Tag Archives: The Future

Towards the Fifth Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

Foreword

At the present time, in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) are thinking about the significance of this our centenary year. Many will be thinking about the past, the last hundred years, and its important events. However, I would rather focus on the future, though it is also perfectly true that we cannot think of our future if we do not first understand our past. Here is a small offering.

Introduction: Four Councils

Church Councils are called whenever major decisions have to be taken, whenever there are controversies, for which solutions are urgently needed. Thus, a period without Councils can in some respects be seen as a calm and positive period, a period without divisive controversies. For we do not hold Councils just for the sake of them. This is as true of the Seven Universal (Oecumenical) Councils as it is of Local Councils. Thus, in the one hundred year history of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which was founded effectively by a Russian and an American citizen, St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, by his decree No 362 of 20 November 1920, four ‘All-Diaspora’ ROCOR Councils of clergy and laity have so far taken place. These were in 1921, 1938, 1974 and 2006. Although not occurring exactly every generation, they have in effect marked generational change, turning-points in our history.

The Four Councils

  1. The First Council – Foundation and Organisation – 1921

The First Council was called by Metropolitan Antony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev, who was the most senior Russian bishop forced into exile. It took place in 1921 in Sremsky Karlovtsy, in what later became Yugoslavia, with the blessing of the Serbian Orthodox Church. This was in the foundational period of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and this Council was devoted to organizing administrative and canonical structures for the Church. In this way, the thirty-four Russian bishops forced into exile worldwide were able to establish a united Church structure of metropolia, dioceses and parishes for their flocks, composed almost uniquely of Russian Orthodox refugees.

  1. The Second Council – Consolidation and Pastoral Care – 1938

The Second Council was held in 1938, also in Sremsky Karlovtsy. This Council, led by the second primate of ROCOR, Metropolitan Anastasy (Gribanovsky), consolidated the organization of the Church for the second generation. It considered the spiritual rebirth needed by the émigré flock and the new generation, the struggles against sectarianism, political schisms, the persecutions of the Church inside Russia and the missionary sense of the Russian Diaspora. Here, ROCOR continued to assert that ‘the part of the Russian Church which is outside Russia is an indissoluble, spiritually united branch of the Russian Church. She does not separate Herself from the Mother Church and is not autocephalous’.

  1. The Third Council – Resistance and Canonisation – 1974

The Third Council was held in 1974 at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, under the third primate of ROCOR, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky). Facing the challenges met by the third generation, this Council examined Church life in the ever more difficult conditions of the Western world where most had been born or were settled for ever. It also called for unity among the parts of the Russian Diaspora that were in schism from the Church Outside Russia. It noted the dangers of ecumenism and modernism in Church life and the need to resist these disintegrating movements. It also drew attention to the continuing persecution of the Church inside Russia, thus paving the way for the heroic and history-changing canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in 1981.

  1. The Fourth Council – Reconciliation and Mission – 2006

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 and so the end of persecution, the situation of the Church inside Russia changed radically. ROCOR now had to re-examine attitudes to the once Soviet-enslaved Church and hierarchy there. Following the long-awaited canonization of the New Martyrs and Confessors in Moscow in 2000, which confirmed the ROCOR canonisation of 1981, and other acts showing new freedom and at last the beginning of the multi-generational process of de-Sovietisation, in 2003 the ROCOR Council of Bishops entered into dialogue with the Patriarchal administration. Very important questions had arisen, relating to normalizing relations with the Church inside Russia and to ROCOR’s temporary self-governance, which in its fourth generation needed to become permanent. Also examined were issues regarding ROCOR’s future identity, purpose and mission as an integral yet also spiritually independent part of the Western world, with only very few of the faithful, many of them born in the ex-Soviet Union, ever intending to return to their impoverished native lands.

The Fifth Council?

In 2020, our centenary year, no-one is as yet talking about the need for a Fifth Council. Indeed, such a Council could easily be a generation away, in 2045, or even after. However, whatever may happen, it is clear that there are temptations to avoid in the second century of our existence. These temptations come about because, whatever our origins and native languages, we, the fifth generation, and our children, grandchildren and all our descendants in the 21st and perhaps 22nd centuries, are here to stay. We are clearly outside both disappeared (Imperial) Russia and the disappeared Soviet Union. We are not abroad. We are not a Diaspora.

Indeed, most of us are not Russian, but Ukrainian, Moldovan, Latvian, Kazakh, American, English, Australian, but most hold the passports of Anglosphere countries. Though there are faithful in Germany as well as in Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Venezuela and other countries, most members of our Church now belong to the English-speaking world, whether to the USA, which is our centre and almost unique source of bishops, or Canada, Australia, the UK, Ireland, New Zealand or countries in some way dependent on the Anglosphere (Costa Rica, Haiti, Jamaica etc). In this, our real situation, what are the two temptations to avoid, temptations which in one way or another will certainly be discussed at any future Fifth Council?

  1. The Temptation of being a Church, but not Local

The first temptation to avoid is that of ceding to any form of political pressure from Russia, direct or indirect, and so becoming a mere mouthpiece for some form of post-Soviet nationalism. This was the error of parts of the old ROCOR, which died out because they looked back only to a disappeared past, a past that was irrelevant to the generations born here. Any forms of nationalism and cultural nostalgia, Russian, Soviet, post-Soviet or other, are not the way to go. They are an indulgence that rapidly becomes spiritually perilous. That is the way to the ghetto which will inevitably die out, like all ghettoes, the way to the old people’s home and the cemetery.

  1. The Temptation of being Local, but not a Church

The second temptation to avoid is that of ceding to local Western pressure, direct pressure by persecution from local Western States or indirect pressure by assimilation, and becoming, like so many ‘ethnic’ and flag-waving ‘jurisdictions’ of so many nationalities, just another mouthpiece for US/Western nationalism and secularism. Then we would be just another secularist organization, integrated not into Western society but into Western secularism, an organisation with a mere religious and ethnic façade, that has lost its identity, except for titles, folkloric food recipes and folk dancing and costumes. Salt that has lost its savour. Such organisations are always absorbed and disappear into history.

Conclusion

In order to avoid both temptations we must at one and the same time be faithful to the (Imperial) Russian Orthodox Tradition which we have gratefully received from the past of ROCOR and continue to receive, but also be local in the present, for the sake of the future. We must be transcendent, but also immanent, be godly, but also incarnate locally, be divine, but also human. We must be pastoral and so stop losing generation after generation of young people through their assimilation. We have to look back to our inheritance, but also to be incarnate in our present for the sake of our future. In short, we have to be a real Church, but also really Local.

 

The Future of the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe

 

There are, as of 2020, three different episcopal-led groups of Russian Orthodox in Western Europe. Which are they?

