Category Archives: Rus

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
 

The Western Elite Versus the Rest

In the Ukraine the desperation of the Poroshenko junta is now clear. Forced into signing Minsk-2 by an equally desperate Merkel and Hollande, who fear full-scale war between US-run Europe and Free Europe and so the collapse of the EU, Poroshenko has also been threatened by the IMF which will no longer fund him unless he ends the bloody war he so foolishly began. His US puppet-masters are also impatient, for 700 Western mercenaries, including many Americans and NATO-trained Poles, are trapped by the Ukrainian freedom-fighters in the Debaltsevo cauldron.

Even in his Uniat heartland of the far western Ukraine (formerly eastern Poland), Poroshenko is facing demonstrations, militant opposition and the refusal to fight in the US-ordered war. There the cold and unpaid population are demoralized by Poroshenko’s broken promises and the thousands of returning bodybags with the corpses of sons who died for nothing. Embarrassed by Poroshenko’s Nazi cronies in Kiev, the EU is insisting on the always obvious need for the federalization of the Ukraine which Poroshenko always refused. The EU will now police his ragtag army’s retreat.

Sadly, in their hubris the unenlightened secularists and atheists of the Western elite still do not realize that the war that they have started in the Ukraine is a religious war. Speaking to Ukrainians defending their homeland marching beneath the double-headed eagle flags against the corrupt oligarch junta the US has put in place in Kiev, they have been told again and again that this is a ‘holy war’ for the Church against Satan. They still do not grasp that the Ukrainian patriots are not battling against the Kiev junta, or even against American neocons, but against the Devil himself.

The goal of the Church’s enemy is, as ever, the establishment of planetary Satanic rule. What is happening in the Ukraine, as everywhere in the US-organized wars across North Africa and the Middle East, from Nigeria and Libya to Syria and Afghanistan, is a prelude to global war. This is a war to destroy true Christianity, Orthodoxy, the Church. Having created the First and Second World Wars and laid hundreds of millions of the slain, including the aborted, at the altar of their father, Satan, the Western elite has initiated the Third World War, intentionally hastening the reign of Antichrist.

The ‘post-modern’ West is declining in self-justified sodomy and decadence. It is mired in unbelief and failing even to reproduce itself, handing itself over to primitive Islamism. As His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill recently commented, the only real threat to the Church is the loss of faith precisely by imitation of the West. The destruction of faith, family and the nation is the Satanic aim of the Western elite worldwide. The last rampart of traditional European Christianity is the Russian Orthodox Church – now being freed from temptation to imitate the West by Western terrorism in the Ukraine.

Western Russophobes point to the cynicism and massive corruption of the post-Soviet Russia which is the only Russia that they know. ‘Birds of a feather…’. Without any vision, they do not see the other Russia, the Russia which is being transformed into Orthodox Russia. They see only the reflections of their own lack of faith, their own cynicism and corruption. They criticise President Putin, whom they have made so popular by their attacks, because they fail to see that he is only a transitional figure who is leading to the future. Because they are faithless, ignorant of the Holy Spirit, they are blind.

The Russophobes foolishly think that we are naïve and do not know about the corruption of post-Soviet Russia. We do know about it, but we have gone beyond it. They live in the post-Soviet past. We are with the future Russia, where the nominal becomes real. We have vision; they have only despair, the disbelief of their cynicism. Moreover, Orthodox Russia is waking up the rest of the Orthodox world, the for now EU-captive Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, and the EU-free but US-threatened Serbia, Moldova, Georgia, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Western world itself.

Orthodox Russia, recovering from the Western-imposed Bolshevik delusion and rediscovering itself, first spiritually and now in the new generation politically, is being called on to save the world. Squeezed between false forms of Christianity and Secularism, the Church stands firm, vigilantly watching those groups which are preparing for Antichrist. Just like the Church Outside Russia in the years when the Church inside Russia was paralyzed, even though threatened by isolation, the whole Church now stands in uncompromised faith, witnessing to the whole world.

The Russian Orthodox Church is uniting diverse peoples around the world who are opposed to the anti-Christian Western elite and its insidious global spread through the propaganda of US ‘soft power’. In the last few decades the Western elite has adopted a world-view based on egoism (‘individualism’) and secularism that isolates it from the rest of the world. So arrogant is that elite that it is unable to comprehend its own isolation. Traditional Western people have been saying for decades that the West has become hopelessly decadent and have been looking for a leader to counter all this.

The leader is here in the Russian Orthodox Church. With the end of the Cold War, America has become the global revolutionary power, seeking to foist the atheism of its post-modern views on the whole planet, by force when necessary. Today Russia has emerged as the counter-revolutionary force, uniting both traditionalists (Ron Paul / Marine Le Pen / Nigel Farage) and radicals (Paul Craig Roberts / Syriza and nationalists in Scotland and Catalonia). In Cold War 2 the evil empire is the Western elite. Russian Orthodoxy is both traditional and also has a consciousness of social justice.

The Russian Orthodox Church represents the actual global consensus, while the Western elite (not the Western people) is the decadent and isolated exception. The West’s postmodernism, as my friend Fr Vsevolod Chaplin proclaimed recently, ‘is increasingly marginal’, adding that ‘it cannot cope with modern challenges’. Meanwhile, Orthodox Christian, Chinese, Indian, Latin American and African civilizations share opposite values and will play an active role in building peaceful relations between civilizational systems and making firm friends among unbrainwashed Western people.

Little wonder that President Putin is genuinely popular and admired by 90% of Russians across the spectrum, in a way that Western politicians can and will never be. Among believers as well as the religiously indifferent, among Protestants as well as Orthodox, among academics as well as taxi drivers, but also among increasing numbers of ordinary Western people themselves, who are so detested and despised by the patronizing global Western Establishment elite, he is seen as the leader who will stand up to the arrogant aggression of bullying and depraved Western governments.

The Long Path to Restoration

As a result of the atheist and materialist philosophies which came out of the so-called ‘Enlightenment’ (in truth, ‘Endarkenment’), most of the 20th century was wasted. The appalling human and material waste took place in huge and extremely costly genocidal wars between rival European imperialisms and then between Capitalist atheism and Communist atheism. These conflicts reached their apogee in the Second World War between neo-pagan Nazism and neo-pagan Communism, between rival imperialisms in North Africa and the Pacific with nuclear holocaust and then in the stand-off and proxy conflicts between East and West in the Cold War, with its potential to obliterate all humanity in MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction).

At that time the Church and the last faithful Christians, representing the only Third Way between these rival neo-paganisms, were squeezed and oppressed between Communist atheism and Capitalist atheism. The former ideology held captive the larger Orthodox Churches of Eastern Europe, most notably the Patriarchate of Moscow, the latter ideology held captive the smaller Greek-speaking Orthodox Churches, most notably the tiny Patriarchate of Constantinople. Apart from the millions of martyrs of whom the world was not worthy, there were few who were free, but they included those who have come to be recognized as great saints, like St Nicholas of Zhicha, St John of Shanghai and St Justin of Chelije and St Paisius of Athos.

After the fall of Soviet atheism at the very end of 1991, Capitalist atheism stood triumphant and sought to globalize its imperialism unchallenged, seeking the world hegemony necessary to prepare for the enthronement and coming reign of Antichrist. Having defeated Communism, in its triumphalism it considered that now only the Islamic world needed to be crushed for the final victory of Zionism. However, the last faithful Christians in the various Local Orthodox Churches did not lose hope. Encouraged and inspired by the examples of the New Martyrs and Confessors throughout the Orthodox world, a turning-point came in 2007 with the long-awaited reuniting of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation.

Under the influence of the Church of All the Russias, the world’s largest and most multinational Local Church, the citizens of the Russian Federation have become conscious of the situation and have in the last few years been choosing sides. Some mainly older people, with a twisted nostalgia for the mass murderers Lenin and Stalin, look for their country to become a Soviet Union 2 and so fall back into atheist persecution of the spiritual and fail once more. Others, so-called ‘liberals’, want the Russian Federation to abandon its millennial identity and become a Western vassal-state of atheist neocons and traitors and so fall into the same spiritual impurity, selfish exploitation, consumerist self-indulgence and inevitable failure as the Western world.

However, ever more citizens in the Russian Federation are looking to the Third Way, the path of repentance and return to its historic identity and destiny. This is the path of becoming once more the Third Rome, the Christian Empire, the bulwark and centre of the whole Church and all the spiritual forces in the world, the centre of Resistance to Antichrist, Who has made the West into his blinded pawn. Currently a Satanic war against the Church is being waged – and we should make no mistake – this is the Third World War. Amid the catastrophes in Syria, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Georgia, Moldova and the bloody, anti-Ukrainian NATO puppet-show in Kiev come the words of a Metropolitan of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

On 1 February, the sixth anniversary of the enthronement of His Holiness Kyrill, Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias, the representative of the Patriarchate of Antioch in Russia, Metropolitan Niphon of Philippopolis, was present at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow, built and then rebuilt to commemorate the victory over Western atheism. He said: ‘The meaning of today’s feast for the Orthodox world is in the care of Your Holiness for the unity of Universal Orthodoxy. Your open-ended dialogue during Your Patriarchal visits to the ancient Patriarchates emphasizes a Pan-Orthodox response to today’s challenges, in which religion is being squeezed out of human life and moral values are being subjected to radical revision’.

After the Liturgy on that day, at a meal in honour of the Patriarch at the Cathedral, surrounded by dignitaries, the Arab Orthodox Metropolitan, representing a land where people still speak Aramaic, the language spoken by Christ, spoke. He asserted that the Patriarch’s activities resounded throughout the world and witnessed to the fact that his visits outside Russia were deeply significant for the various Local Churches and their peoples. He added: ‘Seeing, sensing and living Your care for the strengthening of the unity of all Orthodox and Universal Orthodoxy we, the representatives of the Orthodox Churches at Your throne, are witnesses that the day of Your enthronement as Patriarch of Moscow became an epoch-making event and great feast’.

