Category Archives: Russian Church

Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence (August 2017)

Q: It is now the centenary of the 1917-18 Moscow Local Church Council. What are your thoughts?

A: This was an important event because that Council at last restored the Patriarchate. (This happened twelve years after Tsar Nicholas II had already offered to restore it, but certain bishops had at the time shown themselves unready for the restoration and had openly rejected his offer. They had become State-dependent. That was a tragedy). However, having been prepared for years under the Tsar, it is sad that this Council finally took place not under his reign, but under the ‘democratic’ tyranny of the traitor Kerensky, who had deposed both the Metropolitans of Saint Petersburg and Moscow and whose minions interfered in the Council. Any view of the Council must be mixed because of the political interference and pressures on it, but among those who took part, there were saints, future martyrs. These we revere, especially St Tikhon the Patriarch.

Q: In your writings you call for the restoration of the Orthodox Empire and yet you dislike imperialism, for example, British imperialism. Surely this is a contradiction?

A: I have made it clear that I strongly dislike and totally reject Western-style/Soviet-style (it is the same thing; Marxism was a Western ideology) centralist imperialism. However, the restoration of the Orthodox Empire is not about some crude Western-style imperialism, but about the fulfilment of Russia’s Christian duty. This is Russia’s God-given duty only because no other Orthodox people is large enough or strong enough to do this. God gave Russians such a huge part of the world with so many resources so that they could defend Christianity, obviously not for some narrow racist glory. As the Beatitudes say: Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. The Russians lost the Christian Empire in 1917, precisely because they had lost their meekness.

If the Romanians or the Serbs or any other Orthodox people were strong enough, then I would support them. But they are obviously not strong enough and multinational enough, concentrating instead on building the highest church in the Balkans and playing up to the Americans. This is provincialism and primitive nationalism. Only the Russian episcopate, whatever its faults, is multinational. Take for example the Patriarchate of Antioch: every single bishop in it is an Arab and it cannot be otherwise. Other Local Churches are the same, from Georgia to Greece.

The all-inclusive, multinational, multilingual Orthodox Empire, that of worldwide Rus (or Romaiosini), has to be restored because only it can counter the Anti-Christian Empire which is today centred in Washington (before in London). Only the Orthodox Empire can hold back Antichrist.

All Orthodox should support it, rather than sidelining themselves in marginal and fringe groups with their narrow, ethnic, Balkanized politics or policies dictated and bishops appointed by the US State Department. This includes some people on the spiritual fringes of the Russian Church, which has two sets of enemies and traitors: modernist liberals and narrow Russian nationalists. Both of them equally reject the multinational and imperial (‘ecumenical in the Orthodox sense) calling of the Russian Church, each in their own provincial way.

Q: Is such a view important to Russians as well as to Non-Russians?

A: It is vital. For instance, most Russians in this country do not come from Russia itself, but are Russian-speakers from the Baltic States, the Ukraine and Moldova, in other words, from fragments of the Russian Empire. One of their greatest difficulties is their search for an identity. The Soviet identity has long since gone, they have no identity with the Russian Federation, as they generally do not have Russian nationality. As for the new countries where they were born, they do not belong to them, finding them provincial, narrow and basically dependent American colonies and in any case they have been rejected and made into second-class citizens by their chauvinistic, Russophobic, US puppet governments. They belong to something much greater, this is to Rus’, to the multinational Christian Empire. Our nationality is Russian Orthodox, whatever our passports may say. Passports are merely State documents. They will not get us into heaven, the only place we need to go. We have a spiritual passport, which says ‘Orthodox’ on it. And that is far more important.

Q: Would you say that you see Western Europe through Russian eyes?

A: Only inasmuch as Russian eyes are Christian eyes. It is interesting that you suggest this, but it does suggest that you misunderstand the word Russian. I have no interest whatsoever in Non-Christian Russia and Non-Christian Russians (as an Orthodox, naturally I use the word Christian in its real sense, i.e. its sense as Orthodox). That is why I never visited Russia between 1976 and 2007.

About three years ago a certain elderly member of the Paris Jurisdiction in this country accused me of failing to respect the British Establishment and put it first in my views. This made me laugh, but it was also very sad because it meant that he was disobeying the Gospel and failing to put the Kingdom of God first (he should have read the Sermon on the Mount). Such liberals are always erastians, putting the anti-Orthodox State first, as did the ‘Liberal Democrat’ Kerensky in 1917.

I look at Western Europe, including the British Isles and Ireland, through Christian (= Orthodox) eyes. Read St Bede the Venerable – he does the same, dating his writing according to the reign of the Christian Emperor in New Rome. I do the same: I live in the Suffolk district of the East Anglian province of the Kingdom of England of the Christian Empire of New Rome. The fact that New Rome is now in Moscow and no longer in Constantinople is not the point. The point is that we must be consistent and real Orthodox, refusing to reduce the Church of God to some exotic, liberal, disincarnate fantasy spirituality, the path of spiritual delusion, or else to some racist nationalism (phyletism), but being faithful to the Incarnation of the Church’s teaching. Otherwise we are not faithful to the prayer ‘Our Father’: ‘May Thy will be done on earth, as in Heaven’. Either we are Christians or else we are not.

Q: Is it true that globalization is controlled by Jews? And how do we counter it?

A: No, it is not true. That is racist. Many people are in charge of globalization and the New World Disorder, though I doubt if they number more than a million worldwide and perhaps far, far less. Certainly, globalization (which used to be called Americanization) is pro-Israel and many of its leaders are atheist Jews (Zionists) and globalization is essentially a codeword for Zionism, but the majority of people involved are not Jewish and certainly not believing Jews. The point is that most Zionists in the world are not Jewish at all, but simply people who have fallen into Satan’s invention of One World Government.

We counter globalization by building up the Church, which is at once multinational (interpatriotic) and local (patriotic), unity in diversity. This is the spiritual meaning of our lives.

