NR. 2 – 2009

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2009.2

George-Eugen ENACHE / Adrian-Nicolae PETCU / Ionuț-Alexandru TUDORIE / Paul BRUSANOWSKI  — Biserica Ortodoxă Română în anii regimului comunist. Observații pe marginea capitolului dedicat cultelor din Raportul final al Comisiei prezidențiale pentru analiza dictaturii comuniste din România

Summary: The Romanian Orthodox Church under the Communist Regime. Remarks on the Chapter Regarding Religious Affairs in the Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania

Although intended to provide an overall image of the Romanian Orthodox Church evolution during the communist epoch, this text is a review of the paragraphs concerning the Romanian Orthodox Church in the Final Report of the Presidential Commission for the Analysis of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania.

The chapter dedicated to religious denominations in the above-mentioned Report can be reproached for low scientific quality. On the one hand, the few pages dedicated to religious Affairs (pp. 446-466) evidence a number of shortcomings; on the other hand, we are suggested a new possible reading and a broader historical perspective concerning the evolution of the relationship between the Romanian Orthodox Church and the communist regime, since its instauration to its demise in 1989.

What happened in the religious realm during the communist period cannot be understood without taking a retrospective look at the Church realities in Romania before 1944, as the communist regime took advantage, for its own benefit, of many of the times’ weaknesses and conflicts. The existence of these difficulties of historical, not ecclesiological nature, facing the Romanian Orthodox Church in the first half of the 20th century, was a key factor that subsequently shaped the attitude of Orthodox hierarchs towards the atheist communist authority. The instauration of the communist regime found the Romanian society in full identity-seeking process, including with regard to ascertaining the social role of the Church. The lack of well-defined social mechanisms proved to be a major difficulty, preventing Orthodox hierarchs from devising a strategy of opposition to the communist regime, after 1945.

During and immediately after the second World War (1944-1947), the Romanian Orthodox Church found itself in a very difficult relationship with the Soviet authorities, given the presence of Romanian Orthodoxy on the Eastern front, especially through the Romanian Orthodox Mission in Transnistria, the USSR’s capacity as a member of the anti-fascist alliance, as well as the fact that Romania was not acknowledged as a participant in the war against Germany. Orthodox hierarchs were well aware of the plight of the religious community in USSR and always feared that this situation would also affect Romania. Thus they accepted to meet representatives of the Soviet authorities and of the Russian Orthodox Church. Documents, however, prove that they also hoped that Occidental allies would not abandon Romania. Therefore, the period 1945-1948 has a dual character, on the one hand marked by efforts to maintain good relations with the Stalinist power, and on the other by the attempts to maintain permanent contact with Anglo-American and Vatican representatives.

After March 6, 1945, the Petru Groza government constantly tried to attract the Orthodox clergy. The most visible gesture was the establishment of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, intended to put into practice the Communist Party’s programme in the religious realm. Orthodox priests were to be attracted and directed away from the historic parties, into the democratic parties, especially the Peasants’ Front (Frontul Plugarilor) and the Union of Patriots (Uniunea Patrioților), later turned into the National People’s Party.

The control over religious denominations grew tighter beginning with 1948, when communist ideas gained full manifestation. Besides propagandistic actions, laws were passed to limit the presence of religious denominations within the public realm. However, in Romania militant-atheistic activities were not as ample as in the USSR.

The nuanced attitude of Patriarch Justinian towards the communist regime gradually became a strategy that may be briefly described as follows: a minimal objective, namely the survival of the Church, which the patriarch endeavored, when the situation allowed it, to turn into a project of development of the Church, of substantiating its liturgical, cultural, social and economic potential. In order to achieve this objective, he merged compromise and resistance, by yielding in certain respects (either impossible to defend, or of little interest for the Church at the moment), and trying to resist in crucial respects.

The hierarchs’ activity, and especially that of Patriarch Justinian, during the communist period, must not overshadow the resistance of the Church as a whole: the lay clergy, the monastic clergy (the so-called black army of monks and nuns) and the Orthodox believers were the foundation that prevented the Church from collapsing, while many of them were forced to go through the ordeal of imprisonment.

