Category Archives: The Orthodox Church

From Recent Correspondence (September 2020)

Q: Very recently you returned to Mt Athos for the first time in many years. What changes have you noticed since you last went?

A: I went to Athos twice in 1979 and spent time there. Now again I have been there. There have been enormous changes.

I think it was better before because it was poor then and there were virtually no roads, no vehicles, no electricity, no telephones and of course no internet. Today there is all this. There are roads everywhere, new road-building is very noisy and disturbs both the holy silence and unspoilt nature, and there must be hundreds of vehicles on the mountain now. All of this has been done with EU money. Each monastery, much refurnished and repainted, now has a shop and, ominously, a museum (always a sign of the end, because it shows that it is dead, not living). It is clear that the Greek government, whose flag flies everywhere on the mountain, even on monasteries (you will not find a single Russian flag at St Panteleimon’s) is preparing to open the mountain up to mass tourism some time in the future. Greek nationalism and money are killing the mountain. Instead of being a multinational Orthodox centre, it is slowly becoming a department of the atheistic Greek State.

Q: Is it likely that one day there will be new monasteries on Mt Athos for, say, English, French, German, Italian etc monks?

A: As long as Greek nationalism rules on Mt Athos, that is unthinkable. Out of some 2,000 monks today, 1800 are Greek. It is forbidden by the nationalists to have more than 20 monasteries, which is why the Romanians, say, only have a skete, though with more monks than a couple of the smaller Greek monasteries, why the Georgians lost Iviron to the Greeks and the Russians lost the huge so-called sketes of the Prophet Elijah and St Andrew to the Greeks. Then, there is also the fact that anyone who becomes a monk on Mt Athos must become a Greek citizen! For the moment Mt Athos is a fragment, albeit with some holy people, of the Second Rome, it still has to enter post-1453 reality.

Although I have met, seen or heard of two English monks, two French monks, two Finnish monks and two black African monks on Mt Athos, two is hardly enough to open a monastery. In any case, what we first need to do is to have authentic monasteries in Western countries, using the native language. So far this exists only in France and the USA. The number of vocations is tiny at present.

Q: Should people not leave the Patriarchate of Constantinople because their Patriarch acts heretically?

A: I think it is far more likely that the very elderly Patriarch Bartholomew will die. So he will be leaving, not his three million-strong flock.

Q: Recently the Greek Archbishop of America, Elpidiforos, stated to Roman Catholics that the unity of Orthodox and Roman Catholics is not a question of if, but when. What do you answer?

A: He was talking only about himself.

Q: Is the Russian Church the centre of the Orthodox world?

A: Like it or not, Russia is the centre of Orthodox Civilisation, even secular historians like Toynbee and Huntington recognised it. How blindly nationalistic do you have to be not to see this? On the other hand, the Russian Church must behave responsibly. It has often failed to do, treating Non-Russians as second-class citizens. Leadership simply because you are nearly ten times bigger than any other Local Church is not automatic, you have to earn leadership and deserve it. As I said – like it or not. The Russian Church still has to overcome suicidal Soviet tendencies and become the Third Rome again. The dead hand of the Soviet Union with its bureaucracy and centralisation is still too close. Christ is the only centre of the Orthodox world.

Q: Is it true that the Russian Orthodox Church is heretical because it blesses icons and even crosses with holy water?

A: This is an old chestnut that comes up every decade, usually written by a literalist convert or a polemical Greek, together with the accusation that the Russian Church is heretical because we bless icons and crosses!

Of course, it is not heretical. But of course it is not strictly necessary to bless icons and crosses, we do it out of piety. We do all sorts of things that are not strictly necessary – for example drinking a little wine after communion in the Russian Church, blessing kolyva at memorials, especially in the Greek Church, and kneeling on Sundays, especially in the Romanian Church. Such an accusation of heresy because of piety is all on the same level as the ‘no kneeling on Sundays’ convert pride syndrome. We are not supposed to do it, but we do it for piety’s sake. Let the semi-intellectuals, aggressive fault-finders and proud self-justifiers fall silent, also for piety’s sake!

Q: What is needed for unity in the Diaspora?

A: Trust in one bishop by members of every jurisdiction. At present the bishops of most jurisdictions are not even trusted by their own members, let alone by members of other jurisdictions. Trust will bring the leadership and authority essential for unity. A bishop who is subject to some nationalistic group, financial interest or political party earns no trust. Ultimately trust means holiness.

Q: What are the origins of the Greek priest’s chimney pot hat, the Greek monk’s headware and the Russian skufia?

A: The Balkan chimney pot hat for priests is simply the old Turkish top hat but black, the low cylindrical hat worn by Balkan monks is simply the Turkish fez but black, and the Russian skoufia is simply to keep you warm in the Russian winter.

Q: Where does the Roman Catholic anti-woman spirit come from?

A: It comes right from the beginning, in the second half of the 11th century, when the German Popes forbade married priests. Married men are not anti-woman; bachelors often are. This same innovation introduced institutional clericalism and also, incidentally, led to the disappearance of monks who were not priests and also of deacons; everyone had to be a priest – ‘a mini-pope’.

 

 

 

The Centre Can Hold Because of the Cleansing of the Church

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

William Yeats, The Second Coming

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Can the Russian Orthodox Church Convert Russian Society and the Russian State, Renew the Local Orthodox Churches and Bring the Western World to Repentance?

At the turning of the tide

Hope and Truth abide.

Introduction

The list of three tasks set out above is ultra-ambitious and all-encompassing. Indeed, these tasks, to be undertaken by a Church which is still barely recovering from seventy-five years of the most vicious atheist persecution in world history, will bring many to laughter.

For example, regarding the task of converting Russian Society and the Russian State, most would probably say that no such things even exist yet; there are only a post-atheist Society and a post-atheist State. Moreover, both are marked by an extraordinarily incompetent, centralized bureaucracy, corruption and the immorality of atheism. The task of converting them seems absurd. As regards renewing the Orthodox Churches, the answer must surely be virtually impossible and in any case perhaps it is the Russian Church which needs to be renewed by other Local Churches. And as for bringing the Western world to repentance after its thousand-year apostasy from authentic Christianity, this surely is so impossible that it is senseless even to think about it.

However, the dismissal of these tasks as fantasy, seeming to be humanly impossible, needs re-examining in the light of one fact: Man proposes, but God disposes. After all, given the extraordinary and unexpected disappearance, almost overnight, of the atheist Superpower that was the Soviet Union and the beginning of the revival of the Church there since then, perhaps there are chances that something very unexpected can also occur in all these domains.

