Vol. XIX, Supplement No. 3, 2010

Vol. XIX, Supplement No. 3, 2010

Aspects of Confessional Diversity within the Romanian Space

Editors’ Note, p. 5
Identity and Identity Discourse within the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church      , p.

Ioana Mihaela Bonda, Le mariage des prętres, élément d'identité confessionnelle dans l’śuvre du métropolite Alexandru Şterca Şuluţiu, p. 11

Abstract - The marriage of priests, element of the confessional identity in the works of Metropolitan Alexandru Şterca Şuluţiu - After the foundation of the Greek-Catholic Metropolitan province of Făgăraş and Alba-Iulia, in 1853, through the Ecclesiam Christi Papal bull, a slight diversification can be noticed in the making of the identity disourse of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church. Against the Holy See's attempts to make the whole church homogenous, the romanian greek-catholic priests found various means of keeping intact the tradition, discipline and rites of their church. It was also the case of metropolitan Şuluţiu, who expressed his fears and points of view towards homogenity also in writing, in works still preserved in manuscripts. The issues in discussion referred mainly to the most controversial subjects among romanian and viennese priests, one of these being the right of priests to get married. The perseverance of the metropolitan in favour of this matter was explainable mainly because, for the romanian Greek-Catholic Church, the right of priests to get married was one of the main elements of its confessional identity.

Keywords - Greek-Catholic Church, eastern tradition, discipline, dogma, identity discourse, priests' marriage 


Cristian Barta, The Dogmatic Theology of Iosif Tarţa, p. 23

Abstract - The Dogmatic Theology of Iosif Tarţa - Iosif Tarţa, born in 1819, is an almost unknown Romanian Greek-Catholic theologian. In the manuscripts collection of the Cluj-Napoca Library of the Romanian Academy we found a manuscript written by him, entitled Dogmatic Theology (1860–1870). This is an university course that was taught by Tarţa at the Greek-Catholic Seminary of Blaj. Our study intends to present this text, offering both a general description and an analysis regarding the originality of Tarţa’s theological thinking and its sources. We also aim to analyze the theological content of the manuscript, comparing the elements specific to the Western Catholic theological environment with those closer to the Eastern tradition. We also intend to find out the arguments used by Tarţa in order to present the elements of faith that individualize the Catholic faith in relation to Orthodox theology. We also focus on the theological language of the manuscript. Finally, we study the theological and cultural level of the Romanian Greek-Catholic clergy, and also the circumstances that led to the constitution of fundamental theology in the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church.

Keywords - Theology, dogmatics, Romanian Greek-Catholic, textbook, theological language, Catholic faith, Greek tradition, confessional identity


Cristian Barta, Principles of Religion in the Thinking of Ioan Raţiu, p.33

Abstract  - Principles of Religion in the Thinking of Ioan Raţiu - Ioan Raţiu (1841–1900) was a very important Greek-Catholic canonist from the second half of the 19th century, the author of two dogmatic textbooks for the use of the students of the Greek-Catholic High Gymnasium of Blaj: Fundamental Principles of the Christian Religion (1872) and Fundamental or Dogmatic Principles of the Christian Religion (1872). Our study intends to present a general description of these books, an analysis regarding the originality of Raţiu’s theological thought, their sources and the theological language. The works of Ioan Raţiu show us the way the fundamental and dogmatic theology was articulated in the Romanian Greek Catholic Church in the years of the First Vatican Council, but also the level of theological and cultural education provided by the Superior Gymnasium of Blaj.

Keywords - Theology, dogmatics, Romanian Greek-Catholic, textbook, theological language, Catholic faith, Greek tradition, confessional identity.


Ana Victoria Sima, The Holy See's Interventions in the Acts and Decrees of the First Provincial Synods of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church, p. 45

Abstract - The Holy See’s Interventions in the Acts and Decrees of the First Provincial Synods of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church - The first Provincial Synods of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church, held in 1872, 1882 and 1900, had a foundational role in its institutional and constitutional organization. Remanded to the Holy See for revision and approval, the decrees of the first Provincial Synods were subjected to lengthy and, at times, profound revisions, which accounts for the compromise formula in which they were eventually promulgated. On one hand, they were envisaged to serve as a new canonical code, designed to supplant the older pravila or Romanian law, which Greek-Catholics in Transylvania still upheld even during the latter half of the nineteenth century. On the other hand, they were to provide the Metropolitan Province of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia with the general framework necessary for a unitary institutional, judicial, constitutional and disciplinary organization. The final outcome was the provision of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church with the first code of ecclesiastical laws and judicial procedure, which conferred upon it a unitary institutional and constitutional organization and ensured its special position amongst the Oriental Catholic Churches.

