Category Archives: Deviations

The Paris School and the Future

The phrase ‘Paris School’ (of Russian religious philosophy) is a vague phrase because many of its representatives ended up not living in Paris or even France and because it was such a very varied phenomenon. Thus, it included intellectuals mainly of Russian origin (but not all of them), who ended up living as far apart as the USA, England, Finland, Bulgaria (the anti-monarchist plotter, Fr George Shavelsky) and Constantinople (the philosopher Metr John Zisioulas). Some of these were close to Orthodoxy, others were in open heretical revolt against the Church and constructed anti-Church ideologies, others were simply harmless eccentrics who lived in the clouds.

A representative close to the Tradition, for example, was the academic theologian (and not philosopher!) Fr George Florovsky, who was ousted from St Vladimir’s Seminary by another much more Protestant-minded thinker of a Paris-born generation, Fr Alexander Schmemann. However, there were others like the notorious Fr Sergey Bulgakov, who founded a new heresy under the influence of the alcoholic Catholic occultist Vladimir Soloviov. The latter was the real founder of the School, who infected it with all its basic currents of Gnosticism, Origenism, liberalism and ecumenism and had a great influence on the enormous intellect of the polymath, Fr Paul Florensky.

Then in Paris there was also the esoteric philosopher Berdyayev, who was imbued with semi-Catholic mysticism and like Bulgakov never quite shook off his Marxism, but there was also the more Orthodox Fr Basil Zenkovsky who wrote a magisterial ‘History of Russian Philosophy’. Then there were Vladimir Lossky, trained in Scholasticism, but whose views were very close to the Tradition in many respects, but on the other hand, the fantasist Bishop John Kovalevsky or the recently deceased French ecumenists, the ex-pastor Elisabeth Behr-Sigel and Olivier Clement. Their views were respectively as close to Protestantism and Catholicism as is possible without lapsing.

In England there were other representatives of the Paris School. These included the late Metr Antony (Bloom), whose curious, personal views combined a theoretical conservatism with an extraordinary liberalism and influenced several convert followers, like the Jewish Fr Sergei Hackel. Then there was the late ex-Uniat Fr Lev Gillet, who appears to have died either as a Quaker or else a Buddhist (no-one is quite sure), or the Parisian artist and intellectual the late Fr Sophrony Sakharov, whose whole esoteric philosophy of Orthodoxy came to be shaped by the peasant St Silvanus whom he had met on the Holy Mountain, where he had been a librarian.

With such a variety of individuals, some much closer to Orthodox Tradition than others, some more renovationist than others, some more fantasist than others, what do they all have in common? Negatively speaking, it is how far most of them seemed to have stood from the saints of the Church in the emigration like St John of Shanghai (also who also lived for many years in Paris and often came to London) or St Seraphim of Sofia, or from the genuine Orthodox philosopher of the emigration Ivan Ilyin. These followed the wholeness of the ascetic Tradition of the Church, and not selected fragments of it, which is why the Paris School was opposed to authentic monasticism.

However, this was not the essence of the Paris School. Its essence was its intellectual pretentiousness, which contains the pride which is at the heart of all deviations from the Church, without exception. Not understanding that enlightenment comes from the grace of God that alone cleanses the repentant heart, they all mistakenly believed that enlightenment comes from the purification of the intellect and the imagination. This tragic mis-take meant that their views were intellectual, philosophical, more or less renovationist, more or less fantasist, disincarnate from reality and from ordinary Orthodox and Orthodoxy, and so ultimately they became sectarian and cultish.

The proof of this thesis is in the fact that when the time came for the gradual liberation of the Russian Church inside Russia from Sergianism and Renovationism after 1991, they refused to re-enter Her fold and glorify the New Martyrs and Confessors together with Her. They had not been longing to return all along, as had the faithful, but had instead been cultivating their own intellectualist philosophies outside the Orthodox Tradition. Thus, cultivating private, personality-driven sidelines, they failed to see the mainstream of Church catholicity and ended up isolating themselves in the worst sort of isolation – isolation from the real saints, the New Martyrs and Confessors.

This meant that they allied themselves only with the vestigial renovationist and sectarian elements on the fringes of the Russian Church inside Russia. It also meant that they sullied themselves with politics (under the pretence of being apolitical!, which is always political). Thus, they allied themselves with Russophobic elements in the Western world, for example, with the self-justifying neocon hawks and past-worshipping warmongers of NATO, who never wanted the Cold War to end and in their ethnocentricity arrogantly never understand that the vibrant values of Orthodox Christian Civilization are quite different from their dying anti-Christian Western culture.

This is why, when at the end of 2016 the time of generational change had come for renewal in Russia and then, inspired by the Russian example, for the first glimmers of freedom and the hope of repentance in the West, the Paris School and its values stuck to the dead past. These last representatives were now aged, vestigial relics, whose rebellious and often absurd ideologies had been half-baked in the spiritual desert of the 1960s, which had been passed on to a few convert intellectuals in Russia who still had not caught up with the real world. As for the Church, we look as ever towards prophetic holiness and the dynamic restoration of the Tradition in the Holy Spirit that is happening now.

The Imperial Orthodox Faithful

A generation on after the fall of the atheist government in the Soviet Union, the Russian Church has made extraordinary progress in rebuilding and restoring itself. However, as we have frequently written: as it took three generations to destroy Imperial Russia, so it will take three generations to restore Her and even longer to do better, only thus ensuring that the atheist nightmare can never be repeated. The atheists produced a country where all ideals, ambitions and hopes were destroyed and so male alcoholism and female abortion were both normal. Although the statistics show dramatic improvements in these areas, the country is still paying a very heavy price, as can be seen from the still relatively low life expectancy and demography. As for church-building, what has been done is remarkable, but we cannot be satisfied – at least another 100,000 churches are required and another 100,000 priests – and that is only in the historic Russian Lands, let alone in the many lands of mission for the Church worldwide. We have no illusions, we have very far to go in order to gather in the peoples before the now rapidly approaching end.

As ever, the Church, not of the world, but still in the world, is squeezed between two opposing tendencies, the two sides of the same superficial coin. On the one hand, there are the spiritually superficial and primitive, but intellectually sophisticated, the disincarnate dreamers and ‘heaven-dwellers’, liberals and ecumenists, philosophers in prelest and mantra-repeating name-worshippers, left-wing renovationists and modernists, Parisians and Kochetkovites, who love each other, new suicidal Gapons, essentially rationalistic Protestants, who are clearly not of this world, but neither are they at all, as they deludedly imagine they are, of the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are equally spiritually superficial and primitive, but materially sophisticated, the worldly State-worshippers, pro-Stalinists, anti-Semites (yes 90% of the Bolshevik leaders were atheist Jews, but it was baptised but unChurched Russians and an apostate Georgian seminarist who obeyed their Satanic orders), ritualists (both Old and New Ritualists), fanatics, narrow sectarians, pharisees, superstitious and nominal, golden dome and gilt worshippers, who do not know that making the sign of the cross and sprinkling yourself with holy water before you sin does not bless that sin.

In the middle stands the Church, ever crucified and ever resurrected, not of this world, with the saints and martyrs in heaven and on earth, but committed to sanctifying this world and transfiguring State values into Church values, the balance kept by parish and monastic life together, both vital to any healthy Church, as we saw already in the fourth century and again in the nineteenth century. Carried by women for 90% of the time, the Church has yet to reach out to men and Church them. Too much is about attachment to externals, the reduction of the Faith to rituals, to putting the flesh above the spirit. Such superficiality is always followed by nemesis, the result of refusing Divine Protection and choosing human foolishness. The invasion of Kievan Rus by the barbaric Mongols and of Rus by the even more barbaric Teutonic Knights some 800 years ago, the Polish Invasion just over 400 years ago, Napoleon’s invasion just over 200 years ago, the so-called ‘Revolution’ nearly 100 years ago, Hitler’s invasion 75 years ago and the invasion of the Ukraine two years ago and the US-appointed junta in Kiev, all witness to the results of a merely superficial Orthodoxy.

For the way ahead we need to look to the best of Russian Orthodoxy, spiritual but also incarnate. This has always followed three (three because Trinitarian) tenets. These are: firstly, the Orthodox Faith in her integrity, so without the compromises that have befallen the modernists and ecumenists, who follow the secularist Western world and not the Gospel of Christ; secondly, the Imperial ideal, incarnate before the February 1917 coup d’etat of aristocratic Duma masons and treasonous generals, today only hinted at in prophetic gleams and shafts of light, but eagerly awaited in the coming Tsar; and thirdly, the Orthodox people, of all races and tongues all over the world, inside the Russian Lands and outside the Russian Lands, all spiritually united by and owing spiritual allegiance to Holy Rus’, the Christian Empire. We are the Orthodox Imperial Faithful, we are the Church, sinners but repentant, strict because faithful, but open because we know about human weaknesses. May God forgive us and lead us to victory before the end.

From Recent Correspondence (Lent 2016)

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

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

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

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

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

Q: So you are against this meeting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Why? I thought there were many converts?

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

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

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

Q: So converts are dying out?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q: Why do Protestants so value the Old Testament?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Modernism

From Recent Correspondence on Modernism

Q: What is modernism?

A: Modernism, often called renovationism in Russian, is merely secularization, that is desacralization, under the camouflage of the word ‘modern’.

Q: How did you encounter modernism in the Orthodox Church?

A: Between 1973 and 1980, I met a great many modernists: Intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals. First the Parisians living in England, then those in France itself, where Paris was the source of all the problems. In France in 1985 I also encountered freemasonry among such ‘Orthodox’ modernists. It was very widespread among them then and perhaps still is.

Q: So you met modernism very soon?

A: Yes, it was actually presented to me as the norm, as real Orthodoxy!

Q: But you rejected it?

A: I was seeking the source of the sacred, not the secular! So I instinctively and automatically felt that modernist Orthodoxy was a fake, not the real thing, but I also knew that from experience, my own and through having observed Church life, the real thing, in Russia.

Q: Which modernists did you meet?

A: The well-known names: in England, Nicholas Zernov, the then Fr Basil Osborne, Metr Antony Bloom, Fr Lev Gillet, Fr Sergei Hackel, Fr Nicholas Behr, and in France Fr Boris Bobrinsky, Fr Elie Melia, Olivier Clement, Elisabeth Behr-Sigel, Nikita Struve, Konstantin Andronikov, Fr Jean-Claude Roberti, Fr Jean Gueit, Fr Alexander Schmemann and many other lesser known names who simply followed the fashion that they set, including those active in Syndesmos.

