Category Archives: Deviations

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

At the turning of the tide

Hope and Truth abide.

Introduction

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

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

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

Converting Post-Soviet Society and the Post-Soviet State

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Renewing the Local Orthodox Churches

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

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

Bringing the Western World to Repentance

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

Conclusion

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

 

Q and A May 2019

The Corruption of the Constantinople Episcopate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russian Orthodox Church Matters

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pastoral Psychology

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

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

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

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

 

 

My Life, the Last Battle and the New Orthodox World (N.O.W.)

‘Tell the people: Although I have died, I am alive.’

St John of Shanghai

Foreword: The War

Forty-five years ago I was told by one who could have known better that, as I had been waiting for years to join the Orthodox Church, I now faced a choice: I could either join the Greek Church of Constantinople or the Church of Russia; it was all the same. But only to him was it all the same, as, in spite of, or rather because of, his great intellect, he was spiritually confused. He lived in an alien compromise, washing his hands before the critical choice. I joined the Russian Church because, since the age of twelve, I had known through revelations to my soul that my destiny was most definitely in the Russian Orthodox Church. However crippled it may have been after 1917, I was destined to share in that agony, indeed, although it seemed foolishness to the Jews and to the Greeks alike, only by sharing in that agony could I hope to find my own salvation. I sensed even then that what he had told me was somehow untrue. At best it could only have been a delusion. It was not all the same – and recent very sad events have shown this to all absolutely clearly. Let me explain:

The Church is not to be found in a people who believe that it is a chosen people. Many Hebrews believed that they were the chosen people, but they stoned the prophets and crucified the Son of God. To this day many of their descendants reject Christ, some considering themselves superior to the rest of humanity. Then the Western European elite came to believe in their ‘exceptionalism’ (that is, their claim that they too were above God) too, all in order to justify their organized barbaric aggression. So a thousand years after Christ, they too fell away from the Church, rejecting the Holy Spirit and seizing control of the Church in the West in order to justify their conquistador power-grab. So, like pirates, they began persecuting us ordinary Christians and conquering the rest of the world by fire and the sword. Then their secularist descendants, in turn the Portuguese, Spanish, French, British, German and finally American elites, did exactly the same, demanding world hegemony (‘globalism’), also rejecting Christ because they consider themselves superior to the rest of humanity. (Hence their anti-Semitism: the other ‘chosen people’, the Jews, were rivals to them, therefore they had to be eliminated). In the Church there has now come the turn of certain Greeks, telling us that only they are Christians, that God speaks only Greek, and, as one very well-known Cypriot archimandrite told me, even that their pagan ancestors had prepared the way for Christ! Many Russians fell victim to the same delusion, in the same way believing in themselves instead of believing in God, taking communion only once a year. So they lost everything and overthrew the God-appointed Christian Emperor in 1917. Only through the blood of the New Martyrs and the tears and sweat of the New Confessors did repentance eventually begin to come to them.

All these ‘chosen peoples’ failed to understand that salvation comes only from the Heavenly Jerusalem of the Church of Christ through the Mercy of God and the Holy Spirit – not from some earthly ‘Jewish Rome’ of some mythical ‘chosen people’. For this reason, once I had chosen the Russian Church, I was to spend the rest of my life at war, in tireless battles, in unceasing strife, in the trenches, on the Western Front, fighting for real Christianity, for the real Russian Orthodox Church, together, of course, with many others. We all fought against the narrow-minded, nationalist delusions and impurities of those who had lost the big picture, who could not see the wood for the trees. They told us that only Russians could be Orthodox, that only their own exclusive little fragments of the great Imperial Orthodoxy, which had not undergone the blood, tears and sweat of others, could be right, that God’s Church needed ‘saving’ or ‘reforming’ (naturally, by themselves!). Some of them even persecuted and took to court as a common criminal the greatest saint among them all, St John of Shanghai. Little wonder that the Lord sent me to a military Church. I never sought any of this; it was all imposed on me. My soul would have died had I not taken part in this spiritual warfare. My life has been unceasing warfare in four battles, all fought beneath the Protecting Veil, which my patron-saint saw and which is the only reason why I am still alive.

Three Battles

My first battle was to take part in the struggle to help free that small part of the Russian Church Diaspora in England, which was dependent on Moscow, from spiritual impurity. After nine years, by 1983, I realized that I would fail in this. It was a task quite beyond me, with my very feeble abilities and from my modest, provincial, rural background; the enemies were invested with the strength of a personality cult, with all the authority of men and their city establishments, they had no time for a ploughman’s grandson. I was knocking my head against brick walls. So I left into exile, seeing my limitations. I understood that it would take far-reaching political changes inside Russia and indeed the departures or deaths of some outside Russia before this battle could be won (I did not know then that this would mean twenty-four years). Victory was inevitable, but only God Who created time, could in time bring the victory. My battle had been premature. By myself I could do nothing. It was good for me to know this.

My second battle was to take part in the struggle to help free that small part of the Russian Church Diaspora, which was dependent on Constantinople (Rue Daru), from spiritual impurity. I fought in Paris and thought that this battle was winnable. It was – almost. However, after six years in 1988 there came a turning-point when I saw that I would fail in this battle too. The intrigues of freemasons in high places meant that I could not help win this battle – all my friends were in low places. I knew then that this Paris group would eventually (I did not know then that this would mean thirty years) disappear into spiritual irrelevance. Those who had betrayed the Tsar and made him and his Family into martyrs had also betrayed the Church. So I left, having understood that here too it would take far-reaching political changes inside Russia and indeed the departures or deaths of some outside Russia before the battle to bring even a part of this group home to the Russian Church could be won. Victory was inevitable, but only God Who created time, could with time bring the victory. My battle had been premature. By myself I could do nothing. It was good for me to know this.

My third battle from the first day of 1989 onwards was to take part in the struggle to help free that part of the Russian Church Diaspora, which was dependent on New York (ROCOR), from spiritual impurity. Here there was a much greater chance of success, for the contaminating Protestant disease of ‘super-correctness’ (as another disciple of St John of Shanghai called it), with its ignorance, phariseeism, extremism, sectarianism, old calendarism, psychological (not theological) deviations of convertitis and Cold War money, had many opponents in the USA itself and even more in Western Europe where I was fighting on the Front. And above all, my Diocesan Archbishop supported me and I supported him. The ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, a spiritual son of and the European successor to St John of Shanghai, was in effect the first real Orthodox bishop I had met. We had an identical understanding of the Church. By myself I could do nothing, but now I was far from being alone; I was simply one of very many, a little cog in a large machine. I did not know then that this struggle would take eighteen years, for only in 2007 did the Church win the day. I was taking part in our first victory, together with millions of others, in the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors, to which I had always belonged in spirit. Only geography had ever divided us.

