Category Archives: Church Unity

Why Some Rejoiced at the Restoration of Unity of the Russian Orthodox Church and Others Chose Division

The Romanov throne was destroyed not by young bomb-throwers or forerunners of the soviets, but by the bearers of aristocratic surnames and court titles, bankers, publishers, lawyers, professors and other public figures, who lived off the empire’s bounty…A description of the anti-government activities of the Russian aristocracy and intelligentsia could fill an entire volume – one that should be dedicated to the liberal émigrés who mourn ‘the good old days’ in the streets of various European cities.

From Chapter 16 of ‘The Eve’, by Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, brother-in-law of Nicholas II

Ten years ago, in May 2007, the vast majority of the members of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and of the Church inside Russia were reunited at the Liturgy of the Feast of the Ascension in Moscow. After some eighty years of parallel and unwanted separation, enforced purely by external atheist political interference, unity was restored. Those who rejected this long-fought for unity were to be found on the politicized and sectarian spiritual fringes of the Church Outside Russia and among pseudo-representatives (in fact infiltrators) abroad of the Church inside Russia, as well as among émigré groups claiming to be of ‘the Russian Tradition’, but for long altogether outside the Russian Church and never wanting to return to Her. Those who rejected the restoration of unity left both parts of the Russian Church and went elsewhere. Why?

The ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus explained the reason for this very well, albeit indirectly. He said that all depends on our understanding and devotion to the ideals of Holy Rus. These ideals mean standing up for three things: for the Faith (the purity of Holy Orthodoxy); the Tsar (the Christian Emperor Who incarnates Christian values in life); Rus (the ideal of the Christian Empire supporting the Church and supported by it in symphony). Wherever there was no understanding of and devotion to these ideals, there was no interest in the restoration of the unity of the Russian Church, but only negative, hair-splitting criticism and self-justification for schism. Those who rejected these ideals and thus restoration of Church unity were very diverse and belonged to three opposing groups of both left and right:

Firstly, there were the liberals, whose forbears had actively sought the 1917 Revolution and who had wanted to confuse the purity of the Faith with Western humanist ideology, creating a dreamy, disincarnate, spiritualistic, intellectualist, Gnostic ideology, such as the heretical Sophianism of Bulgakov, denounced by two saints, St John of Shanghai and St Seraphim of Sofia. These were heretics and schismatics, centred in the Paris School of émigrés from Saint Petersburg, and supported by the Russophobic, US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Secondly, there were the anti-monarchists of various political denominations, both the semi-Communist left and the semi-Fascist right. They objected to any Church influence on the State and to any presence of the Church in social, economic and political life in general. They wanted a Non-Christian, secularist State, where they could live egoistic, disordered or even depraved lives for themselves, proudly independent of any Christian influence, values and conscience. The concept of a Christian Emperor (Tsar) was and is anathema to them.

Thirdly, there were the sectarians, both of the left or the right, who wanted a Faith for themselves or their political or nationalist groups, and not for the masses. Anti-incarnationalist by nature, they wanted not a Universal Christian Empire, but a private Church and ideology for the elect – themselves. They wanted to be a sect of purists, ‘walled off’ from others. For example, the typically Parisian late Fr Alexander Schmemann denied that ‘Holy Rus’ had even existed!

It has always been our mission, together with many, many others, more eloquent and better equipped than ourselves, to counter the propaganda against ‘The Faith, the Tsar and Rus’, understood as Orthodoxy Incarnate through the Christian Emperor in a Universal Empire. Many still believe the dubious memoirs of treacherous White Russian emigres after the Revolution, born of the parlour room gossip of anti-Orthodox aristocrats in St Petersburg, and to Bolshevik and the equally Russophobic propaganda of paid Western academics as regards ‘The Faith, the Tsar and Rus’. We reject all of that as untrue, because it is untrue, as we preach the Crucified and Risen Christ, Incarnate on Earth in the Church and in the Universal Orthodox Christian Empire, the restoration of which we believe in and eagerly await.

Globalism versus Spiritual Unity

Why do they so hate Russia, the Orthodox Faith and the Church now? Because they know that Russia will stand up to Antichrist….Antichrist will even fear the Russian Tsar. Russia will be reborn only with Orthodoxy and under the protection of the Russian Tsar. There will be elders pleasing to God, just as there were before, until the end of the world. Such is the prophecy of St Laurence of Chernigov.

Igumen Kheruvim Degtariov

The clash between liberal democracy and Marxism-Leninism was a clash of ideologies, which, despite all the differences, still had the same external aims: freedom, equality and prosperity. But traditional Russia, with its authority and nationhood, will strive for completely different aims.

Professor Samuel Huntingdon

A Western democrat can very easily have an intellectual debate with a Soviet Marxist. But this would be unthinkable with a traditional Russian. If Russians stop being Marxists, but do not accept liberal democracy and begin to behave like Russians and not Westerners, relations between Russia and the West will once again become estranged and hostile….

The West will never tolerate the rebirth of Holy Rus. It will always try to annihilate us, foisting on us as heroes its one-time agents of influence (to a greater or lesser extent): Lenin, Trotsky or Stalin. It will always strive by any means available to blacken and slander our Orthodox Civilization and our holy Tsar, in order through them to besmirch and compromise our Orthodox Church and our present State, blowing them apart from inside. Unfortunately, many in the State and also in the Church still do not understand the direct connection between these phenomena. Our victory can only be achieved when we all go into battle, not for Stalin and Lenin, nor for liberalism and democracy, nor for oil and gas, but for Holy Rus, for our friends, as our ancestors did before us…

It was precisely Moscow that received the great and responsible mission to be the Third Rome, restraining the world from falling into the abyss of evil. This is not some invention or boast. Moscow was in no way better than Kiev or Vladimir when it became the centre of the Russian Lands. The great mission was given to us, not by the rebellious will of man, but by the will of God. Our mission has nothing to do with….so-called ‘Russian nationalism’. Our mission is the rebirth of Russian Civilization, in which all nationalities who so desire unite for life in God and with God, in the world of Goodness and Justice, in which we can stand up to the atheistic and anti-human Western ‘New Order’, whose aim is to annihilate man as God’s creation.

Petr Multatuli, Contemporary Russian Historian

For the peace of the whole world, the good estate of the holy churches of God and the union of all people, let us pray to the Lord.

Petition from the Great Litany

Hearing the above petition, I was recently asked if therefore the Orthodox Church was in favour of globalism, the Oneworld movement towards global unity. This was preached one hundred years ago by the mass murderers Lenin and Trotsky, by the syncretist hippy John Lennon in his song ‘Imagine’ nearly fifty years ago and by the Trotskyite neocons with their nightmarish ‘New World Order’ today. This ‘Order’ is the ideology of the global elite of bankers, industrialists, politicians and hired journalist-trolls. I answered as follows.

There is a great difference between globalism and the spiritual unity of the Church. Indeed, it can be said that there are two sorts of unity. Globalism means outward unity with the inward sameness (‘equality’ or homogeneity), created by the lowest common denominator, that is, by the unity of bread and circuses of the mob. On the other hand, spiritual unity means inward unity with the outward diversity created by the highest common denominator, that is, by spiritual maximalism. Thus, the two sorts of unity are exact opposites.

Globalism is the elitist project of neocons, which in reality began as far back as 1916 through the scheming of transnational bankers, including the Warburgs, the Rothschilds and Schiff, and Anglosphere politicians, including Lord Milner and Lloyd George. Seeing the collapse of old national empires as a result of the suicidal Great European War, they decided to seize power for themselves. They made sure that the new world would be directed by the new aristocracy of oligarchs (some of them actual aristocrats), in other words, by themselves.

