Tag Archives: Apostasy

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.