московским патриархатом Русской православной церкви Заграницей (РПЦЗ) не сильно повлияло на внутрицерковные дискуссии. Появилось несколько «парадных» интервью. В Сретенском монастыре при участии РПЦЗ прошла конференция, посвященная святителю Иоанну (Максимовичу) – лейтмотивом ее был почтительный анализ истории. А консервативная общественность провела по инициативе Аналитического центра святителя Василия Великого неглупое собрание в фонде Леонида Решетникова «Двуглавый орел». Однако сказать в связи с круглой датой есть о чем: собственно, на упомянутом собрании мы многое и сказали, но столкнулись со стеной молчания в информационном мейнстриме.

«Зарубежная церковь вернулась на родину» – эта яркая фраза, которая звучала в СМИ 10 лет назад, верна лишь отчасти. На самом деле идейное и духовное влияние «карловчан» ощущалось даже в СССР. Помню, как в 1981 году я, 13-летний советский школьник, только пришедший к вере, смог прочесть в ксерокопии «тамиздатский» конспект по Закону Божию предстоятеля РПЦЗ митрополита Филарета (Вознесенского; 1903–1985). До сих пор помню одну цитату, которой активно делился с другими молодыми людьми: «Гниющий труп набальзамированного Ильича есть наилучший символ коммунизма». Книжку эту мне дали почитать в Калуге – а с амвона кафедрального собора этого города священник Валерий Суслин цитировал святого праведного Иоанна Кронштадтского – Московским патриархатом тогда к лику святых еще не причисленного. Тогдашний калужский правящий архиерей архиепископ Никон (Фомичев) против таких упоминаний не возражал, сказав: «Наш Синод за границей его канонизировал». И я тогда впервые понял, что у России есть третий путь – не советский и не западно-«демократический». Путь православной монархии.

Вдуматься только: в областном городе, чья культура строилась вокруг Циолковского и «космической» тематики, при жестком уполномоченном Совета по делам религий Федоре Рябове, идеи РПЦЗ практически доминировали над официальными призывами того же владыки Никона «молиться за советскую родину в день 7 ноября». Слово из Джорданвилля – резиденции предстоятелей Зарубежной церкви – доносилось и через самиздат, и через радиоголоса (самыми известными были выступления протоиерея Виктора Потапова на «Голосе Америки», которые я слушал лет с восьми).

В это время «подсоветская» церковная бюрократия, в которой я оказался уже в середине 80-х, ориентировалась на другие эмигрантские мнения – на либеральную «парижскую школу», которая больше совпадала с брежневско-горбачевскими призывами к «миру во всем мире». Но для огромной массы народа авторитет РПЦЗ был выше, а за «парижанами», помимо спичрайтеров церковного официоза, шла лишь небольшая часть интеллигенции.

Наследие консервативной части церковной эмиграции продолжало ту дореволюционную линию, которая олицетворялась Троице-Сергиевой лаврой, Московской духовной академией, интеллектуальной частью Союза русского народа. Отсюда – монархизм РПЦЗ, ее консервативность в богослужении, богословии, отношениях с неправославным миром. Другим полюсом до революции были идейные предшественники «парижан» и обновленческого движения. Увы, в кризисный – «судный» – момент Великой Отечественной войны обновленчество оказалось неспособно мобилизовать народ. Поэтому часть умопостроений «карловчан» начала совпадать с позицией Церкви в России – совпадать даже при отсутствии их реального контакта с Москвой.

Впрочем, набор идей РПЦЗ не смог автоматически стать церковным мейнстримом в постсоветские годы. Причин тому было две. Во-первых, интеллектуальная часть патриархийного аппарата была по преимуществу пленена «парижским» духом (пожалуй, кроме Издательского отдела, руководимого митрополитом Питиримом (Нечаевым). Во-вторых, сами «карловчане» решили создать на исторической родине параллельную церковную структуру – и набрали в нее явных авантюристов, имевших дурную репутацию. Помню, как на Поместном соборе 1990 года архиепископ Кирилл (Гундяев; нынешний патриарх) резко говорил о принятом в РПЦЗ суздальском архимандрите Валентине (Русанцове): «Пусть туда десятки таких пойдут!»
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, как ее тогда метко называли журналисты, быстро начала дробиться и всасывать более и более сомнительных личностей. Это, думаю, и привело к смене «карловчанами» своего курса – со стимуляции присутствия в России на воссоединение с Московским патриархатом.

