On Thursday 20 September, the six bishops of the ROCOR Synod meeting in London established the Diocese of Richmond and Western Europe. This combines the former Diocese of Richmond and Great Britain and Geneva and Western Europe. The ruling bishop is Bishop Irenei (Steenberg), former Professor of Theology at the University of Leeds and venerator of St Irenei of Lyon, whose name he bears.
The recent temptation experienced by the Patriarchate of Constantinople, under intense financial and political pressure from Washington, to set up schismatic Churches under its authority in the Ukraine and (North) Macedonia, has already been publicly condemned by the Churches of Russia, Poland, Serbia, Bulgaria and Georgia. The Churches of Antioch and Czechoslovakia will no doubt agree with them, tired of past meddling from Constantinople. Thus, some 85% of the Church has stood united against uncanonical political interference.
True, the Church of Greece, also tired of past interference from Constantinople, has stood on the fence, as no doubt will the four other tiny, Greek-controlled Churches (Alexandria, Cyprus, Albania and Jerusalem, with scarcely 2 million faithful between them). The Romanian decision, like other decisions there, may perhaps be taken by the US ambassador in Bucharest. The headline, ‘Constantinople falls into schism and is isolated’ is very unlikely, for we are all hoping and praying that this temptation will be resisted by those in the Phanar.
Against this disturbing background, the foundation by the Russian Orthodox Church of an Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe, on hold for fifteen (and more) long years, is moving forwards despite delays. A great step forward was taken last December, when new bishops were appointed in Moscow for Russian Orthodox Dioceses in Western Europe, making the Metropolia inevitable. Only details such as ROCOR participation and timing remain to be resolved. 2018 is thus becoming another turning-point in the formation of this Metropolia.
Western Europe is after all simply the westernmost tip of Northern Eurasia, 90% of which has long been the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, so that a Russian Orthodox Metropolia here is just a natural extension of this territory. It is rather like the Belarusian Exarchate, with its Metropolitan, eleven dioceses, four monasteries, seminary and five million faithful. With as many faithful, eight dioceses, monasteries and a seminary, Western Europe too will have its own Metropolitan, being the foundation of a new Local Church.
This is also like the Russian-founded Churches in Poland and in the Czech Lands and Slovakia. It may have eight dioceses: Italy and Malta; Spain, Portugal and their islands; France, southern Belgium and western Switzerland; the British Isles and Ireland; Scandinavia; Germany and German Switzerland; Dutch-speaking Benelux; Austria-Hungary. Such a Church will be a centre of resistance amidst anti-Christian and secularist Western Europe. It will be larger than the Western EU core, as it includes Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Brexit Britian.
After all, Brexit was never an objection to Europe, but only to the political construct of the European Union. A Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe is an answer to those who want some sort of ‘Euro-Orthodoxy’ or ‘Brussels Orthodoxy’, a salt that has lost its savour, an Orthodoxy mingled with secularism, new calendarist, masonic, liberal and modernist. For this is proposed by those who want to see in the Church of God female clergy and homosexual marriage! But there is no communion between Christ and Belial, God and Mammon.
It is appropriate to consider the foundation of the Metropolia in this centenary of the martyrdom of Tsar Nicholas II. It was he who built 17 churches in Western Europe, hoping to establish a church in every Western capital, including London, for which plans had been drawn up. Speaking fluent English, French, German and Danish and married to an English-educated, Hessian grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, who fully converted to the Orthodox Faith, he well understood the need for a Russian Orthodox Church of Western Europe. As do we.
A Metropolia of Western Europe
It was in April 1988 that I first proposed in French a paper on a Metropolia of Western Europe, composed of six dioceses in six different linguistic and cultural areas (cross-border) which I called, Gallia, Germania, Iberia, Italia, Scandinavia and the Isles. (See, ‘A Vision for the Orthodox Churches of Western Europe’, published in Orthodox England, Vol 4, No 1, September 2001). My thought then was that this could become the foundation of a restored Local Church of Western Europe. This was a historic suggestion, as for well over 900 years this had ceased to exist.
Thirty Years Ago
The idea was dismissed in Paris, the historic centre of the Russian emigration in Western Europe, and the forward-looking project proved to be impossible then. There were only three groups who could realistically have contributed something towards it: the Rue Daru or Paris Exarchate group (RD); the Moscow Patriarchate Exarchate (MP) and the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). Of these three, the old Rue Daru had tied itself up in modernist knots (nothing can be built on compromises) and in any case under US-run Constantinople it was not politically free to do anything of the sort.
As for the old MP, it was tiny because it was so distrusted by all. Run in fact by part of the Soviet Communist Party, it too was not politically free and moreover it had dangerously renovationist figures in it. As for the old ROCOR, it was small, disorganized, elderly and above all, inward-looking, as it still defined itself as being a group opposed to the atheist regime inside Russia, rather than as a key part of a future Local Church. It was living in reference to the past, not the future. The situation was to alter radically only after the year 2000, for those with the vision to see ahead.
Fifteen Years Ago
After the Moscow Council of August 2000, with a new archbishop after 1993, the Rue Daru group fell into conversations with the by then largely politically free MP, which was still very small in Western Europe. It was virtually agreed that RD would at last return to the jurisdiction of the MP and become an autonomous Metropolia within it, as a foundation for a future Local Church. However, Archbishop Serge (Konovalov) of the Rue Daru jurisdiction was to die tragically on 22 January 2003 and the next archbishop, Gabriel (De Vylder), was a furious Russophobe and strongly modernistic.
