Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America

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ROEA 2011 Congress

Author: ROEA Solia
October 15, 2011
ROEA 2011 Episcopate Congress
Excerpts (re: ROEA-ROAA merger-unity)
Graciously hosted by St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Church in Chicago, IL, the 79th Annual Episcopate Congress program of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America took place from September 29 – October 1, 2011…
Source and full text: from the Solia, Sep-Oct 2011 edition.

Archbishop Nathaniel convened the Congress Meeting in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn Hotel, beginning with the service of Invocation to the Holy Spirit.  Following the Roll Call and Verification of Mandates, Fr. Lazar confirmed the presence of 118 eligible clergy and lay delegates. The Session was called to order

Archbishop Nathaniel then presented his Address to the 79th Annual Episcopate Congress in which he summarized activities over the past year in and outside of the Episcopate. One of the major themes focused on the Episcopate’s history, Church order in North America, and the purpose of the newly-formed Assembly of Bishops… The assembled delegates offered a standing ovation following the Address…

Extensive discussion arose in relation to the External Affairs report. V. Rev. Dr. Remus Grama, the Episcopate’s External Affairs Representative, ably replied to questions related to the actions of the Mother Churches to create Assemblies of Bishops in regions of the world where Church administrative order is incomplete (i.e. North America). Archbishop Nathaniel completed the discussion by explaining the meaning and practical results of administrative unity of the Orthodox Church.

Following a break for lunch, the Congress reconvened and discussed the report of the Joint Dialogue Commission (JDC). Fr. Laurence Lazar explained that the work of the JDC was to negotiate a framework under which a potential union could take place. The next step involves the due diligence studies being done. The JDC has nothing to do with that work, other than to continue to monitor the situation and maintain communication with the ROAA.  Psa./Attorney Mary Lynn Pac-Urar summarized the activity of the Due Diligence Committee (DDC). She explained that the Congress voted to have this committee because the Proposal seeks the legal merger of two corporations, and the Episcopate has a fiduciary duty to engage in due diligence. The DDC does not deal with ecclesiastical or policy issues. The DDC has received some responses from the Archdiocese. The DDC needs to analyze what was received and what needs to be done to go forward. Lastly, a pro-forma plan on how a new Metropolia would function financially would have to be drawn up…

In other New Business a motion was made and passed: That the JDC and DDC of the ROEA meet face to face by Nov. 30, 2011 to decide the remaining issues pertaining to the unification, and that the ROAA committees should be invited to participate…

Special thanks to Fr. George Ursache and Parishioners of St. Mary Church, Chicago for hosting this year’s Congress with warm hospitality and generosity…

8 Comments to “ROEA 2011 Congress”

  1. Administrator Says:

    Acest raport despre Congresul ROEA 2011 arata clar ca, in ceia ce priveste problema fuziune/unire ROEA-ROAA, Status Quo a ramas, din nou, singurul drum logic. Iata ce s-a scris inainte de acest Congres in articolul precedent pe acest website ‘Dupa Congresul 2010’: “Dacă ROAA / BOR, nu răspunde la toate întrebările due Diligence ROEA, într-un mod satisfăcător, în plus faţă de cele mai generale intrebari, “Oamenii vor să ştie” subliniate mai sus, putem sa ne asteptam ca Status Quo sa fie singurul drum logic dupa Congresul 2011 si in colo.” Si asa este.

    Iata propunerea care a fost acceptata de Congresul 2011: “ca comitetele JDC si DDC de la ROEA sa se intalneasca pana la 30 noembrie 2011 pentru a decide [pasii urmatori] pentru procesul de unificare … si ca comitetele ROAA sa fie invitate sa participe…” Si daca inca nu vom avea raspunsuri complecte si satisfacatoare, atunci ce pot recomanda aceste comitete ROEA?

    Raportul Congresului 2011 din Solia spune clar ca pana-cum: “S-au primit numai o parte din raspunsurile la intrebarile adresate Arhiepiscopiei.” Aproape un an mai tarziu si nimic definitiv de la ROAA-BOR. Nu vor sa raspunde pe deplin? De ce? Putem merge inainte fara aceste raspunsuri? NU! Asa ceva ar fi irational – nefiresc din punct de vedere legal si moral. Si atunci? SA MERGEM INAINTE. Sa invitam pe cei care vor sa mearga sub ROAA-BOR, sa plece cat mai de graba, si sa ne lasa pe noi care preferam ROEA-OCA sa ramanem aici, in pace!

