NR. 1 – 2019

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2019.1

Pr. Prof. Dr. Sorin COSMA — Virtutea cumpătării (sophrosyne) și implicațiile ei în viața eclesială, culturală și socială a primelor secole creștine

Summary: The virtue of self-restraint-sophrosyne, and its implications on the ecclesial, cultural and social life of the early Christian centuries

Due to the increasingly aggressive secularism and to the increasingly acute desacralization, which in the postmodern context endorse the so-called «natural man», «without heaven or earth», authentic values are relativized and downplayed, while «virtue» is merely a dictionary entry and «duty» is regarded as an obsolete notion. Under these circumstances, pleading for virtue is tantamount to undertaking an effort of reinstating the values able to lend a positive meaning to the human condition now facing a moral, spiritual, cultural and social crisis. In relation to the «natural man», it must be pointed out that more than any other pre-Christian culture of the Antiquity, the Greek-Roman one professed «living in accordance with nature», but envisaged perfecting nature by means of reason and virtue, which led to freedom of the soul as self-control and self-restraint. Regarding the virtue of moderation, we mention that by virtue of his creation in the image of God, man is endowed with the gifts of reason and freedom, so that he is aware of himself in relation to the world, and is able to deliberate, decide and act responsibly, in a dynamic type of knowledge. Hence man’s interest in the virtue of moderation, termed sophrosyne, and understood as health and chastity of the mind. Old Greek thinkers correlate the notion of virtue, as excellence of the spirit, with the notion of right measure, which consolidates order, balance and harmony against the hybris as transgression (by abuse, or excess) of one’s due place. To Pythagoras, virtue is harmony and triumph of the rational over the irrational. Harmony is the root from which sophrosyne stems as virtue which engenders order, balance and harmony. By providing the soul with harmony, with music in its conceptual sense as harmony of thought imparted by proportion and consonance with music sounds (pitch, timbre, volume), it best reflects the cosmos as harmony underlies the paramount virtue: sophrosyne, which is the means to attain katharsis, that is, the purification of soul. Heraclitus of Ephesus starts from the idea that the world is in continuous motion: «Panta rhei – Everything flows!» (towards progress). The tension of opposites, which drives all changes in the universe, is determined by the eternal fire, according to the measure it increases or decreases in intensity. This measure is sophrosyne. Fire is endowed with intelligence. It can be «lacking» (insufficient) or «excessive». Excess is the son of Hybris, as trspassing of boundaries. The contradicitons in the universe would create chaos, if there were not the logos as order, measure, discerning reason, because the senses are misleading and drive man away from the logos. Therefore, discernment or the ability to judge well (tó sophronein) is the greatest virtue. According to Democritus of Abdera, virtue brings about contentment of the soul, and is beyond and above the body. Bliss is achieved by attaching great importance to self-restraint and moderation as means to attain life harmony. Thus, Democritus states, among others: «The moderate curse is desirable in every respect. I do not desire anything excessive»; «When something is beyond measure, the pleasant becomes unpleasant»… Socrates, the founder of ethics, grounded the spiritual vision of man in his own research based on awareness of what goodness is, proclaimed virtue to be tantamount to knowledge of the goodness reached by knowing oneself, that is, by sophrosyne as soundness of the mind, because it is through it that we know what we know and what we do not know and so it becomes the art of the right measure, which leads to moderation by the avoidance of excess. In a masterful elaboration on sophrosyne as a cardinal virtue, Plato states that it best renders the notion of the right proportion, wisdom, harmony, kosmos (good order, orderly arrangement). It makes man be moderate and wise, like a consonance of sounds that produce harmony, enabling man to master his desires and impulses, or subjecting the two inferior elements of the soul (lustfulness and irascibility), to the rational element that governs them. Dedicating one of his books to sophrosyne, he defines its degrees as first «humility» (aidos) then «stillness» (hesykia), culminating in «self-knowledge» as science of sciences. In his turn, Aristotle also wrote a book on ethics, describing «mesotes» (mean, middle ground) as the median between two extremes that are detrimental to good life. Stoic philosophy regards emotions as diseases of the soul, while