Category Archives: Persecution

The Restoration of Orthodox Christianity in Europe and Russia

 Foreword: European Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy

On my almost daily travels through Suffolk, I regularly see flying in gardens the Suffolk flag, the golden crown crossed by the two arrows of St Edmund on a blue background. It refers to the martyrdom by arrows of St Edmund, the last King of East Anglia, in the Year 869. This was part of European Orthodoxy, the England which was defending itself against paganism because it was in communion with, and part of, the Orthodox Christian world. This is just the opposite of today, when England has gradually returned to paganism because it has for nearly a millennium been out of communion with, and not part of, the Church.

In writing these words about the love for St Edmund, I am reminded how just over 14 years ago I sat with our own Suffolk Count and Countess Benckendorff in that oasis of culture, the Munnings Museum in Dedham, Essex. Then we discussed my recent visit to our Russian Orthodox ‘catacomb’ community in Old York and next fell to discussing the poetry of Masefield, a great friend of Sir Alfred Munnings, which we compared to that of Hoelderlin, de Vigny and Tyutchev. This is Russian Orthodoxy, not brash and alien, modern American or European anti-culture, which Sir Alfred used to mock. After that conversation the Benckendorffs returned to Church life, reassured that the Church at least locally survives.

On 5 April this year we and the Benckendorffs met again, at the Cock Inn in Polstead. This time we discussed a recent visit to our mutual friend, Baroness Olga Tiesenhausen, in Surrey, to whom I gave confession and communion. The daughter of a White Russian noble, turned seamstress in exile in Paris, she loved the old parish in Meudon outside Paris, where she grew up, and our then rector, Fr Alexander Trubnikov, who was one of us who love the Tradition and therefore hate extremism of both sorts. She had recently been made very unwelcome in both Russian churches in London; the one a political extension of the post-Soviet embassy; the other under the control of pathological crazies, fanatical and culture-less converts who hate all who are not schism and sect like themselves. Tragically, through their schism they missed the great opportunity to become a canonical, but also politically free and multinational part of the Russian Church, working with others in Catholicity. They have zero understanding of the real Russian Orthodox Tradition and Russian Orthodox culture.

They ‘defrock’ conscientious and principled Orthodox pastors of integrity and of the Tradition. This imaginary punishment, as it comes from schismatics, is worn by them as a badge of honour and makes them even more popular among ordinary Orthodox and proves that they are not unprincipled bureaucrat-clerics and careerists. It is all so different from the beloved real Russian Church and its European culture in which we were all brought up, like our parishioners in Old York too. With the Benckendorffs we fell to discussing the post-Soviet nightmare, which began in 1991 and continues today. We concluded that the solution can only be in the coming Tsar and the complete cleansing of Church and State of the pre-Soviet diseases of bureaucracy and corruption (as portrayed for example by Gogol), of the Soviet diseases of centralisation and persecution (as portrayed for example in the late Soviet film The Irony of Fate), and the post-Soviet diseases of (US-imposed) militarisation and nationalism.

Introduction: The Restoration of Russian Orthodox Culture

Just before the 1917 palace revolt in Russia, falsely known as the ‘Revolution’, British spies murdered Gregory Rasputin. It was the ‘first shot of the Revolution’. His name means ‘the parting of the ways’, whereas the name ‘Putin’ means ‘the way’. His way is not the way we want to take, but we believe that it will, by the paradox of Divine Providence, lead to where we need to be. This is a quite different place from now. We have far greater aims than post-Soviet deviations. These include the cleansing of the fringes of the post-Soviet Russian Church from American schism and hate-filled sectarianism, and of the post-Soviet Russian Church itself from politicking, financial corruption, careerism, moral decadence and the extremism bred by them.

Together with all our dear friends in the Patriarchate of Romania, gathered over the last three decades and who have welcomed us as refugees from the vicious persecution by Russian schismatics and hysterical converts, as well as with our dear friends all over Europe, in Russia, Moldova, the Ukraine, Greece, Cyprus, the Baltics, Belarus, Poland, Finland, Slovakia, Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czechia, in the cleansed St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris and our friends in the churches in Geneva and Baden-Baden, we will see the Russian Church restored to what Tsar Nicholas II wanted it to be. That is what the whole mainstream Orthodox world also needs it to be. The Orthodox world has been patiently awaiting this restoration for generations. The now very isolated Local Church of Russia has not yet taken up in the spirit of Catholicity the place waiting for it in the concert of the sixteen Local Churches, of which it is only one, albeit by far the largest in number. Only together can they be the voice of God.

Instead, it isolated itself by its refusal to turn the other cheek when uncanonically attacked by US-financed and homosexualised Constantinople in the Ukraine. Then it imposed on itself the further isolation of cutting of communion, followed by uncanonical revenge in Africa, and nationalistic and militaristic politics. The martyred Tsar’s vision of the restored, pre-Imperial Church, like the church of the Fyodorovsky Icon which he built in Tsarskoe Selo and which was restored over a decade ago, is also ours. It is like our church, also free of the decadence that began with Peter I, free of its decadent iconography and Italianate opera singing, its theatrical ritualism, bureaucratic clericalism, anti-pastoral, Statist rigidity, money-grubbing and love of luxury, nationalistic and militaristic phariseeism, hatred for others, and practice of rare communion – at best once a year.

The whole Orthodox world, not least here in Western Europe, awaits a restored, post-post-Soviet, broad and benevolent Russian Church, a Church of European culture, not of convert fanaticism or of narrow, nationalistic and militaristic post-Soviet politics, without sympathy for others and without mission. And we are the majority, the mainstream, representing all the free Local Churches, fourteen votes against two. This is the future of European Orthodox culture, though not of modern Europe. Modern Europe, for all of us heirs to Tsar Nicholas II, is like someone intent on committing suicide, both economic and moral, by hating Russia. Russia is poised to become the fourth largest economy in the world, overtaking Japan. (Russia has already overtaken Germany, indeed the latter is about to be overtaken by Indonesia). Let us look at the example of Great Britain to find the roots of this suicidal bent.

