Category Archives: Protestantism

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

History

Let us recall how all this came about:   

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

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

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

 Conclusion

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

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

 

The Theological Reason Why Gun Massacres Take Place

Yet another gun massacre has taken place in the USA, this time in a church and involving children. We live at a time of spiritual awakening, but this awakening is that of Satan’s demons, who have since 1914 been coming up from the world below at increasing speed at modern man’s invitation to fill the vacuum left by his ever-accelerating abandonment of faith. For the demons, all that belongs to Christ must be wrecked and destroyed, since the presence of Christ incites them to destructive rage. This is what happens at every gun massacre. In order to counter Satan and his minions, we must have mystical sense. What does this mean?

By mystical sense, or mysticism, we do not mean some occultist or esoterist fantasies, which are always the fruit of self-indulgent ego-trips, the result of fallen imaginations. We mean the concrete knowledge of God from spiritual life. Therefore, this mystical sense has nothing to do with moralism/ puritanism, which is caused precisely by the absence of spiritual life. Indeed, in modern times moralism/puritanism has degenerated even from the quest for fake inward purity into the quest for outward purity, as in the ‘green’ movement with its fanaticism for political correctness and its witch hunts for anyone who is not ‘green’.

The same puritanical fanaticism lies behind the current campaign of accusations of sexual harassment, being made mainly in the ex-Protestant USA and UK. Anyone can make such allegations, most of which can never be proven. Of course, this does not mean that many Hollywood producers and UK politicians are not guilty of such harassment. It has always been known that actors and actresses in the theatre and so the cinema and Hollywood, work largely through prostitution. The same is true of politicians. Those who seek power – and gain it – like to exploit sexually. The mystical sense that we need to resist Satan cannot come from either such amoralism or from moralism.

It can only come from our experience of the Living God, Who alone reveals to us the awareness of our personal destiny, God’s Will for each one of us. Mystical sense means not faith in our sinful selves, but faith in Divine Providence, the experience that the Incarnate God is both transcendent and immanent. He is not of this world, but in this world. For those who are not of this world, and are not in it, are the disincarnate philosophers of the Paris School, as they are mere dreamers, not theologians. Those who are of the world, and are in it, are the moralists who consider Church buildings more important than people, as they are mere administrators, not spiritual leaders.

Now philosophers are born from the Roman Catholic heresy, whereas moralists are born from the Protestant heresy. Does this mean that we in the Church with our theology, the experience of the Living God through the Holy Spirit, are immune? Of course not. For example, there are the liberal intellectuals/philosophers/academics, who are invariably philo-Catholic. We have only to think of the Paris Russian philosophers and their ecumenist disciples in the USA, the Phanar and Moscow. On the other hand, there are the conservative moralists, who are invariably philo-Protestant. We have only to think of puritanical, nationalist, boring Greek moralist movements like Zoi and Sotir.

The Church lives a life that is independent of secular influences like Catholicism and Protestantism. We confess Orthodox Christianity, as formulated in the Patristic Nicene Creed, which was expressly rejected by Catholicism/ Protestantism, which are only the maximalist and minimalist sides of exactly the same error of rationalism. Of course, those on the spiritual fringes of the Church (whatever rank they may hold, they are still spiritually on the fringes) err. Let them do so. We in the Church will go on, drawing our life from the Holy Spirit, Who gives us the experience and knowledge of the Living God, brought to us through His Providence and so our mystical sense and theology.

 

 

On the Draft Catechism Produced in Moscow

Russian Version: https://stbasil.center/2017/11/01/o-proekte-katehizisa/

A draft catechism has been compiled in Moscow and is now being discussed. We have seen it. It is very long and has clearly been composed by intellectuals (judging by their condescension to ‘ordinary Orthodox’ and lack of observation of how we ordinary Orthodox live our faith). And it is also clear that they have copied from the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic catechism, or versions of it, like the pseudo-Orthodox Parisian ‘Dieu est Vivant’ catechism, which dates back some 35 years to modernist Catholicism. This draft is based on an over-complicated, self-justifying intellectual approach, full of quotations from the Scriptures and the early Fathers, some of them taken out of context, some of them taken from a heretical document falsely attributed to St Isaac the Syrian. Rather than a question and answer approach, it has adopted a patronizing approach, ensuring that very few real Orthodox will ever read it, which is for the best.

This draft catechism is clearly marked by modernism, suggesting like the Parisians’ hero-heretic, Origen, that salvation is for all and that Darwin is also Orthodox. Its bureaucratic language and Western jargon about ‘human dignity and rights’ and ‘a social concept’ expresses not Orthodox theology, but the politically correct ‘scientific’ theology of Western doctoral students. Unlike ROCOR’s Fr Seraphim Slobodskoy’s simple and classic catechism ‘The Law of God’, which is also very popular inside Russia, this draft is not accessible to ordinary Orthodox. Clearly, the whole thing has been written by those closer to the humanism of Pope Francis than the Orthodox Faith and people. Someone in Moscow, who has studied in a Western University, wants a Vatican II-style Council in the Orthodox Church. For example, this draft never mentions our Russian Orthodox dress code and seems to think that fasting is not very important.

Marked by the language of secularist rationalists from outside the Church, the document presents the Church of God as a religious institution, not the Risen Body of Christ, radiated and penetrated by the Holy Spirit. The authors want to make this institution acceptable to the secular world by avoiding the dogmatic revelations of the Holy Spirit and all areas of controversy. Orthodoxy is just a ‘confession’ and heretical groups outside the Orthodox Church are also called ‘Churches’. It seems to prefer political correctness to the Truth that sets free. Thus, there is little about the Fall and its consequence of ancestral sin. A sign of Roman Catholicism comes in its attribution of papal-like powers to the Patriarch of the Russian Church and equally to its superficial description of the filioque heresy. A sign of Protestant-style Judaism comes in its over-emphasis on the Old Testament, as if the New Testament were just an extension of the Old.

