‘Do not take the path that we took. We tried it and it is the path that leads to destruction’.
Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and all the Russias,
speaking to the West and referring to atheism
On Thurs 24 September the reputed BBC Newsnight programme called President Putin – ‘the Leader of the Free World’. This was an astonishing turnaround given the usual caricatures, stereotypes and character assassinations vomited forth by the Establishment-run BBC towards the political leader of the Christian world. Somehow these words must have escaped the tight State censorship system that binds the BBC. Having said that, the statement was wrong. Why? In order to answer this question, we must take a look at some history over the last 100 years or so.
First of all, this statement was made by a BBC journalist in the context of the disastrous US policy of deliberately creating chaos in the Middle East. This has notably been in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and throughout all the countries where the CIA-orchestrated ‘Arab Spring’ took place. The fact that this divide and rule policy has resulted in two trillion dollars of US debt, hundreds of thousands of dead and millions of mainly Muslim refugees, of whom 10,000 a day (3.65 million per year at that rate) are now entering the EU, is beginning to dawn even on the Western media. The refugees pass as swiftly as possible through the EU-created employment desert and poverty of Greece and Eastern Europe and head for Germany and Scandinavia. With the threat of the collapse of the Western-installed oligarch regime in the bankrupt Ukraine and millions more refugees, the message is getting through even to Western politicians that something must be done by someone who, unlike them, is competent.
Fresh from the Russian diplomatic triumph in Iran, President Putin is now doing in Syria what the West should have done from the start – supporting the lesser evil against the greater evil, supporting President Assad against IS. Having completely lost control of the Middle East through its anarchic and murderous meddling, the West is lost. By backing savage terrorists and fanatics against popular Arab leaders like Assad, Khadafy and Hussein, once all feted by the West itself, it is now left to Russia, backed by Non-Western countries all over the world, to clean up the mess. The West has always backed traitors and murderers, imagining them to be its friends, and so lost its real, if critical, friends. Thus, in the same way it has supported President Poroshenko against President Putin, creating its own nightmares.
This was exactly the case with the Western-organized Russian Revolution. At the beginning of 1917, mainly through the poisonous British ambassador Buchanan, the West launched a coup d’etat in Saint Petersburg through treacherous Russian aristocrats and generals. This coup d’etat, overthrowing the legitimate government, just as the West overthrew the legitimate Yanukovich government in the Ukraine last year, was fanatically and blindly welcomed by Lloyd George and the French and US leaders of the time. By deposing the legitimate government of the Lord’s Anointed in 1917, the West thought that it could prevent the rise of Russia, poised to conquer Vienna and Berlin and so control European destinies, and set up a puppet government there. Instead, the tiny minority of incompetent pro-Western buffoons within seven months lost control, ran away to Paris, and the Bolsheviks led by Lenin, took over.
The same is happening today throughout the Middle East and in the Ukraine, where extremists, whether from IS or from the Right Sector, are poised to take over from feeble Western puppets. The West has created IS, which already controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and is ready to take over derelict Afghanistan, where bankrupt UK governments wasted 450 British lives and £35 billion in trying to support its puppets. In the Ukraine the hope is that the Ukrainian people will rise up against the Poroshenko/Waltzman mafia and its CIA henchmen, freeing themselves from US-armed Right Sector Fascist terrorists. In some areas of the Ukraine they have already found freedom against Western-imposed tyranny; it remains to be seen whether the junta will survive another winter.
The West has understood nothing. The Russians have understood everything. Why? Because Russia went through 75 years of atheism and its ideology of death and saw through its destructive myths, whereas the West has consistently refused to heed the Russian experience and has now imposed atheism. This can be clearly seen in the CIA-organized Pussy Riot obscenity in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Some previously unknown sick young women were paid to blaspheme standing by the holy of holies in a Cathedral rebuilt by the donations of the Russian people. It was rebuilt on the site of the Cathedral which had been built to commemorate the people’s victory over the Western invader and blasphemer Napoleon and had then been blown up by the Bolsheviks, who had come to power through Western meddling in the name of Western, Marxist ideology.
The hysterical young women of Pussy Riot were in Russian eyes simply latter-day, Western-sponsored Bolsheviks, beloved by Western liberals and pro-Fascist Senator McCain alike. Such an anti-Christian provocation, paid for and feted by the West, shows that the modern West is in fact anti-Christian. The spirit of Bolshevik atheism is alive and well in the new Satanic, Western hatred of Christ and of mankind, in the cult of egoism and careerism, in the cult of the ‘human right’ or ‘freedom’ to blaspheme in the Cathedral of Christ or in Charlie Hebdo, in homosexual ‘marriage’, in the persecution of all who disagree with atheism, in suicidal abortion and euthanasia on demand and in the totalitarian, terroristic tyranny of political ‘correctness’. In its atheism the new West has adopted the civilization of death that the Bolsheviks once espoused.
However, today’s Russia is returning to its Christian roots and values, which are the values of St Constantine the Great, the first Christian Emperor. These values are not nationalistic, for ‘Russia’ is not simply a nation, but it is a spiritual concept, a state of mind, in the same way as the Christian Empire of St Constantine was not some mere nationalistic project, but a multinational reality. Indeed, when the Empire degenerated into a nationalistic project on two occasions, in Germanized Old Rome and in Hellenized Constantinople, it collapsed. After the collapse of the Second Christian Empire in 1453, undermined first by barbarian Western ‘crusaders’, then by Muslim fanatics and then by internal pro-Catholic traitors, the Christian Empire was transferred to Russia for its third and final incarnation. Overthrown in 1917 by ‘treachery, cowardice and deceit’, both external and internal, the Empire is now reviving.
Today’s Russia is amazed by the Bolshevikization of political ‘correctness’ of the contemporary West and by the Islamization in its ever-larger ghettoes. This is what happens, they say in Russia, when you lose your roots – as we nearly did under atheist Communism. Has the West learned nothing from our experience of 75 years of Marxist atheism and the Cold War? In 2007 I spoke to a deputy of the Russian State Duma on this very question and he answered me: ‘No, the West has learned nothing because the West is too proud to take lessons from others, so it will have to undergo its own atheist persecutions before it can understand. Just as a child who refuses to obey its parent who tells him not to put his finger in the fire, and learns the hard way, so too will it be with the West’. Russia underwent the culture of death, but has come back to life; now the West is undergoing the culture of death and refusing life, refusing to learn from Russia’s experience.
Today, the USA and its vassal nations in NATO is ringing the Christian Empire with ships, planes, tanks, weapons, including nuclear weapons of mass destruction, troops and military exercises only a few hundred metres from Russian borders. Russia is protecting itself as the last bulwark of Christ and mounting defensive military exercises in return. Icons of the Mother of God are weeping in the Crimea as the Kiev puppet regime tries to starve the free Crimean population into surrendering to its tyranny. However, the flag of the double-headed eagle is flying over the Eastern Ukraine, liberated by its population who have risen against the oppressors. Today, Western-created, sponsored and financed terrorists in Syria have to face Russian arms. The West presents Russia as its enemy. This is hypocrisy. The West has only one enemy: itself.
However, I have still not directly answered the question as to why the BBC journalists are wrong to call President Putin ‘the Leader of the Free World’. They are wrong because he only represents the constant truths of Russian Foreign Policy, Eternal Russia, the Eternal Christian Empire. The reader of any survey of the foreign policy of Tsar Nicholas II (1) will know that what is now being done in today’s Russia is merely continuity with the past. 1917 merely put off the inevitable, the worldwide spread of Christian values by the Christian Empire which the Russian Federation is now becoming once more. True, the Christian Empire was interrupted by the Soviet period, especially under Leninism and Trotskyism and especially until 1941. Then the West, this time in its Nazi Barbarossa format, though much inspired by the Kaiser’s Prussian format, once more invaded Russia, thus ironically ensuring not the destruction of Russia, but its inevitable revival.
In 1917 the anti-Christian West did not stop but only delayed the development of the Christian Empire. The more sensitive, politically free and spiritually awakened in the rest of the Orthodox world, in the Local Churches of Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria, of Serbia, Georgia, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and on Mt Athos and elsewhere, have also known it for a very long time. In the monasteries and parishes of the Church Outside Russia, renewed in recent years both by a new emigration from the Russian Lands and by Western people who have seen through the lies and joined the Russian Church, we too have known it for a very long time also. We who in the Russian emigration, scattered across the face of the world, prayed and waited for decades for this moment of revival, rejoice. The historic injustice of 1917 and its Western-orchestrated coup d’etat is slowly being righted – even within our lifetimes.
Who is the Leader of the Free World? Who supported the Boers and the Tibetans, the Thais and the Ethiopians, the Mongols and the Moroccans, the Christians of Syria and Palestine? Who would have had peace in the Jerusalem instead of riots of Zionists and Muslims on the Temple Mount? Who was welcomed as the ‘White Tsar’ by Muslims and Buddhists alike? ‘While he was alive, millions of Arabs lived in peace and security. When the news reached the Middle Esat that they had killed the Tsar in Syria, the Lebanon and Palestine, mass suicides began. Arabs even then considered that with the death of Tsar Nicholas human history was at an end and that life on earth had lost all meaning’. (2). Who is the Leader of the Free World who speaks before over 100 world leaders at the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations through his representative Vladimir Putin? It is the peace-loving Tsar Nicholas II, who founded the predecessor of the UN in the Hague in the century before last. Of the martyred Tsar Nicholas II, we, like V.V. Putin, are merely servants and it is he who speaks at the UN through our voices.
1. For example:
The Reign of Tsar Nicholas II, by S. S. Oldenburg, several editions. (In English: The Last Tsar: Nicholas II, his reign and his Russia, S. S. Oldenburg, translated by Leonid I. Mihalap and Patrick J. Rollins)
The Last Grand Duchess: Her Imperial Highness Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna, by Ian Vorres, 1964. (Translated into Russian in 1996)
The Foreign Policy of Tsar Nicholas II by P. V. Multatuli, Moscow 2012 (in Russian)
2. Vernye (The Faithful, on those who did not Betray the Imperial Martyrs), by O. V. Chernova, Moscow, 2010, p. 30 (in Russian)
God is not in Might, but in Right.
St Alexander of the Neva
I have been told that, ‘I tell it as it is’. Perhaps as a result, I have been asked to write of the contemporary situation of English Orthodoxy, with particular emphasis on the tragic legacy of the late Metr Antony (Bloom) and the resulting Sourozh schism. This I will do, as I knew the Metropolitan well, some forty years ago between 1974 and 1982, and in January 1981 he tonsured me reader. I also think it is worthwhile because the past and present situation in England reflects much that is true in the broader European picture. However, I still do this reluctantly as I dislike talking about the sad past and would much prefer to talk about the future. On the other hand, how can we have a vision of the future, if we do not first understand the past and the present?
True, I have few good memories of the past. However, apart from hundreds of young parishioners, of whose children I baptize up to fifty a year, I have six adult children as well as grandchildren and it is for their future, not for my past, that I live. This is why I think we should put the situation of English Orthodoxy into the general situation of all us Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. In so doing I also wish to avoid the common English (and not so English) disease of parochialism and insularity. The past is a dead country, all we can and must do is pray with compassion for those weak human beings like us who took part in it. One day we shall all stand side by side at the Dread Judgement. Let us look to the future, where all is possible. However, before we can do this I must do my duty and start at the beginning.
Part One: The Past and Present: English Orthodoxy
Today, around two thousand English Orthodox (the numbers of Scottish, Irish and Welsh Orthodox are even tinier – there being only a few dozen of each at most) and some seventy English clergy are divided among three main jurisdictions or dioceses. The other four jurisdictions present in England, as elsewhere, the Romanian, Serbian and tiny Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox jurisdictions, are almost wholly mononational and have hardly any English members. The three jurisdictions or dioceses with English members are: the Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Constantinople (two groups) and the Russian Orthodox Church (two groups).
1. The Patriarchate of Antioch
Some twenty years ago about 300 dissatisfied Anglicans were received with their own agenda into this Patriarchate. They had previously been turned away by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and by the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, which were both bound by their ecumenical ties with Canterbury. As Antioch had hardly existed in England until then, basically a new jurisdiction and so a further division were born. All the priests except for one now in this group were once Anglican priests, ordained as Orthodox priests with little training. One now suspended man was ordained within three days of being received.
Given this history, today the group seems to form a rather isolated ex-Anglican club, holding less attraction to the vast majority of English people. Indeed, some in the group seem to reject Non-Anglicans, one parish even banning the use of any language except English, and some call this group ‘Anglioch’. These ex-Anglican parishes appear to have little to do with Arab Orthodox and seem to avoid concelebrating with other jurisdictions, though they dress as Russian clergy. One person, perhaps unfairly, put it to me that: ‘Anti-Russian and Anti-Greek = Anti-och’.
Such a view represents only the negative half of the reality. On a positive side, this group is very dynamic, some parishes have their own properties and there are some younger clergy, over fifteen altogether now. Its larger parishes attract mainly Eastern Europeans, who are deprived of services in their own languages, or of once lapsed Greeks. Some of these people know their Faith and are able to educate the Antiochian clergy. The recent appointment for them, 20 years late, of an Antiochian bishop, who may get a visa to come to England this November, could at last mean the introduction of liturgical discipline and an entry into the mainstream of the Church from the margins. This should include teaching clergy how to serve, teaching people how to sing (at present Anglicanized ‘Russian-style’ singing is used), as well as stopping intercommunion, ‘charismatic’ and other alien practices, such as the commemoration of the Armenians and Ethiopians as Orthodox, using girl acolytes or making communion compulsory for all, as does happen in some parishes.
Antiochian services I have attended resemble a mixture of Anglicanism and a very confused knowledge of the Orthodox typicon with invented services, a kind of ‘make it up as you go’ approach. This style has discredited the Antiochian group. In conclusion, the Antiochians have zeal, which is admirable, but not knowledge, which is not admirable. The question is if they want the knowledge and have the humility to accept the discipline and traditions of the Orthodox Church and an Orthodox bishop, instead of imposing Anglican agendas on the faithful. Retired Anglican priests whose hobby is the ‘Eastern rite’ are one thing, the Orthodox Church is another.
2. The Patriarchate of Constantinople
a. The Archdiocese of Thyateira
This is a large and mostly Greek Cypriot Diocese, whose ruling hierarch must have either a Greek or Cypriot or Turkish passport. However, as the Greek Cypriots mainly moved to England from Commonwealth Cyprus between 1945 and 1975, they are now dying out. Nationalism is rife and English enquirers into Orthodoxy (as well as Romanians and others) are typically turned away from parishes and told to go and join the Anglican Church because they ‘are not Greeks’. The loss of young Cypriots is such that no fewer than six ethnic Cypriots are priests in the Anglican Diocese of London. At least there they can understand the services.
