Category Archives: Archbishop Antony of Geneva

From Recent Correspondence (September 2017)

Q: What is the Russian Orthodox view of patriotism?

A: As President Putin has put it: ‘For Russians […] patriotic sentiment, the sense of national belonging that is now, to their sorrow, being eroded in certain European countries, is very important’. In today’s Europe, the attention of those who seek to preserve their national identity, those who are patriots and nationalists in the best sense of the word, is fixed on Moscow. Conversely, those who yell the loudest about a ‘Russian threat’ and ‘European unity in the face of Russian aggression’ are precisely those who want to destroy European faces and borders and reviving identities, like that of Catalonia, as they are oriented towards the EU headquarters in Brussels and the White House.

Russia is the Motherland of patriotism in Europe and in defiance of the artificial denationalisation imposed by Western-imposed Soviet Communism, it is returning to the old mission of keeping the flame of national identity in Europe alight, preserving it as a Europe of homelands and not a public thoroughfare. Although the State-run media like the BBC try to slander all moderate patriots as ‘Neo-Nazis’ and ‘the far right’, in reality there are very few ‘Neo-Nazis’ and ordinary people, both on the normal right and the normal left, are patriots. 52% of British people voted for Brexit, surely even more would vote for Brexit today, given Juncker’s recent speech on the abolition of Europe (‘Eurofederalism’) in Brussels.

Q: Why is the West so aggressive?

A: The West is far more aggressive than many people even realize. Its wars of aggression are always camouflaged by code-names. For example, the multinational Western invasions and Western wars of aggression against Russia are variously known as ‘The Teutonic Crusades’, ‘The Napoleonic Campaign’, ‘The Crimean War’, ‘World War One’, ‘World War Two’ etc. In the same way, today the USA has a ‘Department of Defense’, and yet no-one has ever tried to invade the USA and that Department is notorious for its Offense.

Britain’s ‘Ministry of Defence’ has similarly always spent its time invading and bombing countries far away, all in the name of ‘national security’. Apparently Britain has invaded some 150 foreign countries in its history! This British Establishment aggressiveness goes back to its founders, in their so-called ‘Battle of Hastings’, which did not take place in Hastings and should actually be called ‘The Norman Invasion and Occupation’ or ‘The Defeat and Rape of England’.

The roots of this Westernwide aggression go back even further than 1066, to the anti-Christian Charlemagne, who revived the dead pagan Roman Empire – the model for all aggressive, asset-stripping and war-based systems – under the code-name of a ‘classical revival’. He told his people that they were superior to Christians (‘Greeks’) and also to anyone else, because the Holy Spirit came from their leader, the Pope of Rome, whom Charlemagne had made infallible with his filioque ideology. Later this mythical superiority was spread downwards to anyone who agreed with the Western Establishment and anyone who was ‘Western’ was thus considered superior. ‘Black, brown, red and yellow peoples’ were inferior and therefore could be enslaved and massacred by ‘White’ Western people. Here is the fruit of the filioque, from the Crusades to Iraq.

Yet another example: On 25 September the BBC programme ‘Beyond Belief’ (Radio 4, 4.30), the programme I spoke on twice after the Pussy Riot blasphemy, the subject was ‘The Persecution of Atheism in Russia’! I could hardly believe what the BBC has come to. It really is Beyond Belief! Not content with supporting the US installation of lesbian politicians and Zionist atheists as leaders in Eastern Europe, from Serbia to the Baltics and the Ukraine, the BBC are now directly plugging Western atheism in Russia, where a few decades ago Western Marxist atheists martyred 600 bishops and 120,000 clergy, under the pretext of ‘freedom of speech’.

Q: What worries you most about the situation of the contemporary Russian Orthodox Church? Ecumenism?

A: Definitely not ecumenism. That is a bedtime fairy-tale for old people. It was abandoned as a failure long ago. No, it is something else. Let us try and understand the context in which we live.

We live in the fourth century. We in the Russian Church have come out of persecution and are being recognized, moving forward into the rest of the fourth century. (Unlike the West, where the heterodox have been in the fourth century and are now heading backwards towards the third century and persecution by various atheist emperors). What was the problem in the fourth century? There were no outward enemies, but there were inward enemies, all those who swam with the tide, the ‘fairweather Christians’ who joined the Church for their careers, for worldly advantage. Martyrdom is largely over for us: the ‘easy way’ to salvation has gone: all we had to do was to be killed. For a believing Orthodox that is not a problem. This is why in the fourth century, there was a huge growth in monasticism. Opportunities for martyrdom were mainly over, but the faithful still needed the real thing.

In times of peace we face not outward enemies, but inward enemies, as we in the Church Outside Russia, know only too well. We in our part of the Russian Church did not face martyrdom, what we have faced for nearly 100 years is inward enemies. We faced multiple schisms, by modernists (in the Paris Jurisdiction and in the USA), then by old calendarists (in the USA, France, South America and Great Britain), we faced racism and nationalism (the policy of excluding certain people from the Church because they had ‘the wrong blood’), we faced careerism, false brethren and slanders, backed by certain bishops. This type of persecution is insidious and calls on us to be confessors and not martyrs. That is much more subtle.

We have a great example in St John of Shanghai, who was put on trial in a secular court by so-called ‘ROCOR’ bishops, clergy and people. Shame on them! But who came out of this affair a saint? It is the insignificant and derided little man on the court bench who prayed: the others are, at best, forgotten. Something similar happened to Fr Seraphim (Rose), who faced persecution from inside. Our greatest enemies have always come from inside the Church. Our enemies confess not the Orthodox Faith, they confess ‘religion’, the outward ritualistic system of phariseeism, spiritual dryness and literalism, together with a systemic personality cult and academicism, sometimes homosexual, all of which persecute, mock and despise any authentic, living spiritual experience.

The souls of these go dry at Pentecost, they feel nothing, not the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit, not new green life, but they rattle off the prayers to the Holy Spirit without feeling, looking at their watches. These people have no Love, no Theology, no Knowledge of the Living God (St Alban), no compassion, all they have is their ill psychology, which they use for self-justification and persecution of the righteous.

Today we can see such tendencies inside Russia (and among some of its representatives outside Russia). Careerism, the interest in ‘awards’, rationalism, knowledge only of the outward, Spirit-free academicism, the rush for ‘degrees’, the salt that has lost its savour. It does not matter whether the tendency is new calendarist and modernist or old calendarist and traditionalist, it is the same anti-spiritual tendency.

Q: Was the Russian emigration a good thing?

A: Its causes were of course bad and émigrés suffered. But the spiritual life of the emigration itself was very mixed, both pure and impure. In the 1930s St John of Shanghai reckoned that only 10% of the emigration was Churchly. This corresponds to my own experience. Many Russians were ‘White’ only inasmuch as they were greedy for money and property and had no time, either for the Faith or for the Tsar, whom so many of them had actively betrayed. Many were racist and nationalistic, opposed to multinational Rus, so denying the words and commandments of the apostles to go out into all the world and teach and baptise ‘all men’.

There are still parts of the Russian emigration which have not returned to the Russian Church and, incredibly, are still on the Catholic calendar, which was introduced by the masonic Anglicans into Constantinople for a fee of £100,000 in the early 1920s. Still no repentance for such unspeakable spiritual decadence! In years to come we shall be amazed that any of this was possible, let alone justified by ‘theologians’, ‘the great and good!’

And yet the emigration also produced saints. As ever, I will say to you: Follow the Saints! Yes, the rest existed and exists. Ignore them, let the spiritually dead bury the spiritually dead. There can be no nostalgia for them. Follow the Chains of Love and you will set your soul free. The Russian emigration was caused by evil, but God’s Providence can always make good from evil.

Q: Is it true that ROCOR has never had a scandal?

A: I do not know who told you such a fairy tale. Sadly, very sadly, just think about the Antony Grabbe scandal in Jerusalem, about the consecration of Valentin of Suzdal (I remember how Archbishop Antony of Geneva prayed for a snowstorm so that his plane could not take off and he would not have to take part in his consecration under obedience), about Grabbe’s bishop-father who ended up in a right-wing sect outside the Church and banned anyone from attending his funeral, about the defrocked….

Q: What would you like to see the Orthodox Church do as a whole?

A: Publish statistics and facts! For example, I reckon that there are about 800 Orthodox bishops, 80,000 priests and 217 million Orthodox. However, these are merely informed guesstimates and I do not know the truth. I have no idea how many deacons, monks and nuns there are in the Church and in each Local Church. I would be very grateful to see some central statistical Orthodox authority issuing such information. (If any readers can correct my estimates, please will they contact me).

Q: In the light of what happened in Crete in 2016, what should be done about the state of the Orthodox episcopate, where there are so many who are clearly unprincipled?

A: That is of course a question for the episcopate, not for me. However, my suggestion would be something like deposing all bishops who do not confess that:

1. The Orthodox Church alone is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

2. The application of the canons which state that if they have been appointed by secular authorities (e. g. the State Department in Washington), they must be deposed.

3. The application of the canons which state that if they practise simony, they must be deposed.

4. The application of the canons which state that if they practise homosexuality, they must be deposed.

5. That if they are freemasons, they must be deposed.

Q: You are educated, how can you believe in heaven and hell?

A: We know from the unique revelation of the New Testament that God is Love. Therefore, it is clear that heaven is the presence of Love and hell is the absence of Love. It is very simple. It is even clear from this that heaven and hell, although in undeveloped forms, already exist on earth. People create their own heaven and hell. Please forget the primitive notions of atheists about heaven and hell that you seem to have. It reminds me of the incredibly primitive peasant Khrushchev who said that Gargarin had proved that God did not exist because he had been in space and had not seen Him! The only thing that this proved was Khrushchev’s own primitive ignorance and spiritual blindness.

Q: Why does the Church have rituals? Surely they are unnecessary?

A: The angels do not have rituals. So why do we? Obviously, because we are not angels, that is, we have bodies, a material nature. All people have rituals. Protestants have rituals (sit down, stand up, prayer, hymn, guilt-making sermon, collection of money to pay for the guilt, which is merely a copy of Catholic indulgences), secularists have rituals, parades, processions, the opening of Parliament, both military and civilian etc. Let us therefore make sure that our Church rituals are beautiful and meaningful.

People will always make rituals to worship something higher and greater than themselves, whether the True God or an invented one – drink, football, the sun on the beach, a human ideology…As we know that we are inferior and need to worship something, so let us worship the True God and not such false gods.

A: What is the situation in the Ukraine now?

A: I have not been there for a year now, but with the persecution of most of the people (‘ethnic minorities, of whom over 50% are Russian’), the continuing civil war, the fleeing of millions abroad (especially to Poland and Russia) and the fact that the government is propped up only by US money and money from US organizations like the IMF, I think the future is grim. It seems probable to me that in a few years from now, the country, which is an artificial conglomerate founded by Lenin and Stalin, will split between Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, leaving a possible Little Russian rump around Kiev.

Q: What are we to make of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the earthquakes in Mexico?

A: There have always been such events. When you hear ‘the most powerful hurricane for 100 years’, it means that there have already been others at least as powerful in recorded history. None of this is the first time, it is just that the media are here to report these events. But the Caribbean and Florida are well known as places of crime, gambling, prostitution, drug-dealing and money-laundering. It is clear that only Faith can avert such catastrophes, not vice. Nearly 70 years ago on Tubabao St John of Shanghai protected that island from a typhoon through his prayers, going around the island with the cross and praying. This is what needs to be done here. But is anyone doing this?

In the USA some fear a great eruption in Yellowstone that could almost wipe out life in North America, or an earthquake in San Francisco. But what do people do in these places? Do they pray, do they repent? Some of course yes, but it seems that most just have more and more hubris. Just like Pompeii of old. Just like the Tower of Siloam. Little wonder that people speak of ‘Eurosodom and Gomorrhica’.

Q: Whose side are you on in the Brexit conflict between the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson?

A: That is a political question. All I can say is that I support neither of them. The Anglo-Turkish Old Etonian Boris Johnson is, despite his Russian Christian name, a fanatical Russophobe who supports a new Cold War. As regards the multi-millionaire Philip Hammond, I knew him personally, as he was in the same year in the same college in Oxford and also born in Essex (though at the wrong end). Even then, as a teenager, he was quite a ruthless careerist. True, he has done very well for himself in this respect, but has not yet got the top job, which is what he wants. However, regardless of that, both of these politicians are pro-British, i.e., anti-English, which is because they are pro-UK Establishment. The last pro-English politician I can think of is the long ago-retired Sir Richard Body. I am not sure that there is a single pro-English politician left in Parliament today.

Q: Should we be worried about the conflict between the USA and North Korea?

A: For the moment there is no conflict, just mutual insults. What worries me is that both leaders have terrible inferiority complexes that produce paranoia. One wants to be taken seriously as a President, instead of as a horse-trading businessman of limited intelligence, the other is a shy man who is trying to live up to his father and grandfather in cruelty, bluster and everything else. And his country is surrounded by aggressive US ships and planes (the USA is not surrounded by North Korean ships and planes), which only deepens national paranoia.

