Category Archives: Pastoral Matters

From Recent Correspondence (October 2020)

(Publication delayed because of the pressures of pastoral work and many local events in the last three weeks)

 

Q: Is covid a hoax? And is it manmade?

A: Of course, it is not a hoax. Ask the families of over a million people whom this virus has killed. It has now killed nearly twice as many as swine flu, though of course, this is very few compared to the ravages of the bubonic plague or so-called ‘Spanish flu’. Manmade? Most scientists seem to think that it is completely natural, the result of a lack of hygiene, like so many other viruses and flus. Probably they are right.

The only curious thing about it is the hysterical and panicky reactions of governments, mainly Western ones, which have possibly caused far more damage than the actual virus. Bankruptcy and unemployment, suicide quadrupling and depression: governments have a heavy responsibility here. Rather than protecting the small numbers who are highly vulnerable to covid, they seem to have decided to attack the majority and ruin their lives, notably attacking the Church. These are the reactions of profound atheists who have neither faith, nor hope, nor love.

Q: What did you make of the recently deceased Metr Amfilochije of Montenegro?

A: He was a hero of the Orthodox Faith, a real bishop, who told the Truth. I met him in San Francisco in 2006 and will always remember his words to certain ROCOR delegates who had been so brainwashed by the anti-Russian political propaganda called ‘Sergianism’, dreamed up by the CIA, that they were frightened of having anything to do with the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia. (Patriarch Sergius had, by the way, been dead for over 60 years, even by then!). He told them: ‘Do not fear Patriarch Sergius, fear God.’ That was precisely what they had not been doing.

Q: Will the Russian Church cease concelebration with the Church of Cyprus following Archbishop Chrysostom’s commemoration of Epiphanius of Kiev as the head of the Church in the Ukraine?

A: I do not know of course, but I do not think so. The Church of Cyprus is 600,000 people. Just because one of them has been forced or bribed by the local US and British ambassadors into commemorating the notorious schismatic Epiphanius, it would seem strange not to commemorate all the other Cypriot Orthodox. However, once more we see how the uncanonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Ukraine have everywhere created schism and division, now in Cyprus too. The US State Department is rejoicing at its divide and rule policy. And so is Satan.

Q: I have read that traditional Catholics will become Russian Orthodox as a result of Pope Francis’ latest, scandalous, syncretistic activities and his stance on homosexual marriage. Do you think this is true?

A: You mean, will some Catholics ask to join the Orthodox Church? Becoming Orthodox is another story.

The answer to your question is no. And this for several reasons:

At present there are very few Orthodox churches in any Catholic countries anywhere in the world. These churches are so thin on the ground and priests so few that even the Russian Orthodox flock is not being looked after.

And most of these churches are closed because of covid.

Many of the Russian Orthodox clergy do not speak the local language, let alone understand the local culture and Catholicism and give these people services in their own languages. So how and by whom will these Catholics be catechised and cared for?

Then, above all, you do not join the Orthodox Church because you are dissatisfied with a Pope, that is, for a negative reason. You join the Orthodox Church because you are convinced that She is the Church of God, that is, for a positive reason.

Finally, many such traditional Catholics may in fact be shocked by what they see as the liberalism of the Orthodox Church, for example, in having married priests or in de facto allowing contraception.

Q: You have written much about Western crimes like the invasion of England in 1066, the Crusades, including the sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Inquisition, colonialist genocides outside Western Europe, for example in the Americas, Western technology used for evil purposes, concentration camps etc. However, is there one single event which you think stands out from all these crimes?

A: Yes. To my mind the greatest crime surpassing all others is the overthrow in 1917 of the Christian Empire and Monarchy centred in Russia (as also the imperial systems of other uncolonised, that is, still free, countries, namely, the Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Ethiopian and Thai). Simply because those countries resisted Western colonialisation, that is, exploitation, they are all presented in the stereotypical Western histories as corrupt, primitive and backward, like the Tsar’s Russia, for instance. Of course, it is the Western histories themselves which were corrupt (their extraordinarily stupid academic authors were all handsomely paid by Western propagandist governments to lie) and so were spiritually primitive and corrupt. All their self-justifying propaganda was simply to destroy Non-Western countries and force them to kow-tow to the Western line.

Firstly, the overthrow of the Tsar by Western spies and Russian traitors committed to anti-spiritual Western bourgeois ideologies (whether Constitutionalism or Marxism) guaranteed a much longer First European or  ‘World’ War. Instead of ending with Russian troops liberating Vienna and Berlin in early summer 1917, it dragged on till November 1918, increasing the total death toll by millions.

Secondly, as soon as Imperial Russia had been knocked out of the War, American troops entered it, as had been long planned.  They brought with them so-called ‘Spanish’ flu, in fact American flu (most believe that it began specifically in the dirt of Kansas). This killed between 17 million and 50 million in a then world of 1.5 billion.

Thirdly, the Western overthrow of the Tsar brought Lenin (four million dead in four years) and Stalin (perhaps ten million dead in all, nearly one million in the Gulag alone), a Second European or ‘World’ War (Hitler could never have risen to power if Russian troops had been in Vienna and Berlin in 1917), that is, the suicide of Europe, with 30 million dead in the Nazi holocaust of Slavdom alone.

Finally, the consequences of the overthrow of the Christian Empire in 1917 are clearly visible today in the abortion holocaust, with millions of children slaughtered in Europe every year for many decades.

Hundreds of millions of dead for over one hundred years, all because of the betrayal of the Christian Empire and the murder of its Emperor and his pious family! And it has not finished yet.

Q: Why has the Orthodox Church been so slow to form a Western Orthodox Church?

