Category Archives: Faithfulness

The Situation of English Orthodoxy and a Vision for the Future of Russian Orthodoxy in Europe

God is not in Might, but in Right.

St Alexander of the Neva

Introduction

I have been told that, ‘I tell it as it is’. Perhaps as a result, I have been asked to write of the contemporary situation of English Orthodoxy, with particular emphasis on the tragic legacy of the late Metr Antony (Bloom) and the resulting Sourozh schism. This I will do, as I knew the Metropolitan well, some forty years ago between 1974 and 1982, and in January 1981 he tonsured me reader. I also think it is worthwhile because the past and present situation in England reflects much that is true in the broader European picture. However, I still do this reluctantly as I dislike talking about the sad past and would much prefer to talk about the future. On the other hand, how can we have a vision of the future, if we do not first understand the past and the present?

True, I have few good memories of the past. However, apart from hundreds of young parishioners, of whose children I baptize up to fifty a year, I have six adult children as well as grandchildren and it is for their future, not for my past, that I live. This is why I think we should put the situation of English Orthodoxy into the general situation of all us Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. In so doing I also wish to avoid the common English (and not so English) disease of parochialism and insularity. The past is a dead country, all we can and must do is pray with compassion for those weak human beings like us who took part in it. One day we shall all stand side by side at the Dread Judgement. Let us look to the future, where all is possible. However, before we can do this I must do my duty and start at the beginning.

Part One: The Past and Present: English Orthodoxy

Today, around two thousand English Orthodox (the numbers of Scottish, Irish and Welsh Orthodox are even tinier – there being only a few dozen of each at most) and some seventy English clergy are divided among three main jurisdictions or dioceses. The other four jurisdictions present in England, as elsewhere, the Romanian, Serbian and tiny Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox jurisdictions, are almost wholly mononational and have hardly any English members. The three jurisdictions or dioceses with English members are: the Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Constantinople (two groups) and the Russian Orthodox Church (two groups).

1. The Patriarchate of Antioch

Some twenty years ago about 300 dissatisfied Anglicans were received with their own agenda into this Patriarchate. They had previously been turned away by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and by the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, which were both bound by their ecumenical ties with Canterbury. As Antioch had hardly existed in England until then, basically a new jurisdiction and so a further division were born. All the priests except for one now in this group were once Anglican priests, ordained as Orthodox priests with little training. One now suspended man was ordained within three days of being received.

Given this history, today the group seems to form a rather isolated ex-Anglican club, holding less attraction to the vast majority of English people. Indeed, some in the group seem to reject Non-Anglicans, one parish even banning the use of any language except English, and some call this group ‘Anglioch’. These ex-Anglican parishes appear to have little to do with Arab Orthodox and seem to avoid concelebrating with other jurisdictions, though they dress as Russian clergy. One person, perhaps unfairly, put it to me that: ‘Anti-Russian and Anti-Greek = Anti-och’.

Such a view represents only the negative half of the reality. On a positive side, this group is very dynamic, some parishes have their own properties and there are some younger clergy, over fifteen altogether now. Its larger parishes attract mainly Eastern Europeans, who are deprived of services in their own languages, or of once lapsed Greeks. Some of these people know their Faith and are able to educate the Antiochian clergy. The recent appointment for them, 20 years late, of an Antiochian bishop, who may get a visa to come to England this November, could at last mean the introduction of liturgical discipline and an entry into the mainstream of the Church from the margins. This should include teaching clergy how to serve, teaching people how to sing (at present Anglicanized ‘Russian-style’ singing is used), as well as stopping intercommunion, ‘charismatic’ and other alien practices, such as the commemoration of the Armenians and Ethiopians as Orthodox, using girl acolytes or making communion compulsory for all, as does happen in some parishes.

Antiochian services I have attended resemble a mixture of Anglicanism and a very confused knowledge of the Orthodox typicon with invented services, a kind of ‘make it up as you go’ approach. This style has discredited the Antiochian group. In conclusion, the Antiochians have zeal, which is admirable, but not knowledge, which is not admirable. The question is if they want the knowledge and have the humility to accept the discipline and traditions of the Orthodox Church and an Orthodox bishop, instead of imposing Anglican agendas on the faithful. Retired Anglican priests whose hobby is the ‘Eastern rite’ are one thing, the Orthodox Church is another.

2. The Patriarchate of Constantinople

a. The Archdiocese of Thyateira

This is a large and mostly Greek Cypriot Diocese, whose ruling hierarch must have either a Greek or Cypriot or Turkish passport. However, as the Greek Cypriots mainly moved to England from Commonwealth Cyprus between 1945 and 1975, they are now dying out. Nationalism is rife and English enquirers into Orthodoxy (as well as Romanians and others) are typically turned away from parishes and told to go and join the Anglican Church because they ‘are not Greeks’. The loss of young Cypriots is such that no fewer than six ethnic Cypriots are priests in the Anglican Diocese of London. At least there they can understand the services.

The hellenization of the few Anglicans who have been received and ordained is obligatory. Ultra-Greek names like Kallistos, Meliton, Aristobulos, Athanasios, Eleutherios, Dionysios, Christodoulos, Pankratios, Ephraim, Panteleimon, Palamas, Kosmas etc are placed on ex-Anglican vicars with perfectly good Orthodox names and they are ordained as cheap (unpaid) Greek Orthodox clergy. One of them is so hellenized that he even changed his surname to a Greek name. The best-known example of this group is the former Oxford academic, Timothy (Metr Kallistos) Ware, who lives very much as a retired parish priest and has never been a diocesan bishop, but rather a ‘conference bishop’. These hellenized ex-Anglicans use Russian-style singing in their services, probably because of the difficulty of using foreign-sounding Greek chant in any language other than Greek.

b. The Deanery of the Exarchate

As elsewhere in the world, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has for political reasons also taken into its jurisdiction dissidents such as Ukrainian nationalists and the Paris Exarchate. The latter group has again been present in England since 2006, refounded by 300 mainly ex-Anglican ‘Bloomites’, including over ten clergy. In other words, these were dissidents from the Sourozh Diocese of the then Moscow Patriarchate (MP), previously run by Metr Antony Bloom (see below, Paragraph 3b). After the death in 2004 of Metr Antony, their leader and protector, these did not want to adhere to the discipline and traditions of the real Russian Orthodox Church, which were then being reintroduced into their Diocese. Thus, they left for the Paris Exarchate, at first under the controversial Bishop Basil (Osborne), then after his defrocking becoming a small Deanery.

Here, under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, they would be allowed to do anything they wanted, including keeping the personal practices of Metr Antony (Bloom), without interference from either Constantinople or Thyateira or Paris, as one of their clergy proudly told me. For example, they could have communion without confession, give intercommunion (as their Amphipolis website used to proclaim, though now they tell me that intercommunion is limited to Monophysites), use the new calendar, celebrate the Proskomidia in the middle of the Church, wear Greek vestments (strange when you claim to be of the Russian Tradition) or shout out names during the service in Anglican ‘charismatic’ style, or make communion compulsory for all.

This group is very small, with several communities of ten or fewer people. Where it is bigger, it is because of the presence of Eastern Europeans, for example Church-deprived Romanians, who have no loyalty to or knowledge of Bloomite ideology. The Deanery has virtually no property of its own and although it has in recent years ordained several retired Anglican clergy virtually without any training, it seems to be dying out. The average age of its clergy is about 70 and many of the original laypeople are of the same generation.

It seems difficult to understand, if they wish to survive at all, why they do not simply join the ex-Anglican Antiochian group or at least join the ex-Anglicans in the mainstream Thyateira Diocese. Some have suggested that their isolation is to do with their ferocious Russophobia, which Antioch does not share. Indeed, some of their statements about other Christians makes it difficult to believe that they are Christians. Interestingly, their cause was backed to the hilt at the time by the Establishment Times and the MI5-fed Daily Telegraph. Others have suggested that there is a class reason, that it is because the Exarchate is largely composed of upper-class Anglicans, whereas the other ex-Anglicans are middle-class. Some call this group, like the Antiochian group, ‘Anglicans with icons’ or ‘Anglodox’, rather than Orthodox.

3. The Russian Church

a. The ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland

Having established the first ROCOR parish in England in 1919, ROCOR established a diocese in England in 1929 under Bishop Nicholas (Karpov), who uniquely was not given a fictitious title like ‘of Thyateira’ or ‘of Sourozh’, as given to other dioceses, but the real title ‘of London’. It was also the first Orthodox diocese to have any monastic life in England and the first diocese to use English, from the 1930s on. The diocese expanded after 1945 with a wave of new immigrants. However, after the departure of Archbishop John (Maksimovich) (now St John of Shanghai) in 1962, the diocese fell into nationalistic and sectarian currents and for a time became isolated.

From the 1970s on, a small group of unintegrated Anglo-Catholic converts began to impose old calendarism, imported from the USA under the influence of Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) in New York. Their views were marked by anti-Anglicanism rather than Orthodoxy, a negativity that came from spiritual pride. Given the failure of nationalistic Russians to pass on the Faith to their children and grandchildren and these sectarian trends, once far larger than the new Diocese of Sourozh, in the 70s and 80s the ROCOR Diocese began to die out. In the late 1970s and 1980s, in quick succession it lost its last two elderly and ill bishops, its London priest and its London church building. English people were turned away from the Russian parishes or were deterred by the sectarian old calendarism trying to take over diocesan life. It seemed as though the ROCOR Diocese would disappear altogether.

This period must be understood in the context of the then general internal battle in ROCOR between New York and Jordanville, that is, between the political, nationalist and sectarian wing of ROCOR and the spiritual wing, which saw in St John of Shanghai its figurehead. (Sadly, it is also true that when St John was in England, he was never frequented by personalities such as Metr Antony (Bloom) or Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), by both of whom he was at best ignored). In his later life in San Francisco, St John was much persecuted by this political wing of ROCOR because he was a missionary to Non-Russians, because he prayed for the captive Patriarchs of Moscow and because, like the mainstream in ROCOR, he knew that Church unity would come as soon as the Church inside Russia was free from atheist tyranny. This was denied by the political sectarians, who from the 1970s began to assert in justification for their sectarianism that the MP was ‘without grace’ and that somehow ROCOR was the last True Church on earth!

As the elderly Russians died out in the ROCOR British Diocese, in the 1990s it was providentially renewed by new arrivals from Russia, who found the same underlying ethos in it as in the MP inside Russia (unlike in the Sourozh Diocese, which, ironically, was officially part of the MP!). These new arrivals paid for the building of the small, Russian-style ROCOR Cathedral in London. As unity between ROCOR, under the ever-memorable Metr Laurus, and the MP, under the former émigré Patriarch Alexis II, approached in 2007, the long predicted schism occurred. Some forty mainly Anglo-Catholic converts and a few very right-wing individuals of Russian extraction (including even pro-Nazis) lapsed from ROCOR. This mirrored exactly the Sourozh schism (see Paragraph 3b below).

This was a spiritual tragedy for them but the relief felt by the faithful was palpable – the abscess which had been growing since the infiltration of sectarianism from the USA in the 1970s had at last burst. Peripheral and other problems also solved themselves as a few other individuals left and by 2009 all the extremes had fallen away, normal Church life could continue from a now healthy centre and the Church was ready to grow again. ROCOR was able to return to its destiny and pioneering historic path of being the integrated and bilingual Russian Orthodox Diocese, faithful to the Tradition, culturally at ease in the British Isles, and without fear of interference from outside forces. Having been through its adolescent growing pains, the ROCOR Diocese had overcome the crisis and become much stronger and adult.

What is the situation today? Today most members of ROCOR are people who have settled in England (and also in Wales and Ireland) from the ex-Soviet Union. In other words, the flock is virtually identical to the flock of the new Sourozh Diocese (see Paragraph 3b below). However, eight of the clergy are English, though there is also a Romanian deacon and two excellent Russian clergy from the ex-Soviet Union. In 2006 the future Archbishop Elisei of Sourozh was actually nominated to the Patriarchate in Moscow (then faced with the Sourozh schism) by the ROCOR ruling bishop, Archbishop Mark of Berlin.

Although most members of ROCOR come from the ex-Soviet Union, unlike Sourozh, the ROCOR Diocese has a long history, with memories going back before the Second World War and the Revolution to the time of the Tsar, a long and deep pastoral experience, including the use of English, its own church buildings and therefore a voice independent of heterodox organizations. In other words, ROCOR could certainly never be accused of being dependent on one personality or being ‘Soviet’, as the Sourozh Diocese sometimes is, and it is much better established than that Diocese. However, the weakness of the ROCOR Diocese is definitely its shortage of priests, especially in Wales and Ireland, and its lack of a resident ruling bishop. The main issue now is further growth.

b. The Diocese of Sourozh – the former Moscow Patriarchate (MP)

Several hundred English Orthodox find themselves in the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, which used to be known as the MP. Some go back to the time when that Diocese was ruled by Metr Antony (Bloom) (+ 2004), others have come more recently. I have been asked to set down a record of Metr Antony’s tragic legacy. This will be long, as it is complex.

When the small Paris Exarchate parish in London returned to the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) jurisdiction after the Second World War (following its leader in Paris, Metr Eulogius), Fr Antony (Bloom), a beardless hieromonk without theological education, was sent by Moscow from Paris to look after the group in question. The vast majority of Russian emigres in England, whether arrivals after 1917 or after 1945, would have nothing to do with the Moscow Patriarchate or the modernist-looking Fr Antony, and continued to belong to the far larger parishes of the Diocese of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).

Therefore, virtually without a flock, the very talented Fr Antony learned English and began to do missionary work among Anglicans, attracting several hundred into the former Anglican church he used in London. Over the years, their numbers swelled, perhaps to over 2,000, and he was able to form a tiny diocese which was given the title of Sourozh. This looked good in theory; the reality was quite different. The Sourozh Diocese was a paper diocese, an empire of the imagination. There were three reasons for this.

Firstly, Metr Antony, as he had become by the early 60s, anxious to create a diocese, would take people without preparation, that is, without relieving them of their Anglican baggage and so spiritual impurity first. As they had little idea of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, most of them lapsed very quickly, often within a few weeks or months. As an example of this, I will relate what five years ago one of the new Russian subdeacons from the Sourozh Cathedral in London told me about a weekend visit of the new ruling hierarch, Archbishop Elisei of Sourozh, to a provincial community.

When Archbishop Elisei got up on the Sunday morning, the priest’s wife asked him whether he would like bacon and eggs for breakfast. Now that is a normal question in the Church of England (or even in parts of the Catholic Church today), where communion, if it is given at all, is simply a memorial of bread and wine and there is no fasting before it. For an Orthodox of course it is shocking that an Orthodox priest would have bacon and eggs before the Liturgy and communion. In fact, I was shocked by the subdeacon and said: ‘You mean to say that you did not know that that was how the whole Sourozh Diocese was run for decades?’ I was amazed by his naivety and told him: ‘Now you understand why serious Orthodox joined ROCOR’.

In 1976, falling foul of the Soviet government’s anti-Solzhenitsyn line (which it also forced onto the MP) and looking for political freedom from Soviet political pressure (especially distasteful to the upper-class Establishment Anglicans in his London Cathedral), Metr Antony asked to join ROCOR. As a result of his unOrthodox attitudes, illustrated above, he was refused. ROCOR did not want a bishop with unOrthodox practices; if ROCOR had accepted him, it would all have resulted in scandals.

Secondly, Metr Antony never reached out to the mass of English people, to whom he remained completely unknown despite his TV appearances (at a time when only the wealthier half of society had TV) and radio interviews. He concentrated on the upper class, especially wealthy academics, artists, novelists, musicians and poets, many of whom lived around his former Anglican Cathedral in the richest part of London. Metr Antony seemed to have little time for ordinary English people, if ever he knew we existed.

He was also notorious for never visiting his parishes and flock. Most of these had never seen him there and had no idea what an episcopal visit or service was. (Metr Antony usually served as a priest, refusing to celebrate episcopal services, if he knew how to do them). He was not a liturgist and did not teach anyone how to celebrate the services. His was a religion of the elite and it was often difficult to know exactly what he said – it all seemed to be the French philosophical style and not substance. In the 1970s and early 1980s, as I know only too well from personal experience, he had no time at all for the veneration of local saints, though he was later forced to change this attitude. And he also had no space in his Cathedral for icons of the New Martyrs, even after their later canonization in Moscow in 2000.

We should not forget that Metr Antony was himself from the Russian upper class and, partly as a result, his convert group seemed to be an upper-class Anglican club or clique. Conversations that I heard at his Cathedral revolved around villas in Tuscany and on Patmos which belonged to these people: hardly typical English people, who felt excluded by such snobbery. All this was combined with Metr Antony’s marked emotionalism, his strong psychic abilities and affectations, which lacked the sobriety of the Orthodox Tradition. Some middle-aged women fell in love with him and, with his good looks and exotic and exaggerated Russian-Parisian accent, by the 1970s his nicknames included ‘the guru’ and ‘the romantic bishop’. I remember one such tragic case very clearly. For us who came from solid and pragmatic English backgrounds, this was all nonsense. We would see through this act from miles away.

This brings us to the problem of Metr Antony’s personality cult. As we have said, he was an immensely talented man with a very strong personality. Indeed, his father, Boris Bloom (buried in Meudon outside Paris), a Tsarist diplomat who was well-known in Paris, had delved into the occult and taught his son how to hypnotize. I knew two women whom Metr Antony tried to hypnotize in the 1970s. For what reason I do not know. In such a Diocese there could be room for only one personality. This is why in 1965 an equally unusual Parisian personality, the former Hindu, Art Nouveau painter, personalist philosopher and one-time monk of Mt Athos, where he had met a saint, Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), left the Diocese of Sourozh. With his three monks. he switched back to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the new calendar and introduced some very unusual and indeed unique practices. The fact that Metr Antony was notoriously anti-monastic did not help.

The cult of Metr Antony was also why his ordinations were generally controversial, often being those of men who for canonical reasons would never have been ordained by another bishop. This created a dependency of such clergy on Metr Antony, a misplaced sense of gratitude and idolization among weak personalities. This was also why Metr Antony strongly discouraged English people from visiting other parishes and travelling to Orthodox countries, especially Russia and Mt Athos; he did not want them to be exposed to the broader reality, which would raise awkward questions about his peculiar style and values.

Here I do not wish to go into the painful details and I would rather quote the Establishment figure of Metr Kallistos (Ware), who is now in his eighties. Known as ‘o anglikanos’ (the Anglican) by certain of his Greek brother bishops, Metr Kallistos is known for his caution in speaking. Although he has very curious and Phanariot views of the Diaspora, he is well-known for this Anglican-style diplomacy. In an interview with the liberal ‘Pravmir’ site, he has expressed the situation around Metr Antony as mildly as is possible:

‘Now the main criticism that I would make of Bishop (sic) Antony is that he would allow people to become colossally dependent upon him. They would idolize him. Perhaps that was not entirely his fault that they came to feel such ardent devotion towards him. But I felt there was something unhealthy here. It was too personal in the wrong sense, that they saw him almost as a god on earth. And he would allow people, particularly women, to become very closely dependent upon him. And then he would suddenly abandon them. I don’t think I am indulging here in malicious gossip, but I know a number of cases where he had spent a lot of time with people, particular people, and then suddenly he would cut off, not see them any more, not respond to their letters or telephone calls. Now I don’t know why he allowed such a close relationship to be built up and then abandoned them. But if I was to criticize his work, I would think there was the weakest point’.

In other words, it could be said that Metr Antony was the London equivalent of Bishop Jean (Evgraf) (Kovalevsky) in Paris, a bishop who set up a kind of fringe diocese on the edge of the Church and which also collapsed after his death. (However, many clergy and laity also left the Sourozh Diocese during Metr Antony’s lifetime, having seen through it). True, Bishop Jean attracted guenonists, occultists, freemasons and other marginals, ordaining them within days, whereas Metr Antony attracted those who fell in love with his personality and pseudo-mysticism. Sadly, Metr Antony’s existentialist personalism (mid-twentieth century French intellectual philosophy rather than the Church Fathers, whom Metr Antony hardly ever mentioned) had led to the construction of a mini-diocese ‘centred on his personality and not on the Church’. These are the exact words used to me by the present ruling bishop of Sourozh, Archbishop Elisei, soon after his appointment in 2006.

