Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America

Guardians of the Vatra

Orthodox Brotherhood Documents

ROAA/BOR Documents

AB Valerian’s Letter

Author: Gary N. Brott
September 21, 2009

I was moved upon reading the 1984 letter by Archbishop Valerian to His Beatitude Justin which was posted on this website.   It inspired me to speak up, even if my opinion is deemed unpopular.  In pertinent part, the Archbishop expressed the following:

“The mission of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America is not only the preservation of its liturgical and Romanian heritage, but also to continuously educate its members in religion, combined with the propogation [sic] of Orthodoxy on the American continent.  To assure its existence, the Episcopate in America must look only forward and not backward.  For this reason, it voluntarily became affiliated with the Autocephalous Orthodox Church in America (OCA), which is made up of various ethnic Orthodox groups who all have the same goals.  Since the purpose of this affiliation was fundamental for the very existence of the Episcopate, it is, therefore, irreversible.”

.      .      .       .

“In 1950, in decisions motivated by political expediencies and totally lacking in wisdom, the canonical breach [between the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and the Romanian Patriarchate] became inevitable.  Today, using the same tactics, Your Beatitude will further push the members of the Episcopate toward an even greater and firmer stance beyond anyone’s expectations.  Your Beatitude, then, will have to realize that, to be finally left in peace in our own home, one might even be tempted to forget about his or her Romanian origin.”  (Archbishop Valerian D. Trifa, Letter to His Beatitude Justin, October 7, 1984) (emphasis added).

In an effort to contrast “forward” versus “backward” as expressed in the Archbishop’s message I believe all ROEA members should ask themselves the following questions:

1.  Is it in the best interests of our children to trade peace in our homeland for a connection with an arm of an unstable corrupt foreign government?

2.  Is it in the best interests of our children to trade the O.C.A., the future of Orthodoxy in the Americas, for the ethnicity of our grandparents that, from personal experience, we know will later be of little interest to our grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

3.  Do we have an obligation to propagate Orthodoxy on this continent or an obligation to advance the interests of the Romanian government on this continent?

4.  Will a connection with a corrupt foreign government encourage or discourage converts to our parishes?

5.  Do we as Americans favor separation of church and state except where the Romanian government is involved?

6.   Might our answers to these questions underlie the “irreversibility” of which Archbishop Valerian was referring?

Moreover, should we not have first tested the sincerity of the BOR by making as a condition precedent to any and all dialogue that the Patriarchate first actively participates in successfully clearing the name of Archbishop Valerian?  At least there would have been an upside to all the time, effort, and expense consumed by this “dialogue” process, regardless of whether or not unification occurred.

As it stands, the ROEA has no upside in the current unification proposal.  Think about it.  By this most recent tactic in the BOR’s 60-year shell game it offers to the ROEA the liabilities of a failed Episcopate (ROAA) and its bankrupt parishes.  In consideration for assuming responsibility for such liabilities, the ROEA would sever its participation in the O.C.A., and submit to the authority of the BOR.  Deals don’t get any more lopsided than that.  It’s all upside for the BOR-which gets everything it has ever wanted-and nothing but downside for the ROEA.

The current status of “dialogue” between the ROEA, BOR and ROAA, in a way, is reminiscent of the old “Uncle Remus” story about Br’er Fox, Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby where Br’er Fox had constructed a doll out of a lump of tar and dressed it with some clothes to entrap Br’er Rabbit.  When Br’er Rabbit came along he addressed the Tar Baby amiably, but received no response.  Br’er Rabbit became offended by what he perceived as the Tar Baby’s lack of manners, punched it, and in doing so became stuck in the tar.  Once Br’er Rabbit was stuck, Br’er Fox jumped forward and pondered how to dispose of him. The helpless, but cunning, Br’er Rabbit begged, “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch,” prompting Br’er Fox to do exactly that.  As rabbits are quite at home in thickets, the resourceful Br’er Rabbit escaped sure doom.

In our unification saga the BOR is Br’er Fox, the ROEA is Br’er Rabbit, the ROEA’s unification dialogue with BOR/ROAA is the Tar Baby, and the O.C.A. is the briar patch.  The ROEA now finds itself in a “no-win” scenario-it’s “stuck” to the Tar Baby-and must devise a way to break loose to regain peace in the briar patch.

Consistent with Archbishop Valerian’s overview, I say run like a rabbit away from the fox; focus forward and not backward; and, secure peace in our own homeland-even if that means forgetting about our Romanian origin.  The BOR wordsmiths can back-pedal all they want.  Once the ROEA is under its jurisdiction, “maximal autonomy” will mean on any given day whatever the Patriarchate wants it to mean.  Such slick terminology will prove to be a “Trajan Horse” (pun intended) by which the Patriarchate will entirely achieve its ultimate goal of the past 60 years.


Commencement of the unification dialogue was ill-conceived from the outset.  Affiliation with the O.C.A. was fundamental to the existence of the ROEA for nearly 40 years and should FOREVER remain irreversible.  Without looking back and without further explanation the ROEA should now simply lovingly say to the BOR and ROAA, “God bless you; go in peace.”  Then, walk away.

Gary N. Brott
Venice, FL

30 Comments to “AB Valerian’s Letter”

  1. Gary N. Brott Says:

    To the Administrator:

    Kudos for developing this website promoting conversation regarding the idea of unification of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) and the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas (ROAA) under the Romanian Patriarchate in Romania (BOR). Your site is an invaluable service to all Orthodox in the Americas.

  2. Constantin Aurel Ardeleanu Says:

    Very well said Gary! You can be sure that you very eloquently put into words what so many of us feel in our hearts.
    The best way to move forward is to have parishes discuss and start the grass roots movement to see that a future Congress take up the passing of a resolution to abandon all unification discussions with BOR and begin discussions for full integration with OCA.

  3. Robert Says:

    When the American Born “Romanians” form at least 30 percent of the ROEA….then…..we can talk. Until then…..more than 75 percent are Romanian….”who don’t want to forget their Romanian Heritage.”