Q: I have been shocked by certain words and acts of your Patriarch Kyrill, who met the Pope in Cuba last year. Surely that is indefensible?

A: Any Patriarch is here today, gone tomorrow. The Head of the Church is Christ, not any Patriarch, whoever he may be. I have to say that I have always failed to understand a mentality which says that personal opinions must always coincide. I may have personal opinions that differ from those of my Patriarch. So what? In such a large Church as ours, differences of opinions are inevitable. We do not belong to a tiny sect, in which all personal opinions have to and can coincide. This is pure Protestantism, Convertism, Sectarianism. This says: ‘You do not agree with me, therefore I am leaving you and will go off and found my own Church’. There has to be tolerance on inessentials. What are the essentials? They are all listed in the Creed. That is what we believe; the rest is opinion, inessentials.

There is in such a view which demands absolute agreement in everything a certain pride: ‘He does not agree with me, therefore I don’t like him’. This suggests that the speaker actually believes that others must agree with him because he is always right! That is not how Christianity works. For example, I do not write because I want people to agree with me. I know that that is impossible because I am so often wrong. I write only in order to provoke thought and prayer. If I cannot do that, then I will cease writing for others.

Patriarch Kyrill met the Pope once. The Patriarch of Constantinople meets him constantly. So what? I shop in a supermarket where one of the cashiers is Roman Catholic and I talk to her. Does that make me a heretic?

In any case those in the Russian Church who have a somewhat 60s mentality are dying out. Read Metr Benjamin of Vladivostok, Metr Vincent (Morar) of Tashkent, Metr Agathangel of Odessa: these are Orthodox hierarchs, loved by all.

Q: Is Ecumenism not a threat to the Church?

A: Ecumenism is dead here, laughably old-fashioned; it seems to be just alive only in less Westernized places, in Greece, Romania, Serbia. Here it lives, but only among old people, very old people. I never hear the word nowadays, it was alive in the 60s, 70s and 80s. That’s not where things are at nowadays.

Q: As a Russian living in England, I recently visited some Anglican churches and I had to keep stepping around stone and metal slabs with graves under them. But English people told me I could walk on them. I was horrified. Why do Anglicans walk on their dead?

A: I presume it is something to do with the Protestant refusal to pray for the departed, and so their lack of respect for them, and it is this that makes them able to walk on graves.

Q: Do you have any favourite sayings or proverbs?

A: Yes, I do. I have thought about your question for several days. Here is a selection of such favourite sayings, all of which I know to be true from observing life:

You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

If you spit in the air, it will fall back on you.

Be nice to people on your way up because you may meet them again on your way down.

No pains, no gains.

The pen is mightier than the sword.

I also have favourite sayings, which, as far as I know, are personal and come from my own experience:

There is only one mistake: not to learn from your mistakes. (From my own life).

Do not destroy something until you have something better to put in its place. (A lesson for those who invade Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya etc etc).

You cannot build spiritual life on fantasy. (This comes from observing intellectuals who join the Church but never become Orthodox).

Cain’s Technology of Death and the Spiritual Decomposition of the Western World

Weapons Technology

After the Fall and the Expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise, the next tragedy in the next generation of human history is the story of how Cain rose up and killed his brother Abel. It was the beginning of murder, with stones, clubs and axes, knives and spears, then bows with flint-tipped arrows. Much later, after the year 1000 AD, as the Western Middle Ages began, these ‘primitive’ weapons of death developed into sophisticated castles with armoured horsemen, crossbows and long bows. These were followed in the years before and after 1500 by the discovery of more killing technology, by artillery and muskets, leading in the nineteenth century to the invention of repeating rifles and powerful mortars, machine guns and semi-modern artillery, with an immense range and killing power. The battles of the Middle Ages which killed 5,000 became wars, like that in the USA only some 150 years ago, which killed 500,000 and more.

What happened after this, in the twentieth century, is well-known, with its battleships and submarines, aeroplanes and bombs, poison gas and howitzers, shells and rockets, chemical and biological weapons, atomic bombs and smart bombs, what are now called, ‘weapons of mass destruction’. The wars that had killed 500,000 became wars that killed 50,000,000 and more. For over fifty years now, evil people have been able to destroy all human life on the planet with such weapons in just a few hours. This is the ultimate suicide, called MAD, mutually assured destruction. This technology of killing is ‘Cainization’, the technology of Cain, the technology of murder, the technology of death. And it is absolutely clear that such revolting weapons, battles and wars, just as primitive as in ancient times in their ability to maim, mutilate and murder, but with 1,000,000 times the power, have been inspired only by Satan, who is the Father of Death.

The Degeneration of Christian Civilization in the West: 1000-1500

In 1000 AD provincial forms of the Christian Civilization still existed in the extreme western tip of Eurasia. They had not yet separated from its great centres radiating out around Asian Jerusalem, though it was sorely tempted to do so by Satan, who would inspire its technology of death and so its Might. And for it, Might was, and is, Right. It was this once Christian society that after c. 1000 became apostate and degenerated, self-justifyingly aggressive and attacking all others. Within a century the spiritual integrity of these extreme Western provinces had dissolved and what has been called ‘Western Civilization’ based on aggression and plunder formed. In its aggressive violence this Wild West ‘Civilization’ soon came to expand behind a border line of feudal castles and Gothic, inhabited by horsemen with their technology of death, from Finland to Estonia, Latvia to Lithuania, Poland to Slovakia and Hungary to Croatia.

