Tag Archives: Catechism

On the Draft Catechism Produced in Moscow

Russian Version: https://stbasil.center/2017/11/01/o-proekte-katehizisa/

A draft catechism has been compiled in Moscow and is now being discussed. We have seen it. It is very long and has clearly been composed by intellectuals (judging by their condescension to ‘ordinary Orthodox’ and lack of observation of how we ordinary Orthodox live our faith). And it is also clear that they have copied from the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic catechism, or versions of it, like the pseudo-Orthodox Parisian ‘Dieu est Vivant’ catechism, which dates back some 35 years to modernist Catholicism. This draft is based on an over-complicated, self-justifying intellectual approach, full of quotations from the Scriptures and the early Fathers, some of them taken out of context, some of them taken from a heretical document falsely attributed to St Isaac the Syrian. Rather than a question and answer approach, it has adopted a patronizing approach, ensuring that very few real Orthodox will ever read it, which is for the best.

This draft catechism is clearly marked by modernism, suggesting like the Parisians’ hero-heretic, Origen, that salvation is for all and that Darwin is also Orthodox. Its bureaucratic language and Western jargon about ‘human dignity and rights’ and ‘a social concept’ expresses not Orthodox theology, but the politically correct ‘scientific’ theology of Western doctoral students. Unlike ROCOR’s Fr Seraphim Slobodskoy’s simple and classic catechism ‘The Law of God’, which is also very popular inside Russia, this draft is not accessible to ordinary Orthodox. Clearly, the whole thing has been written by those closer to the humanism of Pope Francis than the Orthodox Faith and people. Someone in Moscow, who has studied in a Western University, wants a Vatican II-style Council in the Orthodox Church. For example, this draft never mentions our Russian Orthodox dress code and seems to think that fasting is not very important.

Marked by the language of secularist rationalists from outside the Church, the document presents the Church of God as a religious institution, not the Risen Body of Christ, radiated and penetrated by the Holy Spirit. The authors want to make this institution acceptable to the secular world by avoiding the dogmatic revelations of the Holy Spirit and all areas of controversy. Orthodoxy is just a ‘confession’ and heretical groups outside the Orthodox Church are also called ‘Churches’. It seems to prefer political correctness to the Truth that sets free. Thus, there is little about the Fall and its consequence of ancestral sin. A sign of Roman Catholicism comes in its attribution of papal-like powers to the Patriarch of the Russian Church and equally to its superficial description of the filioque heresy. A sign of Protestant-style Judaism comes in its over-emphasis on the Old Testament, as if the New Testament were just an extension of the Old.

The authors of this draft are clearly involved in the ecumenical heresy, which is conducted by intellectuals who have little or no contact with ordinary Orthodox and is conducted behind our backs, even behind the backs of bishops. There is here no dogmatic clarity at all, and yet that is the very thing we expect from a real Catechism. There is here no theology in the Orthodox ascetic sense. It would be better to throw away this draft of intellectuals and start again, this time employing Orthodox writers, who have ascetic, dogmatic and pastoral experience. They will know what is acceptable to us who strive to live an Orthodox way of life in our monasteries and parishes, where ordinary Orthodox strive to observe Russian Orthodox values and, for that matter, our dress code. Whoever the authors are, they need to realize that the 1960s are over and imitation Roman Catholic/Protestant Paris-Crestwood ‘theology’ with it. Get real! We live in 2017.


Why I Am Russian Orthodox

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

The Second Coming, W.B. Yeats

Most people belong to one religion or another simply because they were born to a particular family in a particular country. Thus, most Indians are Hindu, most Arabs, Afghans, Indonesians and Iranians are Muslim, most Tibetans are Buddhist. Similarly, most, though not all, Catholics have connections to Latin countries and their colonies (France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Angola, Niger, Brazil, the Philippines etc). And most Protestants belong to Germanic countries (Germany, Scandinavia, Holland, Britain and the countries of the former British Empire, the USA, Canada, Australia, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa etc).