Converting Post-Soviet Society and the Post-Soviet State

100 years have passed since the ruthless Civil War which followed the betrayal of Orthodox Russia by the elite of generals, aristocrats and intellectuals in February 1917 and the Bolshevik takeover from their incompetence in October 1917. Over thirty years have passed since the atheist Empire controlled by the corrupt Bolshevik elite started to fall apart. Bolshevism, an import from Germany, totally failed, and the Soviet Union went bankrupt (in every sense). What have the alternatives proposed since then been?

The first proposal was to parrot Western liberal capitalism and secularism. This was adopted almost immediately by those who had claimed to be Communists. Many of them became rich overnight, as the nomenklatura became an oligarchy. They were supported by the mob, who, with their typically Russian inferiority complex vis a vis the West, imagined that the new Western Consumerism would be wonderful, the ‘bright future’ promised by Communism but not delivered. And indeed the mass of secular Russians, in especially vulgar ways, duly aped everything bad in the West, like so many chimpanzees rewarded for their treachery with Western bananas.

The second proposal was Orthodoxy and over a hundred million citizens of the ex-Soviet Union were swiftly baptized. Only a few million old-fashioned atheists resisted, quoting such discredited theorists and fantasists as Marx and Darwin – who were already discredited and old-fashioned 100 years ago! However, a real criticism was made by some: this was that since Orthodoxy had already been tried before the Revolution and had been found wanting, hence the Revolution, why repeat it?

Of course, this was nonsense. The whole point is precisely that Orthodoxy had NOT been tried before the Revolution, at least by the masses who had only been nominally Orthodox, formally baptised. In particular, the so-called ‘Orthodox’ academies of theology and seminaries, with their careerist students looking for well-paid jobs in the civil service, had been hotbeds of atheism before 1917. Indeed, one former seminarian and ‘cradle-Orthodox’ (whatever that means) later came to be known as Joseph Stalin. The fact is that the masses of nominal Orthodox before the Revolution after 1917 followed the elite and deserted the Church, going along with atheism and the persecution of the Church.

Today, we are in a similar situation, with an elite mainly anti-Church and the masses unsure which way to go: Western secularism with its expensive playthings, baubles, gadgets and Hollywood tinsel, or the fullness of Christianity in Russian Orthodoxy. It is commonly agreed that only 3% (about 5 million) of the 164 million members of the Russian Orthodox Church actually practise Orthodoxy to the letter, even though about 80% of the total population are baptised. In Ekaterinburg last year, on the centenary of the martyrdom of the Imperial Family, only 100,000 (0.06%) of the Orthodox population took part in the midnight pilgrimage to Ganina Yama. Among fringe Orthodox, clergy and laity, we can meet corruption through money, alcoholism, ritualism, phariseeism, praise for Stalinism or for Western liberalism, and every deviation inbetween. There are even those who propose an amalgam between ‘Red and White’, suggesting that atheism and anti-Bolshevism unite under the standard of xenophobia!

In today’s Russian Federation abortion is twice as high as even the abysmally high rates in Western countries (true, it has halved in the last thirty years, but only because contraception is starting to be used). Divorce is still just as high as in the USA because, like American materialism, Soviet materialism destroyed family life. Naïve Western converts to Orthodoxy, who have no idea of reality and the profound secularism of the mass of Russians, point out that the churches are full. But of course they are full: they, and priests, are so pitifully few in number (one for every 7,000 people!) that they cannot be anything other than full. In the UK, with less than half the population of the Russian Federation, there are two and a half times as many churches.

Some will say that I am being over-critical. After all, over 30,000 New Martyrs have been canonized in the last 25 years (far more than the 8,000 canonized by the Church Outside Russia 38 years ago). Over 100 million have been baptised, over 100 Metropolias have been created, the number of bishops has gone up from 40 to 400, the number of priests is heading for 40,000 from 6,000 30 years ago (and most of those were then in the Ukraine), people now take communion regularly, not as in the grim old days of the corrupt practice before the Revolution (unfortunately a practice until quite recently preserved in the Church Outside Russia), when communion once a year was considered the norm.

Some over-optimists even say that today the Russian Orthodox Church has reached the level of the Church before the Revolution. This of course is not at all true – there were over twice as many churches and priests then, proportionate to the then population, as now. However, that is not the point: the point is that the Church needs in any case to be even better than the decapitated and State-ritualized Church of before the Revolution. This had been rejected by the vast mass of the aristocracy and intellectual elite. If the pre-Revolutionary Church is restored as it was, the Church will simply be incapable of preventing another Revolution.

Pre-Revolutionary culture, the summit of Russian culture, has still to be restored. And that can only be done when Russian Society is permeated by an Orthodox culture which today it is not. As for the Russian State, it cannot be converted until Russian Society has been converted; otherwise there will just be mere hypocrisy (as in the Russian State before the Revolution). In a country where the State, like the media and the educational and medical systems, are dominated by practical, if not ideological and sometimes very aggressive, atheism, as seen in their corruption and immorality, there remains much to be done.

Real parishes have to be created (they do not exist) as local communities, where all can go and become members of the Orthodox family, belonging, not merely passing through as if in a railway station. Financial transparency, as is about to be implemented only in the Pskov Metropolia, must become the norm. The Russian Orthodox Church needs 130,000 new churches, 130,000 new priests and 1300 new bishops! Our Orthodox Revolution has only just begun! Only then shall we be able to say that Russian Society and consequently the Russian State have been converted. There is very, very, very far to go in order to recover from the dread consequences of the Soviet nightmare and the pathetic aping of Western money-money-money Capitalism which has patterned the last generation of life in the Russian Federation.

Renewing the Local Orthodox Churches

The Western calendar has over the last 95 years taken control of some 20% of the Orthodox world – Constantinople (except Mt Athos), Antioch, Alexandria, Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia and Albania have all been infected. Only those in the 80% of the Churches of Jerusalem, Russia, Serbia, Georgia and Poland have remained faithful. Now many will say: So what? The fact is that though the calendar in itself may not be so important, it is a symbol. Once you have adopted the Western calendar, you may adopt the Western mentality. You may be heading for the exit door of the Church.

