Category Archives: England

Thoughts on the Orthodox Future of the Post-Western World, Europe and England

Introduction: After the Defeat of the West

Even Western-sponsored Ukrainian terrorism has failed. The Western media are none too keen to expose the Western defeat in the Ukraine and so the media are now largely falling silent about the Ukraine. The US and the EU have completely failed to weaken, destroy, dismantle and balkanise Russia into between 18 and 32 separate republics by illegally sanctioning it and then overthrowing its government. The West wanted to do to Russia what it had done to Yugoslavia. ‘Since we can bomb and destroy Belgrade, let us bomb and destroy Moscow’, was the fantasy. This aim was publicly announced in the 2019 Rand Corporation report in the USA. According to this report, Russia had to be destroyed in order then in turn to weaken China. This was to be done by manipulating (and then betraying) NATO-armed Ukrainian proxies, in whom it otherwise has no interest (as Borrell has openly admitted), into dying for Western aims ‘to the last Ukrainian’. Among the western Ukrainians they found pro-Nazi Russia-haters. They were the ideal useful idiots for use as cannon fodder.

After the Western defeat the world is entering the post-Western age, the real New World Order. The West is old and tired, its symbol is the dementia of the US President, who with his minders confuses wishful thinking with reality, the virtual world with the real world. The end comes after a thousand years of domination and exploitation, firstly by Western European Empires, Papist and then Protestant, and since 1945 by the Secularist USA. Through its war on Russia through the Ukraine, the West totally isolated itself from the Global Majority, which mocks its ruling imperialist caste and its age-old visceral hatred, inspired by jealousy and greed, of Russia. Western Europe has lost the last traces of its prestige, as symbolised by the humiliating ejection of colonial France from West Africa. The new multipolar world, founded by the Russian-initiated BRICS Alliance, is going to look very different from the old one. Western Europe will of course still exist, but simply as a Region equal among many others in the global community.

As for the USA, it is going to go home to lick its wounds and sort out its debt and internal chaos and decadence after 35 years of hubris, arrogance and delusion and two recent routs, first in Kabul, then in Kiev. Perhaps then, and only then, God will bless America, which for now appears to have cursed itself. The millennial defeat of the West means that it must admit that it has been humiliated, that its values were false all along. It will have to rethink its whole place in the world and ponder on its tragic history, becoming humble in the face of reality instead of delusion. The Western ideology of arrogant military superiority, enforced since the eleventh-century Crusades by superior forms of organised violence and murder, including through illegal economic sanctions, is discredited. So what will the future world, the future Western Europe and specifically the future England look like? First, let us look at the post-Western world in general.

The Twelve Regions of the Post-Western Multipolar World

  1. Eurasia (The Russian World of the East Slav Three, ‘Rus’, together with the three independent republics of the Caucasus and the five of Central Asia)
  2. Western Europe (See below)
  3. East Asia (The Chinese World, also Tibet, Mongolia, Korea, Japan and the Philippines)
  4. South East Asia (Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia)
  5. South Asia (The Indian World and countries around it, including Pakistan and Afghanistan)
  6. West Asia (the former so-called ‘Middle East’, including the Arab World, Turkiye, Iran and Iraq)
  7. Northern Africa (largely Muslim)
  8. Southern Africa (sub-Saharan Africa, largely Christian)
  9. Northern America (the USA, Canada and Greenland, largely English-speaking)
  10. Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean (led by Mexico)
  11. South America (led by Brazil)
  12. Oceania (led by Australia and with a tiny population)

Two of the sixteen Local Orthodox Churches are in Region 1 and ten of them are in Region 2. We suggest that Region 1 needs initially another three Local Churches to cover the Ukraine, Belarus, and Central Asia (the five stans). Two of the Local Churches (Jerusalem and Antioch) should cover Region 6. One Church, Alexandria, should cover Regions 7 and 8. There is one disputed Local Church in Region 9. We suggest that Region 2 initially needs seven new Local Churches (see below), Region 3 initially needs two (for China and Japan), a Local Church for China and another for Japan. Regions 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 all initially need one new Local Church each. This would bring the total number of Local Churches to 33, the number of the age of Christ. Some of these new Local Churches would at first only become autonomous (partly independent) while waiting to grow and mature, others would from the start become autocephalous (fully independent).

The Four Confederative Regions of Western Europe in the Multipolar World

Western Europe means the western half of Europe (54%), not the eastern half (46%), which consists of Belarus, the Ukraine and Russian Europe. Its Americanisation began in 1942 in the UK, then in 1944-5 in the Western half of the Continent, spreading eastwards in 1989. After the end of US unionist organisations like NATO and the EU, what could its future be? We suggest its future is as four Regions which have common histories:

  1. North-East Europe (Poland, Finland and the three Baltic States, formerly largely part of the Russian Empire). All these five countries could be taken care of by the Polish Orthodox Church, to be renamed the Baltic Orthodox Church.
  2. South-East Europe (the racially very mixed former Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empire in Europe, nearly a half of which is Orthodox Christian: Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria, European Turkiye, Greece, Cyprus, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia-Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia). This Region has nine Local Orthodox Churches. We suggest a new binational Local Church should be founded for Hungary and Austria, similar to that which already exists for Czechia and Slovakia.
  3. North-West Europe (the largely Germanic world: Iceland, Ireland, the UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Flanders, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein). None of this region has its own Local Church. We suggest three, one for Germany, the Netherlands, Flanders, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Liechtenstein; one for the British Isles and Ireland; one for the four countries of Scandinavia.
  4. South-West Europe (the largely Latin world: France, Wallonia, Monaco, Italy, San Marino, Malta, Andorra, Spain, Portugal). None of this Region has its own Local Church. We suggest three, one for Iberia, one for Italy, San Marino and Malta and one for France, Flanders and Monaco.

At present this Western Europe consists of 42 countries. However, if one day, for example, Serbia and Montenegro reunite and Bosnia-Herzegovina dissolves back into Serbia and Croatia, once US pressure for Balkanisation is removed, Moldova and Romania reunite, and Belgium dissolves into Flanders, going back to the Netherlands, and Wallonia, going back to France, but the UK separates into its constituent parts of England, Scotland and Wales (with Northern Ireland returning to the Republic of Ireland), that would make 40 countries.

The four Regions of Western Europe could form a Western European Confederation and consult in a new Confederative centre. The ideal geographical location for this centre is surely Vienna, the Capital of Austria, in what used to be called Central Europe. Vienna is also closer to Orthodox South-East Europe and to Moscow, both geographically and culturally, and Moscow is effectively the centre of the eastern half of Europe, which stretches to the Urals, but also far beyond that to the Pacific, so providing Belt and Road connectivity to China. Moscow is also the capital of Russia, which has the largest economy in Europe and is its main source of energy.

The Decomposed and Recomposed ex-United Kingdom and Reunited Ireland as an Example of Future Western European Countries

The United Kingdom (UK) is a state as artificially-invented and disunited as the Ukraine or Belgium, and was invented just over a century ago. It is reigned over by a Dutch-German Royal House, ingloriously imported by regime change by the Norman-founded Establishment and City of London merchants for their ‘Great British’ manipulation from 1688 on. Since 1956 the UK has been governed as a satellite of the US-controlled British branch of the Globalist Uniparty. This is why, only recently, Brexit did not take place under the opportunist Johnson, who never believed in anything apart from himself. Since his sacking for disobeying his own laws, the UK has been ruled by unelected Prime Ministers and reigned over by an unelected and disliked King. It may be time to find a new dynasty, a new Royal House of England, perhaps composed for the first time since 1066 of Englishmen and Englishwomen?

Both Left and Right agree that the future lies in the so far vitally absent policies of National Identity and Social Justice, the two things that the Globalist Uniparty does not allow and which it contemptuously dismisses as ‘populism’. The alien British Establishment hates the three peoples, the last which still remain directly under its tyranny, the English, the Scottish and the Welsh. If all the peoples of the former UK could free themselves from Globalist tyranny, denormanising themselves, they could form an Anglo-Celtic Confederation, together with a reunited Ireland, to be called perhaps ‘IONA’, the Isles of the North Atlantic, with an administrative capital at the central point of the Isle of Man, from where all four countries are visible. Four Countries, One Confederation.

Conclusion: The Future of the Western Half of Europe

As US troops are at last pulled out of Western Europe, eighty years late, a result of NATO’s comprehensive rout in the US war against Russia in the Ukraine, fear and panic have begun to spread among the US-appointed elites in Western European capitals. Like children who have been abandoned by their parents who used to tell them what to say and do, now they do not know what to say and do in their empty house. Like those who were subject to Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor, they are frightened of freedom and prefer to be serfs and vassals. They are like drug addicts who have run out of drugs. It is time for the alien and narcissistic ruling caste, which rules by intimidation, creating fear, anxiety, stress and bogeymen among the people (Communism, Islamism, Brexit, Covid, Putin etc), to be replaced by those who do not gaslight because they have come up from the people and can represent them.

As NATO is disbanded, so every Western European country can make huge savings on so-called ‘defence’. Western Europe can be denuclearised and demilitarised. The money saved can go to improve its derelict infrastructure and public services, which have largely become disservices, and paying off its crippling debts, inflicted by the ruling class. Once the Western ruling caste has been ejected, good relations can be established with Russia and the eastern half of Europe composed of the three countries that form the Union State. There is little doubt that the three States, Russia, the New Ukraine and Belarus, will be cleansed and come to be ruled officially by a new Tsar. In this way, work towards rediscovering local patriotic identities and implementing social justice may be carried out in the other countries of Western Europe, which suffer from similar oppression as in the ex-UK.

Once despised and repressed by the USA, they can now become creative once more by reference to their roots. At the same time, in the new multipolar world those countries would have to work together. Not in a Unionist, ‘one size fits all’ form, as in the old and hated, US-imposed European Union with its anti-democratic Commissar gauleiters, who in panic face Eurexit in their failure to create a mythical Europe, but in a Regional Confederative form. Western European countries have to adapt to Freedom – to their real place in the new multipolar world, returning to their identities which are rooted in their still undiscovered and concealed first millennium. This process of the dewesternisation of the West is what we have been speaking of for nearly two generations. It is now under way and presents both challenges, but also extraordinary opportunities, both political and spiritual.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Apostasy of Western ‘Civilisation’ and Our Salvation

Introduction: The Rise and Fall of the Western Empire

It has become customary to speak of the Middle Ages in Western Europe as a ‘Papal Empire’, later of ‘the Spanish Colonial Empire’, ‘the Portuguese Empire’, ‘the French Empire’, ‘the British Empire’ and most recently of ‘the American Empire’. In fact, all these empires have only been facets of one single empire, ‘the Western Empire’. Although this has been an Empire that has covered much of the world geographically, it is also an Empire of the Mind. One day, and probably quite soon, someone will write a book called ‘The History of Western Exceptionalism’ and will show how this imperialist mentality developed. Certainly, this will mention the model of the Pagan Roman Empire that obsessed the barbarians who invaded Western Europe and how a Frankish barbarian princeling called ‘Karl’, later known as ‘Charlemagne’, wanted to ‘renew’ that Pagan Empire and failed, but how he was still ‘the first neocon’.

