John Michael Botean
He is currently serving as the second bishop in the Romanian Catholic Eparchy of St George's in Canton after Bishop Vasile Louis Puscas, in the United States' sole Romanian Byzantine Catholic eparchy and the sole Romanian Rite eparchy outside of Romania.
Early life and ordination
Botean was born in Canton, Ohio to a Romanian-American couple: John and Amelia Botean (née Popa). He has one younger brother, Mark S. Botean. He was ordained a priest on May 18, 1986. In 1993 he was appointed Apostolic Administrator for the diocese and then the bishop on March 29, 1996, and formally ordained as bishop on August 24 that year by Archbishop Lucian Mureșan (assisted by co-consecrators Archbishop Judson Michael Procyk and Bishop Nicholas James Samra).
As the second bishop in the history of a unique eparchy, a large part of Botean's activities consist of compliance work, bringing the organization into conformance with the requirements of his split jurisdiction, both American and Romanian. Most of his parishes long predate the creation of the eparchy, often by many decades. The first mission established during the lifetime of the diocese to be raised to the level of a parish will be raised on June 29, 2008.
In 2005 Botean established traditional Romanian Byzantine Catholic monasticism in the Diocese of Canton with the transfer of Holy Resurrection Monastery to diocesan jurisdiction. On October 17, 2006, the Holy Theophany Monastery for women (nuns) was established as a dependency of Holy Resurrection Monastery under the jurisdiction of Botean.
Botean achieved a measure of national and international notice in his Lenten pastoral letter of 2003 which spoke out against the Iraq War. The letter was a direct condemnation of the conflict, and termed it "objectively grave evil, a matter of mortal sin". These were the most outspoken terms committed to paper by a United States Catholic bishop over the war. No other US ordinary has directly condemned the Iraq war.
On June 28, 2008, Botean called the eparchial assembly to meet. It was the first serious effort to convoke the eparchial assembly in conformance with the 1990 Code of Cannon for the Eastern Churches (Canons 235-242) during Botean's episcopacy. This preliminary session focused on organizing issues. At that meeting the practice of yearly assemblies was announced, the next was held at St. Basil's in Trenton, New Jersey, in June 2009.
Botean is a member of the USCCB and also the Romanian Catholic Synod. He is in the unusual position of being directly answerable to the Pope and not necessarily to his synod. This odd position is a consequence of the very real modern development of understanding between viewing the Church as one with different rites within it and the Universal Church uniting 23 different sui iuris churches. The present situation of the eparchy is a midpoint between the two, within the newly formed Romanian synod but not entirely answerable to it and within the USCCB but not entirely answerable to it either.
- (Romanian) Biserica Română Unită cu Roma, Greco-Catolică
- Pastoral Letter Iraq War.pdf Iraq War pastoral letter, at the Center for Christian Non-violence; retrieved November 7, 2007[dead link]
- Carl Olson, "Brumley Responds to Bishop Botean", in Envoy Magazine, March 21, 2003; retrieved November 7, 2007
Vasile Louis Puscas
|Eparch of Canton, OH