Category Archives: Roman Catholicism

Catalonia: The Coming End of the EU Empire

By 1940, the whole of Roman Catholic Europe, from Slovakia to Italy, including France and ‘neutral’ countries like fiercely Papist Ireland, Spain and Portugal, were living under Fascist dictatorships. This was only natural. Under the centralizing lapsed Roman Catholic Hitler (like the centralizing lapsed Roman Catholic Napoleon, who in effect was also a Fascist), a centralized Fascist European Superstate had come into being. He was greeted as a hero in Fascist Croatia and the Fascist western tip of the Ukraine. This was only natural, for Roman Catholic Europe was only following in the footsteps of the centralized Pagan Roman Empire (also in effect a ‘Fascist’ Superstate) and of the centralized Carolingian Empire (also in effect a ‘Fascist’ Superstate).

Today we see the same in Catalonia. The Spanish State, firmly backed from central headquarters in Brussels, is suppressing the Catalan movement for freedom. This is quite different from the independence movement in Scotland, which Brussels actively supports, since Scotland is anti-Brexit and therefore worth disrupting Britain for. However, it is quite similar to the Ukraine, where the bloody war against a free Ukraine by the centralizing EU-supported Fascist junta in Kiev, rages on. It is also quite similar to the recent Kurdish referendum, where the near hundred-year battle for Kurdistan rages on against centralizing Baghdad. Self-determination turns out to be highly selective. It means self-determination only for those whom the Western elite supports.

As the centralized Spanish government and brutal police terrorize the Catalans, we see that not much has changed in Europe. The fight for freedom goes on. In Europe artificial conglomerates have everywhere fallen, from ex-Yugoslavia to Czechoslovakia. In the Ukraine, a country cobbled together out of Russia, Poland, Romania and Hungary by Communist dictators, the same is happening, as freedom is being won despite US and EU support for the Fascist junta in Kiev. Now, in all the artificial Western European conglomerates, the UK, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain, the same is happening. Freedom is in the air despite Fascism. All empires built on injustice end. Take note, Brussels and Madrid tyrants.

The Vatican in Crisis is Desperate for Russian Orthodox Support

Protestantized and liberalized, ever more under its present head, Roman Catholicism is in crisis. The recent visit of the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, to Russia on 21-24 August ‘to build bridges and increase mutual understanding and dialogue’ illustrates the crisis. Alarmed at the virtual Fascism being preached by Ukrainian Uniats (just as in the 1940s) and, on the other hand, its virtual Protestantization in the Western world, the Vatican is seeking a way out of its self-imposed crisis.

With regard to the visit, the Vatican stated that: ‘It is now a question of walking together in the Gospel footsteps, multiplying opportunities for fraternal encounter, exchange of views and experiences, proclamation of the Gospel, and co-operation in service to human society’. Clearly, this is Diplomatspeak for: ‘We are in a mess, our churches are empty, in Europe we are finished, help us’. Since his appointment as Secretary of State in 2013, Cardinal Parolin has also visited Belarus, the Caucasus, the Baltics and the Ukraine.

For Vladimir Putin, Pope Francis is ‘not a man of the Christian God’

Wild rumours have recently been floating around in the Western liberal Roman Catholic Press about a forthcoming visit to Russia and the Ukraine by Pope Francis. These are nonsense. There have also been wild rumours about a new catechism for the Russian Church which will be extremely liberal, basically inspired by the Protestant Second Vatican Council. These too are nonsense. In fact, President Vladimir Putin, the senior layman in the Russian Church, has a quite different view, like the vast mass of Russian Orthodox.

A statement came from him in early August on a visit to the Naval Cathedral of St. Nicholas in Kronstadt. He summed up what Pope Francis is not: “If you look around at what he (the Pope) says, it’s clear that he is not a man of God. At least not the Christian God, not the God of the Bible.”

Indeed, it can be fairly said that in secular matters this Pope has rather socialist views in economic thought, is a One-World Government advocate and an enthusiast of open borders and mass migration. In other words, he appears to be an enemy of the little that is left of Western Civilization.

To make matters worse, an apartment occupied by the secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, was raided in July to break up an orgy. The Vatican police who raided it found drugs and men engaged in orgiastic sex.

The secretary in question, Fr Luigi Capozzi, who had been considered for promotion to bishop, was jailed by the authorities. This came on the heels of Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s Chief Financial Officer, being charged with sex crimes against ten children. Pell has since left Rome in disgrace for his native Australia to answer the charges.