  1. Russian: The Western European Exarchate of the Moscow Patriarchate, its Diocese in Germany and parishes in Scandinavia:

This is the largest of the three groups with seven bishops and the most people and also the most means, representing some 65% or two-thirds of the whole. However, it is not Local, but looks to Moscow and is often connected with Russian Embassies. These external links are partly because this group is largely composed of recent immigrants, often still with Russian passports, and mainly has recent or recently-acquired church buildings. Its roots are therefore not local and it has problems adapting to local cultures and mentalities and also a huge shortage of local clergy.

  1. Local: The Paris Metropolia, centred in Rue Daru in Paris

This is by far the smallest of the three groups, with approximately eight properties in Western Europe, mainly chapels, thus being only 10% of the whole. Representing 58% of the old Constantinople Archdiocese of the Russian Tradition, it has only one elderly bishop and outside Paris has only a very weak infrastructure. In many respects it has lost its roots in the Russian Tradition, having abandoned even the calendar of the Russian Church, but it does understand local cultures and mentalities.

  1. Russian and Local: The Western European and German Dioceses of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

This is neither large, nor small and it does have four active bishops. On the one hand, it is very weak in the Nordic countries, Ireland and also in Italy, Spain and Portugal, but it does have stronger centres, in Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg and England. Although it only represents about 25% of the total, most of the historic churches in Western Europe belong to it. It is on the one hand Russian, but also Local, its bishops being the only ones with having local titles: London, Vevey, Berlin and Stuttgart. It is notable that many more recent immigrants from the ex-Soviet Union move to it after a few years and begin feeling that they have a dual identity, Russian and Local.

What will the future bring? This is in the judgement of God.

 

The Russian Orthodox Émigré Contribution to the Future World Orthodox Church

A few years ago the now Metropolitan Tikhon of Pskov asked us the question: What distinctive contribution can the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) make to the Church inside Russia? Here is my answer to him in the light of the most recent events:

Our Orthodox Christian Faith is Trinitarian: God the Father, Who is the instinctive knowledge of the existence of God, God the Son, Who represents the Incarnation of the Faith in all human affairs on earth (as denied for a thousand years by the Western world), and God the Holy Spirit, Who sanctifies all the nations who accept Him. This Trinitarian knowledge has always been expressed in the Russian Orthodox words: ‘For the Faith, For the Tsar, For Rus’. This motto was in turn expressed in recent history by the three ROCOR Saints, the Three Saints of the Emigration:

‘For the Faith’ was expressed by St Jonah of Hankou (+ 1925), the first ROCOR saint. Fleeing as a refugee with the White Russians and absolutely faithful to the fullness of Russian Orthodoxy, within a very short time of becoming a bishop at a very young age in Manchuria, he established an orphanage, a school, and a dining hall for the poor. Thus he combined the love of the Liturgy with practical love for our neighbour, as the Gospel calls us to do. This is indeed the essence of the Orthodox Christian Faith.

‘For the Faith and for the Tsar’ was expressed a generation later by St Seraphim of Boguchar (+ 1950). He expressed the values of Russian Orthodoxy in his writings and was also the great defender of Orthodoxy against both the heresies of the renovationist Paris School in the 1930s and ecumenism, notably at the Inter-Orthodox Council of Moscow in July 1948. He asked: What is the role of the Tsar? He answered that he is the incarnation of the Faith in the life of the State, in social, political and economic affairs. This is why we await the coming of the next Tsar, the White Tsar, whether he is a man of piety, or Christ Himself in His Second Coming.

‘For the Faith, for the Tsar and for Rus’ was then expressed by St John of Shanghai (+ 1966). The first ‘universal saint’, as he has been called, he lived all over the planet and celebrated the Liturgy and preached in many languages, extending the understanding and practice of ‘Rus’ worldwide far beyond East Slavdom, which stretches from Slovakia to the shores of the Pacific. Now we talk about American Rus, Australian Rus, English Rus, French Rus, German Rus, Irish Rus, Peruvian Rus, Swiss Rus. Wherever, worldwide, there is the uncorrupted Christian Faith of the Russian Orthodox world, there is Rus.

Some in Russia would say that this is what they have always believed. True, but the emigration expressed it with a refined purity and much extended significance, all of which became possible only after the catastrophe of the 1917 Revolution.  All three saints together, the Three New Pillars of Orthodoxy, completed their lives on three different continents: St Jonah in China in Asia; St Seraphim in Bulgaria in Europe and St John in San Francisco in North America.

It is this, the global reality of Rus, which the Church inside Russia is now learning from us. Once captive inside the mental borders of the Soviet Union, the multinational Russian Orthodox Church has recently established a Western European Exarchate and a South-East Asian Exarchate, becoming ever more deeply the Church of Eurasia. Now, with the long-expected apostasy of Greek Churches, far too weak to stand up to corrupting American pressure, there has appeared the possibility of setting up a Turkish Exarchate in Asia and solving the old calendarist schism in Greece in Europe.

Moreover, extending to a new Continent, it could set up an African Orthodox Church with local, not colonial, bishops. Beyond this there is the possibility of founding a real North American Orthodox Church, with the future merger of the healthy elements of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) with ROCOR. And ROCOR in turn can, with canonical and practical support from inside Russia, help set up a Church of Oceania and a Church of South America. It is our hope that we shall yet see founded a church dedicated to the Three New Pillars of Orthodoxy, the Pillars of the Russian emigration of three different continents. The future begins now.

The Western Captivity is Ending: The Restoration of Orthodoxy is Gathering Strength

Introduction: Miracles

In 2007 the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) and the Church inside Russia were miraculously reconciled before me, as I stood confessing ex-Soviet generals and others in the miraculously rebuilt Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. Then, as a priest from the Rue Daru Archdiocese concelebrated, I did not think that it would take that Archdiocese another twelve tumultuous years to return to its Russian Mother Church. However, this miracle too has come about – in 2019 – and its Archbishop Jean has now become Metropolitan Jean. Who cannot be moved to see his photo, with that of the distinguished Protopresbyter Anatoly Rakovich and others, at last reunited with the Russian Church? Here are joy and triumph come from the grace of God.

True, his Metropolia is tiny, with only some sixty, mainly small, parishes, largely in France, but also in Belgium, the Netherlands and England. Nevertheless, it is both historic and important, as it includes many who have worked tirelessly for the Orthodox evangelization of mainly French-speaking countries in Western Europe, translating, presenting the Faith and celebrating the Liturgy. This unity became possible only after 2000, once the New Martyrs and Confessors had been canonized in Moscow. This meant that the Church inside Russia and its representatives abroad would now progressively be unshackled from enslavement to the State and from renovationism by their veneration for the New Martyrs and Confessors, who witnessed to Christ against both.

