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June 29 2008 Concerns

Author: Alex. C. Popescu
June 29, 2008

Your Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel,  Your Grace Bishop Irineu,  Rev. Archdeacon David, Chancellor, Very Reverend Fathers of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America “ROEA” Dialogue Commission, Members of the Episcopate Council,  Reverend Fathers of the ROEA,  and Episcopate Congress Delegates,

On the eve of our Episcopate’s Annual Congress, we are now privy to an April 14, 2008 document entitled “Proposal to Establish a Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate of North America” (on ROEA website only since 23/06/08) which would mean the union of the ROEA with the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas “ROAA” (an already “autonomous” entity under Romanian Patriarchate rule). The Hierarch of this new Metropolitanate would elevate the name of the Romanian Patriarch, with all that this entails. This document is presented in a supportive manner and we are even being suggested a Special Congress date to accept all on April 26, 2009. Everything has a positive spin, and this without any warning of how little we have to gain, and all we risk losing. Given the lack of discussion prior to having gotten so far, the consequences of the plan are analyzed below examining all 20 “Points” from the April 14, 2008 “Proposal” and by presenting a list of  10 “Concerns”.

POINT I: In the preamble, the proposal states that both the American ROEA and the Romanian ROAA ask the Romanian Patriarchate to recognize a“maximally autonomous” Metropolitanate constituted by these two eparchies and made up of all Romanian Orthodox faithful in the Americas with territorial jurisdiction granted by the Roma-nian Orthodox Church, the Mother Church. “Maximally autonomous” is a term newly coined for the occasion and it means some-thing less than “Independent”.  In Orthodox nomenclature the word Independence translates into the word Autocephaly. The Orthodox Church has many Autocephalous Churches, each one completely self-ruling, self-headed and self-governing.  Orthodoxy also has Autonomous Churches; however, each of these is referred to as being a part of, or under its respective Autocephalous Church.  The very fact that the ROEA and ROAA “ask” the Romanian Patriarchate for recognition of a new Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate shows that this new entity would be subservient to the first. This is why “Point I” tries to use words such as “irrevocable” or “shall not modify or abolish this trust”, in an attempt to coerce, with words, the Romanian Patriarchate into not changing the agreement.  However, this is like trying to make absolute that which is relative, or make solid that which is fluid.  An Autonomous Church does not have this privilege.  It is simply not an Autocephalous Church.  Thus, the whole agreement, no matter how well written, is unenforceable, since under autonomy, everything depends on the whim of the Autocephalous Church which grants the autonomy (in this case the Romanian Patriarchate).

POINT II: If the new Metropolitanate includes North & South America why are ROEA and ROAA asking for a “Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate of North America”? Isn’t this Orthodox Church in America–OCA territory?

POINT III: By definition, as part of the Romanian Orthodox Church the new Metropolitanate will have no choice but to pay homage to her Romanian Orthodox heritage and the will of the “Mother Church” which controls her.

POINT IV: Stating that the union of the ROEA and ROAA faithful is a positive gesture towards the ultimate administrative unity of Orthodoxy in North America might have been a more appropriate statement here. Making the claim that this is a necessary step is overstepping the logic.  And then letting us think that this union, under the Romanian Patriarchate, is the only way forward, is clearly misleading.  Wouldn’t a better way forward be achieved by the Romanian ROAA joining the American ROEA under the OCA here, in NA? Isn’t this normal?

POINT V: An autonomous Metropolitanate exists at the pleasure of its Autocephalous Church. This means that an Autonomous entity has as much or as little autonomy as it is granted at any point in time by its Autocephalous Church. It is thus as “self-governing” as it is allowed to be. If an agreement is negotiated between an Autocepha-lous Church and its Autonomous Church, and it does not respect its original engagement, the Autonomous Church has no court of appeal, since all other Autocephalous Churches will not interfere because they would view this as an internal matter, nor would any civil court get involved in interpreting what they would consider to be religious law.  The granting of Autonomy is not a one way street.  Autonomy can be granted, but it can also be withdrawn at any time. Autonomy…  possibly here today, but almost certainly gone at some point in the future.  The Latvians had their “Autonomy” revoked and Greeks have had their Charter ignored by their Mother Churches. This is an almost inevitable situation when people are involved in an “over” and “under” power structure rather than in a relationship of relative equals. At some point in the future the “Maximally Autonomous” status granted by Bucha-rest will likely disappear and there will be nothing to do except follow. Thus, the“self-governing” Metropolitanate, with all of its Constitution, must be subservient to Bucharest demands.  Remember, Bucharest will view it only for what it is, i.e. a very small Metropolitanate, having fewer parishes/missions than most Deaneries in Romania!

