"Dumitru Mărtinaş" Roman-Catholic Association representing Roman-Catholics of Moldavia (so called "Changos", French - Tchangos, Hungarian - Csangok, German - Tschangos)

Monsignor Mihai Robu (1884-1944)

- the first indigenous bishop -

The reports made by the archbishop on the situation in Moldavia had the gift of convincing Pope Pius XI to appoint, on May 7, 1925, a new bishop of Iasi, in the person of Monsignor Mihai Robu. He was the fourth bishop of Iasi, after Nicolae Iosif Camilli (1884-1894 and 1904-1915), Dominic Jaquet (1894-1903) and Alexandru Teodor Cisar (1920-1924). He is surprised by his appointment that he did not want. He is shaken by the huge responsibility of this mission which he receives with much faith and resignation: "O Lord, I am your servant and the son of your servant" (Ps 115, 106). It announces the date of consecration, set for September 20, 1925, at 9.00 am in the chapel of the Institute of Notre Dame de Sion, where, 18 years ago, he was ordained. It indicates the main consecrator, Archbishop Alexandru Teodor Cisar assisted by Valeriu Traian Frenţiu, the Greek-Catholic bishop of Oradea, and Alexandru Nicolescu, the Greek-Catholic bishop of Lugoj. The pastoral activity of the venerable and beloved bishop Mihai Robu, printed in the souls of his collaborators and parishioners, during 19 years, five months and 22 days, mirrored in thousands of archive files was carried out according to the well-known trinom: seminary, clergy, diocese. Caring for the seminar As a successor to the apostles, Bishop Mihai Robu considered the seminar a priority task. His first pastoral letters highlight this concern. During its pastorate, 241 students were enrolled in the Diocesan Seminary in Iasi, of which 73 became priests. Most of them came from rural areas, from modest families, without economic resources. The maintenance and training of seminarians fell to the episcopate, whose incomes were also modest. The bishop has always had to resort to the collections of parishioners, especially at Christmas and Easter, to benefactors from outside the country, and from time to time to grants from the state budget. He went to Catholic countries, such as Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, to obtain the scholarships that his students needed. In 1930 he calls again (after the period from 1866-1906) to Jesuit parents for the formation of future priests, entrusting Father Felix Wiercinski with "the leadership of our dear seminary." Keeps in touch with its students from abroad, encouraging them, helping them with money for the strictly necessary, advising them as a good parent and informing them about their home. Caring for the clergy The great pain in the history of the Catholics from the Eastern Carpathians, through the penultimate decade of the twentieth century, was the acute lack of priests. Bishop Mihai Robu felt this lack. That is why they strove to have priests. He wanted everyone well trained, virtuous, prudent and zealous in the apostolate. How clearly these thoughts and feelings of the shepherd, when he writes to the conventual Franciscan parish priest in Luizi Călugăra, Joseph PM Pal: "... I pray every day at the Holy Mass for my dear clergy, so that all may be healthy, eager, prudents, examples of priestly virtues ... ". He calls them to spiritual exercises, organized in different series, so that the pastoral activity continues unabated. In order to help the poor priests, he asks for the allowances of the liturgies from different bishops from western Catholic countries. He intervenes at the state forums and at the apostolic nunnery, especially after the outbreak of World War II, for priests with foreign citizenship, such as Joseph Kldzik and Joseph Chrucki of Bukovina, on whose plane the imminent danger of being sent to concentration camps, and the parishioners from Soloneţul Nou and Poiana Micului risked being left without priests. Very attentive to the way the priests carried out their pastoral activity, Bishop Robu intervened with wise advice and due authority, calling the "too zealous" to temperance, and others to prudence and careful management of parish resources. He took the defense of his priests called to the Ministry of Cults by some dissatisfied with the laws established by the assembly of parishioners for the construction of churches. The heroic efforts of Bishop Mihai Robu, to have priests to send to the numerous Catholic communities spread throughout Moldavia of Stephen the Great, were rewarded with the great joy of the ordination of the 33 priests from the 1939 promotion. they ordained him on June 24, in the same chapel of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Sion, where, 32 years ago, he had also been ordained a priest, and 14 years earlier (1925) he was consecrated bishop. Take care of the dioceses The pastorate of the Diocese of Iasi by Bishop Mihai Robu knows two stages: first, 1925 - 1940, the stage of historical Moldavia known during the time of Stefan cel Mare, and the second, of the Republic of Moldova conquered by the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of June 28, 1940, with a brief return to the previous state (June 1941 - August 23, 1944). During the period of Greater Romania, the inclusion in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Iasi of the Catholic communities in Bassarabia and Bukovina meant for Bishop Robu a 50% increased concern regarding the clergy and believers. Although he had important collaborators in the person of the general vicar of Bukovina, Mons. Aldabert Grabonski, and in that of Mons. Dr. Marcu Glaser, Catholic archbishop of Bassarabia and parish priest of Chisinau, the only person in charge of the Romanian government and of the Holy See, was the bishop of Iasi. Visiting all Catholic communities in such a vast territory, with the means of locomotion of the time, was no easy task. No doubt his robust constitution and apostolic courage were of real