Who will win the UK General Election on 8 June?

Of course we do not know. The opinion polls apparently suggest the Conservatives, but who trusts opinion polls? What is certain is that votes will be cast differently according to what part of the UK people live in.

In Northern Ireland, Catholics will, as usual, vote Catholic (pro-Ireland and pro-EU), Protestants will, as usual, vote Protestant (pro-UK and pro-Brexit).

In Scotland, pro-EU Scottish Nationalism may well have peeked. This means that Labour and the Conservatives may gain back some votes.

In Wales, only a few will vote Nationalist and only in the Welsh-speaking areas. Elsewhere Labour and the Conservatives will win votes.

In England, the Conservatives are trusted to negotiate a good Brexit deal and to tighten security in the face of the terrorist threat that has largely been brought to this country by the anti-Muslim policies of successive governments. After all, the latter were a few years ago quite happy to encourage Muslims to leave this country and as ‘moderate terrorists’ fight against the democratically-elected governments of Syria and Libya, which were so hated by the British Establishment. However, as a Party renowned for social injustice, ruining the police force and the prison service (done under the then Home Secretary Theresa May), and threatening the mere existence of the social system, the grossly underfunded health service, and wasting even more billions on Offence (cynically called Defence) in their new Cold War, can we really vote for them?

The Labour Party is led by a 1970s hippy-style, ex-Marxist idealist, who never quite grew up, and divided between many supporters of its leader and 200 purely Blairite (left-wing Conservative) and so treasonous Members of Parliament. As the Party of Social Justice, everybody likes the Labour promises of money for everything, as against mean Conservative cuts, but how will its promises be paid for? Labour has a long-established reputation for regularly bankrupting the country with fantasy economics. And can Labour be trusted to deliver Brexit and security?

Alternatively, there are various protest parties, such as the Liberal Democrats (an effete, politically correct, pro-EU group for the very middle-class and upper middle-class), UKIP (the anti-EU protest party, which most now consider is finished in the post-Brexit world) and the Greens. It is possible that all of these groups will be wiped out in what is in reality a straightforward two-horse race.

Some people, in disgust, will no doubt spoil their vote. Three Orthodox have told me that they will vote for Vladimir Putin…….

On the Resurrection of Europe: The Message of the Christian Empire to Europe

There was once a Christian Empire. At the far Western tip of the Eurasian Continent, Europe was an integral part of that Empire, giving birth to the light of ten thousand saints to combat and defeat native European darkness. This was Holy Europe. But Europe fell away from those saints, that ideal of holiness and its Empire, replacing holiness with the darkness of idolatry, out of envy not tolerating that it was not at the centre of the Empire. In revolt and falling back into its old darkness, Europe successively laid waste to both centres of the Christian Empire, New Rome in 1204 and the Third Rome in 1917, slaughtering even the Russian Ruling Family, who were Europeans. To allow them to be killed, on orders from New York, was suicide for Europe, but as for the Christian Empire, it miraculously survived.

Now, one hundred years on, in 2017, Europe is at a turning-point. Will the yearnings of Old Europe be heard or will the New Europe, atheized and so homogenized, altogether wipe out the Old Europe of the saints and their heritage of holiness? The message of what survives of the Christian Empire, of Russian Orthodoxy, to Europe is that its Resurrection, the salvation of the best of Old Europe, that which is compatible with the Church, is still possible. Once Europe was Holy Europe, just as the Russian Lands were Holy Rus. The Saints of the Russian Lands speak to Europe and the Saints of Europe speak back to the Russian Lands. The Russian Orthodox message to Europe is to give it back the Orthodox Trinitarian commandments in order to save it. These Trinitarian commandments are:

Faith: To keep faith with the integrity of Orthodox Christianity, avoiding manmade substitutes, mere religions, recent constructs of the fallen mind.

Sovereignty: To be loyal to the Incarnation of the Faith in the Christian Empire, rejecting manmade substitutes, false and idolatrous empires based on envy.

The People: To respect the gifts and restore the destinies of each individual European people, inasmuch as they are inspired by the Holy Spirit.

From north to south, passing from Oslo to Madrid, from west to east, passing from Dublin to Vienna, passing over the centre of the Cross in Paris, we make the sign of the Cross over Europe and entrust it to the Church of God. It is our belief that we are approaching the end of the world and that that end will come, if another Christian Emperor is not soon restored. And for the Tsar to be restored, we require the Cross of Repentance in the west, Return in the east, Redemption in the north, Rebirth in the south, and so Resurrection in the centre. And if the Tsar is not restored, then the Tsar of Tsars will come.

METROPOLITAN ISAIAH: WE WILL NOT FOLLOW THE ANTI-CHRISTIAN INSTRUCTIONS FROM EUROPE

Limassol, 1 June 2017

The website Agionoros.ru. reports that in Cyprus on 28 May, in front of a large audience, an evening meeting was organized by the local Metropolia to coincide with the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople, ‘the Acropolis of Orthodoxy’, on 28 May 1453.

The local Metropolitan Isaiah said that the new Franks (modern Western Europeans) were trying with new laws and the spread of heretical teachings to uproot ‘all that is holy from the souls of contemporary Greeks and to deprive Greece of Christ’. He added: ‘However much the occupiers try, we will not surrender and accept the plans and memoranda of the international creditors and the anti-Christian, immoral and neo-liberal instructions from Europe’.

Counter-Globalization

Western Europe was saved from its suicidal folly by the United States of America twice, in 1917 and again a generation later in 1942, thus ending both insane European Wars. This is why, until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the word globalization was little used and people called spades spades and spoke of Americanization. This Americanization, only now known by the codeword globalization, has produced a threefold backlash – from Sunni Muslim, Indian and Chinese nationalism.

Chinese nationalism (known as Communism, which is another word for Chinese State Capitalism) is now rich enough to arm itself, long ago took over Tibet and is now taking over the South China Sea, eyeing the mineral resources of Black Africa and Australia. Indian, or Hindu, nationalism, will expand wherever it can, but is above all strong inside Hindustan/India. As for Sunni Muslim nationalism, funded by immensely wealthy and, ironically, Western-backed, Wahhabite Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is intensely fanatical and violent. Notably, it has financed and equipped the murderous invasion of secular-governed Syria by tens of thousands of foreign ISIS terrorists.

None of these nationalist movements is, however, equipped to oppose globalization, for their interests are only local and do not extend outside their areas of national and nationalist interest. None has any global reach or moral force. In reality, there is one only set of values that is universal and express moral values and so are equipped to oppose globalization. We are now seeing intense opposition to that set of values by those who are attacking President Trump. By attacking Trump I refer to the present power struggle in Washington between the neocon appointees of the atheist Clinton/Bush/Obama faction, called by some ‘The Deep State’, and ‘America First’ nationalists like Trump.

For the neocons anything that Trump does is directly dictated to him by Russia. The absurdity of this and all their associated slanders is apparent to all, except to the neocon faction and its media like The New York Times, The Washington Post and puppet neocon TV channels. However, it is still significant that the neocon faction has picked on Russia as the origin of Trump’s values and policies. Since the Soviet Union and its failed Western materialist values disappeared into history a generation ago, why do they choose Russia as the origin of anti-neocon values? It is for the simple reason that post-Soviet Russia, which has gradually been returning to its roots, is now more and more being guided by Christian values, which are so detested by the neocons.

The neocons do not want Christian spirituality and morality, they do not want normality: they want the anarchic permissiveness of social liberalism and law of the jungle economic globalism. If social and family life decays into amorality and depravity, it matters little to them, because they are making money from the misfortunes of others and, as they live in their ghettoes for the individualistic rich, ‘there is no such thing as society’ anyway. And if American workers lose their jobs to China and turn to depravity, drugs and alcohol, it matters little to them, because they are the ones who are getting massive profits from China and from the trade in depravity, drugs and alcohol.