    Furthermore, people who to comment on this site should first try to find the meaning of Orthodoxy and understand the term canonical communion.
    The Orthodox church is not the Roman Catholic church…..and it certainly is not the Protestant church. Let’s not try to run it that way.

    It seems to me that those who don’t understand the meaning of orthodoxy are the ones dividing this Episcopate….an Episcopate composed of more than 75 percent Romanians….with 98 percent of it’s priests FROM ROMANIA. Do we have more than at least 15 Amercan Born priests? Or…how many American born Students does our Episcopate have enrolled in theology…..who will become priests? How many of our children on the national Aroy Board can we say are “American,” or even more……how many of them do we suppose want to forget their Romanian Heritage.

    What future would we be putting them into by uniting with BOR. We should be asking ourselves, “What future do they have with a church divided in two?” How can we attract our children to come to church…..when they have friends divided with the two episcopates? These are the serious questions we as clergy, parents, and members of Roea should be asking ourselves.

    Yes it’s true…..we are all first of all “Orthodox”…..but “Romanian Orthodox,” part of an Episcopate which calls it’self the “Romanian Episcopate of America.” The BOR was part of a communist government also. It had to suffer enough under communism as well. And I might add….only those who lived under communism can understand how it really is….and how it was for the BOR. The place we call vatra was in the main part, bought with money FROM ROMANIA. We should ALL keep this in mind.

    But that’s all over with, everyone wants peace, and we all need to forgive and forget and concentrate on unifying ourselves.

    In conclusion, I say this. There is an urgent need of Orthodox unity and as it stands…..we are in need of all Romanians to be unified into one…..and most importantly finally become CANONICAlLY IN COMMUNION with our mother church in Romania….and especially……the ecumenical church of Constantinople. For those who do not understand the importance of this……they do not understand the meaning of orthodoxy.

  4. Robert Says:

    This website asks that we leave a message….for dialogue purposes. “It’s good for Dialogue.”
    Why are the messages erased?? And this Question goes to Mr. Gary….and to the administrator!
    Talk about Communism! Leave the messages on…so people hear and understand both standpoints.
    Am ajuns Ortodocsii sa fim condusi de niste protestanti….si Catolici… mai mult….oameni care nu au de-a face nimic cu cultura Romaneasca!

  5. Administrator Says:

    Dear Robert,
    This response is in reference to your September 27, 2009 comment posted above. When you leave your homeland and move to a new place and are well received by those who built and maintained a house of God in that new place you should feel privileged to have been treated in such a wonderfully Christian fashion. Others have to start from scratch. But, the majority of recent Romanian immigrants are happy to have been received as they were by American- Romanians in existing Orthodox churches of Romanian heritage in this, their new homeland. These Orthodox Americans of Romanian descent are proud of their heritage. The mere fact that these places still exist is a testament to that pride. Today, Americans of Romanian origin support their churches and share these places with newcomers, much like the founding generations who came in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s did with the post WWII Romanian immigrants. All these have also contributed to building new parishes and missions where none existed before. It is not right to now claim that these people who received the new immigrants in these houses of God and/or helped found or build them, should no longer have a say in the future of their church. What of ethics, morality, fair play, courtesy, and all these Romanian values taught by our forefathers? Sorry, in this context, your right to talk in this manner is highly questionable.

    Contrary to what you infer, there has never been a question that the 2 Romanian Dioceses in North America should unite. The question is should they be together under the foreign Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) run from Romania, or should they be together in the domestic American Orthodox Church (OCA) run from here. Our future, and more importantly, our children’s future, is here and not in Romania. Consequently, an American and not a Romanian Orthodox church tradition and leadership will more easily satisfy their religious needs in the future. History has proven this. If we try to maintain our American Orthodox church in ethnic ghettos we will see its demise. We have pre-1989 examples of this in our history as well. Members of both the ROEA and the ROAA who are parents of American-born children know that the ancestral language and culture is quickly replaced by the American one and that if our ancestral faith is not presented to these children in an American context, it too will be swallowed up and disappear. For this reason, among others, BOR represents our past and now is the time for looking ahead, with both Dioceses together in the OCA. Yes, we all want peace, but we want it in the OCA, and this for our childrens’ sake.

    Also, as previously stated by our Heritage Center historian, Alexandru Nemoianu, please note for future reference that the vast majority of funds that originally paid for the Vatra did not come from Romania, but came from individual contributors here, and that the upkeep and additional land purchases, renovations, maintenance and new buildings came exclusively from here ever since, i.e. well over 70 years. In addition, the ROEA is significantly larger than the ROAA and as such, your example of a church divided is an unbalanced argument. Those who wanted to be under Romania chose ROAA and BOR and those who wanted to be under the American church chose ROEA and OCA. The large majority have chosen the latter, both before and after 1989. More important here is that because of this type of bickering instigated from beyond our borders, Orthodoxy is losing ground here, on our home turf of North America. Foreign Patriarchates should worry about their domestic issues and leave us in North America worry about our own. As an example, BOR should tell its underling ROAA to join the ROEA in the OCA. Imagine if the Russians, Greeks, etc. also submitted their North American arms to the OCA; then we could stop wasting precious time and resources on the past and get on with the future of our Orthodoxy here in North America. If a better structure is made available, Metropolitan Jonah has already said he would go along. All this must happen soon if we have any hope of a future Orthodoxy in North America.

    Finally, those who spread rumors about our not being canonical should ask themselves: who claims this, and why? In fact, the OCA is a canonical church viewed by some Orthodox churches as an Autocephalous Church, and by others as an Autonomous one, or at the very least, a Metropolitanate under a Patriarchate. However, no one questions its canonicity, otherwise no other Orthodox Hierarchs or clergy would serve Holy Liturgy with our Hierarchs and clergy; clearly not the case. This is obvious.

  6. Administrator Says:

    Dear Robert,
    This response is in reference to your September 28, 2009 comment posted above. Please understand that messages on this website are posted periodically, not immediately. Also, please refrain from insults as they do not help clarify the issues at hand.

