Category Archives: Constantinople

The Fall of the Phanar: Why Now?

The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.

Saying attributed variously to St John Chrysostom and St Athanasius the Great

We do not deny to the Roman Church the primacy among the five sister Patriarchates; and we recognize her rights to the most honourable seat at a Universal Council. But she has separated herself from us by her own deeds, when through pride she assumed a monarchy which does not belong to her office…How shall we accept from her decrees that have been issued without consulting us and even without our knowledge?…What kind of parenthood, or even what kind of brotherhood can this be? We should be the slaves, not the sons, of such a Church…

Archbishop Nicetas of Nicomedia in 1136

Wilt thou be lord over all the earth?

Antony and Cleopatra, 2, 7, 62, Shakespeare

Well over 200 million Orthodox have no idea that the Patriarchate of Constantinople has fallen into schism and is now out of communion with most Orthodox. They live in their own countries. It is only in the Diaspora, where national dioceses live side by side, that anything is apparent. Power and money corrupt and US ambassadors have been given ‘the dirt’ on many a Greek bishop, not to mention a few Serbs, Bulgarians and others. Those who morally compromised themselves in the past are now slaves to the US State Department, just as, in my youth, compromised bishops in Moscow were slaves to the KGB.

After 100 years of schism and heresy, caused by the Greek national passion of not seeing their Patriarch as an instrument of God, but as a mere ethnarch, things are ending badly. Several Local Churches, who look, it seems, more to nationalism than to Christ, are now dividing into Orthodox and Western-backed nationalists. All this began with Constantinople’s adoption of the Roman Catholic calendar nearly 100 years ago, behind which hid ecumenism. And behind this hid the Greek bid for power, attempted Greek nationalist domination of the Orthodox world after the Western-engineered Russian Revolution, in which the Phanar rejoiced.

Why now? As the Russian Church revived after the fall of atheism and then the fall of the American puppet-regime under Yeltsin, it became urgent for the US-backed Phanar to make a bid for ultimate power before it was finally pushed aside by reality. With its last desperate and reckless fling of the dice, it is now ending with Constantinople’s schism and unashamedly openly-preached heresy of unity with Roman Catholicism, as before 1453. The Saints of Athos weep. Who would want to unite with a pedophile organization? The Patriarchate of Constantinople is today disgraced by homosexual scandals.

Of course, Constantinople, and the ethnic phyletists who support it, in Greece, Alexandria and elsewhere, can still come back to Orthodoxy, can still repent. We can only pray that this may be so.

 

 

 

 

Q and A from Correspondence in November 2019

The Orthodox Church

Q: Two questions:

1. The Orthodox world has been in crisis since Crete. A schism now separates the Russian Orthodox Church and others from the Greek Churches, which are one by one falling away. What do you think is the answer?

2. Constantinople has been canonizing a number of elders on Mt Athos. What should our attitude be when we know that Patriarch Bartholomew is schismatic?

A: Two answers:

1. As the Phanariot schism spreads from the Ukraine to the Diaspora, Greece, the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Czech Republic and Latvia, recruiting the marginal semi-Orthodox liberals, modernists and homosexuals on the way, the quick answer is to say: ‘Stand firm!’, and to those who have fallen away: ‘Repent!’. But this repentance and standing firm also concerns parts of the Russian Church.

I think the Russian Church must show that it is not in any way compromised or practises double standards. It can do this by proving in theology and in practice that it wholeheartedly rejects the three heretical isms which have so troubled the peace of the Church for over a century: modernism and ecumenism (adopted from the Protestant world) and Eastern Papism (adopted from the Vatican). It cannot reject any of these without first renouncing its membership of the Protestant World Council of Churches and renouncing what some see as the hypocritical diplomatic compromises it has made with the Vatican – Western Papism.

In renouncing modernism, ecumenism and Eastern Papism, the Russian Church can consequently support the Orthodox calendar and offer its services in mediating between Local Churches which use the Papal (so-called ‘new’) calendar and those who wish to return to the Orthodox calendar, including old calendarist groups, so helping to heal needless schisms. In this way it can show that it is at the centre of healthy forces in the wider Orthodox Church, that it fights for the piety and purity of Holy Orthodoxy.

2. I fear that as long as only a schismatic, and now a heretic (as his publicly-expressed opinions about Catholicism which brought Athonite monks to tears are heretical), has canonized them, I do not think we can accept them as saints. Whatever our feelings of veneration for them, a schismatic, with whose views these elders would never have agreed, cannot canonize. A decision will be taken once he has gone and a canonical Patriarch has taken over.

Q: What do you think is the most important task for the Orthodox episcopate today?

A: The episcopate must learn to love, care for and show understanding of priests and deacons, avoiding causing injustices.

Q: What do you consider to be the most important question for any Orthodox in the Diaspora?

A: I believe that this question is: Does my Faith export? In other words, is my Faith accessible to those who are not of my national background? If the answer to this question is ‘No’, then you can be sure that your Faith will die out. This is because if it is not accessible to those who are not of your national background, then it will also be inaccessible to your Diaspora-born children and grandchildren.

Orthodox Teaching

Q: Why do Orthodox refuse to allow cremations?

A: The central belief of the Orthodox Church is in the Resurrection of Christ, as is expressed in the Church Year and in the words of the funeral service itself. So, for us, to deliberately burn up someone’s body is to deny the Resurrection. Therefore, for us, someone who wants their body to be cremated is saying that they have lapsed from the Church. They are no longer Orthodox.

Q:  I have a problem with the so-called Mowgli question. If little children have grown up in total isolation or even were nursed by wild animals they can’t integrate human life at all, they behave like animals and can’t learn any human skills etc. What is with their souls then? Where is this ‘spark’ of God and the image of God in them?

A: Just as a baby’s body is primitive compared to an adult’s body, so is its soul, undeveloped, inexperienced, untrained. Thus, on the one hand, it has innocence and purity, on the other hand, no experience of reality and is totally unable to survive without interaction with adults, firstly, primarily, its mother.

This is why small children are so attracted to animals, especially young ones, kittens, puppies etc. They have no immortal souls, but they do have innocence and instincts.

Feral children, adopted by wolves and others, do not get this attention, and often remain with untrained souls, almost, we could say, feral souls. Like animals, they often have only instincts to guide them.

The soul has to be trained and educated. This is true also for adults. It is why we have spiritual fathers, monasteries etc.

Russia and the Russian Church

Q: Two questions: First: Why did Patriarch Kyrill call President Putin a miracle? After all, Putin called the fall of the Soviet Union a catastrophe, which it surely was not. Second: Are you an optimist or a pessimist regarding the future of the Russian Church?

A: President Putin is indeed a miracle, but only relatively, in comparison with the monsters who went before him since 1917. That is the context in which Patriarch Kyrill was talking. And in that context you cannot but agree. Clearly, however, President Putin has many failings. He has failed to root out corruption and to remove the many relics of evil Communism. He can therefore only be a transitory figure. His long reign has only come about because so far the country has not been worthy of finding anyone better. He will be followed either by better or by worse. I do not know which, but I hope for the best.

The collapse of the Soviet Union was indeed a geopolitical catastrophe – millions died as a result from becoming refugees from unjust borders, from the collapse of industry, the closure of factories and mass unemployment leading to starvation, the collapse of the medical system, from despair and suicide, often a slow suicide through alcoholism, as alcohol had become the only consolation for tens of millions after the Soviet system. All this went unreported in the West because the West was partly responsible for it.

Yes, of course this does not mean that we do not rejoice that the evil tyranny of the Soviet Union is over, but its collapse was still a geopolitical catastrophe because of the totally unjust way in which it collapsed, the absurd borders of various Republics, the civil wars that followed and are still going on nearly 30 years later and the massive organized theft of public assets by so-called ‘oligarchs’, which followed the collapse.

There was one incredibly grave error made by the Soviet Union, for whose Stalinist tyranny many older Russian people are actually nostalgic, such is their nationalism but also the unpleasantness of many present-day aspects of life in Russia. This grave error of the Soviet Union was that it thought, like Stalin (and like all imperialists throughout history), that a great empire is not spiritual, but geographical. (Stalin had no concept of the spiritual). And until the Church has been rebuilt inside Russia, there can be no spiritual empire of Russia. So, what can we say about the Russian Orthodox Church today?

First of all, the Russian Church is fully independent of the Russian State, despite the ridiculous propaganda claims of Western politicians and journalists. But that does not mean that the Church does not suffer from the human failings of members of the clergy who put their own careers and personalities above Christ, just as they did in the times of the Soviet Union. This hangover from the past, ‘a Soviet reflex’, is a great problem.

Firstly, what is desperately needed by the Russian Church is the restoration of parish life, which was wiped out by atheism after 1917 (and it was already often weak before the Revolution). This restoration must be led by real pastors, not money-money careerists. The parish is a family, if it is anything at all. Here the experience of the Russian emigration can be helpful. The financial affairs of parishes must be transparent – and they are not at all at present inside Russia.