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.

Whose Temple Are They Building?

Over the last two weeks France and Germany have been deeply troubled by revolting murders carried out by Islamist psychopaths. In the latest tragedy, a devout 86-year old priest, ordained 58 years ago in 1958, had his throat slit while celebrating the mass. One of his assailants had been encouraged by the campaign of the Western media and politicians not so long ago to go to Syria and fight against the government there – a campaign now recognized as an error, though still not apologized for by the culprits. Their unpunished irresponsibility has now brought terror to their very doorstep.

The Middle East from Afghanistan to Libya is indeed littered with failed ‘democratic governments’, built in the ruins of stable but undemocratic countries, as created by Western meddlers. As one Iraqi citizen put it recently: ‘Before there was one Saddam Hussein, now thanks to the West there is a thousand’. More than this, the slaughter of Christians, ultimately caused and tolerated by the West all through the Middle East, has now arrived in Western Europe. Tonight, atheist French politicians, many of them lapsed Jews, most of them freemasons, have attended mass at Notre Dame in Paris.

We can only hope that they may one day be brought to repentance for the refugee crisis that they have created. However, at present these selfsame leaders are still backing the daily and unreported terrorism of the Kiev Army against Ukrainian civilians in Donbass, so there is little realistic hope. These leaders belong to the Western world of smartphones and smartbombs, which they do not know how to use wisely, as their ‘smart civilization’ has failed to invent wisephones and wisebombs. Before they act, they should first think what they are building – the Church of God or the Temple of Antichrist. We fear that when they reflect, if they ever reflect, they will find that it is the latter.

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.

Why the Orthodox Vatican II Failed Before it Even Began

I first heard of the concept of and preparations for a ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’ (= a Church Council) exactly forty years ago, in 1976. I found it all very strange, since no doctrinal issue was at stake. It was explained to me by a notorious modernistic and ecumenistic priest, who later (like the notorious George Gapon in pre-revolutionary Russia) defrocked himself and committed suicide. The sad fact is that any human group always contains traitors. Thus, among the twelve disciples there were Judas and Peter. However, although the latter denied Christ three times, he repented three times, affirming his love for the Saviour (Jn. 21). We now know who today’s traitors to Orthodoxy are. However, we also know that, like Peter, they too can repent.

Today, 16/06/16, representatives of 15% of the Orthodox world are about to meet in Crete. True, this will go down to 10% if the Serbian Church delegates, including even the ambitious and liberal Bishop Maxim of Western America, walk out, and 5% if the Greek Church delegates follow them. In any case delegates representing 85% of the Orthodox world are not taking part and even those taking part seem to have hardly any support on Mt Athos and elsewhere. The alien agenda, the masonic logo, the date of the opening and the absolute refusal to listen to the complaints of the mass of faithful Orthodox clergy and faithful all mean that the attempt to impose a Vatican II-style Council on the Church of God has failed most dismally.

Usually the unfaithful leave the Church after Councils, which always separate the wheat from the tares. This time the separation has happened before the Council. Did the power-crazed forces of this world really think that they could impose Vatican II-style Protestantization on the Church of God, as they did on Roman Catholicism over fifty years ago? To sabotage the monolithic manmade structure of the Vatican is easy; you simply elect your agent as Pope. It has been like that for well over a thousand years. To sabotage the Church, in which we have freedom, is quite a different proposition. The enemies of the Church only see fantasy in our Christian hope and faith and spite in our telling of the Truth with love. That is why they feel despair, faithlessness and hatred.

All Councils are called into being by what is called in Greek ‘crises’, that is, they are summoned in order to pass judgement, which is what ‘crisis’ means. And just as the Councils of old sifted the Arians or the Nestorians or the Monophysites or the Monothelites or the Iconoclasts from the Orthodox, so today we are seeing, even without a Church Council, a sifting. This time it is sifting the secular-minded from the Orthodox. The Orthodox are those who, led by the Russian Orthodox Church, believe in the multinational Worldwide Empire of the spirit, as is expressed by the phrase ‘I believe in the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church’; the secular-minded are those who, led by the USA and its allies, believe in the multinational Worldwide Anti-Christian Empire of Eurosodom and Gomorrhica.

