The Church of All Rus Awaits
The greatest of crimes committed with regard to the Sovereign must be erased by fervent veneration of him and glorification of his exploit. Rus must bow down before the humiliated, slandered and martyred. Then the passion-bearing Tsar will grow in boldness before God and his prayer will save the Russian lands from the calamities they suffer. Then the martyred Tsar and those who suffered with him will become new heavenly intercessors for Holy Rus. Innocently spilled blood will give rebirth to Russia and cover her with glory anew.
St John of Shanghai
Many myths about Russian history are cultivated in the West. The Western account of the reign of Ivan IV (1530-1584) is a prime example. (His Western title of ‘The Terrible’ is a mistranslation of the Russian title ‘The Threatening’, which he was given for his wars against the Tartars). Hypocritical Western historians like to forget that Ivan’s was the age of Machiavelli, of cynical tyranny in every court of Europe, meaning that ‘the Russian barbarian’ was no more barbarian than the Western barbarians.
For instance, in England Henry VIII had six wives; in Muscovy Ivan IV had seven. Both were highly educated, but both were responsible for the torture and deaths of thousands, though Henry for tens of thousands more, including for boiling people alive, as well as for destroying monastic life and monastic care for the poor. Finally, both died horrible deaths, probably both the result of syphilis. If we put Ivan IV into his historical context, he is no more evil, and in some ways much less evil, than any number of Western despots of the age.
1692-1801: The Beginning of Apostasy
Decadence crept into Russia with Tsar Alexei (1629-1676), who began to institute serfdom. This was at once followed by his break with the Church, the deposition of Patriarch Nikon - the interruption of symphony between Church and State and so the interruption of the Third Rome ideal. It was he who began to persecute the Old Ritualists. However, his reign was only a minor rehearsal for that of his son, the Protestant-minded Peter I (‘the Great’ - 1672-1725), who murdered thousands, some with his own hands, had his own son killed, and abolished the Patriarchate.
Coming to power in 1682, Peter multiplied the dreadful persecutions of the Old Ritualists and greatly reinforced serfdom, convincing many that he was a forerunner of Antichrist. It was he who in 1698 introduced tobacco against the warnings of the Church (just as Ivan the Terrible had stopped the Church preventing the spread of vodka from Poland by opposing the decision of the Church Council of One Hundred Chapters of 1551). Under Peter there began a real persecution of the Church. This was intensified by a number of foreign women rulers throughout the eighteenth century.
Among these was the Empress Anna (1693-1740), whose German lover Buehren (Biron), introduced the secret police into Russia. The most disastrous of these rulers was, however, Catherine II (‘the Great’ 1729-1796), an extremely ambitious German princess. In order to seize power she had two Tsars murdered, one of them her German husband Peter III, and developed full-scale serfdom, causing the Pugachov revolt. Despite these well-known historical facts, many Western historians still try and spread the myth that serfdom was of Russian origin; it was not; it was a Western innovation, a foul break with Russian Orthodox Tradition.
1801-1917: The Failure to Stop Apostasy
It was only in the nineteenth century that the Tsars began to renew the links with historical Russia, reversing the anti-Church actions of the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first of these Tsars was Alexander I (1777-1825), called ‘the Blessed’, who liberated Paris. The Russian Army, camped in the Champs Elysees, won the admiration of Parisians for its magnanimity and the excellent conduct of its liberating troops. On 10 April 1814, Alexander I had an altar set up on the exact spot where Louis XVI had been beheaded (now called Place de la Concorde) and the Russian Orthodox Easter service was celebrated, attended by an immense crowd of Parisian well-wishers. Finally, Alexander I restored the Bourbons to the French throne after the 25 years of massacres following the French Revolution, including the genocide in the Vendee and the Napoleonic Wars in Europe.
Alexander was the godfather of Queen Victoria and she was baptised Alexandrina Victoria after him. He rebalanced Europe in such a way that between 1815 and 1914 there was relative peace. His policies continued under Tsars Nicholas I (1796-1855), Alexander II (1818-1881 - assassinated), Alexander III (1845-1894) and Nicholas II (1868-1917 - martyred). It was the last Tsar, Nicholas II, the most pious of them all, who brought great prosperity to Russia, had many saints canonised, including the prophet St Seraphim (+ 1833), and offered to restore the Patriarchate, thus righting the grave error of Peter I. The Tsar-Martyr, Nicholas II, died as an expiatory victim for all the errors of the past. These errors were the failure to uphold without deformation the threefold basis of Orthodox Russia: Orthodoxy, Sovereignty and the People.
