5 Years of Patriarchal Service

5 Years of Patriarchal Service

Sunday, 30 September 2012, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania celebrates five years of patriarchal service.

On 30 September 2007, by the will and blessing of God, His Beatitude Daniel was enthroned in the Patriarchal Cathedral as the 6th Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church.

The thought confessed at the time of enthronement was that: “God called us to this very hard service”, because “it is useful for the Church to serve together with the Holy Synod and all the clergy of the country”. His Beatitude came from Iasi to Bucharest wishing to serve the Romanian Orthodox Church in time and no time, animated by the divine commandment mentioned by Saint Matthew the Evangelist: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).

Endowed by God with many gifts, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel established and put in good order the priorities of the church life, recreated in quite an inspired way the administrative system as an efficient instrument for their concrete implementation, set up new institutions able to contribute to the necessary renewals in the Romanian ecclesiastic space, chose capable devoted people with whose help a remarkable part of the major projects designed to increase the service of the Church in the society have been already implemented or sketched, by the grace of God, with wisdom and organisational tenacity, as well as with great efforts.

The new Statutes of the Romanian Orthodox Church, the beginning of the construction of the Cathedral for the Nation’s Salvation, raising many eparchies in rank, setting up of new eparchies in the country and abroad, election of some new hierarchs, canonisation of some new Romanian saints, canonical and pastoral missionary visits in the country and in Diaspora, boosting and directing the theological education to ecclesiastic and cultural mission, recovering, conserving and valuing the church patrimony, intensification as never before of the editorial and printing activity, increasing of the social-charitable or philanthropic mission, as well as the publicising of the church life through Basilica Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate, missionary co-operation with sister Orthodox Churches and with other Churches too, good relations with other religions, with Christian organisations and international institutions are only a few examples of the vast patriarchal activity which confess, in deeds, the efforts of His Beatitude to establish the priorities of the Romanian Orthodox Church on pastoral, missionary and social criteria.

Concretely, continuity and renewal are the terms that describe most adequately the activity of the Romanian Orthodox Church during the last five years (2007 – 2012).

Since 30 September 2007, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel has been Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudgea, Locum Tenens of the Throne of Caesarea of Cappadocchia and Patriarch of Romania.

His Beatitude Daniel Ciobotea, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, was born on July 22, 1951, in Dobreşti-Bara, Timiş County, as the third child in the family of the teacher Alexie and Stela Ciobotea. He attended primary school in the native village (1958-1962), Dobreşti, secondary school in Lăpuşnic (1962-1966), Timiş County. In 1966, he attended high school in the town of Buziaş and then in Lugoj, at the „Coriolan Brediceanu” High School (1967-1970). After the baccalaureate examination, he enrols at the Institute of Theology in Sibiu (1970-1974), where he graduates with a thesis in New Testament.

During 1974-1976, he enrols in the doctorate programme at the Institute of Theology in Bucharest, within the Systematic Theology Department, under the guidance of Rev. Professor Dumitru Stăniloae. He continues the studies abroad: two years at the Faculty of Protestant Theology – University of Human Sciences in Strasbourg (France) and two years at the „Albert Ludwig” University in Freiburg im Breisgau, the Faculty of Catholic Theology (Germany).

On June 15, 1979, he presents the doctoral thesis at the University of Strasbourg, called: Réflexion et vie chrétiennes aujourd’hui. Essai sur le rapport entre la théologie et la spiritualité (424 p.). The thesis was prepared under the guidance of two famous French professors: Gerard Ziegwald and André Benoît, receiving the maximum grade. He became Theology Doctor of the University of Strasbourg. An extended version of this thesis was prepared under the guidance of his mentor, Rev. Professor Dumitru Stăniloae, and was presented on the October 31, 1980, at the Institute of Orthodox Theology in Bucharest, entitled: Theology and Christian Spirituality. The connection between them and the present situation. After the presentation of the thesis, the Doctorate candidate Dan Ilie Ciobotea was awarded the title of Doctor in Orthodox Theology, also with the maximum grade.

Rev. Professor Dumitru Stăniloae declared then: “The examination of the thesis proved to the Commission that it has before it a well prepared candidate, well informed and, most of all, striving to live a theological life of spiritual deepness. We need this kind of people, persons who live in the teaching of our Church. The true spirituality of the priest of today is this: to live in such a way that he can respond to the questions of the human person of today, but to still remain a true priest. With a clergy without theological culture and without the conscience of the dignity and sublime mission of priesthood, the faithful people will become alienated from the Church”.

In 1987, he enters the monastic life at the Sihastria Monastery, Neamţ County, with the name Daniel, under the spiritual guidance of his monastic godfather, Reverend Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie. He is ordained hierodeacon on August 14, 1987 and hieromonk on August 15, 1987. In 1988 he is blessed protosingel and appointed Patriarchal Counsellor, Director of the Department of Contemporary Theology and Ecumenical Dialogue. The same year he became junior professor within the Department of Christian Mission at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Bucharest.

He is chosen auxiliary bishop of the Timişoara Archdiocese, and ordained bishop on March 4, 1990. On June 17, 1990 he is chosen Archbishop of Iaşi and Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina. The enthronement took place on July 1, 1990. A rich pastoral-missionary, cultural and social-charitable activity ensued, between 1990-2008, in the new office of Metropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina.

On September 12, 2007, the Church Electoral College has elected him Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Wallachia and Dobrudja, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church and locum tenens of the see of Caesarea Cappadocia.

Source: The Orthodox Church News-OCP