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Guardians of the Vatra



April 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
April 20, 2014
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With the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), discussions regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue are now obsolete, particularly after 4 years of total inactivity. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

Christ is Risen! + Truly He is Risen!

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March 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
March 26, 2014
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According to the ROCOR website, the Bulgarian Patriarchate’s 3 year emigrant to the USA, Bishop Daniil, declared at the September 2013 Episcopal Assembly in Chicago that: “We strongly believe that a plan, which is entirely in the spirit of the Orthodox ecclesiology and the canonical tradition and practice of the Orthodox Church, and which preserves the rights of the Sister Churches [from the ‘old countries'] to administer their flocks in the Diaspora, is feasible and applicable…” [here]. Incredibly, a foreign auxiliary Bishop from the “Old Country” with only 3 years in America, has the audacity to tell us Orthodox here how our Church is to be organized (all under the tutelage of Old Country Mother Churches and consequently their Foreign Governments which fund and thus control them). This declaration is the second shot across the bow of the most recent attempt at a united North & Central American Orthodox Church arc.

In a letter to Archbishop Demetrios, Chairman of the “Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America” from ROCOR posted in January 2014 on their website and quoting the Bulgarian Bishop Daniil’s above declaration, ROCOR states: “This, too represents our view as the assembled hierarchs of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, and we call upon the One Lord … to strengthen the unity of our witness in these lands upon this model.” They also said: “… God has delivered unto this Synod a sacred charge to look after and care for, with special intensity, those of Russian heritage and descent, who find themselves ‘scattered abroad’… We cannot accept that the Orthodox community in North and Central America requires or is under canonical mandate to restructure its organization in a manner that severs active ties with its various Mother Churches …” So ROCOR (which wanted us to believe that it had become “maximally autonomous” from Moscow even though they recently went under the Russian Patriarchate) has now become a tool of the Moscow Patriarchate in their battle for supremacy with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Does this surprise anyone? Surely not. Our ROEA would have been in the same position had we accepted to go under the Romanian Patriarchate. In any event, the ROCOR action now becomes the third shot across the bow of a unified Orthodox presence here, in North & Central America.

In spite of this, with the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this issue seem to be over. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

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February 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
February 26, 2014
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There has been OCL.org news, unobserved here until now, with an Oct 29, 2012 report that both Antiochian Orthodox Church Metropolitan Philip and Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow) Metropolitan Hilarion agreed that: “due to varying opinions by the many Orthodox jurisdictions [here in North America, the majority being led by foreign Bishops] as well as renewed and substantial immigration from many Orthodox countries, any real administrative unity is years off”.  This makes us wonder if unity in North America will only come from grassroots initiatives like the Tennessee one with the guidance of local Bishops, since foreign Bishops and their overlords from there, have no interest in pushing it here. This discussion between two very important Hierarchs is the first shot across the bow of the most recent attempt at a united North & Central American Orthodox Church arc.

In spite of this, with the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this issue seem to be over. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

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January 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
January 24, 2014
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With the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this issue seem to be over.

Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

Happy New Year!

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December 2013 Message

Author: Administrator
December 24, 2013
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With the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this issue seem to be over. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

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November 2013 Message

Author: Administrator
November 30, 2013
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As was announced here (May 10, 2011), the Jerusalem Patriarchate broke off communion with the Romanian Patriarchate because of the anti-canonical position of the church in Jericho which was under the Romanian Patriarchate.  After many discussions the Romanian Patriarchate’s website presents us with a brief announcement on February 22, 2013: “… brotherly and Eucharistic Communion was re- established between the two Churches…”  Here is what the Jerusalem Patriarchate’s website said about the re-establishment: “…The Romanian Patriarchate recognizes fully and unreservedly the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Holy Land… The spiritual, liturgical and ecclesiastical use of these buildings [Church and hostel in Jericho] should depend on the canonical blessing of the Patriarch of Jerusalem [not Romania].  The priests serving [here] should be appointed by the Patriarch of Jerusalem… [who] may Himself or with his clergy, liturgically use this church whenever he decides to do so… [and the]  antimension will be received from the Patriarch of Jerusalem. The Romanian Patriarchate will avoid in future to build churches or shrines on the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem without written agreement.”  So, are we describing “brotherly” cooperation here, or is the Romanian Patriarchate forced to totally capitulate, being guilty of non-canonical actions?

