Tag Archives: The Future

John Bull or John England?

Throughout history the world has been divided into Babylon and Jerusalem. Sometimes the dividing line between them has been subtly drawn and Babylon has taken over Jerusalem: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee…’ (Matt 23, 37).  Despite such fusions in such events, the two principles are clearly defined:

Babylon is worldly riches and worldly power and will stop at nothing to obtain them both.

Jerusalem is Crucifixion, the riches of martyrdom, and Resurrection, the power over death.

In England, as everywhere in the world, these two principles have also been clearly defined:

Babylon is the pompous British bull, the imperialist, bullying, boastful, ruthless, arrogant, ignorant, boorish, philistine, xenophobic, urban, beer-drinking and beef-eating, stout and stupid, gross, Union-jacked yob, leading an ugly and aggressive bulldog.

Jerusalem is the humble English spirit, homely, restrained, modest, merciful, lowly, knowing, interested, open-minded, cultured, rural, gentle and kind-hearted, fine and wise, visionary, faithful to the Cross, venerating St Edmund and all the saints.

The poet William Blake wondered who would triumph, the dark, satanic mills of John Bull’s Babylon or the green and pleasant land of John England’s Jerusalem.

We already know the answer. It is Jerusalem, for: ‘And I, John, saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven’ (Rev. 21, 2).

 

Convergence through Purification: The Future of Post-Soviet and Post-Émigré Russian Orthodoxy

Introduction

Following the 2007 reconciliation of 90% of the Russian Orthodox world outside Russia and the much larger Russian Orthodox world inside Russia, some wondered how the two parts would converge. After all, the two parts had distinctive identities, and little wonder, given the ninety years of mutual separation. That separation had been forced on the faithful by the 1917 overthrow of the old, Faith-based, Imperial Orthodox Civilisation by power-seeking Westernised aristocrats and money-loving bourgeois. The main part of the Church inside the Soviet Union had been cruelly persecuted and its organisation taken hostage by the atheist State for three generations of captivity. As for the much smaller part in exile, it had suffered from those who had little interest in the Gospel of Christ, of Orthodox Civilisation, but much interest in the Gospel of Mammon, of the unprincipled Capitalist West.

The Two Sides of the Past

Both parts shared in ideologies which at times were totally irrational, and dominated by reflexes which were certainly not theological, but emotional, folkloric, psychological and even, in some cases, pathological.

On the one hand, the post-Soviet part could display immense nationalism – to the incredible point of admiring its persecutor, Stalin – and had a centralised and bureaucratic State mentality, reflected in the indifferent attitudes of some careerist paid clergy who perhaps did not even believe in God. Certainly these showed little visible signs of faith. This went hand in hand with the attitudes of secularist Westernisers who admired the power and wealth of the Vatican (another State-Church, or rather Church-State). Among the post-Soviet people, deprived of Church education for 75 years, could be found an incredible range of absurd extremes and phariseeism, superstitions based on extraordinary ignorance, resulting in misunderstandings and false problems, which had long ago been solved by Orthodox living in the Western world, from whom they refused to learn, blinkered by their nationalism.

On the other hand, the émigré part could also display immense nationalism, only an anti-Soviet nationalism, with a cultural nostalgia for a disappeared past and phariseeism. It refused to understand mass Orthodoxy, rejecting it, isolating itself in the cosy, inward-looking clubbiness of tiny ghettos. It would refuse any non-Russians, making absurd demands of them. To quote many real examples, there were those who preferred to see their church close rather than see non-Russians there. ‘After us, the deluge’. Others said: Let the church close, we will be dead soon and no-one will need it’. One elderly priest told his parishioners that there was no point in his baptising their children, as soon he would be dead and no-one would replace him. Indeed, he soon died and no-one did replace him. I also heard 35 years ago: ‘I would sooner see our church close than hear a word that is not Russian inside it’.

In the Here and Now

Today we live in a world which is both post-Soviet and post-émigré. Both died out and are buried. Those aged under thirty scarcely understand what the words Soviet and émigré mean. They live in the real world.

In the real Orthodox world we see small, provincial, Balkanised churches, in other words, mere nationalist clubs. In the words of members of the Patriarchate of Constantinople (including priests): ‘You cannot join us, you are not dark enough to be Orthodox’ (= Greek). Or: ‘Romanians only’. Or, in one Ukrainian church: ‘If you are not Ukrainian, go away’. Or in one Serbian church: ‘If you are not Serb, you may come in, but you may not kiss the icon of St Sava, as you are not Serb’. Or, as one Georgian priest told me: ‘God only speaks Georgian’. And an elderly Russian woman, sunk in her dark and unrebuked ignorance, told me that ‘God only understands Slavonic’. Such churches have no spiritual relevance and will, as they deserve, die out as most of them already have. Their disappearance is no loss, as their museum existence has no spiritual significance or justification.