A: In order to replace the old Western Patriarchate which fell away from the Church as the result of its pagan lust for power and mammon nearly a thousand years ago, a new Church has to be founded. However, the Church is voluntary. If there is no desire to join the Church, people will not join it. In order to have the desire to become Orthodox, you first need to overcome a thousand years of brainwashing and prejudice, which asserts that the Orthodox Church is not the Christian Church. That the Western world has the only true Christian Church – in the manmade ideologies of Catholicism and Protestantism. And amazingly hundreds of millions actually believe this delusion!

Then you have the whole logistical problem: how do you start a Church in a region that is hostile to you, that says you are ‘Byzantine’ (a curious word not used by Orthodox, which means corrupt) and without resources? You have no infrastructure, no finance and your people are political and economic refugees who do not speak the local language, let alone understand the local culture. This explains all the complications, divisions and extremisms, ranging from the ‘anything goes as long as you pay me’ ecumenism a la Patriarch Bartholomew to the pathological lack of love of others among certain old calendarist groups.

However, a structure has now been born and it is for all of us to contribute to building it up and filling it out, when it is ready for us, each of us in our different way. We are all forerunners in the rebirth of this Local Church. What have you done to contribute?

 

Questions and Answers from Correspondence (March-April 2020)

Falling in Love

Q: Do you believe that there is only one man for each woman and vice versa, that it is impossible to fall in love and find a new spouse again after widowhood or divorce, that we only have one chance of falling in love and finding happiness?

A: I think that there is only one ideal man for each woman and only one ideal woman for each man – though, of course, here the word ‘ideal’ is relative in our imperfect world. In this fallen world, the real and deep, and not silly and romantic, meaning of ‘to fall in love’ includes loving the imperfections of the other, without illusions. This is ‘ideal’. This does not mean the sort of falling in love repeatedly which teenagers with ‘crushes’ imagine is happening to them.

However, there are cases where widows or widowers remarry and do find a second happiness, perhaps not quite the same as the first, but still great happiness. But this is only because they have found someone very similar to the first, whom they are willing to die for – which is what real falling in love means. On the other hand, there are those who choose badly the first time (usually because they were too young or wanted to escape from parents), divorce but do find happiness the second time. I know of one case where happiness, true love, was found – the third time round.

Pastoral Matters

Q: How do converts stop being converts?

A: Virtually all Orthodox today are converts. After the fall of Communism, tens and tens of millions of people converted to Christ and were baptised in the faith of their ancestors because they were at last free to do so. In Greece too, many people fell away from the Church after the 1960s, but some of them have returned from very far, discovering Orthodoxy for the first time, despite their nationality and presupposed Orthodoxy. All these examples are proof of the obvious truth that ethnicity has nothing whatsoever to do with being Christian, a weird idea that would never have occurred to the apostles, martyrs, saints and Church Fathers.

Converts have to go from neophyte Orthodoxy, a fascination with, what seems to them in their estrangement from normality, to be esoteric or exotic (it is not at all esoteric or exotic for us who live it daily). This involves coming to the realisation that real Orthodoxy is simply the Christian way of life, real Christianity, and that what they may previously have thought was Christianity (Protestantism/ Catholicism) never was. That is a shock to them – yet it is the truth, as many will confirm. And all have to discover that Orthodoxy is not about crosses of gold and hearts of wood, but about hearts of gold and crosses of wood.

Converts may start as Orthodox with flames of zeal, but these flames will sooner or later die down. They will turn to ashes in the face of the difficulties that come to us through reality – unless the converts have the fuel that feeds the heart. And that fuel comes from liturgical life, standing at services, prayer (standing at services forces you to pray, otherwise you will be bored), fasting, the sacraments and loving our neighbour. (Books and theories, obviously, do not feed the heart, they feed only the brain, which just causes headaches, literally, mental constipation).

However, it is precisely the difficulties of life which destroy illusions. Thus, to lose illusions does not mean to become disillusioned or cynical, it means to become realistic. For we owe our faithfulness not to illusions, but to Christ. Our Faith is simply the Christian way of life, the Christian values, the Christian culture, the Christian Civilisation – there is no other.

Q: There seem to be so many rules to Orthodoxy. What is the difference between Orthodoxy and Phariseeism?

A: You are a beginner. Do not let the old Pharisees – who claim to be the only true Orthodox in the world! – make Christianity into rule-bound Phariseeism for you, as it is for them. Do not let them make the Church into a stick for your back. Take things gradually. True, Orthodoxy is strictness with yourself, whereas Phariseeism is strictness with others.

However, as you learn Orthodox life, you will learn that there are two Books. One is the written Book of the Rules, which is made up of many books, such as the Bible, the Canons, the Typikon etc, and the other is the unwritten Book of Exceptions. Just as the first Book is not a Book of harsh punishment which brings black despair, the second Book is not a Book of lax liberalism, which brings cynical indifference. The first is our ideal, the second is our reality. You need to know and have both Books because together they form the One Great Book of Orthodoxy, known as the Book of the Wisdom and of the Love of God. This Book is not available in any bookshop, only time will teach you it, if you have the patience and the humility to learn from experience.

Q: Should Christians be optimists?

A: Of course we should. Christ defeated death. Our faith is built on the positive. However, that does not mean we should be unrealistic or live in our imaginations, we must know our enemies: be as gentle as doves and as wise as serpents. The whole point of our faith is the struggle against death – that makes us realistic – but because Christ was victorious, we too will be victorious, as long as we remain faithful to Christ.

Western European History

Q: If the Schism did not really occur in 1054, which is only a symbolic date, when did it occur?