More interestingly than this failed forerunner, it will then go on to speak of the crucial eleventh century, of the appearance of the Western superiority complex, ‘we are right, everyone else is wrong’, or as they say now ‘West is Best’. They will speak of elitist Papism and castle feudalism, of 1054 and 1066, of the ‘formation of a persecuting society’ to persecute all others, of hatred, intolerance, genocide and ‘crusades’, on which ‘Europe’ was created and united, of the bloodshed on which the Western Empire was founded. Since then, there followed 900 years of slow but steady rise to world domination and then the dramatic and suicidal events that began in Sarajevo in 1914 and led to those in Kiev in 2014, which have led to the progressive fall of that Empire to the mess that it is in today, when we have once more reached a millennial turning-point. Below we give an outline of what is happening now.

Belief and Unbelief

A few years ago, I took part in a BBC Radio 4 ‘religious’ programme – although as with all BBC ‘religious’ programmes its direction was purely secularist and in fact anti-religious. There I was told by a former MI6 agent/BBC journalist who took part that since only 2% of Russians go to church, the Orthodox Church and Orthodox Civilisation in Russia is irrelevant. I was astonished by his total lack of understanding and limited secularist/post-Protestant view of the importance of religion. But then what else can you expect of a typical British Establishment atheist? It is values and actions that matter, not how often you go to church to gain spiritual strength. He had missed the point. They all have.

Although only 2% of the population may be in church on an average Sunday in Russian Orthodox countries (though not necessarily the same 2%), the rest do believe. This is different from the West, where only 2% go to church, and it is the same 2%, but the rest do not believe. In other words, the West has lost the roots of its Civilisation, it no longer has any Civilisation. If it had a Civilisation, it would not support Ukrainian and Israeli genocide and would not promote LGBT. Here is the difference. The West no longer believes in its roots. What remains is its profound self-delusion. Whether it is slanted to the left or to the right is irrelevant – the disease is one and the same.

The European Union Repeats the Soviet Union’s Fate

As a result of this lack of belief in civilised values and actions, the main political and economic institution in the historic European centre of the Western world, the yellow-starred European Union (EU), is corrupting, fragmenting and collapsing in exactly the same way as the old red-starred Soviet Union (SU). It is a Soviet Union II. Just as most had stopped believing in the Soviet Union by the 1970s (as I know from living there then), knowing that its unelected commissars were lieing, that it was bankrupt in every sense and had failed in its aims, so most have stopped believing in the EU, because it too has failed, is bankrupt in every sense and has failed in its aims. Indeed, the EU’s once strongest ‘locomotive’ economy, the German, is being deindustrialised, is in recession and was overtaken last year by the booming Russian economy, which is now the fifth largest in the world and is due to overtake the Japanese economy in two to three years. In front of it then will be only the expanding Chinese and Indian economies and the disastrously flagging US economy.

The EU has not only failed to make Europeans prosperous, but it has also failed in its aim to unite Europe. For instance, it has failed to unite the Western European peninsula edge with most of Europe, which is mainly in Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus. It has failed to unite with the Western Balkans and failed to keep the UK in itself, let alone getting prosperous Switzerland, Norway and Iceland to join itself. On top of that, it is now financing on a huge scale the Nazi regime in Kiev and the proxy war in the Ukraine in order to try and force that country to join it. Just as few in the SU had the courage to say that the SU was dead, so too today, for the same reasons of censorship and punishment, few in the EU have the courage to say that the EU is dead. The difference is that in the SU, all people bought the Izvestiya and Pravda newspapers, because there was no toilet paper, but in the West some people still buy newspapers and, incredibly, read them and actually believe in them, despite the availability of toilet paper. Such is the level of the delusion of some of the EU population.

Delusionists: The Western World

After the defeat of its multinational Western invasion of Russia under Napoleon in 1812 and stalemating in its invasion of Russia in 1854-6 under the Franco-Ottoman-Sardinian-British, the West tried to fight its wars using proxies, ‘colonial’ troops, as cannon fodder. For example, in the nineteenth century in its colonies and also in the First and Second World Wars, which were essentially tribal European Wars, it used millions of Indian and African troops. The Ghurkas and the Foreign Legion are the remnants. The Far West, the USA, used this proxy method too and in both those wars joined in after they had begun, hoping for easy pickings after the suicidal Europeans. In the Second World War, the Anglo-Americans hoped that the Nazis and the Russians and their allies would kill each other and then they would be able to pick up the pieces. That did not entirely happen. Nevertheless, in the 1990s the West used the same proxy technique in yet another anti-Russian war, using Chechens. However, the Chechens realised that they were being used by the West, turned on their Western masters and sided with the Russians.

In the latest Western War against Russia, being fought by proxies in the Ukraine, similar things are occurring, as Ukrainians slowly realise that they too have been deceived and betrayed by the West. Here again, the Western Ukrainian proxies, encouraged to die ‘until the last Ukrainian’, are being routed by joint Russian and Eastern Ukrainian forces. Afraid of facing reality, the delusional West is refusing to negotiate and negotiations have been banned by law by the Ukrainian puppet dictatorship, which tortures those who speak freely, has banned other political parties and democratic elections and plans to ban the Church. It has disguised this refusal to negotiate with the absurd claim that Russia wants to take over Western Europe. This laughable propaganda claim, invented by US and British PR hireling firms in Kiev, has been made in the Ukraine and duly been repeated in the Baltics, Germany, Sweden, the UK and Norway so far. It is the familiar old excuse ever since Napoleon in 1812 and Hitler in 1941, who claimed to be saving ‘Western Civilisation’ from the ‘Asiatic barbarian hordes’ of Russia, ‘better dead than red’.

Realists: Hope in South-Eastern Europe

In its current war against ‘the Asiatic hordes’ of Russia, which war the West began in 2014 with its unprovoked, full-scale invasion of the Ukraine, the West has committed suicide several times. Having given eight years to Russia to prepare a Plan B in case it had to fight a full-scale war against the ever-aggressive West, the West imposed thousands of sanctions which have helped destroy its own economies. The present revolts in Western Europe are about the impoverishment resulting from the facts that so much money has been given to the Ukraine, that there are so many Ukrainian ‘refugees’ being paid for nothing and because the USA ended by violence the supplies of cheap gas from Russia. These revolts are not only of farmers in Poland, Romania, Germany and France, but include mass strikes of millions of workers in the Dickensian UK, Germany and France. In all these countries the destitute have been forced to use food banks to survive. In Northern America too, the rulers are extremely unpopular and revolts are ongoing in Canada and in Texas.

Deluded Western leaders have actually believed their own delusions, which they call ‘PR’. Most people no longer believe in those lies, repeated ad infinitum by the State-controlled Western media and nearly all Ukrainian flags have been taken down in Western Europe – only the now panicking very rich still fly them. Many are beginning to understand the great manipulation. Nowhere is this more obvious in Hungary and Slovakia, whose leaders are the only Western leaders not to be US puppets. As the Russian victory becomes obvious, other countries will also free themselves from US/EU tyranny. Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, and even perhaps neutral Austria may enter this Union of Free Europe. In other words, the whole geographical entity of South-Eastern Europe may come to link itself with Russia and the other BRICS economies, of which Russia is the closest to them. This is the future path to peace, justice and prosperity, away from the disaster and decadence of the warmongering US-created EU vassal.

Conclusion: The Mystical Presence: North-Western Europe

Some ask: How then do you in North-Western Europe, in England, survive, as you still labour under the tyranny of the Norman-imposed British Establishment and its moral perversions and lies, and now completely under the heel of the corrupted Washington elite? Around us blow hurricanes, however we remain calm. Why? We have a secret. It is because our saints, in our case, those of Eastern England, are with us. Never have we felt the intercession and mystical presence of our saints so strongly as over the last three years, when so-called ‘Orthodox clergy’ began persecuting us. Only this week we were in Ely again and felt the prayers of and experienced a miracle of St Audrey, as we bowed before her right hand, whose fingers are still clasped in the sign of the cross after exactly 1350 years. She responds to real veneration, not to that of the pseudo-Orthodox sectarians who suffer from that selfsame American exceptionalist complex that they are right and all others are wrong, They persecute real Orthodox Christians and their families and try and steal our saints and our churches. Those outside the Church cannot feel the mystical presence of our saints, for their pretended veneration is political and sectarian and in fact is a perverted persecution of the faithful.

But we have felt the presences of St Edmund in Hoxne and Bury St Edmunds, of St Fursey in Burgh Castle, of St Botolph in Iken, of St Felix by the old fortress in Felixstowe, of St Osyth in the woods in Chich, of St Cedd in his still standing church in Bradwell on Sea, of St Eanswythe in her relics in Folkestone, of St Walstan in Bawburgh, of St Withburgh in Dereham, of St John in his holy relics in Beverley, of St Guthlac and St Theodore in Crowland, of St Huna by his hermitage-farm in Chatteris, of St Ivo in St Ives and of St Neot in St Neots. They are all present and have all resisted the great millennial apostasy of the new Western world, whose depth has become so astonishing in its present death-throes. The patience of these saints is unending, calling those who live here back to repentance, waiting for them to return, like the father the prodigal son. Victory is theirs and, because we venerate them and ask them for their protection, victory is ours too. We feel the warmth from their relics. It will not be long now. And the same presences are all over Western Europe as the First Millennium says to the finishing Second Millennium: We told you so, but we are still waiting for you to return. Herein is their witness and herein is our salvation from the devil’s yoke.

2. Practical Consequences of No Local Church: The Pastoral Situation in England

As one Serbian priest in France put it to me 30 years ago, living in Western culture for Orthodox Christians is like entering an acid bath. In other words, you face spiritual death through assimilation, unless you keep your identity – that is, the Orthodox Faith. And that is virtually impossible to do unless you have a normal parish church with services at least twice a week and which is accessible. Here I will speak of England because I have known the situation here for fifty years, seen them all come and go, and here is where I know today’s situation best. Here most churches are either dying out or have already died out.