  2. Administrator Says:

    This report regarding the ROEA 2011 Congress shows clearly that, as far as the ROEA-ROAA merger/unity is concerned, the Status Quo has remained again, the sole logical path. Look at what was written in the preceding article on this website ‘Post 2010 Congress’: “Unless ROEA’s Due Diligence questions are properly and satisfactorily answered by ROAA/BOR, in addition to the more general, “People want to know” ones highlighted above, the Status Quo may also be the only rational course of action following the 2011 Congress and beyond.” And so it is.

    Here is the motion that was made and passed at the 2011 Congress: “that the JDC and DDC of the ROEA meet face to face by Nov. 30, 2011 to decide the remaining issues pertaining to the unification, and that the ROAA committees should be invited to participate…” And if we still do not receive complete and satisfactory responses, what can these ROEA committees possibly recommend?

    The Solia report on the ROEA 2011 Congress clearly states that until now: “The DDC has received some responses from the Archdiocese.” Almost a year later and nothing definitive from the ROAA-BOR. They don’t want to fully answer? Why not? Can we proceed without these answers? NO! That would be irrational - totally unacceptable, legally, morally. And then what? MOVE ON. Let anyone in the ROEA-OCA wanting to go under ROAA-BOR go – the sooner the better, and let those of us who prefer the ROEA-OCA stay here, in peace!

  3. Anonymous Says:

    At the 2010 Congress a vote was taken to proceed with the unity talks. The vote was something like 105 yes to 5 no. Fine, let the 105 leave the Episcopate and let the 5 stay….you wouldn’t even have enough for an Episcopate Council! Get real. All you do here is promote division. You are always telling people to leave. I don’t see the other side telling people to leave and go to OCA. I can see how you are against unity — you can’t even show any sense of working together with your own fellow Christians in ROEA. For shame.

  4. Administrator Says:

    Anonymous, as has been said many times before:

    -you have the right to your own opinions but NOT to your own facts; 

    -no attempt at rewriting history is allowed on this website;

    -you do have the right to your opinion in this merger/unity ROEA-ROAA debate but;

    -others also have the right to their opinions;

    -contrary to what you say, isn’t it more reasonable to say that discussing the pros and cons of the merger/unity ROEA-ROAA promotes understanding – not division?


    Even if some ROEA members have a predisposition to a ROEA-ROAA merger/unity, we all have the legal and moral obligation to ask our Due Diligence questions and more.  Various ROEA merger/unity committees, Episcopate Council, and our leadership all must act in the best interests of the ROEA.  If we even fail to obtain full and satisfactory responses to our Due Diligence questions we, as an Episcopate, are obliged to walk away from the discussions.  This has nothing to do with our preferences, but has everything to do with what is legally required in the event of ROAA non-compliance.  Simply put, if the other side is unwilling to cooperate with us and answer our Due Diligence questions, it will be their fault that the process has stopped.  However, individual parishes/missions or members who would choose to go under ROAA-BOR, even given ROAA non-compliance with our requests for Due Diligence information, should be permitted to go.  Keeping them in our Episcopate against their will makes no sense whatsoever.  And so we who choose to stay in the OCA say to those preferring to be in the ROAA under BOR: ‘If you feel better with them there, why did you join us here?  OK – you made a mistake.  So fix it now’.


    You mention that the other side does not tell people to leave and go to the OCA.  This is not a fair statement.  It is clear that if we in the ROEA would join the ROAA it means abandoning the OCA and going under BOR.  The reverse is not an option.  Unhappily, there is no option for ROAA leaving BOR and joining us under the OCA.  If there were, then your statement would hold, but since that option is non-existent, your statement is misguiding.  By bringing this non-existent option up you try to show that we are unfair.  Two bits of logic disprove your contention. How shameful of you in your dishonest attempt at tricking people. 


