Written by Vladimir Moss



     The ROCOR philosopher Ivan Alexandrovich Ilyin (+1954) said: “Russia will be regenerated only when in the soul of the Russian man there will again appear an altar for God and a throne for the Tsar”. These two conditions required the removal of two obstacles or spiritual mountains in the way of the building of God’s Temple (Zechariah 4.7): (1) the Moscow Patriarchate, that KGB-controlled mockery of an Orthodox church, enabling a true altar to be erected to the true God, and (2) the ideology of democracy, enabling a truly autocratic (i.e. Orthodox, not western-style, constitutional) monarchism to take its place. Let us look at what progress was made towards these goals in the 1990s.

     St. Paul said: “All things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8.28), and the economic catastrophe of the 1990s had at least this good consequence: it enabled many Russians to see that communism and democracy were not simple opposites, the one evil and the other good. As long as Russians denounced communism but praised democracy, without seeing the close historical and philosophical kinship between these two western heresies, it was impossible for them to understand the real roots of the revolution and therefore return to True Orthodoxy. Nevertheless, already early in the 1990s Orthodox Russians were beginning to see the real nature, not only of the October Bolshevik-Communist, but also of the February Democratic-Masonic revolution that preceded it… 

     But at the beginning the tide was running in the opposite direction… In 1992 the Freemasons regained the power they had lost in Russia in 1922. Thus the Masonic historian Richard Rhoda wrote: “This writer has been advised in a letter of April 22, 1996 of the following by George Dergachev, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Russia. On January 14, 1992, the first regular Lodge ‘Harmony’ was constituted in Moscow by the Grand Lodge Nationale Française. This lodge now has 41 members. 

     “September 8, 1993 will be a memorable day in Russian Freemasonry, for three more lodges were constituted by the Grand Lodge Nationale Française: Lotus No. 2 in Moscow with 36 current members; New Astrea No. 3 in St. Petersburg with 19 current members; and Gamaioun No. 4 in Voronezh with 13 current members… 

     “M.W. Bro. Dergachev writes: ‘Most of the Brothers have graduated from the Universities. Among them there are scientists, journalists, businessmen, bankers, officers of the Army, Navy, policemen, engineers, writers, producers and lawyers.’ These four Regular Daughter Lodges of the Grand Lodge Nationale Française formed the Grand Lodge of Russia on June 24, 1995. In addition to their Mother Grand Lodge, they have been recognized by the Grand Lodges of Poland, Hungary and New York. The Grand Master and Bro. Vladimir Djanguirian, his Grand Secretary, attended by invitation the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New York this past May…”[1]

      Nor was the Masonic movement in Russia just an unimportant fad. For President Yeltsin himself became a Freemason in 1992 (as announced in Pravda); while his successor, the KGB Lieutenant-Colonel Vladimir Putin, became one in Germany, where he was stationed at the time. Nevertheless, the economic catastrophe of the 1990s served to disillusion Russians with democracy, and therefore with Masonry by association… 

     Instead, in the midst of poverty, anarchy and crime, many began to long nostalgically for the “order” of the Soviet period, considering that the cheapness of Soviet sausages outweighed the destruction of tens of millions of souls through Soviet violence and atheist propaganda. Like the children of Israel who became disillusioned with the rigorous freedom (combined with serpents) of the desert, they began to long once more for the fleshpots of Egypt, for the slavery which had nevertheless guaranteed them a certain standard of living and to which they had become accustomed. But unlike the Israelites, the wanderers in the desert of post-Soviet Russia had no Moses to urge them ever onwards to the Promised Land.


     True, they felt the need for such a leader; and if many still longed for the return of a Stalin, there were others who preferred the image of Tsar Nicholas II, whose increasing veneration among the people (if not among the hierarchs) was one of the most encouraging phenomena of the 1990s. But veneration for the pre-revolutionary tsars was not going to bring about the appearance of a post-revolutionary tsar unless that veneration was combined with repentance. Few understood that the people had to become worthy of such a tsar by a return to the True Church and a life based on the commandments of God. Otherwise, if they continued to worship the golden calf, the new Moses, like the old one, would break the tablets of the new law before their eyes. And if they continued to follow the new Dathans and Abirams of the heretical MP, then under their feet, too, the earth would open up – or they would be condemned to wander another forty years in the desert, dying before they reached the promised land of a cleansed and Holy Russia.


     As time passed, the corrupting and divisive effects of Russian “democracy” as ruled by Masons, Mafia criminals and Chicago economists became more and more evident. Pornography and crime of all kinds increased dramatically; and in the opinion of many it was now more difficult to bring up children in true Christian piety than it had been in the Soviet period. The general level of culture also declined; and the freedom given to religion turned out to be more to the advantage of all kinds of sects and false religions than to True Orthodoxy…


     In fact, it was not so much a real religious renaissance as what Bishop Theophan the Recluse had prophesied over a century before: “Although the Christian name will be heard everywhere, and everywhere will be visible churches and ecclesiastical ceremonies, all this will be just appearances, and within there will be true apostasy. On this soil the Antichrist will be born...”[2]


     That the return of democracy would not bring with it a real cleansing of political life became evident when none of the communist persecutors of the previous seventy years throughout Eastern Europe were brought to trial for their crimes. As was noted above, there was no lustration process, no “decommunization” analogous to the denazification that took place in Germany in 1945. Consequently, one group of “repentant” communists, sensing the signs of the political times, seized power in 1991 in a “democratic” coup and immediately formed such close and dependent ties with its western allies that the formerly advanced (if inefficient) economy of Russia was transformed into a scrap-heap of obsolescent factories, on the one hand, and a source of cheap raw materials for the West, on the other.[3] Another group, playing on the sense of betrayal felt by many, formed a nationalist opposition – but an opposition characterized by hatred, envy and negativism rather than a constructive understanding of the nation’s real spiritual needs and identity. Still others, using the contacts and dollars acquired in their communist days, went into “business” – that is, a mixture of crime, extortion and the worst practices of capitalism. It is little wonder that True Orthodox churches felt it necessary to retain the prayer to be delivered “from the bitter torment of atheist rule”…




     The apparent fall of communism throughout most of the Soviet bloc in 1989-91 raised hopes of a restoration of True Orthodoxy in Russia, which, if they seem naïve in retrospect, were nevertheless very real at the time. In retrospect, we can see that the changes introduced by glasnost’ and perestroika were less fundamental than at first appeared, and that the spirit and power of communism was far from dead when the red flag was pulled down from over the Kremlin on December 25, 1991. If some of the economic ideas of the revolution were discredited, and if its persecution of religion was removed, its fundamental concepts – the replacement of the Church by the State, God by the people, Tradition by science, Spirit by matter – remained as firmly entrenched as ever.


     Nevertheless, the changes were significant enough to indicate the beginning of a new era. If we seek for historical parallels, then we can recall the return of the Jews under Zerubbabel to Jerusalem after their 70-year captivity in Babylon, or the Edict of Milan in 313, when the Emperor St. Constantine the Great came to an agreement with the pagan emperor Licinius to end the persecution of the Christians in the Roman empire. The problem for the Christians of the 1990s was: no Zerubbabel or Constantine was in sight.


