The Empire splits the Orthodox world – possible consequences

 

The Saker

October 19, 2018

[This analysis was written for the Unz Review]

In previous articles about this topic I have tried to set the context and explain why most Orthodox Churches are still used as pawns in purely political machinations and how the most commentators who discuss these issues today are using words and concepts in a totally twisted, secular and non-Christian way (which is about as absurd as discussing medicine while using a vague, misunderstood and generally non-medical terminology). I have also written articles trying to explain how the concept of “Church” is completely misunderstood nowadays and how many Orthodox Churches today have lost their original Patristic mindset. Finally, I have tried to show the ancient spiritual roots of modern russophobia and how the AngloZionist Empire might try to save the Ukronazi regime in Kiev by triggering a religious crisis in the Ukraine. It is my hope that these articles will provide a useful context to evaluate and discuss the current crisis between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Moscow Patriarchate.

My intention today is to look at the unfolding crisis from a more “modern” point of view and try to evaluate only what the political and social consequences of the latest developments might be in the short and mid term. I will begin by a short summary.

The current context: a summary

The Patriarchate of Constantinople has taken the official decision to:

  1. Declare that the Patriarch of Constantinople has the right to unilaterally grant autocephaly (full independence) to any other Church with no consultations with any the other Orthodox Churches.
  2. Cancel the decision by the Patriarch of Constantinople Dionysios IV in 1686 transferring the Kiev Metropolia (religious jurisdiction overseen by a Metropolite) to the Moscow Patriarchate (a decision which no Patriarch of Constantinople contested for three centuries!)
  3. Lift the anathema pronounced against the “Patriarch” Filaret Denisenko by the Moscow Patriarchate (in spite of the fact that the only authority which can lift an anathema is the one which pronounced it in the first place)
  4. Recognize as legitimate the so-called “Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Kiev Patriarchate” which it previously had declared as illegitimate and schismatic.
  5. Grant actual grand full autocephaly to a future (and yet to be defined) “united Ukrainian Orthodox Church”

Most people naturally focus on this last element, but this might be a mistake, because while illegally granting autocephaly to a mix of nationalist pseudo-Churches is most definitely a bad decision, to act like some kind of “Orthodox Pope” and claim rights which only belong to the entire Church is truly a historical mistake. Not only that, but this mistake now forces every Orthodox Christian to either accept this as a fait accompli and submit to the megalomania of the wannabe Ortho-Pope of the Phanar, or to reject such unilateral and totally illegal action or to enter into open opposition. And this is not the first time such a situation has happened in the history of the Church. I will use an historical parallel to make this point.

The historical context:

The Church of Rome and the rest of the Christian world were already on a collision course for several centuries before the famous date of 1054 when Rome broke away from the Christian world. Whereas for centuries Rome had been the most steadfast bastion of resistance against innovations and heresies, the influence of the Franks in the Church of Rome eventually resulted (after numerous zig-zags on this topic) in a truly disastrous decision to add a single world (filioque – “and the son” in Latin) to the Symbol of Faith (the Credo in Latin). What made that decision even worse was the fact that the Pope of Rome also declared that he had the right to impose that addition upon all the other Christian Churches, with no conciliar discussion or approval. It is often said that the issue of the filioque is “obscure” and largely irrelevant, but that is just a reflection of the theological illiteracy of those making such statements as, in reality, the addition of the filioque completely overthrows the most crucial and important Trinitarian and Christological dogmas of Christianity. But what *is* true is that the attempt to unilaterally impose this heresy on the rest of the Christian world was at least as offensive and, really, as sacrilegious as the filioque itself because it undermined the very nature of the Church. Indeed, the Symbol of Faith defines the Church as “catholic” (Εἰς μίαν, Ἁγίαν, Καθολικὴν καὶ Ἀποστολικὴν Ἐκκλησίαν”) meaning not only “universal” but also “whole” or “all-inclusive”. In ecclesiological terms this “universality” is manifested in two crucial ways:

First, all Churches are equal, there is no Pope, no “historical see” granting any primacy just as all the Apostles of Christ and all Orthodox bishops are also equals; the Head of the Church is Christ Himself, and the Church is His Theadric Body filled with the Holy Spirit. Oh I know, to say that the Holy Spirit fills the Church is considered absolutely ridiculous in our 21st century post-Christian world, but check out these words from the Book of Acts: “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us” (Acts 15:28) which clearly show that the members of the Apostolic Council in Jerusalem clearly believed and proclaimed that their decisions were guided by the Holy Spirit. Anyone still believing that will immediately see why the Church needs no “vicar of Christ” or any “earthly representative” to act in Christ’s name during His absence. In fact, Christ Himself clearly told us “lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt 28:20). If a Church needs a “vicar” – then Christ and the Holy Spirit are clearly not present in that Church. QED.

Second, crucial decisions, decisions which affect the entire Church, are only taken by a Council of the entire Church, not unilaterally by any one man or any one Church. These are really the basics of what could be called “traditional Christian ecclesiology 101” and the blatant violation of this key ecclesiological dogma by the Papacy in 1054 was as much a cause for the historical schism between East and West (really, between Rome and the rest of Christian world) as was the innovation of the filioque itself.

I hasten to add that while the Popes were the first ones to claim for themselves an authority only given to the full Church, they were not the only ones (by the way, this is a very good working definition of the term “Papacy”: the attribution to one man of all the characteristics belonging solely to the entire Church). In the early 20th century the Orthodox Churches of Constantinople, Albania, Alexandria, Antioch, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Poland, and Romania got together and, under the direct influence of powerful Masonic lodges, decided to adopt the Gregorian Papal Calendar (named after the 16th century Pope Gregory XIII). The year was 1923, when the entire Russian Orthodox Church was being literally crucified on the modern Golgotha of the Bolshevik regime, but that did not prevent these Churches from calling their meeting “pan Orthodox”. Neither did the fact that the Russian, Serbian, Georgian, Jerusalem Church and the Holy Mountain (aka “Mount Athos”) rejected this innovation stop them. As for the Papal Calendar itself, the innovators “piously” re-branded it as “improved Julian” and other such euphemism to conceal the real intention behind this.

Finally, even the fact that this decision also triggered a wave of divisions inside their own Churches was not cause for them to reconsider or, even less so, to repent. Professor C. Troitsky was absolutely correct when he wrote that “there is no doubt that future historians of the Orthodox Church will be forced to admit that the Congress of 1923 was the saddest event of Church life in the 20th century” (for more on this tragedy see herehere and here). Here again, one man, Ecumenical Patriarch Meletius IV (Metaxakis) tried to “play Pope” and his actions resulted in a massive upheaval which ripped through the entire Orthodox world.

More recently, the Patriarch of Constantinople tried, once again, to convene what he would want to be an Orthodox “Ecumenical Council” under his personal authority when in 2016 (yet another) “pan Orthodox” council was convened on the island of Crete which was attended by the Churches of Alexandria , Jerusalem , Serbia , Romania , Cyprus , Greece, Poland , Albania and of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. The Churches of Russia, Bulgaria, Georgia, and Antioch refused to attend (the US OCA – was not invited). Most observers agreed that the Moscow Patriarchate played a key role in undermining what was clearly to be a “robber” council which would have introduced major (and fully non-Orthodox) innovations. The Patriarch of Constantinople never forgave the Russians for torpedoing his planned “ecumenical” council.

Some might have noticed that a majority of local Churches did attend both the 1923 and the 2016 wannabe “pan Orthodox” councils. Such an observation might be very important in a Latin or Protestant context, but in the Orthodox context is is absolutely meaningless for the following reasons:

The theological context:

In the history of the Church there have been many “robber” councils (meaning illegitimate, false, councils) which were attended by a majority of bishops of the time, and even a majority of the Churches; in this article I mentioned the life of Saint Maximos the Confessor (which you can read in full here) as a perfect example of how one single person (not even a priest!) can defend true Christianity against what could appear at the time as the overwhelming number of bishops representing the entire Church. But, as always, these false bishops were eventually denounced and the Truth of Orthodoxy prevailed.

Likewise, at the False Union of Florence, when all the Greek delegates signed the union with the Latin heretics, and only one bishop refused to to do (Saint Mark of Ephesus), the Latin Pope declared in despair “and so we have accomplished nothing!”. He was absolutely correct – that union was rejected by the “Body” of the Church and the names of those apostates who signed it will remain in infamy forever. I could multiply the examples, but what is crucial here is to understand that majorities, large numbers or, even more so, the support of secular authorities are absolutely meaningless in Christian theology and in the history of the Church and that, with time, all the lapsed bishops who attended robber councils are always eventually denounced and the Orthodox truth always proclaimed once again. It is especially important to keep this in mind during times of persecution or of brutal interference by secular authorities because even when they *appear* to have won, their victory is always short-lived.

I would add that the Russian Orthodox Church is not just “one of the many” local Orthodox Churches. Not only is the Russian Orthodox Church by far the biggest Orthodox Church out there, but Moscow used to be the so-called “Third Rome”, something which gives the Moscow Patriarchate a lot of prestige and, therefore, influence. In secular terms of prestige and “street cred” the fact that the Russians did not participate in the 1923 and 2016 congresses is much bigger a blow to its organizers than if, say, the Romanians had boycotted it. This might not be important to God or for truly pious Christians, but I assure you that this is absolutely crucial for the wannabe “Eastern Pope” of the Phanar…

Who is really behind this latest attack on the Church?

So let’s begin by stating the obvious: for all his lofty titles (“His Most Divine All-Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome, and Ecumenical Patriarch“ no less!), the Patriarch of Constantinople (well, of the Phanar, really), is nothing but a puppet in the hands of the AngloZionist Empire. An ambitious and vain puppet for sure, but a puppet nonetheless. To imagine that the Uber-loser Poroshenko would convince him to pick a major fight with the Moscow Patriarchate is absolutely laughable and totally ridiculous. Some point out that the Patriarch of Constantinople is a Turkish civil servant. While technically true, this does not suggest that Erdogan is behind this move either: right now Erdogan badly needs Russia on so many levels that he gains nothing and risks losing a lot by alienating Moscow. No, the real initiator of this entire operation is the AngloZionist Empire and, of course, the Papacy (which has always tried to create an “Orthodoxerein Ukraine” from the “The Eastern Crusade” and “Northern Crusades” of Popes Innocent III and Gregory IX to the Nazi Ukraine of Bandera – see here for details).

Why would the Empire push for such a move? Here we can find a mix of petty and larger geostrategic reasons. First, the petty ones: they range from the usual impotent knee-jerk reflex to do something, anything, to hurt Russia to pleasing of the Ukronazi emigrés in the USA and Canada. The geostrategic ones range from trying to save the highly unpopular Ukronazi regime in Kiev to breaking up the Orthodox world thereby weakening Russian soft-power and influence. This type of “logic” shows a fundamental misunderstanding of the Orthodox world today. Here is why:

The typical level of religious education of Orthodox Christians is probably well represented by the famous Bell Curve: some are truly completely ignorant, most know a little, and a few know a lot. As long as things were reasonably peaceful, all these Orthodox Christians could go about their daily lives and not worry too much about the big picture. This is also true of many Orthodox Churches and bishops. Most folks like beautiful rites (singing, golden cupolas, beautiful architecture and historical places) mixed in with a little good old superstition (place a candle before a business meeting or playing the lottery) – such is human nature and, alas, most Orthodox Christians are no different, even if their calling is to be “not of this world”. But now this apparently peaceful picture has been severely disrupted by the actions of the Patriarch of Constantinople whose actions are in such blatant and severe violation of all the basic canons and traditions of the Church that they literally force each Orthodox Christian, especially bishops, to break their silence and take a position: am I with Moscow or with Constantinople?

Oh sure, initially many (most?) Orthodox Christians, including many bishops, will either try to look away or limit themselves to vapid expressions of “regret” mixed in with calls for “unity”. A good example of that kind of wishy washy lukewarm language can already be found here. But this kind of Pilate-like washing of hands (“ain’t my business” in modern parlance) is unsustainable, and here is why: in Orthodox ecclesiology you cannot build “broken Eucharistic triangles”. If A is not in communion with B, then C cannot be in communion with A and B at the same time. It’s really an “either or” binary choice. At least in theory (in reality, such “broken triangles” have existed, most recently between the former ROCA/ROCOR, the Serbian Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, but they are unsustainable, as events of the 2000-2007 years confirmed for the ROCA/ROCOR). Still, no doubt that some (many?) will try to remain in communion with both the Moscow Patriarchate and the Constantinople Patriarchate, but this will become harder and harder with every passing month. In some specific cases, such a decision will be truly dramatic, I think of the monasteries on the Holy Mountain in particular.

[Sidebar: on a more cynical level, I would note that the Patriarch of Constantinople has now opened a real Pandora’s box which now every separatist movement in an Orthodox country will be able to use to demand its own “autocephaly” which will threaten the unity of most Orthodox Churches out there. If all it takes to become “autocephalous” is to trigger some kind of nationalist uprising, then just imagine how many “Churches” will demand the same autocephaly as the Ukronazis are today! The fact that ethno-phyetism is a condemned heresy will clearly stop none of them. After all, if it is good enough for the “Ecumenical” Patriarch, it sure is good enough for any and all pseudo-Orthodox nationalists!]

What the AngloZionist Empire has done is to force each Orthodox Christian and each Orthodox Church to chose between siding with Moscow or Constantinople. This choice will have obvious spiritual consequences, which the Empire couldn’t give a damn about, but it will also profound political and social consequences which, I believe, the Empire entirely missed.

The Moscow Patriarchate vs the Patriarchate of Constantinople – a sociological and political analysis

Let me be clear here that I am not going to compare and contrast the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) and the Patriarchate of Constantinople (PC) from a spiritual, theological or even ecclesiological point of view here. Instead, I will compare and contrast them from a purely sociological and political point of view. The differences here are truly profound.

