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Author: Adrian Ardelean
April 10, 2009
“A NEW STEP TOWARDS THE UNION OF THE ORTHODOX EPISCOPATES OF USA AND CANADA”, unofficial translation of an article so entitled from the Romanian- Canadian newspaper, ZIG- ZAG, April 2009 edition.

The series of meetings between the Hierarchs of the two Romanian Orthodox Episcopates in the USA and Canada continued recently with a common meeting of the Diocesan Council of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (Vatra) and the Archdiocesan Council of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of both Americas (under the canonical authority of the Romanian Patriarchate).  The majority of Orthodox clerics from USA and Canada considered this meeting to be an historic one, given the fact that it follows along last year’s decisions made by both Congresses to continue efforts towards their union in a single grouping.  The basis of the discussions- held at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Cleveland- was the Joint Dialogue Commission’s document regarding the creation of the Orthodox Metropolitanate of North America.  Among the main problems discussed were those referring to the nature of the autonomy of the future Metropolitanate  and its relationship with the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR), the administrative union of all Orthodox Christians in North and South America, and of no lesser importance, the issues regarding the means of spiritual healing of wounds produced over 60 years of religious division of Romanian Orthodox in USA and Canada.

The meeting, jointly presided by His Eminence Nathaniel and His Eminence Nicolae, the Archbishops of both Orthodox church groupings in USA and Canada, was finalized through a document- proposal of the principles that will be presented to the next Congresses of both Romanian Episcopates for debate and ratification; thereafter these proposals would be presented to the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which would then approve the inception of the future North- American Metropolitanate.  In this context, one of the supporters of the union of both Romanian Episcopates, Fr. Cezar Vasiliu, Parish Priest of St. Nicholas church of Montreal, presented the above- mentioned news items as part of a Conference he held in front of his parishioners, and in the presence of Ioan Casian, Vicar Bishop of the other Episcopate, all this as a sign of the hope for unity.  Fr. Vasiliu did not hide the existence of some form of opposition to this project, admitting that there exists a “nucleus” [of people] who vehemently oppose the union with the “Mother Church” - a nucleus made up of a few (13!) Orthodox churches, the majority being from the “Vatra” Episcopate.  However, Fr. Cezar Vasiliu says and hopes that the public actions (including via the Internet) of those who oppose the union of the Episcopates, have as effect only the delaying of the final decision, but in no way hindering the actual union of both Episcopates.

7 Comments to “A STEP TOWARDS UNITY…”

  1. Administrator Says:

    The March 28, 2009 Joint Press Release (ROEA & ROAA) speaks of the refinements made to the original “Proposal to Establish a Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate in North America” claiming that after approval by both Congresses, the Proposal could be presented to the Church of Romania for consideration.

    Interestingly, the Zig- Zag article talks about the same Cleveland meeting but claims that; “…The meeting … was finalized through a document- proposal … that will be presented to the next Congresses of both Romanian Episcopates for debate and ratification; thereafter these proposals would be presented to the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which would then approve the inception of the future North- American Metropolitanate.

    The Official Press Release does not refer to any specific timetable for presentation to the Congresses or indeed whether anything would ever be presented to the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Zig-Zag article gives dates [the next Church Congresses are in July 2009] and outcomes [not only does the Proposal seem to get to Bucharest, but the Holy Synod of the Romanian Church would approve the new Metropolitanate.] Conveniently, we now know the process, the timeline and the outcome of the Unity question! If it weren’t for the 2 clerics referred to in the Zig-Zag article, (a Priest of the ROEA and a Bishop of the ROAA), these claims would not be taken too seriously. Now, we must ask ourselves if what is described here is not the actual agreed upon plan?

    It is also claimed that opposition to unity under Bucharest is limited to 13 parishes, and that public actions, including via the Internet, may only delay the unity, but not block it. The tone of the Zig- Zag article is specific and confident, a unity that is pre- approved? Maybe this is a backroom deal already made, and we are to be kept in the dark until it becomes a reality. Unity?

