In a recent interview, shortly to be published elsewhere, Fr Andrew expressed his views on the situation in the Ukraine, which has brought the whole world and the whole of the Orthodox Church into crisis.
Q: What has brought about the crisis in the Ukraine, which has affected inter-Orthodox relations so badly and led to a huge and historic schism?
A: First of all, we must know that since the fall of the USSR in December 1991, the US elite (with all its underlings) has had as its main aims firstly the destruction of the Islamic world and secondly the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church, which is the cement of the Russian-speaking world and the numerical centre of Orthodoxy. The US elite failed in the first task, though it did create chaos and death throughout the Middle East and in North Africa. In the second task it is also failing, though again it has created chaos and death, threatening nuclear war. This is Satanism. Of this there is no doubt. Only Satan loves blood and death.
This became apparent to me when the former US ambassador to Kiev, John Herbst, infiltrated the Fourth Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia in San Francisco in 2006. His then comment to a future schismatic Ukrainian bishop was that, given the ROCOR decision for unity with Moscow, they (meaning the US Establishment via the CIA) would now have to infiltrate all the Local Orthodox Churches and in particular the Russian Orthodox Church from inside. This is exactly what they did. Thus, they created the scandal of persecution of the faithful from inside the Church, using its corrupted agents inside the Church.
‘Hand over the keys to your church so we can close it’, is the US chant, whether through its agents in the West or through its agents in the Ukraine. There is exactly the same attempt at the intimidation of the pious and the manipulation of the naïve everywhere. So, the technique clearly has the same origin. In the Ukraine, any priest who loses his church also loses his job and possibly his home, once the keys to his church have been stolen from him. Here it is not so bad because most priests do not depend on the church for their income or home. However, the flock will still be scattered, the work of decades in building up the Church destroyed and the people scandalised by the persecution coming from on high. This is how people, ;the little ones’ of the Gospel, lose their faith. In our own case we were saved by the personal friendship between Patriarch Kyrill and Patriarch Daniel, so we were able to remain free and open, which the people recognise and so flock to us, despite the jealousy and slanders of others. The people refuse to be intimidated by the CIA. Unlike the dreaded secret police in the totalitarian Ukraine, the ‘authorities’ are reluctant to kidnap and torture here.
In the Ukraine, the CIA have so far managed to close 2,000 churches of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church out of 12,000, but thousands more will be closed in the coming months. Metr Onufry is a heroic confessor and may yet be martyred by the Americans through their proxies. We are with him 100%. We are not afraid of them! We have seen their sort before and seen them off before.
Q: When did the war in the Ukraine begin?
A: In 2014, the centenary of the First World War. As I have written many times before, this is a generational process: 1914, 1939 (the Second War), 1964 (the Moral Collapse, leading to 100 million abortions, mass family breakdown and open perversion without repentance), 1989 (the fall of the Berlin Wall, followed by the first invasion of Iraq and the Soviet collapse) and 2014. That was the first year of World War III, of which covid was only a phase that killed nearly seven million, a War which is due to last ten years in all. This is as long as World War I and World War II added together. Thus, we have seen a world crisis every twenty-five years.
Q: You have recently helped a Ukrainian refugee-priest to try and set up a new church in London. How did that go?
A: With the blessing of our own Metr Joseph and the senior hierarchy in Kiev, who know all about how we have been persecuted and how we were received into the Romanian Church (Metr Joseph is well-known and well-respected there and has met them), we received a priest from the Ukraine who stayed with us for three weeks. However, the British Establishment told our priest in no uncertain terms that as long as he is with Metr Onufry, he will not be tolerated in this country. He could in no way obtain premises or anything. The USA will not allow it. However, he was told that if he had been in the schismatic CIA/Dumenko church or in the Greek Catholic (Uniat) church, he would have at once received everything he had ever dreamed of.
Q: Why did he come to you in the Patriarchate of Romania and not address himself to the Russian Church?
A: The Kiev regime punishment for ‘collaboration’ (= concelebration with the Russian Church) is five years imprisonment.