Moscow Patriarchate Patriarchate of Constantinople
Actual size Very big Small
Financial means Very big Small
Dependence on the support of the Empire and its various entities Limited Total
Relations with the Vatican Limited, mostly due to very strongly anti-Papist sentiments in the people Mutual support and de-facto alliance
Majority member’s outlook Conservative Modernist
Majority member’s level of support Strong Lukewarm
Majority member’s concern with Church rules/cannons/traditions Medium and selective Low
Internal dissent Practically eliminated (ROCA) Strong (Holy Mountain, Old Calendarists)

From the above table you can immediately see that the sole comparative ‘advantage’ of the PC is that is has the full support of the AngloZionist Empire and the Vatican. On all the other measures of power, the MP vastly “out-guns” the PC.

Now, inside the Ukronazi occupied Ukraine, that support of the Empire and the Vatican (via their Uniats) does indeed give a huge advantage to the PC and its Ukronazi pseudo-Orthodox “Churches”. And while Poroshenko has promised that no violence will be used against the MP parishes in the Ukraine, we all remember that he was the one who promised to stop the war against the Donbass, so why even pay attention to what he has to say.

US diplomats and analysts might be ignorant enough to believe Poroshenko’s promises, but if that is the case then they are failing to realize that Poroshensko has very little control over the hardcore Nazi mobs like the one we saw last Sunday in Kiev. The reality is very different: Poroshenko’s relationship to the hardcore Nazis in the Ukraine is roughly similar to the one the House of Saud has with the various al-Qaeda affiliates in Saudi Arabia: they try to both appease and control them, but they end up failing every time. The political agenda in the Ukraine is set by bona fideNazis, just as it is set in the KSA by the various al-Qaeda types. Poroshenko and MBS are just impotent dwarfs trying to ride on the shoulders of much more powerful devils.

Sadly, and as always, the ones most at risk right now are the simple faithful who will resist any attempts by the Ukronazi death-squads to seize their churches and expel their priests. I don’t expect a civil war to ensue, not in the usual sense of the world, but I do expect a lot of atrocities similar to what took place during the 2014 Odessa massacre when the Ukronazis burned people alive (and shot those trying to escape). Once these massacres begin, it will be very, very hard for the Empire to whitewash them or blame it all on “Russian interference”. But most crucially, as the (admittedly controversial) Christian writer Tertullian noticed as far back as the 2nd century “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. You can be sure that the massacre of innocent Christians in the Ukraine will result in a strengthening of the Orthodox awareness, not only inside the Ukraine, but also in the rest of the world, especially among those who are currently “on the fence” so to speak, between the kind of conservative Orthodoxy proclaimed by the MP and the kind of lukewarm wishy washy “decaf” pseudo-Orthodoxy embodied by the Patriarchate of Constantinople. After all, it is one thing to change the Church Calendar or give hugs and kisses to Popes and quite another to bless Nazi death-squads to persecute Orthodox Christians.

To summarize I would say that by his actions, the Patriarch of Constantinople is now forcing the entire Orthodox world to make a choice between two very different kind of “Orthodoxies”. As for the Empire, it is committing a major mistake by creating a situation which will further polarize strongly, an already volatile political situation in the Ukraine.

There is, at least potentially, one more possible consequence from these developments which is almost never discussed: its impact inside the Moscow Patriarchate.

Possible impact of these developments inside the Moscow Patriarchate

Without going into details, I will just say that the Moscow Patriarchate is a very diverse entity in which rather different “currents” coexist. In Russian politics I often speak of Atlantic Integrationists and Eurasian Sovereignists. There is something vaguely similar inside the MP, but I would use different terms. One camp is what I would call the “pro-Western Ecumenists” and the other camp the “anti-Western Conservatives”. Ever since Putin came to power the pro-Western Ecumenists have been losing their influence, mostly due to the fact that the majority of the regular rank and file members of the MP are firmly behind the anti-Western Conservative movement (bishops, priests, theologians). The rabid hatred and fear of everything Russian by the West combined with the total support for anything anti-Russian (including Takfiris and Nazis) has had it’s impact here too, and very few people in Russia want the civilizational model of Conchita Wurst, John McCain or Pope Francis to influence the future of Russia. The word “ecumenism” has, like the word “democracy”, become a four letter word in Russia with a meaning roughly similar to “sellout” or “prostitution”. What is interesting is that many bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate who, in the past, were torn between the conservative pressure from their own flock and their own “ecumenical” and “democratic” inclinations (best embodied by the Patriarch of Constantinople) have now made a choice for the conservative model (beginning by Patriarch Kirill himself who, in the past, used to be quite favorable to the so-called “ecumenical dialog of love” with the Latins).

Now that the MP and the PC have broken the ties which previously united them, they are both free to pursue their natural inclinations, so to speak. The PC can become some kind of “Eastern Rite Papacy” and bask in an unhindered love fest with the Empire and the Vatican while the MP will now have almost no incentive whatsoever to pay attention to future offers of rapprochement by the Empire or the Vatican (these two always work hand in hand). For Russia, this is a very good development.

Make no mistake, what the Empire did in the Ukraine constitutes yet another profoundly evil and tragic blow against the long-suffering people of the Ukraine. In its ugliness and tragic consequences, it is quite comparable to the occupation of these lands by the Papacy via its Polish and Lithuanian agents. But God has the ability to turn even the worst horror into something which, in the end, will strengthen His Church.

Russia in general, and the Moscow Patriarchate specifically, are very much in a transition phase on many levels and we cannot overestimate the impact which the West’s hostility on all fronts, including spiritual ones, will have on the future consciousness of the Russian and Orthodox people. The 1990s were years of total confusion and ignorance, not only for Russia by the way, but the first decade of the new millennium has turned out to be a most painful, but also most needed, eye-opener for those who had naively trusted the notion that the West’s enemy was only Communism, not Russia as a civilizational model.

In their infinite ignorance and stupidity, the leaders of the Empire have always acted only in the immediate short term and they never bothered to think about the mid to long term effects of their actions. This is as true for Russia as it is for Iraq or the Balkans. When things eventually, and inevitably, go very wrong, they will be sincerely baffled and wonder how and why it all went wrong. In the end, as always, they will blame the “other guy”.

There is no doubt in my mind that the latest maneuver of the AngloZionist Empire in the Ukraine will yield some kind of feel-good and short term “victory” (“peremoga” in Ukrainian) which will be followed by a humiliating defeat (“zrada” in Ukrainian) which will have profound consequences for many decades to come and which will deeply reshape the current Orthodox world. In theory, these kinds of operations are supposed to implement the ancient principle of “divide and rule”, but in the modern world what they really do is to further unite the Russian people against the Empire and, God willing, will unite the Orthodox people against pseudo-Orthodox bishops.

Conclusion:

In this analysis I have had to describe a lot of, shall we say, “less than inspiring” realities about the Orthodox Church and I don’t want to give the impression that the Church of Christ is as clueless and impotent as all those denominations, which, over the centuries have fallen away from the Church. Yes, our times are difficult and tragic, but the Church has not lost her “salt”. So what I want to do in lieu of a personal conclusion is to quote one of the most enlightened and distinguished theologians of our time, Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, who in his book “The Mind of the Orthodox Church” (which I consider one of the best books available in English about the Orthodox Church and a “must read” for anybody interested in Orthodox ecclesiology) wrote the following words:

Saint Maximos the Confessor says that, while Christians are divided into categories according to age and race, nationalities, languages, places and ways of life, studies and characteristics, and are “distinct from one another and vastly different, all being born into the Church and reborn and recreated through it in the Spirit” nevertheless “it bestows equally on all the gift of one divine form and designation, to be Christ’s and to bear His Name. And Saint Basil the Great, referring to the unity of the Church says characteristically: “The Church of Christ is one, even tough He is called upon from different places”. These passages, and especially the life of the Church, do away with every nationalistic tendency. It is not, of course, nations and homelands that are abolished, but nationalism, which is a heresy and a great danger to the Church of Christ.

Metropolitan Hierotheos is absolutely correct. Nationalism, which itself is a pure product of West European secularism, is one of the most dangerous threats facing the Church today. During the 20th century it has already cost the lives of millions of pious and faithful Christians (having said that, this in no way implies that the kind of suicidal multiculturalism advocated by the degenerate leaders of the AngloZionist Empire today is any better!). And this is hardly a “Ukrainian” problem (the Moscow Patriarchate is also deeply infected by the deadly virus of nationalism). Nationalism and ethno-phyletism are hardly worse than such heresies as Iconoclasm or Monophysitism/Monothelitism were in the past and those were eventually defeated. Like all heresies, nationalism will never prevail against the “Church of the living God” which is the “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Tim 3:15) and while many may lapse, others never will.

In the meantime, the next couple of months will be absolutely crucial. Right now it appears to me that the majority of the Orthodox Churches will first try to remain neutral but will have to eventually side with the Moscow Patriarchate and against the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew. Ironically, the situation inside the USA will most likely be particularly chaotic as the various Orthodox jurisdictions in the USA have divided loyalties and are often split along conservative vs modernizing lines. The other place to keep a close eye on will be the monasteries on the Holy Mountain were I expect a major crisis and confrontation to erupt.

With the crisis in the Ukraine the heresy of nationalism has reached a new level of infamy and there will most certainly be a very strong reaction to it. The Empire clearly has no idea what kind of dynamic it has now set in motion.

The Saker

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Russia’s Foreign Minister accuses the US in orchestrating the attacks against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine

October 13, 2018

Russia’s Foreign Minister accuses the US in orchestrating the attacks against the Orthodox Church in Ukraine

Excerpts from Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s interview to RT France, Paris Match and Figaro, Moscow, October 12, 2018

 

Question: Russia has been constantly, especially recently, accused by Western countries, the media, and a number of organisations, such as the Anti-Doping Agency and the OPCW, of election meddling and cyber attacks. Most recently, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands came out with such accusations concurrently and provided the media with information dating back six months. What is that all about? A planned action to put pressure on Russia and impose more sanctions? What do you think about the evidence that has been produced?

Sergey Lavrov: I find it difficult to discuss this matter seriously, because the evidence is being provided to us through the media. With all due respect to the journalism trade, we, as serious people, cannot consider the specific allegations, and Russia stands accused of all the deadly sins, without making use of the legal norms that were created specifically for such cases.

However, our response is fairly straightforward. If you talk to us through the media, we will do the same but be specific and to the point in our statements.

If our Western colleagues seriously think they can rattle us with their hysterics, they must not be paying enough attention to the history books. If all this is just a momentary fit and this particular instance of “political madness” dissipates naturally, we, when they are done talking, will be expecting them to join us in the legal framework for a serious professional discussion that is not tainted by propaganda.

QuestionThe Ukrainian Patriarchate decided to turn its back on Moscow and become independent from the Russian Orthodox Church. Politically, this is considered an important decision. What do you think about the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Church?

We will be marking the 100th anniversary of the armistice in World War I on November 11. Many heads of European governments will attend the event. Do you think President Putin will also attend the celebrations?

Sergey LavrovThe Ukrainian Patriarchate did not turn its back on the Russian Orthodox Church, because the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate opposes the provocations orchestrated by Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople with direct and open support from Washington.

The plan was to make use of two non-canonical schismatic churches in Ukraine (the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kiev Patriarchate and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Church), which were never recognised by any Orthodox Church, but which, in the interests of this provocation, Patriarch Bartholomew recognised as canonical, and lifted the anathema from the two hierarchs who head these schismatic churches during the Holy Synod which he convened in Constantinople the other day.

As for church matters in general, intervention in church activities is outlawed in Ukraine and in Russia, and I hope in any other civilised state as well. However, when the US special representative for church relations outwardly welcomes the decision by Patriarch Bartholomew, when Kurt Volker who must, on behalf of the United States, facilitate the Ukrainian settlement based on the Minsk agreements, says what he says about these processes, we, in such cases, have a saying that loosely translates as a guilty conscious betrays itself. People who are unable to come up with a single fact to back up their indiscriminate accusations that we are interfering in someone’s internal affairs, behave as if this is normal.

I very much hope that these extremely negative examples of the culture of dialogue, talks and diplomacy being replaced with uncultured Diktats backed up by flagrant blackmail, will not go unnoticed by hosts of the Paris Peace Forum.

With regard to celebrations dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we received invitations and will certainly be represented there.

Question: I would like to revisit the Idlib issue. President Assad said that the situation in Idlib is temporary. Do you think your Turkish partners under the Sochi agreement are capable of disarming the jihadists in Idlib? How can a solution be found to this final part of the Syrian war?

Sergey Lavrov: This is really a temporary agreement. This story will end only when the power of the Syrian people is restored in Syria, and all those who are now in Syria, especially those who were never invited there, will leave its territory. Everyone understands this.

I do not agree that Idlib is the only problem area in Syria. There are vast swathes of land to the east of the Euphrates River where absolutely unacceptable things are happening. The United States is trying to use this territory to create a quasi-state with their Syrian allies, particularly the Kurds.

The United States is trying absolutely illegally to create a quasi-state in this territory and to create proper living conditions there for their minions. They are creating alternative governing bodies to the legitimate Syrian government and are actively promoting the return and resettlement of the refugees. This is being done at a time where neither the United States, nor France, or other Western countries, want to create proper conditions for the return of the refugees in the territories controlled by the legitimate Syrian Government prior to, as the West keeps telling us, the beginning of a credible political process. The question is why no one has to wait for the beginning of a credible political process on the eastern bank of the Euphrates River controlled by the United States and their local supporters. There can be only one answer. They want to create a territory which will be a prototype of a new state, or start another dangerous game with Iraqi Kurdistan, the so-called idea of ​​Greater Kurdistan. I do not rule out the possibility that the United States wants to keep the situation so heated that it never calms down. It is much easier for them to catch the fish they want in muddy waters. This approach has never led to anything good.

