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Monday, November 14, 2011

Recovery in Romania

I mentioned Floyd in the previous post, who has become the 'godfather' (in the not-kneecap-breaking sense of the word!) of Orthodox recovery programs. Here is a link to his OCMC page:

Floyd is responsible for getting the Church of Romania to recognize the effectiveness of the 12-Step program for the treatment of alcoholism, and now his materials are being integrated into the seminary curriculum in Romania's schools and he has been tasked with training thousands of Romanian priests in how to establish AA groups in their villages and towns.

The Romanian Church is also working to set up in- and out-patient treatment programs which use the Minnesota Model for clinical treatment. Gradually, Patriarch Daniel of Bucharest (who has supported Floyd's work from the beginning when he was Metropolitan of Iasi) is getting the entire Church to embrace Floyd's work.

In 2008, I spent a few weeks with Floyd and we did trainings in three cities. It was very fruitful: Floyd has 30 years of experience in recovery and treatment, and so he is able to speak from his wealth of knowledge on how to engage in the treatment of addictions.  My ‘area’ so-to-speak has been the integration of Orthodox spirituality with treatment: they have common assumptions and methods, separated by a gulf in terminology.

AA is limited because it can only return people to a ‘church,’ but it does not claim to be a church.  We are the Church, and so what addicts and alcoholics are really looking for is ‘us.’  Once the parallels are established, Orthodox Christians can easily grasp what 12-Step programs do, and 12-Steppers can see that the God they are searching for is found in His fullness within Orthodoxy.

Floyd has been ‘carrying the message’ in Romania for over a decade.  The fruits are already showing:

What is happening in Romania is a cooperation between recovery groups and the Church.  It is an exciting new chapter in the world of recovery, though little noticed at this stage.

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