Author Archives: webmaster

The Russia We Lost

In the autumn of 1917 the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia. The centuries old Russian Empire was no longer. The Soviet government opened a new page in the country’s development but did its best to either distort or hush up its previous history. Pre-revolutionary Russia was portrayed as a backward, poorly managed, semi-cultural and semi-literate state. But how was it in reality?

Statistics show that in the first decade of the 20th century Russia experienced an industrial and economic boom that pushed it to the 4th place after the United States, Britain and Germany. A sharp boost in the extraction of raw materials was matched by rapid progress in machine-building, chemistry, electrical engineering and aircraft construction. Domestic agriculture was making steady headway. As a result, the share of farming produce in national exports increased considerably. Russia produced 28% more grain than the United States, Britain and Argentina taken together. European markets were flooded with Russian butter and eggs. The ruble was a stable currency traded at  2 Deutche marks or 50 US cents. Under the last Emperor Nicholas II taxes were the lowest in Europe, life was relatively cheap and there was no unemployment. The law on social insurance for workers passed by the tsarist government aroused envy in the West. The then President of the United States William Taft once remarked that no democratic state boasted such a perfect labor legislation as the one created by the Russian Emperor.

The years that preceded the revolution were marked by tangible progress in the social and cultural sphere. The introduction of free compulsory primary education for all was bound to stamp out illiteracy by 1922. Both huge and smaller cities had secondary schools of highest grade which prepared boys and girls for universities. Russia boasted a better system of education for girls than Western Europe: in 1914 there were 965 women’s high-schools plus higher courses for women in all major cities. Tuition fee was quite low: law faculties charged 20 times less than in the United States and Britain. Poor students got grants. There was a scholarships system of for gifted students.

The high level of education was confirmed by scientific advances. The names of chemist Dmitry Mendeleyev famous for his periodic system of elements, physiologist Ivan Pavlov, biologist and selectionist Kliment Timiryazev, and the inventor of radio Alexander Popov are known to almost everyone. Russian scientists who emigrated after the 1917 revolution were highly appreciated abroad. Aircraft designer Igor Sikorsky, who settled in the United States, designed the world’s first helicopter, and his fellow countryman Vladimir Zvorykin invented television.

French poet Paul Valery called the Russian culture of that time one of the wonders of the world, apparently because despite its secularism it reflected a more Christian outlook than Western-European culture. Suffice it to say world-famous writers Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Anton Chekhov, Ivan Bunin, together with composers Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Pyotr Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rakhmaninov and many others, let alone the unrivalled Russian ballet. How could all that emerge under what Bolshevik ideologists labeled as a police and bureaucratic regime?

As far as bureaucracy is concerned, the number of state officials in Russia was surprisingly low compared to Europe. The national police force was 7 times smaller than in Britain and 5 times smaller than in France, which is an indication of low crime rates. Russia’s jury-based system of legal proceedings commanded the admiration of foreigners for its unbiased and humanistic approach. Economic and cultural growth was accompanied by higher birth rates.  By 1913 Russia had a population of 175 million with the annual increase of about 3.3 million. A prominent French economist Edmond Thiery wrote that if the trend persisted, by the middle of the century Russia would dominate Europe politically, economically and financially.  The then Russian Prime Minister Pyotr Stolypin once said: “Give us 20 peaceful years and you won’t recognize Russia”. Stolypin, whose reformist ideas encountered a mixed response in Russian society, was viciously murdered by his revolutionary opponents.

The Voice of Russia 3 November 2012

The Holy Trinity and Human Civilisation

Foreword: Human Civilisation

Civilisation, meaning building and living in cities, is prophesied, for the Bible begins with a garden, but ends with the prophecy of a city, the City of God. However, this prophecy, in the only prophetic book in the New Testament, the Book of Revelation, in Greek the Apocalypse, tells of this City only after the end of the world. Thus, we can say that the end of the world will come with cities. Since today, for the first time in history, over 50% of the world’s seven billion population now lives in cities, it appears that we have passed a turning point. What is the process that has brought this about?

