Revd. Prof. Aurel Pavel
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The present study evokes some of the personalities, moments and aspects of the strong cooperation and coexistence between Russian and Romanian people, among the Orthodox churches of the two countries along the Middle Ages and in the modern era, highlighting how the spiritual heritage of the great hierarch Peter Mogila was transmitted over generations and centuries in defining even the tradition of theological education in Transylvania and Sibiu. Historical times and places more or less famous, historical, political or cultural figures are evoked in a painting showing the close collaboration between the Romanian and Russian Orthodox Churches in past centuries.
Romanian-Ukrainian relations, Slavic influences, seminary and theological academy in Sibiu.
The political agenda of most nations who were under the Ottoman rule between the 16th and 17th century included the establishment of ties with Russia. This is clearly expressed by Nicholas Chief Magistrate of Hotin, who, in 1595, spoke of an anti-Ottoman League which would ideally include “our most holy lord, the Pope in Rome, the powerful Emperor of the Romans, the palatine of Transylvania, the Grand Duke of Moscow and many other princes of the Christian world”. This alliance was never achieved, but the Romanians established many ties with Christians in Eastern Europe, especially with those living in Ukraine, which was at that time under the dominion of Poland. In order to resist the oppression, the so called “brotherhoods” (bratstva) were established in Kiev, Lvov, Mogilev and were involved in the socio-religious life of those communities. This was one of the first steps in the Romanian-Ukrainian long-lasting collaboration. The following text evokes some of the personalities, moments and significant aspects of this collaboration, emphasizing how the spiritual heritage of the great hierarch Peter Mogila was transmitted over generations and centuries in defining even the tradition of theological education in Transylvania and Sibiu
I. Romanian-Ukrainian Relations
Until 1539, when King Sigismund I of Poland (1506-1548) appointed Macarius as Orthodox Bishop of Lvov, the eastern-Orthodox priests in Poland and Ruthenia had been ordained in Moldavia. The Orthodox Church in the city, destroyed by a fire in 1527, was rebuild by Prince Alexandru Lăpușneanu (1552-1561; 1564-1568), in 1559. He also erected a chapel and painted it after a few years. The diptych contains the names of all the Prince’s family members. After it was again destroyed in a fire, it was rebuilt again with the support of other Moldavian princes, such as by Petru Șchiopu (1574-1577; 1578-1579; 1582-1591), Ieremia Movilă (1595-1600; 1600-1606) and Simon Movilă (1606-1607), members of the Movilă family, and then by Miron Barnovschi (1626-1629; 1633), who completed the works in 1629. The same Prince also supported the establishment of the Printing House in Lvov.
Thanks to the contribution from Moldova, this place was called the “Moldavian Church”. Archbishop Petru Movilă was ordained in this church in 1633. After the union with Rome, in 1700, Lvov became a strong Catholic centre. In the year 1787, the Romanian merchants in the city established an Orthodox chapel in a private building, since a Romanian Orthodox Church was built only in 1860; it was then demolished in 1901 and a new church was rebuilt alongside a parsonage; the priests who served there were appointed by the Bishop, then the Metropolitan, of Cernăuți.
Until 1539, when King Sigismund I of Poland (1506-1548) appointed him as Orthodox Bishop Macarius of Lvov, Poland in ordinations of priests and Ruthenia was made in Moldova. The Orthodox Church in the city , destroyed by a fire in 1527, was rebuilt by Alexandru Lăpuşneanu (1552-1561; 1564-1568), the work being completed in the year 1559. He added a chapel and he had it painted after a few years. The diptych contains all his family members’ names. After it was again destroyed in fire, it was rebuilt with Moldovan funding, received from Petru Şchiopu (1574-1577; 1578-1579; 1582-1591), Ieremia Movilă (1595-1600; 1600-1606) and Simion Movilă (1606-1607), other members of the Movilă family and then Miron Barnovschi (1626-1629; 1633), who completed the works in 1629. The same voivode supported the establishment of the printing house in Lvov.
Thanks to the Moldovan financial support, this church was also called the “the Moldovan church”. Archbishop Petru Movilă was ordained in this church in 1633. After the union with Rome, in 1700, Lvov became a strong Catholic centre. As late as 1787, the Romanian merchants in that city set up an Orthodox chapel, in private buildings; a Romanian church was built only in 1860, it was demolished in 1901 and rebuilt as a completely new church, next to a parish house, served by priests sent from the diocesan and later on the metropolitan seat in Chernivtsi.
The Grand Hermitage in (Maniava), in Pocutia (today, the Ivano-Francovsk province), was founded by Yov Kondzelevych, in 1611-1612, with the support of the Moldavian Prince Ieremia Movilă’s wife (1595-1600; 1600-1606) and daughter Maria Pototski, while they were in Poland. Maria Potoski dedicated the Grand Hermitage the Sucevita Monastery, founded by the family, with all its estates. The donation was reinforced by Vasile Lupu (1634-1653) and his followers and other boyars. It was suppressed by Emperor Joseph II’s reform in 1785 and the monks took refuge in Moldova.
Petru Movilă was tonsured in the Kiev Pechersk Lavra, and was later to become its abbot and then the metropolitan of Kiev. In the monastery’s chapel of St. Stephen, there is also the tomb of former Bishop of Roman, Pachomius (1707-1713), placed there in the year 1724.