After the Three Battles

Once this battle, in which I had played only a tiny role, eventually from my provincial home-town, had been won by the many, especially by the bishops who had been inspired by the grace of God, I knew that the two other houses of cards where I had earlier lost the day would fall in their turn. I just did not know that it would take another twelve years. Between 2007 and today, in 2019, I have seen both these first lost battles won. History won them. What I knew in the past, that they would be won only in God’s own time, has come to pass. What we have fought long and hard for has been obtained. Thus, we now at last have for our Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland a bishop, pleaded for during over four decades. He is Orthodox, understanding the local language and people, not phyletist, venerating the local saints and not denying them, missionary-minded like us, encouraging us and not destroying us, not under the control of laypeople, in good health, and who will be resident here in just a few weeks from now.

Secondly, the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of Western Europe, awaited for over three decades, was at last established in Paris only a few weeks ago. This means that our House will be built on rock, not on sand, and that the ‘Euro-Orthodox’ fantasy of the Paris Brotherhood is now dead. The future Local Church of Western Europe will be authentically Orthodox. For what we have sought for and fought for since 1988 now is. There is now a real Orthodox Exarchate for Western Europe, with many regional dioceses and young bishops, hundreds of parishes and several monasteries, venerating the local saints and not denying them, the foundation of the new Local Church. Led by Metropolitan John in Paris, who bears the name of our missionary father in Christ, St John of (Shanghai and) Western Europe and so continues in the tradition of Archbishop Antony of Geneva, it will of course need much more time to develop. It consists of the generally newer Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe, in many dioceses and with many bishops. However, alongside it and complementing it, also stand the two (Western European and German) dioceses of ROCOR, with their five bishops, two of them younger and active. This consists of the generally older, more integrated, Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe, a few of them until recently under Constantinople, but now at last come home. The two parts need each other and hopefully their bishops will meet regularly in order to help each other in their own joint Synod.

However, in this Year of the Lord, 2019, there is the last mystical battle (last for me) in the series of mystical battles in this Hundred Years’ War, which for a century has so deformed Church structures in the Diaspora. This battle is also against spiritual impurity, against masonic ecumenist and modernist intrigues. However, this last battle is the battle inside the Russian Lands, inside historic Rus’; it is therefore not a local battle for English, French and American Rus’ in London, Paris and New York, for part of the small Russian Diaspora, it is a general battle which concerns the whole Church. This is taking place today in the Ukraine, but it affects all. For the Church is the mystical centre of the world and it is the Ukraine which is now the mystical centre of the Church. And this is why we have come here now, sent to fight from the Western Front to the Eastern Front. All will stand or fall by their attitude to what is happening in the Ukraine today, to this battle between Christ and Satan. Whose side are you on?

The Fourth Battle

The internal administrative centre of the false Orthodoxy against which I fought in all our four battles, was formed in Istanbul a century ago. It came into being only because of the long-planned overthrow of the restraining protection of Imperial Tsardom. However, the Western disease which had overthrown the Christian Emperor and so the Christian Empire and then brought that centre into being had already infected Russia and elsewhere before that. For the disease contaminated all nationalities, including many in the Russian Lands and from there in the Diaspora. The disease came to be called renovationism and the renovationists were keenly supported from Istanbul. Today it has become crystal clear that the whole of the supposed Orthodox world has now to side either with real Orthodoxy or else against real Orthodoxy. The time of reckoning has come; the time of compromise is over. No-one can stand by any longer with the indifference and conceit of Pilate. Even though this battle is of exactly the same nature as the series of three battles which we fought in the Diaspora before this one, now it is not the Diaspora, but the Ukraine which is the sword that divides. The battlefield has changed to the Ukraine, but the battle is the same one; it is the battle for spiritual purity, for canonicity, for real Orthodoxy.

Gradually, over the last two months, one Local Church after another has decided to side with spiritual purity, canonicity and real Orthodoxy and so support Metr Onufry and the Church of God of the Ukraine. The rest of the Russian Church with ROCOR was the first to support him wholeheartedly. The Local Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, Antioch, Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Cyprus, and unofficial but spiritually free (= non-political) voices in the Churches of Greece, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Georgia, followed. So far, thirteen out of eighteen Athonite monasteries have joined us. And a few days ago the episcopate of the basically Carpatho-Russian OCA (Orthodox Church in America), which had dithered for several weeks and where some had for years even been threatening to desert the Church for Istanbul, decided the same. This is their spiritual victory and our very great comfort after decades of spiritual slumber, of wandering far from the Church with American phyletist delusions. It means that the little OCA is maturing, at last deciding to accept its destiny, abandoning its eccentric spiritual isolation and so finding its positive identity by returning to its roots under St Tikhon. Inspired by the breath of new life, it can at last begin to play a significant and fulfilling role as one of the component parts of the future, united, much larger, multinational Russian Orthodox Churches of the three continents of the New World, of the Americas and Oceania.

This leaves the episcopates of only two Local Churches, the large Romanian and the tiny Albanian, not politically free and sitting on the fence, paralysed like Pontius Pilate ‘for fear of the Jews’. They are silent, neither supporting nor rejecting, awaiting instructions from above on whether to support the petty nationalism of the phyletist schism of Constantinople or not. The false church in the Ukraine, founded by the US-backed separatists in Kiev, is officially under a certain Sergei Dumenko. He is actually a Vatican- and US-approved puppet-layman, therefore both pro-Uniat and pro-LGBT, and not a metropolitan, His false church has been seen to be without grace, without sacraments, without the Holy Spirit. His church is that of ‘the Ukrainian god’, as one Ukrainian minister has put it. His enthronement in Kiev six days ago was ignored by all the Local Churches. His so-called ‘Church’ is only a regime-manipulated charade of empty rituals, just another small ultra-nationalist organization – an absurd anachronism in this global world. It is supported by teams of police-backed Nazi bandits who intimidate and beat up Christians, because Nazis have no concept of the meaning of the word ‘Christian’. And these anti-Christian men of violence are directly supported by an alien and corrupt political regime in Kiev, supported by alien and corrupt regimes elsewhere, and, to their eternal shame, by Greek ‘bishops’ in Istanbul.

