Monday 30 December 2013

"Social Apostolate"?

No substantial body of people is going to move from countries that are not in receipt of Red Cross food parcels to a country which is.

But Labour ought to have demanded that the arrangements which it successfully negotiated in relation to Romanian and Bulgarian immigration be made permanent, and ought to have forced that to a division of the House of Commons.

However, UKIP has today proposed that Eastern Orthodox and Byzantine Rite Catholics, as such, be given certain rights of entry to, and abode in, the United Kingdom.

Moreover, the ones to whom it wishes to see those rights extended are culturally far less like the British than are the ones in Romania and Bulgaria.

Romanian is even a Romance language, written using Latin script. English was the principal second language taught in schools there while the old regime was differentiating itself from the Soviet Union. It remains widely spoken.

Whereas in Syria, formerly a French Mandated Territory, although fluency in English is now more common than it used to be, the principal second language is still very definitely French.

Across the board, the churches are in the vanguard of the resistance to the Islamist insurrection in, and invasion of, Syria with the active support of Israel and with at least the moral approval of America, Britain and France.

The Byzantine Rite Catholics in Romania were also strong opponents of the British and French-backed Ceauşescu regime, a stand for which they paid a terrible price while Ceauşescu was being created a Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

But from 1962 onwards, although there were individual heroes and martyrs, the Romanian Orthodox Church, as a body, was certainly not of that mind, instead devising an entire ecclesiology of "Social Apostolate" in support of Ceauşescu's admittedly anti-Soviet foreign policy and in order to refrain from criticising his domestic policies even while numerous churches were being demolished. Two Metropolitans (Archbishops) were members of the Great National Assembly, Ceauşescu's puppet legislative body.

In Bulgaria, meanwhile, the Orthodox Church and the Communist Party were practically symbiotic, with the regime even using the Church's historic jurisdiction over Macedonia, which was then in anti-Soviet Yugoslavia, over Western Thrace, which is in modern Greece, and over Eastern Thrace, which is the European part of modern Turkey, in order to press its own claims to those territories.

People are often vaguely aware of the Russian Orthodox Church's complicity in the crimes of the Soviet regime, although it is amazing how frequently one encounters perfect ignorance of that fact.

But the collusion and worse of churches throughout the old Eastern Bloc cries out for a television documentary, perhaps even a series, with attendant newspaper articles and so on.

The Polish priests and the East German pastors are still fairly well-remembered, although they could do with being revisited, not least because they must and do often wonder why they bothered. But the whole story needs to be told.

The same is true of the striking similarity to the Romanian "Social Apostolate" in the formal and informal theology of the English-speaking and sometimes even the African-initiated churches in apartheid South Africa.

People know about the theological justification provided by the Afrikaans churches. People know about the valiant stand made officially by most of the rest.

A few people, although nowhere near enough, know about the immense self-sacrifice of those who opposed apartheid within Afrikanerdom, including within its churches until they were very often driven out of them.

But taboo continues to surround the role of the English-speaking whites. And of those blacks who were persuaded that the ANC was purely, since no one doubts that it was in no small part, a viper's nest of Stalinism.

As well as those whose tribal backgrounds, often at once defining and defined by ecclesiastical affiliation, placed them in opposition to the ANC.

And as well as those who were simply bought off, sometimes with the best of intentions such as the desire to save a desperately needed pastoral ministry, but even so.

The churches are not the only way into examining all of that. But they are the most obvious one. From Bucharest to Bloemfontein, and on into the present day from Nolbert Kunonga to the Chinese Patriotic Association, it is time.


  1. Oh, we all know Labour did a wonderful job on immigration, you hilarious clown.

    "No substantial body of people is going to move".

    Labour said that last time it opened our jobs market to ex Eastern bloc EU countries; it predicted 13,000 would come (hahaha!) MigrationWatch predicted a million. Guess who turned out to be right?

    Eleven years ago, MigrationWatch also predicted two million people would move here over the next decade.

    They were wrong; it turned out to be four million.

    This week, official EU stats show England is the most crowded European country...apart from Malta.

    Four times more crowded than France.

    What's the point discussing immigration? The damage is done.

    Britain, as it was, no longer exists.

    And you're reduced to preposterous attempts to pretend Bulgarians and Romanians (including the Romas currently causing such mayhem in France that French socialist politicians are threatening them to leave) are "British" .

    You are an idiot, Lindsay.

  2. They are more like the British than are the Syrian Christians, who are Arabs, Assyrians and Armenians. Yet Farage is happy to let those in.

    The Poles and others who came here under Labour came to a prosperous country, not to the only Third World member of the G8.

  3. This is dazzling stuff, breathtakingly erudite and spotting connections that nobody else could. If any of your enemies have ever written anything half this good, I'd love to read it. Not holding my breath.