Category Archives: Sects and Cults

New Schism of a Schism in the Ukraine

When last January the Patriarchate of Constantinople under strong US State Department pressure on its puppet regime founded a new schismatic religious grouping (‘Church’) in Kiev, it isolated itself from the rest of the Orthodox world. Today this schismatic group has itself split into two, much to the embarrassment of its founders in Istanbul and Washington. One of its pseudo-bishops, ‘Patriarch Philaret of Kiev’ has split away from another, the so-called ‘Metropolitan Epiphanios Dumenko’, and promised to consecrate yet more pseudo-bishops throughout the Ukraine. It will soon have more pseudo-bishops than people. This small group will almost certainly split further.

It seems to be a spiritual law that the sectarian spirit which creates schisms always then creates more schisms. Rabbits breed rabbits.

This can be seen to be true in the history of Catholicism, which, having split from the Church in the eleventh century, continually splits into various sects, from medieval ‘orders’ and groups, persecuted by crusades and inquisitions, to Protestant groups, to Jesuitism, to Uniatism, to Old Catholicism, to Traditionalism and various liberal ‘charismatic’ groups, which appear to have nothing to do with Catholicism. There are now said to be up to 40,000 such sects, all born from the original split in Rome in 1054.

This can be seen to be true in the Greek Old Calendarist schisms. Many years ago I was told that there were no fewer than thirteen Greek Old Calendarist ‘Churches’. I have no idea how many there are today. This can be seen to be true in the tiny sects, a few hundred in each, which broke away from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in 2007; those infected with the sectarian spirit immediate split into four groups, apparently there are even more today! This can be seen to be true in the tiny modernist Paris Rue Daru group, which has already split into three (some returning to the Russian Church; some going to the Bulgarian; the remnant for the moment staying with Constantinople, though it is widely rumoured that the remnant will split into two by or in September this year.

Now we see the same in the Constantinople-founded ‘Orthodox Church in the Ukraine’. The crisis will deepen until Constantinople renounces its error. Already it is facing serious divisions in the ‘three As’ (in America, Australia and ‘Anglia’ – the Greek word for England). Here the Turkish-led Greek nationalist Church has imposed, without consulting the grassroots, three hardline bishops, who already have scandalous reputations. It would seem a good time for all concerned to leave the sinking ship of the Phanar in Istanbul. Not everyone wants to be playing in the band on the deck or rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.

Sources:

https://spzh.news/ru/news/63015-v-seti-opublikovano-postanovlenije-pomestnogo-sobora-upc-kp

https://spzh.news/ru/news/63005-filaret-na-pomestnom-sobore-upc-kp-my-postavim-mnogo-novyh-arkhijerejevhttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63018-upc-kp-otobrala-u-pcu-vse-imushhestvo-v-kijevehttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63022-filaret-v-ukraine-tepery-tri-cerkvi-upc-pcu-i-upc-kphttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63025-konstantinopolyu-nuzhno-reshity-chto-delaty-s-filaretom–religiovedhttps://spzh.news/ru/news/63027-filaret-my-postavim-stolyko-jepiskopov-skolyko-budet-nuzhno

Why Some Rejoiced at the Restoration of Unity of the Russian Orthodox Church and Others Chose Division

The Romanov throne was destroyed not by young bomb-throwers or forerunners of the soviets, but by the bearers of aristocratic surnames and court titles, bankers, publishers, lawyers, professors and other public figures, who lived off the empire’s bounty…A description of the anti-government activities of the Russian aristocracy and intelligentsia could fill an entire volume – one that should be dedicated to the liberal émigrés who mourn ‘the good old days’ in the streets of various European cities.

From Chapter 16 of ‘The Eve’, by Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich, brother-in-law of Nicholas II

Ten years ago, in May 2007, the vast majority of the members of the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and of the Church inside Russia were reunited at the Liturgy of the Feast of the Ascension in Moscow. After some eighty years of parallel and unwanted separation, enforced purely by external atheist political interference, unity was restored. Those who rejected this long-fought for unity were to be found on the politicized and sectarian spiritual fringes of the Church Outside Russia and among pseudo-representatives (in fact infiltrators) abroad of the Church inside Russia, as well as among émigré groups claiming to be of ‘the Russian Tradition’, but for long altogether outside the Russian Church and never wanting to return to Her. Those who rejected the restoration of unity left both parts of the Russian Church and went elsewhere. Why?

The ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus explained the reason for this very well, albeit indirectly. He said that all depends on our understanding and devotion to the ideals of Holy Rus. These ideals mean standing up for three things: for the Faith (the purity of Holy Orthodoxy); the Tsar (the Christian Emperor Who incarnates Christian values in life); Rus (the ideal of the Christian Empire supporting the Church and supported by it in symphony). Wherever there was no understanding of and devotion to these ideals, there was no interest in the restoration of the unity of the Russian Church, but only negative, hair-splitting criticism and self-justification for schism. Those who rejected these ideals and thus restoration of Church unity were very diverse and belonged to three opposing groups of both left and right:

Firstly, there were the liberals, whose forbears had actively sought the 1917 Revolution and who had wanted to confuse the purity of the Faith with Western humanist ideology, creating a dreamy, disincarnate, spiritualistic, intellectualist, Gnostic ideology, such as the heretical Sophianism of Bulgakov, denounced by two saints, St John of Shanghai and St Seraphim of Sofia. These were heretics and schismatics, centred in the Paris School of émigrés from Saint Petersburg, and supported by the Russophobic, US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople.

Secondly, there were the anti-monarchists of various political denominations, both the semi-Communist left and the semi-Fascist right. They objected to any Church influence on the State and to any presence of the Church in social, economic and political life in general. They wanted a Non-Christian, secularist State, where they could live egoistic, disordered or even depraved lives for themselves, proudly independent of any Christian influence, values and conscience. The concept of a Christian Emperor (Tsar) was and is anathema to them.

Thirdly, there were the sectarians, both of the left or the right, who wanted a Faith for themselves or their political or nationalist groups, and not for the masses. Anti-incarnationalist by nature, they wanted not a Universal Christian Empire, but a private Church and ideology for the elect – themselves. They wanted to be a sect of purists, ‘walled off’ from others. For example, the typically Parisian late Fr Alexander Schmemann denied that ‘Holy Rus’ had even existed!

It has always been our mission, together with many, many others, more eloquent and better equipped than ourselves, to counter the propaganda against ‘The Faith, the Tsar and Rus’, understood as Orthodoxy Incarnate through the Christian Emperor in a Universal Empire. Many still believe the dubious memoirs of treacherous White Russian emigres after the Revolution, born of the parlour room gossip of anti-Orthodox aristocrats in St Petersburg, and to Bolshevik and the equally Russophobic propaganda of paid Western academics as regards ‘The Faith, the Tsar and Rus’. We reject all of that as untrue, because it is untrue, as we preach the Crucified and Risen Christ, Incarnate on Earth in the Church and in the Universal Orthodox Christian Empire, the restoration of which we believe in and eagerly await.