Its violence and aggression began with the massacre of Jews in what is now northern France and western Germany soon after the start of the millennium, then the massacre of Muslims in Spain, southern Italy and the Middle East, then of Christians in England and the Eastern Mediterranean, all by the year 1100. However we may explain its origins, once this intolerant aggressiveness had been unleashed, it resulted in more genocidal massacres and semi-permanent wars, both internal to the various, ex-Christian tribes in this extreme Western tip of Eurasia and also carried outside it by violent and primitive horsemen (‘knights’) with their ever-developing technology of death. The violence of this post-Christian culture increased immensely after about 1500. However, its amoral violence and plunder had already become apparent in 1453, with the destruction and pillage of what was then the capital of the Christian Empire, in New Rome.

The Degeneration of ‘Western Civilization’: 1500-2000

Egged on by the opportunity to steal gold in ‘El Dorado’ outside their own world, in 1492, with the first voyage of the ruthless Italian gold-seeker Columbus, this aggressiveness and destruction were to be carried even outside Eurasia, to ‘New Worlds’. Their greed for conquest, justified only by religious and racial arrogance, had begun. In 1500 there had still existed many civilizations on the planet. There were those in China, those in South-East Asia, those in what is now Australia, those in the Pacific, the Hindu and Muslim ones in the Indian subcontinent, those in Africa, that in the centre of North America with its huge temple mounds, those in what is now Mexico and Central America with their pyramids, those in the Andes, that along the Amazon River, the Muslim and Ottoman, and also the remaining Christian Civilization from Jerusalem, restricted by violence to the Eastern Mediterranean, the Balkans and the Russian Lands.

These were to be largely destroyed over the next 500 years in an orgy of slavery, pillaging (‘asset-stripping’) by Western killing technology, camouflaged by words like ‘adventure’, ‘exploration’, ‘trading’, ‘imperialism’, ‘colonialism’ and ‘globalization’. The Portuguese, the Spanish, the Dutch, the British, the French, the Germans, the Belgians, the Italians and the Americans all took part in these plunderous genocides. The most ‘primitive’ civilizations, in South and Central America, were conquered first, followed by North America, large parts of Asia, Australasia, Japan and Africa. Their destruction was followed in the early twentieth century by Western machinations which destroyed Imperial China and, in 1917, the Russian Empire, which under Tsar Nicholas II had been the only protector of still independent (‘uncolonized’) countries like Siam (Thailand), Ethiopia and Tibet, and the defender of the Boers and exploited native peoples in Africa.

Hope in the New Millennium

However, China and Russia were never annihilated like the others and they survived by adopting Western technology. Thus, in the 1940s China defended itself from Western-developed Japan using the same technology and after 1941 the former Russian Empire defeated yet another Western invasion and onslaught with the same. In the 21st century the current and still fragile revival of Christian Civilization in what is left of the Russian Empire, now called the Russian Federation, 100 years after its Western-engineered collapse, may last, but that is not certain. As a revival, it has far to go and far to spread, for it has only just begun. The future here is still unclear. What, however, is clear is that if the revival of Christian Civilization under way in Russia falters, then the end of the world cannot be far. Cain’s technology of death has been so far developed and spread worldwide (‘globalized’) that the Russian Abel may not be strong enough to resist it.

Thus, over a thousand years, we have witnessed the ‘Cainization’ of the Western World. Already in the nineteenth century the Russian thinker Dostoyevsky called his travels to Western Europe ‘visits to the cemetery of dear friends’. Although holy relics remain, corpses in cemeteries decompose. The decomposition of the once Orthodox Christian Western European world has come about because, having lost its beliefs and ideals, it has no inner life, no culture of its own, it is purely superficial. Now it is just an imitation of the new Wild West, the USA, which is marked by Cain’s desire for plunder, jealousy, futility and ugliness. Six virtues have left today’s Westernised world: depth, justice, dignity, nobility, beauty and elegance. All spring from Abel’s spiritual and moral values and so all depth, justice, dignity, nobility, beauty and elegance are fled away. This is why our hope amid this destruction is in Russia, where Christian Civilization is reviving.

Problems in the Contemporary Russian Church in the Russian Lands

Introduction

Difficulties, scandals and compromises in Church life always stem from a lack of spiritual freedom, which come about because the outward Church organization is subjected to secular interests, not to Christ. At the present time, we can perhaps identify the following four areas of concern in the life of the Church inside the former Soviet Union.

1. Paperwork and Statist Bureaucracy.

One thing that most clergy inside Russia complain about today is the mass of paperwork they are faced with. Is it really necessary? Is it the natural result of being a huge Church? I cannot say, but I do wonder. I cannot recall the apostles dealing with paperwork.

2. Simony, Money and Luxury

Simony seems to be rare in Russia, whereas the Constantinople and Romanian Churches are infected with it. In fact, in Russia I have only come across one case (a demand for $10,000 for an appointment to a parish in Moscow 12 years ago), but there may be more. I remember how one of our bishops in the Church Outside Russia once said: ‘We do not have problems of financial corruption in our Church. This is not because we are particularly virtuous, it is simply because we have no money’. He was right of course. Opportunity makes the thief, as the proverb goes.

The vast majority of parish priests (and even some bishops) in Russia are poor. However, a few clergy and monks, in the big cities where there is a lot of money, seem to be very rich. The stories of black 4 x 4s and Mercedes etc are true. I have seen them. He who drives one is not a priest (svjashchennik), but a bad priest (pop). Here there is corruption, and financial corruption quickly leads to other scandals, private flats and ….

And why do churches have to contain marble and gold? Wood and gold paint are fine. Then you can build three churches instead of only one for the same price. There is something wrong here. But then it was also like that among a minority before the Revolution, especially in the capitals. There is indeed nothing new under the sun: but that is no justification.

3. Nationalism and Ritualism/Superstition.

The attitudes of the unChurched masses can be very nationalistic, for example confusing the Church with Stalin, who persecuted the Church. This seems to go hand in hand with a formalistic ritualism to the point of superstition. Holy water does many things, but it will not cure cancer. No educated Orthodox says that a woman cannot pray in church during her monthly period. Patriarch Pavle of Serbia did not. Some clearly believe in a superstitious god of hatred and punishment resembling some sort of crazed dictator, not in the Christian God of Love.