They hate Christian values because these values contradict their way of life which is based on Mammon, capital, money, monetarism, not on God. The Gospel itself opposes God and mammon. The fact that Trump, even if weakly or hypocritically, appears to be backing a set of incarnational Christian values, Faith, Nation and Family, utterly opposed to theirs, means that they automatically see contemporary Russia as the source of these values. This is not because Trump has been directly inspired by Russia, but because he simply reflects a set of normal values which have their origins in the same source as contemporary Russian Orthodox values: the Gospel of Christ. And that is the connection between Trump and Russia, not a direct one, but an indirect one.

Actions Have Consequences

After the huge success of Tsar Nicholas’ 1916 offensive against the Austro-Hungarians (known to post-1917 history as the Brusilov offensive) which could have taken Vienna (29 years before it happened in a very different way in 1945), Western capitals decided on regime-change in Russia. As the British Prime Minister Lloyd George stated in the London Parliament after the success of the British-orchestrated 1917 coup, ‘we have achieved one of our war aims’, for rival Russia had to be destroyed. However, in usurping the legitimate Russian government of Tsar Nicholas by backing corrupt aristocrats and stupid intellectuals, the West created for itself the Soviet Union, its greatest enemy. Actions have consequences.

Sadly, Western powerbrokers have learned nothing from their mistakes. Thus, in 1960s and 1970s Vietnam, their support of ultra-corrupt Vietnamese led to the victory of Communism there. In the 1990s, their crass mishandling of Yugoslavia produced the terrorist and mafia enclave of Kosovo. More recently, in the Ukraine, where again the West usurped a democratically-elected government and replaced it with a clique of oligarchs who are bleeding the country dry, the impoverished country faces a war against the regime’s own people, a massive refugee problem, endemic corruption and bankruptcy. Actions have consequences.

Western support of corrupt Afghans and Iraqis has killed and maimed and forced to flee millions, given birth to corrupt puppet regimes in both countries that have little control over their countries outside their capitals, destabilized the whole of the Middle East, especially Libya and Syria, and produced ISIS. Now an insane terrorist, prepared precisely in Libya and Syria, has struck Manchester. Former British Prime Ministers Blair (who helped ruin Afghanistan and Iraq and so Syria) and Cameron (who helped bomb Libya back into the Stone Age) must take responsibility. Actions have consequences.

Forgiving, but not Forgetting

Another appalling Muslim terrorist incident, this time in Manchester, has taken the lives of over twenty young people. Some ask, ‘Why is that Muslims always carry out such attacks?’ The question is false. True, certain Muslims do carry out such attacks, but so also do Shintoist Japanese kamikaze (suicide bombers), as well as warped Fascist White supremacists, like Breivik in Norway (77 dead) and McVeigh in Oklahoma (168 dead).

The fact is that all religions and ideologies that do not have forgiveness as their central tenet are capable of producing fanatics who carry out mass murder. This includes unforgiving Western State terrorists, who carry out carpet bombing, atomize Hiroshima and Nagasaki, spread Agent Orange and fire uranium-tipped shells into Serbia and invade Iraq, all exemplified by the US general, Curtis LeMay, to whom is at least attributed the quote, ‘let us bomb them back into the Stone Age’.

What is the unique Christian attitude? It is to forgive, because God is in charge of judging history, not men, and God forgives, otherwise He would not have died for humanity on the Cross. Thus, Roman Catholics pillaged and raped their way through New Rome (Constantinople), invaded Russia with their Teutonic Knights and created Uniatism in the Ukraine, from which thousands of people are still dying today, and seventy-five years ago slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Serbs just for making the sign of the cross correctly. But we forgive them because a Higher Justice will deal with them. We tremble at the mere thought of hellfire.

However, we do not forget. The facts of history are the facts of history. They cannot be altered – to the eternal shame of all those who commit such atrocities, like those above. We do not forget because there is only one mistake that we human-beings can avoid, and that is, the mistake of not learning from our mistakes and so making the same mistake again.

The Orthodox: The Ultimate Recusants

In British history recusants were Roman Catholics who in Elizabethan England and afterwards remained loyal to ‘the Old Faith’, refusing to attend the ‘modernist’ Anglican Church (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recusancy). For them the head of the Church could never be the King or Queen of England, but only the Pope of Rome, whatever illusory external trappings of Catholicism the Church of England may have retained.