Afterword: The Victory

The decadent, self-appointed, Paris-School ‘theologians’ from the past slip away one by one. With them their secularizing ideologies from the past, Ecumenism (anti-Orthodoxy; against the Father), Modernism (anti-Sovereignty; against the Son) and Liberalism (anti-People; against the Holy Spirit), slip away into spiritual irrelevance. Their books of intellectual fantasy-philosophy are ready for the dust of forgotten library shelves. Those who frustrated, wasted, impeded and persecuted us for so many decades are leaving the stage and we are beginning to see the future clearly now. For the New Orthodox World (N.O.W.) is taking shape. The New Orthodox World (NOW) is led not by anachronisms, relics from the past in cities of empires which have not existed for centuries, but by vibrant and missionary multinational Local Churches, Autonomous Churches and Exarchates worldwide. These are not narrow and corrupted nationalist museums for State rituals, flag-waving and cultural nostalgia or the playthings of disincarnate but very aggressive, politicized and politically correct, liberal intellectuals, but living organisms, cleansed to prepare us all to meet the King before He returns in all His glory. And in the New Orthodox World, NOW, there is the Heavenly Jerusalem of the Church of Christ, awaiting Him and resisting the Enemy of Mankind, who comes before Christ in order to create disunity, disorder and distress among us.

The death-threat which I received three years ago, sent me because the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, did not stop me or deter me for a single second. In a dream, come to me after receiving that death-threat, I opened my front door and saw an agent on my doorstep. He at once fired his revolver at me, but the bullet rebounded off my priest’s cross, killing him instead of me. He fell to the ground and his corpse was dragged away to a waiting car by his colleague, who in fear and astonishment uttered powerless curses. I left and hid in a secret and remote place where I could not be found. I was rescued by the prayers of one who long, long ago had also taken refuge in such a place and I was taken to a faraway land. I have never paid any attention to dreams, especially such dramatic ones, but I remembered this one. However, I only really understood its meaning and symbolism on my first day here. It means that, like all of us, I will die when God decides, not when men decide, for though man proposes, God disposes. It means that the bullet rebounds, for if men want to kill the truth, they kill only themselves (exactly as they have done for the last one hundred and five years, with their atheist wars, one after another). And those who try to kill the Church in the Ukraine are committing spiritual suicide; indeed, their death-bearing bullet has already lethally rebounded onto themselves.

Victory has been ours in the Diaspora, because we have been willing to die for the Church of God and our enemies have not – because they are inherently attached to this world and so fear death which is of this world. Victory is ours in the Ukraine, because we are willing to die for the Church of God and our enemies are not – because they are inherently attached to this world and so fear death which is of this world. This is why we shall win this last battle now – because we do not fear death, for we believe and we know that Christ is the Life-Giving God, Who rose from the dead and freed the captives in hell. They, however, have only heard of the Risen Christ as a theory and symbolic myth for their heads. They believe it not in their hearts. Therefore their heads, like their lives, are full of the philosophies and works of death. But we do believe and we know and we tremble in awe before the Living God, Who is the Great God, Who works wonders and Who is with us, so that none is against us. Let the dead bury the dead. As for us, we shall not die, but live, and we shall declare the works of the Lord. The Lord is our Enlightenment and our Saviour, whom then shall we fear?

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Kiev, 1-8 February 2019

 

 

 

 

Istanbul: The Young Turks Take Over

The three-day Synod in Istanbul, the last of the year, ended yesterday.

Firstly, after over three generations of indulging its illusions, it finally dissolved the rebellious Rue Daru group in Paris, reducing its 75 year-old French archbishop to a vicar-bishop. We had long expected this, but did not know when and in what despotic conditions without any consultation. Now in each community of that little group infighting will follow between opposing clans, those who are actually of the Russian Tradition and the anti-Orthodox Russophobes. This mirrors the present and coming battle in the OCA (Orthodox Church in America) group, which as such was founded by Paris intellectuals nearly fifty years ago at the height of the Cold War and is equally divided between Orthodox and Russophobes.

Secondly, the Synod sacked the 90-year old Archbishop Dimitrios in North America, as had been expected earlier this year. This sacking involves a large sum of ‘missing money’.

Thirdly, the Synod did not give the Tomos for Ukrainian autocephaly, just as they said they would not two years ago before their disastrous meeting in Crete, but as they had been paid $25 million for by the US taxpayer to do this year. This leaves President Poroshenko, who demanded this Tomos (he was the only one who wanted it, apart from his US paymasters) with a very red face, outwitted by Greeks who came bearing (apparent) gifts.

Why did all this happen now?

With an ageing (and, according to some, ill) Patriarch and many other elderly and ill bishops, such as the unstable John of Pergamos or the above-mentioned 90 year-old Archbishop Dimitrios or the arch-rebel Archbishop Stylianos in Australia, it seems as though the young generation of ‘Young Turks’ has taken over in Istanbul. These include the ultra-papist Metropolitan of Prussa, Elpidiphoros (Lambriniadis), the Metropolitan of Gaul, Emmanuel Adamakis (said to be the very ambitious successor in Istanbul), or the now notorious Archbishop Job (Getcha).

This new generation lacks pastoral experience and is bound to an extraordinary ideology of Eastern Papism, that comes from a fantasy that ended 565 years ago in 1453. They will eventually come down to earth with a very cruel bump. Meanwhile, the self-imposed spiritual suicide of the New or Second Rome does mean its end, except as a small and schismatic group of ‘new calendarists’. This in turn means that the Russian Orthodox Church is now free to establish canonical Orthodoxy worldwide. A great burden has been lost. Freedom has come. The eyes of the Orthodox world are now looking to the Russian Church to take on the mantle of authority and prove itself worthy by at last setting up the infrastructure in the Diaspora which we have so long been battling for without support. To those who have been given much, much is expected.

 

The Patriarchate of Constantinople Falls into Schism

Just as the then tiny First Rome fell ingloriously in 1054, so now 964 years later, in 2018 the tiny Second Rome has also fallen ingloriously. For this is the historic meaning of the Phanariot decision to interfere in the canonical territory of the Russian Mother-Church, on US orders. As Metr Hilarion of Volokalamsk precisely predicted at the time in May 2016, the Phanariots would take their petty revenge in the Ukraine for the Third Rome’s refusal to support the heresies that Constantinople was peddling in Crete in 2016.

Now having taken on the notorious Ukrainian schismatics, including the defrocked and married Soviet-American ‘Patriarch’, Filaret Denisenko, and another Ukrainian group, run by the Canadian and US secret services, it means that the Phanar has finally lost its way after a century of anti-canonical errors. It all began with the hubris of power-seeking and flock-grabbing, followed by ecumenism and the new calendar, now it has ended in canonical ignominy. On Monday 15 October the Third Rome will make its judgement.