These are the views of non-Churched people, those who say that children are born handicapped because of their parents. Such shocking, pharisaical and totally unChristian views do not come from the Church, they come from a lack of Churching and that is a voluntary matter. Here 75 years of Soviet-imposed ignorance have played a pernicious role; but there is no excuse today. For 25 years there have been plenty of books, now websites. The only reason for ignorance today is that you do not want to learn. And that is serious.

4. Different Attitudes towards Catholicism.

Today’s Russian Church has little time for Protestantism as such. The aggressive activities of mainly US Protestant sectarians (often CIA-funded) in the ex-Soviet Union since the 1990s, together with the complete secularization of most of the Protestant world with its subjection to political correctness, means that it has little attraction for Orthodox. However, attitudes to Roman Catholicism among the educated vary.

At one extreme, there are those who seem to admire modern, liberalized (Protestantized) Neo-Catholicism and the associated ecumenistic Paris /Crestwood philosophy of the liberal, deChurched emigration. However, most of the supporters of this trend are now quite elderly. At the other extreme there are those whose sympathies lie, somewhat naively, with traditionalist Catholicism and idealized concepts of the medieval West.

Of course, the Orthodox Church is neither, nor is it somewhere between the two extremes, but is different again. The Church is inspired and informed by the Eternal and All-Pure Holy Spirit, not by the spiritual impurity of manmade, secular and always political trends, whether liberal or conservative. For the Church and the Churched, Roman Catholicism is irrelevant.

Conclusion

We must distinguish between the Church and the clergy. The Church belongs to Christ, the clergy are human. The Church is perfect, the clergy are not. And we go to Church for Christ, not for the clergy. Definitely not the other way round. The clergy are called on to be mirrors that reflect Christ: sometimes we are, sometimes we are not. May God forgive us.

After Crete: On the Ecclesiological Heresy of ‘Balkanism’

After the failure of last year’s US-backed meeting of some Orthodox bishops in Crete, representing less than 85% of the Orthodox faithful, the rejection of that meeting by many who were present yet whose signatures were on documents which they had not signed, and the general non-reception of those documents throughout the Church, where does the Church go now? After all, the essential lesson of the failed meeting was that the elderly bishops in their 70s and 80s, who had fixed the agenda, still thinking in terms of the old-fashioned, Vatican II-style 1960s, have still to learn about the reality of Church life. This is that they are to represent the bimillennial Faith, not private political agendas.

Those Orthodox bishops who in their old age are still marked by the decadent 1960s (they often studied in Catholic and Protestant Universities in Western Europe at that time) appear to be confused about the role of the Church. Some of them want Her to become a mere nationalist branch of the Vatican or become some Protestant sect, seeing Her as a depository for Balkan history and folklore and banning missionary work by refusing to accept other nationalities and heterodox into Her, especially in the Western world. We can call this peculiar, provincial view ‘Balkanism’. Clearly, in the global world in which we live, this is so old-fashioned and parochial as to be laughable.

However, more seriously, this is also a heresy. The heresy in question is ecclesiological: it is the refusal, inherent in Balkanism, to recognize the Church as One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic, but to see Her only as Divided, Secular, Separated from the Universal Church and without Apostolic Tradition. This heresy believes that the Church is divided into nationalistic institutions, each vying with one another to possess the highest Cathedral in the Balkans, controlled by US-appointed Patriarchs and puppet Balkan governments, that She can act in isolation from and without reference to the rest of the Church both in time and in space, and without reference to the Apostolic Tradition.

It seems to us that the time has come for the Patriarch of by far the biggest Local Church, the Russian Orthodox Church with 75% of the faithful and a thousand monasteries, to call a Council of the whole Church to condemn this heresy. Statements on the identity of the Church, One and not Divided, Holy and not Secular, Catholic and not Provincial, Apostolic and not Modernistic, would bring dogmatic and pastoral clarity to the issues raised by the Cretan farce and give elderly and confused bishops the opportunity to retire quietly or else be defrocked in disgrace. Now is the time for lucidity in order to reassure the faithful that they are represented by bishops who are Orthodox in faith.

1917-2017: 100 Years in the Empire of the Double-Headed Eagle without the Emperor

The Last Christian Emperor

Russian Orthodox of all nationalities belong to and live in the spiritual Empire of the Double-Headed Eagle, uniting East and West. We are subjects of His Imperial Highness. The fact that our Christian Empire has had no earthly Emperor for a hundred years has caused catastrophes of repaganization the whole world over, exactly as was the plan of the international forces which overthrew him. These disasters have taken place not only inside but also outside the borders of the former Empire, including where we live, in the spiritually backward West.

The fact that we in particular live in these spiritual provinces where we have been cut off from the One Christian Empire for far longer, well over twelve hundred years, makes our lives even harder. However, still we believe that the Empire will be restored, that we are simply between earthly emperors, learning from the wisdom of the last Tsar so that we can prepare for the next Tsar and his Restored Empire. That has been our purpose for one hundred years – to learn and prepare for the Restoration of the Empire, for the future belongs to us.

The last Christian Emperor of the only Christian Empire on earth, the martyred Tsar Nicholas II, was and is portrayed by the enemies of Christ as weak and incompetent, the martyred Tsarina Alexandra as hysterical and fanatical and the martyred prophet and healer of the Heir, Gregory (Rasputin), as demonic and debauched. Why? Those who created such absurd propaganda myths – and even repeat them despite the opposite affirmations of unbiased history! – needed to rubbish Russia for their own self-justification and legitimization of their seizure of power.

Treason, Cowardice and Deceit

Their slander and mythology show their own spiritual impurity – for in reality they are talking about themselves – incompetent, fanatical or demonic. Thus, the shameful reason why the supposedly free Russian emigration did not canonize the Tsar, martyred in 1918, and the other martyrs until 1981 is because there were such elements in the emigration who were responsible for the overthrow of the Tsar and so indirectly for the horrors that followed. They could not admit their many tragic errors and repent of their sins and so we had to wait for long.