There is worse to come. Playing the nationalist card of flattering the local chauvinists, the Western world is now trying its devil’s best to dismantle the Russian Orthodox Church, especially in Estonia and the Ukraine, but if possible in the Baltics, Belarus and Moldova also. The same tactic has been adopted against the Serbian Orthodox Church in Montenegro and Macedonia. Attacks have also been made against the Churches of Antioch, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania. Can the Russian Orthodox Church, supporting and supported by, the best elements in the other Local Churches, win? Only if first, Russian Society and the Russian State have been converted. Ever since the Ukrainian crisis, we have been at a critical turning-point, living on a knife edge. Something has to change. We cannot go on like this much longer. This is make or break time for the Church of God. Either we shall live on, even by the grace of God prospering, or else the end of the world really is coming and this is it.

Bringing the Western World to Repentance

The Western world presents a sorry picture of spiritual emptiness and spiritual and therefore moral degeneracy. Its few remaining believers cannot even stand up for Christ, but sit down in their churches, as if paralysed (a spiritual disease that over the last 40 years has taken hold of the Greek and Arab Churches). Herded into inferiority-complex conformism, the puppet states of Western Europe are controlled by the US-run EU and NATO. Thus, symbolically, in Eurovision, which takes place not even in Europe, but in the US-financed Asian colony of Israel, Europeans, including supposed Orthodox Europeans, sing identically absurd and pointless songs in American English, not even in their own languages. And as for the crazed, trigger-happy, though bankrupt, US cowboy himself, obsessed by his control-freakery, seeking worldwide dominion and armed to the teeth with everything that technology can provide, he plans to destroy Russia, Turkey, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, Cuba and Iran. Apocalypse awaits.

Conclusion

And therefore, we say that it is now or never. Either Orthodox of all nationalities renounce our false selves and start converting ourselves and the Societies and States around us, so standing up and witnessing to Christ before the Western atheist elites, or else we shall be annihilated by them. Then we shall be swallowed up by the Western sea-monster like Jonah, only without Jonah’s faith and therefore swallowed up forever and so disappearing from the face of the earth. The choice is ours.

 

My Life, the Last Battle and the New Orthodox World (N.O.W.)

‘Tell the people: Although I have died, I am alive.’

St John of Shanghai

Foreword: The War

Forty-five years ago I was told by one who could have known better that, as I had been waiting for years to join the Orthodox Church, I now faced a choice: I could either join the Greek Church of Constantinople or the Church of Russia; it was all the same. But only to him was it all the same, as, in spite of, or rather because of, his great intellect, he was spiritually confused. He lived in an alien compromise, washing his hands before the critical choice. I joined the Russian Church because, since the age of twelve, I had known through revelations to my soul that my destiny was most definitely in the Russian Orthodox Church. However crippled it may have been after 1917, I was destined to share in that agony, indeed, although it seemed foolishness to the Jews and to the Greeks alike, only by sharing in that agony could I hope to find my own salvation. I sensed even then that what he had told me was somehow untrue. At best it could only have been a delusion. It was not all the same – and recent very sad events have shown this to all absolutely clearly. Let me explain:

The Church is not to be found in a people who believe that it is a chosen people. Many Hebrews believed that they were the chosen people, but they stoned the prophets and crucified the Son of God. To this day many of their descendants reject Christ, some considering themselves superior to the rest of humanity. Then the Western European elite came to believe in their ‘exceptionalism’ (that is, their claim that they too were above God) too, all in order to justify their organized barbaric aggression. So a thousand years after Christ, they too fell away from the Church, rejecting the Holy Spirit and seizing control of the Church in the West in order to justify their conquistador power-grab. So, like pirates, they began persecuting us ordinary Christians and conquering the rest of the world by fire and the sword. Then their secularist descendants, in turn the Portuguese, Spanish, French, British, German and finally American elites, did exactly the same, demanding world hegemony (‘globalism’), also rejecting Christ because they consider themselves superior to the rest of humanity. (Hence their anti-Semitism: the other ‘chosen people’, the Jews, were rivals to them, therefore they had to be eliminated). In the Church there has now come the turn of certain Greeks, telling us that only they are Christians, that God speaks only Greek, and, as one very well-known Cypriot archimandrite told me, even that their pagan ancestors had prepared the way for Christ! Many Russians fell victim to the same delusion, in the same way believing in themselves instead of believing in God, taking communion only once a year. So they lost everything and overthrew the God-appointed Christian Emperor in 1917. Only through the blood of the New Martyrs and the tears and sweat of the New Confessors did repentance eventually begin to come to them.

All these ‘chosen peoples’ failed to understand that salvation comes only from the Heavenly Jerusalem of the Church of Christ through the Mercy of God and the Holy Spirit – not from some earthly ‘Jewish Rome’ of some mythical ‘chosen people’. For this reason, once I had chosen the Russian Church, I was to spend the rest of my life at war, in tireless battles, in unceasing strife, in the trenches, on the Western Front, fighting for real Christianity, for the real Russian Orthodox Church, together, of course, with many others. We all fought against the narrow-minded, nationalist delusions and impurities of those who had lost the big picture, who could not see the wood for the trees. They told us that only Russians could be Orthodox, that only their own exclusive little fragments of the great Imperial Orthodoxy, which had not undergone the blood, tears and sweat of others, could be right, that God’s Church needed ‘saving’ or ‘reforming’ (naturally, by themselves!). Some of them even persecuted and took to court as a common criminal the greatest saint among them all, St John of Shanghai. Little wonder that the Lord sent me to a military Church. I never sought any of this; it was all imposed on me. My soul would have died had I not taken part in this spiritual warfare. My life has been unceasing warfare in four battles, all fought beneath the Protecting Veil, which my patron-saint saw and which is the only reason why I am still alive.

Three Battles

My first battle was to take part in the struggle to help free that small part of the Russian Church Diaspora in England, which was dependent on Moscow, from spiritual impurity. After nine years, by 1983, I realized that I would fail in this. It was a task quite beyond me, with my very feeble abilities and from my modest, provincial, rural background; the enemies were invested with the strength of a personality cult, with all the authority of men and their city establishments, they had no time for a ploughman’s grandson. I was knocking my head against brick walls. So I left into exile, seeing my limitations. I understood that it would take far-reaching political changes inside Russia and indeed the departures or deaths of some outside Russia before this battle could be won (I did not know then that this would mean twenty-four years). Victory was inevitable, but only God Who created time, could in time bring the victory. My battle had been premature. By myself I could do nothing. It was good for me to know this.

