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« on: December 22, 2008, 07:47:11 AM »

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I hope that the similar meeting will be organised with EP's Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. And two Albanian jurisdictions in USA (OCA's and EP's) will be handed over to Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are satisfied with this situation and they don't want to unify.
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2008, 08:48:26 AM »

Orthodox News

I hope that the similar meeting will be organised with EP's Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. And two Albanian jurisdictions in USA (OCA's and EP's) will be handed over to Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are satisfied with this situation and they don't want to unify.

There is a question of how much unity of the Romanians divides them from the Orthodox they are actually living with:

Quote
Fr. Frunza shared his own experience and observations as a Romanian and Orthodox Christian growing up in communist Romania with the broken reality of the Orthodox Church and the culture of corruption throughout society.  He stated that the Church of Romania tends to see all Romanian Orthodox worldwide as their spiritual children, and the Romanian State sees those outside of Romania as citizens. Both attitudes disregard the fact that Romanian Orthodox who become citizens of the United States choose to leave and be part of a new culture and Church (ROEA, OCA), even though they continue to love their native country of Romania and Romanian heritage. 
 
Fr. Frunza concluded by saying: “I did not come to the USA to help the Romanian State or the Romanian Church and have them follow me and consider me their subject.  Nor did I come to be silenced through threats.  I believe the members of the Episcopate need to know and be informed about the whole process [of unity].”
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2008, 11:36:07 AM »

There is only one Albanian jurisdiction in America. A bishop and 2 parishes does not make a jurisdiction.
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2008, 12:49:54 PM »

There is a question of how much unity of the Romanians divides them from the Orthodox they are actually living with:

Quote
Fr. Frunza shared his own experience and observations as a Romanian and Orthodox Christian growing up in communist Romania with the broken reality of the Orthodox Church and the culture of corruption throughout society.  He stated that the Church of Romania tends to see all Romanian Orthodox worldwide as their spiritual children, and the Romanian State sees those outside of Romania as citizens. Both attitudes disregard the fact that Romanian Orthodox who become citizens of the United States choose to leave and be part of a new culture and Church (ROEA, OCA), even though they continue to love their native country of Romania and Romanian heritage. 
 
Fr. Frunza concluded by saying: “I did not come to the USA to help the Romanian State or the Romanian Church and have them follow me and consider me their subject.  Nor did I come to be silenced through threats.  I believe the members of the Episcopate need to know and be informed about the whole process [of unity].”

Exactly.  This looks to me as more of a step back - that those for this new "joint unity" are more concerned with being Romanian than Orthodox in America or American Orthodox unity.
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2008, 01:02:54 PM »

The quote below from the Chancellor of the Romanian Diocese of the OCA also expresses their reservations toward unity due to a lack of transparency on the part of the Romanian Archdiocese. The transparency he speaks of has to do with the financial state of the archdiocese because the rumor is they have mountains of debt. Staying in the OCA may make more sense to the diocese with the election of Met. Jonah and his apparent willingness to sweep the OCA clean of any wrongdoing and financial impropriety. Why would the Diocese want to leave an autocephalous church, which is getting its house in order, and then join with a poorly run ethnic archdiocese?

"The third presentation was offered by Archdeacon David Oancea.  He took off his Chancellor hat and spoke as a concerned member of the Episcopate who has worked at the Vatra for 20 years, offering observations and comments. 

He said the JDC members have had a long experience in this dialogue process while the experience of the rest of us has been limited to this year’s Congress.  Thus, the Joint Proposal came as a shock to many who believe unity is desirable so long as we don’t have to change our canonical identity.  He pointed out that the lack of transparency has caused the unity process, for many, to appear rushed and forced; if things are still so delicate that all issues cannot be put openly on the table, then perhaps we are not ready for the proposed unity."

 
 
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2008, 02:17:30 PM »

Exactly.  This looks to me as more of a step back - that those for this new "joint unity" are more concerned with being Romanian than Orthodox in America or American Orthodox unity.