I have to say that these figures are nearly all departed now, part of a generation that was deeply compromised by modernism. Indeed, I also met many who had personally known well those who had led modernism in the previous generation, for example Archbishop John (Shakhovskoy), Fr Nikolay Afanasyev, the former Marxists Fr Sergius Bulgakov and Berdyayev, Fr Paul Florensky, Yevdokimov, Fedotov, Zander, Zenkovsky, or Mother Maria Skobtsova. Many of them had relatives who disagreed with them completely.

Q: I notice that you have not mentioned two well-known members of modernist clergy in England.

A: There are two well-known exceptions because they are lesser, more subtle figures in modernism, shall we say, semi-modernist, that is, modernist under the cloak of traditional. One dead, one still alive, they belong to the ‘spiritual’ school of modernism, which is still popular and they are revered by naïve newcomers and all the Tradition-less.

It is important to distinguish between the different grades of modernism, from the primitive to the sophisticated. For example, I have seen Archbishop Basil (Krivoshein) mentioned as a modernist. I can see where that comes from (his interest in St Simeon the New Theologian and his ecumenical contacts), but he cannot be compared to the above.

Q: Why are such ‘moderate modernists’ revered?

A: As they say, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

Q: Did you meet Metr John Zizioulas?

A: Not then. I only met him about eight years ago.

Q: And Fr John Meyendorff?

A: No, I never met him, but he was among the more moderate, except on fasting.

Q: What was your reaction to all these figures?

A: I instinctively knew that they were wrong but at the time I could not explain why, because I did not have the tools or arguments from experience and from theological study to answer them. For example, I understood that their philosophy was characterized by pride, they all thought that they knew better than the Church. They were above the Church. And this pride was characterized by intellectual fantasies, the result of a lack of rootedness in reality and spiritual reality, the Tradition. And the characteristic of this was their inability to provide spiritual food. They fed the brain – to the point of their books and talks giving you headaches – but they were incapable of feeding your soul, leaving you dry.

Q: Why were there, and why are there still, so many modernists in the Orthodox Diaspora?

A: There were and are so many – relatively speaking – they are in fact very few, they just make a lot of noise – in the Diaspora because these people encountered the West directly and never having had any roots in the Tradition, they wanted to mix their superficial Orthodoxy with Western culture. Uprooted from an Orthodox context and denying monastic life, they did not want the spiritual purity of Holy Orthodoxy, but compromise, they wanted to swim with the Western tide. That is why all modernists are essentially ecumenists and secularists. They try to conform the Church to the world, instead of conforming themselves (the world) to the Church.

Q: And why was Paris the centre of modernism?

A: Paris was where the French-speaking aristocrats and intellectuals from Saint Petersburg who had carried out the Revolution under Western influence and with Western backing had chosen exile. A great many of them were freemasons, some, like Yusupov, had been very interested in the occult and hypnotism. Paris was the place of their exile, where they were called to repentance. In other words, this is where the most spiritually decadent Russians, nominal Orthodox, highly protestantized, in the sense of secularized, went to live.

There were two groups. First, there were left-wingers, like Bulgakov, Berdyayev and Mother Maria, but most were right-wing constitutionalists or republicans who wanted either the British model or else the French model of political organization. None of them of course wanted Orthodoxy. All broke away from the Russian Church and her liturgical and canonical disciplines, in other words, they broke entirely away from the Tradition. This they did on the pretext of seeking ‘freedom and creativity’! The saddest thing was that they did not understand repentance.

Q: Why did they not simply become Protestants or Uniats – that would have been honest?

A: Because they were pretentious, which is a disease of intellectuals. They wanted to be different and lord it over others through their ‘exotic’ differences. If they had simply been Protestants or Uniats, no Western-Establishment figures or ecumenists would even have looked at them, they would have lost their exotic tag and been forgotten as immigrants. But by setting up a Westernized branch of Orthodoxy, they attracted attention and admiration. In other words, they, or rather their descendants, were courted by those who wanted to destroy the very Soviet Russia which they had themselves created in 1917, in order to replace it with the sort of degutted Russia they did briefly create in the 1990s until the revival in 2000. For secularist Western Establishments they were all ‘useful idiots’.

Of course, these modernists were peddling a fake Orthodoxy, but Anglicans and others knew no better and gave these semi-Orthodox a false authority by buying their books and listening to their talks. If you say modernist things with a Russian accent, you are suddenly exotic and interesting. Some of these émigrés even faked Russian accents to sound more Russian! There was a lot of acting going on in order to hoodwink simple people, even hypnotism. If you look, you will see that almost all their books were bought and read either by Non-Orthodox or else by converts who knew no better.

Q: Why do so many intellectuals fall into modernism?

A: Because they live uprooted lives in their heads, and not their hearts. So they are prey to fantasies. If you are an intellectual type, you must have a strong spiritual or ascetic life to balance it out. For example St Justin (Popovich) was an intellectual, but it did not, forgive the pun, go to his head. So anyone can become a saint, even an intellectual, but such saintliness exists despite intellectualism, not because of it.

Q: What is the antidote to modernism?

A: First of all, let me say that the antidote is not the censorious condemnation and ritualism of the pharisees. That also comes from hardness and dryness of heart, lack of compassion. It fails to take account of the need for pastoral dispensation, true ‘ikonomia’. The first victims of modernism are the modernists themselves.

The antidote to modernism can never be in another ism, but in the Church. And that antidote is in seeking spiritual food, not intellectual food, and spiritual food comes from holiness, which comes from asceticism, which is exactly what the modernists reject. That is why they dislike people going to the sources in Eastern Europe and Russia, especially Mt Athos. In true Protestant style, modernists hate anything that is beyond the rational, mysterious. What can be more ‘irrational’ and mysterious than holiness? They lack the sense of the sacred.

Holiness is one of the four characteristics of the Church, which they reject, since they reject the Church. For them the Church is not One – there are many ‘Churches’; the Church is not Holy (which is why they desacralize everything), but to be reformed; the Church is not Catholic (in the Orthodox sense of being the same everywhere and at all times), because the modernists reject everything outside their 20th century mental ghetto; and the Church is not Apostolic, because they reject the Faith of the Apostles, the inherited Tradition. The antidote to modernism is in holiness, that is, in the saints.

Q: But some of these modernists were much interested in saints?

A: You have hit the nail on the head – ‘interested’ in saints. Interested in saints – how very fashionable! They were interested in the outward events in the lives of saints, but not in becoming saints. They intellectualized or externalized everything, making it abstract, into a philosophy – they did not live the Faith. Theirs is an outward or Uniat attitude to the Faith, which is of course why many of them had sympathies with Uniatism, like Solovyov did. They loved to talk about ‘techniques’, techniques of icon-painting, techniques of Church singing, techniques of celebration etc. These techniques they analyzed constantly. They spoke about hagiography – but did not want holiness. They spoke, they wrote, but they did not do, they did not fast and pray and there is no holiness without fasting and prayer.

Q: Do you think that modernism has a future?

A: Yes and no. Most of the well-known names of modernists belong to those who have died in the last 75 years, many in the last 25 years. And modernism is strangely old-fashioned in the present post-modernist world, which is characterized by cynicism. The only answer to cynicism is faith, not half-faith and half-faith is what modernism is: Halfodoxy instead of Orthodoxy. In that sense modernism is over because it has no answer to post-modernism, which it created. And yet it is not over.

For example, I remember the words of Metr Antony Bloom, when real Orthodox started coming to his church in London around the year 2000. They were naturally, like the rest of us had been decades before, very shocked by what they saw. He said that it would take fifty years to convert these people to Orthodoxy (that is, to his Bloomism). In other words, the truth is that it will take fifty years to convert the modernists to Orthodoxy. There is still the hangover from the past and it will take time for the vestiges of modernism to die out. In that sense, modernism is not over.

Q: Some would be shocked by your listing of Mother Maria Skobtsova as a modernist. She was canonized by the Rue Daru group with the blessing of the Patriarch of Constantinople.

A: As you know, that top-down canonization was controversial and you would be hard put to find a single icon of her even in any Greek Church in the world, let alone in others. In other words, her canonization was purely local and actually very political. Veneration for her simply does not exist in most of the Orthodox world, given her very strange life and anti-Orthodox writings. Having said that, however, we must say that in her concentration camp death, she, like millions of others, must have cleansed herself.

Q: So is she a saint?

A: I would say that her destiny has not been revealed to us. Let us remain silent. We do not know. We simply do not know the measure of her repentance in Ravensbruck. It may well have been deep and complete, as surely it was for millions of others. In the hour of death, people become realistic, which is why the memory of death is ascetically so important. Here we have a vital point. There is no place for personal dislike, still less hatred, for these individuals. Like the rest of us, they made their mistakes, it may be that many of them repented before the end, though of course the damage was done by then. We should pray for all of them. Some of them had good hearts – they were poisoned by their heads.

For instance, I remember Fr Alexander Schmemann, He was a charming and interesting man – though of course we agreed on nothing. But I still pray for him. Or there was Elisabeth Behr-Sigel the feminist Protestant pastor. She said appalling things about ROCOR, which just showed how ignorant she was of Orthodoxy. But I prayed for her when she died. Even though modernists persecuted us and slandered us, it is important to pray for them, not only does it help them, but it helps us too, it stops our hearts from growing hard. We must always pray for our enemies. We are Christians.

What is disturbing is that those who canonized Mother Maria canonized her not for her sacrificial death, but for her anti-Church musings – and that is not to venerate her, but to malign her. When people die, we should try to remember only the good things about them. Personally, I think her writings should be made secret because they are shameful, the fruit of someone who had not yet been converted from being a Social Revolutionary.

Q: What form does modernism take today?

A: Modernism now tends to have a more philosophical, ‘spiritual’ form, in any possible way so as to blur the clear and dogmatic. This is very cunning, as we have seen with the new documents for the Crete meeting next June (if it takes place). For example, in Greece, you have the case of the philosopher Yannaras, in Russia you have the case of the Kochetkovite sect, in Finland you have a very active group, including clergy, though they are so extreme that they are very isolated, even having abandoned Orthodox Easter. They go back to the notorious Archbishop Herman (Aav), and that continued through Archbishop Paul, Archbishop Leo and now Metr Ambrose. But this is purely modern Lutheranism.

