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CHURCH AND “SECURITATE”

Author: Stefan Brandusescu
April 20, 2009
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An unofficial translation of highlights of an article from www.ziare.com

THE CHURCH AND THE SECURITATE [ROMANIAN SECRET POLICE]:

FORGIVENESS COMES FROM FORGETFULNESS?

“I abhor people without character, sneaks, moles [and] informers, the ones with the least amount of character.  I have had important disappointments in my life, having been informed upon and betrayed by acquaintances and friends.”

Nicolae Steinhardt

“The most sinister category of people, truly unnatural monsters, are professional betrayers, peeping twitterers [and] informers who merit only contempt, disdain and to be spat on…No political regime can have a long run if it doesn’t have a solid base, and if it props itself up on moles, denunciation, lack of character and betrayal. Trust in people needs to be cultivated and not mistrust, enthusiasm and not fear, honour and not dishonour.”

These are the words of Nicolae Steinhardt, addressed to a friend who reported this to the Securitate regarding Steinhardt.  (The quote is from … ‘N. Steinhardt and the Paradox of Freedom’ written by George Ardeleanu - Humanitas, 2009).  N. Steinhardt dies in 1989, at the Rohia monastery… He became a monk years earlier after having been baptized in jail where he was held for political motives.

Informers were a current reality in Communist Romania and the preferred tool of the Securitate to strictly control the population.  Informers were present in all levels of society… [There were also] informers from the church, priests who explicitly betrayed the Sacrament of Confession in order to inform.  Thus, the description made by Steinhardt applies not only to the informer in general, but moreso here, since we speak of priests, and we compare them to what a man of the church should be, at least theoretically.

A STAIN ON THE CHURCHES’ CHEEK

And this is even more relevant in that the profile of the informer is made by an ‘inside man’ a man of the cloth… In this way Steinhardt’s accusations carry a legitimacy that show up as a stain on the churches’ cheek.

In the case of clerics collaborating with the Securitate, there is no room for excuses or for invoking extenuating circumstances.  The Church cannot invoke the fact that it wasn’t the institution, as much as some of its clerics, who collaborated with the Securitate.  When BOR [the Romanian Orthodox Church] undertook the political steps in order for it to alone administer the files of clerics who collaborated, to the detriment of CNSAS [the legal body set up for this], the institution called the Church, explicitly transformed the problem of collaborators onto its own self .

The silence of BOR, it’s incapacity to accept blame, its inability to make public confessions on this, and to officially say “we were wrong”, disqualifies it as a moral institution… BOR has directly inherited the dirt of the Securitate; it protects with holiness, the treasured arhives and files which attest to the moral cancer in which many of its clerics, from the highest level on, lived in during the last half century. Because of its daily silence, the Romanian Orthodox Church is, at present, the ‘regime’ that Steinhardt spoke of as the one which encourages “this horrible category of declassed people, low- lives, cretins in general, who have no common sense, no conscience, and who, most importantly, sellout their relatives, friends and acquaintances.”

WHO IS TO BLAME AND WHO IS NOT?

Suspicion festers, particularly as we have no explicit and public information regarding each priest who performs a religious service.  I am permitted to ask myself, and this every time I see an older priest, if he is not also one of that category of people “without character, sneaks, moles [and] informers, the ones with the least amount of character”.  In this way, generalized suspicion, without discernment, which was the principal psychological weapon of the communist political police, is continued in the outmost and this, because of the silence of BOR [the Romanian Orthodox Church].

To be sure, people are not as suspicious as before, simply because finding out who, how and why someone collaborated with the Securitate no longer interests them as much, now, 20 years after the Revolution.  They have other, more important problems which have to do with daily work and survival.  And it is on this precise point that BOR is counting: on the fact that forgiveness will come from people’s forgetfulness, and not from their conscience.  Things however, cannot stay like this simply because what BOR has to confess, continuously weighs heavily on the institution, and this regardless of the opinions of people.  The blame for having been an instrument in the hands of the political police [Securitate] and the shame brought on by continuing in the tradition of lies cannot evaporate in forgetfulness.  It will always be there in the form of bribery, struggles for power which inevitably bring on the control of those instruments of bribery, the public images full of hypocrisy, and being in the situation of not being [morally] capable of being a partner in the social dialogue of the times.

