The British Orthodox Church
On 5 November Abba Seraphim addressed the boys and staff of Westminster School assembled in Westminster Abbey on the topical matter of the 1605 Gunpowder Treason Plot. He noted that although Guy Fawkes and his co-conspirators had just grievances concerning the treatment of Catholics, it was clearly an act of treason and the effect of the plot was the exact opposite to what the conspirators had intended; as it led to a hardening of attitudes against Catholics and delayed Catholic Emancipation for a further 224 years. Recent terrorist attacks remind us of the ever-present threat resulting from fanatics with a cause. Violence may appear to strike a powerful and significant blow at the time but it can, by its very nature, only be destructive.
Having spoken of our Lord Jesus Christ’s commands to follow the way of peace, Abba Seraphim instanced the present civil war in Syria, which began as a laudable desire to be free from an authoritarian government but has only brought death and destruction on a terrible scale. He concluded by referring to the Buddha and Gandhi’s rejection of violence.
Later, on returning to the Church Secretariat, he recorded the text of this address for the church website.