17 July 2018 – 100 years after

The day after Pres. Trump met with Pres. Putin in Finland, today, is the 100th anniversary of the execution of the last Tsar Nicholas II and his family.


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  1. vetusta ecclesia says:

    A letter in The Times (London) today points out that Nicholas II was not the last czar – he had abdicated in March 1917 in favour of his younger brother Michael, Michael II.

  2. Simon_GNR says:

    As a Briton I’m ashamed to say that the Russian royal family were offered asylum in Great Britain after the Tsar had abdicated and the Bolsheviks had taken power, but the offer was later withdrawn, on the decision, so it is said, of King George V, and the Romanovs were left to their grisly fate. It seems George V was afraid that the revolutionary feelings that had led to the removal of the Tsar from his throne might be re-directed at him and the British royal family if he had given the Russian royal family a safe haven.

  3. Antonin says:

    Trump and Putin showed how mature, responsible leaders should behave in a civil manner working together where they can and respecting and working through differences. The Russsian hysteria gripping the USA is like nothing anyone has seen. Meddling in election ? Please …..all countries do and it had nothing to do with outcome.

    Putin is a strong capable leader re-establishing relationship with the Orthodox Church, supporting family and economic growth. Plus he quotes Berdyaev !!!

    Why would anyone want to continue to divide USA from Russia

  4. jhayes says:

    Here are film clips of Czar Nicholas. The background music is the national anthem of that time.


  5. Nan says:

    He and his family, together with servants who died with them, are New Martyrs of Russia, first canonized by the Orthodox Church of America.

    He paid for rebuilding of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Minneapolis after s fire and also sent new icons.

  6. jhayes says:

    Vetusta, Nicholas did abdicate but Michael did not accept to become Czar. So, Nicholas was the last Czar.

    It’s a complicated story but you can find it in Kerensky’s book. HERE

  7. Sandy says:

    Dr. Robert Moynihan had an excellent article on this a couple of days ago. There is an excerpt from a new book.


  8. Benedict Joseph says:

    A sobering memory.
    Today is also the 224th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Blessed Carmelites of Compiegne. Their assent to the guillotine spelled the terminus of the Reign of Terror, while that of the Romanovs signaled the beginning of what appears to be an unending reign of terror.
    Red China flourishes while the underground Church is betrayed by Rome.
    What irony.

  9. LeeGilbert says:

    Antonin asks, “Why would anyone want to continue to divide USA from Russia?”

    In all charity, Antonin, don’t be naive. Without enemies, real or imaginary, we need no defense budget, no military-industrial complex. Vendors would go bankrupt, jobs would disappear, bases would close down, politicians would be turned out of office. The failure of the Soviet Union was a real economic threat here, so we keep poking the Russian bear by inviting former satellites of the Soviet union into NATO, pushing missile systems up against its borders, etc. Russia, naturally has to respond, and so our policy of faux alarm becomes a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy that is very good for weapons researchers and manufacturers, uniform makers, and etc. Just to take one example, many people are making a lot of money off of the 37,000 troops we maintain in Germany putatively to defend it from Russia. As Putin said about this policy of ours many years ago, “It would be funny if it weren’t so sad.”

    China, though, is a different story. They are on the make, financed by the wealth we keep shipping them.

  10. Joy65 says:

    Asking every single martyr who died for the Catholic Faith/Church to intercede and pray for our Catholic Church today, ALL Priests, Religious Brothers and Sisters, Deacons, Seminarians, our Pope, Bishops, Cardinals and all discerning vocations to the Priesthood and Religious life.

  11. SKAY says:

    “Why would anyone want to continue to divide USA from Russia”
    That is a very GOOD question, Antonin, considering that the two countries
    have 90% of the nuclear weapons. We have our differences but we really need to
    co-operate on that level and this President understands that.

  12. Ellen says:

    One of the Romanovs killed by the Bolsheviks was the Grand Duchess Elisabeth Feodorovna, Alexandra’s sister. She was married to Nicholas’s uncle Sergei who was killed in a bomb attack. Elisabeth sold many of her jewels and founded a convent – the Sisters of Martha and Mary which was the first non-cloistered Russian Orthodox order. She was like Mother Teresa, devoted to the poor and ill of Moscow, but when the Bolsheviks came to power she was killed. They threw her down a mineshaft.

  13. Kerry says:

    Lee Gilbert, your assertions are long strings of fatuity. Please check out videos from Victor Davis Hanson. Here are some: Why WWII Matters, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opDuw4OZ3QI
    How a Border War Led to WWII, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tQq-ORA4fHw
    WWI, and the Lesson for Today, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBzMANLQ9dQ
    Knowledge is valueable for its own sake; you will learn things you didn’t know you did not know.

