The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church (BOR) will elect the new Patriarch on Wednesday, September 12. Experts say that the real goal of the elections is the new line of the Romanian Orthodox Church, a fight between traditionalists and modernists.

Candidates for the Patriarchy will be proposed on Wednesday but they are already known. The favorites are Moldova archbishop Daniel Ciubotea and Cluj archbishop Bartolomeu Anania. However, IPS Teofan, Oltenia’s archbishop has a fair shot.

Even if it does not resemble an electoral fight, the camps are already split and the propaganda mechanism are on the move.

Bartolomeu Anania initially declared he will not run for the position but later he nuanced his declarations in arguing that if he was proposed he'd accept to become a candidate.

Flyers have been spreading in Bucharest and other important cities in which Batolomeu Anania is appraised.

Mircea Dinescu, members of CNSAS, the institution investigating the communist-era secret police files said that the intitution found documents in which four important Church figures collaborated with ex-dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's dreaded secret police, the Securitate.

Bartolomeu Anania refused to take into account the allegations. And the Church classifies the actions of the CNSAS as intrusions in the Church affairs.

As Bartolomeu decides to candidate IPS Daniel’s candidacy shakes from the grounds. The two represent different trends: if Bartolomeu is a traditionalist, Daniel supports Church reform and modernism.

However, voters are not yet decided even if split in camps.

According to sources, the Synod and the political environment start sketching the idea that the best solution at the time is a Patriarch older than the other BOR leaders who would lead the Church into the tradition.

Weak points to the two candidates:

Moldova Archbishop Daniel

- is accused to be part of the Masonry

- is an ecumenist

- was employed by a catholic and protestant religious institute abroad for a long time

- entered an open conflict with the majority of traditional monasteries in Moldova

- claims say he advanced too quickly with the support of the Securitate

Cluj Archbishop Bartolomeu Anania

- while in jail under the communist regime, he is said to have collaborated with communist power enforcers. Various political detainees wrote in their books about Bartolomeu Anania

- rumors say he was sent in the States within the Romanian Diaspora to expatriate Valerian Trifa

- he is accused that he split the power of the Transylvania bishop in two

- he is suspected of collaborating with the Securitate

Even though none of the accusations were proved, the allegations still reside in the mind of the believers and of other priests, eroding the leadership of the Church.

Bishops in Moldova Republic favor Daniel

Patru, Archbishop of the Orthodox Church in Bassarabia (Moldova Republic), told Timpul daily in Moldova that he and his colleagues supported Daniel.

Daniel is known as the biggest supporter of Bassarabia as he was the chief negotiator with the Russian Orthodox Church.

Moscow supports Teofan of Oltenia

At its turn, Moscow seems to support IPS Teofan. The Russian press agency Interfax recently wrote that if Daniel and Bartolomeu take the Patriarchy they will destroy it.

The agency says that the first is modernist, an American pro-NATO agent and the second - a fascist and traditionalist. The Romanian press claims Teofan has Russian connections as he studied in a Russian Institute in Paris.

How will the Patriarch be elected

The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church will meet in Bucharest Wednesday at 10 am and each of its 49 members proposes secretly their candidates for the Patriarch position.

The first two or three names to take most of the votes will be named official candidates for the Patriarchal seat. The election will take place in the same day, at 5 pm by the Church’s Electoral College.

The College is formed of members of the Holy Synod, the National Church Assembly and the Bucharest eparchy.

Presently, BOR has 25 eparchies in Romania and another three in the surrounding regions and three in the Diaspora.

Each national eparchy will be represented by its three members from the National Church Assembly. The bishops will represent the others.

All the members of the Eparchy Assembly in Bucharest, deans of theology universities, seminar directors will take part in the vote - amounting to some 184 votes. The Patriarch position will be taken by the candidate to receive half plus one vote from the total number of cast votes.

If none of the candidates gets absolute majority, there is another voting round in which only the first two candidates take part. The winner is officially announced.

The voters list is already prepared but BOR refuses to make it public.