Wednesday, June 9, 2010

COMMENTARY: Romanian Patriarch's Brother Should Not Convert to Catholicism for Revenge

Gheorghe Ciobotea, the brother of Romanian Patriarch Daniel, said he intends to give up on Orthodoxy and convert to Catholicism, because of his brother's attitude.

The Patriarch's brother said, "Daniel is not my brother anymore. I asked him to save his nephews from shepherding and hire them in constructions at the monastery in our village. He wouldn't do it. I ask you, is this behavior worthy of a brother?"

The answer to your question, Gheorghe, is "yes." The fact is that it is not Patriarch Daniel's responsibility to provide his nephews with jobs. Moreover, providing them with jobs in constructing a monastery could result in embarrassment for the Patriarch, as his worshipers could accuse him of favoring his nephews over more qualified persons for the jobs. In short, the Patriarch must be above reproach.

For the Patriarch's brother to give up Orthodoxy and convert to Catholicism, because of the Patriarch's "attitude" in not employing his nephews, is a poor reason to convert. Conversion from Orthodoxy to Catholicism -- or vice versa -- should be based upon a more inspiring spiritual reason, not one based on favors given by one's brother, or anyone else.

I believe that Gheorghe has become so upset at his brother's refusal to hire the nephews that he has decided to convert to Catholicism in order to embarrass his Patriarch brother.

This is not a valid reason for Gheorghe to convert to Catholicism. If he does convert to Catholicism, he should do so because he feels closer to God in converting, not because he wants to take revenge on the Romanian Patriarch.

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