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BOR- Romanian First

Author: Administrator
December 5, 2011
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The Romanian Orthodox Church promotes Romanianism and not Orthodoxy in her “Diaspora”.

In the Nov. 23 2011 edition of the Ziarul Lumina newspaper, an article appeared (please see the preceeding article on this website) where it is clearly obvious that the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) is more interested in promoting Romanianism in the “Diaspora” than Orthodoxy - its sacred role.

The first words in that article are explicit: “…Father Ion Armasi’s [doctoral] work is the first scientific study which details aspects of the mission and Romanian pastoral care given at the global level…”  As well, We see that Father Ion Armasi Vartan speaks with authority being: “…Patriarchal Counselor for foreign communities, in the Church interreligious relations sector of the Romanian Patriarchate… “

Fr. Ion Armasi presents a position (well-documented from BOR archives to which he had access) regarding three problems with the ethnic notion of Diaspora and universal Orthodox thinking, and justifications for the points of view taken by BOR: 1) the problem of canonical jurisdiction when going beyond national frontiers into non-bordering, non-orthodox lands, and organizing Church structure along ethnicity rather than a territorial basis. - (phyletism)  2) the problem of canonical jurisdiction in the context of Romanian communities along the national borders - (Romanian neighbours - from Bessarabia/Hungary)  and 3) the problem of canonical jurisdiction when it is clear you are on the canonical territory of another Orthodox Church.  - (Jericho).  In short, these are current BOR problems, almost impossible for her to resolve given current policies, which the poor priest attempts  to justify in his doctoral thesis :

1)- Phyletism, which means organizing the Orthodox Church along ethnic lines is not canonical in Universal Orthodoxy because its organizational structure must be based on territoriality from the geographic perspective.  We see that BOR has “600 clerics (of whom 13 are Bishops and metropolitans)… 500 parishes and 40 monasteries, chapels in jails and hospitals” throughout the Diaspora, organized along strictly ethnic lines under BOR control.   Here is the problem by way of an example :  What are BOR’s Archbishop Nicolae and his clerics doing in the USA, on the geographic territory already occupied by Archbishop Nathaniel of the Vatra Episcopate, a part of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA)?  Hasn’t BOR seen that the Romanian phenomenon reduces significantly after 2-3 generations, but that the Orthodox one can continue and even grow, but only if it is well integrated in the society of adoption, that is an American Church where services are held in English here?  In other words, is the goal of BOR to promote orthodoxy accross the globe, or does BOR reduce itself to the position of being but a tool in the hands of the Romanian government, promoting their policies and Romanianism in order to control the Romanian Diaspora and as such influence those countries, even while it naturally shrinks as it is assimilated in the foreign lands of adoption, where Romanians have immigrated?

2)- Romanian neighbours, that is those that are Orthodox on the one hand and those that are not on the other, who, after generations and generations, continue to live a Romanian life.  Bessarabia on the one hand, which is in present day Moldova, is seen by the Russians, who at one time controlled it, as a part of their canonical territory.  Not only did Bessarabia constitute an informal part of Greater Romania before European nationalism took root and created these countries with formal borders, but here the Romanian language has always been spoken.  And so, Bessarabia is more a part of the Romanian Patriarchate than it is of the Russian Patriarchate.  And it is in this way that territorial disputes between Orthodox neighbours should be resolved, but unhappily for Romania, Russia is politically much more important than Romania on the world scene, and consequently, this dispute might drag on ad infinitum…  On the other hand, we have the example of non-orthodox neighbours, like the Hungarians, where it is easier to have Orthodox Romanian national eparchies which are BOR dependent, for the Romanian neighbours who find themselves on foreign territory.  But this can only occur until an Hungarian Orthodox Church emerges, where surely room will be made for those who, after so many generations, continue to live Romanian. Anything else is hard to argue.

