The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 9 years ago

Interview with Bishop Ioan Casian of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the Americas

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

AFR podcaster Fr. Josiah Trenham serves as a member of the Secretariat of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. He was commissioned by that body to conduct interviews with each of the Hierarchs in the Assembly of Bishops over the course of the next year.

Ancient Faith Radio and patristic nectar publicationspresent the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenam. Father Josiahis the pastor of Saint Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. Heis also the founder of patristic nectar publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishingthis spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. As amember of the Secretariat of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops of North and CentralAmerica, Father Josiah has been tasked to conduct interviews with each of the Orthodoxhierarchs of America over the course of the coming year. These interviews provide aforum for each Orthodox Bishop in America to share his understanding of, and visionfor the exciting work of the assembly of Orthodox bishops. These interviews of themore than fifty Orthodox Bishops will be available here at the arena on ancient faithradio, as well as directly at the website of the assembly of Canonical Orthodoxbishops at W W W dot assembly of Bishops Dot Org. That's W WW dot assembly of Bishops Dot Org. And now the the Inter view.It is a joy to interview today His grace, bishop you on Cassienne.His grace was born in Romania in nineteen sixty nine into a priestly family.He did his university studies there, focusing on Canon law. He lived forthree years at the St John the Baptist Monastery in Jerusalem, where he hadhis initial monastic formation and was tauntured by His Eminence, Metropolitan Seraphim of Germanyand northern Europe, in Nineteen Ninety five into the monastic life. He continuedhis studies in Rome from nineteen ninety five to nineteen ninety eight and then wassent to Western Europe, to Paris, to serve with His Eminence, metropolitanyou'll Sefe, until two thousand and two. In the year two thousand and one, His grace was ordained Deacon and priest and Taunture to the Little Schemaand served in France. He came to the United States to serve in theyear two thousand and three, where he served in Queens New York until twothousand and six, when he was consecrated as the vicar bishop for the RomanianOrthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, serving specifically the East Coast and Canada. Yourgrace, it is what have you on the show? Thank you for takingthis interview. Thank you for this interview. In pity, to to doing thisdefinite to work, which is wonderful,...

...and I think we already see manyresults. For me, unexpected so quickly, but still, yes,it's a wonderful surprise, short surprise prepared by other before me, that stillfeelings somehow being involved now in this work of communion, your grace. Whatyou describe for us your perception of the ethos of the Assembly of Bishops?What have been your impressions of the meetings? Yes, this is the edition,the time we get together, and what I think is the sense foreverybody there, it's it's a work of communion in love, and this isthe most important because maybeybody is involving his own jurisdiction, sure, with itsown problem, but the are we get the sense of communion which goes beyondor in some way it's just plans, jurisdiction of if I can say likethis, and it's a it's a work of human effort, but in thesame time the goal is beyond this, because we are the church and isnot just a kind of human friendship, but it's in Christ friendship. Iwould say, we tend to to the transfigure this human relationship into a newkind of relationships which is rooted more in the experience of Christ in our faith, and this is, I said that the first first thing, I wouldsay, just the sense of communion, in love of each other, butfounded by in the unity of faith and responsibility to each other. The sametime, I would say that this is in some way kind of insightful ininsight regard or look in the work of the assembly, but I would saythat the assembly, it's also work of respect for the mother churches or forthe Orthodox of the several churches and the panels to those preconsiderer conferences. Youknow that is not only we should not maybe look only into our own businessin some way, but I see that there is a sense of all respectfollowing what even those being before us almost two thousand years of Christian tradition andin some way helping us ourself in our decision, in our way of thinking, looking, deciding, figuring our future...

