Category Archives: Rus

Russia, The Russian Federation, The Soviet Union, The Russian Empire, Rus and Holy Rus

Introduction: Russia

There is considerable confusion between the various terms used to describe most of the territory of Northern Eurasia, generally known by the name of Russia. This is a very loose, geographical term. Used imprecisely, it can denote either the Russian Federation, or the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire. Thus the term ‘The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia’ (ROCOR) was used to mean ‘The Russian Orthodox Church Outside the Russian Empire’ (although it is increasingly coming to mean ‘The Russian Orthodox Church in the Anglosphere’ (ROCA?)). Let us look at the three temporary political formations which the term ‘Russia’ can be used to cover and how the term relates to the spiritual term ‘Holy Rus’.

Three Temporary Political Formations

The Russian Federation

The Russian Federation (1991 – present) is simply the present three-quarters of the old Russian Empire and is the result of the dismemberment of the old Soviet Union a generation ago. It is a temporary and the contemporary version of the country that covers most of the territory of Northern Eurasia. Sadly, the Russian Federation inherited the sad Soviet ‘abcde’ legacy: alcoholism, (a)bortion, corruption, divorce and environmental degradation, though it is successively fighting against all of them. The Russian Federation is an intermediate State organization that will inevitably die out and, at best, be replaced by something superior or, at worst, something inferior.

The Soviet Union

The Soviet Union (1917-1991) inherited much that was good from the old Russian Empire, for example, free and high-level education and medicine, social justice, anti-colonialism. However, its disastrous, atheist, German Jewish ideology of centralist Communism was utterly genocidal from the beginning and many, many millions lost their lives in repression, torture, persecutions and artificial famines and its vicious persecutions of the Church produced millions of martyrs. Its inherent injustice and corruption led to many falling into alcoholism as the only escape from it. When it collapsed through betrayal after three generations, more of the remaining heritage of the old Russian Empire, both in territorial terms and in terms of values, was also lost.

The Russian Empire

The Russian Empire (1721-1917) covered a vast multinational Northern Eurasian territory, one sixth of the world, with at its height territory even on three continents. However, it collapsed after the betrayal of the elite of the Empire in 1917. It then developed into the tragic atheist Soviet Union which decayed three generations later, also by betrayal. The betrayal of Imperial Russia after less than 200 years was carried out by aristocrats (the ancestors of today’s oligarchs and the descendants of the medieval boyars), merchants (today’s businessmen) and bureaucrats (the ancestors of Soviet apparatchiks and later today’s corrupt officials). All these proved to be for the most part traitors and turncoats, seeking their own egoistic advantages.

Conclusion: Holy Rus

The historical term Rus means the territory of the East Slavs, which today means the Russian Federation, the Ukraine and Belarus. However, the spiritual term ‘Holy Rus’ (sometimes imprecisely translated as ‘Holy Russia’) denotes anywhere in the world where Russian Orthodoxy is confessed. This includes not only the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, but Moldova, parts of Kazakhstan, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and communities in the USA, Canada, Australia, Japan, Germany, England, France, Argentina and scores of other countries on all five continents.

Holy Rus is our identity, that of the Christian Empire. Although this Orthodox identity encompasses different languages and locally-venerated saints, this diversity is held in unity by our faithfulness to the Russian Orthodox Tradition, Holy Rus. All temporary political formations contain spiritual impurity, none measures up to Holy Rus, not even the Russian Empire, which came closest to it. Our goal of building up the Kingdom of Heaven on earth is to build up Holy Rus and everything is measured by this criterion.

1916-2016: 100 Years of Saints and Traitors

Introduction

100 years ago there began the last stages in the greatest injustice in world history – the betrayal of Imperial Christian Russia. Then on the point of victory in the First World War and so of liberating New Rome, called Constantinople, and also the Holy Land, it was also about to liberate the peoples of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany, so undoing the injustices in Central Europe and the Balkans and in the tyrannical Second Reich of Bismarck, so reconstituting a free Poland, and perhaps also righting the injustices of Western colonization worldwide. Had it not been betrayed, there would never have been any Bolshevik genocide (millions of dead), no Third Reich and no Hitler, no World War Two, no Teutonic holocaust of the Slavs (30 million dead) or of the Jews (over 5 million dead), no American fire bombs and atom bombs on Japanese civilians (1 million dead?), no Communist China (30 million dead?), no abortion holocaust (100 million dead?), no……

In May 1945 one Russian soldier – he later became a priest – was standing in the ruined Reichstag in Berlin. Surrounded by incredible destruction, but also great relief, victory had come at a huge price on the Russian Easter Day, which that year had coincided with the day of the feast of St George the Victorious Soldier-Martyr. There, in the Reichstag, the soldier saw Tsar Nicholas II surveying the scene, examining every detail, thinking that in 1917 he would already have stood there, surrounded however not by destruction but by an intact capital of culture. The ghost of Tsar Nicholas has haunted Europe ever since it betrayed him in 1917. He has been here all the time, to this very day, looking with eyes of pity at the merciless destruction and self-destruction of the Western world, as it sinks into its self-made abyss. Betrayed at the last moment in 1917, according to a plot prepared in detail in 1916, he looks on the lost souls and cultural heritage of the Western world and his heart weeps.

Inside Russia

The first sign that the plot had been implemented was the assassination of the peasant-healer Rasputin in December 1916, betrayed by decadent Russian aristocrats, who hated the Christian peasantry, and murdered by British spies, who hated Russian Orthodox. Financed by its enemies (Germany and Austro-Hungary) and by its ‘allies’ (Britain, France and the US, who had already financed Japan’s transformation into militarism and its murderous attack on Russia in 1904), sabotage and treason laid the Tsar’s Russia low. In 1917 this developed into anarchy (the so-called ‘Revolution’), which was created by ‘liberal’ opportunist traitors in February and exploited by ‘Bolshevik’ opportunist traitors in October. Anarchy (falsely called ‘Revolution’) was fabricated in the salons of the jealous and the ignoble, grand dukes and princes, generals and politicians, freemasons and lawyers, industrialists and bourgeois – ‘have money, want power’ – traitors to the people and their Tsar.

All of them were utterly unfaithful to the three (three because Trinitarian) tenets and principles that had upheld the Christian Empire of the Tsar. These were: the Faith (uncompromised Orthodox Christianity); the Tsar (the Anointed Christian Sovereign); and Rus (the multinational Christian Empire). As atheists and apostates, they committed sabotage and treason with regard to all these values, which represent Faith in the Father, the Incarnation of the Son and the Presence of the Holy Spirit. Those who remained faithful to these three tenets inside Russia were the New Martyrs and Confessors and those who venerated them. The salt of the earth, they were the ones who were to begin the great restoration that has been under way since the official fall of Bolshevism twenty-five years ago, but in fact long before, from the moment of their exploits. Thus the traitors were countered by the saints and, although the traitors still do not understand how or why, the saints always win.

Outside Russia

After the anarchy, there began the resistance and then the defeat and so emigration of those known as ‘White Russians’. Once in the emigration (though even before), it could plainly be seen that here too there were saints and traitors. To the left hand side there fell away those who betrayed the Faith and the Tsar. To the right hand side there fell away those who betrayed the Faith and Rus. On the left hand side were the renovationists, who so hated the Russian Church that they left Her, compromising Her Faith, and so hated the Tsar that they actually justified their treason, which had led them into the self-punishment of exile. On the right hand side were the nationalists, who so hated the Russian Church that they made Her into a narrow nationalist flag, forgetting Her multinational mission, and so hated Rus that they allied themselves with its crazed Teutonic enemy, not understanding that the victory of 1945 was the people’s victory, the victory of repentant Rus.

There were also those who understood that the task of the emigration was to keep faith with all three tenets. We knew that as long as all three principles were respected, all would be well and it would be simple to reunite with Russia once it was free again and restoration had begun, with the New Martyrs and Confessors officially venerated there. We understood that the Faith could not be compromised by heresies, dreamy and disincarnate renovationism and personality cults, regardless of the fact that we lived outside Russia. We understood that the memory of the Tsar, the universal Christian Emperor, had to be kept for restoration, in order for a new Christian Emperor to come and oppose the worldwide evil that has been unleashed ever since Tsar Nicholas was deposed. We understood that our mission is to make Rus universal, worldwide, regardless of race and language, and that our mission is among the people and must not be compromised by political Establishments.

Conclusion

In our own times we are seeing a daily miracle: over the last 25 years we have seen in the Russian Lands what we and those before us had been praying for over the previous 75 years, the slow restoration of the Tsar’s Christian Russia. Yes, it has been a slow and tortuous process, with many hesitations, deviations and falls, but the general direction has been right. This process of restoration is of course far from over, indeed, in many respects it has only just begun, but the icons of the New Martyrs, including those of the Royal Martyrs, are everywhere. As the new Cold War NATO occupies the Ukraine and Estonia, attempting to destabilize governments from Macedonia to Moldova and Armenia to Kazakhstan, and prepares to attack all along the Russian borders, its aircraft and submarines, tanks and troops everywhere threatening resurgent Russia, the last bastion of Christianity in the world, we see the desperation of the world’s elite in its bid to impose its New World Order.

Having destabilized all Latin America and much of Africa, striving to undermine China and India and using tides of poor Muslim immigrants to threaten European identities, having destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya and Syria, and attempting to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church and Faith, the satanic New World Order’s proposed Orthodox Council has led only to our clear identification of the unrepentant traitors in our midst – by waiting for them to reveal themselves, we now know who is ready for cleansing. The tiny but immensely powerful elite that stands behind the USA, the EU, NATO, the whole Western world indeed, and pulls the strings of its media, puppets and all the deceived and gullible, knows that if Russia resists it successfully, its aim of global domination and control will be foiled and the coming of the Kingdom of the Great Deceiver, Antichrist, that it knowingly and unknowingly seeks will be postponed, perhaps even for many years to come. May it be so, O Lord.

The Imperial Orthodox Faithful

A generation on after the fall of the atheist government in the Soviet Union, the Russian Church has made extraordinary progress in rebuilding and restoring itself. However, as we have frequently written: as it took three generations to destroy Imperial Russia, so it will take three generations to restore Her and even longer to do better, only thus ensuring that the atheist nightmare can never be repeated. The atheists produced a country where all ideals, ambitions and hopes were destroyed and so male alcoholism and female abortion were both normal. Although the statistics show dramatic improvements in these areas, the country is still paying a very heavy price, as can be seen from the still relatively low life expectancy and demography. As for church-building, what has been done is remarkable, but we cannot be satisfied – at least another 100,000 churches are required and another 100,000 priests – and that is only in the historic Russian Lands, let alone in the many lands of mission for the Church worldwide. We have no illusions, we have very far to go in order to gather in the peoples before the now rapidly approaching end.

As ever, the Church, not of the world, but still in the world, is squeezed between two opposing tendencies, the two sides of the same superficial coin. On the one hand, there are the spiritually superficial and primitive, but intellectually sophisticated, the disincarnate dreamers and ‘heaven-dwellers’, liberals and ecumenists, philosophers in prelest and mantra-repeating name-worshippers, left-wing renovationists and modernists, Parisians and Kochetkovites, who love each other, new suicidal Gapons, essentially rationalistic Protestants, who are clearly not of this world, but neither are they at all, as they deludedly imagine they are, of the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are equally spiritually superficial and primitive, but materially sophisticated, the worldly State-worshippers, pro-Stalinists, anti-Semites (yes 90% of the Bolshevik leaders were atheist Jews, but it was baptised but unChurched Russians and an apostate Georgian seminarist who obeyed their Satanic orders), ritualists (both Old and New Ritualists), fanatics, narrow sectarians, pharisees, superstitious and nominal, golden dome and gilt worshippers, who do not know that making the sign of the cross and sprinkling yourself with holy water before you sin does not bless that sin.

In the middle stands the Church, ever crucified and ever resurrected, not of this world, with the saints and martyrs in heaven and on earth, but committed to sanctifying this world and transfiguring State values into Church values, the balance kept by parish and monastic life together, both vital to any healthy Church, as we saw already in the fourth century and again in the nineteenth century. Carried by women for 90% of the time, the Church has yet to reach out to men and Church them. Too much is about attachment to externals, the reduction of the Faith to rituals, to putting the flesh above the spirit. Such superficiality is always followed by nemesis, the result of refusing Divine Protection and choosing human foolishness. The invasion of Kievan Rus by the barbaric Mongols and of Rus by the even more barbaric Teutonic Knights some 800 years ago, the Polish Invasion just over 400 years ago, Napoleon’s invasion just over 200 years ago, the so-called ‘Revolution’ nearly 100 years ago, Hitler’s invasion 75 years ago and the invasion of the Ukraine two years ago and the US-appointed junta in Kiev, all witness to the results of a merely superficial Orthodoxy.

For the way ahead we need to look to the best of Russian Orthodoxy, spiritual but also incarnate. This has always followed three (three because Trinitarian) tenets. These are: firstly, the Orthodox Faith in her integrity, so without the compromises that have befallen the modernists and ecumenists, who follow the secularist Western world and not the Gospel of Christ; secondly, the Imperial ideal, incarnate before the February 1917 coup d’etat of aristocratic Duma masons and treasonous generals, today only hinted at in prophetic gleams and shafts of light, but eagerly awaited in the coming Tsar; and thirdly, the Orthodox people, of all races and tongues all over the world, inside the Russian Lands and outside the Russian Lands, all spiritually united by and owing spiritual allegiance to Holy Rus’, the Christian Empire. We are the Orthodox Imperial Faithful, we are the Church, sinners but repentant, strict because faithful, but open because we know about human weaknesses. May God forgive us and lead us to victory before the end.