From an Orthodox viewpoint we may have some sympathy for recusants in their battle against anti-sacral, boring, reductionist Protestantism, but the fact is that they remained loyal not to Orthodoxy, but to an already corrupted form of Orthodoxy, to medieval Catholicism. Although faithfulness is a virtue, we always have to ask ‘faithfulness to what? This is also true of ‘contemporary Catholic recusants’.

By these I mean those traditionalist Catholics who reject the Second Vatican Council of the 1960s and its protestantizing tenets. We may have some sympathy for them, but to what do they remain faithful? To the anti-Orthodox tenets of pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism? And all too often, let it be said, to a very right-wing form of politics that can have sinister echoes in 20th century Western European history.

The fact is that Orthodox in the West are the ultimate recusants. We are faithful to the genuine ‘Old Faith’, that which predates eleventh-century invented Roman Catholicism, we are faithful to the Church of God. We are faithful to God and not to man and his essentially filioquist and so secularist desire to replace the Divine, paradisiac and sinless Holy Spirit with the human, fallen and sinful unholy spirit.

Crete

Last June’s meeting of some Orthodox bishops in Crete, ‘representatives’ of 20% of the Orthodox world, served only to produce schism in its Balkan corner. It left the fifteen million members of the six small Greek Churches (Constantinople, Greece, its Albanian satellite, Cyprus, Alexandria and Jerusalem), fragments of the ethnic Greek Empire that long ago disappeared and which in fact are only one, as well as the Churches of Romania and Serbia, bitterly divided between Orthodox and modernists. Since three of these eight Local Churches have US-appointed Patriarchs, this is hardly surprising.

On the other hand, it brought the mainstream of the Syrian/Lebanese Church of Antioch (in reality the Church of Damascus) much closer to the Russian Orthodox Church, which is 75% of the Orthodox world. The Churches of Georgia and Bulgaria were already close. As for the representatives of the small Local Churches of Poland and of the Czechs and Slovaks, although present in Crete, everyone knows that in reality they are merely fragments of the pre-1917 Russian Empire and so of the Russian Church, and so they can ignore anything that went on there.

The meeting in Crete made clear that those Orthodox who, it seems, are Orthodox only by reason of their nationality, who have fallen to Western humanist delusions (nowadays called ‘personalism’) are in danger of falling away from Orthodoxy altogether. Their essentially filioquist and so secularist desire to replace the Divine, the paradisiac and sinless Holy Spirit, with the human, the fallen and sinful human spirit, is leading them out of the Church. Therefore, this meeting was a catalyst, inasmuch as it means that the Orthodox must once and for all clearly define what the Church is. It must also define how the heterodox both fall outside Her and yet also, consciously or else by passive inertia, still preserve some vestiges of Her heritage. And it is this that leads them to labour under the delusion that their vestiges are Christianity.

There is then need for a genuine Church Council, gathering all fourteen Local Orthodox Churches with their 650 or so Orthodox bishops, including the 350 of the Russian Church, in order to define dogmatically the ecclesiology of the Church. These fathers can build on the theological foundations already laid, notably by St Hilarion (Troitsky) and St Justin (Popovich). This Council must anathematize not only the heresy of ecumenism, but also that of phyletism. For these heresies are closely interconnected, as those who confine the Church of God exclusively to a single race and language (phyletism) are by definition also utterly indifferent to dogma. It is precisely on account of this dogmatic indifference that they are willing to compromise the Church with any fashionable secular dogma, which promises money and power to those who are nostalgic for the money and power that they lost in the distant past.

May 2017: The Third Episcopal Visit to our New Diocese

The reborn Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland of the Church Outside Russia has received its third episcopal visit in four months, this time one made by Bishop Irenei of Sacramento, accompanied by the Myrrh-Giving Hawaiian Iveron Icon. The backlog of outstanding pastoral problems dating back many years has been further shortened and two more priests ordained, as requested fifteen months ago. However, the list of candidates for ordination is lengthening, with six more in the Colchester parish alone. With us local Orthodox having been visited by a bishop twice in the previous twenty years for a few short hours only, we have now been visited by a bishop twice in four months and for days each time.