It is true that the Orthodox are being challenged from the left by traitors and from the right by schismatics and that these two groups sometimes work together, just as Judas co-operated with the Pharisees. However, the Church is much stronger than either of these groups. It is now time for all those who have not yet chosen which side they are on to choose, with the Orthodox or with the secular-minded, with Christ despite our sins, or with Babylon. The world may be shocked by division – but only because it thinks in terms of the superficial unity of Public Relations. We, on the other hand, are called to Unity through Truth, not through Untruth, for, ‘Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword’ (Matt. 10, 34).

Pro-Gender and Anti-Gender: The Church and the Anti-Church

The crisis of masculinity (and so of femininity also) began in Western Europe in the second half of the eleventh century. This was when the most powerful men in Western Europe introduced compulsory clerical celibacy in a shocking revolution that ran counter to the Christian Tradition up until then. This revolution itself, which was caused by and led directly to what is now known as clericalism, was an anti-woman phenomenon, an act of misogyny, for it asserted that women were unworthy to share in priests’ lives. It is no surprise to learn that many of those behind this revolutionary innovation were homosexuals (1). However, although initially expressing hatred for women, the revolution came to bring hatred for men too – by metaphorically castrating them, making them less than real men.

Apart from a small minority of priests with a genuine monastic vocation, and most village priests, who remained married anyway (as still today, especially in African, Latin American and Southern European Roman Catholicism), this revolution meant that the higher clergy, the Roman Establishment, came to be dominated by homosexuals and pedophiles. This can be seen quite clearly in writers in the Middle Ages (Anselm and Lanfranc of Canterbury and Aelred of Rievaulx in the twelfth century are good local examples (1), but even more in the Renaissance with ‘monks’ like Michelangelo and the pedophile frescoes that cover the walls of the Vatican. As one perceptive and still Orthodox Christian Italian bishop, Bishop Ulric of Imola put it in his ‘Rescript’ at the outset of this transformation in c. 1060, if marriage were forbidden, priests would fall into sins far worse than mere fornication, ‘not abhorring the embrace of other men, or even of animals (2).

Today, by reaction and outrage at injustice, many heterodox women want to have the same clericalist power as men; hence the well-established movements for woman priests and bishops among the Protestants and the desire for the same among protestantized Roman Catholic women. Among the Non-Christian and anti-Christian Western elite, this movement has, again by reaction, turned into the LGBT or Transhuman movement, which altogether denies that men are men and women are women, and is now, with the backing of the US elite, being forced onto the whole world through politically correct media pressure, neo-colonial intimidation and open bribery. President Obama, a man with European, African and Asian roots, a ‘world man’, neither black not white, gives the impression that he is also neither male nor female. We see before us a forerunner of Antichrist. What is the view of the Church of male and female?

The first great difference between the Church and the heterodox world that broke away from it on the orders of the Western elite in the eleventh century is not just that in real Christianity the parish clergy are married, since married man can become priests, but also the great emphasis on the Mother of God. Although any Roman Catholic will recognise a parallel with her (unlike a Protestant), he will most probably not use the term ‘the Mother of God’ or ‘the All-Holy’, but a term like ‘the Virgin’, the Holy Virgin’ or ‘Madonna’, ‘My Lady’. Their emphasis is on her virginity, not on her motherhood, and that is very significant. On the other hand, enter any church and you will see two main icons: Christ the Saviour and the Mother of God, on either side of the doors of heaven. This rejection by the heterodox world of the sacred nature of motherhood (see I Tim 2, 15) lies behind a great deal of its present anti-gender hysteria.

In the Christian world of the Church, the gender differences are always, if anything exaggerated, men are men, women are women. ‘Male and female He created them’, Gen. 1, 27). For instance, much traditional Christian folk singing in Russia or Greece is dominated by sopranos and basses and ultra-feminine and ultra-masculine voices are much prized. In clothing and hair the differences have also always been clear-cut and not just in the Church dress-code; dressing ‘in drag’ and the unisex fashion that began in the 1960s has never been part of the Christian Tradition. Indeed, it has always been outlawed by the Church canons (3), whereas such sexual mixtures were prevalent in the pagan Greek and Roman world, where same-sex relations and pedophilia were considered normal (as they are among the Western Establishment today; the British Establishment notably is notorious for buggery and pedophilia, not least in the higher reaches of the Church of England, the BBC, the government, the army and navy).