Keywords - Romanian Greek-Catholic Church, the Holy See, Synod, constitution, revision, judicial code.


Ciprian Ghişa, Elements of Confessional Identity in the Thinking of Victor Mihalyi of Apşa, p. 63

Abstract - Elements of Confessional Identity in the Thinking of Victor Mihalyi of Apşa - The sermon represents one of the most efficient method of religious education and of transmitting towards the believers the doctrinal, ideological and identity message promoted by a certain Church. Therefore, the analysis of the sermons’ contents could offer important clues to both historians and theologians. They offer interesting references for the cultural level of the clergy and for their theological education. In the collection of Romanian manuscripts of the Cluj-Napoca Library of the Romanian Academy, there are several collections of sermons from the second half of the 19th century. One of the most impressive series belonged to Victor Mihalyi of Apşa, former bishop of Lugoj and metropolitan bishop of Blaj. The present study aims to analyze the content of these sermons, the elements referring to the ideological and identity discourse promoted by the Greek-Catholic elite of the time, Victor Mihalyi being one of its most illustrious members.

Keywords - Confessional identity, Greek-Catholic, Victor Mihalyi of Apşa, sermon, discourse of identity, faith, Eastern tradition


Cecilia Cârja, A Controversial Ecclesiastical Identity in Hungary at the beginning of the 20th century. The Greek-Catholic Bishopric of Hajdúdorogh, p. 77

Abstract - A Controversial Ecclesiastical Identity in Hungary at the beginning of the 20th century: The Greek-Catholic Bishopric of Hajdúdorogh - Through the papal bull Christifideles graeci ritus, issued by Pope Pius X on 8 June 1912, a new Greek–Catholic bishopric, the Bishopric of Hajdúdorogh, came into being in Hungary. Its creation for the “Hungarian-speaking” Greek–Catholics was the outcome of a political project initiated by the Hungarian state in the second half of the 19th century. Apart from being just an ecclesiastical project, the idea of a new bishopric was assumed and supported by the Hungarian government who added a national dimension to it. The Hajdúdorogh issue should therefore be regarded from a multiple point of view, taking into account the ecclesiastical reality and the relations between Church and State in Austria-Hungary on the one hand, and the relations between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Holy See, on the other hand.

Keywords - Greek–Catholic Bishopric of Hajdúdorogh, ecclesiastical identity, Hungarian state, Holy See

Confessional Diversity. New Perspectives and Approaches, p. 85

Bogdan-Petru Maleon, A New Approach to the Context of the Great Schism, p.87

Abstract - A New Approach to the Context of the Great Schism - The European historiography has long debated on the origin of the Great Schism in 1054, but the complexity of the topic requires for new recurrences on its background. This research focuses on the relations between the Byzantine Empire and Roman episcopate in order to emphasize the specific evolution before the middle of the 11th century. A central objective of this approach is to reveal the differences between Eastern and Western contemporary perspectives regarding this crucial moment in the history of Christianity.    

Keywords - Church, Confessions, Byzantine Empire, Theocracy, Great Schism


Vasile Rus, Il monastero di Peri et Giovanni Corvino di Hunyad alla fine del Quattrocento, p.101