1. Before Christ: Idolatry and the Substitute for God

Ever since his fall, Satan has wanted total control of the world. Control is what he achieved with the fall of Adam and Eve in Eden. Satan’s influence can be seen throughout history before the coming of Christ. Civilisation after civilisation, practising barbarity, mistook Creation for the Creator and so fell into idolatry. These civilisations had only intuitions and speculations about a Divine force, but not about Christ the Son of God. He Alone revealed the Holy Trinity and that the nature of the Holy Trinity is Love. Thus, all pre-Christic civilisations fell into some form or other of idolatry, the worship of the fallen world, dominated by Satan, disguised as the worship of Good.

All human civilisations have believed in the importance of their faith (philosophy, ideology), their ruler (emperor, king, pharaoh, president) and a national principle (country, patriotism, national identity, nationalism). However, not knowing Christ and so the Holy Trinity, their faiths were false and so too were their rulers and their national principles. And so all pre-Christic civilisations, whatever human wisdom they expressed, also contained the violent and unspeakably cruel worship of Satanic, whether in China, India, Babylon, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome, Zimbabwe, or among the Maya, Aztecs or Incas.

This desire for control is also clear from the temptations suffered by Christ – the invitations to turn stones into bread, to accept from Satan power over the world and to tempt God by performing miracles. Satan would grant Christ everything, providing only that He would worship him, that He would fall into idolatry, the sin of the past. And so, as throughout history, it continues today. All the miracles of modern technology are granted, but only in return for man’s worship of Satan – as is happening today.

2. After Christ: The Roman Revolution and the Substitute for God

For a thousand years the Church, defended by Apostles, Martyrs, Fathers and Universal Councils, stood. But there were dupes, schismatics and heretics, who thought they were doing good, but in fact did evil, worshipping the Satanic principle disguised as good. They were all in some way narcissistic deniers of Christ and the Holy Trinity as Love. Among them were Gnostics, Origenists, Arians, Donatians, Nestorians, Monophysites and Iconoclasts. They attempted to raise up once more the old Satanic idolatry from before Christ, often using nationalism to aid their cause.

After a thousand years had passed, there came one called Hildebrand, renamed Pope Gregory VII. He too was a dupe, a protestor, a revolutionary, in fact, the first Protestant. Thinking that he was doing good, he adopted an ideology, introduced from Judaising sources in Spain. This subtly implied and later brashly asserted that God the Father and Christ the Son are One and that the transfiguring energy of the Holy Spirit is locked up between them. This energy was accessible now not through Christ, but only through human beings – through Gregory VII himself and those who followed him. This was the anti-Christic and anti-Trinitarian ideology, on which the civilisation which will bring the Apocalypse is based.

This ideology, called filioquism, made what had been the Church into a State, in fact a Superstate and subjected God to man. From now on, most flatteringly to sinful mankind, God would be made in man’s image and likeness. This ideology, much developed and elaborated in the medieval Scholastic Revolution, developed into man-worship, humanism, in Greek ‘anthropismos’, and became the ideology of the Western world. Through global colonial expansion, it has today become the dominant ideology of the whole planet, the new idolatry, the new substitute for God.

3. The German and English Revolutions

After the Roman Revolution, which replaced Christianity with Catholicism in the eleventh century, came another Revolution. This took place in Germany and was called the ‘Reformation’. This was led by another dupe, a German monk called Martin Luther. But he was not alone. In his path came more and like-minded revolutionaries and also ‘religious wars’, which forced the central thrust of his Lutheran Revolution out of Germany. In such a way the ‘Reformation’ spread outwards and became centred in Switzerland and Holland which, unlike Switzerland, had access to the sea, and in England. Over a century after Luther had prepared the ground, there followed in England one called Cromwell and a bloody war, financed by Dutch Protestant bankers and plotted by English Protestant merchants.

This laid the ground for the Inglorious Revolution of 1688. This consisted of a Dutch invasion – Protestant Holland, even more than Switzerland, had by then become the centre of world banking and business, that is, of usury. This invasion consisted of a huge fleet of 463 ships, being twice the size of the Spanish Armada. This political phase, called the Inglorious Revolution, overthrew King James of England and replaced him with an usurper, the Dutch Prince William. This paved the way for the next phase, that which the merchants and bankers had planned, the Industrial Revolution. This could never have existed without the pioneering ideology of Protestantism, the work ethic, the concept of creating comfort in this world and so disbelief in the Resurrection. For if you believe in the Resurrection, you do not burn up in ovens the bodies of those who have passed on. It is a fact that old pagan cremation re-appeared only with Protestantism.

