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Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa

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Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa (November 23, 1925, Mahmudia, Tulcea County, Romania – November 21, 2006, Woodburn, Fairfax County, Virginia) was a Romanian priest and dissident. He served 21 years in prison during the Communist regime. He was first imprisoned in 1948, but claimed his 1978 imprisonment was harsher. He had criticized Nicolae Ceauşescu's repressions and became seen as an "enemy of the state". Reportedly he suffered beatings and harassment in prison. He was released from prison due in part to pressure from supporters such as U.S. president Ronald Reagan. He spent years in exile in Virginia and ultimately settled there permanently. In the mid-1980s he preached on the Voice of America and Radio Free Europe.[1]

After being defrocked by the Romanian Orthodox Church, Calciu-Dumitreasa became a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, which never recognised his defrocking. In 1989 he took charge of the Holy Cross Romanian Orthodox Church at Alexandria, Virginia. In his last years he revisited his native land several times and met some of those whom he had influenced.[2]. He remained critical of certain Romanian Orthodox bishops to his last day, claiming they were former Securitate secret police infiltrators.

Calciu-Dumitreasa died of pancreatic cancer on November 21, 2006 at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Woodburn, Fairfax County.[1] He was survived by his wife of over 40 years, Adriana, and their son, Andrei.[3] He was interred at the Petru Vodă Monastery in Poiana Teiului Commune, Neamţ County, Romania.[4]


  1. ^ a b Sullivan, Patricia (November 26, 2006). "Anti-Communist Priest Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa". Washington Post obituary.
  2. ^ Bourdeaux, Michael (10 January 2007). "Father Gheorghe Calciu-Dumitreasa. Fearless Romanian cleric defiant in the face of oppression". The Guardian obituary.
  3. ^ "The Rev. George Calciu-Dumitreasa". Orthodox Church of America in memoriam. November 21, 2006. Retrieved March 22, 2020.
  4. ^ "Petru Vodă Monastery – Neamţ County". 24 September 2009. Retrieved March 22, 2020.

Further reading