Tag Archives: Apostasy

Faith, power, money: Conflicting agendas in Ukraine Church politics

“Faith, power, money: Conflicting agendas in Ukraine Church politics” (Jatras, RT) Did the State Department use the financial scandal in the Greek Archdiocese funds collected for St. Nicholas church at WTC Ground Zero as leverage on the EP?
One of the most contentious and significant controversies in the world today is also one of the least-well understood.

In part, this is because it involves matters of faith and church governance, the importance of which many people, especially some of a secular mind who scorn mere “religion,” tend to underestimate.

That is a mistake, certainly with respect to the storm that seems on the verge of plunging Ukraine into a new cycle of violence. That may happen if, as seems quite possible, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople recognizes an “autocephalous” (completely self-ruling) Orthodox Church in Ukraine over the objections of the Russian Orthodox Church, of which the Ukrainian Church is an integral part.

This question is often misreported in the Western media as Constantinople’s response to a request from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for autocephaly. This is inaccurate. The only Ukrainian Orthodox body recognized as canonical by the rest of the Orthodox Christian world – even including Constantinople at this point – is the autonomous part of the Russian Orthodox Church under the authority of Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev, which is not asking for autocephaly.

So who is making such a request? People who have no authority to do so. This means first of all Ukrainian politicians, starting with President Petro Poroshenko (whose own Orthodox affiliation is subject to question), who evidently calculates that midwifing an independent Ukrainian national church completely divorced from Russia will enhance his re-election prospects next year. Not to be outdone, his rival, Yulia Tymoshenkoalso is in favor. These proponents of autocephaly are explicit that their goals are political. “Shortly, we will have an independent Ukrainian church as part of an independent Ukraine. This will create a spiritual independence from Russia,” Poroshenko told the Washington Post.

Also asking for autocephaly is so-called “Patriarch Filaret” Denysenko and his supposed Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the “Kiev Patriarchate,” which is recognized as canonical by exactly nobody. Denysenko, who was excommunicated by the Russian Orthodox Church in 1997, hopes that will change soon. Patriarch Bartholomew has dispatched to Ukraine two envoys (“exarchs”), one each from the US and Canada, to meet with Denysenko, possibly even to consecrate his “bishops” to give them supposedly valid status.

Unfortunately, there is also involvement from another direction by people whose agenda is entirely political. Western governments see a geopolitical opportunity in exacerbating an ecclesiastical crisis in Ukraine and pitting Constantinople against Moscow. Doing so, they believe, will undermine Russia’s geopolitical “soft power” through the Orthodox Church and further alienate Russians and Ukrainians from one another.

As explained by Valeria Z. Nollan, professor emerita of Russian Studies at Rhodes College, “The real goal of the quest for autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is a de facto coup: a political coup already took place in 2014, poisoning the relations between western Ukraine and Russia, and thus another type of coup – a religious one – similarly seeks to undermine the canonical relationship between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and Moscow. ”

The Western proponents are as crassly honest about the political aspects as the Ukrainian politicians. The German ambassador in Kiev, not known to have any particular theological acuity, opined in July, that autocephaly would strengthen Ukrainian statehood. The hyper-establishment Atlantic Council, which hosted Denysenko on a recent visit to Washington, notes“With the Russian Orthodox Church as the last source of Putin’s soft power now gone, Ukraine’s movement out of Russia’s orbit is irreversible.”

Likewise the US State Department, after a short period of appropriately declaring that “any decision on autocephaly is an internal church matter,” last week reversed its position and issued a formal statement“The United States respects the ability of Ukraine’s Orthodox religious leaders and followers to pursue autocephaly according to their beliefs. We respect the Ecumenical Patriarch as a voice of religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue.”

While avoiding a direct call for autocephaly, the statement gives the unmistakable impression of such endorsement, which is exactly how it was reported in the media, for example“US backs Ukrainian Church bid for autocephaly.” The State Department’s praise for the Ecumenical Patriarchate reinforces that clearly intended impression.

