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On the Pivotal and Worldwide Importance of the Martyred Tsar Nicholas II

Introduction

I was recently asked by a group of pilgrims from Russia how I, as an Englishman, had come to spiritual awakening and the understanding that Tsar Nicholas II is a saint. I answered them briefly, though giving all the essentials of a fifty-year long process, but then realised that the question deserved a more detailed and systematic answer, as it may interest others too. Here now is that detailed answer.

First Impressions

The first event was when as a child I collected stamps and I remember a stamp with the portrait of Tsar Nicholas on it. His face seemed to stare out at me and it struck me as different from all other stamps; why I could not tell, but it was the first impression and memory of the Tsar and it has always remained with me.

The next stage was after seeing the film Dr Zhivago in 1968, I began reading about the Russian Revolution. This was because that Revolution was clearly the essential turning point in the creation of the whole Cold War world which then surrounded me and terrorised so many. I wanted to understand how it had come about.

Pro-Bolshevik accounts that I read then stood out as false; it was clear that any work that justified the bloody genocide of millions by Marxism-Leninism could not be trusted. However, the only other books available in English, mostly written by Western academics, were no less ideologically-motivated. They all seemed to think that the February 1917 ‘Revolution’, or treason by aristocrats and generals, which had deposed the Tsar (and later led to the October 1917 power grab by Bolshevik bandits) was an excellent thing. The sole book with some interesting content was that by Robert Wilton.

However, even my soul could see that this view was only because their authors imagined that every country in the world should be westernised and have the same constitutional monarchies or else republican governments as in Western Europe and North America. But I already knew these regimes to be spiritually corrupted. In other words, the views of these academics merely reflected their subjective and self-interested agnostic or atheistic materialist cultural prejudices; they did not represent objective reality, but merely the psychological conditioning of their authors. But what could that objective reality be? Although I instinctively sensed that the truth was other and profound, I was still searching in the dark for details.

The Emigration in England

On meeting émigré Russian Orthodox in Oxford in 1974, I began to enquire further. Here I heard three different views among those whom I encountered:

The first émigré view was a minority Patriarchal one which said that the Bolshevik coup d’etat was a triumph, that the Soviet Union was remarkable, that there was no persecution of the Church in Russia and that the Tsar had got what he deserved. This was the pro-Communist view. This was the absurd self-deception of blind Soviet nationalism which put the Soviet Union above the Church. This view held no water with me.

The second émigré view, the majority one, was that, although the Bolshevik power grab had been a disaster, the removal of the Tsar by the February treason had been an excellent thing, since the Tsar had held up ‘progress’. Although he and his family had not deserved to die, there was little pity for them, since those who held this view considered that if they were in exile, it was ‘the Tsar’s fault’. This was the pro-Western or ‘Parisian’ view, as I would later learn to call it. These emigres reckoned themselves as apolitical, but in fact they were highly political. In Oxford, for example, this was the view of Anglophile exiles who admired the Western Establishment, who loved Anglicanism and read ‘The Daily Telegraph’, the newspaper of the Conservative Party. This was the absurd self-deception of blind Western nationalism, a worldly, sociological manipulation, which put the West above the Church. This view held no water with me.

The third view, also political and not spiritual, held in Oxford by only two people, but by some others who attended the church in London, was like the second one, but more extreme. These people had a symbolic respect, but little real love, for the Tsar, but what they wanted above all was revenge, their property and their money back from ‘the evil Soviets’. Some of these exiles had worked for MI6 in that spirit of revenge, which knew no forgiveness or prayer for enemies. The Church for them was in many respects a social and ethnic club. This was a rabidly anti-Communist, purely political view which knew only black and white. Typically, many in that London parish rejected the later 1981 canonisation by the Church authorities. This view held no water with me.

I was disappointed. I had expected to find some kind of spiritual sensitivity and spiritual understanding of Tsar Nicholas II among Russians who were connected with Church life. I had not found it. However, in Oxford I did find out about Fr Nicholas Gibbes, former tutor to the Tsarevich, the first Englishman in the 20th century to become a Russian Orthodox priest and the first such priest in Oxford. Arriving in Russia with typically English prejudices about constitutional monarchy, he had been so influenced by his meeting and life with the exemplary Royal Family, that after many years of reflection he had later joined the Russian Orthodox Church. Moreover, on entering the Church, he had taken the name Alexis after the Tsarevich and then, when he became monk and priest, he took the name Nicholas after the Tsar-Martyr. This was a definite influence on me.

Having read about the New Martyrs and Confessors in a book about them published by ROCOR in North America, I was shocked to realise that the fact that they had still not been canonised was clearly only for political reasons, not only inside Russia, but also in the emigration. In 1976 I therefore created my own calendar, adding the names of the New Martyrs, including the Royal Martyrs. I still have that calendar. However, at this point my understanding was still limited; I understood the Tsar only as a martyr and, out of ignorance, did not yet see the holiness in his life and policies as Tsar, which were the preparation for his martyrdom.

Towards a Deeper Understanding

The next stage was in 1977 reading about Vladyka John of Shanghai and his veneration for the Tsar-Martyr. If this saintly bishop, with his international breadth of vision and gift of prophecy, held such views – and he had wanted to see the Tsar canonised at least as early as the 1930s – then there was more for me to understand. After this I obtained copies of ‘Pravoslavnaya Rus’, the bimonthly Jordanville journal. There I read many articles in preparation for the long-awaited canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors, including the Royal Martyrs. One article, written by Archbishop Antony of Geneva, on the international repercussions of the overthrow of Tsar Nicholas II with the active support of the Western Powers, particularly struck me.

After the long-awaited canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors by ROCOR in 1981, I began praying openly to the Royal Martyrs and reading more and more in Russian about the reign of Tsar Nicholas II. My mind and soul began to be illumined. One by one the Western/Bolshevik (essentially the same) anti-Tsar myths, dissolved. The stampede at Khodynka, the myths of the ‘weak’ Tsar and the ‘hysterical’ Tsarina, the pogroms, the Russo-Japanese War, ‘Bloody Sunday’ and the 1905 Revolution, violent mutinies, strikes and outrages, the myth that the Tsar opposed the re-establishment of the Patriarchate and canonical Church order, the myth of the ‘backwardness’ of the Tsar’s Russia, Rasputin, the First World War, the 1917 ‘Revolution’ and then the Bolshevik coup d’etat – all of these had a completely different interpretation from that which had been given to them by Western and Soviet anti-Tsar propaganda. My instincts had long told me this, but I had lacked the facts to piece it all together.

