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ROEA Hierarchs in Rome

Author: TrinitasTV
November 24, 2010
Romanian Orthodox Hierarchs from Western Europe and America Meet in Rome

Source: unofficial translation of an article found at

The third meeting of the two Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Synods in [Western/Meridional & Central/Northern] Europe, as well as Hierarchs from the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas [ROAA] is taking place at the headquarters of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Italy in Rome until Nov. 26, 2010 says TRINITAS TV.  Also participating are the Hierarchs of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in America [ROEA].  This meeting of the Hierarchs has as its theme “Canonical Conscience and Orthodox Ecclesiology”.

“At this meeting we not only share pastoral experiences from these regions of the world, but more significantly the pastoral experiences of over 100 years in America or France, and the various aspects of the mission amongst Romanian Orthodox who emigrated during the last 20 years.  The passing on of our faith and the Romanian Orthodox traditions, the maintenance of our identity, both Christian and Romanian, as well as other aspects of missionary-pastoral life and cultural life from within our eparchies is discussed.  Today we had a thematic meeting concerning the Church’s canonical conscience and its mission in the West” said His Grace Siluan, Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox of Italy…

19 Comments to “ROEA Hierarchs in Rome”

  1. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [ highlighted portions of the above Nov. 24, 2010 news item from Romanian Patriarchal news sources on Dec. 3, 2010 and added the following commentary.]

    “Patriarchial Romanian websites reports on a pastoral meeting of Romanian hierarchs in Western Europe and America in Rome on November 26th that make no mention, but clearly appear to include both Archbishop Nathaniel and Bishop Irineu of the OCA, are raising eyebrows throughout Romanian America…”

    “… Neither the OCA nor the ROEA websites have posted notice of the event…”

    “…The OCA’s ROEA is currently in protracted negotiations with Bucharest to discuss a merger of the Romanian-American ROEA with the Patriarchal jurisdiction in America (ROAA) to create a new Romanian Metropolis in America in union with Bucharest, apart from the OCA…”

  2. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    I do not think there was anything special about this meeting, the Romanian hierarchs in the West meet every few years, this is the third or the fourth such meeting. From the looks of it, and from the presence of Fr. Patriciu Vlaicu (whose talk at the Romanian Metropolitan Assembly this summer had the same title as the title of the meeting) in one of the photos, they probably focused on pastoral issues, how to apply the canons, iconomia, akrivia, what to do about the 98% of the Romanians in the West who leave the church after the first generation, etc.

  3. Fr. Nicholas Apostola Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    Dear Mark, . . . The meetings of the Romanian Hierarchs outside of the Romanian borders was instituted by Metropolitan Joseph of Parish. Archbishop Nathaniel was an ordaining Hierarch at his ordination. Metropolitan Joseph also served as Locum Tenens for the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas in the period leading up to the election of Archbishop Nicolae…

    … His intention was and is to strengthen the bonds of those Romanian Orthodox Hierarchs in the “so-called” diaspora, as well as to provide the opportunity to share experiences and methodologies. As has been already noted, these have now been held for many years, on a rotating basis. There are no nefarious motives. The Patriarchate has no hand in this. It is meant to be a means to heal the bitter memories and wounds of the post World War II period, and to move forward to minister to the growing Romanian Orthodox diaspora. As far as I can understand, this is a supremely Christian principle.

  4. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [ Fr. Apostola, You say the meeting was] “To solve the bitter memories and wounds of the post WW II period…”

    Wow, that is a commendable aim or, as some would say, it is cool! However lofty, empty declarations amount to nothing but an exercise in futility. Words have meaning and declarations of faith have to be associated with facts and works.” So, faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” (St.James,2,14.)

    In order to be more clear. On a physical level in order to heal one has to know what to heal. In order to heal the physician has to know the specific sickness. On a spiritual level in order to pray for forgiveness a spiritual father has to hear a confession and the confession of the sin. I very much doubt that a spiritual father will read the prayers of forgiveness for “bitter memories and wounds of the past”. Without confession and repentance forgiveness is not possible. That is basic! In order to be even more clear.

