ROEA CLARIFIES UNIFICATION MOVE: PUBLISHES TEXT OF RESOLUTION ADOPTED BY EPISCOPATE CONGRESS
In the wake of Bucharest's premature announcement of "unity" between the two Romanian jurisdictions in North America yesterday, the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (OCA) offered a clarification of events, and published the text of the resolution that was adopted by the Episcopate Congress. The full press release, first published on www.roea.org, reads:
"76th Annual Episcopate
Grass Lake MI [ROEA Chancery] –
The Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, under the omophorion of His Eminence Archbishop NATHANIEL POPP, held its 76th Annual Congress (diocesan assembly) on July 4-5, 2008. The meeting was attended by over 110 clergy and lay delegates from parishes throughout the United States and Canada.
In addition to the normal year-to-year business of the Congress, the topic of utmost significance was the presentation, explanation and discussion of the 20-point "Proposal to Establish a Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate of America" [posted on the www.roea.org website]. The debate resulted in the adoption of the following resolution:
'Be it resolved that the Episcopate Council recommends that the Congress acknowledge the combined "Proposal to Establish a Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate of North America" as an acceptable basis to continue the work of the JDC towards a final proposal to be presented to the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Be it also resolved that the Episcopate Council recommends to the Episcopate Congress, in keeping with due diligence, that the Joint Dialogue Commission’s efforts to establish the Metropolitanate can continue, that the Archbishop as President of the Congress establish special committees, namely, a "Constitution and By-Laws Committee", "Jurisprudence", "Finance Committee" and any other committees that may be necessary to create a unified Romanian Orthodox Metropolitanate of North America.
And be it further resolved that said committees be established as soon as possible, and that their work be reported to the Episcopate Council, so that a Special Episcopate Congress may be convened.'
This action of the Congress enables the continuation of discussions between the two Romanian eparchies in North America. The "Proposal" to unite these eparchies remains, therefore, a work in progress. There has not been, as incorrectly reported by the Romanian Patriarchate’s press office, any final action about unification. There has been no change in the ROEA’s relationship with the Orthodox Church in America. As understood by the Congress, the ten-member Joint Dialogue Commission of the Episcopate and Archdiocese will discuss the "Proposal" in light of the input of our respective Councils and Congresses in order to prepare a finalized text for presentation to the Church of Romania at some future date. We still look forward to the possibility of an eventual union, which would be to the benefit of Orthodox Romanians in North America and to Orthodoxy on this continent.
- Mark Stokoe