After setting up in 1916, their first great project was implemented one hundred years ago in 1917. This was their project of implementing ‘regime-change’ in Russia, a coup d’etat in the vital Eurasian Heartland of the geopoliticians, through their agent Buchanan, the British ambassador in Saint Petersburg. This meant replacing the Christian Empire and the Emperor, who was holding back Antichrist, with a secularist elite on the same wavelength as themselves. So they were responsible for the bloody Bolshevik holocaust.

But they failed in their aims. Their incompetent fifth column of the Russian secularist elite was either killed or else forced to flee into exile by the satanic Bolsheviks. The global elite had managed to create an enemy for themselves in the Bolshevik USSR. So from Wall Street and London they then financed Hitler to destroy it. So they were responsible for the bloody Nazi holocaust. Again they failed, and Berlin was liberated by the Red Army. They had to wait another fifty years to seize the power in Russia that they had so craved.

Their success with the USSR came through the corrupt oligarch nomenklatura (‘some are more equal than others’) traitors Gorbachov and Yeltsin. The latter handed over the rotten and collapsing Communist system to neocon globalists from the USA. But even here their success was short-lived. After the ruination of US-directed privatization banditry (‘shock therapy’), in the Year 2000 the Russian Federation, the battered but main remnant of the Christian Empire, began to rise again from the Marxist ruins by canonizing the New Martyrs.

This is a miracle, which we had long dreamed of. Today, there is hope, but no guarantee, that the Russian Federation will drag up the rest of the former Empire from the ruins of the Western liberal oligarchs. Meanwhile, today, after 50 years since the early 1960s repression of normality, the for too long silent majority of the Western world is striking back against the elitist project. Now the Western world is divided between the neocon globalists and patriots, the latter supported by the Christian values of the returning Russian Empire.

The neocons preach social injustice (camouflaged by PR operatives under the name of ‘the free market’) combined with ‘anything goes anywhere’, satanic immorality a la Clinton, who considers that abortion is ‘kindness to children’. However, the patriots preach social justice and what the globalists call ‘social conservatism’ (= normal values). In this way, patriots of left and right, the ordinary people, are united against the utterly rotten, cosmopolitan elitist centre of the transnational Establishment and its amoral media hirelings.

We are also affected by this on the Church level. As one man, later to become a bishop (now defrocked) of the Constantinople Establishment or Phanar, said to me over 40 years ago: ‘There is no such thing as ordinary people’. At that point I realized that the elite was trying to take over even the Church of God through the soft, new calendarist underbelly of the Paris School world. But the attempt by the Patriarchate of Constantinople to foist on the Orthodox Church the ‘liberal’ (=Fascist) agenda of the elite utterly failed in Crete in 2016.

There the threats by the US-installed Patriarch, a personal friend of Biden and Obama, who have so much blood on their hands throughout the Middle East and the Ukraine, were rejected. The whole project looked like the last gasp attempt of an ageing elite to corrupt the Church before they die. After 100 years, the attempt to impose the project of the mammonist millionaires on the Church has failed. With God’s help, in 2017 we ordinary people will move forward in the restoration of spiritual unity and the destruction of globalism.

From Fragments to Wholeness

Introduction

Three experiences and the great wonderment and many questions that they raised, all hinting at the existence of a much greater reality beyond the veil, have shaped and inspired my life. These experiences have all been of fragments and vestiges of the great Imperial Christian Civilization which was rejected over a period of between 1,000 and 100 years ago and has since been largely forgotten and lost. Although wholly rejected, derided and even unknown to most, this Civilization may yet, by Divine Providence and human repentance, be restored. That is our hope in our tiny corner of Eastern England.

My life has been spent in the task of fitting together these three experiences or pieces into a great whole, the big picture, where all these pieces belong. Only together as part of a whole do they have their full meaning. Alone they are just separate facts, tantalizing gleams and hints of some greater reality, keys to the great gates of a Kingdom that remains locked until you have all three of them and the daring to unlock them. With time, patience and prayer, by consulting many and reading the books of those whom I could not consult in life, with great effort, I have been able to put all the pieces together and found the big picture.

The Cottage of the People

The first experience came to me in childhood. In 1963, in a spot that I can take you to today, I sat with two nineteenth-century great-uncles, their caps respectfully removed, in the Abbey Gardens in Bury St Edmunds. A host of silent questions arose in my mind. Why did they, such humble representatives of the people show such respect here? Who was this St Edmund, that this town had been named after 1,000 years before? What was a saint? How did you become a saint? Why were there only ruins here now? And why were there no longer any saints? So many questions, so few answers and none able to answer them.

By the age of twelve St Edmund had led me to discover other local saints in my native Essex and Suffolk, Sts Botolph, Cedd, Albright, Audrey, Osyth and Felix. Places and churches were named after them, but no-one could tell me very much about them. Their names had become an empty ritual of sounds, without any meaning, divorced from spiritual reality. I became aware that further away there were other mysterious saints, but they were all only fragments. Thus, as a child, I was thwarted, unable and unequipped to put any of these little pieces together, into the great, but mysterious and mystifying whole.

The Altar of the Faith

From August 1968 on I began to discover that these saints, however important they had once been locally, belonged to a far greater whole, to a universal background and culture, a whole Civilization, the Civilization of the Saints. I discovered that, once in their context, they would stop being names and stories in dry and dusty books and that they would come alive again and I could speak to them as my companions. This was all part of the greater discovery that what had been presented to me as Christianity was not that at all, but a system of tedious, State-organized ethics devised to control the masses.

Then came the realization that through its inevitable degeneration this false Christianity had been responsible for the opposite of authentic Christianity, Secularism. Whether in its Protestant or its Roman Catholic form, it lay outside the real Christian Church, the Orthodox Church. Finally, in 1972 when I visited the Soviet Union, I realized that the essential and largest part of the Orthodox Church was there, so cruelly persecuted and its integrity damaged, bringing people at worst to superstitious ritualism, Sovietized fragmentization. Outside that, there were other smaller Churches, but even more nationalized and compromised.

The Throne of the Sovereign

Having by my thirty-third year pieced together the saintly Cottage of the People and the holy Altar of the Faith that I served in the so troubled and sadly divided emigration, I began to understand that both Cottage and Altar had to be completed by the sacred Throne, the Throne of the Sacral Christian Empire, which depended on the Cottage and the Altar, but which also protected them both. In the Kingdom of Heaven there was no need for it, but on earth this was the glue that kept everything together. The Throne had been overthrown on earth many decades before. But what was the hope that the Throne could be restored?

At that time there seemed to be virtually none, for the Throne lay in ruins. The Imperial reality had been reduced to fragments, each tiny part claiming to be the Empire! It had been reduced to freemasonry and corruption, to fallen compromises and flag-waving provincialism, to sterile intellectualism and private personality cults. It had been betrayed by disincarnate modernists who could not see the greater picture, as they lived in the bubble of their own egos; they could not see the great forest as a result of looking for too long at their own little saplings. Could it, by the grace of God and human repentance, be restored?

Conclusion

Thus through the saintly Cottage of the People I discovered the Kingdom of the Spirit, through the holy Altar of Faith the Kingdom of the Son, and through the sacred Throne of the Sovereign the Kingdom of the Father. I had discovered in the saints the spiritual essence of the People, in the Faith Orthodoxy and in the Throne Sovereignty. I had discovered Christian Civilization, the opposite of the anti-Civilization that I had been born into, with its world wars, death camps, atomic bombs, cult of mammon and ruthless exploitation and genocide of Non-Europeans. I had seen the big picture, discovering the unique Christian Civilization.

