Andrei Şaguna and “The Organic Statute” – II.3-4 The theological studies; the activity as a Vicar-administrator


II.3 The years of the theological studies and monastic life in Serbian climate

In the autumn of 1829, the lawyer Şaguna decided to go to Werschetz, where there was a possibility for the Romanians of the Austrian Monarchy to study Orthodox theology for three years.[1] A special Romanian section had been founded here in 1822, with the purpose to train priests for the many parishes from Banat, even for the Eparchy of Sibiu, which lacked the adequate conditions. The official name of the school was “The Serbian-Vlachian Clerical Institute” and in the first series of 115 students most of them (84) were Romanians.[2]

There is no concrete information concerning the reasons which made Anastasie Şaguna to choose to study theology and to become a priest. His native intelligence, together with his serious studies and Anastasie Grabovsky’s material support offered him many opportunities among which the commercial business, which was a family tradition, seemed natural for him. Of course his mother’s deep piety had been a decisive factor. In addition to this, Bishop Maxim Manuilovici of Werschetz (1829-1834), closely connected to Grabovsky family, opened his house to the young apprentice: “[…] the young Anastasie Şaguna having successfully graduated Law, in 1829, at the University of Pest, went to Werschetz to study theology, the Romanian section, both at his own call and following his mother, uncle and Bishop Manuilovici’s advice; the bishop was a Romanian by birth and a friend of Grabovsky, his uncle.”[3] In the years, during the conflicts with the Serbian hierarchy on the re-establishment of the old Metropolitanate of Transylvania, Andrei Şaguna was to mention the Bishop Manuilovici as an example of a follower of a custom in the Orthodox monasteries from Hungary, to accomplish the religious services both in Romanian and Serbian: “in the time of Bishop Maxim Manuilovici, in the Cathedral of Werschetz the church hymns were sung in Romanian and Serbian.[4]

Beyond any possible speculations[5], his vocation or “the inner call” was undoubtedly the essential factor that made Anastasie Şaguna to choose the study of theology and later to join the monastic life too. “He was heard more than once saying: ‘If I were born a hundred times, I would choose to become a priest again and again’.”[6] His love and respect for Orthodoxy as well as his belief in the spiritual and social mission of the priesthood, both deepened during the time spent at Pest, had precedence over a career in business. Not in the least one can consider true the assertion that “this young man was aware of the gifts and graces God put in him, and he felt that they could not be in the service of one person only.”[7]

The studies at the Clerical Institute of Werschetz must have helped him at least to be initiated in the systematic knowledge of Orthodox theology, because in those years there was no such a thing as an Orthodox Theological Faculty that could provide a high level academic training. A professor of theology from Czernowitz remarked in 1883 too “the lack of qualified professors of Greek Orthodox confession not only in our area, but all through the Austrian Monarchy”.[8]

After he completed the theological studies, Anastasie Şaguna was invited by the Metropolitan Stevan Stratimirović (1790-1836) at Karlowitz, who later appointed him as a teacher of theology and the metropolitan’s secretary.[9] “Metropolitan Stratimirović, a man of vast knowledge and culture, was well regarded and supported by the Court of Vienna. He handled skillfully the policy of the dynasty, which was a national tradition by the Serbians.”[10] But unfortunately, for the Romanians he was “a notorious persecutor, as he used to say that there is nothing worse for him than the Romanian language”[11]. Consequently, it is clear that Anastasie Şaguna was an exceptional person, because he had attended the Romanian section of the Clerical Institute, and a Serbian metropolitan having a clear dislike for the Romanians and their language would not have chosen a Romanian to be his secretary, unless he had been such an exceptional person.

The model of Metropolitan Stratimirović, a cultivated monk[12], and his encouragement[13] strengthened Anastasie in his wish to become a monk. Thus, on April 15, 1833, he knelt at Hopovo monastery[14], near Karlowitz, where on October 12, 1833, he received the tonsure and took the name of the first called apostle: Andrei. He was ordained a deacon on February 2, 1834, then appointed an archdeacon on Easter 1835. On June 29, 1837, he was ordained a priest (hyeromonk). On October 24, 1839, he was appointed a hegumen of Jazak monastery[15], at the beginning of 1840 an administrator of Bešenovo monastery[16], on October 28, 1842, an archimandrite and hegumen of Hopovo monastery, and then an archimandrite of Kovil monastery[17] in the Eparchy of Novi Sad (Neoplanta), on April 27, 1845.[18]

But, “apart from these quick promotions, Metropolitan Şaguna had a lot of troubles and one could see that the difficulties and problems which made a chain until his last breath began at Karlowitz. It is the nature of spiritually inferior people to envy those who are superior in spirit and better than they are. As a temporary administrator of Bešenovo monastery, wishing to bring order to the monastery and punishing the abuses, he had a lot of enemies; he was even involved in a court trial with the monks, out of which he ended victoriously with praises too.”[19]

At the beginning of 1836 died Andrei Şaguna’s mother, Anastasia, “being buried on January 17, 1836, by the illuminated priest Ioan Teodorovici in ‘Kerepesi’ cemetery of Pest, in Grabovsky of Apadia family’s crypt, where a few years later Evreta/Francisc and Ecaterina were to be buried too. […] In 1849, Bishop Andrei Şaguna laid a stone cross with this pious inscription: ‘To his beloved mother Anastasia, to his most beloved brother Evreta and to his sweet sister Ecaterina. Andreiu Şaguna, Bishop of Transylvania, raised this monument in 1849’.”[20]

In 1836 the Metropolitan Stratimirović passed away, but Andrei Şaguna, owing to his abilities, won the sympathies of the next Serbian Metropolitans, Stevan Stanković (1837-1842) and Josip Rajačić (1842-1860).

After 1838, Hyeromonk Andrei was also a librarian of the Metropolitanate: “I was lucky to be a protosyngel in our Metropolitanate of Karlowitz and apart from my duties as a teacher of theology, having my free time I used to read canon law books. I could do this easily, as I was at the same time a librarian of the metropolitan library.[21]

As a teacher of theology at the seminary of Karlowitz[22], and since 1835 as a secretary of the Metropolitan Sratimirović[23], he had the opportunity to improve in Church matters and to become familiar with the administrative, judicial and others church affairs, and with all the relevant events of the Metropolitanate of Karlowitz; he could also come in touch officially or privately with many persons and authorities.[24] At the time, under the jurisdiction of the Serbian metropolitan there were not only the traditional Serbian territories of the monarchy (Vojvodina), but also the Romanian parishes from Banat and Buda, and the Eparchies of Bukovina and Dalmatia.[25]

For more than five years he was a member of the arch-eparchial consistory of Karlowitz[26], then for almost three years of the eparchial consistory of Werschetz[27].

By virtue of the privileges given the Serbians after 1690, the metropolitans of Karlowitz were both political[28] and spiritual leaders of their people and the church national congress became the supreme legislative and deliberative Serbian assembly. “Consequently, the metropolitan particularly one of the caliber of Stratimirović, enjoyed immense prestige and could on occasion even treat with the ministries in Vienna with almost sovereign authority. This striking example of the Church’s preponderant role in the temporal affairs of its faithful must have made a strong impression upon Şaguna and undoubtedly served him as a model when he undertook the reorganization of the Orthodox Church in Transylvania.”[29]

Andrei Şaguna’s work within Metropolitanate of Karlowitz coincided with a period of intense cultural revival of the Serbians. Metropolitan Stevan Stanković (1837-1842) had launched a campaign meant to improve the priests’ material and intellectual level, which was debated and turned into practice during his successor, Rajačić.[30] According to this plan of regeneration of the clergy and of the monastic life, Andrei Şaguna himself was requested to bring order to Jazak, later Bešenovo monasteries. “He insisted that the monastic clergy be guided by the highest standards of conduct because, in his view, they could accomplish their sacred mission only if they inspired respect and confidence in those they were ordained to serve.”[31] The time spent in the Serbian monasteries of the time must have been a good life experience too, very useful for his later work as a church organizer.