The hellenization of the few Anglicans who have been received and ordained is obligatory. Ultra-Greek names like Kallistos, Meliton, Aristobulos, Athanasios, Eleutherios, Dionysios, Christodoulos, Pankratios, Ephraim, Panteleimon, Palamas, Kosmas etc are placed on ex-Anglican vicars with perfectly good Orthodox names and they are ordained as cheap (unpaid) Greek Orthodox clergy. One of them is so hellenized that he even changed his surname to a Greek name. The best-known example of this group is the former Oxford academic, Timothy (Metr Kallistos) Ware, who lives very much as a retired parish priest and has never been a diocesan bishop, but rather a ‘conference bishop’. These hellenized ex-Anglicans use Russian-style singing in their services, probably because of the difficulty of using foreign-sounding Greek chant in any language other than Greek.
b. The Deanery of the Exarchate
As elsewhere in the world, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has for political reasons also taken into its jurisdiction dissidents such as Ukrainian nationalists and the Paris Exarchate. The latter group has again been present in England since 2006, refounded by 300 mainly ex-Anglican ‘Bloomites’, including over ten clergy. In other words, these were dissidents from the Sourozh Diocese of the then Moscow Patriarchate (MP), previously run by Metr Antony Bloom (see below, Paragraph 3b). After the death in 2004 of Metr Antony, their leader and protector, these did not want to adhere to the discipline and traditions of the real Russian Orthodox Church, which were then being reintroduced into their Diocese. Thus, they left for the Paris Exarchate, at first under the controversial Bishop Basil (Osborne), then after his defrocking becoming a small Deanery.
Here, under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, they would be allowed to do anything they wanted, including keeping the personal practices of Metr Antony (Bloom), without interference from either Constantinople or Thyateira or Paris, as one of their clergy proudly told me. For example, they could have communion without confession, give intercommunion (as their Amphipolis website used to proclaim, though now they tell me that intercommunion is limited to Monophysites), use the new calendar, celebrate the Proskomidia in the middle of the Church, wear Greek vestments (strange when you claim to be of the Russian Tradition) or shout out names during the service in Anglican ‘charismatic’ style, or make communion compulsory for all.
This group is very small, with several communities of ten or fewer people. Where it is bigger, it is because of the presence of Eastern Europeans, for example Church-deprived Romanians, who have no loyalty to or knowledge of Bloomite ideology. The Deanery has virtually no property of its own and although it has in recent years ordained several retired Anglican clergy virtually without any training, it seems to be dying out. The average age of its clergy is about 70 and many of the original laypeople are of the same generation.
It seems difficult to understand, if they wish to survive at all, why they do not simply join the ex-Anglican Antiochian group or at least join the ex-Anglicans in the mainstream Thyateira Diocese. Some have suggested that their isolation is to do with their ferocious Russophobia, which Antioch does not share. Indeed, some of their statements about other Christians makes it difficult to believe that they are Christians. Interestingly, their cause was backed to the hilt at the time by the Establishment Times and the MI5-fed Daily Telegraph. Others have suggested that there is a class reason, that it is because the Exarchate is largely composed of upper-class Anglicans, whereas the other ex-Anglicans are middle-class. Some call this group, like the Antiochian group, ‘Anglicans with icons’ or ‘Anglodox’, rather than Orthodox.
3. The Russian Church
a. The ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland
Having established the first ROCOR parish in England in 1919, ROCOR established a diocese in England in 1929 under Bishop Nicholas (Karpov), who uniquely was not given a fictitious title like ‘of Thyateira’ or ‘of Sourozh’, as given to other dioceses, but the real title ‘of London’. It was also the first Orthodox diocese to have any monastic life in England and the first diocese to use English, from the 1930s on. The diocese expanded after 1945 with a wave of new immigrants. However, after the departure of Archbishop John (Maksimovich) (now St John of Shanghai) in 1962, the diocese fell into nationalistic and sectarian currents and for a time became isolated.
From the 1970s on, a small group of unintegrated Anglo-Catholic converts began to impose old calendarism, imported from the USA under the influence of Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) in New York. Their views were marked by anti-Anglicanism rather than Orthodoxy, a negativity that came from spiritual pride. Given the failure of nationalistic Russians to pass on the Faith to their children and grandchildren and these sectarian trends, once far larger than the new Diocese of Sourozh, in the 70s and 80s the ROCOR Diocese began to die out. In the late 1970s and 1980s, in quick succession it lost its last two elderly and ill bishops, its London priest and its London church building. English people were turned away from the Russian parishes or were deterred by the sectarian old calendarism trying to take over diocesan life. It seemed as though the ROCOR Diocese would disappear altogether.
This period must be understood in the context of the then general internal battle in ROCOR between New York and Jordanville, that is, between the political, nationalist and sectarian wing of ROCOR and the spiritual wing, which saw in St John of Shanghai its figurehead. (Sadly, it is also true that when St John was in England, he was never frequented by personalities such as Metr Antony (Bloom) or Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), by both of whom he was at best ignored). In his later life in San Francisco, St John was much persecuted by this political wing of ROCOR because he was a missionary to Non-Russians, because he prayed for the captive Patriarchs of Moscow and because, like the mainstream in ROCOR, he knew that Church unity would come as soon as the Church inside Russia was free from atheist tyranny. This was denied by the political sectarians, who from the 1970s began to assert in justification for their sectarianism that the MP was ‘without grace’ and that somehow ROCOR was the last True Church on earth!
As the elderly Russians died out in the ROCOR British Diocese, in the 1990s it was providentially renewed by new arrivals from Russia, who found the same underlying ethos in it as in the MP inside Russia (unlike in the Sourozh Diocese, which, ironically, was officially part of the MP!). These new arrivals paid for the building of the small, Russian-style ROCOR Cathedral in London. As unity between ROCOR, under the ever-memorable Metr Laurus, and the MP, under the former émigré Patriarch Alexis II, approached in 2007, the long predicted schism occurred. Some forty mainly Anglo-Catholic converts and a few very right-wing individuals of Russian extraction (including even pro-Nazis) lapsed from ROCOR. This mirrored exactly the Sourozh schism (see Paragraph 3b below).
This was a spiritual tragedy for them but the relief felt by the faithful was palpable – the abscess which had been growing since the infiltration of sectarianism from the USA in the 1970s had at last burst. Peripheral and other problems also solved themselves as a few other individuals left and by 2009 all the extremes had fallen away, normal Church life could continue from a now healthy centre and the Church was ready to grow again. ROCOR was able to return to its destiny and pioneering historic path of being the integrated and bilingual Russian Orthodox Diocese, faithful to the Tradition, culturally at ease in the British Isles, and without fear of interference from outside forces. Having been through its adolescent growing pains, the ROCOR Diocese had overcome the crisis and become much stronger and adult.
What is the situation today? Today most members of ROCOR are people who have settled in England (and also in Wales and Ireland) from the ex-Soviet Union. In other words, the flock is virtually identical to the flock of the new Sourozh Diocese (see Paragraph 3b below). However, eight of the clergy are English, though there is also a Romanian deacon and two excellent Russian clergy from the ex-Soviet Union. In 2006 the future Archbishop Elisei of Sourozh was actually nominated to the Patriarchate in Moscow (then faced with the Sourozh schism) by the ROCOR ruling bishop, Archbishop Mark of Berlin.
Although most members of ROCOR come from the ex-Soviet Union, unlike Sourozh, the ROCOR Diocese has a long history, with memories going back before the Second World War and the Revolution to the time of the Tsar, a long and deep pastoral experience, including the use of English, its own church buildings and therefore a voice independent of heterodox organizations. In other words, ROCOR could certainly never be accused of being dependent on one personality or being ‘Soviet’, as the Sourozh Diocese sometimes is, and it is much better established than that Diocese. However, the weakness of the ROCOR Diocese is definitely its shortage of priests, especially in Wales and Ireland, and its lack of a resident ruling bishop. The main issue now is further growth.
b. The Diocese of Sourozh – the former Moscow Patriarchate (MP)
Several hundred English Orthodox find themselves in the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, which used to be known as the MP. Some go back to the time when that Diocese was ruled by Metr Antony (Bloom) (+ 2004), others have come more recently. I have been asked to set down a record of Metr Antony’s tragic legacy. This will be long, as it is complex.
When the small Paris Exarchate parish in London returned to the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) jurisdiction after the Second World War (following its leader in Paris, Metr Eulogius), Fr Antony (Bloom), a beardless hieromonk without theological education, was sent by Moscow from Paris to look after the group in question. The vast majority of Russian emigres in England, whether arrivals after 1917 or after 1945, would have nothing to do with the Moscow Patriarchate or the modernist-looking Fr Antony, and continued to belong to the far larger parishes of the Diocese of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).
Therefore, virtually without a flock, the very talented Fr Antony learned English and began to do missionary work among Anglicans, attracting several hundred into the former Anglican church he used in London. Over the years, their numbers swelled, perhaps to over 2,000, and he was able to form a tiny diocese which was given the title of Sourozh. This looked good in theory; the reality was quite different. The Sourozh Diocese was a paper diocese, an empire of the imagination. There were three reasons for this.
Firstly, Metr Antony, as he had become by the early 60s, anxious to create a diocese, would take people without preparation, that is, without relieving them of their Anglican baggage and so spiritual impurity first. As they had little idea of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, most of them lapsed very quickly, often within a few weeks or months. As an example of this, I will relate what five years ago one of the new Russian subdeacons from the Sourozh Cathedral in London told me about a weekend visit of the new ruling hierarch, Archbishop Elisei of Sourozh, to a provincial community.
When Archbishop Elisei got up on the Sunday morning, the priest’s wife asked him whether he would like bacon and eggs for breakfast. Now that is a normal question in the Church of England (or even in parts of the Catholic Church today), where communion, if it is given at all, is simply a memorial of bread and wine and there is no fasting before it. For an Orthodox of course it is shocking that an Orthodox priest would have bacon and eggs before the Liturgy and communion. In fact, I was shocked by the subdeacon and said: ‘You mean to say that you did not know that that was how the whole Sourozh Diocese was run for decades?’ I was amazed by his naivety and told him: ‘Now you understand why serious Orthodox joined ROCOR’.
In 1976, falling foul of the Soviet government’s anti-Solzhenitsyn line (which it also forced onto the MP) and looking for political freedom from Soviet political pressure (especially distasteful to the upper-class Establishment Anglicans in his London Cathedral), Metr Antony asked to join ROCOR. As a result of his unOrthodox attitudes, illustrated above, he was refused. ROCOR did not want a bishop with unOrthodox practices; if ROCOR had accepted him, it would all have resulted in scandals.
Secondly, Metr Antony never reached out to the mass of English people, to whom he remained completely unknown despite his TV appearances (at a time when only the wealthier half of society had TV) and radio interviews. He concentrated on the upper class, especially wealthy academics, artists, novelists, musicians and poets, many of whom lived around his former Anglican Cathedral in the richest part of London. Metr Antony seemed to have little time for ordinary English people, if ever he knew we existed.
He was also notorious for never visiting his parishes and flock. Most of these had never seen him there and had no idea what an episcopal visit or service was. (Metr Antony usually served as a priest, refusing to celebrate episcopal services, if he knew how to do them). He was not a liturgist and did not teach anyone how to celebrate the services. His was a religion of the elite and it was often difficult to know exactly what he said – it all seemed to be the French philosophical style and not substance. In the 1970s and early 1980s, as I know only too well from personal experience, he had no time at all for the veneration of local saints, though he was later forced to change this attitude. And he also had no space in his Cathedral for icons of the New Martyrs, even after their later canonization in Moscow in 2000.
We should not forget that Metr Antony was himself from the Russian upper class and, partly as a result, his convert group seemed to be an upper-class Anglican club or clique. Conversations that I heard at his Cathedral revolved around villas in Tuscany and on Patmos which belonged to these people: hardly typical English people, who felt excluded by such snobbery. All this was combined with Metr Antony’s marked emotionalism, his strong psychic abilities and affectations, which lacked the sobriety of the Orthodox Tradition. Some middle-aged women fell in love with him and, with his good looks and exotic and exaggerated Russian-Parisian accent, by the 1970s his nicknames included ‘the guru’ and ‘the romantic bishop’. I remember one such tragic case very clearly. For us who came from solid and pragmatic English backgrounds, this was all nonsense. We would see through this act from miles away.
This brings us to the problem of Metr Antony’s personality cult. As we have said, he was an immensely talented man with a very strong personality. Indeed, his father, Boris Bloom (buried in Meudon outside Paris), a Tsarist diplomat who was well-known in Paris, had delved into the occult and taught his son how to hypnotize. I knew two women whom Metr Antony tried to hypnotize in the 1970s. For what reason I do not know. In such a Diocese there could be room for only one personality. This is why in 1965 an equally unusual Parisian personality, the former Hindu, Art Nouveau painter, personalist philosopher and one-time monk of Mt Athos, where he had met a saint, Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), left the Diocese of Sourozh. With his three monks. he switched back to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the new calendar and introduced some very unusual and indeed unique practices. The fact that Metr Antony was notoriously anti-monastic did not help.
The cult of Metr Antony was also why his ordinations were generally controversial, often being those of men who for canonical reasons would never have been ordained by another bishop. This created a dependency of such clergy on Metr Antony, a misplaced sense of gratitude and idolization among weak personalities. This was also why Metr Antony strongly discouraged English people from visiting other parishes and travelling to Orthodox countries, especially Russia and Mt Athos; he did not want them to be exposed to the broader reality, which would raise awkward questions about his peculiar style and values.
Here I do not wish to go into the painful details and I would rather quote the Establishment figure of Metr Kallistos (Ware), who is now in his eighties. Known as ‘o anglikanos’ (the Anglican) by certain of his Greek brother bishops, Metr Kallistos is known for his caution in speaking. Although he has very curious and Phanariot views of the Diaspora, he is well-known for this Anglican-style diplomacy. In an interview with the liberal ‘Pravmir’ site, he has expressed the situation around Metr Antony as mildly as is possible:
‘Now the main criticism that I would make of Bishop (sic) Antony is that he would allow people to become colossally dependent upon him. They would idolize him. Perhaps that was not entirely his fault that they came to feel such ardent devotion towards him. But I felt there was something unhealthy here. It was too personal in the wrong sense, that they saw him almost as a god on earth. And he would allow people, particularly women, to become very closely dependent upon him. And then he would suddenly abandon them. I don’t think I am indulging here in malicious gossip, but I know a number of cases where he had spent a lot of time with people, particular people, and then suddenly he would cut off, not see them any more, not respond to their letters or telephone calls. Now I don’t know why he allowed such a close relationship to be built up and then abandoned them. But if I was to criticize his work, I would think there was the weakest point’.