A: The Western Schism has been a process and is still continuing. Ecumenists and modernists are still falling into it, preferring the anti-Christian secularist mentality, which is the essence of the Schism, to the Church of God, preferring to believe that man is greater than God, which is what the Schism is about. Thus, the heresies promulgated in Crete in 2016 and the 2019 Constantinople Schism are only continuations of the Schism, the falling into secularism, which was formalised, as you say, in 1054.

Thus, in 1054 there was little realisation that the Schism had happened and even in Constantinople itself there was hardly any realisation that its cause was the Western heresy against the Holy Spirit. The few who were conscious of it at the time thought of it in ritual terms, that it was about the Papacy enforcing the use of unleavened bread, fasting on Saturdays, beardless and celibate clergy etc. Even at the top, the Schism was seen as being about Papal arrogance in attributing to itself an absurd supremacy, the universal jurisdiction of Antichrist, which was in fact only the result, not the spiritual cause, of the Schism. So practical results were visible to those who saw at the time, but not the spiritual roots.

Another error in this field is the vocabulary used. For example, some reduce it to a mere geographical division of ‘East versus West’ or even to a racial or ethnic division of ‘Greeks versus Franks’. In reality, this was a spiritual division between Christians and Non-Christians. Many in the West, in Sicily or in Ireland for instance, long remained Orthodox, but in Constantinople itself there were also ‘humanists’ who fell away, as they have again today.

However, as you say, 1054, is only a symbolic date, very much an end-date of the first part of the process of the Schism. There are other dates which mark the falling away of individuals and small groups in the West. Among many others, there are, for example:

782: The barbarous kinglet Charlemagne commits the genocide of the Saxons at the massacre of Verden: the sword or baptism is what they are offered. 4,500 were slaughtered in the name of ‘the Church’.

794: The iconoclast Charlemagne has the ‘Carolingian Books’ published, rejected the Christian creed by promoting the filioque, which had been invented among the Jews in Spain. He accused the (Orthodox) Christians of being ‘Greeks’ / heretics and calling the barbarians (himself and his ruling clique) Christians!

812: The barbarian Charlemagne had an organ, a purely secular instrument which came out of Greek paganism, installed in his chapel in Aachen. By the eleventh century, there were perhaps six organs in use in Western Europe, including one in England, in Winchester. Slowly their use spread until in the nineteenth century virtually all heterodox churches are fitted with them.

867: St Photius explains the filioque heresy against the Holy Spirit, which was aggressively being promoted by political circles in North-West Europe. He also condemned the ‘novel’ practice of using unleavened bread in the Eucharist, which began among the Franks and spread to Rome in the middle of the eleventh century. This use of unleavened bread was also the beginning of depriving laypeople of the Blood of Christ.

946: The first ever statue of the Mother of God is made for Stephen II, Bishop of Clermont in France. It harks back to local pagan statues of Venus and Diana. It is the start of Roman Catholic statuary.

970: The Gero Crucifix, showing Christ-God not as the Vanquisher of Death but as a dead man is installed in Cologne Cathedral. It is the beginning of pietism.

991: In what is now Northern France the ruthless warlord Fulk the Black wins the battle of Conquereuil and anti-Christian feudalism, with its serfdom, evil castles and knights, becomes exponentially ever more visible.

993: Bishop Ulric of Augsburg was the first person to be canonised by a Pope, John XV, rather than by a regional bishop. Papal canonisation did not become the norm until the 13th century.

1009: Pope Sergius IV confesses the filioque, which had spread to Rome from the Franks.

1014: The filioque is sung in Rome for the first time.

1040: Peter Damian records the first case of stigmata, self-inflicted by an individual called Dominic.

1048: The filioquist heretic and warmonger Bruno of Toul is crowned as Pope Leo IX in Rome.

1061: The Normans invade Orthodox Sicily.

1066: The Normans invade Orthodox England with the blessing of the anti-Christian Pope.

1077: Canossa – Hildebrand, Pope Gregory VII, probably the grandson of a Jew, declares himself more powerful than emperors and kings.

1095: Pope Urban II declares war and sends barbarians and thugs to massacre Jews in the Rhineland and Christians and Muslims in 1099 in Jerusalem in the name of ‘the Church’.

1102: Anselm writes the first defence of the filioque heresy ‘against the Greeks’.

1123: The First Lateran Council forbids clergy to be married. Beardlessness, which came from Roman paganism and homosexuality, is also enforced as a sign of this celibacy.

The above are just a few dates which illustrate the process of the falling away of Orthodox Christians from the Church in parts of Europe between the eighth and twelfth centuries. There are many more, but they would almost all fall within the same 350 years. Other changes, like Purgatory, invented in 1164, came later. For example, it was not until the 13th century that the Popes changed their title from ‘Vicar of St Peter’ to ‘Vicar of Christ’ and in the same century babies began to be deprived of chrismation and so of communion. Another instance is the reversal of the way that Christians have always made the sign of the cross which began after the 12th century, even though Christ sits on the right of the Father, not on the left.

Q: If, as you assert, Western Europe was fundamentally Orthodox in the first millennium, how did it get into a situation of creating colonial genocide and producing world wars?

A: The short answer to this is because anyone can lose their faith and so can go from Christianity to anti-Christianity. (Look at the now suspended Protodeacon Andrei Kurayev – who wants to be taken into the Phanar – or Fr Cyril Hovorun, as contemporary examples and dire warnings). This happened in the Soviet Union – most members of the Red Army (and of the White Army) were composed of baptised, but not practising, Orthodox, and so they killed each other. A non-practising Christian is but an empty shell, a house of cards, always ready to collapse into practical atheism, as we can see in the contemporary civil war between (baptised Orthodox) Ukrainians today.