Living by that time in Paris, I was shocked by the views of Russophobic Paris Jurisdiction emigres, many from aristocratic families in St Petersburg, who actually agreed with the anti-Tsar propaganda and blasphemously slandered the Tsarina and Rasputin. Many of them were descendants of those who had carried out the February 1917 Revolution; they therefore had their own axe to grind. It was at this time that I finally clearly grasped that Tsar Nicholas II had lived his life as a Confessor before ever becoming a Martyr. Reading the pre-Revolutionary prophecies of holy elders, I finally understood that the Tsar had been first slandered and then removed by Satanic forces because he and the Russian Empire had been the last obstacle to universal apostasy. And those who agreed with such slanders were actually, though perhaps unknowingly, participating in a form of Satanism.

This became more and more obvious when in the 1990s materialistic Communism (the Tartar Yoke) collapsed as a result of the canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors in 1981. What is most to be repented for in the Church Outside Russia is that this canonisation had not taken place much earlier. After the disastrous post-Communist period of the 1990s, when the countries of the former Russian Empire were ravaged by the materialistic Capitalism of Western-supported bandit-oligarchs (the Mongol Yoke), in 2000 that canonisation was at last effectively recognised by the then freed Church in Moscow. Thus came the mystical last chance when all Russian Orthodox, of all nationalities, were called on by the Lord to prepare for the last and worldwide Orthodox harvest before the Second Coming.

And so this recognition made negotiations and then unity with our Church Outside Russia possible. It also meant that it was now only a question of time before the revival of the Russian Orthodox Church would go further and influence the political, economic and social life of the countries where it is in the majority. What is most to be repented for is that some, especially in the Patriarchate outside Russia, rejected that canonisation. How well we remember, for example, being told in 2001 that there were still no icons of the Royal Martyrs at the London Patriarchal Cathedral because there was ‘no space’ on their blank Anglican walls.

The Last Pieces of the Puzzle

Books written about the reign of Tsar Nicholas II over the last fifteen years by professional historians who have access to the archives in Russian Federation, such as Bokhanov and Multatuli (definintely not the absurd Soviet myths of the venal scandalmonger and non-historian Radzinsky, so beloved of Western Russophobes) have supplied me with the last pieces of the puzzle. Like the Jordanville historian E.E. Alfer’ev’s excellent ‘Emperor Nicholas II as a Man of Strong-Will’, Pierre Gilliard’s ‘Thireteen Years at the Russian Court’, Prince Zhevakhov’s memoirs (in Russian) and S. S. Oldenburg’s ‘The Reign of Tsar Nicholas II’ (also in Russian), they supply details, truths which primitive Western (= Soviet) anti-Tsar mythology still reject. I hope that one day the sources will be translated into English. For example

The stampede at Khodynka was caused by the greed of a small element in an unprecedentedly huge crowd of hundreds of thousands, not by the Tsar or his administration.

The Tsar was not weak or incompetent, but an incredibly strong-willed, brave, faithful and courteous man who survived War and Revolution, and, as his contemporaries noted, had his own independent vision, uninfluenced by anyone except the Gospels. Only those who deny the Gospels – like most Western academics and politicians – deny this.

The Tsarina was a self-sacrificing, pious and noble mother and Russian Orthodox patriot, like her sister the Grand Duchess Elizabeth, an example to all Russian Orthodox in the West. She was not a hysterical fanatic or pro-German traitress; only militant atheists and anti-Orthodox think of her as this.

Anti-Jewish pogroms were Europe-wide; the worst ones were in Vienna and Berlin. In the Russian Empire they took place mainly in Poland and among Romanian-speakers. Some of them were indeed started by Jews against Non-Jews and as many Non-Jews died as Jews – about 1500 on each side. The mere fact that so many Jews lived in the Russian Empire is proof of the tolerance of Jews, who had long before sought grateful refuge in the Russian Empire from Western intolerance.

The Russo-Japanese War was treacherously started without a declaration of war by the Japanese. They had been financed and armed by Britain and the USA who wanted to dominate the Pacific and Asia and use Japan as a proxy to weaken Russia. Although non-militaristic Russia spent very little on arms – about a fifth as much as other countries – and its Navy was small and very old-fashioned, by 1905 it was winning the war against a highly militaristic Japan, with its latest British ships, but which was going bankrupt as a result of the costs of the war it had initiated. Russia ended the War on very favourable terms, decided entirely by the strong-willed Tsar Nicholas, who would have continued the struggle, had it not been for the treacherous sabotage inside Russia by a foreign-financed fifth column. Even so, in Japan the peace treaty that ended the War was seen as a defeat.

‘Bloody Sunday’, not at all a peaceful demonstration, but also far less deadly than the propagandists maintain, the 1905 Revolution, violent mutinies, strikes and outrages were terrorist provocations. They had relatively little support outside certain anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox groups in St Petersburg and a few other large cities and they were successfully and courageously put down.

The Tsar had himself in 1904 proposed the re-establishment of the Patriarchate. Those without vision had rejected it. The Church had to wait for the Patriarchate until 1918, because senior representatives, used to the Synodal system, had not been ready for it before.

The Tsar’s Russia was not ‘backward’. In 1914 it was already the breadbasket of Europe and rapidly becoming the greatest industrial power in Europe. 90% of the land then belonged to the people. By 1920 90% of the population would have been literate. By 1950 it would have become the most powerful country in the world, overtaking even the USA. By 2000 it would have had a population of 600 million. What was good in the Soviet system, its world-class education, its health system and sense of national and international social justice were not inventions of the Bolsheviks – they were all inherited from the Tsar’s Russia. And that is precisely why in 1914 the Western Powers wanted to destroy it.