Now anything built on a personality, even more on a dead personality, is extremely fragile. People who idolize a personality are unable to pass on anything to their children, who cannot get to know the personality because he is dead, and so the members simply get old and die out, becoming historical sidelines, alienated from the mainstream. A diocese centred on a personality is a paper diocese. Thus, Sourozh still has hardly any Church property because everyone, as I was told in 1981, was expected to go to London and worship at the feet of the personality. So, nothing got built up. Tragically, the Sourozh Diocese still only has a fairly small Cathedral in west London (far too small for the flock) and four chapels in Oxford, Nottingham, Manchester and London, which can only contain a few dozen Orthodox. For the rest, the Sourozh Diocese is still dependent on borrowing mainly Anglican churches which it can occasionally use, often only once a month on a Saturday.

On top of this it suffers from a chronic shortage of priests with training. The average age is about 63. The disastrous personality cult in other words completely failed to set up the infrastructure necessary for a real diocese, however small. Everything had to be centred around the Cathedral in London because that is where ‘the personality’ was. This is the tragic legacy of Metr Antony, an utter lack of vision because there was no Tradition, only a personality. It contrasts very sadly with the radiant legacy of a saint in another island archipelago on the other side of Eurasia, St Nicholas of Japan, who built on the Tradition.

In 1982, a senior priest, the American Fr (later as Metr Antony’s successor, Bishop) Basil Osborne told me that ‘as soon as Metr Antony is dead, we’ll go to the Greeks’. This statement as well as the personality cult and renovationist practices (no confession before communion – as in Anglicanism – , the introduction of the new calendar, no Third and Sixth Hours before the Liturgy, no attempt to ask women to dress as Russian Orthodox etc.), caused us to leave the Diocese of Sourozh for good. I had wanted to be part of the Russian Orthodox Church, not of an émigré cocktail of modernist practices and fantasies, which had nothing to do with the Russian Orthodox Tradition. In such a way the Sourozh Diocese chased away those who were the most devoted to the Russian Orthodox Church. People were ready to die for the Church, for ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church’, but in Sourozh the seed of the faithful was rejected – and so the Church did not grow. This was no way to treat the faithful.

In response to my view that the Church was failing to preach the Gospel to ordinary English people and was not providing food for the soul, but only intellectual philosophy, Fr Basil also told me that ‘there is no such thing as ordinary people’. Clearly, this said a great deal about him who became Metr Antony’s successor. Living in the ivory towers of Oxford, Fr Basil simply had no contact with the vast masses of English people. Later, an aristocratic priest-colleague of his, also ordained by Metr Antony, told me exactly the same thing. In 2005 it was Bishop Basil who provocatively invited the notorious neo-renovationist, Fr George Kochetkov, once suspended by Patriarch Alexis II, to come from Moscow and become the main priest at the London Sourozh Cathedral. This makes clear that the Sourozh schism was indeed a renovationist schism and it is indeed renovationists who revere Metr Antony’s memory.

Apart from his English convert adepts, it is true that Metr Antony was also idolized by some naïve Soviet convert dissidents, mainly of Jewish origin. These ‘intelligenty’ of the third wave started to arrive in London in the 1970s and fell in love with Metr Antony. I remember one of them telling me how he had first seen the Metropolitan cleaning the Cathedral floor, dressed in a simple undercassock. The dissident at once took him for a saint! I told him that all bishops and priests in the Diaspora lived like this and that if that was a criterion of sainthood, then we were all saints. Conditioned by Soviet practices of distant and unknown bishops sweeping past the people in big black cars under KGB surveillance, he could not make the cultural jump to Diaspora reality. Culture shock totally distorted his judgement.

From the 1990s, in the last years of Metr Antony’s life, as immigrants flooded in from the ex-Soviet Union, a virtual civil war began in his London Cathedral. The immigrants expected Russian Orthodoxy, not some pseudo-mystical convert personality cult. Apart from the small ROCOR Cathedral, there was no other church they could go to in London. Inevitably, only two years after Metr Antony’s death, with the young Bishop Hilarion expelled, the Sourozh Diocese collapsed. The bubble had finally burst. Metr Antony’s divisiveness and pastoral failure had led in turn to the divisiveness and pastoral failure of his pupil, Bishop Basil (Osborne).

Just as the Paris Exarchate’s modernist experiment failed (and Metr Antony was 100% Parisian), Metr Antony’s experiment failed because he had tried to build a Diocese on the divisive sand of a personality cult instead of on the collective rock of Russian Orthodox Tradition. This all came as no surprise to us who had known how it would all end since 1982 and had been pleading with the Moscow Patriarchate since 2000 to do something about the catastrophic pastoral situation in London. Nevertheless, we can at least learn from such failures.

Part Two: The Future: European Orthodoxy

I have done my duty in answering questions about the past and present situation of English Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy in England. I hope that this will help us to avoid repeating the errors and extremes of the past and will also help us to pray for those involved, whether living or departed. That is our duty, for we are no better than they. I would now like to speak of something much more positive, much closer to my heart, the future.

1. The European Dimension of the Orthodox Church

In this context of the future people ask me about the possibility of there one day being a ‘British’ Orthodox Church. Since the 1990s I have written about such a possibility – and always negatively, even though I have since 1975 championed the use of local languages in services, whether English or French, and at great personal cost from hostile clergy. Why, this refusal of even the concept of a ‘British Orthodox Church’?

Firstly, it is because there is no such thing as ‘British’. Just as we do not talk about a ‘Soviet’ Orthodox Church, so we do not talk about a ‘British’ Orthodox Church. The word ‘British’ has only been used on three occasions in history and always by foreign invaders. Once by the Romans, then by the Normans and lastly by the Hanoverians and their Germanic followers among the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Victorians and those nostalgic for their imperialism like Thatcher, Blair and Cameron. In other words, ‘British’ is a word for an artificial, colonial conglomerate of countries and as such is used by London imperialists; the Irish rightly long ago rejected it as a dirty word and the Scots are now in open revolt against it. Personally, like everyone I grew up with in the English countryside, I have never recognized myself as ‘British’, but as English, and I hope that the Irish, Scots, Welsh and we English will soon gain complete freedom from the ‘British’ and their tyrannical and foreign Establishment, to which the alien ‘British’ alone belong.

Secondly, all European countries, including Britain, are in any case far too small to have their own Local Orthodox Churches and, thirdly, Europe has anyway suffered quite enough from nationalism. We do not want any more insularity and nationalism in the Church – there is enough of that in the Balkans. What we need today is vision. Now, in this context, nearly thirty years ago, in 1986, I wrote a paper at the request of Archbishop George (Wagner) of the Rue Daru Paris Jurisdiction (Patriarchate of Constantinople) entitled, ‘Une Eglise Orthodoxe pour l’Europe: Vision ou Reve’ (‘An Orthodox Church for Europe: Vision or Dream’). As he was German, I thought he might be interested, especially as I had envisioned the Rue Daru jurisdiction as the possible kernel of such a future Local Church – in 2004 Patriarch Alexis II was to make the same mistake. I later found the paper thrown away into his kitchen wastepaper bin. Such were those visionless days – and he was by far from being the only bishop who had no vision for an Orthodox Europe.

Since that time it is true that we have seen the development of the pompously-named ‘Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies’ (= bishops’ meetings) in Western Europe. This is the imperialistic concept of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, rather naively promoted by Metr Kallistos (Ware) and Metr Athenagoras (Peckstadt) in Belgium. Of course, it is good that now the Orthodox bishops of any territory actually meet each other and know what each other looks like, but we all know that these meetings are going nowhere; they are often talking shops which occasionally meet, but at which no decisions of any consequence are ever taken. They just give a superficial prestige to Constantinople.

What I am saying from both the above examples is that we can expect nothing for the future of Orthodoxy in Western Europe from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has never freely given any Church autocephaly and has continually tried to take back autocephaly even when political circumstances forced it to grant it – as in the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia etc. In this way Constantinople, fallen since 1453, politically captive since 1948, and through Greek nationalism totally failing to recognize that Church leadership long ago passed to the Russian Church, today resembles the other Balkan Churches. None of them has the vision, is big enough, is missionary-minded enough or is unphyletist and mutinational enough to set up the Pan-European Metropolitan structure necessary for the foundation of any future Orthodox Church in Europe.

2. The Duty of Care of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe

This leaves the Russian Orthodox Church, fifty times larger than the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as the only Local Orthodox Church which can do anything for European Orthodoxy. After all, of all the Local Churches only the Russian Orthodox Church is large and supra-national. Its name in Russian is ‘Russkaya’, meaning ‘of Rus’, not ‘Rossiyskaya’, meaning ‘of the Russian Federation’. In other words, it alone is multinational – like its Patriarch, the Russian Orthodox Church is the Church of All Rus and this means not just Russia, the Orthodox Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Carpatho-Russia, but any part of the world where Russian Orthodox faithful live. It alone has kept the old multinational Orthodox ideal of ‘romaiosini’, of the unity in diversity of the Christian Empire. Indeed, in 2004 Patriarch Alexis II at last spoke precisely of the need to establish a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe. However, in 2004 the proposition of Patriarch Alexis II could only be theoretical. Only since 2007 has the Russian Orthodox Church even been in a theoretical position to establish such a Metropolia. Why?

a. Russian Orthodox Church Unity

In May 2007, the MP and ROCOR signed the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow. With this one act, the division that began after the Russian Revolution between the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Church Inside Russia (then called the MP) and was forced onto the Church by atheist persecution inside the Soviet Union ceased. According to the 2007 agreement, ROCOR was gradually to give up its few small temporary communities on the territory of the ex-Soviet Union (the canonical territory of the Church Inside Russia) and in return, in time, the Church Inside Russia would, as is only logical, cede its relatively few but sometimes large communities outside Russia to ROCOR.

The first part of this agreement took place fairly swiftly, but the second part of the agreement, for perfectly good pastoral reasons, can only be implemented with time. This situation concerns above all the shared territories of Western Europe and Latin America, since the vast majority of Russian Orthodox parishes in its other territories in Oceania and North America are in any case under ROCOR. Thus, for the moment, we still have the absurd situation of two Russian Orthodox bishops of Berlin, Archbishop Theophan and Archbishop Mark. However, all agree that this will not last.

In effect, both the old MP and the old ROCOR ceased to exist on that day in May 2007. What came into being was a reunited and worldwide Russian Orthodox Church, three-quarters of the whole Orthodox Church, with the same Faith and under the same Patriarch, politically free but administratively in two parts, inside Russia and outside Russia, so that both parts are Patriarchal, but one is based in Moscow and the other, much smaller, is based in New York. The unique canonical territory of the Church inside Russia covers all the countries of the former Soviet Union (except Georgia) and countries where all the missions were founded by it, officially only China and Japan, but in reality also Thailand, Iran, Cuba and North Korea.

The territories of the Church Outside Russia, and these are territories mainly shared with other Orthodox, include Western Europe, North America, Latin America and Oceania (including Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia). Thus the new ROCOR has the potential to become again (as it was in the beginning) a multi-Metropolia Church, with four Metropolias, one in Western Europe, one in North America, one in Latin America and one in Oceania. Perhaps one day it could also include Alaska as a fifth Metropolia, but only if that territory returns to the Russian Orthodox Church from its present American administration.

b. The Territory of Europe to be United in a Metropolia

Europe, that is Western Europe, is a cultural ensemble, because it is all basically ex-Orthodox (1,000 years ago) and now, as it has largely lapsed into its Gadarene secularism, ex-Catholic (historically ex-Protestant also means ex-Catholic). I am speaking of the following 25 countries: Iceland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark (with the Faeroes), Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Spain (and the part of Spain called Gibraltar), Andorra, Italy, San Marino and Malta. I exclude from this definition of Western Europe Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, as they already have their own Local Churches and canonical territory. Similarly, I also exclude Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, since, like Montenegro and Macedonia, they are part of the canonical territory of the Serbian Church. As for Albania, like Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, it already has its own Local Church.

It is true that Finland, which is in this list of 25 countries, has over 20 parishes and other communities that at present belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and celebrate Easter on the Catholic calendar (similar to a non-canonical group in Estonia). However, Russian Orthodox do not frequent such churches, whose Faith has been called ‘Lutheranism with icons’. They prefer to attend the quite separate and canonical Russian Orthodox churches in Finland, which are growing. Also there are those who consider that Hungary, also in the list of 25 countries, should have its own Local Church, like the Poles and the Czechs and Slovaks. However, we live in the world as it is now, not as it may be one day. For the moment, therefore, Hungary must be included in the territory of a European Metropolia, as defined above.

3. A Future Metropolia

a. Structure

Now as regards a future European Metropolia under the Patriarchal Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), it is clear that this will be a real Metropolia with several hundred real parishes and real churches and, very importantly, real monasteries. This will not be like the Paris Exarchate or the old Sourozh Diocese, a paper empire, a series of modernistic, semo-Uniat communities often fewer than ten or twenty in number, celebrating in front rooms and garden sheds, or composed of clergy who were ordained with little training because no-one else would ordain them or even who use blackmail against their Archbishop in Paris: ‘If you do not allow me to do what I want, I will join the Greeks’. (Or the Romanians or someone else. Much more rarely, this blackmail may involve a threat of passage to ‘the Russians’. However, this threat is rarely used because those who today remain in the Exarchate generally believe in Russophobia – the ideology which justifies the continued existence of the Exarchate).

Where should the geographical centre of such a Metropolia be? Until recently I had always thought of it as Paris, the historical centre of the Russian emigration, where there is, in temporary premises, a Russian Orthodox seminary and where a Cathedral complex has long been planned. However, as a Metropolitan centre this choice is threatened by two things, the ecumenism and modernism apparently ingrained in the Paris air and the Russophobic policies of the present US-controlled French government. Today France is in a state of social chaos and disintegration. It may therefore be that we should think more radically. Indeed, two other possible centres for a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe exist: they are Berlin (there are large numbers of Russian Orthodox in Germany) and Rome (where there is the large Russian church of St Catherine’s and above all which is the historical centre of the Western Patriarchate. After all, the initials of the English words ‘Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe’ spell R.O.M.E.).

It now seems to me that there should initially be seven dioceses in such a Metropolia. These are: Germania (Germany, German-speaking Switzerland and the Netherlands, including Flemish-speaking Belgium); Gallia (France, French-speaking Belgium, French-speaking Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco); Iberia (Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and Andorra); the Isles (the British Isles and Ireland); Italia (Italy, San Marino, Italian-speaking Switzerland and Malta); Scandinavia (Iceland, the Faeroes, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland); Austria-Hungaria (Austria and Hungary). With time two or three bishops could be appointed to such large dioceses, under an archbishop. For example, Germania could have an archbishop in Berlin, a bishop for western Germany, a bishop for the Dutch-speaking areas and a fourth for Switzerland. Scandinavia could have an archbishop in Stockholm who would also look after Denmark, a bishop in Helsinki and another for Norway and Iceland. These are mere possible examples for two dioceses or future archdioceses. Who knows the future?

At present the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe is not organized as one and some members are elderly. ROCOR is concentrated in Western Germany and Switzerland, though with several parishes in France, Belgium, Denmark and England, but it has virtually no existence in Italy, Spain and Portugal or in the rest of Scandinavia, in which countries the Church Inside Russia has over 100 parishes. ROCOR has three bishops, the youngest of whom is aged about sixty. ROCOR certainly has experience, but it will need new bishops. Some of the dioceses in Europe, which are still for the moment dependent on the Church Inside Russia, will also need new bishops in the future. Episcopal candidates must speak languages apart from Russian, know the cultures and cultural references of the countries where they will live and have a dynamic and missionary view of their episcopate. In other words, they must realize that their task is not just to look after immigrants from the ex-Soviet Union. They must be able to communicate with the children and grandchildren of such immigrants, as well as with the descendants of the centennial emigration, now in its fifth generation, and the native people of European countries, both Orthodox and Non-Orthodox.

For example, we know of one episcopal appointee whose first act was to buy an expensive black car. On that day he lost the confidence of his diocese. He did not understand that being a Russian Orthodox bishop in Europe is not at all the same as being a Russian Orthodox bishop in the former Soviet Union. Secondly, any diocesan bishop must also be a uniter – in Europe we still have bad memories of the late Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) who was an ecumenist and intercommunionist (in Rome) and did not want to do missionary work among native Europeans. Such figures were ultimately partly responsible for the Sourozh schism and the lack of trust among European Orthodox in bishops who were visiting them from the Soviet Union. On the other hand, we have an excellent memory of Archbishop Basil (Krivoshein) who warned Metr Nikodim precisely against his political policies. Who then could be the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe? We believe that there is already at least one suitable candidate, at present an Archbishop.

It is now becoming urgent to establish such a Metropolitan structure. Millions of Orthodox have had to flee Orthodox Eastern Europe in the last 25 years for economic reasons. Since the fall of Communism, Eastern Europe has been seized by a wave of post-Communist corruption. Combined with the deindustrialization forced onto Eastern European countries when they joined the EU, millions of young people have been forced to leave their homes and families to take on mainly menial jobs in the building sites, factories and offices of Western Europe. There are now more Orthodox in Western Europe, the territory of the future Metropolia, than there are in the four ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, combined. How then can this Metropolia be organized?

b. Organization

Before such a Metropolia could come into existence, all kinds of groundwork have to be laid. First of all, who should be the patron saint of such a Metropolia? To our mind, there can only be one candidate, the only saint of the Russian Orthodox Church who in the twentieth century lived for well over a decade in Western Europe – St John of Shanghai. He is the only canonized member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe. He stands head and shoulders above all the personalities, intellectuals, artists, writers and philosophers of the emigration, for he was a saint and a universal saint at that. Strictly faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition, for which he was much despised by modernists, he was also open to the pastoral needs of local people, encouraged the veneration of the historical saints of Europe and was the inspiration for Fr Seraphim of Platina, for which he was much despised by nationalists. In my view, St John has no rivals. However, the appointment of such a patron saint must be made by the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe. We are not an anti-episcopal organization like the ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe’ in Paris, so we can only suggest to our bishops.

Secondly, we need a Metropolia website, run by people who have the skills and time to devote to this. Their skills must not only be technological but also linguistic. The website should, we believe, be in Russian, Romanian for our many Moldovan parishioners, English (as the international language) and, in the appropriate sections, in one of the other thirteen local languages of the Metropolia (German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Maltese and Icelandic). Perhaps, eventually, as pastoral need dictates, there could be pages in minority languages like Basque, Gaelic, Sorbian, Breton, Welsh etc. Who are the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe? Such a website could present them with their photos. How many Russian Orthodox priests are there in Europe today? 200? That is only our guess; we do not have the information. The website could provide it.

Such a website could provide a calendar including the local saints of Europe, for example, Clotilde, Alban, Agnes, Ursula, Eulalia, Senhorina, Leander, Columba, Blandine, Olaf, Maurice, Kevin, Willibrord, Anschar, Sigfrid, Audrey, Corbinian, Illtyd, Odile, Devota, Publius, Gertrude, little known outside their own countries and regions, whose prayers can bind us together. There is a practical and a mystical necessity to link ourselves to them for it is ultimately on their noble Orthodoxy that European culture was built. The fact that modern Europe in its ignoble rush for self-destruction has turned its back on them only means that we should venerate them all the more. The website could present such information along with parish profiles, the addresses and phone numbers of individual parishes, their websites, histories, pictures of their church buildings, their clergy and parishioners, details of languages used in services, timetables and other activities and publications. And all our vital monasteries must have their place there too. There should also be some kind of resource of services in the many languages of the Metropolia and a simple vocabulary in the sixteen languages. How do you say ‘Orthodox Church’ in Hungarian, ‘priest’ in Finnish, ‘confession’ in Maltese or ‘candle’ in Norwegian? The website could tell us. Again, all this can only be done with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe.

Thirdly, we need to hold a conference of Russian Orthodox clergy in Europe. We do not know each other. Initially, there could be a small conference with, say, two representatives from each country. One priest from Italy has already suggested the excellent idea of twinning parishes. Knowledge of one another could also be obtained from pilgrimages to local saints or relics or on the basis of visits to priests or laypeople who are already linked. Europe is rich in shrines, in Bari, in Rome, in Turin, in Milan, in Compostella, in Cologne, in Paris, in Lyons: Why not organize Europe-wide Russian Orthodox pilgrimages to such shrines? Alternatively, there could be pilgrimages to some of our wonderful churches in Europe, built under Tsar Nicholas II, in Wiesbaden, Geneva, Nice etc., or others built more recently in Brussels, Rome and Madrid. In such a way, by meeting, we can begin the most important task of praying for one another. Again, all this can only be done with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe.