My second battle was to take part in the struggle to help free that small part of the Russian Church Diaspora, which was dependent on Constantinople (Rue Daru), from spiritual impurity. I fought in Paris and thought that this battle was winnable. It was – almost. However, after six years in 1988 there came a turning-point when I saw that I would fail in this battle too. The intrigues of freemasons in high places meant that I could not help win this battle – all my friends were in low places. I knew then that this Paris group would eventually (I did not know then that this would mean thirty years) disappear into spiritual irrelevance. Those who had betrayed the Tsar and made him and his Family into martyrs had also betrayed the Church. So I left, having understood that here too it would take far-reaching political changes inside Russia and indeed the departures or deaths of some outside Russia before the battle to bring even a part of this group home to the Russian Church could be won. Victory was inevitable, but only God Who created time, could with time bring the victory. My battle had been premature. By myself I could do nothing. It was good for me to know this.

My third battle from the first day of 1989 onwards was to take part in the struggle to help free that part of the Russian Church Diaspora, which was dependent on New York (ROCOR), from spiritual impurity. Here there was a much greater chance of success, for the contaminating Protestant disease of ‘super-correctness’ (as another disciple of St John of Shanghai called it), with its ignorance, phariseeism, extremism, sectarianism, old calendarism, psychological (not theological) deviations of convertitis and Cold War money, had many opponents in the USA itself and even more in Western Europe where I was fighting on the Front. And above all, my Diocesan Archbishop supported me and I supported him. The ever-memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, a spiritual son of and the European successor to St John of Shanghai, was in effect the first real Orthodox bishop I had met. We had an identical understanding of the Church. By myself I could do nothing, but now I was far from being alone; I was simply one of very many, a little cog in a large machine. I did not know then that this struggle would take eighteen years, for only in 2007 did the Church win the day. I was taking part in our first victory, together with millions of others, in the Church of the New Martyrs and Confessors, to which I had always belonged in spirit. Only geography had ever divided us.

After the Three Battles

Once this battle, in which I had played only a tiny role, eventually from my provincial home-town, had been won by the many, especially by the bishops who had been inspired by the grace of God, I knew that the two other houses of cards where I had earlier lost the day would fall in their turn. I just did not know that it would take another twelve years. Between 2007 and today, in 2019, I have seen both these first lost battles won. History won them. What I knew in the past, that they would be won only in God’s own time, has come to pass. What we have fought long and hard for has been obtained. Thus, we now at last have for our Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland a bishop, pleaded for during over four decades. He is Orthodox, understanding the local language and people, not phyletist, venerating the local saints and not denying them, missionary-minded like us, encouraging us and not destroying us, not under the control of laypeople, in good health, and who will be resident here in just a few weeks from now.

Secondly, the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of Western Europe, awaited for over three decades, was at last established in Paris only a few weeks ago. This means that our House will be built on rock, not on sand, and that the ‘Euro-Orthodox’ fantasy of the Paris Brotherhood is now dead. The future Local Church of Western Europe will be authentically Orthodox. For what we have sought for and fought for since 1988 now is. There is now a real Orthodox Exarchate for Western Europe, with many regional dioceses and young bishops, hundreds of parishes and several monasteries, venerating the local saints and not denying them, the foundation of the new Local Church. Led by Metropolitan John in Paris, who bears the name of our missionary father in Christ, St John of (Shanghai and) Western Europe and so continues in the tradition of Archbishop Antony of Geneva, it will of course need much more time to develop. It consists of the generally newer Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe, in many dioceses and with many bishops. However, alongside it and complementing it, also stand the two (Western European and German) dioceses of ROCOR, with their five bishops, two of them younger and active. This consists of the generally older, more integrated, Russian Orthodox parishes of Western Europe, a few of them until recently under Constantinople, but now at last come home. The two parts need each other and hopefully their bishops will meet regularly in order to help each other in their own joint Synod.

However, in this Year of the Lord, 2019, there is the last mystical battle (last for me) in the series of mystical battles in this Hundred Years’ War, which for a century has so deformed Church structures in the Diaspora. This battle is also against spiritual impurity, against masonic ecumenist and modernist intrigues. However, this last battle is the battle inside the Russian Lands, inside historic Rus’; it is therefore not a local battle for English, French and American Rus’ in London, Paris and New York, for part of the small Russian Diaspora, it is a general battle which concerns the whole Church. This is taking place today in the Ukraine, but it affects all. For the Church is the mystical centre of the world and it is the Ukraine which is now the mystical centre of the Church. And this is why we have come here now, sent to fight from the Western Front to the Eastern Front. All will stand or fall by their attitude to what is happening in the Ukraine today, to this battle between Christ and Satan. Whose side are you on?

The Fourth Battle

The internal administrative centre of the false Orthodoxy against which I fought in all our four battles, was formed in Istanbul a century ago. It came into being only because of the long-planned overthrow of the restraining protection of Imperial Tsardom. However, the Western disease which had overthrown the Christian Emperor and so the Christian Empire and then brought that centre into being had already infected Russia and elsewhere before that. For the disease contaminated all nationalities, including many in the Russian Lands and from there in the Diaspora. The disease came to be called renovationism and the renovationists were keenly supported from Istanbul. Today it has become crystal clear that the whole of the supposed Orthodox world has now to side either with real Orthodoxy or else against real Orthodoxy. The time of reckoning has come; the time of compromise is over. No-one can stand by any longer with the indifference and conceit of Pilate. Even though this battle is of exactly the same nature as the series of three battles which we fought in the Diaspora before this one, now it is not the Diaspora, but the Ukraine which is the sword that divides. The battlefield has changed to the Ukraine, but the battle is the same one; it is the battle for spiritual purity, for canonicity, for real Orthodoxy.

Gradually, over the last two months, one Local Church after another has decided to side with spiritual purity, canonicity and real Orthodoxy and so support Metr Onufry and the Church of God of the Ukraine. The rest of the Russian Church with ROCOR was the first to support him wholeheartedly. The Local Churches of Serbia, Bulgaria, Antioch, Poland, the Czech Lands and Slovakia, Cyprus, and unofficial but spiritually free (= non-political) voices in the Churches of Greece, Jerusalem, Alexandria and Georgia, followed. So far, thirteen out of eighteen Athonite monasteries have joined us. And a few days ago the episcopate of the basically Carpatho-Russian OCA (Orthodox Church in America), which had dithered for several weeks and where some had for years even been threatening to desert the Church for Istanbul, decided the same. This is their spiritual victory and our very great comfort after decades of spiritual slumber, of wandering far from the Church with American phyletist delusions. It means that the little OCA is maturing, at last deciding to accept its destiny, abandoning its eccentric spiritual isolation and so finding its positive identity by returning to its roots under St Tikhon. Inspired by the breath of new life, it can at last begin to play a significant and fulfilling role as one of the component parts of the future, united, much larger, multinational Russian Orthodox Churches of the three continents of the New World, of the Americas and Oceania.

