NR. 2 – 2014



Rezumate Studii Teologice 2014.2

Pr. Vasile CREȚU Le christianisme et les autres religions dans les manuels roumains d’histoire

Rezumat: Creștinismul și celelalte religii în manualele românești de istorie

Locul religiei în programele școlare de istorie din România constituie un indicator prețios al stării de fapt a creștinismului în Europa. Manualele românești de istorie alese pentru această cercetare țintesc grupurile de elevi cu vârsta între 11 și 15 ani, provenind din sistemul de educație de stat (clasele 5-8 din sistemul din România corespund claselor între 6e și 3e din sistemul franțuzesc). Acest segment de vârstă cuprinde un milion de elevi, corespunzând unui sfert din populația școlară cu vârsta între 7 și 18 ani. Trebuie precizat că analiza desfășurată acoperă un eșantion de șapte manuale alternative de istorie, apărute între 2005 și 2011 și elaborate pe baza programelor școlare în vigoare din 2001. Programele de istorie pentru clasele 5-8 au ca obiective declarate însușirea reperelor culturale pentru a se situa mai bine în timp, în spațiu, într-un sistem de valori democratice, pentru a deveni un cetățean responsabil. La istorie, elevii își însușesc o cultură comună. Ei realizează moștenirea trecutului și provocările lumii de azi. Astfel, sunt abordate diferite câmpuri istorice: economic, social, politic, religios și cultural.

În ceea ce privește programul la disciplina istorie pentru clasa a V-a (cuprinde elevi având vârsta între 11 și 12 ani), după un prim contact cu civilizațiile Vechiului Orient, elevii descoperă Grecia antică, lumea tracică și geto-dacică, Roma antică, răspândirea creștinismului în spațiul carpato-danubiano-pontic, etnogeneza română, studiază sfârșitul Antichității și apariția Evului Mediu. Programa de istorie pentru clasa a VI-a (12-13 ani) prevede studiul civilizației medievale europene (perioada feudală, Marea Schismă din 1054, întâlnirea dintre Creștinism și Islam, Cruciadele, raportul dintre cultură și religie în Evul Mediu, apariția Statului), precum și bulversările culturale și intelectuale în Europa începând cu sfârșitul sec. al XV-lea. Elevii descoperă, de asemenea, nașterea lumii moderne (Umanismul și Renașterea, Reforma și consecințele sale, Contrareforma) și Epoca modernă (Iluminismul, Țările române în Secolul Luminilor, Revoluția americană, Revoluția franceză, Imperiul lui Napoleon etc.). Pentru clasa a VII-a (13-14 ani), programa de istorie abordează epoca modernă (revoluțiile agrară și industrială, Europa între absolutism și liberalism, Stat și națiune în sec. al XIX-lea), precum și studiul epocii contemporane (cele două războaie mondiale, războiul rece, regimurile totalitare și cadrul geopolitic mondial de după 1945 și până în prezent).

În sfârșit, programa de istorie pentru clasa a VIII-a (14-15 ani) este interesată mai ales de civilizațiile antice (geto-dacii și contactele lor cu lumea mediteraneeană, raportul între regalitate și religie), de romanitate orientală în decursul primului mileniu (romanitate și creștinism, geneza poporului român și a limbii române), de lumea rurală și urbană a Evului Mediu, de cultura medievală în spațiul românesc (moștenirea bizantină, începuturile tipăririi și ale cărții, arta bisericească și laică), de formarea României moderne (Revoluția din 1848, unificarea Principatelor), de cultura românească în cursul sec. al XIX-lea și de istoria contemporană a României (regimul comunist dintre 1945-1989, contextul și consecințele evenimentelor din 22 dec. 1989, revenirea la democrație). Ca primă observație, creștinismul și celelalte religii sunt foarte prezente în programele manualelor pentru clasele a V-a și a VI-a. Spre deosebire de cele din urmă, evenimentele religioase și dimensiunea religioasă a istoriei sunt evocate doar de o manieră succintă în programele manualelor pentru clasele a VII-a și a VIII-a.

La o privire de ansamblu, manualele studiate fac creștinismului o prezentare foarte amănunțită. Totuși, un manual pentru clasa a V-a constituie o sursă importantă de formulări puțin confuze prin lipsa de distanțare: „Creștinismul este o religie de origine asiatică. Ea a fost creată de către Domnul Iisus Hristos (!?). În sec. al III-lea, această religie era deja destul de răspândită în Imperiul Roman, astăzi ea având cel mai mare număr de credincioși față de celelalte religii”, după care textul următor prezintă creștinismul într-un mod obiectiv: „Creștinismul reprezintă credința într-un singur Dumnezeu, dragostea pe care I-o datoram, dragostea către celelalte ființe umane, dreptate și curăție sufletească. Această religie a produs o veritabilă revoluție în lumea romană pentru că nu făcea nici o deosebire între ființele umane. Ea se adresa deopotrivă evreilor, romanilor, sirienilor sau egiptenilor, bogați ori săraci. Totuși, în Imperiul roman, o sumedenie de religii erau acceptate, creștinismul era interzis și creștinii erau persecutați. Rațiunile erau diverse: romanii bogați nu acceptau frățietatea cu sclavii lor, creștinii refuzau să adore împărații deificați, căci ei nu recunoșteau decât un singur Dumnezeu; creștinismul era contra băilor de sânge, pe când Imperiul supraviețuia doar prin războaie; creștinii considerau că romanii aveau dumnezei falși, pe când romanii se temeau de răzbunarea zeilor lor. Iată de ce, din cauza creștinilor, se petreceau evenimente nedorite: boli, incendii, secete, atacuri ale popoarelor migratoare”.

Totuși, paragrafe susceptibile de ambiguități pot fi găsite și în continuare: „Numele de Europa, apărut după anul 476, a dispărut repede, fiind înlocuit până în secolul al XVII-lea cu cel de creștinătate (!?), adică totalitatea regiunilor locuite de creștini, locuri considerate ca o mare patrie comună. La început, religia creștină a avut o influentă nefastă asupra științei și artei, căci ea nega tot ceea ce fusese apreciat de către civilizațiile precedente. Grecii și romanii slăviseră corpul omenesc și elogiaseră viața în lumea aceasta, pe când creștinii urau corpul omenesc și petreceau zile întregi făcând pregătiri pentru ultima călătorie, drumul spre cimitir (!?)”. Realitățile religioase sunt desfigurate în acest pasaj, iar perspectiva prezentată este, în mod evident, eronată, căci creștinii nu-și petreceau timpul pentru a se pregăti pentru cimitir, simbol al morții și al descompunerii, ci pentru o altă viață, veșnică, cea mai importantă pentru ei. Un alt aspect problematic al acestui fragment citat este reducerea lumii grecești și romane la aspectele epicureice, în special elogierea corpului și a vieții lumești. Nu trebuie uitat aportul stoicilor, dar nici al altor curente filozofice grecești, care s-au situat la cealaltă extremă.

În ceea ce privește locul Bisericii, cele șapte manuale alternative de istorie studiate dedică acestei teme între 4 și 13 pagini. Toate arată foarte bine cum Biserica, foarte ierarhizată, bogată și puternică structurează timpul, viața unei persoane, cum această instituție influențează conștiințele în căutare de răspunsuri la întrebările despre lumea de dincolo de moarte. ajoritatea edițiilor au privilegiat un vocabular legat de practicile religioase, înlăturând adesea sensul simbolic. Înțelegerea evenimentelor religioase implică prezentarea sau reamintirea unui minimum de concepte legate de credință, deseori comune religiilor monoteiste sau religiilor studiate în gimnaziu. În general, noile manuale apărute între 2005 și 2011 prezintă Islamul într-un mod clar și echilibrat. Însă, niciun manual nu specifică distincția dintre civilizația islamică (islam cu minusculă) și Islam ca religie (Islam cu majusculă), în același timp generând un fel de simplificare care dăunează înțelegerii acestei religii monoteiste: „Islamul este, fără îndoială, cea mai simplă credință propovăduită umanității. Această credință nu dispune nici de un ritual complicat, nici de un cler care să se interpună între om și Dumnezeu. Cartea sfântă este Coranul și pilonii credinței islamice (islam=supunere) sunt în număr de cinci: afirmarea existenței unui singur Dumnezeu, Allah, al cărui trimis este Mahomed, rugăciunea, rostită de cinci ori pe zi, fiind orientat spre Mecca, postul de 29-30 zile la Ramadan, milostenia oferită săracilor, mergerea în pelerinaj la Mecca cel puțin o dată în viață”.

