Professor Geoffrey Sachs
Professor Geoffrey Sachs
The news that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the local jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, intends to consecrate Alexander Belya as an auxiliary bishop of the Greek Archdiocese for its ‘Slavic Vicariate’, has brought even more disunity there.
In a letter addressed to the Greek Archdiocese’s Archbishop Elpidophoros, the hierarchs of the five other largest Orthodox dioceses in North America, warn that the consecration of Belya poses a great threat to Orthodox unity in America. Indeed, if he is made a bishop and therefore becomes a member of the Assembly of Bishops, the hierarchs warn that they will be forced to leave the Assembly, as they recognise his defrocking in 2020 as canonical. The defrocking was done by ROCOR, which has received many strange clergy from the Ukraine over the last thirty years, who have always caused profound division and distress.
The hierarchs are already concerned about the break in communion between the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates, following the latter’s establishment of their Epiphanius Church in the Ukraine in 2019. The Assembly hierarchs should do nothing to further impede the eventual return of Russian hierarchs to the work of the Assembly, write the OCA, Antiochian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Serbian hierarchs. Moreover, we have heard that Archbishop Elpidophoros, a highly controversial political figure, is opposed in this decision by most of his own Greek bishops in the USA.
Yet again, we see how the Ukraine stands at the centre of disunity within the Orthodox world. First, there were the uncanonical ‘Churches’ of Filaret and Epiphanius. Then, according to some critics, declared in a Sergianist manner, there is the virtually autocephalous Church under Metr Onufry, forced into being under State pressure and the theft/closure of his 250 churches in the last four months. Finally, there is the fourth Ukrainian Church, consisting of those who continue to commemorate Patrarch Kyrill. Thus, we actually have four groups on the same territory, all using more or less the same language and same rite. They are divided by nationalism, not by doctrine.
I visited the Ukraine five times between 2016 and 2021, as the Missionary Representative for Europe, appointed by the late Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), the last ROCOR First Hierarch. I can confirm that Inter-Orthodox relations throughout the whole Orthodox Church are in a state of paralysis and will remain so until the conflict in the Ukraine is over. How long will this be?
According to Western data revealed at the recent NATO meeting in Brussels, Ukrainian military losses now stand at about 200,000 troops killed (including some 2,000 mercenaries, 102 of whom were British), with nearly three quarters of their military equipment and ammunition destroyed. In just four months. This is catastrophic. As Western secret services MI6, the BRD and that in Poland state this, then there is little future or hope for the present government in Kiev. We can only expect military collapse and the formation of a new government. Then the Church situation will be transformed. But how exactly, nobody knows.
We see yet another confirmation that all divisions in the Church are caused by politics.
The Orthodox world is going through a difficult period. Regardless of where you live and which Local Church you belong to, all the divisions are centred on the Ukraine. Indeed, they have been, even before the Patriarchate of Constantinople created its own grouping there on US orders in 2019. Now the problems are much more serious.
We have no doubt, like it or not, that the Russian Federation will win in the conflict in the Ukraine. Then unity with the Church in Moscow will come in the Ukrainian Church. The problems of those who elsewhere, under political pressure from Western governments or otherwise, object to the Russian Church’s policies in the Ukraine, whether they are in the Baltics, Moldova, Western Europe, North America, or elsewhere, will be solved.
We are surprised by none of the dissidence in various foreign sections of the Russian Church in the Diaspora, especially in Western Europe, as we were told exactly what the intentions were in March 2021. We reported them. Then nobody, including a now removed Moscow Patriarchal bishop, listened to us. Indeed, we were punished for reporting the truth.
Here is a wise parable:
In a single week the number of universally recognised Local Churches has apparently gone up from 14 to 16. First, the Serbian Orthodox Mother-Church granted autocephaly to the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Thus a schism that has lasted well over fifty years has at last been overcome and the 1.5 million Orthodox of North Macedonia have now entered back into communion with the Serbian Orthodox Church and hopefully with the whole Orthodox family. There is rejoicing at this.
However, today (27 May) a Council (not Synod) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, meeting in Kiev, has declared its autocephaly (without ever using that actual term), though it has not been granted it by the Mother-Church in Moscow. This is problematic, as the Mother-Church must first grant autocephaly, as in the Serbian example. We fear problems and divisions ahead. Of course, we well understand why the Kiev Council has been forced into this by the Kiev government and by the general tragic situation. A great many canonical Ukrainian Orthodox churches were being stolen, closed or handed over to schismatic groups by the nationalist Kiev government authorities in Central and Western Ukraine, as the UOC was under Moscow. Here there are many questions:
Was the decision reached freely? Was this the only solution? In declaring full independence, does the Council actually mean autocephaly? How will out-of-touch Moscow react? Should centralised Moscow have granted the Ukrainian Church at least autonomy previously, as we and others have long suggested? (For example, our March article on the possible reconfiguration of the Russian Church, suggesting large-scale autonomy, and many other articles years before that). What will happen as the UOC enters into negotiations with other groups, many of whose members left the Church only for political reasons? Will there at last be unity in the Ukraine, as the UOC wants to negotiate with at present schismatic groups in the Ukraine? How will this affect the Diaspora? What about churches, clergy and people in the Diaspora that are largely Ukrainian-dominated (like one in London)? Will the Ukrainian Orthodox Church accept or open churches in the Diaspora, as it suggests it will do in its Council’s statement?
