Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania

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('''The History of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania''')
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== '''The History of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania''' ==
 
  
''by Fr. Anthimos''
 
 
At 1859, the provinces of Walachia and Moldavia elected Alexandru Ion Cuza as their common
 
prince. The same year saw the organization of the Romanian Orthodox Church as a distinct
 
jurisdiction within the Orthodox Church. At 1861 the two provinces united and were recognized by
 
the sultan as the autonomous Principality of Romania with its capital at Bucharest. In 1881,
 
Romania declared itself a kingdom, and at 1885 the Ecumenical Patriarch recognized the
 
establishment of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
 
At 1924, the Gregorian Calendar was introduced into the Romanian Church by Metropolitan Miron
 
(Cristea) (1868-1939), a former Uniate bishop. This innovation was received without protest by the
 
majority of the Romanian people. However, the Holy Skete of Prokrov in northern Moldavia
 
remained faithful to the church calendar under the leadership of its abbot, Hieromonk Glicherie
 
(Tanase). A few other priests and faithful also refused to recognize the innovation. In 1925, the
 
New Calendarist Patriarch of Constantinople recognized the autocephaly of the New Calendar
 
Church of Romania, and Metropolitan Miron assumed the title of Patriarch.
 
 
'''The Romanian Old Calendarists'''
 
 
At November, 1925, Father Glicherie, together with Hierodeacon David (Bidascu), fled to the
 
Coroi Ravine, away from the authorities, where they built a hut in which to spend the winter. In the
 
spring, they built a larger hut with a chapel. In time, they were joined by Hieromonk Pamvu and
 
two of his brothers, Veniamin and Galaction. In 1926 and 1929, Patriarch Miron ordered the
 
celebration of Pascha according to the papal paschalion. This raised a storm of protest in parts of
 
Romania. Metropolitan Gurias of Bessarabia openly criticized the Patriarch, and defied the order
 
by directing the churches of his Metropolis to celebrate Pascha according to the Orthodox
 
Paschalion. The White Russian clergy of Bucharest also ignored the order and continued to follow
 
the Orthodox Paschalion. Many Romanians were shocked by this latest innovation, and began to
 
return to the Genuine Orthodox Church. By 1936, Hieromonk Glicherie had built about forty
 
churches, mostly in Moldavia.
 
    At 1936, Father Glicherie went to Athens with Father Ghimnazie and another monk from the
 
Holy Mountain in the hope that the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece would consecrate one of
 
the Athonite Fathers as a bishop for the Romanians. The Romanian fathers were expelled by the
 
civil authorities before this could take place.
 
    At 1935, Patriarch Miron decided to stamp out the Genuine Orthodox Church. He ordered the
 
destruction of all the Genuine Orthodox churches and the imprisonment of all the Genuine
 
Orthodox clergy. During the persecution of 1935-1939, at least ten Genuine Orthodox priests were
 
either killed or died in prison. Among the martyrs were Hieromonk Pambo, founder of the
 
Monastery of Dobru, and Fathers Gideon and Theophan. Also among the holy martyrs who
 
suffered during this persecution were five lay people who were thrown into the well of the
 
Monastery of Cucova and drowned. Hieromonk Glicherie was also arrested and taken to
 
Bucharest, where he was sentenced to death. The Most Holy Theotokos intervened to save his
 
life, appearing to the wife of the Minister of Justice and ordering her to intercede with her husband
 
for Hieromonk Glicherie. Her husband, heeding his wife's advice, commuted the death sentence
 
and ordered Father Glicherie imprisoned in a monastery. By 1940, the government and New
 
Calendarists had destroyed all the churches and monasteries of the Genuine Orthodox.
 
At the outbreak of the war, Father Glicherie and other confessors of the Faith were set free, and
 
fled into the forests. There they lived lives of incredible hardship, not once lighting a fire for fear of
 
revealing their location. Father Glicherie's companion during this time of suffering was
 
Hierodeacon David (Bidascu).
 
After the war, there began the labour of rebuilding the destroyed churches and monasteries. In
 
1947, Hieromonk Glicherie began building the Slatioara Monastery, dedicated to the Holy
 
Transfiguration of our Saviour. The same year, the women's Monastery of the Holy Protection was
 
founded at Bradatel Neamt by Abbess Macariai. By 1950, almost all of the destroyed churches
 
and monasteries had been rebuilt. However, the Genuine Orthodox Church was still without
 
bishops and suffering from a desperate shortage of priests.
 