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence (January-February 2015)

Q: Some consider that the Orthodox world was very weak in the 20th century. Would you agree?

A: 20th century Orthodoxy produced more martyrs than any other century, as well as a great many confessors, so I do not see how you can call the 20th century Orthodox world ‘weak’.

Q: But what about the betrayals of the Faith by certain bishops and even patriarchs in the 20th century?

A: This existed, but we get what we deserve. If we were real Orthodox, we would be strong and so would all our bishops be strong, but we are nominal and therefore decadent Orthodox. The whole problem is not with others, but with ourselves. The Church is us. To think otherwise is an unChristian path which leads directly to the sect. We find fault with ourselves, not with others. Hate the sin, but love the sinner. Only the Non-Orthodox-minded hate sinners and, in so doing, love the sin. We Orthodox know that all of us are sinners, even if some perhaps more than others, we know that all of us are the victims of Satan and therefore we should feel more solidarity with one another, knowing that we have only one common enemy, not each other, but Satan and Satan alone. ‘Bear one another’s burdens’, as the Apostle says.

Q: What about the historic injustices that the Orthodox world has suffered, the sack of Constantinople in 1204, the many Western invasions of Russia? Did they not weaken the Orthodox world too?

A: It is true that there have been many historic injustices and betrayals of the Church by the West which wanted to substitute itself for the Church.

Just in the second millennium, there were the invasion and occupation of England in 1066, the pillage of Constantinople in 1204 which led to its fall in 1453, the invasion of Russia by the Teutonic Knights in the 13th century, by the Poles in the 17th century and then by the Europeans under Napoleon in 1812, the 19th century imposition of German princes on Greece and Bulgaria, the Western invasion of the Crimea and the invasion and occupation of Cyprus by the British.

In the 20th century there were the invasions of Serbia and Russia by the Central Powers in 1914, the Western-organized Russian Revolution in 1917, the invasions by Germany and its allies of several parts of the Orthodox world in 1940-41, the CIA-installed, banana-republic colonels’ regime in Greece in the 1960s-70s, the Western genocide in Serbia in the 1990s, the EU colonization of Orthodox Eastern Europe and today the bloodthirsty Western puppet regime in Kiev. However, we should not make excuses out of these historic injustices that our civilization has suffered. The source of all these historical injustices is in our own decadence. If we had been faithful, these injustices would never have occurred.

Q: So much for the past and today. Do you think that the 21st century overall will be positive or negative for the Orthodox world?

A: Who am I to answer such a question? It is not yet clear which way the Christian Church, that is, the Orthodox world, is going. On the one hand, there are signs of hope, the renewal of monastic life on Mt Athos since the 1960s, the fall of atheism in Eastern Europe and Russia since 1989, the spread of Orthodoxy worldwide. On the other hand, there is much that is profoundly decadent and a cause for pessimism. The President of Estonia is an American, the new President of Romania is a German, there are American-appointed Non-Ukrainian ministers in the Ukraine, the President of Montenegro is an EU puppet etc. However, the Orthodox people can resist the EU/US imposed Establishment and choose freedom, as we have just seen in Greece, though of course the leaders who choose freedom usually get assassinated.

Q: By ‘much that is profoundly decadent’ are you also thinking of corruption? For example, the political, business, banking, police and justice systems in Romania, Greece, the Ukraine or Russia and so on are steeped in corruption and bribe-taking, even more than in countries like Italy, Spain and France. Why is there so much corruption in Orthodox countries, why are Orthodox so corrupt?

A: First of all, today there is, sadly, no such thing as ‘an Orthodox country’. There are only ex-Orthodox countries or, optimistically speaking, ‘pre-Orthodox countries’, which we hope will become Orthodox countries again. Secondly, Orthodox are not corrupt, only ex-Orthodox are corrupt. Our Orthodox Faith is everything. Destroy it and you destroy the source of all our morality and our whole political, social and economic system. We have only one ideal – Orthodoxy, the Church. Take that away from us and the corrupting passions of this world rule.

The West has never understood that. It thinks that if you destroy someone else’s civilization, then you can almost automatically make it into part of Western ‘civilization’. That is the greatest of illusions. If you destroy, you destroy. Full stop. Western ‘civilization’ does not work outside the Western world. When the West destroys someone else’s civilization in the name of ‘freedom and democracy’ by bombing it back to the Stone Age, all it produces is the Stone Age, not Western ‘civilization’.

That is why after the Western coup d’etat in 1917, the Russian Empire became a corrupt mafia regime of criminals and bandits, the Soviet Union, created by the West. We Orthodox have no other values, no other source of morality, justice and honesty than our Faith. In the Christian Church, the Orthodox world, we only have the Church. It is all or nothing for us. Thus, the corruption in Greece, when the elite bankrupted the nation and the people after the imposition of the euro, exists because the elite is not Orthodox. He who is not Orthodox in a once Orthodox country is corrupt. The same is true of Romania, Russia, Bulgaria and so on.

In the West it is different. In the West, at least in the part that has Protestant culture, there is an elaborate half-way house between the Church and corruption, a set of legalistic and humanistic balances and checks, ultimately Christian in origin, which are the substitute for the fullness of Orthodoxy. Having said that, the West is still corrupt. The EU cannot even be audited. In England your career will never go very far if you are not a mason or at least a member of some paramasonic club like the Rotarians. And as an Italian told me decades ago: ‘In England you have taxes, in Italy we have bribes. It is the same thing – payment for a protection racket; it is just that in England the protection racket is State-run, in Italy it is private’.

Q: Has the decadence in what you call ‘ex-Orthodox countries’ or ‘pre-Orthodox countries’ affected the Diaspora?

A: That decadence has affected us profoundly. Quite simply, it has made the foundation of new Local Churches in the Diaspora impossible because the necessary conditions for their establishment have not been in place in the homelands, where the leaders of the Local Churches were all politically enslaved and so spiritually compromised. No new Local Church can be built on spiritual compromise.

As regards the Diaspora itself, it has been unable to do anything alone because it lacks the spiritual level. To have a spiritual level implies having monastic foundations, which the refugees, political or economic, who formed the Diaspora have also largely lacked. In other words, even regardless of the captivity of all the Local Churches in the homelands, the Diaspora has not been spiritually mature enough to form new Local Churches.

Q: What do you mean by spiritual maturity?

A: Spiritual maturity is the spiritual growth that comes from suffering. This, incidentally, is why modern Western societies, spoilt by superficial consumerism, are so infantile, so immature. The majority in them do not know suffering.

Q: Can you give examples of this spiritual immaturity in the Church context?

A: We have the example of the OCA (Orthodox Church in America), which was granted a disputed autocephaly by the Patriarchate of Moscow at a time when it was in Soviet captivity. Nearly fifty years after the OCA received this disputed autocephaly, it is still riven by sectarian, spiritually immature, politically-minded, modernistic factions. They ignore and even despise and deny the two spiritual roots of the OCA, of American Rus in Alaska and of Carpatho-Rus in Pennsylvania, that is, of two strands of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, and want to substitute some kind of superficial, compromising, ephemeral, Protestant American cultural customs for those roots. It is like replacing the hymnography of Orthodox Christmas with ‘Jingle Bells’ (I quote from the practice of one ‘Orthodox’ parish of converts in California) or a fine French wine with Coca-Cola (I paraphrase the words of a well-known and more traditional OCA bishop from the past).

To be fair to OCA laypeople, many or most of whom reject these extremist factions and their modernism, we have to mention the problem of hundreds of former members of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). Also spiritually immature and politically-minded and ignorant of or rejecting the traditional practices and spiritual roots of the Church Outside Russia which were obvious before the mid-1960s, they tried to innovate and, on finally failing, abandoned ROCOR for various extra-ecclesial sects. This happened over a period of two decades between 1986 and 2007 before the reconciliation of ROCOR and the Church inside Russia. (In the same way, some renovationist intellectuals also left the Church inside Russia before its reconciliation with ROCOR, since they could not accept the reality of Church life). Extremists of any type cannot abide unity and reality and always fall for fantasies and sectarian mentalities

Q: Who were these renovationists in the Church inside Russia who left? I thought renovationism in Russia had been defeated in the 1920s and 1930s.

A: Yes, it was very much defeated, but only inside Russia. I meant the sectarian renovationism in foreign parishes in the jurisdiction of the Church inside Russia. This had been allowed to develop and was still preventing unity and reconciliation between the two parts of the Russian Church after the Jubilee Council in 2000.

Q: What conditions would you say need to be in place for any legitimate autocephaly in the Diaspora

A: There are two conditions, one concerning the Diaspora, the other concerning the Local Churches involved. 1. Freedom from spiritual compromise in the Diaspora, that is, the consciousness among a sufficient number (I mean at least 10,000s, not a few hundred) of rooted and mature Orthodox in the Diaspora that they need status as a new Local Church through autocephaly. 2. Freedom from spiritual compromise, that is, agreement among the seven Local Churches which have jurisdictions in the Diaspora on the granting of such an autocephaly.

Q: Leaving aside the first condition and agreement among the seven Churches, why can the Russian Church today not provide autocephaly for the Diaspora and found new Local Churches in, say, Western Europe, Australasia, North America and Latin America? After all, the atheist regime in Russia died a generation ago and today the Church there is politically free, free of State interference. Otherwise, there would never have been any reconciliation between it and the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).

A: True, the Church inside Russia is politically free and the reunited Russian Church now has 342 bishops, about half the total number of Orthodox bishops worldwide, and nearly 40,000 clergymen, with 4,000 being ordained the last two years alone. However, merely being politically free is not the same as being free of ‘spiritual compromise’. There are other problems which create what I call ‘spiritual compromise’. For example, unlike in the atheist period, the masses in the Russian Lands are at least baptized, but that is not enough. You have to live the Faith to be Orthodox.

