Friday, July 13, 2018

Baptist claiming trademark on name/image of Elder Arsenie wields law against Orthodox Church

A bizarre legal battle is playing out in Romania right now, as the Romanian Orthodox Church is fighting for the right to use the name and image of Elder Arsenie (Boca), a faithful son of the Church, against a private individual who owns the right to use the elder’s name and image that were trademarked with the European Union Intellectual Property Office.

Elder Arsenie, who reposed in 1989, was one of the great Romanian spiritual fathers of Communist times, and is revered today as a saint, although he has yet to be canonized. Thousands go on pilgrimage annually to his grave at Prislop Moanstery in Silvașu de Sus, and images of him are seen as a blessing.

At least one such image, bought at Prislop Moanstery, began miraculously weeping in May 2015. A miracle is known to occur at his grave as well: Even though the temperatures there can be extremely low, often reaching -5 degrees, all of the flowers that have grown on his grave neither wither nor freeze and die by the extreme temperatures but instead remain in full blossom. From winter to summer, the elder’s grave remains full with blossomed, multi-colored fragrant flowers.

But now those beloved images are being confiscated by the police, Balkan Insight reports.

Police have been called to the monastery twice this year, and also to a shop in the western city of Arad in May. Daniel Gheorge, one of the two owners of the Fr. Arsenie trademark, complained to police that the monastery and shop were selling images of Fr. Arsenie without the proper license.

Through his lawyer, Gheorge has made more than 100 complaints against churches and stores.

Read the rest here.

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