    Over the last 120 years all those immigrants coming from Orthodox nations like Romania find that in North America, Orthodoxy exists independent of the language spoken. We find that Greek Orthodoxy is as precious to Greeks as Romanian Orthodoxy is to Romanians , and that all of us whose roots are from Orthodox nations have Orthodoxy in common, irrespective of language. Over time, and certainly after a generation or two, English becomes our mother tongue and Canada or the USA becomes our nation. However, our hope is that our Orthodox faith remains with us throughout the process. Thus, the future must be North American Orthodoxy and cannot be Romanian or Greek, etc. Orthodoxy. This is the goal and the reason why BOR represents our past and OCA the future.

    Insultele nu au loc in aceasta discutie. Totusi, putem sa discutam. Ortodoxia Nord Americana nu este cea Romana. Ortodoxia aici a fost si mai este inca si greceasca si ruseasca si romaneasca si cate altele, dar cu anii devine si Nord Americana, singura maniera de a pastra credinta noastra aici, mai ales pentru copii nostri. In plus, sa fim mandri ca exista ortodocsi si in neamuri ne-ortodoxe care aleg aceasta ortodoxia de buna voie. De ce trebuie insultati? De ce nu pot si ei sa devina preoti si Episcopi aici, in tara lor? De ce ei trebuie sa fie de cultura Romaneasca aici in America? De unde aceasta dorinta de a limita Biserica ortodoxa care este catolica, adica universala? Teologia ortodoxa nu este limitativa. Biserica noastra este una deschisa spre evanghelizare si nu inchisa in ghettouri etnice. Deci, aici este America si nu Romania. Aici, avem nevoie de o Biserica Ortodoxa Americana si nu o Biserica Ortodoxa Romana. Altceva este nostalgie, trecutul. Copii nostri nascuti aici, au nevoie de o Biserica vie, una de aici, condusa de oameni de aici, care inteleg cultura, limba si traditiile de aici, adica OCA. Doamne ajuta!

  7. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    It is a historical fact that ALL Orthodox jurisdictions were and are local.The American Orthodoxy can not and will not be an exception.
    A few basics for Robert.

    The OCA is canonical and recognized as such by the largest and most powerful Orthodox body.

    There is a Romanian heritage and is thriving in Romania.
    In North America there is and can be only a Romanian-American or Romanian-Canadian heritage.To deny this is to deny the USA or Canada.

    The future of the Orthodoxy in North America is Orthodox unity here and the OCA is the step in the right direction.
    Ethnocentrism is trapping for gross racism and the Church, the Body of Christ,is above such a thing.

  8. Globals Says:

    all good things

  9. Robert Says:

    1) My first Question is: Which of the world’s orthodox churches officially considers the OCA an Autocephalous church or Autonomous church? You say some….but don’t say which ones do and don’t….and the reasoning behind WHY it is not recognized. Who is it canonically recognized by? The Ecumenical church in Constantinople? The church of greece? Who?

    2) What is the true name: the OCA? Or the Russian church outside of Russia!

    3) Since when is the OCA the mother church of the Romanian Episcopate of America?

    4) What better credibility does the O.C.A have than B.O.R in the orthodox world? Does it’s financial scandals in the past few years prove it’s credibility?

    5) What does OCA contribute to the ROEA? What stability does the OCA offer our Episcopate, and what future? That what? It can let it’s hierarch not answer to anyone for what happens inside the episcopate…or for that fact… for his actions….from a professional and pastoral standpoint?

    6) Why is it that in Metropolitan’s Jonah 2009 pastoral letter - the nativity tropar apears only in the Greek, Russian, and English language? And this letter is sent throughout the entire Romanian Orthodox Episcopate in America and Canada!

    7) It must be understood that Orthodoxy is diferent than Catholicism…..and by far…different in every aspect than protestantism.

    8) Ca Mitropolie Autonoma nu vom mai plati taxe (cum platim acuma la OCA). CI DOAR VOM FI SUPUSI DIN PUNCT DE VEDRE PARINTESC SI DUHOVNICESC. ASA CUM SUNT in america GRECII, SARBII,ANTIOHIENII, BULGARII, si asa mai departe!.

    9) ESTE O RANDUIALA DE DREPT CANONIC…”a fi sub ascultare” în Ortodoxie nu este egal cu “a fi supus” B.O.R.-ului ci este o NORMA DE DREPT CANONIC. Cei ce nu inteleg aceasta randuiala…sa o invete si APOI sa isi expuna opiniile pe acest site, in asa fel sa fie in concordanta comentariile cu dreptul Bisericesc ORTODOX, nu cu ideologii protestante si agende administrative in care se remarcara asa zise “pentru viitorul si binele copiilor nostrii.”

    10) Viitorul copiilor nostrii a fost intemeiat de mult…in primul rand de inaintasii nostrii ROMANI care au zidit bisericile si au intemeiat comunitatiile Roman Ortodoxe. Si apoi…este asigurat de preotii 98 la suta veniti din Romania si slujesc si continua sa vina sa slujeasca in ARHIEPISCOPIA ORTODOXA ROMANA.

    11) Asa ca “Nu OCA’ul asigura viitorul copiilor nostrii…ci clerul si uniunea ambelor ARHIEPISCOPII, pastrandu-ne identitatea mai intai ortodoxa…da de Etnie Romana.

    12) “Biserică Independentă” în Ortodoxie nu merge… ci doar la Protestanti. Ortodoxia este o instituţie divino-umană TEOCRATICĂ şi nu democratică. Nu ne subjugăm nimănui ci reintrăm sub supravegherea şi a scultarea unei familii mai mari, şi mai mature care a suferit sub comunişti destul, Patriarhia Română.

    13) Este nedrept ca cei care au mai comentat pe acest site sa afirme si sa acuze Patriarhia Romana ca fiind Corupta…affirmand ca aceasta coruptie se va extinde si aici la noi in Statele Unite. Coruptia din Romania nu are nimic de a face cu Biserica…si mai mult….cu dreptul Bisericesc.

