Category Archives: Rue Daru

The Western Captivity is Ending: The Restoration of Orthodoxy is Gathering Strength

Introduction: Miracles

In 2007 the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Church inside Russia were miraculously reconciled before me, as I stood confessing ex-Soviet generals and others in the miraculously rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Then, as a priest from the Rue Daru Archdiocese concelebrated, I did not think that it would take that Archdiocese another twelve tumultuous years to return to its Russian Mother Church. However, this miracle too has come about – in 2019 – and its Archbishop Jean has now become Metropolitan Jean. Who cannot be moved to see his photo, with that of the distinguished Protopresbyter Anatoly Rakovich and others, at last reunited with the Russian Church? Here are joy and triumph come from the grace of God.

True, his Metropolia is tiny, with only some sixty, mainly small, parishes, largely in France, but also in Belgium, the Netherlands and England. Nevertheless, it is both historic and important, as it includes many who have worked tirelessly for the Orthodox evangelization of mainly French-speaking countries in Western Europe, translating, presenting the Faith and celebrating the Liturgy. This unity became possible only after 2000, once the New Martyrs and Confessors had been canonized in Moscow. This meant that the Church inside Russia and its representatives abroad would now progressively be unshackled from enslavement to the State and from renovationism by their veneration for the New Martyrs and Confessors, who witnessed to Christ against both.

The Past

Thus, the century from 1917 on until today of colossal Orthodox decadence is coming to an end. Marked successively by the forced introduction of the Roman Catholic (‘new’) calendar, the spread of ecumenism, the shortening of the Liturgy, the dismantling of iconostases, the installation of chairs and pews in churches, the establishment of a largely homosexual and anti-monastic episcopate who persecute married clergy and monks alike, the contempt for the canons and the services and the absurd ideology of Eastern Papism, all led by Constantinople, controlled and manipulated  by Anglo-American geopolitics, and aped by others equally weak in faith, the decadence is ending. We thank God for this grace, for it comes from Him, not from men.

We naturally welcome this historic event with a joy beyond words. We helped in the fight against the double-bladed sword of renovationism and sectarianism everywhere, despite phenomenal injustices and persecution. Only our native Eastern English stubbornness helped; others, including a ROCOR Archbishop, told me that they would have given up long ago and walked away from the disgraceful and scandalous. The fight was harsh, the combat was rude. The Centre in Moscow, held captive by Communism and betrayed by renovationist internal enemies both inside and outside Russia, was occupied, the barbarians were inside the City. There was no alternative for those faithful to Russian Orthodoxy but to join one of the two Non-Moscow émigré groups.

The first group was the Church Outside Russia, ROCOR, worldwide and embracing over 85% of the Russian emigration. In the late 1940s, its Synod moved from Europe and has since been based in New York. Sadly, from the 1960s on it was to spend a long period darkened by the accession to power in it of those promoting Cold War sectarianism, phariseeism, ritualism, nationalism and CIA-funded politicking. In 2007 the sectarians left for the only place they could go – to various old calendarist sects. ROCOR now appears to be turning into the Russian Orthodox Church of the English-speaking world. Now dominated by the new immigration, the old largely having died out, the sectarian mentality has today been consigned to the dustbin of history.

The second group was Rue Daru, geographically limited to a few countries in Western Europe and embracing less than 15% of the Russian emigration. It has always been based in Paris. Founded by anti-Tsar, revolutionary, Saint Petersburg aristocrats, liberals, intellectuals and freemasons who soon broke away from ROCOR, it was from the start contaminated by a Western captivity to Protestant, pseudo-intellectual renovationism and fanatical Russophobia. This it later spread to the ex-Uniat Metropolia in the USA, which, today called the OCA, is only now freeing itself of its captivity after over fifty years. Now dominated by the new immigration, the old largely having died out, the renovationist mentality has today been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Conclusion: The Future

Today Metropolian Jean stands with authority, the aggressive enemies of Orthodoxy like the Fraternite, Struve, Behr and others who so persecuted and mocked us, gone. The obstacles they presented fell with their deaths and despite a few neo-renovationists, 1960s rebels against their émigré parents, agents of Western spy services, those married to or paid by Roman Catholics or arrived from Moscow in the 1990s with a political axe to grind, or naïve converts, nothing now stands in the way of restoring Orthodoxy and abandoning the hopelessly old-fashioned half-Catholic/half-Protestant ‘Euro-Orthodox’ mentality. This means restoring the Russian Tradition, abandoning the Catholic calendar and other liturgical and canonical eccentricities.