Only a minority of the people and of the elite in the Russian Lands are living Orthodoxy. Many middle-aged people in the bureaucracy still think in the old Soviet mafia ways – otherwise there would not be corruption, oligarchs and even a civil war going on for oligarch control in the Ukraine. All those phenomena are due to the atheist Soviet heritage. It is why you have so much alcoholism, abortion, corruption and divorce (ABCD). The Church inside Russia is still not spiritually strong enough. You can also see this in nationalistic tendencies in sections of the Russian population.

Q: What nationalistic tendencies?

A: In Russia today there are nationalists, that is semi-Orthodox, who still have a Soviet mentality even though they have been baptized. For instance, they can speak of such opposites as the Tsar-Martyr and Stalin as ‘Russian heroes’ in the same breath. Or they speak of ‘the Russian world’, instead of the Russian Orthodox world. Or they speak of commemorating Vladimir (Putin) by name at the liturgy.

Q: What is wrong with praying for your political leader by name?

A: Everyone agrees that Vladimir Putin is by far the best leader Russia has had since 1917, but he is not the Anointed Tsar, he is at best the politician who, God willing, is preparing the way for the restoration of a legitimate Tsar. But he is not the Tsar himself, only a forerunner. And only an Anointed Tsar is prayed for by name at the liturgy. To pray for a secular leader at the liturgy by name is a form of nationalism, however positive the underlying motivation. Worse than that, in a multinational Church, I think with 62 nationalities in all, you do not offer public prayers for the leader of only one nationality. That would be divisive. If some wish to pray for ‘Vladimir’ in their personal prayers, that is fine, but at the liturgy, in public prayer, we pray only for the authorities in general.

Q: How can such nationalism be overcome?

A: In order to overcome such nationalism we must develop the awareness of what the word ‘Rus’ means.

Q: And what does ‘Rus’ mean?

A: Our Patriarch is called Patriarch of ‘All Rus’, that is, of All the Russias. And ‘Rus’, as in ‘Holy Rus’, the phrase which expresses the Church’s ideal, means multinational, for it includes all the dozens of different races who confess the uncompromised Russian Orthodox Faith, not just Russians. The enemies of the Church, whether nominal, nationalistic Orthodox or Western heterodox – and both groups are actually enemies of the Church – are terrified of a Church which is multinational and uncompromised. Because their souls are narrow, both suffer from the same narrow, reductionist nationalism.

Q: If the Russian Church is at the moment unable to do anything in the Diaspora, then why, if the other conditions were met, could the Patriarchate of Constantinople not provide autocephaly for the Diaspora and found new Local Churches in, say, Western Europe, Australasia, North America and Latin America?

A: Now you are out of the frying pan and into the fire. First of all, unlike the Russian Church, the Patriarchate of Constantinople has never freely given any people autocephaly; Greek imperialism is a great hindrance here. Secondly, that Patriarchate is not only enslaved by US politics – since 1948 its Patriarchs have been nominated by the CIA – but it is also very nationalistic. Hellenism is stronger than Christianity. I can name three Greek priests in England who have in the last 15 months refused to baptize unbaptized English people into the Patriarchate of Constantinople for the simple reason that they ‘are not Greek’. So I baptized them in their place. Such clergy see the Church as a mere Greek club. This is characteristic in general. Whatever you say about Russians, they are not as nationalistic as this. I will always remember attending the Greek Cathedral in Paris on a Sunday, now 35 years ago; the Liturgy was stopped because the Greek ambassador entered – late. This is highly symbolic. A representative of the Greek State was considered to be more important than Christ.

Q: What is nationalism, spiritually?

A: Nationalism is a spiritual disease – a sign of a lack of spiritual experience and spiritual consciousness. It is what lies behind the absurd and violently nationalistic schisms in the Ukraine, in Macedonia, in Montenegro and in Moldova, which are so eagerly and mockingly exploited by the West as the movements of provincial bumpkins (which is what they are). Wherever you get decadence, you get nationalism, nationalistic tendencies and wherever you get nationalism, you get decadence. You can dress this up in a name like phyletism, but it is still nationalism, racism.

Q: Is nationalism only a sign of decadence among Orthodox?

A: Not in the least. In the 5th century it already lay behind the Coptic/Monophysite schism and the Nestorian schism. In the 11th century, it lay behind the Western schism, when the West wanted to replace the Church with its own ethnic identity (‘Roman’ Catholic, not Catholic) and began to deride the Church as ‘Greeks’ and ‘Byzantines’, so reducing it to an ethnic identity. In the 16th century it lay behind the Protestant Reformation, which was essentially an anti-Latin revolt of the Germanic peoples.

Nowhere is this more obvious than in the invention of Anglicanism by the bloodthirsty Tudor monarchs, who, like the popes of Rome before them, supplanted Jesus Christ as heads of the Church in a purely ethnic operation. Unlike in the Orthodox Churches, however much they may suffer from nationalism, in Anglicanism the monarchs (or nowadays atheist and agnostic prime ministers) appoint the bishops and actually influence and shape Anglican doctrines and beliefs, whether it is the sacraments or a female episcopate.

Q: Why is nationalism so poisonous in Church life?

A: Simply because nationalism is another word for worldliness.

Q: If the Russian Church and the Patriarchate of Constantinople cannot act in the Diaspora, what about the Romanian Church? That is the second largest Local Church. Could it not act, if the other conditions were right?

A: No, the Romanians are also unable to do anything. Sadly, their country has now become an EU colony and so, like the Patriarchate of Constantinople, it is US-run. Apart from nationalism (fully backed by Washington, which is eager to cultivate and exploit that weakness – ‘every man has his price’ is the motto), there is a second and closely related disease in Romania, which has evolved directly from nationalism. That is ecumenism.

For instance, in Italy, where the Romanian jurisdiction is by far the largest Orthodox jurisdiction, the impression given by representatives of the Romanian Church is that ‘we are Catholics who use Romanian in our services, instead of Italian. There is no other difference between us’. (Some Romanian priests even use white wine in the Eucharist so as to be ‘like the Catholics’). Romanian Church representatives are so poor that they will compromise on almost anything with the Vatican to get the free use of redundant Catholic churches in Italy. Nationalism stands behind this ecumenism because Romanians and Italians are of the same Latin race, a racial fact which the Vatican exploits to the maximum. This is only one step away from Uniatism and the Vatican knows this and exploits this – Romanian Catholic and Roman Catholic do sound very similar.

The Romanian situation closely reminds me of the relations of the Patriarchate of Constantinople with the Anglicans when they sit the Archbishop of Canterbury on the bishop’s throne in their churches, or with the Catholics, whom they ban themselves from receiving into the Church, even though they plead to be received. (Thus if a Catholic priest wishes to be received into the Rue Daru jurisdiction (Patriarchate of Constantinople), he has to be sent to the OCA to be received, in other words, he is received through the back door).

Only recently in Germany two Romanian Orthodox priests became Catholic priests. Why not? The local Romanian bishop had been saying for years that ‘there is no difference between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church’. His priests were just being logical. On top of that the Catholics pay better. For an Orthodox who has no dogmatic consciousness of Orthodoxy, i.e. who is an apostate, it is only logical to be Catholic.

What I am saying is that any Local Church which is reduced to nationalism is very easily exploited by the enemies of the Church, whether the enemy is Protestantism or the Vatican, or secular-Protestant Washington or its secular-Catholic EU vassal or, perhaps the worst enemy, nominal, nationalistic Orthodoxy. Nationalism is the result of decadence, a low spiritual level, which causes a weak dogmatic consciousness, in other words, which creates an attachment to this world, which is much stronger than an attachment to the Kingdom of God, the values of the Church.

Q: So if at the present time no Local Church can act in the Diaspora, what is the solution?

A: There is no solution to the Diaspora problem at the present time because the solution is much more practical than that dreamed up by a few disincarnate intellectuals in ‘theological’ institutes. It is in the Incarnation of the Faith in international life, that is, in the restoration of the legitimate multinational Christian secular authority, the restoration of the Orthodox Emperor and Empire. Once this is restored, there will be the multinational support for the Diaspora and new Local Churches there. There were no jurisdictional disputes in the Diaspora before 1917, when there was an Orthodox Emperor. Once the Orthodox Emperor is restored, there will be the necessary finance, say, 200 billion roubles (£2 billion / $3 billion) for new Local Churches, the necessary infrastructure will be created and all the jurisdictional problems will be solved worldwide, as they were before the Revolution of 1917.

Q: What is preventing this?

A: Ourselves. We Orthodox first have to want and to be worthy of a restored Emperor and Empire. In 1917 the Orthodox elite had so far lapsed from the Faith that they actually rejected a Christian Emperor and Empire. The question is when will Orthodox stop being ‘ex-Orthodox’ or optimistically speaking, ‘pre-Orthodox’, and become worthy, ready to accept an Orthodox Emperor and Empire again. Only then, with an end to decadence, with a developed Orthodox consciousness, shall we see an end to the problems of the Diaspora.

Resisting and Delaying Antichrist: The Prophetic Vision of the Russian Orthodox Church Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence and Conversations

Q: What do you think from an Orthodox viewpoint of the recent G-20 meeting in Brisbane, where much was made of the war in the Ukraine.

A: In Brisbane Western politicians – not world leaders, as they pretentiously call themselves – made much of the civil war in the Ukraine. This was because they caused it and are continuing it. At Brisbane a clear message was given to the Western bullies by the free world, led by Russia: If the West continues to destabilize, overthrow democracy by bribing mobs and destroy the sovereignty of the Ukraine, then Russia will extend its sanctions against the Western world, possibly closing Russian air space to it. The Obamas, Bidens, Camerons, Hollandes and Merkels of the West face self-imposed isolation.

The Russian Federation, the Eurasian Economic Union, China, India, much of Latin America, nearly one half of the world, are working towards a new world order and will not tolerate arrogant Western bullying. That has already caused so much bloodshed and chaos in genocidal bombing, invasion and occupation of Yugoslavia, Iraq and Afghanistan and in CIA-organized ‘coloured revolutions’ in Libya, Syria and the Ukraine. Libya was the last straw, but even now there are aggressive individuals in the US, whose minds are so power-crazed that they openly talk of starting a Third World War against Russia and China.