Rasputin was not a ‘mad monk’, but a devout married peasant layman, a good Orthodox family man with three children, who was granted an extraordinary gift of healing by God. His torture and brutal murder by British spies, supported by a transvestite, Oxford-educated Russian aristocrat, was justly seen by the Orthodox peasantry as the anti-people and anti-piety act of decadent aristocrats that it was.

The First World War was forced on the peace-loving Russian Empire by an Austro-Hungarian Empire, backed by an ultra-militaristic, Prussianised Germany, which did not want peace but conflagration. Russian setbacks against Germany, because of the small Russian military budget, lack of guns and munitions and promises on supplies broken by Britain, were matched by successes against Austro-Hungary and the planned campaign of 1917 which would almost certainly have led to victory and the end of the War in that year. Instead of this, the Western Allies chose another year of warfare by encouraging and backing treason by aristocrats.

The Revolution was not caused by the Tsar-loving masses who were suffering some sort of social injustices, but by immensely wealthy and treacherous spoilt aristocrats – conservative but anti-Traditional. Most of these right-wingers ruthlessly exploited the masses, hated the Tsar for his measures of social justice and wanted to grab power for themselves. The Tsar did not abdicate, but they treacherously abdicated from the Tsar and his legitimate authority. Then, in their incompetence, not understanding that the Tsar, God’s Anointed, was the only glue that could hold the Russian Empire together, scarcely six months later, they handed over that power to a bunch of utterly amoral bandits and terrorists – the Bolsheviks.

The Consequences

Retribution came to all the traitors: after 1917 retribution came to the aristocrats who had betrayed the Tsar – they were killed or went into bitter exile, having lost the source of their wealth; retribution came in 1940 to France and Great Britain which had betrayed the Tsar with the humiliating defeat of France and the British humiliation of Dunkirk and the Blitz; retribution came to the Bolsheviks in 1941 when the Soviet Union was treacherously invaded on the feast of All the Saints that have shone forth in Rus; in the Pacific retribution came to the USA in the humiliation at Pearl Harbour and to Great Britain in the humiliation at Singapore, when the Japanese did to them what they, then backed by the USA and Great Britain, had done to Russia at Port Arthur in 1904; retribution came again to Great Britain with the Battle of the Atlantic when the country was nearly starved into submission in 1942 by German U-boats, for the country which until 1914 had been fed by abundant grain from the Russian Empire now depended on North America; retribution came to Austro-Hungary and Germany when the Red Army took Vienna and a devastated Berlin in 1945.

And then all received further retribution in the Cold War, with its ‘balance of terror’, bankrupting arms race and the last generation of paranoiac American hubris, for which the whole world is still paying in 2013. None of this would have happened if Tsar Nicholas II had remained in power in 1917. They are all consequences of his illegitimate overthrow, which the whole world is still suffering to this very day. Are these evil, worldwide consequences not reason enough for universal repentance, repentance for our own sins and for those of our ancestors and nations?

As for the Orthodox Church, the consequences were catastrophic. With the Tsar removed, the Russian Orthodox Church was attacked both by the atheists from outside and by the renovationists inside. With the key Russian Orthodox Church martyred, paralysed and captive, the other much smaller and much weaker Local Churches were attacked by decadence one by one. Above all, the old but spiritually enfeebled Patriarchate of Constantinople fell under the control of Western and masonic agencies, encouraged modernist schism inside and outside Russia, enslaved by the flattering myth of the absurd interpretation of Canon 28 of the Council of Chalcedon.

And so Uniatisation of calendar and ritual began to follow. The aim was a spiritually neutered and neutralised Orthodoxy, a bland, decadent and unsalted ‘Euro-Orthodoxy’, that no longer presents any danger to militant secularism or, ultimately, to the forces of Antichrist. The consequences of this are still being played out in the Phanariot interference in Russian Church life in Paris, the Ukrainian diaspora, Finland and Estonia; in all the new calendar Local Churches; and even in Serbia, Georgia, and at this very moment on the streets of Kiev and in the chancellery of the Czechoslovak Orthodox Church.

Conclusion

The recognition as saints of St John of Kronstadt and the prophetic St John of Shanghai, both firmly of the Orthodox calendar and both firm monarchists, has been a lodestone of Orthodoxy. It was – and is – sometimes hard for supporters of the new calendar, let alone modernism, to venerate these saints honestly and conscientiously. Today, it is the veneration of Tsar Nicholas II as a saint that is a lodestone for contemporary Orthodoxy, a sign of the spiritual awakening to authentic Orthodoxy, or, wherever it is lacking, a sign of the spiritual slumber of semi-Orthodoxy.

To recognise Tsar Nicholas II as a saint is to awaken spiritually and recognise him as the greatest sacrificial victim of the great 20th century apostasy. It is to renounce all the lies and spiritual impurity of the twentieth century and to repent for them. There may yet come a time in this faltering 21st century, which may not end, when the holy martyred Tsar will be recognised not just as a Martyr and the Martyred Lord’s Anointed, representative of all the New Martyrs, but also a Great-Martyr, as was prophesied at Optina.

Suffolk Restores St Edmund

The county of Suffolk was buzzing with activities yesterday in celebration of (the new style) St Edmund’s Day. Downpours failed to dampen the spirits as different events honoured the King of East Anglia, who was martyred by Viking invaders on 20 November 869.

Greater Anglia’s St Edmund train was rededicated at Ipswich railway station yesterday morning by the Precentor of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. In Bury St Edmunds, Greene King marked the day by opening its new £750,000 St Edmund Brewhouse at its headquarters in the town. Elsewhere, St Edmundsbury Cathedral hosted a performance of Courage of a King and held a special communion service. Author Mark Taylor was at the Cathedral and at Waterstones signing copies of his new book Edmund: The Untold Story of the Martyr King and his Kingdom, and prizes in the St Edmund’s Day Awards were handed out yesterday evening. Thousands of schoolchildren across Suffolk took part in activities to promote the Saint. And finally councillors from Suffolk and Norfolk, the bulk of the old East Anglian Kingdom, met to discuss uniting several of their services.