Secondly, as for the monasteries and the episcopate, they require real monks, neither mere intellectuals and wishy-washy diplomats with meaningless doctorates, nor the feudal and the jealous, who persecute zealous and happily-married clergy. Only reforms here will put an end to Church bureaucracy, to ‘managers’ and ‘administrators’ in the place of loving pastor-bishops.

So I am neither a pessimist nor an optimist. Let us wait and see.

The Ukraine

Q: Why should the Ukraine not have its own national Church? Russia, Romania, Greece and others do, even a little country like Albania does.

A: The short answer is because the vast majority of Ukrainian Orthodox do not want one!

On another level, there are two reasons why not, one is theological-ecclesiological, the other is political.

1. As we have said in a previous answer elsewhere, there are two alien trends in the Church – neither is Orthodox, but have been imposed from outside or by traitors from inside. The first is the centralist concept of one Universal Church, with its deified leader placed above all others, in fact replacing Christ. This is Papist Catholicism and among Orthodox this mentality has been absorbed and adopted from the fallen First Rome only by today’s Constantinople. The second centrifugal trend comes from Protestant nationalism, according to which every national ruler must have and control his own erastian national and nationalist Church (as in England, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark etc).

It is this very recent 19th and 20th century trend that has led to small minorities of Orthodox in Poland and Czechoslovakia, Albania, Greece, and also countries like Romania and Bulgaria, having their own national Churches, which is not necessarily normal. The trend is now being spread and propagandized by local xenophobes in Macedonia, Montenegro and the Ukraine, funded by the US State Department whose slogan is ‘Divide and Rule’, just like the old pagan Roman Empire, on which the US administration is closely modelled. This is a rejection of the Christian (= Orthodox) Theology of the Holy Trinity, which says ‘unity in diversity’ and is confederative in style.

2. The second reason is that only a real country could have its own Church in any case. The Ukraine, like for example Belgium (invented by Great Britain after the Napoleonic Wars), is not a real country, having been thought up by the Hapsburgs at the end of the 19th century. Their fantasy was then implemented by four of the most monstrous and genocidal atheist dictators in history, Communist and Fascist: Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Khrushchov.

If the Ukraine wants its own Church, it must first of all carry out referenda all over the Ukraine to determine whether the peoples who live there (only about 20% speak various dialects of ‘Ukrainian’ or rather Galician) actually want to belong to the Ukraine. Probably 50% + would vote to join Russia, which they belonged to until 1922 and others would join Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland. Then you could ask the remainder whether they wanted their own Church. Perhaps they would want a Uniat one anyway – though the centralist Vatican would never grant it independence because Roman Catholics, like the centralist Phanariots, do not do independence.

In general, the mere concept that each country must have its own national Church comes from petty nationalist provincialism and isolationist xenophobia. Nationalism is anyway simply an attachment to this world, worldliness. It merely provides ammunition for those who want to exploit in order to divide and rule, as today in the Ukraine, which is a puppet of the US State Department. The First Rome fell to Catholicism (Latin nationalism) and later to Protestantism (Germanic nationalism). The Second Rome fell to Greek nationalism, which had already helped cause Egypt and Syria to fall away from the Church into their national heresies. Will the Third Rome fall to Russian nationalism? We hope not, because a Fourth Rome there will not be.

As we have said elsewhere, our Orthodox ecclesiological model is the Holy Trinity, Unity in Diversity, the Family, the Multinational Confederation. I can see no reason why, rather as in the old Pentarchy of the first millennium (covering the three Continents of Asia, Africa and Europe), we should not have Continental or, in the case of Eurasia which is Multi-Civilizational, Regional Local Churches. For example, we could end up with thirteen Local Churches, presided over by Jerusalem. As we have said elsewhere, these could be:

For Eurasia: the Jerusalem, the Russian (including the present Polish and Czechoslovak Churches, which were artificially hived off from the then captive Russian Church by Constantinople in order to weaken it, as it is also doing in Estonia and the Ukraine today), the Antiochian (covering the territory of the Asian Muslim world), the South-East European or Constantinopolitan (including the Romanian, Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, Cypriot, Albanian and Constantinopolitan), the Western European, the Chinese, the Indian, the South-East Asian and the Japanese. The Continental Churches would be: The African (the Alexandrian), the North American, the Latin American and the Oceanian.

Moldova

Q: Why does Russia not return Moldova to Romania?

A: As we have already replied in an earlier such question, it cannot, because Moldova does not belong to Russia!

As you know, for most of the last 200 years Moldova (Bessarabia) has been part of the Russian Empire and then of the Soviet Union. It belonged to the Russian Empire because it was the Russian Empire, which freed it from the Turks before Romania ever existed. As you will also know ‘Romania’, even the very word, is an invention of a German Saxon. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moldova has been an independent country and has not wished to become part of Romania. Moldovans – and I have been to Moldova – tell me that there are three reasons for this.

Firstly, they say that their grandparents told them the horror stories of the interwar period when Moldova was a province of Romania, especially about the Romanian Fascist treatment of minorities. The experience was not good. Secondly, they tell me that although Moldova is corrupt, Romania is far more corrupt, as we can see from the recent mass demonstrations in Bucharest against corruption in the Romanian government. Thirdly, Church Moldovans are horrified by the simony, new calendar, ecumenism and general decadence which have penetrated parts of the Romanian Church.

This question is of course in any case one for Moldovans and has nothing to do with Russia. If Moldovans want to become part of Romania, they can. But I suspect that this will not happen until Romania has become democratic, prosperous and not corrupt. At present Romania is shrinking fast, as the young move abroad for work and choose to live in countries where corruption is not the norm. I think the ball is in Romania’s court. If it wants to attract Moldova, it must present a different and attractive face.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Interview with a Serbian Church Website

The following interview was published last week on www.pouke.org, a Serbian Church website.

  • Being an Englishman and an Orthodox priest at the same time, how do people in your .neighbourhood perceive you?

With complete indifference. Very few people here are interested in any religion. A priest is generally viewed as perhaps rather eccentric, but harmless. Nobody is interested, people live however they want. It is all the same to them whatever I am.

  • Please tell us, is there an interest in Orthodoxy, at least in the town of Colchester where your Church is? Who are the people from your parish? Where do they come from and what brings them to Orthodoxy?

I was born and went to school in Colchester, which is about 100 km north-east of London. However, interest from most English people living in Colchester, as anywhere else, is very limited. Most English people are atheists and have no interest in any faith at all.

Our parish is mainly made up of Russian immigrants from Latvia and Lithuania, Moldovans, Romanians, Ukrainians and Russians, as well as Bulgarians, Cypriots and Greeks, together with their English-born children. Most have come here over the last 20 years. True, we have small numbers of Orthodox English people and some other nationalities, but these are usually linked in some way to Russia or else are married to Russian women. They live in Colchester or around it, within an 80 km radius.

  • Is there a Church choir in your parish? What are the specifics of your parish in Colchester? 

Yes, of course there is a choir, a good one, between about 10 and 20 people sing every Sunday. All are volunteers, we do not have or like paid choirs. On an average Sunday there are only 150-200 people in church, though we have 600 regular parishioners and, in fact, about 3,000 local Orthodox come to our services during the year, but many are only nominal Orthodox and come only once a year, for baptisms or weddings.

Our church building is the largest Russian Orthodox church building in the British Isles, about the same size as the Serbian Cathedral, St Sava’s, in London. It is white and was built of wood 164 years ago. There are 24 nationalities, most people are under 40, with large numbers of children. On average we have about 100 baptisms, 10 weddings and 1 funeral a year. Our second priest, Fr Ion, is Romanian, but married to a Russian from Latvia. Our services are in three languages, Slavonic, English and Romanian. We have many confessions every Sunday with communion from two chalices, and 100-150 communions.

  • You talked about St Edmund, can you please tell us about this Saint and his significance in your life? 

The name Edmund will sound strange and not Orthodox to most Serbs. But just because some Roman Catholics may have his name, it does not mean that he was Roman Catholic. Firstly, he is a real saint (Roman Catholics do not have real saints) and, secondly, he lived before Roman Catholicism was invented. Many Roman Catholics are called Nicholas; does that mean that St Nicholas was Roman Catholic? Of course not!

St Edmund was King of Eastern England, where I and my ancestors were born and live, and he was martyred by pagan Viking invaders in 869. His memory is still alive here and a whole town locally is named after him. I have known about him and felt his presence here from childhood, since he is the main local saint and the original Patron Saint of England. I think I grew up beneath his protection in some mysterious way. St Edmund is the first saint whose spirit I felt in childhood.

The spirit of the saints is identical, wherever and whenever they lived. Many saints of the West have always been venerated by Serbs in the Serbian Church calendar. For example, St Tatiana, St Sophia and St Alexei of Rome, St Irenei of Lyons, St Hilary of Poitiers, St Vincent of Lerins, or St John Cassian and many Popes of Orthodox Rome, like St Leo the Great, St Gregory the Dialogist or St Martin I. However, saints in Western countries further from Serbia and who lived a little later are not known in Serbia. And yet these saints who lived at this time could travel to Jerusalem and Constantinople and take communion there and feel at home; the Church was One, whatever the difference of language and even rituals, the Faith was the same.