The Past

Thus, the century from 1917 on until today of colossal Orthodox decadence is coming to an end. Marked successively by the forced introduction of the Roman Catholic (‘new’) calendar, the spread of ecumenism, the shortening of the Liturgy, the dismantling of iconostases, the installation of chairs and pews in churches, the establishment of a largely homosexual and anti-monastic episcopate who persecute married clergy and monks alike, the contempt for the canons and the services and the absurd ideology of Eastern Papism, all led by Constantinople, controlled and manipulated  by Anglo-American geopolitics, and aped by others equally weak in faith, the decadence is ending. We thank God for this grace, for it comes from Him, not from men.

We naturally welcome this historic event with a joy beyond words. We helped in the fight against the double-bladed sword of renovationism and sectarianism everywhere, despite phenomenal injustices and persecution. Only our native Eastern English stubbornness helped; others, including a ROCOR Archbishop, told me that they would have given up long ago and walked away from the disgraceful and scandalous. The fight was harsh, the combat was rude. The Centre in Moscow, held captive by Communism and betrayed by renovationist internal enemies both inside and outside Russia, was occupied, the barbarians were inside the City. There was no alternative for those faithful to Russian Orthodoxy but to join one of the two Non-Moscow émigré groups.

The first group was the Church Outside Russia, ROCOR, worldwide and embracing over 85% of the Russian emigration. In the late 1940s, its Synod moved from Europe and has since been based in New York. Sadly, from the 1960s on it was to spend a long period darkened by the accession to power in it of those promoting Cold War sectarianism, phariseeism, ritualism, nationalism and CIA-funded politicking. In 2007 the sectarians left for the only place they could go – to various old calendarist sects. ROCOR now appears to be turning into the Russian Orthodox Church of the English-speaking world. Now dominated by the new immigration, the old largely having died out, the sectarian mentality has today been consigned to the dustbin of history.

The second group was Rue Daru, geographically limited to a few countries in Western Europe and embracing less than 15% of the Russian emigration. It has always been based in Paris. Founded by anti-Tsar, revolutionary, Saint Petersburg aristocrats, liberals, intellectuals and freemasons who soon broke away from ROCOR, it was from the start contaminated by a Western captivity to Protestant, pseudo-intellectual renovationism and fanatical Russophobia. This it later spread to the ex-Uniat Metropolia in the USA, which, today called the OCA, is only now freeing itself of its captivity after over fifty years. Now dominated by the new immigration, the old largely having died out, the renovationist mentality has today been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Conclusion: The Future

Today Metropolian Jean stands with authority, the aggressive enemies of Orthodoxy like the Fraternite, Struve, Behr and others who so persecuted and mocked us, gone. The obstacles they presented fell with their deaths and despite a few neo-renovationists, 1960s rebels against their émigré parents, agents of Western spy services, those married to or paid by Roman Catholics or arrived from Moscow in the 1990s with a political axe to grind, or naïve converts, nothing now stands in the way of restoring Orthodoxy and abandoning the hopelessly old-fashioned half-Catholic/half-Protestant ‘Euro-Orthodox’ mentality. This means restoring the Russian Tradition, abandoning the Catholic calendar and other liturgical and canonical eccentricities.

The remains of émigré Russian Orthodoxy, ROCOR in Western Germany, Switzerland and Great Britain, Rue Daru in France, and Moscow everywhere, are now in the One Russian Church. The Church has been cleansed; parasitic, secularist-minded elements have fallen away. The bad old days are over. Persecution by racists and renovationists is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. We have now moved a step closer to establishing a United Russian Orthodox Exarchate in Western Europe, faithful to the Tradition, venerating the local saints in the local languages, the foundation of the restored future Orthodox Church of Western Europe, our combat against the traitors and their injustices, and our dream of nearly fifty years, done. This is a miracle of God.

 

Western Tragedy and Christian Victory

After the collapse of Communism 30 years ago, the Western elite, obsessed by its control-freak fantasy of global supremacy, launched an extraordinarily aggressive campaign against the Non-Western 85% of the world, hoping to enslave it to its militant secularism. Thus, in the last 30 years it has constantly trampled on freedom and democracy worldwide, launching two illegal wars against Iraq, invading Afghanistan, promoting its version of ‘free trade’ but imposing illegal sanctions against free trade on states such as China, Russia, Venezuela, Iran, North Korea and Turkey, implementing violent ‘regime change’ in many countries, committing genocide, creating millions of refugees by creating chaos through proxy wars, as in Iraq, Syria, Libya and the Yemen, sending troops to West Africa, threatening independent countries with invasion and launching cyber-attacks against all competitors, while hypocritically accusing them of doing the same.

The Russian Federation has been a particular victim of Western aggression. Here the West has for example given refuge to billionaire oligarch thieves of Russian public assets, financed violent demonstrations by marginal political groups against its democratically elected government, arranged false flag propaganda assassinations of Russian citizens abroad (the Litvinenko and Skripal cases, which only the very naïve actually believe were carried out by Russia), overthrew the pro-Russian Ukrainian government by violence and so started a bloody civil war there, rejected the decision of the vast majority of citizens of the Crimea to return to Russia by democratic referendum after sixty years of captivity, set up puppet governments in countries surrounding Russia and sent them NATO troops and arms to strut along Russian borders and, more recently, relaunched its self-bankrupting nuclear arms race against Russia, treacherously breaking all its past treaties and promises.

More recently still it has, through blackmail, bribery and flattery of provincial Greek nationalist vanity, created a split in the 220-million strong Orthodox Church. This was done by separating over 100 bishops of the dying Greek Church in Istanbul, known as Constantinople or the Phanar, as well as the elderly Archbishop of Athens, from communion with the multinational Russian Orthodox Church, by having the Phanar create a Church schism in the Ukraine. Using its local ambassadors, the West then tried to spread this schism to other Local Orthodox Churches, especially in Greece, Serbia, Montenegro and Georgia. Indeed, in an unprecedented case in the latter Church a homosexual metropolitan has just been defrocked for trying to poison its saintly Patriarch. Thus, the West operates through threatening faithful Christians and buying ‘Phanarodox’ careerists, ecumenists, racists and homosexuals, always using the worst of the worst for its base purposes.

The latter anti-zealots are used to fight against and persecute lovers of Orthodox Christianity, especially ascetic monks, sincere married clergy and faithful laypeople. Therefore, in this Church schism, as in many other matters, Western aggression is failing, for although man proposes, God disposes. In the Ukraine, bankrupted by its civil war which the US-installed regime started against the peoples of this recently-invented country (1), the miserable little schism has come to nothing. And this despite the Nazi-style violence, threats and intimidation which have been used by the State authorities against the faithful over and over again. Moreover, most of the 900 Orthodox bishops outside Istanbul have refused to have anything to do with its corruption. And the French Rue Daru Archbishop Jean and 60 parishes in France, the Netherlands and England, have just quit the bullying of the Phanariots for the joyful embrace of their Russian Mother-Church and canonicity.

