Category Archives: Clerical Celibacy

Pro-Gender and Anti-Gender: The Church and the Anti-Church

The crisis of masculinity (and so of femininity also) began in Western Europe in the second half of the eleventh century. This was when the most powerful men in Western Europe introduced compulsory clerical celibacy in a shocking revolution that ran counter to the Christian Tradition up until then. This revolution itself, which was caused by and led directly to what is now known as clericalism, was an anti-woman phenomenon, an act of misogyny, for it asserted that women were unworthy to share in priests’ lives. It is no surprise to learn that many of those behind this revolutionary innovation were homosexuals (1). However, although initially expressing hatred for women, the revolution came to bring hatred for men too – by metaphorically castrating them, making them less than real men.

Apart from a small minority of priests with a genuine monastic vocation, and most village priests, who remained married anyway (as still today, especially in African, Latin American and Southern European Roman Catholicism), this revolution meant that the higher clergy, the Roman Establishment, came to be dominated by homosexuals and pedophiles. This can be seen quite clearly in writers in the Middle Ages (Anselm and Lanfranc of Canterbury and Aelred of Rievaulx in the twelfth century are good local examples (1), but even more in the Renaissance with ‘monks’ like Michelangelo and the pedophile frescoes that cover the walls of the Vatican. As one perceptive and still Orthodox Christian Italian bishop, Bishop Ulric of Imola put it in his ‘Rescript’ at the outset of this transformation in c. 1060, if marriage were forbidden, priests would fall into sins far worse than mere fornication, ‘not abhorring the embrace of other men, or even of animals (2).

Today, by reaction and outrage at injustice, many heterodox women want to have the same clericalist power as men; hence the well-established movements for woman priests and bishops among the Protestants and the desire for the same among protestantized Roman Catholic women. Among the Non-Christian and anti-Christian Western elite, this movement has, again by reaction, turned into the LGBT or Transhuman movement, which altogether denies that men are men and women are women, and is now, with the backing of the US elite, being forced onto the whole world through politically correct media pressure, neo-colonial intimidation and open bribery. President Obama, a man with European, African and Asian roots, a ‘world man’, neither black not white, gives the impression that he is also neither male nor female. We see before us a forerunner of Antichrist. What is the view of the Church of male and female?

The first great difference between the Church and the heterodox world that broke away from it on the orders of the Western elite in the eleventh century is not just that in real Christianity the parish clergy are married, since married man can become priests, but also the great emphasis on the Mother of God. Although any Roman Catholic will recognise a parallel with her (unlike a Protestant), he will most probably not use the term ‘the Mother of God’ or ‘the All-Holy’, but a term like ‘the Virgin’, the Holy Virgin’ or ‘Madonna’, ‘My Lady’. Their emphasis is on her virginity, not on her motherhood, and that is very significant. On the other hand, enter any church and you will see two main icons: Christ the Saviour and the Mother of God, on either side of the doors of heaven. This rejection by the heterodox world of the sacred nature of motherhood (see I Tim 2, 15) lies behind a great deal of its present anti-gender hysteria.

In the Christian world of the Church, the gender differences are always, if anything exaggerated, men are men, women are women. ‘Male and female He created them’, Gen. 1, 27). For instance, much traditional Christian folk singing in Russia or Greece is dominated by sopranos and basses and ultra-feminine and ultra-masculine voices are much prized. In clothing and hair the differences have also always been clear-cut and not just in the Church dress-code; dressing ‘in drag’ and the unisex fashion that began in the 1960s has never been part of the Christian Tradition. Indeed, it has always been outlawed by the Church canons (3), whereas such sexual mixtures were prevalent in the pagan Greek and Roman world, where same-sex relations and pedophilia were considered normal (as they are among the Western Establishment today; the British Establishment notably is notorious for buggery and pedophilia, not least in the higher reaches of the Church of England, the BBC, the government, the army and navy).

Why this desire to even exaggerate gender differences in the Church? It is precisely to avoid grey areas, genetic accidents, for they are full of spiritual and so moral peril and human misery. Souls can very easily be lost there. Quite unlike the now paganized Western world and its hormone-filled or transgenetic food, the Church is not transgender, because that is anti-gender, the Church is pro-gender. This is why the word sex comes from the Latin word ‘cut’; in other words the difference between the sexes is clear-cut, we are one or the other. There are only two sexes, male and female, we have to choose which sex we belong to and that is made visible in the sexual organs that we receive at conception and have at birth. Although some women are less feminine than others and some men are less masculine than others, the anti-gender movement is profoundly suicidal because it will finish sexual attraction, procreation, the family and children, and so end the Western world, which is already dying out and being replaced by Islam. As for Christian society, it has always found a pastoral place for everyone, whether in marriage or in monasticism.

