NR. 3 – 2011

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2011.3

† EMILIAN LOVIȘTEANUL — Du Sacrement du Baptême au Sacrement du Mariage: notre vie entre Dieu et le monde

Summary: From the Sacrament of Baptism to the Sacrament of Matrimony: our life between God and the world

In the present paper, we propose a reflection on the significance, spiritual importance and role played by the Sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony in the life of Christians, especially Orthodox Christians. Indeed, the time span between the Sacrament of Baptism and the Sacrament of Matrimony comprises a person’s development to reach maturity.

The Baptism is administered and received for the remission of sins, of the ancestral sin and, in the case of adults, of the sins committed until the respective moment. However, the Baptism marks not only the remission of sins, but it is also a Sacrament of adoption, according to St. Basil the Great. This is manifest during Christ’s baptism in the river Jordan, when the Holy Spirit descends from heaven upon Him, like a dove, and the Father’s voice is heard saying: « This is My Son whom I love ; with Him I am well-pleased» (Matthew 3, 17). The phrase « My Son whom I love » here designates not only the Son of God, but also the Son of Man incarnate of the Virgin Mary.

This adoption of the human nature, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, is the highest consequence of Baptism. Baptism washes sins away and transforms man from a servant into a child; by it, we are adopted and become children and friends of God, sons and daughters in Christ the Saviour ; several times in the Gospels, the Lord calls the disciples believing in Him and His words, his friends and sons of God (cf. John 15, 12-16).

This spiritual filiation constitutes the beginning of our resurrection. St. Gregory the Theologian speaks of the threefold birth of the one who accepts Christ as Lord and Emperor. The first one is the natural, or biological, birth – the birth according to the flesh. The second one is the baptismal, or spiritual, birth through the Baptism, also called theological birth, and constitutes the beginning of spiritual adoption. Our third birth, the most complete one, is the Paschal birth, that of the final Resurrection, when our bodies, and not only our souls, will be transfigured and saved. Through Baptism only the soul is saved, whereas the body goes towards death and decay, since what is corrupted cannot enter the incorrupt life in the Kingdom of God. Upon the final Resurrection, the body is resurrected as well and becomes incorruptible. This incorruptible body will enter God’s Kingdom together with the immortal soul. Then we will be fully adopted by God.

While Baptism helps us reach communion with the Holy Trinity as well as the Christians sharing the same faith, the Sacrament of Matrimony represents the communion of love and commitment, of self-giving with the blessing of God. The theology of Christian marriage is based on the words of Apostle Paul addressed to the Ephesians: « Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the Church » (5, 25), since the marriage between Christ and the Church provides the model for the marriage between man and woman. Father Dumitru Stăniloae defines marriage as a sacred act, with divine origin, by which the grace of the Holy Spirit is bestowed through the priest upon the man and the woman who freely engage in marriage and sanctify and elevate their natural union to epitomize the spiritual union between Christ and the Church. It is a highly spiritual analogy, very important as Father Stăniloae (just like the Holy Apostle Paul) associates this union between man and woman with the union between Christ and the Church, since Christ established the Church out of his lovingkindness and will be present within it unto ages of ages. Similarly, the union between man and woman must be consecrated through marriage, for eternity not for a matter of months or years.

The present paper also addresses certain problems challenging the Christian family in contemporary Romanian society, just like other modern societies, and emphasizes the necessity of Church commitment to the spiritual guidance of its faithful along the path leading them to the Kingdom of God.

It has been often said that every historical period has its own manner of crucifying or glorifying God. Our century is no exception: it glorifies Him through its best aspects, and crucifies Him through its wrongs. We hear much about secularization, a secular world and the contemporary secularized man, reflecting his time and age. This man does not necessarily deny the existence of God ; to him, God is somewhere in heaven, and has nothing to do with the life that unfolds on earth. The secularized man is the man who no longer prays; when one feels no need to pray, one has a secularized mindset.

As long as modern man does not forget that Christ is the « Tree of life », and « the Light of the world », he will seek His guidance along the path of life, and in the family. And Christ the Saviour will help him live in agreement with his fellow people and his neighbours and will teach him how to serve the Truth for spiritual awakening and the knowledge of God.


Pr. Ioan MOGA — „Treimea imanentă” și „Treimea iconomică”. Probleme și perspective ale unei distincții teologice

Summary: „Immanent Trinity” Versus „Economic Trinity”. Issues and Perspectives of a Theological Distinction

The issue of the relationship between the „immanent Trinity“ and the „economic Trinity“ is one of the theological constants underlying the Filioque doctrine. This is demonstrated not only by the research into the theological history of this controversy, but also by the recent official documents provided by the Roman-Catholic Church (1995) and the German Lutheran Evangelical one (1997, 2007). The Lutheran position (little discussed in recent Orthodox literature) is especially worth considering, because it constitutes – after a period of dialogues producing notable results for a common perspective on the Holy Spirit’s procession from the Father – a strong reiteration of the pro-Filioque theology, more intransigent than the position expressed in the Roman-Catholic document. The main argument brought in the German Lutheran Evangelical statements in favor of the Filioque doctrine is precisely the direct correspondence between intra-hypostatic relations and the economic relations. In other words, if the Spirit is, economy-wise, the Spirit of the Son, this means He originates „from the Father and from the Son“. This recent development gives further reason for a systematic analysis of this topic: the relationship between the Holy Spirit’s eternal procession and His historical (temporal) sending, between „theology” and „economy”.

