On 25 October 2014, His Beatitude Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem and His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of Romania were received at Cotroceni, by the President of Romania, Mr. Traian Basescu.
Following the proposal of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel, His Beatitude Theophilos III was awarded the National Order of “Romania’s Star” in Great Cross degree on behalf of the President of Romania.
As we learn from Trinitas TV, during the meeting, the President of Romania expressed his appreciation for the efforts that the Patriarchate of Jerusalem makes in order to cultivate the dialogue among religions and confessions at the Holy Places.
The Patriarch of Jerusalem thanked, in his turn, for the contribution of the Romanian community to the Holy Places, either as pilgrims or as citizens settled in Jerusalem.
“Our visit takes place at a time of radical political and cultural evolutions both at international and at national or local level. We are aware of the complicated social – economical state of things in your country and region. Yet, we know from your last visit and pilgrimage to Israel and from the Palestinian State that you know the turmoil of our region, from the Middle East, respectively, and especially from the Holy Land. We are sure that you had a personal experience at the time which convinced you that the Christian presence in the Middle East is a must in the multi ethnic, multi cultural and multi religious context.
We wish to submit to your attention the sufferance of the Christians in this part of the world caused by the persecution against them. The same as the Christian values and moral norms created and formed the cultural and moral identity of your country, member of the European Union, so did Christianity shape the present social-political and religious structure of the Holy Land, which includes Israel, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Palestinian State. Because the Church and the State serve the same purpose, namely the welfare of the citizens, the Church and State must join their common spiritual values to oppose the destructive forces which threaten the human being, considered to be the image of its Creator, Almighty God”, His Beatitude Theophilos, Patriarch of Jerusalem said.
The Patriarch of Romania thanked the president for how he encouraged, during all these years, the cooperation between the state institutions and the Church, adding the fact that the visit of His Beatitude Theophilos III to Romania means a lot for the faithful of our country, confirming in this way the deep historical and spiritual relations which relate us to the Holy Places.
“We try to continue to help each others. We are very grateful to His Beatitude for how he receives our pilgrims in the Holy Land. We shall continue to send pilgrims to the Holy Land every week to visit the Holy Places and express the living faith. We need these pilgrimages to be not only touristic experiences, but also to improve the quality of the parish life”, His Beatitude Daniel, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church said.
To end with, the two Patriarchs visited the church of the “Falling Asleep of the Mother of God” in the precincts of Cotroceni Palace.