     The True Orthodox Christians of the Catacomb Church were cautious, fearing a deception. They were not convinced that the leopard had not changed its spots (Jeremiah 13.23), believing that the communists had merely assumed the mask of “democrats”, the wolves had simply put on sheep’s clothing while remaining inwardly as ravenous as before (Matthew 7.15). In general, therefore, they remained in the underground, not seeking to register their communities or acquire above-ground churches in which to worship.


     Meanwhile, the Moscow Patriarchate (MP) – or “Soviet church” was fearful that its monopoly position in church life under the Soviets would be lost in the new democracy. Nevertheless, it took the opportunity presented by the new legislation to receive all the money budgeted for church restoration by the Russian parliament and open many churches (1830 were opened in the first nine months of 1990 alone).


     The first question to be answered was: how were the political changes to be evaluated? Was the collective Antichrist really dead? Was this only a temporary “breathing space” in which the Antichrist was preparing a new, subtler, and more deadly onslaught? Or was a real resurrection of Holy Rus’ about to take place, albeit after a difficult transitional phase?


     The Church certainly stood to gain important benefits from democratization. Thus the fall of communism came not a moment too soon for the beleaguered Catacomb Church, which was divided and desperately short of bishops of unquestioned Orthodoxy and apostolic succession. As we have seen, ROCOR had been enabled ROCOR to enter Russia and regenerate the hierarchy of the True Church.


     Again, the introduction of freedom of speech and the press enabled millions of Soviet citizens to learn the truth about their state and church for the first time. On the basis of this knowledge, they could now seek entrance into the True Church without the fear of being sent to prison or the camps. In the wave of disillusion with post-Soviet democracy that followed in the mid-1990s, it was pointed out – rightly – that freedom is a two-edged weapon, which can destroy as well as give life, and that “freedom” had brought Russia poverty and crime as well as goods on the shelves and interesting newspapers. However, for the soul thirsting for truth there is no more precious gift than the freedom to seek and find; and that opportunity was now, at last, presented to the masses.


     On the other hand, only a minority of Russians used this freedom to seek the truth that makes one truly, spiritually free. And so if the fall of communism in 1989-91 was a liberation, it was a liberation strangely lacking in joy. Orthodoxy was restored neither to the state nor to the official church, and the masses of the people remained unconverted. Ten years later, a priest of the MP could claim that “the regeneration of ecclesiastical life has become a clear manifestation of the miraculous transfiguration of Russia”.[4] But behind the newly gilded cupolas reigned heresy and corruption on a frightening scale.


     Thus Fr. Paul Adelheim, an MP priest who was killed in mysterious circumstances in the early 2000s, wrote: “Spiritual life is being destroyed and annihilated – moreover, it is being annihilated deliberately, of course, by the Moscow Patriarchate itself. It is destroying what it is possible to destroy in the Church… Our faith in the Church has been substituted by ideology. The Church has taken the place of the former Politburo of the USSR. That is what they call it now. They say that Russia is headed by chekists [KGB agents] and churchmen. It turns out in fact that there is no place in this Church for Christ.” Moreover, surveys showed that although the numbers of those confessing themselves to be Orthodox Christians had risen[5], the correctness and depth of belief of these new Christians was very much open to question[6]… More people called themselves “Orthodox” than confessed to believing in God!


     In September, 1991, Patriarch Alexis of Moscow said, in justification of the Moscow Patriarchate’s cooperation with Stalin in the 1920s and 30s: “A church that has millions of faithful cannot go into the catacombs. The hierarchy of the church has taken the sin on their souls: the sin of silence and of lying for the good of the people in order that they not be completely removed from real life. In the government of the diocese and as head of the negotiations for the patriarchate of Moscow, I also had to cede one point in order to defend another. I ask pardon of God, I ask pardon, understanding and prayers of all those whom I harmed through the concessions, the silence, the forced passivity or the expressions of loyalty that the hierarchy may have manifested during that period.”[7]


     This is closer to self-justification than repentance (and was in any case contradicted by later statements). It is similar to the statement of Metropolitan Nicholas (Corneanu) of Banat of the Romanian Patriarchate, who confessed that he had collaborated with the Securitate, the Romanian equivalent of the KGB, and had defrocked the priest Fr. Calciu for false political reasons, but nevertheless declared that if he had not made such compromises he would have been forced to abandon his post, “which in the conditions of the time would not have been good for the Church”. In other words, as Vladimir Kozyrev writes: “It means: ‘I dishonoured the Church and my Episcopal responsibility, I betrayed those whom I had to protect, I scandalized my flock. But all this I had to do for the good of the Church!’”[8]


     In another interview in 1997 Patriarch Alexis said, referring to the Church in the time of Patriarch Tikhon: “The Church could not, did not have the right, to go into the catacombs. She remained together with the people and drank to the dregs the cup of sufferings that fell to its lot.”[9]  Patriarch Alexis here forgot to mention that Patriarch Tikhon specifically blessed Michael Zhizhilenko, the future Hieromartyr Maximus of Serpukhov, to become a secret catacomb bishop if the pressure on the Church from the State became too great. As for his claim that the sergianists shared the cup of the people’s suffering, this must be counted as conscious hypocrisy. It is well known that the Soviet hierarchs lived a life of considerable luxury, while lifting not a finger for the Catacomb Christians and dissidents sent to torments and death in KGB prisons!


     On November 9, 2001, the patriarch threw off the mask of repentance completely, stating in defence of the declaration: “This was a clever step by which Metropolitan Sergius tried to save the church and clergy. In declaring that the members of the Church want to see themselves as part of the motherland and want to share her joys and sorrows, he tried to show to those who were persecuting the church and who were destroying it that we, the children of the church, want to be loyal citizens so that the affiliation of people with the church would not place them outside the law.”[10] So the greatest act of betrayal in Russian history was “a clever step”, which did not destroy the Judas and those who followed him but “saved the church and clergy”!


     After the failure of the putsch articles began to appear revealing the links of the Church hierarchy with the KGB. Rattled, the patriarch wrote to Frs. Gleb Yakunin and George Edelstein that their articles were “full of the spirit of unscrupulous blasphemy against the Church.”[11]


     One of the biggest fruits of glasnost – which did not, however, lead to a real ecclesiastical perestroika – was the confirmation in January, 1992, by a Commission of the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Soviet investigating the causes and circumstances of the 1991 putsch, that for several decades at least the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchate had been KGB agents. Members of the commission - L. Ponomarev, V. Polosin and Fr. Gleb Yakunin – obtained access to the records of the fourth, Church department of the KGB’s Fifth Directorate (in which the future president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, had worked), and revealed that Metropolitans Juvenal of Krutitsa, Pitirim of Volokolamsk, Philaret of Kiev and Philaret of Minsk were all KGB agents, with the codenames “Adamant”, “Abbat”, “Antonov” and “Ostrovsky”.