The New World Order and Humanophobia

Mr Cameron’s increasingly irrational and panicky anti-freedom campaign in the UK is speeding on at full strength. President Obama, the US-run IMF, the Pope of Rome, Chancellor Merkel, heads of the other EU client-states, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the former heads of the British spy services (MI5 and MI6), the ever-obsequious, State-run BBC and national media and any number of Establishment figures (including, as we now see, the unprincipled Mr Corbyn) as well as umpteen millionaire businessmen have all been called on to ‘advise’ (= intimidate) UK citizens to vote for continued slavery to the New World Order by remaining in thrall to EU (the New World Order’s political arm in Europe) and therefore to NATO (the New World Order’s military arm in Eurasia) oppression and tyranny.

The New World Order, whose elite such people form, has no care for any of the peoples of Europe or any other freedom-loving peoples, whether in Europe or North Africa or the Middle East, as far as Nigeria, the Yemen and the Himalayas, where the ruinous results of their neo-feudal policies are visible. In Europe the elite is Germanophobic, Hellonophobic, Frankophobic, Anglophobic, Russophobic; any people who counters their Fourth Reich dictatorship must be destroyed, for their project is humanophobic. This fact reveals the ultimate Satanic origin of the whole project, to build a New Babylon, a project that has been under way directly since power was transferred from Europe to the USA in 1916, but indirectly for millennia before that, ever since the misanthropic Fall in Eden.

None suffer as much as those in once Orthodox countries. Ex-Yugoslavia has been destroyed, Serbia dismembered, bandit-states set up in Bosnia and Kosovo, Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria ravaged by EU-imposed poverty and US political and media control. Moldova has now been invaded and occupied by US troops, Georgia is under threat, the Ukraine has been torn apart, sodomization is rampant. As for Russia, still the strongest Orthodox power despite a century of satanization which has made men alcoholics and had women aborted, it has been attacked on all sides and surrounded by missiles. As the ideologue Zbigniew Brzezinski has said: ‘The New World Order will be built against Russia, on the ruins of Russia and at the expense of Russia’.

Why this specific attack on Russia? Because, as some already knew 100 years ago, only if the sovereignty of Russia can be preserved, can the sovereignty of countries in Central and Western Europe be restored. Gallant Hungary, Slovakia, Czechia and Poland can all be preserved – but only if Russia remains. But outside them the sovereignty of over another twenty EU vassal states can also be restored, if Russia remains. Scotland and Catalonia can be liberated after centuries of slavery and other peoples can be freed from their oppressive and alien elites, 950 years old in England. The straitjacket of the New World Order does not want freedom, sovereignty or national identity. If we do want it, then we should all unite around the common Russian defence in a Union of the Peoples of Rus, of the Christian Empire.

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 Anti-Christian Empire and the Resistance Movement

Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

(Matt 10.16)

Introduction: The Case of Britain

After the Norman invasion of 1066 and the ensuing genocide (150,000 dead) and national degeneration into Roman Catholicism, there took place the further degeneration into Protestantism under the tyrants Henry VIII and Elizabeth I (150,000 dead). Then, almost 400 years ago, there took place in these Isles the genocide of Cromwell. Jewish-financed, this left nearly 900,000, mainly Roman Catholic, dead. From then on and until some fifty years ago, the lands of the UK further degenerated into Judeo-Protestantism (so-called ‘Judeo-Christian’, but in fact Judeo-Protestant, culture).

Today, as a result of the centuries of Judeo-Protestant degeneration in its inherent, ever-deepening worship of Mammon in a worldwide commercial empire, the UK has become an anti-Christian country. This cannot even be blamed on the EU, where Mr Cameron has recently been making some window dressing rearrangements – rather like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. The fact is that, regardless of the EU Atheist Union, the UK has plenty of its own atheism to go around and it is doubtful whether leaving the EU alone (presuming that the electorate will be far-sighted enough to do that) can save us.

The Worldwide Empire

The British Establishment elite freely takes part in the once secret, millennial worldwide anti-Christian project, now openly called ‘The New World Order’. This anti-Christian project involves not only the UK and all former Judeo-Protestant countries in the Anglosphere, Scandinavia and elsewhere. Ever since the latest chapter in the apostasy of Roman Catholicism at the Second Vatican Council, it has also involved former Roman Catholic countries. In other words, it is irrelevant whether the previous culture was Judeo-Protestant or Judeo-Catholic, the whole Western elite has come to form an Anti-Christian Empire.

Today headquartered in the USA, its elite, now called neocons, has been trying for generations to control Europe and through it the whole world. It has done this by destroying European nation-states, deforming them into artificial international unifications like the UK, France, Germany, Italy, which inevitably led to Europe-wide wars become World Wars, and then to the EU. So it has built its Anti-Christian Empire on the ruins of the nations. The messianic ideology of this Anti-Christian Empire is today called globalism, which it has been spreading around the world especially over the last two generations.

After the dissolution of its main opponent, the Soviet Empire, a generation ago, the Anti-Christian Empire immediately destroyed the surviving Soviet-style remnant in little Serbia and began to destroy its other opponent –the Islamic world. Here the Anti-Christian Empire has over the last generation caused chaos and ruin, as we can see today from the Himalayas to Nigeria, passing through Syria, so dividing and ruling over most of the Islamic world. In this way, having created artificially chaos and war, it hopes to create a popular demand for One World Government to bring order and peace.

The Resistance of Rus

Having killed millions, made millions of others into refugees and created chaos and destruction in a multitude of Islamic countries, though still not having conquered them, the Anti-Christian Empire now faces unexpected resistance. This resistance comes from what is organically reviving in the place of the old Soviet Empire – the Sacral Christian Empire of Rus. The Secularist Anti-Christian Empire fears this Christian Empire most of all. One of its main ideologues, Zbigniew Brzezinski, has even called its ‘greatest enemy’ the Russian Orthodox Church, which is at the heart of this reviving Christian Empire.

The Anti-Christian Empire greatly fears even the present modest revival of the Christian Empire. So much so that its propaganda outlets (‘media’) actually try to make out that the Church is not in fact reviving there or that it is only a tool of the political leaders of Russia, who, they say, shape it as they wish. Of course, in reality, the exact opposite is the case: it is not these political leaders who shape the Church, it is the Church that shapes them, through its age-old culture. Like the pagan Romans of old, the Anti-Christian Empire is happy for there to be any false religions, and therefore not Christianity.

This is because Christianity alone can shape political leaders who can challenge the Anti-Christian Empire. For only Christianity is Incarnational, that is, not some mere private practice, but a teaching that transfigures social, political and economic life also. The Anti-Christian Empire’s fear the revival of this Christian Empire, both inside and outside the ancient bounds of ‘Rus’, for Secularists fear nothing more than the Sacral. It also fears that it may find allies, in the traditional Muslim world, for example in Iran, or in China and India, and also among Roman Catholics who are still free of the Judeo-Catholic degeneration of recent times.

Allies of Rus and Temptations

Here the Christian Empire finds allies in Latin America, Africa and the Philippines. In Eastern Europe it finds allies among traditional Roman Catholics in the Vyshegrad group of Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland. In Western Europe it finds allies among sovereignist, national resistance movements of both left and right. Promoting either the social justice of the left or the traditional values of the right, these national movements are active in France, Germany, the UK, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Austria, Greece and elsewhere. They all oppose the dictatorship of the Anti-Christian Empire.

Having destroyed the Soviet Empire and then weakened the Islamic world, in the early 2000s the Anti-Christian Empire saw itself on the verge of triumph, a triumph that was suddenly snatched from it, to its fury. For ever since the failed invasion of Russia from Georgia in 2008, the reviving Christian Empire has begun to resist, frustrating the Anti-Christians. For as long as there is a Christian Empire, even embryonic, the anti-Christians cannot enthrone their Emperor in Jerusalem. The Christian Empire is the last barrier to their triumph.

This is why they are intent on slandering it and destroying it, for its Sacral Tradition is death to it. Hence the attack on the Ukraine, toppling its legitimate government for a genocidal junta and creating chaos. Slandering and even destruction can come in two other ways also. The first is by infiltrating the renascent Christian Empire with modernism, which is what individuals have been trying to do in recent years and especially now with the divisive draft documents for the Crete meeting of selected Orthodox bishops next June. The second way is protesting against those unacceptable documents in a divisive and even schismatic way, exactly as Metr Onufry of Kiev and others predicted.

Conclusion: On Not Falling into the Trap of the Anti-Christian Empire

Such protests have already begun with several perhaps hot-headed priests in Moldova no longer commemorating their bishops. Other individuals are following. We suggest that this is an error. Two wrongs do not make a right. However understandable, the far better method of protest is, as we have suggested, for monasteries and parishes simply to petition their diocesan bishops stating that we do not accept the draft documents and that if they are accepted in Crete, we will tear them up, refusing to receive them. In any case, we should also know that several bishops in Greece and Cyprus, as well as the whole Georgian Church have already refused to accept these draft documents.

It is our belief that to fall into the temptation of non-commemoration is a simplistic error of schismatic proportions. This is the error of those who cannot see the wood for the trees, who lose the big picture because they are so intent on the details. The Anti-Christian Empire wants us of the renascent Christian Empire to be divided in reaction to the modernist expressions that it has infiltrated into the draft documents: non-commemorators have thus actually fallen into the trap set by the Anti-Christian Empire. Our opposition must take an organic form which respects the episcopal institution. Our canonical fightback against modernist infiltration has only just begun.

Русская Православная Церковь: вчера и завтра

http://ruskline.ru/news_rl/2015/12/02/russkaya_pravoslavnaya_cerkov_vchera_i_zavtra/

«Император и императрица думали,
что они умирают за Отчизну.
Они умерли за все человечество».

(швейцарец Пьер Жильяр, учитель царских детей)

Предисловие

Десять лет назад, в 2005 году, в Русской Православной Церкви Заграницей начались споры о наших взаимоотношениях с Московским Патриархатом. Обсуждался вопрос: стала ли Русская Церковь в России наконец-то свободной, и можем ли мы вступить в каноническое общение, чтобы вместе трудиться и строить будущее? Споры настолько разгорелись, что даже был созван IVвсезарубежный собор РПЦЗ в Сан-Франциско, чтобы разрешить поставленные вопросы. Нам тогда предстояло опровергнуть ложные аргументы, выдвинутые ради сектантской самоизоляции и продиктованные политикой и психологией, а не чистым богословием. Ниже приведем примеры.

Вчера

Человеческая слабость митрополита (а позднее патриарха) Сергия (Страгородского; 1867-1944) и его последователей, выраженная компромиссами с правительством атеиста-гонителя Сталина и известная как «сергианство», возведена некоторыми людьми в «богословскую ересь». На самом деле, это была разновидность эрастианизма – ложной идеи о верховенстве государства над Церковью, чему мы видели много примеров в Ветхом Завете и в 1900-летней истории Христианской Церкви. Фактически здесь не было ничего богословского, но лишь человеческая слабость иерарха, находившегося под огромным давлением воинственного безбожного государства. Никто не может осуждать патриарха Сергия за его слабость, ибо только Бог судья нам всем, и здесь не должно быть места фарисейству.

Хотя эти компромиссы не имели в себе ничего догматического или богословского, но нашлись те, кто, под влиянием североамериканского политического пуританства решили, что таинства в Русской Церкви в России мистическим образом «потеряли силу» из-за компромиссов с властью на протяжении трех поколений. Как священник РПЦЗ я впервые столкнулся с этим ошеломляющим политическим мнением, выдаваемым за богословское, в 1992 году. Конечно, сергианство не является ересью, в то время как пуританство с его врожденной нечистотой новатиан, донатистов и евстафиан (как видно из канонов Гангрского собора 340 года) – очевидная ересь.

В 2006 году в Сан-Франциско также осуждался экуменизм – то есть политическая и экономическая поддержка, которую просили некоторые представители Русской Церкви в России у католиков и протестантов. Однако это очень странная идея, будто мнения и действия нескольких людей должны восприниматься как свидетельство о том, что вся Русская Церковь Московского Патриархата (а это примерно 160 миллионов человек) запятнала себя ересью экуменизма! На самом деле, абсолютное большинство членов Русской Церкви в России никогда и не слышали об экуменизме, а те немногие, кто слышали, отвергали его. К тому же, к 2005 году экуменизм уже означал не то, чем он был в период своего зенита – в 1960-е и 1980е годы. Вместо компромиссов под политическим давлением – фактически ереси – он превратился к тому времени в поддержание добрососедских отношений с инославными христианами, чем РПЦЗ всегда и занимается, принимая во внимание многочисленные смешанные браки наших прихожан и необходимость во многих случаях совершать богослужения в помещениях неправославных храмов.

Самым странным предложением, которое мы тогда услышали, было не связывать себя никак с Русской Церковью в России из-за компромиссов отдельных представителей Церкви. Это была вопиющая ошибка, потому что, следуя такой логике, мы не должны были вступать в общение с Церковью новомучеников и исповедников российских! Да, мы, будучи свободными, канонизировали новомучеников в 1981 году – за 19 лет до того момента, когда это смог сделать Московский Патриархат. Но многие из верующих РПЦЗ, включая и меня, удивлялись, почему мы, имея свободу, не прославили новомучеников и исповедников гораздо раньше, начиная с 1920-х годов? Нам тоже было стыдно за себя.