  10. Administrator Says:

    Dear Robert,

    I have answered your questions individually:

    1. While all Autocephalous Orthodox Churches agree that the OCA is a canonical church with a canonical hierarchy, not all view the OCA as an autocephalous church. Today the following Orthodox Churches view the OCA as autocephalous: Russian, Polish, Czech, Slovak and Bulgarian. The Romanian and Serbian Churches as well as others have not yet taken a formal position, while others still, such as the Ecumenical Patriarchate, see only themselves as the bestowers of autocephaly and as such do not recognize the OCA autocephaly which was granted by Moscow.

    2. The true and official name of the OCA is the Orthodox Church in America, and this since 1970 when it received its Autocephaly. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has just recently integrated into the Moscow Patriarchate, but many parishes worldwide are very unhappy with this move.

    3. The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America has been an integral part of the OCA since its inception almost 40 years ago (1970 – 2009). Prior to that, for 10 years, from 1960 to 1970, the ROEA was together with the Metropolia, the precursor to the OCA. For 10 years, from 1950 to 1960, the ROEA was a canonically independent church. From 1938 to 1949 the ROEA had links to the mother church of Romania, i.e. only 11 years. Forty years of canonical protection under Mother OCA or eleven years under Mother BOR. The OCA has only protected us while BOR not only abandoned us but persecuted us. What Mother would ever do that? So, which one is our true Mother seems obvious; the OCA.

    4. The OCA is the local American Orthodox Church while BOR is a foreign church here. For that reason alone BOR has no credibility here.

    5. The OCA offers our children an American Orthodox church while BOR can only offer a foreign and ethnic church that will clearly be foreign to them in the future. The OCA is the only church that has cleansed itself. Imagine if such scandals were found in the Romanian or Russian Church. The Patriarch would never be deposed. The OCA did just that. Congratulations.

    6. Greek and Slavonic are the old liturgical languages used in Orthodoxy while English is the language of America. Bulgarian, Albanian and Romanian Dioceses also exist in the OCA and eventually other Orthodox ethnic groups will join to strengthen the OCA.

    7. American Orthodoxy is also different from Romanian or Russian Orthodoxy in terms of language and culture. All these differences come together in the OCA which will eventually include all these groups.

    8. The ROEA makes annual contributions to the OCA in order to help offset the costs of the administrative overheads the OCA must bear. Remember, the OCA and the ROEA receive money only from the members and nothing from government.

    9. The Canons speak of the local Church. Orthodoxy functions administratively in terms of this definition. Thus, the Romanian Orthodox Church is territorially confined to Romania. As well, the Orthodox Church in America is confined to America.

    10. Our children will no longer speak Romanian. Many will never even visit Romania. As they become American we want them to retain their Orthodoxy. The only way to do so is to relegate BOE to the past and adopt the OCA for the future well-being of our children. Simple.

    11. Maintaining the ghetto syndrome of an ethnic community church in North America has been tried. It failed dismally. Our only hope for survival is creating an American Orthodox Church for our American children.

    12. Since Orthodoxy is a Hierarchal church it is important that Hierarchs, clergy and faithful be on the same wavelength so that they may best communicate with each other. That is why we need American Hierarchs and clergy for our American faithful. The sooner our priests integrate into our cultural habitat the better chance they will have to retain the youth in our communities.

    13. The Romanian Patriarchate is accused of being corrupt not only from outside Romania but more importantly from inside Romania. Its most senior priests and spiritual leaders claim that the church in Romania must go through a moral rebirth before going forward.

  11. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    I fully agree with Gary Brott. His was a very organized explanation. However I beg to differ with Gary on one point. He said that his opinion may be “unpopular”. I would like to assure him that his opinion is 100% popular with me and my family. And something else.
    Truth has nothing to do with “popularity” and especially with “popularity” among the uninformed and misinformed.

    I congratulate Gary and am happy that people like him raise their voices on behalf of what their parents and grand-parents brought into existence: Romanian-American and Romanian-Canadian Orthodoxy. Over time this must be transformed into an American and Canadian Orthodoxy, otherwise it will have no future.

  12. Robert Says:

    Is the Administrator of this sight a priest? Or is he laymen who thinks….ca el o pus coada la prun.

    Scandalurile din OCA financiare ce au fost? Nu au fost coruptie? Mai Domnule, nu mai acuza gresit BOR….ca OCA fata de BOR e copil de mingi. Iti vei lua rasplata daca scrii minciuni.

    Domnule Administrator, nu incerca sa faci ortodoxia in ceva ce nu e….impunand logica democratica, crezand ca se poate integra cu Biserica. Fiind ca niciodata nu a mers…..iar cand se amesteca cele doua, se creeaza probleme…spre exemplu acum…in ROEA. Logica ta aplico in guvern, societate, si la biserica locala protestanta…nu la Ortodocsi.

    Stati cu Rusii, si cu cine vreti voi. Nimeni nu va opreste. Dar Romanii se vor unii cu Biserica lor mama… vor fii una. Mai devreme sau mai tarziu….tot se va realiza….vreti sau nu vreti. Nu o sa se va mai foloseasca nimeni de Romani….mai ales OCA’ul. E timpul sa ne unim… sa facem MITROPOLIE ROMANEASCA PE CONTINENTUL AMERICAN. CARE NU VRETI…STATI DEOPARTE, SI CU ASTA BASTA. STATI CU RUSII, SI CU CINE VRETI.

  13. Administrator Says:

    Dear Robert,

    Given your past comments I’m not sure if being a priest or a layman would impress you more? Oh well, I guess you’ll have to wait and see who the Administrator is. Given your predisposition to Old World clergy why not remember what Andrei Saguna did in terms of lay representation in his Church Constitution? You see, two lay people for every one cleric voting is not my doing. It has existed in our Orthodox church for a long time. This is the basis of the ROEA Constitution and By-Laws where the “people” are represented by the people, and not a government, King or Emperor.

