Church of Serbia – 21/3/2020
Communique of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church
The Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church has been closely and carefully following up the daily news and statements of those in charge of the Church, the State, and the medical profession about the increasing spread coronavirus infection that is dangerous to health – and in many cases, to life itself – to the life of millions of people.
To all those who fight this plague, especially to physicians and other medical staff, the Holy Synod expresses our deepest gratitude and reverence for the day and night efforts in the prevention and suppression of the epidemic and calls upon them God’s blessing. At the same time, the Holy Synod expresses its condolences to the families, relatives, and friends of victims of the virus, for whom it has had fatal consequences.
By serving to God, the Church has always served for salvation and for every benefit of our faithful as well as of all other people, our neighbors, and especially in these difficult days.
Having respect for the importance and achievements of medicine that is considered to be a great gift of God and a great human endeavor, the Church offers its faithful as the singular Medicine of Immortality, Holy Communion, as well as the blessing of her holy Sacraments and of her entire sacramental treasury.
The Holy Synod calls upon all the faithful of our Church for responsibility and sobriety in this situation and urges them not to neglect the instructions of the medical services and state authorities and not to neglect or ignore the prescribed preventive measures – in one word, not to endanger themselves or the others. There is no space, however, for panic and rumors.
At the same time, the Holy Synod emphasizes that the Lord is our Hope and our Savior in every distress, and therefore we should multiply our sincere prayers for the sick, and especially for the doctors and other medical staff, who selflessly do all they can, often exposing themselves to the dangers, which is also a form of worship and selfless service to the human race. It is up to us as Christians and human beings to do all that is right for us, believing and knowing from the Holy Scriptures that everything is possible for God, even overcoming natural laws and unnatural processes.
Let us lift up our hearts! May we have trust in our doctors and, above all, in our Lord, the Healer of our souls and our bodies!
From the Office of the Holy Synod of Bishops