I don't know if it's really all about that; I've spoken with clergy of both Romanian jurisdictions (one or two on the JDC), and it seems that the three overriding reasons for the proposed unity are (a) the desire to no longer be split (why have two overlapping Romanian jurisdictions?); (b) mistrust of the OCA hierarchy; and (c) did I mention mistrust of the OCA hierarchy???

From the Americans' side, they weren't as concerned about the issues with the Romanian state (i.e. they weren't in it for some sort of ethnic ties or to make a bond with the "old country") - they were just focused on unity and, as a bonus, a possible "out" from the mess (that was at the time boiling) in the OCA.  (One or two cynics from the RP diocese thought that this was going to be a "sure thing" simply because he was going to gain a place of prominence in a more prestigious Church...)
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« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2009, 02:43:17 PM »

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

URL

IMO it's another step back from Orthodox unity in your country.
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« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2009, 03:15:29 PM »

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

URL

IMO it's another step back from Orthodox unity in your country.

No, they haven't split yet.  The link is to a story of yet another dialogue on the point.  I don't know if it's necessarily a step backwards, as much as it is a lateral-step: they're proposing, instead of two Romanian Eparchies in this country, there be only one... it's an admirable step insofar as it reduces the clutter (instead of having an OCA Romanian diocese and a Patriarchal Romanian diocese, we could just have "a Romanian Diocese" which could then be a more vocal contributor to SCOBA and Orthodox Unity discussions).
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2009, 09:24:38 AM »

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

URL

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:
Quote
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?

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.
http://www.ocanews.org/news/SecondRussianInterview5.08.09.html

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:
Quote
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:
Quote
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.
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2009, 05:24:48 PM »

I sense schism in the wings.  What if the Romanian Patriarch does a deal with the OCA?  Will those Romanians in OCA become schismatic for not joining Romanian Church?
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2009, 06:57:37 PM »

I sense schism in the wings.  What if the Romanian Patriarch does a deal with the OCA?  Will those Romanians in OCA become schismatic for not joining Romanian Church?

The way such a schism would develop is if the Church of Romania goes lock step with the EP (which is doubtful because in that scenario the CoR would have not a say in the North American Church anyways) and the OCA stood solid behind the PoM against the novel interpretation of canon 28.  Interestingly I just spoke with some from the Romanian Cathedral here and they again said it was a done deal, and that the American proposal just had not been formalized in Bucharest yet.  They didn't know anything about Cyprus though.
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« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2009, 01:49:17 AM »

Hmm...mixed opinions. I can understand the thought of having only one Romanian diocese here in the States, but why can't the Romanian Archdiocese join the OCA? I'm not Romanian, so I guess I don't understand...
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« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 02:36:07 PM »

From OCA news:

Archbishop Nathaniel offered no insights into what is happening in the Romanian Archdiocese. The effort to unite with the Patriarchial Archdiocese to create a new, “autonomous” jurisdiction in the Americas appears to have stalled and the Archbishop indicated that no significant action is expected to be taken at the upcoming Episcopate Congress on the July 4th weekend.

http://www.ocanews.org/news/News5.20.09.html

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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 09:54:38 PM »

^ Seeing what is going on with Antioch, The Patriarch of Rumania is likely to keep the status quo....
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« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2009, 05:08:29 PM »

"This deal is all but officially dead, and hold your breath because it may be offiical soon."

From the lips of someone with a say so.
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« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2009, 05:55:59 PM »

Seems that BOR or ROC does not recognise the autocephalos of OCA.It seems that there was a pan-orthodox council about this in July and there will be another one in December.
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« Reply #16 on: August 30, 2009, 05:59:13 PM »

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I hope that the similar meeting will be organised with EP's Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. And two Albanian jurisdictions in USA (OCA's and EP's) will be handed over to Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are satisfied with this situation and they don't want to unify.

