Patriarch Teoctist of Romania Reposes
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) - The head of the Romanian Orthodox Church, who made history when he invited the late John Paul II to his Orthodox country in 1999 but was criticized for being too close to former Communists, died Monday. He was 92.
Patriarch Teoctist died of a heart attack following surgery on his prostate gland earlier Monday, doctors at the Fundeni hospital told Realitatea TV.
- The Guardian, Monday July 30, 2007 6:01 PM
Born to Dumitru and Marghioala Arăpaş in 1915, Toader Arăpaşu was the 10th of 11 children. He became a monk when he was 20, ascending to the position of patriarch of the Romanian Church in 1986.
After the revolution that overthrew Nicolae Ceauşescu in 1989, he promoted religious education, founding new theological seminaries, medium schools for church singers, for social assistants preparation, for historical monuments restaurateurs along with organizing foreign scholarships. In addition, he introduced religious education for all grades in school.
His reign will be best known for the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1999, the first visit of the Roman pope to an predominantly Orthodox country after the Great Schism. It will, however, be marred by accusations and criticisms of the patriarch for allegedly supporting the fascists in his youth, and collaborating with communists during his reign.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church has confirmed the date of burial was to be Friday, August 3, 2007 at 11:00 (GMT+2) and is to take place at the Patriarchal Cathedral (also known as the Cathedral of Ss Constantine & Helena). Metropolitan Daniel Ciobotea of Moldova will head the Romanian Church until a successor is chosen.