From Holland the centre of business and usury thus passed to safer island England. Eventually it would pass from here to North America, where it was still safer. There are those in England who still have sympathies with the pro-Catholic English King James and are opposed to this Dutch seizure of power over three centuries ago. They are called Jacobites and are mainly Catholics. Not being Catholics we are rather Alfredians, named after King Alfred the Great. His line was extinguished in this country with Edmund Ironside and the exodus of English refugees after 1066, heading for New Rome and Kiev, like for example, Gytha, the daughter of King Harold II of England.

4. The French and Russian Revolutions

Thus, the Western European world long ago fell for another model of the Holy Trinity, the filioque, one not of unity in diversity, but of tyrannical unity. As soon as the Western world even began to fall for this model, it set out on the path of tyranny. This was with the First Reich, the First Empire, under Karl the Great, who was crowned an emperor in 800. He died, having failed in his tyranny, because genuine Christianity in the West was still too strong. However, as we have seen, in the eleventh century, when Christianity had grown weaker, there came the Church-State of the Popes and their centralising Crusades, financed by the first banking system. As we have seen, by rebellion against tyranny and idolatry, it in turn was followed by the German Revolution, the ‘Reformation’, and then the English Revolution.

One hundred years after the Inglorious and Industrial Revolution (two phases of the same Revolution) in England, in 1789 there came Revolution in France. This proclaimed a slogan of ‘freedom, equality and fraternity’, which was responsible for the deaths of millions. On the surface attractive, even today educated people still fall for this slogan and by following it tens of millions more have perished worldwide. The answer to the French Revolution came when in 1814 Western Europe and Paris were freed by Christian troops under Tsar Alexander I. Those who schemed to spread their Revolution then realised that only a Revolution in Russia would bring them the power which they so much sought. To protect themselves from the French Revolutionary ideology, Russian Orthodox proposed a new motto – ‘Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and the People’.

In this way the Russian Empire, proclaiming with this motto its faith incarnate in ruler and people, became the last bulwark of Christianity. The rest of the Orthodox world had fallen beneath Ottoman oppression and would fall to the manipulations of Western Europe. It was for this reason that the Russian Empire had to be discredited and destroyed, starting with its rulers, the last Christian Roman Emperors. Thus, in 1914, a century after Russians had freed Western Europe, it invaded Russia. In 1917 the next Revolution took place in two phases, first carried out by the mindless and then by the soulless. Financed from Germany and the United States, supported by the whole of the Western world, the revolutionaries in Russia planned the systematic eradication of the Name of Christ and the Holy Trinity from Russia through their materialist ideology.

5. The World Revolution and Counter-Revolution

The revolutionaries in Russia scheme to destroy the old Christian Orthodox ideal of Spiritual Civilisation failed, but others took over from them. These had an even simpler, but much more effective and more technological ideology than those who had carried out Revolution in Russia. Their ideology is World Revolution, which is to lead to a One World Government. This is to be presaged by the establishment of international organisations, such as the United Nations, by unity of Continents and blocs of unity within Continents, such as the so-called ‘European’ Union. This process involves the discrediting and destruction of national sovereignty. This process began long ago, after the fall of the Church-State Empire of the popes, with the foundation of Western European Empires, by Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, Great Britain and others.

The next phase was to create wars between these Empires, as can be seen in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. However, in the First Western War, called by the globalists the First ‘World’ War, we can see the dire consequences of the destruction of local patriotism (as already in North America with its bloody civil war), as small nations were forced into becoming blocs (as in Great Britain, Italy and Germany) and empires spread worldwide. This was reinforced by the Second Western (‘World’) War, in fact a series of wars for imperial supremacy and natural resources, in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, North Africa, China and the Pacific.

Today, various blocs exist in the world – Western Europe (EU), North America, led by the USA and its Asian colonies in Japan, South Korea and elsewhere, Latin America, led by Brazil, Black Africa, led by South Africa, Oceania, led by Australia, then China, India, the much-divided Muslim World and, finally, the Russian Federation. Of these, only the Russian Federation has a Christian history and only it is experiencing a renewal of faith in Christ and the Holy Trinity, its Christian Faith, after the obscenities committed there by three generations of a Western materialist regime. Only here is there resistance to World Revolution, through the Counter-Revolution of Orthodox Christianity.

