Author Archives: oeadmin

Resisting Globalisation

new world order

The Life of Christ, Orthodoxy, witnessed three horrible deaths:

Firstly, there was the death of Herod. He who through lust had instituted physical and economic slavery was eaten by worms from inside.

Secondly, there was the suicide of Pilate. He who through cowardice had instituted intellectual and political slavery did away with himself.

Thirdly, there was the suicide of Judas. He who through greed had instituted spiritual and religious slavery, who had replaced the worship of life and the living by the worship of death and the dead, hanged himself and his guts spilled out in his fall.

These three deaths are also the deaths that are necessary if all Christian nation states and legitimate hierarchies are to be liquidated in order to enthrone Antichrist:

Firstly, monarchies had to be destroyed by physical revolutions so that Herod can take control: the English Protestant in 1688; the French Catholic in 1789; the Russian Orthodox in 1917.

Secondly, national sovereignty has had to be destroyed by intellectual revolutions so that Pilate can take control; this means transnational organisations: UN; NATO; IMF; WTO; EU; NAFTA etc

Thirdly, a unipolar Global Empire must be constructed by religious revolutions so that Judas can take control; this means what we are seeing at this very moment, with his capital planned in Jerusalem.

This globalisation, the new feudalisation, the movement towards a unipolar world against a multipolar world, the syncretistic, unionistic movement to prepare the enthronement of Antichrist in Jerusalem, can only be resisted by a united Orthodox Christian Empire. It is time to see visible Orthodox Unity under the Third Rome and Second Jerusalem. Local Churches, fallen into decadent practices, have to remove themselves from their political and spiritual manipulation, from nationalism, protestantisation, vaticantwo-isation, secularisation and modernisation, by spiritual renewal and so movement towards spiritual purity.

With the mighty Russian Orthodox Church, paralysed by its Babylonian captivity and Golgotha, and so absent from the world scene for three generations between 1917 and the 1980s, the manipulated modernist and pro-secular forces on the fringes of and even in the midst of the Local Churches fell into this decadence. Since the canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors, these forces have largely been defeated by the resurrection of the Russian Church, so long awaited and so long prayed for by lonely White Orthodox exiles outside Russia and, in spiritual unity with them, by the people, monastics and faithful clergy of the Church inside Russia.

All is beginning to change as a result and now, whether in the first-fallen Phanar or in Alexandria, Bucharest, Antioch, Athens, Nicosia, Prague, Sofia, Warsaw, and also in sorely tempted Belgrade, Jerusalem, Tbilisi and Tirana, even some repentant secularists are beginning to realise that the choice is clear. It is either the pagan First Rome, the false globalist US/EU path they have already taken or are being bribed into taking, or else the multinational but united Orthodox path of resistance set by the Christian Third Rome, the Second Jerusalem. The resurrection of the Orthodox Empire and Monarchy is now the only path that can and does lead to freedom from global slavery, the only path that can and does lead from death to life, from Judas to Christ.

A Vision for the Future of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

Introduction: Internationally: Metropolitanisation

At the present time, the multinational Russian Orthodox Church is going through a period of restructuring, known as ‘Metropolitanisation’. Thus, inside the huge Russian Federation extremely large dioceses, sometimes covering territories with nominal Orthodox populations of perhaps two to four million and the size of large Western European countries like France, are being divided. Each is becoming a Metropolia, typically with four or five dioceses of some 100 parishes each, led by a Metropolitan in the centre. The aim is to bring the bishops closer to the people. As a result the Church already has nearly 300 bishops, over twice as many as in 1917, as well as hundreds more potential candidates.

In this way the hierarchy of the Russian Orthodox Church is striving to meet its responsibilities towards the faithful. In Moscow in May 2012 His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill made it clear to us that he would like, with time, to see this process extended worldwide to countries outside the canonical Russian Orthodox territory (the territories of the former Russian Empire, apart from Georgia and Poland, plus China and Japan). In other words, we are talking about the territory of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). This would create Metropolias in the large, continental areas of Western Europe, North America, Latin America, Australasia and perhaps also Alaska, formerly called ‘Russian America’.

As was made clear again at the London Conference of October 2012, all Russian Orthodox parishes and monasteries in Western Europe will eventually come under ROCOR administration. (Of five possible Metropolias outside Russia, we would think that perhaps South America and Alaska might initially come under administration from Moscow, whereas North America, Western Europe and Australasia would come under ROCOR). As we suggested as long ago as 1986 and as was published later, such a Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe, probably centred in Paris and with a seminary, could be divided into six dioceses, three Latin-speaking and three Germanic-speaking, and have at least seven bishops. In 2003 Patriarch Alexis II publicly announced this long-awaited hope for a Metropolia in Europe, centred in Paris, as proposed by the then Metropolitan Kyrill.

The six dioceses of such a Metropolia of perhaps 400 churches would be: the French Lands – France, French Switzerland, southern Belgium and Luxembourg (72 million and perhaps 70 churches); Italy, Italian-speaking Switzerland and Malta (62 million and perhaps 60 churches); Iberia – Spain and Portugal (58 million and perhaps 60 churches); the German and Dutch Lands – Germany, Austria, most of Switzerland, the Netherlands and Flemish Belgium (118 million and perhaps 120 churches and therefore two bishops); the British Isles and Ireland (68 million and perhaps 70 churches); Scandinavia – Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland (20 million and perhaps 20 churches; a small number of parishes but a huge territory for one bishop).

In this way, with each of the 400 parishes covering on average a catchment area of about 50 miles (80km) in diameter, about 2,000 square miles (about 5,000 sq km) in area, most of the territory of Western Europe would be covered. We do not as yet have this multinational Metropolia of 400 parishes to cover a population of just under 400 million. However, the British Isles and Ireland, with a population of 68 million, would form the third largest of the six dioceses in it. As we do not build top-down in the Orthodox Church, but build up infrastructure pastorally, no Metropolia can exist without the grassroots. And it is from the grassroots that we could at least look to the possible future and how, both nationally and locally, the British Isles and Ireland and then England could fit into the Patriarchal vision of a larger local diocese of such a Metropolia.

Nationally: The British Isles and Ireland and England

Generally, Scotland, Wales and even Ireland, with a total population of just under 15 million, have lower levels of Orthodox population than England. Nevertheless, we would think of Scotland as having parishes in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and a chapel or monastic pilgrimage centre on Iona. We would conceive of Ireland as having parishes perhaps in Dublin, Belfast, Cork, Derry, Waterford and Galway. We would think of Wales as having parishes in Cardiff, Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor. This would make a total of 16 churches. Obviously locations would depend on local choices; the above are only suggestions. Let us now look in detail at England, which, though small, has nearly 80% of the island population.

map

With an area of just over 50,000 square miles (130,000 sq km) and densely-populated with 53 million people, an average of just over one million per 1,000 square miles, England is divided into nine regions, as shown above. Each has different concentrations of Russian Orthodox inhabitants, but London above all and then the two regions nearest London have the largest concentrations. We would suggest that there should generally be one church, of varying size, for each catchment area of around one million people, given that the local Russian Orthodox population, however irregularly practising, is on average about one in a thousand. This would create potential parishes of around 1,000, although numbers attending on an average Sunday might only be 100-200.

