Orthodoxy and Statehood – Policy Report of the Head of the Holy International Synaxis of the True Orthodox Churches, the Head of True-Orthodox Church in Russia, His Holiness Metropolitan Seraphim
It is well known that the following paradigmatic statement has been perceived by the Russian, orthodox people, so to say genetically, since the very moment of the baptism of Rus’ and up to the present day: «Moscow is the Third Rome, and there will be no Fourth».
This claim is categoric and, essentially, very true.
During the reign of Emperor Nicholas I, the above-mentioned statement gained some transformation in understanding or, to sound more correct, acquired a new meaning in addition. It became easier in perception, yet it preserved its categorical sense: «Orthodoxy – Autocracy — Nationality». These are three statements, unified in themselves and impossible to be sustained one without the another. At least, it concerns our state.
Of course, there have been some certain attempts to substitute notions, through over the long history of our Fatherland. Moreover, even up to elimination of one or two conceptual parts away from the philosophical triad under discussion. But it did no good. Even more, all these false transformations, into which the statehood turned during the time of experiments, could exist only for a short period and broke down into pieces, like a house of cards in the wind, without completeness of the wise maxim.
History itself demonstrated that there are undeniable truths, on which the identity and self-consciousness of entire nations are being based, and which toughly fix the grounds of autocracy for centuries and thousands of years ahead.
Thereupon Russia seems to be the absolute proof of such autocracy, as it possesses an outstanding power based on antiquity of the nation and fulness of its faith. Yet, because it was precisely Great Russia that has become the Spiritual Center of our planet for real, while retaining its status of the Third Rome, which prevents the world from facing the total lawlessness.
Our long-suffering Fatherland has gone through essential dramas for the present 120 years.
The revolutionary turmoil in 1905 was the first sign of the coming vague time. The attempt of forceful overthrow of the legal government in order to change the current political system, as well as empty slogans and unsubstantiated statements – this all twisted minds of the Russians. Basing myself on historical experience and on the practice of international relations of nowadays, I am pretty sure that these events were thoroughly planned from the outside even then. It was the first serious try to destroy a mighty stronghold of spirituality and the purity of Orthodoxy in troubled and uncertain world of vice and temptation.
Then follows an absolutely unnecessary and useless, at least from our point of view, participation of the Russian Empire in the First World War, in which the members of Entente tried their best to destroy the Russian army, our economy and our state from inside, by means of total and unlimited sponsorship of all possible oppositional and destructive parties, terroristic organizations, criminal units and anarchic groups.
It resulted in the February Revoluion of 1917, abdication of the sovereign, and thereafter in October putsch, which led to atheism, accompanied by attempt to destroy the spiritual pivot in the once great Orthodox Empire.
Revolutionaries encouraged by the West managed to weaken the age-old Power. However, in order to build something new they required a sacrificial victim. Yet, not just a victim but the Victim with a capital V. It was necessary to destroy the very symbol that represented itself the true sense of being of the Russian people. There was a certain need for a challenge to God, furthermore a need for trampling the soul of Russia.
The Bolsheviks, in fact, were not even atheists. They were outright theomachists! Covered by pride, they considered the true sense of their life to be a total annihilation of Orthodoxy as religion and oblivion of the very memory of God and His Commandments.
Even the words of the ancient Jews could not frighten them: «Let His blood be on us». They were not scared of the sacrilege of a considerably awful scale. They would do absolutely anything, guided by the hate of God and Orthodoxy Russia.
The choice of the sacrificial victim was pretty clear to them.
In their opinion, it was Russian Emperor. However, not only him but all his royal family, all members of the Imperial House, — any of them whom the bloody hand of the mad overthrowers could only reach.
The crime was committed.
The Empire collapse was imbued with blood of the royal martyrs, and the execution of the tsar’s family put an end to that historical period of time, what resulted in strict separation between the great past and the unclear future.
I dare not, unlike some others, compare even in my mind the Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ for the atonement of our sins with the sacrificial death of the last Emperor as the anointed of the Lord. Still, I discern a few parallels between what happened two thousand years ago and that what was committed by the crime — not so long ago – in 1918.
However, the things did not turn out as the enemies of Orthodoxy had planned.
Namely by means of the Sacrifice of the Lord, the world survived and people got a chance to witness the Kingdom of Heaven.