Of course, we do not even know the borders of the future Ukraine. So far Russian forces have completely taken or almost taken five largely Russian-speaking provinces: Donetsk, Lugansk, Kherson, Zaporozhe and Kharkov. Given the rout of the Kiev forces, with hundreds deserting or surrendering every day, Russia may also soon take Odessa, Nikolaev and Dnipropetrovsk, so as to join up with Transdnestria.
Thus, it now looks as though all these more heavily-populated eight provinces of the Eastern Ukraine/Novorossija will, as the Crimea did in 2014, join Russia. Presumably, they will also, with their 20 million population (half the total of the Ukraine), also Join the Russian Church, still leaving it with some 130 million faithful. This will leave the sixteen provinces of Western and Central Ukraine, with some 10 to 15 million Orthodox, under the new Ukrainian Orthodox Church – presuming that Western provinces do not return to Poland, Romania and Slovakia, so restoring the 1930s borders. However, with the remnants of the routed Ukrainian Army collapsing in the Donbass and rumours, but only rumours, of an imminent coup d’etat in Kiev, the situation is very fluid.
We, canonically and safely living our Orthodox lives in a sister-Church, can only pray for Metr Onuphry and all concerned. We have as fathers steered the ship of the Church to remain outside devious political pressures and keep ourselves free. This, as everywhere, has been essential in order to retain the multinational ethos of the Church and protect our flocks and our churches. We all want a situation where all are free to worship God in the Orthodox manner.
The Russian Church has been in chaos for well over a year now, in the Diaspora, in Lithuania, which also seeks autonomy, and above all in the Ukraine. It has been thrown left and right by sinister political forces and has even rejected its own most faithful members of half a century’s standing because of raison d’etat. But God is not mocked. You will see. All of this was predicted.
Foreword: Russia and the Ukraine in Conflict
The possible military, economic and geopolitical consequences of the conflict in the Ukraine are much discussed. But what can we say of the ecclesiastical consequences? Both Russia and the Ukraine are ethnically more or less identical, both have majorities which are nominally Russian Orthodox Christians, so that both are dependent on the same Russian Orthodox Church, centred in Moscow. And yet a military conflict is under way between the two countries and there are many in the Ukraine who now do not want to recognise any administration in Moscow, even stating that the Russian Orthodox Patriarch should be tried for war crimes. Let us look at the general background to this situation.
Introduction: The Orthodox Church and Geopolitics
The Orthodox Church is a Confederation or family of 14 universally recognised Autocephalous (= fully independent) Local Churches, with some 200 million adherents in all. Each Local Church is led by a Patriarch, Metropolitan or Archbishop, depending on its size. With 142 million members, over 70% of the total, the Russian Orthodox Church is by far the largest of these Local Churches, followed by the Romanian (19 million), the Greek (10 million) and the Serbian (8 million). The remaining 19 million Orthodox belong to the other 10 very small Local Churches, each numbering on average about 2 million members. Although these Churches are based in Eastern Europe and the Middle East, several of them have ‘diasporas’, that is, emigrant minorities and missions, often going back several generations, in Western Europe, North America, Australia and outside their Eurasian homelands. These diasporas number millions.
Most of these smaller Local Churches are precisely that – local, that is, national. Thus, it is extremely rare, for example, to find a Non-Albanian member of the Albanian Orthodox Church or a Non-Georgian member of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The largest exception is the Russian Orthodox Church, which is multinational, with over sixty nationalities inside and outside the Russian Federation. Indeed, well over a quarter of all Russian Orthodox churches and clergy are to be found in the Ukraine, even though the Russian Orthodox administrative centre is in Moscow. That administration, known as ‘The Moscow Patriarchate’, is led by its Patriarch, whose title is ‘of Moscow and All Rus’ (‘Rus’ meaning the East Slav lands).
For well over a century, the Western Powers, with their State-controlled religions, have been trying to control the Orthodox Church. This has followed the well-worn model of how the USA came to control Roman Catholicism after the Second World War, protestantising or secularising it at the Second Vatican Council between 1962 and 1965. Then, in 1978 it helped appoint the Polish Pope Woytila (‘John-Paul II’) to undermine the Soviet Union and in 2013 Jorge Bergoglio (‘Francis I’) to impose its post-Christian agenda. As for the Orthodox world, in 1948 the US State Department took over the small, politically weak but ancient Church of Constantinople in Istanbul, and has ever since tried to use it to manipulate the internal affairs of the whole Orthodox Church and ‘vaticanise’ it too.