The remains of émigré Russian Orthodoxy, ROCOR in Western Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain, Rue Daru in France, and Moscow everywhere, are now in the One Russian Church. The Church has been cleansed; parasitic, secularist-minded elements have fallen away. The bad old days are over. Persecution by racists and renovationists is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We have now moved a step closer to establishing a United Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Western Europe, faithful to the Tradition, venerating the local saints in the local languages, the foundation of the restored future Orthodox Church of Western Europe, our combat against the traitors and their injustices, and our dream of nearly fifty years, done. This is a miracle of God.

 

The Centre Can Hold Because of the Cleansing of the Church

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

William Yeats, The Second Coming

 

All three groups of Russian Orthodox émigrés have now been cleansed off their extremes:

In 2006 the Patriarchate of Moscow suffered schism in Great Britain and France as the vestiges of old-fashioned modernism and ecumenism finally cast themselves off. Those who adhered to their Russophobic cultural prejudices and desire to dilute Orthodoxy into just another department of Western Establishment ideology left the Russian Orthodox Church for the pseudo-Orthodox US-run Phanariot group in Turkey. The Church was cleansed of those who had no love for the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Christian Empire of Orthodox Civilization and preferred compromised Western secularism to the fullness of the Church of God.

In 2007 ROCOR, the Church Outside Russia, in turn at last lost its censorious, sectarian fringes in tiny schisms to various strange and extremist sects which justify phariseeism. The Church was cleansed.

Now, in 2019, the Rue Daru Archdiocese (the former ‘Paris Jurisdiction’) has lost its extremists, in fact rather a large minority of modernist marginals. Why has it taken so long? Because this was the group most deeply infected by extremism, in this case, of the ‘liberal’ kind, so well-known for its intolerance and terrorist witch-hunts against faithful Orthodox over the decades. As a result, many had already left, even decades ago, persecuted by modernists and freemasons in the group. The minority dissidents, who prefer to celebrate Parisian philosophers who died 60-80 years ago rather than the Saints of God, will now fully merge with the US-run Turkish group in the Phanar (if they have not already done so).

Many of this dissident group are in England. There is also one parish in Brussels that has left for the Romanian Church (its Russophobic priest had already been suspended by the Turkish group a few years back, so he could not return there) and some parishes in France which still remain undecided. However, the fact is that Church has been cleansed, with the Orthodox returning to the Russian Church, the extremists falling away. Moreover, many in Paris who had left in disgust that the Church there was not commemorating the Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill, the leader of the Orthodox world, already returned last Sunday to congratulate Archbishop Jean, who was in tears of joy, on his final decision.

As perhaps the only priest who had suffered from ‘the blood-dimmed tide’ of all three groups of aggressive, troll-like extremists, I cannot but rejoice with our brothers and sisters who have at last escaped the clutches of the Phanariots. The plot of the Phanar to hand over St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Paris to Ukrainian schismatics and rededicate it to apostate traitors and mass-murderers like the robber of souls, Andrei Bobola or Josaphat, has failed.

Meanwhile, the Phanar’s incoherent and schismatic head, Patriarch Bartholomew, yesterday met Pope Francis and the head of the Ukrainian Uniats in Rome to discuss merging the Uniats with his tiny and failed OCU organization in the Ukraine. A joint Phanariot-Papist Galician Synagogue of Fascist Ukrainian xenophobes may soon be formed there, uniting all haters of the Church of God. It will be financed by the State Department in Washington, which has already sent out its ambassadors in the Balkans to bully and bribe Local Churches into recognizing the Galician Synagogue. In this they failed.

The centre can hold – because only extremes fall apart, and this is how the Church is cleansed. Glory to God for His Providence, for the evil inflicted by the Phanariots has had the reverse effect. The Orthodox have been strengthened, being cleansed from the pseudo-Orthodox fringes who have fallen away.

 

 

His Holiness Speaks about the Return of Rue Daru

“Reunion must happen forever”

09/16/2019

According to His Holiness Patriarch  Kyrill, the reunion of the Archdiocese of the Western European parishes of the Russian Tradition with the Russian Church is the final act that closes the drama of the Revolution…

The Sunday, 15 September, the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, the Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias Kyrill celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the church of St Olga in the district of Ostankino in Moscow. At the end of the service, His Holiness gave a sermon.

