Editor’s note: This was written before the Vatican changed the consecration, which Pope Benedict was to attend, to “humanity” with a special emphasis on Ukraine and Russia. The new ceremony is taking place today.
It seems we have been swiftly overtaken by events, both spiritual and secular, on seemingly all fronts. Specifically, as they relate to Russia, Fatima and Ukraine. Making things even more dizzying is the stupendous amounts of propaganda, from all sides, in matters of war, medicine, finance, trade, education, race, law, culture and, of course, religion.
And now the Pope has chimed in with his totally unexpected response to the recent request by Maj. Abp. Sviatoslav Shevchuk, the head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) for the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As per the Fatima apparitions beginning in 1916, in Fatima, Portugal.
This Greek wing of the Latin Western Church is, in fact, devoted to the celebration of ‘The Mysteries’ (sacraments) in the traditional form of the ancient Greek Church, known generally (but not quite accurately) today as The Eastern Orthodox Church. The existence of this Greek portion of the Western Roman Church is known within the separated Eastern Orthodox world as ‘The Unia’.
The existence of The Unia is the source of most of the modern ecumenical hostilities that still exist within sacramental Christendom. The Orthodox hate The Uniates. The reason for this hostility is that the Eastern Orthodox perceive The Unia as a Latin beach head on the ‘canonical turf’ of Orthodoxy. The purpose of it, as they perceive it, is to be a 5th Column, sent from 1st Rome to undermine the authority of Eastern Orthodox churches. And in a way, they are right. For the Roman way of seeing ecumenism is the ‘Ecumenism of Return’. In other words, ‘What’s keeping you back, Brothers? You can still keep your culture, language and liturgy, and still be in full communion with Rome. So, c’mon home!’ In other words, you move. We don’t.
That, after all, is the linguistic thought behind the word Unia—United. To Rome. Here is how one website summarizes things, (with attention to the last sentence of the quoted paragraph):
The Uniate Church is an Eastern Christian Church that preserves the Eastern rite and discipline but submits to papal authority. The Ukrainians of Galicia were the first people to accept these terms, and they were soon followed by their kinsmen on the other side of the Carpathians, Russians of Hungary. The movement thus started has had some success in almost every Orthodox country, so that there are now Greek Catholic Rumanians, Croatians, Lithuanians, Syrians, Copts, Armenians, Italians, and Greeks. Its strongest hold, however, is still among the race who were the first to adopt it, and who are variously known, according to location or to political nomenclature as Little Russians, Ruthenians, Russinians, Uhro-Rusins or Ukrainians.
So, here we are. Back in the USSR. You don’t know how lucky you are, boy! .
Don’t you remember how Uncle Joe smashed the round UGCC peg into the square hole on the Soviet game-board of religious tolerance? Uncle Joe wasn’t a fan of religious tolerance, but remember, deep into WWII, Joe needed all hands on-deck to win. Dolph was kicking his ass, and things weren’t looking good for Joe. Which meant ‘The Party’s (almost) Over’. Which meant he better do something, and do it pretty damn quick!
Thus, just as Lenin had to ease up in economic terms (NEP) during the Russian Civil War, Uncle Joe had to ease up on the religious persecutions if he wanted to be able to entice his peasants to fight for Mother Russia. So he re-opened the Churches and told the newly-released priests to preach about Holy Mother Russia. And how it would be nice to fight (and die) for Her.
The thoroughly-NKVD-infiltrated remnant of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) did her patriotic part. So in 1946 the hierarchy of the ROC wanted some payback. Joe complied by suppressing the UGCC and giving all her properties, priests and people to the ROC. Lock, stock and barrel. And guess what? The UGCC Greeks never forgot it. Irish Alzheimers. Forget everything but your grudges. Even if you get some of your property back, as the UGCC did after 1991.