The Paris School and the Future

The phrase ‘Paris School’ (of Russian religious philosophy) is a vague phrase because many of its representatives ended up not living in Paris or even France and because it was such a very varied phenomenon. Thus, it included intellectuals mainly of Russian origin (but not all of them), who ended up living as far apart as the USA, England, Finland, Bulgaria (the anti-monarchist plotter, Fr George Shavelsky) and Constantinople (the philosopher Metr John Zisioulas). Some of these were close to Orthodoxy, others were in open heretical revolt against the Church and constructed anti-Church ideologies, others were simply harmless eccentrics who lived in the clouds.

A representative close to the Tradition, for example, was the academic theologian (and not philosopher!) Fr George Florovsky, who was ousted from St Vladimir’s Seminary by another much more Protestant-minded thinker of a Paris-born generation, Fr Alexander Schmemann. However, there were others like the notorious Fr Sergey Bulgakov, who founded a new heresy under the influence of the alcoholic Catholic occultist Vladimir Soloviov. The latter was the real founder of the School, who infected it with all its basic currents of Gnosticism, Origenism, liberalism and ecumenism and had a great influence on the enormous intellect of the polymath, Fr Paul Florensky.

Then in Paris there was also the esoteric philosopher Berdyayev, who was imbued with semi-Catholic mysticism and like Bulgakov never quite shook off his Marxism, but there was also the more Orthodox Fr Basil Zenkovsky who wrote a magisterial ‘History of Russian Philosophy’. Then there were Vladimir Lossky, trained in Scholasticism, but whose views were very close to the Tradition in many respects, but on the other hand, the fantasist Bishop John Kovalevsky or the recently deceased French ecumenists, the ex-pastor Elisabeth Behr-Sigel and Olivier Clement. Their views were respectively as close to Protestantism and Catholicism as is possible without lapsing.

In England there were other representatives of the Paris School. These included the late Metr Antony (Bloom), whose curious, personal views combined a theoretical conservatism with an extraordinary liberalism and influenced several convert followers, like the Jewish Fr Sergei Hackel. Then there was the late ex-Uniat Fr Lev Gillet, who appears to have died either as a Quaker or else a Buddhist (no-one is quite sure), or the Parisian artist and intellectual the late Fr Sophrony Sakharov, whose whole esoteric philosophy of Orthodoxy came to be shaped by the peasant St Silvanus whom he had met on the Holy Mountain, where he had been a librarian.

With such a variety of individuals, some much closer to Orthodox Tradition than others, some more renovationist than others, some more fantasist than others, what do they all have in common? Negatively speaking, it is how far most of them seemed to have stood from the saints of the Church in the emigration like St John of Shanghai (also who also lived for many years in Paris and often came to London) or St Seraphim of Sofia, or from the genuine Orthodox philosopher of the emigration Ivan Ilyin. These followed the wholeness of the ascetic Tradition of the Church, and not selected fragments of it, which is why the Paris School was opposed to authentic monasticism.

However, this was not the essence of the Paris School. Its essence was its intellectual pretentiousness, which contains the pride which is at the heart of all deviations from the Church, without exception. Not understanding that enlightenment comes from the grace of God that alone cleanses the repentant heart, they all mistakenly believed that enlightenment comes from the purification of the intellect and the imagination. This tragic mis-take meant that their views were intellectual, philosophical, more or less renovationist, more or less fantasist, disincarnate from reality and from ordinary Orthodox and Orthodoxy, and so ultimately they became sectarian and cultish.

The proof of this thesis is in the fact that when the time came for the gradual liberation of the Russian Church inside Russia from Sergianism and Renovationism after 1991, they refused to re-enter Her fold and glorify the New Martyrs and Confessors together with Her. They had not been longing to return all along, as had the faithful, but had instead been cultivating their own intellectualist philosophies outside the Orthodox Tradition. Thus, cultivating private, personality-driven sidelines, they failed to see the mainstream of Church catholicity and ended up isolating themselves in the worst sort of isolation – isolation from the real saints, the New Martyrs and Confessors.

This meant that they allied themselves only with the vestigial renovationist and sectarian elements on the fringes of the Russian Church inside Russia. It also meant that they sullied themselves with politics (under the pretence of being apolitical!, which is always political). Thus, they allied themselves with Russophobic elements in the Western world, for example, with the self-justifying neocon hawks and past-worshipping warmongers of NATO, who never wanted the Cold War to end and in their ethnocentricity arrogantly never understand that the vibrant values of Orthodox Christian Civilization are quite different from their dying anti-Christian Western culture.

This is why, when at the end of 2016 the time of generational change had come for renewal in Russia and then, inspired by the Russian example, for the first glimmers of freedom and the hope of repentance in the West, the Paris School and its values stuck to the dead past. These last representatives were now aged, vestigial relics, whose rebellious and often absurd ideologies had been half-baked in the spiritual desert of the 1960s, which had been passed on to a few convert intellectuals in Russia who still had not caught up with the real world. As for the Church, we look as ever towards prophetic holiness and the dynamic restoration of the Tradition in the Holy Spirit that is happening now.

On Debolshevization and Bolshevization: Questions and Answers from Recent Correspondence

Q: Why is the Church Outside Russia in communion with the Moscow Patriarchate? It is a Soviet organization and you are, or at least were, free.

A: A Soviet organization? But there were Patriarchs in Moscow long before the Soviet Union ever existed. I do not understand you. If it is a Soviet organization (even though the Soviet Union ceased to exist 25 years ago), why is the whole Orthodox Church in communion with the Church Inside Russia (or the Moscow Patriarchate as you prefer to call it), including the Church Outside Russia? Simply because it is the now politically-free Church Inside Russia with some 160 million faithful and over 350 bishops, three quarters of the whole Orthodox Church. It has over 800 monasteries and convents, holy elders and no doubt saints. Where are the elders in the tiny but dynamic Church Outside Russia today? The question really is why are you not in communion with the Church Inside Russia? If you are not, then you are outside the Church. So you must belong to some brainwashing, politicized sect, subsidized by the CIA, or else to some esoteric, self-justifying sect or cult which thinks it is above the Church. Only such a sect would call the Russian Church ‘Soviet’.

Q: Yes, but your Patriarch Kyrill actually has a KGB code-name.

