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10.26.09

On Romanian "unity"
CIRCULAR LOGIC

During the past two years Romanians in North America have heard the formula "we should subordinate ("unite") to the Romanian Patriarchate because this is good" ad nauseam. The wording maybe different at various times but definitely that is the message. It is a classic example of "circular logic" or "circular reasoning".

Circular reasoning, circular logic, "petitio principii"or as it is known "circulus in probando", is an attempt to support a statement by simply repeating the statement in different or stronger terms. In this fallacy the reason given is nothing more than a restatement of the conclusion that poses as the reason for the conclusion. To say," we should be subordinated to the Romanian Patriarchate because it is good" is really saying no more than "we should be subordinated to the Romanian Patriarchate because we should be subordinated". That is exactly,in my opinion, the position on which the Joint Dialogue Commission (JDC) is stuck.

First of all, it should be repeated that the JDC is "negotiating" something that it has no mandate to negotiate. The JDC has no legal authority to "negotiate" a separation of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America from the Orthodox Church of America. With such a "proposal" the JDC is totally 'out of order". That should be enough reason to put an end to its activity.

About the JDC it is apt to say:" They have mistaken the hour of the night: it is already morning". The only "arguments" for its "proposal" are pathetic. They can be summarized as being a form of primitive ethnocentrism bordering on gross racism. This "proposal" go against the grain of the history of the New World, a history that is eminently about inclusion and not exclusion. It ignores the historical evolution of the Romanian-Americans and the Romanian-Canadians and insults their respective 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th generations. In my opinion, it can be said that what the JDC is doing is, in form and in spirit, unAmerican. In addition, in switching allegiances for potential personal gain, in my opinion, the members of the JDC show not whose friends they are - but what sort of friends they are.

In fact the JDC follows an amazing approach. It can not deny that the "missionary" contraption is a creation of the Romanian Communists. It can not deny that the Romanian Patriarchate stood as accomplice to the Romanian Communist regime. It can not deny that both the "missionary" contraption and the Patriarchate were the sworn enemies of the "Vatra" Episcopate. The JDC chooses to ignore history, denying the facts. But, apparently, oddities do not strike odd people.

The JDC, in my opinion, chose to ignore basic Orthodox tenets about the local character of dioceses and of canonical jurisdiction. The JDC made a political option that accommodates the interests of a kleptocratic foreign entity (The Romanian Orthodox Patriarchate), of a contraption brought into existence by the Romanian Communists (the so- called "missionary" entity) and of the Romanian State. They choose to ignore, in my opinion, the history, the best interests and the identity of the "Vatra" Episcopate.

The JDC's divisive and secretive activity, is, in my opinion a real danger for the unity of the Episcopate and its future historical development. The JDC should be dismantled or, at least some of its members should be removed from their position. New members, with more credible ethical and intellectual credentials, should replace the existing ones.

Alexandru Nemoianu
Historian
The Romanian-American Heritage Center

 
 

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