On 15 March 2013, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel met at the Patriarchal Residence the representatives of the social-philanthropic departments of the eparchies of the Romanian Patriarchate. During the last few days they participated in the regional workshop organised in Bucharest on the Principles of the Philanthropic field – Principles of the social integration from Orthodox perspective, organised by FORTE project.
On this occasion, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel thanked them all for the activity developed and urged them to cooperate even more with the departments of the eparchial centres, with the state authorities, as well as with various organisations and institutions which unfold social activities: “We thank you all and congratulate you for the activity developed so far. Certainly, the needs are big and many when it comes to help the poor, sick, children, old people, single persons, so that from this point of view we only sewed signs of hope in time of sufferance. It is still much to be done, the intensity of their work is different and there are social programmes of the eparchies different as number and support. This is why the programme projects must be intensified just like the cooperation with the economical departments of the eparchies.”
Cooperation at the level of the eparchial centre as well as in the territory is very important. Wherever the projects are successful they must be continued or completed with some other projects, His Beatitude also said, showing that: cooperation with the local authorities must be intensified too. We wish to cooperate with the state institutions and the organisations with similar purposes, but we cannot accept the Church to assume the responsibility of some state institutions. From this point of view we think the work of the Church is very important, but the social-philanthropic work can never be separated from the spiritual work. The first charitable work of the Church is the sacramental and pastoral one, while the social one is a concrete expression enriching the first. We must never separate the philanthropic aspect from the Liturgy in the Orthodox Church, but neither the Liturgy is complete without charity because the source of grace, power and merciful love is the Divine Liturgy, not one willing to show off selfishly. We cannot have the merciful love of Christ unless He gives it to us. Therefore, the love that is not selfish, proud, conceited cannot be found in this world, but only with Christ. So, the social work is a manifestation of the merciful love of Christ who works through us. It is only in this way that we feel that we are the mysterious Body of Christ and the hands of His merciful love. Jesus Christ, our Lord, first preached the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to the crowds of people, namely the Gospel of the merciful love and of the eternal love, then He healed the sick, and only in the evening He made a wonder multiplying the bread and fish. We must follow this order of the work of the Lord. First of all it is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God which means the proclamation of the Gospel within the holy service of the Church and of the Holy Sacraments, then the care for those in distress, and certainly helping the hungry ones”.
His Beatitude has also pointed out the importance of educating the children in the Christian spirit: “We must teach our children to be sensible to sufferance and merciful, and see the reality around from a Christian point of view. Thus, they will be joy both for the Church and for society. So, there is education through the social programmes. We must never forget the educational aspect of the social-philanthropic work and neither the social – philanthropic aspect of a good education. It is a great charitable work to be able to help the young human to be formed in the Spirit of Christ”.
To end with, all those present received presents on behalf of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.