—–

Lavrov: US backs Patriarch Bartholomew’s provocation against Orthodox Church in Ukraine

The Russian top diplomat pointed out that any interference in Church affairs is banned in Ukraine, in Russia, and in any other “normal state”

MOSCOW, October 12. /TASS/. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople is plotting a provocation against the Ukrainian Orthodox Church with direct support from Washington, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview with the RT France, Paris Match and Le Figaro.

 

The Patriarchate of Constantinople Started a War That Cannot Be Stopped

The Patriarchate of Constantinople Started a War That Cannot Be Stopped

September 11, 2018

By Rostislav Ishchenko
Translated by Ollie Richardson and Angelina Siard

cross posted with http://www.stalkerzone.org/rostislav-ishchenko-the-patriarchate-of-constantinople-started-a-war-that-cannot-be-stopped/
source: https://ukraina.ru/opinion/20180910/1021076752.html

 

The Constantinople Patriarchate appointed two exarchs “for the preparation of the autocephaly of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church”. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church responded to this decision with a statement that is unprecedented in its sharpness.

It included words about the deadlock in relations between the Russian Orthodox Church and the Constantinople Church, and also about the threat to the unity of global Orthodoxy. The arguments given by the Constantinople Patriarch Bartholomew in defence of his position were called false.

If not to delve into the essence of the problem, then it is possible to say that such things have happened before. The Russian Orthodox Church in 2000 already expressed deep concern about the actions of the same Bartholomew in Estonia, where he, encroaching on the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church, also promoted a split in the church.

Now, however, it is not about concern, but about a resolute protest and deep indignation. Taking into account that the church always chooses its words much more accurately than diplomats do and always tries to start with small things in order to not immediately bring things to a deep confrontation, we can ascertain that Bartholomew committed a deed that, if we draw an analogy between the church and state relations, could be called direct and barefaced aggression.

In other words, in 2000, the Constantinople Patriarchate was engaged in petty theft in Estonia. But today it is not about theft, not about a robbery, and even not about banditry, but about the beginning of open war. And not against the Russian Orthodox Church, but against all of world Orthodoxy.

If Patriarch Bartholomew simply wrote out Tomos to some abstract Ukrainian Orthodox Christian, then it would be troublesome for his relations with the Russian Orthodox Church, but not a catastrophe for world Orthodoxy. Because, of course, the fight for canonical territory between the actual leading orthodox force (Russian Orthodox Church) and the nominally “first in honor” Constantinople Patriarchate would touch all world Orthodoxy, but it wouldn’t be critical for it. It would just be a conflict between two orthodox chairs, similar to those that often happened in the past. It terms of its scale it would be larger than the Estonian one, because the church and political value of Ukraine is much more, but in general it would keep within this same framework.

The problem is that Bartholomew took not a church decision, but a political one. He laid down claims to “orthodox papacy”. The Patriarch of Fener individually determined himself as being not just “first in honor”, but also the chief of all Orthodox Christians, having the right, in his arbitrariness, to interfere in the affairs of any church, and in reality – of any diocese.

He didn’t just intrude into the canonical territory of others (which in itself is bad). He accused the Russian Orthodox Church of provoking a Ukrainian split, having actually put at the same level the pseudo-Patriarch DenisenkoMetropolitan Onufry, and Patriarch Kirill. He stated that he doubts the fairness of the anathema of Denisenko and that he is going to consider this question personally. I.e., for him the Russian Orthodox Church, the autonomous Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the self-proclaimed Patriarch Filaret (Denisenko) are equal parties to the conflict that he is going to judge. In order for this to be understandable for people who are distant from church problems, this is worse than when it is declared in the West that Stalin and Hitler are equal parties to the conflict. It is even worse than if, having reached the limit of “tolerance”, in the West it is declared that Roosevelt, Churchill, and de Gaulle also bear responsibility equal with Hitler for the Holocaust, the genocide of Slavs in occupied territories, the initiation of war, the tens of millions of victims, and even repression in Germany. It is worse because in the case with Hitler’s evaluation there would be talk of a terrestrial political example, of a temporary phenomenon. But in the available case we are dealing with eternity, with the problem of the immortality of the soul. And it’s not even about one soul, but millions of orthodox souls being plunged into split.

If to go straight to the point, Bartholomew suddenly decided to allocate to himself the same (and even vaster) powers than the ones the Pope has in the Catholic world. At the same time it is necessary to understand that the Pope isn’t just the Supreme bishop of the Catholic church, but also a secular sovereign governing the state of Vatican. The Pope is only half (as the head of the church) monk and half (as the head of state) politician. Contrary to the precept of rendering unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s, the Pope tries to combine in himself the divine and the political.

With Bartholomew it is worse. Firstly, he has no territorial state (unlike the Pope, who has the Vatican). He lays claim to political influence within the borders of other states. At the same time, his influence is initially destructive, since he can obtain it only by influencing existing churches. And the mechanism of influence available to him, making him allegedly an “arbitration judge”, is giving support for splits. In the same way that he is unable to pave his way to the canonical territory of the Russian Orthodox Church if he doesn’t support the pseudo-orthodox sectarians of Denisenko, he won’t be able to influence neither Serbian, nor Bulgarian, nor any other orthodox church without the support of such schismatics. Splits are his pillar of support. Only the equation of a bandit with their victim in terms of responsibility (or even the bandit’s justification) allows this Turkish subject working (according to local, Turkish legislation) with a status of nothing more than a tourist attraction to claim to be the supreme all-Orthodox judge and the individual determinant of the canonicity of any heresies. The head of a structure that signed uniatism three times – at a minimum – on the terms of the Holy See, whose “Orthodoxy” was recognised by other churches rather out of charity and the unwillingness to create additional split, suddenly decided to become “holier than the Pope”.

He can’t but understand that he initiates a split in Orthodoxy. At the same time, he understands that he violates not just canons and traditions, but also the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, which established not only the rules of relations between episcopal chairs, but also the symbol of faith. If today it is possible to ignore one of the decisions of these Councils, then tomorrow it will also be possible to rewrite the symbol of faith. Especially since the Constantinople Patriarchate already three times signed uniatism with the Roman throne, each time recognising its subordinated position towards Rome.

Bartholomew is not a child small. He knows very well that he acts against the canons of world Orthodoxy and that he touches the interests of all orthodox churches, each of which has its own schismatics who, on the basis of the latest statements of the Constantinople Patriarchate, Bartholomew (as he considers) can recognise as being rather canonical.

Bartholomew knows what he risks. He also understands that the US weakened and can’t provide him with comprehensive support, and that Turkey – which he is a citizen of – won’t be delighted by his actions directed not just against the Russian Orthodox Church, but also against political Moscow, being the ally of Istanbul. It’s also not a secret for him that practically all orthodox churches refuse to support him and to recognise the competency of his actions in Ukraine. Everyone understands that it can become the next victim of the Constantinople “peacemaker”.

Constantinople also ought to understand that the influence of the weak and unpopular (the “pro-European”, or to be more exact – pro-American governments of Eastern European countries) on the church situation is minimal. The church in these countries enjoys bigger authority than the government does. Politicians there have no chance of forcing local churches to support Constantinople. Of course, supporters of Bartholomew can be found among local hierarchs, but this will only create additional lines of split, dividing world Orthodoxy in a worse way than the Great Schism of 1054 divided Christianity.

For Ukraine, Bartholomew’s actions unambiguously mean religious war, in which not streams, but rivers of blood will be shed, and already not only the Ukrainian state (which already burst) will be destroyed, but also the people living on territory that is formally subordinated to the current Kiev authorities. And Fener already knows this. They understand very well that they are provoking a horrible civil religious conflict, thus standing on the side of schismatics and sectarians against true Orthodox Christians. The Istanbul bishop isn’t mistaken. He is aware that he acts against his own faith and hundreds of millions of orthodox believers over the entire world. He sacrifices his immortal soul for the sake of momentary political benefits. Such a decision can be made only by someone whose belief is dead and who stopped being a monk, a priest, a bishop, but who became a politician, who stopped being a servant of God, and who started to serve the knight of this world [the devil – ed]. The Constantinople Patriarch lays claim to the laurels of pseudo-teachers and pseudo-prophets that John of Patmos describes as the forerunners of the Antichrist.

Bartholomew’s actions already don’t correspond even to the interests of the US (which always acted as a supporter of the Ukrainian split). This is much more than the US would’ve liked. The situation stops being controlled from Washington. The Constantinople Patriarch starts laying claim to the status of an independent political figure who is no less influential than the leaders of the largest faiths and heads of leading states. But he tries to obtain this status without having the corresponding opportunities in orthodox sobornost, as a teacher of split. Bartholomew builds his political career precisely by plunging millions and even tens of millions of Orthodox Christians into split, sacrificing not only his, but also their souls, standing on the side of world evil.

His actions are much more large-scale than the split initiated by Denisenko, and is thus more dangerous. In comparison with Bartholomew, who strives for the status of a pseudo-patriarch, the pseudo-patriarch Filaret is a mere child.

Bartholomew’s split is caused by Constantinople’s understanding of the simple fact that the US, which before this served as the base of the ambitions of the Istanbul Patriarchate and gave via its support considerably bigger influence to him than what his weight allows, becomes weaker and is no longer a factor of force.

Only split, only destruction, only pitting orthodox believers against each other – both in a global context and within the framework of every church – can create for Constantinople a new pillar of support. Bartholomew is not the first to try to become equal to God by acting against God. And he is not the last to try to exchange influence bought in this world on the back of bloodshed for immortality of the soul. At his age and with his rank, spontaneous decisions are simply not made. He weighed up everything: both the possibilities of countering other orthodox faiths and the probable reaction of an anti-American orientated Erdogan – who is the situational ally of Russia in the Middle East, and the inevitability of the bloodshed initiated by him in Ukraine. He weighed things up and made his choice, and he will see it to the end.

That’s why the Moscow Patriarchate, although it doesn’t opt for an immediate severance of relations, starts responding with statements that are more rigid than what happened in previous such cases. The Russian Orthodox Church reasonably doesn’t want to assume responsibility for inciting a conflict, but shows absolute understanding of the fact that Constantinople won’t cool its passions any more and will go to the very end. Hence the phrase about responsibility falling on the Fener Patriarchate and its leader Bartholomew.

It is a affirmation of fact that the Second Rome, following the First Rome, definitively (not only in a political, but also in a spiritual sense) turned into a stronghold of world evil. Sooner or later this will be said openly. The church isn’t in a hurry since it is obliged to admonish and heal, and only in second place, if the schismatics and heretics remain incorrigible and stagnate in sin, does it punish and denounce. But we, already now, are obliged to live with the realisation of the fact that the unity of world Orthodoxy once again was subjected to a test and that another split became as inevitable as there being hundreds of thousands, or maybe even millions, of its future victims.

Jews Call for Destruction Of Christianity During Greek Orthodox Pentecost Prayer in Jerusalem

Source

jesus christ

Jewish demonstrators shouted ‘We will tear down this abomination, you are evil. The Jewish people lives forever! King David lives forever! May the name of your so-called God be blotted out forever…’

‘It hurts me that they are letting these goyyim come here. It hurts me that these evil men, who have oppressed the Jews throughout history, are being allowed to contaminate our holy sites…’

‘The goyyim got their way this time, but they won’t the next time. King David lives forever!  The people of Israel lives forever!..’

Haaretz

Religious tensions roiled anew on Mount Zion this week when police detained five of some dozens of enraged Jewish extremists who attempted to disrupt Pentecostal prayers held by hundreds of Greek Orthodox worshipers.

As the Greek Orthodox procession made its way on Monday to the compound that houses the Cenacle, the presumed site of the Room of the Last Supper, and the presumed Tomb of King David, the Jewish demonstrators with flowing ear locks and large knitted yarmulkes screamed, booed and blew shofars at the worshipers.

As the procession made its way up the narrow stairs to the Cenacle, Jewish demonstrators, held back by Border Police and riot control teams, could be heard shouting:  “We will tear down this abomination,” and, “you are evil.”

The procession was led by kuwwas, the traditional guardians of Christian holiness, wearing crimson fez-like hats. They pounded wooden staffs on the ancient stone walkways to make way for the bishop, the head of the local church.

Resplendent in heavy white robes embroidered in gold threat, the bishop was followed by scores of priests and religious officials, all dressed in long back head gear, and hundreds of pilgrims, all chanting liturgies in Greek.

At the height of the ceremony, a small group from the Greek Orthodox, led by the bishop, came down the stairs and entered the Tomb of King David, escorted by the police.

The Jewish protestors grew more frenzied.  “The Jewish people lives forever!” King David lives forever!” one screamed.  “May the name of your so-called God be blotted out forever,” cursed another. “Nazi,” someone screamed at the police. Seemingly oblivious to the crowd, the Greek Orthodox worshipers stayed in the Tomb only a few moments then went back up the stairs.

 A man dressed in ultra-Orthodox garb, who would only give his name as “Tzvi from Jerusalem,” stood by with tears in his eyes.

“It hurts me that they are letting these goyyim (non-Jews) come here,” he said. “It hurts me that these evil men, who have oppressed the Jews throughout history, are being allowed to contaminate our holy sites.  And it hurts me even more that the police, led by our Jewish government, are allowing them to do so.”

Scenes like this occur often on Mount Zion. The 30-acre mountain that spreads out to the west from the Zion Gate holds a jumble of Christian churches from many different denominations, abandoned Muslim shrines, active and abandoned Jewish, Christian and Muslim cemeteries, and archaeological digs, along remnants of the War of Independence and the Six-Day War.

It is also home to artists and sculptors, including the widow of sculptor David Palombo, who designed the gates to the Knesset; banquet halls and the somber Chamber of the Holocaust, Israel’s first national Holocaust museum, which predates Yad Vashem by several years.

