Saturday, September 1, 2007
History Byzantine Empire Crusades Ecumenical council Baptism of Kiev Great Schism By region Eastern Orthodox history Ukraine Christian history Asia Eastern Christian history Traditions Oriental Orthodoxy Coptic Orthodox Church Armenian Apostolic Church Syriac Christianity Assyrian Church of the East Eastern Orthodox Church Eastern Catholic Churches Liturgy and Worship Sign of the cross Divine Liturgy Iconography Asceticism Omophorion Theology Hesychasm - Icon Apophaticism - Filioque clause Miaphysitism - Monophysitism Nestorianism - Theosis - Theoria Phronema - Philokalia Praxis - Theotokos Hypostasis - Ousia Essence-Energies distinction The Romanian Orthodox Church (Biserica Ortodoxă Română in Romanian) is a autocephalous Eastern Orthodox church. A majority of Romanians (18,817,975, or 86.8% of the population, according to the 2002 census data) belong to it, as well as a significant number of Moldovans. Among all Orthodox Christians, the mere numbers of Romanians make the Romanian Orthodox Church second only to the Russian Orthodox Church in size.
Adherents of the Romanian Orthodox Church sometimes refer to it as Dreapta credinţă ("right/correct belief"; compare to Greek ὀρθὴ δόξα, "straight/correct belief"). Orthodox believers are also sometimes known as dreptcredincioşi or dreptmăritori creştini.
The Communist government, through the 1948 Law of Cults, made the Church tightly controlled by the state. Many monasteries were transformed into craft centers and priests were encouraged to learn other 'worldly' jobs.
The leadership of the Church had good relations with the Communist regime, but there were many members of the clergy who dissented: until 1963 as many as 2,500 individual priests and monks were arrested and further 2,000 monks were forced to give up the monastic life.
While the dissenters were sentenced to fairly long terms in prison, there were also many priests who collaborated and were informers for Securitate, the secret police. In 2001, the Romanian Orthodox Church tried unsuccessfully to change the law which allowed access to the archives of Securitate, in order to deny public access to the files of the priests who collaborated with the Securitate.
It was only after the 1989 Romanian Revolution, when Romania became a democracy, that the Church was freed from state control, although the state still provides clergy with their salaries.
The Communist regime
Romanians in the Republic of Moldova belonging to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia (Romanian: Mitropolia Basarabiei), having resisted Russification for 192 years (after the annexation of Bessarabia by the Russian Empire in 1812), are 2 million strong in 2004. In 2001 they won a landmark legal victory against the Government of the Republic of Moldova at the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights.
This means that despite current political issues, the Moldovan Metropolitan Church is now recognized as "the rightful successor" to the Metropolitan Church of Bessarabia and Hotin, which existed from 1918 to 1940 and was only brought by Joseph Stalin under the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church's Moscow patriarchate.
The Church in Moldova
In 1948 the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic was outlawed, and all its assets, including churches, were handed over to the Orthodox church. After the fall of the Communist regime, the Greek Catholics requested that their churches be returned, but so far only 16 of the 2600 claimed churches have been returned. There are reports that several old Greek Catholic churches were demolished while under the administration of the Orthodox Church .
Relationships with the Greek Catholic Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is the only Orthodox church using a Romance language in the divine liturgy.
Byzantine religious records also mention a unique form of bishoprics in the region - namely the chorepiscopate or countryside episcopate - as opposed to the better-known religious centers in large cities. This can possibly be compared to the "monastic bishops" of Ireland, who united the functions of countryside Abbot with that of district Bishop in another country that did not emphasize an urban episcopate, at least for a time.
The very word for "church" in Romanian, Biserică, is unique in Europe. It comes from Latin "basilica" (in turn a loanword from the Greek language βασιλικα - meaning "communications received from the king" and "the place where the Emperor administered justice"), rather than "ecclesia" (from Greek εκκλησία, from "those called out").
The Romanian Orthodox Church is organized as the Romanian Patriarchate. The highest hierarchical, canonical and dogmatical authority of the Romanian Orthodox Church is the Holy Synod.
There are six Metropolitanates and ten archbishoprics in Romania, and more than twelve thousand priests and deacons, servant fathers of ancient altars from parishes, monasteries and social centres. Almost 400 monasteries exist inside the country for some 3,500 monks and 5,000 nuns. Three Diasporan Metropolitanates and two Diasporan Bishoprics function outside Romania proper. As of 2004, there are, inside Romania, fifteen theological universities where more than ten thousand students (some of them from Bessarabia, Bukovina and Serbia benefiting from a few Romanian fellowships) currently study for a doctoral degree. More than 14,500 churches (traditionally named "lăcaşe de cult", or worshiping places) exist in Romania for the Romanian Orthodox believers. As of 2002, almost 1,000 of these were either in the process of being built or rebuilt.
Most Eastern Orthodox autocephalous churches, including the Romanian, maintain a respectful spiritual link to the Ecumenical Patriarch. Now in office is His All-Holiness Bartholomew I, Patriarch of Constantinople and New Rome.
Relations with other Orthodox jurisdictions
Rev. Dumitru Stăniloae (1903 - 1993) is ranked among the greatest Orthodox theologians of the 20th century, having written extensively in all major fields of Eastern Christian systematic theology. One of his other major achievements in theology is the 45-year-long comprehensive series on Orthodox spirituality known as the Romanian Philocaly, a collection of texts written by classical Byzantine writers, that he edited and translated from Greek.
Father Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie (1912 - 1998), elder of the Sihastria Monastery, is considered as one of the most representative spiritual fathers of contemporary Romanian Orthodox monastic spirituality.
See Patriarch of All Romania
Teoctist (1986-2007) List of Patriarchs
The chair is currently interim by His Eminence Daniel Ciobotea, following the death of Prea Fericitul (His Beatitude) Patriarch Teoctist, Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Ungro-Vlachia (Muntenia or Wallachia and Dobrogea or Dobrudja) and Patriarch of All of the Romanian Orthodox Church, Locum Tenens of Caesarea in Cappadocia.
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Daniel, Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina 
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Petru, Metropolitan of Bessarabia
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Laurenţiu Streza, Metropolitan of Transylvania, Locum Tenens Bishop/Vicar of Vârşeţ, Serbia 
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Bartolomeu Anania, Metropolitan of Cluj, Alba, Crişana and Maramureş
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Iosif, Archbishop of Paris and Metropolitan of France, Western and Southern Europe 
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Serafim, Metropolitan of Germany and Central Europe
Înalt Prea Sfinţitul (His Eminence) † Nicolae, The Most Reverend Archbishop of America and Canada Current leaders of the Church
Romanian National Salvation Cathedral
List of Patriarchs of All Romania
List of religious buildings in Romania
Byzantium after Byzantium See also
The Metropolitanate of Moldavia and Bucovina and the Archdiocese of Iaşi
Romanian Orthodox Church
(Romanian) Portal Ortodox Românesc
(Romanian)/(French)/(English) On Science and Faith: Romanian Orthodox Reflections
(Romanian) Romanian Patriarchs History
The Golia Monastery
Posted by iamyrfans at 8:12 AM