Author Archives: Father Andrew

His Holiness Speaks about the Return of Rue Daru

“Reunion must happen forever”

09/16/2019

According to His Holiness Patriarch  Kyrill, the reunion of the Archdiocese of the Western European parishes of the Russian Tradition with the Russian Church is the final act that closes the drama of the Revolution…

The Sunday, 15 September, the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, the Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias Kyrill celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church of St Olga in the district of Ostankino in Moscow. At the end of the service, His Holiness gave a sermon.

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In today’s apostolic reading, and this was an excerpt from the First Epistle to the Corinthians of the Apostle Paul, we find the words: “Brothers, watch, stand in the faith, be courageous” (1 Cor. 16:13). We must take these words as the great command of the apostle, ”called the High Hierarch. – It is remarkable that the list of virtues that a Christian should possess begins with the word “watch.” What does it mean to stay awake? It means not to sleep, to be conscious; and a person in consciousness is able to establish a connection with the outside world, perceive the outside world, analyze what is happening around him, and thus build his relationship with the outside world. ”

“This raises a very important question. What criteria should we be guided to evaluate the world around us, everything that happens around us? – asks the Primate of the Russian Church. – Of course, you can use political, scientific, artistic criteria, but they do not cover the entirety of the human worldview. And more often than not, we evaluate the world around us, assuming ourselves as a criterion. What is right from our point of view, what is good for us, then becomes the measure of the assessment of everything that is happening around. This is a great mistake, because the assessment of the world around cannot be reduced to a personal understanding of what is happening or to personal interests. But not only individuals suffer from this sin – sometimes whole groups, communities of people are subject to this sin. So, starting from the 18th century, godlessness gradually began to supplant faith from the consciousness of our intelligentsia. And when, instead of the Divine truth and the word of God, personal interests, the interests of the bearers of certain political and ideological views became the criterion, then the death of the people began, which led to the catastrophe of the Revolution and civil war. ”

“We are talking about the Revolution, about the civil war as a distant past – indeed, for the modern generation it is the time of their great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers. But, having gone into the past, these terrible events of our history should not be left without a nationwide assessment, the First Hierarch is convinced. – After all, this is what happened: people laid the basis of their actions for the political and ideological criteria that divided the people, divided the country. The result of this division was the expulsion of a huge number of Russian Orthodox people, our people, our fellow citizens, abroad. This outcome greatly weakened our intellectual, spiritual strengths, and it took decades to restore everything that was lost as a result of the breakdown of our whole life. ”

“However, the consequences of this outcome persist in some sense to this day,” he said. – We know that the Russian Orthodox Church was divided. Emigres created the Russian Church Outside Russia with its center in Sremsky Karlovtsy in Serbia, but there was another group of Orthodox people who grouped around Metropolitan Eulogius – it was conventionally called the Paris emigration. And those children of the Russian Orthodox Church who maintained contact with Moscow made up the third part of the entire Russian emigration. This division reflected political contradictions, which led Russia to the Revolution. And our cherished dream was the unification of the whole Russian emigration, the unification of the Russian Church outside Russia. We know that in 2007, by the grace of God, the miracle of reunification with the Russian Church of that part of the emigration was revealed to all of us, which belonged to the Russian Church Outside Russia. This reunion solemnly took place in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, but it did not affect the emigres grouped around Paris. ”

“It so happened that the Russian Orthodox people who had Paris as their center and Metropolitan Eulogius as their ruling bishop ended up in the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and this state of affairs persisted to this day. But yesterday there was an event that could become historic. I say “it could become,” because much remains to be done to ensure that this action brings results. But such an act – Archbishop John, who is in Paris and leads the very fragment of the Russian emigration that did not belong to the Russian Church Outside Russia or the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, sent me a request for reunification with the Russian Orthodox Church, ”said the Primate.

