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John Michael (Botean) (Romanian: Ion Mihai Botean; born July 9, 1955) is an American Eastern Catholic cleric of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church.

He is currently serving as the 2nd 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.[1]



Born in Canton, Ohio to a Romanian-American couple: John and Amelia Botean (née Popa). John Michael Botean has one younger brother, Mark S. Botean. He was ordained a priest May 18, 1986. In 1993 he was appointed Apostolic Administrator for the diocese then bishop on March 29, 1996 and formally ordained as bishop on August 24 of that year by Archbishop Lucian Mureşan (assisted by co-consecrators Archbishop Judson Michael Procyk and Bishop Nicholas James Samra).


As the 2nd bishop in the history of a unique eparchy, a large part of Bishop John Michael'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 Bishop John Michael 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 (a convent) was established as a dependency of Holy Resurrection Monastery under the jurisdiction of Bishop John Michael.

Bishop John Michael achieved a measure of national and international notice in his Lenten pastoral letter of 2003[2] 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".[2] These were the most outspoken terms committed to paper by a United States Catholic bishop over the war.[3] No other US ordinary has directly condemned the Iraq war.

On June 28, 2008 he 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 Bishop John Michael'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, NJ in June 2009.

Hierarchical relations

Bishop John Michael 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 united 23 different sui iuris Churches. The present situation of the eparchy is a mid point 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.


  1. ^ (Romanian) Biserica Română Unită cu Roma, Greco-Catolică
  2. ^ a b Iraq War pastoral letter, at the Center for Christian Non-violence; retrieved November 7, 2007
  3. ^ Carl Olson, "Brumley Responds to Bishop Botean", in Envoy Magazine, March 21, 2003; retrieved November 7, 2007

External links

Preceded by
Louis (Puşcaş)
Eparch of Canton, OH
1996 –
Succeeded by


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