Category Archives: Fatima

Local and Faithful, or Westernised and Hellenised

Since the Russian Revolution the Patriarchate of Constantinople has taken into its jurisdiction a variety of Russophobic dissidents. Their schisms have come about because the dissidents have been too spiritually weak to remain faithful to the Russian Tradition and so have been dragged down into party politics or personality cults. Thus, they have either been virulent nationalists or else anti-Tradition liberals and freemasons, cultivating political and theological schisms caused by that Revolution. Having lost sight of the big picture of Orthodox civilisational values, the Orthodox world-view, they have been brought down into petty, provincial concerns.

Some of the dissidents have been Slavs – Russians, Ukrainians or ex-Catholic Carpatho-Russians – others have been Western converts – Finnish, American, French, Estonian or ex-Anglican. Here we look at the dissidents, originally Russophobic, pro-Kerensky aristocrats from Saint Petersburg, who, leaving Russia, then the Church outside Russia and then the Church inside Russia for Constantinople, over 80 years ago formed the Rue Daru jurisdiction in Paris. After nearly a year without a leader, they are now hoping to elect a new archbishop in November 2013.

Although issued from the Russian Tradition and even claiming to belong to it, since they left the Mother-Church these dissidents have gradually become more and more Westernised and absorbed into the US and Turkish-controlled Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul. This can clearly be seen in their forsaking of the Orthodox liturgical calendar and Orthodox liturgical, dogmatic and pastoral practices for modernist, Western, secular practices. This simultaneous Westernisation and Hellenisation is inevitable and can only be avoided by their leaving schism and taking the path back to the Mother-Church.

If, after the election of a new archbishop, they cannot return to the Mother-Church, they will consign themselves to remaining a small archdiocese of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, perhaps 5,000 in number in all, most of their parishes set up in temporary or rented premises and less than 25 strong. Their ethos will continue to be intellectual, not spiritual, philosophical, not theological, disincarnate, not incarnate, with mainly untrained clergy, without a living Tradition and without a Mother-Church, yet dependent on the Russian Church for vestments, literature, musical culture and people to fill its small parishes. Clearly, eventually, they will disappear, absorbed into Greek Church structures and practices.

However, if, after the election of a new archbishop, they can return to the Mother-Church, they will be able to rejoin the multinational and multilingual free Russian Orthodox Church, fifty times bigger than the tiny and captive Patriarchate of Constantinople. They will be able to take part in the construction of the Metropolia of Western Europe, with its hundreds and hundreds of real parishes and historic churches all over Western Europe, the stepping-stone to a future new Local Church and yet at the same time authentically faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition and Church in all ways. Local and Faithful, or Westernised and Hellenised: this is the choice that they face.

Lourdes and Fatima: True or False?

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun…

Rev. 12, 1

We will not dispute the miraculous character of the original appearance of the Mother of God (in Fatima), as we will not cast suspicion on the authenticity of some similar if less striking appearances…

Archimandrite Konstantin Zaytsev (1)


Visions of the Mother of God granted to individuals are characteristic of recent, especially eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century, Roman Catholic piety. Some of these visions can be doubted as spiritual delusion, hallucinations, and others as money-making frauds. Thus, the controversial ‘apparition’ in Knock in 1879 in Ireland seems strange, and the more recent and highly profitable ‘apparitions’ in Medjugorje since 1981 in ex-Yugoslavia are dismissed by the local Roman Catholic authorities as fraudulent. However, to dismiss all such visions seems not only uncharitable in relation to genuinely-felt piety, but also simply wrong.

The fact is that genuine heavenly visions do commonly take place outside the Church to Non-Orthodox. We know this, for example, from the vision of the Jewish rabbi Saul (later the Apostle Paul) on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Some 900 years later, the pagan envoys of Vladimir of Kiev had a vision of heaven on earth in New Rome. Some 900 years after this we read how the future preaching of St Innocent of Alaska had been foretold to local pagan Alaskans through a vision of the Archangel Michael. How was all this possible? Because though outside the Church, all these people were touched by grace, for ‘the Spirit bloweth where it listeth’ (Jn 3, 8). The Church has all the generosity of the Sun, giving out rays of light and warmth to the outside world.


