The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church held Friday, 16 December 2016, an extraordinary session in the Synodal Hall of the Patriarchal Residence, under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel. The following decisions were taken:
In the constant effort to improve the quality of Religion classes, the Working Group for Orthodox Religious Education drafted a curriculum for primary education. The Holy Synod took note of this fact and approved that the Theological and Educational Department of the Patriarchal Administration continue the efforts to prepare the curricula for Orthodox Religious Education for secondary education.
During the Synodal session, discussions were carried on illegal trading of counterfeit Church calendars, books, candles and religious objects. There were reported several instances where traders were caught selling counterfeit calendars and candles.
The existence of such situations infringes legal provisions (Bill no. 103/1992 on the exclusive right of Religious Denominations to produce worship objects), as well as statutory regulations of the Romanian Orthodox Church, based on religious autonomy, guaranteed by the Constitution of Romania, art. 29, para 3.
The Holy Synod decides that candles, Church calendars, books and religious objects be purchased at church stores, because the funds raised by the Church are used for the maintenance and repair of places of worship, and to support cultural and social activities of the parishes. Furthermore, tax evasion practised by illegal traders is thus avoided.
The Holy Synod noted the publication of the judgement of the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, referring to the Greek Catholic Parish Lupeni and Others versus Romania case. As a whole, the judgement confirms the criterion regarding the will of the majority of believers on restitution of places of worship.
In the light of the previously announced year 2017 as Solemn Year of holy icons, iconographers and church painters and Commemorative Year of Patriarch Justinian and the defenders of Orthodoxy during communism, the Holy Synod approved the completion of the National Church Framework Programme with an additional chapter, namely: Saint Luke the Evangelist, Saint John Damascene and Saint Theodore the Studite are emblematic figures of the Solemn Year of holy icons, iconographers and church painters. The diploma and medal of the Solemn Year 2017 will be awarded to people who promote the perennial values of authentic church painting.
In addition, the Holy Synod approved the issuance of the Commemorative Medal and Diploma Patriarch Justinian and the defenders of Orthodoxy during communism. These will be awarded to people who particularly illustrate the theme of the Commemorative Year 2017.
Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate