Need for Monarchy's return to Russia : Abp Gabriel, Rocor-MP

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Need for Monarchy's return to Russia : Abp Gabriel, Rocor-MP

Postby Barbara » Mon 17 April 2017 2:47 am

In this interview conducted by Brother Nathanael with Abp Gabriel [Chemodakov], there are some familiar points but also some helpful insights, and points to consider.

Recently there was reported results of a poll in Russia regarding the restoration of the monarchy. Supposedly, 70 % of the respondents opposed the return of a ruling Tsar. However, one feels skeptical ; perhaps the poll was skewed, as are many in the West, to fulfill someone's agenda. Nonetheless, much more education clearly needs to be done on this topic. Perhaps more discussion and explanations like these below may help overcome the widespread mental blocks, East and West, against return to this system of government.

Keep in mind that this interview was conducted to reach a secular Western audience. Their objections are anticipated by the interviewer when he inquires if rule by a Tsar would not be "authoritarian and oppressive ? "


"Br Nathanael: Why is the idea of the monarchy important to us who are members of the Russian Orthodox Church?

Abp Gabriel: We cannot forget who we are, either in the Fatherland or abroad.

While the memory of Holy Orthodox Rus and the Russian Tsars was burned out of the people by the Bolsheviks, those in the diaspora never forgot the divinely-appointed monarchy.

Br Nathanael: How so?

Abp Gabriel: The monarchist ideal, the rejection of which led to the February Revolution, then to the October Revolution of 1917, did not fade away in the diaspora.

The number of adherents to the monarchy was small at first, because in pre-revolutionary Russia there were few monarchists in any of the social classes, especially among the educated—or at least those who considered themselves such.

Still, by Divine Providence, many Russians, having lived abroad for a few years, began to abandon the progressive liberalism and other such errors common among the intelligentsia and longed for Russia’s return to the monarchy.

Br Nathanael: You mentioned above that the idea of the sacred monarchy is connected to our self-identity as members of the Russian Orthodox Church. What do you mean by this?

Abp Gabriel: A return to the roots from which the culture of Russia sprung always involves a return to the Church. It’s inescapable. That’s why the majority of Russians today identify themselves as “believers.”

And with this self-awareness of our Russian Orthodoxy comes the expanded embrace of Russia’s religio-political history and heritage inextricably bound up with the monarchy. They work hand in hand.

Br Nathanael: What is the essence of Russia’s tradition of sacred monarchy compared with that of the West’s?

Abp Gabriel: In the West, the King ruled by “divine right.”

But in the East, beginning with Emperor St Constantine of the Byzantine Empire to Tsar Nikolai II of the Russian Empire, by “divine grace.”

Br Nathanael: What’s the difference?

Abp Gabriel: Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution there existed in Russia a society ruled by “imperium and priesthood.”

This two-fold rule comes out of the Byzantine Orthodox tradition of “Symphonia of Church and State” whereby the emperor or “tsar” looks after the welfare of the people based on the Church’s teachings.

The Church, in turn, is guarded by the Tsar through a foreign policy which has as its uppermost aim the protection and defense of the Church....

Br Nathanael: But isn’t this ‘monarchist ideal’ authoritarian and oppressive?

Abp Gabriel: Not in the Orthodox East of which Russia is now preeminent.

In the west, as it evolved in its distortion of Symphonia, “divine right” was absolutist and authoritarian, asserting that a monarch was subject to no earthly authority.

But in Orthodox autocracy, a sovereign rules by “Divine grace”—in Christ’s service—for the benefit of the people.

“Grace” is the charisma of the Holy Spirit operating in humans to regenerate and sanctify and to inspire virtuous impulses.

Br Nathanael: How does the Tsar’s “grace” differ from believers?

Abp Gabriel: The Tsar undergoes a regal anointing of grace which is a Holy Mystery of the Orthodox Church.