“This happened yesterday, September 14, that is, September 1, according to the old style, on the first day of the church new year, or, as we say, the beginning of the indiction. Opening this petition, I realized that the deed of Archbishop John is full of many meanings. Because the implementation of this petition closes the topic of the division of the Russian Church outside Russia, the separation of Russians living abroad, and the fact that this happened on the first day of the Church New Year, helps to understand that reunification should happen forever, for all the times that lie ahead. This opens up the possibility of establishing the full unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, in the homeland and abroad, ”said Patriarch Kyrill.

“Yesterday, we held a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church by telephone, because there was no time to gather the Most Reverend members of the Synod. But I talked with everyone and received not just consent, but ardent consent. It was necessary to hear the intonations with which the members of the Synod responded to my message about what had happened. When I asked them if they voted for this decision, I received an enthusiastic answer: “We don’t just vote, we vote with all our hearts.” And indeed it is so. Because it cannot be a matter of secondary importance, indifferent to every Orthodox Russian person, for every member of the Russian Orthodox Church, regardless of his nationality, the restoration of the unity of our Church and the unity of our people, ”the Primate was convinced.

“Having satisfied the request of His Grace John, who headed the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Western Europe of the Russian tradition, the Holy Synod reunites by its decision all Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe with the Mother Church. We thank the Lord for the mercy that has been shown. This is not just a church act – most likely, this is the final act that closes the drama of Revolution, civil war, the drama of the division of our people. Therefore, today our prayer to the Lord is a prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that He, having led our people in Russia and scattered abroad through divisions, through unrest, through persecution and upheaval, today opens up the possibility for us to feel like a single people, united by a single Russian Orthodox Church. Thank God for everything! Amen, ” concluded the Primate of the Russian Church.

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2019/09/16/vossoedinenie_dolzhno_proizojti_navsegda/

 

A Warm Welcome

We warmly welcome into the Russian Church those who yesterday, the first day of the Church New Year, left the Patriarchate of Constantinople for us. Now their Russian Tradition can be affirmed and renewed. For the rest of us the final piece of the émigré jigsaw has fallen into place, a century after it began to fall apart. The freed Russian Church inside Russia has now been reunited with Carpatho-Russian parishes in the USA (the OCA), with the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) (in 2007) and now with the faithful of the parishes of the Paris Archdiocese under Archbishop Jean (Renneteau), known as Rue Daru.

On this historic day we now look forward to the renewal of fraternal contacts and relationships and concelebrations. Today, in unity, angels and men alike rejoice.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

St Alexander Nevsky Parish,

Norwich, England,

15 September 2019

Why Join the Russian Orthodox Church?

 Introduction

Once Western people have spiritual understanding and experience, they can begin to escape from the box of their cultural conditioning and the manipulations imposed on them by their controllers. Then they will recognize that Catholicism, Anglicanism and the other forms of Protestantism, all rapidly dying out in the Western world today, are only a few hundred years old and are only human inventions, as defined by Western political powerbrokers, Popes, Kings and politicians, past and present. They ask: Where then, as Christians, do we belong? Where then can we go to church and worship the Holy Trinity, our God Who is not mocked?

With such a basic level of understanding, it becomes obvious that only the Orthodox Church is the Church, founded by Christ, against which the gates of hell shall not prevail. From here, however, arises the question, but which Local Church do we join? For the Orthodox Church is a family of fourteen, universally recognized, canonical Local Orthodox Churches, of which seven represent their immigrants and their descendants in Western countries. These seven Local Churches are the Russian, the Greek (correctly, the Constantinopolitan), the Antiochian, the Romanian, the Serbian, the Bulgarian and the Georgian.

Most people join the geographically nearest Orthodox community belonging to one of these seven Churches, providing that one exists nearby (the Bulgarian and the Georgian are very, very few and far between) and which is welcoming to other nationalities. However, most Romanian, Serbian, Bulgarian, Georgian and many Greek ones are not welcoming to other nationalities, but represent an ethos of national clubs, ethnic ghettoes. These latter churches are called mononational (sometimes just ‘nationalist’). In other words, they prominently display their national flags, cater only for one immigrant nationality and will even ask those of other nationalities to leave, which visitors do anyway because they do not understand the language which these nationalities use. The real choice therefore is often very limited: Greek, Antiochian and Russian.