    Episcopia noastra face parte din Biserica Ortodoxa Autocefala Americana- OCA, (si nu cea Rusa) fiindca noi suntem aici din anii 1890. Noi, si inaintasii nostri care am cladit majoritatea bisericilor ortodoxe romane din America, suntem cetateni Americani si Canadieni care vrem ca si copiii nostri sa ramana ortodocsi chiar daca nu vor mai vorbi romaneste. Fiind nascuti aici, ei sunt Americani si Canadieni, si vor ramane in credinta noastra ancestrala numai daca o adaptam pentru ei. Asta inseamna ca trecutul nostru este BOR si viitorul OCA. Daca vreti altceva, nimeni nu va opreste sa mergeti la ROAA care este supusa BOR-ului. Suntem intr-o tara libera.

    Nu este frumos si nici romanesc, sa intrati in aceste Biserici unde ati fost asa de bine primiti, ca sa ne dati pe noi afara din bisericiile cladite de noi si de inaintasii nostri. Daca doriti astfel de biserici frumoase, n-aveti decat sa le claditi cu banii si munca dumneavoastra, si sa le supuneti BOR-ului. Noi va indemnam sa ramaneti cu noi in aceste biserici, in ROEA, in OCA, dar daca vreti neaparat sa plecati, va rugam numai sa ne lasati in pace, si noi vom face la fel, asa cum este si crestineste si romaneste.

  14. Robert Says:

    Domnul Administrator, Nu Dumneata ai cladit Bisericile astea, ci partintii vostrii Romani care au invatat pe copii lor Romaneste. Copii lor au luat totul de-a gata. Iara nu Dumneata sau copii dumneavoastra servesc Parhohiile Episcopiei, ci preotii veniti din Romania. Asa ca daca vreti OCA, produceti preoti Americani. Asta nu presupune ca insult pe fratii nostrii cei Americani ci doar transmit mesajul si adevarul cum ca “osul” in aceasta episcopie este pus de Romani.

    With all due Respect, daca copii dumnevoastra nu mai stiu Romaneste, asta e pentru ca nu ia-ti invatat si e problema dumneavoastra. Mai mult, daca traditiitle Romanesti le sunt straine, asta e pentru ca nu ia-ti crescut in traditia Romaneasca. Deocamdata dupa cum spune Domnul mai sus, titlul Episcopiei este “Episcopia Ortodoxa Romana,” nu cea Rusia, si certainly nu “OCA.” Unde in Lumea asta mai intilnim o episcopie Ortodoxie cu titul si Etnie Romana sa apartina de o denumire straina? Nicaieri!!

    Va rog analizati ce scrieti. E adevarat e tara libera. Si pentru asta se va face unirea. Dar ma tem ca cei impotriva vor ramane anima-nui.

  15. Administrator Says:

    Draga Robert. In viata am invatat ca cel care presupune ce nu stie, se incurca singur. Te asigur ca nu numai parintii nostri, dar si multi din generatiile de astazi, au cladit aceste Biserici ortodoxe romane pe acest continent care v-au primit asa de frumos. In plus, noi le-am mentinut, ani si ani de zile, platind toate cheltuielele, si continuand sa facem donatii spre a suporta noile misiuni care s-au deschis in ultimii ani. Acum si cei veniti dupa 1990, au datoria sa faca si ei la fel.

    Robert, mai multi dintre noi inca mai vorbim limba noastra ancestrala, dar ideea de a continua o mica Romanie aici este absolut gresit. Ghetto Romanesc in America duce la faliment romanesc si orthodox. Sa fim clari! Robert, daca ai copii nascuti aici care vorbesc limba noastra; Bravo tie! Daca ai nepoti care mai vorbesc romana, bravo parintilor lor! Dar daca ai avea in familie stra-nepoti, stra-stra-nepoti, stra-stra-stra-nepoti, toti nascuti aici, care inca mai vorbesc romaneste, numai atunci o sa poti intelege semnificatia cuvintelor puse pe hartie. Printre noi de aici, desigur o mica minoritate, gasesti astfel de stra-stra-nepoti si stra-stra-stra-nepoti, toti nascuti aici, care inca mai vorbesc limba lui Eminescu. Va rugam, putin respect pentru eforturile inaintasilor nostri care ne-au lasat un dar si mai important, adica Ortodoxia stramoseasca, si asta vrem sa o protejam cu dintii si s-o lasam mostenire copiilor nostri. Dupa atatea generatii aici, noi suntem convinsi, cum de altfel suntem convinsi ca veti fi si dumneavoastra convins, dupa 2-3 generatii, ca prezentul si viitorul nostru orthodox aici este OCA-ul si BOR-ul face parte din trecutul nostru.

    Robert, este adevarat ca titlul Episcopiei noastre inca este “Episcopia Ortodoxa Romana din America” si asta ca sa facem cinste inaintasilor nostri si sa reflectam in multe situatii si realitatea post-1989 de astazi. Dar nu uita ca ROEA face parte din OCA, si in timp din ce in ce mai multe parohii din ROEA vor avea slujbe numai in engleza. De fapt, sunt déjà parohii care cer o integrare si mai apropiata in OCA. Din cauza aceasta este evident ca BOR-ul nu are loc in America. In schimb este loc pentru ROAA in OCA.

  16. Anonymous Says:

    Domnule Admnistrator, I’m really not curious who you are. You call yourself Guardian of the Vatra.

    Voi nu ati cumparato vatra. Cu drept folosisti sigla Episcopiei ROEA? Cu ce drept? Vatra O fost cumparata cu bani din Romania, iara remarcarile Domnului Nemoianu nu au nici o valoare. La timpul potrivit se va aduce la suprafata evidenta cum ca ea nu a fost cumparata cu bani de aici ci cu bani din Romania. Dar asta la timpul potrivit. Asta Dumnezeu va Randui.

    Your motto is right. The truth will set you free. But more so; the truth will set the Romanian Orthodox people in North America, the Romanian-Americans into one unit, into one entity, into one unification with it’s mother Church, the BOR.