It is in this context that the multinational nature of the Russian Orthodox Church is not only a strength, but also a weakness. For some Russian Orthodox living outside the Russian Federation and Belarus, ‘the Moscow Patriarchate’ administration, appears to be simply a department of the Russian State. This is nothing new. It happened during the pre-Soviet period and notably the Soviet period, when anti-Soviet Russian Orthodox immigrant groups, now variously called ROCOR, the OCA, the Paris Archdiocese, as well as Ukrainian and Belarusian jurisdictions, broke away from the enslaved Church administration held hostage in Moscow.
The pressure to split from the Mother-Church came and comes not only from the people, but also from political pressures from States under which Russian Orthodox have lived. We can see this very clearly in the USA, where émigré groups have been infiltrated, creating bishops, in fact CIA assets. In the UK, Germany and France a similar pattern can be observed. This movement is spreading to the hostage Russian Orthodox episcopate in the Russophobic Baltic States, Moldova and above all in the Ukraine, where several, large-scale splits have occurred, with millions leaving the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church. How can such nationalist splintering effects be avoided by Moscow?
Unlike the Church of Constantinople in Turkey, which is financially dependent on politicised Greek Americans, the Russian Church is free of systematic US interference. However, as we have said, it does have its own internal traitors and they are US assets. Moreover, the Russian Church also has its own issues, all of which go back to the westernisation of Russia which began intensively 300 years ago, though all these issues have much worsened since 1917. These issues are: Russian nationalism (which undermines the ethos of a multinational Church), centralisation, bureaucracy and corruption.
As we have said, on top of these we now have the conflict in the Ukraine. This has caused division in the Russian Orthodox Church, not only among westernised fringe members of the Church, some of whom belong to an American-based marginal group called ‘Public Orthodoxy’, but above all in the Ukraine itself, as well as in the Baltics, Moldova and Western Europe. Although some of these divisions may be nationalistic or of the spiritually feeble politically correct variety, they are nevertheless very real and above all long-term, sometimes going back well over a century.
For instance, in the Ukraine itself a third of the canonical (let alone uncanonical) episcopate today refuses to commemorate the Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill at services, seeing in him an enemy of the Ukrainian people. For their people, even the word ‘Moscow’ in the title ‘Moscow Patriarchate’ is a dirty word and they see the Patriarch not as a representative multinational figure, but as a corrupt nationalist stooge of an enemy Russian government. Below we make suggestions which might be of use in finding solutions to these critical problems.
First of all, there is the very name ‘the Moscow Patriarchate’. Given how Western aggression has pushed the Russian Federation to embrace Asia and sometimes made the Russian Church favour relations with traditional Islam (and traditional Non-Christian religions in general) over relations with non-traditional secularist Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, some have suggested that the Russian capital itself could be moved from the megalopolis of Moscow. The new capital would be the Urals city of Ekaterinburg, on the very frontier of Europe and Asia. This city is also marked by the historic events surrounding the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II and his Family in 1918.
If that happened, the present ‘Moscow Patriarchate’ would have to be renamed ‘The Patriarchate of Ekaterinburg and All Rus’. However, this is for the moment a purely imaginary discussion. It is our suggestion that the administration of the Patriarchate of Moscow might rather be moved some thirty miles to the north-west of Moscow, to the historic, seventeenth-century monastery complex and patriarchal residence of New Jerusalem (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jerusalem_Monastery#:~:text=History%20The%20New%20Jerusalem%20Monastery%20was%20founded%20in,its%20name%20from%20the%20concept%20of%20New%20Jerusalem). This would give the Patriarchate the new title of ‘The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus’. This would avoid any Soviet connotations of the title ‘Patriarchate of Moscow’. Also totally unrealistic? Perhaps. However, we also have a solution other than renaming or ‘rebranding’.
The Solution of Autonomisation
At present the Russian Church is divided administratively into Autonomous (self-governing, but not fully independent) Churches, Exarchates and Metropolias. The difference between these administrative terms is the level of independence from the Centre, with an Autonomous Church being much more independent than an Exarchate and an Exarchate much more independent than a Metropolia. Each of these administrative divisions is composed of a number of dioceses, each of which is in turn headed by an archbishop (more senior) or a bishop (more junior), under each of whom there is a network of parish and monasteries.
In order to overcome the fourfold problems we mentioned above, Russian nationalism, centralisation and hence bureaucracy and hence corruption, we suggest that the whole multinational structure of the Russian Church be decentralised into regional Autonomous Churches. This would do away with the intermediate ‘Exarchates’ and keep Metropolias as structures only inside the Russian Church and inside each new Autonomous Church. Two such Autonomous Churches already exist – the Russian-founded Japanese and Chinese Orthodox Churches. These two are and must be autonomous because they are in the territories of different states. Why not be consistently logical and do the same elsewhere?
