Return to Home Page


If you examine all the errors of the West, whether in its doctrines or in its moral values, then you will see that they are all rooted in the failure to understand that Christianity is the ascetic feat of gradual human self-perfection.

Metropolitan Antony of Kiev (+1936)


The world's unwisdom brings Death.

John Masefield, The Bluebells, P.121

Although what follows is written about post-Christian English society, most of it is true of all modern Western societies. It is also therefore partly true of all Westernised societies.

However, the process of the decomposition of Heterodoxy is particularly advanced in Protestant societies, more so than in the somewhat more resistant Roman Catholic societies. Thus the process of spiritual decomposition is particularly advanced in a mainly Protestant nation like England, although in some respects it could be argued that in parts of Protestant Scandinavia, Germany, Holland and the United States, the process is even more advanced.

Throughout this article we use the term 'the Church' to indicate the Orthodox Church and the term 'Heterodoxy' to mean the Non-Orthodoxy of Roman Catholicism and the Protestant denominations, which include Anglicanism.


And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Matt. 3,10

From a spiritual point of view, the most striking thing about modern English society is the absence of living faith in the Holy Trinity, the loss of the Holy Spirit. This nation is today very largely a spiritual desert, a bankrupt, spiritual wasteland. God has become almost invisible in modern England. Indeed, having lost faith, 'the death of God' was proclaimed as long ago as the 1960s. Today probably only about 1% of English people actually believe in and practise a form of Christianity which is recognisable as such to Orthodox Christians.

This does not mean to say that English society is irreligious or has a religious vacuum. As it is said, 'Nature abhors a vacuum'. Modern English society is in fact 'religious', but its brave new religion is humanism, the worship of humanity. Once God has been dismissed, man remains. Humanism, essentially a materialistic worldliness, is in fact often known by an alternative name which means the worship of the world - secularism. And secularism, or worldliness, has always been the enemy of Orthodox Christianity and the Church, as the Apostle John the Divine long ago proclaimed.

The brave new religion of humanism, the worship of humanity, is the idealisation and idolisation, or deification, of the human race and its achievements, including therefore all its sins. Paradoxically, humanism developed particularly swiftly at a time of mass murderers, human-beings like Stalin, Mao Tse-Tung, Hitler and Pol Pot. Humanism attributes to humanity 'rights' and 'dignity', advocating the 'sacredness of human life', implying also therefore the sacredness of its sins.

The name 'humanism' is then a contradictory and inappropriate one. Orthodox Christians would on the contrary assert that the only true humanism is Christianity, which is centred on the divine and human natures of the Person of Christ. To call the worship of fallen humanity, with all its demon-inspired sinfulness 'humanism', is not only a deformation, but also a slander and a lie. Humanism is anti-human, as can be seen in the lives of the above humanist tyrants. To declare that God is dead is in fact tantamount to declaring that humanity is dead.

Be that as it may, humanism is in itself dangerously popular, because it is the religion of self-worship. Bowing down before humanity, it preaches the obvious attractions of self-exaltation, self-interest, self-flattery and self-indulgence, materialistically glorifying the visible parts of the human-being, the human body and mind. Its essentially illusory self-flattery is the secret of its success. The humanist lives and moves inside the bubble of the self, of egoism. Full of human vanity, humanism extols self-worth and praises self-esteem.

Humanism promotes overweening self-confidence and over-esteem, encouraging pleasure and leisure. Centred on the human race, it is therefore one-dimensional in its understanding of man and the whole universe. It says that man is worthy, whereas in reality he is thrice-wretched, with the potential to become worthy but only through the grace of God. That God died for our sins is astonishing. That humanism denies that we have any sins is perhaps even more astonishing.


A faith without miracles is no more than a philosophical system; and a Church without miracles is no more than a welfare organisation like the Red Cross

St Nicholas of Ochrid (+1956)

It is the Orthodox Christian belief that a heresy such as humanism cannot have originated in the Church, for the Church is the Body of Christ, operating infallibly through the Holy Spirit. Humanism must therefore have originated outside the Church in a loss of the Holy Spirit, in a degenerate teaching or heresy of an offshoot of the Church.

Humanism first appeared in the context of Roman Catholicism, a novel degeneration of Orthodoxy born in the mid-eleventh century. Since humanism first clearly arose at the very end of the eleventh century, it seems clear to us that the origin of humanism is in the filioque, the heresy which lies at the root of Heterodoxy.