Выторговать в ходе переговоров удалось немного. Первоиерарх РПЦЗ не стал постоянным членом Священного синода – как руководители большинства других самоуправляемых Церквей в составе Московского патриархата. Пожелания о выходе из Всемирного совета церквей исполнены не были – и сегодня даже предпринимаются попытки оживить контакты с этой организацией, почти незаметной на религиозно-общественном поле и скомпрометированной присутствием сообществ, отвергнувших христианскую мораль вплоть до «благословения однополых браков». Иерархи РПЦЗ, выросшие на Западе, оказались не слишком сильными «бойцами» в московских коридорах. Многие из них к тому же привыкли к расслабленной жизни в «тихой заводи» одного из множества западных религиозных сообществ – особенно в Америке и Австралии.

Однако я надеюсь, что «карловацкое» наследие еще скажет свое слово в церковной «политике» XXI века – и обратиться к нему надо думающим людям на канонической территории Московского патриархата. Это наследие показывает, как выжить в условиях религиозно и идейно неоднородного, а подчас враждебного окружения – и остаться собой, не пойдя по пути приспособления к модам и настроениям внешней среды. Пример сохранившихся «зарубежников» и практически растворившихся в культуре Запада «парижан» оказывается очень показательным. Умение говорить ясно, просто, тепло и даже горячо – а духовенство РПЦЗ таким умением всегда отличалось – сегодня востребовано гораздо больше, чем искусство длинных и сложных «дипломатических проповедей».

Многие управленческие решения «зарубежников» могут использоваться как добрый пример для церковного администрирования в России и других постсоветских странах. Так, Положение об РПЦЗ предполагает ясный перечень доходов Синода (например, двухпроцентные отчисления от содержания епископов и однопроцентное – от содержания духовенства). Епархиальное собрание, согласно тому же документу, «устанавливает смету приходов и расходов <…> по содержанию епархиального епископа, его дома и канцелярии», а также по выплатам епархиальным служащим.

Наконец, «карловчане» продолжают быть форпостом православной миссии на Западе, которая становится все более востребованной. Протоиерей Андрей Филлипс из Великобритании даже написал участникам конференции Центра святого Василия Великого: «В последнее время Русская православная церковь имеет всемирную миссию проповедовать нашу общую веру без компромиссов, на глобальном уровне и на всех языках, несмотря на тех, кто против нас. <…> Мы готовим, даже на Западе, приход русского царя».

Думается, что основные идеи «зарубежного» богословия – ясные, яркие, верные традиционному православию – вновь окажутся в церковной России мейнстримом после ухода старшего поколения иерархов и церковных бюрократов. Именно эти идеи, а не метания «живоцерковников», а затем «парижан» и наших шестидесятников, лучше всего подходят православным людям, когда они свободны и не должны «подстраиваться» под безбожную власть на родине или под доминирующие влияния в условиях эмиграции. «Карловацкий дух» и дальше будет пробивать себе дорогу в церковном учительстве, духовном образовании и православных СМИ – как пробил в советское время через сам- и тамиздат. Главное только, чтобы сами иерархи РПЦЗ остались этому духу верны и не боялись ему следовать в слове и в спорах – кулуарных либо публичных. Тем более что Владимир Путин, общаясь с ними в Сретенском монастыре, сказал: «Вы все – желанные гости. И даже не гости, а хозяева!»

Протоиерей Всеволод Чаплин

How Democracy Can Be Evil

Some, seeing the above title, will be surprised. They should look more carefully. It does not say that Democracy is evil, only that it can be evil. And it can be evil when it is taken out of its ethnocentric context. By this I mean that Democracy is a culturally-limited product, a product of Protestant history and Protestant societies only, first of all of England, then Great Britain, the Netherlands, northern and eastern Germany, Scandinavia and above all, of course, of the USA and the rest of the Anglosphere, from Canada to Australia and New Zealand. I would not suggest that Democracy is evil in that context, although there are debates even about that, given the monolithic bipartisan corruption inherent in the Establishment elites of all Protestant societies.

What I am suggesting, however, is that Democracy becomes evil outside the context of Protestant culture. Democracy (Demonocracy, as it is called in today’s Russia) only works in Protestant and Protestantized societies. We only have to consider the fact that by 1939 every single Roman Catholic country in Europe had become Fascist, admiring the democratically-elected Roman Catholic Adolf Hitler – a dictator like the Roman Catholic Napoleon before him. This is why, after 1945, the USA decided that it would Protestantize Roman Catholicism, which it successfully did a generation later in the Second Vatican Council, which desacralized and secularized the Vatican machine, though it left deep corruption in all ex-Roman Catholic countries such as Italy and France.

We can take as an example the Western attempt to export Democracy to the theocratic Russian Empire in 1917. Deriding Russian autocracy, which it never understood as something positive and balanced because of its cultural blinkers and kneejerk prejudices, the West arrogantly and patronizingly decided on regime-change for Russia. To do this, it exploited the fifth column of wealthy internal traitors who greedily wanted power for themselves (just like Navalny today). Western-imposed Democracy very quickly resulted in tens of millions of deaths through the Western ideology of Marxism. When the Soviet Union collapsed bankrupt, after the ‘victory’ of Democracy, millions then died prematurely of despair through suicide, alcoholism and lack of medical care. ‘Democracy’ again was to blame.