Obviously, the concentration of Russian Orthodox population varies immensely, being highest in London, average in the towns of the South and East, and lowest in the rural areas of the North and the West. Therefore larger churches in Greater London and other very large cities would have very small catchment areas of perhaps only 50 square miles, whereas in the provinces smaller churches might cover between 500 and 2,500 square miles, on average about 1,500 square miles, depending on how rural the surrounding area is.

As can be seen below, there are exactly fifty cities and towns in England with populations of over 100,000. Logically, it is most of these centres of population which should be targeted to establish churches. It is true that a few of these cities and towns already have permanent, public-access, multinational Russian Orthodox churches, although four of these have been established only in very recent years. Notably, this is the case in London, although the parishes there are totally insufficient in number, with only two, one medium and one small, for an urban area population of over 11,000,000. Outside London a few cities and towns have become relatively better equipped – for example, Manchester, Liverpool/Birkenhead, Oxford and Colchester, although there is more to be done even here.

City City Population Urban Area Population
London 7,393,800 11,230,500
Birmingham 985,900 3,202,800
Liverpool 466,600 3,630,100
Sheffield 421,800 1,104,900
Leeds 420,300 1,498,500
Bristol 409,300 614,800
Manchester 394,300 394,300
Leicester 319,100 319,100
Kingston on Hull 309,100 309,100
Coventry 295,000 411,200
Bradford 290,400 290,400
Nottingham 271,400 632,300
Stoke-on-Trent 266,700 266,700
Wolverhampton 258,100 258,100
Plymouth 249,900 249,900
Derby 227,900 227,900
Reading 222,700 222,700
Southampton 211,500 733,600
Newcastle on Tyne 187,200 1,147,200
Preston 183,400 183,400
Sunderland 180,700 180,700
Luton 179,700 179,700
Portsmouth 176,300 176,300
Norwich 173,300 173,300
Bournemouth 161,800 161,800
Southend on Sea 160,900 160,900
Swindon 153,700 153,700
Blackpool 147,500 147,500
Poole 146,000 146,000
Middlesbrough 144,800 692,500
Peterborough 144,800 144,800
Huddersfield 143,500 143,500
Bolton 138,400 138,400
Stockport 133,000 133,000
Ipswich 131,400 131,400
York 126,200 126,200
Brighton 122,500 122,500
Rotherham 122,000 122,000
Oxford 121,700 121,700
Gloucester 117,900 117,900
Watford 115,400 115,400
Slough 113,300 113,300
Blackburn 105,600 105,600
Basildon 104,600 104,600
Saint Helens 104,400 104,400
Northampton 104,100 104,100
Oldham 103,700 103,700
Woking-Byfleet 102,800 102,800
Chelmsford 100,700 100,700
Colchester 100,300 100,300

 

In general, we would suggest that where towns of 100,000 + are near one another, only one permanent church is necessary. For example, from the above list: Sunderland is next to Newcastle; Blackburn and Blackpool are next to Preston; Bolton, Oldham and Stockport are next to Manchester; Rotherham is next to Sheffield; Huddersfield and Bradford are next to Leeds; St Helens is next to Liverpool; Derby is next to Nottingham; Wolverhampton is next to Birmingham; Ipswich, Chelmsford and Southend-on-Sea are next to Colchester; Reading is near Oxford; Basildon, Watford, Woking-Byfleet and Slough would come under London urban area parishes; Portsmouth is next to Southampton, Bournemouth is next to Poole. Only one of these towns need have a church.

Nevertheless, if we were able to plan to provide cover for most of England with permanent, public-access, multinational churches, faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church and calendar, then we would need: in London nine more churches; in Birmingham three churches; in Liverpool two more churches (as there is already one in nearby Birkenhead); one church in each of Sheffield, Leeds, Bristol, Leicester, Hull, Coventry, Nottingham, Stoke, Plymouth, Southampton, Newcastle, Preston, Norwich, Bournemouth, Swindon, Middlesbrough, Peterborough, York, Brighton, Gloucester, Luton (St Albans) and Northampton.

According to the above, we are suggesting the obtaining or building of no fewer than 36 more churches, in addition to the five already established. The aim of this path is to ensure that the Russian Orthodox Church and its liturgical calendar are permanently accessible to the interested population in England, in English and Slavonic. However, even such a minimal schema of establishing a church, whether large or small according to local needs, for about every one million people in the main local centres of population, so that most should not have to travel more than 25 miles in a straight line (so in fact further, as one cannot travel in straight lines) to get to church, means that areas with several towns, but all with populations fewer than 100,000 and relatively more rural areas have been omitted.

For example, even in the above schema there is, surprisingly, no church in Kent, the south-west outside Plymouth, Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Cumbria. Therefore, it would also seem sensible to hope to establish 13 other churches or monastic pilgrimage centres, perhaps in: Canterbury, Exeter, Barnstaple, Truro, Hereford, Worcester, Shrewsbury, Lincoln, Lindisfarne, Carlisle, as well as in Newport in the Isle of Wight, in Douglas in the Isle of Man and in the Channel Islands. This would mean a total of 54 churches in England and altogether 70 churches for the Russian Orthodox portion of the 68 million in the British Isles and Ireland.

Locally: The East of England

What of the Patriarchal vision locally? The East of England is in area the second largest of the nine English regions. It covers the six counties of Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire. The regional population at the 2011 census was 5,847,000, 11% of the total population of England, making this an ‘average’ region. The largest towns are Luton, Basildon, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea, Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Chelmsford and Colchester. This region has an average number of Russian Orthodox, because it is near London and also because it faces Eastern Europe, especially the Baltic States, from where many have come. Therefore, with a population touching six million, though with many in Essex and Hertfordshire living in the Greater London urban area, the region should have five church centres, of which today only one exists.

At present the East of England Orthodox Church (EEOC – a charitable trust) is set up in Colchester (population: 104,390). This trust is the owner of the only permanent, Russian-speaking and English-speaking church in the region which is in Colchester. At present this covers not only its natural catchment area of Essex outside London and Suffolk, but much of the region and even beyond. This natural catchment area of some one and a half million includes Southend-on-Sea (174,300), Ipswich (133,384), where we are helping a new Russian Orthodox mission, Chelmsford (120,000) and several smaller towns like Clacton, near where there is now also a mission, Braintree, Witham, Sudbury and Felixstowe, from where this whole East of England mission began. The local saints are: St Helen, St Botolph, St Cedd, St Osyth, St Edmund.

However, at the present time, because of the lack of permanent Russian-speaking and English-speaking centres faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition and calendar in the region, our flock is drawn from all over the East of England. On occasion it even comes from outside it, from London, the South East and the East Midlands. Therefore, if God wills and if there are faithful who wish this and can make the necessary sacrifices, we should be looking to setting up other permanent, Russian-speaking and English-speaking centres, faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition and calendar. Initially, we would suggest a minimum of four other centres of population as possible locations in addition to Colchester, perhaps as follows:

1. Norwich (173,300). The natural catchment area of about one million covers most of Norfolk and North Suffolk, includes Great Yarmouth (68,317), Lowestoft (64,358), Thetford (21,588) and smaller towns. This area has been our priority for several years, so far without success, with parishioners travelling to us from Norwich every weekend. Local saints: St Walstan, St Edmund, St Felix. Given the very many medieval churches and dedications in this city, perhaps the church could be dedicated to All Saints.