Two years ago I was contacted by a Russian woman in a province of France. She was in tears, very upset. She had been to a so-called monastery of the Paris Exarchate, where she had been refused confession because ‘she had not murdered anyone’. This meant that she had also been deprived of communion. She had found me on the internet, not knowing any priest in France. She told me her story on the telephone, how she and her son had been abandoned by her French husband and how she desperately needed a priest to talk to. Now, such things are happening all over Europe. The duty of care of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe is to its faithful of all nationalities, to people like her. Let us begin by appointing a priest or priests whose duty it will be to look after the Russian Orthodox flock in any particular region of Europe. Since the above 25 European countries are divided into some eighty regions and there are a lot more than 80 Russian Orthodox priests in Europe, this can be done and the sort of incident that I have related above can be avoided. Everyone must have a priest to go to.

Some, reading the above, might ask about the role of Non-Orthodox in this. We believe in good-neighbourly relations with those who do not belong to the Orthodox Church. After a thousand years outside the Orthodox Church, many of them still believe in the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ. Some, especially Catholics, go further than this and believe in the Virgin Birth, the Mother of God, the saints and the sacraments. Some share our moral views on such issues as abortion and euthanasia. The fact that the faith they have inherited is deficient in the understanding of the Holy Spirit, and therefore lacks an authentic spiritual and ascetic life, only means that it is remarkable how close some of them are to us. We have no reason not to be on good terms with them. However, this does not mean that we do not freely practise our Faith without compromise. Most Europeans have in the last generation or so decided to be atheists or at least agnostics, Europe today is a mission territory open to all. Conversely, most in the Russian Lands have in the last generation or so chosen to be baptized Orthodox. We should respect each other’s differences. We may be Europeans, but we are also firmly Christian and follow the Russian Orthodox Church in full.

Some, reading the above, might ask about the role of other jurisdictions in the shared territory of Europe, such as Constantinople’s Greeks and its political dissidents. In our view, the establishment of a Russian Metropolia in no way means that they cannot continue just as now. They could even establish their own international structures if they wish. The difference will always be that the Russian Orthodox Metropolia will alone be Europe-wide and multinational, not mononational, and therefore with the potential of growing into a new Local Church, as Patriarch Alexis II hoped. In the long term, as we know from experience, the jurisdiction that will survive in Europe will be the spiritually serious one, not the ones that wave nationalistic or ideological flags and so automatically alienate others and lose the second and following generations, who find such nationalism and ideologism foreign and irrelevant. Just as the fringes attract the fringes, vagantes attract vagantes, sectarians attract sectarians, personality cults attract personality cultists, so serious jurisdictions will attract serious people.

Conclusion

In recent years I have visited Russian Orthodox in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Lands, Slovakia, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Finland, as well as receiving visits from Russian Orthodox from many of these countries and from Norway, Ireland, Spain and Italy. In all of them I have noticed the consistent ability of many Russian Orthodox to keep the best of Russian culture and to absorb the best of Western culture at the same time. This is because of our ability to see and live European life and culture through the correcting prism and filter of Orthodox Christianity. It is the pastoral duty of the Russian Orthodox Church to its own flock and to all European Orthodox to live like this, keeping faith and yet being European, not repeating the errors of either sectarian nationalists or of the equally sectarian modernists of the Paris Jurisdiction and the old Sourozh Diocese.

We European Orthodox have four layers of identity: local, national and continental (= cultural) and spiritual. In my own case, this means the East of England, England, Europe and Russian Orthodoxy (= Rus). All of these layers of identity can be combined by saying that I belong to the East of England Rus (Vostochnoangliyskaya Rus’), to the Russian Orthodox world that is planted in the East of England. Others can say the same thing, that in Sweden they belong to Scanian Rus, in Spain to Catalan Rus or Galician Rus, in Italy to Sub-alpine Rus or Sardinian Rus, in the Netherlands to Frisian Rus, in Scotland to Hebridean Rus, in Germany to Bavarian Rus or Saxon Rus, in France to Breton Rus or Occitan Rus, in Austria to Carinthian Rus or Tyrolean Rus etc. This is the unity on which our future Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe (R.O.M.E.) can be built, from Iceland to the plains of Hungary, from Lapland to the islands of Malta, in the local regions of the 25 nations of the continent of Europe where we live, and on our complete faithfulness to the integral Russian Orthodox Faith and Tradition.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips
ROCOR Missionary Representative for Western Europe

Brittany, 24 July 2015
 

Last Chance for Europe

‘The countries which today so criticize Russia are in fact trying to deprive Russia of her traditions, memory and territorial logic. It is commonly said that in order to control and deceive peoples and countries with impunity, they must first be deprived of their memory and hope. In my view, such games will end badly – above all for those who play them. Everyone will become the same and lose their initiative, particularities and individual roots, all for the sake of a few international slogans. And, if I may put it like this, they want to ‘sloganize’ Russia. Fortunately, Russia has a solid Slav foundation. And I consider that in defending its independence, Russia is at the same time defending our independence too’.
Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme

The Western world is isolated. Although it likes to call itself ‘the international community’, it is no such thing. Indeed, even the phrase ‘the Western world’ is inappropriate because a great many Western people are wholly opposed to the policies of ‘the Western world’. In fact ‘the Western world’ is not a geographical construct, but an ideological one. The phrase ‘the USA’ is also totally inappropriate, since many Americans are thoroughly opposed to today’s ‘Western world’, not least native Americans. In fact, by ‘the Western world’ we are talking about a small but immensely powerful global elite which controls the politics, economies and media of ‘Western countries’, despite their peoples, and wants hegemony over the whole world. But what does even the phrase ‘Western countries’ mean?

Today the phrase ‘Western countries’ means the elite of the USA, Canada, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and most EU countries. This elite also has agents in other countries, sometimes though by no means always Jews, such as Petro Poroshenko (real name, Waltzman) and Igor Kolomoysky in the Ukraine or the vilely murdered Boris Nemtsov in Russia. Here we immediately affirm that we utterly detest all anti-semitism and resolutely stand in defence of ordinary Jews who have suffered so much in history, pointing out that Western elite Jews are not Jews at all in the historic or religious sense, but uprooted Zionists. And the difference between a Zionist and a Jew is as huge as that between a neocon bankster and the average US citizen struggling to avoid foreclosure or between a Brussels bureaucrat and the average EU citizen struggling to pay bills.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union a generation ago, this hubristic Western elite has embarked on its ambitious ‘New World Order’ campaign to acquire worldwide hegemony. As regards Eurasia, the Western elite has since 1945 controlled the vassal archipelagos at either end of Eurasian Continent – Japan and the British Isles. Thus, as regards Great Britain, the US elite first dismantled its Empire in order to build a US Empire in its place, then it forced it to join the future European Union. It has recently strongly objected to any attempt by the British people to liberate itself by referendum from EU slavery, has strongly objected to the desire of many Scots to liberate themselves from the tyranny of London and has recently protested at any attempt to reduce defence (= offence) spending, since the British armed forces are in fact only ‘partner’ forces under US orders. The UK is in fact just a US aircraft carrier off the coast of Western Europe.

The US elite has used the elites of both the UK and Japan against the national interests of their subject populations to penetrate further into the Eurasian mainland, whether into Siberia, in the US-encouraged and British-financed anti-Russian war of 1904-5 and in the 1950s in Korea, or into Western Europe. Indeed, since the US invasion of Western Europe in 1944 (carried out in order to prevent the Red Army arriving on the shores of the Atlantic), the US elite has been trying to control the Western tip of Europe, penetrating ever more eastwards since 1989, using the puppet EU as its Trojan Horse. However, there are now active forces in the EU, which are at last awake and are opposing vassalization. Curiously, these forces belong politically to both left and right.

Thus, mainly in southern or ex-Catholic Europe, in Spain, the Basque Country, Catalonia, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland – we can see left-wing movements resisting US colonization. On the other hand, mainly in northern or ex-Protestant Europe, in England, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria, Scandinavia, we can see right-wing movements resisting US colonization. Why this difference between left and right? It all depends on their local history since 1945. By and large, in countries where oppressive right-wing ideologies have been in power, resistance comes from the left. By and large, in countries where oppressive left-wing ideologies have been in power, resistance comes from the right.

In a similar way, in recently colonized Central and Eastern Europe, there is increasing nostalgia for Communism, oppressive, but everyone had a job and a dwelling, there was little crime or insecurity, there was free education and medical care and the young were not forced to leave their homes and families to emigrate in order to find work. Here, where US vassalization has gone further, including in Non-EU countries, with American ministers appointed in Georgia, Estonia and the Ukraine, the US takeover of the media in Serbia, CIA torture camps in several Eastern European countries such as Lithuania, US or EU political appointees in Sweden, Finland, Romania, Bulgaria and Montenegro, generously-financed US regime-change agents in the Ukraine, Armenia and Turkmenistan, resistance is also growing. The adoption of Wild West capitalism and mafia politics, the law of the jungle where there is no social justice, has not brought happiness.

On the left-wing of resistance and sovereignty stand thinkers and politicians like the Americans Noam Chomsky and Paul Craig Roberts, the Canadian Naomi Klein, in Germany Gregor Gysi, in Scotland Alex Salmond, in Czechia Milosh Zeman, in Greece the leaders of Syriza and in Spain of Podemos. On the right wing of resistance and sovereignty stand thinkers and politicians like Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan in the USA, Philippe de Villiers, Marine Le Pen, Alain de Benoist and the late Dominique Venner in France, Nigel Farage in England and Viktor Orban in Hungary. Whatever we think of their politics or personal eccentricities and however much we may disagree with them, they at least all stand united in their opposition to the one size fits all globalization of the elite and against the post-modernist neocon ‘war against all who disagree with us’.

The more spiritually sensitive European resistance workers are beginning to realize that only the return to European roots, ultimately to the European Tradition of the first millennium, can act as the antidote to the ‘Western’ elite, with its EU totalitarian ‘liberalism’ and NATO military hysteria, which have both been artificially created by the neocon warmongers of Washington. The Brave New World of the New World Order which the elite has sought to create for a generation is nothing but the justification for its own greed and depravity. And that is precisely what all the saints of Jerusalem and Rome, Greece and Italy, Egypt and Syria, Gaul and Ireland, Wales and England, Bulgaria and Serbia, Russia and Romania have always fought against – greed and depravity.

However, having infiltrated and largely vassalized the Western tip of Eurasia, the real aim of the elite is to go much further. It is to acquire control over the huge natural riches of what the geopoliticians call ‘the heartland’, that is, northern Eurasia, which stretches half-way around the world – the Russian Federation, over one eighth of the planet’s land mass. As a result, the Russian Federation is trying to create friends all around its frontiers, forming the Eurasian Economic Union, creating alliances with China, Syria, Iran, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia, and also further afield, with Latin America and Africa. It wishes to create a network on its periphery, a global alliance of sovereign nations which believe that their civilizations and traditions, their national cultures and identities, are more important than the Western elite’s idols of the US dollar and the ‘freedom’ to be greedy and depraved. As Nigel Farage, who comes from the land of Thatcherite monetarism, bravely said: ‘Some things are more important than money.’

All of this would be mere politics and therefore have little place on this website if it were not for one vital fact. Standing far beyond the petty interests of provincial and narrow-minded Russian nationalists, the multinational Russian Federation is by far the largest Orthodox Christian country in the world, sole heir to the Christian Roman Empire. Although its spiritual rebirth is only beginning and is still being held back by the weight of the recent past and has far to go, its positive direction, unlike that of the Western world, is clear. Russia’s destiny as the Third Rome of the Last Times, the last Christian Empire, is to rebalance a divided and tormented planet, to resist Satan in the last times though the traditional values which it is now recovering after the three generations of the demonic possession of Western-imposed atheism. And those values are love, mercy, non-acquisition, personal righteousness, social justice, generosity, hospitality and self-sacrifice.

For this reason, healthy spiritual forces in the Western world, as elsewhere outside it, today defend the Russia which is being reborn and also seek her support. Europe in particular stands at the crossroads. Is Europe to survive or not? After more than three generations of Americanization on the one hand and more than one generation of Islamization on the other hand, can it survive? Only if it refers back to its roots in its historic identity in Christianity because the roots of all civilizations are in spiritual inspiration, in Faith. Any civilization which abandons its spiritual roots withers and dies. This is the inevitable law of history. To throw off the modern yoke of the idolatry of the dollar, the law of the jungle, and return to the truths of Galilee is the only way in which Europe can be saved.

The Final Battle is Coming: The Truth Will Set You Free

Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
(Matt. 6, 33)

You are of this world; I am not of this world.
(Jn 8, 23)

I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
(Jn. 12, 47)

If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love his own; but because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hates you…And you also shall bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
(Jn. 15, 18-19 and 27)

For many shall come in My name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many…Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
(Matt. 24, 5 and 9)

Faith is a gift from God; Religion is a gift from the Devil.
(Anon)

Olga was burdened with the consciousness that those same people who so warmly befriended her belonged to a nation which had refused justice to her country.

The Last Grand Duchess (Olga Alexandrovna) by Ian Vorres, P. 240

There’s an east wind coming all the same, such a wind as never blew on England yet. It will be cold and bitter, Watson, and a good many of us may wither before its blast. But it’s God’s own wind none the less, and a cleaner, better, stronger land will lie in the sunshine when the storm has cleared.

Conan-Doyle, His Last Bow

Russia is the only centre of an unenslaved civilization capable of showing itself to be Christian. Therefore our patriotism…is above all the understanding of the importance of the unique Christian mission for which our people lives and of which it is convinced…Do today’s Western European elites belong to the real Europe? Alas! Theirs is not Europe. Theirs is Babylon…The goal of the real Europe is us, people who remember the presence of eternal and unchanging values, people who know what we live and die for. Such knowledge has virtually been lost in the west of the European continent.

Interview with Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin on Politrussia on 25 February 2015

Introduction: The Sovietization of the West

In the 1960s and 1970s the Soviet Empire used to arrest Russian Orthodox for ‘anti-Soviet activities’, such as printing the Gospels and other Orthodox literature. Referring to a passage like I Peter 2, 17, its KGB agents would try to intimidate them with sly questions like: ‘Why do you not obey your own Apostle Peter and ‘honour the ruler?’ A few younger ones among those arrested were confused by their cunning. Others, older and with a clearer understanding of the New Testament and so Church teaching, would answer approximately thus:

‘We certainly honour our rulers and all men by praying for them, we never harm or hate others or use violence, we pay our taxes, we are law-abiding, but we put the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven above the laws of the kingdoms of this world. If the State and its appointees persecute us, try to silence us, order us to renounce our Faith and not go to church, then we refuse, accepting imprisonment or death for the sake of the Truth. This is the story of the Crucifixion and of the martyrs and of all Church history and nothing has changed today’.

Theirs is the answer that faithful Orthodox give in today’s world too. Wherever apostasy from Orthodoxy has occurred since 1917, throughout the Western Empire, in Estonia, in the Ukraine, in Czechia and elsewhere, we answer the same. We pray for our enemies, we utterly condemn violence and terrorism, we honour all, but we put the laws of the Kingdom of Heaven above the laws of the kingdoms of this world. ‘Blessed are you when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for My sake’.

Given the speed of the present Western apostasy from the vestiges of Orthodox Christianity conserved in heterodoxy, especially over the last fifteen years, it seems as though Western States are now setting out on the path of the old Soviet State. They are trying to silence us through intimidation. Orthodox Christians here must be prepared for persecution in the future, sooner than we thought. Why does this possibility of persecution concern heterodox less than us Orthodox? The answer lies in two different teachings on Church and State.

Heterodox Teachings on Church and State

Inherent to the filioque Trinitarian theology of heterodoxy are the twin heresies of papocaesarism and caesaropapism, which are the two sides of the same false coin. The first heresy is that of Catholicism, which puts the Bishop of Rome, called the Pope, above the rulers of the world and makes him the infallible source of the Holy Spirit. This simply makes his ‘Church’ into a State in its own right. In other words, what was once the Church is deformed into a mere religion, a worldly institution and so is deprived of the Holy Spirit.

The second heresy is that of Protestantism, which subjects the Church to the rulers of this world. This makes their ‘Churches’ into simple departments of State, Ministries of Morality which soon turn into phariseeism. This was what was introduced into Russia from Holland by Peter I, who greatly admired Protestantism, often preferring it to authentic Christianity. It also explains why most Anglicans, belonging to an erastian, State-founded institution, do not understand the Incarnational spirit of the Orthodox Faith and accuse us of being political!

these heresies represent the ideology of ‘in the world and of the world’. In other words, both are inherently secular. The reaction to them is in abstract, spiritualist, disincarnate philosophies, which are very attractive to intellectuals who lapse from the Catholic/Protestant coin and fall into spiritual illusion. They can be characterized as ‘not in the world and not of the world’. These pseudo-mystical, spiritually irrelevant currents were originally represented by the Gnostics and Origen and in the Western Middle Ages by such as Boehme and Eckhart.

In more recent times such futile speculations have been represented by masonry and Swedenborgianism, in modern times by the orientalisms of Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and various disincarnate movements like anthroposophy, occultism and hippy movements with their ‘mind-expanding’ drug-taking. These movements were very popular among the uprooted, disincarnate Russian elite in early twentieth century Russia, being pioneered by the pseudo-Catholic philosopher, the alcoholic Vladimir Soloviov.

The Christian Teaching on Church and State

Papocaesarism and caesaropapism, ‘in the world and of the world’, as well as disincarnate, anti-Holy Spirit illusions, ‘not in the world and not of the world’, oppose the balanced Gospel and so Church teaching on the Incarnation, ‘in the world but not of the world’. The Gospel, Orthodox view was represented in ancient times by those like St Basil the Great, St Ambrose of Milan and St John Chrysostom, more recently by Patriarch Nikon in Russia in the 17th century or the martyred St Gregory, Patriarch of Constantinople in the 19th century.

They all believed that the Church should remain separate from the State, but also should incarnate the Church’s values into State life, while keeping Her integrity, thus creating a people’s monarchy and harmony or symphony. The Church is not an idea, a philosophy, a distraction for intellectuals, a plaything for idle minds. The Church is the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven made Incarnate. This is why the Church has always been persecuted, both from outside and from inside, by heresy and schism, by ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’.

In particular, there are those who lapse from Orthodox Christianity and fall into the heterodox error of caesaropapism, kow-towing to the Establishment. However, the 20th century gave millions of examples of confession of the Orthodox teaching, the New Martyrs and Confessors in the former Russian Empire, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria. Our consciences dictate to us to resist the persecuting and anti-Christian States or Establishments which detest us, bully us and threaten us for contradicting their this-worldly ideologies.

Let us take the case of Fr Vsevolod Shpiller. In 1970s Moscow this well-known priest and pastor, who put the Kingdom of God first, was arrested by the KGB and interrogated. His charge? He had paraphrased what Christ had said to Pilate (Jn. 19, 11), that if it was God’s will, the Roman (in 1970s Moscow, the Soviet) Empire could cease to exist in an instant. The KGB had taken fright, for they took it as a threat to the Soviet State and this turbulent priest had to be arrested for his ‘threat’ of proclaiming that God is greater than any Establishment.

The Struggle to Free England from the Oppression of the British Establishment

Forty years on the situation is becoming much the same in the West. Some followers of the British Establishment are, amazingly, frightened of us. The corrupt British Establishment, an invention of the Normans, has always detested the people (whom they call by the public school term ‘plebs’), especially when we enter Establishment organs like Oxbridge, once the preserve of the Norman elite. They still patronizingly resent meritocracy and the ascent of common mortals, whom they try to ‘freeze out’ through cliquishness and clubbishness.

As they believe their own propaganda, what they really dislike is anyone who contradicts their Establishment line and tells the Truth. So ‘liberal’ are they that they attempt censorship and its agents carry out death threats, as David Kelly found out. When adventurers accuse you of being ‘political’, then you know that you are close to the truth. As patriotic subjects loyal to what is beyond the Establishment, the England on high, we pray for the Royal House, the government and the armed forces, that they may be guided by the Heavenly King.