Already Archbishop Kliment (Vecherya) has called on all to discuss the possibility of anathematizing their Patriarch. We can only pray that this elderly man may yet repent for his insanity and foolishness. However, whatever happens, the Phanariot decision now clears the air. With several hundred thousand modernists and semi-Uniats who support the anticanonical Phanariots gone from the Church, it leaves some 217 million Orthodox to get on with Orthodoxy and at long last dissolve the logjam caused by the Phanar.

Despite the danger of persecution of the canonical Church in the Ukraine, now we can at last expect progress on relations between the Local Churches, the internal issue of the Diaspora, especially in the USA, but also in Western Europe and Oceania, on a century of Phanariot interference in the Russian and Ukrainian Diaspora, as also in Estonia. We can also expect progress on the external issue of the heresies of the Roman Catholic/Protestant world. We are breathing a sigh of relief. We can now go on unshackled and unhampered by deference and diplomacy to the spiritually and politically bankrupt.

 

 

1938-2018: St John on the Decline of the Patriarchate of Constantinople

THE PRIMACY among Orthodox Churches is possessed by the Church of the New Rome, Constantinople, which is headed by a Patriarch who has the title of Ecumenical, and therefore is itself called the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which territorially reached the culmination of its development at the end of the 18th century. At that time there was included in it the whole of Asia Minor, the whole Balkan Peninsula (except for Montenegro), together with the adjoining islands, since the other independent Churches in the Balkan Peninsula had been abolished and had become part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The Ecumenical Patriarch had received from the Turkish Sultan, even before the taking of Constantinople by the Turks, the title of Millet Bash, that is, the head of the people, and he was considered the head of the whole Orthodox population of the Turkish Empire. This, however, did not prevent the Turkish government from removing patriarchs for any reason whatever and calling for new elections, at the same time collecting a large tax from the newly elected patriarch. Apparently the latter circumstance had a great significance in the changing of patriarchs by the Turks, and therefore it often happened that they again allowed on the Patriarchal Throne a patriarch whom they had removed, after the death of one or several of his successors. Thus, many patriarchs occupied their see several times, and each accession was accompanied by the collection of a special tax from them by the Turks.

In order to make up the sum which he paid on his accession to the Patriarchal Throne, a patriarch made a collection from the metropolitans subordinate to him, and they, in their turn, collected from the clergy subordinate to them. This manner of making up its finances left an imprint on the whole order of the Patriarchate’s life. In the Patriarchate there was likewise evident the Greek “Great Idea,” that is, the attempt to restore Byzantium, at first in a cultural, but later also in a political sense. For this reason in all important; posts there were assigned people loyal to this idea, and for the most part Greeks from the part of Constantinople called the Phanar, where also the Patriarchate was located. Almost always the episcopal sees were filled by Greeks, even though in the Balkan Peninsula the population was primarily Slavic.

At the beginning of the 19th century there began a movement of liberation among the Balkan peoples, who were striving to liberate themselves from the authority of the Turks. There arose the states of Serbia, Greece, Romania, and Bulgaria, at first semi-independent, and then completely independent from Turkey. Parallel with this there proceeded also the formation of new Local Churches which were separate from the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Even though it was unwillingly, under the influence of circumstances, the Ecumenical Patriarchs permitted the autonomy of the Churches in the vassal princedoms, and later they recognized the full independence of the Churches in Serbia, Greece, and Romania. Only the Bulgarian question was complicated in view on the one hand of the impatience of the Bulgarians, who had not yet attained political independence, and, on the other hand, thanks to the unyieldingness of the Greeks. The self-willed declaration of Bulgarian autocephaly on the foundation of a firman of the Sultan was not recognized by the Patriarchate, and in a number of dioceses there was established a parallel hierarchy.

The boundaries of the newly-formed Churches coincided with the boundaries of the new states, which were growing all the time at the expense of Turkey, at the same time acquiring new dioceses from the Patriarchate. Nonetheless, in 1912, when the Balkan War began, the Ecumenical Patriarchate had about 70 metropolias and several bishoprics. The war of 1912-13 tore away from Turkey a significant part of the Balkan Peninsula with such great spiritual centers as Salonica and Athos. The Great War of 1914-18 for a time deprived Turkey of the whole of Thrace and the Asia Minor coast with the city of Smyrna, which were subsequently lost by Greece in 1922 after the unsuccessful march of the Greeks on Constantinople.

Here the Ecumenical Patriarch could not so easily allow out of his authority the dioceses which had been torn away from Turkey, as had been done previously. There was already talk concerning certain places which from of old had been under the spiritual authority of Constantinople. Nonetheless, the Ecumenical Patriarch in 1922 recognized the annexation to the Serbian Church of all areas within the boundaries of Yugoslavia; he agreed to the inclusion within the Church of Greece of a number of dioceses in the Greek State, preserving, however, his jurisdiction over Athos; and in 1937 he recognized even the autocephaly of the small Albanian Church, which originally he had not recognized.

The boundaries of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the number of its dioceses had significantly decreased. At the same time the Ecumenical Patriarchate in fact lost Asia Minor also, although it remained within its jurisdiction. In accordance with the peace treaty between Greece and Turkey in 1923, there occurred an exchange of population between these powers, so that the whole Greek population of Asia Minor had to resettle in Greece. Ancient cities, having at one time a great significance in ecclesiastical matters and glorious in their church history, remained without a single inhabitant of the Orthodox faith. At the same time, the Ecumenical Patriarch lost his political significance in Turkey, since Kemal Pasha deprived him of his title of head of the people. Factually, at the present time under the Ecumenical Patriarch there are five dioceses within the boundaries of Turkey in addition to Athos with the surrounding places in Greece. The Patriarch is extremely hindered in the manifestation even of his indisputable rights in church government within the boundaries of Turkey, where he is viewed as an ordinary Turkish subject-official, being furthermore under the supervision of the government. The Turkish government, which interferes in all aspects of the life of its citizens, only as a special privilege has permitted him, as also the Armenian Patriarch, to wear long hair and clerical garb, forbidding this to the rest of the clergy. The Patriarch has no right of free exit from Turkey, and lately the government is ever more insistently pursuing his removal to the new capital of Ankara (the ancient Ancyra), where there are now no Orthodox Christians, but where the administration with all the branches of governmental life is concentrated.

