On Monday, 14 May 2012, seven hundred clergy of the Archdiocese of Bucharest participated in the Spring semestral pastoral-missionary conference. The Conference was held under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church at the Patriarchate Palace, in Patriarch Teoctist Aula Magna Hall. Priests ofDeaneries I, II and III Capital, North Ilfov and South Ilfov, and the priests of charity from Bucharest and Ilfov county were present.
To start with the working session, the Patriarch of Romania addressed a speech to those present entitled: The priests pray, physicians treat, but God gives healing.
His Beatitude showed in his speech that looking after the sick is not limited to the medical treatment, but all the liturgical, educational catechetical, pastoral, social – philanthropic and medical work of the Church is a work for healing, keeping or recuperating the good health of the body and soul, of the person and of the community too.
This comprehensive understanding of looking after the sick by the Church is based on the basic truth that the Spring of life, of good health and of the healing is Christ – the Doctor of our bodies and souls. This is why when talking about the healing of the sick we can say that the priests pray, the physicians treat, but God gives healing or salvation, said His Beatitude.
Because the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church declared the year 2012 as Homage year of the Holy Unction and Looking after the Sick, lectures were presented during the conferences held, as follows:
1. Sacrament of the Holy Unction – Bible-patristic and historical presentation, lecture delivered by Rev. Petre Sperlea from Slobozia church, deanery III Capital;
2. Sacrament of the Holy Unction – theological existential significance, lecture delivered by deacon Cosmin Pricop from Delea Noua church of the Capital;
3. Sacrament of the Holy Unction from a liturgical point of view – lecture delivered by parish priests Silviu Tudose of Saint Ilie Gorgani church.
During the Conference a documentary made by the Social Philanthropic Department of the Archdiocese of Bucharest and TV Trinitas was presented showing the activity of the priests of charity in the hospitals and looking after the sick in the medical centres which cooperate with the Archdiocese of Bucharest (Saint Spiridon – Vechi, MED AS etc.) and the consulting rooms in parishes.
To end with, the Primate of the Romanian Orthodox Church offered the priests present a theological, liturgical and pastoral guide concerning theSacrament of the Holy Unction. The book appeared with the blessing of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, at Cuvantul vietii publishing house of the Metropolitanate of Muntenia and Dobrudgea.
The Conference was preceded by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and by the Te Deum service at 8.00 o’clock hours, in Saint Spiridon the New church. The religious service was celebrated by His Grace Varsanufie Prahoveanul, Assistant Bishop to the Archdiocese of Bucharest assisted by a group of priests and deacons.