apatheia – the freedom from passions, is the remedy because living in accordance with nature is living in accordance with reason. Thus virtue is perfect nature, and through reason man becomes like God. The philosophy of hedonism is distinct from the platonic and historical philosophy. Its greatest proponent, Epicurus, started from the fact that any being naturally seeks pleasure and avoids pain. He adheres to sensory ethics and states that true knowledge is provided by senses. If the senses are misleading, it follows that the judgment of reason is not correct, hence philosophy is a science of living, an art of living based on the appraisal or assessment of pleasures. Thus, sophrosyne understood as the basis of virtue is involved in the realm of education through the ideal of kalokagathia; in the realm of religion, through katharsis and katharmos – the purification rituals and offerings, that ensure peace of mind after turmoil; in the social and political realm, as professing the principle: «meden agan» (nothing in excess), directed against the arrogance of the rich and aimed at elevating the lower people, to instate justice, order and peace in the city. Having been Christianized, based on the Saviour’s words who calls blessed the pure in heart, for they shall see God (Mt 5, 8), sophrosyne is understood in the pursuit of salvation, as saintly life in Christ through the Holy Spirit. Turned into spiritual philosophy through prayer, uniting mind and heart, it achieves hesykia (stillness, silence and joy) as union with God (henosis), or deification of the human nature (theosis) through the uncreated grace of the Holy Trinity. According to the philokalic living and literature, sophrosyne is insight and perceptiveness, spiritual discernment, the «mother and keeper of all virtues», which means it is not simply one virtue among others, but it is «the common denominator of all virtues». Consequently, moderation-sophrosyne is integrated into ecclesial life as a new lifestyle, «whose novelty is acknowledged by all». In the realm of education, spiritual discernment is tantamount to actual pedagogy, aiming to fashion an orderly, civil, philokalic behaviour in keeping with the spirit of Christ’s Gospel. In the realm of charity, by cultivating the enlightenment of the mind, guided by the faith active in love and strengthened by grace, moderation – sophrosyne is manifest as boundless generosity, following the Saviour’s statement that «it is more blessed to give than to receive» (Acts 20, 35), replacing the selfish joy of receiving with the selfless joy of giving. This is the Good Samaritan’s love: sincere, selfless, self-sacrificial and eternal, able to change the selfish mindset and behaviour of the old world, and prove through charitable acts and especially through the assistance institutions established and coordinated by the Church, that «the most beautiful chapters in the history of the world were written by the Christian love, love for God and for the fellow people». On the other hand, the vow of chastity regarded as sophrosyne, alongside the other monastic vows, established the prestige of monasteries, asserting the power of prayer as philosophy in action, manifest in the cultural, artistic, economic, technical, medical and social realms, bringing about welfare and progress. Sophrosyne designates not only monastic chastity, but also marital chastity as a guarantee for the moral soundness of family life. Following the Apostles’ exhortations, many Christians decided as early as the first Christian centuries to pursue chastity and lead a saintly spiritual and bodily life. Thus, groups of women – widows, virgins, presbyters and deaconesses – emerged within the Christian communities established by the Apostles. The facts presented above demonstrate that, based on the shared notion of apatheia which leads to the contemplation of, and likeness to God, the characteristic of Christianized sophrosyne lies in the fact that reason is enlightened by faith, warmed by love and strengthened by the divine grace, and looks to eternity, according to the evangelical message of salvation in Christ and of universal fraternity. Leaving aside the differences and retaining the similarities, the Church has regarded these ancient Greek philosophers as «natural prophets», or «Christians before Christianity», because like the Old Testament prophets, through them God prepared the world for the coming of the Saviour. Consequenty, they are depicted on the outer walls of many churches and monasteries, and the terms «sophron» and «euphrosyne» have become names of many devout Christians, some of them saints of the Christian faith. In conclusion, if one desires to follow Christ in thought and living, if one desires to have a reasonable, cultured, civilized, decent and modest, honorable and dignified behavior, the virtue of moderation is an unfailing solution.