A: Well, first of all, the KGB no longer exists, so he had, not has, a KGB code-name would be correct. Secondly, everyone of importance had a KGB code-name, for example, the then Metropolitan Kyrill, but also Mrs Thatcher and Ronald Reagan. Are you suggesting therefore that Mrs Thatcher and Ronald Reagan were KGB agents?! To have a code-name is totally different from working as a spy. You seem very confused between the two. Western spy agencies also give their victims code-names. That does not mean that their victims are spies and murder people, they are victims.

Q: O.K., but you cannot deny that Patriarch Kyrill and Vladimir Putin were once Soviet citizens.

A: And so were hundreds of thousands of saints, New Martyrs and Confessors. You venerate canonized Soviet citizens and you are complaining that they are Soviet citizens!

On a political level, Alexander Solzhenitsyn and a dozen or so Soviet-era defectors were also Soviet citizens. They then went to work for the CIA and MI6 and no doubt were given code-names by those organizations. Some of them, like the late, London-based Litvinenko, worked as an MI6 spy.

As for people who were once Soviet citizens, that was automatic because of the country they were born in. Is it a sin to be born in a country? I cannot understand your logic. The apostles were born in the pagan Roman Empire which persecuted them and the Apostle Paul was actually a Roman citizen. Was that their fault? Was that a sin? Was it their sin that one of the twelve disciples was Judas Iscariot?

Of course, it is true that anyone born and brought up during the Soviet era, and that finished 25 years ago, was marked by that period. Thus, I see a great difference between ex-Soviet citizens under about 50 and those over about 50 and of course both Patriarch Kyrill and Vladimir Putin (the latter of whom is nothing to do with the Church hierarchy, though he is a baptized layman and churchgoer) are over 50. Those under about 25 are hardly marked at all by the Soviet era and on the other hand those over about 75 even tend to be pro-Stalin (and also unbaptized).

Q: What are the temptations of those who like them were born during the Soviet era, but have since been baptized Orthodox?

A: The main temptation is nationalism. There are even a few, mainly elderly Orthodox, now baptized, who admire Stalin for that reason. This is very similar to elderly Anglicans who admire Churchill. Yes, both were victorious war-leaders, but millions died under both, for example, Churchill organized the bloodbath at Gallipoli, gassed the Kurds, made strategic mistakes during World War II and he must also in part bear responsibility for the millions who died in the Bengal famine during that War. Similarly, in the US there are elderly people who admire President Truman, he who massacred 300,000 Japanese civilians, men, women and children, with atomic bombs and also threatened Patriarch Maximos of Constantinople with death. Such admiration is just misplaced and irrational nationalist nostalgia, the result of brainwashing by wartime propaganda.

Here we come to your question about Patriarch Kyrill and President Putin. Both are of course marked or coloured by the Soviet period and are generally admired by nationalists. What critics like yourself fail to understand is that they are simply part of a process – President Putin and the Patriarch are only stages on the way, not the terminus, which is what we are looking at. The next Patriarch, perhaps someone like Metr Benjamin of Vladivostok, will be very different, free of any Soviet colouring at all. In the same way, a possible successor to President Putin has appeared (not Medvedev). The Russian Federation is not long for the world in its present form. All of this is a temporary arrangement to carry us through to where we want to be.

Q: What about renovationism, which still exists in Russia?

A: It is true that the vestiges of renovationism still exist there, for example, with the sect of Fr Kochetkov, who was so warmly invited by the now defrocked Bp Basil Osborne to take over the then Sourozh Diocese before he joined the Rue Daru group. Fr Kochetkov, who was beloved by the late modernist Rue Daru philosophers Olivier Clement and Nikita Struve, who so hated the Russian Church that they refused to belong to Her, has 2,000 followers. His sect is protected by a very elderly Soviet-era bishop, but, frankly, all this is dying out. It has no future. It is a phenomenon of Bolshevization, we are patiently working for Debolshevization. That will need time. Since we do not ask perfection of Western societies, but continue to live here despite their horrific apostasy and baby-killing, why should we demand instant Debolshevization in ex-Soviet societies? We live in the Church, not in society on the fringes of or outside the Church. As Christians the only perfection we are entitled to demand is of ourselves, not of others.

Q: But there are still strong vestiges of the Soviet mentality.

A: Yes, on the fringes, of course. These vestiges are still strong in remoter, provincial areas like Central Asia, the Baltics and, above all, in the Western-supported Ukraine, with its Fascist elements, who simply changed from being pro-Bolshevik to pro-Fascist overnight. The mentality of corrupt dictatorships is the same, whatever name you give them, Communist or Capitalist.

Q: What about nominalism? Most Orthodox in Russia, though baptized, simply do not go to church.

A: Of course, this is true – just as only a maximum of 10% of Russians before the Revolution and in the emigration went to Church. If you do not believe me for lack of living experience with the old emigration before they died out in the 1990s, read the report by St John of Shanghai on the state of the Russian emigration given at the Second All-Diaspora Council in 1938.

Having said that, you must also understand that Orthodox nominalism, however regrettable, is not the same nominalism as in the West. In the Roman Catholic-Protestant world, church-going, made an ‘obligation’ under threat of hellfire by the Roman Catholics and non-church-going made into an experience of guilt by the Protestants, is seen as the only sign of belonging to the Church. For Orthodox, Christianity is all about the way we live, not necessarily about church-going. For example, we do not have ‘Bible study’, a thoroughly Protestant concept, we live the Bible. Anyone who has experienced the friendliness and hospitality of Orthodox countries will know this. In Orthodox countries you have the Christian spirit of mutual support and love of the Truth, whereas Western countries are marked by materialist and calculating self-interest and the cult of self-admiration, the ‘I’ culture of consumerism. Orthodox, including non-Churchgoers, are horrified by Western people who proudly proclaim that they ‘do not believe in God’, just as they are horrified by the Western treatment of people in their slums and in their colonies in the ‘Third World’. To us it is all simply unnatural and inhuman. You cannot treat human-beings like that.

We Orthodox go to church when we need to, when we feel ill, when we need ‘the medicine of immortality’. It is not a guilt trip, as for heterodox. So do not be like the Protestant Pharisees and judge Orthodox by whether we are at church or not, it is our way of life that makes us Orthodox or not. For example last Sunday, we here only had some 200 at church, and yet there are 600 in the parish, and if I count all those Orthodox who come through the doors in any 12-month period, that figure would probably come to 2,000. This is what I mean by 10% maximum attending church, 200 out of 2,000.

Q: You said that some sects are CIA-financed. What proof do you have of that?