2. Peterborough (144,800). Although just inside Cambridgeshire, the natural catchment area covers towns outside the East of England region, including Boston (58,124), King’s Lynn (42,800), Spalding (28,722) and Wisbech (20,200). Although this catchment area is small, it has a high proportion of Russian Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe and especially the Baltic States and it must be a priority. Local saints: St Peter, St Paul, St Guthlac, St Huna, St Wendreda, Martyrs of Crowland. Given the city’s name, the church should be dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul.

3. St Albans (58,000). Although this is a small town near the much larger Watford and Luton, it would seem only right for historic reasons that a church centre be established precisely here, in the city of the first martyr of the British Isles and dedicated to him. The natural catchment area of some one and a half million covers most of Bedfordshire to the north, Hertfordshire outside London to the south and even the west of Essex. Just to the north of London, it is surrounded by other towns, both larger and smaller. These include: Luton (179,700), Watford (115,499), Harlow (94,365), Stevenage (84,651), Hemel Hempstead (81,143), Bedford (79,190) and several smaller towns. (Watford and Hemel Hempstead are officially included in the Greater London urban area). Local saint: St Alban. The church should be dedicated to St Alban and built in a Roman style and roofed with pantiles, as was the church in Silchester.

4. Cambridge (123,900). The catchment area includes smaller towns in Cambridgeshire, west Suffolk and north-west Essex like Bury St Edmunds (35,015), Haverhill (25,000), Huntingdon (19,830), Newmarket, Saffron Walden and Ely. Although this is a smaller catchment area, it is important because of the very high numbers of Russians at the University of Cambridge. (There are over 1,000 members of the Cambridge Russian Club and over 200 children at the Russian School). Local saints: St Audrey, St Neot, St Ives, St Pandwyna. Given the University here, perhaps the church could be dedicated to the Three Hierarchs.

Colchester and these four towns actually form a cross drawn over the East of England. It is true that there are already other Orthodox groups and missions in the East of England, either using temporary/Anglican premises or else domestic chapels. However, most of these are not Russian Orthodox or exclude those who live by the Church calendar, and all generally cater for only one nationality or national sub-group, for instance, Greek, Romanian or ex-Anglican. In any case, none is permanent and public-access and caters for the multinational, Russian-speaking and English-speaking Russian Orthodox Tradition and calendar. However, all of these chapels and structures play their role too in regional Orthodox life, by looking after individual national groups, whether larger groups from Eastern Europe or small convert chapels with ex-Anglicans. If some would like, on a purely voluntary basis, to join in the above scheme for a local Orthodoxy, all the time remaining in their Mother Churches, obviously that would be welcome.

Conclusion

As an example of a diocese of the future Metropolia, we have taken the British Isles and Ireland, but have focused on that part of the diocese where most Russian Orthodox are concentrated – England. From here we have focused on one region, as a kind of case study – the East of England. We have suggested that in England regional church centres should be established to cover about every one million people, meaning that ideally 54 churches should be established if the needs of the multinational Russian Orthodox population are to be met. At present there are only five such churches – only about one tenth of our initial work has been done.

The fact that we can even discuss such a vision shows, however, a remarkable shift from even a few years ago, when such a thing would have been unimaginable. Of course, these are still abstract propositions, set out only to stimulate thought. In reality, all will depend on the existence of this Metropolia, its infrastructure and suitable personnel, and also on where locally the multinational Russian Orthodox population is concentrated and on its needs, abilities and willingness, both financial ability and, above all, the human willingness to make sacrifices for the Church. We need adequate infrastructure, not only Church buildings, but also Church halls and rooms with toilets, kitchen and car parking, accommodation for clergy and choir directors and investment to provide salaries; but above all, we need people who have faith and want churches.

Some will dismiss all the above suggestions for a Western European Metropolia as fantasy. But given that many large towns and cities in Western Europe already have churches, some of these churches even built in the 19th century, or at least communities, we are talking of perhaps one billion euros to establish this Metropolia of 400 churches. This is an impossibly huge sum for us, but a small sum for a Russian oligarch – for example. Churches come into being through the grace of the Holy Spirit inspiring human motivation, faith. It is true that if there is no faith to be inspired, then there is no hope, for hope is always the result of faith. It is true that all ‘plans’ are therefore only abstract. And realities can often turn out to be very different from our hopes, which have to be blessed in order to become reality. As ever: man proposes, but God disposes.

Appendix

Possible Dedications for Russian Orthodox Churches in the British Isles and Ireland

England

Already existing:

London: The Dormition and All Saints / The Dormition and The Royal Martyrs
Oxford: St Nicholas
Birkenhead: St Elizabeth the Grand Duchess
Manchester: The Protecting Veil
Colchester: St John the Wonderworker / All Saints of the Isles

New

Barnstaple: St Morwenna
Birmingham (3): The Exaltation of the Cross, All Saints of the Isles, St Seraphim of Sarov
Bournemouth: St Edward the Martyr
Brighton: St Andrew the Apostle
Bristol: St Nicholas
Cambridge: Three Hierarchs
Canterbury: Christ the Saviour
Carlisle: St Ninian
Coventry: The Transfiguration
Douglas (Isle of Man): St Maughold
Exeter: St Boniface
Gloucester: All Saints
Hereford: St Ethelbert
Hull: St Hilda
Leeds: The Baptism of the Lord
Leicester: St Thomas the Apostle
Lincoln: St Paulinus
Lindisfarne: St Cuthbert
Liverpool (2): The Baptism of the Lord, St Nicholas
London (9): Holy Trinity, The Resurrection, The Nativity of Christ, Sts Peter and Paul, St Pancras, St George, St Augustine of Canterbury, St Edmund, All the Saints of the Isles
Middlesborough: St Bede the Venerable
Newcastle: St Aidan
Newport (Isle of Wight): St Boniface
Northampton: St Michael the Archangel
Norwich: All Saints
Nottingham: St John the Theologian
Peterborough: Sts Peter and Paul
Plymouth: St John the Baptist
Preston: St John Chrysostom
St Albans: St Alban
Saint Helier: St Helier
Sheffield: The Ascension
Shrewsbury: St Winifred
Southampton: Sts Peter and Paul
Stoke on Trent: The Meeting of Christ
Swindon: The Resurrection and St Alfred
Truro: St Michael the Archangel
Worcester: The Annunciation
York: Sts Constantine and Helen

Scotland

Aberdeen: Sts Peter and Paul
Dundee: St Nicholas
Edinburgh: St Andrew the Apostle
Glasgow: St Kentigern
Inverness: The Resurrection
Iona: St Columba

Ireland
Belfast: The Transfiguration
Cork: St Finbar
Derry: The Resurrection
Dublin: St Patrick
Galway: St Brendan the Voyager
Waterford: St Brigid

Wales
Aberystwyth: St David
Bangor: St Deiniol
Cardiff: St Nicholas
Swansea: The Resurrection and Sts Julius and Aaron

The Vision of Mr Gibbes

A Talk Given at St Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Oxford on 23 March 2013 after the Memorial Service at Archimandrite Nicholas’ Grave in Headington Cemetery.