Since 1842 he was appointed a teacher at the Clerical Institute of Werschetz, where had studied himself. In the same year, the new Metropolitan Josip Rajačić (1842-1860) conferred him the rank of archimandrite and entrusted him the leadership of Hopovo monastery.[32]

At Werschetz, Archimandrite Andrei faced the serious conflict between the Serbians and the Romanians concerning their rights within the common eparchy. The Romanians said that the Serbians had the monopoly of all high church offices and monasteries, even in areas where the Romanians made up the overwhelming majority, for example in the Eparchy of Timişoara. The Serbian metropolitans did not deny this, but they invoked the lack of the Romanian trained church personnel. At the same time, the Romanians were discontented with the disproportionate use of the church revenues and demanded more financial resources for the Romanian schools, churches and monasteries. Not in the least did they claim that the Romanian language should be used in church services and administration.[33]

As a result of the increasing antagonisms, the situation had become critical, and Stratimirović’s successors recognized the urgent need to make concessions to the Romanians in order to keep the unity and the existence of the Orthodox Church in the monarchy, because in the meantime the Uniate movement had made proselytes in the Eparchies of Arad and Timişoara, and in Transylvania too, among those Romanians who preferred a national church (as the Uniate nationalists imagined that they could make one), to a church dominated by the foreigners. The Romanian section of the Clerical Institute of Werschetz was enlarged; they took the custom of ordaining Romanian priests at Karlowitz in the Romanian language also; the Romanian parishes were kept for Romanian priests; the principle that the bishops of the eparchies whose faithful were Romanians for their majority should be in their turn Romanians, or at least should speak Romanian, began to be respected. Both Stevan Stanković and Josip Rajačić appointed more Romanians in important administrative positions.[34]

Within this ecclesiastical context, in which the Serbian hierarchy had to find the solution of a change concerning the issue of nationality, could be interpreted the fact that Archimandrite Andrei Şaguna was appointed in 1846 as a vicar-administrator of the vacant Eparchy of Sibiu. Metropolitan Rajačić, the one who warmly recommended Şaguna to the Court, saw in the intelligent archimandrite of Macedo-Romanian origin a magnet that could tame the opposing relationships between the Serbian hierarchy and the Romanian faithful. When the episcopal see of Novi Sad became vacant, some would have recommended Andrei Şaguna as the future bishop, but Rajačić opposed this, saying: “I will keep Şaguna for the Eparchy of Transylvania, whose present day bishop, Vasile Moga, is an old man and whose chair will be vacant.”[35]

According to Ioan Lupaş, “as long as he lived among the Serbians, we do not know if Şaguna had written or published anything. We only know one single work dating back from that time: ‘Gramatica Valachica’ (‘Vlachian Grammar’), kept among the manuscripts of his library and maybe written after 1842, as he was a teacher at the Romanian section of the Theological Seminary of Werschetz …”[36] This work also points out that Andrei Şaguna knew well and dealt with the study of his maternal language[37] – which will allow him to write and publish a lot of articles, brochures and books in Romanian, and even to revise the Bible[38] – contrary to the statements of some late biographers.[39] It was natural that at the beginning of his activity in Transylvania he might not have used his mother-tongue like Hungarian, German or Serbian, because in the Austrian Monarchy the language of a people long oppressed from a political, social and religious point of view was not by far a widely used one, and less as an official one.

II.4 Vicar-administrator of the Eparchy of Sibiu

II.4.1 Andrei Şaguna’s appointment as a vicar-administrator

On October 17, 1845, Bishop Vasile Moga of Sibiu, the first Orthodox Romanian bishop of Transylvania after 1700, passed away. He inherited the episcopal see in 1810, after a vacancy of fourteen years, and although “the deceased bishop worked well and by his will one could see that he had good intentions[40], since he had lived “in the non-Uniate Church of Transylvania disorder, personal liking and simony ruled; Moga himself was not aware of his high ministry and let himself be led by those around him or by his many relatives”[41].

Aware of the serious condition of this eparchy, Metropolitan Josip Rajačić thought enthusiastically to appoint Andrei Şaguna as a temporary administrator or vicar-administrator, until the decision on the new bishop’s appointment. Emperor Ferdinand (1835-1848) received references for the Archimandrite Andrei, from the Serbian metropolitan on the one hand, and from the civil authorities of Transylvania on the other hand. “The difficulty of finding among the natives from Transylvania a worthy priest, able to manage the Greek non-Uniate Eparchy, encouraged Baron Jósika, the vice-president of the Aulic Chancellery, […] to get in touch by word with the archbishop and metropolitan of Karlowitz, who was at the time at Vienna, in order to find the right person.”[42]  As a result of this request, Baron Samuel Jósika agreed with the Serbian metropolitan’s opinion[43] and reported it to the Court, as an extra reference for the one who was to become a vicar: “Archbishop Rajačić thinks the Archimandrite Andrei Şaguna from Kovil monastery entirely worthy for this post; he is aged forty, a Romanian by origin, trained in Philosophy, Law and Theology, fully in command of Hungarian, German, Romanian, Slavonic, Serbian and Latin languages; he has become a monk under the deceased Metropolitan Stratimirović […]; he is a man who has served under three archbishops and who has been used for twelve years in all eparchies – under direct supervision – and also in all kinds of missions assigned by hierarchs, enjoying everywhere perfect trust. Very appreciated in terms of behaviour, far from being a fanatic, he might be able to put order in the church matters of Transylvania, to cultivate the good understanding with those of other confessions, to promote the moral growth of his people, and above all to be active for the benefit of the state and Church.”[44]  Further on, the report of the Aulic Chancellery of Transylvania added one more argument to determine the Emperor Ferdinand to appoint Andrei Şaguna as vicar: “The appointment of Archimandrite Şaguna suggested by Rajačić seems the more meaningful to Jósika, the more this depends only on Your Majesty [choosing and confirmation of a worthily future bishop, who will stop the disorders left by Bishop Moga], and the more he remains in this position just as long as he is worthily of it. On the other hand, Şaguna was expected to win the non-Uniate clergy’s sympathy by his wise behaviour and fruitful activity, so that Your Majesty shall count on his successful election as a bishop, ordered by the recent high Decree.”[45] Out of this it is clear that the ecclesiastical and political authorities of the time were very interested in entrusting the Eparchy of Sibiu to a worthy bishop, following to cross the climbing of such successors as those of Vasile Moga’s caliber, and Archimandrite Andrei was by far, in the Serbian metropolitan’s view – a view also shared by the Aulic Chancellery of Transylvania – the most serious choice of the moment.

The emperor let himself persuaded by these references, and he issued on June 27, 1846, the resolution of appointment of the vicar-administrator of Transylvania: “We assign the Archimandrite Andrei Şaguna of Kovil the position of vicar-administrator for the episcopal vacant see of the Eparchy of Greek rite of the non-Uniates in Transylvania[46], and pay an annual salary of 2,000 florins.”[47]

In this way started Andrei Şaguna’s long and difficult ministry in the Eparchy of Sibiu, which from “a vast eparchy lying on thousands and was awfully disordered”[48], he was to turn, within twenty-five years, into the best organized metropolitanate of the Austrian Monarchy, and of the entire Orthodox world too. His appointment as a vicar “was a moment in which God threw a certain eye on Transylvania”[49].

Arriving at Sibiu, on August 21/September 2, 1846, he found the episcopal residence occupied by the school principal, whom he “invited” to get out and concede it to him.[50] His reception by the clergy, especially by the previous protégées of Bishop Vasile Moga – who would have themselves liked this post – was not very friendly. “His appointment as a vicar was met coldly, we might say unwelcoming, especially by those of Transylvania; first of all he was not known in Transylvania, and secondly it was believed extensively that he was a Serbian by nationality.”[51] Although both the Serbian metropolitan and Baron Jósika had recommended the Archimandrite Andrei to the Court as “a Romanian by origin”, the Romanians doubted his nationality. But the fact that he had been appointed by Vienna, without having been invited or elected by someone from Transylvania, led to suspicions, actually justified.[52]

Despite the unfriendly reception, the young vicar quickly made a good impression on the faithful and the intellectuals of his time: “He is a handsome man, tall and strong, with a white and handsome face; his forehead is broad and smooth, and he wears a large black beard; he gives the appearance of piety and also of seriousness and authority.”[53] Even the Magyar intellectuality had been seduced by his charismatic personality, which eclipsed the Uniate bishop, and they stated the followings: “Lemeni [the Uniate bishop of the time] is a clever fellow, but compared to Şaguna, he’s just a Wallach priest.”[54] On his coming to Transylvania, the Saxons “who were accustomed to his predecessor Vasile Moga, the former bishop, looked down on him, like to a simple ‘Walachischer Bischof’. They soon realized how wrong they had been. The honour the young Emperor Francis Joseph showed to Şaguna in the summer of 1852, when he first came to Sibiu, threw them out of confusion and inspired respect.”[55] A story told by a Saxon doctor of Sibiu sums up the impression Vicar Andrei Şaguna made on his contemporaries: “The Nature appears to have overwhelmed this high prelate with all its many graces, and thus he is a masterpiece both in body and spirit.”[56]

Later, one of his close collaborators spoke well of him: “His high spirit, solid education, tireless activity, refined and serious behaviour, natural beauty and majestic and lofty appearance, rare features for a mortal, were magnetic forces which conquered everybody’s heart.”[57]  And Bishop Nicolae Ivan[58] remembered: “Metropolitan Andrei with his great and lofty appearance drew a special respect from all the believers, and we, the youth, looked to him as to a supernatural being.”[59]

II.4.2 The state of the Orthodox Eparchy of Sibiu on Andrei Şaguna’s arrival

If Vicar Andrei Şaguna had quickly succeeded in drawing his faithful’ sympathy, he was not at all pleased with what he had found in the eparchy. The Orthodox Church of Transylvania was in a terrifying situation because of the persecutions which lasted for centuries, and the extremely precarious political situation the Romanian people had.[60] “At the time, Şaguna had a scattered flock, which was not educated, disciplined, or in good order, also poor and haunted by both the foreigners and impassioned brothers.”[61]

It was already known that the former bishop had not been able to do much, because of the famous nineteen points[62] of the imperial instruction, of December 21, 1810[63].