1) ROCOR

ROCOR in England had completely died out after three generations (1917-1992). The faith had not been passed on at all. Typically, children, grandchildren and, even more, great-grandchildren abandoned Orthodoxy, the process sped up with intermarriage (with such tiny numbers, there was literally ‘no-one to marry’ inside the Church). With basically only one permanent church to go to in west London and living outside London, people lost a Church, which appeared to give them no pastoral care outside London. Some of the first generation, like the late Professor Nikolai Andreyev in Cambridge, themselves actually had their children baptised in the Church of England from the outset: ‘We are in England now’, he said.

Others changed their surnames to English surnames, Volkoff to Wolcough, Kalinsky to Kay, for instance. Some strove to eliminate any sign of an English accent in their speech. The old ROCOR priest in Bradford refused to baptise any Russian children and sent them to the Church of England for ‘christening’. He told his parishioners: ‘There’s no point. They won’t replace me, so the church will close down after me’. Of course, he was actually right. He died and that was it. His church disappeared many years ago. Most children said that Orthodoxy was only for old people: ‘It’s nothing to do with me, I’m English’ and ‘I don’t understand what it’s all about’. Two years ago, already tiny ROCOR lost by far its biggest parish, six other parishes and over half its clergy, half its jurisdiction, because of its now schismatic foreign nature and its arrogant refusal to listen to the local people. People and clergy voted with their feet and left.

ROCOR only continues to exist today because it ‘restocked’ over the last thirty years from the ex-Soviet Union (though Ukrainians have now left that aggressively Russian institution) and from a few American-style crazy converts with their sectarian views. I know only six of the old generation, whose Russian grandparents immigrated here. Three are atheists, one is Church of England, and one became a Jew by being circumcised when in his twenties. Only one, now in her eighties, remains Orthodox (though her children and grandchildren are all Church of England). However, she does not go to church, even though she lives only 30 minutes away from London, because of the sectarian nature of the new ROCOR regime.

Constantinople

The Patriarchate of Constantinople used to have by far the largest jurisdiction in England. It expanded greatly between the 1950s and 1970s through the mass immigration of Cypriots. At one time it had six bishops. Its new Archbishop has told me that he now has 100 priests who are very elderly, but only three candidates to replace them. Churches that were attended by 500-1,000 forty years ago now get congregations of 20-30 elderly. Many smaller seaside town parishes will probably close. Whenever children appear in them, you know that they are Romanians. There are also embarrassing rifts between Cypriots, Greeks and Cretans. The worst case by far was in Brighton, but it is not easy elsewhere, with Greeks looking down on Cypriots as provincials who cannot even speak Greek properly. There are large numbers of Anglican vicars of Greek descent, whose parents had immigrated here. I have come across over twenty of them (and one who is Russian). Why? Because they never understood a word of Greek services. On top of that, considering themselves to be English, they could get a well-paid job and a free house in the Church of England. Nothing like that in the Orthodox Church!

The Greeks have a reputation for the flag waving of extreme nationalism. It is probably unfair. Russians can be extremely racist. And others. However, I have to say that all the worst experiences I have come across over the last fifty years have been with Greeks, but perhaps simply because they were so numerous. I have met several English people who visited Greek churches and were told literally: ‘Go away’. (Also in far less polite language). One Greek priest told one Englishman: ‘Join the Church of England, you are English, you can’t join us, wrong nationality’. (The man in question later joined the Russian Church and became a priest there). Another case: ‘You can’t come here, you’re not dark enough’. It is a sad fact that most Greek churches (but in fairness, not only Greek ones) are merely ethnic clubs.

As a prison chaplain, I regularly see middle-aged Cypriots in prison. They are the children and grandchildren of the original immigrants. They do not speak a word of Greek and have not the least idea of Orthodoxy. One of them told me that when his grandmother had told him that he was ‘Orthodox’, he had thought that he was a Jew. The only bright spots are the convent/monastery in Tolleshunt Knights in Essex, now with 25 Romanian nuns, and at last building a larger church, and Bp Rafael, the new Greek bishop (and the only Orthodox bishop) in Scotland. Tolleshunt Knights has welcomed all nationalities. Bp Rafael has done the same, welcoming all nationalities and calendars and is in effect the Bishop of Scotland. Only he has the authority and openness. (A pity for us that he is not in England!). In both cases, there is real hope. Why? Because both put Christ first and not their nationality.

The Others

Leaving aside the post-1945 Belarussians, Latvians and Poles who all died out, also the tiny numbers of very inward-looking but still churched Georgians and Bulgarians, and the Paris Russians (ROCOR virtually killed them off with aid from the Moscow Patriarchate), we come to the Serbs, the Patriarchal Russians, the Antiochians, the Ukrainians and the Romanians. The Serbs have faced the same problems as the others and the wave of post-1945 immigrants died out; one of the last of them I buried in a Suffolk village a few years ago. He had not been to church since the 1950s. Few kept the Faith. Some changed their surnames, one Serbian priest I knew dressed like an Anglican minister also baptised like an Anglican minister, by splashing water on foreheads of babies, telling me that: ‘We are not in the Balkans now’.

The Patriarchal Russians, once Bloomites, have also largely died out, but have restocked from the ex-Soviet Union. Today their Church sometimes gives the impression (which may or may not be the case) of being an aggressively nationalistic ghetto, an extension of the Embassy, with all the faults that can be found in churches in post-Soviet Russia, all about money and ritualism. However, possibly things will improve after the conflict in the Ukraine ends. The Antiochians appear to be a group for dissatisfied Anglicans and elderly ex-vicars, who do not know how to celebrate the services, but perhaps if they get enough laypeople of other nationalities, something may come of it. Some of the converts are rather extreme Evangelicals, who have little idea of Orthodoxy. That is worrying, however, some of its clergy behave as real pastors. The Ukrainians are very divided into pre-2022 Ukrainians (under Constantinople, extremely nationalistic, elderly, dying out) and the refugees since the tragedy of 2022. The latter are very small in number for now (most of the refugees were atheists, schismatics or else Uniats) and live under the disputed jurisdiction of Kiev.

Finally, we come to the masses of Romanians (and Moldovans). Nearly all have come here recently and in huge numbers, over 400,000, perhaps 500,000 or even more, forming the vast majority of Orthodox in this country. However, although there are very big parishes, with hundreds coming every Sunday, there are still fewer than 40 priests, still no resident bishop and a small monastery under construction near Luton. This is a jurisdiction that is being formed, but with a chronic lack of infrastructure because all is new. However, it is very young and dynamic. One Romanian priest I know does nearly 1,000 baptisms a year, usually about 20 at a time, every week. This is the youth. Speaking a Latin language and with a surprisingly open mentality, Romanian parishes are generally by far the most welcoming and the most open to English. Hope is here, providing that we learn from the mistakes of the Greeks and Russians who went before us. The three-generation rule seems to be implacable: if you manage to transmit the Faith to the third generation, a new Local Church can be born. If not, you will die out.

 

 

The Church on Earth Belongs to the Faithful People, Not to the ‘Princes of the Church’

  1. Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be a bishop desires a noble task.Now the bishop is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkennessnot violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s Church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devilHe must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

I Timothy 3, 1-7

England

The Church belongs to Christ, as all agree. Christ, and no other person or institution, however powerful, is the Head of the Church. However, as for the Church on earth, it is purposeless without the people. It exists to save souls. Nearly three years ago a certain very young foreign bishop, parachuted in from abroad, tried to impose his own alien culture and language on us, take away from us our church building, bought by the people and valued by the insurers at £2.35 million ($3 million), and all its contents, which he enumerated like an accountant in minute detail and for which he had composed an act to be inserted into the deeds of ownership. (For £340 our Church solicitor informed us that this act was illegal and amounted to theft). We warned the bishop and his superiors that if he continued, he would find himself with an empty building, quite expensive to run, no clergy, no choir and an empty bank account, as the people would categorically not follow him. As usual, he refused to listen to anyone, including to his own Patriarch.

The people had already obtained a very bad impression of the bishop from earlier visits, with his outbursts of rage, threatening demands for more money and bullying, basic theological and liturgical errors, as well as racist utterances against Romanians, Moldovans and English – half the parish! Sadly, as he was such an inexperienced neophyte, born after most of us, and had never taken or listened to any advice at all, he continued his threats which he published on his several de facto personal websites and on other sites where he had friends, issuing bits of paper about clergy having ‘no grace’ and discrediting himself among the whole Orthodox episcopate throughout Europe. By persecuting the faithful, he only managed to destroy his own cause and isolate himself from the Christian mainstream. It was suicidal on his part. Thus, he destroyed his own future clerical career.

Latvia

We can see similar problems in many other parts of the Russian Church today. For example, in Latvia, the local Metropolitan, in connivance with the government, has declared his Church independent (‘autocephalous’) and banned the commemoration of the Russian Patriarch. The people, a smallish and predominantly Russian minority and with a strong nationalist twist, which comes from the anti-Russian persecution they have borne for over thirty years from the US puppet government in Latvia, are furious. They had already been suffering for years from the homosexual scandals there, which nothing had ever been done about in sleeping Moscow. Now, since they have no canonical alternative to the Russian Church (no other Orthodox jurisdiction is present here), the people are voting with their feet and staying at home or else crossing the borders to go to churches in Lithuania or Estonia, where they do commemorate the Russian Patriarch.

At the moment, as far as I know, only two Russian priests in Latvia are defying their Metropolitan and the government and are commemorating their Patriarch. We await further developments in EU Latvia. This could go all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, though that Court actually seems to encourage religious persecution against Russian Orthodox, as in the Ukraine. The boycott of churches in Latvia means a fatal lack of income for the Metropolitan and it is perhaps this factor that will be decisive. For the moment, the very elderly Metropolitan has consecrated a very ill priest to the episcopate without his Patriarch’s blessing in order to create four bishops, the minimum required in order to be an independent Church. This has created even further division. It is suicidal.