Why this desire to even exaggerate gender differences in the Church? It is precisely to avoid grey areas, genetic accidents, for they are full of spiritual and so moral peril and human misery. Souls can very easily be lost there. Quite unlike the now paganized Western world and its hormone-filled or transgenetic food, the Church is not transgender, because that is anti-gender, the Church is pro-gender. This is why the word sex comes from the Latin word ‘cut’; in other words the difference between the sexes is clear-cut, we are one or the other. There are only two sexes, male and female, we have to choose which sex we belong to and that is made visible in the sexual organs that we receive at conception and have at birth. Although some women are less feminine than others and some men are less masculine than others, the anti-gender movement is profoundly suicidal because it will finish sexual attraction, procreation, the family and children, and so end the Western world, which is already dying out and being replaced by Islam. As for Christian society, it has always found a pastoral place for everyone, whether in marriage or in monasticism.

Notes:

1. See J. Boswell, Christianity, Sexual Tolerance and Homosexuality, 1980, p.210-227.

2. See Anne Barstow, Married Priests and the Reforming Papacy, 1982, p. 112.

3. See Canon LXII of the Sixth Council (Quinisext in Trullo) and the Council of Gangra Canon XIII. But these only repeat what the Holy Scriptures say. For example: Deuteronomy 22, 5 especially. See also I Tim 4, 3 and 2 Tim 3, 3.

About Ionan Orthodoxy: An Interview with Archbishop George of London

12 May 2041

Q: What is the territory of your Archdiocese?

AG: As you know, our Archdiocese is part of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe under Metropolitan John. This stretches from Ireland to Austria and Iceland to Sicily and includes the Latin, Germanic, Celtic and Basque peoples of Western Europe. Our Archdiocese includes the four now sovereign nations of England, Ireland (which was finally reunited five years ago, if you remember), Scotland and Wales. At present we have four bishops, myself, Bishop Patrick in Dublin, Bishop Andrew in Edinburgh and Bishop David in Cardiff. For our Local Synods we always use our premises on the Isle of Man, the only place from which all our four nations are visible.

Q: Why did you take the name Ionan for your Archdiocese?

AG: Originally, the name ‘Diocese of the Isles’ was suggested for the Archdiocese, but this was considered too vague, since there are isles all over the world. Then the name ‘Isles of the North Atlantic’ was suggested, so forming the acronym I.O.N.A. This conveniently refers to the Ionan Orthodox monasticism of St Columba, which originated in Egypt and came to Ireland via Gaul. Since St Columba’s monastery on Iona spread to England via Lindisfarne and from there Orthodoxy went south, converting much of England, and authentic monasticism had always been the one thing missing here, we felt that this was a good name.

Q: How did ‘Ionan Orthodoxy’ come into being?

AG: As you know even into the early 21st century there were two forms of Orthodoxy in Western countries. The first was that which looked back to the ethnic homeland, which meant that in each Western European country there was a multitude of dioceses, called jurisdictions, each living in a sort of divisive ethnic ghetto and using mainly a language other than English. This was all right for first-generation immigrants, but it did not work for second and subsequent generations, who were simply assimilated into the Non-Orthodox milieu. And after three generations, 75 years, abroad, the first generation always died out and so the Church with it. It happened to the Russians in England (arrived by 1920) who had died out by 1995 and to the Greek-Cypriots in England (arrived by 1960) who had died out by 2035.

Q: What was the second form of Orthodoxy in the West?

AG: Seeing the obvious short-sightedness and failure of the above form, there were second and third-generation Russian intellectuals who by reaction took the opposite stance. Their second form of Orthodoxy consisted of merging all Orthodox, whatever their background, into a melting pot. Their common point was the lowest common denominator, that is, the ethnic identity of the (Non-Orthodox) host country. Their policy was then to sell this as the new and substitute ethnic identity of a new Local Church. This second form only developed in full in North America, where immigrants had begun arriving much earlier than in Western Europe, at the end of the nineteenth century, and where people were far more cut off from the roots of Orthodoxy than in Europe. In Europe we did not want to repeat that mistake.

Q: What was that mistake?