Q: Do you think there is any hope that heads of some countries in the European Union will speak out against this US-centred bullying?

A: The EU has more or less become an island off the western coast of the USA, in other words, a US colony or ‘protectorate’, in effect its next state, and is governed by puppets and economic thugs, as we saw in Greece and Spain. The US has isolated Europe from its own roots and its own interests. Until the Paris-Berlin-Moscow axis is restored, as in the early 1900s, there is no hope for Europe. Remarkably, however, the leaders of some small countries in the EU have protested, notably the leaders of Hungary and the Czech Republic. They have of course been condemned for that by the US-run EU media.

Q: What about the leaders of once Orthodox countries like Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania and Non-EU Serbia and Montenegro?

A: Apart from Serbia, where Orthodoxy is still to some extent a political force, the elites of all those countries have betrayed the Orthodox Faith and their own peoples. We can expect nothing of such elites. They can only think of payments from Brussels into their Swiss bank accounts.

Q: When you say ‘the US has isolated Europe’, what do you mean by the US?

A: The US means the plutocratic financiers, industrialists and arms-merchants who saw their opportunity and immigrated to the US from Europe, from where they had already financed slavery, over 200 years ago and now run the US. I do not of course mean the American people. Until the end of the 1950s there was still among many ordinary Americans a small-town, Bible-based culture, however deficient and partial. That has been more or less destroyed by the plutocrats and is lamented by such popular American singers as Don McClean and Johnny Cash in nostalgic songs like American Pie and Family Bible. Americans were the first victims of the plutocrats, the first victims of the ‘US’, as we saw already in the US Civil War. There is nothing that Satan loves more than wars where brother kills brother, whether in the US or the Ukraine.

Q: Has not Russia suffered from the Western sanctions imposed because of the Ukraine?

A: There are naturally problems resulting from them, but the main result of Western bullying because of Russia’s protection of the Ukraine, so-called ‘sanctions’, has been for Russians to refind their identity. Providentially, the Ukraine, the cradle of Russian Orthodoxy, is preparing Russia for the future, preparing it to overcome the confusion and decadent westernization of the last 25 years, to realize that Russia has its own identity, path and role. If the Western elite really wants to start a Third World War, it must now realize that Russians will no longer simply lie down and agree to lose that War, their country and, above all, their Christian Faith to Mammon.

This is the same situation as in the thirteenth century when the Mongols invaded Russia. Until then Russians had been divided; everything changed afterwards as they found unity against the common enemy and petty squabbles were forgotten. So today Russia was divided before the Western invasion of the Ukraine, now it is finding unity once more. Today’s extraordinary consensus of national unity around President Putin has not existed in Russia for exactly 100 years, since the First World War, when Russia also united against aggressive Western enemies.

Q: To move on, there has been talk recently of the forthcoming All-Orthodox Council in 2016 and much worry has been expressed about it. Do you share in those worries?

A: No. To worry about this is really to show a lack of faith in Divine Providence and in the Church, which is not a mere human institution, but a Divino-human organism. First of all, nobody knows if there will be a Council, let alone whether one is forthcoming; remember that ‘man proposes but God disposes’. True, a meeting of several Orthodox bishops is planned in two years’ time, but a meeting is not in itself a Council. And no-one knows with the situation between Constantinople and the Czechs and Slovaks if even that meeting will take place. And who knows who the Patriarch of Constantinople will be in two years’ time.

Even if a meeting does take place and politics takes over, it will remain an ineffectual without any consensus. However, if a ‘Council’ takes place, why should that be bad? Surely a Council – rather than a mere meeting – will proclaim the Church and our Orthodox Faith to the whole world, anathematizing all isms, atheism, consumerism, ecumenism, globalism etc. How can that be bad? Remember that only canonical Orthodox will attend, those of disputed canonicity like the OCA, those in schisms, as in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and Estonia, those in sects like the old calendarists, as well as heterodox, will not take part.

Q: So why do some worry?

A: I think that those who are worried, for example old calendarists, have a psychological and not theological motivation. They are really just seeking to justify their schisms. For example, they point to the decadence inside the Patriarchate of Constantinople but then forget that Mt Athos and many faithful clergy and people outside the convert fringes are under that Patriarchate. The old calendarists want a Pharisee-like, black and white world, in which they are white and everyone else is black. Such a world does not exist and has never existed. The wheat has always grown alongside the tares. Look at the twelve apostles: most of them betrayed Christ, one did not even repent, but still eleven of them became saints. Old calendarist criticisms are psychologically-motivated self-justification.

Q: But we know there are many real problems between the Local Churches, for example there is the problem of the new calendar.

A: I can recall reading the words of St Justin (Popovich) in the 1970s who denounced the concept of a Council then because the vast majority of Orthodox were living under the yoke of Communism. Then he was right of course, but now the situation is quite different. Today most Orthodox, some 85% of all, are free. True there are some 15% who are not free, who live under what may be called ‘CIA Churches’, but they are a small minority.
Who knows, if this meeting does take place and does become a Council, this may mean that the new calendar hierarchies will repent and return to the Orthodox calendar, giving up the Roman Catholic calendar. Mt Athos gave up that calendar decades ago and now the Polish Church has done so. Others will surely follow. And remember too that the CIA Churches, subject to all manner of Uniatizing and Protestantizing manipulations, are mainly small and their senior representatives elderly. Most of the free Local Churches are young and follow the Tradition. Time is on our side.

Q: What do you mean by ‘CIA Churches’?

A: Those whose leaders are appointed by the CIA, or bribed by the EU and masonic circles, which amounts to the same thing.

Q: What is the role of the Russian Church among the other Local Churches?

A: As three-quarters of the whole Church, we have a special responsibility: our vision, mission and task are prophetic. Our vision, mission and task are resistance and delaying tactics in order to oppose the coming of Antichrist, towards whom the world has been hurtling for the last hundred years and especially for the last fifty years. You remember how Reagan called the Soviet Union ‘the evil empire’? Well, where did the demons who had entered the Russian Empire by 1917, tipped the balance against it and created that evil empire go? They did not disappear back to hell, but, seeing their battle largely lost in Russia, they went to infest the West, where, tragedy of tragedies, they were shown no resistance and even made welcome.

Here is the message of Russia to the West: After 1917 demons took over in Russia but we eventually fought them off because of the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors, because of the strength of the Orthodox Faith and Orthodox culture. Russia says to the West: Follow our example, return to the Orthodox Christ and you too can shake off the demons. But of course the West is so blinded by its towering racial and nationalistic pride that it cannot even see that is being tormented by demons. Indeed, it does not even believe in demons and it rejects the sweetness of the Resurrection of Christ, Whom it considers to be an ‘uneducated Asiatic’.

Q: To say that the Russian Church’s role is to oppose the coming of Antichrist is a very serious statement, with many implications.

A: Yes, it is very serious because it means that the Russian Orthodox Church is a sort of litmus test. The world can be divided into two parts, on the one hand those who are with us, our friends, those who are also resisting and delaying the coming of Antichrist, and, on the other hand, those who resist the Russian Church and, consciously or, more usually, unconsciously, are working for Antichrist’s coming. Those who unconscious and naively think they are working for ‘freedom, democracy and humanity’ etc are pawns in Antichrist’s game. They would be shocked if they realized it and then they would repent.

In that respect the Pussy Riot incident, so completely and so obviously stage-managed by the West, was highly symbolic. There we clearly saw who is for Antichrist and who is against. Those who supported Pussy Riot, words which are simple code for the sex and violence of modern Western ‘culture’, including fifth columnist, nominally Orthodox intellectuals, some of them even clergy, modernist heterodox, the Western media and so-called human rights activists, are all working for Antichrist.

Q: You say that to resist and delay Antichrist is the task of the Russian Church. But what practically can the Russian Church do that the other Local Churches cannot?

A: The Russian Church alone is able, when the time is ripe, to set up the infrastructure for Metropolias in the Americas, Asia, Australasia and Western Europe and also help the Patriarchate of Alexandria to become the true Church of Africa and stop being a Greek colony run by the EU-controlled Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens. The other Local Churches are too small, too weak, too nationalistic and, in the cases of the CIA Churches, too unfree, to do this.

Q: This sounds like papism, setting up a worldwide Church?

A: Not at all. Papism is about empire-building and centralization, which, true, has become the ethos of many in the modern Patriarchate of Constantinople and also in its time affected careerist, nationalistic State appointees in the Russian Church before the Revolution. Today the Russian Church is about setting up Metropolias as foundations for new Local Churches, as has already happened in Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, and as is under way in Japan and China. These countries are parts of its canonical territory, but will remain so only for as long as the Churches there are too small to gain autocephaly.

The aim is not empire-building, which is centralization, but decentralization, through laying the foundations for and then establishing new autocephalous Local Churches, as His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II said in 2003 when speaking of a future Metropolia in Western Europe. We have as our model not the manmade, papist, unionist, filioquist, rationalist god of Western philosophers, but the real Christian God of the Holy Trinity revealed in all Power and Glory in the New Testament, unity in diversity.

Q: Do you think that other territories will be added to the canonical territory of Rus apart from China and Japan?

A: Certainly. I think that eventually in Europe Hungary may be added, and outside Europe in South-East Asia, with the Russian Orthodox missions already there, Thailand and Laos, and I think perhaps one day Iran too.

Q: So the rest of the world, except for Africa and the other territories in the jurisdiction of the other 13 canonical Local Churches, can be covered by the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)?

A: Yes. The Church Outside Russia actually means the Church Outside Rus, outside the Russian lands. And Rus at present only covers lands of the former Soviet Union – except for Georgia – including the Ukraine, Estonia and so on, and, as we have said, China and Japan. ROCOR can cover the rest, except those countries that form the canonical territories of other Local Churches.

Q: But those countries ‘outside Rus’ often have Orthodox populations which are under other Local Churches. So how can they come under ROCOR?