Handing churches in America over to overseas churches is precisely what we need to not be doing. Enhancing the diasporal nature of the Church in America is precisely what makes the Church in America so divided. If anything, it would be better for the churches of the Romanian Archdiocese and the Albanian church of the EP to be incorporated into their OCA dioceses. Though, I do think this setup in the OCA is still unideal because it doesn't entirely follow the "one bishop to one city" principle but rather sets up ethnic dioceses overlapping the regular dioceses. The situation in the Diocese of the West where the Russians just have their own deanery seems closer to ideal to me.
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« Reply #17 on: August 30, 2009, 06:10:31 PM »

Seems that BOR or ROC does not recognise the autocephalos of OCA.It seems that there was a pan-orthodox council about this in July and there will be another one in December.

BOR?

Are you talking about Chambesy and the Cyprus synod?  Let's see how implementation goes.  Talking to two on SCOBA, it seems that there is going to be a head on collision, unless something changes fast.  Not to mention what happens now with the UAOC.

As for the ROC, yeah, they see the OCA just as Russians. But that has little effect here.  They have their own troubles in Moldova.
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« Reply #18 on: August 30, 2009, 06:14:17 PM »

Orthodox News

I hope that the similar meeting will be organised with EP's Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. And two Albanian jurisdictions in USA (OCA's and EP's) will be handed over to Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are satisfied with this situation and they don't want to unify.

Handing churches in America over to overseas churches is precisely what we need to not be doing. Enhancing the diasporal nature of the Church in America is precisely what makes the Church in America so divided. If anything, it would be better for the churches of the Romanian Archdiocese and the Albanian church of the EP to be incorporated into their OCA dioceses. Though, I do think this setup in the OCA is still unideal because it doesn't entirely follow the "one bishop to one city" principle but rather sets up ethnic dioceses overlapping the regular dioceses. The situation in the Diocese of the West where the Russians just have their own deanery seems closer to ideal to me.

Well, life is messy.

The ethnic diocese can have their own see with an Archbishop (one per group) in the Holy Synod of North America, and then suffragans for the "ordinary folk" in that area.  There still will be Archbishops who would just be "American"/"Canadian" and not devoted to one ethnicity/usage/rite.
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« Reply #19 on: August 30, 2009, 06:36:33 PM »

Orthodox News

I hope that the similar meeting will be organised with EP's Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America. And two Albanian jurisdictions in USA (OCA's and EP's) will be handed over to Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania. Or maybe I'm wrong and they are satisfied with this situation and they don't want to unify.

Handing churches in America over to overseas churches is precisely what we need to not be doing. Enhancing the diasporal nature of the Church in America is precisely what makes the Church in America so divided. If anything, it would be better for the churches of the Romanian Archdiocese and the Albanian church of the EP to be incorporated into their OCA dioceses. Though, I do think this setup in the OCA is still unideal because it doesn't entirely follow the "one bishop to one city" principle but rather sets up ethnic dioceses overlapping the regular dioceses. The situation in the Diocese of the West where the Russians just have their own deanery seems closer to ideal to me.

Well, life is messy.

The ethnic diocese can have their own see with an Archbishop (one per group) in the Holy Synod of North America, and then suffragans for the "ordinary folk" in that area.  There still will be Archbishops who would just be "American"/"Canadian" and not devoted to one ethnicity/usage/rite.

That's still not ideally how things should be. Shouldn't we move toward a greater observance of "one bishop per city" if possible?
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« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2009, 04:34:50 AM »

Seems that BOR or ROC does not recognise the autocephalos of OCA.It seems that there was a pan-orthodox council about this in July and there will be another one in December.

BOR?

Are you talking about Chambesy and the Cyprus synod?  Let's see how implementation goes.  Talking to two on SCOBA, it seems that there is going to be a head on collision, unless something changes fast.  Not to mention what happens now with the UAOC.

As for the ROC, yeah, they see the OCA just as Russians. But that has little effect here.  They have their own troubles in Moldova.

BOR - Biserica Ortodoxă Română , BOR is the same with ROC or OCR i don`t know the correct abbreviation.
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