Dressing Puppets as Priests

I am taking this opportunity to formally denounce the actions of the Russian Orthodox hierarchy in dismissing Father Vsevolod from his duties. Hat-tip Interfax for making me aware of this.

For those unaware, the Very Reverend Archpriest Vsevolod Chaplin has been a stalwart advocate for Tradition within the Church, and a stern critic of the Liberal fifth column which exists only to subjugate Russia under the bootheel of USG and the European Union. On issue after issue, he has been at the forefront as the Synodal Department on Church and Society Liaison, giving voice to Orthodox grievances and concerns.

In explaining his dismissal, Father Vsevolod pointed out issues he had raised regarding correct ecclesiastic procedure, along with this:

“I have been trying to tell his Holiness that the tone in the relations with the state that the Church tends to take is wrong, we should be more critical about the immoral and unjust actions by the authorities, we should be more direct when speaking to society, we should in no case suck up to structures that challenge Orthodox faith so clearly as the current administration of Ukraine. We should generally prophesize, not think every time as to who will think and say what, and we should not be afraid of getting into a conflict with those who have power in this world,”

know them by their fruits

It is outrageous that even a man of such high regard and character cannot raise legitimate questions about the current, woefully corrupt government, which has decided rather than to tackle the plundering barons of the Yeltsin era who still work for Russia’s degeneration rather than its resurrection, to instead hold them close as loyal backers.

Consistently, the case that I have put forward for Russia has been one of defense and loyalty to my ethnic kin, with a realistic portrait of what needs to be done. My credentials on support for Russia are without question. I put my name to a laudatory article on Return of Kings explaining why Vladimir Putin is admirable, and why the adoration of him by the large majority of Russians is justified. I have praised his Holiness Patriarch Kirill when it was warranted. However none should interpret this as some recognition of the Putin regime’s infallibility or status as a truly worthy ruling class. Far from it.

What was Father Vsevolod asking for? The Church to do its job, nothing more. I am fully aware of the perks that some gain from their close relationship to the regime and its backers, but one cannot call themselves a priest if they do not put their duties as priest before all else. The fact is that the current regime, for all the great things it has done to save Russia from certain annihilation at the hands of its enemies, is not a legitimate Russian government, for two reasons:

1) It has failed to establish a monarchical line and an aristocracy, preferring to instead remain by and large a cabal of opportunists bankrolled by criminals.

2) It has failed to return to the Church its full majesty of legitimate power, continuing the ongoing crime of the Soviets.

This is no radical position, but instead exactly what would have been stated  by every pre-Revolutionary patriarch. Where is the tsar? Show him to me. You can point to a great leader, a man who does great things, a man of steel resolve, but not a tsar. While the Orthodox Church must maintain close relations with this uneasy state, it can never renege on the truth of principle. Vladimir Putin has helped to build many churches, he has helped to bring hearts to Orthodoxy from an atheistic backdrop, and he has protected the Russian frontier and character, and for that the Russian people are forever indebted to him. But I seriously doubt this order came from Putin or that he was even aware of it.

More likely, it came from one of the many two-faced oligarchs who have at every corner thrown us to the lions. From where did the order come to dismiss Aleksandr Dugin from his position in the sociology department at Moscow State University? The same people. Who makes millions from the industry of murdering unborn Russian children? The same people. These are the men from the shadows who would stab the entire nation and Putin himself in the back with an obsidian dagger if it meant more profit and their safety from investigation.

In the East, we have a long tradition much different to the West, of deference to the sovereign. Unlike the Traditional Vatican, we do not see the priesthood in society as above that of the sovereign ruler, but instead they are to be his aids, his confidants, his mediators of the spiritual realm, with their own sphere of political and particularly judicial authority. This has been the case since the last Roman emperors in Constantinople. At times, this system has faltered, and the priesthood has become a caste of marionettes for bad rulers, but certainly never for a non-sovereign. I see in this current establishment the echoes of the Soviet collaborators, who fearing martyrdom and failing to trust in God, cast their lot with those who tried to murder the Russian soul. No deep level investigative work needs to be done on certain individuals.

The dismissal of Father Vsevolod is a black mark against the Church, a display of fealty to money-changers over friends and loyalists.