This has further strengthened the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of Western Europe, as it moves towards unity, gathering all elements together in order to recreate the Local Church here in place of its present spiritual vacuum. As for the Russian Orthodox Exarchate of South-East Asia, which stretches from Korea to Thailand through Laos and Vietnam to Singapore and the successful missions in Taiwan and the Philippines, it too has just been strengthened through the many parishes of the Indonesian mission. These have just been transferred from the jurisdiction of the basically English-speaking Church Outside Russia to the well-financed and well-organized Exarchate. Thus, we see how the tragedy of secularist Western aggression has been marked by the victory of God’s Church, in West and East. Indeed, man does propose, but God does dispose, and the gates of hell shall not prevail. Victory belongs to Christ, not to petty racist nationalism, bribery, threats and perversion.

We now look more confidently to the future. The present schism, provoked by the US State Department through its Greek puppets in Istanbul and Ukrainian puppets in Kiev is the death rattle of the Phanar before its end. As it finally dies out some 570 years after it lost its significance in 1453, its parishes in the USA, Australia and Great Britain emptying, as elderly immigrants die out, having failed to pass on the Faith to the local generations, the Russian Orthodox Church, uniting Eurasia, faces a huge challenge. From the Western European Exarchate to the South-East Asian Exarchate the need for mission is enormous. Outside the Eurasian landmass, where well over five billion people live, it can also help the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its mission of converting a billion Africans and help the New-York-based Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in its mission of converting the billion who live in the largely English, Spanish and Portuguese-speaking New World of the Americas and Oceania.

May Thy will be done, O Lord.

 

Note:

  1. Invented as an idea by the Hapsburgs for divide and rule purposes at the end of the 19th century, the anti-historical concept of the ‘Ukraine’ (simply meaning ‘border lands’) was implemented by three blood-soaked 20th century dictators, Lenin, Stalin and Khushchov. These anti-Russian mass murderers stole most of the territory of ‘the Ukraine’ from surrounding countries, all the while keenly supported by the Western Powers. Thus, the Ukrainian flag is derived from that of 19th century Lower Austria and its trident emblem comes from a cattle brand used in the same area at the time. The current Ukrainian President, a Jewish comedian, cannot even hold a conversation in Ukrainian.

A Vision for the Post-2020 World

Introduction: The Realignments of the New Century

Just as the nineteenth century began not in 1801, but in 1815 in London after the defeat of the French Napoleon, so the twentieth century began not in 1901, but in 1919 in Versailles, the terms of which treaty largely dictated by the USA, after the defeat of the German Kaiser. So too the twenty-first century began not in 2001, but will begin in 2020. For this date will mark the passing of seventy-five years since 1945, the end of the Second World War, made inevitable by the foolishness of Versailles, the second US world victory, and also the end of the failed US attempt at world domination through its so costly anti-Russian and then anti-Muslim Cold Wars, both of which it lost through its hubris. Tragically, it never learned from its loss in Vietnam that trillions of dollars spent on military technology does not win wars.

This new epoch has already been presaged in the USA by the election of an anti-elitist outsider and in the UK by the selection of a new Prime Minister. A former American citizen born in New York, he has promised to free the UK from the alien EU straitjacket and bring it even closer to its blood-relation, the USA. After a series of Prime Ministers who were weak nonentities and self-deluded narcissists, the UK at last has one who has taken up the inevitable challenge of the changing tide of history, set by people power. For good or for ill, he is the English Trump, just as unpredictable, with the same human weaknesses, and even physically resembling his American cousin, but chosen, as the others proved to be incompetent.

The Two Spheres: Earth and Ocean, The Old World and the New World, ‘Eurasica’ and ‘The Atlanto-Pacific’.

2020 will mark the division of the world into two spheres.

The first sphere of Eurasia-Africa, to be called ‘Eurasica’, the EAA, or some similar name, is composed of the two interconnected landmasses of Africa and Eurasia, with three-fifths of the world’s land surface, well over four-fifths of its population and most of its poverty. It includes Asia, which is the source of all developed religious beliefs, Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam (all now largely degenerated into nationalism) and Orthodox Christianity (in some places also degenerated into nationalism). These landmasses will be dominated spiritually by the renewed Orthodox Christian Civilization of Russia and economically by China (with at last reunited Taiwan) and India.

The six billion plus of these continental landmasses will reassert their independence after the doomed attempts to tyrannize and exploit them over the last 1,000 years by the countries at the western tip of Eurasia and then by their colony in the USA. A millennium ago it was this Western Europe which separated from the rest of Eurasia and invented its own self-justifying religion of imagined ethnic superiority and armed violence. The evils resulting from this millennium of the attempted Western colonialization and ideologization of Asia, Russia and Africa will be condemned and many injustices may at long last be righted. History may yet be rewritten truthfully.

The post-1945 cruelties and genocides of the USA, like those of the UK, France and others in their colonies in ‘Eurasica’, both before and even after 1945, in Palestine, Korea, Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, the Ukraine and Turkey will all be admitted as such. Therefore, the USA, now in the financially straitened circumstances of its unpayable 23 trillion dollars of debt, almost all of it amassed in its megalomania of the last 30 years, not least in its many recent invasions of Eurasia, will at last withdraw from the Eurasian landmass. It will at last recognize that it never even understood, let alone controlled, Asia, Africa and Europe (who can forget the foul-mouthed opinion of Victoria Nuland about Europe?). Its aim of world domination was in fact only an arrogant megalomaniac delusion which went to its head in 1945.

The second sphere of the Atlantic-Pacific, to be called the ‘Atlanto-Pacific’, the AP, or some similar name, has well under one fifth of the world population (a decreasing 15%), but some two-fifths of the land surface and even more of its wealth. It may at first be led by a humbled USA, but it will include all of Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada, the Atlantic Islands of Greenland, Iceland, the British Isles and Ireland (the latter two to be united in an Economic Confederation, perhaps called the Confederation of IONA – the Isles of the North Atlantic) and Oceania (Australia, New Zealand and the small Pacific islands). The British Isles and at last reunited Ireland will have a special role here, as the spiritual and cultural Anglo-Celtic womb from which the present Anglosphere was born and from which a new, repentant and humbled Anglosphere can be reborn.

The Transformation or Fall of Post-1945 Institutions

In the new century the pseudo-international Institutions, set up as a result of the US victory in 1945, will be transformed or else disappear one by one.

The Security Council of the UN, largely US-controlled and so toothless, with at present only five members, will be increased to twelve members. The USA (to represent Canada, the British Isles and Ireland), Russia (to represent the Orthodox world and by far the largest country in the world) and China (till the most populous country) will continue as members. However, the UK and France will lose their seats, which they do not deserve, if they ever did. The French seat will be replaced by a future Confederation of Western Europe seat, which will represent most of what is the so-called EU, which still has three of the ten largest economies in the world. Thus, though long overdue, the UN Security Council will at last be reformed and internationalized with eight new members. They will have the huge responsibility of representing all the continents, religions and peoples of the world and relieve the world of the permanent conflicts and tensions created by the rapacious Western world.