Elitism despised and mocked the Cottage of the People; the Establishment falsified and compromised the Altar of the Faith; Secularism betrayed and scorned the Throne of the Sovereign. But I had seen the big picture, discovering the unique Christian Civilization. It could be called Roma Nova, the Third Rome or Holy Rus, though to some those terms have nationalistic undertones, but it is simply the Sacral Christian Empire. That Empire began in York on 25 July 306 and ended in Ekaterinburg on 17 July 1918. However, has it ended? Or has it merely been interrupted by ‘treachery, cowardice and deceit’?

Why the Orthodox Vatican II Failed Before it Even Began

I first heard of the concept of and preparations for a ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’ (= a Church Council) exactly forty years ago, in 1976. I found it all very strange, since no doctrinal issue was at stake. It was explained to me by a notorious modernistic and ecumenistic priest, who later (like the notorious George Gapon in pre-revolutionary Russia) defrocked himself and committed suicide. The sad fact is that any human group always contains traitors. Thus, among the twelve disciples there were Judas and Peter. However, although the latter denied Christ three times, he repented three times, affirming his love for the Saviour (Jn. 21). We now know who today’s traitors to Orthodoxy are. However, we also know that, like Peter, they too can repent.

Today, 16/06/16, representatives of 15% of the Orthodox world are about to meet in Crete. True, this will go down to 10% if the Serbian Church delegates, including even the ambitious and liberal Bishop Maxim of Western America, walk out, and 5% if the Greek Church delegates follow them. In any case delegates representing 85% of the Orthodox world are not taking part and even those taking part seem to have hardly any support on Mt Athos and elsewhere. The alien agenda, the masonic logo, the date of the opening and the absolute refusal to listen to the complaints of the mass of faithful Orthodox clergy and faithful all mean that the attempt to impose a Vatican II-style Council on the Church of God has failed most dismally.

Usually the unfaithful leave the Church after Councils, which always separate the wheat from the tares. This time the separation has happened before the Council. Did the power-crazed forces of this world really think that they could impose Vatican II-style Protestantization on the Church of God, as they did on Roman Catholicism over fifty years ago? To sabotage the monolithic manmade structure of the Vatican is easy; you simply elect your agent as Pope. It has been like that for well over a thousand years. To sabotage the Church, in which we have freedom, is quite a different proposition. The enemies of the Church only see fantasy in our Christian hope and faith and spite in our telling of the Truth with love. That is why they feel despair, faithlessness and hatred.

All Councils are called into being by what is called in Greek ‘crises’, that is, they are summoned in order to pass judgement, which is what ‘crisis’ means. And just as the Councils of old sifted the Arians or the Nestorians or the Monophysites or the Monothelites or the Iconoclasts from the Orthodox, so today we are seeing, even without a Church Council, a sifting. This time it is sifting the secular-minded from the Orthodox. The Orthodox are those who, led by the Russian Orthodox Church, believe in the multinational Worldwide Empire of the spirit, as is expressed by the phrase ‘I believe in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’; the secular-minded are those who, led by the USA and its allies, believe in the multinational Worldwide Anti-Christian Empire of Eurosodom and Gomorrhica.

It is true that the Orthodox are being challenged from the left by traitors and from the right by schismatics and that these two groups sometimes work together, just as Judas co-operated with the Pharisees. However, the Church is much stronger than either of these groups. It is now time for all those who have not yet chosen which side they are on to choose, with the Orthodox or with the secular-minded, with Christ despite our sins, or with Babylon. The world may be shocked by division – but only because it thinks in terms of the superficial unity of Public Relations. We, on the other hand, are called to Unity through Truth, not through Untruth, for, ‘Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword’ (Matt. 10, 34).

Florence II: The Phanar Successfully Isolates Itself from the Orthodox Church

For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them.
Matt. 18,20)

Councils called in His Name are blessed by the Holy Spirit, but meetings called in the name of others (Joe Biden?) are cursed by evil intentions.

Such was the result of the fifteenth-century Council of Florence, when the Patriarchate of Constantinople signed away its Orthodox birthright for a Uniat mess of pottage. As a result, in 1449 the Russian Orthodox Church essentially became independent from Constantinople and, in time, 1589 obtained its first Patriarch. In recent years the meddling of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the internal affairs of others has created tense relations with many of the other thirteen Local Churches, especially with the Russian, Czechoslovak, Georgian, Greek and Bulgarian Churches. It has hurled insults at them and even created a diplomatic incident, giving the impression it has a dictatorial and tyrannical attitude towards them.

It is well-known that since 1948 the Patriarchate of Constantinople has been a branch of the State Department in Washington. A Wikileaks document containing a conversation between the Patriarch and the US Senator Durbin confirm this. Their US-appointed Russophobic Patriarch said: ‘If the Oecumenical (sic) Patriarchate loses its traditional position in Istanbul, then the Russian Orthodox Church will be able to realize its pretensions (sic) to controlling the Oecumenical Patriarchate and will become the leader of the whole Orthodox Church. The Patriarchate needs defending in order to resist the humiliations of Ankara and the pretensions of the Russians’.

Hence the current, US-organized hostilities against Russia, which is suffering a triple war. It is suffering an economic war through so-called ‘sanctions’ for the Crimea’s democratic decision to return to Russia, and therefore are completely illegal sanctions. It is suffering a propaganda war, with the open lies of the US-controlled Western media being spread and even believed. It is suffering a military war with huge amounts of NATO weaponry now on Russia’s borders and the occupation of Eastern Europe from Lithuania to Romania by US forces. All of this can be seen most obviously in the Ukraine, for the moment controlled by the Fascist junta in Kiev, which exists only thanks to a massive US PR machine.

Here the US is backing both the Philaretist schism in the Ukraine as well as other groups, including the Vatican-supported Uniats of Galicia, who are persecuting and murdering representatives of the One Local Church, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onufry, which is part of the multinational Russian Orthodox Church. The US State Department, desperate to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church, is willing the Patriarchate of Constantinople to organize these schismatic groups into one large group under its control. If that Patriarchate does this, it will fall into the unforgivable sin of creating schism, effectively abolishing itself and its Patriarch will go down in history as one of the most inglorious patriarchs ever.

What then should the Russian Orthodox Church do as regards the meeting of some Local Orthodox Churches in Crete in a few days time? Three or four of the fourteen Local Churches (with the Serbs, it depends who you talk to) are boycotting it as their complaints have been ignored by Constantinople. If the Russian Church joins these three or four, then the Polish and Czechoslovak Churches may follow and perhaps Alexandria, Greece and Cyprus will follow them. This would leave a meeting in Crete at which the US-appointed Patriarch of Constantinople will talk to the US-appointed Patriarch of Romania (US-appointed because he agreed to start schisms in Moldova and the Ukraine, parts of the Russian Orthodox Church) and the tiny Churches of Jerusalem and Albania (also run from the US).

The Russian Church is faced with a choice: to go to Crete and refuse to sign the more or less masonic documents that Constantinople has been trying to ram down everyone’s throats since the US told it to in 1961, speaking words of truth to the world at large. Or it can boycott the meeting entirely and call a Council in Russia, at which the other nine Local Churches, 90% of the Orthodox world plus the majority in the other four Local Churches, who do not recognize the politicking of their leaders, can confer. It will be 99.9% of the Orthodox world against 0.1%, the latter led by the semi-Uniat Patriarch of Constantinople. He will be in schism with himself and a few other US-appointed bureaucrats.

What will be decided we have no idea. We only know that whatever happens, the gates of hell will not prevail.