St Edmund has always been the patron saint of England, even though St George the Great-Martyr eclipsed him from the 14th century on. In the last few years, however, throughout East Anglia, St Edmund has been promoted and begun to eclipse St George as the local favourite. The Bury St Edmunds MP, David Ruffley, and The East Anglian Daily Times have backed a campaign to get him reinstated as the nation’s patron saint, which has been led by BBC Radio Suffolk.

A Letter from the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

The Nation was in need of a Great Fast
To cleanse a fallen consciousness.
To remind all of both God and Tsar,
To save the ‘civilised’ and self-satisfied,
To reconcile all with the Cross and the Truth, –
To give new birth to all in forgotten truths.
For there is love, faithfulness and beauty,
There is faith – that which does not decay.

Nina Kartashova (1953- )

Scattered Abroad

The times appointed from on High will pass, Communists will disappear, the Revolution will vanish into the past; but the White Cause, born in this struggle, will not disappear; its spirit will be preserved and merge organically into the way of life and building of the New Russia.

Ivan Ilyin (+ 1954)

One third of the 164 million Russian Orthodox have passports that do not say ‘Russian Federation’, but the Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Estonia or, more exotically, Japan, China, Thailand….As for our passports, they are even more varied; they say Portugal, Canada, Luxembourg, Tonga, Chile, France, USA, Spain, Haiti, New Zealand, Venezuela, UK, Switzerland, Argentina, Belgium, Australia, Pakistan, Germany, Mexico…

Scattered outside Russia, we speak Russian with varying accents and degrees of competence, some not at all, and our churches use Church Slavonic to varying degrees, some not at all, using a local language instead. However, apart from our secular passport, we also have a spiritual passport. And on that passport, next to ‘Place of Residence’, it says ‘Rus’. And all who know that we live in Rus are at the heart of the Church, not on its fringes.

Rus

I am a part of Rus on the southern fringes of the sea:
With me is my sword, black hussar’s jacket
And portrait of the Tsar, like an eternal spectre of grief,
And in my heart the trace of wounds I have survived.

I am a part of Rus which tribulation
Flung like a ball beyond the ocean-sea,
I am the faithful son of a great nation,
A soldier in soul and a bard of the days of old.

Vladimir Petrushevsky (+ 1961), Australia

For the Churched, this spiritual passport is much more important than our secular passport, for we see our secular place of residence through the eyes of Rus, through spiritual eyes. Thus, there is European Rus, American Rus, Australian Rus….The words ‘Outside Russia’ in ‘Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia’ mean outside the old Russian Empire, not outside Rus – as our spiritual passports show.

Our residence in Rus also shows that our Faith did not come from Russia, but through Russia, just as it did not come from Constantinople, but through Constantinople. (To say that our Faith is ‘Russian’ or ‘Greek’ is a great mistake; such a nationalistic spirit is how the ‘Greeks’ alienated many peoples and lost the Second Rome). We serve another spirit. Where did our Faith come from? It came from Christ, like our Church.

Why?

The Apostles

It is not by chance that blind fate
Has scattered us among foreign lands,
It is not by chance that life has imposed on us
The cheerless lot of the slave.

It is not by chance that in crowded markets
We bear in silence the cross of sufferings
And tread a thorny and toilsome path
To goals that are unknown to us.

No! – A great and wise mystery
Is hidden in our feat as slaves,
And believe me, our destiny,
Unprecedented, is not by chance…

Heavenly powers guide us,
The Leader who is everywhere leads us
Along the way, where graves do not bring fear,
Where neither bread nor home are required.

In this sorrow of hard privations,
In this torment of bodily exhaustion,
A wondrous lot has been appointed for us,
A lot of humiliations, threats and doubts.

In the darkness of this servile world
We bear in triumph the beacon of the spirit
And loudly summon God’s chosen ones
To the bridal chamber of the Orthodox feast.

We tread a thorny road,
We soar above worldly vanity,
We are the apostles of the faith of Christ,
The heralds proclaiming holy truth.

We summon the races and the peoples,
Clothed in the crimson of brotherly blood,
To the kingdom of true and everlasting freedom,
To the kingdom of goodness, light and love.

S.S. Bekhteev, 1928

Why do we live in all these lands scattered across the face of the Earth? The reasons are many – but all result from the pogrom, first of the betrayal of the Faith, then of Rus and then of the Tsar. Whatever our exact story, our reason for being scattered in the lands where we live is ultimately because God has allowed it. We stand, looking at 1,000 years of Western history, a history without the Church of Christ, but with its vestiges; in Europe we look back beyond those 1,000 years of wandering, to the first millennium, when the roots of Europe, and so the roots of the whole Western world, were in Christ and His Holy Church.

We have been sent to live in these lands to gather in the harvest of all these vestiges into the granaries of the churches of Rus before the end. The harvest of sincerity, of righteousness, of virtue, of nobility, of inner beauty, of spiritual culture, of piety, of holiness, the harvest from 2,000 years of history of Europe, is here in our churches, in our oases in the desert, in our lighthouses on the far distant shores of Rus, shining out to the lost world. We are among the gatherers and keepers of Rus, for it is time to gather the scattered stones together (Ecclesiastes 3, 5), and restore what has been destroyed, defiled and profaned.

Our Future

I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not nigh.
Numbers 24, 17

Our Russian Orthodox Faith, our ideal of Rus, is our international response to globalisation. No other part of the Orthodox Church is large enough or strong enough or free enough to resist the tide of globalisation and provide such a response. Other parts of the Church are responsible for only one nationality; there is no Orthodox response to globalisation other than Rus. No other part of the Orthodox world has been crucified for the sins of the world and for faithfulness to Universal Orthodoxy as have we. This is why Rus is the meaning of world history and world destiny, the key to salvation in the last times.

This is why we who have come out of the White Cause continue to further the process of healing inside Russia, the independence of the Church from State interference and from secularist, Western ideologies, and seek the continuing canonisation of all the New Martyrs and Confessors, led by the martyred Royal House. The Church inside Russia is Lazarus, the miracle of the Resurrection, the Four-Day Dead, dressed in Soviet rags, but still the Friend of Christ. Now together we make ready and pray and hope and wait for the restoration of legitimate authority in Rus, the Orthodox Tsar restored by the Sovereign Mother of God.