All of which has made the resuscitated UGCC more than willing to be a western (Church) pawn when it comes to Russia. Payback time for them too. After all, anything that causes the ROC a little (or a lot) of pain is worth it. And as I have been saying these last two years here on The Perfesser’s site, the UGCC is the ecclesial version of NATO, as it continues to encircle the Bear. And anyone who thinks that religious sentiment carries no weight with Slavs is an idiot. A Western idiot, to be sure.
Now this new hot war. Little Russia is bleeding again, at the hands of her Big Brother. But Vlad claims the real cause of this destruction was the treason of the western remnants of Hitler’s Ukrainian legacy. The ‘UkroNazis’ as Vlad calls them. If you know your history, and who Stepan Bandera was, you’ll understand Vlad’s meaning. I’m not saying Vlad cares about Holy Mother Russia, big or small. But he does care about something. We’re going to find out what that something is, and pretty soon.
But now another element is in play. Fatima (four-part series here). We don’t need to rehash that story again, at least from the Western perspective. Other than to note that there are as many theories of conspiracies about Fatima as there are concerning Dallas in 1963. With new ones still arising daily.
It does behoove us to look at Fatima from the perspective of those who’ve never seen (or heard of) it. These are the people within Eastern Orthodoxy. Courtesy of the hierarchs who run its various dis-united divisions. And the ROC in particular. After all, if Russia needs consecrating (and even conversion?), guess who has a lot to lose? In terms of power, prestige and pride, that is. So the leaders of Orthodoxy have spent the last 100 years studiously ignoring the events (and words) of Fatima in order to stave off this possible loss of ecclesial privilege. Dynamic silence, as the Rabbi used to say.
We are now seeing something tremendous unfolding before us. A possible Red Dawn, from an ecclesial perspective. Or would it be Red Dusk? All set off by Abp. Vigano when he released his latest letter prominently mentioning Russia as ‘The Third Rome’. No, he wasn’t speaking of Russia’s political and ecclesial claim to have inherited the mantle of Holy Rome in 1453. Instead, Vigano speaks of Orthodox Russia today as an actual Holy Rome. Read it yourself.
If that was all that happened, it would still be huge. But two other things have happened in rapid succession. First of all, the News Blackout in the Orthodox World has been shattered. Yes, there has been an MSM-like campaign to suppress Western-church news all throughout the East for a millennium. And it has succeeded for the most part. At least in those areas of the world where people are rather isolated. Which is another adjective for The East. But the wall has now been breached, in a big way.
The next bombshell was when the Pope has announced he will consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on March 25th, the Feast of The Annunciation! Which, if you don’t know it (because you’re ‘modern’), it’s because you have no clue that date was always known to the ancient Roman world, both ecclesial and secular, as the Day of Creation. Of course! So, the re-creation of the world (the Incarnation) should begin the cycle of renewal on the same date it was first announced, dah?
It helps to understand that due to the fractured makeup of Eastern Orthodoxy, there is absolutely no central source for anything beyond any ‘Local Church’ boundary. The Local Churches quarrel incessantly with each other (especially over canonical territory, and of course, national dignity). And each of these Local Churches generally fits under the umbrella of a ‘regional’ hierarch know as a Patriarch. Those Patriarchies are Constantinople, Antioch, Alexandra, Jerusalem and of course, Moscow. And each of these Patriarchies has a New World avatar that often tends to be the funding source for the Old World hierarchs. Nothing ever changes, eh?
The largest and richest of these Patriarchal groupings over here is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (of North America), known as the GOA. The most entertaining and open-minded of GOA sources, by my taste, is a site known as Monomakhos; that is, ‘one who fights alone’. That was the moniker of a Byzantine emperor, as well as Grand Prince Vladimir Monomakhos Prince of Kiev, by the way. My point in telling you this is simple: First Rus and Second Rome are in-laws. And have been for a thousand years.
A few days ago, the Monomakhos site ran an article whose subject matter was Abp. Vigano’s letter reflecting upon the Russian Orthodox Church and her Patriarch Kyrill, referring to Russia as the Third Rome. Here’s the link to Vigano’s entire letter.
