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ROEA 2010 Congress - Clarification

Author: Archbishop (Arhiepiscopul) Nathaniel
October 18, 2010
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Statement of Clarification:

Concerned that unofficial internet postings distort and misrepresent the current status of the dialogue of reconciliation with our sister Romanian eparchy in North America, we offer the following information.

Source: www.roea.org

The Press Release posted on our website, www.ROEA.org, is the only official statement of the ROEA on this issue. We deplore any other postings that claim to report factual information from unknown “sources close to the Episcopate”. Such erroneous postings disinform and foster disunity in the Church and our Episcopate.

We likewise deplore misrepresentations of the Episcopate Council or Congress. Stating that unity would be desirable, our dialogue with the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas (ROAA) was established in 1993 not by the Episcopate Council but the Congress, which has repeatedly endorsed its work. The role of Council is to implement the decisions of Congress. The dialogue is thereby the work of the entire Church.

We deplore denigration of the members of our Joint Dialogue Commission. The JDC operates with our blessing and direction. Its sensitive work has been long and often difficult. There is no truth to the assertion that it attempted to override the agreed process by presenting an unauthorized version of the 2008 “Proposal” at the summer Council session or at any time.

As repeatedly stated, the July 2008 Congress recognized the “Proposal to Establish the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate in North America” prepared by the two dialogue commissions, as an acceptable basis to continue the work that would lead to a final text that could be presented to the Church of Romania. That Congress also called for legal and financial due diligence studies. As openly reported, the JDC was directed to weigh and interpolate into the

Proposal any pertinent input from the Clergy Conference, Council and Congress.

The 2009 Congress was informed that the Proposal was nearly complete but the Archbishop asked for further study on one of the points. The Congress was also informed that the “annotation” (notes of clarification) of the Proposal, requested by Council, would be presented once the Proposal text was completed. This refined, finalized Proposal, negotiated by the two eparchial commissions with the blessing of their hierarchs, was received by Council in October, 2009 and was debated at length. The Annotated version (i.e. that explains what both sides understand the Proposal points to mean and their common vision of working toward the administrative unity of all Orthodox jurisdictions in North America) was presented to Council in June, 2010.

There was no deception by the JDC, nor did it ever attempt to override the process in any way. The text presented in October, 2009, together with the annotations presented in June, 2010 and a one-word change suggested by Council on September 30, 2010 comprise the actual, authorized text passed by Episcopate Congress on October 1, 2010. There is no “unauthorized” text.

We are dismayed to read that the September 30 Episcopate Council session in Cleveland was split 50/50. This report must be based upon speculation, personal opinion or wishful thinking, since the clear majority voted to recommend the Proposal and Annotations to the Episcopate Congress. The next day, Episcopate Congress overwhelmingly passed a resolution accepting the same Proposal and Annotations that had been properly received by Council months before and recommended in its latest session.

Some may feel that the dialogue remains “status quo” because no change of status has been enacted by either of the two Romanian Orthodox eparchies. On the other hand, the October 1 resolution of Congress effectively benchmarks the text as being final, and represents further progress toward the reconciliation of our two sister eparchies.

Of course, no progress beyond this point is possible without a sufficient exchange of legal and financial information. To this end, the Episcopate Congress also passed a resolution urging timely completion of the due diligence studies.

Finally, it is pure speculation to claim that the financial and legal due diligence issues are “so complex” that it is unlikely they can be completed anytime soon. In the reports offered by the Due Diligence Committees, no such statement has ever been made. Quite to the contrary, it is our expectation and the expressed expectation of the Congress that the due diligence committees will complete their work in a timely manner.

The Episcopate Congress passed the following resolution concerning the Dialogue: “We find the Joint Dialogue Commission’s merger proposal and its Annotations of 2010 with the recommended change in Point XI to read, “…the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church shall issue the Gramata…”, acceptable as a preliminary step and a good theological basis for establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate in North America.”

The Episcopate Congress also passed the following resolution concerning the Due Diligence process: “That the Congress hereby supports the efforts of the due diligence committee in requesting information from the ROAA and urges the ROAA to provide such information in a timely manner, but not to exceed 90 days from the date of the request and this resolution will be included in the due diligence requests. If any further information is requested of the ROEA, please make such request and it will be provided in a timely manner by our due diligence committee.”

We deplore the fact that members of the media, whether traditional or “new,” would post ostensible news stories without the merest attempt at verification or fact-checking. We urge the members of our God-protected Episcopate and all faithful Orthodox Christians to refrain from speculation that only disinforms, inflames the passions, and exacerbates enmity between the people of God.

The process of reconciliation proceeds at its own pace. We are aware that some are frustrated by its slowness while others are alarmed by its speed. We appeal to all to show forbearance and charity, and to trust that the unhappy controversies that have for too long divided the Orthodox faithful of Romanian origin in North America will be resolved in God’s time and according to His Will.

+Archbishop NATHANIEL

14 Comments to “ROEA 2010 Congress - Clarification”


  1. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    OCANews.org has been asked to post the [above] official [Statement of Clarification] from the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate.
    OCANews.org - Editor’s note: “OCANews.org stands by its earlier reporting [‘News from ROEA Congress’ Oct.8, 2010, available on this website and in original form on http://www.ocanews.org. The Archbishop fails to cite one instance where what we reported was factually incorrect. His criticisms are only in matters of characterization: e. g. whereas the Archbishop claims the process “proceeds at its own pace”, and “will be resolved in God’s time”, OCANews.org described it as “unlikely to take place soon”. Our sources described the legal and financial details of merging the two jurisdictions (which the “Due Diligience Committee” has been at for months now ) as “complex”; the Archbishop rejects this charactization as “speculation”. Then why does it take a team of lawyers, and months to prepare it? And still no final report is ready to present?
    OCANews.org will continue to report on these negotiations which could potentially affect all Orthodox Christians in North America - despite the Archbishop’s disapproval. In a spirit of transparency and accountability we would welcome him anytime to speak with us openly about the process.”


  2. Anonymously sad about it all Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at Archbishop Nathaniel’s “clarification”. Where does one start? With the trip to Romania a couple years ago where the Patriarch proffered an offer that the JDC didn’t tell the people of the Episcopate about for months, or their denial that there was an offer or their agreement with it? Or maybe that the JDC continues to work presuming that the Episcopate going back under the Patriarchate in Bucharest after being here for over 100 years, and part of the OCA for 40 years is a good idea? Or that Archibishop Nathaniel can’t seem to tell anyone where he really stands on the issue?
    God help to good people of the Episcopate, and keep them safely in the Church in America. You can rest assured that the Patriarch in Bucharest is not looking out for our interests here.


  3. Fr. David Subu Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    As a witness, at all these events, including the Episcopate council meetings, I can concur that His Eminence’s reporting is nothing but accurate, and while I respect Mr. Stokoe’s right to editorialize (and often agree with him), I cannot agree with his comments in response.

    For example, it is neither correct that the council was split 50/50 on the proposal or that the DDC (Due Diligence Committee) ever stated that the issues were “so complex…” What they did report is that they did not have enough information yet to make a positive approval for further steps to be taken. All of this is a matter of public record. So, there has been some poor reporting done (lack of fact-checking), I’m sorry to say. Keep up the good work, Mark, we love you.


  4. Anon Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    Mark, you asked: “Then why does it take a team of lawyers, and months to prepare it? And still no final report is ready to present?” I’ll tell you why, because LAWYERS are involved. Lawyers will say even the most straightforward matter is “complex” if they think they can MILK a client for BILLABLE HOURS. Unfortunately, “ethics” among lawyers is a smoke screen to fool us laypeople into believing they’re ethical. Today we have too many attorneys chasing too few clients. The self-serving Rules of the Court specify that only a licensed attorney can represent an organization. What a deal, file a lawsuit (or threaten to file one) to CREATE WORK for your profession. We laymen need to expose this racket and chase the unscrupulous out of our legal system. If attorneys were road builders, we’d still be driving on dirt roads with posted signs “your tax dollars at work.” Road building is complex and takes time you know.

    I know this comment is a little off topic, but a synonym for “complex” is “discombobulated.” Using dicombobulated and attorney in the same sentence is being redundant. It is time for citizens and parishoners to “take back the night” from attorneys and politician/attorneys. To the extent our bishops and priests are practicing this dark art of deception, away from them too.

    Having attorneys involved with this Romania matter is a guarantee that it will be made “complex,” even it it is not. Jesus said “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.” Perhaps he meant to say “You shall have complexity, and complexity shall ensalve you, sucker.” (I realize my comments do not apply to all attorneys, or bishops, or priests… However, stereotypes sometimes emerge when behaviors warrant them. Food for thought. Met. Herman is a good example. Look how he tried to erect a wall around his corruption with a bevy of expensive attorneys. Proskauer Rose’s outstretched palms were probably sunburned.)


  5. Fr. David Subu Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    Anon, your statement might be accurate if not for the fact that the attorneys on the DDC are all working for free and at expense to themselves, and have been dedicated supporters of the Episcopate for years. We though these individuals a debt of gratitude for their work and for suffering the kind of calumny you have posted.

    The reason this process has taken months is not because of the Episcopate’s counsel, but because information has been slow in forthcoming from ROAA. The issues are complex because they actually are. period.


  6. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    LOL. Didn’t I just say that?


  7. Anonimus per Scorilo Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    Archibishop Nathaniel can’t seem to tell anyone where he really stands on the issue? It’s because he is between the hammer and the anvil. The way things go, if he does not unite with the Romanians under Bucharest, the next ROEA archbishop will be +Irineu. And I think even Mr. Nemoianu would agree that between going under Bucharest and having +Irineu as archbishop the first choice is the brightest.

    The only way out is to have another ROEA auxiliary bishop, so that people will have a choice when +Nathaniel retires. However, so far the pro-union crowd is silently boycotting such attempts (Fr. Morris was not elected, Fr. Berger is not put forth as a candidate), and with +Irineu the only viable choice for successor this is driving the whole Romanian Diocese in the arms of Bucharest.


