Welcome speech of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania, at the reception of foreign delegations at the “Holy Emperors Constantine and Helen“ Patriarchal Cathedral, Bucharest, 23 November 2018:
Your Holiness Bartholomew,
Archbishop of Constantinople – New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch,
Your Eminence Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Patra,
On behalf of the members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, of the Romanian Orthodox clergy and faithful, with deep respect and fraternal love in Christ, we warmly welcome you in Romania!
Between 1993 and 2010, Your Holiness has made nine fraternal visits to our Church, this now being the tenth visit to Romania.
In this way, the spiritual connection between the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Mother-Church, and the Romanian Orthodox Church, Daughter-Church, which has become evident through the Synodal and Patriarchal Tomos of recognition of the autocephaly of the Romanian Orthodox Church on 25 April 1885, a sister in Christ and joint servant in proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom of God and in guiding believers on the path of salvation.
The main reason for Your Holiness’s visit this year is the consecration of the Sanctuary of the new Patriarchal Cathedral, which, in the beginning, after the gaining of Romania’s independence (1877-1878), was named the Cathedral of the Nation’s Salvation and we also call it the National Cathedral.
Therefore, this Cathedral is dedicated to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord, which, in the Romanian Orthodox Church, coincides with the Romanian Heroes Day of all time. This event of the consecration of the Sanctuary of the National Cathedral represents, at the same time, the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the unification of all Romanian provinces in 1918 in a single State – the Kingdom of Greater Romania.
The first beneficial consequence of this union of 1918 was the elevation of the Romanian Orthodox Church to the rank of Patriarchate, recognized by Your Holiness’s predecessor Patriarch Basil III of blessed memory, through Tomos no. 1579 of 30 July 1925.
This shows that the Ecumenical Patriarchate has promoted in history the administrative freedom and dignity of the Orthodox Churches of different peoples while preserving the dogmatic, liturgical and canonical unity among them.
We also rejoice at the presence in Bucharest, at this unique event in the life of the Romanian Orthodox Church, of His Eminence Chrysostomos, Metropolitan of Patra, the delegate of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece, who brought on this occasion to Bucharest the Venerable Hand of the Holy Apostle Andrew, the First-called, Protector of Romania and of the National Cathedral.
With these brotherly thoughts and deep esteem, we wish Your Holiness and Your Eminence to have, together with the members of the delegations that accompany you, a blessed visit to our Country and Church!
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church
Photography courtesy of Mircea Florescu / Basilica.ro