After the Farce: Towards a Real Council

Now that the farce of the ‘Great and Holy Pan-Orthodox Council’ of 666 (16/06/16) with its US Democratic Party agenda and masonic logo is all but over, even before it has begun, what lessons can be learned? They are the lessons that the Orthodox saints and faithful have been repeating for the 55 years since this Washington-inspired tragi-comedy began:

1. Eastern Papism is dead because it was never alive and anti-Sobornost (that is, Phanariot anti-catholicity, ignoring the faithful in favour of top-down clericalist arrogance, working and plotting behind closed doors in accordance with US State Department orders) does not work in the Church of God, however well it may work among man-made heterodox institutions, like the Vatican or Protestantism.

2. The phyletist, CIA-run Patriarchate of Constantinople has now for ever discredited itself and so the leadership of the Orthodox Church must pass to Her natural leader, the Russian Orthodox Church, 75% of the whole Church and the only Church with a political leader of world importance who, although not an Emperor, can, unlike Joe Biden, in accordance with Tradition, call a real Council.

So where do we go from here? First of all, we need to hold a Council that discusses all the issues that actually concern Orthodox. We would suggest two great areas for discussion:

1. Inside the Church, strengthen the unity and catholicity of the fourteen Local Churches, freeing them from outside political interference, for example, forbidding the appointment of Patriarchs and bishops by US ministers and ambassadors and dismissing as uncanonical those who have been, ensuring that we all follow the Orthodox Tradition together, and encourage the gradual return (gradual for pastoral reasons) by all to the Orthodox liturgical and penitential traditions and the Church calendar.

2. Outside the Church, finish with ecumenism, the greatest waste of time and effort in the history of the Church because it has had no effect on the unrepentant heterodox. Thus, at last we can be free to call the whole world outside the Church to repentance, making missionary efforts to provide the infrastructure to preach the Church’s uncompromised message to the rest of the world. Thus, we can set up the necessary Russian-led, united ecclesial structures in the Diaspora as the firm foundations for future new Local Churches, in order to counter the globalist ‘New World Order’ processes leading to Antichrist.

About Ionan Orthodoxy: An Interview with Archbishop George of London

12 May 2041

Q: What is the territory of your Archdiocese?

AG: As you know, our Archdiocese is part of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe under Metropolitan John. This stretches from Ireland to Austria and Iceland to Sicily and includes the Latin, Germanic, Celtic and Basque peoples of Western Europe. Our Archdiocese includes the four now sovereign nations of England, Ireland (which was finally reunited five years ago, if you remember), Scotland and Wales. At present we have four bishops, myself, Bishop Patrick in Dublin, Bishop Andrew in Edinburgh and Bishop David in Cardiff. For our Local Synods we always use our premises on the Isle of Man, the only place from which all our four nations are visible.

Q: Why did you take the name Ionan for your Archdiocese?

AG: Originally, the name ‘Diocese of the Isles’ was suggested for the Archdiocese, but this was considered too vague, since there are isles all over the world. Then the name ‘Isles of the North Atlantic’ was suggested, so forming the acronym I.O.N.A. This conveniently refers to the Ionan Orthodox monasticism of St Columba, which originated in Egypt and came to Ireland via Gaul. Since St Columba’s monastery on Iona spread to England via Lindisfarne and from there Orthodoxy went south, converting much of England, and authentic monasticism had always been the one thing missing here, we felt that this was a good name.

Q: How did ‘Ionan Orthodoxy’ come into being?

AG: As you know even into the early 21st century there were two forms of Orthodoxy in Western countries. The first was that which looked back to the ethnic homeland, which meant that in each Western European country there was a multitude of dioceses, called jurisdictions, each living in a sort of divisive ethnic ghetto and using mainly a language other than English. This was all right for first-generation immigrants, but it did not work for second and subsequent generations, who were simply assimilated into the Non-Orthodox milieu. And after three generations, 75 years, abroad, the first generation always died out and so the Church with it. It happened to the Russians in England (arrived by 1920) who had died out by 1995 and to the Greek-Cypriots in England (arrived by 1960) who had died out by 2035.

Q: What was the second form of Orthodoxy in the West?

AG: Seeing the obvious short-sightedness and failure of the above form, there were second and third-generation Russian intellectuals who by reaction took the opposite stance. Their second form of Orthodoxy consisted of merging all Orthodox, whatever their background, into a melting pot. Their common point was the lowest common denominator, that is, the ethnic identity of the (Non-Orthodox) host country. Their policy was then to sell this as the new and substitute ethnic identity of a new Local Church. This second form only developed in full in North America, where immigrants had begun arriving much earlier than in Western Europe, at the end of the nineteenth century, and where people were far more cut off from the roots of Orthodoxy than in Europe. In Europe we did not want to repeat that mistake.

Q: What was that mistake?

AG: It was the attempt to create an ‘American Orthodoxy’. That was a mistake because it put a culture, Non-Orthodox at that, above the Church. This was not a theological movement, but merely a sociological movement of adaptation and conformism. For example, through the inferiority complex of immigrants, most Orthodox churches in the US adopted pews and many of them organs, one institution tried to use a guitar accompaniment to the Divine Liturgy and adapt the theme tune of the cowboy film ‘Shenandoah’ to it. In other places the Divine Liturgy would be stopped at Christmas in order to sing Protestant Christmas carols!

Someone at the time drew a cartoon of an ‘All-American Patriarch’, a clean-shaven man in a clerical collar with a foolish grin on his face and a glass of coca-cola in his hand, like an advert for toothpaste. Of course, this was only a carton, but it did sum up the situation. At that time when the USA still ruled the world, there were actually individuals in the US who arrogantly and blindly imagined that this second form of Orthodoxy there was the only true form of Orthodoxy, that it was at the centre of the world and that it was their duty to colonize the rest of the world with it! In reality, of course, it was a mere provincial backwater experiment, to be allowed to die out quietly because this experiment simply pandered to the weaknesses of the host country. It placed the Church of God below heretical culture. That was blasphemous, which is why it was racked with scandals.

Q: But did the same temptation not occur in Europe, even if it did not have time to develop to the same extent as in the USA?

AG: Yes, of course, it occurred; human nature is the same everywhere, it was just that it took on different forms according to the local heterodox culture. The same thing has happened among unChurched, semi-Orthodox people in Greece, Romania and Russia. It is simply the heresy of phyletism. And make no mistake, it is a heresy because you can lose your soul in it – that is what a heresy is.

For example, in France a whole jurisdiction catered for a kind of ‘philosophical and aesthetic Orthodoxy’, ‘l’Orthodoxie a la francaise’, as one might say. This theory of Orthodoxy, or theorizing about Orthodoxy, did not present the Church as the Christian way of life, but as a complex and highly intellectual philosophy, full of long words and isms, which no-one really understood. Of course, it could have been expressed in very simple language, which everyone knew already. But as long as it sounded theoretically and philosophically fine, ‘cosmique’ as they used to say, all was fine, but of course, it was not fine and that jurisdiction died out, as it was built on sand, not on the Rock of the Faith. This theorizing was about the god of the philosophers in the language of philosophers, not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the language of the fishermen of Galilee. You simply cannot build a Local Church based on Non-Orthodox culture! That is common sense, but you could not say that out loud to those who were taken up by such delusions.

Q: What about in other countries in Europe?

AG: It happened everywhere, not just in France. For example, in Germany the first liturgical book to be translated was the Typikon. In other words, Orthodoxy there was confused with the Non-Orthodox German mindset and produced an Orthodoxy of rules, a stubborn, black and white system, without any flexibility, any understanding of the human component, which is what it is all about. They lost their way by confusing the means (the services) with the ends (the salvation of the soul). For instance, I remember one German priest refusing to give a woman communion because she was dressed in trousers. Well, she was of course wrong, but a few decades ago there was a fashion for women to dress in trousers (fortunately, long since over now). That was bad, but what right did the German priest have to excommunicate that woman? Suppose she had died in the night after she had been refused communion? That sin would have been on the conscience of that priest.