All this erodes, and will continue to erode the institution called the Church, and this in spite of the good intentions declared by the latter.  And no matter how forgetful people might be, BOR cannot ignore the acute lack of credibility its clerics have in public debates and indeed, in the eyes of each lay person.  In the best of cases, the faithful look beyond the priest and consider him to be a simple support mechanism in their relationship with God, thus deliberately choosing to ignore the man who officiates the divine services, and to perceive in him only the divine service which he officiates.  Public conscience thus annuls the importance of the priest in the religious service.  What is left of the respective priest is but a function, the role of “servant of the Church”, and the priest inevitably loses his particular human dimension.  Thus, the lay person’s relationship with God is now possible without the human help of the intermediary [ie the priest].  In effect, it becomes almost a direct relationship.

ELIMINATING THE INTERMEDIARY?

By practicing the Christian faith in this way, people get used to dealing directly with God, and not because they so choose, but because of BOR’s incapacity to purify its own public image.  In this way the Romanian Orthodox Church is sending its own faithful towards neo-protestant sects where the relationship with God is a direct one, every person individually, and where the religious service is minimal but where, most importantly, the pastor is usually a model for the respective community.

Therefore, the forgetfulness on which BOR is banking on, in order to cleanse its sins, is turning against the Church through its loss of faithful on a daily basis.  If it continues to not change its attitude regarding the betrayal of its own mission, and if it refuses to stop harming its own institutional body by not cutting away its cancerous cells, the Romanian Orthodox Church [will become], over the long term, a dead institution.

12 Comments to “CHURCH AND “SECURITATE””


  1. Administrator Says:

    This is the opinion of many faithful about their Orthodox Church in Romania. And we are asked to subject ourselves to that sick Church? Whatever for? And who is insisting that we betray the OCA?


  2. Administrator Says:

    Iata ce spun mai multi mireni despre Biserica lor Ortodoxa din Romania. Si noua ni se cere sa ne supunem acelei Biserici care este bolnava? Dece oare? Si cine insista ca sa tradam OCA-ul?


  3. Un Taranist Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    CARACTERUL SEMENILOR IESE IN EVIDENTA IN VREMURI DE RESTRISTE.
    Ca preotii erau in genere ofiteri in sutane, e un fapt de multi cunoscut. Ce nu se cunoaste e suferinta pricinuita, cat si numarul victimelor. Iertarea vine din pocainta, dar timpul pocaintei pentru unii a trecut de mult! Mult mai important e ca pe viitor sa nu mai repetam aceleasi greseli.
    In rest, Dumnezeu sa-i ierte!


  4. Un Om Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    Este foarte greu sa nu mai repetam aceleasi greseli.
    Pt ca acest comportament de turnator s-a incetatenit din pacate in caracterul multora. Ceea ce descria Steinhardt mai mult de 20 ani inainte, este descrierea perfecta a angajatului perfect din societatea romaneasca. Ca sunt firme private sau de stat(si mai ales in institutiile publice) aceasta este inca o forma de avansare, de castigare a unor prime sau stimulente grase. Am sperat ca odata cu plecarea dinozaurilor, lucrurile se vor schimba, dar este dificil pt ca au urmasi.ceea ce este mai trist este ca acum nu ii mai obliga nimeni la astfel de comprtamnet, o fac pur si simplu.


  5. Victor Pitigoi Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    POPII
    * Rau face Biserica, atunci cand ia apararea clerului in bloc,, cu formula: noi am fost cei prigoniti si turnati, nu cei care am turnat.
    * Cu asemenea formula demagogica, vai, biserica isi pierde credibilitatea.
    * Sunt de acord ca Biserica nu a turnat. Dar preotii -unii, nu toti, ati facut-o.
    * Biserica, in loc sa-i judece, le ia apararea in bloc.
    * Orice ar face Biserica, nu ma pot indoi de Biserica.
    * Dar preotii ma fac sa ma indoiesc de ei.
    * Nu de toti preotii. Numai de popi.


  6. Mihaela Cartis Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    Nu ma mai pot spovedi si ma sfasie neincrederea si suspiciunea in cler, domnule Brandusescu!
    Domnule Brandusescu,
    Concluzia dv. din ultimele doua paragrafe ale acestui articol mi-a relevat explicatia pentru care din 1989 si pana astazi nu m-am mai putut spovedi si ma sfasie neincrederea si suspiciunea in cler.