Next year, 2016, will mark the 950th anniversary of the Invasion and Occupation of England, when the country was finally dragged into the Great Western delusion and the establishment of the Establishment. Unlike the idolators of the British Establishment, we put the Kingdom of God first, above this-worldly values, for, like the disciples, though we are in the world, we are not of the world. We feel no hatred or condemnation for the followers of this world and its Establishments, only sorrow and compassion for the deluded, wherever they may live.

After all these centuries we are still fighting for freedom for England and all these Isles and all the Western Lands, that we may win our lands and peoples back for the King of Heaven and His saints. Like the Great Alfred, English Orthodoxy is still calling from Athelney. Incredibly, the British Establishment is frightened by us little people. Why? Because the pen is mightier than the sword, our Faith is mightier than all their threats. Unlike them, we are not afraid to die. God is with us. They are right to tremble. As Chaucer said: the truth will out.

Conclusion: Three Revelations

In 1969 I read Seton-Watson’s book about the Russian Revolution. Despite his clear bias, it was revealed to me, even then, that all the insidious ideas for that historical error had come from the West and hoodwinked faithless Russians. In 1971 I bought in Colchester the book of interviews by Ian Vorres with the sister of the martyred Tsar, Olga Alexandrovna, who had died in Canada eleven years before. On P. 240 she revealed her fondness for England, but her disgust at the ‘utterly vile’ anti-Russian politics ‘of successive British Parliaments’.

Finally, in 1984 I was, with others, followed by the KGB in Paris and labelled by the follower as ‘a dangerous counter-revolutionary and monarchist’. Revelation! How times change in just thirty years! Today the demons which infested the Soviet Empire, cast out by the prayers of the New Martyrs, infest the Western Empire, with its New World Order. Motivated by the desire for global control and so the destruction of the sovereignty of the peoples and of faithfulness to Christ, Who is outside their control, the Western leaders are blinded.

The demons cast out by the New Martyrs and Confessors, by our recognition of them and so our prayers to them, went to the West, where they were welcomed. Now, as at Gennesareth of old, the demons have entered into those who welcomed them and they, like a herd of swine, are rushing to their suicide all over the Western world, shouting ‘Je suis Charlie’. Now is the time to redouble our prayers to the Saints of the Western world who belong to the Church. Together with all the heavenly hosts, they can send these demons back to their place in hell.

The Final Battle is coming. Every day the Second Coming draws closer, but the miracle of repentance is no less possible today than yesterday. The end may be only a few years away, but it may also be a thousand years away. The demons can still be cast out of the West ‘by prayer and fasting’. We do not fear, because whatever happens, we know that the real end of history, and not the end imagined by an American academic a history-filled generation ago, will be the Triumph of Orthodoxy. The last words in world history are Christ’s.

The Triumph of Orthodoxy 2015

The Western Elite Versus the Rest

In the Ukraine the desperation of the Poroshenko junta is now clear. Forced into signing Minsk-2 by an equally desperate Merkel and Hollande, who fear full-scale war between US-run Europe and Free Europe and so the collapse of the EU, Poroshenko has also been threatened by the IMF which will no longer fund him unless he ends the bloody war he so foolishly began. His US puppet-masters are also impatient, for 700 Western mercenaries, including many Americans and NATO-trained Poles, are trapped by the Ukrainian freedom-fighters in the Debaltsevo cauldron.

Even in his Uniat heartland of the far western Ukraine (formerly eastern Poland), Poroshenko is facing demonstrations, militant opposition and the refusal to fight in the US-ordered war. There the cold and unpaid population are demoralized by Poroshenko’s broken promises and the thousands of returning bodybags with the corpses of sons who died for nothing. Embarrassed by Poroshenko’s Nazi cronies in Kiev, the EU is insisting on the always obvious need for the federalization of the Ukraine which Poroshenko always refused. The EU will now police his ragtag army’s retreat.

Sadly, in their hubris the unenlightened secularists and atheists of the Western elite still do not realize that the war that they have started in the Ukraine is a religious war. Speaking to Ukrainians defending their homeland marching beneath the double-headed eagle flags against the corrupt oligarch junta the US has put in place in Kiev, they have been told again and again that this is a ‘holy war’ for the Church against Satan. They still do not grasp that the Ukrainian patriots are not battling against the Kiev junta, or even against American neocons, but against the Devil himself.

The goal of the Church’s enemy is, as ever, the establishment of planetary Satanic rule. What is happening in the Ukraine, as everywhere in the US-organized wars across North Africa and the Middle East, from Nigeria and Libya to Syria and Afghanistan, is a prelude to global war. This is a war to destroy true Christianity, Orthodoxy, the Church. Having created the First and Second World Wars and laid hundreds of millions of the slain, including the aborted, at the altar of their father, Satan, the Western elite has initiated the Third World War, intentionally hastening the reign of Antichrist.

The ‘post-modern’ West is declining in self-justified sodomy and decadence. It is mired in unbelief and failing even to reproduce itself, handing itself over to primitive Islamism. As His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill recently commented, the only real threat to the Church is the loss of faith precisely by imitation of the West. The destruction of faith, family and the nation is the Satanic aim of the Western elite worldwide. The last rampart of traditional European Christianity is the Russian Orthodox Church – now being freed from temptation to imitate the West by Western terrorism in the Ukraine.

Western Russophobes point to the cynicism and massive corruption of the post-Soviet Russia which is the only Russia that they know. ‘Birds of a feather…’. Without any vision, they do not see the other Russia, the Russia which is being transformed into Orthodox Russia. They see only the reflections of their own lack of faith, their own cynicism and corruption. They criticise President Putin, whom they have made so popular by their attacks, because they fail to see that he is only a transitional figure who is leading to the future. Because they are faithless, ignorant of the Holy Spirit, they are blind.

The Russophobes foolishly think that we are naïve and do not know about the corruption of post-Soviet Russia. We do know about it, but we have gone beyond it. They live in the post-Soviet past. We are with the future Russia, where the nominal becomes real. We have vision; they have only despair, the disbelief of their cynicism. Moreover, Orthodox Russia is waking up the rest of the Orthodox world, the for now EU-captive Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, and the EU-free but US-threatened Serbia, Moldova, Georgia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Western world itself.

Orthodox Russia, recovering from the Western-imposed Bolshevik delusion and rediscovering itself, first spiritually and now in the new generation politically, is being called on to save the world. Squeezed between false forms of Christianity and Secularism, the Church stands firm, vigilantly watching those groups which are preparing for Antichrist. Just like the Church Outside Russia in the years when the Church inside Russia was paralyzed, even though threatened by isolation, the whole Church now stands in uncompromised faith, witnessing to the whole world.

The Russian Orthodox Church is uniting diverse peoples around the world who are opposed to the anti-Christian Western elite and its insidious global spread through the propaganda of US ‘soft power’. In the last few decades the Western elite has adopted a world-view based on egoism (‘individualism’) and secularism that isolates it from the rest of the world. So arrogant is that elite that it is unable to comprehend its own isolation. Traditional Western people have been saying for decades that the West has become hopelessly decadent and have been looking for a leader to counter all this.

The leader is here in the Russian Orthodox Church. With the end of the Cold War, America has become the global revolutionary power, seeking to foist the atheism of its post-modern views on the whole planet, by force when necessary. Today Russia has emerged as the counter-revolutionary force, uniting both traditionalists (Ron Paul / Marine Le Pen / Nigel Farage) and radicals (Paul Craig Roberts / Syriza and nationalists in Scotland and Catalonia). In Cold War 2 the evil empire is the Western elite. Russian Orthodoxy is both traditional and also has a consciousness of social justice.

The Russian Orthodox Church represents the actual global consensus, while the Western elite (not the Western people) is the decadent and isolated exception. The West’s postmodernism, as my friend Fr Vsevolod Chaplin proclaimed recently, ‘is increasingly marginal’, adding that ‘it cannot cope with modern challenges’. Meanwhile, Orthodox Christian, Chinese, Indian, Latin American and African civilizations share opposite values and will play an active role in building peaceful relations between civilizational systems and making firm friends among unbrainwashed Western people.

Little wonder that President Putin is genuinely popular and admired by 90% of Russians across the spectrum, in a way that Western politicians can and will never be. Among believers as well as the religiously indifferent, among Protestants as well as Orthodox, among academics as well as taxi drivers, but also among increasing numbers of ordinary Western people themselves, who are so detested and despised by the patronizing global Western Establishment elite, he is seen as the leader who will stand up to the arrogant aggression of bullying and depraved Western governments.

Russian Orthodox are Pro-European, Pro-Greek and Pro-American because we are Pro-Christian

Although the revolution in the values expressed and lived by the Russian Federation over the last generation is far from complete, nevertheless it is not an exaggeration to call that transformation in question a revolution. From a consistently militant atheist ideology, that which produced the horrors of the Gulag and lasted for seventy-five years, it has passed in twenty-five years to an ever more Christian stance, one which shames the modern West. Little wonder that today’s militant atheist Western governments, whether in the US, Western Europe or among their nationalist puppets in Eastern Europe and Istanbul, are annoyed. This revolution in values has taken place through mass baptism and the return of many Russian Orthodox to uncompromised Christian values, known as Russian Orthodox values.

This means that we sympathize with all who confess those values or values close to them, whatever their label. As the Western ruling class has ever more quickly abandoned those Christian values in recent decades and reverted to the pagan values of Ancient Rome, it has distanced itself and isolated itself from its own faithful people, the patriotic Christian minorities of Western Europe and North America. Moreover, at the same time that ruling class has distanced itself from the faithful in countries which are at least formally still respectful of Christianity, whether in Africa, Asia, Latin America or in still free, non-EU Eastern Europe, in Serbia, Montenegro, Moldova, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, the Ukraine and, above all, the Russian Federation, which stands apart because of its size and importance.

Here we speak not only of the apostasy of the Western ruling class by its imposition by force and intimidation of State-run abortion and euthanasia, ‘gay parades’ and ‘homosexual marriage’ or of the establishment of satanic organizations. Here we speak not only of the moral and cultural imperialism which ends the freedom of other countries to live by their traditional values. Here we speak not only of political correctness, that intolerant, neo-puritan ideology just as Spirit-less as the materialism of the old Soviet Union. We also speak of imposing sanctions on other countries for their Christian behaviour and fomenting civil wars in them, supplying arms, indebting them, supporting genocide in them and invading them either militarily or economically in order to exploit their natural resources and markets.

These Russian Orthodox, or uncompromised Christian, values tie in not only with traditional Western Christian, but also to a surprising extent with traditional Islamic, Judaic, Hindu and Buddhist values. The Russian Orthodox support for Tradition is all the more striking when we look at certain smaller Local Orthodox Churches, members of whose elites have under political pressure shown tendencies to abandon the integrity of the Faith, despite the Universal Orthodox Tradition dating back nearly 2,000 years and the views of their own faithful. Having lived and worked in Greece for one year, learned Greek, loved Greece and made pilgrimages to Mt Athos and in 1979 met there Fr Ephraim (now in the USA), I have in recent days been warmed by the support of the Greek faithful for the Tradition.

Thus, the current petition against the ‘new’ pro-Vatican ecclesiology of the Phanar (in fact an ecclesiology that was evolved in the 1920s) with its neo-imperialist, eastern papist interpretation of Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon, is spreading through Greece and Cyprus and the Greek Diaspora. Although an internal petition addressed to the Greek faithful, it has the full support of Russian Orthodox faithful and the faithful of many other Local Churches whose hierarchies are free and have not been subjected to foreign political and financial pressure. For just as the Russian faithful are pro-European inasmuch as we support the True West, the Orthodox West of the first millennium, the Russian Orthodox Church cannot be anything but pro-Greek Orthodox, for She received the faith from Greek Orthodox.

And just as the Russian faithful support True Greece, Orthodox Greece, the Athonite elders, not the fake, masonic Greece that the Western elites are trying to foist on Greeks, so also we support True America, not the warmongering, anti-Christian America that we see today. Thus, the present visit of Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) to the Russian Church is symbolic of the Russian Church’s love for all who confess Orthodoxy. After years and even decades of internal troubles, the OCA may at last be returning to the confession of Orthodoxy as her new relations with the Russian Orthodox Mother Church show. For the OCA, the time of decision is here – to reintegrate the Russian Orthodox Tradition by giving up the fantasies of the decadent past or else to remain outside the mainstream on a compromised limb.

From Further Correspondence and Conversations

Following the questions and answers published on 23 November, we now publish further questions and answers resulting from them.

Q: Does anyone try and stop you from writing?

A: Oh yes, two or three anonymous individuals, probably from both extreme left and extreme right (interestingly, their views are identical – the extremes always meet) try censorship. The fact that, aggressively and dictatorially, they try to impose their censorship on free expression means that they are wrong. If they wish to read what they agree with, they can turn to any of the conformist, secularist media; why do they try and censor those who are Orthodox Christians and so think otherwise?

As they say of those on the extreme left: ‘There is no-one as intolerant as a liberal’. As regards those on the extreme right, they are by definition illiberal. I ignore extremists, especially anonymous ones, because they are motivated not by love but by hatred. Interestingly, earlier this month I met in London one who had not been anonymous and had tried to silence me some years ago. He has completely changed his life and apologized for what he had asked me to do six years ago. People change, people mature with experience. Give them time for repentance. We do not repeat their intolerance, but show patience.

Q: You said in the first questions and answers that some old calendarists are concerned by the possible 2016 All-Orthodox meeting. But when you compare the piety of old calendarists to new calendarists, can’t you support the former?

A: An example. Last month a Greek woman (dressed in jeans and of course without any head covering) came from London to visit our Church. The first question she asked me was: ‘Why aren’t there any pews?’ (!). Such is the result of decades of modernism in the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the diaspora. But why would I compare an unchurched person from a new calendar Church with an old calendarist convert? You cannot justify your schism by comparing yourself with someone who is unChurched and whose Church attendance consists of 20 minutes per year on Easter night.

I can remember in 1977 meeting an unChurched old calendarist from an old calendarist village in northern Greece. I was not impressed. Let us compare like with like. There are devout people who live on the new calendar (because they are forced to, definitely not new calendarists) and devout people who live on the old calendar (freely, but definitely not old calendarists). And there are non-devout people who live on both calendars too.

On the subject of that possible 2016 meeting, I should also have mentioned that, apart from the dispute between Constantinople with the Czechs and Slovaks, the dispute between the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem may also prevent it from taking place. And not only that. This week the US politician Joe Biden, whose son Hunter son has conveniently landed a very well-paid job in the energy sector in the Ukraine, was again in Istanbul, discussing the Ukraine – with a Patriarchate which has no jurisdiction whatsoever there. All the notorious CIA mouthpieces of the Phanar were present at the meeting, ready to take their orders from an organization that has a history of mass murder.

Q: What could happen as a result?

A: If Biden bribes the Phanar into setting up a pro-CIA schism in the Ukraine, as the Phanar did in Estonia, then there will be a major schism, with the elite of Constantinople falling away from the Church altogether, maybe its Patriarch becoming the irrelevant departmental head of the Uniats in an obscure bureau in the Vatican. However, if such a schism occurred, only the elite would fall away, as at the Council of Florence, a few faithful bishops, new St Marks of Ephesus, most monks, parish clergy and people would remain in the Church, perhaps going under the Church of Greece. As the proverb says; ‘A fish rots from the head’.

Q: Is bribery a realistic option?

A: Yes. Remember that the former US ambassador in Kiev, John Herbst, already set up the Agathangel schism in Odessa. Divide and rule is Washington’s motto and even if it costs a few tens of millions of dollars, they don’t care. They just print the money off in Washington and call it ‘quantitative easing’. Remember that it cost them $5 billion, as Victoria Nuland admitted, just to set up the current lame duck regime in Kiev. With $17 trillion dollars of debt (and that is how the Soviet Union was defeated – the US could go into massive debt, but the USSR could not), that is a drop in the ocean.

Q: What could happen if Constantinople fell away?

A: In such a case the remaining faithful Local Churches could hold a real and free Council in the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow. This Monastery is almost ready for this. I have been there. From there the Orthodox Truth could be proclaimed in its integrity to the whole world, which would then see the essential, underlying unity of the Church, free of CIA manipulations. In such a case we could expect the Local Churches concerned to drop their compromises, such as the new calendar, and return to the fullness of Orthodoxy. Possibly the Patriarchate of Moscow could, as three-quarters of the Orthodox Church, become the first Patriarchate in the diptychs. That would be a necessary update to the reality of the Church today. Certainly, that would completely change the state of several Local Churches from CIA control and nationalist stagnation to missionary dynamism.

Q: How will Antichrist come to power?

A: There are two techniques for establishing Antichrist’s New World Order, that is, for obtaining the Global Dictatorship of the One World Government.

First of all, you can bribe naïve leaders and organize paid mobs of the unemployed and criminals to create riots in order to overthrow the legitimate government (called a ‘regime’ by the US-run Western media which duly demonize the legitimate government). This is politely known as ‘regime-change’, which is also the aim of Western sanctions. This is what has been tried unsuccessfully in Moscow and more recently in Hong Kong, but successfully in Kiev – a technique that had been well-practised in what the CIA-paid media dubbed ‘the Arab Spring’, a series of catastrophes which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives so far.

I think Washington may soon try the same technique of ‘regime-change’ in Kishinev (where it has banned all parties except pro-EU ones – the Kiev scenario again), Belgrade, Prague and Budapest – capitals of three countries whose leaders are now valiantly resisting US and EU bribery, bullying and threats for being independent. Of course, this does not happen in Tokyo, Berlin, Paris and London, because there the regimes (often elected with less than 30% of the popular vote) are only vassals, heads of US vassal states. Where the selected elite (who call us ‘plebs’) are already in your pocket, you do not have to unseat it – you already control the country

The second technique is to use the media, including the social media, to demonize a government and then to bomb its country back to the Stone Age. This is the Iraq/Afghanistan/Libya scenario. Once you have bombed the country to smithereens and unleashed interminable tribal infighting, you are then free to plunder its natural resources, so dividing and ruling, because, again, you already control the country.

Q: In the first questions and answers you mentioned the fact that there was support in the Russian Church for Kerensky after the 1917 Revolution. How do you explain that?

A: Apart from the naïve, ignorant and deluded, there were treacherous renovationists. They had been infiltrating the Russian Church since the early 1900s. Think of the twice married Fr George Gapon who led the 1905 protest and soon after hanged himself. These people wanted a socialist Orthodoxy! The 1920s renovationist schism under heretics like the renovationist Vvedensky and the Paris schism in the emigration did not come from nowhere – the highly politicized elements responsible for these schisms had long ago infiltrated the Church. Such self-deluded individuals call the Patriarch Antichrist or Judas and still dare to take communion. Such blasphemy burns them alive, as it did the Old Ritualists. Believe me, I have seen it happen. Such individuals always end up outside the Church, embittered through their self-delusion and hatred and often commit suicide.

Q: Are there still renovationists in the Russian Church?

A: There are still a few here and there, but very, very few and they are dying out. Most have left the Church, though some have joined Constantinople.

Q: You seem to overlook the role of Catholicism. Surely it, and not Orthodoxy, could save the West?

A: The West has categorically rejected Catholicism. And here I do not only mean the Protestant West, which has directly become atheist. I also mean the once Catholic countries of Europe. In Europe Catholicism is in freefall, even in a country like Poland, where the number of those practising Catholicism has halved in the last 25 years. Why?

It is because Catholicism is part of the problem, not part of the solution. Catholicism is the father of Protestantism, which is the father of the modern atheist West. No new pope, even if he is a master of PR, is thoroughly anti-Orthodox and pro-Uniat, was voted in by Washington and has the CIA-backed Western media behind him, can change anything. It is 1,000 years too late.

Q: What do you mean by Catholicism as part of the problem?

A: Historically, the West has degenerated from Christ (Orthodoxy) to Feudalism (Catholicism), then to Democracy (Protestantism) and so to Antichrist (Post-Protestantism). We can see this in many examples. For example, feudalism appeared in England very suddenly, in 1066. It simply did not exist here before. In other words, feudalism is the socio-political and economic result of Catholicism. Or, to take another example from today, the present genocide in Catholic Mexico (100,000 dead in the last twelve months, it is said) is being caused by feudal drug-traffickers, who are holed up on their castle-ranches, and pay serfs to work for them. (Of course, the drug-traffickers only exist because a section of the US population takes drugs. Otherwise they would go out of business).