The Transcarpathian city of Muncacs (under the rule of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary) was also the see of the Orthodox episcopate which ruled in the 17th century over the over the Romanians and Carpatho-Russians in Northern Transylvania and Maramureş. Some of the bishops were from Moldavia, being ordained at the Metropolitan See of Suceava. The prince who accomplished the first Romanian Union, Michael the Brave (1593-1601), recommended in 1600 that the abbot of the Tismana Monastery, Sergius, be appointed Bishop of Muncacs. Prince Constantin Şerban Basarab (1654-1658 in Wallachia and 1659; 1661 in Moldavia) replaced the older wooden church with one made of stone, at the monastery of St. Nicholas, near Muncacs; the works were completed in the year 1661.
Peter Movilă was the son of a well-known Moldovan boyar family, and brother of Moldavian princes. Serving the Church, he became abbot of the Pechersk monastery, then Metropolitan of Kiev (1633-1646), for 15 years. He maintained close ties with the Church in Moldavia and Wallachia. In 1631, he wrote for his brother, Moise Movilă, who was Prince of Moldavia (1630-1631; 1633-1634), a religious book, The Triodion , which also included advice on the proper behavior of a Christian prince. During his service, many of his printed books bore the coat of arms of the Movilă family. The printing houses of Matei Basarab (1632-1654), in Câmpulung, Govora and Târgovişte, as well as Vasile Lupu’s (1634-1653) printing house in Iaşi, were purchased or donated from Kiev between 1635 and 1646. He sent the printing craftsmen to work in the new printing houses, the best known being Timotei Alexandrovich Verbitsky who had been the head of the Printing House in Kiev. In the year 1640, he sent to Vasile Lupu a group of teachers for the new College established in Iaşi, the most important of them being Sophronius Pochiatsky. Moreover, the Synod of Iaşi in 1642, where Petru Movilă’s Orthodox Confession was presented and analyzed , a fundamental work of Orthodox doctrine, translated into several languages – the translator of the Romanian version was Radu Greceanu –, welcomed a delegation of representatives of the Ukrainian Church. Petru Movilă’s earthly remains lie in the grand church of the Pechersk Lavra (he died in Dec. 22. 1646).
Sergius , abbot at the Tismana monastery in Oltenia (the western province of Wallachia), was recommended by Michael the Brave (1593-1601) , after the conquest of Transylvania, to be seated Bishop of Munkács. He was bishop for three years, he was banished in 1603 and took refuge in Kiev.
Spatharus Nicolae Milescu, Moldovan scholar (1636-1708), familiar with theological issues, studied at the Grand Academy in Iaşi, then in Constantinople, and in other centres of the Western Europe. In 1671 he entered the service of the Russian tsars, and he was a Greek, Latin and Romanian language interpreter for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs; he went on a diplomatic mission to China (1675-1677). He wrote and translated theological works, but also facilitated diplomatic and ecclesiastical connections between Russia and the Romanian principalities. He helped the Moldavian Metropolitan Dosoftei (1671-1674) to obtain a printer in 1679, from the Russian Patriarch Joachim of Moscow (1674-1690). The Transylvanian Metropolitans, such as Ilie Iorest (1640-1643) and Sava Brancovici (1656-1680), as well as Metropolitan Sophronius of Lipova (1651) were also granted financial support.
Romanian scholar Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723), who was the prince of Prince of Moldavia (1693; 1710-1711), and Tsar Peter I the Great’s ally (1682-1725) against the Turks , was also interested in theological sciences. Besides theological and philosophical works, Cantemir wrote works of history, such as Descriptio Moldaviae, Hronicul vechimii a Româno-Moldo-Vlahilor (The History of the Antiquity of Romanians), The History of the Ottoman Empire. After the defeat at Stănileşti (1711), Prince Dimitrie Cantemir took refuge in Russia, where he died and was buried in the Church of Saints Constantine and Helena, the church he had built in the monastery of Saint Nicholas in Moscow.
Bishop Pachomius of Roman (1708-1713), supporter of the ascetic teachings of St. Dimitry of Rostov, brought from Russia some of his works , icons and vestments for Neamţ monastery and the Diocese of Roman. After retiring from the seat of the episcopate, he went 1717 to Kiev Pechersk Lavra, where he died and was buried in 1724.
Vartolomeu Măzăreanu, aMoldovan monk (1720-1780), was Archimandrite at the Solca monastery (in the 1770s) and then abbot at the Putna Monastery (around the year 1757). He visited Russia on several occasions. He was also one of the members of the delegation that visited Tsarina Catherine II, where received gifts for the monasteries at home. He also brought Russian religious books, from which he translated into the Romanian language. He founded in 1774, along with the former Metropolitan of Moldavia, Iacob Putneanu (1750-1760) a spirituality school, having a program similar to Petru Movilă’s school in Kiev. He wrote works of theology and history, but he also translated from Russian and Slavonic both theological and secular works.
