It is difficult to overestimate the role played in demoralizing Orthodoxy from within during the entire 20th century by the interconnected Renovationism and Ecumenism. The Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow have played a leading role in this regard permitting disgraceful things to take place in their bosoms at which even the "devils look upon in amazement", according to St. Nilus the Myrrh-bearer.

In 1993, pseudo-Metropolitan Kirill (Gundyaev), while enjoying himself at a Christmas party organized by the Central Television in Moscow was asked the following mocking question by a certain reporter: "What do you think of the Last Judgment and Resurrection? I do not believe in them," replied laughing: "And neither do I" [481].

Unwittingly one remembers St. Seraphim of Sarov prophesying that the time will come when "bishops will become so impious that in their impiety they will surpass Greek bishops of the times of Theodosius the Younger, and they will no longer believe the main dogma of the Christian faith." [482]

An alliance with an anti-Christian regime, known as "Sergianism", as we have already pointed out (see the Chapter "Worldwide Sergianism") , was not just a Soviet phenomenon. It has stretched out far beyond the frontiers of Russia and embraced the past, the present, and even more so -- the future... By justifying the moral degradation of Christians and presenting the sin of lying as a God-pleasing deed, the false hierarchs are becoming, as testified by history, the persecutors not just of the confessors of faith, but of the Spirit of Truth Himself. This persecution does not always assume the form of coercion. It may be even more perilous inasmuch as it "takes place in the minds of all those who through their piety and inner life of prayer have not yet managed to acquire a spiritual shield to defend their soul" [483].

The contemporary apostatic state of the Patriarchate of Constantinople, the acknowledged "Orthodox" leader of Ecumenism, has its historical "Sergianist" roots. In 1819 a Greek uprising took place against the infidel Turkish conquerors. When the Turkish government demanded that the rebels should be excommunicated, the Patriarchate complied. This was one of the reasons for the establishment of an independent Greek Church. This moral degradation of the Patriarchate of Constantinople entailed the events of 1923 and "became by succession the basis... of the synodal canonic tomos of PC of 13 November 1924" [484], which contains a typically "Sergianist" idea: "the conduct of church affairs must be compatible with the political and social forms" [485].

From the beginning of the 20th century this idea of the Constantinopolitan "aggiornamento" is being widely put into practice. One of the most destructive events in the history of the Orthodox Church was the "Pan-Orthodox Congress (10 May - 8 June 1923), organized by the "Patriarch" -- Freemason 486 Meletius (Metaxakis, 1871-1935). This Congress of a handful of Renovationists, which consisted of 9 participants (6 bishops, 1 archimandrite and 2 laymen) and improperly called itself "Pan-Orthodox", caused a great deal of harm to the Orthodox world [487]. Its most serious consequence, apart from the inroads made by ecclesiastical modernism, was the introduction, in many Local Churches, of the anti-canonical reformed calendar [488], which caused regrettable disagreement amongst the Orthodox.

In this connection we will quote Bishop Photius of Triaditsa: «The "Pan-Orthodox", or an essentially anti-Orthodox, as it should be called, Congress in Constantinople -- is the first occurrence of division among the Orthodox in our century. It was by means of this Congress, that there appeared in the Orthodox Church the Trojan horse of Ecumenism, from whose womb the new false prophets of Baal have been crawling out one after another with the intention of wrecking the sacred altars of Orthodoxy and erecting temples of heresy and delusion on their ruins» [489].

Amongst the most repulsive deeds of the ecclesiastical modernists of Constantinople, Meletius being the first among them, one should mention their participation in the tearing of the Finnish diocese away from the Russian Mother-Church (see Chapter 9). This occurred after the Bolshevik Revolution, when the Finnish "nationalizers"-Renovationists took advantage of the plight of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy. For this purpose Estonian Archpriest Herman Aav was consecrated in 1923 in Constantinople as "Archbishop", without even being made a riassophor monk.