Dacă ceea ce se afirmă mai sus mi se pare conform cu realitatea, urmarea îmi pare nesatisfăcătoare și chiar problematică: „Jihadul, adică războiul sfânt, chiar dacă nu este o regulă de bază, susține necesitatea propagării islamismului în lume chiar prin violență”. Definiția cuvântului „jihad” rămâne în toate manualele de clasele a V-a și a VI-a cu o conotație exclusiv războinică, cu o trimitere la Coran 9, 29, unde, de fapt, nu este întâlnit cuvântul „jihad”. Totuși, sensul lui principal este lupta interioară (ca în Coran 29, 5-6). Cuvântul înseamnă, în mod secundar, lupta pentru apărarea musulmanilor când ei sunt atacați. Astăzi, termenul este preluat de musulmanii fundamentaliști pentru a justifica atacurile lor. Cât privește cruciadele, manualul arată violența acestor expediții războinice care au durat două secole. O simplificare excesivă șterge deseori interesul pentru această perioadă istorică. Abundența imaginilor poate afecta negativ textul autorilor sau diferitele texte scrise. Elevul nu va învăța că arabii și turcii au fost la început surprinși de calitățile războinice ale cruciaților și de comportamentul lor considerat barbar; că în timpul numeroaselor armistiții, mulți conducători cruciați, bizantini, arabi și turci au inițiat diverse alianțe foarte străine de preocupările religioase care ar fi trebuit să-i anime. Cât privește cruciadele în Orient, nicio lucrare nu indică faptul că Ierusalimul este un oraș de trei ori sfânt – acesta fiind prezentat ca sfânt doar pentru creștini și musulmani –, și că există creștini în Orientul Apropiat și în Egipt încă de la origini: copți, armeni. Cât privește persecuțiile religioase din perioada comunistă, acestea sunt aproape inexistente în noile manuale de istorie apărute după 1990. Acest studiu își propune să fie o contribuție la prezentarea religiilor în manualele românești de istorie, precum și o invitație la dialog cu persoanele interesate de această temă.


Fr. Mihai IORDACHE Catholicity as the Wholeness of the Church

Rezumat: Catolicitatea ca plinătate a Bisericii

Studiul de față abordează problematica plinătății Bisericii, pornind de la termenul de catolicitate a sa, termen care de-a lungul istoriei a suferit o transformare atât de profundă, în special în Apus, încât astăzi cu multă greutate se mai poate descifra înțelesul său originar. Prima semnificație a catolicității era cea de plinătate și sobornicitate a Bisericii, așa cum a fost percepută și trăită în tradiția eclezială veche, în gândirea Părinților Apostolici și a Sfinților Părinți din veacul de aur al creștinismului primar, iar, mai târziu, în scrierile marilor teologi ortodocși. În Biserica primelor secole, catolicitatea nu se referea neapărat la universalitate, expansiune geografică sau la o dimensiune orizontală. Semnificația cea mai adecvată putea fi exprimată prin noțiunile: plinătate, sobornicitate, plenitudine, întregime etc. Aceste lămuriri le găsim chiar la Sf. Ciprian al Cartaginei (210-258), care a scris pentru prima dată un tratat Despre Unitatea Bisericii, în anul 251: „Episcopatul este unul singur; fiecare parte a acestuia este ținută laolaltă de către fiecare. Biserica este una singură, ea se extinde în lung și-n larg în mulțimea oamenilor, printr-o spornică rodire… iar unitatea se păstrează în originea ei”. De-a lungul veacurilor, plinătatea a devenit semnul trăirii vieții Bisericii în Hristos. Astfel, orice credincios care se considera membru al Bisericii, Trupul Mistic al lui Hristos, avea aspirație spre plinătatea, întregirea și sobornicitatea acesteia.

Cel de-al treilea atribut al Bisericii din Simbolul de Credință Niceo-Constantinopolitan, „catholiki”, a fost tradus cu termeni diferiți: catolicitate, universalitate, sobornicitate, creștină etc. în Simbolurile de Credință ale marilor Biserici Creștine, Ortodoxă, Romano Catolică și Protestante. Termenul sobornicească, folosit de Bisericile Ortodoxe Slave și de Biserica Ortodoxă Română, nu se limitează doar la înțelesul sinodal sau conciliar, ci cuprinde în sine și semnificația comuniunii tuturor membrilor Bisericii, clerici și laici, ca adevărate membre organice ale Trupului lui Hristos, după principiile convergenței, complementarității și diversității. În felul acesta, Ortodoxia nu poate recunoaște un singur cap văzut al Bisericii, ci mărturisește comuniunea tuturor conducătorilor Bisericilor locale, care păstrează aceeași mărturisire de credință, slujesc în aceeași formă a cultului și au aceeași origine sfințitoare.

Chiar la începutul sec. al IV-lea, Sf. Chiril al Ierusalimului declara ca nu se poate înțelege prin catolicitatea Bisericii, întinderea sa de la o margine la alta a pământului, ci mai degrabă universalitatea învățăturii și a credinței, universalitatea adevărului mărturisit și a vindecării de păcate prin practicarea virtuților în comuniunea Bisericii. Mult mai târziu, Paul Evdokimov afirma că termenul catolicitate nu are un sens geografic, orizontal și cantitativ, ci are un înțeles vertical, calitativ și unitar. Părintele Dumitru Stăniloae cercetând atent gândirea patristică a ajuns la concluzia că plinătatea Bisericii reprezintă chiar modalitatea în care există și se manifestă unitatea Bisericii, adică felul sau maniera în care această unitate este pusă în practică. În profund asentiment cu Părinții Bisericii, teologul român conchide că realizarea plinătății în umanitate și în întreaga creație se face numai prin intermediul Duhului Sfânt. În ultimă instanță, plinătatea deplină a Trupului Tainic al lui Hristos conține în sine și un înțeles eshatologic. Pornind de la gândirea Sf. Ap. Pavel, teologia Sfinților Părinți consideră Biserica ca Trupul Mistic al lui Hristos și având o constituție teandrică și organică. Acesta este legătura directă dintre cer și pământ, dintre necreat și creat, dintre nevăzut și văzut și de aceea se comportă ca un organism viu. Sf. Ioan Gură de Aur afirmă diversitatea membrelor Trupului lui Hristos și vocația împlinirii unei misiuni comune de către fiecare, prin solidaritate și complementaritate, dar și a unei lucrări personale, individuale, prin care orice persoană umană se distinge de restul membrelor. Plinătatea Bisericii se regăsește în fiecare membru sub diferite forme. Sf. Vasile cel Mare aduce în discuție și principiul comuniunii interne și al reciprocității, prin lucrarea permanentă a Duhului Sfânt, plinătatea fiind prezentă în fiecare om și în întreaga creație ca dar de la Dumnezeu. Aceeași viziune o au, sub diferite nuanțe, și teologii ortodocși moderni, precum Evdokimov, Zizioulas, Yannaras etc.

Plinătatea Bisericii derivă din unitatea interioară a acesteia cu Mântuitorul Hristos, Capul nevăzut al său, de la care vin veridicitatea și integralitatea învățăturii, darurile sfințitoare și tămăduitoare și puterea, acestea culminând în spiritualitatea și mistica ortodoxă. În același timp, este evidențiat caracterul trinitar, hristologic și pnevmatologic al Bisericii, pentru că plinătatea acesteia vine de sus, după modelul supra-existenței Preasfintei Treimi. Noi suntem membrii ai Trupului lui Hristos pentru că Hristos Însuși și-a luat un trup, adică s-a înnomenit. Plinătatea Bisericii se realizează în modul cel mai adânc prin Sf. Euharistie. Prin puterea Duhului Sfânt, credincioșii îl primesc pe Hristos întreg, nu numai o parte din Acesta, Euharistia devenind taina unității Bisericii (Schmemann). În teologia catolică, Cardinalul Christoph Schönborn afirmă că în Euharistie noi îl primim pe Hristos întreg, fapt care ne poate conduce cu mai multă ușurință spre realizarea plinătății. Unitatea Bisericii prin Euharistie nu e dată de o supra-structură organizatorică exterioară, ci de prezența lui Hristos în mod tainic, în Biserica Sa și în fiecare credincios în mod real (Zizioulas).

Plinătatea se întrepătrunde cu sfințenia Bisericii, care vine de la Capul său, Iisus Hristos, prin lucrarea Persoanei Duhului Sfânt. Sfințenia se răsfrânge asupra tuturor oamenilor, în funcție de efortul personal al fiecăruia și de starea de jertfă pe care acesta o poate atinge, depășind dualitatea dintre rațiune și senzații, proiectându-se chiar în acest fel și asupra întregii creații (Sf. Maxim Mărturisitorul). Prin sfințenie, unitatea Bisericii poate fi realizată în orice moment chiar într-o singură existență umană, sfântul (Yannaras), sfințirea oamenilor fiind considerată de Părinți drept misiunea principală a Bisericii. Sfințenia dă orientare plinătății Bisericii. Cel ce viețuiește în Hristos, nu mai trăiește pentru trecut, ci trăiește într-un continuu „prezent al mișcării” spre Hristos pentru viitor, Fiul lui Dumnezeu fiind ținta finală, dar și calea de acces spre aceasta. De aceea, toate evenimentele importante ale mântuirii umanității sunt actualizate continuu în Sf. Liturghie. Această înțelegere a timpului a spart granițele tradiției creștine și s-a impregnat în cultura filosofică a umanității. În acest sens, Kierkegaard susține că direcția vieții noastre este înainte, însă învățăturile le putem lua numai privind în trecut, iar un adevărat creștin nu poate să fie decât contemporan cu Hristos. Prin plinătatea Bisericii și prin comuniune cu Persoanele Treimice, se pot depăși în mod progresiv limitele spațiului și ale timpului.

În plinătatea Bisericii sunt incluși chiar și păcătoșii, aceștia fiind mădulare bolnave ale Trupului Tainic, aflându-se într-o legătură mai firavă cu Capul său, dar având oricând posibilitatea să se pocăiască și să devină adevărați mărturisitori și lucrători ai unității Bisericii. Dintr-un anumit punct de vedere, plinătatea poate fi considerată ca o închidere care se deschide, o închidere a părții care se deschide spre întreg, spre universal (C. Noica). În încheiere, am subliniat că plinătatea este viața fiecărui credincios trăită în mod conștient ca parte a vieții Bisericii în Hristos. Ea ne poate ajuta să observăm legătura tainică dintre parte și întreg, dintre creat și necreat. Realitatea ultimă a părții (în speță a persoanei umane) și veridicitatea ei nu se regăsesc în existența sa imediată și individuală, ci doar în plinătatea întregului, a cărei parte componentă aceasta este. Plinătatea este cea care ne pune în legătură interioară cu toți ceilalți oameni și cu universul în întregimea sa.


