NR. 1 – 2022

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2022.1

Pr. prof. dr. Vasile GORDON – Constantin Galeriu – părinte, profesor, educator

Summary: Constantin Galeriu – Father, Professor, Educator

To honour the memory of Reverend Professor Constantin Galeriu, we considered it appropriate to highlight his vocation as an Educator, within the teaching staff of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, because, as often happens in the cases of great personalities, together with the real biographical data, information that are far from the truth can emerge. Among these, one can hear the hasty opinion that Father Galeriu can be recognized as an exceptional priest, preacher and clergyman, but not as a teacher. Well, father Galeriu was not a “teacher” in the common sense of the word, a scholastic-didacticist man, but an educator, in the full sense of the word. Let us remember that the Latin “educo” means, originally, “to bring out of, to grow, to raise”, in the process of education, meaning to raise the disciple from the fog of ignorance and guide him on the bright paths of science and good manners. He took us, his former students and doctoral researchers, out of a certain state, let us call it a “commune” state, suffocated by scholastic routine, and raised us to the point where we ourselves were receptive and eager. The personality of Father Galeriu was always inspired by the Personality of the greatest Educator of humankind, Jesus Christ, about whom the academician Simion Mehedinți testifies: “There can be no question of exaggeration or hypocrisy when we say that Jesus was the first and the greatest educator of humankind and the true saviour of children” (See: Scrieri despre educație şi învățământ. Antologie, Ed. A. R., 1992, p. 189.). Describing the characteristics of an educator’s personality, Mehedinți lists some of them: parental love, the gift of penetrating the soul of the students, the ability to please, optimism, strength of character. But he also names some negative traits, which irrevocably exclude him from the ranks of educators: lack of love – contempt for pupils or students, ambition, vanity, selfishness and falsity or lying. Father Galeriu brought to the fore all the liturgical and spiritual experience, and in the sermon from the pulpit the wealth of the beauties of academic theology. In courses, in sermons, in books and studies, but also in the thousands of conversations with people from all social categories, we come across a multitude of “apophthegmatas”, one more beautiful than the other, which, along with the didactic and pastoral utility, can always constitute first-hand materials for an Anthology of maxims or proverbs, which can be branded as “Gallery”. That is why the end of the study includes some of the most famous wise sayings by Father Galeriu, accompanied by small comments.

Prof. dr. Carmen-Maria BOLOCAN – Satul românesc, expresie a omeniei românilor, ieri și astăzi

Summary: The Romanian Village, Expression of Romanian Kindness [Omenie], Yesterday and Today