It was decided to offer the leadership of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania to the retired
 
Metropolitan Galaction (Codrun), who had protested the adoption of the new calendar. In 1955,
 
Metropolitan Galaction accepted the offer and returned to the Genuine Orthodox Church. He
 
made a public confession of faith announcing his return, and was accordingly "deposed" on Great
 
and Holy Thursday, 1955, by the New Calendarists under Patriarch Justinian (Miron Cristea died).
 
Metropolitan Galaction immediately went to Moldavia, where he ordained a number of priests and
 
deacons. Very soon, though, he was arrested. Later he was allowed to live under house arrest in
 
Bucharest, and performed ordinations secretly at night. Soon, however, Metropolitan Galaction
 
saw that his strength was waning. He was the only Genuine Orthodox bishop in Romania, and it
 
was impossible to obtain the cooperation of bishops from outside the country because of the
 
persecution of the state. Like a number of other Genuine Orthodox hierarchs of the twentieth
 
century, Metropolitan Galaction was forced to the extraordinary measure of consecrating a bishop
 
single-handedly, so that his flock would not be left orphaned.
 
 
'''First Synod'''
 
 
At 1956, Metropolitan Galaction consecrated Father Evloghie (Ota) to the episcopate, and then
 
the two of them together consecrated Father Meftodie (Marinache). Afterwards, these three
 
consecrated Hieromonk Glicherie to the episcopate. Metropolitan Galaction designated Bishop
 
Glicherie as his successor. The Metropolitan, worn out by age and by his suffering for the Faith,
 
reposed in 1957 and is buried at the Monastery of Slatioara.
 
At 1967, Hieromonk Pahomie rebuilt the Monastery of the Holy Trinity at Cucova, which had been
 
razed by the government at 1937.
 
At 1968, Archimandrite Silvestru (Onofrei), the secretary of the Holy Synod, was consecrated to
 
the episcopate.
 
During all these years, the struggle of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania was largely
 
unknown to the outside world. At 1977, the Romanian priest Father Basil Patracescu visited the
 
Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina, which was then under the Synod of Archbishop Auxentios.
 
Later that year the abbot of the monastery, Archimandrite Cyprian, visited the Genuine Orthodox
 
Church of Romania. On his return to Greece, he reported favourably on the Romanians, and the
 
GOC of Greece conceived a desire to establish relations with the GOC of Romania.
 
Also at 1977, Bishop Meftodie reposed, and Archimandrite Cozma (Lostun) was consecrated by
 
Metropolitan Glicherie and Bishop Silvestru.
 
At 1977-1978, Bishop Cozma rebuilt the Slatioara Monastery, which had been destroyed by the
 
Communists. (The Cyprianite Bishop Ambrose denies that the monastery was ever destroyed, but
 
says a new wing was added at this time.)
 
At 1979, Bishop Evloghie reposed, and in 1981 Archimandrite Dimosten (Ionita) was
 
conscrecrated to the episcopate. The Holy Synod then consisted of Metropolitan Glicherie, Bishop
 
Silvestru, Bishop Cozma, and Bishop Dimosten.
 
At 1983, Metropolitan Glicherie fell seriously ill. No locum tenens was appointed, but Bishop
 
Silvestru took upon himself the leadership of the Holy Synod.
 
'''
 
Relations with Greek old calendar synod'''
 
 
    Also at 1983, Metropolitan Kallistos of Corinth withdrew from his synod over ecclesiological
 
issues, and Metropolitan Antonios became the president of the Kallistite synod. At 1984 the
 
Kallistites joined the Synod of Metropolitan Gerontios, but Metropolitan Cyprian of Oropos and Fili
 
refused to accept this, and founded a new synod together with Bishop Giovanni of Sardinia. Due
 
to his close personal ties with the Romanians, Metropolitan Cyprian managed to remain in
 
communion with them, and thus the GOC of Romania came to be in communion with the
 
Cyprianite synod. Bishop Cozma at this time protested against the false Cyprianite ecclesiology.
 
The same year, there was a serious fire, which was probably set by government agents, at the
 
Slatioara Monastery. The fire burst out in five or six places, and several military incendiary phials
 
were found in the monastic cells. Bishops Silvestru and Dimosten accused Bishop Cozma of
 
deliberately setting the fire and of being an agent of the Securitate (the Communist secret police).
 
