Welcome (Bine aţi venit) to the official website of The
a Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America.
We are happy to report that the Michigan Court of Appeals recently decided in favor of the Episcopate in the civil court case against Ascension Monastery (also known as Holy Trinity Monastery) and Adrian M. Lupu-Leica. The decision of the Court is available at the following link: https://roea.org/files/Legal/MI_Court_of_Appeals_Decision.PDF.
With blessings and all good wishes,
Early bird price available until June 15, 2019.
$2,295/person double occupancy single supplement $675
Join your fellow Orthodox believers in the 50th Anniversary celebrations of St. Herman of Alaska's canonization and the 50th Anniversary of the OCA's autocephaly in 2020. Guaranteed dates are sponsored by the dioceses of the OCA. This will be a special trip for all Orthodox believers. Sign up early and save. Regular price $2,525/person.
Diocesan sponsored travel dates: Jun 17-23, 2020 Romanian Episcopate
CLICK HERE for complete details and to place reservations.
[YONKERS, NY - July 5, 2018] Just as America was preparing for Independence Day celebrations, a delegation from St. Vladimir’s Seminary returned from a trip to Romania meant to further the Seminary’s mission here in North America and abroad.
We have two pieces of good news to share on that front: SVOTS fulfilled its #GivingTuesday promise and presented a gift of $13,000 to the Pro Vita Association for the Born and Unborn in Romania, and the Seminary also officially inked a new academic partnership with Saint Andrei Saguna Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Sibiu. The agreement encourages future student and faculty exchanges and other collaborations between SVOTS and Saint Andrei Saguna. Being able to support Pro Vita in its absolutely incredible work for Romanian families in need is thanks to people like you who helped us raise $126,000 on #GivingTuesday 2017.
Click on the links to read more. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and prayers that help make these wonderful partnerships possible for the good of the Church and the formation of her future clergy and lay leaders.
Preoteasa Juliana Marinescu fell asleep in the Lord on St. George Day (April 23, 2018) and was buried in a private ceremony. She is survived by daughters Rodica and Monica, their respective spouses Aristotle and John, and their children....
Letter [Romanian] from Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown
A letter to His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, from Her Majesty Margareta, thanking him for his compassionate words and thoughts to her and her family on the sad occasion of the passing into eternal life of her father, King Michael. She writes that King Michael was a wonderful father, a model of morality and a pillar of the contemporary society of their country. Loyal and generous, he demostrated a firm commitment with respect to Nation and Crown.Their fellow citizens were united during those days, proud, grieving and spiritually uplifted. The love, respect and admiration which the Romanian people displayed toward their King on his final journey touched the family profoundly.
The Rev. Dimintrie Vincent broke neck playing hockey
Source: WDIV Channel 4 Detroit
By Larry Spruill - Reporter
DETROIT - A Metro Detroit priest who was once paralyzed is not giving up.
It's all about placing one foot in front of the other for the Rev. Dimintrie Vincent. Just two months ago, he was involved in an accident during a hockey game.
"I got tangled up with one of the guys and got pushed into one of the boards, and my neck broke," Vincent said. "I was completely numb from the head down. I couldn't feel anything but the bottom of my feet."
After many surgeries and doctor visits, he arrived at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan.
"I arrived here on Dec. 1, and the rehab process began," Vincent said....
Please send your prayers and support for Father Dimitrie Vincent. Fr. Dimitrie, the Parish Priest of St. Thomas Albanian Orthodox Church in Farmington Hills, Michigan, and a member of the clergy of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, suffered a serious spinal cord injury while playing hockey on Saturday, November 25 at the Redford Ice Arena. Besides serving his congregation, Father D is also a member of the Orthodox Church of America....
MESSAGE OF HIS EMINENCE, ARCHBISHOP NATHANIEL (POPP) OF THE ROMANIAN ORTHODOX EPISCOPATE OF AMERICA AND CANADA
Her Royal Highness, MARGARETA
Custodian of the Romanian Crown
Royal House of Romania
Moved by the news of the falling asleep in the Lord of His Majesty, King Michael I of Romania, we raise our hearts to the All-Merciful God and pray for his entrance into the joy of the Lord. We convey our humble compassion as well as the condolences of the clergy and faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of the United States of America and Canada to the honored Royal Families and to all Romanians who pray for His Majesty's soul....
BLEAHU, Rev. Fr. Remus, was deposed from the Priesthood, and his name was removed from the ranks of the clergy of the Orthodox Church in America by the Holy Synod of Bishops, effective November 16, 2017.
CARSTEA, V. Rev. Fr. Gheorghe, was deposed from the Priesthood, and his name was removed from the ranks of the clergy of the Romanian Episcopate and the Orthodox Church in America by the Holy Synod of Bishops, effective November 16, 2017.