They both remind me of Kaiser Wilhelm who also had a terrible inferiority complex, caused by his deformed arm and his profound jealousy of Great Britain, and so started the Great War, with all its appalling consequences. ‘Inferiority complexes’ (= the sins of jealousy, vanity, selfishness and pride) cause many problems in world history. They are dangerous. As for these leaders, you should give children toys to play with, not guns, missiles and nuclear bombs. That is worrying.

4 July 1997- 4 July 2017: Twenty Years of Mission: On Restoring the Heritage of St John of Shanghai in the British Isles and Ireland

Exactly twenty years ago, on the eve of the feast day of St John of Shanghai in 1997, an Orthodox Christian mission began to England from the east coast town of Felixstowe, the town of St Felix. This was much like the original Orthodox Christian mission of 631 to exactly the same place but led by the future St Felix. Indeed, this new mission was also an Orthodox Christian mission and it came from the Russian Orthodox Archdiocese of Western Europe, centred in Geneva, precisely next to the native Burgundy of St Felix. This was therefore not a mission created around Parisian personalities with dreamy philosophies and dubious cults, nor one of sectarian and Calvinist phariseeism.

On the contrary, this mission owes itself to Archbishop Antony of Geneva (1910-1993), who was named after the theologian Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev, ordained by Metr Anastasy, and was a disciple of St John of Shanghai and so another authentic Russian Orthodox Archbishop of Western Europe (1). He was briefly bishop in England in 1985. It was in order to restore the heritage of his spiritual father, St John, who had left England in 1962, that we returned, for, to all intents and purposes, his heritage had been lost and forgotten in the British Isles, crucified by spiritual impurities from both the left side and the right side.

Today, as a result of this mission, we are looking not only at real parish bases in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, two of them our property, with four priests, but also at hopes of penetrating further inland, with missions to the north, south and west, to Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire, Kent and Sussex, and setting up a monastery. It seems, if God so wills, that the mission that could lead to a new Local Orthodox Church here, is indeed to be led from New York by the largely English-speaking ROCOR, to which Archbishop Antony belonged. Its local representative is Bishop Irenei (Steenberg), whose patron saint is the very saint whose icon was long ago painted in the Russian Orthodox church in Lyons – by Archbishop Antony.

Thus, today, whereas our Isles of the North Atlantic (IONA) appear to have a separate destiny from the Continent, it seems that God’s will for the imminent Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Continental Western Europe, the foundation of a new Local Church there, is not for it to be centred under the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in Geneva, as it was in the past under the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva. It is rather for this work to be continued directly from Moscow via the new Cathedral and seminary in Paris. May God’s Will be done!

Note: (From his Biography)

1. As a priest in the 1950s Archbishop Antony had served in different churches in the Western European diocese, including in Lyons. Here he had painted the iconostasis of the Lyons church, including an icon of St Irenei of Lyons. As a hierarch, at the Third All-Diaspora Council in 1974 he spoke forcefully for Church unity and against ROCOR self-isolation. He advocated preserving the purity of Orthodoxy against atheism and new calendarist modernism, all the while using the free voice of the Church Outside Russia to understand and not condemn the enslaved, cherishing unity with the universal Church of Christ, avoiding old calendarist divisiveness, intent on seeking out and exaggerating errors.

He called all Russian Orthodox to unity through love and to help Russia. He was commended for taking this royal path by the future St Paisios the Athonite. Archbishop Anthony was also noted for his pan-Orthodox vision and welcome to converts, asking one of his Russian priests to compose a service to All the Saints of the Swiss Lands. Despite his limited linguistic abilities, he ordained clergy of many origins and established multinational missions. His episcopacy was noted for the peace and love within his diocese, which stretched from Portugal to Austria and from the Netherlands to the south of Italy, and for the brotherly feeling among the clergy.

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence (May-June 2017)

Q: What is your deepest childhood impression?

A: My first memories go back to when I was two and a half, but I always felt in childhood that I was in Paradise and that God was just beyond the horizon, not far away at all. That was my first and deepest impression. That is why I have always wanted to re-enter my childhood, or at least, its spirit.

Q: Who were the people you met who impressed you the most?

A: First of all, there were all those of my parents’ generation, who had been through World War II, and of my grandparents’ generation, who had been through World War I. I heard so many stories from them, stories which you never read in the books or see in propaganda films.

Q: What did you understand from their stories?

A: I understood that World War II in Europe had actually been a continuation of the still unfinished World War I. I understood even then that that War had actually been a series of different wars. Later, as an adult, I understood in detail that in the Pacific there had been a contest for dominance in Eastern Asia and the Pacific between Japan, ironically Western-armed and Western-trained, and Great Britain, which Japan has easily won. However, it had then lost the contest when the USA had taken over from defeated Great Britain and beaten it, finally by dropping A-bombs on its civilians. Then there had been the war for oil resources in North Africa and the Middle East, which Great Britain had won against Germany, but only because the USA had armed and helped it. Then there was the war on the Eastern Front in Europe, where the Western Powers had hoped that Germany would exhaust itself by destroying the USSR, so losing two enemies at the same time. In fact, the USSR had defeated and contained Germany, but only for two generations, until the Fourth Reich EU taken over Eastern Europe. Finally, there had been the war on the Western Front, which Germany had lost militarily, but won economically through its EU.

Q: Was there anyone else who shaped you?

A: Beyond them, there were representatives of an even older generation still alive then, those who had been born as far back as the 1870s. One elderly lady I met had been at Queen Victoria’s funeral, another remembered the Relief of Mafeking in 1900. (A third, in France, though I was an adult then, told me how her grandmother had told her how she had seen Napoleon riding through Versailles. I had no reason to disbelieve her). They all impressed me because they were living history, representing something that had disappeared, for good and for ill. History is real, it all happened.

Q: But what about the Orthodox you met after childhood? You knew very well Metr Antony Bloom, Fr Sophrony Sakharov, Fr Alexander Schmemann and other clergy.

A: True, but apart from Archbishop Antony of Geneva, who was a disciple of Metr Antony of Kiev and spoke to me about him, the other clergy you mention did not impress me very much. It was more laypeople who impressed me. For instance, there was Princess Kutaisova the elegant Oxford teacher, Elena Grigorievna Evdokimova who had greeted the Tsar before the First World War, Vladimir Ivanovich Labunsky who was the last White officer in Paris, the genial Prince Boris Galitsin, the noble Ekaterina Osipova, Maria Cattoir, or Lyudmila Brizhatova the poetess, and many others. They were all the best of the White emigration, because that emigration had been divided into two parts, those who were really White, that is the penitent, and on the other hand, those who had betrayed the Tsar. The penitent were not only penitent for themselves, even though they had often had little to repent for, but above all repented on behalf of others.

Q: When did you first begin writing?

A: Before I could write!

Q: What do you mean?

A: When I was four, I used to take scrap paper and draw wavy lines on it; it was my writing. All my childhood and long after I carried pen and paper with me. I was always noting things down. The first piece that was published was when I was eleven. I had an aunt who had written an unpublished novel and my father, who had left school before he was 14, had written poetry. So there was something in the family.

Q: Is there anything you would you like to write in the future?

A: For forty years I have wanted to write a novel about the Russian emigration in Europe. There is a huge untold story there. True, there is a French film specifically about those who returned to the USSR after 1945 and the American film ‘The White Countess’ about the emigration in Shanghai and an immense number of memoirs of individual emigres, but that is not the same. I would like to tell a saga, an epic, though I suppose I never will, as I do not have such talent. I would like to tell of the refugees who had nothing to eat, the Tsar’s generals who became housepainters, the princes who were taxi-drivers, the Cossacks who worked at Renault and went to the church in Boulogne-Billancourt, where I married. There is so much to say here.

Q: Would you say that you are political?

A: Not in any party political sense, but only through the eyes of the Church, in the sense that, as we live in the world, we must understand what is going on in the world, either to encourage and try to channel it, or else to oppose it. Some people say that they are apolitical. Well, that is already a political stance. That is to be disincarnate, futile, to waste yourself on dreams and lose yourself in illusions. That is wrong, spiritually dangerous, even demonic. Real Christians all believe in the Incarnation, therefore we must have an interest in politics, so that we can influence the world.

Q: Do you hope for the restoration of the monarchy in Russia?

A: Of course, but it must be the restoration of the Orthodox monarchy, Sacred Monarchy, not just some token monarchism, as in the UK. This restoration is essential, not just for the Russian Lands, not just for the Orthodox Church (in which so much decadence began after the overthrow of the Orthodox monarchy in 1917), but for the whole world, which became unbalanced afterwards. The Second World War would never have happened, nor would the so-called Cold War (in fact a Hot War with millions of victims in the Third World), if the Orthodox Monarchy had not been betrayed, for the monarchy is the last bastion of Orthodox power.

However, we must be realistic. To have Orthodox monarchy, you must deserve it, you must have the right spiritual level; contemporary Russia is very far from that. It will need mass repentance for the monarchy to be restored. That is not happening yet. Our role is that of St John the Baptist, to be forerunners who preach repentance, who prepare the way. What we feared in the 60s, 70s and 80s, the end of the world, will certainly still come, if there is not mass repentance. We have been given a stay of execution with events in Russia, especially since 2000, but no more than that. All is fragile, hanging by a thread.

Q: What can be done here in concrete terms for restoration?

A: We need to establish a Russian Orthodox Monarchist Association (ROMA) today, on the centenary of the epic tragedy of the so-called Russian Revolution. This needs to commemorate the last Tsar and his family, martyred ninety-nine years ago on the confines of Europe and Asia. Their martyrdom was a catastrophe for the whole world, particularly for the Christian world, which has fallen apart without a strong Christian Russian Empire, going from disaster to disaster.

Such an Association also needs to help prepare the Western world for the coming Russian Emperor, who will have an even greater international significance than the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II, because he may well be the last Christian Emperor before the end. As such, he will be the only protector of the Church of God against all the pseudo-Christian and anti-Christian forces that have surfaced on the world, both before and since the fall of the Russian Empire one hundred years ago.

Q: What do you mean exactly by repentance for any of this to happen?

A: The Faith of many has been made impure. It is polluted and corrupted by superficiality. We can see this in the liberalism of intellectual or academic theology. I remember in Paris how a divorced subdeacon and teacher of such ‘theology’, an author of many books on ‘theology’, never fasted, even in Holy Week. What sort of theology could he write, when he did not fast, when he did not clean his soul first, when he wrote against asceticism and monasticism? This sort of attitude, very common among such people, is just decadence. This has to be repented for – not justified, as many do.

We can also see this superficiality in extreme conservatism. Just recently someone wrote to me that he believed that the earth was flat and that dinosaurs never existed because their fossils had only recently been discovered. Yet the Psalms say that: ‘He hath made the round world so sure, that it cannot be moved’. To be very old-fashioned is not the same as following the Tradition, which is much more radical than being old-fashioned. Such extreme conservatism also has to be repented for.
We can see this superficiality in nationalism, which tries to put the Truth for all time and all peoples into the narrow container of one nationality. In one Balkan church I visited years ago, I was told that I could not venerate the icons because I was not of the nationality of the church! Such ignorant nationalism or racism, called phyletism, which is simply attachment to this world, has to be repented for.

We can see this superficiality also in the attitude of certain ex-Soviet people who treat the Faith in a consumerist way, as a sort of magic. Magic happens automatically regardless of the efforts you make, whereas prayer, the sacraments and Church life depend on the efforts that we make to cleanse ourselves and receive grace. Such people are always upset when they pay their money and do not get the magic result that they expect. Faith does not work like that. Such an attitude to the Faith has to be repented for. We have to work for the Faith.

Q: What would you say of the future of the world?

A: Only God knows our future. But some things are clear. We now have to meet the obligations imposed on us by the collapse of the heterodox world, the spiritual and moral collapse of Catholicism and Protestantism.

Q: What do you hope to see in the future?

A: In the years that remain to me, I hope to see the establishment of the Metropolia in Western Europe, which is a single whole, and the restoration of our Diocese of the Anglo-Celtic British Isles and Ireland, after so many decades of spiritual decadence and alien ‘Britishism’. Let us here restore the ideal of the Anglo-Celtic St Cuthbert.

The Resurrection of the Christian Empire

http://katehon.com/article/resurrection-christian-empire

Introduction: The Need for the Christian Empire

Since we believe in God the Holy Trinity, our theological, political and social ideal is to strive to bring Heaven down to earth in the form of a Christian Empire, with as much worldwide influence as possible. This is, after all, what we pray for every day in the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven’. Any other attitude promotes the disincarnate heresies of Gnosticism and Origenism, heresies because they deny the Divinizing Incarnation, that God became man that man might become God-like.

The Christian Empire until 1917

This Christian Empire, founded in the fourth century by St Constantine the Great and then continued in the Russian Lands, was the place of special grace, of a culture that was protected from the perverted values of the apostasy of the West and the paganism of the East. This Christian Empire existed as Holy Rus until February 1917, when the Emperor was overthrown and martyred by the international agents of industry and banking outside it and by Western-inspired apostasy and treason, caused by the loss of Orthodoxy, inside it.