  17. Administrator Says:

    Dear Anonymous. You say that: “I’m really not curious who you are” and yet an October 23, 2009 comment from Robert asks; “Is the Administrator of this sight a priest? Or is he laymen who thinks…” Ok. Robert is also called Anonymous, but who is Robert? (Can it be Anna - heaven forbid- or Mihai, or a priest? Oh well, we should get back to the issues and stop this silliness.)

    Anonymous, spui ca parintii nostri, care suntem aici de la inceput, nu au cumparat Vatra acum 70-80 de ani in urma. O spune nu numai Nemoianu, dar si Bobango, etc. Daca ai dovezi care contrazic acest adevar atunci pune-le pe masa, altfel inceteaza cu incercari de falsificare. Propaganda si dezinformarea nu au loc pe acest site.

    Anonymous, as Romanians deciding to lay down roots here become Romanian-American, then American-Romanian and finally, simply Americans, it would be nice if the Orthodox faith could continue to be their faith here right through the process, and even as the Romanian language and culture is relegated to memories of Bunica and Mosu. Remember, Romanian Orthodoxy is not a religion, while Orthodoxy is a religion that could remain theirs here in America, if only we help it happen. The American Orthodox Church is really the only answer and our only hope for them. For us? No problem! Romaneste, Ruseste, Greceste, Turceste… doar am trait sub calcaiul la toti acestia; dar nu copii nostrii nascuti aici!

  18. Mihai Says:

    Dear Mr. Administrator, if your children will not speak Romanian or they won’t visit Romania, then that is your problem, because you failed to teach them and raise them in the Romanian culture. Our children know Romanian, and will go to Romania. If your children do not, and do not feel close to the Romanian culture and language, then you should stay with the OCA, for their sake, but do not drag the “Romanian Episcopate” with you.

    Nu ne baga pe toti in acelasi oala, ca deocamdata Preotii Romani servesc aceasta Episcopie, nu “copii Americani,”. Iara toate Bisericiile, 80 la suta, din Episcopie au fost zidite si construite de inaintasii nostrii Parinti Romani, care stiau Romaneste si care sau despartit de Patriarhia Romana fiind ca era un timp de comunism. Generatile dupa ei nu au facut altceva decat au preluat ceea ce au zidit ei prin munca grea si stradanie. Fiind ca dupa cum vedem, generatia aceasta nu poate face si nu au facut nici un sfert din cat au relizat inaintasii nostrii Romani din Romania. Asa ca spuneti adevarul daca totusi scrieti pe acest site, iara daca mintiti singuri va dati de gol prin faptele voastre care nu nimic in comun cu ce spuneti. Aparatori ai vatrei? VOI ati cumparat Vatra Romaneasca?

    Indiferent ce spuneti aici cum a mai scris Dmn. Nemoianu cum ca vatra nu a fost cumparata de Patriarhia Romana, adevarul va iesii cat de curand la suprafata si se va dovedi faptul ca Vatra Romaneasca a fost cumparata de Patriahia Romana. In ce calitate sunteti “aparatori ai vatrei?” Va spun eu! Tradatori ai vatrei si celor care au cumparat-o! Cu toate acestea, dupa ce va folositi de preotii nostrii Romani, de vatra “Romaneasca”, de 75 la suta din membrii episcopiei care sunt “Romani,”aveti curajul sa insultati Patriarhia Romania si la rand fara sa vreti natiunea Romana. Vrem unirea cu BOR fiind ca vrem sa fim si noi sa fim natiune unita ca celelalte natiuni pe acest pamant american. Asta nu inseamna ca suntem mai putin americani sau mai putin ortodocsi ci suntem mai mult, o natiune unita (Romani/Americani pe pamant American) sub o singura credinta, sub Biserica noastra Mama - BOR!

  19. Administrator Says:

    Mihai, please refer to our November 7, 2009 response to your November 6, 2009 comment to the “Circular Logic” article which states: “As time goes on Romanians settling in America become Romanian-Americans then, 1-2 generations later American-Romanians and then simply American. History has proven this, and many of us are living proof.” Mihai, I fear it is time to smell the roses. The future is here and you are discussing with your future grandchildren here today! You really don’t want to insult your offspring do you? Again, remember it is up to you to convince us why our Diocese should leave the OCA. We’re not dragging our Episcopate anywhere, we like it in the OCA. It is you who is attempting to drag us out for ethnocentric reasons. Sorry, these non-canonical arguments simply do not work, no matter how many times they are repeated.

    Din nou ma refer la raspunsul nostru din 7 noembrie, 2009 la comentariul dumneavoastra din 6 noiembrie, 2009 pentru articolul “Circular Logic unde spunem “remember that we and our forefathers built these churches in America and we welcomed you in them, not to have you kick us out from them, but so that we may share our gift with you and with all who live in America. This is Christian practice, Orthodox teaching and Romanian values. Our forefathers passed many things on to us, and our Orthodox faith is the most precious and everlasting. But remember, they are OUR forefathers, not yours. This is OUR inheritance we share with you, and not the other way around. Please remember this when you criticize that which you found here. Try to understand that BOR abandoned us a long time ago and continues to taunt us with the existence of such Communist creations as the present day ROAA. The OCA has been our Mother in America for forty years and is the only Mother Church many of us have ever had.” Da, noi suntem Aparatorii Vetrei” fiindca vedem ca averea noastra trebuie sa fie protejata!

    Dl. Nemoianu si Dl. Bobango spun acelas lucru si au dovezi, ca majoritatea banilor care au fost pusi pentru Vatra, provin de aici, si nu din Romania. Daca vrei sa spui altceva, vino cu dovezi. Este ultima data… Este ultima data si pentru insulte gratuite. (aparatori ai vetrei … tradatori ai vetrei…) Destul! Enough!

  20. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    Some ask: ‘Who paid for the “Vatra”?’ I will attempt to set the record straight once and for all.

