I was very moved by Valerie Yova’s comments in her “Reflections on Reunification” piece, because my own experiences parallel so closely. We share the same love of our heritage,. In fact we shared many of the same experiences while at the Vatra, through AROY, etc... Her comments really hit the nail on the head and say what I feel so much more clearly than I could hope to do.
Valerie’s article got me to thinking, though, of my own grandfather, Mosu Tecau, who told me stories of his difficult youth in Romania. He toiled to get ahead, working long hours as a apprentice barrel maker - only to find himself in debt with little hope for advancement because of the corruption that ran rampant and the political atmosphere at that time. According to what he told me, that mentality of corruption existed from the time of the Ottoman Empire, existed through the era of the monarchy, and carried on right through the years of Communist occupation. Unlike Valerie, I was fortunate to travel through Romania with Mosu during the 60’s to witness first hand the yoke of Communism and it’s impact on the way of life, the mentality of the people, and the rule of law.
Has that mentality of corruption changed, or does it still exist in Romania today? I don’t know the answer to that. But I for one would hate to see our Episcopate take the chance of that possibility existing, and placing ourselves under a church jurisdiction with that history.
Separation of church and state has always been an important part of the American experience. It is a part of our culture that I fear may not always be recognized and fully understood by those in a foreign land. Not only does that separation not exist in Romania, but I understand that clergy hold a number of seats in the government. While I don’t pretend to judge the lack of separation of church and state for Romania, I don’t think they can totally comprehend its importance to Americans.
In the last 50 or 60 years there have been at least two (2) major changes in the government of Romania. Who’s to say that it won’t change again? Or the relationship between the government and the church won’t change again? At the very least we now have a say in how our government interacts with the church. We would have no say in that relationship if we were under the Patriarchate.
Valerie’s conclusion, or should I say solution, to the unity issues may seem too simple for some. But she hit the nail on the head. We are citizens of North America - and as such the ROEA and the ROAA realistically should be governed by a body headquartered in North America (OCA). We should not be influenced by foreign entities that don’t fully understand our culture or way of life.