What we are suggesting is that this principle of Autonomous Churches be extended to replace the present Exarchates and Metropolias in Non-Russian territories. Only the heads of Autonomous Orthodox Churches, although still part of the Russian Orthodox Church, would actually commemorate the Russian Orthodox Patriarch. (This would avoid the present political tensions and conflicts about his commemoration). Thus, the following new Autonomous Orthodox Churches could be founded:
Replacing the present ‘Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate’, this would cover the territory of the new Ukraine. True, the latter’s borders are yet to be established, but it would surely include at least the nine central provinces of the present, Communist-created Ukraine. The seven provinces of the west of the present Ukraine, in Galicia and Transcarpathia (eastern Carpatho-Russia), might join, or rather return to, other countries politically, such as Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and Romania. Ecclesiastically, local Orthodox there might join the Belarussian (see below), Polish, Czechoslovak and Romanian Local Orthodox Churches. Church autonomy in the new Ukraine would surely help lead to the collapse of present anti-Moscow nationalist and schismatic groups there.
This would replace the present Exarchate of Belarus and cover the territory of Belarus.
This would replace the present local structure and cover the territory of Moldova, minus Transdnestria, added to it by Stalin, which would certainly choose to become part of the Russian Federation.
This would group all Orthodox in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Autonomy here might well be the end of the present sectarian grouping in Estonia under the US-run Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as quelling pressures from Russophobic Baltic State politicians for the local Orthodox to be more independent of Moscow. In Lithuania they are even attempting to ban the Moscow Patriarchate wholesale and a schism is already in progress.
This would group the five million or so Orthodox in the five ‘stans’ of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
This would cover the territories of the USA, for the moment including Alaska and Hawaii, and Canada. It could finally regroup the three present groups of Russian origin, as well as of other Orthodox origins, in English-speaking North America. By ending the old structures of the ‘Orthodox Church in America’ or ‘OCA’ (after over 50 years still not accepted as canonically autocephalous, or fully independent, by most Local Orthodox Churches) and of the rather sectarian American Synod called ‘ROCOR’, combining them with the parishes under the present Moscow Patriarchate in North America, a long-awaited move towards unity would take place.
This would replace the present Western European Exarchate, which includes Russian Orthodox in many countries in Western Europe, but would be extended to include Russian Orthodox in Germany, Austria, Hungary, the Scandinavian countries and Finland. It would also provide the structure to integrate the canonical elements of the Western European churches of the American ROCOR (see above) and of the Paris Archdiocese. The latter two organisations are both left over from the post-1917 period and perhaps lost their relevance after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. It is time to recognise this and for them to become parts of an Autonomous Local Church here.
This would replace the present South-East Asian Exarchate, which includes countries as diverse as Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea and the Philippines.
Now we come to even more adventurous possibilities – perhaps to come in the more distant future:
This would replace the present Exarchate of Africa – if that controversial Exarchate is to be continued.
Based in Mexico City, this new structure would provide an opportunity to unite all present missions in this area.
Based in Brazil, this new structure would provide an opportunity to unite all present missions on this Continent.
Based in Sydney, this new structure would provide an opportunity to unite all present missions in Australia, New Zealand and the islands of Oceania.
This would provide such a new structure to unite all present missions in India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan.
Such decentralisation would bring the total number of Autonomous Orthodox Churches within the Russian Orthodox Church to fifteen, up from the present two. It is our thought that if some such decentralisation is not allowed, then various groups will break off from the Russian Church altogether. It is in order to avoid any further divisions or splintering, promoted either by nationalism or by geopolitics, that we put forward this suggestion of decentralisation, that is, the right to diversity within Russian Orthodox unity.
Of course, perhaps none of the above will happen and it will be up to other Local Churches to carry out missionary work. As we have said many, many times before over the decades, all is conditional. Suicidal and anti-missionary tendencies are clearly present in the Russian Church and maybe others will have to take up the beacon of missionary Orthodox work outside the Russian Federation, Belarus and the south-eastern Ukraine. Some, like the Patriarchates of Constantinople (especially in North America and Australia), Bucharest (especially in Western Europe) and Antioch (especially in South America), are already doing so. The future of the now highly politicised Russian Orthodox Church will remain in the balance, as long as it continues to place raison d’etat above the canons. Time will show us.
The end will be through China. There will be some unusual outburst and a Divine miracle will take place.
St Aristocleus the Athonite, 1918
There will be three Easters after my death. The first will be bloody, the second will be hungry and the third will be victorious.
Elder Iona of Odessa, 2012
I have been asked several times over the last two months to write about the conflict in the Ukraine or to take sides. I have been silent all that time. I did not wish to speak, for every armed conflict and all innocent victims are tragedies. This is a matter in which prayerful silence is best. Now at the Feast of the Resurrection, I will only say the following:
The Crucifixion showed people as they really were: some showed treachery like Judas, some showed Cowardice and washed their hands like Pilate, some called for crucifixion and crucified like the Pharisees, others helped carry the Cross, others took down the Most Pure Body, and others prepared to anoint it. For at the Crucifixion, the greatest crisis in all human history, as at every crucifixion and crisis (which is the Greek word for ‘Judgement’), the true nature of all is revealed. The crisis in the Ukraine is no exception, with politicians and churchpeople declaring their true natures. Some behave like Judas the Traitor, Pilate the Coward and Caiaphas the Deceiver, but others carry the Cross, take down the Body and anoint Him.