Across the conquests though the centuries, by Christians, Muslims, British, and, most recently, by Israel, members of various religious faiths have lived here together, sometimes in peace, at times in war, and most often according to carefully-set arrangements between them.

Mount Zion was central to Israeli national and religious observance following the War of Independence, because it was the only site in East Jerusalem held by Israel and because it offered views into the Old City and its sacred sites, held off-limits by the Jordanians to Jews and Israelis. The Mount was subsequently neglected after the Six-Day War, when the Old City was returned to Israeli control.

But in recent years, various Jewish groups have tried to reclaim the centrality of Mount Zion. Fueled by religious zealotry, some of them are hill-top youth prevented by  security authorities from being in the West Bank, and have instead made Mount Zion their home.

Tensions have increased particularly since a visit by Pope Francis in 2014, when rumors circulated that Israel intends to cede parts of Mount Zion, including David’s Tomb, to the Vatican and other Christian institutions.

Israeli officials have repeatedly denied these rumors.  The extremists aren’t convinced, though.

“There are Jews who would sell away that that is most precious to the Jewish people,” says one of the young activists. “They have forgotten what it means to be Jewish. To be proud and defend the land. We will be the defenders.”

Part of the Jewish extremists’ plan of defense has included defacing churches and their property, desecrating Christian cemeteries, and spitting on and verbally accosting priests and monks.

According to activists from “Window on Mount Zion,” a project sponsored by the Jerusalem Intercultural Center and Search for Common Ground, there has been relative calm over the past few months, thanks in part to police station established on Mount Zion last year.

According to various agreements, Christians are entitled to observe communal worship in the Cenacle five times a year, including the Pentecost. For individual prayer, the room is open to all. King David’s Tomb, which has unofficially been turned into a synagogue, is open for Jewish communal and individual prayer at all times.

This week, the trouble began well before the Greek Orthodox observance. There are three observances of Pentecost in Jerusalem, and the Armenians celebrated theirs on Sunday afternoon.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, several Jewish extremists barricaded themselves in David’s Tomb, apparently mistakenly believing the Armenians would be granted the right to enter David’s Tomb – which, in fact, is part only of the Greek Orthodox tradition. They protesters were removed, detained, and issued restraining orders banning them from the site.

But others returned early on Monday morning and tried once again to take control over the site, and by 7 A.M., dozens had already gathered near the scene. In carefully choreographed arrangements, police allowed early morning Jewish prayers on Monday morning, then closed the tomb to visitors until after the Greek Orthodox prayer and set up security perimeters.

In prior coordination with the police, Rabbi Aaron Yitzhak Stern from Bnei Brak, unofficially appointed by adherents as the “Rabbi of Mount Zion,” removed the Torah scrolls from David’s Tomb then returned them after the Christians had concluded their prayers. Also in coordination with police, the Greek worshipers did not bring any Christian symbols, icons, or incense into the Tomb.

Some two dozen volunteers from Window on Mount Zion were visibly present in their distinctive yellow vests. Project coordinator Merav Horowitz-Stein said they provided “another set of eyes, and individuals who can try to reason with the extremists from any side and explain the situation to the tourists.”

Police acknowledged that the volunteers, who tried to engage the protestors in discussion and explain the commotion to foreigners, played a crucial role in maintaining the relative calm.

In Christian belief, Pentecost marks the fiftieth day after the Last Supper, on which the Holy Spirit entered each of the Holy Apostles. Teaching them to speak in foreign languages, the Spirit instructed the Apostles to spread the world of Christianity throughout the world. To many, the holiday thus marks the actual founding of the Christian Church.

“The tradition of King David and the psalms is particularly significant to the Greek Orthodox,” Yisca Harani, an expert in Christianity from the Yad Ben Tzvi Institute, explains to Haaretz. They come to the tomb as pilgrims.”

Harani says the Pentecost observance has much in common with the Jewish holiday of Shavu’ot. “There is a clear parallel between the way that the Jews believe they received the Torah from Moses from Mount Sinai and the way Christians believe that the Holy Spirit came down to the apostles. And both are based on the number fifty.

“Observances like this provide an opportunity and a demand from the State of Israel to truly provide freedom of worship and equality for all,” Harani says.

Several police officials noted with satisfaction that “overall, the events passed without incident” and that the police had been able to find a “balance between the right to protest and the lack of any right to violently disrupt anyone else’s right to prayer.”

But as the crowds dispersed, one of the protesters made it clear that he and fellow demonstrators had no intention of backing down.

‘The goyyim got their way this time. But they won’t the next time. King David lives forever!  The people of Israel lives forever!’

Christianity and Judaism

January 23, 2018

Dear friends,

Today I am posting the full translation of an amazingly interesting text – Christianity and Judaism – on the issue of the historical role of the Jewish people written by a, now reposed, Archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, Archbishop Nathanel (Lvov) [“Lvov” is his last name, no reference to the city in the Ukraine].  This has been made possible by the superb translation of this very nuanced text by Edvin Buday to whom I extend my most sincere gratitude (and admiration – this translation is a long and complex piece of work!).  The topic is “Christianity and Judaism”.  In Russian that would be “Христианство и Иудейство” where the second word, Iudeistvo, could also be translated as “Jewishness” or “that which is of/in the Jewish realm”.  What I am trying to convey here is that this is not about modern Judaism (which really is a misnomer and which should be called something like “rabbinical Phariseism” since all modern Judaic denomination are descendants of the sect of the Pharisees) and which is dramatically different from the religion of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (I always call modern “Judaism” the religion of Maimonides, Karo and Luria).

If Yuri Slezkine is right and the 20th century (or even the modern age) was, indeed “The Jewish Century“, and I would personally very much agree with this thesis, then it would be normal to have the topic of Jews and Jewishness as the focus of many interesting discussions.  Yet what we observe today is almost the polar opposite.  Oh sure, there is a lot of talk about Jews and Jewishness, but most of it is of an appallingly sophomoric level.  Not only that, but the many completely different dimensions of this issue are all mushed into one big fat conceptual blob about which a great deal of definitive statements are made without any regards to history, spirituality, culture, psychology, etc.  I am personally disgusted and discouraged to see how low these discussions typically can go.  Roughly speaking, most of the modern discourse is split between two warring factions:

Group “A”: they would have us believe that Jews are almost non-humans, that by some process unknown to science there is a specifically”Jewish” mentality, mindset, culture and even political identity which is transmitted over the generations from parents to their children and that this unique “thing” trumps both nature (or forms part of it) and nurture.  The simple truth is that proponents of this view separate mankind into “Jews” and “non-Jews” which is, of course, a typically racist attitude.

Group “B”: they will have us believe that Jews either have no role at all in society and/or politics or, if they do, then this is an exclusively benevolent one.  This is also the group which will tell you with a straight face that “Antisemitism” is a mysterious disease potentially infecting every single human being on the planet, a disease which has no cause whatsoever and from the effects of which Jews must be protected at all costs.  Expressing any critical view of anything Jewish, or even asking the wrong questions, is considered by Group B and a clear manifestation of this mysterious disease. The simple truth is that proponents of this view also separate mankind into “Jews” and “non-Jews” which is, of course, also a typically racist attitude.

In other words, all we are given the (pseudo-) “choice” between are two varieties of racist views.  The problem is that there is very strong, I would argue. even indisputable, historical evidence, that Jews are not a race or ethnicity (these terms themselves being rather vague to begin with).  Furthermore, the kind of worldview and ideology which fosters this kind of notions is always the product of what Russian philosophers have called a “человеконенавистническая идеология” which means a “Man/mankind-hating ideology”.

[Sidebar: for those who have not seen it before, here is my own working definition of racism: racism is, in my opinion, not so much the belief that various human groups are different from each other, say like dog breeds can be different, but the belief that the differences between human groups are larger than within the group. Second, racism is also a belief that the biological characteristics of your group somehow pre-determine your actions/choices/values in life. Third, racism often, but not always, assumes a hierarchy amongst human groups (Germanic Aryans over Slavs or Jews, Jews over Gentiles, etc.). I believe that God created all humans with the same purpose and that we are all “brothers in Adam”, that we all equally share the image (eternal and inherent potential for perfection) of God (as opposed to our likeness to Him, which is our temporary and changing individual condition). Tribal affiliations and ideological positions are, in contrast to one’s genetic make-up, the result of choices and, like all  choices, they are legitimate targets for scrutiny and criticism.]

The ultimate irony is, of course, that the racists in Group A and the racists in Group B are very much alike and their views very much mirror each other, they are just applied in different directions and towards different targets (the other target being the “other one”).

The result of this intellectually sterile and spiritually vitiated environment is that a fascinating and important topic has been reduced to a schoolyard shouting match in which both sides point fingers in anger at each other and verbal fists do most of the “talking”.  At the end of the day, both sides end up bloodied and exhausted (and none the wiser).

Jews, Jewishness and Judaism (in one form or another) have existed since antiquity, they have evolved and adapted to their environment and times and, like any other human group, they have dealt with numerous internal contradictions (how sad that nobody nowadays even knows what dialectics are!).  At the very least, this means that these topics should be studied on a historical, religious, philosophical, political, cultural, social, economic and many other levels.  Studied not to just come up with some slogan to hurl at the “other guy” but studied in order to understand the many, complex and often subtle nuances and dimensions of the topic at hand.

What I am posting today is one such investigation written from a purely religious point of view.  Agnostics and atheists are more than welcome to read it, but please understand that the person writing this comes from a background which you could not possibly understand (sorry, no offense intended here, I am just being truthful here).  It is also important to stress here that this article was written in 1949, right after WWII were the Nazi atrocities were already well-known to the general public but way before “Group B” managed to shove a psychological gag into the mouth of anybody daring to raising this topic in public.

It is particularly appalling to me to see that representatives of both “Group A” and “Group B” often present themselves, and their views, as “Christian” whereas nothing in reality could be further from the truth!  When is the last time you hear any of them refer to the writings of Saint Justin Martyr, Saint John Chrysostome, Saint Cyprian of Carthage or Saint Ephrem the Syrian?  The sad truth is that most of these “Christians” (they sometimes refer to themselves as “Cultural Christians”) never heard these names and know absolutely nothing about the religion they mistakenly believe they speak for.

Take the pseudo-Christians of “Group A”: Just a cursory familiarity with the writings of Saint Paul could have suggested to them that Christians “wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Eph. 6:12)” and that “circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commandments is what matters” (1 Cor 7:19).  In his epistle to Titus Saint Paul also reminded us to “avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain” (Titus 3:9) and yet these modern pseudo-Christians spend a great deal of time investigating who does, or does not, have Jewish blood (as if there was such thing!) and if yes, how much exactly.  Talk about foolish, vain and unprofitable “genealogies”!

Do any of those putatively “Christian” “Jew hunters” make any effort at all at understanding their own religion (and I don’t mean Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny!) or the writings of the Apostles?  Do they make any effort at all to try to acquire the “spirit/mindset” (phronema) of the Fathers?  Nope.  All they do is play “find the Jew” and then triumphantly place silly little echo signs ((())) around their names.

What kind of pagan kindergarten is that?!

Alas, the pseudo-Christians of Group “B” are no better.  The Latins (by that I mean the “Roman Catholics”, an expression which I do not use since the Latins are neither Roman nor Catholic) have now declared Urbi et Orbi that they are expecting the very same Messiah as the Judaics (see here and here).  The Pope who, according to Latin dogma, is infallible (when he speaks in his official capacity on spiritual matters) has gone as far as to declare that Judaics are the “elder brothers” of the Latins.  Apparently the (putatively) “holy” Father forgot that the Apostles themselves decreed that “If a Clergyman or a Layman should enter a Jewish synagogue, or pray with heretics, let him be excommunicated and defrocked” (Apostolic Canon 64) or, which is more likely, he does not believe that Apostolic Canons have authority over him.  The real problem is that Christian tradition very clearly states through the writings of numerous Church Fathers (such as Saint Hippolytus of Rome in his Treatise on Christ and the Antichrist) that the false Messiah the Judaics are waiting for will be the Antichrist!

[Sidebar: this is what Saint Hippolytus wrote about the Antichrist and which Christians used to read at least once a year in church: The Antichrist will be born from a harlot, who will appear to be a virgin, but will be of the Hebrew race, of the tribe of Dan, the son of Jacob; and he will supposedly live as Christ did, and will perform as many miracles as Christ, and will raise the dead. But all of these things—his birth, his flesh, and everything else—will be an illusion, as the Apostle says; and he will then be revealed as the son of perdition, with all power, with signs and deceitful wonders. However, as Saint John of Damascus says, the Devil himself will not be transformed into flesh, but a man who is the offspring of fornication will receive all the energy of Satan, and will suddenly rise up. He will appear good and gentle to all, and then there will be a mighty famine. He will supposedly satisfy the people, will study the Holy Scriptures, will practice fasting, and, compelled by men, will be proclaimed king; he will show especial love to the Hebrew race, restoring them to Jerusalem and rebuilding their temple. Before seven years have passed, as Daniel says, Enoch and Elias will come, preaching to the people that they should not accept him. He will arrest and torment them, and will then behead them. Those who choose to remain pious will flee far away into the mountains; when he finds them, through the agency of demons, he will make trial of them. Those seven years will be cut short for the sake of the elect, and there will be a mighty famine, and all the elements will be transformed, so that everyone will all but disappear.]

Interestingly, Islam also teaches that the next false Messiah will be the Antichrist and that Christ will come back to defeat him.  It is ironic that  Orthodox Christians and Muslims share a common view while Latins and Judaics share the opposite one.  As for Protestant denominations, I will just say that Protestant hardcore Zionists probably outnumber Jewish Zionist by a comfortable margin.  Yet these “Christians” all completely overlook such (Antisemitic?) passages of the Scripture as famous “the synagogue of Satan” (Rev 3:9) and “your Father the devil” (John 8:44).  Most importantly, they also completely ignore what orthodox Judaics really teach about non-Jews.

What kind of ‘Christian’ either ignores the teachings of his own religion or is ashamed of it?!

The sad reality is that we now live in a post-Christan and pseudo-pagan society (I say pseudo because the original pagans were extremely receptive to the Christian message, modern pseudo-pagans are just about the most incapable of even understanding it).   Frankly, most of our contemporaries are simply not equipped to understand a topic as subtle and complex as the amazing history of the Jewish people (understood here, of course, not as a race, but as a *tribe*, i.e. a group one can chose to join (Elizabeth Taylor) or leave (Gilad Atzmon) (official definition:

a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader).

This tribe, however, is hardly uniform phenomenon but an amazingly diverse and complex collection of extremely different sub-groups and individuals: lumping all “Jews” into one category is just as futile and stupid as lumping all Muslims into one or, for that matter, all Christians).  And yes, some of these subgroups and individuals have, and still are, wielding enormous intellectual, economic and political power and to pretend like they did/do not or to pretend that this power has always been benevolent is simply ridiculous.  Folks who make that kind of silly statements are far more concerned about not alienating (or even pleasing) their sponsors than to remain faithful to faith “which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian” (St. Athanasius).

Icon of the Compassionate Samaritan

In sharp contrast all of the above, the text of Archbishop Nathanel (which has never, as far as I know, been translated into English) is a faithful expression of the Christian point of view on this question.  I don’t mean to say that everything His Eminence wrote is dogma and has to be accepted as some sort of absolute and indisputable truth, not at all, but it is an attempt to explain something immensely complex while remaining faithful to the mindset/spirit of true Christianity: with compassion and understanding towards all people but with an unbreakable determination and zeal to uphold and pass on the truth as revealed by the Prophets, Christ and the Church.

It seems to me that the Parable of the Compassionate Samaritan ( Luke 10:25–37) not only best illustrates what the correct answer to the question “who is my brother?” is but it also shows us how Christ instructs us all to act towards those who hold beliefs which are opposed to ours or even offensive to us (Jews and Samaritans mostly hated each other).  I don’t think that Christ would have welcomed the making of lists of Samaritans, if you see what I mean…

I am personally under no illusions whatsoever and I know that the members of the two groups described above with scoff at it all and, frankly, I am not posting this to convince them otherwise.  I am writing for those who seek a truly Christian discussion on a topic of tremendous importance for our times.  Contrary to the impression one might get listening to the AM dial, the Christian faith is not one which can be taught, or even intelligently discussed, while driving, with “commercial breaks” or even in a short, 300-400 words text.   It is one which is first and foremost lived, experienced, and one which centers on asceticism and prayer, not scholastic deductions.  Even a comparatively long(er) text like the one below is but the tiny tip of an immense iceberg hidden from the view of most and preserved by a few.

I strongly recommend that those of you who are interested seek out and read all the key Patristic texts on this topic as they are all available online (I recommend starting with Saint Justin Martyr’s “Dialog with Trypho” and then proceeding to Saint John Chrysostome’s “Kata Ioudaion“).  I also recommend that we all stay away from the regular verbal slugfests various outlets engage in which inevitably degenerate in more name calling and finger pointing then thinking.  Finally, even if you disagree or dislike what you will read there, at least you will be able to tell apart the true Christian view of this topic and the pseudo-Christian ersatz we are offered at every street corner.

Bonne lecture!

The Saker

*******

Christianity and Judaism

by Archbishop Nathanail (Lvov)

Part I:

What an old and painful issue are the relations between Christianity and Judaism!

In the historical process of humanity, how many joint instances of guilt, hatred, and blood there are! The massacres of Jews on the one hand and cowardly murders on the other; ghettos here and hatred for the goyim there. Finally, in the last few years we have seen a raging racist theory with its millions of hecatombs by the hand of one of the ‘Christian’ peoples on the one hand and the nearly total capture of all pillars of human history by the Jews, the fully realistic possibility of the Judaisation of all humanity before our very eyes, and its subordination to Judaism on the other.

We would like to speak about the internal roots of this gigantic problem, without an understanding of which we could not hope to understand the processes taking place before our very eyes.

What is Judaism? Is it a shy, innocent little sheep that is unfairly persecuted by all, as it is sometimes presented? Or is it a terrifying hellspawn that does not resemble the rest of humanity at all, as Rozanov [1], Ford [2], and the German propagandists would have it?

To answer this question and to understand how untrue both of these representations are, we must recall Jewish history from a Christian point of view, a history that we not for nothing know better than the history of any other people.

Because of His wish to accomplish the salvation of the race of man and graft its feral vine to Himself, immediately after the fall of man the Lord starts the make a selection among humanity by destroying all that by virtue of its deep-rooted perversion cannot serve the cause of preparation for salvation, and, contrariwise, by separating and preparing all that is good.

Any man can save himself, i.e. he can become worthy of the Kingdom of God, and only the common, obdurate sin and stubbornness within him can disturb or halt the process of the maturation of the human soul for the Kingdom of God. And in this case (that of stubbornness in sin), man destroys himself among the living, as in the Lord’s universe there is not and cannot be anything senseless, and the existence of a man who does not mature for the Kingdom of God and who cannot mature is senseless.

The same can also be said of entire peoples. The knower of human hearts saw, by foreseeing the inner being of every separate man and every people and tribe, what kind of man and what kind of people are ready of the process that gives meaning to each life; these he saved and the others he destroyed.

However, there are few who are capable completion of salvation. The process of salvation itself must be completed. This process has been wrought by the Lord, but His human tools were surely necessary. The human share in his salvation is a miniscule one, but it is definitely necessary. Man is not a passive stone, man is the image of God: he is a limited, diminutive likeness of the Endless Absolute and by virtue of the natural attribute of this image he should actively participate in his salvation. A separate person is the best active part of his soul, and all of humanity is the best active part of humanity.

It is with the greatest caution that the Lord selects this best, most active part of humanity and makes a selection of the selection.

The worst part of humanity is destroyed in the waters of the flood: this was all of the spawn of Cain and all descendants of the other children of Adam and Eve who were seduced into mixing with the Cainites. Only the best descendants of the best of the children of Adam are spared: those of Sif.

During the construction of the Tower of Babylon, the nature of humanity receives a new characteristic: a division of tongues. The up until that point united humanity is separated into national cellules in order to prevent evil from spreading across the entire body of humanity.

By using this new, God-granted characteristic of humanity, the Lord sends a most sacred and loyal Chaldean man, who by one word from the Lord leaves his homeland and the house of his father and goes to a new land according to the divine plan, where, by using the Lord’s separation of humanity into nationalities, he will not mix with the surrounding peoples.

What an image, glowing with the highest moral strength presents this chosen one of God, Abraham, to us! Having obediently left for a foreign land and having received Divine covenant for his act, which says that from his descendants the Chosen People will come and that all earthly tribes will be blessed in him; Abraham is ready to sacrifice the one through whom this Divine covenant is supposed to go: his only son Isaac, thus becoming similar to God in his willingness to sacrifice and thereby enlarging his God-likeness.

It is clear that it is on this man’s shoulders that God puts a gigantic responsibility: to be both personally and through his line a tool of the Lord and an active participant in the salvation of the whole race of man.

This is the greatest version of the origin of the Jewish people by virtue of the glory of its design.

In order to fulfil the plan of the Lord, this people needs to have several traits: above all it must be loyal to God. To strengthen this trait, it is led through a series of trials: slavery in Egypt, the wanderings through the desert, the miraculous nourishment from manna, and, finally, the conquest of the Holy Land with the glorious aid of God. It was necessary that this people learned through experience that all its strength is in its God and that it is indebted with an unrepayable debt to this God.

This people should not mix with the other peoples, who had fallen to idolatry. This is why in the first few generations after Abraham this people is tempered not by mixing with other peoples, but by the marriage of every carrier of the fulness of the Divine covenant (i.e. Isaac and Jacob) with women that did not come from the surrounding peoples. And, because he did not fulfil this providential condition, Esau was eliminated and removed from the selection.

This trait of non-mixture with the other peoples and of separation from them has entered the spiritual and corporeal tissue of the Jewish people strongest of all and is its most characteristic feature to this very day.

But despite this non-mixing with other peoples, the Jewish people should not just be the pick of humanity, but also its representative, and should above all keep its unity with all of humanity and guard human versatility within itself, so that all branches of humanity could in this people recognise the fundamental traits that are essential to salvation.

And this we also see in the Jewish people. The Russian, the Black, the Frenchman, and the Japanese all understand the spiritual processes among the Chosen People that the Bible has noted for us. And it is not random chance that the holiest church fathers see in the history of the Jewish people a typological history of every human soul: in the Egyptian captivity and the pharaonic labours they see the condition of the soul when it is enslaved to sin, in the exodus from Egypt liberation from sin, in the forty-year wandering across the desert the process of being cleansed from sin, in the grumbling of the Jews during this process the frequent grumbling of the human soul during those challenges that accompany the cleansing process etc. (“You have preferred, O my soul, the meat of swine and the tempting food of Egypt to the food of Heaven, as did the ungrateful people of old in the wilderness) [3].

On the other hand, it is thanks to precisely this trait of their nature that the Jews have always been the best spreaders of any movement under any people, both during the early Christian time of preaching and in current anti-Christian propaganda.

In addition, by richly granting all kinds of natural gifts that are necessary for His plan to His Chosen People, the Lord kept them from excessive, unnecessary endowments. For example, this people was not given political power. It was not called upon to build gigantic empires like the Persians, Macedonians, or Romans.

Outside noises and the comparatively insignificant clattering of historical processes would be unnecessary and could draw away the spiritual and corporeal forces of the holy people to lower, external business, while God had something better prepared for them: active participation in the building of the Kingdom of God, the Eternal Kingdom without end, in front of which the vainglory of Alexander, Caesar, and the Romans looks like the fate of an insignificant, tawdry banality and despicable philistinism.

Several currents are especially important in the history of Israel: first, the external preparation for the arrival of the Son of God, although this was a relatively passive and outward affair, which, strictly speaking, any other people gifted with riches could have done. We are speaking here of the creation of a tabernacle, and then a temple, worship, and the entire exterior ritual of life.

But organically linked to this current is the second important tendency in the life of the Chosen People: moral preparation for the arrival of the Son of God in its midst. The ground must be prepared for the meeting. For the reception of the totality of Divine glory it was necessary to prepare by accepting and spreading a pedagogical, preparatory Divine Law, a trimmed heart, and washed ears.

This is especially clear in the example of the highest commandment of love towards one’s enemies.

It is not love that has become natural to the sinful, self-affirmed human heart, but vengeance, vengeance that does knows neither limits nor fulfilment through a long, sinful process from the fall of Adam to the murder of Cain and through many other killings. If one of my teeth has been knocked out, I’ll grind down the face of the perpetrator into mush. If someone has damaged one of my eyes, then I will roast him on a slow fire, cut him up into little pieces, and drink deeply from his sorrows. To use the recent example of the last war, we saw people who had denied Christ kill tens of hundreds, and sometimes even thousands of those they suspected of having killed one friend of theirs; we could see how insatiable the vengeance of man is.

To say without preparation to a man who has become accustomed to unbridled vengeance “love your enemies and do good to those that hate you” would be a hopeless nothing, or, in other words, empty talk. And the Lord does not speak for nothing. He who has created reality and is always creating only reality, He Who Is as He Is, i.e. the genuinely, truly existing Lord is realistic in everything to us. This is why before saying “love your enemies”, it would be necessary to prepare the human heart for this with a limitation to the unbridled fury of hatred. And Moses noted down the words from the Lord: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

In such a form, even an unprepared man can accept a limitation to his insatiable, unbridled revenge, as this rule is based on a form of justice that was kept safe from the times before the Fall of Man that is a natural part of every human heart. And if a man accepts a limit to his desire for vengeance, he really accepts it: by his reason, by his will, and by such a fulfilment of his life that the law enters into his very nature, that for one of my teeth that has been beaten out I cannot mutilate a whole man and can only inflict the same thing that he has inflicted on me, that for an eye I cannot subject him to endless torture, when I, having learned to limit my anger, am ready to accept the law of Divine love and can learn to love my enemies.

It is the same in the entire moral law of the Old Testament: it prepared the human heart to be ready to accept the law of Christ.

And this preparation was accomplished among the Chosen People, which played both the role of the crop of humanity and its representative in this matter. If it succeeds among the Jews, it will succeed among all of humanity, for all human traits have been concentrated in this people that the word of God names people par excellence, more human than all other men; it is not by chance that One from this people is called the Son of Man.

The holiest current in this people, in all of humanity, and in all of the world created by God is the one that was fully hidden by the Lord from any foreign, intrusive glances, the one in which by the grace of God from generation to generation the cleansing of the very nature of humanity took place in order to make it capable of receiving the Son of God.

Abraham was a high holiness, but alongside spiritual flight we also see within him the depths of the fall in Egypt and with Avimalekh. The Son of God could not come directly to him and unite with him in most glorious union. But his holiness did not remain barren: with both spirit and flesh he takes part in the fulfilment of the Divine plan, for from his seed God and Man were born. We repeat the same about Isaac, about Jacob, about Jude, about David, and about all forefathers of Christ, who were spiritually and corporeally the ancestors of the Son of Man. We can say this about almost all of the just men of the Old Testament, because they indirectly participated in God’s creation of that spiritual atmosphere that the best flower of humanity could come into by taking the Son of God within Itself.

The heart flutters when it thinks about this, when one considers how in the silence of the province of Palestine, which was guarded by God from the noise of the wide historical roads, the fruit of the most perfect streams of humanity matured, without which the Lord could not come to his people, and how the Holiest Virgin, Whose name is Mary, matured as well.