    Somehow you take last year’s ROEA resolution to proceed with Due Diligence as a vote FOR merger/unity.  Talk about trying to rewrite history.  Yes, it seems that most everyone in the ROEA wants to see the ROAA/BOR answers to ROEA Due Diligence questions, those predisposed to ROEA/ROAA merger/unity, as well as those not.  This has also been the case for the last couple of years.  Logically, how can ROEA members make up their minds on this topic without having full and satisfactory answers to these questions?   And so we obtain ROEA Congress resolutions as follows:


    This is a Cleveland ROEA 2010 Congress resolution: “We find the Joint Dialogue Commission’s merger proposal and its Annotations of 2010 with the recommended change in Point XI … acceptable as a preliminary step and a good theological basis for establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate in North America.”  This statement says that IF we were to go down the merger/unity route, the JDC’s proposed wording would be “acceptable as a preliminary step…”  However, the unresolved question remains IF we should go down the unity/merger route.  The 2010 Cleveland Congress showed its unrelenting desire for ROEA due diligence to be satisfactorily completed before any merger/unity decision is taken in the next resolution passed: “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.”  If anything, this statement underlines ROEA frustration with lack of ROAA compliance with ROEA Due Diligence requests.  In no way do these resolutions mean that the majority supports or does not support ROEA/ROAA merger/unity.  Claiming it to be so is patently dishonest.  And to further indicate ROEA frustration with ROAA lack of compliance with Due Diligence requests, our 2011 Congress even asked that our interested parties get together soon in order to see what can be done to finalize or end the unity discussion: “That the JDC (Joint Dialogue Commission) and DDC (Due Diligence Committees) of the ROEA meet face to face by Nov. 30, 2011 to decide the remaining issues pertaining to the unification, and that the ROAA committees should be invited to participate…” Frustration and date limits are the result of ROAA non-compliance and unwillingness to satisfactorily respond to ROEA due diligence questions.


    The facts clearly indicate a Status Quo situation as regards ROEA/ROAA merger/unity, and this for the last couple of years.  Will things ever progress?  This will depend on ROAA’s willingness in the next few months to fully answer ROEA’s Due Diligence questions as well as the more general ones people want to know…  Note the word “satisfactorily” which prefaces “respond”. Until that happens the merger/unity issue is stalled in the Status Quo … so say “my own fellow Christians in ROEA”.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    To the person who sent the reply for Administrator, As usual, your over-dramatic style severely distorted my statements. (At least you didn’t use words such as “cleptocratic”.) Let me try to make a couple points easier for you to understand.

    First, I did NOT say that last year’s ROEA resolution was “a vote FOR merger/unity.” I clearly stated that it was “to proceed with the unity talks.” This was in response to Administrator’s original statement (which has been repeated here many times): “Let anyone in the ROEA-OCA wanting to go under ROAA-BOR go – the sooner the better, and let those of us who prefer the ROEA-OCA stay here, in peace!”

    When I said “I don’t see the other side telling people to leave and go to OCA” I was speaking directly about those 105 yes votes (and everyone else who support further talks of unity) who do not say such nonsense as “Let anyone in the ROEA not wanting to unite with ROAA go to local OCA jurisdictions - the sooner the better, and let those of us who prefer the ROEA-ROAA unity stay here, in peace.” Rather, this divisive tone is unique to the few supporters of this website. But someone just couldn’t pass up the chance to take another cheap-shot against ROAA, even when they weren’t the ones being referred to. You are entitled to your opinions, but you are not entitled to misrepresent or distort mine.

  6. Administrator Says:

    Anonymous, when someone writes or says something, it is common that those words be taken at face value. This might be difficult if you try to distort reality through deceitful use of words, but it is common practice in a civilised discussion. Usually points made need no further explanation, but there you go, claiming that we distorted your statements, and so the need to clarify … so, explain away. You now claim that you: “did NOT say that last year’s ROEA resolution was ‘a vote FOR merger/unity… with the vote [that] was something like 105 yes to 5 no.’ [You claim to have] clearly stated that it was “to proceed with the unity talks.” This may be true, but your next statement shows your true intention: “Fine, let the 105 leave the Episcopate and let the 5 stay….” Anonymous, why would the 105 leave the Episcopate except if they were all for merger/unity and somehow it did not occur? Sorry, your explanation only confirms you really did mean “that last year’s ROEA resolution [vote which] was something like 105 yes to 5 no” WAS ‘a vote FOR merger/unity…’ What else could your words mean? Simple logic. Thanks for making it “easier for [us] to understand”. Really.