POINT VI: The new Metropolitanate may have its own Synod, but since “maximal autonomy” is relative and not enforceable, the power of the Metropolitan and the Metropolitan Synod is also relative, and dependent on the whim of the Romanian Patriarchate, the superior Autocephalous Church responsible for its creation or destitution.

POINT VII: The statement that the Metropolitan Synod is the “highest spiritual and judicial authority” of the Metropolitanate is a naïve and relative statement: true today, but no guarantees for tomorrow.  The new Metropoli-tanate only exists at the whim of  its Autocephalous Church and as whims change so does its governance.

POINT VIII: The proposal states that nominees for all the Metropolitanate’s Hierarchs are to be canonically approved by the Metropolitan Synod and elected by the Metropolitan Congress. This sounds like the Metropolita-nate has permanent authority but, as previously stated, its’ status exists strictly at the whim of the Patriarchate.

POINT IX: The proposal states that the Hierarchs-elect are to be confirmed only by the Metropolitan Synod.  Since the Metropolitanate’s autonomy is relative, so is this statement. Tomorrow it could be the Romanian Synod.

POINT X: The proposal also states that the Metropolitan-elect is to be recognized by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church in a timely manner.  What happens if the Patriarchate refuses to recognise the newly elected Metropolitan? Today’s openness and friendliness can fast turn into real oppression, once everything is signed. Indeed, Bucharest could demand whatever it wants and the envisaged Metropolitanate would be obliged to deliver, or risk losing its canonical coverage.  Who would ever grant another canonical coverage to a group that would have turned its back on the OCA and who by then would have also turned its back on the Romanian Patriar-chate? The new Metropolitanate would have no choice but to follow Bucharest directives or become schismatic. Our Episcopate is now canonically recognised after years of having been attacked on this point. Then we could blame communist influence.  Why would we risk losing our present canonical status? How could we ever explain being schismatic now? Who in Orthodoxy would ever take us seriously? Who would ever want to help us again?

POINT XI: The proposal claims that complaints against Hierarchs are to be handled by the Metropolitan Synod.  Since the Metropolitanate’s autonomy is relative so is this statement. Tomorrow it may be the Romanian Patriarch.

POINT XII: The Metropolitan Congress is to be the sole legislative organ of the Metropolitanate?  Again, since the Metropolitanate’s autonomy is relative, so is this statement.

POINT XIII: The Metropolitan Congress is subject only to the canonical authority of the Metropolitan Synod.  Again, since the Metropolitanate’s autonomy is relative, so is this statement.

POINT XIV: Some canonical issues cannot be resolved by the new Metropolitanate itself.  In some cases 12 Bishops are needed to rule on certain issues, and the new Metropolitan Synod will probably be comprised of only the existing 4 Hierarchs in NA, at least at the outset. Where would the other 8 Hierarchs come from to rule on these critical questions?  No other Autocephalous Church would want to be involved in what they would consider to be an internal matter, a problem for the Romanian Patriarchate to resolve. Thus, when the problem would be most important, it would be Hierarchs from the Romanian Patriarchate who would majoritarily judge the new Metropolitanate’s most important issues. This is “Maximal Autonomy”?  The OCA Synod, which now judges these issues, is comprised of North Americans from various ethnic backgrounds and uses a western logic we are familiar with. It is not certain that the new Romanian Metropolitanate, its clergy and laity, will want to be subjec-ted to foreign ways, legislation or customs.An example of such a case is the deposition of a Bishop. This happens.