As a contemporary described the Romanian Church of Transylvania “it was divided […] into the Orthodox and the Greek Catholic Church, and all this could show the saddest icon of its condition. […] the Orthodox Romanian Church, we could say without any exaggeration was even more oppressed than the Romanian nation […] because, in spite of the legal article No. 60 of 1791, by which it was taken out of the tolerated confessions, conceding the free practice of religion, in fact it continues to suffer, because it was actually further just ‘tolerated’. It had long lost its independence and autonomy, being subordinated to the Serbian metropolitan of Karlowitz since October 9, 1783, and December 8, 1786, against all canons, by Joseph II’s decision. Our bishop, lacking political rights, not living a correspondingly decent life, sometimes supported by the modest financial contributions of the faithful, was paid a modest salary of 4,000 florins coming from sidoxyal taxes[64] – he was also tied by the legal royal instruction of December 21, 1810, by which he was totally limited in his episcopal activity and call, not enjoying any esteem and authority.”[65]

Although subordinated from an organizing point of view to the Metropolitanate of Karlowitz, the Romanian Orthodox Church did not enjoy the privileges of the Illyrian/Serbian nation and was not equally recognized in the country Constitution, although it was the oldest Church of Transylvania, having the most numerous parishioners. The fact that it was not legally recognized made possible the persecutions exercised by the state and the Court of Vienna, and also by the local administrative authorities – represented for the most part by the Magyars; it also determined a humiliating status which faithfully reflected the consequences of the political régime.[66] As Bishop Andrei was to point out in his opening speech of the first mixed eparchial synod of 1850[67], the political background was the only reason of the precarious situation of the Orthodox Church: “the makers of the old Constitution do not shrink from accusing and blaming us that our priests are uneducated, that our teachers are not hard working, that we do not have schools. It is true; but who is to blame that we are today so poor and humiliated in everything? Are not the rich and the high ranking officials to be blamed for our poverty and humiliation? Did we, as sons of the Eastern Church, unjustly take anything that belongs to the sons of other Churches? Out of my respect for the truth I feel obliged to confess that we have not taken anything justly, or unjustly; on the contrary, many things may have been taken from us, and nothing was justified.[68]

Yet, the hierarchs’ incompetence and neglect lead to this lamentable situation too, because what had to be done was not accomplished. “Apart from all oppressions and injustices done, I see […] that us, and especially our hierarchy are to be blamed for the condition of our Church, worthy to be pitied. […] I must say that, if we had as leaders of the Church men more suited to their calling, more interested in the common good of the Church, yet we could have had a better fortune in many respects.”[69] The vicar himself had to see, shortly after his coming to Sibiu: “We can see that the former bishop did not enjoy any consideration, either personal or official. This is why the high authorities entrusted the cause of the Church to foreign laymen, under whose obedience the bishop himself was subjected.[70]

The consistory – the eparchial superior executive body – did not have a pre-established agenda it kept the reports of its meetings at random and left the vital problems, such as the education and finances, at random too, flowing from one year to another.[71] Moreover, the project of reorganization of the consistory had not been entrusted to the former bishop, but to two Greek Catholic lay people, who supervised both the activity of the consistory and the bishop, and who had worked out a project with some provisions of which the vicar “did not stop wondering enough[72]. He was mostly dissatisfied with “that disposition which, on no canonical or legal ground, let to the protopopes or sometimes to their ignorant substitutes the prerogative to mend the abuses occurred until that moment. Now, the protopopes were to throw the priest out of service in an arbitrary cruel way, a fact they do not report to their chief. They hear the parties and approve the divorce, sending only the documents to the bishop to be confirmed. This way, according to my humble opinion, organization is not promoted, on the contrary, disorganization is at home and, against all canons, confusion is legislated. Thus the bishop’s rights are taken away and transferred to the consistory. […] In one word, in the project elaborated by the laymen, there is no reason, no order, because they do not have the knowledge and the necessary skill for this.[73]

The eparchial archive and library were also at a loss; the vicar himself took care to recover some books in Slavonic, which had not been registered yet, as considered superfluous.[74]

The eparchial finances which had been administrated by Bishop Vasile Moga not by the State Treasury were also intricate. The bishop had lent big sums of money which now could no longer be recovered, to some private people, Hungarian aristocrats, aiming to obtain ascendancy to the country political bodies, for the cause of the Orthodox Church.[75]

The Orthodox churches were scarce and modest. “You can say that the faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Church were oppressed and mocked to the extreme. It suffices to notice that in towns they were not excused if they built towered churches, with bells and façades facing the streets – they had to build hidden churches […]. The proofs are our churches from the fortress of Sibiu and Braşov.”[76]

The Church members, both the clergy and the parishioners, were uneducated.[77] The priests, in a vast proportion “attended only the primary schools according to the old system, too few attended the secondary schools and very, very few the gymnasium or high school”[78]. A systematic course for training Orthodox priests started at Sibiu in 1811.[79] It lasted only six months and this situation continued until Andrei Şaguna’s coming to Transylvania. The priests did not have salaries or canonical portions, because the Orthodox confession was not considered among the accredited ones. Moreover, the vicar had to ascertain painfully that many of them were not even moral: “As it was said that there is no remedy on Earth to make man immortal, I am saying that there is not a man born on Earth able to deliver the Orthodox Church [of Transylvania] from breaking up. And they are the priests who do that, out of whom few are right people, while as many as possible are evil and reprobate. The daily experience confirms this judgment more and more.[80]

The Orthodox elementary schools were almost non-existent and those which worked were precarious, having untrained teachers; the only “textbooks” were the Book of the Psalms, Catechism or Bucoavna (The ABC); the school principals were priests, in their turn. “As far as the learning system is concerned, it was in a primitive condition. Except the high schools from Blaj and the primary ones lying in the neighbouring villages (in the Saxon counties), there were no other ones. In the other parts of Transylvania inhabited mostly by Romanians there were no schools at all.”[81] As Vicar Andrei wrote to the metropolitan of Karlowitz “the schools here lack order and rules. The teachers are simple, untrained people, who can read and write shamefully and are totally unworthy. The children attend school only in winter, about five-six weeks, because their parents use them at the housework and thus, coming to school too short time on the one hand, and not having capable guides on the other hand, they remain primitive or savage, while the love for learning planted in the nature of man, as well as its progress, which makes of the mortal man a real human being, all this remains unshared. In fact, the real reason why this people are so dark and uneducated is not people themselves, because a question is raised: Is he a teacher the one who teaches for five-six florins?[82] The parents who wish to see their children educated had to send them to Roman Catholic or Protestant schools. Attending school was considered by some parents a luxury and an occupation without a future.[83] Because they were conscious that the only social status they themselves and their children could afford was that of a serf: “Until the year 1850, the Romanians were not accepted in the Saxon guilds; neither could they learn a craft.”[84]

Besides all this, during the first part of the nineteenth century added the insistent attempts of the central and local administration of Transylvania – represented by the Habsburgs together with the Magyars now – to impose the church Union among the Orthodox.[85]

A comprehensive description of the Orthodox Church in Transylvania was drawn by Bishop Andrei Şaguna in his complaint to the emperor, of December 1, 1855: “The history of the Greek-Eastern Church of Transylvania was a series of troubles and pains, showing the image of a slave who carries on living in bitterness, by the grace of suffering.[86]

Confronted with those dark realities, Vicar Andrei “had to face everything: the Romanian clergy; the lack of schools, churches, intellectuals; unfriendly and opposing authorities; confessional jealousy and even the false traditions which penetrated people’s settlements and mentality as a result of the difficult times of misery”[87].

