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A Lay Person’s Opinion

Author: Alex. Nemoianu
June 13, 2010
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A Lay Person’s Opinion of the 2010
Orthodox Episcopal Assembly of North American Canonical Hierarchs

ART. 8
AT THE EPISCOPAL ASSEMBLY AND AFTER – UNITY OF ORTHODOX IN NA
26-28 MAY 2010 NEW YORK
LA ADUNAREA EPISCOPALA SI DUPA – UNIREA ORTODOCSILOR DIN NA

A Conference of the Orthodox canonical bishops of North America was convened by the Greek Archdiocese in New York toward the end of May, 2010.The timing was supposed to “fire up” the Hellenists, as the date coincided with the time of the fall of Constantinople. In my opinion it was a pretty cheap machination.

From the scant information provided to the faithful it seem that the scope of the Conference, at least officially, was an effort to solve the problem of Orthodox canonical unity in North America.  There were a number of speeches, that were made available to the faithful and, no doubt, even more numerous “discussions” and attempts to cut deals that were and will not be made public.

Considering that the Conference was convened under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, i.e. of “Phanar”, the Patriarchate of Istanbul, such sort of dealings should not be a surprise. However what was, and is obvious, is that two main “point of views” emerged:
- One is that Orthodox North America should be a submissive subordinate of the Old World.
- The other one is that Orthodox North America should be an equal among equals; it should have its own canonical independence.

- The proponents of the first point of view used their two, and only “arguments”: phyletism and ethnocentrism, although the latter was used rather indirectly.
- The promoters of the second point of view used serious, mature and canonical arguments - especially that Orthodox jurisdictions always were and should be local.

A few things were significant.

- The insulting term “Diaspora”, used by the bodies of the Old World when referring to the North American Orthodox faithful, was rejected and ridiculed. That approach, the rejection of the term “Diaspora”, was accepted (reluctantly) even by the representatives of subordination to the Old World canonical bodies. That was not merely a semantic correction; it was a question of essence. The Conference accepted that the North American Orthodox is a people in its own right and consequently it would be impossible to deny them the right to canonical autocephaly in the future.

- The pathetic ethnic “argument” was not even mentioned during the debates, considered unworthy of consideration.

- Equally significant was the fact that the OCA was impossible to be ignored even under the circumstance that tremendous, disproportionate efforts were made by the Istanbul’ Patriarchate to such an end. The OCA was the eight hundred pound gorilla in the room.  In fact, even if, officially and under the pressures of the Patriarch of Istanbul, it was not recognized as an “autocephalous entity”, it was the one body who won the day. The canonical and pastoral message the OCA stands for, that is, North American Orthodox autocephaly was, in fact, directly and indirectly accepted. The OCA’s way proved again to be the way for North America’s Orthodox future.

- In this context His Eminence Jonah, the OCA’s Metropolitan, offered an outstanding example of personal and genuine humility -a quality that became “rara avis” among the Orthodox hierarchs.

- In regard to a rather not-so-important matter, I would like to say that Metropolitan Nicolae of the Romanian Patriarchate’s “contraption” in North America, was very cunning, audacious and street smart in promoting himself, or at least trying to, as the “leader” of the Romanian-American Orthodox, which he is not.  That should be a warning for the “Vatra “Episcopate when dealing with him or his underlings.

In conclusion I would dare say that the Conference was a fiasco and a strategic defeat for the promoters of the subordination of American Orthodoxy toward the Old World canonical bodies.
In my opinion the Conference was a failed attempt and a defeat for the Patriarchate of Istanbul and its dreams about “imperial” authority. The “big guns” of that body, representing less than two thousand Orthodox faithful in its See, misfired.

In my opinion, for the North American Orthodox faithful, and that includes the Romanian-Americans and their beloved “Vatra” Episcopate, there is only one way: OCA all the way.