Here is a more detailed answer as regards Western Europe:

In the first millennium, Western Europe was poised on a knife-edge between its old, native paganism and the new Orthodox Christianity coming from the East. There were three such pagan influences. They were those of the Ancient Greeks like Aristotle, with his profound racism (only Greek speakers are civilised, the rest are ‘barbarians’ – what today’s atheists Greeks or Hellenists confess), sexism and the justification of cruel slavery, the second was that of ruthless pagan Roman imperialism and conquest, and the third was that of Germanic (first Teutonic, later Viking-Norman) heathenism.

After 250 years of martyrdom, there opened a golden age of holiness between the fourth and eighth centuries, ‘The Age of the Saints’. However, then a 250-year-long decline began and in the eleventh century these forms of paganism finally triumphed over Orthodoxy. As the Roman Catholic historian Christopher Dawson wrote in his ‘The Making of Europe’ (P. 284) some ninety years ago: ‘There is no doubt that the eleventh century marls a decisive turning-point in European history – …..the emergence of Western culture’. In other words, this produced something called ‘Catholicism’, which was just a mixture of these three forms of paganism in a vaguely Christian wrapper. Everything in Catholicism, a local claim to universal empire to be enacted by violence (the definition of the post-Schism West), is Orthodoxy paganised.

Thus, Aristotle and what Roman Catholics like to call ‘Byzantine humanism’ (= Hellenist paganism) dominated the intellectuals (scholastics) like Thomas Aquinas, for the West failed to conquer pagan philosophy with Christ. Roman imperialism dominated the papal administration from Rome, for the West failed to conquer Caesar with Christ. The shock-troops or implementers of this pagan mentality were the thuggish Viking-Norman-Teutonic knights, as can be seen in the Crusades, for the West failed to conquer brute-force with Christ.

It was precisely the combination of all these three influences that triumphed over Christianity (Orthodoxy) in the West, whittling it down to the few sad fragments that remain outside the Orthodox Church today.

When you read the accounts of atrocities of the Normans in England (and later in Wales and Ireland), of the Crusaders or the Spanish conquistadors (whose almost total genocide (50 million dead?) of enslaved native Carribeans and natives of what became Latin America gave rise to the need to replace them with African slaves), of the ‘Wars of Religion’ in Europe (Cromwell, ‘God’s Englishman’, who slaughtered one million in Ireland for example), of the British genocides in North America, India and China (the ‘Opium Wars’ = British genocide in China), of the stories of the Belgian and German Empires in Africa, of the First and Second World Wars, of the Atomic Bombs, of the post-War Dutch genocide in Indonesia, of the French genocides in Indo-China and North Africa, it is clear that the second-millennium West was not Christian at all, but thoroughly pagan and barbarian.

It said: ‘We are the shock-troops of the civilisation of the Vicar (= Replacement) of God, we are God on earth, the Holy Spirit comes from us, all authority flows from us, therefore whatever we do is right, our God is on our side’. It had kidnapped what it imagined to be God, a white European man who sat in the clouds and blessed the genocide of all Non-Western Europeans.

This can also be seen in the later ideologies that justify Western racism, like Puritanism (‘only we are pure, the rest are savages and can be exterminated like wild animals’), Darwinism (‘the survival of the fittest’ = ourselves), Marxism (destroy everyone who does not agree with me) or today political correctness (= persecution and censorship). This is why although the Non-West has always quickly adopted convenient Western technologies, civilisations like the Christian (= Orthodox), the Muslim, the Japanese, the Indian, the Tibetan and the Chinese have never adopted Western religion. It is merely a religion that justifies organised violence. The West never won anything by asserting that it had a superior religion or values – which is why in the end it will fall, just as the other Western ideology of Communism has already fallen.

Q: What makes you show sympathy to Non-Western peoples?

A: Because I am not ‘Western’, that is, because I come from the English countryside, where the ‘Western’ Norman Yoke is still resented as the invention of the aristocracy imposed on us in and after 1066, who made London their capital (our capital, the capital of Alfredian England, will forever be Winchester). The word ‘Western’ is a construct, it is not a geographical term. Therefore I also belong to a Non-‘Western’ people, that is, the Old English people, just like all Non-‘Western’ peoples, Non-’Western’ whether in space or in time.

Russian History

Q: Why did contact with the West lead Russia into Communism?

A: All over the world, from Charlemagne who began the process in the late eighth century (German versus Saxon), to England in the eleventh century (Norman versus English), to the Crusaders in the Middle East (Papist versus Christian, Muslim and Jew), to the Spanish in the Americas, to the colonial scramble for Africa, Westernisation always causes genocide and a profound schizophrenic division in its victim-countries.

Thus, by the late nineteenth century, only six civilisations in the world were resisting Western colonisation and imperialism: the Russian, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Persian, the Ethiopian and the Thai. All were independent Sovereign Empires, centralised monarchies, not controlled by High Finance like the Western and Westernised world – all therefore had to be discredited and slandered as ‘autocratic and tyrannical’ and destroyed by the Mammonist West.

After extensive weakening by native but Westernised traitors, allied with Catholic Poles and then Lutheran Swedes, in the seventeenth century, Russian Christian Civilisation was later attacked successively by Napoleon’s anti-Russian multinational invasion in 1812, by the Franco-Anglo-Turkish invasion of Russia in 1854 in the Crimean War, in 1914 the First ‘World’ (= Western European) War, in 1941 in the Second ‘World’ War and in the Western Cold War after 1945, which finally bankrupted Sovietised Russia.