The authors of this draft are clearly involved in the ecumenical heresy, which is conducted by intellectuals who have little or no contact with ordinary Orthodox and is conducted behind our backs, even behind the backs of bishops. There is here no dogmatic clarity at all, and yet that is the very thing we expect from a real Catechism. There is here no theology in the Orthodox ascetic sense. It would be better to throw away this draft of intellectuals and start again, this time employing Orthodox writers, who have ascetic, dogmatic and pastoral experience. They will know what is acceptable to us who strive to live an Orthodox way of life in our monasteries and parishes, where ordinary Orthodox strive to observe Russian Orthodox values and, for that matter, our dress code. Whoever the authors are, they need to realize that the 1960s are over and imitation Roman Catholic/Protestant Paris-Crestwood ‘theology’ with it. Get real! We live in 2017.

 

On the 500th Anniversary of a Tragedy

A thousand years ago man sat down at an inn and ordered a vodka. A waiter came along and forced him to accept a glass of the local wine, telling him that it was much better than vodka, which was not ‘a true drink’. 500 years later another waiter, called Luther, came along and forced him to accept a glass of the local beer, telling him that it was much better than the local wine (he had never heard of vodka). The two waiters then began to argue about which was better, the local wine or the local beer. Rioting started, wars began, rivers of blood poured out. Eventually, all involved grew exhausted and decided to drink coca cola instead.

Meanwhile, the man at the inn is still waiting for his vodka.

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence (August 2017)

Q: It is now the centenary of the 1917-18 Moscow Local Church Council. What are your thoughts?

A: This was an important event because that Council at last restored the Patriarchate. (This happened twelve years after Tsar Nicholas II had already offered to restore it, but certain bishops had at the time shown themselves unready for the restoration and had openly rejected his offer. They had become State-dependent. That was a tragedy). However, having been prepared for years under the Tsar, it is sad that this Council finally took place not under his reign, but under the ‘democratic’ tyranny of the traitor Kerensky, who had deposed both the Metropolitans of Saint Petersburg and Moscow and whose minions interfered in the Council. Any view of the Council must be mixed because of the political interference and pressures on it, but among those who took part, there were saints, future martyrs. These we revere, especially St Tikhon the Patriarch.

Q: In your writings you call for the restoration of the Orthodox Empire and yet you dislike imperialism, for example, British imperialism. Surely this is a contradiction?

A: I have made it clear that I strongly dislike and totally reject Western-style/Soviet-style (it is the same thing; Marxism was a Western ideology) centralist imperialism. However, the restoration of the Orthodox Empire is not about some crude Western-style imperialism, but about the fulfilment of Russia’s Christian duty. This is Russia’s God-given duty only because no other Orthodox people is large enough or strong enough to do this. God gave Russians such a huge part of the world with so many resources so that they could defend Christianity, obviously not for some narrow racist glory. As the Beatitudes say: Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. The Russians lost the Christian Empire in 1917, precisely because they had lost their meekness.

If the Romanians or the Serbs or any other Orthodox people were strong enough, then I would support them. But they are obviously not strong enough and multinational enough, concentrating instead on building the highest church in the Balkans and playing up to the Americans. This is provincialism and primitive nationalism. Only the Russian episcopate, whatever its faults, is multinational. Take for example the Patriarchate of Antioch: every single bishop in it is an Arab and it cannot be otherwise. Other Local Churches are the same, from Georgia to Greece.

The all-inclusive, multinational, multilingual Orthodox Empire, that of worldwide Rus (or Romaiosini), has to be restored because only it can counter the Anti-Christian Empire which is today centred in Washington (before in London). Only the Orthodox Empire can hold back Antichrist.

All Orthodox should support it, rather than sidelining themselves in marginal and fringe groups with their narrow, ethnic, Balkanized politics or policies dictated and bishops appointed by the US State Department. This includes some people on the spiritual fringes of the Russian Church, which has two sets of enemies and traitors: modernist liberals and narrow Russian nationalists. Both of them equally reject the multinational and imperial (‘ecumenical in the Orthodox sense) calling of the Russian Church, each in their own provincial way.

Q: Is such a view important to Russians as well as to Non-Russians?

A: It is vital. For instance, most Russians in this country do not come from Russia itself, but are Russian-speakers from the Baltic States, the Ukraine and Moldova, in other words, from fragments of the Russian Empire. One of their greatest difficulties is their search for an identity. The Soviet identity has long since gone, they have no identity with the Russian Federation, as they generally do not have Russian nationality. As for the new countries where they were born, they do not belong to them, finding them provincial, narrow and basically dependent American colonies and in any case they have been rejected and made into second-class citizens by their chauvinistic, Russophobic, US puppet governments. They belong to something much greater, this is to Rus’, to the multinational Christian Empire. Our nationality is Russian Orthodox, whatever our passports may say. Passports are merely State documents. They will not get us into heaven, the only place we need to go. We have a spiritual passport, which says ‘Orthodox’ on it. And that is far more important.

Q: Would you say that you see Western Europe through Russian eyes?

A: Only inasmuch as Russian eyes are Christian eyes. It is interesting that you suggest this, but it does suggest that you misunderstand the word Russian. I have no interest whatsoever in Non-Christian Russia and Non-Christian Russians (as an Orthodox, naturally I use the word Christian in its real sense, i.e. its sense as Orthodox). That is why I never visited Russia between 1976 and 2007.

About three years ago a certain elderly member of the Paris Jurisdiction in this country accused me of failing to respect the British Establishment and put it first in my views. This made me laugh, but it was also very sad because it meant that he was disobeying the Gospel and failing to put the Kingdom of God first (he should have read the Sermon on the Mount). Such liberals are always erastians, putting the anti-Orthodox State first, as did the ‘Liberal Democrat’ Kerensky in 1917.