Also, with the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this issue seem to be over. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

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October 2013 Message

Author: Administrator
October 28, 2013
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There has been OCA.org news from the summer, with a July 22, 2013 report that Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia received our Metropolitan Tikhon of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America - OCA (who had arrived in Moscow to participate in the celebrations of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus’) where he noted that “this visit [with Metropolitan Tikhon]* is very important” also stating that: [at this anniversary] “We want to pray together with the Heads of the Local Orthodox Churches …” [including Metropolitan Tikhon as Head of the OCA, thus acknowledging its autocephaly].

With the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in this territory into one jurisdiction), after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this issue seem to be over. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

*Square parentheses contain administrator completions.

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September 2013 Message

Author: Administrator
September 25, 2013
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The ROEA successfully held its 81st Episcopate Congress at Grass Lake Michigan from September 5-7, 2013 and the 75th Anniversary of the Dedication of VATRA Romaneasca with our OCA Metropolitan Tikhon as the guest of honour. In addition to the normal topics, some time was spent on explaining the work of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America.

Also this month, the Assembly of Bishops met in Chicago for its fourth annual meeting from September 17-19, 2013. As the unification into one jurisdiction of all Orthodox churches in the Americas is very important, the Assembly discussed how this might come about in the future, in line with the wishes of the Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches and in line with Church Canons.

Four years after the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America, after almost three years of inactivity regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue, and because these 20 year old discussions have now become obsolete, talks on this topic seem to be over. Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

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August 2013 Message

Author: Administrator
August 22, 2013
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Even though there has been news from Romania with a general email to many ROEA clergy and laity signed by a Nicolae Morusca August 20, 2013, where he insults our OCA Metropolitan Tikhon, our ROEA Archbishop Nathaniel and each ROEA member, calling us all to heretical phyletism, presuming to instruct us from there [with impertinent insolence and “solutions” from the 1950’s for today’s problems] on how we should comport ourselves here in North America, purposely ignoring the fact that many of us and most of our children are Americans and Canadians as well as ROEA members, and that our Vatra Episcopate is based here in the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America, nothing new has happened regarding the ROEA (OCA) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue.

In fact, at the 80th Annual ROEA Episcopate Congress held September 28-29, 2012 in Detroit Michigan, our JDC ( Dialogue Commission) described the communication as being at a “stalemate”, and talks at an impasse.

Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

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July 2013 Message

Author: Administrator
July 21, 2013
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Even though there has been OCL.org news, with the June 20, 2013 announcement that, in northeast Tennessee, Holy Resurrection Antiochian Orthodox Church and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church are being brought together into one, united Orthodox church community, convened under the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, with the parish priest being Fr. Stephen Mathewes, who remains a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese (a grass roots solution for Orthodox unity in N.A.), nothing new has happened regarding the ROEA (OCA-Vatra) and ROAA (BOR) unity/merger issue.

This is because ROEA “Due Diligence” questions have yet to be answered by the ROAA.  In fact, at the 80th Annual ROEA Episcopate Congress held September 28-29, 2012 in Detroit Michigan, our JDC ( Dialogue Commission) described the communication as being at a “stalemate”, and talks at an impasse.

Therefore, the May 2012 Administrator article remains valid.

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PRAYER OF ST. EPHREM

O Lord and Master of my life,
leave me not with the spirit of laziness,
of despair, of domination, or idle words.

Rather, give me, your servant, the spirit of integrity,
of humility, of patience, and of love.

Thus, Lord, grant me the wisdom to see my own faults,
and not condemn my brother;

for You are blessed, now and forever. Amen.



OUR FATHER

Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.