History > Our Church > Short History
Romanian Orthodox Church in Baden / Switzerland, dedicated to the Holy Mother of God and Saint Calinic from Cernica - 40th anniversary of its existence
Short Church History - 1979-2019
Our church is the oldest Romanian church in German Switzerland and one of the oldest Romanian churches in the Western Europe.
It draws its roots from the period immediately following the installation of Bolshevism and communist satanism in Romania. The Romanians from the Western Europe and those who succedeed to escape from communist Romania at that time asked the Patriarch of Constantinople (the only Patriarch entitled by the Holy Canons to ordain priests and hierarchs in European countries that did not have the autocephaly) to take them under his cannonical protection, in order to avoid the infiltration of disguised agents, sent to Europe by communists. The Romanian Church center was Paris (The Metropolitan of France received from the Patriarch of Constantinopol the historical assignment to support in all their needs the Romanians who had clearly opposed communism). There were parishes of living Orthodox Romanians in France, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and around all the western countries, which have celebrated the Holy Liturgy with the canonical blessing, together with the over 100 free parishes (independent of the Romanian Patriarchate) in the USA, totally like 200 communities all around the world.
In Switzerland, the best organization began around 1970, and in 1978-1979 the foundations of our church were done. Our brothers have actively participating against communism and Bolshevism through protest, demonstrations, writings and publications, although they involved great risks. Of the active ones, we especially notice Florea Nicoriuc, Tatiana Parvu, Alexandru Popa, Father Dumitru Emilian Popa, Ruxandra Popa and Mihai Bajan, who were also great supporters of the church, passed to the Lord, which we always mention.
All these generated the esteem and respect from the local authorities (in a country that has the sign of the Holy Cross on the national flag and a deeply religious national hymn), but also survey from the communists, who founded different local structures under the benevolent mask of some cultural and humanist actvities.
By 1990, our church numbered about 800 families and was the only Romanian Orthodox Church in German Switzerland, one that united all Romanians from here. In Geneva there is a sister church founded almost all at the same time.
It was a great blessing for the Romanians from Switzerland, who, in times of great restraint, were able to baptize their children, to reunite and to be buried according the Orthodox Tradition. But above all to keep their Orthodox values, to lead a life of prayer and to participate to the Holy Liturgy.
After the "change" of the political situation in Romania, most of the Romanian churches dependent on Constantinople remained under the same canonical dependence, in order to comply precisely with the provisions of the Holy Canon of Orthodoxy and to prevent the mixing of the former "restructured" structures.
Instead of strengthening the position of those who sacrified and fighted against the communism, the Romanian authorities put big efforts to close all communities which refused to to change their cannonical status and join Bucharest, started defamation and put pressure on the Patriarchate of Constantinople through its representatives to no longer ordain priets for these communities. These situations showed us the reality in Romania.
Thus, in the period when Par. Dumitru Emilian Popa could no longer serve because of his advanced age, we saw ourselves in the position of having to almost completely reduce the completion the Holy Liturgy.
A special thanks goes to Archbishop Pimen of Suceava, who blessed Dr. Mihai Valica, who was studying to help us in those times.
Finally, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople ordained Archpriest Valentin Bassarabescu Puricel, the current parish priest of our church. He belongs to the aristocratical Romanian families of Bassarabescu and Boteanu. He was a former lawyer and dedicated himself totally since 2007 to serve of our church and to strengthen our spiritual unity with the Holy Mount Athos, where he also received his spiritual formation.