Category Archives: Orthodox Unity

The Western God is Dead and Buried, but the True And Living God is Returning

Our God is a consuming fire

Heb 12, 29

I worship and adore the true and living God who created all things.

St Alban of Verulamium

Introduction: The Western God’s Funeral is Over

The thousand year-long funeral of the Western god is over. This much is clear to everyone. True, very small groups of the elderly still huddle in surviving churches, true, other buildings are packed with swaying crowds of happy-clappers – only in reality they are not attending churches, but feel-good American entertainment shows. Thus, former church-buildings have become fitness clubs, restaurants and shopping centres for the cult of the body and ‘wellness’. People are told to ‘spoil and pamper themselves’, because ‘you’re worth it’, with personal trainers, life coaches, leisure centres, spas, hot tubs, jacuzzis, beauty salons, massage parlours, cosmetic surgery, gourmet restaurants managed by ‘celebrity chefs’ and gastropubs with ‘fine wine’. Physical impurity of all sorts must be purged – go vegan and gluten-free; as for spiritual impurity, it has never been heard of. However, all manner of utterly irrational superstitions are available for mental wellness; mindfulness, gurus, astrology, magic crystals, feng-shui, tree-hugging – anything goes, providing it is fashionable. So all Westerners have become ‘fashion victims’. But how did the Western (and Westernized) world reach this point of killing its own god?

Some History

After the Western world had denied and then lost the knowledge of the real God a thousand years ago, it substituted its own rationalist and scholastic god for Him. This substitute god, represented by a Western man called ‘the Vicar of Christ’, from whom, they claimed, flowed all authority, was idolized for hundreds of years. This idolatry came because he justified all manner of Western aggression, from massacres in Western Europe (southern Italy, England, Iberia, Wales, southern France, Ireland) to ‘Crusades’, from Inquisitions to the ruthless genocides of Western ‘explorers’ (=murderous pirates and thieves) like Columbus, Da Gama and Cortez. After a few centuries the self-invented Western god’s authority was extended to others, ‘democratized’, and this justified the plundering and looting of the whole planet outside Western Europe with colonial empires, violent Revolutions in England, France and Russia (including the ‘Industrial Revolution’), World Wars, the Holocaust of the Slavs (30 million dead), the Atomic bomb and the invasion of and genocide in Iraq (which the Western god ‘told’ George Bush to do).

The Nature of Western Civilization

Thus, it can be said that the essence of Western Civilization is self-worship, the worship of Western man, which it calls humanism. After the Reformation this worship was, as we have said, gradually extended down the centuries in the name of ‘equality’, from one Western man to all rich Western men, then later from rich Western men to poor Western men, from Western men to Western women and, much more recently, from Western men to anyone of any colour, race, religion and ‘sexual orientation’, as long as they accept the Secularism inherent in Western ‘Civilization’. Therefore, today, the Western world no longer needs a god to justify itself; it is its own god. This was already recognized quite clearly by nineteenth-century intellectuals like Darwin and then Nietzsche, who openly proclaimed that the Western god ‘is dead’. Today this is repeated by spiritually empty intellectuals like Dawkins, who constantly proclaims that God is a myth. And he is right: the Western god, first proclaimed 1,000 years ago, is indeed a myth, but that god is in no way related to the True and Living God, as proclaimed by the Western Orthodox St Alban, who was martyred by Western pagans for proclaiming this well over 1700 years ago.

Dawkins’ arrogant and preening proclamation is true, but it is also suicidal. This is because, since the Western god, angry, vengeful, racially prejudiced, favouritist, puritanical, persecuting, spiteful, punishing, militaristic and just plain evil as he enjoys seeing the victims of death, is dead, this means that his own Western Civilization is dead, fit only for the museum. For it was this nasty-minded god who lay at the root of post-Christian Western Civilization after 1054. For with his so-called ‘atheism’, Dawkins condemns himself and everything he stands for. His ‘Western values’ are merely the ultimate and most logical development of Western Civilization’s own, self-invented god. This atheism, belief in self, has not brought progress, but simply a return to the old paganism, as among the globalist Romans, who believed in any gods, except in the True and Living God. The new gods of today are simply the old pagan gods revived. Western values mean believing in Anything. Christian values proclaim faith in Something, the Living God. However, only a few Western people have been able to step outside the ‘delusion’ (Dawkin’s word) of the self-justifying bubble of their Western ‘Civilization’ to understand this and accept Christ.