Photo of Mr GibbesCharles Sydney Gibbes, for short Sydney Gibbes, was born 137 years ago, on 19 January 1876. In the 19th century this was the feast day of St John the Baptist, the voice that cried in the wilderness. His parents were called John and Mary – more English than that you cannot find. His father was a bank manager in Rotherham, just outside Sheffield, in Yorkshire. Amusingly, this would later be recorded by a Russian civil servant on Sydney’s residence papers in Russia as ‘Rotterdam’.

With no fewer than ten siblings, Sydney grew up into a stereotypical, Victorian, Protestant young man of the educated classes. He received this education at Cambridge, where he changed the spelling of his surname to Gibbes, from Gibbs, as the adopted form is the older, historical one. This change was typical of his love of detail and historical accuracy. Sydney is described as: severe, stiff, self-restrained, imperturbable, quiet, gentlemanly, cultured, pleasant, practical, brave, loyal, honourable, reliable, impeccably clean, with high character, of good sense and with agreeable manners. e 2wasHe seems the perfect Victorian gentleman – not a man with a vision.

However, as we know from history, underneath Victorian gentlemen lurked other sides – repressed, but still present. For example, we know that he could be stubborn, that he used corporal punishment freely, that he could be very awkward with others, almost autistic, as we might say today, and he is recorded as having quite a temper, though these traits mellowed greatly with the years. Dmitri Kornhardt recalled how in later life tears would stream down Fr Nicholas’ face when conducting services in memory of the Imperial Martyrs, but how also he would very rapidly recover himself after such unEnglish betrayals of emotion.

Underneath the Victorian reserve there was indeed a hidden man, one with spiritual sensitivity, who was not indifferent to ladies and interested in theatre and theatricals, spiritualism, fortune-telling and palmistry, and one who was much prone to recording his dreams. Perhaps this is why, when after University he had been thinking of the Anglican priesthood as a career, he had found it ‘stuffy’ and abandoned that path. Talking to those who knew him and reading his biographies, and there are three of them, we cannot help feeling that as a young man Sydney was searching for something – but he knew not what. The real man would out from beneath his Victorian conditioning.

Perhaps this is why in 1901, aged 25, he found himself teaching English in Russia – a country with which he had no connection. Here he was to spend over 17 years. The key moment came in autumn 1908 when he went to the Imperial Palace in Tsarskoe Selo and became the English tutor of the Imperial children. In particular, he became close to the Tsarevich Alexis, with whom he identified very closely. Why? We can only speculate that there was a sympathy or else complementarity of characters; together with Sydney’s bachelordom, this may have been enough for the friendship to develop. In any case, he became almost a member of the Imperial Family and their profound and lifelong admirer of their exemplary Christian Faith and kindness.

In August 1917 Sydney found himself following the Family to Tobolsk. Utterly loyal to the Family, in July 1918 he found himself in Ekaterinburg, after the unimaginable crime in the Ipatiev House had taken place. He helped identify objects, returning again and again to the House, picking up mementoes, which he was to cling on to until the end, and still reluctant to believe that the crime had taken place. Coming almost half way through his life when he was aged 42, this was without doubt the crucial event in that life, the turning point, the spark that made him seek out his destiny in all seriousness. With the murder of the Family, the bottom had fallen out of his life, his raison d’etre had gone. Where could he go from here?

He did not, like most, return to England. We know that he, like Tsar Nicholas, had been particularly shocked by what he saw as the British betrayal of the Imperial Family. Indeed, we know that it was the scheming Buchanan, the British ambassador to St Petersburg, who had been behind the February 1917 Revolution and deposition of the Tsar. This had been much greeted by the treacherous Lloyd George as the ‘achievement of one of our war aims’. (We now also know that it had been British spies who had assassinated Rasputin and also that the Tsar’s own cousin, George V, had refused to help the Tsar and His Family escape).

In fact, disaffected by Britain’s politics, from Ekaterinburg Sydney went east – to Siberian Omsk and then further east, to Beijing and then Harbin. Off and on he would spend another 17 years here, in Russian China, Manchuria. In about 1922 he suffered a serious illness. His religiosity seems to have grown further and after this he would go to study for the Anglican priesthood at St Stephen’s House in Oxford. However, for someone with the world-changing experience he had had, that was not his way; perhaps he still found Anglicanism ‘stuffy’. Finally, in 1934, in Harbin, he joined the Russian Orthodox Church.

There is no doubt that he did this as a direct result of the example of the Imperial Family, for he took the Orthodox name of Alexis – the name of the Tsarevich. He was to describe this act as like ‘getting home after a long journey’, words which perhaps describe the reception into the Orthodox Church of any Western person. Thus, from England, to Russia and then to China, he had found his way. In December 1934, aged almost 59, he became successively monk, deacon and priest. He was now to be known as Fr Nicholas – a name deliberately taken in honour of Tsar Nicholas. In 1935 he was made Abbot by Metr Antony of Kiev, the head of the Church Outside Russia and later he received the title of Archimandrite.

Wishing to establish some ‘Anglo-Orthodox organisation’, in 1937 Fr Nicholas Gibbes came back to live in England permanently. He was aged 61. Of this move he wrote: ‘It is my earnest hope that the Anglican Church should put itself right with the Holy Orthodox Church’. He went to live in London in the hope of setting up an English-language parish. In this he did not succeed and in 1940 he moved to Oxford. In this last part of his life in Oxford, as some here remember, he became the founder of the first local Russian Orthodox chapel at 4, Marston Street, where he lived in humble and modest circumstances. In recalling the address of that first chapel dedicated to St Nicholas, we cannot help recalling that today’s St Nicholas church, where we speak, is off Marston Road, and not so very far away from Marston Street.

Not an organiser, sometimes rather erratic, even eccentric, Fr Nicholas was not perhaps an ideal parish priest, but he was sincere and well-respected. In Oxford he cherished the mementoes of the Imperial Family to the end. Before he departed this life, on 24 March 1963, an icon given to him by the Imperial Family, was miraculously renewed and began to shine. One who knew him at the time confirmed this and after Fr Nicholas’ death, commented that now at last Fr Nicholas was seeing the Imperial Family again – for he had been waiting for this moment for 45 years. He was going to meet once more those who had shaped his destiny in this world.

In the 1980s I met in an old people’s home in Paris Count Komstadius. He had met Fr Nicholas in 1954, but perhaps had seen him before, since his father had been in charge of the Tsarskoe Selo estate and he himself had been a childhood friend of the Tsarevich. I remember in the 1980s visiting him. In the corner of his room in front of an icon of the martyred Tsarevich there burned an icon-lamp. He turned to me and said: ‘That is such a good icon, it is just like him and yet also it is an icon’. Not many of us lives to see a childhood playfriend become a saint and have his icon painted. Yet as a young man in his thirties Fr Nicholas had known a whole family, whom he considered to be saints. Indeed, he had been converted by their example.