A: They cannot ‘come under’ ROCOR, I said, ‘can be covered by ROCOR’, not ‘come under’. ROCOR is the Church Outside Rus. Unlike the Church inside Rus, which has a canonical territory, the Church Outside Rus has no canonical territory. However, we do have a shared territory, a territory which we can cover, and where we can have a canonical flock.

Q: What do you mean by canonical flock?

A: All those of all nationalities who live outside the canonical territory of Rus and freely belong to and confess the Russian Orthodox Church and Tradition. And at present nobody, including the US and EU elite, can stop us from belonging to ROCOR.

Q: With such a definition, where does the ‘Orthodox Church in America’, the OCA, come? That after all is in North America, on a territory covered by ROCOR, and the OCA was founded through the Russian Church.

A: I don’t know where the OCA comes. You must ask its members. The OCA was a temporary Cold War creation of Soviet times, largely made up not of descendants of subjects of the Russian Empire, but of descendants of subjects of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. For nearly 45 years now its canonicity has been disputed and it has been torn by internal dissensions. Like all conglomerates, its different parts are torn in different directions.

I think that instead of sitting between two (and sometimes more than two) chairs, one day it will split apart, with a small majority, especially but not only in Alaska, ‘Russian America’, returning to the Russian Church and spiritual freedom and integrity, and a large minority, under the influence of sectarian American nationalism and possibly under the direct influence of the US administration, going off to liberal, ecumenistic convert groups, the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople and some to the Uniats.

Q: And what about the Paris Jurisdiction? It claims to be ‘of the Russian Tradition’. Where does that fit into such a definition?

A: It too left the Russian Church and therefore our affairs do not concern it. As regards its claim, as someone in Paris said to me earlier this year, although the Paris Jurisdiction may claim to be ‘of the Russian Tradition’, the Russian Tradition has not even ‘stayed overnight’ in most of its communities. When you live, as some do, on the Roman Catholic calendar, want the Roman Catholic Easter, have no iconostasis, wear Greek vestments, abbreviate the Liturgy, give communion to Roman Catholics, write against and condemn the Russian Church, refuse to venerate Her martyrs and belong to Her, what sort of ‘Russian Tradition’ is that? That is Uniatism, not Orthodoxy. Apart from in a few last outposts, that claim is a fiction.

Thus, it is very interesting to think back before 2007, before ROCOR and the Church inside Russia entered into canonical communion with one another. Then the Paris Jurisdiction – and its members who colonized the OCA in North America – used to condemn ROCOR as ‘a sect’ for not concelebrating with the Church inside Russia because ROCOR considered that the bishops of the Church inside Russia were not free and therefore could not act canonically. However, as soon as freedom came and ROCOR and the Church inside Russia did start concelebrating, the masonic ethos of the propaganda of the Paris swung around 180 degrees. Then representatives of the Paris Jurisdiction started condemning ROCOR precisely for concelebrating with the Church inside Russia, which they then said was not free!

So they went from criticizing ROCOR for being anti-Moscow to criticizing ROCOR for being pro-Moscow, never recognizing the transformation and liberation of Moscow. It is clear that the point of view of those who control the Paris Jurisdiction is mere self-justification, which is the same psychology for all extremists, whether for the Paris new calendarists or for the Greek old calendarists. In other words, their views are a political manipulation, conditioned by anti-Russian Western political propaganda, whether sent out to manipulate weak hearts and irrational minds by the CIA or by the Vatican, and has nothing to do with spiritual values.

Q: What was it that brought ROCOR and the Church inside Russia into canonical communion?

A: The August 2000 Jubilee Council of the Church inside Russia, which met all three conditions of ROCOR, the canonization of the New Martyrs, the condemnation of collusion with the atheist State, known as sergianism, and the complete rejection of the branch theory, known as ecumenism.

Q: In that case why did ROCOR not enter into communion with the Church inside Russia straightaway in 2000?

A: Very simply because it is one thing to proclaim something at a Council, but quite another to put it into practice. For example, even after the Jubilee Council, at the London Cathedral belonging to the Church inside Russia they still refused to put up icons of the New Martyrs, on the pretext that they had no space on their bare white walls! They also forbade the sale of books written by Fr Seraphim Rose, which were at that time so popular inside Russia. In England ROCOR had to wait for the death of one individual in 2004 and then the departure of other modernists in 2006 to the Paris Jurisdiction before a new Orthodox bishop could be sent from Russia, a bishop chosen on ROCOR’s recommendation, and so we could have local unity.

Many representatives of the Church inside Russia but who lived in the West had been betraying the Russian Church and Tradition for decades, they were compromised. This is partly why ROCOR was so popular. I can remember nearly forty years ago when on a Sunday 600 Russian emigres would be standing in the ROCOR Cathedral in London and at the Patriarchal Cathedral there would be perhaps 200, over half of whom were naïve Non-Russians and visitors who knew no better. In Brussels and Paris the Patriarchal churches were also no more than house chapels. Russians and those who knew the Tradition did not go there.

Remember how, just before the Church Outside Russia and the Church inside Russia entered into communion with one another, in 2006 a small convert part of the foreign representation of the Church inside Russia in England and France abandoned Her. Why did this betrayal of the Church which, ironically, was just about to be reunited, take place? Because of two local personality cults, mainly among unintegrated converts, who placed those peculiar cults above the Russian Church and unity with Her. The individualistic mantra of cults and cultishness came before the Church of Christ.

The manipulative leaders of the naïve and misinformed who left had been doing a disservice to the Church inside Russia for decades while Moscow, paralysed by an illegitimate, militant atheist regime, had been able to do nothing about it. The lesson we learn from this is that those who are not integrated into Church life, but have their own agendas, always disintegrate. Interestingly, those who left in England were ardently supported by a rabidly Russophobic British press and, naturally, the State-run BBC.

In other words, locally, it took years for the decisions of the Jubilee Council to be implemented. There were similar situations in other parts of the Church inside Russia, where Soviet-minded individuals and their followers had to leave the scene for the decisions of that Council to be implemented. That is why fundamentally it took seven years for us to progress.

Q: But that was not the only reason for seven years’ delay. ROCOR too had committed faults on its part too, didn’t it?

A: Of course, individuals in ROCOR and in the ROCOR hierarchy had made their mistakes too. This mistake was the confusion between the Soviet Union and Russia. Emigres who had been mere children before the Revolution or who had been born outside Russia or who had been born inside the Soviet Union before 1945 and been cruelly persecuted for the Faith, often could not tell the difference between the post-Stalinist Soviet Union and Russia. In reality, despite the anti-Russian Bolshevik ideology, imported from the West, the Soviet Union had kept much of Orthodox culture.

1917 was not a light switch when the light went off – there was continuity. The victory over Fascism in the Second World War, the education and medical system, the reflexes of justice for the poor and for the Third World, the qualities of generosity, hospitality and mercifulness – they were not Soviet, they are Russian, and come from the Orthodox world view and Orthodox reflexes. On the other hand, the materialistic philosophy of the Soviet Union, the vicious persecution of the Church, the Gulag, all that was of course profoundly evil, satanic. Communism was Orthodoxy without God, just as Mammonism is Protestantism without God.

The mistakes made by some in ROCOR were why the ROCOR hierarchs and those of the Church inside Russia asked each other forgiveness before 2007. Being human, we all make mistakes. No-one is perfect. As a result of mutually asking one another for forgiveness, since 2007 the Church inside Russia has become ever more ‘de-Sovietized’ and ROCOR has become ever more ‘de-ghettoized’, more open and more international. Both parts have benefited enormously, making great strides forward. To ask for forgiveness is always beneficial, creative and dynamic. God gave us all grace for repentance.

The failure of the Paris Jurisdiction to admit its mistakes, unlike the two parts of the Russian Church inside and outside Russia which admitted theirs, is precisely the essential problem of those who control the Paris Jurisdiction. This is due to the unrepentant arrogance usual for intellectuals. In Paris the heirs of those who caused the Revolution through treachery in 1917 are still justifying themselves and their ancestors. For those who are in control in Paris are the heirs of the degradation of the Westernized Russian intelligentsia before the Revolution and their mercilessness. For example, the sins of individual representatives in the Church inside Russia were the sins of political hostages, not of free men. And if you refuse to recognize the repentance of such, you make yourself like the elder brother of the prodigal son, a merciless mountain of towering pride, refusing to take part in the banquet of the loving Father.

Q: So you distinguish between those who ‘control the Paris Jurisdiction’ and its members?

A: Of course. I have been an eyewitness of the process of return of many from the Paris Jurisdiction to both parts of the Russian Church since the 1980s. Sadly, the process of Uniatization that began there, above all from 1981 on, and which I personally tried to combat, has gone much further since then. I personally know of eight priests and deacons and four parishes which have returned from the Paris Jurisdiction since the late 1980s, when they saw through the betrayal of those in control and understood their underlying lack of love for the Russian Church.

Q: Why did Uniatization speed up there from 1981 on?

A: The disintegration of the Paris Jurisdiction began in 1981 after the repose of the ever-memorable Archbishop George (Tarasov), the last Archbishop who had been an adult before the Revolution, indeed a Russian pilot on the Western Front in the First World War. Those who returned after that to the Russian Church in order to keep their integrity, despite the slander that they faced, had realized that the Paris Jurisdiction would not return en masse as a group to the Russian Church, understanding that there were forces in it which were profoundly politicized and Russophobic, the very forces which proudly claim to be ‘apolitical!’ In fact, they are not apolitical, but simply disincarnate, ‘useful’ only to the enemies of the Church, such as the Vatican and Western spy agencies. Indeed, one of those who was in control in the Paris Jurisdiction in the 1980s has recently been proved to have been a senior agent of the French Secret Services. The exodus from there has been such that there are now only two ageing priests left in the Paris Jurisdiction who were brought up in ROCOR and so have a sense of the Tradition

Those of the Paris Jurisdiction who have now departed this life, Metr Evlogy and Vladimir, Archbishops George (Tarasov) and Sergiy (Konovalov), Bishops Methodius (Kulmann), Roman (Zolotov) and Alexander (Tian-Shansky), Protopresbyter Alexei Knyazev, Archpriests Alexander Rehbinder and Igor Vernik and a mass of others, clergy and people, would have returned to the Russian Church, if they were now alive. Some of these people I knew personally and I am convinced that they would be outraged by the attitude of those who refuse to return to the Russian Church today, 25 years on after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Q: Why?

