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Revista Studii Teologice

REVISTA FACULTĂŢILOR DE TEOLOGIE DIN PATRIARHIA ROMÂNĂ



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Legislaţia privind învăţământul teologic organizat în Moldova, în Perioada Re-gulamentară

The Legislation on the Theological Educational System Organized in Moldavia in the Regulament Period

Autor(i): Pr. Gruia ZAMFIRESCU


In the period before the Regulamentul Organic was promulgated, the educa-tional system in Moldavia developed in a similar way as the one in Walachia (county and monastery schools were founded; a part of the country’s income collected from the church was allotted for the organization and functioning of the schools; there were tendencies to reorganize the schools in the whole country). Different from Wa-lachia, there were not as many schools around churches and monasteries in the Moldavian villages, but there was already a seminary founded in 1803 at the Socola monastery in Iasi.
The Regulamentul Organic came into effect on 1 January 1832 and it con-tained clauses referring to the clergy, the clerical educational system and the condi-tions of study (the continuity of the seminary in Socola for a maximum number of 200 pupils, with a budget of 60.000 lei provided by the Metropolitan See and the Bishoprics. It was impossible to become a priest without having graduated the semi-nary, at least after the date at which the seminary would have had enough gradu-ates. If until the age of 25, out of ill-will, the graduate did not become a priest, he and his parents were obliged to give back to the state the money spent during his stay in the seminary). The Regulament laws had as purpose the reorganization of the theological educational system by structuring it on three levels (including faculties), increasing the number of seminaries and adopting a unique curricula for them. In order to send the seminary graduates towards clerical positions, it was forbidden to become a priest for the candidates, to let them obtain positions in the state admin-istration and to establish an obligatory road to follow from the studies period to the moment of becoming a priest. Until 1848 the laws stipulated the reorganization of the clerical educational system by two degrees, due to the establishment of parish seminaries the Metropolitan one.
There were several projects meant to move the complete eight years course from Iasi (Socola) to Neamt Monastery. The primary course was to be organized in three diocesan seminaries (of which actually only the metropolitan one existed). Thus, in 1847, in the attempt to make “improvements regarding the clergy”, the Metropoli-tan bishop of Moldavia asked the prince that, until the establishment of diocesan seminaries, in the monastery of Socola should function only the 1st seminary section, covering four years of study. In Neamt Monastery should function the 1st section for monks and the 2nd section for the graduates of Neamt and Socola who would like to become archpriests, preachers or monks. The graduates of the complete seminary could join the monastic orders “at once” (without being subject to the common temp-tations), but only those belonging to the inferior seminary cycle could become monks after the “necessary temptations” and already being 30 years old. In 1847 was also created a “Rule for the seminaries about clerical learning”. Studies were divided in two cycles of four years each. The inferior one (“section I”) was going to be organized in the Seminary of Socola and in the future Seminaries of Roman and Husi. The superior cycle (“section II”) destined for the high clergy was initially meant to func-tion in Neamt Monastery, but because the local monks opposed it, the law text itself presupposed finding another place for its organization and functioning.
Immediately after 1848 there was a reorganization on the Prussian model of the entire educational system due to “The School for the reorganization of public learning in the Principality of Moldavia”(1850). Among the basic principles of public learning were proclaimed an educational system free of charge (“free and available for all people”), a specialization of schools (“very important” being the establishment of industrial and agricultural schools), an equal importance of the topics (e.g. in the secondary cycle, beside the study of classical authors, “equally important is learning religion, geography and history, as well as mathematics, natural science and philoso-phy”) , the impossibility to obtain a public position by persons without studies in the state schools.
There were three levels of studies provided: primary (elementary – of three years, one in each of the 63 districts, primary – of four years, with a further one year course of pedagogy, for the future schoolmasters, for girls and for crafts – of five years); secondary (scientific – of five years, agricultural and secondary – of seven years) and superior (it was planned to open an academy in Iasi which was going to function with four faculties: Philosophy, Law, Medicine and Theology). But though a Faculty of Theology had to open, the text of the two articles referring to it mentioned only national seminaries. Given the principle of a unitary organization of the different sections of the public educational system, theology seminaries were under the authority of the special administration of the department of public learning where the entire administration of the schools in the principality gathered.
