Category Archives: Rue Daru

Rue Daru: To Be or Not To Be?

At its meeting on Saturday 15 December, clergy and laity of the Paris Exarchate (Rue Daru), which was dissolved by its Patriarch in Istanbul, could not decide what they wanted to do and postponed any decision until next February. The group with one 75 year-old bishop who speaks only French and numbering only a few thousand has in its history jumped from Church to Church. Indeed, between 1966 and 1971 it formed an uncanonical sect under no Church. However, now the choices are very limited.

  1. Accept dissolution and simply become part of the local Greek dioceses of whatever country its members are in. This is perhaps the obvious choice for those in England who broke away from the Russian Church in 2006.
  2. Become an independent sect, with whom no canonical Orthodox will concelebrate.
  3. Join the Romanian Church. This seems unlikely because the Romanian Patriarch, who was appointed by the US ambassador in Bucharest, would probably not be allowed to take them from the US-appointed Patriarch in Istanbul. The USA would decide in any case.
  4. Join the Russian Church. Given the Russophobia of two-thirds of its clergy, this seems unlikely. Would it really be able to accept the canonical and liturgical norms and disciplines of the Russian Orthodox Church? However, Archbishop Antony (Sevriuk), who is in charge of churches of the Moscow Patriarchate outside Russia and is a fluent English and Italian speaker, has been contacted.
  5. Split apart, with a third of the clergy and people returning to the Russian Church, the others going to whatever modernistic, make-it-up-as-you-go- group they want.

Would Ever Rue Daru Return?

Wednesday’s news that the Rue Daru Archdiocese, centred in Paris, wished to return to the Russian Orthodox Church has been dismissed as fake, which it is. We note that it was published on the CIA-financed website Credo. This was in order to torpedo even the possibility of a return by those who oppose the liberal-ecumenist (and often masonic) Fraternite Orthodoxe, some senior members of whom work for the French Secret Services. However, even such fake news does raise questions.

Firstly, Rue Daru has in fact thought of returning to one or another part of the Russian Orthodox Church several times, in the 1930s, in 1945, in the late 1960s, under Archbishop Serge in 2003 and under Archbishop Gabriel in 2012. Each time it failed to do so because it set impossible conditions. On the other hand, the thought that it might return to a future joint ROC/ROCOR Russian Orthodox Metropolia and Synod of Western Europe, is interesting. This would put pressure on Moscow to do something here at long last. However, even the very unlikely possibility that it would decide to return at its meeting in Rue Daru tomorrow (15 December) would raise a whole set of questions:

Would it take part within normal life of the Russian Orthodox dioceses in Western Europe, or would it act as a diocese within dioceses?

Would Rue Daru be capable of returning to and obeying Russian canonical norms?

Would it return to the Russian Orthodox calendar and liturgical norms?

Would it wish to live by the rejected Protestant parts of the Kerensky-influenced 1917-18 Moscow Council (we recall that one of Kerensky’s first acts was to interfere a la Poroshenko in Church life, deposing the saintly Metropolitans of Moscow and Saint Petersburg)?

Would it abjure intercommunion with Roman Catholicism?

Would it condemn freemasonry?

Would it condemn the heresy of Sophiology?

Would it repent for its persecution of those who left to join the Russian Orthodox Church in the past?

We shall see.

Revolution in France

The three-week old revolt of the French people against their young Rothschild banker President, the anti-populist favourite of the rich EU elite, is intensifying. Insulted by Macron’s arrogant contempt for them and his blinding narcissism, his decision to delay fuel tax increases for only six months has only poured oil onto the flames. Little reported by the State-controlled media either there or here, the rioting concerns not simply a few streets in the rich quarter of Paris which have been ransacked, it is the revolt in the real France, dans la France profonde, outside the capital, that counts.

Here supermarkets and fuel distribution centres have been blocked. Many have nothing but bread and pasta to eat. The retail sector is heading for bankruptcy. The police refuse to break blockades because they too sympathize with the protests of the ‘yellow vests’. Roads are blocked and high schools are on strike. So now the great democrat Macron is considering calling in his Army to crush the people. France’s situation is like that of other EU countries in that the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. However, on top of that France has a rigid class system and social mobility is virtually non-existent.