Why? Because repentance is far too hard for them; self-justification is far more attractive. Thus, only a few Western people (though it is quite obvious to those outside ethnocentric Western Civilization) have so far realized that the Western world has not buried the real God, just its own thousand year-old Western false god, its idol. Western people, who, amazingly, call themselves ‘atheists’ (which only means that they no longer believe in the Western myth of god) need to be warned: The real God is not dead and buried, but alive and acting and He is coming back. His return is coming from the Holy Spirit, Who ‘blows where He wishes’ and Who has reconnected the inspired in the West with Orthodox Civilization. This Civilization is quite different from Secularist Western Civilization because this is Christian, whereas Western Civilization has not been really Christian for a thousand years. To find a Western Civilization that was Christian, you have to go back a thousand years, in other words, go back to a time when there was no such thing as ‘Western Civilization’, when Western Europe was simply a small, provincial and little developed part of Orthodox Christendom, whose centre was and is in the East, close to Christ.

The Attempt to Destroy Orthodox Civilization

The essence of Orthodox Civilization is the True and Living God and its direction is heaven, and not some Western self-idolatry, whose direction is hell. For the last hundred years in particular (though it had been patently obvious since 1054 or 1204), we have seen how Western Civilization has tried to destroy Orthodox Civilization, betraying and usurping the most Christian Emperor when he was on the brink of victory in the Western-initiated Great War in 1917 and soon afterwards bribing the Patriarchate of Constantinople into enslavement. It even forced that enfeebled Patriarchate, and any others who were so weak that they would follow it, to abandon the Christian calendar! Thus, the schismatic events in the Ukraine of the last few weeks, actively and openly supported by the US and British ambassadors in Kiev and Athens, are only the latest results of the thousand-year attempt of Western Civilization to divide and rule, and eventually, as they hope, destroy and conquer, Christian Civilization. The centre of this Christian Civilization has for centuries, and at no time more than now, been the Russian Orthodox Church. It is why we belong to Her, defending Her against all and confessing Her faith without hesitation.

Conclusion: The Future

Today, the Russian Orthodox Church is as ever supported by all other faithful Orthodox, especially those in the Patriarchate of Antioch and the Serbian, Georgian, Bulgarian, Polish, Czechoslovak Orthodox Churches, by monastics everywhere and many others. The battle today is between two diametrically opposed Civilizations. On the one hand, there is Western Civilization, which is in fact not a Civilization at all because, unlike all other Civilizations in world history, it is not based on faith in God and the spiritual inspiration behind all culture. Its aim has always been the conquest of the planet (‘globalism’), justified by its imagined superiority, which is leading directly to the destruction of the planet – hell on earth. On the other hand, there is Christian Civilization, whose centre is without doubt the martyred Russian Orthodox Church, supported by all other faithful Orthodox. Our aim is heaven on earth. It is clear that although those on the fringes of the Orthodox Church may be falling away, as they have been for the last four generations, that the chaff is being sifted from the wheat (and so much the better), the Church will be victorious in the end. This is because the Church is not ours, but Christ’s and He is invincible.

 

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

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

St John of Shanghai

Foreword: The War

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

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

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

Three Battles

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

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

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

After the Three Battles

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

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

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

The Fourth Battle

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

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

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

Afterword: The Victory

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

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

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

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Kiev, 1-8 February 2019

 

 

 

 

On the Lesson We Must Draw from the Heresy and Fall of Constantinople

For exactly 100 years the divisive heresy of phyletism (racist nationalism), introduced into the Orthodox Diaspora in 1918 by the Greek nationalist Patriarchate of Constantinople, has been a scourge of the Church. Now that same Patriarchate has spread its heresy into the Ukraine. Everywhere it is present and active, whether in the USA, France, Canada, Estonia, England and now in the Ukraine, it has spread this heresy of nationalism, whereby ‘our local customs and culture’ are put above the Body of Christ, the Universal Orthodox Church.

Sadly, the Local Churches of Antioch, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria and Georgia have followed this bad example, dividing the Diaspora according to nationality. All this destroyed the old unity of the Orthodox Diaspora which had been united under the Russian Orthodox Church until 1918. However, by its actions in the Ukraine the Patriarchate of Constantinople has now altogether fallen away from the Orthodox Church. All this is a self-evident truth and indeed it is now history. 1054 was followed by 2018. Old Rome was followed by New Rome.

