There are several aspects that could be encompassed in an investigation of the relationship between the Romanian Orthodox Church (ROC) and the state twenty years after the fall of Communism. In order to examine how the ROC perceived its newly found identity in the aftermath of the revolution, I proceed from the issue of public repentance in relation to the church’s collaboration with the Communist authorities. Furthermore, I analyze the issues surrounding church-state autonomy, which will provide further insights into the difficulties the church is facing in the democratic Romanian society. The efforts of the ROC theologians on the one hand, and of the secular intelligentsia on the other hand, to address the role of the church in society and politics in an informed way will be addressed in the following sections of this article. I will conclude by providing an insight into the interaction that exists between the ROC and other religious denominations in Romania and the implications these have for church’s presence as a factor of moral regeneration in today’s society.
The aim of this article is to describe the challenges that contemporary Romanian Orthodoxy is facing in the public arena and to show the ways in which its clergy and theologians address them. As I will suggest, the Orthodox Church struggles in present-day Romania with a discrepancy between the official prodemocratic statements of some of its clergy and the church’s anti-Western and negative perception of modernity. The underlying assumption I am bringing to this analysis is that such antinomy is related to the historical self-identity of the ROC as a national church endowed with special status and responsibilities toward the state and its people.
Political Identity of Post-1989 Romanian Society
The collapse of Communism in the countries of the Eastern bloc has been perceived as a great liberating event marking the beginning of …
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