3)- Jericho is the example of what not to do as an Autocephalous Orthodox Church.  BOR entered the canonical territory of the Jerusalem Patriarchate and without obtaining their approval, built a church in Jericho under BOR.  This is inadmissible in Universal Orthodoxy (what would BOR say if the Antiochian Patriarchate would open a church under Antioch in Bucharest, without BOR’s authorization?)  In this context, the Jerusalem Patriarchate  broke off communion with BOR and a schism in Orthodoxy now exists because of the pride of certain individuals.  A sin difficult to justify …

Pr. Ion Armasi tells us how important it is that “the Romanian Patriarchate has constantly been preoccupied with ensuring Romanians across all meridians a place for the soul, where they could participate in a service held in the Romanian language, officiated by a Romanian priest…” Yes, we’ve understood.  Outside Romania, BOR has room only for immediate neighbours living in Romanian, Romanian migrants and first generation Romanian immigrants.  There is no place for the children of immigrants who no longer speak Romanian after 2-3 generations.  (We have proof of this reality in our communities in the USA, Canada, France, Germany, England, wherever a Romanian immigration occurred focussing on Romanianism, and where we can speak with those of the 2-5 generation born in these foreign lands of Romanian immigrant parents.)   As well, BOR is preoccupied mostly with Romanian Orthodoxy and does NOT accentuate promoting orthodoxy in foreign lands, in local languages, even for Romanian offspring who now only speak English, French, etc., let alone promoting Orthodoxy among the local population who finds Orthodoxy to be something strange, even an aberration. By its words and actions it is clear that BOR promotes Bucharest control and Romanianism, and not the spreading of Orthodoxy across the globe, in the respective local languages and cultures.  Can this be the policy of an Orthodox Church?  This is what phyletism brings and yet another reason why Universal Orthodoxy condemns it.  This is BOR’s chosen path.  What a huge sin…

Finally, the referees of this doctoral presentation recommended this work not only to professors and students, but also for Romanian “politicians in diplomatic missions outside the countries’ borders.”  And with this last recommendation we understand more… Welcome to the State Church; used for the needs of the State, paid for and controlled by the Romanian government… and not by the American or Canadian governments here which refuse this type of relationship.

And we from Vatra ROEA/OCA should abandon our American Orthodox Church and subject ourselves to BOR, a foreign Church controlled by a foreign State?  Let’s think this one through carefully … very carefully.  There is no road back.  Even if we become an autonomous Metropolitanate, a “maximal” one, we will not be able to leave BOR without BOR’s approval.  And once we sellout, turning our backs on the OCA, no one would want us in any case …!  And for what reason would we do this?  Enough.

18 Comments to “BOR- Romanian First”


  1. Viorel Says:

    Plecand din Romania am inteles ca copii nostri nascuti in tari straine vor fi cetateni acestor tari si vor vorbi limba locala. Totusi am dorit ca ei sa vorbeasca si limba noastra stramoseasca si sa viziteze tara de origina. Nu am dorit ca ei sa fie sub ciocanul guvernului roman chiar aici in America de Nord.

    Mai presus decat toate, am dorit ca ei sa ramana ortodocsi si sa pastreze dreapta credinta ori unde ar fi ei.


  2. Matt Says:

    When will the Romanian Government understand that it is counter culture here to mix religion and politics. When will BOR understand that it should be, first and foremost, an Orthodox Church and not an extension of the Romanian Government, external affairs.


  3. Tomas Says:

    Vad ca esti plictisit tare. “De ce ti-e frica nu scapiiii”. Romanii se vor unii intr-o singura mitropolie aici in America. Iara tu … vei ramane pe din afara cu rusii.


  4. Administrator Says:

    Tomas, sunt plictisit de raspunsurile tale care nu raspund la problemele prezentate. Tu stii numai de vechi slogane repetate si insulte.