  • Have you ever been to Serbia? If yes, what are your impressions of our country?

Unfortunately, I have never visited Serbia and there are no Church-going Serbs in this part of England.

On the one hand, I have the impression of Orthodox in Serbia who are very faithful to the Tradition. On the other hand, I have the impression that few Serbs are really Orthodox, most are atheists and very nationalistic. I suppose this is the result of fifty years of brainwashing by Communism, mainly under the Croat Tito, and then of a generation of the ‘Soft Power’ brainwashing of Western Consumerism, which has produced the Facebook generation. They dress like Americans, listen to American music, watch American TV programmes and films and so think like Americans. I have read that 30% of the Serbian media is now American-owned. How can people resist?

I also have impressions from Serbian Orthodox I know. For example, I studied with the Serbian Bishop Luka in Paris at the Russian St Sergius Institute in the late 1970s and liked him a lot. The only other Serbian bishop I know is Metr Amfilochije. I much admire him. I greatly venerate St Nikolai of Zhicha (called in Russian St Nicholas the Serb) and have read many of his books, which have been translated into Russian and English. I also venerate St Justin of Chelije, a real Orthodox philosopher, as well as Patriarch Pavle. The latter has not yet been canonized, but this is only a matter of time.

  • Since I know you that you have relations with the SOC (Serbian Orthodox Church) and that you have visited the Saint Sava Church in London, tell us please, how do you feel in the company of our people in England?

Perfectly at home. We have exactly the same Faith and values. We belong to the same Orthodox Civilization and are proud, in the good sense, of this. In today’s Europe, there are only two Civilizations: Anti-Christian, Secularist Western Post-Civilization and Christian, Orthodox Civilization. We are opposites. We should ask ourselves every day: Which Civilization and Empire do we belong to and confess: to the Anti-Christian Globalist Empire or to the Christian Empire, to the Secularist Empire or to the Orthodox Empire?

We have our own Civilization, our own Empire, stretching from Bosnia to the shores of the Pacific, with dependent outposts and oases of Orthodoxy all over the world, as in Colchester. We belong to this, it is our identity, regardless of our nationality and language, because we have the same Faith and Church. We Orthodox do not have the same values as the rest of the world and our Civilization and Empire is the only Alternative to Western Anti-Civilization.

A Serb who is not Orthodox is not a Serb, but either some sort of Titoist or else an American of the MacDonald’s Post-Civilization. In the same way a Russian who is not Orthodox is not Russian, but Soviet. And an Englishman who is not Orthodox or not close to Orthodoxy in some way through faith, is not English, but British. He is, consciously or unconsciously, an imperialist who has little time for truth or love, only for self-interest and imaginary superiority over others whom he can exploit.

  • Please tell us your views upon the latest events regarding the actions of Greek Church recognizing Ukrainian Orthodox Church?

It is all very simple. As you may know, the present US ambassador in Athens, Geoffrey Pyatt, used to be the US ambassador in Kiev. So it is clear that this is all just another American game, started by Obama, using flattery, threats or bribery, as is their technique. However, whatever the great pressure the US elite exerts on weak Greek bishops to recognize these Fascist schismatics in the semi-Uniat western Ukraine, I am ashamed of them. Whether because they are cowards or they have been bribed with dollars, these bishops are wrong. How can these bishops be so racist and weak and trample underfoot the basic canons of the Church, which every first-year seminarian knows? This is shameful. If there is no repentance, a terrible event will visit Greece for the apostasy of some of its bishops. God is not mocked. May the Orthodox bishops of Greece, like my contemporary, Metr Seraphim of Piraeus, triumph.

  • What are your relations with the ROC like? 

Relations with it?!! But I belong to the Russian Orthodox Church!

There is only one Russian Orthodox Church, whatever the administrative differences of its various parts. There are several autonomous parts of the Russian Church, the Churches of Japan and China, the self-governing New-York-based Church Outside Russia which I belong to, the Ukrainian, Moldovan and Latvian Churches, the Belorussian Exarchate etc. But we are all one, we all belong to the same Church and commemorate the same Patriarch.

  • What are your views on Constantinople? 

Until the twentieth century, the Patriarchate of Constantinople was the plaything of the Turks and the British or French ambassadors in Istanbul. Everybody knew that the nomination to the Patriarchate could be bought for money. The bishops in Istanbul were finally bought by the Anglicans in the 1920s for £100,000 and so their freemason candidate, (he became a mason in a British Lodge on Cyprus in 1909), Patriarch Meletios Metaksakis introduced by force the Papist calendar. After the fall of the British Empire after 1945, its role was taken up by the American Empire, which continued its dirty work.

So the last legitimate Patriarch, Maximos V, was removed by the Americans by force in 1948 on the orders of the war criminal Truman, who had just slaughtered nearly 500,000 Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Patriarch Maximos was too Orthodox for American tastes and was kidnapped and taken in Truman’s personal aeroplane into exile in Switzerland.

I used to know a Greek deacon who was an eyewitness to these events. He later became the Greek bishop in Birmingham in England. In 1948 the Americans behaved like thugs, cowboys, they were very violent. Patriarch Maximos was replaced by the Greek-American Archbishop Athenagoras – and we know how that ended. Since then most of the bishops of Constantinople have just been American puppets, without any spiritual relevance. One of them recently held an LGBT Conference with a ‘transvestite Orthodox theologian’!

  • English history is specific in many ways. Can we say that England was Orthodox until 1066 (12 years longer after 1054)?

The Western Schism was a gradual process, it spread over time and in some ways is not complete even today. It led to the invention of Roman Catholicism in 1054, but began much earlier than 1054, in the late eighth century under the heretic and iconoclast Frank Charlemagne. He was a barbarian who wanted to revive the pagan Roman Empire, with himself, naturally, as its Emperor. So that is what he did, setting up in 800 ‘the First Reich’. (Bismarck invented the Second Reich and Hitler the Third Reich; some say that the Fourth Reich is the EU). They called this revived paganism ‘The Holy Roman Empire’, but in fact it was Unholy and Anti-Roman.

This alien mentality of Schism spread from the Franco-German heartland (where later the EU began) all over Western and Eastern Europe, and eventually to the islands and so England too. It is clear that from about the Year 1000, and even before that, England was falling to these heterodox influences. 1066 marked the end of Orthodox influence in England, but the decadence was there already, especially under the half-Norman King, Edward (1042-1066). (Like Charlemagne, this traitor is called a saint by Roman Catholics!). 1054 (or in England 1066) is the end of the initial process of Schism, the conclusion of its fall from communion with the Church, not its beginning. Therefore we have to look carefully at what went on previously, before we can say whether it was Orthodox or not.

  • Do you think there are things in common between Serbia and England?

Strangely enough, yes.

Serbia is like the front line of the Russian Orthodox Church, the first bastion of Orthodoxy, just a few hundred kilometres from Rome. This is why the West hates Orthodox Serbia and wants to destroy it – because it loves Christ, whereas it loves Antichrist, for whom it works to bring in his reign. On the other hand, England today is like the front line of the USA, the first bastion of Anti-Orthodoxy. Nobody can forget how British airmen dropped bombs on Serbia at Easter 1999, marked ‘Happy Easter’. That was Satanic. So any Orthodox in England survive like soldiers in the trenches; and actually that is the same situation as for Serbs today. You too are soldiers in the trenches under the spiritual bombardment of the anti-Christian barbarians every day. This is what we have in common, we are both on the edges, advanced posts in the struggle for the Church of God.

  • Is there anything you would like to say to Orthodox Serbian people from your perspective?

Yes, just one thing: Stand firm in Orthodoxy! The more you resist the onslaught of the West, the US and its EU, NATO and IMF vassals, the greater the example of spiritual courage you give to Orthodox everywhere and, at the same time, the closer you draw to Christ and so to salvation. The West threw Communism and Nazism at us and we defeated both of them. For all extremes come from the demons, as the Holy Fathers say. We Orthodox shall defeat Liberal Secularism, which hates Christ just as much as Communism and Nazism, as well. Let us Orthodox show our courage, that we fear no man, that we fear only God. Then no-one can defeat us.

 

It’s 1055 in Lubbock

By Dionysius Redington

The appointment (one can call it “election” only in the narrowest etymological sense) of Metropolitan Elpidophoros (Lambriniadis) as Archbishop of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America will no doubt be remembered as a significant turning point in the history of the twenty-first Century Church. Whatever hope might have existed that the schism between Constantinople and Moscow over Ukraine is merely a temporary, unimportant event has surely now been extinguished

Archbishop Elpidophoros is a distinguished and knowledgeable theologian. As a Turkish citizen, he is a leading and obvious candidate someday to succeed His All-Holiness Bartholomew on the Ecumenical Throne. In the major controversies of Bartholomew’s reign (the Cretan Council as well as the Ukrainian schism) he has consistently and staunchly defended the Patriarch’s positions and authority. While there is no reason to doubt the sincerity with which he has taken these stances, it is evident that he has a vested interest in strengthening a presently feeble jurisdiction which he is one day likely to command.