Afterword: After Civilisation

Today, the World’s only Superpower, the United States, is presided over by a nominal Christian with a Muslim background, born in Hawaii and raised in Asia, his mother of White European stock and his father an African atheist. The planet is encircled by the Internet, as yet free, but one day it will come under the control of one organism. As we write, rockets are falling near Jerusalem. All these are signs, warnings and omens of the inevitable end that will come. However, nobody knows the time of that end and it is quite possible that it is still far off – there is still time to push the end back and so gain more souls to dwell in that inevitable City of God, the Kingdom of Christ and the Holy Trinity, of which we spoke earlier.

La Conferenza di Londra

e il futuro della Chiesa Ortodossa Russa fuori dalla Russia


I venti ierarchi riuniti a Londra per la prima conferenza in assoluto di tutti i vescovi ortodossi russi con diocesi di fuori del territorio canonico della Chiesa Ortodossa Russa avranno senza dubbio molto da discutere su molte e varie questioni. Tuttavia, il semplice fatto che questa storica conferenza storica – ed è storica – abbia luogo, ha prodotto diverse reazioni.

Gli autocefalisti

Prima di tutto, c’è il punto di vista degli “autocefalisti”, che hanno sede negli Stati Uniti (circa 30.000) e in Francia (circa 5.000). Questi sono in genere piuttosto russofobi; l’ostilità è diretta contro tutte le cose ‘russe’. Uno di loro ha recentemente chiamato la Chiesa russa ‘non una madre, ma una cinica matrigna’ (!). Egli ha anche affermato che ci sono oltre 700 parrocchie nella sua Chiesa con tre Metropoliti pensionati – il che significa che ogni ‘parrocchia’ ha, in media, meno di 50 individui. Questi individui sono generalmente filetisti occidentali, vale a dire persone che hanno messo il loro nazionalismo occidentale al di sopra dell’Ortodossia. La maggior parte di questi sono laici con scarsa comprensione di come funziona la Chiesa.

Questa conferenza, che è dominata dai vescovi autonomi della Chiesa ortodossa russa fuori dalla Russia (ROCOR), li rende nervosi. Essi sentono che le chiese ortodosse russe fuori dalla Russia sono ora dominate da ortodossi di tutte le nazionalità che tengono alla Tradizione, che non è ciò che loro, i rinnovatori, vogliono. Vivendo nella ‘comodità’ immaginaria del loro passato della Guerra Fredda, non vogliono che una realtà ortodossa russa multinazionale e multilingue domini la Chiesa. Se solo, dicono, ci fossero ancora l’Unione Sovietica e il centro della Chiesa a quel tempo paralizzato, potremmo andare avanti con le nostre fantasie liturgiche e ideologiche, secolarizzando e protestantizzando la Tradizione ortodossa a nostro capriccio.

I rulli compressori

All’altro estremo ci sono coloro che sono ugualmente filetisti, solo in un altro senso. Questi sono i “Russianisti”. Sono quelli della scuola sovietica dei ‘rulli compressori’, e anch’essi vivono nella ‘comodità’ del loro passato della Guerra Fredda. La loro visione della Chiesa è simile a quella di una brigata di carri armati dell’Armata Rossa in marcia su Berlino. Sono imperialisti e accentratori. Anche di questi la maggior parte è composta da laici con scarsa comprensione di come funziona la Chiesa. Anche loro sono nervosi per questa Conferenza, che è dominata dai vescovi autonomi della Chiesa ortodossa russa fuori dalla Russia (ROCOR).

Sentono che le chiese ortodosse russe fuori dalla Russia sono ora dominate da ortodossi di tutte le nazionalità che tengono alla Tradizione, che non è ciò che loro, i nazionalisti, vogliono. Vivendo nella ‘comodità’ immaginaria del loro passato della Guerra Fredda, non vogliono che una realtà ortodossa russa multinazionale e multilingue domini la Chiesa. Se solo, dicono, ci fosse ancora l’Unione Sovietica, potremmo andare avanti con le nostre fantasie imperialistiche e ideologiche, nazionalizzando la Tradizione ortodossa.