In the same twentieth century, the other Non-Western Civilisations were also undermined. The Persian Empire began its fall in 1906, the Chinese Empire fell in 1911-12, the Japanese monarchy was finally destroyed by Atomic Bombs (needlessly dropped, in part also to scare the USSR) in 1945, the Thai monarchy was Americanised after 1945, and in the twentieth century the Ethiopian was undermined first by Italian Fascists in 1935 and above all by Marxists in 1974.

In Russia the West first divided society into the pro-Western elite versus the Old Believer people, with whom we cannot but sympathise. In the 19th century this crystallised into the division of Westerners versus Slavophiles, in the 20th century into atheist versus people of faith, in the 21st century into oligarch-thieves and consumerists versus Orthodox. This is the same process as all over the world, where the elite is bribed into submission, its children ‘educated’ (= brainwashed) in Western institutions, and opposed to their own people, whose country and possessions are duly asset-stripped. The booty is shared between this local corrupt English-speaking elite (from Latin American drug barons to Filipino and Ukrainian gangsters – ‘oligarchs’) and Western ‘business’ organisations – which take the lion’s share.

Q: Modern Russia is no doubt a lot better than Russia under the yoke of the Soviet Union, but surely you would admit that it is not an Orthodox country?

A: Of course, it is not an Orthodox country. Since 1917 there has not been a single Orthodox country in the world. Only under the banners of an Orthodox Monarchy will Russia and the surrounding lands, which are dependent on it despite what their petty nationalists claim, rid themselves of the terrible spiritual disease of Western materialism, which has infected the whole world over the last 500 years and more. Regardless of whether it is called Communism or Capitalism, this pestilence says that the only important thing is money – Mammon. Our resistance to this disease, wherever we live and whatever our nationality, is the only seed of tomorrow’s certain Resurrection.

Art

Q: What should our attitude to modern art be?

A: This is a personal question. I am not sure that there is a general answer. I do not want to be moralistic and say that there ‘should be’ any attitude, I can only give a subjective response. This is only how I feel personally:

I really feel deep sympathy with Rachmaninov, who wrote of the post-Revolutionary world: ‘I feel like a ghost wandering in a world grown alien’. That is exactly my feeling too. Already before the First World War in Western Europe, Stravinsky and other modernist musicians had resurrected paganism. Artists had experimented with strange painting techniques, which expressed the disintegration of reality in tiny points, cubes, unnatural colours and jagged, dehumanised forms. All of them were merely expressing the ugly disintegration of their beliefs and values inside their disordered and distressed souls, the ugly disintegration which had come about through their loss of faith. The old Christian-based culture was lost to them and so they had founded the new atheist culture which underlay the ideologies and bloody wars of the twentieth century and all that followed it.

It seems to me that a believer may find ‘modern’ art (now over 100 years old) curious, interesting, even fascinating, but it is not the art which is natural to or expressive of a Christian soul.

 

On the Slaying of the Seven Fake Orthodoxies

Introduction

In nearly fifty years of association with Orthodoxy, I have seen how the devil can fake everything. This is because he is himself a fake: a fake god – though many still worship him. As ‘a liar and the father of lies’ (Jn 8, 44), he can most certainly fake every human activity, including faith. He can use faith to create fake faith. I have seen this in the seven types of fake Orthodoxy, the deviations which he creates and which I have observed. The first three are primitive deviations, the next two are psychological deviations and the last two belong to the more complex realm of delusional deviations. All of them have one thing in common: they provide no spiritual food at all and so the souls that follow these fakes die of the spiritual famine which they leave in their wake.

Three Primitive Deviations

These deviations are those which are chosen by those who live fleshly lives, the life of the body with its material interests.

The first type of fake Orthodoxy is nationalistic. This involves demeaning Christ to the level of flag-waving and attachments to this world. Beware of churches which proudly display national flags of any sort. They worship not Christ, but the Caesar of their State. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit, which is why it is ritualistic and superficial.

The next and second type of fake Orthodoxy is bureaucratic. This is linked to the first fake, inasmuch as it is political. This involves demeaning Christ to the level of paperwork and ‘protocols’, behind which the State bureaucrat with his Church title hides. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit, which is why it is cowardly and gutless.

The next and third type of fake Orthodoxy is diplomatic. This is linked to the first and second fakes, inasmuch as it is also meanly political and insincere. This involves demeaning Christ to the level of lies and compromise and the seeking of some worldly advantage behind the camouflage of Christ. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit, which is why it repeats the well-worn lie that all faiths are the same – which they are obviously not, for only one Faith comes from the Holy Spirit, Who comes forth from the Father.

Two Psychological Deviations

These deviations are those which are chosen by those who live emotional lives, the life of the feelings and the interests of the ego.

The next and fourth type of fake Orthodoxy is psychological, at worst psychopathological. In any case, it has nothing to do with theology. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of conforming Him to the ways of the (Western) world, with its calendar and all its other compromised values. It is the easy way out, the way of self-justification, for it means living a more or less effortless, secular life behind the mask of Christ. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by creating a worldly, adaptationist, conformist Orthodoxy, a pseudo-Orthodoxy that swims with the secularist tide.

The next and fifth type of fake Orthodoxy is psychological, at worst psychopathological. In any case, it has nothing to do with theology. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of a personal psychological rebellion against the values with which those who confess it were brought up and then hating them. In this way it is also a form of self-hatred. Thus, it disobeys the commandment which tells us to love our neighbour AS OURSELF. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by creating an extremist, aggressive Orthodoxy of hatred that is a negative anti-everything and is therefore not a positive love of Orthodoxy.