The first half of the divine plan was dignifiedly and rightly completed by Israel. It safeguarded the true faith among the pagan darkness throughout many ages, it created the Divine temple, which is the image of all temples of all ages, its prophets prepared the ground for the coming of Christ, they prepared the way of the Lord and made his path clear. From its bosom grew the Holiest Virgin and Saint John, about which the mouth of God says: among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist.

Nothing can take away this greatest glory from Israel, from this supernatural greatness of its fate. Even everything that follows cannot destroy the debt of gratitude that humanity owes to Israel. And what can also not destroy this debt of gratitude is, that having taken great glory upon itself, but also the terrible weight of Divine election, Israel carried this yoke for the other peoples. We Russians to a degree know how difficult this yoke is. Our prophet tells us:

Remember: to be the tool of God
Is heavy for earthly creations:
His servants he judges harshly,
And on you, oh, how many
Horrible sins have fallen.

(Khomyakov) [4]

And any other people could not have carried the yoke the same way Israel carried it; any other tribe would have buckled under it, and the royal lines would have far earlier. What the church teachings tell us of Adam and Eve, that, while not justifying their betrayal of God, we also should not dare to judge them, for we would have acted the same way, can also be repeated in an even greater measure about Israel: if, having completed the first half of the plan God had created for them, it betrayed the second half of God’s plan, then every other people in its stead would have acted even worse, even more undeserving of Divine election.

The fall of Israel is not just the tragedy of the nation, but of all of humanity as well, for it was the crop and representative of the whole race of Man. And Israel’s execution of the first half of the Divine plan and its preparation of the coming of Christ is not just its inalienable and never fading glory, but also the glory of all of humanity.

Part II

Both during the judgment of Pilate and to the Pharisees who accompanied him Christ said that His Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom: “My Kingdom is not of this world”, “the Kingdom of God is within you” [5]. But those who accepted His Kingdom as a supplement, as a tool to serve that Kingdom are granted external glory and the exterior, earthly rule as well by the Lord, according to the Law that was spoken by Him: “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all this will be given to you as well” [6].

So that the preaching of the Gospels could take place unhindered, the Lord gave the Roman people the opportunity to create a worldly government. So that in the future this preaching could spread across the entire universe, the Lord gave precisely the Christian peoples unseen political and scientific strength.

Of course, if the Chosen Jewish People fulfilled the plan of God, if this whole people, or at least its fundamental, leading, representative part followed Christ, desired communion with the inner Kingdom of God, it would without any doubt have received the most glorious and strong worldly kingdom as an annex. As we know how flamingly, how selflessly the wild Celtic, Germanic, and Slavic tribes accepted the faith of Christ, we can well imagine with what veneration, honour, and service they would have surrounded the firstborn of the peoples in Christ, the people of the kin of the Lord in flesh. The veneration that the Christian peoples showed for Rome and Byzantium can give a small indication of this.

Of course, this was the Divine plan for humanity: His prepared part for the acceptance of the Son of God was supposed to have been cast into the world like a leavening into the dough. With this abundant leavening the whole race of Man would have seen the Kingdom of God and the Lord’s chosen would have gone before all the other peoples, guiding them on the road towards union with God as the vanguard of the Church of Christ.

Its temple was the temple of Jerusalem, the throne of all lands, which would have become the first Christian temple where, instead of the Old Testament shadow and the bloody sacrifice Christ Himself would have made the New Testament sacrifice of His Body and Blood. It is here that New Testament worship would have been developed by integrating the totality of all elements of Old Testament preparatory veneration. The entire people of Judea, which knew the multiplicity of human spirits like no other, would have gone on a mission [7] of preaching the other, unprepared part of the Gospel of humanity: all the other peoples, too, would have used their God-given talent for this work and all would have entered into communion with the Kingdom of God.

This Divine plan was disrupted by Israel’s betrayal. Although part of it (the holiest part of Israel and humanity that followed Christ), i.e. the apostles, were all Jews and could not have come from any other people, because all the other peoples were not prepared, the main mass of the people, mainly its guiding, representative part, i.e. the priests (who were the official rulers) and the Pharisean rabbis (their real rulers) did not follow Christ but crucified him through the hands of Roman soldiers while calling: “His Blood on us and on our children!” [8]

Only the First fall of Man, of Adam and Eve, is comparable in significance and inner meaning to this terrible catastrophe that twisted the Divine plan, the Lord’s design for subsequent history of humanity, which had been redeemed and saved by Christ.

Israel has been cast out. To be more precise, itself (the chosen one of the Lord) cast away its chosen nature, refused to serve the One who had chosen him and fulfil His plans.

There were thousands of reasons for this: all temptations, all enticements from the lowest lures of gluttony to the great, proud plans about the creation of a worldwide, earthly kingdom of Jerusalem, which the prophets speak of: all of this was united and mobilised by the unclean one in order to draw Israel from its path, which was to be the chosen tool to save all of mankind.

We will stop for a minute at the most important part, the deepest and most important temptation, the temptation of an earthly kingdom of Israel which was, after all, dreamt of by the best thinkers of the people of Judea, in accordance with the image drawn by the prophets of a kingdom in which swords turn to ploughshares and all tribes of the world will know peace.

The story of the temptation of the first men repeated itself in a significant way. The Lord created men for veneration. Having created them in His image and likeness, He gave them the task to become more and more like Him, become more and more gods themselves, for as the Lord says: “I said: you are gods, and all of you are sons of the most high” [9], and as Basil of Caesarea said: “I am a beast, but I have received the task of becoming God”.

The devil, however, when he tricks people, says: “Eat of the fruit and you will be as gods”, contrary to the Creator.

The devil does the same with Israel. By marking it as the means by which the Divine Spiritual Kingdom will be established, the Lord (as we have shown) would, of course, have given Israel an earthly kingdom as a small covenant. But the lords of Israel hungered for the earthly kingdom, and, by rejecting the Kingdom of God, fell away from their highest fate of Divine election.

We say that by doing this they disrupted the Divine plan. But this is but partly so.

An individual man and a whole people can disturb and twist the Divine plan for himself or itself. The inner fate of a man or a people is given over to his or its own free will by the Lord. But no one can disrupt the plan of God wholesale. The wisdom and strength of the Lord constantly correct disruptions in His Divine plan, disruptions that are affected by demonic power or confused human will. And all angelic forces and all just men of God are constantly surprised by the Lord’s force and wisdom, which knows how to unceasingly correct everything in the world that was created by Him and thus create the Lord’s ceaseless glory, as John the Apostle says.

The salvation of men must be completed. And Israel should guide this process. But Israel has rejected its mission. How can this be?

Christ warned the rulers of Israel that by their insubordination they will not stop the fate the Lord has given them. God can create the sons of Adam from these very rocks.

And from these rocks, and from tongues, and from peoples, how unprepared they may be for the acceptance of Christ, as from the rocks the Lord raises up a new Israel: the Christian peoples, who spiritually become the children of Adam, for they take his whole inheritance (the cause of Israel) of Divine election and guidance for the salvation of Man upon themselves.

God generously and graciously gave these peoples enormous spiritual and mental strength that are necessary for a most great mission; this is the very same strength that the Lord would have given Israel, had it remained in its station. And these Christian peoples, having taken the place of Israel, carried the world further towards Christ and salvation.

However, if Israel had been prepared for this by all of its earlier history to become the leader of peoples in their salvation, and if pagan crudeness would have been uprooted from it (or it should have at least been uprooted), then these new peoples, this wild olive tree had to come to the Church without being prepared by history, were grafted onto it from a wild, ill-prepared root, and their preparation would have been a long and complex process. And we see how it is really with great difficulty and many great acts of bravery the Christianisation of these people is being completed and how many very strong traces of pagan crudeness, stupidity, and narrow-mindedness remain within them.

Israel enters into a fight with these peoples. By repeating the story of the earliest fallen soul, which hated the race of Man because these despicable, weak, insignificant people, formed into a shape of rotting meat and flesh, were called by the love of God to take his place (instead of a proud and strong spirit), Old Israel also infinitely hates the crude pagan peoples that were called by Divine summons to take its place at the head of the earthly tribes.

Israel begins a fight. This is a very unequal struggle. The world belongs to the Christian and pagan peoples. Israel, having betrayed God, has lost everything that was given by God for the fulfilment of His task except for the inalienable internal gift of God: natural spiritual strength.

This is why the strength of Israel and its weapons of war can only be occult, internal means. Its very deep knowledge of human nature, that was given to it for the preaching of the Gospel but is used by Israel in the opposite way, serves it very well in this struggle.

Israel, having betrayed Christ because of the temptations of pride, greed, and gluttony, is also trying to seduce the peoples that have replaced it by these same lures. Through its hatred of the Christian peoples, it becomes like the fallen one, as its tragedy is similar to the tragedy of the demon: the tragedy of the latter consists of him being a fallen angel, the tragedy of the form in being God’s chosen people that has betrayed God.

The opinion of the Christian Church towards the fallen Israel is very ambivalent. On the one hand, the Church very clearly says that Judaism has not any rights towards the name of Israel in the New Testament and that the Church will become the New Israel: the Chosen Bride of Christ, and that it is to Her and no Judaism that the full scale of covenants and Divine gifts that were promised to the sons of Abraham belongs, for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all righteous ones of the Old Testament belong to the Church and entered into her as a component part. What is more, the Church separately removes Judaism from Its life and from all communion with Itself, so long as the Jews do not repent and come into the Church.

But on the other hand, the best representatives of the Church feel a great sorrow and understand very well the tragic fate of Old Testament Israel. We remember the sayings of apostle Paul, that are pregnant with infinite love towards his dear people that has wandered astray. We find similar sentiments with Basil of Caesarea, a Hellene by descent but an ardent lover of the Old Testament Israel, and also a man who could never remember Abraham without tears and also healed many Jewish souls that came to Christ with his love. Lastly, we can read similar sayings in the works of John Chrysostom and the other holy fathers.

However, as we have said before, in the bosom of the Christian peoples, or, to be more precise, those of the peoples that are being Christened, we still find many things vile and pagan that are incapable of this growing Christian love.

And this is why old Israel drank deeply of the most bitter wine of humiliation among the Christian peoples.

The threatening word of the Lord became full reality for Israel: “If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed. And ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the LORD thy God. And it shall come to pass, that as the LORD rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the LORD will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it. And the LORD shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods, which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the LORD shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind: And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life: In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even! and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning! for the fear of thine heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see. And the LORD shall bring thee into Egypt again with ships, by the way whereof I spake unto thee, Thou shalt see it no more again: and there ye shall be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you” [10].

For millenia the Jews had to hide grovel, kissing the lordly hand, flattering and currying favour with stupid and crude medieval Europeans, in which so much primitive paganism remained. This medieval Jew [11], with a sophisticated soul and Chosen by god for the greatest fate reviled, of course, the crude baron or lord that mocked him.

In our current banishment, we, Russians, can have some understanding of the century-long Jewish tragedy. Some Riurikovich or Gedeminovich [12] who serves as a chauffeur or a servant for an Argentinian or Venezuelan despises his master the same way that the medieval Jew despises the lord he served; that is, if our modern Russian aristocrat does not defend himself from such an unhealthy and destructive spiritual condition by way of Christian humility, which, woe is us, there is so catastrophically little of among us.

And despite their humiliation, these medieval Jews remembered their election well and carefully guarded proof of their descent from David or Aaron.

Part III

In our time, we see how Judaism is conquering new positions one after the other and is capturing nearly all reins, all driving belts of modern humanity.

The creation of a Jewish state, the meaning it immediately acquired in the world that became especially apparent in its instant recognition by the two strongest powers of the world (the US and USSR), and the zeal of both of these colossal states in their drive to gain Israel’s sympathy: all this clearly shows the exclusivity of Israel’s condition and its global importance.

From this point of view, an interview by a correspondent of the Parisian English-language newspaper “The Daily Mail” Jenny Nicholson with Israel’s chief rabbi, mister Herzog, and her further report on the subject.

Nicholson writes: “Mr. Herzog, the chief rabbi, lives in a smart modern house in Jerusalem. Through the open doors one can see his secretaries with their black beards and black hats, working behind their writing desks.

I was guided upstairs into his library, which was filled with gigantic Jewish books. The rustle of light footsteps could be heard: mr. Herzog entered the library: renowned learned rabbi in black clothes and with a long, gray beard that was separated in two halves.

His religion did not allow him to shake my hand:

– “The only woman whose hand I have shaken is the queen of the Netherlands”,- he said.

A Jewish girl in a red sweater brought Turkish coffee and crackers, the rabbi lit a cigarette and offered me another, and began to speak of ancient prophecy:

– “The new state of Israel, the return of the Jews to Palestine, all this is a preparatory step for the return of the Messiah”, – he said. – “The coming of the Messiah will not be a solely Jewish event, but it will have meaning for the whole world”.

– “But the prophecy tells us that the Messiah will come from the House of David, and how many can now pretend a descent from the house of David?” – asked Jenny Nicholson.

Herzog smiled and dusted the cigarette ash from his clothes.

– “I was recently invited to the christening (i.e. the circumcision) of a child, the father of which is a pretender to the throne of David.”

According to an article printed in the English-language Israeli Newspaper “The Palestine Post”, thousands of Israeli citizens can prove their descent from the House of David. The most well-known pretender is Samuel Solnik, a young dentist from Poland.

Solnik royally lifted up his uncrowned head when I came to visit him. He spread out his moustache and said:

– “Tradition is in the blood of the Jewish people. We make links to that moment in the past where we left off. Why shouldn’t we reinstate the monarchy?”

However, he added that the time wasn’t yet nigh:

– “Most importantly, we don’t yet have Israel. And the King of Israel should rule in his capital.”