The hatred towards the Russian Orthodoxy on the part of its enemies is a separate large topic. We will just call to mind the words of Metropolitan Vitaly who said that Russophobia is a secret form of Christophobia. But hatred is always destructive, and a good example of this is the most recent history of the Finnish Orthodox Church, this progeny of the apostatic Constantinople, who in many ways even surpassed the latter.

Finnish "nationalizers", contrary to all their arguments, have been motivated in their reforms by nothing else than their Russophobic hatred towards the Russian Church, which they have betrayed, and towards Orthodoxy in general. "Archbishop" Herman (Aav, died in 1961) was one of them. He would wear a tail-coat instead of a cassock, force his priests to shave [490], forbid them to wear the pectoral crosses of Russian make. This fierce enemy of the Church calendar and the Church Slavonic language would even paint over Slavonic inscriptions on the old icons, for which he searched throughout Finland.

Such was also his successor Paul (Gusev, died in 1988), who declared himself to be a Finn, which he was not, and who carefully concealed his Russian surname, although his father was a Russian. Under the pretext of, allegedly, returning to ancient traditions (the pet refrain of all Renovationists!), he showed until the day of his death an indefatigable concern for one thing alone: how to make services in his Church completely unlike those in the Russian Church. And one should admit that in this regard he achieved remarkable success: the Finnish Orthodox Church today presents a spiritually deplorable sight which has no equal.

As they did at the beginning of the century, the false theologians and the false pastors, implementing the resolutions of both overt and secret assemblies, or simply obeying the commands of the spirit abiding in them, are today zealously shaking all the foundations of ecclesiastical life. They are rejecting the Canons, the Church language and calendar, reform the Church rites, and, of course, preach the ecumenic "unity in diversity".

Elderly people in Russia still remember the activity of the "living Church" of the 1920-30ies. Until Stalin's change of policy with regard to the Sergianist administration in 1943, a great number of parishes, especially in the large cities of Russia, were seized by Renovationists. Therefore it was the Renovationists who had baptized and brought up most of today's sixty and seventy year old parishioners of the Moscow Patriarchate. Also all of the Renovationist clergy had joined the MP after merely a token act of repentance. Only very few, completely unacceptable personalities, such as, for instance, the married "Metropolitan", the self-styled "doctor of theology and philosophy", "the Holy and Blessed Patriarch", blasphemer and erotomaniac Alexander Vvedensky [491] and some Renovationists, fierce enemies of the canonic principles of Orthodoxy, were deprived of their "rank".

The first layer of the newly-consecrated bishops of the incipient Moscow Patriarchate was recruited from these clerics. Sergianism and Renovationism had then acquired a semblance of legality. However, by today's standards, these individuals were "traditionalists" and "conservatives" who could not even dream of many things introduced by Nikodim's revolution of 1961, when the MP had suddenly formed a kinship with all the heretics of the World Council of Churches and became the largest but still one of the "denominations", among many others constituting this organization.

But even this era of Metropolitan Nikodim (Rotov) has now become the thing of the past. Nikodim himself knew the church calendar by heart, celebrated Liturgy [492] daily, although not always in an Orthodox way and wore monastic box-calf boots (until he replaced them, as it was rumored, by cardinal's booties). Although both he and most of his clergy were agents of the KGB, at the same time they were also zealously dedicated people with a sense of duty, no matter how peculiar. Many of them were even sincerely convinced that they were serving the interests of the Church.

The contemporary anarchy and lawlessness in the MP became widespread when its parishes and establishments were filled by liberal graduates of theological schools of the 1970-80ies, particularly of the "Leningrad" Theological Academy, which Metropolitan Nikodim liked to call the "laboratory of Ecumenism".

It is only today that it has become possible for some "priest Kochetkov" to have no fear of disobeying the "Most Holy Patriarch", and for the latter to merely helplessly deplore the excessive pride of the Renovationist priest. But we do not doubt that both the anarchy and the proud disobedience of the lower and the helplessness of the higher ranks of the MP -- only appear to be such. The "architects of the perestroika", including the ecclesiastical one, are simply very skillful at putting into practice the old proverb about fishing in muddy waters. The present anarchy is only a part of the large show in the last act of which all the performers will line up before the throne of the coming "man of sin" (2 Thes. 2, 3). It is precisely him that they are serving even now.