As regards Russia, serfdom, that is feudalism, was only introduced in the 18th century by Western and Westernized rulers like Peter I and Catherine II. Significantly, they are praised to the skies and called ‘the Great’ by both Western and Soviet historians. Why? Because they both represented feudal empires. The West used feudalism to maintain its colonial empires and the Soviets reintroduced feudalism to maintain their empire. For what was Stalinist collectivization if not refeudalization? Take the land from the people and slaughter those who resist, that is refeudalization.

The West hates the fact that Western-introduced serfdom was abolished only after a century and a half in Russia, whereas in the West it lasted for centuries. In Russia, Orthodoxy defeated serfdom and Russian Orthodox have always opposed and destroyed slavery, freeing slaves. However, in the West the ruling Catholic ideology was inherently feudal so it could not be defeated, it could only degenerate into Protestantism, the next step to Antichrist.

Similarly, we can see the example of Western democracy in Russia, which only lasted for seven months in 1917. Why? Because for Western democracy, as it is called, to exist, you must have a Protestant mentality. This why it never worked elsewhere and cannot be imposed elsewhere, where it is always accompanied by massive corruption, as in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Latin America, South Vietnam, Japan, Thailand – or the Ukraine. From Western democracy in Russia, it was only one step to Antichrist, that is, to Bolshevism. True, this so-called Western democracy has lasted much longer in the West, where Protestantism existed, but even here we can see that today it too is degenerating, as Protestantism has been rejected. Even in the Estonian capital they are now selling off the main Lutheran church because it has gone bankrupt.

Western democracy has outlived its purpose, which was to overthrow Christian monarchs. With that done, Antichrist has been readying himself to take over from the secular presidents, prime ministers and chancellors who replaced the Christian monarchs. We saw this with Napoleon and Hitler, who replaced Christian leaders and were both prefigurations of Antichrist and both invaded Russia, just as the US is trying to invade Russia today.

We can see this today in the replacement of democracy and its degeneration in Western countries, which are quite freely introducing ever more Fascist legislation, with selective assassinations by the secret services, censorship of the media, militarization of the police, arrest without charge, deprivation of citizens of their passports, refusing them the right to live where they want, surveillance of their every movement through camera networks and State spying on e-mails and phone calls etc.

Q: Does Orthodox Russia have friends in the West?

A: Yes. Apart from the local Russian Orthodox and Orthodox allies of other nationalities, there are still minorities in the West who have a sense of national tradition, sovereignty and identity. All of them support Russia in some way. The enemy is the cosmopolitan Brussels/Berlin bureaucrat who takes his orders from Washington and has only contempt for real Europeans and our patriotism. There is in preparation an alliance between Orthodox Russia and healthy ‘sovereignist’ forces in at present enslaved Western Europe.

Q: What chance is there of the return of an Orthodox Emperor, a Tsar, who could protect all Orthodox worldwide from Western bullying and so delay the rule of Antichrist?

A: The Church can work in any political system and survive, as history proves, but our ideal is a Christian State, which incarnates the values of the Church, creating a Christian Civilization. If that exists, Antichrist cannot come. Our situation since 1917 has been abnormal; there has been no Christian Emperor, no Tsar, and so the Local Churches have been swayed this way and that way by secular political forces, whether Communist or Capitalist, Atheist or Mammonist, however the end has not yet come. The question is whether we are to return to normality, the Christian Empire, or whether we are to continue on the path towards Antichrist.

Thus, the last nearly 100 years have been quite exceptional, all should have ended in 1917, but we have been granted further time by the mercy of God. Nevertheless, it is still a stark case of the path to the Apocalypse or the path to the Restoration. But there are reasons for thinking that Restoration is still possible because of the sacrifices of the New Martyrs and Confessors during the first generation after 1917, on which the whole rebirth of the Russian Church has been founded.

Since the long and slow process of overthrowing Antichrist in Russia, which effectively began in 1941 with the first Nazi invasion (the second Nazi invasion being in the Ukraine in 2014) and the revival of the Church inside Russia, we have begun to see the three different stages in the restoration of the Church. These are: Orthodoxy; the People; Sovereignty. They come in the opposite order to what we would expect, Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and the People, because we are putting history into reverse.

First of all, we have seen the process of restoration of Orthodoxy, with the end of outward persecution by Communism and the end of inward persecution by renovationism. This first stage in this process is ongoing, but is almost at an end now. The outward persecution by the Communists has ended. And both the renovationists who were supported by the Phanar and the Bolsheviks in the 1920s and who were still active in the Diaspora until recently, and the neo-renovationists who came to prominence inside Russia in the 1990s and 2000s (with the support of the old Diaspora renovationists), have literally been dying out. The latter were rejected outright by Patriarch Alexei II and elders like Fr John Krestyankin and have been defeated. That is why the last ones are so aggressive. The re-establishment and reassertion of Orthodoxy inside the Russian Orthodox Church is clear. Only a few treacherous individuals inside Russia and in the Diaspora are still resisting – but they are living in the past, irrelevant.

The second stage in the process is the revival of the People as a believing force. This stage is ongoing, but has very far to go. The missionary witness of the Church to the masses has scarcely begun, but at least it has begun. Only when the Church has been allowed to go out into the whole world by Divine Providence and preach the authentic Gospel, which has been so compromised by Catholicism, Protestantism and Modernism, can we move on to the third stage. Already, however, there has been the first political emigration after 1917, which brought Orthodoxy to countries which previously knew nothing of it, and since the collapse of the Soviet Union there has been a second economic emigration, far larger than before. All this is the Providential opportunity to witness.

Only when people have been Churched, when they are ready for the new Orthodox Emperor, the Tsar, can that restoration occur. In other words, there can be no restoration of the Sovereign Christian Empire until the baptized masses want it, until they have repented in preparation for it. Only repentance can bring restoration. And we are still far from this – though I must say we are much closer than even five years ago, let alone twenty-five years ago, when all this was still only a dream.

For Russia has now begun to play the role of the country which restrains or withholds the movement towards Antichrist. That is why the forces of this world are so aggressively attacking Russia at the moment, trying through so-called sanctions to punish Her. The most ruthlessly logical and consistently anti-Christian Western elitists like Brzezinski in the US and Bildt in Sweden have publicly declared that the West must destroy the Russian Orthodox Church (in order to hasten the arrival of Antichrist – though they are so delusional that they do not even believe in Antichrist).

Q: If that repentance or process of Churching happens, who will the new Emperor be?

A: We do not and cannot know. That is in God’s hands or rather in the hands of the Mother of God, for since the forced and forged abdication of 1917 the Empire has been in the hands of the Sovereign Mother of God. Our task is to repent, not to argue about possible candidates. God will choose the right candidate for us and it will be plain to all Churched Orthodox that this is the right choice.

Resisting and Delaying Antichrist: The Prophetic Vision of the Russian Orthodox Church Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence and Conversations

Q: What do you think from an Orthodox viewpoint of the recent G-20 meeting in Brisbane, where much was made of the war in the Ukraine.

A: In Brisbane Western politicians – not world leaders, as they pretentiously call themselves – made much of the civil war in the Ukraine. This was because they caused it and are continuing it. At Brisbane a clear message was given to the Western bullies by the free world, led by Russia: If the West continues to destabilize, overthrow democracy by bribing mobs and destroy the sovereignty of the Ukraine, then Russia will extend its sanctions against the Western world, possibly closing Russian air space to it. The Obamas, Bidens, Camerons, Hollandes and Merkels of the West face self-imposed isolation.

The Russian Federation, the Eurasian Economic Union, China, India, much of Latin America, nearly one half of the world, are working towards a new world order and will not tolerate arrogant Western bullying. That has already caused so much bloodshed and chaos in genocidal bombing, invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan and in CIA-organized ‘coloured revolutions’ in Libya, Syria and the Ukraine. Libya was the last straw, but even now there are aggressive individuals in the US, whose minds are so power-crazed that they openly talk of starting a Third World War against Russia and China.

Q: Do you think there is any hope that heads of some countries in the European Union will speak out against this US-centred bullying?

A: The EU has more or less become an island off the western coast of the USA, in other words, a US colony or ‘protectorate’, in effect its next state, and is governed by puppets and economic thugs, as we saw in Greece and Spain. The US has isolated Europe from its own roots and its own interests. Until the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis is restored, as in the early 1900s, there is no hope for Europe. Remarkably, however, the leaders of some small countries in the EU have protested, notably the leaders of Hungary and the Czech Republic. They have of course been condemned for that by the US-run EU media.

Q: What about the leaders of once Orthodox countries like Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Non-EU Serbia and Montenegro?

A: Apart from Serbia, where Orthodoxy is still to some extent a political force, the elites of all those countries have betrayed the Orthodox Faith and their own peoples. We can expect nothing of such elites. They can only think of payments from Brussels into their Swiss bank accounts.

Q: When you say ‘the US has isolated Europe’, what do you mean by the US?

A: The US means the plutocratic financiers, industrialists and arms-merchants who saw their opportunity and immigrated to the US from Europe, from where they had already financed slavery, over 200 years ago and now run the US. I do not of course mean the American people. Until the end of the 1950s there was still among many ordinary Americans a small-town, Bible-based culture, however deficient and partial. That has been more or less destroyed by the plutocrats and is lamented by such popular American singers as Don McClean and Johnny Cash in nostalgic songs like American Pie and Family Bible. Americans were the first victims of the plutocrats, the first victims of the ‘US’, as we saw already in the US Civil War. There is nothing that Satan loves more than wars where brother kills brother, whether in the US or the Ukraine.

Q: Has not Russia suffered from the Western sanctions imposed because of the Ukraine?

A: There are naturally problems resulting from them, but the main result of Western bullying because of Russia’s protection of the Ukraine, so-called ‘sanctions’, has been for Russians to refind their identity. Providentially, the Ukraine, the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy, is preparing Russia for the future, preparing it to overcome the confusion and decadent westernization of the last 25 years, to realize that Russia has its own identity, path and role. If the Western elite really wants to start a Third World War, it must now realize that Russians will no longer simply lie down and agree to lose that War, their country and, above all, their Christian Faith to Mammon.

This is the same situation as in the thirteenth century when the Mongols invaded Russia. Until then Russians had been divided; everything changed afterwards as they found unity against the common enemy and petty squabbles were forgotten. So today Russia was divided before the Western invasion of the Ukraine, now it is finding unity once more. Today’s extraordinary consensus of national unity around President Putin has not existed in Russia for exactly 100 years, since the First World War, when Russia also united against aggressive Western enemies.

Q: To move on, there has been talk recently of the forthcoming All-Orthodox Council in 2016 and much worry has been expressed about it. Do you share in those worries?

A: No. To worry about this is really to show a lack of faith in Divine Providence and in the Church, which is not a mere human institution, but a Divino-human organism. First of all, nobody knows if there will be a Council, let alone whether one is forthcoming; remember that ‘man proposes but God disposes’. True, a meeting of several Orthodox bishops is planned in two years’ time, but a meeting is not in itself a Council. And no-one knows with the situation between Constantinople and the Czechs and Slovaks if even that meeting will take place. And who knows who the Patriarch of Constantinople will be in two years’ time.

Even if a meeting does take place and politics takes over, it will remain an ineffectual without any consensus. However, if a ‘Council’ takes place, why should that be bad? Surely a Council – rather than a mere meeting – will proclaim the Church and our Orthodox Faith to the whole world, anathematizing all isms, atheism, consumerism, ecumenism, globalism etc. How can that be bad? Remember that only canonical Orthodox will attend, those of disputed canonicity like the OCA, those in schisms, as in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and Estonia, those in sects like the old calendarists, as well as heterodox, will not take part.

Q: So why do some worry?

A: I think that those who are worried, for example old calendarists, have a psychological and not theological motivation. They are really just seeking to justify their schisms. For example, they point to the decadence inside the Patriarchate of Constantinople but then forget that Mt Athos and many faithful clergy and people outside the convert fringes are under that Patriarchate. The old calendarists want a Pharisee-like, black and white world, in which they are white and everyone else is black. Such a world does not exist and has never existed. The wheat has always grown alongside the tares. Look at the twelve apostles: most of them betrayed Christ, one did not even repent, but still eleven of them became saints. Old calendarist criticisms are psychologically-motivated self-justification.

Q: But we know there are many real problems between the Local Churches, for example there is the problem of the new calendar.

A: I can recall reading the words of St Justin (Popovich) in the 1970s who denounced the concept of a Council then because the vast majority of Orthodox were living under the yoke of Communism. Then he was right of course, but now the situation is quite different. Today most Orthodox, some 85% of all, are free. True there are some 15% who are not free, who live under what may be called ‘CIA Churches’, but they are a small minority.
Who knows, if this meeting does take place and does become a Council, this may mean that the new calendar hierarchies will repent and return to the Orthodox calendar, giving up the Roman Catholic calendar. Mt Athos gave up that calendar decades ago and now the Polish Church has done so. Others will surely follow. And remember too that the CIA Churches, subject to all manner of Uniatizing and Protestantizing manipulations, are mainly small and their senior representatives elderly. Most of the free Local Churches are young and follow the Tradition. Time is on our side.

Q: What do you mean by ‘CIA Churches’?

A: Those whose leaders are appointed by the CIA, or bribed by the EU and masonic circles, which amounts to the same thing.

Q: What is the role of the Russian Church among the other Local Churches?

A: As three-quarters of the whole Church, we have a special responsibility: our vision, mission and task are prophetic. Our vision, mission and task are resistance and delaying tactics in order to oppose the coming of Antichrist, towards whom the world has been hurtling for the last hundred years and especially for the last fifty years. You remember how Reagan called the Soviet Union ‘the evil empire’? Well, where did the demons who had entered the Russian Empire by 1917, tipped the balance against it and created that evil empire go? They did not disappear back to hell, but, seeing their battle largely lost in Russia, they went to infest the West, where, tragedy of tragedies, they were shown no resistance and even made welcome.

Here is the message of Russia to the West: After 1917 demons took over in Russia but we eventually fought them off because of the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors, because of the strength of the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox culture. Russia says to the West: Follow our example, return to the Orthodox Christ and you too can shake off the demons. But of course the West is so blinded by its towering racial and nationalistic pride that it cannot even see that is being tormented by demons. Indeed, it does not even believe in demons and it rejects the sweetness of the Resurrection of Christ, Whom it considers to be an ‘uneducated Asiatic’.

Q: To say that the Russian Church’s role is to oppose the coming of Antichrist is a very serious statement, with many implications.

A: Yes, it is very serious because it means that the Russian Orthodox Church is a sort of litmus test. The world can be divided into two parts, on the one hand those who are with us, our friends, those who are also resisting and delaying the coming of Antichrist, and, on the other hand, those who resist the Russian Church and, consciously or, more usually, unconsciously, are working for Antichrist’s coming. Those who unconscious and naively think they are working for ‘freedom, democracy and humanity’ etc are pawns in Antichrist’s game. They would be shocked if they realized it and then they would repent.

In that respect the Pussy Riot incident, so completely and so obviously stage-managed by the West, was highly symbolic. There we clearly saw who is for Antichrist and who is against. Those who supported Pussy Riot, words which are simple code for the sex and violence of modern Western ‘culture’, including fifth columnist, nominally Orthodox intellectuals, some of them even clergy, modernist heterodox, the Western media and so-called human rights activists, are all working for Antichrist.

Q: You say that to resist and delay Antichrist is the task of the Russian Church. But what practically can the Russian Church do that the other Local Churches cannot?

A: The Russian Church alone is able, when the time is ripe, to set up the infrastructure for Metropolias in the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Western Europe and also help the Patriarchate of Alexandria to become the true Church of Africa and stop being a Greek colony run by the EU-controlled Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens. The other Local Churches are too small, too weak, too nationalistic and, in the cases of the CIA Churches, too unfree, to do this.

Q: This sounds like papism, setting up a worldwide Church?

A: Not at all. Papism is about empire-building and centralization, which, true, has become the ethos of many in the modern Patriarchate of Constantinople and also in its time affected careerist, nationalistic State appointees in the Russian Church before the Revolution. Today the Russian Church is about setting up Metropolias as foundations for new Local Churches, as has already happened in Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and as is under way in Japan and China. These countries are parts of its canonical territory, but will remain so only for as long as the Churches there are too small to gain autocephaly.

The aim is not empire-building, which is centralization, but decentralization, through laying the foundations for and then establishing new autocephalous Local Churches, as His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II said in 2003 when speaking of a future Metropolia in Western Europe. We have as our model not the manmade, papist, unionist, filioquist, rationalist god of Western philosophers, but the real Christian God of the Holy Trinity revealed in all Power and Glory in the New Testament, unity in diversity.

Q: Do you think that other territories will be added to the canonical territory of Rus apart from China and Japan?

A: Certainly. I think that eventually in Europe Hungary may be added, and outside Europe in South-East Asia, with the Russian Orthodox missions already there, Thailand and Laos, and I think perhaps one day Iran too.

Q: So the rest of the world, except for Africa and the other territories in the jurisdiction of the other 13 canonical Local Churches, can be covered by the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)?

A: Yes. The Church Outside Russia actually means the Church Outside Rus, outside the Russian lands. And Rus at present only covers lands of the former Soviet Union – except for Georgia – including the Ukraine, Estonia and so on, and, as we have said, China and Japan. ROCOR can cover the rest, except those countries that form the canonical territories of other Local Churches.

Q: But those countries ‘outside Rus’ often have Orthodox populations which are under other Local Churches. So how can they come under ROCOR?

A: They cannot ‘come under’ ROCOR, I said, ‘can be covered by ROCOR’, not ‘come under’. ROCOR is the Church Outside Rus. Unlike the Church inside Rus, which has a canonical territory, the Church Outside Rus has no canonical territory. However, we do have a shared territory, a territory which we can cover, and where we can have a canonical flock.

Q: What do you mean by canonical flock?

A: All those of all nationalities who live outside the canonical territory of Rus and freely belong to and confess the Russian Orthodox Church and Tradition. And at present nobody, including the US and EU elite, can stop us from belonging to ROCOR.

Q: With such a definition, where does the ‘Orthodox Church in America’, the OCA, come? That after all is in North America, on a territory covered by ROCOR, and the OCA was founded through the Russian Church.

A: I don’t know where the OCA comes. You must ask its members. The OCA was a temporary Cold War creation of Soviet times, largely made up not of descendants of subjects of the Russian Empire, but of descendants of subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For nearly 45 years now its canonicity has been disputed and it has been torn by internal dissensions. Like all conglomerates, its different parts are torn in different directions.

I think that instead of sitting between two (and sometimes more than two) chairs, one day it will split apart, with a small majority, especially but not only in Alaska, ‘Russian America’, returning to the Russian Church and spiritual freedom and integrity, and a large minority, under the influence of sectarian American nationalism and possibly under the direct influence of the US administration, going off to liberal, ecumenistic convert groups, the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople and some to the Uniats.

Q: And what about the Paris Jurisdiction? It claims to be ‘of the Russian Tradition’. Where does that fit into such a definition?

A: It too left the Russian Church and therefore our affairs do not concern it. As regards its claim, as someone in Paris said to me earlier this year, although the Paris Jurisdiction may claim to be ‘of the Russian Tradition’, the Russian Tradition has not even ‘stayed overnight’ in most of its communities. When you live, as some do, on the Roman Catholic calendar, want the Roman Catholic Easter, have no iconostasis, wear Greek vestments, abbreviate the Liturgy, give communion to Roman Catholics, write against and condemn the Russian Church, refuse to venerate Her martyrs and belong to Her, what sort of ‘Russian Tradition’ is that? That is Uniatism, not Orthodoxy. Apart from in a few last outposts, that claim is a fiction.