When the powerful ‘abdicated’ from him, the last Christian Emperor spoke of ‘treason, cowardice and deceit’ to explain his illegal usurpation. These three words prophetically and exactly define the whole history of the last one hundred years and all that faithful Orthodox Christians have been through in that time. We have experienced the treason of those who put themselves in place of the Church, the cowardice of those who put their own well-being in place of the Truth and the deceit of those who swam with the tide, saying one thing and doing another.

Thus, in the last hundred years there has been the treason of those who betrayed the unity of the Church in Western Lands and the Orthodox calendar under the pressure of foreign powers, to whom the Church of God is alien. Then there has been the cowardice of those who, although representing the Church, refused to be faithful to Her teachings through fear and failed to spread Her Truth in the world. Finally, there has been the deceit of those who told the faithful clergy and people one thing, but did another behind their backs, thus deceiving themselves in their faithlessness to those who sacrificed their lives for Christ.

The Next Christian Emperor

Thus, treason to the Church has been by betrayal of Her Faith, cowardice to the Emperor by not defending the principle of the Empire from its disincarnate enemies, and deceit of the People through propaganda lies. Therefore, we must show faithfulness to the Trinitarian Faith, courage in affirming the Incarnation, and the truth of the Spirit before the people. We must not be sidelined by nostalgia for a lost past, personal opinions on minor matters and petty personal ambitions. We must adopt the great project – the restoration of the next Emperor.

In each of the Western provinces of the former Empire where we live, we represent the Sovereign Spirit of National Resistance and, together, European Resistance, to Antichrist. Our task is to prevent the conditions necessary for his appearance and enthronement, so carefully and cunningly prepared since the overthrow of him who restrained until 1917, by restoring the next Christian Emperor. From the Irish and Portuguese Atlantic coasts to the statues of the Tsars in Helsinki and Sofia we represent Orthodox Europe, the True Europe of the first millennium.

For the false Europe of the second millennium, as a giant with feet of clay, is collapsing in the third millennium. As a priest in my native town, I can say that in our greatest struggle we have achieved what we have achieved despite faithless traitors, visionless cowards and loveless deceivers, the narcissistic, spineless and jealous, the spoilers, thwarters and underminers, despite all who have ignored us, spoken evil of us and tried to destroy us and our Local Church unity. That we can achieve this here means that as much and more can be achieved elsewhere.

Thirty-Three Churches Founded by the Russian Empire Outside Russia

Austria (2)
Vienna (1895 and 1899)

Czech Lands (3)
Karlovy Vary (1902), Marianske-Lazne (1902), Frantishkovi-Lazne (1889)

Denmark (1)
Copenhagen (1883)

France (9)
Biarritz (1892), Cannes (1896), Menton (1880, 1892), Nice (1859, 1867, 1912), Paris (1861), Pau (1897)

Germany (12)
Bad Kissingen (1901), Baden Baden (1882), Bad Ems (1876), Bad Homburg (1896), Berlin Tegel (1893), Darmstadt (1903), Dresden (1874), Leipzig (1913), Potsdam (1829), Stuttgart (1895), Weimar (1862), Wiesbaden (1855)

Italy (3)
Bari (1919), Florence (1902), Merano (1897), San Remo (1913)

Switzerland (2)
Geneva (1866), Vevey (1878)

USA (1)
New York (1904)

For photographs, see:
https://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A1%D0%BF%D0%B8%D1%81%D0%BE%D0%BA_%D1%80%D1%83%D1%81%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D1%85_%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%B0%D0%B2%D0%BD%D1%8B%D1%85_%D1%85%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BC%D0%BE%D0%B2_%D0%B8_%D0%BF%D1%80%D0%B8%D1%85%D0%BE%D0%B4%D0%BE%D0%B2_%D0%B2_%D1%81%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B0%D1%85_%D0%95%D0%B2%D1%80%D0%BE%D0%BF%D1%8B

On the Importance of ROCOR inside Russia

The following article on the importance of ROCOR theology and the end of Paris School influence in Russia, taken from the Russian ‘Independent Newspaper’ (Nezavisimaya Gazeta), was written by Fr Vsevolod Chaplin, a senior archpriest in Moscow. For those who do not read Russian, it would be of interest to go to google translate to appreciate its importance.

«Карловацкий дух» и Церковь будущего. Протоиерей Всеволод Чаплин надеется на востребованность традиций РПЦЗ в РПЦ МП “после ухода старшего поколения иерархов и церковных бюрократов”

“НГ-РЕЛИГИИ”, 7 июня 2017 г.

Насколько востребовано духовное наследие русского зарубежья
Церемония освящения храма Воскресения Христова и Новомучеников и Исповедников Земли Русской в московском Сретенском монастыре 25 мая с.г. ознаменовала сразу несколько дат в истории Русской церкви, трагическим образом связанных друг с другом. Возведение храма было приурочено, с одной стороны, к 100-летию революции и годовщине Большого террора 1937 года, ставшего последствием этой революции, а с другой – 10-летию воссоединения Московского патриархата и Русской православной церкви Заграницей. 17 мая 2007 года был подписан Акт о каноническом общении разделенных Церквей. При освящении нового храма в Сретенском монастыре патриарху Московскому и всея Руси Кириллу сослужил глава РПЦЗ митрополит Иларион (Капрал).