Now more than ever, those who have their heart and soul tethered to the Russian soil, and with eyes towards the Almighty above, must stand resolutely as representatives of the Church’s true purpose, the salvation of the Russian people. Just as before, the enemies of the Church have their puppets dancing on strings, but the time is coming to cut the strings. The time is coming for the rebirth of the Russian Empire. Every priest must decide, in private prayer behind closed doors if necessary, are they servants of Mammon, or servants of the true Third Rome?


15 thoughts on “Dressing Puppets as Priests

  1. I suspect the third Rome concept encourages much over reach. If memory serves correctly, in one of the councils they affirmed Cypriot autonomy, and it probably should be taken to heart as the practice of the church, while these temptations toward Roman style imperialism are of the world.


  2. The concept of the Third Rome is beyond mere imperialism and in fact beyond Russia itself. It hearkens back to the greatness of the First Rome, and particularly the Second Rome, which you will remember was the bulwark against hostile religious forces from the global south. I feel such forces threaten us still today, and will threaten us with increasing tenacity in the future. All too familiar a battle, the Occidental world is confronted with the ambitions of a globalist Islam and will need a banner to rally around, and I can only see this being possible with the return in some form of Christendom made up as it was of disparate territories in service to the common survival of our broad civilization.


  3. The Church does have a civil duty, properly enshrined to it in the areas of judicial authority and integral advisement to the sovereign. But as you say, its mission can never be the personal benefit of one, or a group of people, no matter how powerful they may be. Its mission is spiritual, and its civil duties are to the betterment of its greater spiritual purpose served for the society. I penned this because I think there is a powerful segment of the clergy in Russia who are failing in that purpose, possibly out of greed or fear I cannot say. Father Vsevolod was in my observation a man who knew the Church's purpose, and that was the reason for his dismissal, which is grounds for protest.


  4. Hi Mark,

    I am a newbie to Reactionary and Traditionalism. I have read through all of your blog posts, and I must say that they are very well written with many deep insights, to a degree I have not seen on other NRx blogs. However, being new to the Reactosphere, I find myself struggle to understand many political and social concepts you discuss here. In fact, I would say that my knowledge on politics, economics and social issues are very scant at the moment.

    I would therefore like to ask you: Where should I start? In other words, would you please recommend me any blog or book that might explain all the concepts in a detailed and calm manner? Many thanks.


  5. Welcome, MW.

    If I have used any terminology you don't quite understand, you can always ask, either in this comment section or at my ask.fm linked on the right hand side.

    As for books or blogs that provide a lexicon of the rightist mind, it's hard because there really hasn't been a Reactionary compendium. Authors have addressed topics in isolation, but rarely in an all-encompassing way (a book of theory), at least not one that would be open to the layman. This is what I'm trying to achieve with my own book project currently in its early stages.

    Joseph De Maistre's 'Considerations on France' is a good place for anyone to start, simply because he is the original Reactionary intellectual from which all counter-enlightenment thinking unfolds. But as I say, when it comes to concepts that you are struggling with, the best way is to just ask. Most people in the sphere are happy to field questions.


  6. Heidegger preoccupies me in approximately the same way, perhaps, that Evola preoccupies you. I can't commend the study of Heidegger to you strongly enough–and I myself intend to engage Evola one of these days.

    One of the problems that besets contemporary interpretations of Nietzsche and Heidegger is the reflexive concern to distance these thinkers from their obvious association with fascism. Even Dugin falls prey to the temptation, in my opinion, in his insistence that Heidegger–despite being a committed Nazi from Hitler's accession all the way to war's end, and unrepentant thereafter–wasn't a racist or nationalist. That quibble aside, I found the interview interesting for the following reasons among others:

    1) The US-led West cannot leave be–so war between the US and Russia is inevitable.

    2)Dugin eschews identifying himself as a man of the right.

    3)According to Dugin, philosophy is higher than doxa–opinion, belief. Granted that there are many complexities involved here, but I nevertheless thought it at least somewhat controversial coming from one who is an adherent of orthodoxia–right opinion, correct belief.

    According to Leo Strauss, philosophy flourishes in times of political instability and insecurity–when a country is struggling to find its way to a stable, enduring political order. As Athens fought against Sparta during the Peloponnesian War and was ultimately defeated–ushering in a crisis of Athenian order–philosophy flourished in the persons of Socrates, Plato, Xenophon and Aristotle. Before, during and after the English Civil War, English philosophy attained its peak in the thought of Bacon, Hobbes and Locke and tended to diminish in significance after the Glorious Revolution and the eventual defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie made the post-Stuart regime secure. Similar trends can be discerned in France and Germany. (It's immaterial to my point whether you or I would specifically embrace or oppose any of these thinkers.)