Indeed, since then, having missed the boat and set on a suicidal path, the Rue Daru group has largely fallen into irrelevance, its vital forces having quit it for one part or the other of the Russian Orthodox Church. Looking back, there was Providence here, since Archbishop Serge’s hopes would in any case have been dashed by the dominant wing of the Exarchate, represented by his successor. Today Rue Daru represents only 60 scattered parishes and communities, most of them very small. Most of its living parishes are in fact Moldovan and Romanian, with priests loaned by the MP.
The MP Needs a Partner
Why did the MP enter into such negotiations with Rue Daru? Simply because alone it could do nothing. Thus, even though the once few MP parishes of 30 years ago today number perhaps 250 in Western Europe with six bishops, dwarving the one-bishop Rue Daru group (ROCOR has about 100 parishes in Western Europe with three bishops), it is essentially an ethnic group. It is composed of recent immigrants, often not understanding local languages and culture. The MP needs those who have this understanding. Let us compare as examples the MP and ROCOR dioceses in the Isles.
Although on paper the MP diocese here is much bigger, in reality most of its communities are tiny (less than ten!), often with only a few services a year, without property and without a regular priest. It is a paper empire, all its money expended on its ex-Anglican church in London. ROCOR probably actually has almost as many people, more property, is better established and tends to attract people who are better-established in these Isles. Often, those immigrants who have been here for more than ten years tend to drift across to ROCOR, their children more integrated into society.
The old, inward-looking and too often politicized ROCOR, which largely died out in the 1980s and 1990s, could not have been a partner for the ultimate aim of building a new Local Church: however, the new ROCOR, born after the reconciliation with the MP in 2007, can be such a partner. The MP of the early 2000s, still with an old-fashioned, Sovietized cast of mind, could not see this and sought the wrong partner, one compromised in modernism. Today it needs a skeleton, a structure, solid Russian Orthodox people with local knowledge: it is only ROCOR that can provide this.
Introduction: Local Churches
Over the years there has been much talk of creating Local Metropolias in the Orthodox Diaspora, which could with time become new Local Churches, uniting all Orthodox on their territory. Yet none has ever appeared. This is not only the case in North America, where there was once a (Carpatho-Russian) Metropolia, which then became the minority and for many uncanonical, but largely English-speaking ‘OCA’ (Orthodox Church in America), but it is also true of Western Europe. None of the talk of creating a new Local Church in any part of the Orthodox Diaspora has been fruitful, all the ideas have remained pipe-dreams. Why?
First of all, there have frequently been what may be called ‘ethnic projects’. This is the idea of granting autonomy, or even autocephaly, to an Archdiocese or Metropolia in a territory of the Diaspora. This simply amounts to treating the territory as an extension of another and foreign country. Notably, this means creating a Church in a place, rather than a Church of a place.
For example, the old translation of ROCOR (the Church Outside Russia) was ROCA (the Church Abroad). This is an absurd translation – unless what we mean is a temporary extension of a Church, which has been set up for immigrants who will sooner or later return to ‘the old country’ and their Church will then disappear. Those born locally who are part of ROCOR, whatever their origins, are not abroad. Officially, this translation was dropped in the 1970s – and yet is still frequently heard and used! Other national groups have done no better, everywhere it has been the same problem.
Only a Metropolia of a certain territory, and not in it, is the beginning of a Local Church, as by definition it uses mainly the local language or languages, since, in other words, it has integrated and cannot be transplanted elsewhere. If its members want to return somewhere else, always harping after a childhood home, then they will never become local – they will have no roots there. Thus, today, there are Russians, Romanians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Greeks etc in Western Europe who have no intention of staying here, of becoming of Western Europe. They can never form a Local Metropolia, let alone a new Local Church. They are certainly Orthodox, but they are definitely not Local.
On the other hand, there have also frequently been what may be called ‘local projects’. These have always been marked by what can be called ‘autocephalism’ or ‘autocephalitis’. This is the desire to assimilate the local culture, whether it be Catholic, Protestant, Muslim or whatever. In any words, they gain local-ness, but lose the Faith – they are no longer Orthodox.
For example, we have the case of Finland, where many parishes that I have seen appear not to be sure whether they are Lutheran or Orthodox. They say: use only the local language (a dogma more important to them than the Holy Trinity), take out the iconostasis, do away with fasting and confession (and any other ascetic discipline) and give communion to all. Be local, be like the others – conform. This often happens when the locally-born second generation comes to power. Fleeing their parents’ ghetto, they suffer from an inferiority complex. But in desiring the local, they lose the Faith.
Thus, they end up with something local, only it is not Orthodox. I remember forty years ago hearing a recording of an OCA Liturgy. It was not just American, it was super-American; at moments it seemed like listening to a cowboy film. Clearly, this had been done deliberately by people who were second-generation Americans, who wanted to be more American than Americans. Russian intellectuals and aristocrats in France did the same, making Orthodoxy into a bourgeois French philosophy. This was also the case in the old Sourozh project, which was Parisian pretending to be Russian. Phyletist to the core, they threw out anyone who was not ex-Anglican or was Russian-speaking.
