Modern Day Parisian Society

American Orthodox Institute ( is today's "Parisian" school.
This introduction is taken from their website:
Founded in 2005, AOI is the first independent civil society institution or “think tank” to promote the views, achievements and aspirations of Orthodox Christians in the United States. AOI believes that Orthodox Christianity, and the sorely needed moral witness it provides to a pluralistic and secular society, can no longer be content with its “best kept secret” status.

Here is what the book 'Not Of This World' says about Fr. Seraphim Rose being at odds with the Orthodox scholars of his day:
"The new breed of scholars came first of all from the so-called 'Parisian' school of Orthodox thought, composed mostly of members of the Russian intelligentsia."

In the booklet 'The Truth About The Russian Church Abroad' (1975) by M. Rodzianko*, it says that according to the book 'Documents And Thoughts About Exiling Scholars From Soviet Russia In 1922' by Dr. W. Liebenov (Berlin), these (parisian) scholars were granted financial assistance from the Soviet government.

This Parisian Society went by different names. In Russia it was the "Religious-Philosophical Society". When the bolshevik upheaval occurred this society appeared again under the name of "Free Academy of Spiritual Culture". In Berlin they opened the "Religious Philosophical Academy", which later moved to Paris where it formed the "Brotherhood of Sophia".

The teachings of the "Brotherhood of Sophia", as you can guess by the name, were very obviously unOrthodox. About this 'Not Of This World' says,
"The most famous of these thinkers...defended a whole system of heretical ideas which were later condemned by the Russian Church both in the Soviet Union and in the free world. The next generation of thinkers (Fr. Seraphim's generation) was more subdued and careful; they would never fall into teachings so foreign to the Church. In many respects, however, they shared the same general approach. Some of them came to America, bringing that approach with them. Chief among them was Alexander Schmemann."

Like the "Living Church", these societies weaken the Church from within with renovations and modernism. And, today, partly by reducing Orthodoxy to a moral system (however superior to other moral systems).

One of the clues for identifying these "think-tankers" is when they exhort you to draw the heathen to Othodoxy by the example of your life. This certainly is not what drew me to Orthodoxy. The Truth drew me, both the capital "T" Truth and the lower case "t" truth. The examples I observed ate candy during the Divine Liturgy, never came to Vigils, and some were masons.

Another clue to identifying "think-tankers" is their focus on currently popular moral issues, especially if there is a hint of hope for improving our society. Here is the concluding paragraph of an article 'The Twelve Days Of Christmas' by Fr. Johannes Jacobse, President of AOI:

"Orthodox Christianity can contribute to the recovery of the moral foundation of American culture by imparting knowledge that can strengthen and deepen that foundation. It will happen, however, only if Orthodox Christians reflect this understanding in their own practice and observance of the Feasts." (

(The above is the conclusion of an article by the renovationist Fr. Johannes. The article was reprinted in my ROCOR-MP parish bulletin just months after the signing of the union.)

There is something else to notice about this conclusion of Fr.Johannes. Something even more sinister. Notice how the author does not just IGNORE the Church's end-times teachings, he actually CONTRADICTS them.

Ignoring the Church's end-times teachings is characteristic of SCOBA. End-times and Antichrist are forbidden subjects. The SCOBA leaders have ready their canned reasons designed to quickly nip off at the bud anyone's interest in end-times prophecy. One of those is, "You should think of your own end."

But it was not long ago that we, in old ROCOR, were carefully taught what to expect in the end-times and how to recognize Antichrist and the antichrist spirit. My patron, St. John Maximovitch was one of those teachers. Archbishop Averky used to interrupt himself to teach about end-times. (We are taught that things will only get worse, not better. And not to try to stop it, but to learn to recognize the antichrist spirit, so not to be fooled by it.)

It does not surprise me to see end-times teachings ignored. But this is the first time I've seen them contradicted. This article, 'The Twelve Days of Christmas', was reprinted in a ROCOR-MP parish bulletin within months after the union. ROCOR-MP has entered into this world of SCOBA. It does not appear to notice how its focus has shifted from its preserving the Truth and reflecting in the Heavenly Church, to how it compares with and reflects in the world.

