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Western Phyletism

America’s a great country, but greed and sensuality will be her downfall.

St John of Shanghai

It seems incredible and unreal to those of us used to Orthodox normality. One after another, three metropolitans have been ‘sacked’. An archbishop has been arrested by the police. Another bishop has been suspended, others have ‘retired’. The words of a saint about America seem to be coming true as regards a tiny grouping with an amazing number of archbishops and also bishops. The moral and financial collapse of the forty year-old group, like that of the ever deepening disintegration of another even smaller group in France - which first became apparent during the 1980s - is proof of the corrosive influence of phyletism, that is, of nationalism, the localism which is always blind to the big picture.

The fate of these two tiny groups, post-revolutionary, dissident, left-behind, ‘refusnik’ fragments from the 164 millions of the multinational Russian Orthodox world, highlight a grave error. This is the error of putting local culture, whether American, French or any other, before the Faith. Western phyletists have failed to understand that we are not Western people who confess Orthodoxy; we are Orthodox who live in the West. Our Orthodox roots must come before any local culture. Western nationalism in the form of hatred and proud contempt for the free Mother-Church, can have no place amongst us. Such contempt is that of the inexperienced adolescent who feels superior to the experience of his parents

The immature, like teenagers rebelling against their Mother and tempted by such phyletism, must face reality: the contemporary West, quite unlike the West of the first centuries, is based on an ethos that is anti-Christian, in fact pagan. For example, in every single Western country the main political parties, the main newspapers and TV channels are hostile to the world view of our Orthodox Church. As we saw with their recent blasphemous and hypocritical ‘Pussy Riot’ coverage, only cheap political propaganda, in reality they openly hate our Church, our People and our Civilisation, in a word, they hate our Orthodox Christianity. Only this can explain their double standards and blindness to the Truth.

This is because those parties and their media are based on selfish individualism (camouflaged as ‘human rights’) and greed. And this was already the case one hundred years ago, when they expressed the same hatred towards us and our Tsar. However, we Orthodox hold to catholicity, the faith confessed which holds us together (see the first chapters of the Book of Acts) in mutual love. However, the Western world is today full of hubris and actually still believes after all its failures, after all the murderous ideologies which it has devised and spread around the world and only partly disowned, from Communism to Fascism, from Invasion to Global Mammonism (Transnational Capitalism), that it can conquer our Church.

The Western world actually believes that it can destroy our Sovereign Civilisation and debase all us Orthodox Christians, and not just the marginal, into soulless consumers, zombies, as it has already done with the vast majority of Non-Orthodox. In its atheism, that world does not know that the last word in history belongs to the Head of our Church, Jesus Christ, and that although it can defeat a few individuals on the fringes of the Church, it can never defeat us as a whole, because we stand together and refuse to be divided and ruled by it. And when this awareness comes to those who have broken away from the Church, we will welcome them back as our younger brother who is returning home.

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