  2. theforteenthone Says:

    With all respect, two questions to Fr. Cesar Vasiliu:
    1. Who gave him the blessing to have invited His Grace Bishop Casian to the church where Fr. Vasiliu is the Parish Priest, as long as himself and the parish are both under the jurisdiction of Archbishop Nathaniel? Or is he also part of wild priests with no respect for any Church authority who are behind the disunity created by so-called Exarchate?
    2. How in the world does he know who is againt the unity and who are the thirteen priests he is talking about?

  3. Andrei Says:

    Evident ca mama Rusie are interes sa va tina sub ea ca e mai bine pt serv de inf rusesti . Ramaneti cu rusii !

    O sa pun pe forumurile romanesti situl asta sa va injure romanii !

    Asa de curiozitate …voi mai stiti ce sunteti ? daca cu Romania nu mai vreti atunci sunteti spalati pe creiere de americani si nu mai aveti nici un Dumnezeu si nici origine traditie tara !

    SA VA FIE RUSINE !!!!!!!

  4. Administrator Says:

    Biserica Ortodoxa Americana (OCA) este o Biserica Autocefala, recunoscuta de Biserica Rusa (care a dat Autocefalia), de Biserica Czecha, de Biserica Poloneza, de Biserica Bulgara. Iar Bisericiile Ortodoxe care nu recunosc autocefalia Bisericii Ortodoxe Americane, o recunosc ca o Biserica Autonoma, si NIMENI nu-i contesta canonicitatea. Mai important, OCA se auto- conduce ca o Biserica Autocefala, si deci nu are nici o influenta din afara, si nici din partea guvernelor locale, unde separarea intre stat si religie este bine cunoscuta. OCA este o Biserica de sine statatoare, nu primeste bani de la guverne, cum este cazul Bisericii Ortodoxe Romane, unde ierarhii si tot clerul sunt salarizatii Guvernului Roman, si deci ei din BOR trebuie sa asculte, si chiar sa ia ordini de la Guvernul Roman. OCA nu are aceasta influenta din afara si se conduce de oamenii alesi aici, din oamenii de aici. De altfel, toti Episcopii Diocezani din aceasta Biserica, in frunte cu Mitropolitul, sunt nascuti in America de Nord, majoritatea fiind convertiti si care nu provin din etnii tipice Ortodoxe. Sinodul OCA este reprezentativ de compunerea Bisericii. Episcopia noastra Ortodoxa Romana din America (ROEA) este o dioceza fondatoare al OCA-ului.
    Romania poate fi tara parintilor nostri, si chiar numai tara strabunicilor. Romania poate fi tara noastra unde ne-am nascut, si poate chiar fi tara unde copii nostrii s’au nascut. Dar cert este ca America sau Canada vor fi tarile nepotiilor si stranepotiilor nostri, si daca nu tarile noastre, cert vor fi tarile de adoptie ai copiilor nostri.
    Ce mai este cert este ca ei nu vor mai vorbi romaneste dupa 2-3 generatii. Ce nu este cert este ce religie vor avea acesti copii. Daca le dam o Biserica etnica, straina pentru ei, adica una Romana, ei o vor parasi si nu vor mai avea nici religia stramosilor nostri. Daca nu sunteti convinsi de aceste “adevaruri” va sujerez sa mai stati de vorba cu persoanele din Bisericile din Vatra care sunt nascuti aici si care sustin aceste Biserici, necunoscand o boaba de limba romana. Ei sunt mandri de trecutul lor, dar traiesc ortodoxia stramosilor lor, in limba engleza si in cultura nord-americana. Deci, o Biserica condusa de aici, in limba de aici, cu cultura de aici, este singurul garant de un viitor ortodox aici pentru copii nostri.
    Restul, adica sub Bucuresti, este neo-colonialism? folosirea bisericilor noastre ca platforme politice pentru un guvern strain? baze de spionaj? promovarea altor limbi si culturi? In loc sa sariti impotriva acestor intrebari, ganditi-va la copii dumneavoastra, la nepoti. Cati vor avea casatorii cu alte etnii? Cel putin daca le lasam o Biserica pe limba lor si dupa cultura lor de aici, vom avea o sansa sa-i vedem pe nepotii nostrii ortodocsi. Aceasta este realitatea cand pleci dintr’o tara si alegi sa te stabilesti permanent intr’un alt loc. Si daca credeti ca copii sau nepotii se vor intoarce in Romania, mai ales dupa o perioada indelungata aici, va inselati. Istoria romanilor de aici este dovada. Pentru cei care aveti acest obiectiv de a va reintoarce curand in Romania este bine sa ramaneti sau sa mergeti la Arhiepiscopia Patriarhiei Romane (ROAA- Chicago- Arhiepiscopul Nicolae) care se conduce aici, ca Biserica din Romania. Insa daca vreti sa va stabiliti definitiv aici, atunci este probabil mai bine sa ramaneti sau sa va alipiti Diocezei ROEA, condusa de Arhiepiscopul Nathaniel din Detroit, care face parte din OCA, Biserica de aici.
    Vointa noastra de a lasa o Biserica ortodoxa vie copiilor nostri este scopul nostru in OCA, si asta nu este o rusine. Rusinea revine celor care sa gandesc numai la ei, si nu la copii lor!