Orthodox authors as important as metropolitan Ioannis Zizioulas see in the different Eastern and Western conceptions of this relationship one of the essential causes of the ongoing dissent over the procession of the Holy Spirit. While Occidental theologians stress a close correspondence, even identity, between the „economic Trinity” and the „immanent Trinity“, Orthodox theologians follow the Cappadocian distinction between „theology“ and „economy“, and emphasize the necessity of distinguishing them, their main arguments being apophatism as well as the distinction between divine essence and divine works. The main tenet of Orthodox theology is that one cannot formulate relational deductions concerning the eternal, intra-hypostatic life of the Holy Trinity, based on the Holy Trinity’s works in the created world, that is on its economic works. Essence must be distinguished from works. In its turn, Occidental theology sees in this Orthodox tenet the risk of separation between the intra-divine relationships and the salvific work, which might lead to the conclusion that the essence of Godhead is not actually relevant for its outward activity.

The present article aims to describe the new systematic grounds of this issue in Occidental theology: firstly, to analyse the different connotations of the terms „immanent Trinity“ and „economic Trinity“ – a terminology put forth by 19th-century Protestant terminology. Secondly, to list the most important Protestant and Roman-Catholic voices in the second half of the 20th century, which approached this Triadological issue.

From the standpoint of terminology history, we draw the following conclusions: the notions of „immanent Trinity“ and „economic Trinity“ received very different connotations, even opposite ones, since they started to be employed by Protestant theologians such as Johann August Urlsperger († 1806), Friedrich Schleiermacher († 1834), Carl Immanuel Nitzsch († 1868), August D. C. Twesten († 1876) or Friedrich Lücke († 1855). The „immanent Trinity” concept is especially ambiguous: to some (Nitzsch) it denotes an understanding of God as absolute personality, whose „internal” Trinitarian self-awareness is extended through revelation and is made known as „Father”, „Son” and „Holy Spirit”, others (Lücke) deny man’s possibility to articulate an immanent-divine Trinity of persons. Obviously, the terms „economic Trinity” and „immanent Trinity” appear in a Triadological context, which had deliberately detached itself from the Trinitarian dogmatic tradition of the ecumenical Councils. Whereas the patristic distinction between „theology” and „economy” stressed the apophatic character of the Holy Trinity’s mystery, as well as the crucial distinction between God’s essence (unapproachable to human reason) and His free, salvific work, the distinction between „ontological” (or „immanent”) Trinity and the „revealed” (or „economic”) Trinity, as it was articulated in the 19th century, creates the impression that there are two attributes or identity dimensions of Godhead: a revealed one (namely, the Trinitarian one) and an eternal one (which could be dubbed „pre-Trinitarian”, for instance in the view of Urlsperger).

In the 20th century, this terminology („immanent Trinity“ and „economic Trinity“ ) was appropriated by both Roman-Catholic and Protestant theology. In the year 1967, Karl Rahner put forth the following thesis: „The «economic» Trinity is the «immanent» Trinity, and vice-versa”. The context in which this thesis was formulated is the acute lack of relevance of the Trinitarian dogma for the rest of theology, within the Occidental tradition. Rahner intended to eliminate any separation of the Triadological discourse from the soteriological one. By „immanent Trinity” he understands the teachings on the Holy Trinity (Triadology, Trinitätslehre), and by „economic Trinity” he understands the salvific work (soteriology, Heilslehre). The motivation is soteriological: God communicates Himself as God, and not as a „part” of God, otherwise the salvation brought about by Jesus Christ would not provide full communion with God. Rahner’s thesis becomes questionable in its second part, when he postulates that Triadology cannot issue statements concerning only the „intradivine”, that is the Holy Trinity in itself, with no reference to soteriology. Starting from the infelicitous neoscholastic tradition of separating Triadology from the rest of theology and from Church life, Rahner reaches the other extreme, by „non-differentiating” between the teachings on the Holy Trinity and soteriology.

The study analyses the reception of Rahner’s thesis by some of the most important Occidental theologians of the second half of the 20th century: Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann (Protestant), Hans Urs von Balthasar, Yves Congar and Walter Kasper (Roman-Catholics). Each one’s position towards the Triadological tenet of the relationship between „economic Trinity” and „immanent Trinity” is characteristic for the Triadological perspective of their works. While Moltmann and Balthasar – even though they amend Rahner’s thesis and at times come close to the Eastern tradition (see, for instance, the concept of „doxological Trinity”, with Moltmann) – develop this statement in the sense of introducing the event of the Cross within immanent Trinity, Congar and Kasper attempt, taking patristic tradition into account, to demonstrate that between the essential-immanent aspect of the Holy Trinity and the economic one, there cannot be direct correspondence or identity, because such a thesis contradicts two basic principles of the Trinitarian dogma: the free, grace-filled, kenotic character of economic Trinity and the apophatic character of immanent Trinity.