And by the sacrifice of the Emperor his people were saved from annihilation, as well as the hope for revival of the Great Empire in the future was also preserved.
But I am deeply upset by the fact that in the latter case, just like in the former one, people failed to understand the whole greatness of the Sacrifice.
Just like in case when the persecutors of Jesus did not repent, the murderers of the tsar’s family have not confessed yet. And the followers of them have taken upon themselves a terrible sin of the regicide.
Unfortunately, we still can’t find sincere repentance. Because even in church we face hypocrisy and theatricalization of mysteries.
We keep on humbly begging God to give us an Orthodoxy Sovereign, yet I am not sure if our voice will be heard within all this bacchanalia of sin and vice. Still, I have hope in my heart…
There exist a lot of prophesies of the so-called «end times». All of them tell about an inevitable bloody outcome.
But in many of them Russia plays the key role as the state which possesses a chance to save the rest of the world and the humanity.
For example, the Prophesy by monk Abel, given to Emperor Paul, openly declares that there would take place a lot of attempts to vanquish evil by means of evil. But people would understand that it was only a temporary measure and they would start to pray for Russia. With the help of the entire world, all peoples, with one mouth and one heart. And the shackles that hold the Great Empire will fall down, and Great Russia – the House of the Most Holy Mother of God – will rise up full of its spiritual beauty and strength.
I am eager to believe that there is a certain piece of this prophesy concerning our True Orthodox Church. Because who is going to be that tocsin to wake the people up from the age-old sleep, calling up for pray and showing the way from darkness to light?
Loving heart is always regained by us through good deeds. I have said about that many times before. So, I will repeat the same thing now.
The essence of the True Orthodox Church is to serve God by serving people, by caring about them, by guiding each soul from the countless Lord’s flock.
It has always been like that in Russia. And I hope it will be the same in the entire world, with the help of the Holy International Synaxis of the True Orthodox Churches which I am to head till the rest of my days and which is supposed to bring the Light of Truth and Love of God to people, what reveals the real meaning of His Great Sacrifice.
I often ask myself: «What do I need this all for?». I address this question not only to myself but also to those who have stayed by me all these years, as well as to those who come today and perhaps will come tomorrow.
And I know the answer.
Christianity, rather Orthodoxy, cannot stand loneliness. Neither it can stand isolation within oneself and one’s problems. It is longing for cognition of one’s own self, growing and spreading among those who haven’t yet accepted God in their heart and mind but have already turned to God in their soul.
Today we face roaming and chaos within the Orthodox world which calls itself canonical. Churches are separating from one another. They are tearing the Lord’s garments in a bloody madness, they discontinue communication and stop their common praying, they deny each other and call enemies all those, with whom they have been recently taken the Holy Sacrament together by the Throne.
Religious hierarchs are intentionally neglecting to the words of the Symbol of our Faith, to everything on which the doctrine of the international Church is being grounded, and what we keep on repeating every time we dare start acceptance of the Holy Mysteries of Christ: «I believe in a single Holy Cathedral and Apostolic Church». As I see it, they are consciously replacing the Truth by their momentary wishes, by their enormous pride and unstoppable hunger for power.
To my great sadness, some of the «canonical» churches are becoming more and more similar to totalitarian sects, concerned about their wellness and prosperity of their own religious leaders of various scale.
However, those who have ears – let them hear, those who have eyes – let them see.
God’s people learned to distinguish between the good and the bad, to separate lambs from goats and wheat from chaff. And they are openly turning away from those who make falsehood and obscenity the meaning of their lives, who drop their serving down to the level of sin, finally who hide their animal bared teeth under a lambskin.
Moreover, as soon as the world Orthodoxy was directed towards disunity and mutual accusations, the True Orthodox Churches, on the contrary, are joining one another to build a family.
It’s been 25 years since I started my episcopal service to the church. During this time I have had an opportunity to watch the formation, development and collapse of many True Orthodox communities, which used to call themselves metropolis and churches. Every time I saw the same thing and the same mistake, which finally became fatal. All of them considered themselves only to be the ultimate truth, and they all wanted to be chiefs, without acceptance of other authorities and separating themselves from the rest of the world. They enjoyed their existence within self-isolated religious communities.
In the end, it resulted in collapse, termination of activity or rebirth into real sects and marginal units.