...here in North America. At thesame time, I would say that it's since three years I see progress inthis reflection on our problematic topics, our own understanding, I would say.I we call it a kind of progressive consistency in in creating some different issuewhich we find we are challenged by them, and this challenging bring us into akind of accountability, responsibility to each other and sure for this society ofto day. I said that that I most amazing it was this edition,is just how much more clear it was the path, the discussion, theway in which we deal with different problem, which for me is very important,that we see rapidly that there is some lights, some kind of seeds, and we can see them develop in the future. I saw this,for example, in the shop. The message readership excellent this year, inthe kind of in a discussion about the by laws or around tables, kindof capacity to harmonizing all this different point of view, because also a goodsurprise of such a bish events and from the Oklaini and with who is thepleasure at which is some way offered us things, insight in what we need, from a human point of view, to offer flow ourselves in order tohave the Chan to succeed from from my second financial point of view, orthat chibishop just seeing and from the Russian church which, in his short presentationhe made the kind of historical understanding the historical background of the auto in America. That's it's a several point that I wanted to mention, but again Iwould say it's it's a work of communion in faith and is possibility and sureeverybody try to help this work to get that for the gloody Fur Lord,your grace, you mentioned that you were you were positively surprised by the clarity. Could you, could you flesh that out a little bit more for ourlisteners? Are Not sure they'll understand exactly what you mean. What is itexactly that became in clear? I gave you a quite it's much popular becauseI we get into, you know,...

...the focus of this assembly. Itwas mostly about our own organization in by laws which in some way we don'tleave everything to the improvisation. Is just organization, creativity and also, ifwe need to have the improvisation is but for me it was it was avery related to the last year or the previous year. I think it's amore coherent way of thinking income and what we think we should do in thefuture and because, maybe because our comity committees get also kind of incarnated consistence, because we have now names bishops or priest or laiment working from insight,and for this reason I think this bring more consistency and more clarity in addressingthe problem. But also, I said that this is the third asomething.It was focused on the assembly, evolved on the by laws, but inthe same time the major part of discussions also also about the canonical regional planning, which is which is a committee headed by attract show Nicolie and help alot with Alexa clean, that which is really interesting. Scholar whould try toscandal a little bit reality factor, arity of our parishes, because sure weunderstand, we everybody jurisdictionary, project our sense of our immigration or whatever faithfulwe have in the parishes or in dices. But well, Alex say did Ithink wonderful. It's a it's a scan ofvious life, of the peoplebeing much more close up to the our parish life in the in the dicensus. For this reason I said that it's for me it was. It's likecould I can't compare with the last year, which was much, much less forme clear, much much less. This was. It was amazing.This is was I would say. For me it was much more clarity andyes, we saw that it was a work of fruit of one year ofreflection which brought us into a kind of more mature way of understanding the problem. Much we will discuss about the future structure in North America, models andon Anization, administration, relations with mother...

...churches. Sure, we are stillfar from this side. Is something clear, but still, the way in whichwe dealt this year, for me to was anazing, amazing and yeah, your grace with that, with that sense, do you feel that theball is rolling, the the courses is set so that in the future years, significant progress along the same lines that you saw this year will continue?Yes, I am sure of this. What it was important to hear thisyear also from Tiship and entrance. He say, you know, we shouldalso to communicate or to have in some way the input from the mother churches. It's not just the work we do, which we do in some way surprisinglyseparately from the mother churches, but we should have in some way fromtime to time the input from the mother churches in order to get even inspirationor whatever. Why? What different point of view maybe, to which weare not so sensitive and after working for this, and I think I expectto have progress. You know, sure we will have also the difficulty.I don't want to express myself to too fast for this, but but Iam, I am very a theory and of this. From see this pointof view, I think it will be a progress, and maybe a fastprogress, in this way to propose something concrete in North America. Thanks.The reason for the from the future, and I said of that we discussall those almost in principle, about the principle whatever we would like to have. That they underlyinge and the beginning of this interview. We have to offerourselves also the needs to get the goal, and I said it a reflection aboutthe financial support and awareness about the need to push things forward or,for example, the comprehensive with directory, about of those scrutiny, Joe,it's I think I've some of the tools we need. Yes, you,to go into push for you like this, this work your grace. The assemblyitself is engaged in a broad swath of work through it's thirteen committees,and I know that some committees are working more aggressively than others, but allare working. Would you comment for our listeners what you discerned to be themost important or fundamental work of the assembly. The first, I would say,I at this point, I you would dare to propose to two regards, you would say, regard from inside,...

