God's declaration of Truth


Luke Chapter 19

The words of Our Only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in red.

19:10 "For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
19:11 As they were hearing these things, he added and spoke a parable, because he was nigh to Jerusalem and because they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately be manifested.
19:12 He said therefore: "a certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom and to return.
19:13 And calling his ten servants, he gave them ten pounds and said to them: Trade till I come.
19:14 But his citizens hated him and they sent an delegation after him, saying: 'We will not have this man to reign over us.'
19:15 And it came to pass that he returned, having received the kingdom: and he commanded his servants to be called, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading,
19:16 And the first came saying: 'Lord, thy pound hath gained ten pounds.'
19:17 And he said to him: 'Well done, thou good servant, because thou hast been faithful in a little, thou shalt have power over ten cities.'
19:18 And the second came, saying: 'Lord, thy pound hath gained five pounds.'
19:19 And he said to him: 'Be thou also over five cities.'
19:20 And another came, saying: ' Lord, behold here is thy pound, which I have kept laid up in a napkin.
19:21 For I feared thee, because thou art an austere man: thou takest up what thou didst not lay down: and thou reapest that which thou didst not sow.'
19:22 He saith to him: 'Out of thy own mouth I judge thee, thou wicked servant. Thou knewest that I was an austere man, taking up what I laid not down and reaping that which I did not sow.
19:23 And why then didst thou not give my money into the bank, that at my coming I might have exacted it with usury?'
19:24 And he said to them that stood by: 'Take the pound away from him and give it to him that hath ten pounds.'
19:25 And they said to him: 'Lord, he hath ten pounds.'
19:26 But I say to you that to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: and from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken from him.
19:27 But as for those my enemies, who would not have me reign over them, bring them hither and slay them in my presence."
19:28 And having said these things, he went before, going up to Jerusalem.
19:29 And it came to pass, when he was come nigh to Bethphage and Bethania, unto the mount called Olivet, he sent two of his disciples,
19:30 Saying: "Go into the town which is over against you, at your entering into which you shall find the colt of an ass tied, on which no man ever hath sitten: loose it and bring it.
19:31 And if any man shall ask you: 'Why are you loosing it?' You shall say thus unto him: Because the Lord hath need of it.' "
19:32 And they that were sent went their way and found the colt standing, as he said unto them.
19:33 And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said to them: "Why are you loosing it?
19:34 But they said: "Because the Lord has need of it."
19:35 And they brought it to Jesus. And casting their cloaks over the colt, they set Jesus on it.
19:36 And as he went, they spread their cloaks upon the road.
19:37 And when he was drawing near, being now at the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole company of his disciples began to rejoice and to praise God with a loud voice, for all the miracles that they had seen,
19:38 Saying: "Blessed is he who comes as king, in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"
19:39 And some of the Pharisees, from the crowds, said to him: "Master, rebuke thy disciples."
19:40 He said to them: "I tell you that if these keep silence, the stones will cry out."
19:41 And when he drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying:
19:42 "If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace: but now they are hidden from thy eyes.
19:43 For the days shall come upon thee: and thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round and straiten thee on every side,
19:44 And beat thee flat to the ground, and thy children who are in thee. And they shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone: because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation."
19:45 And entering into the temple, he began to cast out them that sold therein and them that bought.
19:46 Saying to them: "It is written: My house is the house of prayer. But you have made it a den of thieves."
19:47 And he was teaching daily in the temple. And the chief priests and the scribes and the rulers of the people sought to destroy him.
19:48 And they found not what to do to him: for all the people were very attentive to hear him.

The Second Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians

The day of the Lord is not to come till the man of sin be revealed. The apostle's teachings are to be observed.

2:1 And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and of our gathering together unto him:
2:2 That you be not easily moved from your sense nor be terrified, neither by spirit nor by word nor by epistle. as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord were at hand.

Chap. 2. Ver. 2. Spirit . . . utterance. . . letter indicate three possible sources of their belief that the parousia is imminent. Spirit refers to some falsely claimed revelation, utterance may be a statement of Paul’s which was misunderstood, or wrongly attributed to him, the letter seems to be one forged in Paul’s name.

2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition

Ver. 3. . . The parousia must be preceded by a great apostasy, i.e., a great religious revolt, and the advent of the man of sin, i.e., Antichrist. Son of perdition, one entirely deserving of eternal punishment.

Ver. 3. The day of the Lord will not come. These words have been inserted to complete the sentence, which in the original is elliptical. The expanded reads "Let no man deceive you by any means: for the day of the Lord will not come unless there come a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition"

2:4 Who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.

Ver. 4. In the temple, that of Apostate Jerusalem which the full consensus of the Church Fathers declare he will rebuild - i.e. the Temple of Remphan; and in the Apostate shell of the former Christian church, which he perverts to his own worship: as the Freemasons have done to the Vatican.

Ver. 4. Antichrist will be characterized by great impiety and pride. He sits in the temple of God, etc. He will aspire to be treated as God and proclaim that he is really God.

2:5 Remember you not that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2:6 And now you know what restrains him, that he may be revealed in his proper time.

Ver. 6. What restrains him. The Thessalonians knew the obstacle. We also know that it is Jesus Christ.

2:7 For the mystery of iniquity is already at work: only that he who is at present restraining it, does still restrain, until he is gotten out of the way.

Ver. 7. Mystery of iniquity, the evil power of Satan’s threefold prevarication and total Apostasy from God, of which Antichrist is to be the public exponent and champion. He who is at present restraining it. The obstacle is now spoken of as a person. Some point out that Michael the archangel and his heavenly army are obstacles, and this is true, which now prevent the appearance of Antichrist – but the primary obstacle is, as St. Justin Martyr teaches: Jesus Christ Himself; when the great Apostasy is complete, then in effect, Christ is “gotten out of the way.”

2:8 And then that wicked one shall be revealed: whom the Lord Jesus shall kill with the spirit of his mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: him

Ver. 8. When Christ appears in glory, He will inflict defeat and death on Antichrist by a mere word of command.
2:9 Whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power and signs and lying wonders:

Ver. 9 – 10. By the aid of Satan Antichrist will perform prodigies which men will falsely regard as miracles, and by means of which they will be led to adopt sinful practices.

2:10 And with all wicked deception to those who are perishing. For they have not received the love of truth that they might be saved.
2:11 Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying:

Ver. 11. God shall send. . .That is God shall suffer them to be deceived by lying wonders, and false miracles, in punishment of their not entertaining the love of truth.
Ver. 11. 'God sends.' God will allow their willful rejection of truth to have its natural results of spiritual blindness, impenitence and damnation. A misleading influence, or, “a delusion.” The operation of error - the Greek reads: "energian planes" or literally the energy of delusion, which is exactly and actually the fallen spirits of the devils and demons conjured by pagan religion, especially by idolatry. NOW, currently, the Assisi delusion of the Apostates, Ratzinger and Wojtyla and many others present with them, is a very real and prime example. To give oneself over to this is to invite utter and complete damnation of oneself by God.
2:12 That all may be judged who have not believed the truth but have consented to iniquity.

2:13 But we ought to give thanks to God always for you, brethren, beloved of God, for that God hath chosen you firstfruits unto salvation, in sanctification of the spirit and faith of the truth:
Ver. 13. First-fruits, i.e., earliest believers in the gospel. Some manuscripts read: “from the beginning.” That is, God called them from all eternity.
2:14 Whereunto also he hath called you by our gospel, unto the purchasing of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast: and hold the teachings, which you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle.
Ver. 15. Teachings, i.e., his teachings whether given orally or in writing. Concerning Apostolic teaching – the oral is included in the written at the point we have the whole New Testament complete, i.e. with the completion of St. John’s Gospel.
2:16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God and our Father, who hath loved us and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope in grace,

2:17 Exhort your hearts and confirm you in every good work and word.

St. Irenaeus

St. Irenaeus
St. Irenaeus Against Heresies and the warning against the Antichrist - click on picture

Blog List

A few words

The articles posted in the main here are from a variety of sources and perspectives, but all based on the unchangeable truth that all law comes from God, or if it is something that pretends a legalism but does not agree with God's law, then it is nothing lawful at all; the Noachide nonsense is the prime example of that which is not at all lawful. See the right side pane and below the posts at the bottom of the page for a number of sources that help shed light on this. All copyrighted sources are quoted and used for comment and education in accord with the nonprofit provisions of: Title 17 U.S.C., Section 107.

By Command of God


GO HERE: Traditional Catholic Prayers: Eucharist in house churches Commanded by God. To rise above the concerns of the world to the service of God.

Traditional Catholic Prayers: Office of the Hours for the Week

Go Here: The Return of Christ

And here:
Parousia of Jesus Christ Our Lord

The Promise of His coming. His commands to prepare and be worthy.

Statement of what is happening in the world in connection with the Second Coming of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Nuzul i Isa and Qiyamah, the Parousia of Jesus Christ Our Lord and His judgement of all men that have ever lived.

Rv:22:7 Behold I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.

Saturday, January 18, 2014




Written by Vladimir Moss


     From the decline and fall of the Byzantine Empire in the Middle Ages, and until the Russian revolution of 1917, the main bastion and protector of Orthodox Christianity in the world was Russia. The Russian Tsars protected the Orthodox of many nations, not only within the bounds of their own realm, but well beyond it – in particular, in the Balkans and the Middle East. They defended them not only against pagan and Muslim Mongols and Tatars and Turks from the East, but also from Christian Swedes, Poles, Germans, Austrians, French and English from the West.