British Establishment Hatred for Imperial Russia

Emperors Paul I (+ 1801) and Nicholas II (+ 1918) of Russia were both removed and then murdered as a result of plots hatched by the British ambassadors in the Saint Petersburg of their times. As John Gleason points out in his 1952 book The Genesis of Russophobia in Great Britain, systematic and institutionalised British Establishment hatred for Russia began after the liberation of Paris by Russian troops in 1814, which had shocked Britain. This Russophobia was ‘an artificially manufactured product’ of ‘a campaign of a relatively small number of men’ who ‘won acceptance for their views by force of repetition’. In other words, if you repeat the lie often enough, it will stick. It was all about the British elite’s fanatical ambition for world hegemony. No rivals could be allowed.

Thus, the British ruling caste, ‘the Establishment’, engineered wars in which European countries destroyed one another, thus destroying any rivals. It was the same divide and rule policy of the pagan Romans, whom the British elite so admired. Thus, the Victorian Age became that of the purely British Establishment-invented ‘Great Game’, of which the Russians had never heard. In this the British Establishment obsessed itself with its deluded idea that Russia wanted to liberate British-occupied India. This self-delusion led the British Establishment to invade Afghanistan and lose three wars there, to occupy Cyprus (from where it now feeds the Israelis with bombs to genocide Palestine), to help finance the Suez Canal, to arm Japan to the teeth and get it to invade Russia, and then to invade and massacre in Tibet. All unnecessary.

Such British Establishment-orchestrated Russophobia was even reflected in the 1905 children’s book by Edith Nesbit, called The Railway Children. It came as no surprise, for London has long been a centre for plotting and exiled Russian traitors like Herzen, the murderous anarchist Bakunin and then the genocidal and Christ-hating Lenin. Even the evil Trotsky-Bronstein was later sent from arrest to Canada to foment revolution in Russia by the British elite. Today London is again the welcoming centre for anti-Russian oligarchs.

Conversely, the Suffolk Benckendorffs had a relative, Count Paul Benckendorff, who always remained faithful to the Tsar, as he recorded in his book The Last Days at Tsarskoe Selo. As the martyred Tsar’s noble sister, Olga Alexandrovna, who knew Count Paul, somewhat naively wrote: ‘My best friends and so many of my relations are British and I am devoted to them and to much in the English way of life….It has never been possible to discuss with them the utterly vile politics of successive British Parliaments. They were nearly all anti-Russian – and so often without the least cause. So much of British policy is wholly contrary to their own tradition of fair play’ (The Last Grand Duchess, Vorres, P. 240).

British Establishment Hatred for Soviet Russia

Through meddling in Russia in 1916 and 1917, the British elite inadvertently set up the USSR. They had imagined that they would remove the Tsar and then a group of selected oligarchs (that is, British-style aristocrats and ‘liberals’ like the transgender murderer Yusupov – there is nothing new in LGBT) would set up a British-style ‘constitutional’, that is, oligarchic, monarchy. It was clear to anyone outside the West that this would never happen in Russia. So the deluded British indirectly ended up imposing an evil Tsar, called Stalin. And then they sent Hitler to destroy the USSR. Only once again, it all went wrong. Instead of the Nazis destroying the USSR, the USSR defeated the Nazis.

Soviet troops liberated Auschwitz and the other horror camps of Western anti-Semitism, despite Churchill who unnecessarily genocided Leipzig civilians as a warning to Soviet troops. Yet they still arrived to liberate Berlin from the Western dictator Hitler, just as they will soon do when they liberate Kiev from the Western dictator Zelensky. The shock of 1945 Berlin was a repeat of 1814, when Russian troops liberated Paris from the Western dictator Napoleon. And so in 1945 Churchill thought up his ‘Operation Unthinkable’, in which the US, Germany and the UK would invade their supposed ‘Ally’, the USSR, and destroy it. Only nobody wanted that, though the Americans did drop nukes and kill 250,000 Japanese civilians as a warning to the USSR and began the ‘Cold War’, proclaimed by Churchill soon after.

After World War II the half-American Churchill reluctantly handed over the tattered remnants of the British Empire to the Americans and the British Empire became the American Empire. However, the latter had no colonies, it was a rogue-state which camouflaged its hypocritical asset-stripping greed behind the excuse of bringing ‘freedom and democracy’. So it brought the debilitating slavery of poverty and the corrupt tyranny of capital to the banana republics it created. Who cares about freedom and democracy, when you have nothing to eat and drink? As in Latin America, Africa, Italy, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Gaza.

Even in 1956, when the US abruptly shattered British delusions of empire at Suez, and the British Establishment finally began to admit that it was only a US satellite, the British flattered themselves that they still had ‘a special relationship’ with the US. It is special, like every master and slave relationship. However, such a relationship also infects the master, for he too becomes vain, just as emperors, including those who have no clothes, become vain when they are constantly flattered by yes-men courtiers like the British Cameron and court jesters like the British Johnson. Thus, when the USSR fell because of its economic failure, because, as they said at the time, its Marxist centralised economy could not even supply its women citizens with hygiene products, the US imagined that it had defeated Russia. It is as delusional as the British imagining that they still have an empire.

British Establishment Hatred for the Russian Federation

After 1991, the British took part in the general triumphalist contempt felt by the Western world for Russia, and in the rape of Russian assets, inviting thieving oligarchs to come and live in London. The West failed to understand that Russia had not been defeated. Certainly, in 1991 the Soviet system collapsed, just as in 1917 the Imperial system had collapsed. But a temporary political system is not a country, especially it is not the largest country on earth with its millennial civilisation. The transformation of the Russian Empire into the Soviet Empire and then into the Russian Federation did not persuade the West that the real Russia could survive the failed Western political and economic systems imposed on it.

This age-old Russophobia has been summed up in the recent book of the perceptive Swiss author, Guy Mettan, now translated into English: Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria. When Britain finally began to understand that the West had not defeated Russia in the 1990s, it invented or took part in various sad conspiracies to frame and discredit the new Russia. First, there was Litvinenko, then the Skripals, then MH17, shot down by Ukrainian Nazis, then the plot to destroy the Russian Federation through helping to arm and train the Neo-Nazi Kiev regime in British military camps, the terrorist attack on Nordstream, the deployment of British Special Services to the Black Sea and British PR companies to the propaganda department in Kiev, with their invented ‘Bucha’ narrative myth and such like.