Pr. Claudiu COTAN Clerul ortodox din București în timpul primului Război Mondial

Summary: The Orthodox Clergy in Bucharest during the First World War

It is one hundred years since the outbreak of the World War I, the great battle which changed the political life of Europe. The Romanians could not be absent from this world conflict, due to their political desire to achieve national unity. Although in 1914 Romania declared her neutrality, the Romanian politicians having been aware that the country was not prepared for of such a wide-spreading conflict, two years later it was no longer possible to postpone Romania’s participation in the conflict. Going to war was enthusiastically cultivated by the press, by politicians, as well as by the Orthodox priests who considered this action a unique opportunity to achieve the unity of all Romanians.

Unfortunately, the military offensive of the Romanian army in Transylvania was not a victorious one, as the Romanians had to withdraw to Moldova, leaving even the capital city of the country, Bucharest, to the German occupation. While in Iasi, where they took refuge, the Romanian Government and King Ferdinand made tremendous efforts to restore the army and administrate a small Romanian territory remained unoccupied by enemies. Many Romanians from Transylvania, Dobrudgea and Bucharest took their refuge to Moldova running away from the enemy armies, so that the Romanian political class had to find the necessary means to help them. The Orthodox priests brought their share of contribution to the huge war effort through the mobilisation of the people for helping the military army and hospitals. Besides the Romanian soldiers who were fighting on the front, military priests were also present, while the nuns and monks of the Orthodox monasteries activated with much devotion in hospitals as medical sisters and nurses. The documents preserved in various archives speak about the devotion of the clergy towards their faithful from parishes. They were members of various committees for sustaining the war orphans, widows and poor who lost all their wealth during the war. The archives of the Metropolitanate of Moldova and Bucovina preserved a series of documents drafted by the Orthodox priests at the request of metropolitan Pimen, which presented the atmosphere prevailing in the Romanian villages and cities when learning that Romania joined the war, the anxiety of the families of those who were going to war, as well as the efforts these Romanian priests made to help those who remained at home deprived of the men’s help, as they were going to war.

A special case was that of the priests remained in the territories occupied by enemies. Besides the material needs they had to suffer, the Orthodox priests had to endure the persecution of the German authorities who perceived them as promoters of Romania’s joining the war together with the Antanta forces. The occupation of Bucharest caused anxiety in the Metropolitanate, where Conon Aramescu Donici, the primate metropolitan was afraid for his life, given the fact that he had blessed Romania’s joining the war and the alliance of the Romanian army with that of the tsarist Empire. This is why he obeyed the decisions taken by the Romanian politicians remained in Bucharest who collaborated with the German authorities. The church life of Bucharest and of the territories occupied was affected by various scandals caused by the change of the calendar, appointment of a director of Greek-Catholic faith to the metropolitan cathedral, and the attempt to steal the relics of Saint Pious Dimitrios the New kept in the metropolitan cathedral by a Bulgarian commando. Certainly, the greatest sorrow was caused by the signing of the Call of the Primate Metropolitan by metropolitan Conon, the manifest which urged the Romanian soldiers to give up the fight on the front of Moldova. The heart of the Orthodox faithful from the occupied territories suffered a great sorrow when the German and Hungarian soldiers confiscated the church bells to use their metal for making weapons. Thus, the majority of the churches from the occupied territories remained without bells, bells of great artistic or historical values having been lost forever.

The German Command wanted to confiscate the bells from all over the occupied territory. In fact, the German administration drafted tables of all the churches where from they took the bells, the documents having been kept at the National Archives of Bucharest till today. Constantine Bacalbasa mentioned in his war memoirs that there were two events during the war which affected the deep national feeling of the population of Bucharest: the theft of the relics of Saint Dimitrios Basarabov and the confiscation of the bells. All the other events like: the confiscation of the clothes, fuels, fire wood, aliments and feed were overlooked and did not cause any turmoil with the population. All the attempts of the German authorities to impose the Orthodox Church a certain control were faced not only with the refusal of the priests, but also with the opposition of the Orthodox faithful. Such an attempt was to introduce the Gregorian calendar at the end of December 1916, which would have deprived the Orthodox of the celebration of the great feasts of the Christmas and Epiphany. Although the German authorities got back on the order, imposing instead the celebration of the Easter on the same day with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox faithful and their priests observed the old calendar and the Orthodox traditions.

Bucharest city suffered a lot as a result of the camping of a large number of militaries who used both the private houses and the institutional buildings. Besides, a few school buildings were also used, and the courses suspended. Bulgarian troops camped in the boarding house of the Faculty of Theology of Bucharest and devastated the building in the autumn of 1918 when they left the city, looting everything they could. The monasteries close to the capital city of the country suffered the same, as the occupation authorities confiscated especially the wheat, wine and feed. The abbots of these monasteries have submitted many applications asking to be allowed to keep at least the food necessary for the life of the monks. Unfortunately, the Orthodox clergy have not found the necessary support in the activity of metropolitan Conon, who was afraid to take active part in the protection of the priests and monks. The German command knew that metropolitan Conon and other Orthodox clergy had blessed the Romanian – Russian brotherhood in arms before war and encouraged the Romania’s joining the war on the Antanta side. This theme determined the metropolitan to take a series of political decisions which defiled his pastoral service and obligated him to resign at the end of 1918. A series of intellectuals of Bucharest who had refused to take refuge to Iasi blamed the metropolitan for his attitude which caused the arrests made by the Germans among the intellectuals accusing them of hostile attitude towards the Central Powers. The prisoners of the labour camps also included priests accused of anti-German propaganda.

The priests who remained in Bucharest tried to support their faithful as much as they could. The archives of certain parishes still keep registers mentioning the poor families who used to receive aids on behalf of the City Hall helped by the priests. We learn from these documents the names of those mobilised on the front of Moldova where from many of them never returned. The contemporaries bequeathed in their memoirs pages dedicated to the church life during the German occupation of Bucharest making sometimes a critical presentation of the way in which a series of clergy accomplished their priestly call. Most appreciations were for the priests who went to join the soldiers on the front. Some of these priests were servants of the altars of Bucharest. Very important are the notes they made on the pages of the church books or on the pages of the holy gospels. Thus, rather important are the notes written by the military priests on a gospel found in the church of Saint Nicholas of the former Monastery of Prince Michael, where King Ferdinand instituted the military order of Michael the Brace, the most important decoration awarded to the Romanian heroes during the Great War.

Having been afraid of their enemies, many priests from Dobrudgea, as well as from the other territories occupied took refuge to Moldova, where they settled in various parishes and monasteries, helped by metropolitan Pimen. Once back in their parishes they found their churches and parish houses in ruins. The occupying armies organised stables, garrisons and hospitals in monasteries, churches, schools and city halls, many of them demolished. The parishes of Moldova passed through similar sufferance, devastated by the Russian deserter soldiers animated by the communism that was being installed in Moscow at the time. The end of the war brought about changes not only for the country, but also for the Orthodox Church who passed to a new form of organisation fulfilled through the proclamation of the patriarchate. Metropolitan Conon had to resign, bishop Miron Cristea having been elected instead of him, a fighter for the unity of the Romanians and their first patriarch.


Arhim. Policarp CHIȚULESCU Cărți și manuscrise din vechea bibliotecă a Mânăstirii Sfânta Troiță – Radu Vodă din București

Summary: Books and manuscripts in the old library of the Holy Trinity – Radu Vodă Monastery in Bucharest

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity – Radu Vodă in Bucharest is one of the most important churches built under Alexandru II Mircea, the Voivode of Wallachia. It was intended to be used as the see of the Metropolis of Wallachia which was located at that time in Targoviste. Besides referring to the monastery as a metropolitan see in many of his documents, Alexandru II Mircea endowed it with properties thus increasing its prestige. His work was continued by his son Mihnea Turcitul and later by his grandson Radu Vodă who had the monastery rebuilt. It was consecrated by Hieromartyr Cyril Lucaris. As Radu Vodă placed the monastery under the rule of the Monastery of Iviron of Mount Athos, Romanian and Greek monks came to live and pray here. One of the first superiors of the monastery, Hieromonk Mardarius the Wallachian, offered various manuscripts to some monasteries in the Holy Land or of Mount Athos during the last decade of the 16th century. The community of Radu Vodă Monastery had a large library containing liturgical books and other writings for spiritual development. A book copying facility also existed there. The most famous copyist was Mihail Vizantios who transcribed some prominent works very well-known at that time. Thus, in 1696 he copied a work by Panteleimonos (Paisios) Ligaridis, Exegesis is ton Psalterion, for Stolnic Constantin Cantacuzino who put his signature on the pages of the book as an indication of ownership, and another volume containing the Travels to China of Sword-bearer N. Milescu. Mihail Vizantios also copied in 1698 a Miscellanea of legal and ceremonial texts paid by Archimandrite Ghermanos, the Superior of Segarcea Monastery. Several Greek superiors from Iviron who later became superiors of Radu Vodă Monastery brought with them various manuscripts, especially liturgical texts, adorned with floral and zoomorphic decorations or ordered such manuscripts to be made for the Princely Church of the Holy Trinity – Radu Voda.