A: Constantinople had for them only ever been a temporary refuge. It had always been their intention to return to the Russian Church, once She was free, just like us in ROCOR. Today there is no spiritual justification for staying in what is largely not just a Non-Russian, but an anti-Russian jurisdiction. And what is left of that jurisdiction? By and large, apart from a few unintegrated converts in each of a few dozen temporary premises and tiny chapels scattered across France and in neighbouring countries, there are only Rue Daru, mainly populated by those from the ex-Soviet Union, a tragically bankrupt St Sergius Institute, some four small Russian chapels in Paris, two convert groups in Paris, the crumbling church in Biarritz, which undemocratically has not been allowed to return to the Russian Church, and the convent in Bussy. Perhaps 5,000 people in all, and most of them arrivals from the former Soviet Union who have nowhere else to go. Since the 1980s the vital forces have left the Paris Jurisdiction. One priest who left, dear Fr Nikolai Soldatenkov, even took out Russian nationality, partly in order to be able to leave.

Q: Can you give other examples of those you mentioned above who you think would have returned to the Russian Church by now?

A: Yes. Take Metr Evlogy – he himself repented and returned, on paper, to the Russian Church twice, in 1934 and 1945, but was prevented by the freemasons in the Paris Jurisdiction from actually doing so. In the 1960s and 1970s both Bishop Methodius (Kulmann) and Protopresbyter Alexei Knyazev actively tried to return to the Russian Church and suffered for their efforts. As for Bishop Roman (Zolotov), he was a Cossack by family – we had no doubts about him. As for dear Fr Igor Vernik I remember how he used to support the Russian football team against the French football team! And Archpriest Alexander Rehbinder refused to move to the USA in the 1950s because he knew that his many children would lose the Faith in the land of mammon. Archbishop Sergiy (Konovalov), whom I knew when he was a priest, was about to persuade the whole Paris Jurisdiction to move to the Church inside Russia when he died. His Holiness Patriarch Alexey II had hoped that his jurisdiction would become the foundation stone of an autonomous Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe.

Q: Let us get back to ROCOR. Why did only 95% of ROCOR enter into communion with the Church inside Russia in 2007? What about the other 5%?

A: When I left Moscow after my second visit to Soviet Russia in 1976, I promised myself as a Russian Orthodox layman that I would not return until the Russian Church was free from an atheist leader and regime. And indeed when I did return, thirty-one years later, in 2007, it was to the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, where I concelebrated as a priest of the Church Outside Russia, together with a great many others, with his Holiness Patriarch Alexei II and in the presence of the Orthodox President of the Russian Federation. When in 2007 some 95% of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the by then free Patriarchal Church inside Russia entered into communion with one another, true, some 5% of ROCOR did not follow precisely because they were in denial of the huge changes in Russia between 1976 and 2007. Some simply abandoned the Church, but others fell away into pro-CIA, schismatic sects based in the Ukraine, Russia and Greece. Why?

Firstly, there were the naïve idealists and the good-hearted but misinformed who were hoodwinked and have mainly since returned. Secondly, there were those who put personal grudges against individual ROCOR bishops, who had misunderstood their non-integrated convert ideas, above their own salvation. Thirdly, there were those who were on an ego trip, seeking a career. And finally, there was most of the 5% or so who left and have not since returned, who did so because they were politically-minded, as they were anti-Communist rather than pro-Orthodox. Among them were some extremists who had consciously and freely sided with Hitler in the 1940s.

It must be said that many of the ringleaders here were actually employees of the CIA or the Canadian Secret Service, just as there was at least one case of an employee of the French Secret Services in the Paris Jurisdiction. So politics and salaries paid by Western spy services, presented by the ringleaders as ‘freedom’ and an ‘apolitical stance’, were the real reason for their schisms. When Communism fell, such people had no further reason to frequent the Church, as for them the Church had mainly been only an expression of nationalistic anti-Communism. They ended up being anti-Russian, as they had not understood that anti-Soviet could also mean anti-Russian. They were unable to discern the Russian through the fog of the Soviet.

This was because fundamentally they had little loyalty to the real Russian Orthodox Church and her international ideal of Holy Rus, but rather to narrow-minded political nationalism. Their behaviour had always been the greatest discouragement to Non-Russians joining the Church. Many of us who came to the Church seeking bread were indeed actually told to go away by them and in no uncertain terms, in other words, we were given stones. As one ROCOR bishop, speaking of one well-known to me ROCOR parish in the 1980s, told me recently, ‘those people were not Christians’. As is usual, their lack of love towards others ended up by driving them themselves to leave the Church in 2007 and even before, starting in the 1990s. Today we are still here in the Church; they are the ones who have abandoned Her.

Q: To come back to the idea of a Metropolia for Western Europe that you mentioned above, how important is that concept for Western Europe itself?

A: It is vital. I know that I am about to give an absurd example because it touches such a tiny detail, but I have to tell you it because it is symbolic of the degeneration of Europe. Two weeks a Russian woman in Germany wrote to me and told me that for many Germans a woman wearing a skirt is seen either as a Russian or else as a prostitute. What I am saying through this perhaps ridiculous symbol is that even the culture of Christian vestiges that was alive in Europe 50 years ago in the normal way that people dressed then is now dead.

Young Western people whose souls are at least still alive today turn to strange subcultures or even Islam and even fight for Islamic State, since that counters the spiritually empty West of today. Their disaffection and alienation are so great that even such bizarre and lethal choices seem more logical to them than the deathly conformist consumerism, hellish vampires, aliens, monsters, drugs, drink, sex, obesity, depression, mental illness and suicide that is the modern West. Europe has zombified and infantilized itself by accepting Americanization, it has been robbed and stripped naked of its own culture and is on the point of spiritual death. Europe is the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho was robbed and left for dead. Only a Good Samaritan, one from outside the West but still linked with its roots and understanding it, can save Europe; no false priests can do anything for it, for they pass by on the other side.

How can Europe be regenerated without the Church and Her prophetic vision? It is not possible. Europe desperately needs to be raised up from the deathly spiritual filth of its vulgar, fleshly, bread and circuses consumerism, the tyranny of its Babylonian culture of death, the fruit of its thousand-year apostasy, to the vision of spiritual beauty, to spiritual purity and the culture of the soul, to the nobility of human destiny, to the heavenly Jerusalem, which are offered by the Russian Orthodox Church. We are talking here about salvation, about life and death.

Now I am reminded here of the events of 200 years ago, on 11 April 1814. This was when liberating Russian Orthodox troops celebrated Easter Night on the Place de la Concorde in Paris, where a field church had been set up. Having defeated Napoleon, who had taken a burned-out Moscow only some 18 months before, Tsar Alexander I stood in that great square, where the King of France had been beheaded less than a generation before, in 1792, and where the crowned Napoleon had stood in 1804 in front of a five-pointed red star, and heard thousands of Russian troops answering the priests’ ‘Christ is Risen!’ with the words ‘Truly He is Risen!’ This was the spiritual victory over the degenerate heart of atheist Europe which followed the physical victory over atheist Europe. This spiritual victory needs to be repeated in today’s atheist Europe. Otherwise geriatric Europe will go under completely, swept away by its own atheism and the tide of Islamic immigration.

Q: Why instead of subcultures and Islam do Western young people not choose Orthodoxy, when Orthodoxy is at the roots of the West, in its first millennium?

A: Firstly, because modern Western people have been cut off from those roots, their own history has been concealed from them, they can often mentally go no further back than 1945, let alone 1,000 years. And secondly because it is so difficult to find authentic Orthodoxy in Western Europe.

Q: Which countries would a Metropolia in Europe consist of?

A: Only those in Western Europe. Slovenia and Croatia already come under the Serbian Church. The Baltic States already come under the Russian Church. Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia already have their own autocephalous Churches. As for Hungary, given the fact that its first faith came in the tenth century from the East and not from Rome, then to my mind it too should one day have its own Local Church, just like Poland and the Czech Lands and Slovakia, which also originally received their faith from the East. Even today Hungarian Catholicism, as in certain neighbouring countries, is coloured by Orthodox values and, for example, the veneration of icons.

Twenty Western European countries are left, all post-Roman Catholic or post-Protestant, and where the Russian Church, in one or both its parts, is already present. They are: Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland; Ireland, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Switzerland, Austria; Portugal, Spain, France, Italy. They, together with the tiny Andorra, Liechtenstein and San Marino, would form the territory of this Metropolia.

A: Why can’t those countries have individual Local Churches?

Q: That is a hopelessly insular, narrow and nationalistic idea. It is the sort of thing that narrow, nationalistic ex-Anglicans dream of. Western Europe is a whole and individual countries in it are far too small to have their own Local Churches. Western Europe was the territory of a single Orthodox Patriarchate. We will never divide it. A Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe is the foundation for the restoration of the single, historic Local Church on this territory. We wish to keep that historic unity. Here in Sweden, for instance, you have two great saints, St Olaf and St Anna, and they are precisely part of the whole history of Europe, not narrow, nationalistic symbols, cut off from the rest, but linked in their cases with England and Russia

Q: What is the realistic hope for the foundation of such a Metropolia?

A: Officially today there are said to be 7,000,000 Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. That is far more than the four ancient Greek Orthodox Patriarchates of Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem combined, more than the Georgian, Polish, Cypriot and Czechoslovak Orthodox Churches put together, let alone the 30,000-100,000 who make up the OCA. Yet the infrastructure for us is pathetic. We still do not have the new Cathedral in Paris and we really need a large, purpose-built Cathedral in central London.