Thus, it is very interesting to think back before 2007, before ROCOR and the Church inside Russia entered into canonical communion with one another. Then the Paris Jurisdiction – and its members who colonized the OCA in North America – used to condemn ROCOR as ‘a sect’ for not concelebrating with the Church inside Russia because ROCOR considered that the bishops of the Church inside Russia were not free and therefore could not act canonically. However, as soon as freedom came and ROCOR and the Church inside Russia did start concelebrating, the masonic ethos of the propaganda of the Paris swung around 180 degrees. Then representatives of the Paris Jurisdiction started condemning ROCOR precisely for concelebrating with the Church inside Russia, which they then said was not free!

So they went from criticizing ROCOR for being anti-Moscow to criticizing ROCOR for being pro-Moscow, never recognizing the transformation and liberation of Moscow. It is clear that the point of view of those who control the Paris Jurisdiction is mere self-justification, which is the same psychology for all extremists, whether for the Paris new calendarists or for the Greek old calendarists. In other words, their views are a political manipulation, conditioned by anti-Russian Western political propaganda, whether sent out to manipulate weak hearts and irrational minds by the CIA or by the Vatican, and has nothing to do with spiritual values.

Q: What was it that brought ROCOR and the Church inside Russia into canonical communion?

A: The August 2000 Jubilee Council of the Church inside Russia, which met all three conditions of ROCOR, the canonization of the New Martyrs, the condemnation of collusion with the atheist State, known as sergianism, and the complete rejection of the branch theory, known as ecumenism.

Q: In that case why did ROCOR not enter into communion with the Church inside Russia straightaway in 2000?

A: Very simply because it is one thing to proclaim something at a Council, but quite another to put it into practice. For example, even after the Jubilee Council, at the London Cathedral belonging to the Church inside Russia they still refused to put up icons of the New Martyrs, on the pretext that they had no space on their bare white walls! They also forbade the sale of books written by Fr Seraphim Rose, which were at that time so popular inside Russia. In England ROCOR had to wait for the death of one individual in 2004 and then the departure of other modernists in 2006 to the Paris Jurisdiction before a new Orthodox bishop could be sent from Russia, a bishop chosen on ROCOR’s recommendation, and so we could have local unity.

Many representatives of the Church inside Russia but who lived in the West had been betraying the Russian Church and Tradition for decades, they were compromised. This is partly why ROCOR was so popular. I can remember nearly forty years ago when on a Sunday 600 Russian emigres would be standing in the ROCOR Cathedral in London and at the Patriarchal Cathedral there would be perhaps 200, over half of whom were naïve Non-Russians and visitors who knew no better. In Brussels and Paris the Patriarchal churches were also no more than house chapels. Russians and those who knew the Tradition did not go there.

Remember how, just before the Church Outside Russia and the Church inside Russia entered into communion with one another, in 2006 a small convert part of the foreign representation of the Church inside Russia in England and France abandoned Her. Why did this betrayal of the Church which, ironically, was just about to be reunited, take place? Because of two local personality cults, mainly among unintegrated converts, who placed those peculiar cults above the Russian Church and unity with Her. The individualistic mantra of cults and cultishness came before the Church of Christ.

The manipulative leaders of the naïve and misinformed who left had been doing a disservice to the Church inside Russia for decades while Moscow, paralysed by an illegitimate, militant atheist regime, had been able to do nothing about it. The lesson we learn from this is that those who are not integrated into Church life, but have their own agendas, always disintegrate. Interestingly, those who left in England were ardently supported by a rabidly Russophobic British press and, naturally, the State-run BBC.

In other words, locally, it took years for the decisions of the Jubilee Council to be implemented. There were similar situations in other parts of the Church inside Russia, where Soviet-minded individuals and their followers had to leave the scene for the decisions of that Council to be implemented. That is why fundamentally it took seven years for us to progress.

Q: But that was not the only reason for seven years’ delay. ROCOR too had committed faults on its part too, didn’t it?

A: Of course, individuals in ROCOR and in the ROCOR hierarchy had made their mistakes too. This mistake was the confusion between the Soviet Union and Russia. Emigres who had been mere children before the Revolution or who had been born outside Russia or who had been born inside the Soviet Union before 1945 and been cruelly persecuted for the Faith, often could not tell the difference between the post-Stalinist Soviet Union and Russia. In reality, despite the anti-Russian Bolshevik ideology, imported from the West, the Soviet Union had kept much of Orthodox culture.

1917 was not a light switch when the light went off – there was continuity. The victory over Fascism in the Second World War, the education and medical system, the reflexes of justice for the poor and for the Third World, the qualities of generosity, hospitality and mercifulness – they were not Soviet, they are Russian, and come from the Orthodox world view and Orthodox reflexes. On the other hand, the materialistic philosophy of the Soviet Union, the vicious persecution of the Church, the Gulag, all that was of course profoundly evil, satanic. Communism was Orthodoxy without God, just as Mammonism is Protestantism without God.

The mistakes made by some in ROCOR were why the ROCOR hierarchs and those of the Church inside Russia asked each other forgiveness before 2007. Being human, we all make mistakes. No-one is perfect. As a result of mutually asking one another for forgiveness, since 2007 the Church inside Russia has become ever more ‘de-Sovietized’ and ROCOR has become ever more ‘de-ghettoized’, more open and more international. Both parts have benefited enormously, making great strides forward. To ask for forgiveness is always beneficial, creative and dynamic. God gave us all grace for repentance.

The failure of the Paris Jurisdiction to admit its mistakes, unlike the two parts of the Russian Church inside and outside Russia which admitted theirs, is precisely the essential problem of those who control the Paris Jurisdiction. This is due to the unrepentant arrogance usual for intellectuals. In Paris the heirs of those who caused the Revolution through treachery in 1917 are still justifying themselves and their ancestors. For those who are in control in Paris are the heirs of the degradation of the Westernized Russian intelligentsia before the Revolution and their mercilessness. For example, the sins of individual representatives in the Church inside Russia were the sins of political hostages, not of free men. And if you refuse to recognize the repentance of such, you make yourself like the elder brother of the prodigal son, a merciless mountain of towering pride, refusing to take part in the banquet of the loving Father.

Q: So you distinguish between those who ‘control the Paris Jurisdiction’ and its members?

A: Of course. I have been an eyewitness of the process of return of many from the Paris Jurisdiction to both parts of the Russian Church since the 1980s. Sadly, the process of Uniatization that began there, above all from 1981 on, and which I personally tried to combat, has gone much further since then. I personally know of eight priests and deacons and four parishes which have returned from the Paris Jurisdiction since the late 1980s, when they saw through the betrayal of those in control and understood their underlying lack of love for the Russian Church.

Q: Why did Uniatization speed up there from 1981 on?

A: The disintegration of the Paris Jurisdiction began in 1981 after the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop George (Tarasov), the last Archbishop who had been an adult before the Revolution, indeed a Russian pilot on the Western Front in the First World War. Those who returned after that to the Russian Church in order to keep their integrity, despite the slander that they faced, had realized that the Paris Jurisdiction would not return en masse as a group to the Russian Church, understanding that there were forces in it which were profoundly politicized and Russophobic, the very forces which proudly claim to be ‘apolitical!’ In fact, they are not apolitical, but simply disincarnate, ‘useful’ only to the enemies of the Church, such as the Vatican and Western spy agencies. Indeed, one of those who was in control in the Paris Jurisdiction in the 1980s has recently been proved to have been a senior agent of the French Secret Services. The exodus from there has been such that there are now only two ageing priests left in the Paris Jurisdiction who were brought up in ROCOR and so have a sense of the Tradition

Those of the Paris Jurisdiction who have now departed this life, Metr Evlogy and Vladimir, Archbishops George (Tarasov) and Sergiy (Konovalov), Bishops Methodius (Kulmann), Roman (Zolotov) and Alexander (Tian-Shansky), Protopresbyter Alexei Knyazev, Archpriests Alexander Rehbinder and Igor Vernik and a mass of others, clergy and people, would have returned to the Russian Church, if they were now alive. Some of these people I knew personally and I am convinced that they would be outraged by the attitude of those who refuse to return to the Russian Church today, 25 years on after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Q: Why?

A: Constantinople had for them only ever been a temporary refuge. It had always been their intention to return to the Russian Church, once She was free, just like us in ROCOR. Today there is no spiritual justification for staying in what is largely not just a Non-Russian, but an anti-Russian jurisdiction. And what is left of that jurisdiction? By and large, apart from a few unintegrated converts in each of a few dozen temporary premises and tiny chapels scattered across France and in neighbouring countries, there are only Rue Daru, mainly populated by those from the ex-Soviet Union, a tragically bankrupt St Sergius Institute, some four small Russian chapels in Paris, two convert groups in Paris, the crumbling church in Biarritz, which undemocratically has not been allowed to return to the Russian Church, and the convent in Bussy. Perhaps 5,000 people in all, and most of them arrivals from the former Soviet Union who have nowhere else to go. Since the 1980s the vital forces have left the Paris Jurisdiction. One priest who left, dear Fr Nikolai Soldatenkov, even took out Russian nationality, partly in order to be able to leave.

Q: Can you give other examples of those you mentioned above who you think would have returned to the Russian Church by now?

A: Yes. Take Metr Evlogy – he himself repented and returned, on paper, to the Russian Church twice, in 1934 and 1945, but was prevented by the freemasons in the Paris Jurisdiction from actually doing so. In the 1960s and 1970s both Bishop Methodius (Kulmann) and Protopresbyter Alexei Knyazev actively tried to return to the Russian Church and suffered for their efforts. As for Bishop Roman (Zolotov), he was a Cossack by family – we had no doubts about him. As for dear Fr Igor Vernik I remember how he used to support the Russian football team against the French football team! And Archpriest Alexander Rehbinder refused to move to the USA in the 1950s because he knew that his many children would lose the Faith in the land of mammon. Archbishop Sergiy (Konovalov), whom I knew when he was a priest, was about to persuade the whole Paris Jurisdiction to move to the Church inside Russia when he died. His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II had hoped that his jurisdiction would become the foundation stone of an autonomous Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe.

Q: Let us get back to ROCOR. Why did only 95% of ROCOR enter into communion with the Church inside Russia in 2007? What about the other 5%?

A: When I left Moscow after my second visit to Soviet Russia in 1976, I promised myself as a Russian Orthodox layman that I would not return until the Russian Church was free from an atheist leader and regime. And indeed when I did return, thirty-one years later, in 2007, it was to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, where I concelebrated as a priest of the Church Outside Russia, together with a great many others, with his Holiness Patriarch Alexei II and in the presence of the Orthodox President of the Russian Federation. When in 2007 some 95% of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the by then free Patriarchal Church inside Russia entered into communion with one another, true, some 5% of ROCOR did not follow precisely because they were in denial of the huge changes in Russia between 1976 and 2007. Some simply abandoned the Church, but others fell away into pro-CIA, schismatic sects based in the Ukraine, Russia and Greece. Why?

Firstly, there were the naïve idealists and the good-hearted but misinformed who were hoodwinked and have mainly since returned. Secondly, there were those who put personal grudges against individual ROCOR bishops, who had misunderstood their non-integrated convert ideas, above their own salvation. Thirdly, there were those who were on an ego trip, seeking a career. And finally, there was most of the 5% or so who left and have not since returned, who did so because they were politically-minded, as they were anti-Communist rather than pro-Orthodox. Among them were some extremists who had consciously and freely sided with Hitler in the 1940s.

It must be said that many of the ringleaders here were actually employees of the CIA or the Canadian Secret Service, just as there was at least one case of an employee of the French Secret Services in the Paris Jurisdiction. So politics and salaries paid by Western spy services, presented by the ringleaders as ‘freedom’ and an ‘apolitical stance’, were the real reason for their schisms. When Communism fell, such people had no further reason to frequent the Church, as for them the Church had mainly been only an expression of nationalistic anti-Communism. They ended up being anti-Russian, as they had not understood that anti-Soviet could also mean anti-Russian. They were unable to discern the Russian through the fog of the Soviet.

This was because fundamentally they had little loyalty to the real Russian Orthodox Church and her international ideal of Holy Rus, but rather to narrow-minded political nationalism. Their behaviour had always been the greatest discouragement to Non-Russians joining the Church. Many of us who came to the Church seeking bread were indeed actually told to go away by them and in no uncertain terms, in other words, we were given stones. As one ROCOR bishop, speaking of one well-known to me ROCOR parish in the 1980s, told me recently, ‘those people were not Christians’. As is usual, their lack of love towards others ended up by driving them themselves to leave the Church in 2007 and even before, starting in the 1990s. Today we are still here in the Church; they are the ones who have abandoned Her.

Q: To come back to the idea of a Metropolia for Western Europe that you mentioned above, how important is that concept for Western Europe itself?

A: It is vital. I know that I am about to give an absurd example because it touches such a tiny detail, but I have to tell you it because it is symbolic of the degeneration of Europe. Two weeks a Russian woman in Germany wrote to me and told me that for many Germans a woman wearing a skirt is seen either as a Russian or else as a prostitute. What I am saying through this perhaps ridiculous symbol is that even the culture of Christian vestiges that was alive in Europe 50 years ago in the normal way that people dressed then is now dead.

Young Western people whose souls are at least still alive today turn to strange subcultures or even Islam and even fight for Islamic State, since that counters the spiritually empty West of today. Their disaffection and alienation are so great that even such bizarre and lethal choices seem more logical to them than the deathly conformist consumerism, hellish vampires, aliens, monsters, drugs, drink, sex, obesity, depression, mental illness and suicide that is the modern West. Europe has zombified and infantilized itself by accepting Americanization, it has been robbed and stripped naked of its own culture and is on the point of spiritual death. Europe is the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed and left for dead. Only a Good Samaritan, one from outside the West but still linked with its roots and understanding it, can save Europe; no false priests can do anything for it, for they pass by on the other side.

How can Europe be regenerated without the Church and Her prophetic vision? It is not possible. Europe desperately needs to be raised up from the deathly spiritual filth of its vulgar, fleshly, bread and circuses consumerism, the tyranny of its Babylonian culture of death, the fruit of its thousand-year apostasy, to the vision of spiritual beauty, to spiritual purity and the culture of the soul, to the nobility of human destiny, to the heavenly Jerusalem, which are offered by the Russian Orthodox Church. We are talking here about salvation, about life and death.

Now I am reminded here of the events of 200 years ago, on 11 April 1814. This was when liberating Russian Orthodox troops celebrated Easter Night on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, where a field church had been set up. Having defeated Napoleon, who had taken a burned-out Moscow only some 18 months before, Tsar Alexander I stood in that great square, where the King of France had been beheaded less than a generation before, in 1792, and where the crowned Napoleon had stood in 1804 in front of a five-pointed red star, and heard thousands of Russian troops answering the priests’ ‘Christ is Risen!’ with the words ‘Truly He is Risen!’ This was the spiritual victory over the degenerate heart of atheist Europe which followed the physical victory over atheist Europe. This spiritual victory needs to be repeated in today’s atheist Europe. Otherwise geriatric Europe will go under completely, swept away by its own atheism and the tide of Islamic immigration.

Q: Why instead of subcultures and Islam do Western young people not choose Orthodoxy, when Orthodoxy is at the roots of the West, in its first millennium?

A: Firstly, because modern Western people have been cut off from those roots, their own history has been concealed from them, they can often mentally go no further back than 1945, let alone 1,000 years. And secondly because it is so difficult to find authentic Orthodoxy in Western Europe.

Q: Which countries would a Metropolia in Europe consist of?

A: Only those in Western Europe. Slovenia and Croatia already come under the Serbian Church. The Baltic States already come under the Russian Church. Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia already have their own autocephalous Churches. As for Hungary, given the fact that its first faith came in the tenth century from the East and not from Rome, then to my mind it too should one day have its own Local Church, just like Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which also originally received their faith from the East. Even today Hungarian Catholicism, as in certain neighbouring countries, is coloured by Orthodox values and, for example, the veneration of icons.

Twenty Western European countries are left, all post-Roman Catholic or post-Protestant, and where the Russian Church, in one or both its parts, is already present. They are: Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland; Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria; Portugal, Spain, France, Italy. They, together with the tiny Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino, would form the territory of this Metropolia.

A: Why can’t those countries have individual Local Churches?

Q: That is a hopelessly insular, narrow and nationalistic idea. It is the sort of thing that narrow, nationalistic ex-Anglicans dream of. Western Europe is a whole and individual countries in it are far too small to have their own Local Churches. Western Europe was the territory of a single Orthodox Patriarchate. We will never divide it. A Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe is the foundation for the restoration of the single, historic Local Church on this territory. We wish to keep that historic unity. Here in Sweden, for instance, you have two great saints, St Olaf and St Anna, and they are precisely part of the whole history of Europe, not narrow, nationalistic symbols, cut off from the rest, but linked in their cases with England and Russia

Q: What is the realistic hope for the foundation of such a Metropolia?

A: Officially today there are said to be 7,000,000 Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. That is far more than the four ancient Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem combined, more than the Georgian, Polish, Cypriot and Czechoslovak Orthodox Churches put together, let alone the 30,000-100,000 who make up the OCA. Yet the infrastructure for us is pathetic. We still do not have the new Cathedral in Paris and we really need a large, purpose-built Cathedral in central London.

Altogether in Western Europe I doubt whether there are even 200 church buildings and 200 priests for these 7,000,000 Russian Orthodox. That is scandalous; at most one church and one priest for every 35,000 people! As I have said many times before, we need a huge church-building and infrastructure programme across a network of at least 500 cities and towns in Western Europe. Today, wherever you go in Western Europe, even in small towns, the flood of immigration has been such that you will meet at least one Russian Orthodox. Provision has to be made. Let every Western European town and city of over 100,000 have its own full-time bilingual Russian Orthodox church and let there be at least chapels elsewhere, so that nobody, whatever their origin and native language, is more than 50 kilometres from their own bilingual Russian Orthodox church and centre.

Q: Who is to blame for the present situation?

A: First and foremost, we are ourselves to blame for this situation. We have to make our own Church. The Church works from the grassroots. We should never blame others for this. However, it is true that if we can first show that we are motivated, then we can attract the attention of the hierarchy. Then we can attract help from above and, in terms of our Russian Orthodox world, that means help from Moscow. Economic refugees and their children, who make up the bulk of the 7,000,000, are by definition not the wealthiest people in the world. And how are Western Europeans, already Russian Orthodox or potentially Russian Orthodox, to be integrated into the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe, if there are so few churches, so few centres of Church culture?

Q: How do you see such a Metropolia?

A: For nearly a decade now I have belonged to an informal group of Russian Orthodox priests in some major towns and cities in Western Europe. We look at Western Europe as a whole, we want to draw the Orthodox Cross over Europe. We have a love of and an attachment to the Russian Orthodox Tradition but also a knowledge of local languages and local heterodox culture. We want to create bilingual oases of a Russian Orthodox Europe, where all can feel at home.

This is the opposite of the policy of the Paris Jurisdiction, which suffers from a lack of love of and a lack of knowledge of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, but instead an attachment to local languages and local heterodox culture. However, you cannot be Orthodox and at the same time have an attachment to heterodox culture. This is not Local Orthodoxy. Local Orthodoxy is created by integration into the Orthodox Faith, not by integration into heterodox culture, which disintegrates. The latter is salt that has lost its savour. Local Orthodoxy cannot grow by being attached to heterodoxy.

Q: What does this mean in practical terms?

A: All my adult life I have fought for the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, Who is a mother gathering her chicks, like Jerusalem. I see a time, though it may still be far off, when there will be a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe, whose church buildings and infrastructure will initially be financed from Russia, but whose clergy will be paid entirely locally by the faithful, thus remaining free and independent. But we need to form a grassroots Europe-wide Russian Orthodox Brotherhood or Russian Orthodox Union, blessed by our local bishops, to advance this process.

Q: You still have not answered my question: what is the realistic hope for such a Metropolia?

A: I have answered it, but here is my answer more directly. It is in a new consciousness, both here Europe-wide and in Moscow, at the grassroots and at the level of the hierarchy, a consciousness of the international calling of the Russian Orthodox Church. Here our Europe-wide unity is vital. And what is that unity based on? Our unity is based on our love for the Russian Church, just as disunity is in a lack of love for Her. We should have a patriotism for the Church, which by principle of the Incarnation spreads to every country inasmuch as that country is part of the Church.