For many the very small and impoverished Greek Church of Constantinople is not an option because of its oriental manner and curious music, as well as its doctrinal compromises, forced on it in its weakness by outside pressures and finance over the last 100 years. On top of this, there is its extraordinary racist imperialism, which has led it into schismatic and even heretical acts in recent times, putting it out of communion with the majority of Orthodox. The Antiochian Church would seem like an option to Anglicans. However, since there are only some 750,000 practising Anglicans in England, this leaves 55 million who are not attracted and do not at all feel at home in an ‘Angliochian’ church, with its untrained clergy (who often attempt to dress and sing like Russian Orthodox clergy, but make basic mistakes) and its ethos of ‘Anglicanism with icons’. Anyone who has experienced the real thing, real Orthodoxy with its living Christian values, senses this at once. Its Establishment mentality makes it seem like a branch of Anglicanism, a culture alien and quite unknown to the vast majority of ordinary English people. Given this lack of choice on the ground, what are the pros and cons of joining the Russian Orthodox Church?

Reasons Put Forward for Not Joining the Russian Orthodox Church

For those who live in the past, the Russian Orthodox Church is a centralized, Soviet steamroller. Of course this was to some extent true generations ago during the Soviet period, when all the Russian bishops representing the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow were vetted by the KGB. Then some such bishops freely committed gross violations of the canons of the Church in places like London, Paris and Vienna, as well as inside the Soviet Union. This was not the Russian Orthodox Church, but the ‘Soviet (and therefore, by definition, unOrthodox) Church’. However, this is all ancient history. Let us rather live in the present for the sake of the future.

Some accuse the Russian Orthodox Church of not being open enough to the secular world. Here there is a profound misunderstanding: it is not for the Church to become like the world, but for the world to become like the Church! Those who have not yet become Orthodox Christians, though attracted by some aspects, sometimes find Russian (and actually all other) Orthodox bishops authoritarian. However, this is because they have a Protestant, and not Apostolic, understanding of what a bishop is. When bishops reject the secular ‘democratic’ fantasies or support for homosexual ‘marriage’ (doing like the anti-Christian world) of such individuals, they are often very offended. Thus, their criticisms of ‘authoritarianism’ are simply psychologically-motivated self-justifications for their disobedience and secularist mentality, which they justify as their ‘culture’!, but which is in reality not part of the Christian mindset.

Finally, there are those who have been so brainwashed by Western Cold War propaganda and political prejudices that they have become Western cultural nationalists and as a result Russophobes. This Russophobia comes from the Western nationalist secular mentality and refusal to look at the facts of history, trusting rather in incredibly ignorant journalists who pour out their absurdities, paid for by wealthy political groupings. For example, such people will actually believe the propaganda that the Russian Federation State controls the Russian Orthodox Church! They are of course thinking in Anglican terms, since the Church of England is indeed controlled by the British State. This is why if you are a British spy, based in London or Cheltenham, for example, you will not be allowed to join the Russian Orthodox Church, only the Greek. Others will say in a similar vein that they cannot be Russian Orthodox because there are so many abortions and so much corruption in post-Soviet Russia. But this is like saying, I cannot be a Protestant because there are so many abortions and murders in England!

Reasons for Joining the Russian Orthodox Church

The first reason to do this is that the Russian Orthodox Church is by far the biggest of the fourteen Local Churches. Over 75% of all Orthodox are members of the Russian Orthodox Church. More exactly, of 220 million Orthodox Christians in the world, 164 million are members of the Russian Orthodox Church, over a third of whom are not Russians. It is clear that only such a Church can even hope to provide the necessary infrastructure. Indeed many others are dependent on it for this.

