The eleventh century made the distinction between the secular and the ecclesiastical fundamental to European society and culture for the first time and permanently. Since this distinction was the foundation on which European civilization has been constructed, it is not easy for Europe’s children to remember that it might have been otherwise. Our history has been written by the victors in the struggle to bring this social order into being, in the certainty that their victory was right, and because it was right, inevitable. By the middle of the twelfth century the victors dominated the record almost entirely and their spiritual descendants occupied the commanding heights of European historiography until the Enlightenment, and of much of European education, including higher education, until well into the twentieth century.
The First European Revolution c. 975-1215, R.I. Moore, Pp. 12-13
Introduction: A Spiritual Pilgrimage
I am one of ‘Europe’s children’, one of those who in the second half of the twentieth century ‘remembered’, first by instinct and then by knowledge, ‘that it might have been otherwise’ in Europe. In other words, I made a spiritual pilgrimage to the roots of Europe and found Another Europe. This was made possible firstly by the fact that I had been born into a family linked with farming in the English countryside, so into the most traditional of backgrounds. This took me back beyond the little that those in the big towns were allowed to know, especially those uprooted in unEnglish London, back to the great realm of lost knowledge. Secondly, with shock my father, a soldier of the Second World War, also told me in childhood what he had seen of the unjust way that the imperialist Norman British Establishment behaved in Egypt and in other colonies, a way completely at odds with the far older, neighbour-loving, Christian traditions of popular England. All this gave me a sense of the beyond, a sense of piercing the veil beyond the present and superficial, getting through to the essence and roots of things, and also to a sense of my own destiny.
The Consequence of the Sense of Beyond
The sense of the beyond came to me in my discovery of the Old Saints of England, who had lived locally. Their names in some form or other had been passed down in local place names, which is how I first came to hear of them, and yet their lives and feats had been made into foolish legends or else wholly forgotten: Felix, Cedd, Botolph, Audrey, Osyth, Albright, Edmund, Alfred and many others who witnessed to holiness, that which was quite unknown to the England of the present, meaning that all manner of charlatan could claim to be holy without being so. I noticed that these Old Saints had all lived long before the Middle Ages, itself a period long before the rapidly disappearing Protestant present of fifty years ago. And then I discovered at the age of twelve that that past was still alive in spirit in Orthodox Christian Russia and indeed in all the other much smaller and captive Local Orthodox Churches. At that time, however, the Russian Orthodox Church was Herself captive to an atheist regime, the ultimate, fully anti-Christian result of the spiritual degeneration of the Western world which had first begun to lose its way precisely by forgetting its saints, its Felixes, Cedds, Botolphs, Audreys, Osyths, Albrights, Edmunds, Alfreds and many others.
The Double Restoration
Therefore it has somehow been my calling, obviously in a very, very modest way, to help contribute to a double restoration. Firstly, there has been the restoration, contributed to by so many, of the veneration of those Old Saints, not only of Old England but of all Old Europe. And secondly, especially in the last twenty-five years since the slow but long hoped-for resurrection of Russia began, and again in a very, very modest way, to help contribute from outside Russia to the restoration, contributed to by so many others who have played far, far more important roles, of the Centre of the Orthodox Church in Russia. This has meant struggling for the purity of Holy Orthodoxy against all deviations to left and right, both inside the Russian Church and in the other Local Churches. And this has also meant defending the Incarnation of Orthodoxy into life, both inside Russia and also in other lands, through the preparation and hope for the restoration of the Christian Emperor, the Tsar. For, since our Faith is not some private, individualistic, Protestant-style fantasy, this incarnational public restoration is the only thing that stands between us and the apocalyptic End of the World.
Conclusion: Hope Against Hope
I have lived and fought for the Church of God, quite naturally centred outside the secularist Anti-Europe which in its anti-Christian delusions so fears, hates and tries to destroy the Centre of the Church. I have done this so that ‘it might be otherwise’. I have challenged the victors and their spiritual descendants, the historiographers, who have supported that false and secularist millennial social order. In the certainty that their victory was not only wrong, but also not at all inevitable, I therefore venerate the Saints of Old Europe and honour all the others for whom it was otherwise. I have struggled to reverse the temporary, though millennial, victory of their Anti-Europe and unfolded the vision that it once was and again shall be ‘otherwise’. For in the third millennium the revolutionary New Europe, that is, the second millennium Anti-Europe presaged by Charlemagne in Aachen, may yet be overthrown. Thus, first millennium Old Europe can be spiritually restored through the Church of God in Europe, made possible as a Metropolitan extension of the Christian Empire of a restored Holy Rus.