The only Local Orthodox Church which is large enough and has the spiritual and intellectual breadth to overcome such petty and divisive nationalism, the curse of the small Local Churches, is the Russian Church. Three-quarters of the whole Church of God, the multinational Russian Church alone has the potential to overcome such provincial narrowness. Its imperial past, its double-headed eagle looking and uniting east and west, is the point around which both groups, inside Russia and outside Russia, and other Local Churches, can converge. For the Soviet period is just as much in the past as is that of the Russian emigration. We do not live in history books, we read them. We live, and are saved, in the here and now. Today, as never before, the Church faces a global challenge and it can only meet this by showing Her catholicity, Her unity in diversity, Her unity of faith at all times and in all places.

Conclusion

In order to overcome the nationalism, provincialism and parochial narrowness of many and to be relevant in today’s global world, the Russian Orthodox Church has to show Her multinationalism. In order to overcome Her former division, She has to show that She is above all provincial variations. The convergence of all requires the courage of purification. And there is no greater example of this than the courage and purification of the one figure who unites us unanimously, the Emperor and Saint, Tsar Nicholas II. He was of international origin, his mother Danish, he spoke five languages and intended to build a church in every European capital and translate the service books into the European languages. And his Tsarina was an Anglo-German convert. They, their five children and their servants, are saints. We need no greater example of multinational Churchliness for our future.

 

 

Towards the Worldwide Mission of the Church of God

This week’s long-awaited admission by a senior Russian Church diplomat that his astounding naivety in trusting Patriarch Bartholomew, who is in fact an untrustworthy and unprincipled US political pawn, was partly to blame for the Ukrainian Church schism, is to be welcomed. Fancy even suggesting that he thought that Patriarch Bartholomew was telling the truth! Of course, it had been obvious from the beginning, and indeed we had been warning him about precisely that for two decades. And now it is too late. The Phanariot schism is spreading worldwide. Worse still, this admission of guilt and responsibility follows the amazing (and by one person actually justified!) naivety in Moscow of blessing Bishop Ambrose (Munteanu) to attend and take part in an anti-Orthodox ecumenical jamboree on 20 October with Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew and other religious politicians in Rome. This is all extraordinary naivety. Diplomacy, yes, compromise, no. The faithful are scandalised. When will lessons be learned?

It would be good if the Church Inside Russia would listen to the experience of the Church Outside Russia. On the one hand, we get on very well with ordinary Non-Orthodox people and parish clergy, meet them and talk to them every day, are very open to them, far more so than those inside Russia, and welcome them, as we speak the same languages as they do. On the other hand, we have not the slightest illusion about the politicised powerbrokers and manipulators at the top of Western religious institutions and isms, and we refuse to compromise with them. Such has been our policy for 100 years, always sharply distinguishing between our friends, ordinary Western people, and manipulative Western religious leaders, so many of whom are pedophiles or else compromised and corrupted by politics and money. We understand that the Soviet Union was cut off from the reality of the Western world for 75 years, but the Soviet Union and both its extremes of ignorance, the liberal and pro-Western as well as the conservative and xenophobic, should have disappeared nearly 30 years ago. It is time to catch up with reality!

Let us return to the Tradition, to the time and values of the holy Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow. He wholly united us. He was not only an American citizen, a missionary, a diplomat, but also the Russian Patriarch, the uncompromising leader of the Orthodox world and founder of the Church Outside Russia 100 years ago, who was persecuted and died for the Orthodox Faith inside the Soviet Union. Let us all learn from him and leave the Soviet past where it belongs, in the past. We today must live for the future. Today Orthodox Christianity has to be preached worldwide before the end. Now that the tiny group of inward-looking Greek Orthodox nationalists, who have never had any international vision and always very little faith, have fallen into schism from World Orthodoxy, it is clear that the Russian Orthodox Church must take the lead. This is because it alone can preach the authentic and uncompromised Orthodox Christian Faith, not only in the deChristianised and anti-Christian Americas and Oceania, but also throughout Eurasia, including in Western Europe, as well as in Africa.

We look forward to the future, when the Russian Church will establish Exarchates in all the continents and subcontinents, where they do not yet exist, to bring the faithful among the nations into the authentic Christian Church, of which most of them have never even heard. Let us not waste any more time and begin now. This is the work of Love.

How the Orthodox Church Was Restructured

From the Introduction to the Online Encyclopedia of the Orthodox Church, 1 December 2045

Introduction: From Moscow to Jakarta

The potential beginning of the solution to the century-old canonical problem of the Orthodox Diaspora first glimmered in the Year 2000. After the repentance for its politically-enforced paralysis expressed at its Jubilee Council in Moscow in August 2000, the Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) was reconciled to the Synod of ROCOR (the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) in 2007. Both sides had dropped nonsensical Cold War political claims and lost the often naïve extremists who had actually believed in those claims. Following their liberation from politics, new horizons for the unity of the whole Church were gradually opening up.

Thus, the first little-noticed step towards structural canonical unity at last came twelve years later. Then, in November 2019 the ROCOR Synod gave up its parishes in Eurasian Indonesia to the new South-East Asian Exarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church, as the ROCOR Synod was no longer able to care for them. However, the very next month phyletist Constantinople and Alexandria fell into schism and in 2020 other Greek nationalist organisations in Greece and Cyprus fell in the same way. This happened during the chastisement of all the Local Churches by the Covid pandemic. All had now become possible. In just one generation, between 2020 and 2045, long anachronistic Church structures were to be wiped away, like a house of cards collapsing.

