Andrew (Moldovan) of Detroit

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Bishop Andrei Moldovan (also spelt Andrey, André, Andrew; July 3, 1885, Apoldul de Sus, Sighisoara, Romania - March 14, 1963, Detroit) was a Romanian Orthodox Bishop of Detroit, Primate of the Romanian Archdiocese in America and Canada.


Andrei Moldovan was born on 15 July, 1885, in Apoldul de Sus, Sighisoara, Romania. He studied in Sibiu, and in time, he received a formal education in paedagogy and theology. Andrei Moldovan was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on 12 November, 1911, by Archbishop John (Metianu) of Sibiu.

The priest Andrei Moldovan then served in parishes in Ardeal from 1911-1923. In 1923, Father Andrei Moldovan (with a group of others) was sent by Metropolitan Nicolae (Balan) to serve in the USA.

In the course of the following years, Father Andrei served in many parishes : in Philadephia, Pennsylvania; in Warren, Ohio; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Gary, Indiana and Akron, Ohio. For some years, Father Andrei served on the Episcopate Council of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America (ROEA).

From 1935, Father Andrei served in the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America under its first bishop, Bishop Polycarp (Moruşca). However, from 1939, World War II blocked the return to the USA of Bishop Polycarp from Romania, where he had gone to attend a Holy Synod meeting in that year. After the war, other political factors in Romania continued to block his return. A long-existing and strong difference of opinion within the episcopate therefore continued.

On 12 November, 1950, Father Andrei Moldovan went with a group of dissenting priests who supported him to Romania, where he was ordained to the Holy Episcopate.

On his return, it was his intention to take over the episcopal leadership of the Romanian Diocese (Episcopate). However, he was not accepted by the Romanian Episcopate. Despite a court-battle in which Bishop Andrei had the support of the Romanian (Communist) government, Bishop Andrei was unable to succeed in any way to take the leadership of the Romanian Episcopate.

As a consequence, Bishop Andrei (Moldovan) established a distinct and different diocese directly under the Romanian Patriarchate, known as the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada (ROAA). He also took the title “Bishop of Detroit”. The result was that some of the parishes of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America left the episcopate to join him, although the number was small.

In 1961 he was a delegate of Romanian Orthodox Church to the Pan-Orthodox conference in Rhodes.

Bishop Andrei (Moldovan) reposed in the Lord on 14 March, 1963 in Detroit, Michigan. After the services for the Burial of a Hierarch, his body was interred in that city.