“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

In today’s apostolic reading, and this was an excerpt from the First Epistle to the Corinthians of the Apostle Paul, we find the words: “Brothers, watch, stand in the faith, be courageous” (1 Cor. 16:13). We must take these words as the great command of the apostle, ”called the High Hierarch. – It is remarkable that the list of virtues that a Christian should possess begins with the word “watch.” What does it mean to stay awake? It means not to sleep, to be conscious; and a person in consciousness is able to establish a connection with the outside world, perceive the outside world, analyze what is happening around him, and thus build his relationship with the outside world. ”

“This raises a very important question. What criteria should we be guided to evaluate the world around us, everything that happens around us? – asks the Primate of the Russian Church. – Of course, you can use political, scientific, artistic criteria, but they do not cover the entirety of the human worldview. And more often than not, we evaluate the world around us, assuming ourselves as a criterion. What is right from our point of view, what is good for us, then becomes the measure of the assessment of everything that is happening around. This is a great mistake, because the assessment of the world around cannot be reduced to a personal understanding of what is happening or to personal interests. But not only individuals suffer from this sin – sometimes whole groups, communities of people are subject to this sin. So, starting from the 18th century, godlessness gradually began to supplant faith from the consciousness of our intelligentsia. And when, instead of the Divine truth and the word of God, personal interests, the interests of the bearers of certain political and ideological views became the criterion, then the death of the people began, which led to the catastrophe of the Revolution and civil war. ”

“We are talking about the Revolution, about the civil war as a distant past – indeed, for the modern generation it is the time of their great-grandfathers and great-great-grandfathers. But, having gone into the past, these terrible events of our history should not be left without a nationwide assessment, the First Hierarch is convinced. – After all, this is what happened: people laid the basis of their actions for the political and ideological criteria that divided the people, divided the country. The result of this division was the expulsion of a huge number of Russian Orthodox people, our people, our fellow citizens, abroad. This outcome greatly weakened our intellectual, spiritual strengths, and it took decades to restore everything that was lost as a result of the breakdown of our whole life. ”

“However, the consequences of this outcome persist in some sense to this day,” he said. – We know that the Russian Orthodox Church was divided. Emigres created the Russian Church Outside Russia with its center in Sremsky Karlovtsy in Serbia, but there was another group of Orthodox people who grouped around Metropolitan Eulogius – it was conventionally called the Paris emigration. And those children of the Russian Orthodox Church who maintained contact with Moscow made up the third part of the entire Russian emigration. This division reflected political contradictions, which led Russia to the Revolution. And our cherished dream was the unification of the whole Russian emigration, the unification of the Russian Church outside Russia. We know that in 2007, by the grace of God, the miracle of reunification with the Russian Church of that part of the emigration was revealed to all of us, which belonged to the Russian Church Outside Russia. This reunion solemnly took place in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, but it did not affect the emigres grouped around Paris. ”

“It so happened that the Russian Orthodox people who had Paris as their center and Metropolitan Eulogius as their ruling bishop ended up in the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and this state of affairs persisted to this day. But yesterday there was an event that could become historic. I say “it could become,” because much remains to be done to ensure that this action brings results. But such an act – Archbishop John, who is in Paris and leads the very fragment of the Russian emigration that did not belong to the Russian Church Outside Russia or the Church of the Moscow Patriarchate, sent me a request for reunification with the Russian Orthodox Church, ”said the Primate.

“This happened yesterday, September 14, that is, September 1, according to the old style, on the first day of the church new year, or, as we say, the beginning of the indiction. Opening this petition, I realized that the deed of Archbishop John is full of many meanings. Because the implementation of this petition closes the topic of the division of the Russian Church outside Russia, the separation of Russians living abroad, and the fact that this happened on the first day of the Church New Year, helps to understand that reunification should happen forever, for all the times that lie ahead. This opens up the possibility of establishing the full unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, in the homeland and abroad, ”said Patriarch Kyrill.

“Yesterday, we held a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church by telephone, because there was no time to gather the Most Reverend members of the Synod. But I talked with everyone and received not just consent, but ardent consent. It was necessary to hear the intonations with which the members of the Synod responded to my message about what had happened. When I asked them if they voted for this decision, I received an enthusiastic answer: “We don’t just vote, we vote with all our hearts.” And indeed it is so. Because it cannot be a matter of secondary importance, indifferent to every Orthodox Russian person, for every member of the Russian Orthodox Church, regardless of his nationality, the restoration of the unity of our Church and the unity of our people, ”the Primate was convinced.

“Having satisfied the request of His Grace John, who headed the Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in Western Europe of the Russian tradition, the Holy Synod reunites by its decision all Russian Orthodox parishes in Western Europe with the Mother Church. We thank the Lord for the mercy that has been shown. This is not just a church act – most likely, this is the final act that closes the drama of Revolution, civil war, the drama of the division of our people. Therefore, today our prayer to the Lord is a prayer of thanksgiving for the fact that He, having led our people in Russia and scattered abroad through divisions, through unrest, through persecution and upheaval, today opens up the possibility for us to feel like a single people, united by a single Russian Orthodox Church. Thank God for everything! Amen, ” concluded the Primate of the Russian Church.