I look at Western Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland, through Christian (= Orthodox) eyes. Read St Bede the Venerable – he does the same, dating his writing according to the reign of the Christian Emperor in New Rome. I do the same: I live in the Suffolk district of the East Anglian province of the Kingdom of England of the Christian Empire of New Rome. The fact that New Rome is now in Moscow and no longer in Constantinople is not the point. The point is that we must be consistent and real Orthodox, refusing to reduce the Church of God to some exotic, liberal, disincarnate fantasy spirituality, the path of spiritual delusion, or else to some racist nationalism (phyletism), but being faithful to the Incarnation of the Church’s teaching. Otherwise we are not faithful to the prayer ‘Our Father’: ‘May Thy will be done on earth, as in Heaven’. Either we are Christians or else we are not.

Q: Is it true that globalization is controlled by Jews? And how do we counter it?

A: No, it is not true. That is racist. Many people are in charge of globalization and the New World Disorder, though I doubt if they number more than a million worldwide and perhaps far, far less. Certainly, globalization (which used to be called Americanization) is pro-Israel and many of its leaders are atheist Jews (Zionists) and globalization is essentially a codeword for Zionism, but the majority of people involved are not Jewish and certainly not believing Jews. The point is that most Zionists in the world are not Jewish at all, but simply people who have fallen into Satan’s invention of One World Government.

We counter globalization by building up the Church, which is at once multinational (interpatriotic) and local (patriotic), unity in diversity. This is the spiritual meaning of our lives.

Q: I have been shocked by certain words and acts of your Patriarch Kyrill, who met the Pope in Cuba last year. Surely that is indefensible?

A: Any Patriarch is here today, gone tomorrow. The Head of the Church is Christ, not any Patriarch, whoever he may be. I have to say that I have always failed to understand a mentality which says that personal opinions must always coincide. I may have personal opinions that differ from those of my Patriarch. So what? In such a large Church as ours, differences of opinions are inevitable. We do not belong to a tiny sect, in which all personal opinions have to and can coincide. This is pure Protestantism, Convertism, Sectarianism. This says: ‘You do not agree with me, therefore I am leaving you and will go off and found my own Church’. There has to be tolerance on inessentials. What are the essentials? They are all listed in the Creed. That is what we believe; the rest is opinion, inessentials.

There is in such a view which demands absolute agreement in everything a certain pride: ‘He does not agree with me, therefore I don’t like him’. This suggests that the speaker actually believes that others must agree with him because he is always right! That is not how Christianity works. For example, I do not write because I want people to agree with me. I know that that is impossible because I am so often wrong. I write only in order to provoke thought and prayer. If I cannot do that, then I will cease writing for others.

Patriarch Kyrill met the Pope once. The Patriarch of Constantinople meets him constantly. So what? I shop in a supermarket where one of the cashiers is Roman Catholic and I talk to her. Does that make me a heretic?

In any case those in the Russian Church who have a somewhat 60s mentality are dying out. Read Metr Benjamin of Vladivostok, Metr Vincent (Morar) of Tashkent, Metr Agathangel of Odessa: these are Orthodox hierarchs, loved by all.

Q: Is Ecumenism not a threat to the Church?

A: Ecumenism is dead here, laughably old-fashioned; it seems to be just alive only in less Westernized places, in Greece, Romania, Serbia. Here it lives, but only among old people, very old people. I never hear the word nowadays, it was alive in the 60s, 70s and 80s. That’s not where things are at nowadays.

Q: As a Russian living in England, I recently visited some Anglican churches and I had to keep stepping around stone and metal slabs with graves under them. But English people told me I could walk on them. I was horrified. Why do Anglicans walk on their dead?

A: I presume it is something to do with the Protestant refusal to pray for the departed, and so their lack of respect for them, and it is this that makes them able to walk on graves.

Q: Do you have any favourite sayings or proverbs?

A: Yes, I do. I have thought about your question for several days. Here is a selection of such favourite sayings, all of which I know to be true from observing life:

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you spit in the air, it will fall back on you.

Be nice to people on your way up because you may meet them again on your way down.

No pains, no gains.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

I also have favourite sayings, which, as far as I know, are personal and come from my own experience:

There is only one mistake: not to learn from your mistakes. (From my own life).

Do not destroy something until you have something better to put in its place. (A lesson for those who invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc).

You cannot build spiritual life on fantasy. (This comes from observing intellectuals who join the Church but never become Orthodox).

Church of England Bishop Condemns Evangelical Theology

Some have wondered in recent years what lay behind the meddling Western invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the arrogance that ‘we know best’, which resulted in the massacres and exile of millions of people both there and throughout the Middle East. The ‘theology of violence’ in fact lies in the perversions of Christianity to be found in the Protestant and post-Protestant ethos of the US and the UK. After all the Methodist President Bush did claim that ‘God had told him’ to invade Iraq’.

(http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/bush-god-told-me-to-invade-iraq-6262644.html).

.The Bishop has said:

“But of course the theology that these people bring to the table very often has an element of violence and sort of nastiness in it, a kind of element of punitive behaviour. God is seen as this punitive figure who is somehow out to ‘get’ people and I suppose it does blind people to what’s going on in front of them sometimes, when there is that kind of violent basic theology.”

For the full story, see:

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/bishop.blames.violent.and.punitive.theology.for.alleged.abuse.at.christian.summer.camps/104423.htm

On the Non-Inevitability of Modernism

Once upon a time the pseudo-science of Marxism used to proclaim that its claims, like death and taxes, were inevitable. In a similar way the supporters of the theory of evolution used to proclaim that it too was the only ‘truth’ that counted, until real scientists pointed out that it was only a theory among many. Similarly, the EU used to proclaim that its aim of a United States of Europe was also inevitable, ‘like a man riding a bicycle you have to carry on towards it, otherwise you will fall off’. Actually if you are cycling (especially towards a cliff edge), you can easily stop without falling off and turn back, which is exactly what the pragmatists of Brexit have done. Modernists also use the same pseudo-scientific argument of inevitability to justify themselves. In a post-modernist world, their argument is particularly absurd and old-fashioned.

