Q: It is now the centenary of the 1917-18 Moscow Local Church Council. What are your thoughts?
A: This was an important event because that Council at last restored the Patriarchate. (This happened twelve years after Tsar Nicholas II had already offered to restore it, but certain bishops had at the time shown themselves unready for the restoration and had openly rejected his offer. They had become State-dependent. That was a tragedy). However, having been prepared for years under the Tsar, it is sad that this Council finally took place not under his reign, but under the ‘democratic’ tyranny of the traitor Kerensky, who had deposed both the Metropolitans of Saint Petersburg and Moscow and whose minions interfered in the Council. Any view of the Council must be mixed because of the political interference and pressures on it, but among those who took part, there were saints, future martyrs. These we revere, especially St Tikhon the Patriarch.
Q: In your writings you call for the restoration of the Orthodox Empire and yet you dislike imperialism, for example, British imperialism. Surely this is a contradiction?
A: I have made it clear that I strongly dislike and totally reject Western-style/Soviet-style (it is the same thing; Marxism was a Western ideology) centralist imperialism. However, the restoration of the Orthodox Empire is not about some crude Western-style imperialism, but about the fulfilment of Russia’s Christian duty. This is Russia’s God-given duty only because no other Orthodox people is large enough or strong enough to do this. God gave Russians such a huge part of the world with so many resources so that they could defend Christianity, obviously not for some narrow racist glory. As the Beatitudes say: Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. The Russians lost the Christian Empire in 1917, precisely because they had lost their meekness.
If the Romanians or the Serbs or any other Orthodox people were strong enough, then I would support them. But they are obviously not strong enough and multinational enough, concentrating instead on building the highest church in the Balkans and playing up to the Americans. This is provincialism and primitive nationalism. Only the Russian episcopate, whatever its faults, is multinational. Take for example the Patriarchate of Antioch: every single bishop in it is an Arab and it cannot be otherwise. Other Local Churches are the same, from Georgia to Greece.
The all-inclusive, multinational, multilingual Orthodox Empire, that of worldwide Rus (or Romaiosini), has to be restored because only it can counter the Anti-Christian Empire which is today centred in Washington (before in London). Only the Orthodox Empire can hold back Antichrist.
All Orthodox should support it, rather than sidelining themselves in marginal and fringe groups with their narrow, ethnic, Balkanized politics or policies dictated and bishops appointed by the US State Department. This includes some people on the spiritual fringes of the Russian Church, which has two sets of enemies and traitors: modernist liberals and narrow Russian nationalists. Both of them equally reject the multinational and imperial (‘ecumenical in the Orthodox sense) calling of the Russian Church, each in their own provincial way.
Q: Is such a view important to Russians as well as to Non-Russians?
A: It is vital. For instance, most Russians in this country do not come from Russia itself, but are Russian-speakers from the Baltic States, the Ukraine and Moldova, in other words, from fragments of the Russian Empire. One of their greatest difficulties is their search for an identity. The Soviet identity has long since gone, they have no identity with the Russian Federation, as they generally do not have Russian nationality. As for the new countries where they were born, they do not belong to them, finding them provincial, narrow and basically dependent American colonies and in any case they have been rejected and made into second-class citizens by their chauvinistic, Russophobic, US puppet governments. They belong to something much greater, this is to Rus’, to the multinational Christian Empire. Our nationality is Russian Orthodox, whatever our passports may say. Passports are merely State documents. They will not get us into heaven, the only place we need to go. We have a spiritual passport, which says ‘Orthodox’ on it. And that is far more important.
Q: Would you say that you see Western Europe through Russian eyes?
A: Only inasmuch as Russian eyes are Christian eyes. It is interesting that you suggest this, but it does suggest that you misunderstand the word Russian. I have no interest whatsoever in Non-Christian Russia and Non-Christian Russians (as an Orthodox, naturally I use the word Christian in its real sense, i.e. its sense as Orthodox). That is why I never visited Russia between 1976 and 2007.
About three years ago a certain elderly member of the Paris Jurisdiction in this country accused me of failing to respect the British Establishment and put it first in my views. This made me laugh, but it was also very sad because it meant that he was disobeying the Gospel and failing to put the Kingdom of God first (he should have read the Sermon on the Mount). Such liberals are always erastians, putting the anti-Orthodox State first, as did the ‘Liberal Democrat’ Kerensky in 1917.