In the study “The Romanian village, expression of the Romanian kindness, yesterday and today”, we aim to highlight some specific features of the Romanian space, without being pathetic, idealistic or with a very sharp critical sense. In the first part, we try to make a semantic analysis of the word “village”, then we offer brief historical overview of the evolution of its meaning. The village is the oldest form of human settlement, found in all geographical areas. Closely linked to the village in Romanian spirituality is the lexeme ‘omenie’ [kindness], which, like the word ‘dor’, has a particular and profound semantic charge. ‘Omenia’ is that state of generosity of a person in relation to other people, in relation to his fellow human beings. The Romanian understood and tried to penetrate with his mind and soul the ideal that lies in and must be attained by the human person, namely, his kindness. As for the model of kindness, it is embodied in the Romanian peasant and highlighted by his welcoming manner towards those who cross his threshold. As a simple visitor you come to understand and get used to the concept of unity and community. “Being kind” means fulfilling and reflecting on all the qualities of our being in relation to our fellow human beings. It thus becomes a kind of stopgap that prevents man from losing the human dignity with which he has been endowed by the Creator. In this sense, and in close connection with another term related to kindness, “hospitality”, Father Stăniloae remarks: “Romanian kindness is a general name for all honest, attentive, sincere, understanding relationships, devoid of thoughts of deceiving one’s fellow humans”. As for hospitality, the same author states that it represents “the manifestation of kindness towards strangers”. For the Romanian people, concludes Fr. Stăniloae, the opportunity to receive a stranger is “a real celebration”, as he, the Romanian, “smiles whenever he meets a person”. In the second chapter, “The Romanian village, home of national identity and culture”, we try to show that most spiritual, cultural and identity values have been nurtured and preserved in the village. In order to be more convincing in this respect, we invoke the eulogy given to the Romanian village by the poet Lucian Blaga, who claims that the village is “our unanimous nameless ancestor” or that “eternity was born in the village”. In the chapter “The Romanian village, between torment and decline” we note a fact that is both real and painful at the same time, regarding the prospects of the Romanian village in the third millennium. It is subject to massive depopulation in some areas and an obvious social, cultural and economic crisis. Although we live with nostalgia for the Romanian village, organized around the Church, full of Orthodox spirituality and Romanian kindness, we hope that it will be rebuilt and united in the person of today’s Romanian peasant, with effort and strong faith in the help of the Good Lord. Another aspect of the crisis facing the Romanian village today is the continuing tension between tradition and transition. In relating to tradition, the Romanian people have respected it with holiness and piety. On the contrary, transition means for them an unknown world, dominated by ‘having’, a blackness that envelops and frightens them, and they regard it with reticence and spiritual confusion! It is the Church, the mother of the traditional Romanian village, that has the opportunity to save this cultural heritage, the Romanian village. In this sense, our study is also intended to be, in addition to other published works, a light in awakening the conscience of the authentic, non-perverted Romanian people regarding their belonging to a village full of Orthodox spirituality and Romanian-ness.

Conf. dr. Adrian LEMENI – Puterea cuvântului viu și mărturisitor al părintelui Constantin Galeriu. Repere în promovarea dialogului dintre teologie și știință

Summary: The Power of the Living and Witnessing Word of Father Constantin Galeriu. Milestones in Promoting Dialogue between Theology and Science

In today’s networked society, structured by the logic of technical efficiency, the individual risks becoming a cog in an impersonal machine dominated by formalism and bureaucracy. Starting from this reality, evoking the power of Father Constantin Galeriu’s (1918-2003) living and witnessing words is not an easy task. In today’s computerised society, information overload alienates thought. Thought becomes a breaking news type of thought, and the power of thought that is formed in a state of gathering, through a concentrated and persevering effort of structured reflection in a gathered mind, is extinguished. In such a perspective, the word cannot be of depth, since it always remains on the surface.

In this situation, Father Galeriu’s observation that God through His Word addresses the depths of each one of us, being a communication at a deep level, only the devil prefers to remain on the surface, to consume our existence with nothingness, the mind being held in the depths of the passing age, instead of being lifted up to heaven, pondering the divine, is of great relevance. Father Constantine Galeriu was the confessor of a word with great power, with the living force to transform the minds and hearts of those who listened to him, including those numbed by the softness of the worldly spirit, by a certain self-sufficiency or by the opposition of certain ideological patterns of the times. The preaching of Father Galeriu’s word has a special apologetic relevance since he was both a witness in the academic theological environment, promoting a consistent dialogue between theology and science, and a witness in the life of the city. Both in his pastoral mission in the parish, and in his meetings with various prominent intellectuals, with specialists in various fields of research, in his actions with young people, Father Constantin Galeriu embodied by his presence and his word, an astonishing force of life, illustrating a living example of a confessor. The witnessing vocation of Father Galeriu’s word, also in the relationship between theology and science, derives from the fact that his witness was founded and oriented towards the Truth. It is particularly suggestive that Father Constantin Galeriu initiated and guided in 2001 a group of persons with specific competences in distinct fields, called Consciences in the loving service of Truth. This is a witnessing endeavour that crowns an impressive ministry over decades, not a formula for accommodation to the trends of today’s times. Along these lines, Father Constantin Galeriu’s commitment to promoting the dialogue between theology and science is based on a missionary, witnessing motivation to help those who engage in research and investigation in various fields to reach the Truth of Christ. Father Galeriu, in line with the Holy Fathers, shows a great capacity for comprehensiveness, a vocation to valorise the spiritual meanings of the whole of creation, a valorisation of the potential in science, art, culture, economics, but he imprints all of this with a witnessing spirit. The basis of his approach is love for the Truth of Christ, from whom I am and towards whom all things are. In his exemplary witness to this truth in the Holy Spirit, Father Galeriu overcomes both the reductionisms and polarities artificially imposed by the various ideologies, and the possible risks and confusions that are possible in a world marked by a mentality influenced by a Gnostic and syncretic spirit. Father Galeriu, as a witness of the Truth, confessed in the Spirit of Truth, goes beyond one-sided positions and considers that science, when it abandons its orientation towards the search for the profound and transcendent truth of the reality under investigation, abdicates its authentic vocation. Assuming a witnessing approach to Truth, in the dialogue between theology and science, Father Galeriu expresses the vocation of the specific mission of the Church: that of sanctifying the world. At the end of the Evening Dialogues, Father emphasizes the importance of witnessing and serving the Truth in a state of sacrifice and in love.

