The Dissolution of Europe

Anyone who knew European society fifty years ago, then fell asleep and returned today would say that he is visiting another planet. So radical are the changes that have taken place in the last fifty years in the Civilization that underpinned that society that it has now dissolved. These changes can be seen every day by just looking at the way modern Europeans dress, listening to their politicians or their singers, seeing their lack of reverence and good manners, listening to their conversations in which they reveal their values and informality, watching their television and films or hearing of their bestsellers like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’. We Orthodox Christians who lived here fifty years ago and remember it as it was then, find that we do not belong to it now, even less that we did before; for the most part most modern Europeans come from a different planet to us. Little wonder that we write of the ‘Dissolution’ of European Civilization; what then was has dissolved into the hurricane of ugly and vulgar atheism and Gadarene lunacy from which all nobility has fled away.

However, it is no good being nostalgic and wishing back something that existed fifty years ago. Apart from the fact that this is impossible, any solution must be far more radical since the compromises that have undermined European Civilization began much more than fifty years ago. The seeds of the present fall and destruction of Europe go back a great deal further, for they were inside it from the start. For the thousand years of its existence European Civilization has always been an alien amalgam of ruthlessly aggressive and bullying paganism, both Roman and Germanic, together with Christianity. Gradually, as we can already see from the feudal enslavement, sinister castle-building and blood-soaked crusades which lie at the foundation of Europe in the eleventh century, paganism triumphed over Christianity, Babylon triumphed over Jerusalem. And so today an American President can assert that sodomy is an integral ‘Western value’, and nobody is shocked. The crisis is therefore not a matter of fifty years, it is not even centennial, it is millennial.

St. Vincent of Lerins St. Vincent of Lerins
St. John Cassian St. John Cassian
Europe is a puzzle to be solved. Europe needs a solution to counter its present dissolution, a Divine glue to put all its pieces back together again. All the pieces are there, but there is no glue. There are Peter and Paul, Ignatius and Laurence, Sebastian and Alexis, Leo and Gregory, Anastasia and Agnes in Rome, Boniface in Ferentino, Ambrose in Milan, Benedict in Montecassino, Irinaeus in Lyon, Hilary in Poitiers, John Cassian in Marseille, Vincent in Lerins, Julian in Le Mans, Ursula in Cologne, Willibrord in the Netherlands, Maurice in Switzerland, Senorhina in Portugal, Boniface in Germany, Anschar in Denmark, Lucy in Syracuse, Vincent in Valencia, Eulalia in Barcelona, Alban outside London, Olaf in Norway, Sigfrid in Sweden, David in Wales, Patrick in Ireland, Columba in Scotland, Denis and Genevieve in Paris and many, many more. All the pieces are all there, but they cannot be joined together. Europe cannot join them together by itself; It needs help from outside, it needs the forest to even see its trees, the overview to understand its holiness. Then all will fall into place.

Europe denies that it needs help from outside because it is technologically progressive and therefore ‘superior’; Europe has so long relied on itself for its successful material progress that it is too proud to ask for help, even when it realizes that it needs help and that material progress is a secondary thing. On account of this lack of humility it has again and again adopted many substitutes, false messiahs instead of Christ, from Papism to Lutheranism, from ‘Enlightenment’ to Revolution, from ‘Democracy’ to Marxism, from Fascism to Consumerism. But these have only proved to be failures and also shown the failure of material progress to satisfy human needs. Power, wealth and technology, however developed, are all deathly without the spiritual vitality of Faith. We have always known that they are false, but at the time Europe adopted each of them and believed in them wholeheartedly. Why? Because of its lack of humility, its inability to accept Christ precisely because He is not ‘European’, but Universal, uniting all, whereas Europe divides all.

And so Europe is spiritually regressive and cannot solve the puzzle it has set itself and glue the pieces back together again. Although it needs humility to accept from outside its deficient culture the glue which it is so sorely lacking, it is too proud to accept help from a ‘foreign’ (= Christian) culture. However, fifty years ago even the most smug and self-satisfied had begun to realize that Europe was in crisis. Thus, when at that time the Church of Christ returned to Western societies and started to become known, some Europeans were interested. However, history has shown us that some of those who were interested in reality did not want the Church; they wanted rather to ‘change the Church’, to impose their own agendas on the Church, they wanted a Westernized substitute for the real thing. So was born ‘Halfodoxy’, ‘Euro-Orthodoxy’, ‘Orthodoxy Lite’, an emasculated and degutted religion. But this deathly fantasy that feeds the proud intellect but starves the humble heart, is already dying out, together with those who have promoted it.

The false messiahs of the West have included many spiritual deviations which deny the simple truth that real faith is a way of life. It is a system of beliefs and practices, sacramental and mystical, through Christ and the Holy Spirit, by which our life is brought into harmony with the Threefold Life Who created and rules the life of the whole universe. And that Life is called Love; hence St John says ‘He who does not love, does not know God, for God is love’. These spiritual deviations range from Origen-loving gnostic intellectualism, which announces that only the philosophers of the academy will be saved, to condemnation-loving pharisaic sectarianism, which announces that only the moralists of the ghetto will be saved, to sentimentalism-loving pietistic guruism, which announces that only those who do not know ascetic struggle will be saved. Essentially, however, the delusion of Europe is simply primitive paganism, a force once rejected as dead, but now reinvented and glorified with the illusory trappings of the immense power, wealth and technology of today.