*The Truth About The Russian Church Abroad, booklet by M. Rodzianko, can be read here. Click on "STUDY-ROCOR History" under LINKS or go to


Joanna Higginbotham said...

This comment is from Archbishop Averky himself - coming straight out of the past directly to us here reading this post on this blog:

"It is criminal to lull oneself with cheery hopes of some kind of 'progress' of humanity, of some kind of better future life here on earth. This is the primary deception of the servants of the Antichrist, so as to draw men from thoughts of heaven. The Lord clearly said that no 'progress' awaits us, but ever-increasing sorrows and woes, as a consequence of the 'abounding of iniquity' and the 'cooling of love,' and that, when He comes, He will hardly find faith on the earth (Lk 18:8). And the words of the Lord are immutable, as He Himself triumphantly witnesses: 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away' (Matt 24:35)."

Also our beloved Archbishop of blessed repose says to us today, here and now:

"What is needful is a correct spiritual life according to the instructions of the Holy Orthodox Church, and for this constant direction by the Word of God, and the works of the Holy Fathers is necessary. More destructive than anything is the custom widely prevalent in our time of seeking teachers and following in everything the so-called 'opinion of society.' All these fashionable teachers are nothing other than those same 'false christs', and 'false prophets' from the deception of which the Lord Jesus Christ warned us about (Matt 24:4-5, 23:5). And the so-called 'opinion of society' is formed through the press and other media by these same servants of the coming Antichrist, who have acquired great authority and the ability to act on the minds and hearts of contemporary people."

These comments taken from ON THE SITUATION OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD, by Archbishop Averky of Syracus (SJKP, 2nd printing 1975)

Joanna Higginbotham said...

Here's what St. Ignatius Brianchaninov says:

"The wave of evil roaring out of a dark sea upon mankind is beyond human power to stop. The best Christians can hope for is avoidance. Do not attempt to stop it with your weak hand. Avoid it, protect yourself from it, and that is enough for you. Get to know the spirit of the times, study it so that you can avoid its influence whenever possible."†

"He who does not feel that the Kingdom of God is within himself, will not identify the spirit of antichrist." †

Joanna Higginbotham said...

Fr. Thomas Hopko is on the Board of Advisors of AOI.

Joanna Higginbotham said...

In THE ORTHODOX WORD No. 256, Abbot Damascene writes of our Holy Father Archimandrite Justin Of Chelje, (Justin Popovich 1979†):

"Fr. Justin is remembered as a bold and fearless defender of the Truth of the Orthodox Faith. He believed that Orthodox Christianity as expressed in the Holy Scriptures, Ecumenical Councils, Patristic writings, Lives of Saints, and the liturgical life of the Church, has the answers to all the social, political, and moral problems, all the philosophical, ideological and cosmological perplexities, and all the existential dilemmas of the modern world."

The Church does not need think-tanks. Even ones not heretical. Through the Church we can tap into the mind of the Holy Fathers. Abbot Damascene continues saying of Fr. Justin:

"...he rose above modern intellectual fashions and his own thinking in acquiring the timeless mind of the Fathers..."

Nobody ever acquires the mind of the Holy Fathers by a think-tank. Truly, to get caught up in this "independent institution" can prevent spiritual growth, or even worse it can lead astray.

Joanna Higginbotham said...

A Prophecy of St. Seraphim or Sarov

Everything that bears the label of "Decembrists", "Reformers" and, in a word, belongs to "the party for the betterment of life" is genuine anti-Christianity, which, in evolving, will bring about the destruction of Christianity and, in part, of Orthodoxy, upon the earth; and which finally will end with the enthronement of the Antichrist over all the nations of the world, except Russia.

Joanna Higginbotham said...

The Liturgical Theology of Father A. Schmemann
by Father Michael Pomazansky

Joanna Higginbotham said...

Schmemann, Man, Meyendorff are a few of the better known renovationists who ushered in the World Orthodoxy plague of today. See:

Joanna Higginbotham said...


These comments taken from ON THE SITUATION OF THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN IN THE CONTEMPORARY WORLD, by Archbishop Averky of Syracus (SJKP, 2nd printing 1995)

1995, N0T 1975