     This mission was conducted with notable success right up to the revolution: Napoleon was crushed in 1812; the English, French and Turks were, if not defeated, at any rate repelled in the Crimean War, and the Holy Land was again opened to Orthodox pilgrims; and when the Russian revolution broke out in February, 1917, the Germans and Austrians who had invaded the Orthodox lands of Russia, Serbia and Romania were on the point of being turned back. But then Russia was stabbed in the back by an enemy that came neither from the East nor from the West, but from within – the Jews, vast numbers of whom (half of the world’s total) had been incorporated into the Russian Empire since the end of the eighteenth century, and who, by 1917, had taken control of one-third of Russian commerce and almost all of the country’s newspapers. It was these Jews who whipped up public opinion against the Tsar, viciously slandering him and his family and calling for the overthrow of the dynasty, until almost the whole country believed their lies. Such calls at a time when the country was fighting for its survival would have exacted the death penalty for treason in any other of the combatant countries. But Tsar Nicholas was a gentle and generous man who hated bloodshed… In any case his enemies were too many to be executed en masse, and acting against them would have involved, among other things, a complete purge of the army high command, which was unthinkable at such a time… And so he chose the way of Christ, the way of non-resistance to evil, and abdicated…

     Of course, the Bolshevik Jews who, within a few months, seized control of Russia were aided by many other forces – first of all their fellow Jews in New York (such as the banker Jacob Schiff, who financed Trotsky and hundreds of other Bolsheviks), then the German High Command (Lenin was a paid-up German agent with vast funds at his disposal), and then a group of about 300 Russian Freemasons who occupied most of the leading posts in the Russian Army, Industry and Society, together with their French and English brothers who supported them from abroad. And then there was another enemy of Russia that is often forgotten in historical accounts of the revolution, but whose undying hatred of Russia was known to all the Orthodox – the Roman Catholic Church. Let us briefly look at the historical threat posed by the Vatican to Holy Russia before turning to the very present threat that it poses…


     Throughout the whole of the first millennium of Christian history, almost the whole of Europe and much of the Middle East confessed a single form of Christianity – not Roman Catholicism, as Catholic historians would have us believe, but Orthodox Christianity, which existed in several national and linguistic variants – Greek, Arabic, Slavic, Georgian, Roman, Spanish, Gallic, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon... However, this unity of faith was shattered in 1054, when the Pope of Rome, offended by the refusal of the Christians of the East to accept his authority over them and the new dogmas that he was introducing, anathematized the Eastern Churches. Almost immediately, as if possessed, the Popes began a series of crusades to crush by armed force those who rejected this ecclesiastical revolution that they had effected in one of the historic centres of Christianity.

     Probably the first crusade of the Roman Catholic Church against Orthodox Christianity took place in 1066-70, when Duke William of Normandy, with the full blessing and support of Pope Alexander, invaded the “schismatic” land of England. At the battle of Hastings and in its aftermath William killed the English King Harold and perhaps 20% of the population (Harold’s daughter fled to Russia, where she married the Russian Great Prince), forced most of the English aristocracy to flee to Constantinople (where they took service in the armies of the Emperor Alexis and were given land in Bulgaria and the Crimea), took over and “communized” most of the land of England (and, later, Wales, Scotland and Ireland also), destroyed most of the English churches, removed almost all the English bishops, replacing them with French ones, defiled the relics of the English saints, banned the age-old Orthodox liturgy and music, substituted French for English as the official language, and in general created one of the most complete and fateful cultural, political and religious transformations in history… There were further crusades, on a smaller scale, in other parts of Western Europe, particularly in Germany, whose emperors were for long unwilling to become papists…

     Then the Popes turned their attention to the eastern “rebels” against his dominion. In 1098-99 Pope Urban incited the footloose and land-hungry western knights to go on a vast scavenging campaign to the East, which ended with the wholesale slaughter of the Jewish and Muslim population of Jerusalem and the devastation of all the Orthodox lands between Serbia and Egypt. Further eastern crusades followed. They failed in their overt purpose, which was to destroy Muslim power in the Middle East, but succeeded in another purpose, which was to undermine the power of the Orthodox Byzantine Empire and the Orthodox Church in the region. The Eastern crusades were “crowned” by the sack of Constantinople in 1204, one of the most barbaric and tragic episodes in Christian history.

     By this time, however, the main concentration of power in the Orthodox Christian world was neither in the east nor in the west, but in the north. And so in 1150 the Roman Catholic Bishop Matthew of Crakow in Poland asked the famous Catholic rabble-rouser Bernard of Clairvaux to “exterminate the godless rites and customs of the Ruthenians [Russians]”. The “Teutonic Knights” duly answered the call and invaded Russia, but were defeated at the famous battle on the ice by St. Alexander Nevsky, Prince of Novgorod. Shortly afterwards, the Mongols conquered Russia – a great tragedy, without a doubt, but a tragedy that, by the Providence of God, turned out for the ultimate benefit of Russia, since the Mongols, though pagans, were much more tolerant of Orthodoxy than the Roman Catholics. And on emerging from under the yoke of the Mongols the Russians did not forget the threat of Catholicism: by the sixteenth century they had turned their land into a fortress whose main purpose was: to preserve the Orthodox Faith pure and undefiled from the ravages of the Latins.

     Unfortunately, however, the re-emergence of Russia as an independent (in fact, the onlyindependent) Orthodox state coincided with the rise to power of one of the two great states of the Catholic Counter-Reformation – Poland. At the same time that the other great Catholic State, the Hapsburg Empire, was slaughtering Protestants in the West, the Poles – with the active connivance of the Jews – were persecuting the Orthodox over a vast swathe of what is now the Ukraine and Belorussia. Finally, at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the Poles conquered Moscow and placed a Catholic king, the “false Dmitri”, in the Kremlin. But Patriarch Hermogen of Moscow from his prison cell in the Kremlin dungeon issued appeals to the Russians to rise up against the heretical invaders. And although Hermogen did not live to see the outcome (he was starved to death in his cell), his appeals were heeded, and a great army of national liberation drove the Poles and the Swedes, if not out of Russia completely, at any rate out of her historical heartland.


     From the late sixteenth to the late eighteenth centuries the Orthodox peasants living in what is now Belorussia and Western Ukraine were severely persecuted by their Polish-Lithuanian landlords and the Jesuits. The cause was the foundation of the Society of Jesus in 1540, which aimed to buttress the buttressing of the Counter-Reformation papacy throughout the world. The Jesuits were soon waging war, not only against Protestantism, but also against Orthodoxy, and their methods included both crude force and the subtler weapon of education.

     “At the end of the 16th century,” writes Protopriest Peter Smirnov, “the so-called Lithuanian unia took place, or the union of the Orthodox Christians living in the south-western dioceses in separation from the Moscow Patriarchate, with the Roman Catholic Church.

     “The reasons for this event, which was so sad for the Orthodox Church and so wretched for the whole of the south-western region were: the lack of stability in the position and administration of the separated dioceses; the intrigues on the part of the Latins and in particular the Jesuits; the betrayal of Orthodoxy by certain bishops who were at that time administering the south-western part of the Russian Church.

      “With the separation of the south-western dioceses under the authority of a special metropolitan, the question arose: to whom were they to be hierarchically subject? Against the will of the initiators of the separation, the south-western metropolia was subjected to the power of the Patriarch of Constantinople, and the patriarchs, in view of the dangers presented by the Latins, intensified their supervision over the separated dioceses.”[1]

     The formerly Russian lands from Kiev westwards were largely deprived of political protection until a part of the Ukraine came under the dominion of Moscow in 1654 as a result of the victories of Bogdan Chmielnicki and his Cossack armies. Until then they were persecuted by the Poles and the Jews.
     “In such a situation,” continues Smirnov, “the Jesuits appeared in the south-western dioceses and with their usual skill and persistence used all the favourable circumstances to further their ends, that is, to spread the power of the Roman pope. They took into their hands control of the schools, and instilled in the children of the Russian boyars a disgust for the Orthodox clergy and the Russian faith, which they called ‘kholop’ (that is, the faith of the simple people). The fruits of this education were not slow to manifest themselves. The majority of the Russian boyars and princes went over to Latinism. To counter the influence of the Jesuits in many cities brotherhoods were founded. These received important rights from the Eastern Patriarchs. Thus, for example, the Lvov brotherhood had the right to rebuke the bishops themselves for incorrect thinking, and even expel them from the Church. New difficulties appeared, which were skilfully exploited by the Jesuits. They armed the bishops against the brotherhoods and against the patriarchs (the slaves of the Sultans), pointed out the excellent situation of the Catholic bishops, many of whom had seats in the senate, and honours and wealth and power. The Polish government helped the Jesuits in every way, and at their direction offered episcopal sees to such people as might later turn out to be their obedient instruments. Such in particular were Cyril Terletsky, Bishop of Lutsk, and Hypatius Potsey, Bishop of Vladimir-in-Volhynia....

     “The immediate excuse for the unia was provided by the following circumstance. Patriarch Jeremiah of Constantinople, during his journey through the south of Russia toMoscow to establish the patriarch, defrocked the Kievan Metropolitan Onesiphorus for bigamy, and appointed in his place Michael Ragoza, and commanded him to convene a council, by his return, to discuss another bigamist who had been accused of many crimes, Cyril Terletsky. Мichael Ragoza was a kind person, but weak in character, he did not convene a council inflicted unnecessary delays and expenses on the patriarch. The Patriarch, summoned out of Russia by his own affairs, sent letters of attorney to Ragoza and Bishop Meletius of Vladimir (in Volhynia) for the trial of Teretsky. Both these letters were seized by Cyril, and the affair continued to be dragged out. Meanwhile, Meletius died, and Cyril Terletsky succeeded in presenting the Vladimir see to his friend, Hypatius Potsey. Fearing the appointment of a new trial on himself from the patriarch, Cyril hastened to act in favour of the unia, and made an ally for himself in Hypatius, who was indebted to him.

     “In 1593 they openly suggested the unia to the other south-western bishops in order to liberate themselves from the power of the patriarch and the interference of laymen in Church administration…”[2]

     Now the Russian bishops wanted to secure for themselves a certain degree of autonomy, and the retention of the eastern rite in the Divine services. Differences in rites had been allowed by the decrees of the council of Florence in 1439. “However,” as Igumen Gregory Lourié writes, “after the Council of Trent (1545-1563), the Roman Catholic church was not interested in giving anyone the right of administrative autonomy. Therefore we must call it a diplomatic victory for the Orthodox supporters of the unia that they succeeded in convincing the Roman curia of the necessity of establishing in Poland-Lithuania a parallel Catholic hierarchy of the Greek rite, which would be independent of the local Latin bishops. In 1595 the diplomatic efforts of the bishops were directed, on the one hand, to securing the future uniate organization at as high a degree of autonomy as possible, and one the other, to convincing the Orthodox aristocracy to accept the unia. Among the nobles the main opponent of the unia was Prince Constantine Ostrozhsky. By the summer of 1595 such a sharp conflict had been lit between the bishops and the laity that Patriarch Jeremiah Tranos of Constantinople turned directly to the laity, passing by the bishops. The patriarch sent to Jassy (Romania) his exarch Nicephorus, who convened a council of six bishops, including the metropolitans of Moldavia-Wallachia (Romania) and Ugro-Wallachia (Hungary). OnAugust 17, 1595 this council issued a decree in which it addressed ‘the nobles and simple people’ who were ‘under the power of the Polish king’, telling them not to submit to their local bishops. But the latter were told immediately to present penitential acts to the patriarch, otherwise they would be stripped of their rank, while the laymen would receive the right to put forward their own candidates to the Episcopal sees that had become vacant (Welykyj, 1970, 120-121, document № 69). The bishops found themselves to be not only on the verge of being deprived of their rank, but also under threat of excommunication from the Church. It goes without saying that as private individuals they would not have been able to influence the decision of the question of the unia with Rome.

     “The publication of this act could not be hidden from the Roman curia, and therefore the bishops found themselves in a situation in which their position at the negotiations withRome was severely shaken. It was necessary to act without delay and agree now even to almost any conditions. And so two of the West Russian bishops set off for Rome as fully-empowered representatives of the whole of the episcopate of the Kievan metropolia. The upshot of their stay in Rome from November, 1595 to March, 1596 was the acceptance of the conditions of the future unia without any guarantees of equality between the Catholic churches of different rites – the Latin and Greek. The unia was established by the will of the Roman Pope, and not at all as the result of negotiations of the two sides. The Russian bishops were not even accepted as a ‘side’. The future uniate church had to accept not only the decrees of the council of Florence but also those of the council of Trent. Moreover, it had to be ready for any changes, including changes in rites, that the Pope might introduce. The only right that the bishops succeeded in preserving was the right of a local council to elect the Metropolitan of Kiev. However, this had to be followed by the confirmation of the Roman Pope.

     “Prince Ostrozhsky, in his turn, actively opposed the unia. A significant part of the Orthodox nobility took his side. Prince Ostrozhsky and his supporters succeeded in creating a schism in the pro-uniate party: two bishops separated from the others, refusing to support the unia. Their renunciation of their former position is explained by the fact that they were in a state of significantly greater dependence on the local magnates than on the king. It is of note that Gedeon Balaban, Bishop of Lvov, who was the first to begin preparing his diocese for the unia, was one of these two bishops. Prince Ostrozhsky invited Exarch Nicephorus to Poland-Lithuania.

     “In October, 1595 [recte: 1596] two councils were opened simultaneously in Brest. One of them took place with the participation of five bishops and proclaimed the unia with Rome. The other was presided over by Exarch Nicephorus. This council excommunicated the uniates, which became the beginning of the Orthodox resistance to the unia.

     “Soon Nicephorus was accused of spying for Turkey and was put in prison under guard. He died in prison in 1598 or 1599. The role of the spiritual leader of the Orthodox resistance passed to Ivan of Vishna…”[3]

     Smirnov writes: “The whole affair was carried through, as was the custom of the Jesuits, with various forgeries and deceptions. Thus, for example, they took the signatures of the two bishops on white blanks, supposedly in case there would be unforeseen petitions before the king on behalf of the Orthodox, and meanwhile on these blanks they wrote a petition for the unia. Potsej and Terletsky made such concessions to the Pope in Rome as they had not been authorised to make even by the bishops who thought like them. Terletsky and Potsej had hardly returned from Rome before these forgeries were exposed, which elicited strong indignation against them on the part of some bishops (Gideon of Lvov and Michael of Peremysl) the Orthodox princes (Prince Ostrozhsky) and others…

     “From this time, there began persecutions against the Orthodox. The uniate bishops removed the Orthodox priests and put uniates in their place. The Orthodox brotherhoods were declared to be mutinous assemblies, and those faithful to Orthodoxy were deprived of posts and oppressed in trade and crafts. The peasants were subjected to all kinds of indignities by their Catholic landlords. The [Orthodox] churches were forcibly turned into uniate ones or were leased out to Jews. The leaseholder had the keys to the church and extracted taxes for every service and need. Мany of the Orthodox fled from these restrictions to the Cossacks in the steppes, who rose up in defence of the Orthodox faith under the leadership of Nalivaiki. But the Poles overcame them and Nalivaiki was burned to death in a brazen bull. Тhen a fresh rebellion broke out under Taras. But, happily for the Orthodox, their wrathful persecutor Sigismund III died. His successor, Vladislav IV, gave the Orthodox Church privileges, with the help of which she strengthened herself for the coming struggle with the uniates and Catholics...

     “However, although Vladislav was well-disposed towards the Orthodox, the Poles did not obey him and continued to oppress them. The Cossacks several times took up arms, and when they fell into captivity to the Poles, the latter subjected them to terrible tortures. Some were stretched on the wheel, others had their arms and legs broken, others were pierced with spikes and placed on the rack. Children were burned on iron grills before the eyes of their fathers and mothers.”[4]

     Oleg Platonov writes: “All the persecutions against the Orthodox in the West Russian lands were carried out by the Jews and the Catholics together. Having given the Russian churches into the hands of the Jews who were close to them in spirit, the Polish aristocracy laughingly watched as the defilement of Christian holy things was carried out by the Jews. The Catholic priests and uniates even incited the Jews to do this, calculating in this way to turn the Russians away from Orthodoxy.

     “As Archbishop Philaret recounts: ‘Those churches whose parishioners could by converted to the unia by no kind of violence were leased to the Jews: the keys of the churches and bell-towers passed into their hands. If it was necessary to carry out a Church need, then one had to go and trade with the Jew, for whom gold was an idol and the faith of Christ the object of spiteful mockery and profanation. One had to pay up to five talers for each liturgy, and the same for baptism and burial. The uniate received paschal bread wherever and however he wanted it, while the Orthodox could not bake it himself or buy it in any other way than from a Jew at Jewish rates. The Jews would make a mark with coal on the prosphoras bought for commemorating the living or the dead. Only then could it be accepted for the altar.’”[5]

     Especially notorious as a persecutor of the Orthodox was the uniate Bishop Joasaph Kuntsevich of Polotsk. Lev Sapega, the head of the Great Principality of Lithuania, wrote to Kuntsevich on the Polish king’s behalf: “I admit, that I, too, was concerned about the cause of the Unia and that it would be imprudent to abandon it. But it had never occurred to me that your Eminence would implement it using such violent measures… You say that you are ‘free to drown the infidels [i.e. the Orthodox who rejected the Unia], to chop their heads off’, etc. Not so! The Lord’s commandment expresses a strict prohibition to all, which concerns you also. When you violated human consciences, closed churches so that people should perish like infidels without divine services, without Christian rites and sacraments; when you abused the King’s favours and privileges – you managed without us. But when there is a need to suppress seditions caused by your excesses you want us to cover up for you… As to the dangers that threaten your life, one may say that everyone is the cause of his own misfortune. Stop making trouble, do not subject us to the general hatred of the people and you yourself to obvious danger and general criticism… Everywhere one hears people grumbling that you do not have any worthy priests, but only blind ones… Your ignorant priests are the bane of the people… But tell me, your Eminence, whom did you win over, whom did you attract through your severity?… It will turn out that in Polotsk itself you have lost even those who until now were obedient to you. You have turned sheep into goats, you have plunged the state into danger, and maybe all of us Catholics – into ruin… It has been rumoured that they (the Orthodox) would rather be under the infidel Turk than endure such violence… You yourself are the cause of their rebellion. Instead of joy, your notorious Unia has brought us only troubles and discords and has become so loathsome that we would rather be without it!’”[6]

     On May 22, 1620, local people gathered at the Trinity monastery near Polotsk to express their indignation at Kuntsevich’s cruelty. “These people suffered a terrible fate: an armed crowed of uniates surrounded the monastery and set it on fire. As the fire was raging and destroying the monastery and burning alive everyone within its walls, Joasaphat Kuntsevich was performing on a nearby hill a thanksgiving service accompanied by the cries of the victims of the fire…”[7]

     In 1623 Kuntsevich was killed by the people of Vitebsk. In 1867 Pope Pius IX “glorified” him, and in 1963 Pope Paul VI translated his relics to the Vatican. Pope John-Paul II lauded him as a “hieromartyr”…

     Even after the union of the Eastern Ukraine with Russia in 1686, very extensive formerly Russian lands still remained under Polish control. However, in 1717, as a result of civil war between King Augustus II and his nobles, Poland fell under the effective control of Russia. And so Poland’s domination of the South Russian lands from the fourteenth century onwards now began to be reversed…

     Nevertheless, the persecution of the Orthodox living in Poland did not cease. Thus the Polish nobility, writes David Vital, were “overwhelmingly opposed to giving non-Roman Catholic Christians (the Orthodox, the Lutherans, and the Calvinists) political rights until well into the eighteenth century. Only in 1768 did ‘dissidents’ get ‘partial equality’. They were admitted to municipal citizenship in 1775. They lost it two years later.”[8]

     “The Orthodox,” writes A.P. Dobroklonsky, “suffered every possible restriction. In 1717 the Sejm deprived them of their right to elect deputies to the sejms and forbade the construction of new and the repairing of old churches; in 1733 the Sejm removed them from all public posts. If that is how the government itself treated them, their enemies could boldly fall upon them with fanatical spite. The Orthodox were deprived of all their dioceses and with great difficulty held on to one, the Belorussian; they were also deprived of the brotherhoods, which either disappeared or accepted the unia. Monasteries and parish churches with their lands were forcibly taken from them… From 1721 to 1747, according to the calculations of the Belorussian Bishop Jerome, 165 Orthodox churches were removed, so that by 1755 in the whole of the Belorussian diocese there remained only 130; and these were in a pitiful state… Orthodox religious processions were broken up, and Orthodox holy things subjected to mockery…  The Dominicans and Basilians acted in the same way, being sent as missionaries to Belorussia and the Ukraine – those ‘lands of the infidels’, as the Catholics called them, - to convert the Orthodox… They went round the villages and recruited people to the unia; any of those recruited who carried out Orthodox needs was punished as an apostate. Orthodox monasteries were often subjected to attacks by peasants and schoolboys; the monks suffered beatings, mutilations and death. ‘How many of them,’ exclaimed [Bishop] George Konissky, ‘were thrown out of their homes, many of them were put in prisons, in deep pits, they were shut up in kennels with the dogs, they were starved by hunger and thirst, fed on hay; how many were beaten and mutilated, and some even killed!’… The Orthodox white clergy were reduced to poverty, ignorance and extreme humiliation. All the Belorussian bishops were subjected to insults, and some even to armed assault….

