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 publications present the arena Sunday homilies and theological reflections with Father Josiah trenam. Father Josiah is the pastor of Saint Andrew Orthodox Christian Church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of patristic nectar publications, a non profit organization committed to nourishing this spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. As a member of the Secretariat of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops of North and Central America, Father Josiah has been tasked to conduct interviews with each of the Orthodox hierarchs of America over the course of the coming year. These interviews provide a forum for each Orthodox Bishop in America to share his understanding of, and vision for the exciting work of the assembly of Orthodox bishops. These interviews of the more than fifty Orthodox Bishops will be available here at the arena on ancient faith radio, as well as directly at the website of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops at W W W dot assembly of Bishops Dot Org. That's W W W 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 for three years at the St John the Baptist Monastery in Jerusalem, where he had his initial monastic formation and was tauntured by His Eminence, Metropolitan Seraphim of Germany and northern Europe, in Nineteen Ninety five into the monastic life. He continued his studies in Rome from nineteen ninety five to nineteen ninety eight and then was sent to Western Europe, to Paris, to serve with His Eminence, metropolitan you'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 Schema and served in France. He came to the United States to serve in the year two thousand and three, where he served in Queens New York until two thousand and six, when he was consecrated as the vicar bishop for the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas, serving specifically the East Coast and Canada. Your grace, it is what have you on the show? Thank you for taking this interview. Thank you for this interview. In pity, to to doing this definite to work, which is wonderful,...

...and I think we already see many results. For me, unexpected so quickly, but still, yes, it's a wonderful surprise, short surprise prepared by other before me, that still feelings somehow being involved now in this work of communion, your grace. What you 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 for everybody there, it's it's a work of communion in love, and this is the most important because maybeybody is involving his own jurisdiction, sure, with its own problem, but the are we get the sense of communion which goes beyond or in some way it's just plans, jurisdiction of if I can say like this, and it's a it's a work of human effort, but in the same time the goal is beyond this, because we are the church and is not just a kind of human friendship, but it's in Christ friendship. I would say, we tend to to the transfigure this human relationship into a new kind 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 would say, just the sense of communion, in love of each other, but founded by in the unity of faith and responsibility to each other. The same time, I would say that this is in some way kind of insightful in insight regard or look in the work of the assembly, but I would say that the assembly, it's also work of respect for the mother churches or for the Orthodox of the several churches and the panels to those preconsiderer conferences. You know that is not only we should not maybe look only into our own business in some way, but I see that there is a sense of all respect following what even those being before us almost two thousand years of Christian tradition and in some way helping us ourself in our decision, in our way of thinking, looking, deciding, figuring our future...

...here in North America. At the same time, I would say that it's since three years I see progress in this 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 issue which we find we are challenged by them, and this challenging bring us into a kind of accountability, responsibility to each other and sure for this society of to day. I said that that I most amazing it was this edition, is just how much more clear it was the path, the discussion, the way 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, in the kind of in a discussion about the by laws or around tables, kind of capacity to harmonizing all this different point of view, because also a good surprise of such a bish events and from the Oklaini and with who is the pleasure 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 to have the Chan to succeed from from my second financial point of view, or that chibishop just seeing and from the Russian church which, in his short presentation he 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 I would say it's it's a work of communion in faith and is possibility and sure everybody 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 our listeners? Are Not sure they'll understand exactly what you mean. What is it exactly that became in clear? I gave you a quite it's much popular because I we get into, you know,...

...the focus of this assembly. It was mostly about our own organization in by laws which in some way we don't leave everything to the improvisation. Is just organization, creativity and also, if we need to have the improvisation is but for me it was it was a very related to the last year or the previous year. I think it's a more coherent way of thinking income and what we think we should do in the future 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 addressing the problem. But also, I said that this is the third asomething. It was focused on the assembly, evolved on the by laws, but in the 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 a lot with Alexa clean, that which is really interesting. Scholar whould try to scandal a little bit reality factor, arity of our parishes, because sure we understand, we everybody jurisdictionary, project our sense of our immigration or whatever faithful we have in the parishes or in dices. But well, Alex say did I think wonderful. It's a it's a scan ofvious life, of the people being 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 like could I can't compare with the last year, which was much, much less for me clear, much much less. This was. It was amazing. This is was I would say. For me it was much more clarity and yes, we saw that it was a work of fruit of one year of reflection 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 and on Anization, administration, relations with mother...