Secondly, as we have seen above, the Russian Orthodox world (sometimes called ‘Rus’) is not necessarily Russian in an ethnic sense. The Russian Orthodox Church is by far the most multinational. It has at least seventy nationalities in it, its singing (unlike that of other Local Churches) can be adapted to any language, it has founded independent Churches in Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Autonomous Churches like ROCOR – the Church Outside Russia (centred in New York and catering mainly for the English-speaking world), in Japan and China and has Exarchates (future Autonomous Churches) in Western Europe and South-East Asia. Its culture, like its singing, is very much European, unlike in the Greek Orthodox Church. As a result of its multinational and multilingual qualities, the Russian Orthodox Church can be called ‘Imperial’, though definitely not ‘Imperialist’.

Finally, today the Russian Orthodox Church is politically independent and so is faithful to the Christian Tradition. Thus, it is not controlled by any government, including the State Department in Washington, which fully controls the tiny Greek (Constantinopolitan) Church and which also appointed the leader of the Romanian Church, as well as exerting huge political and financial pressure on Local Churches in small countries like Greece, Cyprus and Georgia. Clearly, only such a large Church as the Russian Orthodox Church can resist pressure from States of any sort to compromise itself and its Christian teachings. With its spiritual treasure-chest of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Communist Yoke, at least 100,000 of them and perhaps many more, of whom some 35,000 have been canonized so far, the Russian Orthodox Church is spiritually resistant. Therefore, it is traditional, for instance faithfully keeping the Orthodox Christian calendar, though it does not consort with the tiny uncanonical sects of extremist ‘old calendarists’, as can be found in Greek Orthodoxy.

Conclusion

Following the golden mean between extremes, the Russian Orthodox Church has attractions. Its weakness is its lack of infrastructure in countries like the UK and in Western Europe in general. Here there are still large areas and cities where you cannot find a single Russian Orthodox Church! Over the last 45 years it has fallen to our lot, as to that of others, to begin to remedy this chronic lack of coverage. Progress is here, but is very slow, as we have to fight against extraordinarily difficult conditions, lack of finance and lack of support. Can you help us?

 

Chamberlain or Churchill?

Political parties are always made up, on the one hand, of people who actually believe in something (conviction politicians) and, on the other hand, of careerists and opportunists, some strong, some weak, but for all of whom the money and power of business sponsors is the main thing. The latter use their chosen party as a mere springboard for (and victim of) their personal ambition and narcissism. They are always willing to sell out on principles for personal gain. In France, for example, no-one can become President without his personal political party, usually set up specifically to fulfil his ambition. In the UK, the division between conviction and career has always been the case in history in both the Conservative and Labour Parties.

In the latter case, this careerism has been clearly visible in recent times in the case of Prime Minister Blair. His policies led to the deaths of thousands as a result of his meddling in several countries and also to tens of billions of British pounds being wasted, in the end bankrupting the country. In the former case we can clearly see the same opportunism in the career of Prime Minister Cameron, in part responsible for the deaths and misery of a great many in Libya. (However, he who opened Pandora’s Brexit box already had as his ancestors both slave-traders and bankers, who financed the Japanese War against Russia 115 years ago).

Some eighty years ago we can see the same thing in the career of the Conservative Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain. When, eighty years ago, on 3 September 1939 the UK finally took the decision to stand up to Hitler, his fate was sealed. For years before Chamberlain had been dilly-dallying with Hitler, cruelly betraying Czechoslovakia, carved up by Nazi Germany, Fascist Hungary and Fascist Poland (many forget the ruthless Polish persecution of Non-Poles and the German-Polish non-aggression pact of 1934). Thus, eventually, even Chamberlain had to stand up for principles, though he proved far too weak to lead, unable (like Theresa May?) to stand up to traitors and collaborationists like Lord Halifax, and he had to be replaced by Churchill.

One national newspaper had on 4 September the headlines: ‘Parliament Surrenders to the EU’. We cannot help recalling that Parliament as such was founded by the genocidal tyrant Cromwell, with a million murders on his hands, whose statue actually still stands outside Parliament. Once more today, the countries which make up the UK are faced with a choice: to live by principle or to swim with the tide of Continental divide and rule drift. Eighty years ago in 1939 it was the same. Now the choice may even come on the Feast of St Andrew the Fool for Christ, 15 October.