Conclusion: Orthodoxy and Integration, Not Heterodoxy and Assimilation
In the real world, Local Churches start by learning Orthodoxy and then become Local. They have to keep the Orthodox Tradition, but also have to be local, inculturated, integrated, using the local language and not ‘translationese’. All must keep faith with the One Orthodox Tradition, without compromise, without assimilation, yet all must prove themselves to be Local, that is, as Churches that cannot be transferred elsewhere. Thus, all must start with the maximum, never the minimum, that is, we start with monasticism, whether it is Sts Cyril and Methodius among the Slavs, St Herman in Alaska or St Nicholas in Japan.
Eight centuries before the 19th century European ‘scramble for Africa’ (the rush with which Western European elites invaded and conquered Africa for purposes of exploitation), there took place the scramble for Europe, the same process of legalized plunder. This happened between 1050 and 1250, the year 1050 being an endpoint in a 300-year long process of degeneration and so a launch-pad for what had been unknown before in the vast part of Europe – feudalism. The process was led by the Franks, a people whose name means ‘the free’, for all whom they encountered became their slaves. From 1050 on the Franks created a new institutional and cultural uniformity in the first ‘European Union’.
This process can therefore be called ’the Frankization of Europe’. It was a process that had begun in the Carolingian heartland of what is now western Germany and north-eastern France. From here in the 11th century, this spread southwards to Italy and northwards to Scandinavia, in 1066 it was carried by its Norman shock-troops westwards to England and later to Wales, Scotland and Ireland, then southwards to Spain and later carried by Teutonic shock troops eastwards to the Slav Lands and Hungary. By the end of the 11th century the process had reached beyond Europe to the Holy Land. This was the beginning of what is now called ‘globalization’, which merely means the scramble for the world.
Thus, the ordinary people of Europe were the first victims, and not the bearers, of Frankish expansion, trampled down beneath the alien castle-building cavalry elite. The Crusades are the best example of this papally-orchestrated war of conquest, fought in the name of God and profit, expanding Frankish religion and trade. This is also what is happening today, the expansion of the Frankish/Western religion of political correctness (including sodomy) and its asset-stripping business. Vigour, boldness, brutality and greed, this was what made up the Faustian brew of the Frankish conqueror, just as it does today. By the late Middle Ages 80% of Europe’s rulers were Franks; today they belong to the ‘Davos elite’.
In the late 11th century the Welsh bishop, Rhygyfarch (1057-1099), witnessed to the ‘gratuitously cruel’ Norman conquest of south Wales and wrote his lament: ‘The people and the priests are despised by the words, hearts and deeds of the Frenchmen. They burden us with taxes and consume our possessions. One of them, however lowly he may be, makes a hundred natives tremble with his command and terrifies them with his look. Alas, our fall, alas our deep sorrow’. Similarly, but this time in support of conquest and not lamenting it, in the 1090s the Frankish monk and historian Guibert of Nogent wrote of the Crusades that ‘God has instituted holy war’. He could have written ‘jihad’.
So began the myth of the ‘Free World’, which means the world enslaved by the Franks. So was born the myth of freedom and democracy, that is, of the anti-social individualism (narcissistic selfishness) of modern times. It can be heard in the imperialist anthem ‘Rule Britannia’, which proclaims that upper-class Britons will ‘never, never, never be slaves’, yet theirs was an empire founded on slavery, or at best, wage-slavery. So was born the chosen people myth, of Aryans, Nazis and, in the USA, of WASPS and ‘American exceptionalism’. BBC Establishment propaganda still insists on ‘the international community’ – the same myth of ‘the West is best’ and ‘the West against the rest’, which is today called the G7 and the New World Order.
However, today, after a thousand years of the sanctification of warfare, of the Western delusion of self-justification, of the militarization and monetarization of society, of institutionalized Western terrorism (‘shock and awe’), the myth is coming to an end. God is not on the side of Western, or anyone else’s, greed and terrorism. The lies of a thousand years have their consequences and will have to be paid for. It is called retribution. The vassal states of American feudalism, from Western Europe to Japan, from South Korea to New Zealand will not forever be held in subjugation by their lords. And this is the future history of the twenty-first century, the terrible yet redeeming story of which is now being written.
The Russian Orthodox Church exists in two separate administrations in Western Europe. Although both have the same Patriarch in Moscow, one is directly dependent on Moscow, the other only indirectly on him, as it is primarily dependent on a Metropolitan in New York. The Moscow group numbers some 210 parishes in several dioceses, the New York group some 70 parishes in three dioceses, one third of that under Moscow, though in some local regions it is still a majority. On the other hand Moscow has more or less complete control in Austria, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Scandinavia.
As we slowly move towards future administrative unity in a single Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Europe (ROME), all over Western Europe a choice will have to be made: Which administration do parishes wish to belong to? In other words, ultimately, which group is to be absorbed by the other? And will that absorption take place all over Western Europe, or only in some areas? This is not a simple matter because this implies that each administration is going to have to answer for the very saddening errors of the past. And there were many of these and their consequences have been postponed for a generation and more.
These include political and moral compromises, which, even if forgiven, are not forgotten, incompetence in failing to build up infrastructure, obtaining and building churches and encouraging and training local clergy, refusal to look after local people and locally-born children and grandchildren and general lack of pastoral and missionary effort. Refusal to take responsibility and ask for forgiveness with repentance will be dismissed. Childish phrases like ‘We’re right because we’re bigger than you…’, or ‘We were here first’, or ‘We’ve got more money than you’, do not wash with people made distrustful by past sins and errors.
