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Dr Vladimir Moss: "If the people are Orthodox, they will tend towards an Orthodox monarchy" PDF Imprimare Email
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Scris de Ninel Ganea   
Marţi, 11 Aprilie 2017 08:42

royal-martyrs-in-traditional-russian-robes1Vladimir Moss is a British Orthodox historian and theologian. He has published many books and studies, most of them available online, about Orthodox Christian theology and history.  Some of his books have been translated in other languages ("The Fall of Orthodox England" appeared in Romania, Editura Egumenița) and were very well received.

Dr. Moss, can you please tell our readers something about your spiritual journey? How did you become an Orthodox? What were the major influences (persons, books) on your life?

I was born in London in 1949 and was brought up as an Anglican in the family of a British diplomat. At the age of 17 I read C.S. Lewis’ “Mere Christianity”, which made me a believer. Having just graduated from Oxford, in 1970, I went on a six-week trip to Russia. I was very moved by a service I witnessed there. In 1973 I met my future wife Olga, a White Russian, and was converted by her to Orthodoxy. In 1974 I joined the Moscow Patriarchate. My godfather was Metropolitan Anthony Bloom. In 1974 I was ordained reader of the English Orthodox parish in Guildford. In 1975 I left the MP because of ecumenism and sergianism, and in 1976 was baptized in the Russian Church Abroad.

You wrote an excellent defense of why an Orthodox must be a monarchist. But what about the view that there are some types of government specific to the character of the people? Dr. Clark Carlton, for example, says that a monarchy would never work in United States.

I don’t accept this view. What matters is the faith or lack of faith of a people. If the people are Orthodox, they will tend towards an Orthodox monarchy, and God will give it to them if they are worthy of it. But if the people are not really interested in religion, or are divided among various religions, then they will tend towards democracy.

Is an Orthodox who is not a monarchist, a heretic? Do you know any canonical decisions in this regards?

I know of no canonical decisions on this, except the 11th anathema of the Rite of Orthodoxy, which anathematizes those who do not accept that Orthodox kings are raised to their position by the special Providence of God. I believe that the conscious rejection of monarchy, and propaganda for democracy, is heretical.

This year marks a century without an Orthodox monarchy. How would you characterize this period?

The period of the collective Antichrist. The Age of Mammon.

You wrote extensively about Russia and the Romanovs. In your opinion, what was the main reason for the fall of the Empire?

There were many reasons, but the main one was the loss of real faith in Christ by increasing numbers of Christians. The immediate reason was disloyalty to the Anointed of God.

There was a major divide in Russian society, especially during the late empire. Father Geroges Florovsky, in his book about Russian theology, considers the project of Peter Mogila (“scholastic captivity”) as responsible for some of the major intellectual divide in Russian imperial society. Other commenters speak about Tsar Peter’s “reforms” as the fountain of the evil. Would you like to comment on this subject?

St. John Maximovich defended Peter Mogila. As for Peter the Great, his reforms were certainly harmful, but I think the root of the evil goes deeper and earlier. Very important was the beginning of Caesaropapism in Moscow when Tsar Alexei broke his covenant with Patriarch Nikon and exiled him.

Why do you think for many people tsarist autocracy = Stalinism (with different clothes)? For example, a recent popular book by Simon Sebag Montefiore is called “Stalin, The Red Tsar”.

The West sees the reign of Tsar Nicholas II as despotic, when in fact there was greater freedom in Russia in his reign than in many western countries. This is simply western prejudice against monarchism and for democracy. There is no comparison at all between Nicholas II and Stalin. They are complete opposites.

Here, in Romania, Russia does not have a very good press for different reasons, especially as some people can’t see a change from tsarism to communism. Also, they point to the imperialist policies of the Empire, see for example the annexation of Bessarabia in 1812, then the communist annexation in 1940… How do you comment to these charges, as an Orthodox and historian?

If I am not mistaken, there was no Romanian state in 1812, and Bessarabia was taken as part of the compaign against Napoleon, who threatened the whole of Orthodoxy… But I don’t know enough about the situation in 1812 to make a confident judgement. However, I believe that Russia was the Third Rome, and all Orthodox Christians everywhere should have been loyal to her, as Patriarch Jeremiah II commanded them to be in the late sixteenth century. In general I think one of the causes of the catastrophe of Orthodoxy in the twentieth century was nationalism and the lack of loyalty of non-Russian Orthodox Christians to the Russian Empire. The Balkan Wars of 1912-13, for example, were a terrible episode caused by Balkan Orthodox not seeing themselves as one family under the Third Rome. Every nation put its own interests above those of others and of Orthodoxy in general.