The choice, whenever it happens and whoever the Prime Minister is, will be between national identity and lucre. For some the former is higher than the latter. For others, many of them now elderly, only thirty pieces of silver count and the national principle can be betrayed. What will happen? Will Brexit happen? Nobody knows. The country is paralysed by a Business-sponsored Parliament which refuses to implement the will of the people and lacks the courage to hold a General Election.

 

Rue Daru Ends

At its General Assembly meeting, held, typically for it, in a Catholic church in Paris last Saturday, the delegates of the parishes and communities of the small Rue Daru Archdiocese voted by 58% to return to the Russian Orthodox Church and by 42% not to do so. It seems that as a result each community, most of which are tiny, will join whichever Orthodox Church it wishes to – providing of course that any Local Church wants them. (Most Local Churches do not want to take on untrained clergy and individuals who have a reputation as troublemakers, who do not have even their own church buildings and yet believe that, though they are in reality a tiny group of marginals, they stand at the centre of the universe!)

Moldovans who have taken over several previously virtually empty parishes in Paris, including the church on Rue Daru itself, will naturally return to the Russian Orthodox Church, as will those who still consider themselves to belong wholly to the Russian Tradition, as were the first three Rue Daru hierarchs, the last of whom reposed in 1981. Those in Belgium may plead with the Romanian Church to take them, though the Romanian Church is loath to do so. Some in England are looking with hope at Antioch, but again there is no certainty that it will want them. Others have already left for the Bulgarian Church (in Scandinavia) or the Church Outside Russia (in Italy). Some communities will simply be absorbed into local modernist Greek Dioceses and so disappear.

The 77-year old ill French Archbishop Jean, the very last bishop of the anti-monastic and anti-episcopal Rue Daru group, was so upset at the meeting at not getting the two-thirds majority he needed to take the group as a whole back into the Russian Orthodox Church that he threatened to retire. It is the ignominious end of a group founded by rebellious aristocrats and protestantising intellectuals, who, secularized to the extreme, were always prone to personality-driven, French-style rebellions, arguments, splits, libels and threats, a ‘panier de crabes’ as it was called in Paris forty years ago. Indeed the previous Archbishop Job, a schismatic Ukrainian, could only attend the Rue Daru church protected from physical assaults by five burly bodyguards who would stand during the services and escort any protestors out.

Meanwhile at the Greek church in Paris yesterday, Ukrainian schismatics were concelebrating with the notorious Greek Metropolitan Emmanuel. It is said that the Greek plan is to take over the historic Rue Daru church and hand it over to the schismatics. The whole Rue Daru debate has been characterized by the fantasies of priests who do not know how to celebrate services and unChurched but highly politicized laypeople who have no idea what the Church is, how the Church works and what it needs to make a bishop – three other bishops. Now it seems that Rue Daru parishes and communities who do not want to remain in the schismatic Patriarchate of Constantinople will be received back into the Russian Orthodox Church individually, not as a group. As to whether any other Local Church will want the others is unclear.

Over 12 years ago the main part of the Russian emigration, the Church Outside Russia with its Synod of Bishops, some 80% of the emigration, returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. They had understood that the Church in Russia was by then completely free from the Russian State. Clearly the Rue Daru émigré splinter fragment, which had broken away from the Church Outside Russia under political pressure in the 1920s, should have done the same then. This whole death-agony has dragged on for decades too long.  It refused to return and its then Archbishop Gabriel, yesterday’s convert, showed himself to be an intense Russophobe, uncanonically ordaining men priests without first training them and receiving all sorts of dissidents and strange individuals from elsewhere. Here then is the result.

