His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel marked 15 years since his enthronement as Patriarch of Romania on Friday, September 30.
Divine Liturgy and Te Deum
On this important event in the life of the Romanian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
After a Te Deum service officiated by Metropolitan Iosif of Western and Southern Europe, the Patriarch of Romania gave a speech in which he thanked God and those who have supported and continue to support the activities of the Church.
Collaboration and co-responsibility
“We thank God for this day and all the blessings he has poured upon the Romanian Orthodox Church, on the hierarchs of the Holy Synod, the clergy and the faithful. We also thank His Eminence Metropolitan Iosif, who extensively presented our Church’s activity in the last 15 years.”
“All these achievements are made together with the fellow-hierarchs of the Holy Synod, together with the clergy, with all the theological, social, cultural institutions of our Church and with the help of local and central state authorities.”
“This collaboration and co-responsibility is a dominant feature of Romanian Orthodoxy. That’s why you can see gratifying results when working in communion and co-responsibility,” His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel stressed.
The Patriarch of Romania also spoke about his concerns in the near future: the diaspora and the low birth rate.
“We always look at the past only to thank God and the people through whom God worked. But when we look at the present and the future, the needs and works of the Church, we see how much more there is to do. That is, many activities are in progress, but new ones are also needed.”
“That’s why we draw inspiration from the life of other Churches, but also the life of our dioceses and parishes abroad because here in Romania, we are the majority, but the Orthodox from the Romanian diaspora are a minority, and they are under more pressure than us to seek pastoral methods, to look for support, to look for local solutions for the multitude of problems faced by those who left Romania and are in the Romanian diaspora.”
“Some, few, have returned to the country, but there are still many Romanian Orthodox believers abroad. Last year was dedicated especially to the pastoral care of Romanians abroad, and we observed how many activities these dioceses developed. One thing that contrasts with what is in Romania is the demographic growth of Romanians in the diaspora.”
“The number of baptisms and weddings in the Romanian diaspora is much higher in proportion to the number of people compared to Romania because in some Western countries there are more favourable conditions for the development and support of families.”
“Therefore, an immediate and long-term preoccupation is encouraging families to have more children and to educate them in faith and love for the country,” His Beatitude said on September 30.
Good ties with religious denominations
Patriarch Daniel also underlined “the good relations we have in the country with all religious denominations – that’s why we established the Consultative Council of Religious Denominations. They matter a lot for Romanians outside the country’s borders.”
“The act by which the Italian state will provide constant financial aid to our Diocese in Italy is now being finalized. This cooperation is necessary because the contribution of Romanians to the economic and social development of Italy is recognized.”
Continuous training of priests
“We have a close connection between activities in the country and abroad. Also, we have a growing need for continuous training of priests in the diaspora and in the country. That is why we have training and improvement courses and degrees to evaluate the clergy’s training and refresh their knowledge. All these activities and priorities concern all pastors in our Church.”
“We are glad that we often received help from the central authorities, especially since we are going through a difficult period in terms of prices. We are glad that some representatives of the religious denominations wanted to be present. We are happy that we are encouraged, and in turn, we want to encourage all those who want to do good in favour of the Church and the Romanian people.”
“We wish you all many years of health and joy!” Patriarch Daniel concluded.
The festive event continued in the Europa Christiana Hall of the Palace of the Patriarchate, where the representatives of the central and local State authorities and other public institutions presented their messages of congratulation.
Patriarch Daniel was enthroned as Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest on September 30, 2007.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu
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