As per the directive from the Holy Synod of Bishops: As laymen, Remus Bleahu and Gheorghe Carstea possess no spiritual, canonical, secular or material authority of any kind or character; and, they are not allowed to visit parishes within the Episcopate or the Orthodox Church in America; nor are they permitted to involve themselves in any way in the material or spiritual affairs of those parishes. They are also forbidden to involve themselves in any way, directly or indirectly, in the internal or external matters of the Episcopate or its parishes or those of any other Orthodox jurisdiction or parish or in the lives of any parishioners of those parishes, including having contact with parish clergy.
London, Ontario - Canada. On Friday, October 20, 2017, Rev. Father Mihai Cociu peacefully fell asleep in the Lord at age 63 after a year-long battle with cancer, with family by his side at University Hospital....
Thank you for your tremendous outpouring of prayers and support for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath. We ask you to keep those affected by Hurricane Harvey in your prayers and also those now facing Hurricane Irma. IOCC has been in the region since early last week providing care and we will continue to be in the Houston region and Louisiana for weeks and months to come....
By Louise Carroll For The Ellwood City Ledger
WAYNE TWP. -- On a warm, sunny day 50 years ago, the faithful gathered with bishops, clergy and public officials to perform a prayer service and to break ground on a new monastery.
The ground was blessed on Aug. 11, 1967, for the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Wayne Township....
Certain procedures were initiated in the late summer of 2015 against then-Bishop Irineu (Duvlea), at that time the Auxiliary Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA) and Abbot of Holy Ascension Orthodox Christian Monastery (later renamed Holy Ascension Romanian Orthodox Christian Monastery [unauthorized change]), as a consequence of oral reports made to me in my capacity as Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America regarding possible sexual and other misconduct on the part of then-Bishop Irineu. In the course of these procedures, then-Bishop Irineu was officially put on leave of absence which restricted the performance of his clerical and administrative duties pending the investigation of these allegations by a letter dated August 25, 2015, forwarded to me by Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and by a letter from the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations (ORSMA) of the Orthodox Church in America, dated August 25, 2015, which was addressed to then-Bishop Irineu. On September 1, 2015, a Response Team was appointed to investigate these matters....
În vara anului 2015 au fost demarate anumite proceduri împotriva fostului Episcop Irineu (Duvlea), la acel moment Episcop-vicar al Episcopiei Ortodoxe Române din America (ROEA) și stareț al Mânăstirii Creștin Ortodoxe „Înălțarea Domnului” (titlu ulterior schimbat în Mănăstirea Românească Creștin Ortodoxă „Înălțarea Domnului” [o schimbare neautorizată]), ca urmare a unor declarații făcute mie în calitate de Arhiepiscop al Episcopiei Ortodoxe Române din America (ROEA), având ca subiect posibile abateri de natură sexuală și disciplinară atribuite Episcopului Irineu. Pe durata acestor proceduri, în așteptarea cercetării acestor acuzații, Episcopul Irineu a fost suspendat, fiind privat de funcțiile sale clericale și administrative, prin scrisoarea din 25 august 2015, trimisă mie de către Mitropolitul Tikhon, Primatul Bisericii Ortodoxe din America, precum și prin scrisoarea primită de la Biroul pentru Verificarea Acuzațiilor de Abuz Sexual (ORSMA) al Bisericii Ortodoxe din America, datată 25 august 2015, adresată fostului episcop Irineu. La 1 septembrie 2015, a fost numită o Comisie de Investigare pentru a cerceta respectivele acuzații....
Episcopate Congress 2017
Thursday, August 31 – Sunday, September 3, 2017
Vatra Romaneasca, Grass Lake, Michigan
Clergy Conference / Episcopate Council Meeting
Friday & Saturday
Episcopate Congress Sessions
Hierarchal Divine Liturgy / Closing Banquet
(mention “ROEA Congress” for rate )
All hotels in Michigan are now non-smoking
Holiday Inn – Jackson | (517) 789-9600
2696 Bob McClain Dr., Jackson, MI
(behind MEIER, North side of I-94 @ Airport Rd.)
Booking Deadline: 07/30/2017
Rate: $135.00/night + 11% taxes
Fitness center, business center, indoor pool, free Wi-Fi.