support. Mons. Robu put into practice what he was writing to others. For example, the priest Eugen Baltheiser, parish priest of Gura Humorului, with a delegation for two other vacant parishes, Câmpulung Moldovenesc and Fălticeni, wrote to him: "... to do what your health allows, the rest will do the good God". The numerous archive documents indicate the multitude and diversity of problems that the bishop had to solve. The burden of many branches affiliated with the existing parishes was somewhat relieved as new priests were ordained to help the parishes. The precarious economic situation of the bishopric forced Bishop Mihai Robu to appeal to some rights that the other bishops in the country had both to the land endowment and to the salaries of the priests. By the address no. 3,524 of December 1, 1930 requires that the Catholic Bishopric of Iasi be endowed with 100 ha of arable land and 300 ha of forest. With the University “Al. I. Cuza ”from Iasi had many problems because this higher education institution rented the building of the Copou Seminary (designed by Bishop Jaquet for the Cipariu College) as soon as the First World War ended and the postponement of the building, rent and rent was delayed of repair costs. He had to turn to the government himself. Also for the purpose of economic improvement of the diocese, advised by his advisers, he thought that an important loan and attracting investors from abroad could be beneficial. He was disappointed, because "the foreigners do not trust the Romanian economy". Sometimes the priests of the pastorate were informed about some abuses committed by officials of the local state administration who refused to solve the requests of the Catholic population. The bishop was obliged to resort to the very highest forums to unveil those abuses. The duty of the priest was fulfilled with great attention, being careful with dispensations and firm in decisions. Parents urge young people to have fun at the daylight hours organized in the church yard. He was attentive to the special events in the life of the Catholic Church, such as 1600 years since the celebration of the first Ecumenical Synod in Nicaea in 325 and 1500 years since the third Ecumenical Synod, that of Ephesus in 431. Purity of faith, necessity of unity , godliness toward the precocious Virgin Mary, the birth of God, was carefully emphasized, exhorting Christians to earnest prayers. Ten years after taking over the Catholic parishes in Bukovina and 15 years after taking over those in Bassarabia, through the decision of the Holy See to be part of the Diocese of Iasi, the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact and the entry of Romania into war with Germany brought painful complications for Bishop Mihai Robu. Most of the priests and parishioners in the northern parishes of Bukovina have left their homes, leaving for Germany. Some of the remnants, especially the Poles from Bassarabia, endured much of the Soviet rule, even if, only after a year, the joint territories were recaptured. The state of war continued for four years was accompanied by specific rules: prohibition of travel, requisitions, suspicions about priests, additional contributions for the army, care of the wounded, widows and orphans, hiring priests for the spiritual assistance of the combatants. The archive of the war years reflects the multitude and diversity of the problems that the bishop had to solve: numerous requests to the civil and military authorities to obtain travel permits for himself and his collaborators, exemption from the requisitions of the means of transport necessary for the pastorate, allowance for priests of foreign ethnicity needed in some parishes. If the first years of the war were in favor of Germany and its allies, at the end of 1943, things took a tragic turn. In the spring of 1944 the Soviet armies forced the Dniester. Moldavia was badly affected. The shelter started. The diocesan seminar could not continue its activity. Priests and parishioners remaining in villages took risks. In June 1944, the building of the Diocesan Seminary on Copou was destroyed by bombs thrown by Russian aviation. The grieving bishop Robu went to the refuge, hosted in Beiuş, by the Greek - Catholic Bishop Valeriu Traian Frenţiu. After August 23, 1944, Bishop Robu retires to the Bihor Mountains in a house of the Greek-Catholic Bishopric, where he becomes seriously ill. It goes to the eternal ones on the morning of September 27 of the same year. After 20 years, the bones were brought to him and deposited in the Episcopal church, which he served with all his devotion, as bishop, from 1925 to 1944. His motto, inscribed on the bishop's coat of arms, was: "In cross salus" (" In the cross is salvation"). He chose this motto inspired, which would accompany his years of grazing. On the occasion of the great and unique event in the history of the diocese of Iasi, that of the ordination in 1939 of 33 priests, they made up an exceptional festive volume, in which a first article is dedicated to the good shepherd, Bishop Mihai Robu, on which the author, the worthy one Priest and future hero, Dumitru Sandu Matei (killed by communists in Jilava prison on February 21, 1951), always saw him as "Our Father". I associate myself completely with the illustrious author, because, during ten years, I had the great joy of being close to this "father of ours", of the seminarians, of the priests, of the whole diocese. No doubt his priestly contribution, his sacrifices, as well as those of his worthy successor, the martyr bishop Anton Durcovici, and of all those who have been brave in debt for the long communist period, we consider them as the foundation of the current propagation.
Romano-catolici împreună cu preotul

Today's

territory

of

Romania

was

-

like

other

European

territories

-

a

missionary

field

where

the

apostles

transmitted

the

Christian

teaching,

from

the

first

century

of

Christianity.

