Joining the Romanian Orthodox Church in the vaccination campaign sounds encouraging. I find it really necessary and useful. He must have appeared at the request of someone representing the government or the presidency. And what a request must have been initiated following the fears that haunt our compatriots. Many people are coding or will not show up. The appeal and involvement of BOR could be welcome. It would add important support, especially now, to the existing disorganization and skepticism displayed by many mega “opportunity thinkers.”
The other day, I even found out about the distribution of popularization materials with the help of priests. I couldn’t help but smile when I heard a Church servant say that his role was limited to distribution. That is, to be a kind of religious postman or Rodipet who brings secular material to the faithful !? I confess: I couldn’t help but smile. I also imagined Sofronie de la Cioara giving the insurgents details about the anti-Orthodox measures decided by the Habsburg Empire. But, nothing about the struggle, about the road, about the danger and about the faith in saving the nation and the faith, about the great danger that was afflicting the Transylvanian Romanians. His non-involvement in the riots of the second half of the 18th century would have been fatal. What would it have meant that, after a few words and pious explanations, the monk Sofronie retired to his modest cell at Cioara and prayed for the fate of the Romanian rebels?
Why did I give the example of Sofronie de la Cioara? Because Cioara is a village quite close to my village and Orăștie (unjustly, now it is called Săliște) and many of us do not know much about this monk’s struggle for language, faith and nation. And the brave Transylvanian monarch from our parts covered with his deeds most of the whole area of Hunedoara and Alba, from Brad to Zlatna, from Vințu de jos and to Hunedoara. I will never forget the sharp look of Sofronie de la Cioara from an icon painted on the walls of one of the monasteries in northern Moldova. Two hardened eagle eyes guarding a sword-curved nose, descended to the top of a mouth that does not betray laziness, weakness, and lust, looked menacingly at us.
Who knows the story of this great Transylvanian fighter for the faith and for the Romanian people might think that, one day, the frowning monk will come down from the church paintings and will start to demand accountability for all our carelessness and cowardice.
His figure and strength of character came to mind when I saw on two televisions IPS Teodosie Snagoveanul talking about the church’s involvement in fighting the pandemic. With his small, playful eyes, cornered, the clever bishop of Tomis (the one who “acts” exaggeratedly every year with the bringing of Easter Light by boat from the sea) tried to convey something downright unclear. Not that, not that !?
In order not to fall into the sin of approximation, I reproduce the statement of his holiness given on several televisions and also reproduced by the Mediafax News Agency:
“Regarding vaccination, we do not say yes or no. And this is really the competence of doctors. How can I say I am competent about the vaccine? Any extremism is not auspicious. Neither vaccinate all of you nor vaccinate yourself. Just about any patient gets a referral from their doctor for a vaccine, for a disease. To check, take a referral to a specialist. Therefore, as St. Paul says: It is well and vice versa. Therefore, everyone is free to do so. We can’t ban, but we can’t promote either, because we are not specialists. ” (IPS Teodosie Snagoveanu)
And Father Constantin Necula (professor at the Institute of Theology in Sibiu) said on Tuesday evening, in Romania 9, that vaccination is a personal problem:
“It’s a matter of personal intimacy between me and my family doctor, and more recently between me and my employer.”
And about the sustained vaccination campaign, the same father Necula stated elsewhere that:
“It’s time to let the professionals speak, but to teach them how to speak, in order to be understood” (prof Constantin Necula)
What should we understand from these statements? That the Romanian Orthodox Church supports the fight against the pandemic only by distributing materials and prayers? Doesn’t the situation of the pandemic crisis and the dangers that threaten the Romanian population require a more determined involvement? And in cities and in the countryside, and not only in the altar! A pandemic is a plague that affects a large part of the population (if not the entire population) and mobilization for vaccination (no one has imposed compulsory) can be equal to a social involvement equal to saving the community.
Anti-Covid vaccination is an individual decision, but combating the pandemic is becoming a community cause (obligation), in which BOR should be involved much more than through prayer and the distribution of brochures. Not in the style in which he did it during the years of communism, but in the one in which the enlightened people of the church stood at the head of the communities and encouraged them, even led them, on the path of saving the national being.
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