This leaves the episcopates of only two Local Churches, the large Romanian and the tiny Albanian, not politically free and sitting on the fence, paralysed like Pontius Pilate ‘for fear of the Jews’. They are silent, neither supporting nor rejecting, awaiting instructions from above on whether to support the petty nationalism of the phyletist schism of Constantinople or not. The false church in the Ukraine, founded by the US-backed separatists in Kiev, is officially under a certain Sergei Dumenko. He is actually a Vatican- and US-approved puppet-layman, therefore both pro-Uniat and pro-LGBT, and not a metropolitan, His false church has been seen to be without grace, without sacraments, without the Holy Spirit. His church is that of ‘the Ukrainian god’, as one Ukrainian minister has put it. His enthronement in Kiev six days ago was ignored by all the Local Churches. His so-called ‘Church’ is only a regime-manipulated charade of empty rituals, just another small ultra-nationalist organization – an absurd anachronism in this global world. It is supported by teams of police-backed Nazi bandits who intimidate and beat up Christians, because Nazis have no concept of the meaning of the word ‘Christian’. And these anti-Christian men of violence are directly supported by an alien and corrupt political regime in Kiev, supported by alien and corrupt regimes elsewhere, and, to their eternal shame, by Greek ‘bishops’ in Istanbul.

Afterword: The Victory

The decadent, self-appointed, Paris-School ‘theologians’ from the past slip away one by one. With them their secularizing ideologies from the past, Ecumenism (anti-Orthodoxy; against the Father), Modernism (anti-Sovereignty; against the Son) and Liberalism (anti-People; against the Holy Spirit), slip away into spiritual irrelevance. Their books of intellectual fantasy-philosophy are ready for the dust of forgotten library shelves. Those who frustrated, wasted, impeded and persecuted us for so many decades are leaving the stage and we are beginning to see the future clearly now. For the New Orthodox World (N.O.W.) is taking shape. The New Orthodox World (NOW) is led not by anachronisms, relics from the past in cities of empires which have not existed for centuries, but by vibrant and missionary multinational Local Churches, Autonomous Churches and Exarchates worldwide. These are not narrow and corrupted nationalist museums for State rituals, flag-waving and cultural nostalgia or the playthings of disincarnate but very aggressive, politicized and politically correct, liberal intellectuals, but living organisms, cleansed to prepare us all to meet the King before He returns in all His glory. And in the New Orthodox World, NOW, there is the Heavenly Jerusalem of the Church of Christ, awaiting Him and resisting the Enemy of Mankind, who comes before Christ in order to create disunity, disorder and distress among us.

The death-threat which I received three years ago, sent me because the pen is indeed mightier than the sword, did not stop me or deter me for a single second. In a dream, come to me after receiving that death-threat, I opened my front door and saw an agent on my doorstep. He at once fired his revolver at me, but the bullet rebounded off my priest’s cross, killing him instead of me. He fell to the ground and his corpse was dragged away to a waiting car by his colleague, who in fear and astonishment uttered powerless curses. I left and hid in a secret and remote place where I could not be found. I was rescued by the prayers of one who long, long ago had also taken refuge in such a place and I was taken to a faraway land. I have never paid any attention to dreams, especially such dramatic ones, but I remembered this one. However, I only really understood its meaning and symbolism on my first day here. It means that, like all of us, I will die when God decides, not when men decide, for though man proposes, God disposes. It means that the bullet rebounds, for if men want to kill the truth, they kill only themselves (exactly as they have done for the last one hundred and five years, with their atheist wars, one after another). And those who try to kill the Church in the Ukraine are committing spiritual suicide; indeed, their death-bearing bullet has already lethally rebounded onto themselves.

Victory has been ours in the Diaspora, because we have been willing to die for the Church of God and our enemies have not – because they are inherently attached to this world and so fear death which is of this world. Victory is ours in the Ukraine, because we are willing to die for the Church of God and our enemies are not – because they are inherently attached to this world and so fear death which is of this world. This is why we shall win this last battle now – because we do not fear death, for we believe and we know that Christ is the Life-Giving God, Who rose from the dead and freed the captives in hell. They, however, have only heard of the Risen Christ as a theory and symbolic myth for their heads. They believe it not in their hearts. Therefore their heads, like their lives, are full of the philosophies and works of death. But we do believe and we know and we tremble in awe before the Living God, Who is the Great God, Who works wonders and Who is with us, so that none is against us. Let the dead bury the dead. As for us, we shall not die, but live, and we shall declare the works of the Lord. The Lord is our Enlightenment and our Saviour, whom then shall we fear?

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Kiev, 1-8 February 2019

 

 

 

 

Four Ecclesiologies

There used to be three ecclesiologies (teachings as to what the Church is), but last month we saw the birth of a fourth. What are these ecclesiologies?

  1. Orthodox Ecclesiology (‘Christianity’)

This is the ecclesiology of the Holy Trinity, Unity in Diversity. It is the ecclesiology of the Family of Churches, which together form the Body of Christ, of which obviously Christ is the Head. In practical, that is, incarnational terms, this results in the existence of a family of Churches, like those described by the Apostle Paul in his letters to the Corinthians, the Ephesians, the Thessalonians, the Philippians, the Romans etc. Their differences and problems are regulated by Councils. Indeed, this conciliarity, in theology and history called Catholicity, is one of the four basic signs of the Church, together with Oneness, Holiness and Apostolicity. Therefore, a ‘Church’ which does not have this Catholicity is not the Church, certainly not the fullness of the Church, as it is deficient in one of the Church’s four essential qualities.

  1. Papal Ecclesiology (‘Papocaesarism’)

Papal or Roman Catholic ecclesiology asserts that the Church is centralist and imperialist. There is only one Pope, Who as the Vicar of Christ is the Head of the Church. This is the ecclesiology of centralism, which cannot survive without the Pope, Who is Infallible, as He is the source of the Holy Spirit on earth. This is the ecclesiology of the Crusader, the Inquisitor and the Conquistador.

  1. Protestant Ecclesiology (‘Caesaropapism’)

As a reaction to centralist Papism, this says that you can make your own church, everyone is a pope, everyone is the head of their own church: ‘Make it up as you go along: we are all popes now’. If you disagree, you go off and start your own church. Inevitably, and from the very start, this leads to small, weak and divided groups being taken over by States, kings, princes, presidents and politicians, a process known as erastianism, whereby the State controls the Church. Inevitably, and from the very start, this has led to State Churches, phenomena like the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, the Church of Norway. These are all State-controlled organizations, which inevitably end up adapting their doctrines to the demands of the secular State.