The restless spirit of reformism constantly compels these warriors to "search for new ways", to "purify", to "improve" and "enrich" Orthodoxy by the "traditions and spirituality of the world-wide Christianity", and not only of the latter. However, the pompous pseudo-historical and pseudo-theological discourses which we hear from Renovationists always conceal one and the same objective: to do away with the traditional Orthodoxy.

Taking shelter behind the name "Orthodox" in the same way as some people take shelter behind false identity papers, the contemporary Renovationists do not hide their spiritual kinship with their ignominious predecessors of the 1920-30ies. They merely regret that the "basically correct ideas of Renovationism and the Living Church... were compromised" by unworthy people [493].

However, it is not only the adherents of the "Living Church" that they acknowledge as their predecessors. If these modernists often doubt the sanctity of the God-bearing Holy Fathers of the Church (because in their opinion they were only people "who may have pleased God" [494]; St. Seraphim of Sarov "shocks" them with his "uncultured, unaesthetic language" [495]; and they revile St. Photius of Constantinople /commemorated Feb. 6/ referring to his theology as "prejudices" [496]) -- they speak boldly of "Berdyaev's genius". According to them, this anti-Orthodox sophist "was building a new edifice of the non-objectified and non-idealized knowledge of God.., without hesitation making use of mythologems in the process (such as Ungrund, Adam Cadmon, Communism, etc.) ... Berdyaev, who, as G. Kochetkov said, had "regenerated the dignity of Christian... Gnosticism (sic!), may be acknowledged by all as one of the spiritual fathers of the contemporary mankind" [497].

The gnostic fabrications of Berdyaev's "genius", however, pale in comparison with Hegumen Ioann's (Ekonomtsev) Shamanism. The "strange" Hegumen enjoys the unlimited trust and protection of Alexius II, and is the Head of the Department of Catechization of the MP and of the Orthodox University of St. John the Theologian [498]. Here is an example of the occult gibberish which this "Orthodox Catechist" suggests to his readers:

«All stars are pulsating. The all-world liturgy is in progress. It is celebrated by the Pantocrator. Guard your "lotus". Cleanse yourself daily by vegetarian food. Churches are the secondary sources of salvation. A cupola with a cross is an ideal conductor of energy and a means of cleansing oneself through energy. Churches provide the most effective means of pumping out the polluted energies and supplying the people and the environment with pure cosmic energies... The time has come. You must be in Shambala. This place is called Andrew's Desert. Marina will go with you. Her lotus-bearing chakra is irreversibly affected. Cosmos welcomes priest Boris' arrival in Andrew's Desert. A great deal has been revealed to you tonight. You have become convinced in the possibility of a direct contact with heavenly bodies. In three hours
time the correction of the planet Earth will take place. This is the beginning of Armageddon. Under these conditions especial responsibility rests with the Church of Christ and all those who glorify Christ under another name. Tell Patriarch Alexius of Moscow and All Russia that the time of the Pantocrator's arrival to the Earth is near.» [499]

This passage of Hegumen Ekonomtsev prompted us to call this Chapter "Demons in Cassocks".

Thus, Gnosticism and occult phraseology of Martinists and Rosicrucians form the actual basis on which our ecclesiastical reformists' stand. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the "Patristic teaching... is not essential" for them [500].

Increasingly departing from ecclesiastical unity, even formally, the family type communities of these Renovationists imitate secret societies (priest Kochetkov insists that "the parish system is a spent force" [501]) with their secret meetings, degrees of initiation, special rituals, the so called "agapes", and mediumistic seances with expectations of charismatic phenomena, which remind one of the unwholesome rites of sectarians-pentacostalists.