In other words, Holy Rus is to be made global. For this we need spiritual purity, the pre-revolutionary Church purified – we must not forget that the pre-revolutionary Church had careerist traitors in Her who supported Kerensky. We must not forget that disunity is always caused by narrowness, whether sectarian or nationalist, as today in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and Estonia. Disunity is caused by the primacy of fallen, human, political concerns instead of the primacy of the Faith and the lack of a coherent Russian Orthodox world view. We need unity around the Church.

Q: Who are you grateful to for this vision of Europe-wide Russian Orthodox unity that you have?

A: Four people in particular have inspired me and to them I will always be grateful. Firstly, to the ever-memorable Archpriest Lev Lebedev, whom I first met in Krasnodar in Russia in 1976, and, despite his later illness and tragedy, was one of the finest thinkers in the Russian Church; secondly to the ever-memorable Baroness Maria Rehbinder (Cattoire) of the Paris Jurisdiction, a young woman before the Revolution, a daughter of a New Martyr and a fine Russian European, whom I first met in her little flat in Passy in Paris in 1983; thirdly to the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva of ROCOR, born in Kiev, a Belgrade disciple of the great Metr Antony of Kiev, once a priest of the Patriarchate and whom I first met in 1986 and who ordained me. And finally, to His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill, whom I met in Moscow in 2012 and who strengthened in me the understanding of the need for this Metropolia. Thank you to them all.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Representative of the ROCOR Missionary Department for Western Europe,
Halland, Sweden, November 2014

Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition Available Again

This anthology of 100 essays, first published in 1995 and now with a new foreword, is at last available again from:

frandrew_anglorus@yahoo.co.uk. 3rd Edition A5 495 pp.

Price: £15.00 + £2.80 p & p in the UK. Unfortunately, Air Mail to the USA is now £12.85 (surface post, which can take up to two months, is £8.00). Please make payments by Paypal button from the website: www.orthodoxengland.org.uk

From the Back Cover

Today many search for an Undivided Christendom and the traditional teachings of the Early Church, which go beyond the latter-day divisions and disputes of Roman-Catholic, Anglican and Protestant. And amid the chaos of recent years many have discovered the Orthodox Church and Her Faith, drawn from the first millennium of Christianity. In this book the author, an English Orthodox priest, looks at the authentic Orthodox Faith, beyond the historical and cultural vicissitudes surrounding it, and pinpoints its relevance to us. He writes: Orthodox Christianity is the Faith revealed to the repentant in their quest for the Holy Spirit. Should we accept it, we would thus accept the struggle for the Holy Spirit; and in so doing we would accept the struggle to build Jerusalem here, ‘in England’s green and pleasant land’.

Foreword to the Third Edition

For we hope that the Lord will deliver Russia and the Russian people from the dread years of evil which have now lasted for 70 years. Russia can be reborn only through the repentance of the Russian people, through faith in God, through living the Divine commandments. Therefore the rebirth of the Russian people – the rebirth of personal, social and national life – must be founded on the Holy Orthodox Faith and their life must be built on this. And then once more, as of old, Russia will be Holy Rus, the House of the Most Holy Mother of God.

Prophecy of the Ever-Memorable Archbishop (later Metropolitan) Laurus (1987)

All my life I have been haunted by the European world that was lost by the consequences of the tragic events and sacrifices of August 1914, now exactly 100 years ago. Growing up with nineteenth-century grandparents and great-uncles who had fought in the First European War and with tragic maiden great-aunts, I knew that all of us had to live with those consequences. There has been no peace in the world since then, since the profound injustice of the victory so cruelly and ironically snatched from the Russian Empire in 1917 by Allied treachery and then the German treachery that made the slaying of the Russian Royal Family inevitable. And that, in turn, made the destruction of Germany in the Second European War inevitable, with Russian troops taking Vienna and Berlin. And that, in its turn, made the Cold War inevitable.

That War dragged on until 1991. Then the Slav, Romanian, Georgian and Albanian Churches all lived beneath the yoke of atheism and had virtually no free voices. As for the smaller and weaker Greek Churches, they were compromised by US control. Thus, the impoverished Patriarchate of Constantinople, at one time financed by Anglicanism, had come under US control in 1948, when Patriarch Maximos was deposed by the CIA with threats to his life and despatched into a generation of exile in Switzerland, uttering as he went the words, ‘The City is lost’.

Those were dark days of the betrayal of the Church and, virtually alone, the Church Outside Russia spoke on behalf of us all. For during the Cold War proud anti-Incarnational modernism and ecumenism (heresies, like sects and cults which are created by heresies, are always based on pride), in either their crass, pseudo-intellectual, humanist Protestant/Catholic form, as often in the US, or in their subtle, pseudo-spiritual, personalist Buddhist/Hindu form, as often in Europe, were everywhere. ‘Orthodox’ academic theology was then dominated by that spiritual decadence which may be called ‘captivity theology’. In its intellectualism that ‘theology’, ignorant of the Lives of the Saints, utterly failed to see that Orthodoxy is a striving for holiness, which is simply a life lived with prayer in conformity with the Tradition

This was the academic theology of ‘Orthodox’ intellectuals, who had studied either in Protestant centres (Oxford, Cambridge, Strasbourg, centres in Germany etc) or else in Roman Catholic centres (especially the Gregorian University in Rome, but also Paris, Louvain, Jesuit Fordham etc). The academics infected naturally reflected the proud cultural prejudices of those establishments where they had studied, resulting not in an Orthodox, but a ‘Halfodox’ vision of the world. An associated mixture of ecumenists, liberals and modernists, those intellectuals wished to reduce the Church to a mere religion, a theory and an institution, just like the Western denominations. This was, consciously or unconsciously, spiritual treachery.

Their ‘theology’, in fact philosophy, reflected the humanistic personalism and spiritually empty symbolism of that age. Most of those intellectuals have now died, if not, they are very elderly. The generation of disciple-imitators that succeeded them has even less conviction or talent. It is hardly surprising – modernism is incredibly old-fashioned in a post-modern world. With the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, that age of decadence seems increasingly distant. I remember at that time, and I mean nearly 40 years ago, being told by an ‘Orthodox’ academic at one of those above-mentioned universities that if I was not satisfied with their food that did not satisfy my soul, I should ‘go and live in Russia’. During the Cold War that was not possible; therefore I took the next best option, to frequent the last emigres of the first generation of the White emigration in Paris and the Church Outside Russia.

This anthology of essays was written between 1974 and 1995, precisely at that time when the Church Outside Russia was isolated, indeed virtually besieged, under attack from all sides and from inside, by the extremes of modernism and ‘traditionalism’ alike. Indeed, as I came to realize, the Church Outside Russia was then one of the few points of freedom anywhere in the Orthodox Church. Figures in it expressed words of truth similar only to those of the lone Serbian theologian St Justin of Chelije, canonized in 2010, and other figures on the Holy Mountain and in the monasteries of the Carpathians.

Rejoicing in the canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors in New York in 1981, when the Orthodoxy hierarchy was still paralysed in the homelands, at that time we also tried to reclaim for the Church the ancient holiness of Western Europe. We knew that all holiness can only come from the Church, as we daily confess in the Creed. Our task was to help gather together the remaining living spiritual and cultural forces of the dying West and to call it back to its roots in its ancient holiness that it had for the most part renounced. This desire is very much reflected in this book. Sadly, since that time we have seen the final death-throes of once Christian-based Western civilization, witnessing the disappearance of the old culture.

For after 1991, and with great speed, the demons that had operated in the atheist Soviet Union migrated to the atheist European Union, whose spiritual deadweight has been reinforced by the atheism of North America. Only a few years ago President Putin of the Russian Federation, made wise by the failure and defeat of atheism, warned the then Prime Minister Blair that demon-inspired atheism was literally a dead end; naturally, he was ignored, for deluded arrogance never listens to wisdom. Indeed, ever since 1988 the Church that President Putin belongs to, the multicultural and multilingual Russian Orthodox Church, 75% of the whole Church of God, has been reviving, re-opening or building three churches every day somewhere on the planet.

Together with it there is reviving the social, political and economic life of the Russian Federation, the Russian Lands (Rus) and even other parts of the Orthosphere. In 2007 in Moscow we witnessed the reconciliation of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church and the re-establishment of canonical communion, a long-awaited miracle of our times. Our great hope of 20-40 years ago for the messianic restoration of Holy Rus, so great that it was a belief, has been coming true through repentance. We have no illusions that we may not see our hopes for the full restoration of the Sovereignty of the Tsar realized, or, much less likely, Europe liberated from its self-imposed ideological yoke, but at least we know that we are on the way. There is much to do, very far to go, but the direction is the right one.

Nearly twenty years on now since the first edition, this book is here reprinted, a few typographical errors corrected, spelling updated, long paragraphs divided and a few minor precisions and corrections made. May this third edition of these essays be a help to all those who seek. May it guide them to the spiritual awareness of the Church and Civilization of Holy Rus and that Orthodoxy is Christianity and that all else, whatever its legacy from ancient Orthodox times, is ultimately but an ism, a distortion and a compromise. ‘For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith’ (1 Jn. 5, 4).

Glory to Thee, O God, Glory to Thee!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

August 2014
St John’s Orthodox Church
Colchester, Essex, England

On the Spiritual Purity of Holy Orthodoxy

Introduction

The living beliefs of St John of Shanghai swim against the tide of the world and are remarkable examples to all of us for the three following reasons. First of all, although he lived outside Russia he expressed faithfulness to Holy Rus, which for him, as shown in his sermon on the 950th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus, is a living reality, not a dream or myth, as it is for unbelieving modernists a la Schmemann. This faithfulness to Holy Rus, even though it was enslaved beneath the Soviet atheist yoke, entailed his constant prayers for the Patriarch of the Russian Church (shown by his words to the then Fr Vladimir Rodzianko) despite the Patriarch’s political enslavement and so separation from free Russians. It also entailed St John’s opposition to those who fought against Russia, under the tragic and misguided illusion that that they were fighting against the Soviet Union.

Secondly, St John was faithful to the Tsar, already in the 1930s enjoining his canonization against those of both left and right who opposed it. Thirdly, he believed in the Russian Church not as a national ghetto, but as an organism with the worldwide calling to convert to Orthodoxy, as he clearly expressed at the Second All-Diaspora Council in 1938. These three virtues, faithfulness to Holy Rus, faithfulness to the Orthodox Monarchy and faithfulness to the Russian Church’s calling to preach to the heterodox and unbaptized world, are matched by three opposing temptations. These can be found among the still unChurched (and this includes clergy and laity), among those on the fringes of the Church and those outside the Church. These three temptations of spiritual impurity are liberalism instead of faithfulness, conservatism instead of faithfulness and heterodoxy instead of faithfulness.

Liberalism instead of Faithfulness to Holy Rus

This is the temptation from the left, with its renovationism, modernism, new calendarism, liberalism, ecumenism and freemasonry. We have met its spirit in ‘Orthodox’ freemasons in Paris, in cultish, Hindu-style gurus with a name-worship mantra or psychic hypnosis and even occultism, inspired by Blavatsky and Steiner, in those who cannot stop speaking of ‘hypostasis’ and ‘theosis’, rather than living the commandments of the Gospel, in ‘cowboy’ copies of liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism camouflaged by long Greek ‘theological’ words, in the elderly or now dead renovationism of the old KGB-selected Moscow Patriarchal representatives from before the fall of atheism, in well-read converts who reject new immigrants from Eastern Europe because they are not liberal intellectuals like themselves, and in ideologies driven by personalities, not by spiritual realities.

Conservatism instead of Faithfulness to the Orthodox Monarchy

This is the temptation from the right, with its phyletism, nationalism, naïve idealization, old calendarism, right-wing emigres and converts who support and accept money from the CIA or MI5, the cultivation of the museum ethos. We have met its spirit in Greeks who tell Non-Greeks to go away, in those who ban the use of languages other than their own, in nationalist Ukrainians who have nothing to do with the Church because they are driven by politics, not by Christ, in those who fall into schism on account of minor errors rather than the general correctness in the Church, in those who schismatically divide the Church, falling into the temptation of the Church’s enemies who want to divide and so rule Her, in converts from conservative heterodox who bring prejudices into the Church, in those who self-justifyingly confuse psychology with theology, serving self and not the general good of the Church.

Heterodoxy instead of Faithfulness to Missionary Work

Authentic missionary work is about conforming the world to the Church, and not as some compromised people have suggested, supporting the errors of those outside the Church through their own syncretism (‘all religions are the same’), founded on indifference. Also, if heterodox are prematurely received into the Church, they may bring spiritual impurities, either in the form of agendas for ‘reform’ or else of reactions to their heterodox past. Thus, there may be ex-Anglicans still with their Protestant mentality who want a ‘refomed’ Orthodoxy in their own image, since they, received prematurely and not yet ready for the Orthodox Church, are unable to cast off their own personal, cultural and spiritual prejudices. Either such will mature, or else they will lapse. Unable to cast off their Establishment class views, whether of left or right, they will never become Orthodox, however well-read.

Conclusion

The title of this essay is formed by the words of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus (+ 2008), said to me in May 2006, on the need to conserve the integrity of the Holy Orthodox Faith. However, his words were in the same line as those of three generations of Russian bishops of the Diaspora before him, of Archbishop Antony of Geneva (+ 1994), of St John of Shanghai (+ 1966) and of Metropolitan Antony of Kiev (+ 1936), the first First Hierarch of the Church Outside Russia. They all agree, in words as in deeds, that any immixture of spiritual impurity in the Faith is a dead end precisely because it is unspiritual and what is unspiritual by definition brings death. It is for us to follow with care their words, deeds and lives, so that we do nor err from the Tradition of the Church through impure influences from outside Her. And this we can do through faithfulness.

The Purity of Holy Orthodoxy

The title is an expression used in an inspiring conversation with the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus at the ROCOR Council of San Francisco in 2006. Below are a number of recent conversations, both actual and also from correspondence by e-mail, regarding current Church matters, all of which illustrate the search of all conscious Orthodox for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy in the Light of the Resurrection.

Q: What recent changes have marked the Church inside Russia?

A: A generation has now passed since the commemoration of the millennium of the Baptism of Rus in 1988 and the world-changing events that followed it, namely the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union. As a result of the passing of that generation, in the last few months there have been major changes, with the retirement in Kiev and St Petersburg of both Metropolitans Vladimir and in Minsk that of Metr Philaret. Thus, all three most senior Metropolitans in the Russian Church inside Russia have retired through age and ill health. This is the end of the old generation of those who were connected with the highly controversial and politically-minded Metr Nikodim (Rotov) of the Soviet period.

Those of his disciples who are still alive have all had to adapt since the Jubilee Council of 2000 with its rejection of sergianism and ecumenism and canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors, including the Royal Martyrs, and then the acceptance of the reconciliation between the Church inside Russia and the Church Outside Russia in 2007. In other words we are now entering the second generation since the collapse of secularist-atheist ideology in the Russian Lands and so the resurrection by the purity of Holy Orthodoxy of the crucified Church inside Russia. These three senior posts that have changed hands are symbolic of a more general generational change, as Lazarus’ grave-clothes have fallen off.

Q: What do you mean by ‘Lazarus’ grave-clothes’?

A: I liken the resurrection of the Church inside Russia to the resurrection of Lazarus. This was an incredible and astounding miracle, but we should not forget that Lazarus’ grave-clothes did not smell good because the decomposition of his body had already begun. These grave-clothes are represented by the deathly, Soviet and post-Soviet (not yet Russian), phenomena and problems that have accompanied the resurrection of the Church inside Russia.

Q: What phenomena?

A: For example, inside Russia in the 1990s they were so short of priests that they ordained very easily. There were several disasters here with clearly unworthy ordinations and subsequent defrockings, sometimes for sexual misdemeanours, sometimes for financial misdemeanours. I have met such priests – I know what I speak of. Then there was the confusion between Stalinism and the Church and the total misunderstanding or even rejection of the Royal Martyrs – all as a result of the brainwashing from old Soviet propaganda and lies. Then there have been the phenomena of pro-Catholic clergy (like the assassinated Fr Alexander Men, a suspected Uniat) and the events surrounding Paris-style Russophobes, including the modernist, pro-Protestant Fr George Kochetkov, suspended at one point by Patriarch Alexis as a ‘neo-renovationist’, and the recent scandals concerning Protodeacon Andrei Kuraev and Professor Zubov (a close friend of the late Olivier Clement), who both had to be sacked. These are all people who to some extent still live in the Soviet thought world. They have never managed to shake off the spiritual and intellectual impurity of the past and so make the transition from that old-style Soviet conditioning, paradoxically mixed with a superficial Orthodoxy, to the purity of Holy Orthodoxy.

The same thing happened outside Russia, where the Church inside Russia had several unworthy and scandalous representatives, uncanonically ordained, or other representatives who are now very elderly as they were appointed in Soviet times. Fortunately, the unworthy ones have mostly died out or been moved, some very recently. According to the 2007 agreement the Church inside Russia has to prepare its parishes outside Russia (except in China and Japan, which is part of its canonical territory) for their canonical handover to ROCOR. His Holiness understandably wants this process to go smoothly, without hurting anyone’s feelings, especially those of the elderly. Therefore it will take a generation before it is completed and all moves to the purity of Holy Orthodoxy.

Q: Surely there were impurities in ROCOR also?

A: ROCOR had from the start two wings. One was the political wing whose identity was nationalistic, cultural and anti-Communist rather than simply Orthodox; the other wing, which could be called the ‘Johannite wing’, as represented by St John of Shanghai, was the mainstream of ROCOR. Our view was and is Christian. I can remember how the political and nationalist wing dominated in certain parishes, for example at the former ROCOR chapel in Paris or at the old London Cathedral, as it used to be, when it had several members who worked for MI5. Significantly, those parishes have not survived, but died.

This was because the politically-minded elements refused reconciliation with the Church inside Russia in 2007 or even before. As one of our archbishops said before 2007, reconciliation with the repentant Church inside Russia, the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors, would lead to a ‘purification’ of ROCOR. That is exactly what happened. Spiritual impurities such as extremism, phariseeism, sectarianism and fanaticism could not bear reality and love others or the purity of Holy Orthodoxy, and so that political wing left the Church for various sects. Several of the small communities concerned in North America were dominated by individuals who worked for the CIA or the Canadian Secret Services.

Q: What do you make of current political changes in the Ukraine?

A: Two weeks ago the US removed the gold reserves of the Ukraine. Then the CIA took over a floor in the offices of the Ukrainian Secret Police in Kiev and the head of the CIA, John Brennan, went to Kiev on Lazarus Saturday. The head of the CIA does not visit a foreign country without a very good reason. It was no doubt with the intention of hoping to further destabilise the Ukraine and then run it, just as it did countless Latin America banana republics and Italy and Greece after the Second World War.

Sure enough, just after that, the CIA began issuing black propaganda, sheer lies, for example about alleged persecution of the Jews in the eastern Ukraine or that President Putin had tens of billions of dollars in private bank accounts in the West, implying that he was a thief. Naturally the Western-media were fed those lies and naturally reported them. The Times of London (part of the Murdoch tabloid empire) was especially keen to report these slanders and lies.

For instance, as regards the Jews, everybody knows that the Jews were massacred by the Uniat Ukrainian SS in Galicia, the western Ukraine, which welcomed Hitler and where earlier anti-Jewish pogroms had taken place. These are facts of history. Many members of the Ukrainian (= Galician) SS, with Polish nationality, came to live in the UK and especially the US, after World War II. I know; I met some of them 30-40 years ago; some of them were frightening and admitted to killing Jews.

Today, at least 150 US mercenaries, probably being paid for by the CIA, are active against the people of the Ukraine, given that most Ukrainian soldiers and police refuse to use violence against their own people – indeed 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers have already asked for Russian nationality. Other soldiers in the eastern Ukraine have simply joined the insurrection of the Ukrainian people against the junta. We cannot see this crucifixion of the Ukraine, orchestrated in Washington and Brussels and carried out by their paid puppets in Kiev, as being successful.

Q: Why not?

A: First of all, the Ukraine is bankrupt, which is why the bankrupt US called on the world to ‘save the Ukrainian economy’. But it is too late. Prices are doubling. The poor people of the Ukraine, exploited and impoverished for 23 years by corrupt oligarchs, are spontaneously rising up against the unrepresentative, US-installed, separatist Kiev junta and its terror tactics. That regime seized power from the democratically-elected government in Kiev by violence and murder; now it is facing opposition from the Ukrainian people, who are using the same techniques as it did, in order to seize back power from it in turn. As it is written, those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. But there is chaos.