The people, and ultimately the clergy with them, will not choose a cold manager or bureaucrat, but the pastoral bishop who shows genuine love for them and does not neglect, ignore and insult them. However, the lack of love of the past is about to receive its just rewards. The people will choose genuine communities. Parishes where people know one another and to which people feel a sense of belonging will win the day. People will not choose parishes which they pass through like railway stations, which are money-making machines, or are centres of cold and formal ritualism in foreign and unknown languages.
There is a moment of danger here, for Western Europe is already littered with the wreckage of small ex-Russian Orthodox communities, alienated by the heavy-handedness of both administrations. These include the tiny marginal communities of the ‘Paris Jurisdiction’ on the one hand, which on paper are canonical, as well as the tiny fringe communities of various ‘Pure’ or ’True’ sectarian jurisdictions, which even on paper are not canonical. For those who suffered under both administrations and never received an apology, we leave the choice to Divine guidance. The chickens come home to roost; the sins of the fathers have a price.
In 2003 the Paris Jurisdiction, then under Archbishop Sergiy, was negotiating its return to the Russian Orthodox Church. It would have become the local element in hopes for a future Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Western Europe, the foundation of a new Local Orthodox Church. It was not to be. Archbishop Sergiy died, and his successors took a virulent anti-Russian line. Now it is on the way to becoming a deanery of the Greek Orthodox Church in Paris. However, together with the 70 parishes established in Western Europe for up to 100 years, Moscow can still establish a joint Metropolia. This can heal both past injustices and avoid future injustices.
By 1940, the whole of Roman Catholic Europe, from Slovakia to Italy, including France and ‘neutral’ countries like fiercely Papist Ireland, Spain and Portugal, were living under Fascist dictatorships. This was only natural. Under the centralizing lapsed Roman Catholic Hitler (like the centralizing lapsed Roman Catholic Napoleon, who in effect was also a Fascist), a centralized Fascist European Superstate had come into being. He was greeted as a hero in Fascist Croatia and the Fascist western tip of the Ukraine. This was only natural, for Roman Catholic Europe was only following in the footsteps of the centralized Pagan Roman Empire (also in effect a ‘Fascist’ Superstate) and of the centralized Carolingian Empire (also in effect a ‘Fascist’ Superstate).
Today we see the same in Catalonia. The Spanish State, firmly backed from central headquarters in Brussels, is suppressing the Catalan movement for freedom. This is quite different from the independence movement in Scotland, which Brussels actively supports, since Scotland is anti-Brexit and therefore worth disrupting Britain for. However, it is quite similar to the Ukraine, where the bloody war against a free Ukraine by the centralizing EU-supported Fascist junta in Kiev, rages on. It is also quite similar to the recent Kurdish referendum, where the near hundred-year battle for Kurdistan rages on against centralizing Baghdad. Self-determination turns out to be highly selective. It means self-determination only for those whom the Western elite supports.
As the centralized Spanish government and brutal police terrorize the Catalans, we see that not much has changed in Europe. The fight for freedom goes on. In Europe artificial conglomerates have everywhere fallen, from ex-Yugoslavia to Czechoslovakia. In the Ukraine, a country cobbled together out of Russia, Poland, Romania and Hungary by Communist dictators, the same is happening, as freedom is being won despite US and EU support for the Fascist junta in Kiev. Now, in all the artificial Western European conglomerates, the UK, Italy, Germany, Belgium, France and Spain, the same is happening. Freedom is in the air despite Fascism. All empires built on injustice end. Take note, Brussels and Madrid tyrants.
Q: What is the Russian Orthodox view of patriotism?
A: As President Putin has put it: ‘For Russians […] patriotic sentiment, the sense of national belonging that is now, to their sorrow, being eroded in certain European countries, is very important’. In today’s Europe, the attention of those who seek to preserve their national identity, those who are patriots and nationalists in the best sense of the word, is fixed on Moscow. Conversely, those who yell the loudest about a ‘Russian threat’ and ‘European unity in the face of Russian aggression’ are precisely those who want to destroy European faces and borders and reviving identities, like that of Catalonia, as they are oriented towards the EU headquarters in Brussels and the White House.
Russia is the Motherland of patriotism in Europe and in defiance of the artificial denationalisation imposed by Western-imposed Soviet Communism, it is returning to the old mission of keeping the flame of national identity in Europe alight, preserving it as a Europe of homelands and not a public thoroughfare. Although the State-run media like the BBC try to slander all moderate patriots as ‘Neo-Nazis’ and ‘the far right’, in reality there are very few ‘Neo-Nazis’ and ordinary people, both on the normal right and the normal left, are patriots. 52% of British people voted for Brexit, surely even more would vote for Brexit today, given Juncker’s recent speech on the abolition of Europe (‘Eurofederalism’) in Brussels.
Q: Why is the West so aggressive?
A: The West is far more aggressive than many people even realize. Its wars of aggression are always camouflaged by code-names. For example, the multinational Western invasions and Western wars of aggression against Russia are variously known as ‘The Teutonic Crusades’, ‘The Napoleonic Campaign’, ‘The Crimean War’, ‘World War One’, ‘World War Two’ etc. In the same way, today the USA has a ‘Department of Defense’, and yet no-one has ever tried to invade the USA and that Department is notorious for its Offense.
Britain’s ‘Ministry of Defence’ has similarly always spent its time invading and bombing countries far away, all in the name of ‘national security’. Apparently Britain has invaded some 150 foreign countries in its history! This British Establishment aggressiveness goes back to its founders, in their so-called ‘Battle of Hastings’, which did not take place in Hastings and should actually be called ‘The Norman Invasion and Occupation’ or ‘The Defeat and Rape of England’.