Arhid. Prof. Dr. George GRIGORIȚĂ — Théologie canonique et droit ecclésiastique : une relation synergique et complémentaire

Rezumat: Teologia canonică și dreptul ecleziastic: o relație sinergică și complementară

În actualul limbaj ecleziastic, pentru a defini disciplina care studiază regulile pastorale fundamentale ale Bisericii și modul lor practic de aplicare, precum și ansamblul legilor Statelor dedicate libertății religioase, organizării și funcționării comunităților religioase, sunt folosite aleatoriu diferite expresii, dintre care cele mai uzitate sunt drept canonic, teologie canonică, drept ecleziastic sau drept bisericesc. Mai recent, unii autori folosesc, însă, și expresii mai originale ca tradiție canonică sau drept religios. Această situație de confuzie noțională se datorează, în special, înțelesului diferit al termenului de canon, precum și echivalării forțate a acestuia cu noțiunea de lege, deși, în mod curent, termenul de canon este folosit destul de des pentru a defini o regulă sau o normativă specifică unui domeniu anume. Această alterare semantică a sensului inițial al termenului de canon, care în limbajul teologic este folosit strict pentru a identifica reguli ecleziale specifice, este de obicei făcută și pentru a determina apoi folosirea expresiei de „drept canonic” prin care se dorește identificarea unui „drept al Bisericii”. Alteori, termenul de canon este utilizat și cu înțelesul de dogmă, folosindu-se în acest sens expresia „canonul credinței” (ὁ κανών τῆς πίστεως – regula fidei). De obicei, însă, termenul de canoane sau, mai precis, expresia sfintele canoane definește colecția fundamentală de reguli pastorale ale Bisericii, aprobate de autoritatea eclezială și receptate de pleroma Bisericii.

Biserica, încă de la început, a dorit ca pe baza cuvintelor Mântuitorului Iisus Hristos (Matei 22, 21; Marcu 12, 17) să evidențieze diferența de natură și finalitate dintre ea și orice formă de organizare statală și, prin urmare, pentru a-și defini propriile sale reguli pastorale care trasează calea către comuniunea cu Hristos Domnul, a ales un termen nou, și anume cel de canon (κανών). Din punct de vedere etimologic, termenul de canon are înțelesul de regulă, normă, ghid, model, principiu, dreptar, îndreptar și se deosebește de conceptul de lege (νομος – lex) atât prin natura sa și autoritatea emitentă, cât și prin scopul propus. Astfel, în timp ce într-un Stat, legea reprezintă o normă cu caracter obligatoriu, stabilită și apărată de puterea de stat, care descrie sau reglează relații specifice între persoane și organizații, precum și măsurile punitive asupra celor care o încalcă, în Biserică, canonul reprezintă o regulă pastorală dată creștinilor de către autoritatea eclezială pentru a-i ajuta ca, în mod liber (voluntar), să rămână, să sporească sau să regăsească comuniunea cu Mântuitorul Hristos, regulă care a fost deja receptată prin consens de întreaga Biserică. Așadar, în limbajul teologic, termenul de canon a fost folosit încă din timpul apostolilor, inițial cu sensul de „îndreptar” al vieții creștinilor, care includea toate prevederile evanghelice și apostolice. Ulterior, din secolul al IV-lea, termenul de canon începe să fie consacrat pentru a defini hotărârile disciplinare ale sinoadelor, diferențiindu-se astfel de hotărârile dogmatice ale sinoadelor și evidențiindu-se ca reguli pastorale ale Bisericii în raport cu legile Statului. Totodată, în limbajul bisericesc, termenul de canon este folosit și pentru a identifica anumite realități ecleziale structurate după reguli precise. Astfel, din primele secole, lista cărților Bibliei acceptate de Biserică a fost definită prin expresia de „canon biblic”, iar catalogul sfinților a fost cunoscut ca fiind „canonul sfinților”. De asemenea, prin expresia de „canon euharistic” este identificată și partea principală a Sfintei Liturghii, și anume anaforaua liturgică. Din secolul al VII-lea un anumit tip de imn poetic alcătuit din 9 ode a fost identificat prin termenul de „canon”.