Dr. Solnik serves as a dentist in a camp of Egyptian prisoners of war, but he spends sabbaths at home in Nafanay, which lies to the north of Tel-Aviv. There is no difference between this family and other middle-class ones, except for the fact that the eldest son of mr. Solnik is called ‘Melek’, or ‘king’ in school. What is more, no other dentist in the world has such special literature as mr. Solnik his, and he gladly shows his correspondence with persons of authority that show his official right to claim descent from the House of David.

All Jewish scholars are in agreement that anyone who can prove his descent from Abravanel is a descendant of the House of David. Our Solnik is methodically proving the emergence of his line from Samuil Abravanel, who in 1391 “arrived in Seville and worked as a tax collector”.

– “But in this case, you should hold the title of ‘Melek’.”

– “No”, – Solnik answers with a royal pose, – “I abjure all my rights for my son. I declare all my claims in his name”.

His son is called Emmanuil, in accordance with the prophecy of Isaiah: “and they will call Him Emmanuil”.

Emmanuil, a pretty, pale boy around five and a half years old, is playing with his younger brother, who is trying to pull of the golden crown of David that his brother is carrying on a necklace.

Solnik says:

– “The chances of the coming of the Kingdom of Israel are very great, and it might come soon. We might have a large monarchist party.” The Continental Daily Mail, No. 16971-1949.

Of course, all of this isn’t serious yet. In mr. Solnik’s candidature to become King of Israel, Emmanuil, there is a comic element. This is just a test. But the question has already been put forward and has been embedded in the order of the day and is standing in line in our modern life.

And what awesome, holy words there are for us here: “King of Israel, Son of David, He who is from the House of David, Who will sit on the throne of His Father David, and He Who has the obedience of all peoples for all time, Emmanuil”. From our youngest years, when the first considered impressions started filtering through to our consciousness, these names have become close, known, and infinitely dear to us, and we know well of Who they speak, on Whose cross “King of the Jews” was written, Who the people desirous of spiritual and physical healing turned to with the sacramental cry: “Son of David, have mercy on us”. We know Who Emmanuil is.

Have we made a mistake? Are all these titles not related to Him, but to someone else who is yet to come, who will come soon, as the honourable mr. Herzog and mr. Solnik say, as well as all the leading circles of Israel?

There is nothing unexpected to us here. We all knew this long ago. We knew that the entire glory, all actions, everything that has been completed by Him will be contested by him, the other that the holy Gospels tell us about: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive” [13].

The signs of this other that will come “instead of Christ” (in Greek, ‘instead of’ is expressed as anti-) are described in many places in the Scripture, mostly by the apostle Paul in his 11 messages to the Thessalonians and in the Apocalypse of Saint John the Evangelist. A less well-known description of the calls of the Antichrist is found in the Synaxarium in the week before the Great Fast, which should be read in all churches on the Sunday before Shrovetide, but is actually only read in but a few monasteries.

It is written: “The Antichrist cometh and is born”, as says the holy Hippolytus of Rome [14], “from a deplorable woman and self-styled virgin from the Jews of the tribe of Dan, and like he walks and passes his life in the way of Christ (i.e. he imitates Christ in his exterior appearance), and he will complete miracles, and very much like Christ will he act, and he will resurrect the dead. But he will do everything dreamingly (i.e. only in spirit, not in reality). And then there will open calamities in all strength and significance and false miracles. For it is not the devil himself who becomes flesh, but a man born from sin, who will accept all the works of Satan and suddenly stand. He appears good and shy to everyone. And there will be a great hunger. And he will satisfy the people. And he will learn the writing. And he will demand from the people and declare himself king. And he will greatly love the Jewish people, and he will go to Jerusalem and raise their temple there… This is how suddenly like lighting from heaven the coming of the Lord will be”.

For nearly two thousand years nearly all Christian generations read these lines, and although they immutably believed them, they still seemed far off, as if covering themselves in the farthest darkness of time. And all of this has now directly come to us, crashed down on us, become the order of the day.

Rejected and having rejected the path of God, Israel came to want to reach without God, alongside God, against God, by its own hand that what is fathers dreamed of, that wat was promised to Israel by God, what God would have given him if it followed the path marked by God, but what it wanted to reach on the contrary path: a worldly Kingdom of Israel, rule over all the peoples of earth, as the prophecy says: ” And the sons of strangers shall build up thy walls, and their kings shall minister unto thee: for in my wrath I smote thee, but in my favour have I had mercy on thee… The sons also of them that afflicted thee shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee, The city of the LORD, The Zion of the Holy One of Israel” [15]. All of this was promised to the children of Israel if only they kept to the path of the Lord, and they have gotten nearly all of this themselves while having rejected the Divine path. Before our very eyes, the strong (the strongest of this world) forgetting and leaving behind their hostility and competition rush to bow down to the new-born Israel.

How did Israel do this? In what way? Why?

Just by the strength and influence of world capital, which is inclined to them? Or the action of secret forces? Or by cultural and natural superiority over the other peoples? Or by some other, deeper ways?

Of course, Jewish capital, secret forces, and natural gifts play a role in this most import phenomenon of our time.

But this is not the main reason; instead, it is because the Christian peoples themselves have set out on the road of the old Israel and have come to internally resemble it.

What is the meaning of the Jewish tragedy?

In the fact that they could have become God’s tool for the salvation of the world and had all gifts for this, but did not want to.

What is the meaning of the modern apostasy of the current peoples?

It is the same meaning. They have gone the same way. Those called to the place of the old Israel, having to that end become the New Israel and the coryphaeus of all humanity, guiding it to Christianisation and salvation have rejected their calling and their election, and, in this way, have become internally Judeaised.

This is a complex and multiform process. Strictly speaking, it began immediately after the establishment of the Church by manifesting in every apostate of Christianity; for example, it appeared especially strongly in Julian Apostata, in whom we can very easily recognise the most characteristic traits of the modern man of state who fiercely hates and despises Christianity and who rallies in a toga of tolerance and apathy.

But this process took on special strength in the West in the era of the Renaissance (and for us from the time of Peter the Great), when, in its greed for bodily delights and unnaturality in everything, European humanity on the eve of its new great mission that was developed by earlier generations, on the eve of the discovery of lands on the other side of the ocean did not do its duty, but moved towards abandoned paganism and rejected Christ.

This process grew even stronger with the French Revolution and, finally, developed into an open rebellion against God and Christ in our revolution.

But there can be no return to paganism. Paganism is a stage that has been passed. The pagan did not now Christ, did not meet Him. But, having met Him, one must immediately either accept Him or reject Him.

And the peoples that reject Christ are internally becoming kin to the Jews, who also made this choice and rejected Christ two millennia ago.

And the Lord, Who “did not have mercy on natural branches”, does not, of course, create hypocrisy for the new peoples that have been called to replace Israel.

We see how before our eyes the primacy of the European peoples and their status as leaders of the race of Man is being taken away from them, when this position as a result of the betrayal of Christianity by the Europeans has lost its inner meaning.

The European peoples were called to replace Israel for Christianisation and spreading communion with Christ, because Israel did not want to lead people on the Divine path.

But, by changing betraying this duty and internally becoming similar to Israel, which had rejected Christ, the European peoples are really losing all their rights of whatever provision of guidance to the race of Man. By betraying Christ, they are entirely naturally coming under the leadership of that people, which has been given infinitely more gifts for the guidance of peoples*.

And this people, which has been called by the plan of God to become the leader of the saved peoples on their way to salvation instead becomes the leader of dying peoples on the path to ruin, which they started on by their own free will by having rejected Christ.

This is natural and inescapable. The attempts of the Germans to take the place of the Jews as leaders of the world were both comical and pitiful.

It is possible that those who understand the tragic fate of Israel better than anyone are we, Russians, for we have betrayed Israel in the fulfilment of the plan on our own plot of land and in securing the unspoiled purity of the Divine truth, i.e. Orthodoxy.

The other peoples were granted other gifts in this general Divine plan, some of them which Israel never had. The Roman people was a people of the building of state and judicial thought, the Greek people of philosophy. The Celtic and Germanic peoples have exclusive technical gifts. These are all talents that can be used in service to the Kingdom of God, but only peripherally, not essentially. These other peoples are all more skilled than us in this.

But, like old Israel, perhaps in a lesser degree than it but to a greater degree than all the other peoples, we, Russians, are gifted with the most important, most spiritual gift of the entire vision of God: the gift of heightened religiousness. We, like Israel, are an extraordinarily religious people. All our reactions are religious. Our patriotism is religious, we fall in love religiously, we think and feel religiously.

This is why our betrayal of God, like Israel’s betrayal, is accompanied by such a terrible tragedy, by endless suffering, by despair.

When other peoples betray their religious mission, they keep something neutral, while we, like Israel, remain with nothing except another form of religious service, a terrible one, a satanic one.

This is why we, like Israel, are a formidable people. We can be fully penetrated by God, and for this reason, like Israel, we can be fully penetrated by the adversary: by satanic powers.

This is why in the current times it is in Russia, which once was Holy Rus’, the grin of Satan is best visible.

This is why we share Israel’s fate: focusedly hated and reviled by the other peoples. We, like Israel, could save ourselves and the other peoples, and have betrayed this duty. They instinctively recognise this and our paying us with hatred and disgust. Truly, the hand of the Lord is on use and Israel.

It is interesting, that this hatred and contempt of the Jews (i.e. antisemitism, although, of course, this isn’t about the Semitic nature of the Jews; no one hates the other Semites, i.e. the Arabs and Assyrians) does not lessen, but even grows among the people who are losing Christianity and are practically under the control of Israel.

With full Christianisation antisemitism disappears. In our monasteries, for example, there was no antisemitism and it has never been strong among the clergy. Firstly, Christianisation removes the main, subconscious reason for hatred of the Jews: for a dying world sees in them, like in those who guide it on the road to ruin, those who are guilty of suffering and destruction and throws its share of the general guilt onto them, as the first people did during the Fall of Man, while the world that is saving itself has no reason to hate anyone. First, the Church, which soberly and reasonably looks at this big problem and understands it, never and not under any circumstances condoned antisemitism, and even though it is hunted to death by the Jews will not do so.

Antisemitism is not only just as sinful as any other form of hatred, but as hatred par excellence, to the highest degree. In this essay we are trying to show why the whole spectrum of human properties is embedded in the Jews, and why those who laugh of the ‘kikes’ and hate them can be told in a Gogolian way: “Who are you laughing at? You’re laughing at yourselves! Who do you hate? You hate yourselves!” [16].

But while it fully unconditionally condemns antisemitism, at the same time the Church fought and will continue to fight to the very end Judaism [17] and the Judiciasation of life, which, as we are trying to show, is ontologically related to a betrayal of Christ and with the rejection of the Divine plan for the salvation of mankind.

Others who are either confused or slander it sometimes try to present this battle as a kind of antisemitism. But the Church emphasises that this isn’t a battle of flesh and blood, but against the ancient enemy of God and man, against him who tries to use every man and every people against God.

The fundamental principle of the Christian struggle against Jewism was marked at the dawn of Christian history by saint Ignatius of Antioch (who was apparently a Jew himself, which is why, according to the teachings of the Church, he is the same child that Christ placed among the apostles and of whom he said: ” Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes Me” [18].

He writes: “Do not accept Judaism. If someone preaches the Jewish law to you, do not listen to him”. Further on, while explaining that this is not a question of personality and that there is no antisemitism here, he says: ” For it is better to hearken to Christian doctrine from a man who has been circumcised, than to Judaism from one uncircumcised. But if either of such persons do not speak concerning Jesus Christ, they are in my judgment but as monuments and sepulchres of the dead, upon which are written only the names of men. Flee therefore the wicked devices and snares of the prince of this world, lest at any time being conquered by his artifices, grow weak in your love” [19].

This is the main point of that struggle: to not cool one’s love. As long as the Christian heart hasn’t cooled, nothing foreign can nestle in it: when it has cooled, exterior things will inevitably come to stick to it, mainly the dirtying breath of a people that leads others to ruin.

Only the rebirth of the spiritual strength of the Christian peoples can be healing and salvation.

There is no other way.

And, by moving on this path, we save ourselves and we save them, the Jews.

For having become similar to Judaism by rejecting Christ, we, by finding a cure for this horrifying spiritual condition, will not just find it for ourselves, but for all branches of humanity that are infected with one common disease: apostasy.

But we need to clearly accept that the return to the road of salvation from ruin is a complex and difficult affair, more difficult and complex than the first conversion to Christ by the pagans. We can find confirmations of this in daily life.

From history we know how brightly, how irresistibly, how flamingly the pagan tribes accepted Christianity. Even today, such examples are encountered during missionary practice, although, strictly speaking, there are now no more peoples that are entirely uninvolved with Christianity. All over the world, at least the leading, main part of the peoples is already familiar with Christianity, has met Christ, and if they did not follow Him, they have entered into communion with the rejection of Him. This is why even among officially pagan peoples, cases of fiery communion with Christ have become even rarer than in antiquity.

There has never been such a tempestuous, fiery impulse towards Christ among the Jews, with the exception of the first years of Christianity, when, through the preaching of the apostles, that part of the Jews that did not refuse Christ turned to Christianity, the part, that like no other share of humanity of all earlier history was ready for the immediate acceptance of Christ. After this short, early period, conversion to Christianity from Judaism has remained and remains to this day a difficult, complex, and painstaking act, which is related to a great act of strength, suffering, labour, and pain. This was Saul’s conversion to apostle Paul. These are also the conversions of saint Epiphanius of Salamis, of Cyriacus of Jerusalem, of Constantine of Sinada, and of many others. All these conversions were a complex and difficult affair, but, having been crowned with success, they gave the Church great saints and guides.

The same can also fully be said of modern missionary work among peoples that count or counted themselves as Christians. Missionary work among them is linked to labour, great feats of faith, and diligence that are no less than amongst the Jews, internally because of the same reason.