     This “news” was hardly unexpected. In 1989 Kharchev, Chairman of the Council for Religious Affairs, confirmed that the Russian Orthodox Church was rigorously controlled by the Central Committee of the Communist Party, especially its Ideological Department, and by the KGB.[12] Again, Victor Sheimov, a former KGB major with responsibilities for upgrading the KGB’s communications security system until his defection in 1980, described the Fifth Directorate as being “responsible for suppressing ideological dissent, running the Soviet Orthodox Church and laying the groundwork for the First Chief Directorate’s subversive promotion of favourable opinion about the country’s position and policy.”[13] One of Sheimov’s jobs was to draft agents to infiltrate the “Soviet Orthodox Church”. Again, in 1992 a former KGB agent, A. Shushpanov, described his experiences working in the Moscow Patriarchate’s Department of External Ecclesiastical Relations. He said that most of the people working there were in fact KGB agents.[14]


     But it was the Commission’s report on March 6 that contained the most shocking revelations: “KGB agents, using such aliases as Sviatoslav, Adamant, Mikhailov, Nesterovich, Ognev and others, made trips abroad, organised by the Russian Orthodox Department of External Relations [which was headed by Metropolitan Cyril (Gundiaev), the future patriarch], performing missions assigned to them by the leadership of the KGB. The nature of their missions shows that this department was inseparably linked with the state and that it had emerged as a covert centre of KGB agents among the faithful.”


     Again: “The Commission draws the attention of the Russian Orthodox Church leadership to the fact that the Central Committee of the CPSU and KGB agencies have used a number of church bodies for their purposes by recruiting and planting KGB agents. Such deep infiltration by intelligence service agents into religious associations poses a serious threat to society and the State. Agencies that are called upon to ensure State security can thus exert uncontrolled impact on religious associations numbering millions of members, and through them on the situation at home and abroad.”[15]


     The findings of the Commission included:- (i) the words of the head of the KGB Yury Andropov to the Central Committee sometime in the 1970s: “The organs of state security keep the contacts of the Vatican with the Russian Orthodox Church under control…”; (ii) “At the 6th General Assembly of the World Council of Churches in Vancouver, the religious delegation from the USSR contained 47 (!) agents of the KGB, including religious authorities, clergy and technical personnel” (July, 1983); (iii) “The most important were the journeys of agents ‘Antonov’, ‘Ostrovsky’ and ‘Adamant’ to Italy for conversations with the Pope of Rome on the question of further relations between the Vatican and the Russian Orthodox Church, and in particular regarding the problems of the uniates” (1989).[16]


     The Commission also discovered, but did not publish the fact, that the patriarch himself was an agent with the codename “Drozdov” (he was thought to have the rank of major). This was not made public because, writes Fen Montaigne, “members of the parliamentary commission had told the patriarch that they would not name him as an agent if he began cleaning house in the church and acknowledging the breadth of cooperation between the church and the KGB. ‘So far, we have kept silence because we wanted to give the patriarch a chance,’ said Alexander Nezhny, a journalist who said his comparison of the archives and church bulletins convinced him that Alexis II is indeed ‘Drozdov’.”[17] 


     Later investigations confirmed the fact. Thus on March 18, 1996 the Estonian newspaper Postimees published the following KGB report from the Estonian SSR: “Agent ‘Drozdov’, born in 1929, a priest of the Orthodox Church, has a higher education, a degree in theology, speaks Russian and Estonian perfectly, and some limited German. He enlisted on February 28, 1958 out of patriotic feelings in order to expose and drive out the anti-Soviet elements among the Orthodox clergy, with whom he has connections, which represents an overriding interest to the KGB agencies. At the time of enlistment it was taken into consideration that in the future (after securing his practical work) he would be promoted through the available channels to Bishop of Tallinn and Estonia. In the period of his collaboration with the organs of the KGB, ‘Drozdov’ has proved himself in a positive manner, is accurate in his reports, energetic and sociable. He understands theological matters and international situations well, is eager to carry out tasks given him by us and has already presented a good quantity of worthy material… After securing the agent in practical jobs for the agencies of state security concretely worked out, we intend to use him to further our interests by sending him into the capitalist countries as a member of ecclesiastical organizations.”[18]


     Nevertheless, what had been revealed was so shocking that the parliamentary commission was closed down by Ruslan Khasbulatov, the President of the Supreme Soviet, at the insistence, according to Ponomarev, of Patriarch Alexis and the head of the KGB, Yevgeny Primakov.  One of the commission’s members, Fr. Gleb Yakunin, was accused of betraying state secrets to the United States and threatened with a private persecution. Fr. Gleb remained defiant. He wrote to the Patriarch in 1994: “If the Church is not cleansed of the taint of the spy and informer, it cannot be reborn. Unfortunately, only one archbishop – Archbishop Chrysostom of Lithuania – has had the courage publicly to acknowledge that in the past he worked as an agent, and has revealed his codename: RESTAVRATOR. No other Church hierarch has followed his example, however.


     “The most prominent agents of the past include DROZDOV – the only one of the churchmen to be officially honoured with an award by the KGB of the USSR, in 1988, for outstanding intelligence services – ADAMANT, OSTROVSKY, MIKHAILOV, TOPAZ AND ABBAT. It is obvious that none of these or the less exalted agents is preparing to repent. On the contrary, they deliver themselves of pastoral maxims on the allegedly neutral character of informing on the Church, and articles have appeared in the Church press justifying the role of the informer as essential for the survival of the Church in an anti-religious state.


     “The codenames I discovered in the archives of the KGB belong to the top hierarchs of the Moscow Patriarchate.”


     After citing this letter, Vasily Mitrokhin, former chief archivist of the KGB, and Professor Christopher Andrew comment: “The letter to Aleksi II was unprecedented in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church – for, as the Patriarch must surely have been aware, DROZDOV, the most important of the KGB agents discovered by Father Gleb in the KGB archives, was in fact himself…”[19]


     In April, 1992, Archbishop Chrysostom of Vilnius said in an interview: “I cooperated with the KGB… but I was not a stool-pigeon…. Yes, we – or, at any rate, I, and I am saying this in the first place about myself – cooperated with the KGB. I cooperated, I gave my signature, I had regular meetings, I gave reports. I have my pseudonym or nickname, as they say – ‘Restavrator’. I cooperated with them consciously so as insistently to pursue my own church line – a patriotic line, too, as I understood it, with the help of these organs. I was never a stool-pigeon, I was not an informer… But together with those among us hierarchs, there are still more among the priests, there is a mass of unworthy, immoral people. It was this immorality, in the absence of a church court among us, that the KGB used. They defended them from us, the ruling bishops, so that we could not punish them.”[20]


     In the same year he declared to the Council of Bishops of the MP: “In our Church there are genuine members of the KGB, who have made head-spinning careers; for example, Metropolitan Methodius of Voronezh. He is a KGB officer [code-name PAUL], an atheist, a liar, who is constantly advised by the KGB. The Synod was unanimously against such a bishop, but we had to take upon us such a sin. And then what a rise he had!” According to ex-KGB agent Konstantin Preobrazhensky, Methodius was in fact not only a KGB agent, but “a regular officer of the GRU, the Chief Intelligence Directorate of the Defence Ministry”. In the KGB they call such people ‘officers of deep cover’. There are quite a few of them in today’s Moscow Patriarchate.”[21]


     At the same Council, a commission of eight MP bishops headed by Bishop Alexander of Kostroma was formed to investigate the charges of collaboration with the KGB. This commission has up to now (twenty-two years later) produced absolutely nothing! In view of the lack of a clear-out of KGB hierarchs, it remains true that, as the saying went, “the MP is the last surviving department of the KGB” or “the second administration of the Soviet state”.