Christian

communities

developed

on

this

territory,

especially

on

the

Black

Sea

coast

and on the Danube.

An

important

role

in

Christianity

also

had

the

influence

of

the

Roman

Christians

who

were

among

the

colonists

brought

after

the

conquest

of

Dacia,

which

is

why

the

church

organization

of

that

period

is

closely

related

to

the

Roman

administrative-territorial

systematization,

the

Christian

communities

existing

on

the

territory

of

Dacia

under

the

jurisdiction

of

the

Pope (Bishop of Rome), through his vicar from Thessalonica.

Following

the

great

schism

(1054),

the

Roman-Catholic

communities

continued

to

exist,

being

supported

by

the

missionary

activity

of

the

Dominican

and

Franciscan

orders,

an

activity

that

will

lead

to

the

consolidation

and

development

of

these

Christian

Catholic

communities

listening

to

the

Pope

(the

bishop

of

Rome),

their

existence

being

attested

in

some

short-term

bishops

south

of

the

Carpathians,

in

the

Romanian Country (Severin, Argeș) and east of the Carpathians, in Moldavia (Milcov, Siret, Baia, Bacău).

Thus,

in

1227,

in

the

area

of

​​Moldavia,

the

Bishopric

of

Milcov

(1227-1241)

was

established,

in

1371

the

Bishopric

of

Siret

(1371-1434)

was

established,

and

in

1418

the

Bishopric

of

Baia

was

established

(1418-

1523),

which

played

an

important

role

in

the

organization

of

Catholic

life

in

Moldova.

Seven

bishops

succeeded the leadership of this bishop, the last being Michael Marinoski (1510-1523).

In

1391,

in

addition

to

the

Bishopric

of

Siret,

Pope

Boniface

IX

(1389-1404)

established

the

Bishopric

of

Bacau, because of "the large crowd of the Catholics in Moldavia and their scattering on the territory".

After

ascending

to

the

throne

of

Moldova

of

Stephen

the

Great

(1457-1504),

the

political

orientation

changes,

also

influencing

the

organization

of

the

Catholic

minority

in

Moldova.

Poland

could

no

longer

effectively support a bishop in Moldavia and therefore the bishopric is integrated into Hungary.

Since

1818

the

activity

of

the

Catholic

missionaries

in

Moldavia

has

been

coordinated

from

Iasi,

the

headquarters

of

the

Apostolic

Vicariate

of

Moldova,

at

the

helm

of

which

were

followed

by

14

apostolic

visitors, the last being Nicolae Iosif Camilli, named on September 16, 1881.

On

June

27,

1884,

by

the

papal

bull

"Quae

in

christiani

nominis

incrementum",

Pope

Leo

XIII

(1878-1903)

decided

to

cease

the

Apostolic

Vicariate

of

Moldova,

which

was

from

1818,

and

decreed

the

establishment

of

the

Catholic

Bishopric

of

Iasi.

The

bishop

was

named

Nicolae

Iosif

Camilli,

former

apostolic

visitor

between

1881-1884.

Later,

the

bishopric

was

led

by

Dominic

Jaquet,

Alexandru

Theodor

Cisar,

Mihai

Robu

and

Anton

Durcovici,

who

were

residential

bishops,

while

at

the

diocese's

leadership,

were

the

apostolic

administrators and "ordinary substitutes".

The first bishop from Moldavia was Mihai Robu (1925-1944), from Săbăoani, Neamț county.

Currently

the

Moldavian

Catholics

are

organized

into

10

deans

and

158

parishes,

living

peacefully

with

other inhabitants of any religion.