The Church proclaims that the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, originates from God the Father and can pass through sinless human nature, as the Spirit did through the sinless human nature of Christ, for example at the Transfiguration. On the other hand, the filioque proclaims that the Holy Spirit originates from the Son of God Who has become man. This clearly implies the anti-spiritual statement that potentially the Holy Spirit can therefore originate from any representative of Christ, that is, potentially it can originate even from sinful human nature.

This is the implication of the claim by those with the office of Pope of Rome that they replace Christ, that they are 'Vicars of Christ', that the Holy Spirit and therefore spiritual authority originates from them, that they are infallible. Such a claim implies that, independently of whether individuals are spiritual or possess sacred personal qualities, that is that they are holy, they can be infallible, faultless, they can speak with the authority of the Holy Spirit, with the mind of God.

If you remove the concept that holiness, apartness from the world, the acquisition of the Holy Spirit, are essential to speak with the mind of God, religion becomes a mere secular institution, an institution of this world. For if the infallible authority of the Holy Spirit is automatically inherited by people without holiness, through a mere function or office, then religious belief and practice become irrelevant. Human nature, is thus swollen and exalts itself with unmerited authority and importance, it is deified.
This can be seen in the self-exaltation of the 'mystics' of the Middle Ages.

It was a historic sequence of steps over some five hundred years from this loss of the Holy Spirit, from this despiritualised Roman Catholic proposition of the filioque, initially strictly limited to the Papacy, to another proposition. This was the much less restrictive and democratic Protestant proposition that any human-being can speak with the authority of the Holy Spirit, interpret the Scriptures and know the Truth, simply though confessing faith in Christ. Protestantism is anti-Papist, although, or perhaps because, in Protestantism everyone is a Pope. The Protestant proposition means that any unspiritual human-being can exalt themselves and claim to be inspired to interpret the Scriptures correctly, independent of spirituality.

This Brave New World (to use Shakespeare's expression of the time) explains how Protestantism became a mere set of moral propositions, once the real and not imagined Holy Spirit and spirituality were taken out of religion. Religion therefore became an institution of this world, morality was the only active part of 'religion' left. In Protestantism the concept that morality is the result of spirituality is therefore lost. For it, spirituality is morality.

This can be seen in Protestantism by its idolising of the Law of the Ten Commandments of the Old Testament into which it fell back. The Ten Commandments were placed in the east ends of Protestant churches, over the altars, where in Orthodox churches is often painted the icon of Christ. The aim of Protestantism became merely the production of 'law-abiding' citizens for the State to control.

The Protestant concentration on ethics and interpretive opinion, to the exclusion of spirituality, leads to something else too. For if the Christian religion is mere moral opinion, then there is no need for a God at all. It was indeed another historic sequence of steps over some five hundred years from Protestant ethicism to saying that all human-beings are in some sense infallible - for anyone can form a moral opinion. This process came to a culmination in the 1960s. The religion of secular humanism, the fag-end of modern Protestantism, was born not by generation, but by a step by step process of degeneration which took nearly a thousand years to fulfil: Roman Catholicism; Protestantism; Humanism

Today institutionalised Heterodoxy is rejected by the masses. Roman Catholicism is but a disputed authority, much discredited by its clergy scandals. As regards Protestantism, it has run its historical course. The English offspring of Protestantism, the Church of England, appears to be a half-rejected digest of diluted Calvinism, founded by a homicidal serial adulterer.

Having long ago lost its appeal to those outside the middle-classes, the Church of England is not comprehensive, it is merely incoherent, 'all things to all men'. It has largely become anything to any men and no thing to no men. Run by committees, the Church of England has little authority or charisma. Its constant search for compromise, for the middle way, for 'tolerance', its constant fudges, its 'niceness', largely exclude the concept of Absolute Truth.

In fact, its fudges are signs of resistance to Truth, searches for compromise. On the contrary, controversy and division, not compromises, have always been signs of vitality in Church life, signs of the search for Truth. The great Church Councils came about out of controversy. An organisation which fudges is one which does not want to live by the Truth. Present Church of England values appear to be merely the promotion of Establishment liberal bourgeois notions of 'decency' and 'respectability'. Indeed, its present Archbishop appears to take many of his views from the liberal middle-class Guardian newspaper.