As for the Romanian Orthodox Church adopting a standpoint on the 1948 events and, generally, on the historic relationships between the Romanian Orthodox and the Greek-Catholics, this can emerge only by dialogue with the Greek-Catholic Church, a dialogue which does not lack difficulty but also hope, because it represents the only way of settling the historic disagreement between the two Romanian Churches.

Later, in late ‘70s, the Securitate gained more and more control over the religious life, the Department becoming a mere executor. Patriarch Iustin Moisescu was among the victims of the new system. He was faced with the increasingly aberrant Nicolae Ceaușescu’s decisions, whose megalomaniac initiatives mobilized the entire society, in some respects even stronger than at the beginnings of the communist regime. This eventually led to abolishing any rules of social interplay, including between Church and State, as proven by church demolitions in Bucharest. Demolishing Bucharest churches, both in the 19th century and in the last decade of the communist epoch, had the same reason: the urban planning undertaken in the Capital. Both cases concerned a clearly delimited area.

After 1989, as if to make up for the deferment, many churches and monasteries have been built, the study of Religion has been re-introduced in school curricula, catechesis has intensified, etc. Thus, the Romanian Orthodox Church is one of the few institutions in Romania which has been acting steadily, according to a well-defined plan, to constitute a factor of stability for a society still seeking an identity.


Diac. Cătălin VATAMANU — Legitimitatea filiației divine a regilor davidici

Summary: Legitimacy of the Divine Sonship of Davidic Kings

Guarantor of good political and administrative organization and intermediate of Divinity, the king represented in Antiquity an institution founded and supported by Gods. The king’s divinity is legitimizing through manuscripts and royal hymns, in which the king is described as born or choose, protected and influenced by gods.

Starting from old oriental concept of divine “paternity”, the article argues through the revealed text the legitimacy of divine sonship of Davidic kings and contests an alleged purely sociological ideology of the Israelite monarchy.

The Conquest of Jerusalem and the deportation of the population to Babylon revive in foreground the subjects of royalty and the special “choice” of people Israel. In this context, the idea of Yahweh’s fatherhood is complemented by hope of forgiveness and faith in His providence and will acquire in post-exilic times a „democratic” character, that the entire people of Israel will be called „son” of God (Jer. 31 : 9; Is. 63:16, 64:7; Jer. 3:4, 3:19, Malachi 1:6; Exodus 4:22, Hosea 11:1.3).

The Masoretic text of the Old Testament describes explicit God as “father” only for 17 times and only in five verses He is „father” of Davidic Kings: in II Sam. 7:14 and I Chr. 17:13 as father of the David’s sons, as David’s father in Ps. 89:27 and as Solomon’s father in I Chr. 22:10 and 28:6.

II Samuel 7:14 may argue the kingdom’s theocracy or may be just a legitimacy of the king’s authority. The text can be understood as messianic, as can be seen from his interpretation in the Qumran texts and New Testament writings.

Only in Psalm 89:28 the attribute bekor (“first-born”) refers to kingship, to highlight the special choice of Davidic kings above all Kings of the Earth.

As regards the texts I Chr. 17:13, 22:10, 28:6-7: if in the first text God takes the first place, thus showing the divine parental loyalty towards the king of Israel, in the further two texts the son has priority. The Chronicles Book does not insist on the two historical figures, David and Solomon, but creates from these an ideal for Israel, an embodiment of Messianic expectations. The relationship “father-son” can be seen in this sense as having a messianic character and could better explain the mechanism of messianic prophecies.

The image of Yahweh as “Father” of Davidic kings and of the people of Israel is in the Hebrew Bible one of the metaphors used to argue ideas of choice and of providence. The specificity of divine sonship of Davidic kings consists in the fact that the physical aspect of this concept, so is met in the other cultures of the Near East, was replaced in the Jewish faith with a metaphorical, deeply theological one.