Pr. lect. dr. Roger CORESCIUC – Părintele Constantin Galeriu: model de teologhisire verticală și de trăire autentică

Summary: Father Constantin Galeriu: Model of a Vertical Way of Doing Theology and of an Authentic Living

The present study is intended to be a medallion dedicated to Father Constantin Galeriu. We did not set out to compile a purely scientific study dedicated to his life and activity, but we wanted to highlight some essential elements that characterize his theological thinking. For the age we live in, the need for role models is an imperative. These models are necessary all the more as they give theological testimony about the way man should relate to society, to the world in general, to God’s creation, to his fellow humans, to the Church. Sacrifice, as the central theme of Father Galeriu’s doctoral thesis, is a value that the contemporary world’s needs. For Father Galeriu, sacrifice is a total movement, of the whole human being, towards otherness. Without sacrifice, man closes himself in an autonomous universe, deprived of the perspective of the beauty of the Kingdom of God. The fact that Father Galeriu lived during the communist period is a definitive argument for demonstrating that Father Galeriu’s words are not simple rhetorical artifices, but rather the deepest testimony of a living experience of sacrifice. The communist period was characterized by the harshness of the means of persecution and it constituted a turning point in the subsequent approaches to moral issues. At that time, every Romanian who had a Christian conscience was faced with the drama of choosing between moral compromise and martyrdom. There was hardly a middle way, and if this middle way were found, it could only be a painful screen that tyrannically dimmed the free manifestations of consciousness. Father Galeriu chose the path of martyrdom, and this choice made his entire theology from the post-Decembrist period authentic and vertical. The quality of the theological word is given by its relation to experience. In an era in which there is a lot of talk, in which access to theological sources is within everyone’s reach, only the word grounded in action is the one that can have power, it is the one that can transfigure and offer man the true path to knowledge, to the mysteries of God. Lifeless theology is nonsense, a caricature, a pseudo-scientific way of proving the presence of God in creation, and therefore we hope that our little contribution will bring out the living and working word of Father Galeriu.

Pr. asist. dr. Silviu TUDOSE – Preotul și preoția în tradiție și actualitate – repere desprinse din publicistica teologică a părintelui profesor Dumitru Stăniloae

Summary: The Priest and the Priesthood in Tradition and Actuality – Landmarks Drawn from the Theological Publications of Reverend Professor Dumitru Stăniloae

