TABOR - Tradition and Contemporaneity in the Romanian Orthodox Church
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The „Catechesis Trial” in light of the files of the Secret Police (Securitate). Cluj, 1958-1959
In the communist era, religious education was a continuing cause of tension and conflict between the atheistic political regime and the Church. In order to compensate for the removal of religion from state education, the Church tried to develop a systematic program of catechesis for children and young people within the churches, but this endeavor also met the opposition of the authorities. The climax of this conflict was the well-known “catechization process” in Cluj, when the protagonists were rev. Liviu Galaction Munteanu, administrative vicar of the Diocese of Cluj, and rev. Ioan Bunea, professor at the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Cluj. Being „guilty” of making an ‘analytical program’ for the catechism for the students, the two were arrested and condemned in 1959, rev. Liviu Galaction Munteanu dying as martyr in Aiud prison, and rev. Ioan Bunea spending five years in harsh imprisonment and hard labor. The article tries to capture the unfolding of the events and the mechanisms underlying the process, its sources being the archives of the former Securitate, as well as various papers published on this subject.