There may be more to the State Department’s position than meets the eye, however. According to an unconfirmed report originating with the members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (an autonomous New York-based jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate), in July of this year State Department officials (possibly including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo personally) warned the Greek Orthodox archdiocese (also based in New York but part of the Ecumenical Patriarchate) that the US government is aware of the theft of a large amount of money, about $10 million, from the budget for the construction of the Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas in New York (This is explained further below).

The warning also reportedly noted that federal prosecutors have documentary evidence confirming the withdrawal of these funds abroad on the orders of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. It was suggested that Secretary Pompeo would “close his eyes” to this theft in exchange for movement by the Patriarchate of Constantinople in favor of Ukrainian autocephaly, which helped set Patriarch Bartholomew on his current course.

Again, it must be emphasized that this report is unconfirmed, though one doesn’t see mainstream American media falling over themselves trying to track down the facts. The official statement of the Greek archdiocese does not report a personal one-on-one meeting between Pompeo and Archbishop Demetrios, but the message could have been communicated between subordinate personnel on both sides.

What lends the report an air of believability, however, is the depth of the scandal to which it refers. As few outside the Orthodox Christian community may recall, only one place of worship of any faith was destroyed on September 11, 2001, and only one building not part of the World Trade Center complex was completely destroyed in the attack. That was St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a small urban parish church established at the end of World War I and dedicated to St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, who is very popular with Greeks as the patron of sailors. The humble little church reportedly housed icons and relics donated to the parish by Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas II, none of which were recovered.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attack, and following a lengthy legal battle with the Port Authority, which opposed rebuilding the church, in 2011 the archdiocese launched an extensive campaign to raise funds for a brilliant innovative design by the renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava based on traditional Byzantine forms. Wealthy donors and those of modest means alike enthusiastically contributed to the effort. A major role was played by the archdiocesan women’s organization, the Ladies Philoptochos, who undertook it as a “sacred mission”“Together let us rebuild Saint Nicholas for all future generations, and for the many millions of people who will visit every year the new World Trade Center, the National September 11 Memorial Museum and our National Shrine, the only house of worship at Ground Zero.” By the end of 2017, almost $37 million had been raised and construction on this unique Orthodox Christian presence was proceeding apace.

Then – poof! – in December 2017 suddenly all construction was halted for lack of funds. Resumption would require on-hand an estimated $2 million. Despite the archdiocese calling in an audit by a major accounting firm, there’s been no clear answer to what happened to the money. Both the US Attorney and New York state authorities are investigating. There have been calls for Archbishop Demetrios’s resignation.

This is where we get back to Ukraine. If the State Department wanted to find the right button to push to spur Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to move on the question of autocephaly, the Greek archdiocese in the US is it. Let’s keep in mind that in his home country, Turkey, Patriarch Bartholomew has virtually no local flock – only a few hundred mostly elderly Greeks left huddled in Istanbul’s Fener district. Whatever funds the Patriarchate derives from other sources (the Greek government, the Vatican, the World Council of Churches), the financial lifeline is Greeks (including this writer) in what is still quaintly called the “Diaspora” in places like America, Australia, and New Zealand. And of these, the biggest cash cow is the Greek-Americans.

That’s why, when Patriarch Bartholomew issued a call in 2016 for what was billed as an Orthodox “Eighth Ecumenical Council” (the first one since the year 787!), the funds largely came from America, to the tune of up to $8 million according to this writer’s sources. Intended by some as a modernizing Orthodox Vatican II,” the event was doomed to failure by a boycott organized by Moscow over what the latter saw as Patriarch Bartholomew’s adopting papal or even imperial prerogatives – now sadly coming to bear in Ukraine. It’s an open question how much the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s shaking down the Greeks in the US to pay for extravagant boondoggles like the 2016 “Council” contributed to the financial mess at the New York archdiocese, which in turn may have opened them up to pressure from the State Department to get moving on Ukraine.