La realtà

Stranamente, o forse non abbastanza stranamente, entrambi i gruppi di cui sopra, sotto minaccia, vogliono che la ROCOR sia ‘assorbita’ o ‘rilevata’ dal Patriarcato a Mosca. Questo è ridicolo. Non accadrà. La cosa molto più probabile è che la parte della Chiesa ortodossa russa, la ROCOR, che per il decreto patriarcale di San Tikhon è stata resa responsabile di tutti gli ortodossi russi al di fuori delle terre russe 92 anni fa, assorbirà e rileverà le parrocchie della Chiesa Ortodossa Russa che sono ancora direttamente dipendenti da Mosca. La situazione attuale è dopo tutto anormale. Chiaramente, la ROCOR non ha parrocchie nelle terre russe, perché allora tutte le parrocchie ortodosse russe sul territorio della ROCOR non sono nella sua giurisdizione? Il fatto della loro esistenza è un’aberrazione storica, un retaggio del passato.

La ROCOR esiste a causa della leale confessione di fede di generazioni di emigrati russi fuggiti dall’Unione Sovietica. È solo giusto che la loro fedeltà sia riconosciuta da tutte le chiese della Chiesa Ortodossa Russa al di fuori del territorio canonico ortodosso russo, con il loro ritorno a casa, sotto lo stesso tetto, nella ROCOR. Qui non c’è umiliazione per nessuno, solo un riconoscimento della realtà. Non si può essere ortodossi russi fuori dalla Russia e non appartenere alla ROCOR. Non ha alcun senso pratico o canonico. Questo era in effetti il ​​suggerimento del presidente Putin nella sua visita al Sinodo della ROCOR a New York nel 2003. Se tale evento si verifica, potrebbe anche significare che la ROCOR sarà ristrutturata, con almeno tre Metropolie (l’Europa occidentale, l’Oceania e le Americhe), in un ritorno alla sua struttura di distretti metropolitani precedente al 1945.


Può essere che Dio abbia per noi intenzioni diverse da quelle descritte qui sopra. Può essere che tutto ciò avvenga, ma solo molti anni in futuro. Nessuno sa cosa accadrà alla Conferenza dei gerarchi ortodossi russi a Londra. Questo è normale per qualsiasi riunione della Chiesa, perché noi attendiamo di essere mossi dallo Spirito Santo, non dall’immaginazione degli uomini. C’è solo una cosa che speriamo e per cui preghiamo per questa Conferenza – che sia fatta la volontà di Dio.

Arciprete Andrew Phillips

Santa Martire Caritina
Santi Ierarchi di Mosca
5/18 ottobre 2012

Savile and the Forest Fire

There has been a profound silence on the part of Christians in the UK about the Savile scandal. There is little doubt that the Roman Catholic world, to which Savile belonged, finds it difficult to say anything. This is because it has been so seriously compromised by its own very many paedophile priests and the cover-ups by their bishops, many of whom themselves have been involved. A visit to the Vatican and a brief examination of its frescoes would suggest that the popes responsible for them were themselves paedophiles. Certainly, the homosexuality of many Renaissance painters, some of them clergy, is an established fact. Such have been the sad results of compulsory priestly celibacy, as imposed by popes from the end of the 11th century on.

Strangely enough, the Church of England, in which clergy can actually marry, also seems to have fallen silent. This is perhaps because parts of it have also been compromised by paedophile and other sexual scandals, especially in its High Church and public school wings. Public schools with their false Puritanism (there is nothing as hypocritical as Puritanism) have always been a stereotypical bastion for sexual perversion. And therefore the whole Establishment, of which the BBC is an integral part, is affected. Is this why the Savile affair was hushed up for so many decades?

What can we as Orthodox Christians, who appear to come from another planet, certainly from another civilisation, say?

Perhaps the first comment we can make is that the human reproductive instinct, the instinct for survival, is natural, it is God-given. However, outside the Church that instinct has always been perverted, as can be seen from the history of Hinduism and other Non-Christian religions. This can also be seen in all pagan societies, among barbarians, most notoriously among the pagan Romans and Greeks. A visit to Pompeii or a brief study of pagan Roman and Greek history will confirm this. Only in the Church has the sexual instinct been channelled into constructive family life. Church Tradition has been based on this.