  1. Phanariot Ecclesiology (‘Eastern Papism’)

This power-grabbing ecclesiology, which has been a century in the making in the Diaspora has just now been born in all its fullness in the Ukraine. It is in effect not Orthodox ecclesiology, but a mixture of Roman Catholic and Protestant ecclesiologies, Papocaesarism and Caesaropapism. On the one hand, it is centralizing Papism: all must be gathered together under the Patriarch of Constantinople, who is the ‘Eastern Pope’ (not ‘Western Pope’). On the other hand, it gives what it calls ‘autocephaly’, in reality only a diminished autocephaly or minor measure of independence, to any Church within any nationalist organization or ‘State’ – even though that ‘State’ may be new, temporary, artificial and tyrannical or even already have an authentic Orthodox Church on its territory.

In other words, this new imperialist/nationalist ecclesiology is a combination of the worst of both the Papal and the Protestant worlds. It is a pastiche of authentic Trinitarian Orthodox ecclesiology. On the one hand, it is centralizing, able to exploit its new ‘churches’ as subservient cash cows. On the other hand, it provides a measure of independence to pseudo-autocephalous entities, but no protection for them from the local dictatorship, even in dogmatic questions. For the local ‘State’ can demand and force changes in doctrines in accordance with its own demands, which subordinate Christ to its nationalism. Thus, Phanariot ecclesiology does not affirm Local Churches, it only affirms, Protestant-style, the right of ‘States’ to have their own ‘Churches’. In other words, it merely uses Protestant-style nationalism to increase its own power base. Therefore, this is a double heresy.

 

 

The Orthodox Church: 220 million Faithful and over 1,000 Bishops

The Orthodox Church is a family of Local Churches, just like the Churches of the Galatians, the Ephesians, the Romans, the Thessalonians, the Colossians etc, as described in the letters written to them by the holy Apostle Paul. Each of the Local Orthodox Churches has a main administrative figure, a chief bishop known as a Patriarch, or in the case of smaller Churches, a Metropolitan or Archbishop. However, the Church as a whole has no earthly head, because the head of the Orthodox Church is our Lord Jesus Christ. His authority is expressed in the Orthodox Church through the Holy Spirit as revealed particularly through Church Councils and the saints. Below you will find details of the Orthodox Churches and their approximate sizes, totalling: Bishops: 1,023. Priests: 79,592. Parishes: 71,993. Monasteries: 2,988. Faithful: 220,000,000.

Russia: Bishops: 419. Priests: 40,000. Parishes: 36,878. Monasteries: 1.000. Faithful: 164,011,000

This is the only real multinational Orthodox Church and accounts for 75% of all Orthodox. It cares for Orthodox living on canonical Russian Orthodox territory, spread over one fifth of the planet (the former Soviet Union except for Georgia, plus China and Japan) and peopled by over 62 nationalities. These territories include the Russian Federation, the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Transcarpathia (the main part of Carpatho-Russia), Kazakhstan, Central Asia and the Baltic Republics. The Russian Church also includes the self-governing New-York-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (mainly in the three continents of the Americas and Oceania), the Japanese Orthodox Church and the Chinese Orthodox Church, as well as Exarchates for Paris and Western Europe and Singapore and South-East Asia.

Romania: Bishops: 57. Priests: 15, 513. Parishes: 13,527. Monasteries: 637. Faithful: 18,800,000

Also known as the Patriarchate of Bucharest, apart from in Romania there are also many Romanian parishes in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe.

Serbia: Bishops: 53. Priests: 3.000. Parishes: 2,974. Monasteries: 204. Faithful: 8,000,000

The canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Belgrade covers Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Croatia and Slovenia. There are also many parishes in the Serbian Diaspora.

Greece: Bishops: 108. Priests: 9,117. Parishes: 8,000. Monasteries: 598. Faithful: 8,000,000

Under the Archbishop of Athens, this Church cares for all Orthodox in Greece.

Constantinople: Bishops: 131. Priests: 5, 935. Parishes: 3,196. Monasteries: 148. Faithful: 5,250,000

This includes Greek Orthodox in Istanbul (about 1,000), those on Greek islands such as Crete and Rhodes (700,000), and above all the Greek Diaspora in the Americas, Western Europe and Australia. There are also twenty-four parishes in Finland and small groups of other Non-Greek Orthodox, mainly Ukrainian, elsewhere. It has 58 titular bishops.

Bulgaria: Bishops: 29. Priests: 1,500. Parishes: 2,600. Monasteries: 120. Faithful: 4,500,000

The Patriarchate of Sofia covers Bulgaria and a number of churches in the Diaspora.

Georgia: Bishops: 47. Priests: 1,100. Parishes: 550. Monasteries: 172. Faithful: 3,500,000

The Patriarchate of Tbilisi covers Georgia and a small Georgian Diaspora.

Antioch: Bishops: 44. Priests: 408. Parishes: 496. Monasteries: 32. Faithful: 3,000,000

The canonical territory of the Arab Patriarch, who lives in Damascus, includes Syria, the Lebanon and Iraq.

Alexandria: Bishops: 45. Priests: 500. Parishes: 1,000. Monasteries: 3. Faithful: 3,000,000

Although for historical reasons its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, this Patriarchate is in Egypt. It also cares for St Catherine’s Monastery on Mt Sinai, but most of its faithful are Africans in over 54 African countries.

Cyprus: Bishops: 18. Priests: 600. Parishes: 628. Monasteries: 28. Faithful: 650,000

Under an Archbishop, this Church cares for all Greek Orthodox in Cyprus.

Poland: Bishops: 12. Priests: 420. Parishes: 237. Monasteries: 13. Faithful: 600,000

Under the Metropolitan of Warsaw, this Church cares for Orthodox of all origins who live mainly in eastern Poland.

Albania: Bishops: 8. Priests: 154. Parishes: 909. Monasteries: 1. Faithful: 200,000

Under the Archbishop of Tirana, this Church cares for Orthodox in southern Albania, most of whom are of Greek origin.

The Czech Lands and Slovakia: Bishops: 7. Priests: 197. Parishes: 240. Monasteries: 4. Faithful: 170,000

Led by a Metropolitan, this Church cares for Carpatho-Russian, Slovak and Czech Orthodox, as well as large numbers of Ukrainian Orthodox immigrants.

Jerusalem: Bishops: 25. Priests: 50. Parishes: 50. Monasteries: 25. Faithful: 130,000

Although its Patriarch is a Greek and his appointment is in the care of the Greek government, the flock consists of Palestinian Orthodox in Palestine and the Jordan.