More concretely these were: Spiritually and morally, the failure to protect Orthodoxy by the paralysing decapitation of the Church and its administration by bureaucrats (treason); politically and nationally, the failure to protect Sovereignty by the Russifying centralisation of the State instead of Confederation and the protection of minorities (cowardice); socially and economically, the failure to protect the People by preventing the exploitation of the poor by the rich through redistribution of land and wealth and enforceable legislation (deceit). Unfortunately, even the expiation of Tsar Nicholas II was not enough to stop the surrender of Imperial Russia to materialistic Western ideologies, that is, to treason, cowardice and deceit.
1917 – The Present: The Apostasy of Orthodox Russia
Greatly aggravated by the Teutonic aggression of the First World War, the failures to protect the three foundations of Orthodox Russia brought revolt and then militant atheism to Russia. Some 25 million died as a result of that atheism, then another 25 million through the second Teutonic invasion, which began on the Feast of All the Saints of the Russian Lands in 1941. Within a year, exactly one generation after 1917, the Church began to receive a small measure of freedom; even the evil genius of Stalin, a thousand times worse than his idol Ivan the Terrible, realised that he could not defeat the Nazis without the help of the Church. However, after the people’s victory over Fascism, it was to take another two generations for atheism to fall.
Since that fall, in 1991, the Russian Federation and all the former Russian Lands, now independent States, have lived in a twilight period, an age of not knowing where to go or what to do. Only with the government of Vladimir Putin has there been any glimmer of light, however faint and compromised. It has sought a certain sacralisation and legitimacy through reconciliation, the earthly remains of a number of White Russians being returned to Russia from abroad. It was under the first Putin government in 2000, nine years after the official fall of Communism, that the Church inside Russia at long last met the three conditions set for it by the free Church Outside Russia. These were: The canonisation of the New Martyrs and Confessors; the condemnation of compromises of the Faith with the State; the rejection of Communist-opposed syncretism.
Some ask why the Church Outside Russia did not respond immediately to these actions of the Church Inside Russia in 2000, instead of waiting until 2007. Such people forget how completely the administration of the Church Inside Russia was compromised, for example, by the events in Jericho in 1997, by the scandalous compromises with the Faith at international meetings, by its hopelessly compromised representatives in Vienna, London, Paris and Kiev. Indeed, the latter representative, an unrepentant Communist apparatchik who was put in charge of unity, later left the Church and became a notorious schismatic. Today, three questions remain. Only once these three questions have been answered will this twilight age be over.
The Three Questions
The first question is who killed Rasputin? The murder of the much maligned peasant healer, who committed very little of what he was accused and who did correctly predict on a number of occasions the future, was for long shrouded in deliberate mystification. It is now being revealed that his assassination was probably organised by the British ambassador and carried out by British spies, as perhaps indeed the first 1917 Revolution itself.
The second question is who ordered the deaths of the Imperial Family? For long the Communist regime spread the lie that it was ordered by local Communists. However, from the quotation of Heine on the wall in the Ipatiev House where they were martyred, it is clear that educated people ordered their killing. It now seems likely that it was ordered in Moscow, by Lenin himself, possibly in obedience to his paymasters in New York.
The third question is where are the relics of the Imperial Family? This too has been the subject of deliberate mystification. The remains found and interred in St Petersburg seem not to be authentic; at least the Russian State has for some fifteen years refused to answer the ten questions posed by the Church concerning them. All is uncertain. Many believe that the bodies were utterly destroyed, scattered to the four winds, and that the only authentic relics may indeed be those in the Memorial Church in Brussels.
It is said that once he had conquered some of the Russian lands in the thirteenth century, the Mongolian leader Batu Khan ordered his army to take the Russian town of Kitezh. To the surprise of the Mongols, the town had no fortifications; its citizens did not intend to defend themselves and instead of fighting were fervently asking God for salvation. At this, the Mongols rushed to the attack, but suddenly stopped on seeing countless fountains of water shooting up from under the ground all around them. The attackers fell back and watched Kitezh sink into Lake Svetloyar all around it. The last thing they saw was the cross on top of the cupola of the Cathedral sinking beneath the waves.
This legend gave birth to stories which have survived to this day. It is said that only those who are pure in heart will find their way to Kitezh. It is said that in calm weather you can sometimes hear the tolling of bells and singing from beneath the waters of Lake Svetloyar. Some say that the most pious actually see the lights of religious processions and even buildings at the bottom of the lake. Now, Lake Svetloyar is located near Nizhny Novgorod, in Mordovia, the homeland of Patriarch Nikon and the present Patriarch Kyrill. It is also said that Kitezh will rise up from the Lake when ‘the White Tsar’ comes. The Russian Church awaits this new Little Father, Tsar Batyushka.