Tag Archives: Tragedy

After Odesa Cathedral shelling, UOC bishop addresses Patriarch Kirill

23 July 14:12


Author: Elena Konstantinova


The vicar of the Odesa Eparchy believes that Patriarch Kirill, “due to personal ambitions, lost the UOC and other Churches in the countries of ‘Holy Rus'”.

On July 23, 2023, after the missile shelling of the Transfiguration Cathedral in Odesa, Archbishop Victor (Bykov) of Artsyz, the vicar of the Odesa Eparchy of the UOC, addressed Patriarch Kirill and all members of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. His letter was published on the Facebook page of the St. Elias Monastery.

At the beginning of his address to Patriarch Kirill, Bishop Victor reminded that “at the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church on 27.05.2022, a decision was made that we, led by our Primate of the UOC, completely come out of Your submission” and stressed that the Patriarch has repeatedly spoken about the unity of “Holy Rus”, which he “completely destroys with his blessing and actions”.

The bishop also believes that it is precisely the “personal blessing” of the Patriarch that has led to the Russian military committing lawlessness and open warfare on the sovereign territory of the Ukrainian State.

“In my opinion, you seem to have forgotten that, just like in Russia, in Ukraine, there are (were) your children, whom you consider as such, and you have blessed those who are now killing them,” the bishop writes.

He noted that to his immense disappointment, during the last Bishops’ Conference in Moscow, Patriarch Kirill “did not say a single word about the need to stop this Cain-like war, to cease these killings and the destruction of peaceful cities and villages, to stop the bloodshed.”

“Your bishops and priests sanctify and bless tanks and rockets that bomb our peaceful cities,” the archbishop reminded.

“Today, when I arrived at the Transfiguration Cathedral of Odesa after the curfew, I saw that the ‘blessed’ missile from Russia flew right into the altar of the temple, into the Holy of Holies. I realized that there is nothing left in common between the understanding of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and yours,” Bishop Victor believes.

He is convinced that Patriarch Kirill “due to personal ambitions, has lost the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and other Churches in the countries of ‘Holy Rus.'”

“The words ‘Great Lord and Father’ do not come to my tongue when addressing you, for you are a father who has sacrificed his children to destruction and killings,” the archbishop writes.

The hierarch emphasized that for UOC believers, their “loving father and Abba” is Metropolitan Onuphry, who was elected by the Council of the UOC, and he demanded “not to ignore our Primate, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kyiv and All Ukraine”.

The bishop also requested the Patriarch “not to discredit our Church and not to destroy it with your own blessing”.

“As of today, neither you nor your representatives, such as Metropolitan Leonid or Archpriest Andrey Novikov, who fled the Odesa Eparchy, supposedly persecuted by the SBU, are doing anything to support us as your brothers,” the hierarch says.

Moreover, he believes that these people, “in their internet posts, only tarnish the name of the Holy Church without showing any respect for its Primate and the voice of our Ukrainian Church”.

“How can you call us, faithful children of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and its Holy Council those who ‘follow the path of schism’?” Archbishop Victor asks, continuing that this schism, mentioned by Patriarch Kirill and his clerics, is voiced by individuals such as Metropolitan Leonid and Archpriest Andrey Novikov.

“Today, you and all your followers are doing everything to destroy the UOC within Ukraine. There is no understanding of oikonomia in relation to the UOC,” the hierarch writes.

“Today, we (speaking on behalf of many hierarchs of the UOC) condemn this senseless aggression of Russia against our Independent country. We condemn the barbaric seizures of our eparchies in the East and South of Ukraine. We condemn the repressions and persecutions carried out by your authorities in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine!” declared the hierarch.

He demanded, “Stay away from our Church, our hierarchs, and our Primate,” emphasizing that “we have our own path, which was chosen by the Council of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”.

“Sincerely, I ask you to stop. Every missile that comes to Ukraine’s territory is perceived by its inhabitants as your ‘blessing’ to your children,” concluded the vicar of the Odesa Eparchy, calling himself a “faithful obedient servant of his Primate”.

As earlier reported, His Beatitude expressed condolences regarding the shelling of Odesa.


The Spiritual Significance of the American-Inspired Conflict in the Ukraine

Introduction: Two Civilisations

The tragic Moscow-Washington war which is currently starting to come to an end after nine years on the battlefields of the Ukraine, where very many Ukrainian men are dying in futility, will continue for another year. The Western arming of the Kiev regime which has prolonged the war by years is the result of the attempt by the Western world to expand eastwards in yet another ‘Drang nach Osten’. Once more the West crossed over the civilisational line which runs through the far west of what is at present called the Ukraine, more exactly Galicia, formerly part of south-eastern Poland, formerly part of the ill-fated Habsburg Empire, centred in Lemberg/Lviv/Lvov. That line separates Western Secularist Civilisation from Orthodox Christian Civilisation. It is a civilisational line which should not be crossed. When France and its allies crossed it by invading what was then the Russian Empire in 1812, it led straight to the downfall of Napoleon. When Austro-Hungary crossed it by invading Serbia in 1914, it caused World War I and, ultimately, the tragedy of 1917, when a Western atheist ideology was imposed by Non-Russians on the former Russian Empire and killed tens of millions.

When Nazi Germany crossed that line by invading what was then the USSR in 1941, it led it to its suicidal downfall, the destruction of Berlin, and to lose World War II. After Washington crossed that same line by overthrowing the democratically-elected Ukrainian government in 2014, Washington suicidally signed the death-warrant of its own US-run, dollar-driven, unipolar Western world. For the centre of Western Secularism is today the American Empire elite  in Washington (however much it disguises itself with euphemisms like the EU, NATO, the G7, the ‘free world’, the ‘international community’, the ‘rules-based order’ etc). And the centre of Orthodox Christian Civilisation (however far it has fallen, lapsed and been deformed and divided) is still in Moscow. Whenever Western Secularism, as ever inspired by the Pagan Roman example, has tried to expand eastwards in order to steal land and exploit resources, whether it was under Charlemagne, the Teutonic Knights, the Poles, Charles XII, Napoleon, Hitler or Biden, it has failed. Such is the case again today. Some people never learn.

The Double Tragedy

Nevertheless, however much we reject Western Secularism, that does not mean that today’s post-Soviet Orthodox Christian world or post-American Orthodox Christian world are to be accepted. Far from it. They are both deeply compromised and flawed, politically dependent on Non-Orthodox Christian mentalities. For a long time those in the Western world who found their spiritual home in Orthodox Christianity and wished to join the Orthodox Church would join one of two Local Churches, either the Russian, whose centre is the Patriarchate of Moscow, or else the Greek, whose centre is the Patriarchate of Constantinople. Neither is very attractive today because neither is free of a secular mentality.

The tragedy of today’s Patriarchate of Moscow is that it has voluntarily become politically dependent on the post-Soviet mentality. Although much of what it does is Orthodox in intention, it still operates in a Soviet way. Hence the strange mixture. Thus, it has gone from being a multinational Church in a multinational country (the USSR) to becoming a multinational but also nationalist Church? That inherent contradiction is killing it. It is less and less attractive to all Non-Russians. The tragedy of today’s Patriarchate of Constantinople is that its leadership has gone from being an Imperial Church to becoming over the last three generations a subsection of the US State Department mentality. Whatever that orders, the politicised Patriarchate in Istanbul agrees with. It is less and less attractive to Non-Greeks.

