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[orthodox-synod] Archbishop Averkii's View Of Monarchy

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  • intrprtr@prodigy.net
    Here is yet another small contribution to the string on Monarchy, a gem gleaned from the writings of Archbishop Averkii (Taushev) of Blessed ... To this,
    Message 1 of 2 , Apr 1, 2000
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      Here is yet another small contribution to the "string" on "Monarchy," a
      gem gleaned from the writings of Archbishop Averkii (Taushev) of Blessed
      Memory, (with several observations by others):

      >The idea of Monarchy itself -- in the return to which, as the historic and
      >immemorial form of [her] government, Russia may rightly see salvation --
      >is sacred and precious to us not in and of itself, but only insofar as it
      >is supported by our Orthodox Faith and Church -- insofar as our Tsar' is
      >an "Orthodox Tsar'," as we sing in our old national anthem: insofar as he
      >is -- in actual fact, and not just formally and officially -- the first
      >son and the exalted Protector and Defender of the Orthodox Faith and
      >Church; insofar as he is truly the "Anointed of God,"who has received
      >special gifts of grace to be the "king and judge of the people of God" in
      >the Mystery of Anointing, performed over him by the Church -- as he
      >himself confesses in the prayer he reads before all [the people] in the
      >church during his sacred coronation. Therefore, he enters the altar
      >through the Royal Doors and receives Holy Communion before the holy throne
      >of God as the equal of the other sacred ministers -- which, of course,
      >could not be done by any other monarch, who was not Orthodox and who did
      >not respond to the demands of the Church; who was not sanctified with
      >grace by the Church.
      >
      >As the ever-memorable St. Ioann of Kronstadt tells us:
      >
      >>"Who places earthly kings on their thrones? He Who alone sits on the
      >>throne of fire from eternity, and alone, in the true sense, rules over
      >>all creation--heaven and earth, with all the creatures which inhabit
      >>them. From Him alone is royal power given to the kings of the earth: He
      >>crowns them with the royal diadem... *Be silent, ye dreaming
      >>constitutionalists and parliamentarians!* 'Depart from me, satan! Thou
      >>art an offense unto Me, for thou savourest not the things that be of God,
      >>but those that be of men' (St. Matthew 16:23), the Lord said unto Peter,
      >>who denied Him. *Depart hence, also, ye who oppose God's command. It is
      >>not *your* task to order the thrones of earthly kings. Away with you, ye
      >>audacious ones, who do not know how to govern yourselves, but are always
      >>quarreling with each other...* Authority, power, courage, and wisdom is
      >>given from the Lord to the Tsar' [*alone*], in order that he might govern
      >>his subjects." (Sermon, 1907)

      To this, *I* can but add a meagre observation, to the effect that:

      "Constitutional" (a/k/a/ "parliamentary") monarchy is in no wise a
      *genuine* Monarchy (the principle of *rule* by *one*, by a *supreme
      principle*}; rather, it is a *debasement* of the very concept of Monarchy,
      verging upon the abomination of "democracy" -- which even such as *Thomas
      Jefferson* (no friend of Monarchs, he) deplored! That being the case, why
      even bother with the facade? Aspartame will never be sugar, regardless of
      how many "masques" it might wear!

      As an example: imagine, if you will, a family in which there is one father
      (the "constitutional" tsar') and two children (the "parliament"): his
      proposal that the children go to school (only one "yes" vote) will be
      blocked by his children (two "no" votes); if *this* serves to point out how
      ludicrous is the concept of "constitutional" monarchy on such a small
      scale, magnify it to the scale of a great nation, such as Russia, and see
      what happens. The Tsar' wants Russia to do such and so, but the Parliament
      ("Duma") wants Russia to do so and such -- *what* will Russia do?

      It was the unfortunate drift toward "constitutionalism" and
      "parliamentarianism" -- the betrayal of the principle of genuine Monarchy
      -- which, in the final analysis, brought about the conditions that made the
      manifestation of Monarchic rule essentially impossible; that brought about
      Russia's collapse in 1917 and will prevent her from being re-born in the
      future, unless she returns to the monarchical ideal, concerning which A. V.
      Kartashev wrote:

      >Rus' accepted the Byzantine notion of the *Divine* establishment of the
      >State's authority. This grandiose, universally historic schema -- or
      >sacred historiosophy -- with its roots in the Bible, was viewed by
      >Orthodox nations as a service within the plan for *Divine* world government.
      >
      >For the Greeks -- and, subsequently, for other Orthodox nation-states, as
      >well -- the Orthodox Emperors ["Vasileoi"] were the heirs of the Kingdom
      >of the Romaioi, passed on from the First Rome to the Second
      >(Byzantium). For them, the Emperor was the Tsar' (Caesar) of the one and
      >only kingdom in the entire _vselennaya_ [oecumene], the
      >*canonically-empowered* custodian of the Church, the defender of correct
      >dogmatic teaching and of all piety.
      >
      >When Byzantium fell [to the Turks] in 1453, this event was interpreted
      >as an act of God's judgment on the Second Rome, and the *mystical*
      >center of the world was transferred to Moscow: the Third Rome -- and the
      >last. Thence was also born the self-awareness of the Russian Nation as
      >a great _gosudarstvo_ [sovereign-realm], and the meaning of its eternal
      >mission was conceived. And the Russian realm, faithful to Orthodoxy,
      >became great within, even though it had not, as yet, managed to throw off
      >itself completely the yoke of the [Mongol-Tatar] Horde.
      >
      >And this could only be so because the Russian people realized that...
      >
      >...[t]he Tsar's mission is *not* identical with the mission of [any other
      >earthly] rulers or wielders of authority. The Tsar' is *not* a ruler or a
      >wielder of authority. He stands *over and above* rulers and wielders of
      >authority, who are merely *his* ministers, *his* appointees, being
      >responsible to him and dependent upon him. In *contrast* to his ministers
      >and other wielders of authority so endowed by him, the *Tsar'* is called
      >upon to give voice to *God's* Will and to carry out *God's* laws on earth;
      >he must be good and pour out his mercies upon all his subjects, in like
      >manner as God pours out His mercies upon the good and the wicked. The
      >Tsar's mission consists of the fact that he must be *the image of God on
      >earth*, embodying merciful kindness, compassion and love for his people;
      >he must be that *loving Father* in whom his every faithful subject would
      >find consolation in distress, assistance, and protection from cruelty or
      >from an arbitrary exercise of authority. To demand of the Tsar' those
      >qualities which must be possessed by his ministers and the wielders of
      >authority empowered by him means not to comprehend the Tsar's *mission*.