În limbajul teologic actual, însă, înțelesul cel mai mult folosit pentru termenul de canon este acela de regulă pastorală aprobată sinodal și receptată eclezial. De obicei, termenul este folosit la plural în expresia sfintele canoane sau sfintele și dumnezeieștile canoane pentru ca defini colecția de reguli pastorale a Bisericii. În concluzie, sfintele canoane sunt reguli pastorale aprobate de autoritatea bisericească, prin care se stabilește cum trebuie să acționeze și să se comporte membrii Bisericii în situații concrete, astfel încât acțiunea lor să fie apreciată pozitiv în raport cu credința religioasă și cu scopul final de a fi în comuniune cu Mântuitorul Iisus Hristos. Din punct de vedere al aplicabilității sfintelor canoane în Biserică, este evident că principiile fundamentale cuprinse în textul acestora sunt valabile oricând și oriunde, pentru toți cei care îl mărturisesc pe Hristos și doresc să fie în comuniune deplină cu El. Prin urmare, se poate afirma că sfintele canoane sunt oglinda modului practic în care au fost soluționate pastoral problemele vremii în Biserică prin emiterea de reguli pastorale receptate eclezial prin consens, iar fiecare reglementare ecleziastică (hotărâri sinodale și chiriarhale) din Biserică, din orice vreme, trebuie să evidențieze atât tradiția și doctrina canonică, cât și atitudinea pastoral-misionară a organismelor de autoritate eclezială. Așadar, putem afirma că teologia canonică este disciplina care se ocupă cu studiul sfintelor canoane și al modului practic în care acestea au fost conservate, transmise, comentate și sunt aplicate în Biserică.

Pe de altă parte, Statele, în care Biserica se organizează și funcționează, își dau legi prin care reglementează regimul juridic al libertății religioase și statutul comunităților religioase prezente pe teritoriul lor. Toate aceste legi specifice alcătuiesc o parte a dreptului fiecărui stat. La rândul său, în interferența cu autoritatea statală, Biserica a folosit dreptul creat de Stat pentru a făuri din el un auxiliar al lucrării sale mântuitoare. Rezultatul sintezei dintre nevoia Statului de a cunoaște și legifera regulile comunității ecleziale organizate pe teritoriul său, pe de o parte, și dorința Bisericii de a avea o relație de cooperare distinctă în spirit de respect reciproc cu autoritățile Statului unde este organizată și funcționează, pe de altă parte, a fost identificat ca o parte specifică a dreptului, în care este cuprinsă toată legislația statală referitoare la viața eclezială, fiind numit în epocă prin expresia „ius ecclesiasticum” („drept bisericesc”). Astfel, în perioada Imperiului roman, dreptul roman a influențat în mod consistent modul de organizare și funcționare a Bisericii, iar teologia canonică a exercitat la rândul ei o certă influență asupra dreptului roman. Rezultatele acestor interferențe dintre teologia canonică și dreptul roman sunt și astăzi vizibile atât în modul de organizare și funcționare a Bisericii, cât și în unele culturi juridice europene.

În prezent, însă, unii autori, pe baza existenței într-un stat a mai multor comunități religioase, creștine și necreștine, recunoscute sub o formă juridică, consideră că expresia de drept bisericesc este desuetă și propun ca alternativă expresia de drept religios. Astfel, în statele moderne, expresia de drept religios definește acea parte a dreptului care reglementează regimul juridic al libertății religioase și statutul comunităților religioase prezente pe teritoriul lor. Prin expresia de drept bisericesc poate fi definită acea parte a dreptului religios care face referire exclusiv la statutul juridic al Bisericii în respectivul stat. În funcție de modelul ales de către state pentru a reglementa statutul juridic al libertății religioase și al comunităților religioase, dreptul bisericesc poate fi identic cu dreptul religios sau poate fi ușor diferit.