The Fall Into National Politics

Politicians were put in charge of the Church on earth. Not Churchmen. As a result, several of the Local Orthodox Churches are today riven by territorial, = political and national, disputes. However, the main dispute is that between precisely the Patriarchate of Moscow and the Patriarchate of Constantinople and concerns the territory of the Ukraine. Sadly, the two Patriarchates are not arguing about a territory where successful new missions have been working, they are arguing about a traditionally Orthodox, but today largely lapsed, territory. Sadly, neither are they arguing about who will restore to the Faith the largely lapsed people of that territory, but about to whom ecclesiastical jurisdiction over that largely lapsed people belongs. Meanwhile the actual Ukrainian Orthodox Church under Metropolitan Onufry, to which the faithful belong, is crushed by both sides.

That territory is also claimed by two different forms of Roman Catholicism, Greek and Latin, and a variety of Protestant sects. Little wonder that those two Patriarchates, that of the Russian Federation and that of Constantinople, are engaged in a conflict on Ukrainian territory. This Russo-American proxy war has been allowed by God as a punishment. All are unworthy of the Faith, so there is war, not peace. The conflict is meant to bring both sides, Ukrainian and Russian, back to their senses, for both sides suffer from the same disease of centralisation. This has infected these lands since the 17th century, when the Russian State began persecuting the Old Ritualists in order to impose conformity even to the point of tiny ritual detail. This disease worsened greatly during the Soviet period and since then both the post-Soviet Russian State and the post-Soviet Ukrainian State (the Ukrainian State is a purely Soviet invention) have persecuted minorities.


Today this centralisation essentially results in extreme nationalism. Thus, the Ukrainian State has as its slogan ‘Glory to the Ukraine’, not ‘Glory to God’. And the new nationalism of the Russian Orthodox Church, so far from the old multinational Russian Church of the Tsar’s age in which we were brought up, seems to be intent, consciously or unconsciously, on expelling from itself Non-Russians, and is even proud of such actions. Orthodox Russia has not been restored since the fall of the USSR. There is only post-Soviet Russia. The great tragedy is that the Russian Church, free from State interference, appears to want to take on itself the persecution of those who see a multinational future for the Church. However, a persecuting Church repels, whereas a persecuted Church attracts.

For example, one well-known Metropolitan of the Russian Church openly mocks the Ukrainian language as ‘a dialect’. As a result of such attitudes, even if the Russian State conquered the whole of the Ukraine (which it does not wish to do in any case), Ukrainians would still not attend churches where the name of the Patriarch of the Russian Federation, which is what he has become, is commemorated. Church-going is voluntary. No Non-Russian in the Ukraine is voluntarily going to attend a Russian church any longer, especially if his country has been at war with Russia and his compatriots, however misled, have been killed. In Latvia that Patriarch is already no longer commemorated – by order of the State. In Lithuania several priests have left the Moscow Patriarchate, as in Estonia nearly thirty years ago. How long before Western countries also ban churches which commemorate the Patriarch of Moscow?



Centralisation is voluntary; the Russian State did not force the Church administration to centralise. The two main parts of the Russian Church both had the freedom to proposed a decentralised and multinational future, both in the former USSR and outside it, and openly rejected it, choosing a sectarian future. What we have said also applies equally to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, whose stifling centralism caused so many divisions in history and already in ancient times was in part responsible for the departure of the Copts and the Armenians, as well as the peoples of Western Europe, from the Church. The Church is not a centralised State, but a Family or Confederation of Churches. The Apostle Paul wrote not to a Centralised Church, but to different local Churches, in Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, Ephesus, Rome etc. This follows the principle of the Incarnation, that the Church is incarnate locally.

Indeed, several Local Churches have been or still are involved in disputes about the territories they control. These territories include all the former Catholic and Protestant countries of Europe, except for Poland, but including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. However, these territories also include the Ukraine, Moldova, possibly still North Macedonia and potentially Belarus. Here we do not mention Africa, the Americas, Oceania, as well as Asia, outside the Russian Federation, Georgia and the territories of the Patriarchates of Antioch and Jerusalem, which are also in dispute. Essentially, none of these disputes are about geographical problems, but spiritual problems. In reality, those who have spiritual food to give to the people will control any territory in question, not those who pretentiously claim and bully.

Conclusion: The Holy Trinity

In this month, when the post-Soviet Russian State has at long last handed back the Icon of the Holy Trinity, painted by St Andrei (Rubliov), to the Church, surely it is time to begin implementing the unity in diversity, which is the Holy Trinity, into Church life. We await the liberation of the Church from narrow nationalism, in order to lead the whole Orthodox Christian world into freedom, cleansing and deposing unworthy clerics – money-minded businessmen, protocolish bureaucrats, embittered homosexuals and convert schismatics, and rejecting their purely political decisions, which they cloak in their purely political interpretations of the canons

The latter appear for the moment to have taken over the administration of these two Local Churches of Moscow and Constantinople because there has been no-one, no international Synod and no Council, to keep the order of Catholicity. This is apocalyptic, for if this situation continues and no-one brings order on earth because we continue to be unworthy of it, then Christ Himself will come down again from heaven, just as He promised, and end it all. Then there will be a new heaven and a new earth, because of the best efforts of Satan to close churches and destroy mankind, which are so apparent just now. But our God is great because He works miracles.



Heresies, Schisms, Divisions and the Consequences of the Ukrainian Tragedy

The misfortune that has befallen Russia is the direct result of grievous sins and her rebirth is only possible through cleansing from them. However, so far there has been no real repentance.

Bishop (now St) John of Shanghai

Death is the enemy of Life; and he has many friends among men, in all those authorities in whom a debased sense of Life is linked with temporary power.

Introduction: On the Misuse of the Words Heresy and Schism

The words heresy and schism have been much misused and even abused, for self-justifying nationalist and political reasons. For example, Metr Antony (Khrapovitsky) (+ 1936) was accused of ‘heresy’ (heresy is a Greek word meaning a wrong choice) for stating that not only Christ’s Crucifixion, but also His Agony in Gethsemane played a part in our Redemption. Those who unreasonably accused him of ‘stavroclasm’, that he had rejected the centrality of the Cross, either misunderstood his words or else deliberately distorted his words out of personal dislike or, more often, because of differences in political views. Or there is Patriarch Sergius of Moscow (+ 1944), who was accused of the ‘heresy’ of ‘Sergianism’, a ‘heresy’ named as such by a priest who was a CIA operative and freemason! Of course, that Patriarch sinned through cowardice, abject lies, subservience to militant atheism, careerism, bureaucratic centralism and ritualism. The same misuse and abuse have happened with the word ‘schism’. (A Greek word meaning a split). This word has been misused to describe parishioners who left a (corrupt) priest for a non-corrupt priest, or who left a schismatic bishop for a non-schismatic bishop. The only schism was that of the bishop they had left! The same is true of political ‘defrockings’ (See below).

For example, over the last century the Russian emigration and the Patriarchal Church inside Russia were at each other’s throats for generations and accused each other of being ‘heretics’, ‘schismatics’, ‘without grace’ and ‘defrocked’ one another’s clergy. However, when the time came for reconciliation a few years after the fall of the USSR, they suddenly both withdrew all charges, stating that they had all been politically motivated. In other words, both sides had been lying the whole time! No wonder that there are priests who have been ‘defrocked’ by the KGB or the CIA and are considered to be confessors and not defrocked at all. Such ‘defrockings’ are of course all reversible, unlike what is stated on a Kremlin-funded, English-language ‘Orthodox’ website, which carefully censors all disagreement with itself. There is nothing new here. St John Chrysostom (+ 407) was also ‘defrocked’ for political reasons, St Nectarios of Pentapolis (+ 1920) was suspended because of jealousy, slandered, exiled and later canonised. As for St John of Shanghai (+ 1966), in the early 1960s he was suspended by his own ROCOR Synod and put on trial as a common criminal by his fellow-bishops. Later they canonised him! Nothing has changed.