Whereas in the UK the people were allowed (though only by elitist mistake) to vote for Brexit and in Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, Poland and elsewhere anti-EU parties are gaining control, in France they are not allowed. Hence, the frustration of the disinherited masses. In France, which is run by five-year long virtual dictatorships of its presidents who control the media, the only way to get your voice heard is by street protests. Parliamentary representation is totally ineffectual and therefore elections are boycotted, since the gilded political elite and State-paid journalists have no time for the people.

Meanwhile, the Paris Exarchate in Rue Daru has declared that it does not recognize its dissolution by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Here we see that its controlling elite seems to think and act like secular French people, with little understanding of how the Church works. In yesterday’s declaration, the Rue Daru elite boasted that it has adopted the Western mentality and ‘democratic values’. Unfortunately, if your Patriarch dissolves you, that is it. You cannot go on strike or go into the streets. When your boss sacks you, you are sacked, and although you may say that you do not agree with your sacking, you have no choice. Your words are not heard.

We feel sorry for those in Rue Daru who have been let down by their Patriarch. When we others went through the same trauma decades ago, we simply joined the Russian Orthodox Church, even though we were derided and slandered for it by the Rue Daru elite. Today, no-one will deride you or slander you for taking the only logical and canonical course of action available.

 

Istanbul: The Young Turks Take Over

The three-day Synod in Istanbul, the last of the year, ended yesterday.

Firstly, after over three generations of indulging its illusions, it finally dissolved the rebellious Rue Daru group in Paris, reducing its 75 year-old French archbishop to a vicar-bishop. We had long expected this, but did not know when and in what despotic conditions without any consultation. Now in each community of that little group infighting will follow between opposing clans, those who are actually of the Russian Tradition and the anti-Orthodox Russophobes. This mirrors the present and coming battle in the OCA (Orthodox Church in America) group, which as such was founded by Paris intellectuals nearly fifty years ago at the height of the Cold War and is equally divided between Orthodox and Russophobes.

Secondly, the Synod sacked the 90-year old Archbishop Dimitrios in North America, as had been expected earlier this year. This sacking involves a large sum of ‘missing money’.

Thirdly, the Synod did not give the Tomos for Ukrainian autocephaly, just as they said they would not two years ago before their disastrous meeting in Crete, but as they had been paid $25 million for by the US taxpayer to do this year. This leaves President Poroshenko, who demanded this Tomos (he was the only one who wanted it, apart from his US paymasters) with a very red face, outwitted by Greeks who came bearing (apparent) gifts.

Why did all this happen now?

With an ageing (and, according to some, ill) Patriarch and many other elderly and ill bishops, such as the unstable John of Pergamos or the above-mentioned 90 year-old Archbishop Dimitrios or the arch-rebel Archbishop Stylianos in Australia, it seems as though the young generation of ‘Young Turks’ has taken over in Istanbul. These include the ultra-papist Metropolitan of Prussa, Elpidiphoros (Lambriniadis), the Metropolitan of Gaul, Emmanuel Adamakis (said to be the very ambitious successor in Istanbul), or the now notorious Archbishop Job (Getcha).

This new generation lacks pastoral experience and is bound to an extraordinary ideology of Eastern Papism, that comes from a fantasy that ended 565 years ago in 1453. They will eventually come down to earth with a very cruel bump. Meanwhile, the self-imposed spiritual suicide of the New or Second Rome does mean its end, except as a small and schismatic group of ‘new calendarists’. This in turn means that the Russian Orthodox Church is now free to establish canonical Orthodoxy worldwide. A great burden has been lost. Freedom has come. The eyes of the Orthodox world are now looking to the Russian Church to take on the mantle of authority and prove itself worthy by at last setting up the infrastructure in the Diaspora which we have so long been battling for without support. To those who have been given much, much is expected.

 

The Great Opportunity

Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of men.

With the dissolution of the Rue Daru Exarchate in Paris behind the back of its ruling archbishop, the daydreams of autonomy of the ecumenist Fraternite Orthodoxe have been dashed. Now the way is at last free for the Russian Orthodox Church to establish its Local Metropolia of Western Europe. Called for by ourselves in 1988 and, much more importantly, promised by Patriarch Alexey II in 2003, it is time to move forward. With the Patriarchate of Constantinople having officially removed itself from the equation through the phyletism of ‘the superior Greek race’ which has swallowed the Paris Jurisdiction, all eyes are now looking to the Russian Orthodox Church.

