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Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (OCA)

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The next moves were typical of Communists of the time. In a letter of [[April 4]], 1949 to the Episcopate Council of America, Bp. Polycarp wrote that under a new law for the Church of Romania the leaders for Romanian Orthodox communities outside Romania would be sent by the Patriarchate "with the approval of the government." Under this new policy of governmental control, a Bp. Antim Nica was appointed for the American Episcopate, but the [[diocese]] in the United States refused to accept him. In 1950, using a new tactic, an episcopate, the [[Romanian Orthodox Missionary Episcopate in America]], was chartered. An American citizen, Fr. Andrei Moldovan, was called to Romania to be [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated bishop]]. Although repudiated by the majority in the older episcopate, Bp. Moldovan, upon returning to the United States, immediately began lawsuits for control of the diocesan properties.
Under the leadership of Fr. John Trutza, the efforts of the Moldovan episcopate were turned back and control of the properties remained with the older episcopate. Then, at the Council of [[July 5]], 1951, the episcopate declared itself completely [[autonomy|autonomous]] for both administrative and spiritual matters. The Council then elected a lay theologian, Viorel D. Trifia, as [[Vicar Bishopvicar bishop]] of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. Thus, he came to exercise leadership of the diocese due to the continued absence of Bp. Polycarp who remained a political prisoner of the communist government of Romania.
The newly elected bishop was consecrated with the name Valerian on [[April 27]], 1952, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by three Ukrainian bishops. Under Bp. Valerian the Episcopate entered a new era of activity, even as he came under continuous attack, first in the media and then in the courts. After Bp. Polycarp's death in 1957, Bp. Valerian then became the titular Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.
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