Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America

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Guardians of the Vatra



July 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
July 23, 2014
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In spite of some negative reactions to the creation of independent (and possibly Autocephalous) Orthodox Churches in non-Orthodox territories initiative (which comes mostly from Old country Mother churches and consequently their Foreign Governments which fund and thus control them, both wanting to maintain influence in what they consider their “Diasporas”), many local clergy and faithful are behind this desire for independent and territorially unified Orthodox Churches in their non-Orthodox countries. The Tennessee initiative, the growing number of Orthodox parish communities of various ethnic backgrounds in the same cities now sharing the same buildings, the creation of new parishes using only local languages, more and more local pan-orthodox activities, the growing interest in the OCL and the need to focus on the future of the local Orthodox Church if there is to be a Church here for our children, even the recent reversal of the Antiochian Patriarchate’s decision to withdraw from Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops worldwide, are all examples of how the local unified Orthodox Church is being discussed and emerging here.

With the recent creation of Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the USA, Canada and Latin America (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in these three territories into unique jurisdictions), 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.

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June 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
June 24, 2014
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As per the Romanian Patriarchate’s website “basilica.ro”, on April 29, 2014 Romania’s President, Traian Basescu decorated several Romanian Bishops from the “Diaspora” stating: “The Romanian Orthodox Church remains the only institution which, beyond the frontiers of Romania, can keep Romanians together… the flag of Romania is wherever the Romanian Orthodox Church is”. The Romanian Patriarch Daniel then said: “the Romanian Orthodox Church has never had such a large Diaspora, almost 4 million faithful… [and] the Church follows her faithful and meets their pastoral, spiritual needs wherever they are.” Addressing himself to the President, the Patriarch thanked the Romanian State for supporting the mission of the Romanian Orthodox Church in the Diaspora and continued saying: “we wish to express our gratitude for the passion and wisdom with which … you support the Romanian Diaspora in general, and especially the Romanian Diaspora which attends church … [W]e are very encouraged when you accentuate the importance of maintaining the Romanian identity and at the same time, the cooperation between State and Church.”

These words are proof of the importance that the Romanian State and the Romanian Orthodox Church place on the parishes of what they consider to be their “Diaspora”, and the rationale for controlling the parishes outside Romania, a plan started under the Communists, and which continues to this date, emanating from the Romanian State which funds the Church, and thus controls her.  The Romanian State continues to use the Church to promote the Romanian language and culture, and to have political platforms in foreign countries, while the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) gives this priority rather than promoting Orthodoxy in foreign lands, to the detriment of evangelizing these non-Orthodox countries in their respective languages as is required by Universal Orthodoxy.  With the above ‘justifications’ BOR attempts to explain why it created so many eparchies and hundreds of parishes in non-Orthodox lands, many in competition with pre-existing ones that are not under their control. (We call these BOR parishes ‘parallel parishes’.) So BOR, particularly in foreign lands, is first and foremost a tool in the hands of the Romanian State. (Who is thinking of our children, born in these non-Orthodox lands, who lose their faith as a by-product of inevitably losing their parents’ mother tongue?)  Even so, let us hope that Universal Orthodoxy will continue to support the main goal of the Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops for each non-Orthodox country/land or territory which is:  “…the promotion and accomplishment of [Orthodox] Church Unity” in all non-Orthodox territories.

With the recent creation of Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the USA, Canada and Latin America (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in these three territories into distinct jurisdictions), 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.

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May 2014 Message

Author: Administrator
May 15, 2014
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A pan-Orthodox meeting was held in Cleveland, Ohio on October 27, 2013 to discuss Orthodox Unity in America.  A video of part of this was made available on the “assemblyofbishops.org” website on Nov. 1, 2013.  When asked about the plans for a United American Orthodox Church, whether or not it was to be autocephalous, and if not, under whose authority it would be, the American Greek Orthodox Archdiocese’s Metropolitan Savas responded: “We are not charged with coming up with a blueprint for an autocephalous church.  We are being charged with coming up with a solution to a canonical anomaly…  If they [Orthodox Patriarchs] thought that we were interpreting it [their directives to us] as coming up with a blueprint for our own independence … this [process] wouldn’t be happening.”  This statement seems to contradict the main goal of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America as found on their website with the lead proposal being: “… the promotion and accomplishment of [Orthodox] Church Unity in North and Central America …” When asked if one can therefore assume that the Assembly of Bishops has a fundamental desire/commitment to that vision of the United Orthodox Church in the Americas, whether we use the A [autocephaly] word or not, Metropolitan Savas responded that he did not know if that was the case!  This uncertainty translates into the fourth shot across the bow of the most recent attempt at a united Orthodox Church arc here.

In addition, following a territorial dispute over Qatar, between the Antiochian Patriarchate and that of Jerusalem, the Synod of the Patriarchate of Antioch decided to temporarily withdraw from all Assemblies of Canonical Orthodox Bishops worldwide.  This was posted on the “assemblyofbishops.org” website in Dec, 2013.  Qatar and its few Orthodox faithful are now impacting millions of Orthodox around the world, including those of us here.  Orthodox unity discussions are now suffering because of foreign territory issues!  This is the fifth shot across the bow of the most recent attempt at a united Orthodox Church arc here.

And just a few days before Easter 2014, it was announced on the “assemblyofbishops.org” website, that the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North & Central America will be reorganized with an Assembly for the USA, one for Canada, and with Central America being merged into the Latin American Assembly. Don’t our leaders see how few we are in these neighbouring countries?  And after we barely manage to organize ourselves into something relatively noticeable, we immediately proceed to dividing it into small and insignificant pieces… In this context, how can we be considered here as a principal Christian faith - Orthodoxy - the root of Christianity?

In spite of this, with the creation of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the USA, Canada and Latin America of a few years ago (whose mandate is to unite all Orthodox churches in these territories into three jurisdictions), 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.

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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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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.