Our Hope

Arise, O saint-haunted Europe, the one thousand years have passed!

There was once a Europe where peoples were still free to follow Christ and their own innocent ways, a Europe where Englishmen played cricket, Portuguese sang fado, Carinthians dressed in folk costume, French people tasted wine from all over, Italians sang opera at work, Scottish people wore kilts, Spaniards were noble, Germans were helpful and Dutch people were informal; as for Russians, they named their children Nicholas and Alexandra. And it seemed that this would continue until Kingdom come…

But then there came a grey Europe, a homogenous Union, in which centralised bureaucrats try to regulate and control every detail of our lives. This is an anti-Europe which plays at Hitler’s game of divide and rule, which now attempts to balkanise and provincialise the next victims of EU debaptism and gay parade colonisation, the weak countries of the soft underbelly of the Orthodox world, Montenegro, Macedonia, the Ukraine and, if only it were possible for the eurocrats, Moldova, Georgia and even Belarus.

But there is coming a Rus of all the East Slav peoples, reunited in a single Tsardom, opposed to the electronic concentration camp of the New World Order in formation. This will be a Rus where the media are not controlled, as now, by foreign, anti-Orthodox propaganda, which brainwash, debauch and zombify the people, where the families with many children will be protected from countries that have renounced Christ and seem to be crawling towards hell, of their own so-called free but indoctrinated and conditioned will.

This is yet to be a Rus under a Tsar chosen by the Queen of Heaven, as Elder Nikolai Guryanov foretold, a Romanov by his mother, as the prophecies tell us, where Siberia will be transformed, the Church cleansed and joined by many peoples, including the Greek, as Elder Joseph of Vatopedi foretold. Rus will be the Ark for all faithful Orthodox when Orthodoxy will have faltered elsewhere. And there, from Europe, Asia and America, people will gather to live according to the Church and preach the Orthodox Gospel to the ends of the earth.

Let us pray to Christ, the Mother of God and the holy, martyred Tsar Nicholas, his family and all the New Martyrs and Confessors that this may soon be so.

What can the Church Outside Russia Give the Church inside Russia?

The Lord will have mercy on Holy Rus because it has suffered the dread and terrible period before Antichrist. A great host of martyrs and confessors shone forth, starting with senior clergy and laity, the Metropolitan and the Tsar, the priest and the monk, the child and the breastfed babe, ending with ordinary laypeople. They all beseech the Lord God, the King of Hosts, the King of Kings, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, glorified in the Most Holy Trinity. We must know quite clearly that Russia is the lot of the Queen of Heaven and She takes care of her and intercedes for her especially…Together with the Mother of God the whole host of Russian saints asks for Russia to be spared…

St Laurence of Chernigov (+ 1950)

Introduction

To some the above question may seem absurd. What can a tiny, émigré-founded part of the Russian Church (ROCOR – 500 parishes), their descendant and missions, scattered across the whole face of the world, give the huge Church inside Russia, with its tens of thousands of churches, hundreds of monasteries and dozens of seminaries? It sounds as if the little brother, so imperfect and with all his faults, is trying to patronise the big brother because he is blind to his own faults. This is not the case; we are well aware of our weaknesses, but perhaps ‘our strength is made perfect in weakness.’

In reality, the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) does have something to say, though perhaps only one thing, but a vital thing. Simply because we were never Sovietised, whereas, through no fault of its own, the people of the martyric Church inside Russia were Sovietised, we have one word to say to. It is: ‘Community’. It is most ironic, for this is the very thing promised, but not delivered, by ‘Communism’. Commun-ism failed to build a Commun-ity because it tried to do it without Christ. Starting from the bottom and working upwards through five levels, of Community we can say:

1. The Family as Community

Under Soviet atheism, Christian marriage came to an end and was replaced at first with ‘free love’, then with relationships of convenience, a method, for example, of obtaining a permit to work in Moscow or some other city. Divorce and multiple divorce became ‘normal’ and, with it, multiple abortion and the horrifying abuse of women and children and the irresponsibilisation of men as fathers. Virtually all sense of the family as the community of the small church came to an end. As a result, the demographic situation throughout all the Slav parts of the former Soviet Union is catastrophic.

2. The Parish as Community.

Today, parish life as community life, as we understand it in ROCOR, hardly exists in the post-Soviet Church inside Russia. Parishes there are largely composed of people who do not know one another, of passers-by, of those who drop in. The repression of the Church in the Soviet period more or less destroyed normal parish life. The reflex of the former Soviet citizen is to erect high barriers around his property. He sees others as potential enemies. Mistrust of others has largely replaced community life. This is not the case in ROCOR parish life, where we try to build scattered individuals into communities.

3. The Diocese as Community

In our small ROCOR all who wish to can know our bishops, write to them and speak to them. Bishops have small if scattered dioceses. The bureaucratisation of bishops did not occur in ROCOR; they are not State functionaries; neither are they wealthy. On the contrary. In the Church inside Russia, even with a relatively small number of churches and today with 300 bishops, bishops do not know their parishes. If a bishop is to visit each parish once a year, surely there should be no more than 50 parishes in his diocese? Perhaps at least another 300 bishops are required inside Russia.

4. The Church as Community

In the Soviet period, not to mention the period before it which prepared it, the Church inside Russia came to be seen as an Institution, a Department of State, as ‘the Moscow Patriarchate’. Religion stopped being seen as Faith, and instead as a purely outward rite. Let us be clear. In 2007 the Church Outside Russia did not enter into canonical communion with ‘the Moscow Patriarchate’. The Community of ROCOR entered into communion with the Community of our brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church inside Russia. The Church is the Community of believers, living and departed.