POINT XV: The proposal says that the new Metropolitanate will receive its Holy Chrism from the Romanian Patriarchate.  This is a clear sign of subjugation. What happens if the Holy Chrism is withheld?  Yes, the Holy

Antimens is the link between Bishop and Priest; however, Holy Chrism is the link between the Church Hierarchy and the Priest.  In effect, who makes and controls the Holy Chrism controls the Priest. If the Priest’s direct Bishop

is replaced, this has no critical bearing on him, in that Church Hierarchy replaces the departed Bishop. But, without Church Hierarchy there is no continuity and the Priest is powerless. For the Priest, Church Hierarchy is repre-sented by those who control the Holy Chrism without which he cannot perform his duties, literally or figuratively.

POINT XVI: The new Metropolitan is to commemorate the name of the Romanian Patriarch. More subjugation. The June 6, 2008 news release shows our Episcopate’s wish that the new Metropolitanate would be…“in canoni-cal relationship with, not under, the Romanian Orthodox Church”. In reality, the ROEA and the ROAA which would form the new Metropolitanate, are the relative equals and together they would have no choice but to be sub-ordinated under the Romanian Patriarchate. As stated on their website “The Finnish Orthodox Church is an auto-nomous Orthodox Church that belongs to the Ecumenical Patriarchate …” On the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s website, “the Autonomous Orthodox Church of Estonia …[was] established under the Ecumenical Patriarchate..” Attempting to claim that the canonical relationship of the new Metropolitanate would be with the Romanian Patriarchate rather than belonging to or being under it, presupposes a canonical equal footing that does not exist. The misleading use of words causing misinterpretations has no place when discussing Church matters. Also, the title of Archbishop or Metropolitan does not affect hierarchical standing. There are Autocephalous Churches headed by a Patriarch (Antioch), an Archbishop (Cyprus) or Metropolitan (OCA), all at the same level. Autono-mous Churches (below Autocephalous ones), are headed by an Archbishop (Finland) or a Metropolitan (Estonia).  These titles are also used to administratively rank Bishops within all Autocephalous/ Autonomous Churches. Thus, the title Metropolitan can be more subordinate like in the new Metropolitanate, or it mean the Head of an Autocephalous Church like in the OCA. Let us not infer erroneous canonical relationships with these titles.

POINT XVII: The Romanian Orthodox Holy Synod offers an open invitation to the Metropolitan or his delegate to attend and participate in Synodal meetings. If the Metropolitanate’s autonomy is relative, so is this. Or, if the offer holds and he chooses to attend regularly, does he not then partake in those discussions, influence Synodal Hierarchs and be influenced by them? Then in effect, if not in fact, isn’t he a Synod member and subject to them?

POINT XVIII: The proposal states that the Romanian Orthodox Church will not assert any claims to properties of the Metropolitanate, its’ parishes, etc. It surely can claim that which is its own.  Who owns the Vatra?  Who owns Monastery X?  Who owns the property on Church St. in St. Mary, Nevada, or the one in Chicago?  How about the titles of Canadian churches?  Is the Patriarchate, ROAA or Romanian Government owner of any of these? Debts?

POINT XIX: It is right to ask that clergy or lay people involved in the administration of the Metropolitanate, its’ parishes/missions and Church institutions not receive monies from the Romanian Patriarchate, Government or indeed any foreign-run institution.  Is this verifiable and then enforceable?

POINT XX: Now that Point XIX is established, Point XX overturns it and the Metropolitan Council can receive foreign funds as long as they are declared.  Are funds from a “charity” fund set up in Switzerland by “someone” in Romania to pay for “spy” activities in America entered as a Metropolitan line item contribution from a) the new “Securitate” from b) that “someone” or from c) the Swiss “charity”? Is any of this verifiable and then enforceable?

In addition to the above analysis of the 20 “Points” outlined in the April 14, 2008 “Proposal”, find below a list of “Concerns” to also be considered prior to subjugating ourselves under Romanian Patriarchal rule.

