‘When affirming, defending, and promoting the blessed family based on marriage between a man and a woman, who are able to give birth to children, the Church actually ascribes thanksgiving, confession and glory to God the Creator,’ Patriarch Daniel said on Sunday at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.
Romania set an Oct. 6-7 date for a referendum to change the constitutional definition of marriage to a union between a man and a woman.
Referring to the feast of the Conception of St John the Forerunner, the Patriarch of Romania said that this solemnity ‘shows us that God established family at the very creation of the world, when he made man male and female in order to contribute to the increase in number and continuity of the human race.’
‘When we honour the blessed family formed by a man and a woman to give birth to children we glorify God the Creator of the Universe and of the human race.’
‘When they must affirm, defend, and promote the blessed family, giving birth to children, formed by a man and a woman, we urge our clergy and the faithful to be confessors of God the Creator of Heaven and earth and of the human family.’
‘From this perspective we consider that we ascribe glory to God, we bring a benefaction for the Church and the people, and we faithfully keep the sacred gift of life,’ the Patriarch of Romania said Sept. 23.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel of Romania Sunday presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Ss Constantine and Helen Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest having as concelebrant His Grace the Assistant Bishop to the Bucharest Archdiocese Timotei of Prahova.
In his homily, the Romanian Patriarch noted that ‘by giving birth to children, man becomes a collaborator of God, who gives life to humans and wishes that as many people as possible may be communicants of the joy and glory of the Most Holy Trinity in the Kingdom of the eternal love of the most beloved Son Jesus Christ.’
The Patriarch went on to offer the example of St Basil the Great’s family, ‘which gave the Church six Saints.’
That is why, ‘giving birth to children, raising and instructing them in the faith is a sacred work done in cooperation with God our Creator, Sanctifier and Saviour,’ the Patriarch added.
His Beatitude said that ‘a people is blessed by God when it has families giving birth to children and instruct children in the faith, in the love of God, of the country, and love of fellow people.’
Patriarch Daniel also explained the day’s gospel reading about the miraculous draught of fish, noting that the passage ‘shows us that the meeting with God transforms fishermen into Apostles.’
‘The miraculous catch of fish in today’s Gospel reading is a preparation of the disciples to become fishers of men, i.e. servants of Christ and his Church.’
‘The boat from which Jesus was preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the people,’ the Patriarch explained, ‘is the prefiguration of Christ’s Church as a space of salvation and of gathering people in the love of the Most Holy Trinity.’
The miraculous catch of fish, the patriarch added, represents the multitude of people in the world who find salvation in Christ’s Church.
‘Church ministry first depends on God’s grace or help, and subsequently on human understanding and power, because only man’s connection with God can provide salvation, that is, eternal life.’
‘God’s grace works wonders, changes circumstances, solves difficult problems, is offered to humble and hardworking people who have long prayed and have laboured hard,’ the patriarch said ending his speech.
Photography courtesy of Raluca Ene / Basilica.ro