In other words, it could be said that Metr Antony was the London equivalent of Bishop Jean (Evgraf) (Kovalevsky) in Paris, a bishop who set up a kind of fringe diocese on the edge of the Church and which also collapsed after his death. (However, many clergy and laity also left the Sourozh Diocese during Metr Antony’s lifetime, having seen through it). True, Bishop Jean attracted guenonists, occultists, freemasons and other marginals, ordaining them within days, whereas Metr Antony attracted those who fell in love with his personality and pseudo-mysticism. Sadly, Metr Antony’s existentialist personalism (mid-twentieth century French intellectual philosophy rather than the Church Fathers, whom Metr Antony hardly ever mentioned) had led to the construction of a mini-diocese ‘centred on his personality and not on the Church’. These are the exact words used to me by the present ruling bishop of Sourozh, Archbishop Elisei, soon after his appointment in 2006.
Now anything built on a personality, even more on a dead personality, is extremely fragile. People who idolize a personality are unable to pass on anything to their children, who cannot get to know the personality because he is dead, and so the members simply get old and die out, becoming historical sidelines, alienated from the mainstream. A diocese centred on a personality is a paper diocese. Thus, Sourozh still has hardly any Church property because everyone, as I was told in 1981, was expected to go to London and worship at the feet of the personality. So, nothing got built up. Tragically, the Sourozh Diocese still only has a fairly small Cathedral in west London (far too small for the flock) and four chapels in Oxford, Nottingham, Manchester and London, which can only contain a few dozen Orthodox. For the rest, the Sourozh Diocese is still dependent on borrowing mainly Anglican churches which it can occasionally use, often only once a month on a Saturday.
On top of this it suffers from a chronic shortage of priests with training. The average age is about 63. The disastrous personality cult in other words completely failed to set up the infrastructure necessary for a real diocese, however small. Everything had to be centred around the Cathedral in London because that is where ‘the personality’ was. This is the tragic legacy of Metr Antony, an utter lack of vision because there was no Tradition, only a personality. It contrasts very sadly with the radiant legacy of a saint in another island archipelago on the other side of Eurasia, St Nicholas of Japan, who built on the Tradition.
In 1982, a senior priest, the American Fr (later as Metr Antony’s successor, Bishop) Basil Osborne told me that ‘as soon as Metr Antony is dead, we’ll go to the Greeks’. This statement as well as the personality cult and renovationist practices (no confession before communion – as in Anglicanism – , the introduction of the new calendar, no Third and Sixth Hours before the Liturgy, no attempt to ask women to dress as Russian Orthodox etc.), caused us to leave the Diocese of Sourozh for good. I had wanted to be part of the Russian Orthodox Church, not of an émigré cocktail of modernist practices and fantasies, which had nothing to do with the Russian Orthodox Tradition. In such a way the Sourozh Diocese chased away those who were the most devoted to the Russian Orthodox Church. People were ready to die for the Church, for ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church’, but in Sourozh the seed of the faithful was rejected – and so the Church did not grow. This was no way to treat the faithful.
In response to my view that the Church was failing to preach the Gospel to ordinary English people and was not providing food for the soul, but only intellectual philosophy, Fr Basil also told me that ‘there is no such thing as ordinary people’. Clearly, this said a great deal about him who became Metr Antony’s successor. Living in the ivory towers of Oxford, Fr Basil simply had no contact with the vast masses of English people. Later, an aristocratic priest-colleague of his, also ordained by Metr Antony, told me exactly the same thing. In 2005 it was Bishop Basil who provocatively invited the notorious neo-renovationist, Fr George Kochetkov, once suspended by Patriarch Alexis II, to come from Moscow and become the main priest at the London Sourozh Cathedral. This makes clear that the Sourozh schism was indeed a renovationist schism and it is indeed renovationists who revere Metr Antony’s memory.
Apart from his English convert adepts, it is true that Metr Antony was also idolized by some naïve Soviet convert dissidents, mainly of Jewish origin. These ‘intelligenty’ of the third wave started to arrive in London in the 1970s and fell in love with Metr Antony. I remember one of them telling me how he had first seen the Metropolitan cleaning the Cathedral floor, dressed in a simple undercassock. The dissident at once took him for a saint! I told him that all bishops and priests in the Diaspora lived like this and that if that was a criterion of sainthood, then we were all saints. Conditioned by Soviet practices of distant and unknown bishops sweeping past the people in big black cars under KGB surveillance, he could not make the cultural jump to Diaspora reality. Culture shock totally distorted his judgement.
From the 1990s, in the last years of Metr Antony’s life, as immigrants flooded in from the ex-Soviet Union, a virtual civil war began in his London Cathedral. The immigrants expected Russian Orthodoxy, not some pseudo-mystical convert personality cult. Apart from the small ROCOR Cathedral, there was no other church they could go to in London. Inevitably, only two years after Metr Antony’s death, with the young Bishop Hilarion expelled, the Sourozh Diocese collapsed. The bubble had finally burst. Metr Antony’s divisiveness and pastoral failure had led in turn to the divisiveness and pastoral failure of his pupil, Bishop Basil (Osborne).
Just as the Paris Exarchate’s modernist experiment failed (and Metr Antony was 100% Parisian), Metr Antony’s experiment failed because he had tried to build a Diocese on the divisive sand of a personality cult instead of on the collective rock of Russian Orthodox Tradition. This all came as no surprise to us who had known how it would all end since 1982 and had been pleading with the Moscow Patriarchate since 2000 to do something about the catastrophic pastoral situation in London. Nevertheless, we can at least learn from such failures.
Part Two: The Future: European Orthodoxy
I have done my duty in answering questions about the past and present situation of English Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy in England. I hope that this will help us to avoid repeating the errors and extremes of the past and will also help us to pray for those involved, whether living or departed. That is our duty, for we are no better than they. I would now like to speak of something much more positive, much closer to my heart, the future.
1. The European Dimension of the Orthodox Church
In this context of the future people ask me about the possibility of there one day being a ‘British’ Orthodox Church. Since the 1990s I have written about such a possibility – and always negatively, even though I have since 1975 championed the use of local languages in services, whether English or French, and at great personal cost from hostile clergy. Why, this refusal of even the concept of a ‘British Orthodox Church’?
Firstly, it is because there is no such thing as ‘British’. Just as we do not talk about a ‘Soviet’ Orthodox Church, so we do not talk about a ‘British’ Orthodox Church. The word ‘British’ has only been used on three occasions in history and always by foreign invaders. Once by the Romans, then by the Normans and lastly by the Hanoverians and their Germanic followers among the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Victorians and those nostalgic for their imperialism like Thatcher, Blair and Cameron. In other words, ‘British’ is a word for an artificial, colonial conglomerate of countries and as such is used by London imperialists; the Irish rightly long ago rejected it as a dirty word and the Scots are now in open revolt against it. Personally, like everyone I grew up with in the English countryside, I have never recognized myself as ‘British’, but as English, and I hope that the Irish, Scots, Welsh and we English will soon gain complete freedom from the ‘British’ and their tyrannical and foreign Establishment, to which the alien ‘British’ alone belong.
Secondly, all European countries, including Britain, are in any case far too small to have their own Local Orthodox Churches and, thirdly, Europe has anyway suffered quite enough from nationalism. We do not want any more insularity and nationalism in the Church – there is enough of that in the Balkans. What we need today is vision. Now, in this context, nearly thirty years ago, in 1986, I wrote a paper at the request of Archbishop George (Wagner) of the Rue Daru Paris Jurisdiction (Patriarchate of Constantinople) entitled, ‘Une Eglise Orthodoxe pour l’Europe: Vision ou Reve’ (‘An Orthodox Church for Europe: Vision or Dream’). As he was German, I thought he might be interested, especially as I had envisioned the Rue Daru jurisdiction as the possible kernel of such a future Local Church – in 2004 Patriarch Alexis II was to make the same mistake. I later found the paper thrown away into his kitchen wastepaper bin. Such were those visionless days – and he was by far from being the only bishop who had no vision for an Orthodox Europe.
Since that time it is true that we have seen the development of the pompously-named ‘Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies’ (= bishops’ meetings) in Western Europe. This is the imperialistic concept of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, rather naively promoted by Metr Kallistos (Ware) and Metr Athenagoras (Peckstadt) in Belgium. Of course, it is good that now the Orthodox bishops of any territory actually meet each other and know what each other looks like, but we all know that these meetings are going nowhere; they are often talking shops which occasionally meet, but at which no decisions of any consequence are ever taken. They just give a superficial prestige to Constantinople.
What I am saying from both the above examples is that we can expect nothing for the future of Orthodoxy in Western Europe from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has never freely given any Church autocephaly and has continually tried to take back autocephaly even when political circumstances forced it to grant it – as in the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia etc. In this way Constantinople, fallen since 1453, politically captive since 1948, and through Greek nationalism totally failing to recognize that Church leadership long ago passed to the Russian Church, today resembles the other Balkan Churches. None of them has the vision, is big enough, is missionary-minded enough or is unphyletist and mutinational enough to set up the Pan-European Metropolitan structure necessary for the foundation of any future Orthodox Church in Europe.
2. The Duty of Care of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe
This leaves the Russian Orthodox Church, fifty times larger than the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as the only Local Orthodox Church which can do anything for European Orthodoxy. After all, of all the Local Churches only the Russian Orthodox Church is large and supra-national. Its name in Russian is ‘Russkaya’, meaning ‘of Rus’, not ‘Rossiyskaya’, meaning ‘of the Russian Federation’. In other words, it alone is multinational – like its Patriarch, the Russian Orthodox Church is the Church of All Rus and this means not just Russia, the Orthodox Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Carpatho-Russia, but any part of the world where Russian Orthodox faithful live. It alone has kept the old multinational Orthodox ideal of ‘romaiosini’, of the unity in diversity of the Christian Empire. Indeed, in 2004 Patriarch Alexis II at last spoke precisely of the need to establish a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe. However, in 2004 the proposition of Patriarch Alexis II could only be theoretical. Only since 2007 has the Russian Orthodox Church even been in a theoretical position to establish such a Metropolia. Why?
a. Russian Orthodox Church Unity
In May 2007, the MP and ROCOR signed the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow. With this one act, the division that began after the Russian Revolution between the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Church Inside Russia (then called the MP) and was forced onto the Church by atheist persecution inside the Soviet Union ceased. According to the 2007 agreement, ROCOR was gradually to give up its few small temporary communities on the territory of the ex-Soviet Union (the canonical territory of the Church Inside Russia) and in return, in time, the Church Inside Russia would, as is only logical, cede its relatively few but sometimes large communities outside Russia to ROCOR.
The first part of this agreement took place fairly swiftly, but the second part of the agreement, for perfectly good pastoral reasons, can only be implemented with time. This situation concerns above all the shared territories of Western Europe and Latin America, since the vast majority of Russian Orthodox parishes in its other territories in Oceania and North America are in any case under ROCOR. Thus, for the moment, we still have the absurd situation of two Russian Orthodox bishops of Berlin, Archbishop Theophan and Archbishop Mark. However, all agree that this will not last.
In effect, both the old MP and the old ROCOR ceased to exist on that day in May 2007. What came into being was a reunited and worldwide Russian Orthodox Church, three-quarters of the whole Orthodox Church, with the same Faith and under the same Patriarch, politically free but administratively in two parts, inside Russia and outside Russia, so that both parts are Patriarchal, but one is based in Moscow and the other, much smaller, is based in New York. The unique canonical territory of the Church inside Russia covers all the countries of the former Soviet Union (except Georgia) and countries where all the missions were founded by it, officially only China and Japan, but in reality also Thailand, Iran, Cuba and North Korea.
The territories of the Church Outside Russia, and these are territories mainly shared with other Orthodox, include Western Europe, North America, Latin America and Oceania (including Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia). Thus the new ROCOR has the potential to become again (as it was in the beginning) a multi-Metropolia Church, with four Metropolias, one in Western Europe, one in North America, one in Latin America and one in Oceania. Perhaps one day it could also include Alaska as a fifth Metropolia, but only if that territory returns to the Russian Orthodox Church from its present American administration.
b. The Territory of Europe to be United in a Metropolia
Europe, that is Western Europe, is a cultural ensemble, because it is all basically ex-Orthodox (1,000 years ago) and now, as it has largely lapsed into its Gadarene secularism, ex-Catholic (historically ex-Protestant also means ex-Catholic). I am speaking of the following 25 countries: Iceland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark (with the Faeroes), Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Spain (and the part of Spain called Gibraltar), Andorra, Italy, San Marino and Malta. I exclude from this definition of Western Europe Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, as they already have their own Local Churches and canonical territory. Similarly, I also exclude Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, since, like Montenegro and Macedonia, they are part of the canonical territory of the Serbian Church. As for Albania, like Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, it already has its own Local Church.
It is true that Finland, which is in this list of 25 countries, has over 20 parishes and other communities that at present belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and celebrate Easter on the Catholic calendar (similar to a non-canonical group in Estonia). However, Russian Orthodox do not frequent such churches, whose Faith has been called ‘Lutheranism with icons’. They prefer to attend the quite separate and canonical Russian Orthodox churches in Finland, which are growing. Also there are those who consider that Hungary, also in the list of 25 countries, should have its own Local Church, like the Poles and the Czechs and Slovaks. However, we live in the world as it is now, not as it may be one day. For the moment, therefore, Hungary must be included in the territory of a European Metropolia, as defined above.
3. A Future Metropolia
Now as regards a future European Metropolia under the Patriarchal Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), it is clear that this will be a real Metropolia with several hundred real parishes and real churches and, very importantly, real monasteries. This will not be like the Paris Exarchate or the old Sourozh Diocese, a paper empire, a series of modernistic, semo-Uniat communities often fewer than ten or twenty in number, celebrating in front rooms and garden sheds, or composed of clergy who were ordained with little training because no-one else would ordain them or even who use blackmail against their Archbishop in Paris: ‘If you do not allow me to do what I want, I will join the Greeks’. (Or the Romanians or someone else. Much more rarely, this blackmail may involve a threat of passage to ‘the Russians’. However, this threat is rarely used because those who today remain in the Exarchate generally believe in Russophobia – the ideology which justifies the continued existence of the Exarchate).
Where should the geographical centre of such a Metropolia be? Until recently I had always thought of it as Paris, the historical centre of the Russian emigration, where there is, in temporary premises, a Russian Orthodox seminary and where a Cathedral complex has long been planned. However, as a Metropolitan centre this choice is threatened by two things, the ecumenism and modernism apparently ingrained in the Paris air and the Russophobic policies of the present US-controlled French government. Today France is in a state of social chaos and disintegration. It may therefore be that we should think more radically. Indeed, two other possible centres for a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe exist: they are Berlin (there are large numbers of Russian Orthodox in Germany) and Rome (where there is the large Russian church of St Catherine’s and above all which is the historical centre of the Western Patriarchate. After all, the initials of the English words ‘Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe’ spell R.O.M.E.).