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2019/09/16/vossoedinenie_dolzhno_proizojti_navsegda/

 

A Warm Welcome

We warmly welcome into the Russian Church those who yesterday, the first day of the Church New Year, left the Patriarchate of Constantinople for us. Now their Russian Tradition can be affirmed and renewed. For the rest of us the final piece of the émigré jigsaw has fallen into place, a century after it began to fall apart. The freed Russian Church inside Russia has now been reunited with Carpatho-Russian parishes in the USA (the OCA), with the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) (in 2007) and now with the faithful of the parishes of the Paris Archdiocese under Archbishop Jean (Renneteau), known as Rue Daru.

On this historic day we now look forward to the renewal of fraternal contacts and relationships and concelebrations. Today, in unity, angels and men alike rejoice.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

St Alexander Nevsky Parish,

Norwich, England,

15 September 2019

Rue Daru Ends

At its General Assembly meeting, held, typically for it, in a Catholic church in Paris last Saturday, the delegates of the parishes and communities of the small Rue Daru Archdiocese voted by 58% to return to the Russian Orthodox Church and by 42% not to do so. It seems that as a result each community, most of which are tiny, will join whichever Orthodox Church it wishes to – providing of course that any Local Church wants them. (Most Local Churches do not want to take on untrained clergy and individuals who have a reputation as troublemakers, who do not have even their own church buildings and yet believe that, though they are in reality a tiny group of marginals, they stand at the centre of the universe!)

Moldovans who have taken over several previously virtually empty parishes in Paris, including the church on Rue Daru itself, will naturally return to the Russian Orthodox Church, as will those who still consider themselves to belong wholly to the Russian Tradition, as were the first three Rue Daru hierarchs, the last of whom reposed in 1981. Those in Belgium may plead with the Romanian Church to take them, though the Romanian Church is loath to do so. Some in England are looking with hope at Antioch, but again there is no certainty that it will want them. Others have already left for the Bulgarian Church (in Scandinavia) or the Church Outside Russia (in Italy). Some communities will simply be absorbed into local modernist Greek Dioceses and so disappear.

The 77-year old ill French Archbishop Jean, the very last bishop of the anti-monastic and anti-episcopal Rue Daru group, was so upset at the meeting at not getting the two-thirds majority he needed to take the group as a whole back into the Russian Orthodox Church that he threatened to retire. It is the ignominious end of a group founded by rebellious aristocrats and protestantising intellectuals, who, secularized to the extreme, were always prone to personality-driven, French-style rebellions, arguments, splits, libels and threats, a ‘panier de crabes’ as it was called in Paris forty years ago. Indeed the previous Archbishop Job, a schismatic Ukrainian, could only attend the Rue Daru church protected from physical assaults by five burly bodyguards who would stand during the services and escort any protestors out.

Meanwhile at the Greek church in Paris yesterday, Ukrainian schismatics were concelebrating with the notorious Greek Metropolitan Emmanuel. It is said that the Greek plan is to take over the historic Rue Daru church and hand it over to the schismatics. The whole Rue Daru debate has been characterized by the fantasies of priests who do not know how to celebrate services and unChurched but highly politicized laypeople who have no idea what the Church is, how the Church works and what it needs to make a bishop – three other bishops. Now it seems that Rue Daru parishes and communities who do not want to remain in the schismatic Patriarchate of Constantinople will be received back into the Russian Orthodox Church individually, not as a group. As to whether any other Local Church will want the others is unclear.

Over 12 years ago the main part of the Russian emigration, the Church Outside Russia with its Synod of Bishops, some 80% of the emigration, returned to the Russian Orthodox Church. They had understood that the Church in Russia was by then completely free from the Russian State. Clearly the Rue Daru émigré splinter fragment, which had broken away from the Church Outside Russia under political pressure in the 1920s, should have done the same then. This whole death-agony has dragged on for decades too long.  It refused to return and its then Archbishop Gabriel, yesterday’s convert, showed himself to be an intense Russophobe, uncanonically ordaining men priests without first training them and receiving all sorts of dissidents and strange individuals from elsewhere. Here then is the result.

In Memoriam: Archbishop George Tarasov (1893-1981)

The shocking news today, 31 August 2019, is that Archbishop Jean (Renneteau) of Rue Daru has been suspended by the Phanar. The latter appears to have finally lost leave of its senses, having replaced the Archbishop with the Archmodernist married priest Alexis Struve of the Fraternite Orthodoxe (and descendant of the Marxist Struve family, which helped overthrow the Tsar and the Christian Empire). This has scandalized everyone. However, let us recall better days at Rue Daru.

I must have met some hundred bishops in my life. Most were most definitely not saints, two perhaps were: Archbishop Antony of Geneva and Archbishop Antony of San Francisco. However, there were two others who I think were definitely saints: One was Metropolitan Laurus (Shkurla) and the other was Archbishop George (Tarasov). Curiously they both at one time had the same title: ‘of Syracuse’. The first had the title because he lived most of his life near the town of Syracuse in New York State, the other because he bore the title of the ancient Greek town in Sicily, which in 1820 gave its name to the Syracuse in New York State.