    My motive in raising this is that Russia is the one major European country that hasn't yet made its peace with the prevailing liberal-democratic regime-type, nor has it fashioned an appropriate alternative–as your ambivalent attitude regarding President Putin reflects. And for that reason, I think it's possible that we might anticipate a rebirth of Western philosophy in Russia in time to come. And so, despite the fact that Russia is a world away from me and I can only ever have a modest concern for Russian affairs–just as Russians can only ever have a modest concern, if any, for Oklahoma–I think it's important to keep an eye on Russian thinkers like Dugin.


  7. Dugin is what I would define as a man of the right, but there are likely two reasons he eschews the label, the first being the 'right's association with both American style 'Conservatism' and Neo-Nazism, which is as I have explained before a popular but misconceived definition of the term 'right'. The other issue is, Dugin has to obscure his politics on occasion as he seeks to exploit any anti-USG sentiment, be it on the far right or far left. This is a good strategy for victory, but just reading what Dugin has written and listening to his speeches, he definitely appears a rightist to me, hence why I link to him.

    I have made very clear what I think of the current regime in Russia. It is woefully deficient, but has set the country down the right path in the wake of the USSR's dissolution. It's easy to see what could have happened to Russia had men like Yeltsin remained in power (see Croatia).

    Western philosophy has never really held sway in Russia because of the Orthodox/Catholic divide. I'm going to be talking about this in some upcoming projects, but since the great schism, Russia has been the seat of mystical Christianity (as per esoteric Pagan traditions), and the West has been the seat of logical Christianity (as per Greek philosophical traditions). These things will only come together, in my view, if that schism is mended, and I put a time frame on that at about 500 years, perhaps a little less.

    I found the statement from Dugin a little odd too, but it may be that we're interpreting him incorrectly. Dugin is not only a follower of Orthodoxy, but a member of the 'Old Believers' sect, which is entrenched in a very high level of esotericism and mysticism, standing apart from the Greek philosophical view.

    I need to read some Heidegger in long form most certainly. If you're going to tackle Evola, I'll give you the same advice I give everyone. Read Guenon first. Evola expects a lot from you, whereas Guenon is more lenient with his audience. Gets you started.


  8. Although I believe Vselod Chaplin and Alexandr Dugin are both sincere, the Siloviki class isn't taking any chances with a potential Rev. William Wilberforce. Wilberforce preached official Traditional Anglicanism at first before he went holier-than-thou…


  9. The question here is not holier than thou, it is a question of the priesthood's function. If it was about holiness, then surely Father Vsevolod would be a poor advocate, as he was recently scandalized for eating a burger during a fasting period (he says it was a vegetarian burger, and I believe him, but still). Instead, what I'm getting across is that the Orthodox priesthood is not supposed to be a class of puppets, nor is any priesthood, especially for a Modern government like that of the Russian Federation. To do so would precisely be to walk in the path of the Anglican Church, and look at what has happened to them.


  10. Mark, I want to focus a bit on the third and fourth paragraphs in your comment above. Firstly, that “Western philosophy has never really held sway in Russia” might be construed as the necessary precondition for a flowering of Western philosophy there in the first place. After all, in the unquestioned homeland and birthplace of Western philosophy–ancient Greece–Western philosophy had never really held sway, until it did. In modern Germany, philosophy had never really held sway–again, until it did, etc. (Though I hasten to add that I'm not talking about philosophy “holding sway”–just manifesting itself, hopefully in an interesting aspect. Although Germany is the most renowned seat of philosophy in the modern era, I don't think it would be correct to say that philosophy “holds sway” there anymore than it does in Russia.)