These amends brought by Congar and Kasper to Rahner’s thesis, which Orthodox theology can only approve of, may bring an essential contribution to the reconciliation of the two Triadological traditions, respectively to a common aknowledgement of the eternal procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father, his eternal resting upon the Son and his historical/temporal sending by the Father and the Son.


Pavel (Călin-Mirel) ROTARU — Tὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας. Contribuția Sfântului Apostol Pavel la dezvoltarea Bisericii primare, conform primelor două capitole din Epistola către Galateni

Summary: Tὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας. The contribution of the Holy Apostle Paul to the development of early Church, according to the first two chapters in the Epistle to the Galatians

The present study is mainly an exegetical one. As announced in the title, the object of exegetical analysis are the first two chapters of the Epistle to Galatians. It is a standard Biblical exegesis of the original text, analyzing it verse by verse and word by word, aiming to evaluate and ascertain as accurately as possible what the author (the holy Apostle Paul) intends to communicate to the Epistle’s addressees (the Christians in Galatia, converted from paganism by the Apostle to the Gentiles) at a certain time (year 54 [or 55] A.D.), under concrete historical circumstances (hereby described).

Secondly, this study can be considered a historical theology one. The mere reading of chapters 1 and 2 in Gal. reveals that much historical information is provided by these two chapters. St. Paul draws up this epistle in an extremely urgent, worrisome context: Judaizers appearing in Galatia. As several fragments (indicated in our study) in the Epistle suggest, Judaizers attempt to convince the newly converted Galatians to accept and comply with the prescriptions of Mosaic Law in general, and circumcision in particular. Implicitly, these agitators accuse the Apostle to the Gentiles of distorting the Gospel by ignoring the requirement to obey the Law. The Holy Apostle Paul answers promptly and firmly, denying their statements and defending his ministry and the Gospel. By so doing, St. Paul provides us with an invaluable historical document, containing first-hand data on some of the key moments in the history of the early Church. We learn about St. Paul’s career as a persecutor and his conversion (in the context of the beginnings of preaching the Christian message to the Gentiles, beyond the ethnical and religious boundaries of Judaism); his visit to Arabia as well as his first visit to Jerusalem (three years later) occasioning his first meeting with St. Peter and St. James; the first Judaizing pressures exerted by conservative Judeo-Christians on the Christians of Gentile origin, asking them to comply with the Mosaic Law; the decision on the matter of circumcision, issued by the Apostolic Council of Jerusalem; the firm assertion of a spiritual and theological communion between the Judeo-Christian community in Jerusalem, and the pagan-Christian communities outside Jerusalem; and, finally, the incident in Antioch where St. Paul had to reprimand St. Peter in order to defend the evangelical freedom of the worshippers of Gentile origin.

Thirdly, the present study may be considered as an ecclesiology one, or a relevant one from the standpoint of ecclesiology. One of the most complex aspects of the study of early Christianity is the emergence of Church out of the matrix of Judaism. Including the Gentiles (τὰ ἔθνη) in Church communion (κοινωνία) was not a simple, clear-cut process, free from any challenges, debates or even conflicts. The missionary work of St. Paul – the Apostle to the Gentiles – was placed at the heart of the matter; understanding it is crucial in understanding the very development of the early Church entailed by the acceptance of the Gospel by other peoples. It is not, however, a regular, „dogmatic” study in ecclesiology. It intentionally confines itself to approaching the social- anthropological aspect of the process by which the Church community transcended the religious and ethnic boundaries of the Israel “according to the flesh.” This perspective allows us to better appreciate the dogmatic truth of the Church’s essential quality of καθολική, by meditating on the historical manifestation of this truth and the difficult fight carried out by St. Paul. This study is essentially an argument for the recognition of St. Paul’s decisive contribution in the development of early Church by opposing the Judaizing trend and defending what, in Gal. 2,7 is called τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς ἀκροβυστίας. Through St. Paul, or as a result of God’s action through him, the Church develops freely and impetuously, as a body accessible to anyone who adheres to the faith in Christ, a body ready to embrace the entire world, the entire mankind, the entire history. And the spiritual logic underlying St. Paul’s theological approach, as shows the meaningful fragment Gal. 2,15-21, is essentially Christocentric. This excerpt, as well as countless instances in the Pauline corpus, evinces what Charles Kingsley Barrett calls “a fundamental drive to the person of Christ”.

