The church DNA. Who will investigate the corruption inside the BOR

There are only two weeks left until the Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church meets, during which a control body would be established to investigate cases of corruption in the monastic world. Economists and lawyers will also be part of the church DNA and will be coordinated by the Patriarch of Romania.

ÎPS Teodosie is to be tried at the Holy Synod on February 29 for rebellion

On February 29, when the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) takes place, it will be decided how the canonical legal and financial control bodies of the church will function and who will be part of them. According to the information provided by the spokesperson of the Patriarchate, Vasile Bănescu, so far it is known that economists and lawyers will also be part of the church DNA and it will be coordinated by the Patriarch of Romania.

Lawyers, economists, etc. This discussion will be held in the Holy Synod in the second part of February. DNA is completely different, but, as a mission, it will also be about corruption. It is a problem of the whole society. If we ended up discussing such sad cases, it is because Romanian society has degraded from this point of view. Corruption has become a disease of the community organism that causes huge dysfunctions as corruption sabotages the smooth running of society. Only very important cases. For example, the Holy Synod does not deal with the corruption of a priest. The respective priest is judged by consistories, smaller bodies in each diocese“, explained Vasile Bănescu.

The devil also works within the Church

The decision to establish these control mechanisms of the BOR was announced at the end of last year, when it was also decided to adopt some rules that would also impose church-based sanctions, not just criminal ones, according to the Basilica agency.

It was found that, in the Regulations of the canonical disciplinary authorities and the courts of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the act or attempt of material corruption, the embezzlement of funds, the illegal obtaining of funds, the giving of bribes, the taking of bribes, the trafficking of influence and buying influence“, that's why laws are needed to punish these deviations, emphasizes BOR.

Specifically, all transactions that take place in churches and monasteries will be more carefully controlled, and priests guilty of bribery or influence peddling will be punished. Church figures found guilty can even be removed from office, while they will also be condemned by the laws of the Romanian state.

When such cases arise, the body of the Church or its important forums must mobilize. The biggest adversary of the Church is not outside, the demon also works inside the Church, tempting some. Therefore, the failure of the vocation of some, and the unworthiness that the failure of the vocation attracts, represents the greatest adversary of the Church. And the Church, through its perfectly lucid and very realistic head, the Patriarch, reacts“, Vasile Bănescu also pointed out.

Priests must provide a receipt for any money they receive for a baptism, wedding or funeral. And donations or sponsorships are accepted “only if they are of real use to church unitsi”, says the regulation. Moreover, all amounts received must be recorded. On the other hand, ministers of God who force people to pay a certain amount of money for funeral services risk losing their parish, according to a decision of the Synod.

There are sanctions ranging from a simple reprimand, then periodic checks, leading to the disciplinary removal of the respective priest from the parish or, in extreme cases, which involve many mistakes accumulated over time – the excommunication“, stated the spokesperson previously.

ÎPS Teodosie will also be handed over to the church DNA

The establishment of this Control Body started from the case of the archbishop of Tomis, His Holiness Teodosie, recently indicted by the DNA. This after a criminal case was opened in his name for buying influence. Specifically, Teodosie is accused of buying influence with a councilor from the Tomis archdiocese, also complicit in the same crime.

Prosecutors say that in July 2023, “the suspect Petrescu Teodosie allegedly promised the sum of 160,000 lei to a businessman (witness in question), representing 20% ​​of the sum of 800,000 lei, which the latter should have obtained for the Archdiocese of Tomis, following the use of influence which he would have stated that he would have had over the officials with the right to decide in this regard within the State Secretariat for Cults“. In that discussion, the defendant councilor in question would also have participated, being the one who would have negotiated with the businessman the terms in which it was to be put into practice “the understandingrespective.

Teodosie, also accused of disturbing the peace in the life of the Church

Moreover, ÎPS Theodosius will be tried at the Holy Synod on February 29 for rebellion and public pressure after repeatedly trying to become a metropolitan. The Romanian Patriarchate stated, on Friday, that the request of the Archbishopric of Tomis regarding the elevation to the rank of Metropolitan was rejected by the Holy Synod in 2003, and the Archbishop of Tomis, ÎPS Teodosie, “he fiercely insists that only the diocese he pastors should become a metropolis“, thus violating the statutory order of the Romanian Orthodox Church. Moreover, “the violation of the statutory order of the Church and the disturbance of peace in the life of the Church and society through acts of rebellion, indiscipline and public pressure will be included on the agenda of the future meeting of the Holy Synod“, mentioned the Patriarchate.

Teodosia has been insisting for years that the Archbishopric of Tomis be raised to the rank of metropolitan, even if it does not meet the criteria: a metropolitan is made up of two, three or more dioceses, and their hierarchs together form a metropolitan synod, but “no diocese neighboring the Archdiocese of Tomis does not want to be part of a future Metropolis of Tomis“, transmitted the BOR.

His Holiness Archbishop Theodosius insists fiercely that only the diocese he pastors should become a metropolitan, following the model of metropolitans in Bulgaria, thus violating the statutory order of the Romanian Orthodox Church, which currently does not provide for the existence of honorary metropolitans, without a synod Metropolitan“, added BOR.

The Archbishop of Tomis took a step back after the announcement of the Chancellery of the Holy Synod and asked even the organizers of a rally that should have taken place this weekend for the recognition of the Metropolitanate of Tomis to give up their action.

“We are glad that it was finally understood that church affairs cannot be resolved on the street, through demonstrations, slogans, possibly through placards. Church matters are analyzed, resolved and decisions are made in accordance with the Spirit of the Church. By God's grace, we have a well-structured metropolitan system, anchored in the holy canons, in the structure of the Church for a long time, and any decision regarding the establishment, dissolution, territorial changes of some church units is made within this system. I think that it is neither useful nor even more necessary that the old church structures spread throughout the country should necessarily be re-established, re-updated. In fact, all or almost all of them exist in another form, possibly under another name, with another seat, in the existing metropolitan ecclesiastical structures“, declared immediately afterwards the Metropolitan of Moldova and Bucovina, His Holiness Teofan.

For his part, Vasile Bănescu declared that “The Church is not a sect made up of extremists and ultra-rigorists. It never was. Virtue lies in balance, noble moderation, discretion. Not in excess. The Church is the Christ-centered community of faith, hope and love present in each of its members in varying degrees. Which makes all of us in this extended spiritual family move forward on the Path differently, not identically, not at the same cadenced pace. We are not the storm troop, but the symbolic “flock” of the Great Shepherd. (…) The Church is not a disciplinary battalion, it is not a barracks through which we are run away, reprimanded, summoned or punished to blindly fulfill someone's whims and madness to reality“.

As a result, yesterday, the Archdiocese of Tomis communicated that, in fact, there are no reasons to enter into conflict with the Romanian Patriarchate and that ÎPS Teodosie remains “SUBJECT“To the Holy Synod and Patriarch Daniel. However, he also warns that the idea of ​​raising the Archbishopric of Tomis to the rank of Metropolitan will not be passed “into oblivion“.

As he emphasized on all occasions, His Holiness Father Theodosius remains in full obedience to His Beatitude Father Patriarch Daniel and to the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church. We consider inappropriate and baseless the struggles of various non-church circles of influence to provoke a conflict between the Romanian Patriarchate and the Archbishopric of Tomis“, the representatives of the Press Office of the Archdiocese of Tomis state in a statement.