However, the CIA sent thousands of Protestant missionaries to the ex-Soviet Union in order to ‘prepare’ the new countries for Democracy. Although local people were happy to take their pathetic bribes of dollar notes for stadium evangelism, the missionaries failed miserably, for Protestantism is a Western cultural phenomenon; the few authentically Christian missionaries among these Western agents actually ended up joining the Orthodox Church, most others, all blind emotion or cultural imperialism, disappeared. The same has happened in China and Iran, where culturally illiterate, disrespectful, US Protestant and sectarian missionaries were also sent as dupes of Western influence, have failed. In some cases they have been arrested, as the CIA agents they are.

We can take as another example the 2003 Anglosphere attempt to impose Democracy on Iraq (and also to strip it off its natural resources) by murdering the earlier CIA-imposed dictator, Hussein. The result has been hundreds of thousands of dead in the ensuing civil war, millions of refugees, many of them Christians, and the development of horrific terrorism under ISIS. It is the same tragedy as in Latin America, Vietnam, ex-Yugoslavia (still a powderkeg waiting to explode), before that and since then throughout the Muslim world, including in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and the Ukraine. The result of the imposition of Democracy on Non-Protestant cultures is always the same: US puppets, client strongmen, with their corrupt dictatorships which divide and slaughter their own peoples.

Ultimately, arrogant and incredibly ignorant, ethnocentric, culturally blinkered Western ‘Democrats’, who understand nothing of any culture and race and history other than their own, must take responsibility. Blood is on the hands of all these neocons, of the Clintons, of Albright, Powell, Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Rice, Obama, Kerry, Kagan and all their EU vassals in NATO-controlled Brussels and Berlin. These neocons thought themselves ‘morally superior’, but in fact they showed their moral inferiority in their utterly stupid meddling, so making themselves puppets in the hands of the devil to whom death and violence are so sweet. In addition to everything else, they now have the blood of tens of thousands of Ukrainians on their hands. A lot of blood.

Patriotism and Treason: On Resisting the Mystery of Iniquity

In the face of today’s treasonous Babylonian globalist threat, not only is Russia having to return to its patriotic roots, but so too are all other Western countries. In the case of Russia, her roots are clearly in the Tsar’s Russia, in Orthodoxy, which was finally, after many threats, betrayed only 100 years ago. In the case of Western European countries, these patriotic roots are much less clear because those countries have been through so many different permutations, secularist, Protestant or Roman Catholic, in many phases.

Thus, in England, there are those who wish to return to the recent nationalist Protestant-imperialist past. However, this was an invention of the treasonous merchant-class slavers, who brought in foreign monarchs after their usurpation through the Dutch invasion in 1689, the bribery of the Scottish elite into the Union in 1707 and after, with their mean ‘Rule Britannia’. But these are not real and patriotic English roots, and neither are English roots in more distant discredited Roman Catholicism, nor in ancient Germanic paganism.

English roots are in the English period of English history, that is, before it was tainted by the Norman occupiers with their imperialist, pagan Roman revivalist ‘British’ Establishment. The greatest political representative in English history is thus St Alfred the Great (+ 899), its Church representatives ranging from St Cuthbert of Lindisfarne to St Edward the Martyr. In other words, patriotic English roots are in the 450 years of the Old English saints, just as the roots of other Western European cultures are also in their Old European saints.

Patriotic movements all over Europe, from the Urals to Iceland, from Finland to Cyprus, as well as in the USA, are marching against the treason of secularist globalism. However, they will not win their battles of national resistance if they are not underpinned by Christian roots, that is, if they are merely nationalist and not patriotic. In order to understand their real roots, they must consider the Russian battle for roots because that battle is more advanced, as the secularist-globalist Babylon did not begin in Russia, but in Western Europe.

Indeed, there are already many in the secularist-globalist West who are so blinded by their ethnocentric arrogance that they have been deluded into willingly taking part in the process of their own self-destruction. They deny patriots even the freedom of speech, all under the mask of political correctness, calling real patriots Fascists. And yet they hypocritically support real Fascists, in the form of their petty nationalist puppet-strongmen, like those in the Ukraine and the Baltic States, as also in the Third World.

The secularist support for recently-invented, artificial countries comes because their petty nationalism can undermine the national identity and culture of real countries, making them ready for secularist-globalism. The treasonous secularist-globalists are thus forerunners of the Antichrist. Thus, we have the Holy Spirit, Who unites mankind in God, without cancelling out human diversity, unlike the spirit of Satan, which creates the new Tower of Babylon, destroying all national identities, personalities and local cultures.