The problem of the last century was precisely that the Western world did not heed the prophets sent to it. On the one hand, St Justin (Popovich) defended the Church against the spirit of Papist tyranny, no matter where it came from, and, on the other hand, Solzhenitsyn clearly foretold the present war in the Ukraine and declared to the US government: ‘No, I cannot recommend your society as the ideal for the transformation of ours’. As a result, today we face the struggle against the political powers of totalitarian Secularism, with its ‘liberal’ censorship and ‘Might is Right’ because ‘West is Best’.
Now, in the present century, we await the time of the fulfilment of the prophecies of St Seraphim of Sarov, St Anatoly of Optina, St John of Kronstadt, St Seraphim of Vyritsa, St Laurence of Chernigov, of the New Martyrs and Confessors, of the Imperial Martyrs and their companions, and of such recent righteous as Elders Nikolai Pskovoezersky (2002) and Iona of Odessa (2012). What is happening in the Ukraine is on both sides a struggle between the Christian Civilisation of Godmanhood and the Secularism of Humanism – Mangodhood. More exactly, it is a struggle to purge the wheat of Orthodox Christian Civilisation from the chaff of the world, and to restore it to the Risen God. To the demons of this world, we must oppose our saints, old and new.
After ten days of demonstrations, protests are continuing in Belarus. True, they are nothing like as violent or as widespread as the riots in the USA, which have been going on for some two months now, but those in Belarus could topple the democratically-elected dictator Lukashenko. A yesterday’s Communist, a today’s Democrat and essentially a corrupt country bumpkin, like any number of other post-Communist oligarchs, his time is nearly up. Like the equally corrupt Ukrainian fool Yanukovich, who was toppled in 2014, he will surely, sooner of later, go. It is time for a new generation. Post-Sovietism is dead.
However, Western spy services, based in Lithuania (where the CIA has torture ‘facilities’) and in territory-greedy Poland, are hoping that they will replace Lukashenko with some Fascist billionaire puppet like Poroshenko, as they did in the Ukraine. Thus, they would ensure permanent civil war, mass poverty and chaos in Belarus, just as they did in the Ukraine these last six years. The idea that the Western elite could position its NATO tanks and nuclear missiles along the Russian border, just 250 miles from Moscow, is very tempting to the greedy globalists. After all, their spiritual ancestors a hundred and twenty years ago were already eyeing the mineral wealth of the Russian Empire and so had its Tsar, and tens of millions of others, murdered by their Communist minions. However, this is unlikely to happen in Belarus. Why?
The modern Ukraine is an artificial country created since 1922 for purely political reasons by three Western-backed Communist monsters: Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchov. The eastern, northern and southern three-sixths of the Ukraine are more or less purely Russian and part of what was (Orthodox) Christian Civilisation; the west of centre area around Kiev, two-sixths of the whole, like Belarus, still has the same Civilisation and faith as Russia, though is different from it and mainly speaks a dialect of Russian called Surzhik; finally, the far western sixth (which Stalin stole from Poland in 1939) has nothing to do with Christian Civilisation and Russia. It is the former Hapsburg and virulently nationalistic province of Galicia. Though Polish-hating and once Nazi-supporting, it has far more in common with its Polish neighbour, including its majority religion (also once Nazi-supporting), than anywhere else. This sixth is the only real ‘Ukraine’ (= ‘border land’) and speaks the many dialects of the Ukrainian language, which resembles a very distinctive mixture of Slovak, Polish and Russian.
On the other hand, Belarus is in reality a provincial part of Russia. Over 70% there speak Russian virtually all the time; unlike in the Ukraine the other 30%, who speak Belarussian virtually only at home, also speak fluent Russian. In any case, the language is mostly understandable to Russians, unlike Ukrainian. Moreover, 80% of Belarussians have said that they would be happy to become an autonomous republic, like other such republics, within the Russian Federation.
The Ukraine has now become a largely third-world country, poorer than Kenya; its wealth has been stolen by some thirteen Western-backed oligarch-thieves, who spend most of their time laundering their cash in Tel Aviv, London and New York. Today’s Ukraine resembles the Soviet Union of 30 years ago, only nothing has been done there since, so it is even shabbier than then; the roads are ruinous, as are most of the unrenovated buildings. Its infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, is largely in an unspeakable condition and it survives on handouts from the US puppet called the IMF. As a country with a huge demographic crisis (who wants to have children in a desperately poor, utterly corrupt and Fascist-controlled backwater?), it is possible that its people could actually die out within a century. Millions of young people have fled it for Russia and Poland.
In comparison, Belarus is clean, orderly, has full employment and is more prosperous (thanks to trade with Russia) than the catastrophically poor and run-down EU Lithuania and Latvia or the US puppet state in Kiev. This makes its leader popular with many who vote for him because they fear worse than him. However, Belarus, like the old Soviet Union which it so resembles, only is more prosperous, is also sinsiterly Orwellian.