     “The Orthodox sought defenders for themselves in Russia, constantly sending complaints and requests to the court and the Holy Synod. The Russian government according to the eternal peace of 1686 had reserved for itself the right to protect the Orthodox inhabitants of Poland, and often sent its notes to the Polish court and through its ambassadors in Poland demanded that the Orthodox should be given back the dioceses that had been granted to them according to the eternal peace and that the persecutions should cease; it also wrote about this to Rome, even threatening to deprive the Catholics living in Russia of freedom of worship; more than once it appointed special commissars to Poland  for the defence of the Orthodox from abuse and in order to investigate complaints. But the Polish government either replied with promises or was silent and dragged out the affair from one Sejm to another. True, there were cases when the king issued orders for the cessation of persecutions… But such instructions were usually not listened to, and the persecution of the Orthodox continued. Meanwhile the Russian government insufficiently insisted on the carrying out of its demands.

     “Only from the time of Catherine II did the circumstances change. On arriving at her coronation in Moscow, George Konissky vividly described for her the wretched condition of the Orthodox in Poland and besought her intervention (1762). A year later all the Orthodox of Poland interceded with her about this. The empress promised her protection and made the usual representation to the Polish court. At that time a new king, Stanislav Poniatovsky, had been established, with her assistance, on the Polish throne. George Konissky personally appeared before him and described the sufferings of the Orthodox in such a lively manner that the king promised to do everything to restore the rights of the Orthodox (1765) and actually issued a decree on the confirmation of their religious rights, demanding that the uniate authorities cut short their violence. However, the uniate and Catholic authorities were not thinking of obeying the king. Their spite against the Orthodox found fresh food for itself. In 1765-1766, amidst the Russian population of Poland, and mainly in Little Russia, a powerful mass movement against the unia had begun. Its heart was the Orthodox see of Pereyaslavl headed by Bishop Gervasius Lintsevsky and the Motroninsky monastery led by Abbot Melchizedek Znachko-Yavorsky. Multitudes of the people went there and were there inspired to the task of returning from the unia to Orthodoxy. Crowds of people gathered everywhere in the villages; together they swore to uphold the Orthodox faith to the last drop of their blood, they restored Orthodox churches and restored Orthodox priests provided for them by Gervasius. They persuaded uniate priests to return to Orthodoxy, and if they refused either drove them out of the parishes or locked the churches. Whole parishes returned to Orthodoxy. The uniate authorities decide to stop this movement. The uniate metropolitan sent a fanatical zealot for the unia, the official Mokritsky, to the Ukraine with a band of soldiers. The Orthodox churches began to be sealed or confiscated; the people were forced by beatings to renounce Orthodoxy. Abbot Melchizedek was subjected to tortures and thrown into prison. There were even cases of killings for the faith… This violence elicited a fresh representation from the Russian court. Moreover, the courts of PrussiaEnglandSweden and Denmark demanded that the Poles reviewed the question of the dissidents (Orthodox and Protestants) at the Sejm and protected their rights. However, the Sejm that took place in 1766 still further restricted their religious liberty. The Catholic bishops Soltyk and Krasinsky by their epistles stirred up the people against the dissidents; the Pope himself (Clement XIII) tried to persuade Stanislav not to make concessions. Then the dissidents began to act in a more friendly manner towards each other. In Torn and Slutsk conferences of noblemen were convened, and in other places up to 200 similar unions appeared with the aim of obtaining rights for the non-Catholics ofPoland. In her turn Russia, in order to support these demands, moved her army into Poland. Relying on it, the Russian ambassador in Poland Repin demanded a review of the question of the dissidents at the new sejm in 1767. When at this Sejm the Catholic bishops Soltyk, Zalusky and some others continued to resist any concessions in favour of the dissidents, Repin arrested them and the Sejm agreed upon some important concessions: everything published against the dissidents was rescinded, complete freedom of faith and Divine services was proclaimed, they were given the right to build churches and schools, convene councils, take part in Sejms and in the Senate, educate children born from mixed marriages in the faith of their parents – sons in the faith of their fathers and daughters in the faith of their mothers, and forcible conversions to the unia were forbidden. These decrees were confirmed by a treaty between Russia and Poland in 1768. It was then decided that the Belorussian see should remain forever in the power of the Orthodox together with all the monasteries, churches and church properties, while the monasteries and churches that had been incorretly taken from them were to be returned. For this a special mixed commission of Catholics and dissidents – the latter led by George Konissky – was appointed. In these circumstances the movement among the uniates that had begun before was renewed with fresh force. Most of them – sometimes in whole parishes – declared their desire to return to Orthodoxy; these declarations were addressed to George Konissky, presented to Repin and written down in official books; even the uniate bishops turned to the king with a request that they be allowed to enter into discussions concerning a reunion of the uniates with theGreco-Russian Church. But the indecisiveness of the Polish and Russian governments hindered the realisation of these desires. Comparatively few parishes succeeded in returning to Orthodoxy, and then the matter of their reunion was stopped for a time. Immediately the Russian army left the boundaries of Poland, the Polish fanatics again set about their customary way of behaving. Bishop Krasinsky of Kamenets went round Poland in the clothes of a pilgrim and everywhere stirred up hatred against the dissidents; the papal nuncio fanned the flames of this hatred in appeals to the clergy, and sometimes also in instructions to the people. Those who were discontented with the Sejm of 1767 convened the conference of Bar in order to deprive the dissidents of the rights that had been granted them. Again there arose a persecution of the Orthodox, who could not stand the violence. In Trans-Dnieper Ukraine, under the leadership of the zaporozhets Maxim Zhelezniak, a popular uprising known as the Koliivschina began. The anger of the rebels was vented most of all on the landowners, the Jews, the Catholic priests and the uniate priests. They were all mercilessly beaten up, their homes were burned down, their property was looted; even the whole of the small town of Uman was ravaged. The rebellion enveloped the whole western region. The Polish government was not able to cope with it. The Russian armies under Krechetnikov came to its aid. The revolt was put down. But unfortunately, Krechetnikov and Repin, listening to the insinuations of the Poles and not seeing the true reasons for the rebellion, looked on it as an exclusively anti-state peasants’ rebellion, and so they themselves helped in destroying that which stood for Orthodoxy and Russian nationality in the Ukraine. Gervasius and Melchizedek, being suspected of rebellion, were retired; the Orthodox people, being accused of stirring up the people, had to hide in order to avoid punishment. The uniate priests took possession of many Orthodox parishes; in many places the Orthodox were forced to appeal with requests to perform needs to parishless priests coming from Moldavia and Wallachia. Fortunately, in 1772 there came the first division ofPoland, in accordance with which Belorussia with its population of 1,360,000 was united with Russia.  At this the Polish government was obliged to take measures to pacify the Orthodox who remained in their power, but in actual fact nothing was done. A new woe was then added to the already difficult position of the Orthodox: With the union ofBelorussia with Russia not one Orthodox bishop was left within the confines of Poland, and for ordinations the Orthodox were forced to turn to Russia or Wallachia. Only in 1785 did the Russian government, with the agreement of the Polish king, appoint a special bishop for them, Victor Sadkovsky, with the title of Bishop of Pereyaslavl and vicar of Kiev, with a salary and place of residence in Slutsk monastery. But when, with his arrival, another movement in favour of Orthodoxy arose among the Ukrainian uniates, the Poles were disturbed. Rumours spread that another Koliivschina was being prepared and that the clergy were inciting the people to rebel. Whatever Victor did to quash these rumours, they continued to grow. They began to say that arms for a planned beating up of the Catholics and uniates were being stored in the hierarchical house and in the monasteries. In accordance with an order of the sejm, Victor was seized and taken in fetters to Warsaw, where he was thrown into an arms depot (1789); some Orthodox priests were subjected to the same treatment; many were forced to save themselves by fleeing to Russia. The whole of the Orthodox clergy were rounded up to swear an oath of allegiance to the king. After this the thought was voiced in the Sejm of 1791 of freeing the Orthodox Church within the confines of Poland from Russian influence by making it independent of the Russian Synod and transferring it into the immediate jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Constantinople. ThePinsk congregation, made up of representatives of the clergy and brotherhoods, did indeed work out a project for the conciliar administration of the Church. But it was not fated to be put into effect. Soon there followed, one after the other, the second (1793) and third (1795) divisions of Poland, in accordance with which Russia acquired all the ancient Russian lands with the exception of Galicia, and the Lithuanian region with a population of more than 4 million.