The flag-waving heresy of phyletism, that is, putting your race above Christ, your national flag above the Church of God, is an ancient one. This sin of nationalism is that of the Jews, who preferred Caesar to Christ and called down the blood of Christ on themselves and their children. This sin of nationalism is that of the pagan Romans and the Germanic barbarians who in the 11th century invented Roman Catholicism. This sin of nationalism is that of the Germanic peoples in the 16th century, who put their national States above Christ and invented ‘National Churches’, obviously in England.

Today it is the sin of the ‘racially superior’ Greek Patriarch Bartholomew and the half-Jewish President Poroshenko-Walzman, both appointees of the US State Department. For together they have invented a State Church for Ukrainian nationalists, who worship the Ukraine first and perhaps Christ later. The only other result of the Greek-organized farce in Kiev on Saturday 15 December has been the suspension of two renegade bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitans Symeon and Alexander, who have long been thorns in the side of the Church.

The other 83 bishops of the Ukrainian Church have remained faithful, despite pressure from the dreaded CIA-trained Kiev regime Secret Police, the SBU. And so two more bishops have been nominated, bringing the total to 85 again. This faithfulness is a lesson for all Orthodox, not least for any in Moscow who put Russia above Christ. If you compromise the Faith with nationalism and its modernistic consequences, like the once venerable Patriarchate of Rome and now that of Constantinople, this is the heresy and fate that await you.

Today, the whole world, apart from parts of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa, which are the canonical territories of other Local Churches, is waiting for the Russian Orthodox Church to spread the Word of God. Mission on most of five continents, in most of Europe, most of Asia, in Oceania and in North and South America, lies before us. And this mission can only be carried out by a Church, which is uncompromised and untainted by State interference, by racist nationalism, by secularist ecumenism and modernism. Those who have ears, let them hear.

 

The First Council of New Jerusalem?

The recent Church Council at the New Jerusalem Monastery to the west of Moscow was organized by the Church of New Jerusalem and All Rus – as the Patriarchate of Moscow has now been renamed. The Council was attended by its 400 bishops and substantial official delegations from all the other Twelve Local Churches that are in communion with it and each other.

Momentous international decisions affecting all were taken at the Council. First of all, the Church of Rus was placed first in order of the diptychs, before New Constantinople (see below), Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem; the Archbishop of Athens has been renamed ‘Patriarch of New Constantinople’ and all five Balkan Churches (Romania, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Albania) have pledged themselves to the closest co-operation and talk seriously of merging into one again; the Churches of Poland and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia are intending to become Autonomous Churches within the Patriarchate of Rus. If this happens, it will reduce the number of Local Churches to seven: Rus, New Constantinople (the Balkans), Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, Cyprus and Georgia. Seven is of course the number of Local Churches in the Book of Revelation.

At long last, after over a century lost since the 1917 international-organized, treasonous coup d’etat which overthrew the Russian Empire, the Diaspora and the Non-Orthodox world are receiving attention. Firstly, the Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus now has ten Autonomous Churches, not only the five in the Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Japan and China, but also five new ones: in Western Europe from Iceland to Finland and Portugal to Hungary; North America; Latin America; Oceania; South-East Asia. All Orthodox living in these five territories have been invited to take part in inter-diocesan life, while retaining their complete independence, customs, viewpoints and attachment to their homelands. Secondly, the Patriarchate of Antioch has promised to work to evangelize the whole Arab world, with diplomatic and financial support from the Patriarchate of All Rus.

This Council of New Jerusalem has been hailed as a turning-point in Church history. It means that with the internal nationalist bickering of the recent past resolved and administrative divisions overcome, the Church can now turn its attention to the outside world. Today’s world, divided between narrow racist nationalism and greedy scheming globalism, needs Christ as never before.

On the Liberation and Restoration of Church Life

It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism – the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God.

We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.

St Mark of Ephesus

Fall and Liberation

The near-750 year process of the fall of the See of Constantinople since the so-called Councils of Lyon and later Ferrara-Florence is now over. It has finally fallen under a Jesuit-trained Patriarch, who in his delusion actually justifies himself, to the same millennial disease as Old Rome – Papism. New Rome fell to the same heresy of Old Rome: the lust for power justified on ethnic grounds – the mythical superiority of one race over another and over Christ, in the first case, of Latinized Germans and, in the latter case, of phyletist Hellenes. St Mark of Ephesus was right.