    In the case of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of America, as long as it refuses to display a shred of contrition for its sins, as long as it refuses to acknowledge that it was a tool of communist Romania and the Romanian state, there should be no “dialogue” or forgiveness.

    May St Nicholas, whom we celebrate tomorrow, pray that those who carry his name will grow in theological understanding and humbleness.

  5. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    The visit in Rome of the ROEA Hierarchs was a suprise, and not necessary good one, for quite a few Romanian-American Orthodox. Here it is not about insinuations and innuendos (and it is quite curious why such “qualities” are attributed to Romanian-Americans and not to Romanians Hierarchs of the Romanian Patriarchate) it is not even about nefarious plans (among them the actions of the JDC), it is only about a consistent policy of total screcy. And by the way.

    Healing of past misdeeds can be accomplished only by naming those misdeeds. That is for the Missionary Archdiocese of America to acknowledge that [it] was a tool of the communist Romania and is a tool of the Romanian State.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    There have been statements communicated in the past in which the Romanian Patriarchate and the Romanian Archdiocese have acknowledged past transgressions. What does Mr Nemoianu ask for now, a laundry list of every last thing down to every “evil eye” and “baba” curse? It’s getting old. I, as a ROEA parish member, am more concerned with the here and now. I want to be a part of a Church that is concerned with being the best Church it can be now and in the future. Let’s have reasonable and respectful discussions about that. I understand that there are psychological effects of living under an oppressive regime such as communism, but there comes a time when people must finally move on and think of the modern day reality. Mr Nemoianu is not a member of any ROEA parish, to know what the reality is in a ROEA parish, so I find it odd in itself that he is full of so much expertise on a Church that he has never really been a part of. Is better communication necessary? Yes of course, let’s focus on improving that. But should we use poor communication on the part of our own archbishop as a way to take even more cheap shots at Romania? It’s just petty politics and it’s sickening.

  7. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [Anonymous,] do you really think that asking for an assessment of 50 years of Communist domination of the Church is a “cheap shot”? Or that 50 years of collaboration can be overcome, administrative, physcological, or spiritually, by a one page letter that says “va rog sa ma ierti”?
    Gee, wish my father confessor was so generous!

    Moreover, Mr. Nemoianu’s point, it seems to this reader, is not just about the past, but also current collaboration with the Romanian State and its policy objectives. Does one just ignore that? (And please, don’t tell me that doesn’t exist - just look at the Patriarch of Russia’s comments about the USA regarding Cuba last week: “During the meeting, Patriarch Kirill strongly rejected the almost 50 year-old economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba and said this unilateral measure should be immediately eliminated as it deliberately brings hunger, diseases and desperation to people. According to Prensa Latina news agency, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church praised the efforts being made by the (Cuban) government … to focus its attention and give top priority to human beings and the family, in particular.”)

    The head of the Russian Church, or the Romanian Church is free to criticize the USA. However, I think it prudent of Orthodox Americans wishing to place themselves under their obedience to consider the political and social costs of such, as well as the spiritual ones. I think that is the question Mr. Nemoianu was raising, which is not just “petty politics”. )

  8. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [Maybe Mr Nemoianu remembers] Fr Staniloae’s views on the post-communist Romanian Orthodox Church… He insisted that the Church must avoid the spectacle of public condemnation of those who sinned and capitulated to the communist authorities. He insisted that the Church has the proper ways to deal with this through the Sacrament of Confession. Even when pressed by the interviewer whether a more public and specific forgiveness was needed, he did not seem to understand why anything more than the Sacraments was necessary. In regard to the Church’s culpability, he said: “What can we do? There is a long road from teaching to practice. Nobody is perfect in this world. Nor are the churchmen…

    … It should be noted that the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, on January 10, 1990 (just a few weeks after the 1989 revolution in Romania), did take a quick and positive step by issuing a statement apologizing for those “who did not always have the courage of the martyrs,” and expressed its regret that it had been “necessary to pay the tribute of obligatory and artificial praises addressed to the dictator” to ensure certain liberties. They also at that time rescinded all ecclesiastical sanctions on those clergy who were sanctioned for political reasons. Since then, a number of individual bishops and priests have publicly asked forgiveness in one way or another (and unfortunately some did not), and the Church has done a lot to improve not just the amount of work that they do but also the quality and integrity of it (of course, if you dig enough you’ll find some misdeeds too, but we certainly don’t condemn the entire OCA because of the misdeeds of a few in Syosset). So if anyone has been told that in the past 20 years all that came out from the Romanian Church was a one page letter simply saying “please forgive us”, you have been told wrong.