Finally, a last aspect to be amphasized concerns the manner of theologizing, or its grounds. In Gal. 1, to establish his own theological perspective, St. Paul resorts to experiencing God, to his own, unmediated encounter with Christ – revealed to him by the Heavenly Father. St. Paul mentions an undoubtedly mystical experience, when he writes: εὐδόκησεν ὁ Θεὸς ἀποκαλύψαι τὸν Υἱὸν αὐτοῦ ἐν ἐμοί. This experience includes the direct divine revelation, or disclosure, underlying Pauline theology. However, this manner of theologizing – grounded in spiritual experience and divine revelation – has not ceased, according to Rev. Prof. Constantin Coman, with the end of the apostolic age; on the contrary it has endured to the present day, in the case of spiritual persons full of the Holy Spirit.


Diac. Mihai Ovidiu CĂȚOI — Despre localizarea mănăstirii Halmyrissos din Vita Sancti Hypatii

Summary: On the location of Halmyrissos Monastery mentioned in Vita Sancti Hypatii

Vita Sancti Hypatii mentions a monastery named Halmyrissos, very vaguely located in Thracia. Despite the fact that the work has been long studied by specialists, they fail to approach the geographic location of this monastic settlement, although there are sufficient internal elements for a discussion on this topic. Some clarifications have been necessary prior to addressing the location of Halmyrissos monastery: a) which Thracia administrative unit is mentioned in Vita Sancti Hypatii; b) establishing a broad chronology of the Thracian period in St. Hypatios̉ life. Regarding the first point, it has been ascertained that by Thracia the author means the imperial territory between Constantinople, the Aegean sea and the Danube, with no precise western boundary. In this case, it is Thracia Diocese, and the standard location of Halmyrissos monastery in the vicinity of Constantinople is no longer certain, but a mere working hypothesis.

The broad chronology has placed Hypatios̉ birth around the year 366; he left home in the year 384 (at age 18), and joined the community headed by Jonas around the year 386. Jonas had been released from army between 383 and 386, prior to his meeting Hypatios, and after the latter joined the community, the fortified monastery started to be built, and was completed at a moment between 386 and 395. To the same period also belonged the repeated Barbarian attacks, as Rufinus was still alive at the time of Jonas̉ intervention, according to the account given in chapter 6. The details concerning the monastery location have been analyzed in the order in which they are mentioned in Vita Sancti Hypatii, as follows:

  1. Jonas left Constantinople and settled on a mountain (εἰς τὸ ὄρος), where he built a hut (3.5). Hypatios also mentions «a mountain» when, together with Timothy and Moschion, he decides to leave Eleutherius’ property in Constantinople and withdraw to a monastery (8.3). Other details provided in the work suggest that the monastery was not located in a mountainous area, as peculiar to hagiographic literature, but at most among hills or on a rough terrain, probably rocky, but allowing for agricultural works.
  2. The town in the proximity of the monastery has been generally identified with the imperial capital and thus it was generally accepted that the monastery must be sought at some distance from Constantinople. The analysis reveals that it was located near a town that that was not the capital, but was situated at a certain distance from Constantinople, while the text does not state how far from it.
  3. Crucial details, essential for locating Halmyrissos monastery, are provided by the statement at 3.11: «because the Huns dwelt nearby and would easily plunder those places, strongholds were built there» (Διὰ γὰρ τὸ τοὺς Οὕννους γειτνιάζειν καὶ ῥᾳδίως πραιδεύειν τούς τόπους καστέλλια ᾠκοδομοῦντο).
  4. Equally important is the description of the Barbarian attack (6.1-2) and, in most cases, experts have analyzed the excerpt by corroborating it with the information concerning the proximity of Huns, concluding that it related to the disruptions caused by the rebellion of the Goths led by Alaric in 395.

The excerpt regarding the Barbarian attack needed clarification in several regards. Firstly, the analysis was undertaken from the perspective of the work’s main concern: the spiritual evolution of Hypatios. Chapters 6 and 7 express the same idea: a true servant of God will help anyone, under any circumstances. In this case, chapter 6 is dedicated to Jonas and constitutes the best example his disciple could receive. Thus, due to the personal relationships he maintained at the imperial court, the archimandrite «spoke boldly» (ἔλεγεν … μετὰ παρρησίας; 6.4) and «openly» (ἐλέγχειν εἰς πρόσωπον; 6.7), helping people he did not know, without fear of the possible trouble he could have from the aristocrats. In his turn, Hypatios is called by God to exert the virtue of humility by helping his father (chapter 7), with whom he was still in conflict. In this case, the episode evinces the spiritual evolution of Hypatios, which demonstrated the actual change occurred within him.

Another aspect regarding the Barbarian attack was the far-fetched identification Huns = Barbarians = Alaric’s Goths rebelling in 395, accepted by most experts. The present analysis has separated these notions, clearly distinguishing between the elements of Callinicos’ account: the proximity of Huns (3.11) and the Barbarian attack (6.1-2), on the one hand, and other events occurring in the diocese of Thracia (the Goths’ settling, according to the 382 treaty, their rebellion in 395), on the other hand, as the Huns are the main, but not only, Barbarian reality mentioned by Callinicos in Vita S. Hypatii, while the Goths never appear in this work as an ethnic, military or religious notion, either expressly stated or implied. Also, Jonas’ intercession before the authorities demonstrates that the described attack belonged to a series of local events, ignored by the central authorities, which cannot be accepted in the case of the Goths’ rebellion in 395. Then, the 395 rebellion cannot account for the gradual impoverishment of the monastery area, because this event affected violently the areas where it occurred.