The two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe, one attached to Moscow, the other to New York, joined by any Churchly remnants of the Rue Daru group, together can build the long-awaited multinational Church of Western Europe, which ceased to exist in 1054. Surely 964 years of patience is enough! Unlike the Phanar and others, the Russian Orthodox Church is free from the meddling US State Department. Just as in the Ukraine, it is for our free Church to take responsibility for the future of the flock, putting the Truth of God over the enfeebling diplomacy and petty nationalism of men: it has long been apparent that nobody except the Russian Church will.

The End of an Era

The Rue Daru Exarchate, composed of a few largely Moldovan parishes in Paris and a few dozen tiny communities of converts by and large without their own properties scattered mainly through France, Benelux and England, has today been dissolved by the Phanar. Over ninety years of history since Rue Daru broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia have thus cruelly ended.

Founded largely by aristocratic and intellectual traitors to the Tsar from Saint Petersburg, the surprise is that this anti-Russian and anti-monastic group has survived so long. Nearly four generations on, with its last Russian bishop dying in 1981 and without monasteries, it was clear that it would come to depend on widowers and celibates from Roman Catholicism, such as its present Archbishop from Bordeaux. Rue Daru’s failure to return to the Russian Church, when freedom gradually came in the two decades after the collapse of atheist rule in the former Russian Empire in 1991 was lamentable.

However, as long ago as 1966, the then rector of the St Sergius Institute, Fr Alexey Knyazev, went to the Phanar and asked if the Patriarch was really the ‘Oecumenical’ Patriarch or ‘just a petty Balkan bishop’. Today he has received his answer. Fr Alexey and other real Orthodox, worthies like Bishop Methodius (Kulmann) and Fr Igor Vernik, had already understood in the 1960s and 1970s that the Rue Daru group could only survive spiritually if it returned to the Russian Mother Church, becoming the basis of a new Local Metropolia in Western Europe.

I understood it thirty years ago in 1988, when Rue Daru’s then ex-Catholic German Archbishop George (Wagner) categorically and suicidally rejected any plan to establish the foundation for a new Local Church of Western Europe faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition, and even invited the Papal Cardinal of Paris to celebrations of a millennium of Russian Orthodoxy at Rue Daru instead of Russian bishops! This was of course the last straw. As late as 2003, even the naive Archbishop Sergey (Konovalov) understood this, but it was all tragically too late.

Thus, the end had long been inevitable. For Rue Daru and its tiny group that inevitably broke away from the Russian Church in England in 2006 in the notorious Sourozh Schism, going against history and faithfulness, there is now only one choice: Die out under ‘the superior Greek race’ or else return to the Russian Tradition (which the latter has never had, despite its illusions to the contrary) and also return to the Orthodox calendar by returning to obedience to the Russian Orthodox Church. As we said 12 years ago, you cannot be of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, or even know it, even less understand it, when you refuse to be part of the Russian Orthodox Church. This is not theology, this is common sense! To think otherwise is spiritual delusion – prelest.

In Paris all now depends on whom properties belong to. Elsewhere, there is freedom to return to communion with the canonical Orthodox Church from the Phanariot schismatics, their ecumenism and phyletism and liturgical deviations.

The end of Rue Daru is a warning to all its imitators, not only in the USA, but also to those liberals in Moscow who fell to the Paris School of Philosophy (there never was any Theology here). You follow them and this is how you too will die out.

Told you so.

 

On the Two Jurisdictions of Russian Orthodoxy Outside the Canonical Territory of the Russian Orthodox Church

Introduction

Some may be surprised to read of the existence of only two jurisdictions of Russian Orthodoxy outside the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church (the ex-Soviet Union minus Georgia, plus Japan and China). They say: Surely there are three groups, since there is the Paris Jurisdiction? They forget that that jurisdiction was founded by aristocrats who, obsessed with Western Europe, hated everything Russian. So much so that it betrayed the Tsar for the sake of its class privileges and in Paris exile left the Russian Church for the sake of its privileged fantasies. Thus, the Paris Jurisdiction has never been part of the Russian Church, even though it had an influence on some ex-Uniat Slavs from the former Austro-Hungarian Empire settled in the USA  (now in a group called ’the OCA’). However, those who were involved are all dead now.

Today, the tiny Paris Jurisdiction, at worst, the disgruntled and dissident or, at best, the betrayed and naïve, is dying in lost relevance and lack of Tradition. It continues only as self-justification for its schism and disobedience. All the pro-Russian forces that were once in that jurisdiction have since 1989 gladly returned to one or other of the two jurisdictions of the Russian Church. Cut off and isolated, Paris has been left with nothing to say about the Russian Church. So in the context of Russian Orthodoxy outside Russia, the Paris Jurisdiction, like the North American jurisdiction that is called the OCA (Orthodox Church in America), can be ignored here, for it has for generations not been part of the Russian Church. So which are these two jurisdictions of Russian Orthodoxy outside the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church?