OCA: Bishops: 20. Priests: 1,098. Parishes: 699. Monasteries: 3. Faithful: 90,000

Not recognized by all Orthodox, this group is composed mainly of the descendants of Slav immigrants from the old Austro-Hungarian Empire to North America, especially to Pennsylvania.

 

 

Who Are Orthodox Christians?

For nearly two thousand years we Orthodox Christians have been on Christ’s critical mission of salvation — our own salvation from sin and death and so that of the rest of mankind, of all living things, and indeed of the whole planet. We believe that the world can still be saved from self-destruction, spiritual, moral, political, social, military, and today ecological, chemical, bacteriological and nuclear. For nearly a thousand years this chaotic self-destruction has been the ever-accelerating agenda of greedy Western terrorism, which has been asset-stripping the Non-Western world, even more after its ‘World Wars’ of the last century.

Since the end of the World War in 1945 this terrorism has become ever more relentless and ferocious, using ever more barbaric technologies, massacring millions. The relentless Western military machine has been leaving its bloody traces in genocides all around the world, from all over South America to Korea, from the Congo to Haiti, from Guatemala to Iran, from Vietnam to Cambodia, from Italy to Belgium, from Rwanda to Serbia, from Iraq to Myanmar, from Afghanistan to all of Africa, from Syria to the Ukraine, from Libya to Yemen. This war is part of the war between Good and Evil, which affects all peoples and each one of us.

However, we believe in self-sacrificing service for our common goal of the salvation of the soul. We believe in the final victory over the war-creating enemy of mankind, Satan, who rejoices in death as he is the prince of death. This is the victory of the Church and Her Master, Christ, now and forever. For He is coming again as the Just Judge to judge all the nations and each one of us. Our nationality is Orthodox Christian, our flag is the flag of God, our faith and hope are the certain knowledge that Christ the Son of God and King of Love will win. It is this knowledge that gives us the strength to go on in the struggle for salvation.

The Church is Different and We are Different

The Church is Different

Everything is different in the Church. It all looks different, sounds different, it even smells different. There are icons, there is a priest who wears special clothes, the singing is different from the songs I hear on my mobile phone, there are some special words in the service that I don’t always understand, people talk about prayer and fasting, confession and communion (you never hear that at school) and there is incense. There are people from many countries who speak different languages, people have different names from those at school (no Kyle, Wayne, Shelly and Jenny, but Peter, Joseph, Sophia and Alexandra), most people wear special clothes for Church, most men make a special effort to dress better than usual, most women put on dresses or skirts and cover their heads for church.

Why is it Different?

We live in two different worlds: the world of the Church and ‘the world’. And the Church does not begin to resemble the world, the world must begin to resemble the Church. This is because the Church believes in the God Who rose from the dead, the world does not believe in Him but faces only one prospect: death. That is why it tries to distract us from death with ‘stuff’, that is, everything you can buy in the shops. We believe in the values that the Risen God gives us, not in the values that the world gives us.

The world says: Let’s have wars, drop bombs on each other, be cruel, hurt each other, steal each other’s money and things, making sure people are unhappy by telling them that stuff from the shops will make them happy, which it will not, and not telling them that one day they will die.

The Church says: Let’s LIVE and in peace, be kind to each other, respect each other and each other’s property and help people to be happy by talking about the real problems, the things that can really make people happy, about life and death and what comes after death.

We are Different

Today this difference between the Church and the world, between Life and Death, is getting even bigger. It means that we can see some very strange fashions around us, that no-one ever thought possible even ten years ago. For example:

The world says that everybody can do whatever they want. For example, if you are a boy and want to become a girl, then you can do that. If you are a girl and want to become a boy, then you can do that. And if you are unhappy afterwards, then you can change back again.

The Church says, of course, you can do whatever you want, but there are certain things you can do that will make you very, very unhappy. If you want to be happy, follow what the Church advises, as far as you can.

For example, if you have feelings that you want to be different from what you are, the Church can help you to understand yourself, to find yourself, to accept yourself and, above all, to improve yourself so you can avoid that unhappiness.

So changing genders will not help you – it will just give you another set of problems, even worse than the first. In the Church we reinforce the differences between boys and girls, men and women, so we can avoid such unhappiness.

Why we Dress Differently and Have Different Roles

So, for example, in the Church we dress modestly but nicely. Men and boys should not dress in shorts; the Church is not the beach! We have not come to church to suntan! They would dress modestly but nicely for the theatre or some special occasion, so why not in church? They should put on something nice for church, shoes not trainers, a shirt not a T-shirt with an advertising slogan. We have not come to the gym, we have come to pray!

Women and girls should not dress in jeans and trousers, but in a skirt or a dress. They have not come to church to distract men and boys from prayer with their shapes! They cover their heads for the same reason: everyone knows that men and boys get distracted by women’s hair and that women distract them with their hair. Not in church, please! We have come to pray!

Boys can, if asked because they are good enough, go in the altar and help; girls can, if asked because they are good enough, go in the choir and help. Boys could one day become deacons or priests; girls could one day become choir directors. We each have different things to do in church, different roles, different tasks because we are different. Different does not mean we are not equal, it means that we cannot do without each other.

Different but Together

This is why children need a father and a mother. It is very difficult when one is missing. People grow up with many problems when they do not have both. This is not a case of one being superior or better than another. Quite simply, if there were no more men and no more women, the world would stop. Everyone would die out. We need each other. Again we see how the way of the world is Death and the way of the Church is Life. Yes, the Church is different; different because heaven is different from the earth and the Church is the foretaste of heaven.

(This first appeared in the Orthodox youth magazine Searchlight, Issue No 7)

Who Governs the Church?

Preface

In my last article, I wrote:

‘Mission on most of five continents, in most of Europe, most of Asia, in Oceania and in North and South America, lies before us. And this mission can only be carried out by a Church, which is uncompromised and untainted by State interference, by racist nationalism, by secularist ecumenism and modernism’

One reader wrote to me and said that such a Church has not existed for some 1,700 years. I replied that we must distinguish between the Church and the hierarchy. Below is my fuller reply to him.

Introduction

In forty-five years of Church life I have met between one and two hundred bishops of the present 900. I believe that at least two of them were saints. Many others were good. However, some were bad, indeed awful.