That spirit reduces all to the lowest common denominator, levelling humanity down to the level of the beasts. The Holy Spirit makes people angelic, but the spirit of Satan makes them bestial, demonic. The spirit of Satan rejoices in ‘freedom’ from the commandments of God. This is what is today disguised under the name of ‘liberalism’, whose aim is to bestialize humanity, making it the slave of the demons. ‘Liberalism’ thus means enslavement, for the laws of Satan are always perverse, contradicting all human common sense.

How can we resist the secularist-globalist spirit? It is by cultivating the local, but only in the anti-secularist Spirit of the Church, in the Holy Spirit. This is why the local saints are especially dear to us. And this is why we should love all the local saints everywhere, for they are all invested with the same Spirit of God. This is diversity in unity and unity in diversity. And this is why Old Europe is also the Tsar’s Orthodox Europe, both of which are reaching out and calling to us from across the darkness of the new pagan age of the secularist globalists.

Award for Metropolitan Hilarion

MOSCOW: June 9, 2017

Greeting of His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia to the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Outside Russia

To His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia,
To the Eminent Archpastors, Members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:

Beloved in the Lord Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion, Eminent Archpastors:
I send my sincere greetings to you all, hierarchs of the Russian diaspora, who have gathered in Munich to convene a Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

It is significant that your gathering is held on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, an event of great historic breadth, which put an end to the long division of the Russian nation incurred by the tragic troubles in our Fatherland 100 years ago.

I am happy that many of you were able to participate in the great consecration of the Church of the Resurrection of Christ and the Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Sretensky Monastery, which took place on the feast day of the Ascension of the Lord. It was on this very feastday in 2007 that, on the ambo of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York inscribed their signatures on the historic Act, opening for us the possibility of praising and glorifying the Most-Holy Name of God “with one mouth and one heart,” and of partaking from one Chalice of Christ. Our joint services in this newly-built church became our common grace-filled prayer to the Lord, Who by His Omnipotent hand led us to the desired unity. Today, ten years later, we bear witness to the good fruits of this unity, fully sensing ourselves members of a single ecclesiastical organism.

Expressing my gratitude to you for your selfless witness to Orthodox Christianity, I call upon you to continue with the same fervor to “edify the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).

To mark the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion, and in recognition of the your zealous labors in strengthening the spiritual unity we have recovered, I deem it worthy to bestow upon the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, the right to wear two panagias within the spiritual territory entrusted to him.

I invoke Divine blessings upon the efforts of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

+ KYRILL, PATRIARCH OF MOSCOW AND ALL RUSSIA

Putin: It’s “my duty” to attack the New World Order for degrading “family values”

Putin: “As head of state today, I believe it’s my duty to uphold traditional values and family values. But why? Because same-sex marriages will not produce any children. God has decided, and we have to care about birth rates in our country. We have to reinforce families. That doesn’t mean that there should be any persecutions against anyone.”

For source, see: http://www.veteranstoday.com/2017/06/09/putin-its-my-duty-to-attack-the-new-world-order-for-degrading-family-values/

Please do not read the above too far.

Just Another Miracle from the Orthodox World

In Sochi, a shoal of dolphins has returned the icon of the Virgin of “The Sign” to the people …

On May 17, a colonel, along with his wife, were sitting on the seashore in Sochi, enjoying the clean sea air and the vastness of the water. Suddenly their attention was attracted by a shoal of dolphins that swam to the shore: the couple even managed to count them – exactly a dozen. Soon it became clear why these intelligent marine animals had gathered here – they were pushing something out of the water, and when they had done their job, they immediately swam away.

The strange thing that the dolphins brought ashore was all mud and looked very unpresentable at first sight, which made few people pay attention to him, although not only the colonel and his wife were resting near the sea at the time. Eventually, the wife asked her husband to see what the dolphins had pushed out of the sea.

The witness of the event decided to consider the unexpected gift of the marine inhabitants. The colonel raised a mysterious object, cleared it of mud and … experienced a real shock, as a moment later, his wife too. It was an icon of the Mother of God (later it was revealed – of the “Sign”).