Q: What are the themes of these modernists?

A: On the one hand, there are still the crude renovationist practices taken from 1920s Russia, where such modernism more or less died out under Stalin. Such practices include letting laypeople do the proskomidia in the middle of the church and generally desacralizing the services, which is an abandonment of the priesthood. Remember that modernism, as I said, is essentially secularization, the opposite of sacralization. So first it had to destroy the sacral Emperor (the Tsar), then their next task was to destroy the priesthood – equally sacral. Linked with this destruction of the priesthood are the many divorced and remarried priests among the modernists, the uncanonically ordained and all the anti-liturgical practices, which include shortening the services and introducing the so-called ‘new’ or Roman Catholic calendar, which has always been the first stage in falling away from Orthodoxy.

On the other hand, today, as a result of the tide of secularization or desacralization that the modernists have never been able to resist and even welcome, the latest fad among them is pushing to introduce female priests and homosexual marriage into the Church. The latter movement is strong in some of the parishes in Finland, which are basically Lutheran with icons. Of course, whenever there are homosexual clergy, that push is even stronger because there is self-interest, self-justification.

Q: Where is modernism in general strongest today?

A: Although there are the debased remnants in Europe in the ever smaller Paris Jurisdiction (all the big intellectuals are dead), and there are still those in the USA as well as in Finland, now there is a group of people connected with Fr George Kochetkov in Russia. The disgraced Protodeacon Andrei Kurayev is among them, and the murdered Uniat Fr Alexander Men still has a few disciples. Then there is the provocateur Fr George Mitrofanov, as well as Fr Alexei Uminsky. However, I think they were all stronger in the 1990s than today. They too are figures from the past and I think they will die out, like the others. Now we are in the 21st century, it is time to grow up.

Q: Given this continued modernism, aren’t you pessimistic about the future?

A: As regards modernism, our Christian life is a combat, a struggle, it always has been and always will be. We will fight these anti-dogmatic currents, just as we combated the old modernism. Thus, we, like all Orthodox, combat and reject the absurd documents prepared for the meeting in Crete in June. However, Christians are always optimists because however grim the situation is now, Christ will triumph at the end of history.

Secularism the Arian Heresy

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

Millennium, P. xxii, Tom Holland, 2008

Introduction: All Can Become Sacred in the Church

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

Stage I: Roman Catholicism

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

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

Stage II: Protestantism

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

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

Stage III: Modern Secularism

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

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

Conclusion: The Kingdom of Christ versus the Republic of Secularism

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

2016 Words for 2016: On New Year’s Eve Our Future Hope is Imperial

The Romans…the bandits of the whole world…their greed is excited by an enemy’s wealth, their lust for power by his poverty…robbery, butchery, rape…they create devastation and call it peace.

Words attributed by Tacitus to the British leader Calcagus, after his defeat by the Romans at the Battle of Mons Graupius in AD 84

Introduction: The Last Twenty-Five Years

Many were deluded by the collapse of Communism twenty-five years ago, indeed so blinded that they could not see the ensuing and still impending chaos caused by the hubristic attempt of the USA to rule the world. Their Western vanity flattered, the deluded actually still believe in the myth of American Imperialism, ‘the New World Order’, that ‘liberal-democratic’ secularism has triumphed over all other ideologies and faiths. They actually believe that history has ended, that the global future is with the Imperialism of Washington and its absurd materialist ideology – ‘The West is Best over the Rest’. They have failed to revise their views and still now actually believe that there is no alternative to their primitive, spiteful, soul-destroying and world-destroying fantasy.

In reality, the anti-Christian Zionist elite which bankrupted Communism, through its ability to indebt and so enslave to bankers the peoples that it oppresses, failed many years ago. Its New World Order has become the New World Disorder, in North Africa, the Middle East and now Europe. As Russian aeroplanes and Chinese troops enter Syria, it is already dead. Although that Imperialist elite still governs the US and its bloc of vassal-states, it is utterly discredited. It is not only utterly immoral through its Mammonism, but its global power-grab has visibly ended in catastrophe. Instead of peace and prosperity, it has brought to the world unspeakable wars and misery, exploitation and environmental destruction, chaos and spiritual poverty, as well as uprooting hundreds of millions of families from their ancestral homes worldwide. And this devastation they do indeed call peace. The Imperialist elite has brought not life but death, with the apocalyptic threat of Armageddon in the background.

However, there are those who have not been deluded by the toys and baubles, bread and circuses, of globalist Consumerism and have not given up the struggle to find an alternative. They have sought a way out – though often by violent reaction to Western genocide some of them have also made the most appalling errors. For example, by reaction to global Western Imperialism, fanatical Islamists have turned to the horrors and abominations of terrorism. Nobody in their right mind admires or follows such Satanized individuals. They do not understand that further destruction is no response to destruction, that only construction is positive. Others, also by reaction to the selfsame globalism, have turned to narrow and provincial nationalism, failing to realize that in a globalized world, no small or even large nation can stand alone against the powers that be. United we stand, divided we fall.

Such is the fate of those in European countries who want to reclaim their sovereignty, resisting and abandoning the death-giving embrace of the Imperialist EU beast. For example, there are now strong nationalist political movements in the UK, France, Greece, Hungary, Poland and in many other countries on other continents, as in India and China. In Europe they do not understand that standing alone they will be crushed by the EU tyranny, behind which stands its parent, the Washington elite. In India and China they do not understand that, despite their size, they are still provincial, lacking global reach. However, if the ‘liberal-democratic’ myth of the West can be rejected as the failure that it is, together with the horrors of Islamist terrorism and the provinciality of narrow nationalism, even if that nationalism is on a sub-continental scale like the Hindu or the Chinese, what hope then is left?

The Alternative

Clearly, any hope that is left can only be something that is not immoral like Western Imperialism, that is not violent like Islamism, and that is not provincial like European nationalism, anti-Christian Hinduism or Chinese Communism. We would suggest that what is left can be summed up not by the word ‘Imperialism’, but by its opposite, the word ‘Imperial’. This may seem mystifying, since for many the two words mean the same thing and in any case ‘all empires are destined to fail’. History indeed tends to confirm the latter statement: the Persian, the Egyptian, the Macedonian, the pagan Roman, the ‘Holy Roman’, the Ottoman, the French, the British, the Soviet and many another Empire all rose and then fell.

However, the fact is that all who were not part of such passing Empires had to become their vassals or allies and were obliged to accept their policies. Such is the case today with the EU Fourth Reich (Reich = Empire), which crushes national sovereignty and obliges its members to do whatever its Imperialist US designers order it to do. Today’s ‘democracies’ in Western Europe are so weak that they must obey their Imperialist masters in Berlin and Washington. In the same way Hitler’s Third Reich smashed all the European ‘democracies’ and only another Empire, the Soviet, was able to overcome it, in the same way as only the Russian Empire had been able to overcome Hitler’s predecessor, Napoleon’s Empire.

In other words, only a powerful Empire can withstand another powerful Empire. We can see this today; no European ‘democracy’ has been able to withstand the Globalist Empire of Washington, they have all fallen to it one by one. Today, for instance, once Orthodox Christian but now apostatic Greece has allowed homosexual ‘marriage’, just as Montenegro is being forced by violence to join NATO and the occupied Ukraine is being tempted by its temporary government into the vulgar consumerism and profoundly ungay ‘gay’ parades of American Imperialism. Other countries, like India and China, merely resist that Imperialism in nationalistic words, but in fact imitate it from inside.

In fact, only one country, and one which does indeed have an Imperial, that is, multinational, profile resists and refuses to become a US vassal, and that is the Russian Federation, one eighth of the world. It alone has been strong enough to rebuff without either fanaticism or provincial nationalism. Western Imperialist meddling, which destroys national traditions and identities, local cultures and family life, provoking chaotic conflicts and bloody wars with its attempted imposition of the global MacWorld ‘culture’ of the ‘New World Order’ or ‘New World War’. It has done this on the basis of Christianity. Only that Christianity, restored as a Christian Empire, based in Russia, can resist – on condition, however, that its Imperial Empire does not fall into Imperialism, as it tended to do before the Revolution. Let us explain.

The globalist ‘New World Order’ is not democratic at all, that is a myth. It is in fact the dictatorship of an oligarchic elite, artificially divided into two parts, so providing the myth of democratic choice. It runs political parties, industries, banks, the media, the whole Establishment, and threatens those who counter it. Founded on the genocide of millions of Native Americans, the abhorrent slave trade in millions of Native Africans, a genocidal civil war, the bloodshed of two World Wars and the countless local wars of the twentieth century, it is trying to control the world. It subjugates peoples and countries by military aggression, colour revolutions, juntas and propaganda lies, ‘banana republicanizing’ by using local mafia networks to support itself and living off the resulting chaos. This is Imperialist – not Imperial.

For the mark of Imperialism, colonial or neo-colonial, is the suppression of local cultures and the genocide of peoples who resist the monoculture that it imposes. However, the one Empire that has lasted by far the longest has been Imperial, that is multinational and indeed multi-religious, accepting diversity. Quite different from the pagan Roman Empire, this is the Christian Roman Empire. Founded in the early fourth century in New Rome, it continued until it was interrupted by decadent Greek nationalism in 1453, then soon after restored in the Third Rome until it was interrupted by decadent Russian nationalism in the early twentieth century. Its restoration is now under way. It has survived interruptions precisely because, despite deviations in periods of decadence, it has not been based on Imperialism, but has been Imperial, that is, it has been founded on the Christian revelation of the Holy Trinity, unity in diversity.

Conclusion: The Next Twenty-Five Years?

Only in the framework of the Imperial and Trinitarian concept can sovereignty and ethnic differences be combined and the identity of diverse peoples be protected from corrosive, centralizing Imperialist globalism, terrorism and provincial nationalism. Such globalism was precisely the error of the neo-Khazar Bolshevik Empire, which lasted scarcely three generations because it was based on genocide as it imposed a single centralized model on Central Asians, Eastern Europeans, Baltic peoples, Finns and Ukrainians alike. The question of the restoration of the Russian Empire is vital to preserving the national identities of a hundred and more peoples, not least that of Little Russians. The alternative is that they all become second-class citizens, cannon fodder and pawns in the game of chaos of American Imperialism, as we can see is happening to Ukrainians, Syrians, Libyans, Iraqis, Afghans, Mexicans and many other peoples worldwide.