Finally, while the Ukraine controversy does largely involve politicians’ agendas and a struggle for supremacy between Constantinople and Moscow, it is not entirely devoid of moral and spiritual significance. It should be noted that among the most ardent nominally Orthodox advocates of Ukrainian autocephaly are groups of American academics like the purveyors of moral and sexual LGBT and genderqueer ideology “Orthodoxy in Dialogue” and the hardly less revolutionary “Orthodox Christian Studies Center at New York’s Fordham University.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue recently issued a call – accompanied by a pairing of an Orthodox cross with LGBT rainbow symbolism – to bishops in all US Orthodox jurisdictions to curtail their anti-abortion witness and adopt the immoral sexual agendas that have wrought havoc in the Western confessions, a call that should receive a sharp condemnation from the hierarchs.

No one – and certainly not this writer – should accuse Patriarch Bartholomew, most Ukrainian politicians, or even the fake patriarch Denysenko of sympathizing with such anti-Orthodox values. But the converse is not true. These advocates know they cannot advance their goals if the conciliar and traditional structure of Orthodoxy remains intact. Thus they welcome efforts by Constantinople to centralize power while throwing the Church into discord, especially the Russian Church, which is vilified in some Western circles precisely because it is a global beacon of traditional Christian moral witness.

This aspect points to another reason for Western governments to support Ukrainian autocephaly as a spiritual offensive against Russia and Orthodoxy. The post-Maidan leadership harp on the “European choice the people of Ukraine supposedly made in 2014, but they soft-pedal the accompanying moral baggage the West demands, symbolized by “gay”marches organized over Christian objections in Orthodox cities like Athens, Belgrade, Bucharest, Kiev, Odessa, Podgorica, Sofia, and Tbilisi. Even under the Trump administration, the US is in lockstep with our European Union friends in pressuring countries liberated from communism to adopt such “European values.”

Ukrainians especially need to ask themselves why Western governments are so happy to cheer on developments that could plunge the Orthodox Church into worldwide schism, and Ukraine into another round of fratricidal violence. The unedifying behind-the-scenes machinations, many details of which remain under wraps, should give them further pause.

Bishops of the Church of Greece Condemn the Anti-Christian EU

The extracts below show that some in Greece are at long last waking up to the inevitable destruction of their country by the EU and coming persecution. However, this is only the beginning. Other formerly Orthodox, new calendar countries like Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, which are also selling their souls for the EU mess of pottage, failing to heed the warnings of the spiritual forces in their countries, now face having to introduce exactly the same policies as apostatic Greece just has, probably in 2016. If Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova and the Ukraine are also spiritually feeble enough to fall into EU apostasy, the first stage of which is violently enforcing the Catholic-Protestant calendar and joining the US-run NATO, they too will inevitably have to institute anti-Christian laws.

Athens, 17 December 17 2015

Metropolitan Ignatios of Larisa and Tyrnavos:

“Sin is being officially legalized in our country… Homosexuality…leads people to inevitable spiritual death… The politicians are following the stench coming from “civilized” countries which before us recognized that black is white, that bitter is sweet, and that unlawful is lawful…

Thus, “Let us attend”. “Let us lift up our hearts”. This is Orthodox Greece. This is our treasure. They envy us and intend to take this treasure from us. Let us not fall into this trap! Let us not be traitors!”

Metropolitan Pavlos of Sisanion and Siatista:

“Perhaps it is time to close our doors before those ‘politicians’ who visit us allegedly for respect, but in reality for populist purposes?

“Does anyone sincerely believe that the Church can betray its eternal values and adapt to the momentary needs of each historical era?

“The undeniable right of the Church is to bear witness to the truth. And homosexuality is inconsistent with Church life.

“Gentlemen of the government! Perhaps tomorrow you are going to demand that the Church accepts bestiality and pedophilia? Some expect that as soon as ‘the Free Cohabitation Law’ is adopted, you will be forced to legalize pedophilia.

“Europe will put pressure on you. And you are ready to do anything. Do you really think that we will ever agree with this?”

Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus:

“The adoption of the new law is officially opening the page of state persecutions against our faith. The politicians shamelessly refer to the European consensus concerning legalization of sodomy, but they conceal the fact that post-Christian Europe has become Sodom and Gomorrah. Persecutions are approaching. We will be threatened, we will be reviled, we will probably be imprisoned and murdered. But we must remain faithful even unto death. We ought to obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29), remembering that In the world you shall have tribulation (Jn 16:33), because the world hates you, for the Lord has chosen you out of the world (Jn 15:18-19). And we should not forget the words: And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul (Mt 10:28).

“On behalf of the Holy Metropolis of Piraeus we officially announce to all the politicians who will vote for legalization of the moral insanity, that all contact with them will be stopped.”

The West is Alienated from Christ and Therefore Intolerant

Many people worldwide have been amazed at the Western indifference and even hostility to the plight of massacred and fleeing Christians in Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Syria and now in the Ukraine. There, 55,000 refugees have fled to Russia in the last 24 hours from the devilish massacres by foreign mercenaries of the Christian people of the Ukraine. The neo-Nazi junta in Kiev, under strict Western control, sends in tanks, murders and maims Christians, refusing to talk to its own people.

Where do this intolerance and hatred for Christianity come from? Surely the West supports Christianity? It used to. And why does President Obama meddle in the UK’s possible decision to leave the atheist EU and Scotland’s possible decision to leave the atheist UK? Why does he threaten and intimidate even Western peoples? Where does this bullying arrogance come from? These riddles have today been answered by the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov.

As reported by the Interfax Religion agency and the sedmitza.ru website, the Russian Orthodox Foreign Minister considers that the West has become antagonistic to Russia because of its return to the Church of Christ. He noted the Russian amazement that the West still equates the Russian Federation with the atheist Soviet Union, whereas ‘the new Russia is returning to traditional spiritual values, rooted in Orthodoxy’.

At the same time, he noted that the ever clearer contradiction ‘between the multipolarity of the world which can be objectively affirmed, and the desire of the USA and the historic West to hang on to their habitual positions of domination, the ever clearer contradiction between the cultural and civilizational diversity of the contemporary world and attempts to foist Western values on everyone’. He added that the West ‘is increasingly breaking away from its own Christian roots and is less and less receptive to the religious feelings of people of other confessions’.

The World That Was Lost in 1917

Tell them that the evil that is in the world will grow, but it is not evil that will triumph, but only love.

Holy Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II

The Emperor and Empress thought that they were dying for their Homeland. In fact, they died for all mankind.

Pierre Gilliard

Introduction: 1917 the Turning Point

It is often said that the world was lost with the outbreak of the First World War in 1914. This is not accurate. In fact, the world was lost in 1917 and since then has been plunged into suffering and continual warfare. For the real aim of the First World War, the aim of the Satanic Manipulator behind all the petty aims of his human puppets, was not to find a solution to the tribal, territorial disputes of kindred but rival peoples at the tiny, western end of Eurasian Continent, but to destroy the vast Eurasian Russian Orthodox Empire and its Tsar. This Heartland-Empire stood for the averting of wars, spiritual life, unity and balance; therefore it had to be slandered so that it could be destroyed. It alone stood in the way of what the technologically advanced but spiritually dwarfed Western peoples chose to describe as ‘universal progress’. This ‘universal progress’, since 1917 unchecked by the Russian Empire and its Tsar, is the history of all the wars and catastrophes of the last 100 years.

Above East and West

The symbol of the vast Russian Orthodox Empire, the double-headed eagle, combined East and West. This was and is the symbol of Christ worldwide. Thus, with its western borders peaceful and stabilised for many years, the Tsar and the Empire embarked on the Great Asian Plan to secure the Pacific coasts of Siberia, ensuring the security of Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea and fragile China against rapacious Japan with its British and American financed military machine and British-built Navy. It was this Japan that stabbed the Empire in the back, as, ironically, it later did America and Britain. Elsewhere in Asia the Empire supported the sovereignty of Afghanistan, Tibet and Siam (Thailand), and in Africa, Ethiopia and South Africa. And, most importantly, it supported the Orthodox Christians of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, the Middle East and especially the Holy Land. The Empire stood above and united East and West; it was universal, which is why our own salvation is in her salvation.