A more recent, but highly important manuscript dating from 1760, is the Anamnesis of Radu Vodă Monastery (Romanian Academy Library, Greek manuscript 1035); it was copied at the request of hieromonk Theodosius, abbot of Radu Vodă. The book provides useful information on the monastery and its dwellers and donors. A valuable piece of calligraphy once in possession of Radu Vodă Monastery (as shows a label on page 2v) is the Greek-Slavonic Liturgy (The National Museum of Art of Romania, Ms. 15) copied in 1620 at Leontopol (Lvov) by nun Melania, a disciple of calligrapher-metropolitan Matthew of Myras. This masterpiece is an illuminated manuscript adorned with polychrome miniatures, vignettes and capital letters, and belonged to several owners. The first to sign his name on its pages was Metropolitan Peter Mogila (Petru Movilă) of Kiev, followed by archimandrite Partenius (probably one of the two hegumens of Radu Vodă bearing this name between 1672-1683 and 1690-1697, respectively). A third owner was Theophan, archimandrite of Constamonitou monastery, signing on page 2r on 17 March, 1665. We note that archimandrite Theophan also signed on 2 July 1665 on a Slavonic book containing the Holy Liturgy Explained by patriarch Nikon of Moscow (printed in 1656 at Moscow). The latter book (865 p.) became in 1667 the property of the well-known vel dvornic Mareș Băjescu of Câmpulung. Some of the manuscripts belonging to or copied at Radu Vodă Monastery are now kept in the collections of the Library of the Romanian Academy in Bucharest. Many of the printed books in the library of the monastery, including some of the rarest Greek books printed in Venice, contain notes and information about the monastery and the monastic life.

Most printed books kept here are liturgical ones; they were not of interest to those who pilfered the monastery’s library. They are Menaia or other liturgical service books that, while seemingly uninteresting, are some of the rarest editions printed at Venice, where very good quality prints were produced and later circulated intensively throughout the Romanian Principalities, among the (mostly Greek-speaking) intellectuals. Either as rare editions, or as sources of information on the monastery and monastic life, all these books are valuable testimonies preserved by the care of patriarch Justinian Marina. We mention the Menaia issued by Antonio Pinello’s publishing house between 1602-1612, some of them unknown even to Greek bibliographers, such as the 1609 Menaion for September, or the 1912 Menaion for December, etc. Most likely, Prince Radu Mihnea promptly purchased for his beautiful new monastery some recent editions of liturgical books, freshly printed in Venice – a city he had visited once. The 1609 Meinaion for November bears a very old text written in Greek in 1627, mentioning it had been also used at Bălteni skete, dedicated to St Nicholas by vornic Hrizea, an official close to Radu Mihnea. Other Greek books dating from the 17th century are: the Triodion, whose date we have identified as 1644, the Octoechos printed in late 17th century, for which no other details are available, as it does not match any bibliographical description; a beautiful, large Gospel Book dating from 1671, heavily used as its worn-out pages indicate. There are also the Menaia for November (1678) and December (1685), the Pentecostarion of 1681, the Triodion of 1682, all identified by us as they had lost the title page. On the Menaion for October of 1610, logothetes Gheorghie mentions a school at Radu Vodă, which he had attended. The writing style places it in late 17th-century or early 18th. On the pages of a Menaion for April 1689, a person writing in 1763 mentioned the exile of Constantin Mavrocordat.

Severely afflicted by adversities and harsh times, the monastery was closed on 10 December 1960 and its cenobitic life came to an end. Since 1952, within its precincts were forcibly installed a communist party school, then I. Creangă highschool, but patriarch Justinian insisted until they were relocated, the ensemble was restored and the Seminary reopened. To preserve the surviving liturgical books of Radu Vodă, no longer in use, a patriarchal decision of 3 April 1963 had 166 volumes taken from Radu Vodă and handed over to the Holy Synod Library, freshly reorganized in the Synodal Palace at Antim monastery. Patriarch Justinian Marina donated to Radu Vodă church, which served as Seminary’s chapel for a while, vestments, vessels, and liturgical books in sturdy leather binding (some of them still in use), and to the Seminary library (which he constantly enriched by donations) he bequeathed in his will the last 147 volumes in his personal collection. His example was followed by his disciple, the worthy of remembrance patriarch Teoctist Arăpașu, who bequeathed his large collection to the library of the Seminary. The books described in the present article, four centuries after the reconsecration of Holy Trinity-Radu Vodă Monastery, attest to the long, fruitful monastic life here. This life is again blossoming, after the monastery was re-opened in the year 2000. Today the monastic community has a new library comprising thousands of books that provide spiritual nourishment.


Pr. Gruia ZAMFIRESCU Legislația privind învățământul teologic organizat în Moldova, în Perioada Regulamentară

Summary: The Legislation on the Theological Educational System Organized in Moldavia in the Regulament Period

In the period before the Regulamentul Organic was promulgated, the educational system in Moldavia developed in a similar way as the one in Walachia (county and monastery schools were founded; a part of the country’s income collected from the church was allotted for the organization and functioning of the schools; there were tendencies to reorganize the schools in the whole country). Different from Walachia, there were not as many schools around churches and monasteries in the Moldavian villages, but there was already a seminary founded in 1803 at the Socola monastery in Iasi.

The Regulamentul Organic came into effect on 1 January 1832 and it contained clauses referring to the clergy, the clerical educational system and the conditions of study (the continuity of the seminary in Socola for a maximum number of 200 pupils, with a budget of 60.000 lei provided by the Metropolitan See and the Bishoprics. It was impossible to become a priest without having graduated the seminary, at least after the date at which the seminary would have had enough graduates. If until the age of 25, out of ill-will, the graduate did not become a priest, he and his parents were obliged to give back to the state the money spent during his stay in the seminary). The Regulament laws had as purpose the reorganization of the theological educational system by structuring it on three levels (including faculties), increasing the number of seminaries and adopting a unique curricula for them. In order to send the seminary graduates towards clerical positions, it was forbidden to become a priest for the candidates, to let them obtain positions in the state administration and to establish an obligatory road to follow from the studies period to the moment of becoming a priest. Until 1848 the laws stipulated the reorganization of the clerical educational system by two degrees, due to the establishment of parish seminaries the Metropolitan one.

There were several projects meant to move the complete eight years course from Iasi (Socola) to Neamt Monastery. The primary course was to be organized in three diocesan seminaries (of which actually only the metropolitan one existed). Thus, in 1847, in the attempt to make “improvements regarding the clergy”, the Metropolitan bishop of Moldavia asked the prince that, until the establishment of diocesan seminaries, in the monastery of Socola should function only the 1st seminary section, covering four years of study. In Neamt Monastery should function the 1st section for monks and the 2nd section for the graduates of Neamt and Socola who would like to become archpriests, preachers or monks. The graduates of the complete seminary could join the monastic orders “at once” (without being subject to the common temptations), but only those belonging to the inferior seminary cycle could become monks after the “necessary temptations” and already being 30 years old. In 1847 was also created a “Rule for the seminaries about clerical learning”. Studies were divided in two cycles of four years each. The inferior one (“section I”) was going to be organized in the Seminary of Socola and in the future Seminaries of Roman and Husi. The superior cycle (“section II”) destined for the high clergy was initially meant to function in Neamt Monastery, but because the local monks opposed it, the law text itself presupposed finding another place for its organization and functioning.

Immediately after 1848 there was a reorganization on the Prussian model of the entire educational system due to “The School for the reorganization of public learning in the Principality of Moldavia” (1850). Among the basic principles of public learning were proclaimed an educational system free of charge (“free and available for all people”), a specialization of schools (“very important” being the establishment of industrial and agricultural schools), an equal importance of the topics (e.g. in the secondary cycle, beside the study of classical authors, “equally important is learning religion, geography and history, as well as mathematics, natural science and philosophy”) , the impossibility to obtain a public position by persons without studies in the state schools.

There were three levels of studies provided: primary (elementary – of three years, one in each of the 63 districts, primary – of four years, with a further one year course of pedagogy, for the future schoolmasters, for girls and for crafts – of five years); secondary (scientific – of five years, agricultural and secondary – of seven years) and superior (it was planned to open an academy in Iasi which was going to function with four faculties: Philosophy, Law, Medicine and Theology). But though a Faculty of Theology had to open, the text of the two articles referring to it mentioned only national seminaries. Given the principle of a unitary organization of the different sections of the public educational system, theology seminaries were under the authority of the special administration of the department of public learning where the entire administration of the schools in the principality gathered.

One year after the reorganization of public learning, the Law for the Organization of the Clerical Educational System in Moldavia (1851) came into effect. This law succeeded in restructuring the theological educational system. The measures were:

– the division in three types of schools: regional of two years, section I for the small clergy, of four years; section II for the high clergy, of four years of study;

– the transformation of the old county schools in preparatory schools for the seminary;

– the creation of parish seminaries, having a scholarly cycle of four years, and the functioning of the Socola seminary in eight years of study;

– the impossibility to become a priest without graduating the inferior cycle and the giving of clerical ranks according to the level of study;

– the management of the seminaries by guardians such as the minister of the church wealth and of the public educational system and the Patriarch (for the seminary in Socola) or by bishops (for the parish seminaries).