Africa and the AOC: 2025

After the phyletist Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria had fallen into schism in 2019 under pressure from the US-manipulated Greek Foreign Ministry, pleas from the African faithful eventually forced the pastoral conscience of the ROC to set up an African Exarchate. This was done in 2022. At last freed of Greek nationalist control from Alexandria, a Patriarchate which a century before, already absurdly enough, had claimed the territory of Egypt, let alone all Africa, at last African Orthodox set out on their path of destiny to their own Continental Church. For the ROC at once set about consecrating twenty African bishops for the Exarchate.

Finally, in 2025 the autocephalous African Orthodox Church (AOC) was at last born. Only the historic title ‘of Alexandria’ was retained by the new black Metropolitan Nectarios in Nairobi. He was enthroned 105 years after the repose of the great and much slandered frustrated Alexandrian missionary St Nectarios of Pentapolis. The old schismatic and now bankrupt Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria finally died out altogether in 2029, ten years after its fall into schism. At last the black African people and clergy now had their own black African Metropolitan and Synod of bishops of All Africa. Since then promising talks have been taking place between it and the Miaphysite Coptic, Ethiopian and Eritrean National Churches.

Western Europe and the EOC: 2028

In 2025 ROCOR parishes in Western Europe, at the other end of Eurasia from Indonesia (see above), became part of the by then decentralised and internationalised Western European Exarchate, originally set up by the ROC in 2018. They were soon after joined by hundreds of parishes from other Local Churches. Together they formed a large and multinational Exarchate and in 2028, exactly ten years after the Exarchate had been born, the new European Orthodox Church (EOC) was born, its first Metropolitan, John of Paris and Western Europe.

Oceania and the OOC: 2031

In 2028 the ROC set up an Exarchate for Oceania. Three years later, in 2031, ROCOR and other parishes in Australia and New Zealand, as well as those on Pacific islands, formed the Oceanic Orthodox Church (OOC). Its first Metropolitan was Thomas of Sydney and All Oceania.

Latin America and the LAOC: 2034

In 2031 the ROC set up an Exarchate for Latin America. At last, in 2034, much neglected Latin America also came to have its own Latin American Orthodox Church (called IOAL in both Spanish and Portuguese). Centred in Rio de Janeiro, its first Metropolitan was called James.

North America and the NAOC: 2037

In 2034 ROCOR and ‘OCA’ parishes in North America joined to form a new autonomous North American Orthodox Exarchate under the ROC. ROCOR had made up with the OCA, both Cold War structures, but only once the OCA had rid itself of its Schmemannite Protestant modernists. (They had left for the then still existing, but ultra-modernist and much diminished schismatic Greek-Protestant Archdiocese – much to everyone’s relief). Only with such mutual maturity, at last freed of Cold War politics, was this unity possible.

This unity was sealed by hundreds of parishes of other Local Churches which joined the united Exarchate. They had also abandoned both the backwards-looking petty nationalism of the immigrant ghetto, so much exploited by impoverished Mother-Churches, and the new calendar inferiority complex imitation by Orthodox immigrants of American Protestantism. In 2037 all the Orthodox-believing elements in North America in this Exarchate became part of the new North American Orthodox Church (NAOC). Centred in Washington, its first Metropolitan was called George.

Conclusion: The Ten Local Churches

Thus, in a matter of only twelve years, both the tens of millions of Orthodox of Africa and the tens of millions of Orthodox of the New World Diasporas found themselves belonging to five new Local Churches. It was not long before the twelve other Local Churches in Eurasia, chastised by Covid, regrouped themselves canonically into five Patriarchates. Thus, the old anachronisms and nationalisms disappeared before the worldwide mission God had called on the Church to undertake.

In 2037 in the Balkans a new multinational Church was formed. Calling itself the Patriarchate of Constantinople (the Greek nationalist version of which had died out in Istanbul in 2034), it was centred in Bucharest. It included six former Local Churches, those of Romania, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Albania and their canonical territories. In 2039 the Patriarchate of Antioch helped organise large-scale missions to Turkey and the Arab World, its headquarters at last moving back to Antakya in Turkey, the real Antioch. In 2041 the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, at last freed from Greek colonial status and with a new multinational episcopate became the international centre for Orthodox pilgrims to the Holy Land.

In 2043 the now decentralised Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus (formerly ‘of Moscow’) was joined by the former Churches of Poland and Czechoslovakia, which became Exarchates, like that in Belarus. At the same time the Patriarchate also granted autonomy to its missions in South-East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent, making altogether four Autonomous Churches in its jurisdiction (Japan, China, South-East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent). As for the once small Patriarchate of Georgia, in 2045 it took responsibility for the great mission to Iran. The Orthodox Church had remoulded itself as a family and confederation of Ten Local Churches, five Patriarchates and five Metropolias, covering the whole world, and looking forward to the birth of four more Autocephalous Metropolitan Churches from the Autonomous Churches in due course.