Thus, forty years ago I remember a priest of a modernist Western diocese of the old Patriarchate of Moscow (who later defrocked himself, ran away from his wife and then committed suicide) using exactly the same argument. ‘The Catholics had Vatican II, and we will follow them. It is inevitable. We will get rid of the iconostasis, have women around the altar table, have deaconesses, do away with clerical clothing and be modern like the Protestants and then the Catholics. It is just that we Orthodox are behind the others’. I have been reminded of his words recently, as a member of the Paris Archdiocese has said that since one of their priests in Belgium already accepts homosexual ‘marriage’ and that a priest under Constantinople in Finland actually does such ‘weddings’, ‘the rest of the Church will follow’. Inevitability? As in Crete?

A member of the Constantinople Archdiocese in North America has also recently questioned why New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo was recently given the ‘Patriarch Athenagoras Human Rights Award’. After all, Cuomo is well known for his outspoken advocate of the pro-death (erroneously called pro-choice) movement. On 17 July 2014, Governor Cuomo referred to the defenders of the pre-born child as: “these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life … they have no place in the state of New York.” It seems a strange criticism when two years ago Vice-President Biden, who so lavishly praises the present Patriarch of Constantinople and has also tried hard to further the Church schism in the Ukraine and is another politician who is openly supportive of abortion, also received the same dubious masonic award.

To some it seems that an Orthodox Church accepting everything that liberal Protestantism and liberal Catholicism accept, including homosexual clergy, teenage girls ‘dancing’ around the altar and guitar ‘masses’, is inevitable. After all, they say, ‘we are all subject to the same sociological processes’. Such people, inherently secularist and faithless, have no understanding that this is a typically Catholic/Protestant/Secularist/Western attitude. The Church is precisely the only organism (not organization) that is not subject to ‘sociological processes’ (four Local Churches resisted Crete), but to the processes of the grace of God, processes of the Holy Spirit. If the apostles and martyrs had been subject to ‘sociological processes’, they would have censed the demons (‘gods’) as they were asked to. Instead, they refused – and became saints, the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

The point is that none of the incredible secularization undergone by Protestantism and Catholicism in the last fifty years (or in the previous centuries either) is inevitable. However, this is true only as long as long as we have the Holy Spirit and not empty-hearted rationalism, that is the ‘fleshly wisdom’ of the spirit of the world – and we know who the prince of the world is. As the apostate scholastic Abelard wrote 900 years ago in the Prologue to his work ‘Sic et Non’: ‘The Fathers had the Holy Spirit, but we do not’. For the interest of the apostate descendants of Abelard, the word ‘Fathers’ means ‘the (Orthodox) Church’, in other words: ‘The (Orthodox) Church has the Holy Spirit, but the others do not’. There is nothing inevitable about modernism, just as there is nothing inevitable about any other form of apostasy.

Christ the Invincible Power

Answers to Questions from Recent Conversations and Correspondence

Q: When did you first become conscious of the Russian Orthodox Church?

A: My introduction to the Orthodox Church was through the local saints of England in my native north Essex, notably St Edmund, but also St Albright (Ethelbert), St Cedd, St Botolph and St Osyth. However, as regards the Russian Orthodox Church as such, my first encounter was almost fifty years ago, just after my 12th birthday, in August 1968. As a result of that revelation, I began teaching myself Russian in October of that year in Colchester because I already knew that the Russian Orthodox Church is my spiritual home. However, I had to wait nearly another seven years until I could take part in Russian Orthodox life, as in those days (it is not much better now) there were so few Russian churches anywhere. I only managed to visit any Russian churches in 1973.

Q: Which part of the Russian Church did you join?

A: Having been told by two of its members that the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) would not allow me to join it because I was English (I had no idea at that time that my great-grandmother was Russian, I only discovered that distant link much later), I had no alternative but to join the Moscow Patriarchate. They may have been many things in those distant days, but at least they were not racists.

Q: What was your path to the priesthood after that?

A: A very hard one. First of all, since I could not live and work in Russia on account of the Cold War at that time, for my first job I went to live and work in Greece. I thought that was the next best alternative. After a year there and visiting the then Yugoslavia and Bulgaria, I understood that the Balkan Churches were no solution to the need for a Local Orthodox Church in the West. They were all inward-looking, culturally very narrow and hopelessly nationalistic. Later, contacts with Romanians and Georgians told me the same about them and in the Romanian case there is the huge problem of simony. So, with Russia closed off, in 1979 with the blessing of Metr Antony (Bloom) I went to study at the St Sergius Theological Institute in Paris, which I had in my ignorance imagined to be a Russian Orthodox seminary.

Q: What was it in fact?

A: It was the remains of a Russian Orthodox seminary mingled with an institute of philosophy and, frankly, of heresy. It openly preached modernism or Renovationism, which is Protestant-based, and is therefore not even remotely interesting to someone coming from a country like England with a Protestant culture, so alien to me. One English priest, rather harshly, called St Serge a Methodist Sunday School. Very harsh, but there was some truth in it.

Q: Why did you not think of going to Jordanville in the USA?

A: For the same reason as before. I was repeatedly told by members of ROCOR that they only took Russians. Remember in those days there was no internet, no advice, you had to make your own way, you went by what local representatives told you, even if it was incorrect.

Q: What happened next?

A: In 1982 I was offered the priesthood by the Moscow Patriarchate on terms which I can only describe as scandalous. I walked out, never to return, and enquired again at the Church Outside Russia. I got the same answer as in 1974, though I noted that this time there were actually a few ex-Anglicans in a separate branch of ROCOR in England. However, these rather eccentric conservative Anglicans seemed to have no interest in the Russian Orthodox Church, but only in being anti-Anglican and they had a huge interest in fanatical Greek Orthodox sects. Never having been Anglican and having lived in Greece, I had no interest in either. This was all the more frustrating since ROCOR had just canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors and naturally I had their icons and venerated them. Nevertheless, in 1983, I decided to emigrate to France and join my wife’s jurisdiction, the Paris Jurisdiction.