Such an outward abasement of the hierarch of the city of St. Constantine, which was once the capital of the ecumene, has not caused reverence toward him to be shaken among Orthodox Christians, who revere the See of Sts. Chrysostom and Gregory the Theologian. From the height of this See the successor of Sts. John and Gregory could spiritually guide the whole Orthodox world, if only he possessed their firmness in the defense of righteousness and truth and the breadth of views of the recent Patriarch Joachim III. However, to the general decline of the Ecumenical Patriarchate there has been joined the direction of its activity after the Great War. The Ecumenical Patriarchate has desired to make up for the loss of dioceses which have left its jurisdiction, and likewise the loss of its political significance within the boundaries of Turkey, by submitting to itself areas where up to now there has been no Orthodox hierarchy, and likewise the Churches of those states where the government is not Orthodox. Thus, on April 5, 1922, Patriarch Meletius designated an Exarch of Western and Central Europe with the title of Metropolitan of Thyateira with residency in London; on March 4, 1923, the same Patriarch consecrated the Czech Archimandrite Sabbatius Archbishop of Prague and All Czechoslovakia; on April 15, 1924, a Metropolia of Hungary and All Central Europe was founded with a See in Budapest, even though there was already a Serbian bishop there. In America an Archbishopric was established under the Ecumenical Throne, then in 1924 a Diocese was established in Australia with a See in Sydney. In 1938 India was made subordinate to the Archbishop of Australia.

At the same time there has proceeded the subjection of separate parts of the Russian Orthodox Church which have been torn away from Russia. Thus, on June 9, 1923, the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted into his jurisdiction the Diocese of Finland as an autonomous Finnish Church; on August 23, 1923, the Estonian Church was made subject in the same way, on November 13, 1924, Patriarch Gregory VII recognized the autocephaly of the Polish Church under the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate—that is, rather autonomy. In March, 1936, the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted Latvia into his jurisdiction. Not limiting himself to the acceptance into his jurisdiction of Churches in regions which had fallen away from the borders of Russia, Patriarch Photius accepted into his jurisdiction Metropolitan Eulogius in Western Europe together with the parishes subordinate to him, and on February 28, 1937, an Archbishop of the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch in America consecrated Bishop Theodore-Bogdan Shpilko for a Ukrainian Church in North America.

Thus, the Ecumenical Patriarch has become actually “ecumenical” [universal] in the breadth of the territory which is theoretically subject to him. Almost the whole earthly globe, apart from the small territories of the three Patriarchates and the territory of Soviet Russia, according to the idea of the Patriarchate’s leaders, enters into the composition of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Increasing without limit their desires to submit to themselves parts of Russia, the Patriarchs of Constantinople have even begun to declare the uncanonicity of the annexation of Kiev to the Moscow Patriarchate, and to declare that the previously existing southern Russian Metropolia of Kiev should be subject to the Throne of Constantinople. Such a point of view is not only clearly expressed in the Tomos of November 13, 1924, in connection with the separation of the Polish Church, but is also quite thoroughly promoted by the Patriarchs. Thus, the Vicar of Metropolitan Eulogius in Paris, who was consecrated with the permission of the Ecumenical Patriarch, has assumed the title of Chersonese; that is to say, Chersonese, which is now in the territory of Russia, is subject to the Ecumenical Patriarch. The next logical step for the Ecumenical Patriarchate would be to declare the whole of Russia as being under the jurisdiction of Constantinople.

However, the actual spiritual might and even the actual boundaries of authority by far do not correspond to such a self-aggrandizement of Constantinople. Not to mention the fact that almost everywhere the authority of the Patriarch is quite illusory and consists for the most part in the confirmation of bishops who have been elected to various places or the sending of such from Constantinople, many lands which Constantinople considers subject to itself do not have any flock at all under its jurisdiction.

The moral authority of the Patriarchs of Constantinople has likewise fallen very low in view of their extreme instability in ecclesiastical matters. Thus, Patriarch Meletius IV arranged a “Pan-Orthodox Congress,” with representatives of various churches, which decreed the introduction of the New Calendar. This decree, recognized only by a part of the Church, introduced a frightful schism among Orthodox Christians. Patriarch Gregory VII recognized the decree of the council of the Living Church concerning the deposing of Patriarch Tikhon, whom not long before this the Synod of Constantinople had declared a “confessor,” and then he entered into communion with the “Renovationists” in Russia, which continues up to now.

In sum, the Ecumenical Patriarchate, in theory embracing almost the whole universe and in fact extending its authority only over several dioceses, and in other places having only a higher superficial supervision and receiving certain revenues for this, persecuted by the government at home and not supported by any governmental authority abroad: having lost its significance as a pillar of truth and having itself become a source of division, and at the same time being possessed by an exorbitant love of power—represents a pitiful spectacle which recalls the worst periods in the history of the See of Constantinople.

From Orthodox Word, vol. 8, no. 4 (45), July-August 1972, pp. 166-168, 174-175.

The Third Rome or the Fourth Rome?

In an astonishing interview with the well-named Greek newspaper ‘Ethnos’, Metropolitan Emmanuel (the Greek ethnarch for France and often considered to be the successor to Patriarch Bartholomew) has just confessed a number of heresies.

Firstly, he has insisted on calling the Patriarchate of Constantinople ‘the Mother-Church’ of vast territories, which are completely canonically independent of Constantinople and have been for centuries, and that this title gives it the right to meddle in their internal affairs today.

Secondly, he has stated that Constantinople’s ‘process of granting the Ukraine autocephaly has begun’ and that this ‘is a priority’. In other words, Constantinople is going to grant the phyletist schismatics of the US-run Kiev junta (he calls them ‘the Ukrainian people’!) autocephaly, and that this is not a matter of if, but of when. (Is this revenge for the Russian Church not attending the heretical ‘Council of Crete’ in 2016, with its Obama-esque agenda?).

Thirdly, he has stated that ‘in 1054 Christianity was divided into Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism’! Yet every Orthodox schoolchild knows that in 1054 the Western European ruling elite split away from the Orthodox Church and invented Roman Catholicism!

It is clear that all of Orthodox Civilization, which has as its spiritual leader Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All the Russias, is facing a choice. It can, like the President of Moldova, Igor Dodon, whom certain forces attempted to assassinate in Chisinau last week, choose Orthodoxy. For it is he who stated, ‘I am the President of Orthodox, not of sodomites’ and for 13 September has organized ‘The International Congress of Families’ against the anti-Christian globalization project of the New World Order of the US and its EU and NATO vassals. Or else it can prefer dollar bribes to Orthodox Christianity, so committing apostasy from the Church of God and losing salvation in eternity.