      When the Russian people forgot this, the nation foundered and collapsed
      -- for, as Yaroslav the Wise so astutely observed, "According to its sins,
      God visits every land with famine, or with death, or with [ravages of
      inclement] weather, or with some other chastisement."

      Many were the reasons for Russia's destruction, but one unites them
      all: the betrayal of the principle of Monarchy -- the conscious diminution
      of the Monarch's rights by a violent limitation of the Tsar's Monarchical will.

      >By the beginning of the reign of Emperor Alexander II, the mystic
      >principle of monarchy had already been finally driven out and monarchy
      >began to beviewed as merely "a form of government" -- and an antiquated
      >form at that, which not only failed to conform to the more cultured level
      >of development of the Russian nation, but also no longer corresponded to
      >the spirit of the time.... The *full mystic power* of *God's Anointed*
      >began to be identified with the monarchy of Oriental despots, demanding
      >limitation by the people's will; all the harmful legislative and judicial
      >reforms of Emperor Alexander II were pushed through under cover of this
      >skewed viewpoint, creating a notorious "era of great reforms" that killed
      >personal initiative and implanted into the thick of Russian life those
      >dangerous principles of collectivism which, in its subsequent development,
      >brought Russia first to *a State Duma* and then to *bol'shevism*, too.
      >
      >Emperor Alexander III attempted to resurrect the forgotten principles
      >of Monarchy, of its *divine origin*, of its *mysticism*, and of its
      >obligations; but, at the same time, he failed to abolish the pernicious
      >reforms of the [18]60's, which continued to corrupt the Russian state
      >system and to nurture the Russian people on a false notion of supreme
      >authority and its tasks.
      >
      >It was the _bol'sheviki_ who did so, immediately upon seizing power; they
      >destroyed all the liberal reforms of the previous five decades, including
      >the State Duma, as having been instituted with the aim of *corrupting
      >Russia*, and ceasing to be necessary after this goal had once been achieved.
      >
      >Today, Russia can only return to life fully if she refrains from toying
      >with alien, "western" forms of "government" -- not "[f]ollow[ing] after
      >the multitude unto evil, nor stray[ing] after the[m]..." (which brought
      >her to _bol'shevism_) -- but, rather, returns to a genuinely-*Russian*
      >ideology -- that of...
      >
      >...[t]he principle of a mighty, single, Divinely-established power [which]
      >was worked out by our ancient writers, who had been brought-up in the
      >spirit of Orthodoxy, who had studied Greek philosophy, and who had
      >received a profoundly lofty theological education that was envied by their
      >western contemporaries. And who, aware of the necessity of monarchical
      >authority, of submitting to the Monarch, and of refraining from rebellion,
      >expressed our responsibility to God and to the Prince, in the teaching:
      >*"Fear God; honour the Prince."*

      And to those who, in their opposition to *genuine* monarchy, frequently
      cite the example of Novgorod, all I can say is that, _vis-a-vis_ the rest
      of Rus', Novgorod was often in the wrong. It was Novgorod, for example,
      that hatched the abominable heresy of the _zhidovstvuyuschiye_ [Judaizers]
      (the "spiritual ancestors" of the _bol'sheviki_); it was also Novgorod
      that, on more than one occasion, violated its political, legal and moral
      obligations, concerning which the Laurentian Chronicle states:

      >The men of Novgorod are in the wrong: they have turned aside from the
      >covenant which they had established with their _knyaz'_ [prince]; they
      >have violated [their oath of fealty to him, by] appropriating supreme
      >authority to themselves; they have behaved outrageously toward their
      >princes: having shamed and robbed them, they have expelled them from out
      >of their midst.

      --GeoS
    • emrys`nz
      ... Steady on...... Those of us who have Her Majesty the Queen of England as our monarch and who are politely refraining from joining in this debate take some
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 2, 2000
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        > "Constitutional" (a/k/a/ "parliamentary") monarchy is
        > in no wise a *genuine* Monarchy (the principle of *rule* by *one*,
        > by a *supreme principle*}; rather, it is a *debasement* of the very
        > concept of Monarchy, verging upon the abomination of "democracy" --

        Steady on......

        Those of us who have Her Majesty the Queen of England as our monarch and
        who are politely refraining from joining in this debate take some
        exception to our monarchy being gratuitously besmirched as a
        *debasement.* Is there any real need to attack our monarchy and Her
        Majesty? Please be more careful about throwing around words like
        *debasement* and *abomination.*

        Long Live the Queen - Freedom Wears a Crown!

        Fr Ambrose
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