    Let’s be serious. Parishes/ missions and individuals from the early 1950’s, when BOR created what is now known as the ROAA, have had the choice between the ROEA and the ROAA, and most have chosen our OCA affiliated ROEA Episcopate, both before and after1990, the supposed change date to democracy in Romania. They voted with their feet as one does when offered a choice. Therefore, the question begs asking and demands a response: Why, other than having made a mistake, would anyone who wanted to be under ROAA/BOR choose to be under ROEA/OCA? Let me assume that most readers can figure out the logical answer on their own. No need to make it “easier for [us] to understand.”

    And so the following was written in a previous Administrator comment: “Let anyone in the ROEA-OCA wanting to go under ROAA-BOR go – the sooner the better, and let those of us who prefer the ROEA-OCA stay here, in peace!” There is nothing divisive here but a logical statement based on fact. This was also written: “we [in the ROEA] who choose to stay in the OCA say to those preferring to be in the ROAA under BOR: If you feel better with them there, why did you join us here? OK – you made a mistake. So fix it now.” Parishes, missions and individuals have already voted with their feet, before 1990 and after, and the vast majority have chosen the ROEA/OCA. Why are their votes now being challenged?

    And your proposal is “Let anyone in the ROEA not wanting to unite with ROAA go to local OCA jurisdictions - the sooner the better, and let those of us who prefer the ROEA-ROAA unity stay here, in peace.” Are you kidding? We open our doors to those knocking, we help them the best we can, and now they want to kick us out of our own places, built with great sacrifice by us and our forefathers? No way. They want to share our Church? They’re welcome, as others before have been. They want their own church, without the likes of people like us and our traditions formed here? Then, go and build your own churches and put them under whomever you choose. In the meantime, show some integrity and remove yourselves from our beds. Stop taking advantage of our kindness any further. Stop trying to take us over from within. Get real.

    As well, please refrain from throwing your cheap shots across these pages, or at these pages. Ideas, even conflicting ones, are welcome here… Deceit and insults are not. In addition, we do not attempt to misrepresent or distort anyone’s views, but understand that all we can do is take your words at face value. If you actually mean something else then, in future, say so by being more selective in your choice of words. However, if your intention is to attempt to deceive and misguide through your word choices, be prepared to again be called out.

    Anonymous, the only people causing division in this debate are those trying to twist the facts to suit themselves. There is nothing new in this. Deceit has been around a long time. But, good and honest debate is also part of our culture. I choose the latter. Hard debate can be blistering without being insulting, passionate without being unfair, opinionated without being crude. On this critical merger/unity issue I hope we agree that before any voting can happen, complete discussion should first take place, pros and cons debated, all required facts vetted, analyses completed, opinion papers submitted, with time then being given for members to process the information, discuss and make up their own minds. Our Church, our forefathers, our heroes and martyrs deserve nothing less.

  7. alexandru nemoianu Says:

    The motion passed by the “Vatra” Congress regarding the subordination toward the Romanian Patriarchate expressed just an intention to continue talks if possible. It is necessary to complete the work of the Diligence Committees. That means the “missionary” contraption [ROAA] has to provide clear and veritable documentation regarding its financial activity and properly respond to all questions asked. So far, the “missionary” contraption is unwilling or unable to provide that documentation.

    In regard to the motion, a few things have to be pointed out. First of all, in matters of truth the opinion of the “majority” has no relevance whatsoever. Secondly, the problem of the subordination has to be debated by all the faithful, by the General Assemblies of all and each parish of the “Vatra” Episcopate. The matter cannot be decided under dubious dealings concocted by a few persons. In order to be more clear:

    The General Assemblies of the parishes are and have been forbidden to debate the proposal of subordination under the Romanian cleptocratic Patriarchate. The delegates to the Congress were selected, in too many instances, by “certain” members of the clergy motivated by personal, pro-subordination interests, and frankly - morally bankrupt people.

    The future of the “Vatra” Episcopate was decided in 1960: as part of North American Orthodoxy.

  8. Tomas Says:

    [Dl. Nemoianu],

    Daca tu crezi ca majoritatea trebuie sa asculte de tine, ca parerea majoritare nu are nici o valoare, esti un XOXO.

    Si daca adunariile generale pariahiale vor sa iese de sub episcopie, pot. Sunt multe altele care a facut acest lucru si sunt multe care vor face acest lucru daca nu se face aceasta unire sub BOR!

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