Archbishop Theodosius, called to answer for “rebellion” and “indiscipline”, received only a reprimand

The elders of the Romanian Orthodox Church met on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at the meeting of the Holy Synod, also discussing the acts of indiscipline by the archbishop of Tomis. ÕPS Teodosie “paid” with a rebuke.

Archbishop Teodosie escaped with a verbal warning PHOTO: Călin Gavrilaș

The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church met on Thursday, February 29, in a working session, in the Aula Magna “Teoctistus the Patriarch” of the Palace of the Patriarchate. At the meeting chaired by His Beatitude Father Patriarch Daniel, the slippages of the archbishop of Tomis, ÎPS Teodosie, were also discussed. However, he was “charged” only with a reprimand, according to AGERPRES, which cites sources from the BOR.

The Chancellery of the Holy Synod announced, as early as February 9, 2024, that the Archbishop of Tomis will respond in the upcoming meeting of the Holy Synod for “violating the statutory order of the Church and disturbing the peace in the life of the Church and society through acts of rebellion, indiscipline and public pressure”.

It was happening after the archbishop, who repeatedly caused irritation through controversial statements, called (and later revoked) a rally to put pressure on the BOR to elevate the Tomis Archdiocese to the rank of a metropolitanate, and this because three other requests submitted in the last two years received a negative response.

He made the believers fast for three days

Awaiting the judgment, the archbishop instituted three days of fasting in the Archdiocese of Tomis, between February 26-28, 2024, urging the faithful to pray for his dream of becoming a metropolitan. Teodosie also advanced his presence on the radio, on the “Spiritual Dialogue” show on Radio Dobrogea (the radio station of the Archbishop of Tomis), being present since Tuesday, February 27, although the show is scheduled for Thursday.

During the show, he sent a new arrow to the spokesperson of the BOR, Vasile Bănescu, with whom he waged a real war in the public space, apparently answering an innocent question – Why do priests wear beards? – received from a believer. “The man must have a beard. Beardless men are crazy. Every man should wear a beard, even more so the servants of the Orthodox Church”, said Theodosia. Vasile Bănescu later transmitted, for “Adevărul”, that “the beard aberration is not worth commenting on”.

At the end of the show on Tuesday, February 27, on the radio, ÎPS Teodosie said that it is a good sign that the judgment of the Synod is on the very day of the feast of Saints John and Cassian (who sanctified Dobrogea, together with Saint Andrew), celebrated by the BOR on February 29. Also in the final speech, His Holiness Teodosie said that he loves and respects the Blessed Patriarch Daniel. “Pray for me and your Dobrogean brothers, pray also for the first head of our Church, for the blessed Father Patriarch Daniel, whom I love and respect, for all the members of the Holy Synod, so that we have pure faith and a good conscience and all that we decide to be according to God's will”, Teodosie also said.

Gigi Becali: “He's just showing the cat”

The list of “misconduct” of the Archbishop of Tomis was completed on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, just one day before the meeting of the Holy Synod of the BOR, with his absence from the Metropolitan Synod of the Metropolitanate of Muntenia and Dobrogea, although during the morning Archbishop Teodosie participated in the National Assembly -Church consisting of priests and laymen. “Yesterday (Wednesday, February 28, 2024 – no) after the meeting he returned to Constanța, citing in a statement that he was urgently called to confess someone. So he did not participate in the metropolitan synod, although it was mandatory. Today, however, he is present at the meeting”, stated Bănescu, for “Adevărul”.

Gigi Becali, one of the declared supporters of Archbishop Teodosie, said, before the start of the BOR Synod meeting, that Teodosie is only being “shown the cat”. “There is no such thing as rebellion. There is heresy, both for heresy and for other things for which the law is broken (n. ed. – it can be punished). You make so much noise that the world goes mad. It will be nothing,” Becali told reporters.

Bogdan Duca, specialist in religious studies, stated in a live intervention on Antena 3 CNN that there were, before the meeting of the Holy Synod, three scenarios. The least likely was the excommunication (cancellation of the rights to serve) of the archbishop. A second was that of the association, next to Theodosius, of a vicar bishop who would take over a good part of his responsibilities, “a kind of gentle retirement of the Tomitan archbishop”, and the third, which was also the most likely, Duca also said before the meeting of the BOR Synod ended, that of the reprimand.

Bogdan Duca also explained why Teodosie enjoys sufficient support. In the middle would be the message that the archbishop sends to society, one “very very well thought out”, “which goes towards those groups of believers who want a voice of the church to represent them in society and in the state, a braver voice, an even tougher voice, a voice, let's call it that, Taliban even, more fundamentalist “.

Archbishop Theodosius builds his own image of a voice “of a parent, of a spiritual authority, of an Orthodox “ayatolah”, the ultimate goal of the hierarch being that of becoming the informal leader of the BOR, Duca also said.