     Writing in 1995, John Dunlop concluded that “the overwhelming majority of the current one hundred and nineteen bishops of the Moscow Patriarchate were ordained to the episcopacy prior to August of 1991. This suggests that each of these bishops was carefully screened and vetted by both the ideological apparatus of the Communist Party and by the KGB.”[22] Keston College came to the same conclusion.[23]


     In fact, according to Preobrazhensky, “Absolutely all [my italics – V.M.] the bishops and the overwhelming majority of the priests worked with the KGB. After all, the Church was considered to be a hostile medium, and it had to be controlled through agents. Even the very mechanism of appointing bishops allowed only agents there.


     “Bishops were put into the nomenklatura of the Central Committee of the CPSU, and so each one was confirmed by the Ideological department. And what department sent documents there for important personnel appointments? You’re right: the KGB. The certificate on the future bishop was prepared by the Fifth administration, which carried out a general watch over the Church, together with the spy service, if he had been even once abroad. Each of the certificates ended with the same phrase: ‘He has been cooperating since such-and-such a year’.


     “This was precisely the most important thing for the Central Committee of the CPSU! This phrase witnessed to the fact that the future bishop was not only loyal to Soviet power, but was hanging from it by a hook: after all, there are unfailingly compromising materials on every agent! And this means that no dissident outbursts were to be expected from this bishop…”[24]


     Other leading hierarchs in the Soviet bloc were communist agents. Thus Patriarch Ilia of Georgia was enrolled as an agent in 1962 – and still remains in power today, in 2017. Metropolitan Savva of Poland was recruited by the Polish communist security forces in 1966, with the codename “Yurek”. Another Polish Church leader, Metropolitan Basil, was also an agent.[25]




     With the KGB firmly back in the saddle, it is not surprising that the corruption in the Moscow Patriarchate continued unchecked. One anonymous member of the MP analyzed the situation as follows: “In spite of the liberation and a certain revival of Church life in recent years, her real situation has not changed markedly for the better. What is the use of an increasing number of baptisms if out of a thousand baptized scarcely one or two can be found who want to become Christians in our sense of the word, but practically everyone considers themselves to be ‘believers’ (in whom?)? What is the use of a growing number of publications of spiritual literature when clearly anti-church and heretical literature is spread at a far faster rate? What is the use of mass weddings when the number of abortions and divorces grows much faster, not to speak of every other kind of sexual immorality? What is the use of transmitting Divine services on television when the great majority of observers of these programmes do not themselves want to pray in church, preferring to play the role of ‘fans’, while those who seriously live the life of the Church hardly watch television? What is the point of teaching the Law of God in schools when all the rest of the school programme remains atheist and a pupil of the sixth class ‘goes through’ the Bible stories in the section of the literature course entitled ‘fairytales’, and takes exams on the history of the ancient world and the sections on Christianity in accordance with exactly the same textbook as fifteen years ago? And even if there is a serious attitude towards the Law of God in the school, what is the point of it if the child’s atheist parents do not teach him Church life, confession and the sacraments, prayer and fasting? Will such learning profit him?


     “We are not talking in detail here about the de facto fall of Orthodoxy in West Ukraine…, about the rapid growth and spread of Latinism, of Protestantism, of the special heresy that strives to unite Christianity with Judaism, of Krishnaism, ‘non-traditional medicine’, astrology, sorcery and the most various kinds of satanism. We are also not talking here about the open campaign of moral corruption through all the means of mass communication, which are almost exclusively in the hands of the enemies of the Church and the fatherland.


     “The main thing is that our Church [the MP] has practically renounced the ideals of Holy Russia and Orthodox Statehood as moral-dogmatic standards, but has become entwined in the rabble of democratic politicians, and while breathing a sigh of nostalgia for the Bolsheviks has begun in the persons of her hierarchs to bless all the initiatives of the new power. This has led to our present position of being unable to resist this concentrated and deeply positioned attack of the enemy forces against the Church, which, moreover, has to a significant degree allowed the enemy to enter the Church and sow his tares in her midst. For example, how can we resist the widely disseminated teaching of Protopriest Alexander Men, who departed far from Orthodoxy, but which has been condemned as a heresy by nobody? Only one small, albeit very well written brochure has appeared in a very limited edition. In the conditions of democracy everyone receives blessings for everything, and in the first place those who do evil are blessed for their evil activities. And we have to look on with horror as the flock of Christ is scattered by wolves before our very eyes…”[26]


     Archpriest Lev Lebedev, a convert from the MP to ROCOR, who suddenly and mysteriously died in a New York hotel room in 1997 just as he was about to give a blistering report on the MP to the ROCOR Synod, was still more trenchant in his criticism:


     “Only after… 1990, in a situation and atmosphere of relative civil liberty, and especially after the staged supposed ‘putsch’ of the dissolution of the CPSU in 1991 and even of Soviet power in 1993 (!), did the following become completely clear. The ‘Patriarchate’ in the former Sovdepia was not at all an unfree, enslaved ‘Church of silence’, as it was sometimes called. Its hierarchy had already for a very long time, not at all under coercion, nor under pressure, but completely voluntarily and from the soul, been attempting to please the Soviet regime. They were not the ‘new martyrs’ for the Church that they presented themselves as to their flock, and which is how some observers from outside were inclined to see them. The point is that the episcopate of the ‘patriarchate’ constructed by Sergius had more and more with every succeeding generation (replenishment) truly fraternised and become friendly with the partocrats, the nomenklatura of the CPSS, to the extent that the nomenklatura degenerated morally and ideologically! So that the bishops of the ‘patriarchate’, and especially the highest ones, that is, those who held real power in the Church, became one with the partocrats in spirit, in their manner of thinking, even, to a large extent, in their language (the use of stock phrases from the newspapers in their sermons and speeches had been noted long before). If there is anything more despicable in the world than the Soviet ‘cultural intelligentsia’, then it can only be the episcopate of the Moscow ‘patriarchate’! The princes (and ‘princelets’) of the church, exactly like the party boyars, began to be distinguished by an unbelievable haughtiness and arrogance towards those subject to them, and by the basest servility towards those above them, surrounding themselves with houses, dacha-palaces, crowds of toady-lackeys and every kind of luxury. Just like the partocrats, the bloated bishops of the ‘patriarchate’ became thieves from the public purse and swindlers, and acquired an amazing capacity to look with honest, clear eyes on an interlocutor or at their flock and deliberately deceive them in the most convincing manner. Their mendacity, their infinite mendacity almost in everything became a real second nature of the ‘patriarchal’ hierarchy. ‘Evil communications…’ If ecumenism made the Moscow ‘patriarchate’ one in spirit with all the heretics, and even with non-Christians, with whom it entered into spiritual communion through joint prayers, then sergianism made it one in spirit with the partocracy. Now, when the very partocracy has abandoned even the communist ideology that held it together, and even its own party, so as to become openly private owners of the huge resources stolen from the country and the people, and for that reason has ‘rebranded’ itself as democracy, while holding power in Russia as before, the ‘patriarchate’, being as before one with it, serves it on mutually beneficial terms. However, as we have seen, from now on the ‘patriarchate’ has started more and more openly to orient itself on the real masters of the situation – the Jews.