As a result, Constantinople parishes, few and scattered already, have been cut off from the Church and true Orthodox have begun leaving them. Withdrawing, they will join one or other of the thirteen Local Churches. Fragments of the Russian Orthodox world in North America and OCA, under Constantinople for political reasons, are hopelessly divided. Now the Orthodox elements in them can rejoin the worldwide Russian Church, returning in repentance to Orthodox practices and values in canonical conditions, without phariseeism or sectarianism.

Restoration and Rise

Now, to assume the leadership of service of the Church on earth, Whose only Head is Christ, the Patriarchate of Moscow, perhaps better repentantly renamed the Patriarchate of All Rus, must too cleanse itself of all the same Phanariot poison. This poison is the fatal mixture, summed up in utterly failed Muscovite diplomacy, of narrow nationalism and modernist ecumenism. Thus, the Third Rome must beware that it too does not fall to the same disease. When will we know that the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to assume this leadership of service, so that Church life can be restored?

  1. When there is no more Great Russian chauvinism and so no more talk of the Patriarch of Moscow as the ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’. This is the title which the Orthodox Pope of Old Rome, St Gregory the Dialogist, rightly condemned already at the end of the sixth century.
  2. When there is no more Russian Orthodox dallying with the Papacy of old Rome and the Pan-Protestant World Council of Churches, with both of which the representatives of the Phanar are naturally active. And so when there is no more new calendarism and experiments with the spiritual death of Paris ‘theology’.

Then, at last unhindered and uncompromised by the shackles of the past, we will be able to get on with our sadly interrupted mission to the seven billion Non-Orthodox, in concert with the other Twelve Local Churches. And only then shall we see Church life restored after such a disgraceful period of decadence.

 

 

 

1918-2018: The Hundred-Year Nightmare Ends: As Day Breaks the Third Rome Wakes Up At Last

Introduction

Parroting the words of the Russophobic Brzezhinzki school of string-pullers in Washington, President Poroshenko has declared that with autocephaly granted to the Ukraine ‘one of the basic geopolitical problems of the world has been solved’, adding that: ‘This is the fall of the Third Rome as the concept of Moscow having world domination’ and that autocephaly is ‘part of our pro-European strategy’ and ‘the basis for the path of development of our State and our nation’. Clearly Poroshenko, a Jew by his father and who has been seen on one occasion taking communion from the Uniats, believes in the Neo-Nazi chant of his extremists, who, instead of the traditional greeting ‘Glory to Jesus Christ’ uses: ‘Glory to the Ukraine’. In other words, he lives in a world of illusions and xenophobic lies.

In reality, the Ukrainian affair was ordered by the scared US State Department, which has used its puppet fantasist Patriarch Bartholomew to carry out its plan. The latter wanted petty revenge for the failure of his Crete junket, but in fact he has had to cut off his nose to spite his face. This marks a very positive turning point. It marks an end to the dalliance of those in the Russian Church who cultivated the dangerous Phanariot illusions of apostasy, secularism, modernism, ecumenism and venality, illusions of an Orthodoxy for show. Now Moscow has to wake up from the illusions of ‘Church diplomacy’. Now at last the tiny group in Moscow concerned can stop playing with the World Council of Churches, the Vatican and the Phanar and start being the Third Rome. We have waited for so long.

Assuming the destiny of the Russian Orthodox Church, all can now tell the Truth. After all, it is not diplomacy that sets us free, but the Truth that sets us free, and the Church is the last bastion of the Truth in this world of illusions. This means that the paralysis is at last ending. Some in Moscow weakly allowed the Phanar to interfere in the Russian Diaspora in Paris, then, much more recently, in the Ukrainian Diaspora, then in Estonia, then in the Sourozh Diocese, now at last they are waking up. We who have been abandoned for so long by the Third Rome, all the while defending it, can at last be heard. The Orthodox world can now be reconfigured – providing that the Russian Church acts responsibly, in concert with the Twelve Disciples, the other Local Churches, as the Third Rome.

