In this ChurchMilitant.com exclusive, Dr. Anca-Maria Cernea, president of the Association of Catholic Doctors of Bucharest in Romania, sits down with Michael Voris to discuss her well-received talk at the 2015 Synod on the Family as well as the heroic example of her parents in Communist Romania.
Michael Voris: So you gave what’s being described as this remarkable presentation. Was it plenary?
Anca-Maria Cernea: Yes, it was in the plenary. It was this three-minute intervention that we are allowed to have, us auditors, in the Synod. And I was surprised. It was received with enthusiasm because — anyway, the part that was extraordinarily neat was of course not my merit, it was the testimony about my parents and about my Church, the 12 great Catholic bishops who opposed the Communist regime and suffered for Christ in the Communist prison.
Michael Voris: Tell us a little bit about why you thought it was important to tell that story to the entire session.
Anca-Maria Cernea: Because it is an example of how you can be faithful in spite of the conditions, in spite of the terror, in spite of the prisons. Because nowadays, many people, unfortunately many shepherds of the Catholic Church don’t have the courage even to face the media in their countries. They are afraid of what? Of being attacked in the media. Our bishops had been tortured. Seven of 12 died in prison. The bishop of Bucharest, the predecessor of Msgr. Mihai who is here in the Synod, was killed in torture. And he was only asked to give up his loyalty towards the Holy See. Nothing else. He wasn’t asked to give up the Church’s teaching about marriage. He was not asked to give up the Church’s teaching about sin. He was just asked to give up his allegiance to the Holy See, and that’s why he died.
So I thought that now it was time to remind the bishops of the Catholic Church about this testimony of faith. People have given their blood for the Church. And nowadays, at least in the West, we are not asked to die for Christ, not to suffer torture. The most that we can suffer is media attack. Is that so bad? Is that so difficult to take?
I also brought up the example of my parents, because we hear a lot during the course of the Synod that it’s so difficult to keep a marriage functioning because of external conditions, because of material circumstances, because of economical conditions and social conditions. By the way, this language reminds me a lot of my Marxist lectures I had to do long ago in the primary school in Romania under Ceaușescu . And we are told that the family suffers because of these economic factors.
I brought up the example of my parents because you cannot imagine more extreme poverty than the family of a political prisoner. You cannot imagine worse social circumstances than the situation of a person being in a Communist prison, or his fiancé waiting outside to see whether or not he comes out alive. And they were not even married, they were just engaged! It was just a promise that they made to each other and to God. They could be faithful, both of them, because both of them could have betrayed this promise in different ways. My father could have accepted to give up his beliefs and to join the Communist Party. My mother could have married another man. And would that be the same? I mean, would they still be an example for Christians nowadays if they did so?