Thus his appointment to the second-most powerful post in the Ecumenical Patriarchate has a two-fold significance.

On the one hand, it telegraphs that there is unlikely to be any backtracking at the Phanar when Patriarch Bartholomew leaves the scene. On the other, it raises the theological stakes, because Archbishop Elpidophoros does not consider the Ukrainian affair a trivial matter of reasserting Constantinopolitan control over a wayward province illegally dominated for a few centuries by Moscow.

On the contrary, he uses the most serious term of opprobrium in all of Orthodoxy to describe his opponents, one the Phanar generally goes out of its way to avoid employing. He says they are heretics.

In 2009, then-Archimandrite Elpidophoros delivered a memorable speech at Holy Cross School of Theology which may still be found online, for example at https://www.aoiusa.org/ecumenical-patriarchate-american-diaspora-must-submit-to-mother-church/. In this speech he makes the following interesting statements, which he has elsewhere expanded into his well-known thesis that the Ecumenical Patriarch is “primus sine paribus”:

“Let me add that the refusal to recognize primacy within the Orthodox Church, a primacy that necessarily cannot but be embodied by a primus (that is by a bishop who has the prerogative of being the first among his fellow bishops) constitutes nothing less than heresy. It cannot be accepted, as often it is said, that the unity among the Orthodox Churches is safeguarded by either a common norm of faith and worship or by the Ecumenical Council as an institution. Both of these factors are impersonal while in our Orthodox theology the principle of unity is always a person. Indeed, in the level of the Holy Trinity the principle of unity is not the divine essence but the Person of the Father (“Monarchy” of the Father), at the ecclesiological level of the local Church the principle of unity is not the presbyterium or the common worship of the Christians but the person of the Bishop, so to in the Pan-Orthodox level the principle of unity cannot be an idea nor an institution but it needs to be, if we are to be consistent with our theology, a person… In the Orthodox Church we have one primus and he is the Patriarch of Constantinople.”

Note first the phrase “constitutes nothing less than a heresy”.

Note second the theologoumenon that the person who acts as the principle of unity for the Church Universal is not Christ Himself, but rather some bishop.

Note finally that the bishop in question is not (as a naively literal reading of the Holy Canons would seem to indicate) the bishop of Rome, but that of New Rome. (This latter is a serious point much neglected in the present controversy. Whatever the role of the Primus may be in Orthodoxy—i.e. whether the he is “primus inter pares” or “primus sine paribus”—there is no doubt that for centuries the historical Primus was the Roman Pope. The only reason for rejecting Roman primacy today is that the Roman Church has abandoned Orthodox teaching. And yet Constantinople, with its lifted anathemas, has more than any other Orthodox Patriarchate seemed to imply that no such apostasy exists. How then can the Phanar claim to be essential to the Church, when the Vatican would have to have a stronger claim? If the ecumenical movement were to succeed and full communion with Rome be re-established, would Constantinople gladly cede its primacy? And how does the existence, if only formerly, of Orthodox Rome agree with the Phanar’s claim that the Church “cannot exist” without the Patriarch of Constantinople?)

Perhaps his words are subject to misinterpretation, but Abp. Elpidophoros seems to believe that the Ecumenical Patriarch is a sort of Pope, the Vicar not of Christ, apparently, but of God the Father! He also seems to believe that those who disagree with this view are heretics.

This is a rather more serious claim than “You know, now that the USSR is gone, there really should be an autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church free from Moscow.”

How can world Orthodoxy maintain communion with a Patriarchate that promotes an alien ecclesiology, and refers to those who object as “heretics” (a term it does not apply to Roman Catholics and Protestants)?

There is another aspect to Elpidophoros’s elevation that the 2009 speech also illuminates. Although the Phanar has historically been very opposed to ethnophyletism (in part to stop the incursions of the Bulgarian and other churches into its canonical territory), it is a matter of historical record that the Patriarchate has always seen itself as the bulwark of Greek nationalism. (Patriarch Bartholomew himself would probably neither deny this nor see any problem with it, as is clear from his 2018 remarks about the “predecence” of “our people”.)

In his speech, delivered at America’s only Greek seminary, Elpidophoros is largely concerned with this exact issue. He says that “ecumenicity is the heart of Hellenism and by definition alien to any form of nationalism or cultural chauvinism.” He adds that “diaspora” refers not to people temporarily living in lands beyond the Roman Empire, but to those who live there permanently. Nevertheless, in a seeming contradiction, his vision of these people is limited to immigrants from traditionally Orthodox countries and their progeny. His primary concern is the maintenance of (in this case Greek) culture and tradition without assimilation, and he has this to say about “converts”:

“Another great number of candidates to the priesthood come from converts, who possess little, if any, familiarity with the Orthodox experience and they are usually characterized by their overzealous behavior and mentality. It is of interest that the converts who become ordained into priesthood represent a disproportionally greater percentage than the converts among the faithful. The result of this disanalogous representation is that, more often than not, convert priests shepherd flocks that are bearers of some cultural tradition, but because their pastors either lack the necessary familiarity with that tradition or even consciously oppose it, they succeed in devaluing and gradually eradicating those cultural elements that have been the expression of the parishes that they serve.”

While this is a legitimate concern, it is notable that Elpidophoros nowhere talks about an evangelical mandate to bring Americans as an whole into Orthodoxy, nor does he discuss parishes which do not have a single (or any) ethnicity. In the context of a talk at a seminary (where the Dean at the time was named Fitzgerald) the speech seemed to have a clear message summed up in the sarcastic nickname some people gave to it: the “Too Many Xenoi” speech.

I am a xenos. So far as I know, the interaction of my post-Schism ancestors with Orthodox Christians was limited to fighting them on the Eastern Front. My wife and I converted to Orthodoxy in 1988 at the OCA cathedral in Boston. We were the founders and editors of the now-dormant Saint Pachomius Library, one of the first Orthodox patristics websites, in 1994. We used to teach Church history online, and I was involved for a number of years in Orthodox evangelical outreach to the Rastafarian sect. In 1997, we moved from Boston to Lubbock, Texas, where I was ordained a reader in GOARCH and served as a chanter at Saint Andrew Greek Orthodox Church until last October.

Lubbock is a university town with a population of about a quarter-million. It lies in the center of the Llano Estacado, a vast thinly-populated plateau straddling the Texas-New Mexico state border. The first Orthodox in Lubbock were probably Lebanese merchants who arrived around 1900, but there was no parish until a few Greeks decided to found one in the 1970s. They succeeded, after great struggle and many difficulties: Lubbock, although fairly large, is invisible to most Americans because of its isolation. St. Andrew did not have a priest until 1996; before that, people would drive over 100 miles to Amarillo for liturgy.

When my wife and I arrived, we were not sure what to expect. We found a parish that was part of the Greek Archdiocese, but also very multi-ethnic and welcoming. The liturgical rubrics and music were Byzantine, but the services were entirely in English, and every effort was made to accommodate people of different backgrounds: Greeks of course, and converts, and Arabs, Ukrainians, Russians, Serbs, Romanians, Bulgarians… and probably members of other nationalities I am forgetting. The “Greeks” in the parish were themselves a mixture of recent immigrants and families that had been in the US for several generations. Both of the priests who served in my 21 years at Saint Andrew parish were graduates of Saint Vladimir’s (OCA) Seminary.

The parish was not utopia, but it had its successes. Two of the parish’s young men (both of them converts, as Archbishop Elpidophoros might have predicted) went on to become priests of the Greek Archdiocese, a remarkable record for a parish so small and young by Greek standards. They are both, I might add, outstanding, even saintly, clergymen. One of them, whom I especially admire, was featured on the national GOARCH webpage in March. Neither of them answers to Abp. Elpidophoros’s caricature of the convert-priest as a fanatic ignorant of Greek culture (indeed, both of them married Greeks!)

My wife and I were very impressed by the generosity of the Greek parishioners at St. Andrew, their commitment to the religious education of their children, and above all by their sheer persistence in keeping alive a parish in an uncomprehending Protestant fundamentalist town, ignored by the rest of the country, always on the edge of financial collapse. At least twice, the parish seemed certain to close; once it was saved by an “anonymous” donation actually from the diocesan bishop, a very good and holy man.

Then in 2018, the current schism happened. My wife and I had been unhappy with the direction of the Greek Archdiocese for some time (I had been parish council president during the Council of Crete) but had always managed to convince ourselves to stay, if only because there was nowhere else to go: The Amarillo parish 100 miles away was still the nearest, and it, too, is Greek. Moreover, we did not want to cause a division in the already embattled local community; we respected our metropolitan; and (as I remember saying on more than one occasion) “If this were really heresy, and not just rhetoric, surely at least one of the other Orthodox churches would break communion over it”.