With the rejection of the Church’s channelling of sexuality into family life from the 1960s on and the subsequent wave of neo-paganism that has virtually taken over Western societies as a result, those societies have become deregulated and disordered. Sexual licence and pornography, including homosexual practice, have become the norm in ‘the permissive society’. And so, consequently, have abortion, single parents and rape. For the last fifty years sex has been commercialised and sexual practice has been spread into all age groups. Most revoltingly, after the legalisation of homosexuality, paedophilia and other disgusting perversions became widespread, as children were sexualised. Sex ‘education’ in schools has become the norm. As one correspondent has put it:

‘Sex education in many schools promotes all kinds of sexual activity, even to primary school children. One lesson I overheard given to 12 year-old girls told them how to stimulate their sexual parts. Now no-one listens to protests that such programmes rob young children of their childhood. Many now tolerate child sexual activity. Even some senior police officers are reluctant to enforce the age of consent, because they no longer see 14 or 15-year-olds as children needing protection. Even much younger children are targeted by sexually explicit pop lyrics, magazine articles, cosmetics and tarty clothes. Treated as sexualised mini-adults, they behave accordingly’.

More hypocritically, many of the current critics of Savile themselves encouraged the liberalisation of sexual practice and even paedophilia. One of them, the feminist Blairite ex-Minister Harriet Harman, has recently said that Savile is ‘a stain on the BBC’. And yet ‘one or two of the most outspoken critics in Parliament were in 1978 prominent members of The National Council for Civil Liberties – known today as Liberty. The Paedophile Information Exchange (PIE) affiliated itself to the NCCL; the former organisation- whose members were reportedly attracted to boys and girls and set out to make paedophilia respectable.

It campaigned to reduce the age of consent and resist controls on child pornography. Until it excluded PIE in 1983, the NCCL thus backed this agenda of child abuse.

Even before PIE was affiliated to it, the NCCL was campaigning to liberalise paedophilia and reduce the age of sexual consent to 14. In 1976, the NCCL argued ‘childhood sexual experiences, willingly engaged in with an adult, result in no identifiable damage’.

And in 1977 it said: ‘NCCL has no policy on [PIE’s] aims, other than the evidence that children are harmed if, after a mutual relationship with an adult, they are exposed to the attentions of the police, press and court’.

The great cover-up is now being uncovered. The activities of members of the Establishment, from narcissistic ‘media personalities’ to politicians, from ‘pop stars’ to businessmen, are now being uncovered. After the ‘feast’ comes the reckoning. Countless ‘personalities’ are now being exposed. The lesson is that we reject the 2,000 year experience of the Church at our peril. This is a forest fire. The human sexual instinct is a fire. If it is not contained, it causes untold destruction – whole forests are burned down. If it is contained, then it can be creatively sublimated and we can live a regulated, ordered life, with much artistic and family creativity. The 1960s played with fire; now society has to put out that fire. Very sadly, it is doubtful if it has the humility and courage to admit its mistakes and do so.

Patriarch Kyrill warns Russian Government against Unpopular Policies

Today, Saturday 3 November, the eve of Russia’s Day of National Unity, the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill has urged Russians to keep faith with their own traditions. He cautioned that recipes for so-called ‘modernisation’ (1) and other Western meddling (2) could result in political turmoil.

In a clear warning to the present Putin Government, under which post-Communist corruption has multiplied, Patriarch Kyrill said that blindly following Western models and forgetting the country’s Christian roots could lead to a new ‘Time of Troubles’. This refers to the 400th anniversary of Russia’s liberation from Polish intervention in 1612, the ‘Time of Troubles’, a crisis ended only with the establishment of the Romanov dynasty in 1613.

‘We should first and foremost take care not to allow a ‘Time of Trouble’ in the mind, in the head, because today there are people who, like Moscow’s oligarchs, offer unacceptable recipes to modernise our life and improve living conditions for our people’, said the Patriarch, speaking on the weekly religious programme on the country’s most popular television channel.