The British Establishment has shown itself to be the most aggressive of all the Western Establishments for absurd propaganda rhetoric during the US proxy war in the Ukraine and in the ‘Cancel Russia’ campaign. It is a fact that even at the height of Nazidom, there was never any ‘Cancel Germany’ campaign. Indeed, the British theme tune for the liberation of Western Europe from the German Nazis consisted of the opening notes of the German Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The British Establishment took a zealous part in applying the 16,500 illegal and backfiring sanctions against Russia in order to destroy it. They failed and made Russia even stronger. It tried to regime-change Putin, quite possibly the most popular leader in Russian history. It failed and made him even more popular. It sent Kiev regime Nazis against the Ukrainian people. It failed and Ukrainians defected to Russia. It decided the only way of winning was through creating terrorist attacks such as that on Crocus City Hall. It failed and made tens of thousands of Russians volunteer to fight against the West in the Ukraine. Today the British MI6 continues to supply Neo-Nazis with weapons in the Ukraine and the Baltics, just as it did throughout the 1950s. In their vain imagination they are working for ‘the Anglosphere’. In fact, the reality is that they are slaves to the Americanosphere.

Russia will not disappear as a reality, whatever the wishful thinking of Hitler or Thatcher, who both equally wanted to reduce Russians to a few millions of people to be herded onto ‘reservations’ for the natives in Siberia, as they openly declared. Millennial Russia will always continue in one form or another, for the moment as the tripartite Union State of East Slav Rus. In the face of the new reality of the rout of its Kiev regime proxies and the cleansing of the Ukraine from Nazi tyrants, the USA will make peace with the Union State. After seeing the US abandoning its failed Ukrainian tool and with NATO and the EU collapsed, the Western European war party, including the British Establishment, if it is not first overthrown by the English, the Scottish and the Welsh who yearn for basic health care, schools, roads and social justice, will be replaced by real leaders. They will be the peace-party, who will make peace with the Union State of Rus, because they look eastwards to the future towards Eastern Europe and Eurasia, and not westwards to the past across a vast and empty ocean.

Conclusion: The End of Western Superiority

The Western war against Russia in the Ukraine is existential for Russia. It is in fact a repeat of the 1962 Turkish missile crisis, (known absurdly in the West as the ‘Cuban’ missile crisis) which the USSR won, when the US was forced to withdraw its missiles from the Turkish-Soviet border. However, this Ukrainian war is not at all existential for Western people, only for the Western ruling class, because it has invested everything in its superiority complex, of which this war is its expression. For the British and the Western Establishment in general, the war is existential because the mere existence and survival of Russia challenges its delusion that it is exceptional, superior and indispensable to all others.

American and Western European elites declare: ‘It is essential that the Ukraine win’. But it is not essential for the peoples of the West or for the peoples of the Ukraine, only for the Western and Ukrainian ruling class, so that they can cling on to their stolen power and stolen money a little longer. Western Europe is certainly not indispensable to Russia, though Russian culture, like Russian gas, is indispensable to Western European peoples. Russian gas can give physical energy back to Europeans. And real Russian culture, which is still largely buried beneath the weight of present post-Soviet Russia, is that of Europe. It is far more European than the modern, Americanised, cultureless Europe of today’s elite. Real Russian culture, once fully revealed, can give spiritual energy back to European people.

After Russia has discredited ‘Western values’ (= orders from the Washington elite), the Western millennium will be over. The time is over, when the American elite arrogantly tells the Central Asians, the British elite tells the Chinese, and the French elite tells the Africans, how to live their lives. Nobody wants to live in the decadence of the modern West. Today the USA has accumulated 34 trillion dollars of debt, which is increasing unsustainably by one trillion dollars every 90 days, 10 trillion dollars every 30 months. It is estimated that it will take 800 years to pay the debt off. Who wants to join bankruptcy? Geopolitical and geostrategic problems and the existence of real European Orthodox and Russian Orthodox culture are ultimately geotheological. It is all about spiritual values. One day the modern West will understand this. Only by then it may be too late.

In the meantime, we of Orthodox Europe will hold on to our European Orthodox and Russian Orthodox culture. One day, once all the post-Soviet extremes in the Russian Orthodox Church, both shrill, hysterical and homosexual American convertitis and Soviet careerism, militarism and financial corruption, have gone, Russian Orthodox culture will find its rightful place in the mainstream of the great conciliar symphony of multinational Orthodox culture. This is not a place of domination or of intimidation of the fourteen free Local Churches by politicised Greeks or politicised Russians, but a place of international co-operation and diplomacy, of the Catholicity of the Church, of the Word of God, not of the CIA or of Papal-style personality cults. Then the real Russia will be restored – after over 300 years of erring along the torturous paths of Imperialism, Marxism and post-Sovietism, imposed by Western hatred for Russia and accepted by the anti-patriotic inferiority complex of Russian traitors.











On the Persecution of the Church in the Ukraine and England

As we can see from the above, in the Ukraine, as in England, the Church is persecuted by so-called ‘clerics’ who wish to see our churches closed down. This is why we have since 2019 always commemorated at the Great Entrance ‘His Beatitude Onufry, Metropolitan of Kiev and All the Ukraine, the brethren of the Kiev Caves Monastery and all his persecuted and suffering flock’. Like us, he too has been railed at by the two thieves on their crosses on either side of Christ, the one who represents the Western persecution by the so-called ‘OCU’ and the other who represents the persecution coming from the Sovietised Russian side. Like the greatest Ukrainian saint of the twentieth century, our patron, St John of Shanghai and Western Europe, who was persecuted by the forces of this world when he lived in China, and then put on trial by false brethren in California, Russian ‘bishops’, we too follow St John. The greatest disciple of St John of Shanghai is Metr Onufry. We follow in both their footsteps, for we follow in the footsteps of the persecuted Christ, as we are faithful to the Gospel of Christ, and not to schismatics and slanderers and all those who repeat those slanders. May the Lord have mercy on their souls!