Q: And in England?

AG: It was the same thing again. The national weakness here was not theorizing or creating a book of rules, but it was to adapt Orthodoxy to the British Establishment, to create a compromised ‘Establishment Orthodoxy’, a ‘British Orthodoxy’. This State-controlled and State-worshipping Orthodoxy, that of converts from Anglicanism, was of course just a repeat of the Anglicanism that had long ago been invented by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. There were even two whole but tiny jurisdictions dedicated to this State-approved pietism. It was all salt that had lost its savour. Some such people used the treacherous, half-Norman Edward the Confessor as the mascot of their ‘Establishment Orthodoxy’. Of course, it all came to nothing and has died out now, largely a fantasy of the late-twentieth century and the curious personalities who reigned supreme in the bad old days then. It was very oppressive because, as they were emperors in new clothes, you were not allowed to contradict them!

All these examples show the danger of compromising the Faith with local culture. And all those who did so have now died out, as withered branches. And that is the answer to your question, how did ‘Ionan Orthodoxy’ come into being. It came into being as the only living alternative to the two false alternatives – the ghetto or worldly compromise.

Q: So what do you base ‘Ionan Orthodoxy’ on?

AG: Simply, we put the Church and the Faith first. If we put the Kingdom of God, Orthodoxy, first, then all will fall into place, including the language that we use in services, which today is for about 90% in English, regardless of the ethnic origin of the parishioners, regardless of how well or how badly they speak another language. We are united by Orthodox Christianity, not by ethnic origins, and we are carried forward by the faithfulness to the Church and Her Tradition of the younger generations, who are all primarily English-speakers.

Q: You now have over 350 parishes in the British Isles and Ireland, all established quite solidly and with their own clergy and premises. Every city and town over 50,000 and the area around it is covered. This is quite unlike even 25 years ago, when the Russian Church, a small minority at that time, had mostly tiny communities with services once a month, borrowed premises and a suffered from a huge shortage of priests to go out and do vital missionary work in the area surrounding their churches. What about the other jurisdictions, which collectively still have over 50 parishes outside the Archdiocese?

AG: We live with them as good neighbours. People are free to join us and free to remain outside us. As you know, the parishes outside our jurisdiction are composed mainly of elderly people who settled here from various countries 50 years ago or more and they use very little English in their services. Virtually all the young people come to us. Time will show which way things will go. Live and let live.

Q: What is the future? Do you think of autocephaly?

AG: The Western European Metropolia, with just over 2,000 parishes now, is united, with six archdioceses, Iona, Scandinavia, Germania, Gallia, Italia and Hispania. True, the Metropolia has autonomy, but at the present time there is no desire at all for autocephaly. True, 2,000 parishes is more than in some other Local Churches, like the 700 parishes of the Hungarian Orthodox Church which recently became autocephalous, but a lot fewer than in others. Take China for example. That is still also an autonomous part of the Russian Church, even though it now has over 25,000 parishes. And the Russian Church Herself did not become autonomous for centuries, only after the Empire had fallen in New Rome. At present, I cannot see any reason to become autocephalous. That situation may of course change, especially in China, but not yet. It all takes time.

Q: Are you saying that autocephaly granted prematurely can be dangerous?

AG: Definitely. And especially in Western Europe.

Q: Why?

AG: Because Western Europe has for over a millennium veered between extremes which we do not want to repeat.

Q: Which extremes?

AG: The first is that of despotic centralism. This was the extreme of the pagan Roman Empire, which Charlemagne foolishly tried to revive and fortunately failed to, but it was indeed revived after 1050, causing Western Europe’s schism from the Church, and that lasted until the anti-Latin nationalist outburst of the Germanic Reformation. After that, despotic centralism was tried again by warmongers like Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler, and then by the EU Fourth Reich – and we all know how that ended.

Each time there was a reaction to this despotism – nationalism, and that led to terrible fratricidal wars in Europe, like the so-called ‘Wars of Religion’ in the 16th century, just as centralism created the World Wars. We do not want those extremes, we must follow the golden mean of unity in diversity, which is what we have in Ionan Orthodoxy and in the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe in general. Europe has to be a Confederation of Nations, not a Union, a United States of Europe, but not a series of warring, nationalist states either.

In the same way, the Tsardom of Rus, as it is now called, successfully overcame provincial Ukrainian nationalism a generation ago and reunited huge territories, one sixth of the world. However, it only did this by rejecting the old centralism of the Soviet Union, which had done so much damage to its credibility. Once it had done that, again on the basis of unity in diversity, all of Eastern Europe joined in a free and mutually beneficial economic confederation with it, throwing off the shackles of the old European Union, which was in fact just a repeat of the Soviet Union.

Q: Will you drop the word ‘Russian’ from the name of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe? Most of your faithful are either not Russian or else do not speak it.

AG: In the bad old days of Western nationalism, for example in North America in the Cold War, they detested the word ‘Russian’ and dropped it. Now we are more enlightened and we all understand that ‘Russian’ does not mean nationalism and means uncompromised, unsecularized Orthodoxy. We exist because we have been helped to exist by the Russian Orthodox Church, the only multinational, Imperial Orthodox Church. I think we should keep it. Do you remember the old Roman Catholic Church, as it used to be called? Well, there were hardly any Romans in it!

Q: Why has the Western European Metropolia been so successful?

AG: Without doubt because of the sacrifices made to underpin it in the twentieth century and since. The Church is built on blood, sweat and tears. We should remember with gratitude the prayers and work of those who went before us. For example, I can remember decades ago, how people wanted more English in the services. So, one bishop said yes, do the service in English. What happened? The people who had been clamouring for more English could not even put a decent choir together to sing just the Liturgy! Some of them said that the singing was so bad that they preferred the Liturgy in a foreign language, in which it was properly sung. In other words, you have to make sacrifices in order to achieve anything. We owe a great deal to those who sang properly in English, showing others that the Liturgy in English could be just as beautiful as in Slavonic. Actions speak louder than words.

Yes, mistakes were made in the past, but we learned from those mistakes. Take for example our English translations which stretch back to the turn of the 20th century, nearly 150 years ago, those made in the USA with the blessing of the holy Patriarch Tikhon by an Episcopalian Isabel Hapgood and by Orlov in England. Those were foundation stones. Yes, those translations have been improved and on the way we have seen archaic translations in a Latinate, Victorian style like those of Hapgood or even with 16th century spelling, we have seen those made into street English as well as into soulless, jarring academic English, all sorts, but today we have definitive translations, avoiding all those extremes. It is easy to criticize, but the fact is that without those tireless efforts of the past, however mistaken they sometimes were, we would not be where we are now.

Let us first of all thank our recent fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters in Christ who went before us, who built our Church, our parishes and our souls. Our Metropolia, in effect, the Church of the Old and the New Europe, would not exist without them. But let us also thank the saints of the first millennium. Through venerating them, we have earned their prayers and because of their prayers we are here today. We are built not on dead souls, but on spiritually alive souls, whether of the distant past or of the recent past. Always on spiritually alive souls: Remember that.

Why the Non-Commemorators are Mistaken

In the Gospels Christ tells us that although we are in the world, we are not of it, that although we are incarnate on earth here and now, our destiny is in heaven. Human errors have all been due to the failure to live according to these words. Either to the failure not to be incarnate here and now and to drift away into intellectual speculations and disincarnate daydreams and philosophies: such have been the tendencies either of Western intellectuals or of Non-Christian religions – indeed many such intellectuals have been attracted to Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufism, for example, for that very reason. Or else to the human failure to forget that our destiny is in heaven, to concentrate only on the incarnate here and now: such have been the tendencies of the Roman Catholic and Protestant deviations of Christianity, with their concentration on the thisworldly organization of the affairs of men, instead of the balanced God-Man, Christ, the Son of God become incarnate as man and calling us to heaven.