A serious objection to this scheme of ours can consist of the only massive, tempestuous, and fiery move towards Christ of our time, which we find among the Russian people both at home and, during the war, in German captivity. Meanwhile, the Russian people, being, as we have pointed out, in the greatest sense of the word a religious people, should have been the least capable of returning to Christ after rejecting Him.

The thing is, that those among the Russian people who are guilty of betraying Christ in a significant manner were only the upper layers of society that weren’t our real ruling groups: between the upper layers and the people there existed a gap, and this is why our people is not fully responsible for the sin of its upper levels.

Modern power just tore our people away from Christ by way of brute force, and consequently, the most terrifying moment of apostasy was not present by a long way: a reluctance and refusal to follow the way of Christ. This element was only present when the upper layers of Russian intellectual society moved away from the Church. And we know very well and are convinced with every step, that missionary work for the re-Christianisation of the Russian intelligentsia is just as difficult, painstaking, and ineffective as missionary work in the West-European sphere. Because of this reason, the Russian intellectual surrenders to Christianity with the same difficulty as the Jew and European.

The Russian intelligentsia, the West-European climate, and the Jewish sphere are, internally speaking, the same phenomenon. And the entire hope for saving the world from the abyss developing before us and from the intolerable pain they suffer from lies in the Christianisation of that sphere, in ungrateful, torturously slow, and painstaking work to preach Christ among the people who have already rejected Him once: that is, among the Jews, Europeans, and Russian intelligentsia.

Does this work have any chance of succeeding? Can we hope for its success? Is a return to Christ after having betrayed Him possible at all?

Nothing is impossible for God. Daily experience teaches us that returning to Christ after betraying Him is possible. For if this was impossible, almost no one could be saved. For every sin is a betrayal of Christ and is only different from modern apostasy in quantity: it is shorter and less stubborn. And every one of us can confess to God with endless gratefulness and feel, how easy, how simply, how, without leaving a trace, our Kind Lord washes our sins from us. ” Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool” [20].

Here it is important to note, that the ancient prophet is speaking to Israel, and through it to all humanity.

Clear evidence of how deep our hope for the coming of old Israel to Christ (and subsequently for the resurrection of mankind) can be found in the words of the apostle Paul, which, after everything that has been said here, come in a very timely fashion, as much of what has been said in this article is inspired by that text of the holy apostle.

“I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in, and in this way all Israel will be saved. As it is written: “The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob”” [21].

Of course, the extended meaning of these words is not fully clear to us. It is now that we have too little information to believe in the coming of Christ and the salvation of Israel. Overcome by pride because of what it has achieved with its own forces against God (that is, global rule), it seems like Israel is least of all considering repentance and reconciliation with Christ. On the contrary, it inspires and guides the storming of Christian fortresses.

But who knows the inner man except for He who has created him? Having reached the desired Kingdom of Israel, will Israel, which holds a soul that is meant for communion with God, be able to content itself with the philistinism of the building of a worldly government? Will it not dart away from this mirage that opens itself before it and devours its past towards the Holy Israel that it has abandoned? For it is impossible to seriously chose between Christ and Solnik, between the images of the Kingdom that were drawn by the prophets and the Israeli government of mr. Weizmann, Herzog, and others, even if the leaders of all other countries would obey them. For the devil is always vulgar, however he might try to prove otherwise or craft something great and beautiful from himself.

In any case, we know one thing very well: however the rebirth of the world and the spiritual strength of humanity might start, from the bosom of Israel or from the depths of the Christian countries, this rebirth will be shared by both of them. The world has already inwardly merged. It already lives by the same thoughts, the same fears, and the same problems. We, the banished Russians that are scattered all over the world, feel especially strongly that the world has merged into one and feel a fear that is common to all humanity, one that is linked to our country and its tragedy. This fear links humanity both horizontally (from pole to pole) and vertically (all layers of the population), for the lives of all depend on one or the other outcome of coming events.

This merging into one of all humanity should reach full strength in order for that final division of the centuries should become clearer, which is even now clearly noted: for Christ and against Christ, of those who save themselves and those who fall. This last division will not be related to any national or social loyalty: ” Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left” [22].

And among the saved there will be: “Of the tribe of Juda were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. And a great multitude of man that no one could count of all tribes and peoples stood before the throne and before the Lamb in white robes and with palm leaves in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb” [23].

* According to the plan of God, Israel was supposed to lead peoples to Christ, and all other peoples were to follow Israel on this path in roughly the same way, that our Russian people followed the Greeks to the Church of Christ, how the European peoples followed Rome, how the pagans followed Irish missionaries, and how the Europeans were followed by the peoples of Asia, Africa, America, and Australia.

But this position of guidance of people does not, of course, means rule over them. Apostle Peter warns: “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” [24]. Christian missionaries served the peoples that they were enlightening by the faith. Colonial rule over enlightened peoples is a monstrous phenomenon that developed in the times when the Europeans started to betray their high calling more and more.

But guiding peoples on the road to destruction, their Antichristianisation, will, of course, be related to their enslavement. The Lord rules people in no other way than freely, for He wants them to come to Him from their own free will. This is why the process of coming to him should be free. The devil, however, want to enslave, and this is why the process of going to the devil is related to coercion and enslavement.

Translator’s notes:

[1]: Vasily Vasilievich Rozanov (1856 – 1919) was a Russian philosopher, known for his unorthodox union of Christianity with a philosophy of sexual activity and eroticism. Although he is sometimes considered to be an anti-Semite, Rozanov himself rejected such allegations.
[2]: The reference is to Henry Ford (1863 – 1947), American captain of industry and automobile magnate. He wrote a violently anti-Semitic book called The International Jew and promoted the Protocols of the Elder of Zion in the media.
[3]: Ode 6 of the Great Canon of Saint Andrew of Crete.
[4]: Aleksey Stepanovich Khomyakov (1804 – 1860) was one of the founders of the Slavophilic movement and was also an able Orthodox theologian. The (somewhat shoddy) translation of the poem is mine.
[5]: Luke 17:21. All Bible translations have either been sourced from the New International Version or the King James Bible. As the most reverend archbishop has seen fit to sometimes abridge the text somewhat, I have in certain places been forced to amend the translations.
[6]: Matthew 6:33.
[7]: The Russian word used here, подвиг, has no direct translation to English and can mean ‘feat’, ‘great act of faith’, or ‘supreme achievement’. I have sometimes translated it to its direct meaning and sometimes as ‘mission’.
[8]: Matthew 27:25.
[9]: Psalm 82:6.
[10]: Deuteronomy 26:68.
[11]: The Russian word used here, жид, is an older name for a person of the Jewish faith. Now, however, it is highly offensive and is the Russian equivalent of the English ‘kike’. The most reverend archbishop uses it here in order to invoke a feeling of sorrow for the lamentable position of the Jews in medieval Europe in contrast to their improved position nowadays, for which he would have used the word еврей.
[12]: These are two royal lines: the Riurikovichi are descendants of Riurik, the founder of Kiev Rus’, while the Gedeminovichi are descendants of Gedeminas, a Lithuanian king who transformed his land into a great power which later merged with Poland.
[13]: John 5:43.
[14]: Hippolytus of Rome (170 – 235) was an early Church martyr who came into conflict with the Bishop of Rome. However, he was reconciled with the Church when he was martyred after being sentenced to harsh labour by Emperor Maximinus Thrax.
[15]: Isaiah 60:10.
[16]: Lines from Nikolai Gogol’s play The Government Inspector, which can be found here.
[17]: The most reverend archbishop here uses the term Иудейство, which can be translated as ‘Judaism’. However, the main stress is on the past and present behaviour of the Jews, not the entire religion and the Jews as an ethnic group.
[18]: Mark 9:37.
[19]: Epistle to the Philadelphians 6.
[20]: Isaiah 1:16-18.
[21]: Romans 11:13-26.
[22]: Matthew 24:40.
[23]: Revelation 7:5-10.
[24]: 1 Peter 5:2.

Translated from the Russian by Edvin Buday.

Source: http://www.eshatologia.org/310-hrisianstvo-i-iudeistvo.html

——-

Архиепископ Нафанаил (Львов)

Archbishop Nathanael (Lvov)

Archbishop Nathanail (before his elevation: Vasily Vladmiriovich Lvov) was born on the 30th of August in Moscow. When he was thirteen years old he became the oldest man in his family [1], which fled the Red Army from Tomsk to Manchuria (China). There, he finished the Harbin High School (1922), worked as a labourer on the Eastern China railroad (1922-1929), studied theology in the Saint Vladimir Institute (1928-1931), and was the cell-attendant and secretary of the Kamchatkan missionary and archbishop Nestor (Anisimov).

In 1929 he became a monk and received the name of Nathanail, after which he was made a hieromonk. He worked as a catechetist in a children’s shelter at the Harbin Almshouse. From 1935 to 1936, the future archbishop undertook missionary work in the state of Kerala in Southern India. From 1937 to 1939 he was the leader of the Orthodox mission in Sri Lanka. On his return to Harbin, he was elevated to the station of archimandrite, and in 1939 he entered the Brotherhood of Saint Job of Pochaiv in Ladomirova in the Carpathian Mountains (Slovakia) where he also was the helper of the monastery’s abbot.

In 1945, he was in charge of the Resurrection Cathedral in Berlin. During the Second World War, father Nathanail actively participated in the spiritual work of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) on USSR territory that was occupied by the Germans. Near the end of the war, he took part in the saving of so-called ‘displaced persons’, i.e. Soviet citizens who had voluntarily left communism with the Germans. In accordance with the Treaty of Yalta that was signed by Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill in February 1945, all these persons were supposed to return to the USSR (in case of their refusal by force), where in a best-case scenario they would be sent to a special settlement, and in a worst-case scenario to their deaths or to the GULAG (which would also mean death). To Stalin, they, like prisoners of war and other Soviet citizens that had seen the West, they were “traitors to the motherland”. Many of them were ardent anti-communists and did not want to return. Archimandrite Nafanail did not have to fear extradition, because he had never been a citizen of the USSR. But he went to an English colonel who was overseeing the extraditions (this took place in the English zone in Berlin) and said, that all 600 displaced persons who were located in a camp close to Hamburg were actually Polish citizens.

In 1946, metropolitan Anastasi (Gribanovsky) elevated archimandrite Nathanail to the rank of bishop, and the ROCOR Hierarchical Synod gave him the position of bishop of Brussels and Western Europe.

After 1951, the reverend Nathanail headed the bishopric of North Africa from Tunis. According to some sources, around four thousand Russians were living in the region at the time. On the 11th of October 1953 he completed the foundation of a church.

From 1954 onward, the reverend father presided over the Orthodox parishes in Mannheim and Berlin. In 1966 he was made the abbot of the monastery of Saint Job in Munich.

From 1971 onward, he temporarily oversaw the bishopric of Austria, and in 1976 he became the bishop of Vienna and Austria. In 1981, he was elevated to the position of archbishop.

He served heartfeltly. His voice was clean and clear, and all who visited one of his services felt the height and beauty of his masses. During Easter, his happiness about the resurrected Christ was so great that it beamed out to all those present. Every parishioner felt that the most reverend father’s exclamation of “Christ is risen!” was directed at him or herself.

The most reverend father Nathanail was especially famous as an excellent preacher. Through his short conversations he opened hearts and led many to Christ the Saviour. He had wide knowledge of various areas of human thought, especially the theology, philosophy, and literature of Russia and the world. He was the author of many articles that were published in different journals of the Russian emigration, as well as many biographies in his “Lives of the Saints”, which were published by the Munich monastery.

He was the editor of the “Orthodox Voice” in Manchuria (1934-1937), “Orthodox Rus’” in the Carpathians (1939-1945), the journal “Youth in Christ” (1939-1944), “Orthodox Digests” in Paris (1947-1949), “Voice of the Church” in Germany, (1955-1964), and “Messenger of the Orthodox Cause”, also in Germany (1959-1963). He was the author of many articles in the journals “Heavenly Bread”, “Frontier”, and “Gun-bao” (Harbin), as well as in various European and American publications. He was also published under the pseudonym A Nelskiy.

On the day of the holy martyr Demetrios of Thessaloniki, Saturday 8 November 1986, the most reverend archbishop Nathanail peacefully passed away after a long sickness in the monastery of Saint Job in Munich.

Source: http://www.eshatologia.org/309-arhiepiskop-nafanail-lvov.html

Translated from the Russian by Edvin Buday.

[1]: the most reverend archbishop’s father, Vladimir Nikolaevich Lvov, was a scion of the ancient and noble Lvov family. From the third of March until the twenty-fourth of June 1917 he was oberprocurator of the Holy Synod, i.e. an ersatz minister of religion and the Orthodox Church. After the collapse of the White Armies, he busied himself with the affairs of the Orthodox Church in Tomsk until he was arrested in 1927. He died of a heart attack in the Tomsk prison hospital in 1930.

Archbishop Nathaniel 1906-1986

Russia heeds ‘the Inner Voice of Conscience’–Patriarch Kirill

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Several days ago I posted a video of an interview with Patriarch Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church conducted over Russian TV. The interview aired live on January 7–Russian Orthodox Christmas Day. What I posted was only a four and a half minute segment that had been translated into English–this of an interview which ran on for more than half and hour–but in that segment Kirill expressed the view that “evil is not viable,” and that “systems where the evil is dominant cannot survive.”

“If evil drives away good from human society, then the end will come,” he added.

The video I am posting above is an additional segment from the same interview and that has now also been translated into English. In it Kirill talks about how Russia “is a country which pays heed to the inner voice of conscience.”

Russian Patriarch Discusses Good, Evil, and the End-Times

The feature image that Russia Today selected when i uploaded this video is quite cheesy, but the comments by Russian Patriarch Kirill are actually quite powerful and relevant.

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