     “Like all smart dealers ‘of this world’, the bishops of ‘the patriarchate’ are no longer able to maintain real ecclesiastical brotherhood and friendship in their relationships with each other. Jealousy, envy, enmity, intrigues and denunciations against each other have become the norm of their mutual relations. This has been transmitted to the clergy. If there are several priests in a parish, there can never be true friendship between them; jealousy and envy have become the norm. There is no point even speaking about Christian love among the clergy.


     “’The fish begins to rot from the head.’ This condition and behaviour of the hierarchy of the Moscow ‘patriarchate’ has been transferred, not without opposition, to the lower levels – through the middle clergy to the people, the flock, where it received the most powerful and long-lasting resistance. But with time even the flock ‘gave in’. In the mass of the Christians of the churches of the ‘patriarchate’, mutual love has become extremely scarce; more and more its place has been taken by jealousy, envy and the most terrible bitterness against each other (especially on the kliroses and at the money ‘desks’), a bitterness such as you will not find in secular establishments! In the last 10 years this has reached the level of pathological fear of each other in connection with suspicions of witchcraft! Many in the churches now fear to receive a prosphora or boiled wheat or a candle from each other… There where faith has withered there have grown up, like poisonous mushrooms, the most varied superstitions! And, you know, they really do practise witchcraft! And not only in the villages, but also in the cities, moreover completely educated people! They learn from each other methods of ‘black’ and ‘white’ magic, spells, ‘charms’ and ‘anti-charms’. Sorcerers send their ‘patients’ to certain priests, and these in their turn – to sorcerers. Healer-sorcerers have appeared in the midst of the clergy… They go to him in droves, not only from the diocese, but also from other regions. The profit from it is very large. Batiushka generously shares it with the bishop, and for that reason the bishop does not touch him, in spite of the outrage of his brethren and some of the believers!… Suffering from spells and the evil eye have become very widespread illnesses amongst parishioners. Medicine in such cases is useless, it cannot even establish a diagnosis. And people suffer terribly! You should see (especially in the countryside) this bewitched, hunched-up, deformed humanity! And all this is from their own people, as a result of envy and revenge….


     “There where hatred has taken the place of love, you can say what you like, only it is not the Church of Christ, and especially not the Russian Orthodox Church.


     “The quality of faith has changed to an unrecognizable extent. To put it more bluntly, among people of that social milieu where to this day they sincerely suppose that an abandoned church is very suitable for a lavatory, among people of this milieu faith has long ago been turned into some church-like paganism, where everything comes down to ‘sacrifices’ to God, so that He may not punish them, or give them something they are asking for. Among people of a higher cultural level, alongside this a thirst for ‘spiritual experiences’ is also noticeable. But if there is no grace of the Holy Spirit and the lofty feelings produced by it, then they are trying to imagine them, that is, artificially create them. The result is ‘spiritual deception’ in the form of various levels of exaltation, leading right to psychological and mental illness of one or another level. So that now among believing intelligenty the most zealous are always – without fail and necessarily – psychologically sick people. On this soil especially luxuriant blooms that have flowered in the ‘patriarchate’ have been the manifestations of false ‘eldership’ and the ‘deification’ of young archimandrites by demonized hysterics. In contrast to St. John of Kronstadt, the archimandrites (igumens, hieromonks and other ‘grace-filled batiushkas’) do not drive such people away from themselves, but in every way encourage them, sometimes creating out of these female worshippers veritable bands that morally (and sometimes even physically!) terrorize the other believers. This terrible phenomenon already has a marked antichristian character. One of the female worshippers of one such archimandrite very precisely said: ‘Batiushka is our God!’ What stands behind this is the thirst to have a ‘living god’, a man-god, whom one can make an idol of in one’s life. The epoch of the ‘cult of personality’ did not pass in vain. How many hundred and thousands of souls throughout Russia have been hopelessly spoiled by this newly appeared ‘elders’, ‘grace-filled’ instructors and ‘wonder-workers’! True eldership ceased long ago. Some widely venerated monastics from the Trinity – St. Sergius Lavra, the Pskov Caves monastery, the Riga desert and other places, however one may respect them, cannot be called elders. If only because they were silent through all the years of Khruschev’s mockery of the Church, and are silent now, after the speech of the ‘patriarch’ before the rabbis. Moreover, they do not bless others to speak. Why? Because the ‘patriarchate’ has constantly instilled and instills in its flock that in the Church ‘obedience is higher than fasting and prayer’, having forgotten to explain that this refers to the real Church, and not to the false one! These are undoubtedly sincere and assiduous monastics; they also take the ‘patriarchate’ for the Russian Orthodox Church, that is, they also believe in the lie, encouraging those who trust them to believe in it, too…


     “We must note that there were and still are completely honourable people in the bosom of the ‘patriarchate’, people who have sincerely converted to God. But they were always in the minority, and now all the more so, becoming all the time fewer, and they do not have the opportunity to determine Church life. Left only with their human strength, they can do little, although they present an at times exemplary model of asceticism and self-denial.


     “The phenomena of spiritual deformity, canonical transgressions and moral sins are possible and, moreover, natural at any time of the existence of any local Church, insofar as it is a community not of ‘the pure and sinless’, but precisely of sinful, damaged people. The Church must therefore be a spiritual hospital for its members, for the flock. If the Church firmly holds to the Orthodox Faith and the holy canons ‘work’ in it in relation both to those above, and those below, to everyone (!), then it is a truly living organism of the Body of Christ, which is given life and raised up to God by the Holy Spirit. Then the excesses of various apostasies, crimes and transgressions of the canons in it are just that – excesses, instances on the background of what is on the whole a normal and correct life. But if the Church falls away both from the Faith and from the canonical order, it ceases to be the Body of Christ, that is, the Church, being turned into a community in which the virtues and correct conditions become occasional exceptions, while the general background and ‘norm of life’ turns out to be crime, apostasy and transgression… In such an inverted order of things the Church situation does not help, but hinders the salvation of those who trustingly enter it, it simply destroys them. Such, we see, is the situation in the Moscow ‘patriarchate’ to the highest degree. And so now it is extremely unclear what is served by the noisy opening of churches and monasteries, and the adornment of some of them in every way, and the building of Sunday schools and other institutions of the ‘patriarchate’. Does all this serve for the spiritual benefit or the further spiritual corruption of people? Most likely, it is the broadening and deepening of the sphere of evil and destruction, a trap for those who have sincerely been drawn to Christ. They will not be able to strike through to Him as long as they accept the ‘patriarchate’ as the Orthodox Church, as long as they believe in a lie that is incompatible with the Spirit of righteousness, the Holy Spirit.”[27]


     Very important was the role of the “startsy”, or elders, in the life of the MP. According to Igumen Gregory Lourié, the role of the MP elders, and especially Archimandrite Ioann (Krestiankin) of the Pskov Caves, was critical in turning the masses away from ROCOR at the beginning of the 1990s. “Archimandrite Ioann not only did not approve of the opening in Russia of parishes outside the jurisdiction of the ROC MP, but he also reproached ROCOR herself as a schism: ‘We have no canonical differences with the Russian Church Abroad, but we cannot now accept them on the Russian land, for they, by not recognizing our Mother Church, which lived through all the woes of Rus’ with her people, are becoming, not builders up, but schismatics and destroyers of that little which has remained with us. And if you pray in a church belonging to the [Church] Abroad, you become a schismatic.’ ” [28]


     Perhaps the aspect of patriarchal life that most clearly demonstrated its degradation was its attitude to the very heart of all church life – the sacraments. Ludmilla Perepiolkina writes: “[Baptism] as a rule is administered through ablution or even sprinkling[29], although, as one knows, the threefold immersion of the baptized into the baptismal font [is the only correct form of baptism and] signifies Christ’s death and Resurrection on the third day. Therefore a negligent and needlessly hurried administration of this Mystery becomes an act of sacrilege.