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

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

I Timothy 3, 1-7


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

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


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

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


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

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

The Ukraine

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

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

The People

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

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

Conclusion: The Corruption of Part of the Episcopate

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

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




A Question and Answer

Dear Father,

It is very easy to condemn another Church for her errors. Why do you never speak about your own jurisdiction?  There is such relativism among Romanians here. Please, as the Gospel say: “Judge not if you don’t want to be judged’’

Priest X (identity withheld)


Dear Father,

Thank you for your very interesting letter,

First of all, I have never condemned/judged or will condemn/judge the Russian Church, of which I was a member for 47 years, where Metr Antony Bloom tonsured me reader 42 years ago and where we were all rejected by ROCOR, with half the diocese, only eighteen months ago. I just tell the facts.

Why the Patriarchal Russian Church refused to allow us to join it in May 2021 remains unclear, especially when there are so many Russians and Moldovans in our parishes.  But they come to us because they say we are not corrupt. I just tell you the facts.

All I can say is that we have never seen such hatred, jealousy and evil as in ROCOR. Since we have joined the Romanian Church, we have met only love and kindness. I just tell you the facts.

That there are scandals in the Church of Romania I do not doubt. But we have not seen any. As for relativism among the people, just go to Russia (I speak fluent Russian and have been there some 20 times in the last fifty years, the first time exactly fifty years ago in August 1973).

I hope we can concelebrate one day,

In Christ,

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

The Murk Lifts as the Saints Come in Victory

Four years ago now we were informed by a bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) that Fr Alexander Belya had been selected as a bishop by a majority of the old ROCOR Synod in New York. All had legitimately been signed off and sent to the Moscow for the final approval. Indeed, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) had earlier personally spoken to us about Fr Alexander with great enthusiasm. However, the objections of a minority in the Synod were so strong that they launched what was in effect a coup d’etat, taking advantage of the late Metropolitan Hilarion’s dementia and cancer, creating a new ROCOR and beginning a campaign to discredit Fr Alexander’s candidacy. All manner of accusations were made, for which no proof has ever been offered.

Accusing someone of forgery and then spending two and a half years in the highest courts in the USA trying to avoid having to respond to evidence to the contrary does seem very strange. In any case, after losing its very expensive court cases against Fr Alexander Belya and awaiting the new one for defamation, the new ROCOR has lost yet another battle.  It can no longer resist the consecration of Fr Alexander Belya, already signed off by the old ROCOR under Metr Hilarion (Kapral). However, given the purging of the old canonical ROCOR by the dominant new ROCOR, the consecration will go ahead under the very unpopular and highly controversial Archbishop Elpidiphoros of the Church of Constantinople in North America. He has now called the bluff of very naïve, objecting bishops of other jurisdictions in Northern America and will proceed with the long-awaited consecration.

It is a great pity that few can trust Archbishop Elpidiphoros personally, but no doubt there was no other choice for Fr Alexander in the highly politicised American context. And so the vital forces of the Russian Church in Northern America are going under the Church of Constantinople, as the elderly who know the Tradition die out. We can only imagine the dissatisfaction with ROCOR in Moscow. A candidate for the episcopate and yet another set of good clergy and prosperous parishes lost by ROCOR and this time forced, however reluctantly, to join the Patriarchate of Constantinople, Moscow’s great rival. (Where part of the OCA also wants to go). The living elements of the old ROCOR, are fleeing its new marginality, in Northern America quite logically joining the largest jurisdiction there (the Patriarchate of Constantinople) and in Western Europe quite logically joining the largest jurisdiction there (the Patriarchate of Romania). In both cases all keep the old calendar and all other Russian liturgical customs.

All had been possible, but, according to some, on account of jealousy (Fr Alexander speaks and writes fluent Russian and Ukrainian, unlike those who oppose him), slander and sham ‘defrockings’, those who oppose him have lost nearly everything. First there came notoriety for receiving clergy without letters of release from canonical (= non-schismatic) Local Churches. (Letters of release are necessary to check on the moral conduct of clergy, not if the only objections to the clergy leaving are because they refuse schism, because of political disagreements or if they concern coveting of parishioners’ property on the part of those who do not wish them to leave.

The refusal to issue letters of release for purely political purposes or to try and obtain property illegally is not canonical. And there is no such thing as an oath of obedience to a schismatic bishop!). One Russian priest in London called ROCOR’s uncanonical suspensions ‘null and void’. And as another Russian priest said: ‘If there is no canonical crime, then it means that canon law is simply used as a mechanism of political repression’. (

Thus, the clergy who left Constantinople for ROCOR were suspended by the Church of Constantinople. This is normal practice, as you do not ‘defrock’ clergy, if they are acting in integrity according to their conscience. Unless, that is, you are some sort of punitive, gaslighting, right-wing sect. Why did so many leave the new ROCOR elsewhere? The ROCOR schism from the Moscow Patriarchal Russian Orthodox Church (to which ROCOR supposedly belongs!) in Western Europe took its toll. This was because the Moscow group in Western Europe receives Catholic clergy in the same way as the rest of the Moscow Patriarchate and the pre-Revolutionary Russian Church, that is, not by rebaptism, like Greek Old Calendarists. This suicidal act of Russian old calendarism on the part of ROCOR cost it sixteen clergy and half of its Diocese in Great Britain. All refused to obey neophyte schismatics – see Canon XV of the First and Second Council. Now ROCOR in Great Britain will never be anything more than an irrelevant, tiny, closed marginal sect.

Then there was the use of electronic signatures, used in utterly vain attempts to bully, gaslight and intimidate. With these acts many have indeed discredited and isolated themselves from canonical Orthodoxy. How long will Moscow tolerate these losses and scandals? At a time like this, the already very isolated Moscow needs allies, not scandals. It has already suffered scandals in the tragic situations in Kiev, Riga, Amsterdam, Madrid, Vilnius and those that are rapidly developing elsewhere. There will come a point when Moscow, with its many parishes which use the new calendar, simply will not accept the threats made to it by the old calendarist American Synod. These threats involve boycotting the workings of the Moscow Patriarchate and are made by the New York Synod because it believes that it has Moscow over a barrel and can get away with anything. It is a dangerous game, because one day after the Ukraine is over Moscow will call its bluff and pull the plugs.