I can recall nearly 40 years ago how Fr Alexei Kniazev, the rector of the St Sergius Institute in Paris, told us seminarists how he went to Constantinople in 1966 and put the question directly to Patriarch Athenagoras: ‘So are you the Oecumenical Patriarch or are you just a petty Balkan bishop?’ He never received an answer, except between the lines, and so soon after tried to join the Moscow Patriarchate – which irresponsibly rejected him. So today we ask that Moscow assumes once more the role of the Third Rome. In this matter it is not the Russian Church that is the servant of the Russian State, it is the Russian State that is the servant of the Russian Church. For the Russian Church is not Russian, but God’s, as the Church does not belong to Russia, but Russia belongs to the Church.

History

Let us recall how all this came about:   

In 1948 the freemason and notorious atomic mass murderer, Truman, obsessed with the unchallenged power of having the only weapons of mass destruction in the world, decided to take over the Patriarchate of Constantinople. His gangsters removed the Patriarch Maximos V and duly installed his fellow-mason Archbishop Athenagoras as Patriarch. In the same year Truman set up the World Council of Churches as a Pan-Protestant propaganda tool. The Local Orthodox Churches in capitalist countries were humiliatingly forced to join it. In 1961 the Ukrainian tyrant and atheist Khushchov forced the Russian Church and other Local Churches in socialist countries to join it, thinking that he could both finally finish off the Churches by 1980 and at the same time undermine the Americans.

In reply, the US State Department soon organized the Second Vatican Council and successfully protestantized the Vatican’s worldwide operation, their greatest following success being to enable the CIA to have the Polish Cardinal Wojtyla elected in order to undermine the Soviet Empire. When that Empire did duly collapse and its countries became the vassals of the ‘Truman Doctrine’, Washington declared itself the victor, briefly assuming world hegemony and ‘the end of history’. Of course, such nonsense did not match reality. The attempt to secularize and so enslave the Orthodox Church could never succeed, as it had with the Protestant and Catholic denominations. The Body of Christ cannot be enslaved by the world, because the Holy Spirit inhabits Her and transfigures Her.

Of course, the devil had tried to enslave the Church. In the 1920s he used his slave, the British freemason Patriarch Meletios Metaksakis (elected with £100,000 of Anglican money channelled through the British State), to set up a ‘Pan-Orthodox Conference’. In 1923 this imposed the Western calendar on its slaves. However, this was not enough. In 1961 Patriarch Athenagoras reactivized this ‘Conciliar’ process and in 1977 Patriarch Dimitrios nearly concluded it, but was sabotaged by St Justin (Popovich). It took nearly another forty years for the next apostate puppet in the Phanar, a graduate of the Gregorian University in Rome, to set up a ‘Council’ in Crete in 2016. However, the free Orthodox world boycotted it, as just another attempt to secularize the Church, ignoring its dogmas and canons.

 Conclusion

Now that the Church is free from the apostatic deadwood of the Truman Doctrine of US world supremacy, including over the Church of God, we can at last move forward. Ignoring the arrogant ignorance of primitive Muscovite nationalists, the Russian Church and State can now assume the burden of the Third Rome, for none now can doubt that the Second Rome is well and truly fallen and that ‘a fourth Rome there will not be’. Let us forget the expensive mascarades of diplomacy, for they have utterly failed. Only the Russian Orthodox Church, supported by Russian Orthodox statesmen, can hold the world back from its end, whither it rushes like a suicidal lemming. The Third Rome, the Patriarchate of Holy Rus, stands Risen from the Crucifixion of Atheism and we await its saving words of the Resurrection.

Now we have to be an example to all those who seek salvation, but do not know how to get there. Russia was destined to be an ark of salvation for the many peoples and has no other meaning. If it does not do this beneath the standard of Christ – no other standard will do – it will disappear from the face of the earth and then the whole world will end. Noah’s Ark is here, ready for the flood of fire that hangs over the planet. We await only its captain, the coming Tsar, who will take up the mantle of the Tsar-Martyr, the great benefactor of World Orthodoxy, reformer and builder of churches from New York to Nice, Patron of all the Local Churches. Then all the apostates and traitors will have the opportunity to repent, even at this eleventh hour. We await the Council of New Jerusalem, outside Moscow, to enlighten the world according to the Light of Christ and not to the darkness of men.