Moldova

In Moldova the situation is very different. Here, Orthodox are not a small minority as in Latvia, but some 98% of the whole population. The mass of people, who are in fact Romanians, are divided between two Churches, the Russian and the Romanian. The former was the obligatory Church in the Soviet period after 1945 and is still the majority, perhaps some 80% or more.  However, the Romanian Church, whose territory this was before the Second World War, is gaining ground, quite rapidly since the conflict in the Ukraine stepped up in 2022 and since the Russian-appointed bishops in Moldova began intimidating and persecuting the clergy and the people who have left. This intimidation, by spoken and written word has, as in England nearly three years ago, had very negative consequences for the bishops who are speaking and writing thus.

Showing themselves not to be Christians by issuing threatening bits of paper about clergy who no longer ‘have grace’ is the worst thing they could do. What began as a slow movement towards the Romanian Church could easily snowball because of their actions, just as it did in England nearly three years ago. The people are urging their priests to leave the Romanian Church. Can the pastors desert their flock who want to return to the legitimate, pre-Soviet Church? No. Several of the Russian-appointed bishops in Moldova, where, as in Latvia, the set-up goes back to Soviet times, were already very compromised by videos and other leaked information, just as in England and Latvia. This is also suicidal and it is happening, exactly as in England, where there is a canonical alternative to the Russian Church and plenty of canonical Orthodox bishops who are happy to take persecuted Orthodox into their jurisdictions.

The Ukraine

Here the situation is better known, partly because it is so catastrophic. There is in the Ukraine only one canonical Church, which, living in an independent country with which Moscow is at war, has, quite reasonably, declared itself completely independent of Moscow, as indeed it used to be, though long ago. As a result, it has become the victim of persecution from centralist Moscow and also from the atheist State in Kiev. It is like Christ on the Cross, against Whom the two thieves railed, until one of them repented (Matt. 27, 44 and Mk. 15, 32). The atheist Kievan State has even set up its own rival State-run ‘Church’, given a veneer of ‘legitimacy’ by a piece of paper issued by the Patriarchate of Constantinople under US pressure, with the help of ‘a very large sum of money’ (rumoured to be $25 million). Since very few practising Orthodox in the Ukraine are interested in this fake Church with its fake clergy – they can see through it – the fake Church has been stealing church buildings from the canonical Church, which it then locks up and leaves empty, as there are no clergy and no people to fill them. It is Soviet-style persecution all over again.

This is similar to the situation in England, only in the Ukraine the gangsters have the backing of the atheist State; in England the State is simply contemptuous of religion, not actually hostile. You can try and take over churches through outbursts of rage, bullying demands for money, threats and intimidation, but you can only succeed in doing so by force, if the atheist State supports you. And even then you will only succeed in emptying them. Nobody goes to them, neither the authentic clergy, nor the people. We are reminded of the prophecy of St Seraphim of Vyritsa (+ 1949): ‘A time will come when not persecution, but money and the pleasures of this world will turn people away from God and far more souls will perish than during the times of open persecution. One the one hand they will raise up crosses and gild cupolas, but on the other hand the kingdom of lies and evil will come. It will be dreadful to live until those times’.

The People

The fact is that the Church on earth belongs to the believing people. There must be consent and agreement from the faithful people. When whole parishes, clergy, their multigenerational families and the people in solidarity, apart from a tiny number of naïve, misinformed or hoodwinked individuals or recent converts, fewer than 1%, leave their bishop, it is because the bishop is in the wrong. In these cases, in truth, ‘vox populi, vox Dei’, the voice of the people is the voice of God. And the saints confirm that by their miracles.

However much the bishop may offer in bribes to clergy to set up parallel churches in the same city, sends letters to denounce the clergy and the faithful to other bishops (which they ignore, as they only discredit the bishop in question) or tries to divide the families of clergy, attempting to set son against father, a bishop cannot succeed against the impregnable fortress of real Faith. At best he will win a Pyrrhic victory, but for the most part he will utterly humiliate himself and lose everything, as has happened and is happening in all the above and other cases.

Conclusion: The Corruption of Part of the Episcopate

I remember meeting the late Fr Alexander Schmemann in Paris in May 1980. I asked him for his impressions of the episcopate inside the then Soviet Russia. He answered me: ‘Half of them are saints, the other half are demons’. Indeed, in Russia there is a popular saying that when a priest is consecrated bishop, a demon tries to enter him: sometimes he succeeds, sometimes he fails. When the demon succeeds, the consequences are awful. Visiting Florida in the USA in October 1996, I spoke to a much older priest who explained to me the struggles of his three-thousand strong parish in Pennsylvania against the intrigues of what he called ‘the lavender mafia’, (homosexuals), who controlled his previous jurisdiction. Their demands were all about property and money. That type certainly love their comfort.

Roman Catholicism in Western countries is rapidly dying out, largely because of the enforcement of celibacy on its priesthood and all the associated homosexual and pedophile scandals. In the Orthodox Church, it is not the priesthood that is the problem, but the episcopate, which also is obligatorily celibate. Thus, the pool of candidates is very small, especially where monastic life is very weak. Our unsurprising conclusion is that to be a good bishop you must have a pure soul (see I Tim 3, 1-7 above). For bad bishops will consecrate others in their own image and even more unworthy than themselves (their homosexual boyfriends, as we have so often seen) and that is why there are so many woeful metropolitans and bishops in the Church: ‘But, when the Son of Man comes, shall He find faith on the Earth?’ (Lk 18, 8).

 

 

 

The King Edmund Ironside League (1016-2023)

The King Edmund Ironside League (1016-2023)

 

The last King was slain a thousand years ago and more.

King Edmund’s killers said lies are true and truths are dead,

And, without regrets, those dwarves grew much in pride and war

And then, denying God, they enthroned themselves instead.

 

Taught wisdom by His Love, now we Ironside’s children, fed

By the Risen Lord Himself, are called to come to know

That in this land of Alban, Austin, Bede and Alfred

Trade is in no wise the end for us here below.

 

Once the greed for gold and the golden calf’s hateful gain,

Born of faithless lore and gilded vice, have been cast down,

We Edmund’s faithful children will raise up once again,

As long before, the Altar, the Cottage and the Crown.

The Latest Statistics on Religion and Language in England and Wales

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/culturalidentity/language/bulletins/languageenglandandwales/census2021

59.6 million people, 89% of the UK population, live in England and Wales. According to the 2021 national census, 46.2% of these are nominal Christians. This is down from 59.3% just ten years ago. It comes as no surprise at all, as the various churches here have for decades been frequented almost only by old people and those churches are therefore quite unsurprisingly dying out. We would fully expect a drop of at least another 13% in ten years’ time, bringing the number of nominal Christians down to 33% and in thirty years’ time the figure for Christians could well reach 7% of the population.

The census also reveals that the second largest group in the country is those who have no religion, at 22.2 million people, or 37.2%. Their number was only 25% ten years ago. This will in ten years from now probably become the largest group.

The situation reflects that in other Western countries. Some are ahead of this (Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Czechia, Canada, Australia), others still some years behind (USA, Poland), though rapidly heading in the same direction. So this is the suicidal direction of the whole Western world, unlike in other civilisations, where traditional religious values, national identity and family life are important.

As regards the two most common languages in England and Wales apart from English and Welsh, these are Polish and Romanian. 612,000, 1.1% of the population, speak Polish, and 472,000, 0.8% of the population, speak Romanian. Ten years ago there were only 68,000 Romanian speakers in England and Wales. This means that over 400,000 Romanians and Moldovans have settled here in the last ten years, the vast majority of them Orthodox Christians. It would suggest that there are at least half a million Romanian-speaking Orthodox in the British Isles and Ireland, with perhaps 450,000 Romanians and 50,000 Moldovans.

Protestantism (which includes the so-called ‘Church of England’) is dying out, as it is a culture of the past, and Roman Catholicism has largely been destroyed by pedophilia and lack of normal priests. In the Orthodox world, Greek Orthodox churches are emptying, as the mainly Cypriot immigrants who came here largely in the 50s and 60s are dying out, their children assimilated into secularism, though they leave behind them an excellent infrastructure of churches and property which belongs to the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. However, of its clergy that Archdiocese has 100 elderly clergy and only 3 candidates to ordain to replace them. Though far smaller, the Russian and Antiochian Orthodox are in the same situation, indeed there is no longer a single Russian bishop in the UK. Other Orthodox groups are far smaller still.

All this explains why there are so many Romanians in all Orthodox churches. Generally, where there are children, you know they are Romanian. For example, we usually do about 120 Romanian baptisms a year and about 40 of all other nationalities, Moldovan, Greek, Russian and English. However, in the Northampton Romanian parish they did 850 baptisms last year.

 

Does England Have a Romanian Orthodox King?

The English name Charles comes directly from the French version of the name, Charles, which is itself their form of the late Latin Carolus. In German the name is Karl, which gives the Romanian form Carol. Romania had two kings of Germanic origin, King Carol I (+ 1914) and King Carol II (+ 1953). Now, according to some there is King Carol III. There is just one thing: he is not the King of Romania, but the King of England, or rather of the UK and the Commonwealth.

King Charles III has long been a lover of Romania, and owns property there. As one who has always been interested in the Orthodox Faith, makes pilgrimages to Mt Athos every year, making a generous donation to the Serbian Monastery of Hilandari after a fire there in 2004, and converses with Orthodox clergy. Years ago the now Metr Tikhon (Shevkunov) of Pskov assured me that the then Prince Charles had been received into the Orthodox Church. Indeed, rumour has it that he had been received into the Orthodox Church by a well-known Romanian Orthodox priest. Any search of the internet will confirm this, for example, https://www.msn.com/en-xl/news/other/prince-charles-a-romania-aficionado-becomes-king-of-the-united-kingdom-after-queen-elizabeth-ii-e2-80-99s-death/ar-AA11CmGb. An internet search also reveals a photograph of Prince Charles together with our His Beatitude, Patriarch Daniel, and making the Orthodox sign of the cross.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=prince+charles+with+romanian+patriarch&view=detail&mid=CEBDB74B9EA6296D7942CEBDB74B9EA6296D7942&FORM=VIRE

and several photos of him with our dear Metropolitan Joseph of Western and Southern Europe.

https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=cWex4oBg&id=27D7F183498214B1FF35803DE8F60B52F4D40844&thid=OIP.cWex4oBgiB__KCJY1hnShQHaFS&mediaurl=https%3a%2f%2fth.bing.com%2fth%2fid%2fR.7167b1e28060881fff282258d619d285%3frik%3dRAjU9FIL9ug9gA%26riu%3dhttp%253a%252f%252fwww1.pictures.zimbio.com%252fgi%252fPrince%252bWales%252bAttends%252bRomanian%252bOrthodox%252bChurch%252b5nJA7p2Di8ax.jpg%26ehk%3dpOtgyYiSKb9DZC9ZPxUS7LNNI1E279wdyeH0%252bJ7Ai7M%253d%26risl%3d%26pid%3dImgRaw%26r%3d0&exph=731&expw=1024&q=prince+charles+with+romanian+bishop&simid=608044095423004727&FORM=IRPRST&ck=2D4EF3964D3642E9B35FA910A293A05D&selectedIndex=47&ajaxhist=0&ajaxserp=0

 

The Mystical Meaning of Walsingham

O England, thou hast great cause to make glad.