It now seems to me that there should initially be seven dioceses in such a Metropolia. These are: Germania (Germany, German-speaking Switzerland and the Netherlands, including Flemish-speaking Belgium); Gallia (France, French-speaking Belgium, French-speaking Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco); Iberia (Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and Andorra); the Isles (the British Isles and Ireland); Italia (Italy, San Marino, Italian-speaking Switzerland and Malta); Scandinavia (Iceland, the Faeroes, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland); Austria-Hungaria (Austria and Hungary). With time two or three bishops could be appointed to such large dioceses, under an archbishop. For example, Germania could have an archbishop in Berlin, a bishop for western Germany, a bishop for the Dutch-speaking areas and a fourth for Switzerland. Scandinavia could have an archbishop in Stockholm who would also look after Denmark, a bishop in Helsinki and another for Norway and Iceland. These are mere possible examples for two dioceses or future archdioceses. Who knows the future?
At present the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe is not organized as one and some members are elderly. ROCOR is concentrated in Western Germany and Switzerland, though with several parishes in France, Belgium, Denmark and England, but it has virtually no existence in Italy, Spain and Portugal or in the rest of Scandinavia, in which countries the Church Inside Russia has over 100 parishes. ROCOR has three bishops, the youngest of whom is aged about sixty. ROCOR certainly has experience, but it will need new bishops. Some of the dioceses in Europe, which are still for the moment dependent on the Church Inside Russia, will also need new bishops in the future. Episcopal candidates must speak languages apart from Russian, know the cultures and cultural references of the countries where they will live and have a dynamic and missionary view of their episcopate. In other words, they must realize that their task is not just to look after immigrants from the ex-Soviet Union. They must be able to communicate with the children and grandchildren of such immigrants, as well as with the descendants of the centennial emigration, now in its fifth generation, and the native people of European countries, both Orthodox and Non-Orthodox.
For example, we know of one episcopal appointee whose first act was to buy an expensive black car. On that day he lost the confidence of his diocese. He did not understand that being a Russian Orthodox bishop in Europe is not at all the same as being a Russian Orthodox bishop in the former Soviet Union. Secondly, any diocesan bishop must also be a uniter – in Europe we still have bad memories of the late Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) who was an ecumenist and intercommunionist (in Rome) and did not want to do missionary work among native Europeans. Such figures were ultimately partly responsible for the Sourozh schism and the lack of trust among European Orthodox in bishops who were visiting them from the Soviet Union. On the other hand, we have an excellent memory of Archbishop Basil (Krivoshein) who warned Metr Nikodim precisely against his political policies. Who then could be the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe? We believe that there is already at least one suitable candidate, at present an Archbishop.
It is now becoming urgent to establish such a Metropolitan structure. Millions of Orthodox have had to flee Orthodox Eastern Europe in the last 25 years for economic reasons. Since the fall of Communism, Eastern Europe has been seized by a wave of post-Communist corruption. Combined with the deindustrialization forced onto Eastern European countries when they joined the EU, millions of young people have been forced to leave their homes and families to take on mainly menial jobs in the building sites, factories and offices of Western Europe. There are now more Orthodox in Western Europe, the territory of the future Metropolia, than there are in the four ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, combined. How then can this Metropolia be organized?
Before such a Metropolia could come into existence, all kinds of groundwork have to be laid. First of all, who should be the patron saint of such a Metropolia? To our mind, there can only be one candidate, the only saint of the Russian Orthodox Church who in the twentieth century lived for well over a decade in Western Europe – St John of Shanghai. He is the only canonized member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe. He stands head and shoulders above all the personalities, intellectuals, artists, writers and philosophers of the emigration, for he was a saint and a universal saint at that. Strictly faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition, for which he was much despised by modernists, he was also open to the pastoral needs of local people, encouraged the veneration of the historical saints of Europe and was the inspiration for Fr Seraphim of Platina, for which he was much despised by nationalists. In my view, St John has no rivals. However, the appointment of such a patron saint must be made by the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe. We are not an anti-episcopal organization like the ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe’ in Paris, so we can only suggest to our bishops.
Secondly, we need a Metropolia website, run by people who have the skills and time to devote to this. Their skills must not only be technological but also linguistic. The website should, we believe, be in Russian, Romanian for our many Moldovan parishioners, English (as the international language) and, in the appropriate sections, in one of the other thirteen local languages of the Metropolia (German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Maltese and Icelandic). Perhaps, eventually, as pastoral need dictates, there could be pages in minority languages like Basque, Gaelic, Sorbian, Breton, Welsh etc. Who are the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe? Such a website could present them with their photos. How many Russian Orthodox priests are there in Europe today? 200? That is only our guess; we do not have the information. The website could provide it.
Such a website could provide a calendar including the local saints of Europe, for example, Clotilde, Alban, Agnes, Ursula, Eulalia, Senhorina, Leander, Columba, Blandine, Olaf, Maurice, Kevin, Willibrord, Anschar, Sigfrid, Audrey, Corbinian, Illtyd, Odile, Devota, Publius, Gertrude, little known outside their own countries and regions, whose prayers can bind us together. There is a practical and a mystical necessity to link ourselves to them for it is ultimately on their noble Orthodoxy that European culture was built. The fact that modern Europe in its ignoble rush for self-destruction has turned its back on them only means that we should venerate them all the more. The website could present such information along with parish profiles, the addresses and phone numbers of individual parishes, their websites, histories, pictures of their church buildings, their clergy and parishioners, details of languages used in services, timetables and other activities and publications. And all our vital monasteries must have their place there too. There should also be some kind of resource of services in the many languages of the Metropolia and a simple vocabulary in the sixteen languages. How do you say ‘Orthodox Church’ in Hungarian, ‘priest’ in Finnish, ‘confession’ in Maltese or ‘candle’ in Norwegian? The website could tell us. Again, all this can only be done with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe.
Thirdly, we need to hold a conference of Russian Orthodox clergy in Europe. We do not know each other. Initially, there could be a small conference with, say, two representatives from each country. One priest from Italy has already suggested the excellent idea of twinning parishes. Knowledge of one another could also be obtained from pilgrimages to local saints or relics or on the basis of visits to priests or laypeople who are already linked. Europe is rich in shrines, in Bari, in Rome, in Turin, in Milan, in Compostella, in Cologne, in Paris, in Lyons: Why not organize Europe-wide Russian Orthodox pilgrimages to such shrines? Alternatively, there could be pilgrimages to some of our wonderful churches in Europe, built under Tsar Nicholas II, in Wiesbaden, Geneva, Nice etc., or others built more recently in Brussels, Rome and Madrid. In such a way, by meeting, we can begin the most important task of praying for one another. Again, all this can only be done with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe.
Two years ago I was contacted by a Russian woman in a province of France. She was in tears, very upset. She had been to a so-called monastery of the Paris Exarchate, where she had been refused confession because ‘she had not murdered anyone’. This meant that she had also been deprived of communion. She had found me on the internet, not knowing any priest in France. She told me her story on the telephone, how she and her son had been abandoned by her French husband and how she desperately needed a priest to talk to. Now, such things are happening all over Europe. The duty of care of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe is to its faithful of all nationalities, to people like her. Let us begin by appointing a priest or priests whose duty it will be to look after the Russian Orthodox flock in any particular region of Europe. Since the above 25 European countries are divided into some eighty regions and there are a lot more than 80 Russian Orthodox priests in Europe, this can be done and the sort of incident that I have related above can be avoided. Everyone must have a priest to go to.
Some, reading the above, might ask about the role of Non-Orthodox in this. We believe in good-neighbourly relations with those who do not belong to the Orthodox Church. After a thousand years outside the Orthodox Church, many of them still believe in the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ. Some, especially Catholics, go further than this and believe in the Virgin Birth, the Mother of God, the saints and the sacraments. Some share our moral views on such issues as abortion and euthanasia. The fact that the faith they have inherited is deficient in the understanding of the Holy Spirit, and therefore lacks an authentic spiritual and ascetic life, only means that it is remarkable how close some of them are to us. We have no reason not to be on good terms with them. However, this does not mean that we do not freely practise our Faith without compromise. Most Europeans have in the last generation or so decided to be atheists or at least agnostics, Europe today is a mission territory open to all. Conversely, most in the Russian Lands have in the last generation or so chosen to be baptized Orthodox. We should respect each other’s differences. We may be Europeans, but we are also firmly Christian and follow the Russian Orthodox Church in full.
Some, reading the above, might ask about the role of other jurisdictions in the shared territory of Europe, such as Constantinople’s Greeks and its political dissidents. In our view, the establishment of a Russian Metropolia in no way means that they cannot continue just as now. They could even establish their own international structures if they wish. The difference will always be that the Russian Orthodox Metropolia will alone be Europe-wide and multinational, not mononational, and therefore with the potential of growing into a new Local Church, as Patriarch Alexis II hoped. In the long term, as we know from experience, the jurisdiction that will survive in Europe will be the spiritually serious one, not the ones that wave nationalistic or ideological flags and so automatically alienate others and lose the second and following generations, who find such nationalism and ideologism foreign and irrelevant. Just as the fringes attract the fringes, vagantes attract vagantes, sectarians attract sectarians, personality cults attract personality cultists, so serious jurisdictions will attract serious people.
In recent years I have visited Russian Orthodox in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Lands, Slovakia, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Finland, as well as receiving visits from Russian Orthodox from many of these countries and from Norway, Ireland, Spain and Italy. In all of them I have noticed the consistent ability of many Russian Orthodox to keep the best of Russian culture and to absorb the best of Western culture at the same time. This is because of our ability to see and live European life and culture through the correcting prism and filter of Orthodox Christianity. It is the pastoral duty of the Russian Orthodox Church to its own flock and to all European Orthodox to live like this, keeping faith and yet being European, not repeating the errors of either sectarian nationalists or of the equally sectarian modernists of the Paris Jurisdiction and the old Sourozh Diocese.
We European Orthodox have four layers of identity: local, national and continental (= cultural) and spiritual. In my own case, this means the East of England, England, Europe and Russian Orthodoxy (= Rus). All of these layers of identity can be combined by saying that I belong to the East of England Rus (Vostochnoangliyskaya Rus’), to the Russian Orthodox world that is planted in the East of England. Others can say the same thing, that in Sweden they belong to Scanian Rus, in Spain to Catalan Rus or Galician Rus, in Italy to Sub-alpine Rus or Sardinian Rus, in the Netherlands to Frisian Rus, in Scotland to Hebridean Rus, in Germany to Bavarian Rus or Saxon Rus, in France to Breton Rus or Occitan Rus, in Austria to Carinthian Rus or Tyrolean Rus etc. This is the unity on which our future Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe (R.O.M.E.) can be built, from Iceland to the plains of Hungary, from Lapland to the islands of Malta, in the local regions of the 25 nations of the continent of Europe where we live, and on our complete faithfulness to the integral Russian Orthodox Faith and Tradition.
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
ROCOR Missionary Representative for Western Europe
Brittany, 24 July 2015
The end of the (Roman Catholic) Church will come through its corruption from within by the Jewish and pagan avarice that reigns in the very Kingdom of Christ that makes Rome a second Babylon.
Gerhoh von Reichersberg (1093-1169), the prominent Roman Catholic scholastic
The latest appalling Muslim terrorist outrages in three different countries have shocked. However, the fact is that worse happens every single day in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Yemen etc, where it is not uncommon for the fanatics to bomb babies and crucify Christians. And that goes largely unreported in the Sodom and Gomorrah of the hedonistic and immoral West.
Now, when the Nazis occupied Serbia in the Second World War and one of their soldiers was killed by Serbian resistance fighters, they applied a tariff. For every German killed, 100 Serbs were killed. And this appears to be the tariff of the Western media – every Westerner killed is equivalent to 100 Non-Westerners, no matter whether they are Arabs, Burmese, Nigerians or Ukrainians. Of course, if they are Christians, they are even less important. Christians are despised by the propaganda outlets of the Western media and their pagan Western leaders.
Islamic terrorism began when the colony of Israel was set up in Palestine, through the bribery and blackmail of Zionist bankers. Al-Qaida was set up by the neocon CIA, which trained Bin Laden. Islamic State is also a US/Zionist creation: divide the Muslims between pro-Western (Sunni) and anti-Western (Shia) and arming Sunni terrorists (Saudis, Qataris etc). What is the Western (and Zionist) disease that lies behind such slaughter?
It is that of profit, of Mammon, the old Syrian word for riches. It is this obsession with profit that lies behind idolatrous, neo-pagan Western materialism, whether Marxist or Capitalist. It is this obsession with profit that means that tens of millions of poor people from Asia and Africa, refugees from starvation and exploitation, have been forced to immigrate into Western Europe ever since the Second World War to work in its low-paid jobs, undermining the cultural identities of Western, and increasingly Eastern, European countries and leading to their mosque-ization.
In France there is now a debate about whether it is permissible to use abandoned Roman Catholic churches (all Catholic churches there were stolen by the tyrannical French State over 100 years ago and belong to the secular authorities) as mosques. Most French people are against them becoming mosques. But is this because they prefer to see them used as nightclubs? The fact is that Western people are responsible for their own decadence. If they practised Christianity, if they used their churches, none of this would ever have happened.
The contemporary crisis of the Western world is not about the breakdown of traditional Church culture, but about the breakdown of the secular culture which has tried to take its place. The demonic powers which have entered the empty house of secularism cannot be exorcized by the politician and the economist; the Church is the only power that can defeat the powers of destruction. But the various Western denominations, once Christian, are all but dead in Europe.
A Czech journalist, Ladislav Kashuka (1), has just written that Western people will one day have to find refuge in Non-EU Russia, ‘fleeing before the Muslim fanatics on their streets as they burn and destroy the Western cultural heritage’. Only Russia is still free from the Western elite, all the more so since the West declared war on it through the Ukraine. Thus, all intelligent and honest Russians have finally seen through the Western delusion, giving President Putin 89% of popularity. In other words, said the journalist, Western Europe’s nightmare future is already being lived out by Christians in Iraq and Syria today. There today; here tomorrow.
For this journalist the massive movements of migration, as from the chaos and violence in Libya, caused by the French and UK bombing of the country and their permission for its leader, once their feted friend, to be massacred by a mob, are pre-planned; the Western elite ‘wants to cause chaos in order to impose its totalitarian rule’ all the more easily. Only Russia, as we can see with the case of Edward Snowden, is strong enough to protect freedom and also big enough to accept and settle the millions of last Western Christians as refugees, who will be able to receive baptism only in Russia. There we would see established a European Orthodox Church Outside Europe (EOCOE).
None of this is new; it is all in the eighty-year old prophecies of St Seraphim of Vyritsa (+ 1948).