Breakfast buffet $8.95
Online booking code: REO
Holiday Inn Express – Jackson | (517) 788-6400
3506 Oneil Dr., Jackson, MI
(South side of I-94 @ Airport Rd. exit)
Booking Deadline: 07/31/2017
Rate: $135.00/night + 11% taxes
Free breakfast, indoor pool, free Wi-Fi
Comfort Inn – Jackson | (517) 768-0088
2435 Shirley Dr., Jackson, MI
(East side of US-127 near Red Lobster)
Booking Deadline: 07/30/2017
2 Queen - Rate: $110/night + 11% taxes
Single King - Rate: $110/night + 11% taxes
Suite (2 Queen) - Rate: $120/night + 11% taxes
Free breakfast, indoor pool, fitness center
29 iunie 2017
Sf. Ap. Petru și Pavel
Preacucernici și Preacuviosi Părinți și Iubiți Credincioși ai de Dumnezeu păzitei noastre Episcopii,
Cu adâncă întristare, vă împărtășesc vestea primită de la Cancelaria Bisericii Ortodoxe din America, în dimineața zilei de 28 iunie 2017, în legătură cu statutul fostului nostru episcop vicar Irineu (Duvlea).
Sfântul Sinod al Episcopilor Bisericii Ortodoxe in America s-a întrunit în data de 21 iunie 2017 la Biserica „Sfântul Dumitru” din Jackson, Michigan și a convocat Tribunalul Sinodal pentru a asculta și considera anumite acuzații aduse împotriva episcopului vicar Irineu. În urma analizării și considerării probelor prezentate, Sfântul Sinod a hotărât că Episcopul Irineu trebuie depus din treapta arhieriei și din rândul clerului, fiind redus la statutul de simplu monah....
June 29, 2017
Holy Apostles Peter and Paul
Reverend Fathers and Beloved Faithful of our God-protected Episcopate:
With profound sadness, I share with you the news received from the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America on the morning of June 28, 2017, in regard to the status of our former Vicar Bishop Irineu Duvlea.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America met on June 21, 2017, at St. Demetrius Church in Jackson, Michigan, and convened a Spiritual Court to hear and consider certain accusations brought against Vicar Bishop Irineu. Following the review and consideration of the evidence presented, the Holy Synod determined that Bishop Irineu should be deposed from the episcopacy and the ranks of the clergy and reduced to the state of lay monk....
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] -- During their annual retreat held in Michigan on June 19-23, 2017, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America held a special session convening the Synodal Court whichcanonically deposed the Bishop Irineu (Duvlea), Auxiliary Bishop of the ROEA, from the status and all sacred functions of the episcopacy, removed him from the ranks of the clergy, and returned him to the status of a lay monk.
The letter of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon to the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America reads as follows....
SYOSSET, NY (OCA) - Pe durata retragerii (spirituale) anuale, care a avut loc în Michigan în perioada 19-23 iunie 2017, membrii Sfântului Sinod al Episcopilor Bisericii Ortodoxe în America au convocat o sesiune specială a Curții Sinodale, care a depus pe Episcopul Irineu (Duvlea), Episcop Vicar al ROEA, din treapta de episcop și din toate funcțiile episcopale, precum și din toate treptele clericale, reducându-l la statutul de simplu monah.
Scrisoarea Preafericirii Sale, Mitropolitul Tikhon, adresată Episcopiei Ortodoxe Române din America, comunică următoarele.
The book "Treasures of Romanian Christianity: Hesychast Tradition and Culture," written by Metropolitan Serafim Joanta, will be available for free in e-book (Amazon Kindle) format on Lazarus Saturday, Palm Sunday and on Holy Pascha (April 8-9, 16, 2017) at the the following link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IQJYTYK.
The Episcopate is forced to make the following report public today (January 6, 2017) as a result of misinformation being distributed by some members of the Parish Council of St. Nicholas Parish, Troy, Michigan, related to the suspension and retirement of Rev. Gheorghe Carstea, effective January 1, 2017.
Preoteasa Alice nee Lipan Nenson passed away December 9, 2016, having fulfilled her purpose in life - "to love and be loved". In her last days, her room at Regina Wascana Grace Hospice was overflowing with her family and loved ones....
The 25-year old charity, Nobody's Children, a 501(c)(3)(a) tax-exempt organization founded in 1991 in New Hampshire, is working urgently with Dr. Antonio Capone, Jr. and Dr. Michael Trese of Associated Retinal Consultants from The William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI, the world's experts in retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), to help Maria Elena Sauca of Maramures, Romania. Maria is a 7 mo old infant with rapidly progressive blindness who needs surgery urgently to prevent further visual loss. Her operation is scheduled for Jan 9, 2017. Please contribute toward this $24,000-26,000 surgery. Thank you in advance for any support you can find to help this beautiful little girl. All the donations received via the PayPal link on Nobody's Children website will go toward helping Maria receive this surgery. Parishes are encouraged to make an urgent appeal to their parishioners via email / Facebook or other social media to meet the deadline. Click here and here for more information.
Just in time for Christmas! Camp Vatra alumni and supporters, show your pride and support for Camp Vatra by purchasing shirts today for yourself and your loved ones....
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] October 24, 2016 - The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America concluded its Fall Session at the Chancery here on Friday, October 21, 2016. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, presided at the sessions....