As regards appearances of the Mother of God inside the Church, the Russian Church calendar commemorates over 600 of her wonderworking icons, many of which first appeared to individuals in visions. As for the Roman Catholic world, there are the famous visions of the Mother of God to a peasant girl in Lourdes in south-western France in 1858. As we have written elsewhere over the decades, there are four reasons why these visions may have been real. Firstly, they happened to an innocent and pious peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879), who had no clerical axe to grind. Secondly, when Bernadette was asked about the exact outward appearance of the Mother of God and was shown a catalogue of images, she innocently but truthfully at once chose not the resemblance of a Roman Catholic statue, but that of an Orthodox icon.

Thirdly, there are the well-documented and numerous miraculous healings in Lourdes, which cannot be explained by modern medicine. Finally, and most importantly of all, as the French-based Patriarchal Russian Orthodox religious writer, A. Merzlyukin described in 1960 (2), at a time when the Vatican machine was intent on finding support for its unOrthodox dogma of the Immaculate Conception of 1854, the message received by Bernadette was fully Orthodox. The words she allegedly heard from the mouth of the Mother of God were, ‘I am the Immaculate Conception’, not, ‘I was born by an immaculate conception’. This plainly contradicted the novel and recent Vatican dogma. It is precisely the Conception of Christ by the Mother of God which is ‘Immaculate’, that is, Most Pure, which is why we call her ‘Most Pure’. This is the age-old belief of the Church – not a nineteenth-century invention.

Orthodoxy has nothing to do with the unfortunate exploitation of this statement by the Vatican to support its novel dogma. By this, I refer to the authorities’ deliberate deformation of the message of Lourdes to make out that it was the conception of the Virgin Herself that was ‘Immaculate’. This myth-making has taken place to such an extent that many simple Roman Catholics today actually believe that the Virgin was conceived not by Sts Joachim and Anna, as Orthodox are reminded at every great dismissal, but in the same way as Christ – through the Holy Spirit and a virgin-mother.

This popular belief is not the official belief of Roman Catholicism. This is that the Virgin was conceived by human agency but with a special dispensation, relieving her of what it calls ‘original sin’. All of this is connected with ‘Augustinian’ doctrines, developed by medieval Scholasticism out of philosophical speculations in the writings of Blessed Augustine. These doctrines, ‘Augustinianism’, suggest predestination, a God Who does not love mankind, and are thus alien to the Orthodox Church and Her theology that loves mankind.


Another example of deformation of visions comes in the case of Fatima. Here, unlike some, we believe that these original visions may also have been genuine (3). We first heard of Fatima in 1976, strangely enough from a Russian samizdat source, received by us from the late Archpriest Lev Lebedev from Kursk (4). The Catacomb belief expressed in this source was clearly that Fatima was authentic. We also tend to believe in the Fatima visions, for the seven following reasons:

1. They were granted to innocent and pious peasant children. The eldest of these, Lucia, whose name means ‘light’, is said to have spoken to the Mother of God and received messages from her. These small, illiterate children had no axe to grind, unlike the institutionalised Vatican machine. Indeed, most Portuguese clergy of the period of the visions did not believe in their authenticity and were even hostile to Lucia.

2. The visions concerned future events in Russia – a Non-Catholic country of which the Portuguese children had never heard. Again there was no axe to grind here, all the more so as it was precisely the Western world which had organised, financed and greeted the pro-Western Russian Revolution of early 1917. We must remember that all the events at the other end of Europe in distant Fatima took place months before the atheist Bolsheviks usurped power in their turn. This was long before Russophobic right-wing groups were able to take over Fatima for militant Roman Catholic and anti-Communist Cold War purposes, creating, for example, ‘the Blue Army’.

3. The events of Fatima all happened after the Russian Revolution, during the months of anarchic misrule of the pro-Western Provisional Government, in other words, neither in 1916, nor in 1918, nor in some other year, but in mid-1917. This was at the most fateful turning point in Russian history. This was just before Russian forces would most probably have been victorious in the War, freeing Vienna and Berlin and the peoples oppressed by them, and before atheist Communist persecution began.

