Introduction: Eight Years
Eight years have passed since Ascension Day, 17 May 2007, and the long-awaited entry into canonical communion of the two parts of the Russian Orthodox Church, of the vast majority in the Patriarchate centred in Moscow and of the small minority in the Church Outside Russia, centred in New York. Thus, ninety years after the catastrophic overthrow of the Lord’s Anointed, Tsar Nicholas II and the legitimate Russian government, since when the whole planet has been unbalanced and torn apart by unceasing war and terror, there came hope of restoration. This reconciliation was one of the first signs that the historic injustice of the overthrow by its enemies of the Russian Empire, which had been on the verge of victory in the First World War, could be righted and that the Orthodox Empire could at last be restored. But why were the two parts of the One Russian Church separated in the first place?
As is known, the separation came about only because of the seizure of power in 1917 by aristocratic Western-backed traitors and then by militant atheists who cruelly persecuted the Church in what remained of the former Russian Empire. Thus, when the Church inside Russia, just as outside Russia, fell under attack from renovationism, we stood together side by side, condemning both the heresies of Bulgakov in Paris and of Vvedensky in Russia. When Church representatives inside Russia were forced into lieing and saying that there was ‘no persecution of the Church’, we understood that they were hostages and spoke for them.
In freedom we refused to remain silent and spoke to the world of the persecution of the Russian Church. Understanding the enforced paralysis of the hierarchy of the Church inside Russia, we proceeded with the canonization of saints like St John of Kronstadt, St Xenia of Petersburg and finally the New Martyrs and Confessors. And when the hierarchy of the Church inside Russia was forced to accept unworthy representatives and renovationists abroad, in Vienna, Paris, Berlin, London, New York and elsewhere, and when they engaged in the ecumenist heresy, again we spoke and defended the Orthodox Church and Truth.
Of course, there were small numbers in the Church Outside Russia who also made mistakes. Even though we lived in political freedom we failed to canonize the New Martyrs and Confessors until 1981. St John of Shanghai had wanted it nearly fifty years before! Why did we have to wait for so long? Because of those on the political wing of the Church Outside Russia. These who were politically motivated, mainly on the fringes of the Church, were engaged in anti-Russian politics and schismatic attitudes, notably in the 1990s accepting into the Church individuals living outside our canonical territory in the former Soviet Union.
It was noteworthy that these tiny groups, the renovationist cults and ecumenists on the fringes of the Patriarchate and the schismatic sects and extremists on the fringes of the Church Outside Russia, had fallen away from the Church by 2007, the moment of our unity. Extremists could not stand unity and they lapsed, either crossing into the liberal, ecumenist, new calendarist Patriarchate of Constantinople or else fell away into various pharisaic, uncanonical, old calendarist groups. Thus, both masonic renovationists and politicized schismatics left the golden path of unity of the Russian Mother Church for isolation and separation.
Conclusion: The Future
In the last eight years we have continued to experience the deep spiritual unity of the Russian Church. Outside Russia we have been able to witness to the truths of our uncompromised Orthodox Faith far more deeply than before to the other Local Churches, to the heterodox world and to the apostate West. Inside Russia we have made friends with those who struggle for the Church and for the restoration of the Russian Orthodox State and society. Our united opposition to the onslaught on the Ukrainian people by the American junta in Kiev is evidence of this hope and prayer, as also is our loyalty to His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill, the symbol of our unity in freedom. Ultimately we seek the restoration of the monarchy inside Russia. Only an Orthodox Tsar for all the Russian Lands and indeed for all the Orthodox Lands can combat the apostate Western world and avert the Apocalypse, as ‘the rough beast slouches towards Bethlehem to be born’, as Yeats prophesied. There will be a Tsar in Russia!