The Ukraine issue, however, made Patriarch Bartholomew’s more-than-papalising claim of being “primus sine paribus” impossible to ignore. We decided to leave the parish, and to hold reader’s services privately. We did not however tell anyone what we were doing except for the parish priest. We did not wish to be seen as sowing dissension, and we still hoped that the affair would be resolved in a few weeks. Then we found out that other people had noticed our absence, and eventually we decided to announce publically that we were starting a new parish, under the protection of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

At first we had no place to meet, so we met outdoors, at a park bench on the university campus, with the dome of heaven over our heads, flocks of pigeons (and the occasional hawk) circling above us. A few joggers looked at us in amazement, but for the most part we were ignored. For three months, this was our church.

I had imagined that once we announced our existence, many of our fellow-parishioners at Saint Andrew would wish to join; after all, the theological issues seemed rather clear-cut. This did not happen. Instead, the old parish split along neatly ethnic lines. Nearly all of the parishioners who came from the former Soviet Union joined our group; almost no-one else did. (It might interest Archbishop Elpidophoros that the converts have—so far—stayed with GOARCH.)

This is the tragedy of what is happening: an already barely-viable multi-ethnic parish has become two. Our parish is, I am confident, the Orthodox one, and the other is under a Patriarch and an Archbishop who are in communion with schismatics. But this is not the fault of the remaining parishioners of Saint Andrew. Few if any of them care at all about Constantinopolitan hegemony, much less Ukrainian autocephaly. For them, the parish of Saint Andrew is the Orthodox church, the church they or their parents built from nothing with sweat and sacrifice, the church where they were baptized or married or where they expect their funerals to be served. It is where they have met the Lord every Sunday in the Eucharist. Perhaps it is as impossible for them to leave GOARCH as for French peasants in the twelfth Century to have repudiated papism; for them, it would be “leaving the Church”.

But with the elevation of Archbishop Elpidophoros, surely that is what things are coming down to.

At the mission parish of Saint Catherine, we have had rapid progress.  We were accepted into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia almost immediately. The Dean of Texas, Fr. John Whiteford, has been named our acting Rector; although distance has prevented him from yet visiting in person, we have had two liturgies served by Hieromonk Aidan (Keller) from Austin.

We no longer have to worship on a park bench; an Anglican parish allowed us the use of their abandoned Sunday School chapel, complete with amusing stained-glass windows depicting happy 1930s children from around the world. A parishioner (Alexey Ageev, who deserves mention by name) built a traditional wooden altar and donated some hundred icon prints. God willing, through the prayers of St. Catherine the Great Martyr (and of St. Andrew the First-Called!), we will perhaps, despite our sins and weaknesses, be able to ensure a witness for Christ on the Llano Estacado.

But what about the other parish? What about the Greek “diaspora”? How will they fare under Archbishop Elpidophoros?

The year is now 1055.

 

New Schism of a Schism in the Ukraine

When last January the Patriarchate of Constantinople under strong US State Department pressure on its puppet regime founded a new schismatic religious grouping (‘Church’) in Kiev, it isolated itself from the rest of the Orthodox world. Today this schismatic group has itself split into two, much to the embarrassment of its founders in Istanbul and Washington. One of its pseudo-bishops, ‘Patriarch Philaret of Kiev’ has split away from another, the so-called ‘Metropolitan Epiphanios Dumenko’, and promised to consecrate yet more pseudo-bishops throughout the Ukraine. It will soon have more pseudo-bishops than people. This small group will almost certainly split further.

It seems to be a spiritual law that the sectarian spirit which creates schisms always then creates more schisms. Rabbits breed rabbits.

This can be seen to be true in the history of Catholicism, which, having split from the Church in the eleventh century, continually splits into various sects, from medieval ‘orders’ and groups, persecuted by crusades and inquisitions, to Protestant groups, to Jesuitism, to Uniatism, to Old Catholicism, to Traditionalism and various liberal ‘charismatic’ groups, which appear to have nothing to do with Catholicism. There are now said to be up to 40,000 such sects, all born from the original split in Rome in 1054.

This can be seen to be true in the Greek Old Calendarist schisms. Many years ago I was told that there were no fewer than thirteen Greek Old Calendarist ‘Churches’. I have no idea how many there are today. This can be seen to be true in the tiny sects, a few hundred in each, which broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 2007; those infected with the sectarian spirit immediate split into four groups, apparently there are even more today! This can be seen to be true in the tiny modernist Paris Rue Daru group, which has already split into three (some returning to the Russian Church; some going to the Bulgarian; the remnant for the moment staying with Constantinople, though it is widely rumoured that the remnant will split into two by or in September this year.

Now we see the same in the Constantinople-founded ‘Orthodox Church in the Ukraine’. The crisis will deepen until Constantinople renounces its error. Already it is facing serious divisions in the ‘three As’ (in America, Australia and ‘Anglia’ – the Greek word for England). Here the Turkish-led Greek nationalist Church has imposed, without consulting the grassroots, three hardline bishops, who already have scandalous reputations. It would seem a good time for all concerned to leave the sinking ship of the Phanar in Istanbul. Not everyone wants to be playing in the band on the deck or rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Sources:

https://spzh.news/ru/news/63015-v-seti-opublikovano-postanovlenije-pomestnogo-sobora-upc-kp

https://spzh.news/ru/news/63005-filaret-na-pomestnom-sobore-upc-kp-my-postavim-mnogo-novyh-arkhijerejevhttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63018-upc-kp-otobrala-u-pcu-vse-imushhestvo-v-kijevehttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63022-filaret-v-ukraine-tepery-tri-cerkvi-upc-pcu-i-upc-kphttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63025-konstantinopolyu-nuzhno-reshity-chto-delaty-s-filaretom–religiovedhttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63027-filaret-my-postavim-stolyko-jepiskopov-skolyko-budet-nuzhno

Fantasies and Reality: Towards a Local Orthodox Church of Western Europe

Introduction

Since at least the 1970s, there has been talk of founding a Local Church in various parts of Western Europe, especially in France under the Fraternite Orthodoxe, but also in Great Britain and, strangely enough, in faraway Turkey.

The Continental Fantasists

French intellectualism, expressed mainly by descendants of Russian aristocrats, freemasons and dreamers in the Rue Daru emigration of those who had betrayed the Tsar, proposed a Paris-centred (how could it be otherwise in the land of Napoleon?) Jurisdiction. Naturally, they themselves would be in power. Their models were political – the deeply-troubled OCA and the highly controversial parishes in Finland under Constantinople. Lost in clouds of philosophy, they expressed words and not deeds and forgot that such a Jurisdiction would need the canonical support of at least one Patriarchate, financial backing from the grassroots and also an infrastructure in the form of a property network of monasteries and parishes.

Of course, it never had any of these and today has no candidates even to be its next bishop after the present 75-year old ex-Catholic Archbishop Jean. Neither the Patriarchate of Constantinople nor anyone else was ever going to support autocephaly for such a tiny and inward-looking group. Financial backing to any appreciable extent was quite absent. And one Rue Daru parish or family after another returned to the Russian Church, went bankrupt, fell into disrepair or simply closed down, forcing the ever smaller group to rely on rented premises. The whole arrogant project, not passed on to the following generation, isolated from the Orthodox mainstream and marred by aggressive new calendarism and ecumenism which mocked the values of faithful Orthodox, seemed more like just another irrelevant sub-department of the Vatican’s Uniat fantasy. Perhaps it was.

The Anglican Fantasists

So much for the navel-gazing in Continental Western Europe. In Great Britain, actually England, insularist Anglican academic Establishmentism proposed a ‘British Orthodox Church’. Made up largely of elderly upper middle-class people, retired vicars and academics, with direct or indirect links to the Rue Daru elite, its philosophy was equally unreal. Born from the tiny elite of the British Establishment, it took no note at all of the fact that the oppressive Establishment is alien to most people who live in the British Isles, and even more in the inherent geographical part of the Isles, in Ireland. After all, the Establishment is originally a blood-soaked import from the barbaric Norman elite in 1066. This compromised itself successively in the oppression of the English, the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots, and then the rest of the world, in slave-trading and exploitative imperialist genocides. In a word, there is no such thing as Britain. Like ‘the Ukraine’, it is a purely political construct and therefore there can never be any such thing as ‘British Orthodoxy’.

Curiously for academics so closely linked to the failed Rue Daru fantasy, these fantasists never noticed that the number of active Orthodox in the British Isles and Ireland is so small that to build a Local Church here is fantasy. And without canonical backing from a Patriarchate, grassroots financial support from large numbers and property infrastructure, the whole project is impossible. This is why no Local Church has ever contemplated founding an Autocephalous Church in the British Isles. The failure was encapsulated in the city of dreaming spires (and lost causes), Oxford. Here the professorial fantasy of combining different groups of Orthodox, new calendar, old calendar, in a modernist chapel, part-financed by Anglicans, with little to do with ordinary people, came to nothing. I said so in 1975, whereupon the fantasist priest (who was later defrocked) told me that ‘there is no such thing as ordinary people’. Later a dozen or so disgruntled and mainly pensioned-off Anglican vicars, ordained overnight and with little concept of the reality of Orthodoxy and how to do the services, sealed the failure. The fantasy was not passed on to the following generation. Time to move on.