  5. Tomas Says:

    Eu repet un adevar, un adevar pe care il stii bine. Stiu ca ceea ce te roade pe tine e ca romanii sunt majoritari in aceasta episcopie (noi veniti din Romania),ca acesti romani vor fii uniti, si ca aceasta episcopie (facuta tot de romani) va devenii mitropolie. Cu cat accepti acest adevar mai repede, cu atat mai bine pentru tine. Dar grabeste-te, sa nu ramai singur cu conceptiile tale de doi bani.

    Si inca un lucru! Ar trebui sa se produca preoti americani. Lasa vorbaria si atacurile spre BOR ca deocamdata BOR a scolit si a produs toti preotii din aceasta episcopie, si episcopia noastra ii aduce de acolo in continuare. Nu vad “America” sau “Canada” sa produca nici un preot. Asa ca domnule administrator “tare si mare” (sa nu iti zic pe nume) fapte nu vorbe.


  6. Administrator Says:

    Ca or fi majoritar in Biserica noastre imigranti de prima generatie s-ar putea, chiar daca avem comunitati intregi de americani convertiti, si multe biserici care raman sustinute de cei de a doua si a treia generatie de romani, nascuti aici, in plus de cei din casatorii mixte. Totusi, aceasta nu este intrebarea esentiala. Problema noastra nu este atat prezentul cat viitorul. Este bine ca bisericiile noastre sunt pline de imigranti astazi, dar maine, unde voi fi copii nostri? Istoria ne dovedeste ca ei voi pierde limba materna dupa cel mult, 2-3 generatii. Nu vrem ca sa isi piarda si credinta stramoseasca. Deci, daca repetam greselile din trecut, bisericile noastre voi fi goale in doua generatii. Intrand in OCA si adapandu-ne la Ortodoxia Americana – locala, tot mentinand Episcopia noastre Romana, ne lasa sa evoluam la pasul fiecarui parohii. Ce vrem mai mult?


  7. Tomas Says:

    Problema noastra este ca tu care esti minoritar, vrei sa conduci pe romani care sunt majoritari. Parerile tale nu au nici o valoare, care membrii acestei episcopii vrea unirea sub BOR. Vorbesti in reluare. Interesul nostru este sa fim uniti. Asta inseamna BOR. Ca suntem romani, nu rusi. Punct.


  8. Administrator Says:

    Mai Tomas, opreste-te cu minciunile tale. Cum stii tu cine e majoritar sau minoritar in ceia ce priveste trecerea Vetrei sub BOR? Asta ar insemna sa parasim biserica locala ce este OCA si sa calcam canoanele ortodoxe care ne spun clar ca biserica ortodoxa este organizata pe principiu geographic si nu cel etnic. Daca am fi in Romania toti am fi impreuna sub BOR. In America de Nord acest principiu cere ca sa facem parte din biserica ortodoxa locala in America de Nord. Altceva nu este ortodox.

    Cu tristete vad ca indraznesti sa insulti frati romani si copii lor de aici in America de Nord care prefera sa ramana in OCA local decat sa se supuna sub BOR strain, tocmai in ziua de 24 ianuarie – o zi importanta in istoria romaniei. Din nou, nu uita ca ortodoxia cere ca sa fim organizati local, pe baza geografica, si nu pe grupari etnice, ceia ce este necanonic. Deci, daca am fi toti in Romania am fi toti in BOR, dar suntem aici si deci trebuie sa facem parte din ortodoxia Americana. OCA este biserica Americana care astazi regrupeaza mai multe grupuri etnice, si astfel face podul intre bisericile etnice de astazi si biserica nationala Americana de viitor. Iata cel mai bun plan pentru Biserica Ortodoxa in America, si in toate tari ne-ortodoxe, gandit de inaintasii nostri care au participat la infiintarea OCA-lui chiar din prima zi.


  9. Tomas Says:

    1.) Suna la Epsicopie si verifica. Majoritatea membriilor acestei Episcopii sunt romani.
    2.) Ierarhii nostrii au format si au binecuvantat aceasta procedura spre unitate sub BOR.
    3.) Biserica noastra mama este BOR nu OCA.