     “With the union of Belorussia and the south-western regions to Russia there finally came to an end the age-old sufferings of the Orthodox there. At the same time there came the right opportunity for the uniates to throw off the fetters of the unia that had been forcibly imposed upon them. The Belorussian Archbishop George Konissky received many declarations from uniate parishes wishing to return to Orthodoxy. Although the Russian government did not allow him to do anything about these declarations without special permission, and itself did not give permission for about 8 years, the striving of the uniates for Orthodoxy did not wane. When, finally, permission was given, up to 130,000 uniates went over to Orthodoxy. In the south-western region an energetic assistant of George Konissky in the work of uniting the uniates was Victor Sadkovsky, who had been released from prison and raised to the see of Minsk (1793). With the permission of the government, he published an appeal to the uniates of his diocese urging them to return to Orthodoxy. Soon, on the orders of the government, the same was done in the Belorussian region. Moreover, the government told local authorities to remove all obstacles that might appear in the unification of the uniates on the part of the Roman Catholic clergy and landowners, and threatened the guilty with responsibility before the law, while at the same time forbidding their forcible union. The appeals had an extraordinary success. In less than a year (from the middle of 1794 to the beginning of 1795), more than one-and-a-half million uniates had joined the Orthodox Church; the numbers of those united by the end of the reign of Catherine II came to no less than two million.”[9]

     This was a great triumph for Orthodoxy. And yet we may agree with Archpriest Lev Lebedev that “from the point of view of the interests of Great Russia, it was necessary to pacify Poland, but not seize the age-old Polish and purely Lithuanian lands. This wrong attitude of Russia to the neighbouring peoples then became a ‘mine’ which later more than once exploded with bad consequences for Russia…”[10]

     The voluntary return of the uniates to Orthodoxy continued into the nineteenth century. Favourable conditions for this change had been created by the fall of Poland in 1815, the expulsion of the Jesuits from Russia in 1820 and the suppression of the Polish rebellion in 1830-1831. Then, in 1835, a secret committee on the uniate question was formed in St. Petersburg consisting of the uniate bishop Joseph Semashko, the real soul of the movement, Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow, the over-procurator of the Holy Synod and the minister of the interior. By 1839 1,600,000 had converted to Orthodoxy.[11]


     However, immediately Poland acquired independence from Russia, during the First World War and the Russian revolution, the persecution of the Orthodox began again. Thusalready on October 22, 1919 the Poles had ordered 497 Orthodox churches and chapels, which had supposedly been seized from the Catholics in the past, to be returned to the Catholic Church.[12] Again, in Turkovichi in Kholm region there had been for centuries the miraculous Turkovitskaya Icon of the Mother of God cared for by a convent of nuns. In 1915 the nuns were forced to flee to Moscow, and the icon perished during the revolution. Meanwhile, in 1918, writes Archbishop Athanasius, “the Poles occupied the monastery and turned it into an orphanage under the direction of Polish nuns. The Orthodox were strictly forbidden to enter the monastery. Upon return from exile, the Orthodox inhabitants of Turkovichi built with their own means a small chapel in the cemetery not far from the monastery and ordered from the local artist and iconographer, Zinya, a copy of the miraculous icon, adorning it with a large kiot (shrine) and placing it in the church. The people heard of this and began to make massive pilgrimages to Turkovichi in order to venerate the sacred ‘Turkovitskaya’ Icon as one equal to the original. Thus the feast day of Turkovichi was restored and drew numerous pilgrims on the July 2/15 date.

     “But the wheel of fate turned mercilessly for Turkovichi and Kholm. During the terrible years of 1943-1945 during the Second World War Polish bandits attacked the peaceful Orthodox inhabitants at night, slaughtered them, burned their homes, and brought a reign of terror and fear to these Orthodox people. In this tragedy hundreds of thousands of Orthodox people who inhabited the four districts of Grubeshovsky, Tomashevsky, Zamoisky, and Bielgoraisky perished at the hands of the Poles.”[13]

     Long before that, however, the Poles had acted to try and destroy the links between the Russian Orthodox in Poland and their Mother Church in Russia by creating an autocephalous Polish Church. Thus in 1921 Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow appointed Archbishop Seraphim (Chichagov) to the see of Warsaw, but the Poles, whose armies had defeated the Red Army in 1920, did not grant him entry into the country. So on September 27 the Patriarch was forced to accept the Poles’ candidate, Archbishop George (Yaroshevsky) of Minsk. However, he appointed him his exarch in Poland, not metropolitan of Warsaw(that title remained with Archbishop Seraphim). Moreover, he refused Archbishop George’s request for autocephaly on the grounds that very few members of the Polish Church were Poles and the Polish dioceses were historically indivisible parts of the Russian Church.[14]Instead, he granted the Polish Church autonomy within the Russian Church.[15]

     On January 24, 1922 Archbishop George convened a hierarchical Council in Warsawwhich included Archbishops Dionysius (Valedinsky) and Panteleimon (Rozhnovsky). Under pressure from the authorities, Bishop Vladimir also joined them. Pekarsky, an official of the ministry of religious confessions, entered into negotiations with the Russian hierarchs that were directed mainly to forcing them to sign the so-called “Temporary Rules”, which had been drawn up in the ministry and which envisaged far-reaching government control over the life of the Orthodox Church in Poland. On January 30 the “Temporary Rules” were signed by Archbishops George and Dionysius, but not by Archbishop Panteleimon and Bishop Vladimir.

     On the same day Patriarch Tikhon transferred Archbishop George to the see of Warsaw and raised him to the rank of metropolitan; for it had become evident that it would be impossible to obtain the Polish authorities’ permission for the entrance into Warsaw of Metropolitan Seraphim (Chichagov), who had the reputation of being an extreme rightist. However, the titular promotion of Archbishop George by no means signified that the patriarch supported his intentions, for in the decrees there is no mention of ecclesiastical autocephaly, nor of exarchal rights. Consequently, as was confirmed by the patriarch in 1925, he was simply one of the diocesan bishops in Poland, and not metropolitan “of allPoland”.[16]

     Liudmilla Koeller writes: “The Polish authorities restricted the Orthodox Church, which numbered more than 3 million believers (mainly Ukrainians and Byelorussians). In 1922 a council was convoked in Pochaev which was to have declared autocephaly, but as the result of a protest by Bishop Eleutherios [Bogoyavlensky, of Vilnius] and Bishop Vladimir (Tikhonitsky), this decision was not made. But at the next council of bishops, which gathered in Warsaw in June, 1922, the majority voted for autocephaly, with only Bishops Eleutherios and Vladimir voting against. A council convoked in September of the same year ‘deprived Bishops Eleutherios and Vladimir of their sees. In December, 1922, Bishop Eleutherios was arrested and imprisoned’.”[17] Eleutherios was later exiled to Lithuania. Two other Russian bishops, Panteleimon (Rozhnovsky) and Sergius (Korolev), were also deprived of their sees. They, too, were then expelled from Poland.

     In November, 1923, Metropolitan George was killed by an opponent of his church politics, Archimandrite Smaragd (Laytshenko), and was succeeded by Metropolitan Dionysius with the agreement of the Polish government and the blessing of the Masonic Patriarch Meletius IV (Metaxakis) of Constantinople. Patriarch Tikhon rejected this act as uncanonical.[18] On November 13, 1924 Meletius’ successor, Patriarch Gregory VII, signed a Tomos “on the recognition of the Orthodox Church in Poland as autocephalous”. The Tomossignificantly declared: “The first separation from our see of the Kievan Metropolia and from the Orthodox Metropolias of Latvia and Poland, which depended on it, and also their union to the holy Moscow Church, took place by no means in accordance with the prescription of the holy canons, nor was everything observed that had been established with regard to the complete ecclesiastical autonomy of the Kievan metropolitan who bears the title of exarch of the Ecumenical Throne”. Hereby the patriarch indirectly laid claim to Ukraine as his canonical territory, in spite of the fact that it had been under Russian rule for two-and-a-half centuries. And yet, in contradiction with that, he affirmed as the basis of his grant of autocephaly to the Polish Church the fact that “the order of ecclesiastical affairs must follow political and social forms”, basing this affirmation on the 17th Canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council and the 38th canon of the Sixth Ecumenical Council.[19]

     The Polish government continued to persecute the Orthodox in the inter-war years. ThusAlexeyev and Stavrou write: “Before the beginning of the Second World War the Poles had closed hundreds of Orthodox churches on their territory on the grounds that the Tsarist government had in 1875 returned theses churches from the unia to Orthodoxy. The Polish government considered the return of the uniates to Orthodoxy an act of violence, and they in their own way restored justice by means of violence, which, needless to say, elicited protests even from the Catholic and Uniate churches.

     “The results of these measures of the Polish government were such that, for example, in the region of Kholm out of 393 Orthodox churches existing in 1914, by 1938 there remained 227, by 1939 – 176, and by the beginning of the war – 53 in all.[20] Particularly disturbing was the fact that, of the cult buildings taken away from the Orthodox, 130 churches, 10 houses of prayer and 2 monasteries were simply destroyed.”[21]  

     After the Soviet victory in the war, it was the turn of the Soviets and the Sovietized Moscow Patriarchate to apply pressure. Towards the end of the war it was suggested to the uniate episcopate in Western Ukraine that it simply “liquidate itself”. When all five uniate bishops refused, in April, 1945, they were arrested. Within a month a clearly Soviet-inspired “initiative movement” for unification with the MP headed by Protopresbyter G. Kostelnikov appeared.[22] By the spring of 1946 997 out of 1270 uniate priests in Western Ukraine had joined this movement. On March 8-10 a uniate council of clergy and laity meeting in Lvov voted to join the Orthodox church and annul the Brest unia with the Roman Catholic Church of 1596. Those uniates who rejected the council were forced underground. Similar liquidations of the uniate churches took place in Czechoslovakia and Romania… Central Committee documents show that the whole procedure was controlled by the first secretary of the Ukrainian party, Nikita Khruschev, who in all significant details sought the sanction of Stalin.[23]

     In August, 1948, Metropolitan Dionysius of Warsaw petitioned the MP to be received into communion, repenting of his “unlawful autocephaly”. In November, the MP granted his request, and granted the Polish Church autocephaly – again. However, because of his “sin of autocephaly”, Dionysius was not allowed to remain head of the Church.[24] Another reason may have been his participation in the creation of the Ukrainian AutocephalousChurch during the war. This decision remained in force despite a plea on Dionysius’ behalf by Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople in February, 1950.[25] In 1951, at the Poles’ request, the MP appointed a new metropolitan for the Polish Church.[26]

     From now on the Polish Orthodox Church returned to Moscow’s orbit. Metropolitan Savva of Poland, the present head of the Polish Church, was recruited by the Polish communist security forces in 1966, with the codename “Yurek”. Another Polish Churchleader, Metropolitan Basil, was also an agent.[27]


     How did the Vatican, Russia’s age-old enemy, react to the revolution?  In reality, with joy, as being a wonderful missionary opportunity. However, since the Vatican had always opposed communism as well as Orthodoxy, it had to hide its joy at first….