Abstract - The Peri Monastery and John Corvinus of Hunyadi in the Late 1300s - The patriarchal diploma issued in 1991 by patriarch Antonius of Constatinople in favor of the brothers Balitza and Drag Meşter from Maramureş (Marámaros), which gave the Peri monastery the rank of stravropighia, mentioned, among other rights, the right of the senior monks and of patrons Balitza and Drag to elect the monastery’s superior. Under these circumstances, it is strange that the 1494 Latin translation of the diploma included the addition cum omnibus hominibus parvis et magnis in dictis pertinentiis residentibus ac congregatis aperte. Thus, the superior could act like a bishop and had legal jurisdiction over his flock. The provision came in response to the document issued by Hungarian King Ladislaus (Wladislaw) II on 31 July 1491, whereby the king gave Ruthenian bishop John the right to collect the taxes from certain estates inhabited by Ruthenian priests and by coloni Graecam fidem tenentes. Truly surprising is the fact that the diploma in question indicated that the bishop resided in claustro beati Michaelis Archangeli in Marmarus. In point of fact, the true superior of the monastery demanded assistance from John Corvinus, the illegitimate son of King Matthias (Matia, Mátyás) Corvinus, who held vast estates in that county. John Corvinus managed to demonstrate that the document of King Wladislaw II Jagiello had been forged by Bishop John. However, the conflict over financial matters between the Ruthenian bishop and the Peri monastery came to an end only on 20 November 1498.

Keywords - Stavropighia, Peri, Maramureş, Chiesa greca, Matthias Corvinus, Constantinopoli


Ana Dumitran, Dumitru A. Vanca, Funeral Sermons within the Romanian Orthodox Environment in Transylvania During the Period of Calvinist Domination the Middle of the 16th Century-the End of the 17th Century, p.111

Abstract - Funeral Sermons Within the Romanian Orthodox Environment
in Transylvania During the Period of Calvinist Domination
(the Middle of the 16th Century–the End of the 17th Century)
- The practice of funeral sermons entered the Romanian environment sometime in the second half of the 16th century, as a result of the proselytism attempts against the Orthodox Church from Tran­ syl­ vania undertaken in the wake of the Protestant Reformation, and especially of Calvinism. During the second half of the 16th century and until the second half of the following one, the funeral discour­ se had apocalyptic connotations, plastic visions on the tortures of hell being the preferred theme, with death seen only a consequence of sin. At the end of the 17th century the funeral discourse is “confiscated” by archpriest Ioan Zoba of Vinţ. In his sermons, composed according to a Western–scholastic pattern, death is a manifestation of divine love and of Christian pedagogy, which brings to an end the lapse into sin. All these funeral sermons enjoyed a real success, demonstrated by their frequent and long reproduction in manuscript form, until late in the 19th century.

Keywords - apocalyptic, apocryphal Byzantine-Slavic texts, Calvinist missionarism, funeral sermons, Romanian Orthodox Church, Transylvania, Ioan Zoba, Last Judgement, Alba Iulia, The Golden Coffin


Mirela Popa-Andrei, The Forane Vicarage in the Romanian Greek Catholic Church. Historiographical and Theoretical Considerations, p.127

Abstract - The Forane Vicarage in the Romanian Greek Catholic Church:

Historiographical and Theoretical Considerations - This study proposes the discussion of certain matters concerning the institution of Greek-Catholic “vicariatus foraneus” of Transylvania. Accordingly, it is structured as follows: a review of the historiographical approaches, Romanian and foreign as well, taking particular account of the Catholic historiography dedicated to this subject; a clarification of terminology; the presentation of historiographical theories on the origin of this institution; the time and necessity of the foundation of “vicariatus foraneus” in the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church. Then, we followed the restoration of the competence and jurisdiction of foraneus vicars, but also the establishment of the hierarchical status of “vicariatus foraneus” across the Greek-Catholic Church institution of the nineteenth century.

Keywords - Romanian Greek Catholic Church, Forane Vicarage (vicariatus foraneus), chorbishop, archpriest, archdeacon, dean, bishop, origin, powers and jurisdiction


Marius Eppel, The Bishopric and the Bishopric Vicarage in the Orthodox Church of Transylvania in the Nineteenth Century, p.143

Abstract - The Bishopric and the Bishopric Vicarage in the Orthodox Church
of Transylvania in the Nineteenth Century
- The purpose of this study is to analyze the evolution of the bishopric during the 19th century. Also, we have covered an issue that concerned the theologians and the professors of Orthodox canon law: the bishopric vicars. In time, the vicar’s position in the Eastern and the Western Church underwent certain transformations. The bishopric of Transylvania interpreted this issue differently. The way the position of the vicar was understood did not reflect the practice in the Orthodox Church, being rather a close imitation of the Catholic practice. If the vicarage was seen from this perspective, it was truly an “alter ego” of the bishop.

