As my loyal readers will not I was not at the assembly this year but the vote was taken and from all accounts it was unanimous on both sides. So the Romanian Patriarchate released this press release and then it would seem someone got mad and then they published this one. Thanks to ocanews.org for this information.
I have blogged about this proposal before and what it will mean to Romanians in this country and to Orthodoxy as a whole in the US and Canada. Sometimes people are just looking for an excuse to derail everything, as happened three years ago when we voted on the same proposal. I hope this retraction of the earlier statement does not signal the end again. We shall see.
So you ask why was I not at the Congress this year. Several reasons but the most glaring was language. I serve as a priest in the Romanian Archdiocese. I knew when I came in that many of the people spoke Romanian. I am not one of those by the way and neither are the 70 members of my church. Consistently however at church meetings we are excluded from debates because of language. Oh yes we get a summary of what is said but we do not get all of what is said. In my mind we are treated as second class citizens. Now keep in mind that most if not all of the people at these meetings speak and understand English so that is not the issue. So I chose not at attend another three day event that would all be in Romanian and waste precious church funds by sending me to meeting that we would not be represented at. I also understand that the entire Liturgy was done in Romanian even though we had visitors from many other Orthodox Jurisdicitons in attendance because we consecrated our new cathedral.
Until the Orthodox church wakes up and realizes that they are loosing entire generations because of the language issue we will also be a small, insignificant, immigrant church. I think it is fine to use some of the language of the people in the church services but the majority of the service should be done in English. Everyone speaks English in their place of employment and the children speak English in school so why do we speak other languages in Church.
one thing my trip north taught me was that we need to hang on to our culture and traditions, but not to the detriment of a generation or two of faithful. Gaelic, the language of my ancestors, is almost a dead language. More people speak Gaelic outside of Scotland than inside. How many other languages have met that same fate. It bothers me that my people here do not speak the language of their ancestors. I am not advocating going back, but we need to find a compromise.