    Those of us living in America can only begin to imagine what it must have been like to live under such a system. We cannot fault those who chose to leave and escape to the west to live in freedom. However, it is equally as important not to judge those who stayed in Romania and suffered under the dictatorship, especially those who had to struggle with how to hold together a Church that could have easily gone the way of the Church of Albania (total destruction by the atheists). God knows what individuals do, what they need to do, and He alone will judge them for it. Call me naïve, but I thought that’s what I learned in Church School years ago.

    So again I would suggest, let’s stop beating the dead horse of the past. I’m not saying to bury our heads in the sand, but if there is a problem in the present then cite concrete specific examples without using insinuation, assumptions, or insulting and hateful language (”nefarious”… “contraption”… don’t tell us that’s not insulting). For example, I may not agree with Mark when he recently tried to infer a point about Romania by criticizing something Moscow did – we Eastern Europeans aren’t all the same, you know – but I respect that he is trying to make a point by using actual events and not just throwing out grand statements and insulting labels. No matter how much you may not like someone or something, at least show basic respect when referring to a Church institution or clergy. A true intellectual would begin by doing at least that much.

  9. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    What Fr. Staniloae said in regard to the Romanian Orthodox Church and how it should cope with its errors of behavior under communism was about what happened in Romania. I didn’t passed judgment about what lay people or Hierarchs did under direct persecution. However the “missionary’ Archdiocese of America (yes, a communist contraption) is a different story.
    Its Hierarchs were not under direct persecution, they enjoyed the comfort and security of a free country. When they declared, here in America, that in Romania there was no persecution, when they said that no church was destroyed, when they accused the “Vatra” Hierarchs of being “fascists”, they were promoting the communist propaganda, the interests of the communist system, and they were willing collaborators of that system. Those were not declarations wrung out under duress, those were flat out voluntary lies. Those sins should be attoned for, those sins should be acknowledged, forgiveness should be asked for those sins.

    But when all we heard from the “missionary” (yes) contraption, is nothing but self righteousness, a feeling of outrage is natural. Brave “anonymous”, that is sickening! More than that. The “missionary”( yes) contraption, has the audacity to ask the JDC to include in the common declaration a petition of “forgiveness” for the sufferings Bishops Andrei and Victorin were subjected to under communism. (To its shame our JDC accepted that outrage.) What were those sufferings? The two were issued speeding tickets or were fined for jay walking when paying homage to their handlers in Bucharest? Please!

    Under such circumstances how can anyone trust that the Romanian Hierarchs are or will be but obedient executors of the Romanian state? For all these reasons (in addition to the fundamental Orthodox tenet that dioceses should be local) the Romanian-American Orthodox should and will remain part of the OCA. Again, in my opinion there is only one way,OCA all the way.

  10. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [Anonymous,] Thanks - but in defending me, you managed to avoid answering my question. I’ll repeat it specifically: By “returning” to the Romanian Church, how does one avoid being used by the Romanian state as a vehicle for its foreign policy, internal political policies? One can’t - anymore than the Russian Church can avoid being the tool of the Kremlin. As you so carefully point out, the Church in those countries lives as hostage to the secular powers, and have throughout their entire history. So, why should Americans, who are now free, make themselves vulnerable to such pressures forever into the future? For what? Ethnic identity? How does this evangelize America, where they are, rather than Romania, where they are not? There are lots of other questions, but I’d appreciate it if you could start with that one. Thanks.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    Mark, how can one give a serious answer to a hypothetical question? You asked a general question about the Church’s “current collaboration with the Romanian State and its policy objectives.” What specific policy objectives, in regard to anything which would affect us as an American Church, are you talking about? I’ve seen people throw around that idea, and yet no one has given specific, real situations. (And I’m sorry, but I still don’t see how you can reasonably attribute an action of Moscow to Romania in a completely unrelated situation. Is the Romanian Church involved in the Cuban situation? Did they actually make a similar statement? If so then tell us how. If not, then I think it is irrelevant.)

