Mr William Federer gives us some:
Lord Acton wrote to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 5, 1881:
"All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
. . .
James Madison stated at the Constitutional Convention, 1787:
"All men having power ought to be distrusted."
However, if ‘all men are kings’, possessing absolute power to make or unmake a government and its laws, as Mr Federer often claims, then by his own logic no man or group of men can be trusted to govern (it would even be unjust for them to govern), since as all-powerful they are all absolutely corrupt, and there ought, then, to be no organized, established government at all. Thus, we must return to Hobbes’s ‘state of nature’ of the isolated individual and the war of all against all. For where there is no trust in one’s fellow man, there is no co-operation, and no creative work is possible; there will be only fear and distrust of one another, hatred, violence, and destruction.
The answer is the anointed Orthodox Christian king, the great father of the extended national family, one who does not wield absolute power, but only that which the ancient laws and customs of his land, the Holy Scriptures, and the Holy Canons of the Church allow him to wield. This is the one in whom the people may place their trust to govern them well, just as the small father may be trusted to work for the welfare of his little kingdom, the family. Both are girded with the Grace of Holy Ghost for their rulership by sacraments, the king by the mystery of anointing, the father/husband by the mystery of marriage. The ensample of the holy Orthodox tsar in Russia is helpful in giving us an understanding of this:
Br Nathanael: What is the essence of Russia’s tradition of sacred monarchy compared with that of the West’s?
Abp Gabriel: In the West, the King ruled by “divine right.”
But in the East, beginning with Emperor St Constantine of the Byzantine Empire to Tsar Nikolai II of the Russian Empire, by “divine grace.”
Br Nathanael: What’s the difference?
Abp Gabriel: Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution there existed in Russia a society ruled by “imperium and priesthood.”
This two-fold rule comes out of the Byzantine Orthodox tradition of “Symphonia of Church and State” whereby the emperor or “tsar” looks after the welfare of the people based on the Church’s teachings.
The Church, in turn, is guarded by the Tsar through a foreign policy which has as its uppermost aim the protection and defense of the Church.
This is why Putin, whom I have had the honor of meeting, in striving to find a variation of Symphonia, affirmed in his Easter speech:
“The Russian Orthodox Church plays an enormous role in preserving our rich historical and cultural heritage and in reviving eternal moral values. It works tirelessly to bring unity, to strengthen family ties, and to educate the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism.”
Br Nathanael: But isn’t this ‘monarchist ideal’ authoritarian and oppressive?
Abp Gabriel: Not in the Orthodox East of which Russia is now preeminent.
In the west, as it evolved in its distortion of Symphonia, “divine right” was absolutist and authoritarian, asserting that a monarch was subject to no earthly authority.
But in Orthodox autocracy, a sovereign rules by “Divine grace”—in Christ’s service—for the benefit of the people.
“Grace” is the charisma of the Holy Spirit operating in humans to regenerate and sanctify and to inspire virtuous impulses.
Br Nathanael: How does the Tsar’s “grace” differ from believers?
Abp Gabriel: The Tsar undergoes a regal anointing of grace which is a Holy Mystery of the Orthodox Church.
Coronations in Russia involved a religious ceremony in which the Tsar was crowned, anointed with holy chrism—which imparted the Holy Spirit’s gift to administer rule—and formally blessed by the Church to commence his reign.
As a Church sacrament, the anointing and crowning of the Orthodox monarch confers a spiritual benefit that mystically weds sovereign to subjects.
Thus, the Orthodox monarch does not rule by “divine right” but by the “grace of the Holy Spirit” and is subject to the moral and spiritual teachings of the Church of which he is accountable.
Political power should not be placed into millions of unaccountable hands who have no idea how to properly use it. Who can name one voter, let alone a majority of voters, who has received any kind of reprimand for allowing a bad policy to come into effect by his vote (whether public censure, a fine, being barred from voting for an election cycle or two, etc.)? Yet many are the names of the kings who have been deposed and even killed for their bad and/or unpopular policies. It is the republican/representative democratic system in which irresponsible power rests, not the monarchical.
Ultimate political authority belongs, as the Holy Scriptures and the history of the Holy Orthodox Church show us, not in the hands of republicans but in the hands of Christian kings who have been specially anointed for service to God and to their subjects. Christian kings, therefore, aren’t the problem, although folks in the States will hear just the opposite repeated ad nauseum this July 4th. It is in fact their restoration that will help the nations overcome their spiritual and moral decline and their various political crises:
Br Nathanael: Will there be a restoration of the monarchy that would uninterruptedly resist Russia’s persistent enemies?
Abp Gabriel: As we tire of the world’s political corruption and cruelty, as we see the need to protect the Church from enmity toward Russia by the Western political system and its main stream media, we can easily recognize that only a sovereign Christ-bearing Tsar would be incorruptible and a stabilizing force.
Only he has no need for underhanded political intrigue, has no interest in any lobbies and cannot be bribed, but by the very essence of his service to Christ, he would never sacrifice the interests of his nation to her foes. The time is ripe for such an understanding.
The more the Russian people become churched and return to their Orthodox roots, then could come the restoration of our most treasured sacred monarchy.
We await the return of the Western peoples to their Orthodox roots and the restoration of their sacred monarchies as well, begging God’s help.
Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!
Anathema to the Union!