Notes:

1. See J. Boswell, Christianity, Sexual Tolerance and Homosexuality, 1980, p.210-227.

2. See Anne Barstow, Married Priests and the Reforming Papacy, 1982, p. 112.

3. See Canon LXII of the Sixth Council (Quinisext in Trullo) and the Council of Gangra Canon XIII. But these only repeat what the Holy Scriptures say. For example: Deuteronomy 22, 5 especially. See also I Tim 4, 3 and 2 Tim 3, 3.

Secularism the Arian Heresy

‘Not that it had ever remotely been Gregory’s own intention to banish God from an entire dimension of human affairs; but revolutions will invariably have unintended consequences. Even as the Church (sic), from the second half of the eleventh century onwards, set about asserting its independence from outside interference by establishing its own laws, bureaucracy and income, so kings, in response, were prompted to do the same…It was in a similar spirit that the foundations of the modern Western state were laid, foundations largely bled of any religious dimension. A piquant irony: that the very concept of a secular society should ultimately have been due to the papacy. Voltaire and the First Amendment, multiculturalism and gay weddings: all have served as waymarks on the road from Canossa’.

Millennium, P. xxii, Tom Holland, 2008

Introduction: All Can Become Sacred in the Church

The concept that any aspect of public life must be Secular is completely alien to genuine Christianity (called ‘Orthodoxy’ or even ‘Eastern Orthodoxy’ by self-justifying and self-distancing Neo-Christians). On the contrary, the Church calls us to make all things holy, to make all things fit for the Kingdom of God through the Holy Spirit, ‘Who is everywhere present and fills all things’. All social, political, economic, cultural and personal life is called on to become sacral. For the Church, every aspect of our life is called on to be sacralized, to become sacred, whether it is in the social, political, economic, cultural or personal domains. However, through its apostasy from Christ and self-deifying substitution for Him, the Western world has gradually descended into Secularism in three ever-accelerating stages over a millennial process of loss of faith. These three stages are:

Stage I: Roman Catholicism

Roman Catholicism divides the world into the sacred and the secular, into clergy and laity. In Catholicism, laypeople cannot become sacred, for they are married and so, according to the Catholic definition (logically, a very strange definition) they are secular, whereas the clergy can become sacred for they are celibate – and so, apparently, ‘not secular’. This principle was introduced as the very foundation-stone of Catholicism in the mid-eleventh century. This is its essence and opposes it to every other world civilization, from the Mesopotamian to the Egyptian, from the Hindu to the Chinese, from the Christian Roman to the Maya, from the Aztec to the Inca, in which the sacral empire was always considered as the norm. This division between the sacred and the Secular, unintentionally but quite inevitably, created Secularism. It immediately resulted in the well-known contest between Pope Gregory VII and Henry IV, the Germanic ‘Emperor’ in 1077.

When that Emperor and so the whole layworld that he symbolized were humiliated at Canossa in 1077, it was realized that the State and layworld could therefore never become sacred, that the world was divorced from the sacred, and this founded the whole principle of Secularism in opposition to the Papacy and the clergy that he represented. From that moment on, the eventual nationalist explosion of the ‘Reformation’ became inevitable. National States would sooner or later inevitably erupt against the oppressive and anti-secular International State of Catholicism. It was in this way that the very word ‘Church’ in Western languages came to mean simply the clergy, as used in phrases which are either totally meaningless or else totally blasphemous to the Church mind, such as: ‘The Church must learn from its mistakes’ or ‘The Church is wrong’.

Stage II: Protestantism

The principle of Secularism, introduced by Catholicism, thus became the guiding principle of Protestantism and was taken up enthusiastically by rulers who wanted to free themselves of all limitations. Thus, ambitious Protestant rulers made themselves heads of ‘Churches’ (that is secularized religious institutions, not in fact the Church), so giving themselves control over all aspects of life, social, economic, political and cultural, leaving religion only as the private domain of individuals. Thus, individuals became ‘free’ to invent spiritually irrelevant new sets of belief, places of worship and religious practices, as long as these would not in any way get in the way of the State, of public life, of the domain of power. Thus, social, economic, political and cultural life all became secularized, that is, they were controlled, conditioned and determined by purely material interests. The concept of sacramentality (the possibility that the material can become sacred) became completely unknown.