AG: It was the attempt to create an ‘American Orthodoxy’. That was a mistake because it put a culture, Non-Orthodox at that, above the Church. This was not a theological movement, but merely a sociological movement of adaptation and conformism. For example, through the inferiority complex of immigrants, most Orthodox churches in the US adopted pews and many of them organs, one institution tried to use a guitar accompaniment to the Divine Liturgy and adapt the theme tune of the cowboy film ‘Shenandoah’ to it. In other places the Divine Liturgy would be stopped at Christmas in order to sing Protestant Christmas carols!

Someone at the time drew a cartoon of an ‘All-American Patriarch’, a clean-shaven man in a clerical collar with a foolish grin on his face and a glass of coca-cola in his hand, like an advert for toothpaste. Of course, this was only a carton, but it did sum up the situation. At that time when the USA still ruled the world, there were actually individuals in the US who arrogantly and blindly imagined that this second form of Orthodoxy there was the only true form of Orthodoxy, that it was at the centre of the world and that it was their duty to colonize the rest of the world with it! In reality, of course, it was a mere provincial backwater experiment, to be allowed to die out quietly because this experiment simply pandered to the weaknesses of the host country. It placed the Church of God below heretical culture. That was blasphemous, which is why it was racked with scandals.

Q: But did the same temptation not occur in Europe, even if it did not have time to develop to the same extent as in the USA?

AG: Yes, of course, it occurred; human nature is the same everywhere, it was just that it took on different forms according to the local heterodox culture. The same thing has happened among unChurched, semi-Orthodox people in Greece, Romania and Russia. It is simply the heresy of phyletism. And make no mistake, it is a heresy because you can lose your soul in it – that is what a heresy is.

For example, in France a whole jurisdiction catered for a kind of ‘philosophical and aesthetic Orthodoxy’, ‘l’Orthodoxie a la francaise’, as one might say. This theory of Orthodoxy, or theorizing about Orthodoxy, did not present the Church as the Christian way of life, but as a complex and highly intellectual philosophy, full of long words and isms, which no-one really understood. Of course, it could have been expressed in very simple language, which everyone knew already. But as long as it sounded theoretically and philosophically fine, ‘cosmique’ as they used to say, all was fine, but of course, it was not fine and that jurisdiction died out, as it was built on sand, not on the Rock of the Faith. This theorizing was about the god of the philosophers in the language of philosophers, not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the language of the fishermen of Galilee. You simply cannot build a Local Church based on Non-Orthodox culture! That is common sense, but you could not say that out loud to those who were taken up by such delusions.

Q: What about in other countries in Europe?

AG: It happened everywhere, not just in France. For example, in Germany the first liturgical book to be translated was the Typikon. In other words, Orthodoxy there was confused with the Non-Orthodox German mindset and produced an Orthodoxy of rules, a stubborn, black and white system, without any flexibility, any understanding of the human component, which is what it is all about. They lost their way by confusing the means (the services) with the ends (the salvation of the soul). For instance, I remember one German priest refusing to give a woman communion because she was dressed in trousers. Well, she was of course wrong, but a few decades ago there was a fashion for women to dress in trousers (fortunately, long since over now). That was bad, but what right did the German priest have to excommunicate that woman? Suppose she had died in the night after she had been refused communion? That sin would have been on the conscience of that priest.

Q: And in England?

AG: It was the same thing again. The national weakness here was not theorizing or creating a book of rules, but it was to adapt Orthodoxy to the British Establishment, to create a compromised ‘Establishment Orthodoxy’, a ‘British Orthodoxy’. This State-controlled and State-worshipping Orthodoxy, that of converts from Anglicanism, was of course just a repeat of the Anglicanism that had long ago been invented by Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. There were even two whole but tiny jurisdictions dedicated to this State-approved pietism. It was all salt that had lost its savour. Some such people used the treacherous, half-Norman Edward the Confessor as the mascot of their ‘Establishment Orthodoxy’. Of course, it all came to nothing and has died out now, largely a fantasy of the late-twentieth century and the curious personalities who reigned supreme in the bad old days then. It was very oppressive because, as they were emperors in new clothes, you were not allowed to contradict them!

All these examples show the danger of compromising the Faith with local culture. And all those who did so have now died out, as withered branches. And that is the answer to your question, how did ‘Ionan Orthodoxy’ come into being. It came into being as the only living alternative to the two false alternatives – the ghetto or worldly compromise.

Q: So what do you base ‘Ionan Orthodoxy’ on?