There are those who have life-changing experiences. They are fortunate, because they stop living superficially, stop drifting through life and stop wasting God-sent opportunities. Such life-changing experiences can become a blessing if we allow them to become so. Fr Nicholas was one such person, only his life-changing experience was also one that had changed the history of the whole world. For a provincial Victorian Yorkshire bank manager’s son, who had grown up with his parents John and Mary, he had come very far. And yet surely the seeds had been there from the beginning. To be converted we first of all need spiritual sensitivity, a seeking spirit, but secondly we also need an example. Fr Nicholas had had both, the example being the Imperial Martyrs. As the late Princess Koutaissova, whom many of us knew, said of his priesthood: ‘He was following his faithfulness to the Imperial Family’.

In this brief talk I have not mentioned many aspects of Fr Nicholas’ life, such as his possible engagement, his adopted son, his hopes in Oxford. This is because they do not interest me much here. I have tried to focus on the essentials, on the spiritual meaning of his life. Those essentials are, I believe, to be found in his haunted and haunting gaze. Looking at his so expressive face, we see a man staring into the distance, focusing on some vision, both of the past and of the future. This vision was surely of the past life he had shared with the martyred Imperial Family and also of the future – his long hoped-for meeting with them once more, his ‘sense of completion’.

To the Ever-memorable Archimandrite Nicholas: Eternal Memory!

One Thousand Words of a Lament for Europe

Though blind the seed and dull the earth,
Yet sweet shall be the flower.

John Masefield, The Box of Delights

Seventeen hundred years ago the Roman world, and so Europe, accepted the Edict of Milan, meaning that it accepted Orthodox Christianity as the Faith in the Incarnation of God. So Orthodox Christianity left the catacombs and became the faith incarnate in the Roman Empire. Having given up on ever Christianising pagan Rome, the Emperor Constantine moved his Capital from the spiritually provincial West, eastwards to Jerusalem, to the heart of things. Here, uniting Asia and Europe, he founded New Rome, the Centre of the Christian Roman Empire, its symbol the double-headed eagle, looking east and west. And so the Dark Ages became the Age of Light, the Age of the Saints. Although this Age of Light was to darken in the eleventh century at the Western end of Europe, it has continued in the Centre and all around it, spreading far to the north and east, despite all the assaults from left and right.

It was much later, at the dawn of the thirteenth century, that in a rage of jealousy the barbarian forces of Old Rome bloodily looted the Capital of the Christian Roman Empire. Thus, they set themselves against Orthodox Christianity, ever since attempting to desecrate her, most notably invading her new northern Centre in 1612, 1812, 1854, 1914 and 1941. Today the new Roman Empire is based in the former European colony in Washington, but its local representative is the EU. Using the global media as its paid subservient tool, it sets about demonising its enemies, that is, those who have natural resources which it covets, and then attacks them with its legions, both electronic and physical. After Russia 95 years ago, today Syria is the latest victim of the Empire’s intolerance, according to which everyone must be the same – an imitation of it. A new, debaptised Soviet Union reigns in the West, its obsessing and possessing demons in charge.

Over the last century, we have seen the old demons of Europe resurfacing from beneath its smooth, polite, but superficial facade, as can be seen in its Hollywood reflections. We feel as if the wheel of history is drawing ever nearer to its full revolution – and the end. Old Europe is starting to die, the best of the European culture, which we have tried to save, sung out in a fado, a nostalgic lament, crossways, from Tromso to Valetta, from Dublin to Warsaw, from Reykjavik to Zagreb, from Lisbon to Tallinn. As Old Europe gradually throws off the last vestiges of its Christian culture and New Europe rises from its ancient murky depths where we thought we had buried it for ever, it returns to the pride of Roman pagan times. With the speed of thought, it returns to its self-justified and legitimised depravity and permanent war, sending out its legions to destroy peace-loving peoples all over the world, returning to Sodom and Gomorrah.

The old watchwords are forgot, as step by step new ones take over human minds, their hearts emptied so that there can be no resistance. Within our lifetimes we have seen the Americanisation of Monetarisation, which first appeared in Europe in its United Kingdom colony in 1979. This movement of greed, the idolatry of Mammon, spread throughout Europe and came to rule the world until its bubble crashed five years ago. Now it is too late to go back, human relations are ever more governed by money and debt. Plutocrats and banksters handed out money that did not exist, indebted deluded Europeans and now nobody can pay back even the interest on that non-existent money. So Europe is enshackled in its self-made chains. Europe is seeing its Thirdworldisation through its enslavement to debt. There is a sort of retribution in this. As you do unto others (as Europe did to the Third World), so has it been done unto Europe itself.

In its financial and human aspect, 2012 was a hard year in Europe, especially in the south, in Greece, Spain, Portugal, and in the east, in EU-captive Eastern Europe, in Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Baltics, but increasingly everywhere else in the EU. Some Europeans go hungry, but its elite seems to grow fat. And 2013 looks no better, indeed even harder. Having abandoned the thoughts of the heart, the new Europe retains only the thoughts of its wayward reason. Impoverishment is the future, but here too there is a sort of retribution. Just as Europe once impoverished the Third World, so now it is impoverished by itself, caught in the trap of its own making. The problem is that humanity could deal with the Old Magic, but the New Magic, the high-tech sort, is different. Only Divine Intervention can now deal with this Brave New Europe, which is controlled and manipulated by a net which extends all around the planet.

Unfortunately, spoilt European humanity resists that very Divine intervention, like a very sick patient who rejects his medicine. Indeed, he does not even admit that he is sick, but in his delusion protests his good health. Only if this blind and dull Europe digs down deep, finding the way into what was, will it know what is and what will be. So it will postpone its apocalypse, which it is now creating for itself by its ‘crusading’ and meddling in the Middle East, where it is preparing the coming of him who will be. But Europe could still find its sweet flower once more. For if the West does dig down, there, underneath all its delusions it will find the very beautiful and wise people of the Age of the Saints, whom it long ago drove out from itself in its intolerance. Always in hope, we await that time, for then Wisdom will replace wayward Western reason, Goodness its evil, Beauty its ugliness, Mercy its greed, and Joy its pain.

1 January 2013

The Spiritual Meaning of Russian Orthodoxy

Foreword

God granted northern Eurasia, all the riches of the northern third of half the planet, to the Church, specifically to Holy Rus or Russian Orthodoxy. This vast territory was not stolen by warlike massacre, as was North America, but was granted by peaceful expansion. It was granted for the benefit and welfare of all Orthodox. All the other spiritual centres of the Orthodox world, Jerusalem, Mt Athos, Serbia, Georgia and many more, have always looked to Holy Rus for its protection. If these resources are not used for this benefit of all, they will be taken away from those who steward them, as they were in 1917, for the sin of nationalist selfishness.

In its essence, and not in its deformations, Holy Rus is Multinational Orthodoxy. Untrammelled by politics of left or right, it is 75% of World Orthodoxy, free, unlike many other Local Orthodox Churches. These have had to face Westernisation (like Roman Catholicism) through, for example, modernism and the new calendar, as in the Greek and Balkan Churches; or else fragmentation (like Protestantism) through, for example, tiny sectarian and nationalistic movements, as in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and in innumerable old calendarist sects. The Westernised have to some extent become puppets of Western powers. Therefore, Holy Rus, now freed, reunited and being restored, has an all the more vital significance.

