Loading... Please wait...

Update on New Talks

Father George Calciu


                             Father George Calciu (†2006) 




About Father George Calciu

Father George Calciu was a Romanian Orthodox priest who spent a total of twenty-one brutal years in prison—tortured and subjected to brainwashing—for his belief in Christ, and his outspoken evangelism, and his criticism of communism.

Father George says about his upbringing: My mother, especially, was very, very faithful. From her I learned many things. Every Sunday and every holy day of the Church, someone in church would read the Cazania and the Lives of the saints of the day. Therefore, from the time I was a child I knew a lot about the saints of the day.

[Note: In the early twentieth century Romanian priests rarely gave sermons in church. Instead the chanter would read from the Lives of the saints and the Cazania – a collection of sermons originally written in the 17th Century.]

From my mother I learned the simple Faith. Until I studied theology, my heart was the heart of a peasant, without any theory [simple and practical]. I knew only to pray, only to ask God to give me His grace. Becoming a theologian, I lost my sincerity. Now my mind sometimes takes over the heart. It’s not good.


The Need of Repentance for Compromising with the Communists

From an interview with Fr George Calciu – 1996, LA, CA

Interviewer: Do you have any desire to go back and visit [Romania]?

Fr George: When I returned to Romania the first time [in 1990], I wanted to go to the Patriarchate to meet the patriarch and the bishops. I had no intention of insulting them, but I wanted to tell them something about my experience. I wanted to urge them to be more active, to spend more time among the people, to renew the image of Jesus Christ. I was at the Patriarchate, but all the bishops had left – I was the only one there. They left; they avoided meeting me. Some went to the monasteries or elsewhere.

Interviewer: So they knew you were coming?

Fr George: Yes, they knew because I had told them. I asked them to allow me to come to them.

Interviewer: Maybe you need to go back and do something. They [the clergy] will probably be unable to reach their young people unless they sincerely account for what has happened and repent. “We are sorry that it happened because of our human failings and our human weaknesses.” They would have to face themselves as you did. If the Church representatives don’t do that, they will have no moral authority in the lives of the young people, many of whom will turn to Eastern religions.

Fr George: I think the sin of the hierarchs and the theologians in Romania is intellectualism. They pass everything through their minds. They forget the soul and the heart. They are very cultivated [cultured, educated, polished, sophisticated] people; they speak very well and so on, but everything is dry. I think that is why the youth came to me.

Interviewer: Because you were alive.

Fr George: They came to me, and they loved me.

You know, during these sermons I delivered, there were moments when I was ready to give up. Many of my colleagues and priests came to me and said, “Father, stop it, or they will destroy the seminary. The Communists are waiting and looking for motives to close the seminary. Can you understand what will happen if the seminary is closed?” And sometimes they convinced me to stop. But I would talk to the students and would tell them what the priests and professors said – that the Communists could close the seminary – and ask them what they thought about it. “Father, go ahead [and preach],” they would say. “We are with you! It is too late to go back now. We are with you. If they throw you out of the seminary, we are going with you.” Thus, the students, the young people, would not let me stop my preaching. For this reason, I knew that it was an inspiration of God. And God took measures to protect me in a miraculous manner, because, as I told you, the whole Department of State, the patriarch, the bishops, the professors and everyone were against me, yet they did not throw me out before I had finished the sermons to the youth. Can you imagine this? It’s incredible! It’s incredible! Everybody was against me, but they did not have the courage to stop me. They closed the door of the church, but they did not throw me out. I had asked God to let me deliver these seven sermons, and He said, “I will let you.” When that was finished, I asked God to let me deliver the eighth sermon to justify myself, but He said, “You do not need to justify yourself, because I am justified.

Interviewer: Amen to that.

That brings up another question. Fr. Justin [Parvu] told me the Romanian people made many compromises with the Communists in order to prevent the churches and monasteries from being closed and destroyed. He said that he did not know if that was God-pleasing. What do you think about that? You may have answered this question by recalling how the priests had said that the Communists would destroy the seminary if you kept preaching, but you kept preaching anyway. But if you were responsible for a whole parish, and they were going to destroy your parish, what would you do?

Fr George: I have thought very deeply about this. Fr. Roman Braga has said that the compromises saved the churches and the monasteries. I do not believe it. I think every compromise is wrong. Jesus Christ did not make any compromises. Why?

Interviewer: Because it would water down the Truth?

Fr George: Absolutely. He did not give us any right to make compromises. I think the devil is the winner in any compromise. This compromise made by the churches saved nothing! Perhaps it saved the walls, but it did not save the souls. There were bishops who went from monastery to monastery forcing the monks and the nuns to leave. They were sent as messengers of the Communist regime to force out the monks and the nuns, because the monastics refused to leave their monasteries. The bishops told them, “Go outside. Go into the world. Become honest citizens.” They forced the monks and nuns to go outside and help build Communism. They lost, I am sure, a lot of souls, because monks and nuns who have left their monasteries and their faith (and the majority did, as I have said) could be a stumbling block. That is, they could cause another person to turn away from God. And the priests were speaking for the Communist regime. In every letter that the patriarch wrote at Christmas, he never forgot to praise the Communist regime, Ceausescu, and so on. All of this lost many people. There were compromises! The Church in Romania has no moral authority, no power, because the priests and the bishops made compromises. And now they have not the courage to speak out and to say, “We made compromises! We made mistakes! Now we are ready to stand firmly against atheism.”


Source: Father George Calciu – Interviews, Homilies and Talks published by St Herman of Alaska Brotherhood