I look at Western Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland, through Christian (= Orthodox) eyes. Read St Bede the Venerable – he does the same, dating his writing according to the reign of the Christian Emperor in New Rome. I do the same: I live in the Suffolk district of the East Anglian province of the Kingdom of England of the Christian Empire of New Rome. The fact that New Rome is now in Moscow and no longer in Constantinople is not the point. The point is that we must be consistent and real Orthodox, refusing to reduce the Church of God to some exotic, liberal, disincarnate fantasy spirituality, the path of spiritual delusion, or else to some racist nationalism (phyletism), but being faithful to the Incarnation of the Church’s teaching. Otherwise we are not faithful to the prayer ‘Our Father’: ‘May Thy will be done on earth, as in Heaven’. Either we are Christians or else we are not.
Q: Is it true that globalization is controlled by Jews? And how do we counter it?
A: No, it is not true. That is racist. Many people are in charge of globalization and the New World Disorder, though I doubt if they number more than a million worldwide and perhaps far, far less. Certainly, globalization (which used to be called Americanization) is pro-Israel and many of its leaders are atheist Jews (Zionists) and globalization is essentially a codeword for Zionism, but the majority of people involved are not Jewish and certainly not believing Jews. The point is that most Zionists in the world are not Jewish at all, but simply people who have fallen into Satan’s invention of One World Government.
We counter globalization by building up the Church, which is at once multinational (interpatriotic) and local (patriotic), unity in diversity. This is the spiritual meaning of our lives.
Q: I have been shocked by certain words and acts of your Patriarch Kyrill, who met the Pope in Cuba last year. Surely that is indefensible?
A: Any Patriarch is here today, gone tomorrow. The Head of the Church is Christ, not any Patriarch, whoever he may be. I have to say that I have always failed to understand a mentality which says that personal opinions must always coincide. I may have personal opinions that differ from those of my Patriarch. So what? In such a large Church as ours, differences of opinions are inevitable. We do not belong to a tiny sect, in which all personal opinions have to and can coincide. This is pure Protestantism, Convertism, Sectarianism. This says: ‘You do not agree with me, therefore I am leaving you and will go off and found my own Church’. There has to be tolerance on inessentials. What are the essentials? They are all listed in the Creed. That is what we believe; the rest is opinion, inessentials.
There is in such a view which demands absolute agreement in everything a certain pride: ‘He does not agree with me, therefore I don’t like him’. This suggests that the speaker actually believes that others must agree with him because he is always right! That is not how Christianity works. For example, I do not write because I want people to agree with me. I know that that is impossible because I am so often wrong. I write only in order to provoke thought and prayer. If I cannot do that, then I will cease writing for others.
Patriarch Kyrill met the Pope once. The Patriarch of Constantinople meets him constantly. So what? I shop in a supermarket where one of the cashiers is Roman Catholic and I talk to her. Does that make me a heretic?
In any case those in the Russian Church who have a somewhat 60s mentality are dying out. Read Metr Benjamin of Vladivostok, Metr Vincent (Morar) of Tashkent, Metr Agathangel of Odessa: these are Orthodox hierarchs, loved by all.
Q: Is Ecumenism not a threat to the Church?
A: Ecumenism is dead here, laughably old-fashioned; it seems to be just alive only in less Westernized places, in Greece, Romania, Serbia. Here it lives, but only among old people, very old people. I never hear the word nowadays, it was alive in the 60s, 70s and 80s. That’s not where things are at nowadays.
Q: As a Russian living in England, I recently visited some Anglican churches and I had to keep stepping around stone and metal slabs with graves under them. But English people told me I could walk on them. I was horrified. Why do Anglicans walk on their dead?
A: I presume it is something to do with the Protestant refusal to pray for the departed, and so their lack of respect for them, and it is this that makes them able to walk on graves.
Q: Do you have any favourite sayings or proverbs?
A: Yes, I do. I have thought about your question for several days. Here is a selection of such favourite sayings, all of which I know to be true from observing life:
You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
If you spit in the air, it will fall back on you.
Be nice to people on your way up because you may meet them again on your way down.
No pains, no gains.
The pen is mightier than the sword.
I also have favourite sayings, which, as far as I know, are personal and come from my own experience:
There is only one mistake: not to learn from your mistakes. (From my own life).
Do not destroy something until you have something better to put in its place. (A lesson for those who invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc).
You cannot build spiritual life on fantasy. (This comes from observing intellectuals who join the Church but never become Orthodox).