Horia Dumitrescu

Pr. Assist. Professor PhD., University of Piteşti, Faculty of Theology, Letters, History and Arts/
Centre for Applied Theological Studies, ROMANIA,


The acknowledgment of autocephaly represents a historical moment for the Romanian Orthodox Church, it means full freedom in organizing and administering internal affairs, without any interference or control of any church authority from outside. This church act did not remove the Romanian Orthodox Church from the unity of ecumenical Orthodoxy, but, on the contrary, was such as to preserve and ensure good relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate and all other Sister Orthodox Churches, and promote a dogmatic, cult, canonical and work unity. The Orthodox Church in the Romanian territories, organized by the foundation of the Metropolis of Ungro-Wallachia (1359) and the Metropolis of Moldavia and Suceava (1401), became one of the fundamental institutions of the state, supporting the strengthening of the ruling power, to which it conferred spiritual legitimacy.

The action of formal recognition of autocephaly culminated in the Ad Hoc Divan Assembly’s 1857 vote of desiderata calling for “recognition of the independence of the Eastern Orthodox Church, from the United Principalities, of any Diocesan Bishop, but maintaining unity of faith with the Ecumenical Church of the East with regard to the dogmas”. The efforts of the Romanian Orthodox Church for autocephaly were long and difficult, knowing a new stage after the Unification of the Principalities in 1859 and the unification of their state life (1862), which made it necessary to organize the National Church. This was strongly supported by the metropolitans Nyphon of Ungro-Wallachia (1850-1875) and Calinic of Moldavia (1865-1875) and warmly embraced by the ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859-1866) and by the political class of that time.

The efforts for autocephaly did not cease on Cuza’s abdication, but they also continued under King Carol I, who supported the efforts of the Orthodox Church in Romania to fulfil its aspirations, in accordance with the will of the Romanian clergy and believers, while acknowledging that the institution of the Church “has always been closely bound to the destinies of the country.”It was a long, yet so impressive way that the Romanian Orthodox Church has come, from centuries of brilliant history to a period of over two decades of the nineteenth century, at the end of which the status of Romanian Orthodoxy as autocephalous church was definitively sanctioned.

Church, autocephaly, law, Orthodox Church


CITATION: Abstracts & Proceedings of SOCIOINT 2019- 6th International Conference on Education, Social Sciences and Humanities, 24-26 June 2019- İstanbul, TURKEY

ISBN: 978-605-82433-6-1