The leaders of the Diocese of Iasi

1.Ep. Nicolae Iosif Camilli (June 27, 1884 - May 10, 1894) 2.Pr. Caetan Liverotti (May 10, 1894 - January 8, 1895) - Apostolic Administrator 3.Ep. Dominic Jaquet (January 8, 1895 - July 30, 1903) 4.Pr. Iosif Malinovski (July 30, 1903 - August 30, 1904) - apostolic administrator 5.Arhiep. Nicolae Iosif Camilli (August 30, 1904 - December 30, 1915) 6.Pr. Ulderic Cipolloni (January 30, 1916 - April 22, 1920) - Apostolic administrator 7.Ep. Alexander Theodor Cisar (April 22, 1920 - July 5, 1925) 8.Ep. Mihai Robu (July 5, 1925 - September 27, 1944) 9.Ep. Mark Glaser (October 18, 1944 - October 30, 1947) - Apostolic Administrator 10.Ep. Anton Durcovici (October 30, 1947 - June 26, 1949) 11.Ep. Mark Glaser (June 26, 1949 - May 25, 1950) - Apostolic Administrator 12.Pr. Gheorghe Peţ (May 25, 1950 - November 15, 1950) - ordinarius substitutus 13.Pr. Wilhelm Clofanda (November 15, 1950 - March 8, 1951) - ordinarius substitutus 14.Pr. Petru Pleşca (March 11, 1951 - December 16, 1965) - ordinarius substitutus 15.Ep. Petru Pleşca (December 16, 1965 - March 19, 1977) 16.Pr. Andrei Gherguţ (March 19, 1977 - February 21, 1978) - ordinarius substitutus 17.Mons. Peter Gherghel (February 21, 1978 - March 14, 1990) - Apostolic Administrator 18.Ep. Petru Gherghel (from March 14, 1990 - from July 6, 2019, Bishop Emeritus) 19.Ep. Aurel Percă (from September 29, 1999) - Auxiliary Bishop 20.Ep. Iosif Păuleț (from July 6, 2019)
Catholic missionaries about the Csangos from Moldavia As early as 1234, in a papal letter it is mentioned that in the territory of the bishopric of Milcov, the Catholics mingle with the Wallachians, pass to their faith, becoming a people with them . Archbishop Marco Bandini also made the same statement regarding the transition of Catholics to the Orthodox religion in his report to Bacău, on March 2, 1648, documenting the findings made during the visit made by the high prelate in the Catholic localities of Moldova. In 1763, the bishop of Bacău, Stanislau Jezierski noted that "... in all Moldova the number of Catholics only increases through the Catholics who come from Transylvania ..." and because these "Transylvanian Catholics belong to Hungarian zone ... Moldavians do not call them Catholics but Hungarians ... " . Also in 1763, Iosif Cambioli, the Prefect of the Franciscan Mission of Moldova, noted “... for seven years now, the number of our Catholics has increased and increased every day, not because non-Catholics would visit us, but because in Hungary and especially In Transylvania it has been hungry and now, since the peace between the Austrians and the Prussians came to an end, they have seized soldiers and that is why in this province they have come and come to whole families and a large number of youth from 14 years up, because from that age he enlisted in the army ... ” . From the reports of the Catholic missionaries, it turns out that besides the heavy economic burdens (huge taxes and burdens paid by the Transylvanian Romanians), which caused the Romanian peasants to take refuge in Moldavia, was the forced military service, introduced by the Austrian authorities that aimed at annexing Transylvania and Bucovina, aimed at increasing the number of troops. In order to extend their influence on the Moldavian Roman Catholics, the Hungarian missionaries tried to influence the decisions taken at the Vatican, the letter addressed to Pope Pius VI - by the Bishop of Alba Iulia Ignațiu Batthyani, who expressed his sorrow in this regard for the fate of the Catholic believers in the Moldavian area, stating that they only understand the Hungarian language, that the Italian missionaries do not preach, confess and do not catechize in the language of the people, Bishop Ignațiu Batthyani requesting the withdrawal of the Italian missionaries and their replacement with the Hungarian missionary. Knowing the realities of Moldavia, on January 7, 1788, Pope Pius VI replied to the bishop Ignațiu Batthyani, telling him that it is not necessary to grieve because Italian missionaries use Romanian language in pastoral care, which is the native language of the vast majority of the population Catholics from Moldavia and for the Hungarian-speaking believers, the cardinal from Esztergom was authorized to send to Moldavia two Hungarian-speaking missionaries. During the period of the bishop Ioan-Filip Paroni (1818-1825), the missionary staff from Moldova could no longer be assured, which is why the support of the conventual Franciscan province from Transylvania was requested and the pastorate was done for about 40 years, by the Hungarian priests. During this pastorate period, the gospel was read in Hungarian, as was the sermon, church songs and litanies were sung in Hungarian, the names of the parishioners were Hungarian and in some cases the names of the localities were Hungarian. All these actions meant to introduce the Hungarian language in the Catholic communities of Moldavia, generated a conflict between parishioners and priests, the first complaining to the apostolic vicar of Moldavia that they do not understand anything about the religious services and the Hungarian missionaries complained that the Hungarian language was extinguished. The conflict was extinguished when the Hungarian missionaries were withdrawn from Moldavia. Excerpt from the book "The origin of the Csangos from Moldavia" - author Dumitru Mărtinaș