AG: Simply, we put the Church and the Faith first. If we put the Kingdom of God, Orthodoxy, first, then all will fall into place, including the language that we use in services, which today is for about 90% in English, regardless of the ethnic origin of the parishioners, regardless of how well or how badly they speak another language. We are united by Orthodox Christianity, not by ethnic origins, and we are carried forward by the faithfulness to the Church and Her Tradition of the younger generations, who are all primarily English-speakers.

Q: You now have over 350 parishes in the British Isles and Ireland, all established quite solidly and with their own clergy and premises. Every city and town over 50,000 and the area around it is covered. This is quite unlike even 25 years ago, when the Russian Church, a small minority at that time, had mostly tiny communities with services once a month, borrowed premises and a suffered from a huge shortage of priests to go out and do vital missionary work in the area surrounding their churches. What about the other jurisdictions, which collectively still have over 50 parishes outside the Archdiocese?

AG: We live with them as good neighbours. People are free to join us and free to remain outside us. As you know, the parishes outside our jurisdiction are composed mainly of elderly people who settled here from various countries 50 years ago or more and they use very little English in their services. Virtually all the young people come to us. Time will show which way things will go. Live and let live.

Q: What is the future? Do you think of autocephaly?

AG: The Western European Metropolia, with just over 2,000 parishes now, is united, with six archdioceses, Iona, Scandinavia, Germania, Gallia, Italia and Hispania. True, the Metropolia has autonomy, but at the present time there is no desire at all for autocephaly. True, 2,000 parishes is more than in some other Local Churches, like the 700 parishes of the Hungarian Orthodox Church which recently became autocephalous, but a lot fewer than in others. Take China for example. That is still also an autonomous part of the Russian Church, even though it now has over 25,000 parishes. And the Russian Church Herself did not become autonomous for centuries, only after the Empire had fallen in New Rome. At present, I cannot see any reason to become autocephalous. That situation may of course change, especially in China, but not yet. It all takes time.

Q: Are you saying that autocephaly granted prematurely can be dangerous?

AG: Definitely. And especially in Western Europe.

Q: Why?

AG: Because Western Europe has for over a millennium veered between extremes which we do not want to repeat.

Q: Which extremes?

AG: The first is that of despotic centralism. This was the extreme of the pagan Roman Empire, which Charlemagne foolishly tried to revive and fortunately failed to, but it was indeed revived after 1050, causing Western Europe’s schism from the Church, and that lasted until the anti-Latin nationalist outburst of the Germanic Reformation. After that, despotic centralism was tried again by warmongers like Napoleon, the Kaiser and Hitler, and then by the EU Fourth Reich – and we all know how that ended.

Each time there was a reaction to this despotism – nationalism, and that led to terrible fratricidal wars in Europe, like the so-called ‘Wars of Religion’ in the 16th century, just as centralism created the World Wars. We do not want those extremes, we must follow the golden mean of unity in diversity, which is what we have in Ionan Orthodoxy and in the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe in general. Europe has to be a Confederation of Nations, not a Union, a United States of Europe, but not a series of warring, nationalist states either.

In the same way, the Tsardom of Rus, as it is now called, successfully overcame provincial Ukrainian nationalism a generation ago and reunited huge territories, one sixth of the world. However, it only did this by rejecting the old centralism of the Soviet Union, which had done so much damage to its credibility. Once it had done that, again on the basis of unity in diversity, all of Eastern Europe joined in a free and mutually beneficial economic confederation with it, throwing off the shackles of the old European Union, which was in fact just a repeat of the Soviet Union.

Q: Will you drop the word ‘Russian’ from the name of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe? Most of your faithful are either not Russian or else do not speak it.

AG: In the bad old days of Western nationalism, for example in North America in the Cold War, they detested the word ‘Russian’ and dropped it. Now we are more enlightened and we all understand that ‘Russian’ does not mean nationalism and means uncompromised, unsecularized Orthodoxy. We exist because we have been helped to exist by the Russian Orthodox Church, the only multinational, Imperial Orthodox Church. I think we should keep it. Do you remember the old Roman Catholic Church, as it used to be called? Well, there were hardly any Romans in it!

Q: Why has the Western European Metropolia been so successful?