Now we see that the prophecy of St Paisius the Athonite (+ 1994), which only thirty years ago seemed impossible, is coming true. Here we refer to his prophecy that a third of Turks will be baptized. When on 15 July 2016 Washington tried to murder the Turkish President Erdogan and he was saved with only half an hour to spare by a warning from Russia, he then changed sides from Washington to Moscow. The time is coming when we will see a Turkish Orthodox Church, opened by the Russian Orthodox Church. In its phyletism Constantinople has consistently refused to do so. (In our parish we already have a modest three Turkish Orthodox parishioners and their families).

This will be the Russian reply to Constantinople’s century of divisive meddling throughout the Diaspora, in Estonia and now in the Ukraine. We Russian Orthodox of all nationalities have known for over 500 years that with two Romes fallen, the Third Rome is Moscow and that a Fourth Rome there will not be. However, first Paris, next London, then Berlin and now Washington have all tried to be a Fourth Rome. They were and are foolish.

As a huge storm gathers on the East coast of the USA, just south of Washington, it too is going to learn that you cannot play at God. Just as the French, British and German Empires all crashed out of history, so too will the American Empire and its vassal in Constantinople. A Fourth Rome there will not be. All 216 million Orthodox now have to make a choice: Moscow or Washington’s satellite, Constantinople.

 

 

On the Fringes of the Contemporary Russian Orthodox Church

Introduction

After the Fall in the Garden of Eden, divisions appeared among mankind. These were described ascetically by the Church Fathers as falls to the left and right sides and are also today described politically as left and right. These divisions can be seen in the Gospels, where we encounter Saducees and Pharisees. The former were the ‘positive’ liberals of their age, who thought that everything was ‘relative’ (to use a modern term) and rejected the Resurrection. On the other hand, there were the negative conservatives of their age, the Pharisees and their sidekicks, the scribes. The Pharisees were highly ritualistic and considered to be model Jews in their devotion. However, our Lord called them ‘hypocrites’ and said to them ‘woe unto you’, when they censoriously condemned others, stoning to death and rejecting merciful healings on the Sabbath day.

We can find parallels to this in every religion in the world and throughout history. Thus in contemporary Islam, we can find fanatical young suicide bombers and, conversely, polite, conformist, Western-educated imams, who dress in suits and ties and whose values seem to be almost identical to liberal Guardian readers. Similarly, in contemporary Judaism, we can find fanatical rabbis who literally spit at Christians with furious hatred, but also ‘reformed’ female rabbis who look and sound like middle-class women from any polite suburb in the Western world. Since these two tendencies have always existed, both inside and outside any religion, and always will exist (because human psychology with all its deformations and deviations does not change), what exact forms do they take in the contemporary Russian Orthodox Church?

The Contemporary Saducees

The contemporary Saducees are secularist, syncretist, Russophobic, cosmopolitan, ultra-liberal, rationalist, anti-ascetic, reformist, new calendarist, ecumenist, modernist, masonic, intellectual, pro-homosexual, anti-mystical, philosophical and renovationist Westernizers. Some of them are converts from Judaism. Great advocates of revolutionary 1917 Duma politics and Church Renovationism and haters of the Tsar, they are admirers of the historic Paris School of Philosophy, which later worked its ills in the USA, and of semi-Orthodox, iconostasis-less, Lutheran-style churches in Finland. Many are in spirit Uniats, like the late French philosopher Olivier Clement, notorious for taking Roman Catholic communion, or like those who celebrate Orthodox services in Uniat churches. Eucharistically-minded, they are strongly opposed to confession and make communion obligatory for all at every single service.

In Moscow their leader is Fr George Kochetkov, invited to take over the Paris-style Sourozh Cathedral in London by the schismatic former Bishop Basil Osborne and once suspended by Patriarch Alexey II as a ‘neo-renovationist’. Politically, the Saducees are strongly anti-Putin and anti-Patriarch (both of whom they love to accuse of corruption with the Western propaganda chorus), pro-Constantinople and therefore pro-US and therefore pro-EU. It is suspected that they receive finance from there, just as the left-wing Paris YMCA émigré organization or the right-wing German émigré NTS were US-financed, little more than puppets. Inside today’s Russia, the Saducees look to the Prime Minister Medvedev and technocrats and liberals more extreme than him. A favourite website of theirs is the anti-Church and anti-Russian www.portal-credo.ru, which many suspect is CIA or Soros-financed, as it continually attacks the Russian Orthodox Church.

Pro-Catholic and so pro-Protestant and so pro-Secularist, the Saducees want to ‘reform’ (i.e. desecrate, that is, desacralize) Orthodox services, by shortening them and rewriting the Typicon and the Menaia. They believe that they understand everything, but in reality understand nothing because they only use their heads and not their hearts. They detest clerical dress, beards, long hair, and above all the Psalter, long services, fasting, asceticism and monasticism. They are strongly feminist (in the secular sense, not in the Orthodox sense, of the word (1)), detest modest dress and head coverings for women and have girls serving in their altars and want woman deaconesses and priests, like the late Elisabeth Behr-Sigel and other Parisian intellectuals and modernists in various countries. Being disincarnate, they prefer dreamy, abstract, ‘spiritual’ (= pseudo-spiritual) philosophy to concrete theology, which is based on practical spiritual experience.

Thus they detest any signs of the Incarnation of the Church in national life. Therefore they refuse to venerate saints like the Royal Martyrs, and in general the New Martyrs of the Communist Yoke, St John of Kronstadt, St John of Shanghai and St Seraphim of Sofia. They are admirers of Judas, whom some of them want to rehabilitate, not to mention Origen and Arius. They substitute for the saints their own ‘saints’, for example, those who helped Jews and so became victims of Hitler. In this way, they want to create a ‘new spirituality’, new simplified forms of liturgical life, new layouts of the church building with ‘open’ and low iconostases. Many of them consider smiling and laughter to be ‘a sign of the Holy Spirit’ and seem to believe, like Protestants, that they have already been saved in some magic descent of the Holy Spirit on them.