  8. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    Again from the same poster, such un-Christian insults and lies against a good bishop who does not deserve it. Bishop Irineu is not some “undercover agent” as those on the fringe try to lead us to believe.

    Though not coming out and saying it, the comment author’s intent is clear: division between the Romanian and American members of the diocese. Fortunately, I believe the great majority of the people see through these sad attempts at division. These kind of politics are shameful whichever side they come from. Politics have no place here. We are the Church and should act as such.


  9. Anonimus per Scorilo Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    I am sorry if anyone feels insulted, but I do not think one should confound Christianity with absence of discernment.

    I simply do not think +Irineu has the vision, theological depth or ability to inspire people that the future leader of the ROEA should have. He is an nice honest guy, who might do a good job as an auxiliary bishop, but it is obvious to everybody he is not in the same category as +Nathaniel, or +Basil, or +Benjamin, or +Joseph of the Western Europe Romanians. And I do not believe lowering one’s standards and calling everybody who visits a few churches and stays away from trouble “a good bishop” will solve this problem.

    P.S. I never said he is an undercover agent for Bucharest - he has been much too vocal for that. However, the fact that no other auxiliary bishop is elected pushes things towards Bucharest, and it is hard to believe that everybody involved in this is playing fair.


  10. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ocanews.org ‘Comments’ regarding “ROEA Clarification”

    You Romanians get it right! Those pushing to unite under FOREIGN BISHOPS comes from those in the U.S. from Romania. It IS NOT CANONICAL to go under foreign bishops. The Canons of the Orthodox Church are clear, foreign bishops have NO authority over territory outside their immediate See. This is why in the United States, ALL the groups under foreign bishops are technically, non-canonical. LOCAL BISHOPS RULE OVER LOCAL CHURCHES without any reporting to or rule over by FOREIGN BISHOPS. This is why the Ep. Ass. is baloney! WAKE UP ALL YOU ROMANIANS! You have freedom to run your own churches under the OCA in a canonical manner. Under FOREIGN BISHOPS you subject yourselves to DESPOTS!


  11. tom Says:

    I have one question. Archbishop Nathaniel denounces even this sorry “guardians of the vatra website”. Interesting! Listen. It comes down to one thing. Most Americans are against unity, which is ok. They have a right to opinion. But most Romanians, which makes up the majority, want unity. Now if all you people against unity who write on this sorry blog do not understand this, then I wonder how … you people (some) managed to get a diploma in theology. And those of you who did, we know how and from where.

    The vote towards unity passed overwhelmingly at the past Congress. The roea website even clarifies this. What more do you want? Unity will happen sooner or later. Those of you against, just stay away and stop causing problems.


  12. Administrator Says:

    Archbishop Nathaniel decried reporting of the Congress by the only website that even commented the ROEA Congress until then, i.e. “ocanews.org”. Words like “most” or “majority” cannot be used here. NO ONE HAS VOTED ON GOING UNDER BOR OR STAYING WITH THE OCA!

    The only thing voted on at the Congress was that discussions could continue while the Due Diligence process was still underway, AND NOTHING ELSE! Where were you when the ROEA Cleveland Congress took place?


  13. Mihai Says:

    Why was it voted for further discussions to take place and not for discussions to stop? If the congress was against uniting under BOR, then why did they not vote to end disscussions once and for all? We all know everyone would like all Romanians to unite under BOR. The majority of members of this episcopate are ROMANIANS. The vote of congress proves this. We are Romanians.

    Those of you who are against (including you Fr. Subu…….who by the way ruined and continues aroy) stay out and remain with OCA [and leave us Romanians alone] si lasa-ne pe noi Romanii in pace.


  14. Administrator Says:

    At the ROEA 2010 Congress, the Due Diligence committee reported that the ROAA had not been cooperating on the process.  The Congress mandated them to go forth with this:

    the Congress hereby supports the efforts of the due diligence committee in requesting information from the ROAA and urges the ROAA to provide such information in a timely manner, but not to exceed 90 days from the date of the request and this resolution will be included in the due diligence requests”.  It seemed very clear that Congress was not happy with ROAA’s lack of cooperation but wanted to give it another chance.  Remember, all that was asked for is information from the ROAA, and both sides, for and against going under BOR, are interested in getting answers to their questions from ROAA-BOR, and for this reason, most present wanted the Due Dilligence Committee to complete its work. There is no further discussion needed other than to obtain complete answers to ROEA questions.  The vote at Congress proves only that EVERYONE IN THE ROEA IS VERY INTERESTED IN THE ROAA-BOR ANSWERS TO OUR DUE DILIGENCE QUESTIONS. (These questions should include those often heard, e.g. “Who pays ROAA Bishops?” or “Who are the Priests in North America that were/are Securitate/Romanian Secret Police agents?) 

    If anyone should leave our Vatra it is NOT people like Fr. Subu who love this Episcopate, but people like yourself who joined the ROEA-OCA under false pretenses, (i.e. to infiltrate our ROEA and bring us under BOR) when you should have chosen the eparchy you prefer, which is the ROAA-BOR.


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