  1. The Patriarchal Churches Directly Dependent on Moscow

Once upon a time this was largely an ethnic jurisdiction of those who were at times such Soviet patriots that they were even prepared to lie about the persecution of the Church inside the then Soviet Union, denying even its own martyrs. Once upon a time it contained corrupt and compromised senior figures, both inside and outside Russia, who were allowed to do anything they wanted as a result of the paralysis of the Church administration, which was under KGB surveillance and desperate for ecumenical links to counter persecution. That political enslavement is over and the compromised are dead, though one can still meet ageing individuals who live and think in the past.

A very small jurisdiction a generation ago, today it has over 300 parishes and seven bishops. Notably, it has some 35 parishes in North America, a diocese in South America, all the parishes in Thailand, other parishes scattered throughout Asia and, above all, some 250 new parishes in Western Europe. It is here that enormous growth has taken place through the economic emigration from the ex-USSR , especially from Kazakhstan, Moldova and those ethnically cleansed from the Baltic States and the Ukraine. Thus, those who always belonged to these Patriarchal churches and were both patriotically and internationally minded, their ideal being Holy Rus, have been much reinforced.

  1. The Patriarchal Churches Indirectly Dependent on Moscow

Once dying out, there are now nearly 600 parishes in the self-governing Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), headquartered in New York but part of the whole Russian Orthodox Church. Once, in the bad old Soviet and immediate post-Soviet days, ROCOR was providentially independent of the politically enslaved Church administration in Moscow and so the free voice of the Russian Orthodox Church. At that time,however, there were also some who belonged to ROCOR who were not so much Orthodox as simply anti-Communists. These often worked for Western spy agencies in various countries and saw the Church as a mere vehicle for their right-wing nationalist political ideology.

Obsessed and blinded by their right-wing politics, they did not understood that their work against the Soviet Union for Western spy services or propaganda agencies, like The Voice of America or the BBC, was in fact work against Russia and so against the territory of the Russian Empire. This is now history, for today the whole of the Russian Church is politically free. That situation of political enslavement is over, though one can still meet individuals who live and think in the past. On the other hand, those like the ever-memorable Metr Laurus, who belonged to ROCOR and were always both patriotically and internationally minded, their ideal being Holy Rus, have been much reinforced.

The Future

Given the fact that most of the faithful of both jurisdictions are people who have left the ex-Soviet Union since 1992 and frequent churches in both groups, why are there still two jurisdictions when there is fundamental unity under the same Patriarch? Why should past history still play a role? It plays a role because the present unity has existed for only ten years, since 2007, and not a full generation. The influence of the past will continue for some years, perhaps even for a generation, to come. What can we say of the process that will eventually lead to a seamless unity in the future? Then the existence of two jurisdictions will not depend on history, it will depend on efficiency, competence, missionary-mindedness and the decision to treat the clergy and people properly by listening to them. Incompetence will be unacceptable.

Thus, in recent years we have seen that most Russian Orthodox churches in South America have passed to being directly dependent on Moscow and not on ROCOR, whose parishes were lost because of the lack of local episcopal care. Exactly the same thing seems to be happening throughout Western Europe, where parishes directly dependent on Moscow now outnumber those indirectly dependent by three to one and the lack of episcopal understanding is losing ROCOR favour. This too is a total transformation when compared to 25 years ago. As a result, Moscow now has a clear and logical intention of setting up a Western European Metropolia based in Paris. Only in Russophobic North America and Australasia does indirect dependence still prevail. An American-based ROCOR seems to be the future: the rest will depend directly on Moscow.

 

2017: On the Spiritual Significance of the Church Outside Russia

On the eve of 2017, the centenary year of the catastrophic Russian Revolution and a decade since the triumphant reunion between the Patriarchal Church inside Russia and the emigre Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in 2007, we may wonder what will become of the heritage of the Russian emigration of 1917? After all, the generation of adults that emigrated into exile in and soon after 1917 has long since died out and we are now onto the generation of their great-great-grandchildren. In Church terms, this emigration, almost wholly rejecting the compromised authority of the then enslaved Church inside Russia, consists not just of ROCOR, but also of the small Paris splinter group. What will survive spiritually from the two parts of the Russian emigration?