Above Left and Right

The Sovereign Monarch towered above the petty combats of self-interested political parties and the vainglorious personality politics of corrupt parliamentarianism. Only the Anointed Sovereign had a vision beyond left and right and saw the whole. Only he was strong-willed and independent enough to reign and responsible to God for the well-being of the Empire. He had to fight both against leftist terrorists and decadent and hugely wealthy aristocrats, including members of his own extended family. These latter, because they already had immense riches which their hard hearts would not give to the poor, wanted the power of the Sovereign for their own futile and vainglorious ends, and so overthrew the whole Empire, whose destiny was also that of the betrayed Tsar. Thus, they handed all to the ruthless and terroristic atheists, who thought that they could create a paradise on earth if only they could seize power by violence, however many millions they might have to kill in the process.

Above Provincialism and Degeneration

The best of the Church of the Russian Orthodox Empire was international, stretching around the world into the Americas and Western Europe. It stood above petty Balkan nationalism and its provincial Greek phyletism, not to mention the warring tribalism of Western Europe, which the Empire had tried to overcome with peace-making at the Hague. The Orthodox Rus’ of the Empire was international. The aims of the First World War that had been imposed on the Empire became to free others, Germans, Poles, Czechoslovaks and Serbs, from centralised tyranny, and to gather all the Orthodox Christian lands, including Constantinople and Carpatho-Russia, together. The Royal Family, European and Orthodox, stood above such provincialism and the spiritual and so moral degeneration linked to it. The family life of the Sovereign was exemplary and showed elegance, purity and beauty, a model for family life today; they prayed together, they became saints together, an icon of the family.

An Unbalanced World led to the ‘Balance of Terror’ of Left and Right

In 1917 the traitors took Russia out of the First World War and so the world became unbalanced. The old hope of Nicholas II of allying Russia, Germany and France in peace was for ever lost. And the immediate results were the USA entering the war, taking over decadent Europe, and Zionism triumphing with the support of the bankrupt British government. This has since ensured permanent warfare between the West and the Muslim world. The result was then the disaster of Versailles, which directed its vengeance against the misled German peoples, who had lost their homelands, instead of the centralising Prussian elite. Europe did not learn the lesson of its attempted suicide and so the Second World War was made inevitable. The world became divided between Left and Right, East and West, Communist and Fascist, and even after the Second War, it went on to live for almost another fifty years in terror of being obliterated by nuclear warfare, the costs of which were bankrupting.

Provincialisation and Degeneration

Two sayings state that ‘united we stand, divided we fall’ and ‘divide and rule’. The ‘Balkanisation’ of division has been exactly the policy of today’s anti-Orthodox Powers. Thus, Constantinople, like other ancient but tiny Patriarchates, has since 1917 become a Western-controlled puppet and the once Orthodox or partly Orthodox Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria, Baltic States, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland have now lost their sovereignty and enslaved themselves to EU colonialism and economic, spiritual and so moral degeneration. Today the heavily Polonised, heavily Uniatised, Galician-centred westernmost borderlands, the western 20% of the ‘Ukraine’, for the moment belonging to the real Europe of Orthodoxy, seek slavery to the same, false, anti-Orthodox ‘Europe’ of the US-founded ‘European Union’. The broken family life of the provincial and degenerate EU is anti-exemplary and shows vulgarity, impurity and ugliness; it is an anti-icon of the family.

Conclusion: Treason and Cowardice and Deceit

The Tsar-Martyr, from whom the elite and then the people abdicated, said: ‘All around – treason and cowardice and deceit’. These are the anti-Trinity that destroyed the Russian Empire and led to his triumphal martyrdom and that of millions of Russian Orthodox Christians. Tsar Nicholas faced the treason and cowardice of unprincipled, anti-Orthodox aristocrats, who had lost their faith, and of left-wing terrorists, and the deceit of the Western Powers who, Allies on paper, rejoiced at his downfall. However, all have been punished: the left-wing terrorists betrayed and killed each other; the faithless, anti-Orthodox aristocrats were shot, exiled and chose schism; and the Western Powers, colonised by their colonies, deceived themselves and are now dying powerless. None of the above three groups has so far been able to recognise the Tsar as a saint, for to do so would mean repenting for all their errors and lies of the last 100 years and more – and they are too proud to do that.