The fact is that the Russian Federation is today the only country in the world which is defending Christian values. And this despite, or rather because of, the fact that twenty-five years ago it lived under the oppression of an imported atheist regime which was responsible for the multi-millioned martyrdom of Christians, by far the greatest known to history, and despite the fact that it is still suffering from the dreadful though now dying hangover of that atheism. This miracle has always been ignored by the Western world. Why? Because that world is in fact by ideology anti-Christian, having violently quit the Church 1,000 years ago. That is why all surviving remnants of authentic Christianity among the non-deluded peoples of the Western world look to the Russian Orthodox Church with hope. That is also why Russia is hated by the Trostskist post-modernist ideology of the Western liberal-neocon elite and is slandered by its closely-controlled media. For them ugliness has become beauty, noise has become music, discord has become harmony and lies have become truth.

An Imperialist Empire, in words first uttered by the Victorian Imperialist Palmerston, has ‘no permanent friends, only permanent interests’. However, an Imperial Empire does have friends, for it is a symphony of peoples, cultures and beliefs; but it needs an Emperor and that is what is lacking in the still post-Soviet Russian Federation today. Why? Firstly, because only an Emperor can act as the unique focus of belief and so channel his subjects, elite and people alike, into the service of the Empire. Secondly, because only an Emperor can control and limit the oligarchs or aristocrats and stop them becoming too powerful and so tyrannizing and exploiting the people. And thirdly, because only an Emperor can act as the unique commander-in-chief in the event of war.

As to who will become the Emperor of the restored Christian Empire that alone can restrain growing evil worldwide, we do not know. Only Providence can reveal him after repentance of the whole people. What we know is that only an Emperor, in the name of his repentant Orthodox people, can prove the Imperial truth that ‘Right is Might’ and disprove the Imperialist lie that ‘Might is Right’. The peoples of the Russian Federation, like all other peoples all over the world, have a choice to make: to subject themselves to barbaric Imperialism and accept the same fate as Yugoslavs, Iraqis, Libyans and Syrians, or else to unite and repent. If so, then we can await with hope the Emperor who will restore and defend Imperial Christianity, authentic Christianity, soaring like the double-headed eagle above East and West alike. And that is why, unlike unfaithful, compromised, Establishment Halfodox, all faithful Orthodox, wherever we live scattered across the face of the earth, are Imperial.

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence (October 2015)

Q: What is happening in the Serbian Orthodox Church at present?

A: As far as I can see, the Western neocon elite, which has been trying to manipulate the Serbian government ever since it bombed Serbia, is continuing the same old Communist policy of divide and rule. Just as the Communists separated Macedonia and set up an ‘Orthodox’ nationalist sect there in the 1960s, so Washington and its allies have since separated Montenegro and Kosovo from Serbia and are trying to set up nationalist sects there through their local puppets. Opposition is coming from the people. In Montenegro the people do not want to become another NATO base and in Macedonia they do not want to become another Muslim republic like Kosovo. This political opposition creates opposition to the nationalist and schismatic sects, as people realize that is what they are.

This is the very policy that the US is trying to implement in the Ukraine also. There, three different small, foreign, politically-concocted sects, one of which has a very aggressive leader, Denisenko, who has visited the State Department in Washington as an honoured guest, are trying to undermine the vast majority. They belong to the only Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is led by Metropolitan Onuphry.

Q: Isn’t it strange that the Yugoslav Communists fifty years ago under the Croat Tito and today’s neocons follow the same policy?

A: Not at all. The Yugoslav Communists were put into place by the Western Powers during World War II, with Churchill switching sides to them from the Orthodox Serbs and supporting them. The Communists and the neocons share the same basic materialistic ideology. The only difference is that the Communists promoted the materialistic concept of amassing State wealth, the neocons of amassing personal wealth. State Capitalism or individualist Capitalism, Mammon is the same everywhere.

Q: What can be done?

A: I am an outsider, so it is difficult for me to say anything about the Serbian Church. That is an internal matter. However, it does seem vital to me that in general all of us, whatever Local Church we belong to, must keep to Orthodox canonical principles and resist US/EU, or any other, political interference and, at the same time, we must advance non-nationalist, confederal structures. This is what the Russian Church did over 20 years ago, granting extensive autonomy to its local parts, for example to the Ukrainian Church, the Moldovan Church, the Latvian Church and the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). If this is not done, there will be new schisms or else old schisms will continue.

Q: On the subject of schisms, who were the small groups of dissidents who went into schism from the two parts of the Russian Church at their reconciliation in 2007?

A: As I have said before, there were two groups. The first left English and French communities officially dependent on the Church inside Russia. Their leaders (and their naïve followers who knew no better) were renovationists, who had been poisoning Church life in the Diaspora for decades, in obedience to their by then mainly dead Paris-School ideologues. They left for the US-controlled Patriarchate of Constantinople, where freemasons, semi-Uniats and anti-Russian political or nationalist dissidents seem to be made welcome. The second group left ROCOR and were a strange mixture of operatives of the CIA and other Western spy services, right-wingers of the Peronista type in South America and ideologically-minded old calendarist converts who did not love the Russian Church and persecuted those of us who do.

Q: Looking back on your own life in the Church, do you regret the things that happened to you in the 70s and 80s?

A: If the things that happened to me had not happened, I would not know now what I have learned from bitter experience, however painful. So, in a sense how can I regret anything? Everything was necessary to learn a little wisdom and see through the myths of the ‘Orthodox’ Establishment. However, if we are to daydream (!) and I had known then what I know now, I would in 1971 have joined the London ROCOR parish. Then, having finished studies at University in London in 1977, I would have asked to go to Jordanville in 1977.

I greatly regret not only that in those pre-internet days I was given no facts, no guidance, but instead was given active misinformation and misdirection. Such was the spiritual corruption and prejudice against the Russian Church at that time. The scribes and pharisees of the Establishment did not want a Church outside its control, a free, uncompromised and spiritually independent Russian Orthodox Church, free of both left-wing renovationism and right-wing politicking. They wanted an impure, spiritually degutted and compromised Establishment organization. This is why they did their best to undermine us from both outside and, through their agents of both left and right, from inside.

Q: How do you see the future for the Russian Church in the East of England?

A: In recent years we have encouraged the establishment of both what became the little rural mission with Fr Anthony in Mettingham in Suffolk and of St Panteleimon’s skete outside Clacton in Essex. This latter is under Fr Sergei, whose simplicity is an example to us all. Now, with God’s help and that of many kind and generous benefactors, we are buying property for a church in the city of Norwich and hope to have a man ordained for the new parish in God’s good time. Perhaps this is all we can do; certainly we need more clergy in order to expand. One or two candidates now seem to be appearing at last, but we need more.

We can dream of parishes in the county centres elsewhere in the east: a church building for Suffolk in the county centre of Bury St Edmunds, a church dedicated to Sts Peter and Paul in Peterborough for Cambridgeshire, a church of the Resurrection in Bedford for Bedfordshire, a church dedicated to St Alban in St Albans for Hertfordshire, a church dedicated to St Nicholas in east London, a church dedicated to Sts Constantine and Helen in York for Yorkshire and a church dedicated to All the Saints in Canterbury as the centre for Kent. However, realistically, if that is not God’s will, none of this will happen.

Q: Why is it important to have property in central and populated places?

A: Because if we do not, the communities will die out as property promotes continuity. This is a law. When you have your own property, then you also have spiritual freedom. I have seen dozens of parishes closing in England and France over the last forty years. Why? Because they had no property. It is just a fact of life. And communities must always be in centres, in cities and large towns, where the people are. You do not open a church where no-one lives. Church buildings follow the people, for they are the Church. It is not the other way round. That is common sense.

Q: Some people fear the coming Pan-Orthodox Council in 2016, calling it the ‘Eighth Oecumenical Council’ that was denounced in the prophecies. What would you say?

A: There is a certain hysteria and paranoia among some who seem to know very little of Church history with respect to this meeting, which is most certainly not the ‘Eighth Oecumenical Council’. It is pure fantasy to call it that. The Inter-Orthodox meeting next year is not a Council, but a meeting of a minority of Orthodox bishops, about 25% of the total. It will discuss administrative and canonical issues; all the dogmatic issues have already been decided for all time by the Seven Universal (‘Oecumenical’ is a misleading translation) Councils.

No meeting can become a Council if its resolutions are not received by the faithful, but sadly we the faithful have never been consulted about the discussions leading to this present meeting. The whole thing is happening behind closed doors in Calvinist Geneva (of all places), a situation unheard of in Orthodox practice, and I think this is why a certain hysteria and paranoia is growing up in some circles. They are inevitable, given the near-total lack of transparency.

The faithful are the guardians of the Faith, which is why a meeting can only become a Council if its decisions are received by the faithful. If a meeting is a Council, then it means that the Holy Spirit is present there, as He is among the faithful. At present it seems that some of the 1960s-style liberal Protestant agenda being promoted by the Phanariots and which frightened us in the 1970s, has already had to be dropped at the preparatory meetings. That is good. We do not need any more old-fashioned modernism. However, there is no agreement among representatives of the Local Churches who are preparing this meeting on several important issues. Moreover, with the latest condemnation by Constantinople of Metr Rostislav of the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, this meeting may never even take place, for it cannot if one of the fourteen Local Churches is absent. So Greek nationalism may yet put an end to the meeting altogether.

More generally, the situation is so highly politicized that one wonders if anything meaningful can take place even if these bishops do meet. Let us recall that no fewer than three patriarchs of Local Churches are now US appointees (against the canons of the Church) and they repeat the policies of the State Department, that is, of Obama, who may be an atheist or may be a Muslim (no-one is sure), of the abortionist Biden and of the warmonger Kerry. Parts of the Church are simply not free to meet. Just as St Justin of Chelije called for a boycott of any such Inter-Orthodox meeting in the 1970s because so many Local Churches, notably the Russian, were then enslaved by the atheist SU, so today other Local Churches are enslaved by the atheist US.

Q: So can any meaningful meeting take place?