10 Comments to “A Lay Person’s Opinion”


  1. Administrator Says:

    The author underlines the importance of the OCA at this Assembly, and that in spite of significant attempts to diminish it, the reality of the OCA is here to stay and it will become key to the expansion of Orthodoxy in North America.


  2. Administrator Says:

    Autorul subliniaza importanta OCA-ului la aceasta Adunare, si chiar in spaima eforturilor semnificative de o a injosi, realitatea OCA-ului este aici si ea va fi cheia expansiunii Ortodoxiei in America de Nord.


  3. Ioannis Says:

    WWECD? (”What would Elder Cleopa do?”)


  4. Administrator Says:

    Elder Cleopa would probably tell us to keep away from BOR and continue building our North American Orthodox Church.


  5. Toma Says:

    Habar nu ai cine e elder cleopa - mai ales ce e ortodoxia. Asa ca nu vorbi ce nu trebuie.


  6. Administrator Says:

    Toma, Cleopa era contra ecumenismul, modernismul, etc., si atunci este aproape sigur ca ar fi ramas fidel canoanelor ortodoxe in privinta problemei BOR in America. Ai inteles?


  7. Toma Says:

    Nu stiti oameni buni? Domnul administrator il stie pe elder cleopa.
    Fii serios mai. Ar zice exact invers, si ai sti si tu asta daca ai citi cartiile lui.

    Ar considera OCA, asa cum considera toate patriarhiile, o prostie. Toate episcopiile/mitropoliile din lume trebuie sa apartina de o patriarhie. Ce e chiar asa greu de inteles?

    Noi suntem romani, si vrem sa fim sub patriarhia noastra romana. Si voi, vreti sa face-ti orice sa opriti aceasta miscare ca sti-ti bine ca rezultatul final ar fi ca voi sa ramneti singuri majoritatea din aceasta episcopie. Suntem romani si ne consideram mai intai “romani” nu “americani” ca voi. Dumnezeu ne va unii pe toti romanii de pe acest continent intr-o singura mitropolie. Asa cum sunt grecii, rusii si asa mai departe. Chiar crede-ti ca pute-ti sa sta-ti in cale???


  8. Administrator Says:

    Toma, dupa canoanele sale, biserica ortodoxe este locala si atunci BOR nu are ce cauta in viitorul ortodox aici in America. Domnia BOR in tara streina se numeste filetism, o eresie ortodoxa. Ai inteles?

    De unde o scoti ca OCA este “ o prostie” Daca asa este, ce cauti in ea? Daca crez asta, atunci fi consecvent cu opinia ta si pleaca din ea cat mai repede. Daca nu – de ce ramai? Ce interes ai? Vorbesti de cunostintele mele teologice, dar dovedesti din nou, prin cuvintele tale, ca Viorel a avut dreptate.
    Roman in Romania, American in America. Ce le spui la “Immigration” cand vei cere cetatenia Americana? “Sunt Roman” sau “vreau sa devin American”? Nu uita ca decizia de astazi implica si viitorul copiilor si nepotilor tai… Desigur, patria lor va fi America, limba lor principal engleza, si daca le oferim astazi o biserica dupa asteptarile lor, atunci vor ramane ortodocsi. Daca le oferim o biserica cu o ierarhie straina, intr’o limba straina, condusa dintr’o tara straina, atunci ei nu vor mai fi ortodocsi. Istoria dovedeste aceste realitati … din pacate, mai multi dintre noi suntem martor ocular, si vrem sa nu mai pierdem viitorul religios aici in America, patria copiilor si nepotilor nostri.


  9. Toma Says:

    Citeste canoanele domnule. Orice biserica locala trebuie sa apratina de o patriarhie! Chiar nu intelegi? OCA de ce patriarhie apartine? De cineva? Cine? De Moscova? Patriarhia rusa are cumva sediu in America? Mai omule. Ori ce biserica, episcopie, mitropolie, trebuie sa aprtine de o patriahie. Citeste canoanele ortodoxe. Sau, mai bine, fa teologia! Unde in lumea asta mai vezi o biserica ortodoxa cu denumirea “Orthodox Church of America.” Cum te poti numi Biserica Ortodoxa din America fara sa apartii de o patriarhie?

