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17061Romanian cleric served as Communist informant

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    Oct 25, 2012
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      Romanian cleric served as Communist informant

      Posted: Oct 23, 2012 1:21 PM EDT Updated: Oct 23, 2012 1:21 PM EDT

      BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - Romania's highest court has upheld the
      conviction of a top Orthodox cleric that he secretly served as an
      informant for the country's communist-era Securitate police.

      The 83-year-old Archbishop Pimen was found guilty by a government
      council of serving as an informant sent by the church and the Securitate
      to spy on fellow clergy and members of Romania's expatriate community in
      the United States in the 1970s.

      Before the allegations emerged in 2007, he was considered one of the
      luminaries of the church and had hosted Romania's former King Michael
      and Britain's Prince Charles at famous painted monasteries in Romania.

      The conviction carries no penalty.

      The influential Romanian Orthodox Church has opposed opening the files
      of its senior clergy from Romania's 1945-1989 communist era. Many
      priests are believed to have collaborated.