In Memoriam: Archbishop George Tarasov (1893-1981)

The shocking news today, 31 August 2019, is that Archbishop Jean (Renneteau) of Rue Daru has been suspended by the Phanar. The latter appears to have finally lost leave of its senses, having replaced the Archbishop with the Archmodernist married priest Alexis Struve of the Fraternite Orthodoxe (and descendant of the Marxist Struve family, which helped overthrow the Tsar and the Christian Empire). This has scandalized everyone. However, let us recall better days at Rue Daru.

I must have met some hundred bishops in my life. Most were most definitely not saints, two perhaps were: Archbishop Antony of Geneva and Archbishop Antony of San Francisco. However, there were two others who I think were definitely saints: One was Metropolitan Laurus (Shkurla) and the other was Archbishop George (Tarasov). Curiously they both at one time had the same title: ‘of Syracuse’. The first had the title because he lived most of his life near the town of Syracuse in New York State, the other because he bore the title of the ancient Greek town in Sicily, which in 1820 gave its name to the Syracuse in New York State.

Much has been written in English about Metr Laurus, but little about Archbishop George. This latter, like the former, was a faithful bearer of the Russian Church Tradition, who strongly disliked novelties and loved Russian Orthodox piety. Archbishop George accepted everyone, of all nationalities and ages, as I can bear witness; he did not reject the non-intellectual, as some do, making clubs and cliques in tiny inward-looking ‘parishes’ and groups of celibate intellectuals, but equally he did not reject them. His heart was open to all – the clear sign of a saint, for all he wanted to do was to serve all who came and not some particular ethnic group or subculture.

George Tarasov (in the French transliteration Georges Tarassoff) was born in Voronezh in central European Russia on 14 April 1893. He studied at the Technical School in the city and then at the Higher Technical Institute in Moscow, where he graduated in chemical engineering. Later he studied aeronautics and in 1914 volunteered for the Imperial Air Force, which was then by far the largest air force in the world. His life changed in 1916. Aged 23, he was sent to the Western Front, with many other Russian military personnel, to help the faltering French war effort, as a pilot. After the 1917 betrayal of the Tsar, he remained on the Western Front, joining the Belgian Air Force reaching the rank of major.

Major George Tarasov was demobbed in 1919 and settled in Belgium, where he worked for various companies as a chemical engineer from 1921 to 1934.  However, in 1922, aged 29, he married a Russian called Evgenia Freshkop. The photograph of her which he showed us was that of a very gentle and kind woman with softness and nobility in her face. She was a zealous Orthodox. I was later reminded of her on meeting in Paris the delightful matushka of Fr Sergij Chertkov, Ludmila Chertkova, who did so much to soften him, taking off the edges of her husband with her gentle smile and innocent charm.

On 25 March 1928, Georges Tarasov was ordained deacon by Metropolitan Eulogius, who had not yet broken with the Russian Church, and on 3 February 1930, Deacon George reluctantly accepted the priesthood. He was then aged 36. He was appointed rector of the parishes in Ghent and Louvain. However, two years later, he was tragically widowed. He always loved his wife and at the end of his life he would speak to us of her, showing that she had always remained his ideal. He lived for her and patiently waited to meet her on the other side in God’s own time.

In 1933 Fr George was tonsured monk. Seven years later, in 1940, he was appointed rector of St Panteleimon’s parish in Brussels, though he continued to serve other Belgian parishes also. He was an exceptionally zealous and loving pastor, his task was always to serve others. During the German Occupation he was arrested at least twice and one interrogation lasted ten hours non-stop. In Brussels he then came to take over the second parish of St Nicholas, whose rector had been deported to Berlin

In 1945, just before he died, Metropolitan Eulogius at last returned to the Russian Church. However, Fr George was forced to remain under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as his distrusting parishioners refused to return. In 1948 Fr George was made an archimandrite by the new Rue Daru Metropolitan, Vladimir. Then on 4 October 1953 he was appointed Bishop for Belgium and Holland and the few Orthodox under Rue Daru in West Germany, with the title ‘of Syracuse’, though he continued to live in Brussels. Like Metr Eulogius, Metr Vladimir wanted to return to the Russian Church, but this was impossible for as long as the episcopate of that Church was held hostage by the militant atheist government of the Soviet Union.