These eight new members will be: Brazil (to represent all Latin America), South Africa (to represent all Black Africa), Australia (to represent all Oceania), Egypt (to represent the Muslim world in Africa and the Middle East), Pakistan (to represent the rest of Muslim Asia), Indonesia (to represent South-East Asia), India (to represent one seventh of the planet’s population, Hinduism and other Indian religions like Sikhism and Jainism) and Japan (to represent its unique civilization and powerful economy). They will all become members of the Council, nine of them in Eurasica and three in the Atlanto-Pacific, representing far more fairly than ever before the populations of the Earth.

The arrogant, post-Catholic EU (European Union), stuck in the past of its top-down, anti-people, elitist gerontocrats, whose only desire is to continue to fill their pockets and flatter their secularist hubris, will dissolve. The purely artificial construct-continent of Western Europe will merge back into the common values of Northern Eurasia, largely preserved in Eastern Europe and European Russia, and give up its present secularist depravities. Its cultural renewal and salvation can now only come from Russia, which has providentially preserved uncompromised the first millennium roots of Western Europe in Orthodox Christianity. Gradually, old ‘Protestantism’ and ‘Catholicism’ will die out, surviving only in museums. They will be seen as what they always have been, as the ethnic aberrations of second millennium Western Europe, quite unsuited for the global third millennium.

The anachronism of NATO will at long last disappear, a generation after it should have done, and its gerontocrat warmongers with their absurd and aggressive propaganda, which turns reality upside down and which nobody believes, will die out. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank will cease being US-manipulated financial organizations. The long-discredited Nobel Prize system will cease being funded by the CIA as an organization for Western cultural propaganda and political brainwashing.

The Reconfiguration of the Orthodox Church

What will happen to the Church? Nearly thirty years after the collapse of the failed Western import of irrationalist, atheist Marxism into Russia, it is already clear that the Russian Orthodox Church, renewed by the greatest persecution in world history, is the leader of World Orthodoxy. Now that the gerontocrats of the once respected Patriarchate of Constantinople, in the grip of the blinding passions of love of power and love of gold, have finally fallen away and become spiritually irrelevant, Russian Orthodox leadership will become visible to all, except to the provincial or the obtuse.

The AEA, Eurasia (its Arabic part mainly in the jurisdiction of the Arab Patriarchate of Antioch) and Africa (the latter only formally in the jurisdiction of the still un-Africanized Patriarchate of Alexandria) will be guided by the alms of Russian Orthodoxy. The other ten small, national Local Churches (the five Balkan ones of Romania, Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and Albania and the other five of Georgia, Poland, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia and Jerusalem) will continue to look after their small ethnic groups.

Indeed, these national Local Churches may very well either return to their Mother Churches (Poland and Czechoslovakia to the Russian Church) or else merge with one another (the Balkan Five into a renewed Patriarchate of Constantinople centred in Thessaloniki near Mt Athos? Georgia and Cyprus into a renewed Patriarchate of Jerusalem?), abandoning their nationalistic and political autocephalies, most of them of recent times. This amalgamation would recreate Five Local Churches: The Patriarchate of Rus (for now, 75% of the whole); the Patriarchate of Constantinople (the Balkan Five renamed as such, for now 20% of the whole); the for now still tiny Patriarchate of Alexandria (All Africa); the for now still tiny Patriarchate of Antioch (the yet to be reconstructed Arab world); and the tiny Patriarchate of Jerusalem (Palestine, the Jordan, Georgia and Cyprus) (all three for now, only 5% of the whole). This would recreate the Pentarchy of the first millennium, with great potential for the future.

Conclusion: The Orthodox Church Outside its Homelands

Orthodox will inevitably be cared for by the infrastructure and influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, with its two Exarchates in Eurasia and its Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) in the Atlanto-Pacific. On the margins there will still be small ethnic groups, unable to provide any overall leadership, like the Romanians, the Serbs, the Bulgarians, the Albanians and the Greeks (perhaps in the future together renamed the Patriarchate of Constantinople, as we have suggested above) and the Church of Antioch, for now a mixture of Lebanese and Syrians with some conservative Evangelical and Anglican converts. Once nationalism has been put aside, these groups could all eventually merge into regional Russian-led Continental Orthodox Metropolias, with separate and independent administrations for each language group within them, the foundations of new Local Churches.

In the USA, the small OCA grouping will divide into its constituent parts; perhaps two-thirds of the people, including all Orthodox in Alaska, rejoining the new ROCOR (the Church Outside Russia, perhaps renamed ROCAP – the Russian Orthodox Church in the Atlanto-Pacific?), one sixth (the liberal wing) lapsing into schism and one sixth (the conservative Evangelical wing) joining Antioch. This is much as is now happening with the old Rue Daru jurisdiction in Paris, which is falling apart into these three basic parts in lamentable acrimony. Its mythomania, artificially prolonged long after its sell-by date had expired, has collapsed like a house built on sand.

The Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) may yet see its best years, though perhaps, as we have suggested, under another name. Having shorn itself of its secular side which compromised it for so long, that is, the old racist nationalism, Cold War politics and narrow and sectarian bigotry, it has yet to assume its full destiny. This could be to care for all those of the authentic Orthodox Tradition of all nations and languages in the Atlanto-Pacific, the AP. Its future may then be to become ever more missionary, multilingual and multi-Metropolia-ed, to be tri-Continental, covering both the Americas and Oceania, the Atlantic and Pacific Continents and Islands. The billion people of the Americas and the Caribbean, those of Oceania and the Pacific Islands, large and small, as well as the Atlantic Islands with Great Britain and Ireland await missionary leadership. The challenge is immense, but all is still possible. May Thy will be done, O Lord.

 

Fantasies and Reality: Towards a Local Orthodox Church of Western Europe

Introduction

Since at least the 1970s, there has been talk of founding a Local Church in various parts of Western Europe, especially in France under the Fraternite Orthodoxe, but also in Great Britain and, strangely enough, in faraway Turkey.

The Continental Fantasists

French intellectualism, expressed mainly by descendants of Russian aristocrats, freemasons and dreamers in the Rue Daru emigration of those who had betrayed the Tsar, proposed a Paris-centred (how could it be otherwise in the land of Napoleon?) Jurisdiction. Naturally, they themselves would be in power. Their models were political – the deeply-troubled OCA and the highly controversial parishes in Finland under Constantinople. Lost in clouds of philosophy, they expressed words and not deeds and forgot that such a Jurisdiction would need the canonical support of at least one Patriarchate, financial backing from the grassroots and also an infrastructure in the form of a property network of monasteries and parishes.