All heresies reverse spiritual progress because by their very nature they contain spiritual impurity. That is precisely why the Church, which as the Body of Christ is spiritually pure, perceives heresies as ‘wrong choices’, in Greek ‘heresies’. Essentially, what we are logically saying is that every choice that is not Christocentric contains spiritual impurity, for only Christ is without sin, all else is therefore tainted by sin. This includes all cases when groups of human-beings put their humanistic, impure cultures above Christ, so becoming ethnocentric instead of Christocentric. When humanity does this, it also condemns all other cultures and civilizations, whether existing today, in the past or possibly in the future, including Christocentric culture.
This why the famous Dr Johnson wrote that ‘patriotism is the last resort of the scoundrel’, meaning that scoundrels always use flag-waving nationalism as an excuse for their base deeds. In particular, scoundrels make cheap propaganda which demonizes their enemies, making them less than human, ‘subhumans’, ‘Untermenschen’ in Hitler’s language. This is merely a justification for the genocides which they commit. This is what Catholics did when slaughtering Christians (100,000 in England alone in the decade after 1066), Jews and Muslims in the Middle Ages, what Protestants did to Black Africans to justify slavery, what the Nazis did to Slavs (30 million of whom they slaughtered), Jews and Gypsies, what the Croats did to Serbs (some 800,000), and the Americans have done to umpteen peoples around the world, from Native Americans to Mexicans, from Japanese to Vietnames, from latin Americans to Iraqis, from Serbs to Russians. ‘They’, ‘the rest and not the West’, were and are all ‘subhuman’. Why? Simply in order to justify their power-grabbing and land-grabbing.
However, if nationalism (which is what Dr Johnson meant when he misused the word ‘patriotism’) is the last resort of the scoundrel, what is the first resort? The first resort of the scoundrel is always religion. This we saw very clearly in the anti-Christian Catholic ‘Crusades’ of the Middle Ages, which sacked and looted the Christian capital in Constantinople, in the Spanish plundering of the Americas in the name of God, in British empire-building (‘civilizing the natives’), in the blasphemous US dollar bill inscribed ‘In God we trust’ (meaning in Mammon we trust), in the German First World War soldier with ‘Gott mit uns’ (‘God with us’) inscribed on his belt, or in the Western-founded Al-Qaida and Islamic State, which use Islam (which as an Old Testament religion in spirit hardly has a record of tolerance in any case) to justify the most abhorrent crimes committed while land-grabbing and power-grabbing.
It is this that certain Western semi-converts to Christianity belonging to the various Local Orthodox Churches have to beware of. For long in this country, for example, we have seen an old generation of ex-Anglican semi-converts who reject ‘foreigners’ (i.e. anyone who has never been an Anglican), proposing their own unOrthodox and crypto-Protestant agenda, rejecting the Church as She is. These Establishment types regard the whole of England as their ‘territory’, set up small congregations of half a dozen here and there in order to justify their presence, try to eject others who do not belong to their mafia-like brotherhood, condescend and patronize, slander and backbite. Fortunately, that generation is dying out and we are now coming to a new generation of real Orthodox, who are not compromised by the ethnic religion of Establishment Anglicanism, which puts its culture above the Church, Which it condemns as ‘foreign’. Christ is indeed foreign to the racially and ethnically narrow, for in His human nature He was an Asian, not a Westerner.
Where did this ethnocentric Western mentality, which condemns all other civilizations and rejects the Christian condemnation of war as an absolute evil, as the Church Civilization of the Orthodox Christian world does (1), come from? Its origins are precisely in the eleventh century, of which the apostates of the Western world so proudly boast as the beginning of their much-vaunted Western ‘civilization’, from which ‘the Holy Spirit proceeds’ (2). That century marks the falling away of Western Europe from Church Civilization and the Christian Faith, the beginning of its spiritual degeneration, which it has since spread worldwide like a degenerative epidemic. It was that century which marked the beginning of the Western world as the future technological giant but spiritual pygmy. Until they purify themselves of that mentality of pride, which asserts that all Western actions are justified because of the imagined ‘innate superiority’ of Western culture over Christ and acquire a conscious and consistent Orthodox world-view, there will be no authentic conversion of such Western converts to the Church of God.
Until then, the abysmal Western genocides of people and culture around the world will continue, from Spain to England in the 11th century, from Jerusalem to Cyprus (3) in the 12th century, from Constantinople to Novgorod in the 13th century, from the Cathars of France (‘kill them all – God will recognize His own’) to the peasants of England in the 14th century, from Italy to Germany in the 15th century, from Amazonian natives (‘kill them – they do not have souls’), to French Protestants in the 16th century, from West African slaves to Carribean plantations in the 17th century, from Bengal to Native Canadians in the 18th century, from starving Irish peasants, the Plains Indians (4), New Zealand Maori, Tasmanian Aborigenes (‘animals’) to Sudanese Muslims in the 19th century, from the Belgian Congo, Boer South Africa (5), Carpatho-Russia, European Slavdom and Jewry to Vietnamese peasants in the 20th century, from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria to the eastern Ukraine already in the first grim years of this 21st century.
As a recent popular historian but no friend of the Church as he writes about himself and those like him, has put it quite accurately and apocalyptically:
‘The road to modernity stretches clearly from the first Millennium onwards, marked by abrupt shifts and turns, to be sure, but unriven by any total catastrophe such as separates the year 1000 from antiquity. Though it might sometimes appear an unsettling reflection, the monks, warriors and serfs of the eleventh century can be reckoned our (sic) direct ancestors in a way that the people of earlier ages never (sic) were. (This book) Millennium, in short, is about the most significant departure point in Western history: the start of a journey that perhaps (sic), in the final reckoning, only a true apocalypse will serve to cut short.
Millennium, Tom Holland, p. xxix, 2008
1. It was in the summer of 1053 that for the first time in history a Pope of Rome, ‘St’ (sic!) Leo IX, the Schism-Maker, formally blessed a standard of battle. Absolution from the stain of bloodshed – ‘an impunity for their crimes’- was promised to all who answered the call. This was the first launching of a papally-sanctioned ‘holy war’. This was to be repeated in England 1066, then in the Crusades, and today has been repeated by Western countries, which also ‘replace God’ and arrogate to themselves papal infallibility in wrecking Serbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and the Ukraine, to name but a few examples. On the other hand, when in his book ‘Tactics’, the Christian Emperor Leo VI ‘the Wise’ of New Rome (866-912) called ‘religious war’ simply ‘a licence to loot in religion’s name’, he was expressing the immutable Christian teaching that had been universal until the 11th century before the foundation of Catholicism.
Thus, as Sir Steven Runciman noted, Orthodox Christian history was remarkably free of wars of aggression. Peaceful methods were always preferable, even if they involved tortuous diplomacy or the payment of money. To Western historians, accustomed to admire barbarian militarism, the actions of many Orthodox statesmen appear cowardly or sly; but the motive was usually a genuine desire to avoid bloodshed.
Unlike the Christian view, the Catholic view had developed out of the militarism inherited from pagan Rome. The military society that has emerged in the West out of the barbarian invasions has always sought to justify its habitual pastime of bloodshed and interventionism, just as it does today. It gave prestige to the military hero; and the pacifist acquired a disrepute for which he has never recovered. Already Pope Leo IV, in the mid-ninth century, had declared that anyone dying in battle for the defence of the Church would receive a heavenly reward. Pope John VIII, a few years later, had even ranked the victims of a holy war as martyrs; if they died armed in battle their sins would be remitted.
2. We recall the famous words of Gandhi, who, when asked what he thought of ‘Western civilization’, replied: ‘An excellent idea’.
3. Including the cannibalism of the sadistic French King of England, Richard ‘the Lionheart’.
4. In 1866 General Sherman wrote to President Grant that, ‘We must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women and children’. And, as quoted by his biographer Marszalek, he added that ‘during an assault on an Indian village the soldiers cannot pause to distinguish between male and female, or even discriminate as to age. As long as resistance is made, death must be meted out’. Together with the other Indian fighter, Philip Sheridan, it was he who wrote that ‘the only good Indian is a dead Indian’. The descendants of the same Plains Indians have recently supported the Russian Federation against the US government’s anti-Ukrainian and also pro-pedophile policies.
5. In the letter of Tsar Nicholas II to King Edward VII of 27 May 1901, we find the last Orthodox Emperor expressing his concern in English that although his ‘principle is not to meddle in other people’s affairs’ (unlike the modern West), his ‘conscience obliges’ him ‘at last to speak openly’ and that the Boer War ‘looks more like a war of extermination’ and that Britain must ‘put an end to this bloodshed’.
In history the manipulators who stand behind the official rulers of the world have gone under many different names, but their objective has always been the same: global domination under a single world leader come to power by the manipulated mob. Whether the puppets who officially rule have been evil fanatics (Hitler), captives (Merkel), simply stupid (for example, Bush Junior) or extremely vain and so self-deluded (for example, Blair, Cameron, Obama), the puppeteers (today called neocons) fear only one thing. This is the re-emergence of a Sovereign Ruler who denies them the world domination they so ardently seek for the one who deludes their vanity too. Such denial would come about by that Sovereign’s adherence to spiritual independence, spiritual values, spiritual resistance and popular support for him. This is why they have always sought the overthrow of Christian monarchs – at no time so obviously as since 1914.
Although today the puppeteers fear powerful Non-Western rulers, whether in China, the Muslim world or Latin America, their greatest fear by far is the re-emergence of a new Russian Empire. This is because it is the only possible Christian Empire in the world, ruled by a Christian Emperor, a Tsar. Thus, when President Putin two weeks ago in his regular phone-in programme to the public apologized for what the USSR did under Stalin in 1945, making captive the very Eastern Europe which Soviet forces had just liberated from Fascism, the pro-Fascist neocons were alarmed. This is because they have always tried to make out that President Putin is a new Stalin and that his policy is to recreate a Stalinist Soviet Union. If that fantasy were the case, they could easily discredit him.
They would be equally happy if the resurgence of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the spiritual backbone of any re-emergence of the Christian Empire, Tsardom, were limited to a tiny number of zealots or if the Church could be divided or ‘Balkanized’, as in Macedonia or the far western Ukraine. Alternatively, the Church could perhaps be CIA-controlled, as with the Vatican and the Phanar, or intellectualized, as in Paris, or divided into many warring sects like the Protestants (which is why the CIA funds old calendarist sects which feed on their neophyte and immigrant pathologies and self-justifying Russophobia). Then the Russian Orthodox Church could be dismissed as a piece of irrelevant folklore, the domain of a tiny and disincarnate minority, without any constructive, civilizational force. What they really fear is the revival of the Church’s incarnational values which spread to the masses and to the State, so resulting in the restoration of the Orthodox Emperor, the Christian Empire.
What they then fear is the next stage. This is that a Russian Orthodox Emperor, a new Tsar, would be recognized as Emperor by the rest of the Orthodox world. Already the neocons of the EU are turning Greece and Cyprus to Russia. And even though Bulgaria, Romania and increasingly Serbia (with Montenegro and Macedonia) are governed by EU-selected elites, many among the people there are also looking to Russia. Indeed, even in countries with only small Orthodox minorities but which neighbour Russia, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Lands, there are many who also look to Russia. Even in Poland many are now looking to Russia to protect Christians in the Middle East, given their abandonment by the anti-Christian West.
What the neocons fear next is the potential spread of Orthodoxy and the spirit of independence beyond Eastern Europe to Western Europe. One of the favourite accusations of such secularists is that Orthodox Christianity is anti-Civilization, anti-cultural, ‘obscurantist’. In fact, it is the exact opposite. Here are a few cases of Russian Orthodox Western Europeans whom I know or have known personally:
A Russian Orthodox Archbishop, the son of the last Minister of Culture in the Weimar Republic and so dismissed by the anti-culture Hitler.
An aristocratic friend in France who is a descendant of the French King Louis XV.
A Russian Orthodox priest’s wife who is the cousin of the Italian film star Claudia Cardinale.
An acquaintance, received into the Russian Orthodox Church, who was a renowned British composer and knight of the realm.
An Orthodox priest’s wife who was the niece of the Czech artist Alfons Mucha.
A Russian Orthodox Portuguese layman close to the former Portuguese Royal Family.
A Russian Orthodox Swedish priest, formerly a senior member of the Swedish Lutheran Church.
Why are there so many such examples? Because the Christian Faith in its uncompromised form, that is, its Russian Orthodox form, is at the root of the European culture of over 1,000 years ago and spiritually sensitive Western people know it. They have realized that if European culture, now being made atheist by secularization or being crushed by Islamization, is to be saved and rebuilt from the ruins of the great European suicide since 1914, this can only be done through Russian Orthodoxy.
Here is the nightmare of the puppeteer neocons, that all their long-held plans will be dashed, that there will once more be a Tsar in Russia, a restored and united Orthodox Empire and that a Europe of Patriots, of Free Nations, will see through their manipulation and abandon their EU project. Thus, they will throw off the US-cloned EU superstructure, the United States of Europe. Then Europe could spiritually revive with the help of the new Sovereign Ruler and Tsar of the resurgent Orthodox Empire centred in Russia. Thus, the outlying parts of the Orthodox world in the Balkans and elsewhere and through them the former outlying provinces of the Orthodox world in Western Europe will be spiritually united once more and the veneration of the ancient Western saints restored. A millennium of injustice overthrown? This is what is at stake.
From Recent Correspondence (March-April 2015)
On the Destiny of the Church Outside Russia
Q: What was the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) supposed to do in the eighty-five years between its formation in the early 1920s and the reconciliation with the Church inside Russia in 2007?
A: Our first calling was to obey the Gospel by beginning the preaching of Orthodoxy worldwide before the end (Matt 24, 14), which we were providentially enabled to start by virtue of being scattered throughout the world. In other words, it was our calling to bring the serious (and not superficial hobbyists) into the Church, to contact all those who realize that the Church is higher than the spiritual impurity of any national establishment and local culture.
Our preaching was called to be the preaching of Orthodoxy without either of the compromises caused by spiritual impurity, that is, to be real Orthodox Christians free of both provincial and inward-looking Russian nationalism on the one hand, and of the modernist, Protestant-style illusions of disincarnate modernism on the other hand. This preaching was to lay the foundations of the preaching of the Gospel in the Orthodox context so that then, once the Church inside Russia was free and we were strengthened and reinforced from Russia, we could accomplish this great task together.
Our second calling was to canonize the New Martyrs and Confessors. This was the only way of conquering atheism inside Russia and so working for the restoration of the Tsar, the Orthodox Monarchy, the protector of all Orthodox peoples and all who know that beyond the veil of this secular world there is a world to come, the world of spiritual reality, the real world. Atheism inside Russia could not be conquered by military means. Both the White Movement after 1917 and the Vlasov Movement of the Second World War failed precisely because they tried to use military means to conquer atheism. You can only fight evil spirits with spiritual weapons, as the Apostle Paul wrote: ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places’ (Ephesians 6, 12).