Thus, religious practice was restricted to private opinion and pietism. This led to the extraordinary hypocrisy seen in Protestant countries. For example, people would not fail to attend their Protestant ‘church’ on their God-slot Sunday, but they had no qualms about being Mammonists, slave-trading, the genocide of Non-Protestants (Orthodox Christians, Africans, Indians, Native Americans, Chinese, Aborigenes, Iraqis etc), the inhuman exploitation of the Industrial Revolution, the killing of the youth of Europe in World Wars, the rape of the natural world. In fact, religion came to be restricted and reduced to narrow moralistic or ethical practices, mainly concerned with and obsessed with sexual moralism. Although anti-Papist Protestants denied it, this was merely the obligatory clerical celibacy introduced by the Popes in the eleventh century, which had already guaranteed hypocrisy and of which they were simply the unthinking heirs.

Stage III: Modern Secularism

Secularism justified its hypocrisy with myths. Thus, American secularists used the mythical slogan ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ (and bombing people back ‘to the Stone Age’ to ensure that they have them), the French hypocrites used ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’, the British hypocrites used ‘Parliament’. In reality all these slogans mean that the public (‘the plebs’, as the elite calls us) can vote every few years for one or another set of corrupt elitist oligarchs, who in any case carry out very little of what they promise because they are merely frontmen, controlled by those who have the real power behind the scenes. Conversely, Christianity uses the word freedom to mean freedom from the passions, not political freedom, which is what the Jews wanted, but Christ did not give, for which Judas sold him to be crucified. Herein lies the difference between the Church and Secularism; inward freedom and outward freedom. This is why the Western world long ago stopped conquering souls and making them into saints and turned outwards to conquering lands and natural resources.

Secularism also uses the myth of nationalism to justify itself. Manipulating, it says to the plebs: ‘Religion and Politics do not mix’. This means: ‘Leave us Secularists to control your lives, as for your eccentric private beliefs, keep them to yourselves’. Manipulating, it says to the plebs: ‘In our national (= Secularist) tradition, our priorities are freedom and democracy’. This means: ‘Leave us to manipulate you as we want through bread and circuses, for we do not seek the Kingdom of God first, which is why we produce no saints and no holiness’. Manipulating, it says to the plebs: ‘Look at what emperors, kings and religions did – they created wars and strife’. This means: ‘Our ancestors, atheist emperors and atheist kings with our worldly religions (like ’Secularism’) created wars and strife’. Manipulating, it says to the plebs: ‘Give us total power over you and you will be free’. This means: ‘If you choose a people’s monarch under God, as they had in Russia before 1917, we will slander him and murder him too in exactly the same way – and you with him, for we are not taking you away from hell, but taking you to it’.

Conclusion: The Kingdom of Christ versus the Republic of Secularism

The essence of Secularism is Arianism, the intellectuals’ mythical ideology that Christ is not the Incarnate and Risen Son of God, Who trampled down death by death, but a mere man, whose bones have long since crumbled away in a cave in Palestine. The Father of Arianism is Satan, for he is the father of lies, as Christ told us, and those who believe in such myths are Satanists. The essence of Secularism is then Disincarnation, a process of loss of faith that has been under way in the Western world for 1,000 years, but was much accelerated by Protestantism and today by Secularism, whose slogan is ‘God is dead’. Secularism’s blood offering to its Satanic master is the scores of millions of babies that it has murdered. Aided by Gnostic Origenism and Personalism, Arian Disincarnation casts God out of the world, so preparing it to become the place where Antichrist can briefly rule before the End, when he will be cast into Gehenna forever.

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence: April-May 2013

Q: What is the essential difference between the Western world and the Orthodox world

A: The Orthodox world chose to follow the Gospel. However, at the start of the second millennium the Western world finally chose to follow the pagan Roman Empire, from which it inherited its pride and aggressiveness. Thus, when the British set up their Empire, their symbol was Britannia – the Roman name for Britain. And the French and the Germans, let alone the Italians, also used the Roman Empire and its symbols and insignia as their models. Even today, the heir of Western Europe, the Far West, the USA, treats the world as its Roman Empire, sending out its legions to conquer it and exploit it.