Much has been written in English about Metr Laurus, but little about Archbishop George. This latter, like the former, was a faithful bearer of the Russian Church Tradition, who strongly disliked novelties and loved Russian Orthodox piety. Archbishop George accepted everyone, of all nationalities and ages, as I can bear witness; he did not reject the non-intellectual, as some do, making clubs and cliques in tiny inward-looking ‘parishes’ and groups of celibate intellectuals, but equally he did not reject them. His heart was open to all – the clear sign of a saint, for all he wanted to do was to serve all who came and not some particular ethnic group or subculture.

George Tarasov (in the French transliteration Georges Tarassoff) was born in Voronezh in central European Russia on 14 April 1893. He studied at the Technical School in the city and then at the Higher Technical Institute in Moscow, where he graduated in chemical engineering. Later he studied aeronautics and in 1914 volunteered for the Imperial Air Force, which was then by far the largest air force in the world. His life changed in 1916. Aged 23, he was sent to the Western Front, with many other Russian military personnel, to help the faltering French war effort, as a pilot. After the 1917 betrayal of the Tsar, he remained on the Western Front, joining the Belgian Air Force reaching the rank of major.

Major George Tarasov was demobbed in 1919 and settled in Belgium, where he worked for various companies as a chemical engineer from 1921 to 1934.  However, in 1922, aged 29, he married a Russian called Evgenia Freshkop. The photograph of her which he showed us was that of a very gentle and kind woman with softness and nobility in her face. She was a zealous Orthodox. I was later reminded of her on meeting in Paris the delightful matushka of Fr Sergij Chertkov, Ludmila Chertkova, who did so much to soften him, taking off the edges of her husband with her gentle smile and innocent charm.

On 25 March 1928, Georges Tarasov was ordained deacon by Metropolitan Eulogius, who had not yet broken with the Russian Church, and on 3 February 1930, Deacon George reluctantly accepted the priesthood. He was then aged 36. He was appointed rector of the parishes in Ghent and Louvain. However, two years later, he was tragically widowed. He always loved his wife and at the end of his life he would speak to us of her, showing that she had always remained his ideal. He lived for her and patiently waited to meet her on the other side in God’s own time.

In 1933 Fr George was tonsured monk. Seven years later, in 1940, he was appointed rector of St Panteleimon’s parish in Brussels, though he continued to serve other Belgian parishes also. He was an exceptionally zealous and loving pastor, his task was always to serve others. During the German Occupation he was arrested at least twice and one interrogation lasted ten hours non-stop. In Brussels he then came to take over the second parish of St Nicholas, whose rector had been deported to Berlin

In 1945, just before he died, Metropolitan Eulogius at last returned to the Russian Church. However, Fr George was forced to remain under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as his distrusting parishioners refused to return. In 1948 Fr George was made an archimandrite by the new Rue Daru Metropolitan, Vladimir. Then on 4 October 1953 he was appointed Bishop for Belgium and Holland and the few Orthodox under Rue Daru in West Germany, with the title ‘of Syracuse’, though he continued to live in Brussels. Like Metr Eulogius, Metr Vladimir wanted to return to the Russian Church, but this was impossible for as long as the episcopate of that Church was held hostage by the militant atheist government of the Soviet Union.

After Metropolitan Vladimir died at the end of 1959, Fr George was appointed his successor, but received the rank only of archbishop, as Constantinople was downgrading the ever smaller Rue Daru group. Archbishop George continued to be a loving pastor, visiting his small and scattered archdiocese, and notably encouraged the use of French in services, even though he himself spoke it very badly. At the end of 1965, for purely political reasons, the very weak Patriarchate of Constantinople, politically manipulated, dropped the Rue Daru Archdiocese from its jurisdiction.

A month later, on 29 December, Archbishop George was forced by powerful laymen in Paris to proclaim the temporary independence of the Rue Daru Archdiocese. True, he could have returned to either part of the Russian Church, but he could not abandon his flock, who would not have returned with him, as had been the experience of Metr Eulogius in 1945. In the event, just over five years later, in January 1971, Constantinople repented and took back the Diocese.

Now there began a new trial: Archbishop George was increasingly persecuted by modernists and ecumenists from the ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe’, an anti-clerical, anti-monastic, anti-episcopal, mainly lay organization of protestantizing pseudo-intellectuals, many of them prosperous Parisian bourgeois or aristocrats. They would hiss at him at church, boo him and mock him quite openly, of which we are witnesses.

Archbishop George lived in poverty, his clothes bought for him by a faithful parishioner, Barbara Shpiganovich. He continued to serve the faithful, living and departed. One thing he took on himself was to pray for all the departed of his flock, as it was then dying out, and he had thousands and thousands of names. He would begin to commemorate them on Saturday evenings, praying for them far after midnight and then early on Sunday mornings. This was his Proskomidia.