After Metropolitan Vladimir died at the end of 1959, Fr George was appointed his successor, but received the rank only of archbishop, as Constantinople was downgrading the ever smaller Rue Daru group. Archbishop George continued to be a loving pastor, visiting his small and scattered archdiocese, and notably encouraged the use of French in services, even though he himself spoke it very badly. At the end of 1965, for purely political reasons, the very weak Patriarchate of Constantinople, politically manipulated, dropped the Rue Daru Archdiocese from its jurisdiction.

A month later, on 29 December, Archbishop George was forced by powerful laymen in Paris to proclaim the temporary independence of the Rue Daru Archdiocese. True, he could have returned to either part of the Russian Church, but he could not abandon his flock, who would not have returned with him, as had been the experience of Metr Eulogius in 1945. In the event, just over five years later, in January 1971, Constantinople repented and took back the Diocese.

Now there began a new trial: Archbishop George was increasingly persecuted by modernists and ecumenists from the ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe’, an anti-clerical, anti-monastic, anti-episcopal, mainly lay organization of protestantizing pseudo-intellectuals, many of them prosperous Parisian bourgeois or aristocrats. They would hiss at him at church, boo him and mock him quite openly, of which we are witnesses.

Archbishop George lived in poverty, his clothes bought for him by a faithful parishioner, Barbara Shpiganovich. He continued to serve the faithful, living and departed. One thing he took on himself was to pray for all the departed of his flock, as it was then dying out, and he had thousands and thousands of names. He would begin to commemorate them on Saturday evenings, praying for them far after midnight and then early on Sunday mornings. This was his Proskomidia.

The end of his life, ill and despised, living in his tiny flat and usually robed in a dressing gown, a St Seraphim of Sarov figure, found him in total poverty, with only photos of his past to remind him of happier times. Faithful to the traditions and piety of the Russian Church, he was rejected by the arrogant and persecuting modernists who had come to dominate Rue Daru and would later destroy it, forcing others to leave it. The intensely humble Archbishop George passed away on 22 March 1981 after a long illness. He was aged 87. His last message to his clergy and faithful was: ‘Tell them, I love them all’. His body lies in the crypt of the church of the Russian cemetery of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, south of Paris.

I cannot forget my first encounter with Archbishop George nearly forty years ago, at the Feast of St Sergius on 8 October 1979. I did not know then that I would get to know him better and he would even attend my wedding the following year. Archbishop George was a faithful Russian Orthodox and although he was persecuted by the secularist elements in his flock, he was only waiting to return to a politically free Russian Church. Sadly, he did not live to see that. If he were alive today, there is absolutely no doubt that he would long ago have returned to the Russian Church, as his predecessors also wanted to do. His passing was the turning-point in the history of Rue Daru as after him it descended on the long and sorry path of its absurd Russophobia and so break-up.

To Archbishop George – Eternal Memory

 

Who is Sovereign: Parliament or People?

The UK Prime Minister has decided to suspend the Westminster Parliament for a brief period as it refused to implement the will of the people to leave the European Union. Some are outraged by this, but they forget that the MPs in Parliament were not elected democratically, that is, by a majority of their constituents. In the singularly undemocratic UK system, most governments are in power simply because only 30-35% (not 50% +) of the 65% of the electorate who voted chose their representatives of the government in power. Little wonder that about a third of the electorate do not even bother to vote and cynicism about overpaid and unrepresentative politicians is at an all-time high. Minority governments, and they virtually always are in the UK, do not have respect. The people have been lied to all too often down the generations.