II. Romanian Relations with the Russian/Ukrainian Church in the Last Centuries of the Middle Ages
The Patriarchate of Moscow had had ties with the Orthodox Church in the Romanian principalities ever since the 16th and 17 centuries. Romanian voivodes sent delegates to Russia to purchase icons for the churches and monasteries in the country. Archimandrite Varlaam from Secu (later Metropolitan between 1632 and1653) was sent by Prince Miron Barnovschi (1626-1629; 1633) and metropolitan Anastasie Crimca (1608-1617; 1619-1629) to purchase icons for Dragomirna Monastery. Furthermore, in the year 1641, Vasile Lupu (1634-1653) asked Tsar Mihail III Romanov (1613-1645) to send painters to work at the Three Holy Hierarchs Church in Iaşi. In addition, for the conclusion of political alliances, Russian tsars and Romanian voivodes used Romanian and Russian hierarchs and abbots as intercessors. In the year 1656, the Moldovan Prince Gheorghe Ştefan (1653-1658) sent to Moscow the Metropolitan Ghedeon (1635-1659; 1664-1671) to conclude a Treaty of Alliance with Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich (1645-1676), for whom Spatharus Nicolae Milescu (1636-1708) was working at that time. Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723) built a church dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helena, in St. Nicholas monastery in Moscow, where he was eventually buried, along with part of his family.
Russian Tsars and Tsarines, Benefactors of the Romanian Church
Alexei Mikhailovich ( 1645-1676) appointed Spatharus Nicolae Milescu (1636-1708), who helped strengthen the ties between the Orthodox Church in the Romanian principalities and Transylvania. Milescu’s close friend, Voivode Gheorghe Ştefan (1653-1653; 1658) concluded a Treaty of Alliance with Russia. In 1679, Metropolitan Dosoftei of Moldavia (1675-1686) obtained from the Patriarch of Moscow, Joachim (1674-1690), a printing press. The Tsar accepted to speak, at the recommendation of Metropolitan Varlaam (1632-1653), in August 26, 1645, to the former Metropolitan of Transylvania, Elijah Iorest (1640-1643), whom he then paid the 1,000 thalers, an amount he owed to the Prince of Transylvania, for which 24 faithful Romanians from Transylvania were being held hostage. The Transylvanian Metropolitan Sava Brancovici (1656-1680) was received by the Tsar, on 31 May and 2 August 1668, occasions for concelebration with other Eastern Orthodox Patriarchs: Paisius of Alexandria (1657-1678) and Macarius III of Antioch (1647-1672) at the Uspenia Church in Moscow.
Peter I the Great (1682-1725), ally of Dimitrie Cantemir , was in Moldova in June 1711, being received also by Metropolitan Ghedeon of Moldavia (1708-1722), and he visited the monasteries in Moldova, of which he found the Golia Monastery in Iaşi the most impressive. In the year 1709, abbot Pachomius from Bisericani, in Moldova, went to Russia, where he asked for the support of Tsar Peter I to return the relics of St. John the New, from Poland (Zolkiew) to Suceava. Pachomius later became Metropolitan of Voronezh, in Russia. It was not until 1783, that Dosoftei Herescu , bishop of Rădăuţi (1750-1781), and an exempt Bishop of Bukovina (1750-1781) managed to bring the relics of St. John the New to Suceava.
Tsarina Elisabeth Petrovna (1741-1761), daughter of Peter the Great, received at Petersburg, in 1743, the Archpriest of Brasov: Eustathius Vasilievich Grid (father of Dimitrie Eustatievici, who completed his studies at Petru Movilă Academy in Kiev) and allowed him to collect aid for the Orthodox Romanians in Brasov. The tsarina herself gave him 2500 rubles and many books of worship which are now preserved in the Saint Nicholas Church Museum in Brasov. The archpriest used the amount of 13,000 florins he had raised to renovate the Church and to mount a clock in the church tower.
Tsarina Catherine II of Russia (1762-1796) supported Romanian Orthodoxy. During the Russian-Turkish war (1768-1774), when the Romanian Principalities were under Russian military occupation (1769-1774), two delegations from the Principalities led by Metropolitan Gregory II (1760-1787) and Bishop Inochentie of Huşi (1752-1782), along with other boyars and archimandrites (Archimandrite Vartolomeu) went in 1770 to Petersburg and were received by Catherine. They presented three letters to the Tsarina. In one of the letters, they requested support for bringing the relics of St. John the New from Poland (Zolkiew) to Suceava; in the second letter, they demanded that the abuses of foreign armies in Moldova be brought to an end, and in the third, they requested tax exemptions for a few widows. She promised them that their countries would be led “according to their own judgment and rules” and made many gifts to the Romanian monasteries (liturgical objects and vestments, worship books).
III. Ukrainians in Relation to the Romanian Church
Ambrosius Serebrennikov was metropolitan of Ekaterinoslav (at Poltava). During the Russian occupation (October 1788-29 December 1791), Ambrosius was appointed by the Russian Synod Exarch (deputy metropolitan) of Moldavia (1789-1792). He printed Romanian-Russian books of worship. In 1790 he visited the Neamt Monastery, appointed abbot Paisius archimandrite, and in 1791, ordained Archimandrite Gavriil Bănulescu-Bodoni vicar Bishop of Cetatea Albă and Tighina.