At best, large parts of Heterodoxy are now an authorityless debating society - without authority because without spirituality. Its ministers appear to have turned into amateur social workers, who busy themselves with the material and mental welfare of their clients. At worst, however, Heterodoxy appears to be a spiritual vacuum, a form of Christianity which is religionless, because it is Churchless. For without the Church, the Body of Christ, there is no Holy Spirit, no life in Christ, no knowledge of Christ, no authentic Christianity, no spiritual and therefore no moral authority. Heterodoxy appears only to have ideas about Christ, no direct experiential knowledge of Him. As one Anglican cleric asked me thirty years ago, when I was making these same points: 'But what is the Holy Spirit?' It appeared that he really did not know.

The agenda of modern Heterodoxy appears to be set by the world and its humanist ideology of social 'progressiveness'. Thus Heterodoxy merely reflects the world, instead of leading it upwards. Spiritually empty, it is no longer in control of the agenda, it merely reacts to what is predetermined. Without its own authority, it recognises only the authority of those 'opinion-makers', who manipulate and condition the masses with their secularist political correctness through television and the other mass media.

This thousand-year long process of degeneration of the West from the Church to the brave new religion of humanism, now very advanced, has been the inevitable result of the self-inflicted self-mutilation of Heterodoxy. This has come about through the acceptance of all the long-term implications of the filioque, the deification of human nature without God, without the Holy Spirit. Spiritual bankruptcy has resulted in secular humanism. This degeneration is the result of Heterodoxy's failure to first identify and then exclude its own essence, its original error, the filioque. Once this failure had taken place, the loss of the Holy Spirit and the consequent loss of faith and the logical development of secular humanism were inevitable. Albeit, after a long passage of time.

As a result, Heterodoxy today has little distinctive or religious to say to the world, for it mouths what the world already says. In the absence of the Holy Spirit, it is unable to provide spiritual food, it even imitates the architecture of the world and its modern churches are reflections of worldly architecture. As regards sin and hell, it proclaims, like the world, that everybody will be saved. We have in our times seen the reinstatement of the heresy of Origen and its deification by humanists of all backgrounds.

The adoption of humanism by the Heterodox denominations has had several results, mainly since the 1960s. All religions, or 'faith communities', are now considered to be equal, regardless of Truth. Syncretism, known as ecumenism, has taken hold. But ecumenism is in fact secularism, a merger with the world. Being outside the Church, Heterodoxy can have no doctrine or even concept of 'The Church' and therefore its merger with the world is inevitable.

Liturgically, this humanism has insisted on the removal from Heterodox worship of the surviving sense of the sacred, the vestigial sense of mystery and awe, for today humanism proclaims that only human life is 'sacred'. This can be seen, for instance, in the humanist abolition of 'old-fashioned' liturgical language or the reading aloud of secret prayers. Without the sense of the sacred, Heterodox centres of worship are thus conveniently turned into concert halls and secular clubs.

The greatest symbol of this removal of the sacred is the turning around of altars and clergy since the 1960s. In this way, instead of facing God, ministers now face congregations. These ministers have literally turned their backs on God. Human need is placed above divine service. The worthy Act of God (worship) is ignored for the unworthy acts of man. Heterodoxy seems to have forgotten long ago that the Church is about the Son of God and the salvation of the soul, not about fallen man's smug self-satisfaction and self-exaltation.

The aim of humanist worship is to develop aesthetic sensation, 'the feel-good factor', the exalting 'I'm saved' feeling. This 'charismatic' movement is but a repeat performance of the delusions of nineteenth-century evangelical revivalism and emotionalism. This can be seen in 'happy-clappy' churches, the churches of 'therapy', the only 'successful' and full Protestant churches today. However, they have no lasting impact or long-term value, with their huge turnover of superficial believers.

Today Heterodox religious belief, reflecting the secular world, has been individualised and privatised. It reflects consumer choice. Any individual can pick and mix from the supermarket menu of religion. Religion is customised for its customers. People 'shop around' as a therapy for the most convenient religion, regardless of Truth. 'Worship committees' devise new 'styles of worship', new forms of emotional self-satisfaction. Worship is just another recreational activity, a leisure time occupation, an empty shell, because without the Absolute Revelation of the Holy Spirit, worship has no authority, it is hollow. You can make up your own religion based on secular, humanist ethics - after all religion is only a 'lifestyle choice'.

As a result of this long process of degeneration, modern Heterodoxy faces a meltdown, for it has come to profess secular ideals, those of spiritual barbarism, of hell. In hell people are prisoners of their sins. And that is the definition of humanist society - one in which people do not even realise that they are prisoners of their own smug sinfulness, self-interest, self-indulgence and self-satisfaction.


