(Jerusalem Patriarchate) - On Monday, the 21st of January/3rd of February 2014, the “Patriarchal decision on the agreement and restoration of the ecclesiastical communion” between the Patriarchate of Jerusalem and the Patriarchate of Romania was completed and sealed. The decision had been interrupted because of the construction, on behalf of the Patriarchate of Romania, of a Church in Jericho without the approval of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem.
The aforementioned agreement was prepared during the year 2013 over meetings between delegations of the two Patriarchates in Jerusalem, upon the peacemaking mediation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
For the completion of the said agreement, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, received from Romania the Most Reverend Niphon, Metropolitan of Targoviste and Patriarchal Exarch; the Reverend f. Ionitsa Viorel, Professor and Protopresbyter; the Reverend f. Michael Titsa and the new Representative of the Patriarchate of Romania to Jerusalem, Archimandrite Timotheos. With them they brought the said agreement, signed by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, on Sunday, 29th of January/2nd of February 2014.
The agreement was signed by His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem, on the aforementioned day, in the presence of the Romanian Delegation and the Elder Secretary-General, His Eminence Aristarchos, Archbishop of Constantina, and the Chairman of Finances, His Eminence Methodios, Archbishop of Tabor.
The main points of this agreement have now been sealed by means of the understanding between the Heads of the two Churches that “the Church and its guesthouse in Jericho shall operate not as a Monastic Fraternity or any other form of Monastic Community, but as a ‘House of Pilgrims’”.
Upon signing the agreement, due gifts were exchanged between the Leaders of the two Churches.
Immediately afterwards, His Beatitude Theophilos received the Letters of Commendation of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, for the appointment in Jerusalem of the Representative of the Patriarchate of Romania, Archimandrite Timotheos.
The former Representative of the Patriarchate of Romania in Jerusalem, Archimandrite Ieronymos, then approached and apologized to Patriarch Theophilos of Jerusalem, which marked his restoration after being defrocked by the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Archimandrite Ieronymos has now been transferred to serve in the Patriarchate of Romania.
After discussions in a spirit of Christian Orthodox communion, the two sides agreed on the following points ad referendum to the Holy Synod:
1. The Memorandum signed in Bucharest on the 11th of December 2012 between the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Romanian Patriarchate was accepted as the basis of the present Minutes.
2. The restoration of full communion between the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and of Romania should be also regarded as a matter of urgency in view of the need to accelerate the process of preparation of the Great and Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church.
3. To this purpose, the Romanian Patriarchate recognizes fully and unreservedly the canonical jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in the Holy Land with its pastoral implications.
4. Regarding the status of the church and the pilgrim’s hostel in Jericho, the Romanian Patriarchate should remain the owner of these buildings, while the spiritual, liturgical and ecclesiastical use of these buildings should depend on the canonical blessing of the Patriarch of Jerusalem:
a) The priests serving in the church of these buildings should be appointed by the Patriarch of Jerusalem on the basis of recommendation of the Patriarch of Romania. It is of course understood that the Patriarch of Jerusalem may Himself or with his clergy liturgically use this church whenever he decides to do so;
b) All priests celebrating the Divine Liturgy in the church should commemorate at the anaphora (ἐν πρώτοις μνήσθητι) only the Patriarch of Jerusalem, while at the Great Entrance the priests may commemorate also the name of the Patriarch of Romania;
c) The Antimision will be received from the Patriarch of Jerusalem.
1. The Romanian Patriarchate will avoid in the future to build churches or shrines on the canonical territory of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem without written agreement.
2. Concerning the status of Archimandrite Ieronim Creţu, who was deposed from the rank of priesthood, it was agreed that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem will lift up this canonical measure, and the Romanian Patriarchate will call him back to Romania.
3. Concerning the Representation of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem, it was agreed that a special Statute should be worked out as soon as possible, by the two sides.