Don’t Judge Priests

Criticism is allowed, but passing judgement upon priests isn’t. As the saying goes, to criticize someone or someone’s work is to put a wreath upon it [and that is a good thing]. But to judge a person belonging to the clergy, to judge in a context where everyone tends to criticize precisely because the clergy are the ones who emanate the power and Grace of God and everyone points at them all the time… well, let us not forget they are human, too. Moreover, they have the possibility to save themselves more easily than you, because they have the Grace and the Church mysteries and works/duties than have been given to them — and last but not least, they must have some conscience, too!, don’t you think?

And let me tell you this – no clergyman becomes so without the will of God. God directs such a person’s life.

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Encounter with Fr. Arsenie

[…] Times were rapidly succeeding one another and godless communism was thrusting its claws ever more deeply into the country’s body. By providing Christian help to the anti-communist fighters in the Făgăraş Mountains, Father Arsenie got into the Security’s “visual field” and was arrested in 1948, for the first time. Forcibly moved out from Sâmbăta to Prislop, he eventually became Abbot of the latter and after the monastic abode was changed into a nunnery, he stayed there as a Confessor Priest, until 1959, when the communists dismantled the monastic community. In between, he had been arrested once more and taken to the Canal*, where he had spent almost a year. Then followed his exile to Bucharest, where he was kept outside actual priestly activity, being retained only as a church painter, always under the dog’s eye of the atheistic regime. During the last part of his life he grew very attached to two places: Drăgănescu (where he painted the church for 15 years, starting from 1968 and left us a true “sermon in images”, even if perhaps artistically somewhat unusual by the traditional iconography canons) and Sinaia (where, in 1969, he had his cell and his painter workshop, where he would retire more often and where he reposed in the Lord in early 1989, aged 79).

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