CONCERN 1: The OCA has always respected the autonomy agreement our Episcopate signed with it decades ago. They have proven to be trustworthy/ dependable, never interfering in our internal Episcopate matters.  Yet the Dialogue Commission is recommending that we turn our backs on this Church, which has always helped and

protected us, in order to enter uncharted waters where we risk losing everything that our forefathers fought to create here. Why?  Given what Autonomy really is in the Orthodox Church, and given what is known about the Romanian Patriarchate, our Episcopate will surely have less autonomy in the new Metropolitanate context than it presently does as part of the OCA. What do we gain? Yes, we gain unity with Romania’s ROAA, but we also gain the quasi-certitude of being subjugated under a controlling Church, which has previously allowed itself to be the tool of a foreign government, and in so doing our loyalty to the US/Canada may be compromised. Why risk this?

CONCERN 2: Our abandoning the OCA will not help this Church survive. The OCA is comprised of Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian and some newer English-based parishes/missions. Our departure would strike a blow at the “raison d’etre” of this Church.  If the Romanian diocese, one of the original OCA groups, now leaves

her, does this not say that the OCA has no chance of becoming the real cornerstone of the multi-jurisdictional Autocephalous NA Orthodox Church?  Our departure from the OCA would have far-reaching implications… and contrary to what we are told, this would weaken not only the OCA, but also the notion of an Autocephalous NA Orthodox Church which can only emerge by creating it from within. Do we believe that existing Autocephalous Orthodox Churches will give up the control they have over “their” Churches in “their” Diasporas in order to create other Autocephalous Churches, and in the process weaken themselves?  Reality proves the contrary.

CONCERN 3: It is claimed that the creation of this new Metropolitanate will give another voice in support of the creation of an Autocephalous NA Orthodox Church, which would include all Orthodox jurisdictions.  This is a big assumption.  To date very few Mother Churches have allowed their underling churches to organise, negotiate and set up such structures in NA or anywhere in non-Orthodox lands.  At one time there was hope that that SCOBA (the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) would be a new beginning, but that hope is now in the past.  In France and Germany this same hope is also fading… It now seems that the race is on for each Orthodox Mother Church to open as many churches as possible in non-Orthodox lands. This is the case in Western Europe, North America, Australia, etc. Why? Neo-colonialism? Political Diasporas? Whatever the reasons, granting Autocephaly in non-Orthodox lands does not seem to be in any of their short or long-term plans. Orthodox Mother Churches have nothing to gain by being supportive of new Autocephalous Orthodox Churches in non-Orthodox lands.  Granting Autocephaly would have them lose their influence in these lands, not to mention a possible, and in some cases, a definite, source of revenue.  Thus, if we truly desire an Autocephalous NA Orthodox Church we must focus our efforts on strengthening the OCA and building this here, from within.

CONCERN 4: Leaving the OCA at this point in time will let Romanian denigrators criticise yet again.  We will hear; “When Romanian allies are in trouble, Romanians simply abandon them and switch sides.  Isn’t this normal for them?”  Wouldn’t it be nicer if our Episcopate stayed within the OCA, in this their hour of need, if for no other reason than to say “thank you” for decades of help and support?  Is this too much to ask?  Must we really abandon the OCA ship now and thus help sink her?  If yes, then maybe the denigrators are right. I think not.  Loyalty, honour, justice, gratitude, love and dignity are the words which describe why our Episcopate should stay in the OCA. These are concepts our forefathers taught us.  They lived by these principles and values, and so should we…

CONCERN 5: Abandoning the OCA also means breaking our word to the OCA, our new “Mother Church”.  The vast majority of our Episcopate Priests, not to mention our last 3 Hierarchs, swore allegiance to the OCA.  Pre-1990 the choice Romanian clergy and laity had to make when coming to NA was very clear: Choose the Romanian ROAA and stay under the Patriarchal Church, which is under Romanian Government tutelage and influence, or Choose the American ROEA and join an independent Orthodox Church based here in NA.  Post-1990 the distinction for our clergy and laity became as follows: join the ROAA, a Church which is ruled from abroad with customs and habits from Romania, or join the ROEA which is part of the OCA and is independent and self-ruled here with a western culture of administration.  Most clergy and laity chose the ROEA over the ROAA, and with this they chose the American OCA over the Romanian Church. One could even ask if they did not choose the OCA over the ROEA. Since this was one and the same the distinction made no difference then; more so now…