...from we seen and from without relationshipto the others. The first is our awareness about our come and comingin and said, I would say, and responsibility to each other in ourassembly of the bishops, saying that we get together around or in participating thesame study of the of the Church, with the data resurrection of Christ,and to see how and in which way each jurisdiction dealt with this, withthe same problem or work or with different problems, and try to solve thisin Christian perspective. I think, and this is some means that I wouldsay that the work among us and the members of the Assembly of Bishop.But it's another work which is expected in some way from us. It's theplants on the future, which is stipulated, I think, and in the decisionof the Pretasili Commission there and it is expected from us to draw aplan for the future, to sit here and not America. We have thelocal church, but it's insight and three jurisdiction in somewhere in the same culturalmillie who, I would say, and for us in, if I sayright this, I think it is asked from us to go beyond the CulturalLimited, you know, I would say cultural Milia, then going and beyondto break to Antio, can be Guian, Serbian, to Russian, and tryingto to Materre, this thinking about what doesn't mean, what is themeaning of our Christian life really, going beyond our limited human categories, ifI can say, is, in the same way, another work which isimportant for me, that the mother churches should have the input from us inour way of dealing with the situation, model situation, the society, MotherSociety, in some way, mother churches all for us the opportunity also tocontribute to his work, to this unity of the Orthodoxy. We feel,if I can see like this, we feel like not a satellite of acenter really peripherical stuff, but I think like someone who the mother changes intrust kind of honest possibility we really can...

...participate in reach this experience and thisinsight into modern way of dealing with the society with the problematical today. Yeah, you're grace. If this is if this is the fundamental work of theassembly in the near future that you're hoping for, what do you think wouldbe the greatest obstacle to these, to the success of the assembly getting thisdone? Yeah, I don't know. I would say that that maybe mistrustsomething sometimes the way of tradition versus more dynamic and creative understanding of tradition,partisanship. Maybe. I don't know. Yeah, I just try to tounderstand, firstly, what should be a real, real obstacles from this,but I think it's just the adopt mistrust. Maybe I said that. I thinkwhat everybody get in this some relision of the sense of being together,going needing, going to to go beyond his own culture background and to lookfor some bridges, common bridges, in solving the probable, the multiple orLees we we have today. Your grace, do you think that there is ingeneral, in your own background, in the Romanian Patriarchate, do youfeel that there is a strong sense of the the work of the assemblies throughoutthe world, these twelve, these twelve places where the assemblies are happy?Is there good support for you? Yes, I think so, because we discussthat. I am involved with a traditional Nicol line and also in thecommittee of the holy scene and in dealing with the exceptional problem, with therelationship with other churches whatever, in this means, and we discuss them andwe discussed everything we do here, and I think it's a good input fromthere, but also being because in that committee we have also the members presentwhen this preconcilia confidence whether we've done in them, we're done in shambasis andwe fell in some way and inside in the sensence, a good sense fromsomeone who was involved anything the discussion that and we can have also a perspective. Sometimes from us, from from five, we can miss somewhere points or newancein this discussion the ennser and I...