Source: St Vladimir's Seminary Press
Peter Danilchick, a protodeacon [Protection of the Mother of God Church, Falls Church VA - Romanian Diocese] and retired corporate executive, brings his experience and expertise to bear on the meaning, challenges, and techniques of strategic leadership, planning, and management for Christians in his new book: Thy Will Be Done: Strategic Leadership, Planning, and Management for Christians. Many books examine these skills from a business perspective, but none have incorporated the timeless wisdom of the Orthodox faith. Thy Will Be Done serves as a bridge between the ecclesiastical and corporate worlds, drawing on Scripture and the Church fathers, together with the strategies and best practices of the business world....
(October 24, 2016 - Fairlawn, Ohio) Following a long illness, Preoteasa Silvia nee Balaj Yova, beloved wife of (+) Protodeacon Paul, fell asleep in the Lord at home today surrounded by her loving family. The calling hours will be at her church (Presentation of Our Lord, 3365 Ridgewood Rd., in Fairlawn) on Monday, October 24, from 4-6:30 p.m. The funeral will follow immediately at 6:30 p.m. followed by a reception. A private burial will be held the next morning. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to either her church, Project Mexico, or St. Gregory Palamas Monastery in Perrysville, Ohio. May God grant her rest and may her memory be eternal!
Click on the following link for her full obituary: http://anthonyfh.com/tribute/details/2516/Silvia-Yova/obituary.html#tribute-start.
Source: The Herald - Sharon Pennsylvania
By SANDY SCARMACK Herald Staff Writer / October 17, 2016
HERMITAGE – It’s almost too picturesque to be real. A beautiful old church, nestled among trees bursting in shades of orange and crimson, the sun shining bright and the cozy, welcoming scent of ginger and nutmeg, wafting out the door. Fall is here and so are the Pumpkin Holy Rollers, a dedicated group of volunteers at Holy Cross Orthodox Church on Maple Road, where they chop, stir, whip, fold and bake up arguably one of the best pumpkin rolls around....
Ersilia Maximo (nee Toconita), a lifelong resident of the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia peacefully fell asleep in the Lord on September 13th, 2016 with family by her side. She was 94 years of age....
The Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America gathered in its 84th Annual Session at Vatra Romaneasca, in Grass Lake, Michigan, passed unanimously the following resolution in its opening session:
For the sake of efficiency and good order, all Congress Delegates and Visitors will register at the Tent in front of the Chancery Office (east side of Grey Tower Road across from the Vatra Campus). The registration will be a drive-thru process...
[CLINTON, MI - August 12, 2016] With sadness, we report the fact that around noon on Friday, August 12, the church of Ascension of the Lord Monastery in Clinton, Michigan burned down....__________________________________________[CLINTON, MI - 12 August, 2016] Cu părere de rău, vă aducem la cunoștință faptul că în ziua de 12 august, în jurul amiezii, biserica Mănăstirii Înălțarea Domnului din Clinton, Michigan a fost mistuită de flăcări....
The Telegraph - August 1, 2016
Queen Anne of Romania, born September 18 1923, died August 1 2016
Princess Anne of Romania, who has died aged 92, was queen of a country whose language she did not speak and on whose soil she did not step until she was nearly 70....
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] Priest John Parsells, Rector of Christ the Savior Mission, Berlin, MD, and his associates at Orthodox Web Solutions have developed a new free app—“Orthodoxy in America”—for smartphones and tablets.
“This app is much more than just a church locator,” explains Father John. “It brings together news, social posts, daily audio, and trending photos, as well as video and 360 tours from the various jurisdictions, agencies, seminaries, monasteries, and Orthodox media outlets, including Ancient Faith, Orthodox Christian Network, Pravmir, Pemptousia, Pravoslavie.ru, Patristic Nectar, Sister Vassa, Y2AM, and others. News from the Orthodox Church in America and its institutions also are featured in this app, which is offered to help inform, educate and inspire the faithful to live and share their Faith!”
Android, Apple, and Windows versions—totally free and without advertisements—are in the app stores now and may be downloaded free of charge.
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has issued a Statement on the Holy and Great Council, slated to be convened on the Island of Crete from June 16 through 27, 2016. Concurrently, petitions have been made available and are to be included in the Litany of Fervent Supplication at all Divine Services, beginning immediately. The Statement and Petitions that appear below also are available in PDF format....
NEW YORK – [Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America] An historic gathering for the Orthodox Christian Churches, the first of its kind in 1200 years, is being supported with both digital communications and a multilingual team of experts. A website, www.orthodoxcouncil.org, provides background information on the Holy and Great Council, which will meet in Crete June 16-27 and gathers representatives from the 14 autocephalous (internally self-governing) Orthodox Churches to discuss issues ranging from the mission of the Orthodox Church in the modern world and its relations with other Christian churches, to the importance of fasting and the sacrament of marriage....