In the fourth century the Church became established, that is, it became closely linked to the State. There were many advantages to this, such as not being persecuted, being able to do missionary work freely, or receiving State financial aid to build churches. However, there were also many disadvantages, for example, officials were nominated as bishops by the State as part of an attempt at command and control, with centralisation, bureaucracy and protocols, clergy lined up in rigid ranks like soldiers, churches which were nationalist ghettos and not parish communities, and money charged for sacraments, all amid ritualism and superstition. St Basil the Great (+ 379) complained about bishops who had this mentality as not real bishops, they would side with anyone. Some of them did indeed know very little about Orthodox Christianity, some of them were probably atheists, or at least they behaved as the worst atheists. In any case, they compromised the Faith by their way of life, even though on paper they did not renounce the Creed, or Symbol of Faith, and so by inertia remained Orthodox Christians, but only nominally and formally, that is, only outwardly, and only for a time.

However, as usual, when you start living in a way that differs from the Creed, you fall into heresy. Now a heresy is a teaching that contradicts the Creed, which was drawn up at the two Universal Church Councils at Nicea in 325 and Constantinople in 381. Those who follow heresies are called heretics. The contents of the Creed, agreed on by all for all time, are dogmas of the Church. To apply the words ‘heresy’ and ‘dogma’ to anything outside the spiritually-revealed Creed is a misuse or abuse of the term. So a heresy is a separation from the Church for a dogmatic reason and leads to new dogmas and a new way of life, opposed to the Church. Many of the above nominal Orthodox Christians duly became heretics, called Gnostics, Arians, Nestorians, Sabellians, Donatists, Monophysites, Monothelites, Iconoclasts etc. Generally extremely proud and self-justifying, they all essentially denied that God is the Holy Trinity or that God had become man. All of these groups therefore denied some part of the Creed. Some of their naïve adherents, ‘heretics’, did return to the Church, but others, not naïve, did not.

The Roman Catholic Example

As an example of heresy, it was out of the situation of a State Church that in the eleventh century a new heresy (a heresy because it changed the Creed) called ‘Catholicism’ was born. This is a religion which is actually a State in itself. Its promoters who were greedy for power (unlkei its unconscious victims), wanted all the advantages of being a State Church, without the disadvantages. They did this by creating a ‘Church-State, that is, they put themselves above the State, making their institution into a Superstate. At the origin of this was their alteration to the text of the Creed, adding the word ‘filioque’, which implies that their Pope of Rome replaces Christ and the Holy Spirit. Thus, Orthodox Christians in Western Europe were forced to leave the Church by the invention of this new ‘Roman Catholic’ religion. Those who were conscious of this change were heretics, as they replaced Christ, present through the Holy Spirit, by mere men, with the title of Pope of Rome. The consequences were almost immediate.

At once bloodthirsty military campaigns were organised to obtain power, conquering lands and resources. The Popes of Rome promised the men who took part in them that whatever they did, murder, rape, theft, pillage, they would go to heaven because they were doing it in the name of the new Roman Catholic god. These expeditions were called ‘Crusades’ and started in what is now Italy, Spain and England (in 1066) and were then taken to Palestine, southern France and Eastern Europe (in the thirteenth century). These then developed into internal crusades with the bloodthirsty Inquisition and were spread in the sixteenth century to what is now Latin America. Certain Roman Catholics were still murdering and pillaging in Croatia and the western Ukraine only three generations ago and were still being promised a ticket to heaven by their Roman Catholic clergy for their Fascist deeds. This is what happens when you replace the Holy Spirit with some manmade teaching. In other words, false teaching always becomes a heresy and so leads to an evil and deformed way of life.


A schism is a permanent separation from the Church for a non-dogmatic reason. Often these reasons are nationalist and sectarian, though there is also the risk of schisms becoming heresies. For instance, from an Orthodox Christian viewpoint, Protestantism is a schism from Roman Catholicism. Although Protestantism confessed the same heresy as the Roman Catholicism through the same filioque deviation from the Creed, it did not agree with Roman Catholicism in other respects and so split away from it. Therefore, in the sixteenth century dissident Roman Catholics separated, calling themselves Protesters. Then, as is always the case with schismatics, they disagreed with each other and have since separated into a myriad of sects. For sectarianism, usually accompanied by personality cults, is the result of schisms. Of course, apart from this classic case, there have been a multitude of other schisms. And just as heresies lead to an evil and deformed life, so schisms also result in hatred, jealousy, lies and slander.

For instance, in Russia in the seventeenth century there took place the ‘Old Ritualist’ schism. This was about minor changes in ritual, but because the changes were imposed by the State, they led to a schism, which soon became violent and split into multiple schisms, just as in the Protestant model. A more recent example is in the last century when those in Greece who did not want to accept the dating of the Western calendar for the fixed feasts, as the Greek State was insisting under pressure from Western governments, operated schisms from the Orthodox Church. They called themselves ‘old calendarists’ and they in turn also split into a multitude of sectarian groups that hated one another. As the calendar is not a dogmatic issue (the Creed never mentions it), separation on this basis is a schism, not a heresy. And finally there is the case of the nationalist and Sovietised US-based Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russa (ROCOR), which instituted a schism from the multinational Archdiocese of Western Europe. Although they are both groups under one and the same Moscow Church, yet they are now not in communion with one another.


Finally, there are divisions. These are neither heresies, as Church teachings are not involved, nor schisms, as they are not permanent. These are temporary separations from the corrupted administration of a Church, usually for nationalist or political reasons. In other words, a division is due to differences of opinion between bishops or groups of bishops. Divisions have existed and exist within the Roman Catholic and Protestant worlds. For instance, Liberal Methodists separated from Tory Anglicans and so far only some have returned, and various groups of Traditionalists have separated from liberal Roman Catholics and, again, so far only some have returned. The danger here, as with all divisions, is the risk of them developing to schisms, that is, they become permanent, and so full of nastiness, hatred, jealousy, lies and slander.

In the Orthodox Church there have also been several divisions for nationalist or political reasons, especially over the last two centuries. For example, the Bulgarians separated from the Constantinople Greeks, the Macedonians from the Serbs, three different groups of Russian emigres separated from the Church inside the USSR and Serbian emigres separated from the Church inside Yugoslavia. Most of these issues were resolved, divisions overcome, even if it took decades and generations, almost a century in some cases. Despite these generally positive resolutions, today there is a new cause and outbreak of such divisions and they risk turning into schisms, that is, becoming permanent. These divisions are all centred around one single subject: the highly centralised and profoundly corrupt ex-Soviet (and not very ex-Soviet) multinational Republic of the Ukraine

The Ukraine

The first new and serious division here (there had been old divisions) took place in 2018 between the most powerful Local Orthodox Churches, the Greek (7% of the baptised, or four Local Churches) and the Russian (70% of the baptised and one Local Church). This left the vast majority of the Local Orthodox Churches (23% of baptised and ten Local Churches) in shock. When in 2018 the Greeks set up a new Church on Ukrainian territory, which has been under the Moscow Church for nearly 350 years – shocking enough – the Russians replied by refusing to concelebrate or co-operate with the Greeks – just as shocking. Then the Russians in turn set up a Church on the territory of Africa which, apart from Egypt and Libya, had been Greek Church territory for nearly 100 years – more shocking. Thus, a separation in the Ukraine had spread to Africa, a territory which the US and China with Russia are directly battling for political influence in. The consequences of this division are now escalating even further.

