The enthronement in Rusin Presov in Slovakia on 9 February of Archbishop Rostislav (Hont) as the new Metropolitan of the Local Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia marks a victory for Orthodox consciousness against the modernist, US-dictated policies of the present regime of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. The failure by the Phanar to subjugate this Local Church with its 300 parishes, founded by the Russian Orthodox Church on 23 November 1951, is another defeat for the ageing episcopate of Constantinople and its unOrthodox, American policies.
The former head of this Local Church, the totally unreliable Metropolitan Christopher (Pulets), who seemed to have no firm bearings in either Church life or his personal life, was rejected in April 2013 for his compromises with Constantinople. Constantinople’s 87-year old candidate, the embittered, half-Serb Archbishop Symeon, was outvoted by the three young members of the Czech episcopate. The cause of Orthodoxy was much helped by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of the Russian Orthodox Church. On 9 December 2013 he outwitted the two Greek Metropolitans, sent by the Patriarchate of Constantinople to outvote, slander and discredit the three Czech bishops, when interfering Greek bishops have no legitimate vote, and so take over and colonise the Local Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia.
Of course, this victory has to be set in the context of the wider anti-Orthodox movements of the US/EU-instigated and -subsidised rioting in Kiev, the attempt by Brussels to divide and rule the Serbian Orthodox Church, the US military threats against the Syrian government and the Schadenfreude attempts by the Western media to discredit the success of the Sochi Olympics. Only today the US-loathed but truly Orthodox Metropolitan of Montenegro, Metropolitan Amphilochiy, has called on the so easily bribed and venal politicians of Montenegro to stop ‘worshipping the golden calf of Brussels’. The victory also has to be set against today’s announcement by the aggressively anti-Orthodox new papacy in Rome that it is setting up a Uniat Exarchate in the Russian Crimea.
All these events come against the proposed March meeting in Constantinople – during the first week of Lent! – of the heads of the fourteen Local Orthodox Churches and the increasingly desperate attempts by the ageing Patriarchate of Constantinople to hold a US-dictated ‘Inter-Orthodox Conference’ in 2015. (Two Patriarchs have already said that they will not attend the March meeting and it is rapidly descending into a Pan-Hellenic club meeting). It seems unlikely that the free Orthodox Churches, uncompromised by Turkish politics, Greek philetism and US foreign politics and subsidies, will yield to Phanariot papist threats that their tiny Church is ‘without equals’.
Led by the Russian Orthodox Church. which has already recently had to endure Phanariot-inspired and US and EU-backed schisms in Estonia and England, as well as threats to Church unity in the western Ukraine and even in Russia, increasingly led by the dissident and semi-renovationist Protodeacon Andrei Kuraev, the free Local Churches are unlikely to accept the politically-inspired claims of the Phanar to be an Eastern Papacy.
For long the Russian Orthodox administrative services in Moscow have concentrated on diplomacy and openness to others. With all the above events, it is now realising that its truest and closest friends are precisely those who have long warned them of too open an approach to ecumenism, especially the Russian Orthodox patriots in the worldwide Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. It is typical that the enthronement of Metropolitan Rostislav was attended only by the Patriarchate of Antioch, freed over 100 years ago from Greek colonial tutelage by the Russian Orthodox Church, and the Polish Orthodox Church.
It is clear that there is now a bloc of free Local Churches which will resist any US-orchestrated claims by the Phanar to papist hegemony over the Orthosphere. With the coming completion of the international Orthodox centre at the New Jerusalem Monastery outside Moscow, the time is coming when the Russian Orthodox Church, multinational and multilingual, will return to assume its natural and obvious leadership of the Orthodox world.