Эта задержка в РПЦЗ произошла из-за того, что некоторые элементы нашей Церкви были заражены политикой. Хорошо помню, как ряд прихожан кафедрального собора Зарубежной Церкви в Лондоне и других местах возражали против этой канонизации в 1981 году. В любом случае, это был только первый шаг, самое начало. Как я уже писал в свое время: начатое в Нью-Йорке должно завершиться в Москве. Кроме того, ввиду недостатка достоверной информации мы канонизировали только около 8000 новомучеников, в то время как Русская Церковь с ее хорошим доступом к архивам уже прославила более 30 000 новомучеников, и этот процесс продолжается.

Некоторые на Соборе в Сан-Франциско заявили, что мы не должны иметь ничего общего с Церковью, чьи епископы работали на КГБ. Я бы согласился с этим утверждением, если бы и правда нашлись такие епископы, каким был (как нам верится), например, отлученный от Церкви еретик Филарет Денисенко – ныне любимчик ЦРУ. Но в реальности таких архиереев не было. Старшие архиереи в Церкви в России просто имели кодовые имена КГБ, так же как и наши светские гражданские власти, за которых мы молились на богослужениях. Точно так же имели право сказать и в Московском Патриархате: «Мы не должны иметь дело с Церковью, молящейся за лиц, которым присвоены кодовые имена КГБ». Это был бы такой же ложный аргумент.

Некоторые в РПЦЗ признали, что у нас были члены Церкви, ранее работавшие на ЦРУ и другие Западные шпионские службы. Но они оправдали это тем, что в церквях России тоже были члены КГБ. Это снова ложная информация: единственными членами КГБ, заходившими в российские храмы, были шпионы. Они записывали имена священников и молодых людей, которым собирались создать большие проблемы.
Сектантски настроенные представители РПЦЗ говорили, что мы не можем вступить в каноническое общение с РПЦ, потому что придется находиться в общении с остальной частью Православной Церкви!

Впервые я услышал такой невероятный аргумент году в 1999, когда один священник Зарубежной Церкви из Лондона сослужил со священником из Константинопольского патриархата. Против этого сослужения высказывался один священник-изоляционист, обученный в Северной Америке. В Западноевропейской Епархии РПЦЗ, где я был рукоположен и служил до 1997 года, такие совместные богослужения были нормой и совершались регулярно. Как священник РПЦЗ я был поражен таким сектантским духом, который мне до этого почти никогда не встречался. Логика этого аргумента была такова, что мы в РПЦЗ больше не находимся в общении со Святой Горой Афон, которая относится к юрисдикции Константинопольского Патриархата. Абсолютно немыслимое утверждение! (Эти изоляционисты позднее сами покинули РПЦЗ).

Более серьезно и практично настроенные делегаты РПЦЗ указали на то, что среди представителей Московского Патриархата за пределами России все еще оставались обновленцы и священнослужители с дурной репутацией, в том числе и на высшем уровне, хотя некоторые из них к тому времени уже умерли. Это была проблема. Хотя эти модернисты называли нас клеветниками за то, что мы говорили правду и «порочили» их идолов (так делают обновленцы до сих пор), проблема была почти преодолена в 2006 году, когда большая часть этих клириков в Англии и Франции ушла из Русской Церкви Московского Патриархата в созданный ими же самими раскол; с тех пор два или три таких представителя были сняты, и теперь они не смогут устроить скандал.

Наконец, ряд делегатов сказали, что мы не можем сотрудничать с российской Церковью потому, что ситуация в России сегодня отличается от ситуации до революции. Советские практики перешли в российское общество, алкоголизм, аборты, коррупция и разводы стали обычным делом, мумия русофоба-убийцы Ленина все еще лежит на Красной площади, а площади и улицы городов изобилуют его статуями или носят его имя и имена его последователей. Они требовали, чтобы постсоветское российское государство (ответственное за эти дела) вело себя так, словно оно часть Русской Церкви! На этот аргумент мы возразили, что дореволюционная Россия тоже не была идеальной (тогда бы и не было революции). Мы попросили их быть снисходительными к людям, которые целых три поколения были лишены свободной Церкви, попросили терпения и сказали, что со временем Церковь будет иметь влияние на государство, потому что покаяние (в котором нуждаемся все мы) меняет людей.

Победа

Приведенные выше аргументы были отвергнуты более чем 95% членов РПЦЗ как принадлежащие крошечному, сектантскому, изолированному и политизированному меньшинству, пытавшемуся захватить РПЦЗ, сдерживавшему нас и мешавшему в осуществлении нашего универсального призвания вместе с остальной частью Русской Православной Церкви. Как мы знаем, в 2007 году абсолютное большинство иерархов, духовенства и народа нашей маленькой Русской Церкви Заграницей были счастливы наконец-то вступить в каноническое общение с огромным большинством остальной части Церкви, духовной частью которой мы всегда оставались. Наше разделение, произошедшее чисто по политическим причинам, не связанным с Церковью, было преодолено. Мы были уверены, что Церковь в России стала свободной, о чем свидетельствовал Юбилейный Архиерейский Собор 2000 года. Наконец-то полное единство – внутреннее и внешнее – стало возможным и, преодолев все преграды, мы смогли пойти вместе к нашей общей судьбе и важной миссии.

Завтра

Сегодня, спустя поколение после падения государственного атеизма, мы видим в Российской Федерации интереснейшие перемены, обещающие будущее. После ужасного периода капитализма по «закону джунглей» 1990-х годов с властью «семибанкирщины», бандитскими приватизациями «дикого Востока» и появлением прозападных преступников-олигархов и либералов, Россия увидела истинную суть этой альтернативы коммунизму, предложенной Западным миром с его культом потребления.

Мы сами, живя в Западном мире, в свое время тоже не дали себя обмануть. Во многом «благодаря» хаосу и страданиям, посеянным западными силами в Ираке, Афганистане, Ливии, Сирии и на Украине, российское общество увидело истинное лицо евросодома. Если порошенковская хунта, поставленная ЦРУ в Киеве – матери русских городов, хочет самоубийства в виде «европейских ценностей», то пусть их имеет. Мы же останемся верными ценностям святых равноапостольных Владимира и Ольги из святого Киева. Веруя во Христа, своейсмертию поправшего смерть, мы выбираем жизнь. Веря сатане, поправшего смертью жизнь, они выбирают смерть. Вот в чем разница между нами.

После нападения Запада на Святую Русь, российское общество сегодня в большинстве своем осознало, что Запад – неверный выбор. Россия должна следовать по своему, историческому, Богом предначертанному пути – как проповедовали наши святые и подвижники РПЦЗ. Россия должна исцелиться и восстановить Святую Русь. Мы, живущие вне России, можем только молиться и поддерживать, ибо наша основная задача – распространять Православие за пределами русских земель и быть верными Святой Руси. Мы всего лишь смиренные ученики, следующие заветам Святой Руси.

Сегодня говорят, что нынешнее российское общество напоминает Россию 1917 года. Но, в отличие от 1917 года, современная Россия движется не к 1918, а к 1916 году. Другими словами, хотя ситуация щекотливая, но Россия идет не к катастрофе, как это было в 1917 году, а в обратном направлении. Если, даст Бог, мы продолжим двигаться в этом избранном Богом направлении, то Церковь России однажды приведет нас к исполнению нашей судьбы. В чем же оно состоит?

Из-за полного провала Западных идей, Россия, увидев свое возможное будущее, поняла, что это не ее путь. Сегодня она изо всех сил пытается выбраться из ямы, в то время как Западный мир во главе с США стремительно падает в нее головой вниз. Сейчас некоторые трезвые Западные политики и мыслители посещают Россию и следят за событиями в ней, чтобы правильно ориентироваться. К таковым относятся Герхард Шрёдер, Николя Саркози, Филипп де Вилье, Патрик Бьюкенен, Рон Пол, Пол Крейк Робертс, Франклин Грэм и другие.

Теперь мистическая и историческая роль России – быть посредником между Востоком и Западом, между Китаем и западной Европой. Духовная судьба Китая – войти в подлинно православный христианский мир, став восточными провинциями Святой Руси; ровно как судьба западной Европы – это вернуться к своим православным корням с помощью своих древних святых, стать западными провинциями Святой Руси. Чрезмерная национальная гордость европейцев пока мешает осуществлению этого, потому что там, где нет смирения и кротости, нет и спасения. На самом деле, одна из задач России – не спасение Европы от США, как думают некоторые, а спасение Европы от самой себя. Как Россия, а не Запад, виновата в том, что выбрала Западную идеологию, которая привела к революции в феврале 1917 года, так и европейцы не должны винить никого другого в бедах, которые мы себе выбрали.

Ключ ко всеобщему спасению в эти последние времена лежит в восстановлении Святой Руси и ее распространении на весь мир. Следуя Пресвятой Троице, мы призваны быть не только хранителями и собирателями Святой Руси (следуя Отцу и Сыну), но и распространителями идеалов Святой Руси (следуя Святому Духу). Те, кто живут на Востоке и на Западе и желают трудиться вместе с Русской Православной Церковью, следовать ее традициям и строить новые Поместные Православные Церкви, всегда будут радостно приняты. Но если кто-то не желает этого делать и отворачивается от пророческой и мистической Церковной традиции ради усталого, старого, секулярного и гуманистическогонеомодернизма, то Бог с ним.

В 1917 году последний христианский император не отрекся от власти. Это Россия и остальной мир отреклись от христианского императора и христианской империи и, в конечном счете, от Христа. С того момента земля не знала мира, требовалось воздаяние за грехи всех: каждый получил свое наказание, чтобы научиться смирению. В России народ столкнулся с гонениями и фашистским вторжением; за пределами России, в эмиграции, люди получили изгнание и изоляцию; европейские страны были наказаны войной, а также унижением в виде потери былой силы и величия; остальная же часть мира постоянно мучилась от войн и раздоров. Все это продолжается с тех пор, как в 1917 году был взят от среды «удерживающий теперь» (2 Фесс. 2:7). Все страдания мира после 1917 года являются возможностью научиться смирению.

Наше призвание заключается в том, чтобы проповедовать Святую Русь, послание последнего христианского императора по всему миру ради покаяния перед концом. Приходит время, когда мир наконец будет готов услышать о Святой Руси, об универсальности воплотившегося Христа, о подлинном Христианстве, а не о двух обманчивых «измах» (подготовленных Западным язычеством, языческим Римом и северным варварством): римо-католицизме и протестантизме.

Заключение

Мой прадедушка родился в том же году, что и Николай II, последний христианский царь, убитый в Екатеринбурге в 1918 году. Спустя сто лет после рождения императора и 50 лет после его мученической смерти, я, рожденный в годовщину уничтожения останков Царской Семьи, получил откровение с востока, что должен познать сам, а затем идти и говорить о Святой Руси, о воплотившемся Христе всем, кого встречу на своем пути. Это не только мое личное призвание, но и многих других людей, как прекрасно описано в стихотворении «Апостолы», написанном в изгнании в 1928 году царским поэтом Сергеем Бехтеевым:

Мы во мглу раболепного мира
Светоч духа победно несем
И в чертог православного пира
Божьих избранных громко зовем.

Мы идеи по дороге терновой,
Мы парим над мирской суетой,
Мы – апостолы веры Христовой,
Провозвестники правды святой.

Мы зовем племена и народы,
Обагренные в братской крови,
В царство истинной, вечной свободы,
В царство света, добра и любви.

Надежды и молитвы на будущее устремляются в Екатеринбург, к восстановлению монархии и коронации нового царя.

Протоиерей Андрей Филлипс,
Колчестер, Англия.

The Russian Orthodox Church: Yesterday and Tomorrow

The Emperor and the Empress thought that they were dying for their homeland. But in fact they died for all mankind.

Pierre Gilliard, Swiss tutor to the Tsar’s children.

Foreword

Ten years ago, in 2005, debate raged in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) about our relations with the Church inside Russia. Was it at last free and so could we enter into canonical communion and work together, building the future? Such was the debate that a Pan-Diaspora Church Council was called in San Francisco in 2006 in order to answer the questions posed. At that time we had to counter some very false arguments which were advanced in favour of sectarian self-isolation, arguments that were shaped by the impurity of politics and psychology, and not by the purity of theology. Below are examples.

Yesterday

The human weakness of Metropolitan (later Patriarch) Sergius (+ 1944) and his followers, as revealed in compromises with the atheist persecutor Stalin, known as ‘sergianism’, was erected by some into a ‘theological’ heresy. In fact, it was just another form of erastianism, of placing the State above the Church, of which there had already been so many examples in other forms in the Old Testament and in 1900 years of Church history. There was nothing theological in this, for it was only human weakness on the part of one who had found himself under huge pressure from a militant atheist State. No-one is to judge him for his weakness, there is no place for phariseeism here, for God is the Judge of all.

Though there was nothing of a dogmatic or theological nature in such compromises, certain individuals, partly under the influence of North American political puritanism, even concluded that the present-day sacraments of the Church inside Russia had somehow mysteriously ‘lost grace’ on account of this compromise of three generations before. As a ROCOR priest, I first came across this astonishing piece of politics masquerading as theology in 1992 from someone who was under the influence of this North American error. In fact, of course, sergianism is not a heresy, whereas puritanism, with its inherent impurity of Novatianism, Donatism and Eustathianism, as seen in the light of the canons of the Council of Gangra of 340, most certainly is.