II.4.3 The first church and social-political actions; Ecaterina Varga “episode”

In the tumult of the problems he found in the eparchy, the vicar began with the catechism of the youth, forbidding the young students to attend the courses of the religious doctrines held by foreigners, obliging them to attend catechism sessions organized by the Romanian Orthodox priests.[88] Then he modified in the autumn of 1846 the length of the course for priesthood candidates, from six months to a year.[89]

A partisan of the illuminating faith, “since he arrived in Transylvania he broke away with the old obscurantism. He began to draw on his side educated and intelligent men; and because such men were scarce, he began to shape them, sending qualified young men abroad, especially to the universities of Leipzig and Vienna, for their future training and improvement; by their coming back they were sent to the consistory and to teach at the Pedagogical-Theological Institute, in the Archdiocesan Seminary.”[90]

The first circular letters of Andrei Şaguna aimed to improve the discipline of the clergy.[91] He also obtained the consent of the government[92] on April 15, 1847, for pastoral visits in the eparchy, with the same purpose.[93] As far as church order and discipline are concerned, namely their turning into practice, he was very severe because the matters were neglected before him: “You could see him getting angry, when he met on the streets of Sibiu a priest inadequately dressed, or one having negligent bushy hair, a tumbled lawn or muddy boots. […] Laziness and drunkenness were the defects he hated most […]. He made many opponents among the clergy by the severe measures taken – as it happens all the time and everywhere – but he reached his goal, his measures were effective; his enemies had to admit, that under his leadership the clergy, the faithful and the entire condition of the Church changed, inspiring respect everywhere.”[94]

Although he promoted the strict discipline of the clergy, he imposed it paternally: “Since for the good of our clergy he was severe in sustaining the discipline and sometimes harsh in punishments, in exchange he has never allowed his clergy to be attacked or slandered, he rejected any unjust attack against his priests and he was never selfish with praise and acts of gratitude for his hardworking and worthy subordinates.”[95]

He also fought a lot to raise the clergy’s sad material and intellectual standard. The priest shared the same kind of simple, poor life as his parishioners and he had a great influence on them. “It was precisely because of this influence and its immense potential for good that Şaguna made the parish clergy the central object of his ambitious programme of church reform. He was certain that only with enlightened priests in the villages could he hope to bring his people spiritually and materially into the modern world.”[96]

The first direct appeals made toward the government of Transylvania, asking the full legality and consequently the official material help for the Orthodox, were – as one might have expected – ignored. “[…] passing officially through Cluj I recommended the magnates the cause of our Church, namely our lawful existence as religion within state, and I was met with comforting explanations, but weak hopes are lying before me.[97]

In spite of the modest nature of some of the claims – equal rights for the faithful and the protest against the discrediting denomination, such as “schismatic” or “tolerated”, in the official documents or in the press – the government was not ready to bring changes to the social and political structure, old for centuries, in the principality.[98]

After a year of efforts, the results were discouraging: “our Church here is completely disorganized and there is no man who could save it from death, because the priests and especially the protopopes are totally blinded by their personal interests and are on the Greek Catholic side. So they would be the first who separate from the Church, if they knew that the people let themselves be drawn to their side. But this good people, however poor it might be, are ashamed of something like this. It is a bad situation, nothing worse could have happened. We ought to help this people. But which are the means that could help it? This is the first and the last problem. I do not know, because my judgment has grown less, and my soul is tired of so many calamities.[99]

Apart from the strictly church issues, Vicar Andrei Şaguna had to face social-political problems too. Since the eighteenth century there was a tradition in Transylvania that the Romanian Church leaders of both Orthodox and Greek Catholics were treated like official servants, at the state’s disposal. In the report of the Chancellery of Transylvania addressed to the Court, by which the Archimandrite Andrei was recommended to be appointed a vicar-administrator, the hope that “he will be used for the state and Church interests, first of all”[100] was clearly expressed. Therefore – if we are to interpret the meaning ad litteram – at the time, the Church leaders were first of all necessary and subordinated to the state, then to the Church, from the perspective of the political authorities.

The first political act taken by the future metropolitan, “extremely important by its consequences, by which he positively surprised the Romanians and the foreigners”[101] is the so-called “Ecaterina Varga episode” that occurred in the autumn/winter of 1846-1847. Several mountain villages from Apuseni Mountains – Abrud-Sat, Bucium, Cărpiniş – had brought the Fisk to court before 1846, invoking the toil tax (labour conscription) exempt, by virtue of the rights they thought they were having.[102] Losing the case, the villagers refused to submit to the claims of the Fisk and the army was sent there in the summer of 1837, to restore order.[103] Thus, they were forced to carry out the imposed obligations[104], a fact which has lasted for only six years. New cases were brought to court and new files against the Fisk. Looking for lawyers, the villagers met at Aiud “one woman named Varga Katalin […]. She was a bright, eloquent woman.”[105] She seemed to be a set down noble Hungarian woman, who promised that she would win the case, as she had a brother who was an agent at the Court of Vienna. So in spite of the administrative pressure and the danger of a slaughter, the villagers did not carry the toil anymore, on Ecaterina Varga’s advice. She already had a permanent dwelling at Bucium-Poieni, where she settled comfortable, supported by the villagers the period between 1840 and 1847.[106] Because of the villagers’ refuse to deliver her to the authorities, a military intervention was imminent, so long she “hold speeches to the people”[107] on Sundays, instigating them.

Within this tense context, the Governor József Teleki of Transylvania (1842-1848) appealed to the Orthodox vicar to calm down the parishioners, by the address of November 14, 1846.[108] After two visits paid in the area, one in the autumn of 1846[109], and the next on January 4/16, 1847, Andrei Şaguna succeeded in restoring the state of peace, a relative one, of course.

Although it was presented sometimes incorrectly or incomplete[110], this episode pointed out that Vicar Andrei Şaguna “had the strength and quickness of the spirit to intercede, and if he had not hurried, a great misfortune might have occurred on both sides.”[111] Then “it also showed that the people trusted him, otherwise he would not have dared to face that woman, ‘our lady’ [as the people called her] and take her from there, without any words on the villagers’ part. And he had won this trust by his speeches and explanations about the state and nature of the trial, convincing them that he, as a spiritual father who had compassion for them, would get justice from the political régime, according to the law and circumstances, rather than a woman like Varga Catarina, who was an imposter and tried to impoverish them, to ruin and bring misfortunes on their entire life.”[112] By his tactful and pastoral diplomacy, he made the peasants to cooperate – because they first refused any dialogue on this topic; then he convinced them to deliver the impostor and also to write the statements by which they obliged themselves to toil the land. On the other hand, he drew the authorities’ attention on the importance of solving as soon as possible and as correctly as possible the peasants’ complaints, in order to avoid an open conflict with them.[113]

People contemporary with the event as well as the historians do not have the same opinion in interpreting and assessing this event.

Nicolae Popea considered this risky action on the one hand an expression of Andrei Şaguna’s consciousness as pastor “who puts his soul in the service of his spiritual sons”[114], and on the other hand an expression of his spirit of a clever politician “who foreseeing the danger from the distance, embarked upon, solving it with his entire determination.”[115]

Later, Ioan Lupaş wrote that “some would say about this case with Ecaterina Varga that Şaguna would have done this service to the government in order to pave his way to the vacant episcopal see.”[116] But one should not forget that “among our priests there was not a person showing episcopal aspirations who could have seriously competed with Şaguna”[117].

Our contemporary historian Gelu Neamţu speaks first of all about “a devilish plan of the authorities. Using the pretext Ecaterina Varga, two objectives could have been attained: first, to compromise the vicar if it [arresting her] ended in a failure; second, a military execution of the villagers who sheltered her.”[118] Then Gelu Neamţu refers to the summons of November 14, 1846, the very arresting order delivered by the governor of Transylvania, and ended like this: “In the last analysis, Şaguna had to carry out an order. Whoever knows the situation of the Romanian priests of Transylvania before the revolution, knows very well that they were treated worse than a civil servant, even though they held a higher position.”[119] This last way to understand the things is the most realistic and lasting. Historian Keith Hitchins makes reference to it too.[120]

The conclusion which presents itself is that Vicar Andrei Şaguna “jumped in the middle, not driven by low and mean personal interests, but only by noble, moral ones, related to the good of the people whom he saved from the threatening danger. He was not the soldier of the government as he was accused, but an intercessor between the régime and his people he had defended.”[121] The legality was another reason of his actions: “He considered it his duty as a priest to protect his flock from violence and to do what he could to ensure their well-being; and as a loyal subject he felt he could do no less than encourage respect for the law.”[122] Actually the respect for the law will be in the years to come, the years of the revolution of 1848, the strong point of his discourses held before the people.