1 December 2045

 

From Recent Correspondence (October 2020)

(Publication delayed because of the pressures of pastoral work and many local events in the last three weeks)

 

Q: Is covid a hoax? And is it manmade?

A: Of course, it is not a hoax. Ask the families of over a million people whom this virus has killed. It has now killed nearly twice as many as swine flu, though of course, this is very few compared to the ravages of the bubonic plague or so-called ‘Spanish flu’. Manmade? Most scientists seem to think that it is completely natural, the result of a lack of hygiene, like so many other viruses and flus. Probably they are right.

The only curious thing about it is the hysterical and panicky reactions of governments, mainly Western ones, which have possibly caused far more damage than the actual virus. Bankruptcy and unemployment, suicide quadrupling and depression: governments have a heavy responsibility here. Rather than protecting the small numbers who are highly vulnerable to covid, they seem to have decided to attack the majority and ruin their lives, notably attacking the Church. These are the reactions of profound atheists who have neither faith, nor hope, nor love.

Q: What did you make of the recently deceased Metr Amfilochije of Montenegro?

A: He was a hero of the Orthodox Faith, a real bishop, who told the Truth. I met him in San Francisco in 2006 and will always remember his words to certain ROCOR delegates who had been so brainwashed by the anti-Russian political propaganda called ‘Sergianism’, dreamed up by the CIA, that they were frightened of having anything to do with the Russian Orthodox Church inside Russia. (Patriarch Sergius had, by the way, been dead for over 60 years, even by then!). He told them: ‘Do not fear Patriarch Sergius, fear God.’ That was precisely what they had not been doing.

Q: Will the Russian Church cease concelebration with the Church of Cyprus following Archbishop Chrysostom’s commemoration of Epiphanius of Kiev as the head of the Church in the Ukraine?

A: I do not know of course, but I do not think so. The Church of Cyprus is 600,000 people. Just because one of them has been forced or bribed by the local US and British ambassadors into commemorating the notorious schismatic Epiphanius, it would seem strange not to commemorate all the other Cypriot Orthodox. However, once more we see how the uncanonical actions of the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the Ukraine have everywhere created schism and division, now in Cyprus too. The US State Department is rejoicing at its divide and rule policy. And so is Satan.

Q: I have read that traditional Catholics will become Russian Orthodox as a result of Pope Francis’ latest, scandalous, syncretistic activities and his stance on homosexual marriage. Do you think this is true?

A: You mean, will some Catholics ask to join the Orthodox Church? Becoming Orthodox is another story.

The answer to your question is no. And this for several reasons:

At present there are very few Orthodox churches in any Catholic countries anywhere in the world. These churches are so thin on the ground and priests so few that even the Russian Orthodox flock is not being looked after.

And most of these churches are closed because of covid.

Many of the Russian Orthodox clergy do not speak the local language, let alone understand the local culture and Catholicism and give these people services in their own languages. So how and by whom will these Catholics be catechised and cared for?

Then, above all, you do not join the Orthodox Church because you are dissatisfied with a Pope, that is, for a negative reason. You join the Orthodox Church because you are convinced that She is the Church of God, that is, for a positive reason.

Finally, many such traditional Catholics may in fact be shocked by what they see as the liberalism of the Orthodox Church, for example, in having married priests or in de facto allowing contraception.

Q: You have written much about Western crimes like the invasion of England in 1066, the Crusades, including the sack of Constantinople in 1204, the Inquisition, colonialist genocides outside Western Europe, for example in the Americas, Western technology used for evil purposes, concentration camps etc. However, is there one single event which you think stands out from all these crimes?

A: Yes. To my mind the greatest crime surpassing all others is the overthrow in 1917 of the Christian Empire and Monarchy centred in Russia (as also the imperial systems of other uncolonised, that is, still free, countries, namely, the Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Ethiopian and Thai). Simply because those countries resisted Western colonialisation, that is, exploitation, they are all presented in the stereotypical Western histories as corrupt, primitive and backward, like the Tsar’s Russia, for instance. Of course, it is the Western histories themselves which were corrupt (their extraordinarily stupid academic authors were all handsomely paid by Western propagandist governments to lie) and so were spiritually primitive and corrupt. All their self-justifying propaganda was simply to destroy Non-Western countries and force them to kow-tow to the Western line.

Firstly, the overthrow of the Tsar by Western spies and Russian traitors committed to anti-spiritual Western bourgeois ideologies (whether Constitutionalism or Marxism) guaranteed a much longer First European or  ‘World’ War. Instead of ending with Russian troops liberating Vienna and Berlin in early summer 1917, it dragged on till November 1918, increasing the total death toll by millions.

Secondly, as soon as Imperial Russia had been knocked out of the War, American troops entered it, as had been long planned.  They brought with them so-called ‘Spanish’ flu, in fact American flu (most believe that it began specifically in the dirt of Kansas). This killed between 17 million and 50 million in a then world of 1.5 billion.