The political and diplomatic support which a few in the Church inside Russia sought from Roman Catholics and Protestants, and called ecumenism, was also condemned. However, it was a very curious idea that the opinions or actions of a handful of individuals could be held up as a sign that the whole of the Church inside Russia, 160,000,000 people, was therefore somehow tainted by the heresy of ecumenism! In reality, most of the faithful inside Russia had never heard of ecumenism and those who had were utterly opposed to it. This was all the stranger, in that by 2005 ecumenism had in any case come to mean something very different from in its political heyday between the 60s and 80s. Instead of concerning itself with politically-enforced syncretistic compromise, in fact heresy, it had turned to having good-neighbourly relations with heterodox, something that ROCOR, with the many mixed marriages among parishioners and regular need to use heterodox premises for services, had always cultivated.

The strangest argument heard at that time was that we could not associate ourselves with the Church inside Russia in any way because of the compromises of a few individuals in it. This was an appalling error, for it would have meant that we could not associate ourselves with the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors. True, we, in freedom, had canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors first, in 1981, 19 years before the Church inside Russia had been able to do so by freeing itself. However, many, including myself, had wondered why we in the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), living in freedom, had so scandalously not canonized the New Martyrs and Confessors long before, from the 1920s on. We felt shame for ourselves.

The sad reason for the delay had been because elements in ROCOR were themselves contaminated with politics. Indeed, I well remember how in 1981 certain parishioners at the ROCOR Cathedral in London, as also elsewhere, had actually been opposed to the canonization. And in any case, the ROCOR canonization had only ever been a first step, a beginning. As I wrote at the time: What has begun in New York must come to completion in Moscow. Moreover, for lack of trustworthy information we had canonized only some 8,000; the Church inside Russia, with greater access to archives, has canonized well over 30,000 and that number is increasing.

Others said that we in ROCOR could have nothing to do with a Church whose bishops belonged to the KGB. I would have agreed with this – if any had belonged to the KGB, such as, we suspect, the defrocked schismatic Filaret Denisenko, now the darling of the CIA. In fact, they did not. The senior bishops inside Russia merely had KGB code names – in the same way as Western secular leaders, whom we prayed for in our services as civil leaders, had KGB code-names. The Church inside Russia could just as well have said: ‘We will have nothing to do with ROCOR because you pray for individuals who have KGB code-names’. It would have been just as false an argument.

Some in ROCOR admitted that there were members of our Church, in good standing, who worked or had worked for the CIA and other Western spy services. They countered this by saying that there were members of the KGB in churches inside Russia. This was totally false: the only KGB members who attended churches there were those who went there to spy, to note down names of priests or young people and create problems for them.

Sectarian elements in ROCOR objected that if we entered into canonical communion with the Church inside Russia, we would then be in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church! I first heard this incredible argument, I think, in about 1999, when a ROCOR priest from London concelebrated with a priest of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This had raised an objection from a sectarian priest trained in North America. In the Western European Diocese of ROCOR, where I had been ordained and celebrated until 1997, such concelebrations were perfectly normal and happened regularly. As a ROCOR priest, I was amazed at this sectarian spirit, which I had hardly met before. The logic of this argument would be that we in ROCOR were no longer in communion with Mt Athos, which is in the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Absolutely unthinkable! (Naturally, such sectarians later left ROCOR).

On a much more serious and practical level, there were those who pointed out that among representatives of the Church inside Russia in the Diaspora there were still corrupt and renovationist clergy at even the highest level, even though several had by then died out. This was a problem. Although these renovationists called us slanderers for telling the Truth and so shaming their false idols (as renovationists elsewhere still do), the problem was largely overcome in 2006, when most such clergy in England and France left the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia in a schism which they created; since then, two or three other such individuals have simply been removed, so they can no longer cause scandal and can at last learn the basics of the Faith.

Finally, there were those who said that we could not work together with the Church inside Russia because the situation in Russia was not as it had been before the Revolution. Soviet practices had infiltrated Russian society, alcoholism, abortion, corruption and divorce were rife, the mummy of the Russophobic murderer Lenin still lay on Red Square, and the squares and streets of Russia were littered with his statues or named after his henchmen. They demandingly demanded in fact that the post-Soviet Russian State (in charge of such matters) behave as though it were part of the Russian Church! In the face of this argument we pointed out that pre-Revolutionary Russia had not been ideal either (otherwise there would never have been a Revolution), we asked for compassion for a people deprived for three generations of a free Church, asked for patience and said that with time the Church will influence the State, since repentance, which we too are in need of, changes people.

Victory

The above arguments were rejected, with repentance for ever having entertained them, by well over 95% of ROCOR, dismissed as the arguments of schismatic impurity, of a tiny, sectarian, inward-looking and politicized minority, which had been trying to take over ROCOR, holding us back and impeding us from fulfilling our universal calling together with the rest of the Russian Orthodox Church, the great majority. As we know, in 2007 the vast majority of the hierarchy, clergy and people of our little ROCOR were happy to enter at last into canonical communion with the vast majority of the rest of the Church, of which we had always spiritually been a part. The separation, caused purely by political events exterior to the Church, was over. We were sure that the Church inside Russia had freed itself, as had already been made evident by the Jubilee Council of 2000. At long last, our inward unity could become outwardly apparent and, impediments removed, we could progress together towards our common destiny and ever more urgent mission.

Tomorrow

A generation after the fall of State atheism in the Russian Federation, we see in Russia today most interesting developments, promising for the future. After the awful period of ‘law of the jungle’ capitalism in the 1990s, with its rule of seven bankers, ‘Wild East’ bandit privatizations and the appearance of pro-Western criminal oligarchs and liberals, Russia has largely seen through that alternative to Communism that was offered it by the consumerist Western world, which we too, living in the Western world itself, had already seen through.

Thanks largely to the chaos and misery that the Western Powers have been causing in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Libya, Syria and above all in the Ukraine, Russian society has seen through Eurosodom and Gomorrhica. If the CIA-installed Poroshenko junta, set up in Kiev, the Mother of Russian cities, wants the suicide of ‘European values’, it can have them. We will remain faithful to the values of St Vladimir and St Olga of Holy Kiev. Believing in Christ, Who trampled down death by death, we choose life. Believing in satan who tramples down life by death, they choose death. That is the difference between us.

Providentially, through the Western attacks on Holy Rus, Russian society has for the most part now come to understand that the West is not the solution. Russia must follow its own, historic, God-given way, the way that our saints and other lucid elements in ROCOR have always preached. As for Russia, it must heal itself and restore Holy Rus. Outside Russia, we can only pray and encourage, learning as we go, for our main task is to spread Orthodoxy outside the Russian Lands in faithfulness to Holy Rus. We are only humble disciples who follow the precepts of Holy Rus.

Interestingly, voices have been saying that Russian society today resembles 1917 Russia. However, unlike in 1917 the direction of today’s Russia is not 1918, but 1916. In other words, although the situation is delicate, Russia is not heading towards catastrophe as it was in 1917, but is heading back from it. Here is the difference. If, God willing, we continue on this God-given path, the Church of Russia will lead us to our destiny. What is this?

On account of the utter failure of imposed Western ideas there, we can say that Russia has seen the future and knows from bitter experience that it does not work. Today it is struggling its way back up from the pit, at the same time as the Western world, led by the United States, is hurtling headlong into it. Today, some of the more aware Western politicians and thinkers are going to Russia or following events in Russia in order to learn. Gerhard Schroeder, Nicolas Sarkozy, Phillippe de Villiers, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, Paul Craig Roberts, Franklin Graham and others all follow events in Russia closely or visit.

Russia’s mystical and historic role now is to act as an intermediary between East and West, between China and Western Europe. For the spiritual destiny of China is to enter the authentic Orthodox Christian world, becoming the Eastern provinces of Holy Rus, just as the spiritual destiny of Western Europe, with its roots in Orthodox Christianity, is to return to it, with the help of its ancient saints, by becoming the Western provinces of Holy Rus. True, the towering national pride of Europeans largely prevents this, for where there is no humility, there is no salvation. Indeed, Russia’s task is now not to save Europe from the USA, as some have put it, but to save Europe from itself. Just as Russia, and not the West, was to blame for choosing the Western ideology that created the Russian Revolution in February 1917, we do not blame others for the present misfortune that Europeans have chosen for themselves.

The key to universal salvation in these last times is atonement, in the restoration of Holy Rus and in Holy Rus becoming universal. Following the Holy Trinity, we are called on not only to be Guardians and Gatherers of Holy Rus, following the Father and the Son, but also Spreaders of Holy Rus, following the Holy Spirit. Those, in East and West, who want to work with the Russian Orthodox Church and so, by following the Tradition, build up new Local Churches are welcome to do so. If some do not wish to do so and set themselves against the prophetic and mystical Church Tradition in tired, old, secularist and humanist neo-renovationism, then God be with them. We shall do God’s Will without them. We force no-one to follow the Church; the Church sails ahead without those who reject Her.

In 1917 the last Christian Emperor, the Tsar, did not abdicate. In 1917 Russia and the whole world abdicated from him, from the Christian Emperor and Christian Empire, and so from Christ. Since then there has been no peace on earth so that we have all had to atone, each receiving our penance in order to learn humility. Inside Russia the people faced the penances of persecution and Nazi invasion, outside Russia those in the emigration faced the penances of exile and isolation. As for Europe, like today’s USA also, it has faced the penance of war and humiliating loss of power and greatness. As for the rest of the world, it has faced constant strife and war, ever since ‘he who restrains’ (2 Thess 2, 7) was in 1917 removed. All the suffering of the world since 1917 has been the opportunity of all to learn humility.

Our destiny, mystical and prophetical, is to preach Holy Rus, the message of the last Christian Emperor, to the whole world for repentance before the end. The time is coming when the world will at last be ready to hear of Holy Rus, of the universality of the Incarnate Christ, authentic Christianity, and not the two diluted isms shaped by Western heathenism, pagan Romanism and northern barbarianism, that is, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

Afterword

My great-grandfather was born in the same year as Nicholas II, the last Christian Emperor who was martyred in Ekaterinburg in 1918. One hundred years after the Emperor’s birth and fifty years after his martyrdom, I, born on the anniversary of the day when the remains of the Imperial family were finally destroyed, received the message from the east that I was to learn and then go and speak of Holy Rus, Christ Incarnate, to those whom I met. This is not only my personal destiny, but also that of many others, as described so well in the poem ‘The Apostles’, written in exile in 1928 by the bard of the Tsar, Sergey Bekhteev:

Amid the darkness of the slavish world
We bear the spirit’s torch in victory
And we call loud to those chosen by God
To enter the hall where the Orthodox feast.

We walk along a road of thorns,
We soar above worldly vanity,
We are the apostles of Christ’s Faith,
We are the heralds of holy truth.

We call the races and the peoples,
Made scarlet with their brothers’ blood,
To the kingdom of true, eternal freedom,
To the kingdom of goodness, light and love.

The hopes and prayers for the future turn to Ekaterinburg, to restoration and coronation.

Towards Palmyra

From Recent Correspondence – August 2015

On Current Events

Q: At present there is great concern about financial events in China. What do they mean?

A: I cannot say, I am not an economist, but it seems to me that there are two things to be said which are no doubt apparent to many. First of all, it is significant that because of stock exchange turmoil in China, the Western world is panicking. This marks a turning point, for it shows that the Chinese economy is now the most important in the world. This was unthinkable even five years ago, let alone twenty-five years ago. Secondly, and as a result of this, I think there is behind this crisis some artificial manipulation to stop China becoming even more important and to protect the US dollar as a reserve currency and so as a global control mechanism. For the powers that be, China must not be allowed to become independent of their global control. This speculation is artificial. I cannot help wondering if the recent massive and deadly explosion in the Chinese city of Tianjin is also connected. Could that have been sabotage? I don’t know.

Q: What is happening in the Ukraine now?

A: It is very difficult to know what is happening there. There are many rumours. I would not pretend to understand, since reports are so mixed and chaotic. I would much rather quote what a well-informed person has said about the reason for the crisis and civil war in the Ukraine – and also in China. Thus, in an interview with ‘The Saker’, Paul Craig Roberts has explained this and also the general hatred towards Russia among the governing elite in Washington:

‘While the US was focused on its Mid-East wars, Putin restored Russia and blocked Washington’s planned invasion of Syria and bombing of Iran. The “first objective” of the neocon doctrine was breached. Russia had to be brought into line. That is the origin of Washington’s attack on Russia. The dependent and captive US and European media simply repeats “the Russian Threat” to the public, which is insouciant and otherwise uninformed.

The offense of Russian culture is also there – Christian morals, respect for law and humanity, diplomacy in place of coercion, traditional social mores – but these are in the background. Russia is hated because Russia (and China) is a check on Washington’s unilateral uni-power’.

I think that it is clear from the Ukraine, not to mention the Middle East, that although Washington is not insane in its single-minded and ruthless logically thirst for world power, it is morally insane. We already saw the beginnings of this moral insanity after World War II, first in the Korean War and then in the Vietnam War, but since the fall of the Soviet Union it has become blatant. Who can forget the first Gulf War, an artificial provocation, in which thousands of US troops were affected by ‘Gulf War syndrome’, poisoned by their own side.

On White Russia

Q: Does the White Russian Movement today have any meaning almost one hundred years after it began?