Of course, it never had any of these and today has no candidates even to be its next bishop after the present 75-year old ex-Catholic Archbishop Jean. Neither the Patriarchate of Constantinople nor anyone else was ever going to support autocephaly for such a tiny and inward-looking group. Financial backing to any appreciable extent was quite absent. And one Rue Daru parish or family after another returned to the Russian Church, went bankrupt, fell into disrepair or simply closed down, forcing the ever smaller group to rely on rented premises. The whole arrogant project, not passed on to the following generation, isolated from the Orthodox mainstream and marred by aggressive new calendarism and ecumenism which mocked the values of faithful Orthodox, seemed more like just another irrelevant sub-department of the Vatican’s Uniat fantasy. Perhaps it was.

The Anglican Fantasists

So much for the navel-gazing in Continental Western Europe. In Great Britain, actually England, insularist Anglican academic Establishmentism proposed a ‘British Orthodox Church’. Made up largely of elderly upper middle-class people, retired vicars and academics, with direct or indirect links to the Rue Daru elite, its philosophy was equally unreal. Born from the tiny elite of the British Establishment, it took no note at all of the fact that the oppressive Establishment is alien to most people who live in the British Isles, and even more in the inherent geographical part of the Isles, in Ireland. After all, the Establishment is originally a blood-soaked import from the barbaric Norman elite in 1066. This compromised itself successively in the oppression of the English, the Welsh, the Irish and the Scots, and then the rest of the world, in slave-trading and exploitative imperialist genocides. In a word, there is no such thing as Britain. Like ‘the Ukraine’, it is a purely political construct and therefore there can never be any such thing as ‘British Orthodoxy’.

Curiously for academics so closely linked to the failed Rue Daru fantasy, these fantasists never noticed that the number of active Orthodox in the British Isles and Ireland is so small that to build a Local Church here is fantasy. And without canonical backing from a Patriarchate, grassroots financial support from large numbers and property infrastructure, the whole project is impossible. This is why no Local Church has ever contemplated founding an Autocephalous Church in the British Isles. The failure was encapsulated in the city of dreaming spires (and lost causes), Oxford. Here the professorial fantasy of combining different groups of Orthodox, new calendar, old calendar, in a modernist chapel, part-financed by Anglicans, with little to do with ordinary people, came to nothing. I said so in 1975, whereupon the fantasist priest (who was later defrocked) told me that ‘there is no such thing as ordinary people’. Later a dozen or so disgruntled and mainly pensioned-off Anglican vicars, ordained overnight and with little concept of the reality of Orthodoxy and how to do the services, sealed the failure. The fantasy was not passed on to the following generation. Time to move on.

The Turkish Fantasists

With the vast majority of Orthodox in the Russian Church paralysed for most of the twentieth century, but reviving dangerously, in their view, since the official fall of atheism in Moscow in 1991, in Turkey the Greek racist Phanariots panicked. So these pro-LGBT gerontocrats and Young Turks further extended and developed the use of the code-word for Greek Imperialism, ‘Pan-Orthodox’. How could these fantasists justify the universal rule of a non-universal Empire which in any case had been wiped off the face of the earth five and a half centuries before? They spent a large amount of US dollars on a pseudo-Council in Crete and then set about shamelessly invading the canonical territories of other Local Churches, under US State Department orders. (This was instead of sending out missions to the 7.3 billion of the Non-Orthodox world; no doubt they can wait another millennium to hear the Gospel).

However, today Phanariot corruption by embezzlement, bribery and blackmail, has been displayed before the whole world. Their megalomaniac and navel-gazing talking shops, ‘Pan-Orthodox’ Episcopal Assemblies, agreed to by Russian naivety, are now thankfully dead. Phyletist (the Greek word for racist) Greek grandstanding is dead with it. The Papist project of making the whole world into Greek-controlled ‘autonomous’ parts of the absurdly-named, Turkish ‘Oecumenical Patriarchate’ has become the laughing-stock of the whole still Orthodox world. The days of treachery, cowardice and deceit, to use the concise and precise formula of the martyred Tsar Nicholas II, are over. Another fantasy has bitten the dust. So where do we go from here?

Conclusion

One thing is clear: no Local Orthodox Church of Western Europe will ever be built on fantasies. Three such fantasies have been tried and all failed miserably. No more fantasies, just reality. Since the Phanariot project is now well and truly in the dustbin of history, we have to look at the other six Local Churches present in Western Europe. Of these six remaining Orthodox groups in Western Europe, five, the Romanian, Antiochian and Serbian, as well as the tiny Bulgarian and the newly-appeared Georgian, are not going to do anything to promote a Local Church. This is because they are all mononational and have only one interest: preserving their own national identity and national flags. Their outreach, if it exists at all, is virtually only to their own nationality.

Reluctantly, despite the incredible incompetence, frustrating irresponsibility, paranoid centralization, personality cult narcissism, contempt for local people, waste of human resources  and alcoholism, there is therefore only one alternative. This, like it or not, is ‘the only show in town’, the Russian Church. Under two administrations, the largest one centred in Moscow thanks to its presence in Italy, Germany, France, Iberia and Scandinavia, this is now setting up an Exarchate, with a group of bishops and a network of parishes, some newly-built. It is early days yet, but this is the only hope – and, actually, long has been. May the Russian Orthodox Church in Western Europe at last be empowered to take the multinational responsibility for Orthodoxy which it has always so sadly refused and shown itself incapable of.

 

Eighteen Russian Orthodox Churches in the Eastern Half of England?

 Introduction: Pastoral/Missionary Experience since the 1970s

In reality, from the very beginning, Church life has always been a struggle against the world and its spirit, worldliness. This worldliness consists of politics, phyletism (a silly and complicated word for crude racism, Greek, Russian, Anglican, French and other, which has always treated us as third-class citizens), narcissism, guruism, phariseesism, sectarianism, favouritism, bureaucracy, sexual perversions, egomania, jealousy and all the other loveless and twisted pathologies.

I could not be ordained for four very good reasons: I was not ex-Anglican, not upper middle-class, I spoke Russian (so I could see through them) and, by far the worst sin of all, they knew that they could not buy me off as, Essex-born, I would always tell the Truth, the very thing they hated and hate the most, for ‘the Truth will set you free’. And the last thing they want is to be free; they prefer to be enslaved to their pathologies.

We can only hope that those who persecuted us in all these ways repented before they died or will repent before they die. The greatest sin of all of them has been their sheer absence of love. For without love, all of them, without exception, have been mere sounding brass and tinkling cymbals. We have not belonged to any ‘Church mafia’, but have been priests of God. I was not used until I was 50 and then it was all in spite of them. Persecution and internal exile were my lot, just as in the old Soviet Union, but I no longer have the energy of youth, when I could have done so much more. What a waste. But for that at least, I will not have to answer at the Last and Dread Judgement.