II.4.4 Organizational measures; the appointment and consecration as a bishop

The eparchial emergency in which Archimandrite Andrei had been appointed as a vicar was the vacancy of the episcopal see, which had exceeded the canonical term of three months.[123] The situation was the more constraining, as a similar precedent before the previous Bishop Vasile Moga had continued in spite of the claims in this respect for more than fourteen years (1796-1810/11) having disastrous effects on the eparchy.[124]

One of the first serious consequences generated by the lack of a bishop of Sibiu was the problem of the consecration of new priests, at a time when they were much needed all over Transylvania: “The consistory sent to Arad a clergy candidate who found the bishop seriously ill, lying in bed and because of it, or God knows why, he traveled eight weeks from Arad to Timişoara to be consecrated. The poor man was obliged, apart from the tiredness of the travels, to rent a horse for to ride to Timişoara, but then he had to sell it in Arad to face the many privations, and on the ninth Sunday he left ‘per pedes apostolorum’ in a heavy winter, coming back home bare handed, because he spent the last little money he had, about 350 florins, by remaining there for examination [canonical examination].[125]

Second, the lack of a solid organization of the Orthodox eparchy favoured the Uniate proselytism: “There are documents which point out, that at the time of the episcopal vacancy even in some members of the eparchial consistory the gangrene of confessional proselytism had penetrated.”[126]

The vicar insisted that the episcopal see should be filled as soon as possible, and together with the consistory “he made up a petition to the régime, asking that the appointment of a new bishop should be done as in the case of Moga, the bishop of 1810.”[127] He was obliged to insist on the claim: “The consistory decided these days to draw to the High Government a petition signed by all the assessors, for His Majesty in his mercy to agree with the plan of appointing an Orthodox bishop in Transylvania.”[128]

On the one hand, the Greek Catholic bishop took steps at the Court, in order to endlessly delay the appointment of an Orthodox bishop, especially in the person of Andrei Şaguna.[129] On the other hand, among the Orthodox voting priests there was a climate hostile to Andrei Şaguna, a situation created by Vasile Moga’s former partisans’ intrigues, they seeing their positions jeopardized. Because of all this Vicar Andrei was skeptical, a few months before the election, concerning his chances of becoming a bishop: “I, personally have little hope of being appointed, because many elements stand against me, better said against us, and I also cannot believe that our Eastern Church, so corrupted today, will be allowed to be in the hands of a healthy and wise leadership, to be revived after it has fallen in such a deep abyss. I would gladly offer myself, yet I would rather withdraw.[130]

In the end, “by His Majesty’s resolution of July 24, 1847”[131] the claim of the eparchial consistory for the filling of the vacant episcopal see in the same way as in 1810 was approved, without the restriction that the potential candidates come exclusively out of the members of the clergy from Transylvania.[132]  The Decree issued by the Aulic Chancellery of Transylvania, on October 20, 1847, established the election date for December 1, 1847, at Turda.[133]

From that moment the fever of election grew day by day. Two categories of enemies rose up against the vicar: those inside the Orthodox Church, namely Vasile Moga’s partisans, who supported two of the former bishops’ nephews with the hope to keep their privileges; those who were outside the Orthodox Church, the Roman and Greek Catholics, whose bishop complained at Vienna that if Andrei Şaguna was to be appointed a bishop, then the Greek Catholic Church in Transylvania “will collapse”[134].

On December 1 and 2, 1847, the election assembly made of the eparchial protopopes gathered at Turda, headed by the vicar-administrator. As a result of the voting, a list with the first three candidates was sent to the Court, which appointed the future bishop. The destiny ranked Andrei Şaguna the third with 29 votes.[135] The first two candidates were the priest Vasile Moga with 33 votes, followed by the priest Moise Fulea, with 31 votes.[136]

“He [Andrei Şaguna] did nothing to be [only] third; on the contrary, in the few months of his ministry, he had inspected his eparchy, made contact with the priests, made an improvement plan for schools. He was to continue this path.”[137] Although the last on the list with the elected priests, Andrei Şaguna was appointed the new bishop of the vacant episcopal see by Emperor Ferdinand himself, by the imperial resolution of January 24/February 5, 1848[138], “without those restrictions which were imposed on his predecessor, Bishop Vasile Moga”[139].

Immediately after the event, the appointed bishop wanted to thank the Serbian metropolitan, his ecclesiastical superior who had recommended him favourably at Court. At the same time, he made public the principles he wanted to have in view by leading of the eparchy entrusted to him; those principles were the canonicity and the needs of the Church: “I am making my way to the priceless fatherly endeavour of Your Excellency for to express deeply my thanks, and to renew the vow that I wish to guide and I will guide this eparchy of mine not according to my will and passion, but just according to the canonical dispositions, and to the needs imposed by the special situation in which our Church is.[140] What Andrei Şaguna understood by the needs of the Church was not the same as Josip Rajačić thought, but the young bishop, in spite of his respect for his superior and supporter, will listen to his conscience and will follow his convictions, a fact which lead to energetic disputes, on the one hand, and to exceptional achievements, on the other hand.

By the pastoral letter of February 12/24, 1848, Andrei Şaguna shared with his clergy and parishioners the news that he was appointed by the emperor as their bishop, and let his poor people, oppressed for centuries, know the way he wanted to pastor them in fatherly love: “I promise you solemnly that […] I will endeavour with all my forces […] to be the father of the clergy and our faithful; I say, I want to be a father and again I say, I want to be a father in the true sense of the word.[141]

At the beginning of April 1848 he set off for Karlowitz, to be consecrated bishop, stopping on his way at Deva, west of Transylvania, with a mission received from the authorities to calm down the peasants seized by the ideas of the revolution: “Dear Brother! The circumstances of our days, related to my position, obliged me to leave for Deva, on April 4, and the needs from the area will tell me how long I shall linger; I will not be back too soon, as I will continue my journey to Karlowitz, for the consecration ceremony …[142]

On April 18/30, 1840, on the first Sunday after the Holy Easter[143], took place the consecration ceremony in the cathedral of Karlowitz, officiated by Metropolitan Josip Rajačić together with two bishops[144], Eugen Ioanović of Karlstadt and Stevan Popović of Werschetz, the latter substituting Bishop Pantelimon of Timişoara, initially invited by Rajačić.[145]

In the traditional speech after the consecration ceremony, Bishop Andrei spoke in public of his personal view on his responsibilities within Church: “I am required to revive our Eparchy of Transylvania by my ministry, and this revival should be according to the Church’s needs, the people’s redemption and the spirit of the time.[146] By naming the Church’s needs he placed as a centre and starting point of his episcopal ministry the Church, such values as people, nation and relatives, cultural-political emancipation etc., all being subordinated to this centre.[147] “This is not a sentence dictated by the occasion, but the conscious confession about a mission long meditated upon.”[148]

By the end of the speech the bishop emphasized once more that the Church was to be the very centre and priority of his episcopal ministry: “my call and all it implies I shall guide and accomplish so that they would be for the great benefit of the Church and my people.[149] Of course, he did not understand by “Church” only the spokesmen of the clergy, a widespread view in the ecclesiastical mentality of the time. Maybe this difference of comprehension made him add almost as a pleonasm the word “people” after “Church”, so long in his understanding the people were anyway active member of the Church.[150]

Finally he entrusted God the entire plan, in a prayer springing out of the conviction given by the sincerity of his noble scope: “Before You, oh, my Lord, I kneel and say: You know, Lord, that I wish to run to accomplish this scope: to wake dormant Romanians from their deep sleep and guide them, with their will, to whatever is true, pleasant and good! Oh Lord, cover me with Your strong shield! And in the hour of my death, render sweet the fruits of my bitter endeavours! Amen![151] For Andrei Şaguna faith, living the Christian truths, or prayers were not only concepts used in the sermons. His entire life was centered in God in a deep way. He knew himself very well, he knew his charisma (for this, many thought he was a proud man), but he never let himself defeated by the spirit of arrogance. All his plans and accomplishments were rooted in God and His help, even if his huge energy, exceptional talents and tenacity worked endlessly.