The roots of this Westernwide aggression go back even further than 1066, to the anti-Christian Charlemagne, who revived the dead pagan Roman Empire – the model for all aggressive, asset-stripping and war-based systems – under the code-name of a ‘classical revival’. He told his people that they were superior to Christians (‘Greeks’) and also to anyone else, because the Holy Spirit came from their leader, the Pope of Rome, whom Charlemagne had made infallible with his filioque ideology. Later this mythical superiority was spread downwards to anyone who agreed with the Western Establishment and anyone who was ‘Western’ was thus considered superior. ‘Black, brown, red and yellow peoples’ were inferior and therefore could be enslaved and massacred by ‘White’ Western people. Here is the fruit of the filioque, from the Crusades to Iraq.
Yet another example: On 25 September the BBC programme ‘Beyond Belief’ (Radio 4, 4.30), the programme I spoke on twice after the Pussy Riot blasphemy, the subject was ‘The Persecution of Atheism in Russia’! I could hardly believe what the BBC has come to. It really is Beyond Belief! Not content with supporting the US installation of lesbian politicians and Zionist atheists as leaders in Eastern Europe, from Serbia to the Baltics and the Ukraine, the BBC are now directly plugging Western atheism in Russia, where a few decades ago Western Marxist atheists martyred 600 bishops and 120,000 clergy, under the pretext of ‘freedom of speech’.
Q: What worries you most about the situation of the contemporary Russian Orthodox Church? Ecumenism?
A: Definitely not ecumenism. That is a bedtime fairy-tale for old people. It was abandoned as a failure long ago. No, it is something else. Let us try and understand the context in which we live.
We live in the fourth century. We in the Russian Church have come out of persecution and are being recognized, moving forward into the rest of the fourth century. (Unlike the West, where the heterodox have been in the fourth century and are now heading backwards towards the third century and persecution by various atheist emperors). What was the problem in the fourth century? There were no outward enemies, but there were inward enemies, all those who swam with the tide, the ‘fairweather Christians’ who joined the Church for their careers, for worldly advantage. Martyrdom is largely over for us: the ‘easy way’ to salvation has gone: all we had to do was to be killed. For a believing Orthodox that is not a problem. This is why in the fourth century, there was a huge growth in monasticism. Opportunities for martyrdom were mainly over, but the faithful still needed the real thing.
In times of peace we face not outward enemies, but inward enemies, as we in the Church Outside Russia, know only too well. We in our part of the Russian Church did not face martyrdom, what we have faced for nearly 100 years is inward enemies. We faced multiple schisms, by modernists (in the Paris Jurisdiction and in the USA), then by old calendarists (in the USA, France, South America and Great Britain), we faced racism and nationalism (the policy of excluding certain people from the Church because they had ‘the wrong blood’), we faced careerism, false brethren and slanders, backed by certain bishops. This type of persecution is insidious and calls on us to be confessors and not martyrs. That is much more subtle.
We have a great example in St John of Shanghai, who was put on trial in a secular court by so-called ‘ROCOR’ bishops, clergy and people. Shame on them! But who came out of this affair a saint? It is the insignificant and derided little man on the court bench who prayed: the others are, at best, forgotten. Something similar happened to Fr Seraphim (Rose), who faced persecution from inside. Our greatest enemies have always come from inside the Church. Our enemies confess not the Orthodox Faith, they confess ‘religion’, the outward ritualistic system of phariseeism, spiritual dryness and literalism, together with a systemic personality cult and academicism, sometimes homosexual, all of which persecute, mock and despise any authentic, living spiritual experience.
The souls of these go dry at Pentecost, they feel nothing, not the rushing wind of the Holy Spirit, not new green life, but they rattle off the prayers to the Holy Spirit without feeling, looking at their watches. These people have no Love, no Theology, no Knowledge of the Living God (St Alban), no compassion, all they have is their ill psychology, which they use for self-justification and persecution of the righteous.
Today we can see such tendencies inside Russia (and among some of its representatives outside Russia). Careerism, the interest in ‘awards’, rationalism, knowledge only of the outward, Spirit-free academicism, the rush for ‘degrees’, the salt that has lost its savour. It does not matter whether the tendency is new calendarist and modernist or old calendarist and traditionalist, it is the same anti-spiritual tendency.
Q: Was the Russian emigration a good thing?
A: Its causes were of course bad and émigrés suffered. But the spiritual life of the emigration itself was very mixed, both pure and impure. In the 1930s St John of Shanghai reckoned that only 10% of the emigration was Churchly. This corresponds to my own experience. Many Russians were ‘White’ only inasmuch as they were greedy for money and property and had no time, either for the Faith or for the Tsar, whom so many of them had actively betrayed. Many were racist and nationalistic, opposed to multinational Rus, so denying the words and commandments of the apostles to go out into all the world and teach and baptise ‘all men’.
There are still parts of the Russian emigration which have not returned to the Russian Church and, incredibly, are still on the Catholic calendar, which was introduced by the masonic Anglicans into Constantinople for a fee of £100,000 in the early 1920s. Still no repentance for such unspeakable spiritual decadence! In years to come we shall be amazed that any of this was possible, let alone justified by ‘theologians’, ‘the great and good!’