My direct Church experience over the last 45 years has been in England, in Oxford and Essex for 4 years, in Greece and Paris for one year each, in Cambridge and the Fens for 3 years and in France for 14 years until 1997. I have served in Portugal, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, USA and Australia and spent several months since the 1970s in Russia and the Ukraine and also in Belarus and Moldova. Since 1997 I have been back in England. Here I now cover up to 25,000 miles a year doing pastoral work all over the East, in five prisons and ten counties – Sussex, Kent, Essex, Hertfordshire, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

Two Problems in the Diaspora and the Need for New Missions

  1. a) The first problem is the ideology of what may be called mononationalism (racism/phyletism), which forbids the liturgical use of other languages. We saw how the old ROCOR quite died out in this country in the 80s and 90s because of its suicidal mononationalism and how other Orthodox groups are now also dying out for exactly the same reason. We have also seen mononationalism (this time Anglican-style) of those who impose English only, with obligatory communion, no confession and the new calendar, in other words, the old-fashioned convert-style ’Anglican Orthodoxy’, which should have died decades ago.
  2. b) The second is the chronic lack of infrastructure, due to the lack of missionary vision of the episcopate of the past, and so today’s disastrous lack of our own premises, priests, singers and finance.

Every few months I am contacted by someone to open a Russian Orthodox mission in the Eastern half of England. This means in the six official regions of the East of England, London, the South-East, the East Midlands, Yorkshire and the North-East, with a total population of 37 million. (The Western half of England, meaning the three more Celtic official regions of the South-West, the West Midlands and the North-West, together with the three Celtic countries of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, totals 34 million. Thus, IONA, the Isles of the North Atlantic, has a total population of 71 million).

We recall that all missions must be in centres of population, where there is already a living and authentic Russian Orthodox presence, as in the three living parishes under Sourozh, that is, in the ex-Parisian one in London and the small ex-ROCOR parishes in Oxford and Manchester (which latter is outside our Eastern area). Also all new missions must be accessible to the general public, in places where Orthodox already live, and not be in isolated, essentially private, locations.

The Three Old Missions of the Two Russian Dioceses and Five New Missions

1-3. London and Oxford

The two churches in London, at present of two different dioceses, though not very big and not very central, have long catered for Russian Orthodox in central London, the West End and the western suburbs. However, it is clear that those who live in the east and north of the Capital are poorly looked after. The small church in Oxford, founded by Fr Nicholas Gibbes, effectively already looks after Orthodox in Oxfordshire, North Berkshire and Buckinghamshire.

  1. Colchester (Essex and South Suffolk). St John of Shanghai. This parish is our property, bought in 2008 with £180,000 raised in an internet appeal through the orthodoxengland site. It was dedicated to our Archbishop in London (1950-1962), to whom our original mission in Felixstowe was also dedicated.
  2. Norwich (Norfolk and North Suffolk). St Alexander Nevsky. This parish is our property, bought in 2016 with £65,000 raised in an internet appeal through the orthodoxengland site. Since our first parishioners here were from Tallinn in Estonia, the parish was dedicated to the patron of the Tallinn Cathedral.
  3. Bury St Edmunds = Cambridgeshire (Cambridgeshire, West Suffolk, East Bedfordshire, North Hertfordshire). Sts Vera, Nadezhda, Lyubov (Faith, Hope and Love) and their Mother Sophia. Our hope is to move our mission from Bury St Edmunds to a suitable location in Cambridgeshire. In Cambridge itself land is far too expensive and parking nearly impossible. A new mission would cater for those at the present missions in Bury St Edmunds (though many here go to Colchester at present), Wisbech (though some here would go to Boston – see below), in Peterborough, and also for Orthodox in Ely, Chatteris and March, merging them. I served in Bury from 2000 to 2002 and have now been there again for nearly two years, as also in Wisbech. The area includes St Felix’s 7th century monastery in Soham, St Audrey’s birthplace in Exning and her monastery in Ely, St Huna’s hermitage near Chatteris, St Pandwyna’s hermitage in Eltisley and St Edmund’s monastery in Bury.
  4. Wisbech = Boston (South Lincolnshire, West Norfolk, North Cambridge-shire). St Matrona and St Botolph. Our hope is to move our mission from Wisbech to Boston for those in the present missions in Wisbech and King’s Lynn, but including Orthodox in Holbeach and Spalding. All around live thousands of Eastern European fen workers. I have visited Orthodox in Spalding and the area.
  5. Ashford = ? (South-East London, Kent, East Sussex). The Royal Martyrs. We must have a mission in Kent. At present we use St Christopher’s Church near Elmswell Manor outside Ashford, but this may not be the best location.

Ten Possible Future Missions, God Willing

  1. Northampton (Northamptonshire/West Bedfordshire, North Buckingham-shire, South Leicestershire, East Warwickshire). The Protecting Veil. There is a huge Eastern European population all over the East Midlands, as it is accessible from Luton Airport, where Easyjet flies to Vilnius, Riga and elsewhere. I have several contacts in Northampton and nearby Kettering and know the area from missionary visits there.
  2. York (Yorkshire). St Constantine and St Helen. In the centre of Yorkshire, St Constantine was present here when he was proclaimed Emperor in July 306. This idea follows from earlier contacts and a visit to York in March 2019.
  3. St Albans (Hertfordshire/East Buckinghamshire). St Alban. The historic centre of the First Martyr, where I have been on pilgrimage many times over the last 45 years. This location is also accessible for the many Orthodox who live in North London and those in Luton.
  4. Crawley (West Sussex/Surrey). St Michael and all the Heavenly Hosts. A centrally located position, not far from south London, next to Gatwick (hence the dedication) and not far from Brighton.
  5. Winchester (Hampshire, South Berkshire, East Wiltshire). The Resurrection. A centrally-located historic royal centre and the pre-Norman capital of England. Hence the dedication.
  6. Sheffield (Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire, West Yorkshire). The Transfiguration. A presence in this heavily-populated industrial area, where raw materials were and are transformed (hence the dedication).
  7. Grimsby (North Lincolnshire, South Yorkshire). St Nicholas. A fishing port and hence the dedication.
  8. Derby (Derbyshire, South Nottinghamshire, North Leicestershire, East Staffordshire). (All Saints). A central, collective point and hence the same dedication as its ancient cathedral founded in c. 943.
  9. Durham (County Durham, South Northumberland, North Yorkshire). St Cuthbert. A presence in the city where the relics of St Cuthbert have lain for over some 900 years.
  10. Berwick on Tweed (Northumbria). (Sts George and Andrew). A pastoral centre between Durham and Edinburgh, near historic Holy Island, showing our spiritual unity in the saints of God. This mission takes us beyond north-east England into south-east Scotland and new territory.

Conclusion: Eighteen Missions

With the three old missions in London and the South-East and the two new missions in the East of England, three missions under way and ten potential new missions we could provide access to Orthodoxy for 95% of the 37 million population of the Eastern half of England, and even beyond its borders, who live within a 30 mile radius (as the crow flies, more) of each centre. (It is our experience that people are willing to travel up to 40 miles, or one hour, regularly, but usually not more, to get to church).

Give me the tools and I will finish the job, as I wrote over 20 years ago.