The end of his life, ill and despised, living in his tiny flat and usually robed in a dressing gown, a St Seraphim of Sarov figure, found him in total poverty, with only photos of his past to remind him of happier times. Faithful to the traditions and piety of the Russian Church, he was rejected by the arrogant and persecuting modernists who had come to dominate Rue Daru and would later destroy it, forcing others to leave it. The intensely humble Archbishop George passed away on 22 March 1981 after a long illness. He was aged 87. His last message to his clergy and faithful was: ‘Tell them, I love them all’. His body lies in the crypt of the church of the Russian cemetery of Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois, south of Paris.

I cannot forget my first encounter with Archbishop George nearly forty years ago, at the Feast of St Sergius on 8 October 1979. I did not know then that I would get to know him better and he would even attend my wedding the following year. Archbishop George was a faithful Russian Orthodox and although he was persecuted by the secularist elements in his flock, he was only waiting to return to a politically free Russian Church. Sadly, he did not live to see that. If he were alive today, there is absolutely no doubt that he would long ago have returned to the Russian Church, as his predecessors also wanted to do. His passing was the turning-point in the history of Rue Daru as after him it descended on the long and sorry path of its absurd Russophobia and so break-up.

To Archbishop George – Eternal Memory

 

A Public Letter of Support to Archbishop Jean Renneteau of Rue Daru

La diaspora russe, toutes jurisdictions confondues, avait une mission très simple: de rester fidèle à la tradition russe malgré la servitude involontaire de l’episcopat de l’Eglise russe en URSS et en même temps d’apporter la lumière de l’Orthodoxie aux indigènes dans leurs langues occidentales. Les meilleurs représentants de chaque jurisdiction de la diaspora ont fait précisément cela. On peux penser à St Jean de Changhaï de l’Eglise hors Frontieres et à son fils spiritual, l’archévêque Antony de Genève, à Mgr Basile Krivosheine du patriarchat de Moscou à Bruxelles, ou encore à l’archévêque Georges Tarassoff de la Rue Daru (un saint à mon avis; à quand sa canonisation?).

A chaque fois que l’on ne respectait pas la fidèlité à la tradition russe et à la mission dans les langues locales, on se vouait au suicide spiritual. Nous l’avons bien vu avec Mgr Georges Wagner à la Rue Daru, qui détestait l’utilisation des langues locales et a ainsi perdu beaucoup de clergé et de fidèles (par exemple l’actuel Mgr Athénagore (Peckstadt), l’archiprêtre Nicolas Soldatenkoff, l’archimandrite Georges (Leroy) et nous-mêmes, ou à la tentative de Mgr Georges Grabbe de l’EORHF aux Etats-Unis qui avait esssayé de faire de l’Eglise un outil politique et sectaire de la guerre froide, ou à des individus du patriarchat de Moscou, qui, privés du troupeau russe politiquement disaffecté, avaient essayé de recruter des ouailles parmi des occidentaux naïfs avec des résultats lamentables.

Ma matouchka Sabine, (née Sardo), était présente à la Crypte lors de la réception de l’actuel Mgr Jean Renneteau en 1974, qui a été ensuite ordonné par Mgr Georges Tarassoff. Nous le soutenons sans réserve. Il faut que la Rue Daru retourne a l’Eglise-Mère, après avoir perdu son chemin après le décés de Mgr Georges Tarassoff en 1981. L’Eglise hors frontières a fait cette expérience il y a 12 ans et ainsi a affirmé notre victoire contre le sectarisme style vieux-calendariste qui avait infiltré l’EORHF aux Etats-Unis. Aujourd’hui l’EORHF devient l’Eglise orthodoxe du monde anglo-saxon. Depuis peu c’est le patriarchat de Moscou qui a établi son Exarchat de l’Europe Occidentale à Paris, avec bientôt des centaines de paroisses, et devient l’Eglise de l’Europe continentale. C’est maintenant à la Rue Daru, quoique devenue petite, de faire partie de cet Exarchat de l’Europe continental et de lui apporter son expérience pastorale.

L’archiprêtre Andrew Phillips, Angleterre (ancien de Saint Serge)

The Essence of the Rue Daru Crisis: The Protestant-Style Rejection of Episcopal Authority

Dedicated to Protopresbyter Alexij Kniazeff, Rector of Saint Sergius, Who Knew and Loved and Wanted to Return to the Russian Church

A small group of financially well-off Orthodox, mainly from four Western European countries and centred around their quite small church on Rue Daru in Paris (a church which they did not build and which does not belong to them), their leaders mostly of aristocratic Russian descent, is in crisis. Why? Because after nearly 90 years the Turkish-based Patriarchate of Constantinople no longer wants to keep them as a separate entity within itself, but to absorb them into its local Greek dioceses. There should not really be a crisis because, logically, the group should simply obey their Patriarch: indeed, many would say that the group should have been assimilated after the last Russian-born archbishop died in 1981 and the Greeks have been very patient. Yet, crisis there is. Why?