The eyes of the Mother of God looked at the man from the ancient icon. As the shrine must have been on the seabed – no one knows, and scientists could not understand why the dolphins realized that it must be urgently delivered to the shore and given back to people. It turns out that dolphins perfectly understood the value of this icon for people and that it does not have a place at the bottom of the sea …

Found in such a miraculous manner, the icon was taken to Moscow by the same person who stands next to Barnabas’s father (in a sweatshirt) – a retired colonel, a veteran of the Alpha group. Her want to show His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Kyril, while telling him this truly fantastic story about the miracle …
Nikolai Kaklyugin, Ph.D., a psychiatrist-narcologist

For pictures, see: http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2017/06/10/chudo_chudnoe/

St Alban and the Salvation of Europe

The following talk was read at the symposium of SOPHIE (The Society of Orthodox Philosophers in Europe) in Frankfurt in Germany just before today’s All Saints’ Day Feast

Foreword

25 years after the disappearance of the Soviet Union and 25 years after the appearance of the European Union, we are facing great generational changes. The lands of the ex-Soviet Union continue to suffer from chauvinist strife, instability and extreme unemployment and poverty, not least the Ukraine and the rapidly emptying EU Baltic States. As one Russian put it to me some years ago: ‘Under Communism we had no political freedom, but we did have security. Today, under Capitalism, we have political freedom, but we have no security’. And also: ‘We knew that the Communists were lieing to us about Communism, but we did not know that they were telling us the truth about Capitalism’.

Further events are unfolding in Russia today, on the centenary of the catastrophic, so-called ‘Russian Revolution’, which gave rise to the alien, Marxist Soviet Union, with its Red terror, artificial famines, Gulag, alcoholism, abortion, corruption, divorce and environmental degradation. Equally, some wonder if the European Union will ever recover from Brexit, as other countries also eye freedom from the straitjacket of EU centralization. However, all this comes against the background of the new US President, who is half-Scottish, whose wife is a Slav from ex-Communist Slovenia, and who is apparently anti-EU and pro-Brexit. The world for some people has been turned upside down. Or perhaps rather the world was upside down and is now gradually being turned the right side up?

Against such a contemporary political background, my talk today is based on the only recorded words of a saint who lived nearly 1800 years ago, at some point between 209 and 305, historians, as usual, cannot agree exactly when. Perhaps we can simply say that he lived in the third century. His words, only eighteen of them in their modern English translation, seem to me to prophesy a possible future for this Europe that now seems to be lost and drifting. For although the European Union is largely discredited and rejected, few wish even to think about the Modern, Alternative Europe to replace the outdated, post-Hitlerian, failed, centralized EU Europe. However, there are the words of this saint, from what might be called ‘Brexitland’, who may provide an answer.

This saint in question is the Protomartyr of the British Isles, a Romano-British citizen called Alban, who lived in the Roman city of Verulamium, just north of London. Having given shelter to a Christian priest fleeing persecution, Alban was so moved by the priest’s faith and courage that he asked to be taught more about Christianity, then a forbidden religion, and was baptized by the priest. Before long the authorities came to arrest the fugitive. But Alban, inspired by his new-found faith, exchanged clothes with the priest, allowing him to escape.

Thus, instead of the priest, it was Alban who was arrested and brought before the magistrate. Alban refused to sacrifice to the emperor and the Roman gods and was flogged. When asked to identify himself, he declared these eighteen words: ‘I am called Alban and I worship and adore the true and living God, Who created all things’. The magistrate ordered that Alban receive the punishment due to the priest. He was taken out of the town and up the hillside to the site of his martyrdom and beheaded. His town is today called St Albans and is a mere 20 miles, 30 kilometres, to the north of London. St Alban’s Day is celebrated on 22 June.

I Am Called Alban

I am interested in these eighteen words, the first four of which are: ‘I am called Alban’. The Romano-British name ‘Alban’ means ‘White’. The Latin word ‘alba’ is at the root of many words and names, not least Albion, a name for Britain that stems from the white chalk cliffs of south-eastern Britain, the first view of the country for Roman and other invaders. However, the word ‘White’ has in the Russian Orthodox context another meaning, referring to the White Movement after 1917. True, the White Movement was betrayed by those who claimed to be White, but were not White at all, and were mainly killed or went into exile. However, the best White representatives, although only a minority, sought the restoration of the Orthodox Christian Empire in Russia. These true Whites sought the restoration of ‘the White Tsar’.

The word ‘White’ in this context thus stands for faithfulness to our roots and Christian inheritance, to the Faith that is to be made incarnate in the countries in which we live. ‘White’ means faithfulness to the incarnate integrity of the Faith. This means not just vaguely Christian, but Orthodox Christian, and not just Orthodox Christian, but Orthodox Christian to the point of working to incarnate the Faith, socially, economically and politically. Thus, ‘I am White’ can be taken to mean the confession of the post-Constantinian Civilizational values of the Church, as expressed in the spiritual ideal of Romaiosini in the New Rome that St Constantine founded to unite Europe and Asia and which were continued in Holy Rus, the spiritual ideal of the Eurasian Christian Empire.