    As for your newest “specific” question, this is not merely a “returning” to Romania. If that were the case it could have been done and over with years ago…no complex negotiations, no agreements, no conditions. But the fact is that there is a proposed agreement that overwhelmingly and exhaustively outlines the administrative division between the Church of Romania and the Metropolitanate here. What’s left to understand? People just refuse to understand. They just keep throwing out the same general, non-specific questions and accusations to perpetuate and spread fear.

    We have lost and are losing thousands of Romanian Orthodox faithful in this country — immigrants who come and find a weak, divided Romanian Orthodox presence in America, who are easily persuaded by Protestants to leave the “hypocricy” behind. This is what is happening. I see it here in my hometown. People can wish all they want about an Orthodox America, but it will never happen if we do not even try, nor are capable, to keep our own Orthodox faithful. Doesn’t it make sense to allow the Romanian Church here to put its house in order? (God bless the OCA and all the good work they do, but being part of an un-recognized autocephaly just doesn’t seem to be a realistic option.) Maybe I seem like a broken record, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of being specific when making these accusations and to avoid assumptions…

  12. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [Anonymous,] This is perhaps not the best forum for an ongoing discussion of this size - but, one can easily give an answer to a “hypothetical” in this case, since the situation concerns any state church, such as the Romanian.

    How is it an advantage to evangelizing believers in America to be part of a state church of another country, especially one whose foreign policy, domestic, or economic interests may conflict with our own? In the past 50 years we have witnessed, in America, the Russian Church spouting the most horrible nonsense, because it was forced to by the Soviets; now what is it’s excuse?

    The simple facts is that every state Church is beholden to its state; and will be leveraged by that state to supports it foreign and domestic goals. Why should we, in America, play such games - especially when too often, they are against our own self interest? There is about as much chance of a future Romanian bishop, even a “maximally autonomous” one in this country criticizing Bucharest as there is a Serbian bishop supporting an independent Kosovo. That’s my point, friend. Having achieved freedom, who would return to state servitude?

  13. Anonymous Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    Mark- agreed, it is a big topic that a few paragraphs cannot adequately cover. But I think we’re stuck at a stalemate in regard to our opinions. Your statements center on the “what ifs”, taking as gospel truth (no pun intended) that having any kind of ties will spell certain doom and gloom and that the North American Church will certainly become an arm of a foreign government. I, on the other hand, am not such a pessimist.

    … I find it odd to make the jump to assume that a purely spiritual tie with a “foreign” Mother Church will mean absolute political servitude… Do the Serbs get involved in supporting the rights of Serbs in Kosovo because the Serbian government is forcing them to, or do they do it freely because they want to, because they believe it’s the right thing to do? And in the end … Romanians must do what is best for the Romanian Orthodox Church in North America. It is a family that must be reunited…

    … Why would a Romanian Orthodox bishop in North America, even a “maximally autonomous” one, be expected to criticize Bucharest? He should be minding his own business here, just as we should expect the bishops in Bucharest to mind their own business there. That, in my opinion, is the whole point of that proposed agreement…

  14. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [Anonymous,] we must continue to disagree. As for the desire of state Churches to function as apostles of the state, not just of the Gospel, I suggest you check out Metropolitan Hilarion’s conversations as reported by the US Ambassador, revealed by Wikileaks. We just don’t need foreign agendas, friend.)

  15. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    [Anonymous], I will answer your question regarding “specifics” of the present collaboration of the “missionary” Archdiocese, yes a communist contraption, with the Romanian State.

