This has been the project of the West since she fell away from the Orthodox Church. St Justin Popovich of Serbia, a new apostle to the West in these days of apostasy, tells of it:
. . . The God-man solves all the eternal problems of man and mankind—no human can do that. Hence his critique of Western humanism. If the Church can’t solve the eternal problems (with the God-man Christ in the center) of mankind, “She sinks into petty humanistic and hoministic problems”10. This leads to the Church becoming earthy only. She kills people (St. Justin uses crusades and inquisitions as examples11), solving all earthy problems with earthly measures, namely with fire and the sword. This in turn, according to St. Justin, kills the God-man, it kills Christ who is the Church. The Church must follow the first two commandments of God: Love of God first and then humans, “From God to man: from the God-man to man”12. Humanism, however, always takes the reverse order according to St. Justin. This is something he calls “papal humanism”13, as he sees the Pope as the leader, cause and head of humanism (something we will get back to later). This “pan heresy,”14 as he calls it, leads to constant shedding of human blood in the world and the slaughter of human souls as a result.
St. Justin saw humanism as evil, pure evil and totally opposite to God, the Gospel and the Church. The source of this humanism and its entrance and increased influence in society has its roots in the papacy and the “infallibility” of the pope, according to St. Justin. St. Justin sees the pope as the model of the anti-Christian theory of “the ubermensch”. The fall of the pope, as well as the fall of Adam and Judas, the saint sees as the three biggest falls of mankind. St. Justin sees “papism” and its earthly and human power as the pan-heresy of humanism, as the putting of man before the God-man in the center, instead ending up where man is the measure of all things, and no longer God. St. Justin also sees the pope as the father of Protestantism, which he sees as the final stage of “papism”: “each [Protestant] believer – a self-appointed and separate pope”15 (This is why the term “papism” also for St. Justin includes Protestants, who according to St. Justin all consider themselves as popes.) By this he is referring to the fact that the pope is (in his understanding) held infallible in questions of faith according to how he understands the Roman Catholic teaching, while every human is infallible in understanding the bible in Protestantism, according to St. Justin`s understanding of these confessions. Both of these he sees as man-worship, humanolatry, scholastic and rationalistic bacchanalias. “Hence so many sects [Protestants]: it is actually all one, having been fathered by the pope, by his humanolatry and by his man-godhood. In opposition to: the God-man.”16 European humanism is essentially anti-human and equal to “papism”, according to St. Justin. Humanists have one soul: “a papistic-protestant soul”17. He calls the humanistic society of Europe the “mount Olympus of the Roman-Protestant Europe; Zeus=the Pope”18. Through humanism, the European man degenerates himself into a homunculus, a non-man. For St. Justin, at the heart of humanism lies rationalism, which he also sees at the heart of scholasticism: “For scholasticism and rationalism gauge everything ‘according to man’, by man; but man is incomparably more extensive than all this, in the same proportion as the God-man is more extensive than man”19
The cure for the “infallibility” that St. Justin considers demonic in character and for “the Hades of Roman Catholicism”20, is conciliarization (sobornost/catholicity) which is a self-humbling of man before the God-man, before the Mother of God and all saints; a repentance “that leads to a full knowledge of the truth” (2 Tim 2:25). Conciliarization is the means that is in the God-man and the only way to save ecumenism from its “second death”21, as it died the first time through “papism” and other humanisms, according to St. Justin. St. Justin is not addressing the historical primacy of the bishop of Rome,22 or denying the historical primacy in any way, he is simply referring to the papacy in a practical and ideological way in its post-schism time, that included some of the crusades which directly affected the Orthodox, the reformation, the counter-reformation, the enlightenment period and the two Vatican councils.
9.5 The branch theory—“denominationalist”
Another aspect of the western Christianity that the saint strongly rejected was the so-called Branch Theory (or as Peter Bouteneff calls it: “denominationalist”), which is very common in the Protestant world. The basic idea is that all Christian churches are different branches on the one Christian tree; they are part of the same body. St. Justin sees it not as branches of the tree of truth, but as fallen off and withered branches; “a branch withers if it falls off the vine” (John 15:6). The vine is for St. Justin the Church, the body of Christ, the God-man and the ultimate truth. By falling off from the truth, from Christ and his Church, a branch withers and dies. Therefore, he sees the western Christian movements as fallen away and withering, as heretical. This is important to understand; St. Justin sees the Roman Catholic Church and what he calls its offspring, the Protestant movement, as heretics. He often uses St. Mark of Ephesus to demonstrate it, who himself alone, according to common Orthodox opinion, saved Orthodoxy from a union with Rome (see: council of Florence 1439): “One who departs even by a little from the Genuine Faith is deemed a heretic and is subjected to the laws against heretics… Latins [Roman Catholic Church] are therefore heretics and we have cut them off as heretics” (Quote by St. Mark of Ephesus used in St. Justin’s note23). Being a heretic for St. Justin meant being separated from God and from the Truth. The branch theory was, according to St. Justin, a western innovation from the 16th century, and therefore he saw no organic connection to the early Church and to the teachings of the fathers and/or the Ecumenical councils. “As soon as man separates from him (the God-man)—he dries out, withers and dies. This is exactly what happened to papist, Protestants and all other heresies and schisms.”24 . . .
Source: Phillip Calington, http://www.pravoslavie.ru/
english/99512.htm, opened 11 Jan. 2017
Because this is so, the West is unable to give any help or healing to the world, but only more sickness, more death:
He [Thomas Mann] wrote a book called The Magic Mountain, [one] of his best books, which is a description of life in a tuberculosis asylum, clinic in the mountains of Switzerland. And this is supposed to be an allegory of modern European history at the end of the first World War -- either the end or beginning -- anyway, just in the dawn of our own day. And this is a peculiar kind of place where everybody has all kinds of strange philosophies, which means all the different conflicting philosophies of Europe. And everybody who comes there gets sick, because Europe is sick. It’s sort of a parable of everybody who comes in contact with Western civilization absorbs this sickness. You can’t escape it. And the place where they’re supposed to be curing, that is, Europe, has the ability, the idea that “We are the ones who know everything. We’re going to cure you with our Enlightenment.” But you go there; you get in mixed up with Europe, and you get sick yourself. No matter how you try, you don’t get cured. Nobody goes back alive. They’re sort of all killed off by this thing. In fact you cannot go to this, you cannot visit your relatives in this place without getting sick and you have to stay there. [You’re] stuck. In other words, they [have] no other philosophy of life to overcome this sickness of Europe.
Source: Fr Seraphim Rose, Orthodox Survival Course, https://drive.google.com/file/
d/ 0B6SBg9Qgz94oLUNUdW40TGMzazQ/ view, p.
116, downloaded 6 Feb. 2017
But while the after-Schism West can offer little to the world of lasting value, the fore-Schism West has much to offer. It is that forgotten patrimony of the West which we hope soon to dwell on for a bit.
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð!
Anathema to the Union!