Wow. Triple wammie. I was blown away by Archbishop Valerian's letter, filled with love and admiration for him, and glad that he did not have to witness what is happening today. Many of us feel that the "forgiveness" asked of the Romanian Patriarch on behalf of the ROEA was an insult to +Valerian and many other clergy and laity who served the ROEA faithfully. Forgiveness for what? Since when is forgiveness offered as a matter of protocol or politics?
It was both fascinating and perplexing to read Archbishop Nathaniel's speech. How are we to have ANY idea what he really thinks? His silence is deafening.
And Connie Nan's message was filled with the insight and common sense for which he has always been known.
I pray for your well being and safety, Mr. Editor. You do not fabricate these things, and I know you well enough to know that you take no sick pleasure in making them public. Like all of us, you grieve over the state of affairs in the Church. But you are a journalist, and you are using your gifts to do something that most of us would not have the courage nor the stomach for: to shine the light in very dark places. I, for one, am very grateful to you.
I do not dispair. I see all of this as God's way of making sure we "clean house" here in America before any serious movement is made towards admininstrative unity. It is not pleasant, but I look upon what is happening now as a blessing and a preparation for what is to come. And it WILL come. If the Lord doesn't come FIRST.
We have the advantage of growing up in a community of 14 Orthodox Churches who were cooperating together and using English as early as the mid 1950's. We have the advantage of knowing how the priests worked together (as well as possible) to coordinate Pan-Orthodox activities and strive toward a "REAL" American Church. Now, this all seems so far away and lost. The Romanians want to retrench to Romania; the Greeks are becoming more parochial; the Antiochians aren't sure where they are going; the OCA is is holding true to it's origins, but attacked on all sides; etc.
WHAT THE HECK HAPPENED? Where is the vision of a united American Orthodox Church we grew up with? Didn't anyone else get the memo?
I am not so sure it requires a vision. What scheme shall we come up with next? Our visions and plans are woefully inept and more often than not lead to delusion. Visions get us in trouble.
We must give room for God to move as He wills; meanwhile we must stand up for what is right and true, be courageous and faithful in the face of politics, power and corruption. Let us not tolerate "business as usual" any longer. But let us leave the "grand plans" up to God.
It is my prayer we do not lose heart, that we do not cower at the sight of the mountain before us. There indeed are giants in the promised land, but what shall our report be?
It is amazing, and yet sad, to read something that Abp Valerian wrote 25 years ago because he was so right...and now the JDC has it so wrong for the Romanian OCA Episcopate/diocese.
Why? The JDC is supposed to be looking out for the "best interest" of the diocese (a concept that ought to be driven by the teachings of the Church and the will of God), but doesn't really want discussion or debate. Why? The diocese is now firmly planted, and only by the grace of God. Yet they claim they know better, and want to tear it out by the roots and give it back to a Patriarch on the other side of the ocean.
I can't imagine that Abp Valerian is smiling.
What can so many of us say that has not already been said? Valerie speaks to things so many of us experienced to one degree or another. Myself, I did not have the opportunity to have Grandparent here, but I did have the opportunity to travel to Romania in 1983 and 1984; and can only say that under the Communistic regime, life for all Romanians was deplorable; words could not even begin to express how bad. Connie Nan’s words also ring so true and there are many of us that appreciate his speaking out. As for Archbishop Valerian’s letter, Memory Eternal, well, those of us who worked and stayed at the Vatra for camps and the Congress, who had the opportunity to really know this very special man….. all I can say is he is the closest thing I know to a modern day Martyr for our Church in the America’s, as well has for those in Romania; those in Romania just never had the opportunity to know.
I pray that many will follow Metropolitan Jonah’s lead toward a truly united Orthodox Church in the America’s, as well as considering the proper due Canada and Mexico; but what a great step it would be for ROEA to truly integrate itself with the OCA as we move forward. Living in Houston since 2000; I have been fortunate to see the forward vision that has been forged by the DOS. May we all be guided by Our Lord, and blessed with the Wisdom from the Holy Spirit.