Q: Wasn’t that foolhardy? I mean you already knew about the problem of modernism there?

A: What you have to understand is that in Paris in 1981 they had elected a new Archbishop. Under the very elderly and saintly old one, renovationists had come to the fore, taking advantage of his old age, but the new Archbishop promised us personally that he would sweep them away and return his jurisdiction to Orthodoxy and canonical Russian practice. So this was a time of great promise and even excitement. Patriarch Dimitrios of Constantinople even said at the time that the Paris Jurisdiction would be returned to the Russian Church as soon as it was free. So, with hope in a promising future, in January 1985 I was ordained deacon there.

Q: What happened next?

A: in May 1985 I was offered the priesthood providing that I would become a freemason. I refused, scandalized. Then we became witnesses to the complete takeover of the jurisdiction by renovationists. The new Archbishop ordained them one by one, completely breaking his promise – not because he was a liar, but because he was weak. It was the same problem as Metr Evlogy, the first Paris Jurisdiction ruling bishop; he had never wanted to leave the Russian Church, but he was a weak man surrounded by powerful laymen, mainly freemasons and those who had betrayed the Tsar and organized the February Revolution. It was the end of the possibility that that jurisdiction would ever return to the freed, restored and reunited Russian Church. But I only understood that the meaning of that bitter disappointment afterwards.

Q: Why did you not leave such a masonic group?

A: Not all by far were freemasons and I felt that I had to labour on until God’s will for me should be revealed.

Q: When was that?

A: Without doubt it was in summer 1988 when the Paris Jurisdiction celebrated the millennium of the Baptism of Rus. Instead of inviting the Russian bishops in Western Europe to the Cathedral on Rue Daru in Paris and returning to the Russian Church in unity, they railed against the Russian Church and invited the Roman Catholic Cardinal of Paris. I was not only scandalized but spiritually distraught. I was an eyewitness to treason and apostasy. It was the last straw. They preferred heresy to Orthodoxy.

Soon after, I met Archbishop Antony of Geneva of ROCOR, who told me that he would be happy to receive me and that I had no need whatsoever to labour on in such anti-canonical conditions. I jumped at the opportunity. 17 people left with me, including a priest. So we all joined the Church Outside Russia in January 1989. That was a transforming moment because previously I had only known the Church Outside Russia in England. On the other hand, Vladyka Antony, heir to Vladyka John of Shanghai, though traditional, was not racist or fanatical, but missionary-minded. He lived in a different world from the fanatics in England and we freely concelebrated with other Orthodox.

I remember him telling me about the extremists who were trying to take control of ROCOR in New York. He said: ‘But there’s nowhere else to go’. I have not the slightest doubt that he would have returned to Russia, if he had had the chance. I also remember conversations with him about Metr Antony of Kiev (Archbp Antony came from Kiev), whom he had known well in Belgrade and whose name he had taken. He was the real ROCOR. Real Russian Orthodox. At last. It had taken me 20 years to get to that point! 20 years of facing illusions, lies, broken promises and corruption. You would think it would have been easy, but nothing of the sort. All hell was against the Russian Orthodox Church, a sure sign of truth.

Q: What happened next?

A: Well, I was at last living as a proper Russian Orthodox. Nearly three years later, in December 1991 I was ordained priest for the new ROCOR parish in Lisbon in Portugal.

Q: What was your attitude to the Moscow Patriarchate?

A: We were all just impatiently waiting for it to become politically free and free of renovationism. That happened officially with the Jubilee Council in Moscow in 2000.

Q: So why didn’t the Church Outside Russia join up with the Patriarchate straightaway in 2000?

A: It is one thing to proclaim the truth at a Council, but another for the decisions of that Council to be implemented. For example, after that I can still remember how at the London Patriarchal Cathedral they refused to put up icons of the New Martyrs and also, incidentally, they refused to sell the books of Fr Seraphim (Rose) or anything traditional. Priests and people coming from Russia were persecuted by the renovationists because they were ‘too’ traditional. We had to wait for the Patriarchate to free itself from such Renovationism.

Also, it must be said, we had to wait until the fanatical elements that had done so much harm to ROCOR since they had started infiltrating the Church in the mid-sixties had left us. When the extremists did finally leave, almost at the same time, there was a huge sigh of relief, because then we could get on with being Orthodox. So it was we had to wait until 2007.

Q: How do you know that people are free of Renovationism?

A: Easy: The yardstick is veneration for the New Martyrs, especially the Imperial Martyrs. The renovationists hate them.

Q: How do you know that people are free of sectarian fanaticism of the sort you describe as having infiltrated ROCOR?

A: Easy: The yardstick is the willingness to concelebrate with other Orthodox Christians.

Q: What is going to happen in the future? At present there are countries like England where there are two parallel jurisdictions of the Russian Church, one dependent on Moscow, the other dependent on the Church Outside Russia?

A: According to the 2007 agreement, where there are two parallel jurisdictions, ROCOR should, in time, absorb the Patriarchal jurisdiction. This will probably take a generation, so that no-one will be under any pressure and everything will take place naturally, organically. However, in reality, already nine years have passed and we can see that in certain areas, like North America and Australasia, ROCOR will indeed clearly take over responsibility for those territories, whereas in other areas the Patriarchate will take over, as in South America, not to mention South-East Asia. The problem comes in the mixed area of Western Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland. In this area, only time will tell, clearly it is the more competent of the two that will take responsibility.