The regional clerical schools, maintained by the law giver, had a two year cycle and were meant to form the candidates for seminaries. They could be considered preparatory schools where the pupils learned to read and write, as well as grammar and mathematics. This type of school was paralleled by the preparatory class of the seminaries in Wallachia.

Section I seminaries were to be organized in Iasi (Socola), Roman and Husi. The courses of this type of seminary were obligatory to obtain “the lower degrees of Sachelar, Blagocin și Iconom”. Only in exceptional cases was it sufficient in order to become a priest: if there were no graduates of 8 classes, one could choose among those of 4 classes who were “enough in the country”, but not among those uneducated at all. Section two was organized only in Socola for “the high clergy” (Protoiereu, Proestos, Dicasteriot, Egumen, Arhimandrit și Arhiereu).

The seminary in Socola was going to function as a boarding school with 100 pupils, of whom 25 for “the superior studies”, and the bishop seminaries as boarding schools with 70 pupils (in Roman) and 40 (in Husi). Like in Wallachia, beside these pupils, courses could be attended by an unlimited number of external pupils. The money needed for the internal pupils was provided from the “treasures of the Clergy”. As a consequence of this law there appeared the parish seminaries of Husi – 1851 and Roman – 1858. In 1855 there was a new attempt to reorganize the theological educational system at the “Seminary of the Holy Monasteries Neamt and Secu”. The curricula was divided on three levels: schools of the 1st degree, of the 2nd degree and the Faculty of Theology. In those of the 1st degree one studied 4 years, in those of the 2nd degree 8 years, and in the faculty 4 years more. If during the first two cycles secular disciplines were mainly studied, during faculty all topics belonged to the theological field (except agronomy and medical or veterinary science).

In the rule period, beside the legislation about the educational system in general and the theological one in particular, were adopted laws connected to it: they regarded the formation of priests (only the graduates of a seminary), the improvement of the priests’ fate and the establishment of their rights and obligations. “The law for the priests to be chosen from those that have graduated the seminary cycles”, adopted in 1841, stipulated, beside the obvious title, the annual sums of money by which the bishoprics subjected to the Metropolitan Church had to support the Seminary in Socola (the Bishopric in Roman – 40.000 lei, and the Bishopric in Husi – 30.000 lei). “The prince’s act by which the seminary graduates should become teachers in the country schools and receive parishes”, of 1843, stipulated measures and rights for the seminary graduates and allowed the appointment of qualified people for the positions of teachers which were vacant in public schools.

The regular legislation of Moldavia, regarding the theological educational system, can be considered unstable because of the large number of legal acts that were promulgated, the contradictory solutions which were adopted about the level of schools (from the maintaining of catechetic schools – the plague of the theological system in both principalities, until the project of creating a faculty), the structure, the curricula, the planned institutions, but especially because of the non-coming into effect of the majority of the promulgated laws. After many attempts, under the 1851 Law, it was succeeded to reorganize the Moldavian theological educational system, by the organization of an educational system structured on two cycles of learning, but only at a seminary level, and its functioning until the adoption of the laws in the time of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859-1866).


Oana-Mădălina POPESCU Noi date despre moșiile de la Dunăre ale Mănăstirii Radu-Vodă din București

Summary: New data concerning the estates near the Danube River which belonged to the Radu-Vodă Monastery in Bucharest

In a previous article, entitled “Fragments of the economic history of Radu-Vodă Monastery; documents dating back from the XVIIIth century” we presented, analyzed and published two important documents, dating from mid-18th century, revealing the economic relations established between the hegumens of the Radu-Vodă Monastery in Bucharest and some Turkish officials from Silistra town, then part of the Ottoman Empire. We underlined on that occasion, that the two documents – a letter and a deed – written by two Muslim officials of Silistra, Hassan and Mehmed, in 1729 and 1750 and addressed to the hegumens of the monastery, showed that the two zones were in contact, despite their political, juridical and religious statute. The documents attested that the hegumens of Radu-Vodă Monastery had allowed the officials of Silistra to use some estates in Ialomița district (Cunești, Rizești, Crăceni), for a fee paid to the monastery, as the Turks had only the right to use estates in Wallachia, not to own them. Thus, in our opinion, these two acts were very important not only for the history of that monastic community, but also for the understanding the relations established between Wallachia and the Ottoman Empire.

By means of unpublished historical sources, held by the Central National Archives in Bucharest and also with the help of edited Ottoman documents, dating from the 18th century, we can provide in this paper further information about the estates, near the Danube River, of the Radu-Vodă Monastery in Bucharest. The documents are of outstanding value, as they confirm the fact that Wallachia always kept the autonomy and its domestic institutions and estates and it was not turned into a pachalik nor included in the Ottoman Empire. So, the Muslims were not allowed to own estates and lands in Wallachia, but only to use them, as stipulated the old acts and agreements named Ahidname, which established and regulated the political, juridical, religious and economic relations between Wallachia and the Ottoman Empire. The documents also illustrate periods of international tension in connection with the attempts of the officials of Silistra to extend the bounderies of their pachalik (a territory subject to the Ottoman Empire) to the detriment of the Romanian territory. As it was an act of injustice, the ruler of Wallachia and also the Sultan took action against the guilty persons. The documents presented the steps followed by the Romanian and Turkish authorities in order to stop the injustice and the methods of the investigation of this case. The guiding principle of the investigation was the observance of the law, of the ancient customs and agreements.

Thus, in 1764, Ștefan Mihai Racoviță, the ruler of Wallachia, ordered an investigation in Rizești and Crăceni villages, near the Danube River, two estates belonging to Radu-Vodă Monastery, because the territory had been invaded by the Turks of Silistra. He appointed a court of inquiry, formed by Romanian boyars and Turkish officials, in order to ascertain the borders of these two estates. On 6 of April 1764, the officials investigated the territory, on the spot, and decided in favour of the Romanian side. The Romanian boyars who participated in the investigation were Nicolae Obedeanu, the great cavalry commander (serdar) and Mihalache, the porter (portar). From the Turkish side were sent the turnahi-bașî (who commanded a part of the janissary), the hoge (a Muslim professor) and cadi-effendi (a Muslin judge). The Romanian documents mentioned that the Ottoman part issued a royal decree (hatișerif, Hatt-î-humayun) to stop the transgression. The conclusion drawn by the board of inquiry was that the officials of Silistra had to observe the stipulations of the previous decrees, which established the political and juridical relations between the Ottoman Empire and Wallachia. The decision of the court of inquiry was in favour of the Radu-Vodă monastery and of the hegumen Athanasie, who was allowed to keep Rizeanca and Cuneasca estates. The document also mentioned the borders of these estates and specified that they reached the Danube River. The borders of Crăceni village were also investigated, on 8 of April 1764 and the verdict was also in favour of the Romanian side. The legal proceedings were similar in both cases.

So, the boyars went to the respective villages, Cunești, Rizești and Crăceni, explored the region carefully and examined their geographical limits. Then, they set their boundaries and mentioned the names of the neighboring villages and also their owners. The boyars also noted the relief and some geographical elements, such as the banks of the Danube River, the valleys, the lakes, the aits and the streams nearby. These Romanian documents have not been published so far. But some Ottoman documents regarding the problem of the boundaries between the Ottoman Empire and Wallachia, in the region of the Danube River, where the Romanian frontier was invaded, were edited by H. Dj. Siruni. Thus they complete the image of this episode in the relations between the two areas and they also certify that the Romanian acts were authentic. On the other hand, they attest that the Turks had not the right to invade the territory of Wallachia. The Ottoman documents, issued in 1763 and 1764 and published by H. Dj. Siruni, reinforced the ancient Romanian right on these territories, which had been invaded by the high-official of Silistra town (nazâr), but with no permission of the Sultan. The Sultan forbade the injustice and stopped the transgression, the overrunning of the frontier of the Romanian territory.

The Ottoman acts attested that the invasion was committed by the high-official and commander of Silistra town (nazâr), who wanted to extend the territory of his region, invoking a false and untrue custom, the so-called custom of the 40 steps. The Ottoman documents told us that the high-official of Silistra usurped the Romanian rights and broke the ancient custom. So, the lands should remain in the possession of the Romanian side, as they were in the past. These documents also attested that the conflict was solved with the help of the Muslim witnesses living in the region, by an investigation on the spot and also by checking the ancient charters issued in the past, in favour of the Romanian monasteries. Some other documents allowed us to ascertain the moment when the Radu-Vodă Monastery obtained Crăceni village (one of the villages invaded by the Turks). Two deeds, issued on July 9, 1689 and April 3, 1690, respectively, attested that the estate was in possession of a boyar, Ivașco Bălăceanu, and, after his death and according to his desire, his wife, Maria Bălăceanu, donated the willage to the monastery. The village had been bought by Ivașco from his cousins and then, he decided to donate it to the monastery. But he died, so the village was given to the monastery by his wife in his stead.

Cunești village was in possession of the monastery before the year 1729, when Hassan bimbașa, a military commander of Silistra, was writing to the hegumen Athanasie about his problems, as we have seen. A document issued on April12, 1724, by the order of Nicolae Alexandru Mavrocordat the voivode of Wallachia, revealed that the villages belonged to the monastery and recorded a conflict between the monastery and the people living in Cunești, near the Turkish sheepfold, as they refused to give the owed tithe (a part of the cropping), for using the estate of the monastery. The voivode ordered them to give the due part of the cropping, because they used a property of the monastery. Our document mentioned the syntagm Turkish sheepfold (the Turkish term is odaie). So, the act confirmed that the economic relations between the monastery and the Turks had been established before 1729. The Radu-Vodă Monastery in Bucharest was one of the richest and most prosperous religious communities in Wallachia and most of its properties had been donated by the Christians, for their commemoration, as the Diptych of the monastery tells us.