...churches. Sure, we are still far from this side. Is something clear, but still, the way in which we dealt this year, for me to was anazing, amazing and yeah, your grace with that, with that sense, do you feel that the ball 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 this year also from Tiship and entrance. He say, you know, we should also 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 surprisingly separately from the mother churches, but we should have in some way from time to time the input from the mother churches in order to get even inspiration or whatever. Why? What different point of view maybe, to which we are not so sensitive and after working for this, and I think I expect to 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 I am, I am very a theory and of this. From see this point of view, I think it will be a progress, and maybe a fast progress, in this way to propose something concrete in North America. Thanks. The reason for the from the future, and I said of that we discuss all 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 offer ourselves also the needs to get the goal, and I said it a reflection about the 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 assembly itself 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 all are working. Would you comment for our listeners what you discerned to be the most 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 relationship to the others. The first is our awareness about our come and coming in and said, I would say, and responsibility to each other in our assembly of the bishops, saying that we get together around or in participating the same 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, with the same problem or work or with different problems, and try to solve this in Christian perspective. I think, and this is some means that I would say 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 the plants on the future, which is stipulated, I think, and in the decision of the Pretasili Commission there and it is expected from us to draw a plan for the future, to sit here and not America. We have the local church, but it's insight and three jurisdiction in somewhere in the same cultural millie who, I would say, and for us in, if I say right this, I think it is asked from us to go beyond the Cultural Limited, you know, I would say cultural Milia, then going and beyond to break to Antio, can be Guian, Serbian, to Russian, and trying to to Materre, this thinking about what doesn't mean, what is the meaning of our Christian life really, going beyond our limited human categories, if I can say, is, in the same way, another work which is important for me, that the mother churches should have the input from us in our way of dealing with the situation, model situation, the society, Mother Society, in some way, mother churches all for us the opportunity also to contribute to his work, to this unity of the Orthodoxy. We feel, if I can see like this, we feel like not a satellite of a center really peripherical stuff, but I think like someone who the mother changes in trust kind of honest possibility we really can...

...participate in reach this experience and this insight 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 the assembly in the near future that you're hoping for, what do you think would be the greatest obstacle to these, to the success of the assembly getting this done? Yeah, I don't know. I would say that that maybe mistrust something sometimes the way of tradition versus more dynamic and creative understanding of tradition, partisanship. Maybe. I don't know. Yeah, I just try to to understand, firstly, what should be a real, real obstacles from this, but I think it's just the adopt mistrust. Maybe I said that. I think what 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 look for some bridges, common bridges, in solving the probable, the multiple or Lees we we have today. Your grace, do you think that there is in general, in your own background, in the Romanian Patriarchate, do you feel that there is a strong sense of the the work of the assemblies throughout the world, these twelve, these twelve places where the assemblies are happy? Is there good support for you? Yes, I think so, because we discuss that. I am involved with a traditional Nicol line and also in the committee of the holy scene and in dealing with the exceptional problem, with the relationship with other churches whatever, in this means, and we discuss them and we discussed everything we do here, and I think it's a good input from there, but also being because in that committee we have also the members present when this preconcilia confidence whether we've done in them, we're done in shambasis and we fell in some way and inside in the sensence, a good sense from someone 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 newance in this discussion the ennser and I...

...think this is a this is I think it's interesting, I think it's it's encouraging for us and it's only scene on its supported for problem work here. Your grace, you serve, if I'm correct, as a member of the assemblies committee for Ecumenical Relations, and I'm wondering if you would share with us what the goal of that committee is and what would you would like to see it accomplish. Yes, for me it was a kind of stain situation because the one year I was in standby membership, I would say, because it was a request from the Canadian bision to 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 the list because you were exam and now I am because I oped it for this a half. You know, I hope it really for this. I requested this because I traveled a lot. If you, if you so, will be the CS and this experience. I think it's helpful that, in my view, maybe in doing something in this kind of work, in this committee of a commenical relations. I would say that from from from the committee's I know that we have a discussion about the title the COOMMENIC or war in Inter Christian or inter faith. This. Yes, maybe this will express more accurate what we do, what we should do in the future. Yeah, fantisicality, I don't know, continue, because I saw that they continue to to underline 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 faith just to to to to start the dialog with them from the notion of Seeker of God. I know, do you need? I reading a book from Gregory 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 this mind 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 no reputation, taking the form of Bond, serving and coming into like, like yourself, men which, in his opinion, and I I would say that it's an interesting point of view, the church will go in the depth of the experience of Death Resolvation of Christ to...