Thirdly, the Western overthrow of the Tsar brought Lenin (four million dead in four years) and Stalin (perhaps ten million dead in all, nearly one million in the Gulag alone), a Second European or ‘World’ War (Hitler could never have risen to power if Russian troops had been in Vienna and Berlin in 1917), that is, the suicide of Europe, with 30 million dead in the Nazi holocaust of Slavdom alone.

Finally, the consequences of the overthrow of the Christian Empire in 1917 are clearly visible today in the abortion holocaust, with millions of children slaughtered in Europe every year for many decades.

Hundreds of millions of dead for over one hundred years, all because of the betrayal of the Christian Empire and the murder of its Emperor and his pious family! And it has not finished yet.

Q: Why has the Orthodox Church been so slow to form a Western Orthodox Church?

A: In order to replace the old Western Patriarchate which fell away from the Church as the result of its pagan lust for power and mammon nearly a thousand years ago, a new Church has to be founded. However, the Church is voluntary. If there is no desire to join the Church, people will not join it. In order to have the desire to become Orthodox, you first need to overcome a thousand years of brainwashing and prejudice, which asserts that the Orthodox Church is not the Christian Church. That the Western world has the only true Christian Church – in the manmade ideologies of Catholicism and Protestantism. And amazingly hundreds of millions actually believe this delusion!

Then you have the whole logistical problem: how do you start a Church in a region that is hostile to you, that says you are ‘Byzantine’ (a curious word not used by Orthodox, which means corrupt) and without resources? You have no infrastructure, no finance and your people are political and economic refugees who do not speak the local language, let alone understand the local culture. This explains all the complications, divisions and extremisms, ranging from the ‘anything goes as long as you pay me’ ecumenism a la Patriarch Bartholomew to the pathological lack of love of others among certain old calendarist groups.

However, a structure has now been born and it is for all of us to contribute to building it up and filling it out, when it is ready for us, each of us in our different way. We are all forerunners in the rebirth of this Local Church. What have you done to contribute?

 

The Inevitable Struggle for the Inevitable Local Church

Foreword

The formation of new Local Orthodox Churches is inevitable, indeed it began long ago. One day there will be four new Local Churches in the world – for Western Europe, North America, South America and Oceania. This is not a prophecy, it is obvious and has been obvious to me for 45 years. When will they appear? This is a spiritual problem, all we know is that the struggle for them is inevitable. Not, I think, in my lifetime, perhaps not even in my children’s lifetimes, but perhaps in the lifetimes of my grandchildren. The formation of a new Local Church in Western Europe is what I have devoted my life to. I hope that, like many others, I will have contributed something positive, however modest, to its foundations.

Introduction

The bane of the Church is any attachment to the world and one of the strongest forms of attachment is nationalism. For example, the Jews could not accept Christ because of their attachment to Jewish nationalism as ‘the chosen people’. Then the Copts and the Armenians broke away from the Church because of nationalism, Western Europe broke away because of Western nationalism, inventing self-justifying ‘Roman’ Catholicism, and the future Protestants broke away from them because of Germanic nationalism. The most flagrant form of this nationalism was perhaps ‘the Church of England’, created by a murderous and power-grasping King.

In much more recent times the unity of the Church has been put under great pressure by flag-waving Greek nationalism, called phyletism, although we still await the repentance of the Phanariot episcopate. Nationalism is by definition worldliness and is therefore anti-missionary. God only speaks the language of the nationalists, be it Hebrew, Latin, Greek or other, and as every Victorian Englishman knew, ‘God is an Englishman’. Nationalist groups inevitably die out, as they are assimilated. Instead of obeying the last two verses of the Gospel of Matthew, they refuse to go out and baptise the world, rather trying to steal the flocks of others, as in today’s Ukraine.

Imperialism

The above is a list of examples of what might be called ‘uncanonical nationalism’, for its extremism always leads to schisms and heresies, that is, it leads to being outside the Church. This we can see with the case of the contemporary Patriarchate of Constantinople, whose schism has taken 100 years to prepare. However, there is also nationalism inside the Church, that is, it is ‘canonical’. Though obviously, by definition, more moderate than the extremist form outside the communion of the Church, it is basically imperialist. Its sign is national exclusivism, it will accept others only if they ‘become Greeks’ or ‘become Russians’, for instance.

This imperialism is marked by the imposition of a single language and a single culture, centralisation and bureaucracy. This is inevitably part of a controlling tyranny, of the bullying and intimidation of both clergy and people at the grassroots. By creating fear and injustice, it hopes to obtain the property and wealth of the people, their church buildings. By mistreating the clergy, this imperialist centralism discourages the missionary impulse, often persecuting any missionary initiative in the name of control and ‘protocols’. Such a mentality is death to the soul and death to the spiritual life of the Church: imperialism is always spiritual death.