It is profoundly sad that Europe has learned nothing from the fall of Communism. All that Europe can do is gloat over the fall of the Soviet Union; it cannot even see its own defeat, the recipe for its regeneration. Europe has missed the point. For Communism was the very essence of Western materialism and its downfall was therefore the triumph of Christ and the Cross over the West. Therefore only the heroic effort of Orthodoxy that conquered the Soviet Empire can now save the West. Yes, Europe has the pieces to its puzzle, but it is unable to stick them together. For that it needs Orthodoxy. Only Christ and true Christianity, which is what Orthodoxy means, can help it. Heresies of Christianity, produced again and again and again by Europeans, will not help – they, not really Christian, that is, not Orthodox, are responsible for the present crisis, the cause of the problems, not part of the solution. In any case, the heresies of Christianity have been utterly rejected by Europeans; their places of worship are neglected except by Asian and other tourists.

Pedophile-ridden European Establishments have lied to us for a thousand years; they have told us that, God-like, they have all the solutions, that they were the best, better than ‘the rest’. That was a lie, the lie. With only technological leadership but no spiritual leadership, Europe has enslaved itself and, through its New World colonies, the Western world enslaved all mankind to Mammon. So Europe has produced an inhuman and anti-spiritual order worldwide, which is nothing but the kingdom of Antichrist, waiting only for its Temple to be built and its King to be enthroned inside it. However, just as the apostles used Roman roads and all the imperial infrastructure to proclaim the kingdom of Christ, we use European infrastructure and technology to do so once again, thus providing that missing spiritual leadership to call the whole Europeanized and European world back from its delusions to repentance. Like St John the Baptist of old, the prophetic and visionary voices in the Church of God have been calling to repentance for years: now is the time.

See also
Reflections on the Separation of Western and Eastern Christendom Reflections on the Separation of Western and Eastern Christendom
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Reflections on the Separation of Western and Eastern Christendom Reflections on the Separation of Western and Eastern Christendom
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
The hiatus between the early and undeveloped culture of Christian Rome and the growth of a new Western Christian culture, between, in other words, the fifth and the eleventh centuries, signified the formation of a different cultural ambience in the West from that in the East. The Christian West did not have the time to Christianize the pagan, classical culture of Rome, whereas the East made a new start.
The Founders of the Orthodox West: On Recovering the Spiritual Identity of Western Europe The Founders of the Orthodox West: On Recovering the Spiritual Identity of Western Europe
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
The Founders of the Orthodox West: On Recovering the Spiritual Identity of Western Europe The Founders of the Orthodox West: On Recovering the Spiritual Identity of Western Europe
Archpriest Andrew Phillips
Who are the great historical figures of Western Europe who define its identity? The answers of the secular world to this question are quite different from those of the Church. The Western secular world exalts secular figures like Charlemagne, Charles V, or Napoleon as “great Europeans”. But all three of these left Europe full of graves. Indeed, Charlemagne and Charles V were renowned for their massacres and, as for Napoleon, he declared that he would have had Christ hanged as a fanatic.
Eastern Europe vs the Open Society Eastern Europe vs the Open Society
Srdja Trifkovic
Eastern Europe vs the Open Society Eastern Europe vs the Open Society
Srdja Trifkovic
Soros supports programs and organizations that further abortion rights and increased access to birth control devices; advocate ever more stringent gun control; and demand abolition of the death penalty. He supports radical feminists and “gay” activists, same-sex “marriage” naturally included. OSI states innocently enough that its objectives include “the strengthening of civil society; economic reform; education at all levels; human rights; legal reform and public administration; public health; and arts and culture,” but the way it goes about these tasks is not “philanthropy” but political activism in pursuit of all the familiar causes of the radical left—and some additional, distinctly creepy ones such as “Death in America.”
Comments
Gavin James Campbell4/19/2016 5:06 am
Why should we care about Europe? Forget about it. It was racist, nationalist, constantly at war with itself, and imposed it's worst vices on the rest of the world through colonialism. And communism is just another of it's odious exports. We do not need the old European ways to be Christian or even to be Orthodox. The ideals of Orthodoxy are found in Christ, not in Europe. To suggest otherwise is betray what was actually declared by the Fathers (most of whom where from Africa and Asia); declared in the Seven Ecumenical Councils (mostly held in what what then Asia Minor - not Europe); and taught in the Scriptures (entirely written by Middle Eastern Jews). The old Europe is gone - good riddance. Let's move on and figure out ways of being Orthodox without it.
James7/16/2015 9:35 pm
Bless you Fr. Phillips for your insightful and simply true writing. The pride of the West is its downfall; not that we rejoice in this but rather, grieve the spiritual emptiness of our fellow men (and our lack of piety ourselves). The great delusion prophesied by St. Paul is thick indeed. Master bless, through the prayers of the Theotokos, have mercy on us.
Robert Seraphim7/16/2015 7:36 pm
Archpriest Andrew, may Our Saviour bless and keep you! This was a fascinating, thought-provoking article. Do you have a mailing list? I would certainly like to read more from you. Robt. Seraphim, a sinner
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