5. Rus as Community

Today the East Slav peoples, the Multinational Community of Faith known as ‘Rus’, are illegitimately divided into three States: the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus. To them can be added a fourth and Non-Slav country – Moldova. Moreover, many, many other countries also have many believers in the jurisdiction of the Church of ‘All Rus’. In these post-Soviet times, Rus has not been restored; we have only covered 5% of the path before us. We are not satisfied with this post-Soviet state of affairs: we look for better times, we look to the future, when Rus will exist not only spiritually as now, but politically also.

Conclusion

Today the world is being squeezed between a bankrupt but technologically dominant Western world, a decadent Roman Empire, whose secularist ideology appears to be motivated by the promotion of homosexuality, and the Islamic world. That Islamic world has been divided in terrible wars in one country after another throughout the Middle East, so that it can be ruled and exploited. Orthodox should be aware, for they too are divided and ruled, as happened long ago in the enslaved Patriarchate of Constantinople, as happened with new calendarisation and now EU-isation, and is now happening in Serbia and the Ukraine.

The Soviet Union has long gone, leaving ruins behind it. The Russian Federation, Ukraine and Belarus are all passing States, with no long-term future. The choice is not between Soviet and Russian. The choice is between the descent into a second-rate colony of vulgar Western consumerism and the restoration of Holy Rus. Holy Rus, ruled by a Tsar, is the spiritual tool for the salvation of its own peoples and other peoples. Holy Rus spread across the northern half of the Eurasian continent. In the past it stemmed the wild East and the wild West, Islam and the spiritually damaged Catholic/Protestant West; this is its task again today.

On Recovering the Lost Provinces of Western Europe

In the fifth century the westernmost provinces of Europe were lost by the Christian Empire to barbarian Germanic invaders. However, in the sixth century St Justinian the Great was Emperor in the Christian capital in New Rome from 527 to 565. The last Roman Emperor to speak Latin as a first language, Justinian sought ‘renovatio imperii’ or the restoration of the Empire by recovering the lost western provinces. This ambition was expressed by reconquering the Vandal Kingdom in North Africa as well as the Ostrogothic Kingdom, and restoring Dalmatia, Sicily, Italy and Rome to the Empire after more than half a century of barbarian control. His forces then reclaimed most of southern Iberia, establishing the province of Spania. Unfortunately, this recovery was to be all too short-lived

At the end of the sixth century, seeing that physical recovery was impossible, in Old Rome, itself provincialised, Pope Gregory the Great set about the spiritual recovery of the provinces, starting with Britain. This recovery succeeded and spread, but was fragile. Already towards the end of the eighth century the Germanic leader Charlemagne had changed the Creed and fallen into iconoclasm. Although he soon died, in the mid-eleventh century the Germanic iconoclasts not only returned to power, but took over the Roman see, creating the definitive Schism of 1054. No help could come from those who had remained faithful in New Rome, so oppressed were they, and indeed in 1204 the Christian capital was sacked by the barbarians, finally falling in 1453, its leaders having compromised themselves with the barbarians.

At this, the task of the spiritual recovery of the lost Western provinces fell to small and oppressed Russia as the only free country in the still Christian world. It, however, was faced with the hostility of the rulers of Western Europe and it was not until the nineteenth century that Russia was able to begin to preach the Christian Faith to the captive peoples of the Western provinces. However, the leaders of Western Europe became even more aggressive and invaded Russia in 1812, 1854 and again in 1914. This last invasion led to the fall of Christianity there in 1917, which came about through the treachery of the westernised upper classes, who betrayed their own ruler. In 1941 Western countries again invaded now fallen Russia, but with the sobering result that it began a fifty-year process of return to Christianity.

It is since 1991 then that Russia has been undergoing a long period of regeneration, painfully striving to re-establish at least something of Christianity. Although this process is far from complete, it provides hope that the spiritually sensitive in the lost Western provinces can return to the Church of Christ, especially if Russia is regenerated in full. This return can neither be on the basis of an uninteresting nationalistic form of Russian Christianity, nor on the basis of a minimal and opportunistically compromised form of Russian Christianity, as among some in North America, Paris, Finland and Estonia. It can only be on the basis of the maximal Christianity, the fullness of Orthodoxy. In this way, the lost provinces of Western Europe, including our own East of England province, can reintegrate the Church of God.

Praying for the Resurrection of Europe

Already in the nineteenth century prophetic Russian writers and thinkers like Khomyakov and Dostoyevsky described Europe as a cemetery, its gardens well-kept, its lawns manicured, its trees pruned, its cleaned tombs and monuments of great artistic beauty, but still a cemetery, where lie the dead of past history. A cemetery, in Latin languages, cimetière, cimitero, cementerio, (from the Greek for ‘to sleep’), in German Friedhof, in Dutch Begraafplaats, in Swedish Kyrkogard, is, literally, a place of sleep, rest and burial, a churchyard. This is the place where are buried dear ancestors, friends and family, whom we visit and pray for. For the only life in a cemetery is that which we bring there.

A cemetery is the image which conveyed the fact that European culture was already in the nineteenth century dying out because it was rejecting the roots of its culture, and cultural roots are always spiritual. In other words, by rejecting the founding spirituality of its civilisation, Orthodox Christianity, whether actively by fighting against it or passively by not resisting its loss, Europe reduces itself to a land of historic monuments and museums, remarkable, outstanding, but not living. Europe, the historically admirable, far Western corner of Eurasia, is to be visited by becameraed tourists and even pilgrims for its past, but it is incapable of generating new culture in the present and future for lack of spiritual roots.

As the decades have passed, we have found the above prophetic image growing ever truer. The culture of death and the death of culture, whether through wars and concentration camps, whether through abortion and euthanasia, have taken over a secularised but also increasingly Islamised, thus polarised Europe, which is intent on its spiritual and so physical suicide. Our Orthodox churches in Europe are ever more like oases amid the contemporary Western culture of death. They are like cemetery chapels, where, as we pray for the resurrection of Europe’s Orthodox past, we bring the only spiritual life. Today, Europe seems no longer to have any self-belief, any fire in its soul – only ashes where once a fire so keenly burned.