Seraphim Rose used to say his favorite tsar was Nicholas I. From your books and articles I guess Nicholas II is ranking high among your personal favorites. Can you tell us why it is so, if I am not being mistaken?

Blessed Pasha of Sarov said that Nicholas II was the greatest of the Tsars. He was Orthodox in faith, defended the Church and the poor, and took steps to restore a true symphony of powers between Church and State. His task was extremely difficult, but he carried it out with courage and skill. He made mistakes (the Russo-Japanese war, Rasputin), but he was still counted worthy of a martyr’s crown.

In your opinion what are the differences between Byzantine symphony and the Russian experiment? If there are any…

From the time of Peter, the symphony of powers was distorted in Russia in favour of the State. The balance was being restored by Nicholas II – but then he was overthrown.

You called the last volume of your “Essay in Universal History”- “Christian Power in The Age of Antichrist”. What can we expect for the next 50 years, let’s say, based on the prophecies and history lessons?

I believe, following some Catacomb Church prophecies, that the last days are to be divided into three parts: (1) The Collective Antichrist, since 1917. We are still in this phase, but coming towards the end of it now, I think. The Third World War will finally destroy Bolshevik power in Russia as well as Masonry in the West. (2) After the war, the Resurrection and Triumph of Orthodoxy, led by a truly Orthodox Tsar in Russia and spreading throughout the world, will last about 50-60 years, according to Greek prophecies. The Jews will be converted to Christ in this period. (3) The seven-year reign of the Personal Antichrist, ending in the Second Coming of Christ.

What should we do as an Orthodox people? Many people try to start a political party or try to get involved hoping they would change something?

It is no good practicing any kind of politics in this period (except perhaps follow us in leaving the European Union J). We must restrict ourselves to spiritual activity. The first necessity is to leave the Romanian patriarchate, because it has betrayed Christ, and the World Council of Churches and the new calendar, which is under anathema. Then God will show you the way.

Why is it still important to know about monarchy? What are the chances for a new Orthodox autocracy (monarchy)?

According to the prophecies, there will definitely be a new Russian Orthodox autocracy. It is very important to believe in this. Otherwise, we lose hope and accept false leaders like Putin.

What is the difference between autocracy and absolutism?

An absolutist leader recognizes no power above himself. He does not work with the True Church, but tries to make it submit to his rule. An Orthodox Autocrat, on the other hand, works with the truly Orthodox Church, and recognizes that the main purpose of his rule is to help and protect the Church and Orthodoxy.

Is it possible to have a democracy better than a monarchy?

Some democracies are definitely better than some absolutist monarchies. But democracy is always unstable, and leads in the end to despotism and absolutism.

Why do you think Vladimir Putin likes to appear as the defender of the conservative values in the world?

In order to deceive the Russian people. This is a very dangerous deception. He is the latest incarnation of the Russian revolution, and must be removed before any kind of resurrection of Orthodoxy or statehood in Russia can take place. 

Who are your favorite saints? Who are the saints we should familiarize with?

I love my English Orthodox saints. But I also love many saints of many different nations. We should all get to know the most recent saints, especially the New Martyrs of Russia. St. Philaret of New York is a special favourite of mine, partly because I knew him personally, partly because he anathematized ecumenism. His body is incorrupt, and he does miracles. 

What is your opinion about The Orthodox Synod in Crete? If there is something wrong with the Synod, what are the options for those who realized it?

The Cretan Synod is of course heretical. But World Orthodoxy has been heretical for many years. The statements that the Orthodox patriarchates signed up to in the 1980s and 1990s were apocalyptically terrible. At last some people in World Orthodoxy are beginning to wake up spiritually. They must leave the official churches and seek a truly confessing bishop. 

What is the main danger for Orthodoxy today?

Seeing the evil Putin as the savior of Orthodoxy.

Is there a difference between the ecumenism of the Russian elites in the XVIII – XIX century (Tsar Alexander I, Prince Golytsin) and today’s ecumenism?

Yes. Ecumenism has now been officially and exposed and anathematized by the True Church. Therefore those who confess it now have no excuse. In earlier centuries, while there were ecumenist tendencies which should have been resisted more strongly, the Church had not changed its official confession.

Please, name, for our readers, some of the books that have made a great impact on you in the last years!

“Great Russia” by Protopriest Lev Lebedev. “Homilies” by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovich. “Sermons” by St. John Maximovich. Everything written by Archbishop Theophan of Poltava.

Dr. Moss, thank you for this interview!

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