The essence of the Rue Daru problem is that this unstable group has never accepted any episcopal authority. This is why it left both parts of the Russian Church (inside and outside Russia), both on two occasions, so four times in all, (though claiming to be ‘of the Russian tradition’!!). This is why it refused to obey its first Metropolitan, Eulogius, in 1945 and, unlike him, return to the Russian Church and why, much more recently, it refused to obey its Archbishop Job, sent to it by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, effectively ejecting him. For nearly 90 years the group has been under no Synodal episcopal authority and has been allowed to develop its own fantasies as much as it wanted. Many of its parishes for many decades never saw a bishop even once. And they did not wish to.

Its original leaders, Westernized aristocrats and intellectuals, active in Saint Petersburg before the Revolution, always admired Protestantism. They developed a philosophy of Orthodoxy as a set of ideas, a liberal-bourgeois freethinking ideology, not as a way of life. This why the group has always been anti-episcopal, anti-monastic and congregational. This is why its senior laypeople have always controlled their bishops, electing weak personalities or academics (‘eveques de bibliotheque’) to the episcopate, and, whenever their bishops did want to control them, the laypeople disobeyed them. This is why it developed a heresy called Sophianism, some very bizarre liturgical practices, and many of its senior members were freemasons and some worked for the French Spy services.

The Rue Daru philosophers developed a Protestant-style ideology called ‘eucharistic ecclesiology’ in order to justify their actions. Controlling the Church media and printing presses, with the help of Catholicism (SOP) and Protestantism (YMCA), they propagandized this fantasy. However, in its weakness, until recently, the Patriarchate of Constantinople had left the group to its own fate and never tried to impose episcopal authority on it. Finally, it had enough of the rebels and in November 2018 it dissolved the group, which is now reduced to having a single 75-year old ex-Catholic (exactly like its previous archbishop) for archbishop. Such is the inevitable result of 90 years of anti-episcopalianism and anti-monasticism – it is unable to produce any bishops of its own.

Anti-episcopal, it has never wanted or been able to run its affairs on Synodal (Synod = a group of bishops) lines, like every other Local Orthodox Church always has. It has always been run by a group of power-keeping laypeople, often intermarried, working like a mafia. Any who did not belong to them (for example because they were born in Russia or Moldova, or came from a modest background or, above all, because they followed the Orthodox Tradition) had no say. As a result of its basically racist and class-based exclusivism, over the decades many parishes, clergy and people left it, including for instance the present Metropolitan Athenagoras, a Non-Russian, in Belgium. Thus, the group became ever and ever smaller, almost incestuous, more and more inward-looking and intolerant.

Since last November, more parishes have left the Rue Daru group to join canonical Local Churches. Next month, nearly a year late, the hesitant remnants of the group are to hold a much-delayed meeting to decide what finally they are going to do. The most likely outcome is that perhaps 50% of the group, including the Archbishop, several senior clergy of Russian origin and many Russian-founded parishes in France, will return to the Russian Orthodox Church. However, some 50% on the fringes of the group, who have no idea what the Russian Tradition is, may join various small Local Churches, Constantinople and Antioch (suitable for many of the tiny and elderly ex-Anglican communities in England) and some may simply join sects or set up their own modernist sect.

It is in any case the end of the road for the group and an object-lesson in what happens when you navel-gaze, proudly imagining that you are the centre of the world and, however obviously absurd it is to everyone outside the group, that you are the only true Orthodox. The Orthodox world is much bigger than the tiny minds of liberal bourgeois Parisians. For the Church is not a sect, as it is One, part of the whole; the Church makes saints, not philosophers, as it is Holy; the Church is Catholic, not a Parisian sect, as it operates everywhere and throughout history; the Church is apostolic, as it accepts the authority of bishops, the successors of the apostles. Show Christian humility by accepting the reality of episcopal and apostolic authority or else disappear.  It really is as simple as that.

Return to the Orthodox Church or Continue in Freemasonry?

The battle for the survival of real Orthodoxy in the fragmenting and ever smaller Paris-based Rue Daru group has now reached a culminating point. Thirty years ago we realized what the below author, the daughter of one of my professors, has realized today. In this article she demolishes the arguments of the sectarian ‘Fraternite’ (‘Brotherhood’ – a very apt name) group of Protestant-minded, anti-episcopal modernists and ecumenists who have been sabotaging Orthodoxy within the Rue Daru group for over fifty years. And all this under entirely pseudo-canonical and anti-Russian political arguments.