It seems that power does indeed corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. For of course, behind this division lies power politics, the desire for control of territory and so for money. The small Greek Churches are heavily financed and even controlled by the US, and the much larger Moscow Church is heavily financed and even controlled by the Russian State. Yet another new escalation took place one year ago in February 2022, as a result of the war that had begun between the US-controlled Ukraine and the Russian Federation in 2014. This had followed the violent US-organised coup which overthrew the democratically-elected Ukrainian government. The result was the present highly centralised, puppet regime in Kiev, financed and armed by the West, and threatening to complete its genocide of those of Russian language and culture in the east of the Ukraine. In response, in 2022 Russia sent in troops to protect those of Russian language and culture in the east of the Ukraine. A war had begun.

The Tragedy of the War

After Russia’s vastly superior forces had defeated the Kiev forces within a few weeks, the Kiev regime was about to conclude a peace agreement, but it was forced by the US to break off negotiations. Thus, in a second escalation, the US made its vassals send old, mainly Soviet, military equipment to re-equip the Kiev forces. By summer 2022 Russia had destroyed that equipment too. Then, in a third escalation, the US-led West began sending huge sums of money ($150 billion in twelve months so far), huge amounts of its own military equipment, training Kiev troops and also paying tens of thousands of mercenaries to fight on behalf of the beleaguered Kiev regime. Russia will destroy that too, but of course it will take even longer and even more will die. The proxy-war is being fought until the last Ukrainian and the last mercenary who wants to fight is dead. It is a giant war crime.

The result is that today Kiev dead number between 160,000 and 300,000 (including several thousand foreign mercenaries). Russian dead number 19,000. And this does not include the hundreds of thousands of physically wounded and psychologically wounded (traumatised). This does not include the damage to the infrastructure of what was already one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in Europe, which is still the battlefield for this proxy war between Washington and Moscow. This European war is unspeakable in its horror. Nor have we mentioned the millions of refugees who have fled to Russia and to various countries in Western Europe. Millions of lives have been disrupted and there are hundreds of thousands of widows and orphans. How could anyone possible approve of this tragedy? And yet…..

The Tragedy of the Moscow Church

The tragedy here is that the Orthodox faithful both in Russia and in the Ukraine used to belong to one united Church. The Church, centred in Moscow, used to be multinational, with faithful not only in the Russian Federation and the Ukraine, but also in Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan, and with millions of others in over sixty other countries around the world, especially in the Western world, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, the countries of Western Europe, Northern America and Australia. However, almost the whole episcopate of the Moscow Church inside Russia has failed to condemn what is now a nine-year long civil war, in which nominal Orthodox are killing nominal Orthodox. The result is that the once multinational Moscow Church is rapidly becoming a national, not to say, nationalist, Russians-only, Church. Why would Non-Russians want to belong to a Russian-controlled Church, where they cannot even express their own opinions? Most don’t, not to mention many Russians themselves, for whom the Church should have nothing to do with war. The Russians will surely win the war in the Ukraine, but the far, far greater challenge was to win the peace. Sadly, that seems to have been lost already and inevitably an independent but canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church will be born there.

Thus, left-wing liberals in the USA and the Roman Catholic politician Cardinal Koch have accused the Russian Patriarch of ‘heresy’ for saying that ‘the Russian World’ (wherever there are concentrations of ethnic Russians) must be united and that the Russian soldiers who die to unite Orthodox will go to heaven. (The accusation by Cardinal Koch is particularly hypocritical, since for its whole existence Roman Catholicism has claimed that those who murder others to make them Roman Catholic will go to heaven). Although clearly not heretical but just nationalistic, the Russian Patriarch’s words do invite profound disagreement, and not only among fringe liberals. Few, if any, agree with the Patriarch. These words are his personal opinion. They are especially strange, given that the leader of what used to be a multinational Church is seen to be promoting militant nationalism, just as his Greek Orthodox enemies do through their nationalist racism, which they call phyletism. Where is the difference between Greek and Russian leaders? Six of one and half a dozen of the other?

The Break-Up of the Moscow Church

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of both sides in the war and of its final outcome, the result is that everywhere, outside the tightly-controlled Russian Federation and Belarus, the faithful have been leaving the once multinational Russian Church. Either they have left for other Local Orthodox Churches or else they have declared themselves ‘fully independent’, as in the Ukraine and Latvia. Most recently there has been the case of five Orthodox priests in Lithuania, four of whom are ethnic Lithuanians. Not surprisingly, as Non-Russians, they find that they cannot agree with the Russian Patriarch and do not want to belong to the same Church as him. The result of this is that they were ‘defrocked’ (forbidden the priesthood) by the Moscow Church, even though they are not in Russia or Russians. However, they have now been allowed the priesthood by the Church of Constantinople, which had jurisdiction in Lithuania some 350 years ago. (Ironically, Constantinople, today called Istanbul, is now the largest city in Europe and with a population of Russians probably fifty times greater than its Greeks).

Apparently, these priests are not allowed the right to freedom and self-determination, they must obey what has become a foreign, since no longer multinational, Church. This situation is unthinkable in a Western country which has a culture of freedom. And of course, you cannot be defrocked for a difference of opinion about nationalism or politics! Real defrocking happens only when a priest behaves immorally, for example, he steals money or he is involved in sexual impropriety. Clearly, ‘defrockings’ like those in Lithuania are not canonical, they are purely political, and are not recognised by anyone except the present Moscow authorities. The irony is that those who defrock in such cases, though not in this one, are often guilty of real causes for defrocking! For instance, over the last fifty years in North America and Europe, only very recently in the Antioch jurisdiction, we have seen priests ‘defrocked’ for being whistleblowers because:

Their bishop was a pedophile.

Their bishop was heretical or schismatic.

Their bishop was homosexual.

Their bishop was committing fornication.

Their bishop wanted to sleep with the priest’s wife.

Their bishop was jealous of a priest’s church and tried to steal it from him.

Their bishop wanted a priest to spy for a secret service.

Their bishop was an atheist and ordained atheists.

Their bishop was a careerist and ready to commit any crime in furtherance of his career.

In each case the priest left his bishop and was duly ‘defrocked’! Of course, the ‘defrocking’ was completely ignored and the priest continued to serve, transferring to a normal bishop. As a result, the persecuted priest gained respect and his ‘defrocking’ bishop lost all respect, together with much of his flock – and also his career.

Conclusion: The Dogmatisation of Personal Opinions

As we can see, these new divisions are not at all theological, but nationalist and political. Here we are in the world of personal (political) opinions, the world of intolerance. Differences in personal opinions have nothing to do with heresies and schisms. Personal opinions are here being treated as dogmas. The Faith is the same. When Church authorities intolerantly impose nationalist and political opinions, they automatically divide their flock, as we see today in the Ukraine. Thus, the Moscow Church has lost moral authority in most of the Ukraine, not to mention in most of the rest of the world outside the Russian Federation and, one day, in Belarus too. The Moscow Church is rapidly ceasing to be the multinational Russian Orthodox Church and becoming a mononational Church. You cannot be a multinational Church and be a national (and nationalist) Church at the same time. You must decentralise yourself, as the USSR was decentralised (but astonishingly the Church was not decentralised), and grant other nationalities freedom and independence.