Put in terms of Church history and human deformations of the Church, the first said that Christ the Son of God never became man, the second said that Christ was not the Son of God. The first deformation, denying the Incarnation, went down in early history as Monophysitism, the second, denying possible human salvation, as Arianism. Later, in the fourteenth century, they appeared again, combined in the one heresy of Barlaam of Italy, who said that since God was unknowable (Monophysitism), man would have to rely on his autonomous reason to live (Arianism). Here was the justification for Western humanism and Renaissance paganism and all that has followed to this day – man the measure of all things. St Gregory Palamas opposed this heresy and expressed the universal Christian teaching, distinguishing between the essence and the energies of God. In modern, secular times the same two heresies have appeared as disincarnate, Western liberalism and petty, worldly nationalism.

Thus, today the Orthodox Christian world still suffers from these same constant enemies of the Faith, from petty, inward-looking nationalism of the ghetto and disincarnate, pro-Western liberalism of the intellectuals. In 1453 the latter betrayed Constantinople and provoked its fall and in 1917 it collaborated in the trap sprung by the West in Russia, provoking the February Revolution, later taken over by the Bolsheviks, and then dividing the Russian emigration between true White and false White. Thus, it can be asserted that the New Martyrs of Russia are ultimately the victims of the treachery of Western liberalism, for without Western support and finance the Bolsheviks would never have seized power. Without apostate wealthy aristocrats (including members of the Romanov Family), treasonous generals and Anglophile Duma freemasons, there would never have been any New Martyrs. Their anti-Orthodox and therefore anti-Russian treachery drips with the blood of the betrayed millions.

Then there is the second enemy, nationalism, which, unlike patriotism, which is love of God’s Creation, is simply worldliness, love of man’s creation. It betrayed the universalism of Old Rome, taken over by barbarian-minded Franks, and of New Rome, taken over by Hellenist nationalism. Unlike the petty nationalism of others in the past and today, petty Russian nationalism is worse because Russia has a vocation to defend all Orthodox of all nationalities and to witness to all the fragments of Christianity, a vocation to be Imperial, to be above ghetto nationalism. Examples of nationalism are the treasonous Old Ritualists, who openly supported the 1917 Revolution, a few divisive Russophobic émigrés who sympathized with Hitler, trying to undermine the Church Outside Russia and then siding with Western spies, and in our own times the pro-Old Ritualist Solzhenitsyn. His anti-patriotic nationalism, like that of all Russian nationalists, ironically ended up supporting Western liberals.

On this subject of inward-looking nationalism, there are now in Moldova, the Ukraine and on Mt Athos nearly seventy individuals, mainly monks, including one vicar-bishop and over a dozen priests, who refuse to commemorate Patriarch Kyrill at services. There are two reasons for the decisions of these non-commemorators. Firstly, there was the February meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and the Bishop of Rome in Cuba, for which the Russian Orthodox world had not been prepared although secret preparations for it had been under way for six months, and the vague joint declaration that they issued afterwards. This came after the disturbing document regarding relations between the Church and the heterodox world, released some two weeks earlier in Geneva, in preparation for the meeting of some Orthodox bishops in Crete in June. For some completely incomprehensible reason, this has provocatively already been called ‘a Holy, Pan-Orthodox Council’, when so far it is none of these things.

Seventy people make up 0.00004% of the Russian Orthodox world. We think their first concern is exaggerated. The document issued was after all a diplomatic one, not a dogmatic one and in their sincere simplicity they failed to distinguish between the two aspects. As for the second document, it is only a draft and has already been rejected by several Local Churches and many prominent and well-respected bishops in several countries. Even if it were passed as such, the vast majority, myself included, would either ignore it or tear it up. Such top-down decisions, taken without the slightest consultation with the masses, cannot be enforced. However, I do have a much more serious concern, which I wish the non-commemorators would share. They seem not to realize that since 2014 the Russian Orthodox world has been in a state of war, after an attack on the Ukraine, which toppled the legitimate government and installed an anti-Orthodox, Fascist junta in Kiev, ‘the Mother of Russian Cities’.

This is part of the Neocon-initiated World War, which has reduced a large part of Western Asia and Northern Africa, from the coasts of the Atlantic to the foothills of the Hiamalyas, to terrorist anarchy. This has resulted in the deaths of up to two million and well over ten million refugees, leading to the mass deChristianization of Iraq and Syria. It has also ravaged Eastern Europe, economically and in ex-Yugoslavia, militarily, where part of the population is affected by cancer from uranium-tipped NATO shells and menaced by the US-installed terrorist regime in Kosovo. It has also seen Russian Orthodox forces in combat in Syria, supporting Orthodox and friends of Orthodox next to the Holy Land, by Armageddon. In the post-Soviet world it is one thing for ‘Orthodox’ liberals and nationalists from anywhere in the Orthodox world to criticize or disagree with the Patriarch of Rus’. He may not be ideal (who is?), but to stop commemorating him during what is a World War, is almost treasonous.

From Recent Correspondence (Lent 2016)

Q: Why is there so much opposition among the Orthodox faithful to the forthcoming Council in Crete?

A: Because it promises to be merely a politicized meeting of bishops. First of all, how can you say that you are having a Council when you do not know if it is a Council, because you do not know if the Holy Spirit will be present? We must understand that a meeting can only become a Council if the Holy Spirit is present. This is why meetings only become Councils on their reception by the people of God, who recognize the inspiring presence of the Holy Spirit. So far this looks like a meeting of bishops, with the US, the EU and the Vatican in the background, which is not Pan-Orthodox because it does not include all the bishops or, for the moment, even representatives of all the Local Churches. To call a meeting a Council before the event is presumptious and pretentious, even more so when you call it ‘Great and Holy’.

Secondly, how can you have a Council when only a small selected minority of Orthodox bishops have been invited? Thirdly, how can you have a Council when the most important question, the calendar issue, has been removed from the agenda? Fourthly, how can you have a Council when several Local Churches or authoritative voices in Local Churches have been raised in particular against the anti-dogmatic contradictions in the proposed important document on relations with Non-Orthodox? Finally, many have been disturbed by the date of the opening of this meeting: 16/06/16. It contains the triple six of Antichrist. How could the organizers, so blind to any transparency, also be so provocative as to start the meeting on that date, so greatly perturbing the faithful?

Q: You say that the US, the EU and the Vatican are in the background. What exactly do they want?

A: All thisworldly institutions want an aggiornamento of the Church, like that which Roman Catholicism underwent in the 1960s. They want to introduce into the Church secularism, humanism, new calendarism, homosexual marriage, banning fasting and monasticism. In other words, they want to destroy the Church, they want a modernist, spiritually toothless and spineless Church, degutted of ascetic life, spirituality and the sacred, so that they can adapt the Church to their worldly agenda, reducing it to a mere human institution, as they have done elsewhere. And who is their prince, the prince of this world? Satan.

Q: So you are against this meeting?

A: I did not say that. Let us wait and see. This meeting could produce schism, given the arrogant lack of consultation by its organizers with the monasteries, parish clergy and people, with the people of God. For example, why have they not invited a distinguished monastic elder from each Local Church to the meeting to represent the people of God? And, as I said, a meeting, however unpromising, can become a Council. All depends on the Holy Spirit. Man proposes, but God disposes. Sadly, for the moment, all we have seen is bureaucratic men proposing.

Q: You have reported elsewhere the opening of the Russian Cathedral in Paris in the autumn. What are your hopes?