Paisius Velicicovschi (1722-1794) was a Slav, born in Poltava Ukraine. He attended the Kiev Academy, and then entered the Lubetski monastery, on the Dnieper, in 1740. From the Catholic Poland, he went to the Romanian principalities, on his way to Mount Athos. He was surrounded by several monks, both Slavs and Romanians, at the monastery of the Pantocrator. In 1763 he returned to Dragomirna, built by Metropolitan Anastasius Crimca (1608-1617; 1619-1629), where he established a “guidebook” of monastic settlements. In 1775, after the annexation of Bukovina by the Austrian Empire, Paisius, accompanied by 200 other monks settled in Secu, then as of 1779, in the Neamţ monastery. Here, through his administrative, cultural and philanthropic activity, he raised the level of the monastery both quantitatively (there were 700 friars of all nations there), as well as qualitatively, from an educational, moral, and cultural point of view. Archbishop Ambrose Serebrenikov, the Russian Vicar Metropolitan of Moldavia (1789-1792), during the Russian occupation, raised abbot Paisius to the rank of archimandrite. He was an innovator of monastic life, many of his disciples, carrying with wherever they went the monastic rules instituted by Paisius. In Russia, his disciples spread Paisius’ teachings in monasteries such as: Valaam, Solovăţ, Alexander Sfirski, Alexander Nevsky (Petersburg), Bryansk, Simonov, Novospask (Moscow), Pecerska Lavra (Kiev), New Athos (Caucasus). Moreover, many Romanian monasteries accepted his teachings. While at Neamt, Paisius translated many theological works from Greek into Slavonic and Romanian (bilingual editions), using in worship, alternatively, both languages.
Mikhail Strilbitsky, archbishop of Polish origin, Russified, he came to Moldova in the second half of the 18th century, as a printer and engraver. He worked as a printer during the rule of Metropolitan Gavriil Callimachi (1760-1786), during the Russian occupation of the Moldavia. In 1785, he set up his own printing press in Iaşi, with Russian characters, where he printed Russian and Romanian books, books for learning the Russian language, as well as a Calendar for 112 years. During the rule of metropolitan vicar Ambrose Serebrenikov (1789-1792), on the title pages of the books he printed, Mikhail Strilbitsky usually printed underneath his name “archpriest of Moldavia, Wallachia and Bessarabia”. This title disappeared with the cessation of Russian occupation and occupation of the metropolitan seat by Iacob Stamati (1792-1803), who was not at all a supporter of Russophile policy. That is why, after 1794, he printed books (even in the Romanian language) across the Dniester, in Dubăsari and Movilău.
With respect to Eastern Orthodox education, in 1640, when Moldovan voivode Vasile Lupu established the College of Iasi, Petru Movilă sent from Kiev a group of teachers, led by monk Sophronius Pochiatsky who was also appointed hegumen of the monastery Three Hierarchs and then head of the printing house. After 1646, the group of teachers from Kiev, along with their leader, Sophronius Pochiatsky, were removed and were replaced by a group of traditionalist, Greek teachers. The school endured, became an Academy later on, but was served by Greek teachers until early 19th century (noteworthy among its teachers are Theodore of Trebizond and Jeremiah Cacavelas). It seems that the great Moldovan scholars, Spatharus Nicolae Milescu and Metropolitan Dosoftei, were students of this school.
The first Romanian Transylvanian cleric who traveled to Russia in the eighteenth century was archpriest Eustatius from Brasov between 1743 and 1744. Tsarina Elizabeth Petrova (1741-1761) allowed him to collect aid in major Russian cities for three months, giving him 2,500 rubles herself and several books of worship. His son, Demetrius Eustatievici (1730-1795), an Enlightenment theologian and teacher studied at the Spiritual Academy in Kiev (he graduated in 1753). He then became a teacher at the Romanian School in Schei – Brasov (1753-1762), then secretary of the first three Serbian bishops of Răşinari and Sibiu.
Here we believe is the point of connection between theological education in Sibiu and Kiev. Since our goal is also to make us better known in order to achieve a fruitful connection, similar to the one we used to have between theological education in Moldova and Kiev, I will offer a brief overview of the history of our Faculty below.
IV. The beginnings of theological education in Romania
The organized and continuous theological education in the Romanian Orthodox Church started in the early nineteenth century, when the theological seminaries in Moldova and Wallachia were established. Nevertheless, there had been before sporadic clergy training schools or courses, either in monasteries or diocesan residences. It turned out that between 1490 and 1585, there was a school at Putna Monastery, which operated like a seminary in the late 15th century.
A school with ancient traditions was the one attached to the church of St. Nicholas in Şchei Brasov founded in the late fifteenth century and reorganized in 1597 by the scholar archpriest Mihai, collaborator of deacon Coresi, which was training the future priests in Brasov and Ţara Bârsei. Other candidates for priesthood were trained in schools attached to diocesan centers (Bucharest, Râmnic, Buzău, later on Argeş, in Wallachia, Iaşi, Roman, Rădăuţi and Huşi in Moldova, Alba Iulia in Transylvania) and the schools in monasteries such as Cozia, Argeş, Colţea, Neamţ, Putna. Numerous young Transylvanians were trained in monasteries especially in the eighteenth century.
The first attempts to set up schools for the training of the clergy were in the second half of the eighteenth century. Thus, in 1764, as school was opened at the church St. Dumitru in Craiova, which was training candidates for priesthood, and in 1775 another similar school opened in the Obedeanu monastery in Craiova. They were both short-lived. In 1776, a teacher was appointed at the the Metropolitan See in Bucharest, to teach those who wanted to become priests. Former Metropolitan Jacob Putneanu and Archimandrite Bartholomew Mazareanu established a school for the training of the clergy in Moldova, at the Putna Monastery, in 1774. It operated until 1782. In 1786, another theological school was established at the monastery of St. Elijah near Suceava, which was to be moved in 1789 to Chernivtsi. The theological seminaries, with four forms, were established later: one in 1803 in Socola near Iasi, then in 1836 in Bucharest, Buzau and Arges and in 1837 in Râmnic.