A: The words ‘The White Russian Movement’ are meaningless! It is rather like the phrase ‘The Catholic Church’. You can find Catholics of all sorts, many very far from Orthodoxy and some very close to Orthodoxy and a great many inbetween.

So, in the same way, firstly, you must define ‘The White Movement’. The White Movement was very varied. Sadly, only about 10% of those who fled for their lives from the Soviet Union continued to live in the Church and supported the Tsar. The majority were not interested in Church life and indeed had not been when still in Russia. They were simply anti-Bolshevik for political reasons. That is not the same as Orthodox. This was clearly pointed out by St John of Shanghai in his report to the Second All-Diaspora Council of 1938. Such ‘White Russians’ were soon assimilated into Western society, as they had no interest in Russian Orthodoxy, the source of their identity. An English example of this is the notorious secularist and former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, whose grandmother was ‘White Russian’, but there are many others.

Yet other so-called ‘White Russians’ went into schism, leaving the Russian Church altogether and joining the Patriarchate of Constantinople. These modernist aristocrats and intellectuals of the Paris schism supported renovationism, both the primitive, pseudo-Protestant sort and the sophisticated, pseudo-spiritual sort, which was inspired by perennialists like Rene Guenon, Frithjof Schuon with their Hindu and Muslim concepts. The first group was and is purely secularist, but the second group was and is equally secularist – through its spiritual impurity which flattered and flatters the immense, narcissistic vanity of such intellectuals.

Therefore, if we wish to speak of the true White Movement today, then we can only mean today’s Church Outside Russia, ROCOR. However, since the Church inside Russia has been free, those who are Churched there share identical views with us. So true ‘White Russians’ are all who follow the Church and support ‘the White Tsar’, regardless of whether we live inside Russia or outside.

Q: What do you mean by ‘those who are Churched there’?

A: The Church inside Russia is huge and you can meet all sorts of individual viewpoints, shared by those who are at various stages of being Churched, who have not yet moved on to ‘Churchliness’ (tserkovnost), the understanding of the Church and Church life, who belong to the mainstream. For example, inside Russia there are small numbers known as ‘kochetkovtsy’, who are modernistic and ecumenistic, but at the other extreme, there are those who are called ‘Orthodox Stalinists’ i.e. nationalists who imagine Stalin to have been a supporter of the Church! There are extremes of all sorts on the fringes of Church life. Then there are those who are corrupt, who exploit the Church to enrich themselves, a few clergy among them. Clearly, such small, unChurched groups do not belong to the mainstream of the Church. ROCOR has nothing to do with them, but with the mainstream inside Russia.

The Crisis in Europe

Q: What is to be made of the present migration crisis in Europe, as hundreds of thousands of refugees come here from the Middle East and North Africa?

A: How interesting that since the word ‘immigration’ has brought the Establishment into disrepute, they have changed the word to ‘migration’! It is the same in France. The elite has changed the vocabulary in the hope that the people are stupid enough not to understand what is happening. Newspeak!

I would say this of the tragedy, in which hundreds are dying, usually by drowning, every week.

Each of our actions has an inevitable consequence, there is always a price to pay. For example, why was the First World War fought over Belgium? Because Belgium had to pay for the genocide that it had allowed its King to carry out in the Belgian Congo, where he slaughtered between five and ten million people and maimed millions of others, according to even conservative estimates. And why did Hitler carry out his genocide of 50 million precisely in Europe? Because Europe had to pay for the racist genocides it had carried out in its colonies in the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Africa. What Hitler did to the Slavs, Jews and others in Europe, was no more than what Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Spain and Portugal had already done outside Europe. As one cynical comment has it, if the Jews had been black, the USA would have been on Hitler’s side. The First and Second ‘World’ (= European) Wars simply brought Europe’s crimes back to Europe.

Today, irony of ironies, European secularization, the anti-Christian spirit responsible for Europe’s exploitation of its colonial empires, is leading directly to mass immigration, that is, European Islamization. Europe is to become ‘Eurabia’. Today Europe has to pay the price for inventing the crazy borders of countries like Libya, Syria and Iraq. It has to pay the price for invading, or supporting the invasion of, and creating the present chaos in Yugoslavia (from where the immigrants are entering the EU), Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, and standing by and doing nothing during the massacres of Christians in those countries as well as in Syria, Nigeria, Eritrea and Turkey. This wave of immigration (‘migration’ as Western governments now camouflage it as) is the consequence of Europe’s meddling in other countries or else its fiddling while they burned.

Germany is paying an especially high price. Why? Because it brought Eastern Europe into the EU in order to exploit those countries and Germany played the main role in destroying Yugoslavia. These immigrants are not stopping in Macedonia or Serbia or Hungary or Slovakia (which says that it only accepts Christians), they are heading for Germany first.

A: So Europe is in crisis. What is to be done?

Q: Europe has been in crisis since 1914, more especially since 1918 when the members of the Russian Royal Family were slaughtered. Do not forget that the Russian Royal House was European. Tsar Nicholas II was Russian in spirit, in his soul, by racial origin he was almost entirely a Western European, as was the Tsarina. Tsar Nicholas was an immensely cultivated man, with two degrees, who spoke five languages, including his mother’s Danish. To kill the Russian Royal House was suicide for Europe, which is why the order for their slaughter came not from Russia or from Europe, but from New York. Until European nations realize this and assert their sovereignty, they will for ever be US colonies and vassals. Europe must repent.

Today, nearly 100 years after those events, Europe sits between secularism and Islamism. Therefore, the present struggle is for the very soul of Europe. I fear that Europe may disappear, that it is lost, too late, for there appears to be no repentance. The European struggle is between dark and light, between Europe’s spiritual identity and its spiritual nonentity, for its very survival. Can the peoples of Europe survive against the unprincipled venality of their elites, their Establishments? I am increasingly pessimistic.
The spiritually conscious in Europe seem to be sailing to Russia on the wreckage of the European Titanic, fleeing the Dead Sea of Sodom.

Q: Are you thinking of the British Establishment, when you speak of the ‘venality of their elites’?

A: We now know, as was long suspected, that the British Establishment, like the Ancient Roman, is corrupted by pedophilia, but the other Western Establishments are in general no better. I know the murderous French Establishment in particular.

Q: So, do the Churched members of the Russian Orthodox Church, what you would perhaps call ‘the true White Russia’, have a message for Europe in its present spiritual crisis?

A: The Russian Orthodox Mission to Europe is to save the best of Old Europe, that which is compatible with the Orthodox Faith and Church, compatible with Holy Rus. This means that our Mission is to Resurrect Holy Europe – the Saints of Europe. It is the Saints of Europe, the best of Old Europe, who speak to Holy Rus, for our ideals are the same.

The West fell into hedonism and hedonism has become bestiality; the West fell into the cult of comfort and comfort has become the end of culture, moral ruination. The two first Romes, Rome and Istanbul, cannot help here, because they are only relics, albeit very important and historic ones. They Have both been nationalized, one by the old pagan Roman mentality, the other by Hellenism. Only a New Rome with a strong State and Faith and multinational spirit can resist. Thus, our Mission is to give Europe the commandments of Holy Rus in order to save her.

Q: What are these commandments?

A: These commandments are to keep:

1. Orthodoxy, uncompromised as is in the best of Holy Rus, what we may call the true White Russia, regardless of whether it is inside Russia or outside Russia.

2. Sovereignty, the sovereign spiritual identity of each European people and tongue.

3. The People, respect for each people and culture of Europe by showing them that we do not live by bread alone.

If the West ignores these commandments and offers no spiritual resistance, its future is Palmyra.

The Situation of English Orthodoxy and a Vision for the Future of Russian Orthodoxy in Europe

God is not in Might, but in Right.

St Alexander of the Neva

Introduction

I have been told that, ‘I tell it as it is’. Perhaps as a result, I have been asked to write of the contemporary situation of English Orthodoxy, with particular emphasis on the tragic legacy of the late Metr Antony (Bloom) and the resulting Sourozh schism. This I will do, as I knew the Metropolitan well, some forty years ago between 1974 and 1982, and in January 1981 he tonsured me reader. I also think it is worthwhile because the past and present situation in England reflects much that is true in the broader European picture. However, I still do this reluctantly as I dislike talking about the sad past and would much prefer to talk about the future. On the other hand, how can we have a vision of the future, if we do not first understand the past and the present?

True, I have few good memories of the past. However, apart from hundreds of young parishioners, of whose children I baptize up to fifty a year, I have six adult children as well as grandchildren and it is for their future, not for my past, that I live. This is why I think we should put the situation of English Orthodoxy into the general situation of all us Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. In so doing I also wish to avoid the common English (and not so English) disease of parochialism and insularity. The past is a dead country, all we can and must do is pray with compassion for those weak human beings like us who took part in it. One day we shall all stand side by side at the Dread Judgement. Let us look to the future, where all is possible. However, before we can do this I must do my duty and start at the beginning.

Part One: The Past and Present: English Orthodoxy

Today, around two thousand English Orthodox (the numbers of Scottish, Irish and Welsh Orthodox are even tinier – there being only a few dozen of each at most) and some seventy English clergy are divided among three main jurisdictions or dioceses. The other four jurisdictions present in England, as elsewhere, the Romanian, Serbian and tiny Bulgarian and Georgian Orthodox jurisdictions, are almost wholly mononational and have hardly any English members. The three jurisdictions or dioceses with English members are: the Patriarchate of Antioch, the Patriarchate of Constantinople (two groups) and the Russian Orthodox Church (two groups).

1. The Patriarchate of Antioch

Some twenty years ago about 300 dissatisfied Anglicans were received with their own agenda into this Patriarchate. They had previously been turned away by the Patriarchate of Constantinople and by the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, which were both bound by their ecumenical ties with Canterbury. As Antioch had hardly existed in England until then, basically a new jurisdiction and so a further division were born. All the priests except for one now in this group were once Anglican priests, ordained as Orthodox priests with little training. One now suspended man was ordained within three days of being received.

Given this history, today the group seems to form a rather isolated ex-Anglican club, holding less attraction to the vast majority of English people. Indeed, some in the group seem to reject Non-Anglicans, one parish even banning the use of any language except English, and some call this group ‘Anglioch’. These ex-Anglican parishes appear to have little to do with Arab Orthodox and seem to avoid concelebrating with other jurisdictions, though they dress as Russian clergy. One person, perhaps unfairly, put it to me that: ‘Anti-Russian and Anti-Greek = Anti-och’.

Such a view represents only the negative half of the reality. On a positive side, this group is very dynamic, some parishes have their own properties and there are some younger clergy, over fifteen altogether now. Its larger parishes attract mainly Eastern Europeans, who are deprived of services in their own languages, or of once lapsed Greeks. Some of these people know their Faith and are able to educate the Antiochian clergy. The recent appointment for them, 20 years late, of an Antiochian bishop, who may get a visa to come to England this November, could at last mean the introduction of liturgical discipline and an entry into the mainstream of the Church from the margins. This should include teaching clergy how to serve, teaching people how to sing (at present Anglicanized ‘Russian-style’ singing is used), as well as stopping intercommunion, ‘charismatic’ and other alien practices, such as the commemoration of the Armenians and Ethiopians as Orthodox, using girl acolytes or making communion compulsory for all, as does happen in some parishes.

Antiochian services I have attended resemble a mixture of Anglicanism and a very confused knowledge of the Orthodox typicon with invented services, a kind of ‘make it up as you go’ approach. This style has discredited the Antiochian group. In conclusion, the Antiochians have zeal, which is admirable, but not knowledge, which is not admirable. The question is if they want the knowledge and have the humility to accept the discipline and traditions of the Orthodox Church and an Orthodox bishop, instead of imposing Anglican agendas on the faithful. Retired Anglican priests whose hobby is the ‘Eastern rite’ are one thing, the Orthodox Church is another.

2. The Patriarchate of Constantinople

a. The Archdiocese of Thyateira

This is a large and mostly Greek Cypriot Diocese, whose ruling hierarch must have either a Greek or Cypriot or Turkish passport. However, as the Greek Cypriots mainly moved to England from Commonwealth Cyprus between 1945 and 1975, they are now dying out. Nationalism is rife and English enquirers into Orthodoxy (as well as Romanians and others) are typically turned away from parishes and told to go and join the Anglican Church because they ‘are not Greeks’. The loss of young Cypriots is such that no fewer than six ethnic Cypriots are priests in the Anglican Diocese of London. At least there they can understand the services.

The hellenization of the few Anglicans who have been received and ordained is obligatory. Ultra-Greek names like Kallistos, Meliton, Aristobulos, Athanasios, Eleutherios, Dionysios, Christodoulos, Pankratios, Ephraim, Panteleimon, Palamas, Kosmas etc are placed on ex-Anglican vicars with perfectly good Orthodox names and they are ordained as cheap (unpaid) Greek Orthodox clergy. One of them is so hellenized that he even changed his surname to a Greek name. The best-known example of this group is the former Oxford academic, Timothy (Metr Kallistos) Ware, who lives very much as a retired parish priest and has never been a diocesan bishop, but rather a ‘conference bishop’. These hellenized ex-Anglicans use Russian-style singing in their services, probably because of the difficulty of using foreign-sounding Greek chant in any language other than Greek.

b. The Deanery of the Exarchate

As elsewhere in the world, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has for political reasons also taken into its jurisdiction dissidents such as Ukrainian nationalists and the Paris Exarchate. The latter group has again been present in England since 2006, refounded by 300 mainly ex-Anglican ‘Bloomites’, including over ten clergy. In other words, these were dissidents from the Sourozh Diocese of the then Moscow Patriarchate (MP), previously run by Metr Antony Bloom (see below, Paragraph 3b). After the death in 2004 of Metr Antony, their leader and protector, these did not want to adhere to the discipline and traditions of the real Russian Orthodox Church, which were then being reintroduced into their Diocese. Thus, they left for the Paris Exarchate, at first under the controversial Bishop Basil (Osborne), then after his defrocking becoming a small Deanery.