A: Our hopes are that the statement of Patriarch Alexei II thirteen years ago will at last be realized. In other words, we hope that this will be the foundation stone of a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe and that that will be the foundation of a future Local Church.

Q: So you want to see in Western Europe a kind of European OCA?

A: Before answering, I should perhaps say that what I want is not really relevant, what is important is what God wants. I will answer only because you have asked.

Not at all, we do not want another OCA. The OCA was a failure firstly because its foundation was politicized, being founded during the Cold War, secondly because it was granted autocephaly unilaterally without consultation with the other far more numerous dioceses of other Local Churches on the same territory, and thirdly because it was founded on compromises of ascetic, liturgical and canonical culture, caused by its protestantization, putting American culture above the Church. This meant that a great many English-speaking Orthodox in the USA, the ones whom it was allegedly designed for, simply ignored it. Personally, if I lived in the USA, I would not belong to the OCA. That is no judgement on the many sincere and pious people who do belong to it or the good work that parts of it do, this is merely a personal statement.

Q: So what do you want to see in Western Europe?

A: What we want to see is what we want to see everywhere, including in North America. That is, quite simply, a Local Church that is fully Orthodox, spiritually pure, politically independent and faithful to the Tradition, but which freely celebrates, whenever pastorally necessary, in the local language and venerates the local saints. What could be simpler? And yet human beings with their compromising political cults or narcissistic personality cults make it all so complicated.

Q: To come back to the OCA, what do you make of the concelebration between Patriarch Bartholomew and Metr Tikhon of the OCA?

A: There are modernist, political dissidents in the OCA who want to become a sub-department of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, in some special American Metropolia, just like the Rue Daru group of ex-Russians in Paris, the ex-Sourozhian schismatics in England, or some schismatic Diaspora Ukrainians. It seems to me that a battle is going on between the two factions there, the modernists who want to leave for Constantinople and those with at least some sense of the Tradition who want to stay as a group under the protection of the Russian Church. Personally, I have always thought that a split is inevitable, with all the parishes in Alaska and most in Canada and Pennsylvania around St Tikhon’s, returning to the Russian Church, perhaps within ROCOR, and the others, like those at St Vladimir’s, going over to the Greeks. That would be logical and at last clear up the canonical anomaly once and for all.

Q: The OCA was founded nearly two generations ago. Why has it taken so much longer to begin even thinking about a Local Church in Western Europe?

A: So much longer? We have been thinking about it for thirty years and more! On the other hand, you do not do things prematurely. In my view, the OCA was premature – it should have remained a Metropolia, English-speaking but faithful to Russian Orthodox Tradition, waiting for freedom in Russia, which came 20 years after its independence.

The main problem in Western Europe has been the delay caused by the Paris schism over eighty years ago. The divisive defection of Russophobic aristocrats and modernist intellectuals from the Russian Tradition to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and a self-invented ‘tradition’ meant that the development of an authentically Orthodox Local Church was greatly delayed because the Russian Orthodox presence was so weakened by their disaffection. For instance, although (or because) the Constantinople Parisians are bankrupt, they are still occupying the (smallish) 19th-century Russian Cathedral in Paris, and therefore a new Cathedral and seminary have had to built and equipped at vast expense and with great political complications.

Q: Does the Church Outside Russia, ROCOR, have a role in the construction of this Metropolia in Western Europe?

A: That depends on the leadership of ROCOR, not on mere parish priests like me.

Q: Does that answer mean that in Western Europe at least ROCOR will become dependent on the Church inside Russia?

A: Not necessarily. Everything is still possible. There are parishes in Western Europe dependent on the Church inside Russia and parishes dependent on the Church Outside Russia that are identical in ethos. Some, sadly, are definitely not identical in ethos because of the hangover from the Soviet past despite transfers of controversial clergy out of Europe by Moscow in the last few years. In ROCOR we patiently wait for that vestigial ethos to die out, as it is dying out. Once it has died out altogether, convergence will come.

Q: You mean that ROCOR in Western Europe will merge with the Church inside Russia or that the Church inside Russia in Western Europe will merge with ROCOR?

A: I don’t know. What I do know is that the most active and most missionary, the most spiritually alive, will dominate. Those who are spiritually asleep will be absorbed. If you do not have younger bishops, resident bishops, active bishops, missionary bishops, bishops who are interested in their flocks and local saints, you will die in your self-made ghetto. This is what happened to ROCOR in South America. This is of course true for all Local Churches and their dioceses in the Diaspora. If you do not live, you will die. Surely, that is not too complicated to understand?

For example, today, just in the eastern third of England, we need twelve priests who can speak at least some Russian and some English – if they are bilingual, that would be perfect. I could name the places where they are needed. But where are we going to find them? We have to encourage men to think about this. That requires leadership, time, effort and energy.

Q: How can you describe the ethos of ROCOR, as compared with the ethos of parishes dependent on the Church inside Russia?

A: The emphasis of ROCOR in the last 25 years especially has quite clearly been on the New Martyrs and Confessors, Anti-Sergianism and Anti-Ecumenism. Wherever within the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia there is veneration for the New Martyrs and Confessors (and it is very extensive), wherever there is resistance to the ideas that the Church must swim with the secular tide of the State and resistance to ecumenist compromises (also extensive), there is joy in ROCOR. However, the fact is that some of the foreign parishes in the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia, suffered in the past from modernism, ecumenism and liberalism, unlike parishes inside Russia. When the ethos becomes identical, then there will be a complete merger, though, as I say, it is not clear which part of the Church will dominate it. That will depend on the leadership of bishops.

Q: You mentioned local saints in Western Europe. Who at present venerates those local saints?

A: It mostly seems to be immigrants from Eastern Europe, who have the sense of saints and relics. Sadly, despite all our decades of efforts, there are few native Western European Orthodox.

Q: Why? I thought there were many converts?

A: That is a myth. There have never been ‘many’ converts. At most about 2,000-3,000 in the heyday and many of those soon lapsed because they were received into the Church for the wrong reasons or for ideological reasons, with certain clergy trying to build up artificial empires, which of course soon collapsed. Most of their children also lapsed. I doubt if there were ever more than 1,000 serious converts.

However, in the last ten years, I have witnessed a change. Converts started coming in numbers in the 1960s after the collapse of Anglicanism. In other words, most converts were from an Anglican background, often of a public school or wealthy background and most were at that time 30 or 40 years old. Well, that generation, what I call the ‘Kallistos generation’, is literally dying out. Some are still alive, but are in their late sixties or older. The vast majority of these are either in the Antiochian jurisdiction which at last has a new, young, local bishop, or else under the Constantinople Vicariate, which is dependent on an elderly French bishop in France, whom I knew when he was a young priest.

Together, about 600 in all, they together form a sort of Anglican Orthodoxy. For example, as far as I know, the Antiochian clergy are ex-Anglican vicars who have not received training in Orthodoxy and do not know how to do all the services; then the people do not know how to sing; the Vicariate situation is similar. I know one such Antiochian community, where the priest has banned any language other than English! This is racism, though I suspect partly it is because the priest does not understand any language other than English, let alone the Orthodox ethos.

Q: So converts are dying out?

A: Not exactly, rather their nature is changing. There are some new converts, but they do not usually have an Anglican background; after all very few English people nowadays do – even in the mid-19th century, only 50% of English people were ‘Anglican’, that is, they belonged to the Church of England. Although there are few of these new converts, at least they are converting properly and not creating a semi-Orthodoxy, an Anglican-Orthodox club.

Q: So what does that mean for these convert communities?

A: It means that many Vicariate communities number fewer than ten, usually quite elderly people, and form a kind of ex-Anglican clique, centred on the dead Metr Antony Bloom. Where they are more numerous, most of the people are Eastern Europeans. In a similar way, ageing Antiochian groups are being saved from extinction by Eastern Europeans, especially church-deprived Romanians. Most of these groups do not have their own premises and use Anglican churches.