Q: What does this mean for Western religion?

A: As for the religion of the West, it was long ago deformed by the filioque heresy, which expresses the concept that all the Spirit and authority of God lies with Western man. This is not Christianity, this is racist neo-paganism. As a result of this humanistic deformation of the filioque, the West has come to lack the sense of the sacred, of the presence of God in its midst. As a result of this, it has in turn come to lack the sense of the ascetic, the sense that we can raise ourselves up to God through inner cleansing, and therefore it also lacks the sense of compassionate love, the fruit of this ascetic struggle. And as a result, it makes continual war, having developed the most incredible and costly technology to destroy all humanity several times over and indeed our whole planet, thus achieving the ability to end the world.

Here is the difference with the Orthodox world. And there are few places in the Orthodox world where this sense of the sacred, the sense of the ascetic and the sense of compassionate love been better kept than among Russian Orthodox. This is exactly what the 20th century Russian Church Father, Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev understood so well. Those Orthodox who have not been contaminated by the West still possess the sense of God and man, whereas the West made sinful man into a god; already by the Renaissance, man was declared to be a half-god. This is why today the strange idea of homosexual marriage was born in the West. This is a throwback to the religion of pagan Rome and Greece, where gods and goddesses cavorted with men and women alike.

Q: Western religion is divided into Catholic and Protestant branches. Is there any difference between them?

A: There is no essential difference between Catholic and Protestant; they simply represent different stages in the process of degeneration, in the process of the loss of the sense of the sacred, of the ascetic and of compassionate love. These three values were replaced by scholasticism (the cold, calculating reason replacing the warm heart), ritualism (the outward replacing the inward), and nationalism (hatred for others replacing love of the familiar). In Catholicism this loss of the sense of the sacred can be seen very clearly over the last fifty years. Today, in their services Catholic priests turn their back on God and face the people who sit down; they have mostly done away with the veneration of relics, with fasting and ascetic struggle. Aseticism has been replaced by its opposite – consumerism. And yet, remarkably, traces of the sense of the sacred and the sense of the ascetic and even of compassionate love, can be found in Islam, Hinduism and even Buddhism, which is not a religion, but a philosophy. In this respect, the contemporary Western world stands out as the one exception in the history of civilisation, which is a sure sign of its decadence and coming collapse.

Q: You said that Western religion is racist. In what way is this true?

A: Western religion at first concerned only the Western elite, only later in general Western man (not even Western woman). It certainly was not concerned with other races, whom it looked on as inferior. For example, many of the American humanists of the eighteenth century had slaves – just like the Roman humanists some 2,000 years before them. And the belief of the British Empire was: ‘God is an Englishman’. It is only in the last fifty years that Western humanism has decreed that women, Africans, Asians, the handicapped and now homosexuals, and people of all races, are also gods – only provided of course that they first adopt the deluded Western ideology.

Q: But there are plenty of Orthodox who can be as cruel and proud as such Western people and there are many Western people who are neither cruel nor proud. What do you say?

A: Oh, there are a great many nominal Orthodox, those who have been baptised in recent years, especially in the ex-Soviet Union, who have not yet been Churched. And there are plenty of lapsed Orthodox in Westernised countries like Greece and Cyprus and in Patriarchates like those of Constantinople and Antioch, who have been Westernised and lost their roots. For them all religions are the same; some of them are clergy! But I am not talking about those, but about real Orthodox. And as for Western people, thank God that by His grace there are many Western people who have not accepted this self-deifying Westernisation; they are the authentic West, the West that Satan tried to bury a thousand years ago, but which keeps coming back by the prayers of the Western saints who call out to the souls of those who have kept a little humility and modesty. I constantly meet such people. They give cause for optimism.

Ironically, even Western people who accept this Western mentality prove to us the truth of Orthodoxy. Take Darwin, for instance. What is he saying? He is saying that without God man is an animal. He is right. Fifty years after he died Hitler proved it. Take Freud, for instance. What is he saying? He is saying that without God, man is reduced to his base instincts. He is right. Fifty years after he died the Western world proved it. Take Dawkins, for instance. What is he saying? He is saying that without God, man faces despair. He is right. 2013 proves it.

The sense of the sacred, the sense of the ascetic and the sense of compassionate love are the essential features of Orthodox Christianity. These are the opposites of Darwin, who denied God’s presence in His Creation, of Freud, who denied the importance of ascetic struggle, and of Dawkins, who denies compassionate love, proclaiming only genetic self-interest – egoism. Dawkins is only a reflection of the pure selfishness of the age of consumerism.

