TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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The Theological Seminary from Neamț Monastery (1949-1952)
After a new law on public schools had been adopted in 1948, the communist state began to close the theological schools, including the seminaries. The Theological Seminary from Neamț Monastery was set up only after the adoption of new statutes for the organization and functioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church (February 1949), as a result of the negotiations between Patriarch Iustinian and the state officials. It was in fact a revival of an old theological seminary of the interwar years, where Patriarch Iustinian tried to create a breeding ground for intellectual monks who were to be appointed in leadership positions. However material and financial issues were overcome when Patriarch Iustinian appealed to the factors involved, namely the monasteries that sent their students to school and the dioceses they belonged to. The theological seminary evolved under the guidance of prestigious professors, which drew the communists’ attention. Consequently, after three years of existence, the monastic seminary in Neamț was disbanded by the Ministry for Religious Affairs and Patriarch Iustinian’s project collapsed. The present analysis is the result of a research undertaken in the archives of the Theological Seminary from Neamț Monastery.