Bad bishops like the ones I have encountered traumatize their priests. The faithful quit them because nobody can trust them or some of the priests whom they ordain. Such bishops are at best celibates. (And some of them are not even celibates – see below). However, celibates can also be corrupt and incompetent and even atheists. Celibates can also be under-educated, incapable of writing anything, chronically ignorant. They can also be over-educated and nobody can understand their pompous and overblown philosophies. And celibates can prove to be incompetent simply because they are too old and ill to be competent, for instance falling asleep during Synod meetings. In their weak old age they then get manipulated by women, called in Russian ‘bishopesses’. However, most of the temptations that I have seen bishops falling into concern either morality or else power.

  1. Moral Temptations

There are three of these:

The first is money and the luxuries it provides. Who has not met a Greek bishop with a fancy villa in Athens? Or a Russian bishop with an expensive black cars. With all this goes pride, snobbery and elitism.

The second is sexual. Fortunately pedophilia is extremely rare (though I do know of two cases from the Soviet period). Sadly, homosexuality is relatively widespread among Diaspora bishops, with the episcopate of one group in the Diaspora known as ‘the gay mafia’. These like ordaining homosexual boyfriends to the priesthood, excluding married clergy and so perpetuating their vice. I have seen it. Then there are the heterosexuals, the most notorious one being the Soviet-period Metropolitan of Kiev, the notorious Filaret, whose wife had men ordained to the priesthood in return for expensive presents and flattery. One I knew here took Church funds and bought his mistress a house with the money. Another wanted to sleep with the wife of a candidate for a priesthood, He walked out of his old Diocese forever and was ordained elsewhere by a moral bishop. The senior priest (uncanonically ordained) in his old Diocese, who knew all about his bishop’s conquests, defended his bishop: ‘It’s his only fault’. After some years his Diocese came to be in a critical state. No surprises there.

Thirdly there is vanity. Vain bishops are easily manipulated. Their narcissistic vanity is used to deprive priests and their families of their parishes and income. Insults, humiliations, slanders and bullying follow them. The Diocese is ruled by flattering favourites, who support and ordain bad elements against the good. Injustice rules and awards are given to corrupt favourites. Pastoral life suffers, parishioners are not visited, the flock sees no example from above and quits the Church, as nobody cares and those who do care are punished. The sheer lack of love of the vain and narcissistic bishop who abandons the good, preferring the bad, wrecks whole dioceses. I have seen it twice in my life.

  1. Power Temptations

There are three of these:

The first is politics. Uncanonical dependancy on figures in the State leads to uncanonical actions. Thus, for centuries patriarchs of Constantinople have been appointed by Muslim sultans, British and French ambassadors and today US ambassadors. Russian bishops were appointed by lay ‘oberprocurators’, at least one of whom was an atheist. We of course know about the Soviet period. We have the example of today’s Ukraine where a Jewish-Uniat president has set up his own Church, exactly like Henry VIII in England. Power corrupts, and this is why so many recent patriarchs and bishops of Constantinople have been freemasons, trying to corrupt candidates for the priesthood, as I know.

The second is the heresy of phyletism, the Greek word for racism. We have seen so many churches draped in national flags, especially Greek, Romanian, Serbian and Georgian. In one Greek Cathedral forty years ago we saw the Greek metropolitan actually stop the Liturgy: The Greek ambassador and his family had just entered and had to be escorted by the deacon to their seats…Such is spiritual death.

The third is dictatorship. Power goes to the head of the bishop and he becomes a dry dictator, a ‘good administrator’, ‘an effective manager’. Never consulting local people whom he only has contempt for anyway, such a bishop is just a spiritually dead bureaucrat. His diocese dies.

Conclusion

Some may be scandalized by the above and even despair. I say: So what? There is nothing new in the above, for there is nothing new under the sun. Sin is intensely boring because it is just the same old thing over and over again. Given the list above, my reaction is that this proves that the Church is Divine. If the Church were a secular company, it would long ago have gone bankrupt. For the Church is not governed by bishops – and if any bishop thinks that, he is clearly insane. The Church is governed by the Holy Spirit. Man proposes, but God disposes. And that is why, they can throw and have thrown all sorts of the above bishops at us and we are still here. And they are not. Victory is always ours, for Christ stands behind us.

 

On the Liberation and Restoration of Church Life

It is impossible to recall peace without dissolving the cause of the schism – the primacy of the Pope exalting himself equal to God.

We seek and we pray for our return to that time when, being united, we spoke the same things and there was no schism between us.

St Mark of Ephesus

Fall and Liberation

The near-750 year process of the fall of the See of Constantinople since the so-called Councils of Lyon and later Ferrara-Florence is now over. It has finally fallen under a Jesuit-trained Patriarch, who in his delusion actually justifies himself, to the same millennial disease as Old Rome – Papism. New Rome fell to the same heresy of Old Rome: the lust for power justified on ethnic grounds – the mythical superiority of one race over another and over Christ, in the first case, of Latinized Germans and, in the latter case, of phyletist Hellenes. St Mark of Ephesus was right.

As a result, Constantinople parishes, few and scattered already, have been cut off from the Church and true Orthodox have begun leaving them. Withdrawing, they will join one or other of the thirteen Local Churches. Fragments of the Russian Orthodox world in North America and OCA, under Constantinople for political reasons, are hopelessly divided. Now the Orthodox elements in them can rejoin the worldwide Russian Church, returning in repentance to Orthodox practices and values in canonical conditions, without phariseeism or sectarianism.

Restoration and Rise

Now, to assume the leadership of service of the Church on earth, Whose only Head is Christ, the Patriarchate of Moscow, perhaps better repentantly renamed the Patriarchate of All Rus, must too cleanse itself of all the same Phanariot poison. This poison is the fatal mixture, summed up in utterly failed Muscovite diplomacy, of narrow nationalism and modernist ecumenism. Thus, the Third Rome must beware that it too does not fall to the same disease. When will we know that the Russian Orthodox Church is ready to assume this leadership of service, so that Church life can be restored?

  1. When there is no more Great Russian chauvinism and so no more talk of the Patriarch of Moscow as the ‘Ecumenical Patriarch’. This is the title which the Orthodox Pope of Old Rome, St Gregory the Dialogist, rightly condemned already at the end of the sixth century.
  2. When there is no more Russian Orthodox dallying with the Papacy of old Rome and the Pan-Protestant World Council of Churches, with both of which the representatives of the Phanar are naturally active. And so when there is no more new calendarism and experiments with the spiritual death of Paris ‘theology’.

Then, at last unhindered and uncompromised by the shackles of the past, we will be able to get on with our sadly interrupted mission to the seven billion Non-Orthodox, in concert with the other Twelve Local Churches. And only then shall we see Church life restored after such a disgraceful period of decadence.