The villages invaded by the Turks and then investigated by the court of inquiery were Cunești, Rizești and Crăceni, villages situated near the Danube River, in Ialomița county and they belonged, as we have seen, to Radu-Vodă Monastery. But the monastery had some more estates in this region, as the place was favourable for grazing animals and standing sheepfolds. Thus we can also mention some more estates of the monastery in the region: Chiseleț, Murgeni, Cioara, Cornățel, Găunoși, Marotin, Nenciulești, Obilești villages, which were located in Ialomița and Ilfov counties, not far from the Dabube River and also, we can count Cornățel and Ialomița lakes.

So, all these documents stated that Wallachia had kept its domestic institutions, estates and lands and the Turks had not the right to own estates within the Romanian territory, but only to use them, for a fee paid to the owner. The episode we have presented in this paper showed a local conflict, started by official of Silistra, but not initiated by the Sultan. On the contrary, the Sultan interfered in the dispute, to stop it, and reinforced the ancient right in favour of Wallachia. As we have observed, the Ottoman acts harshly incriminated the violation of the frontier and the transgression by the official of Silistra and they intended to stop the oppression (zulum) and enforce the ancient customs and rights of the Romanians on these territories north of the Danube River.

The verdict of the Sultan, in favour of the Romanian side also underlined that the old acts named Ahiname were still valid in the second half of the XVIII th century, in the so-called Phanariot period, as they were in the past. For a better understanding of this episode, we added, at the end of our study, the facsimile and the transcription, in Latin script, of the Romanian documents, as they had been written in Cyrillic script.


Dumitru Sorin STOIAN Începuturile Bisericii autocefale ortodoxe a Greciei (1821-1852)

Summary: Early History of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Greece (1821-1852)

The beginnings of the Orthodox Church of Greece, as an autocephalous ecclesial institution headed by its own synod, are closely related to the emergence of the Greek modern state. On the Annunciation day, 1821, in Peloponnese, metropolitan Germanos of Old Patras raised the revolution banner and blessed a fight that would last for almost a decade, resulting in the emergence of the Greek modern state. The fight for independence waged by the Greek people from within and without the borders of the Ottoman Empire had started long before, and several factors had prompted it:

– Greeks in Constantinople’s Phanar working as interpreters for Ottoman authorities;

– the proliferation of Phanar princes in the Romanian Principalities;

– the economic „revival” of Greeks and their financial progress;

– the emergence and thriving of a higher social class on the territory occupied by the Turks (primates);

– the emergence of Greek foundations and societies promoting independence;

– Greeks’ cultural „renaissance”;

– the contribution of Greek hierarchs and clergy to the preservation of national spirit and Greek language;

– the French Revolution – the catalyst of 1821 events.

Independence was won on the battlefield as well as by negotiations, as the great European powers: Great Britain, France and Russia lent their support to the young state, each of them for different reasons. The first king of the modern Greek state – Otho, son of Ludwig of Bavaria, was crowned in early 1833.

As a consequence of political independence, the eparchies within freed territories ceased their relationships with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Besides the obvious political reasons, a further one was the fact that among Greek clergy and politicians appeared a faction that deemed the patriarch had betrayed the „holy cause” of freedom, as he obeyed the Ottomans and was controlled by the Porte. Under the circumstances, the Greek Church faced a delicate problem, threatening its very existence as an institution: how to regenerate its hierarchy. More than 6,000 priests had died during the war and many bishops had been killed in the conflict, so that half the eparchies in the freed territories were vacant. Greeks turned to the validly ordained hierarchs who had retired, renounced their sees or fled from the territories under Ottoman rule. These appointments were only temporary, and in time it became obvious that the Church of Greece had to clarify its canonical status as well as its relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and establish a coherent system – either the old or a new one, functioning independently from Constantinople – to restore its hierarchy.

Since any contact with the ecumenical patriarch was impossible, the new regime opted for an unilateral proclamation of autocephaly. A synod convened and 22 Greek hierarchs accepted the government’s proposal to declare the autocephaly of the Greek Church and set up a standing Synod as supreme church authority. Later, on 23 July 1833, the first official statute of the Orthodox Church in the Greek Kingdom was promulgated, unilaterally proclaiming autocephaly and thus independence from Constantinople. The document was drafted by one of the three regents, Georg Ludwig von Maurer. The new ecclesiastical constitution broadly followed the Bavarian model, subordinating the Church to the secular authority and allowing its freedom only in dogmatic matters. The Ecumenical Patriarchate ignored the claims to autocephaly and took no measures against the „rebels”.

Over the following century, events were nothing but a „cat and mouse” game between the Patriarchate of Constantinople, on the one hand, and the Greek Church and state, on the other hand. The synodal tomos of 29 June 1850 acknowledged autocephaly only if the Church was no longer subordinate to the state. Law 201 of 1852 favored the state: although the first articles granted the Church independence from any other ecclesial authority and secular power, article 6 appointed as a member of the Church Synod a royal commissary who countersigned all synodal decisions and decrees; no action could be taken without his signature.

A similar situation was created in the early 20th century, when the northern Greek eparchies known in Greek historiography as the „New Territories” (Macedonia and important areas of Thracia and Northern Epirus) were ceded by the dying Ottoman Empire to the Greek Kingdom in 1913. Constantinople delayed a decision on the canonical status of these territories, although precedents existed (the eparchies of Thessalia, Southern Epirus and the Ionian archipelago, once integrated into the Greek state, had passed under the authority of the Synod of Athens, as decreed by the Ecumenical Patriarchate). Following the failed incursion of the Greek army into continental Turkey, in 1921-1922, relationship between the two states became strained, and populations were exchanged. Under these circumstances, the Ecumenical Patriarchate could no longer maintain any contact with the faithful in the „New Territories”. To avoid leaving the eparchies without leaders and restricting the jurisdiction of the ecumenical patriarch to the inhabitants of Constantinople, in September 1928 the Constantinopolitan synod decided to delegate administration of the „New Territories” eparchies to the Church of Greece, while the patriarchal see retained the supreme canonical authority over these eparchies. In other words, the Ecumenical Patriarchate ceded to the Church of Greece, for a limited yet unspecified period (until the situation became better), the administrative rights over these eparchies, while maintaining all canonical and jurisdictional rights over them.

Before the patriarchal decree was made public, the Greek government drafted a law on the ecclesiastical status of the „New Territories”. The document, published on 10 July 1928, two months prior to the official version of the patriarchal decree, stated that the metropolitanates of the Ecumenical Patriarchal See within the „New Territories” of Greece acknowledged the Holy Synod of Athens as administrative authority, while remaining under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, which retained its canonical rights in these eparchies. The law caused unrest in Constantinople, mainly because although it stated that the Patriarchate maintained its canonical rights, it failed to specify which these rights were.

Church-state relationships in Greece were complex: on the one hand, from the very first constitutional endeavor (Epidaur, 1822), Orthodoxy was declared the national religion; on the other hand, as the modern Greek state became established, political authorities attempted to subordinate the Church to the state. During the 19th-20th centuries Church-state relationships in Greece gradually moved from absolute control over the Church to actual separation of the ecclesial institution from the secular ones. The first Church statute (1833) stipulated that the Holy Synod of the Greek Church was placed under the authority of the king. Art. 6 of Law no. 201/1852 appointed in the Synod a royal commissary, who countersigned all synodal decision and decrees; no action could be taken without his signature. Law no. 200/1852 regulated the election of hierarchs: the Synod would propose three clergymen, Greek citizens, and the king would select one of them. For almost a century, legal provisions in the Greek Kingdom kept the Church in the same position of subordination to the state.

A law voted in December 1923 abrogated laws 200 and 201 of 1852 and stipulated that the king’s representative lost some of his importance, since the Synod could make decisions in his absence.

The Church became completely independent from the state through the Constitution of 1975, which declared that the Church of Greece was autocephalous and headed by a standing Synod made up of bishops, a body constituted according to the provisions of the patriarchal Tomos of 29 June 1950 and the Synodal decree of 4 September 1928 (documents of the Patriarchate of Constantinople that insisted that the Church of Greece was independent from the secular power). According to the current Statute of the Greek Church, the Synod elects the archbishop of Athens, and metropolitans are elected with an absolute majority of votes.

Relationships between the Patriarchate of Constantinople and the Church of Greece have been very complex. Despite their shared, millennia-old historical and cultural legacy, the 19th century brought about a split between the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the eparchies in the newly-formed Greek state. Prompted by Enlightenment ideas, the Greek people gained political independence, soon followed by the proclamation of Greek Church’s autocephaly, events that led to the definitive jurisdictional separation from Constantinople of eparchies that had been dependent on the Ecumenical Patriarchate for over a millennium. On the other hand, the Constantinopolitan Synod condemned ethno-phyletism and continued to hold the old, imperial multi-national view according to which a Church is not confined within the borders of a state or the member of one people. Thus, over the last two centuries relationships between the two ecclesial institutions evolved in the political context of the times, with a few tense moments and even loss of communion. Territorial jurisdiction has been and still is the main cause of such episodes in the history of the relationships between the two Churches.