    Suntem romani in America, dezbinati intre doua eparhii. Deci vrem, noi romanii, sa ne unim sub patriarhia noastra romana, sa fim administrati sub mitropolia noastra aici. Ce e asa de greu de inteles? E ordinul de drept in ortodoxie. Biserica ortodoxa este, dupa canoane, locala. Da, asa e. De asta vrem sa avem mitropolie romana (locala) aici in america!!! Noi romanii vrem sa fim romani. Daca dumneata nu vrei. Stai cu OCA singur! Punct.

    Eu nu aprtin de OCA dragul meu. Si nu am venit sub episcopia noastra romana aici….pentru oca - ci pentru ca sunt roman, si ca biserica mea locala mea a fost alaturi si am vrut apartin de ea! Daca OCA e “Biserica Ortodoxa din America” ce sunt celelelalte biserici? Cum poate lua OCA aceasta denumire? E rang de patriarhie? Fii serios si gandeste ce vorbesti. OCA e un joke fiind ca e Anima-nui. Nu e in nici o ordine de drept ortodox!


  10. Administrator Says:

    Toma, cu lunele ce trec, dovedesti din nou si din nou (sau mai bine spus iarasi si iarasi)ca Viorel are dreptate. Diploma ta este din Constanta! Ma Toma, nu mai vorbi despre subiecte necunoste tie. Sa sti ca in ortodoxie, o parohie depinde de o episcopie care depinde de o mitropolie intr-o biserica “autocefala” (de sine statatoare sau independenta). In plus, in ortodoxie sunt mai multe biserici “autocefale” unde ierarhul suprem este un Arhiepiscop sau un Mitropolit, si nu un Patriarh, spre exemplu: Arhiepiscop la Biserica Albaneza si cea din Cipru, Mitropolit la Biserica din Polonia si cea din Cehia. “Biserica Ortodoxa Americana” adica “Orthodox Church of America” –OCA- are aceiasi denumire ca “Biserica Ortodoxa Romana” – BOR. Canoanele spun ca cei care traiesc pe un teritoriu sa aiba episcopi si structuri LOCALE in tarile respective. Adica, in exemplul nostru, cei care traiesc in Romania sa faca parte din Biserica Ortodoxa Romana – BOR, si cei care traiesc in America sa faca parte din Biserica Ortodoxa Americana - OCA. Ce nu intelegi?

    Daca vrei sa ramai roman in timp ce esti in America si pana cand te intorci in Romania, adica nevrand sa te integrezi aici, este bine sa stai cu Biserica ta BOR si copilul sau politic ROAA. Daca vrei sa te integrezi ca imigrant in America, tara ta de adoptie si patria copiilor si nepotiilor tai, esti acasa in Vatra, adica ROEA-OCA. Alegerea este simpla si toti noii veniti in America au facut aceasta alegere. Astazi vedem ca marea majoritate fac parte din Vatra noastra, ROEA-OCA si nu ROAA-BOR ai Patriarhiei si guvernului roman. AI INTELES? LUMEA A VOTAT DEJA - CU PICIOARELE!

    Ma Toma, ROEA face parte din OCA, din 1970, si asta ai stiut-o cand ai intrat in ea. Fiecare nou venit aici a avut de ales intre ROAA-BOR si Vatra ROEA-OCA. Daca ai gresit-o si acum vrei ROAA-BOR … du-te cat mai repede si nu ne mai dezbina aici in Vatra noastra ROEA-OCA! Aici este BISERICA noastra si nu este gluma pentru noi. Nu ai voie sa iti bati joc de ea! Mai bine pleaca! AI INTELES?


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