Some Orthodox are, understandably, worried by next week’s meeting between the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Pope of Rome. However, perhaps they listen too much to the CIA-paid hacks of the Western media who are already presenting the meeting as a kind of Russian Orthodox prostration before the Pope of Rome, on the orders of President Putin who is, apparently, desperate for any kind of contact with the West! Having recalled that at the Victory Day parade in Moscow on the 9 May the Russian President stood side by side with the leaders of China, India and many other lands, representing virtually the whole Non-Western world, the vast majority of humanity, we shall laugh our fill at the Western media. It is the G7 Western world that is isolated, bunkered up in Hitler’s Villa outside Munich as in June 2015. The meeting at Havana Airport between the Russian Orthodox Patriarch and the Pope of Rome, between the past and the future, between Old Rome and the Third Rome, will be successful, but only if the Pope of Rome comes with repentance. Why?
First of all this is the first meeting in history between a Russian Orthodox Patriarch and a Pope of Rome (though not with a Pope of Alexandria). Ignorant Western media point to the fifteenth-century meeting between the then Pope of Rome and Metropolitan Isidore at the so-called ‘Council’ of Florence. However that Metropolitan was not a Patriarch, he was not Russian and, above all, he was not Orthodox. The truth is that this meeting could be a turning-point for discredited Catholicism. It now has a chance to repent before the Russian Orthodox Church for the crime of Uniatism. Just as the Polish Pope, himself a quarter Uniat by descent, did apologize for the Crusaders’ barbaric sacking of New Rome in 1204 (800 years late!), so now this Latin American Pope of Rome has the opportunity to ask forgiveness (420 years late) of the Russian Orthodox world. It knows that as long as there exists a single Uniat, it is stabbing the Church in the back. The Vatican now has to start behaving as though it were Christian.
The Russian Orthodox world has never been against a meeting with the Pope of Old Rome, but it has always had to be on our terms, not from a position of humiliation, but from a position of authority. It could never have happened with the aggressive Polish Pope; with the penitent Pope Benedict it could have happened, only he was removed for being too close to Orthodoxy; now with this Pope there has come a chance. Both leaders are making pastoral visits to Latin America and Catholicism is facing the ‘battle of the millennia’ and needs the Church. Catholicism, heir to 2,000 years of history, now has a vital choice to make, to choose between the first millennium, which was Orthodox, and the second millennium which was Catholic-Protestant. In this third millennium, either it will choose to protestantize itself completely, or else at least a small part of it can choose the path of repentance and return to the Orthodox Church, supporting the Russian Orthodox defence of the Christian Middle East or siding with the anti-Christian post-Protestant West.
A generation ago, until 1991, the Russian Orthodox Church was for the main part viciously hounded by politicians and mockingly despised by Non-Orthodox. We well remember the 70s and 80s when we were forced to live in an almost ghetto-like situation; we were indeed the last of the Mohicans. Whether inside or outside Russia, we lived in the catacombs. At that time there were only 40 bishops in Russia and 5,000 clergy; today there are 361 bishops and some 40,000 clergy. There is no reason to think that those figures will not double over the next generation. The miracle happened with us. Through the prayers of the New Martyrs and Confessors of the Russian Lands, at that time the atheist regime of the countries of the Soviet Union collapsed by self-chosen dissolution, but also the Western world chose to descend into the pit of hell by self-chosen dissolution. Exactly a generation after these events, in 2016 we are now entering a new age, the generation where we come out of the catacombs and the ghetto and move onto the world stage.
Some may find it difficult to adapt to this; others who were never comfortable in the ghetto find it easier. But the fact is that for the first time in history a Pope of Rome is meeting a Russian Orthodox Patriarch. The Church moves centre stage. It may be that the Russian Orthodox Church can save at least parts of Roman Catholicism from Protestantization. Certainly, with last week’s canonization of the ROCOR hierarch and wonderworker, St Seraphim of Sofia, who first exposed the heresy of Bulgakov and then the heresy of Ecumenism, there is no doubt that the Russian Church has moved far on from the provincial Orthodoxy of the fringes who are still stuck in old-fashioned modernism. The Russian Orthodox Church now takes the lead in the Orthodox world and has turned the leadership of Orthodoxy from a US-run masonic affair into the voice of the Church. Not only that, but it also reclaims the Ukraine from the Nazi Uniat junta in Kiev, which may have only a few months to live.
Sunday of the New Martyrs and Confessors