Coronations in Russia involved a religious ceremony in which the Tsar was crowned, anointed with holy chrism—which imparted the Holy Spirit’s gift to administer rule—and formally blessed by the Church to commence his reign.

As a Church sacrament, the anointing and crowning of the Orthodox monarch confers a spiritual benefit that mystically weds sovereign to subjects.

Thus, the Orthodox monarch does not rule by “divine right” but by the “grace of the Holy Spirit” and is subject to the moral and spiritual teachings of the Church of which he is accountable.

Br Nathanael: Then what went wrong regarding the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II?

Abp Gabriel: ....When the ‘Restrainer of evil’—our holy Tsar—was taken away from us, the whole world was engulfed by a wave of evil and the “mystery of iniquity” given free reign.
Br Nathanael: Is there a correlation between the West’s enmity toward Russia during Tsar Nicholas II’s reign and Russia today under Putin?

Abp Gabriel: Here’s something to contemplate.

Despite the fact that Russia was considered backward by the West and the Tsar viewed as weak, thereby contributing to the rise of Bolshevism and the fall of Russia, it’s noteworthy that in 1914 the National Geographic dedicated an entire issue to Russia’s economic and cultural expansion.

It was the Russian interior minister, Peter Stolypin, who predicted in an interview he gave in 1909, that if Russia was able to live through a period of peace for 20 years, not subject to any wars, by 1930 she would become the world’s number one super power.

Tragically, Stolypin was assassinated by revolutionaries two years later, no doubt feared by those who wanted to change the political system of Russia.

Br Nathanael: Déjà vu?

Abp Gabriel: It’s eerie to think that the National Geographic article was written a hundred years ago showing Russia’s economic might.

And now a hundred years later, Russia - emerging from communism and atheism - is again perceived to be a threat by the West due to its rising might and revival of the Orthodox Church.

The same dark forces which brought on the Bolshevik Revolution targets Russia again. The “mystery of iniquity” continues its sinister work.

Br Nathanael: Will there be a restoration of the monarchy that would uninterruptedly resist Russia’s persistent enemies?

Abp Gabriel: As we tire of the world’s political corruption and cruelty, as we see the need to protect the Church from enmity toward Russia by the Western political system and its main stream media, we can easily recognize that only a sovereign Christ-bearing Tsar would be incorruptible and a stabilizing force.

Only he has no need for underhanded political intrigue, has no interest in any lobbies and cannot be bribed, but by the very essence of his service to Christ, he would never sacrifice the interests of his nation to her foes. The time is ripe for such an understanding.

The more the Russian people become churched and return to their Orthodox roots, then could come the restoration of our most treasured sacred monarchy.

Recent ecclesiastical timeline of Archbishop Gabriel, Rocor-MP Archbisho of Montreal and Canada :


---Bishop of Brisbane (ROCOR) 1996-1997. Preceded by : Bishop Constantine (Essensky).

— Bishop of Manhattan (ROCOR) 1997-2008. Preceded by : Bishop Hilarion (Kapral). Succeeded by : Bishop Jerome (Shaw).

— Bishop of Montréal and Canada (ROCOR) 2008-2011.

— Archbishop of Montréal and Canada (ROCOR) 2011- . Preceded by : Archbishop Vitaly (Ustinov).

Source :

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Re: Need for Monarchy's return to Russia : Abp Gabriel, Rocor-MP

Postby Barbara » Mon 17 April 2017 3:01 am

When considering this subject of the return to Monarchy for Russia, the Romanov dynasty springs to most minds. But the venerable earlier dynasty, the Rurik one [ 862 - 1598 ], should not be forgotten.

It includes such famous figures as St Vladimir the Great, St Alexander Nevsky, St Daniel of Moscow, his second son, Ivan III Kalita [ auspiciously given that colorful nickname due to his generosity and wealth ], St Dmitri Donskoy and more.