Президент Владимир Путин, принявший участие в церемонии, в своей речи коснулся темы воссоединения Церквей, связав ее с общегосударственными задачами национального примирения. «Создание общности целей, главная из которых – благополучие каждого нашего человека и нашей Родины в целом, и есть тот ключ, который помогает преодолевать разногласия, – заявил политический лидер. – Ярчайшим подтверждением тому служит и восстановление единства Русской православной церкви, десятилетие которого мы отмечаем в эти дни». Президент, который сыграл в процессе объединения большую роль, напомнил, что «путь к возрождению церковной целостности… был непростым»: «За долгие годы разобщенности, уходящей своими корнями в драму братоубийственной Гражданской войны, накопилось слишком много противоречий и взаимного недоверия».

Путин отметил, что «раны расколов», как церковных, так и гражданских, «тяжело затягиваются». «Восстановление единства… стало и остается событием огромного нравственного звучания, символом и примером того, что история нашей страны, ее прошлое могут и должны не разъединять, а объединять всех нас», – сказал президент. «НГР» попросили публицистов с различными взглядами на историю и миссию Православной церкви в обществе оценить уровень церковной консолидации за прошедшие 10 лет, а также рассказать о той роли, которую сыграло воссоединение русского православия в жизни страны.

10-летие воссоединения с Московским патриархатом Русской православной церкви Заграницей (РПЦЗ) не сильно повлияло на внутрицерковные дискуссии. Появилось несколько «парадных» интервью. В Сретенском монастыре при участии РПЦЗ прошла конференция, посвященная святителю Иоанну (Максимовичу) – лейтмотивом ее был почтительный анализ истории. А консервативная общественность провела по инициативе Аналитического центра святителя Василия Великого неглупое собрание в фонде Леонида Решетникова «Двуглавый орел». Однако сказать в связи с круглой датой есть о чем: собственно, на упомянутом собрании мы многое и сказали, но столкнулись со стеной молчания в информационном мейнстриме.

«Зарубежная церковь вернулась на родину» – эта яркая фраза, которая звучала в СМИ 10 лет назад, верна лишь отчасти. На самом деле идейное и духовное влияние «карловчан» ощущалось даже в СССР. Помню, как в 1981 году я, 13-летний советский школьник, только пришедший к вере, смог прочесть в ксерокопии «тамиздатский» конспект по Закону Божию предстоятеля РПЦЗ митрополита Филарета (Вознесенского; 1903–1985). До сих пор помню одну цитату, которой активно делился с другими молодыми людьми: «Гниющий труп набальзамированного Ильича есть наилучший символ коммунизма». Книжку эту мне дали почитать в Калуге – а с амвона кафедрального собора этого города священник Валерий Суслин цитировал святого праведного Иоанна Кронштадтского – Московским патриархатом тогда к лику святых еще не причисленного. Тогдашний калужский правящий архиерей архиепископ Никон (Фомичев) против таких упоминаний не возражал, сказав: «Наш Синод за границей его канонизировал». И я тогда впервые понял, что у России есть третий путь – не советский и не западно-«демократический». Путь православной монархии.

Вдуматься только: в областном городе, чья культура строилась вокруг Циолковского и «космической» тематики, при жестком уполномоченном Совета по делам религий Федоре Рябове, идеи РПЦЗ практически доминировали над официальными призывами того же владыки Никона «молиться за советскую родину в день 7 ноября». Слово из Джорданвилля – резиденции предстоятелей Зарубежной церкви – доносилось и через самиздат, и через радиоголоса (самыми известными были выступления протоиерея Виктора Потапова на «Голосе Америки», которые я слушал лет с восьми).

В это время «подсоветская» церковная бюрократия, в которой я оказался уже в середине 80-х, ориентировалась на другие эмигрантские мнения – на либеральную «парижскую школу», которая больше совпадала с брежневско-горбачевскими призывами к «миру во всем мире». Но для огромной массы народа авторитет РПЦЗ был выше, а за «парижанами», помимо спичрайтеров церковного официоза, шла лишь небольшая часть интеллигенции.

Наследие консервативной части церковной эмиграции продолжало ту дореволюционную линию, которая олицетворялась Троице-Сергиевой лаврой, Московской духовной академией, интеллектуальной частью Союза русского народа. Отсюда – монархизм РПЦЗ, ее консервативность в богослужении, богословии, отношениях с неправославным миром. Другим полюсом до революции были идейные предшественники «парижан» и обновленческого движения. Увы, в кризисный – «судный» – момент Великой Отечественной войны обновленчество оказалось неспособно мобилизовать народ. Поэтому часть умопостроений «карловчан» начала совпадать с позицией Церкви в России – совпадать даже при отсутствии их реального контакта с Москвой.

Впрочем, набор идей РПЦЗ не смог автоматически стать церковным мейнстримом в постсоветские годы. Причин тому было две. Во-первых, интеллектуальная часть патриархийного аппарата была по преимуществу пленена «парижским» духом (пожалуй, кроме Издательского отдела, руководимого митрополитом Питиримом (Нечаевым). Во-вторых, сами «карловчане» решили создать на исторической родине параллельную церковную структуру – и набрали в нее явных авантюристов, имевших дурную репутацию. Помню, как на Поместном соборе 1990 года архиепископ Кирилл (Гундяев; нынешний патриарх) резко говорил о принятом в РПЦЗ суздальском архимандрите Валентине (Русанцове): «Пусть туда десятки таких пойдут!»
The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, как ее тогда метко называли журналисты, быстро начала дробиться и всасывать более и более сомнительных личностей. Это, думаю, и привело к смене «карловчанами» своего курса – со стимуляции присутствия в России на воссоединение с Московским патриархатом.

Выторговать в ходе переговоров удалось немного. Первоиерарх РПЦЗ не стал постоянным членом Священного синода – как руководители большинства других самоуправляемых Церквей в составе Московского патриархата. Пожелания о выходе из Всемирного совета церквей исполнены не были – и сегодня даже предпринимаются попытки оживить контакты с этой организацией, почти незаметной на религиозно-общественном поле и скомпрометированной присутствием сообществ, отвергнувших христианскую мораль вплоть до «благословения однополых браков». Иерархи РПЦЗ, выросшие на Западе, оказались не слишком сильными «бойцами» в московских коридорах. Многие из них к тому же привыкли к расслабленной жизни в «тихой заводи» одного из множества западных религиозных сообществ – особенно в Америке и Австралии.

