The everlasting power of reality
I start with a comment some may find offensive. It is not my intention to be so, and I apologize to those who maybe offended. Nevertheless, it is a fact that in His Wisdom God created all kind of creatures and species. All of them are useful and help to promote the beauty of the Creation. But - they are all different, and not all should mate, even when they can.
This statement is in special reference to the futile efforts to join,"unite",or whatever, the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America with the Romanian Missionary Archdiocese of America (ROAA).
Those are two bodies that have pretty much nothing in common from a historical perspective. The Episcopate is an American-Canadian institution, an institution that belongs to the New World, an institution acting according to the laws and rules of the New World, an institution of the New World with an over one hundred year long history. The main purpose of the Episcopate is to promote Orthodoxy, primarily among those who happen to be of Romanian origin, but who, ALL of them, are members and citizens of the New World. Some by choice (the new-comers), others by birth, as well as their descendents of second, third, fourth and fifth generation, but all the citizens of the New World.
The Missionary Archdiocese (ROAA) was created as a political tool of the Romanian Communist regime. It remains a tool of the Romanian Patriarchate, and of its patron, the Romanian state. Maybe some of its members have tried to change - but esentially, as an institution, the ROAA remains a political tool of Romania, captive to the ways of the political regimes of that unfortunate country. That is simply a fact. There is no need to argue the point.
In the '90s of the previous century an effort was made to establish normal relations between the two bodies. That end was achieved. The members of the two dioceses can celebrate together, in communion of faith and sacraments. That is Orthodox unity.
But that was hardly the goal of the Romanian Patriarchate, an institution burden by sixty years of active complicity with the Communist regime. For the Patriarchate it was and it is about administrative and material control: direct and total.
Lately, the idea of administrative "unity" (that would, I repeat, be no more and no less than unconditional subordination to the Romanian Patriarchate , no matter what trappings may be used) has became an obsession .
If in the past I offended some honest members of the Joint Dialogue Commission, I apologize. I have no personal "beef" with them.
But it seems to me that for some of them this "unity"(in fact subordination) towards the cleptocratic Romanian Patriarchate has become an obsession and an end in itself. In order to promote this unnatural mating they became captive to some totally unOrthodox concepts. Primarily, to ethnocentrism and its poisonous fruit, phyletism, that is, in fact, simple racism. In their opinion one can be Orthodox only if he is Romanian! However, in 1872 at Constantinople it was said clearly..."1.We reject and condemn racial division, that is ,racial differences...as being contrary to the teaching of the Gospel and the holy canons of our blessed fathers...2.In accordance with the holy canons, we proclaim that those who accept such divisions according to race...are foreign to the One,Holy,Catholic and Apostolic Church and are real schismatics."
It is no doubt in my mind that some of these persons, promoting such aberrations today in order to achieve "unity", i.e. subordination toward the Romanian Patriarchate, were promised material advantages. Some became victims of a sick mania of grandeur. Some are victims of one of the most dangerous temptation: the confusion between humility and pride. In addition, too many of the promoters of "unity" with the Romanian Patriarchate have a creepy disposition for secrecy, (which manifests) itself in a systematic habit of offending those of a different opinion, and a general lack of trust in the flock. These are major problems that should be addressed and corrected in the future. To those persons I will not apologize neither today nor tomorrow.
Of course the main causes of the so-called "unity" problem is Romanian Patriarchial propaganda, its political subordination to the Romanian state, its megalomaniac attitude, its pathetic chauvinism and its greed.
In this context it should also be remembered that the Romanian Patriarchate was not alone on this side of the fence, on the side of an anachronistic approach that considered the New World "not mature enough", on the side of the attempt of the Orthodox entities of the Old World to control the Orthodoxy of the New World.
But again reality proved its everlasting power. The big "Chambesy" scheme, its neo-imperialistic plans, its ideas of control and empty and uncalled for presumption , is falling apart.
The scheme is falling apart because the Greek government is unable and unwilling to finance anymore this hallucination of " a Hellenistic Empire". In more plain words, the Greek government has admitted what everybody else already knew: the Ecumenical Patriarchate, "New Rome", is an empty shell, a handful of Greeks living in a huge, Turkish city.
It is now the time to forget about wounded pride and unfulfilled scenarios. It is time to forget about stubbornness in a mistake. The project of "unity", i.e subordination to the Romanian Patriarchate, was an attempt misguided, naive, that failed. It should be water under the bridge.
But in the meantime, we of Orthodox faith should multiply our efforts to realize Orthodox canonical unity of the New World. In the Temple of God in the New World, we all are to be brothers and soul mates. The autocephalous Orthodox Church of America is an excellent chance and superb beginning. And make no mistake. In such a Temple, the Romanian Missionary Archdiocese (ROAA) also has a place, but as part of Orthodoxy of the New World and not as a dubious tool of the Romanian Patriarchate.
"Valerian D. Trifa.Romanian-American Heritage Center"