We recall that the Mother of God had already intervened in Russian history at this time through her Reigning Icon, the appearance of which took place immediately after the so-called abdication of the future Tsar-Martyr on 15 March 1917 according to the secular calendar. (We write ‘so-called abdication’ since the documents involved have now all been shown by the Russian historian Piotr Multatuli to have been forged; the Tsar never abdicated).

4. The visions all took place on dates significant in the Orthodox calendar – then universally adhered to. This is quite overlooked by Roman Catholic authors. Thus:
The first vision was on 13 May. In the Orthodox calendar in 1917 this was the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. This was surely a clear call to the West to repent of the Revolution that it had carried out in Russia, which would lead to the bloodiest persecution of the Church ever seen in human history. In simple terms, this vision was a call to the spiritual Samaritans to repent for their crime against the Second Jerusalem of Moscow.

The second vision was on 13 June, the eve of the feast of St Justin the Philosopher of Rome, who came from Palestine to preach the Orthodox Christian way of life, the only true Philosophy, to the Rome.

The third vision was on 13 July, the Feast of the Twelve Apostles, who had converted the then known world to Orthodoxy. This is symbolic of the universal significance of Fatima.

The fourth vision was on Sunday 19 August (not on 13 August, since the three children were then being held prisoner and threatened by a prominent local freemason who had political power). 19 August is of course the Feast of the Transfiguration, the Transfiguration to which the Mother of God was calling the Western world, which was then embroiled in the slaughter of its own youth and the youth of countries of Eastern Europe, of Russia and of distant colonies.

The fifth vision was on 13 September, the eve of the Orthodox New Year. Surely the Mother of God was calling the Western Powers to a new beginning, a new year of peace.

The sixth and so far final vision was on 13 October, the eve of the Feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God. In this vision, Lucia was told that ‘the war is going to end and the troops will come home soon’. This was indeed the case since, as a result of elections held the very next day, on 14 October, the Feast of the Protecting Veil, the 40,000 Portuguese troops who had first entered into action in France on precisely 13 May 1917, the date of the first vision, were brought home to Portugal early, in April 1918.

5. The essence of the words of the Mother of God was each time a call to prayer and repentance. These were the very words which Western Europe needed at a time when it was engaged in a suicidal war, which because of modern technology was by far the bloodiest in the history of mankind. The fact that the visions occurred in Portugal, rather than in a country that had originally or directly been involved in the War, showed neutrality. Indeed, the socialistic Portuguese government did not exploit the visions for propaganda purposes, as governments with large Roman Catholic populations, like France, Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy, would certainly have done.

6. The events at Fatima, always coming down from the sky from east to west, always included several inexplicable atmospheric phenomena which were witnessed by many. These phenomena were witnessed by dozens, then thousands, and on 13 October, by tens of thousands of people, among them atheists and freemasons. This last vision, already foretold by the Mother of God on 19 August and 13 September, included the famous ‘dance of the sun’, witnessed by some 70,000 people. It is very difficult to reject the fact of this event, explaining it away in a facile manner as a ‘mass hallucination’, as atheists (and two Orthodox converts) have unconvincingly tried to do. Here is a key difference with other visions – at Fatima they were accompanied by inexplicable phenomena witnessed by crowds.

7. The message of the Mother of God was couched in a way that small Roman Catholic children could understand, but which is not necessarily in contradiction with Orthodox teaching. This especially concerns the details of the vision of 13 July.

For instance, the Mother of God did not mention souls in Purgatory on 13 July – that version of the message was based on a clear mistranslation, which was later corrected. As regards the mention of Purgatory in the part of the vision on 13 May regarding the soul of a peasant girl called Amelia, we would suggest that this is only a reflection of Lucia’s Roman Catholic conditioning. The Mother of God may well have said that the girl needed prayers, but this would have been interpreted by the child Lucia as meaning that her soul was in Purgatory.

