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Author Topic: RC and EO in Romania warring over 2,200 Catholic churches taken by Communists  (Read 1466 times) Average Rating: 0
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lubeltri
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« on: September 19, 2007, 11:14:03 AM »

Two churches at war in the land of Dracula

CHRIS STEPHEN IN BUZAS, TRANSYLVANIA

WHEN Dumitru Butuza's wife died earlier this year, the Transylvanian farmer went to his village priest to ask that the church bell be rung, a tradition in this part of Romania. The priest refused: he is an Orthodox Christian, while Mr Butuza is a Catholic.

Mr Butuza's reaction was to take matters into his own hands. Determined to honour his wife, he went to the church belfry and pushed the button that activates the bells. The priest responded by calling the police. Officers arrived, bundled Mr Butuza, 71, into a squad car and then threw him in jail, charging him with burglary.

He was later released without charge, but the incident is one of hundreds in an undeclared war between members of the Catholic and Orthodox churches raging through this region of forests and mountains.

The cause of the unrest is simple. When the Communists seized power in Romania after the Second World War, they banned Catholicism, then transferred more than 2,000 Catholic churches to Orthodox control. Now the Catholics want those churches back, but in all but a handful of cases, the Orthodox church has said no.

Catholics have been trying to reclaim their churches ever since the Communists were overthrown in the 1989 revolution.

A restitution law passed in 2002 has allowed Romanians to reclaim property confiscated by the Communists, most notably the so-called Castle Dracula at Bran, the country's top tourist spot, which was handed back earlier this year to a member of the Austrian Habsburg family.

But in apparent deference to the wishes of the Orthodox Church, a powerful force in today's Romania, the 2002 law made an exception for Catholic churches. As a result, a total of 2,200 Catholic properties remain in Orthodox hands.

continued http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=1490632007
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lubeltri
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« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2007, 11:35:54 AM »

It would be nice if the Catholic and Orthodox communities in a lot of these villages and towns could share the churches.

I wonder if the new Patriarch, rumored to be ecumenical, will soften the church's position against returning the properties confiscated by the Communists.
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sdcheung
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« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2007, 11:51:50 AM »

It would be nice if the Catholic and Orthodox communities in a lot of these villages and towns could share the churches.

I wonder if the new Patriarch, rumored to be ecumenical, will soften the church's position against returning the properties confiscated by the Communists.

it would also be nice if the sell-out Romanians who became Vatican Religionized moved to italy where they are more welcome. 
What What WHAAT.. an Patriarch of Romania who is Ecumenical ? say it ain't so... Then i have no faith in orthodoxy in Romania then. Too bad..
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 11:53:06 AM by sdcheung » Logged


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« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2007, 12:07:30 PM »

In the Mitropolia of Banat, the Greek Catholics received all their churches back, not long after 1990, at Metropolitan Nicolae's request.
In Transylvania, where the bulk of the Greek-Catholics are, things vary, but even there, they got back their cathedrals (Oradea, Cluj, Blaj, Baia Mare) and, generally, in those villages where they form the majority, they also got back the parish churches. There are still problems in those villages that used to be Eastern Catholic before 1948 but where, after 1990, most of the people stayed Orthodox, only a minority reverting to Greek-Catholicism. And now, that minority want the church back, leaving the majority without other place to worship in.

Please avoid use of the U word.  Cleveland, GM
« Last Edit: September 19, 2007, 02:02:38 PM by cleveland » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2007, 12:20:04 PM »

Thank you for this perspective, augustin717

Now things begin to make sense.
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2007, 01:05:49 PM »

There are still problems in those villages that used to be Uniate before 1948 but where, after 1990, most of the people stayed Orthodox, only a minority reverting to Greek-Catholicism. And now, that minority want the church back, leaving the majority without other place to worship in.

Well I hope I'm not betraying my Romanian-Catholic brethren by saying this, but I actually agree with your line of reasoning, augustin717. If there was a Catholic majority in 1948, but an Orthodox majority today, then the Catholics shouldn't just automatically assume that their pre-1948 churches are still theirs.

God bless,
Peter.

P.S. I believe they would prefer not to be called "Uniate".
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2007, 01:10:04 PM »

What What WHAAT.. an Patriarch of Romania who is Ecumenical ? say it ain't so... Then i have no faith in orthodoxy in Romania then. Too bad..

I don't know but I've been told that Patriarch Teoctist was also considered ecumenical.
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2007, 02:03:26 PM »

P.S. I believe they would prefer not to be called "Uniate". 

Right - and not calling them by the U-word is also board policy on OC.net.
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