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Romanian Emigrants

Author: Patriarch (Patriarhul) Daniel
August 22, 2010
Message of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel on the Romanian Emigrants’ Sunday (22 August 2010): Let us not alien from ourselves when we live abroad!

This article is found at:

It is already tradition that the first Sunday after the feast of the Falling Asleep of the Mother of God (15 August 2010) should be dedicated to the emigrant Romanians, according to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which proves the appreciation and spiritual care of the hierarchs of our Church for the spiritual sons and daughters who went to live abroad for various reasons.

It is an obvious fact that after 1989, a large number of Romanians emigrated to other European countries or to more distant continents. Yet, it should be noticed that the true Romanian always misses his house, nation and ancient traditions, deeply rooted in his being, although he lives in other countries and has successful material state.

While taking into account the spiritual needs of the Romanians from everywhere, the Romanian Patriarchate has set up several eparchies and many parishes for the Orthodox Romanians who faithfully keep their communion with their Mother Church, and the Basilica Press Centre provide almost every day information on the life of the Romanians in Diaspora, thinking that through faith and prayer, through communion and brotherly solidarity, the inherent hardships of life will be easier and the joy greater.

Having known that it is very hard to life far from the country and from your dear ones (husband or wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters, grandparents), the Romanian Orthodox Church prays for the Romanian people from everywhere and urges all the Orthodox Romanians living in Diaspora to prayer, communion and brotherly collaboration.  We thank all the Romanians from Diaspora who contributed in various ways to the aids granted to the victims of the recent floods in Romania.

We pray merciful God to give good health and salvation, joy and much help to all the emigrant Romanians, and their stay abroad should be in good understanding with the citizens of the countries they live in, keeping at the same time the Romanian Orthodox faith and [Romanian] identity, not to alien from themselves and from the Romanian people.

With great appreciation and fatherly blessing,

† Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

9 Comments to “Romanian Emigrants”

  1. Administrator Says:

    In the Romanian article the Patriarch refers to “migrants” – people who move from place to place. In the English article the Patriarch refers to “emigrants” – people who leave their native country to go and live elsewhere for at least a longer time than the first group. There is a third category which represents the vast majority of those who left Romania, that is “immigrants” – people who are newly arrived in a country they are settling. Semantics yes, but oh so telling, so devious. Let’s personalize an example:

    MIGRANT: Ionescu leaves Romania and goes to work in Spain every spring since 2000 and returns to Romania every fall. He was, is, and will always be a Romanian. His children were, are and will probably be Romanian.

    EMIGRANT: Ionescu left Romania in 2000 to go work in Spain. He occasionally visits Romania. He may retire in Romania. He was, is, and will probably be a Romanian in the future. His children were Romanian, but may now be more Spanish and will probably become permanently Spanish.

    IMMIGRANT: Ionescu arrived and settled down in Spain in 2000. He has learned Spanish and taken courses here. He has settled down here permanently and will likely retire here. He occasionally vacations in Romania. He was more Romanian in the past, but now is attempting to become more Spanish, and he will probably retire in Spain. His children were Romanian, but may now be more Spanish and will probably become permanently Spanish. If they are born in Spain – no contest – they are Spanish. He has friends who are Spaniards of Romanian heritage whose families left Romania when Soviet troops took over Romania in 1948.

    To those who left Romania recently the Patriarch speaks (in Romanian) of Romanians as migrant workers, much like the seasonal Mexican workers in California who return home to Mexico after picking the fruits and vegetables in the USA every season. To those of Romanian ancestry he speaks of Romanians (in English) as emigrant workers who might choose to return “home” to Romania in the future. Nowhere does he speak to the vast majority of those of Romanian heritage outside Romanian who IMMIGRATED to the countries they now call home, or whose parents did so - as if they did not exist! The Patriarch’s problem and the Romanian Government’s problem is that there are much fewer Romanian Migrants and Emigrants, who may be someone’s Diaspora, than there are Immigrants and those of Romanian heritage outside Romania, who cannot be considered anyone’s Diaspora! But God knows – they try…

    When people leave their homeland and choose to immigrate into a new country, they surely want to adopt the norms of the newly chosen country; otherwise why would they leave in the first place, and why would they have chosen that respective country to be their new home? Remember, no one leaves a good situation to go to a bad one. The same goes for religious hierarchy. With what right does BOR open even more churches in places like North America and Western Europe where a church structure already existed, predating their political implants by decades? Why doesn’t BOR concentrate on helping those in Romania – God knows it is a poor country from which millions of people have left and immigrated into other countries in search of a better life? Wouldn’t those who left Romania behind prefer to leave the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) behind as well, and join the existing and independent American Orthodox Church (OCA) here? Clearly, their children/ grandchildren will be speaking English in the future and be true Americans. Having services in Romanian, with priests who do not adapt to life here, with a church hierarchy paid and controlled by a foreign government, will only drive these children away from the Orthodox faith. They need a local church, run by Hierarchs from here, for people here, using cultural and administrative norms they are accustomed to. This is the principle reason why BOR is viewed by many here as the Church of our past, while the autocephalous OCA is the church of our present and future here in North America.

    The Patriarch focuses on Migrants and Emigrants because he and the Romanian government have some leverage over these groups to work with them while in the “Diaspora” and then when they return as good Romanian citizens and members of BOR. That is also why he and the Romanian government focus on Romanian identity as a principle need of those outside Romania, even though this might only be true for those who very recently left Romania. The vast majority of those of Romanian heritage outside Romania are either Immigrants, children of the WWII exiles, or descendants of the first Romanian immigrants to the New World in the 1890’s. This group appreciates its’ Romanian heritage BUT will not be treated as someone’s “Diaspora”, nor will this group be put in a situation where it might have to choose between the heritage nation and its own nation. For them loyalty to their country and the local Orthodox faith (as required by Orthodox canons) supercedes all ties to the national heritage of theirs or of their forefathers. For this reason the Patriarch and the Romanian Government downplay the term “Immigrants” and exaggerate “Migrants” and “Emigrants”, the latter two groups being the only possible Romanian “Diaspora”, the only groups over which they may have some political influence.

  2. Administrator Says:

    In articolul pe limba romana Patriarhul se refera la “migranti” – la oamenii care se muta dintr-un loc in altul. In articolul pe limba engleza Patriarhul sa refera la “emigranti” – oamenii care parasesc tara lor natala, ca sa plece si sa traiasca in alt loc pentru cel putin un timp mai lung decat primul grup. Exista si o a treia categorie, care reprezinta marea majoritate fata de cei care au plecat din Romania, adica “imigranti” – oamenii care sunt noi veniti in tara de adoptie. Da semantica, dar foarte revelator, inselator. Hai sa personalizam printr-un exemplu:

    MIGRANT: Ionescu pleaca din Romania si lucreaza in Spania in fiecare primavara incepand cu anul 2000 si se intoarce la toamna. El a fost, este si va fi intodeauna un roman. Copii lui au fost, sunt si probabil vor ramane romani.

    EMIGRANT: Ionescu a plecat din Romania ca sa lucreze in Spania. El viziteaza Romania din cand in cand. Poate ca se va retrage in Romania. El a fost, este, si probabil va ramane si in viitor un roman. Copii lui au fost romani, dar sunt poate acum mai mult spanioli si probabil ca vor deveni spanioli in permanenta.

    IMIGRANT: Ionescu a ajuns si s-a instalat in Spania in anul 2000. El a invatat spaniola si a luat si cursuri aici. El s-a instalat aici si probabil ca se va retrage aici. Din cand in cand isi ia vacantele in Romania. El a fost mai roman in trecut, dar acum incearca sa devina mai spaniol. Este foarte probabil ca el se va retrage in Spania. Copii lui au fost romani, dar poate ca sunt mai spanioli acum si probabil vor deveni spanioli in permanenta. Daca sunt nascuti in Spania – fara indoiala – ei sunt spanioli. El are prieteni care sunt spanioli de origina romana, al carui familii au plecat din Romania cand soldatii sovietici au luat Romania in 1948.