 

Pentarchy Plus: A Generation after the Great and Holy Council of Moscow a Historian Recalls the Great Cleansing and how the ‘Ukrainian Overreach’ Became a Blessing in Disguise

Looking back twenty-five years on from 2020, it is difficult for the young to imagine the state of decadence into which the Church had fallen at the end of the last millennium and which lasted into the early 21st century. For over 100 years, between 1917 and 2018, the Church had been paralysed; for over 75 years by the captivity of the Russian Church to the Soviet and Post-Soviet State; for over 100 years by the captivity of the old Church of Constantinople to the Western Powers, since 1948 to the USA. Once the Russian Church had been freed, after a very long and painful wait at the end of the 20th century, we then had to wait for the liberation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople from the US-controlled Phanariots. This became a very frustrating wait, as there was an accumulation of nearly two centuries of problems to be resolved, notably in Eastern Europe and the Diaspora. Everything began to move only in 2016, with the generational change 25 years after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.

By trying to impose its masonic policies on the Church in Crete in 2016, the Phanariot ‘Council’ there became a laughing stock. Both the Vatican and the USA realized that the Phanar had no authority in the Orthodox world, that it was not an Orthodox Vatican, as they had repeatedly been told by the Phanariots and as they had naively believed. Then, in 2018, with one last desperate throw of its dice, by threatening schism in the Ukraine the Phanariot bishops found that they could no longer concelebrate with the Russian Church. By threatening schism in the Ukraine, its assemblies of bishops in the Diaspora, already become expensive but futile talking-shops for the Phanariot fantasy of imperialism, were boycotted by the Russian Church.

The Phanar had played with fire – and was burned. One word from the then President of Turkey and the elderly Phanariot Patriarch would become a refugee. One word from the US ambassador in Athens or Ankara and he would be sacked. By the end of 2018 the position of the Phanar had become very, very fragile – its demise in the form that it had assumed since the Russian Revolution of 1917 had become inevitable. All progress has been blocked for so long, so when the Phanar, compromised by its calendar and all sorts of modernist innovations, did finally collapse like a weakened dam under the pressure of vast amounts of water, the accumulation of problems was overcome. What happened?

First of all, in 2019 the highly impoverished and corrupt Ukraine finally collapsed into its constituent parts. Most of it returned to the Russian Federation, other small parts returned to Romania and Hungary and the extreme west to Poland, only a small central-western part remaining as an independent country and returning to its historical name of Malorossiya. When this happened, and the corrupted Western world realized that it had backed a bunch of thieves and murderers all along, the structure set up by Constantinople in the Ukraine also collapsed in scandal and disgrace.

As a result, in 2020 a long-awaited Church Council was called in Moscow and the Church restructured, as of old, into Five Patriarchates, with four new Autocephalous Churches, the order of precedence of the Patriarchates reconfigured in conformity with 21st century reality. Sometimes called ‘Pentarchy Plus’, these are the same Five Patriarchates and four Churches as we have today, in 2045:

 

  1. The Patriarchate of Rus. Patriarch Tikhon II.

The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Rus (as it was renamed, the old name of ‘Patriarchate of Moscow’ being dropped as narrow and compromised) was recognized as Eurasia, except for the territories of the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem and the Church of Europe (see below). It continued for the time being to include the autonomous Churches of Japan, China, Moldova, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and the Exarchates of Belarus and Malorossiya. The Patriarchate of Rus was joined by the Church of Georgia, which had faced great difficulty and isolation and so also became another autonomous Church within the Patriarchate of Rus. The Patriarchate of Rus was given the immense task, with the closest co-operation of the other four Patriarchates, of organizing four new Autocephalous Churches, following the spiritual and moral collapse of the old heterodox institutions of Catholicism and Protestantism. These were in order of size:

  1. The Church of Europe. This included the former Autocephalous Churches of Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which were absorbed into the new Autocephalous Church of Europe. Therefore this included the territories of all the ex-Catholic/Protestant countries westwards from the borders of the Empire of Rus (as it was renamed in 2028, when the Empire was restored and Tsar Nicholas III was anointed). So it stretched from Finland and Hungary to Iceland and Portugal.
  2. The Church of Latin America. This included South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. It used Spanish and Portuguese, with some Dutch, French and English, especially in the Caribbean.
  3. The Church of Anglo-America. This was composed of Canada and the USA and used English, French and some Spanish.
  4. The Church of Oceania. This used English and some native languages (notably Maori).
  5. The Patriarchate of New Constantinople. Patriarch Chrysostom.

