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Tag: Romania

Confronting the Romanian church’s cumbersome past

A review of The Romanian Orthodox Church and the Holocaust. By: Ion Popa. Publisher: Indiana University Press, Bloomington, Indiana USA, 2017.

In the summer of 2017, the Romanian media was rocked by a series of scandals relating to the Orthodox Church. These scandals, which were a stroke of luck for journalists who would normally be reporting on how Romanians spend their holidays, centred on acts of sexual impropriety perpetrated by figures in the upper echelons of the Orthodox Church, including one celebrity priest-cum-musical superstar. The Bishop of Huşi and Father Celestin of the Prislop Monastery of Maramureş were discovered to have engaged in same-sex sexual activities; the bishop was even caught on video being intimate with a theology student. These revelations were compounded by the fact that the musical superstar and priest Cristian Pomohaci was accused of having abused young boys who worked on his farm. Several young men came forward testifying that they were abused at the hands of Pomohaci. The journalist who broke the story first contacted officials within the church in reference to Pomohaci but received no response. Confronted with the church’s inaction, he finally went public.

April 25, 2018 - Alin Constantin

Memory politics in CEE

This special episode of the "In Between Europe" podcast brings you an extended discussion on history. Gábor Egry, a historian at the Institute for Political History in Budapest is our guide as we try to construct a more nuanced interpretation of the current Polish memory row and touch on nation-building and history building in Romania and Hungary.

March 20, 2018 - Zselyke Csaky and Gergely Romsics

Civil society steps in to preserve Romania’s past

In Romania, despite a lack of political will, civil society is racing to save dilapidated old structures and help ensure the survival of the region's unique identity. Yet, will their efforts be enough to save the thousands of heritage sites across the country?

A dozen-strong group of volunteers gather at the stone base of a fortified Lutheran church in the small Saxon village of Filetelnic, Transylvania, as Eugen Vaida, head of the Ambulanta Pentru Monumente (Ambulance for Monuments), gives directions on how to save one of the church’s three-metre-high fortified walls. The wall, part of which dates back to the 15th century, is crumbling from the top down as a result of water infiltration. This would eventually destroy the wall, as well as the ancient inscriptions on it, which date back to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Sadly, Filetelnic is not a unique case. Many heritage buildings throughout this region have fallen into various states of disrepair, from crumbling medieval fortified churches to abandoned Hungarian castles, from old war monuments to centuries-old Saxon homes.

January 2, 2018 - Stephen McGrath

Romania’s justice system under threat

Liviu Dragnea, head of Romania’s ruling Social Democrats, is facing allegations of embezzling 24 million euros from EU funds between 2001 and 2012. Despite the massive anti-corruption protests in February 2017, Romania continues to be run by the ruling elite, for the ruling elite.

December 15, 2017 - Maryla Król

Like thieves in the night

On the night of January 31st 2017 the Romanian government defiantly passed the ill-fated Ordinance 13, decriminalising certain instances of office misconduct, despite previous criticism from the public, the media and legal experts. People immediately took to the streets to protest both the document and the way in which it was adopted. “Like thieves in the night” became one of the main slogans of the protesters. The ordinance was seen as favouring a high number of corrupt officials either already sentenced or facing trial. Then, following five days of record-breaking protests across the country, the government agreed to withdraw it. However, the country is struggling in an atmosphere of social tensions and distrust of its elected leaders and the protests continue.

February 9, 2017 - Ioana Burtea

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