My Way or the Freeway
By Alexander Nemoianu, MI
In April 2011 an open conflict erupted between the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate and the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The cause of the conflict was the establishment of a monastic community by the Romanian Patriarchate in the Holy Land, in Jericho.
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem first asked for an explanation and after that argued that such communities have to be founded with the blessings of the local canonical hierarch; and that such institutions should be, at least to a certain degree, under the canonical authority of the local hierarch.
In fact Orthodox canons clearly stipulate that the Orthodox jurisdictions are local and that in the Holy Land that authority is the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The authority of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem was recognized as such since the early centuries of the Christian era. and that authority can not be denied.
However, the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate chose to do exactly this: it ignored Orthodox canons, it ignored Orthodox tradition, it ignored, in my opinion, common sense .Frankly, coming from the Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate that should not be a surprise. Since 1948 that was the modus operandi of this institution.
However a few things should be noted:
In a statement issued on May 12, 2011 the Romanian Patriarchate said that "it seeks reconciliation'. After saying this, the statement continues by stating that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem is wrong(?!), that there was an "unwritten agreement"(?!) between the two bodies( which is denied by Jerusalem),and so on. The statement continues by saying that the cannons regarding the authority of the local hierarchs should be ignored, because (they said)," the canons are not dogmata and they should be excepted when an understanding exists". In other words, according to the Romanian Patriarchate, canons should be observed only as long as they serve the interests of the Romanian Patriarchate at a certain historical moment. Its "My way or the freeway"!
In my opinion that attitude is not only an outrage but it should be a warning to each and all those who are still seeking subordination," union", or "maximal autonomy" under the Romanian Patriarchate. If the Romanian Patriarchate treats in such a brazen way that Patriarchate of Jerusalem who in his right mind could trust that the Patriarchate will respect an "agreement" concocted by a Joint Commission of Dialogue"? Please!
"Valerian D.Trifa.Romanian-American Heritage Center"