Let us recall that the Empire’s spiritual and therefore moral values were profoundly Christian. Indeed, the social, political and economic values of the Christian Empire went around the world, establishing the Hague Court of Justice, promoting anti-militarism and anti-colonialism in East and West alike. This can be seen in the stance of the Christian Empire towards the appalling scramble for Africa of Western European countries and the Boer War, and towards still sovereign countries like Tibet, Ethiopia, Siam (Thailand) and China.

Internally, there was the establishment of free education, welfare measures and social justice, despite the furious opposition of decadent aristocrats and the greedy rising capitalist bourgeoisie. Externally, there was the building of churches for the missionary spread of Orthodox Christianity outside the Empire, notably in Japan, the USA, Western Europe, China and Korea, wherever there was a consciousness of the need to confess Orthodox Christianity before the heretical Western world and the pagan Eastern world.

Stage One of the Restoration of the Christian Empire

Obviously, we would like to see ourselves, our children and our grandchildren living in such a restored Empire once more. However, the Christian Empire can only be restored when the mass of Orthodox Christians repent for apostasy, becoming conscious that our Faith is not some private piece of piety or folklore, an intellectual hobby, without any incarnational social and political consequences. We must be seized by the consciousness of our duty and the importance of restoring the sacral Empire for the continuation of the world.

Over the last generation, since 1991, we have seen the first stage of this restorative process in the main part of the Empire, at present called the Russian Federation. Mass baptism after 1988 and the gradual rebuilding of the Church, however slow, and then in 2000 the recognition by the Jubilee Council of the first of the New Martyrs, including the Imperial Martyrs. Although this was much resisted by disincarnate fantasists and pseudo-Orthodox ecumenists and renovationists, these were vital steps towards reversing the apostasy.

Then came the consciousness of the existence of the ‘Russian world’. However racially limited that is, this was a further step in the continuing restorative process. Now, a generation on from the collapse of militant atheism, there are at last in Russia Orthodox Ministers of Defence and Education (once a bastion of atheism). We can wish now for an Orthodox Minister of Health, since that too has long been a bastion of the vestigial and primitive atheism of backward-looking materialists. And churches are again being built in many places abroad.

The Next Stage

Only now can we begin to understand that the next stage in the process of healing and restoration must be the understanding of the significance of the Imperial Martyrs and all those attached to them. There will be no restored Christian Empire with worldwide influence until there is a Christian Emperor. And there will be no new Emperor until all have repented for overthrowing and martyring the last Emperor, Nicholas II, his Family and all those around them, and rejecting their values, so despised by the aristocrats of Saint Petersburg.

Those around them include the martyred Imperial servants, canonized in 1981 by the Church Outside Russia, all those who remained faithful to the end, whether suffering martyrdom or not, like Fr Nicholas Gibbes in England who was converted by the Imperial example. Necessary here is the repentance for attitudes towards others at the Imperial Court. It is significant that there are both in Russia and in the emigration those who still justify the slaying of the Imperial Family and also denigrate all those who remained faithful to them.

Notably, there is the case of Anna Alexandrovna Vyrubova (Taneeva), the confidante of the martyred Tsarina Alexandra. In 1923 she became a nun in exile in Valaam and she is known as Mother Maria of Helsinki. She died on 20 July 1964 and her grave in Helsinki is adorned with flowers, yet she is despised and slandered and falsified memoirs have been published. The aim is not just to discredit her, but also the Imperial Martyrs. If she, their close friend, can be discredited, they argue, so the Martyrs themselves can also be discredited.

The Significance of the Imperial Servants

Mother Maria was slandered because her 1923 ‘Memories of the Russian Court’ (1) told the truth about the Imperial Family and Gregory Rasputin. Notably she spoke of the ‘plot of the Grand Princes’. They did not want the truth about the Lord’s Anointed to be revealed. In this affair the atheist regime of the Soviet Union and aristocratic traitors in the emigration were entirely at one. The truth she told contradicted their self-justifying slanders which concealed the real reason for the downfall of the Christian Empire – treason.

The arguments of all the enemies of the Church were filled with their ideology of disincarnate Gnostic intellectualism and philosophical fantasies. These discredit the Incarnate Christian Empire, reducing the Christian Faith to private, individualistic, Protestant-style pietism without any practical ramifications in everyday life. They reject the God-given arrangement of symphony, or harmony, between Church and State, in favour of a system where the world rules and religion is left as a voluntary affair for personal intellectual life.

Therefore, the enemies of the Church had systematically to discredit all those connected with the Imperial Family. And here we come to one of the problematic areas in this process of repentance, to another Imperial servant. For the Revolution did not start in February 1917, but two months earlier, on 30 December 1916. This was 25 years before the next German invasion of 1941 and 75 years, almost to the day, before the dissolution of the atheist Union on 26 December 1991. What happened on that fatal day, or rather, night in 1916?

1916-2016 and the Resurrection of the Christian Empire

30 December 1916 was the night when Gregory Efimovich Rasputin-Novy was assassinated by British spies with the aid of Russian aristocrats. He was the ‘Friend’ of the Imperial Family, an elder gifted and sent by God, but used as a scapegoat by the aristocracy to discredit the Family because he was a simple Orthodox peasant, not one of them. He was slandered by Soviet atheists, decadent Russian émigrés, and the Western Establishment alike. Why? Because their values are all identical in their hostility to Incarnate Christianity.

Thus, I remember in the 1980s hearing the disgraceful and slanderous opinion of a priest (later a bishop) in the Paris emigration about Bishop Theophan of Poltava and Gregory Rasputin. In reality, only when Gregory’s murder is acknowledged and his role representing the faithful Russian people is recognized will justice be done. His murder was the first in the coup d’etat which led to the murder not only of the Imperial Family, but to the murder of millions, the attempt to murder Civilization, to murder the Christian Empire.

This murder was carried out by the Anglo-Zionist Empire (2), founded in 1916 by the internationalist politician Lord Milner, who wrote the Balfour Declaration, Lloyd-George, and bankers like the Morgans and the Warburgs. This Anglo-Zionist Empire has reigned for 100 years. All this time we have been seeking the resurrection of the Christian Empire. But this can only come with repentance for the treason of 1916 and 1917 and the 100-year nightmare that followed. Only when that repentance has taken place, can restoration begin.

Conclusion: Where Do We Come From – Where Are We Going?

When faced with this question, my answer is always ‘from far away’. For we come from White Russia, from Holy Rus, from the Christian Empire. We are the Tsar’s people. We have not chosen the alternative to this, the Anglo-Zionist Empire, now centred in Washington and spreading its tentacles through the UN, the EU, NATO and a host of vassal states and organizations worldwide. All that is the dying past and we have chosen the future, the Coming Christian Empire. It is what we are single-mindedly marching towards, our only destiny.

Notes:

1. For Anna Vyrubova’s memoirs in English about the Elder Gregory Rasputin and his slanderers, see:
http://www.alexanderpalace.org/russiancourt2006/xi.html

2. This term ‘Anglo-Zionist Empire’ was first used by another, like myself also a spiritual child of the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, the Russo-Dutch political blogger known as ‘The Saker’. We also use this term because it sums up perfectly the imperialist exclusivism of the British Lloyd-George, Balfour, the ambassador Buchanan and the Anglo-German Lord Milner, anti-English but pro-British, all members of the secretive organization ‘The Round Table’. Milner had been responsible for tens of thousands of civilian deaths in the British concentration camps of the Boer War, a ruthless war all about gold and diamonds. With his bankster and industrialist allies in New York, for example Crane, Morgan, the German-born Kuhn Loeb, Schiff and the Warburgs, the half-German Milner founded the century of supremacy of the transnational Anglosphere, in 1916 transferring its centre from London to New York. This clique had a more or less Hitlerian belief in the racial superiority of the English-speaking world, backed by Jewish finance (hence ‘Anglo-Zionist’), and had no patriotic loyalty, but loyalty only to global finance. Today they would have been called ‘neocons’. Some, for example the German General Ludendorff, have suggested that this clique was responsible for the death of the patriotic Lord Kitchener, the much slandered lover of England and Russia, in June 1916. Certainly Lloyd-George and Milner profited hugely from his death.

Christ the Invincible Power

Answers to Questions from Recent Conversations and Correspondence

Q: When did you first become conscious of the Russian Orthodox Church?

A: My introduction to the Orthodox Church was through the local saints of England in my native north Essex, notably St Edmund, but also St Albright (Ethelbert), St Cedd, St Botolph and St Osyth. However, as regards the Russian Orthodox Church as such, my first encounter was almost fifty years ago, just after my 12th birthday, in August 1968. As a result of that revelation, I began teaching myself Russian in October of that year in Colchester because I already knew that the Russian Orthodox Church is my spiritual home. However, I had to wait nearly another seven years until I could take part in Russian Orthodox life, as in those days (it is not much better now) there were so few Russian churches anywhere. I only managed to visit any Russian churches in 1973.

Q: Which part of the Russian Church did you join?

A: Having been told by two of its members that the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) would not allow me to join it because I was English (I had no idea at that time that my great-grandmother was Russian, I only discovered that distant link much later), I had no alternative but to join the Moscow Patriarchate. They may have been many things in those distant days, but at least they were not racists.

Q: What was your path to the priesthood after that?

A: A very hard one. First of all, since I could not live and work in Russia on account of the Cold War at that time, for my first job I went to live and work in Greece. I thought that was the next best alternative. After a year there and visiting the then Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, I understood that the Balkan Churches were no solution to the need for a Local Orthodox Church in the West. They were all inward-looking, culturally very narrow and hopelessly nationalistic. Later, contacts with Romanians and Georgians told me the same about them and in the Romanian case there is the huge problem of simony. So, with Russia closed off, in 1979 with the blessing of Metr Antony (Bloom) I went to study at the St Sergius Theological Institute in Paris, which I had in my ignorance imagined to be a Russian Orthodox seminary.

Q: What was it in fact?

A: It was the remains of a Russian Orthodox seminary mingled with an institute of philosophy and, frankly, of heresy. It openly preached modernism or Renovationism, which is Protestant-based, and is therefore not even remotely interesting to someone coming from a country like England with a Protestant culture, so alien to me. One English priest, rather harshly, called St Serge a Methodist Sunday School. Very harsh, but there was some truth in it.

Q: Why did you not think of going to Jordanville in the USA?

A: For the same reason as before. I was repeatedly told by members of ROCOR that they only took Russians. Remember in those days there was no internet, no advice, you had to make your own way, you went by what local representatives told you, even if it was incorrect.

Q: What happened next?

A: In 1982 I was offered the priesthood by the Moscow Patriarchate on terms which I can only describe as scandalous. I walked out, never to return, and enquired again at the Church Outside Russia. I got the same answer as in 1974, though I noted that this time there were actually a few ex-Anglicans in a separate branch of ROCOR in England. However, these rather eccentric conservative Anglicans seemed to have no interest in the Russian Orthodox Church, but only in being anti-Anglican and they had a huge interest in fanatical Greek Orthodox sects. Never having been Anglican and having lived in Greece, I had no interest in either. This was all the more frustrating since ROCOR had just canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors and naturally I had their icons and venerated them. Nevertheless, in 1983, I decided to emigrate to France and join my wife’s jurisdiction, the Paris Jurisdiction.

Q: Wasn’t that foolhardy? I mean you already knew about the problem of modernism there?

A: What you have to understand is that in Paris in 1981 they had elected a new Archbishop. Under the very elderly and saintly old one, renovationists had come to the fore, taking advantage of his old age, but the new Archbishop promised us personally that he would sweep them away and return his jurisdiction to Orthodoxy and canonical Russian practice. So this was a time of great promise and even excitement. Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople even said at the time that the Paris Jurisdiction would be returned to the Russian Church as soon as it was free. So, with hope in a promising future, in January 1985 I was ordained deacon there.

Q: What happened next?

A: in May 1985 I was offered the priesthood providing that I would become a freemason. I refused, scandalized. Then we became witnesses to the complete takeover of the jurisdiction by renovationists. The new Archbishop ordained them one by one, completely breaking his promise – not because he was a liar, but because he was weak. It was the same problem as Metr Evlogy, the first Paris Jurisdiction ruling bishop; he had never wanted to leave the Russian Church, but he was a weak man surrounded by powerful laymen, mainly freemasons and those who had betrayed the Tsar and organized the February Revolution. It was the end of the possibility that that jurisdiction would ever return to the freed, restored and reunited Russian Church. But I only understood that the meaning of that bitter disappointment afterwards.

Q: Why did you not leave such a masonic group?

A: Not all by far were freemasons and I felt that I had to labour on until God’s will for me should be revealed.

Q: When was that?

A: Without doubt it was in summer 1988 when the Paris Jurisdiction celebrated the millennium of the Baptism of Rus. Instead of inviting the Russian bishops in Western Europe to the Cathedral on Rue Daru in Paris and returning to the Russian Church in unity, they railed against the Russian Church and invited the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Paris. I was not only scandalized but spiritually distraught. I was an eyewitness to treason and apostasy. It was the last straw. They preferred heresy to Orthodoxy.