This need for spiritual weapons is why it took until 1981 for the Church Outside Russia to canonize the New Martyrs and Confessors. It should have happened much earlier but, very sadly, political and nationalistic elements in ROCOR resisted. The True White Movement, which is the essence of the whole Russian Orthodox Church, is a spiritual movement, not a political movement and those political elements had to be overcome before their canonization was possible. I personally knew many parishioners in various ROCOR churches, not least in the London parish, who were opposed to the canonization. To the scandal of the faithful, they thought in secular and nationalistic categories and held back our part of the Russian Church from accomplishing her mission and so fulfilling her destiny.
Q: What is the calling of ROCOR today?
A: As soon as Russia was freed, we were called on to ally ourselves with Her as closely as possible, thus strengthening both parts of the Church. The earthly remains of Russian Orthodox heroes like Ivan Ilyin had already been returned to the Centre, we too were to return, although spiritually we had always been there. In order to return, we had to avoid the various nationalistic and political traps that had been set us by the world. It is sad that some political, that is secular-minded, elements fell into them. The destiny of the whole Russian Diaspora and her missions was to return to the liberated Centre, in order to stand together with her in solidarity. The alternative was to fall into a hopeless provincialism and parochialism, which is exactly what befell the marginal fringes who broke away from the Church in the Diaspora for various ghetto-like sects, whether renovationist and modernist on the left (Paris, North America) or old calendarist and nationalist (ROCOR dissidents) on the right.
Q: You say ‘as soon as Russia was freed’. So why did ROCOR not reunite as soon as 1992, after the fall of the atheist government there?
A: There were naïve, patriotic, nostalgic and very emotional individuals in ROCOR, often very elderly, who did reunite or wanted to do so immediately. I do not judge them. But since 1972 I had known the leaders of the old ‘Moscow Patriarchate’, as it was called, from inside and I knew how corrupt it was, especially in the Diaspora. The fall of atheist government was one thing, the spread of a Non-Soviet and fully Orthodox mentality to the top of the Church took time.
For example, there was no possibility of unity with it in England until the self-cleansing of 2006 when at long last Moscow appointed an Orthodox and not a renovationist bishop, the present Archbishop Elisey. It was one thing not to have an atheist government after 75 years, but it was another for the old Soviet-style reflexes to change and see the practical consequences of freedom in the Church hierarchy, with the deaths of the old school of Soviet appointees who did incalculable harm to the Church, rejecting the faithful and self-sacrificing and persecuting the zealous and God-loving.
There were so many appalling scandals from that time. ROCOR could never unite with such spiritual impurity which was working against the Church. Our hearts are still deeply wounded by what we went through at that time and we feel so sorry for those who died without repentance. Indeed, the real Orthodox inside the old Soviet-style Patriarchate, like Archbishop Anatoly in England, actually told us to have nothing to do with the Patriarchate until it was inwardly free. I can remember him saying that in 2003. And inward freedom only came to it in May 2006. It then took us in ROCOR one year to get ourselves ready for the inevitable.
Q: What about those elements in the Church inside Russia who are themselves still today modernist or otherwise sectarian?
A: There are a few rather absurd and very old-fashioned individuals on the fringes of the Church inside Russia, leftist dissident leftovers from the recent Soviet past, like Fr George Kochetkov (whom the modernists wanted to serve at the Patriarchal Cathedral in London), the hippyish and disgraced Deacon Andrei Kuraev or naïve admirers of the heretic Fr Sergiy Bulgakov and modernists and dreamers of the schools of Schmemann, Bloom and other strange émigré cults, or others who are simplistic, rightist Old Ritualist-type sectarians, but they are all irrelevant to the mainstream. In a Church of 164 million, you will inevitably find a few marginal types. In Russia they have no authority or role whatsoever and people generally mock them.
A few eccentric individuals hardly prevent us from our great task of resurrecting Christian Imperial Russia, which we are all engaged in together, inside and outside Russia, in total unity of purpose. Everywhere in Russia you will find icons of the Royal Family – that is key. we work very closely with all who venerate them because they are Churched Orthodox. If Christian Imperial Russia is resurrected, then the whole Orthodox world will be resurrected, and so we can protect all who have values and understand that the ultimate destiny of all humanity is in the life to come and not in primitive Darwinism and pagan Secularism. It is foolish to spend much time dwelling on such marginal individuals; we must not waste our time looking at eccentric, individual and irrelevant trees who are so easy to resist, we must speak with and move forward with the great and irresistible forest, ever onwards to what God is calling us to do. We are people of destiny.
Q: At the 2006 Diaspora Council in San Francisco at least one voice spoke with concern about the present Patriarch who was then a Metropolitan. Was that a reasonable concern?
A: Thee greatest miracle of God is that He changes people. Look at the apostles, Peter lied, the disciples fled from the Cross, Paul persecuted the Church. But they all repented – except for Judas who despaired and hanged himself. Repentance is always possible – only pharisees, like those who criticized Christ’s visit to Zacchaeus, do not understand that. I think that the Soviet-born Metropolitan Kyrill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad who twenty years ago opposed reconciliation with the Church Outside Russia was one person, our Patriarch Kyrill is another. And make no mistake, he is OUR Patriarch. He has been transfigured by the grace and international responsibility of becoming Patriarch and is now able to represent all Russian Orthodox all around the world, as no-one else. I have only met him twice, but I am convinced of this. He understands us and has a profound sense of the role of the restoration of Holy Rus, of the global mission of the Russian Orthodox Church and Her Tradition. This is a miracle.
Q: Can you explain in the simplest of terms and without mentioning the word filioque the difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy?
A: Catholicism came into existence some 1,000 years ago, theologically and then immediately structurally. Although it preserved the Revelation of the Old Testament, that there is only One God, and the Revelation of the New Testament, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God become man, it failed to preserve the Revelation of the Church, that Christ is with us and we are with Him by the Holy Spirit. This happened when at the defining moment of its foundation Catholicism replaced the Holy Spirit with the Pope of Rome. In this way Catholicism replaced the authority of the Church, which is holiness, whose source is the Holy Spirit, with a mere man. Here is the difference between Catholicism, which is essentially a Trinitarian heresy, and the Church: The Pope or the Holy Spirit. As St Seraphim of Sarov, whose resurrection we now await, said: ‘The goal of Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit’. It is not to obey a man who lives in Rome.
Q: Do Catholicism and Protestantism have sacraments?
A: There are no sacraments outside the Church, however, there are sacramental forms. These have been preserved as a heritage, as vestiges from the past. In other words, outside the Church there are wine-glasses (however deformed and defective they may be) but they contain no wine. Thus, Catholicism has seven sacramental forms and classical Protestantism (the sort that baptizes by water in the Name of the Holy Trinity) has one – baptism. Thus, in receiving people from what I call ‘Frankish religion’ (Catholicism/Protestantism) into Christianity, the Church does not absolutely need to repeat the sacramental form (though She can if She considers it better to do so in the specific circumstances). What is vital is to communicate the wine, not the wine-glass. For example, Uniats have a wine-glass which is almost identical in form to the Orthodox wine-glass, but it still contains no wine.
Q: Are you saying then that Catholics and Protestants have no grace at all? That seems harsh.
A: No, I am not saying that at all. That is old calendarist ‘light-switch’ black and white ideology – one moment you have grace, the next you do not. The truth is much more subtle.
According to Orthodox Christian theology, the Holy Spirit can come to us in two different ways. Firstly, He comes to us through the Body of Christ, the Church. This only works if we are real Orthodox, that is, practising members of the Church, living limbs (and not withered or nominal branches) of the Body of Christ. If we are outside the Church, we can receive no grace in this way. Secondly, however, the Holy Spirit can come to us directly. This is what happened to the prophets of the Old Testament, who were also outside the Church, and this is also what happens to those outside the Church who receive the calling of God to join the Church, whether they were first-century Jews and Greeks, third-century Latins, sixth-century English, tenth-century Kievans, nineteenth-century Alaskans, Chinese and Japanese, or twenty-first century Western European Catholics and Protestants.
Q: Speaking on the subject of married priests, a French Catholic bishop recently said that the life of Orthodox priests is ‘infernal’ because they have to combine family life and parish life, and therefore he is against married priests. What would you say?
A: The life of an Orthodox priest is certainly difficult. But who said that it would be easy to get into Paradise? I find it amazing that a Catholic bishop would think that it is easy to get into Paradise! This is the same spirit that asks why we Orthodox stand at services, whereas they sit down in comfort. They have no concept of the ascetic. As for Catholic priests – and I know many of them in various European countries – many (usually the best ones) have a mistress and children, many others – and I have met them – are homosexuals and pedophiles. Recently I was speaking to a Polish taxi-driver in Colchester. He comes from Krakow, which is the Polish Canterbury. He told me that he had made his living there ferrying priests, monks and seminarians to brothels. When I was in Portugal 20 years ago, I visited the Portuguese Canterbury, a city called Braga. Local people called it the city of the two Ps – priests and prostitutes. Now that is what I call infernal. What infernal hypocrisy on the part of that Catholic bishop…Has he met the pedophile former Catholic Bishop of Glasgow?
Q: How would you describe the Church of England and the rest of the Anglican Communion?
A: Anglicanism is a Gothic shell, the shell of Catholicism, a kind of Protestant Uniatism, preserving an outward semblance, even a ritual imitation of a sort of Catholicism, but devoid of even Catholic content. The Church of England is State-founded and State-run, founded by a mass murderer and destroyer of monastic life, an English Lenin, who like him also died of syphilis. The Head of the real Church is no such murderous blasphemer, but Christ the Son of God.
Q: Do you think that the Church of England will one day have a female Archbishop of Canterbury?
A: It would be thoroughly logical. Since any secular institution can be headed by a man or a woman, why should the Church of England be any different? As a matter of fact it was a woman, Elizabeth I, who composed the doctrines of the Church of England and it is a woman, Elizabeth II, who heads it at present. Only misogynists can be against female heads of secular organizations.
Q: Do you think the Church of England will eventually introduce homosexual marriage?
A: It is highly likely. It always takes orders from the British Establishment, whether on its doctrines, the EU, fox-hunting or buggery, which is so widespread in that public-school Establishment. The Church of England has always followed the government of the day, ignoring the truism that the American writer Mark Twain expressed: ‘Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it’.
Q: Can those of what you call ‘Frankish religion’ help us in combating secularism, abortion, euthanasia etc?
A: Individually definitely, but sadly the institutions that such virtuous individuals belong to are actually part of the problem, not part of the solution. More and more of them are realizing this. For instance, I was talking to a group of anti-abortion Catholics last year and I saw that they were horrified by their own episcopate, whom they completely distrusted.
Q: Are any of the Orthodox jurisdictions in England close to the Church of England?
A: Virtually all the 300 or so English members of the Antiochian jurisdiction in this country are former clergy and laypeople of the Establishment Church of England. Many seem to be profoundly Anglican, using the Anglican calendar, church-buildings and vestments, so I am not sure why they made the change. They seem to be dedicated to converting other Establishment Anglicans to themselves, ordaining men within days of their reception into the Church in order to do so. This policy of Anglicans only seems very narrow to me, as it repels the vast majority. This is not the way of the Church – our mission is to the people, to the masses, to the whole country, to the 99% of people in England who have never had any real link with the Church of England.
Thus, I know of one ex-Anglican Antiochian priest who has banned the use of any language other than English in his chapel and sends away Romanians telling them that he has no time for them, yet spends hours with prospective Anglican converts, whom he receives very quickly and then very soon lapse. He rejects reality. The clergy are here to serve the people of God, not ourselves, not our personal fantasies. This is just Anglican clericalism. Another wealthy ex-Anglican (in another jurisdiction, it must be said) told me that he liked ‘small churches’ with select groups of English people only and did not want any ‘foreigners’ in his church. This is typical of Establishment racism, regardless of jurisdiction.
Q: But surely the mere existence of the Antiochian jurisdiction in the UK is because of Greek and Russian racism? The Anglicans in question asked to join both the Greek and Russian Churches first and were refused on racial grounds, so the Anglicans got into the Orthodox house ‘by the back window’, that is, through a special arrangement with Antioch.
A: I absolutely agree that the then Soviet-enslaved Moscow Patriarchate and the Church of Constantinople refused them, the latter because of racism and both because they were not politically free to receive them because of their ecumenist compromises. However, the Anglicans in question made one huge mistake on account of their Establishment mentality – they came with their own agenda and list of demands. In this way they refused the Cross, that is, they refused to ask to join ROCOR, the free Russian Church which had and has no ecumenist compromises. We would have received all sincere Anglicans happily, only we would have made sure that they became Orthodox first and would have trained their future clergy how to celebrate etc.
It is no good joining the Orthodox Church without first becoming Orthodox. Otherwise it is just the religion of the Establishment, Anglicanism, or Anglo-Catholicism, with icons. All Churched Orthodox reject that; we know in our guts that it is wrong. What has happened since their refusal to come to ROCOR is that the ex-Anglicans in question have become marginal, finding themselves on an isolated wing of the Church, outside the Orthodox mainstream. So much has been wasted in this way. Similarly Establishment Anglicans who joined the Church of Constantinople have had to undergo Hellenization, having to take on hyper-Greek names like Kallistos, Pankratios, Aristovoulos, Panteleimon etc., whereas the Greek clergy themselves anglicize their names and are called John, Gregory, Peter, Paul etc!
On the Contemporary Western World and the End of the World
Q: What would you say of the present spiritual state of Western Europe in general?
A: Western European countries are increasingly and paradoxically typified by Secularism on the one hand and Islamism on the other hand. For example, the name Mohammed in its various spellings last year became the most common boy’s name in London and there is a wave of mosque-building throughout Western Europe. However, at the same time the secularists who control Western governments and media are completely indifferent to the tens of thousands of Christian victims of Islamist fanaticism throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa and the tens of thousands of Christian victims of the Nazi junta in Kiev. Why? Because those being killed ‘are not Charlie’, in other words, not anti-Christian secularists like themselves. And who will say at the end of time: ‘Je suis Charlie’? It is Antichrist.
So in the West we have the perfect combination of Secularism and Islamism.
Q: Are there not aspects of Islam that we can appreciate?
A: Moderate or Traditional Islam, as opposed to Islamism, condemns violence and keeps certain universal practices like other traditional religions. Thus, Muslim women dress modestly, for instance, wearing a head covering, a universal practice except in the post-1914 secular West.
Q: More and more Western countries allow euthanasia. What do you think of this?
