Seven Greek Catholic Bishops from Romania to be beatified

 

The Vatican (Wednesday, 03-20-2019, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis authorized the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to announce the Beatification of seven Eastern Rite Catholic bishops killed for hatred of the faith by the Communist regime in Romania. The prelates will be beatified soon opening the possibility that this may occur during the visit of the Pontiff to Romania, which is scheduled for May 31 to June 2, 2019.

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Record of Mgr. Hossu, cardinal in pectore, as a prisoner of the communist regime.

Photo: Religion en Libertad

Their names are: Bishop Valeriu Traian Frentiu, Bishop of Oradea Mare; Mgr. Vasile Aftenie, titular Bishop of Ulpiany and Rector of the Theological Academy in Blaju; Bishop Ioan Suciu, Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Fagaras and Alba Iulia; Mgr. Tit Liviu Chinezu, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Fagaras and Alba Iulia; Bishop Ioan Balan, Bishop of Lugoj; Mgr. Alexandru Rusu, Bishop of Maramures and Mons. Iuliu Hossu, Bishop of Cluj, who was also created cardinal "in pectore" by Pope St. Paul VI, who announced this dignity after his martyrdom.

The persecution against the Greek Catholics in Romania by the communist regime was ruthless and aimed to break the communion of their faithful with Rome. The authorities designed a plan according to which a false council could announce the rupture of the local Church with the Holy See, with which full communion had been restored in 1700. But to give legitimacy to this maneuver, it was required that at least one of the Greek Catholic bishops would "convert" to the ruling church.

The pretension of the regime then directed the persecution to the prelates, to those who tried to buy or force their resignation from the Catholic Church. One by one, the Bishops were pressured, arrested and tortured in order to break their faith and support the dictatorship.

Some of them died in prison, others were executed directly for not obeying the regime and some died in exile because of the mistreatment, all winning the crown of martyrdom. Witnesses of their suffering testify that the Bishops while in prison felt moments of "indescribable joy" for participating in this way of the sufferings of Christ.

Source Religion en Liberta and KAI.