Soon after, I met Archbishop Antony of Geneva of ROCOR, who told me that he would be happy to receive me and that I had no need whatsoever to labour on in such anti-canonical conditions. I jumped at the opportunity. 17 people left with me, including a priest. So we all joined the Church Outside Russia in January 1989. That was a transforming moment because previously I had only known the Church Outside Russia in England. On the other hand, Vladyka Antony, heir to Vladyka John of Shanghai, though traditional, was not racist or fanatical, but missionary-minded. He lived in a different world from the fanatics in England and we freely concelebrated with other Orthodox.

I remember him telling me about the extremists who were trying to take control of ROCOR in New York. He said: ‘But there’s nowhere else to go’. I have not the slightest doubt that he would have returned to Russia, if he had had the chance. I also remember conversations with him about Metr Antony of Kiev (Archbp Antony came from Kiev), whom he had known well in Belgrade and whose name he had taken. He was the real ROCOR. Real Russian Orthodox. At last. It had taken me 20 years to get to that point! 20 years of facing illusions, lies, broken promises and corruption. You would think it would have been easy, but nothing of the sort. All hell was against the Russian Orthodox Church, a sure sign of truth.

Q: What happened next?

A: Well, I was at last living as a proper Russian Orthodox. Nearly three years later, in December 1991 I was ordained priest for the new ROCOR parish in Lisbon in Portugal.

Q: What was your attitude to the Moscow Patriarchate?

A: We were all just impatiently waiting for it to become politically free and free of renovationism. That happened officially with the Jubilee Council in Moscow in 2000.

Q: So why didn’t the Church Outside Russia join up with the Patriarchate straightaway in 2000?

A: It is one thing to proclaim the truth at a Council, but another for the decisions of that Council to be implemented. For example, after that I can still remember how at the London Patriarchal Cathedral they refused to put up icons of the New Martyrs and also, incidentally, they refused to sell the books of Fr Seraphim (Rose) or anything traditional. Priests and people coming from Russia were persecuted by the renovationists because they were ‘too’ traditional. We had to wait for the Patriarchate to free itself from such Renovationism.

Also, it must be said, we had to wait until the fanatical elements that had done so much harm to ROCOR since they had started infiltrating the Church in the mid-sixties had left us. When the extremists did finally leave, almost at the same time, there was a huge sigh of relief, because then we could get on with being Orthodox. So it was we had to wait until 2007.

Q: How do you know that people are free of Renovationism?

A: Easy: The yardstick is veneration for the New Martyrs, especially the Imperial Martyrs. The renovationists hate them.

Q: How do you know that people are free of sectarian fanaticism of the sort you describe as having infiltrated ROCOR?

A: Easy: The yardstick is the willingness to concelebrate with other Orthodox Christians.

Q: What is going to happen in the future? At present there are countries like England where there are two parallel jurisdictions of the Russian Church, one dependent on Moscow, the other dependent on the Church Outside Russia?

A: According to the 2007 agreement, where there are two parallel jurisdictions, ROCOR should, in time, absorb the Patriarchal jurisdiction. This will probably take a generation, so that no-one will be under any pressure and everything will take place naturally, organically. However, in reality, already nine years have passed and we can see that in certain areas, like North America and Australasia, ROCOR will indeed clearly take over responsibility for those territories, whereas in other areas the Patriarchate will take over, as in South America, not to mention South-East Asia. The problem comes in the mixed area of Western Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland. In this area, only time will tell, clearly it is the more competent of the two that will take responsibility.

For the moment we shall lead parallel lives. There is in any case so much to do. I could start 12 parishes tomorrow, if I had the money to buy buildings and get candidates for the priesthood ordained. The state of Orthodox infrastructure and the general pastoral situation here are so appalling as to be scandalous; no wonder so many Orthodox lapse or become Roman Catholic or Protestant. All we pastors meet with is indifference. Those in authority should hang their heads in shame. Why is there not a church, our own property in every town over 100,000? This should have been done a generation ago. For example the teeming millions of London only have two small churches!

Colchester is the 50th largest town in England (and incidentally the 500th largest in Western Europe). It has a church that belongs to us. But want about the other 49 larger ones? Only five of them have their own churches: London, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Birkenhead-Liverpool. That is a scandal. There is no missionary vision at all. Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with a population of two million. And where do the faithful of the Patriarchate have ten liturgies a year on Saturdays (that’s all the priest can manage)? In the Ukrainian Uniat chapel. The next time you hear some naïve Orthodox boasting about his Church, tell him that. Orthodox should be ashamed of themselves.

Q: So is there competition between the two parts of the Russian Church locally?

A: No, not at all. It all depends on who has the priests and the buildings. A concrete example. I was asked to visit a prison in Cambridgeshire. Now, since there is no ROCOR presence in Cambridgeshire (because through incompetence it refused to set anything up there in the 1980s), I gave the prison authorities the references of the Patriarchal priest who lives in Cambridgeshire. On the other hand, when there was question of the Patriarchate setting something up in Norfolk (it had lost what it had had there a few years before, also through incompetence), but knowing that ROCOR had a presence there dating back to 1966, it was referred to me. So here is a territorial division. Now, where there is a double jurisdiction, as in London (the only case), something will have to be sorted out. But, as you can see, that will be as a result of competence. Only time can settle such matters. The more competent part, the more spiritual part of the Russian Church will prevail and form a united jurisdiction.

Q: So there is no rigid territorial division in Western Europe?

A: No, nobody wants to impose such a system. Let everything be done freely, let the people choose. Though, having said that, we can observe a tendency for ROCOR to dominate in the English-speaking world. Canada, the USA and Australasia are clear examples. For example, with Archbishop Mark of ROCOR retiring to Germany and the ROCOR Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland being taken over by Metr Hilarion of New York, we can even talk about a sort of ROCOR Brexit. Metr Hilarion will in fact be Metropolitan of New England and Old England. That is an exceptional event, historically speaking, and may be significant, a turning-point.

So it is possible that in a generation from now ROCOR will only exist in the English-speaking world, but will unite all Russian Orthodox there. ROCOR will become ROCA – the Russian Orthodox Church in the Anglosphere. That is one quite organic and natural possible scenario, a united Russian Orthodox Metropolia for the Anglosphere, the English-speaking world. The Patriarchate will look after everything else in various Metropolias, in Latin America, in Alaska, in Western Europe, in Asia etc.

Q: So Western Europe would completely go to the Patriarchate?

A: That is the way that things are developing at the moment. All the young bishops and all the dynamism in the Russian Church there is Patriarchal. ROCOR only has three ageing bishops and is not opening any new churches.

Q: Is there a difference between ROCOR churches and Patriarchal churches?

A: I think there is a small one, in general. Strangely enough, ROCOR is at one and the same time more Russian, but also more local, more integrated. We have done the translations, we print in English, we speak the local languages and know the local laws, we were born here. At the same time, however, we are utterly faithful to the best of the Tsar’s Russia, never having endured the Soviet period and Renovationism. ‘To quote the saintly Metr Laurus: ‘We are for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy’. We are Imperial priests and people.

Q: What about your own relations with the Russian Church inside Russia?

A: We are very close to all those who are Churched in Russia and they feel close to us. For example, in Moscow one of the closest friends of ROCOR has always been Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), whom some have even suggested will be the next Patriarch. (Bp Tikhon has been in the news recently, since he outraged the British Establishment by inviting students from Eton College to experience Christianity in Russia; not something the atheist Establishment likes). In general, those who especially venerate the New Martyrs and Confessors at once feel at home in ROCOR. I have this nearly every Sunday. People from different parts of Russia, from the Ukraine, from Moldova and elsewhere say that they feel at home, whatever the language, the atmosphere is like at home. In my native town of Colchester, that is a great thing that we have such an oasis of Orthodoxy.

Q: Who are the unChurched in Russia?

A: You find all sorts of people. There are those on the right hand side who mingle superstition with Orthodoxy, for instance, those ritualists who think that holy water is more important than holy communion, who mix in pharisaic sectarianism, puritanism and judgementalism, or, on the other hand, those on the left hand side, who mix in Soviet nationalism, love of the tyrant Stalin, or modernism. But all that is superficial, the majority make their way to the Church sooner or later. You do not waste time on the convert fringes of the Church – otherwise you might end up thinking that that is the Church! A terrible delusion!

Q: Why have you stayed faithful to the Russian Church despite all the difficulties that you have faced over nearly fifty years?

A: Because the Russian Orthodox Church is the Invincible Power. History since 1917 proves it. The gates of hell have not prevailed – and shall not prevail – despite all the enemies and traitors, both external and internal, we have faced. Judas betrayed, but the other apostles triumphed. So tragedy becomes joy. The stone that was rejected is become the headstone of the corner. Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!

Some Autobiographical Notes

I have been asked a number of questions about how, coming from a simple, earthy English background in rural England, I came to be a Russian Orthodox priest of the Church Outside Russia. Making use of some unexpected time this week, I have looked back through some old papers which I had forgotten and can now answer those questions with some dates.

Q: How did you come to the Russian Church?

A: After a countryside childhood strangely filled with interest in faraway Russia, I started teaching myself Russian in October 1968. I was told to do so in a particular spot in Colchester, which I could take you to now, by a voice heard coming, brought as it were by a wind from the east. So I began to read a lot of Russian literature in translation and Russian history. Two years later, in 1970, I had decided that I wanted to be part of the Russian Church and had begun reading as much as I could to find out about it (very little was available at that time). However, it was only after my sixteenth birthday that I managed to visit Russian churches.

Q: Where? In London?

A: No, my family never went to London, which we always looked on as a different planet, ‘the smoke’ as we still called it. The countryside was our home. I won a bursary and at the end of February 1973 I managed to visit a Russian church in England. This was the tiny Russian Patriarchal house chapel in Oxford, where I prayed at vespers on two successive Saturdays. Then in the same year I won another bursary to visit the then Soviet Union; in fact the first church I visited there was St Vladimir’s Cathedral in Kiev. As I entered those churches, I knew that I wanted to be part of their inner life and that this was my destiny, the whole meaning of my life, regardless of all the barriers that would be put in front of me. I felt that I had always been here, that this was in my blood. (Only in 2004 did I discover any possible though very distant explanation in a Carpatho-Russian great-grandmother – my mother’s mother’s mother). At the end of 1973 I also managed to visit the Patriarchal Cathedral in London, of which I had heard. ROCOR then had no existence outside itself, being largely unknown to the outside world, at least in England.

Q: Which part of the Russian Church did you join?

A: As soon as I was free to do so at the age of 18, in 1974, I asked to join the Russian Church. Of course, there were two parts then. Firstly, I met two representatives of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), who solemnly informed me that I would not be allowed to join their Church since it was in any case ‘for Russians only’. I also met other, rather fanatical and sectarian individuals from ROCOR, who completely turned me away. I therefore took the only option left to me and joined the Patriarchal Church, presuming that this was identical to the Church that I had seen in Russia and the Ukraine.

However, I very soon found out that the small Oxford Patriarchal parish was dominated by two opposing clans – on the one hand, by haughty Parisian-type modernists, and, on the other hand, by Soviet chauvinist nationalists, for whom the Communist Party could do no ill! I gave myself spiritual life by reading Russian theological books I ordered from Jordanville and elsewhere. Visiting Soviet Russia for a second time in 1976 and spending time there, I saw again how the real Russian Church was different from the Oxford cliques. In 1977 a priest I had met in Russia the year before suggested that I study at the Moscow Theological Academy. I would very much like to have done that, but at the height of the Cold War this was absolutely impossible. That was tragic.

Q: What did you do?

A: I did the next best thing and in 1978 went to live and work in Thessaloniki in Greece for one year. Here, I saw how traditional the ethos could be, quite different from the Church of Constantinople, which I had seen in England, but also, unfortunately, I saw narrow Balkan nationalism and came across the semi-Protestant Zoe and Sotir organizations – closer to Methodism than Orthodoxy! However, I also visited Mt Athos and was especially influenced by Fr Ephraim at Philotheou and the very poor and heroic monks at the Russian St Panteleimon’s Monastery. I remember especially Fr Seraphim, Fr Misail (who wanted me to join the monastery and be the librarian) and the choir director from Odessa. These were real, exemplary Orthodox. It was at this point that I decided that I should go and study at a Russian seminary.

Since I had been told (in fact lied to) that Jordanville only accepted Russians, I took the only option left and went to St Serge in Paris. (The two ‘seminary’ establishments of the OCA held no interest for me since they were both on the Catholic/Protestant calendar and deviated in other ways from the ethos and practice of the Russian Church inside Russia. I knew enough from talking to people who had been to them and from my visits to Russia to understand that they were not right for me. I wanted the real thing).

Q: What happened next?

A: I went to study at St Serge in Paris. There I experienced the battle royal between the two factions in Paris at that time. The first, led by Protopresbyter Alexis Knyazev, a wonderful teacher, was the pro-Russian one that was clear-sighted enough to see that the only future was to rejoin the Russian Church, but on some autonomous basis.