A: Well, first of all, these sects openly acknowledge it and are proud of the CIA as ‘patriotic Americans’. Secondly, there is the case inside the Church Outside Russia. It is a fact that as early as the 1960s a senior individual in the Church Outside Russia was given $38,000 by the CIA, as was revealed at the time. The receiver of the money, who died outside the Church in the 1990s and banned anyone from the Church Outside Russia attending his funeral, had a son, who sold off $6 million worth of Church property in Jerusalem. It was a huge scandal. The CIA always makes use of such ‘useful idiots’, those whom it can buy out. Other Western spy agencies did the same, Russian Parisians like Melnikov and Tiesenhausen openly worked for the French spy agency, in London émigré Russians worked for MI5 and MI6 and in Ottawa Russian émigrés worked for the Canadian spy agency. However, the Church goes on despite such politicking on the fringes.

Similarly, there are many Western journalists who receive CIA money to write anti-Russian articles. This is obvious to any reader of the Murdoch-owned ‘The Times’ in England, but this goes on in all Western-owned media in the US and Europe, including Western rags like ‘The Moscow Echo’ in Russia. Such journalists write the propaganda that they are paid to write by Western spy agencies. Some people will do anything for money because they put money above the Truth, as it is written, you cannot serve God and money.

Q: What does Debolshevization mean in concrete terms?

A: To answer this question, we must understand what the Bolshevik regime tried to do. It had a threefold, anti-Trinitarian programme. Firstly, it wanted to destroy all Traditional Religion and above all, but not only, the Orthodox Church. Secondly, it wanted to destroy all National Identity. Thus, in its anti-Christian cosmopolitanism it banned the word ‘Russian’, used ‘Soviet’ and made the Soviet Union out of many different national identities. Thirdly, it wanted to destroy Family Life, virtually banning sacramental marriage, encouraging abortion and divorce, taking away children and putting them into crèches, schools and camps, all the while brainwashing them with Bolshevik ideology. Therefore, Debolshevization means exactly the opposite of all this, that is, a threefold restoration, that of Traditional Religion, National Identity and Family Life.

In all this the Soviet Union failed. However, Bolshevization still exists because it defines exactly what is happening in the neocon and Bolshevik West today. Firstly, today we see the destruction of all Traditional Religion, substituting for it some wishy-washy, spiritually emptied, anti-traditional, New Age humanism and secularism. That is modern Western religion. This spirit of apostasy dominates Protestantism, Roman Catholicism (since the 1960s) and the modernist, new calendarist, Westernized fringes of the Orthodox Church, for instance, among many Greek Americans and some Romanians. Secondly, today we see the destruction of the Sovereign Nation-State under the slogan Globalization (formerly this was called what it is – Americanization, but now the codeword Globalization is used), using mass immigration and social injustices to help it. Thirdly, today we see the destruction of Family Life, killing sacramental marriage with the cohabitation of ‘partners’, encouraging abortion and divorce, taking away children and putting them into crèches, schools and camps, all the while brainwashing them with secularist ideology, sex education, gender ideology and internet pornography from the State-controlled media.

The Bolshevik regime is dead in Russia, but it is very much alive under the politically correct dictatorship of neocon ‘liberalism’ in the Western world, the very liberalism that is so Russophobic. Why is it Russophobic? Because it is in fact Christianophobic. Liberalism is utterly intolerant of real Christianity, that is, of Orthodoxy, it only allows a castrated, secularized substitute which is powerless to save. Just when the Soviet Union died, the European Union was born as part of the whole Western Union. Next door to the EU headquarters in Brussels, what do you find? The headquarters of NATO. It is all part of the same Western Union.

Although forced collectivization failed under the Bolsheviks, voluntary collectivization through the illusion of consumerist individualism seems to have succeeded. Look around you: everywhere you see ‘individuals’ in the same US uniform of jeans, T-shirts, tennis shoes, I-phones, tablets, pokemon fads, tattoos, obesity-making, adulterated food and TV series (bread and circuses). This is the same brainwashing and zombifying secularist poison that makes people unable to think for themselves or to have any sort of spiritual life or values. All who work for Traditional Religion, National Identity and Family Life are mocked, scorned and persecuted in today’s West. The Soviet Union is dead in Russia, but Bolshevization is alive and prospering in the West. The only question is whether it will triumph altogether and completely wipe out the Western world, or whether the Western world will before it is too late take heed of Christian Civilization and values, alive in Russia, and repent.

Do not worry about Debolshevizing old people in Russia, our task is far more ambitious – Debolshevizing the Western world. That is why, for example, some Western people have actually gone to the Donbass to fight for the Ukraine against the Kiev puppet regime – in order to defend the sovereignty of Europe against the anti-Christian, Neo-Bolshevik world.

Why the Non-Commemorators are Mistaken

In the Gospels Christ tells us that although we are in the world, we are not of it, that although we are incarnate on earth here and now, our destiny is in heaven. Human errors have all been due to the failure to live according to these words. Either to the failure not to be incarnate here and now and to drift away into intellectual speculations and disincarnate daydreams and philosophies: such have been the tendencies either of Western intellectuals or of Non-Christian religions – indeed many such intellectuals have been attracted to Hinduism, Buddhism and Sufism, for example, for that very reason. Or else to the human failure to forget that our destiny is in heaven, to concentrate only on the incarnate here and now: such have been the tendencies of the Roman Catholic and Protestant deviations of Christianity, with their concentration on the thisworldly organization of the affairs of men, instead of the balanced God-Man, Christ, the Son of God become incarnate as man and calling us to heaven.

Put in terms of Church history and human deformations of the Church, the first said that Christ the Son of God never became man, the second said that Christ was not the Son of God. The first deformation, denying the Incarnation, went down in early history as Monophysitism, the second, denying possible human salvation, as Arianism. Later, in the fourteenth century, they appeared again, combined in the one heresy of Barlaam of Italy, who said that since God was unknowable (Monophysitism), man would have to rely on his autonomous reason to live (Arianism). Here was the justification for Western humanism and Renaissance paganism and all that has followed to this day – man the measure of all things. St Gregory Palamas opposed this heresy and expressed the universal Christian teaching, distinguishing between the essence and the energies of God. In modern, secular times the same two heresies have appeared as disincarnate, Western liberalism and petty, worldly nationalism.

Thus, today the Orthodox Christian world still suffers from these same constant enemies of the Faith, from petty, inward-looking nationalism of the ghetto and disincarnate, pro-Western liberalism of the intellectuals. In 1453 the latter betrayed Constantinople and provoked its fall and in 1917 it collaborated in the trap sprung by the West in Russia, provoking the February Revolution, later taken over by the Bolsheviks, and then dividing the Russian emigration between true White and false White. Thus, it can be asserted that the New Martyrs of Russia are ultimately the victims of the treachery of Western liberalism, for without Western support and finance the Bolsheviks would never have seized power. Without apostate wealthy aristocrats (including members of the Romanov Family), treasonous generals and Anglophile Duma freemasons, there would never have been any New Martyrs. Their anti-Orthodox and therefore anti-Russian treachery drips with the blood of the betrayed millions.

