Short Presentation

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In 1950, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, by its decision of November 4, 1950, and in accordance with Art. 6 of the Statutes of the Episcopate and the Canons of the Orthodox Church, elevated the V. Rev. Fr. Andrei Moldovanu, then priest of the Presentation od our Lord, Romanian Orthodox Church of Akron, Ohio, to the dignity of Bishop. He entered the monastic order on Nov. 5, 1950, in the Neamt Monastery. He was consecrated Bishop in the Holy Trinity cathedral of Sibiu, Romania, on November 12, 1950 by Metropolitan Nicolae Balan of Sibiu, Bishop Andrei Magieru of Arad, Bishop Nicolae Colan of Cluj, Bishop Teoctist Botosaneanul and Bishop Antim Targovisteanul, Patriarchal Vicars.

He was invested by Patriarch Justinian of the Romanian Orthodox Church, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of Bucharest, on November 19, 1950 and was appointed successor to Bishop Policarp, as spiritual leader of the Romanian Orthodox Missionary Episcopate in America and Canada.

Upon his arrival in the USA, some priests and lay representatives of the parishes were disatisfied with his election and held a special Congress in Chicago, in 1951. They broke canonical ties of their parishes with the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church and organized an independent episcopate without any relationship with any Synod. They adopted a new name for their diocese as the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America and elected a layman theologian Viorel Trifa as Vicar Bishop of the Episcopate. He was ordained by three bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, as bishop Valerian D. Trifa. Since the ordaining Ukrainian bishops were not themselves canocally ordained, bishop Valerian’s ordination was itself noncanonical and, concequently, the Holy Sacraments celebrated by him during this time (nine years) were not valid. (A bishop must be ordained by three or more canonically ordained bishops in order for that bishop to have Apostolic succession).

In 1960, bishop Valerian and his Episcopate joined the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Metropolia, later on called the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) and headed by the Russian Metropolitan Theodosius. Bishop Valerian was reordained (this time canonically) as bishop with the title “Bishop of Detroit and Michigan.” In 1970, Bishop Valerian was elevated to the rank of Archbishop. This Romanian Episcopate is now headed by Archbishop Nathaniel and continues to be under the jurisdiction of OCA.

Following the death of Bishop Andrei Moldovanu, the Romanian Orthodox Missionary Episcopate in America and Canada held a special Congress, on April 23, 1966 in Detroit, Michigan and elected the Rt. Rev. Archmandrite Victorin (Ursache) as Bishop of its Diocese. The election was approved on June 7, 1966 by the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church and, with the blessing and approval of the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople and of Patriarch Justinian of Romania, he was consecrated Bishop on August 7, 1966 at St. George’s Romanian Orthodox Cathedral of Windsor, Ontario, by the Most Rev. Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America, the late Archbishop Epiphanios of Philadelphia (Jordan) and Archbishop Aristovoulos of Kyriakoupolis, both of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The official enthronment of Bishop Victorin took place in the Holy Trinity Romanian Orthodox Cathedral of Detroit, Michigan, on August 21, 1966. His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu of Banat, as representative of the Romanian Orthodox Church officiated.

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