     “Both the baptized and their godparents are usually admitted to the Mystery without any preceding catechization and testing of faith. As a rule, godparents remain in absolute ignorance regarding their spiritual obligations and their responsibility before God for the upbringing of their godchildren. The godparents attending mass baptisms of the Moscow Patriarchate are mostly irreligious, often non-Orthodox, or atheists in general…


     “Superstitious parents sometimes baptize their children several times (‘to keep them from becoming ill…’); religious illiteracy accompanies many other superstitions as well. Lately there have been increased instances of baptizing and even giving Holy Communion (!) to the dead. These awful phenomena are caused not only by the ignorance and covetousness of clergymen, but also by the fact that among the clerics of the Moscow Patriarchate there is an increase in the number of occultists, wizards, psychics. This is because there are not only neophytes among those ordained… but also converts from Eastern cults, Yoga, paganism, occultism and other demonic delusions. Having failed to renounce their former beliefs, the latter dissolve their ‘Christianity’ in this contamination. There are ‘priests’ who practise black magic and are a true horror to their ‘spiritual children’ whom they have enslaved and reduced to becoming zombies…


     “In the city churches of the Moscow Patriarchate Chrismation, which is administered immediately after Baptism, resembles a production line in a factory, rather than a Church Mystery. Since at the time of their baptism people have merely their heads sprinkled with water over the baptismal font, they have their clothes on. A priest then hastily goes round the long rank of the newly baptised who stand there in ignorance. Then, at the sacred moment of Chrismation, requiring a special reverence, when the Holy Spirit is received, there is a general hurried discarding of superfluous clothing. Not infrequently a priest may even anoint parts of the body still covered by clothing.


     “The following should be noted. Not so long ago a certain degree of confidence in the Patriarchate’s Chrism was based on the fact that every time it was sanctified, a part of the Chrism of the previous years had to be added. Thus, the chrism of the Soviet period must have contained a part of the Chrism sanctified by the Holy Patriarch Tikhon. However, in the most recent years many in the Moscow Patriarchate have been confused, and not only because the Chrism now in use was sanctified by the apostate Patriarch Alexis II (Ridiger). From many areas of Russia priest of the Moscow Patriarchate have reported that by its fragrance this Chrism is indistinguishable from ordinary oil although it should have a very complex fragrance due to the fact that it should consist of a multitude of fragrances symbolizing the manifold gifts of the Holy Spirit.


     “The Mystery of Confession and the Mystery of Baptism elicit the most criticism. Practically everywhere the so-called ‘general confession’ is performed, which is not stipulated by the Church canons and which was not permitted even in the Moscow Patriarchate even in the first years after the Second World war, when there was an acute shortage of clergy. At the present time many young priests, accustomed to practice an insipid and formalized ‘general confession’, refuse to hear individual confession even if it is a question of only one or two people (who want to be confessed individually), not scores of them. A priest only covers the head of a penitent with his epitrachelion and recites the last short prayer of absolution, or simply makes the sign of the cross over him in silence. In 10 minutes time scores of people go through confession in this manner.


     “The practice of such ‘remission of sins’ cannot be called anything but criminal! After all, many people, who for 70 years lived in the militantly atheist country where sin had become the norm, and who only recently learned to make the sign of the cross over themselves, often have no idea what sin is. Thus, the overwhelming majority of women who have undergone abortion do not know that they are murderers who have committed a mortal sin.[30] The same happens to other people who seek healing of their soul in the Church, but do not find it. Is this not the reason why there is such an unprecedented number of all kinds of sects in post-Soviet Russia?


     “Through the efforts of Renovationists of the Moscow Patriarchate, its theological academies and seminaries for years have been preparing a complete break between the Mysteries of Confession and Communion, and a rejection of the obligatory Confession before Communion resulting from such a break.


     “The Moscow Patriarchate promotes the conviction that ‘obedience is more important than prayer and fasting’, than the Canons and Patristic teaching. This conviction has been turned into a means of the personal dependence and subjugation of church-going people to pseudo-clergy, pseudo-elders and pseudo-Patriarch…


    “The most profound Mystery of the Church is that of Holy Communion… The gravest sin of the apostates is the profanation of this Mystery. They turn the Divine Liturgy, which only true believers are permitted to attend, into a show, a spectacle for the crowds of tourists and television viewers, and the Holy Gifts – Christ’s Body and Blood – are given to anybody and at random…


     “Besides the corrupting influence which the distortion of the Mystery of Confession or its rejection has upon Orthodox Christians, this innovation is instrumental in achieving the ecumenical objective of allowing access to the Orthodox Mystery of Holy Communion to the non-Orthodox. The resolution of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate concerning admission of Catholics to Communion in Orthodox Churches in Russia had been in force from 1969 to 1986. Subsequently this resolution has not been abolished, it has only been suspended (although on paper only)… At the end of the 1970s and the beginning of the 1980s one could regularly observe crowds of Western tourists being admitted to Communion (without prior Confession, of course) in the church of St. John the Theologian at the Theological Academy of St. Petersburg. A Jesuit hieromonk Michael Arranz, a Professor of the Eastern Institute in Rome, who in those years was lecturing on Liturgics at the ‘Orthodox’ Theological Academy in Leningrad, would partake of Communion in the Sanctuary of that church along with the clergy.


     “When celebrating the Proskomedia and reciting litanies (ektenias), the ecumenists would commemorate heretics along with the Orthodox in accordance with their sermon on ‘the church without frontiers’, and during the Great Entrance of the Divine Liturgy they would replace the words ‘and may the Lord God remember you all Orthodox Christians in His Kingdom’ by ‘and all Christians’.


     “In 1994 the Bishops’ Council of the MP left practically all matters concerning communication with the non-Orthodox to the personal discretion of its bishops and clergy, merely pointing out to them the undesirability of bewildering their flock.


     “The instances of Protestants partaking of Holy Communion in the MP, have now become a regular phenomenon, at least in the Novgorod diocese, where its ruling Archbishop Lev [Tserpitsky] openly admits Protestants and Catholics to Communion in the ancient Cathedral of St. Sophia in the city of Novgorod. In this and similar instances the obvious motivation is undoubtedly the material benefit gained as a result of attracting foreign tourists, along with their dollars, pounds and marks, into the Patriarchate’s churches…”[31]


     In the 1970s, Metropolitan Nikodem of Leningrad was both a KGB agent and a secret Vatican bishop. In 1992 the Pope said that he had two cardinals among the bishops in Russia.[32] Perhaps one of them was Archbishop Lev….


     Another of them may have been Archbishop Theodosius (Protsyuk) of Omsk, who, according to Perepiolkina, “has not only received legates from the Vatican and openly concelebrated with them, even the Divine Liturgy, but presented the well-known Verenfried with an ‘episcopal cross…, thus becoming an inseparable friend’ of the wealthy Catholic sponsor.