Then there is the second enemy, nationalism, which, unlike patriotism, which is love of God’s Creation, is simply worldliness, love of man’s creation. It betrayed the universalism of Old Rome, taken over by barbarian-minded Franks, and of New Rome, taken over by Hellenist nationalism. Unlike the petty nationalism of others in the past and today, petty Russian nationalism is worse because Russia has a vocation to defend all Orthodox of all nationalities and to witness to all the fragments of Christianity, a vocation to be Imperial, to be above ghetto nationalism. Examples of nationalism are the treasonous Old Ritualists, who openly supported the 1917 Revolution, a few divisive Russophobic émigrés who sympathized with Hitler, trying to undermine the Church Outside Russia and then siding with Western spies, and in our own times the pro-Old Ritualist Solzhenitsyn. His anti-patriotic nationalism, like that of all Russian nationalists, ironically ended up supporting Western liberals.

On this subject of inward-looking nationalism, there are now in Moldova, the Ukraine and on Mt Athos nearly seventy individuals, mainly monks, including one vicar-bishop and over a dozen priests, who refuse to commemorate Patriarch Kyrill at services. There are two reasons for the decisions of these non-commemorators. Firstly, there was the February meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and the Bishop of Rome in Cuba, for which the Russian Orthodox world had not been prepared although secret preparations for it had been under way for six months, and the vague joint declaration that they issued afterwards. This came after the disturbing document regarding relations between the Church and the heterodox world, released some two weeks earlier in Geneva, in preparation for the meeting of some Orthodox bishops in Crete in June. For some completely incomprehensible reason, this has provocatively already been called ‘a Holy, Pan-Orthodox Council’, when so far it is none of these things.

Seventy people make up 0.00004% of the Russian Orthodox world. We think their first concern is exaggerated. The document issued was after all a diplomatic one, not a dogmatic one and in their sincere simplicity they failed to distinguish between the two aspects. As for the second document, it is only a draft and has already been rejected by several Local Churches and many prominent and well-respected bishops in several countries. Even if it were passed as such, the vast majority, myself included, would either ignore it or tear it up. Such top-down decisions, taken without the slightest consultation with the masses, cannot be enforced. However, I do have a much more serious concern, which I wish the non-commemorators would share. They seem not to realize that since 2014 the Russian Orthodox world has been in a state of war, after an attack on the Ukraine, which toppled the legitimate government and installed an anti-Orthodox, Fascist junta in Kiev, ‘the Mother of Russian Cities’.

This is part of the Neocon-initiated World War, which has reduced a large part of Western Asia and Northern Africa, from the coasts of the Atlantic to the foothills of the Hiamalyas, to terrorist anarchy. This has resulted in the deaths of up to two million and well over ten million refugees, leading to the mass deChristianization of Iraq and Syria. It has also ravaged Eastern Europe, economically and in ex-Yugoslavia, militarily, where part of the population is affected by cancer from uranium-tipped NATO shells and menaced by the US-installed terrorist regime in Kosovo. It has also seen Russian Orthodox forces in combat in Syria, supporting Orthodox and friends of Orthodox next to the Holy Land, by Armageddon. In the post-Soviet world it is one thing for ‘Orthodox’ liberals and nationalists from anywhere in the Orthodox world to criticize or disagree with the Patriarch of Rus’. He may not be ideal (who is?), but to stop commemorating him during what is a World War, is almost treasonous.

The Present Danger

Who is it that will harm you, if you are followers of what is good?

(1 Peter 3, 13)

1916 was the year when the bankrupt British government was taken over by new and alien forces dependent on transnational financiers in New York and the year that the Russian Revolution was planned, in part inside the British Embassy in the Russian Capital. One century on, 2016 is also proving to be a year of great temptation internationally, especially because of Syria, and for the Russian Orthodox Church. Here there is great controversy, as throughout the Orthodox world, about the documents prepared for the proposed Inter-Orthodox meeting in Crete in June, especially that on the Church. Secondly, there has been the surprise meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and the Bishop of Rome, which has upset and disturbed many within the Russian Orthodox Church in particular.

As a result, there are a few clergy who have ceased commemorating Patriarch Kyrill. Then there have been meetings in Russia, the Ukraine and Moldova where small numbers of activists protesting at the use of the word ‘Council’ and the contents of the documents and they have used words like ‘uncanonical’, ‘heresy’ and ‘heretic’. And certain Russian bloggers, well-known for extremism and immaturity, have made dishonest and disrespectful accusations, falling into abuse and gossip, insults and unjust accusations, rumours and innuendo, proving that they are in fact secular-minded, not Church-minded. Our modernist and ecumenist enemies, who want schism from the Church, are rejoicing at the actions of such zealots. they are already imagining the full-scale destruction of the Church.

What should our attitude be?

Firstly, we must pray for the Russian Patriarch. There are those around him who are still under the influence of the humanistic and unOrthodox ‘theology’ of the 20th century Russian emigration, of the Paris School of Bulgakovism and Schmemannism, and have learned nothing from the Sourozh schism. Individuals subject to that ideology, which is what it is, are in fact fifth columnists, who are bringing divisive spiritual impurity into the Church. Secondly, we must rewrite the documents for the Crete meeting, making clear that we will never accept compromises of the teachings of the Church and especially of the teaching on the Church, the main dogmatic issue here. Fortunately, many in other Local Churches, especially in Georgia, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, are already undertaking this.

We must also make sure that the voices of all Orthodox in the monasteries and parishes, clergy and laypeople, those at the grassroots of the Church, are heard. The Church is not the bishops, and certainly not a select group of bishops, and certainly not a group of uprooted intellectuals and disincarnate philosophers; the Church is everyone, the whole body of the faithful, the people of God, both now and in ages past. That is the meaning of the word ‘catholicity’. However, in doing this, we must show honesty, respect and courtesy, defending the Church and Church Truth from all Her enemies, from left or right, whatever their sect. And we must act without hysteria, from inside the Church, for we know that the Church is not ours, but God’s, and that Christ will always be triumphant in the long term.

The Present Crisis

Q: What has been happening since the meeting of Orthodox Primates at Chambesy five weeks ago?

A: Exactly as Metr Onufry of Kiev predicted, the Crete meeting (‘Pan-Orthodox Council’) is proving divisive, and even before it has begun. As we said at the time, documents issued, above all the document concerning relations with the Non-Orthodox has proved to be unacceptable. The Georgian Church has rejected it and now a petition in the Bulgarian Church is objecting to it, not to mention individual hierarchs in Greece and Cyprus who are also opposed – or that matter people in the parishes like ourselves. Apart from that there is the principle itself of holding a ‘Council’ to which only a few selected bishops are invited!