  14. msc says:

    Why do people want to divide Russia from the U.S.? Because it’s a dictatorship with a horrible human rights record that has invaded its neighbours and continues to offer succor to the enemies of the U.S. Whether Putin is genuinely religious or whether his Orthodoxy is a cloak does not matter — its his actions that do. At least read Kasparov’s book _Winter is coming_, but there is so much more out there. The fact that homosexuals are repressed (and imprisoned and abused) is not reason to support Putin.

  15. msc says:

    Oh yes, not to forget that the Catholic Church in Russia is under the same restrictions that all non-Orthodox churches are, and the Russian government under Putin has consistently acted against the Church in Ukraine.
    I speak as a longtime Salvophile, who hoped for a return to genuine Russian culture after the fall of communism.

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    The historian and Spectator columnist Paul Johnson once asked Kerensky why he didn’t have Lenin shot. Kerensky answered, “Because I didn’t t’ink him important.” – Spectator 6 Nov 1993

    jhayes and Sandy: Thanks for the links. Simon_GNR and Ellen: Thanks. Joy65: Amen.

    Richard Pipes wrote a good book on pre-Revolution Russia: “Russia Under the Old Regime.” It’s a cultural history (with an interesting look at geography) that takes things up to the late 1800s and helps to explain why Russian culture, politics, and values often differ from the West.

    That book is followed by two more, one on the Revolution and another on the Bolshevik regime. During the late Cold War Pipes was part of the “Team B Project” and the Reagan National Security Council.

    (The Wikipedia entries on Pipes and Team B are almost as distorted as the entry on Amir Taheri (see the Mosque at Tours post from last week). Pipes’ son Daniel runs the Middle East Forum and publishes the Middle East Quarterly.)

  17. Semper Gumby says:

    SKAY and msc: Good points.

    LeeGilbert: Good point about China, though your remarks about Russia and the “military-industrial complex” are off the mark.

    The formerly Soviet-occupied countries of Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and the Caucasus (Georgia) were not “invited into NATO to poke the Russian bear.” Rather, these countries were/are eager to join NATO after their long persecution under Soviet domination.

    U.S. anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe today are designed to thwart missile launches by Iran. Putin is involved in dubious dealings with the mullahs in Tehran, thus his shrieks about a “new Cold War” ring hollow when he is encouraging the behavior that the anti-missile systems are meant to prevent. Obama capitulated in 2009 and scrapped most of the program, but recent news reports indicate a European missile defense is moving forward again.

    Sidenote: one reason Pres. Trump occasionally hammers NATO and the seriously problematic EU (recall that St. John Paul II criticized the EU for refusing to acknowledge the Catholic Church or its Christian heritage) is that defense spending was previously agreed to be 2% of GDP. Germany, for example, spends 1.2%. Merkel, if I recall a news item, has now agreed to raise it to 1.5% by 2024.

    As for your remark that “Russia naturally has to respond” surely you don’t mean to grant legality or morality to Putin’s invasion of Georgia, Ukraine, annexation of Crimea, and other hostile incidents. In the 1990s Ukraine shipped its nuclear weapons to Russia in exchange for territorial integrity guaranteed by the U.S. When Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014, just after hosting the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Obama capitulated and resorted to stunts such as hiring civilian trucks in Germany to ship rations, but not weapons or ammunition, to Ukraine.

    You make several remarks about the “military-industrial complex” and “weapons manufacturers.” Recall that in 1939 the U.S. military was even more unprepared than Western Europe to resist the Nazis or Imperial Japan.

    One example among many: in June 1942 at the Battle of Midway a U.S. Navy torpedo-bomber squadron (known as “VT-8”) flying 15 obsolete “Douglas Devastators” launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet to attack the Japanese fleet. The far superior Japanese fighter, the “Zero,” intercepted VT-8 and shot down all 15 U.S. planes. VT-8 did not score a single torpedo hit on a Japanese ship, and all Americans were killed except for a sole survivor. He was later picked up by a U.S. submarine after, I think, he spent several days in the ocean hiding under a life preserver not far from the Japanese fleet.

    There are many tragic tales like this from the last century. See what happened in the skies over Korea in 1950 when the Soviets supplied (“supplied by Moscow” – note the pattern here) MiG-15s to the North Koreans. Or what Rommel did to the U.S. Army at Kasserine Pass in North Africa in 1943. Or what the Japanese Army did to the Brits at Singapore and the Americans at Bataan.

    Yes LeeGilbert, there is waste and fraud sometimes with weapons manufacturing. But surely you do not want to continue to cede battlefield superiority to tyrants. The West almost lost WW II and the Korean War. During the Obama years the Ukraine lost Crimea, ISIS nearly conquered Iraq, and who knows what Iran got away with. Let’s try to stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

    As for Putin specifically, there are areas for cooperation, as SKAY correctly points out. There is also more than a bit of wisdom contained in the old saying Peace through Strength.

    “The more you sweat in Peace, the less you bleed in War.” – A popular saying at Marine Corps Officer’s Candidate School.

    Psalm 29:11

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