Q: So what is the justification for using English in services, if there are fewer converts?

A: There are now three justifications. Firstly, there are still English people, converts or children and grandchildren of converts with the English husbands of Orthodox women, secondly, there are the English-speaking children of Eastern Europeans and thirdly, in mixed-nationality parishes, English is simply the common language. The future is with the second group, children of Eastern Europeans, because they are now the majority of English-speaking Orthodox.

Q: How are they to be kept in the Church?

A: That is the key question. In ROCOR, for example, the London Cathedral lost virtually everyone from its second generation, let alone from the third and fourth. And that is a typical story for all jurisdictions everywhere. Why? Because they had no identity, apart from an ethnic one, which they naturally disowned. It is vital for Orthodox children born here or going to school here to have an Orthodox identity, to know and appreciate our civilizational values, to know that we are simply Christians. The old generations generally failed to do this, their identity was purely ethnic, not spiritual.

Thus, the children went to school, lost their parents’ language and said, ‘I’m English, this is nothing to do with me, it’s only for old people’. Assimilation. For example, there are six Anglican Cypriot priests in the Diocese of London. Why? Because they did not understand Greek, so they left the Greek Orthodox Church. Of course, we can only give children this identity if parents bring their children to church regularly. Those children have to be instructed in Sunday schools and they have to have activities, which creates in them a sense of belonging to the Church. If parents do not bring up their children in the church, then they will be completely lost.

Q: Why do Protestants so value the Old Testament?

A: The Reformation was largely financed by Jews (despite Luther’s virulent anti-Jewishness) and most Protestants have always been pro-Jewish. Cromwell depended on them almost entirely. (Even today Israel depends entirely on Protestant countries, especially the USA; Catholics have always been more sceptical). Thus, the Protestants even use the Jewish Old Testament in favour of the Christian one! For Orthodox, by far the most important book of the Old Testament is the Psalter, which is why you rarely find Orthodox reading the Old Testament (other than Genesis and Exodus), but rather just the New Testament and the Psalms.

Q: Why is the USA forcing countries, like the Ukraine and also African countries, into accepting homosexual marriage? Is Obama a homosexual?

A: I have no idea what Obama is – except that he supported thuggery by toppling the democratically-elected government of the Ukraine and replacing it with a murderous Fascist junta, which has little control of the country outside Kiev. Then there are the US drones which can murder anyone anywhere. As regards his other personal inclinations, I would not rely on internet rumours.

Now for your main question, which needs a historical answer.

When, in the 11th century, Satan set about destroying Christendom, his first target was to desacralize, that is, secularize, the Church. Satan cannot stand the presence of the sacred, the sacred must be removed from the world because it prevents him from realizing his plans to take total control of the world. This he did by attacking the Church at its weakest point, that is, in the Western provinces, where all had been weakened by the barbarian invasions. In the 11th century the Western Patriarchate was converted to secularism, with what had been the Church becoming a State, becoming secular, changing the Creed, controlling murderous armies, the courts and sponsoring invasions etc. In history this is called papocaesarism.

In other words, the first step to Satanization, was to remove the Altar. The second step was to remove the Throne, that is, to remove the sacral monarchy. This act came later and was done in the 17th century in England, in the 18th century in France and in the 20th century in Russia, although it is true that the Western monarchies had been deformed before then, either by parliamentarianism, or else by absolutism, neither of which conforms to the Orthodox Christian understanding of monarchy, which is the presence of the Lord’s Anointed among the people.

Thus, having removed the spiritual content of the Faith and the Ruler, having desacralized the Faith and the King, there remained the third and final stage, to desacralize or secularize the Christian People and popular culture. This means destroying Christian cultural values (a process that was very rapid in the 20th century), destroying the family – very rapid from the 1960s on after the fall of the Second Vatican Council, when fasting was abolished and so now today we have an obesity crisis). Then they also started destroying the identity of the human person in the unisex movement that since the 1960s has resulted in only two generations in a transgender, transhuman society.

This enslavement is a form of suicide. It is why Russian Orthodox Tsardom, the Christian Empire, had to be destroyed in 1917. With its slogan of Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and the People, the Faith, Tsar and Rus, in English, Altar, Throne, Cottage, in French, Foi, Roi, Loi, its existence was the one thing that made upside down Satanism, with its aim of destroying the Church, the Ruler and the People, impossible.

Q: Can this situation of spiritual enslavement be reversed, or is an imminent end inevitable?

A: Nothing is inevitable because for human beings repentance is always possible. In Russia, the Church is slowly being restored and with Her the ideal of a Spiritual Empire, with a Christian Emperor and People. However, nothing is certain and there are reasons for both profound pessimism and profound optimism. May God’s will be done. On 18 December 1917 the Tsarina Alexandra wrote in her diary: (The Revolution in Russia) ‘is a disease, after which Russia will grow stronger. O Lord, be merciful and save Russia!’ May this hopeful prophecy be true.

The Present Danger

Who is it that will harm you, if you are followers of what is good?

(1 Peter 3, 13)

1916 was the year when the bankrupt British government was taken over by new and alien forces dependent on transnational financiers in New York and the year that the Russian Revolution was planned, in part inside the British Embassy in the Russian Capital. One century on, 2016 is also proving to be a year of great temptation internationally, especially because of Syria, and for the Russian Orthodox Church. Here there is great controversy, as throughout the Orthodox world, about the documents prepared for the proposed Inter-Orthodox meeting in Crete in June, especially that on the Church. Secondly, there has been the surprise meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and the Bishop of Rome, which has upset and disturbed many within the Russian Orthodox Church in particular.

As a result, there are a few clergy who have ceased commemorating Patriarch Kyrill. Then there have been meetings in Russia, the Ukraine and Moldova where small numbers of activists protesting at the use of the word ‘Council’ and the contents of the documents and they have used words like ‘uncanonical’, ‘heresy’ and ‘heretic’. And certain Russian bloggers, well-known for extremism and immaturity, have made dishonest and disrespectful accusations, falling into abuse and gossip, insults and unjust accusations, rumours and innuendo, proving that they are in fact secular-minded, not Church-minded. Our modernist and ecumenist enemies, who want schism from the Church, are rejoicing at the actions of such zealots. they are already imagining the full-scale destruction of the Church.

What should our attitude be?

Firstly, we must pray for the Russian Patriarch. There are those around him who are still under the influence of the humanistic and unOrthodox ‘theology’ of the 20th century Russian emigration, of the Paris School of Bulgakovism and Schmemannism, and have learned nothing from the Sourozh schism. Individuals subject to that ideology, which is what it is, are in fact fifth columnists, who are bringing divisive spiritual impurity into the Church. Secondly, we must rewrite the documents for the Crete meeting, making clear that we will never accept compromises of the teachings of the Church and especially of the teaching on the Church, the main dogmatic issue here. Fortunately, many in other Local Churches, especially in Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, are already undertaking this.

We must also make sure that the voices of all Orthodox in the monasteries and parishes, clergy and laypeople, those at the grassroots of the Church, are heard. The Church is not the bishops, and certainly not a select group of bishops, and certainly not a group of uprooted intellectuals and disincarnate philosophers; the Church is everyone, the whole body of the faithful, the people of God, both now and in ages past. That is the meaning of the word ‘catholicity’. However, in doing this, we must show honesty, respect and courtesy, defending the Church and Church Truth from all Her enemies, from left or right, whatever their sect. And we must act without hysteria, from inside the Church, for we know that the Church is not ours, but God’s, and that Christ will always be triumphant in the long term.