And yet the emigration also produced saints. As ever, I will say to you: Follow the Saints! Yes, the rest existed and exists. Ignore them, let the spiritually dead bury the spiritually dead. There can be no nostalgia for them. Follow the Chains of Love and you will set your soul free. The Russian emigration was caused by evil, but God’s Providence can always make good from evil.
Q: Is it true that ROCOR has never had a scandal?
A: I do not know who told you such a fairy tale. Sadly, very sadly, just think about the Antony Grabbe scandal in Jerusalem, about the consecration of Valentin of Suzdal (I remember how Archbishop Antony of Geneva prayed for a snowstorm so that his plane could not take off and he would not have to take part in his consecration under obedience), about Grabbe’s bishop-father who ended up in a right-wing sect outside the Church and banned anyone from attending his funeral, about the defrocked….
Q: What would you like to see the Orthodox Church do as a whole?
A: Publish statistics and facts! For example, I reckon that there are about 800 Orthodox bishops, 80,000 priests and 217 million Orthodox. However, these are merely informed guesstimates and I do not know the truth. I have no idea how many deacons, monks and nuns there are in the Church and in each Local Church. I would be very grateful to see some central statistical Orthodox authority issuing such information. (If any readers can correct my estimates, please will they contact me).
Q: In the light of what happened in Crete in 2016, what should be done about the state of the Orthodox episcopate, where there are so many who are clearly unprincipled?
A: That is of course a question for the episcopate, not for me. However, my suggestion would be something like deposing all bishops who do not confess that:
1. The Orthodox Church alone is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.
2. The application of the canons which state that if they have been appointed by secular authorities (e. g. the State Department in Washington), they must be deposed.
3. The application of the canons which state that if they practise simony, they must be deposed.
4. The application of the canons which state that if they practise homosexuality, they must be deposed.
5. That if they are freemasons, they must be deposed.
Q: You are educated, how can you believe in heaven and hell?
A: We know from the unique revelation of the New Testament that God is Love. Therefore, it is clear that heaven is the presence of Love and hell is the absence of Love. It is very simple. It is even clear from this that heaven and hell, although in undeveloped forms, already exist on earth. People create their own heaven and hell. Please forget the primitive notions of atheists about heaven and hell that you seem to have. It reminds me of the incredibly primitive peasant Khrushchev who said that Gargarin had proved that God did not exist because he had been in space and had not seen Him! The only thing that this proved was Khrushchev’s own primitive ignorance and spiritual blindness.
Q: Why does the Church have rituals? Surely they are unnecessary?
A: The angels do not have rituals. So why do we? Obviously, because we are not angels, that is, we have bodies, a material nature. All people have rituals. Protestants have rituals (sit down, stand up, prayer, hymn, guilt-making sermon, collection of money to pay for the guilt, which is merely a copy of Catholic indulgences), secularists have rituals, parades, processions, the opening of Parliament, both military and civilian etc. Let us therefore make sure that our Church rituals are beautiful and meaningful.
People will always make rituals to worship something higher and greater than themselves, whether the True God or an invented one – drink, football, the sun on the beach, a human ideology…As we know that we are inferior and need to worship something, so let us worship the True God and not such false gods.
A: What is the situation in the Ukraine now?
A: I have not been there for a year now, but with the persecution of most of the people (‘ethnic minorities, of whom over 50% are Russian’), the continuing civil war, the fleeing of millions abroad (especially to Poland and Russia) and the fact that the government is propped up only by US money and money from US organizations like the IMF, I think the future is grim. It seems probable to me that in a few years from now, the country, which is an artificial conglomerate founded by Lenin and Stalin, will split between Russia, Poland, Hungary and Romania, leaving a possible Little Russian rump around Kiev.
Q: What are we to make of the recent hurricanes in the Caribbean and the earthquakes in Mexico?
A: There have always been such events. When you hear ‘the most powerful hurricane for 100 years’, it means that there have already been others at least as powerful in recorded history. None of this is the first time, it is just that the media are here to report these events. But the Caribbean and Florida are well known as places of crime, gambling, prostitution, drug-dealing and money-laundering. It is clear that only Faith can avert such catastrophes, not vice. Nearly 70 years ago on Tubabao St John of Shanghai protected that island from a typhoon through his prayers, going around the island with the cross and praying. This is what needs to be done here. But is anyone doing this?
In the USA some fear a great eruption in Yellowstone that could almost wipe out life in North America, or an earthquake in San Francisco. But what do people do in these places? Do they pray, do they repent? Some of course yes, but it seems that most just have more and more hubris. Just like Pompeii of old. Just like the Tower of Siloam. Little wonder that people speak of ‘Eurosodom and Gomorrhica’.
Q: Whose side are you on in the Brexit conflict between the Chancellor Philip Hammond and the Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson?
A: That is a political question. All I can say is that I support neither of them. The Anglo-Turkish Old Etonian Boris Johnson is, despite his Russian Christian name, a fanatical Russophobe who supports a new Cold War. As regards the multi-millionaire Philip Hammond, I knew him personally, as he was in the same year in the same college in Oxford and also born in Essex (though at the wrong end). Even then, as a teenager, he was quite a ruthless careerist. True, he has done very well for himself in this respect, but has not yet got the top job, which is what he wants. However, regardless of that, both of these politicians are pro-British, i.e., anti-English, which is because they are pro-UK Establishment. The last pro-English politician I can think of is the long ago-retired Sir Richard Body. I am not sure that there is a single pro-English politician left in Parliament today.
Q: Should we be worried about the conflict between the USA and North Korea?
