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The Romanian Catholic Church

On December 16, 2005, Pope Benedict XVI raised the Romanian Greek Catholic Church to the rank of Major Archepiscopal Church, at the same time naming Metropolitan Muresan as Major Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia. In Romania this church calls itself “The Romanian Greek Catholic Church United with Rome.”

The Romanian Greek Catholic Church now maintains theological institutes for the formation of clergy in Blaj, Oradea, Cluj-Napoca, and Baia-Mare. In addition, there is a Greek Catholic Theological Faculty at the Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca with external sections in Blaj and Oradea. The church also has five minor seminaries. A Pontifical Romanian College (“Pio Romeno”) was established by Pope Pius XI on Rome’s Janiculum Hill in 1937. Inhabited by students from other countries during the communist persecutions, it now houses Romanian Greek Catholic seminarians once again.

The size of the Romanian Greek Catholic Church is disputed. The Greek Catholics themselves officially claim 764,000 members, and in some publications have stated that they have many more. According to the 2002 Romanian census, however, the Greek Catholics had 195,481 adherents in the country. Official statistics reported by the Vatican in 2006 show that in Romania the church had 1,225 worshipping communities, 791 priests, 291 women religious and 272 seminarians.

The only diocese outside Romania is St. George’s in Canton of the Romanians, which includes all the faithful in the United States and Canada, headed by Bishop John Michael Botean (1121 44th Street NE, Canton, Ohio 44714). The diocese has 21 parishes and missions for 6,000 faithful, served by 29 diocesan priests. In Australia, the Romanian Greek Catholic parish of Our Lady of the Assumption in the Sydney area is under the pastoral care of Fr. Michael Anghel, 74 Underwood Road, Homebush 2140.

Location: Romania, USA, Canada
Head: Metropolitan Lucian Cardinal Mureşan (born 1931, appointed 1994, cardinal 2012)
Title: Major Archbishop of Făgăraş and Alba Iulia
Residence: Blaj, Romania
Membership: 764,000

Last Modified: 23 Apr 2013

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