The Patriarch did not name any names, but his message shows open hostility to the promotion of Western secular values by the present Government, as also opposed by all of Russia’s three largest Opposition parties (3). He added that Russians should learn from the country’s past and not make the same mistake twice by allowing foreigners to take control of Russia. After the Time of Troubles ended, he said, ‘Russia had a new lease of life, there was a huge, colossal development of national life, the economy, the government and the development of new lands’.


The Patriarch wants an end to the last twenty years of Westernisation that began under Yeltsin after the fall of Communism. This has only brought alcoholism, abortion, corruption, drug-taking, the end to free medical services, affordable accommodation and employment for all and what was probably the best educational system in the world – this latter the heritage of pre-Revolutionary Russia. The Patriarch, like many others, is looking beyond the tired Putin period. Russia can do better than Putin – by returning to Orthodox Christian values.

1. = Anti-Christianity.

2. As in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Bahrein, Lybia and Syria.

3. It is notable that this comes on the same day that the British tabloid ‘The Daily Mail’ has reported what many suspected all along. This is that responsibility for the London murder of the Russian secret agent, Litvinenko, in November 2006 may lie with the billionaire, pro-Western oligarch Boris Berezovsky and the British Secret Services.

On the Second Vatican Council

Introduction: ‘We Have Lost Western Europe’

‘We have lost Western Europe’. These were the words that a senior Catholic layman said to me last week as we discussed organising the arrival in England of the Czestochowa Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God and its visit to the London Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. His words are not exact, for Catholicism has lost not only Western Europe, but also North America and Australia.

The fact is that Catholicism in Africa, Asia, Latin America, let alone in Catholic Eastern Europe, is a very different sort of Catholicism from elsewhere. It is a sacral Christianity that values and respects the sense of the sacred – a Catholicism in other words far closer to the Christianity of the Orthodox Church than any other type of Catholicism. I know this as a Russian Orthodox priest, for on a weekly basis I meet Catholic Poles, Italians and Lithuanians who come to me and tell me that they want to come to our Church, because ‘Catholic churches in England are no good. They are Protestants’. Not my words, but theirs.

A Sad Fiftieth Anniversary

Most Catholics in Western Europe today are lapsed. It is an extreme rarity to find any Catholics, including practising ones, who agree with the official policies of their Church. There is no doubt that the Second Vatican Council that opened fifty years ago in Rome is in part responsible. Perhaps in great part. Certainly it led to the protestantisation of the vestiges of the Orthodox Christian Tradition of the first millennium, still kept by the then Catholic world, by introducing the desacralising rationalism and humanism of the Northern Protestant world.

Twenty years ago in France, where I then lived, a senior Catholic priest spoke to me of the effects of that Council, saying: ‘We created all the sects’. He was referring to the explosion of exotic sects in France since the 1960s. He blamed his own Church for this; the fact that the new Catholicism had removed all sense of mystery and the sacred from its services, demystifying the Church and no longer satisfying the spiritual needs of the people, was for him responsible for the disaffection of the masses and their absorption into all manners of sects, often founded by dangerous charlatans.

The Errors of the Council

We can see this clearly if we look at areas of change and unchangingness as a result of the Second Vatican Council. As regards change, the great change was in ‘the Mass’. Latin was replaced by local languages. This seems good in principle, but when we look in reality, we see that it was a disaster. You do not exchange something for something worse, but for something better. In other words, the vernacular translations were often vapid, spiritually uninspired. And once Latin was replaced, so a whole liturgical, cultural and musical tradition was also jettisoned – and not replaced. The whole feeling of the Mass changed, illustrated, for example, by the fact that Catholic priests no longer faced God, but turned to face the people, as though worshipping them and not Him.

For many, clergy included, the Catholic Eucharist became, as in Protestantism, a mere commemoration of bread and wine – or rather of biscuit-like hosts. Received in the hand, distributed by laypeople, crumbs swept away into bins, without any meaningful fast beforehand, without confession (now called ‘reconciliation’) beforehand, the Eucharist lost any remaining sacral reality. The same attitude was taken towards the Virgin Mary, relics, the priesthood and a multitude of practices of Catholic piety. Though most of these relatively recent practices were alien to ancient Orthodoxy, they at least represented popular piety – and they were not replaced. They were lost.