Each recent visit to the Diocese has been much, much longer than any in the previous thirty years. Thus, on Saturday 13 May there took place the first ever Diocesan pilgrimage to St Albans. This was attended by about 200 faithful, a great many of whom took communion in front of the very fragrant Icon. There followed a service of intercession to St Alban in front of his holy relics. Then Vladyka was taken to Colchester where he was shown the main church, dedicated to our former Archbishop St John of Shanghai (+ 1966), which is the largest Russian Orthodox church in the British Isles and Ireland. He also visited the second (winter) church, dedicated to All the Saints of these Isles. There followed the Vigil Service in the main church.

On the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, at the Divine Liturgy took place a long-awaited tonsure and priestly ordination, the first ever to take place in the Colchester parish. Communion was, as usual, out of two chalices, all four priests in this multinational parish, English, New Zealand, Romanian and Bulgarian, three of whom have come in the last year, two of whom have been ordained in the last two months, concelebrating with Vladyka. The Icon streamed myrrh and an accompanying monk commented that he had never seen so much myrrh given out by the Icon, literally dripping with it, which is a great consolation after so many years. After this, all ate in the Church Hall and then we visited a retired and ill priest who lives to the east of Colchester.

On Monday 15 May Vladyka visited the site of St Botolph’s seventh-century monastery in picturesque and remote Iken, whose thatched church particularly impressed him. Having read the canon to the saint, we then went on to Dunwich and its museum, where we ate. Then we headed for Burgh Castle, behind whose high Roman walls once probably stood St Fursey’s monastery. Vladyka then made his way to St Alexander Nevsky parish church in Norwich for a service of intercession to the Mother of God at 5.00 with all of the flock who were able to get away from work. Then there was tea in the parish kitchen, after which Vladyka went on to the private chapel at Mettingham in the north of Suffolk for another service.

During his ten-day visit Vladyka was able to visit other parishes, in London, Birkenhead, Cheltenham and Oxford, as well as the parish in Cardiff in Wales. It is our great hope that he will return in August to visit others, especially the parishes in Ireland, perhaps accompanied again by the extraordinary and previously little-known miraculous Iviron Icon from Hawaii. As we desperately need a monastery in our diocese, we hope that he could help found one for our English monks. However, our greatest and long-held hope is that he will come and live here permanently, uniting Russian Orthodox of all nationalities in these islands.

On Authority, Infallibility, Personal Opinion, Episcopal Corruption and the Russian Emigration

Answers to Four Recent Questions

As you have no Pope, where is the infallible authority of the Orthodox Church?

N.G., Oxford

The Church’s authority is the Holy Spirit. Infallibility, restricted in Catholicism to the Popes of Rome when they speak ex cathedra, that is, from their position as Pope, can be expressed by anyone if they speak and are inspired by the Holy Spirit. This is much more democratic than in the Roman Catholic religion that you confess – however, this is no Protestant/’Charismatic’ free for all.

First of all, the gift of speaking through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit requires great spiritual sobriety and is a rare occurrence, demanding spiritual purity in the soul, based on the repentance, humility and ascetic life (fasting and prayer), which is at the heart of Church life. There is no authority without humility, repentance and ascetic self-sacrifice. The Holy Spirit cannot inspire where there is spiritual impurity and worldliness, as we recently saw in Crete.

Nevertheless, all the saints have spoken through the Holy Spirit at some point in their lives, even if only at their martyrdom. This authority is often recognized only after the event, which is why people are not canonized immediately and the saints are often rejected during their lifetimes. We can think of the cases of St Leo the Great, whose message, written some time before, was at once recognized at Chalcedon as the voice of the Church, of St Mark of Ephesus, who defended Orthodoxy through his integrity or, more recently, St Justin (Popovich), who gave us the definitive Orthodox teaching on ecumenism. Christ spoke through them all by the Holy Spirit.