The refusal by MPs to implement the result of the Brexit referendum after three years (!) has proved that most MPs are indeed anti-democratic. The anti-democrats even call for a second people’s vote because, as they say, the people are so stupid that they got it wrong the first time! Such is their patronising elitism. The ruling Conservative Party was indeed put into fifth place at the recent European elections as a result of its failure to respect the electorate. And the then Prime Minister had to resign for failing to implement what she had been chosen to do and had promised to do. Most of those who wanted Brexit were fed up with losing out in the EU and some of them were indeed financially modest; most of those who were opposed to Brexit had profited from the EU and belong to the effete, wealthy and ultra-wealthy, power-loving Establishment class who control all the political parties.

Brexit was then to a large extent the choice of the underclass of 52%, despised and patronised by the Establishment and its condescending BBC propaganda mouthpiece. The people voted against the elite who had ignored them and had expressed contempt for them for nearly half a century. But the worm always turns and so the outrage of the arrogant and anti-democratic Remainers is very hypocritical. With the suspension of the Westminster elite, the present Prime Minister has left his own gilded cage and gambled that the people will be grateful to him. In Brussels the equally oligarchic and unelected elite is worried. If the UK leaves the EU successfully, it is inevitable that other countries (Hungary? Italy? The Czech Lands? Sweden? Denmark? Ireland? Others?) will also leave. The inevitable end of the tyrannical EU is in sight.

But what will replace it?

 

A Public Letter of Support to Archbishop Jean Renneteau of Rue Daru

La diaspora russe, toutes jurisdictions confondues, avait une mission très simple: de rester fidèle à la tradition russe malgré la servitude involontaire de l’episcopat de l’Eglise russe en URSS et en même temps d’apporter la lumière de l’Orthodoxie aux indigènes dans leurs langues occidentales. Les meilleurs représentants de chaque jurisdiction de la diaspora ont fait précisément cela. On peux penser à St Jean de Changhaï de l’Eglise hors Frontieres et à son fils spiritual, l’archévêque Antony de Genève, à Mgr Basile Krivosheine du patriarchat de Moscou à Bruxelles, ou encore à l’archévêque Georges Tarassoff de la Rue Daru (un saint à mon avis; à quand sa canonisation?).

A chaque fois que l’on ne respectait pas la fidèlité à la tradition russe et à la mission dans les langues locales, on se vouait au suicide spiritual. Nous l’avons bien vu avec Mgr Georges Wagner à la Rue Daru, qui détestait l’utilisation des langues locales et a ainsi perdu beaucoup de clergé et de fidèles (par exemple l’actuel Mgr Athénagore (Peckstadt), l’archiprêtre Nicolas Soldatenkoff, l’archimandrite Georges (Leroy) et nous-mêmes, ou à la tentative de Mgr Georges Grabbe de l’EORHF aux Etats-Unis qui avait esssayé de faire de l’Eglise un outil politique et sectaire de la guerre froide, ou à des individus du patriarchat de Moscou, qui, privés du troupeau russe politiquement disaffecté, avaient essayé de recruter des ouailles parmi des occidentaux naïfs avec des résultats lamentables.

Ma matouchka Sabine, (née Sardo), était présente à la Crypte lors de la réception de l’actuel Mgr Jean Renneteau en 1974, qui a été ensuite ordonné par Mgr Georges Tarassoff. Nous le soutenons sans réserve. Il faut que la Rue Daru retourne a l’Eglise-Mère, après avoir perdu son chemin après le décés de Mgr Georges Tarassoff en 1981. L’Eglise hors frontières a fait cette expérience il y a 12 ans et ainsi a affirmé notre victoire contre le sectarisme style vieux-calendariste qui avait infiltré l’EORHF aux Etats-Unis. Aujourd’hui l’EORHF devient l’Eglise orthodoxe du monde anglo-saxon. Depuis peu c’est le patriarchat de Moscou qui a établi son Exarchat de l’Europe Occidentale à Paris, avec bientôt des centaines de paroisses, et devient l’Eglise de l’Europe continentale. C’est maintenant à la Rue Daru, quoique devenue petite, de faire partie de cet Exarchat de l’Europe continental et de lui apporter son expérience pastorale.

L’archiprêtre Andrew Phillips, Angleterre (ancien de Saint Serge)