The Seminary in Sibiu
Orthodox Romanians in Transylvania, being members of a tolerated religion, had no right to receive financial support from the state for their denominational schools. After the revolt of Horia, Cloşca şi Crişan the state accepted to fund as of 1786 eight Orthodox primary schools, namely those in Avrig, Braşov, Făgăraş, Cernatu, Orăştie, Sălişte, Turcheş and Sadu. Moreover, the “normal school” was established in Sibiu, for training priests and teachers.prepare teachers and priests. The Government recommended that the director of the Romanian Orthodox schools be Dimitrie Eustatievici, officially appointed on 20 September 1786 and the short-term priest-training courses also started. He led and supervised the “normal school” in Sibiu, until his death in the spring of 1796. Revd. Radu Tempea from Brasov occupied this position between 1796 and 1808, and was followed by Gheorghe Haines from Braşov, appointed by imperial decree on 22 august 1808, who led the Romanian Orthodox schools until 1812.
Bishop Vasile Moga (1810-1845) reorganized the clerical course, opening on 15 March 1811, a Systematic course for the training of the Orthodox clergy, held over a period of six months; the head of that program was the Romanian scholar Gheorghe Lazăr. The same Bishop wanted, ever since 1809, to establish a true Seminary, which he requested from the imperial Government. By a Decree of the Court, on 25 May 1809, Emperor Francis I approved the establishment of a three-year Seminary in Sibiu.
Andrei Saguna made significant changes with respect to the Seminary once he had arrived in SIbiu. . Soon after his arrival in Transylvania (since autumn of 1846), Saguna ordered that the length of the “clerical course” be one year instead of six months, introducing new subjects: Pastoral Theology, Teaching methodology, Romanian Grammar and Exegesis. It was a “beneficent” innovation which gave the possibility to all priesthood candidates to also work as teachers and better meet the requirements of their profession and thus be enlighteners of the people and overseers of the schools, thus compensating the lack of a Pedagogical Institute”.
This Seminar had three-year courses, but since it did not meet the requirements for this, lengthening the course was out of the question. Important however is that this Seminar was also training school teachers. Moreover, there was a provision, later to become a tradition and then a regulation, that the graduates of the theological course had to work as teachers prior to ordination. In the academic year 1853/54, the Clerical Course, and the Pedagogical Course were separated, the former requiring two years of study and the latter, only one year.
On October 1, 1854, Bishop Andrei Şaguna established the structure and the subjects to be studied in each course. Thus, for the “ Clerical Course”, for the first year, the following subjects were to be studied: Dogmatics, Ethics, Church History and Romanian Grammar: for the second year: Dogmatics, Ethics, Canon Law, the Pastoral Theology, Exegesis, Rhetoric and Polemics.
Thanks to the funding he managed to obtain, Andrei Şaguna was able to reorganize the Institute, so that, as of the academic year 1861/62, the clerical course was three-years long, and as of 1862 the Pedagogical Course was two-years long. As a result, the syllabus was modified, the educational process being thus qualitatively improved.
Thanks to the special interest in the establishment of this Institute soon after Metropolitan Andrei Şaguna’s death, the Archdiocese Synod 1874 (the precursor to the Diocesan Assembly of today) decided that its name “ The Andreian Seminary”.
The courses were held, since the beginning, in the building on street Cisnadiei (today, Nicolae Bălcescu). As a result of the fund raising campaigns organized by priests and archpriests, on the initiative of Bishop Şaguna in 1852, 26,062 florins were collected, which were spent on a house located on the Măcelarilor (today, Mitropoliei) street, which is used as a boarding house for free for students in the Department of theology the period 1853-1858, after which he became the Episcopal residence (Metropolitan). Meanwhile, Şaguna also bought a building on Măcelarilor street, worth 30,000 florins, in which, after repairs and renovations, he moved the seminary courses in 1864.
By the end of the 19th century, several options for a new seminary building had been presented and analysed. There were, however, different views inside the Diocesan Administration and the Synodal Deputies so that the construction works were postponed, mainly because the high costs the would have incurred. It was decided, however, in the Synod of 1896, that several buildings of the Seminary be demolished, i.e. the ones located in the Spinarea câinelui (today, Centumvirilor) street and a new building be erected, namely the today’s two-storied dormitory, with 10 bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a large and a large dining room. Although 25,000 florins were allotted to this operation, costs amounted to 36,574 florins.
The problem of the new building of the Seminary was not yet resolved. Although the new synod members decided that a new Seminary be erected on a vacant land in the year to follow, at the initiative of Bishop Ioan Meţianu, it was decided to build a new two-story wing in Măcelarilor street no. 26-28 (on the site of several demolished houses) and to restore the existing ones; the works for the new building were postponed until more financial resources would be found. Indeed, between the years 1913 and 1914, a new building of the Seminary (today, the building of the Faculty of Theology) was erected.
The establishment of the Seminary Library experienced many stages. At first a modest library, the new Bishop Andrei Şaguna filled it with his own 3,000 volumes. However, all the books of the library, as well as the Episcopal archives burned during the 1848 revolution. Therefore, Şaguna started buying books for a new library. He obtained books as gifts from Moldova, he purchased other books of theology, philosophy and literature from bookshops or antique bookstores in Budapest and Vienna; then, he started printing books in the Diocesan Printing House in Sibiu, which he inaugurated on 27 august 1850, having bought all machinery at his own expense. The library was enriched by acquisitions and donations, so that in 1873, on the death of Metropolitan Saguna, Ilarion Puşcariu inventoried and stamped “Library of Metropolitan Andrei” 2440 titles in 3943 volumes, with 484 brochures in 599 volumes, 53 manuscripts in 55 volumes (many rare books in Latin, German, Serbian, Russian and Hungarian), 20 miscellaneous books in 126 volumes, 78 miscellaneous books in 92 volumes, other 22 books in 29 volumes, 33 + 88 other titles in 47 volumes . Saguna’s private book fund became the property of the Metropolitan See after his death, being stamped “The Sibiu Metropolitan Library”, whose assets counted in 1923 5020 books, and in 1938 comprised 7792 books.