All social and intellectual changes are dependent on the existence of a spiritual force without which they would not have been.

Christopher Dawson,
Religion and the Rise of Western Culture

Humanism has almost completely replaced Heterodox Christianity. The following Christian dogmas have been usurped and replaced:

The worship of the One God has been replaced with the worship of humanity, the one human race. Belief in the Holy Trinity has been replaced by anti-racist belief. Humanism, after all, is the worship of the human race in its unity in diversity. Racism is therefore similar to disbelief in the Holy Trinity, for racism expresses disbelief in the human race.

The belief in the Virgin Birth has been replaced by the belief that humanity is above sin and has sacred qualities.

The belief in the two natures of Christ, the divine and the human, has been replaced by anti-sexist belief. This is the belief that male and female are two completely equal parts of humanity, identical in all ways.

The belief in the Resurrection of Christ has been replaced by the belief in constant social progress, the upward movement of humanity.

The saints have been replaced by a host of 'celebrities', television 'personalities', film, 'soap' and pop 'stars', sports 'personalities' and others. The details of their 'Lives' are ardently studied, discussed and even fictionalised in numerous publications and broadcasts. These celebrities especially love giving each other celebrations, awards and prizes in the forms of strangely-sculpted idols. People name their children in honour of these contemporary 'saints', whose main 'contribution' to humanity appears to be an increase in the use of foul language and aggressive behaviour and the practices of alcoholism, drug-taking, fornication, adultery and homosexuality. They then wonder why their children are so badly behaved.

The Kingdom of Heaven has been replaced by the offers of various political parties to develop an all-powerful and all-saving government system, the 'nanny-State'. Their aim is to promote human 'welfare', to meddle and busybody like old-fashioned Lutherans in privacy and personal life, to control individuals as far as possible, while maintaining the illusion of 'freedom' and 'democracy'. Thus these illiberals will introduce compulsory identity cards with biometric data - in the name of liberty.

Such politicians have at their disposal large budgets to manipulate the masses. With these budgets they implement the social propaganda of their coming 'heavenly kingdom' of humanism and secularism through their 'spin'. Thus conditioned by State propaganda, people live with the illusion that they are thinking for themselves. Our political 'Saviours' struggle to revive 'communities', but only because in this way they can save money by cutting spending and exercise even more political control.

The leaders of political parties take on the role of Messiahs who operate miracles through 'social engineering'. Neo-puritans like 'St Margaret' (Thatcher), revering the mass-murderer Cromwell, based her philosophy on the self-help ethics of Protestantism. The greatest sin, she said, was 'inflation'. Another neo-Puritan, 'St Tony' Blair preaches as a neo-Puritan and mounts 'pious' Crusades against non-humanist countries and systems, deluded by his own sincere illusions that he is saving the world when in fact thousands die because of his actions. He is largely supported by the ethics of Scottish Calvinism.

The belief in forgiveness has been replaced by the doctrine of equality, which automatically elevates us so that we no longer need forgiveness. This can be seen in the campaigns to relieve Third World Debt. However justified this may be, in itself it actually encourages irresponsibility. There are no longer any sheep or goats: all are forgiven, all are equal.

This doctrine of equality, which proclaims that however different we are, we are still equal, leads to the abolition of excellence and the introduction of mediocrity. The State invest large amounts of money on imposing its egalitarian mediocrity through its social propaganda and the 'educational' system, the egalitarian hell of which appears to reduce as many as possible to a state of cretinism, through reduction to the lowest common denominator. The devaluation of Education, chanted to the Leninist mantra of 'Education, Education, Education', has ensured the appearance of semi-literate University graduates. The ruling elite, of course, make sure that they are not part of this.

The belief in miracles has been replaced by the hope placed in medical technology. Hospitals have become the monastic centres of modern times, where doctors (saints) and nurses (angels) 'save' lives, i.e. delay death. The greatest humanist saints of tomorrow labour in these 'monasteries' and their laboratories of medical research. Without the concept of sin, these 'saints' work on the 'salvation' of humanity. Thus geneticists will by genetic manipulation solve the flawed inheritance of human nature and grant us long, semi-eternal, life. As for general practitioners and psychologists, they and their surgeries have become parish priests, to whom people go for healing and confession.

Humanism believes in the sacrament of good health, the welfare system (often, in reality, 'illfare'), into which English people are born, live and are buried, 'from the cradle to the grave'. This system promotes our bodily and mental welfare, so essential to soulless humanism. People are maintained by Social Security and the National Health Service, the perfection of which is their Holy Grail.