Altogether in Western Europe I doubt whether there are even 200 church buildings and 200 priests for these 7,000,000 Russian Orthodox. That is scandalous; at most one church and one priest for every 35,000 people! As I have said many times before, we need a huge church-building and infrastructure programme across a network of at least 500 cities and towns in Western Europe. Today, wherever you go in Western Europe, even in small towns, the flood of immigration has been such that you will meet at least one Russian Orthodox. Provision has to be made. Let every Western European town and city of over 100,000 have its own full-time bilingual Russian Orthodox church and let there be at least chapels elsewhere, so that nobody, whatever their origin and native language, is more than 50 kilometres from their own bilingual Russian Orthodox church and centre.

Q: Who is to blame for the present situation?

A: First and foremost, we are ourselves to blame for this situation. We have to make our own Church. The Church works from the grassroots. We should never blame others for this. However, it is true that if we can first show that we are motivated, then we can attract the attention of the hierarchy. Then we can attract help from above and, in terms of our Russian Orthodox world, that means help from Moscow. Economic refugees and their children, who make up the bulk of the 7,000,000, are by definition not the wealthiest people in the world. And how are Western Europeans, already Russian Orthodox or potentially Russian Orthodox, to be integrated into the Russian Orthodox Church in Europe, if there are so few churches, so few centres of Church culture?

Q: How do you see such a Metropolia?

A: For nearly a decade now I have belonged to an informal group of Russian Orthodox priests in some major towns and cities in Western Europe. We look at Western Europe as a whole, we want to draw the Orthodox Cross over Europe. We have a love of and an attachment to the Russian Orthodox Tradition but also a knowledge of local languages and local heterodox culture. We want to create bilingual oases of a Russian Orthodox Europe, where all can feel at home.

This is the opposite of the policy of the Paris Jurisdiction, which suffers from a lack of love of and a lack of knowledge of the Russian Orthodox Tradition, but instead an attachment to local languages and local heterodox culture. However, you cannot be Orthodox and at the same time have an attachment to heterodox culture. This is not Local Orthodoxy. Local Orthodoxy is created by integration into the Orthodox Faith, not by integration into heterodox culture, which disintegrates. The latter is salt that has lost its savour. Local Orthodoxy cannot grow by being attached to heterodoxy.

Q: What does this mean in practical terms?

A: All my adult life I have fought for the unity of the Russian Orthodox Church, Who is a mother gathering her chicks, like Jerusalem. I see a time, though it may still be far off, when there will be a Russian Orthodox Metropolia in Europe, whose church buildings and infrastructure will initially be financed from Russia, but whose clergy will be paid entirely locally by the faithful, thus remaining free and independent. But we need to form a grassroots Europe-wide Russian Orthodox Brotherhood or Russian Orthodox Union, blessed by our local bishops, to advance this process.

Q: You still have not answered my question: what is the realistic hope for such a Metropolia?

A: I have answered it, but here is my answer more directly. It is in a new consciousness, both here Europe-wide and in Moscow, at the grassroots and at the level of the hierarchy, a consciousness of the international calling of the Russian Orthodox Church. Here our Europe-wide unity is vital. And what is that unity based on? Our unity is based on our love for the Russian Church, just as disunity is in a lack of love for Her. We should have a patriotism for the Church, which by principle of the Incarnation spreads to every country inasmuch as that country is part of the Church.

In other words, Holy Rus is to be made global. For this we need spiritual purity, the pre-revolutionary Church purified – we must not forget that the pre-revolutionary Church had careerist traitors in Her who supported Kerensky. We must not forget that disunity is always caused by narrowness, whether sectarian or nationalist, as today in the Ukraine, Macedonia, Montenegro and Estonia. Disunity is caused by the primacy of fallen, human, political concerns instead of the primacy of the Faith and the lack of a coherent Russian Orthodox world view. We need unity around the Church.

Q: Who are you grateful to for this vision of Europe-wide Russian Orthodox unity that you have?

A: Four people in particular have inspired me and to them I will always be grateful. Firstly, to the ever-memorable Archpriest Lev Lebedev, whom I first met in Krasnodar in Russia in 1976, and, despite his later illness and tragedy, was one of the finest thinkers in the Russian Church; secondly to the ever-memorable Baroness Maria Rehbinder (Cattoire) of the Paris Jurisdiction, a young woman before the Revolution, a daughter of a New Martyr and a fine Russian European, whom I first met in her little flat in Passy in Paris in 1983; thirdly to the ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva of ROCOR, born in Kiev, a Belgrade disciple of the great Metr Antony of Kiev, once a priest of the Patriarchate and whom I first met in 1986 and who ordained me. And finally, to His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill, whom I met in Moscow in 2012 and who strengthened in me the understanding of the need for this Metropolia. Thank you to them all.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Representative of the ROCOR Missionary Department for Western Europe,
Halland, Sweden, November 2014

Orthodox Christianity and the English Tradition Available Again

This anthology of 100 essays, first published in 1995 and now with a new foreword, is at last available again from:

frandrew_anglorus@yahoo.co.uk. 3rd Edition A5 495 pp.

Price: £15.00 + £2.80 p & p in the UK. Unfortunately, Air Mail to the USA is now £12.85 (surface post, which can take up to two months, is £8.00). Please make payments by Paypal button from the website: www.orthodoxengland.org.uk

From the Back Cover

Today many search for an Undivided Christendom and the traditional teachings of the Early Church, which go beyond the latter-day divisions and disputes of Roman-Catholic, Anglican and Protestant. And amid the chaos of recent years many have discovered the Orthodox Church and Her Faith, drawn from the first millennium of Christianity. In this book the author, an English Orthodox priest, looks at the authentic Orthodox Faith, beyond the historical and cultural vicissitudes surrounding it, and pinpoints its relevance to us. He writes: Orthodox Christianity is the Faith revealed to the repentant in their quest for the Holy Spirit. Should we accept it, we would thus accept the struggle for the Holy Spirit; and in so doing we would accept the struggle to build Jerusalem here, ‘in England’s green and pleasant land’.

Foreword to the Third Edition

For we hope that the Lord will deliver Russia and the Russian people from the dread years of evil which have now lasted for 70 years. Russia can be reborn only through the repentance of the Russian people, through faith in God, through living the Divine commandments. Therefore the rebirth of the Russian people – the rebirth of personal, social and national life – must be founded on the Holy Orthodox Faith and their life must be built on this. And then once more, as of old, Russia will be Holy Rus, the House of the Most Holy Mother of God.

Prophecy of the Ever-Memorable Archbishop (later Metropolitan) Laurus (1987)

All my life I have been haunted by the European world that was lost by the consequences of the tragic events and sacrifices of August 1914, now exactly 100 years ago. Growing up with nineteenth-century grandparents and great-uncles who had fought in the First European War and with tragic maiden great-aunts, I knew that all of us had to live with those consequences. There has been no peace in the world since then, since the profound injustice of the victory so cruelly and ironically snatched from the Russian Empire in 1917 by Allied treachery and then the German treachery that made the slaying of the Russian Royal Family inevitable. And that, in turn, made the destruction of Germany in the Second European War inevitable, with Russian troops taking Vienna and Berlin. And that, in its turn, made the Cold War inevitable.

That War dragged on until 1991. Then the Slav, Romanian, Georgian and Albanian Churches all lived beneath the yoke of atheism and had virtually no free voices. As for the smaller and weaker Greek Churches, they were compromised by US control. Thus, the impoverished Patriarchate of Constantinople, at one time financed by Anglicanism, had come under US control in 1948, when Patriarch Maximos was deposed by the CIA with threats to his life and despatched into a generation of exile in Switzerland, uttering as he went the words, ‘The City is lost’.

Those were dark days of the betrayal of the Church and, virtually alone, the Church Outside Russia spoke on behalf of us all. For during the Cold War proud anti-Incarnational modernism and ecumenism (heresies, like sects and cults which are created by heresies, are always based on pride), in either their crass, pseudo-intellectual, humanist Protestant/Catholic form, as often in the US, or in their subtle, pseudo-spiritual, personalist Buddhist/Hindu form, as often in Europe, were everywhere. ‘Orthodox’ academic theology was then dominated by that spiritual decadence which may be called ‘captivity theology’. In its intellectualism that ‘theology’, ignorant of the Lives of the Saints, utterly failed to see that Orthodoxy is a striving for holiness, which is simply a life lived with prayer in conformity with the Tradition

This was the academic theology of ‘Orthodox’ intellectuals, who had studied either in Protestant centres (Oxford, Cambridge, Strasbourg, centres in Germany etc) or else in Roman Catholic centres (especially the Gregorian University in Rome, but also Paris, Louvain, Jesuit Fordham etc). The academics infected naturally reflected the proud cultural prejudices of those establishments where they had studied, resulting not in an Orthodox, but a ‘Halfodox’ vision of the world. An associated mixture of ecumenists, liberals and modernists, those intellectuals wished to reduce the Church to a mere religion, a theory and an institution, just like the Western denominations. This was, consciously or unconsciously, spiritual treachery.

Their ‘theology’, in fact philosophy, reflected the humanistic personalism and spiritually empty symbolism of that age. Most of those intellectuals have now died, if not, they are very elderly. The generation of disciple-imitators that succeeded them has even less conviction or talent. It is hardly surprising – modernism is incredibly old-fashioned in a post-modern world. With the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, that age of decadence seems increasingly distant. I remember at that time, and I mean nearly 40 years ago, being told by an ‘Orthodox’ academic at one of those above-mentioned universities that if I was not satisfied with their food that did not satisfy my soul, I should ‘go and live in Russia’. During the Cold War that was not possible; therefore I took the next best option, to frequent the last emigres of the first generation of the White emigration in Paris and the Church Outside Russia.