AG: Without doubt because of the sacrifices made to underpin it in the twentieth century and since. The Church is built on blood, sweat and tears. We should remember with gratitude the prayers and work of those who went before us. For example, I can remember decades ago, how people wanted more English in the services. So, one bishop said yes, do the service in English. What happened? The people who had been clamouring for more English could not even put a decent choir together to sing just the Liturgy! Some of them said that the singing was so bad that they preferred the Liturgy in a foreign language, in which it was properly sung. In other words, you have to make sacrifices in order to achieve anything. We owe a great deal to those who sang properly in English, showing others that the Liturgy in English could be just as beautiful as in Slavonic. Actions speak louder than words.

Yes, mistakes were made in the past, but we learned from those mistakes. Take for example our English translations which stretch back to the turn of the 20th century, nearly 150 years ago, those made in the USA with the blessing of the holy Patriarch Tikhon by an Episcopalian Isabel Hapgood and by Orlov in England. Those were foundation stones. Yes, those translations have been improved and on the way we have seen archaic translations in a Latinate, Victorian style like those of Hapgood or even with 16th century spelling, we have seen those made into street English as well as into soulless, jarring academic English, all sorts, but today we have definitive translations, avoiding all those extremes. It is easy to criticize, but the fact is that without those tireless efforts of the past, however mistaken they sometimes were, we would not be where we are now.

Let us first of all thank our recent fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters in Christ who went before us, who built our Church, our parishes and our souls. Our Metropolia, in effect, the Church of the Old and the New Europe, would not exist without them. But let us also thank the saints of the first millennium. Through venerating them, we have earned their prayers and because of their prayers we are here today. We are built not on dead souls, but on spiritually alive souls, whether of the distant past or of the recent past. Always on spiritually alive souls: Remember that.

The Battle for the Soul of Europe

I am sometimes asked why the Church has not so far proved very attractive to native Western Europeans. Yes, it is true that since the 1960s in particular, small numbers of native Western Europeans have joined the Orthodox Church. However, the total number throughout Western Europe amounts to only a few thousand, certainly no more than 10,000. And of those many swiftly lapsed and quite a few others could not in the end accept authentic Orthodox Christianity and devised instead a sort of adapted Uniatism (in Catholic-culture countries) and Protestantism with icons (in Protestant-culture countries). With their Roman Catholic and Protestant cultural background, such unintegrated newcomers inevitably formed their own inward-looking groups, separated from the Orthodox mainstream.

The answer to the question why the Church has not proved attractive is precisely because so many native Western Europeans have generally been unable to free themselves from the cultural conditioning and ethnocentric prejudices of their Non-Orthodox background. It is interesting to see that some Americans at least have relatively fewer problems in this domain; they are sometimes more flexible and less attached to a Non-Orthodox cultural identity. Nevertheless, this difficulty in accepting pure Christianity comes about because the greatest failing of Western culture is to think itself superior to all else; how, in these circumstances, can people of Western cultural background acquire the humility to admit that their culture is mistaken and that it must be purified by repentance?

Thus, I have seen case after case over the last forty years or so of Western academics in particular, suffering from towering pride in their own culture, who refuse to accept a ‘foreign culture’, which they despise as in some way ‘oriental’. They prefer to stay in their semi-Christian, semi-pagan world of pale-faced ‘Jesuses’. But Christ was an oriental, He was not a European. The tragedy of such a West is that through its ethnic pride and institutional racism it puts itself above God and His Church, above the Truth. Such is the situation of Old Europe. But Old Europe is dying or is even already dead. Only a few old people go to church, the young have abandoned it; Catholicism, discredited by papist persecutions and now pedophilia, has had its thousand-year day, and Protestantism, discredited by past intolerance and narrow Puritanism, has had its five-hundred-year day. The world has moved on. A New Europe emerged long ago, within a generation of its Second World War.

This New Europe is by and large a continent of faithlessness to Christ. Yes, it still has its museums and medieval buildings, but this is not for living, this is for tourists. The New Europe has been shaped and is still being shaped by two forces, two sets of belief. The first force is the mass Secularism of the USA, the Coca Cola culture which began appearing in Europe as soon as its first bout of suicide, the First World War, had taken place, for instance in 1920s jazz; there followed a second wave during the Second World War with chewing gum and the rest; a third wave of ‘pop’ and jeans came in the 1960s; a fourth wave of ‘globalism’ (= Americanization) has come since 1989; and in the last few years a fifth wave of the chaos of mass immigration has appeared in Western Europe and is now submerging several countries and their traditional identities.