Între cele două discipline, una teologică și cealaltă juridică, se manifestă o reală sinergie, concretizată în primul rând prin faptul că principiile canonice fundamentale pentru organizarea și funcționarea Bisericii pot influența legislația statelor în care Biserica este organizată și funcționează, iar legile statelor respective pot inspira modul de organizare a Bisericii sau pot limita prezența Bisericii în spațiul public. De asemenea, pe baza cuvintelor Mântuitorului (Matei 22, 21, Marcu 12, 17), între teologia canonică și dreptul bisericesc este și un raport de complementaritate concretizat în toate formele de organizare eclezială, care trebuie să respecte pe de o parte prevederile canonice, iar pe de altă parte legislația în vigoare în statutul respectiv. O formă concretă de manifestare a acestei complementarități sunt Statutele de organizare ale Bisericilor în diferite regiuni sau state. În concluzie, putem constata că între teologia canonică și dreptul bisericesc este o strânsă relație sinergică și, totodată, complementară.


Pr. lect. dr. Mihai BURLACU — Maica Domnului în opera Sf. Grigorie Palama (I)

Summary: The Mother of God in the writings of St Gregory Palamas (I)

The first biographies of the Mother of God appeared with the Holy Apostles, especially St. Luke in his Gospel. The main element in this source is the extraordinary character of St. Mary. She is not simple girl or woman, but an ascetic and virtuous person since early childhood. This idea was analysed by St. Gregory Palamas, and he concludes that St. Mary excelled in her spiritual life. Her excellence was determined by the grace of God and her virtues. Other biographies of the Mother of God are provided by the Church Fathers, the Synaxarion or the Kyrillian controversy about the Mother of God’s status. These are lost, but many later documents reiterate her biography and enrich church ritual. There are the well-known Akathist Hymn, the Paraklesis (Supplicatory Canon) to the Mother of God and other hymns dedicated to Her. We are talking about some early sources for her biography, revealed by a Oriental Manuscript in the collection of the British Museum, no. 601-614, with discontinous fragments. These sources are considered by experts and most patrologists as apocryphal literature. Published by prof. Remus Rus in Romanian, these texts concern the Mother of God, her childhood, Her angelophanies, Her Dormition and Resurrection, Her mediation and intercession between Her Son, the Incarnate God and humanity. Moreover, these texts describe other events related to Her life, or visions. St. Gregory Palamas shows in his writings that he knows about all these sources, and reiterates the information in his homilies on the Mother of God. The early life of the Mother of God is known from the writings of Theodorus of Magdala, who described the genealogy of the Holy Virgin, beginning with Adam and Eve, Abraham and his descendants, King David and her family. That biography is correlated with those of Eusebius of Caesarea for example, indicating that the source of Theodorus of Magdala has an old tradition as well as those of Palestine, which Eusebius took over. This genealogy is very important because it confirms all prophecies about the Messiah. The source speaks about the conception of St. Mary as in evangelical texts, from her virtous parents Joachim and Anne, and it is emphasized that this event occurred by the grace of God. Also the texts include some episodes in the early life of the Mother of God who stayed in the temple of Jerusalem, in the midst of a little community of heremits, dedicating her life to prayer and mystic union with God. This practice was widespread in their community. St. Gregorys said that hesychasm did not begin with the Athonite monks, but it is an universal practice of saints of all times in relation to God, through the unity of their soul and all it components with God. St. Gregory Palamas is recognized as the main theorist of hesychasm, practiced by Orthodox monks but older than them. Also, St. Gregory notes that it existed before the foundation of the Christian Church, in Old Testament times, in the practice of prophets or righteous. This practice has always existed because the first man Adam in Heaven prayed incessantly and had an eternal dialogue with God, because he was aware of God’s absolute presence. St. Gregory has a holistic view about unremitting prayer to God, and the life of the Mother of God proves the universality of the dialogue between man and God. Other sources talk about the vision of the Holy Virgin Mary about her Son, actually for His Passions. According to this tradition, she knew what would happen, and she knew that He would resurrect, came to His tomb and participated in this act. The Mother of God saw the Ressurection of her divine Son. Other sources speak about Her death which is described rather as Dormition. This event was understood as the resurrection of Mother of God, and she was assumed in the body into heaven. In the Dormition Feast, the Church celebrates the passing of the Mother of God from death to life.