Only two bishops of the present Moscow Church have remained traditional, that is, multinational Russian Orthodox, by diverging in their opinions from the authorities. One of them, Metr Hilarion (Alfeev), was disgraced and exiled to a church in Budapest, the other, Metr Jean Renneteau, a French national, has courageously expressed his total disagreement (1). As far as they are concerned, through unequivocal support for the war in the Ukraine the Moscow authorities have confused the Church with politics, thus discrediting the Church which they represent, as well as themselves. These divisions are only about nationalism and politics. A dispute about territories and whether they belong to or do not belong to a Local Church has nothing to do with the creed and heresy and schism. Through their centralisation the Church authorities have dismissed the right to freedom and self-determination. And sadly, despite constant warnings, the centralisation of these Church authorities is not a case of Resovietisation, as there never was any Desovietisation.


Reading the above there are those who will fall into despair. They are mistaken to do so, for they have forgotten Church history. Now is the Gethsemane of the Church, that is, the moment not of Her defeat, but of Her victory has begun. Christ is deserted by His disciples, who have fallen asleep, but as time and time again in Church history, when cast aside and deserted, this is the moment when Christ has overcome the world. The arrogance, narcissism and sense of impunity of the crazies who, even in complete freedom, sell their souls for a mess of Soviet pottage, accepting brainwashed ‘obedience’ for the sake of their careers, more Soviet than the Soviets, are cast down. Throughout the Russian Church, exactly as St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied, there will be a great cleansing from corruption, a generational change among the episcopate. From that will follow the repentance and restoration of the Russian Orthodox Church (which, it seems, now no longer exists) and the resurrection of the Russian Lands. But first they must go through this Great Tragedy, the Crucifixion of the Ukraine, the war that has happened on account of the apostasy of those who denied the Church of God. They reduced it to the sins of cowardice, abject lies, subservience to militant atheism, careerism, bureaucratic centralism and ritualism. Did they really think they could get away with it? We follow another way, the way of the New Martyrs and New Confessors. For the King is coming and we must be ready to meet Him.



  1. See: https://www.svoboda.org/a/mitropolit-dubninskiy-ioann-my-idem-po-krovi-nashih-muchenikov-/32276466.html












The Russian Orthodox Church 2007-2023 and Peace in the Ukraine

The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the cause of the destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest….Instead of enquiring why the Roman Empire was destroyed, we should rather be surprised that it had subsisted for so long.

History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon


By the grace of God, all our international parishes, with their Romanian and Russian, Moldovan and Ukrainian, English and European parishioners, live safely within the second largest Local Church, the Patriarchate of Romania. Thus, we are shielded from Russian and Greek schisms and the tragic and divisive consequences of the bitter conflict in the Ukraine. Nevertheless, we cannot help observing the immense temptations that now beset the largest Local Orthodox Church, the Russian, and be concerned about its direction and the future after the Ukrainian conflict is over, which may be quite soon.


In order to understand why there is a bloody conflict in the Ukraine today, strangely enough we first have to understand why the Russian Empire fell in 1917. Over a century on, the reason for that is quite clear. The multinational Russian Empire fell because most of its people had lost their Orthodox Faith, the underpinning foundation which had cemented everything together. For when you stop believing in the foundation, you end up in suicidal self-destruction and cynicism.

We can see this today with the Imperial failure of Western Empires, British, French, American etc, also fallen because most have stopped believing in their underpinning ideologies. The Russian crisis in 1917 had been created by a nominal, superficial attitude to the Orthodox Faith, which underpinned all. Most had signed up to the Faith on paper, but did not live by it. They had rejected the consequences and ramifications of the Faith and so lived in hypocritical contradictions, Orthodox but not Christian.


In 2007 the émigré Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) was finally reconciled to the Patriarchal Church inside Russia. We personally considered that this was seven years late, but we had patiently waited for the inevitability, rather than leave for the Patriarchate as some did – better late than never. Having played an active part in the events of the 2006 ROCOR Council and reconciliation and attended the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow, I have been asked if I regret it. The answer is crystal clear: Absolutely not. 2007 saved the Church, which kept a huge potential. The fact that it failed to exploit that potential has nothing to do with 2007.

Before 2007 ROCOR was on the verge of becoming a sect, which is why some had already left it. Certain individual ROCOR bishops had even allied themselves to schismatic old calendarist groups in Greece, Romania and Bulgaria! By allying ROCOR with the Patriarchal Church in Moscow, we delayed the possibility of schismatic sectarianism for a vital 14 years. We had gained a breathing space. Some object that ROCOR should not have reconciled with the Patriarchal Church, because it is ‘corrupt’. Of course, there were and still are problems in the Patriarchal Church, but only as there are today in the new ROCOR that has appeared in the last five years.


In both parts of the Russian Church the causes of corruption are very similar: the lack of repentance, the lack of the spiritual. Specifically, there is superstitious ritualism, the vain belief that the sacraments are like magic and require no personal effort to work, only precise ritual observation. This vain belief is essentially materialistic and therefore superficial, for we are not saved by superstitious ritualism, but by the Holy Spirit. Then there is money-oriented careerism, the concept that the Church is a money-making business. This is the very active and very visible temptation of graspingness and love of bling in both parts of the Church. Then there is centralising bureaucracy which puts protocols and forms above the Word of God and Love for our fellow-men. Then there are nationalist political ideologies, the temptation to obey the State, whether the American or the Russian, in other words, you abandon your conscience, integrity and principles because you prefer to swim with the tide for personal advantage, against Christ. This was not the path of the New Martyrs and New Confessors, whom we follow.

This last temptation is especially great for ROCOR, since the political pressures of the declining American Empire could now force all of ROCOR, and not just part of it, into full schism; there the situation is far worse than before 2007, for the unhealthy direction that the New York-based ROCOR has taken since 2018 is the opposite to the healthy one taken before 2007. The danger in all this is that the majority in both parts of the Russian Church, in Moscow and New York, will return to the vices that prevailed before the Revolution – superstitious ritualism, money-oriented careerism, centralising bureaucracy and nationalist political ideologies, all those faults that were present then, as they are now. All of them can cut off from communion with other parts of the Church, destroying the Catholicity of the Church, resulting in isolation. We hope that our Introduction now makes sense, for we are precisely facing another crisis in the Russian Church, as in 1917, the conflict in the Ukraine.

The Conflict in the Ukraine

The manmade catastrophe in the Ukraine has come about because of the lack of Faith, nominalism, on both sides. Do real Christians kill each other? Since this war broke out in 2014, between 160,000 and 250,000 Kiev troops (several thousand of them foreign mercenaries, notably Poles) and 15,000 – 20,000 Russian-Ukrainians and Russians have been killed, together with nearly 14,000 Russian-Ukrainian civilians and nearly 7,000 Ukrainian civilians. In other words, between 200,000 and 290,000 are dead because Kiev was suicidally forced to refuse, to make peace last spring, again last summer and now, when all could have been ended with compromise.

Since 2014 16 million Ukrainians have been displaced – 10 million to various countries in Europe, the majority to Russia and 6 million internally. It is not clear what proportion of those 10 million will ever return to the Ukraine, whose population is now only 18-22 million, given that 4 million have preferred to live under Russian administration in the south-east, an area the size of England and Wales. Kiev has also had about 50 percent of its energy infrastructure destroyed. It requires at least $3 billion a month in outside borrowings just to keep its economy afloat. This debt will never be repaid. Meanwhile a surrounding army of nearly 700,000 Russian soldiers, with, if necessary, their 15,000 tanks, waits to occupy and rebuild the Ukraine. All that NATO could muster against them is 100,000 and 59 tanks though, in any case, it is too frightened to deploy a single one of them, as it knows that it would lose them.