    That Russia is the seat of “mystical” Christianity and the West is the seat of “logical” Christianity strikes me as a bit just-so. No Christian country or people–let alone the Orthodox East–escapes the pervasive influence of the Greek philosophical tradition because Christianity is itself, at its inception, in part influenced by that tradition. It is enough to point to the Gospel of St. John–the most “mystical” of the gospels, perhaps–to demonstrate that influence, with several key terms that derive directly from the Greek philosophical tradition featuring prominently in that text, terms such as arche, logos, and cosmos. It is the Greek philosophical tradition that gives those terms their basic meanings–and not their pre-philosophical usages–and that enables them to be taken up and lent the specifically theological significance that John's gospel gives them. That the New Testament was composed in Greek–the philosophical language par excellence–is enough to ensure that the founding document of Christianity is informed to a greater or lesser degree by Greek philosophical influence (assuming, that is, that one doesn't subscribe to a theory of the Aramaic NT or some such).

    If, in say AD 1700, one were to query about the prospects for a rebirth of Western philosophy in Germany, I can readily imagine someone replying that the Germans are a “mystical”, not a philosophical, people. Germany had to that point produced a string of world-class mystics like Hildegard von Bingen, Meister Eckhart, and Jakob Boehme, among others, but no philosopher of note (except, perhaps, Albert the Great). Our imaginary interlocutor might be excused for failing to see that Germany would go on to experience a flourishing of Western philosophy to rival the Greek beginnings thereof. In fact, in hindsight, we might imagine that Germany's storied tradition of mysticism was no accidental precedent for its subsequent storied tradition of philosophy.

    Finally, that Dugin is an adherent “of the 'Old Believers' sect, which is entrenched in a very high level of esotericism and mysticism, standing apart from the Greek philosophical view” doesn't seem to prevent him from being preoccupied by Martin Heidegger, one of the towering figures of modern Western philosophy.

    Please don't view my remarks as anything other than a friendly rejoinder, subject of course to prospective refutation. Thank you for the counsel vis a vis Guenon and Evola. I take it that you advise Guenon as a propaedeutic to Evola because the former influenced the latter, or there is otherwise some relation between the thought of the two. Would you be willing to say just a bit more about that? In any case, I'm already anticipating that sometime in the next several weeks I'll acquire a text of Guenon's and get started.


  11. It certainly is not absolute. I am speaking only in general terms about what the filioque controversy did to the two species of Christianity which emerged from it. Of course, there is a logic to Orthodoxy, in the same way that Catholicism contains mystery as well (the Pagan aspects of Catholicism are hard to miss). In general terms though, Orthodoxy is more about experience than understanding, with Catholicism providing the opposite. Because of this, someone like Gregor Mendel could look at pea pods and endeavor to make sense of it, whereas Orthodox monks would accept that some things were not intelligible, like the Holy Spirit. I think this is partly the reason why the East lagged behind the West in terms of development (we're talking pre-Enlightenment here).

    Now, you point out of course that Greek philosophy didn't exist, until it existed, but my argument was that these influences, now devoid of their exoteric origins in Greece, required new vehicles for their esoteric dimensions, and these can be found in the religions which absorbed them. Germany obviously became Catholic and as such was fated to transform from an animist backwater into a hub of philosophical questioning and thought (something that caused them quite a bit of trouble eventually).

    Orthodoxy doesn't carry in it the same capacity for this kind of thinking that Catholicism does, and in some ways that may be a deficiency, just as it may be considered deficient that Catholicism does not refer enough to the transcendent, to the mystical, to that which we experience but is in fact beyond comprehension and beautiful because of that fact.

    Like I said, the two aspects need to be born out in full in the Christian faith, but I think the mending of the schism is the only way this can occur. Meanwhile it seems Dugin has made his mission the preservation of more than simple his conception of Russian civilization, but in fact civilization outside Russia, the civilization that was destroyed when the first and second Rome ceased their existence. Remember, he strikes a dichotomy between 'Eternal Rome' and 'Eternal Carthage', not 'Eternal Moscow' and 'Eternal Washington'. Both mysticism and logic are integral to Rome and its glory. Like Dugin, I agree we need them to be restored.

    Guenon comes before Evola. He penned 'Crisis of the Modern World' in 1927, while Evola wrote the bulk of 'Revolt Against the Modern World' in 1934. Evola is very laudatory of Guenon's work as an inspiration for what he writes, though he was annoyed that when he began writing, Guenon apparently didn't cite him enough.

    The two have disagreements, and you'll notice that if you read both. Conceptions of the true hierarchical caste ideal is a point of contention, and they were very different men. Both academics, Guenon traveled more widely I think, and was much more involved in the study of religion. Evola was for a long time pre-occupied with interwar far right movements and secret societes. I really enjoy both.


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