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Antisemitism in the Romanian Orthodox Church

augustin717

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A short article that should give one an idea of what the atmosphere in the Romanian Orthodox Church was in between the wars .
Fr. Staniloae who trans much of the Philokalia into Romanian and became known for his “personalize”, “theology of love” was also a rabid and disgusting antisemite as redactor in chief of the weekly “Telegraful Român”. Etween 1934-1946. Other than often praising Hitler and various acts of mob antisemitism in his editorials, he even called for “a final solution to the Jewery” . He used the word “jidănime” which is better translated as “kikedom”.

 

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The Romanian community here in town has a camp ground that the Wiesenthal Centre or some other such group ran an exposé on, claiming Iron Guard ideology is taught and celebrated there. Apparently there used to be a statue of Corneliu Zelea Codreanu on display which has now been replaced by one of Mihai Eminescu. If nothing else, Eminescu was at least a superior writer.

But I think these discussions and studies, however valid, are also moot. Every European church - Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant- up until the mid-20th century had more or less virulent anti-Semitism permeating its ethos.

In Romania at the time being considered, Jews were over-represented in certain sectors which were perceived as exploitative by the peasantry, especially finance, predatory lending, etc. They were also over-represented in communist movements of the time. Now, both could fairly be boiled down to necessity as the result of more primordial anti-Semitism which compartmentalized Jews into certain sectors of the economy. But at a time when education and rationality weren't so freely available, it was easier, and understandable, to scapegoat.

Overall, I'm not quite sure what you're trying to achieve with this post.
 

augustin717

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Staniloae wasn’t some unschooled schmuck to explain his Nazi support away by appeal to the lack of education of the Romanian peasantry. In fact virulent antisemitism was more the appanage of the intelligentsia and of the middle class than of the peasantry.
 

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Staniloae wasn’t some unschooled schmuck to explain his Nazi support away by appeal to the lack of education of the Romanian peasantry. In fact virulent antisemitism was more the appanage of the intelligentsia and of the middle class than of the peasantry.
Sure, but that doesn't really explain the justification for this topic, does it? I can share primary sources showing institutional anti-Semitism in the ranks of various national churches of all denominations of the time. Why the axe to grind against Romania, specifically?
 

augustin717

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Also, not all clergy shared Staniloae’s Jews. Two come to mind, that had an attitude that was humane and Christian : Archimandrite Iuliu Scriban and priest and writer Grigoriei Pișculescu alias Gala Galaction.
Staniloae’s views were partly sincere but also opportunistic since after the 4 years imprisonment he just as happily became an informant of the security services under the alias Ion Valeanu.
A colleague priest of his put it thirdly: a priest of great learning but of little character who was always looking for a winning horse to bet on.
 

augustin717

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Why Romania? Because it’s the case I know the best.
 

augustin717

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Also the ROC is notoriously dishonest about its past . Recently they barred any orthodox professor to take part in a research funded by Norway about the role of the Moldovan and Wallachian monasteries in the enslavement of the Rroma people. The Synod said that type of historical research has a patent anti-orthodox bias.
 

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Also the ROC is notoriously dishonest about its past . Recently they barred any orthodox professor to take part in a research funded by Norway about the role of the Moldovan and Wallachian monasteries in the enslavement of the Rroma people. The Synod said that type of historical research has a patent anti-orthodox bias.
There was widespread support for slavery among virtually all churches up until the 19th century or so. Holy scripture acknowledges a place in society for certain forms of slavery. It really wasn't until the post-Enlightenment era that some Protestant radicals and perhaps some of the Catholic hierarchy embraced abolitionism.

In the case of the Romania, slavery was a product of the feudal system. That's not to say the Church wasn't largely indifferent or cooperative, but it was a part of the mechanism, not the mechanism itself.

As for revisionism, after centuries of Ottoman and communist domination, it's a miracle that the Romanian Orthodox Church even exists today. I don't think the hierarchy can be faulted for not necessarily wanting academics dredging up negative aspects in church history that will stir up feelings harkening back to those periods of persecution.
 