    De 20 de ani, desi am avut momente de cumpana in care am simtit acut nevoia de a-mi usura sufletul, nu am avut curajul sa ma mai spovedesc, iar de fiecare data cand ma aflu in biserica si vad ca slujba este oficiata de un preot din generatia mea, automat si involuntar ma surprind cum ma framanta aceeasi intrebare: “va fi fost colaborat si acesta cu Securitatea?”

    De 20 de ani ma intreb neincetat de ce am avut ghinionul sa ma nasc in aceasta tara si nu in Polonia, unde biserica a fost in anii comunismului un aliat si un adevarat salvator al sufletelor credinciosilor oprimati. Nici nu stiti ce dreptate aveti cand spuneti:
    “Daca va alege in continuare sa nu isi schimbe atitudinea fata de propriile tradari ale misiunii sale si daca nu va opera taierea in carnea vie a…”


  7. Gelu Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    Reinnoirea spirituala a natiei romane va avea loc!!!

    Atunci cind se vor face publice listele cu securistii si informatorii imbracati in sutane, care au trimis la moarte si in puscarii, enoriasii veniti sa se spovedeasca vor fi aruncati ca, pe o masea stricata din rindul slujitorilor BOR si a celorlalte culte religioase. Si cind ca, o urmare fireasca a acestei curatenii se va renunta de a se mai impartasi credinciosii din marile centre urbane cu vinul de impartasanie in care au fost dizolvate droguri speciale, puse la punct in laboratoarele Securitatii in anii dictaturii proletare. De ce credeti oare ca, Arhiva Securitatii este tinuta inca la pastrare in segmentele ei cele mai importante, memorie magnetica, microfilme si cele 100.000 de dosare puse la pastrat de catre Basescu? Cele mai mari grozavii si nelegiuiri puse la cale si infaptuite de slujbasii satanei pe acest pamint, lucratorii criminali de Securitate sunt inchise in aceasta Arhiva, si multe din metodele prin care populatia a fost tinuta sub ascultare sunt folosite si astazi, chiar daca dupa Dec. 89 s-a renuntat la propaganda de partid si securistii, informatorii si activistii s-au vopsit la repezeala in democrati.


  8. Gino Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    Gelutule, Bisericile, Manastirile sunt pline de Credinciosi. Cu ce drept si in numele cui vorbesti de “REINOIRE SPIRITUALA” tu dezinformezi, discretitezi, calomni…
    Gelutule, Manastirile, Bisericile sunt pline de Credinciosi. Tu incerci doar sa:
    -discreditez Sf. BOR
    -dezinformezu
    -duci in eroare credinciosi
    Sau poate crezi ca, toti care merg la Sfintele Biserici si Manastiri, toti credinciosii sunt prosti, inculti, analfabeti? Daca dor 5% din ce spui ar fi adevarat, poporul roman credincios ar tine cont.

    Poporul Roman stie, are in memorie:
    -miile de preoti si calugari care au fost inchisi,torturati, ucisi de securisti comunisti
    -miile de simpli credinciosi care au fost inchisi,torturati, ucisi de securisti comunisti
    -sutele de Biserici si Manastiri care au fost demolate, distruse de securisti comunisti
    -interdictia de a intra in Biserici si Manastiri a persoanelor care faceau parte din militia, armata, invatamant, etc?

    Poporul Roman are toate aceste Adevaruri in Memorie, si nu un “COMENTARIU”, al tau le poate duce in eroare.


  9. Gelu Says:

    Comentarii la http://www.ziare.com despre acest articol

    Gino, tu intelegi ceeace citesti??

    Nu biserica e de vina c-a fost penetrata de Securitate. Dar fara alungarea din rindul BOR a popilor, securistii si informatorii Securitatii, aceasta va continua sa spele mintile credinciosilor la fel ca si pina acum. Iar faptul ca, mii de preoti si calugari au fost omoriti de Securitate in anii dictaturii proletare asta nu-i albeste si nu-i indreptateste pe fostii si actualii securisti si informatori imbracati in sutane care nefiind deconspirati sa isi continue activitatea subversiva si-n anii economiei de piata.