All this is a result of the ROCOR identity crisis. This began after its formal unity with Moscow in 2007, when it at last found universally recognised canonical status, for which we had battled for so long. However, instead of choosing to use this God-given opportunity to contribute to the positive and mainstream construction of new Local Churches in the Diaspora and show political independence from the secular Russian State, it chose negative and censorious self-isolation in an extreme right-wing ghetto and political co-operation with the secular Russian State. So it lost its Ukrainians – and many other normal families, purged by the alt right, long-bearded crazy converts it is introducing. It means that the only Russian Orthodox input into the inevitable new Local Churches in Northern America and Western Europe will come from the free Russian Orthodox, who belong to other Local Churches. Fringe groups with their extremism such as ROCOR will have no involvement. Just like all old calendarist groups, they have nothing to contribute.

Unless, that is, the few remaining Orthodox in ROCOR can at the last moment take back control of the Church from those who usurped power from the saintly, but very weak Metropolitan Hilarion (+ 2022) during the years of his dementia and cancer. This now seems very unlikely, unless the largely convert mini-Synod which took full control of ROCOR through its internal coup can be ousted. At present the new ROCOR is carrying out a purge of all its senior clergy of the St John tradition, all those who belonged to the old ROCOR and are being replaced by ‘Orthobros’ and incels.  Distracted by its loss of the Ukraine, Latvia etc and its desperate search for support in the Diaspora for the Russian State’s political and military battle against the USA in the Ukraine, the Moscow Patriarchate authorities have let things slide in the Diaspora. So badly indeed that the return of ROCOR to canonicity now seems virtually impossible. And that severely compromises Moscow’s own non-ROCOR existence outside Russia only more.

Interestingly, the news of Fr Alexander’s coming consecration was reported by the notoriously biased, American-run but Moscow-based, website ‘’. This site is well-known for being backed by and publishing the works of very conservative ex-Evangelicals in Northern America. Some have even said that that website has been infiltrated by murky CIA/NATO assets, who started establishing themselves in ROCOR, Vlasovite and Russian-language publishing and broadcasting circles in the Diaspora in the 1960s. In any case that website never prints articles and comments that are critical of the practices of the MP and ROCOR or show up their hypocrisy and disrespect for human rights. It is surely being protected by someone important in the hierarchy in Russia, who knows the emigres well. According to some, he may himself, perhaps by naivety, have been turned and been involved in those murky dealings.

This is possible. After all, we should recall that the US Establishment is now divided between the conservative nationalist patriots of the CIA and the woke cosmopolitan neocons of the Washington State Department. And this situation is strangely very similar to that in the Soviet Union just before its dissolution in 1991. Then that was divided between pro-American liberal Euro-Atlanticists, who overnight transformed themselves from Communists into Capitalist oligarchs, and the patriots/nationalists, centred in the Soviet equivalent to the CIA, which was then called the KGB. And one of the latter was the present Russian nationalist President Putin, at that time a lowly KGB operative in provincial East Germany.

We should not forget that the former US President George Bush Senior (his son was not bright enough) was head of the CIA before himself being elected. Does a parallel between today’s patriotic CIA and the then patriotic KGB exist? Does the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1991 indicate the coming collapse of the American Empire? We remember how in the 1970s and then the 1980s, the right-wing Washington ROCOR, of which some were CIA assets (once an asset, always an asset, as the late Fr Mikhail Artsimovich commented to me in 1992), was warmly welcomed into the Reagan White House and the coffers of the CIA generously opened to it. Now it is payback time, return on investment. We gave you then, now you will obey us. You cannot escape the murk, once you have joined it, you are signed up for life. You have sold your soul.

What is clear is that the new ROCOR is collapsing. It is not for families. We have often asked ourselves what the righteous people, priests and bishops of the old ROCOR, so many of whom we knew well, would have done. What would the ever-memorable St John of Shanghai and Western Europe, Fr Seraphim (Rose), Archbishop Antony of Geneva (who never defrocked anyone) and Metr Laurus (Shkurla) have done, given the present convert sectarianisation? Their Church has now been taken over by the descendants of those who suspended and put St John on trial in 1964, who persecuted Fr Seraphim in the 1970s and Archbishop Antony in the 1980s and 1990s and ourselves since 2007.

Surely, if they had still been alive in the years following 2007 and saw they risked losing control of the New York Synod to the murky mini-Synod, which had already begun forming as long ago as 2001 after the Metr Vitaly fiasco, they would have closed down the separate Synod in New York. Then, seeing the convert immaturity and uncanonical actions, Moscow would have taken ROCOR under its direct control. Moscow then would surely have proceeded towards the regionalisation and Metropolitanisation of ROCOR, as so many of us and the Patriarch Kyrill of the time had so much wanted, as he told us quite clearly in the Danilov Monastery in Moscow in May 2012.

This would have helped towards founding the coming foundation of the four Diaspora Local Churches, in Western Europe, Northern America, Latin America and Oceania. In this way the New York Synod could never have been diverted from its Christian path by insecure ‘One True Church’ converts and the other psychologically troubled with their murky connections. It is probably too late for this, for the Persecuted Church has become the Persecuting Church and the way back seems impossible. It is too late for any ‘Make ROCOR Great Again’. This is what happens when the spiritual is supplanted by the political and the financial. In history such people were ruled by a Sanhedrin and they were called pharisees.

However, we should not doubt in Divine Providence. The saints came to rescue us from the ROCOR schism and even now they are gathering together with St John of Shanghai. We shall see great changes in the near future, as the Holy Spirit takes over from evil men, their hearts full of hatred. Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!



The Lavra in Kiev

Exactly fifty years ago, in July 1973, I visited the Kiev Caves Lavra (Monastery) for the first time. Or rather I did not visit it. I was not allowed in, as militiamen stood on guard outside with sub-machine guns, forbidding entrance to all. The Lavra was closed. Such was the Communist persecution of the 1970s. What is happening there today is also persecution, but certainly not as bad as in the 20s and 30s when the torture chambers and then the firing squads made short work of all Orthodox clergy. Today State-recruited hooligans outside the Lavra, wearing T-shirts with ‘I love Satan’ on them, protest against Christ. Let them. There has been no bloodshed here so far.