Here is an illustration from a special exhibition opened in St Petersburg in January 2015 of the entire group of rulers, many of whom went by the title of Grand Prince rather than Tsar. The stern, enlarged figure of St Sergius of Radonezh stands in the center of the Rurik ruling Princes, while Ivan Grozny [ the Terrible ] is marginalized to the sideline, where he glowers, appropriately for his fearsome reputation. This image is taken directly from Viktor Vasnetsov's painting of the first Russian Tsar. Even so, Tsar Ivan IV made positive contributions, such as having authored the Akathist to Archangel Michael.

Cathedrals and Churches built in the era of the Rurik Dynasty form a graceful backdrop.


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Re: Need for Monarchy's return to Russia : Abp Gabriel, Rocor-MP

Postby Barbara » Sat 29 April 2017 2:26 am

Notice how it is Rocor who focuses most on this subject of the return of the Monarchy to rule Russia. Despite having an -MP sadly attached to their name for 10 years, the Russian Church Abroad hierarchs remain the most articulate and outspoken of any Orthodox clergy today on this subject of crucial importance.

Archbishop Kyrill [Dmitrieff] of San Francisco and Western America addresses the loss of the Monarchy and hope for its return in his Paschal Epistle this year. He points out, too, that the widely-used word anniversary is not appropriate to describe the 1917 - 2017 landmark. Centennial is the proper term. [ After all, no one in their right mind wants to observe the 'anniversary' of a once mighty and proud country having been violently taken over by crude barbarian Communists. ]

"One hundred years ago, man again tried to give reign to the darkness in his sinful heart. We commemorate this year the centennial of the tragedy of 1917, when Godly rule was overturned in Holy Russia by the machinations of men. A divinely-appointed Monarch, who would show himself to be a saint, a Passion-bearer, and a pious martyr, was forced from his throne. The Will of God was cast aside, and, it seemed, human intentions prevailed.

We do not remember this date as an “Anniversary” in a normal, joyful sense, but as a dark hour of tragedy, and one that shaped our lives directly, and still does....

We pray that His Divine Will for right reign and rule will yet rise forth from the ashes, that a Godly Monarch may one day again be enthroned over us, and that the last shadows of our sorrow may finally be done away with. Christ is risen! This is the message that changes the world. It changes history. It changes the universe. And it changes us, each of us, turning us away from our own inner darkness to the Light that never fails. May we rejoice in its power, may we sing out the Lord’s praise, and may we live worthy of rising with Him in glory...!"

April 3/17 2017

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Re: Need for Monarchy's return to Russia : Abp Gabriel, Rocor-MP

Postby Barbara » Thu 11 May 2017 4:11 am

I found a remark on a Russian Royalty internet forum which concurs with my preference for the Rurik family dynasty and provides [ apparently ] solid facts and a novel idea :

"Personally, I think that the Russians should hold another Zemsky Sobor and bring back the Rurikovichi family- the original royal house of Russia. DNA evidence indicates that the House of Rurik is now represented by the Princes Lobanov-Rostovsky, and the Princes Gagarin.

Maybe one of them could marry one of [Grand Duke] Dmitri's female representatives, so creating a dyanstic union.
The original Romanoff family died out in 1762, The family of Dmitri is a branch of the Danish-German Oldenburg family descended from Anna Petrovna, a daughter of Peter [ I ] by her marriage to the Danish Duke of Holstein-Gottorp.

The Rurikovichi are at least Russian."

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Re: Need for Monarchy's return to Russia : Abp Gabriel, Rocor-MP

Postby Barbara » Sat 26 August 2017 4:19 am

Though I am less enthusiastic about the current Romanov claimant to the Russian throne -- should it become available for a reigning occupant once more - it is interesting to hear about nonetheless.

Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son Grand Duke George Mikhailovich arriving at Albanian Royal Palace for dinner after wedding of Albanian Crown Prince and Crown Princess, October 2016

(There was a better illustration showing the Grand Duchess at prayer. But when I went to copy it, the source turned out to be 'a gay-friendly blog'. I hastily retreated and went with the safer choice here pictured, even if it is not as flattering an image. At least it is recent. Plus, those of us interested learn that an Albanian Royal house has been revived to some extent. This would require more research.)