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Ok. The Turks never tried to convert the Vlachs . The communists in Romania rarely eschewed themselves the rites of the church albeit in a more subdued fashion. I don’t see the miracle. The only persecution ( that aimed at the conversion of the Vlachs happened fir about 60 years under the Habsburgs and, before that, the Calvinist princes of Transylvania also tried to unite the Vlach Church with their own “Orthodox Church “ as the Reformed called itself.
 

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Ok. The Turks never tried to convert the Vlachs . The communists in Romania rarely eschewed themselves the rites of the church albeit in a more subdued fashion. I don’t see the miracle. The only persecution ( that aimed at the conversion of the Vlachs happened fir about 60 years under the Habsburgs and, before that, the Calvinist princes of Transylvania also tried to unite the Vlach Church with their own “Orthodox Church “ as the Reformed called itself.
I have no idea what history texts you've been consulting, and again, I have no idea what your agenda is here, but I'm going to recuse myself from any further involvement in this thread.
 

augustin717

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You’re welcome to do as you wish but I do have a better grasp on the Romanian Church’s history than the the somewhat attenuated hagiography you picked from some website. There was no ottoman persecution of Orthodoxy in the Danubian principalities . They enjoyed complete religious autonomy, the Ottomans defended the OC from Catholic proselytizing, the Turks didn’t even build mosques there.
 

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Faith: Higher Criticism
 

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Doesn’t invalidate the point that one of the greatest theologians of te past century-less cosmopolitan clergy and laity in Romania call him the greatest-wrote anti-Jewish and anti-Roma texts that mayas well have been penned by Goebbels . You’d think a life of studying theology, decades of liturgizing and communing with the mysteries would have effected some channge in his phronema.
And even though he’s not canonized as his past is barely buried and the canonization process would bring it to the surface in ways Pat. Daniel would hate because it would be bad PR, his name nonetheless, is stamped on many theological schools’ frontispieces.
 

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We should all stop criticizing so much, and calling out each other's sins and failings, and instead, showcase the positive, that can inspire others, including ourselves, to better ourselves and come closer to Christ, not further from Him.


 

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"I hate the Jews because they violate the Law. I hate the Synagogue because it hates the Law and the Prophets. It is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.”

Is this an accurate quote? If so, then the Romanians are not to be singled out. Whats the whole deal with the Romanians?

And today, who does religious society hate? Abortionists, LGBTQIAPK, leftists, liberals? What can we learn from the past so that we can apply it to our walk in love today?
 
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augustin717

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"I hate the Jews because they violate the Law. I hate the Synagogue because it hates the Law and the Prophets. It is the duty of all Christians to hate the Jews.”

Is this an accurate quote? If so, then the Romanians are not to be singled out. Whats the whole deal with the Romanians?

And today, who does religious society hate? Abortionists, LGBTQIAPK, leftists, liberals? What can we learn from the past so that we can apply it to our walk in love today?
No, that’s pretty vile too, but it’s essentially a religious argument and religious hatred has always existed. But Fr. Staniloae defended mob violence against Jews, called fir a final solution to Jewery and Gypsies, called and cheered for their deportation. Lauded Hitler and Mussolini.
 

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No, that’s pretty vile too, but it’s essentially a religious argument and religious hatred has always existed. But Fr. Staniloae defended mob violence against Jews, called fir a final solution to Jewery and Gypsies, called and cheered for their deportation. Lauded Hitler and Mussolini.
I don't know which particular axe you have to grind against the Romanian Church, but this is not a thread started in good faith.
 

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Other than often praising Hitler and various acts of mob antisemitism in his editorials, he even called for “a final solution to the Jewery”
I don't know whether this is true, but for me praising Hitler means praising antichrist and rejecting Christ - a very straight way down to hell. Supporting violence and oppression, even against bad guys, is also an evil thing to do. I am eastern orthodox and that's why I am saying this. It can't be otherwise.
 

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We should all stop criticizing so much, and calling out each other's sins and failings, and instead, showcase the positive, that can inspire others, including ourselves, to better ourselves and come closer to Christ, not further from Him.