A library for the seminary teachers was established in 1877, which according to art. 7 of the Seminary Regulation was to include school textbooks and teaching material. The records have been published in the Seminary Yearbooks since the academic year 1884/85 until the present day. Thus, in the year 1883/84, it owned 60 titles in 133 volumes, and at the end of the school year 1910/11 there were 1992 titles in 3318 volumes in the library. They were placed in two rooms on the ground floor of the seminary (in the current offices of the Departments of Systematic Theology and Practical Theology).
The Andreian Theological Academy
After the Union of Transylvania with Romania in 1918 a new Regulation was issued for the old theological Section of the Andreian Seminary, its draft being approved by the ecclesiastical department of the Archdiocesan Consistory (the Diocesan Council) on 5/18 April 1924. Therefore, as of the school year 1924/25, the former Theological Section Seminary was named the “Andreian Theological Academy”, a name it bore until 1948.
The educational process involved four years of study (each divided into two semesters: September 15-February 1 and February 1-June 30, art. 32). In terms of the forms of assessment, the regulation stipulated annual exams (June, with resits in September) and fundamental exams (at the end of the second and fourth year, with assessment for each discipline in the two cycles of study). The student who passed the second fundamental examination was awarded the “theological certificate” and the title “graduate in theology”. Before being admitted to the clergy, he was supposed to take a “priesthood admission” exam.
Through this regulation, the weight of the theological subjects increased. The subjects were studied as follows (hours per week): Year I : Biblical Archaeology, 2 hours; Introduction to the Books of the Old Testament, 3 hours; Old Testament Exegesis, 4 hours; Biblical Hermeneutics, 1 hour; The History of the Universal Church, until 1054, 4 hours; Psychology, 2 hours; Introduction to Philosophy, 2 hours; The History of the Romanian Language and Literature, 2 hours; Hymns, 2 hours; Rite, 1 hour; Vocal music, 1 hour; The biblical seminar, 1 hour; Year II: Introduction to the New Testament Books, 3 hours; New Testament Exegesis; 3 hours; Old Testament Exegesis, 2 hours; The history of the universal Church, after 1054, 4 hours; Church history, 3 hours; Patristics and Patrology, 2 hours; Didactics and methodology, 2 hours; Hymns, 2 hours; Rite, 1 hour; Vocal music, 1 hour; Historical seminar 1 hour; 3rd Year: New Testament Exegesis, 3 hours; Fundamental theology, 5 hours; Dogmatic theology, 4 hours; Moral theology, 6 hours; Catechism, 2 hours; Homiletics, 2 hours; Pedagogy and the history of pedagogy, 2 hours; Hymns, 2 hours; Typically, 1 hour; Vocal music, 1 hour; Seminar of dogmatic, 1 hour; Year IV: New Testament Exegesis, 2 hours; Dogmatic theology, 3 hours; Canon law, 4 hours; Pastoral Theology, 2 hours; Liturgics, 3 hours; Practical Homiletics , 1 hour; Practical Catechesis, 2 hours; Sects, 2 hours; Sociology, 2 hours; Hymns, 2 hours; Rite, 1 hour; Pastoral hygiene 1 hour; Vocal music, 1 hour; Workshop, 1 hour; Biblical seminar, 1 hour.
Given the special regime of theological Academies in Transylvania (inferior to Faculties), but also the performance of the Academy in Sibiu, Metropolitan Nicolae Bălan intensified his requests at the Ministry of religious affairs for the recognition of the Academy’s right to award Bachelor’s Degrees. Thus, on 19-20 April 1935 the first Congress of teachers from Transylvania’s Orthodox theological Academies, was organized under the leadership of Metropolitan Bălan, which claimed the right of these Academies to issue Bachelor’s Degrees in theology. However, despite all the attempts in subsequent years, the result was not the one expected, especially that the Uniate Theological Academy in Blaj had already been granted this right in1932, though it was not superior in quality to the Academy in Sibiu .
It was not until the meeting of the Holy Synod on 18 March 1938, that the synodal Commission for the reorganization of theological education presented a bill that in the new political context (the Royal Dictatorship, the Government headed by Patriarch Miron Cristea and with Minister of national education in the person of the Bishop of Cluj, Nicolae Colan) became a Decree on 18 May 1938 (comprising 17 articles) . The new law established two types of higher-education theological schools: Faculties within the University (Bucharest, Iaşi and Chernivtsi) and theological Academies, under the jurisdiction of the Church.
However, the Academy’s right to award Bachelor’s Degrees was acknowledged as late as 23 May 1942, under the Law for the reorganization of higher education, , article 30. 143 stated that:
“The Theological Academy in Sibiu shall issue certificates equivalent to those of Bachelor of Theology, if it conducts studies and recruits its teaching staff according to the legislation in force applicable for the Faculties of Theology. Therefore, the teaching staff of this Theological Academy shall benefit from the same salary policy as the teaching staff working at the Faculties of Theology “.
The new Regulation of the Academy established ten departments, three lectureships and two assistantships. The chairs were: Old Testament Exegesis and Hebrew language; New Testament Exegesis and Biblical Hermeneutics; Apologetics and Sociology; Dogmatic Theology; Ecclesiastical Law; Moral Theology; The History of the Romanian Church and of the Orthodox Christian Art; Universal Church History and Patrology; Liturgics and Pastoral Theology; Christian Philosophy and Pedagogy. The lectureships were: Homiletics and Catechetics; Missionarism and Sectology; Church Music and Ritual.
On 23 May 1943, in a festive setting, the Academy was declared an institution of higher-education. in the summer of the same year, the Ministry of National Culture and Religious Affairs recognized as full-time teachers some of the most distinguished professors of theology, such as: Dumitru Stăniloae, Nicolae Terchilă, Nicolae Neaga, Liviu Stan, Grigore Marcu, Teodor Bodogae etc.
The Theological Higher-Education Institute in Sibiu between 1948 and 1990
The establishment of the “dictatorship of the proletariat” in 1948 changed the attitude of the authorities with respect to the Church and structure of theological education.
The law on the religious denominations, of 3 august 1948 , stipulated in article 11. 49 that the Romanian Orthodox Church was to operate two higher-education theological institutes, church music schools and theological seminaries. Thus, the situation of theological education, as that of the Church in general was much better in Romania than in other “socialist” Orthodox countries, due to the Patriarch Iustinian Marina’s attitude of worthy memory, who was elected in 1948. However, first there were three higher education theological institutes, in Bucharest, Sibiu and Cluj , each having a faculty and one or two “tutoring centres of the clergy”.
As a result, on 23 august 1948 Andreiana Theological Academy was changed its name to theUniversity Theological Institute, and under the Decision of 13 November 1948 it also had two tutoring centres, one in Sibiu and the other one in Arad.
During these first years of Communist regime there were changes in the teaching staff. Some of the teachers retired, while others were rerouted to all educational institutions in the country.
There were four years of study as follows: the first year: the study of the Old Testament (including Hebrew), 6 hours; The study of the New Testament (including Greek), 6 hours; Universal church history and Patrology, 5 hours; Latin and French, 3 hours; History of the Romanian Church, 5 hours; Russian and Slavonic, 2 hours; Pedagogy, 1 hour; Church music, 2 hours. The second year: The study of the Old Testament, 6 hours; The study of the New Testament, 6 hours; The history of the universal Church and Patrology, three hours; Latin and French, 2 hours; the History of the Romanian Church, 3 hours; Russian and Slavonic, 2 hours; Fundamental theology and the history of religions, 5 hours; Pedagogy, 1 hour; Church music, 2 hours. The thirds year: Fundamental theology and the history of religions, 5 hours; Dogmatic and symbolic theology, 4 hours; Greek language, 2 hours; Christian ethics, 4 hours; Homiletics and Catechetics, 3 hours; Liturgics, Pastoral Theology and Rite, 3 hours; Canon law and Administration, 4 hours; Latin and French, 2 hours; Church music and Ritual, 2 hours; Slavonic language, 1 hour. The fourth year: Dogmatic and symbolic theology, 4 hours; Missionary guidelines 2 hours; Christian ethics, 4 hours; Homiletics and Catechetics, 3 hours; Church law and Administration, 4 hours; Liturgics, Pastoral Theology, and the Typikon, 5 hours; Greek, 1 hour, French, 2 hours; Slavonic, 2 hours; Church music and Ritual, 2 hours .
Upon graduation students would take the final exam, involving a final diploma paper, on a topic selected by the student and several oral examinations: the New Testament, the History of the Romanian Church, Dogmatic Theology, Catechesis, Homiletics, Liturgical Practice and Canon Law.
It should be noted that during this period, most of today’s Romanian hierarchs received their education at the theological Institute in Sibiu, including His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, the leader of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
The Scientific and Research Activity of the Institute’s Academics
Following the tradition, the generations of teachers of the Institute focused on various topics, materialized in valuable publications, either published in volume and used as student textbooks, most printed by the Biblical and Missionary Institute Publishing House in Bucharest since the 1960s: Introduction to the New Testament by Prof. Grigore Marcu and Sofron Vlad (3 editions, 1954, 1977 and 1984), Introduction to the Old Testament by prof. Nicolae Neaga, Universal Church History by prof. Teodor Bodogae (2 volumes, in 1956), The History of the Romanian Church by prof. Ştefan Lupşa (2 volumes, 1957-1958), Dogmatics by Ioan Petreuţă and Isidor Todoran (2 volumes, 1958). Then followed the new generation of teachers with outstanding student textbooks, such as the monumental History of the Romanian Orthodox Church by prof. Mircea Păcurariu (3 volumes, 1980-1981, with a third edition printed between 2004 and 2008), Catehetics by Dumitru Călugăr (2 editions, 1976, 1978), Christian ethics by Ioan Zăgrean (2 editions, 1974, 1985). Numerous studies and articles have been published either in journals in Sibiu, such as Mitropolia Ardealului, Revista Teologică or in other magazines published by the Church such as Studii Teologice, Ortodoxia, Biserica Ortodoxă Română or other religious publications of other dioceses.