Europe had from the outset the choice between Christ and death. At first Europe chose Christ and many centuries ago before the Great Misfortune, the best of Europe in its hermits prayed to Christ, whether from their lonely rock fastnesses in the wild North Atlantic, from Mediterranean islands or Alpen pastures, or from many other lonely places in Europe. But then Europe replaced the Risen One with a single mortal man, a new Ceasar (‘we have no king but Caesar’, they said), and then replaced Him with all mortal men, thus choosing death over life. Thus, the God of Europe was killed and put to sleep in the great European cemetery. Without God, Europe no longer believes in itself and so is intent on self-abolition

After Europe had killed God, it created a vacuum of faith. And where there is a vacuum, the demons rush in, and so, having pronounced its God dead, Europe then began to kill His creation, man, in the tens of millions. But we do not despair, for one day the hermits will return to the North Atlantic, to the Hebrides, to the whole Kingdom of the Isles, and all over Europe, and they will pray again to Christ for resurrection, just as the hermits of Russia in their forest monasteries and caves pray for resurrection. But this will happen only when the Orthodox Christian Empire is restored. For the restoration of the Christian Emperor in Russia will be the restoration of the Christian Empire, even to the uttermost ends of Europe.

The Future of the Multinational Russian Church and Repentance

The greatest crime committed in relation to the Sovereign must be erased by ardent veneration for him and the glorification of his feat. The Russian Lands must bow down before the humiliated, the slandered and the martyred…Then the Tsar-Passion-Bearer will be granted great audaciousness before God and his prayer will save the Russian land from the misfortunes that are borne by it. Then the Tsar-Martyr and those who suffered with him will become new heavenly advocates of Holy Russia. Innocently shed blood will regenerate Russia and cover it with new glory.

St John of Shanghai

We remember some twenty years ago a conversation on the future of Russia with a young Paris emigre of the third generation. He stated that there could never be reconciliation between the two parts of the Russian Church, inside and outside Russia, until the Patriarchal part inside Russia had repented. When he was asked what such repentance meant, he came out with an answer that was purely political and did not concern the Church. However, we did not believe then, and do not believe now, that repentance is political – it is always spiritual. Moreover, true repentance always begins with demands made of ourselves, not with demands made of others.

In today’s Russia many are at last realising that anti-Russian and anti-Orthodox Communism was the greatest illusion and greatest deceit in Russian history. It was in fact an anti-patriotic, foreign-imposed conspiracy whose aim was to destroy the Orthodox Empire, which naturally included destroying its spiritual essence and historic consciousness, its multinational Church. Indeed, the Russian Lands were to be saved only after a generation of brutal atheist persecution by another catastrophe – the Nazi invasion, which alone renewed national consciousness. However, it was not for another fifty years after that invasion that the country officially and finally rid itself of the atheist regime.

However, that political change, momentous though it was, did not and still does not mean full repentance. Today’s Russian Federation, and all the other now separated lands that made up the pre-1917 Russian Empire, are still not fully repentant – just as the Russian Emigration, its descendants and missions, are still not fully repentant – hence all the divisions between those lands and in the Emigration. Full repentance is when all, and not just some, repent for their ancestors’ sins of slander, deposition and regicide, the slaying of Tsar Nicholas II and the millions who died with him and after him. He who does not love the Tsar, does not truly love Holy Russia. And he who does not love Holy Russia does not truly love God.

Russia and all who belong by birth or by choice to the worldwide Russian Church, in Europe, in the Americas, in Australasia and elsewhere, will not walk the Earth as Resurrected until all realise who the Tsar was. Only when there is true repentance by all will the Tsar be truly glorified. And the Lord will not grant the Russian Lands a new Tsar, and so unity of all Russian Lands, until we sincerely repent for the fact that we allowed and still allow those who rejected and still reject our Faith to blacken his name and ritually murder him and his Family. The Lord will grant the Russian Lands a new Tsar and unity only after profound and general repentance, after ‘ardent veneration for him and the glorification of his feat’.

Here it must be said that it is only with a Tsar in Russia that Orthodox outside Russia will be strong again. For example, Tsar Nicholas II built seventeen churches in Western Europe and a magnificent Cathedral in New York. And that was at a time when there were few Russian Orthodox living there. Moreover, he ensured unity among Orthodox living outside Russia and the Orthodox homelands. It is for those of the Russian Emigration and its missions, including the disincarnate and so not belonging to the Church Outside Russia, to become aware of this. Let us of all nationalities everywhere bring forth fruit worthy of this repentance, as the Patron of the Russian Emigration, St John of Shanghai, calls us to do.

The Future Nears

Twenty-five years ago the Russian Orthodox Lands, ‘Rus’, for short, commemorated the millennium of their Baptism. At that time there began the great spiritual revival that has continued since. A generation on, in 2013, we can see how far things have moved on. The period of the abhorrent Gorbachev, who destroyed tens of millions of lives, that of the ephemeral gerontocrats before him, the period before that of Brezhnevian stagnation, and before that of the ignoramus and atheist fanatic Khrushchev, have been rejected, seen for what they were. That part of recent history has been rejected and even reversed, but the Russian Lands have still not worked their way through the Stalinist period before them. The recent debate in Russia about the role of Stalin in history, sparked by the 70th anniversary of Stalingrad, is indicative of this.

Opposed to those who see Stalin as a forerunner of Antichrist, there are nationalists who, blinded by their nationalism, see him as a great leader. They fail to see that it was not Stalin who won the War; it was the peoples whom he oppressed who won the War and so saved the West from Fascism. This proves that Stalin has not yet been exorcised from the national psyche. And it is only once he has been exorcised that the final barrier to full resurrection can be overcome. That final barrier is Lenin, whose mummy still lies in mockery by the Kremlin walls, and the thousands of statues, streets and places which still commemorate that demon and his fellow fiends. The Russian Lands are still on a knife-edge. They can still choose to go downwards ever further into the spiral of corruption and degeneration, abortion and alcoholism, emigration in despair and the ever-growing demographic crisis.

