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Doctorate in theology for Priest Viorel Gheorghe Codrea

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Father Viorel Gheorghe Codrea, parish in Cugir (Alba County) together with Priest Remus Dobra, parish in Giarmata (Timis County) and Priest Iosif Iacob, Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Roman-Catholic Theology which is part of Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, took their doctoral theses on 16th September 2011, each of them obtaining the title of Ph.D. in theology.
The priests, who attended the Doctoral School within the Faculty of Roman-P2690303Catholic Theology which is part of the University of Bucharest, presented the following works: "The Bishop’s Image in the Synods of the Romanian Church United with Rome" – priest Viorel Gheorghe Codrea, "Subordination to the Synod in the Romanian United Church (centuries 17th – 19th)" – priest Remus Dobra and "The Faith and Sacrament of Marriage. Theological-canonical study of the Catholic Church documents from the 2nd Vatican Council to CIC 1983" – priest Iosif Iacob. All three of them had Priest Univ. Professor Dr. Isidor Mărtincă as their coordinator.

The thesis of Father Codrea studies, identifies and deepens the way in which the bishop’s nature and mission are reflected in the synod documents of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church United with Rome.
The research interest is motivated by the paramount importance of the episcopate to the Church, it is a certainty drawn from the Holy Scripture texts, deep in the millennial tradition of the Catholic Church and specified authoritatively by the Magisterium. The bishop is the central figure of a local church where Christ is the eternal high priest. The bishop, as successor of the apostles, is reflected in the synod documents of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church United with Rome as the central image of this local church.
In the seventeenth century, the Romanian bishops from Alba Iulia were the shepherds of the Transylvanian Romanians, but they had a relative status and hierarchical power diminished due to subordination to the Calvin superintendent, and also due to the high prerogatives received by the high council institution, under the Calvinist influence. The trial and dismissal of certain metropolitan bishops by the great Synod institution, made up of deans and simple priests, is in fact power abuse, a violation of the Eastern canons.
The union of the Transylvanian Romanians with Rome, through the synods of Alba-Iulia convened and presided by bishops Theofil (1697) and Atanasie (1698-1701), led at the time to a decline in the hierarchical level from metropolitan bishop and archbishop to bishop, but bringing the skills of the great synod to the diocesan synod status of the Roman-Catholic Church, the Romanian bishop’s  dignity and full power were restored so as to fulfil in his diocese the mission to teach, sanctify and govern God's people, who were entrusted to him.
Entry into the Catholic communion meant for the United Romanian Church, as well as for the Holy See, walking together along a path of mutual understanding, of ecclesiological and canonical debates. The meeting of the Eastern ecclesiological vision of the Romanian hierarchs with the post-Tridentine ecclesiological conception of the Roman Church authorities, especially with the radical views of the church and state authorities in the Empire, led to certain difficulties, but was also the way to ecclesiological diligence.
Indeed, they were not lacking in analyses dedicated to the Eastern individuality and specificity of the United Romanian Church, issues that are related structurally to the image of the Romanian Greek-Catholic Bishop, his relationship with the Roman Pontiff, but also with other church and secular authorities.
Since 2005, the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church United with Rome has become a Major Archbishop Church. The decision of Pope Benedict XVI, which is in compliance with certain canonical, ecclesiological and historical reasons, provides almost patriarchal dignity to the primacy of this local Church and Episcopal collegiality, of course with due respect to papal primacy, within the Synod of Bishops.
The Episcopal power to sanctify, teach and lead God's people was exercised by the Greek-Catholic hierarchs and through diocesan, metropolitan synods or the Synod of Bishops. Numerous synod decisions highlight an exercise of Episcopal power fundamentally consistent with the Eastern tradition of the Romanian Church United with Rome, but also dependence due to the ecclesiology of the time and to the political context. Today, the Holy See, through its official documents, primarily through the Codex Canonum Ecclesiarum Orientalium, restores the full image of the Greek-Catholic Romanian bishop in the Church catholicity, but urging and supporting him to live his Eastern identity, guaranteeing his natural rights and prerogatives.
The work of father Codrea is a tribute to the bishops of the Greek-Catholic Romanian Church United with Rome, who achieved not only the union with the Church of Rome, but also fought for it to be maintained and bear fruit for the Romanian believers.
Congratulations to the new Ph. D. s and may the title obtained be to the greater glory of God and to the faith increase of God's people.
 
Press Office of the Diocese of Lugoj
 
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