  10. Administrator Says:

    1-Mai Tomas, ce are de a face daca majoritatea membrilor din Episcopie sunt sau nu sunt imigranti, noi veniti, din Romania? Problemele de viitor raman aceleasi.
    2-Daca IPS Nathaniel vrea unitatea sub BOR el ne va spune, si atunci vom avea de ales…
    3- O mama nu paraseste copilul. Aceasta mama, dupa ce ne-a lasat, ne-a atacat in continuare. Astfel de mama nu mai are nici un drept. Nu uita ca OCA ne-a primit cand eram orfan, si ea a devenit mama noastra.


  11. Tomas Says:

    1-Majoritatea are cuvantul. Asta e oriunde in lume. Numai un … XOXO … nu intelege si recunoaste asta. Daca romanii care formeaza majoritatea membriilor acestei episcopii vor sa fie uniti sub BOR, minoritarii (tu) sa stea deoparte. Esti dus cu pluta, daca tu crezi ca parohiile noastre romanesti, si preotii nostrii vor accepta sa stea sub OCA inca 50 de ani.

    2-Ierarhii nostrii au binecuvantat dialogul acesta spre unire cu bor. Daca nu erau de acord……nu binecuvantau procesul.

    3-Mama aceasta de care vorbesti nu ne-a parasit si nu ne ataca. Numa prostii care traiesc in reluare se simt atacati.


  12. Administrator Says:

    Tomas, chiar ca nu citesti raspunsurile date? Deci, ultimul raspuns la comentariul tau trebue repetat. Ia citeste si tu un adevar.

    “1-Ma Tomas, ce are de a face daca majoritatea membrilor din Episcopie sunt sau nu sunt imigranti, noi veniti, din Romania? Problemele de viitor raman aceleasi.

    2-Daca IPS Nathaniel vrea unitatea sub BOR el ne va spune, si atunci vom avea de ales…

    3- O mama nu paraseste copilul. Aceasta mama, dupa ce ne-a lasat, ne-a atacat in continuare. Astfel de mama nu mai are nici un drept. Nu uita ca OCA ne-a primit cand eram orfan, si ea a devenit mama noastra.”


  13. Tomas Says:

    Majoriatea (ROMANII) iti va tie (minoritatea) un …XOXO…

    …Sa stai cu OCA. Aia se va intampla!


  14. Administrator Says:

    Tomas, as mentioned to Adrian, you cannot say what the “majority” of people will do in our Episcopate. No vote has been taken recently regarding the ROEA/OCA and ROAA/BOR merger/unity issue.

    However, we do know that since WWII and again since 1990, every priest or lay person coming to North America has had the choice to join either under the ROEA-Vatra or the ROAA. The result is that people have voted with their feet overwhelmingly for the ROEA-Vatra with ROAA-BOR representing the minority of parishes, missions, parishioners, members and clergy here in North America.


  15. Tomas Says:

    Lets take a vote then you won’t feel better though, I assure you. And someone coming to the USA does not choose their church according to jurisdiction. Only an XOXO like you can think that.

    If someone in this Episcopate, who is a member, who supports his/her church and considers himself/herself Romanian first, what are you going to tell them? Get out? The reality is, there are many churches in this country where the service is entirely in Romanian/Greek/Russian etc. They feel Romanian/Greek/Russian “first.” What are you going to tell them, their wrong? It’s a free country, everyone has the right to feel however they like. BOR does not put ethnicity first over Orthodoxy. No church does. But the fact of the matter is, there is such a thing called ethnicity. And like it or not, it defines us, it makes us relate to one another. There is a such a thing as a Greek Orthodox church, Russian, Antiohian, Serbian, … which represents a group of people, a country. We, here, have a “Romanian Orthodox Episcopate” which serves the Romanians in America, like it or not. And so when BOR refers to us “as an Episcopate,” “Romanian” does come up. Through the church “community”, Romanians in the USA preserve the Romanian traditions - those which are special to them, which have nothing to do with communism or anything else. So please don’t read into too much, when BOR or anyone else refers to “Romanian” Orthodox. We don’t put ethnicity first, but ethnicity, like it or not, defines us. Just as an American would like the service all in English, so a Romanian, all in Romanian. Ethnicity is linked to language, Language to heritage to etc.