It is believed that these bishops falsely accused Bishop Cozma because he strongly held fast to
 
the strict ecclesiology and would not allow any change of ecclesiology through communion with
 
the Greek "Synod in Resistance" under Cyprian of Oropos and Fili. Bishop Cozma was cast out of
 
the monastery and was not allowed to communicate with Metropolitan Glicherie, who was guarded
 
by Hieromonks Vlasie, Benjamin and Mireas. It is thought by some that Hieromonk Vlasie, the
 
brother of a Securitate agent, may have been one of the real conspirators in the fire. This Father
 
Vlasie was soon elected as the new abbot of Slatioara. Bishop Cozma wrote to the Communist
 
dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu, asking for an investigation of the fire at Slatioara. The authorities
 
never responded to his letter, and never conducted any formal investigation.
 
 
'''Against cyprianites and persecutions'''
 
 
    To combat the errors of the Cyprianites, Bishop Cozma founded the National Committee for the
 
Salvation of the Genuine Orthodox Christians of Romania. The Communist authorities exiled
 
Bishop Cozma to his native village, Negru Sarului. The other bishops and clergymen began to
 
spread malicious lies, rumors and slanders against the person of Bishop Cozma. This they did, in
 
hope that all of the Romanian Old Calendarists would turn against him. Metropolitan Glicherie,
 
who was very ill, wanted to speak to his spiritual son, Bishop Cozma, but the other clergymen
 
would not let any meetings take place.
 
At 1985, Bishop Cozma sent a letter to the Synod of the TOC (Cyprianite) of Romania, saying: "If
 
even one of the 200 accusations against me is proven to be true, please depose me. I want to
 
meet with my spiritual father, the Metropolitan!" The Synod did not reply to any of Bishop Cozma's
 
letters. Bishop Cozma was again investigated by the communist police and he was confined to his
 
native village.
 
That same year, the blessed Metropolitan Glicherie reposed in the Lord, and Bishop Silvestru was
 
elected as Metropolitan of the GOC of Romania. Also at this time, Metropolitan Silvestru and
 
Bishop Dimosten consecrated Abbot Vlasie to the episcopate. Archimandrite Ghenadie was
 
consecrated to the episcopate either at this time or in 1988. Bishop Cozma wrote to the new
 
Metropolitan Silvestru, accusing him of changing the ecclesiology of the church, of secluding
 
Metropolitan Glicherie and not informing him of the false ecclesiology of the Cyprianites, and of
 
not permitting Bishop Cozma to meet with Metropolitan Glicherie. Metropolitan Silvestru did not
 
reply to Bishop Cozma's letter.
 
From 1985 to 1989, Bishop Cozma was forcefully isolated by the demands of the government and
 
was constantly spied on by the communist secret police. He could not contact any other Genuine
 
Orthodox Christian Church in the world, although he endlessly tried. Bishop Cozma began
 
constructing the Monastery of Dornelor on his parents' property in his native village.
 
'''
 
Freedom and a new church'''
 
 
At 1989, the Communist regime collapsed, and the dictator Ceaucescu and his wife were
 
executed. At 1990, the Synod under Metropolitan Silvestru was officially legalized and recognized
 
as a religious association by the Court of Suceava. Metropolitan Silvestru died at 1992, and
 
Bishop Vlasie was elected as Metropolitan. Also, Archimandrite Pahomie was consecrated to the
 
episcopate.
 
Bishop Cosmas announced that he was severing every ecclesiastical communion with the Synod
 
under Metropolitan Vlasie, due to the fact that they had accepted the heretical ecclesiology of the
 
Cyprianites and because they ware spreading malicious lies and slander against the person of
 
Bishop Cozma. In an article, he wrote that he refused to recognize the church under Vlasie, of
 
which he wrote, "The Genuine Orthodox Church in which I worked and served all my life is not this
 
one. Everything has changed. They have introduced a new ecclesiology and modernism has
 
entered in among them. I however, continue to be the Bishop of the same Genuine Orthodox
 
Church as my spiritual father, Metropolitan Glicherie, not this new "Church" that Vlasie has now
 
created. Vlasie and his company are a shame to Orthodoxy!"
 
At 1992, the Synod of Metropolitan Vlasie consecrated Sofronie (Otel) and Teodosie (Scutaru) to
 
the episcopate. The same year, Metropolitan Vlasie accepted Archimandrite Anthony of Lavardac,
 
France, into his jurisdiction. Soon, however, Anthony left Vlasie to join the Serbian Patriarchate. At
 
1995, Bishop Cozma fell seriously ill. Construction on the catholicon of the Dornelor Monastery
 
ceased. At 1997, the relics of Blessed Metropolitan Glicherie were exhumed and found to be
 
fragrant. The Synod under Vlasie officially glorified Metropolitan Glicherie as a saint. Though he
 
was ill and unable to walk, Bishop Cozma travelled to the Slatioara Monastery to venerate the
 
wonderworking relics of his spiritual father. But Metropolitan Vlasie dismissed Bishop Cozma and
 
would not permit him to enter the monastery grounds.
 