Here, under the Patriarchate of Constantinople, they would be allowed to do anything they wanted, including keeping the personal practices of Metr Antony (Bloom), without interference from either Constantinople or Thyateira or Paris, as one of their clergy proudly told me. For example, they could have communion without confession, give intercommunion (as their Amphipolis website used to proclaim, though now they tell me that intercommunion is limited to Monophysites), use the new calendar, celebrate the Proskomidia in the middle of the Church, wear Greek vestments (strange when you claim to be of the Russian Tradition) or shout out names during the service in Anglican ‘charismatic’ style, or make communion compulsory for all.

This group is very small, with several communities of ten or fewer people. Where it is bigger, it is because of the presence of Eastern Europeans, for example Church-deprived Romanians, who have no loyalty to or knowledge of Bloomite ideology. The Deanery has virtually no property of its own and although it has in recent years ordained several retired Anglican clergy virtually without any training, it seems to be dying out. The average age of its clergy is about 70 and many of the original laypeople are of the same generation.

It seems difficult to understand, if they wish to survive at all, why they do not simply join the ex-Anglican Antiochian group or at least join the ex-Anglicans in the mainstream Thyateira Diocese. Some have suggested that their isolation is to do with their ferocious Russophobia, which Antioch does not share. Indeed, some of their statements about other Christians makes it difficult to believe that they are Christians. Interestingly, their cause was backed to the hilt at the time by the Establishment Times and the MI5-fed Daily Telegraph. Others have suggested that there is a class reason, that it is because the Exarchate is largely composed of upper-class Anglicans, whereas the other ex-Anglicans are middle-class. Some call this group, like the Antiochian group, ‘Anglicans with icons’ or ‘Anglodox’, rather than Orthodox.

3. The Russian Church

a. The ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland

Having established the first ROCOR parish in England in 1919, ROCOR established a diocese in England in 1929 under Bishop Nicholas (Karpov), who uniquely was not given a fictitious title like ‘of Thyateira’ or ‘of Sourozh’, as given to other dioceses, but the real title ‘of London’. It was also the first Orthodox diocese to have any monastic life in England and the first diocese to use English, from the 1930s on. The diocese expanded after 1945 with a wave of new immigrants. However, after the departure of Archbishop John (Maksimovich) (now St John of Shanghai) in 1962, the diocese fell into nationalistic and sectarian currents and for a time became isolated.

From the 1970s on, a small group of unintegrated Anglo-Catholic converts began to impose old calendarism, imported from the USA under the influence of Bishop Gregory (Grabbe) in New York. Their views were marked by anti-Anglicanism rather than Orthodoxy, a negativity that came from spiritual pride. Given the failure of nationalistic Russians to pass on the Faith to their children and grandchildren and these sectarian trends, once far larger than the new Diocese of Sourozh, in the 70s and 80s the ROCOR Diocese began to die out. In the late 1970s and 1980s, in quick succession it lost its last two elderly and ill bishops, its London priest and its London church building. English people were turned away from the Russian parishes or were deterred by the sectarian old calendarism trying to take over diocesan life. It seemed as though the ROCOR Diocese would disappear altogether.

This period must be understood in the context of the then general internal battle in ROCOR between New York and Jordanville, that is, between the political, nationalist and sectarian wing of ROCOR and the spiritual wing, which saw in St John of Shanghai its figurehead. (Sadly, it is also true that when St John was in England, he was never frequented by personalities such as Metr Antony (Bloom) or Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), by both of whom he was at best ignored). In his later life in San Francisco, St John was much persecuted by this political wing of ROCOR because he was a missionary to Non-Russians, because he prayed for the captive Patriarchs of Moscow and because, like the mainstream in ROCOR, he knew that Church unity would come as soon as the Church inside Russia was free from atheist tyranny. This was denied by the political sectarians, who from the 1970s began to assert in justification for their sectarianism that the MP was ‘without grace’ and that somehow ROCOR was the last True Church on earth!

As the elderly Russians died out in the ROCOR British Diocese, in the 1990s it was providentially renewed by new arrivals from Russia, who found the same underlying ethos in it as in the MP inside Russia (unlike in the Sourozh Diocese, which, ironically, was officially part of the MP!). These new arrivals paid for the building of the small, Russian-style ROCOR Cathedral in London. As unity between ROCOR, under the ever-memorable Metr Laurus, and the MP, under the former émigré Patriarch Alexis II, approached in 2007, the long predicted schism occurred. Some forty mainly Anglo-Catholic converts and a few very right-wing individuals of Russian extraction (including even pro-Nazis) lapsed from ROCOR. This mirrored exactly the Sourozh schism (see Paragraph 3b below).

This was a spiritual tragedy for them but the relief felt by the faithful was palpable – the abscess which had been growing since the infiltration of sectarianism from the USA in the 1970s had at last burst. Peripheral and other problems also solved themselves as a few other individuals left and by 2009 all the extremes had fallen away, normal Church life could continue from a now healthy centre and the Church was ready to grow again. ROCOR was able to return to its destiny and pioneering historic path of being the integrated and bilingual Russian Orthodox Diocese, faithful to the Tradition, culturally at ease in the British Isles, and without fear of interference from outside forces. Having been through its adolescent growing pains, the ROCOR Diocese had overcome the crisis and become much stronger and adult.

What is the situation today? Today most members of ROCOR are people who have settled in England (and also in Wales and Ireland) from the ex-Soviet Union. In other words, the flock is virtually identical to the flock of the new Sourozh Diocese (see Paragraph 3b below). However, eight of the clergy are English, though there is also a Romanian deacon and two excellent Russian clergy from the ex-Soviet Union. In 2006 the future Archbishop Elisei of Sourozh was actually nominated to the Patriarchate in Moscow (then faced with the Sourozh schism) by the ROCOR ruling bishop, Archbishop Mark of Berlin.

Although most members of ROCOR come from the ex-Soviet Union, unlike Sourozh, the ROCOR Diocese has a long history, with memories going back before the Second World War and the Revolution to the time of the Tsar, a long and deep pastoral experience, including the use of English, its own church buildings and therefore a voice independent of heterodox organizations. In other words, ROCOR could certainly never be accused of being dependent on one personality or being ‘Soviet’, as the Sourozh Diocese sometimes is, and it is much better established than that Diocese. However, the weakness of the ROCOR Diocese is definitely its shortage of priests, especially in Wales and Ireland, and its lack of a resident ruling bishop. The main issue now is further growth.

b. The Diocese of Sourozh – the former Moscow Patriarchate (MP)

Several hundred English Orthodox find themselves in the Sourozh Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, which used to be known as the MP. Some go back to the time when that Diocese was ruled by Metr Antony (Bloom) (+ 2004), others have come more recently. I have been asked to set down a record of Metr Antony’s tragic legacy. This will be long, as it is complex.

When the small Paris Exarchate parish in London returned to the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) jurisdiction after the Second World War (following its leader in Paris, Metr Eulogius), Fr Antony (Bloom), a beardless hieromonk without theological education, was sent by Moscow from Paris to look after the group in question. The vast majority of Russian emigres in England, whether arrivals after 1917 or after 1945, would have nothing to do with the Moscow Patriarchate or the modernist-looking Fr Antony, and continued to belong to the far larger parishes of the Diocese of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).

Therefore, virtually without a flock, the very talented Fr Antony learned English and began to do missionary work among Anglicans, attracting several hundred into the former Anglican church he used in London. Over the years, their numbers swelled, perhaps to over 2,000, and he was able to form a tiny diocese which was given the title of Sourozh. This looked good in theory; the reality was quite different. The Sourozh Diocese was a paper diocese, an empire of the imagination. There were three reasons for this.

Firstly, Metr Antony, as he had become by the early 60s, anxious to create a diocese, would take people without preparation, that is, without relieving them of their Anglican baggage and so spiritual impurity first. As they had little idea of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, most of them lapsed very quickly, often within a few weeks or months. As an example of this, I will relate what five years ago one of the new Russian subdeacons from the Sourozh Cathedral in London told me about a weekend visit of the new ruling hierarch, Archbishop Elisei of Sourozh, to a provincial community.

When Archbishop Elisei got up on the Sunday morning, the priest’s wife asked him whether he would like bacon and eggs for breakfast. Now that is a normal question in the Church of England (or even in parts of the Catholic Church today), where communion, if it is given at all, is simply a memorial of bread and wine and there is no fasting before it. For an Orthodox of course it is shocking that an Orthodox priest would have bacon and eggs before the Liturgy and communion. In fact, I was shocked by the subdeacon and said: ‘You mean to say that you did not know that that was how the whole Sourozh Diocese was run for decades?’ I was amazed by his naivety and told him: ‘Now you understand why serious Orthodox joined ROCOR’.

In 1976, falling foul of the Soviet government’s anti-Solzhenitsyn line (which it also forced onto the MP) and looking for political freedom from Soviet political pressure (especially distasteful to the upper-class Establishment Anglicans in his London Cathedral), Metr Antony asked to join ROCOR. As a result of his unOrthodox attitudes, illustrated above, he was refused. ROCOR did not want a bishop with unOrthodox practices; if ROCOR had accepted him, it would all have resulted in scandals.

Secondly, Metr Antony never reached out to the mass of English people, to whom he remained completely unknown despite his TV appearances (at a time when only the wealthier half of society had TV) and radio interviews. He concentrated on the upper class, especially wealthy academics, artists, novelists, musicians and poets, many of whom lived around his former Anglican Cathedral in the richest part of London. Metr Antony seemed to have little time for ordinary English people, if ever he knew we existed.

He was also notorious for never visiting his parishes and flock. Most of these had never seen him there and had no idea what an episcopal visit or service was. (Metr Antony usually served as a priest, refusing to celebrate episcopal services, if he knew how to do them). He was not a liturgist and did not teach anyone how to celebrate the services. His was a religion of the elite and it was often difficult to know exactly what he said – it all seemed to be the French philosophical style and not substance. In the 1970s and early 1980s, as I know only too well from personal experience, he had no time at all for the veneration of local saints, though he was later forced to change this attitude. And he also had no space in his Cathedral for icons of the New Martyrs, even after their later canonization in Moscow in 2000.

We should not forget that Metr Antony was himself from the Russian upper class and, partly as a result, his convert group seemed to be an upper-class Anglican club or clique. Conversations that I heard at his Cathedral revolved around villas in Tuscany and on Patmos which belonged to these people: hardly typical English people, who felt excluded by such snobbery. All this was combined with Metr Antony’s marked emotionalism, his strong psychic abilities and affectations, which lacked the sobriety of the Orthodox Tradition. Some middle-aged women fell in love with him and, with his good looks and exotic and exaggerated Russian-Parisian accent, by the 1970s his nicknames included ‘the guru’ and ‘the romantic bishop’. I remember one such tragic case very clearly. For us who came from solid and pragmatic English backgrounds, this was all nonsense. We would see through this act from miles away.

This brings us to the problem of Metr Antony’s personality cult. As we have said, he was an immensely talented man with a very strong personality. Indeed, his father, Boris Bloom (buried in Meudon outside Paris), a Tsarist diplomat who was well-known in Paris, had delved into the occult and taught his son how to hypnotize. I knew two women whom Metr Antony tried to hypnotize in the 1970s. For what reason I do not know. In such a Diocese there could be room for only one personality. This is why in 1965 an equally unusual Parisian personality, the former Hindu, Art Nouveau painter, personalist philosopher and one-time monk of Mt Athos, where he had met a saint, Fr Sophrony (Sakharov), left the Diocese of Sourozh. With his three monks. he switched back to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the new calendar and introduced some very unusual and indeed unique practices. The fact that Metr Antony was notoriously anti-monastic did not help.

The cult of Metr Antony was also why his ordinations were generally controversial, often being those of men who for canonical reasons would never have been ordained by another bishop. This created a dependency of such clergy on Metr Antony, a misplaced sense of gratitude and idolization among weak personalities. This was also why Metr Antony strongly discouraged English people from visiting other parishes and travelling to Orthodox countries, especially Russia and Mt Athos; he did not want them to be exposed to the broader reality, which would raise awkward questions about his peculiar style and values.

Here I do not wish to go into the painful details and I would rather quote the Establishment figure of Metr Kallistos (Ware), who is now in his eighties. Known as ‘o anglikanos’ (the Anglican) by certain of his Greek brother bishops, Metr Kallistos is known for his caution in speaking. Although he has very curious and Phanariot views of the Diaspora, he is well-known for this Anglican-style diplomacy. In an interview with the liberal ‘Pravmir’ site, he has expressed the situation around Metr Antony as mildly as is possible:

‘Now the main criticism that I would make of Bishop (sic) Antony is that he would allow people to become colossally dependent upon him. They would idolize him. Perhaps that was not entirely his fault that they came to feel such ardent devotion towards him. But I felt there was something unhealthy here. It was too personal in the wrong sense, that they saw him almost as a god on earth. And he would allow people, particularly women, to become very closely dependent upon him. And then he would suddenly abandon them. I don’t think I am indulging here in malicious gossip, but I know a number of cases where he had spent a lot of time with people, particular people, and then suddenly he would cut off, not see them any more, not respond to their letters or telephone calls. Now I don’t know why he allowed such a close relationship to be built up and then abandoned them. But if I was to criticize his work, I would think there was the weakest point’.