The Faith of Holy Rus

This principal part of the Church of Christ proclaims Her Trinitarian Faith in Father, Son and Holy Spirit and incarnates it in three words. These are:

Orthodoxy

This does not mean some reactionary, erastian State ideology, run by a Protestant Procurator. It means the Church Christianity of Christ, Incarnate in life, the Living Gospel, the Word of God given to all mankind.

Sovereignty

This does not mean the ‘Autocracy’ of Western Absolutism. It means the people’s monarchy, the opposition to the Absolutist dictatorship of money, so-called ‘democracy’, which rules over the Western world today.

People

This does not mean some narrow, chauvinistic, Western-style nationalism. It means all the peoples of the world, who receive the call of the Holy Spirit and respond to the Spirit in and through the Church of God.

Afterword

In our own times the Russian Orthodox world, inside and outside Russia, has endured Gethsemane and Golgotha. Holy Rus was crucified by and for the sins of the Western world of the last thousand years. Today, the Resurrection is beginning, both inside and outside Russia. These experiences of Crucifixion and Resurrection are the meaning and destiny of Russia, the key to world history and the promise of universal salvation in the last times. This promise of universal salvation is our White Ideal, the Trinitarian Ideal of Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and People, of the Faith of God’s Church, Sovereign over all, and preached to all the peoples of the Earth, not least to Christianising China.

Today, the Western world and Western Europe in particular are not facing Secularisation or Islamisation – Mcworld or Jihad – but Secularisation and Jihad. Why this twofold spiritual catastrophe? It is because the Western world and Western Europe in particular have forgotten their roots and overlaid them by layer after layer after layer spiritual impurity, of idolatrous worship of the world. Having quite literally rejected the Spirit from the Father through its change of Creed, that World lost first the Divinity of the Son, then of the Father, and so now the Divine destiny of mankind. Having rejected the Holy Trinity, it now faces the hell that it has created. Other nations are coming to replace it.

Holy Apostle Andrew the First-Called
30 November /13 December

The New World Disorder Goes On

Statistics from the 2011 UK census, just released, show that 59% of the population of England and Wales still calls itself Christian. This figure is down from 72% in 2001. Clearly, the fall is because the older generation, who are nearly wholly nominal Christians, is dying out. It is surprising that this figure for even nominal Christianity is still so high. We would have thought less than 50%. (The figure for practising Christians is probably about 3%). At the same time, this census has not surprisingly revealed that over a quarter, 25%, of the population has no religion at all.

Clearly, the figure of 59% who call themselves Christians has been boosted by the massive immigration to the UK since 2001. Immigrants have been admitted by governments greedy to exploit the hard work of Christians from Eastern Europe, especially Poland, and Africa. (True, governments have also been greedy to exploit the masses of poor Muslim immigrants allowed into the country in recent years – but with cultural consequences which they will live to regret. See: http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2012/dec/11/census-2011-religion-race-education).

Other Western European countries report figures very similar to Britain for apostasy and mass atheism. It is clear that practising Christians today are a very small minority in all Western European countries. Moreover, it is a minority that is already undergoing indirect persecution. Unless there is an as yet unforeseeable movement of repentance, this persecution will become direct. By 2021, the figure for nominal Christians could easily be as low as 40%, perhaps less. Even in the USA, the number of ‘Christians’ is falling fast. (And most of these seem to be sectarians, compromised by poor education, US nationalism and happy-clappy fundamentalism, which trends have supported the extremes of the Republican Party).

All this comes against a background of direct worldwide persecution of Christianity in Africa and Asia. Nigeria, Mali, the Sudan, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia are only some of the countries concerned. Millions of Christians there have been massacred in recent decades. Today, the Copts of Egypt are being severely persecuted, thanks to the seizure of power by the Western-backed Muslim Brotherhood. However, the most serious situation of all is in Syria. Here the Orthodox Patriarch has just died. His flock, once concentrated in western Syrian centres like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs, is being scattered and murdered. We cannot help thinking that Patriarch Ignatius, who always supported Pan-Arab nationalism, must have died of a broken heart at seeing his country and people being torn to pieces, victims of geopolitics and greed.

The latest anti-Syrian fantasy accusation is that the Syrian government is set to use chemical weapons against its own people. This is nonsense. Its stocks of chemical weapons only exist out of fear that Western-armed and financed, nuclear Israel, whose stockpiles of chemical weapons are 180 time superior to that of Syria, may use its chemical weapons against Syria. This fantastic accusation is an excuse, as were the invented, non-existent ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq an excuse; international rumour has it that Western nations together with Islamists are planning an attack on Syria at the end of December and the assassination of the Syrian President.

The curious thing about the whole anti-Christian Arab winter is that the aggressive, secularist and anti-religious West has allied itself with Muslim fanatics against Christianity. Of course, we should not find this curious. The West already did this in Afghanistan in the 1980s, arming to the hilt those it now calls ‘Taliban insurgents’, but then ‘heroic freedom-fighters’. And the British did the same in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, freely allowing the Ottomans to persecute and massacre the Christians of the Balkans. And when Turkey, taking advantage of the Western-organised revolution in Russia in 1917 to massacre one million Armenians, the West was also silent. Today the US and the UK continue to allow Turkey to occupy 40% of Cyprus and massacre the Kurds and persecute Greeks and Armenians. But then of course the UK itself gassed the Iraqi Kurds in the 1930s and the Western Powers supplied Iraq with poison gas to massacre its Kurds in the 1980s.

The meeting of diametrically opposed extremes is nothing new. Did not the Romans and the Jews connive to crucify Christ? Did not Roman Catholic Crusaders and Muslim Turks connive to destroy the Capital of Christendom and the millennium-old Roman Christian Empire? Did not the Mongols and the Teutonic Knights attempt to destroy Russia under St Alexander Nevsky? Did not German generals and American capitalists connive to finance the Russian Revolution? Did not NATO and Albanian Muslim terrorists connive to steal the most ancient part of Serbia?

Today, Syria is the target of the extremists. Islamist mercenaries, especially from Libya, Qatar, the Caucasus and Central Asia, are being shipped in and armed by the US. Qatar wants to put a gas pipeline through Syria to supply Western Europe with natural gas. Turkey wants the same pipeline to go through its territory too. The stakes are all the higher, for it is now known that Syria too has huge reserves of natural gas, which have not yet been exploited by Western companies – as they are now doing with impunity in Libya. And if Syria falls back into the Middle Ages because of Islamic fundamentalism, the West will rejoice; such backwardness will allow it to exploit the country at will.

The massacre and exile of a million or two Syrian Christians is not going to stop this. However, although the West was left free to take over Libya, it is not being left free to seize power in Syria. Syria has friends, first of all, in China. And the West fears China’s economic power. Secondly, there is Russia, which hopes to extend the already-existent Eurasian Union to the whole Orthodox Christian and Central Asian world. And thirdly, there is Islamist Iran, which is hostile to atheism. If the new atheist West really wants to spark a Third World War, it really is doing its best. We live in dangerous times. The 17 US Navy ships, the 5 British ships, the French aircraft carrier and those of other nations at present gathered off Syrian coasts, and the forces at the US bases in Turkey, Kuwait and in the Gulf, spell danger.