 
'''Under the omophor of GOC of Greece'''
 
 
By the decision of the Holy Synod of the Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece and the Diaspora,
 
lead by the Holy President, Metropolitan kyr Kallinikos, Metropolitan of Ftiotidos, from 5/25/2001 in
 
Athens, the people of Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania were received under the omophorion
 
of Genuine Orthodox Church of Greece.  His Eminence, Metropolitan Christopher of Mesogaia
 
was elected Exarch for Romania. Also, His Eminence Cosmas was received as a retired bishop.
 
Metropolitan Cozma reposed in the Lord February 17th / March 2, 2002 + Memory Eternal.
 
 
 
 
'''Sources:'''
 
'Bichir, Anthim, priest - "Relation between Genuine Orthodox Church of Romania and Genuine
 
Orthodox Church of Greece" - 2001
 
Boldewskul, Victor. "The Old Calendar Church of Romania: Short History," Orthodox Life, Volume
 
42, No. 5 (Oct.-Nov. 1992), pages 11-17.
 
Cyprian, Metropolitan of Oropos and Fili. "The True Orthodox Christians of Romania," The
 
Orthodox Word, Volume 18, No. 1 (102) (Jan.-Feb. 1982), pages 5-15. (Compiled and translated
 
from the Greek by Archimandrite [now Archbishop] Chrysostomos.)
 
Stavrianos, L.S. The Balkans Since 1453 (New York: Rinehart & Company, Inc., 1958).
 
Vlasie, Metropolitan. The Life of the Holy Hierarch and Confessor Glicherie of Romania.
 
Translated by Sorin Comanescu and Protodeacon Gheorghe Balaban. (Etna, CA: Center for
 
Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, 1999).
 
  
 
== Hierarchs ==
 
== Hierarchs ==

Revision as of 09:08, March 30, 2006

The Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Romania or True Orthodox Church of Romania is a resistance, Old Calendarist Synod, which broke off from the Church of Romania, holding that the latter is in error.

Contents

History

In 1924, Metropolitan Miron of the Church of Romania introduced the New Calendar or Gregorian Calendar for use in the Church. Although most Romanians accepted the change, the skete of the Protection of the Theotokos in northern Moldavia rejected it. In 1925, led by Hieromonk Glicherie (now glorified as Saint Glicherie of Romania, the Confessor), some of the bretheren left the skete to start an Old Calendarist group. When, in 1926 and 1929, Metropolitan Miron ordered Pascha to be celebrated according to the Gregorian Paschalion, a large number of faithful, including Russian émigrés, left the Church of Romania and joined the Old Calendarists. By 1936, the Old Calendarists numbered about 40 parishes.

Beginning in 1935, at the order of Metropolitan Miron, the Old Calendarists were under persecution. By 1940, ten Old Calendar priests had died in prison, and all of the Old Calendar churches had been shut down. St. Glicherie was imprisoned, but, at the beginning of World War II, released.

By 1950, with the release of St. Glicherie and other priests from prison, many of the churches were rebuilt. In 1955, Metropolitan Galaktion left the Church of Romania to serve the Old Calendarists, and immediately ordained new priests and deacons. However, he was soon arrested, and placed under house arrest in Bucharest. While under house arrest, Metropolitan Galaktion ordained three other bishops, including St. Glicherie, who, in 1957, became the head of the True Orthodox Church of Romania.



Hierarchs

  • Metropolitan Vlasie, President of the Synod of the True Orthodox Church of Romania
  • Bishop Demosten of Neamts
  • Bishop Ghenadie of Bacau
  • Bishop Pahomie of Vrancea
  • Bishop Teodosie of Brasov
  • Bishop Sofronie of Suceava
  • Bishop Iosif of Botosani
  • Bishop Flavian of Ilfov

Status

Since 1980, the Synod has been in full communion with the True Orthodox Church of Greece (so-called "Callistoites"), then with the Holy Synod in Resistance (so-called "Cyprianites"). The Synod also maintains communion with the Old Calendar Orthodox Church of Bulgaria (Bishop Photii), and with the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia (ROCOR).

Demographics

Headquartered in the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Slatioara, Moldavia, the Synod has 130 parishes, 13 monasteries, 21 sketes, and publishes two periodicals, Traditia Ortodoxa and Catacombele Ortodoxiei. 160 priests (including 115 married priests and 45 hieromonks) and 26 deacons serve the Synod's faithful. 290 monks and 510 nuns dwell in the monasteries.

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