Q: As you are pessimistic about the Western world in its present state, what role do you think that Orthodoxy can play there?

A: The only institution left in the Western world with a claim to spiritual authority is Roman Catholicism. However, its authority has been suicidally undermined by of some its own clergy, who have been established in compulsory celibacy despite common sense and the proclamations by a minority of Roman Catholic bishops and thinkers who still have some common sense. The problem here is one of pride. A change in course as regards compulsory priestly celibacy would be tantamount to Roman Catholicism admitting to what the Orthodox Church has known all along – that it has been wrong ever since its creation 1,000 years ago. There have been and there are places where Roman Catholicism resembles a pedophile club. In many places its credit is at the greatest low it has known for hundreds of years. Given its failure, the few left in the Western world with faith and spiritual memory, spiritual consciousness and a sense of responsibility have turned or will turn to the Orthodox Church.

Q: But in concrete terms, what does that mean for people who live in the Western world? The Orthodox Church is a communion of Local Churches; which one should they join?

A: Only seven of the fourteen universally recognised Local Churches exist in the Western world. These are: The Russian Church (the vast majority of whose representatives in the Western world belong to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia); the Patriarchate of Constantinople; the Patriarchate of Antioch; the Romanian Church; the Serbian Church; the Bulgarian Church; the Georgian Church. However, the choice is more limited than this because in reality only the first three accept Western people; the last four, apart from being very small in most places (there are local exceptions) are usually mononational. In other words, they are often inward-looking, turned towards serving only their own national groups, sometimes with openly nationalist agendas.

Q: So in order to enter the Orthodox Church, there is a choice of three Local Churches in general?

A: In general, yes. However, as I said, there are local exceptions. For instance, in Italy the largest Local Orthodox Church is the Romanian. In North America there is still what is in fact a Cold War fragment of the Russian Church, which is called the OCA (‘Orthodox Church in America’). Although not canonically recognised by all Orthodox, there are places, perhaps especially in Alaska and Canada, where it represents a spiritual presence. And even as regards the three Local Churches which provide a choice, they have parishes in some places, but not in others; some of those parishes, especially in the ageing Patriarchate of Constantinople, are just as mononational and inward-looking as those of the other four Local Churches, poaching the clergy and people of other Local Churches, especially of the Russian Church. This is political meddling – strongly and openly backed by Western countries, particularly today by the USA.

Therefore, in reality, most Western people simply join whichever Local Church is available locally, having no choice at all.

Q: Is this situation likely to improve?

A: If only I knew the answer to that question! Given that two of those three Local Churches, the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Antioch have, despite their noble history, to some extent become fringe Churches, small, impoverished, politically dependent, sometimes ready to twist the canons to survive, the obvious choice is the Russian Orthodox Church, which is 75% of the Orthodox Church in any case. However, in fairness, that does not always correspond to reality.

In principle, the Russian Church has kept the faith more integrally than the other two Local Churches, remaining faithful to Orthodox practices, such as only giving communion to Orthodox, using the Orthodox calendar throughout the year, celebrating the services in full, or standing in church. However, here too, there are considerable problems. The main problem is the 75 year gap in Russian Orthodox history after 1917, caused by the Western export of Marxism to Russia and the deliberate Western sabotage of the Orthodox system there. This caused chaos inside and outside the Russian Church, from which it is only gradually recovering. It faces huge demands and huge responsibilities.

Q: What are these demands and responsibilities?

A: Firstly, the Russian Orthodox Church has had to restore the Church life that was lost inside Russia both before and after 1917. This restoration began in the late 1980s, immediately after the saving canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Church, but this restoration is still ongoing with continued extensive Church building and instruction.

Secondly, it has had to unify itself with the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). This took place in 2007, but the process is ongoing, with parishes in the Western world still to be prepared to be given over to ROCOR, the unprincipled errors of the Cold War being erased, as the Church inside Russia restores Orthodox practice and canonicity to its parishes outside Russia. Sometimes it has a heavy price to pay for its unprincipled ‘legacy’ of the past.