...be the leaving for this word and for the new relation or new understanding of the relation in the Society of today or with the other religions. And I would say that to large this vision and support it, this dialog by the Kemnity and proposed to do and be a bishop to be discussed, is to enlarge the station, to try to to create bridges between people who have the faith, I don't say the Christian faith, that the thing, but still in some point to social issue or human issue, we can have a binateral discussion and trying to build up some common sense or coming attitude in the Society of today. Yes, that's I think I would expect, I expect from myself to to do something in this comity. Thank God your grace. Would you, would you agree? Agree with with this notion? Let me stay. Didn't see new evaluated in critique. It that, with the with the rise of secularism, very aggressive secularism in the West and this post Christian West, that this committee could help establish collaboration with believers from from many different backgrounds on our common social and moral commitments to preserve in our cultures, you know, basic morality and standards which will support us all and in the expression of our faith. Is that something that you 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 put in every creature and and I think we can, we could start theologically from here 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 think that the starting from here. I I am I have much hope to to do something, because I said, I quoted the quotation from Philippian, the chapter two, and I said we in some in somehow, we have to to to die to ourselves in order to see the relation, in order to see how a new, old problem...

...could be solved in a modern way in twenty one century. And the sense. Yes, that's say. Sure, we have a lot of studies, a lot of work theoentically, but in the same time we have to go also with our experience, which is the experience of faith and a siguration. And this I would I would say that it's it's center in this new understanding, if we can say like this of our relationship to the other addition eventually to the secular society, we offer to ourselves no opportunity to to do doing large our understanding and capacity to to to create bridges between man and women, children, people of under faith. I said, it's a unique carriage. This because, sure, sometimes I quote it, I got it, I said the beginning. Sometimes we fear the weight of variation and we need to be creative, we need to be created, and this comes from our commitment Christian committee, and serious coming Christian committee, because an should committing to our faith and Intelligil your grace, many priests throughout North America and and Laity. I think a good number of Laity now are hearing about the work of the assembly of bishops as it has continued through their own pastors and through their local bishop and they want to know how they can, what they can do, how they can participate in the work of the assembly, how they could support the bishops. What Council would you give them on how the clergy and the Lady Could Support the assembly? It's already kind of participation if you're a member that our committees, as that communities are membership. It's open to the priest and to the name and the particulation already the kind of input they can have it and even acknowledge direct conage of the 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 more known, because sure I know that the pist try their best, but I think in my opinion we need a little bit more visibility with agility. It's a lot of work have been done up to now or through the websites or ideal but we need we need the more visibility to deal to. You know that our shape will be informed area. I say, then, I don't know how to to be the they can...

...and they can participate in our decision in 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 of the assembly of Bishop with their proposition expectancy for for the future. I don't know. I'm saying this should be the kind of participation because this is a respect of our Orthodox theology, which is inclusive. In Our church, we have the high uses. They can, my person, participate in our celebrations and if you remember, one of the Canon say or anyway you causecuted by the tradition, is that you can celebrate the localist without at least one faithful in the church. Yes, what doesn't end? It means that the faithful, it is the same important as a priest or higher arch. We can but sure with another kind of vocation and responsibility in the church by but we can split the church between lay person and higher archy, clergy whatever, and I think so you're graceful. You would welcome, then, on the part of the clergy, exposure, greater exposure, and on the part of the Laity, creative work and the submission of proposals? Yeah, sure, because we 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 which comes from our faithful because this is a it's a reach Richmond for us and I 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 we can have maybe twenty thirty proposition and we can truly at each other news of our insight into this work. Your grace, if you could look into the future, five or ten or maybe twenty years even, what do you imagine the assembly becoming? What do you see in the future? Look at the church, it is already but I don't know, maybe to to materials his work and just to get together. And I had one of our brother bishops in in the interview of thing that he expect a church and Real Church of the self as if I understand well, sure that everybody expect to have this liberty to to decide for himself,...

...for herself in his future, and I think here it's also important to see that we had some kind of material institution, some theological institution, flourishing here and Association, Charity Organization, Agency of the ascent of the Bishop, which which are doing a great, great, great day to work, and I would say that the mother churches or should look into this work and encourage our work and sure maybe to to help us going in the direction. I know I am young in comparing to the other 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 of way 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 do to make time to speak to myself and to those who are listening. Would you like to make any final reflection, any last reflections to our listeners before we 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, but in the same way it's a selfless that we have ness helping guys to understand that. True, we need the work of ourselves, but also almost the help of God, and also to trust God presents the inspiration. Saying like the Holy Father, it seems to the Holy Spirit and to us that it's it's our God here, and I think this is say kind of makes freaking say 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 and theological reflections with Father Josiah Trenam. Father Josiah is the pastor of seeing Andrew Orthodox Christian church in Riverside, California. He is also the founder of Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. As a member of the Secretariat of the assembly of Canonical Orthodox bishops of North and Central...

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

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