Saint Petersburg, Vienna, Paris: The Vestiges of Europe a Century on

When he was illegally deposed in 1917, the anointed Tsar-Prophet Nicholas II recorded that all around him were ‘treason and cowardice and deceit’. With these words he defined the attitude towards him of the elites of three nations and groups of nations and with these words he defined the whole history of the coming hundred years.

In speaking of treason, he referred to the majority of the Westernised upper classes in Saint Petersburg, who hated the Russian Faith and were so jealous of the Tsar that they blasphemously sought to seize his sacred authority for themselves, thus destroying their country and condemning themselves to death or exile, where many of them later apostasised from the Russian Church altogether.

In speaking of cowardice, he referred to the government in Vienna, and behind it in Berlin, which had sparked off the First World War through cowardice, the fear of granting justice to their peoples, and thus destroyed their countries, their empires and their monarchies, condemning them to abolition and themselves to collapse by 1945.

In speaking of deceit, he referred to Paris, and behind it London and Washington, who though supposed ‘Allies’, had hypocritically undermined Russia, even after the sacrifices of the Russian Armies, who had faced twice as many enemy soldiers and lost far fewer of their own than the Western Allies, miraculously saving Paris on the Marne in 1914 and the forces on the Western Front several times after this. By operating the palace revolution in Russia in early 1917, the Western Allies would bankrupt themselves, becoming colonies of foreign bankers in the USA.

Saint Petersburg, Vienna and Paris are the three centres of the old European culture.

Miraculously delivered and rebuilt after the destruction of Bolshevik atheism and of the later Nazi siege, Saint Petersburg still stands firm because of its Orthodox culture. Vienna, like Berlin, is much weakened, supported only by the vestiges of Orthodox culture feebly conserved in Catholicism. For the same reason Paris is even weaker – though not as weak as London and Washington, which have only the feeble vestiges of Catholicism, feebly conserved in secularist Protestantism.

Today in 2013, one hundred years on from 1913, the year before Europe fulfilled its death wish, the question is this:

Does Europe really want its new culture of atheist Apostasy, with its tyranny and perverted values, or does Europe still want its old culture of believing Tradition, with its freedom and Christian values?

The victory of the old culture of believing Tradition, however unlikely it may seem, is possible, but only if Europe refers back to its spiritual roots. This is why we Orthodox are being called on to gather together not only the faithful remnants among the peoples of Europe, but also to gather together the saints of Old Europe, who were faithful to Orthodoxy, so that they may intercede for Europe and for us. However, little time remains, for, as prophesied, all around are ‘treason and cowardice and deceit’.

The Stumbling-Block and the Foolishness of Millennial Western Cultural Prejudice

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
(Matt 5, 8)

But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness.
(I Cor I, 23)

The culture of Western Europe began as Orthodox Christian. The history of the first millennium AD confirms this bold but factual statement. Thus, the Apostles Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome, an event followed by the martyrdom of thousands of others in Rome and all over Western Europe, veneration of whom is fundamental to the Orthodox Church. Thus, there are great Orthodox Church Fathers in the West, such as St Irinaeus of Lyons, St Cyprian of Carthage, St Hilary of Poitiers, St Ambrose of Milan, St Vincent of Lerins, St Leo of Rome and St Gregory the Dialogist. Thus, Orthodox monasticism from Egypt and Palestine entered into European life through those like St Martin of Tours, St John Cassian, St Benedict of Nursia and St Columba of Iona. Thus, the whole territory of Western Europe, Portugal and Spain, Italy and France, Switzerland and Austria, Germany and the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Britain and Ireland, Denmark and Sweden, Norway and Iceland, became patterned by monasteries and churches and their Orthodox Christian life and the place names they left behind them.