Q: Would you sign a petition against it?

A: Why should I? I find that idea almost amusing when I know that my bishop thinks the same as me – or rather I think the same as my bishop and, for that matter, all the other bishops in ROCOR. In any case, if you are concerned by a problem in the Church, you do not start a petition – that is a Protestant concept. What you do is talk about it with your bishop. Indeed, that is what I did last January and that is how I know that I think the same as my bishop.

Q: How do you see this problem developing?

A: I think the most interesting thing about this whole debate is how the two extremes have met. On the one hand, the sectarian-minded – there are very few of them, but they make a lot of noise – are refusing to commemorate their bishops. On the other hand, they are being egged on and provoked by the enemies of the Church, the ecumenist liberals – also few in number but noisy – who are doing all they can to create a schism, which would be their greatest joy. Unfortunately, the sectarian-minded are a little simple and do not see the trap that they are being led into. This is so sad.

Q: Has the crisis not been deepened by Patriarch Kyrill meeting the Pope in Cuba?

A: Yes, that meeting has reinforced the crisis.

Q: So are you saying that that meeting was a mistake?

A: No, because, apart from its positive aspects, that meeting has brought everything to a head, the abscess has burst, all is now in the open.

Q: What do you mean?

A: We now see exactly who are sectarian and who are ecumenist liberals. Those on the fringes have revealed themselves. The mainstream now has the task of reassuring the masses, but also challenging the fringes, saying to them, ‘This is the Church, do you agree with Her or not’?

Q: So do you think some will fall into schism?

A: I hope not, but if so, then very few. Moreover, I think that it will be the ecumenist liberals who will leave. Those on the other side are mostly good-hearted, just misguided.

Q: What about the charge that Patriarch Kyrill’s spiritual father was a known heretic, Metr Nikodim (Rotov)?

A: This is absolutely typical of the sectarian-minded. Patriarch Kyrill was 32 years old when Metr Nikodim died. Do these people really think that a young man, now a Patriarch, has not moved on since 1978? Do they really think that people are so stupid that they do not learn from the mistakes of their youth and inexperience? The only people who can think such things must themselves be very young! Unless of course, and that is far worse, the people who think such things have no concept that people change, that they can repent.

Do they not think that the Patriarch has changed in the last 38 years – in half a lifetime? Moreover, he has in that time received grace. I am myself a witness to that – how he has changed since he has become Patriarch. When you are ordained or consecrated, you receive grace, just as you receive grace from any sacrament. Some of these sectarians seem to be deniers of grace, deniers of the action of the Holy Spirit.

Q: Surely you are being idealistic. Yes, there is grace, but there is also temptation and sin. In history there are patriarchs who have behaved as judases, usually from political pressure.

A: Of course there have been those. But they are by far not the majority. The judases were the exceptions which prove the rule. Again there is a defect in the psychology of the sectarian-minded – they are always shocked by the exceptions and make them into the rule. For example, they will say that someone, for the sake of argument, say in the Bulgarian Church, is a heretic and then they conclude that they cannot concelebrate with anyone in the Bulgarian Church, and then, even more ridiculously, they refuse to concelebrate with anyone who concelebrates with the Bulgarian Church. And that is how they end up in a sect, outside the Church.

Q: Why do their minds work like that?

A: Because they are proud puritans. The slightest ‘impurity’, and in their case that means others disagreeing with them, and they are out. They are guilty of premature judgement, they want a pure Church now, which is called Donatism. That is simply not going to happen. The wheat and the tares grow together in this world because the wheat grows stronger on account of the tares and the tares can turn into wheat through the example of the wheat. God is patient with us sinners – so we must be patient with other sinners. We must all wait until the Last Judgement – unless of course people judge themselves by leaving the Church and entering a sect.

Q; You speak of a psychological defect in the minds of the sectarian-minded, but what about the minds of the modernists, the ecumenist liberals?

A: Regardless of which of the two extremes we are talking about, we are not talking about theology, but about psychology and a spiritually unhealthy psychology. For example, the ecumenist liberals will tell you that we must do like the heterodox, introduce organs, shorten our services, reduce fasting etc etc. Why? Because these people have either lost the Tradition or else have never been in the Tradition and therefore they want to do what those outside the Tradition, the heterodox, do. They are so secular-minded that they conform themselves to secularism, to the world, rather than to the Church. Basically, their problem is that they lack the Orthodox Faith.

Q: Is this a serious crisis?

A: For the moment, no, because only a very few people are directly concerned, though all of us know about it and so are indirectly concerned.

Q: So what is the solution?

A: To communicate our concerns to our bishops and to follow the mainstream, avoiding the errors of both the sectarian-minded and the secular-minded.

On the Foolishness of Schism

There is now almost hysteria among a few, as we predicted in our article after the release of the draft documents for the Crete meeting, as regards relations between the Church and the heterodox world. This hysteria began when those draft documents were released, but since then there has also been the meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and Pope Francis and its joint statement. What we have seen so far is that a few simple and little-educated, seeing everything in terms of black and white, sometimes out of insecurity in the faith, sometimes out of an incredible lack of faith and loyalty, have been very upset by the vagueness of expressions used in documents issued at both events. We agree that vagueness of terminology is to be avoided, but we would never agree with making schism out of vagueness.

The Gospel of St Matthew tells us that we are to be ‘as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves’. On the left side there are those who are only doves and on the right side there are those who are only serpents. We are told to love the sinner but hate the sin. On the left side there are those who love the sinner but also love the sin. On the right side there are those who hate the sin but also hate the sinner. In other words those who have created schisms from vagueness of words, lack subtlety and have over-reacted – just as the enemy wanted. They have fallen into the hands of the enemy! What is the real problem?

The real problem is very simple: the Patriarchate of Constantinople had throughout the nineteenth century been a plaything of the British and French ambassadors in Istanbul and their rivalry to control was exploited by the Ottomans. In the early 1920s the Anglicans actually handed over £100,000 to get the British freemason Meletios Metaksakis elected as Patriarch. He then pushed through various modernist and anti-Orthodox changes, for which he was chased out of the City by the enraged faithful, though too late. However, in 1948, with Britain bankrupt, the US took control of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The late Greek Bishop of Birmingham in England was the Patriarch’s deacon at the time and as an eyewitness told us the story.

Flying in on the personal aeroplane of President Truman (he who had massacred almost 250,000 Japanese civilians with just two bombs in three days), a group of CIA gangsters (there is no other word for them) told Patriarch Maximos that he had to leave for Switzerland and that if he resisted he would be tortured and killed. He left, saying the words, ‘The City (= Constantinople) is lost’. On the aeroplane that had flown in sat the next Patriarch, the freemason from the US Greek Archdiocese, the notorious modernist Archbishop Athenagoras. Since then the City has indeed been lost.

