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Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrogea, Locum tenens of the throne of Caesarea Cappadociae and Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel,
Patriarch of All Romania
Church Romanian Orthodox Church
See Bucharest
Enthroned September 30, 2007
Predecessor Patriarch Teoctist of Romania
Ordination 1987
Consecration August 14, 1987
Other Archibishop of Iaşi and Mitropolitan of Moldavia and Bukovina
Vicar bishop of Timişoara
Personal details
Birth name Dan Ilie Ciobotea
Born 22 July 1951 (1951-07-22) (age 70)
Dobreşti, Timiş County
Nationality Romanian
Denomination Christian Orthodox
Parents Alexie Ciobotea
Stela Ciobotea

Daniel, born Dan Ilie Ciobotea (born 22 July 1951) is the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The elections took place on September 12, 2007. Daniel won with a majority of 95 votes out of 161. He was officially enthroned on September 30, 2007 in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest. As such, his official title is "Archbishop of Bucharest, Metropolitan of Muntenia and Dobrudgea, Locum tenens of the throne of Caesarea of Cappadocia,Patriarch of Romania"


Daniel Ciobotea was born in the village of Dobreşti, Bara Commune, Timiş County, as the third son in the family of teacher Alexie and Stela Ciobotea.

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He followed the Primary School in his home village (1958 - 1962) and the Gymnasium in Lăpuşnic village (1962 - 1966), Timiş County. In 1966 he begins the High School courses in Buziaş, which he then continues in Lugoj, at the "Coriolan Brediceanu" High School (1967 - 1970).

After passing his Baccalaureate exam, he then joined the university-level Theological Institute in Sibiu (1970 - 1974), where he obtained his degree in Theology with specialization in the New Testament.

During the period 1974 - 1976 he followed the doctoral courses at the Theological Institute in Bucharest, Systematic Theology Section, under the suppervision of Dumitru Stăniloae; he continued his studies abroad: two years at the Protestant Theology Faculty of the University of Human Studies in Strasbourg and another two years at the Albert Ludwig University in Freiburg im Breisgau, Catholic Theology Faculty.

His studies abroad prompted critics to argue that he collaborated with the Securitate, because during the rule of communist president Nicolae Ceauşescu, traveling and studying outside the Eastern Bloc was almost impossible for those who did not send informative notes to the Securitate.[1] Mircea Dinescu of the CNSAS however said that his Securitate file was burnt in December 1989 and as such, it can't be known whether he collaborated with it or not.

On 15 June 1979 he defended a Doctoral Dissertation at the Protestant Theology Faculty in Strasbourg, entitled: "Réflexion et vie chrétiennes aujourd'hui. Essai sur le rapport entre la théologie et la spiritualité, 424 pp." (Christian reflection and life today. Essay on the relationship between theology and spirituality, 424 pp) The dissertation was prepared under the suppervision of two well-known French professors: Gerard Ziegwald and André Benoit and it received high praise. Thus he becomes Doctor of the Strasbourg University.

A more developed version of his doctoral dissertation was prepared under the guidance of his mentor, Dumitru Stăniloae and it was successfully defended on 31 October 1980 at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Bucharest under the title: "Teologie şi spiritualitate creştină. Raportul dintre ele şi situaţia actuală" (Theology and Christian spirituality. The relationship between them and the current situation).

Between 1980-1986, Dan Ilie Ciobotea served as lecturer at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Switzerland, while from 1986-1988 he acted as the institute's Adjunct Director.

In 1987 he enters the monastic life in the Sihăstria Monastery in Romania and takes the name Monk Daniel, having as his "monastic godfather" the well-known spiritual Archimandrite Cleopa Ilie.

In 1992 he started teaching Theology at the Dumitru Staniloae Faculty of Orthodox Theology in the Al. I Cuza University in Iaşi.

Between 1 September 1988-1 March 1990, he was patriarchal counsellor and director of the Contemporary Theology and Ecumenical Dialogue Section in the Romanian Patriarchate.

In early 1990 he belonged to the short-lived Group for Reflection on Church Renewal where ironically he shared the same views for church reform with Valeriu (aka Bartolomeu) Anania, who would become his bitter rival in the race for patriarch in 2007.

In March 1990, Daniel was ordained as suffragan bishop of the Archbishopric of Timişoara. Three months later, in June 1990, he was appointed Metropolitan of Moldova and Bukovina.

He founded the influential Radio Trinitas in 1998.

Between 5-8 October 2005, the Metropolitanate of Moldova co-organised with the Centre for Post-communist Studies (Canada, directed by Dr. Lavinia Stan and Dr. Lucian Turcescu) a prestigious international symposium on Church and State in Post-communist Eastern Europe.

On September 12, 2007, he was elected to take the lead of the Romanian Orthodox Church, after leading in all three rounds, ahead of the other candidates (Bartolomeu Anania, Metropolitan of Cluj and Ioan Selejean, Bishop of Covasna and Harghita).

Ciobotea is regarded as a modernizer and as such, he is opposed by radicals and traditionalists who accuse him of being a freemason, that he's supporting "ecumenism, the greatest heresy of our times" and that he plans "to sell the Orthodoxy to Catholics".[2]

Offices and Honors

1980 - 1988 - Lector at the Ecumenical Institute in Bossey, Geneva and associate professor in Geneva and Fribourg, Switzerland;

1988 - Patriarchal Counselor, Director of the Sector of Contemporary Theology and Ecumenical Dialogue;

1988 - Conferent at the Catheder of Christian Mission of the Ecumenical Institute in Bucharest;

1990 (March) - elected and ordained Vicarius Bishop of the Archbishopric of Timişоаra;

1990 (June) - elected as Archbishop of Iaşi and Metropolitan of Moldova and Bukovina;

since 1992 - Theology professor at the Orthodox Teology Faculty "Dumitru Stăniloae" of the "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University in Iaşi;

Representative of the National Synodal Commission for Religious Education Bucharest;

President of the Theology and Liturgics Commission of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church

Honorary Member of the National Commission for Historical Monuments Bucharest;

Member of the Central and Executive Committee of the Ecumenical Council of Churches (Geneva, 1991 - 1998);

Member of the Presidium of Superior and Central Committee of the European Church Conference (since 1990);

Vicepresident of the Second General Meeting of the European Churches Conference (Graz, 1997);

Full Member of the International Academy of Religious Sciences in Brussels (2000).


  1. "Crowned with thorns", in The Economist, September 13, 2007
  2. "Romanian Orthodox Christians get new leader", in Southeast European Times, 14 September 2007
Orthodox Church titles
Preceded by
Teoctist Arăpaşu
Patriarch of All Romania
2007 – current
Succeeded by