In other words, it could be said that Metr Antony was the London equivalent of Bishop Jean (Evgraf) (Kovalevsky) in Paris, a bishop who set up a kind of fringe diocese on the edge of the Church and which also collapsed after his death. (However, many clergy and laity also left the Sourozh Diocese during Metr Antony’s lifetime, having seen through it). True, Bishop Jean attracted guenonists, occultists, freemasons and other marginals, ordaining them within days, whereas Metr Antony attracted those who fell in love with his personality and pseudo-mysticism. Sadly, Metr Antony’s existentialist personalism (mid-twentieth century French intellectual philosophy rather than the Church Fathers, whom Metr Antony hardly ever mentioned) had led to the construction of a mini-diocese ‘centred on his personality and not on the Church’. These are the exact words used to me by the present ruling bishop of Sourozh, Archbishop Elisei, soon after his appointment in 2006.

Now anything built on a personality, even more on a dead personality, is extremely fragile. People who idolize a personality are unable to pass on anything to their children, who cannot get to know the personality because he is dead, and so the members simply get old and die out, becoming historical sidelines, alienated from the mainstream. A diocese centred on a personality is a paper diocese. Thus, Sourozh still has hardly any Church property because everyone, as I was told in 1981, was expected to go to London and worship at the feet of the personality. So, nothing got built up. Tragically, the Sourozh Diocese still only has a fairly small Cathedral in west London (far too small for the flock) and four chapels in Oxford, Nottingham, Manchester and London, which can only contain a few dozen Orthodox. For the rest, the Sourozh Diocese is still dependent on borrowing mainly Anglican churches which it can occasionally use, often only once a month on a Saturday.

On top of this it suffers from a chronic shortage of priests with training. The average age is about 63. The disastrous personality cult in other words completely failed to set up the infrastructure necessary for a real diocese, however small. Everything had to be centred around the Cathedral in London because that is where ‘the personality’ was. This is the tragic legacy of Metr Antony, an utter lack of vision because there was no Tradition, only a personality. It contrasts very sadly with the radiant legacy of a saint in another island archipelago on the other side of Eurasia, St Nicholas of Japan, who built on the Tradition.

In 1982, a senior priest, the American Fr (later as Metr Antony’s successor, Bishop) Basil Osborne told me that ‘as soon as Metr Antony is dead, we’ll go to the Greeks’. This statement as well as the personality cult and renovationist practices (no confession before communion – as in Anglicanism – , the introduction of the new calendar, no Third and Sixth Hours before the Liturgy, no attempt to ask women to dress as Russian Orthodox etc.), caused us to leave the Diocese of Sourozh for good. I had wanted to be part of the Russian Orthodox Church, not of an émigré cocktail of modernist practices and fantasies, which had nothing to do with the Russian Orthodox Tradition. In such a way the Sourozh Diocese chased away those who were the most devoted to the Russian Orthodox Church. People were ready to die for the Church, for ‘the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church’, but in Sourozh the seed of the faithful was rejected – and so the Church did not grow. This was no way to treat the faithful.

In response to my view that the Church was failing to preach the Gospel to ordinary English people and was not providing food for the soul, but only intellectual philosophy, Fr Basil also told me that ‘there is no such thing as ordinary people’. Clearly, this said a great deal about him who became Metr Antony’s successor. Living in the ivory towers of Oxford, Fr Basil simply had no contact with the vast masses of English people. Later, an aristocratic priest-colleague of his, also ordained by Metr Antony, told me exactly the same thing. In 2005 it was Bishop Basil who provocatively invited the notorious neo-renovationist, Fr George Kochetkov, once suspended by Patriarch Alexis II, to come from Moscow and become the main priest at the London Sourozh Cathedral. This makes clear that the Sourozh schism was indeed a renovationist schism and it is indeed renovationists who revere Metr Antony’s memory.

Apart from his English convert adepts, it is true that Metr Antony was also idolized by some naïve Soviet convert dissidents, mainly of Jewish origin. These ‘intelligenty’ of the third wave started to arrive in London in the 1970s and fell in love with Metr Antony. I remember one of them telling me how he had first seen the Metropolitan cleaning the Cathedral floor, dressed in a simple undercassock. The dissident at once took him for a saint! I told him that all bishops and priests in the Diaspora lived like this and that if that was a criterion of sainthood, then we were all saints. Conditioned by Soviet practices of distant and unknown bishops sweeping past the people in big black cars under KGB surveillance, he could not make the cultural jump to Diaspora reality. Culture shock totally distorted his judgement.

From the 1990s, in the last years of Metr Antony’s life, as immigrants flooded in from the ex-Soviet Union, a virtual civil war began in his London Cathedral. The immigrants expected Russian Orthodoxy, not some pseudo-mystical convert personality cult. Apart from the small ROCOR Cathedral, there was no other church they could go to in London. Inevitably, only two years after Metr Antony’s death, with the young Bishop Hilarion expelled, the Sourozh Diocese collapsed. The bubble had finally burst. Metr Antony’s divisiveness and pastoral failure had led in turn to the divisiveness and pastoral failure of his pupil, Bishop Basil (Osborne).

Just as the Paris Exarchate’s modernist experiment failed (and Metr Antony was 100% Parisian), Metr Antony’s experiment failed because he had tried to build a Diocese on the divisive sand of a personality cult instead of on the collective rock of Russian Orthodox Tradition. This all came as no surprise to us who had known how it would all end since 1982 and had been pleading with the Moscow Patriarchate since 2000 to do something about the catastrophic pastoral situation in London. Nevertheless, we can at least learn from such failures.

Part Two: The Future: European Orthodoxy

I have done my duty in answering questions about the past and present situation of English Orthodoxy and Russian Orthodoxy in England. I hope that this will help us to avoid repeating the errors and extremes of the past and will also help us to pray for those involved, whether living or departed. That is our duty, for we are no better than they. I would now like to speak of something much more positive, much closer to my heart, the future.

1. The European Dimension of the Orthodox Church

In this context of the future people ask me about the possibility of there one day being a ‘British’ Orthodox Church. Since the 1990s I have written about such a possibility – and always negatively, even though I have since 1975 championed the use of local languages in services, whether English or French, and at great personal cost from hostile clergy. Why, this refusal of even the concept of a ‘British Orthodox Church’?

Firstly, it is because there is no such thing as ‘British’. Just as we do not talk about a ‘Soviet’ Orthodox Church, so we do not talk about a ‘British’ Orthodox Church. The word ‘British’ has only been used on three occasions in history and always by foreign invaders. Once by the Romans, then by the Normans and lastly by the Hanoverians and their Germanic followers among the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha Victorians and those nostalgic for their imperialism like Thatcher, Blair and Cameron. In other words, ‘British’ is a word for an artificial, colonial conglomerate of countries and as such is used by London imperialists; the Irish rightly long ago rejected it as a dirty word and the Scots are now in open revolt against it. Personally, like everyone I grew up with in the English countryside, I have never recognized myself as ‘British’, but as English, and I hope that the Irish, Scots, Welsh and we English will soon gain complete freedom from the ‘British’ and their tyrannical and foreign Establishment, to which the alien ‘British’ alone belong.

Secondly, all European countries, including Britain, are in any case far too small to have their own Local Orthodox Churches and, thirdly, Europe has anyway suffered quite enough from nationalism. We do not want any more insularity and nationalism in the Church – there is enough of that in the Balkans. What we need today is vision. Now, in this context, nearly thirty years ago, in 1986, I wrote a paper at the request of Archbishop George (Wagner) of the Rue Daru Paris Jurisdiction (Patriarchate of Constantinople) entitled, ‘Une Eglise Orthodoxe pour l’Europe: Vision ou Reve’ (‘An Orthodox Church for Europe: Vision or Dream’). As he was German, I thought he might be interested, especially as I had envisioned the Rue Daru jurisdiction as the possible kernel of such a future Local Church – in 2004 Patriarch Alexis II was to make the same mistake. I later found the paper thrown away into his kitchen wastepaper bin. Such were those visionless days – and he was by far from being the only bishop who had no vision for an Orthodox Europe.

Since that time it is true that we have seen the development of the pompously-named ‘Pan-Orthodox Episcopal Assemblies’ (= bishops’ meetings) in Western Europe. This is the imperialistic concept of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, rather naively promoted by Metr Kallistos (Ware) and Metr Athenagoras (Peckstadt) in Belgium. Of course, it is good that now the Orthodox bishops of any territory actually meet each other and know what each other looks like, but we all know that these meetings are going nowhere; they are often talking shops which occasionally meet, but at which no decisions of any consequence are ever taken. They just give a superficial prestige to Constantinople.

What I am saying from both the above examples is that we can expect nothing for the future of Orthodoxy in Western Europe from the Patriarchate of Constantinople, which has never freely given any Church autocephaly and has continually tried to take back autocephaly even when political circumstances forced it to grant it – as in the Ukraine, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia etc. In this way Constantinople, fallen since 1453, politically captive since 1948, and through Greek nationalism totally failing to recognize that Church leadership long ago passed to the Russian Church, today resembles the other Balkan Churches. None of them has the vision, is big enough, is missionary-minded enough or is unphyletist and mutinational enough to set up the Pan-European Metropolitan structure necessary for the foundation of any future Orthodox Church in Europe.

2. The Duty of Care of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe

This leaves the Russian Orthodox Church, fifty times larger than the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as the only Local Orthodox Church which can do anything for European Orthodoxy. After all, of all the Local Churches only the Russian Orthodox Church is large and supra-national. Its name in Russian is ‘Russkaya’, meaning ‘of Rus’, not ‘Rossiyskaya’, meaning ‘of the Russian Federation’. In other words, it alone is multinational – like its Patriarch, the Russian Orthodox Church is the Church of All Rus and this means not just Russia, the Orthodox Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Carpatho-Russia, but any part of the world where Russian Orthodox faithful live. It alone has kept the old multinational Orthodox ideal of ‘romaiosini’, of the unity in diversity of the Christian Empire. Indeed, in 2004 Patriarch Alexis II at last spoke precisely of the need to establish a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Western Europe. However, in 2004 the proposition of Patriarch Alexis II could only be theoretical. Only since 2007 has the Russian Orthodox Church even been in a theoretical position to establish such a Metropolia. Why?

a. Russian Orthodox Church Unity

In May 2007, the MP and ROCOR signed the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow. With this one act, the division that began after the Russian Revolution between the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Church Inside Russia (then called the MP) and was forced onto the Church by atheist persecution inside the Soviet Union ceased. According to the 2007 agreement, ROCOR was gradually to give up its few small temporary communities on the territory of the ex-Soviet Union (the canonical territory of the Church Inside Russia) and in return, in time, the Church Inside Russia would, as is only logical, cede its relatively few but sometimes large communities outside Russia to ROCOR.

The first part of this agreement took place fairly swiftly, but the second part of the agreement, for perfectly good pastoral reasons, can only be implemented with time. This situation concerns above all the shared territories of Western Europe and Latin America, since the vast majority of Russian Orthodox parishes in its other territories in Oceania and North America are in any case under ROCOR. Thus, for the moment, we still have the absurd situation of two Russian Orthodox bishops of Berlin, Archbishop Theophan and Archbishop Mark. However, all agree that this will not last.

In effect, both the old MP and the old ROCOR ceased to exist on that day in May 2007. What came into being was a reunited and worldwide Russian Orthodox Church, three-quarters of the whole Orthodox Church, with the same Faith and under the same Patriarch, politically free but administratively in two parts, inside Russia and outside Russia, so that both parts are Patriarchal, but one is based in Moscow and the other, much smaller, is based in New York. The unique canonical territory of the Church inside Russia covers all the countries of the former Soviet Union (except Georgia) and countries where all the missions were founded by it, officially only China and Japan, but in reality also Thailand, Iran, Cuba and North Korea.

The territories of the Church Outside Russia, and these are territories mainly shared with other Orthodox, include Western Europe, North America, Latin America and Oceania (including Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia). Thus the new ROCOR has the potential to become again (as it was in the beginning) a multi-Metropolia Church, with four Metropolias, one in Western Europe, one in North America, one in Latin America and one in Oceania. Perhaps one day it could also include Alaska as a fifth Metropolia, but only if that territory returns to the Russian Orthodox Church from its present American administration.

b. The Territory of Europe to be United in a Metropolia

Europe, that is Western Europe, is a cultural ensemble, because it is all basically ex-Orthodox (1,000 years ago) and now, as it has largely lapsed into its Gadarene secularism, ex-Catholic (historically ex-Protestant also means ex-Catholic). I am speaking of the following 25 countries: Iceland, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, England, Norway, Denmark (with the Faeroes), Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Spain (and the part of Spain called Gibraltar), Andorra, Italy, San Marino and Malta. I exclude from this definition of Western Europe Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, as they already have their own Local Churches and canonical territory. Similarly, I also exclude Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, since, like Montenegro and Macedonia, they are part of the canonical territory of the Serbian Church. As for Albania, like Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Cyprus, it already has its own Local Church.