Similarly, most of the 216 million Orthodox Christians, belonging to the family of the at present 14 Local Orthodox Churches, are Orthodox because they belong to certain nationalities – mainly in the Middle East and Eastern Europe (Syrians, Serbs, Albanians, Greeks, Georgians, Romanians, Bulgarians etc). These are mononational Churches. But even most of the non-mononational flock of 164 million Russian Orthodox of 65 different nationalities, are Orthodox because they have been born to a particular family.

However, with prayer, experience of life and thought there are those Russian Orthodox who become conscious Russian Orthodox and come to have a consistent and logical Russian Orthodox world-view. In my own case this is what began to happen to me when I was twelve years old and, living in England, saw the film ‘Dr Zhivago’. This, curiously, was the beginning of my own pilgrimage. By the time I was in my twenties, after experience, prayer and thought, I had worked out a consistent and logical Russian Orthodox world view and I have tried to live by it ever since, despite my human weaknesses.

Such a world-view takes into account our universal Orthodox Christian beliefs, found in the Scriptures, that the universe and mankind were created by God; that mankind fell from bliss into sin and so paganism (institutionalized sin); then was cleansed by the Flood in the time of Noah; restored by the Coming and Resurrection of Christ the Son of God Who trampled down death by death, which truth we live by following the Church, the Body of Christ, through the Holy Spirit Who was sent down to us; but that nevertheless near the end of time the world will be destroyed by sin and the apocalyptic coming of Antichrist, who will be enthroned in Jerusalem, only to be dethroned by the Second Coming of Christ at the very end.

The knowledge through faith that the world will end through the rejection of Christ (for Antichrist is by definition the rejection of Christ) means that we have always known that mankind will fall back into paganism. In other words, sin will be institutionalized, it will become systematic and accepted as the norm. This is exactly what was prophesied already in the New Testament. For example: ‘But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, slanderers, profligates, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of religion, but denying the power of it: from such turn away’ (2 Tim 3, 1-5).

Today’s question then is how can it be that the Western world – once Christian – has fallen into such a state of depravity, which its elite is now spreading by force and bribery throughout the world? How has the Western world become the ‘missionary centre for institutionalized sin’, the centre which, like an anti-St John the Baptist, is preparing the way for the coming of Antichrist, the building of whose Temple in Jerusalem US Protestants, for instance, are actively funding? It is very difficult for one who belongs to the Western Catholic/Protestant world to understand this paradox.

The understanding of this paradox is and always has been abundantly clear to Christians who do not belong to the Catholic/Protestant world, but belong to the Orthodox Church. We look at the world from ‘outside the box’. Thus, the Orthodox Church has for centuries believed and prophesied that Antichrist and the end of the world will come as a result of the activities of Non-Orthodox outside Her. To take but a very recent example, we have St Seraphim of Vyritsa (+ 1948). At the height of the dark night of Stalinist persecution of the Church in Russia he prophesied that the port of Saint Petersburg would one day fill with ships of Western people who would not be allowed baptism in their own countries and so would come to Russia for baptism. Eighty years on that time is now coming.

The question may be asked why Orthodox, though respecting the sincerity, beliefs and values of individual Catholics and Protestants and eagerly co-operating with them in the areas where we fully agree, cannot be Catholic or Protestant, but insist on belonging to the Orthodox Church. The answer is simple: for Orthodox Christians, Catholicism and Protestantism are part of the problem: of course it is the isms that are the danger, not the individual people, whom we regard not as enemies, but as naïve victims brainwashed by their isms. Thus, where did the modern secular, anti-Christian and repaganized world come from, how did it all come about, where were its seeds sown?

The secular, anti-Christian world came into being because it is a degeneration from Protestantism, it is post-Protestantism. And Protestantism is a Western cultural phenomenon of the 16th century, in England for instance created by the bloodthirsty monster Henry VIII. Protestantism created modern Capitalism (Mammonism) and commercial empires like the British and the American with their massacres of Hindus, Native Americans, Confederates, Africans, Boers, Vietnamese, Iraqis etc. For Orthodox who have belonged to the Orthodox Church since the day of Pentecost in 33 AD, Protestantism has in any case no attraction whatsoever, as it is a recent invention and, moreover, is conditioned by simply being anti-Catholic. Since Orthodox have never been Catholics, that cultural conditioning which created Protestantism by reaction to Catholicism is completely irrelevant.

