Lubyanka Won

Putin Re: the Signing of the Act: Proof that Lubyanka Won
("Lubyanka" is a term for KGB Headquarters -jh)

By Archpriest Michael Ardov (ROAC in Russia -jh)
Translated from Nasha Strana No. 2822

The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) has ceased to exist. But not as a result of the events of May 17th. That was only the epilogue. In the Russian language newspaper Nasha Strana (Our Country), S.V. Volkov wrote these remarkable words: The ROCOR ceased to exist the moment the idea was accepted by its Synod that talks with the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) were possible.

The ROCOR had stood on two principles.

The first one was a consistent stance of anti-Sovietism and anti-Communism. It exposed the regime of the Bolsheviks as criminal. In 1922, the bishops who led the ROCOR sent an appeal to the Genoa Conference in which they asked, “Peoples of the world, help the good and beautiful Russian nation, which has fallen into the hands of villains, gangsters on a world scale, and help them gain their liberty. Give them weapons, send them your volunteers, because if you don’t, these monsters will soon come after you as well.” At every stage of their development, be it during the “détente” of the Brezhnev era, or the “peaceful co-existence” of Khrushchev’s, when excited Western liberals started coming to the USSR and flirting with the Soviets, the ROCOR consistently said that the Soviet regime was criminal.

And the second principle upon which the true leaders and children of the ROCOR stood was strict and traditional Orthodoxy, which prohibits ecumenism, and every religious, secular, and even social contact with heretics. They condemned the papal new calendar and kept themselves from all contact with those who followed it.

Now, however, it has become clear that for at least a part of the flock in emigration, anti-Sovietism had been more important than Orthodoxy. And even though now, by all appearances, the Communists here are gone from power, nevertheless the
purity of Orthodoxy has remained in second place.

During the Yeltsin era, the ROCOR had gained some strength, and had even opened many parishes inside Russia. It was then, in 1993, when I came to understand that no one in the MP was going to repent, and that there would be no catharsis on her
part, that I left the MP for the ROCOR.

By the way, it was a complete disgrace that Yeltsin was buried according to the Rite of a Funeral for an Emperor. I have no strong dislike for him. But he was a man who was completely areligious. As such, he once accepted to be decorated by the witches of Juno, and became some kind of doctor of occult sciences as well. Such people ought to be excommunicated from the Church altogether, let alone be carried into the church for a funeral. But since politics were involved, he was given a triumphant send-off.

The thing is, Patriarch Alexis is a demagogue, with a big helping of Hollywood thrown in.

As far as Metropolitan Laurus is concerned, he never says a word; he just watches and listens. When he was elected First Hierarch, after his predecessor, Metropolitan Vitaly, was disgracefully kicked out, and then when he was enthroned, he
didn’t utter even one word on the occasion—the first time in the history of the Church.

The merging of the ROCOR with the MP could only have happened after the death of its senior bishops. First, the ROCOR Synod’s most distinguished member was put out of business, (I wrote about him in my memoirs, and I am glad that I got to meet him, even if only in the 94th year of his life; he died at 95), this was Bishop Gregory, né Count Grabbe. He directed the affairs of the ROCOR Synod for almost fifty-five years under three of its First Hierarchs. Unfortunately, a revolution took place in the ROCOR in 1986, without the involvement of Lubyanka, as it seems to me, and Bishop Gregory was removed. This was the beginning of the end. Nevertheless, there were still three bishops, not counting Metropolitan Vitaly—Anthony of Geneva, Anthony of San Francisco, and Anthony of Los Angeles— for whom union with the MP would have been impossible. But after the three Anthony’s died, they got rid of Metropolitan Vitaly, and the way to union with the MP was given the green light.

It is a good thing when people get together, so that the Lord should rejoice and that the spirit of peace should prevail. But for this to happen, people should join together in truth; they should repent and ask for forgiveness from God and from each other. But, by no means, are all unions good ones. Let us call to mind the Union of Brest-Litovsk, or the Union of the Council of Florence, which led to disastrous misfortunes and even worse relations between Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. If a local Sobor of all Russian Orthodox people were called, which the MP has no intention of doing, and everything were resolved openly, then one could truly rejoice. But as long as everything is being done behind closed doors, by some kind of commission, in secrecy, then the only people who could be happy with that would be those who are very far from the real problems of the Church.

Since the 1920’s, the entire Orthodox Church has been in a crisis of the cruelest nature. The holy Apostle Paul once wrote that the Antichrist would not appear until such time as “he who restraineth” is taken away. For us, that means the Orthodox Emperor. In 1917, “He Who restraineth” was taken away, and what followed was a total disaster. In Russia, the monstrous Renovationist Movement, fully supported by the Cheka, blossomed forth. And in Greece, with lightning speed and shortsightedness, and I would say simply stupidity, the Greek Churches began one by one to go over to the papal new calendar, and for one political purpose alone. They thought that after doing so, it would be easier to unite with the Anglican Church, and that then the English would come and help them get Constantinople back!

