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Wolves in Sheepskins

Author: Alex. Nemoianu
February 15, 2010
On February 11, 2010 the Synod of the Romanian Patriarchate issued an ‘appeal” to “Romanian Orthodox unity and dignity”. The “appeal” requested all those of Romanian descent living abroad to subordinate to this institution.

In a rather rudimentary and arrogant manner the Romanian Patrirchate, a cleptocratic institution itself burdened by sixty years history of subordination to Communism and total subordination to the neo-Communist Romanian regime, is attempting to interfere in the life of those of Romanian descent living in the Free World. First of all the actual hierarchs should know that Orthodoxy is not a “nationality” but a Faith. Orthodox faithful are not “many” but already one body, united in dogmas and sacraments. Apparently the Romanian Patriarchate is unable and unwilling to depart from the old ways, from the tribal chauvinism practiced and professed by the most heinous elements of Romanian Fascism and Communism.In their stubbornness the Patriarchate continues to call those of Romanian descent, now second, third, fourth and even fifth generation in their new countries, a “Diaspora”. A “Diaspora” is that segment of a people temporarily living outside the national boundaries of a country. Romanian-Americans and Romanian-Canadians are citizens of the United States, or of Canada, and proud members of those two great nations. Calling them all a “Diaspora” is an insult - and proof of historical illiteracy. It is, in fact, tantamount to denying the very existence of the 200+ year old American and Canadian nations. The Romanian Patriarchate, an institution with a history of eighty-five years, (hardly ancient…) directly and indirectly displays an arrogance that is unbecoming of Christians.

In fact, and in effect, the Romanian Patriarchate grossly insults the canonical bodies of the New World and all those associated with them. Since when is the Romanian Patriarchate alone entitled to decide when another Orthodox body is canonical or not? Since when do hierarchs proved of being collaborators with the totalitarian Communist regime dare to issue moral judgments against others? Since when is the Romanian Patriarchate entitled to insult the dignity and the unity of the New World? Because that is exactly what this outrageous “appeal” is doing: denying the right of Orthodox to seek unity in the New World, while denying the very existence of the New World nations.

The Romanian Patriarchate had the audacity to “forgive” those who, opposing the bestial Communist regime, stood up to its tools — among whom were the Patriarchate and its contraptions in the New World. If this is not arrogance beyond limits ( and frankly, reveals a shameless incapacity to repent) what is? This “appeal” is a scandal, a direct and gross insult to the New World, to the Orthodox faithful living here , to each and everyone of us who call ourselves Romanian-Americans and Romanian-Canadians. In my opinion those who issued this outrageous “appeal” should publicly apologize, any and all contacts with the Romanian Patriarchate should be suspended by the “Vatra” Episcopate until they do. Loyalty to the New World and its dignity is not optional for its citizens - and this is a moment when such loyalty has to be proved; with facts, not empty words. Enough is enough!

6 Comments to “Wolves in Sheepskins”

  1. Administrator Says:

    Indraszneala Patriarhiei este fara limite. Unde este bunul simt, modestia, caiinta, marturisirea, pocainta, bunatatea asa mult dorite dela fete bisericesti? Este clar ca Patriarhia romana insulta pe cei de origina romana din alte tari cand le numeste Diaspora lor. Parca aceste persoane nu au tara lor, nationalitatea lor. In acelasi timp Patriarhia romana insulta si pe toti co-cetatenii acestora negand ideia de natiune Americana si Canadiana. In plus, institutiile ortodocse canonice de aici sunt insultate de catre cei care ar trebui sa se uite in oglonda inainte de a judeca pe altii.

    Cei care au colaborat cu regimul communist astazi “iarta” pe cei care s-au opus comunismului. Ce aberatie! Cine a parasit Biserica; colaboratorii sau cei morti in inchisori si in pribegia exilului? Acest apel este o insulta la tot ce este adevar si demnitate.

    Dl. Nemoianu, ai perfecta dreptate criticand pozitia ierarhiei romane.

  2. Peter Says:

    I agree; the Orthodox Canons are clear: Orthodox Dioceses are “LOCAL/TERRITORIAL”- NOT “ETHNIC”. This is established in the Orthodox Church and dancing around it by using contraptions like “Diaspora”, Chambesy, or the Romanian Patriarchate quoting its own Constitution, does not change Orthodoxy.