And I Worship and Adore the True and Living God

These ten words of St Alban express his Faith, a Faith that he was prepared to die for and did die for, in the worship and adoration of the Christian God, the True God, the Holy Trinity. Today all sorts of things are worshipped: money is worshipped, technology is worshipped, convenience is worshipped, sex is worshipped, food is worshipped, social networking is worshipped, television is worshipped, sport is worshipped, celebrities are worshipped, the self is worshipped, as in the selfie. ‘Because I am worth it’ is indeed the slogan of today’s narcissistic society.

However, St Alban’s worship is of the True and Living God. St Alban worshipped the Living God. He did not worship pagan gods or goddesses, who intervene in human affairs whenever some passion of pride, greed, lust or other, which as demons they embody, seizes them to meddle for the perdition of mankind. They never sacrifice themselves for mankind, but only take advantage of mankind, as parasites. These demons are dead gods, gods of death, not the God of Life. The Living God is He Who defeated death by death, sacrificing Himself and so proving that He is not only the God of Life, the Life-Giver, but also that He loves mankind, the Love-Giver.

Who Created All Things

Following on from the darkness of the eighteenth-century ‘Enlightenment’, which proposed a distant, theistic God, Who in no way plays a part in human affairs and so offers humanity autonomy to practise all its sins with impunity, virtually the whole of nineteenth-century Western thought was devoted to denying and rejecting the above words. Almighty man creates, not a weak, Nietzschean-imagined God, so weak that He allowed Himself to die famelessly on the Cross. This human assumption of God’s creative power resulted in the twentieth century in destructive manmade World Wars, concentration camps, nuclear bombs and the abortion holocaust. Essentially, modern times have replaced God with man, construction with deconstruction. Man, reverting to idolatry, has replaced the sinless Creator with sinful creation.

This idolatry, the denial of the Living God Who created all things, the last four words of St Alban, has resulted in the heresy of what might be called ‘self-creation’. Far from the innocent, God-inspired inventions of such things as the wheel, the boat, the plough or the windmill, self-creation has led not just to the deafening and blinding inventions of the Industrial Revolution that poisoned human life, the earth and the sea and the sky, as in China today, not just to the Satan-inspired invention of killing and maiming machines like the Maxim gun, poison gas, napalm and the cluster bomb. It has led to the prophesied possibility that humans will so interfere in the chemical elements and genetic codes of life that they will create beings that are monsters and food that is poisoned, apocalyptically killing the Planet and all life.

Afterword

We have entitled our talk, ‘St Alban and the Salvation of Europe’. Of course, we are not proposing that a saint alone can save Europe. But it is our belief that Europe can be saved by Christ acting through the assembly of Europe’s saints because they all proclaim the same truths as St Alban. Next Sunday is precisely the feast of All Saints, who are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, Who came down at Pentecost. The British Isles has St Alban, but Germany has St Ursula, Ireland St Patrick, France St Denis, Belgium St Gertrude, the Netherlands and Luxembourg St Willibrord, Denmark St Anschar, Sweden and Norway the two St Olafs, the Czech Lands have Sts Ludmila and Viacheslav, Switzerland St Maurice and the Legionnaires from Thebes, Austria St Severinus, Hungary St Martin, Italy the Apostles Peter and Paul, Spain St Eulalia, and Portugal St Martin of Braga. All of these proclaim the same thing: Not, as one American President nearly fifty-five years ago, in June 1963, proclaimed, ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’, but, ‘Ich bin Alban’, in other words, ‘I belong to Christ’.

Some years ago we composed a service to all the Saints of the Western Lands. Here are five stichira from Lord, I have cried from that service, which summarize our thoughts:

For one thousand years the light of the Sun of Righteousness shone forth from the East on the lands of the West, forming a Cross over Europe, before they fell beneath the darkening shades of the Churchless night. Let us now return to the roots of our first confession of the Holy Spirit in the bright Sunrise of Orthodoxy, which is brought again from the East, and so shine forth the light of the Everlasting Christ once more.

O all the saints of the Western Lands, pray to God for our repentance and return, our restoration and resurrection. Tell the people to leave aside the things of men, the fallen fleshly mind and all its vain musings, for they are without the Saviour and the Spirit. And so, through your life in the Holy Trinity, shall we find salvation in the purity of the Orthodox Faith before the end.

Now do we sing to all the saints of the lands of the West and at their head the apostles Peter and Paul, the true glory of Old Rome, and, like stars in the dark night sky, to the constellation of the martyrs and fathers who followed in their apostolic footsteps, leaving behind them the great treasury of holy relics. O First Rome, who art glorious in thy saints alone, do thou return to the eternal faith of Orthodoxy through the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father, as the Saviour tells us.