True, Metropolitan Paul has been placed under house arrest. He is popularly known as ‘Pasha (Paul) Mercedes’, for he has a lot of them in his private palace. He is well-known as a corrupt careerist. A bit of persecution is doing good. cleansing of teh post-Soviet corruption. Already another of the200 monks of the Lavra has been found out. He sold his soul to the devil in exchange for being made ‘Abbot’ in the schismatic American ‘Church’ of Epiphanius. The Church is not about golden domes, it is about golden souls. Perhaps some will begin to understand this. In the New Church, after this period is over, let us ban gold and marble in the churches and sell what we have and give the money to the poor.

Meanwhile, the Churches of Constantinople and Alexandria, less so the Churches of Greece and Cyprus, though individuals within them are compromised, are totally discredited. Their silence before the persecution in the Ukraine, persecution which they have sponsored, condemns them. As are any, including certain individuals in the Moscow Patriarchate, including in the imploding ROCOR, who deride and rail against Metropolitan Onuphry. A yardstick of Orthodoxy, he is supported 100% by the rest of the Orthodox world, the free Orthodox world. Metr Onuphry has now become the most authoritative hierarch in the Orthodox world. He is one of the few who is not compromised by any political regime.

We continue to pray for him, commemorating him and his Church at the Great Entrance, as ever over the last four years, and all the persecuted in the Ukraine. For we too belong to the Persecuted Church – and not the Persecuting Church. Just as the atheists tried to close us, so they are now trying to close the Lavra.


In the Week of St Gregory Palamas

Gregory Palamas was born in Constantinople in about 1296, where his father was a courtier of Emperor Andronikos II. When Gregory was still a child, his father died and the Emperor took part in the education of the orphan. He hoped that the gifted boy would devote himself to imperial service. Instead, he chose monastic life on Mt Athos and the Christian tradition of unceasing prayer, known in Greek as ‘hesychasm’.

Gregory received a good education and even studied the pagan Greek Aristotle, but in 1316 he left to become an Athonite monk. In 1326, aged thirty, because of the threat of Turkish attacks he and others took refuge in Thessaloniki where he was ordained priest. Spending his time in prayerful service to the people, he also founded a small community of hermits near Thessaloniki in Veria. The cave where he lived and prayed can still be visited.

Later Fr Gregory served for a short time as Abbot of Esphigmenou on Mt Athos. Here he was asked by monks to defend the tradition of unceasing prayer from the attacks of a Catholic-trained Greek called Barlaam. Gregory wrote a number of works in defence and stood up for the practice of unceasing prayer at six different Councils in Constantinople. Like all later Greek Catholics, Barlaam asserted that it was impossible to determine from whom the Holy Spirit proceeds and Gregory naturally viewed Barlaam’s argument as agnostic. In his response titled ‘Apodictic Treatises’, Gregory proved that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father, but not from the Son.

In response to Barlaam’s attacks, Gregory wrote nine treatises entitled ‘Triads in Defence of Those Who Practise Hesychia’ (Unceasing Prayer). The first Triad was written in the second half of the 1330s and was based on discussions between Gregory and Barlaam. Gregory’s teaching was affirmed by monks of Mount Athos, who met in a Council in 1340–1. In early 1341, the monasteries composed ‘The Tome of the Holy Mountain’. This was a presentation of Gregory’s teaching and it became a textbook of Christian theology.

As an apostate Orthodox without spiritual experience, Barlaam viewed any claim of the real and conscious experience of God ‘as a heresy’. He also rejected the Christian teaching on the uncreated nature of the Divine Light, the experience of which is the result of unceasing prayer. Deprived of the Holy Spirit, he regarded that experience as ‘heretical and blasphemous’. The Divine Light was maintained by Christians to be identical to the Light seen by Christ’s disciples at the Transfiguration.

The second Triad quoted some of Barlaam’s writings. In response to this, Barlaam composed a treatise called ‘Against the Messalians’, which linked the hesychasts to a proud, materialist, Protestant-style sect called the Messalians, thus accusing Christians of heresy! In the third Triad, Gregory refuted Barlaam’s charge, showing that Orthodox Christians are not anti-sacramentalist and do not claim to see the essence of God. Gregory oriented the Orthodox teaching against Barlaam on the issue of pagan intellectualism, that is, the Hellenism of such as Aristotle, which he considered to be the main source of the heresies of the Scholastic Barlaam.

Six Patriarchal Councils were held in Constantinople between 1341 and 1351 to consider Barlaam’s attacks against Orthodox Christianity. These are accepted as having universal status by many Orthodox. Some call them the Fifth Council of Constantinople or the Ninth Universal Council. The Council of May 1341 condemned Barlaam and the Patriarch insisted that all Barlaam’s writings be destroyed. Barlaam realised that he could not promote his errors among Orthodox Christians and went to Italy, where he was soon appointed Roman Catholic Bishop of Gerace.

After Barlaam’s departure, a pro-Catholic Aristotelian intellectual called Gregory Akindynos became the chief critic of the Christian teaching on unceasing prayer and the Divine Light. However, the second Council in Constantinople in August 1341 condemned Akindynos and affirmed the findings of the earlier Council. Nevertheless, Akindynos and his supporters gained a brief victory at a rogue Council held in 1344, which excommunicated Gregory. Here his opponents spread slanderous accusations against him and in 1344 the corrupt Patriarch John XIV imprisoned Gregory for four years.

Nevertheless, the last of the Six Councils in 1351 supported Gregory and finally condemned his opponents. This Council ordered that his enemies, the Metropolitans of Ephesus and Ganos, be defrocked and jailed. All those who were unwilling to accept Christian teachings were excommunicated. A series of anathemas were pronounced against Barlaam, Akindynos and their followers. At the same time, a series of acclamations was made in favour of Gregory and the adherents of the Christian teaching, which he had expressed.