     “The practice of offering communion to the heterodox… is reaching epidemic proportions in the MP. This may be illustrated by the state of affairs in the Kaliningrad vicariate of the MP which is… ruled by Bishop Panteleimon (Kutov), a subordinate of Metropolitan Cyril (Gundyaev). In connection with the building project (still only a project, although some donations have already been collected a long time ago) for a Cathedral in the former Koenigsberg (now Kalinigrad), local parishioners hope that ‘this will be an Orthodox church not only by its name. Unfortunately, Bishop Panteleimon’s ecumenical views leave little hope that in the new Cathedral things will be any different from what they are now in the patriarchal churches of the Kaliningrad area, where Orthodox people are offered communion from one chalice with heretics. Bishop Panteleimon himself felt no embarrassment when he declared that ‘Catholics… partook of communion in our churches, and the priests offered prayers for them’.


     “The ecumenical epidemic has spread to even the remotest areas. In accordance with the Balamand Agreement [of 1994], the same church buildings are now being regularly used by representatives of different denominations (particularly in the Baltic States). In the village (!) Yegla of Borovichi region of the Novgorod district they are building a church which right at the startwill be intended for ecumenical services. It will have three altars: Catholic, Protestant and ‘Orthodox’. The number of such ecumenical prayer houses in Russia is growing.”[33]


     “Ordination… It is generally known that anyone seeking after a high (or simply well-secured) position in the MP under the Communists had to win, in one way or another, the special favour of the God-defying regime.


     “All this is entirely contrary to the 30th Apostolic Rule which reads: ‘If any bishop comes into possession of a church office by employing the secular rulers, let him be deposed from office, and let him be excommunicated. And all those who communicate with him too.’ (Compare Rule 3 of the 7th Ecumenical Council.) An unlawful tree cannot produce lawful fruit. Every year the ranks of the Patriarchate’s clergy have been supplemented by those ordained in violation of the Church canons: those tainted by simony, by second marriage, known homosexuals, obviously un-Orthodox and even those married to sectarians (the wife of a Moscow priest A. Borisov, one of the leaders of the late Archpriest Men’s group within the Moscow Patriarchate, is a Pentecostalist who organizes her sect’s meetings in his church.)


     “Simony flourishes openly in some dioceses. Thus, it is well know that in Western Ukraine a prospective priest must remunerate his bishop with a sum of 10,000 roubles (the price of a ‘Volga’ car) for his ordination. Parishioners would collect the required sum and present it to their young priest on the day of his first church service. We have no reason to think that his ‘custom’ has in any way suffered from the anarchy which set in after the beginning of perestroika


     “The Sacrament of Marriage is almost always administered without any preparation and without prior Confession of the couple to be married. The determining factor is the payment of a certain sum of money (which in recent years has increased to two, three and more times the average monthly wage). Contrary to the rules, several couples are wed at the same time and often on unstated days and during fasts. Marriages with non-Orthodox and with people of other faiths are allowed. For instance, some of St. Petersburg’s clergy recall a case in the later 70s when one of the well-known Archpriests of that city married his own daughter to a Moslem. It should be added that the perpetration of these and other kinds of unlawful acts is often motivated by the financial and social status of the parties to the marriage…


     “Church prayer is also being profaned by the Patriarchate’s clergy when they ‘sanctify’ banks, restaurants, casinos, communist banners of the Red Army and Fleet, as well as buildings used by psychics and ‘healers’. The apostate MP has entered into a special relationship with the ‘Orthodox’ magicians in white coats…


     “We may also mention the widespread advertising and sale of ‘holy’ water on the planes of Aeroflot, in shops and restaurants.


     “All this, together with ‘funeral services’ for atheists and non-baptised persons (which an Orthodox clergyman may bring himself to perform only as a result of losing the fear of God), and a scandalous acceptance by the hierarchy of the MP (in the person of Metropolitan Pitirim) of a ‘donation’ from the criminal sect ‘Aum Shinri Kyo’ has become the means of replenishing church funds with dirty money.


     “Such actions as the luxurious church ceremonies at the funeral of journalist List’yev, notorious for his immoral television programs (in particular those promoting incest), the burial of one of the mafia leaders in the sacred caves of the Pskov Monastery of the Caves, have become a rather symptomatic phenomenon in the Moscow Patriarchate…


     “Criminal power has come to replace party power in Russia. This power has immediately secured the support of the MP and has occupied an appropriate place in its life. The MP itself is acquiring a criminal character with its ‘church’ banks, multi-billion fraud and cooperation with the mafia…


     “During the long decades of Communist dictatorship an indulgent attitude to all ‘weaknesses’ and deviations of hierarchs and clergy had become firmly ingrained in the consciousness of the members of the MP. This justification of shortcomings was motivated by the alleged ‘captivity’ of the clergy (which from year to year was becoming increasingly voluntary). At the same time the episcopate succeeded in enhancing among the laity and clergy a peculiar kind of Papism (‘The Patriarch is responsible for everything’) and the cult of ‘blessed ignorance’ which, allegedly, makes one’s salvation easier to achieve. All these phenomena flourished and became the very essence of the Moscow Patriarchate, as the years of ‘democratic’ rule have been demonstrating, when discussions about ‘forced’ acts of apostasy… have become meaningless…”[34]


      Many Russians, while not blind to the corruption in the patriarchate, supported it for the sake of the Fatherland; for Russia, they thought (correctly), could not be resurrected without a Church, and the MP was the only Church that they saw (incorrectly) as being able to become the religion of the State. However, as Protopriest Lev Lebedev wrote, “Fatherland”, “Russia”, “the State” had become idols in post-Soviet Russia, more important than the true Faith, without which they are worthless: “The ideological idol under the name of ‘Fatherland’ (‘Russia’, ‘the state’) has been completely preserved. We have already many times noted that these concepts are, in essence, pagan ideological idols not because they are in themselves bad, but because they have been torn out from the trinitarian unity of co-subjected concepts: Faith, Tsar, Fatherland (Orthodoxy, Autocracy, People)… Everything that one might wish to be recognized and positive, even the regeneration of the faith, is done under the slogan of ‘the regeneration of the Fatherland (Russia)’! But nothing is being regenerated. Even among the monarchists the regeneration of the Orthodox Autocratic Monarchy is mainly represented as no more than the means for the regeneration of the Fatherland. We may note that if any of the constituent parts of the triad – Orthodoxy, Autocracy, People – is torn away from the others and becomes the only one, it loses its power. Only together and in the indicated hierarchical order did they constitute, and do they constitute now, the spiritual (and all the other) strength and significance of Great Russia. But for the time being it is the ideological idol ‘fatherland’ that holds sway…”[35]


January 10/23, 2017.

[1]  Rhoda, “Russian Freemasonry: A New Dawn”, paper read at Orient Lodge 15 on June 29, 1996,

[2] Bishop Theophan, Tolkovanie na Vtoroe Poslanie sv. Apostola Pavla k Soluniam (Interpretation of the Second Epistle of the Holy Apostle Paul to the Thessalonians), 2.3-5.

[3]Mikhail Nazarov, Tajna Rossii  (The Mystery of Russia), Moscow: “Russkaia Idea”, 1999.

[4] Fr. Andrej Rumyantsev, “Kesariu – Kesarevo” (To Caesar what is Caesar’s), Vecherniaia Moskva (Evening Moscow), 21 September, 2000, p. 1.