This anthology of essays was written between 1974 and 1995, precisely at that time when the Church Outside Russia was isolated, indeed virtually besieged, under attack from all sides and from inside, by the extremes of modernism and ‘traditionalism’ alike. Indeed, as I came to realize, the Church Outside Russia was then one of the few points of freedom anywhere in the Orthodox Church. Figures in it expressed words of truth similar only to those of the lone Serbian theologian St Justin of Chelije, canonized in 2010, and other figures on the Holy Mountain and in the monasteries of the Carpathians.

Rejoicing in the canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors in New York in 1981, when the Orthodoxy hierarchy was still paralysed in the homelands, at that time we also tried to reclaim for the Church the ancient holiness of Western Europe. We knew that all holiness can only come from the Church, as we daily confess in the Creed. Our task was to help gather together the remaining living spiritual and cultural forces of the dying West and to call it back to its roots in its ancient holiness that it had for the most part renounced. This desire is very much reflected in this book. Sadly, since that time we have seen the final death-throes of once Christian-based Western civilization, witnessing the disappearance of the old culture.

For after 1991, and with great speed, the demons that had operated in the atheist Soviet Union migrated to the atheist European Union, whose spiritual deadweight has been reinforced by the atheism of North America. Only a few years ago President Putin of the Russian Federation, made wise by the failure and defeat of atheism, warned the then Prime Minister Blair that demon-inspired atheism was literally a dead end; naturally, he was ignored, for deluded arrogance never listens to wisdom. Indeed, ever since 1988 the Church that President Putin belongs to, the multicultural and multilingual Russian Orthodox Church, 75% of the whole Church of God, has been reviving, re-opening or building three churches every day somewhere on the planet.

Together with it there is reviving the social, political and economic life of the Russian Federation, the Russian Lands (Rus) and even other parts of the Orthosphere. In 2007 in Moscow we witnessed the reconciliation of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church and the re-establishment of canonical communion, a long-awaited miracle of our times. Our great hope of 20-40 years ago for the messianic restoration of Holy Rus, so great that it was a belief, has been coming true through repentance. We have no illusions that we may not see our hopes for the full restoration of the Sovereignty of the Tsar realized, or, much less likely, Europe liberated from its self-imposed ideological yoke, but at least we know that we are on the way. There is much to do, very far to go, but the direction is the right one.

Nearly twenty years on now since the first edition, this book is here reprinted, a few typographical errors corrected, spelling updated, long paragraphs divided and a few minor precisions and corrections made. May this third edition of these essays be a help to all those who seek. May it guide them to the spiritual awareness of the Church and Civilization of Holy Rus and that Orthodoxy is Christianity and that all else, whatever its legacy from ancient Orthodox times, is ultimately but an ism, a distortion and a compromise. ‘For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith’ (1 Jn. 5, 4).

Glory to Thee, O God, Glory to Thee!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

August 2014
St John’s Orthodox Church
Colchester, Essex, England

A Warning from Future History

From ‘The World since the Fall of the Berlin Wall’ (1989-2039)

Chapter 12

The Proposed Third World War and the Ukraine

Although it is only twenty-five years ago, 2014 still seems like a century away to those of the present generation. Incredible though it now appears, by 2014 extremist elements in the political and military-industrial complex in the US and the rest of the Anglosphere (UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) and their puppets in the European Union were minded to start a Third World War and were even prepared to use nuclear arms. If these extremists could have had their way, this would have entailed all the inevitable human blood sacrifices of any War, which are so delightful to Satan. If moderates had been unable to control the aggression of those who wanted to start such a War, they would open it with an anti-Christian war, a new Teutonic Crusade, in the Ukraine, which the elite had already designated as a battleground between good and evil, Christendom and Satanism, Orthodoxy and the West. Why would this War be started precisely in the Ukraine, and not on alternative battlefields in the Middle East and China?

In order to understand this, we have to remember that a small part of eastern Poland (then called the western Ukraine) was Uniat and schismatic, that is, outside Holy Rus on account of its spiritual degeneration or nationalism. Therefore the rest of the then Ukraine had to be tested. Was it really Russian Orthodox, or was it merely like the Uniat and schismatic part, observing outward rituals disguising inward decay? In any case, from the Western viewpoint, the international Russian Orthodox Church had at all costs to be destroyed as a spiritual entity, divided into dissident sects and reduced to irrelevant folklore and nationalism, like the CIA-approved new calendarist Local Orthodox Churches and their old calendarist sects, or, even better, like the inherently culturally enslaved Protestant and Catholic churches. The Russian Church was the centre of resistance to Western exploitation of resources, the last barrier to global hegemony and the object of revenge for many, since her defeat of the earlier Western forerunners of Antichrist, Napoleon and Hitler.

Satanism and the Ukraine

Now Satanism is always accompanied by human sacrifice. This had already been seen in the bloodbaths of the First and Second World Wars in the first half of the last century and in the abortion holocaust which followed them. And the sure sign that Satanism was present in the Ukraine could be seen in the seizure and destruction of churches and human sacrifices and atrocities, including torture, mass murder and even crucifixion, organized by the Fascist regime in Kiev. Thus, already by the autumn of 2014 thousands of Ukrainians and an airliner full of Western civilians, had been sacrificed on the altar of Western secularism, not only in the eastern Ukraine, but also in the north and the south of the country, in Kharkov and Odessa. US tanks and troops were by then pouring into Poland, Romania and the Baltics.

The scene was being set by the hawks standing behind the US frontman Obama, the winner of the CIA-financed Nobel peace prize. By 2014 the Euroatlantic coalition, run by Washington ever since its occupation of Western Europe in 1944 and Eastern Europe after 1988, represented only a declining 10% of the world population and was facing bankruptcy. For the Euroatlantic elite a war, if possible a World War, seemed the obvious solution to its internal problems. By its actions in the Ukraine, the coalition, which pretentiously styled itself ‘the international community’, had isolated itself from the rest of the world. Thus, in the face of Western aggression, Russia had already turned east, tightening its bonds with China. With the whole of Eurasia set against Western aggression, the coalition therefore began provoking China.

Satanism and the USA

Satanism had been apparent in the very foundation of the USA at the hands of dissident republican and atheist Europeans. It could be seen in the slavery present there from the start and in the blood sacrifice of millions of its slaughtered native peoples, carried out at the hands of those ruled by masons. Immediately after the further ruinous bloodletting of the American Civil War and the North’s barbaric conquest of the South, there began the USA’s international campaign of imperialism. This entailed dividing other lands and peoples all over the world by destabilization, creating internal chaos in order then to rule over them through terroristic wars of intervention in the name of ‘freedom and democracy’ – as in Yugoslavia.

Whether through political cunning or huge bribes made in order to corrupt members of local political and media elites (English-speaking puppets), whether through massive artillery bombardments or carpet bombing, whether through co-ordinating revolutions (as the British government had done in Russia in 1917) or systematically organizing political chaos through social media (as the US had done in many Arab countries and then in the Ukraine in early 2014), whether through the use of atomic weapons or simply favouring, arming and training one faction in a country against another, the US elite’s obsession with control had by then become global. No power on earth could restrain it – unless it was the empire of the Spirit – Holy Rus.

Satanism and the EU

Now the Christian State has as its ideal the provision for the potential attainment of the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, the Satanic State always has as its aim the provision for the potential attainment of hell through worldly comfort under illusory slogans such as ‘liberty, fraternity and equality’. Therefore, all who rejected the Satanic State’s aim, wherever they lived in the world, had to be tyrannized, their phones tapped and their electronic messages controlled. Those who tyrannized in this way believed like Lucifer that: ‘We shall be like God’. And such was the path to Antichrist adopted by the EU.

Therefore every country in Europe had to be subjugated to the EU, the structure for the new world order in Europe. The EU’s Satanic nature was revealed in its self-justifying demand not only that the sterile sin of Sodom be recognized as natural and sinless, but also in a whole series of anti-Christian laws, closing churches, encouraging massive Muslim immigration, banning the cross in public places and making human sacrifices through euthanasia and abortions, the sign of which was the Satanically-inspired smoke from aborted babies’ bodies, belching forth from hospital and clinic chimneys throughout the EU.

The Proposed Path to Antichrist

Those national elites who joined the EU at that time were undertaking to destroy the souls of their peoples, their national traditions, cultures, identities, morality and the family, every vestige and ideal of Christianity, so that all would be ready to accept Antichrist. If any countries resisted, they would be bombed into submission or, failing that, economic sanctions would be applied to them in order to annihilate them physically. Even countries that until recently, two generations before, had been nominally Christian, began foisting Satanism on the still relatively innocent peoples of Eastern Europe.

Those countries were attempting to corrupt Eastern Europe spiritually, morally and physically in the name of the future World Government. All of this was done under the disguise of consumer comfort and freedom. They said: ‘Renounce Christ and the commandments and then you will have the right to our bread and circuses’. Thus, the Western elites, elected by minorities through media manipulation and public relations, became the enemies of their nations’ traditions, the enemies of their own peoples. But by the time zombified populations realized this, it would be too late.

Contamination

By then the population, zombified by the State-controlled media, would also have been poisoned by genetically modified foods, which even insects refused to eat, by hormones and additives, by chemical and nuclear pollutants causing cancer, autism and debilitating allergies, by heavy metals, by foods ‘for the third world’, so that there would be nothing healthy to buy. This had already become visible in the USA, where 60% of the population had been poisoned by contaminated foods and genocide through obesity, cancer, heart attacks and diabetes was taking place.

Having plagued its peoples by sterility and the inability to conceive, creating the need to conceive in test tubes, through surrogates or else to adopt children from elsewhere in the world, the Western elite also removed children from their natural parents and created families of two fathers or two mothers, brainwashing the people through propaganda to think that this was normal. The elite thus ensured the ignorance of the people, making sure that their only beliefs were death and materialism, that it did not matter what one was, only what one had. Orthodox Christianity or the West, life or death, here was the choice.

How it All Turned Out

Such were the thoughts of the elite in October 2014; but the elite had forgotten the old saying: Man proposes, but God disposes. And so it was that…… (text interrupted at this point).