CONCERN 6: Over the years, clergy and laity clearly have made their decision on this topic, and the Dialogue

Commission has no right to overrule that decision, to speak in their name, nor to force or coerce subjugation under Bucharest.  Why can they not respect the choice thousands of people have already made with their feet, before 1990, and after 1990?  The numbers are there for all to see.  The American ROEA (more than 80 parishes/ mis-sions -many large) has the vast majority of both the pre-1990 group and the post-1990 group.  The Romanian ROAA (less than 40 parishes/missions –mostly small), pales by comparison. Clergy and laity have already voted. Why can’t this choice be respected? Who is pushing the illogical move of going under Bucharest? Why?

CONCERN 7: Clergy who have left Romania after 1990 know why they left.  As many have mentioned: “No one leaves a good situation in search of a bad one.  The reverse is what happens.”  This is why so many Priests have recently left Romania.  Romanian newspapers refer to simony, bribery, blackmail and corruption, as being all too prevalent in the Romanian Church. Many Priests who knew the differences between Romania’s ROAA and

America’s ROEA, chose the latter when coming to NA because they new it was not affiliated with Bucharest. Having the ROEA go under Romania could mean importing the bad behaviour that has infiltrated Church admini-stration there.  Shouldn’t we do everything to avoid this?  Do we really want those problems here?

CONCERN 8: The first wave of Romanians came to NA around the “WWI” era and they were a very religious group.  By the end of WWII they represent a 4th Generation of Romanian presence in NA, some of whom still marry in their group, while others begin having mixed marriages.   A second wave of Romanians then came to NA, the “Post-WWII” wave, and they were anti-communists who chose the path of Exile.  They married within their group but also married Generation 4 of the original wave while others had mixed marriages. The third wave of Romanians is the “Post-1990” wave that left for economic reasons and was received by Generation 2 of the “Post-WWII” wave and Generation 5 of the “WWI” wave.  They found Romanian Orthodox communities where only a minority of members spoke any Romanian.  With their significant numbers the “Post-1990” wave quickly became the majority of church-goers in our Episcopate.  They are less religious than the WWI wave and less nationalistic than the Post-WWII wave, but given their knowledge of English and education, this group is at ease integrating and assimilating more quickly than their predecessors in NA. Will a Church under Romania be the answer to their aspirations and those of their US/Canadian-born children? Given what is happening in Romania and the European Union, and given the economic situation envisaged for NA, it is likely that the “Post 1990” wave is the last massive move of Romanians to NA. Subjugation under Romania is probably not acceptable to the descendants of Waves I and II, but may be acceptable to some in Wave III. But, this Wave’s children will surely speak mostly English and want to be part of a contemporary NA Orthodox Church. The question is whether making ROEA more Romanian, more ethnic and more outdated, by subjugating it under Romania, will help save NA Orthodoxy for our descendants and for others. The answer is self-evident. Our last hope is to learn from past mistakes and keep up with the changing needs of existing/potential parishioners. As our history in NA has proven, the OCA represents our and our children’s present and future, while the Romania Patriarchate represents our past.

CONCERN 9: What of Romanian ROAA’s potential Accounting/Legal/Administrative irregularities?  What of existing ROEA/ OCA clergy pension plans? What of a merger protocol for clergy at the local level? How about a finalized Agreement with the Romanian Patriarchate?  How about a new Constitution and by-laws? How about a canonical release from the OCA? How about individual parishes/missions and their rights?  Mustn’t all this be debated, prepared and communicated before anyone can decide on voting on the merits of going forward or not?

