It looks like they have just decided to split with OCA and create new self ruled Metropolia under Romanian patriarchate. It has now to be approved by Church of Romania
IMO it's another step back from Orthodox unity in your country.
yes and no. What makes the Romanians somewhat different is that although the services are all in Romanian (I've yet to be at a Romanian service except the Dormition Monestary where there is any English except the sermon, which is a repeat of the Romanian), so too is the coffee hour and the smoking circles outside the Church door. I don't think I've met a member yet born and raised in the US who didn't speak Romanian. In other words, in many ways, they are Romanians living in America rather than Americans of Romanian background. Those who go for English end up in other jurisdictions (we have many in our Antiochian parish).
That being said, yes, having the Romanian diocese folded into the Romanian Eparchy rather than the reverse would be a problem. It will be interesting to see what Pat. Daniel says next month (Met. Jonah will have to depend on Pat. Kyrill to do his talking:
In an interview posted on the official website of the Russian Orthodox Church (Patriarchia.ru) Metropolitan Jonah continued to reveal new information concerning the OCA, including that the Synod of the OCA is entertaining the idea of inviting a Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church to sit with them - as well as plans to create a new Valaam-style monastery on the East Coast. The interview, conducted by journalist Yuri Pushcha, follows:What topics were the primary subjects of discussion during your talks with His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill? http://www.ocanews.org/news/SecondRussianInterview5.08.09.html
We discussed how to serve and continue to work together. During this discussion, we noted that among us there are no major problems, although some general difficulties in Orthodoxy world-wide do exist. It seems to me, however, that we are both of one mind.
How would you rate the overall level of interaction between the American and the Russian Orthodox Church?
The American Orthodox Church is the former “daughter” of Russian Orthodox Church, who now is like our older sister. We have no difficulties in our relations with her. Here we are perceived as a fully canonical and autocephalous Church. This is logical because the Russian Orthodox Church and granted us autocephaly. I am received here on the same level as the Patriarch himself. If we were not perceived as a fully independent and equal Church, then I would be received here as I am.What outcomes do you expect from the forthcoming conference in Cyprus, during which, among other things, the unity of the American Church is to be discussed? Are you counting on the Orthodox Church in America getting a greater measure of understanding of her position by other Local Orthodox Churches?
The Patriarchate of Constantinople, as well as some other Local Orthodox Churches do not recognize our autocephaly. And if they want to make any decisions affecting our life, this is only possible with our consent. Otherwise, it will be a great sin against us.
Do you intend to take further steps towards a dialogue with the Patriarch of Constantinople on recognizing the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America?
Of course, I would like this very much. That is my position. But I also want to be honest with the Leader of the Constantinopolitan Church and under no circumstance wish to show any lack of respect towards him or to say anything against him. But the position of the Patriarch of Constantinople concerning us seems to me to be wrong. Patriarch Kyril and Bishop Hilarion provide us with constant support in this matter. It is a not a question concerning not only us but also the relationship of Moscow and the Constantinople Patriarchates. The Moscow Patriarchate granted us autocephaly. This very decision contested is the Patriarch of Constantinople.
It would seem that in either case, the proposed unity under Bucharest would not be in the cards. If the EP gets his way in Cyprus, the Romanians would be under him, I imagine like the Ukrainians are in North America under the EP, or his two Albanian parishes. Or he could issue a Tomos like that of 1908 for the CoG for the CoR and the status quote that the Holy Cross statement says is unacceptable could continue. If the PoM (and hence the OCA) get his way, then Bucharest should see the handwriting on the wall and its eparchy could fold into the OCA's Romanian Episcopate, which btw, is still up and running:http://www.roea.org/index.htm
despite what I keep on hearing from those at the Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral (one of the priests, btw, is an American Baptist missionary to Romania turned Romanian Orthodox priest, fluent in Romanian).
Or, perhaps something else could be in the works, like having the Mother Churches who have progeny here send a representative to the OCA synod:
Your Beatitude, please tell our readers about the American Orthodox Church: What is the size of its flock, and what is its composition? What place does it occupy among the other Orthodox jurisdictions in America?
We have about 650 parishes and 25 monasteries. Our communicants number about 100,000 people. The baptized -- about one million. The Greek jurisdiction embraces about 125,000 active members and nearly 400 parishes. But their congregations are very large, much larger than ours. They also have more among the baptized -- about two million people. The Antiochian Patriarchate has about 225 parishes and about 50,000 communicants. The Serbian Orthodox Church has around 100-150 parishes, I do not know exactly.
About sixty percent of our flock are Americans who have accepted Orthodoxy. 30% are former Uniates, and about 10% - Russian emigres. We have so many Americans because a significant portion of our flock consists of the residents of Alaska and Mexico, many of whom are Indians. We are not a Russian Orthodox church; we are a Local Orthodox Church, which accepts all and is open to all. Therefore, although a part of our flock consists of Russians, they do not constitute a majority within it. However, now we are now considering the issue of having the representative of the Russian Orthodox Church also take part in meetings of our Synod.
I take this as a reference to the Bishop of the Patriarchal Parishes in North America, from which Met. Jonah himself comes:
Many people in the West came, and continue to come, to Orthodoxy via their familiarity with Russian literature, music, icons, theological thought. What role did Russian culture play in your life?
For me it was very important. My first meeting with Russian culture was by reading “The Brothers Karamazov”. Here I first became acquainted with Orthodoxy, but at the time I did not yet met any Orthodox persons. I was also heavily influenced by the books of Vladimir Lossky, especially “The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church”. I started to read this book and realized that I needed to become Orthodox. I was 18 years old at the time. For me it was an intuition of truth.
And how did you establish contact with the Orthodox Church in America?
I found the phone telephone number of a Russian church. It was a parish of the Church Abroad. I called and went there. I came to the church, looked, but did not understand a single word. I went to a Greek Orthodox church; was very well received there, but I was told: “Why you are here if you are not Greek”? And in the Serbian church, I said: “Why are you here if you are not a Serb?”.
Later I met a priest from the Moscow Patriarchate, a Mexican, a very good person. He was named Roman Merlos. He devoted a lot of time to me and helped me to accept the Orthodox faith. And I am very grateful to him.
To get back to the OP, events at Cyprus are going to preempt anything going on now between the two Romanian Orthodox Bodies in North America, while at the same time the talks and designs between those two bodies is going to probably influence Pat. Daniel's stance in Cyprus. In other words, this isnt' going to be resolved outside the context of the showdown between the EP camp, the PoM camp, and the few "netrons" in between.
If it were not for the issue of the Romanians in North America and the form that their reunification would take, the Church of Romania could have been a better broker on this issue among the Old World Churches. The Church has many Slavic and Greek roots. The acrimony between the EP and Romania over its autocephaly seems to have died out, but not that with Moscow over issues such as Bessarabia. So Romania is not like to play favorites, as it is hostile to Moscow, but zealous over Bucharest's independence of the Phanar.