It is important to mention, in this speech, the syntagm “with their will”: “[…] ‘with the people’s permission’ (cum consensu plebis) was the motto with which Şaguna was beginning his activity as a bishop. Among his exceptional features, Şaguna had more than any of his contemporaries the gift of comforting his people by spiritual words, fit to touch their heart and make them act. […] Understanding that only in this way can one infuse in the people’s soul the consciousness of personal and national dignity, he did not want to give his people everything on a tray, nor did he wish to impose anything authoritatively; but like in the old days the famous Church Father Cyprian, he liked to follow under all circumstances the traditional formula of Christian democracy: coram populo and not to fulfill any great deed without his people’s consent (sine consensu plebis). This procedure was not a random invention in his spiritual pasturing and political leadership, but the result of a long meditation and of a steadfast conviction […]. Our national history knows few bishops or statesmen who reached the high rank as leaders of the people with such a comprehensive and clear programme as Şaguna had.”[152]

While at Karlowitz the new bishop was consecrated for “the chair of the most deserted eparchy in Austria”[153], the revolution of 1848 was in full boom. On the first Sunday after the Holy Easter an assembly of about 6,000 people[154] had been summoned at Blaj, by the revolutionary Romanian intellectuality of Transylvania.

[1] In 1820, the Serbian Metropolitan Stefan Stratimirović – following the pressures exercised by the Court of Vienna and the Government of Pest for to establish a general seminary for the Orthodox over the empire, an idea the metropolitan did not agree – suggested the reorganization of five theological Orthodox schools in the monarchy at: Karlowitz, Pacrat, Werschetz, Timişoara and Arad, according to his plan. At Timişoara the school could not be established, at Arad the teaching language was Romanian and at Werschetz there were two sections, a Serbian and a Romanian one (from 1822). Cf. T. BODOGAE, Activitatea culturală şi politică a mitropolitului sîrb Ştefan Stratimirovici, 390.

[2] Cf. K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 14-15.

[3] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 23.

[4] “Meditatîuni asupr’a trebei banesci sî monastiresci, ce compete pârtii române din fondurile sî monastirile Metropoliei Carlovitiene, carea era comuna a Româniloru sî Serbiloru” (“Meditations upon  the financial and monastic matter which belongs to the Romanian side, from the funds and the monasteries of the Metropolitanate of Karlowitz which was common for the Romanians and the Serbians”),  signed E. M., in: Telegraful Roman, 1865, No. 24, 94.

[5] His choice to become a priest with the purpose to support the Romanians’ movement for national and church emancipation, first accredited by Nicolae Popea, then taken over by Ioan Lupaş: “We think that we are not wrong supposing that, among others, the above-mentioned tendency of emancipation of the national Church, which concerned all the good enlightened Romanians of the time, must have influenced his and his family’s decision to take this step” (I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 28), is not well grounded. See also J. SCHNEIDER, Der Hermannstädter Metropolit, 45.

[6] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 22.

[7] I. SLAVICI, Dare de samă, 15.

[8] I. ONCIUL, Ce-va despre mersul şi desvoltământul culturei teologice şi clericale în Bucovina, 110.

For some landmarks about the context of the Orthodox theological studies within Austrian Monarchy see J. SCHNEIDER, Der Hermannstädter Metropolit, 5-10.

[9] Stevan Stratimirović had started, in 1802, a gymnasium and a seminary at Karlowitz, with the financial support of Dim. Anastasievici Sabov, a rich Macedonian merchant. Cf. T. BODOGAE, Documente inedite privitoare la istoria învăţămîntului teologic din Transilvania, 1218.

[10] I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 31.

[11] “Petiţiunea cătră minister pentru separarea hierarchiei române de cea sârbească şi ţinerea unui sinod general” (“The petition to the ministry which asked the separation of the Romanian hierarchy from the Serbian one and the meeting of a general synod”), in: N. POPEA, Memorialul, 385-389 here 387: “er [war] ein notorischer Verfolger der Romanen, da er sich selbst auszudrücken pflegte, dass ihm nichts verhasster, als die romanische Sprache sei.”

[12] See T. BODOGAE, Activitatea culturală şi politică a mitropolitului sîrb Ştefan Stratimirovici, 383-395.

[13] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 244.

[14] The Novo Hopovo monastery, a centre of culture and literature, is one of the most prominent monasteries of the Fruška Gora Mountain, in province of Vojvodina. It was built according to the tradition, by the Despots of the Brankovic family. The present church, dedicated to St. Nicholas, was built in 1576, in place of the older one and it is one of the largest and architecturally most important religious buildings of its time. Its fresco paintings of 1608 are of exceptional artistic value.

    There is also a monastery Staro Hopovo, founded around the middle of the fifteenth century.

    Cf. Cultural Heritage in Central Serbia and Voivodina Province (online).

[15] The Jazak monastery – on the Fruška Gora Mountain – was founded in 1736, by a group of donors. The construction of the church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity and traditionally designed, lasted from 1736 to 1758 but, as early as 1741. Cf. Monasteries of Fruška Gora (online).

[16] According to the legend, the monastery of Bešenovo – on the Fruška Gora Mountain – was founded by Serbian King Dragutin at the end of the thirteenth century. Other sources relate the founding of the monastery to the middle of the fifteenth century. The monastery church was dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Bešenovo was devastated in the Second World War and has not been renovated. Cf. Monasteries of Fruška Gora (online).

[17] The Monastery of Kovil is situated in the village of Kovil east to Novi Sad and was founded around the turn of the thirteenth century, but the first written reference to it is to the middle of the seventeenth century. Records from 1733 mention it as an educational establishment. Cf. Cultural Heritage in Central Serbia and Voivodina Province (online).

[18] All these dates are in an autobiographical notice written by Andrei Şaguna, in: Il. PUŞCARIU, Metropolia, 48. See also N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 24-25; S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 244; J. SCHNEIDER, Der Hermannstädter Metropolit, 46-47.

[19] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 25. See also “Andrei Şaguna către arhimandritul mănăstirii Srem” (“Andrei Şaguna to the archimandrite of Srem monastery”) dated Sibiu, December 12, 1867, in: A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 243.

[20] I. LUPAŞ, Anastasia Şaguna, 42.

[21] A. Baronu de ŞAGUNA, Elementele dreptului canonic, 21855, VI.

[22] He was a teacher there from September 29, 1834, till the end of the school year 1841-1842. Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 245.

[23] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 244.

[24] Cf. N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 23-24.

[25] At length on the expansion of the jurisdiction of the Metropolitanate of Karlowitz in the eighteenth century see the chapter I.2.3 herein.

[26] On October 11, 1838, he was appointed a consistorial assessor/counsellor by Metropolitan Stevan Stanković. Cf. Il. PUŞCARIU, Metropolia, 48; S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 244.

[27] Cf. K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 16-17.

[28] Recognized as a kind of political leaders (ethnarchs), at a time when the appointment of the voivode and the political leaders proper was no longer allowed, the metropolitans of Karlowitz lead the entire life of the Serbian people which took refuge north of the Danube because of the Turks, by synods or church national congresses (genuine parliaments made up of 25 clergyman, 25 lay people and 25 delegates of the frontier guards territories). The bigger or smaller autonomy, which they were able to deal and maintain along time, was the only pledge meant to save the national and Orthodox soul of a people with a strong sense of freedom in these parts of Europe. Cf. T. BODOGAE, Activitatea culturală şi politică a mitropolitului sîrb Ştefan Stratimirovici, 383.

    By “Benignum Rescriptum Declaratorium Illyricae Nationis” of July 16, 1779, the Austrian régime tried to restrict the guaranteed rights of the Serbian nation, limiting the civil power and the income of the metropolitan of Karlowitz. Cf. Il. PUŞCARIU, Metropolia, 24.

[29] K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 16.

[30] Cf. I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 35.

[31] K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 17.

[32] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 245. The Metropolitan Josip Rajačić came himself from the Eparchy of Werschetz, knowing its situation well.

[33] See M. PĂCURARIU, 100 de ani de la reînfiinţarea Mitropoliei Ardealului, 816.

[34] Cf. K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 18-19.

[35] S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 248.

[36] I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 33.

[37] See I. MÂRZA, Andrei Şaguna’s Grammar Book, 65-74.

[38] Cf. the chapter III.2.8 herein.

[39] The statement that Andrei Şaguna would have become familiar with the Romanian language as an adult only, and that he did not master it well, sustained by Ioan Lupaş (I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 34), Gheorghe Tulbure (Gh. TULBURE, Activitatea literară, 12-15; Gh. TULBURE, Mitropolitul Şaguna, 3, 72) and by other authors (P. MORUŞCA, Cuvânt la centenarul marelui mitropolit Andrei, Baron de Şaguna, 434-435) is rejected by later studies. See T. BODOGAE, Dintr-o corespondenţă timişoreană, 28.

[40] “14/2 Febr. 1847. Vicarul general Andrei Şaguna către Mitropolitul Iosif Raiacici (Nr. 948)” (“February 14/2, 1847. Vicar Andrei Şaguna to Metropolitan Josip Rajačić (No. 948)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 14-19 here 17. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 69-73.

