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Patriarch Teoctist turns 91

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  • Rev. Fr. John-Brian Paprock
    Front Page / Culture Patriarch Teoctist turns 91 published in issue 3612 page 14 at 2006-02-07 Bucharest - His Beatitude, Teoctist, the Patriarch of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2006
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      Front Page / Culture

      Patriarch Teoctist turns 91
      published in issue 3612 page 14 at 2006-02-07

      Bucharest - His Beatitude, Teoctist, the Patriarch of the Romanian
      Orthodox Church (BOR), is 91 years old. A strong personality
      dominating the contemporary historic scene, Patriarch Teoctist led
      BOR through five political regimes, with Ceausescu's dictatorship the
      most challenging of them all.

      Born in the village of Tocileni, Botosani County, in 1915, the young
      Toader (His Beatitude's Christian name), he entered the Vorona
      Monastery as a brother and became a monk at the Bistrita Monastery at
      the age of 20, under the name of Teoctist, and climbing the BOR
      leadership rank-and-file to the position of Patriarch in 1986.

      The highlight of his ecumenical career has arguably been his meeting
      in Bucharest with His Holiness Paul John Paul II, May 7-9, 1999. It
      was the first visit ever by a pope to an Orthodox majority country, a
      historic gesture that gave the signal, nearly 1000 years after the
      schism between the two churches, of the hope in the religious unity
      of the Christian Church everywhere. It transformed Romania into a
      religious centre of an importance difficult to grasp at the time.

      His Beatitude Teoctist returned the visit, at the official invitation
      of Pope John Paul II, visiting the Vatican during October 7-14, 2002.

      Two other historic visits have also strengthened Romania's religious
      and diplomatic ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchy in Constantinople.
      One took place between May 18 and 24, 2004, when Patriarch Teoctist
      led a BOR delegation to Istanbul and Cappadocia, answering the
      invitation of His Sanctity Bartolomeu, the leader of the Orthodox
      everywhere, the other, October 15-25, 2004, when Bartolomeu visited
      Romania himself.

      Patriarch Teoctist is a honorary member of the Romanian Academy,
      since 1999, and in 2003, the George C. Marshall" Association offered
      him the "Medal of Year 2002" for his support to Romania's Euro-
      Atlantic accession". This was an international political recognition
      boosted a year later by the distinction "Romania's Star" offered by
      the Romania Sustainable Development Fund in recognition for "his
      activity supporting Romania's development".

      The most difficult project, for which he has been struggling
      tirelessly, is fulfilling the legacy left by Patriarch Miron Cristea
      for Romania to have a Patriarchal Cathedral named the Nation's
      Cathedral. This project is not a personal ambition, but the
      expression of a feeling of national pride and reality seen as a
      historic accomplishment.

      by George Grigoriu
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