There is nothing unchristian about decrying historical facts that show past members of our own community in unflattering light . To construe the Orthodox Church as a haven for illiberal, racist and antisemitic tendencies is to shirk the great responsibility to keep ourselves, the members of the Body of Christ, moral and upright.

Many here are well aware of the current trend of Christian Identitarianism roosting particularly comfortably within Orthodoxy. Identitarians pretend Christianity makes them superior to the surrounding heathens mored in idolatry and immorality. Identitarianism forbids self-criticism and scapegoats the outsider. Adherents vaunt white nationalism. Examples of an Orthodox taint include the excommunicated heretics Matthew Heimbach and his schismatic defrocked priest Matthew Raphael Johnson, PhD.

I say ‘particularly comfortably’ above because it is easy to identify cultural patterns native to many countries with an Orthodox spiritual heritage that despite all the preaching of the Gospel and all the hard work of ascetics within them, are notoriously rife with authoritarianism, antisemitism and racism, unapologetically. To let Romania off the hook is moral cowardice. Our generation has the task of handing down an Orthodox Church within which hypocrisy has not flourished. The major moral challenge of our day is confronting racism and abolishing it from our hearts. To assume that we are immune from it and don’t need to do any interior examination is foolhardy and dishonest.
 

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I don't know whether this is true, but for me praising Hitler means praising antichrist and rejecting Christ - a very straight way down to hell. Supporting violence and oppression, even against bad guys, is also an evil thing to do. I am eastern orthodox and that's why I am saying this. It can't be otherwise.
Speaking of Hitler, It would be interesting to get a video or text, as unbiased as possible, recounting the time Mount Athos interacted with Nazis...

 

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A lot of Americans on Athos.
 

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Ok. The Turks never tried to convert the Vlachs . The communists in Romania rarely eschewed themselves the rites of the church albeit in a more subdued fashion. I don’t see the miracle. The only persecution ( that aimed at the conversion of the Vlachs happened fir about 60 years under the Habsburgs and, before that, the Calvinist princes of Transylvania also tried to unite the Vlach Church with their own “Orthodox Church “ as the Reformed called itself.
What do you know about the Vlachs? From what I've read they were split equally among three nations. i know Greece received a third of the population.
There known in Greece by there sur names, but are well integrated.
 

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Our generation has the task of handing down an Orthodox Church
Our generation, like any other, has the task of begging the Lord not to be rejected by Him and His Church.
 

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It’s a complex topic, but I wasn’t mentioning them in the narrow sense the word has in Greek, but as a synonym for Romanians.
Without claiming to be a specialist or original, I think Vlach is an etnonym first given to the Latin speakers around the Danube /Moesia/ Dacia Mediterranea by the Germanic tribes north of the Danube. From those Germans the Slavs also took the word.
The Romanian ethno-genesis is also tied to the question of the Balkan Vlachs . Nationalistic Romanian historiography answered the question either by claiming those Vlachs came from N of Danube or saying the Romanian people ( the Vlachs speak Romanian dialects somewhat intelligible to any Romanian) ) formed on a continuous Area from the Carpathians to the Balkans.
i believe, without being original but certainly in minority at the moment , Romanians formed south of the Danube in what’s today Macedonia, roughly, inclose contact with the proto-Albanians with whom they share a lot of the pastoral vocabulary but also many other words both of Latin or Balkan origin. To this mix the Bulgarian Slavs were added later and then during the Bulgarian empire, some most likely settled north of the Danube.
 

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Our generation, like any other, has the task of begging the Lord not to be rejected by Him and His Church.
Where do you pick up this notion of ‘being rejected by the Lord and his Church’? That’s some strange soteriology and ecclesiology. Are you afraid you don’t measure up?
 

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Speaking of Hitler, It would be interesting to get a video or text, as unbiased as possible, recounting the time Mount Athos interacted with Nazis...

When I see this monk (he was a novice then) from Mount Athos, then it's clear for me that the Athonites are not racists, nether do they accept the racist heresy of Darwinism. Correct me if I am wrong.



Brother Pachomios from the Karakállou monastery, Mount Athos.
 

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When I see this monk (he was a novice then) from Mount Athos, then it's clear for me that the Athonites are not racists, nether do they accept the racist heresy of Darwinism. Correct me if I am wrong.



