The Chancellery of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Patriarchate has released a clarification on the fight against corruption within the Romanian Orthodox Church. Reported by basilica.ro, the document outlines canonical rules and measures employed to combat corruption in the Romanian Orthodox Church. The Synod's statement emphasizes that only individuals who have completed theological studies specializing in "pastoral theology" and have passed an examination for the priesthood can become priests. The appointment of priests to parishes is conducted through a competitive process, and donations received by parishes must be registered and accounted for according to specific rules. Additionally, monks are prohibited from receiving donations in their own names; such contributions should be directed to the monastery or diocese to which they belong.
The Romanian Orthodox Church's sanctions against corruption include a ban on performing religious duties or excommunication from the Church for clergy, revocation of episcopal blessings for laypersons, and expulsion from monastic life for monks. However, the application of these sanctions depends on the conscience and character of those involved in church administration.
The document references an episode from the Gospel concerning Simon the Sorcerer's attempt to purchase the grace of the Holy Spirit, an act sternly condemned by the Apostle Peter. The Church terms any similar actions as "simony" in recognition of the individual who first attempted to buy sacred ministry. The statement from the Romanian Patriarchate emphasizes the unequivocal condemnation of such actions by the Church and ecumenical councils.
It is noted that sanctions against simony were established by the 29th Apostolic Canon and confirmed by the rules of the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Ecumenical Councils, as well as the regulations of the Church Fathers. The document presents a definition of simony encompassing actions aimed at obtaining sacred ministries, dioceses, parishes, and other spiritual positions in exchange for values or through personal connections, kinship, political influence, or any form of pressure.