Keywords - Orthodox Church, Transylvania, bishopric, bishopric vicars, constitutional provisions

Nicolae Bocşan, Andrei Şaguna and Bishop Calinic of Râmnic, p. 151

Abstract - Andrei Şaguna and Bishop Calinic of Râmnic - This study considers a relevant example of the co-operation between Andrei Şaguna and the Orthodox priests from the Danube countries, which reveals the ideas of the hierarch seated in Blaj regarding the unity of Orthodox Romanians, canon law and liturgical books. It also valorises the body of correspondence between Bishops Andrei Şaguna and Calinic of Vâlcea, who held neighbouring dioceses and maintained a constant co-operation through the exchange of books, vestments and ecclesiastical views.

Keywords - Andrei Şaguna; Bishop Calinic; Bishopric of Transylvania; Bishopric of Vâlcea; church printing press; Orthodox canon law.


Ion Cârja, Ecclesiastical Elites and Structures. The Organisation and Functioning of the Metropolitan Institution in the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church under the Pastorate of Metropolitan Ioan Vancea (1869–1892), p. 159

Abstract - Ecclesiastical Elites and Structures: The Organisation and Functioning - of the Metropolitan Institution in the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church under the Pastorate of Metropolitan Ioan Vancea (1869–1892). The institutional identity of the Metropolitan See in the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church underwent a continuous development after 1853, both at the level of institutional organisation and at the practical level of ecclesiastical life. Once the Metropolitan Province had been set up, a vast organisation process was under way, being carried on and augmented during the pastorate of the second Metropolitan, Ioan Vancea (1869–1892). The “fitting together” of the four bishoprics, on whose territories functioned such different traditions, customs, or legal norms as regards the relations with the Holy See and the other churches in Austria-Hungary, with state and society, into such a complex institutional construction entailed a difficult and meandering progress which had not had sufficient time to reach its destination in a period of only a decade and a half, the timespan between the setting up of the Metropolitan See and the beginning of Metropolitan Vancea’s pastorate. As regards the high priest, we may say that the manner in which he assumed his role contributed quite substantially to providing an identity to the institution he pastored. Both in the relations we might call “external”—with the Holy See, with the Hungarian Catholic Church, or with the State—and in the internal life of the Church, Vancea was the advocate of the Metropolitan idea, which he attempted to make most visible, prestigious and authoritative.

Keywords - Greek-Catholic Church, Metropolitan bishop, Ioan Vancea, ecclesiastical elites, jurisdiction


Liana Lăpădatu, Daniela Mârza, Problèmes concrets des écoles roumaines gréco-catholiques en Transylvanie (fin du XIXe–début du XXe siècle), p.175

Abstract - Actual Problems of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Education in Transylvania at the End of the 19th Century and the Beginning of the 20th century - The romanian education in Transylvanian during the modern era faced more difficulties than the state legislation tending to de-nationalize the romanians. Among those difficulties were the poverty of people, the frequent lack of agreement between the school teachers and the parish priests as headmasters, the claimed indiscipline of teachers or headmasters. This paper aims to reflect some of these problems.

Keywords - education, Transylvania, modern era, school, teachers, headmasters.


Gabriela Mircea, Le Sudarium de Băgău – sujet de discussions et interprétations historiques, p.183

Abstract - The Sudarium from Băgău—Reason for Several Historical Considerations and Interpretations - By means of the present study we draw attention upon the existence, for a certain period of time, in the spiritual dowry of the Greek-Catholic Church of Băgău (Alba County) of a modern Sudarium. The documentary research that followed the discovery offered little certain results, in the sense that the moment of its inclusion, as a second degree reliquary, to the spiritual patrimony of the mentioned holy place, has yet to be circumscribed. Altogether, the author did not venture to date the emission of the representation of the True Face of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (or, in Latin, Vera Effigies Sacri Vultus Domini nostri Jesu Christi) because she does not pos­ sess adequate research tools. She confined herself to describing and emphasizing its unprecedented presence in the endowment of a Romanian Greek-Catholic Church in Transylvania, as a sign of a real disposition to adopt at Băgău such a form of manifestation of Catholic piety, amongst the local believers. It is a singular case, as far as the author knows, at least in the Alba County, when an Object of Catholic Piety, brought from Rome, has been adored in a Romanian Greek Catholic Church, fact that reveals the disposition to European aperture of the respective community, the Engraved Icon functioning there, of course, until the dislocation of the Greek-Catholic Cult, in 1948, after which it has been kept by a local, till present time. The passing of such a Christian Adulation Object of Great Holiness through the institution of the Union National Museum of Alba Iulia was enough for the author of the present study to try to emphasize certain aspects related to the past of Băgău and its Romanian church, which present great historical interest and urge the monographic research of the town and the local Romanian religious community.