Pr. Lect. Dr. Alin Cristian SCRIDON — Problema cultelor. Onisifor Ghibu – Un profesor uitat al istoriografiei ecleziale interbelice

Summary: The issue of religious denominations. Onisifor Ghibu – a forgotten teacher of interwar ecclesiastical historiography

Despite the modest progress made in church matters, one of the worst post-war Romanian political approaches was the case of the religious denominations. The issue of the unification of the Orthodox Church, the issue of the patrimony of the religious denominations, etc. – in brief, the rearrangement of the religious denominations in a new formula suitable to Bucharest. It was a sensitive case. This truth is also highlighted by the particularly late adoption – in our opinion – of the Law on religious denominations in 1928.

The debates on the Agrarian Law highlighted an indisputable historical truth. In Transylvania, the Orthodox Church was the poorest. The other denominations, especially the Roman Catholic Church, had built an impressive patrimony over the centuries, by donations received from kings, princes, and consolidated by the benefits it enjoyed. In any case, under Hungarian rule, these were always considered State assets, Crown assets, and the Church had only usufruct rights over this patrimony, and by no means ownership rights. That is why the Hungarian kings, as supreme patrons, exercised the most severe right of disposal and control over Catholic wealth through the responsible governments. However, in fact, the Roman Catholic Church did not have an empty treasury.

If the financial situation of the Orthodox Church in Transylvania was the expression of a Church that had been marginalised, persecuted for centuries, on this other side, in the Old Kingdom, things were slightly different. The secularisation of monastic wealth – a measure implemented by Cuza in 1863 –revealed, starting with the second half of the nineteenth century, a state-dependent Church. The State provided for upkeep expenses for the state church in its budget. The clergy received salaries from the State like any other state officials. In the unified Romania, the State budget had to further provide for the salary of the clergy and the upkeep of the Orthodox Church in the Old Kingdom, and Transylvania and Bessarabia – Bukovina had its own means – until the state of inequality and injustice in which the Orthodox Church had lived was set right.

Basically, the Romanian Orthodox Church, after the Great Union, expected urgent measures that would lead to financial equity. The Romanian Orthodox Church had natural expectations from the political class, which had the difficult mission of financially remedying imbalances that had been deeply rooted for hundreds of years.

Faced with these realities and pressures exerted from all sides, the Romanian Orthodox Church did not receive due financial attention, but “the State changed the old salary rules, adopting the principle that the Church has the duty to cover the expenses for the upkeep of the church, church staff and various establishments firstly from its own means. The Church must create these means, the State will supplement only the incomes of the clergy and church clerks. The necessary amounts will be made available, but only after a prior establishment of the needs and incomes of the constituent parts of the Church who requests aid (Law art. 19-21).

In addition to a poor patrimony, from which it could earn its income, the Romanian Orthodox Church became disenchanted with the great idealistic dream, finding – with astonishment – that the State would not only not urgently give property to it, but even the amounts received from the State for the denominations would be discriminatory.

Although in agreement with the times (the paper Politica religioasă și minoritară a României was completed by the author around the Vienna Award), Onisifor Ghibu astounds us to this day, as we discover a Transylvanian elite who not only researched (with evidence based on archival documents) the properties of the religious denominations in Transylvania, their pursuits, but also provided some intriguing conclusions. We will retain only a few snapshots from his vast work. For example, at one point, the Ministry of Labour gave several buildings to the Premonstratensians, and teacher Ghibu considers that this is evidence of Romania’s irremediable organic weakness, that they (the Hungarians, A/N) then knew how to exploit, in a very ingenious manner.

