Patriarch of Romania calls for Church-State co-responsibility and cooperation to avoid excessive measures

His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania has urged co-responsibility and cooperation between the Church and the Romanian State after the pilgrimage to Iasi for the feast of Saint Parascheva was banned for non-locals.

Call for co-responsibility and cooperation to avoid excessive constraints: full text

The Romanian Patriarchate expresses its full solidarity with all Orthodox believers who these days want to pray as pilgrims to Saint Parascheva, as well as with the Metropolis of Moldavia and Bukovina, the deeply responsible host of the annual pilgrimage in Iasi.

Banning believers who do not live in Iasi to attend this year’s pilgrimage to Saint Parascheva is a disproportionate, discriminatory measure taken without prior consultation with the Romanian Orthodox Church.

The Archdiocese of Iasi, in its capacity as organizer of this pilgrimage, has prepared intensely and very thoroughly to welcome this year’s pilgrims, taking into account all the sanitary measures in force.

This thorough preparation and close cooperation with local authorities were a guarantee that the pilgrimage to Iasi or the upcoming pilgrimage to Bucharest, occasioned by the feast of St. Demetrios the New, is both an exercise of responsible health protection and a manifestation of the religious freedom of an eminently religious people.

The restrictive measures that are absolutely necessary must have a solid legal basis, be justified in a transparent, reasoned and non-discriminatory way.

We understand that, in today’s epidemiological context, the strict rules regarding hygiene, wearing a mask and keeping a distance of 1.5 m between people are required both in the liturgical spaces and outside them, for all believers who participate in the officially organized pilgrimage.

We hope that, for the dignified and responsible veneration of Saint Parascheva, we will renege as soon as possible on the excessive measure of banning the pilgrimage to Iasi, through a wise way of co-responsibility and collaboration between the State and the Church, so that all pilgrims may be able to pray to Saint Parascheva freely these days, with strict observance of all sanitary measures ordered by the competent authorities.

† Daniel
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

Photography courtesy of / Mircea Florescu / Files

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