The Romanian Orthodox Church engaged, after the fall of communism, in the reconstruction of its public identity and its position in society. The public discourse of its official representatives – the Holy Synod and individual hierarchs, especially the Patriarch Teoctist – expresses and „translates” this process to the faithful and the general public. Its perception by this public, particularly when mediated by means of mass communication, is usually partial and frequently altered.

By focusing on the official discourse of the Romanian Orthodox Church representatives, as expressed in the ecclesiastical press and (re)transmitted in the common mass media, this paper will explore the justification/explanation by ecclesiastical officials of this process, following the lines of two main - intertwined - lines: the legitimization of the resurgence in the public sphere of the Church as an institution of spiritual and social assistance and its presence as the privileged keeper and guardian of national values.
It will be further argued that, while explicitly refuting and condemning any signs of secularization in the Romanian society, the Romanian Orthodox Church, through its official discourse, is actually contributing to the deepening of this very process within both society and the Church itself.
Our main sources for the public discourse of the Romanian Orthodox Church will be the ecclesiastical press and collections of speeches, sermons, articles of Orthodox hierarchs and documents of the Holy Synod. For the theoretical framing of the paper, the main references will be works of Thomas Luckmann, Danièle Hérvieu-Léger, Grace Davie, René Rémond, etc.
Iuliana Conovici is PhD student and teaches at the Department of Political Science, University of Bucharest. Her main areas of interest: religion in post-communism and secularization theory. She published several articles about the Romanian Orthodox Church in the post-communist Romania. E-mail address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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