The flock-less institution of the Patriarchate of old Constantinople was moved from Istanbul and most of its bishops retired, once they had been threatened with details of their lives being revealed. A new ‘Patriarch of New Constantinople’, the first Patriarch being a Bulgarian by nationality (in recognition for the bravery of the Church of Bulgaria in refusing to attend the 2016 meeting in Crete), the Orthodox calendar returned, and so the old calendarist schisms in Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria overcome. The canonical territory of New Constantinople (as it was now called) was defined as that of the old autocephalous Churches of Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia (its nationalist schisms in Macedonia and Montenegro overcome), Albania, Cyprus and Greece (together with areas of Greece formerly under old Constantinople). With an Orthodox population of just over 40 million, the new Church of Constantinople, seven old Churches in one, decided that the nationalities of its Patriarchs and their sees would rotate. Thus, instead of absurd provincial rivalries (each nationality trying to build the tallest church in the Balkans), at last there began a period of Balkan and Cypriot Confederation, co-operation and prosperity, as Tsar Nicholas II had foreseen in 1912.

  1. The Patriarchate of Alexandria. Patriarch Moses.

The Patriarchate of Alexandria’s canonical territory remained All Africa. However, it began to be aided in its task of at last missionizing Africa by the other Patriarchates, especially the Patriarchate of Rus with its generous Imperial funds. From now on its Patriarchs became black Africans.

  1. The Patriarchate of Antioch. Patriarch John.

Centred in Russian-rebuilt Damascus after the Western war which had tried to destroy Syria through its puppets Saudi Arabia and Qatar (as they were then called), this Patriarchate was renewed. Its canonical territory was defined as the whole Arab world of the Middle East, outside Palestine (see below), together with Turkey.

  1. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Patriarch James.

This was now established again as the Patriarchate of the Holy Land and its canonical territory was defined as that of the lands of the Palestinians, Israel and the Jordan. Its old dispute with Antioch was overcome and its Patriarchs from now on were all to be Palestinians.

 

So it was after the great cleansing of the Church at the 2020 Great and Holy Council of Moscow (as it is now called) that the Church was reconfigured and the mission to the Non-Orthodox world began.

4 October 2045

How a Church Was Divided

Introduction

Sadly, here have been several cases of decadence among Orthodox clergy in the Diaspora, especially since the 1950s, no jurisdiction excepted. Clerical scandals have at times turned people away from the Church. People have said: ‘If that is how certain clergy behave, then the Church is no different from the world’. Certain bishops and those ordained and then supported by such bishops have shown a lack of love through weakness of faith or even absence of faith. Such a weakness of faith or absence of faith has resulted in spiritual catastrophes.

Unprincipled careerist political compromises, simony, theft of Church money, moral iniquity and narcissistic jealousy leading to the persecution of honest priests and people, we have seen them all. As a result, the Church on earth has not been able to witness to the world as it could have. Terrifyingly, the culprits will have to answer at the Last Judgement. Thus, in this period, God gave an opportunity for all English-speaking Orthodox in the British Isles at least to be united, but the opportunity was lost. Where did those rejected go in order to survive?

ROCOR

Despite being brought up outside the Church, some of the most zealous and principled, with a sense of Truth and of the Tradition and missionary impulse, joined ROCOR. This was, after all, always part of the Russian Orthodox Church, where they would not have to compromise themselves. However, here, as non-Russians, they were sometimes treated as second-class citizens and also faced petty persecution by those who, under political and sectarian influence, wanted to make ROCOR into a sect. Today, such elements have mainly left ROCOR for their full-blown sects. Freed of them, the new ROCOR can return to normality, to being the old ROCOR with its pre-War roots in the Tradition, abandoning the theological and canonical absurdities of post-1945 Cold War polemics. If ROCOR can show leadership and love, repenting for the injustices and errors of the past, it will bring hope. In the meantime, as a result of the past, others went elsewhere.

The ‘Greek’ Church

As a desperate compromise rejecting ROCOR, Anglicans such as Timothy Ware joined the Church of Constantinople and, after a serious argument in 1965, Fr Sophrony (Sakharov) and his then three monks followed him. As well as them, others, living outside the London-Oxford corridor, were usually turned away and told to ‘go to the Greeks’. This was the result of the refusal to commit to Orthodox missionary work. Today, however, those who made these forced compromises are having to face canonical isolation, the consequence of the contemporary actions of the Phanar, which has trampled over canon law in the Ukraine. Here we see the results of compromising consciences, taking ‘the middle way’ (which is definitely not ‘the golden mean’), the way between Truth and lie, so ending up with Halfodoxy.