On 13 July, the Mother of God foretold chastisement, ‘by means of war, famine and persecutions against the Church and the Holy Father’. There is no reason why this should be taken to refer to a pope of Rome; it surely refers to St Tikhon of Moscow, the Holy Father installed as Patriarch in November 1917. He reposed in 1925 after the terrible civil war, probably martyred by poisoning, after which there was artificial famine in the Soviet Union and the terrible persecutions of the 1930s. Roman Catholicism was not persecuted at this time – the Spanish Civil War came later. Rather it was Roman Catholicism that from the 1920s on persecuted, whether in Ireland and especially on territory occupied by Poland, or later in Nazi Slovakia and Vichy France.

Similarly, the prophecy on 13 July that a worse war would break out under Pope Pius XI (1922 – February 1939) after the appearance of ‘an unknown light’ in the sky, surely cannot refer to the Second World War, which began in September 1939 for most European countries. Nor need it refer to the aurora borealis of January 1938. The aurora (northern lights) occurs every eleven years and it was after the appearance in 1927 that the atheist war against Orthodoxy in Russia that worsened considerably.

In the vision of June 1917, the Mother of God referred to ‘My Most Pure Heart’ which, seen ‘surrounded by thorns’, ‘will be your refuge’. In the vision of July 1917, the Mother of God spoke of ‘sins against the Most Pure Heart of Mary’, she said that ‘to save sinners’ God wanted ‘to establish devotion to my Most Pure Heart’, she demanded ‘the consecration of Russia to my Most Pure Heart’ and she said that ‘in the end’ her Most Pure Heart would ‘triumph’.

These references to the heart, typical of rather sentimental ‘Sacred Heart’ Roman Catholic pietism, are alien to Orthodox teaching. Some Orthodox therefore dismiss the vision out of hand. However, the Mother of God was speaking to Roman Catholic children, to whom such language was familiar. From an Orthodox viewpoint, could such phrases mean something? Is there an Orthodox interpretation of such references to her heart?

Since the Church is the Body of Christ, why can we not take the Roman Catholic expression ‘the Sacred Heart of Jesus’ and translate it into Orthodox terminology as meaning ‘the essence of the Orthodox Church’? Similarly, since the Mother of God is the Mother of the Church, why can we not take the Fatima expression ‘the Most Pure Heart of Mary’ to mean ‘the essential teachings of the Church’, i.e. the purity of Holy Orthodoxy? What else would be in the heart of the Mother of God, if not the purity of Holy Orthodoxy? Surely, after all, Holy Orthodoxy is our ‘refuge’, the establishment of devotion to Holy Orthodoxy will ‘save sinners’, Russia must be ‘consecrated to’ Holy Orthodoxy and ‘in the end’ Holy Orthodoxy will ‘triumph’? Is this not what we all believe?

It was precisely sins against the Orthodox Church and Holy Orthodoxy that had been caused by anti-Orthodox Western attitudes towards them, most clearly at the Russian Revolution. This event was greeted with enthusiasm by the Papacy. It would then co-operate with atheist Bolshevism throughout the 1920s under the Roman Catholic ‘missionary’ D’Herbigny in a futile and treacherous attempt to convert Russia to Roman Catholicism. And all this during the vicious persecution of the indigenous Church, whose lot the Vatican did nothing to ease.

These anti-Orthodox attitudes had been present in Western Europe ever since the time of the judaising iconoclasm and anti-Trinitarian heresy of the mass murderer Charlemagne (768-814 – called ‘Blessed Charlemagne’ by the Vatican). This was the very set of attitudes which dissented from and then took over the Church in Western Europe. By a process of despiritualisation, they evolved into Roman Catholicism in the eleventh century, into Protestantism in the sixteenth century and finally into modern secularism.

This latter is based on essentially atheistic nineteenth and twentieth century ideologies, of Marx, Darwin, Nietzsche, Freud etc. These thinkers did not in fact write about mankind, but only about their own spiritual emptiness, that is, their loss of faith and non-belief in the existence of the human soul, thus reducing human beings to animals. In this way, their ideologies dehumanised human beings through ‘class warfare’, ‘the survival of the fittest’ and ‘eugenics’ into ‘intelligent animals’, ‘naked apes’, in fact, pieces of meat. In turn, these resulted in World Wars – surplus men reduced to cannon fodder, in the abortion holocaust –surplus babies reduced to incinerator fodder, and in modern global consumerism – surplus human-beings worldwide reduced to debt fodder.

