See, see where Christ’s blood streames in the firmament:
It flows from the Brow we nailed upon the tree...
Then sounds the voice of One who like the heart of man
Was once a child who among beasts has lain -
‘Still do I love, still shed my innocent light, my Blood, for thee’.
Edith Sitwell, Still Falls the Rain
Alas! I see that you are no better than those pitiful degenerates of the thousand-year heresy, those who corrupt the universe.
Metropolitan Antony of Kiev, The Universal Church and the Nationalities, in his Autobiography, Vol. II, p.27
Europe is divided - but not between East and West. Europe is divided between the Europe of Apostasy and the Europe of Christ. Most of this Europe of Christ is only now re-emerging from beneath the ruins of Western-imposed Communism and still dwells amid the spiritual darkness of the Europe of Apostasy. The rest of the Europe of Christ is still hidden beneath the illusions of modern life in all the Western lands, which also dwell amid the spiritual darkness of the Europe of Apostasy.
The Europe of Apostasy is often the Europe of ‘development’. It is often technologically refined, but it is always spiritually primitive. It is advanced - in its fall.
The Europe of Christ is often the Europe of ‘underdevelopment’. It is often technologically primitive, but it is always spiritually refined. It is backward - in its fall.
And in the hidden parts Thou shalt make me to know wisdom
(Psalm 50, 6)
Thus, the Two Europes exist alongside one another, for the Europe of Apostasy always conceals within itself pockets of spiritual resistance. These living cells of the Europe of Christ have retreated into the hidden parts. These cells of resistance may be found in the mountains and forests, the valleys and the farmlands, they may be held in the folklore of out of the way places. Or else they may be concealed in the great urban jungles, surviving in the great cities of the Europe of Apostasy. Amid the Europe of Apostasy, the hidden and secret Europe of Christ is concealed beneath the ex-Catholic, ex-Protestant and ex-Communist or EU Europe. This Other Europe, the Old Orthodox Europe, forgotten and persecuted, has long awaited the Great Day of Christ’s Coming, the Return of the Bridegroom.
All the Europe of Christ has now been put through the acid bath of Western materialism and rationalism. Although much of the flesh has been burned away, its relics are left. In many cases, this is physically visible. For example, here in Prague, in this vast, medieval cathedral of St Vitus, hides the Europe of Christ, chased away from this place over a thousand years ago. Dwarfed by this huge, Gothic emptiness is concealed the tiny and intimate chapel of St Vaclav, Wenceslas or Viacheslav, Duke and Protector of the Czech Lands (+ 929). Here is the precious presence, his holy relics in their gold shrine, shining warmly through the spiritual cold, like those of his grandmother, St Ludmila, a few hundred yards away.
If we were to draw a 2,000-mile long straight line across Europe, from north-west to south-east, at one end of it, nearly a thousand miles from Prague, we would find the lowly hamlet of Whitchurch Canonicorum in English Dorset. There fourteen years ago, I met the same presence as here in Prague, in the still surviving relics of the English martyr, St Wite. Over a thousand miles from Prague, at the other, south-east end of such a line, about a hundred miles from the border of Georgia, the last Christian land of Europe, we would find the town of Ekaterinodar, also called Krasnodar. There in the Cathedral, twenty-eight years ago, I met a living saint, living relics.
In all these places, as in all such places, is present the Other Europe, the Europe of Christ. It is hidden underneath all the layers of apostatic, man-worshipping Europe, once of Catholicism, once of Protestantism, then of Communism, then of ex-Communism or the European Union. In all these places, regimes have changed, kings and presidents have come and gone, but the presence of the Bohemian ruler, of the English martyr and of the Russian saint all remain. It is because they all tell the same story, they are all part of the Eternal Kingdom of Christ, which shall never be taken away.
Yes, it is true that in all the lands of Europe, they have tried to take away the truth and light of the Kingdom of Christ. Whether nearly a thousand years ago or nearly a hundred years ago, they have wanted to give over all the Europe of Christ to the Europe of Apostasy.
But what is this Europe of Apostasy? How was it formed? How did the enemies of Christ work their deeds?