  1. Following the bold intercession of hegoumenos Jonas before the aristocrats in the capital, «ships were loaded with wheat and dried vegetables» (6.5), in order to be distributed to the local people affected by Barbaric incursions. Sending these shipments becomes another essential detail in the discussion, because it suggests that the monastery must be sought in the close vicinity of a sea shore or river bank, around an operational harbour.
  2. The last detail to be discussed is the monastery’s name: Halmyrissos (Ἁλμύρισσος; 7.1). As there is no known place to match exactly the form recorded by Callinicos, it can be one of several locations in the Balkan Peninsula with a close etymology: Halmyros, Saltys (Σάλτυς), Saltupyrgos (Σαλτουπύργος), Halmydessus/ Salmydessus, Halmyris.

Beside the direct mentions, an indirect detail has been discussed, namely the personality of Jonas which, in our opinion, enjoys a local influence, or at most a regional one. His renown in Constantinople is based only on his personal relationships among the civil aristocracy, and not on the renown of his deeds among the representatives of central church hierarchy. Whatever the explanation, his absence from the memory of the capital’s monastic circles, as a founder, suggests he was quite remote from that area. In this case, Halmyrissos monastery was located at a significant distance from the capital, and this distance is revealed by the very intervention aimed at solving local problems, caused by the repeated Barbarian attacks, ignored by the central decision-makers. Thus, because of the distance from Constantinople his activity remained unknown, ignored or forgotten by his contemporaries, and he was preserved in the memory of posterity only due to Callinicos account.

Given the above elements, I consider that Halmyrissos monastery, mentioned in Vita Sancti Hypatii could be located in the religious setting of Scythia Minor, within the rural territory pertaining to Halmyris/Salmorus (Ἁλμυρίς) town; it was established here during the second half of the 4th century, not as a transient event, but as a natural development of Christianity in the area, at a time when the Church of Scythia was headed by personalities such as bishops Bretanion, Gerontius (Terentius) and Theotim I. However, this hypothesis can be definitively accepted only upon archaeological confirmation.


Paul BRUSANOWSKI — Aspecte ale păstoririi mitropolitului Ioan Mețianu (1899-1916) reflectate în lucrările sinoadelor arhidiecezane de la Sibiu

Summary: The Activity of Metropolitan Ioan Mețianu (1899-1916) as Reflected in the Works of Archdiocesan Synods in Sibiu

The Organic Law (Statutul Organic) intended to reconcile two apparently contradictory principles: the separation of powers and the hierarchical principle. Given the position of bishops within the Church, it stipulated their right to preside over legislative, executive and judicial bodies in the respective eparchies. However, in order to maintain an actual separation of powers, it also stipulated that this presidency should be merely honorary. Of course, in the case of legislative bodies, this honorary presidency could not have negative effects, since Synods and Congresses always reached their goal – namely, to reflect the will of the representatives of the eparchy/metropolitanate.

The situation of executive bodies, however, was different. As bodies whose role was to propose legislative projects and enact the synod and congress decisions, the Consistories needed a highly effective structure and management, which the Organic Law did not allow. The bishop – as honorary president of the Consistory, had to collaborate with assessors imposed by the legislative body (only the Church Senate constituted an exception, as the hierarch was entitled to reject the persons proposed). These provisions also entailed discontentment and conflicts.

Archbishop and metropolitan Miron Romanul found himself in difficult circumstances during his 25-year tenure. He was imposed on the Sibiu dwellers by the suffragans headed by Vincențiu Babeș, and consequently he faced constant opposition, led by Nicolae Popea. As it held the majority in the Synod, Popea’s party also held the majority in the archdiocesan Consistory. Therefore, although the hierarch was Miron Romanul, actual church government was held by the opposition. It was only in the years 1888-89, that Partenie Cosma, a relative of the metropolitan, succeeded in establishing a Mironist party. And in 1889, Popea left the Archdiocese, as the metropolitan supported his promotion to the rank of bishop of Caransebeș. Until then, however, for more than a decade, metropolitan Miron often failed to attend Synod and Consistory meetings, because the situation was beyond his control.

Metropolitan Ioan Mețianu was utterly different from Miron Romanul. He presented his program aiming to revive church life, during the first Archdiocesan Synod, in his President’s address of 1899. The new metropolitan pointed out to synodal delegates that it was necessary that all church bodies do their duty out of their own awareness, not only at the request of their superiors; he deemed it necessary that everyone should have increased responsibility at their workplace, so that all church servants and clerks should operate like the „members of a body”, in full agreement. Metropolitan Mețianu started to apply this program as early as 1899, by revising the internal church legislation. All these regulations, proposed by the Consistory headed by Mețianu and voted by the Archdiocesan Synod, created the necessary framework for the Church to carry out its spiritual and cultural mission, efficiently and smoothly. However, the metropolitan was not satisfied with the results, considering that the institutions established did not suffice for this mission, which also requested the collaboration of all the faithful and the fostering of religious sense, in a time when „on every occasion we witness a multitude of sick trends”.