Modern culture is the soulless culture of concrete, glass and plastic. Its hideous and inhuman post-War architecture is all about this, as is its music, art, furniture, its whole culture. I can recall sitting in a café in Cambridge with an ‘antediluvian’ White Russian émigré in 1975. In the middle of the conversation, he suddenly said: ‘This place is not evil, it is just spiritually empty’. His definition was precise. However, as we said at that time, nature abhors a vacuum; wherever there is no prayer, spiritual emptiness is formed and that is always filled by the demons. And that is exactly what has happened over the last forty years. At first they began abolishing marriage and legalizing pornography. Very quickly they invented a huge and very profitable abortion industry, legalizing child murder, and after that there appeared perversions and pedophilia. And now the countries that resist these sinister and evil trends, mainly in Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia, are being forced, like the Ukraine, through economic sanctions (warfare) to accept them.

However, there is a second force that is at work in shaping the New Europe. This is Islamism. Greedy local industrialists began inviting masses of poor Muslims to settle in Europe in the 1950s. Their cheap, hard-working labour could be exploited to make vast profits. However, what was once a stream of Turks in Germany, Algerians in France, Pakistanis in Britain and Moroccans in Belgium has become a flood. Through mass immigration the one per cent Muslim minority has become five per cent, ten per cent, twenty per cent and in some European cities fifty per cent and more, forming there a townscape of minarets and also of terrorism. There is no greater example of this dual invasion than the recent atrocity at the airport in Brussels: a concrete, glass and plastic monstrosity, indistinguishable from any other modern airport, was ripped apart by Islamist suicide bombers. New Europe.

The problem is of course not in the relatively innocent ‘cultural Islam’ of elderly Muslims, but in the form of militant Islam, Islamism, which is practised today by a good many of the young, exasperated by the recent Western aggressions and war crimes in the Muslim world. Rather like Judaism and all too often like medieval Catholicism and post-medieval Protestantism, Islam never knew that God is Love and that it is our task to love our enemies and forgive. It is a militant and aggressive religion, especially in its fundamentalist Sunni Islamist form, as spread and financed by the great ally of the West, Wahhabite Saudi Arabia. Western Europe is thus sandwiched between aggressive US Secularism, as anti-Christian as you can get, and Islamism, with its fundamentalist god of hatred and revenge, sandwiched between MacWorld and Jihad.

Only by referring back to its native roots, its soul, can the New Europe find its way between these two extremes and so survive. However, as Old Europe is dying and dead, where can it retrieve its roots? The answer is in the Church, in the uncompromised ascetic, canonical and liturgical Tradition of Orthodox Christianity, that which patterned the distant past of Western Europe and today can be expressed in Orthodoxy in the native languages of Western Europe. Like the distant past of the first millennium, the future also is Orthodox. True, some may say that Orthodoxy has not worked so far, only a few thousand native Europeans have approached the Church. However, most of those Europeans, though by no means all, came from the Old Europe and brought baggage with them, making them unable to convert in full and even leading many to lapse. Today we are dealing nearly wholly with people from the New Europe.

The New Europeans are blank sheets. You do not need to spend time explaining to them the sometimes subtle differences between the Church and heterodoxy. They have no idea what heterodoxy is. All is much easier and, as far as I can tell, though the New Europeans are fewer, they are more serious. Devoid of cultural baggage, that is, devoid of pride and prejudice, they adapt much more quickly to the Church and Her Orthodox Christian Faith than the Old Europeans ever did. True, some predict that the time will come when direct persecution will start in Western Europe and we will not, for reasons of ‘health and safety’ (= hatred of the Church) be allowed to baptize (unlike Jews and Muslims, who will still be allowed to circumcise – that presents no problem, it seems). Well, then we shall charter ships and go to Russia and to freedom and baptize persecuted Europeans there.

Some may think that we are talking about a distant future. Sadly, I think not. The present extraordinary acceleration towards Antichrist suggests that we may well see such a situation even in our lifetimes. We only have to think of the social and moral transformations that have happened in Western Europe in the last twenty-five years, let alone the last fifty. Even older films of our ancestors make them look as though they came from another planet. They would probably not even recognize present-day society as their own. What will the future bring? We cannot be certain. Of course, mass repentance, however unlikely, is still possible. We do not despair, but live in hope, for miracles do happen. Old Europe has gone, but the New Europe can still choose, between MacWorld, Jihad and the Church of God.