CONCERN 10: If the Romanian Patriarchate really wants to help our Episcopate in developing an Autocephalous NA Orthodox Church which would include all jurisdictions, then why would they not simply acknowledge the OCA’s Autocephaly and have the ROAA join the ROEA in the OCA?  The OCA would be strengthened by having the two most numerous Orthodox Patriarchates in the world acknowledge their NA Autocephaly. The OCA is now recognised as Autocephalous by the following Autocephalous Churches around the world: the Russian Patriarchate (which is the most numerous and granted the Autocephaly), the Georgian Patriarchate, the Bulgarian Patriarchate, the Church of Poland and the Church of the Czech lands and Slovakia.  Adding Romania to this list would be a giant step towards the real development of this NA Autocephalous Church.  But the Romanian Patriarchate does not do this. They want to help themselves and their friends by subjugating our Episcopate under Bucharest rule.  This is the true meaning of “Maximal Autonomy”, a term coined in attempting to take away the real Independence we have in the OCA. The Global Romanian Diaspora or the neo-colonial movement, with the Government using the Church to help control this Diaspora, is the real aim behind this “Maximal Autonomy” charade. We should not forget that all Hierarchs of the Church of Romania are paid 100% by the Romanian State making them simply Government employees.  They take directives from these foreign political masters.  Should we risk becoming subservient to their political goals and jeopardize our loyalty to the US/Canada? Of course not.

Unhappily, we are but peons in a larger political game. Romania wants to control “its” Diaspora, i.e. all people of Romanian heritage from around the globe and their institutions. Our Episcopate is a great platform for such political activity in NA. We should be aware that we are nothing more than peons in this neo-colonial global plan.  This has nothing to do with Church. So, let’s remain within the OCA. At least here we know it is all about Church.

Alex. C. Popescu

Montreal, Canada

June 29th 2008

7 Comments to “June 29 2008 Concerns”

  1. Fr. George Ursache Says:

    Stimate Domnule Alex. Popescu,
    Am fost placut impresionat de zelul si intelepciunea de care dati dovada in cele cateva scrisori pe care le-am primit. Intr-adevar, sunt foarte multe lucruri nerezolvate/clarificate in ceea ce priveste unirea celor doua Episcopii. Speram ca, la acest Congres, Bunul Dumnezeu ne va invrednici sa primim raspunsurile cuvenite la intrebarile care ne framanta.
    Personal, vreau doar sa va multumesc pentru zel si curaj. Cred ca sunt in asentimentul multor “noi veniti” pe teritoriul american sau canadian in a afirma ca astfel de oameni ca dumneavoastra sunt un model de sinceritate si curaj. Inca o data, multumesc.
    In Hristos Domnul,

  2. Pr. Cornel Todeasa Says:

    Dear Mr. Popescu,
    Let me go straight to the subject matter: the restoration of unity between brothers and sisters of the same blood, heritage, and faith in North America. What can be wrong with that? “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity,” it says in Psalm 133:1.
    A personal observation: Two good points about your negative epistles regarding the subject matter are that they are awfully long and very confusing. I suppose one needs many and twisted words to explain and justify a warped position. A post-modern person, as I consider myself, does not have the patience and the attention span to read such. By glancing over them, however, I got the gist. Your position made me very sad.
    A few rhetorical questions: What makes you such a specialist in the canonical laws of the Church, when for most of your life you worshiped in an independent (non-canonical) church? I do not think you have any formal theological and canonical education.
    What makes you such an exclusivist, given the fact that our diocese, guided by an inclusive love, accepted your father (may his memory be eternal) and his parish in our midst? You may not know that there were voices (from the same people who are now against the greater unity) who said that we should not accept you in our midst because no penance was made and forgiveness was not asked for by you. Looking back, I would hate to think that they might have been right. The Bible says that the person for whom much is forgiven should love more (Luke 7:47). We forgave and forgot all the not very nice things that were said by members of your community against Archbishop Valerian and our diocese and accepted you – and now you turn around and want to get rid of us?
    How and what makes you believe that you can accomplish the unity of Orthodoxy in North America when you are against the unity of two small dioceses formed by members of the same family?
    A conclusion: Mr. Popescu, you are stuck in the cold war times. You are stuck in your personal little wars that you have had in your town with other parishes and certain people. You do exactly what we should not do in our drive for unity. We should not let our personal fears, uncertainties, and unforgiving feelings work against this greater restoration of unity. We should not look back to old hurts and political squabbles, but to the future of our Romanian Orthodox Church in North America, and to the strengths that come from unity. The Bible says that if a house is divided against itself, it cannot stand (see Mark 3:25)
    Fine: The cold war is over, thanks be to God. I am looking forward to seeing you at the Congress and I have a good story to tell you. I hope it will make you chuckle. Lighten up! I think you are taking yourself too seriously.
    With love in Christ,
    Pr. Cornel Todeasa