Two Delusional Deviations

These deviations are those which are chosen by those who live fantasy lives, the life of the brain and the interests of the fantasy.

The next and sixth type of fake Orthodoxy is an intellectual conceit. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of cold, bookish knowledge which is merely the arrogant delusion of the puffed-up mind, of ‘fleshly reasoning’, the pompous pretentiousness of those who can talk about everything, but know nothing and live by nothing. This Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by creating fantasist philosophies and is therefore not Orthodoxy.

The next and final and seventh type of fake Orthodoxy is a pietistic conceit. This is linked to the sixth inasmuch as it comes from the brain and the imagination. It involves demeaning Christ to the level of delusion through spiritual pride, of the pseudo-ascetic, of the depressed, of esoteric exotica, pretending to be ’spiritual’, pretending to be what they are not, with spiritual pride and imagined superiority, condemning others as ‘not spiritual’, being full of pretentiousness, foreign words, dressing up in black like monks or nuns, play-acting, pseudo-holiness, obsessively and self-flatteringly claiming charlatans and frauds who deceive and mislead the simple as their ‘spiritual fathers’. This delusional Orthodoxy is deathly, for it kills the Spirit by pretending to be what it is not. It is therefore anti-spiritual, for the spiritual is always founded on the real, not on the imaginary.

Conclusion

If you are at any of the above stages or at any combination of them, you must renounce and kill this spiritual enslavement at once and move on to Freedom, to Real Orthodoxy, which is simple. It means loving God and loving our neighbour as ourselves, living in and according to the Church, following the Lives of the Saints, of the real holiness of those who really lived, who were incarnate in life, in the real world. Real Orthodoxy is not Death, but is Life itself, it is living in the Creator of Life, living in Christ, but that Life is reached only by first slaying in yourself the dragon of all these seven fakes.

 

The Limits to Destroying Freedom

As coronavirus peaks in many countries, despite the grim toll still having caused far fewer deaths than swine flu, the experiment to see just how far the globalist political establishment and their slavish media could go in destroying freedom forever is coming to an end. As the month of May and good weather approaches, the peoples of the Western world are revolting against imposed mass bankruptcy, forced unemployment and debt enslavement. The people have been deprived for long enough. Most of those whose deaths from old age and chronic illnesses were going to be hastened by the virus, as well as those in a few other tragic categories, have left us.

The question now is what will happen after this artificial crisis? Will freedom be restored? Or will all this be made into an attempt to take away human freedom permanently? Certainly, the media have been proved to be highly effective at zombifying large numbers of the public in several countries. However, it is also clear that their credit is now hitting an all-time low. Two or three months is as long as people will swallow lies for. Now we must beginning facing the future. The conditioning and ranting of the media with ‘it will never be the same again’ is not to be believed. We must take back our freedom.

 

In Bright Week 2020

Christ is Risen!

As the COVID-19 virus continues to take its grim toll, almost wholly among the elderly and long-term ill (after four months it has caused a third as many victims as swine flu), conspiracy theories continue. Now in sections of the mainstream media in the US, rumours have begun that a laboratory in Wuhan in China (as in other countries also) was paid by certain forces based in the US to experiment. The dangerous experiment went wrong and the virus escaped. If this rumour were true, it would be an example of outsourcing backfiring.

Whatever the truth, and all the conspiracy theories are probably untrue, many have been wondering if the remedy, shutting down the economy, bankrupting hundreds of thousands of businesses and creating tens of millions of unemployed, is not worse than the illness.

Others have wondered if this is not a Western disease. The countries so far worst affected by far are the USA, Italy, Spain, France and the UK. Africa and Latin America seem, like a multitude of tiny islands around the world, to be relatively unaffected, if at all. Of course, this may only be because many such countries are unable to collect accurate statistics or are unable to provide accurate diagnoses. They may have many more victims than are officially reported. Alternatively, it is also true that few people in such countries reach old age or else die of serious illnesses long before COVID-19 can prematurely end their lives.

For the Church, there is a great irony: priests spend their lives getting people to come to church. Now we have to send them away. But good can always come out of bad: the baptised who came to church irregularly may now appreciate more what is available and not take the church for granted as something they only need for ‘hatch, match and despatch’. In any case, one thing is for certain: Christ overcame death, He will certainly overcome this vulgar little virus.

 

Faith or Hysteria? The Spiritual Meaning of Covid-19

The human world can be divided into those who strongly believe in God, those who only weakly believe and those who do not believe.

Those who do not believe are very few in number and generally they are those who in childhood had some form of an absurd manmade religion rammed down their throats. Without any spiritual experience, they therefore, quite naturally after such an experience, insist that they do not believe in the God they were forced to believe in. Their only sad belief is in fallible and mortal man. Their only (tragic) hope is this life, this world, and the possibility that they may have long lives.

Those who strongly believe in God are also a minority, though a far larger minority than those who do not believe. This is because they believe because of a positive spiritual experience. Indeed, it is not so much that they believe in God, but that they know God. They are those who are conscious that God is and that without Him, we cannot exist. They do not believe in man (especially after the mass inhumanity towards man shown by the militant atheist ideologies of the twentieth century), they believe in infallible and immortal God. They know that they will die and they know that death will come when God wills (which is why we do not seek death of our own will).

The middle group are the majority. They are those who believe only weakly. We see them at church every Sunday. They are the ones who reappear after a year or two or more of absence because they have had some problem and need help. These are people who may live quite sinfully but when a difficulty appears, they turn back to God, Who, as they know, underpins reality and is always here, despite their sinful ways. Such people are often superstitious, they may believe in God as in a sort of magic, a kind of primitive animism. ‘Make the sign of the cross for good luck’. ‘Drink some holy water and the cancer will go away’.