  5. Matei Says:

    Mai Andrei, citeste si tu ceva care nu inseamna propaganda si incearca sa intelegi ca OCA-ul nu este condus de serviciile secrete din Rusia. Poti tu sa spui la fel despre BOR? Biserica Americana este o biserica independent, si este condusa de un American, si pe el nu-l intereseaza ce spune rusul, turcul, grecul sau romanul.
    Americanilor din OCA, inclusiv noi din ROEA, nu avem treaba cu Patriarhii, despotii din tara veche, fie ea Rusia sau Turcia sau Grecia sau Romania. Mitropolitul nostru Jonah le-a spus la toti sa nu se amestece in treburile noastre de aici. Ce mai vrei? Americanul a vorbit in limba lui si i-a trimis pe toti la plimbare. Ce nu intelege Patriarhul Daniel sau Arhiepiscopul Nicolae?

  6. Fact Check Says:

    Mai Matei, atunci ramai tu cu Americanu “Jonah,” si la lasa pe “Romani in pace” asa cum a cerut si el la ceilalti.

    (So Matei, then stay with your American “Jonah” and leave the “Romanians in peace” the same as he has asked of others.)

    Am impresia ca multi nu stiu ce inseamna ce e ortodoxia. Mai ales Jonah, care este convertit la ortodoxie. OCA e un Sinod de Convertiti care incearca sa implice idei si Reguli Protestante. Cand canoanele spun clar ca “convertii nu au voi sa ajunga ierarhi.” Da, ce, la OCA, vad ca se poate, doar suntem in tara tuturor posibilitatilor.

    (I am under the impression that many haven’t a clue about Orthodoxy. Mostly Jonah, who is a convert to Orthodoxy. The OCA is a Synod of Converts which is trying to introduce Protestant ideas and rules. The Canons state quite clearly that “the converted are not allowed to become Hierarchs”. Yes, in the OCA I see that it is done, after all we are in the country of all possibilities.)

    Deci, cine le place cu OCA sa ramana, dar Romanii trebuie uniti sub mama lor Biserica BOR. Nu OCA,nu RUSIA,nu Grecia, ci Romania. Cu asta Basta.

    (So, who wants the OCA should stay, but the Romanians must be united under their Mother Church BOR. Not the OCA, not Russia or Greece, but Romania. That’s final.

  7. Administrator Says:

    Stop it with the insults, including those about Metropolitan Jonah. You say only cradle Orthodox can aspire to higher Church positions? Get real! There are hundreds of examples proving you wrong. Ever heard of Timothy Ware, to name just one?

    So, if you want to be under BOR go to ROAA-BOR. But we ask you to leave us, who are in the ROEA, alone, in peace in the OCA, the way you found us. (Asa, fiindca vreti sub BOR, duceti-va cu ROAA-BOR. Dar va rugam, lasati-ne pe noi din ROEA in pace in OCA, asa cum ne-ati gasit.)

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