Localism

Imperialism is also by definition an attachment to the world, nationalism, but the other extreme of this nationalism is what may be called ‘Localism’. This is the reaction to centralisation, the splitting movement of disunity in the name of some small country, often an artificial one, which has led over the last 200 years to the formation of a whole series of small, ‘Autocephalous’ Local Churches. The most recent example was that which was formed fifty years ago in North America , with the formation of the tiny ‘OCA’, the Orthodox Church in America, a group which in reality united fewer than 10% of Orthodox in North America, perhaps as few as 5%.

The brainchild and scheme of the very practical and frustrated activist Fr Alexander Schmemann, who had taken power from the academic theoretician Fr George Florovsky, the ideologists of the OCA tried to impose US culture, regardless of its lack of spiritual content, on all. Founded not on Orthodox Christianity, this mentality tried to impose the lowest common denominator of local culture – new calendarism, modernism, anti-monasticism, anti-asceticism and anti-spiritual moralism, at best a watered-down rationalistic intellectualism. However, Christ’s Church is founded not on some local human culture, but on His Universal Gospel made incarnate.

Conclusion

For nearly fifty years now we have battled for authentic Orthodoxy, but specifically in the local language (and not in foreign versions of that language!) and for the honouring of local saints, where they exist, and for local traditions which are not opposed to the Church. We cannot ignore the local language, geography and history, we must consult and not ignore experience. All else is arrogance. What we have observed in the last half-century is that every nationalist formation, whether of imperialist or localist nationalism, has died out. Thus, both Greek and Russian Churches have died out here, as has also the attempt to create an Anglican Orthodoxy.

This 21st century will not bring a nationalistic Neo-Anglican ‘British Orthodox Church’, as they wanted. However, it may bring an Autocephalous Western European Orthodox Church, led by His Beatitude Metropolitan N. in Paris. As regards the four peoples and nations of these ‘Islands of the North Atlantic’ (IONA), it would find itself an autonomous part of such a Metropolia. It could have four archbishops, one for England, one for a reunited Ireland, one for Scotland and one for Wales, possibly with vicar bishops. However, realistically, this can only happen under the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church, which alone founds new Churches. May God’s will be done.

 

Tragedy in Belarus

After ten days of demonstrations, protests are continuing in Belarus. True, they are nothing like as violent or as widespread as the riots in the USA, which have been going on for some two months now, but those in Belarus could topple the democratically-elected dictator Lukashenko. A yesterday’s Communist, a today’s Democrat and essentially a corrupt country bumpkin, like any number of other post-Communist oligarchs, his time is nearly up. Like the equally corrupt Ukrainian fool Yanukovich, who was toppled in 2014, he will surely, sooner of later, go. It is time for a new generation. Post-Sovietism is dead.

However, Western spy services, based in Lithuania (where the CIA has torture ‘facilities’)  and in territory-greedy Poland, are hoping that they will replace Lukashenko with some Fascist billionaire puppet like Poroshenko, as they did in the Ukraine. Thus, they would ensure permanent civil war, mass poverty and chaos in Belarus, just as they did in the Ukraine these last six years. The idea that the Western elite could position its NATO tanks and nuclear missiles along the Russian border, just 250 miles from Moscow, is very tempting to the greedy globalists. After all, their spiritual ancestors a hundred and twenty years ago were already eyeing the mineral wealth of the Russian Empire and so had its Tsar, and tens of millions of others, murdered by their Communist minions. However, this is unlikely to happen in Belarus. Why?

The modern Ukraine is an artificial country created since 1922 for purely political reasons by three Western-backed Communist monsters: Lenin, Stalin and Khrushchov. The eastern, northern and southern three-sixths of the Ukraine are more or less purely Russian and part of what was (Orthodox) Christian Civilisation; the west of centre area around Kiev, two-sixths of the whole, like Belarus, still has the same Civilisation and faith as Russia, though is different from it and mainly speaks a dialect of Russian called Surzhik; finally, the far western sixth (which Stalin stole from Poland in 1939) has nothing to do with Christian Civilisation and Russia. It is the former Hapsburg and virulently nationalistic province of Galicia. Though Polish-hating and once Nazi-supporting, it has far more in common with its Polish neighbour, including its majority religion (also once Nazi-supporting), than anywhere else. This sixth is the only real ‘Ukraine’ (= ‘border land’) and speaks the many dialects of the Ukrainian language, which resembles a very distinctive mixture of Slovak, Polish and Russian.

On the other hand, Belarus is in reality a provincial part of Russia. Over 70% there speak Russian virtually all the time; unlike in the Ukraine the other 30%, who speak Belarussian virtually only at home, also speak fluent Russian. In any case, the language is mostly understandable to Russians, unlike Ukrainian. Moreover,  80% of Belarussians have said that they would be happy to become an autonomous republic, like other such republics, within the Russian Federation.

The Ukraine has now become a largely third-world country, poorer than Kenya; its wealth has been stolen by some thirteen Western-backed oligarch-thieves, who spend most of their time laundering their cash in Tel Aviv, London and New York. Today’s Ukraine resembles the Soviet Union of 30 years ago, only nothing has been done there since, so it is even shabbier than then; the roads are ruinous, as are most of the unrenovated buildings. Its infrastructure, including hospitals and schools, is largely in an unspeakable condition and it survives on handouts from the US puppet called the IMF. As a country with a huge demographic crisis (who wants to have children in a desperately poor, utterly corrupt and Fascist-controlled backwater?), it is possible that its people could actually die out within a century. Millions of young people have fled it for Russia and Poland.