Gabriel CHELARU Demetrios Kydones (cca. 1324-1397), exponent al principiilor gândirii tomiste în Bizanț

Summary: Demetrios Kydones (cca. 1324- †1397), a proponent of Thomism in Byzantium

The penetration of the Western theological literature in the Byzantine area, especially the one that has Aquinas’ or Augustine’s signature, due mostly to Demetrios (and Prochoros) Kydones’ efforts, did represent a key moment in the cultural history of the Late Byzantium. However, the perception of this type of literature evinced different dimensions and different approaches, but, as a general feature, it did not prove itself to be very popular among the most Byzantine intellectuals and clergy, but rather it faced a reproachful and somehow refractory attitude due, firstly, to its Western origin and, secondly, due to the ideas, the lines of thought and the approach and argumentation methods, deemed to be incompatible with the Byzantine world and spirituality. What Demetrios Kydones tried to demonstrate was the exact opposite, by promoting the Thomistic manner of argumentation, considering that the scholastic type of argumentation is the best and the most effective in the process of the quest, the discovery and the ascertainment of truth. Moreover, grounded on the Aristotelian syllogism outlines, this method suits better a general application in the Byzantine area as it claims the Greek philosophical tradition.

Who or what represented in fact the person of Demetrios Kydones for the thirteenth century Byzantium? Was he a philosopher, a highly educated statesman, or was he perhaps a theologian? To be a philosopher in Byzantium meant, at a certain time, being highly educated or even knowing how to read and write (of course, Demetrios was far more intellectually prepared). There are, however, voices who claim that Demetrios Kydones was just a highly educated man, or perhaps a philosopher, which is not entirely wrong, but without any doubts we can affirm that he was also a theologian, considering just the fact that he had a theological preparation. He was not a cleric, but that does not represent the main condition for being a theologian as there are members of the clergy who are not theologians, due to their insufficient and mediocre theological preparation and, like in Kydones’ case, there are theologians who are not members of the clergy. In conclusion, the clerical issue does not represent a sine qua non condition to be termed a ‘theologian’.

Demetrios Kydones’ literal meeting with Thomas Aquinas’ work represented one of the fundamental moments of Byzantium’s cultural history, as a starting point of a very important development and promotion of some research and argumentation trends, other than the existing ones at that moment, the traditional ones, but who had claimed their roots from the local philosophical tradition. In other words, Demetrios Kydones could have been the “right man in the right place to be” which involves the reevaluation of special approach method regarding the discovery and ascertaining of truth as a fundamental and final target.

In his effort to learn the Latin language, with the Dominican monk’s important help, he received from the mentioned monk, as a study book, one of the greatest Aquinas’ works, entitled Summa contra gentiles. The fascination created by this book, determined Demetrios to translate it from Latin into Greek, making it available to his fellow Byzantines. This moment can easily be considered as crucial, because this was the moment when Kydones’ attitude changed forever, turning him into one of the greatest Byzantine humanists. Moreover, this particular fascination with the Western thought, motivated him to convert himself to the Western belief.

From this moment on, we have to deal with a major issue, named the ‘Byzantine Thomism’. More precisely, what it represented and when it appeared on the major stage of history. By the so-called ‘Byzantine Thomism’ we can understand the entire corpus of the translated Aquinas’ works in the Byzantine area – most of them being translated by Kydones brothers, Demetrios and Prochoros – but the phrase can also mean the understanding and the reception of the Thomistic ways in some sort of positivism form or acceptance at ideological or philosophical level. The beginning of the ‘Byzantine Thomism’ identifies itself with the first penetration in Byzantium of Thomas Aquinas’s works around 1300A.D., when the Dominican missionaries brought them in untranslated form from the West. Initially, these works circulated in very small circle, reduced to the Dominican community in Pera. So, the first period of the so-called ‘Byzantine Thomism’ offers us scarce information and there is no concrete evidence of any particular existence of an integrally translated work that has Aquinas’ signature. More important is the second period of this current, which starts with the completion of the first integral translation, made by Demetrios Kydones, of the above-mentioned Summa contra gentiles. From this moment on, the ‘Byzantine Thomism’ gained a significant importance, engendering two opinion currents, defined by the approach manner to the Thomistic ways: the pro-Thomists and the anti-Thomists. Even if Kydones was not basically the initiator of the ‘Byzantine Thomism’ (he could not actually be, and the reasons are easy to understand), he is credited as the one who promoted it and mentioned its value in a time when doctor angelicus’ name was only known in a restricted circle of the monks in Pera and, only with few exceptions, outside of it, and when Aquinas’ authority was yet far from being accepted all across the Western Christianity.

As for Demetrios Kydones’ approach way to Thomistic methods, this can be inferred, indirectly speaking, from a simple observation on the large number of his translated works (we have in mind here the translated works of Thomas Aquinas only). The number of these translated works does not offer, of course, a clear and complete image of the approach manner we speak about. This manner of understanding the Thomistic method can be observed and analyzed in three types of literature that belong to Kydones: The Apology I, the epistolary literature and the personal treatises.

Firstly, The Apology I, one of the most important, if not the most important of his works, with strong personal-apologetic accents, in which we can find a lot of important information regarding his decision to convert and lots of other information regarding his own way of understanding the Latin world as a whole, Kydones speaks about ‘that man’ (i.e. Thomas Aquinas) who surpassed all his contemporaries in matters of theology. Using a laudatory language, relatively discreet and without hyperbolization and exaggerations, but also without totally ignoring them, he speaks about Aquinas’ person as being known by all and his major work (i.e. Summa contra gentiles) as being the summit of his great wisdom. There are also a few mentions regarding Thomas Aquinas’ literary style, characterized as simple, with usual words, the ideas being convincingly and carefully formulated. Even though in Apology I there is no information regarding Kydones’ effective understanding of the Thomistic ways, still we can observe here, broadly speaking, the fact that he accepted, embraced these principles and tried further to promote them among his fellow Byzantines, even if, at the end, the results of his struggle were perhaps not the ones he was hoping for.

The second category – the epistolary literature – represents a step forward in the process of understanding the approach in question. From the whole corpus of letters written by Demetrios Kydones on the present matter, only three letters retain the attention. Yet, only one is the most important: the letter to Maximos Chrysoberges. In this letter, Demetrios makes a short description of the Thomistic argumentation method.

Finally, the third category, and also the most important one, comprises the personal treatises with philosophical theological content (more or less composed in a polemical or argumentative manner) because, here, the Thomistic approach problem is much more emphasized and more detailed.

Among all Kydones’ treatises, the most important, the most clear and carefully composed, regarding the matter we analyze, is the one named Defensio sancti Thomae adversus Nilum Cabasilam, a response-type treatise condemning Nilus Cabasilas’ reactions regarding the Thomistic argumentation (Nilus was before that an important admirer of Thomas Aquinas, but it seems he had changed his points of view). If Demetrios speaks in the letter to Chrysoberges about the reasons that made him express such admiration for Thomas Aquinas, describing in few words the clearness and the pure discipline of the Thomistic theology, in the present treatise, he develops considerably the principles of these syllogistic methods converted in a more dynamic way by Aquinas. Kydones’ whole statement gravitates around the essential and fundamental factor that we find at the grounds of every rational approach: the truth. Actually, the treatise is composed, of course, on Thomistic principles and here Kydones made an obvious difference between the grounds related to reason (lumen rationis), and those related to belief (lumen Revelationis) and, as an extension from these principles, he underlined the difference between demonstrabilia and credibilia. One of Kydones key-ideas, expounded here, is the complementary theory, adopted from Tomas Aquinas and amplified in order to demonstrate the full compatibility between the syllogistic argumentation method and the Christian Revelation grounds on which they are applied.

Therefore, by studying Demetrios Kydones’ three types of literature, we can observe the fact that, in his personal view, the scholastic argument method is the proper one, perhaps even the only one in the process of seeking the truth. Moreover, he discovers a full, almost perfect compatibility, between the syllogistic method and the Christian Revelation grounds on which it is applied. Yet, even if understood, accepted and promoted by some important Byzantine intellectuals, such as Georgios Gennadios Scholarios, to quote only one example, the Thomistic argument remained far from being fully popular in the Byzantine area, although it was, as mentioned before, founded on the Greek philosophic tradition.