On 13 July and other occasions, the Mother of God referred to the rosary, as well as peace and the end of the war through prayer. The rosary is a vestige of Orthodox prayer-knots or beads, inherited by Roman Catholicism from the Orthodox West of the first millennium. Although the details of the contemporary Roman Catholic practice of the rosary are at variance with Orthodox practice, there is nothing unOrthodox about the use of prayer-beads in itself. Sincere prayer is always answered.

On 13 July the Mother of God said that the errors of Russia would spread worldwide, if the Western world did not listen to her. The errors of Russia were to adopt Western materialism (at the time of Fatima not in its Communist form, but in its bourgeois Capitalist form). It is indeed precisely this materialism, exported to Russia in 1917, that was since spread worldwide throughout the twentieth century, not so much in its inefficient and failed Communist form, but in its highly efficient Capitalist form.

On 13 July the Mother of God said that ‘the Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me and it will be converted’ and then will follow ‘a time of peace’. Is this not exactly what happened in 2000 when the Russian Patriarch at last confirmed the glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Lands and since when conversion has been hastened?

Thus, we can see from the above interpretations of the visions of Fatima that there is nothing in contradiction with Orthodox teaching in them. In this light, these visions can be seen in an Orthodox spirit. The simple people of Western Europe are not to be blamed for the heresy of Roman Catholicism. A fish rots from the head, not from the tail. A heretic is by definition one who is consciously opposed to the Church. Portuguese peasant children one hundred years ago who knew nothing of Orthodoxy cannot be accused of being heretics. Only those who consciously reject Orthodoxy and teach heresy can be accused of heresy. This is clearly visible in pastoral practice today, where Non-Orthodox come to the Church for the first time, discover Orthodoxy, and say, ‘This is what I have always believed’, never having accepted the teachings their formal denomination.

Neither is there anything in the ‘third secret of Fatima’, revealed to Lucia in July 1917 and allegedly made public by the Vatican in June 2000, which contradicts Orthodoxy (5). Although it is possible that full details of the third secret have not been revealed, for lack of proof we must leave this possibility to conspiracy theorists. Nevertheless, it is remarkable that in the first appearance on 13 May, the Mother of God said that she would appear six times and then, ‘after six times, I will come back here a seventh time’. Is it possible that the Mother of God will again appear in Fatima, for a seventh time, and that another revelation will take place concerning the West’s present and future relation to Russia and Russian Orthodoxy?


Between 1992 and 1997 I was parish priest of the first Russian Orthodox parish in Portugal which we founded in February 1992. We dedicated it to the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, whose feast falls on 14 October in the secular reckoning, the day after the last and sixth appearance at Fatima, the dance of the sun, exactly 75 years before. At that time it was suggested that I celebrate a liturgy in the Uniat church at the Roman Catholic shrine at Fatima. I categorically rejected this suggestion, as I did not wish then, and do not wish now, to lend credence to that later, superimposed interpretation of the Fatima events. However, I do believe that there is an Orthodox interpretation of the events of Fatima.

I believe that those events may well concern a Russia that is at this moment in the process of being converted. This process began when the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors began to destroy atheism after their glorification by the free Church Outside Russia in New York in 1981. This was most significant, since, according to the historian Piotr Multatuli, great-grandson of one of the martyrs, it was precisely from New York that the order to martyr the Royal Martyrs went forth in 1918. This 1981 glorification, which reversed the 1918 condemnation, was finally confirmed and upheld in the freed Church inside Russia by Patriarch Alexis II in Moscow in 2000. It is now for the increasingly atheistic Western world to heed the urgent and highly relevant message of post-atheist Russia to it, which is that atheism does not work, but that devotion to Orthodoxy does work.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Colchester, England


1. Pastoral Theology, Part II, P.41, Jordanville, 1961

2. See Merzlyukin A., On the Catholic Dogma of 1854. (In Russian, 1960, in French, 1961).

3. Naturally, if an official Synodal statement were issued against the authenticity of Lourdes or Fatima, we would obey it and retract any of the above observations and tentative views that contradicted it. Our thoughts are only tentative suggestions which we hope will provoke thought and prayer on the subject. They are certainly not some kind of opinionated, dogmatic statement. The above suggestions seem to the author to be true, but we remain open to new and contradictory ideas on the subject.