Thou attainest my grace to stand on a level

To be compared to the promised land of Zion

Through this glorious Lady’s support

And to be called in every realm and region

The holy land, Our Lady’s dowry;

Thus art thou named from old antiquity.

 The Pynson Ballad, Verse 19, in Modern English

 Introduction: Norman Walsingham

An Orthodox visitor to the tiny village of Little Walsingham in Norfolk will discover there a shrine to the Mother of God, which clearly reflects the mentality of High Church Anglicanism, known as Anglo-Catholicism. Recreated as recently as the 1930s, after being destroyed 400 years before at the Reformation, the shrine feels artificial, contrived and even rather alien to Orthodox. The birettas and general imitation of old-fashioned Roman Catholicism by High Church Anglicans seems fake. Orthodox have no desire, or need, to imitate old-fashioned or, for that matter, new-fashioned, Roman Catholicism. On the other hand, no-one can deny that there is a genuine atmosphere of sincere piety, peace and, most significantly, great grace, within the shrine. This must be recognised, whatever the offputting externals, which we must learn to see beyond.

Yet despite this, those with a sense of history will still be put off by the official version of the story of the shrine to be found in the guidebook. This openly states that the shrine originated in 1061 when a ‘Saxon’ (sic!) noblewoman ‘Richeldis de Faverches’ (sic!) had ‘a vision’ of the Mother of God. This is clearly nonsense. ‘Saxon’ noblewomen did not exist in England in 1061, English noblewomen did. Also you will not find any English noblewomen in 1061 with the clearly French Norman name of ‘Richeldis de Faverches’! Either the vision took place in 1061, but was granted to an Englishwoman and not to ‘Richeldis de Faverches’, or else it did not take place in 1061 at all, but during the Norman Occupation following 1066. Either one or else the other. It cannot be otherwise.

After a little research it is not difficult to discover that the name Faverches (then the name of a tiny village near Lisieux in Normandy) does indeed occur in connection with Little Walsingham. A historical document known as ‘The Norfolk Roll’ refers to the foundation of a Priory of ‘Augustinian Friars’ in Little Walsingham in 1130-1131, and precisely by a widow called Richeldis de Faverches, who died in 1145. She left her estate to her son, Geoffrey de Faverches, who took part in the Second Crusade, setting out in 1147. And one of the sponsors of that Crusade was the then Bishop of Lisieux.

Does this simply mean that the date 1061 is nonsense and the whole story belongs to twelfth-century Norman Roman Catholicism, to 1131? Where does the 1061 date come from? This is important for Orthodox. Although after the half-Norman Edward ‘the Confessor’, who promoted the new Roman Catholic religion, became King of England in 1042, a spiritual decline occurred in England, nevertheless until 1066, England was still in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church. Thus, a vision of the Mother of God in 1061 has a meaning for Orthodox. Supposing the 1061 date is correct and, quite simply, it was someone else, an Englishwoman, who had a vision of the Mother of God? Clearly, we have to examine the origin of this 1061 date.

Orthodox Walsingham

The 1061 date comes from one particular source, that of the respected Norman-born royal printer and poet Richard Pynson (c. 1449 – c. 1529). Pynson was employed by the Tudor kings Henry VIII and before him Henry VII (reigned 1485-1509). The latter made a three-day pilgrimage to Walsingham in 1487, after which he commissioned Pynson to write a Ballad about its history. Pynson’s Ballad was written at the very latest in 1494, when it was printed, but its lost sources presumably go back centuries before and include ancient oral traditions.

It surely cannot be some invention, as it mentions specifically 1061 and no other date. Indeed, the Ballad specifically states that the vision at the origin of the shrine occurred in the reign of ‘Edward the King’ (= the Confessor), that means before 1066.  Moreover, the 1061 date was later confirmed by the very reliable antiquarian, royal archivist and poet John Leland (1503-1552). And the date is also confirmed by an earlier 14th century manuscript of the Book of Hours in the University Library in Cambridge (Ms. 1i. Vi. 2.Fo. 71r). This too maintains that the chapel in Walsingham was founded in 1061.

Writing in 15th century English, reminiscent of Chaucer, Pynson names the seer as a mysterious ‘Rychold’, the then Lady of the Manor. Now, according to the Domesday Book, the Lord of the Manor of Walsingham in 1061 was none other than Harold Godwinson (or Godwineson), King of England from 6 January 1066, and the Lady of the Manor was his wife Edith. This manor had come to Harold precisely by his marriage to Edith on 23 January 1045 when he was Earl of East Anglia, as recorded by the Little Domesday of Norfolk, compiled in 1088. Edith (c. 1020 – c. 1086) is given several names in the Domesday Book, among them precisely ‘Rychold’, meaning ‘Rich’ or ‘Fair’, and more poetically ‘the Gentle Swan’ (Another title, the ‘Swan-Neck’, comes from the Old English ‘swann hnecca’, probably a corrupted form of swann hnesce, ‘Gentle Swan’). Edith is recorded in the Domesday Book as Edfgifu the Rich, her name latinised as ‘Edeva’.

Edith had inherited Walsingham from her mother Wulfgyth, daughter of the King of England, Ethelred the Unready (+ 1012) and half-sister of King Edward the Confessor. Although Edith’s mother Wulfgyth, also called Wulfhilda, had married Ulfkytel the Brave, who died in battle in October 1016, Edith was almost certainly her daughter by her second husband, Thorkell the Tall, advisor to King Canute (Knut) and Earl of East Anglia until 1021.

Very much a Patroness of East Anglia, the Anglo-Danish Edith was rich and held a great many properties in East Anglia, notably in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex, as well as in Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, notably in Chesham, and dwellings in Canterbury, as is recorded by The Domesday Book. Her brothers owned property in Norfolk, specifically in Great and Little Walsingham. In 1045 Edith married Harold (c. 1022-1066), son of Godwin (also spelled Godwine) of Sussex. Harold had become Earl of East Anglia and inherited the East Anglian lands of Edith. Only in 1053, on his father’s death, did he inherit the title of Earl of Wessex.  In turn he became King of England on 6 January 1066 on Edward the Confessor’s death.

As a devout noblewoman Edith had received an education and was recorded by the Abbot of ‘Eastholm’ as ‘keen and wise in her understanding’. One of the richest noblewomen in England, she employed a personal goldsmith, called Grimwald. She donated a valuable Gospel to the Monastery at Thorney in Cambridgeshire and was the benefactress of St Benet’s Monastery at Holme in Norfolk in 1046. Both she and her pious husband Harold were spiritual children of the saintly pastor Bishop Wulfstan of Worcester (c. 1008-1095). He was the only English bishop who was allowed to retain his Diocese by the Norman invaders, though he greatly regretted the Norman rebuilding of Cathedrals which favoured quantity (size) over quality (prayer).

Like King Canute (c. 990 – 1035), Edith and Harold were married in the customary way of the age in England by solemn promise, typical of the time all over Northern Europe. This was known as a ‘hand-fast marriage’. A number of dowry bequests were made at the time of Edith’s union to Harold, including Walsingham Manor, making Edith ‘the Lady of the Manor’ before 1061. They had six known children, Godwin (named in honour of Harold’s father), Edmund, Magnus, Gytha (named after Edith’s grandmother), Gunnhild and Ulf (the last four with Danish names; any East Anglian even today has Danish blood, an East Anglian myself, my DNA says that I am 11% Danish).

The importance of these children is indicated by the fact that Gunnhild was abducted after the Battle of Hastings. In 1068 Gytha was taken by her grandmother to Denmark in 1068 and then married the Prince of Smolensk, Vladimir Monomakh. She had some eleven children by him and so brought the bloodline of St Alfred the Great into the Russian royal family. Gytha reposed on 7 May 1107. One of her sons had a double name, the Slav Mstislav, and Harold, in memory of his grandfather.

It is said that Edith identified Harold’s mutilated body after his death at Hastings. It was because of Edith’s identification of Harold’s body that he could be buried, either by the monks of Waltham in Essex, which Harold had founded, or else at his family home in Bosham in Sussex, inside the pre-Conquest church. After the Battle, Edith disappears from the historical record. By 1086, her lands had passed to an invader. Possibly she joined Harold’s mother Gytha in Exeter, from where she may have been exiled after the siege in the winter of 1068. Perhaps she joined her exiled sons in Ireland, or joined Gytha in Denmark, as some suggest, and then Kiev. Others suggest that she may have set out on pilgrimage to the Holy Land, from which she did not return. We wonder if she did not arrive in Nazareth and there repose. After all her vision had been of the house in Nazareth where the Most Holy Virgin had received the Annunciation from the Archangel Gabriel.

Conclusion: The Future of Walsingham

If, as seems very likely, the Walsingham vision of the Mother of God took place in 1061 and was granted to Edith, the wife of Earl and then King Harold Godwinson, then we can now see that the Normans stole Walsingham from England, overlaying it with their anti-English myths. It was all part of their mythology that they had brought Christian civilisation to England and that before them there had been nothing and certainly no vision of the Mother of God to the benighted English. That is why they deleted the enemy King Harold and his Queen Edith from the history of Walsingham, assigning the vision to a later Norman woman, Richeldis de Faverches, who lived nearly three generations later. That is why they disguised Edith with the title ‘Rychold’, in order to confuse her with the much later Richeldis.

Clearly, having killed King Harold, his wife and children were still enemies and threats to the Norman usurpers. Harold had replaced his father Godwin as the focus of patriotic opposition to Norman influence in England under Edward the Confessor, who had spent more than 25 years in exile in Normandy. That is why the Norman clergy slanderously made out that Edith was Harold’s mistress and that the couple were not married, even making out that he married again in 1066, when he had made a political pact with a certain Alditha. Their fully legitimate ‘handfast’ wedding is still part of the Orthodox wedding ceremony today, when the newly-wed couple are led around the central lectern by the priest, their hands placed together on the priest’s stole. That is also why the Lombard Archbishop of Canterbury Lanfranc, appointed by William the Bastard in 1070, railed against the local English saints, who were often royal. It was a purely political and indeed racist move. Anything fine and noble in pre-Norman English culture had to be overlaid, buried and cancelled. Indeed in later times paid, Normanised scholars even gave the strange name ‘Anglo-Saxon’ to the English to try and alienate the English from their very own blood and kin.