In comparison, Belarus is clean, orderly, has full employment and is more prosperous (thanks to trade with Russia) than the catastrophically poor and run-down EU Lithuania and Latvia or the US puppet state in Kiev. This makes its leader popular with many who vote for him because they fear worse than him. However, Belarus, like the old Soviet Union which it so resembles, only is more prosperous, is also sinsiterly Orwellian.

For Lukashenko is no angel. He is a dictator with a violent streak (just like so many CIA-backed Latin American and Asian puppets) and clearly suffers from North Korean style megalomania. He is also, at times, profoundly anti-Russian. President Putin is fed up with his anti-Russian actions and his oligarch corruption, just like that of the Ukrainian idiot Yanukovich with his golden toilet. But that does not mean that Lukashenko is about to be replaced by some Western puppet, who will make Belarus into just another divided and ruled, CIA-run vassal state. Even the stupidest members of the bankrupt Western elite, now obsessed by the covid virus, realise that they made a terrible mess in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine. They cannot afford to repeat the same mistake in Belarus. The bankrupt EU does not want Belarus, any more than it wants the Ukraine. The EU cannot even absorb hopelessly corrupt and poor Bulgaria and Romania. The West needs President Putin to do something for Belarus.

Let us be clear, there is much better than Lukashenko. But to be honest, there is also much worse – you only have to look at the utterly corrupt Ukraine, Lithuania and Latvia for examples. God forbid that worse should happen than Lukashenko. Three (officially) Belarussians have died so far at the hands of  Lukashenko’s thuggish riot police – it is getting almost as bad as the situation in the USA. Let us pray that the Belarussian obscenities, with both sides committing acts of violence, will cease and that Belarus will no longer be a (post-) Communist dictatorship, will not be transformed into just another corrupt and poor CIA/NATO colony, and be transfigured into an Orthodox Christian country. Then a tragedy would become an example to its neighbours.

The Feast of the Transfiguration 2020

The Spirit of St Edmund

Foreword

Our Orthodox Kingdom lives and prays beneath the standard of holy Edmund, the King and Martyr of East Anglia (+ 869), and the first Patron Saint of the English Land. His standard is made up of a crown, representing his kingship, his virginity and his martyrdom, against the background of a heavenly blue and crossed arrows. These arrows show how he defended his Kingdom and so won Paradise, being shot through with many of them by violent and heathen men who then beheaded him.

Introduction

St Edmund’s heavenly kingdom is the East Anglian corner in Paradise, but his earthly kingdom was and is made up of what is now Norfolk, Suffolk and the fenlands of eastern Cambridgeshire. However, it spread and spreads its influence across its marches into northern Essex, across the fens into the East Midlands, and in missions still further afield, thus taking his spirit outside his land. St Edmund expressed this spirit in life and in death in the values of Orthodox Christian Civilisation, which are:

  1. Faithfulness

The Old English word ‘geleafful’ (literally, faithful) was the word chosen by missionary monks to translate the Greek word ‘Orthodox’. Thus, faithful Christians are Orthodox Christians and vice versa. Through his confession of the Faith in his life and by his martyrdom in his death, there is no doubt that St Edmund was an Orthodox Christian, faithful to the end to the Gospel of Christ, which he imitated. It is this faithfulness, that is, Orthodoxy that we need and seek to follow today.

  1. Kingship

Edmund was of the noble and kingly line of East Anglia and its last King. He was also the faithful and trusted friend of the holy King Alfred the Great, unifier of England and its greatest Sovereign. Edmund fought alongside Alfred to defend Nottingham in the East Midlands. He was noble in blood, but also in conduct, fearlessly fighting the heathen, but not afraid to die, like the King of Kings, at his own Gethsemane and Golgotha in Hoxne, in the very centre of his Kingdom between north and south.

  1. Care for the People

His tenth-century life described him as ‘wise and honourable’, that ‘he ever glorified Almighty God by his noble conduct’, was ‘humble and devout’, ‘mindful of the true teaching’, ‘among men as one of them’, ‘bountiful to the poor and to widows even like a father’, that ‘with goodwill he ever guided his people to righteousness and lived happily in the true faith’. He chose ‘rather to die for his own land’, ‘never turning aside from the worship of Almighty God or from His true love, whether he lived or died’.

Conclusion

These Trinitarian values are essential as they represent all that is missing here today. Thus, there is little faithfulness and they only argue about how best to betray the Faith. There is little sense of Kingship as there is little nobility, spirit of sacrifice, they are only political opportunists and careerists who replace the Kingdom of Heaven with the Republic of Hell. And there is little pastoral care for the people as anti-missionaries are in power. Therefore, our mission now is to spread the spirit of St Edmund.

