by Shaun Willcock
In early February 2016 came the announcement, in the form of a joint press release: “The Holy See and the Patriarchate of Moscow are pleased to announce that, by the grace of God, His Holiness Pope Francis and His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia will meet on February 12 next. Their meeting will take place in Cuba, where the Pope will make a stop on his way to Mexico, and where the Patriarch will be on an official visit. It will include a personal conversation at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, and will conclude with the signing of a joint declaration.”
To the man in the street this sounded mundane enough. Boring, even, especially to non-Roman Catholics and non-Orthodox. But it was momentous indeed, for many reasons. And every true Christian should take careful note of these developments.
An Important Step Towards the Conquest of Russian Orthodoxy by the Vatican
As planned, on the 12th February 2016 the pope of Rome, Francis I, held a meeting with the Russian Orthodox patriarch in Cuba, and the two men signed a joint declaration. This was the first meeting in history between the leaders of the Roman Catholic and Russian Orthodox institutions. Without going into the details now, almost a thousand years ago a split occurred within the false, counterfeit “church” system headquartered in Rome, which resulted in two branches: the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox. Neither one was Christian, although both claimed to be the true expression of Christianity. The Roman Catholic institution became by far the more powerful and influential, internationally, as time went by, as well as the largest – today numbering over 1.2 billion adherents. But within its own vast territory, the Russian branch of the Eastern Orthodox institution became extremely powerful as well. It is the largest of the Eastern Orthodox “churches”, consisting today of a sizeable majority of the world’s estimated 200 million Eastern Orthodox adherents.
Although having some doctrinal differences, in most matters the two false “churches” were essentially the same in their heresies, although neither recognised the legitimacy of the other and were bitter enemies. “And ever since [that split]”, as I wrote in my book Satan’s Seat, “it has been the Papacy’s desire to destroy the Russian Orthodox institution, and to rule over the land of Russia.” For this reason, after trying other, more violent tactics in centuries past, in the twentieth century the Papacy began the slow, laborious process of wooing the Russian Orthodox leaders, via the ecumenical movement. All kinds of meetings have been held, since the early 1960s, with various religious leaders of various branches of the Eastern Orthodox institution – but never with the Russian Orthodox leader. Tensions persisted through the years, between the two. Distrust and hatred marked their relationship. As recently as the year 2000, despite decades of ecumenical groundwork, the Russian Orthodox patriarch said that he would not meet the pope of Rome (John Paul II at the time), and spoke of the obstacles in the way of “unity”. One of the main obstacles was the fact of Roman Catholic “proselytism” in Russian Orthodox areas. In fact, this fear of Roman Catholic expansion into traditionally Orthodox areas was one of the primary obstacles to “unity”, constantly referred to by the Russian Orthodox leaders. Another constant sticking point was the role of the pope of Rome: the Russian Orthodox simply could not accept papal primacy.
The head of ecumenical relations in the Russian Orthodox institution actually described relations with Rome as a “Cold War”, in 2001. And in 2002, the Russian Orthodox hierarchy stated that it feared the Vatican was invading Russia! It was certainly correct in perceiving the Vatican’s expansionist ambitions in Russia.
Relations continued to be very, very tense. But Rome did not give up: it patiently laboured away, through the years, in ecumenical dialogue, constantly calling for “unity”, with all kinds of high-level meetings between Papist and Russian Orthodox leaders. Gradually, little by little, relations started to improve.
And finally, in this year of 2016 and after decades of work and careful planning, the Jesuits, through their pope, Francis (a member of the Jesuit Order), succeeded in bringing about a face-to-face meeting between the two heads of these false “churches”. This was momentous indeed.
By no means had full “unity” between the two been achieved. Not as yet. But it was a giant leap forward. The two false religions are now closer than ever before.
After the meeting, in a joint declaration, Francis and Kirill said: “It is with joy that we have met like brothers in the Christian faith who encounter one another ‘to speak face to face’ (2 Jn. 12), from heart to heart, to discuss the mutual relations between the Churches, the crucial problems of our faithful, and the outlook for the progress of human civilization.” Cut through the religiously-worded text, done to give it the appearance of being spiritual, and the thing to note here is that these are two false “churches” taking tentative steps towards “unity” – just as the Jesuits desire.
The declaration continued: “Notwithstanding [our] shared Tradition of the first ten centuries, for nearly one thousand years Catholics and Orthodox have been deprived of communion in the Eucharist. We have been divided by wounds caused by old and recent conflicts, by differences inherited from our ancestors… We are pained by the loss of unity, the outcome of human weakness and of sin” –and of course there was a reference to Jn. 17:21, wrongly applied, as there always is in ecumenical discussions.
Should full “union” between these two institutions ever be achieved, it will not, in truth, be the union of two equal partners – it will be the re-absorption of the Russian Orthodox institution into the Romish institution; the swallowing up of the former by the latter.
And if such “union” is ever fully achieved, the Vatican will then control the millions of the Russian Orthodox faithful throughout the vast land of Russia. It will then have not only achieved its objective of becoming the religious power of Russia, but will have taken a huge leap towards political control over Russia as well. This is because, in the early years of the Russian Communist movement, the Reds actually took control of the Russian Orthodox institution and turned it into an organ of the Soviet (and now Russian) Communist State. There is no way the Reds would have permitted the Russian Orthodox “Church” to continue to exist otherwise! Communist agents infiltrated the Russian Orthodox institution, becoming priests and patriarchs within it, so that it became a faithful servant of the KGB. Each Russian Orthodox patriarch, like Kirill today, is a member of the Communist Party and under the orders of the Party. At one time, decades ago, this fact was widely known in many Christian circles; but today hardly anyone knows anything about it. After all, they have been fooled into believing the deliberately-promoted lie that “Communism is dead”!
Rome, then, hopes to conquer and absorb Russian Orthodoxy, and thereby also increase its influence and eventual control over Russia.
But there is more that Rome hopes to achieve from this greater co-operation and warming of relations between itself and the Russian Orthodox institution: