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News from ROEA Congress

Author: Mark Stokoe
October 8, 2010
News from Around the OCA, Cleveland Ohio:

Status Quo for Romanians

The 78th Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America was held October 1-2 at St Mary Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio.

It was the first time in decades the meeting was not held over the 4th of July weekend at the Vatra, near Grass Lake Michigan. According to a press release concerning the Congress from the Episcopate “A great deal of time was then given to discussing the reports of the Legal and Financial Due Diligence committees called for by the 2008 Congress.” In the end the 2008 Unity Proposal was “refined”, a new 2010 Proposal accepted, with the caveat that the due diligence studies be completed before any union is considered.

In 2008 an earlier Congress had recognized the “Proposal to Establish the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate in North America” as an acceptable basis for talks toward creating a possible union of the two existing Romanian jurisdictions in the Americas, one currently under the OCA and the other under Bucharest. The goal of the 2008 Proposal was the creation of a successor Romanian “Metropolitanate” with a unique status of “maximal autonomy”, meaning it would be under the omophorion of the Church of Romania but not subject to its administrative jurisdiction.

The due diligence studies, concerning finances and legalities, were seen as integral to any decision regarding a merger of the two entities. However, according to sources close to the Episcopate, there was an attempt by the JDC (Joint DialogueCommission) to override the agreed upon process by presenting an unauthorized, modified version of the 2008 Proposal at the Episcopate Council meeting this summer for adoption. This Assembly ended up agreeing to a “refinement” of the Proposal, at the same time affirming the need that the due diligence committees work proceed. As the Episcopate described it: after “hearing that the committees were not yet able to give a positive report”, and “….wishing to encourage progress, (the) Congress respectfully urged that the necessary information be gathered by the end of the year, so that the committee’s findings, essential to the process, would be completed in as timely a manner as possible.”

According to informed sources, the financial and legal difficulties/problems between reconciling the two jurisdictions are so complex, such that it is unlikely they can be completed anytime soon. The decision, therefore, reflects the Council’s almost 50/50 split concerning the basic question of unity, such that both sides can now claim “progress” towards their desired outcomes.

One Comment to “News from ROEA Congress”

  1. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Congress”

    It was just normal that the Romanian Episcopate Status remains, and God willing will remain unchanged.

    The Romanian Episcopate (Vatra) is an American institution and its future lay with that of the American Orthodoxy. In fact, the Vatra Congresss has no power to change the relations with the OCA. The very nervous and contradictory reactions of “some” is proof that the Romanian Episcopate(Vatra) is fine, on the right track and with a secured future. Thank God [for] Orthodoxy and that [we have] no such thing as infalibility.

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