On the negative side, such people often use God to justify any sort of evil and personal sin. (Obviously you would not use a base cause to justify base acts – use something noble, the noblest cause of all – God). For example in the First World War German soldiers wore a belt with the inscription ‘Gott mit uns’, ‘God is with us’, though they at the same time sang ‘Deutschland ueber alles’, ‘Germany above everything’, i. e, Germany is above God. And the English boasted that ‘God is an Englishman’. (Lately a Georgian priest told me that God only speaks Georgian, though I have heard similar nonsense from weak-faithed, flag-waving Greeks and Russians). This is just like contemporary Ukrainian fanatics, for whom ‘Ukraine is above all’. Such people can also use the concept of God to justify their personal fanatical beliefs or psychological perversions. Such was George Bush whom ‘God told’ to invade Iraq, leading to the deaths and mutilations of hundreds of thousands. Such also are Muslim terrorists. The concept of God is always used by sinners to justify their sins. This is, of course, not the work of God, but the work of man. Never believe those who claim that, ‘God told me’.

On the positive side, those who only weakly believe are also those whose lives may be changed by the present crisis. Bullied and intimidated by the atheist media, they have fallen into hysteria and panic as a result of a weak faith. This is the opportunity for them to pray and repent, as it is for all. This is the spiritual meaning of the present crisis.

Sadly, it now seems that there will be no public services at Easter. At best services will be livestreamed. This will be like Easter in the Soviet Union. With nearly all churches closed, people prayed at home.

At present this tragic epidemic has killed nearly 50,000 people worldwide (95% of them aged over 70). This is about 10% of the death toll caused by swine flu eleven years ago. However, this time it is Western countries which have been the most affected for the time being. Nobody knows what the coming weeks and months will bring. All we know is that this will end and that all is in God’s hands. Have faith.

 

 

St John of the Ladder and the Virus

Some are talking about the virus to the exclusion of everything else – and of far more important things. There is an obsession of depression and anxiety. If this is the case, turn off the so-called ‘news’. Let this not become a drug! The internet abounds with theories, no doubt because States have often lied to people throughout history with their ‘fake news’. Distrust is the normal attitude among many. Hence, social media are awash with conspiracy theories: that the origin of the virus was with the USA, China, Russia, the Rothschilds, Rockefeller, Gates, Soros, is a move to world government of oligarchs, or is some government conspiracy to kill off all elderly people because governments want to save money. Each theory grows more absurd and more paranoid than the next. In fact it is a waste of time speculating on its origin. That a Chinese man ate bat soup and the bat was infected, may be the best one. However, let us turn to facts.

There are at least 30,000 abortions throughout the world every day. This means every a million every month, twelve million every year, 120 million every decade….. The media do not even mention this. The virus is nothing like as bad as this.

Eight days ago we were one of only seven churches open in the whole of the UK. Now, with the ban on assemblies of people, the clergy and a singer celebrate the Divine Liturgy once a week behind closed doors and prepare the Holy Gifts, so that we can give communion and prepare communion for all those who wish to partake individually, whether in the church or at home.

Let us think of St John of the Ladder. In the Gospel we read for his feast yesterday, we read the story of how ‘this kind (of demon) can only be cast out by fasting and prayer’. Now no-one has forbidden us to fast and to pray. Why do some complain?!

St John wrote his book ‘The Ladder’ and explained that we can climb up to God step by step. And so it is. We do not enter Heaven suddenly within a few weeks or months, as some neophytes assert. All takes time and patience is the mother of virtues. And this virus will disappear, just as it appeared, step by step.

All Orthodox Christians can take communion by contacting our priests for confession and communion. And so individually we can proclaim Christ’s Resurrection, as St Basil the Great says in his canon at the Liturgy.

If Christ returns tomorrow, will we be ready for Him? Here is the real question, what we should be talking about. Let us battle to free ourselves from the virus of sin. Here is the one thing needful.

 

An Important Message from Athos

Святые отцы горы Афон призывают сегодня всех православных христиан сделать Крест на обратной стороне дверей домов. Если у Вас нет Креста, то можете его сделать пальцем, окнув его в оливковое масло. Это серьёзно, так как вчера был отслужен Параклис Божией Матери и эти указание были даны (открыты) самой Богородицей монахам на Святой Горе. 

The Fathers of Mt Athos call on all Orthodox Christians to make the Cross on the inside of the doors of their homes today. If you do not have a Cross, then you can make it with your finger dipped into (olive) oil. This is serious. Yesterday a service to the Mother of God was celebrated and this instruction was given/revealed by the Mother of God herself to monks on Mt Athos.

This message turned out to be not true, even though I had cross-checked it because I did think at the time that it seemed strange. But that is irrelevant. The message could do no harm (otherwise I would not have passed it on), but the message gave consolation and all who made the sign of the cross showed faith and hope. These are virtues. And God rewards those and He makes good out of fake messages from strange individuals.

Faith and Responsibility

The present coronavirus crisis has divided opinion. There is a minority who say that they do not fear anything and we should continue as usual. They look on those who follow government instructions to the letter as blind zombies, victims of government and media propaganda, who lack faith and believe too much in their own reason. For the majority, however, such people are just crazy and irresponsible conspiracy theorists who should be locked away, as dangerous to the public.

It seems to me that, as Christians, we should not fear. Faith does not fear. We do not fear death. We are not cowards. We have courage. However, on the other hand, all wise and reasonable precautions must be taken. To disobey the law is wrong. Irresponsibility must be condemned. And there is no contradiction between faith and responsibility. Over 90% of the victims of the virus are aged over 70. We may not feel that we are going to suffer. But this is pure selfishness. We can spread it! Think of others.