    In the Fall of 2009 there were elections in Romania. Under directions received from the Romanian ministry of foreign affairs, the Romanian Patriarchate instructed and requested that the “missionary” archdiocese’s (yes, a communist contraption,) churches be used as polling stations. The same ecclesiastic authorities made similar requests to “Vatra”‘ parishes. They were accommodated [by some in ROEA]. Not only this, but prior to the elections the same parishes were used for electoral debates open to all the parties involved. At least one of those political parties is an extreme right one and its leaders and those associated with them are not allowed to enter the USA.(A few years before the leader of that party was a heart beat from becoming Romania’ President!). If that is not collaboration with the Romanian state, even when contrary to the interests of the USA, and promotion of the interests of the Romanian state, then what is?

    Each year the USA’ State Department issues a report regarding freedom of religion in the world. In each of these reports, since 1995, the Romanian Patriarchate was castigated for its total subordination toward the Romanian State (fact confirmed by the circumstance that clergy of the Patriarchate are basically paid by the state, with taxpayers’ money). The only answer given by the Patriarchate was that this represents “inter-ference in Romania’s internal affairs” (a mantra used ingloriously by Ceausescu a couple of decades ago.)

    Those are specifics and they are enough for a normal person in calling off the idea of subordination toward such entities(i.e. the Romanian state and its Patriarchate).

  16. (Mr.) Carmen D. Valentino Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    With over sixty years of communist and neo-communist state control, the Romanian Patriarchate and its American counterpart , the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of America (ROAA) would best serve the vital interests of both the Romanian Church and State to desist from all manner of attempts to control the Romanian Episcopate of America(ROEA)

    The Romanian patriarch’s professed offer of “maximal autonomy” is in effect nothing less than the subjugation of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America to the political whims of the Romanian State.
    I do not see any beneficial or practical reality in the so-called union/”unire” of the two dioceses
    To paraprase Cato, “Unire delenda est” / “Union must be destroyed”

    (Mr.) Carmen D. Valentino
    -Descent of the Holy Spirit Romanian Orthodox Church (OCA),Elkins PArk/Philadelphia (1913)
    -Museum Curator/Fin.-Sec.Romanian-American Cultural & Beneficial Society,”Banatiana” (1906)
    -Pennsylvania Romanian-American Ethnic Heritage Commissioner,1990-94

  17. Subdeacon Robert Aaron Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    Mr. Valentino, can you not believe that the Holy Spirit is guiding this dialog and that he is directing us toward unity of the Romanian Orthodox in the US? Consider this, a unified Romanian Metropolitanate with its head, the Metropolitan, duly elected by a combined Congress, could sit at the table with the other hierarchs. These bishops meeting under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit could plan and with God’s grace, deciding to come together and make administrative unity real in the US by electing a patriarch as our head. This is my fervent prayer.

  18. Mark Stokoe Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    Editor’s Note: Except that both already “sit at the table”! By just talking about an “american Church” +Iakovos was retired more than a decade ago - so imagine what would happen if anybody tried to “elect” anything. ( BTW, no one elects anything at the EA; SCOBA elected its chairman, at least de jure; the EP appoints the chairman now.) Things are far more controlled now than then, so pinch yourself, Deacon. I think you are dreaming, not praying.

  19. (Mr.) Carmen D. Valentino Says:

    as posted on ‘Comments’ regarding “OCA Romanian Bishops Participate in Pastoral Meeting of Romanian Bishops”

    This is … but the application of American practicality /common sense; namely, “An ounce of prevention, is better than a pound of cure”. As earlier stated, sixty years of subjugation of the Romanian Patriarchate and its counterpart the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of America to the Romanian state , both entities with their attendent mischief making here in the United States, are not values to be cherished by true blue Americans. By the way, I am not a Romanian, but a proud third generation Romanian-American I suggest you take a course in American civics as well as Romanian-American history.

    (Mr.) Carmen D. Valentino
    Descent of the Holy Spirit Romanian-Orthodox Church (OCA),ElkinsPark/Philadelphia (1913)
    Fin.Sec./Museum Curator, Romanian-Amer. Cultural & Beneficial Society, Banatiana-V.Alecsandri, (1906)
    Fulbright scholar and researcher, Vienna (1968-9), Bucharest (1971-2)
    State of Pennsylvania Ethnic Heritage Commissioner (1990-94)

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