In 1347, when a new and non-corrupt Patriarch was appointed, Gregory was released from prison and consecrated Archbishop of Thessaloniki. He probably reposed in 1359 and his last words were: ‘To the heights! To the heights!’ He was canonised only nine years later, in 1368, and his life was written and a service was composed to him. His feast is celebrated twice a year, on 14 November, the anniversary of his repose, and on the Second Sunday of Lent. This is because St Gregory’s victory over Barlaam is a continuation of the victory of the Church over heresy, which is celebrated on the first Sunday of Lent. St Gregory’s relics are venerated in the church dedicated to him in Thessaloniki. In 2009 Gregory’s mother and four siblings also embraced the monastic life and the whole family was canonised.

Persecution is the norm for those in the Church who oppose politically-motivated corruption and intimidation. Christ was slandered and crucified. St John Chrysostom was deposed and twice exiled. St Gregory Palamas was excommunicated from the Church, slandered and imprisoned. In the last century St Nectarius of Pentapolis was slandered and exiled by jealous Greek bishops of his own Synod. St John of Shanghai was slandered, put on trial and suspended by jealous Russian bishops of his own Synod. Today, nothing has changed. Those who propose the Gospel model of the Church and not the corrupt one, which is all about money, power and so links with States, are also persecuted, just as we have been persecuted for 2,000 years already.






A Romanian Proposal for the UOC: A Wake-up Call for the Ukrainian Government

06 February 10:53


Author: Konstantin Shemliuk

The Romanian-speaking communities of the UOC have been invited to move to the Romanian Church.

Romanian public organizations have called on the Romanian-speaking parishes of the UOC to join the Romanian Church. Why is this a signal for the Ukrainian authorities?

At the end of January, a number of Romanian public and political organizations published an appeal to the Romanian-speaking Orthodox parishes of Ukraine with a call to join the Romanian Patriarchate. Among the signatories are the Romanian East Association, ProVita Bucharest Association, ROST Association, MORE Association and others.

The reason is the repression of the Ukrainian authorities of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. After all, out of 120 Romanian-speaking parishes in Ukraine, 110 belong to the jurisdiction of the UOC. So given the pressure that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is under today in Ukraine, the possibility of Ukrainian Romanians going under the leadership of the Romanian Patriarch appears quite probable. So what is really happening with these parishes, and is it only about them? Let’s figure it out.

Persecution of the UOC and the reaction of Romania

Tough statements from Romania about the persecution of the Orthodox in Bukovyna by the authorities are becoming increasingly louder. On January 15, 2023, ex-MP Gelu Visan spoke on Romania TV about “the crimes that they (the Ukrainian authorities) commit against the ministers of the Lord.” A week later, his rhetoric became even tougher. On television, he compared Zelensky’s actions against the UOC with the policies of the Nazis.

“I see that Zelensky, as the commander-in-chief of the army and law enforcement agencies, is committing an act of Nazism. This footage (SBU searches in the dioceses of the UOC – Ed.) should be sent directly to the European courts, because the most flagrant violation of religious and human rights, ethnic and religious cleansing can be seen here. All this is extremely serious,” the politician said.

At the end of January, Romanian politicians began to study the situation on the ground. MP Dumitru-Viorel Focsa came to Ukraine on purpose to meet with priests. He recorded several video interviews with them, blurring their faces and changing their voice.

According to Foksa, Zelenskyy’s repressions against the UOC are “complete madness.” He said that “Romanian priests are being terrorized and forced to leave the autonomous canonical church of Ukraine to enter the new political church.” The deputy of the Romanian parliament also said that the interviewed clerics of the UOC are “very scared” and “in need of protection”, but remain faithful to their Primate and do not want to go over to the Romanian Church.

But maybe Foksa is exaggerating and, in fact, no one touches the Romanian-speaking believers and their parishes in Ukraine?

No, he isn’t.

Because most of the “Romanian” churches in our country are located on the territory of the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna diocese. And we all remember very well that it was precisely this diocese that was demonstratively “nightmarized” by the SBU officers – with breaking down doors, stripping everyone who was in the diocesan premises to their underpants, throwing dirt on the Chernivtsi bishop, and so on. We also remember that simultaneously with the “searches” of the security forces, an incredible number of almost identical publications appeared in the media discrediting the clergy of the Chernivtsi diocese.

It is quite obvious that the searches and, moreover, the publications, and later also the scandalous video of Quarter 95, are links in the same chain. In other words, a political command.

And if so, is it possible to say that the defendant (Chernivtsi-Bukovyna diocese) of this order was chosen by chance? Of course not.

Firstly, this diocese is led by the head of the DECR UOC, Metropolitan Meletiy, who has already opened several dozen parishes of the UOC in Europe.

Secondly, this diocese is notable for its faithfulness to Orthodoxy. For reference, there is an UTC in the Chernivtsi region where not a single Uniat or Catholic parish is registered, and the parishes of the OCU exist only on paper.

Thirdly, this diocese is the birthplace of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry.

Fourthly, it is in the Chernivtsi-Bukovyna diocese that one of the most famous (including abroad) bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Metropolitan Longin (Zhar) of Bancheny, serves. To list all the merits of this man, a Hero of the Ukraine, is a thankless task. Suffice it to say that he fostered more than 300 children (many of whom are disabled) and that he is in charge of an orphanage in Molnytsia village.

An ethnic Romanian himself, Metropolitan Longin enjoys great prestige and respect among the local Romanian-speaking population, regardless of religion. Therefore, it is precisely for this reason that the blow to the Bukovynian diocese, to the metropolitans Meletiy and Longin, and indirectly to His Beatitude, echoes so painfully in Romania.

Thus, the authors of the appeal mentioned at the beginning of the article are sure that “taking note from the media of the dramatic reality that Metropolitan Longin (Zhar) faced”, he should “immediately become the head of the Romanian priests and believers in Ukraine and, together with them, demand re-jurisdiction with the Romanian Orthodox Church.”

MP Dumitru-Viorel Focsa published a video in which a priest of the UOC, an ethnic Romanian, said that representatives of the OCU “behave like nationalists.” “We did not unite with them, because we realized that this is a religious-political movement, and we are Orthodox. We don’t do politics. We preach Christ. We do not go against the state, but we cannot violate the Word of God and His commandments,” says the clergyman.