A: I think that in the longer term it may be irrelevant whether a meeting takes place or not. I see a different outcome. As the number of bishops in the Russian Church climbs inexorably to 400 and more, and the total will soon exceed 50% of the total number of Orthodox bishops, the meeting in Constantinople is becoming irrelevant. It may be that the Russian Orthodox Church, as the one and only obvious Centre of Orthodox Civilization, may soon hold an episcopal meeting together with the other free Local Churches, Antioch, Georgia, Poland, Czechoslovakia etc.

Such a meeting of over 500 bishops would be far more representative that that the Geneva-prepared one in the Phanar, and would be more likely to become a Council. It could take place at the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow, which is now nearly fully restored. This is what the Russian Church intended the Monastery for in the seventeenth century, as a centre of World Orthodoxy, but was prevented from becoming by the interference of the Russian State both then and since. Such a Council could speak freely, without reserve ‘for fear of the Jews’, that is, unintimidated by the Soviet-style censorship of political correctness.

Such a situation would reflect the reality of the Church today, not the situation of a thousand years ago when Greek ruled the roost. It is time to catch up with reality. The Greek-ruled Churches, mostly with flocks of scarcely a million and nationalist outlooks, are simply unable to cope with the reality of today’s global world. In order to respond, the Church today must also be global. Only the Russian Church is that.

Q: Some would call that ‘Russian Imperialism’.

A: Imperialism of any sort is to be condemned because it is nationalism. What we are talking about is an Imperial Church, the Church of the Christian Empire. Imperial means multinational unity in diversity, with new autocephalous Local Churches being born through missionary activity, whereas Imperialism means nationalism, central control and the ‘one size fits all’ mentality of the papist model, which, sadly, now exists in Istanbul.

Q: What is the situation after the latest round of episcopal consecrations announced by the Russian Church on 23 October?

A: The news that Fr Tikhon (Shevkunov) is now a bishop is most welcome, and the news that Italy now has for the first time ever a resident Russian Orthodox bishop in Bishop Antony (Sevryuk) is historic. It seems that we are at last seeing the appearance of a young generation of bishops, all at least trilingual (the local language, English and Russian), resident in the country, with an understanding of the local culture and politically free. We also noted that Fr Gennady Andreyev of the Sourozh Diocese in Manchester has been nominated bishop.

But there are other welcome events. Despite vigorous French political opposition which much delayed the project, the cupolas are now on the new Russian Cathedral in Paris and all should be finished within twelve months. We are moving ahead at last.

And as regards the veneration of the local Western saints, 60 years after St John, we are now moving forward to their inclusion in the Russian calendar inside Russia and perhaps even elsewhere. It is not just a case of better late than never, this represents real repentance on the part of those who resisted, reproached and actively persecuted us for venerating them for over 40 years. It is sad that several of the persecutors are now dead and therefore cannot repent, so we will have to pray for them, for Christ calls us to pray for our enemies, regardless of whether they are dead or alive. It is the same situation as with those who refused to venerate the New Martyrs and Confessors and put icons of them in their churches. They have all been proved wrong as well.

Q: Many people are very pessimistic about the situation in Russia and criticize it. What would you answer them?

A: There is a huge amount to criticize in post-Soviet Russia, the old classic of ABC – Alcoholism (nearly as high as in Finland), ‘Bortion (abortion) (near Asian levels) and Corruption (about the same as in Italy), to which could be added D for both Divorce (nearly as high as in the USA) and Drug-taking (not yet at the levels of Western Europe). However, the Russophobes and their propaganda deliberately omit the vital fact: the direction Russia is going in is right, whereas the direction that the West is going in is wrong. It is a huge historical irony that in proportion as Russia is deSovietized (a process well under way despite the propaganda, opposition and fear of the West), the West is being Sovietized.

Q: Who are these Russophobes who criticize?

A: There are two groups. Firstly, there are the neo-colonial Western ideologues who, still living in the imperialist arrogance of the nineteenth century, are convinced that ‘West is best’ and as for ‘the rest’, they can go to hell. These people are in reality mere primitive racists and extremists, like the Russophobe Senator John McCain who has now been photographed at a meeting with Islamic State, so anxious is he to be anti-Russian! (Here is the proof that the Westernists are at one with Islamists, whose movement they founded in Afghanistan in the 1980s and who have always supported the murderous regime in Saudi Arabia with its beheadings, crucifixions and massive bombings, with US warplanes and British bombs, of civilians in the Yemen. The extremes always meet, in the same way that the British imperialist and Jewish convert Disraeli backed the Ottoman massacres of Bulgarian Christians in the 19th century).

Secondly, there are the Russian Westernizers, many of them oligarchs, Jews or homosexuals. They are often to be seen at the US embassy in Moscow. They represent the same aristocratic, military and industrialist class (senior Romanovs among them), and also renovationist career clergy in the Church, that betrayed Russia in 1917 (when they were to be seen at the British Embassy in Saint Petersburg), overthrowing the Tsar because they wanted power (and even more money) for themselves.

They have their exact parallel in the Ukraine today, where the legitimate and democratically elected Yanukovich government (whatever its many shortcomings) was overthrown by the nationalist Galician Uniat minority, led by oligarchs like the Jewish Poroshenko and other billionaire industrialists who sold their souls to the CIA in exchange for its backing. Elected by 25% of the people, and that was only achieved with harsh Secret Police repression and US PR propaganda, these people are ruthless because they are completely without principle. That is why they hate the Ukrainian people and Orthodoxy. Unlike them, we Christians have principles.

In fact, it would be more exact to call such individuals Orthodoxophobes than Russophobes and Ukrainophobes, because that is the essence of their hatred, hatred for Christ, however deludedly they may claim that they are for Christ. As with the Bolsheviks in Alexander Blok’s revolutionary poem, ‘The Twelve’, they think that they are following Christ, but in reality they are following Antichrist. And he will lead them to the perdition of their souls in Gehenna. That is how serious their situation is.

Q: What is happening to the ‘British Orthodox Church’?

A: The so-called ‘British Orthodox Church’, in fact neither British, nor Orthodox, was a tiny group of vagantes and other eccentric Anglo-Catholics, whose leader used to call himself ‘the Patriarch of Glastonbury’(!). However, they were received and ordained by the Coptic Church some 20 years ago. In 1999 they had one bishop, 18 vicars (clergy) and 72 faithful! In early October this year they left the Miaphysite Church and, apparently, have now gone back to being vagantes. The problem was that the ex-Anglicans in question could not accept the inherent anti-Chalcedonianism which is now once more coming to the fore among the Copts in what I think is an outburst of nationalism. (Anti-Chalcedonianism goes hand in hand with local nationalism, which to a great extent caused it).

I am told that the group now has one bishop, 2 priests and about 100 faithful, mainly Establishment ex-Anglicans, mainly, I am told, elderly, though I am not sure if that is true. What the group will do now is unclear. Sadly, I doubt that they will wish to join the Orthodox Church because that would mean accepting catechism and being received as laypeople. I very much hope that I am wrong in this pessimistic view of their clericalism. There is one ex-Anglican group which they might join; it ordains ex-Anglican vicars almost immediately and virtually without training. Who knows? I think it will make little difference because it is such a tiny group, not even one normal parish.

Q: Given its critical situation, it has been suggested that the Rue Daru jurisdiction be directly governed by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and join the local Constantinople dioceses, like that of Metropolitan Emmanuel in Paris. What do you think of that?

A: I agree. I think that this is so logical that it is inevitable. Once all those who love the Russian Tradition have left Rue Daru, as they have been doing over the last thirty and more years since the repose of the saintly Archbishop George (Tarasov) and the fall into decadence after him, what will be left? Freemasons and naïve converts, new calendarist modernists and ecumenists. Obviously, they should all be together in Constantinople’s local diocesan structures and lodges. On the other hand, they should first have the honesty to hand back Russian Church property, which they are effectively occupying.

Q: What do you make of the recent Roman Catholic Synod in Rome?

A: Catholicism is now at a turning point. Will it keep the remnants of Catholicism (which date back in one form or another to Orthodoxy), or will it become completely Protestantized, a process that was initiated by wealthy US, German and other liberal cardinals over fifty years ago at the Second Vatican Council. With the present Jesuit Pope, for whom the means seem to justify the ends and who seems to agree with everyone and no-one, it is impossible to say what will happen, but that is what is at stake. This is important because Roman Catholicism is the very last Western European institution with an Orthodox past to survive. However, today Roman Catholicism, Uniatism included, looks so weak, so Americanized, that is, so Protestantized, that there seems little hope for it. I have always believed that only Orthodoxy can fill the spiritual abyss left by it.

Its situation is symbolic of Western Europe in general, whose cities now seem to be on the verge of disappearing beneath the tidal wave of the Muslim invasion. This was brought about by Western interference in the Middle East and North Africa, the notorious CIA-orchestrated ‘Arab spring’, which has cost the lives of hundreds of thousands. Will Western Europe survive at all? That is now the question. However, I would like to disagree with the Western xenophobes, who blame ‘Arabs’ or ‘Muslims’. These wretched people are not the cause of the problem. The cause of the problem is Western apostasy, the fact that Western people have abandoned Christ. As nature abhors a vacuum, so it is being filled – and by Islam. If Western people had not abandoned Christ and Christian culture, there would be no spiritual vacuum and no Muslims here to fill it.

Q: How should we look at the situation in Syria?

A: We live in times when the prophecies are being accomplished before our very eyes – in Iraq, in Syria and in Turkey. The present catastrophe began in 1991 with the beginning of the fall of Babylon (Iraq) in the first Gulf War. This was accomplished in 2003. In 2000 Iraq had nearly 2,000,000 Christians, now there are fewer than 200,000. Even someone as obtuse and deluded as Blair is just now beginning to admit that he is partly responsible. As for Syria, it is next to Armageddon. The third player is Turkey, whose fall is also prophesied. Then will come the drying up of the Euphrates. Before that I think we shall also see changes in the Ukraine next year.

Following Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya have all called for Russian help. It is difficult to know whether Russia will be able to put out all the conflagrations started by incredible Western hubris, but we shall see. It is not easy to be the world’s fireman when you face American arsonists.

Q: What lies behind this hubris which is inherent in the West?

A: Historically, it is a mixture of the imperialist superiority of the pagan Romans mixed with the ruthless plundering of the barbarian Germanic peoples being harnessed by Satanic powers. Thus, what is at the origin of the British Establishment? It is the Norman mentality, in other words, the mentality of a Viking warband, which is what the Normans were. When they came to England in 1066, having already destroyed the older Christian traditions of pre-Norman Normandy, they came to plunder the gold and riches of a Christian kingdom and destroy its half-millennial Church.