In other words, the conflict in the Ukraine is a call to return to the Faith – to avoid this suicide. That is the choice. It is a Divine warning, as at Siloam: ‘Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish’ (Lk. 13, 5). It is no coincidence that this conflict began in February 2022, the centenary of the founding of the Soviet Union in 1922. For the origins of this conflict are precisely in the unatoned sins of the Soviet apostasy that created February 1917 and the greatest atheist State and persecution of Christianity in world history. After all, to create another Revolution, all you have to do is to repeat the same sins, the sins of those who sinned against the New Martyrs and Confessors.

And it is no coincidence either that the path to reconciliation is in the life of the great twentieth-century Ukrainian saint, the New Confessor, St John the Wonderworker, also known as St John of Shanghai and Western Europe, the Saint of the old, pre-sectarian, pre-schismatic, faithful Russian Emigration. It was he who was persecuted and put on trial by the sectarians and schismatics who claimed to be his own. It was he put the Faith above all their concerns, above their superstitious ritualism, their money-oriented careerism, their centralising bureaucracy and their nationalist political ideologies, which so trouble all parts of the Russian Church again today. Only when Russians and Ukrainians do as he did and put the Kingdom of God and His righteousness first, will there be peace in the Ukraine.








An Old New Year’s Q and A 2023

Q: Both Russians and Ukrainians are supposed to be Orthodox Christians and belong to exactly the same Church, so why is there this scandal of a war between them, with over 150,000 Ukrainian and over 15,000 Russian dead so far? All Orthodox, but killing each other? What is all this about?

A: First of all, if the dead and the living were actually Orthodox, I would agree with you, but that is not the case. First of all, many of the casualties on both sides are not even baptised. Secondly, on the Russian side, quite a few are Muslims and on the Ukrainian side thousands of the dead are Polish mercenaries and hundreds Canadian, American, British (well over 100 dead) and Croat mercenaries. Thirdly, about half of the Ukrainians are not Orthodox, but Catholics, Protestants or schismatics. And finally, most of the remaining ones, the Orthodox, are Orthodox in name only, that is, they are only baptised, not practising, just nominally Orthodox. This war reminds us of just how few real Orthodox there are. Yes, there are Orthodox, but how many are Christians? That is the key question.

Let us remember that in the First and Second World Wars, many Germans were Protestants, as were most of the British. They still slaughtered each other, just as Catholic Germans and Catholic Poles slaughtered one another in the Second War, or, long before, Catholic Englishmen and Catholic Frenchmen in the Hundred Years War.

And in 1912-1913 Serbs and Bulgarians were killing each other. Both were supposedly Orthodox. And in the Second World War, the Romanian government became Fascist and sided with Hitler, and so Romanian soldiers had to fight against Russians. However, the Russians were Communists. It was not so much a war between Romanian Orthodox and Russian Orthodox, as between a Fascist government and a Communist government. You have to remember that. So today, there is no war between the Ukraine and Russia. The war is between Washington and Moscow. The Ukrainians, like most Western Europeans, are just naïve pawns or proxies in the Great American Game to continue its world domination.

We live in the age of nominal Orthodoxy. The results are to be seen not just in the Ukraine and Russia, but all over Western Europe. There are large numbers of nominal Russian Orthodox of various nationalities, but very few churches for them. Thus, of the 140,000 Ukrainian refugees in the UK, there is only one community – of fewer than 40. Even supposing that half the Ukrainian refugees are not Orthodox anyway, fewer than 40 out of 70,000 is about 1 in 2,000 who go to church! The priest himself told me that he despairs. True, we have about 15 Ukrainians in Colchester, but we find ourselves obliged to teach them fundamentals like how to take a blessing. Some are not even baptised.

Many Orthodox in the Ukraine and Russia are only there for a career and money. There have been so many scandals – I have seen it in the many visits I have made to both countries over the last fifteen years. It is clear that several clergy are probably atheists.

Q: What is the main pastoral problem in the Orthodox Church in general?

A: I think it is the fact that there are hardly any parishes, in the sense of Christian communities. This is a problem all over the world, except in villages, but we can take two examples locally. Russians who attend the two Russian churches in London say one resembles a busy railway station, the other a gloomy and exclusive ghetto. As a result, there is a huge turnover of parishioners, with an almost entirely different group of parishioners every few years. Huge numbers have been through both churches over the last 30 years, but only once or twice in that time. They do not stay. The constant core is tiny.

As a result of this absence of community life, there are huge losses. Many Russians from the Baltics, as well as from the Ukraine, have left both those churches. One of the problems here is mixed marriages. English husbands do not want to attend churches where they cannot understand a word. Some Russians now even attend Anglican churches and tell me that at least they are treated like human-beings there and do not have to endure nasty comments from Russian nationalists and (sometimes) Non-Russian sectarian converts. It seems as though these churches can only keep and only want Russians from Russia or those who want to pretend to be Russian. They live in a ghetto, where the persecution of Russians from outside Russia, by Russians from inside Russia, seems to be allowed.

Q: In that case, the case of ghettos and nationalism, missionary work has become impossible. Who will take up the mission?

A: Missionary work in churches which behave like this is at an end. They are anti-pastoral. It is very sad. It is the total rejection of the work of St Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, who gathered all Orthodox together in the USA at the start of the twentieth century. It is the total rejection of the great and holy legacy of St John of Shanghai and of the authentic old ROCOR outside Russia after the time of St Tikhon. It is the total rejection of the spirit of the New Martyrs and Confessors inside Russia.

Who will take up the mission, since both Russians and Greeks appear to have have cancelled and eliminated themselves for the moment? The Ukrainians? The Romanians? The Moldovans? All have nominal faithful in the millions in Western Europe. That makes them easily the majority of nominal Orthodox, both in the UK and in Western Europe. But do they have faith? And do they have the necessary leadership? All I know is that we shall continue to do missionary work in our own parishes. The rest will have to solve their own problems.

Q: How does the Orthodox Church cope with the assimilation of children born to immigrants in the Diaspora?

A: Sadly, it does not. I remember 30 years ago meeting a youngish man, whose grandparents had been White Russians and come to England in 1919. The youngish man, then in his thirties, had just been circumcised, i.e. become a Jew. He said he had been attracted by Jewish spirituality. Nothing new here, remember Fr/St Sophrony Sakharov, who already before the Revolution had left his upper middle-class family background and become a Hindu for the same reason. He had found no spiritual food in the nominal Russian Orthodoxy around him. He had to be converted by a semi-literate peasant, the future St Silvanus.

Virtually all the descendants of White Russians from after 1917 (and remember that only 10% of them were practising Orthodox) have been assimilated and lost to the Church everywhere. The only older ones you sometimes meet are descendants of the post-1945 immigration. All the rest are from the Soviet emigration, post-1991. This is the case in both the MP and the ROCOR churches in London. Both would have died out completely had the USSR not collapsed and new Russians moved here from all over the old USSR. But already many of their children, who speak to me in English, have lapsed. They have been assimilated and are lost to the Church.

Today in the UK exactly the same has happened to the descendants of Greek Cypriots who settled here in the 50s and 60s. Their parishes are dying out and the clergy are nearly all very old. There are now over twenty Greek Cypriot Anglican vicars. I met one about twenty years ago and asked why he had done this. His first answer was that he did not understand a word of Greek and then on top of that the Anglicans gave their vicars a free house and a good salary. He said: ‘Why not?’

Q: Why are Orthodox so different? Why don’t you have pews and organs like we do?

