Friday, September 26, 2014

ROCOR's anti-Catholicism is partly occult

Archbishop James (Roy C. Toombs).

Never heard of him until now. Frank Purcell gave me this link and commentary. This fellow was a very American (Protestant) religious seeker/adventurer, part of the murky connection between the Orthodox and vagantes, passing through the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
On ROCOR and the Catholics — when they came to NY [the Russian displaced persons, right after World War II?] they accepted converts from Catholicism [negligible] by confession. The remarkable Archbishop James, who can only be described as a Rosicrucian, convinced them they needed to rebaptize. James, not then Orthodox, had something to do with the intelligence community, and pulled strings to overcome the OCA's [then the Metropolia] objections to their being allowed to move here.
Makes sense since reception by confession was the tsarist Russian way that ROCOR was trying to preserve. They didn't turn fanatical until the (reaction against) the '60s, when they brought anti-Catholic Greek Old Calendarists on board. The old Russians were actually pretty nice, comparatively.

The Metropolia was the Russian Orthodox dioceses in America from tsarist times, mostly Ruthenians descended from former Greek Catholics, which in the '40s considered ROCOR schismatic from them, invading their turf, so they told their parishioners to have nothing to do with it. So much for the putative true church.
By that time [the '60s] +James had formed his own OAC. I think part of the anti-Catholicism came from the occult Freemasonry associated with the Aftimian lines of consecration.
"Aftimian": the vagantes who trace their lines to Aftimios (Ofiesh). I just assumed the rabid anti-Catholicism was Russian nationalism plus the imported Greek fanaticism mixed with their church, in tsarist times, using our scholasticism to come up with a rival true-church theology: they hate us because they're a lot like us and want to be us. But this angle — all-American snake oil — could be true as well.

Of course they teach their kids the legend of the imaginary St. Peter the Aleut and not about this fellow.

If that's how they really feel about the Christians who literally saved their lives from the Soviets, why not reject us completely and move back to Mother Russia, now that it's not Communist anymore? Ingrates.

Completely unrelated, I think he looked like Ron Paul!


  1. Frank Purcell adds:

    +James' wife, Maryangela, was a student of Paul Foster Case (BOTA) and designed didactic icons for the OAC based on the Major Trumps of the Tarot. One of these, La Papessa, I think, was in the narthex of the late +John's [Who?] little church (I guess you would have to call it a cathedral) in Jackson Heights.

    Of course the Russians wanted nothing to do with all this, and more or less kicked +James out.

    +John, by the way, was a dear man, humble, erudite, charming, and I would even say holy. His esoterism was entirely Christian, in the manner of Charles Williams.

  2. ROCOR has some bizarre characters, from occultists like above, neo nazi monks like nathenial, old catholic vagante "priests", king james baptists, nutters who think they should live like 19th century russian peasants (which i find humorous i have pictures of my ancestors around 1905ish in russian empire, no power, dirt floors, and keeping the animals in the living room, dont see these reenactors living that lifestyle) and of course ms. drezhlo before they kicked her out

    1. It's small, and has all the assorted nuts you named (I've met several, of more than one kind) plus two generations of nice immigrants who just like being Russian: the WWII displaced-person founders and some post-Soviet immigrants who go to church and/or are homesick. Unfortunately some of them preach the anti-Catholic garbage too. Once heard Metropolitan Laurus preach the St. Peter the Aleut myth to youth, I guess to scare them out of marrying out of their church, as many ethnic Orthodox eventually do.

      Did they kick out Stan/Barbara-Marie (Varvara) Drezhlo (the author of the blog Voices from Russia) because he's a transsexual or for another reason? Not to make fun of him. When I was a kid, my born-again evangelical sister taught me that the insults I picked up on the playground ("Faggot!") are wrong; it's wrong to pick on homosexuals — "they have a problem." Having his identity problem with his background and his views must be torture.

  3. Fascinating!! Calling Dale Griffiths...would be interested in his take on all of this.


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