The Turkish Fantasists

With the vast majority of Orthodox in the Russian Church paralysed for most of the twentieth century, but reviving dangerously, in their view, since the official fall of atheism in Moscow in 1991, in Turkey the Greek racist Phanariots panicked. So these pro-LGBT gerontocrats and Young Turks further extended and developed the use of the code-word for Greek Imperialism, ‘Pan-Orthodox’. How could these fantasists justify the universal rule of a non-universal Empire which in any case had been wiped off the face of the earth five and a half centuries before? They spent a large amount of US dollars on a pseudo-Council in Crete and then set about shamelessly invading the canonical territories of other Local Churches, under US State Department orders. (This was instead of sending out missions to the 7.3 billion of the Non-Orthodox world; no doubt they can wait another millennium to hear the Gospel).

However, today Phanariot corruption by embezzlement, bribery and blackmail, has been displayed before the whole world. Their megalomaniac and navel-gazing talking shops, ‘Pan-Orthodox’ Episcopal Assemblies, agreed to by Russian naivety, are now thankfully dead. Phyletist (the Greek word for racist) Greek grandstanding is dead with it. The Papist project of making the whole world into Greek-controlled ‘autonomous’ parts of the absurdly-named, Turkish ‘Oecumenical Patriarchate’ has become the laughing-stock of the whole still Orthodox world. The days of treachery, cowardice and deceit, to use the concise and precise formula of the martyred Tsar Nicholas II, are over. Another fantasy has bitten the dust. So where do we go from here?

Conclusion

One thing is clear: no Local Orthodox Church of Western Europe will ever be built on fantasies. Three such fantasies have been tried and all failed miserably. No more fantasies, just reality. Since the Phanariot project is now well and truly in the dustbin of history, we have to look at the other six Local Churches present in Western Europe. Of these six remaining Orthodox groups in Western Europe, five, the Romanian, Antiochian and Serbian, as well as the tiny Bulgarian and the newly-appeared Georgian, are not going to do anything to promote a Local Church. This is because they are all mononational and have only one interest: preserving their own national identity and national flags. Their outreach, if it exists at all, is virtually only to their own nationality.

Reluctantly, despite the incredible incompetence, frustrating irresponsibility, paranoid centralization, personality cult narcissism, contempt for local people, waste of human resources  and alcoholism, there is therefore only one alternative. This, like it or not, is ‘the only show in town’, the Russian Church. Under two administrations, the largest one centred in Moscow thanks to its presence in Italy, Germany, France, Iberia and Scandinavia, this is now setting up an Exarchate, with a group of bishops and a network of parishes, some newly-built. It is early days yet, but this is the only hope – and, actually, long has been. May the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe at last be empowered to take the multinational responsibility for Orthodoxy which it has always so sadly refused and shown itself incapable of.

 

Can the Russian Orthodox Church Convert Russian Society and the Russian State, Renew the Local Orthodox Churches and Bring the Western World to Repentance?

At the turning of the tide

Hope and Truth abide.

Introduction

The list of three tasks set out above is ultra-ambitious and all-encompassing. Indeed, these tasks, to be undertaken by a Church which is still barely recovering from seventy-five years of the most vicious atheist persecution in world history, will bring many to laughter.

For example, regarding the task of converting Russian Society and the Russian State, most would probably say that no such things even exist yet; there are only a post-atheist Society and a post-atheist State. Moreover, both are marked by an extraordinarily incompetent, centralized bureaucracy, corruption and the immorality of atheism. The task of converting them seems absurd. As regards renewing the Orthodox Churches, the answer must surely be virtually impossible and in any case perhaps it is the Russian Church which needs to be renewed by other Local Churches. And as for bringing the Western world to repentance after its thousand-year apostasy from authentic Christianity, this surely is so impossible that it is senseless even to think about it.

However, the dismissal of these tasks as fantasy, seeming to be humanly impossible, needs re-examining in the light of one fact: Man proposes, but God disposes. After all, given the extraordinary and unexpected disappearance, almost overnight, of the atheist Superpower that was the Soviet Union and the beginning of the revival of the Church there since then, perhaps there are chances that something very unexpected can also occur in all these domains.

Converting Post-Soviet Society and the Post-Soviet State

100 years have passed since the ruthless Civil War which followed the betrayal of Orthodox Russia by the elite of generals, aristocrats and intellectuals in February 1917 and the Bolshevik takeover from their incompetence in October 1917. Over thirty years have passed since the atheist Empire controlled by the corrupt Bolshevik elite started to fall apart. Bolshevism, an import from Germany, totally failed, and the Soviet Union went bankrupt (in every sense). What have the alternatives proposed since then been?

The first proposal was to parrot Western liberal capitalism and secularism. This was adopted almost immediately by those who had claimed to be Communists. Many of them became rich overnight, as the nomenklatura became an oligarchy. They were supported by the mob, who, with their typically Russian inferiority complex vis a vis the West, imagined that the new Western Consumerism would be wonderful, the ‘bright future’ promised by Communism but not delivered. And indeed the mass of secular Russians, in especially vulgar ways, duly aped everything bad in the West, like so many chimpanzees rewarded for their treachery with Western bananas.

The second proposal was Orthodoxy and over a hundred million citizens of the ex-Soviet Union were swiftly baptized. Only a few million old-fashioned atheists resisted, quoting such discredited theorists and fantasists as Marx and Darwin – who were already discredited and old-fashioned 100 years ago! However, a real criticism was made by some: this was that since Orthodoxy had already been tried before the Revolution and had been found wanting, hence the Revolution, why repeat it?

Of course, this was nonsense. The whole point is precisely that Orthodoxy had NOT been tried before the Revolution, at least by the masses who had only been nominally Orthodox, formally baptised. In particular, the so-called ‘Orthodox’ academies of theology and seminaries, with their careerist students looking for well-paid jobs in the civil service, had been hotbeds of atheism before 1917. Indeed, one former seminarian and ‘cradle-Orthodox’ (whatever that means) later came to be known as Joseph Stalin. The fact is that the masses of nominal Orthodox before the Revolution after 1917 followed the elite and deserted the Church, going along with atheism and the persecution of the Church.

Today, we are in a similar situation, with an elite mainly anti-Church and the masses unsure which way to go: Western secularism with its expensive playthings, baubles, gadgets and Hollywood tinsel, or the fullness of Christianity in Russian Orthodoxy. It is commonly agreed that only 3% (about 5 million) of the 164 million members of the Russian Orthodox Church actually practise Orthodoxy to the letter, even though about 80% of the total population are baptised. In Ekaterinburg last year, on the centenary of the martyrdom of the Imperial Family, only 100,000 (0.06%) of the Orthodox population took part in the midnight pilgrimage to Ganina Yama. Among fringe Orthodox, clergy and laity, we can meet corruption through money, alcoholism, ritualism, phariseeism, praise for Stalinism or for Western liberalism, and every deviation inbetween. There are even those who propose an amalgam between ‘Red and White’, suggesting that atheism and anti-Bolshevism unite under the standard of xenophobia!

In today’s Russian Federation abortion is twice as high as even the abysmally high rates in Western countries (true, it has halved in the last thirty years, but only because contraception is starting to be used). Divorce is still just as high as in the USA because, like American materialism, Soviet materialism destroyed family life. Naïve Western converts to Orthodoxy, who have no idea of reality and the profound secularism of the mass of Russians, point out that the churches are full. But of course they are full: they, and priests, are so pitifully few in number (one for every 7,000 people!) that they cannot be anything other than full. In the UK, with less than half the population of the Russian Federation, there are two and a half times as many churches.

Some will say that I am being over-critical. After all, over 30,000 New Martyrs have been canonized in the last 25 years (far more than the 8,000 canonized by the Church Outside Russia 38 years ago). Over 100 million have been baptised, over 100 Metropolias have been created, the number of bishops has gone up from 40 to 400, the number of priests is heading for 40,000 from 6,000 30 years ago (and most of those were then in the Ukraine), people now take communion regularly, not as in the grim old days of the corrupt practice before the Revolution (unfortunately a practice until quite recently preserved in the Church Outside Russia), when communion once a year was considered the norm.

Some over-optimists even say that today the Russian Orthodox Church has reached the level of the Church before the Revolution. This of course is not at all true – there were over twice as many churches and priests then, proportionate to the then population, as now. However, that is not the point: the point is that the Church needs in any case to be even better than the decapitated and State-ritualized Church of before the Revolution. This had been rejected by the vast mass of the aristocracy and intellectual elite. If the pre-Revolutionary Church is restored as it was, the Church will simply be incapable of preventing another Revolution.

Pre-Revolutionary culture, the summit of Russian culture, has still to be restored. And that can only be done when Russian Society is permeated by an Orthodox culture which today it is not. As for the Russian State, it cannot be converted until Russian Society has been converted; otherwise there will just be mere hypocrisy (as in the Russian State before the Revolution). In a country where the State, like the media and the educational and medical systems, are dominated by practical, if not ideological and sometimes very aggressive, atheism, as seen in their corruption and immorality, there remains much to be done.