[Grass Lake, Michigan – April 8, 2016] On April 2nd, 2016, the Episcopate Council met under the presidency of His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, and discussed administrative, canonical and educational-pastoral matters....
Comunicat de Presă al Consiliului Eparhial al Episcopiei Ortodoxe Romane din America
[Grass Lake, Michigan – 8 Aprilie 2016] În data de 2 aprilie 2016, s-a întâlnit Consiliul Eparhial sub președinția Înaltpreasfințitului Părinte Arhiepiscop Nathaniel. S-au dezbătut probleme de natură administrativă, canonică și pastoral-educațională....
ISTANBUL, TURKEY [OCA] As reported earlier, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon had accepted the invitation of His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople to concelebrate at the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George in the Phanar district here on the Sunday of Orthodoxy—March 19-20, 2016.
Earlier, Metropolitan Tikhon had accepted similar invitations from Patriarch Bartholomew. In December 2014, he visited the Holy Theological School of Halki and the Patriarchate with Archpriests John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, and Archpriests John Behr and Alexander Rentel of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY. In June 2015, Metropolitan Tikhon and Father Alexander traveled to the Patriarchate in connection with the meeting of the Executive Committee of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA....
CAMP VATRA FUNDRAISER
Camp Vatra alumni and supporters, show your pride and support for Camp Vatra by purchasing a limited-edition Tshirt or Sweatshirt today! All proceeds from this sale will go toward helping to fund another year of programs for our youth.
Due to popular demand, we are now offering these black & white shirts based on the commemorative t-shirts presented to our campers each year. (Black & white seems to have been our most popular color combination!)
This is a limited time offer, so don't miss your chance to order now. Once the sales campaign is over on January 15, shirts will no longer be available. (All shirts will be printed and shipped after January 15.)
Purchase online only at: www.booster.com/CampVatraCollection.
Please help spread the word (including “sharing” the above page on social media) so that our many former campers and friends will have the opportunity to participate.
Thank you in advance for your continued support!
CLICK HERE for more information and to place your order!
83RD EPISCOPATE CONGRESS HIGHLIGHTS
The 83rd Episcopate Congress was held in Cleveland, Ohio from September 3-6, 2015. St. Mary Cathedral hosted the event. On Thursday morning, the clergy attended the Divine Liturgy. Following breakfast, the clergy met in the atrium of the Cathedral’s Cultural Center for the annual clergy conference. At the opening of the conference, the Archbishop referred to the statement posted on the Episcopate website regarding His Grace, Bishop Irineu (see http://roea.org/news_150901_2.html).
IMPORTANT NOTICE REGARDING HIS GRACE, BISHOP IRINEU
(September 1, 2015 – Grass Lake, MI) The Episcopate Office has been notified by the Office for Review of Sexual Misconduct Allegations (ORSMA) of the Orthodox Church in America, that His Grace, Bishop Irineu (Duvlea), Bishop of Dearborn Heights and Auxiliary Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, is being investigated for allegations of sexual misconduct....
COMUNICAT REFERITOR LA SITUAȚIA PREASFINȚITULUI PĂRINTE IRINEU
(2015-09-01 - Grass Lake, MI) Cancelaria Episcopiei a fost notificată de către Biroul de Investigare și Revizuire a Acuzațiilor de Abatere Sexuală (ORSMA) a Bisericii Ortodoxe din America despre faptul că Preasfințitul Părinte Irineu (Duvlea), Episcop de Dearborn Heights și Episcop Vicar al Episcopiei Ortodoxe Române din America, este cercetat pentru acuzația de comportament sexual neadecvat....
Memory Eternal: Archimandrite Roman Braga
RIVES JUNCTION, MI [OCA] Archimandrite Roman [Braga], 93, of the Monastery of the Holy Dormition here fell asleep in the Lord shortly before midnight on the evening of Tuesday, April 28, 2015....
Holy Synod responds to Assembly of Bishops’ “Common Starting Point”
SYOSSET, NY [OCA] In a document dated March 15, 2015, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America offered a response to the Chairman and Secretary of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America with regard to the “Common Starting Point” for Canonical and Regional Planning.
The text of the six-page document is available here.
Assembly of Bishops Issues Message to the Faithful, Statement on Middle East
The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America concluded its fifth annual meeting on Thursday in Dallas, Texas. The Assembly issued a message to the faithful and a statement on the Middle East.
In other business, the Assembly reviewed and approved the 2015 budget. Assembly VI will be held September 15-17, 2015. The location is to be determined.
Documents pertaining to Assembly V, including the minutes, 2015 budget and committee reports, will be forthcoming on the Assembly's website.