The gleam in Norman eyes then was the same as that in the eyes of the gold-hungry Spanish conquistadors five centuries later, and the same as that in the eyes of Texan oilmen when they got their greedy hands on Iraqi oil five centuries after that. Even modern Western science fiction talks of asset-stripping and strip-mining other planets in exactly the same way. Exploit the mineral resources of a country until they are exhausted and then move on to the next country, or planet, and strip it bare too, plunder and pillage ruthlessly – all under the pretext of freedom and democracy. As the imperialist British Prime Minister Palmerston said 150 years ago, Britain has ‘no friends and no enemies, only interests’. In other words, the Western Establishment is nothing but a Viking warband intent on plunder and pillage, intent on its own interests, and without any principles whatsoever.

Q: What would you say of the general situation? Doesn’t it make you despair?

A: No. The world, as ever, is divided into three groups: God’s, Satan’s and the undecided. This means: the real Orthodox (those who are willing to die for Orthodoxy); Satan’s people (including so-called ‘Orthodox’ apostates); and the rest, including many nominal Orthodox, who have not made up their mind whose they are. Some among the rest are two-faced and agree with everyone, but among the rest there are also those who one day will be willing to die for Orthodoxy. It is in the hope of the repentance of all that the world continues through the mercy of God.

I think in dealing with the things of the world (political events etc), we have to be in the know, but not despair. Be as gentle as doves and wise as serpents, says Christ. We must always remember that though man proposes, God disposes. Satan’s forces do what they want, but it does not mean that they will win. They will not. We know that for a fact. The scheme of the prince of this world and his over-educated minions is obvious – their great plan is to restore the Temple in Jerusalem so that they can enthrone Antichrist there. But it may be hundreds of years till they achieve that, even though there are days when it seems that it is going to happen within just a few years.

God, not man, disposes. Do not despair. We have already seen one miracle – the fall of militant atheism in the old Soviet Unionand the beginning of the restoration of the Christian Empire there. Other miracles are possible. Never underestimate either the wisdom of God or the foolishness of man. Never doubt God’s power.

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence (September 2015)

Q: Are you surprised by the election of the new leader of the Labour Party?

A: Frankly, no. For 35 years neocons have in effect been in power in the UK, ever since the old Tories lost power to Thatcherite monetarists, the ancestors of the neocons, and the Labour Party has essentially been run by neocon Tories. The election of a primitive, old-fashioned socialist as leader of the Labour Party is a reaction to all this. The Labour Party leadership has now returned to its grassroots membership, whom it had betrayed by becoming Washington’s poodles. The Labour Party now has a leader who actually believes in something, other than himself and his own bank account, unlike its previous leaders. The only surprise is that the reaction has taken so long. Extremes breed extremes – the neocons have produced old-fashioned, atheist socialism – that was quite predictable.

This is all part of the process of the election of socialists elsewhere in the EU, for example in Greece and Spain. However, it is difficult to see what will come of it. The new Labour leader seems to have very little understanding of reality and it is difficult to see him lasting very long. Others, nationalists and sovereignists, have also been elected throughout the EU, for example, UKIP in the UK and the National Front in France. All these movements, whether of left or of right, are reactions to the rule over the EU of the neocons in Washington. That is why in the UK the Establishment-run BBC and Press character-assassinate them all. Whether they are the UKIP leader or the new Labour leader, they are both anti-Establishment, driven by sincerely-held beliefs rather than by their own careers and bank accounts. Mammon that rules the modern world dislikes such people because they put their values, whatever we may think of them, right or wrong, above money.

Q: How do you see the consequences of the present chaos caused by mass Muslim immigration into Western Europe?

A: First of all, mass immigration has been rejected by Central and Eastern Europe, not just by Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Lands, but also by the Baltics, Slovenia and Poland, which has had to face mass emigration from Ukrainians fleeing the US and EU-instigated war in the Ukraine. EU-Croatia does not want the refugees either, it is simply allowing them to pass through, not to stay. As for Cyprus, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania, none of the refugees wants to settle in these countries that are poverty-stricken by the EU, let alone in Non-EU Macedonia, which is already being torn apart by the Muslim invasion from Albania, and NATO-bombed Serbia with all its Serbian refugees from Croatia and Kosovo.

All these former Communist-bloc countries are quite right to hand on the refugees – their countries have not been responsible for this new Muslim invasion – Western Europe has been responsible. Who is paying for the billions of dollars of arms with which the war in Syria is being fought? Who is paying for this murderous conflict that is being played out on the borders of Armageddon? Who is making and supplying the arms for these fanatics to murder with? Who bombed Yugoslavia? Who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq? Who bombed Libya? It is not Eastern and Central Europe, it is the Western world that is responsible. At this moment US aircraft and British bombs are slaughtering the people of Yemen. The West always has money for bombs to destroy, but not to feed poor refugees from Western-instigated wars.

Now Germany has to pay the price for its co-destruction of Yugoslavia and the foundation of Muslim states there. If Yugoslavia still existed, the refugees would not be able to pass through its former territory and head for Germany. War in Yugoslavia happened twenty years ago – but the consequences are now. Sooner or later you have to pay for your errors – the chickens always come home to roost. It is called responsibility, responsibility for the injustices that you have committed in the past.

Mass immigration is causing division in the EU – already the Schengen agreement is in tatters. This could be the moment when parts of Eastern Europe, especially Hungary and Slovakia, finally turn their backs on the disastrous EU and join the EEU, the Eurasian Economic Union, together with Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova – if those countries can find the courage to overturn their home-grown traitors who are willing to hand over their countries to NATO tyranny. Thanks to Communism, ironically, these countries had kept their national identity and sovereignty; under EU tyranny they have to lose them. The time for them to choose is coming – to surrender your national identity to so-called ‘multiculturalism’, as have Western European countries, or to keep it by turning to the protection of Sovereign Russia.

The Western part of the EU now has a choice: to accept mass Islamization and so complete the renunciation of its Christian history, as its atheists have already mentally done, or to bring back peace to Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and resettle the Muslim millions back in their homes, which is what they want. But this would be to admit that the West caused the problems in those countries in the first place. This would be a noble act of repentance, but the Western elite is too proud to carry it out. The Western elite is always capable of making war – but quite unable to make peace. This is because of its essentially anti-Christian, aggressive and destructive nature. Only a rising of ordinary Western people, crushed for so long by its elite, and aided from outside, can make a difference now.

Q: After the September Local Synod in Istanbul, Patriarch Bartholomew denounced the co-operation of Church and State in Russia, though without mentioning the word ‘Russia’ by name. What do you make of this?

A: Patriarch Bartholomew is merely a US-installed mouthpiece of the State Department, so he is irrelevant to the real Orthodox world, just as KGB-installed Russian bishops were irrelevant to the real Orthodox world in their time. For example he has just granted the highest award of his Patriarchate to the abortionist Joe Biden. In other words, nobody is listening to him because his words of propaganda are dictated to him by neocon politicians, not by the Holy Spirit.

What is the reality of the situation in Russia, beyond such neocon propaganda? It is that the Russian Church is trying to reChristianize the Russian State. The attempt to Christianize the State is very frightening for the neocons. This is the Incarnational role of the Church, they hate that because for them religion must only be a private matter, which should have no practical consequences and social ramifications. To renounce this role is to renounce Orthodoxy – which is what the anti-Christian US State Department does every single day of its existence. It is interesting for me to see in the words of Patriarch Bartholomew exactly the same editorial policy as that of the BBC, where I took part in two radio programmes a couple of years ago. It was clear then and it is clear now that the powers that be long ago sent out a message to all their vassal Western media – to try and discredit the Russian Orthodox Church by making out that it is a puppet of the Russian State.

In transmitting this message in the UK they are utterly hypocritical – it is the Church of England that is a puppet of the British State – all the C of E bishops are nominated by an agnostic/atheist Prime Minister, most are freemasons. This is quite different from the situation in Russia where the Church is separated from the State and independent of it. Whenever the Russian State agrees with the Church, it is a triumph of reChristianization for the Church, it is not that the State has conquered the Church, but just the opposite. Soviet times are over. The Western elite and its arms merchants want them to return – by creating another Cold War.

Q: If, as you say, Constantinople is a puppet of US neocons, what hope is there for the Orthodox ‘Council’, to be held in the Phanar next year?

A: That Conference, which is what it is at the moment, may well turn out to be a mere meeting with a final statement couched in meaningless ‘Chancellery-speak’. If so, it will be forgotten very quickly, as were many politically-organized ‘councils’ under heretical emperors of Constantinople. However, a destiny much more interesting than the dustbin of history is possible.

If the Phanar is tempted to take the thirty pieces of silver offered it by Washington and the Vatican and so completely discredit itself in the eyes of the Orthodox world and openly fall away from it, the Conference will become a Council, for it will at last be free to speak the Orthodox Truth. Then will follow the official transfer of the Centre of the Orthodox Church to Moscow, where in reality it has already been for centuries. This will be the end of the 562-year old myth of the Phanar (and the other fallen fragments of the Greek Empire) as the centre of Orthodoxy, a myth that US propagandists have assiduously used since 1948 to flatter Constantinople’s inherent ethnophyletist vanity.

Q: But would you not agree that there are still many problems within the Russian Orthodox Church?

A: Yes, of course there are indeed many problems. These are the result of the Soviet-period ‘legacy’. Only when the Church has been purified from this legacy will complete unity and so full strength come. Beware of the word ‘legacy’, when it is used by pseudo-Russian Orthodox, what they mean by it is apostasy.

Q: What in concrete terms do the words ‘Soviet-period legacy’ mean?

A: I mean all the political and spiritual compromises that ‘representatives’ of the Russian Church made through human weakness during the Soviet period, both inside Russia and outside Russia – ritualism, phariseeism, careerism, corruption, lying, renovationism. We were victims of that awful corruption outside Russia, so we know clearly and exactly what we are talking about.

Q: What can be done to destroy that legacy?