One of the authors of the book on contemporary Renovationism poses a question to priest Alexander Borisov: "Why do you sell recordings of the so-called "Christian Rock" in your Church? (This question could also be addressed to priest Vsevolod Chaplin, whose apology of the disc appears on its cover, and also to archpriest Valentin Chaplin -- spiritual father of the Orthodox Youth Movement, with whose seal of approval the record was released.) Why does a group of NFP activists teach "conception-safe" sex to your flock in your church? And finally, why do you write, publish and distribute non-Orthodox books in an Orthodox parish?" [502]

These spiritually deluded, or simply possessed, fighters for "renovation" who are united in their common hatred of Orthodoxy, declare themselves to be ecclesiastical "enlighteners", celebrants of the "Mystery of Enlightenment". They keep silent about the fact that this "enlightenment" was offered to our forefathers by Satan, and that its God-defying essence is as old as the world! "Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. And the mean man shall be brought down, and the mighty man shall be humbled, and the eyes of the lofty shall be humbled: but the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgment, and God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness" (Isaiah 5, 14-16).

[481] See Tuskarev A. "Dva poliusa Russkoi Tserkvi" (The Two Poles Of the Russian Church), Veche, Munich, No. 54, p. 60.

[482] Sergei Nilus "Na beregu Bozhiei reki" (On the Bank Of God's River), San Francisco, Calif., 1969, p. 193.

[483] Hierodeacon Amvrosy, "O blagodatnosti istinnago khristianstva" (Concerning the Grace of True Christianity. Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville 1997, p. 1.

[484] Ibid., p. 6.

[485] Quoted from: "Deianiia II Vsezarubezhnago Sobora RPTsZ" (71Ze Acts of the Second Pan-Diaspora Council of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), Belgrade, 1939, p. 439.

[486] The beginning of modernism in the bosom of the Church of Constantinople coincides with the first years of the 20th century, "when Patriarchs of Constantinople would go to England to get theological education and there joined Masonic lodges. (See the collection: "Protests of the Orthodox World against the Visit of the Patriarch of Constantinople to the Pope of Rome in December 1987. Published by "Riurik", p. 5; journal Orthodoxy or Death, No. 1, Moscow, 1997, pp. 66-7). Meletius (Metaxakis) was known under No. 44 in the Masonic lodge "Harmony", as stated by the Masonic publication "Pythagore - Equerre" (vol. 4, part 7 - 8, 1935). His brothers-successors were also high-ranking Masons. Basileus III (Georgiadis) was a member of the English lodge "Valewood"; Athenagoras (Spire) (the one who willfully lifted the anathema off the Latins) was the 30th degree Mason in the lodge "Athenian East" (Orthodoxos Typos, 16.7.1982); the late Dimitri (Papandopulos), too, was one of them. The present "Patriarch" Bartholomeos (Archondonis) was elected the Chairman of the Masonic lodge "H.A.N."

[487] See the work of Bishop Photius of Triaditsa (Bulgarian Orthodox Old-calendarist Church), especially dealing with this problem. Orthodox Russia, Nos. 1, 6, 7, 1994). In English: "The Orthodox Church Calendar. In Defense of the Julian Calendar". It includes: "The 70th Anniversary of the Pan-Orthodox Congress in Constantinople" by Bishop Photius of Triaditsa and "The Julian Calendar" by Ludmila Perepiolkina.

[488] We wish to remind that by changing the calendar Meletius and his collaborators brought upon themselves the anathema of the Seventh Ecumenical Council, which was imposed upon those who would dare to "subvert any of the legitimate traditions of the Universal Church." The new calendar was also anathematized three times by the Local Councils of Constantinople, in 1583, 1587, and 1593.

[489] Bishop Photius of Triaditsa, "The Fatal Step on the Way to Apostasy. To mark 70 years after the "Pan-Orthodox" Congress in Constantinople", Orthodox Russia, No. 7, 1994, p. 11.