For Lukashenko is no angel. He is a dictator with a violent streak (just like so many CIA-backed Latin American and Asian puppets) and clearly suffers from North Korean style megalomania. He is also, at times, profoundly anti-Russian. President Putin is fed up with his anti-Russian actions and his oligarch corruption, just like that of the Ukrainian idiot Yanukovich with his golden toilet. But that does not mean that Lukashenko is about to be replaced by some Western puppet, who will make Belarus into just another divided and ruled, CIA-run vassal state. Even the stupidest members of the bankrupt Western elite, now obsessed by the covid virus, realise that they made a terrible mess in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine. They cannot afford to repeat the same mistake in Belarus. The bankrupt EU does not want Belarus, any more than it wants the Ukraine. The EU cannot even absorb hopelessly corrupt and poor Bulgaria and Romania. The West needs President Putin to do something for Belarus.
Let us be clear, there is much better than Lukashenko. But to be honest, there is also much worse – you only have to look at the utterly corrupt Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia for examples. God forbid that worse should happen than Lukashenko. Three (officially) Belarussians have died so far at the hands of Lukashenko’s thuggish riot police – it is getting almost as bad as the situation in the USA. Let us pray that the Belarussian obscenities, with both sides committing acts of violence, will cease and that Belarus will no longer be a (post-) Communist dictatorship, will not be transformed into just another corrupt and poor CIA/NATO colony, and be transfigured into an Orthodox Christian country. Then a tragedy would become an example to its neighbours.
The Feast of the Transfiguration 2020
When we realize that we may not have much longer to live, it is time to set down for posterity the conclusions that we have reached from our experience of life about the Church, from which all else flows.
For us the Church means the Orthodox Church: there is no other. Outside the Church there are only breakaway fragments with their historic remains, either greater or lesser vestiges of the Church. Similarly, Christianity means Orthodox Christianity or, for short, Orthodoxy – it is the same thing. Outside Christianity there can only be vestiges of Christianity.
Ever since the fall of the Second Rome (New Rome or Constantinople) in 1453, Russia has been the Third Rome. Some little-believing Russians have interpreted this in a crude, nationalistic way. Such should keep their primitivism to themselves, with their wild ideas that the centralizing Ivan IV or even the odious atheist and executioner of millions, Stalin, might be saints. It is notable that such nationalism is always centralizing, as we saw in the case of the disastrous centralism of the Soviet Union, which was so detested by all its victims. There is no place for such nationalism in the Church, which confesses the unity in diversity of Trinitarian theology and culture.
Since the Apostasy of the Third and Last Rome in 1917, the world has been living on borrowed time, for a Fourth Rome there shall not be. This extra time has been loaned to us so that many new saints, mainly martyrs, could appear, that is, this extra time has been and is still for the sake of repentance. Only when there is no more repentance will there be no more saints, and only then will the world end. Moreover, through the Mercy of God, Who allowed the sacrifice of these saints, it is possible that the Third Rome may yet be restored.
As the Third Rome has not been restored as yet, this must be because the people have only half-repented. Thus, the revolting remains of the atheist monster Lenin lie in Moscow and his name and statues still pollute the whole of the Russian Federation. The areas around Saint Petersburg and Ekaterinburg are still called Leningrad and Sverdlovsk, named after those mass-murderers, just as very many other places and streets are named after other mass-murderers. And all this meets with acceptance by the masses of unrepentant.
Elder Nikolai (Guryanov) said: Russia will not be raised up until people realize who our Tsar Nicholas was’. Indeed, many of those who died for the Royal Martyrs have not yet been canonized and are still despised and denounced, including by so-called ‘theologians’. As mere rationalists, intellectually full but spiritually empty, they do not have the mystical sense of history which is vital to understand spiritual reality. And much else in the restoration of Christianity in Russia is, like such ‘theologians’, still very superficial and nominal. There is much gold in a few places with much corruption, superstition and careerism, and there is still very far to go elsewhere.
The Patriarchate of Constantinople
In 1917 the Tsar was betrayed by the Russian elite in 1917, which event the world calls in its way ‘the Russian Revolution’, though it was in fact nothing of the sort but rather a descent into hell on earth. After this, it was almost inevitable that the leadership of the tiny Patriarchate of Constantinople – and others allied to its worldly spirit – would take, as they saw it, advantage of the situation, so falling into temptation.
Thus, the temptation of its Greek nationalism, which had already led to the initial downfall of the Second Rome in 1453, meant that after the fall of Orthodox Russia the Second Rome would make an uncanonical bid to dominate the whole Church. This would mean once more compromising itself in syncretism, putting its racial pride above Christ, like the Jews of old.
This is what that Patriarchate had already done at the so-called Council of Florence almost 500 years before 1917, just as the Papacy of Rome had already done in the eleventh century. So New Rome tragically engineered its final downfall, just like Old Rome before it. Although the nationalism with which Constantinople is infected is only anti-Christian worldliness, that Patriarchate has fallen to this spiritual disease.
This disease broke out again nearly 100 years ago under the British-appointed Patriarch Meletios (at a cost of £100,000 in the money of that time) and, from 1948 on, under the US-appointed Patriarch Athenagoras and his successors, like the present one (at a cost today, it is said, of $25,000,000). We now see a Patriarchate of Constantinople (and its branch in the Ukraine) which advocates homosexuality – no surprise given that many of its representatives are more or less openly so and are friends with similar – and worse – circles in the Vatican. But we still hope for repentance.