A: In his short story ‘The Veiled Lodger’, written over 100 years ago, a secular writer, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle said: ‘If there is not some compensation hereafter, then the world is a cruel jest…The example of patient suffering is in itself the most precious of all lessons to an impatient world’. In other words, euthanasia, like any other form of suicide, is the result of an ideology that does not believe in the immortality of the soul and in life after death. All belief rejects euthanasia, but where there is no belief, there is suicide. In this sense euthanasia is symbolic of today’s Western world as a whole – as a suicidal world.
Q: What do you think of the experiment with the Large Hadron Collider on the French and Swiss borders? Some people say that it could lead to a catastrophe.
A: I am not a scientist and am simply not qualified to have an opinion and say whether it will lead to a catastrophe or whether it is perfectly safe. However, since it a vast and vastly expensive experiment concerning the nature of matter, I think we can say that it does represent the Western obsession with the material world as opposed to the spiritual world. In general, I am suspicious of such large experiments and operations. As someone said centuries ago: ‘The chief proof of man’s greatness lies in his perception of his smallness’. And as has been said more recently, ‘Small is Beautiful’. In other words, this is all a question of humility. But I am not able to say any more than that.
Q: How should we vote in the forthcoming elections in the UK?
A: Pray and then vote according to your conscience, voting for whomever you consider to be the lesser evil.
Q: Is there a change you would like to see in Great Britain?
A: I would like to see the concept of ‘Britain’ rejected once and for all. It would mean freedom for all of us from tyrannical ‘Britain’ and its Norman Establishment. As a dream, I would like to see four independent but friendly and co-operating nations, England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Their representatives would gather in a round building, a ‘Council of the Isles’, on a high point on the Isle of Man, from where alone the four countries in question are all visible.
Q: Where is the Western world going?
A: The USA controls the Western countries through their elites which have been installed by US PR companies as feudal vassals. All that the Western elites do is in imitation of the USA, its clothes, its food, its television series, its media. Here are four recent statistics about the sex and violence of the USA, which God-fearing Americans know and for which they detest the White House:
85% of the world’s pornography comes from the USA.
Every day 24 former GIs who served in Iraq and Afghanistan commit suicide.
In March 2015 the American police killed twice as many people than the British police have killed since 1900.
In a recent global poll representatives from all the countries of the world, except for the USA, UK and France, declared that Public Enemy No 1 is the USA.
Should not such statistics make us think? It seems to me that either the Western world, especially the USA, is on the point of some great disaster, a hurricane, a tornado, a volcano, an earthquake, a tidal wave, or else it is on the point of repentance, of realizing its foolishness and turning back. It can go either way, but it cannot continue with impunity as now. It is not possible. Our actions always have consequences. It is called responsibility.
Q: Is Antichrist coming soon?
A: Nobody knows if he has even been born, let alone if he is coming to power. However there are clear signs that his coming is being PREPARED. Notably, there are these four signs: worldwide sodomy imposed by Washington and willingly promoted by the Western European elite; the genocide and expulsion of all Christians from of the Middle East; the war between Sunni Muslims and Shia Muslims, actively encouraged and financed by Zionism; the invasion of the western marches of Rus by the forces of Satan and their occupation of Kiev, the Mother of Russian Cities.
As yet, however, the Temple has not been rebuilt on Zion and, in general, we should not despair and certainly not fall into fatalism. I think that the coming of Antichrist has been delayed many times in history, not least last year, when the Ukrainian people rose up and fought the Satanic forces that the White House has put into power in Kiev. Despite the American threat of nuclear war, Russia did not rise to the bait and sweep away the junta within a fortnight, as it could have. That would have led to the end of the world with nuclear war started by the Nazi neocons in Washington and their paid allies: Zbigniew Brzezinski, Condoleeza Rice, Tony Blair, Carl Bildt and all those other satanists who have spoken directly of destroying the Church of God. As long as we fight and resist Satan, Antichrist cannot come. It all depends on us.
Q: ‘It all depends on us’. But what can we do?
A: At present we are resisting and fighting. There is no time to lose. Together all Orthodox who have an understanding of Orthodoxy have to work together. The visit of the new Greek Prime Minister to President Putin is a great sign of hope. President Putin gave the Greek leader, who says he is an atheist but in fact is just spiritually inexperienced, an icon which had been stolen by the Nazis from Greece. This was highly symbolic. The soul of Greece has indeed been stolen by the West. Now is the time of restoration. This is a personal message to the young Greek leader, but also a message to the whole Greek people. Restore your soul and give up on Nazism, both the old form and the new neocon form of the US/EU.
It is the same in Romania and Bulgaria. Satan is now trying to steal the souls of the Ukraine, Serbia, Moldova, Georgia – everywhere the same processes. Even in Western Europe there are those of us who are also fighting – for the liberation of the Western Lands from the West, for the ‘de-Europeanization of Europe’ and the restoration of Orthodoxy here too. Together, as conscious Orthodox, as the Army of Christ, we can conquer the Satanic spirit of Mammon and its sinister and idolatrous forces.
When asked how Russia could defeat the far superior American armed forces (each year the USA spends eleven times more on arms than Russia), over twenty years ago now the great and newly-revealed St Paisios the Athonite replied: ‘The Russians will win because the angels will help them’. We see such huge solidarity between all the conscious Orthodox peoples, from Damascus to Nicosia, from Belgrade to Kiev, from Bucharest to Sofia, from Athens to Moscow.
The time will come when Constantinople will be freed. And make no mistake Constantinople will not be freed so much from the Turks as from the Americans. But first there will be a Tsar in Russia for all Orthodox and he will call a real and free Council of all the Orthodox, not a diplomatic nicety. And that Council will not waste time talking about the US-imposed secularist agenda of human rights, racial discrimination and gender equality, it will thunder out the truths of the Church, about the Nation and the Family, which the Western world has deliberately forgotten in the cold and dark tomb, where Satan has buried its soul.
And then there will be a new generation of bishops in Constantinople, not appointees of the US State Department, but taken from the monks of Mt Athos, who, never forget it, are in the jurisdiction of Constantinople and who so eagerly support and pray for the Risen Russia. The old decadence will be gone and those pseudo-bishops who parrot the politically correct doctrines taught them by the Zionist CIA, visit synagogues and change the services will be gone. Great difficulties, but also great days, lie ahead for us all. The time will come, as St John of Shanghai prophesied, when you will hear ‘Christ is Risen’ shouted all through the Orthodox world, with an intensity and faith and conviction and unity that you have never heard before.
On Easter Night, after the Gospels at the Liturgy, I heard an insistent voice in my head speaking in Russian. It said: ‘Budet Tsar v Rossii’ – ‘There will be a Tsar in Russia’. Do not ask me how or when or who. That was the voice. I wonder if others heard the same voice?
Christ is Risen!
We have come from afar, from Athelney and Ekaterinburg, from the tenth century and from White Russia.
‘The argument here is not that the eleventh century invented these distinctions (between the secular and the ecclesiastical), but it made them fundamental to European society and culture, for the first time and permanently. Since this was the foundation on which European civilization has been constructed, it is not easy for Europe’s children to remember that it might have been otherwise’.
The First European Revolution, c. 970-1215, R.I Moore, p. 12
The Year 1000 and the Old Feudalism
The result of revolutionary changes, the Western Schism marks a radical departure from the first 1000 years of Western history A.D. and from every other world civilization. But can it be dated? When did the West, made ‘eccentric’ by its invention of secularism, break away from the rest of Eurasia and above all from the Church? In one sense, the Western Schism cannot be dated because it is a process and is still ongoing. The West is still falling away from the Church and so from Christianity, as the vestiges of the Church and Orthodoxy that it has held on to for a thousand years are ever more decomposing and disintegrating. This we can see, for example, in its recent global releasing of all the demons of hell called ‘shock and awe’, that is, the planetary spreading of Pan-Demon-Ium in violent unrest and wars, its recent approval as ‘a Western value’ of single-sex ‘marriage’ and the latest anti-Christian crusade of the new Teutonic Knights against the Ukraine. True, the Schism has proceeded at varying speeds and with a varying geography, with the ever-present possibility of repenting and returning, though made ever more difficult by the now inherent paganism of Western culture. However, there remain two questions, Can we speak of the beginning of this process of Schism? And why do we refer to the date of 1054?
1054 marks the date of a single event which was a turning-point in the breaking away, but still only the end-point of the actual process of breaking away. In other words, it marked the beginning of the acceleration of a new period characterized by clear anti-Christian aggression towards the peripheries of Western Continental Europe, to Southern Italy, Sicily, Spain, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Southern France, and then to the Near East. 150 years later this led directly to the sack of the European Christian Capital in New Rome by the barbarian ‘crusaders’ in 1204 and then to the Teutonic crusades against Russia. However, if 1054 is followed by several significant dates, it is also preceded by a host of other dates which illustrate how and when the West fell away from the old order, making the Schism of 1054 inevitable. Academic study after academic study (1) confirms that the event of 1054 is simply the central point of a chain of events between about 900 and about 1200, with the Schism being actively prepared from about the Year 1000 in ‘the crisis of the 11th century’ (2). And by far the most important physical manifestation of the spirit of the Schism, that is, of the theology of the filioque, is the invention of a thoroughly anti-Christian social order called Feudalism – the ultimate pyramid scheme and protection racket.
Thus, the beginning of the Schism can be determined by the physical manifestations of Feudalism – the appearance of an order and institutions which simply do not exist in Christian (= Non-Feudal, Pre-Feudal, Orthodox) civilization, whose development accelerated enormously in the West after about 1050. The clear chain of events involved is: the clearly anti-Christian and much hated wave of castle-building started in about 950 by ‘lords’, that is racketeers and extortioners; the ‘knightmare’ appearance in about 1000 in these ‘castles’ of mounted, mail-clad thugs and marauders called ‘knights’ (= servants) who exercised a legalized reign of terror to enslave, extort and plunder, but who themselves were vassals of their lords; the ensuing militarization of the countryside in order to enforce serfdom (enslavement or ‘feudalism’), whereby peasant freedom was crushed and they were made dependent on the warrior households in the castles and herded into concentration camp villages; the leading role in all this of the now feudalized (theologically speaking, filioquized) Western Church, which had become a Westernized Church, that is, a Super-State, Institution and so Religion, and the rejection of this from about 1020 on by people who were called heretics.
The Feudal Schism
Thus, according to all the studies (1), the vocabulary of Feudalism appears between 950 and 1100, especially around 1000, castle-building and feudal attitudes increased enormously from the year 1000; the first stage in the process of enslavement or enserfment opened between 997 and 1038; the unity of the Church in East and West began to break up after 1000; from the 1020s and 1030s Christ was more and more portrayed on the Cross as a dead man, that is, in His human nature separated from His Divine nature; the lives of saints were falsified and in fact paganized after 1028; campaigns of military aggression began in 1030; ‘a new time’ began after 1033; there occurred in c. 1045 the first known case of stigmata with Peter Damian; cardinals were first introduced in 1050; the Pope first blessed bloodshed in battle in 1051. All of this is summed up in the words: ‘It is at the end of the tenth century that a very ancient social fabric begins to fall apart, and there was an end in Western Europe, or the beginning of an end, of the dominance of a very ancient mode of production’ (3).
There is no clearer example than pre-Norman England, which lay outside and free of the initial process of social, economic, moral and spiritual decomposition and disorder, or ‘Feudalism’, as it is now called. This had begun as such in what is now northern France, between the Loire and the Rhine. Thus, the first castles in England appeared in 1050, erected on the orders of the treacherous, half-Norman King Edward (later called ‘the Confessor’ by the Norman invaders) by foreigners whom Edward had invited into England. However, the foreigners who built the castles were chased out of the country by English patriots. Slave-done castle-building began again only with the papally-blessed genocide by the Norman occupiers of 1066, who introduced Feudalism and enserfment – previously completely unknown in England or anywhere else in the British Isles and Ireland. The Normans set up what is known as ‘the British Establishment’, which is a mafia, whose foundation is Feudalism, the supreme protection racket. Even today, the British Establishment is known for its perversions and pedophilia, having 950 years ago assassinated the King and then massacred, dispossessed or exiled the whole native English ruling class.
As we can see, from about the Year 1000, it is clear that Christianity in Western Europe was displaced by another system of belief, which, however, did retain vestiges of Christianity. Those vestiges were particularly important among the people, but much destroyed among the fundamentally atheist elite; as they say, ‘a fish rots from the head’. Thus, we should distinguish very carefully between ideologies which justified plunder and barbarity and hid behind ‘religion’ in self-justification, and the ‘natives’, the local Christian people, who like the later ‘Red Indians’ were and are the first victims of institutionalized spiritual deprivation. We distinguish very carefully between Catholicism and Catholics, between the barbarian thugs of the Crusades and the Inquisition and their first victims. The latter came to be ‘Catholics’ but only because the real Church had been stolen from them and replaced by the all-powerful feudal elite with an anti-charismatic ersatz institution, a medieval con-trick, to which they were allowed no alternative.
The Year 2000 and the New Feudalism
The essence and foundation of the Western world is then in Feudalism: ‘Whatever the case, it (feudalism) is, whether we like it or not, the lasting foundation in Western Europe of a solid and complete political hierarchy. The state…can now despise or pretend to despise the submission of one man to another, a ritual fiction of an all-powerful paternity’ (4). What better description of Big Brother? So it is no surprise to see that nothing has changed today. Since about the year 2000 we have seen in the West another half-millennial turning point in the development of its Schism. 1,000 years after the rejection of Church Christianity by the Western elite and so its introduction of Feudalism and the secular principle, 500 years after the turning point of the ‘Reformation’, that is, the rejection of a great many of the vestiges which still restrained the development of modern secularism, we are now seeing a Second Reformation. This time it means the rejection of all the remaining underlying restraints inherited from the Church Christianity that was planted in the West in the first millennium. This means total paganization, including that of many instinctive, ‘natural’ values which only a few years ago were absolutely unquestioned.
Of course, the vocabulary has changed; God is called Profit; the Pope is called the US President; Western Christendom is called ‘the international community’; Europe is called the EU; castles are called military bases; cathedrals are called shopping centres (though the aisles are still called aisles); knights are called tanks; swords are called guns; catapults are called missiles; falcons are called drones; feudal lords are called oligarchs; enserfment is called work; plunder is called capitalism; farms are called offices; usurers are called bankers; merchants are called businessmen; slaves are called voters (and also plebs); heretics are called anti-political correct and are ‘pilloried’ and their characters ‘assassinated’; courtiers are called PR advisors; feudalism-justifying troubadours are called singers; jesters are called entertainers; magicians are called scientists.