Однако я надеюсь, что «карловацкое» наследие еще скажет свое слово в церковной «политике» XXI века – и обратиться к нему надо думающим людям на канонической территории Московского патриархата. Это наследие показывает, как выжить в условиях религиозно и идейно неоднородного, а подчас враждебного окружения – и остаться собой, не пойдя по пути приспособления к модам и настроениям внешней среды. Пример сохранившихся «зарубежников» и практически растворившихся в культуре Запада «парижан» оказывается очень показательным. Умение говорить ясно, просто, тепло и даже горячо – а духовенство РПЦЗ таким умением всегда отличалось – сегодня востребовано гораздо больше, чем искусство длинных и сложных «дипломатических проповедей».

Многие управленческие решения «зарубежников» могут использоваться как добрый пример для церковного администрирования в России и других постсоветских странах. Так, Положение об РПЦЗ предполагает ясный перечень доходов Синода (например, двухпроцентные отчисления от содержания епископов и однопроцентное – от содержания духовенства). Епархиальное собрание, согласно тому же документу, «устанавливает смету приходов и расходов <…> по содержанию епархиального епископа, его дома и канцелярии», а также по выплатам епархиальным служащим.

Наконец, «карловчане» продолжают быть форпостом православной миссии на Западе, которая становится все более востребованной. Протоиерей Андрей Филлипс из Великобритании даже написал участникам конференции Центра святого Василия Великого: «В последнее время Русская православная церковь имеет всемирную миссию проповедовать нашу общую веру без компромиссов, на глобальном уровне и на всех языках, несмотря на тех, кто против нас. <…> Мы готовим, даже на Западе, приход русского царя».

Думается, что основные идеи «зарубежного» богословия – ясные, яркие, верные традиционному православию – вновь окажутся в церковной России мейнстримом после ухода старшего поколения иерархов и церковных бюрократов. Именно эти идеи, а не метания «живоцерковников», а затем «парижан» и наших шестидесятников, лучше всего подходят православным людям, когда они свободны и не должны «подстраиваться» под безбожную власть на родине или под доминирующие влияния в условиях эмиграции. «Карловацкий дух» и дальше будет пробивать себе дорогу в церковном учительстве, духовном образовании и православных СМИ – как пробил в советское время через сам- и тамиздат. Главное только, чтобы сами иерархи РПЦЗ остались этому духу верны и не боялись ему следовать в слове и в спорах – кулуарных либо публичных. Тем более что Владимир Путин, общаясь с ними в Сретенском монастыре, сказал: «Вы все – желанные гости. И даже не гости, а хозяева!»

Протоиерей Всеволод Чаплин

100 Years On: The End of Anglican Orthodoxy and Reality

Within a few years of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the ensuing enslavement of the Russian Church inside Russia centred in Moscow, some 2,000 Russian émigrés had settled in England, mainly in London. They split into two Church groups, both independent of enslaved Moscow, a larger group of various origins, and a much smaller group, mainly of liberal aristocrats and intellectuals, mainly Anglophiles and mainly from Saint Petersburg. The first group formed a parish in London under the initially Moscow-established Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which had four Metropolias, in China, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Americas, catering for all emigres. The second group also formed a parish in London, but under the small Parisian Rue Daru breakaway jurisdiction, outside the Russian Church, under the then largely Anglican-run and financed (now US-run and financed) Patriarchate of Constantinople.

After the Second World War the first group, under ROCOR, formed more parishes for several thousand refugees with Polish nationality, mainly Ukrainians and Belarussians but also some Russians, who all awaited freedom in the Russian Church inside Russia. (This was to come in 2007, only after most of them had died, bringing reconciliation between the Church inside Russia and the Church Outside Russia). On the other hand, after the Second World War the second group returned formally to the still unfree Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia, but on a special basis under the unique Parisian personality of the then Fr Antony Bloom, and developed into an independent group of several small communities. After he died in 2003, this group split in 2006, the majority remaining under Moscow and as a result, by 2007, the majority in the second group and the first group had entered into the unity of canonical communion with one another.

However, some 300 people, often of Anglican background and in small scattered communities, returned to the breakaway Paris Rue Daru group in 2006. Why did they avoid the reconciliation of the vast majority? It was because their leading ideology was that of an English-language Orthodoxy, which was in fact a Russophobic Anglican Orthodoxy. This has largely been invented by an Oxford Anglicanophile academic called Nicholas Zernov. Indeed, it could be called ‘Zernovism’, though in truth many individuals were involved in its formulation. This consisted of a sociological dream, that of reconciling a certain ‘embourgeoisé’ Russian Orthodoxy, liberal, intellectual, aristocratic and conformist, with an upper middle-class Anglo-Catholicism. This was a phyletist (racist) ideology that put a bourgeois and effete Russian Orthodoxy and the Anglican ‘public school and cricket’ Establishment, first – above Christ and His Truth. For when all is compromise, there is no place for Truth….

Those who had never been Anglican felt totally out of place in this group, indeed rejected by such a narrow and forced sociological concept of the Church. Today, their dream (a nightmare for others) is over. It has been made irrelevant by reality – for we do not live in the past. It is not at all that English-language Orthodoxy in itself is irrelevant, in fact just the opposite, today it is all the more important. For in today’s England there are not 2,000 or even 5,000 Russian Orthodox, but 300,000 Russian Orthodox. These come mainly from the Baltics, Moldova and the Ukraine, not to mention 220,000 Romanians and 80,000 Bulgarians, totalling 600,000 Orthodox from these three areas of the Orthodox world. This recent immigration, together with their English-born children, dwarfs all previous Orthodox emigrations, including the mainly 1950s-1960s 200,000-strong Greek-Cypriot immigration, which is now largely dying out after almost complete assimilation.