The Western World and Europe
Creating itself 1,000 years ago on the ruins of Roman Imperialist paganism and Germanic barbarism, the Western world was from the start inherently built on racial pride. It claimed, through what it called its ‘theology’, in fact its self-justifying ideology, that God through the Holy Spirit had given it absolute authority over the whole world. Its leader, variously called pope, emperor, king and, today, president, had replaced God. God, apparently, has always whispered in their ears and told them what to do, ensuring that Western leaders have always been right, infallible.
In order to prove this spiritual delusion, ‘the West’ became the ruthless enemy of ‘the Rest’, and so the destroyer of all other world civilizations through organized violence with astonishing military technology, born of its aggressive and arrogant self-belief. It has always attempted to undermine the elites of other civilizations through its ideology and so sabotage the religious foundations of other civilizations (all civilizations are founded on religious belief) by secularizing them and so overthrowing them. This we can see very clearly in the history of Russia and, again today, in the classic case of the Westernization of the once glorious and famous, but now inglorious and shameless, Patriarchate of Constantinople.
Western ideology replaced God with man, for it is Anti-Trinitarian and therefore Anti-God, Anti-Patriotic and Anti-Family. It replaced God the Father with the idol of Money (Mammon), which is why the linchpin of its ideology is called ‘Capital-ism’. It replaced the Incarnation of the Son into social life with the ideology of Power and so created artificial Unions of countries where Power could be concentrated among the oligarchic few of the elite or ‘establishment’. And it replaced the Sanctification by the Holy Spirit of personal life with Sin, disguised with words like humanism, individualism, freedom and democracy. Thus, its idolization of the Anti-Trinity of Money, Power and Sin, which sum up its ideology. And it is precisely these idolatrous values, which began in Europe which will lead to the end of the world.
Europe is a purely artificial construct – it does not exist. In reality, Europe, meaning ‘the West’ is only the north-westernmost tip of the single Continent of Eurasia, meaning ‘the West-East’. Its Asian part is the foundation of all World Religions: Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam. Today’s European Union is thus an isolationist myth, a power-grab of its elite, and it will not survive. Having now abandoned both its Roman Catholic and its Protestant forms of Secularism, its remaining atheist form of Secularism is bringing it to suicide. Europe can now only survive if it becomes part of a Northern Eurasian Confederation, that is, if it repents for its thousand-year long apostasy and returns to being part of Orthodox Christian Civilization.
England and My Destiny
‘Heaven take my soul, and England keep my bones’.
King John 4, 3. 10
England is my home. My home is not Britain, which is an artificial invention of foreign political elites and establishments, whether pagan Roman, barbarian Norman or atheist Hanoverian. As the political construct of a foreign elite, Britain as a political unit is destined to disappear.
The three countries of the British Isles, England, Scotland and Wales, soon all to gain independence from the British Establishment elite, together with a fourth, the still-to-be-reunited Ireland, may yet one day, after independence, form a loose and voluntary Confederation. This will perhaps be called ‘Iona’, ‘The Isles of the North Atlantic’, as its peoples learn to live together in peace, respecting one another.
I have had a destiny, I have had to follow the law of my being. I have had a very long way to go. The great-grandson of a Suffolk ploughman had to become a Russian Orthodox priest, against all the odds of all the elites.
In common with St John of Shanghai, I have been internationally-minded and have been put on trial by nationalists and secularists hiding inside the Church, who have continually frustrated my hopes. I could have done so much more, but was not allowed to. A little like the island-Elder Nikolai (Guryanov), I have in my poor little way lived in isolation, as on an island.
Nevertheless, as only the Truth sets free, I have always battled against injustices, even if I had had little hope of success either in my lifetime or ever. However, as God is great and many others have also fought against the same injustices, I have seen three extraordinary miracles worked in my lifetime.
After a near ninety-year wait, I have seen a Bishop at last appointed for our Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland, as the Church Outside Russia comes to be the Church of the English-speaking world. This I struggled for unceasingly.
After a near sixty-year wait, I have seen the English, Irish and all Western Saints accepted back into the Church. That was a tremendous battle in the pre-internet age against the bishops who were so hostile, even as recently as 2016. Now, with several of these saints included in the Russian Orthodox calendar, the dam has burst. Now others, in the USA, Switzerland and Russia, younger than me and with more time and means, have taken up the writing of their Lives and continue what we began.
After a near thirty-year wait, I have seen the miracle of unity, the reunion of all three parts of the Russian Church, for which, together with thousands of others, I battled. As a result, I have also at last seen a Russian Orthodox Exarchate formed in Western Europe (with another one in South-East Asia).
Everything comes to him who waits and persists, for patience is the mother of virtues. I thank God for these and many other, personal, miracles. What I have prayed for these fifty years, and what others before me have prayed for, has eventually come to pass, in ways and at times far beyond what I expected. God’s Providence is always far greater and far better than we expect. True, the historic injustice of the overthrow of England and its substitution by an alien Establishment, committed in 1066, and the historic injustice of the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas by the betrayal of the Russian elite in 1917, have not yet been righted through restorations, though even here I still have hope.