The tiny Paris Archdiocese part of the emigration, perhaps 10% of the whole, survives. However, as a splinter group of dissident and disincarnate philosophers, intellectuals and aristocrats that went into schism from the Russian Church for political reasons 85 years ago, it has long been without Russian bishops because of its inherent anti-monasticism. It is tending to become a sub-group of untrained convert clergy wishing to become a tiny ‘French Orthodox Church’, though some in it imagine becoming a ‘Western European Orthodox Church’. But that is megalomania. The group often reflects Schmemannite modernism, ecumenism and liberal French Catholicism (i.e. Protestantism), having steadily abandoned the Russian Orthodox Tradition.

True, there are still a few faithful, Orthodox calendar parishes run by priests mainly imported from Russia and the Ukraine and some selected Russian customs remain, though with little understanding of their meaning. The tendency is to try and proselytize middle-class liberal intellectuals, sometimes with contempt for ordinary people, an ethos that also used to infect parts of the OCA in North America and renovationist groups in the Soviet-period Patriarchate of Moscow. The Archdiocese generally tends to cut corners, failing to observe the canons and attract cradle Orthodox, whom as a non-inclusive group it rejects. Certainly it attracts none who is anchored in the Tradition.

However, the overwhelming majority of the emigration, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), exists outside France and French philosophical intellectualism, mainly in North America, Australasia and Western Europe. As such it has from the start been responsible for much missionary and translation work in many languages. Without the protection of any State it has in its near-100 year history also been subject to many slanders, mockery and persecution for its faithfulness to the Tradition. It has often been the voice crying in the wilderness of Secularist materialism, whether Communist or Capitalist, witnessing and prophetically calling like the Forerunner and Baptist John to repentance before the apocalyptic events of the last century.

However, it is also true that in the past parts of ROCOR were also compromised and infected by Russian nationalism, excessive strictness to the point of negative phariseeism and depressing right-wing politics – some fringe elements were even so blind as to support Hitler. However, the best of ROCOR has been revealed as a Church of Confessors and Missionaries, as in its three saints: St Jonah of Hankou, St Seraphim of Sofia and St John of Shanghai. Moreover, further saints are yet to be revealed. Whatever the future shape of the present administrative structures of ROCOR, these saints have given ROCOR eternal significance, as only the saints can do, as everything else gathers the dust of history, being only passing fashion and political intrigue.

Ten years ago, in 2007, seeing the Church inside Russia at last free, ROCOR rejoined Her and in the last ten years the two parts of the Church have worked closely together. Some therefore ask why does ROCOR still exist? The answer is simple: we have a mission to witness to the Orthodox Truth specifically outside Russia. When in the past the Church inside Holy Rus was enslaved and fell silent, with the representatives of the Soviet-period Patriarchate abroad mostly abandoning ideals, sometimes disgracefully compromising themselves in renovationism, ecumenism and other ills, ROCOR spoke out. So also today ROCOR continues to proclaim outside Russia what the best of the rest of the Church proclaims inside Russia – the ideals of Holy Rus. What are these?

These ideals are Trinitarian, reflecting on earth the heavenly reality of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. These Christian ideals can be expressed as: Faith, Throne and People, that is, the Orthodox Faith, the Christian Emperor, the Faithful. All three go together. If any one element is compromised, then all three are compromised. Thus, if we reject the Orthodox Faith, we do not build the Christian Empire among the People, as has happened in the Western world. If we reject the Incarnation of the Christian Empire, we fail to reflect the Faith in the Father and fail to preach the values of the Holy Spirit among the People, as has happened in disincarnate Parisian philosophy. And if the People lose the Orthodox Faith, there will be no Empire, as happened in 1917.

Just as we cannot have the Father without the Son and the Holy Spirit, so we confess all three of these ideals of Holy Rus together. This means that we are called on to proclaim the uncorrupted Orthodox Faith of the Church (the Father), the restoration of the Incarnate Christian Empire and Emperor (the Son) and that we call all the peoples of the world to join us (the Holy Spirit), as St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied nearly 200 years ago. These are the Trinitarian Orthodox Civilizational values of the Returning Christian Empire which is coming soon. Thus, we clergy and people of ROCOR are the free and conscious servants of the Faith and People of the Tsar-Martyr, called on to reverse the treason of 1917 and its disastrous worldwide consequences.