The US elite wants to finish off the Orthodox Church, just as it did Roman Catholicism 50 years ago, reducing most of it to the malleable, spiritually empty Judeo-Protestant culture of the West. This takeover of all ‘organized religion’ is merely an excuse for the longer-term plan, already obvious in the 1960s, to promote secularism and through it anti-Christianity. In order to finish off the Orthodox Church, the US elite is using the ‘weak underbelly’ of the Church, that which has been weak ever since the fifteenth-century treachery at the ‘Council’ of Florence, elements in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and also elsewhere by interfering in Patriarchal elections.

Sadly for the US elite, the plan is doomed to failure (although it can create a lot of chaos and division on the way). This is because the Orthodox Church is the Church, not an ‘organized religion’, that is, not a top-down clericalist club, like the Protestant denominations or Catholicism. With them, all they had to do was infiltrate the leaders and future leaders, the episcopate or the Vatican, spread some money around, blackmail the corrupted, and they had complete control. In the Orthodox Church, on the other hand, the episcopate is only a very small part of the Church. We can already see how the US plan is failing:

Firstly, the Russian Church insisted that no document could be accepted by any future ‘Council’ without unanimity. Individuals in the Patriarchate of Constantinople, urged on by Biden, launched a propaganda campaign using Greek clerics in the USA and the compliant, State-controlled US media, to cast the Russian Church as the villain that would sabotage ‘the Council’, because it does not want to be friendly to Non-Orthodox and in any case, is ‘only a tool of the Russian State’. To that last September the Russian Church replied by organizing the February meeting between Patriarch Kyrill and the Bishop of Rome.

Secondly, the Russian Church and others threw out the pro-gay agenda that Obama and Kerry tried to impose on the future ‘Council’. This was a defeat for those who were trying to promote it for personal reasons.

Thirdly, the Russian Church has forced individuals in the Patriarchate of Constantinople in a humiliating climbdown to accept Metr Rostislav as leader of the Church of the Czechs and Slovaks.

Fourthly, the Russian Church has obliged the Patriarchate of Constantinople to promise never to interfere in the Ukraine, as the US State Department was urging it to do.

Fifthly, the Russian Church has forced the venue for the meeting to be moved from premises in NATO Istanbul, filled with CIA bugs, to Crete. Here the premises can be swept for bugs by Russian security men.

Sixthly, the Patriarch of Constantinople has now stated that not all the Local Churches have to be represented for there to be a Council. The Russian Church and others are resisting this by refusing any change to the original agreement.

On each occasion the Russian Church has replied to the attempts to weaken Orthodoxy and has won the day.

Those hotheads who are too simple to see this and are entering or are promoting schism are not strategically-minded, but literally-minded. Their danger is that of phariseeism – an enemy of the Church. For phariseeism always divides, which is exactly what the devil wants because it weakens the Church. Today the draft documents for the Crete meeting are being torn apart by the Churches of Georgia and Antioch, not to mention the severe criticism they are undergoing throughout the Orthodox world, not least in Greece and Cyprus. For the moment at least the Russian Church can leave protests at the draft documents for Crete to others.

A Story of Failure and a Story of Success

Introduction

For well over fifty years now, and in virtually every country in Western Europe, that is in countries with a millennium of Catholic-Protestant culture, small numbers of Western Europeans have been joining one or other of the local dioceses of the Orthodox Church. In general it can be said that the numbers joining have been higher in the less traditional and more Protestant countries and lower in traditional Catholic countries like Italy, Spain and Portugal. And numbers have been much higher among more uprooted and cosmopolitan city-dwellers than among more traditional country-dwellers. Here there is something to do with spiritual degeneration. Though there is a detailed thesis here, the full story of this Europe-wide movement has yet to be written – probably because it has so far been very marginal.

In some countries, especially small ones like Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Austria and Luxembourg, where also there has been relatively little immigration from ‘Orthodox countries’ until recent years, numbers of native Orthodox are tiny, often a few dozen at most. In other countries, especially larger ones like Germany, France and Great Britain, which have also received more immigrants from ‘Orthodox countries’ in Eastern Europe, numbers of native Orthodox rise into the low thousands. Indeed, the process has been under way for so long that in all these countries we can find adults who are second and third generation Orthodox of purely Western European origin.

Some of the first generation are now elderly and have been members of the Orthodox Church for between forty years and seventy years. Some have been present for between twenty and forty years. Others are newcomers who have entered into communion with the Church more recently, only over the last twenty years. On the surface, it might seem that there are today anything between 10,000 and 20,000 native Orthodox living in Western Europe. (Here we exclude those who have already passed on). However, such a high figure is very misleading because in order to understand real numbers we have to look at the motivations of those who have joined the Orthodox Church in Western Europe, sociological and not spiritual motivations which sadly have resulted in a majority of those received and their descendants lapsing from the Faith.

Marriage

Firstly, there are those who have had to join the Orthodox Church because they have married an Orthodox. It is true that some of these individuals have come to appreciate the Church and play a part in parish life. In other words, they have not only joined the Orthodox Church, they have actually become Orthodox and spontaneously and naturally have Orthodox values, think in an Orthodox way and live an Orthodox life. However, for the majority that is not the case. Their membership of the Church is purely nominal, often because the membership of the Church of the Orthodox whom they have married is also nominal.

Without an example of Church life, spouses will not take up Church life. Moreover, if their spouses belong to parishes where the whole service is in an inaccessible foreign language (often also largely inaccessible to the second-generation Orthodox spouse), clearly the possibility of their interest is greatly lessened. We doubt if there are more than a few hundred Western Europeans who, though they have joined the Orthodox Church because they have married Orthodox, have actually become Orthodox. The rest, the vast majority, have to all intents and purposes lapsed (though arguably it could be said they never lapsed because they were never part of the Church anyway).

Converts

Secondly, there are those who previously practised Catholicism or Protestantism (including its Anglican variant). They have often been disillusioned by the denomination in which they have grown up and left it for Orthodoxy. These people really are converts. Here we have to look very closely at motivation. Some have left their original denomination disgruntled and angry and then joined the Orthodox Church for negative, purely psychological, occasionally psychopathic, reasons. These people never become Orthodox, for they spend their time looking backwards, either nostalgically and investing themselves heavily in ecumenism and the past, or else in anger, raging against ecumenism and their original denomination. Neither group ever looks forward to the Church and living in Her, but lives off the baggage of the past which they attempt to impose on the Church by trying to ‘reform’ Her! I have met so many like this, who, even after twenty, forty and sixty years, have still never become Orthodox. These are the eternal converts who love being converts and, in one way or another, always lapse from the mainstream, or rather have never been part of the mainstream, blinded by psychological deformations in egomania, producing psychobabble. Needless to say, they do not hand on Orthodoxy to their descendants because they have no Orthodoxy to hand on.