This is why some of the most popular television programmes are situated in hospitals. Here dramas are played out in the struggle against the terrible enemy of humanism, death. Thus a great struggle goes on against the costly practice of smoking, which leads to premature death. Those who work against the sacredness of human life by indulging in the evil of smoking are made to feel guilty, 'named and shamed'.

Prayer has been replaced by non-Christian meditation. Fasting has been replaced by a slimming and dieting industry with fads which aim to increase physical beauty. Many of these fads have in reality actually led to self-mutilation, for instance, through cosmetic surgery and death through anorexia. Almsgiving and acts of mercy have been replaced by tax-free gifts to 'the charity industry', where one can foster one's 'image' and promote public relations.

Communion is now taken in the 'aisles' of other modern cathedrals, the supermarkets, where they 'consume' the bread and wine of modernity through 'healthy' foods which they freely choose. Here the cult of the body is fostered. This is reinforced by countless television programmes and magazines about cookery and wine with the cult of cooks and gourmets and their 'holy' writings, best-selling recipes, which in fact induce greed and so obesity. None of these of course ever speaks of the sin of greed, or the spiritual causes or consequences of greed and obesity.

The cult of the human body is reinforced in sport. The Olympic Games, Athletics Meetings and Football Cups are multi-billion pound events. To ordinary people, this artificially created need is met through sports centres, swimming-pools, gymnasiums and fitness clubs in another multi-billion pound spin-off.

The cult of the importance of physical comfort is furthered by another huge industry, that of 'D.I.Y' chains., with countless television series about home improvements to make people more 'comfortable', again inflating the bubble of 'self-expression', of human egoism. Humanism is always based on emotional self-satisfaction, self-indulgence, self-exploration, self-enrichment, self-exaltation. Always the smug self.

The hope of salvation has been replaced by the desire to eliminate all bodily and mental suffering, promoting the cult of pleasure. The development of a leisure society and the reduction of all human activities to 'self-fulfilling' and 'self-enriching' hobbies and pursuits. After all, the Protestant U.S. Constitution states that the pursuit of 'happiness' is an essential human right. You can do anything, 'as long as it makes you happy'.

Thus we see the development of the entertainment society and the 'entertainment industry', the pleasure culture. For those who cannot lull themselves into insensibility through television, the media, entertainment, holidays, tourism and alcohol, there are always the other drugs which the State does not officially allow, but which are everywhere available. Pleasure must be our aim - even if it kills us.

Precisely because it idolises pleasure, humanism denies that God exists: for if God existed, He would not allow pleasure-denying suffering. This particular piece of human vanity and self-worship fails to see that in reality we suffer because we sin. Denying that we sin, the self-flattering illusion of humanism therefore fails to understand that we deserve to suffer. The elimination of suffering through pain-killers deprives humanity of the possibility of perceiving reality through Providential suffering and so bringing it to repentance for sin. Yet, paradoxically, people suffer more now because the expectation of suffering and death is taken away from them, and living in a bubble of unreality, when reality does finally come, they find it unbearable.

The 'spirituality' of humanism regarding death is extravagantly sentimental, with its cuddly toys and 'floral tributes', as was seen most clearly at the funeral of Princess Diana. Its funerals are prayerless 'celebrations of life'. The 'thanksgiving for the life' of the deceased does not pray for the departed, it concentrates on 'bereavement therapy', 'grief counselling', with platitudes unworthy of children. Such secular funerals are in fact celebrations of human weakness.

This is reflected in the humanist attitude towards animals, which are seen as extensions of human-beings. We find the same sickly sentimentalism here because since humanism believes that we have no souls, animals therefore are equivalent to human-beings. The cult of fluffy animals and cartoon characters is therefore admissible. The worship of pets, the practices of dressing them up and buying them luxury foods and presents is now commonplace. Animal slaughter for meatfor non-vegetarians is naturally hidden away in abbatoirs. How strange that this animal sentimentalism is not extended towards all animate beings, for example, to killer bees or the AIDS virus.

The brave new religion of humanism has many taboo words. These include:

Repentance, judgement, redemption.
Fornication, adultery.
Hell, evil, the devil, demons.