The Contemporary Pharisees

The contemporary Pharisees are also secularist, but in the opposite way from the Saducees. They are sectarian, ritualistic, ultra-conservative, ultra-nationalist, isolationist, provincial, loving folklore, racist, chauvinist, imperialist (not Imperial – which is very different), anti-Semitic, obscurantist, apocalyptic, rigid fundamentalists (like fundamentalist Protestants). Politically they are anti-Putin and anti-Patriarch, whom they see as moderates if not traitors, and in history they support both the monster Stalin (whom they want to canonize!) and yet they also admire many of Hitler’s policies! At the same time as this Stalinism, some of them call the Tsar-Martyr a redeemer. Although all suffering can be redemptive, there is only One Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Another historical figure they love is Ivan IV, called by his Western detractors ‘the Terrible’. (True, he was far less evil than his Western contemporaries like Charles V or Henry VIII, the latter of whom murdered 72,000, but he still murdered some 4,000 enemies of the State). A recent figure whom they admire is the pop singer Igor Talkov, assassinated in 1991, and they have even written an akathist to him. This admiration positions them as victims of the catastrophic perestroika period, when suddenly all values and identities were called into question, creating huge instability. Many at that time were baptized and made it safely from the rocks of the failed and dissolved Soviet Union to the shores of the Church, but the Pharisees never got there, being bogged down in the illusions of nationalism, just as the Saducees got bogged down in the illusions of anti-national Westernism.

The Pharisees tend to create their own sects, which claim to be ‘of the catacombs’. They are not afraid of falling out of communion with the Patriarch and the rest of the Russian Church and in any case, they do not recognize the rest of the Orthodox Church, the Romanians, the Georgians, the Bulgarians, the Greeks etc (though some have links with Greek old calendarists). In this they have much in common with the isolationist 17th century Old Ritualists. Just like the Saducees, they do not much practise the Faith – standing in church and praying demands faith, love and patience – but some may tell you that placing a booklet with the akathist to Igor Talkov or an icon of Stalin (!) on any part of the body that hurts will cure it. In this sense the Pharisees are anti-ascetic, highly superstitious or rather pseudo-mystical (like the Old Ritualists).

They seem to believe more in magic than God, Who will conjure up for them salvation out of thin air. They also seem to prefer dressing up in pseudo-military and pseudo-monastic uniforms (black being the favourite colour) and taking part in processions with banners to standing in church in prayer. They are also anti-intellectual and burn books by modernist thinkers like Fr Alexander Schmemann and Fr Alexander Men, rather than constructively criticizing them. Their strange slogan is ‘Orthodoxy or Death’; the Orthodox version of which would be ‘Faithfulness to the Church to Martyrdom’. These people are generally singularly humourless, gloomy and fearful, believing, it would seem, more in Antichrist than Christ and are obsessed with apocalyptic prophecies. A favourite website of theirs is http://3rm.info, which is anti-Patriarchal.

Conclusion

In surveying these two extremes, we can see how they meet and are parallel, both groups being incredibly intolerant of everyone else. Let us be frank, there is little theology in either extreme, it is psychology and even psychopathology. Some of these people have actually gone from one group to another, usually from the Saducees to the Pharisees. Thus, the Saducees tend to be of the younger generation, whereas the Pharisees tend to be a generation older. Clearly, the psychological need to be in opposition, to be rebellious, to be outsiders, is very strong. Both groups fail to accept the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. For example, the Saducees include in the Church all, including the heterodox who reject Orthodoxy, but not the ‘super-Orthodox’ Pharisees.

The Pharisees reject all the saints and holiness in general (see their rejection of the Menaia) and the Tradition (the inspirations of the Holy Spirit since Pentecost). They reject the Church and form their own sects, rejecting all the saints (like the Saducees, they venerate only selected saints), thus rejecting the Catholicity of the Church. Both groups similarly seem to reject the Apostolicity of the Church, established in the first century. The reference point for the Saducees is the Protestant Reformation (which is why they do not join Roman Catholicism) and the reference point for the Pharisees is medieval Russian history, especially the 17thcentury Old Ritualists (Russian Protestants), and do not go as far back as the first millennium.

The Saducees love the ‘magic’ of intellectual talk and philosophy, preferring it to actually doing. The Phariseees love the ‘magic’ of showy external parades, but not do not like ‘doing Church’, i. e. praying at church services. If anyone should read the above and feel concerned, let us put all this into proportion. Of some 164 million in the mainstream of the Russian Orthodox Church, these two sidestreams are tiny, perhaps 5,000 on each side, perhaps 10,000 in all. Should we therefore be wary of both equally? In one sense yes, because both are dangerous spiritual deviations, however there is a difference. The Pharisees, being inherently sectarian and so mainly having consciously cut themselves off from the Church, are largely discredited, their ideology much mocked, since its stands up to no logic, let alone theological analysis.

The Saducees, on the other hand, for the moment have the upper hand in terms of influence because they are still officially inside the Church. Being well-instructed, they know how to infiltrate and can even get the ear of some who are in power and in many respects cause the extreme reactions of the Pharisees through their humiliating contempt for the little people and sincere piety. And in that sense they are for the moment the more dangerous of the two deviations. As for us in the mainstream, we will continue in prayer and love, avoiding extremes, venerating all the saints, keeping the fasts and admiring genuine monastic life, the barometer of the Church, following the Tradition and obeying the Patriarchal episcopate of the Church – One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

Note:

1. Secular feminism is part of the attempt to re-engineer human nature, common to both classic Communism with its attempted creation of ‘homo sovieticus’ and to modern Western Secularism with its transgender/ transhuman agenda.

On the Non-Inevitability of Modernism

Once upon a time the pseudo-science of Marxism used to proclaim that its claims, like death and taxes, were inevitable. In a similar way the supporters of the theory of evolution used to proclaim that it too was the only ‘truth’ that counted, until real scientists pointed out that it was only a theory among many. Similarly, the EU used to proclaim that its aim of a United States of Europe was also inevitable, ‘like a man riding a bicycle you have to carry on towards it, otherwise you will fall off’. Actually if you are cycling (especially towards a cliff edge), you can easily stop without falling off and turn back, which is exactly what the pragmatists of Brexit have done. Modernists also use the same pseudo-scientific argument of inevitability to justify themselves. In a post-modernist world, their argument is particularly absurd and old-fashioned.

Thus, forty years ago I remember a priest of a modernist Western diocese of the old Patriarchate of Moscow (who later defrocked himself, ran away from his wife and then committed suicide) using exactly the same argument. ‘The Catholics had Vatican II, and we will follow them. It is inevitable. We will get rid of the iconostasis, have women around the altar table, have deaconesses, do away with clerical clothing and be modern like the Protestants and then the Catholics. It is just that we Orthodox are behind the others’. I have been reminded of his words recently, as a member of the Paris Archdiocese has said that since one of their priests in Belgium already accepts homosexual ‘marriage’ and that a priest under Constantinople in Finland actually does such ‘weddings’, ‘the rest of the Church will follow’. Inevitability? As in Crete?