[Syosset, NY] A Preliminary Response of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to proposals with regard to canonical restructuring, a topic of discussion at the fifth meeting of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America in Dallas, TX September 15-19, 2014, was issued and distributed to all bishops on September 17.
The text of the Preliminary Response reads as follows.
PRELIMINARY RESPONSE OF THE HOLY SYNOD OF BISHOPS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH IN AMERICA TO THE PROPOSALS FOR CANONICAL RESTRUCTURING
September 17, 2014
“The light of Orthodoxy was not lit to shine only on a small number of men. The Orthodox Church is universal; it remembers the words of its Founder: ‘Go ye unto all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature’ [Mark 16:15]…. We ought to share our spiritual wealth, our truth, light, and joy with others who are deprived of these blessings, but often are seeking them and thirsting for them….” [St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America Homily for the Sunday of Orthodoxy, 1903, San Francisco].
The fourth gathering of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in North America (ACOB) took place on September 17-19, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. At that meeting, the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning presented a Proposal for Canonical Administrative Restructuring, which was discussed in detail at several sessions by the assembled bishops.
According to the minutes of Assembly IV, “[t]here was a general sense that there was no agreement on the proposed model at this time, but that the model was a good starting point for further discussion and development.” In addition, the suggestion was made that, “following the conclusion of Assembly IV, there should be discussion within each jurisdiction about the proposals.”
More recently, the Committee for Canonical Regional Planning has forwarded to all the bishops of the Assembly an updated proposal for canonical restructuring in our region along with a second unsolicited proposal from an interested group outside of the Committee. These are being discussed at our Assembly gathered here in Dallas. Several jurisdictions have already offered responses to the most recent proposals or expanded on the comments they have made about last year’s Proposal.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America is presently considering its own fuller and more comprehensive contribution to the present discussion but offers the following points as an outline of some principles which we feel should be considered by the brothers of the Assembly:
- The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America remains committed to the work of the Assembly of Bishops and is grateful to the Most Holy Patriarchs and Primates for initiating the process that has taken us from the Fourth Pre-Conciliar Pan Orthodox Conference in Chambésy, Switzerland in June of 2009 to our present expectation of a Great and Holy Council in 2016.
- We likewise remain supportive of the efforts of the Assembly of Bishops within our region, which has met now for five years in a row, in a spirit of mutual love and respect, with a view to fulfill the mandate of the “swift healing of every canonical anomaly” in our region and to propose, by consensus, a plan for canonical reorganization to be submitted in time for the Great and Holy Council [Message of the Patriarchs 3.12].
- In particular, we offer sincere thanks to Archbishop Nicolae, the Chairman of the Canonical Regional Planning Committee, along with all its members and consultants, for their excellent initiative and work to date. We recognize the exhaustive research and complex reflection that were required to address the issue of canonical organization in our region. We also acknowledge the many hours of discussion and review that have gone into the drafting of the initial 2013 proposal and the subsequent proposals presented to this Assembly.
- We also would like to acknowledge the concerns expressed on the two proposals that we are considering here in Dallas, including those referring specifically to the canonical implications of the proposals, the duty of the Mother Churches to pastorally care for the flock of their particular ethnic and cultural heritage and the need address current variations in pastoral and ecclesiastical practice. These are legitimate concerns that must be carefully addressed in any plan that is put forward. We also emphasize that the principle of consensus, which has been operative on the global level through the Synaxes of the Holy Patriarchs and the Chambésy process, as well as within our own Assembly, must be preserved as we look to finalize our Assembly’s proposal to the Great and Holy Council.
- We note that the two proposals most recently distributed to the bishops articulate two different approaches to the question of canonical restructuring. The first (from the Committee) proposed a 10-year path towards a potential autocephaly via an interim status of autonomy to be overseen by all the Primates of the Orthodox Churches. The second (from an unsolicited source) proposes a similar 10-year plan but with the emphasis on common and concerted joint local effort of the members of the Assembly in addressing a number of specific areas (pension, theological education, missions, etc.).
- Although both plans present concrete solutions, the Holy Synod of the OCA feels that both options require further discussion and analysis both within the Assembly and within each of our respective jurisdictions. Nevertheless, in terms of a principle of approach, we remain committed to the vision of a fully functioning and canonical local Church in our region. Therefore, we continue to maintain the principle that the best solution for this region is a canonically and administratively united local Church with a properly functioning Holy Synod.
- We acknowledge that the status of the Orthodox Church in America as an autocephalous Church is not universally recognized within the Orthodox world. We likewise re-affirm that we do not consider our autocephaly as an obstacle to a broader autocephaly, which is, in fact, envisioned within the Tomos of Autocephaly, granted to us by the Russian Orthodox Church. In the words of His Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri, of blessed memory, who was bishop here in Dallas: The Orthodox Church in America is autocephalous not in order to be self-sufficient and isolated, but in order to be in living communion and close contact with all Orthodox Churches… The Orthodox Church in America received autocephaly not in order to be master of Orthodox unity in America but in order to be a servant of this unity.