Sin was replaced in the 1960s with the belief that all human failings are the result of social ills. ('Society's to blame'). At present the blame has been shifted to 'the world'. Humanism asserts that sin does not exist, that failings are never the fault of individual human-beings, for humanity is above sin and failings are never its responsibility. Failings are always the faults of systems exterior to humanity. As a result the 'moaning society' has been created. It is a faithless, ex-Protestant society in which people still constantly protest against systems, against faults outside themselves and beyond their control. The words 'bellyache', 'whinge', 'whine', 'gripe', 'grumble' 'complain', 'fret', 'fuss', 'protest', 'lobby', criticise', 'nitpick', hairsplit' and countless synonyms are now in vogue. This is a society of neurosis and neurotics.

Since there are no sins, for humanity is above them, there can be no repentance or need for it, no judgement or need for redemption. Instead, there is massive guilt, which feeds industries of psychologists, counsellors, therapists and mental health experts.

As regards sexual sin, fornication and adultery, these are 'natural', there are only 'lifestyle choices'. Cures for sexually transmitted disease will solve all problems of sexual conduct.

Regarding hell, all will be saved, therefore hell cannot exist, with its 'mythical' evil, devil and demons. In reality, however, this is a society which, having denied hell in the beyond, has created hell in its midst. Hell is here in the prisons full to overflowing with sadistic murderers and pedophiles. Hell is here in the mental hospitals with their schizophrenic and paranoid cannabis-takers and suicides. Hell is here in the hospitals with their 200,000 murders ('abortions') a year, the hospitals where in the next ward, the elderly are artificially kept alive against their own wills. All of them are conveniently hidden from humanist daily life.

Religious heresy does not exist either. All opinions are submitted to humanism. Instead of saying that all religions have a partial and fragmentary knowledge of God but that the Church alone has at its disposal the whole Truth, the views of humanism with regard to other religions are reductionist, relativist and syncretistic.

Having rejected the unique miracle and unique revelation of the Incarnation of the Son of God, there are no longer any Absolutes and any Revelation. Humanism asserts that 'everything is relative'. Revealed Truth cannot exist, because it would imply the miraculous and the existence of a Divine Revealer dwelling beyond time and space - quite unacceptable to humanism. All miracles are therefore merely 'symbolic' and all 'traditional' religions are equal, inasmuch as they are mere relics or 'symbols' of primitive societies and their folklore. The language of humanism is the coded language of political correctness, a language which has no regard for the Truth - which is an Absolute and therefore is banned.


Those whose duty as members of (the Body of the Lord) is to preserve the purity and authenticity of His truth are as faithful as they have ever been. They need to direct their mission to the Christian remnant in England, for there is work to be done'.

Very Rev Dr Edward Norman, Chancellor of York Minster
'Secularisation', P.159, Continuum, 2002

To Orthodox missionaries coming from abroad (and I am one of them) modern English society presents a very strange face. Often we feel as imaginary visitors from other planets might feel, such are the strange contradictions and incongruities of modern life in England. The loss of faith and so the advance of practical and theoretical paganism under the mask of humanism, has been very rapid. A once Christian nation now wallows in depravity. There is astonishment at how quickly a once Christian society can lose the Holy Spirit, can lose its faith, crumble and collapse. However, an analysis of the problem shows us that the roots of the essential problem of the loss of the Holy Spirit, the loss of faith, lie deep within the inner workings of Heterodoxy and stretch back nearly one thousand years.

For this reason the collapse of Heterodox Christianity in England has not taken place because of fierce persecution or because it has been rejected from the outside. The collapse has occurred from inside, its collapse has been voluntary, self-inflicted, suicidal, the result of the internal logic of a false doctrine, the filioque. The loss of the Holy Spirit, the loss of faith has not occurred because English Heterodox have been persecuted, but because the essential nature of English Heterodoxy has for centuries been worldly and world-loving.

Without the Tradition of the Church, without the guidance of the Holy Spirit, without monastic life, Heterodoxy has gradually, at first imperceptibly, then perceptibly, openly encouraged and then fallen into worldliness. The brave new religion of secular humanism has in fact developed because worldliness has since the mid-eleventh century been an integral and systemic part of Heterodoxy.

There is reason for despair only if one has oneself lost faith. But those who still have faith also know that the present great apostasy can be reversed. At the beginning, at Pentecost, there were only the Twelve. But an Empire fell to them. The same can happen again, if humanity turns back to Christ. Although it may seem unlikely that humanity will yet return, like the Prodigal Son to the embrace of the Father, to a new age of the Christian Faith, to the rediscovery of the Holy Spirit, the last word in history has not yet been uttered. And this is our hope.

Fr Andrew

Sunday of the Prodigal Son, 2004

to top of page