  10. hirbea Says:

    Publicarea dosarelor tuturor colaboratorilor securităţii ar fi tratamentul care ar scoate societatea românească din această patologică stare de suspiciune, în care şi suspicios şi suspectat pot fi victime la fel de inocente, de dar nu se doreşte. Nu se doreşte că poate, asta ar aduce o stare de înţelegere şi comuniune a românescului care nu ne-ar mai face atât de vulnerabili încă, în faţa atotprezentei puteri a securităţii care-şi continuă lucrarea şi acum, la aproape 20 de ani de “libertate”. Noi, societatea civilă trebuie să facem ceva în acest sens, însă suntem ori prea neştiutori ori prea speriaţi. Poate Dumnezeu ne va asculta rugile şi se va îndura de noi, că prea ne suntem învrăjbiţi unii altora.


  11. Dan Says:

    Biserica nu este bolnava! … Prin Biserica se intelege Trupul lui Hristos in lume, care nu poate fi bolnav. Dimensiunea aceasta este in permanenta eludata sau ignorata din discursurile si comentariile datatorilor cu parerea… Prin astfel de atitudini nu rezolvati niciunul problema, ci discreditati Biserica in defavoarea Capului ei, care este Hristos, caci oamenii se indeparteaza DE HRISTOS NU DE BISERICA. Nu mai tratati Biserica drept o institutie sociala, caci aceasta este cea mai neimportanta caracteristica a ei. Langa Hristos a fost si Iuda… Domnul l-a avertizat si i-a dat o sansa, dar nu i-a indepartat pe ceilelti si nici nu i-a pornit impotriva lui. L-a lasat sa decida pentru el… si a decis. Purificarile pe care le propuneti nu vor rezolva nimic, ci vor amplifica ura, facand pe Hristos sa sufere.

    Daca [cineva] nu se mai poate spovedi din acest motiv, inseamna ca nu s-a spovedit niciodata cu gandul ca o face la Hristos. Haideti sa incepem sa traim Ortodoxia cu frumusetea ei teologica, sa redescoperim autenticitatea lucrarii lui Hristos in lume si sa nu mai manipulam trecutul, sa suspectam prezentul si sa ghicim viitorul. Asta nu este ORTODOXIE. Discursul [aici] nu se deosebeste de cel al Martorilor lui Yehova sau oricaror sectari cu privire la Biserica, pentru ca nu sunt in Biserica…. Au doar impresia.


  12. Administrator Says:

    Argumentul d-vstra este valabil intrucat Biserica inca exista de 2,000 de ani, in ciuda tuturor tentativelor umane si diavolesti de a o distruge! Hristos protejeaza Biserica Lui! Dar aceasta nu inseamna ca nu s-au mai vazut credinciosi, diaconi, preoti si toate categoriile de Episcopi, care au contribuit la denigrarea Bisericii. Din momentul cand Biserica este compusa si din oameni este, prin definitie, bolnava! Omul este cazut, denaturat si unii se apropie de Biserica, cautand salvare, iar altii cauta glorii lumesti. Din pacate, prea multi care pasesc pragul Bisericii cauta totul, numai mantuire sufleteasca nu cauta. Si daca acestia conduc, trebuie pusi de o parte. Rolul ierarhilor, clerului si al laicilor este sa pastram Biserica lui Hristos curata, nepatata, si necompromisa. Cand actiunile conducatorilor sunt strigatoare la cer de nedrepte si necurate, atunci Hristos ne indeamna sa facem ceva curatenie. Biserica ortodoxa nu este mosia nici unui prelat sau imparat si nu este nici o institutie democrata condusa de o majoritate de clerici sau/si laici. Biserica este de sus, dar aici, pe pamant, Biserica lui Hristos este compusa din ierarhi, cler si laici, lucrand impreuna, fiecare cu raspunderea sa. Cand unii gresesc altii sunt nevoiti sa corijeze si asa se face de 2,000 de ani. Daca Biserica lui Hristos nu ar fi fost condusa in acest fel, atunci ea nu ar fi putut exista in aceasta lume, asa mult timp.


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PRAYER OF ST. EPHREM

O Lord and Master of my life,
leave me not with the spirit of laziness,
of despair, of domination, or idle words.

Rather, give me, your servant, the spirit of integrity,
of humility, of patience, and of love.

Thus, Lord, grant me the wisdom to see my own faults,
and not condemn my brother;

for You are blessed, now and forever. Amen.



OUR FATHER

Our Father, who are in heaven,
hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day
our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those
who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.