† EMILIAN LOVIȘTEANUL – La mission de la paroisse dans le contexte des changements sociaux contemporains

Rezumat: Misiunea parohiei în contextul schimbărilor sociale contemporane

Ne propunem să reflectăm în studiul de față la misiunea parohiei ortodoxe în societatea contemporană, analizând evoluția și complexitatea principalelor aspecte ale misiunii pastorale a preotului de parohie în contextul modificărilor sociale importante petrecute în societatea românească în ultimii douăzeci și cinci de ani. După câteva considerații istorico-teologice referitoare la apariția și organizarea parohiilor în Biserica întemeiată de Mântuitorul Iisus Hristos, primul aspect abordat este cel al fenomenului emigrației economice înregistrat după 1989 și al problematicii asociate, al consecințelor sale și necesității păstrării legăturii cu românii plecați la muncă în străinătate de către preotul lor paroh de acasă. Viața diasporei românești se confruntă cu probleme dintre cele mai diverse, de ordin social și moral, precum: greutatea integrării într-un nou spațiu comunitar, instabilitatea familiei, relativismul moral și religios, păstrarea demnității și identității românești ș.a. Un sprijin consistent în păstrarea unei vieți creștine-românești autentice le este oferit românilor emigrați de parohiile ortodoxe înființate de Biserica-mamă tocmai datorită înmulțirii prezenței compatrioților noștri în diaspora. Organizarea unei parohii ortodoxe românești în străinătate, în vederea desfășurării activităților misionar-pastorale, este un demers complex, care întâmpină o mulțime de probleme, cum ar fi: identificarea comunității românești ortodoxe și puterea ei de mobilizare și comuniune în jurul unei biserici, posibilitatea construirii unui locaș de cult sau a împrumutului de la o altă confesiune creștină, identificarea unui preot sau tânăr teolog pentru hirotonie care are devotamentul și capacitatea organizării unei parohii și a pastorației în condițiile speciale date, găsirea unei locuințe adecvate preotului și familiei sale (o gazdă sau o locuință permanentă), capacitatea preotului de a aduna credincioșii în jurul bisericii la sfintele slujbe, programul liturgic, diferit de cel al parohiilor din țară, – folosirea unor biserici închiriate poate schimba programul liturgic, în care Sfânta Liturghie să fie săvârșită la orele amiezii –, contactul permanent al preotului cu enoriașii parohiei, care se pot afla la sute de kilometri distanță de biserică, păstrarea tradiției creștin-ortodoxe și a tradițiilor populare românești în contextul viețuirii într-un spațiu multicultural și multietnic, conștientizarea importanței vieții religioase autentice în contextul emigrării pentru o viață materială mai bună, raportarea vieții creștinului român la Dumnezeu și Biserică etc.

Un alt aspect tratat în acest studiu este cel al misiunii pastorale a preotului privind pastorația persoanelor bolnave, a alcoolicilor, a familiilor dezbinate și a celor care manifestă un atașament exclusiv față de bunurile materiale. În pastorația persoanelor bolnave, preotul poate să folosească mai multe metode sau mijloace, cum ar fi: valorificarea prezenței bolnavilor în cadrul comunității, având conștiința că persoana aflată în suferință este un membru care are nevoie maximă de atenție și căruia trebuie să i se acorde importanță, pentru a nu se simți izolat și „nefolositor”; sensibilizarea tuturor credincioșilor față de bolnavii singuri sau în fază terminală; apropierea de enoriașii bolnavi internați în spitale, cu scopul de a se simți în mod efectiv ca făcând parte din comunitate; realizarea unor cateheze specifice, adresate tuturor credincioșilor, la diferite ocazii; promovarea inițiativelor liturgice și catehetice pentru cei bolnavi, inclusiv pelerinajele la bisericile care adăpostesc sfinte moaște; grija familiei ca bolnavilor să li se administreze Sfânta Împărtășanie înainte ca boala să se agraveze și, cu atât mai mult, înainte ca aceștia să fie transportați la spital. Cultivarea virtuților enoriașilor de către preot și pregătirea lor pentru întâmpinarea eventualelor boli îi ajută foarte mult pe aceștia pentru a depăși momentele de suferință, având astfel credință și nădejde în Dumnezeu și viața veșnică. Pastorația enoriașilor dependenți de alcool necesită multă răbdare, înțelepciune și perseverență din partea preotului și a familiei celui aflat în cauză. Pentru tratarea alcoolismului, preotul poate folosi diverse mijloace, implicând, pe lângă parohie, persoane și instituții abilitate. Menționăm câteva dintre aceste mijloace: informarea enoriașilor despre alcool și droguri prin pliante și materiale tipărite, despre pericolul consumului lor și consecințele negative ale acestuia; cooptarea în acțiuni a unor centre de tratament și a medicilor specialiști; inițierea programelor de recuperare a persoanelor dependente de alcool și droguri; înființarea unui centru de recuperare având concursul voluntarilor și al persoanelor calificate în tratarea unor astfel de afecțiuni; nu în ultimul rând, reintegrarea în mijlocul enoriașilor care participă la slujbele Bisericii, determinându-i să se implice în activitățile parohiei, în acest fel conștientizând faptul că sunt utili și necesari în viața comunității. În zilele noastre, se pune problema nu numai a pastorației persoanelor bolnave sau dependente de alcool și droguri, ci, uitându-ne în jur și observând că societatea românească a fost canalizată să devină o „societate de consum”, observăm că preotul se vede determinat să gândească și un program pastoral pentru enoriașii lacomi după bogății sau zgârciți și nemilostivi. Iubirea de putere naște dorința de a acumula averi, care, în concepția lor, propulsează persoana într-o funcție înaltă, de unde poate dirija și exploata sentimentele și forța de muncă a oamenilor, spre alimentarea plăcerilor personale și satisfacerea unor capricii. În ceea ce privește pastorația enoriașilor lacomi și zgârciți, este necesar ca preotul să fie, în primul rând, un model de organizare a vieții familiale și de cumpătare prin cuvânt și faptă. Alături de exemplul personal, preotul poate folosi ca mijloc pastoral următoarele: predica despre bogăție și sărăcie, coordonarea faptelor milostive, combaterea cerșetoriei prin încadrarea în locuri de muncă, programe educaționale pentru copii, tineri și vârstnici, susținerea incluziunii sociale a cerșetorilor, echilibrarea vieții materiale pentru cei bogați, organizarea de cantine sociale, centre de zi pentru copii și bătrâni și de consiliere, administrarea Sfintei Taine a Spovedaniei și săvârșirea de vizite pastorale etc.

Un alt aspect abordat în studiul de față este acela al complexității și frumuseții paternității duhovnicești a preotului de parohie, insistând asupra importanței spirituale și a diferitelor aspecte ale acesteia, menționând mai multe exemple de părinți duhovnici de parohie și subliniind rolul de model duhovnicesc pe care-l are preotul și familia sa în parohia păstorită. Din parohie au plecat marii păstori și duhovnici ai țării, preoți și monahi. Vocațiile preoțești s-au descoperit atât în vremuri de libertate, cât mai ales în cele de prigoană. Marii părinți duhovnicești din parohii și mănăstiri s-au distins și au fost folositori pentru mulțimea clerului și a credincioșilor prin viața lor exemplară, prin scrierile lor și mai ales prin predica, sfaturile și învățătura Evangheliei propovăduite. Și în timpul comunismului și după aceea, ei l-au mărturisit pe Hristos cu toată ființa lor. În parohie, preotul trebuie să-i caute pe enoriași, să-i cunoască și să păstreze o legătură părintească față de ei. Cunoașterea enoriașilor creează premisele reușitei lui în pastorație, după modelul propus de Mântuitorul Hristos, Care spune: «Eu sunt Păstorul cel bun și cunosc pe ale Mele și ale Mele Mă cunosc» (In 10, 14). Privind spre marii părinți duhovnici din parohii, precum preoții Constantin Galeriu, Dumitru Stăniloae, Dimitrie Bejan, Dumitru Bălașa, Paul Mihail, Virgil Gheorghiu ș.a., ne gândim la cuvintele Sf. Ioan Gură de Aur, care a șovăit o vreme să primească Taina Preoției din cauza măreției, sfințeniei și a responsabilității preotului în fața lui Dumnezeu și a oamenilor și care spunea că: «Sufletul preotului trebuie să fie mai curat decât înseși razele soarelui, pentru ca Duhul cel Sfânt să nu-l părăsească niciodată și ca să poată spune: „iar de acum nu mai trăiesc eu, ci Hristos trăiește în mine” (Ga 2, 20)». Părinții duhovnicești iscusiți de ieri și de azi au cunoscut omul și societatea în care au trăit, suferințele, lipsurile, îngrădirile, provocările și libertățile ei. De aceea, ei au pus la inimă cuvintele Domnului: «Așa să lumineze lumina voastră înaintea oamenilor, ca să vadă faptele voastre cele bune și să slăvească pe Tatăl vostru cel din ceruri» (Mt 5, 16), dându-le valoare prin împlinirea lor. Taina reușită în slujirea pastorală a clerului constă în dragoste (cf. 1 Co 13, 13), preotul fiind dator să-i iubească pe enoriași așa cum Hristos ne iubește pe noi, dându-Și viața pe Cruce (cf. In 10, 11). Pentru a ajunge la această stare, avem nevoie de familii creștine autentice în care să se nască viitorii preoți. Este necesar, de asemenea, ca tinerii care aleg să studieze teologia să o facă din vocație și să se pregătească temeinic pentru slujirea preoțească. În vederea unei slujiri preoțești adecvate, este necesar ca familia întemeiată de preot să fie «biserica din casă» (cf. Rm 16, 5), comuniune sfântă între preot și preoteasă, iar aceasta din urmă să fie soție credincioasă și devotată, mamă responsabilă și model în educație, o icoană a parohiei. Având aceste trăsături fundamentale, preotul poate deveni păstor și slujitor model, vrednic urmaș al lui Hristos în Biserica Sa, Care, potrivit cuvintelor Sfântului Apostol Pavel, cheamă creștinii la sfințenie ca bogăție de roade ale Duhului Sfânt în om: «iar roada Duhului este dragostea, bucuria, pacea, îndelungă-răbdarea, bunătatea, facerea de bine, credința, blândețea, înfrânarea, curăția» (Ga 5, 22-23).

Suntem încrezători în lucrarea Duhului Sfânt. Una dintre vocațiile poporului român este și aceea de a naște sfinți, iar parohia, alături de mănăstire, este unul dintre locurile unde creștinul luptă pentru a fi înveșmântat în lumina sfințeniei lui Dumnezeu.

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