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
1 Cor 2, 7-8
First of all, the Europe of Apostasy abandoned the love of the Holy Trinity and, instead, fell in love with itself, then devising the worship of European man, ‘manism’, ‘humanism’.
Then the Europe of Apostasy abandoned the love of its neighbour and, instead, fell in love with ‘crusades’ of conquest and colonies, then devising the machine-gun, the concentration camp and the Atom Bomb.
The Europe of Apostasy abandoned the love of God’s creation and, instead, fell in love with its own ‘scientific’ and ‘modified’ creation, fouling first the airs, then the waters and then the lands.
The Europe of Apostasy abandoned the family and, crazed by abortion and pornography, became spiritually ill.
The Europe of Apostasy abandoned prayer and, dazed by alcohol and other drugs, became mentally ill.
The Europe of Apostasy abandoned fasting and, fazed by scientifically poisoned food causing obesity, became physically ill.
The Europe of Apostasy abandoned the struggle for self-cleansing freedom from the passions and, instead, proclaimed the struggle for self-corrupting freedom for the passions.
The Europe of Apostasy has abandoned hope and faith in the Resurrection and, instead, proclaims it despair and disbelief in the echoes of the empty tomb of its own spiritual death.
It is the echoes of its faithless emptiness, conveyed by all the modern means of mass communication, which are listened to and which resound throughout all the Earth and beyond, and are hastened by satellite to the very edges of the Universe.
This is the Europe of Apostasy.
For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope.
Romans 8, 22-24
For decades we, little groups of White Russians and allies of many nations, scattered throughout Western Europe, have struggled to keep alight the torch of Christ’s Europe in the hope against hope that in all our lands the flame of Hidden Europe may yet be rekindled.
Who can rally the Europe of Christ? Who can aid Orthodox Europe re-emerge from beneath the Europe of Apostasy? Who can help revive the Old European Civilization, the communities composed of young and old, families and hermits, of monasteries and parishes, of prayer and hospitality? Who can succour the voices crying out in the vast Western wasteland?
Of the lands where Christ’s Europe was still strong only a few generations ago, Greece and now Cyprus, remnants of the tragedy and betrayal of 1453, have both entered the Europe of Apostasy. This is the anti-Christian EU Europe, which persecutes even one of its own ‘commissars’, Buttiglione, when it is revealed that he too is a Christian and on some matters at least, speaks with an Orthodox voice. As for Romania, wishing to escape the clutches of the ‘ex-Communist Democrats’, it too drifts unconsciously towards the spiritual disease of the EU. As regards Bulgaria, it still has not emerged from the spiritual disease of Communism. As for Serbia, much of its ancestral territory has been stolen from it by German and Vatican intrigue. Now it is faced with losing the ancestral lands of its south-east corner too, as the pro-Turkish EU plots to hand them over to Muslim terrorists and gun-runners.
Russia alone, together with dependent Ukraine and Belarus, now bordering the EU, stands with the potential to act. It is to the multinational Russian lands, the only heir of the Christian Empire of Constantinople-New Rome, that we have always looked for help. Already in May 1990 we wrote of this very hope in ‘Orthodoxy and the Post-1989 World’. Whether Russia knows it or not, we look to her to rise to her true calling, to fulfil her historic, messianic mission. This is the task of rekindling, throughout the Europe of Apostasy, the flame of Orthodoxy, which we kept alight throughout all the dark years of persecution, ours and theirs.
Some may think it foolish to put hope in lands of poverty, ruled by ‘ex-Communists’, where much in fact seems to be in the grip of a Mafia. And yet the premonition of this messianic consciousness has ever been our deepest intuition, being our first writing of thirty years ago, in April 1974. For was it not also foolish to put hope in the fishermen of backward and despised Galilee, then in the grip of the Judeo-Roman Mafia of Caiaphas and Pilate? For as it is written, the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Cor 25).
We, who belong to the Europe of Christ, though dwelling amid the Europe of Apostasy, await deliverance, the Restoration of Orthodox Europe, the Europe of the Saints.
All the Saints of Europe, pray to God for us!
12/25 October 2004,
St Martin the Merciful of Pannonia/Tours