[41] “Staats-Archiv Nr. 2173/1846. Raportul vicepreşedintelui Cancelariei aulice transilvane din 19 Aprilie 1846 privitor la numirea unui vicar pentru episcopia ort. vacantă a Transilvaniei” (“Staats-Archiv No. 2173/1846. The report of the Vice-president of the Transylvanian Aulic Chancellery of April 19, 1846, concerning the appointment of a vicar for the vacant episcopal see of Transylvania”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 26-32 here 29-30.

[42] Ibid., 29. According to the Diploma Leopoldinum of December 4, 1691 – the Constitution of Transylvania until 1848/1867 – apart from the government (Landesgubernium) the Aulic Chancellery of Transylvania was set up, having its centre in Vienna and the task to connect the Court and the principality.

[43] Metropolitan Rajačić had presented a memorandum on November 15, 1845, at the Chancellery of Transylvania, in order to recommend the Archimandrite Andrei Şaguna. Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 248.

[44] “Staats-Archiv Nr. 2173/1846. Raportul vicepreşedintelui Cancelariei aulice transilvane din 19 Aprilie 1846 privitor la numirea unui vicar pentru episcopia ort. vacantă a Transilvaniei” (“Staats-Archiv No. 2173/1846. The report of the Vice-president of the Transylvanian Aulic Chancellery of April 19, 1846, concerning the appointment of a vicar for the vacant episcopal see of Transylvania”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 26-32 here 30-31.

[45] Ibid., 31.

[46] As it was pointed out herein, in the chapter I.2.3, since 1700 up to the end of the eighteenth century not any Romanian Orthodox canonical territory was officially recognized in Transylvania. Once the Eparchy of Sibiu was founded, in 1783, by the appointment of the Archimandrite Gedeon Nikitić as a bishop, it was implicitly officially recognized the existence of such a canonical territory.

[47] The resolution issued at Schönbrunn, on June 20, 1846, signed by the Emperor Ferdinand of Austria, in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 32.

[48] “Staats-Archiv Nr. 2173/1846. Raportul vicepreşedintelui Cancelariei aulice transilvane din 19 Aprilie 1846 privitor la numirea unui vicar pentru episcopia ort. vacantă a Transilvaniei” (“Staats-Archiv No. 2173/1846. The report of the Vice-president of the Transylvanian Aulic Chancellery of April 19, 1846, concerning the appointment of a vicar for the vacant episcopal see of Transylvania”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 26-32 here 32.

[49] A. PLĂMĂDEALĂ, Momentul Şaguna în istoria Bisericii Transilvaniei, 205.

[50] Cf. A. ŞAGUNA, Memoriile, 11.

[51] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 27-28.

[52] Cf. I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 47.

[53] Library of the Romanian Academy – Romanian Manuscripts, Puşcariu to Bariţiu, August 22/September 3, 1846, as cited by K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 20.

[54] Library of the Romanian Academy – Romanian Manuscripts, Puşcariu to Bariţiu, December 11/23, 1847, as cited by K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 35.

[55] Amintiri din viaţa Mitropolitului Şaguna, 249.

[56] “Dr. F. Jikeli an seine Gattin Therese, 10 X 1846”, in Archiv des Siebenbürgen-Instituts Gundelscheim, B I 62, No. 1201: “Die Natur scheint diesen hohen Geistlichen mit allen ihren Gaben recht verschwenderisch überschüttet zu haben, und so steht er da als ihr Meisterstück sowohl in körperlicher als auch in geistiger Hinsicht.” As cited by J. SCHNEIDER, Der Hermannstädter Metropolit, 62.

[57] N. POPEA, Arhiepiscopul, Discurs, 4. See also the gravure in the annex I herein.

[58] Bishop Nicolae Ivan (1921-1936) accomplished, in 1921, Andrei Şaguna’s dream to re-establish the Eparchy of Vad, Feleac and Cluj (having its centre at Cluj).

[59] N. IVAN, Momente din viaţa mitropolitului Andreiu, 8.

[60] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 249.

[61] C. ERBICEANU, Jubileul centenar, 727-728.

[62] The humiliating restrictions imposed to Bishop Vasile Moga by the decree of appointment of December 21, 1810, were a magnifying of the decree of November 6, 1762, by which Dionisije Novaković was imposed eleven restrictions.  Cf. M. PĂCURARIU, Istoria Bisericii Ortodoxe Române, vol. 3, 66.

[63] See the imperial instruction from December 21, 1810, in: N. POPE`A, Vechi`a Metropolia, 149-152. See also the chapter I.2.4 herein.

[64] The Sidoxy/sydoxial tax was a religious tax introduced for the Orthodox since 1783, two coins for each family. From this humble fund there were paid the salaries of the bishop, vicar, Orthodox schools’ principal and of some teachers too. Cf. M. PĂCURARIU, 150 de ani de la înfiinţarea primei şcoli teologice ortodoxe din Ardeal, 340; P. BRUSANOWSKI, Reforma constituţională, 77-78.

[65] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 14-15.

[66] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 249.

[67] At length on the mixed eparchial synod of March 1850 see the chapter III.2.5 herein.

[68] Actele Soboarelor…1850 şi 1860, 6.

[69] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 17.

[70] “14/2 Febr. 1847. Vicarul general Andrei Şaguna către Mitropolitul Iosif Raiacici (Nr. 948)” (“February 14/2, 1847. Vicar Andrei Şaguna to Metropolitan Josip Rajačić (No. 948)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 14-19 here 18. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 69-73.

[71] The consistorial system had been introduced at Karlowitz in 1782, by “Systema consistoriale”, and consequently used in the Transylvanian Orthodox Church too. Cf. A. HUDAL, Die serbisch-orthodoxe Nationalkirche, 45.

As a matter of fact, Andrei Şaguna won’t shrink from denouncing to the political authority this un-canonical institution within the Orthodox Church, the political, not religious character of the consistory of his time. See the chapter VI.1.1 herein.

[72] “14/2 Febr. 1847. Vicarul general Andrei Şaguna către Mitropolitul Iosif Raiacici (Nr. 948)” (“February 14/2, 1847. Vicar Andrei Şaguna to Metropolitan Josip Rajačić (No. 948)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 14-19 here 17. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 69-73.

[73] Ibid., 17-19.

[74] Ibid., 16.

[75] Ibid., 17.

[76] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 16.

[77] Cf. N. IORGA, Istoria românilor din Ardeal  şi Ungaria, vol. II, 127.

[78] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 16.

[79] Cf. M. PĂCURARIU, 150 de ani de la înfiinţarea primei şcoli teologice ortodoxe din Ardeal, 343.

[80] “3 Iunie 1847. A. Şaguna către I. Raiacici (Nr. 168)” (“June 3, 1847. A. Şaguna to J. Rajačić (No. 168)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 20-22 here 20. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 75-77.

[81] N. POPEA, Arhiepiscopul, Discurs, 8.

[82] “3 Iunie 1847. A. Şaguna către I. Raiacici (Nr. 168)” (“June 3, 1847. A. Şaguna to J. Rajačić (No. 168)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 20-22 here 21. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 75-77.

[83] Cf. K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 22.

[84] I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 205.

[85] See the chapter I.2.4 herein.

[86] “Gravamenul episcopului Şaguna la Împăratul contra ministrului, cerând între alte şi reînfiinţarea metropoliei românilor ortodocşi” (“Bishop Şaguna’s complaint lodged to the emperor against the minister, asking among other things the reestablishment of the Metropolitanate of the Orthodox Romanians”), in: Il. PUŞCARIU, Metropolia, colecţia de acte, 122-151 here 122: “Die Geschichte der griechisch-orientalischen Kirche in Siebenbürgen war eine Reihe von Drangsalen und Leiden, das Bild einer Sklavin darstellend, die in Fesseln geschlagen nur von der Gnade der Duldung ihr Dasein kümmerlich fristet.”

[87] T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 4.

[88] Cf. N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 74.

[89] Cf. S. ŞEBU, Din activitatea pastorală a Mitropolitului Andrei Şaguna, 532.

[90] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 161.

[91] See S. ŞEBU, Din activitatea pastorală a Mitropolitului Andrei Şaguna, 533.

[92] The National Government (Das Landesgubernium) was established in 1691 (by Diploma Leopoldinum) as the supreme administrative authority in Transylvania, and was dissolved in 1869. It can be most closely compared to a provincial government. Its residence was mainly Sibiu or Cluj. The governor was the representative of the monarch. At length about the Transylvanian government and all governors see R. KUTSCHERA, Landtag und Gubernium, 141-312.

[93] Cf. I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 54.