 

 

 

The Three Twenty-First Century Challenges for the Whole Orthodox Church

Introduction

The fourteen Local Churches, many of them recent foundations, which at present make up the Orthodox Church face many different challenges according to their local conditions. Basically, however, all these challenges can be grouped into three categories. These are:

Living in the Past

Here, we are talking, to put it crudely, about a sort of old fogeyism. At the extreme, for example, there are those in the Phanar in Istanbul, who still think that 1453 has not yet taken place – they are well over 550 years behind reality. Constantinople no longer exists and its flock is well under 1,000 people. Another Patriarchate, which only in the 20th century began to claim Africa and not just Egypt as its territory, is still stuck in Alexandria, where it has virtually no flock. Another Syrian group calls itself ‘of Antioch’, another place that no longer exists by that name and today is in Turkey. Another is run from the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens and the local Palestinian people, who do not speak Greek, have no say over the foreigners who are set over them and cannot speak their language. However, all the Local Churches can provide example of this backwards-looking mentality.

Equally, in all the Local Churches there are clerics and even a few laypeople who are so stuck in their youths in the 1960s and 1970s that they actually still believe in ecumenism, modernism and new calendarism! This is incredible; those absurd movements, in which we never believed in any case, died out in the last millennium. How can you possibly be a modernist in a post-modernist world?! How can you possibly be a syncretist when the whole world glorifies diversity?! How can you possibly claim to be Orthodox and yet live on the papal calendar – Muslims and Jews do not?! However, as the gerontocrats, often in their eighties and nineties, die out and are replaced by the new, forwards-looking generation, these movements will be forgotten, locked away in cobwebbed museums and the dustbins of history.

Centralisation

Here is a more serious problem, as it concerns everyone, but especially the larger Local Churches. This is in fact the problem of power and money. The bureaucratisation of the Church through power structures and the taxing of parishes as a result to support these superstructures, whose very existence seems to many to be quite unnecessary, is a severe problem. Thus, during the covid crisis, many parishes received virtually no income, but in some places ‘Church’ bureaucrats still demanded large sums to run their palaces from clergy who already had to find secular work in order to sustain their families. There is now a great deal of discontent at the grassroots, all the more so, as many see such bureaucracy as parasitic in any case. There could soon be a revolt at this level. Reform here is beginning, as it must.

Moral Decadence

Here again is a very serious problem which, moreover, is structural and in fact institutional. This moral decadence means the dual problems of simony and sodomy. The former problem is a massive problem in several Local Churches, not least the Russian, the Constantinopolitan and the Romanian. Needless to say this practice is totally uncanonical, the canons on simony are very strict. The second problem has developed as a result of the lack of monastic life, and even worse, the refusal to consecrate good monks as bishops, even where there is monastic life, and instead to consecrate celibates of any stripe.

In one Local Church, one Metropolitan is only such because he and his parents belonged to the ‘right’ political party (they had the right surname) and he did not marry. Is that enough? Of course not. The emigrations have for decades been plagued by notorious gay mafias of bishops, who persecute married clergy, probably through jealousy. The scandals are endless. All we can say is, thank God, that, unlike in Roman Catholicism, most Orthodox priests are married and at least there are no scandals of that sort here.

Conclusions: Three Solutions to Three Challenges

The shape of the future seems clear. By the end of this century, if not by the middle of this century, three great changes will have taken place, because they have to take place, within the Orthodox Church. These will recognise that we now live in a global world and that the time of absurd anachronisms and petty and silly nationalisms is long past.

Firstly, in response to moral decadence, there is going to be, once more, a married episcopate, whether we like it or not. This will mean that, as before, dioceses will be much smaller, with only perhaps twelve parishes in each. The new bishops may, as before, have secular jobs and a simplification of their role will ensue. Thus, the dioceses of Local Churches will, as before, become truly local again. This means that there will at last be the leadership which we have so utterly lacked in the last centuries, when bishops acted as mere State functionaries.

Secondly, in response to centralisation, there must appear four new Local Churches, one for Western Europe and three for the New World: one for Western Europe (WEOC); one for North America (NAOC), one for Latin America (IOAL) and one for Oceania (OOC).

Thirdly, in response to living in the past, a number of very small, very fragile and therefore very dependent and very nationalistic Local Churches, some invented in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for purely political reasons, others mere anachronisms, may well have merged. Thus, we may end up with only Twelve Patriarchates, Twelve Local Churches. Perhaps, as follows:

The Russian (of New Jerusalem and All Rus).

The Eastern European (of Bucharest and All Eastern Europe).

The African (of Nairobi and All Africa).

The Middle Eastern (of Jerusalem and All the (ex-Muslim) East).

The Japanese (of Tokyo and All Japan).

The Chinese (of Beijing and All China).

The South-East Asian (of Hanoi and All South-East Asia).

The Indian (of Delhi and All India).

The Western European (of Paris and All (ex-Roman Catholic and ex-Protestant) Western Europe).

The North American (of Chicago and All North America).

The Latin American (of Caracas and All Latin America).

The Oceanian (of Sydney and All Oceania).