The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church participated on Friday, 04 September 2015, in the official opening of the European Orthodox Christian Youth Meeting, which takes place in Cluj-Napoca between 04 and 07 September 2015. At this event, organized in Avram Iancu Square in the European Youth Capital of this year, thousands of young people from all over Europe were present.
On this occasion, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel addressed to those present the speech entitled Orthodox Youth – witnesses of Christ’s love and missionaries of the Church (the full text of the speech held by the Romanian Patriarch can be read here). The head of the Romanian Orthodox Church underlined the fact that the Church is called to pay special attention to young people.
“The difficulties faced by young people in contemporary society are of economic nature (material poverty, unemployment, vocational confusion, uncertainty of life for tomorrow, depression) as well as of moral (libertinage, violence, drugs, alcoholism, human trafficking) and of spiritual-religious nature (sectarianism, fanaticism and religious proselytism). Faced with these problems, the Church is called to pay special attention to young people, defending the innocence, honesty, courage and desire for renewal and all those values characteristic to this age blessed by God, towards nurturing human dignity and a healthy life and in searching for salvation or eternal life.
Thus, in practice, it is absolutely necessary to promote a more intense pastoral-missionary activity of the Church and a more extensive guidance and support for young pupils and students, young married couples, young people working a lot while receiving less money, unemployed youth who have no jobs, by offering them spiritual, pastoral, social-charitable assistance both for those in Romania and for those from beyond its borders”.
Investing in young people is the most important thing to do
The Metropolitan of Cluj, Maramureș and Sălaj, during the official opening of the Orthodox Christian Youth Meeting in Cluj-Napoca, expressed his concern about the European continent, which has become adrift not only spiritually, but also demographically. According to His Eminence Metropolitan Andrei, Christian Youth holds the power to re-establish the European society, Renaşterea Radio informs. “In order to succeed in this change of Europe, investing in young people is the most important thing to do”, His Eminence affirms, drawing the attention of those who are entrusted with the mission of forming and educating youth.
“We consider that investing in young people is the most important thing to do. Not in vain wise Solomon exhorts us: «Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it». We, as adults, have great responsibility for what we lay down at the foundation of their life, and for the way we form their social being. The way of being and the personal example of every one of us has a great importance. We have to stir their interest with the great spiritual ideas that today’s humanity is concerned about, and entrust them that their spiritual integrity and their purity of life are the treasures of the greatest price that they own”, His Eminence added.
At the opening festivity numerous officials, local and authorities were present. During this event also held a speech Mr. Victor Opaschi, State Secretary for Cults, Mr. Emil Boc, Mayor of Cluj-Napoca City, Mr. Ioan-Aurel Pop, Rector of Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, and His Grace Florentin Crihălmeanu, Greek Catholic bishop of Cluj and Gherla.
Finally, His Eminence Joseph, Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan of Western and Southern Europe, delivered the evening meditation.