[94] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 162.

[95] I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 142.

[96] K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 23.

[97] “14/2 Febr. 1847. Vicarul general Andrei Şaguna către Mitropolitul Iosif Raiacici (Nr. 948)” (“February 14/2, 1847. Vicar Andrei Şaguna to Metropolitan Josip Rajačić (No. 948)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 14-19 here 15. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 69-73.

[98] Cf. K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 29.

[99] “5 Oct. 1847. Şaguna către Raiacici (754)” (“Oct. 5, 1847. Şaguna to Rajačić (754)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 22-24 here 23. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 77-79.

[100] “Staats-Archiv Nr. 2173/1846. Raportul vicepreşedintelui Cancelariei aulice transilvane din 19 Aprilie 1846 privitor la numirea unui vicar pentru episcopia ort. vacantă a Transilvaniei” (“Staats-Archiv No. 2173/1846. The report of the Vice-president of the Transylvanian Aulic Chancellery of April 19, 1846, concerning the appointment of a vicar for the vacant episcopal see of Transylvania”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 26-32 here 31.

[101] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 190.

[102] All the villages have had since the national princes reign a privilege, by which they were exempt of the labour conscription to the landlord (namely the Fisk), and the miners working in the golden mines of Apuseni Mountains had to pay annually to the Treasury a certain amount of gold. This privilege lasted until 1820. Cf. S. BALINTH, Scurta descriere a unoru evenimente, 13.

[103] See S. BALINTH, Scurta descriere a unoru evenimente, 13-15.

[104] The labour days have been settled as six weeks a year and the peasants were promised a sum of money for this work, a sum the peasants have eventually given up because of excessive formalities. Cf. S. BALINTH, Scurta descriere a unoru evenimente, 15.

[105] Ibid., 15.

[106] Ibid., 15.

[107] I. STERCA SIULUTIU, O lacrima ferbinte, 52.

[108] Cf. G. NEAMŢU, Adevărul atestat de documente, 66.

[109] Cf. I. STERCA SIULUTIU, O lacrima ferbinte, 53.

[110] See S. BALINTH, Scurta descriere a unoru evenimente, 16; I. STERCA SIULUTIU, O lacrima ferbinte, 52-53; Eugen von FRIEDENFELS, Joseph Bedeas von Scharberg. Beiträge zur Zeitgeschichte Siebenbürgens im 19. Jahrhundert, Erster Teil, Wien 1876.

A presentation of this episode made by Andrei Şaguna himself to Metropolitan Josip Rajačić, in: “14/2 Febr. 1847. Vicarul general Andrei Şaguna către Mitropolitul Iosif Raiacici (Nr. 948)” (“February 14/2, 1847. Vicar Andrei Şaguna to Metropolitan Josip Rajačić (No. 948)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 14-19. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 69-73.

[111] S. BALINTH, Scurta descriere a unoru evenimente, 16.

[112] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 194-195.

[113] See “Scrisoarea lui Şaguna cătră cancelarul aulic baronul Josika Samuel” (“Şaguna’s letter to Baron Josika Samuel the Aulic Chancellor”), in: N. POPEA, Memorialul, 14-18; “Scrisoarea lui Şaguna cătră guvernatorul ţerii, contele Teleki Josef” (“Şaguna’s letter to Count Teleki Josef the Country Governor”), in: N. POPEA, Memorialul, 29-33 (in Hungarian language).

[114] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 202.

[115] Ibid., 202.

[116] I. LUPAŞ, Vieaţa, 57.

[117] Ibid., 58.

[118] G. NEAMŢU, Adevărul atestat de documente, 66.

[119] Ibid., 66-67.

[120] Cf. K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 32-34. See also S. D. CÂRSTEA, Activitatea naţional-politică a mitropolitului Andrei Şaguna, 78-80.

[121] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 203.

[122] K. HITCHINS, Orthodoxy and Nationality, 32.

[123] According to c. 25 of the Fourth Ecumenical Council the metropolitans must perform ordinations of the new bishops within three months of vacancy, unless some unavoidable necessities require the time to be lengthened. See the text of the canon in the annex XV herein.

[124] See M. PĂCURARIU, Istoria Bisericii Ortodoxe Române, vol. 3, 65.

[125] “26/14 Febr. 1847. Şaguna către Raiacici (Nr. 402)” (“February 26/14, 1847. Şaguna to Rajačić (No. 402)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 19-20. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 74-75.

[126] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 29.

[127] Ibid., 28.

[128] “26/14 Febr. 1847. Şaguna către Raiacici (Nr. 402)” (“February 26/14, 1847. Şaguna to Rajačić (No. 402)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 19-20 here 19. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 74-75.

[129] Cf. “5 Oct. 1847. Şaguna către Raiacici (754)” (“Oct. 5, 1847. Şaguna to Rajačić (754)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 22-24. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 77-79.

[130] “3 Iunie 1847. A. Şaguna către I. Raiacici (Nr. 168)” (“June 3, 1847. A. Şaguna to J. Rajačić (No. 168)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 20-22 here 21. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 75-77.

[131] A. ŞAGUNA, Istoria Bisericei Ortodoxe Răsăritene Universale, vol. II, 204.

[132] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 255.

[133] Cf. A. ŞAGUNA, Memoriile, 12-13.

[134] “5 Oct. 1847. Şaguna către Raiacici (754)” (“Oct. 5, 1847. Şaguna to Rajačić (754)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 22-24 here 22. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 77-79.

[135] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 259.

[136] See A. ŞAGUNA, Memoriile, 13.

[137] N. IORGA, Istoria românilor din Ardeal  şi Ungaria, vol. II, 133.

[138] See “Diploma împărătéscă pentru denumirea lui Andreiu Şaguna de episcop în eparchia ortodoxă română a Ardélului” (“The imperial Diploma which appointed Andrei Şaguna as a bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Eparchy of Transylvania”), in: Il. PUŞCARIU, Metropolia, colecţia de acte, 420-421.

[139] N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 37.

About the imperial instruction with restrictive measures which accompanied the appointment of Bishop Vasile Moga, of December 21, 1810, see the chapter I.2.4 herein.

[140] “18/6 Febr. 1848. Andrei Şaguna către Mitrop. Raiacici (Nr. 295)” (“February 18/6, 1848. Andrei Şaguna to Metropolitan Rajačić (No. 295)”), in: T. BODOGAE, 100 de ani, 24. Cf. also A. ŞAGUNA, Corespondenţa I/2, 80.

[141] Andrei Şaguna’s pastoral letter dated Sibiu, February 12/24, 1848, in: Gh. TULBURE, Mitropolitul Şaguna, 137-139 here 137.

[142] “Episcopulu Andreiu lui dr. P. Vasici pentru G. Baritiu” (“Bishop Andrei to dr. P. Vasici, for G. Bariţiu”), in: G. BARITIU, Parti alese din istoria Transilvaniei, 588. The letter is drafted in Romanian with Cyrillic letters and is dated Sibiu, April 4, 1848.

Although his presence at Deva and the surrounding areas is not explained in the letter, the fact that this visit is described as being determined by the situation of the time and his position in the Church justifies us to believe that it was again – likewise in Ecaterina Varga’s case – an order passed by the civil authorities to the former vicar-administrator (the new bishop) to temper his faithful. More on this issue at F. DOBREI, Legăturile lui Andrei Şaguna cu românii ortodocşi hunedoreni, 359-360.

[143] The first Sunday after the Holy Easter is called in the Orthodox Church the Thomas’s Sunday.

[144] Cf. P. GÂRBOVICEANU, Andreiu Şaguna, 431.

[145] Cf. S. DRAGOMIR, André Şaguna et Joseph Rajačić, 260; See also A. ŞAGUNA, Memoriile, 13.

[146] Andrei Şaguna’s speech after his consecration ceremony as bishop, in: N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 37-41 here 37-38.

[147] Cf. J. SCHNEIDER, Der Hermannstädter Metropolit, 1.

[148] I. SLAVICI, Dare de samă, 25.

[149] Andrei Şaguna’s speech after his consecration ceremony as bishop, in: N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 37-41 here 39.

[150] At length on Andrei Şaguna’s ecclesiological conception see the chapter V.4 herein.

[151] Andrei Şaguna’s speech after his consecration ceremony as bishop, in: N. POPEA, Archiepiscopul şi Metropolitul, 37-41 here 40-41.

[152] I. LUPAŞ, Sufletul lui Şaguna, 275-276.

[153] I. SLAVICI, Dare de samă, 21.

[154] Cf. A. PAPIU ILARIANU, Istori`a, 144.


mihaela.stan December 16, 2016 Drept si Religie