A: Re-Churching. And today Russia is being re-Churched. True, the Soviet diseases of alcoholism, abortion and corruption are still rife in the Russian Federation, but they are nonetheless declining because of this re-Churching. It is a privilege to take part in this process of re-Churching, even outside Russia, alongside tens of thousands of others who work in this field, but the process is only just beginning. We have very far to go. The ‘legacy’ must be destroyed, so that it can be replaced by the Tradition, so that human failings can be transfigured by the Holy Spirit, so that multinational Russian Orthodoxy can be rebuilt.

Q: If the ‘Conference’, as you call it, does turn into a Council and the Church is at last cleansed of the spiritually compromised representatives of the Patriarchate of Constantinople who have lapsed from Orthodoxy, where would they go?

A: They could go wherever they want, to whomever would take them. I think, for example, that its lapsed representatives would be welcome in the Vatican or in the post-Protestant US, whose mouthpieces they are; as for all those in the Patriarchate of Constantinople who are faithful Orthodox, the many on Mt Athos and in the parishes, they could join the Church of Greece, whose Archbishop could take the title of Patriarch of Constantinople. At the same time Orthodox-leaning Catholics in today’s Muslim and atheist-dominated Europe, who have been rejected by the present Patriarchate of Constantinople because of its apostasy and ecumenist agreement with the Vatican not to accept them, could freely join the Russian Orthodox Church. Turkey would then become a missionary territory for the Russian Church; there are tens of thousands of Russians living there already. There will be much to do; the Greek prophecies say that a third of Turks will be baptized as Orthodox.

This process of Russian missionary work is already happening outside Europe. Just recently hundreds of Filipinos have chosen to join the Russian Orthodox Church. They chose true Christianity, that is, Russian Orthodoxy, to the alternatives to IS or Maoist terrorism on the one hand and to Western secularist atheism (economic terrorism) on the other hand. This is the same situation as before the Revolution, when Tsar Nicholas II provided the sole alternative to rival secularist and imperialist Western ideologies, the Anglo-French and the Austro-German. He alone provided uncompromised Orthodoxy, the Christian Empire, Christian values. That of course is why the West crucified him and his family, like St Job.

Q: What is the role of the Russian Orthodox Church in this missionary light?

A: Rather than role I would say responsibility. As the heir to the Christian Empire, of St Constantine, the responsibility of what remains of Holy Russia and the Russian Empire is to be the last bastion of Christianity in the world. Today, after the failed imposition of the destructive Western ideology of Communism by the Western Powers against the will of the people through financing the 1905 and 1917 revolutions and through it the slaughter of the last Christian Emperor, Nicholas II (the order for whose martyrdom went out from New York, as the historian Petr V. Multatuli has made clear in recent years), the Christian Empire is beginning to revive and the Russian Church is playing the essential role in this process. Some prophesy the full restoration of the Empire and an Emperor Nicholas III, the final rampart of Christianity against Eurosodom and Gommorhica, which is what the Western elite wants to create against the will of the Western peoples (See what we have said above about the need for the people to rise against this imposition). This is why the West hates Russia – Russia is the only rival to its decadence. Only Russia contradicts it. Only anti-Christians can be against the restoration of the Christian Empire, whatever they may call themselves and however pharisaically they may conduct themselves. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, friends of the pagan Romans, of both yesterday’s and today’s enemies of Christ.

Very sadly, the September communication of Patriarch Bartholomew seems to show that he has accepted the anti-Incarnational secularist ideology of the Vatican and of Washington, the rejection of the role of the Incarnation in the life of the State. Why? Because only the restoration of the Orthodox State, the Christian Empire, can restrain the growth of so-called ‘globalization’, which the US masters of the Phanar are entirely in charge of. Even the remnants of the Third Rome, the Christian Empire, stand as a living witness to the fall, decadence and perjury of both the First Rome and of the Second Rome – that is why their masters deny it, envy it, fear it and fight against it. Their greatest enemy is the Russian Orthodox Church, the last bastion of Christ, which is why they work together against us.

Q: But is there not a danger of Russian nationalism in trying to Christianize the Russian State?

A: Yes, of course there is. In history the word ‘nationalism’ was not used because it is simply a modern word for ‘worldliness’. Nationalism destroyed the first two Romes: Pagan Roman nationalism destroyed the First Rome when it was adopted and made into an ideology by the Germanic peoples; Greek nationalism destroyed New Rome and the Third Rome was for three generations brought down by the nationalism of the anti-Russian aristocracy who wanted power for themselves against the Tsar and against the people.

Thus the first two Romes fell hundreds of years ago on account of worldliness and there is no chance that they will ever be restored. However, this is not the case with the Third and last Rome, Moscow. True, it was brought down in 1917 and suffered immensely for many years, but since the Western invasion of the former Russian Empire in 1941 restoration by the blood and tears of the New Martyrs and Confessors has been under way. This has happened amidst the hatred and envy of the Western world, which is why it is ringing Russia with NATO bases, trying to take over the Ukraine and developing plans for the dismemberment of the Russian Federation and of the Russian Orthodox Church, primarily through US-encouraged schisms in the Ukraine and Moldova.

Q: If the Western world is successful in dismembering the Russian Federation and the Russian Orthodox Church, is that the end?

A: Yes, that is the end – of the world, since salvation will become impossible so the world will no longer have any reason to exist.

Q: Do you think that nationalist temptations can be overcome so that the Christian Empire will be restored in Russia and in the rest of the Orthodox world together with it?

A: Yes, they can, though ‘can’ does not mean ‘will be’. Nevertheless, today there is reason for hope because there is a difference with the past. Before the Russian Revolution nationalism was alive, as was witnessed to by the worldly nationalism in the Russian emigration which stopped Church life from being as missionary as it should have been, persecuted missionaries like St John of Shanghai and rejected its messianic mission to preach Orthodoxy to the world, to make the world part of Holy Russia and so save it. Many emigres, especially among the intellectuals and aristocrats, were selfish and inward-looking, turning away the people whom God sent them. That was to be expected because they had already betrayed the Tsar.

The difference with the past is that Russia is now an international country. Today’s real International Community, led by Russia, includes much of Eastern Europe, Asia (including China and India, the Middle East and Iran), Africa and Latin America. The Western world is a small minority, fewer than a billion people, including only North America (except for Mexico), Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and perhaps South Korea and Taiwan. Six-sevenths of the world stands against Western exploitation. As such the West is isolated.

Look at the great military victory parade in Beijing that took place two weeks ago in front of the Chinese and Russian leaders in celebration of the liberation of China from the Japanese by the Soviet Army. That parade was totally ignored and despised by the Western media, as China and Russia sealed their bonds. A new bloc has been formed. The West did not want to know because it is in denial that it has once again created its own enemies. Today there is a consciousness of Russia’s spiritual importance internationally. Before the Revolution only Tsar Nicholas and a very few in the elite had that consciousness; today many share in it.

Q: What practically does this consciousness mean to you?

A: For instance, every year I travel 17,000 miles around Eastern England visiting Orthodox. As I travel, I am conscious that I am perhaps the first Russian Orthodox priest to be on a given road and in a given place, the first to bless a place with icons, the first to bless a particular house. In doing this, I am therefore in fact travelling around a new province of Holy Russia.

However, I need help. We are together in the Church. The Church is not about individuals. I need at least one Russian-speaking priest here to help. We must encourage young people to take up the priesthood. When I was young, I was strongly discouraged from becoming a priest, not by this world, but by so-called ‘Orthodox’ priests and bishops – those of ‘the legacy’. I was incredibly badly advised and indeed deliberately. This was scandalously sad. Zeal was crushed quite ruthlessly and cruelly by the unworthy then in power. This must not happen to the young generation now, they must not be discouraged as I was.

We are building a new Holy Rus. The Church urgently needs a new generation of priests who are not afraid to use the Word of Christ to fight against aggressive Western secularism (including when so-called Orthodox confess it) on the one hand and Islamic terrorism on the other. We are Christ’s Army. For that we have the example of St Alexander Nevsky who resisted the traitors and the extremes of east and west, soaring above them on the wings of the double-headed Orthodox eagle.

To young people, I say: Do not be afraid! The reviving Christian Empire needs you to restore and rebuild! Join and be active in the Russian Orthodox Church! Belong to Christ, not to Antichrist!

The Continuing Crisis in Rue Daru

There is now great dissatisfaction in the Paris Exarchate (‘Rue Daru’) with its new archbishop. In blogs and comments, criticisms abound. Whatever the truth behind the sometimes serious accusations, one thing stands out. This is that Archbishop Job’s critics appear to have no concept of what a bishop (or a liturgist) is. Some of the behaviour criticized is that of almost any bishop of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and of other bishops in other Local Churches. We fail to be scandalized by this. A bishop who quotes the canons and is guided by them is a normal bishop. The impression of some of those who complain is of a group of people who have been living without the canons for a very long time. After all the liberals and modernists who are complaining are the very people who persecuted ordinary Orthodox for decades and chased them out of the Church. Now they are suffering in their turn and now they know what it feels like. There really is no-one as intolerant as a liberal.

The fact is that the Rue Daru jurisdiction always had weak bishops, who were appointed by exiled laypeople, at first by aristocrats, who had wanted the anti-Church Revolution and so power for themselves, and then by intellectuals. Whether it was Metr Eulogius, who was so indecisive that he kept changing jurisdictions, or the saintly but weak and openly mocked Metr Vladimir and Archbishop George (Tarasov), or the bishops born in Western Europe who followed them, the Paris Exarchate never had a bishop who stood up to its powerful laypeople, least of all Archbishop George (Wagner), who ordained several of those who are now in trouble. Now that the jurisdiction has an appointee of Patriarch Bartholomew, of course some in it are very dissatisfied. The problem is that when your Patriarch has appointed your bishop, who is a Phanariot loyalist, there is only one way you can avoid him and that is to leave his jurisdiction. Essentially, what is happening is that the jurisdiction is at last having to face reality after decades of fantasy.

After all, the Rue Daru jurisdiction has always been a ‘Protestant’ jurisdiction, both in the sense that its elite is composed of protestors (les ‘frondeurs’ et ‘soixante-huitards’, as Protopresbyter Alexis Knyazev used to call them) and also in the sense that it is composed of rationalists (like Protestants). This is clear from the code of camouflaged words, with which its elite defines itself. For example, they talk of their spirit of ‘renewal’ ( = in fact, pseudo-intellectual, renovationist modernism), their combination of ‘Orthodoxy with Western rationalism’ (= in fact, desacralization and spiritual decadence), their ‘creativity’ (= in fact, the condescending pride of those who imagine themselves to be the centre of the world, when it is in fact marginal French navel-gazing, ‘du nombrilisme hexagonal’) and of course ‘ecumenism’ (= in fact, apostasy from the Tradition). In many respects, it would make sense for the Roman Catholics to set up a Russian Uniat Exarchate in Paris which such individuals could join, as modern Catholic values differ little from rationalistic Protestant values.

