It has been announced that Archbishop Mark of Berlin is ‘shortly’ to resign as bishop in charge of the ROCOR Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland. The Diocese will temporarily become stavropegic under Metroplitan Hilarion. It is hoped that the Metropolitan will deal with the backlog of ordinations and other issues before a permanent resident English-speaking bishop is at last installed in London next year.
Politics used to be about left and right. However, negative attitudes to the EU, for example, Brexit, are supported by both those on the left and those on the right. This is because politics today is no longer a division between left and right, but between patriots who love the people and so are social conservatives who desire social justice, and globalists, who love their passions and so are social liberals who desire personal wealth.
We are living through a period of generational change. Just as the social changes beginning in the mid-1960s resulted in revolutions in Paris and Prague in 1968, the US defeat in Vietnam and revolution in Lisbon and invasion of Cyprus in 1974, just as the collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989 led to the collapse of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, the invasion of Iraq in 1991, war in Yugoslavia, famine in Russia and the Twin Towers attack in 2001, so today we are going through generational change. We have seen the anti-democratic seizure of power in the Ukraine, the appearance of ISIS in the Middle East and North Africa, terrorist attacks in France, the debt crisis in Greece, the refugee crisis, Brexit and revolt in Turkey.
Who knows what is next? The implosion of the fragile EU as it limps from one self-made crisis to another is just one possibility. After all, Brexit came about because of the refusal of the anti-populist EU bureaucratic elite to be flexible and concede to the popular will. The possible election of Trump in the US or Le Pen in France are others. The collapse of NATO, ex-Yugoslavia and the Ukraine are yet others. And then there is a host of unpredictable events.
In times of generational change, in times of political turbulence, the only thing we can be sure of is the Church, even though it too can be victim of the fashions (‘politics’) of this world. The Church is like a flotilla of fourteen ships, big and small. The Russian Church is the flagship of the flotilla, by far the largest, the multinational 75% of the whole, and attached to it are three small and dependent ships, those of the Church Outside Russia, the Church of Japan and the Church of China, as well as a large lifeboat temporarily launched from the mother-ship for some North Americans in danger. In fairness to those who criticize, it must be said that there are indeed some strange, liberal-looking characters clinging on to the sides of the Russian ship.
Just by it, but quite separately, are the small ships of the Churches of Bulgaria, Georgia and Antioch. Not far off sail the smaller ships of the Churches of Poland and Czechoslovakia. Near them sail the ships of the Churches of Greece and Cyprus. They are followed by the ships of the Churches of Alexandria, Jerusalem and Serbia. They are followed by the large ship of the Church of Romania, at times in difficulty because of simony, and then the small ship of the Church of Albania. Finally, zigzagging some way behind and bringing up the rear because of damage to its American-made steering, sails the small ship of the Church of Constantinople. If it is still in the flotilla and afloat, it is only because of the prayers of Athonite fathers. For on prayer we all depend.
The last two weeks have brought a series of very important pieces of news.
Firstly, there has been the failed Crete meeting. Far from being a ‘Pan-Orthodox Council’, let alone the ‘Eighth Oecumenical Council’, it turned into disagreements about a series of narrow ‘Zizioulasisms’, philosophical modernisms approved by the US State Department that runs the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Many of the most respected bishops present in Crete, let alone those representing the other 80% of the Orthodox world and not present, refused to sign the documents proposed. This meeting, so secretive that most media were excluded from it, has no authority or acceptance anywhere in the monasteries and parishes in the real Orthodox world. The mismanaged forum, fortunately largely unreported by the mass media, turned it into little more than a damp squib. It does, however, mean that the Church has resisted the secularization that the powerbrokers of this world wanted to impose on Her, as they had imposed on the Vatican. She will not merge with the world in order to welcome the coming Antichrist.
Secondly, there has been the Brexit vote, the people’s bid for freedom from the dying European Superstate and the corrupt Unionist British Establishment which was so enthusiastic about the EU that it had imposed it on the people. And this was in spite of, or perhaps because of, the manipulation of the assassination that preceded the referendum. Some believe that other countries and institutions, even religious ones, may also wish to escape the straitjacket of the EU. Amid all the new opportunities this opens up there has, however, also been much insecurity and even panic and chaos. Freedom comes at a price. The whole UK political Establishment, as usual totally out of touch with the people it was supposed to represent, not least the Labour Party infiltrated and stuffed with careerist Blairite MPs, is being transformed with the resignations and eliminations of several well-known politicians. Brexit, so much resisted by the bullying of Obama and Merkel, has delayed the move towards One World Government by Antichrist.
Thirdly, there has been the long-delayed publication of the Chilcot report which makes clear that the whole of the British Establishment was guilty of the war crimes in invading and occupying Iraq. Its arrogance and hubris have been revealed for the whole world to see. This opens up UK responsibilities for other recent disastrous massacres and chaotic injustices in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, the Ukraine and the Yemen. In the Ukraine British Army equipment is now being used by the Kiev puppet regime in its massacres of the population in Eastern Ukraine. Moreover, the UK Establishment is actively participating in the meeting in Warsaw of the US-led and financed NATO. Russians nervously fear a NATO invasion, as German and other tanks once more mass on the borders of Russia, just as they did 75 years ago. If such a threat did take place, which does seem highly unlikely, it would be one step nearer the One World Government that the neocons in Washington have so ardently been working for ever since they came to power under Clinton in the 1990s.
Two steps forward, one step back? Perhaps. Perhaps there will be a real Orthodox Council that will reject the compromises of Crete. But perhaps not. Perhaps the elite will not allow the UK to leave the EU and the electorate will be browbeaten, bribed and blackmailed into voting again and again until it gets the ‘right’ result. But perhaps the Unionist EU – and the Unionist UK – will collapse and relatively soon. And perhaps then England, freed from the Norman yoke after 950 years, will take its rightful place as an equal among the nations. Perhaps the old Norman-British habit of arrogantly invading, enslaving and exploiting other countries of the world, not least England itself, because it is ‘in the national interest’, that is, in the interest of the elite, will forever pass into the dustbin of history. Perhaps NATO will collapse as the antiquated Cold War structure it is. Perhaps the Christian Emperor will be restored in Russia. But perhaps NATO will invade Russia. There is no point in predicting. We do not know what will happen. What we do know is that if we wish to influence the future, the only thing we can do is to pray – for the meaning of our life is to postpone the coming of Antichrist.