A: Your question reminds me of someone who came to visit us eighteen months ago and asked us why we don’t have any VIPs or rich people in our church! I answered him that we don’t have VIPs or rich people, but we do have Christ. Similarly, we don’t have pews and organs, we have the Tradition. Nor do we have converts, we have Orthodox.

Q: Why did Communism spread mainly in Orthodox countries?

A: As one Romanian said to me some 20 years ago: ‘Communism is Orthodox Christianity without Christ’. In the same way we can say that: Fascism is Catholicism without the Pope and Capitalism is Protestantism without morality.

Q: What is the difference between the sacramental theologies of Orthodox, Catholics and Protestants?

A: To be very brief and very general:

Protestantism has no sacramental theology because it has no sacraments. (Exceptionally, the sacrament of baptism, by water in the Name of the Holy Spirit, is the only one which can be conferred by a layman).

Catholicism believes that sacraments are conferred only by clergy who have the authority to do so from the Pope, as he alone holds the Holy Spirit. (Some ‘Papist’ Orthodox like to imitate this!). For them there is no Christ and therefore no Church and therefore Holy Spirit and therefore no sacraments without the Papacy.

Orthodoxy believes that any priest who confesses the Creed, established in the fourth century, and has been ordained by an Orthodox bishop who has canonical apostolic succession, that is, who is in communion with all the other bishops of His Local Orthodox Church, can transfer the grace of the Holy Spirit and so confer the sacraments. Hence the grave spiritual danger of being out of communion with other bishops of the same Local Church and even more the danger if he denies the sacraments of the other bishops of his own Local Church., let alone other Local Churches. That is called schism because it denies the catholicity of the Church and isolates from the Holy Spirit.

Q: What practical differences did leaving ROCOR make to your churches?

A: The first and immediate difference was that we could put out for public veneration the icon of St Sophrony, whom I knew very well. Before that we had been banned from putting it out for those who wished to venerate him. But, far more importantly, the difference is the fact that we can now concelebrate with other priests and other priests can concelebrate with us, notably Romanians, Antiochians and Greeks. Previously, that too had been banned by the sectarian and schismatic mentality in charge. As I have worked all my life for the catholicity of the Church and against the spirit of sects, cults and schism, that has been vitally rewarding to me.

Q: Why does homosexuality penetrate Church life?

A: This always happens in periods of decadence, whether in the first century or in the twenty-first century. There is nothing new in it. The Apostle Paul warns of it. Homosexuality and, perhaps even more often, bisexuality, become the norm among the clergy in periods of decadence. The problem always begins among the episcopate, as with the Patriarchate of Constantinople in the twentieth century (Archbishop Athenagoras, for example), as such bishops ordain their friends, homosexuals and bisexuals, to the clergy, and so form a self-protective mafia. In the USA this problem is enormous.

It is curious how these people call themselves ‘gay’, when in fact they are sad. It is rather like those who call themselves ‘woke’, which means (spiritually) asleep (if not actually dead), not ‘awake’ at all. What is also curious is that the open homosexuals are generally associated with syncretism, left-wing liberalism and modernism (Archbishop Athenagoras), and the repressed and angry homosexuals are generally associated with ultra-conservative right-wingery, phariseeism, misogyny, conspiracy theories and even Fascism. Both witness to a total lack of Love, jealousy and hatred.

Q: Do you feel bitter against the Russian Church for the way they treated you after your nearly 50 years of unpaid missionary service on its behalf?

A: Not in the slightest! What concerns me is what is popularly called ‘karma’, or ‘what goes round, comes round’. As Newton said in his third law: ‘To every action there is always an equal reaction’. All those individuals who persecuted us have died, fallen ill, lost their careers or otherwise been punished. And there is more to come for them. As the Apostle wrote nearly 2,000 years ago, ‘God is not mocked’ and ‘Our God is a consuming fire’. You just cannot get away with it. I have seen it so very often down the decades. Sadly, they will all be punished, or rather, punish themselves, and well before the Last Judgement. This is why we pray for them all. I tremble in their place. If you act without integrity, without a conscience, without principles, against the spiritual and moral law, only out of self-interest, you will suffer. It is inevitable. People like that always end up outside the Church.

Our mistreatment is a loss for the Russian Church, but not for Orthodox Christianity. However, the damage the Russian Church has done to itself is incalculable. Everybody now says: Look at Fr Andrew, he sacrificed his life and career and learned to speak almost perfect Russian and they, who spoke Russian very badly, if at all, mistreated him and all his in that way. Such people will say: ‘There’s no way I will ever have anything to do with the Russian Church, especially not with ROCOR, given the way they treated him’. It was all a spiritual death-wish. The point is that if people really want to commit suicide in the Russian Church, you cannot stop them. I know, I tried to stop them – and failed!

If others who call themselves Russian Orthodox, but who are not, lapse from Orthodoxy, we, on the other hand, do not and will not lapse. When the Russian Church is free again after this terrible political war in the Ukraine is over, we shall see. How is it ever going to rebuild itself? Only on the foundations of St Seraphim of Sarov, St John of Kronstadt, St John of Shanghai and the New Martyrs and Confessors, including the Imperial Martyrs, who are why I am part of the real Russian Church, the Universal Church. It will mean rejecting politics, careerism, love of money and luxury, big black cars and bling, that the Church is not a business. It will mean understanding that money is for doing good, not for filling churches with gold and marble and sewing vestments with gold thread. The tragedy is that some have repeated exactly the same mistakes as before the Revolution. You can join the prophets or join those who stone the prophets. It is your choice. I know where I stand.

In any case, we have always served and will always serve Christ and His Orthodox Church first and foremost, not some manmade branch of it and all its corruption. We believe in the ‘Orthodox Catholic Church’, not some political and nationalist outlier, however big it may be on paper. Quality, not quantity!














The Ukraine and Pre-Apocalyptic Times

The end will be through China. There will be some unusual outburst and a Divine miracle will take place.

St Aristocleus the Athonite, 1918

There will be three Easters after my death. The first will be bloody, the second will be hungry and the third will be victorious.

Elder Iona of Odessa, 2012

I have been asked several times over the last two months to write about the conflict in the Ukraine or to take sides. I have been silent all that time. I did not wish to speak, for every armed conflict and all innocent victims are tragedies. This is a matter in which prayerful silence is best. Now at the Feast of the Resurrection,  I will only say the following:

The Crucifixion showed people as they really were: some showed treachery like Judas, some showed Cowardice and washed their hands like Pilate, some called for crucifixion and crucified like the Pharisees, others helped carry the Cross, others took down the Most Pure Body, and others prepared to anoint it. For at the Crucifixion, the greatest crisis in all human history, as at every crucifixion and crisis (which is the Greek word for ‘Judgement’), the true nature of all is revealed. The crisis in the Ukraine is no exception, with politicians and churchpeople declaring their true natures. Some behave like Judas the Traitor, Pilate the Coward and Caiaphas the Deceiver, but others carry the Cross, take down the Body and anoint Him.

The problem of the last century was precisely that the Western world did not heed the prophets sent to it. On the one hand, St Justin (Popovich) defended the Church against the spirit of Papist tyranny, no matter where it came from, and, on the other hand, Solzhenitsyn clearly foretold the present war in the Ukraine and declared to the US government: ‘No, I cannot recommend your society as the ideal for the transformation of ours’. As a result, today we face the struggle against the political powers of totalitarian Secularism, with its ‘liberal’ censorship and ‘Might is Right’ because ‘West is Best’.