Real parishes have to be created (they do not exist) as local communities, where all can go and become members of the Orthodox family, belonging, not merely passing through as if in a railway station. Financial transparency, as is about to be implemented only in the Pskov Metropolia, must become the norm. The Russian Orthodox Church needs 130,000 new churches, 130,000 new priests and 1300 new bishops! Our Orthodox Revolution has only just begun! Only then shall we be able to say that Russian Society and consequently the Russian State have been converted. There is very, very, very far to go in order to recover from the dread consequences of the Soviet nightmare and the pathetic aping of Western money-money-money Capitalism which has patterned the last generation of life in the Russian Federation.

Renewing the Local Orthodox Churches

The Western calendar has over the last 95 years taken control of some 20% of the Orthodox world – Constantinople (except Mt Athos), Antioch, Alexandria, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia and Albania have all been infected. Only those in the 80% of the Churches of Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Georgia and Poland have remained faithful. Now many will say: So what? The fact is that though the calendar in itself may not be so important, it is a symbol. Once you have adopted the Western calendar, you have adopted the Western mentality. You are heading for the exit door of the Church. That is just a fact. As an example, of the fourteen Local Churches, one has even more or less completely fallen away, both theologically and therefore practically, from Orthodoxy, that is, the US puppet Church in Constantinople (Istanbul). And that is precisely the Church that, after a £100,000 bribe from the Anglicans nearly 100 years ago, introduced the Western calendar, so liturgically senseless from an Orthodox viewpoint. It has now reached the exit door, amid scandal after scandal.

There is worse to come. Playing the nationalist card of flattering the local chauvinists, the Western world is now trying its devil’s best to dismantle the Russian Orthodox Church, especially in Estonia and the Ukraine, but if possible in the Baltics, Belarus and Moldova also. The same tactic has been adopted against the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro and Macedonia. Attacks have also been made against the Churches of Antioch, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. Can the Russian Orthodox Church, supporting and supported by, the best elements in the other Local Churches, win? Only if first, Russian Society and the Russian State have been converted. Ever since the Ukrainian crisis, we have been at a critical turning-point, living on a knife edge. Something has to change. We cannot go on like this much longer. This is make or break time for the Church of God. Either we shall live on, even by the grace of God prospering, or else the end of the world really is coming and this is it.

Bringing the Western World to Repentance

The Western world presents a sorry picture of spiritual emptiness and spiritual and therefore moral degeneracy. Its few remaining believers cannot even stand up for Christ, but sit down in their churches, as if paralysed (a spiritual disease that over the last 40 years has taken hold of the Greek and Arab Churches). Herded into inferiority-complex conformism, the puppet states of Western Europe are controlled by the US-run EU and NATO. Thus, symbolically, in Eurovision, which takes place not even in Europe, but in the US-financed Asian colony of Israel, Europeans, including supposed Orthodox Europeans, sing identically absurd and pointless songs in American English, not even in their own languages. And as for the crazed, trigger-happy, though bankrupt, US cowboy himself, obsessed by his control-freakery, seeking worldwide dominion and armed to the teeth with everything that technology can provide, he plans to destroy Russia, Turkey, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and Iran. Apocalypse awaits.

Conclusion

And therefore, we say that it is now or never. Either Orthodox of all nationalities renounce our false selves and start converting ourselves and the Societies and States around us, so standing up and witnessing to Christ before the Western atheist elites, or else we shall be annihilated by them. Then we shall be swallowed up by the Western sea-monster like Jonah, only without Jonah’s faith and therefore swallowed up forever and so disappearing from the face of the earth. The choice is ours.

 

Q and A May 2019

The Corruption of the Constantinople Episcopate

Q: What do you make of the appalling allegations against certain members of the episcopate of Constantinople, which are now making their rounds on the internet? Is this fake news? Or, if is true, is it time for us to have a married episcopate?

A: When I first saw the allegations, clearly not fake news, I wondered what the fuss was all about: these stories have been well-known for decades, though, true, they have never been issued on the internet. The corruption of Orthodox bishops in the Diaspora is well-known. There was the Russian bishop in Paris, sent to Siberia, when Moscow actually got to realize it was all true, the Serbian bishop who had to ‘retire’, the episcopate of a certain group in the USA known as ‘the gay mafia’, who therefore fell under the thumb of a certain priest who had the dirt on them, the Greek and Russian bishops in Europe with their boyfriends or multiple mistresses, the one they called ‘Johnny Walker’ (we know how he died) and the chain-smoking bishops from the Middle East and the alcoholic Slavs. All this has been well-known for decades and generations. However, the latest stories with Rolex watches worth 400,000 euros and all the sordid details worthy only of British gutter tabloids, do bring it down to a different level (or depth).

Of course, the Protestant-minded immediately call for married bishops. I am completely opposed to this. First of all, it would be completely unfair on their wives. It is difficult enough for the wife of a priest to have her husband. The wife of a bishop would never see him. Then, secondly, it would introduce nasty careerism among married clergy. It is bad enough among certain hieromonks and archimandrites, without polluting the married clergy.

There is only one solution: to stop electing bishops from among candidates who are candidates simply because they are not married. Otherwise you will simply end up, at worst, with pedophiles and homosexuals who only have contempt for married priests, women and children (as among the Catholics) or, at best (?), with narcissistic professional bachelors who have no love for anyone except themselves and their favourites and operate a mafia against real pastors. We have seen enough of both sorts and suffered enough from them during 40 years. They are the only enemies of the Church and always have been. They wreck dioceses and ruin lives. There is only one solution: monastic renewal. If you are not living a monastic life in a monastery and you have no pastoral experience and love for the people, you cannot become a bishop.

As for the sort of bishops described in Constantinople, they must all be defrocked asap. We have had enough of them. All they do is bring the Church into disrepute and upset and persecute the sincere parish priests and the pious faithful. And, above all, they can be corrupted by the US State Department which has all the dirt on them all and so can blackmail them – just like the KGB did in the days of the Soviet Union, just like the CIA does in the Ukraine today.

Q: What do you think of the appointment of Metr Elpidiphoros as the new Greek Archbishop of America?

A: His name means ‘bearer of hope’. However, he is the bearer of despair. Expect schisms in the Greek Church in the USA, Australia and Great Britain. Indeed, they have already begun, with priests and parishes leaving them for canonical Orthodoxy. It is the beginning of the end for the rule of Constantinople. Sad though it is, it is inevitable and, ultimately, this will be a positive event. God is not mocked. We have to live for the future, not for the corrupt past. All will be providential. And Providence is God’s Love in history.

Russian Orthodox Church Matters

Q: I recently visited Russia and saw and heard some strange things from some people. For example, someone told me he knew an Orthodox man who was sure that Stalin will one day be canonized. An Orthodox woman I met said that she thought the Russian Church should become like the Catholic Church. Are such views widespread?

A: Today’s Russian Church is 90% a Church of converts, so inevitably you do occasionally come across extremes and marginals, or to put it very frankly, ‘weirdos’, nationalists, ecumenists and what have you. On top of this, you can also encounter among some clergy the hangover from the Soviet period – centralization and bureaucracy (though this was to some extent also present before the Revolution). I should not worry about it. This will all pass, it is all a phase of growing up. And it all only affects some; most are solid. Remember to look at the wood, not at the trees.

Q: The Russian Orthodox Church has for several months now an Exarchate in Paris. You had written a lot about this before it happened. Why does the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (including yourself) not participate in it?

A: The Russian Exarchate is for the moment very much on paper only. It is centralized, bureaucratic, missing bishops on the ground in Italy and Scandinavia, which like Germany is not included in it. The Exarchate is so far not real, not local, not skilled, not pastoral. And I know this from concrete contacts at the very highest AND the very lowest level. It is not at all ready to operate like the best of the Church Outside Russia (where it exists) and does not even want us to take part in it! Our offers of help have been rebuffed, several times, as they prefer to take orders from Moscow, where they understand nothing of the situation on the ground. It is not ready – by far!

When the Russian Exarchate is ready to be pastoral and to become a real Exarchate of (and not merely in) Western Europe, then we shall see changes. For now it clearly lacks the necessary pastoral skills and local knowledge, being a disincarnate  export from Moscow. It will need several years to grow up. The task, duty and mission of the local Church Outside Russia in Western Europe are precisely to prepare the terrain for this moment, filling the largely empty infrastructure created by Moscow, going before, like St John the Baptist.

Speaking as the only priest in the Russian Church who has ever been awarded a jewelled cross by Patriarch Kyrill (seven years ago) and a second such cross by Metropolitan Hilarion of New York (three years later), I believe that the Exarchate is not viable without ROCOR.

Pastoral Psychology

Q: What is the difference between low self-esteem and humility?

A: Low self-esteem comes from being humiliated, insulted and bullied. The victim of humiliation and bullying stops believing in themselves and doubts everyone and everything and can hate themselves and even self-mutilate. However, this is in contradiction with the last two words of the commandments, to love God and love our neighbour as ourselves. We must love ourselves. Not because we are anything other than sinners, but because God loves us. Anyone who believes or has experienced that fact that God loves them, will not fall victim to low self-esteem, but will become humble. Low self-esteem is the result of believing in the opinions and actions of nasty narcissists and sadistic bullies, whatever rank they may hold, more than in God.