However, we cannot help noticing that older Russians like Metr Evlogy (Georgievsky), as well as those whose Orthodoxy was beyond reproach, believed in Lourdes and Fatima (see A. Merzlyukin, also in his Russian book ‘The Star Who Gave Birth to the Sun’ (Paris, 1967), and Fr Konstantin Zaytsev above on Pp. 38-42). The only two sources known to us in recent decades suggesting that the Mother of God cannot appear to Non-Orthodox and categorically denying both Lourdes and Fatima, belonged to converts from heterodoxy. Through the extreme of an excess of zeal, zeal not according to knowledge, a desire to be ‘more Orthodox than the Orthodox’, they are now part of groups which are outside the Orthodox Church. Thus, we see how one extreme, ‘Super-Orthodoxy’, leads to the opposite extreme, being outside the Church.

4. In the mid-1980s we sent the samizdat source in question to Bishop (now Metr) Hilarion (Kapral). Fr Lev was then a priest of the Patriarchal part of the Church. Like many Patriarchal priests inside Russia he was also involved with Catacomb Christians, as I realised on meeting him in 1976. It is a modern myth that the two parts of the Church inside Russia in the Soviet period, the vast Patriarchal part and the minute Catacomb part, were completely separate.

5. See Orthodox England Vol 4 No 2 (December 2000)

The Chance of Redemption for Western Europeans

One thousand years of error and injustice will be made right. There will be a new Tsar in Russia and a new repentant culture in Europe, as it rediscovers its forgotten soul which it had busied itself burying for a thousand years beneath the ingenious but unnecessary.

Foreword: Faith on Earth

In 1914, nigh on one hundred years ago, Western Europe destroyed itself and all those whom it dragged into its great suicidal war. This was the fruit of the evils which its elites had wrought among their exploited peasantry, working classes and colonies. Little wonder that the country which suffered most in the Great War was Belgium, whose king had wrought so much evil in Central Africa, where perhaps 10,000,000 had perished. However, Great Britain everywhere, especially in the Indian subcontinent and in South Africa, France in Northern Africa and Indo-China, Austro-Hungary (Hitler, Stalin, Trotsky and Freud all lived in Vienna at the same time) in Central and Eastern Europe and Germany wherever it could, were all guilty. The catastrophe of 1914 had been heralded by the rebirth of European paganism, in Music by Stravinsky in the pagan dissonances of his Firebird and The Rite of Spring, in Art by the Futurists, as well as in Theatre by Strindberg, in Sculpture and Literature.

Indeed, it was ultimately in Alexander Blok’s poem ‘The Twelve’, in which the author saw Antichrist, pretending to be Christ, leading the Russian Revolution, that Europe could have seen its fate for non-repentance. Although the Great War would have left a great scar, the flower of much of its youth dead, it could have been reversed. Russia tried to reverse it, taking the brunt of the attacks in the East. However, it stopped being reversible in 1918 with the permanent installation in the Russian Empire, encouraged by the Western Powers, of a Western-inspired materialist regime and the martyrdom of the Russian Royal Family. The War could have ended in 1917, with Russian troops peacefully triumphant in Berlin and Vienna led by Tsar Nicholas II, as they had been by Tsar Alexander I in Paris in 1814, freeing Central and Eastern Europe from tyranny and restoring Poland and Finland. Instead of this, the War dragged on for another eighteen months and countless more young men died.

And as a result of this apostasy, today we ask the question: When the Saviour returns, will He find faith on earth? Fifty years ago, we thought this impossible – then there was still faith. Today this is not so, for over the last fifty years yet another chapter of the Book of Revelation has been enacted. At the present time we see the gradual development of a global surveillance society, controlled by what is becoming a world mafia-state, the fruit of the intolerance of the new Puritanism. On various false pretexts, freedom in the post-Protestant West is fast vanishing. With miniature cameras, drones, Google Glass, debit cards without which food cannot be bought, that world is fast heading for spiritual endarkenment. And yet over the last fifty years the Russian Church has offered spiritual enlightenment to the souls of this post-Protestant world, especially in the USA and the UK. At first slowly and cautiously and then more openly, Her witness to salvation in the Church of God has become ever more apparent.