The manner in which the political class generally approach the matter of the religious minorities is explained by Ghibu, who frankly commits to paper some staggering phrases: “a tragic topicality”; “the Government is taking important measures, which I consider catastrophic”; “the recent events in Romania’s domestic and international politics have amply demonstrated how wrong the official minority policy has been”; “in such moments, we must speak openly and tell the entire truth, without sparing anyone, whoever they may be. Lying and cowardice must stop. The culprits must not only be exposed, but also punished in an exemplary manner”; “unfortunately, the new Romanian state founded in 1918 failed to establish a religious policy appropriate to its situation and its purpose, neither in terms of the Romanian element, nor in terms of the many, strong and heterogeneous minority elements”.

Despite the firm and unequivocal conclusions, Onisifor Ghibu still gives the Romanian political class mitigating circumstances (!), since, after the First World War, the Peace Conference imposed on Romania a special treatment regarding the treatment of ethnic minorities (…), on the other hand, it did not guarantee in any way that the Romanian minorities remaining under foreign dominions would also enjoy the same rights that we grant to the minorities within our country.

Onisifor Ghibu launches a second, very well emphasised set of circumstances. The political inability to start, support and complete the minimum objectives in question could only be the result of the work of the more or less improvised and ephemeral governments that succeeded at the helm of the country. And the policy promoted by the Romanians (regarding the minorities) was – according to Ghibu – the core of the failures of the unitary cohesion of the Romanian state.

Ghibu provides an interesting perspective and, in the matter of concluding the Concordat, it was not just a question of patrimony, as the Roman Catholic Church became even richer, and the Romanian Orthodox Church even poorer.

The Romanian state had its fears about the Roman Catholic Church (as well), which had proved to be a useful tool in the process of Magyarisation. In this context, the realities were much more serious. It was not only about money, but simply about detaching the Roman Catholic Church in Transylvania from the engine in Hungary.

After the 1920s, the Romanian state did not assert itself in solving neither the Catholic problem, nor the issue of the religious denominations. This for one reason only: they were afraid. The Bucharest political class preferred to give as much as possible only to have peace with the League of Nations and the Vatican. Instead, our neighbours were more unyielding.

What did Ghibu want? After visits to Rome in the early 1920s, and meetings with various Italian government ministers and Pope Benedict XV, the two Italian institutions understood very well that Onisifor Ghibu had not begun a crusade against the Papacy. As proof, on 17 April 1921, Pope Benedict XV agreed to cooperate with the Romanian government and accepted that the residence of the leaders of the monastic orders operating in Romania had to also be on the territory of the country.

In fact, the teacher from Cluj wanted nothing more than the Roman Catholic Church to fulfil only its evangelical, philanthropic, etc. missions. Regarding the other religious denominations, Ghibu expected from the Romanian political class of the interwar period coherent laws, which would place each Church (Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, etc.) in an honest relationship with the State.


Drd. Andrei-Emanuel RADU — Reflecții pedagogice în opera sociologului Ernest Bernea

