Patriarch Daniel has given an interview to the Romanian public television (TVR) to mark his tenth anniversary of patriarchal ministry. In the first part of the interview broadcast in the TVR religious show The Universe of Faith (Universul credinței), the Patriarch recalled how the Romanian Orthodox Church was in 2007 and pointed to the reason of building the National Cathedral.
Reviewing the ten years of patriarchal ministry, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel explained that in 2007 the Romanian Orthodox Church ‘was continuing its course, but at the same time was intensifying its pastoral, missionary, and social-philanthropic activities.’
At the beginning of his ministry, the Patriarch identified the need to build places of worship and to intensify Orthodox youth education.
‘First, we needed new places of worship, especially in new neighborhoods. Second came youth education, because young people wanted to have more knowledge regarding the faith. We were all impressed that during the 1989 Revolution many young people who did not attend religious education classes at school prayed, said the “Our Father”, manifested their faith inherited from their families and through the discreet but also efficient work of many parish priests.’
‘Our priorities were the exterior church and the inner church, namely to build churches and to spiritually edify’ the souls of the faithful.
Another priority pointed out by the Patriarch in his interview was ‘the Romanian diaspora, but also a more efficient pastoral organization.’ The Patriarch noted that he had ‘a greater concern for the Romanians in the diaspora because migration has become a new phenomenon unknown to our Church in such a large proportion, especially after 2000.’
On the one hand, the patriarch focused on the urgent needs to be solved at home, and on the other hand, he was greatly concerned with the Romanians living around the country and in the Western Diaspora.
Anticipating the potential of mass media as a broadcaster of the faith, the Patriarch recalled his announcement made at the enthronement ceremony regarding the establishment of the Basilica Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate.
‘In our enthronement address, we have set our priorities and pointed to the need of owning a Radio station, a television station, and a daily newspaper to spread the faith and to go beyond the walls of the church building, namely, to broadcast the Divine Liturgy especially for the elderly and for sick persons,’ the patriarch said in his interview.
That is why, the patriarch noted, ‘the most beloved TV program today is the Divine Liturgy, followed by the Vespers service broadcast from the Patriarchal Cathedral.’
‘We wanted to build a more intensified church in the human souls together with the new church, the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral. Our Radio and TV stations, as well as the Lumina Newspaper, were announced as functional on the patronal feast of the Patriarchal Cathedral, Oct. 27.’ His Beatitude recalled with gratitude that ‘God helped us to establish these media communication networks in less than four weeks.’
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church went on to speak about the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral – one of Romania’s most representative projects in the past 10 years.
‘Another great work was the announcement that we would continue the efforts to begin the construction of the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral, i.e. of the liberation of the Romanian people from foreign domination. This is what the “salvation of the people” means. It does not mean salvation in a theological sense, but in a patriotic sense.’
In his TVR interview, the Patriarch explained that the construction of the new patriarchal Cathedral ‘is a mandate received from our predecessors. It was not our own idea. We have taken on this task together with the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful, because the People’s Salvation Cathedral – or the National Cathedral as we call it shortly now – is a practical necessity and, at the same time, has the value of a symbol – a symbol church dedicated to the commemoration of the heroes of the Romanian nation of all times.’
This is the second time His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel gives a television interview in the past 10 years since his enthronement ceremony. The first TV interview was given on September 30, 2007, right after the enthronement ceremony and it was recorded at the Patriarchal Residence.
Photography courtesy of Robert Nicolae / Basilica.ro