For the moment we shall lead parallel lives. There is in any case so much to do. I could start 12 parishes tomorrow, if I had the money to buy buildings and get candidates for the priesthood ordained. The state of Orthodox infrastructure and the general pastoral situation here are so appalling as to be scandalous; no wonder so many Orthodox lapse or become Roman Catholic or Protestant. All we pastors meet with is indifference. Those in authority should hang their heads in shame. Why is there not a church, our own property in every town over 100,000? This should have been done a generation ago. For example the teeming millions of London only have two small churches!

Colchester is the 50th largest town in England (and incidentally the 500th largest in Western Europe). It has a church that belongs to us. But want about the other 49 larger ones? Only five of them have their own churches: London, Manchester, Nottingham, Norwich, Birkenhead-Liverpool. That is a scandal. There is no missionary vision at all. Birmingham is the second largest city in the UK with a population of two million. And where do the faithful of the Patriarchate have ten liturgies a year on Saturdays (that’s all the priest can manage)? In the Ukrainian Uniat chapel. The next time you hear some naïve Orthodox boasting about his Church, tell him that. Orthodox should be ashamed of themselves.

Q: So is there competition between the two parts of the Russian Church locally?

A: No, not at all. It all depends on who has the priests and the buildings. A concrete example. I was asked to visit a prison in Cambridgeshire. Now, since there is no ROCOR presence in Cambridgeshire (because through incompetence it refused to set anything up there in the 1980s), I gave the prison authorities the references of the Patriarchal priest who lives in Cambridgeshire. On the other hand, when there was question of the Patriarchate setting something up in Norfolk (it had lost what it had had there a few years before, also through incompetence), but knowing that ROCOR had a presence there dating back to 1966, it was referred to me. So here is a territorial division. Now, where there is a double jurisdiction, as in London (the only case), something will have to be sorted out. But, as you can see, that will be as a result of competence. Only time can settle such matters. The more competent part, the more spiritual part of the Russian Church will prevail and form a united jurisdiction.

Q: So there is no rigid territorial division in Western Europe?

A: No, nobody wants to impose such a system. Let everything be done freely, let the people choose. Though, having said that, we can observe a tendency for ROCOR to dominate in the English-speaking world. Canada, the USA and Australasia are clear examples. For example, with Archbishop Mark of ROCOR retiring to Germany and the ROCOR Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland being taken over by Metr Hilarion of New York, we can even talk about a sort of ROCOR Brexit. Metr Hilarion will in fact be Metropolitan of New England and Old England. That is an exceptional event, historically speaking, and may be significant, a turning-point.

So it is possible that in a generation from now ROCOR will only exist in the English-speaking world, but will unite all Russian Orthodox there. ROCOR will become ROCA – the Russian Orthodox Church in the Anglosphere. That is one quite organic and natural possible scenario, a united Russian Orthodox Metropolia for the Anglosphere, the English-speaking world. The Patriarchate will look after everything else in various Metropolias, in Latin America, in Alaska, in Western Europe, in Asia etc.

Q: So Western Europe would completely go to the Patriarchate?

A: That is the way that things are developing at the moment. All the young bishops and all the dynamism in the Russian Church there is Patriarchal. ROCOR only has three ageing bishops and is not opening any new churches.

Q: Is there a difference between ROCOR churches and Patriarchal churches?

A: I think there is a small one, in general. Strangely enough, ROCOR is at one and the same time more Russian, but also more local, more integrated. We have done the translations, we print in English, we speak the local languages and know the local laws, we were born here. At the same time, however, we are utterly faithful to the best of the Tsar’s Russia, never having endured the Soviet period and Renovationism. ‘To quote the saintly Metr Laurus: ‘We are for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy’. We are Imperial priests and people.

Q: What about your own relations with the Russian Church inside Russia?

A: We are very close to all those who are Churched in Russia and they feel close to us. For example, in Moscow one of the closest friends of ROCOR has always been Bishop Tikhon (Shevkunov), whom some have even suggested will be the next Patriarch. (Bp Tikhon has been in the news recently, since he outraged the British Establishment by inviting students from Eton College to experience Christianity in Russia; not something the atheist Establishment likes). In general, those who especially venerate the New Martyrs and Confessors at once feel at home in ROCOR. I have this nearly every Sunday. People from different parts of Russia, from the Ukraine, from Moldova and elsewhere say that they feel at home, whatever the language, the atmosphere is like at home. In my native town of Colchester, that is a great thing that we have such an oasis of Orthodoxy.

Q: Who are the unChurched in Russia?

A: You find all sorts of people. There are those on the right hand side who mingle superstition with Orthodoxy, for instance, those ritualists who think that holy water is more important than holy communion, who mix in pharisaic sectarianism, puritanism and judgementalism, or, on the other hand, those on the left hand side, who mix in Soviet nationalism, love of the tyrant Stalin, or modernism. But all that is superficial, the majority make their way to the Church sooner or later. You do not waste time on the convert fringes of the Church – otherwise you might end up thinking that that is the Church! A terrible delusion!

Q: Why have you stayed faithful to the Russian Church despite all the difficulties that you have faced over nearly fifty years?

A: Because the Russian Orthodox Church is the Invincible Power. History since 1917 proves it. The gates of hell have not prevailed – and shall not prevail – despite all the enemies and traitors, both external and internal, we have faced. Judas betrayed, but the other apostles triumphed. So tragedy becomes joy. The stone that was rejected is become the headstone of the corner. Thou hast conquered, O Galilean!

On Western Pride and the English Character

Introduction: Western Pride

There are two Europes, the Old Europe and the New Europe, that is, the Europe of the first millennium and the Europe of the second millennium, Orthodox Europe and Secular Europe. We belong to the First Europe, whose very existence is denied, deliberately buried and hidden beneath the Second. Whereas the main characteristic of the First Europe is humility, that of the Second Europe is pride. This came about from the millennial delusion that Western European peoples are superior to other races, as is expressed by the filioque – the boasting Western statement that the Holy Spirit proceeds from their human nature. Its consequences were first seen when the introducer of the filioque, the eighth-century Frankish barbarian kinglet Charlemagne (Charles the Tall – he measured six feet 3 inches), slaughtered thousands of Saxons when they refused baptism.