Thirdly, and this has hardly begun, it has to convert the Russian State back to Orthodoxy away from corruption, so that the Church can use the State’s strength internationally in order to unify the Orthodox world, restoring the practices that have been lost there since 1917, reversing the Americanisation of, for example, the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Here we can see the hopes and efforts of Russian Orthodoxy to deliver countries like the Ukraine, Georgia and Serbia from NATO aggression, to save Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania from the tyranny of the EU trap and narrow nationalism, and today to rescue Syria from Western-backed Islamism which has been tearing that country apart in atrocities, in the hope that a restored Syria, like other countries, can integrate the new Eurasian Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Fourthly, and this has hardly begun, it has to restore the foreign policies of the Tsar’s Russia and send out missionaries to countries where it was active before 1917. In Asia, these include Thailand (100 years ago, Siam), India, for which Duleep Singh, the last Maharaja of the Sikh Empire, called on Russia to free from British imperialism, Hawaii, which invited Russia to become its protector, Alaska, which alas! Russia was forced into selling by the threat of Western Imperialism, China, Tibet and Korea. In the southern hemisphere, there is much to do in Africa and Latin America. And then there is the Western world itself, where Russia has begun building churches again, as before the Revolution, notably in Rome and Madrid, but tomorrow in Paris, Berlin and in hundreds of other cities and towns, oases in the spiritual desert that is contemporary Western Europe.

Q: Is this likely?

A; The first two processes have already begun, although more time is needed to complete them. As for the second two processes, they require political backing, finance, vision, an international consciousness, freedom, a sense of mission, above all, a sense of responsibility, of God’s destiny, and a sense of urgency. This is a high and noble calling.

Q: What do you think is necessary for the Russian Church in Western Europe now?

A: Apart from finance, we need suitable bishops of the younger generation, who have a natural command of Russian and of at least one Western language, and understand Western culture and Western people, so that they can unify. It is incredible that we have no such permanently present bishops in the British Isles and Ireland, in Benelux, in Scandinavia, in Italy and in Spain and Portugal.

Q: What needs to be avoided?

A: We need to avoid extremes. For example, there are those who are closed, whose only care is Russia and Russian, who have no time for Western people and mission to them, refusing to learn Western languages and understand local culture and history. They do not achieve anything; under them the Church stagnates. At the other extreme there are those who Westernise themselves and end up losing Orthodoxy through their idolisation of Western religion (Catholicism or Protestantism), even making ‘secret’ agreements or compromises with them. For example, the Patriarchate of Constantinople refuses to accept Catholics, because of its concordat with the Vatican, and refuses to accept Anglicans because of its ‘gentleman’s agreement’ with Canterbury; the Patriarchate of Antioch does the same in Italy; in England Metr Antony Bloom, strangely of the Russian Church inside Russia, an adviser to the Anglicans, refused to take a group of Anglicans, who were then forced to go out on a limb and join the Patriarchate of Antioch.

Sadly, in recent generations the Russian Church – and other Local Churches – in the Western world has been dominated by one extreme or the other.

A: But there have been exceptions, haven’t there?

Q: Yes, but St John of Shanghai far outshines any others.

The Next Pope: An Orthodox Perspective

Presumably, the next Pope will be elected from among the 115 cardinals now in conclave in Rome. Of course, it is also possible that they could break with some 750 years of custom and elect one who is outside their college. That would be acceptable, although highly surprising. As regards who will be elected, nobody knows and it is a waste of time speculating. Obviously, Orthodox will not be consulted about the election, but we might think what general type of man we would like to be elected.

Firstly, we would like to see a man of faith, and not some swim-with-the-secular-tide conformist. This might suggest an African, or at least someone who is not from Europe. Normally, a man of faith would automatically have some sort of charisma, or presence, which he could express and communicate – that is essential. Thus, the future Pope should not look like an elderly and dreary Vatican bureaucrat, as so many cardinals appear to.

Secondly, it is clear that Roman Catholicism needs to be managed, which rather excludes the ivory tower intellectual, academic, teacher type, represented by the last Pope. However, a manager does not at all mean that the next Pope should be an accountant/administrator with an MBA. That would be a disaster. What is needed is someone who knows how to delegate the necessary management to the right people, so that he is left to perform his main task – praying.

Thirdly, Roman Catholicism surely needs someone who can distinguish between the ‘primaries’ of the Faith and the ‘secondaries’. The primaries are the Church Tradition, teachings established in the First Millennium, the secondaries are those inessential customs that replaced primaries, or else were added on to it, in the Second Millennium. The primaries include all the dogmas and teachings of the fourth century Creed, purified from the filioque deformation first confessed in Rome in 1014, nearly 1,000 years ago. They also include a sacramental attitude to the world, a male priesthood and the Biblical, Apostolic and Patristic attitude to homosexuality.