From the beginning of his tenure, Mețianu ensured the minimum income for the clergy (congrua) and the levying of the annual church fee paid by every Orthodox family within the Archdiocese of Sibiu (sidoxia). Established by Joseph II upon restoring the Orthodox diocese in Transylvania, this tax was charged until late 19th century by state fiscal bodies, despite the fact that Romanian Orthodoxy was a recept, autonomous religion within the Hungarian state. It was only in the final years of 19th century, that Hungarian government refused to collect this tax, leaving this task to church authorities. As they were unprepared for it, metropolitan Mețianu had to resort to Hungarian police, and later he added to it the cultural fee, intended for the development of the denominational education system.

Regarding the congrua, metropolitan Mețianu rejected the proposal put forth by the synod members in Sibiu, who would not accept an increase in clergy income granted by the State Budget. On the contrary, he sent to Budapest the future first patriarch of Romania, Elie Miron Cristea in order to collaborate with the Ministry of Finance to calculate the incomes of parishes and increase the salaries. Another objective, that of providing an income for retired priests, was achieved due to the capital already deposited with the Pension Fund. Since until that year, priests had not contributed regularly to this fund, he proposed to the Synod to vote the Statute of the Archdiocesan Pension Fund.

Compared to his predecessor, Mețianu was certainly harsher. Many accused him of absolutist tendencies. Indeed, he strengthened the importance of individuals, namely the parish priest (who became the president of the Parish Committee, by § 5 of Parish Regulations, voted in 1906 and modified in 1909), and archpriest (who received the power to enforce penalties instead of the protopresbyterial see, by §6 of the Regulation for judicial procedure in disciplinary cases in the Romanian Greek Orthododox Metropolitanate in Hungary and Transylvania ). As a hierarch, he always observed the constitutional principles, however with a tendency to exceed their bounds.

The church government by Miron Romanul and Ioan Mețianu epitomize two different manners of applying church constitutional rules. The twenty-five years of Miron’s tenure established the tradition of church constitutionalism, exerting mutual control to hold corruption tendencies in check; with regard to discipline, however, it also instituted dry formalism and anarchy, while from the spiritual standpoint it was marked by lethargy, as demonstrates the fact that under Miron no liturgical books were printed. In his turn, metropolitan Mețianu was harsher and was remembered as an abusive hierarch. However, he brought order to church administration, while observing constitutional bounds, enabling it to fulfill its role – to ensure the spiritual progress of the faithful.


Cristinel IATAN — „Iar eu, O, duhule, te conjur…” (4Q560 I, 2:5). Practicile magice și divinatorii în manuscrisele de la Qumran

Summary: „And I, O spirit, conjure thee…” (4Q560 I, 2:5). Magical and divination practices in the Qumran manuscripts

The Qumran sect was ambivalent about magical practices. While they acknowledged the Deuternomy interdiction (Dt. 18, 9-14) however they employed divination practices in order to regulate community life, for instance to recruit new members. This attitude does not contradict the spirit of Old Testament teachings, since certain divination forms were accepted and used by numerous persons under the Old Law. The Essenes practiced some forms of magic, and although most manuscripts reiterate the Old Testament interdiction against magic and sorcery, they found methods to circumvent the Deuteronomy interdiction, for instance by resorting to exorcisms.

The exorcisms in the Essene system are part incantations, part prayers to cast away devils or the adherents of Beliar (1QS II:4-18). 4Q242 (4QPrNab ar) contains the prayer of Nabonidus, king of Babylon (556–539 î.Hr.), when he is healed by God through an Israelite exorcist exiled from Judea to Babylon. Following this healing, we are told that Nabonidus embraces monotheist religion, although no other document apart from the Dead Sea scrolls describes this event. According to 4Q242, during the exile the Israelites were famous for their exorcists who were able to cast devils away by their special skills, which from the standpoint of old Israelite theology had originally caused illness, diseases and ill will among people. Actually, the Qumranites themselves, giving their own interpretation to the Old Testament, believed that Biblical personalities such as Abraham had been famous exorcists (1QapGen ar XX:12-29). Apparently, some of the sect members fell under the malefic influence of devils, therefore exorcism was also performed over them (4Q444). A key element in any incantation was the uttering the ineffable divine name, which was deemed to have magical power able to counter the harmful influence of all evil spirits (4Q510 (4QShira), 4Q511 (4QShirb). However, in the Essenes’ view, not anyone could invoke the divine name in order to cast devils away, but only a specially trained person or even their leader (Maśkîl). In order to be driven away, demons were called on their names and opposed the powerful divine name, Yahweh. Interestingly, the Essene dualism was also manifest in the case of demons. Thus, there are male and female demons (4Q560 I:I, 3 and 5). Evil spirits were confronted directly and Scriptural texts were quoted in order to lend efficiency and legitimacy to the invocation.

