The Stranniki (Russian for Runaways or Wanderers) are the strong Pomorsky Old Believers who rejected prayers for Tsar Peter and all government papers (identification, passports, money, etc). They would not wear clothing contrary to Old Orthodox Russia, nor eat with those of contrary Faith and Practice. Keeping themselves separate from the antichrist society they went far into the Siberian wilderness. This blog is about these people and my effort to conform my life to theirs.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Geopolitical Consequences of Nikon’s Reforms

Not many people realize the actual geopolitical consequences from the reforms of patriarch Nikon. Nonetheless the consequences of his reform are very significant and it continues to be shown in the Russian people more than ever. “Is there any Russian faith?”, “what is Russian orthodoxy?”, “what should be the spiritual mission of Russia in the world?”, “what represents the Russian people in world history and what is the reason of its existance?” - to these questions there seems to be no clear answers, but without them it is impossible to build and to determine a good future.

More than three centuries ago proto-priest Avvakum accurately explained the geopolitical sense of Nikons reforms which caused the schism: “Russia wanted German practices and customs!” This great thinker wonderfully realized that the Greeks in Western Europe, who survived the fall of Constantinople, proved to be under the influence of a forceful and infecting Roman Catholicism ([Latinism]). We should be made well aware that the Greeks brought western influence to Russia.

In the sixteenth century the first Jesuit to visit Moscow, Antony Possevino, explained his, “difficulty in introducing the Catholic religion in Muscovy.” It is well known that the direct aggression of the West against Russian during the beginning of the seventeenth century did not achieve its goal, being unable to subjugate Russia. The Jesuit Possevino said the only solution for such an endeavor would be through Russia’s own ruling class. So it was, with the assistance of the ruling class (due to economic reasons), the “robber” council of 1666-7 positioned itself to corrupt the entire way of Russian life along the way of a distorted river bed.

In the twentieth century Prince Nikolay Sergeyevich Trubetskoy recognized the truth of the pronouncements of proto-priest Avvakum, in particular the inaccuracies of the editors of Russia’s Holy Books from modern Greek models. After the reform Peter I abolished the patriarchate, councils were abolished creating a bureaucratic establishment to the church with the tsar as its head. This new device completely destroyed whatever might have remained of the Old-Russian canonical system of church life. Russia fell away depending on the West. Trubetskoy expressed how a representative of the Romanov dynasty (Grand Duke Alexander Mikhaylovich) was “antinational” and that inspired some of Dostoyevsky’s writings.

The noted twentieth century bishop Andrew Ukhtomsky said, “Why… are our dissenters incomparably steadier and stronger in a cultural sense? Specifically, because the dissenters live by the parochial achievement and their self-determination as a community, while our village drags its existence only by the order of authorities. Dissentient communities unite in their chapel and our orthodox village unites by the wine bench…”

For more information see: (in Russian)