A: For the moment there is no conflict, just mutual insults. What worries me is that both leaders have terrible inferiority complexes that produce paranoia. One wants to be taken seriously as a President, instead of as a horse-trading businessman of limited intelligence, the other is a shy man who is trying to live up to his father and grandfather in cruelty, bluster and everything else. And his country is surrounded by aggressive US ships and planes (the USA is not surrounded by North Korean ships and planes), which only deepens national paranoia.
They both remind me of Kaiser Wilhelm who also had a terrible inferiority complex, caused by his deformed arm and his profound jealousy of Great Britain, and so started the Great War, with all its appalling consequences. ‘Inferiority complexes’ (= the sins of jealousy, vanity, selfishness and pride) cause many problems in world history. They are dangerous. As for these leaders, you should give children toys to play with, not guns, missiles and nuclear bombs. That is worrying.
When Guy Verhofstadt, a former Prime Minister of Belgium who now heads the alliance of ‘Liberals and Democrats for Europe’ in the EU Parliament, described British political figures leaving the EU ‘as rats leaving a sinking ship’, he revealed what he really thought. Like other EU bureaucrats, he knows that time is up, that the EU is indeed a sinking ship. Its disappearance into the dustbin of history is not a question of if, but only of when. The post-War invention of the EU (though not at that time under that name) was clearly only a temporary accommodation provoked by the USA. It is amazing that it has gone on for so long, especially after the collapse of the Soviet bloc, and then of the Soviet Union exactly 25 years ago, the existence of which, like that of NATO, was the EU’s only raison d’etre.
The deception perpetrated on the British people in 1972 by the then Prime Minister Edward Heath (then awarded a £40,000 yacht for his treason and now being investigated for pedophilia) in submitting the United Kingdom to the alien authority of the Treaty of Rome could not stand. Let us remind ourselves that it was another Belgian politician, Paul Henri Spaak, who had been entrusted with drawing up proposals for a European Common Market. Spaak was a revolutionary who had held talks with Trotsky. His right-hand man in the project was one Baron Robert Rothschild (not to be confused with the New York banker of the same name). In 1954 Rothschild had been appointed Spaak’s chef de cabinet at the Belgian foreign ministry and for two years worked with Spaak on the Treaty of Rome.
Not only did Spaak and Rothschild draft the Treaty, they also had the opportunity of deciding where it would be signed. They chose the main first-floor room of the Palazzo dei Conservatori on the southern peak of the Capitoline Hill in Rome as their venue. They knew that the Palazzo had been built in the Middle Ages right on top of the Temple of Jupiter. The site had immense pagan, spiritual and political significance. Every year, the pagan Roman Senate used to hold their first meeting in the Temple. Jupiter was the protector, the ‘Conservator’ of Rome. Not only that, he was the Roman successor to the head of the Greek pantheon, Zeus, and if the altar to Zeus in Pergamos was said in the New Testament (Revelation 2, 13) to be ‘Satan’s Seat,’ this was Rome’s satanic equivalent.
However, although the teeming millions of Europeans (condemned by the judases as ‘populists’) will rejoice when the hated tyranny of the EU finally does disappear, this does not answer the question as to what will replace it. However, before such a question can be answered, another question must first be answered: What will replace the Soviet Union? After all, the EU only ever came into existence as a US-designed, anti-Soviet and anti-Russian bloc. Clearly, the present hotchpotch of unviable countries that replaced the Soviet Union is not going to last. They too, like the temporary Soviet Union, are only temporary. In order to find positive answers to both these questions, it seems to us that we must search in history before the First World War which ruined the Paris-Berlin-Saint Petersburg axis of unity.
It is clear that the countries included before 1917 within the Russian Empire form a territory that needs some sort of loose confederal unity and economic co-operation. Clearly, this does not mean the sort of centralized, tyrannical ideological unity of the Soviet Union, nor does it mean recreating the Russian Empire as such. There are already the beginnings of such a loose unity and such voluntary co-operation in the countries that form the Eurasian Economic Union. However, in 1914 in the western tip of the Eurasian Continent there were then empires and countries of Europe that were never part of the Russian Empire and have now mostly been absorbed into the failed European Union. Strangled by the political and monetary ideology of the EU, the peoples of these countries now look to freedom.
Surely they need look no further than the selfsame Eurasian Economic Union. Western Europe has in its pride and arrogance for a thousand years lived in self-chosen isolation from the wider Eurasian Continent. As it now faces collapse beneath the weight of its own spiritual and ideological bankruptcy, known as Secularism, and the self-inflicted invasion of Islamism, which will never recognize Christian values, it is now time for it to reintegrate the Eurasian Continent. This, vitally, contains the roots of its Christian Faith and thus its spiritual and so cultural identity. However, even more than this, Eurasia also contains its political and economic salvation. Eurasia, stretching to the Pacific, contains the mineral and energy resources which alone can save it from its dependency on the unstable and ever-warring Middle East.
The dream of many a European politician, not least of Charles de Gaulle, was a Eurasia from Lisbon to Vladivostok. This is now becoming possible. In the East, the bankrupt ideology of the German Jew Marx was abandoned 25 years ago. It is now for the West, the remaining countries of the EU, to give up its bankrupt ideology of Secularism. The time for isolation is over. It is now time to return to roots. The dream of a Eurasian Confederation of Free and Sovereign Nations, voluntarily working together, is possible. The alternative is what the EU has created in the Ukraine: a land of inherent corruption, inflation and self-inflicted civil war. The only question is whether the EU leaders will have the courage to repent before their folly reduces their countries also to the state of the Ukraine, creating a Europe-wide Ukraine.