As far as sorcery is concerned, generally the Qumranites rejected it (1QHa or 1QHodayota), however the attitude towards it is also hesitant and ambiguous. Among others, the manuscripts mention „magical ties or knots” (1QHa XIII:28), „charms” (4Q169 frag. 3-4, II:7), as well as „Egyptian magicians” (4Q300 frag. 1, II:1). The numerous fragments of the Book of Enoch, found among the manuscripts, demonstrate that this pseudo-mystical book was highly valued (4Q201 (4QEna ar), 4Q202 (4QEnb ar), 4Q204 (4QEnc ar), 4Q205 (4QEnd ar), 4Q206 (4QEne ar)). This is probably due to the fact that it explains certain enigmatic Biblical fragments of the Old Testament, such as the fall of angels in Gen 6, 1-4, as well as the origin of magical practices. Shemihaza, the head of rebellious angels, is the one who taught women the magical incantations (4Q201 IV:1).

Cleromancy was the favourite divination method of the Essenes. It was employed in making important decisions of general interest concerning the community, and to avoid subjectivity and ambiguity in decision-making. These decisions were deemed to come directly from God. Therefore, it was only necessary to cast lots in order to „intuit” God’s will. Therefore, the Essenes believed themselves to be „God’s chosen”, because entering their community depended on a favorable answer to lot casting (1QS VI:13-23; 1QM XIII:9).

Physiognomancy was a counterpart to the astrological system. Whereas astromancy predicted future based on the position of planets at the moment of one’s birth, physiognomancy took into account individual physical features (teeth, fingers, eye color, etc.) which could be considered as the gods’ imprints on the human destiny. The physiognomancy technique could also be employed in order to identify the persons belonging to the „spirit of light” and, respectively, the „spirit of darkness” (4Q186 1.II:7-9). It is unknown whether the result of this consultation had any effect on the candidates for novitiate into the community.

Necromancy is mentioned in three texts: 4Q267 (4QDb), 4Q270 (4QDe), 4Q271 (4QDf), all of them belonging to the writing known as „The Damascus Document (CD)”. For the time being, there is no evidence that the Essenes accepted it or practiced it in some way or another. Necromancers are mentioned alongside the profaners of the divine name (4Q270 2.I:10).


Oana-Mădălina POPESCU — Pomelnicul Mănăstirii Radu Vodă din București

Summary: The Diptych of the Holy Trinity (Radu Vodă) Monastery in Bucharest

As one of the most famous and beautiful monasteries in Wallachia, the Holy Trinity Monastery (also named Radu Vodă) has been described, throughout the centuries, by many travellers and has been studied by theologians and historians alike. For a better understanding of the history of this monastery, we intend to present, in the following paper, a valuable text, which has never been published. It concerns a manuscript, held by the Library of the Romanian Academy, which contains a diptych of this religious community. The text, dating back from 1760, as we read, is written in the Greek language, on paper and it has 28 leaves, written on both sides.

We wish to emphasize the importance of this historical source for Radu Voda Monastery, as well as the Romanian history. The manuscript contains the names of the founders, the names of the monks, priests, hegumens, deacons. It also provides valuable information on the rulers of Wallachia, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, during the Phanariote period. Among them, we note the name of Steven the Great, the ruler of Moldavia, which has a special relevance for our study. It proves that the copyist of the text used as a source a version of the chronicle named Letopisețul Cantacuzinesc, in which the Moldavian ruler appears as the sovereign of Wallachia. The apparent error of the Wallachian chronicle highlights some moments of the medieval history, when Steven the Great dominated the rulers of Wallachia or entered the country in order to impose some rules favorable to the anti-Ottoman policy. The chronicle also intends to justify the presence of Wallachian rulers on the Moldavian throne, as happened beginning with the second half of the sixteenth century. According to the research carried out so far, this diptych is the first historical source of this type containing this information about Steven the Great.

Our text also mentions the names of some people who donated to the monastery various properties, estates, money or worship items, such as liturgical books or sacerdotal attires. This long list of persons demonstrates the reason for these donations, a spiritual one, namely the salvation of souls. Unfortunately, it is not possible to identify each person listed in the diptych, because it contains only the first names, without mentioning surnames. But, in some cases, we can identify famous landlords, belonging to renowned families, such as Cocorăscu, Bălăceanu, Comăneanu, Filipescu, Golescu. These details also enable us to ascertain the moment when the original diptych was written, as some donors are mentioned in another document. It is a charter issued in 1615 by Radu Mihnea, one of the founders of the monastery, which lists the donations and also the donors to the church, among them some persons included in the diptych.

Thus, we can conclude that a first diptych was drawn up immediately after the construction of the church, in late fifteenth century / early sixteenth century. Then, in 1760 the old text was transcribed by Antonie [Anthony] the protopsalter.

The manuscript also includes the names of the monastery’s estates in the villages all over Wallachian territory and it also records other possessions, such as vineyards or animals (horses, sheep, cattle). On the other hand, the manuscripts record some restorations and redecorations of the church, elements of extreme importance for architectural research.