All else is the same atheism, the same inward and ignoble Godlessness hiding behind noble words, the same arrogant terrorism and aggressive hubris, the same exploitative spirit and hostility to all others, the same dehumanizing, demonizing and supremely ignorant propaganda from William the Bastard to Goebbels and the US State Department, the same anti-people elitism and manipulations, whether in Western Europe or Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria or the Ukraine, whatever the camouflage made of outward pietism and sweet-worded sentimentalism. Above all, the plunder of the planet’s resources goes on, no longer masked by ‘spreading true religion’ and the excuse of ‘crusading’, but by the cries of ‘spreading freedom and democracy’ and the excuse of ‘bringing peace’, sowing Pan-Demon-Ium worldwide. This is none other than Neo-Feudalism. Until the Western world can think outside the feudal, filioque box into which it confined itself a thousand years ago, it will never escape its spiritual and so mental self-enslavement. And that can only happen when it returns to the Orthodox way of thinking and life.
1. For example, just a few recent works in English:
The Feudal Transformation 900-1200, Poly and Bournazel, 1991
The Making of Europe, Robert Bartlett, 1993
The First European Revolution, c. 970-1215, R.I Moore, 2000
Reform and the Papacy in the Eleventh Century, Kathleen G. Cushing, 2005
Millennium, Tom Holland, 2008
2. The Feudal Transformation, p. 355.
3. The Feudal Transformation, p. 352.
4. The Feudal Transformation, p. 357.
‘The countries which today so criticize Russia are in fact trying to deprive Russia of her traditions, memory and territorial logic. It is commonly said that in order to control and deceive peoples and countries with impunity, they must first be deprived of their memory and hope. In my view, such games will end badly – above all for those who play them. Everyone will become the same and lose their initiative, particularities and individual roots, all for the sake of a few international slogans. And, if I may put it like this, they want to ‘sloganize’ Russia. Fortunately, Russia has a solid Slav foundation. And I consider that in defending its independence, Russia is at the same time defending our independence too’.
Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme
The Western world is isolated. Although it likes to call itself ‘the international community’, it is no such thing. Indeed, even the phrase ‘the Western world’ is inappropriate because a great many Western people are wholly opposed to the policies of ‘the Western world’. In fact ‘the Western world’ is not a geographical construct, but an ideological one. The phrase ‘the USA’ is also totally inappropriate, since many Americans are thoroughly opposed to today’s ‘Western world’, not least native Americans. In fact, by ‘the Western world’ we are talking about a small but immensely powerful global elite which controls the politics, economies and media of ‘Western countries’, despite their peoples, and wants hegemony over the whole world. But what does even the phrase ‘Western countries’ mean?
Today the phrase ‘Western countries’ means the elite of the USA, Canada, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and most EU countries. This elite also has agents in other countries, sometimes though by no means always Jews, such as Petro Poroshenko (real name, Waltzman) and Igor Kolomoysky in the Ukraine or the vilely murdered Boris Nemtsov in Russia. Here we immediately affirm that we utterly detest all anti-semitism and resolutely stand in defence of ordinary Jews who have suffered so much in history, pointing out that Western elite Jews are not Jews at all in the historic or religious sense, but uprooted Zionists. And the difference between a Zionist and a Jew is as huge as that between a neocon bankster and the average US citizen struggling to avoid foreclosure or between a Brussels bureaucrat and the average EU citizen struggling to pay bills.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union a generation ago, this hubristic Western elite has embarked on its ambitious ‘New World Order’ campaign to acquire worldwide hegemony. As regards Eurasia, the Western elite has since 1945 controlled the vassal archipelagos at either end of Eurasian Continent – Japan and the British Isles. Thus, as regards Great Britain, the US elite first dismantled its Empire in order to build a US Empire in its place, then it forced it to join the future European Union. It has recently strongly objected to any attempt by the British people to liberate itself by referendum from EU slavery, has strongly objected to the desire of many Scots to liberate themselves from the tyranny of London and has recently protested at any attempt to reduce defence (= offence) spending, since the British armed forces are in fact only ‘partner’ forces under US orders. The UK is in fact just a US aircraft carrier off the coast of Western Europe.
The US elite has used the elites of both the UK and Japan against the national interests of their subject populations to penetrate further into the Eurasian mainland, whether into Siberia, in the US-encouraged and British-financed anti-Russian war of 1904-5 and in the 1950s in Korea, or into Western Europe. Indeed, since the US invasion of Western Europe in 1944 (carried out in order to prevent the Red Army arriving on the shores of the Atlantic), the US elite has been trying to control the Western tip of Europe, penetrating ever more eastwards since 1989, using the puppet EU as its Trojan Horse. However, there are now active forces in the EU, which are at last awake and are opposing vassalization. Curiously, these forces belong politically to both left and right.
Thus, mainly in southern or ex-Catholic Europe, in Spain, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – we can see left-wing movements resisting US colonization. On the other hand, mainly in northern or ex-Protestant Europe, in England, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, we can see right-wing movements resisting US colonization. Why this difference between left and right? It all depends on their local history since 1945. By and large, in countries where oppressive right-wing ideologies have been in power, resistance comes from the left. By and large, in countries where oppressive left-wing ideologies have been in power, resistance comes from the right.
In a similar way, in recently colonized Central and Eastern Europe, there is increasing nostalgia for Communism, oppressive, but everyone had a job and a dwelling, there was little crime or insecurity, there was free education and medical care and the young were not forced to leave their homes and families to emigrate in order to find work. Here, where US vassalization has gone further, including in Non-EU countries, with American ministers appointed in Georgia, Estonia and the Ukraine, the US takeover of the media in Serbia, CIA torture camps in several Eastern European countries such as Lithuania, US or EU political appointees in Sweden, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria and Montenegro, generously-financed US regime-change agents in the Ukraine, Armenia and Turkmenistan, resistance is also growing. The adoption of Wild West capitalism and mafia politics, the law of the jungle where there is no social justice, has not brought happiness.
On the left-wing of resistance and sovereignty stand thinkers and politicians like the Americans Noam Chomsky and Paul Craig Roberts, the Canadian Naomi Klein, in Germany Gregor Gysi, in Scotland Alex Salmond, in Czechia Milosh Zeman, in Greece the leaders of Syriza and in Spain of Podemos. On the right wing of resistance and sovereignty stand thinkers and politicians like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan in the USA, Philippe de Villiers, Marine Le Pen, Alain de Benoist and the late Dominique Venner in France, Nigel Farage in England and Viktor Orban in Hungary. Whatever we think of their politics or personal eccentricities and however much we may disagree with them, they at least all stand united in their opposition to the one size fits all globalization of the elite and against the post-modernist neocon ‘war against all who disagree with us’.
The more spiritually sensitive European resistance workers are beginning to realize that only the return to European roots, ultimately to the European Tradition of the first millennium, can act as the antidote to the ‘Western’ elite, with its EU totalitarian ‘liberalism’ and NATO military hysteria, which have both been artificially created by the neocon warmongers of Washington. The Brave New World of the New World Order which the elite has sought to create for a generation is nothing but the justification for its own greed and depravity. And that is precisely what all the saints of Jerusalem and Rome, Greece and Italy, Egypt and Syria, Gaul and Ireland, Wales and England, Bulgaria and Serbia, Russia and Romania have always fought against – greed and depravity.
However, having infiltrated and largely vassalized the Western tip of Eurasia, the real aim of the elite is to go much further. It is to acquire control over the huge natural riches of what the geopoliticians call ‘the heartland’, that is, northern Eurasia, which stretches half-way around the world – the Russian Federation, over one eighth of the planet’s land mass. As a result, the Russian Federation is trying to create friends all around its frontiers, forming the Eurasian Economic Union, creating alliances with China, Syria, Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, and also further afield, with Latin America and Africa. It wishes to create a network on its periphery, a global alliance of sovereign nations which believe that their civilizations and traditions, their national cultures and identities, are more important than the Western elite’s idols of the US dollar and the ‘freedom’ to be greedy and depraved. As Nigel Farage, who comes from the land of Thatcherite monetarism, bravely said: ‘Some things are more important than money.’
All of this would be mere politics and therefore have little place on this website if it were not for one vital fact. Standing far beyond the petty interests of provincial and narrow-minded Russian nationalists, the multinational Russian Federation is by far the largest Orthodox Christian country in the world, sole heir to the Christian Roman Empire. Although its spiritual rebirth is only beginning and is still being held back by the weight of the recent past and has far to go, its positive direction, unlike that of the Western world, is clear. Russia’s destiny as the Third Rome of the Last Times, the last Christian Empire, is to rebalance a divided and tormented planet, to resist Satan in the last times though the traditional values which it is now recovering after the three generations of the demonic possession of Western-imposed atheism. And those values are love, mercy, non-acquisition, personal righteousness, social justice, generosity, hospitality and self-sacrifice.
For this reason, healthy spiritual forces in the Western world, as elsewhere outside it, today defend the Russia which is being reborn and also seek her support. Europe in particular stands at the crossroads. Is Europe to survive or not? After more than three generations of Americanization on the one hand and more than one generation of Islamization on the other hand, can it survive? Only if it refers back to its roots in its historic identity in Christianity because the roots of all civilizations are in spiritual inspiration, in Faith. Any civilization which abandons its spiritual roots withers and dies. This is the inevitable law of history. To throw off the modern yoke of the idolatry of the dollar, the law of the jungle, and return to the truths of Galilee is the only way in which Europe can be saved.
In the Ukraine the desperation of the Poroshenko junta is now clear. Forced into signing Minsk-2 by an equally desperate Merkel and Hollande, who fear full-scale war between US-run Europe and Free Europe and so the collapse of the EU, Poroshenko has also been threatened by the IMF which will no longer fund him unless he ends the bloody war he so foolishly began. His US puppet-masters are also impatient, for 700 Western mercenaries, including many Americans and NATO-trained Poles, are trapped by the Ukrainian freedom-fighters in the Debaltsevo cauldron.
Even in his Uniat heartland of the far western Ukraine (formerly eastern Poland), Poroshenko is facing demonstrations, militant opposition and the refusal to fight in the US-ordered war. There the cold and unpaid population are demoralized by Poroshenko’s broken promises and the thousands of returning bodybags with the corpses of sons who died for nothing. Embarrassed by Poroshenko’s Nazi cronies in Kiev, the EU is insisting on the always obvious need for the federalization of the Ukraine which Poroshenko always refused. The EU will now police his ragtag army’s retreat.
Sadly, in their hubris the unenlightened secularists and atheists of the Western elite still do not realize that the war that they have started in the Ukraine is a religious war. Speaking to Ukrainians defending their homeland marching beneath the double-headed eagle flags against the corrupt oligarch junta the US has put in place in Kiev, they have been told again and again that this is a ‘holy war’ for the Church against Satan. They still do not grasp that the Ukrainian patriots are not battling against the Kiev junta, or even against American neocons, but against the Devil himself.
The goal of the Church’s enemy is, as ever, the establishment of planetary Satanic rule. What is happening in the Ukraine, as everywhere in the US-organized wars across North Africa and the Middle East, from Nigeria and Libya to Syria and Afghanistan, is a prelude to global war. This is a war to destroy true Christianity, Orthodoxy, the Church. Having created the First and Second World Wars and laid hundreds of millions of the slain, including the aborted, at the altar of their father, Satan, the Western elite has initiated the Third World War, intentionally hastening the reign of Antichrist.
The ‘post-modern’ West is declining in self-justified sodomy and decadence. It is mired in unbelief and failing even to reproduce itself, handing itself over to primitive Islamism. As His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill recently commented, the only real threat to the Church is the loss of faith precisely by imitation of the West. The destruction of faith, family and the nation is the Satanic aim of the Western elite worldwide. The last rampart of traditional European Christianity is the Russian Orthodox Church – now being freed from temptation to imitate the West by Western terrorism in the Ukraine.
Western Russophobes point to the cynicism and massive corruption of the post-Soviet Russia which is the only Russia that they know. ‘Birds of a feather…’. Without any vision, they do not see the other Russia, the Russia which is being transformed into Orthodox Russia. They see only the reflections of their own lack of faith, their own cynicism and corruption. They criticise President Putin, whom they have made so popular by their attacks, because they fail to see that he is only a transitional figure who is leading to the future. Because they are faithless, ignorant of the Holy Spirit, they are blind.
The Russophobes foolishly think that we are naïve and do not know about the corruption of post-Soviet Russia. We do know about it, but we have gone beyond it. They live in the post-Soviet past. We are with the future Russia, where the nominal becomes real. We have vision; they have only despair, the disbelief of their cynicism. Moreover, Orthodox Russia is waking up the rest of the Orthodox world, the for now EU-captive Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, and the EU-free but US-threatened Serbia, Moldova, Georgia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Western world itself.
Orthodox Russia, recovering from the Western-imposed Bolshevik delusion and rediscovering itself, first spiritually and now in the new generation politically, is being called on to save the world. Squeezed between false forms of Christianity and Secularism, the Church stands firm, vigilantly watching those groups which are preparing for Antichrist. Just like the Church Outside Russia in the years when the Church inside Russia was paralyzed, even though threatened by isolation, the whole Church now stands in uncompromised faith, witnessing to the whole world.
The Russian Orthodox Church is uniting diverse peoples around the world who are opposed to the anti-Christian Western elite and its insidious global spread through the propaganda of US ‘soft power’. In the last few decades the Western elite has adopted a world-view based on egoism (‘individualism’) and secularism that isolates it from the rest of the world. So arrogant is that elite that it is unable to comprehend its own isolation. Traditional Western people have been saying for decades that the West has become hopelessly decadent and have been looking for a leader to counter all this.
The leader is here in the Russian Orthodox Church. With the end of the Cold War, America has become the global revolutionary power, seeking to foist the atheism of its post-modern views on the whole planet, by force when necessary. Today Russia has emerged as the counter-revolutionary force, uniting both traditionalists (Ron Paul / Marine Le Pen / Nigel Farage) and radicals (Paul Craig Roberts / Syriza and nationalists in Scotland and Catalonia). In Cold War 2 the evil empire is the Western elite. Russian Orthodoxy is both traditional and also has a consciousness of social justice.
The Russian Orthodox Church represents the actual global consensus, while the Western elite (not the Western people) is the decadent and isolated exception. The West’s postmodernism, as my friend Fr Vsevolod Chaplin proclaimed recently, ‘is increasingly marginal’, adding that ‘it cannot cope with modern challenges’. Meanwhile, Orthodox Christian, Chinese, Indian, Latin American and African civilizations share opposite values and will play an active role in building peaceful relations between civilizational systems and making firm friends among unbrainwashed Western people.
Little wonder that President Putin is genuinely popular and admired by 90% of Russians across the spectrum, in a way that Western politicians can and will never be. Among believers as well as the religiously indifferent, among Protestants as well as Orthodox, among academics as well as taxi drivers, but also among increasing numbers of ordinary Western people themselves, who are so detested and despised by the patronizing global Western Establishment elite, he is seen as the leader who will stand up to the arrogant aggression of bullying and depraved Western governments.