Pope Francis promulgated the beatification decree of the seven Greek-Catholic bishops “killed from hatred of faith” between 1950 and 1970, the Vatican press office announced on Tuesday.
The seven bishops may be beatified on the occasion of Pope Francis’ visit to Romania at the beginning of June.
The seven Greek-Catholic bishops are: Valeriu Traian Frentiu, Vasile Aftenie, Ioan Suciu, Tit Liviu Chinezu, Ioan Balan, Alexandru Rusu and Iuliu Hossu.
Today’s announcement of the Vatican is the end point of a long process of research into their lives and the persecution of the United Church of Romania with Rome, the cause of beatification being opened 25 years ago on February 23, 1994. The Greek Catholic Church wishes beatification in Blaj, on June 2, 2019, on the solemn liturgy of Pope Francis during his visit to Romania.
Vasile Aftenie, the Vicar Bishop of Bucharest, died in 1950 while being investigated, was buried in secret by the Securitate in the Bellu cemetery. For many years on his cross has only entered a mysterious A.V. Valeriu Traian Frentiu (bishop of Oradea), Ioan Suciu (the apostolic administrator of the Blaj metropolitan) and Titus Liviu Chinezu (clandestine bishop) died in Sighet prison between 1952-1955, being buried in the poor cemetery. Today we do not know nothing of their remains.
Released in Sighet in 1955, the three surviving Greek-Catholic bishops – Hossu, Rusu, and Balan – were imprisoned in Orthodox monasteries with mandatory domicile. John Balan (bishop of Lugoj) died in 1959 at Ciorogârla in the monastery. Alexander Rusu, the Greek-Catholic bishop of Maramures, was arrested again in 1956 and sentenced to life imprisonment. He died at Gherla in 1963, at 79.
Iuliu Hossu, the Greek-Catholic bishop of Cluj, who spoke on December 1, 1918 The proclamation of the union of Transylvania with the Kingdom of Romania was closed in Căldăruşani monastery. He was made Cardinal in secret by Pope Paul VI, but Iuliu Hossu refused to leave Romania to become a cardinal, being aware that the authorities would not have allowed him to return to the country. Iuliu Hossu died 85 years old on May 28, 1970, being buried on the run, the next day, at the order of the communist authorities.
The Communist Party and the Securitate made inferior pressure on these bishops to move to the Romanian Orthodox Church, led by which it was installed in 1948 as patriarch Justinian Marina, a close friend of Gheorghiu Dej. None of the Greek-Catholic bishops (six titulars and six underclasses to replace their holders after arrest) failed to surrender, their sacrifice being warmly praised in an apostolic letter, “Veritatem facientes” by Pope Pius XII in 1952: “We, who bring to our people parental feelings and surround them with a special love of” those who are persecuted for righteousness “(Mt 5: 10), want to kiss the chains of those who, unjustly imprisoned, weep and grieve more attacks on religion, the collapse of sacred institutions, for the eternal salvation of their people in jeopardy, rather than their own suffering and their lost freedom.”
Deo Gratias! On March 19th, the Holy Father received in audience Cardinal Angelo Becciu, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. In the audience, Pope Francis authorized the Congregation to promulgate, among other decrees, the decree on the recognition of the martyrdom of the servants of God Valeriu Traian Frentiu, Vasile Aftenie, Ioan Suciu, Tit Liviu Chinezu, Ioan Balan, Alexandru Rusu and Iuliu Hossu, Romanian Greek- Catholics bishops killed from hatred of faith in various places in Romania between 1950 and 1970.
Source: G4Media (TFP translation)