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Iuliu Hirţea (13 April 1914—28 June 1978) was a Romanian bishop of the Greek-Catholic Church. Born in Vintere village, Bihor County, he attended high school in Beiuş, entering the seminary in Oradea upon graduation in 1931. A year later, he went to the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples in Rome, receiving a doctorate in theology. He was ordained a priest in Rome in 1937 by Bishop Valeriu Traian Frențiu. His return to Romania was marked by the handover to Hungary of Northern Transylvania in 1940. From that year until 1945, he was secretary to Frenţiu at his headquarters in Beiuş. He then started teaching at the Oradea seminary, following the area's reincorporation into Romania. In late 1948, the new communist regime outlawed the Greek-Catholic Church; Hirtea had been arrested in spring.[1] He was held without trial and released fifteen months later.[2] At the request of Frenţiu, who had been arrested, he was secretly consecrated auxiliary bishop of the Oradea Mare Diocese by Gerald Patrick O'Hara in July 1949, although he accepted reluctantly, as the office interrupted his project of a critical edition of the Bible.[1][2] He carried out his duties until being arrested in July 1953, and was released in 1964. He returned to Oradea, his health weakened by interrogations and torture, and continued to perform his role until dying in 1978.[2]


  1. ^ a b (in Romanian) Episcopul greco-catolic Iuliu Hirţea – 30 de ani de la intrarea lui în Eternitate at the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic site; accessed May 15, 2012
  2. ^ a b c (in Romanian) Episcopul Iuliu Hirţea at the Romanian Church United with Rome, Greek-Catholic site; accessed May 15, 2012