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Tuesday, 15 February, 2000, 15:33 GMT
Romanian patriarch asks for forgiveness



The head of Romania's Orthodox Church, Patriarch Teoctist, has asked for forgiveness for concessions the Church made during communist rule in order to survive.

In a BBC interview, Patriarch Teoctist made what is his first public apology since President Ceausescu was overthrown and shot.

He said he was sorry he made a great number of believers suffer because he lacked enough courage to defend the Church.

Scores of churches were demolished in the nearly fifty years of communism and many Romanians turned against Patriarch Teoctist for what they considered collaboration with Mr Ceausescu.

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