What Should Have Changed – and Did Not

As regards unchangingness, the first error was surely keeping Papal centralisation and infallibility – despite all the verbiage about promoting Local Churches. As regards birth control, there was another tactical error. To keep the ideal of no artificial contraception is good, but why make this into what many outside Catholicism now view as its central tenet? And what of pastoral economy or dispensation? The rigid dogmatism of this policy lost Catholicism hundreds of millions and made at a stroke almost all its married couples into hypocrites. Worse still. This policy was to be implemented by a priesthood on whom celibacy was enforced. Tens of thousands gave up the priesthood as a result and at the same time feminist revolt was ensured.

This also guaranteed that a large number of homosexuals and pedophiles were drawn into the Catholic priesthood – in Ireland the figure in a much depleted priesthood is said to be 25%. This was already hypocrisy, since for centuries Catholicism had allowed a married priesthood for its Uniats and today allows a married priesthood for its ex-Anglican Ordinariate. It was even more hypocrisy in Africa and Latin America (not to mention France, Italy, Spain and Portugal), where many priests are in reality married and have families – and always have been. But the main result of compulsory celibacy for the Catholic priesthood is simply a chronic lack of priests and hosts distributed by laypeople.

Conclusion: The Baby and the Bathwater

By the early 1960s a Roman Catholic Council was needed – if only to attempt to shake off the vestiges of Fascism, with which Catholicism had so cruelly compromised itself during and after the Second World War – not least in Croatia. However, it has often been said by Catholics themselves that the Second Vatican Council threw out the baby (the essentials) with the bathwater (the non-esssentials). But not even this is not true. The Second Council threw out the baby BUT KEPT the bathwater. More exactly, the Second Vatican Council threw out the remaining traditions of the Orthodox Christian First Millennium and kept the inessentials of its semi-secular Second Millennium.

The present ‘celebrations’ of the Council in the Vatican by a Pope who supported the changes then but regrets them now, are highly symbolic. Many have called for a Third Vatican Council. However, this means two different things. Some want a Third Council that will sweep away any heritage that remains and fully desacralise, rationalise and humanise Catholicism. Others want to restore the old-fashioned Catholicism and its Latin Mass, taking it back to the past before the Council. Neither is the solution. Let him who has ears hear.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,

4/17 October 2012

On the Future Archbishop of Canterbury

Like many others in this country, I am the same age and nationality as Justin Welby, the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Unlike many others, but like him, I had six children, lived in Paris and attempt to serve Christ. At this point, resemblances cease. Cynics say that the future Archbishop has been chosen by the Prime Minister’s office merely because he went to the Establishment school of Eton – like the Prime Minister himself. This seems grossly unfair.

The two pronouncements made by the future Archbishop do not necessarily set him apart as negative in Orthodox eyes. One is his opposition to homophobia, but at the same time his firm opposition to homosexual ‘marriage’. With this we can agree. The other is his approval of female bishops. Of course, female bishops are unthinkable, in fact laughable, in our Orthodox Church context, but if we step outside our Church, we can see the logic in the Anglican scheme of things.

Anglican doctrine was written largely by a woman, Elizabeth I, is headed by a woman, Elizabeth II, and Anglicans do not, for the vast majority, believe in sacraments or, sometimes, have even heard of them. In a religious institution in which male and female ministers are basically social workers, there is no reason why there should not be female ‘bishops’. Without a theological understanding of sacraments, priesthood and episcopate, without Orthodox Church Tradition, the only reason for resistance to a female episcopate must be misogyny. Anglicans who are opposed to a female episcopate should have joined the Roman Catholic world when a female ministry was introduced into their Church in the last century.

The future Archbishop is clearly a Protestant, an Evangelical, like the vast majority in the Church of England. In this he is different from his predecessor, a liberal academic who had difficulty dealing with reality. We wish him well. We only hope that he may evolve towards a deeper understanding of Christianity, towards the fifteen centuries of the Church which lie beyond the Reformation, towards an understanding of the still living Biblical, Apostolic and Patristic Church, of sacramental life, the Mother of God, the communion of the saints and holiness through the Holy Spirit. May he be guided in this by St Justus, Archbishop of Canterbury (+ 627), whose feast day it is this very day.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,


10 November 2012