A member of the Constantinople Archdiocese in North America has also recently questioned why New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was recently given the ‘Patriarch Athenagoras Human Rights Award’. After all, Cuomo is well known for his outspoken advocate of the pro-death (erroneously called pro-choice) movement. On 17 July 2014, Governor Cuomo referred to the defenders of the pre-born child as: “these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life … they have no place in the state of New York.” It seems a strange criticism when two years ago Vice-President Biden, who so lavishly praises the present Patriarch of Constantinople and has also tried hard to further the Church schism in the Ukraine and is another politician who is openly supportive of abortion, also received the same dubious masonic award.

To some it seems that an Orthodox Church accepting everything that liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism accept, including homosexual clergy, teenage girls ‘dancing’ around the altar and guitar ‘masses’, is inevitable. After all, they say, ‘we are all subject to the same sociological processes’. Such people, inherently secularist and faithless, have no understanding that this is a typically Catholic/Protestant/Secularist/Western attitude. The Church is precisely the only organism (not organization) that is not subject to ‘sociological processes’ (four Local Churches resisted Crete), but to the processes of the grace of God, processes of the Holy Spirit. If the apostles and martyrs had been subject to ‘sociological processes’, they would have censed the demons (‘gods’) as they were asked to. Instead, they refused – and became saints, the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The point is that none of the incredible secularization undergone by Protestantism and Catholicism in the last fifty years (or in the previous centuries either) is inevitable. However, this is true only as long as long as we have the Holy Spirit and not empty-hearted rationalism, that is the ‘fleshly wisdom’ of the spirit of the world – and we know who the prince of the world is. As the apostate scholastic Abelard wrote 900 years ago in the Prologue to his work ‘Sic et Non’: ‘The Fathers had the Holy Spirit, but we do not’. For the interest of the apostate descendants of Abelard, the word ‘Fathers’ means ‘the (Orthodox) Church’, in other words: ‘The (Orthodox) Church has the Holy Spirit, but the others do not’. There is nothing inevitable about modernism, just as there is nothing inevitable about any other form of apostasy.

What Will Replace the EU?

When Guy Verhofstadt, a former Prime Minister of Belgium who now heads the alliance of ‘Liberals and Democrats for Europe’ in the EU Parliament, described British political figures leaving the EU ‘as rats leaving a sinking ship’, he revealed what he really thought. Like other EU bureaucrats, he knows that time is up, that the EU is indeed a sinking ship. Its disappearance into the dustbin of history is not a question of if, but only of when. The post-War invention of the EU (though not at that time under that name) was clearly only a temporary accommodation provoked by the USA. It is amazing that it has gone on for so long, especially after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and then of the Soviet Union exactly 25 years ago, the existence of which, like that of NATO, was the EU’s only raison d’etre.

The deception perpetrated on the British people in 1972 by the then Prime Minister Edward Heath (then awarded a £40,000 yacht for his treason and now being investigated for pedophilia) in submitting the United Kingdom to the alien authority of the Treaty of Rome could not stand. Let us remind ourselves that it was another Belgian politician, Paul Henri Spaak, who had been entrusted with drawing up proposals for a European Common Market. Spaak was a revolutionary who had held talks with Trotsky. His right-hand man in the project was one Baron Robert Rothschild (not to be confused with the New York banker of the same name). In 1954 Rothschild had been appointed Spaak’s chef de cabinet at the Belgian foreign ministry and for two years worked with Spaak on the Treaty of Rome.

Not only did Spaak and Rothschild draft the Treaty, they also had the opportunity of deciding where it would be signed. They chose the main first-floor room of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the southern peak of the Capitoline Hill in Rome as their venue. They knew that the Palazzo had been built in the Middle Ages right on top of the Temple of Jupiter. The site had immense pagan, spiritual and political significance. Every year, the pagan Roman Senate used to hold their first meeting in the Temple. Jupiter was the protector, the ‘Conservator’ of Rome. Not only that, he was the Roman successor to the head of the Greek pantheon, Zeus, and if the altar to Zeus in Pergamos was said in the New Testament (Revelation 2, 13) to be ‘Satan’s Seat,’ this was Rome’s satanic equivalent.

However, although the teeming millions of Europeans (condemned by the judases as ‘populists’) will rejoice when the hated tyranny of the EU finally does disappear, this does not answer the question as to what will replace it. However, before such a question can be answered, another question must first be answered: What will replace the Soviet Union? After all, the EU only ever came into existence as a US-designed, anti-Soviet and anti-Russian bloc. Clearly, the present hotchpotch of unviable countries that replaced the Soviet Union is not going to last. They too, like the temporary Soviet Union, are only temporary. In order to find positive answers to both these questions, it seems to us that we must search in history before the First World War which ruined the Paris-Berlin-Saint Petersburg axis of unity.

It is clear that the countries included before 1917 within the Russian Empire form a territory that needs some sort of loose confederal unity and economic co-operation. Clearly, this does not mean the sort of centralized, tyrannical ideological unity of the Soviet Union, nor does it mean recreating the Russian Empire as such. There are already the beginnings of such a loose unity and such voluntary co-operation in the countries that form the Eurasian Economic Union. However, in 1914 in the western tip of the Eurasian Continent there were then empires and countries of Europe that were never part of the Russian Empire and have now mostly been absorbed into the failed European Union. Strangled by the political and monetary ideology of the EU, the peoples of these countries now look to freedom.

Surely they need look no further than the selfsame Eurasian Economic Union. Western Europe has in its pride and arrogance for a thousand years lived in self-chosen isolation from the wider Eurasian Continent. As it now faces collapse beneath the weight of its own spiritual and ideological bankruptcy, known as Secularism, and the self-inflicted invasion of Islamism, which will never recognize Christian values, it is now time for it to reintegrate the Eurasian Continent. This, vitally, contains the roots of its Christian Faith and thus its spiritual and so cultural identity. However, even more than this, Eurasia also contains its political and economic salvation. Eurasia, stretching to the Pacific, contains the mineral and energy resources which alone can save it from its dependency on the unstable and ever-warring Middle East.

The dream of many a European politician, not least of Charles de Gaulle, was a Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok. This is now becoming possible. In the East, the bankrupt ideology of the German Jew Marx was abandoned 25 years ago. It is now for the West, the remaining countries of the EU, to give up its bankrupt ideology of Secularism. The time for isolation is over. It is now time to return to roots. The dream of a Eurasian Confederation of Free and Sovereign Nations, voluntarily working together, is possible. The alternative is what the EU has created in the Ukraine: a land of inherent corruption, inflation and self-inflicted civil war. The only question is whether the EU leaders will have the courage to repent before their folly reduces their countries also to the state of the Ukraine, creating a Europe-wide Ukraine.