     On March 12, 1919 Pope Benedict XV sent Lenin a protest against the persecutions of the Orthodox clergy, while Archbishop Ropp sent Patriarch Tikhon a letter of sympathy. The Bolshevik Commissar for Foreign Affairs Chicherin noted with dissatisfaction this “solidarity with the servers of the Orthodox Church”.[28]

     In general, however, the attitude of the Vatican to Orthodoxy was hostile to the Orthodox. Thus Deacon Herman Ivanov-Trinadtsaty writes: “Pope Pius X (who was canonized in 1954) pronounced on the very eve of World War I, ‘Russia is the greatest enemy of the [Roman] Church.’ Therefore it is not surprising that the Roman Catholic world greeted the Bolshevik Revolution with joy. ‘After the Jews the Catholics did probably more than anyone else to organize the overthrow of tsarist power. At least they did nothing to stop it.’ Shamelessly and with great candour they wrote in Rome as soon as the Bolshevik ‘victory’ became evident: ‘there has been uncontainable pleasure over the fall of the tsarist government and Rome has not wasted any time in entering into negotiations with the Soviet government.’ When a leading Vatican dignitary was asked why the Vatican was against France during World War II, he exclaimed: ‘The victory of the Entente allied with Russia would have been as great a catastrophe for the Roman Catholic Church as the Reformation was.’ Pope Pius conveyed this feeling in his typically abrupt manner: ‘If Russia is victorious, then the schism is victorious.’…

     “Even though the Vatican had long prepared for it, the collapse of the Orthodox Russian Empire caught it unawares. It very quickly came to its senses. The collapse of Russia did not yet mean that Russia could turn Roman Catholic. For this, a new plan of attack was needed. Realizing that it would be as difficult for a Pole to proselytise in Russia as for an Englishman in Ireland, the Vatican understood the necessity of finding a totally different method of battle with Orthodoxy, which would painlessly and without raising the slightest suspicion, ensnare and subordinate the Russian people to the Roman Pope. This Machiavellian scheme was the appearance of the so-called ‘Eastern Rite’, which its defenders understood as ‘the bridge by which Rome will enter Russia’, to quote an apt expression of K.N. Nikolaiev.

     “This treacherous plot, which can be likened to a ship sailing under a false flag, had very rapid success in the first years after the establishment of Soviet power. This too place in blood-drenched Russia and abroad, where feverish activity was begun amongst the hapless émigrés, such as finding them work, putting their immigration status in order, and opening Russian-language schools for them and their children.

     “It cannot be denied that there were cases of unmercenary help, but in the overwhelming majority of cases, this charitable work had a thinly disguised confessional goal, to lure by various means the unfortunate refugees into what seemed at first glance to be true Orthodox churches, but which at the same time commemorated the pope…

     “In Russia the experiment with the ‘Eastern Rite’ lasted more than ten years…[29] The heart and soul of the papal ‘Ostpolitik’, its eastern policies, was a Jesuit, the French Bishop d’Erbigny, who was specially authorized by the pope to conduct negotiations with the Kremlin for the wide dissemination of Roman Catholicism in the Soviet Union and by the same token the supplanting of Orthodoxy in Russia and in Russian souls.

     “With this in mind, d’Erbigny travelled three times to the Soviet Union on a French diplomatic passport. He consecrated several Roman Catholic hierarchs with the aim of building up a group of Russian Catholic clergymen who would be acceptable to the Soviet authorities. Let us listen to the degree of open amorality that these clerics were capable of: ‘Bolshevism is liquidating priests, desecrating churches and holy places, and destroying monasteries. Is this not where the religious mission of irreligious Bolshevism lies, in the disappearance of the carriers of schismatic thought, as it were presenting a “clean table”, atabula rasa, which gives us the possibility of spiritual recreation.’ For those to whom it is not clear just what kind of spiritual reconstruction the Benedictine monk Chrysostom Bayer is referring to, his thoughts can be amplified by the official …Catholic journal, Bayrischer Kurier: ‘Bolshevism is creating the possibility of the conversion of stagnant Russia to Catholicism.’

     “No one less than the exarch of the Russian Catholics, Leonid Fyodorov, when on trial in March of 1923 along with fourteen other clergymen and one layman, pathetically testified to the sincerity of his feelings in relation to the Soviet authorities, who, Fyodorov thought later, did not fully understand what could be expected from Roman Catholicism. He explained: ‘From the time that I gave myself to the Roman Catholic Church, my cherished dream has been to reconcile my homeland with this church, which for me is the only true one. But we were not understood by the government. All Latin Catholics heaved a sigh of relief when the October Revolution took place. I myself greeted with enthusiasm the decree on the separation of Church and State… Only under Soviet rule, when Church and State are separated, could we breathe freely. As a religious believer, I saw in this liberation the hand of God.

     “Let us not lose sight of the fact that all these declarations by Roman Catholics, who were quite friendly with the Soviets, were pronounced during the nightmarish period when the Soviets were trying to eradicate the Orthodox Church. Keeping in mind that Vatican diplomacy adheres to the principle that the end justifies the means, which is illustrated throughout its centuries-old history, the game which the Vatican has been playing with Moscow should be clearly understood. The essence of the matter is that Russia has become a sacrifice to two principles hostile to it, Catholicism and godless communism, which are drawn together by a curious concurrence of interests. Moscow realizes that the eradication of faith from the Russian soul is a hopeless task. As long as the Russian Church remained faithful to itself, and uncompromising towards the godless power, courageously witnessing to the fundamental incompatibility between Christian and communist principles, the Soviet leaders were ready for two reasons to graciously study the variant of Roman Catholicism offered to them. By this means they hoped to manipulate the religiousness of the Russian soul.

     “The first reason was Rome’s consistent, impeccable loyalty to the communist regime, both in the U.S.S.R. and outside it [until 1930]. Secondly, it was advantageous to the Kremlin, or simply entertaining, that the religious needs of the Russians should be satisfied by this centuries-old enemy of Orthodoxy. For their part, the Catholics were ready to close their eyes to all the atrocities of Bolshevism, including the shooting of the Roman Catholic Bishop Butkevich in April of 1923 and the imprisonment of Bishops Tseplyak, Malyetsky and Fyodorov. Six weeks later, the Vatican expressed its sorrow over the assassination of the Soviet agent Vorovsky in Lausanne! The People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs told the German Ambassador, ‘Pius XI was amiable to me in Genoa, expressing the hope that we [the Bolsheviks] would break the monopoly of the Orthodox Church in Russia, thus clearing a path for him.’

     “We have discovered information of the greatest importance in the archives of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. A secret telegram  266 of February 6, 1925 from Berlin, stated that the Soviet ambassador, Krestinsky, told Cardinal Pacelli (the future Pius XII) that Moscow would not oppose the existence of Roman Catholic bishops and a metropolitan on Russian territory. Furthermore, the Roman clergy were offered the very best conditions. Six days later, secret telegram  284 spoke of permission being granted for the opening of a Roman Catholic seminary. Thus, while our holy New Martyrs were being annihilated with incredible cruelty, the Vatican was conducting secret negotiations with Moscow. In short, Rome attempted to gain permission to appoint the necessary bishops and even permission to open a seminary. Our evidence shows that this question was discussed once more in high circles in the autumn of 1926. In all likelihood, it had not been satisfactorily settled earlier. This might be viewed as the culmination of the unnaturally close relations between the Vatican and the Soviet government.” [30]

     In July, 1927 the deputy leader of the Russian Church, Metropolitan Sergius wrote a notorious declaration, committing his church to cooperation with the Bolsheviks. Having broken Sergius, - but not the True Russian Church, which went underground, - the Bolsheviks no longer needed the Catholics. And so, as an “unexpected and indirect result” of the declaration, writes Ivanov-Trinadtsaty, “Moscow put an end to the negotiations and the attention it was devoting to Vatican offers… The restitution of the traditional [in appearance] Russian Orthodox Church, neutralized as it were, seemed more useful to the Soviet authorities than the Vatican. From then on, the Soviets lost interest in the Vatican. Only at the end of 1929 and the beginning of 1930 did the Vatican finally admit that it had suffered a political defeat and began vociferously to condemn the Bolshevik crimes. It had somehow not noticed them until 1930. Only in 1937 did Pope Pius XI release the encyclicalDivini Redemptoris (Divine Redeemer), which denounced communism…”


     In the early 1960s the relationship between the Vatican and Russia began to change. The Second Vatican Council introduced ecumenism into the Roman Catholic bloodstream, and the Orthodox were now “separated brethren” rather than schismatics and heretics. So the Popes were now willing to enter into friendly relations with the Orthodox – although whether this was simply the wolf putting on sheep’s clothing remained to be seen... As for the official Russian Orthodox Church, it was now a complete slave of the Bolsheviks. In 1948, at Stalin’s bidding, it had condemned ecumenism and the Roman Catholics. But now, under orders from the same KGB, it entered the World Council of Churches and sent observers to the Vatican Council. The aim, undoubtedly, was not ecclesiastical, but political: to infiltrate western church life with Soviet agents, and to influence western church gatherings in a pro-Soviet direction…

     Soviet control of the Russian Orthodox Church, and its influence on the Vatican through the Russian hierarchs, was proved in January, 1992, when a Commission of the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Soviet investigating the causes and circumstances of the 1991 putsch, established that for several decades at least the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate had been KGB agents. Members of the commission obtained access to the records of the fourth, Church department of the KGB’s Fifth Directorate, and revealed that Metropolitans Juvenal of Krutitsa, Pitirim of Volokolamsk, Philaret of Kiev and Philaret of Minsk were all KGB agents, with the codenames “Adamant”, “Abbat”, “Antonov” and “Ostrovsky”.

     But it was the Commission’s report on March 6 that contained the most shocking revelations: “KGB agents, using such aliases as Sviatoslav, Adamant, Mikhailov, Nesterovich, Ognev and others, made trips abroad, organised by the Russian Orthodox Department of External Relations [which was headed by the present patriarch, Cyril (Gundiaev], performing missions assigned to them by the leadership of the KGB. The nature of their missions shows that this department was inseparably linked with the state and that it had emerged as a covert centre of KGB agents among the faithful.” “The Commission draws the attention of the Russian Orthodox Church leadership to the fact that the Central Committee of the CPSU and KGB agencies have used a number of church bodies for their purposes by recruiting and planting KGB agents. Such deep infiltration by intelligence service agents into religious associations poses a serious threat to society and the State. Agencies that are called upon to ensure State security can thus exert uncontrolled impact on religious associations numbering millions of members, and through them on the situation at home and abroad.”[31]

     The findings of the Commission included:- (i) the words of the head of the KGB Yury Andropov to the Central Committee sometime in the 1970s: “The organs of state security keep the contacts of the Vatican with the Russian Orthodox Church under control…”; (ii) “At the 6th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, the religious delegation from the USSR contained 47 (!) agents of the KGB, including religious authorities, clergy and technical personnel” (July, 1983); (iii) “The most important were the journeys of agents ‘Antonov’, ‘Ostrovsky’ and ‘Adamant’ to Italy for conversations with the Pope of Rome on the question of further relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church, and in particular regarding the problems of the uniates” (1989).[32]

     But the process of infiltration was not one-way: the Vatican also managed to get its agents into the highest reaches of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 1992 the Pope said that he had two cardinals among the bishops in Russia.[33] We now know that the most powerful Russian bishop in the 1970s, Metropolitan Nicodemus of Leningrad, was both a KGB agent with the nickname “Sviatoslav” and a secret Vatican bishop! This at first sight unlikely combination gains credibility from the witness of Fr. Michael Havryliv, a Russian priest who was secretly received into the Catholic Church in 1973. Fr. Serge Keleher writes: “The Capuchin priest told Havryliv that Metropolitan Nicodemus [of Leningrad] was secretly a Catholic bishop, recognized by Rome with jurisdiction from Pope Paul VI throughout Russia. This assertion is not impossible – but neither is it entirely proved.