The second group, the Fraternite Orthodoxe, led basically by the Jesuit-educated Count, Fr Boris Bobrinskoy, notorious for having celebrated the liturgy in a Catholic convent with the filioque (!) – so as ‘not to offend our Catholic brethren’, was virtually composed of Uniats. Other members included the fantasist and Athos-hater Olivier Clement and a Georgian priest who spent his time extolling the Second Vatican Council. I soon gave up going to their courses. The modernist and manipulative Fraternite was populated by patronizing aristocrats and fantasist ideologues who preyed on naïve Catholics and converts. Descendants of those who had carried out the Revolution, they absolutely hated Russia and had no intention of ever returning to the sobriety and discipline of the Russian Church. Naturally, I supported the first group which alone was authentic and also realistic.

These two groups depended on the Rue Daru bishop, the weak, elderly but saintly Archbishop George (Tarasov). The Fraternite was clearly waiting for him to die and then seize power, which they only managed to do in full twenty years later. Members of the Fraternite, some soon to become priests, used to hiss, mock and boo Archbishop George publicly. It was awful. I believe that Archbishop George, a former WWI Russian pilot from the Western Front, was a saint. Had he been in good health and lived another fifteen years, he would have returned the group to the Russian Church with the status of an autonomous Metropolia.

Q: Where did you go after St Serge?

A: Having met my wife, who is basically of Anglo-Italian-Romanian origin, and married in Paris, we returned to England. We stayed here for three years, trying to find some sort of balanced spiritual life between the extremes of the pseudo-Patriarchal Church and the Church Outside Russia, with their cliques which were not Churchly at all, quite different from the Church inside Russia, which I had seen in 1972 and 1976, and again at St Panteleimon’s on Mt Athos.

Having discovered the scandalous truths about the extremists dominating both groups in England, we returned disillusioned to France and my wife’s jurisdiction (Rue Daru). Here the new German Archbishop had personally promised us that he was going to steer the Church away from the modernist and ecumenist Fraternite Orthodoxe and back to Russian Orthodox Tradition, but using Western languages whenever necessary. Enthused by this sensible direction and the support of Fr Alexis Knyazev, who was still alive then, I was ordained in Paris in January 1985.

Q: What happened?

A: I had fallen from the frying pan into the fire. Within four months I was asked to become a freemason, which I refused to do, thus signing a kind of spiritual death warrant for myself. Through weakness of character, the new Archbishop had by then taken a suicidal path. He was ordaining freemasons and other members of the Fraternite, while also forbidding the use of local languages, doing exactly the opposite of everything he had promised. He was guaranteeing the death of Rue Daru, whose only hope for survival was in fact to return to one or other of the parts of the Russian Church.

So I surrendered to God’s Will. And in 1987 I was granted the grace of meeting the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, a representative of the real ROCOR, just waiting to return to a politically free Russian Church. Coming from Kiev, where I had first been to an Orthodox service, Archbishop Antony showed me the real, multinational ROCOR, which I had read about, but totally failed to meet in London with its nationalism and sectarianism. In July 1988, Rue Daru held a service in honour of the millennium of Orthodoxy in Rus, attended by the modernist Catholic Cardinal of Paris, but from which all Russian bishops had been banned!

It was the last straw and, thanks to God, Archbishop Antony gladly received a group of 17 of us spiritual refugees into ROCOR at the end of that year. This was actually a turning-point for the Rue Daru group, as ever since then the flow of serious Orthodox leaving it has not ceased, giving up the fight to save it. We now realize of course that that fight was impossible and we had undertaken it out of misplaced idealism. The well had been poisoned from the outset. It was also a turning-point for us, from which we have never looked back.

Q: Looking back, what would you do if you had your time again?

A: A purely hypothetical question. Hindsight, as they say, is a wonderful thing. At the time I had no advice at all, except for very bad advice, and there was no internet. Today, there is no doubt in my mind at all that I should have studied in London and then, in 1977, gone and studied at Jordanville. However, if I had not done what I had done then, how could I know all this now? Only experience teaches.

If I had not done what I did do, I would never have understood the Church of Greece, I would never have met the saintly Archbishop George Tarasov, the heroic Archbishop Antony of Geneva and so many other saintly figures, like the last representatives of the real White Russian movement, Fr Silouan of Athos of the Patriarchate (the disciple of St Silouan), the wonderful Baroness Maria Rehbinder, that exquisite Parisian poetess Lyudmila Sergeevna Brizhatova, the last White officer Vladimir Ivanovich Labunsky, and so many others, the representatives of the real Holy Rus in all jurisdictions of the Russian emigration.

Neither would I ever have understood the tragic renovationist decadence and absurd Soviet nationalism within parts of the Patriarchate outside Russia at that time, the two sides of the suicidal Rue Daru jurisdiction (sadly, today there is largely only one side left) and how ROCOR was nearly enveloped by the marginal extremes of narrow Russian nationalist chauvinism and fanatical old calendarist converts, but saved by the holiness of Metropolitan Laurus and the many with him, who so exactly expressed our values in Holy Rus, Eternal Russia.

There is in even this short, forty-year experience a lifetime of joys and sorrows. I have been privileged to know it all. In that sense I do not regret anything, even though I have met many tragic individuals, seen much waste and many lost opportunities, and seen parts of the Russian Diaspora committing suicide through spiritual impurity. However, I have been even more privileged in that I have also seen the old and artificial disunity fall away and become heartfelt unity and so life in the dynamic present and future. The worst, and it was really bad, is over and the best is now and in the future. Over nearly the last twenty years Providence has allowed me to work freely for the Russian Orthodox Church in missionary work in my own homeland of the three counties of the East of England.

Resisting and Delaying Antichrist: The Prophetic Vision of the Russian Orthodox Church Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence and Conversations

Q: What do you think from an Orthodox viewpoint of the recent G-20 meeting in Brisbane, where much was made of the war in the Ukraine.

A: In Brisbane Western politicians – not world leaders, as they pretentiously call themselves – made much of the civil war in the Ukraine. This was because they caused it and are continuing it. At Brisbane a clear message was given to the Western bullies by the free world, led by Russia: If the West continues to destabilize, overthrow democracy by bribing mobs and destroy the sovereignty of the Ukraine, then Russia will extend its sanctions against the Western world, possibly closing Russian air space to it. The Obamas, Bidens, Camerons, Hollandes and Merkels of the West face self-imposed isolation.

The Russian Federation, the Eurasian Economic Union, China, India, much of Latin America, nearly one half of the world, are working towards a new world order and will not tolerate arrogant Western bullying. That has already caused so much bloodshed and chaos in genocidal bombing, invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan and in CIA-organized ‘coloured revolutions’ in Libya, Syria and the Ukraine. Libya was the last straw, but even now there are aggressive individuals in the US, whose minds are so power-crazed that they openly talk of starting a Third World War against Russia and China.

Q: Do you think there is any hope that heads of some countries in the European Union will speak out against this US-centred bullying?

A: The EU has more or less become an island off the western coast of the USA, in other words, a US colony or ‘protectorate’, in effect its next state, and is governed by puppets and economic thugs, as we saw in Greece and Spain. The US has isolated Europe from its own roots and its own interests. Until the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis is restored, as in the early 1900s, there is no hope for Europe. Remarkably, however, the leaders of some small countries in the EU have protested, notably the leaders of Hungary and the Czech Republic. They have of course been condemned for that by the US-run EU media.

Q: What about the leaders of once Orthodox countries like Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Non-EU Serbia and Montenegro?

A: Apart from Serbia, where Orthodoxy is still to some extent a political force, the elites of all those countries have betrayed the Orthodox Faith and their own peoples. We can expect nothing of such elites. They can only think of payments from Brussels into their Swiss bank accounts.

Q: When you say ‘the US has isolated Europe’, what do you mean by the US?

A: The US means the plutocratic financiers, industrialists and arms-merchants who saw their opportunity and immigrated to the US from Europe, from where they had already financed slavery, over 200 years ago and now run the US. I do not of course mean the American people. Until the end of the 1950s there was still among many ordinary Americans a small-town, Bible-based culture, however deficient and partial. That has been more or less destroyed by the plutocrats and is lamented by such popular American singers as Don McClean and Johnny Cash in nostalgic songs like American Pie and Family Bible. Americans were the first victims of the plutocrats, the first victims of the ‘US’, as we saw already in the US Civil War. There is nothing that Satan loves more than wars where brother kills brother, whether in the US or the Ukraine.

Q: Has not Russia suffered from the Western sanctions imposed because of the Ukraine?

A: There are naturally problems resulting from them, but the main result of Western bullying because of Russia’s protection of the Ukraine, so-called ‘sanctions’, has been for Russians to refind their identity. Providentially, the Ukraine, the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy, is preparing Russia for the future, preparing it to overcome the confusion and decadent westernization of the last 25 years, to realize that Russia has its own identity, path and role. If the Western elite really wants to start a Third World War, it must now realize that Russians will no longer simply lie down and agree to lose that War, their country and, above all, their Christian Faith to Mammon.

This is the same situation as in the thirteenth century when the Mongols invaded Russia. Until then Russians had been divided; everything changed afterwards as they found unity against the common enemy and petty squabbles were forgotten. So today Russia was divided before the Western invasion of the Ukraine, now it is finding unity once more. Today’s extraordinary consensus of national unity around President Putin has not existed in Russia for exactly 100 years, since the First World War, when Russia also united against aggressive Western enemies.

Q: To move on, there has been talk recently of the forthcoming All-Orthodox Council in 2016 and much worry has been expressed about it. Do you share in those worries?

A: No. To worry about this is really to show a lack of faith in Divine Providence and in the Church, which is not a mere human institution, but a Divino-human organism. First of all, nobody knows if there will be a Council, let alone whether one is forthcoming; remember that ‘man proposes but God disposes’. True, a meeting of several Orthodox bishops is planned in two years’ time, but a meeting is not in itself a Council. And no-one knows with the situation between Constantinople and the Czechs and Slovaks if even that meeting will take place. And who knows who the Patriarch of Constantinople will be in two years’ time.

Even if a meeting does take place and politics takes over, it will remain an ineffectual without any consensus. However, if a ‘Council’ takes place, why should that be bad? Surely a Council – rather than a mere meeting – will proclaim the Church and our Orthodox Faith to the whole world, anathematizing all isms, atheism, consumerism, ecumenism, globalism etc. How can that be bad? Remember that only canonical Orthodox will attend, those of disputed canonicity like the OCA, those in schisms, as in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and Estonia, those in sects like the old calendarists, as well as heterodox, will not take part.

Q: So why do some worry?

A: I think that those who are worried, for example old calendarists, have a psychological and not theological motivation. They are really just seeking to justify their schisms. For example, they point to the decadence inside the Patriarchate of Constantinople but then forget that Mt Athos and many faithful clergy and people outside the convert fringes are under that Patriarchate. The old calendarists want a Pharisee-like, black and white world, in which they are white and everyone else is black. Such a world does not exist and has never existed. The wheat has always grown alongside the tares. Look at the twelve apostles: most of them betrayed Christ, one did not even repent, but still eleven of them became saints. Old calendarist criticisms are psychologically-motivated self-justification.

Q: But we know there are many real problems between the Local Churches, for example there is the problem of the new calendar.

A: I can recall reading the words of St Justin (Popovich) in the 1970s who denounced the concept of a Council then because the vast majority of Orthodox were living under the yoke of Communism. Then he was right of course, but now the situation is quite different. Today most Orthodox, some 85% of all, are free. True there are some 15% who are not free, who live under what may be called ‘CIA Churches’, but they are a small minority.
Who knows, if this meeting does take place and does become a Council, this may mean that the new calendar hierarchies will repent and return to the Orthodox calendar, giving up the Roman Catholic calendar. Mt Athos gave up that calendar decades ago and now the Polish Church has done so. Others will surely follow. And remember too that the CIA Churches, subject to all manner of Uniatizing and Protestantizing manipulations, are mainly small and their senior representatives elderly. Most of the free Local Churches are young and follow the Tradition. Time is on our side.

Q: What do you mean by ‘CIA Churches’?

A: Those whose leaders are appointed by the CIA, or bribed by the EU and masonic circles, which amounts to the same thing.

Q: What is the role of the Russian Church among the other Local Churches?

A: As three-quarters of the whole Church, we have a special responsibility: our vision, mission and task are prophetic. Our vision, mission and task are resistance and delaying tactics in order to oppose the coming of Antichrist, towards whom the world has been hurtling for the last hundred years and especially for the last fifty years. You remember how Reagan called the Soviet Union ‘the evil empire’? Well, where did the demons who had entered the Russian Empire by 1917, tipped the balance against it and created that evil empire go? They did not disappear back to hell, but, seeing their battle largely lost in Russia, they went to infest the West, where, tragedy of tragedies, they were shown no resistance and even made welcome.

Here is the message of Russia to the West: After 1917 demons took over in Russia but we eventually fought them off because of the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors, because of the strength of the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox culture. Russia says to the West: Follow our example, return to the Orthodox Christ and you too can shake off the demons. But of course the West is so blinded by its towering racial and nationalistic pride that it cannot even see that is being tormented by demons. Indeed, it does not even believe in demons and it rejects the sweetness of the Resurrection of Christ, Whom it considers to be an ‘uneducated Asiatic’.

Q: To say that the Russian Church’s role is to oppose the coming of Antichrist is a very serious statement, with many implications.