...think this is a this is Ithink it's interesting, I think it's it's encouraging for us and it's only sceneon its supported for problem work here. Your grace, you serve, ifI'm correct, as a member of the assemblies committee for Ecumenical Relations, andI'm wondering if you would share with us what the goal of that committee isand what would you would like to see it accomplish. Yes, for meit was a kind of stain situation because the one year I was in standbymembership, I would say, because it was a request from the Canadian bisionto have a separate assembling Bishop, which we don't have, still don't have, and for this reason I was not really put it on the on thelist because you were exam and now I am because I oped it for thisa half. You know, I hope it really for this. I requestedthis because I traveled a lot. If you, if you so, willbe the CS and this experience. I think it's helpful that, in myview, maybe in doing something in this kind of work, in this committeeof a commenical relations. I would say that from from from the committee's Iknow that we have a discussion about the title the COOMMENIC or war in InterChristian or inter faith. This. Yes, maybe this will express more accurate whatwe do, what we should do in the future. Yeah, fantisicality, I don't know, continue, because I saw that they continue to tounderline the dialog, the previous dialog started with Scoba. I don't know,to consider the other religion, Jews and Musclin lad and other non abramic faithjust to to to to start the dialog with them from the notion of Seekerof God. I know, do you need? I reading a book fromGregory Bound its Catholic theology and that he has an interesting interpretation. Maybe another, maybe in the church, of other churches that I don't find it,and up to now of Philippi and two five, when sample say led thismind being now which one in Christ is who, being the form of God, didn't consider it rouble to be equal with God but make himself of noreputation, taking the form of Bond, serving and coming into like, likeyourself, men which, in his opinion, and I I would say that it'san interesting point of view, the church will go in the depth ofthe experience of Death Resolvation of Christ to...

...be the leaving for this word andfor the new relation or new understanding of the relation in the Society of todayor with the other religions. And I would say that to large this visionand support it, this dialog by the Kemnity and proposed to do and bea bishop to be discussed, is to enlarge the station, to try toto create bridges between people who have the faith, I don't say the Christianfaith, that the thing, but still in some point to social issue orhuman issue, we can have a binateral discussion and trying to build up somecommon sense or coming attitude in the Society of today. Yes, that's Ithink I would expect, I expect from myself to to do something in thiscomity. Thank God your grace. Would you, would you agree? Agreewith with this notion? Let me stay. Didn't see new evaluated in critique.It that, with the with the rise of secularism, very aggressive secularismin the West and this post Christian West, that this committee could help establish collaborationwith believers from from many different backgrounds on our common social and moral commitmentsto preserve in our cultures, you know, basic morality and standards which will supportus all and in the expression of our faith. Is that something thatyou see reasonably as a goal? Yeah, that's the reason we have the concept. At least we have the that is a logo of the got putin every creature and and I think we can, we could start theologically fromhere to reflect of what these light or less right. You know the tradition, because you know subjective point of view, I would say, but I thinkthat the starting from here. I I am I have much hope toto do something, because I said, I quoted the quotation from Philippian,the chapter two, and I said we in some in somehow, we haveto to to die to ourselves in order to see the relation, in orderto see how a new, old problem...

...could be solved in a modern wayin twenty one century. And the sense. Yes, that's say. Sure,we have a lot of studies, a lot of work theoentically, butin the same time we have to go also with our experience, which isthe experience of faith and a siguration. And this I would I would saythat it's it's center in this new understanding, if we can say like this ofour relationship to the other addition eventually to the secular society, we offerto ourselves no opportunity to to do doing large our understanding and capacity to toto create bridges between man and women, children, people of under faith.I said, it's a unique carriage. This because, sure, sometimes Iquote it, I got it, I said the beginning. Sometimes we fearthe weight of variation and we need to be creative, we need to becreated, and this comes from our commitment Christian committee, and serious coming Christiancommittee, because an should committing to our faith and Intelligil your grace, manypriests throughout North America and and Laity. I think a good number of Laitynow are hearing about the work of the assembly of bishops as it has continuedthrough their own pastors and through their local bishop and they want to know howthey can, what they can do, how they can participate in the workof the assembly, how they could support the bishops. What Council would yougive them on how the clergy and the Lady Could Support the assembly? It'salready kind of participation if you're a member that our committees, as that communitiesare membership. It's open to the priest and to the name and the particulationalready the kind of input they can have it and even acknowledge direct conage ofthe discussion about the our assembly. Sure you know we don't have a channel. I don't know what television or whatever. More important to to create a debate, togated, be to to push a Li this debate to be moreknown, because sure I know that the pist try their best, but Ithink in my opinion we need a little bit more visibility with agility. It'sa lot of work have been done up to now or through the websites orideal but we need we need the more visibility to deal to. You knowthat our shape will be informed area. I say, then, I don'tknow how to to be the they can...