On the other hand, there are those who, with an open mind and without psychological hang-ups or ‘baggage’, have naturally evolved through repentance from some sort of Protestantism or Catholicism (it is much the same thing) and become Orthodox, ever deepening their Faith. They realize that Orthodoxy is simply Christianity and that, before, they were simply not Christians in the fullness of the word, they both had too much of something (phariseeism, moralism, guilt etc) or lacked something (sacramental life, spiritual understanding, simplicity etc). They understand that previously they had been conditioned by deformations of Christianity and that now, at last, they understand what the Church is. Although this group are a minority amongst converts, they are the positive ones because they not only join the Church, but with time actually become Orthodox, ridding themselves of the deformed cultural reflexes of their past. There may be 2-3,000 such Orthodox Western Europeans.

Fantasy

Thirdly, there have been those who have been brought into the Church under false pretences by fantasist proselytists, false ‘elders’, people who love giving themselves titles (‘spiritual fathers’) and exude the desire to be admired. For example we well remember one bishop who, desperate to fill his tiny parish, which most serious Orthodox did not attend once they had discovered what it was about, probably brought in 2,000 people over his lifetime; they mainly lapsed very swiftly. His technique was to attract people, mainly wealthy people from the upper-class Establishment, through his undoubted personal charm and, under the influence of almost semi-hypnosis, he would receive them within a few days or weeks at most. Few lasted more than six months; some only lasted days. I have come across many of his victims (I use the word with reason). Some have never been back to Church since the day he received them; many have returned to various cliques of Anglicanism, where he found them, or invented their own. Since he died, all his fantasies have come to grief and a new generation is growing up, never having heard of him.

Another priest, an ex-Anglican vicar, has been desperate to ‘recruit’ to his tiny community. His technique, sadly common among many of his background who seem not to have any time for the vast majority of Non-Anglican English people, is to receive anyone who shows the slightest interest in the Church. The result is an incredibly high turnover. His tiny flock changes almost completely every six months. A high lapse rate is certain. Outside England old calendarists and others of a sectarian mentality in France (both perennialist Kovalevskians and old calendarists), Italy and Portugal, without any base of faithful, have recruited heavily among traditional Catholics. In Portugal these old calendarists used to include Catholic saints in their calendar! Again turnover, that is, the lapse rate, has been very high. Why remain in a group that is a sect and is not in communion with the Orthodox Church? There have been many pastoral disasters in such groups. Stability is definitely not a word that belongs to the vocabulary of such sectarians, for, once more, they too have built on sand. Nevertheless, there are some issued from false missionaries who have seen through the charlatans and moved on to stable Church life elsewhere.

Descendants

Fourthly, there are those who have so far lost any identity inherited from their parents that, although they are technically not Western Europeans, they are so Westernized that they might as well be. These are the descendants of immigrants from ‘Orthodox countries’., children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren right up to the sixth generation and more. Sadly, it has to be said that, once children lose the Orthodox culture of their parents (often fairly minimal anyway), the assimilation rate is very high. Conditioned by the acid bath of Western schools with their intense secularist propaganda, not to mention television and social media, Orthodox cultural reflexes tend to be quickly worn down, especially as the generations pass. We know of such Orthodox who still occasionally go to church, but they will not attend if it is not on the new or Western calendar and if they cannot sit down at services and they will not take communion if they have to have confess first. Clearly, nothing can be built on such semi-Orthodox.

On the other hand, there are Orthodox of later generations, perhaps especially of the third generation, who have lost the conformist and integrationist inferiority complex and reflexes of the second (‘Schmemannite’) generation and want to return to and understand their roots as well as the first millennium roots of the countries where they live. Obviously their knowledge of their ancestors’ language may be negligible, but this is not a problem in itself. If they have zeal for the Faith and want to go to the roots of the Faith, then such Orthodox, of any generation, including those issued from mixed marriages, can bring a great deal to Church life. There are several thousand such Orthodox in Western Europe and they, together with the first generation of immigrants, are the backbone of the Church, even though they are not, even in part, native Western Europeans.

Conclusion

There are Orthodox in the above categories, admittedly in some more than others, who play a role in Church life in Western Europe, and not just an academic or titular one, but a real one. Whether people have come to the Church of God by marriage and avoided the temptation of nominalism, whether they are converts from one of the heterodox denominations and avoided the temptation of living with the baggage of the past and overcome psychology in favour of theology, whether they have been brought into the Church by false missionaries but seen through them to the real Church, whether they are of ‘Orthodox’ origin, but have resisted the temptations of assimilation and minimalism, there are in all these groups several thousand genuine Western European Orthodox. To them we can add others, also repentant.

For we have not yet mentioned those who simply come to the Church because the Church is their spiritual home. We are not converts, we do not have any baggage with us, we simply want to join the Church in order to be what in our souls we always have been: Orthodox. We enter the Church and are at once at home in Her and cannot live and have never been able to live without Her. We cannot be anything other than Orthodox. We have no desire to ‘reform’ the Church, but are happy with Her as She is. We are the people who simply want spiritual food and have no cultural hang-ups and no heterodox culture with which to create some sort of Halfodoxy, half-Protestant/half-Orthodox’, ‘Anglo-Catholicism with icons’, the Tridentine Mass with icons etc. I can remember how shocked I was over 40 years ago when I was asked by a Greek priest: ‘Who brought you to the Church?’, obviously expecting the name of a bishop or priest in answer. When I answered truthfully: ‘God’, he seemed shocked. I thought how utterly deformed his expectation had been. He could only see an Orthodoxy dependent on some personality cult.

The fact is, whatever our path to the Church anywhere, Church life can only be built on the Rock of Tradition, not on the sand of the compromises of negative traits, of nominalism, pathology, fantasy or minimalism. Though you may be very zealous, you cannot be missionaries if you have nothing of spiritual value to give, your zeal is purely psychological, not of the heart, not repentant. The Church lives by the Holy Spirit, not by fallen human psychology and ideology. Sadly, we have seen many cases where individuals have tried to build the Church in Western Europe on the sand of compromise, without repentance, without leaving false cultural values behind them. All such attempts, and we have seen a great many of them, have ended in failure, they are fantasy swept away by reality, as a result there are well over ten thousand native Western Europeans who have lapsed from a corrupted form of Orthodoxy. Such have been and will continue to be washed away, like so much sand when the tide comes in. That is failure. On the other hand, there are those who are building the real and future Church in Western Europe on the Rock of the fullness of the Orthodox Tradition that no tide can ever wash away. That is success.

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.