Summary: Pedagogical reflections in the writings of sociologist Ernest Bernea

The writings of sociologist Ernest Bernea present a broad and thoroughly elaborated perspective on the pedagogical process. The permanent reference to the values of the human being, implicitly Christian values, makes his vision into a landmark for the good development of the educational act. The present study aims to capitalize on the ideas and pedagogical principles on which the thinking of the philosopher is based, and, at the same time, to present the way in which the educational process can achieve its purpose. In this sense, it is necessary to note the essential premise that must be based on any educational system, namely that man is a dichotomous being, composed of soul and body; education must address the complete man (body and soul), therefore, it must be physical, intellectual, moral, social etc. In the author’s view, the perfect model of education is the Christ the Saviour, which agrees with the Christian perspective, in which man was created as the image of the Archetype. Being a creature endowed with an immortal soul, man cannot find fulfilment in immanence, in the space of the created world, but, in order to be protected and achieve his purpose, he must open himself to the transcendent – to grow and be fulfilled in God, his creator. The existence of human dynamism must be recognized by any educational system, because only in this way will the mission be fulfilled. Education addresses not only the intellect, but also the soul, moral perfection, this being an indisputable reality in the philosophical works of Antiquity, which showed virtue as the most precious quality of man. Education, understood as a set of principles and methods, has a formative role of human improvement, but this goal can be achieved only if it must be an authentic knowledge of human being, as a unique being, free, open to eternity, open to an everlasting dialogue with God. The neglect of the functions of the soul determined a crisis of man and implicitly of society. Viewed only as matter and reason, man was integrated into a social system in which he has a purely utilitarian role, becoming a piece that fulfils a certain role, with collective implications. Without a recognition of human dignity, of his soul superiority, man remains confined within the boundaries of creation, identifying himself with matter. The challenge of education is to reveal to man the path he must follow in order to find out its meaning, to show him the primacy in the order of creation, having the mission to grasp the meaning of things, without being dominated by their illusory attraction. Morality is also indicated as a fundamental value of any educational system, because, through a continuous exercise of virtue, man remains untouched by the pleasures of this passing world, retaining his freedom. Thus, Ernest Bernea shows that pleasure drives man away from his purpose, from salvation, annihilating his freedom and turning him into an indiscreet subject. The exposition of these premises is continued by the presentation of the education institutions, these having, first of all, the role of shaping the human personality. The school must remain the promoter of human values, the author opposing the nonconformist tendencies that society tries to impose. The schooling period is the one during which the character of the future individual is formed, and, at the same time, it offers the child the possibility to know the work tools, becoming, through the activity he carries out, a creative factor. The training of the man is continued with the university studies, here the young individual being prepared to take his place in the society. The success of formal education will be determined by the way in which it will relate to the subjects to which it is addressed, therefore attention must be paid to each individual, pupil or student, taking into account the age and possibilities of understanding, so that the lesson can be taught, understood and the new information to remain settled in the memory. The acquisition of new knowledge will have to be done with discernment, the young individual having the obligation to pass through the filter of his own thinking what was taught to him, developing his critical thinking. Moreover, learning will not become a process of memorization, but of understanding information, through a continuous relation to the truth. Another element of the educational process is represented by the pedagogue, who fulfils not only the role of an instructor, but also the one of parent, because he will pursue the integral development of the student (intellectual, moral, physical etc.). Philosopher Ernest Bernea shows that, without vocation, the teacher will not fulfil his mission, because the pedagogical process involves the initiation and development of a relationship based on love and respect, the student being instilled with the desire to study and the joy of his intellectual, moral and physical development. The teacher’s responsibility will be to know the young person’s abilities and to help him capitalize on them, the material taught being in accordance with his possibilities of understanding. In this sense, it must be remembered that the philosopher proposes that teaching begin with the elementary, in this basis being integrated any new information. Another aspect developed refers to the examination, the purpose of the evaluation being to initiate a recapitulation, to ascertain the knowledge of every student, at a certain moment, and to cover the identified deficiencies. The last part of the study deals with the role of culture in the process of education, it being the one that shapes the human spirit. The training of the young man does not end after completing his university studies, but continues throughout his life, through individual study and a permanent contact with culture, this being the last expression of human aspirations. The love for culture, cultivated in school and university, will be fulfilled by the acquisition of perennial values, accepted by everyone as normative; man detaches himself from all that is transient and insignificant, opening himself to a life dominated by beauty, therefore, through culture there will be a spiritual leap, and, moreover, a rapprochement of man with God. Culture offers the chance to develop critical thinking, man discerning between beautiful and ugly, good and bad etc., always choosing what can transform him inwardly. Thus, reading will not only be a means of intellectual, but also spiritual growth, the challenge of each being to capitalize on what is studied. Along with reading, art – an expression of human genius – contributes to the structuring of an aesthetic sense and a superior moral character, being the one that reveals the meeting of human genius with the sublimity of creation.

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