- At the same time, the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America fully acknowledges that attention needs to be legitimately directed to the question of the pastoral and administrative care of particular ethnic/cultural groups. The cooperative work that has been undertaken by all the brothers gathered here, not only through the work of the Assembly, its Committees and Agencies, but for many decades before. We are confident that the universal dimension of the Orthodox Church, reflected in the beautiful diversity of the Orthodox presence in the United States, should remain a hallmark of our Church here. Is it not possible that an administratively united Church might offer a more effective means to collectively and in brotherly fashion assist the bishops of the Assembly in the care of the diversity of our faithful?
- As such, we ask our brothers of the Assembly to consider a broader question: For what purpose has God, in His infinite Wisdom and Providence, brought us together in this country? Is our answer a positive response to the Lord’s commandment to “preach the Gospel to every creature”? Is our answer to look to the model provided St. Tikhon at the turn of the last century, and to “share our spiritual wealth … with others who are deprived of these blessings”? In His High Priestly Prayer in St. John’s Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ prays to the Father and asks that “they may be one, as we are”. How is this to be realized if we place limits on our responsibility to be the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church? St. Paul tells the Galatians that “There is neither Jew nor Greek … for you are all one in Christ Jesus” [Gal. 3:28] Does this not direct us to see no difference between the immigrant from Russia and the one from Indonesia, between the one from Africa and the one from Central America? Does this not direct us to see the Agnostic, the Protestant, the Buddhist or Taoist in the same way we see the marginal Orthodox Christian?
For these reasons, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America strongly urges that all efforts continue to be made by the Assembly to fulfill the expectation of the Most Holy Primates, as re-iterated by His All-Holiness, Patriarch Bartholomew, in his inspiring address to us this morning, that we offer a proposal which “moves beyond words to actions” and which “puts our theology into practice.” We submit that the most clear and direct path to this goal is the establishment of a local autocephalous Orthodox Church here in our region and recommend this to the Assembly for their consideration as the most effective way to fulfill the exhortation of His All Holiness: “To move beyond what is mine and yours, to what is ours.”
(March 9, 2014 - Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople) By the grace of God, the proceedings of the Synaxis of the Primates of the Orthodox Autocephalous Churches concluded today, on the Sunday of Orthodoxy. The Synaxis took place at the Phanar from 6-9 March, 2014, at the invitation and under the presidency of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and was attended by all the most venerable Primates in person, with the exception of His Beatitude Patriarch John of Antioch, who, due to illness, was represented by Hierarchs of his Church.
Information on Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response
SYOSSET, NY [OCA]- At their Fall 2013 meeting, members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved and issued a revised Policy, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconductwith the goal of providing a safe and healthy environment for all of the faithful. A new page featuring detailed information and resources is now available on the OCA web site athttp://oca.org/about/sexual-misconduct. Among the accessible resources are Policies, Standards, and Procedures of the Orthodox Church in America on Sexual Misconduct, a Summary and checklist of responsibilities and procedures, and Annual Parish Compliance Report forms.
CLERGY CONFERTREAT PHOTO ALBUM - 2013
"They Gather Here No More" Video
The story of St. Andrew Romanian Orthodox Church in Terre Haute, Indiana and its closing.
Assembly of Bishops Makes Orthodox Christian Research Reports Available Online
The Assembly of Bishops Research Coordinator, Alexei Krindatch, has prepared a range of reports on Orthodox Christianity in America. Along with the following research summaries, the full reports are available in PDF format. ...
Patriarch-Elect Youhanna (John) X of Antioch
Source: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
His Eminence the Metropolitan Archbishop of Western and Central Europe has been elected Patriarch of the Great City-of-God Antioch and all the East. The Patriarch-elect Youhanna X (Yaziji) was elected by the members of the Holy Synod earlier today, December 17, during a special session held at the Balamand Patriarchal Monastery of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos. Continued...
Source: Orthodox Church in America
BEIRUT, LEBANON [OCA]
Two days after he was admitted to Saint George Hospital here, His Beatitude, Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch and All the East fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 5, 2012.
Patriarch Ignatius had suffered a severe stroke on Monday, December 3, and had been under the care of physicians in the hospital’s intensive care unit. He was 91 years old. [See related story.] ...Continued
Click here (Romanian)
Românii din America sprijină zidirea Catedralei Mântuirii Neamului - Basilica.ro
PARMA, OH [OCA] His Eminence, Archbishop Tikhon, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America during the 17th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America at Holy Trinity Church here Tuesday, November 13, 2012. . . .continued
The life and work of The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.