[5] However, according to Vladimir Rozanskij (“Rome and Moscow: a willing separation?” Asia News, 3 June, 2004), the “Moscow’ authorities confirmed that ‘for Easter [2004] less than 1% of the population attended any kind of religious service’. In the last ten years, there are twenty times more churches than there were under communism, with buildings being built or reopened. Yet in relation to the immediate post-communism years, only one third of people now attend the services”.

[6] Kimmo Kaariainen, Religion in Russia after the Collapse of Communism, Lewiston-Queenston-Lampeter: Edwin Mellen Press, 1998, p. 84; Tatiana Senina, “Ty nosish’ imia, budto zhiv, no ty mertv” (You have the name of being alive, but you are dead), Vertograd-Inform, September-October, 2000, pp. 46-72.

[7]30 Dias (Thirty Days), Rome/Sao Paolo, August-September, 1991, p. 23.

[8]Kozyrev, “[orthodox-synod] Re: The Orthodox Episcopate of the Russian persecuted Church”, 28 November, 2002.

[9]Anatoly Krasikov, "'Tretij Rim' i bolsheviki (bez grifa 'sovershenno sekretno')" (The Third Rome and the Bolsheviks), in Filatov, S.B. (ed.), Religia i prava cheloveka  (Religion and Human Rights), Moscow: Nauka, 1996, p. 198.


[11]Zhurnal Moskovskoj Patriarkhii  (Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate), 1991, 10.

[12] Kharchev, Argumenty i Fakty  (Arguments and Facts), 1992, 8, p. 5.

[13] Sheimov, Tower of Secrets, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1993, p. 418, in “The New Soviet Man”, Orthodox Christian Witness, June 3/16, 1996.

[14] Shushpanov, Moskovskie Novosti  (Moscow News), 12 July, 1992, p. 20, in “The New Soviet Man”, Orthodox Christian Witness, June 3/16, 1996.

[15] Fr. George Edelshtein, “Double Agents in the Church”, Moscow News, August 26, 2005.

[16] For more details of the parliamentary commission's revelations, see Priamoj Put' (The Straight Path), №№ 1-2, January, 1992, p. 1; 3, February, 1992, p. 1; February, 1992; Alexander Nezhny, "Tret’e Imia" (The Third Name), Ogonek (Little Fire), 4 (3366), January 25 - February 1, 1992; Iain Walker and Chester Stern, "Holy Agents of the KGB", The Mail on Sunday, March 29, 1992; John Dunlop, "KGB Subversion of Russian Orthodox Church", RFE/RL Research Report, vol. 1, 12, March 20, 1992, pp. 51-53; “Three Leading Moscow Hierarchs Unveiled as KGB Operatives”, Orthodox Life, vol. 42, 3, May-June, 1992, pp. 25-29; Protodeacon Herman Ivanov-Trinadtsaty, "A ne nachalo li eto kontsa?" (Is this not the Beginning of the End?), Pravoslavnaia Rus' (Orthodox Russia), 9 (1462), May 1/14, 1992, pp. 609; "Ne bo vragom Tvoim povem..." (I will not give Thy secret to Thine enemy…), Vestnik Germanskoj Eparkhii Russkoj Pravoslavnoj Tservki za Granitsei (Herald of the German Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad), 1, 1992, pp. 16-22; Fr. Victor Potapov,"Molchaniem predaеtsa Bog" (“God is Betrayed by Silence”), Moscow: Isikhia, 1992, pp. 36-39; Joseph Harriss, "The Gospel according to Marx", Reader's Digest, February, 1993, pp. 59-63. See also I.I. Maslova, “Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov’ i KGB (1960-1980-e gody)” (The Russian Orthodox Church and the KGB (1960s to 1980s), Voprosy Istorii  (Questions of History), December, 2005, pp. 86-87.

[17]Montaigne, The Philadelphia Inquirer on May 3, 1992; quoted in "The Church of the KGB", Living Orthodoxy, vol. XIV, 2, March-April, 1992, pp. 22-23.

[18]Estonian State Archive, record group 131, file 393, pp. 125-126; James Meek, “File links church leader to KGB”, The Sydney Morning Herald, February 13, 1999; Seamus Martin, “Russian Patriarch was (is?) a KGB agent, files say Patriarch Alexeij II received KGB ‘Certificate of Honour’”,  Irish Times, September 23, 2000; Arnold Beichman, “Patriarch with a KGB Past”, The Washington Times, September 29, 2000.

[19]Andrew and Mitrokhin, The Mitrokhin Archive, London and New York: Allen Lane The Penguin Press, 1999, p. 661.

[20]Rossijskaia Gazeta, 1992, 52, p. 7.

[21] Preobrazhensky, “Ecumenism and Intelligence”.

[22] Dunlop, “The Moscow Patriarchate as an Empire-Saving Institution”, in Michael Bourdeaux, M.E. Sharp (eds.), The Politics of Religion in Russia and the New States of Eurasia, 1995, Armonk, NY, p. 29.

[23]Felix Corbey, “The Patriarch and the KGB”, Keston News Service, September 21, 2000.

[24]Preobrazhensky, KGB v russkoj emigratsii  (The KGB in the Russian emigration), New York: Liberty Publishing House, 2006, p. 41.

[25]“World Orthodoxy: Savva of Poland admits collaboration with Secret Police”,

[26] Anonymous, “O Pravoslavnom Tsarstve i Poslednem Vremeni” (On the Orthodox Kingdom and the Last Times), no date or place of publication.

[27]Lebedev, Velikorossia  (Great Russia), St. Petersburg, 1999, pp. 644-647.

[28]Lourié, “Dve Tserkvi, dve very i raznie novomucheniki. Razmyshlenia po sluchaiu konchiny arkhimandrita Ioanna (Krestiankina)” (Two Churches, two faiths and different new martyrs. Thoughts on the occasion of the death of Archimandrite Ioann (Krestiankin)”,

[29] In 2014 a photograph appeared on Facebook of Patriarch Cyril “baptizing” by sprinkling. (V.M.)

[30]In an article published in Pravoslavnoe Slovo (The Orthodox Word), 12 (49), 1995), priest Timothy Selsky writes that in the MP cathedral of a small town he noticed… a price-list displayed at the candle counter. “The column reading ‘Prayer after Abortion – 8000 Roubles’ caught my eye. What sort of a new rite was this? As I learned later, a woman who would pay the required sum at the candle counter would have a certain prayer read over her, a prayer which allegedly should be read after having killed one’s own child in the womb. Whence all this? What is the mystery of such an easy remission of a mortal sin unknown to any of the Holy Church Fathers? Have we lived to see the day when the forgiveness of the sin of infanticide is bought just like that for a mere 8000 roubles and without any confession at all?” (V.M.)

[31]Perepiolkina, Ecumenism – A Path to Perdition, St. Petersburg, 1999, pp. 116-117, 118-120, 121, 122. An earlier, Russian-language edition of this important book is entitled Ekumenizm - put' vedushchej k pogibeli (Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, 1992).

[32]Perepiolkina, op. cit., p. 204.

[33]Perepiolkina, op. cit., pp. 213-214.

[34]Perepiolkina, op. cit., pp. 125, 127, 129, 130.

[35]Lebedev, op. cit., p. 655.

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