Archpriest Andrew Phillips

Felixstowe, East of England,

12 May 2019

Can the European Union Survive Until 2034?

In 1985 an island-country larger than the whole of today’s European Union left the European Community: this was an island in the Atlantic Ocean called Greenland. However, for the then European Community the departure of this then Danish colony, with a population of 50,000 and technically part of North America and not Europe, had little significance. However, the departure of the UK, now in the grip of media-encouraged panic-buying of food before Brexit, which is also an island-country in the Atlantic Ocean although far, far closer to the European mainland than Greenland, is very different.

It comes at a time when the Franco-German couple which in reality runs the European Union, under US guidance (NATO headquarters is almost next door to EU headquarters in Brussels), is in trouble. France, torn by continuing violent internal strife for over two months, is going bankrupt. Immigrant-full Germany is on the brink of recession. Both face the UK’s Brexit, caused by the extraordinarily intransigent and self-satisfied Franco-German refusal to reform the corrupt and dictatorial EU. Both now face a national and eurosceptic government in Italy, which is fed up with uncontrolled immigration from Africa, triggered by the US-sponsored Franco-British destruction of Libya.

Neither has been able to stop the civil war in Europe, in the Ukraine. They encouraged this under strict US instructions, even though they never had the slightest intention of taking the Third World Ukraine into the EU. Both face the problems of national identity-conscious Eastern Europe, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Lands. They refuse to admit any Muslim immigrants from the catastrophes inflicted in Syria and Afghanistan by US greed for oil and gas and its obsession for total control of the whole world. Eastern Europeans all lived under the tyranny of Soviet Union Mark I and do not want to live under the Soviet Union Mark II, even though it may be called the EU.

Neither has been able, with US backing, to do anything about what they call ‘the western Balkans’, whose countries it has long been hoping to recruit into its EU club. Here, Macedonia (FYROM) has been forced into changing its name to North Macedonia to stop its membership being boycotted by Greece, but this is still disputed; Serbia and so-called Kosovo are being encouraged to swap territories, but bloodshed is threatened daily; the Italian-named Montenegro is, like the largely unrecognized Kosovo, becoming a US-run colony for bandits, smugglers and illegal organ-transplanters. As for Bosnia-Herzegovina, it remains an artificial state which, like Kosovo, will depend eternally on NATO troops for its survival.

Greece and Cyprus are both bankrupt. With phenomenal rates of unemployment, the young leave. As for the three Baltics, like Romania, Bulgaria and equally corrupt Non-EU Moldova, nearly all of whose citizens have $10 Romanian or Bulgarian passports, they long ago had their factories closed down by Germany as a prerequisite to entering the EU. Only the old, who bitterly regret the collapse of the Soviet Union, and civil servants remain; the young have been forced to emigrate to Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the UK and anywhere they can make a living to survive.

What is the future for a politico-economic club, which exists only because France and Germany spent exactly three generations, seventy-five years, fighting three bloody wars against each other between 1870 and 1945? As we approach the seventy-fifth anniversary of the 1945 end of their last quarrel in 2020, does the European Union make any more sense? We are not of course suggesting yet another round of tribal and xenophobic strife as in the European Wars of 1914 and 1939, but surely there must be a better way than the corrupt, overcentralized and dictatorial EU. Can the EU survive until 2034, the fiftieth anniversary of 1984? May God show us the right way out of this mess.

New Jerusalem and All Rus?

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God….and I will write upon him….the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem…

Revelation 3, 11-12

And I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God…

Revelation 21, 2

Shine, shine, O New Jerusalem! The Glory of the Lord has shone on Thee!

From Easter Matins

The term ‘Moscow Patriarchate’ was to some extent discredited in the Soviet period. For some even now it suggests political compromise with an atheist State, as well as ritualism, bureaucracy and centralization. Indeed, for extremists, the very words are literally anathema. For example, the present Ukrainian crisis is coloured by so-called ‘Christian’ (whether nominally Catholic or nominally Orthodox and actually atheists), now sponsored by the Phanar, chant, ‘Death to the Muscovites!’ It seems to us that their extremist nationalism must be countered by Russian Orthodox Church internationalism. What does this mean? Let me explain.

We can see both from the history books and contemporary newspapers with their Roman Catholic clerical scandals how the First Rome ended up. And now in the last few weeks, after centuries of extraordinary decadence culminating in the Ukraine, we have seen how the Second Rome (‘New Rome’) has ended up. Therefore, the alternative rallying call of ‘Moscow the Third Rome’ seems to us less attractive. There is an alternative: This is ‘Moscow the Second Jerusalem’. And outside the secular and post-Soviet Russian Federation government and secular metropolis that is today’s Moscow, this is possible in a place that has now been restored.

After the historic events of the reunion of the Russian Church on Ascension Day in Moscow, soon after, on 18 May 2007 I gave a talk at the Moscow Institute of Philosophy entitled ‘Orthodox Russia and a World Council of Orthodoxy’. This was of the possible future importance of the New Jerusalem Monastery complex outside Moscow, where restoration after the ravages of both Soviet Russian and Nazi German atheism was then about to start. Founded by Patriarch Nikon in the 17th century, the whole complex had been intended to recreate the Holy Land in the area of Moscow by the River Istra, which takes the role of the Holy River Jordan.

In the main church there is indeed a place for the Patriarch of each Local Church to stand. It was conceived as  the Church of International Orthodoxy. I said then that this might one day become the centre of World Orthodoxy, a place of Church Councils. I said: ‘Indeed, we would dare to suggest an actual location for this World Council – at the New Jerusalem complex, west of Moscow. Built in the seventeenth century as a counterbalance to Imperial ideas of the State, this complex, centred around the Monastery of the Resurrection, was chosen to embody parts of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, with the River Istra representing the River Jordan.

It was meant to be open to all peoples and there monks of different nationalities, including those converted from the West, strove together in true catholic unity. Although still to be restored, this site is surely most appropriate, since it is centred around a Monastery, dedicated to the Resurrection of Christ. It stands in stark contrast to Chambesy in Calvinist Switzerland. There, Protestantism financed a basically secular conference centre for the Patriarchate of Constantinople, with its pseudo-Orthodox ‘cinema’ chapel’. Those were my words then, printed in a bilingual booklet in Russian and English. They were spoken with prayer and hope.

As Ukrainian Fascists cry with hatred their slogan ‘Death to the Muscovites’, perhaps the time has come. As the Russian Orthodox Church at the end of December set up two new missionary Exarchates, ‘of Paris and Western Europe’ and ‘of Singapore and South-East Asia’, uniting East and West beneath the double-headed eagle, perhaps the time has come. To do what? In these eschatological times, to rename the Patriarchate of Moscow, ‘The Patriarchate of New Jerusalem and All Rus’. It seems to us that  nationalism must be countered by internationalism. For, ‘The Lord doth build up Jerusalem: He gathereth together the outcast of Israel’. (Ps. 146, 2).