     “On September 6 1975 Havryliv made a sacramental general Confession before Metropolitan Nicodemus, who then accepted Havryliv’s monastic vows and profession of Faith to the Apostolic See and the Pope of Rome. Kyr Nicodemus commanded Havryliv to order his monastic life according to the Jesuit Constitutions, and presented him with a copy of this document in Russian. This was all done privately; four days later the Metropolitan tonsured Havryliv a monk. On 9 October Kyr Nicodemus ordained Havryliv to the priesthood, without requiring the oaths customary for Russian Orthodox candidates to Holy Orders.

     “In 1977 Havryliv was reassigned to the Moscow Patriarchate’s archdiocese of L’viv and Ternopil… In Havryliv’s final interview with Kyr Nicodemus, the Metropolitan of Leningrad ‘blessed me and gave me instructions to keep my Catholic convictions and do everything possible for the growth of the Catholic cause, not only in Ukraine, but in Russia. The Metropolitan spoke of the practice of his predecessors – and also asked me to be prudent.’”[34]

     These words indicate the truth behind the mask of the Vatican’s ecumenism; and the fact that Havryliv was reordained by Nicodemus show that Rome accepted the sacraments of the Orthodox for only as long as it suited her. The Orthodox were, according to Vatican II, not heretics, but “separated brethren”. However, the “separated brethren” still had to return in repentance to their father, the Pope…

     The intriguing question is: which master was Nicodemus really serving – the Soviets or the Vatican? His pro-Soviet statements on the international stage were notorious. But his love of Catholicism also seems to have been sincere. He completed a massive master’s thesis on Pope John XXIII, the originator of Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism, and in 1969 he engineered a decree establishing partial inter-communion between Orthodox and Catholics in the Soviet Union. He himself gave communion to Catholics in the Rossicum in Rome. And in 1978 he died in Rome at the feet of Pope John-Paul I, from whom he received the Catholic last rites – a graphic symbol of the dangers posed by the too-close relationship of Russia’s hierarchs to the Vatican…[35] The career of Nicodemus is not merely of historical interest. He founded a school of theology, “Nikodimovshina”, and a close circle of disciples, that still controls the upper reaches of the Russian Orthodox Church. Thus both the former Patriarch Alexis II (Ridiger) and the present Patriarch Cyril (Gundiaev) were disciples of Nicodemus…


     Whatever the Vatican hoped to achieve through its policy of ecclesiastical détente with the Moscow Patriarchate, it must have known that it could achieve little as long as the Soviet regime remained in power and the restrictions on all religions remained in place. However, in the early 1980s the Polish Pope John-Paul II succeeded, with the help of the Polish trade union Solidarnost, in fatally weakening the communist regime in his native land; and when Gorbachev came to power in 1985, the whole of the Soviet power structure in Eastern Europe began to totter. The Vatican saw its chance, and began a more aggressive – although still outwardly “eirenic” and ecumenist – approach to Russia.

     The Achilles’ heel of Soviet ecclesiastical diplomacy was the Western Ukraine, where Stalin had forcibly “converted” the majority uniate or Greek Catholic population into the Moscow Patriarchate at the council of Lvov in 1946. The uniates were Catholic through their submission to the Pope, but Orthodox in their ritual and historical ancestry. In other circumstances, they might have been happy to return to the Orthodoxy of their Fathers, from which the Poles had separated them at the false unia of Brest-Litovsk in 1596. However, Stalin’s heavy-handed approach to church unity had only alienated them even further from Orthodoxy and the Russians.  At the same time, it was from the former uniate population of the Western Ukraine that the Moscow Patriarchate recruited a large proportion of its clergy (Stalin had killed most of the clergy in the other regions of the country in the previous thirty years).

     Now when Gorbachev came to power, the uniates who had resisted absorption into the Moscow Patriarchate came out of their catacombs and began agitating for the legalization of their Church. They were supported, surprisingly, by the chairman of the Council for Religious Affairs, Constantine Kharchev, who insisted that local authorities keep the law in their dealings with believers and suggested the legalization of the uniates and the free election of bishops. This roused the patriarchate and members of the Ideology department of the Central Committee to complain about Kharchev to the Supreme Soviet, and he was removed in June, 1989.

     The ferment in the Western Ukraine also motivated the Moscow hierarchs to refuse the request of Pope John Paul II to attend the festivities commemorating the millennium of the Baptism of Russia by St. Vladimir of Kiev in 1988. The Pope pointed out, correctly, that in 988 there had been no schism between Eastern and Western Christianity, so his attendance was natural, especially in the contemporary climate of inter-Christian ecumenism. But Moscow feared that the Pope’s visit would elicit a stampede of conversions from Orthodoxy to Catholicism, not only in the Western Ukraine, but also in the heartland of Russia. Not the least of the attractions of Catholicism for many Russians, especially intellectuals, was the fact that the Pope was clearly an independent hierarch, whereas the Moscow hierarchs were “KGB agents in cassocks”, completely dependent on the whims of their communist bosses. Ecumenism was all very well, but it could not be allowed to undermine the power of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union!

     However, the tide of liberalization could not be stopped, and in January, 1990, just after Gorbachev met the Pope in Rome in order to try and stem the tide, the uniates finally achieved legalization for their church. Moreover, even before they had recovered their freedom in law, the uniates started taking over churches in Western Ukraine which they considered to be theirs by right. By December, 1991, 2167 nominally Orthodox parishes had joined the Uniates.

     Deprived of the help of the local authorities, who showed every sign of being on the side of the uniates, and discredited by its associations with communism, the Moscow Patriarchate seemed helpless to stop the rot. One reason for this was that for many years the patriarchate had been teaching its seminarians, a large proportion of whom came from the Western Ukraine, that the Orthodox and the Catholics were “sister churches”. 60% of those who joined the uniates were graduates of the Leningrad theological schools founded by that KGB Agent, Orthodox Metropolitan and Catholic bishop, Nicodemus...

     This represented the second major diplomatic triumph of the Vatican in the communist bloc (after the legalization of Solidarnost in Poland) and the beginning of the re-establishment of Catholic power in Russia…

     When the red flag came down for the last time from over the Kremlin in December, 1991, the way seemed open for a repeat of the Catholic conquest of Moscow in the early seventeenth century, spearheaded once again by a Pole… But then something unexpected happened. Along with the Jesuits and the Freemasons and the Protestant missionaries, there also came into Russia from the West the Russian Church Abroad, the so-called “White Russian” Church. This Church had long been a thorn in the side of the Moscow Patriarchate. Fiercely anti-communist, it was also anti-ecumenist and anti-Catholic. And although the numbers of its adherents in Russia remained small, and its attempt to unseat and replace the Moscow Patriarchate failed, its ideological influence continued to increase throughout the 1990s. Anti-ecumenism and anti-Catholicism grew in Russia, and even found adherents among the hierarchy. True, the patriarchate remained in the World Council of Churches, and ecumenist meetings with leading Catholics continued – but the Pope was still not invited to Moscow…

     When KGB Colonel Putin came to power in 2000, he acted swiftly to stop the ideological rot. He summoned the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad to settle their differences, and in 2007, by dint of various forms of persuasion and blackmail, the Russian Church Abroad surrendered and joined the patriarchate. Now only a few “True Orthodox” Churches remained in Russia to contest the ecclesiastical consensus – and in 2009 the largest of these, the Russian Orthodox Autonomous Church, was neutralized and its churches confiscated.

     It would seem that the final victory of the “Red Church” is now assured. And yet… it is now not at all clear what the “Red Church” stands for. Is it for the anti-ecumenism and anti-Catholicism of Stalinist times, and the nationalism of the Russian Church Abroad? Perhaps; for Putin is a great admirer of Stalin, and paranoically anti-western. Or does it wish to continue the ecumenist and pro-Catholic policies of the 1960s to early 1980s? Perhaps; for Putin, as one who worked in the Fifth Department of the KGB, is well familiar with this aspect of Soviet diplomacy, and values the power that infiltration of western ecclesiastical institutions and media gives him.[36] One thing only is certain: that Russian ecclesiastical policy is as firmly determined by the secular authorities now as it was in Soviet times…

     One factor working against the pro-Catholic line is the situation in the Ukraine. Since acquiring political independence, the Ukraine has moved further away from Moscow in Church matters also; both the Pope and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who is seen as an American agent, have made major inroads there. Both Putin and Patriarch Cyril desperately want to keep the Ukraine out of the western orbit…


     In this context, it will be useful to take a brief look at what we may call “the Fatima phenomenon”. In 1917, on the thirteenth day of the month for six months the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared to three shepherd girls in Fatima, Portugal, the first appearance being on May 13. The girls were entrusted with “three secrets”, the second of which is the most important. This supposedly revealed that, in order to avoid terrible calamities in the world and the persecution of the Catholic Church, the Virgin will ask for the consecration of Russia to her Immaculate Heart. If her request is granted, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace. If not, then she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecution of the Church. “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father will have much to suffer, various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.”[37]

     Now from the point of view of the Orthodox Saints and Holy Fathers (and even of some of the Catholic “saints”, such as John of the Cross), these visions and revelations are clear examples of demonic deception and not to be trusted. In May, 1917 it was not difficult to see that Russia was descending into chaos, and the devil used the opportunity to try and persuade people that the chaos could be averted only through the submission of Russia to his tool, the Catholic Church. Not surprisingly, the Vatican seized on these “revelations” and in 1930 pronounced them worthy of trust; and every Pope since then has been committed to belief in the Fatima phenomenon.