  3. Morton Says:

    as posted on, ‘Share Your Comments’ section regarding ‘Romanians, Russians and the News’

    Most of us Americans tend to vote with our feet. I chose my OCA parish based on my conversations with the priests there and my experience of how the members lived the Gospel. (I also didn’t want to have to learn another language in order to worship, but that was secondary.)

    I’m trying to imagine how it would be for the Metropolitan of Bucharest if a group of people moved into his diocese from, say, Ploesti or Constantia. They might attend a local parish, but instead of supporting their new parish in their new diocese, they continued to give all their support–financial and otherwise–to their old parishes in their old diocese. No one would think that made any sense, and the Metropolitan would probably have plenty to say if the numbers became too many and the support started to dwindle. But the principle is exactly the same.

    We are already being bled dry by this kind of stuff. We have at least four Orthodox bishops of New York, each with a diocesan synod, staff, cathedral, support structures. We have at least half a dozen parallel Orthodox churches in this country, most loyal to foreign administrations and leaders who have no real understanding of American culture. I don’t have to list all the problems with that. It was a scandal 60 years ago when then Archbishop Athenagoras surveyed the scene.

    I don’t know anyone who has any problem with people wanting to keep in touch with their cultural roots. I just don’t see what it has to do with our Orthodox faith. Maybe it did 600 years ago, but not now, in the early 21st century. Whatever benefit a national approach to our faith may once have had, it has become far more a problem than a solution.

  4. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on, ‘Share Your Comments’ section regarding ‘Romanians, Russians and the News’

    Sunday of Orthodoxy 2010, wherever you celebrate it, will try to be dominated by Greek clergy and Greek bishops blowing their horns of how great Chambesy is. The truth is that Chambesy is promoting HERESY. The Pat. of Istanbul is trying to have the entire Orthodox world believe that all Orthodox everywhere “BELONG” to Russia, Byzantium or other. This is pure BALONEY! The established Orthodox Churches in North America belong to no one but themselves. The Orthodox Canons do not allow foreign bishops to control territory beyond their own. Chambessy is nothing more than a “POWER GRAB.” All Orthodox in North America should reject it; reject the bishops who support it and tell SCOBA to start representing the Orthodox Christians of North America not Istanbul!

  5. Optimist Says:

    Mr. Nemoianu’s take on the Patriarchal appeal is a good reflection of what many in my parish, and probably across our Episcopate are thinking. May I comment on a few of the points.

    We, here in North America, should not be surprised at all by their posturing. Everyone should know that is takes a long time to shed the coat of the old, oppressive Communist regime that, through its very efficient means of saturating every single aspect and layer of the social fabric of Romania, was able to control a proud people for over sixty years. So, an appeal for total subordination to the Romanian Patriarchate is rather, part of the whole package.

    In terms of us being called a “diaspora”, once again this reveals a well versed mentality of propaganda, where, if you say it often enough to many people, they begin to believe it and eventually, the lie becomes the truth. The real emphasis however lies in your very definition of diaspora, that is a “segment of people living outside the national boundaries”. We are not a group of people who have migrated away from our national boundaries and gone off to work in a foreign land, only to return in a month or two or six to back our homeland. This is our homeland complete with its new social fabric and institutions. We are and have been here for some time now, within our new national boundaries. So, at this point, I do agree. Being called a diaspora is not only insulting and outdated; it is also sounding more like a statement made by a “State” rather than a “Church”.

    The Romanian Patriarchate’s arrogance you mentioned as being unbecoming of Christians is again, hardly a surprise. It is the arrogance of power mongers and the Church just happens to be one of the social mediums. In another situation, they would be using another social medium or institution, because that is where you can reach more people.

    And so it continues. Respect, or lack of it, from outside our borders is one thing. Loyalty or lack of it from inside our borders is something else and I feel that it is this last point that desperately needs more of our attention.

  6. Dr. GBP Says:

    Opportunists trying to make it by standing on the heals of others rather than on their own? Are we suprised? Has it ever been anything else?

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