One thing well known about Reverend Professor Dumitru Stăniloae is that he was interested not only in the field of Dogmatic Theology, but also in other equally important branches of theology, such as Spirituality or Patrology. In addition to his valuable translations of the works of the Holy Fathers, he also contributed to the enhancement of the mystagogy of Orthodox worship, through several articles, but especially through his reference work, Spirituality and Communion in the Orthodox Liturgy. He was one of the apologists of the interdisciplinary approach, by highlighting the perfect link between the teaching of faith and the worship of the Church, between which there must be a perfect similarity, based on the principle lex credendi – lex orandi. Especially in the early years of his academic activity, spent at the “Andreiana” Theological Academy in Sibiu, he also had a rich publishing activity, which can be found in the longest-running theological periodical in our country, “Telegraful Român”, which has appeared continuously since 1853. Since 1934, the young theologian from Sibiu received from the then Metropolitan of Transylvania, Nicolae Bălan, the direction of the publication, being not only director, but also editor or corrector, when necessary. He did not limit himself only to the administrative coordination of the newspaper, publishing no less than 450 articles, in which he dealt with various themes, with a rich theological content, but also apologetic and socio-cultural. Some of these articles, which focused on atheism and the tyranny of communism, were to be the main reasons for his condemnation when the communist regime was installed in our country after the Second World War. Many of Father Stăniloae’s contributions show his constant concern for a revitalisation of the pastoral thinking of Orthodox theology in the context of ever newer challenges from society. Without addressing all the themes of what we call Pastoral Theology as a branch of the theological disciplines, with an easily observable rhythmicity, the director of the Telegraph offers readers various reflections from which emerges the obvious concern he had for the pastoral mission of priests. Addressing both future ministers of the holy altars, i.e. students at the “Andreiana” Theological Academy, and those who had already been ordained and were serving in parishes, Father Stăniloae insistently developed the theme of the priest and the priesthood in his articles, even if they did not have an explicit subject, but were sometimes apologetic or of another kind. The effort that emerges from reading the articles is that confessed much later by the author, namely to achieve “an updating of Orthodoxy in the pastoral activity of the priesthood. For the need was starting to be felt for a new kind of pastoralism, one of initiative, of religious substance, but also of greater closeness to the needs of the people” (Collected Works, vol. I, p. 83). Starting from these considerations, the present study presents a systematization of the concept of the priest and the priesthood that Father Dumitru Stăniloae, throughout his 63 years, has presented in articles published in Sibiu. Of course, his thought cannot be presented in a fragmentary way, without taking into account his much more consistent and valuable theological work, well known to all, but in which what is presented in his publishing activity is constantly verified in practice. Thus, five themes of Pastoral Theology have been chosen: the dignity of the priestly ministry, the priest as liturgist, the spiritual life of the priest, the family of the priest and the role of the priest in social life. The reading of these, accompanied by the author’s comments, highlights the relevance of Father Stăniloae’s theological thought, even after such a temporary distance, and can constitute basic elements for the elaboration of a broader treatise on Pastoral Theology. The novelty of systematizing these reflections lies in highlighting the balance that must exist between the three constitutive dimensions of priestly ministry: sanctifying or sacramental activity, teaching or homiletic activity and pastoral or leadership activity. It is also noted that the “new” pastoral activity proposed by Father Stăniloae does not constitute a departure from the teaching of the Church and is not the fruit of an exacerbated priestly activism, but that the priest and the priesthood are seen in a profoundly theological and dogmatic way, pastoral work being not only a response to the challenges of society, but a permanent proclamation of the Gospel of the Saviour Christ. The priest who succeeds in having a living relationship with the Saviour Jesus Christ, feeling that “Christ is in him and works through him” (Collected Works, vol. I, p. 83) will succeed in developing a correct ecclesial conscience for the benefit of those he ministers to. Once again, the study demonstrates the profound relationship between Orthodox dogmatics and spirituality, on the one hand, and pastoral life, on the other, which must take up the dynamics and challenges of contemporary society. In this way, the priest succeeds not only in being a good connoisseur of the Gospel or of the works of the Holy Fathers, but will succeed, through his preaching, in making pastoral use of the historical events with which he is contemporary, through a balance between his priestly calling and the active role he must play in the life of the faithful, through a real, active and effective presence in society.

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