Everything else is personal opinion and has no validity or infallibility, like the opinions expressed at the Crete meeting of a number of Orthodox bishops in June 2016. These were at once rejected, including by many present, since they did not correspond to the catholic tradition and theological conscience of the Church, but came from philosophies like those of eccentric outliers who have infiltrated the Church with the support of secular politics and are inspired by the secular, humanist world.

If you are a member of the clergy, what do you do in cases of episcopal corruption, financial, moral or other?

P.V., Paris

If you are really sure that this is the case from personal experience, and it is not merely some slanderous gossip of ill-wishers and Cold War politicians (like the absurd slanders against the late Russian Patriarch Alexei II that he was a KGB agent!!!!, when he was in fact a KGB victim), in such cases you do what clergy have always done throughout the ages, in Greece, Russia, Romania or wherever – you ask to move sideways canonically. In other words, you move physically and spiritually to another canonical diocese of the Church, without of course creating some division or schism.

This you do in order to avoid compromising your morals and so spiritual life. In such cases of episcopal corruption, you should also discreetly supply proof of the corruption, if you have any, so that the bishop in question can be judged by his fellow-bishops, but this is only possible if they are politically free to do so.

Such cases of personal corruption are quite different from cases of heresy, where a bishop is openly, clearly and publicly preaching heresy, (and not just expressing some unusual personal opinion, with which you may happen to disagree), for example, if he is denying the Holy Trinity, that Christ is the Son of God, the Resurrection or the Virgin Birth.

What do you consider to have been the main two enemies of Orthodoxy in the Russian emigration?

B.M., Scotland

Without doubt the enemies of authentic and often saintly Russian Orthodox in the emigration were, firstly, Russian Westernism, such as I experienced infiltrating ROCOR in London and elsewhere and the Rue Daru group in Paris and elsewhere, and secondly Russian Nationalism in the same cities and elsewhere. The two went hand in hand and fed off each other. Both were acutely thisworldly in their ethos.

By Russian Westernism, I mean the sort of ‘anything goes’ liberalism preached by the Westernized Saint Petersburg aristocrats who were so influential in Russian émigré Church life in all jurisdictions, though in some much more than others, and had no idea of the Tradition. They after all had brought about the Revolution through their anti-Church and anti-monarchist spirit and their exile was in fact self-punishment.

By Russian Nationalism I mean the spirit of Russia first, Orthodoxy (at best) second. This was the spirit that I heard in parishes of all jurisdictions, saying, ‘We would rather close the parish than use a single word in the local language’ (which their children and grandchildren alone could understand). Naturally, dozens of parishes simply died out and closed down because the Faith was not passed on, because the confessed only a sort of exclusive racism. They had no idea of the high missionary calling of the Russian Diaspora.

As the two went hand in hand together, one to the left extreme, the other to the right extreme, the antidote to them both is exactly the same. It is to be an Imperial, that is, a Russian Orthodox, who is faithful to multinational and multilingual Holy Rus, which is the title of the Russian Orthodox Patriarchs of all nationalities. (For example, the last Patriarch ‘of All Rus’ was a Balt, whose surname was von Ridiger, and the present Patriarch is Mordovan).

What held you back the most as a Russian Orthodox clergyman in the old Russian emigration?

P. T., London

There were two basic ‘sins’ in the eyes of secular-thinking old Russian emigres whom I encountered in the 1970s and 1980s before they died out. The first was to be young (unlike them), the second was to be educated (unlike most of them).

Of course, the two criticisms could be valid. For example, the young may lack valuable experience and the educated may lack all-important wisdom. However, in the context of the time, that was not what their criticism was about. What was it about? Firstly, they were so used to having 80-year old bishops and priests, sometimes with Alzheimer’s, that they got used to stagnation and paralysis before their bishops and priests died out. And, secondly, they were so used to having ill-educated clergy, that they had no arguments against the modern, Non-Orthodox world, in which their descendants lived.

In a healthy Church we need young and old, energetic bishops and priests in their thirties (30 is the canonical minimum age for priests, 35 for bishops) as well as older, more experienced ones, as well as well-educated and not so educated bishops and priests – as long as they both have the wisdom of the heart, which is inspired by the Holy Spirit.