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The passing of a modern confessor of the faith

jmbejdl

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All,

As nobody has posted this yet, I thought I would share the following announcement that came to me with regards to the death of Fr. Gheorghe Calciu Dumitreasa, who suffered 21 years of imprisonment and torture under the communist regime in Romania:

On Tuesday, November 21, 2006, at about 1:10 pm (EST), the well known and
much loved Fr. Gheorghe Calciu Dumitreasa passed away, thus meeting his Creator
and Master that he so faithfully served for more than 40 years, as a priest,
teacher and missioner-priest, in Romania and USA. May his memory be eternal.

?United prayer is very powerful, and who take part in common prayer with other
believers feel the effect, both spiritual and material.?

Fr. Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa left his native Romania on August 5, one year
after his release from prison, and arrived in this country on August 9, together
with his Presbytera Adriana and his 19-year old son Andrei? This marked the end
of several very difficult chapters of his life--including 21 years in
prison--and through God's Providence it opens the way for him to cultivate a new
territory in the free world? May God grant him to find good soil on which he can
bring forth abundant fruit?

As a young man Fr? Georghe was arrested for anti-communist activities and held
in one of Romania's worst prisons where, for various periods of time, he was
kept in chains.

He vowed to God that if he survived his ordeal, he would dedicate his life to
the service of Jesus Christ and His Church. True to his promise, he was ordained
in 1973 and became a beloved priest who was cherished especially by the youth.
He taught French and New Testament studies at the Orthodox seminary in
Bucharest, but was dismissed from his teaching post on May 23, 1978 for speaking
out in support of religious freedom and human right s, and given an
administrative post? The following year he was arrested and sentenced to 10
years. During his internment there was constant concern for his safety,
particularly when for long periods no news of him was available even to his
wife. Atone time it was feared that he had died in prison. When his wife
eventually was allowed to visit him she found him in critical health, having
been severely mistreated. Fr? George himself tells of an incident which took
place during this time:

"In l981, when I was in the hospital jail of Jilava, while I was praying and
crossing myself one of the guards rushed into my cell and cruelly struck my
hands, hands that did not resist this brutality, but even in pain, by my will,
they kept on making the same holy sign. I heard that when this news reached the
Free World, some people...started to cross themselves as a sign of solidarity
with me, even Protestants and atheists..."

On August 20, 1984, he was released, possibly because of pressure from the West,
after serving just over half of his sentence. But his freedom proved illusory.
Fr. George wrote of the measures taken by the authorities to isolate him and his
family from contact with ether Romanians:

"For months, there have been three militiamen stationed day and night in the
entrance hall of the block where we life, another three at one end of the
street, and another three at the other end? They check anyone who comes into the
entrance hall and accompany them to the apartment they wish to visit; if [they
say] ,they are coming to our home their names are recorded in a register, and,
with the exception of relatives and some very close friends, they are forbidden
to come up. Three Securitate cars, each with two or three police in them, are
stationed day and night near our building, and when we go out into town--even
for bread or milk--at least six of them come with us, shoulder to shoulder, so
that we don?t exchange a word with anyone. People who innocently greet us have
their identities checked, and are threatened and forbidden to have any contact
with us ?"

On October 6, 1984, Fr. George was unfrocked by a decision of the Bucharest
Diocesan Consistory because of "his disobedience and insubordination to the
ecclesiastical authority and his infringing the Regulations in force in the
Orthodox theological schools." That same day, party members living in his area
of town were called up to inform the Securirate if they saw him out in the
street in his clerical dress, In April, 1985, the Holy Synod rejected his appeal
against this decision.

After several months of intolerable living conditions, Fr. George and his family
applied to emigrate. Against all hope, their request was granted. Fr. George
acknowledged that his arrival in the West was in the first place testimony to
the power of prayer, and he wanted to thank all who had been praying for him and
working on his behalf. His first thoughts, however, were for those who were left
behind in Romania; there were still many people there who were suffering and who
needed the same help as he had received. Speaking a few months later in
Washington D.C., he said:

'...We are now witnessing an evident return to God, and this is happening in
countries where faith is persecuted. Today the communist countries are giving
the world new martyrs for Christ...

"Maybe from these countries, from those martyrs a new wave of faith will rise, a
humble wave, without the triumphalism of U.S, broadcasts. Oppressed and often
locked in the catacombs of faith, we understand our responsibility as Christians
to lie in our being persistent in prayer and in apostolic teaching and communion
(Acts 2:42) and in the steadfast preaching of Jesus Christ. If the masters of
this world command us to be silent. we have another Master Who said: ?Go,
therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that
I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the
world' (Matt. 28).'

Source: (Keston News, Nos. 228, 232, and 241)
VeÅŸnica pomenire. Memory eternal.

James
 
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