Enlightening the Endarkened Post-Protestant World

Although this post-Protestant world is on the very fringes of Church consciousness, of authentic Christianity, the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, then still captive to Communism, did witness here, showing great patience. Thinking that in its spiritual weakness the post-Protestant world, especially ex-Protestants, would find it difficult to adopt the Orthodox calendar, She allowed it by generosity, that is, by economy, the secular calendar; thinking that because of its Western political prejudices and lack of understanding the post-Protestant world might not be able to venerate the Tsar and the other Royal Martyrs, by generous economy She did not insist on this; thinking that in its narrowness, the post-Protestant world might suffer from phyletist nationalism, She translated the Orthodox services wholly into its languages. Over the last fifty years what was once inaccessible has become accessible – there are no more excuses.

It must be said that success has been limited, especially among those who had been practising Protestants, less among those who were blank sheets, starting from nothing. Even among those who have accepted the invitation, there are those who refuse to enter the Arena, and do not become integrated Orthodox, even after fifty years. Also, some ex-Protestants, having joined the Church, then abandoned Her to go off and found their own sectarian ‘churches’, chapels, ‘sketes’ or even deaneries, whether to the left extreme or to the right extreme. Both in the post-Protestant cultures of North America and the United Kingdom, the Church inside Russia suffered many setbacks in its missions, until quite recently politically unable to heed the local experience of the Church Outside Russia. Using less economy, the latter has sometimes had more success (though with disappointments also), because of its local understanding of the ex-Protestant culture.

Here, there are those who have agreed to enter the Arena even after only a few months and so become grounded Orthodox. There is even one Archbishop of the Church Outside Russia who is from such a background, not to mention many other clergy and laity. Why have the spiritually sensitive been able to do this, whereas others have brought first moral scandal and then Protestant-style schism, as in England, or else first moral and financial scandal and then Protestant-style modernism, as in North America? The reason is to be found in psychological motivation. Those who join the Church from a self-serving need, even pathology, do not bear fruit and leave for self-made sects and cults, according to their ‘old man’, their old Protestant culture. However, those who enter the Church because they wish to save their souls and so serve others, do bear fruit. ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’. Therefore, ‘Wretched are the impure in heart for they shall not see God’.

Enlightening the Endarkened Post-Roman Catholic World

Today, having reached the limits of what is possible in enlightening the post-Protestant world, the now reunited Russian Orthodox Church is turning to the far vaster post-Roman Catholic world. This world had long been closed to the Church because of its illusion that it is itself the Church, so cultivated by its purposeful deformation of the call to the West to repent made by the Mother of God to Portuguese children at Fatima in 1917. However, its recent wave of moral and financial scandals has revealed the corruption that has existed inside it for centuries and brought at least some to humility. Now the Russian Orthodox Church must battle for the souls of this post-Roman Catholic world. Fifty years ago that world began to fall into the desacralisation and infantilism of secularist Protestantisation and yet, traditionally it had conserved from Orthodoxy the sense of the Mother of God, the communion of the saints and the sacramental sense. There is cause for hope somewhere here.

Unfortunately, Roman Catholicism in the Western world has almost wholly lost its way. According to the design of evil forces, which had long planned its ultimate downfall, and the horror and scandal of its rejected faithful, since the Second Vatican Council two generations ago it has adopted the desacralised sentimentalism of secularist Protestantisation. Whether in North America, the UK, France, the Netherlands or in the Germanic and Scandinavian world, Protestantised Roman Catholicism is in a state of almost total apostasy, its liturgical heritage dumbed down, infantilised and all but destroyed. Western Europe has largely kept only the relics of the Faith. Quite literally, the relics. Western Europe resembles a huge treasure chest of relics, to which modernist Roman Catholicism has thrown away the key. However, a new key is being rehammered and reforged on the anvil of Tradition by the smiths of Orthodoxy. This is the key to the best of the West, the literal relics of its former piety.