    Initially, what today is recognized as the “Vatra”, the property housing the headquarter of the Romanian Orthodox of America, was the home of the Bolland family and after they sold it, it became the Chandler farm. The property was then purchased on August 10, 1937,”the residence and 200 hundred acres of land, ‘more or less’ (as the contract said) for $25,000.00. Approximately $7,500.00 from that sum, in a few installments, was paid from August 1937 until November 1938. All that money was paid by the Romanian-American community. The balance was paid during the following years with along with the accrued interest. At that time, the price was huge for the Romanian-American community and the terms of payment were met with some difficulty. But finally, the “Vatra” became the property of the “Romanian Episcopate of America”. As well, it became the symbol of the Romanian-American history in North America and the focal point of our struggle against communism here.

    In the late 1930’s a fraction of the payments were also covered by donations that came from Romania. However, it is interesting to note that machinations to include certain obscure formulas regarding “rights” of the Romanian Patriarchate, formulas with no legal weight here, were attempted and failed. They failed because the overwhelming part of the payments for the Vatra was paid for by the contributions of the Romanian-American community. In fact, by the late 1940’s, the mortgage was finally paid off in full by this same community. All this is documented in detail by the financial statements existing in the historical archives, and that information was published in the G. Bobango “History of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America”,1977.

    For the Romanian-Americans and the Romanian-Canadians the “Vatra” is sacred ground. A few generations struggled hard to secure this property and their descendants are the rightful owners of it. Any future attempts by foreign entities (i.e. the Romanian Patriarchate and/or Government) to change this fact will fail as it has in the past.

  21. Administrator Says:

    It is useful, in our debate, that documents are used to confirm or infirm positions where possible. We thank those that have access to these documents and the historic record, for their input.

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Domnule Adimistrator … OCA nu ne-a oferit nimic pana acum, ci ne-a separat de ceilalti romani din america. Iara intradevar, suntem toti intr-o singura credinta = Ortodoxa, dar de etnie Romana. Vrem sa fim si noi Romanii uniti ca intregime, asa cum sunt grecii, rusii, antiohienii, sarbii, etc. sub Biserica noastra Mama BOR, asa cum sunt majoritatea din Ortodocsii in America. Nu mai vrem sa fim oi pierdute pe acest mare continent. Si din cauza aceasta, vrem sa ne unim cu BOR. Dupa cum s-a mai scris pana acuma si dupa cum s-a mai zis. “A Step Forward.” Nu sa mai stagnam sub OCA.

    Vrem sa avem si noi o singura Mitropolie Romana pe acest continent sub acoperamantul BOR. Iara vrem sub BOR, fiind ca asa se cuvine, daca totusi avem o episcopie care poarta titlul de “Episcopia Ortodoxa Romana din America” si daca totusi ne numim Romani Ortodocsi. Ce care nu se considera ortodocsi Romani, ci Ortodocsi Americani….aceasta minoritate de oameni sa nu ne mai traga pe toti majoritatea dintre noi laicii care suntem Romani si mai ales preotii Romani care sunt slujitori la altar. Asadar, vrem “a step forward” nu sa ne jignim Americanii cu Romanii, ci pentru ca sa crestem in numar si sa nu mai fim despartiti. Si asta se poate face numai intemeiind o Mitropolie Ortodoxa Romana (Autonoma) sub BOR. Iata in acest fel, suntem si in statut canonic orthodox suntem si uniti si suntem o singura credinta ortodoxa de etnie Romana pe Continentul American. Automatic atunci trebuie sa ne creasca si numarul de ierahi de care este mare nevoie pentru a pastori marea turma de Ortodocsi Romani-Americani intinsi in toata tara; ca sa nu numai usureze munca la cei doi Ierarhi pe care ii avem, dar ca Ierearhul sa poata avea un contact mai frecvent cu parohiile….intarind relatia pastorala si conservand Ortodoxia adevarata. Iata avantajele “scrise”, care in parerea mea sunt “A Step Forward.”

  23. Administrator Says:

    De la bun inceput OCA-ul ne-a dat o acoperire canonica respectata de toate Bisericile Ortodoxe. Este adevarat ca unele acepta Autocefalia OCA-ului, altele nu s-au decis si tot altele vad OCA-ul ca o Mitropolie autonoma. Dar, NIMENI nu contesta canonicitatea ei. Toti acestia slujesc impreuna. In anii 1950-52, Episcopia noastra a decis sa nu mai depinda de BOR, o Biserica controlata de statul Roman. Guvernul de atunci a incercat prin tribunal si prin altele, sa puna mana pe “Vatra” si ROEA si in final, a infiintat o noua Episcopie, ROAA de astazi, ca sa continue lupta impotriva Episcopiei noastre. Totusi, marea majoritate a parohiilor din America de Nord sunt in ROEA. Asta inseamna ca majoritatea Romanilor Americani veniti inainte de 1989 si majoritatea imigrantilor veniti dupa 1989, au votat cu picioarele lor si au ales ROEA-OCA si nu ROAA-BOR, si asta in ciuda vointei Bucurestiului, cu toata influenta care vine de-acolo. Aici, toti vrem unirea ROEA cu ROAA, mai ales dupa 1989, dar de ce BOR-ul nu lasa pe ROAA sa intre cu ROEA in OCA, biserica locala? Asta chiar ar fi “A Step Forward”. Parasind OCA-ul si mergand sub BOR ar fi “Many Steps Backwards”.

    Nu uitati ca OCA este Biserica Ortodoxa locala in America, nu BOR care este locala numai in Romania. Grupurile care sunt déjà in OCA urmaresc ce este invatatura Ortodoxa, care spune ca Biserica trebuie sa fie locala, nu etnica. Deci, stagnare si erezie ar fi sa plecam din Biserica locala, OCA si sa intram sub BOR, o Biserica straina aici, pe acest teritoriu. In plus, cine trage pe cine? Noi suntem in OCA si cei care vor schimbari trebuie sa vina cu argumente ortodoxe pentru a ne convinge. Totusi, noi suntem acasa. Totusi, cine alege sa traiasca aici, trebuie sa inteleaga ca aici este o Biserica Ortodoxa locala Americana, OCA si Episcopia noastra face parte din ea. Este firesc sa fie asa. Intr-o buna zi toate etniile ortodoxe impreuna cu convertitii de aici vor fi unite in Biserica Americana. In final, nu are nici un sens sa plecam acum din OCA si sa ne supunem BOR-ului, numai ca sa ne reintegram in Biserica Americana mai tarziu! Suntem déjà cu un pas inaintea altora, “A Step Forward”. Deci, este firesc acum ca ROAA sa intre cu noi in OCA.

