The two Catholic Churches in the country of Romania —the Latin-rite Catholic Church in Romania and the Byzantine-rite Romanian Church United with Rome (Greek-Catholic) — both experienced a particularly vicious brand of persecution during four decades of Communist rule in the 20th century. Almost all the Catholic bishops in the country, of both rites, and countless religious and lay people, were sought out, imprisoned, and often tortured and killed, their bodies buried anonymously in fields. Blessed liberation arrived in 1989, though in Romania, unlike in the other Iron Curtain countries, it included considerable street violence and even murder. In the renascence of Romania, the Catholic Churches were allowed to ascend from underground, back into the light of day, and now number, between them, some 1.5 million souls. Among them is a remarkable woman whose own parents suffered the fate of many of their countrymen: separation for long years, 17 of them, by prison bars. Dr. Maria-Anca Cernea recounted to the assembly at October’s Synod on the Family how her mother had waited all those years for her fiancé—eventually to become her mother’s husband and her own father — though not even certain that he was still alive. “They were heroically faithful to God and to their engagement,” remarked Dr. Cernea. “Their example shows that God’s grace can overcome terrible social circumstances and material poverty.”
But Dr. Cernea’s talk was only about the past insofar as thepast reveals certain similarities to the current “signs of the times”: “The primary cause of the sexual and cultural revolution is ideological,” she said.
“It was first done under a violent form, classical Marxism, by killing tens of millions.
“Now it’s being done mostly by cultural Marxism. There is continuity from Lenin’s sexual revolution, through Gramsci and the Frankfurt school, to the current-day gay-rights and gender ideology.”
It is the same project to “redesign society,” Dr. Cernea pointed out; the old-style Communists tried to do it through “violent take-over of property. Now the revolution goes deeper; it pretends to redefine family, sexual identity and human nature. This ideology calls itself progressive,” she said. “But it is nothing else than the ancient serpent’s offer, for man to take control, to replace God, to arrange salvation here, in this world.”
In a recent interview with Lifesite News, Dr. Cernea was asked about a specific aspect of the cultural/sexual revolution, the acceptance of homosexual practice as a legitimate lifestyle.
She responded with an example of a young man from her own professional experience who was diagnosed with AIDS: “He was encouraged to experiment [homosexually]… They told him that if he ‘protected’ himself he was safe. His first reaction to me was, ‘It’s impossible, Doctor, because I protected myself.’
“So, I think this is really criminal, to encourage people and such a [lifestyle.]
“What I said applies to physical life. But we have to think about eternal life [as well]. These people need to be encouraged to get out of sin, just as we, who are all sinners, need to be encouraged by our brothers and sisters to get out of sin.”
Excerpt from Dr. Cernea’s Presentation to Pope Francis and the Synod bishops, Friday, October 16, 2015:
The Church’s mission is to save souls. Evil, in this world, comes from sin. Not from income disparity or “climate change.”
The solution is: Evangelization. Conversion. Not an ever-increasing government control. Not a world government.
These are nowadays the main agents imposing cultural Marxism on our nations, under the form of population control, reproductive health, gay rights, gender education, and so on.
What the world needs nowadays is not limitation of freedom, but real freedom, liberation from sin. Salvation. Our Church was suppressed by the Soviet occupation. But none of our 12 bishops betrayed their communion with the Holy Father. Our Church survived thanks to our bishops’ determination and example in resisting prisons and terror.
Our bishops asked the community not to follow the world. Not to cooperate with the communists.
Now we need Rome to tell the world: “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.”
Not only we, the Catholic laity, but also many Christian Orthodox are anxiously praying for this Synod. Because, as they say, if the Catholic Church gives in to the spirit of this world, it is going to be very difficult for all the other Christians to resist it…”