In a release posted on its official website, The Patriarchate of Jerusalem has announced its breaking the communion with the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) on account of a Romanian anti-canonical establishment being erected in Jericho without the Patriarchate’s canonical approval.
Having thoroughly examined the issue, the Holy Synod ‘unanimously’ and ‘regretfully’ decided to cease praying for Romania’s Patriarch Daniel and to defrock archimandrite Ieronim Cretu, the representative in Jerusalem of the Romanian Patriarchate.
“The Patriarchate of Jerusalem has been put in a very difficult position. Its canonical features, confirmed by ecumenical and local councils, have been openly and arbitrarily threatened. The Patriarchate of Jerusalem explained to the Romanian Patriarchate that had it accepted the latter’s argument that the church was erected for the Romanian pilgrims in the Holy Land, it would have meant the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem would have become everybody’s land, since all the Orthodox Churches had already applied to build their own churches,” reads the release issued by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem, which also shows that Theofil, the Patriarch of Jerusalem, informed, through a letter, His Beatitude Daniel, about the decision.
The Romanian Patriarchate replied, describing the decision as unilateral. “Despite a brotherly dialogue being agreed upon by the two Patriarchates, following a visit April 15, 2001 to the Patriarchate of Jerusalem by Holy Father Ciprian Campineanul, patriarchal vicar bishop, aimed at a solution being found on the Romanian establishment at Jericho, the Romanian Patriarchy is surprised to learn about the Patriarchate of Jerusalem reaching an unilateral decision,” the Basilica press agency of the Romanian Patriarchate quoted a statement by the institution’s Press Bureau as saying. The Patriarchate of Bucharest also says the topic will be approached at the next working session of the Holy Synod of the BOR, May 19-20, 2011.
Besides, Romanian Patriarchate explained the anti-canonical establishment in Jericho erected with the blessing of the former Patriarch of Jerusalem Diodor in 1998. According to the Romanian Patriarchate’s spokesperson, Constantin Stoica , the establishment’s oratory has been sanctified in 2000 in the presence of the late Patriarch Teoctist. “Thus, we are surprised by the Jerusalem Patriarchate’s release as we are at the beginning of the bilateral dialogue to find a solution to this matter”, said Stoica yesterday, quoted by Mediafax.
Last April, the Romanian government supplemented by RON 1 bln the budget of the State Secretariat for Religious Denominations, towards the construction of a Romanian Establishment at Jericho, Israel. The money was provided from the Government reserve Fund. Government also augmented by RON 25 M the budget of the State Secretariat for Religious Denominations, with the funds going to be used for the construction, overhaul and restoration of some churches and places of prayer.
“I believe that churches need to get support in Romania. My conviction is that, without believing in God, neither you nor anybody else in this country is able to achieve anything. This is a priority very much like investment priorities,” PM Emil Boc said last week.