It is said that Rue Daru is divided between those who want to remain ‘Russians’ and those who are ‘open’ and want to build a ‘Local Church’. What utter nonsense! All that was 30-40 years ago under Archbishop George (Wagner). This is now just self-justification for a gerontocratic ideology, which lives on notions removed from reality (sobornost, being, communion), and consistently avoids everything that is practically and concretely Orthodox. The daydream of ‘building a Local Church’, or rather, talking about building a Local Church, purely secular-liberal in its progressivism, is leading nowhere in Rue Daru. Elsewhere we are faithful to the Russian Tradition and also celebrate in the local languages and venerate the local saints. There is no either/or between faithfulness to the Russian Tradition and being a Local Church, it is both/and. The modernists play on the ambiguity of locality, appropriating arguments which require an Orthodox Church to be an Orthodox Church in a particular location. It then misuses those arguments to claim that therefore their own secularist foibles – which they have managed to enforce in that particular locality (Paris) – should be normative for the Orthodox Church there.

All of this illustrates the identity crisis of Rue Daru, a jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, supposedly of the Russian Tradition (though as someone said to me, the Russian Tradition never even stayed the night in most places in Rue Daru). Is it Greek or is it Russian? Before its former representative in England, Bp Basil (Osborne), was defrocked, he had the title of Bishops of ‘Amphipolis’. Various wags soon deformed this into Bishop of ‘Amphibious’ and Bishop of ‘Ambivalence’. Joking apart, there is here a serious question. Who do you think you are? The clergy that I knew and knew of in Rue Daru were all clergy who wanted Rue Daru to return to the Russian Orthodox Church as soon as the political obscenities in Russia were over. They have long been over. Archbishop George (Tarasov), Archbishop Sergiy (Konovalov), Bishop Alexander (Tian-Shansky), Bishop Methodius (Kulmann), Bishop Roman (Zolotov), Protopresbyter Alexis Knyazev, Archpriest Alexander Rehbinder, Archpriest Vsevolod Dunaev, Archpriest Igor Vernik, must all be turning in their graves at what is happening today. They would all long ago have returned to the Mother-Church, together with a mass of laypeople, who wanted none of this nonsense.

Apart from the hopelessly old-fashioned modernist ideology of its elite (an anachronism in a post-modernist world) Rue Daru has enormous financial problems. The Cathedral on Rue Daru needs two million euros, St Serge appears to be bankrupt and the pre-revolutionary church in Biarritz needs expensive repairs. It is difficult to see how such a group can maintain the pre-revolutionary churches in Florence and San Remo – also part of the Russian (not Greek) Orthodox heritage in Europe. Then there is the problem of finding priests to serve – more and more of them come from Eastern Europe and have no time for or understanding of the modernist ideology of the elite or its liturgical fantasies. Two people have said to me that one day Rue Daru will have more defrocked than frocked clergy. Here is the result of decades of easy ordinations of the untrained and uncanonical, showered with high awards – presumably for chasing out and persecuting faithful Orthodox. All this was carried out in order to build a jurisdictional empire. As a parting thought, perhaps if we do not get the bishop we need, then we get the bishop we deserve.

Afterword: The Euro-Orthodox Alternative to an Orthodox Europe

Following the recent trilogy of articles on gathering together Russian Orthodox of all nationalities and languages in Western Europe into a Metropolia, the first of which was posted on 25 July and the last, the article ’The Path to Unity’, on 5 August, a member of the Paris Exarchate (Patriarchate of Constantinople) has written to reject this vision for an Orthodox Europe, or a ‘Russian Europe’ as he strangely calls it. Since he is not Russian Orthodox and, according to his very undiplomatic words, never will be, his rejection of something which does not concern him seems not relevant. However, if he is interested in one day seeing a Local Church of Europe, we must recall that the only Local Church which is proposing an Orthodox Metropolia in Europe, precisely the basis for a future Local Church of Europe, is the Russian Orthodox Church. In other words, the offer by Patriarch Alexis II over ten years ago is the only offer on the table.

The only purely theoretical alternative consists of a now very old-fashioned, autocephalist, that is, nationalist, ideology. This was once again put forward by the Greek Orthodox ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe in Western Europe’ at its Fifteenth Congress in Bordeaux in Spring 2015. With absolutely no offer of autocephaly (canonical independence) made at any point over the fifty years of its existence to this small, mainly French group by the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople (to which virtually all its members belong), doubts were long ago raised about its practicality. No autocephaly can ever be given to this small group because it is on a shared canonical territory.

No-one would want to repeat the error that the Soviet-epoch Patriarchate of Moscow made in the USA nearly fifty years ago, giving a canonically disputed autocephaly to a small and rather nationalistic American group, led by Parisian intellectuals, now called the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). One does have the impression of leaders blinded by their autocephalist ideology misleading sincere and idealistic but also blind converts, who have no concept of the practical problems and realities of the Local Orthodox Churches and Diasporas outside their own narrow, intellectual horizons.

A French TV film of their recent Congress shows members of the Paris-based Brotherhood singing in French at a meeting or service (it was unclear what it was) in a modern conference hall in Bordeaux. There were virtually no icons, no iconostasis, no candles and no-one at the meeting or service, standing in lines in front of rows of chairs, appeared to make the sign of the cross. The atmosphere presented was that of a ‘charismatic’ event, common to Catholic modernism (or Protestant modernism – it is the same thing). Present were two Greek bishops, one of them the controversial leader of the schismatic ‘Estonian Apostolic Orthodox Church’, and a Catholic bishop. The impression was that many of those present were either Catholics or else ex-Catholics. The meeting was certainly highly ecumenical and also political.

The atmosphere of exaltation, of a lack of sobriety and prayer, and the absence of any Orthodox dress code indeed gave the impression of a political meeting, rather than of a Church service. Most of those shown in the film looked to be middle class people, mostly of the same older generation, aged between 60 and 75. Could this be because they joined the Fraternite in its heyday in the late 60s, 70s and 80s, after the French social revolt of 1968? Enclosed and isolated in the same intellectual ghetto for so many years, without exposure to the realities of the contemporary Diasporas of the Local Orthodox Churches in Europe or in their homelands, members have had no opportunity to evolve. In this way they have not adapted to reality and the generation which has grown up in the Orthodox Churches since the fall of Communism and the liberation of the Local Churches in former Communist countries. Could this be why ‘passeiste’ (living in the past) members still insist that ‘nothing has changed’ in Russia and Eastern Europe and still appear to be living in the Cold War?

Of course, a film can give a false impression. Unfortunately, it is exactly the same impression that was given to us by Fraternite members in the 70s and 80s and also that given to Orthodox from other Local Churches who have visited their Congresses in recent years. They have all said the same thing: that this is a divisive group driven not by spiritual concerns but by political concerns. Its spirit, different and alien to that in the vast majority of Orthodox monasteries and parish churches in Western Europe, gives the impression of a New Age cult or sect. There is a ‘pick and mix’ mentality, for example, you fast and confess only if you really want to, taking communion freely, as in modern Catholicism. It takes what it likes from the Russian Church and the Greek Church, but rejects the disciplines of both the Russian Church, both inside Russia and outside Russia, and of the Greek Church in Greece. (It should be noted that this group is quite outside the discipline of the diocesan jurisdictions of Greek bishops in Europe).

A great many contemporary Protestants will tell you that the empty moralism of their ahistorical and now dying denominations has been suicidal for them. A great many contemporary Catholics will tell you that they do not believe in the Pope and think that compulsory clerical celibacy is wrong. In other words they agree with us. And some look to the Orthodox Church for sustenance. The one thing that the Orthodox Church can offer those who live in the contemporary spiritual desert of the desacralized Western world, whether of Catholic or Protestant origin, is spiritual food. This is the food of faithfulness to the discipline of the Church Tradition that alone unlocks the door to the Holy Spirit, that alone gives spiritual beauty, spiritual nobility and spiritual elegance, the food that feeds the soul. This means not transmitting our little selves, but transmitting that which is far greater than ourselves, that which is both collective (cat-holic) and eternal. This is that which only the Church can give and provide the sense of the sacred, a sacralized faith that brings heaven down to earth and so makes the earthly spiritual.

The impression given, and not only by this film, is the opposite. What appears to be on offer here is a desacralized cult, worship made comfortable for the Western consumer, a castrated and rationalized piece of theatre that makes the spiritual earthly. Nowhere was there any mention of the glorious European heritage of the saints, those who had been earthly but became spiritual, neither of the ancient saints of Europe, like St Irinaeus of Lyon, St Hilary of Poitiers, St Martin of Tours, St John Cassian and others who combated heresies and died for the Faith, or of the new saints of Europe, like the Russian New Martyrs, St Nicholas of Zhicha, St Justin of Chelije and St Paisius the Athonite. This is the result of doing away with the ‘sanctoral’ and applying the other decrees of the Second Vatican Council to the Orthodox Church, as was the heartfelt desire of Fraternite lovers like Fr Elie Melia, the teacher of Pastoral Theology at the St Sergius Institute of Theology in Paris in the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The overall impression of the Fraternite is of a disincarnate form of faith invented in the past, of a rather late and old-fashioned monogenerational offshoot of the ‘charismatic movement’ of the late twentieth century, unknown to the Orthodox Church. Theirs appears to be a phyletistic or nationalistic ideology, a Euro-Orthodoxy, that puts modern Europe first and Orthodoxy second, exactly the opposite to what the Russian Orthodox Church is proposing in its forward-looking vision of an ‘Orthodox Europe’. New Local Churches have always been built on strict adherence to the Church Tradition and had a heavily ascetic, monastic and episcopal foundation, for example among all the Slavs, the Alaskans and the Japanese. Unlike their examples, the intellectuals of the Fraternite, stuck in the 1960s, seem to be proposing building a Church on the basis of an ideology that is anti-ascetic, anti-monastic, anti-episcopal, anti-Tradition and therefore in effect anti-Orthodox. Needless to say, this cannot succeed.