Here is an article summarizing the interview of an Australian monarchist with the director of Chancellery,
Alexander Nikolaevich Zakatov, of this same claimant pictured above.

Strangely, Mr. Zakatov asserts that the [ self-described ] Imperial House is not attempting to restore the monarchy, out of a pessimistic perspective that it would not work.

But then widespread education needs to be conducted to counter the old Communist vilification of royalty, since those slogans must have sunk in too deeply over the course of the 100 years since the Revolution. It takes work and patience to persuade the Russian people that Monarchy is not only a reasonable but an advantageous form of government to replace the current secular RF.

"Since 1992, Maria Vladimirovna, Grand Duchess of Russia, has been Head of the Russian Imperial Family. She is the person who would probably be Tsarina had the monarchy not come to a bloody end in 1917. Alexander Zakatov is the Head of the Chancellery of the Russian Imperial House, the Grand Duchess’ Office. I am meeting with him in Moscow as a representative of the Australian Monarchist League to learn what is next for the Romanov dynasty in 2017, one hundred years after the revolution.

Once we’ve sat down in the grand Metropol hotel, Zakatov tells me he descends from a long line of clergymen. Although that line was broken with the Soviets, ‘religion was retained in my family, as was respect for the monarchy’.

Growing up, Zakatov never liked the reality Communist society presented under the USSR, whereby the country’s 300-year long Romanov history was only ever referenced sarcastically or in hushed tones. ‘In my family, there was a book… with portraits of the last royal family inside. My father would tell me the story of the family… and the tragedy which followed. I felt sympathy for them. They were lifelike characters for me.’

As he grew older, Zakatov discovered the Romanovs’ story had not ended with this event − there were royal heirs in exile all over the world. ‘I learned that there can be something else in history.’

The sense that that which made previous ages great can be restored is strong in some former monarchies that have gone through tumultuous social change. From the 1930s pro-Bourbon Carlism in Spain (which saw the Bourbons restored as a constitutional monarchy in 1978), Bavarian monarchist movements, and the Action Française, which last year celebrated its 117th birthday, calls for the restoration of deposed monarchies in the 20th century have been small but sustained.

For Russia, it took the period of glasnost and perestroika in the 1980s before formal monarchist associations could be established.

Then 14, Zakatov seized the chance to join the ranks. In November 1991, then Head of the Imperial House, Grand Duke Vladimir Kirillovich, was invited to Saint Petersburg by Mayor Anatoly Sobchak for the celebrations of the return of the city to its historical name. Zakatov was there. ‘It was a huge impression for me to see the Tsar alive.’ At age 74, it was the first and last time the Grand Duke laid eyes on his own country.

He died months later and his body returned to Russia to be buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral. Zakatov remembers ‘The square was filled with people: ordinary people. They wanted to see him. After the burial, Zakatov met the Grand Duchess in Moscow as a 20-year old working in the University of Moscow archives. He asked if he might be of assistance in her own archives. That work led to his official appointment five years later.

The 25 years she has been at the helm have not been without questions from certain quarters. Because of strict rules concerning morganatic (socially ‘mismatched’) marriages, some question the parentage of her mother, Princess Leonida Bagration, who claimed to be descended patrilineally from former Kings of Georgia and Polish aristocracy. They claim Prince Andrew Andreevich Romanov, who is 94 and lives in London, is the rightful Head.

In 2016, a Saint Petersburg lawmaker wrote to both the Grand Duchess and then claimant, Dimitri Romanov, urging them both to return to Russia as soon as possible. ‘There should be only one heir,’ says Zakatov. ‘The law of succession says there cannot be two at the same time. The Imperial House has many relatives, and they are all accorded the same respect, but they cannot be considered to take the throne.’

