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CLEVELAND REVISITED…

Author: Alex. C. Popescu
May 4, 2009
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The American ROEA and the Romanian ROAA Diocesan Councils, the respective Dialogue Commissions (JDC) and their Hierarchs met in Cleveland on March 21, 2009.

1.      The official joint “press release” of that meeting was carefully worded and made public on March 28, 2009 (available on this website under ‘ROEA Documents’).

2.      On April 1, 2009 roeanews.info had an article about that same meeting (Diocesan Councils and JDC Meet).

3.      On April 10, 2009 we have another view of that meeting posted on the roeanews.info website; an article in Zig- Zag, a Romanian- Canadian newspaper (A Step Towards Unity…) The author reports on a pro-unity Conference held recently in Montreal.

The official March 28, 2009 joint “press release” regarding the Cleveland meeting refers to the updated “Proposal” for the new Metropolitanate and claims that both Congresses would have to approve it prior to it going to Romania for consideration.  The April 1, 2009 website article focuses more on the fact that the ROEA Council had agreed only to an informal get- together in Cleveland as it waited for responses to its Due Dilligence questions, while the ROAA wanted, and succeeded in having, a real meeting discussing key unity issues, and this with the support of both JDC’s.

In contrast to the joint “press release”, on April 10, 2009, a newspaper article appeared in the Canadian- Romanian newspaper Zig- Zag which stated that the “Document- Proposal” will be presented at the next Church Congresses for debate and ratification; thereafter presented to the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which would then approve the new Metropolitanate.  The Unity roadmap is published in that newspaper and presented as a quasi done deal!  Process, timeline and outcome all seem determined and wrapped up!  If the 2 clerics referred to in the Zig-Zag article had not been present, (a Priest of the ROEA and a Bishop of the ROAA), these claims would not be taken seriously.  However, if this is not the correct “Plan”, then why did the clerics present, not intervene?

If, the “Plan” is unfolding as per design, what about the newspaper’s assumption that the “Proposal” would be approved in Romania?  Doesn’t this suppose that Romania has seen the “Proposal” and has already approved or amended it?  Given ROAA involvement, doesn’t this even sound likely?  Clearly, Romania will approve this “Proposal”, if for no other reason than because it knows it can change it unilaterally, next month, next year; but by then we would be theirs!  Thus, while these grandiose plans are being made about our future, what about the rights of our Parishes and members?  Are they to be ignored?  Of course, all this would be in violation of the Rule of Law and Church Canons, as well as in contradiction with the Vatra’s own Constitution and By-Laws.  The article claims that opposition is limited to 13 parishes and that public actions, including via the Internet, may only delay, but not hinder, the actual unity!  We must follow this one closely.

What is interesting in all this is that the official March 28, 2009 joint “press release” and the April 10, 2009 newspaper article do not mention that full and accurate “Due Diligence”, as required by ROEA Episcopate Council and Congress, must first be approved by ROEA’s Due Diligence legal committee and then finalized, before going any further. Nothing is said about legal time limitations and allotted time for delegates to take any proposals for unity back to their respective parishes for discussion.  Nothing is said about individual parish/ mission members and their possible rights to vote on the unity issue.  Nothing is said about the required OCA canonical release process.  Nothing is said about opt-out clauses regarding monasteries, parishes/ missions who prefer to stay with the OCA.  But no matter.  The Unity train is about to leave the station.  Hurry on.  Sorry. This unfair “process” must stop.

Another interesting item is that the official March 28, 2009 joint “press release” makes statements regarding process and Congress voting that were not even discussed at that Cleveland meeting.  Perhaps the JDC’s discussed this separately, but the “press release” intimates that the Diocesan Councils have agreed on the process and voting. This is highly questionable, since witnesses say that the matter was not even tabled at the meeting.  In addition, the ROEA Council has not even formulated an opinion regarding the right to vote in terms of this Unity issue.  In fact, who votes?

It seems that the JDC is again attempting to “rush” the approval process for their Unity proposal, even if this means making questionable statements that are, at best, opinion and not fact.  The JDC claims that; “The Proposal would need to be approved by the two Congresses” before being presented to Romania.  Indeed.  Who votes and what about parish/ mission members’ rights on this divisive issue?  Explanations, canonical release, opt-out clauses for monasteries/parishes/missions choosing to remain in the OCA, legal time delays, all seem like minor irritations to our JDC; almost not worth mentioning. Wrong!  Every single irregularity of our JDC should be challenged.  What would any Court say to a nominated group trying to usurp members’ and Council’s rights?  It would most likely say the same as it said in 1953 - “ILLEGAL”.

The ROEA JDC is accused of not revealing its actual dealings with BOR and the ROAA to the ROEA Council and Church membership. Full and accurate information is required, and yet no written reports and detailed minutes or just notes of those meetings are being produced for even our Council to see.  It seems that the JDC have become simply a “pro -unity under Bucharest” support group. It seems that they have again overstepped their mandate.  It seems that something should done with the JDC.  What say you?

2 Comments to “CLEVELAND REVISITED…”


  1. Administrator Says:

    Given that the Episcopate Congress is a decision-making body of our Episcopate and that the Episcopate Council is the executive arm, doesn’t it seem normal that our Episcopate Council should have its own legal advice on issues like “Due Dilligence” responsibility, or others like “who has the right to vote” on the Unity issue; parishes, missions, members or Congress delegates? Shouldn’t the Episcopate Council be discussing all this with the OCA directly rather than letting a biased and nominated group like the JDC speak there and elsewhere in their place? Isn’t it time that Episcopate Council members hire special legal counsel in order to protect themselves since they are liable, individually and as a group if things go wrong and their decisions are challenged on the Unity front?


  2. Matei Says:

    Articolul din ziar ne da mai multe informatii privind unitatea decat ROEA, ROAA, BOR si ambele JDC-uri la un loc. Pacat ca secretul a devenit arma preferata nu numai la Bucuresti si Chicago, dar si in Episcopia lui IPS Valerian. Cel putin avem acest site care ne tine la curent cu ce se mai intampla.


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