Thus from the fountainhead of the East through Old Rome flowed streams of the Holy Spirit to all the lands of the West, through Gaul and Spain, to the uttermost isles in the far ocean and to all the lands of the north, where the darkness saw the light of Christ and all the trees of the forest bowed their heads before the Wisdom and Word of God, forsaking the superstitions and proud errors of the pagan past.

O constellation of all the saints of the Western lands, who shine forth in the night sky, together we gather in your name, in praise to ask you to intercede for us with your prayers. Bring back the Western peoples from the inglorious darkness of their unwisdom to the Wisdom of God, that they may cast aside all the illusions of the fallen reason and know again that the only true glory and enlightenment is in the acquisition of the Holy Spirit.

A Cornish Orthodox Parish?

The pagan ‘Celts’, a group of cruel and warring tribes, invaded the British Isles and Ireland only a few centuries before the Romans came, some arriving not much before them. However, by the first centuries AD these ‘Celts’, some Christian, some, according to St Gildas, definitely not, had separated into two main groups. These were the Irish (in Ireland, and then by emigration, in what is now Scotland) and the Brittonic (in Wales, Cornwall, and then by emigration, in Armorica, the future Brittany in France, and also in Galicia in Spain). The Church in all these lands was represented then by Irish and Brittonic, both Latin-speaking, but both with a strong monastic ethos. So much for the ‘Celtic Church’ myth, about which so much new-age nonsense is talked.

What can we say of Brittonic Cornwall specifically? The word Cornish (Cornovii) is itself Latin, meaning those who live in the ‘horn’, that is to say, those in the horn-shaped peninsula of south-west Britain. Later, by deformation, ‘Corn-wall’ came to mean the land of the ‘Welsh’ (= Non-English) who live in the horn. Cornwall was first taken into England, though only on paper, in the tenth century by King Athelstan. However, in some ways it would be truer to call Cornwall an island, for, surrounded by the sea on three sides, on its fourth side it is separated from Devon and so from England by the River Tamar. Only 70 years ago, and perhaps still today, those who lived on the Cornish side of the Tamar and crossed it spoke quite naturally of ‘going to England’.

Today, it is true that those who have grandparents born on the Cornish side of the Tamar have very different DNA from those born on the English side in Devon, even though the Cornish language has been lost. This is because, Cornwall lies between Wales and Brittany and so became a land through which saints passed, coming from north and south. Thus, Cornwall is a land of local saints and of their names – 140 in all unique to Cornwall. Unfortunately, most of these names are precisely only names. Usually, virtually nothing is known of the saints behind the names, sometimes if they were even saints at all, not even the correct form of their name, not even the century when they lived (usually the sixth or seventh), and sometimes even their gender is unknown.

As for their Lives, when they exist – and that is rare – they were often written over 600 and up to 1,000 years after the saints lived. In other words, most of their Lives are almost completely untrustworthy and sometimes absurd. All that remains is speculation without edification, ‘games with names’, as in the booklets on them, written by the Anglican researcher G.H. Doble in the last century. Here we see all the sadness when people forget their saints, their tradition of holiness. All we can say is that a large number of mainly Welsh monks, nuns, hermits and ascetics came to live in Cornwall in the fifth, sixth and seventh centuries, and that that was a golden age of holiness. In all this two Cornish saints stand out, St Piran and St Petroc.

St Piran (Perran) (+ c. 480) came from Ireland or Wales and settled in the north of Cornwall, giving his name to Perranporth, where he had his hermitage. He is commemorated on 5 March and is now considered to be the patron saint of Cornwall. St Petroc (Peter) (+ c. 564) was a sixth-century abbot who for long was considered to be Cornwall’s most famous saint. He came from south Wales and lived near what is now Padstow (Petrocstow), where he founded a monastery. He later founded another monastery and then lived as a hermit on Bodmin Moor. He was famed for his closeness to the natural world and founded other monasteries. At his repose his relics were venerated in Padstow and later at the main Cornish monastery in Bodmin. His feast is on 4 June.

Any Orthodox who wish to set up a parish in Cornwall would perhaps wish to start in Truro, the capital of Cornwall and which is located relatively centrally. As for a dedication, we would suggest, quite simply, All Saints. However, in any such parish there should be a large icon of Sts Piran and Petroc.

All the Saints of Cornwall, known to the Lord, pray to God for us!

Towards a Social Brexit

The UK election results once again show the blind over-confidence and imperialistic hubris of the Conservative leadership. The Conservative Party may be trusted to negotiate Brexit (though that is not certain, since they have already wasted a whole year doing nothing about it), but they are not trusted to deliver social justice. And yet decent infrastructure, good roads and, above all, a proper health system, educational system, police force, prison service and proper regulation of privatized railways, telecom and water, electricity and gas companies are demanded. Perhaps, as it is seen by many as the party of the rich and NATO warmongers, the Conservatives should go into coalition with the Labour Party, so creating a government of national unity in this time of national crisis.