A: Yes, it is very serious because it means that the Russian Orthodox Church is a sort of litmus test. The world can be divided into two parts, on the one hand those who are with us, our friends, those who are also resisting and delaying the coming of Antichrist, and, on the other hand, those who resist the Russian Church and, consciously or, more usually, unconsciously, are working for Antichrist’s coming. Those who unconscious and naively think they are working for ‘freedom, democracy and humanity’ etc are pawns in Antichrist’s game. They would be shocked if they realized it and then they would repent.

In that respect the Pussy Riot incident, so completely and so obviously stage-managed by the West, was highly symbolic. There we clearly saw who is for Antichrist and who is against. Those who supported Pussy Riot, words which are simple code for the sex and violence of modern Western ‘culture’, including fifth columnist, nominally Orthodox intellectuals, some of them even clergy, modernist heterodox, the Western media and so-called human rights activists, are all working for Antichrist.

Q: You say that to resist and delay Antichrist is the task of the Russian Church. But what practically can the Russian Church do that the other Local Churches cannot?

A: The Russian Church alone is able, when the time is ripe, to set up the infrastructure for Metropolias in the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Western Europe and also help the Patriarchate of Alexandria to become the true Church of Africa and stop being a Greek colony run by the EU-controlled Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens. The other Local Churches are too small, too weak, too nationalistic and, in the cases of the CIA Churches, too unfree, to do this.

Q: This sounds like papism, setting up a worldwide Church?

A: Not at all. Papism is about empire-building and centralization, which, true, has become the ethos of many in the modern Patriarchate of Constantinople and also in its time affected careerist, nationalistic State appointees in the Russian Church before the Revolution. Today the Russian Church is about setting up Metropolias as foundations for new Local Churches, as has already happened in Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and as is under way in Japan and China. These countries are parts of its canonical territory, but will remain so only for as long as the Churches there are too small to gain autocephaly.

The aim is not empire-building, which is centralization, but decentralization, through laying the foundations for and then establishing new autocephalous Local Churches, as His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II said in 2003 when speaking of a future Metropolia in Western Europe. We have as our model not the manmade, papist, unionist, filioquist, rationalist god of Western philosophers, but the real Christian God of the Holy Trinity revealed in all Power and Glory in the New Testament, unity in diversity.

Q: Do you think that other territories will be added to the canonical territory of Rus apart from China and Japan?

A: Certainly. I think that eventually in Europe Hungary may be added, and outside Europe in South-East Asia, with the Russian Orthodox missions already there, Thailand and Laos, and I think perhaps one day Iran too.

Q: So the rest of the world, except for Africa and the other territories in the jurisdiction of the other 13 canonical Local Churches, can be covered by the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)?

A: Yes. The Church Outside Russia actually means the Church Outside Rus, outside the Russian lands. And Rus at present only covers lands of the former Soviet Union – except for Georgia – including the Ukraine, Estonia and so on, and, as we have said, China and Japan. ROCOR can cover the rest, except those countries that form the canonical territories of other Local Churches.

Q: But those countries ‘outside Rus’ often have Orthodox populations which are under other Local Churches. So how can they come under ROCOR?

A: They cannot ‘come under’ ROCOR, I said, ‘can be covered by ROCOR’, not ‘come under’. ROCOR is the Church Outside Rus. Unlike the Church inside Rus, which has a canonical territory, the Church Outside Rus has no canonical territory. However, we do have a shared territory, a territory which we can cover, and where we can have a canonical flock.

Q: What do you mean by canonical flock?

A: All those of all nationalities who live outside the canonical territory of Rus and freely belong to and confess the Russian Orthodox Church and Tradition. And at present nobody, including the US and EU elite, can stop us from belonging to ROCOR.

Q: With such a definition, where does the ‘Orthodox Church in America’, the OCA, come? That after all is in North America, on a territory covered by ROCOR, and the OCA was founded through the Russian Church.

A: I don’t know where the OCA comes. You must ask its members. The OCA was a temporary Cold War creation of Soviet times, largely made up not of descendants of subjects of the Russian Empire, but of descendants of subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For nearly 45 years now its canonicity has been disputed and it has been torn by internal dissensions. Like all conglomerates, its different parts are torn in different directions.

I think that instead of sitting between two (and sometimes more than two) chairs, one day it will split apart, with a small majority, especially but not only in Alaska, ‘Russian America’, returning to the Russian Church and spiritual freedom and integrity, and a large minority, under the influence of sectarian American nationalism and possibly under the direct influence of the US administration, going off to liberal, ecumenistic convert groups, the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople and some to the Uniats.

Q: And what about the Paris Jurisdiction? It claims to be ‘of the Russian Tradition’. Where does that fit into such a definition?

A: It too left the Russian Church and therefore our affairs do not concern it. As regards its claim, as someone in Paris said to me earlier this year, although the Paris Jurisdiction may claim to be ‘of the Russian Tradition’, the Russian Tradition has not even ‘stayed overnight’ in most of its communities. When you live, as some do, on the Roman Catholic calendar, want the Roman Catholic Easter, have no iconostasis, wear Greek vestments, abbreviate the Liturgy, give communion to Roman Catholics, write against and condemn the Russian Church, refuse to venerate Her martyrs and belong to Her, what sort of ‘Russian Tradition’ is that? That is Uniatism, not Orthodoxy. Apart from in a few last outposts, that claim is a fiction.

Thus, it is very interesting to think back before 2007, before ROCOR and the Church inside Russia entered into canonical communion with one another. Then the Paris Jurisdiction – and its members who colonized the OCA in North America – used to condemn ROCOR as ‘a sect’ for not concelebrating with the Church inside Russia because ROCOR considered that the bishops of the Church inside Russia were not free and therefore could not act canonically. However, as soon as freedom came and ROCOR and the Church inside Russia did start concelebrating, the masonic ethos of the propaganda of the Paris swung around 180 degrees. Then representatives of the Paris Jurisdiction started condemning ROCOR precisely for concelebrating with the Church inside Russia, which they then said was not free!

So they went from criticizing ROCOR for being anti-Moscow to criticizing ROCOR for being pro-Moscow, never recognizing the transformation and liberation of Moscow. It is clear that the point of view of those who control the Paris Jurisdiction is mere self-justification, which is the same psychology for all extremists, whether for the Paris new calendarists or for the Greek old calendarists. In other words, their views are a political manipulation, conditioned by anti-Russian Western political propaganda, whether sent out to manipulate weak hearts and irrational minds by the CIA or by the Vatican, and has nothing to do with spiritual values.

Q: What was it that brought ROCOR and the Church inside Russia into canonical communion?

A: The August 2000 Jubilee Council of the Church inside Russia, which met all three conditions of ROCOR, the canonization of the New Martyrs, the condemnation of collusion with the atheist State, known as sergianism, and the complete rejection of the branch theory, known as ecumenism.

Q: In that case why did ROCOR not enter into communion with the Church inside Russia straightaway in 2000?

A: Very simply because it is one thing to proclaim something at a Council, but quite another to put it into practice. For example, even after the Jubilee Council, at the London Cathedral belonging to the Church inside Russia they still refused to put up icons of the New Martyrs, on the pretext that they had no space on their bare white walls! They also forbade the sale of books written by Fr Seraphim Rose, which were at that time so popular inside Russia. In England ROCOR had to wait for the death of one individual in 2004 and then the departure of other modernists in 2006 to the Paris Jurisdiction before a new Orthodox bishop could be sent from Russia, a bishop chosen on ROCOR’s recommendation, and so we could have local unity.

Many representatives of the Church inside Russia but who lived in the West had been betraying the Russian Church and Tradition for decades, they were compromised. This is partly why ROCOR was so popular. I can remember nearly forty years ago when on a Sunday 600 Russian emigres would be standing in the ROCOR Cathedral in London and at the Patriarchal Cathedral there would be perhaps 200, over half of whom were naïve Non-Russians and visitors who knew no better. In Brussels and Paris the Patriarchal churches were also no more than house chapels. Russians and those who knew the Tradition did not go there.

Remember how, just before the Church Outside Russia and the Church inside Russia entered into communion with one another, in 2006 a small convert part of the foreign representation of the Church inside Russia in England and France abandoned Her. Why did this betrayal of the Church which, ironically, was just about to be reunited, take place? Because of two local personality cults, mainly among unintegrated converts, who placed those peculiar cults above the Russian Church and unity with Her. The individualistic mantra of cults and cultishness came before the Church of Christ.

The manipulative leaders of the naïve and misinformed who left had been doing a disservice to the Church inside Russia for decades while Moscow, paralysed by an illegitimate, militant atheist regime, had been able to do nothing about it. The lesson we learn from this is that those who are not integrated into Church life, but have their own agendas, always disintegrate. Interestingly, those who left in England were ardently supported by a rabidly Russophobic British press and, naturally, the State-run BBC.

In other words, locally, it took years for the decisions of the Jubilee Council to be implemented. There were similar situations in other parts of the Church inside Russia, where Soviet-minded individuals and their followers had to leave the scene for the decisions of that Council to be implemented. That is why fundamentally it took seven years for us to progress.

Q: But that was not the only reason for seven years’ delay. ROCOR too had committed faults on its part too, didn’t it?

A: Of course, individuals in ROCOR and in the ROCOR hierarchy had made their mistakes too. This mistake was the confusion between the Soviet Union and Russia. Emigres who had been mere children before the Revolution or who had been born outside Russia or who had been born inside the Soviet Union before 1945 and been cruelly persecuted for the Faith, often could not tell the difference between the post-Stalinist Soviet Union and Russia. In reality, despite the anti-Russian Bolshevik ideology, imported from the West, the Soviet Union had kept much of Orthodox culture.

1917 was not a light switch when the light went off – there was continuity. The victory over Fascism in the Second World War, the education and medical system, the reflexes of justice for the poor and for the Third World, the qualities of generosity, hospitality and mercifulness – they were not Soviet, they are Russian, and come from the Orthodox world view and Orthodox reflexes. On the other hand, the materialistic philosophy of the Soviet Union, the vicious persecution of the Church, the Gulag, all that was of course profoundly evil, satanic. Communism was Orthodoxy without God, just as Mammonism is Protestantism without God.

The mistakes made by some in ROCOR were why the ROCOR hierarchs and those of the Church inside Russia asked each other forgiveness before 2007. Being human, we all make mistakes. No-one is perfect. As a result of mutually asking one another for forgiveness, since 2007 the Church inside Russia has become ever more ‘de-Sovietized’ and ROCOR has become ever more ‘de-ghettoized’, more open and more international. Both parts have benefited enormously, making great strides forward. To ask for forgiveness is always beneficial, creative and dynamic. God gave us all grace for repentance.

The failure of the Paris Jurisdiction to admit its mistakes, unlike the two parts of the Russian Church inside and outside Russia which admitted theirs, is precisely the essential problem of those who control the Paris Jurisdiction. This is due to the unrepentant arrogance usual for intellectuals. In Paris the heirs of those who caused the Revolution through treachery in 1917 are still justifying themselves and their ancestors. For those who are in control in Paris are the heirs of the degradation of the Westernized Russian intelligentsia before the Revolution and their mercilessness. For example, the sins of individual representatives in the Church inside Russia were the sins of political hostages, not of free men. And if you refuse to recognize the repentance of such, you make yourself like the elder brother of the prodigal son, a merciless mountain of towering pride, refusing to take part in the banquet of the loving Father.

Q: So you distinguish between those who ‘control the Paris Jurisdiction’ and its members?

A: Of course. I have been an eyewitness of the process of return of many from the Paris Jurisdiction to both parts of the Russian Church since the 1980s. Sadly, the process of Uniatization that began there, above all from 1981 on, and which I personally tried to combat, has gone much further since then. I personally know of eight priests and deacons and four parishes which have returned from the Paris Jurisdiction since the late 1980s, when they saw through the betrayal of those in control and understood their underlying lack of love for the Russian Church.

Q: Why did Uniatization speed up there from 1981 on?

A: The disintegration of the Paris Jurisdiction began in 1981 after the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop George (Tarasov), the last Archbishop who had been an adult before the Revolution, indeed a Russian pilot on the Western Front in the First World War. Those who returned after that to the Russian Church in order to keep their integrity, despite the slander that they faced, had realized that the Paris Jurisdiction would not return en masse as a group to the Russian Church, understanding that there were forces in it which were profoundly politicized and Russophobic, the very forces which proudly claim to be ‘apolitical!’ In fact, they are not apolitical, but simply disincarnate, ‘useful’ only to the enemies of the Church, such as the Vatican and Western spy agencies. Indeed, one of those who was in control in the Paris Jurisdiction in the 1980s has recently been proved to have been a senior agent of the French Secret Services. The exodus from there has been such that there are now only two ageing priests left in the Paris Jurisdiction who were brought up in ROCOR and so have a sense of the Tradition

Those of the Paris Jurisdiction who have now departed this life, Metr Evlogy and Vladimir, Archbishops George (Tarasov) and Sergiy (Konovalov), Bishops Methodius (Kulmann), Roman (Zolotov) and Alexander (Tian-Shansky), Protopresbyter Alexei Knyazev, Archpriests Alexander Rehbinder and Igor Vernik and a mass of others, clergy and people, would have returned to the Russian Church, if they were now alive. Some of these people I knew personally and I am convinced that they would be outraged by the attitude of those who refuse to return to the Russian Church today, 25 years on after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Q: Why?