The secondaries include the introduction of such temporary and pernicious customs as priestly celibacy, which has helped to lead to sexual perversion, or the dogmatic attitude to contraception that makes almost all married Catholics into hypocrites. This also means putting back what has been taken away in the Second Millennium, restoring the original understanding of the Holy Spirit, the Mother of God, the Saints, holiness, the Church as the image of the Holy Trinity, unity in diversity, the role of the Local Church and the episcopate, the sense of the mystical and the sacred.

The above three qualities, a prayerful faith communicated through charisma, the ability to delegate management to the right people, and the ability to return to the essentials of the Christian Faith, rid of the deformations of the Second Millennium, may not be found in any of the 115 cardinals. In that case, it would be time to look outside their college. The right choice is vital – because Roman Catholicism now faces a test of survival. Either it can go the whole way and become fully secularised like most of the Protestant world, as it threatens to do, or else it can return through repentance to the Church and Orthodoxy, which it so short-sightedly abandoned a whole millennium ago. It is make or break time. May God’s will be done.

A Cardinal Error

‘If marriage is forbidden to priests, they will fall into sins worse than mere fornication, not abhorring the embrace of other men.’

Bishop Ulric of Imola, The Rescript, c. 1060

The resignation in Scotland of Cardinal Keith O’Brien has come a day after claims by three priests and a former priest emerged in the Observer newspaper. These claims date back to the 1980s and concern ‘inappropriate behaviour’. Yet another scandal for Catholicism, coming only days after the revelations in Ireland about tens of thousands of young women, more or less imprisoned as slave labourers in laundries run by nuns.

Last week, the self-same Cardinal called for Roman Catholicism to end its celibacy rule for the priesthood. He told the BBC: ‘I realise that many priests have found it very difficult to cope with celibacy as they lived out their priesthood, and felt the need of a companion, of a woman, to whom they could get married and raise a family of their own’.

Nearly thirty years ago now, I remember talking to an Italian Catholic priest about clerical celibacy. As a married Orthodox cleric, I asked him how Catholic priests coped with the imposition of celibacy. He told me in his honest Italian way: ‘It depends. In Germany the priests are overweight – they eat to compensate. In Ireland they drink Guinness. In England, they are uptight and frustrated. And in Italy, well, we just ignore it’.

I have to say that he was one of only two Catholic priests I have ever met (true, I have not met many) who was not homosexual. The other one was Portuguese and he of course was married and had two children. In the north of Portugal this is not only acceptable but normal and parishioners would not even accept ‘celibates’, full well knowing what they really were.

This situation is common in Spain, the south of Italy, Africa and Latin America. Latin and African blood will not take this nonsense. Only a few months ago I was talking to a Polish taxi-driver in Colchester. He was from Krakow, the centre of Polish Catholicism, and he described to me how much of his income there had come from taxiing Polish priests and seminarians to and from local brothels…

It is time to do away with the piece of jesuitical word-play which says: ‘On no, we don’t have compulsory clerical celibacy; priesthood in Catholicism is voluntary’. The fact is that celibacy is compulsory, if you are a Catholic priest. (Unless, of course, you are a Uniat in distant lands, banned from ever coming to Western Europe or North America, or, only very recently, an ex-Anglican).

This nonsense of compulsory clerical celibacy, introduced by force into the West in the late eleventh century, has to stop. It is the source of that ugly distortion, clericalism, and, by reaction, secularist feminism, which thinks it is being deprived by not being admitted to the priesthood. But even worse than all this, it is the source of perversion and hypocrisy.

Such a rejection of perversion and hypocrisy seems unlikely, because it would mean that the Vatican would have to admit that it has persisted in its anti-Apostolic error for nearly a thousand years – as we Orthodox have always known. The real question therefore is – does the Vatican have the humility and spirit of repentance necessary for it to return to the Evangelical Faith of the first millennium?

If it does, then who knows, perhaps it will even return to the Faith of the Apostles, the Fathers and the Seven Universal Councils, even reinstating the Christian Creed. Perhaps then its various branches, Anglican, Protestant etc., might do the same. Humility and repentance are always miraculous. Perversion and hypocrisy never are.