Today the situation in Eastern Europe is worsening rapidly. In the Ukraine you can be imprisoned for possessing Russian books. In the Baltics it is the same. The Pjukhtitsy Convent in Estonia has been ordered to join the American pawn of Constantinople. Eternal shame on the Estonian government. In Latvia doctors can now legally refuse to treat Russians who cannot speak Latvian. People will die. Such is the racism allowed by the EU. I strongly suspect that Russia will this decade be tempted to take over desperately poor Moldova and then the dying Baltic States, in order to free their persecuted minorities there.
Q: What hope do you see for the Russian Church in this crisis?
A: My personal hope is Metr Hilarion (Alfeev) of Budapest. I know him personally. From a liberal diplomat he has developed and matured over the last several years through his sufferings, and is now a hero in chains. He has always openly opposed the war in the Ukraine. He clearly sees the difference between Church and State. He speaks several languages, quite good Greek, French and excellent English. He is for autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Even if it will only be temporary, it will still be necessary for a time.
Once the south-western province of Zakarpatie, as Kiev calls it, has become part of Hungary, as it will do, there will be a need for an Autocephalous Hungarian Orthodox Church. This could be a possible position for Metr Hilarion. But he could do more. He could take over responsibility for the Sourozh Diocese and Moscow parishes in North America. In this country he could restore the fallen Russian Church here, which is now in a disastrous state. He could at last create that long-awaited united Russian Church out of the three warring Russian jurisdictions here, one of which is allowed to refuse to be in communion with one of the others! He could take over the now moribund Western European Exarchate of the Patriarchate of Moscow and revive it, working together with other jurisdictions. Or quite simply, he could become the next Patriarch of Moscow.
Q: Is this the end of the world? The Apocalypse?
A: We are in pre-Apocalyptic times. The War against the Ukraine, Belarus and Russia will, conditionally, end on 5 May 2024. Exactly eighteen months from now. These are not my words, but the words of the prophets and holy elders. If there is repentance (all prophecies are dependent on repentance) then there will be a great cleansing of the Church and the State. All the perverts and money-minded careerists will be turned out, like the money-changers from the Temple, for that is exactly what they are. He who endures to the end will be saved. Fear not, little flock. This whole period is a time of testing.
Q: You sound optimistic?
A: In the longer term, of course I am optimistic, but not in the short term. There is much suffering to go through in the coming months and year. This is why the Lord was merciful to Queen Elizabeth II and took her – so that she would not see these horrors.
The commander of the US Strategic Command in charge of the US nuclear triad, Admiral Charles Richard, has just said that ‘the Ukraine crisis is just warming up. The big one is coming, and it won’t be long before we get tested in a way we haven’t been tested in a long time’. The US is flying nuclear weapons into its base in Spain. According to the EU Foreign Minister, Borrell, the EU alone has spent 22 billion euros on Ukraine in 2022, not counting direct military aid from individual EU members. The Ukraine is going to need billions of dollars just to stay afloat in the next few months and probably more than $100 billion to stay afloat in 2023.
This is not to mention the potential flood of refugees from the Ukraine into Europe, sparking the powderkeg of existing internal discontent in these countries. For example, here Ukrainian refuges were sponsored for six months, when they began to come here last March. Now that that period is up, many are being turned out onto the streets, where they live as beggars and tramps. Local councils will not and cannot help them. They too are bankrupt.
Now is the time of the fulfilment of the prophecies. The saints long ago foretold that at the end there will be many churches and the golden cupolas will gleam, but you will not be able to enter them. This is exactly the situation in the Ukraine today, where the churches are locked and empty. As St Seraphim of Sarov prophesied, at the end there will be bishops even worse than those in the time of Emperor Theodosius the Younger (401-450). Here begins our long, long march to freedom. We are living through the end of that old Westocentric world and seeing the return to the original multicentric world. But as St Alexander Nevsky said: ‘God is not in force, but in truth’.