Q: Does any of this have any significance in Orthodox terms? Is it not all political?

A: All of this is highly significant for us. Today’s Russia is at last just beginning to position itself as a spiritual power, opposing the secularist atheism of the Western elite. This was Russia’s traditional role – to protect Christian civilisation both from Western barbarians and from Eastern hordes. Thus, it repelled the Mongol-Tartar yoke, encouraged moderate Islam, repelled the Charleses, Napoleons and Hitlers, liberating both Paris and Berlin, and supported the Church in the Holy Land, the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Antioch. Outside Eurasia Russia has always helped the peoples of the developing world, aiding them to throw off the yoke of colonialism, as did Tsar Nicholas II during the Boer War in South Africa and also in Tibet, Thailand and Ethiopia. Even the Soviet Union merely continued these policies in Africa (the territory of the Patriarchate of Alexandria), Asia and Latin America.

The Russian Orthodox civilisational model, the Christian one, is quite different from the Western Catholic/Protestant model, which calls itself ‘Judeo-Christian’. Thus, the ‘civilised’ Judeo-Christian West and ‘Western values’ destroyed the native peoples of the Americas and Africa, enslaving them, massacring them like wild animals, sending them into concentration camps (‘reservations’), as the British were still doing in Kenya and Malaysia in the 1950s. Christian Russia, on the other hand, spreading across Eurasia into Alaska, left the native peoples in peace, not enslaving them or systematically exploiting them, but making them into equal allies. Today Western ‘civilisation’, which has reached its final stage of degeneration in Europe and the USA, has come to a dead end by trying to subjugate the whole world to its ruling transnational atheist elite and its corrupt New World Order pseudo-democracy. That, in fact, only gives a false choice – between one atheist oligarch and another.

Only Russia can potentially deliver the world from this civilisational dead end by providing a Non-Western and spiritual alternative. This is a geopolitical challenge and a historic turning-point. The US military-industrial complex, to use Eisenhower’s terminology, has bankrupted itself with its lust for global hegemony and us finally meeting its match in the resurgent Russian Lands. The New World Order, the near-millennial and ever accelerating movement of the Western world to enthrone Antichrist in Jerusalem, has been stopped for the moment.

The Russian Lands (Rus) are, it seems, returning to fulfilling their destiny as the last restraining force in the world, the last bastion of True Christianity. The Ukraine is a litmus paper, an acid test of this. If the Ukraine were to fall, that is, to lose its Orthodoxy, that would lead to the enthronement of Antichrist. The situation is on a knife edge, which is why so many icons in Russia and the Ukraine are at this moment giving off myrrh. We have to understand that today’s division in the Ukraine exists as the result of two historic injustices, which have to be righted

Q: Which are these injustices?

A: These two historic injustices are the events of 1054 and 1917, which are interconnected. In 1054 semi-barbarian, provincial nationalists, filled with the pride, greed and ambition of Roman paganism, rose up in heresy against the Church of Christ, the Christian Roman Empire, and declared that they were the true Church! And persecution followed 1054, with 1204, the sack of New Rome by barbarian Catholics, which in turn led to 1453, the fall of New Rome, not to mention the Western Crusades against the Russian Lands (including today’s ‘Ukraine’), and all the anti-Church horrors that followed, including Uniatism.

The second historic injustice was in 1917 when the descendants of the same provincials performed a coup d’etat in St Petersburg, overthrowing the legitimate government of the Lord’s Anointed on behalf of traitors, cowards and deceivers from inside the country who had lost their Faith. This atheist coup resulted in the martyrdom of the Christian Emperor and the destruction of his Empire, which had been about to end the First European War and liberate Constantinople (so preventing the Armenian genocide), Vienna and Berlin.

The atheist coup of 1917 also culminated in 1991 in the destruction of the legacy of the Christian Empire which had been built up over centuries by the Tsars and their peoples. That 1991 collapse of the legacy of the former Orthodox Empire, the Soviet Union, was inevitable because its atheism had denied the Faith of a Faith-based Empire. Today, in 2014, we are merely seeing the attempt to deepen that geopolitical fall, again using provincial nationalists, this time from the far west of the Ukraine, as its pawns. All that is happening now was prophesied by Solzhenitsyn in 1998. Thus, as he said then, the US and its EU colony want to dismember and separate the Ukrainian part of the remains of the Orthodox Empire, the Empire’s weakest link.

Q: Why is the Ukraine the weakest link of the former Orthodox Empire?

A: The word Ukraine is composed of two ancient Slavonic words meaning ‘at the border’ – though interestingly it could also be translated as ‘on the edge’. It was first recorded in the 12th century in this sense of a narrow strip of borderland and there exists an interesting academic article on its origins and uses for many geographical areas, including the area near Kazan. However, in its modern and non-historical sense – and so a sense completely unknown to the greatest ‘Ukrainian’ writer Gogol – the word ‘Ukraine’ was invented only in the late 19th century by the Hapsburgs. Then it was reused by the Soviets and the Nazis, and today by the US and the EU – by five empires all thoroughly hostile to the Orthodox Church. Indeed, decades ago I met old Ukrainian emigres, adults before the Revolution, who told me that they had never heard the word ‘Ukraine’ until the 1920s, when the atheists brought it in.

The contemporary Ukraine is the weakest link because at present it includes and is now run by never denazified, ultra-nationalist, Uniat Galicia, which until 1939 was part of eastern Poland. This is a schismatic, Catholicised area, which lived under foreign and anti-Orthodox – Polish and Austrian – rule for centuries. The majority of its population, just like that of the rest of Western Europe, now has no concept of uncompromised, unsecularised, non-1054 Christianity, that is, of Orthodox values. Until that area returns to Poland, or else becomes independent, it will continue to create chaos in the rest of the ‘Ukraine’, the 85% of it which is known to history not as ‘the Ukraine’, but significantly, going from east to west, as New Russia, Little Russia and Carpatho-Russia.

Q: So does this mean we should support President Putin?

A: He is only a politician and, like all politicians, he makes mistakes. The Ukraine, in some form or other, has a right to exist as an independent state, just like Belarus. It is an integral part of threefold Rus – Russia, the Ukraine and Belarus are the primary territory of Rus, the three Russias. I suspect that President Putin thinks the same thing. The last thing he wants to have to do is to send in tanks. However, he has to defend his country and Russian people against extreme Western aggression – which is what he did when he restored the Crimea to Russia amid the jubilation of its people. Otherwise the Crimea would have been invaded and occupied by the US military and its ports would have become NATO naval bases, closing off the Black Sea to Russia.

Our objection is not to an independent ‘Ukraine’, but to its domination and division by an anti-Orthodox and unrepresentative, US-installed, puppet clique in Kiev, which would mean that the Ukraine would become just another bankrupt and pillaged Western colony, like Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya etc. Divide and rule is ever the Western policy. Our support should go to the martyred Tsar Nicholas II, as he was the last ruler of All Rus, and not to politicians. We support the saints – politicians only count inasmuch as they support the saints. Again we fight for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy, not for politicians.

Q: Why has the BBC been so incredibly biased in its reporting of events in the Ukraine?

A: Since the Second World War the UK Establishment elite has become the poodle or colony of the US ruling elite (a relationship that the UK Establishment has flattered itself into calling ‘the special relationship’!) and it has taken no account of the peoples of these islands. The BBC, even more than other Western media, is biased because it is an inherent part of that Establishment elite, in the pay of a secularist-atheist regime and its secret services. It is therefore hostile to Christianity, especially to uncompromised Christianity, that is, Orthodoxy, just as it is hostile to the people, from which it is ever more distant.

The BBC has become particularly subservient to the Establishment since it dared to criticise the Blair regime’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, for which the Blairites sacked the BBC Director General and intimidated BBC journalists. Now the BBC just seems to parrot whatever MI5 and MI6 tell it. I know two BBC journalists who have also worked for the secret services, which infiltrated the BBC from its inception in the 1920s; there must be many more of them.

Thus the BBC talks of the Neo-Nazi Uniat Galician terrorists in Kiev, who overthrew a democratically-elected government as ‘heroes’, but calls the Ukrainian citizens who are rising up against foreign oppression and US mercenaries in the south-west, south, east and north, ‘pro-Russian activists!’ Nor has the BBC reported on the wave of dissatisfaction in Kiev at the doubling of many prices and the very large anti-junta demonstrations in Kiev….

Q: Some would say that your views on the Ukraine are political and that Orthodoxy should be apolitical. What would you say to this?

A: Precisely by saying that they are ‘apolitical’, such people are making a political statement. For them Orthodoxy is, like Protestantism, just a personal belief, a private affair, a mere theory or hobby, which has no public and practical ramifications, no Incarnational consequences. This is a denial of the Incarnation of Christ. What they are saying is that Christianity should have no influence at all on society, including on economics and politics, and should just be a set of private opinions or personal fantasies for futile discussion and theoretical debate.

In the meantime, they say, we should just swim with the secularist-atheist tide of US/EU apostasy, to which such people, some of them nominally Orthodox, are spiritually enslaved. However, our Faith, if it is real, has practical consequences. This is what these secularists refuse. For those who are secular-minded, religion has no importance, but for us what counts is the purity of Holy Orthodoxy. The many icons now giving off myrrh in Russia and the Ukraine only prove the spiritual significance of these current events.

Q: With the events in the Ukraine and the new puritanism of political correctness, will there be a witch-hunt and persecution of Russian Orthodoxy in the West?

A: Not yet. We have not yet come to this point; that will come later. Then we may need Russian passports and in any case have to take refuge in Russia in order to get baptized and practise our Faith. But we are not there yet.

Q: So much for the contemporary situation of the Church inside Russia. What is the situation of the Church Outside Russia, ROCOR? Some say that it no longer has any reason to exist, since the Church inside Russia also has parishes outside Russia. What is the role of ROCOR in this new reality?

A: The Orthodox diaspora, whether in Europe, the Americas or Australia, and of all nationalities, has experienced two temptation or deviations in the last 100 years or so. The role of ROCOR is to avoid them. These are the deviations of the superiority complex and the inferiority complex.

The first deviation is that of the nationalist ghetto, of the superiority complex. This means that the Orthodox Faith is preserved as if in a museum, without any reference to the surrounding world (because of the superiority complex towards it), to the reality in which the children and grandchildren of the immigrants go to school and grow up. This ethos can be called the ‘three-generational syndrome’, since after three generations such a faith dies out, as it no longer even speaks in a language comprehensible to the descendants of the original immigrants. ‘Three generations and you are out’. I have seen countless Russian parishes in France and England disappear completely because of this mentality. It was the fate of the old London ROCOR Cathedral (but this will not at all be the case of the new parish that has risen phoenix-like from its ruins), exactly as was foreseen by many in the 1970s and 1980s, but also of many parishes abroad under the Church inside Russia, which are not independent of Russia, as is today’s ROCOR.

The second deviation is that of the conformist ghetto, of the inferiority complex. This means the ‘let’s swim with the tide’ mentality. Again I have seen countless examples in France and England. ‘Let’s give communion to Catholics, after all they are Christians’ (Paris jurisdiction). ‘Now we are in England, we baptize our children in the Church of England’ (as one well-known Russian academic in Cambridge did). ‘After all, we really do not want to be different from the others’. ‘The English do cremations, so we’ll do them as well’ (the old Sourozh jurisdiction). ‘The Protestants have pews in church, so shall we’ (Greeks and Antiochians). This is the deviation of those of weak faith, the ecumenists, liberals and modernists, who do not really believe in Orthodoxy, just like the Uniats. Indeed, the atmosphere in modernist churches (as sometimes in Finland, for example) is exactly that of Uniat churches.

It is to be noted, however, that, initially at least, both these deviations are psychological, and not at root theological, though in a second phase, they are then justified theologically, clearly by a false theology. ROCOR must avoid both these deviations.
Q: So what is the role of ROCOR? What is authentic Orthodoxy in the Western world?

A: Authenticity is faithfulness to the best, and not to the worst, in both attitudes. This means being both traditional and open, both strict and merciful, but without excesses and extremes, which would mean being unfaithful. We must be faithful to the incarnation and to the spiritual, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. Our calling, the establishment of authentic European Orthodox culture, as also of authentic American and Australian Orthodox culture, means being both faithful and international = fruitful. ROCOR has an opportunity to do this, depending on the purity of Holy Orthodoxy, that is, inasmuch as we can be both faithful to the Russian Orthodox Church and also be incarnate, settled and permanent here (unlike most parishes dependent on the Church inside Russia). At least, this can be the case, for as long as our spiritual existence is tolerated in the increasingly intolerant West.

Q: Do you have examples of these deviations in the specific situation of Orthodoxy in the UK?

A: Here in the UK we have two ‘renewed’ jurisdictions, those of the Romanian and Russian Churches, which in recent years have increased in size from one parish or a few parishes to many parishes, simply by immigration. However, we also have the older jurisdictions like the Greek, which used to be the biggest but is now beginning to die out, just like the Russian in the 1970s and 1980s. The Russians immigrated in about 1920 and so after 50-60 years, in the third generation, began to die out. The Greeks (more precisely Cypriots) mainly immigrated here in the 1950s and 1960s – 50-60 years ago – and so too are now dying out. This is the ‘three generational syndrome’, which I mentioned above.

There are also two tiny ethnic English jurisdictions under the Patriarchate of Antioch (anti-Greek, anti-Russian, Antiochian’, as some Anglicans say) and the Paris Exarchate (the old Bloomite Sourozh jurisdiction). These are deaneries because they are both only a few hundred strong and mostly composed of ex-vicars and converts from Anglicanism. The Exarchate is particularly weak and small and is tending to die out. They failing to pass on their ‘Anglican-Orthodox’ Faith to children and grandchildren and so are dying. Their possible possible survival can only come from attracting Greeks, Romanians and others, not from attracting Anglicans.

Here I am much more optimistic about the future survival of the Antiochian Deanery, which is rapidly becoming Romanian. However, it still has to ordain clergy who are not ex-Anglican vicars. Here there is a very useful lesson to learn: all ethnic jurisdictions die out – including ethnic English jurisdictions. In other words, successful parishes – of all jurisdictions – are non-ethnic, that is, they live if they accept those whom God sends to them, without ethnic ghettoism, including Anglican or ex-Anglican clubbishness. In other words, they live only if they put the Faith above nationality, only if they put the Kingdom of God first.

Q: Does this mean that the convert movement in the UK has stopped?

A: The convert movement (I would prefer the word ‘trickle’) in the UK was only ever basically in England and it was always very small, concerning at most 2,000-3,000, many of whom were received by various jurisdictions without preparation and soon lapsed. There is still at least one ex-Anglican priest, like the late Metr Antony Bloom, who perhaps is his model, who receives within one week! You can imagine that his turnover is large. In 18 years he has not grown. It is true that the convert ‘movement’ has declined as the old generation of converts dies out, but it has not stopped. What it happening today is that Anglicans have largely stopped joining the Orthodox Church and trying to become Orthodox, which actually they often did not succeed in doing in any case.

Q: Why have they stopped?

Firstly, because Anglicanism is itself dying out, so there are even fewer Anglicans than before. Secondly, because those who are interested generally find Orthodoxy ‘too hard’ and either do not try to become Orthodox (if they try at all) or else give up very quickly, especially if they have been received prematurely by one of the ethnic English groups.

Q: So there are no more converts?

A: There are still converts, but they come more and more from the vast majority of English people who are not Anglicans. However, though there are fewer converts, they are now generally more serious. They are refreshing, blank sheets, without the cultural prejudices and baggage of Anglicanism. Here there is a future. English Orthodox culture could only be born when that prejudiced Establishment Anglican culture was dead. Authentic Orthodox culture could never be built on a compromised, semi-Orthodox, semi-Anglican faith.

Q: How are people being converted today?

A: There are two ways. One is through information about Orthodoxy which is today on the internet and then brings them to Church services. The other is through Orthodox wives whom they marry and who convert them. Orthodox wives are often very good missionaries.

Q: You have not mentioned those who did not support the reconciliation between the two parts of the Russian Church in 2007 and left to join various sects which existed already. How do they fit into the picture? Do they suffer from the superiority complex of the nationalist ghetto? Surely they do not suffer from the inferiority complex of the conformists?

A: They do not belong to nationalist ghettoes, as much as to ideological or psychological, sectarian, ghettoes, usually very Russophobic and very right-wing – such was the case even before they left ROCOR. In the USA, from what one of their bishops proudly writes and tells me, they seem to be linked to the CIA. There are among these people, and most are converts from Anglicanism or other forms of Protestantism, some very sincere and pious people, but also some with psychological problems. It is tragic. Sects are always based on hurt pride which then turns to hatred.

Such protest sects make themselves irrelevant, not only because they are tiny (often fewer than ten in number over the whole country), but also because they have played into the hands of this world by painting themselves into irrelevant corners. They have no influence because they focus so much on small and often ritualistic detail and individual opinions, with a negative, ‘anti-everything’ mentality. What they lack is a conscious, logically consistent and integral Orthodox world view, an overview. That is very important and all Orthodox need to develop such a world view.

Q: Do you think that the Inter-Orthodox Council will actually take place in 2016?

A: On paper, no, especially since the amazing, absurd and pretentious claims of the Patriarchate of Constantinople to the Ukraine, as described in the statement of Patriarch Bartholomew on Palm Sunday, which was surely written by the CIA. In the 1970s there could be no Council because the Russian Church inside Russia was controlled by the KGB; now we have Constantinople controlled by the CIA. That statement alone has surely set everything back until after the death of Patriarch Bartholomew.

However, everything is still possible – if the Greek Churches can overcome their vanity and inferiority complex, which the American State Department so plays on and exploits, and if they and the other Balkan Churches can overcome their phyletism (nationalism). Thus, at present three problems are outstanding and until they are solved they will stop this Council taking place.

Q: Which are?

A: Firstly, there is the territorial dispute between the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem. Secondly, there is the dispute between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia and, thirdly, that between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).

These three problems all have to be solved before even a proper agenda (rather than the old, secularist, Protestant-style 1970s one) can be agreed. So 2016 is possible, but the Patriarchate of Constantinople will first have to liberate itself from outside political interference from the US government, which is forcing it to interfere in the Ukraine and Mt Athos, and from the Vatican. So Constantinople must demonstrate that it is free and independent and can actually speak with an Orthodox voice and not a Greek nationalist and Uniat voice. Metropolitans Andrew and Seraphim of the Church of Greece have already warned it about this quite clearly in their 89-page letter asking for the repentance of Pope Francis.

Q: Do you think in this context that the Church inside Russia could take back the autocephaly of the OCA in order to ease negotiations with Constantinople?

A: I think that for the Church inside Russia the OCA is a bargaining counter. We all know that there is a problem with the autocephaly of the OCA, the brainchild (not heartchild) of the highly controversial Fr Alexander Schmemann. Firstly, it was granted during the Cold War by the self-same, highly controversial Metr Nikodim (Rotov), whom we mentioned at the beginning of this conversation, and whom the Roman Catholics claim to have been one of their cardinals. So it was dubious from the start.

However, secondly and much more importantly, how can you give a jurisdiction autocephaly when it has been in schism from you for decades (as was the pre-OCA Metropolia) and, above all, when it only includes a minority of the Orthodox who live on the same geographical territory? However, the Church inside Russia will not cede these points if Constantinople does not first abandon its own anti-canonical errors elsewhere, for example on Mt Athos, in the Ukraine, Estonia, Finland and Paris, returning Russian Church property to the Russian Church.

Q: What could happen to the OCA, if Constantinople did stop such anti-canonical interventions?

That would be a miracle, so who knows? I suppose one solution would be to take back the OCA’s autocephaly and grant it autonomy instead. Alternatively, you could wait until the present generation of OCA bishops, many of them in difficult and compromised situations or retired, die out. Then, after that generational change, you could pick up the pieces and reincorporate the ex-OCA into the Russian Church in North America, though letting ultra-liberal, dissident pieces which are perhaps beyond redemption (St Vladimir’s Seminary?) join Constantinople or simply go back to the Episcopalians. The OCA too can only survive if it moves towards being a group based on the purity of Holy Orthodoxy.

Bright Monday 2014