Click on the following link to view a slide presentation:http://photographs.iustincapsa.com/2011-11-12/index.html.
(A response to an article published in the Mitropolia Banatului Review, sent on July 27, 2011) Not long ago, I read an article published in Mitropolia Banatului Review,
no. 22, (LXII, new series, January-March, 2011). On pages 7-11 of this
publication, I found a homage to the late metropolitan and writer
Bartolomeu Anania, entitledIn Memoriam, written by Fr. Horia Ţâru.
I read it with interest and appreciated its content, but I was troubled
by some statements that could have been omitted, just so that we would
let the dead rest in peace. I am writing to inform you that the article
has some problems of both accuracy and methodology. . . .Click here for the rest of the article.
(A response to an article published in the Mitropolia Banatului Review, sent on July 27, 2011)
Not long ago, I read an article published in Mitropolia Banatului Review, no. 22, (LXII, new series, January-March, 2011). On pages 7-11 of this publication, I found a homage to the late metropolitan and writer Bartolomeu Anania, entitledIn Memoriam, written by Fr. Horia Ţâru. I read it with interest and appreciated its content, but I was troubled by some statements that could have been omitted, just so that we would let the dead rest in peace. I am writing to inform you that the article has some problems of both accuracy and methodology. . . .Click here for the rest of the article.
(Un raspuns la un articol publicat in revista Mitropolia Banatului trimis pe 27 Iulie 2011)
Nu de mult, mi-a căzut în mână un articol publicat în Revista Altarul Banatului, nr. 22, (LXII), serie noua, ianuarie-martie, 2011. Am găsit la paginile 7-11 ale revistei un omagiu intitulat In memoriam, adus de preotul Horia Ţâru, mitropolitului şi scriitorului Bartolomeu Anania al Clujului. L-am citit cu interes şi i-am gustat conţinutul, dar am fost tulburat de anumite afirmaţii care s-ar fi putut omite, ca sa-I lăsăm pe cei morţI să doarmă în pace. De aceea, vă scriu spre a semnala faptul că prezentarea are câteva scadenţe, atât din punct de vedere metodologic, cât şi faptic. . . .Apăsaţi aici pentru continuare.
Text of the Decision adopted in Chambesy in June regarding the “diaspora” and the Rules of Operation of Episcopal Assemblies in the Orthodox Diaspora - Click here for full text.
ROME, ITALY [OCA] -- His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate and His Grace, Bishop Irineu of Dearborn Heights, participated in a gathering of western European Romanian bishops, the theme of which was "Conscience and Canonical Orthodox Ecclesiology," at the headquarters of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of Italy here during the last week of November 2010. Attending the gathering, the third of its kind, were bishops from the Metropolia of Western and Southern Europe and the Metropolia of Germany, Central and North Europe, according to the Romanian Patriarchate's news agency "Basilica." Quoting His Grace, Bishop Siluan of Italy, Basilica reported that the meeting provided an opportunity for the hierarchs to share pastoral experiences in their respective regions and to discuss various aspects of mission, Christian identity, and the sharing of the faith and traditions in light of major westward emigration of Romanians witnessed since the fall of communism in Romania. During the gathering the hierarchs celebrated the Divine Liturgy in Rome's mid-second century Saint Callistus Catacombs.
[ROEA Chancery - October 18, 2010] Concerned that unofficial internet postings distort and misrepresent the current status of the dialogue of reconciliation with our sister Romanian eparchy in North America, we offer the following information. The Press Release posted on our website, www.ROEA.org, is the only official statement of the ROEA on this issue. We deplore any other postings that claim to report factual information from unknown “sources close to the Episcopate”. Such erroneous postings disinform and foster disunity in the Church and our Episcopate.
[Cancelaria ROEA, 18 Octombrie 2010] Preocupat de faptul că anumite comunicări neoficiale făcute pe internet deformează şi reprezintă eronat statutul curent al dialogului de reconciliere cu eparhia soră Ortodoxă Română din America de Nord, oferim următoarea clarificare. Comunicatul de Presă publicat pe website-ul nostru, http://www.ROEA.org, este singura comunicare oficială din partea ROEA (Episcopiei Ortodoxe Romane din America) pe această temă. Deplângem orice alte declaraţii care pretind că rapoartează informaţii “factuale” provenite de la “unele surse apropiate Episcopiei.” Astfel de declaraţii eronate dezinformează şi alimentează dezbinare în Sf. Biserică şi în Episcopia noastră.
[October 4, 2010] - The 78th Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America was held October 1-2 at St Mary Cathedral, Cleveland, Ohio. more information >
Comunicat de Presă
Cel de-al 78-lea Congres al Episcopiei Ortodoxe Române din America s-a ţinut în zilele de 1-2 octombrie, la Catedrala Sf. Maria din Cleveland, Ohio.
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