The reaction by George and Gail Michalopulos (who host the site) was nothing short of astounding. George was stunned to hear such (Roman) talk, and the frame of reference it was placed in. That is, Abp. Vigano was speaking favourably of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) and her place in Church destiny today.
George, who is actually quite non-polemical towards 1st Rome, was quite taken aback, in a positive fashion, at the possibility of some kind of tectonic shift in world events as they impact Christian unity. For it was one of the few times that the OrthoWorld had heard anything of a positive nature from 1st Rome (even though Vigano is actually persona-non-grata there).
Suffice it to say, George wrote favorably about Vigano’s letter, and received a lot of comments from the usual crowd there, some of which was also somewhat favorable. Which is in itself an astounding thing. I too chimed in on the comments section. I gave my take on things Catholic and Orthodox, and related my theory of Russian destiny, especially the parallels between the schism of the ROC in 1666 (which I call Vatican Zero), and our own fracture at Vatican II.
It was obvious that the shock of George’s reporting on Abp. Vigano, and George’s reaction to the possibility of there being some possibility of ecclesial unity, at some level, between the disgruntled Easterners and Westerners alike, had triggered something in his audience, which is rather cosmopolitan in a way, with readers from the world-wide Greek Ortho diaspora.
And then the Pope announced he will consecrate Russia.
George’s wife Gail (who is a pretty good investigative reporter herself) then did a segment on this, and dwelt in great length and depth on the actual events of Fatima. And then the house fell in. The commenters went berserk. Treason! Heresy! Vatican papist trickery! How could she dare to even think this thing at Fatima was anything other than a Deep Church Vatican hoax, designed to lure Orthodox lambs to the slaughter!
Think of their site as an Eastern Orthodox refugee camp. Filled with believers fleeing all the Patriarchies as corrupt as our own Western one. And in their desire to find a safe ecclesial haven, and respecting the words mouthed by the ROC (in her isolation from the world, in all ways now), many on the Monomakhos site have become, like me, Russophiles. But my affection is of long-standing. Theirs is recently gained.
Here’s the big difference between us. George and Gail have yet to understand that the hierarchy of the ROC, starting with Patriarch Kyrill, and his go-to guy, Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (think, Sec. of State), are just as venal as our top guys. In their haste to flee the Patriarchs that have abandoned their own flocks, many in the East have yet to see the truth about the rot. And that the rot is everywhere, at the top. The top of anything. Including the Patriarchy of Moscow.
These ROC top-dogs say they are pro-life and pro-family, but still tell their people they have a ‘Christian duty’ to get Vaxxed. And humble Patriarch Kyrill still wears his $35,000 watch, as he continues to collect the royalties from the exclusive license Vlad gave him to import Western cigarettes into Russia. They don’t call him ‘the Marlboro Man’ for nothing. He’s reputedly worth billions. In dollars, no less. Not Rubles.
With a stroke of a pen, Vlad’s ciggy-license has re-purchased the continued loyalty of the ROC. And Kyrill, who by the way, was also a KGB buddy, back in the day. Here’s why I still harbor suspicions of Vlad. And Kyrill, both. It’s been a long, hard day, eh? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QREeweMWTZk
In other words, when I say I’m a Russophile, I’m referring to the people of Russia. The muzhiks. The simple folks, the peasant-stock, who have labored in isolation for that same millennium. People who have never raised a fist against the West, nor Rome. Imperial or otherwise. In fact, they know nothing of Holy Rome. But they do have the Faith. And that makes them worthy of salvation. The Beautiful Lady certainly seems to think so. That’s good enough for me.
Gail is still on the road to full awareness. She makes much of the distinction between the words ‘consecration’ and ‘conversion’. She senses a vindication of Russia without a need for repentance, of anything.