And now, in “World Orthodoxy,” there is not one truly Orthodox patriarch left; they all participate in the ecumenical movement and serve according to the new calendar.

The Moscow Patriarchate does not yet serve according to the new calendar in Russia, but only because they are afraid of causing a schism. But outside of Russia, there are scads of MP parishes serving according to the new calendar; in America,
almost all of their parishes use the new calendar; in England, the late Bishop Anthony Bloom also had parishes using the new calendar. And in Estonia too, from where Patriarch Ridiger hails.

On the other hand, about 20% of the Greek faithful use the old calendar. There is a very strong Romanian old calendarist church that was ruthlessly persecuted by Ceausescu. There are old calendarist Bulgarians; the Serbian Church also uses the old calendar, for the time being. And the ROCOR was a megaphone and a beacon of light for all of them because Metropolitan Philaret kept his ship absolutely on course, together with the help of his first mate, Bishop Gregory Grabbe. They wrote three Sorrowful Epistles decrying ecumenism, and addressed them to all of the churches of World Orthodoxy, explaining to one and all that the MP was not a free church but rather a puppet of the Communist authorities.

But for us who belong to the smaller but genuinely Orthodox jurisdictions, the fall of the ROCOR means that we have become completely marginalized. However, we do not mind this so much; Christians have often been marginalized throughout history.
Both the first Christians and our Lord Jesus Christ Himself were marginalized by the Pharisees in Jerusalem.

I must say that the parishes and the parishioners of the ROCOR are not at all like ours in Russia, beaten down and kept in line in an almost militaristically disciplined way by the bishops of the MP. And herein lies a certain miscalculation by the politicians and the secret service agents that prepared the union.

They surely do not understand that the bishops abroad do not have the same authority as the bishops in the Russian Federation. Some of them they bought off, some of them they threatened, some of them they enlisted as agents, and they thought — the synod is ours, and now we will just pick up the rest. Of course, some of them they did get. But very many of the parishes, priests and lay people will leave because they do not live under the same system as in the Russian Federation. The most important, the most well known monastery belonging to the ROCOR in Europe, the Lesna Convent in France, has already left Metropolitan Laurus, precisely because of the union with the MP. It’s not the first, however, and it won’t be the last either.

But the discipline in the MP is like in the army; one step to the left or to the right and you’re a deserter. Here in Russia, the Church is separated from the government, but the government is not separated from the Church. And therefore, in all of their political games, the Patriarchate always openly and joyously sings the same tune as those who are in power.

For a long time now, the authorities in our country have been confiscating the property of the ROCOR. Beginning in 1945, in West Berlin, they immediately took the cathedral, which had been built by emigrant Russians, for emigrant Russians. Then, in 1948, when Stalin promoted recognition of the state of Israel via the United Nations, the Israelis rewarded him by giving all of the property of the ROCOR, which was then on the territory controlled by them, to the MP.

But Laurus was pushed into union with the MP by seducers behind the scenes because the Soviets and Lubyanka had no more consistent and principled enemy than the ROCOR. Final victory was achieved due to the fact that decidedly all of the ROCOR bishops had been enlisted as agents.

Now Laurus’ synod will be in communion with each and every ecumenist in the world. These people are not interested in what is canonical. They are all under the anathema of Patriarch Tikhon as aiders and abettors of the Bolsheviks, even if they have it made in the shade.

The Act of May 17th was clearly directed by Putin. It took place because of the cowardice or complacency of the producers of the patriarchate— and it looked monstrous. Had such an event taken place during the days of the Tsar of all Russia, Who was besides everything else the Anointed One of God and the Defender of the Faith, He would never have gone up onto the amvon in order to read something. Maybe He would have received all of the bishops in some hall or other later on, and from His throne said something. But that He should have gotten up on the amvon—this would never happen. The right way to do it was this: the bishops should have been standing on the amvon, and below them, below the amvon, the layman Putin. The presence of Putin was glaring proof that Lubyanka had finally defeated the last bastion of Orthodoxy—the ROCOR.

Some church people are sometimes suspected of working for the secret service. But as far as Patriarch Ridiger is concerned, his case file can be found in Estonia, and the Estonian authorities rather gleefully published the whole thing already some time ago. So this is really an open secret.

Don’t the ROCOR clergy understand that they will be replaced? In Boston, where Father Roman Lukianov served, there is now a priest who came from the MP. And the ROCOR is already full of these “dear Fathers” from the Russian Federation. There is a new operational policy at hand. The best and the brightest of Gundyaev’s Department of Foreign Relations of the MP will soon be making their way to the US.

June 14, 2007

To read another (revealing) letter of Fr. Michael go to:

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