A: Constantinople had for them only ever been a temporary refuge. It had always been their intention to return to the Russian Church, once She was free, just like us in ROCOR. Today there is no spiritual justification for staying in what is largely not just a Non-Russian, but an anti-Russian jurisdiction. And what is left of that jurisdiction? By and large, apart from a few unintegrated converts in each of a few dozen temporary premises and tiny chapels scattered across France and in neighbouring countries, there are only Rue Daru, mainly populated by those from the ex-Soviet Union, a tragically bankrupt St Sergius Institute, some four small Russian chapels in Paris, two convert groups in Paris, the crumbling church in Biarritz, which undemocratically has not been allowed to return to the Russian Church, and the convent in Bussy. Perhaps 5,000 people in all, and most of them arrivals from the former Soviet Union who have nowhere else to go. Since the 1980s the vital forces have left the Paris Jurisdiction. One priest who left, dear Fr Nikolai Soldatenkov, even took out Russian nationality, partly in order to be able to leave.

Q: Can you give other examples of those you mentioned above who you think would have returned to the Russian Church by now?

A: Yes. Take Metr Evlogy – he himself repented and returned, on paper, to the Russian Church twice, in 1934 and 1945, but was prevented by the freemasons in the Paris Jurisdiction from actually doing so. In the 1960s and 1970s both Bishop Methodius (Kulmann) and Protopresbyter Alexei Knyazev actively tried to return to the Russian Church and suffered for their efforts. As for Bishop Roman (Zolotov), he was a Cossack by family – we had no doubts about him. As for dear Fr Igor Vernik I remember how he used to support the Russian football team against the French football team! And Archpriest Alexander Rehbinder refused to move to the USA in the 1950s because he knew that his many children would lose the Faith in the land of mammon. Archbishop Sergiy (Konovalov), whom I knew when he was a priest, was about to persuade the whole Paris Jurisdiction to move to the Church inside Russia when he died. His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II had hoped that his jurisdiction would become the foundation stone of an autonomous Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe.

Q: Let us get back to ROCOR. Why did only 95% of ROCOR enter into communion with the Church inside Russia in 2007? What about the other 5%?

A: When I left Moscow after my second visit to Soviet Russia in 1976, I promised myself as a Russian Orthodox layman that I would not return until the Russian Church was free from an atheist leader and regime. And indeed when I did return, thirty-one years later, in 2007, it was to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, where I concelebrated as a priest of the Church Outside Russia, together with a great many others, with his Holiness Patriarch Alexei II and in the presence of the Orthodox President of the Russian Federation. When in 2007 some 95% of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the by then free Patriarchal Church inside Russia entered into communion with one another, true, some 5% of ROCOR did not follow precisely because they were in denial of the huge changes in Russia between 1976 and 2007. Some simply abandoned the Church, but others fell away into pro-CIA, schismatic sects based in the Ukraine, Russia and Greece. Why?

Firstly, there were the naïve idealists and the good-hearted but misinformed who were hoodwinked and have mainly since returned. Secondly, there were those who put personal grudges against individual ROCOR bishops, who had misunderstood their non-integrated convert ideas, above their own salvation. Thirdly, there were those who were on an ego trip, seeking a career. And finally, there was most of the 5% or so who left and have not since returned, who did so because they were politically-minded, as they were anti-Communist rather than pro-Orthodox. Among them were some extremists who had consciously and freely sided with Hitler in the 1940s.

It must be said that many of the ringleaders here were actually employees of the CIA or the Canadian Secret Service, just as there was at least one case of an employee of the French Secret Services in the Paris Jurisdiction. So politics and salaries paid by Western spy services, presented by the ringleaders as ‘freedom’ and an ‘apolitical stance’, were the real reason for their schisms. When Communism fell, such people had no further reason to frequent the Church, as for them the Church had mainly been only an expression of nationalistic anti-Communism. They ended up being anti-Russian, as they had not understood that anti-Soviet could also mean anti-Russian. They were unable to discern the Russian through the fog of the Soviet.

This was because fundamentally they had little loyalty to the real Russian Orthodox Church and her international ideal of Holy Rus, but rather to narrow-minded political nationalism. Their behaviour had always been the greatest discouragement to Non-Russians joining the Church. Many of us who came to the Church seeking bread were indeed actually told to go away by them and in no uncertain terms, in other words, we were given stones. As one ROCOR bishop, speaking of one well-known to me ROCOR parish in the 1980s, told me recently, ‘those people were not Christians’. As is usual, their lack of love towards others ended up by driving them themselves to leave the Church in 2007 and even before, starting in the 1990s. Today we are still here in the Church; they are the ones who have abandoned Her.

Q: To come back to the idea of a Metropolia for Western Europe that you mentioned above, how important is that concept for Western Europe itself?

A: It is vital. I know that I am about to give an absurd example because it touches such a tiny detail, but I have to tell you it because it is symbolic of the degeneration of Europe. Two weeks a Russian woman in Germany wrote to me and told me that for many Germans a woman wearing a skirt is seen either as a Russian or else as a prostitute. What I am saying through this perhaps ridiculous symbol is that even the culture of Christian vestiges that was alive in Europe 50 years ago in the normal way that people dressed then is now dead.

Young Western people whose souls are at least still alive today turn to strange subcultures or even Islam and even fight for Islamic State, since that counters the spiritually empty West of today. Their disaffection and alienation are so great that even such bizarre and lethal choices seem more logical to them than the deathly conformist consumerism, hellish vampires, aliens, monsters, drugs, drink, sex, obesity, depression, mental illness and suicide that is the modern West. Europe has zombified and infantilized itself by accepting Americanization, it has been robbed and stripped naked of its own culture and is on the point of spiritual death. Europe is the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed and left for dead. Only a Good Samaritan, one from outside the West but still linked with its roots and understanding it, can save Europe; no false priests can do anything for it, for they pass by on the other side.

How can Europe be regenerated without the Church and Her prophetic vision? It is not possible. Europe desperately needs to be raised up from the deathly spiritual filth of its vulgar, fleshly, bread and circuses consumerism, the tyranny of its Babylonian culture of death, the fruit of its thousand-year apostasy, to the vision of spiritual beauty, to spiritual purity and the culture of the soul, to the nobility of human destiny, to the heavenly Jerusalem, which are offered by the Russian Orthodox Church. We are talking here about salvation, about life and death.

Now I am reminded here of the events of 200 years ago, on 11 April 1814. This was when liberating Russian Orthodox troops celebrated Easter Night on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, where a field church had been set up. Having defeated Napoleon, who had taken a burned-out Moscow only some 18 months before, Tsar Alexander I stood in that great square, where the King of France had been beheaded less than a generation before, in 1792, and where the crowned Napoleon had stood in 1804 in front of a five-pointed red star, and heard thousands of Russian troops answering the priests’ ‘Christ is Risen!’ with the words ‘Truly He is Risen!’ This was the spiritual victory over the degenerate heart of atheist Europe which followed the physical victory over atheist Europe. This spiritual victory needs to be repeated in today’s atheist Europe. Otherwise geriatric Europe will go under completely, swept away by its own atheism and the tide of Islamic immigration.

Q: Why instead of subcultures and Islam do Western young people not choose Orthodoxy, when Orthodoxy is at the roots of the West, in its first millennium?

A: Firstly, because modern Western people have been cut off from those roots, their own history has been concealed from them, they can often mentally go no further back than 1945, let alone 1,000 years. And secondly because it is so difficult to find authentic Orthodoxy in Western Europe.

Q: Which countries would a Metropolia in Europe consist of?

A: Only those in Western Europe. Slovenia and Croatia already come under the Serbian Church. The Baltic States already come under the Russian Church. Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia already have their own autocephalous Churches. As for Hungary, given the fact that its first faith came in the tenth century from the East and not from Rome, then to my mind it too should one day have its own Local Church, just like Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which also originally received their faith from the East. Even today Hungarian Catholicism, as in certain neighbouring countries, is coloured by Orthodox values and, for example, the veneration of icons.

Twenty Western European countries are left, all post-Roman Catholic or post-Protestant, and where the Russian Church, in one or both its parts, is already present. They are: Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland; Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria; Portugal, Spain, France, Italy. They, together with the tiny Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino, would form the territory of this Metropolia.

A: Why can’t those countries have individual Local Churches?

Q: That is a hopelessly insular, narrow and nationalistic idea. It is the sort of thing that narrow, nationalistic ex-Anglicans dream of. Western Europe is a whole and individual countries in it are far too small to have their own Local Churches. Western Europe was the territory of a single Orthodox Patriarchate. We will never divide it. A Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe is the foundation for the restoration of the single, historic Local Church on this territory. We wish to keep that historic unity. Here in Sweden, for instance, you have two great saints, St Olaf and St Anna, and they are precisely part of the whole history of Europe, not narrow, nationalistic symbols, cut off from the rest, but linked in their cases with England and Russia

Q: What is the realistic hope for the foundation of such a Metropolia?

A: Officially today there are said to be 7,000,000 Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. That is far more than the four ancient Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem combined, more than the Georgian, Polish, Cypriot and Czechoslovak Orthodox Churches put together, let alone the 30,000-100,000 who make up the OCA. Yet the infrastructure for us is pathetic. We still do not have the new Cathedral in Paris and we really need a large, purpose-built Cathedral in central London.

Altogether in Western Europe I doubt whether there are even 200 church buildings and 200 priests for these 7,000,000 Russian Orthodox. That is scandalous; at most one church and one priest for every 35,000 people! As I have said many times before, we need a huge church-building and infrastructure programme across a network of at least 500 cities and towns in Western Europe. Today, wherever you go in Western Europe, even in small towns, the flood of immigration has been such that you will meet at least one Russian Orthodox. Provision has to be made. Let every Western European town and city of over 100,000 have its own full-time bilingual Russian Orthodox church and let there be at least chapels elsewhere, so that nobody, whatever their origin and native language, is more than 50 kilometres from their own bilingual Russian Orthodox church and centre.

Q: Who is to blame for the present situation?

A: First and foremost, we are ourselves to blame for this situation. We have to make our own Church. The Church works from the grassroots. We should never blame others for this. However, it is true that if we can first show that we are motivated, then we can attract the attention of the hierarchy. Then we can attract help from above and, in terms of our Russian Orthodox world, that means help from Moscow. Economic refugees and their children, who make up the bulk of the 7,000,000, are by definition not the wealthiest people in the world. And how are Western Europeans, already Russian Orthodox or potentially Russian Orthodox, to be integrated into the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe, if there are so few churches, so few centres of Church culture?

Q: How do you see such a Metropolia?

A: For nearly a decade now I have belonged to an informal group of Russian Orthodox priests in some major towns and cities in Western Europe. We look at Western Europe as a whole, we want to draw the Orthodox Cross over Europe. We have a love of and an attachment to the Russian Orthodox Tradition but also a knowledge of local languages and local heterodox culture. We want to create bilingual oases of a Russian Orthodox Europe, where all can feel at home.

This is the opposite of the policy of the Paris Jurisdiction, which suffers from a lack of love of and a lack of knowledge of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, but instead an attachment to local languages and local heterodox culture. However, you cannot be Orthodox and at the same time have an attachment to heterodox culture. This is not Local Orthodoxy. Local Orthodoxy is created by integration into the Orthodox Faith, not by integration into heterodox culture, which disintegrates. The latter is salt that has lost its savour. Local Orthodoxy cannot grow by being attached to heterodoxy.

Q: What does this mean in practical terms?

A: All my adult life I have fought for the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, Who is a mother gathering her chicks, like Jerusalem. I see a time, though it may still be far off, when there will be a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe, whose church buildings and infrastructure will initially be financed from Russia, but whose clergy will be paid entirely locally by the faithful, thus remaining free and independent. But we need to form a grassroots Europe-wide Russian Orthodox Brotherhood or Russian Orthodox Union, blessed by our local bishops, to advance this process.

Q: You still have not answered my question: what is the realistic hope for such a Metropolia?

A: I have answered it, but here is my answer more directly. It is in a new consciousness, both here Europe-wide and in Moscow, at the grassroots and at the level of the hierarchy, a consciousness of the international calling of the Russian Orthodox Church. Here our Europe-wide unity is vital. And what is that unity based on? Our unity is based on our love for the Russian Church, just as disunity is in a lack of love for Her. We should have a patriotism for the Church, which by principle of the Incarnation spreads to every country inasmuch as that country is part of the Church.

In other words, Holy Rus is to be made global. For this we need spiritual purity, the pre-revolutionary Church purified – we must not forget that the pre-revolutionary Church had careerist traitors in Her who supported Kerensky. We must not forget that disunity is always caused by narrowness, whether sectarian or nationalist, as today in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and Estonia. Disunity is caused by the primacy of fallen, human, political concerns instead of the primacy of the Faith and the lack of a coherent Russian Orthodox world view. We need unity around the Church.

Q: Who are you grateful to for this vision of Europe-wide Russian Orthodox unity that you have?