Today, against the deviations of nationalist and modernist Constantinople, we offer the White Russian and the Old English, the Imperial and the Fair, the Spiritual and the Free, the Noble and the Elegant, the Manly and the Womanly. Whatever they have done to me, it has not mattered, because I have always known that the last words in history will be Christ’s. And if we remain faithful to them, then all will be well.
After the collapse of Communism 30 years ago, the Western elite, obsessed by its control-freak fantasy of global supremacy, launched an extraordinarily aggressive campaign against the Non-Western 85% of the world, hoping to enslave it to its militant secularism. Thus, in the last 30 years it has constantly trampled on freedom and democracy worldwide, launching two illegal wars against Iraq, invading Afghanistan, promoting its version of ‘free trade’ but imposing illegal sanctions against free trade on states such as China, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and Turkey, implementing violent ‘regime change’ in many countries, committing genocide, creating millions of refugees by creating chaos through proxy wars, as in Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Yemen, sending troops to West Africa, threatening independent countries with invasion and launching cyber-attacks against all competitors, while hypocritically accusing them of doing the same.
The Russian Federation has been a particular victim of Western aggression. Here the West has for example given refuge to billionaire oligarch thieves of Russian public assets, financed violent demonstrations by marginal political groups against its democratically elected government, arranged false flag propaganda assassinations of Russian citizens abroad (the Litvinenko and Skripal cases, which only the very naïve actually believe were carried out by Russia), overthrew the pro-Russian Ukrainian government by violence and so started a bloody civil war there, rejected the decision of the vast majority of citizens of the Crimea to return to Russia by democratic referendum after sixty years of captivity, set up puppet governments in countries surrounding Russia and sent them NATO troops and arms to strut along Russian borders and, more recently, relaunched its self-bankrupting nuclear arms race against Russia, treacherously breaking all its past treaties and promises.
More recently still it has, through blackmail, bribery and flattery of provincial Greek nationalist vanity, created a split in the 220-million strong Orthodox Church. This was done by separating over 100 bishops of the dying Greek Church in Istanbul, known as Constantinople or the Phanar, as well as the elderly Archbishop of Athens, from communion with the multinational Russian Orthodox Church, by having the Phanar create a Church schism in the Ukraine. Using its local ambassadors, the West then tried to spread this schism to other Local Orthodox Churches, especially in Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Georgia. Indeed, in an unprecedented case in the latter Church a homosexual metropolitan has just been defrocked for trying to poison its saintly Patriarch. Thus, the West operates through threatening faithful Christians and buying ‘Phanarodox’ careerists, ecumenists, racists and homosexuals, always using the worst of the worst for its base purposes.
The latter anti-zealots are used to fight against and persecute lovers of Orthodox Christianity, especially ascetic monks, sincere married clergy and faithful laypeople. Therefore, in this Church schism, as in many other matters, Western aggression is failing, for although man proposes, God disposes. In the Ukraine, bankrupted by its civil war which the US-installed regime started against the peoples of this recently-invented country (1), the miserable little schism has come to nothing. And this despite the Nazi-style violence, threats and intimidation which have been used by the State authorities against the faithful over and over again. Moreover, most of the 900 Orthodox bishops outside Istanbul have refused to have anything to do with its corruption. And the French Rue Daru Archbishop Jean and 60 parishes in France, the Netherlands and England, have just quit the bullying of the Phanariots for the joyful embrace of their Russian Mother-Church and canonicity.
This has further strengthened the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of Western Europe, as it moves towards unity, gathering all elements together in order to recreate the Local Church here in place of its present spiritual vacuum. As for the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of South-East Asia, which stretches from Korea to Thailand through Laos and Vietnam to Singapore and the successful missions in Taiwan and the Philippines, it too has just been strengthened through the many parishes of the Indonesian mission. These have just been transferred from the jurisdiction of the basically English-speaking Church Outside Russia to the well-financed and well-organized Exarchate. Thus, we see how the tragedy of secularist Western aggression has been marked by the victory of God’s Church, in West and East. Indeed, man does propose, but God does dispose, and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Victory belongs to Christ, not to petty racist nationalism, bribery, threats and perversion.
We now look more confidently to the future. The present schism, provoked by the US State Department through its Greek puppets in Istanbul and Ukrainian puppets in Kiev is the death rattle of the Phanar before its end. As it finally dies out some 570 years after it lost its significance in 1453, its parishes in the USA, Australia and Great Britain emptying, as elderly immigrants die out, having failed to pass on the Faith to the local generations, the Russian Orthodox Church, uniting Eurasia, faces a huge challenge. From the Western European Exarchate to the South-East Asian Exarchate the need for mission is enormous. Outside the Eurasian landmass, where well over five billion people live, it can also help the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its mission of converting a billion Africans and help the New-York-based Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in its mission of converting the billion who live in the largely English, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking New World of the Americas and Oceania.
May Thy will be done, O Lord.
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.