Those who were open to dialogue, were longing for unity and who put first their serving to God and people – today they have become the true conscience of people, the voice the spiritual candlestick, the real hope for that God will stay by us till the very end.
Our International Synaxis is the way forward, the way to God, the way of spiritual creation and true faith.
This is the way of consolidation of those who dismiss lies and injustice with their lives, who believe in a single Holy Cathedral and Apostolic Church, as it is stated in the Symbol of Faith, and who help building the International True Orthodox Church by means of ascetism.
You can take it from me: this way is predestined by the history and predetermined by God. We feel it and we are ready to go through any difficulties, as we clearly realize that it was like that and it will be like that further.
Those who disjoin, hate, deny and are self-isolated – they all lose themselves in nothingness, they turn into garbage and stay forever at the historical dump, just to display with their own example the depravity of such a mistaken way.
Those who strive to meet each other, who open themselves to love and common praying, who are not scared of difficulties of the thorny path and who follow Christ’s Commandments – they all stay forever, as they become the cornerstone, upon which The Church of Christ is grounded.
Well, we have a long road ahead. It will be the way of prayer and creation. The way of love and spiritual feat. The way of serving and church building. And I am sincerely glad that the revival of the True Orthodoxy, just like a century ago, starts from Russia again.
I must say once more. I have read a plenty of prophesies, well known and absolutely unknown, manifested to the world and hidden from anyone who seek for them with hunger and greed. They all are totally different and not each of them is supposed to go under comprehension and understanding.
Still, there is one statement that is a cross-cutting theme in all of them.
Salvation of the world will come from Russia. As the Star of the East, Russia will unite all those who are filled with faith, light and love.
Precisely under the canopy of the Russian Royal Crown comes the long-awaited «peace on earth and goodwill toward men» as Russia symbolizes the Crown of the Queen of Heaven, our Most Holy and Most Pure Lady Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.
Our common task is as follows: let our descendants and successors continue our path of creation, union and gathering the True Orthodoxy around the world, and let us lay a solid foundation for that by means of The Universal True Orthodoxy Church.
Today I can feel with all my soul those changes happening in the society and state of Russia.
The consciousness of people is being renewed, the moral background of the Russian citizen is being strengthened, the Orthodox faith is being filled with true sense, and there is the Lord’s spark that lightens up in the heart of everyone.
I hope so much that one day The Russian Orthodox Church which is dominating now in the Russian state will realize that its target is a little different from care about itself and its clergy, its institutions and profit. Anyway, it’s not our business.
However, let no one judge us by the deeds of Moscow Patriarchy. We are totally different from them. We do not welcome conviction of brothers. We do not stand for disorder and separation in the Orthodoxy world.
We follow the path of creation and union.
Our main goal is to bring love and peace, by means of protecting from sins, misfortune and temptations for the soul of those who shares with us and accepts our path.
We have chosen not an easy burden, indeed.
But… as they say, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Let our all-good Lord help us about that.
His Holiness and Blessed Metropolitan
Of Moscow and of all Russia
The Head of the True Orthodox Church of Russia
The Head of the Holy International Synaxis
Of the True Orthodox Churches
N.B. N.B. As a branch of the Local Russian Church organizationally began its formation in the end. 20s – early. 30s 20th century It was formed as a result of the refusal of the majority of the episcopate and clergy of the Russian Church to cooperate with the communist atheistic regime in the USSR, which was done by the pro-renovation group headed by Metropolitan Sergius (Stragorodsky). As a result of what Mr. Sergius under the leadership of the OGPU-NKVD schism, in the USSR since that time there existed in parallel the official (“Soviet” or “red”) church, which in 1943, by order of Stalin, was formalized into the “Moscow Patriarchate”, and independent of the God-fighting regime of the True- Orthodox Russian Church (TOC). The latter, as a result of cruel repressions and persecution, was forced to switch to an illegal way of serving, which is why she got a different name – the Catacomb Church.
The Catacomb Church, as a branch of the once united Local Russian Church, is also called “Tikhon’s” – after the name of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin, +1925).
The canonical foundation of the Russian True Orthodox Church is based on the Decree of the Holy Patriarch Tikhon No. 362 of November 7/20, 1920.
Saint Tikhon was the last legitimate patriarch of the Russian Church, elected by the All-Russian Local Council, expressing the fullness of the Russian Church.