We should be praying especially for the elderly and the sick. Thus, for the moment there are hardly any victims in Africa, where there are few old people, but in Italy at present over 90% of victims are over 70 and there are hardly any victims under the age of 50. But also we should pray for those who are depressed and anxious, for those in big cities like London, where the situation is disturbing, unlike in the countryside and in small towns, where all is quiet. And also we should pray for the self-employed and disabled, who lack money, and those with children who live in flats. And also for the USA, where there is no health system for tens of millions and much homelessness and other diseases, and there may, God forbid, yet be large numbers of victims.

There is now a Facebook fashion of applauding heath workers at 8.00 pm. It would be better to pray. And on Mt Athos this evening (Friday 27 March) (beginning at 5.00 English time) begins an All-Night Vigil to the Mother of God and St Haralampius, whose relics have often delivered from epidemics. This is the evening is when at any time we should all pray, perhaps reading an akathist to the Mother of God. The world has forgotten that miracles can, depending in our faith, happen. We have not.

Akathists in Slavonic:

https://akafistnik.ru/god/akafist-pokrovu-presvyatoj-bogoroditsy/

http://akafistnik.ru/akafisty-svyatym/akafist-svyaschennomucheniku-kharlampiyu/

 

Akathists in English (We have substituted the akathist to St Panteleimon since, as far as we know, there is no translation as yet into English of the akathist to St Haralampy)

Akathist to the Protection of the Theotokos

https://www.akathists.com/saint-panteleimon/akathist/

Article Number 1200 on this Blog: Thanksgiving for April 2019 to April 2020

The Truth will set you free (John 8, 32)

A year ago, in 2019, there came to us revelation upon revelation amid the visit of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God. The rest of that year followed the same course, with great events, both in Church life and in personal life. The schism created by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Ukraine had become worldwide and that Patriarchate, with its adoption of many secular values, fell out of communion with the Russian Church. The positive result was the miraculous and long-awaited return of the Orthodox half (58% to be precise) of the Rue Daru Archdiocese from Constantinople to the Russian Church. This followed less than a year after the establishment of the Exarchate for the new Russian-speaking emigration to Western Europe, centred in Paris.

Another miracle took place when in July 2019, after more or less fifty years without a resident bishop in good health, our Diocese of the Church Outside Russia was at last received a resident Bishop Irenei, moreover with the title ‘of London’, which I had much encouraged, and ‘of Western Europe’, for which I had also been pleading for very many years. On the 35th anniversary of my ordination to serve at the altar, I gave thanks for this to the parish in front of Bishop Irenei when he visited us.

At this point, in early 2020, I had seen my many hopes of nearly half a century realised: The Saints of the Isles and other Western European Saints had been recognised by the Church and some included in the official calendar (despite the hostility of some); the Russian Church was One, as the Moscow Patriarchate was slowly becoming deMoscowised, that is de-Sovietised, which had allowed ROCOR to be in communion with the Patriarchate and the Rue Daru Archdiocese to return from schism to the Patriarchate; the Church had effectively been cleansed by the Phanariot schism; there was a Moscow-run Exarchate for the new generation in Western Europe and for the native Orthodox in the Isles and those who wished to integrate Western Europe but remain truly Orthodox; there was our own Bishop, whom I had had petitioned to be sent to us from the USA.; in Moscow an Orthodox missionary society dedicated to our very own St Felix of Felixstowe, Apostle of East Anglia, had been founded. On top of this, on 1 February 2020 the UK had refound its freedom, by leaving the insular EU straitjacket after 47 years.

Then my eldest son found a little church in Little Abington, between Cambridge and Haverhill, for sale. That was on Thursday 13 February 2020. I managed to view it inside the following Sunday afternoon and the day after that, 17 February, I received a loan to buy it. Two days before the Triumph of Orthodoxy, on 6 March, we heard that we had obtained it after an auction process. This was a miracle. Little Abington is seven miles to the south-east of Cambridge, where we had first searched for a church forty years before, in 1980, but had been let down by the powers that then were. This place was where three counties, Essex, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, joined. It was the third church I had founded. (As someone said Colchester, Norwich and Cambridge made a triangle). The three churches were to represent unity in diversity. It was also near Cambridge, that centre of anti-Trinitarian theology, which we thus challenged.

On a personal level, I had known Little Abington almost all my life – it was on the very edge of all those villages, where for centuries my ancestors had been born, lived, worked and died. And all those villages, the Abingtons, Ridgwell, Hadstock, Bartlow, West Wratting, Shudy Camps, Castle Camps, Great Chesterford, Steeple Bumpstead, Helions Bumsptead, Sturmer, Kedington, Withersfield, Stambourne, Baythorn End, Hundon, their names poetry and music to me, were all haunted not by the cold conceits of atheist Cambridge, but by the humble martyr St Edmund. Clearly, there would have to be an icon of him on the iconostasis as THE local saint. Moreover, the church here was a church that had belonged for 100 years, since it had been built, to waht is now called the Non-Conformist ‘United Reformed Church’. This was a Protestant group to which many of my local forbears had belonged.

When, by the grace of God, we obtained the church, someone said that ‘at last Fr Andrew has been unleashed’. I had been frustrated for over thirty years before Colchester had come in 2008, Norwich in 2015 and now Little Abington in 2020. The three churches were all very different, but united in our One Faith. There is justice; we had overcome our anti-missionary enemies, and there were so many of them who had not wanted a church here, through forty years of patience.

Glory to God for all things!