Integration into the Higher-education System. The Double Subordination of the Faculty of Theology
After the events in December 1989, theological education in Sibiu entered a new stage of its development. On 30 May 1991, the Ministry of Education and Science, the State Secretariat for Religious Denominations and the Romanian Patriarchate agreed upon the Protocol No. 9870/30 May 1991 , by which theological education in Romania was integrated into the state-funded higher-education system, but under a double subordination:
“In order to increase the contribution of the Church to the promotion of Romanian spirituality, culture and social life, it is herein provided that higher-education theological institutes may be integrated into the state-funded universities, based on direct agreements between these institutions. […] The higher-education theological institutes in Bucharest, Sibiu and Iaşi, shall become Faculties of Theology, in the state-universities in their respective cities, as of the academic year 1991/92. […] The Bachelor’s Degrees shall be awarded under the joint authority of the Romanian Patriarchy and the Ministry of Education and Science “.
Based on these principles, Protocol no. 1335/27 September 1991 was concluded between the University of Sibiu and the “Andrei Şaguna” Theological Institute in Sibiu, the latter thus becoming a Faculty of Theology. The agreement of the Senate and Administration Board of the University of Sibiu was drafted on 25 June 1991, and that of the Teaching Staff Council of the Theological Institute in Sibiu on 19 June 1991. Basically, as a result of these protocols, the theological education across the country was placed under a double subordination: that of the Ministry of Education, namely the University each faculty became part of and that of the Holy Synod, namely that of the bishop in the jurisdiction of whom the university is located; this aspect is regulated under the Law of National Education of 28 December 2010.
As of 1994, the “ Andrei Şaguna “Faculty of Theology, has held two-semester postgraduate courses, transformed in 2003 into three-semester masters programs, for the four traditional majors: Biblical Theology, Systematic Theology, Historical Theology and Practical Theology.
The Bologna Process and the New Curricula
Beginning with the 2005/06 academic year, along with the entire “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, the “Andrei Şaguna “ Faculty of Theology adopted the new curricula based on the three cycles (Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate), in line with the Bologna process. Thus, the majors were reorganized and only three were left: Pastoral Theology, Didactic Theology (the former Theology-Letters programme) and Social Theology (the former Theology-Social Work programme).
The Faculty Council meeting of 23 September 2005 decided that a restructuring of the Bachelor’s curriculum be implemented, i.e. three years of study (180 ECTS, in accordance with the Bologna system). It was decided that the first year of study be common for all three programmes, so that students in the Pastoral Theology program may study subjects specific to the other two majors, and the students (male and female) in the other two majors, Didactic Theology and Social Theology, study the main theological subjects.
However, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church decided during the held on 16 January 2008 that the programme Pastoral Theology become a four-year programme (240 ECTS), while still observing the principles of the Bologna reform process; the decision of the Holy Synod was approved by Government decision in June 2008. As a result, the curricula for the first class of students registered under the Bologna provisions (in the academic years 2005/2006, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008) were revised, so that the traditional structure of theological education was implemented again, i.e. two cycles of study: Biblical Theology and Historical Theology (the first and the second year and Systematic Theology and Practical Theology ( the third and the fourth year).
Throughout the period following the integration into the University of Sibiu, the Pastoral Theology program registered more than 100 students, sometimes even 200, distributed in 4 to 6 groups; the number of students in other majors was lower, on average only one group for each year.
The Doctoral School and Theological Research
At the time when the Andrei Şaguna Faculty of Theology joined the University of Sibiu (September 1991), it had 16 professors, 9 of whom were doctoral advisors, while in 2006, the number of doctoral advisors increased to 12. Following the integration into the University, the Faculty of Theology in Sibiu, awarded over 200 academic titles of Doctor of Theology, under the guidance of the doctoral advisors . In their turn, the doctoral students have worked hard in order to increase the quality of their research, and to promote their work through the sole journal dedicated exclusively to doctoral students in the “Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu, Studia Doctoralia Andreiana .
Respecting the natural hierarchy of priorities, which places at the heart of the concerns of all institutions of higher education teaching to moral education, research ranks second on the list of top priorities of the “ Andrei Şaguna “ Faculty of Theology.
The Theological Research Center (TRC)
The Faculty Council founded this centre on 20 April 2000, aimed at developing research projects that meet the current requirements of the Church and society in this area. Research is conducted in the Centre as research Projects proposed to be carried out in four Sections which mirror the organization of the educational process in the Faculty of Theology: Biblical, Historical, Systematic and Practical areas. The full-professors and associate professors who are also doctoral and master advisors manage research in those areas as well as the drafting of projects, as they also are project directors. Projects may involve the participation of any member of the teaching staff, master’s and doctoral students, as needed. A project may be approached individually or by a project team.
The research results are disseminated in several journals such as priority will be made through Revista teologică, Anuarul Facultăţii de Teologie and Telegraful Român, which are also publications of the Centre.
Therefore, as shown above, even though there were no direct connections between the college founded by Saint Petru Movilă and the Faculty of Theology in Sibiu, the latter, in its various forms since its establishment in 1786, has always found guidance and inspiration in the rigour that the great hierarch in Kiev endeavoured to implement, in order to plant in the soul of the students not only academic excellence but also piety and fear of God. In this sense, the liturgical life of students and professors organized around the Faculty Chapel has always played an overwhelmingly important role.
We are absolutely convinced that both in Kiev and in Sibiu, the main task of our Faculties is to combine the latest advancements in theological research with the faithfulness to the Sacred Tradition of the Orthodox Church, educating our students in the spirit of the Fathers of the Church.
Translated in English by Assist. Prof. Ovidiu Matiu