Thursday, 25 February 2016



In Cuba, Moscow and Rome, Catholic Pope and Orthodox Patriarch, East and West met up. To make common front against the iniquities of our time. That’s my kind of genuine ecumenism: one that bites!

Francis and Kirill issued a fourteen points agreement. Tantamount to a declaration of spiritual and moral war on Western apostasy, methinks. Such as:

EUROPE. Pope and Patriarch boldly affirmed their conviction that ‘Europe should stay faithful to her Christian roots’. Bullying, arrogant secular dogmas, like the French state’s ‘laicite’, cannot replace the immortal Gospel of Christ – two thousand years of it. The soul of Europe is Christian. Other religions can contribute but you can no more have an un-Christian Europe than an un-Islamic Arabia. Renegade EU leaders like Cameron, Hollande and Merkel, take notice!

THE FAMILY. ‘…it is based on marriage, a free and faithful act of love between a man and a woman’. Would you ever have thought something so plainly true, so natural and so self-evident needed re-stating? (A sign of the darkness of times.) Yet it does. Actually, almost revolutionary to say so. As I reminded my Muslim friends at recent gatherings in London and Manchester, ‘the family, the fundamental unit of society, is under attack’. Thus Francis and Kirill lamented how ‘other forms of cohabitation’ are almost equated to marriage. Notions like fatherhood and motherhood in marriage, upheld in the biblical tradition, are systematically removed from the public sphere.

As an Anglican priest committed to the liturgical rites of the Book of Common Prayer, I love the ringing spirituality stated in the service of Holy Matrimony… ‘Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God…to join together this Man and this Woman in holy Matrimony; which is an honourable estate instituted of God in the time of man’s innocency signifying unto us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and his Church…Many times I have been privileged to recite those sonorous words before a loving couple. That is both stupendous Jacobean English and sound, eternal theology. No Zeitgeist cultural rubbish can ever change it.

ABORTION. The right to life is inalienable. It must be respected. The blood of millions of unborn children destroyed in their mother’s womb cries to God. Since the UK 1967 Abortion Act well over 8 million children have been ‘terminated’. In Europe as a whole one in three pregnancies – meaning unborn babies – are ‘ended’ in the womb. A continuous, ongoing holocaust. The murder of the innocent. What crimes have the unborn committed, to be slain by their own mums? Something so horrendous, so monstrous that it chills my blood as I type at the keyboard…
Admirable these two leaders of Christianity had the integrity to speak out. You can’t imagine the poor newt Welby, the so-called Archbishop of Canterbury, stating anything so forthright. No wonder good people are fast deserting the liberal, limp-wristed C of E. God’s stern judgement awaits her.

EUTHANASIA. Kirill and Francis warned against it. Are you old and getting on? Beware! In times of austerity, the powers that be would love to save NHS resources by bumping you off as soon as they get a chance. And, to be brutal, your relatives too… ‘Where there is a will there is a way’ – if you get my pun on ‘will’. After babies, the extermination of the old too looms. Hasn’t a distinguished moral philosopher like Baroness Warnock argued that elderly folks like ‘dementia sufferers… may have a duty to die’? More like an immoral philosopher, methinks.

ARTIFICIAL PROCREATION. Tampering with human life. Pope and Patriarch are concerned that ‘…the manipulation of human life is an attack on the very foundations of man’s existence’… Clinical techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife are wrong and immoral. Scientists in London can now edit the genomes of healthy human embryos for ‘research’. Sounds neutral and harmless but…it ain’t. More horrors ahoy. Human beings are called to life in accordance with the Creator’s design, a truth that must never be forgotten.

Beyond matters of medical ethics, Francis and Kirill have vigorously denounced the ruthless extermination and persecution of Christians in the Middle East. The very lands where Christ was born. Whole towns and villages are emptied of believers, churches sacked and destroyed, sacred objects profaned, shrines vandalised… The hideous crimes of Islamist fundamentalist groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusrah are well-known but the rulers of Europe and the West do not give a damn. When did you last hear the British government mention the plight of Syrian and Iraqi Christians? Or the ludicrous President Obumble doing anything about it? The blood of the martyrs is indeed the seed of the Church but that does not excuse the slayers of the innocent, nor the craven pusillanimity of Western leaders.

Spiteful anti-Russian voices have spoken of a meeting ‘pleasing to Putin’. They would love it if East and West continued the old, fratricidal quarrels. Ideal for the ‘divide and rule’ strategies of Western liberal aggressions and regime changes. Instead Francis has called for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in Ukraine. And, wisely, both leaders have left ancient theological diatribes out of their agenda. This was not the time for that.

Moscow and Rome. East and West. Pope and Patriarch. At one against sin and evil. Verily, a meeting made in Heaven!

Revd Frank Julian Gelli

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