As a result of her vision, Edith wished to do something special to honour the Mother of God, who appeared to her in 1061. In that threefold vision Edith was shown the house of the Annunciation in Nazareth, the place of the Incarnation, and was instructed to build a replica of the house in Little Walsingham as a place of pilgrimage where people could honour her. Mary is said to have promised, ‘Whoever seeks my help there will not go empty away’. That is what Edith did. This Annunciation was surely an announcement of consolation to the English before the defeat at Hastings and ensuing Norman Occupation that has lasted to this day, that Christ would always be with us.

Today, the shrine at Little Walsingham does have a tiny staircase chapel big enough only for half a dozen Orthodox. In the village itself there is also a tiny Orthodox chapel in a temporarily rented building, where a liturgy is held once a year, mainly for converts to Orthodoxy from Anglicanism. However, there is no church that is owned by Orthodox and there are very few Orthodox living, that is, who are incarnate, in the area. However, 25 miles away there is the historic port town of Kings Lynn which has strong Orthodox connections. Here there is no Orthodox church building, though there is a community of Orthodox. Could it be that an Orthodox church, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Mother of God, could be established in Little Walsingham, for the service of Orthodox and in memory of the piety of Edith, the last Orthodox Queen of England? From this tiny rural hamlet in Norfolk, the Mother of God reigns over England.

O gracious Lady, glory of Jerusalem,

Cypress of Zion and Joy of Israel,

Rose of Jericho and Star of Bethlehem,

O glorious Lady, reject not our askings

Thou dost excel all women in mercy

Therefore, blessed Lady, grant Thy great grace

To all that devoutly visit this place.

The Pynson Ballad, Verse 21, in Modern English

Notes:

  1. In writing the above, we acknowledge a great debt of gratitude to the late Bill Flint, the author of a most interesting book called Edith the Fair, Visionary of Walsingham, Gracewing 2015. Although there are the mistakes of the amateur historian, this book has great merit.
  2. We are also indebted to the work Harold the Last Anglo-Saxon (sic) King, by Ian W. Walker, The History Press, 2010
  3. In our church in Colchester we have a very beautiful and very iconographic panaghia of the Mother of God of Walsingham. We had this made in the Ukraine three years ago for a worthy bishop. It is soon to be gifted to His Grace Metropolitan Joseph, who so keenly wishes his local Diocese of over 60 parishes to become incarnated into English life and tradition.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,

Felixstowe, Suffolk,

1 September 2022

 

 

 

Goodbye, Trafalgar Square

England

Following the 2034 collapse of Britain and the popular overthrow of its millennial Establishment after nearly two decades of political turmoil, England moves ahead.  As regards internal changes to the English Capital, just today the following alterations have been announced by the People’s Government in London, the Capital of England. These are part of its programme of ‘Re-Englanding England’, also known as ‘Debritainisation’.

England Square

Today, exactly two hundred years after ‘Trafalgar Square’ in London was given the name of an Arabic-named Cape in Spain, the Square is to be renamed ‘England Square’. The statue of Nelson on its column is to be replaced by a statue of the effective founder of England, King Alfred the Great, known as ‘England’s Darling’, ‘The Truthteller’ and ‘The Lawgiver’. It will then be known as ‘Alfred’s Column’. A spokesman for the People’s Government said that it in no way wished to denigrate Nelson, whose tactical genius and personal bravery are undoubted, but Demilitarisation is an inherent part of Debritainisation. The statue will be removed to the English Museum, formerly called ‘The British Museum’. This has plenty of empty space, since so many of its artefacts, looted from around the world by British imperialists mainly since the eighteenth-century, have been returned to their countries of origin.

At the same time the four lions around the base of Alfred’s Column will also be sent to the English Museum as part of the policy of Demilitarisation, that is, as part of the policy of the removal of aggressive symbols of imperialist militarism. They will be replaced by four female figures, personifying Motherhood, Peace, Justice and Freedom. The four plinths for statues on England Square, at present occupied by three statues (the fourth plinth is empty) of the German King George IV and the imperialist militarists, Napier and Havelock, are also to be sent to the English Museum. They will be replaced by statues of literary and social geniuses of English history, known as ‘The Four Williams’: William Langland (1332-1386), William Shakespeare (1564-1616), William Blake (1757-1827) and William Cobbett (1763-1835).

As readers may know, Langland wrote a visionary English-language poem and allegory called ‘Piers Plowman’, in which he denounced the corruption of the medieval Catholic Church and praised the simple faith of the people. As for Shakespeare, he was the most brilliant poet of the English language and a very perceptive psychologist, who described in detail the good and bad in human nature and their motivations. Blake was the visionary poet and artist who opposed the appalling exploitation of his age and wrote the new English National Anthem, ‘Jerusalem’, in which he denounced the ‘dark, satanic mills’ of the so-called ‘Industrial Revolution’, that is, of the mass exploitation of industrial workers. Cobbett was a politician who struggled for social justice and wrote against the collectivisation, or privatisation, that is, just plain theft, of the common land in England, euphemistically called the ‘Enclosures’. He constantly campaigned against corruption and poverty and in favour of rural prosperity and freedom.

As for the busts of the three imperialist Admirals, Jellicoe, Beatty and Cunningham, in England Square, they are also to be sent to the English Museum and be replaced by busts of three well-known poets: a soldier (Wilfred Owen), a merchant sailor (John Masefield) and an airman, John Gillespie Magee (author of ‘High Flight’). They are in memory of the sacrifices of ordinary men, ‘the lions led by donkeys’, in the imperialist wars of the British past. The statue of Charles I on the south side of England Square, usurped and then beheaded by a clique of grasping merchants, will be retained. However, the statues in front of the National Gallery, of the Scottish King James II and of the slave-owning colonist George Washington, will be sent to the English Museum and be replaced by statues of the two Patronal Saints of England, St George and St Edmund.

The Square of the Peoples

Meanwhile, there will also be changes to the statues outside ‘Parliament’, renamed ‘The House of the People’ since the abolition of the House of Lords, to that in the Guildhall, and to the twelve statues in Parliament Square, now renamed ‘The Square of the Peoples’. Outside the House of the People, the statue of Cromwell is to be replaced by a statue of an Irish peasant, at least 200,000 (10% of the population) of whom the brutal thug Cromwell had massacred. In the Guildhall the statue of Thatcher is to be replaced by the statue of a Yorkshire coal-miner. Both old statues are to be taken to the English Museum to protect them from vandalism.

In The Square of the Peoples, nine of the present twelve statues are also to be removed. These are, in anti-clockwise order: the statue of Churchill, replaced by that of an English child orphaned by bombing in the Second World War; that of David Lloyd George by an injured World War One Welsh soldier; that of the South African Prime Minister Smuts by a Boer woman from a British concentration camp during the Boer War; that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Palmerston by that of a Russian peasant-soldier from the British invasion of Russia (the so-called ‘Crimean War’); that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Smith-Stanley (the Earl of Derby) by that of a Chinese woman suffering in the so-called, British-caused ‘Opium War’ (Genocide of China); that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Disraeli by that of a Bulgarian peasant-woman, oppressed by the Ottomans whom Disraeli immorally supported; that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Peel by that of a starving Irishwoman from the Irish Potato Famine; that of the British Imperialist Prime Minister Canning by that of a Scottish crofter, removed by force from his land which was stolen from him in the so-called ‘Highland Clearances’; that of Lincoln by that of a Tasmanian Aborigene, representing the treatment of North, Central and South American Natives, Australian Aborigenes, genocided Tasmanians and Maori, all as a result of British ‘colonisation’ (land-theft). The statues of Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and Millicent Fawcett will remain as symbols of the striving for freedom of Africans, Indians and of women, who were freed from Victorian oppression and the deprivation of rights.

Europe

The new English People’s Government, elected by over 85% of the electorate according to the new proportional democracy, is keen to depose the old tyrants and celebrate the victims of tyranny. It has come to our knowledge that parallel changes are about to occur not only in newly-reunited Ireland and newly-independent Scotland and Wales, but also in the newly-freed countries of the former EU. This follows last month’s sacking of the EU headquarters in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. Everywhere in Western Europe the flags of freedom are beginning to flutter defiantly.

In Paris the Arc de Triomphe in Paris is to be renamed ‘L’Arc du Peuple’ (‘The People’s Arch’) and Napoleon’s bloody battles are to be removed from it. Rome, Brussels, Vienna, Berlin, Madrid, Lisbon – all are reviewing names of streets, statues and monuments. As for the English Government, it has already joined the new Confederation of Free European Nations (CFEN), a loose structure which will meet in various European Capitals. It has been formed to replace the old centralised EU and its unelected bureaucrats and tyrants.

 

Six Months On: The Completely Avoidable Tragedy of the Ukraine and the Curse of Nationalism

‘Two things are infinite: The universe and human stupidity, but I’m not so sure about the universe’.

Words Attributed to Albert Einstein

 

Foreword

We have never had any doubt that the Russian Federation would win militarily in the conflict in the Ukraine, for which eventuality it had carefully prepared for eight long years. (I stress the word ‘militarily’). During that time the West continually poked the bear and then was surprised when the bear’s patience ran out – on 24 February 2022. That does not mean that I approve of anything that has happened in the Ukraine since 2014. I visited different parts of the Ukraine six times between 2014 and 2021 and my many parishioners from all over the Ukraine only confirmed what I had seen.

I could see only too well its immense problems, the corruption which led to an infrastructure, far worse even than that in the oligarch-dominated UK, and the poverty of the masses, making it poorer than many African countries. In this article I take no sides. All wars are huge human tragedies and cannot be approved of. However, I am interested in the truth, not in propaganda, whichever side it comes from. And here, as everywhere and always on this site, without the burden of any careerism I am free to be interested only in the truth and its causes and consequences for Church life.