Now, in the present century, we await the time of the fulfilment of the prophecies of St Seraphim of Sarov, St Anatoly of Optina, St John of Kronstadt, St Seraphim of Vyritsa, St Laurence of Chernigov, of the New Martyrs and Confessors, of the Imperial Martyrs and their companions, and of such recent righteous as Elders Nikolai Pskovoezersky (2002) and Iona of Odessa (2012). What is happening in the Ukraine is on both sides a struggle between the Christian Civilisation of Godmanhood and the Secularism of Humanism – Mangodhood. More exactly, it is a struggle to purge the wheat of Orthodox Christian Civilisation from the chaff of the world, and to restore it to the Risen God. To the demons of this world, we must oppose our saints, old and new.

The Tragedy of Afghanistan

Long before the Marxist invasion of Afghanistan in December 1979, the Western world was involved in political manipulations there. Indeed, they were what provoked the (foolish) Marxist invasion, as the Soviet Union, like the Russian Empire before it, always feared encirclement by aggressors. Its fear was real, as it came from continuous invasions of it, from the 13th century onwards. The Soviet Union did not want foreign missiles on its border with Afghanistan. After all, the positioning of missiles on the Soviet border with Turkey was after all what had provoked the 1962 Cuban Crisis, which was resolved only when the West backed down and withdrew their missiles, which led to the Soviets withdrawing theirs from Cuba.

The futile invasion of Afghanistan cost the US taxpayer well over $2 trillion (and the British taxpayer £35 billion). It was where the CIA trained Osama Bin Laden in terrorism, with consequences that are well-known. Far worse, it cost the US and Britain (and other NATO followers) thousands of lives. Far worse, it cost the Afghan people hundreds of thousands of lives from invaders (‘international or coalition forces’ or ‘the international community’ in BBCspeak) and millions of refugees. All for nothing. The West never learned the lessons of other lost wars: you cannot win a war when the people do not support you; you cannot impose your alien culture on people who have a culture ten times older than your own; you must respect others, not trample them down.

In reality, the rural masses – as opposed to the Westernised urban elite- want their country back. This is a repeat of what happened in Russia after 1917 and what happened in Iran after 1979, when the masses revolted against the highly Westernised urban elites. In the first case Marxism came to power, in the second case Shia Islam. In both cases foreign intrigues produced the opposite of what they sought, an anti-Western instead of a pro-Western regime.

Afghanistan is another example of the consequence of meddling in another country’s and another culture’s affairs because you think that you can ‘westernise’ the people. All you do in fact is alienate them. The Afghans have now defeated the British Empire, the Marxist Empire and the American Empire, in this ‘graveyard of empires’. Kabul will surely fall soon – it only ever was an enclave, financed at huge cost, in a country that was always largely controlled by the Taliban, who were Western-trained and Western-armed.

Amid the humming of shredders in embassies and the roar of helicopters and transport planes taking away escaping Westerners and Westernised, the Taliban are now ever stronger inside the gates of Kabul. They are now armed with the American weapons left there en masse and reinforced by the so-called Afghan Army which immediately surrendered to their brother-Taliban with all their US equipment and without a shot being fired. Kabul’s return to the Taliban may not be in a month or two, as the patronising Western media are suggesting, it may only be in days*.

Foreign troops went to Afghanistan and imposed themselves, supposing that they owned the place. The locals with their age-old Eurasian cultures and languages did not like imperialism. After twenty years the invading troops have been forced to run. Now Taiwan may return to China, the Ukraine (or the 80% Non-Hapsburg part) may return to Russia – similarly elsewhere.

The Marxist Soviet Empire could never do anything in Afghanistan because it held to an atheist ideology. The same was true for all practical purposes of the British and American Empires. As a result of its atheism, the Soviet Empire disappeared thirty years ago. Today an Orthodox Russia might be able to help Afghanistan, as it could respect the religious values of the Taliban, though of course without fanaticism. However, is Orthodox Russia strong enough? It seems unlikely. Let us pray for all those who suffer so much in this much-suffering country.

14 August 2021

*In fact it was the day after this was written.



Rue Daru: To Be or Not To Be?

At its meeting on Saturday 15 December, clergy and laity of the Paris Exarchate (Rue Daru), which was dissolved by its Patriarch in Istanbul, could not decide what they wanted to do and postponed any decision until next February. The group with one 75 year-old bishop who speaks only French and numbering only a few thousand has in its history jumped from Church to Church. Indeed, between 1966 and 1971 it formed an uncanonical sect under no Church. However, now the choices are very limited.

  1. Accept dissolution and simply become part of the local Greek dioceses of whatever country its members are in. This is perhaps the obvious choice for those in England who broke away from the Russian Church in 2006.
  2. Become an independent sect, with whom no canonical Orthodox will concelebrate.
  3. Join the Romanian Church. This seems unlikely because the Romanian Patriarch, who was appointed by the US ambassador in Bucharest, would probably not be allowed to take them from the US-appointed Patriarch in Istanbul. The USA would decide in any case.
  4. Join the Russian Church. Given the Russophobia of two-thirds of its clergy, this seems unlikely. Would it really be able to accept the canonical and liturgical norms and disciplines of the Russian Orthodox Church? However, Archbishop Antony (Sevriuk), who is in charge of churches of the Moscow Patriarchate outside Russia and is a fluent English and Italian speaker, has been contacted.
  5. Split apart, with a third of the clergy and people returning to the Russian Church, the others going to whatever modernistic, make-it-up-as-you-go- group they want.

A Message on the Tragedy of 1917 from the English Borderlands of Holy Rus

Last week I was contacted by someone who had prepared a mobile exhibition ‘to celebrate the Russian Revolution’ and wanted to come to our Church so that our parishioners could visit it. When explaining her crass error to her and rejecting her visit, I at first wondered whether she came from a different planet to me, and then I realized that, whatever her nationality, she was simply yet another victim of the Non-Christian culture of the Western world. She was not part of our Orthodox Christian civilization and was therefore completely unaware of our values and criteria.

The fact is that the events which took place in Russia in 1917 were not in spirit Russian, but Western (whatever the nationality of those involved), that there was no Revolution, but a bloody seizure of power, and that there is nothing to celebrate in that bloodshed, for what followed was an unmitigated disaster. Some people point to industrialization under Communism, technical achievements, free education and medicine, but all these were already present in the very advanced and prosperous pre-Revolutionary Imperial Civilization; Communism took Russia backwards.

Communists said that they wanted to create paradise on earth, but without God paradise is hell; the hell of the destruction of the Church and the martyring and torturing of its clergy and faithful, the Red Terror, civil war, massacres, artificial famines, cannibalism, collectivization, concentration camps, arrests for virtue, the failure to defend against Nazi terror, genocide, the mass destruction of family life and morals, mass alcoholism, mass abortion and mass corruption. Indeed, the latter four are still very much present in today’s post-Soviet/still Soviet Russia.

Though vast, the Russian Empire once constituted two thirds of Europe, one third of Asia and part of North America. It was unnaturally cut off from the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic by the Western Schism, from North America by aggressive British Imperialism which forced the sale of Alaska, and from protecting Manchuria and the still united Korean Peninsula by the US/British creation of Imperialist Japan. Its ‘manifest destiny’ of uniting Eurasia from the Atlantic to the Pacific was thus never fully achieved, though, ironically, it came very near to this in 1945.

Although we know that the restoration of the Orthodox Christian Empire is only possible through mass repentance, here too, in the County of Suffolk, in the Region of the East of England, in the Kingdom of England, in the future Orthodox Christian Empire, we pray for its restitution.