Eugen Maftei — L’image de Dieu et la theologie du Logos dans le traite Contra gentes – de incarnatione de Saint Athanase d’Alexandrie

Rezumat: Chipul lui Dumnezeu și teologia Logosului în tratatul Contra gentes – de incarnatione a Sf. Atanasie al Alexandriei

Articolul de față încearcă să surprindă raportul „chip – după chipul”, așa cum este perceput de către Sfântul Atanasie în tratatul Contra Gentes – De Incarnatione. Deși cele două noțiuni nu apar foarte des (termenul „chip” se regăsește doar de 8 ori în Contra Gentes și de 7 ori în De Incarnatione, în timp ce expresia „după chipul” este menționată de 7 respectiv 8 ori), ele traversează ca un fir roșu întreaga operă, fiind prezente de fiecare dată când autorul abordează tema întrupării Fiului lui Dumnezeu. Întrebarea de la care am pornit în demersul nostru este: Ce reprezintă pentru Atanasie chipul lui Dumnezeu în om? Totodată, ne-am propus să lămurim și alte aspecte, cum ar fi: relația dintre omul creat după chipul lui Dumnezeu și Cuvântul, Chipul Tatălui; constituția ontologică a chipului lui Dumnezeu în om (dacă este o caracteristică ce ține de natura omului sau ceva ce se adaugă naturii), precum și consecințele păcatul asupra chipului și importanța actului realizat de către Cuvântul pentru restabilirea acestui chip. Luând ca bază biblică referința de la Col. 1,15 Atanasie numește Cuvântul „Chipul perfect al Tatălui”, atribuindu-i în același timp nume precum: Domnul, Împăratul lumii, Fiul incoruptibil al lui Dumnezeu, Dumnezeu Cuvântul, titluri care vorbesc despre divinitatea și unitatea Lui cu Tatăl. Dacă Fiul este singurul Chip al Tatălui, omul, care a fost creat prin Fiul, este „după chipul” (Fac. 1,26). Calitatea omului de a fi „după chipul” sau „iconomorf” este o consecință a participării sale ontologice la Fiul, după chipul căruia a fost creat. Caracteristica omului de a fi „ după chipul” se referă mai ales la raționalitate. Această raționalitate deosebește omul (logikos) de animalele fără rațiune (aloga) și îi asigură comuniunea cu Creatorul său. Omul este creat după Chipul lui Dumnezeu, adică kat’eikona, dar Chipul este Logosul; deci el este creat în același timp și după Logosul divin, adică logikos. Dar, a fi logikos sau „după chipul” este mai mult decât a fi rațional, este o caracteristică ontologică a omului de a participa la Cuvântul, adică de a fi verbalizat sau cuvântat (cuvântător de Dumnezeu). Omul întreg creat „după chipul și după asemănarea” lui Dumnezeu are posibilitatea de a cunoaște pe Dumnezeu si de a participa la El datorită nous-ului, care reprezintă acea forță a spiritului, acea capacitate de a transcende lumea, puritatea sau oglinda sufletului în care se reflectă Chipul Tatălui. Pentru Atanasie, omul prin natura sa este coruptibil deoarece provine din neant și are tendința să se întoarcă în neant. Incoruptibilitatea (aftarsia) este o caracteristică ce aparține numai lui Dumnezeu, omul fiind supus coruptibilității (ftora). De aceea Dumnezeu a creat omul „după Chipul” Său, care este Cuvântul, pentru că participarea la Dumnezeu este singurul mijloc prin care poate fi depășită bariera dintre Creator si creatură și prin care omul poate scăpa de coruptibilitate. Principala consecință a păcatului este, în viziunea episcopului alexandrin, alterarea chipului lui Dumnezeu în om, ceea ce nu îi mai asigură acestuia posibilitatea de a cunoaște pe Dumnezeu. Kat’eikona nu este total distrus căci aparține naturii omului, ci doar desfigurat, întunecat, acoperit de tina păcatului, în așa măsură încât nu mai poate vedea pe Dumnezeu, la fel cum o oglindă murdară nu mai redă clar imaginea cuiva. În consecință, rolul Cuvântului este acela de a restaura, de a reînnoi chipul și nu de a-l recrea. De aceea El vine in lume pentru că, fiind Chipul, poate reînnoi ființa „după chipul” și, fiind Viața, poate salva oamenii de la moarte și le poate reda posibilitatea de a participa la incoruptibilitate. Dificultățile pe care le întâmpinăm uneori în a înțelege noțiunea de „chip” și consecințele păcatului în legătură cu acesta nu se datorează incoerenței sau lipsei de viziune a autorului nostru, ci imperfecțiunilor inerente datorate epocii în care acesta a trăit si a scris, epocă în care terminologia și doctrina creștină însăși nu erau total stabilite.

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