Brother Pachomios from the Karakállou monastery, Mount Athos.
Please describe the Racist Heresy of Darwinism. Do we have to reject science to be Christian? I beg to differ. There is one human race, Christ saves all, and genetic disparity is adaptive, literally trivial.
 

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Please describe the Racist Heresy of Darwinism.
Okay.

Darwin’s writing was racist, and discriminatory beliefs and practices follow directly from his theories. Although best known for On the Origin of Species, Darwin does not address human evolution and race until his 1871 book, The Descent of Man, in which Darwin applies his theories of natural selection to humans and introduces the idea of sexual selection. Here his white supremacism is revealed. Over the course of the book, Darwin describes Australians, Mongolians, Africans, Indians, South Americans, Polynesians, and even Eskimos as “savages:” It becomes clear that he considers every population that is not white and European to be savage. The word savage is disdainful, and Darwin constantly elevates white Europeans above the savages. Darwin explains that the “highest races and the lowest savages” differ in “moral disposition … and in intellect” (36). The idea that white people are more intelligent and moral persists throughout. At one point, Darwin says that savages have “low morality,” “insufficient powers of reasoning,” and “weak power of self-command” (97). Darwin’s specific consideration of intellectual capacities is especially alarming. He begins with animals: “No one supposes that one of the lower animals reflects whence he comes or whither he goes,—what is death or what is life, and so forth” (62). His remarks soon expand to humans. “How little can the hard-worked wife of a degraded Australian savage, who uses hardly any abstract words and cannot count above four, exert her self-consciousness, or reflect on the nature of her own existence” (62). Darwin writes that Australians are incapable of complex thought, and insinuates that they are akin to lower animals: His perspective on non-European races is incredibly prejudiced and absurd. Modern evolutionary scholars and teachers tend to ignore or omit that component of Darwin’s theory, but it hasn’t gone completely unnoticed. For example, Rutledge Dennis examined Darwin’s role in scientific racism for The Journal of Negro Education and found that in Darwin’s world view, “talent and virtue were features to be identified solely with Europeans” (243). White supremacy is clearly embedded in The Descent of Man, regardless of Darwin’s brilliance or the accuracy of the rest of his theory.

Darwin makes a disturbing link between his belief in white supremacy and his theory of natural selection. He justifies violent imperialism. “From the remotest times successful tribes have supplanted other tribes. … At the present day civilised nations are everywhere supplanting barbarous nations” (160). Darwin’s theory applies survival of the fittest to human races, suggesting that extermination of non-white races is a natural consequence of white Europeans being a superior and more successful race.

Not only does Darwin believe in white supremacy, he offers a biological explanation for it, namely that white people are further evolved. He writes that the “western nations of Europe… now so immeasurably surpass their former savage progenitors and stand at the summit of civilization” (178). Darwin imagines that Europeans are more advanced versions of the rest of the world. As previously mentioned, this purported superiority justified to Darwin the domination of inferior races by Europeans. As white Europeans “exterminate and replace” the world’s “savage races,” and as great apes go extinct, Darwin says that the gap between civilized man and his closest evolutionary ancestor will widen. The gap will eventually be between civilized man “and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as at present between the negro or Australian and the gorilla” (201). Read that last line again if you missed it: Darwin’s theory claims that Africans and Australians are more closely related to apes than Europeans are. The spectrum of organisms is a hierarchy here, with white Europeans at the top and apes at the bottom. In Darwin’s theory, colored people fall somewhere in between. Modern human is essentially restricted only to white Europeans, with all other races viewed as somehow sub-human.

Do we have to reject science to be Christian?
I am not talking about science, it est the facts that are proven by investigation, experiment. I am talking about the so-called "scientific philosophy", the theory of evolution which contradicts the God's revelation. So with a clear conscience, without any little fear of sinning against God's truth, I can confidently say "curse on Darwinism, which brought forth the satanic Hitlerism!"
 
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Where do you pick up
The first examples that came across: "do not reject me from Your presence" (Psalm 50); "reconcile and unite him (the penitent sinner) with Your Holy Church" (prayer in confession).
 
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