22nd february 2012
The Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate informs us:
We give the following explanations on the articles entitled The Press Trust of the Romanian Orthodox Church and Why does the Romanian Orthodox Church is Dumb?:
The press articles published by HOT NEWS make a presentation obviously tendentious and lacunal of the Basilica Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate set up in 2007 with missionary not commercial purposes. We mention that when the centre was set up we avoided the term trust which has, in general, a commercial connotation, and chose centre instead considered suitable to its statutes, identity and purposes.
The Mission of the Press Centre of the Romanian Patriarchate is to promote and cultivate the values of the Orthodox spirituality, strengthen the communion between clergy and faithful, support the development of the local communities and encourage the dialogue of the Christian faith with philosophy, science, art and other fields of manifestation of the human spirit creative of perennial values etc. (according to article 5 of the Statutes of Organisation and Operation of Basilica Press Centre).
Unlike the private media institutions which do not publicly declare all their sources of financing, Trinitas radio and television stations and Lumina publications are financially supported by the parishes and monasteries of the Archdiocese of Bucharest and of other eparchies of the Romanian Patriarchate from the country and abroad, who are the main beneficiaries of the programmes broadcast. Therefore, the radio and television programmes of the Romanian Patriarchate emphasise the spiritual, not the sensational aspects, the pastoral work, not the political division, because today’s secularised society, marked by materialist and nihilism individualism is in badly need of communion and hope. Therefore, it is naturally that the programmes broadcast by the radio, television and newspaper of the Church should take into account the spiritual needs of the parishes which support them, while the private commercial stations obey the orders of those who subsidise them.
In conclusion, even if some people are still affected by the fact that the Church has her own Press Centre we remind them that this one does not resemble or compete with the laic media institutions but has a spiritual orientation in accordance with the specific mission of the Church in society, not a political, secularised and commercial one.
The private media institutions fight to get immediate success and be “in fashion”, a success mathematically estimated, while the Church is focused on the spiritual growth in faith and communion of the people.
Just like any public institution, the Romanian Patriarchate communicates rather often with the media institutions from the country and abroad through the Press Office and public relations. According to the decision of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church the mass-media applications address the Press Offices of the Romanian Patriarchate or its eparchies, which assign a representative (clergy or laic) to participate in a radio or television programme in order to express the point of view of the Church on a problem debated.
Priests or laymen are appointed who can clearly express the Church’s opinion and are abreast with the most recent decisions of the Holy Synod or with the official positions of the Romanian Patriarchate in various problems publically debated. The decision of the Holy Synod has also taken into account the fact that very often the opinion expressed by certain priests willing to appear rather often in mass-media caused confusion, their opinions having been taken for the official position of the Church.
On the other hand, in case of flagrant infringement of the professional deontology by certain lay media trusts concerned rather with the sensational aspect than with correct information of the public opinion, the Romanian Patriarchate reserves the right to reconsider or postpone its collaboration with institutions obviously hostile to the Church.
If Mr Vlad Mixich had contacted the Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate from the very beginning to ask for the presence of a priest in his programme, he would have received promptly the assistance desired, just as it happened when he wanted to speak with the speaker of the Romanian Patriarchate.
In conclusion, the Romanian Patriarchate is not dumb in the relation with mass-media, but faithful to the correct relations of communication and collaboration in the benefit of the Romanian society, while the voice of the Church is always heard by the people with big souls.