If Protestantism is at the root of the modern world and is fundamentally a sort of anti-Catholicism, what then is the Orthodox view of Catholicism? Surely it is closer to Orthodoxy? Catholicism is clearly older, more historic, it existed before the 16th century, it has a veneration for the Mother of God, the saints, it has a liturgical sense, sacraments and a priesthood – it has so much spiritual wealth, like Orthodoxy, that Protestantism simply does not have. However, for Orthodox, Catholicism has existed only since the 11th century – it too is recent, albeit less recent. It too is ultimately a manmade adaptation of Christianity and the Church, a compromise which has put local culture above the Eternal Truth of the Church of God. Relative to Protestantism, it is a step nearer Orthodoxy, but it is still a step away.

For Orthodox, Catholicism is a religion adapted from Orthodoxy (hence the closer connections than with Protestantism, which is an adaptation of Catholicism, a step further away) for the justification of aggressive Western political aims. This we saw with the Papal-encouraged Norman Invasion of England in 1066, the next Crusades soon after, the invasion of Ireland, the sacking of the Christian capital of New Rome (Constantinople) in 1204, the invasions of the Teutonic Knights, the Inquisition, the cruel conquest of what we now call Latin America etc. The centre of (Roman) Catholicism, Rome, was not where Christianity began; that was Jerusalem, which is the spiritual and historic centre of the Orthodox Church. In Orthodox eyes Rome is reminiscent of pagan Rome, Babylon, which is why the first Christian administrative capital was in newly-established New Rome, a city without a pagan past, a new city for a new, Christian era.

Thus, for Orthodox, Catholicism, is also part of the problem. Catholicism is simply the first stage of the degeneration of the Western world after it had left the Orthodox Church. The second stage, even further from Orthodoxy, as we can see with ‘women-priests’ or the practice of homosexuality, which large branches of Protestantism, unlike Catholicism, accepts, is Protestantism. The third stage is the aggressive secularist ideology of the anti-Christianity of the modern, post-Protestant Western world with its imperialism and colonial exploitation; militarization; genocidal World Wars; the removal of Tsar Nicholas, ‘he who restrains’ (2 Thess 2,7), through the anti-Orthodox Revolution in Russia and creation there of a Zionist-run militant atheist State, which had been so carefully planned and financed from London and New York; concentration camps; atomic bombs; puppet regimes; banana republics; invasions of peaceful countries; revolutions (‘regime changes’); massacres; search for absolute global domination through debt-enslavement to bankers etc.

In a word, the leaders of the Western world, the global elite, are attempting to spread worldwide their ideology of anti-Christianity, which has carefully and progressively been built up on the foundation of a thousand years of Western history. Through deformation after deformation after deformation we have turned full circle, from a Western Europe which was Orthodox Christian at the end of the first millennium after Christ to one whose elite is today not only anti-Christian but increasingly openly Satanic in its promotion of and reversion to paganism. What are we to do? We, in the Orthodox Church, and particularly in by far the largest and strongest Orthodox Church, the Russian, are those who lead resistance to the project of the global elite, who wish to see the enthronement of Antichrist in their rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem so that they can rule the world by deception.

That is why the global elite, in the literal words of its representatives like Zbigniew Brzezinski, Tony Blair or Carl Bildt, speak quite openly of their desire to destroy the Russian Orthodox Church. They want to do with us what they long ago did to the Protestant world and, since the protestantizing Second Vatican Council over fifty years ago, to the Catholic world, in other words, to castrate us spiritually, to degut us and neutralize us as the centre of spiritual resistance to their One World Project. They want to do with the Russian Orthodox Church what they have already tried to do with two or three of the much smaller and weaker Local Orthodox Churches, replacing the Patriarchs with their own candidates, telling us what to say and do, destroying our Faith, ‘modernizing’ us. They will not succeed – because our Master is Christ; theirs is Satan.