With 600,000 new Orthodox and their children, mainly in England, there is a huge mission-field for English-language Orthodoxy. However, most of these immigrants work on building sites, in car washes, in hotels and catering, or in farming and horticulture and food-processing factories. They certainly have no interest in an effete and intellectual-dream philosophy of Orthodoxy, but rather in a hands-on, down-to-earth Orthodoxy, which alone meets their simple and practical needs. They need an English-language Orthodoxy to meet the needs of their children, who are being brought up on council estates and in rented flats in the East End of London and the crowded suburbs of modest working towns up and down today’s England. We clergy will be judged on how well we meet their needs, keeping faith with Orthodoxy, but at the same time speaking in the language that their children and increasingly the immigrants themselves, communicate and socialize in. History moves on.

On the Resurrection of Europe: The Message of the Christian Empire to Europe

There was once a Christian Empire. At the far Western tip of the Eurasian Continent, Europe was an integral part of that Empire, giving birth to the light of ten thousand saints to combat and defeat native European darkness. This was Holy Europe. But Europe fell away from those saints, that ideal of holiness and its Empire, replacing holiness with the darkness of idolatry, out of envy not tolerating that it was not at the centre of the Empire. In revolt and falling back into its old darkness, Europe successively laid waste to both centres of the Christian Empire, New Rome in 1204 and the Third Rome in 1917, slaughtering even the Russian Ruling Family, who were Europeans. To allow them to be killed, on orders from New York, was suicide for Europe, but as for the Christian Empire, it miraculously survived.

Now, one hundred years on, in 2017, Europe is at a turning-point. Will the yearnings of Old Europe be heard or will the New Europe, atheized and so homogenized, altogether wipe out the Old Europe of the saints and their heritage of holiness? The message of what survives of the Christian Empire, of Russian Orthodoxy, to Europe is that its Resurrection, the salvation of the best of Old Europe, that which is compatible with the Church, is still possible. Once Europe was Holy Europe, just as the Russian Lands were Holy Rus. The Saints of the Russian Lands speak to Europe and the Saints of Europe speak back to the Russian Lands. The Russian Orthodox message to Europe is to give it back the Orthodox Trinitarian commandments in order to save it. These Trinitarian commandments are:

Faith: To keep faith with the integrity of Orthodox Christianity, avoiding manmade substitutes, mere religions, recent constructs of the fallen mind.

Sovereignty: To be loyal to the Incarnation of the Faith in the Christian Empire, rejecting manmade substitutes, false and idolatrous empires based on envy.

The People: To respect the gifts and restore the destinies of each individual European people, inasmuch as they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

From north to south, passing from Oslo to Madrid, from west to east, passing from Dublin to Vienna, passing over the centre of the Cross in Paris, we make the sign of the Cross over Europe and entrust it to the Church of God. It is our belief that we are approaching the end of the world and that that end will come, if another Christian Emperor is not soon restored. And for the Tsar to be restored, we require the Cross of Repentance in the west, Return in the east, Redemption in the north, Rebirth in the south, and so Resurrection in the centre. And if the Tsar is not restored, then the Tsar of Tsars will come.

A Prophetic Anniversary

В Москве прошла конференция к 10-летию воссоединения Русской Церкви

Слово священника Андрея Филлипса о 10-летии объединения РПЦ и РПЦЗ

Fr. Andrew Phillips on the 10th anniversary of the ROC and ROCOR reunion

Christ is Risen!

Dear Fathers, Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Ten years ago, on 17 May 2007, during the Liturgy of the Ascension, at which the Act of Canonical Communion was signed, I stood in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour confessing. Among those confessing were senior military officials, in uniform, who had come to repent for persecuting the Church in Soviet times. They did not realize that they were confessing their sins to God in the presence of a priest from the Church Outside Russia. Never have I felt our unity so profoundly. It is from our mutual repentance, and both sides had to do this, that we took our profound unity and so could ask together for the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors. In particular we ask today for the prayers of the Royal Martyrs, whom we remember on this centenary of the tragic betrayal of the Russian Empire.

For decades I have belonged to the Church Outside Russia and have served her in France, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal and England, speaking for her in the USA, Australia and the Netherlands. For the Russian Federation is today only part of the Russian Orthodox world, of what we call Rus. Today, Rus is not only the Russian Federation, the Ukraine (despite the US-installed junta in Kiev) and Belarus, not only Moldova and Carpatho-Russia (Zakarpat’e). Rus is everywhere that the Russian Orthodox Faith is confessed, from Kazakhstan to the Baltics, from Japan to Thailand, from Germany to Venezuela, from Switzerland to Central Asia, from Italy to Indonesia, from Argentina to the USA, from Australia to England, from Canada to New Zealand. We too are Rus, together with you all.

In these latter times the Russian Orthodox Church has a worldwide mission to preach our common Faith without compromise, globally and in all languages, despite those who oppose us. Some of the greatest patriots of Rus belong to what Fr Andrei Tkachov rightly calls ‘our Church Outside Russia’. Our motto has always been ‘For the Faith, for the Tsar, for Rus’ and this is what our greatest saints, St Jonah of Hankou, St John of Shanghai and St Seraphim of Sofia, always proclaimed.

We are part of the Tsar’s Church, working in his spirit, for the Tsar-Martyr spoke five languages and built eighteen churches in Western Europe, desiring to see one built in each Western capital. (We still have one to build in central London in fulfilment of his desire). We in the Church Outside Russia are the outposts of Russian Orthodoxy, spiritual oases in an often hostile Western world. We are preparing, even in the West, for the coming Tsar of Rus. This is our unity. And our unity is our common victory!

Archpriest Andrew Phillips,
Parish of St John of Shanghai,
Colchester, England