Such overtures from government members are rare. So how would Zakatov describe the relationship between traditional monarchists and the federal government? ‘Well, there is improvement in that we are not being exiled or executed anymore. A great success!’ He grins. But what of the Imperial House’s relationship with Putin’s administration? ‘It can be described as politely neutral. They do not help, but they do not hinder.’

I am interested to know what relationship Zakatov sees between Putin’s leadership style and the ‘one strong man’ model many attribute to the Russian zeitgeist. What room could there be for new authority figures in a dualistic constitutional monarchy if the people already have their ‘ruler’ in the form of a politician? ‘Every country needs a strong ruler; a strong government. But that is any country − not only Russia.’

When I suggest Russians may not warm to the idea of a dualistic leadership split between a symbolic monarch and a counterbalanced politician, Zakatov reminds me that ‘in the Russian empire, there were elected governments in regions that were really successful − even more useful than the government of today.’

Zakatov is quick to assert they are not seeking the restoration of the monarchy. ‘The people do not accept it.’

He is right: a 2013 All-Russian Center for Public Opinion poll found just 28 per cent of Russians favour a return to Tsarist rule. Surprisingly, almost half of that number believe a future Tsar could be a current politician. ‘It is not possible to go back to the traditional monarchy that existed before 1917. We say the Imperial House should take part in the social life of the country. That’s not a revival of monarchy, it’s just participating in the historical… life of the country. It’s not about political rights, not about privileges, nor restitution of belongings. It is about the historical heritage of the Royal family and formally admitting of this heritage in Russia.’

Zakatov concedes the imperative [/color][ need for ? ] nature of a popular monarchist spirit, quoting the Grand Duchess: ‘the Imperial House, separated from the idea of monarchism, is like a church without God.’

But he has hope: ‘The idea of monarchism… is related to the social interests of the whole country. It will be alive forever.’ ... -romanovs/

For anyone interested in a bird's-eye glimpse into one French Monarchist movement of the 20th century, here is material on the Action Francaise mentioned above.
[ Too bad there is no key on keyboards showing the French fleur-de-lis symbol. I could have put that instead of asterisks. ]

Note that though perhaps 100 years earlier, this group was dynamic. Instead of sitting around waiting, wailing and wringing hands, it planned to stage a coup to take over. Too bad that either Action Francaise or a better monarchist group did not succeed. The Third Republic was a disaster. France would have been saved from the dismal, dreary and dreadful Fourth and Fifth Republics.

The ideology of Action française was dominated by the thought of Charles Maurras, following his adherence and his conversion of the movement's founders to monarchism. The movement supported a restoration of the monarchy and, after the 1905 law on the separation of Church and State, the restoration of Roman Catholicism as the state religion, even though Maurras was an agnostic himself. It should not be considered that the movement intended to restore real power to the king, merely to set him up as a rallying point in distinction to the Third Republic of France which was considered corrupt and unworkable by many of its opponents, whom they hoped to come to their banner.

The movement advocated decentralization (a "federal monarchy"), with the restoration of pre-Revolutionary liberties to the ancient provinces of France (replaced during the Revolution by the departmental system). It aimed to achieve a restoration by means of a coup d'état, probably involving a transitional authoritarian government.

Action française was not focused on denouncing one social or political group as the conspiratorial source of ills befalling France. Different groups of the French far right had especial animus against either the Jews, Huguenots (French Protestants), or Freemasons. To these Maurras added unspecific foreigners residing in France, who had been outside French law under the ancien regime, and to whom he invented a slur name derived from ancient Greek history: métèques. These four groups of "internal foreigners" Maurras called les quatre états confédérés and were all considered to be part of "Anti-France". Of course he was also opposed to socialism, and, after the 1917 October Revolution, to communists, but antagonism against them did not have to be constructed or marshalled (although the Protestants and the Freemasons were traditional supporters of the Republic.... and were thus in general left-wing.)

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