This became even clearer at the end of the eleventh century, after the official adoption and defence of the filioque, with similar massacres in Southern Italy, in the British Isles after 1066, in Spain and during the First Crusade. We can clearly see the various forms of this pride in the negative traits common among European peoples. Thus, at worst, France can tend to suffer from vanity, megalomania – for example, the ‘Sun-King’ Louis XIV, Napoleon or Mitterrand – narcissism and therefore chauvinism (Chauvin was a Frenchman). At worst, Germany can tend to suffer from the thirst for control and domination over others, the striving for perfectionism – nothing is ever good enough if it is not German, as we have seen most recently in two World Wars and in the history of the EU. But what of the English, often called the British?

English Vices

Without doubt the English form of this Western pride is national pride, the love of national honour, as we can see in the history of the British Empire or in today’s cult of show-off cars and one-upmanship, ‘keeping up with the Joneses’. ‘British is best’, they say, regardless of how awful it may actually be. This false assurance of natural superiority breeds not only jingoistic xenophobia (encouraged by living on an island), but also the spirit of ‘since it’s British, it’s good enough’, when in fact something is either good or bad, never ‘good enough’. This encourages amateurism, ‘muddling through’, ‘coping’, ‘managing’, rather than doing things properly. And that in turn breeds narrow-minded pragmatism and practicality: if it works, it is good enough, we don’t care about the rest. Which is how the British car industry with its shoddy products destroyed itself.

It is true that there are other national failings, but these were or are the result of the deformations of Protestantism and are shared by other peoples who also became Protestant. For instance, there is the national weakness of always compromising – a vice that grew up out of the Reformation, neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. Indeed, it was on this unprincipledness of always compromising that the State Church was founded, with a Roman Catholic exterior but a Protestant interior. Now, compromise is no bad thing if it concerns secondary matters and being good neighbours. However, on matters of principle, this is the vice of amoralism. You cannot compromise between truth and lie, between good and bad. As the Gospel says, there can be no compromise between God and Belial. Thus, I have heard one (atheist) Anglican vicar saying that his ‘Church’ is ideal because it reconciles those who believe in God and those who do not!

Then there is the obsession with money, as seen in the multitude of words like calculating, stingy, frugal, prudent, tight, mean and the Dickensian scrooge. However, this characteristic is the result of narrow-minded, tedious, boring, thisworldly, money-grubbing Protestantism, and is shared by ex-Protestant and Calvinistic European peoples like the Dutch, the Swiss, the Scots and the Scandinavians, all of them founders of modern capitalism and accountancy and all notorious for their banking systems. There is also moral hypocrisy – this too was caused by puritanical Protestantism, with its high moral standards, but anti-ascetic, spiritual inability to meet them, resulting in Victorian London being the world centre of prostitution and very high rates of infection by syphilis. Today, it has resulted in fifty years of the free-for-all, ‘let it all hang out’ depravity that has come from the reaction to the old Puritanism and moral hypocrisy.

Conclusion: National Redemption?

Any vice can be turned round. Thus, French vanity can become positive, if it is turned into the quest for spiritual beauty and good taste and German perfectionism can be spiritualized as the path of repentance, the quest for self-perfection through humility. Similarly, the English sense of defending national honour can lead to the desire to do things well, to break records, to meet challenges, to declare that there are more important things than money. Triumphalist English people are not to be courted, for the English have always done best when their backs are to the wall, as at Trafalgar in 1805 and during the ‘finest hour’ during the Battle of Britain in 1940. Challenges bring out the best, enabling people to break the mould, to fight back, to think independently. If this can be spiritualized, then the English can still do great things.

Finally, there is the question of English humour. Its origin is in the absurd and even surreal contradictions in English society between the foreign, Norman Establishment and the English people, which is why this humour is so derisive of the Establishment and its class system, as in Monty Python. Unable to fight back against the Establishment, all the people could do in their frustration was to mock it and the situation that they found themselves in. On the one hand, this humour can be bitter and cynical, such as that in political satire, but on the other hand it can show the ability to mock oneself. Thus, the graffiti of Banksy can be bitterly satirical, but it can also be amusing and lead to thought. However, most English humour simply revels in the absurd and incompatible, and that can show humility.

On the Curse of Ancestral Sins and Cultural Healing

Introduction: On Healing from the Sins of our Ancestors

Sins always have consequences. Thus, once we have realized that we have sinned, attaining the consciousness of our sinfulness, we have to repent for the sins and make up for, that is, to make reparation for, their consequences. Only thus can we be healed. But what can we say of the consequences of the sins of our ancestors? Although we did not commit the sins, we still have to live with their consequences, which have become an inherent part of the reflexes and attitudes of the culture in which we live. Until we have made an act of cultural repentance and reparation for the misdeeds of our ancestors, our repentance and reparation are not complete, we accept a stained, even cursed, culture, agreeing to live amid spiritual impurity, and the impure consequences of the original sins continue. In other words, we must seek cultural repentance and reparation if we are to heal the consequences of ancestral sins.

Let us take one concrete and most tragic example from European life, the centenary of which has just been recalled, the Battle of the Somme, with its one million victims. Why did that War, of which that Battle was one of the bloodiest events, take place in Northern France and Southern Belgium (Flanders)? Why were millions of Belgians, Germans, Frenchmen and British troops sent to their deaths by their political and military elites in such a cruel, futile and utterly inhuman way, so much so that the shattered bodies of hundreds of thousands of them could never even be found? Because those were the very countries were cursed by the most terrible exploitation and massacres of native peoples in colonies. Thus, just tiny Belgium stood accused of maiming and murdering between one million and ten million Africans in the Belgian Congo. Sins carried out far away still lie like a curse close to home.

Let us take more recent examples. Why did the terrorist massacre of innocents of 2001 occur precisely in the USA on 9/11 that year? Because the USA is where modern Islamist terrorism was invented and it has never been repented for and made up for, 9/11 being the feast of the Beheading of the innocent St John the Baptist by the evil Herod. Why did the demonic terrorist atrocity in Nice occur precisely in France on 15 July this year? Because France is where terror was invented, on 14 July 1789, and it has never been repented for and made up for, but tragically it is actually justified and celebrated – in France every 14 July. Why was Patriarch Bartholomew, forewarned by Washington, forced to flee Turkey on the eve of the recent failed US-organized coup? Because he has still not repented for and made up for the heretical meeting he oversaw in Crete last month and so has lost his spiritual protection.

Cultural Repentance and Reparation Among Lapsed Russian Orthodox

Let us take other, longer-lasting examples. ‘Only repentance will save Russia’. Like the call of St John the Baptist, such was the call of St John of Kronstadt and many others before the so-called Russian ‘Revolution’ of 1917. After it, this was also the unanimous call of countless others, both inside and outside the former Russian Empire, not least of St John of Shanghai. Otherwise, they said, the bloodletting would go on. Indeed, it was only 25 years after the Revolution, with the unspeakable suffering of the Second World War and its 27 mainly civilian million dead, that repentance began, but even today reparation for the impurity is not complete there, as we see below. For he who says repentance for sins also means reparation for, that is, making up for, the consequences of the sins, changing the culture in which people live. Until the consequences of sins are made up for in all aspects of life, repentance is not complete.

In the ex-Soviet context of the twentieth and twenty-first century, repentance has precisely meant people stripping themselves of a whole cultural layer of spiritual impurity. This was the layer of atheism imposed by force by the Soviet-style Westernization of Russia since 1917, which assimilated the spiritual impurity that had gone before it. Thus, in the 25 years since the fall of the Soviet Union and the coming of religious freedom, we have seen massive numbers of ex-Soviet citizens being baptized, that is, mass repentance. Over 100 million lives have begun to change – but not fully. For the Churching of these masses has been harder and slower, as Soviet cultural reflexes, the ABC of alcoholism (drug-taking), abortion (child murder) and corruption (systematic lying), still like a curse. Though several millions have been Churched in Orthodoxy so far, cultural reparation and so healing is only beginning.

In another Russian context, that of the deep-rooted political prejudices of the anti-Russian emigration, repentance would mean descendants of émigrés stripping themselves of two layers of spiritual impurity. The first is the layer imposed by modern life in the West where they have been born and lived all their lives. The second, much deeper, is the cultural layer of impurity, that of the Russophobic Westernization inherited and continued from their emigre ancestors who absorbed that impurity inside Russia well before the Revolution which they greeted. Two layers makes the task of repentance and reparation twice as hard and this is why the politicized descendants of émigrés have still not returned to the Russian Church. Indeed, there are those among them who actually justify their lack of return to the Church, their lack of cultural repentance and reparation, which lies like a self-imposed curse on them.

Cultural Repentance and Reparation Among Western People

Similarly, for Western people to repent and make reparation for their ancestors’ abandonment of the Orthodox Church means not just words, but reparation, that is, actually returning to their ancestral Faith and cleansing their culture of spiritual impurity. And that means not just repentance for personal sins that have blinded them to the Faith in the past, but also making up for the consequences of those sins which infect the culture that they have inherited. We can sum this up by saying that there must first be personal repentance and reparation and then cultural repentance and reparation. In other words, returning to the Orthodox Faith means forming and obtaining a new view of the world and everything around us and living according to it. Only if enough people follow this path, will a whole culture be purified and healed of its deformations, lies and hypocrisy and will the world be transfigured.

In an English context, returning to the Church means stripping ourselves of no fewer than three layers of impurity. The first is the Secularist culture imposed by the last 50 years of modern life in the West where people have lived all their lives, the second is that imposed by some 475 years of Protestant culture before that, the third that imposed by some 475 years of Roman Catholic culture before that. (In a Roman Catholic context, returning to the Church means losing only two layers, but the second is a double layer – as it is 950 years ‘thick’). Such repentance and reparation mean rejecting the inherent spiritual impurities in English culture, all its alien reflexes and mentalities. Just as someone cannot be baptised if he has not first emptied himself of all that is unworthy of baptism, so also a culture cannot be baptised if it has not first emptied itself of all that is unworthy of baptism.

Let us take concrete examples of the three layers that have overlaid Orthodox culture in England. The first layer is the secularism which says that faith is a barely tolerable private delusion or psychological disease that has no objective reality – modern relativist amoralism. The next layer is the secularism which says that faith is a set of private interpretations and personal moral rules that have no consequences in social, political and economic life, which are ruled only by utilitarian self-interest – ruthless Imperialism, the right to theft because ‘we’ are superior. The final layer is the secularism which says that faith is dependent on external obedience to and dependence on an individual. It is only underneath all these three layers that we can find True Faith, which is made up of the revelations of the Holy Spirit, made continually to the community of all the saints, who together are called the Church.

Conclusion: Consequences in the Last Times

There are no fewer than three levels of cultural repentance and reparation here, three layers of cultural attachment to falsehood which people have to rid themselves off to return to the Church and so be healed. And threefold cultural purification is the only repentance and reparation possible for the thousand year curse, for it is precisely on the basis of these three layers of error that Antichrist will come. Firstly, he will ban all ‘private delusion’ (faith in the real God), secondly, he will enforce consumerist self-interest (the law of the jungle) and thirdly, he will ensure that all are obedient to and dependent on his external authority. In other words, the three layers of impurity that deform modern culture create the conditions for Antichrist to come, frighteningly, the ultimate cultural curse. But we should not despair – he will come only if we do not repent for lapsing from our ancestral Orthodox Faith by returning to it.