However, whatever the politicians decide, the real question is that Western electorates everywhere are rejecting the rule of the neocon oligarchy, the global elite of banksters, warmongers and businessmen, of Eisenhower’s military-industrial complex. People are rejecting Anonymous Globalism, and choosing National Identity instead. However, parties that promote identity politics will only be successful if they also work for social justice and welfare. This was the error of the Conservative Party: it lost sight of the needs of the majority, over 50% of the population, who want those needs to be met, even if it will cost more. Especially, if the costs can be met by taxing the many rich and also businesses, who have so benefited over the last 35 years from rule by pro-business monetarists. What is needed is a Social Brexit.

100 Years On: The End of Anglican Orthodoxy and Reality

Within a few years of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing enslavement of the Russian Church inside Russia centred in Moscow, some 2,000 Russian émigrés had settled in England, mainly in London. They split into two Church groups, both independent of enslaved Moscow, a larger group of various origins, and a much smaller group, mainly of liberal aristocrats and intellectuals, mainly Anglophiles and mainly from Saint Petersburg. The first group formed a parish in London under the initially Moscow-established Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which had four Metropolias, in China, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Americas, catering for all emigres. The second group also formed a parish in London, but under the small Parisian Rue Daru breakaway jurisdiction, outside the Russian Church, under the then largely Anglican-run and financed (now US-run and financed) Patriarchate of Constantinople.

After the Second World War the first group, under ROCOR, formed more parishes for several thousand refugees with Polish nationality, mainly Ukrainians and Belarussians but also some Russians, who all awaited freedom in the Russian Church inside Russia. (This was to come in 2007, only after most of them had died, bringing reconciliation between the Church inside Russia and the Church Outside Russia). On the other hand, after the Second World War the second group returned formally to the still unfree Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, but on a special basis under the unique Parisian personality of the then Fr Antony Bloom, and developed into an independent group of several small communities. After he died in 2003, this group split in 2006, the majority remaining under Moscow and as a result, by 2007, the majority in the second group and the first group had entered into the unity of canonical communion with one another.

However, some 300 people, often of Anglican background and in small scattered communities, returned to the breakaway Paris Rue Daru group in 2006. Why did they avoid the reconciliation of the vast majority? It was because their leading ideology was that of an English-language Orthodoxy, which was in fact a Russophobic Anglican Orthodoxy. This has largely been invented by an Oxford Anglicanophile academic called Nicholas Zernov. Indeed, it could be called ‘Zernovism’, though in truth many individuals were involved in its formulation. This consisted of a sociological dream, that of reconciling a certain ‘embourgeoisé’ Russian Orthodoxy, liberal, intellectual, aristocratic and conformist, with an upper middle-class Anglo-Catholicism. This was a phyletist (racist) ideology that put a bourgeois and effete Russian Orthodoxy and the Anglican ‘public school and cricket’ Establishment, first – above Christ and His Truth. For when all is compromise, there is no place for Truth….

Those who had never been Anglican felt totally out of place in this group, indeed rejected by such a narrow and forced sociological concept of the Church. Today, their dream (a nightmare for others) is over. It has been made irrelevant by reality – for we do not live in the past. It is not at all that English-language Orthodoxy in itself is irrelevant, in fact just the opposite, today it is all the more important. For in today’s England there are not 2,000 or even 5,000 Russian Orthodox, but 300,000 Russian Orthodox. These come mainly from the Baltics, Moldova and the Ukraine, not to mention 220,000 Romanians and 80,000 Bulgarians, totalling 600,000 Orthodox from these three areas of the Orthodox world. This recent immigration, together with their English-born children, dwarfs all previous Orthodox emigrations, including the mainly 1950s-1960s 200,000-strong Greek-Cypriot immigration, which is now largely dying out after almost complete assimilation.

With 600,000 new Orthodox and their children, mainly in England, there is a huge mission-field for English-language Orthodoxy. However, most of these immigrants work on building sites, in car washes, in hotels and catering, or in farming and horticulture and food-processing factories. They certainly have no interest in an effete and intellectual-dream philosophy of Orthodoxy, but rather in a hands-on, down-to-earth Orthodoxy, which alone meets their simple and practical needs. They need an English-language Orthodoxy to meet the needs of their children, who are being brought up on council estates and in rented flats in the East End of London and the crowded suburbs of modest working towns up and down today’s England. We clergy will be judged on how well we meet their needs, keeping faith with Orthodoxy, but at the same time speaking in the language that their children and increasingly the immigrants themselves, communicate and socialize in. History moves on.