Patriarchate’s Spokesperson Bănescu comments on EU recommendations regarding Christmas ceremonies: They can’t impose anything

Vasile Bănescu, the spokesman of the Romanian Patriarchate, commented on the recommendations of the European Commission Christmas services should be replaced with online ceremonies.

“The European Commission does not decide and cannot impose anything in the essential sphere of religion; it can only issue recommendations (!) related to encouraging and intensifying protection from the new coronavirus in social life during the holidays. These recommendations (!) in themselves cannot lead to the cancellation or online transfer of Christmas services and no one honest or anchored in the deep social reality can want or impose this,” Vasile Bănescu noted.

Bănescu recalled that “the churches themselves (made up of most people who make up Romanian society and beyond) are well aware of the current extremely difficult situation and are significantly charitably involved in supporting the authorities, with whom they have been and will remain together constantly fighting the pandemic. Their social experience and the discernment conferred by the faith befriended by reason, not in divorce with it, make churches community spaces where religious services can take place in real safety.”

“The Church, the religious denominations, constantly plead for the observance of the sanitary rules in connection with which we are always assured that, being respected, they are also efficient. Those who ostentatiously do not respect them, thus ignoring their neighbour and defying the huge efforts of the medical staff, morally compromise themselves and can be legally warned/sanctioned,” the spokesman of the Patriarchate added.

“Public responsibility and the perception of the other’s health as a personal matter of a spiritual nature are things that, especially in the current context, honour us in the highest way. They must be assumed practically by anyone aware of their Christian status.”

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