St James the Great-Martyr of Persia / Iran
27 November/10 December 2012

On the Future Multinational Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe

2002: A Premature Plan for Local Autonomy

It was in 2003 that His Holiness Patriarch Alexis made the long-awaited announcement about setting up an Autonomous Russian Orthodox Metropolia for Western Europe (1). Nearly ten years on nothing has happened. To understand why, we must first realise that the situation of the Russian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora at that time was very different from that of today.

The concept of an Autonomous Western European Metropolia was in reality a direct response to the desire of Archbishop Sergiy of the Paris Exarchate (’Rue Daru’) to return directly to the Mother-Church, only gaining Autonomy. In this way, Archbishop Sergiy would bypass the intermediary Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, or ROCOR, the Church authority for the Russian Diaspora, founded by the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Tikhon in 1920. It was from ROCOR that the Rue Daru splinter had broken off for political reasons after that saintly Patriarch’s death (probably martyrdom) in 1925.

Thus, seeing that the three generations of paralysis and subservience of the Church inside Russia to atheist government were over in 2000, Archbishop Sergiy of the Exarchate wanted his Rue Daru group to return to the Russian Church. He clearly saw, as we personally had already seen by 1988 (2), that Rue Daru had no future under the Greek Patriarchate of Constantinople in Turkey, and even less of a future as a tiny uncanonical group attached to no Local Church, as it had already been for nearly six years, from late 1965 to early 1971 (3).

In his desire for Autonomy, Archbishop Sergiy was influenced by the ‘Orthodox Church in America’ or ‘OCA’. This was, and still is for the moment, a small American group, which had also left the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 1925 (later returning to it for over a decade but, tormented by politics, leaving it again). In 1970, at the height of the Cold War, this group had received still much-disputed, full independence, or Autocephaly, from the Church inside Russia. Having seen this thirty years before, Archbishop Sergiy wanted something similar for his Paris-based group. However, much smaller still than the OCA, his group could not, he knew as a realist, receive a premature or dubiously canonical Autocephaly, but it could receive limited internal independence, or Autonomy.

Therefore, after the turning-point of the Jubilee Council of the Church inside Russia in 2000, which at last showed it to be free of the Russian State by meeting the demands of ROCOR (4), Patriarch Alexis and Archbishop Sergiy conducted negotiations to ease Rue Daru’s way back into the Russian Church. We shall never know whether return this would have been possible, because too early, in 2003, Archbishop Sergiy suddenly died. After this, although Patriarch Alexis made the historic announcement, Archbishop Sergiy’s successors fell into the sort of Russophobic politics, to which many Rue Daru members have always been prone.

Moreover, in 2002, the idea had been to appoint the controversial and divisive personality of Metropolitan Antony Bloom as head of the Metropolia (3), but in 2003 he also died. Given the 2006 modernist schism (5) within Metr Antony’s former Diocese on the part of a small group that left for Rue Daru, claiming to be following the ‘legacy’ of Metr Antony Bloom, we shall never know whether this appointment would have been successful or catastrophic. We shall never know either, whether the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in whose jurisdiction Rue Daru then was, as still today, would even have released Rue Daru to return to its Mother-Church. However, all these considerations are purely academic, because they were overtaken by other much more important events.

2012: A Mature Plan for Worldwide Autonomy

These events were the reconciliation between the Church inside Russia and the vast majority of the Russian emigration, who belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, or ROCOR. This took place in 2007, after protracted and detailed negotiations which had effectively begun in 2003 and the All-Diaspora San Francisco Council of ROCOR in 2006. Thus the Russian Orthodox Church, the ROC, was reunited. Outside Russia, where the reunited Church is largely represented by the Autonomous ROCOR, there are many bishops, clergy and laypeople in some forty countries, including in Australasia, Indonesia, Thailand, Pakistan, Jerusalem, the Americas, North, Central and South, and all over Western Europe. This is a multinational and multilingual Church.

In October 2012 all bishops of the Russian Orthodox Diaspora met in London and celebrated the fifth anniversary of the reconciliation between the Church inside Russia and ROCOR. Here, for the first time, we began to see the structures of the future ROCOR. As is natural, the still remaining historic fragments of the Church inside Russia in the Americas and Western Europe are to be gradually absorbed into the new ROCOR. Its administrative centre will probably remain in New York, as now. However, initially, it will probably have three Metropolitan Areas: one for the Americas, with its senior Metropolitan and main seminary; one for Western Europe, with its Paris seminary and new Cathedral, which is about to be built; and one for the vast and numerous Australasian Diocese. Each Metropolitan Area will be built on dioceses and deaneries with their own bishops and deans.

Whether fragments of the OCA or Rue Daru will want to participate in the new ROCOR, we cannot say. It is entirely up to them. As regards the OCA, it now has no fewer than four Metropolitans, three of whom are ‘retired’, one of whom wishes to leave it; it also faces possible bankruptcy and has many scandals and internal divisions from its tragic past to deal with. As regards Rue Daru, having missed the boat, with its last, lone bishop now so tragically ill – our prayers are with him, since we well remember him when he was a young priest – lay factions are jostling for power and it faces ghettoisation as a result of its chosen path of isolationism.

It may well be that the more Orthodox parts of both jurisdictions will return to ROCOR in its new and united form. Perhaps, since Rue Daru, like the OCA, is increasingly dependent on newly-emigrated Russians for clergy, singers, finance and the living Tradition, few will wish to remain outside the reunited Russian Orthodox Church. However, some, who have lost the Tradition and so their identity, will probably accept the same fate as the Carpatho-Russian Diocese in North America. Dying out, this has recently had to accept the humiliation of a Greek Bishop, meaning that its traditions will be swallowed up, disappearing into the Church of Constantinople.

Some in Rue Daru will certainly prefer to stay under the Greek Metropolitan in Paris. There they are free to ‘innovate’ within the Westernised and US-financed, new-calendarist Patriarchate of Constantinople, without the discipline of the authentic Russian Church Tradition. This suited (and suits) uprooted the dissident Parisian dreamers and philosophers of Rue Daru. They are, after all, descendants of pre-Revolutionary dissidents and freemasons (‘intelligenty’), who actually supported the genocidal anti-Russian Revolution. They want not ‘Western Orthodoxy’, that is Russian Orthodoxy in its missionary integrity in Western languages, venerating the local saints of the West, but a ‘Westernised Orthodoxy’. That is an unrepentant and self-justifying, self-exalted semi-Orthodoxy, protestantised, uniatised, sanitised, sterilised, salt without its savour, so that it is spiritually nearly dead.