One year after the reorganization of public learning, the Law for the Organi-zation of the Clerical Educational System in Moldavia (1851) came into effect. This law succeeded in restructuring the theological educational system. The measures were:
– the division in three types of schools: regional of two years, section I for the small clergy, of four years; section II for the high clergy, of four years of study;
– the transformation of the old county schools in preparatory schools for the seminary;
– the creation of parish seminaries, having a scholarly cycle of four years, and the functioning of the Socola seminary in eight years of study;
– the impossibility to become a priest without graduating the inferior cycle and the giving of clerical ranks according to the level of study;
– the management of the seminaries by guardians such as the minister of the church wealth and of the public educational system and the Patriarch (for the semi-nary in Socola) or by bishops (for the parish seminaries).
The regional clerical schools, maintained by the law giver, had a two year cy-cle and were meant to form the candidates for seminaries. They could be considered preparatory schools where the pupils learned to read and write, as well as grammar and mathematics. This type of school was paralleled by the preparatory class of the seminaries in Wallachia.
Section I seminaries were to be organized in Iasi (Socola), Roman and Husi. The courses of this type of seminary were obligatory to obtain “the lower degrees of Sachelar, Blagocin şi Iconom”. Only in exceptional cases was it sufficient in order to become a priest: if there were no graduates of 8 classes, one could choose among those of 4 classes who were “enough in the country”, but not among those uneducat-ed at all. Section two was organized only in Socola for “the high clergy” (Protoiereu, Proestos, Dicasteriot, Egumen, Arhimandrit şi Arhiereu).
The seminary in Socola was going to function as a boarding school with 100 pupils, of whom 25 for “the superior studies”, and the bishop seminaries as boarding schools with 70 pupils (in Roman) and 40 (in Husi). Like in Wallachia, beside these pupils, courses could be attended by an unlimited number of external pupils. The money needed for the internal pupils was provided from the “treasures of the Cler-gy”. As a consequence of this law there appeared the parish seminaries of Husi – 1851 and Roman – 1858. In 1855 there was a new attempt to reorganize the theo-logical educational system at the “Seminary of the Holy Monasteries Neamt and Secu”. The curricula was divided on three levels: schools of the 1st degree, of the 2nd degree and the Faculty of Theology. In those of the 1st degree one studied 4 years, in those of the 2nd degree 8 years, and in the faculty 4 years more. If during the first two cycles secular disciplines were mainly studied, during faculty all topics belonged to the theological field (except agronomy and medical or veterinary science).
In the rule period, beside the legislation about the educational system in gen-eral and the theological one in particular, were adopted laws connected to it: they regarded the formation of priests (only the graduates of a seminary), the improve-ment of the priests’ fate and the establishment of their rights and obligations. “The law for the priests to be chosen from those that have graduated the seminary cycles”, adopted in 1841, stipulated, beside the obvious title, the annual sums of money by which the bishoprics subjected to the Metropolitan Church had to support the Semi-nary in Socola (the Bishopric in Roman – 40.000 lei, and the Bishopric in Husi – 30.000 lei). “The prince’s act by which the seminary graduates should become teach-ers in the country schools and receive parishes”, of 1843, stipulated measures and rights for the seminary graduates and allowed the appointment of qualified people for the positions of teachers which were vacant in public schools.
The regular legislation of Moldavia, regarding the theological educational sys-tem, can be considered unstable because of the large number of legal acts that were promulgated, the contradictory solutions which were adopted about the level of schools (from the maintaining of catechetic schools – the plague of the theological system in both principalities, until the project of creating a faculty), the structure, the curricula, the planned institutions, but especially because of the non-coming into effect of the majority of the promulgated laws. After many attempts, under the 1851 Law, it was succeeded to reorganize the Moldavian theological educational system, by the organization of an educational system structured on two cycles of learning, but only at a seminary level, and its functioning until the adoption of the laws in the time of Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza (1859- 1866).

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