    Patriarhul se refera la cei care au plecat recent din Romania (pe limba romana) ca lucratori migranti, cum sunt ca si lucratorii de sezon mexicani in California, care se reintorc acasa in Mexico, dupa ce au adunat fructele si legumele in SUA in fiecare sezon. El se refera la cei cu radacini romanesti (pe limba engleza) ca lucratori emigranti, care ar putea sa aleaga sa se reintoarca “acasa”, in Romania in viitor. Nicaieri nu se adreseaza la marea majoritate, le cei de origine romana din afara Romaniei, care au IMIGRAT in tarile care au devenit patria lor respectiva, sau unde parintii lor au imigrat - parca nu ar exista! Problema Patriarhului si problema Guvernului Roman este ca sunt mult mai putini Migranti si Emigranti romani, care ar putea fi Diaspora cuiva, decat sunt Imigrantii si cei de origine romana, in afara Romaniei, care nu pot fi considerati Diaspora nimanui! Dar Dumnezeu stie, ei tot incearca…

    Cand oamenii parasesc patria lor si aleg sa imigreze intr-o tara noua, desigur ei vor sa se adapteze normelor noii tari, altfel de ce ar fi plecat in primul rand, si de ce ar fi ales acea tara respectiva ca noua lor patrie? Amintiti-va, nimeni nu lasa o situatie buna sa mearga la una rea. La fel si pentru ierarhia religioasa. Cu ce drept deschide BOR si mai multe biserici in America de Nord si Europa occidentala unde structuri bisericesti existau, deschise cu zeci de ani inainte inventiilor lor politice? De ce BOR nu se concentreaza pe cei din Romania – Dumnezeu stie ca este o tara saraca de unde milioane de personae au IMIGRAT in alte tari cautand o viata mai buna? Cei care au lasat Romania in urma, nu ar prefera ei sa lasa si BOR in spate, si sa se alipeasca Bisericii independente si existente aici, American Orthodox Church (OCA)? Este clar ca copii/nepotii lor vor vorbii engleza in viitor si vor deveni americani in totalitate. Avand servicii religioase in romaneste, cu preoti care nu se adapteaza aici, cu o ierarhie bisericeasca platita si controlata de un guvern strain, va, in timp, indeparta acesti copii de la religia ortodoxa. Ei au nevoie de o biserica locala, condusa de ierarhii de aici, pentru oamenii de aici, folosind norme administrative si culturale, care le sunt cunoscute. Acesta este motivul principal pentru care BOR este vazut de multi de aici ca biserica din trecutul nostru, si OCA autocefal, este biserica prezentului si viitorul nostru in America de Nord.

    Patriarhul se concentreaza pe Migranti si Emigranti, fiindca el si guvernul roman mai au o anumita influenta peste aceste grupuri care sunt in “Diaspora” care pot fi folositi si acolo si cand se intoarc in tara, ca buni cetateni romani si membrii BOR. Pentru acelas motiv el si guvernul roman se concentreaza pe identitatea romaneasca, ca o necesitate a acelor ce sunt in afara Romaniei, chiar daca este valabil numai pentru cei mai proaspeti noi veniti din Romania. Marea majoritatea de cei cu origini romanesti in afara Romaniei sunt sau Imigrantii, copii exilatilor de dupa al doilea razboi mondial, sau urmasii primilor imigranti din Romania care s-au stabilit in Lumea Noua in anii 1890. Acest grup apreciaza mostenirea sa romaneasca DAR nu va fi considerata ca “Diaspora” nimanui, si nu se vor lasa pusi intr-o situatie unde ar avea de ales intre tara de mostenire si tara lor proprie. Pentru ei, loialitatea la patria lor si la credinta lor ortodoxa locala (asa cum cer canoanele ortodoxe) inlocuiesc toate legaturile cu natia de mostenire a lor sau ale inaintasilor lor. Pentru acest motiv Patriarhul si guvernul roman minimizeaza folosinta termenul “Imigranti” si exagereaza folosinta cuvintelor “Migranti” si “Emigranti”, aceste doua grupuri reprezentand singura posibilitate de “Diaspora” romaneasca, si singurele grupuri peste care mai pot avea o influenta politica.

  3. Toma Says:

    Mai invata.

  4. Viorel Says:

    Toma, fi serios. Tu, si cei ca tine, aveti ce invata de la acesti oameni care cauta adevarul si nu se murdaresc cu manipulari, compromisuri si minciuni!