Q: Is it true that there are only two choices in the Church, marriage or monasticism?

A: Only as an ideal. I would say, and I think I have said this before, that in reality there are two and a quarter choices. The quarter choice is for all those who for some reason do not fit in to either of the main choices at present. In other words, we must always be prepared for exceptions and exceptional circumstances. For example, there are, though they are very rare, celibate priests, neither married, nor monastic.

 

 

Apologia Pro Vita Sua: The Two Reasons Why We Are Faithful Members of the Russian Orthodox Church

Firstly, it is only when we have understood that Christ the Son of God is the Saviour of the World, Who Alone, unlike all the other founders of faiths in the history of the world, is Risen from the dead, are we Christians. And once we have understood that Orthodoxy alone is this Christian Faith that He gave us, then we have understood that all other institutions which call themselves ‘Christian’ or ‘Christianity’ are not this. They are not of the Church of God. In reality, they preserve only fragments and vestiges, the outward signs of the Church, and thus are only illusory substitutions for the Church. In reality, in the West the words Christianity and Christian have for centuries been abused and twisted for the self-justification of its elite and of those whom that elite has ‘Westernized’, that is, those who, flattering themselves, have fallen for their proud delusions of grandeur. Once it is realized that Christianity is Orthodoxy, and not some much later, second-millennium distortion, specific and local to the barbarian culture of the Western elite, then it is clear that the expression ‘The Church’ can only mean The Orthodox Church and nothing else.

The proof of this is in the history of the Western elite, with its repeated campaigns of mass organized violence against all others over the past thousand years. This proof is in its technologically highly advanced but actually extremely crude and cruel war machine, with continual invasions and highly aggressive exploitation of all peoples (serfdom, physical slavery and then economic and political slavery) and its specific attempts to destroy the Church and Her Christian Civilization: the ‘Crusades’, the sack of Christian Rome in 1204, the Teutonic Knights, the repeated Western invasions of Russia after 1453 by the Poles, the Swedes and Napoleon, then the Crimean War, the two invasions of Russia which were part of World Wars, the foundation of NATO, the Western manipulations of Constantinople, especially since 1948, and today’s creation of a fictitious Church in the Ukraine as a vehicle for Western propaganda. Real Christians would never have behaved murderously like this. So it is clear that these Westerners are not Christians, they are not of the Church, whatever they may claim to justify their self-aggrandizing delusions.

Secondly, history tells us that the Centre of the Church was transferred in 330 from Pagan Old Rome, on account of its interfering heathen heritage, to Christian New Rome (Constantinople). And also that after the occupation of New Rome, much weakened by its bloodthirsty sack by ‘Christian’ (sic!) Westerners in 1204 and Greek nationalist apostates (the same ones as today), by Muslims in 1453, the Centre moved again. This time it moved to Holy Rus, which therefore came to be called ‘The Third Rome’. Once you know this, you understand that for anyone who does not belong to one of the nationalities catered for on the territories of one of the thirteen small and mononational Local Orthodox Churches (Romanian, Serbian, Greek, Bulgarian, Georgian, African, Arab, Polish, Cypriot, Albanian and Czechoslovak) you have to belong to the multinational and multilingual Russian Orthodox Church. This has over 70 nationalities already. After all, the Church of Holy Rus is 75% of the whole Church and has a long and distinguished missionary history, founding new Churches around the world and then granting them independence, so that they can stand on their own feet.

However, it is also true that this title ‘The Third Rome’ has sometimes been abused as a slogan and excuse for Russian State interference, for chauvinistic nationalism, formalist ritualism and pharisaical fanaticism. Indeed, it was that hypocritical and formalistic spirit which aided in the Western-orchestrated overthrow of the Russian Orthodox world in 1917 and its handing over to alien atheists for martyrdom by Satanists. For the mere existence of the Russian Orthodox world was preventing the Western elite from its ultimate diabolical ambition of world domination which has burned in them ever since 1492 and so they had to attempt to destroy Her. That nationalist, ritualistic, false ‘Third Rome’ spirit is quite different from the actual Christian spirit of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is an Imperial, multinational Church, whose mission is to convert to Orthodoxy the whole Non-Orthodox world outside the territories of the thirteen small Local Churches. Hence our repeated suggestion that the Russian Orthodox Patriarchate be renamed The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus. In this way Her new name will represent Her essence.

 

 

On the Phanariot Failed Church, its Hybrid Faith and the Cleansing of the Faithful Church

 

The US-backed Phanariot schism from the Orthodox Church had been under way for many decades. Indeed, its inevitability has been clear ever since the failed 2016 meeting of the failed Phanariot Church in Crete with its Obama-esque agenda. Spiritually and politically free Orthodox refused to attend it or agree with it. The Ukraine was only the last straw in their schismatic process, for the camel’s back had been breaking for well over a century. The charge sheet is very long; all the charges shaped by virulent Phanariot Greek nationalism, that is, by its racist phyletism. Some obvious landmarks were the British political pressures at the start of the last century, under which the Patriarchate of Constantinople buckled and set out on its first hesitant ecumenical activities under Patriarch Joachim III (+ 1912). Meanwhile, the future heretic Metropolitan Meletios Metaksakis was installed in a masonic lodge in the British vassal-island of Cyprus in 1909. And in Russia, apostate intellectuals and philosophers were preparing their renovationism with the aid of the weak-faithed and pro-modernist Metropolitan Antony (Vadkovsky – 1898 -1912) of Saint Petersburg. It was he who had protected the defrocked renegade and schoolgirl seducer, the murdered intriguer George Gapon.

After the blood-soaked tragedy of the 1917 Saint Petersburg coup d’etat of deceitful Russian aristocratic traitors emigrated to Paris. The coup, orchestrated and backed by the scheming British ambassador Buchanan, gave the Phanariots a free hand. They opened dioceses and parishes, dividing the Orthodox Diaspora in North and South America, Western Europe and Australia, claiming Papist universal jurisdiction. Thus, they created ‘jurisdictions’, that is, divisions. Then they backed the Protestant-style renovationists in Russia against St Tikhon, accepted Anglican orders in exchange for £100,000 from Canterbury, introduced the Papist calendar, cut the services, created homosexual bishops, like German Aav in Finland where it meddled, as also in Poland and then in Czechoslovakia, where it created a schism. It set up the Paris Jurisdiction, encouraging the modernist and ecumenist Paris School of Philosophy and failing to condemn the Bulgakov heresy, meddled in the uncanonical Ukrainian Diaspora after 1945, adopted the modernist ‘neo-Patristic’ philosophies of Russians like Florovsky and Schmemann and the Protestantizing ‘eucharistic’ pseudo-theology of Afanasiev, created the absurd Phanariot schism in Estonia, and today swim with the US-imposed LGBT tide.

However, some individuals in Moscow are also compromised. They are still members of the Pan-Protestant World Council of Churches (WCC) and still in contact with the Vatican with its generations of pedophile scandals. The Vatican has been controlled by the US ever since its Protestantizing Second Vatican Council (1962-65). This has been especially so since the US installed the anti-Communist, PR-led Polish Pope, who hid pedophile scandals, after the sudden and highly suspicious death of the previous anti-US Pope. It is time to stop Soviet games from the past and act on principle. For the Phanariots and the Papists have agreed on uniting in 2025, the 1700th anniversary of the First Universal Council of Nicea in 325, when, according to some, the EU elite also plans to proclaim its long-planned United States of Europe. Today the future course of action for the Russian Orthodox Church in particular, and the whole of the free (= Non-US-controlled) Orthodox world in general, is clear. This is to return to the decisions of the quasi-Pan-Orthodox Council of Moscow in July 1948. The authority of this Council is such that it could be called the Eighth Universal Council. Unanimously then, real theologians like the ROCOR St Seraphim of Sofia, exposer of Bulgakov’s heresy of Sophianism, agreed on all.

Then the whole Russian hierarchy inside Russia and the hierarchies of the other Local Churches (except for the Constantinople, Greek and Cypriot bishops, who were not allowed to attend by their American puppeteers) were in agreement. They unanimously condemned Papism, which had openly supported Fascism during World War II, CIA-funded Ecumenism, and refused to recognize Anglican orders. Thus the WCC, founded by Anglo-Americans in their Cold War bid for religious power the very next month, August 1948, was recognized, on Protestant orders, only by the three Local Churches who had not been allowed to attend the Moscow Council. Now the Russian Orthodox Church and all the other Local Churches, except for schismatic Constantinople, has the opportunity to return to the decisions of the 1948 Council, thus uniting all faithful Orthodox of all nationalities. Fence-sitting among many Local Churches must stop. The unfaithful fringes in various Local Churches, many of whom have already fallen away in any case, can leave the Church. We do not need hybrid Protestant-Orthodox Churches. Then the Church will at last be cleansed of the deadweight of spiritual impurity. ecumenism, modernism and all the other isms in the spirit of atheist Western Secularism, will fall away.