Therefore, the diptych is a valuable historical source, providing both theologians and historians with valuable data on the history of the religious community of Radu Voda Monastery along the centuries.


Ilie TOADER — Ortodoxia, între nașterea cu păcat și moartea fără păcate

Summary: Orthodoxy, between Sinful Birth and Sinless Death

One of the dogmatics chapters of Romanian Orthodox textbooks still influenced by Western scholasticism, concerns Adamic sin and the consequences of this original sin on the mankind. Under the generic name of original sin, what we have inherited from Adam is presented, depending on the author (or even by the same author, depending on the chapter), either as a „sinful state”, or a propensity for sin because of our corrupt nature, or as an actual sin with which any person is born. This inconsistency among Orthodox theologians (not only Romanian ones) deepened during the 20th century, dividing Eastern dogmatists into two hardly reconcilable camps – on the one hand, the supporters of birth with the original sin, on the other those of birth with a propensity for sin, that is only with the consequences of Adamic sin – both sides, however, defending their own arguments too feebly, as proves the confusion that still persists. The present study intends to prompt a re-evaluation of this tenet from a genuinely Orthodox perspective, rooted in the Holy Scripture and Eastern Tradition, with a pastoral goal: finding an answer about the children who die unbaptized. The stake is actually this challenge: ascertaining the fate of those pitiful human lives lost before they passed from the midwife’s arms into the priest’s.

The notion of ancestral sin, understood as an hereditary, real, multiple, collective or impersonal sin, is alien to Eastern Fathers of the first four Christian centuries. The author who spread this teaching in patristic literature, dissipating – according to some non-Orthodox theologians – the „confusion” of Christian Eastern Fathers, is Blessed Augustine. Before him, the Holy Fathers considered that only „death passed upon all men” (Romans 5,12), not sin too, and that man inherits only the corrupt nature of his ancestors, inevitably inclined towards sin and also mortal, that there are no sins of the human nature nor unhypostatic nature, and finally that God truly respects man’s freedom. In speaking of the consequences of Adamic sin on humankind, the Holy Fathers employ a vast range of synonyms to express the same reality – „the fallen state” – understood as ontological degradation and death.

On the contrary, Blessed Augustine, influenced by the anthropological pessimism of the Manicheism he had embraced in his youth, and also by the Pelagian controversy which radicalized his thinking, put forth and imposed in subsequent theology a position completely different from that of the Eastern Fathers: namely, that man is born with a mortal sin. Whereas Pelagius saw in Adam’s sin only a personal one, that did not harm his successors in any way, Augustine went so far as to assert that Adam’s sin was impersonal, a sin of all people, and that all Adam’s descendants are born not only with a degraded, mortal nature, but also with that original sin, too. The debate inevitable extended to the childern that died unbaptized. In response to Pelagius’ statement that children „are born in the state of Adam before the sin”, in no way affected by the disobedience of their ancestor and needing no Baptism, Augustine extended the solidarity with the „one Adam” so far that he asserted that deprived of Baptism, children „will go to the eternal fire, together with the devil”.

Appropriating Augustine’s position, Catholic theologians attempted to impose on the Eastern ones the same view on unbaptized children, in the union attempts following the schism, but they were unsuccessful. However, Orthodox theologians (in Romania) later adhered to the notion of infants’ doom, during the infelicitous period of „scholastic captivity of Orthodox theology”, when they began consulting Catholic catechisms. So did Peter Mogila, who, following Petrus Canisius, stated in his Confession of Faith that „whoever has not been baptized, is not free from sin, but is a son of eternal wrath and torment”.

Roman-Catholic theology then changed its position towards children who die unbaptized, releasing them from hell and placing them in a purgatory where they were spared punishment, but also denied eternal bliss. Many Orthodox dogmatists complied withis view, as shows the Romanian academic textbook: „infants who die unbaptized cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, because of the ancestral sin, but neither do they undergo positive punishment, because they have no personal sins”.

The present study aims to confront this latest answer of Romanian-tradition Orthodox theology with Scriptural, Patristic and archaeological evidence, raising several questions, resulting in a new position on the matter: can we not hope for the prematurely lost infants to be saved through the prayers of parents and the intercession of saints? Or, precisely because Baptism was not possible for the Old Testament righteous or in the case of children dying prematurely, «the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these»? If „there is no one who lives and does not err”, and every man – pagan or Christian, according to St. Paul’s distinction – answers to the Righteous Judge for the deeds „according to his law” (Romans 2,11-15), is there not a different divine judgment for those who have not had a chance to live (that is, become aware of their own free existence), or to sin (that is, assume responsibility for their existence)? Is this not another level of existence, distinct from that of non-Christians of those „under the Law of grace”? Will the one who has not discernment or a Law, be judged according to the Law of Christians or that of the pagans, or rather according to the fatherly love of God, who created us precisely in order to share His boundless love, who being forsaken by us, „sent His Son to death” in order to bring us back to live in Him?

Acest site folosește cookie-uri pentru a îmbunătăți navigarea.