Fortunately, there is hope of redemption among the simple faithful, often Orthodox in all but name, in Black Africa, in Latin America, in remoter parts of Southern Europe, in Eastern Europe, in Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and elsewhere, where piety and the veneration of icons have survived and not all are very aged. Here interest in Orthodoxy comes from the faithful of the mainstream, not from extremes, whether of left or right. It is this mainstream that has been rejected by its clerical elite. Thus, pro-Protestant modernists in Poland who seek self-destruction, have no interest in authentic Orthodoxy, at best only in a fake and sanitised Orthodoxy; nor do Roman Catholics in the extreme west of the Ukraine who have joined the Lefevrist group, unable to accept the Second Vatican Council’s Protestant-style, clericalist modernism. However, their extreme right-wing politics, Russophobic and pro-Hitler, prevents them like the rest of the Lefevrist movement from joining the Orthodox Church.

Today it is little wonder that various refugees from the spiritual desert of the Western world, whether post-Protestant or post-Roman Catholic, from the American whistle-blower Edward Snowden to the French actor Gerard Depardieu, look, consciously or unconsciously, to Russia for hope. Since the glorification of the New Martyrs and Confessors in 1981, confirmed in 2000, the Church has been renewed, a process which continues as more New Martyrs are canonised. Only a few weeks ago in Paris thousands of demonstrators at mass rallies against ‘homosexual marriage’ and the adoption of children by same-sex couples, chanted ‘Russia, save us’, knowing that such perversions are forbidden here. For fifty years and more the Russian Church has tried to redeem the post-Protestant world, suffering with limited success. It is now our turn to try to redeem the post-Roman Catholic world, a more serious proposition, revealing to it, to its astonishment, its long forgotten roots in Orthodoxy.

Afterword: Redemption by Suffering

In 1917 the West was warned of the evil it was exporting to Russia by the Revelation of the Mother of God in Fatima. ‘Until you stop spreading the evil that you are spreading to Russia and consecrate yourself to Orthodoxy, the Holy Father (the Patriarch) will suffer and all will go worse’. It refused to listen and deformed the message of the Mother of God into self-justification. Then, in 1919, as prophesied, it guaranteed a Second Great War by afflicting the German and Austrian peoples, and not their elites, with an unjust peace. Thus, Russian troops would be triumphant in Berlin and Vienna – but only in 1945 and after the most barbaric of wars, with its camps and genocides, the greatest of which was that of 30 million Slavs, imposed by racist Germany. And even after all this Western Europe still refused to repent and so has gone on with its abortion holocaust beginning in 1964, and in 1989 its destruction of an unfree Eastern Europe, which it had itself created in 1917 and 1945.

However, God gives many opportunities for repentance, up unto seventy times seven. Every generation has its chance. The chances were refused in August 1914, in September 1939, in October 1964 and in November 1989. In December 2014 there is coming yet another chance. Four horrible scars will be left, but there is still time. Since 1914 the old Protestant culture has fallen, its decadence becoming apparent after two generations in the 1960s. Since 1964 the old Roman Catholic culture has fallen, its decadence becoming apparent after two generations today. Once blinded by arrogant hubris, its delusion of self-belief, the old Protestant culture has over the last fifty years disintegrated. It is now the turn of the old Roman Catholic culture. If it understands its error of hubris, it will have the chance to listen to the real message of Fatima, the call to the West to repent of its pride and its poisonous materialist ideology and accept the restoration of Church Orthodoxy in its integrity.

It is by no means certain that this will happen. The post-Protestant world is still offered Orthodoxy, but few accept it. It may be the same with the post-Roman Catholic world. It may be that no restoration of Orthodoxy in the Western world, however partial, will be possible until there is the example of full restoration in Russia. It may be that until the House of Romanov, through the son of a Romanov mother, is restored, even until another War, the fallen Western world will not be ready to listen, understanding at last that its own propaganda about Russia before the Revolution was merely lies. It may be that the Merciful Mother of God must yet appear again, as She did in her Myrrh-Giving Iviron Icon in the 1980s, again witnessing to the New Martyrs and Confessors and confirming her words of Fatima. Only then will the Western world start to repent of the materialist ideology which it has spread and return to the clean Gospel of Christ and His Holy Church in the purity of Orthodoxy.