...and they can participate in our decisionin committee. As I said, they I would say they can propose idea, they proposed and send to the Secretariat of every committee or the secret ofthe assembly of Bishop with their proposition expectancy for for the future. I don'tknow. I'm saying this should be the kind of participation because this is arespect of our Orthodox theology, which is inclusive. In Our church, wehave the high uses. They can, my person, participate in our celebrationsand if you remember, one of the Canon say or anyway you causecuted bythe tradition, is that you can celebrate the localist without at least one faithfulin the church. Yes, what doesn't end? It means that the faithful, it is the same important as a priest or higher arch. We canbut sure with another kind of vocation and responsibility in the church by but wecan split the church between lay person and higher archy, clergy whatever, andI think so you're graceful. You would welcome, then, on the partof the clergy, exposure, greater exposure, and on the part of the Laity, creative work and the submission of proposals? Yeah, sure, becausewe can have all the ideas I think. I think we have to be receptive, as higher arch or or assent of Bishop, to every idea whichcomes from our faithful because this is a it's a reach Richmond for us andI think I said we can maybe see one or two or three solution,but with more heads working for for this, the same cause, I think wecan have maybe twenty thirty proposition and we can truly at each other newsof our insight into this work. Your grace, if you could look intothe future, five or ten or maybe twenty years even, what do youimagine the assembly becoming? What do you see in the future? Look atthe church, it is already but I don't know, maybe to to materialshis work and just to get together. And I had one of our brotherbishops in in the interview of thing that he expect a church and Real Churchof the self as if I understand well, sure that everybody expect to have thisliberty to to decide for himself,...

...for herself in his future, andI think here it's also important to see that we had some kind of materialinstitution, some theological institution, flourishing here and Association, Charity Organization, Agencyof the ascent of the Bishop, which which are doing a great, great, great day to work, and I would say that the mother churches orshould look into this work and encourage our work and sure maybe to to helpus going in the direction. I know I am young in comparing to theother bishop and their experience yet and true maybe I am more enthusiastic for this, but I would say that everybody in some way feel or expect kind ofway which help us to get together and to get a church here in community. Your grace, I sincerely thank you for having the lot that you doto make time to speak to myself and to those who are listening. Wouldyou like to make any final reflection, any last reflections to our listeners beforewe conclude the interview? Yeah, that's two words. It's prey, spivation. I hite say prayer because you know it's also a human effort, butin the same way it's a selfless that we have ness helping guys to understandthat. True, we need the work of ourselves, but also almost thehelp of God, and also to trust God presents the inspiration. Saying likethe Holy Father, it seems to the Holy Spirit and to us that it'sit's our God here, and I think this is say kind of makes freakingsay like this calls the great of our work to God. Yes, yes, well, I thank you again your grace and I ask your prayers.Thank you for Justia a wonderful thank you. Thank you for interview, my joy. Bye. Bye. You've been listening to the arena Sunday homilies andtheological reflections with Father Josiah Trenam. Father Josiah is the pastor of seeing AndrewOrthodox Christian church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of PatristicNectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweetteachings of the Holy Fathers. As a member of the Secretariat of the assemblyof Canonical Orthodox bishops of North and Central...

America, Father Josiah has been taskedto conduct interviews with each of the Orthodox hierarchs of America over the course ofthe coming year. These interviews provide a forum for each Orthodox Bishop in Americato share his understanding of, and vision for the exciting work of the assemblyof Orthodox bishops. These interviews of the more than fifty Orthodox Bishops will beavailable here at the arena on ancient faith radio, as well as directly atthe website of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops at www dot assembly of bishopsdot Org. That's W W W dot assembly of Bishops Dot Org. Untilnext time,.

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