The first [[priest]]s to service the Romanian community did so on an itinerant basis. The oldest Romanian Orthodox parish was organized in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in 1902, while the first parish in the United States was established in Cleveland, Ohio in 1904. These parishes were affiliated with, for Canada, the [[Metropolitan]] of Moldava and, for the United States, the Metropolitan of Transylvania. These metropolitans provided some priests with theological training, but a class of untrained priests formed in America who were ordained by [[Bishop]]s [[Stephen (Dzubay) of Pittsburgh]], Adam (Philipovsky), and [[Arseny (Chagovtsov) of Winnipeg]]. These two groups formed separate factions that caused fragmentation and conflict.
In 1928, the Metropolitan of Transylvania Nicolae Balan sent Fr. Trandafir Scorobet to survey and report the status of the Romanian Orthodox parishes in America. At a meeting on [[January 30]], 1928, with the Romanian [[clergy]] in Cleveland, Ohio, he recommended reorganizing the church in America with the establishment of an episcopate. Then, on [[April 25]], 1929, at a general congress of clergy and laity in Detroit, Michigan, an Autonomous Missionary Episcopate was formed under the canonical jurisdiction of [[Holy Synod]] of the [[Church of Romania]]. The resolution of the congress was accepted by the Romanian Patriarchate with Decree No. 10210 in November 1930 and the Romanian Holy Synod proclaimed the establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America.
During the time of World War II the administration of the episcopate operated in a subdued manner awaiting the return of Bp. Polycarp. After the war, his return was again stopped, this time by the new Communist government. While prevented from returning he advised his community by a letter on [[July 30]], 1947, that he still considered himself the bishop of the Episcopate. But, later in the year, by a letter on [[December 8]], 1947, he advised that by a law (No. 166 of 1947) funding for the episcopate had been eliminated and the Episcopate was dissolved in the view of the government, and that he, Bp. Polycarp, was placed in retirement.
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 May 1950, at Detroit, Michigan, using a new tactic, an episcopate, the
[[Romanian Orthodox Missionary Episcopate in America ]], was chartered. An American citizen, Fr. Andrei Moldovan, at that time pastor of the parish in Akron, Ohio, 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 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.