     However, this poses a major problem for the present ecumenist policies of the Vatican. For Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism presupposes that the two Churches are – in the words of the Balamand agreement of 1994 – “the two lungs” of the single Body of Christ. Such a formulation is incompatible with the idea that Russia has to be “converted” - for it implies she is converted already, if not to Catholicism, at any rate to a sister Church of roughly equal status. The anathemas between the two Churches were supposedly lifted in 1964 by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople, and concelebration between hierarchs of the two Churches at the highest level has already taken place. Nor is there any reason why Russia should be “consecrated” to the Mother of God, since she has called herself the House of the Mother of God for centuries. And if reconsecration is necessary (although the Orthodox prefer the word “repentance”), then she has her own hierarchs to lead the way… Perhaps in view of these difficulties, no Pope has yet specifically consecrated Russia. In fact, when Pope John Paul II consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1984 he specifically acknowledged that this was not the consecration of Russia.

     But this has aroused the wrath of the Fatima fanatics, otherwise known as the Blue Army. Thus one of their leaders, Fr. Nicholas Gruner, writes: “God asked for the consecration of a specific country – Russia. Now, centuries ago, Russia was known as Holy Mother Russia. It had been, so to speak, consecrated to God, but the Catholics of that country fell into schism not so much directly but through the bishops – between them and Rome. The Catholics of Constantinople fell into schism in 1054 and people from Russia followed suit over time. They have been separated from the True Church ever since. Also, Russia was, in a sense, ‘consecrated’ to the devil in 1917 to be the instrument of atheistic Communism and its worldwide war against God; to deny God’s existence, to fight God in every way.

     “Thus God calls for a public reparation, a solemn ceremony by the Pope and the bishops of the world consecrating Russia to the Immaculate Heart – to call people back to the service of God.”[38]

     Another Fatima fanatic, Atila Sinke Guimaraes, writes: “From 1917 until today, the schismatic Russian Church has not changed any of its erroneous doctrines on the Holy Trinity, Papal infallibility, and the immaculate Conception of Mary. It also sustains the same spirit of arrogance towards Rome that it has held for the last 1,000 years”. [39]

     Now it will be immediately apparent that this is the old-fashioned, pre-Vatican II Roman Catholicism speaking. The modern, ecumenist Vatican would never say that Russia has “separated from the True Church” or that it was “schismatic”. Such language would ruin its ecumenist diplomacy with the Moscow Patriarchate. Of course, in his heart the present Pope may think like the Fatima fanatics, and in practice the Vatican allows this old-fashioned kind of thinking to coexist with the newer spirit of ecumenism. But the fact is that the cult of the Fatima phenomenon and the Vatican’s present ecumenist strategy in relation to Russia are incompatible – which may explain the tensions between the Fatima fanatics and the Pope over the “Third Secret” and other questions…

     So there are tensions between ecumenist and anti-ecumenist forces in both Roman Catholicism and the Moscow Patriarchate. However, in spite of that, there are signs that both the pope and the patriarch are pushing forward the ecumenical agenda with renewed vigour. If newspaper reports are to be believed, a visit of the Pope to Russia is imminent…[40]


     The conclusion, then, must be that Russia is in as imminent danger of being drawn into a unia with the Vatican as it was four hundred years ago. Indeed, the danger is probably greater now for the simple reason that the leaders of the Russian Church are as compromised in their own way as the papacy itself, and can therefore offer far less effective opposition to the threat than the dying Patriarch Hermogen was able to produce from his freezing Kremlin prison. The National Bolshevism (disguised under the slogan of “Sovereign Democracy”) of the neo-Soviet Russian State cannot help – one cannot drive out one demon by employing another, hardly less wicked one. The only hope for the Russians is to begin to repent at last of their apostasy from God since 1917, and to purify themselves by returning to the undefiled truth of the Holy Orthodox Faith. Then, and only then, will a true leader emerge who, like Moses, will use God’s own weapons to drown the spiritual Pharaoh threatening it from the West…

April 17/30, 2010; revised May 9/22, 2013.

[1] SmirnovIstoria Khristianskoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi (A History of the Orthodox Christian Church)МоscowКrutitskoe podvorye, 2000, pp. 203-204.
[2] Smirnov, op. cit., pp. 205-207, 208.
[3] Lourié, “Brestskaia unia i RPTsZ: istoricheskie paralleli” (The Brest Unia and ROCOR: historical parallels), http://hgr.livejournal.com/1099549.html.
[4] Smirnov, op. cit., pp. 205-207, 208.
[5] Platonov, Ternovij Venets Rossii (Russia’s Crown of Thorns), Moscow, 1998, p. 224.
[6] L. Perepiolkina, Ecumenism – A Path to Perdition, St. Petersburg, 1999, pp. 227-228.
[7] Perepiolkina, op. cit., p. 228.
[8] Vital, A People Apart: The Jews in Europe 1789-1939, Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 74.
[9] Dobroklonsky, Rukovodstvo po istorii russkoj tserkvi (A Guide to the History of the Russian Church), Moscow, 2001, pp. 647-652.
[10] Lebedev, Velikorossia (Great Russia), St. Petersburg, 1997, p. 232.
[11] Dobroklonsky, op. cit., pp. 654-657.
[12] See M.B. Danilushkin, Istoria Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi (A History of the Russian Orthodox Church), vol. I, St. Petersburg, 1997, p. 586.
[13] Archbishop Athanasius, "The Tragedy of Orthodoxy in Kholm: Eternal be its memory!", Orthodox Life, vol. 34,  1 (January-February, 1984), pp. 34-35. Translated by Timothy Fisher from Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia),  14, 1983, p. 9.
[14] Danilushkin, op. cit., p. 197.
[15] Monk Benjamin, http://www.zlatoust.ws/letopis2.htm, p. 57.
[16] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., pp. 63-64.
[17] Koeller, "Kommentarii k pis'mu Arkhiepiskopa Rizhskago i Latvijskago Ioanna Arkhiepiskopu Vilyenskomu i Litovskomu Elevferiu ot 2 noiabria 1927 g." (Commentary on the Letter of Archbishop John of Riga and Latvia to Archbishop Eleutherios of Vilnius and Lithuania), Tserkovnaia Zhizn’ (Church Life), №№. 3-4, May-June-July-August, 1992, pp. 56-57 ®; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., p. 87.
[18] Gubonin, op. cit., pp. 320-321.
[19] K. Svitich, Pravoslavnaia Tserkov’ v Pol’she i ee avtokefalia (The Orthodox Church in Poland and its autocephaly); Monk Benjamin, op. cit., p. 133. For a more detailed account of the Polish autocephaly, see M. Zyzykin, “Avtokefalia i printsipy ee primenenia” (Autocephaly and the principles of its application), Pravoslavnij Put’ (The Orthodox Way), 2004, pp. 101-133. A translation of the whole Tomos is to be found here: http://www.ukrainianorthodoxchurchinexile.org/1924_tomos_of_autocephaly.html.
[20] According to Monk Benjamin (op. cit., part 2, p. 73), in June and July of 1938 150 village churches visited by Ukrainian Orthodox were demolished. On July 16 the Polish Church issued a memorandum on the event, as did the MP on the same day. For further details of the persecution, see Danilushkin, op. cit., 1997, vol. I, p. 588; K.N. Nikolaev”’Unia’ i vostochnij obriad” (The ‘Unia’ and the Eastern Rite), Pravoslavnaia Rus’ (Orthodox Russia)№ 6 (1411), March 15/28, 1990. Among the buildings destroyed was the cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky (in 1927), and the Orthodox cathedrals in Liublin, Kalisha, Vlotslavka, Plotsk and Koltsy (Monk Benjamin, part 1,op. cit., p. 175).
[21] V.I. Alexeyev, F. Stavrou, "Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov' na Okkupirovannoj Nemtsami Territorii" (The Russian Orthodox Church on German-Occupied Territory),Russkoe Vozrozhdenie (Russian Regeneration), 1980 (IV),  12, pp. 122-124.
[22] M.V. Shkarovsky; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., vol. 3, p. 81.
[23] M.V. Shkarovsky; Monk Benjamin, op. cit., vol. 3, pp. 105-106.
[24] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 3, pp. 138-139.
[25] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 4, pp. 1-2, 4.
[26] Monk Benjamin, op. cit., part 4, pp. 11-12.
[27] “World Orthodoxy: Savva of Poland admits collaboration with Secret Police”,http://news-nftu.blogspot.com./2009/05/world-orthodoxy-sava-of-poland-admits.html.
[28] Peter Sokolov, “Put’ Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tserkvi v Rossii-SSSR (1917-1961)” (The Path of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia-USSR (1917-1961)), in Russkaia Pravoslavnaia Tserkov’ v SSSR: Sbornik (The Russian Orthodox Church in the USSR: A Collection), Munich, 1962, p. 16.
[29] In 1922 Hieromartyr Benjamin, Metropolitan of Petrograd said to Fyodorov: “You offer us unification… and all the while your Latin priests, behind our backs, are sowing ruin amongst our flock.” Nicholas Boyeikov writes: “In his epistle of 25 June, 1925, the locum tenens of the All-Russian Patriarchal Throne, Metropolitan Peter of Krutitsa, who suffered torture in Soviet exile, expressed himself on the ‘Eastern Rite’ as follows: ‘the Orthodox Christian Church has many enemies. Now they have increased their activity against Orthodoxy. The Catholics, by introducing the rites of our divine services, are seducing the believing people – especially those among the western churches which have been Orthodox since antiquity – into accepting the unia, and by this means they are distracting the forces of the Orthodox Church from the more urgent struggle against unbelief’ (Tserkovnie Vedomosti (Church Gazette), 1925, №№21-22).” (Nikolaiev, Tserkov’, Rus’ i Rim (The Church, Russia and Rome), Jordanville, N.Y.: Holy Trinity Monastery, 1983, p. 13). (V.M.)


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