She thinks that the meaning of Fatima (and she believes it is real) portends a different ending than the one I fear. She thinks that the point of the prophecy is that 3rd Rome (Moscow) will not just supplant 1st Rome, but that it will actually become Holy Rome. In other words, that 1st and 3rd become one, with the center moving to Moscow.
But (and this is critical, I think) Gail thinks that this Eastern assimilation of Western Rome will carry with it those who, currently in the West, will actually be a part of the one True Church (centered in Moscow). She sees, in other words, the inclusion of Western Catholics within the saving mantle of Moscow. In other words, Unia Jiu-jitsu! Welcome home, to New Rome!
That is to say, that Catholics can be (and many will be) saved. Talk about a religious inversion! Not only has she spouted heresy (according to the die-hards amongst her readership, who are relatively representative of the cognoscenti of Orthodoxy), she has seen fit to dine with the tax collectors!
I know, this merry-go-round has made you dizzy. It’s enough to choke a horse. Even a Trojan Horse. That’s the point, right? Deception is the key to understanding everything in this world today. Everything is inverted, upside-down, backwards. Everything. A demoniac’s daytrip. And if you aren’t dyslexic, you can’t read the signposts.
That’s because, like the isolated Russians of the east, most Westerners are equally ignorant, in their own media blackouts. Blackouts of anything religious, whether from a Traditional Latin or Eastern Greek aspect. And that’s what Gail seems to see. That there is an equality amongst the truly faithful, regardless of the compass. She just happens to think that the East is where the final resting point of the True Church will be.
I, of course, think it will end right where it began. Because it never really moved. The Empire moved, sure. Most corporations move HQ around a lot, for a variety of reasons. Rome, Constantinople, York, New York. What’s the difference? As long as the taxes are collected (and spent), what difference does HQ’s location it make? Caesar has many villas throughout the Empire. Hail Caesar. Hail C-zar.
My reading of the tea leaves, in contrast to Gail’s awakening, is that there will be another potential scenario that will entail a different Russian ending to this tale. If, as it seems clear now in the secular (Imperial) world, there may be a new Emperor (Vlad) that rules the West (as well as his eastern redoubt), there may be another real-estate transaction coming soon.
Whereas Gail sees the Vatican moving to Moscow, I see the opposite. But not all of Moscow. Just the ruling elite. The people who never dreamed of living in Moscow (forever). No, these are the people who think it might be nice to have a place in real (and beautiful) Rome. Both Holy and Imperial.
None of them seem to value Holy over Imperial. This is where the rubber will meet the road. Will the coming road trip to Rome change either Vlad or Kyrill? Will anything warm their Arctic hearts? Anything salutary? More importantly, will the Altar ever again surmount the impious Imperial throne? Regardless of who sits there? Once the apostate West is subdued (and it will be), will there be a final battle between Vlad and Kyrill? That’s what this is all about, after all.
While Gail sees the moving of headquarters, and all that ‘furniture’, I think we’re only looking at a few select people moving into the old place. And signing a long-term lease on the existing property. It’s already well furnished. And it’s still on the Tiber. No need to forward the Vatican mail. Moving is such a pain.
In other words, I think we may not only see a new Slavic Emperor, we may also get a new Slavic Pope. Both residing in Real Rome.
Who knows, maybe this new Pope might suppress the English Mass, just like the current one recently suppressed the ancient Latin one. How fast can we learn Old Slavonic? Or, will he restore the ancient tongue of the early Church—Greek! Well, you know what kids say today: change is the new tradition, eh?
Give things a month or two, and who knows what the world will look like, Komrade. But in the meantime, we are locked into March 25th. Maybe a new creation is coming, as the Pope (and any real Bishops) consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of The Beautiful Lady.
Here’s my real question, Komrade. Can we get Vlad (and even Kyrill) to join them? Are you praying for them? As the Beautiful Lady has asked?
Buy my new book and learn to argue against the regime: Everything You Believe Is Wrong.