  3. Fr. Dimitrie Says:

    Dear Father Cornel,

    Thank you for your email. It is good when “brothers dwell in unity” and tomorrow we will have that opportunity.

    Brother, perhaps, you can help clarify and explain some parts of your letter to me because I am left to wonder about many things. It seems obvious that you wish to discredit Mr. Popescu’s character and dismiss him offhandedly. Furthermore, you appear to discredit yourself by this line you have taken in your letter.

    I look forward to being with you tomorrow so you can help clarify your logic and line of thought to me.

    Fr. Dimitrie

  4. Ron Muresan Says:


    This is a new low - Priest Todeasa has the gall to spatter the name of the late priest Fr. Dr. Petre Popescu, who died at peace with the Church. Look how they try to find ways to hurt and intimidate us - everyone knows how much a son loves his father - no one more than Alex did his father. I personally know of NO INSTANCE in which Fr. Popescu ever put his private disagreements with +Valerian in writing or even made them common knowledge. Both those men were far too good and had too much respect for each other and the positions each held to stoop to levels that today’s priests seem to relish in.

    Moreover - now the masks have come off - finally a principal proponent of “Unity” admits, in writing, what this Union is all about - NATIONALITY - “BEING OF THE SAME BLOOD” - in Romanian the word is “NEAM.” Let the JDC now confront Fr. Todeasa in public - and ask him how he will react when the new “pro-American” Romanian Mitropolia would take even baby steps toward supporting an American Patriarchate! Their argument is ridiculous.

  5. Philip Hammond Says:

    Phyletism. Orthodoxy was once a beautiful religion to me, but the bitterness of this phyletism and what it makes people do makes me wonder if Christ established any community on earth as His One Church.

  6. Fr. Francis DesMarais Says:

    Shame! Shame Pr. Todeasa! Your ad hominem attacks against Alex Popescu are unworthy of your calling as a servant of Christ’s Church. And your defense of a neo-phylytism is a slap in the face to the writings of the St. Paul, the Apostolic Fathers and the witness of true Orthodoxy.

    I have great respect for the witness of the Romanian Orthodox Church, its Episcopate, clergy, monastics and faithful. But sir, you do this witness a horrible disservice. Whereas I am not of the “same BLOOD,” as my surname surely indicates, would I ever be considered and welcomed as a full participant in this new ecclesial entity? If one believes and accepts your vitriolic position, the answer would be a resounding NO! And this with no regard to my confession of the Orthodox Faith.

    Dear Fr. and brother in Christ, I suggest you cease from trying to defend a clanish and non-Orthodox position on Ecclesiaology and perhaps spend a little more time reading the Gospels and Epistles in order re-form your thinking. And if you absolutely cannot live without life “a la Romanesc” then there is much work to be done in the “mother country” and you would be very welcomed in giving assistance.

    Sanatate, Doamne ajuta! La Multi Ani!

    Fr. Francis DesMaraisi

  7. Hermes the messenger Says:

    YOu are a postmodern Orthodox [Fr.] Todeasa? Really? Postmodernists, look up the meaning of the word, begin with Hedeigger and Derrida and outwordly proclaim that there are no truths in this world, particularly Truth with a capital “T.” they also believe that interpretation solely lies in the hands of the individual interpreter including when one sits down to perform the task of exegisis of the Bible. They also believe that all points of view are valid(moral relativism). Perhaps as an orthodox priest you should look up the definitions of the philosophical movements you align yourself with.

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