  5. Gigi Says:

    Patriarhia Romana si guvernul roman stiu ca influenta lor peste cei din afara Romaniei este foarte limitata. La ultimile alegeri in Romania, 35% din populatia locala cu drept de vot a participat la vot. Aceasta cifra este mai putin decat 2% in afara Romaniei, unde numai 50,000 de romani in strainatate au votat la ultimile alegeri, si asta din cate milioane de romani care au parasit tara dupa 1990? Bine inteles, aceasta cifra este mai mare in tarile unde este un interes deosebit, ca in Republica Moldova, si printre “migranti” ca cei in Italia. In Statele Unite, Canada si Australia cifra este mai mica, dovedind ca “imigrantul” care doreste sa incepe o viata noua intr-o tara adoptiva, lasa in urma cea veche. Totusi, inca are nevoie de biserica…

    Singurul succes pentru Patriarhia Romana si guvernul roman incercand sa mentina o influenta peste romani din afara Romaniei este Biserica, fiindca este singurul loc important de centralizare a romanilor, odata ce parasesc Romania. O mai mare influenta peste aceasta comunitate exista cand au si un preot paroh care sustine activ politica patriarhiei si a guvernului roman. Atunci comunitatea bisericeasca poate deveni si una politica, o unealta in mana bisericii si guvernului roman. Iata de ce ei continua sa incerce sa puna mana pe bisericile din afara tarii… Iata de ce nu vor nici un ROEA si nici un OCA.

  6. Thomas Says:

    Ma surprinde. Toti corbiti, dar nici unul nu aveti nici o diploma in teologie. Ca voi o mai fost, si o sa mai fie pana la sfarsitul veacurilor. Dar adevarul va inviinge, si cand inviinge, vai de … vostru. Scriitorul…

  7. Administrator Says:

    Ma Thomas, ce scolit esti! Un vocabular murdar si agramat mai prapadit, rar se vede! Si tu ai ceva in teologie? Ce o fi? Diploma din Constanta? Nici macar atat…

  8. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    Toma este indoctrinat si nu mai poate invata nimic. Scoala din Constanta!

  9. Mike-Mihai Bocancea Says:

    Interesant, atat articolul cit si unele comentarii, dar sa lasam asta si eu as vrea sa ma refer la unele lucruri practice: de vreo 30 de ani ma aflu printre romanii-americani, cand am emigrat din motive politice, dar si economice as zice, ca daca nu erai membru de partid macar, pe vremea lui Ceausescu, nu o duceai prea bine in Romania, iar eu cu originea mea”nesanatoasa” nu aveam nici o sansa, cred eu. Aici in insorita (in ultima vreme nu prea) Californie, am cam luat-o de la inceput si ca sa devin macar Teacher ce eram acolo in Romania, am facut un BS si un Master si nici acum cu amenintarea concedierilor si restrangerea posturilor, se incearca chiar sa se distruga Public Education, nu avem un viitor prea sigur, si ne multumim daca gasim si vreo jumatate de norma pe la vreo scoala, mai incolo de mai mergem si pe freeway o ora dus si mai mult intors. Romanii incearca totusi sa cetripedeze ori cel putin sa se opuna fortei de centrifugare si izolare a totusi strainilor din America. Dupa mine esecul unirii Romanilor-Americani este ca nu se prea gaseste un stindard sub care sa se adune. Cei care s-au imbogatit, prea adesea sint fosti strungari, dulgheri, constructori, ingrijitori de batrani, etc. care au profitat de munca la negru si pe sfert platita a conationalilor proaspat veniti si cu acte mai putin in regula, si isi arata ignoranta gaunoasa si trufasa de neamuri proaste, cu care in Romania nici nu as fi stat de vorba, ca mi-ar fi insultat inteligenta cum zice yankeul. Totusi la unele agape care se tin pe la unele biserici, ca tot romanul care se respecta, mai trec si eu. Ultima a fost de boboteaza 2011 unde ii intilneam pe niste prieteni din Bucuresti, Timisoara, ba chiar si din Chisinau. E aici e aici, caci noi pe astia si ei insisi tot Romani se considera, mai ales aici. La agapa l-am remarcat si pe Consului de la Los Angeles, Catalin Ghenea, care si-a facut frumosul obicei sa onoreze cu prezenta sa unele agape Romanesti si ne-am intrebat de ce in atitia ani nu am vazut picior de consul din republica Moldova, desi o fi pe aici vreunul, macar cu titlu onorific. Oare domnul acela se duce macar in comunitatile Ruso-Americane, ori Gagauzo-Americane ?

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O Lord and Master of my life,
leave me not with the spirit of laziness,
of despair, of domination, or idle words.

Rather, give me, your servant, the spirit of integrity,
of humility, of patience, and of love.

Thus, Lord, grant me the wisdom to see my own faults,
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for You are blessed, now and forever. Amen.


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