The solemn working session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church was held in Patriarch Teoctist Aula Magna, chaired by His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church. The guests to this solemn event were: His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa, His Eminence Georgios, Metropolitan of Accra, and His Eminence Chrisostom, Metropolitan of Patras. Besides the hierarchs, members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, also present were the members of the Standing meeting of the Church National Council and of the Standing Meeting of the Archdiocese of Bucharest, members of the teaching staff, archpriests, priests of Bucharest and neighbourhood, monks, theological students and pupils of the Seminaries.
The Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church opened the meeting and delivered a speech in which he spoke, among other things, about the significance of the Sacraments of the Holy Baptism and of the Holy Matrimony in the life of the Christian family.
“The Holy Baptism and Holy Matrimony mean, in fact, the two major Sacraments by which the Christian family is set up. Briefly, 2011 is the year of the Christian family. It is well-known how important the family is in the life of society, especially in the life of the Church, because we cannot understand well the Sacrament of the Church without family and neither can we understand well the holy eternal vocation of love in the family”, said His Beatitude.
Further on, His Beatitude Theodoros II, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa delivered a speech on the occasion of this solemn meeting of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church in which he spoke, among other things, about the relations of co-operation and reciprocity between the two sister Orthodox Churches, emphasising the responsibility to strengthen this relationship.
“The unlimited mercy of God laid on our shoulders, of the hierarchs of the two Churches, the responsibility to continue to progress together on the way of brotherly love, of unity, in the spirit of brotherly love, making us responsible to the judgement of the church history”, explained the Patriarch of Alexandria.
During this meeting, the Patriarch of Alexandria awarded the Patriarch of Romania the highest distinction within the Patriarchate of Alexandria, the Order of the Cross of Saint Mark the Apostle in Great Cross Degree.
His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel thanked for the distinction awarded showing that this order honours the Romanian Orthodox Church having been “a sign of progress that must be done in the near future in our brotherly relations and an intensification of the mission in today’s world” as His Beatitude said.
Then, His Gace Ciprian Campineanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch, read the synthesis dedicated to the Homage Year of the Holy Baptism and of the Holy Matrimony, a synthesis that comprises estimations of the most important manifestations with religious, cultural and media character organised this year in the eparchies of the Romanian Patriarchate in the country and abroad.
“Today’s solemn working session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church crowns the entire activity of the hierarchs, clergy, teaching staff, monks, and of so many employees of the Church or of the institutions of theological education and research designed to deepen the importance and topicality of the teaching of faith concerning the Sacrament of the Holy Baptism and of the Holy Matrimony, as well as the importance of these two Sacraments for the life of the faithful”, reads the report presented by His Grace Ciprian Campineanul, Assistant Bishop to the Patriarch.
Then, the documentary entitled “Family in the Focus of the Church” by Trinitas Television station was presented, as well as a few new editorial titles appeared at the publishing houses of the Romanian Patriarchate and at the publishing house of the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
The book Orthodox Theology in the 20th Century, co-ordinated by Rev. Prof. Viorel Ionita, was presented by Rev. Prof. Lect. Daniel Benga, deputy dean of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of Bucharest, and the book Saint Andre the Apostle, Protector of Romania, Beginner of Baptism with the Romanian People was presented by Rev. Nicolae Cristian Cada, Cultural counsellor to the Archdiocese of Bucharest.
To end with, His Eminence Metropolitan Chrisostom of Patras delivered a short speech, and then the solemn working session of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church ended with a speech of the Patriarch of Romania.