Keywords - Catholic Devotion, Greek Catholic Church, Church history, Church life, Sudarium, Xylograph


Oliviu Felecan, Monastic Names in the North-West of Transylvania. A Sociolinguistic and Cultural Perspective, p.193

Abstract - Monastic Names in the North-West of Transylvania: A Sociolinguistic and Cultural Perspective - Unlike family names, which are inherited from a generation to another, thus preexisting individually, or first names, chosen by parents, other blood-related members (grandparents, brothers, sisters) or relatives by law— godparents, according to region and customs, imposing a name in the monastic environment is a real and conscious event, full of meaning to the person’s destiny and features. While the newborn child cannot choose his Christian name, having no power to express his or her preference, the priest or the novice make sure that the consecrated name will be identical to that of a saint. A monk’s name is not chosen at random, or according to fashion, since it carries with it, together with its meaning, the power to build characters, to determine the bearer’s destiny, or to warn about its significance. The names received during adulthood are connected to the mission given by God, which is equivalent to the name change in the monastic environment. Even though they are not fully understood from an etymological point of view, not even by their bearers, or if their original meaning remains unknown to the laity, their spiritual meaning is overwhelmingly important to those who bear them.

Keywords - monastic names, Orthodox, Greek-Catholic, Roman-Catholic, sociolinguistics


Mihaela Grancea, L’Epitaphe de Săpânţa et la célébration de la vie, p.209

Abstract - The Săpânţa Epitaph and the Celebration of Life - An analysis of the Săpânţa phenomenon requires, first and foremost, an examination of the relation between tradition and innovation and of the manner in which this is manifested within the funereal space of the village. A further aspect to be considered is whether the cross from Săpânţa fulfils the role of a substitute for the deceased or is a mere prop for the life-celebrating epitaph; if the latter is the case, then it surely represents the innovative outcome of the efforts undertaken by Ion Stan Pătraş of Săpânţa. The technical and artistic complexity of the cross is entailed by its functions, by its iconography and epitaph, as explicit elements of the funereal monument, which reveal its character as a “canonical” fresco of the traditional world, the respect for the norm as a prerequisite for maintaining a balance in the community, as well as attitudes that are concurrently conditions for a safe passage to the Other World, to post-existence. Beyond too many words or stereotypes, these epitaphs express the paradoxical nature of Romanian popular beliefs in the face of death. Through death, an individual separates himself both from what he used to be as a social being in his private and family life and from the roles and functions he has fulfilled in the community. Death is that side of the human condition that man cannot elude, because, by its very nature, death conditions human existence and civilisation.

Keywords - Săpânţa, Stan Ioan Pătraş, The Merry Cemetery, iconography, the image of death, wooden crosses, wood painting, funeral tradition.


Ioan-Marius Bucur, Raluca Dima, The Romanian Orthodox Church in the Process of Romania's EU Accession (1990–2004), p.237

Abstract - The Romanian Orthodox Church in the Process of Romania’s EU Accession (1990–2004) - The present article intends to deal with the manner in which a religious actor, the Romanian Orthodox Church, elaborates and reproduces its public discourse in respect of the post-communist transition processes and of Romania’s accession to the European Union, using as a chronological background the period between 1990 and 2004. In the case of the post-communist transition we will focus on two dimensions: de-communization and democratization, the latter representing at the same time the core element of the European Union accession process.

Keywords - Romanian Orthodox Church, post-communist transition, EU accession, religious revival, discourse analysis

List of Authors, p.255

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