  16. Administrator Says:

    Isn’t it reckless to have a vote without first obtaining satisfactory responses to our “Due Diligence” questions? Better to wait I think. Given the overwhelming predisposition to choose the ROEA/OCA over the ROAA/BOR even when both are available in the same city indicates that there is a more fundamental reason for this choice. As I mentioned in response to Nicholas’ Comment on “No ROAA/BOR Answers Forthcoming” there must be a more important reason why so many more people prefer the Vatra Episcopate. It was suggested that: “… having no ties to Romania and belonging to American Orthodoxy here is a far greater reason why most people choose our Vatra ROEA/OCA over the ROAA/BOR.”

    As mentioned to you in response to your comment on “Another Insult”, we can and most do bring our children to church, but as soon as they become young adults, particularly those born here, too many feel estranged, and they refuse to be part of an ethnic cult environment. “Sorry, our North American - born children are more likely to want a local Orthodox Church, from here, administered by Americans who take no orders from abroad, and who administer the Church in a fashion conducive to North American norms – a Church which does not make them feel as if they are walking into an ethnic ghetto, but rather into an American- Christian Holy place. We cannot claim that the OCA is already such a place but we can state that she can be such a Church here in North America. The BOR cannot. It is and it can be in Romania, but never here. This is why the Orthodox Church is against phyletism, and why it is meant to be local. That is why OCA is our future and BOR our past.”

    Dear Tomas, as it was difficult for every wave of emigrants to adapt, so is it for many today. Going from migrant to emigrant to immigrant to citizen all require heart-wrenching decisions. Those of us with a few generations of Romanians born here in our families have lived through this process before, seeing it with our great-great grandparents, our great-grandparents, grandparents and parents, etc. The process of going from Romanian to Romanian-American, to American-Romanian, and then simply an American, having Romanian and “Irish” heritage. Through this process we have understood that the role of the Orthodox Church is to adapt to each of these situations and become the church of our children, to help and guide them through life, as it has for each of us. For this reason, and for the benefit of our children, we want to ensure that our Orthodoxy outlives our original ethnic character and adapts to our new one. We have seen enough generations lose their Orthodoxy. If we can overcome this, I am sure our parents will indeed be proud of us.


  17. Tomas Says:

    Taking a vote is not reckless. It is a starting point. It is the true opinion of the people of this Episcopate who deserve a voice. Stop prolonging the process with you bureaucratic formalities. Mr. Administrator, … I and other Romanians fill our churches. Romanian priests (who are a majority) serve this Episcopate. The majority of the entire episcopate income which comes from membership dues - is from Romanian parishes. Romanins have the right to speak our opinion. Our children come to church because that how we taught them. Your children are the ones who do not…
    The church is very different from what you personally make it to be. Christ’s way is the truth. Now is that way does not correspond with yours. Well, tough.


  18. Administrator Says:

    Thomas, those of us having lived through this type of myopic thinking before are desperately trying to have our history of over 100 years on this continent be examined as we make decisions regarding our and our children/ grandchildren’s religious future. What you speak of here has been spoken before, and actions were taken in line with your current direction. Unhappily, we have lost too many generations to ethnocentric thinking and in the process we have driven too many of our children/ grandchildren away from the Orthodox Church. You must examine our history here to appreciate how many generations tried to force Romanianism here on us in the face of the melting pot called America, and lost everything in the process. We, who have lived through this too many times before, do not want to see the same mistakes repeated again. Please help us in maintaining our children/ grandchildren Orthodox here in North America. For this to happen our history proves that we must have our church evolve as their religious needs evolve, going from Romanian Orthodox parishes to American Orthodox ones. This is another reason we believe the OCA to be the correct choice.


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