Cardinal Alexandru Todea

Cardinal Alexandru Todea

Birth
Mureș, Romania
Death 22 May 2002 (aged 89)
Mureș, Romania
Burial Blaj, Alba, Romania
Plot Crypt Of The Metropolitan Cathedral.
Memorial ID 35070028 · View Source
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Roman Catholic Cardinal. Born in Teleac to a family of peasants, Alexandru Todea was the the thirteenth of sixteen children. Receiving his education at the lyceum Sfântul Vasile cel Mare of Blaj under the French Assumptionist Fathers and later at the Pontifical Urban Athenaeum de Propaganda Fide of Rome, he earned a doctorate in theology at the latter studium. Ordained priest on March 25, 1939, he served as secretary to the Eastern Rite metropolitan. With the Catholic Church of the Byzantine-Romanian Rite suppressed in 1948, he was arrested several times between 1945 and 1948, being eventually sentenced by Romania's Communist rulers to life imprisonment for high treason, once sharing a cell with five other bishops and eight priests, later recounting with some humor that he was made head of the lavatory cleaning brigade. Elected bishop of the titular see of Caesaropolis and appointed auxiliary of Făgăraş and Alba, he received his episcopal consecration on November 19, 1950 in secret inside the sacristy of the Sfântul Iosif cathedral of Bucharest. On January 31 of the following year, he was captured by the political police of the Gheorghiu-Dej Communist regime and sentenced to hard labor for life following a trial in 1952, during which the prosecutor initially requested death penalty after being found guilty of being "a servant of the Vatican, the greatest enemy of Communism" and for "constituting a threat to the new style of life which brings happiness to the people", becoming prisoner no. 51 at Sighet prison. In 1964, based on the amnesty given for political detainees, after spending fourteen years in Sighet, the hardest Communist prison in the country, he was pardoned, released and placed under house arrest for the next twenty seven years that followed. In 1986, the Greek-Catholic Episcopal Conference held a secret meeting and elected him as its head. With the Greek-Catholic Church gaining its freedom in 1989, it confirmed him in his post a year later. Promoted to the metropolitan see of Făgăraş and Alba Julia of the Romanians on March 14, 1990, becoming thus head of the Eastern Rite Church, Todea served as president of the Episcopal Conference of Romania from March 16, 1990 till 1994. Along the years, Todea was able to keep in touch with the Vatican with the then special envoy for Eastern Europe, Archbishop Luigi Poggi, being able to meet him secretly several times. Todea's eighth and last arrest was in 1989 after he had conducted the funeral of the philosopher Ioan Miclea. He was held for only six hours and was told in confidence that the authorities were afraid to imprison him for fear of adverse Western reaction. With the end of the long Ceaușescu years already in sight, the leader being ultimately overthrown in December that year, one of the first moves undertaken by the National Salvation Front soon after it seized power on the last day of 1989 was the lift of the 1948 ban on the Romanian Eastern Rite Church. Pope John Paul II created Todea cardinal priest in the consistory of June 28, 1991 with the title of Sant'Atanasio a Via Tiburtina, becoming the second Romanian after the late Iuliu Hossu to be appointed to the Sacred College. Suffering a stroke shortly afterward which left him paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life, he resigned the pastoral government of his see on July 20, 1994. Named honorary member of the Academiei Române, the Cardinal died on Tuesday, May 22, 2002 while recovered in a hospital in the Transylvanian city of Targu Mures. His remains are found buried in the crypt of the Most Holy Trinity metropolitan cathedral of Blaj.

Bio by: Eman Bonnici


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  • Created by: Eman Bonnici
  • Added: 22 Mar 2009
  • Find a Grave Memorial 35070028
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Cardinal Alexandru Todea (5 Jun 1912–22 May 2002), Find a Grave Memorial no. 35070028, citing Holy Trinity Cathedral, Blaj, Alba, Romania ; Maintained by Eman Bonnici (contributor 46572312) .