[490] Traditionally Orthodox Russians, not only their clergy, wear a moustache and a beard symbolizing the image of Christ in man (see the canonical icon-painting of Christ). To counteract the penetration of Latin influence from the South-West, the Moscow Council of 1551 had even forbidden to perform the burial service for the "beard-shavers". Later, under Peter I, the process of atheization in Russia coincided with the reforms which deprived people of God's image. (See V.N. Il'in, "The Harp of David", San Francisco, 1980, pp. 35-36). It is well known that Peter's reforms were not only political and economic, but that they affected the spiritual aspect of life most of all by means of such measures as the abolition of Patriarchy, the attacks upon monasticism and so on. People were being deprived of God's image by Peter's enforced order to cut off beards (in this connection people would say: "You are free to chop off our heads, but leave our beards alone!"), and by subsequent introduction of beard taxes. Sometimes, ridiculing his retainers, Peter would personally cut off their beards, thus grievously offending them. Hence it is obvious, why Emel'ian Pugachev, leader of the insurrection of 1773-1774, wishing to win over the people, promised to give them back "the cross and the beard". The external, "bodily appearance" must harmonize with the spiritual essence of man. "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God? " (1 Cor. 6, 19). Is this not the reason why so much is being done today to accustom people, especially our youth, to untidiness and ugliness?

[491] See "Akty Sviateishago Tikhona, Patriarkha Moskovskago i vseia Rossii, pozdneishie dokumenty i perepiska o kanonicheskom preemstve vysshei tserkovnoi vlasti" (The Acts of Holy Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow and All Russia, the Latest Documents and Correspondence Concerning Canonical Succession of the Supreme Ecclesiastical Authority, 1917-1943. Compiler M.E. Gubonin, Moscow, 1994, pp. 905-906).

[492] It is no longer a secret to anyone that Metr. Nikodim was a secret Roman Catholic. Papists themselves write about this openly now (see the Chapter "The Church in Distress"). Recently the Catholic Journal "Truth and Life" published the memoirs of Miguel Arrant, in which this Jesuit, who in Nikodim's time taught at the Leningrad Theological Academy, told, among other things, that with Nikodim's blessing he celebrated "the Eastern Rite Liturgy" in the Nikodim's house church at the Leningrad Theological Academy. During the service Arrant "was assisted by the future Metropolitan Kiril", who was a deacon at that time (see Truth and Life, 1995, No. 2, pp. 26-27). ... It is well-known that a <<certain blessed Fool-for-Christ foretold Metropolitan Nikodim's manner of death: "And you, a dog that you are, will die at the feet of the Pope of Rome!" And this is what happened in 1978 during the audience with the newly elected John-Paul I>> (Pravoslavie ili smert' (Orthodoxy or Death), No. 1, Moscow, 1997, p. 8).

[491] D. D. Pospelovsky, "Obnovlenchestvo. Pereosmyslenie techenija v svete arkhivnykh dokumentov" (Renovationism. Reappraisal of the movement in the light of the archive documents), Vestnik RKhD (Messager of the Russian Christian Movement) No. 168, 1993, p. 221.

[494] Priest G. Kochetkov -- quoted from the collection "Seti "obnovlennago" Pravoslavija" (The Nets of the "Renewed" Orthodoxy), publ. by Russkii Vestnik, Moscow, 1995, p. 116.

[495] Ibid.

[496] Hegumen Innokenty (Pavlov), irritated by the hierarch's denunciations of the Latins. Ibid.

[497] Priest G. Kochetkov, "Genii Berdiaeva i Tserkov" (Berdyaev's Genius and the Church), Pravoslavnaia Obshchina, No. 2, 1992, Moscow, pp. 51-53.

[498] See Pravoslavie ili smert' (Orthodoxy or Death), p. 12. We have already commented on erotical novels of this Hegumen (see Chapter 17).

[499] Quoted from Pravoslavie ili smert' (Orthodoxy or Death), p. 12.

[500] Archpriest Vitalii Borovoy, quoted from: "Seti obnovlennago Pravoslaviia" (The Nets of...), p. 112.

[501] Priest G. Kochetkov, collection "Obshchina v Pravoslavii" (Community in Orthodoxy), Moscow, 1994, pp. 59-60.

[502] Archpriest Dimitrii Smirnov, "V ugodu dukhu veka sego" (To Please the Spirit of Our Time) in the collection <<Sovremennoe obnovlenchestvo -- protestantizm "vostochnogo obriada">> (The Contemporary Renovationism -- Protestantizm of the "Eastern Rite"), Moscow, 1996, p. 113.