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Bishop recalls Communist persecution of Romanian Catholic Church

November 21, 2011

In an interview with Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Florentin Crihalmeanu of Cluj-Gherla--who was ordained a priest at 31 and a consecrated a bishop by Blessed John Paul II at 37--recalled Romanian Communists’ attempts to liquidate the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church.

In 1946, “the Communists convoked what they called a ‘synod’ of the clergy stating that it was a meeting to re-evaluate the union with Rome … They said that all Greek Catholics would now be Orthodox and decreed, on the 1st of December, that all Greek Catholic institutions and properties be dissolved and expropriated.”

Today, the Romanian Catholic Church has approximately 700,000 members in Romania--less than one-half of its 1940 population of 1.5 million.


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  • Posted by: Thomas429 - Nov. 21, 2011 10:51 PM ET USA

    Pray for all of us. Too many things are massing against all faiths. Things have been bad for Jews for a long time. It looks like Catholics in particular and christians in general aere next. But, it will eventually go badlky for every one.

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Nov. 21, 2011 5:34 PM ET USA

    We had best learn from Bishop Crihalmeanu and those like him: I fear we are about to enter an era every bit as bad as--and maybe worse than--what the Church in Romania experienced.