AUTHOR: George ENACHE
Danubius, XXXVIII, Galaţi, 2020, pp. 425-444.
The Romanian Orthodox Church has developed in the public space, after 1989, its own narrative about the sufferings endured during the communist regime, highlighting the names of those persons (priests, monks or laypersons) who were detained in the communist prisons as martyrs of faith. Through this discourse, the church wanted to answer those who accused it of collaborating with the communist regime but, at the same time, to recover a memory of the suffering that most of the population was not aware of.
Thirty years after the fall of communism, although there have been monuments built and many books have been written about the crimes of Communism, the Church has not officially proclaimed any victim of the communist regime, dead for faith, as a saint of the Orthodox church. This raises perplexity among believers and polemics in public space because, from a symbolic point of view, the act of canonization is, for a believer, the supreme act of consecrating the person’s worthiness. The dilemma is the following: is the refusal of canonization an acceptance of the fact that the Romanian Orthodox Church did not have worthy priests during the communist period or has the church hierarchy been prevented from doing so? In this study, we will try to show what lies behind this impasse of religious consecration, but also of memory management.