This latter never suited the many, more solid and down-to-earth Non-Parisians, among them Archbishop Sergiy, who was from Brussels, and the many others who, seeing the writing on the wall, began to quit Rue Daru from the 1980s on. As regards when this will come to pass, all remains uncertain – except for one thing. This is that the multinational and multilingual Autonomous Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe, part of the Autonomous Worldwide ROCOR, will be built on the canonical foundations of the catholicity of the Church, and not on local French masonic philosophy, disincarnate Origenistic intellectualism, or any other type of modernistic thinking. Anything premature or partial, as in the project of 2002, will not survive. As it is said: Man proposes, but God disposes.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,
Colchester, England

7/20 December 2012
St Ambrose of Milan

Notes:

1. http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/lawaited.htm
2. http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/oewesteu.htm. At the time this visionary document, requested by Archbishop George, was entirely rejected by the then Rue Daru Archbishop George (Wagner). He did not want to know anything of any multinational and multilingual Diocese, even though that is what he already had. His personal tragedy was that in principle he wanted to be faithful to the Russian Church, but he only understood this as a narrow faithfulness to a language, Church Slavonic. Thus, in reality, he allowed modernist, Non-Russian customs to take over his Diocese, while remaining ferociously opposed to the use of local languages – those very languages which his flock used and understood. Obviously, feeling rejected by him as human-beings, many left his diocese as a result. Long before Archbishop Sergiy’s belated attempts to save the day, this suicidal policy was already the beginning of the end for Rue Daru.
3. http://www.orthodoxie.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Conf_P_Nicolas.pdf?75c1d8
4. These were: a) The condemnation and rejection of erastian subservience to the militant atheist Soviet State, known as ‘Sergianism’; b) The subsequent and long overdue canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors, who had suffered under the atheists; c) The rejection of religious syncretism or so-called ‘Ecumenism’.
5. ‘Schism’ is the precise term used by Patriarch Alexis at the time. (I was the official translator of the documents).

2013: On Russia’s Future Direction

The ruthless atheist Gorbachov and the alcoholic Yeltsin were great destroyers of Russia. They allowed the tearing asunder of the historic country, which it had taken its rulkers centuries to assemble, encouraging the ultra-capitalist sell-off of public assets to criminals, future oligarchs, (‘privatisation’) and profound corruption. At the same time they made the last 22 years of Western-fomented permanent warfare in the world possible.

The current President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, is intent on correcting the present deviation of history, hoping to end both its unipolarity, by strengthening the Eurasian Union, and its plutarchy, by introducing a luxury tax. It is plutarchy, government by a tiny, ultra-rich elite, that is responsible for worldwide poverty, the current artificial banking crisis and the bankruptcy of most Western countries.

Despite Putin’s weaknesses, he is attempting to weave together a New Russian / Eurasian synthesis which is called on to replace the present oligarchic system. This synthesis includes strong, sovereign government that regulates society, providing social justice with real employment, accommodation, health care and education for all. However, it also includes free market competition for business, without State capitalism, and personal and collective responsibility, founded on hard work and honesty, the cultivation of spiritual values and national identity. It opposes the Godless, materialist West, which already exported and tried to impose permanently its atheist materialism on Imperial Russia in 1917.

Exploiting Russia’s many weaknesses, it achieved success for a time. However, after the Western Fascist Invasion of 1941, the multinational country very slowly and very painfully began to heal itself. Incredibly, in 2012 this long-drawn out healing process is still ongoing. Many of the hangovers of Soviet times still have to be overcome. Place names have to be changed, statues removed and the mummy of the evil pharaoh Lenin, has to be taken away. And then there are Soviet psychological reflexes. Much has been done – but much remains to be done.

As reported by the RIA-Novosti Agency (http://en.rian.ru/russia/20121212/178101146.html), President Putin set out his vision for the future on Wednesday 12 December. In his state-of-the-nation address in Moscow, President Putin said that the coming years would be turning points in Russian and World history, that Russia needed to be economically independent, preserving its national and spiritual identity.

He explained that ‘three-child families should be the norm’. He added that Russian society lacks the ‘spiritual braces’ to hold it together, and that it should look to education and ‘traditional values’ to change that situation, thus reversing ‘the trends of the last 15-20 years’. He noted that, ‘It pains me to speak of this… but Russian society today lacks … kindness, sympathy, compassion towards one another, support, and mutual assistance; it lacks those qualities that always made us stronger throughout our long history’.

He went on to say that while government interference in people’s convictions and views smacks of ‘totalitarianism’ and is ‘absolutely unacceptable’, the government should focus on strengthening society’s ‘spiritual and moral foundations’ through education and youth policy. He has instructed the government to prepare a supplementary educational programme focusing on bringing up children, that is, preparing young people for adulthood through moral education and conferring on them rules of etiquette, values, and traditions. He pointed out that schools are losing out, in terms of impact on young people, to the internet and electronic media, and that they should restore the ‘unconditional value’ of the schools by updating their curricula and offering a wide range of options, accessible to all children, regardless of family income.

He also stressed the importance of teaching history and the Russian language and emphasised the need to strengthen national identity, partly through connecting ‘historical epochs into a single whole’, for Russia has ‘a millennial history’. In that vein, Putin suggested creating a long-overdue memorial to the heroes of World War I and restoring famous Imperial military units, including the Preobrazhensky and Semyonovsky regiments. At last he wishes to make it easy to live in Russia and obtain Russian citizenship for those abroad, to make people want to live in Russia, again reversing the trend of the last 20 years, when Russia has lost so many of its people due to emigration.

Without elaborating, Putin said, ‘We must wholly support institutions that are the bearers of traditional values and have historically proven their ability to transmit them from generation to generation’. He also praised grassroots charity activism, which is on the rise in Russia, and promised a separate meeting with volunteers in the unspecified near future.

Monk Moses the Athonite: ‘Europe is Committing Suicide’

12/12/2012

Monk Moses the Athonite has been an ascetic on the Holy Mountain for thirty-five years. He is an icon-painter, poet, critic and writer. He has published 52 books and written over 1,000 articles. His works have been translated and published in many countries around the world. He is the senior secretary of the Sacred Community of the Holy Mountain. For some twenty-five years he has been the Elder of the hermitage of St John Chrysostom and of the hermitage of the holy great-martyr Panteleimon attached to Koutloumousiou Monastery.

monk moses

We are publishing a few extracts from an article by Fr Moses, in which he analyses the contemporary situation in Europe and Greece.

‘Greece has long been in a state of reanimation. The Greek language is being murdered every day. All around reigns the darkness of disintegration and a gloomy and violent national nihilism.

The desire to make money quickly and easily has led many into making tragic mistakes. Impatience and lack of seriousness are costing us dear. The thirst for riches has taken Europeans to extremes. Contemporary Europe is totally deChristianised.

The Vatican is reaping the fruits of deforming Christian teachings. The most horrific cases of child rape are taking place. Western people are running from ‘God is dead’ to Eastern gurus, desperately hoping to find at least some semblance of spiritual life. Some 2,000 branches of Protestantism are competing for a flock. The deChristianisation of Europe is on a very large scale and will lead to even more catastrophic consequences.

Europe has forgotten Christ and is embracing Islam. It seems as if it wants to commit suicide. Mosques are rising up in place of churches.

We are not against other religions, but we do want to defend Orthodoxy. Or do they now want to take away from us even this last right?

We look to the resistance of people who cannot be bought off. There are quite a few of them. It is time to stop being quiet. Our country needs spiritual regeneration.’

Source: http://www.agioritikovima.gr