Serbian, Romanian and Bulgarian

Only very few joined these other Balkan Churches, realizing that they are mononational, so not for English speakers.

Belarussian and Ukrainian

A few joined uncanonical groups, Belarussian and Ukrainian, in protest at mistreatment. In general, they did not linger long, realizing that there was no place for them in temporary nationalist groups, which were the results of the Second World War.

Antioch

When in 1995 ten or so unhappy Anglican vicars with some 300 disillusioned Anglicans approached the Church, they were rebuffed and so set up their own ex-Anglican jurisdiction. But here, as they have told me themselves, they had difficulty learning the Tradition and so integrating the Church, remaining on the margins, often not learning how to think, act, serve and sing like Orthodox, still trapped in alien Anglicanism.

Sects

A few sectarian-minded individuals left for various curious sects, Greek or Russian, usually because their unrealistic idealism was dissatisfied with the mass of Orthodox who were ‘not strict enough’ for them. Cut off from the Tree of the Church by their own perfectionism, judgementalism and lack of forgiveness, they left themselves to die out.

Exarchate

The final result of compromise was a schism, when in 2007 some 300 joined the Russophobic Paris branch of Constantinople. This had itself been founded through schism by the selfsame aristocratic émigrés, who had betrayed the Tsar and the Christian Empire in 1917. This group now finds itself pitted against the rest of the Orthodox Church and the canonical foundations of Church life, as a result of current bribery and blackmail in Constantinople.

Conclusion

Do we belong to Paul or Apollos or Cephas – or to Christ? Whenever a strong personality, regardless of whether he is talented or not, takes the place of Christ, there is division. At the present time it does not seem likely that locally the Russian Patriarchal Church will recover. Lack of leadership and lack of love may have done long-term damage. The flock was scattered. The Mother-Church behaved like an unloving stepmother. However, if instead of compromise repentant leadership and love are shown by the Patriarchal Church, as it now faces its worst nightmare with the Phanariot schism and bloody persecution in the Ukraine, then there will be the miracle of unity. If it cannot show this, then little ROCOR, with its tiny means and sometimes still unresolved difficulties from the past, will be left to try and take responsibility for this Diaspora.

Could There Be a Schism in the Church?

At the present time, there are those who fear a schism in the Ukraine. However, there can never be schisms in the Church, only schisms away from the Church; the Church is never divided, but groups can fall away from Her, losing Her grace. We can at once identify three schisms in history, all of which took place for nationalistic reasons.

Roman Catholicism

This was an invention of the Western European elite developed in the eleventh century, though it had already been prefigured at the very end of the eighth century under the Teutonic tyrant Charlemagne. Essentially it was an attempt by Western European barbarians to usurp the Church and replace the Mystery of Christ with provincial Roman pagan rationalism. In order to justify their schism, they invented with their rationalism a new and heretical doctrine about God. Amazingly, many fell for this myth, even to this day believing in it as part of their ‘European’ racial ‘superiority’.

Uniatism

First spread in the seventeenth century, though invented a few years earlier, this was an attempt to make out that you can still be an Orthodox Christian under the heretical Bishop of Rome. It attracted only those on the western fringes of Orthodox Civilization, who could be oppressed and bribed and who were so ignorant and superficial that they thought that Christianity is a mere ritual.

Ukrainian Nationalism

Invented for imperialistic reasons at the end of the nineteenth century by Roman Catholic Austro-Hungary, this was a purely political method of flattering an ethnic group into believing that they had their own religious identity, neither Roman Catholic nor Orthodox Christian. It was later used by Fascist Germany to massacre Jews and then by the Fascist United States, again for imperialistic reasons, to try to undermine and destroy multinational Holy Rus. This myth attracts only those for whom Christ has no importance, but their folklore does.

Every schism is tragic and only individuals return and then with difficulty. It is quite different from a division. This is temporary and occurs only for political reasons – such as the division between the Church inside Russia and the Church outside Russia between 1927 and 2007. Everything that is possible must therefore be done to avert a schism.