The mineral wealth of Rus, like its oil, gas, metals and timber also, are not for oligarchs to buy villas and mansions and waste their substance like the prodigal in London and Tel-Aviv, in New York and Paris, in Nicosia and Bangkok. That mineral wealth was destined by God to build churches in the Russian Lands, in Russian America (Alaska) and the English and Latin Americas, in Europe and Africa, in Asia and Oceania. The fortune of only one of these oligarchs would be enough. Others could pay for decent housing for Russian families, so that the young would not be afraid to have and bring up large families. The vast steppes of the Ukraine and Russia, before the First World War the breadbasket of Western Europe, were also given by God. They are not to be deserted and depopulated, left fallow, so that the Russian Lands have themselves to import grain. They are there to feed the world.

If there is no mass repentance, no return to the only true ideology of Rus, Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and the People, then the Russian Lands will be lost and broken up. Siberia will be occupied by the USA, China and Japan, which will ruthlessly strip it of its resources. Belarus will become a province of Poland. Georgia and the Ukraine will become more EU/NATO colonies, new Kosovos. And European Russia will be divided into various provinces on a divide and rule basis, in other words it will be Yugoslavised. As for the Russian Orthodox Church, it will be Constantinopolised and Antiochised, subjugated to the humiliation of not even being able to use its own calendar, the calendar of the saints and Fathers. And Air Force One will drop off the new puppet-Patriarch from the USA, the Orthodox Patriarch himself deposed and exiled, just like Patriarch Maximos V of Constantinople in 1948.

However, there is an alternative, but only one alternative. If mass repentance does take place, alcoholism, abortion and corruption ceasing with it, then Orthodox Rus can be restored. If there is mass repentance and the spiritual level does rise, then inevitably the Monarchy will be restored. This Tsar, perhaps the last before Antichrist, will be ‘what is restraining him now’ (2 Thess 2, 6). This Tsar will hold back the tide of evil that is now sweeping through the world. Anointed by the Church, he will restore the Church worldwide. To most, such a hope seems unlikely. We will agree that given the current state of the Russian Lands, humanly speaking, this all seems quite impossible. However, given the changes that we have seen since 1988, we cannot exclude the grace of God from the destiny of the Russian Lands, from the possible fulfilment of Orthodox Rus, of Holy Rus, of the light before the end.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

The Sunday of the Last Judgement, 2013

The 400th Anniversary of the House of Romanov

Moscow, 6 March 2013

On 6 March, the 400th anniversary of the election of Michael Feodorovich Romanov to be Tsar, His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and all the Russias celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Dormition in the Moscow Kremlin.

Concelebrating with His Holiness were: Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Church’s External Relations Department; Archbishop Mark of Egorievsk, Head of the Department for Foreign Institutions of the Moscow Patriarchate; Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart; Bishop Theophylact of Dmitrov; Bishop Ignaty of Bronnitsy, Chairman of the Synodal Department for Youth Affairs; Bishop Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, Head of the Secretariat of the Moscow Patriarchate; Bishop Panteleimon of Smolensk and Vyazma, Chairman of the Synodal Department for Church Charities and Social Services; Archpriest Vladimir Divakov, Secretary of the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias for the City of Moscow; Archimandrite Tihon (Shevkunov), Superior of the Stavropegic Sretensky Monastery; Archimandrite Savva (Tutunov), Deputy Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate; Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin, Head of the Synodal Department for Relations between Church and Society; Archpriest Vladimir Siloviev, Head of the Moscow Patriarchal Publishing House; Archpriest Michael Riazantsev, Priest in Charge of the Cathedral Church of Christ the Saviour; Archpriest Alexander Dasaiev, Dean of the Voskresensky District of Moscow; Archpriest Anatoly Kozha, Dean of the Paraskevo-Piatnitsky District of Moscow; Archpriest Anatoly Rodionov, Dean of the Vlahernsky District of Moscow; Archpriest Oleg Korytko, Head of the Review Department of the Moscow Patriarchate; Hieromonk Nikon (Belavenets) and other clerics of the City of Moscow.

Also present at the service were: the Head of the Russian Imperial House Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, the great-great-grandson of Emperor Alexander III, P.E. Kulikovsky, the Chairman of the Association of Russian Nobility, Prince G. G. Gagarin, and the Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee of the Russian Federation for Public Associations and Religious Organizations, M.Y. Markelov.

The Moscow Synodal choir, led by Alexei Puzakov, and the choir of the Academy of Choral Arts, led by Alexei Petrov, sang at the service. Archpriest Artemy Vladimirov, the Rector of All Saints Church in Krasnoye Selo in Moscow, gave a sermon before communion.

At the Liturgy prayers were said ‘for the eternal repose of the souls of the departed servants of God, the ever-memorable rulers of Holy Rus, faithful Princes and Princesses, Tsars and Tsarinas, and all who were in authority and with diligence cared for the purity of the faith and ruled our land in the faith of the Christian law’, and the names of Tsars, Emperors and Empresses of the House of Romanov were enumerated.

After the Liturgy a short service of intercession to the Holy Royal Martyrs was celebrated: to Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra and the Royal Children, Alexey, Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia.

His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill gave a speech as First Hierarch to those who took part in the service.

This was followed by a procession to the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael – the burial place of many rulers of Russia, including Romanovs. A short memorial service was celebrated in the Cathedral for the repose of the souls of Russia’s rulers, ‘buried in this place of repose and elsewhere’ with the enumeration of the names of rulers from the House of Romanov. (Report from the Press Service of the Patriarch of Moscow and all the Russias).

The procession to the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael was accompanied by ‘the solemn ringing of bells’, a peal used for processions. After the short memorial service in the Cathedral a triumphal royal peal of bells was performed – revived by the bell-ringers of the Kremlin and the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on the basis of the peal of bells in the coronation scene in Musorgsky’s opera ‘Boris Godunov’. It was performed on the bells of the first, second and third stages of the bell-tower of Ivan the Great, using the ‘Reut’ bell, which hangs in the Dormition belfry. The ‘Reut’ is the oldest 1000-pood (over 16 tons) Russian bell, and was cast in 1622 by the master-founder Andrei Chokhov. The inscription on the bell mentions Tsar Michael Feodorovich Romanov and his father, Patriarch Philaret Nikitich Romanov.

http://www.pravoslavie.ru/news/59960.htm

The Sunday of the Last Judgement 2013