Introduction: The Tragedy: 2014-2022

After the 2014 US-organised coup d’etat (cost to the US taxpayer = $5 billion, as officially admitted by the US politician Victoria Nuland), one thing was at once obvious. This was that the new Kiev government needed to carry out internationally-observed referenda. Then they could let the various peoples in the Ukraine, with its purely artificial, Soviet-made borders, assigned to it by the atheist monsters Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchov, freely decide which country they wanted to belong to. Any enforcement of the old atheist centralisation from Kiev would, as in Yugoslavia, lead to exactly the same tragedy and war as in Yugoslavia. Both amalgams, Yugoslavia and the Ukraine, were hangovers from the Communist period with their absurd borders, jamming together peoples who had little in common and no desire to live in the same country as one another.

Sadly, the reality is that this current completely avoidable tragedy in the Ukraine is ‘Yugoslavia II’, that is, it the same thing again, only on a far greater and more serious scale. And here, unlike in Serbia, NATO cannot use its air force, for it will be shot down by superior Russian technology, and its army and navy are shut out.  In 2014 an internationally-observed referendum was held in the Crimea, and all went well, with a clear 97% majority choosing to return to Russia, after 60 years of enforced separation from it. However, Kiev itself refused to allow referenda anywhere, including in the Crimea. Therefore, the Kiev government, or rather those behind them who would not allow referenda, are responsible for today’s catastrophic consequences and tens and probably hundreds of thousands of deaths. They have blood, a lot of it, on their hands. What are those consequences?

The Catastrophe: 2022-

  1. Local Consequences: The Human Cost

In 2014 war broke out in the Ukraine, specifically in the Russian-speaking Donbass, whose language and culture were oppressed and mocked by the racist centralisers in Kiev. Up to 14,000 people, including 400 children, were massacred by the Kiev authorities and the other 6 million were told to leave the Ukraine, if they did not like Kiev’s new ‘democracy’. This year, there has been much worse. Six months of conflict have now passed, though it was clear from the beginning, like it or not, that the small Russian expeditionary force had already won in the first few weeks. Their feint to the North, as if to take Kiev, locked up the Kiev military there (the same tactic as the US used in Iraq with a feint from the sea), enabling Russian forces to achieve their aims of conquering much of the Russian-speaking East and take the Russian-speaking South as far as Kherson, where they were greeted by many as liberators. This was what the Russians had openly stated that they intended doing all along, but they had been disbelieved.

Like it or not, the ensuing decision by the USA/West/NATO to send billions of dollars of their weapons, disarming their own troops, to be destroyed by Russian missiles, sometimes before they can even be unpacked (as on 24 February at Borispol Airport), is only prolonging the inevitable defeat and making the bloodshed far worse. So far the Russians and their Allies have lost over 6,000 troops dead, although over the last two months since they took strategic Mariupol, casualties have been very low, as this has largely become a war of satellites, drones, artillery and precision missiles. On the other hand, the Kiev Army has lost some 250,000, at least 60,000 of them killed, and continues to lose many hundreds of ill-trained, ill-equipped and often very young or very old troops almost every day, whether killed, wounded, or by surrender and desertion.

You should not be fighting a modern war when you do not have air superiority. Kiev does not, as most of its air force was destroyed in the first few days. It is a catastrophe and leaves widows and orphans everywhere. Every son killed had a mother and a father, a brother and a sister. The whole country is in bitter mourning. Its population is now down to 30 million. Of 6 million refugees, Russia is the European country that has taken the most, with 2 million fleeing the bankrupt Ukraine. However, 4 million others have left futureless bankruptcy for various countries in Western Europe, over half going to Poland and Germany. It costs the US taxpayer $5 billion every month just to keep the Kiev government afloat, let alone the billions of dollars of destroyed US military equipment.

Unless the 13% of the world, which is all the Western world/G7/NATO is, really wants a nuclear war to annihilate humanity, as Mrs Truss says she does, the West will just have to accept that Russia has taken back the Russian Lands within the former Ukraine. People like Mrs Truss, with her extraordinary ignorance of the basic history and geography of the Ukraine, simply do not realise that this is an existential war for Russia on its doorstep, even though V. Putin explained this quite clearly. Russians will die to win this war to free their brothers and sisters in the East and South of the Ukraine.

However, despite what Mr Johnson has recently proclaimed, no-one in the UK has chosen to pay 400% more for fuel bills, let alone die for the Ukraine, of which country few in the UK had even heard until six months ago. The result of the UK government’s refusal to buy Russian gas and other commodities and to arm the Ukraine, without consulting the electorate, which is not even allowed to elect the next Prime Minister, is soaring inflation, social disruption, strikes and grinding poverty, which will probably topple the UK government in the near future. Here is the difference with Russia. Nobody in the UK wants to suffer, let alone die, for an unknown country.

Local Consequences: What Does the Future Ukraine Look Like?

It looks something like the following – something that could have happened without any bloodshed, had democratic referenda been allowed back in 2014:

The Real Ukraine of Ukrainian speakers, the ‘Kyiv Protectorate’, or whatever it will come to be called, may take 11 demilitarised central and western provinces of the former Soviet Ukraine: Sumy, Poltava, Kirovohrad, Chernihiv, Kyiv, Cherkasy, Zhytomyr, Vinnytsia, Rivne, Khmelnytskyi, Ternopil. Population: 11.2 million. This will be a landlocked nation, in effect a Second Belarus, with a population of just over a quarter of the 1991 Soviet Ukraine.

Russia may take the 9 Russian-speaking eastern and southern provinces: Lugansk, Donetsk, Kharkov, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhe, Kherson, Crimea (Crimea of course already rejoined Russia in 2014), Nikolaev, Odessa. Population: 14.2 million.

Poland may, with Russia’s permission, take back the 3 far western ‘Habsburg’ provinces: Volyn (though a small number in the north of Volyn might want to join Belarus), Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk. Population: 3.2 million. This is the historic ‘Ukraina’ – the word that simply means the borderlands (that are next to Poland). Clearly, this real Ukraine would have to receive some sort of autonomy within the NATO-ruled Polish Republic as a demilitarised buffer-zone.

Hungary may take 1 province: Zakarpattia. Population: 0.85 million. This is providing that its mainly Carpatho-Russian people vote for this by referendum, though, true, many have already accepted Hungarian passports. This region would also have to receive some sort of autonomy within Hungary.

Romania may take 1 province: Chernivtsy. Population: 0.6 million. This is providing that its largely Romanian-speaking people vote for it by referendum, which seems highly likely.

  1. Global Consequences: Western Sanctions Cause Chaos in Western Europe

Why is the Russian campaign taking so long, why did Russia not use 25% or even 50% of its armed forces and take the whole of the Ukraine within a few weeks? Because that is not its strategy. By its own admission Russia has never had any intention of occupying the whole of the Ukraine and its capital Kiev. Therefore, only 5%-10% of the highly professional Russian Armed Forces have been engaged in order to take back the Russian-speaking areas, which were separated from it by Marxist diktat exactly 100 years ago. In any case, most of the fighting is being done by the local anti-Kiev Eastern Ukrainians and Chechen allies, who have suffered most of the casualties.

Then there is no hurry – the Russians want to conserve the lives of their own troops and of Ukrainian civilians and to conserve infrastructure. Time in any case is on the Russian side: their greatest ally is, as is usual in Russia, General Winter. By deliberately stretching the conflict out by agreeing to provide arms ‘until the last Ukrainian is dead’, Western European governments have foolishly fallen into the trap of extending the war into the winter. In this way they will have to suffer a winter with little fuel and face national emergencies, probable popular uprisings and riots and the fall of governments. The West has been completely outwitted – by its own stupidity.

Nowhere in Western Europe is the situation as grim as in the UK. With its privatised utilities, which are in reality unregulated, the law of the jungle prevails. For example the energy price cap imposed by the French government on its State energy monopolies is 4%. In the deregulated UK, prices by January will probably have increased by 400%. This is unsustainable. Expect a universal bill boycott, already started, and food riots. In the UK, Johnson’s words of 25 August, ‘You (note, ‘you’ not ‘we’) must endure to defeat Putin’ do not work. Nobody in the UK voted for this. Moreover, in the ‘democratic’ UK, 160,000 mainly elderly, wealthier people are taking two months just to choose the next Prime Minister, the fourth in six years. The UK used to mock political instability in Italy; it had better look at itself.

Global Consequences: Sanctions and Dedollarisation

Europe’s own anti-Russian sanctions, even though forced on it by the USA, are suicidal. Bankruptcy stares it in the face. The rouble has stabilised at a very healthy 60 to the dollar (before the conflict it was over 90 and briefly went up to 120) and money is flooding into Russian coffers as the whole Non-Western world wants its oil, gas, grain, fertilisers, rare earth metals, not to mention its highly effective arms. They are available to anyone in Western Europe who does not sanction them, as long as they pay for them in the Russian currency. On the other hand, the euro has sunk to parity with, or is even below, the dollar. The conspiracy theorists are even saying that the whole conflict was created by the USA to destroy, not Russia or even the Ukraine, but the EU, notably the German economy. Probably crazy, but actually quite logical.

China, India and indeed over 85% of the world have no sanctions against Russia, indeed they basically support Russia. The West is isolated, with its manufacturing dependent on China, which will soon claim back Taiwan. And Russia and other countries are now insisting on payment for their essential commodities in roubles or in their own currencies. The world economy is being dedollarised – that is a disaster for the USA.

  1. Church Consequences

Now we come to the second half of this article, what interests us most. What are the Church consequences of the conflict in the Ukraine, especially, what is happening to the Russian Orthodox Church, 75% of the whole Orthodox Church? Here the situation is grim indeed. On 25 August the Russian Church was forced to abandon plans for its Patriarch Kyrill, already sanctioned and banned from visiting the UK and Canada, to meet the Pope of Rome in Kazakhstan in September. Centralised Church authorities in Moscow had totally misread the public mood and the proposition had led to a huge scandal.

However, the misreading, or just plain non-understanding of the views of the local Orthodox grassroots, is far more generalised than this mere detail. The authorities of the formerly multinational Russian Orthodox Church has tried to impose the political views of Russia on its multinational flock. The result? Its Non-Russian flock has largely left it. This is a repeat of what happened in the 1920s when the leader of the Church then, Metropolitan Sergius, tried to enforce loyalty to the atheist Soviet State on his flock outside Russia. Result? He lost his flock outside the Soviet Union. We can see exactly the same result, all over again, in many regions of the world. For instance:

a) The Ukraine.

