Metropolitan Andrei Saguna, former metropolitan of Transylvania between 1864 and 1873, was canonised at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sibiu on Saturday, in a ceremony attended by about 10,000 people, according to Mediafax news agency. Among those who attended the Sibiu ceremony were President Traian Basescu, Social Liberal Union leader Victor Ponta, Greater Romania Party (PRM) leader Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Sibiu Mayor Klaus Johannis, Economy Minister Ion Ariton, Foreign Minister Teodor Baconschi and other officials. The service was also attended by local authorities and representatives of several religious denominations in Romania.
The Holy Mass held in the cathedral on the occasion was conducted by about 50 Romanian and foreign priests, led by Romanian Orthodox Patriarch Daniel and Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria.
At the end of the canonisation service, Transylvania Metropolitan Laurentiu Streza urged all those present in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sibiu to respect the “eight-word testament left by Andrei Saguna: “Keep peace, maintain good ties, do not fight.”
President Basescu also held a speech after the service, saying that Saguna “understood that school, education, culture are a people’s elements of eternity.” “Such a forefather today becomes a saint and I will not miss the opportunity to bow to the holy church figures present here and to Saint Andrei Saguna,” Basescu ended his speech, according to Mediafax.
But the president’s presence at the service and his discourse were heavily criticised by PRM leader Vadim Tudor, who also slammed Transylvania Metropolitan Church officials who allowed the head of state to give his speech in the church. “Now he’s talking in the church, he can no longer speak in public because people boo him and he ended up speaking in church. This event was politicised,” Vadim Tudor said.