A: Four people in particular have inspired me and to them I will always be grateful. Firstly, to the ever-memorable Archpriest Lev Lebedev, whom I first met in Krasnodar in Russia in 1976, and, despite his later illness and tragedy, was one of the finest thinkers in the Russian Church; secondly to the ever-memorable Baroness Maria Rehbinder (Cattoire) of the Paris Jurisdiction, a young woman before the Revolution, a daughter of a New Martyr and a fine Russian European, whom I first met in her little flat in Passy in Paris in 1983; thirdly to the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva of ROCOR, born in Kiev, a Belgrade disciple of the great Metr Antony of Kiev, once a priest of the Patriarchate and whom I first met in 1986 and who ordained me. And finally, to His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill, whom I met in Moscow in 2012 and who strengthened in me the understanding of the need for this Metropolia. Thank you to them all.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Representative of the ROCOR Missionary Department for Western Europe,
Halland, Sweden, November 2014

Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition Available Again

This anthology of 100 essays, first published in 1995 and now with a new foreword, is at last available again from:

frandrew_anglorus@yahoo.co.uk. 3rd Edition A5 495 pp.

Price: £15.00 + £2.80 p & p in the UK. Unfortunately, Air Mail to the USA is now £12.85 (surface post, which can take up to two months, is £8.00). Please make payments by Paypal button from the website: www.orthodoxengland.org.uk

From the Back Cover

Today many search for an Undivided Christendom and the traditional teachings of the Early Church, which go beyond the latter-day divisions and disputes of Roman-Catholic, Anglican and Protestant. And amid the chaos of recent years many have discovered the Orthodox Church and Her Faith, drawn from the first millennium of Christianity. In this book the author, an English Orthodox priest, looks at the authentic Orthodox Faith, beyond the historical and cultural vicissitudes surrounding it, and pinpoints its relevance to us. He writes: Orthodox Christianity is the Faith revealed to the repentant in their quest for the Holy Spirit. Should we accept it, we would thus accept the struggle for the Holy Spirit; and in so doing we would accept the struggle to build Jerusalem here, ‘in England’s green and pleasant land’.

Foreword to the Third Edition

For we hope that the Lord will deliver Russia and the Russian people from the dread years of evil which have now lasted for 70 years. Russia can be reborn only through the repentance of the Russian people, through faith in God, through living the Divine commandments. Therefore the rebirth of the Russian people – the rebirth of personal, social and national life – must be founded on the Holy Orthodox Faith and their life must be built on this. And then once more, as of old, Russia will be Holy Rus, the House of the Most Holy Mother of God.

Prophecy of the Ever-Memorable Archbishop (later Metropolitan) Laurus (1987)

All my life I have been haunted by the European world that was lost by the consequences of the tragic events and sacrifices of August 1914, now exactly 100 years ago. Growing up with nineteenth-century grandparents and great-uncles who had fought in the First European War and with tragic maiden great-aunts, I knew that all of us had to live with those consequences. There has been no peace in the world since then, since the profound injustice of the victory so cruelly and ironically snatched from the Russian Empire in 1917 by Allied treachery and then the German treachery that made the slaying of the Russian Royal Family inevitable. And that, in turn, made the destruction of Germany in the Second European War inevitable, with Russian troops taking Vienna and Berlin. And that, in its turn, made the Cold War inevitable.

That War dragged on until 1991. Then the Slav, Romanian, Georgian and Albanian Churches all lived beneath the yoke of atheism and had virtually no free voices. As for the smaller and weaker Greek Churches, they were compromised by US control. Thus, the impoverished Patriarchate of Constantinople, at one time financed by Anglicanism, had come under US control in 1948, when Patriarch Maximos was deposed by the CIA with threats to his life and despatched into a generation of exile in Switzerland, uttering as he went the words, ‘The City is lost’.

Those were dark days of the betrayal of the Church and, virtually alone, the Church Outside Russia spoke on behalf of us all. For during the Cold War proud anti-Incarnational modernism and ecumenism (heresies, like sects and cults which are created by heresies, are always based on pride), in either their crass, pseudo-intellectual, humanist Protestant/Catholic form, as often in the US, or in their subtle, pseudo-spiritual, personalist Buddhist/Hindu form, as often in Europe, were everywhere. ‘Orthodox’ academic theology was then dominated by that spiritual decadence which may be called ‘captivity theology’. In its intellectualism that ‘theology’, ignorant of the Lives of the Saints, utterly failed to see that Orthodoxy is a striving for holiness, which is simply a life lived with prayer in conformity with the Tradition

This was the academic theology of ‘Orthodox’ intellectuals, who had studied either in Protestant centres (Oxford, Cambridge, Strasbourg, centres in Germany etc) or else in Roman Catholic centres (especially the Gregorian University in Rome, but also Paris, Louvain, Jesuit Fordham etc). The academics infected naturally reflected the proud cultural prejudices of those establishments where they had studied, resulting not in an Orthodox, but a ‘Halfodox’ vision of the world. An associated mixture of ecumenists, liberals and modernists, those intellectuals wished to reduce the Church to a mere religion, a theory and an institution, just like the Western denominations. This was, consciously or unconsciously, spiritual treachery.

Their ‘theology’, in fact philosophy, reflected the humanistic personalism and spiritually empty symbolism of that age. Most of those intellectuals have now died, if not, they are very elderly. The generation of disciple-imitators that succeeded them has even less conviction or talent. It is hardly surprising – modernism is incredibly old-fashioned in a post-modern world. With the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, that age of decadence seems increasingly distant. I remember at that time, and I mean nearly 40 years ago, being told by an ‘Orthodox’ academic at one of those above-mentioned universities that if I was not satisfied with their food that did not satisfy my soul, I should ‘go and live in Russia’. During the Cold War that was not possible; therefore I took the next best option, to frequent the last emigres of the first generation of the White emigration in Paris and the Church Outside Russia.

This anthology of essays was written between 1974 and 1995, precisely at that time when the Church Outside Russia was isolated, indeed virtually besieged, under attack from all sides and from inside, by the extremes of modernism and ‘traditionalism’ alike. Indeed, as I came to realize, the Church Outside Russia was then one of the few points of freedom anywhere in the Orthodox Church. Figures in it expressed words of truth similar only to those of the lone Serbian theologian St Justin of Chelije, canonized in 2010, and other figures on the Holy Mountain and in the monasteries of the Carpathians.

Rejoicing in the canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors in New York in 1981, when the Orthodoxy hierarchy was still paralysed in the homelands, at that time we also tried to reclaim for the Church the ancient holiness of Western Europe. We knew that all holiness can only come from the Church, as we daily confess in the Creed. Our task was to help gather together the remaining living spiritual and cultural forces of the dying West and to call it back to its roots in its ancient holiness that it had for the most part renounced. This desire is very much reflected in this book. Sadly, since that time we have seen the final death-throes of once Christian-based Western civilization, witnessing the disappearance of the old culture.

For after 1991, and with great speed, the demons that had operated in the atheist Soviet Union migrated to the atheist European Union, whose spiritual deadweight has been reinforced by the atheism of North America. Only a few years ago President Putin of the Russian Federation, made wise by the failure and defeat of atheism, warned the then Prime Minister Blair that demon-inspired atheism was literally a dead end; naturally, he was ignored, for deluded arrogance never listens to wisdom. Indeed, ever since 1988 the Church that President Putin belongs to, the multicultural and multilingual Russian Orthodox Church, 75% of the whole Church of God, has been reviving, re-opening or building three churches every day somewhere on the planet.

Together with it there is reviving the social, political and economic life of the Russian Federation, the Russian Lands (Rus) and even other parts of the Orthosphere. In 2007 in Moscow we witnessed the reconciliation of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church and the re-establishment of canonical communion, a long-awaited miracle of our times. Our great hope of 20-40 years ago for the messianic restoration of Holy Rus, so great that it was a belief, has been coming true through repentance. We have no illusions that we may not see our hopes for the full restoration of the Sovereignty of the Tsar realized, or, much less likely, Europe liberated from its self-imposed ideological yoke, but at least we know that we are on the way. There is much to do, very far to go, but the direction is the right one.

Nearly twenty years on now since the first edition, this book is here reprinted, a few typographical errors corrected, spelling updated, long paragraphs divided and a few minor precisions and corrections made. May this third edition of these essays be a help to all those who seek. May it guide them to the spiritual awareness of the Church and Civilization of Holy Rus and that Orthodoxy is Christianity and that all else, whatever its legacy from ancient Orthodox times, is ultimately but an ism, a distortion and a compromise. ‘For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith’ (1 Jn. 5, 4).

Glory to Thee, O God, Glory to Thee!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

August 2014
St John’s Orthodox Church
Colchester, Essex, England

On the Spiritual Purity of Holy Orthodoxy

Introduction

The living beliefs of St John of Shanghai swim against the tide of the world and are remarkable examples to all of us for the three following reasons. First of all, although he lived outside Russia he expressed faithfulness to Holy Rus, which for him, as shown in his sermon on the 950th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, is a living reality, not a dream or myth, as it is for unbelieving modernists a la Schmemann. This faithfulness to Holy Rus, even though it was enslaved beneath the Soviet atheist yoke, entailed his constant prayers for the Patriarch of the Russian Church (shown by his words to the then Fr Vladimir Rodzianko) despite the Patriarch’s political enslavement and so separation from free Russians. It also entailed St John’s opposition to those who fought against Russia, under the tragic and misguided illusion that that they were fighting against the Soviet Union.

Secondly, St John was faithful to the Tsar, already in the 1930s enjoining his canonization against those of both left and right who opposed it. Thirdly, he believed in the Russian Church not as a national ghetto, but as an organism with the worldwide calling to convert to Orthodoxy, as he clearly expressed at the Second All-Diaspora Council in 1938. These three virtues, faithfulness to Holy Rus, faithfulness to the Orthodox Monarchy and faithfulness to the Russian Church’s calling to preach to the heterodox and unbaptized world, are matched by three opposing temptations. These can be found among the still unChurched (and this includes clergy and laity), among those on the fringes of the Church and those outside the Church. These three temptations of spiritual impurity are liberalism instead of faithfulness, conservatism instead of faithfulness and heterodoxy instead of faithfulness.

Liberalism instead of Faithfulness to Holy Rus

This is the temptation from the left, with its renovationism, modernism, new calendarism, liberalism, ecumenism and freemasonry. We have met its spirit in ‘Orthodox’ freemasons in Paris, in cultish, Hindu-style gurus with a name-worship mantra or psychic hypnosis and even occultism, inspired by Blavatsky and Steiner, in those who cannot stop speaking of ‘hypostasis’ and ‘theosis’, rather than living the commandments of the Gospel, in ‘cowboy’ copies of liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism camouflaged by long Greek ‘theological’ words, in the elderly or now dead renovationism of the old KGB-selected Moscow Patriarchal representatives from before the fall of atheism, in well-read converts who reject new immigrants from Eastern Europe because they are not liberal intellectuals like themselves, and in ideologies driven by personalities, not by spiritual realities.

Conservatism instead of Faithfulness to the Orthodox Monarchy

This is the temptation from the right, with its phyletism, nationalism, naïve idealization, old calendarism, right-wing emigres and converts who support and accept money from the CIA or MI5, the cultivation of the museum ethos. We have met its spirit in Greeks who tell Non-Greeks to go away, in those who ban the use of languages other than their own, in nationalist Ukrainians who have nothing to do with the Church because they are driven by politics, not by Christ, in those who fall into schism on account of minor errors rather than the general correctness in the Church, in those who schismatically divide the Church, falling into the temptation of the Church’s enemies who want to divide and so rule Her, in converts from conservative heterodox who bring prejudices into the Church, in those who self-justifyingly confuse psychology with theology, serving self and not the general good of the Church.

Heterodoxy instead of Faithfulness to Missionary Work

Authentic missionary work is about conforming the world to the Church, and not as some compromised people have suggested, supporting the errors of those outside the Church through their own syncretism (‘all religions are the same’), founded on indifference. Also, if heterodox are prematurely received into the Church, they may bring spiritual impurities, either in the form of agendas for ‘reform’ or else of reactions to their heterodox past. Thus, there may be ex-Anglicans still with their Protestant mentality who want a ‘refomed’ Orthodoxy in their own image, since they, received prematurely and not yet ready for the Orthodox Church, are unable to cast off their own personal, cultural and spiritual prejudices. Either such will mature, or else they will lapse. Unable to cast off their Establishment class views, whether of left or right, they will never become Orthodox, however well-read.

Conclusion

The title of this essay is formed by the words of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (+ 2008), said to me in May 2006, on the need to conserve the integrity of the Holy Orthodox Faith. However, his words were in the same line as those of three generations of Russian bishops of the Diaspora before him, of Archbishop Antony of Geneva (+ 1994), of St John of Shanghai (+ 1966) and of Metropolitan Antony of Kiev (+ 1936), the first First Hierarch of the Church Outside Russia. They all agree, in words as in deeds, that any immixture of spiritual impurity in the Faith is a dead end precisely because it is unspiritual and what is unspiritual by definition brings death. It is for us to follow with care their words, deeds and lives, so that we do nor err from the Tradition of the Church through impure influences from outside Her. And this we can do through faithfulness.