The word ‘destiny’ is vague because it has different meanings according to the three parallel universes which exist. The first-created universe is Heaven and here the word ‘destiny’ means God’s Will. The second universe is Earth, now fallen, aptly called in Old English ‘Middle-earth’ (a term more recently popularized by a former Oxford Professor of Anglo-Saxon, J.R.R. Tolkien). Here the word ‘destiny’ can have the pagan connotations of ‘the fates’, indicating fatalism and the buffetting of forces apparently beyond human control, called by the Ancient Greeks ‘the gods’, but by Christians ‘the demons’, but it can also have positive connotations, for on Middle-earth, people can also be inspired to do God’s Will, though this is not always understood. Finally, there is the third universe, which we call Hell, that provides a hellish destiny, what the demons want for us.
The Parallel Universes
Those who listen out for and do God’s will have a heavenly destiny or calling. They follow their heavenly roots of the past and the future. Awaiting Divine inspiration, they can have a prophetic gift and become God’s seers, visionaries. They foresee a hellish destiny for mankind if there is no repentance and a heavenly destiny if there is. (Demons can only foresee the hellish destiny because they have renounced their freewill to do good. This is why demonic prophecies are very often wrong in their dire and depressing prophecies, as they are unable to see the possibility of good. And this is why secular media often depressingly imitate those hellish forecasts). Prophets have their eyes fixed on the future and are not too bothered by the details of the present, which can tie down to the quagmire of this world, and which scandalize the narrow-minded who cannot see long-term.
Those who listen to their Divine calling and so have a Christian Destiny, do not live according to the destiny of the Middle-earth, still less to hellish destiny, but according to heavenly destiny. Their prophecies lead heavenwards. Their destiny is, according to the logic of this world, seems strange, irrational, ironic, mysterious. In reality, none of this is true, for it is the logic of this world that is composed of fallen human rationalism and therefore is strange and ironic. God’s logic, heavenly destiny, is quite different, it leads heavenwards.
Men and Women
The general heavenly destiny of men is self-sacrifice, meaning tenderness. That of women is natural beauty, meaning beauty of soul. The general hellish destiny of men is egoism, meaning brutality. The general hellish destiny of women is artificial beauty, meaning vanity. Modern Western society has largely chosen a hellish destiny, so becoming a society of egoism and vanity, that is, the selfie society, a society of narcissism, the self-important, I-society of look-at-me Facebook and MySpace, of i-phone and i-pad, of I love me.
As regards the destiny of Russia, we can say the following:
The first shot of the so-called Russian Revolution, as stated by one of the assassins, Purishkevich, was fired on 30 December 1916. The countries of the former Russian Empire then went through three 25-year generations of horror, obscenity and hysteria, of turning their backs on their roots. After the bloodshed following 1916, came 1941 and yet another Western invasion, which was a call to repentance, then the abortion holocaust of the 1960s with the whole Soviet ABCD (alcoholism, abortion, corruption and divorce), the result of 50 years of rejection of pre-Revolutionary values and the demotivation, especially of men, who no longer had any role to fill, as the State had total control, and finally the horrors of perestroika after 1991, in which millions died premature deaths, especially through vodka and suicide, as people were unable to face the banditry of so-called ‘privatization’ and ‘the bright future’, promised for the huge sacrifices made for the Soviet Union, turned into a nightmare. The heaven on earth promised by the Communist ideologues had become hell on earth.
Today, the hangover and vestiges of the hellish destiny of the Soviet past are still alive, but the younger generations are now aware of their Christian roots, of their forgotten and rejected heavenly destiny. Hell stopped in 1991 and a great many stepped back from the brink. Hope sprang. A generation on, there is still uncertainty, but as time passes more and more Russians have not only stepped back from the brink, but are fleeing it as fast as possible.
The same pattern of generational change, every 25 years, has gone on in the West. In 1914 the Western elite rejected Christ and slaughtered and maimed its youth in indescribable conditions. In 1939 it rejected the possibility of repentance and deepened its abysmal tragedy. In the 1960s it rejected inherent Christian cultural values. In 1989 it began to spread its evil to Eastern Europe and worldwide under the slogan of a ‘New World Order’ and the word ‘globalism’. Western Europe, since 1917 under US domination, now became nothing more than a laughable US vassal.
However, in 2016, with the events of Brexit, the election of a Non-establishment politician in the USA and the rejection by Italy of Brussels bureaucrats, there is hope that the Western world is also stepping back from the brink. Having peered over the precipice and seen hell, some at least are coming to their senses. What will 2017 bring? Of course, it may be that the events of 1916 are mere pauses before, lemming-like, the West continues its suicide, but it may be these events mark a sea-change. The West stands on the edge of the cliff, hesitantly. Political elites and their hireling-journalists, who obey hellish voices and destinies, are alarmed: they could lose their well-paid jobs Could the people be reclaiming their freedom despite their alleged manipulation into zombies by the Western media?
In Paris this weekend, a stone’s throw from the Eiffel Tower, Patriarch Kyrill consecrated the symbol of Holy Rus in the Western world, a new Christian Cathedral and spiritual centre. Jerusalem has come to Babylon. Will this help the Western world to come back to its senses and roots? By the grace of God, may it be so.