Of course, there was another element in Western culture – the paganism of the pagan Rome Empire and of the pagan Celtic, Latin and Germanic peoples. This element always existed in the first millennium, alongside the Orthodox Christian one. However, this does not explain the reasons why the descendants of the once Christianised peoples of Western Europe are so little drawn to the Orthodox Church of today.

For this we can identify three reasons. The first is that many Western people may not live anywhere near an Orthodox church. Until very recently, there were very few Orthodox churches in Western Europe outside the capitals and major cities. The second reason is that even when such churches do exist, they may cater only for foreign-language immigrant communities, who consider that their task is precisely to conserve their foreign language and customs, which are not to be watered down with a local language. It must be said, however, that, whatever the excuses of the past, both these factors are much less relevant today than twenty-five or fifty or seventy-five years ago. Indeed, it is now obvious that there is a third reason – ultimately a factor which is far more important than the first two, because it is a spiritual reason. What is this?

This is that any who have been subject to Western culture, by birth or by assimilation, must first divest themselves of anything in that culture which cannot be baptised into the Church of God. This means ten layers of anti-Christian cultural prejudice, ten centuries of a false messiah, which have, like a parasite inside the body, become attached to the original Western Christian culture. What are they?

1. 11th century: This is the fundamental layer, which asserts that Western man can replace the Holy Spirit, that fallen and mortal man, whose immortal destiny by throwing off the Fall is heaven, is already a god on earth.

2. 12th century: This is the layer of the arrogant mind, the layer of the proud and aggressive and unrepentant individual human reason, which asserts that it knows all mysteries, that it knows better than the Church.

3. 13th century: This is the layer of false spiritualism, of the emotional pietism of the soul, of the self-exalted psyche, which imagines in its illusion that it sees God, when in reality it sees only its own fallen reflection.

4. 14th century: This is the layer of violence, of war and plague, which brings the spirit of morbidity into the Western soul, which fears death because it does not know of the Resurrection and even denies it.

5. 15th century: This is the layer of clerical corruption, which brings hatred and mistrust, the misperception that a mere human institution is the Body of Christ and that therefore it cannot exist anywhere else on earth.

6. 16th century: This is the layer of protest and revolt of the individual, the individualism which is in fact the egoism that lies at the root of the self-loving bubble of consumerism, which it claims as its ‘human right’.

7. 17th century: This is the layer of the puritanical witch-hunt, of the rejection of superstition, but which also rejects all that is beyond the narrow and limited understanding of the fallen mind as politically incorrect.

8. 18th century: This is the layer of irrational reason which claims enlightenment, but which in its darkness justifies its arrogant and imperialist desire to enslave others in its all-conquering quest for power, land and gold.

9. 19th century: This is the layer of delusional triumphalism, which asserts that the idolatrous Western domination of the whole world, through arms and industry and science, is messianic and will bring paradise on earth.

10. 20th century: This is the layer of the abandonment of God and His replacement by technology, which asserts the primitive superstition that, despite now recognised weaknesses, human knowledge is all-saving.

Thus, the first five centuries of the second millennium saw Orthodoxy as a stumbling block in the process of reducing the Faith to a mere human institution. That is why it sent out its troops to destroy the Church, which remained as a living reproach to the imperialist Western substitute for it. The second five centuries of the second millennium saw Orthodoxy as foolishness before the so-called triumph of the individual human mind divorced from God. That is why it despised as superstition and idolatry the Church, which remained as a living reproach to the rationalist Western substitute for it.

What then can we say of the 21st century?

We consider that it is too early to speak of this unfinished layer. However, we predict that in this century so-called human freedom will be proved to be enslavement. Therefore, this is the century when millennial Western cultural prejudice will evaporate, as it is seen that in truth the only real stumbling block has been the reduction of the Church of God to a human institution and that the only real foolishness has been that of the individual human mind divorced from God. This is the century when the spiritually sensitive in search of spiritual purity will find the Church, but the spiritually insensitive in search of spiritual impurity will find Hell.