Anne Andronikof: An Open Letter to Fr Alexis Struve

https://www.egliserusse.eu/blogdiscussion/m/Anne-Andronikof-Lettre-ouverte-au-pere-Alexis-Struve_a5778.html

Dear Fr Alexis,

I was able to read your letter to the members of the pastoral assembly of July 15 2019, of which I am not a member, and I would like to make a few comments.

I fully agree with you that our future in the Archdiocese will inevitably be, and whatever decisions are made, other than what we are currently experiencing. It is indeed illusory to believe that it would be possible to find oneself “as before”.

However, I have an opinion radically contrary to yours on all other points.

Indeed, you write that the Archdiocese is not “Russian”, the vast majority of parishes having very few, if any, people of Russian origin. So far so good. However, we are much more “Russian” than Greek (or Romanian, Bulgarian or others) on the one hand because we have all opted for the Russian-Slavonic tradition. For those of Russian origin it is not really a choice, but for all others it is.

And on the other hand because the Archdiocese came from the Russian emigration and relies on the Moscow Council of 1917; that our attachment to Constantinople was from the beginning conceived as temporary, transitory, in anticipation of the liberation of Russia from the Communist yoke.

I therefore agree with our bishop that the return to the Patriarchate of Moscow is our natural, logical and in keeping with the spirit of the foundation of the Archdiocese.

If this option were chosen, everyone would be free to act according to their conscience, to remain or change their jurisdiction. It’s a personal choice.

You finish on the “scandal” of the prohibition (for clerics) of intercommunion with Constantinople. But the real scandal is the action of the Phanar in Ukraine, with the creation of the false autonomous church based on excommunicated clerics and flouting the territorial principle of the Churches. The rupture of intercommunion was a logical and healthy decision of the Orthodox world, and not at all caused by conflicts between prelates. Personally, if we had continued to commemorate Patriarch Bartholomew during the services, I would already have left.

For me, all this is a matter of the Orthodox conscience, stripped of all consideration of people, nationalities, clans …

Finally, our only hope of preserving our statutes and our functioning lies in our attachment to Moscow, which has officially confirmed their maintenance. In Russia, moreover, the separation of Church and State is inscribed in its constitution (Article 14). The fear of today’s Russia comes from a fantasy carefully maintained by the West, the EU being itself at the boot of the USA.

I would add that, financially, the Archdiocese (what is left of it at least) has every interest in attaching itself to the Moscow Patriarchate, the only one able and willing to invest money for the maintenance of the churches, the restoration of St. Sergius, the revitalization of the Institute. See how Constantinople has never done anything in this sense, see the state of the churches in Biarritz, Cannes …

As you know, my father did a great deal for the creation of parishes in the vernacular, and I myself chose the crypt as a parish, to which I am very attached, and in which I am very involved. It will be heartbreak for me to leave, if the Archbishop decided to sacrifice himself by returning to the jurisdiction of the Greeks.

I am also in favour of a Local Church, but it is clear that the Archdiocese has missed its mission, which will definitely be buried with the Greek option.

Anne Andronikof, parishioner of the crypt (Daru).

Additional remarks

“The Ecumenical Patriarchate remains the first and guarantees the unity and catholicity of the Orthodox Church”.

The primacy of honour does not imply a hierarchy of powers. Constantinople has shown that it is the guarantor of nothing at all, but rather a troublemaker, in constant search for survival.

Regarding Russia: “We live in too different worlds. ”

I have just spent a week in Moscow, where I had the impression of Western civilization. And I recently spent a week in Athens, where I felt in “a different world”, and where the Communist Party is very influential. I do not know what you think.

“The [Russian] Church is at odds with, if not dependent on, the civil authorities. ”

This is false. (See above)

“Yes, our origins and traditions are Russian, and it is certainly a wealth, but our sources are not Russia. Our sources are the renewal created by the “Paris School”, by the creative theologians of the Saint Serge Institute in permanent dialogue with the world. ”

What contradictions! The distinction between origins / traditions on the one hand and “sources” on the other hand is sleight of hand.

The theologians of the St. Sergius Institute have precisely maintained and developed all the wealth of “Russian” Orthodoxy, which has re-seeded Russia.

“One of the arguments of those who today wish to join the Moscow Patriarchate is faithfulness and obedience to the bishop. ”

See the above arguments having to do with faithfulness to the spirit of Orthodoxy and nothing to do with loyalty and obedience to the bishop. If the latter is wrong, it is up to the conscience of each one (as you say yourself) to take a position. It is an insult to, or at least a misunderstanding of, the thinking capacity of the basic Orthodox (of whom I am one).

Anne Andronikof
July 17 2019, Paris