Few can describe the hatred felt by Ukrainians, mostly from central and western Ukraine, for Russia and Russians. They are simply boycotting the churches where the name of Patriarch Kyrill is mentioned. I speak from what I have seen. Even here, for example, Ukrainian refugees come to us and ask who our Patriarch is. When I reply that last February we were issued with letters of leave to quit the Moscow Patriarchate (its Western European Archdiocese) for Patriarch Daniel of Romania because of political persecution, they smile and say they will return to us. They feel at home with us; we are neutral. However, wherever the name Patriarch Kyrill is mentioned in church services, Ukrainian refugees, like many other Ukrainians who have already been here for some time, vote with their feet and leave. Understandably so.

Even Autonomy for the only canonical Orthodox Church in the Ukraine, that which is led by Metropolitan Onufry, is now no longer enough. It is too late. Moscow has totally lost control. It is Autocephaly that has to be granted, exactly as the saintly Serbian Patriarch Porfiry recently granted to the Church of North Macedonia. This simple message has yet to get through to Moscow, but it is a fact. Otherwise, the Ukrainian Church will simply be an empty shell. This need for Autocephaly is not a top-down case of political manoeuvrings by a nationalistic elite who want their ‘own’ National Church to command and control, as was the case of the Protestant Churches in Western Europe (e.g. the Church of England or those in Scandinavia) or the purely political group founded in the Ukraine in 2018 under the Church of Constantinople.  This is a case of the people demanding Autocephaly, it is a ‘down-top’ movement.

b. The Baltic States

Russophobia here is virulent. There are already two Churches in Estonia and there are about to be two in Lithuania because of nationalism and hatred for Russia. The US-sponsored Patriarchate of Constantinople stands behind both breakaway groups in Estonia and Lithuania. It seems to me that at the very least the three Baltic States must have their own Local, Autonomous, if not Autocephalous, Orthodox Church. Only that will stop the schisms. Again the message is clear to everyone, except to Moscow. Does Moscow really think it can weather the storms and hold on?

The situation in Lithuania is especially disastrous, where priests have been defrocked for a purely political disagreement with Moscow. This is an abuse of the canons. As our bishop, Metropolitan Joseph, said to us in a recent conversation, defrocking happens to clergy for moral, financial or criminal reasons, not because the clergy disagree with their bishop about politics or, as missionaries, are defending their churches from predatory and anti-missionary bishops. Nobody in the free Orthodox world recognises political defrockings. They are not only uncanonical, they are anti-canonical. They are particularly ironical, when those who should be defrocked for molesting women parishioners or stealing money from parish funds are not only not defrocked, but receive all manner of awards!

c. Moldova

Already 20% of churches in Moldova have left the Russian Church for the Patriarchate of Romania. The conflict in the Ukraine is making Moldovans shudder. Will we be next? The tiny Russian Transdnestria was of course long ago lost to Moldova, but what about Moldova itself? It seems inevitable that Moscow will lose the remaining 80% of its parishes there to the Romanian Church. Large parts of the Russian Diaspora are also composed of Moldovans, for example some 70 of the 72 Moscow Patriarchate parishes in Italy are Moldovan. Surely they too will leave for the Romanian Church?

Already in England most Moldovans have had to leave the Russian Church because of Slav nationalism and, sadly, a certain corruption. Here too, Russian nationalism appears to have destroyed the Russian Church’s once multinational character, as everywhere in the Western world. One nationalist bishop of the Russian Church in the Diaspora actually said in public: ‘I don’t like Romanians and I only half-like Moldovans’. That seemed to amuse him: it did not amuse the Romanians and Moldovans, or any of the Non-Russians, present. Here there is cause for the suspension of the bishop, if not for his actual defrocking. As far as I know, Christ never commanded us to hate other races.

d. The Western European Exarchate

In 2018 Moscow at last set up a Western European Exarchate, its centre in its brand-new, purpose-built Cathedral and centre in the most prestigious part of Paris, rumoured to have cost 50 million euros. Today, the Exarchate too is shattered, seemingly destroyed by Russian nationalism. Its first head lived in the Cathedral with his wife and child, and had another vice. He was duly sent away. (Though not sent so far as their Bishop Gury in the 1990s, who did something so serious that he ‘had to go’ and freeze in Magadan, opposite the Sea of Japan). The second head, a very politically-minded and very ecumenically-minded and very young man, who has not spent any time in a monastery and who speaks no French and poor English, now lives in Moscow and does administrative things.

Meanwhile, the Moscow Patriarchate Diocese in the UK no longer has a bishop, he is in Moscow. Few even remember who was the last Englishman to be ordained to the Russian Orthodox clergy in the UK. And the Moscow Patriarchate bishop in the Netherlands also seems to have disappeared. He got into great trouble with the Dutch government for threatening the clergy of his huge church in Amsterdam with ‘the Russian Embassy’, because, as Non-Russians, they had expressed purely political disagreement with the conflict in the Ukraine. As a result, the parish and about 70% of the people transferred to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as did a parish in Italy and another in Germany. Frankly, it appears as if the Western European Exarchate had its chance and failed. Does it have any future after the events in the Ukraine? That it might become the foundation to set up a future Western European Orthodox Church, as Patriarch Alexiy II wanted twenty years ago, now sounds like a bad joke. Hopes have been dashed by those who have betrayed their pastoral duties.

e. North America and ROCOR

In the USA the Moscow Patriarchate has also lost its bishop. Its forty or so parishes are left without a leader and, it seems perhaps without any possibility of even survival through new ordinations, let alone expansion. However, in general, all parts of the Orthodox Church in North America are in chaos. The largest group by far, the Greek Archdiocese, is facing scandal and disorder with the probable deposition of its new, highly political and secularising Archbishop Elpidiphoros. The second largest group, the OCA, which has Russian origins, is facing many difficulties, mot least the behaviour of its administration in over-zealously closing churches and persecuting clergy during lockdowns. The third largest group, Antioch, sometimes called ‘The Church of the Four Families’, faces a scandal involving allegations against its Metropolitan Joseph.

The fourth largest group, quite small in fact, a Russian group, ROCOR (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia), faces very embarrassing accusations of defamation, precisely from a Ukrainian priest, Fr Alexander Belya. The US courts will clearly favour him, though they must first justify his allegations to find out if they are true. Several other scandals in the USA involving properties and Russian clergy who have fled it for the Greek Church are also left unanswered. On top of all this, questions have been raised about the use of the electronic signature of the late Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR. He was clearly very ill for quite some time, at least for a year, if not for several years, before his death in May 2022, and yet all manner of very serious documents were being issued in his name by others. His death also leaves his Western Rite group, already dissolved in England, all at sea.

Moreover, ROCOR faces huge difficulties outside the USA. In Western Europe it lost half its English Diocese, 12 clergy, 5,000 people and two million pounds worth of Church buildings, ultimately to the Church of Romania, which canonically received them all, with the blessing of Patriarch Daniel himself. In 2007 they had already lost their only two monasteries in England to an Old Calendarist Church only because their analysis of the degree of the deSovietisation of the Church inside Russia varied with that of their bishop. On top of that, that English diocese then lost another four clergy to various other jurisdictions. Although still (!!) in complete denial of this reality, ROCOR here has now largely become an internet presence. The churches that left it for the Romanian Church are full and growing in clergy and people. Its very few remaining churches are very small. Meanwhile, in Geneva it also faces yet another court case on internal matters concerning administration and very embarrassing sackings, allegedly illegal, involving its appointment of freemasons.

From 1917-1991 ROCOR existed as the free and unpersecuted branch of the Russian Church outside the Soviet Union. After the atheist Soviet Union fell in 1991, and even more after ROCOR’s long-awaited reconciliation with the post-Soviet Russian Church in 2007, many began to question the reason for its continued existence. Some felt that Providence had given it a chance to justify its continued existence as the missionary part of the Russian Church outside Russia. It had the chance to prove itself as such from 2007 to 2017. Then all was still possible. Sadly, it failed to realise its potential and openly abandoned missionary work in whole areas of the world, such as Latin America, Indonesia and most of Western Europe, and instead concentrated on trying to amass money and striving to obtain impossible-to-obtain properties gained by previous unsupported missionary work. It seems as though the once persecuted Church has become the persecuting Church.

At the same time, some of its members turned inwards and selected Trumpism, and not Christ, as their ideology. It was clear that some in ROCOR had lost their way. Having chosen not faith, but a political ideology, and one which fails to work outside narrow US Republican ghettos, and lost most of itself outside North America, ROCOR may now be obliged to retreat to North America and lick its wounds. A well-known Russian Orthodox Metropolitan wrote to me only last week and told me that he does not think that it can survive at all; ROCOR risks becoming an embarrassment to the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia. This is a Church Titanic, of which Fr Alexander Belya is only the tip of the iceberg.

Conclusion: Lose-Lose?

The curse of nationalism has been lose-lose for all who have taken that particular acid bath. The Kiev government has lost by persecuting its own people and playing with several different nationalist and schismatic ‘Glory to the Ukraine churches’ and persecuting its only canonical Glory to God Church. Its false ‘churches’ have not only not created unity, but they have destroyed all remaining unity by persecuting and striving to seize the properties of the canonical Church (more parallels with the situation in the Diaspora). The Church of Constantinople has lost by playing with Greek and then Ukrainian nationalism. Western Europe has lost by playing with European nationalism (its ‘freedom and democracy’ myths) and enforcing Russophobic sanctions to cut off its nose to spite its face. ROCOR has lost by playing with American nationalism, exactly as the much persecuted St John of Shanghai prophesied. And the once multinational Russian Church has lost most of all by betraying its multinational vocation, that very vocation set by Tsar Nicholas II, with Russian nationalism, thus wrecking its multinational reputation. It will not recover from that for at least a generation.

Everyone is a loser. However, Divine Providence can and does make good out of bad. You will see and are already seeing it. Here is the possible end of schisms in the Ukraine and its opportunity, shorn of its Russian territories, to find its true identity and unite around a liberated and demilitarised Kiev. Here is the opportunity for scandal-ridden Constantinople to become a missionary Church, having understood that nobody is interested in a secular-minded, political and racist Church. Here is the opportunity for Europe, including the UK, to make peace with Russia after nearly 1,000 years of hatred based on jealousy and intolerance. Here is the opportunity for the two parts of the Russian Church in North America, the OCA and ROCOR, together with the bishopless Moscow parishes, to unite and love one another, instead of hating one another. (The apparently still unknown commandment of loving one another is to be found in the Gospels). It is all so simple. Here is the opportunity for the Russian Church, having for now lost Europe, to turn to serious missionary work in Asia and in Africa. God always gives opportunities. Sadly, men do not always take them.