This week’s long-awaited admission by a senior Russian Church diplomat that his astounding naivety in trusting Patriarch Bartholomew, who is in fact an untrustworthy and unprincipled US political pawn, was partly to blame for the Ukrainian Church schism, is to be welcomed. Fancy even suggesting that he thought that Patriarch Bartholomew was telling the truth! Of course, it had been obvious from the beginning, and indeed we had been warning him about precisely that for two decades. And now it is too late. The Phanariot schism is spreading worldwide. Worse still, this admission of guilt and responsibility follows the amazing (and by one person actually justified!) naivety in Moscow of blessing Bishop Ambrose (Munteanu) to attend and take part in an anti-Orthodox ecumenical jamboree on 20 October with Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew and other religious politicians in Rome. This is all extraordinary naivety. Diplomacy, yes, compromise, no. The faithful are scandalised. When will lessons be learned?
It would be good if the Church Inside Russia would listen to the experience of the Church Outside Russia. On the one hand, we get on very well with ordinary Non-Orthodox people and parish clergy, meet them and talk to them every day, are very open to them, far more so than those inside Russia, and welcome them, as we speak the same languages as they do. On the other hand, we have not the slightest illusion about the politicised powerbrokers and manipulators at the top of Western religious institutions and isms, and we refuse to compromise with them. Such has been our policy for 100 years, always sharply distinguishing between our friends, ordinary Western people, and manipulative Western religious leaders, so many of whom are pedophiles or else compromised and corrupted by politics and money. We understand that the Soviet Union was cut off from the reality of the Western world for 75 years, but the Soviet Union and both its extremes of ignorance, the liberal and pro-Western as well as the conservative and xenophobic, should have disappeared nearly 30 years ago. It is time to catch up with reality!
Let us return to the Tradition, to the time and values of the holy Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow. He wholly united us. He was not only an American citizen, a missionary, a diplomat, but also the Russian Patriarch, the uncompromising leader of the Orthodox world and founder of the Church Outside Russia 100 years ago, who was persecuted and died for the Orthodox Faith inside the Soviet Union. Let us all learn from him and leave the Soviet past where it belongs, in the past. We today must live for the future. Today Orthodox Christianity has to be preached worldwide before the end. Now that the tiny group of inward-looking Greek Orthodox nationalists, who have never had any international vision and always very little faith, have fallen into schism from World Orthodoxy, it is clear that the Russian Orthodox Church must take the lead. This is because it alone can preach the authentic and uncompromised Orthodox Christian Faith, not only in the deChristianised and anti-Christian Americas and Oceania, but also throughout Eurasia, including in Western Europe, as well as in Africa.
We look forward to the future, when the Russian Church will establish Exarchates in all the continents and subcontinents, where they do not yet exist, to bring the faithful among the nations into the authentic Christian Church, of which most of them have never even heard. Let us not waste any more time and begin now. This is the work of Love.