He also said that no one supports the Ukrainian schismatics, and therefore they decided to “destroy us, because when we are gone, they will come instead of us.”

“In this chaos provoked by the war, using nationalist slogans, with the help of the military, they are trying to instil fear in us. Ukrainian parishes are subjected to even more harassment, but we also hear threats, and we were promised that as soon as the war ended, they would take over us too,” the priest said.

Focsa, in turn, reminded the audience that the OCU is backed by the President of the Ukraine, while “armed people and SBU officers come to the churches of the UOC with searches and threats, instil fear in the priests, forcibly undress them and take pictures” (note that all this took place precisely in the Bukovyna diocese – Ed.).

Summing up the results of his visit to the Ukraine, Foksa says that violence is used against the UOC, and many priests are “threatened with expulsion if they use the Romanian language in worship.” He also said that they are accused of being pro-Russian and pro-Putin.

“This is Stalinist rhetoric without evidence, shameful and stupid. So I will report to the European Parliament Commission on Violence. Ukraine does not know how to respect minorities, and the European Commission, the European Parliament should know what these Kyiv politicians are doing,” the Romanian MP said.

How “patriots” are pushing Ukrainians into the arms of Romanians

It is clear that the situation evolving around the UOC clearly plays against the image of the Ukraine in Europe and in the world. Such appeals, and most importantly, moods are supposed to somewhat moderate the ardour of the “patriots” and cool the “hot heads” in the Ukrainian politicum. But we do not notice either the former or the latter.

Thus, the Bukovynian publication “BukInfo” devoted an entire “revealing” article to Metropolitan Longin “The double game of Metropolitan Longin, or Who did the dirty on whom in Bukovyna.” The authors, without any scruples, accused Vladyka Longin of lying and further stated that he “decided to simply skedaddle to the Romanian Orthodox Church, using Romanian right-wing radical organizations and journalists who are fed by the Kremlin.”

Of course, such publications only “add fuel to the fire” of the Romanians’ dissatisfaction with everything that is happening today in Ukraine regarding the UOC and its Romanian-speaking parishes. All this leads to the Romanian media urging the President of the country, Klaus Iohanis, to ban Ukrainian citizens from entering the country, and to send all Ukrainian refugees, “especially the rich and in luxury cars” back to the Ukraine. At the same time, Romanian journalists believe, “Romanians from Northern Bukovyna, Gertsa and the Odessa region should leave the Ukraine for Romania until the situation in this country is resolved.”

“We have shown more than humanity, we have shown brotherly love for the Ukraine, and this is how Kyiv reacts: they persecute Romanian parishes and priests, and the children of Romanians are sent to war,” say outraged journalists.

In the light of the foregoing, it is not difficult to guess that if the authorities of Kyiv still ban the UOC, then none of the Romanian-speaking parishes, priests and parishioners will transfer to the OCU. Given the attitude of Romanians towards the Orthodox faith and the Church, as well as the Ukrainian schismatics, they will definitely prefer to accept the proposal of Romanian politicians and ask Patriarch Daniel to enter. Moreover, the Council in Feofaniya gave such an opportunity and even the right of each diocese to decide its own fate.

However, it can also be assumed that the ban on the UOC may result not only in the migration of Romanian-speaking parishes to the Romanian Patriarchate, but also in the migration of Transcarpathian communities to the Serbian Patriarchate and Galician communities to the Polish Orthodox Church.

Moreover, our compatriots are directly pushed to such a migration by those who consider themselves “patriots” of the Ukraine. For example, Volodymyr Viatrovych, MP from the European Solidarity faction, said that those who reject the OCU should leave the Ukraine or answer according to the law.

What will happen to the Ukraine in this case? And how will our country look in the eyes of the world community? The answer is obvious.

Not less obvious is what a Christian, if necessary, is going to choose between the Church of Christ and the “religious organization” created by Poroshenko. Because the Church for people who believe in God is not a part of political or national discourse, but a question of the eternal destiny of their souls. In the literal sense of the word.






The Persecution of the Church in the Ukraine

Metropolitan Longin (Zhar) is a Ukrainian bishop, who is renowned for his good works, looking after orphans, and for his courage. He is well-known to several of our parishioners in Colchester, who have made pilgrimages to him. Now he has been interviewed about the Zelensky persecutions in the Ukraine:



The Antena 3 (Romania) TV channel has shown a long interview with Metropolitan Longin (Zhar), the abbot of the Ascension Banchensky Monastery of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the Chernivtsi region, about the atrocities of the Ukrainian special services.

“They are destroying us, but we just have to stand up for Christ and for the faith. The Ukrainian special services entered the Chernivtsi Metropolia at night with machine guns, they stood the clergy up against the wall, they broke the windows. They entered convents, knocked over nuns and stood on their heads with their heels,” said Vladyka Longin.

Earlier, the Romanian politician, the former MP Zhelu Vishan, publicly accused the President of Ukraine of poisoning Longinus. At the same time, he called Vladimir Zelensky “a stinker and a nonentity.”

In Romania, Bishop Longin is considered an ethnic Romanian, close to the Transcarpathian Diaspora of the Ukraine. He speaks Romanian and preaches in it. At the same time, the Metropolitan condemned the actions of Russia, speaking to the parishioners. In 2017, he refused to pray for the health of the Patriarch of Moscow, accusing him of ecumenism.

Another Romanian TV channel, Romania TV, showed a film about the Zelensky regime’s abuse of Romanians in Ukraine.

There is a story in the film about how a fanatic entered the Church of the Conception of Christ in Vinnitsa, overturned the crucifix and tore icons down from the walls. The criminal cut the throat of the parish priest, Anthony Kovtonyuk, with a razor and ran away, leaving him in a pool of blood.

The priest was taken to the intensive care unit in a critical condition. And a member of the Synod of the UOC Melety was deprived of Ukrainian citizenship by the decision of the President of Ukraine.

Thus, the public is being prepared for the fact that several Ukrainian dioceses may join the Romanian Orthodox Church due to persecution. Or maybe not only dioceses, but even regions. After all, television relates the persecution of Christians in those regions of Ukraine where ethnic Romanians live.