  24. Mihai Says:

    … Nu este averea voastra ci averea Bisericii. Iara tot ce am scris este adevarat.

    Produceti preoti Americani, nu va mai folositi de ai nostrii Romani. Iara cele mai mari Biserici din aceasta Episcopie sunt Romanesti, nu americane, asa ca lasa toate aceste aberatii ce le tot scrieti ca nu au rost si sunt in gol. Cu asta inchei.

  25. Administrator Says:

    Vorbim despre un tezaur spiritual, pe care ni l-au lasat parintii nostri aici mai mult decat despre avutii lumesti. Iubirea de biserica este infipta in inimele noastre si asta este averea noastra cea mai mare. Biserica noastra ne costa pe noi bani, efort, munca, daruinta. Noi si parintii nostri nu am castigat nimic material cladind si sustinand aceste Biserici, dar am castigat pace sufleteasca, convinsi ca facem ce este placut Domnului si ca facem ce este folositor pentru copiii nostri nascuti aici, pentru cei care inca mai vin din Romania si pentru fratii nostri Americani, care nu au avut de unde sa stie despre Ortodoxia noastra.

    Cum am raspuns mai sus, pe 14 noiembrie 2009, la comentariul Dv. la articolul “Circular Logic” din 12 noiembrie 2009: “Let’s not start this ridiculous game of counting which parishes have more or less Romanian use or English use, more American born or a more recent immigrant base. In time ALL will be subject to the same rule we have seen in the past, whereby our children become Americanized to the point they lose the Romanian language and in the process it is up to us, their parents, to make sure they do not also lose our ancestral faith, the most precious gift our ancestors left us. For this reason we must adapt the church here to our children’s needs and thus stay with the American church, our only hope for the future.” In plus: “In America we do have choices and most of us have already chosen the ROEA-OCA combination. This is also true for the majority of faithful and clergy arriving here even after 1989. So, your threats of leaving the ROEA with your Romanian priests if we do not succumb to BOR rule, sound rather hollow, don’t they? Unhappily, when arguments are lacking some start threatening. Now that sounds like a blast from a corrupt past! Please, let’s not do this here. Our church deserves better. Enough – Destul!”

  26. Alexandru Nemoianu Says:

    Some ask: “Why is the “union” with the Romanian Patriarchate wrong?”

    In the middle of the XIXth century a very famous manifesto about the Orthodox Church was published by the great theologian Alexei Khomiakov. This manifesto became instantly a land mark for Orthodox scholars and its authority has never been contested.

    The conclusions of that manifesto:”The Church is One” can be summarized as follows:
    The external unity of the Church is manifested in the community of Sacraments; while internal unity is the unity in spirit. Beyond that, all Orthodox jurisdictions are and should be local.

    I repeat, the authority of this manifesto was never contested, and it is considered a land mark of Orthodox theology. Nor can Alexei Khomiakov’s scholastic credentials be contested by anyone. In this light, the “unity” of the “Vatra” with the Romanian Patriarchate would be, an aberation. Evidently, ethnocentrism is not an Orthodox argument.

    In addition, the “Vatra” Episcopate and the communist invention, now called the ROAA, belong to two different administrative “cultures”. The “Vatra” belongs to the administrative culture of the New World, that is about openness and accountability, while ROAA is part of the administrative “culture” of the communist and now neo- communist regime of Romania; that is all about cleptocracy and corruption. These two administrative cultures are antithetic; they cannot be reconciled.

    For all the reasons listed above, those who promote the subordination(”union”) with the Romanian Patriarchate are, in form and spirit, contrary to Orthodox teachings and also un -American. Their only “argument” is an ethnocentrism that frankly, is embarrassing.

  27. Mihai Says:

    Domnule cum am spus. Noi ne vom unii cu Biserica noastra mama, ne vom lua preotii si parohiile cu noi, cele 95 la suta dintre ele, si cu asta basta. Iara voi, stati cu OCA daca vreti. Nu mai este ce sa discutam.

  28. Ghita Says:

    Citesc comentariile semnate Mihai, si nu vad nici un argument valabil pentru a parasi OCA si sa ne supunem BORului. Amenintari si cuvinte mari ca gogoasa dar si pline de aer nu sunt destule. Mihai n-avem nevoie astfel de comentarii inutile. Vino cu argumente logice sau opreste-te.

  29. Anna Says:

    Domnule Nemoianu, dumneata poti ramane cu OCA. Dar noi romanii vrem sa ne unim cu BOR. Pentru ca suntem Romani! Si vorbesc pentru 95 la suta din aceasta episcopie. Sa se puna la vot. Dece va este frica?

    Iara de la inceputul crestinismului fiecare natiune, indiferent daca s-a extins in afara granitelor tarii respective, totdeauna sa suvenit sa apartina de biserica mama al natiunii respective. Check your facts si cerceteaza dreptul canonic Ortodox.

  30. Administrator Says:

    Saraca Anna, dreptul canonic ortodox spune clar ca, biserica nu este organizata pe baza etnica, ci pe baza teritoriala. Deci, BOR sa ramana acasa in Romania, fiindca aici este teritoriul Bisericii Ortodoxe Americane (OCA), si noi facem parte din ea.

Leave a Comment;

E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for e-mail notifications.
Not all of your comments are necessarily displayed on this website.
Comments are not necessarily those of is the website of "Romanian Orthodox for Enquiry in America" and is not affiliated with the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) or with the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).


O Lord and Master of my life,
leave me not with the spirit of laziness,
of despair, of domination, or idle words.

Rather, give me, your servant, the spirit of integrity,
of humility, of patience, and of love.

Thus, Lord, grant me the wisdom to see my own faults,
and not condemn my brother;

for You are blessed, now and forever. Amen.


Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.