It is true that Finland, which is in this list of 25 countries, has over 20 parishes and other communities that at present belong to the Patriarchate of Constantinople and celebrate Easter on the Catholic calendar (similar to a non-canonical group in Estonia). However, Russian Orthodox do not frequent such churches, whose Faith has been called ‘Lutheranism with icons’. They prefer to attend the quite separate and canonical Russian Orthodox churches in Finland, which are growing. Also there are those who consider that Hungary, also in the list of 25 countries, should have its own Local Church, like the Poles and the Czechs and Slovaks. However, we live in the world as it is now, not as it may be one day. For the moment, therefore, Hungary must be included in the territory of a European Metropolia, as defined above.

3. A Future Metropolia

a. Structure

Now as regards a future European Metropolia under the Patriarchal Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), it is clear that this will be a real Metropolia with several hundred real parishes and real churches and, very importantly, real monasteries. This will not be like the Paris Exarchate or the old Sourozh Diocese, a paper empire, a series of modernistic, semo-Uniat communities often fewer than ten or twenty in number, celebrating in front rooms and garden sheds, or composed of clergy who were ordained with little training because no-one else would ordain them or even who use blackmail against their Archbishop in Paris: ‘If you do not allow me to do what I want, I will join the Greeks’. (Or the Romanians or someone else. Much more rarely, this blackmail may involve a threat of passage to ‘the Russians’. However, this threat is rarely used because those who today remain in the Exarchate generally believe in Russophobia – the ideology which justifies the continued existence of the Exarchate).

Where should the geographical centre of such a Metropolia be? Until recently I had always thought of it as Paris, the historical centre of the Russian emigration, where there is, in temporary premises, a Russian Orthodox seminary and where a Cathedral complex has long been planned. However, as a Metropolitan centre this choice is threatened by two things, the ecumenism and modernism apparently ingrained in the Paris air and the Russophobic policies of the present US-controlled French government. Today France is in a state of social chaos and disintegration. It may therefore be that we should think more radically. Indeed, two other possible centres for a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe exist: they are Berlin (there are large numbers of Russian Orthodox in Germany) and Rome (where there is the large Russian church of St Catherine’s and above all which is the historical centre of the Western Patriarchate. After all, the initials of the English words ‘Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe’ spell R.O.M.E.).

It now seems to me that there should initially be seven dioceses in such a Metropolia. These are: Germania (Germany, German-speaking Switzerland and the Netherlands, including Flemish-speaking Belgium); Gallia (France, French-speaking Belgium, French-speaking Switzerland, Luxembourg and Monaco); Iberia (Spain, Gibraltar, Portugal and Andorra); the Isles (the British Isles and Ireland); Italia (Italy, San Marino, Italian-speaking Switzerland and Malta); Scandinavia (Iceland, the Faeroes, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland); Austria-Hungaria (Austria and Hungary). With time two or three bishops could be appointed to such large dioceses, under an archbishop. For example, Germania could have an archbishop in Berlin, a bishop for western Germany, a bishop for the Dutch-speaking areas and a fourth for Switzerland. Scandinavia could have an archbishop in Stockholm who would also look after Denmark, a bishop in Helsinki and another for Norway and Iceland. These are mere possible examples for two dioceses or future archdioceses. Who knows the future?

At present the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe is not organized as one and some members are elderly. ROCOR is concentrated in Western Germany and Switzerland, though with several parishes in France, Belgium, Denmark and England, but it has virtually no existence in Italy, Spain and Portugal or in the rest of Scandinavia, in which countries the Church Inside Russia has over 100 parishes. ROCOR has three bishops, the youngest of whom is aged about sixty. ROCOR certainly has experience, but it will need new bishops. Some of the dioceses in Europe, which are still for the moment dependent on the Church Inside Russia, will also need new bishops in the future. Episcopal candidates must speak languages apart from Russian, know the cultures and cultural references of the countries where they will live and have a dynamic and missionary view of their episcopate. In other words, they must realize that their task is not just to look after immigrants from the ex-Soviet Union. They must be able to communicate with the children and grandchildren of such immigrants, as well as with the descendants of the centennial emigration, now in its fifth generation, and the native people of European countries, both Orthodox and Non-Orthodox.

For example, we know of one episcopal appointee whose first act was to buy an expensive black car. On that day he lost the confidence of his diocese. He did not understand that being a Russian Orthodox bishop in Europe is not at all the same as being a Russian Orthodox bishop in the former Soviet Union. Secondly, any diocesan bishop must also be a uniter – in Europe we still have bad memories of the late Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) who was an ecumenist and intercommunionist (in Rome) and did not want to do missionary work among native Europeans. Such figures were ultimately partly responsible for the Sourozh schism and the lack of trust among European Orthodox in bishops who were visiting them from the Soviet Union. On the other hand, we have an excellent memory of Archbishop Basil (Krivoshein) who warned Metr Nikodim precisely against his political policies. Who then could be the Metropolitan of the Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe? We believe that there is already at least one suitable candidate, at present an Archbishop.

It is now becoming urgent to establish such a Metropolitan structure. Millions of Orthodox have had to flee Orthodox Eastern Europe in the last 25 years for economic reasons. Since the fall of Communism, Eastern Europe has been seized by a wave of post-Communist corruption. Combined with the deindustrialization forced onto Eastern European countries when they joined the EU, millions of young people have been forced to leave their homes and families to take on mainly menial jobs in the building sites, factories and offices of Western Europe. There are now more Orthodox in Western Europe, the territory of the future Metropolia, than there are in the four ancient Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem, combined. How then can this Metropolia be organized?

b. Organization

Before such a Metropolia could come into existence, all kinds of groundwork have to be laid. First of all, who should be the patron saint of such a Metropolia? To our mind, there can only be one candidate, the only saint of the Russian Orthodox Church who in the twentieth century lived for well over a decade in Western Europe – St John of Shanghai. He is the only canonized member of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe. He stands head and shoulders above all the personalities, intellectuals, artists, writers and philosophers of the emigration, for he was a saint and a universal saint at that. Strictly faithful to the Russian Orthodox Tradition, for which he was much despised by modernists, he was also open to the pastoral needs of local people, encouraged the veneration of the historical saints of Europe and was the inspiration for Fr Seraphim of Platina, for which he was much despised by nationalists. In my view, St John has no rivals. However, the appointment of such a patron saint must be made by the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe. We are not an anti-episcopal organization like the ‘Fraternite Orthodoxe’ in Paris, so we can only suggest to our bishops.

Secondly, we need a Metropolia website, run by people who have the skills and time to devote to this. Their skills must not only be technological but also linguistic. The website should, we believe, be in Russian, Romanian for our many Moldovan parishioners, English (as the international language) and, in the appropriate sections, in one of the other thirteen local languages of the Metropolia (German, French, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Hungarian, Portuguese, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Maltese and Icelandic). Perhaps, eventually, as pastoral need dictates, there could be pages in minority languages like Basque, Gaelic, Sorbian, Breton, Welsh etc. Who are the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe? Such a website could present them with their photos. How many Russian Orthodox priests are there in Europe today? 200? That is only our guess; we do not have the information. The website could provide it.

Such a website could provide a calendar including the local saints of Europe, for example, Clotilde, Alban, Agnes, Ursula, Eulalia, Senhorina, Leander, Columba, Blandine, Olaf, Maurice, Kevin, Willibrord, Anschar, Sigfrid, Audrey, Corbinian, Illtyd, Odile, Devota, Publius, Gertrude, little known outside their own countries and regions, whose prayers can bind us together. There is a practical and a mystical necessity to link ourselves to them for it is ultimately on their noble Orthodoxy that European culture was built. The fact that modern Europe in its ignoble rush for self-destruction has turned its back on them only means that we should venerate them all the more. The website could present such information along with parish profiles, the addresses and phone numbers of individual parishes, their websites, histories, pictures of their church buildings, their clergy and parishioners, details of languages used in services, timetables and other activities and publications. And all our vital monasteries must have their place there too. There should also be some kind of resource of services in the many languages of the Metropolia and a simple vocabulary in the sixteen languages. How do you say ‘Orthodox Church’ in Hungarian, ‘priest’ in Finnish, ‘confession’ in Maltese or ‘candle’ in Norwegian? The website could tell us. Again, all this can only be done with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe.

Thirdly, we need to hold a conference of Russian Orthodox clergy in Europe. We do not know each other. Initially, there could be a small conference with, say, two representatives from each country. One priest from Italy has already suggested the excellent idea of twinning parishes. Knowledge of one another could also be obtained from pilgrimages to local saints or relics or on the basis of visits to priests or laypeople who are already linked. Europe is rich in shrines, in Bari, in Rome, in Turin, in Milan, in Compostella, in Cologne, in Paris, in Lyons: Why not organize Europe-wide Russian Orthodox pilgrimages to such shrines? Alternatively, there could be pilgrimages to some of our wonderful churches in Europe, built under Tsar Nicholas II, in Wiesbaden, Geneva, Nice etc., or others built more recently in Brussels, Rome and Madrid. In such a way, by meeting, we can begin the most important task of praying for one another. Again, all this can only be done with the blessing of the Russian Orthodox bishops in Europe.

Two years ago I was contacted by a Russian woman in a province of France. She was in tears, very upset. She had been to a so-called monastery of the Paris Exarchate, where she had been refused confession because ‘she had not murdered anyone’. This meant that she had also been deprived of communion. She had found me on the internet, not knowing any priest in France. She told me her story on the telephone, how she and her son had been abandoned by her French husband and how she desperately needed a priest to talk to. Now, such things are happening all over Europe. The duty of care of the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe is to its faithful of all nationalities, to people like her. Let us begin by appointing a priest or priests whose duty it will be to look after the Russian Orthodox flock in any particular region of Europe. Since the above 25 European countries are divided into some eighty regions and there are a lot more than 80 Russian Orthodox priests in Europe, this can be done and the sort of incident that I have related above can be avoided. Everyone must have a priest to go to.

Some, reading the above, might ask about the role of Non-Orthodox in this. We believe in good-neighbourly relations with those who do not belong to the Orthodox Church. After a thousand years outside the Orthodox Church, many of them still believe in the Holy Trinity and the Divinity of Christ. Some, especially Catholics, go further than this and believe in the Virgin Birth, the Mother of God, the saints and the sacraments. Some share our moral views on such issues as abortion and euthanasia. The fact that the faith they have inherited is deficient in the understanding of the Holy Spirit, and therefore lacks an authentic spiritual and ascetic life, only means that it is remarkable how close some of them are to us. We have no reason not to be on good terms with them. However, this does not mean that we do not freely practise our Faith without compromise. Most Europeans have in the last generation or so decided to be atheists or at least agnostics, Europe today is a mission territory open to all. Conversely, most in the Russian Lands have in the last generation or so chosen to be baptized Orthodox. We should respect each other’s differences. We may be Europeans, but we are also firmly Christian and follow the Russian Orthodox Church in full.

Some, reading the above, might ask about the role of other jurisdictions in the shared territory of Europe, such as Constantinople’s Greeks and its political dissidents. In our view, the establishment of a Russian Metropolia in no way means that they cannot continue just as now. They could even establish their own international structures if they wish. The difference will always be that the Russian Orthodox Metropolia will alone be Europe-wide and multinational, not mononational, and therefore with the potential of growing into a new Local Church, as Patriarch Alexis II hoped. In the long term, as we know from experience, the jurisdiction that will survive in Europe will be the spiritually serious one, not the ones that wave nationalistic or ideological flags and so automatically alienate others and lose the second and following generations, who find such nationalism and ideologism foreign and irrelevant. Just as the fringes attract the fringes, vagantes attract vagantes, sectarians attract sectarians, personality cults attract personality cultists, so serious jurisdictions will attract serious people.

Conclusion

In recent years I have visited Russian Orthodox in Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Lands, Slovakia, Belgium, Portugal, the Netherlands, France, Sweden and Finland, as well as receiving visits from Russian Orthodox from many of these countries and from Norway, Ireland, Spain and Italy. In all of them I have noticed the consistent ability of many Russian Orthodox to keep the best of Russian culture and to absorb the best of Western culture at the same time. This is because of our ability to see and live European life and culture through the correcting prism and filter of Orthodox Christianity. It is the pastoral duty of the Russian Orthodox Church to its own flock and to all European Orthodox to live like this, keeping faith and yet being European, not repeating the errors of either sectarian nationalists or of the equally sectarian modernists of the Paris Jurisdiction and the old Sourozh Diocese.

We European Orthodox have four layers of identity: local, national and continental (= cultural) and spiritual. In my own case, this means the East of England, England, Europe and Russian Orthodoxy (= Rus). All of these layers of identity can be combined by saying that I belong to the East of England Rus (Vostochnoangliyskaya Rus’), to the Russian Orthodox world that is planted in the East of England. Others can say the same thing, that in Sweden they belong to Scanian Rus, in Spain to Catalan Rus or Galician Rus, in Italy to Sub-alpine Rus or Sardinian Rus, in the Netherlands to Frisian Rus, in Scotland to Hebridean Rus, in Germany to Bavarian Rus or Saxon Rus, in France to Breton Rus or Occitan Rus, in Austria to Carinthian Rus or Tyrolean Rus etc. This is the unity on which our future Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe (R.O.M.E.) can be built, from Iceland to the plains of Hungary, from Lapland to the islands of Malta, in the local regions of the 25 nations of the continent of Europe where we live, and on our complete faithfulness to the integral Russian Orthodox Faith and Tradition.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips
ROCOR Missionary Representative for Western Europe

Brittany, 24 July 2015