Father Andrei Dosoftei, who is a priest in Scotland for Romanians in Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and surrounding areas, spoke about the clergy’s situation in British society at Romania’s National Television.
“The first experience with the Scots was interesting. I remember going to a supermarket with my wife, people looking at me quite reserved; they did not know how to categorize me: I could not be a Catholic because I had a wife, nor a Jew, just because I had no Payot, not even a Muslim because the cross was noticeable, and not a pastor, because I had a cassock. I was a “new” species,” Father Andrei said.
“It simply came to our notice then that the term ‘orthodox’ was not very common. When it comes to denominations, the vast majority of people know of the Protestant Church or the Catholic Church.”
“In the UK, priests work in IT, construction, engineering, deliveries, warehouses, etc. I worked as a waiter, as a nurse in private social assistance, in construction, in administration, in translations, and currently, I work in deliveries.”
“Without a job, you can’t support yourself. It is not easy to be a father, a priest and an employee, but the situation requires it, and the priest has to face it,” said the clergyman.
The word of a spiritual leader has a good reputation
However, “from a legal point of view, the priest is protected and can get involved in various issues of the community to which he belongs. He is indirectly facing people’s problems. “
“That is why we in the North East of Scotland work very well with both the Romanian and Scottish authorities. Sometimes I go to the Police (either to translate or to recover someone), sometimes to the City Hall to avoid the unjust evacuation of some people or to offer them recommendations for different jobs, etc.,” Father Andrei highlighted in an interview granted to Lucia Toader at TVR.
“In general, the word of a spiritual leader has a good reputation and weighs quite a lot before the local authorities,” the priest said. “Of course, we cannot deny that, in certain situations, the secularity of the state is felt, but the same state guarantees religious freedom and protects against discrimination.”
“Being a priest in the diaspora brings many challenges. Many times you are faced with unusual and difficult situations, but you must always have the strength to comfort people when they need the support of the Church,” Fr. Andrei Dosoftei said.
Father Andrei Dosoftei graduated from the Theological Seminary “Saint Basil the Great” in Iasi, and the Faculty of Theology “Dumitru Staniloae” from the University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza”. In 2014, he was ordained to the priesthood in Great Britain by His Grace Bishop Ignatie, the current Bishop of the Husi.
Photo: Fr. Andrei Dosoftei
Follow us on Twitter: @BasilicaNews