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Vasile Banescu, a spokesman for the Romanian Patriarchate, denounced billboards depicting doctors and nurses as “saints” with coronavirus-shaped halos as a blasphemous “visual mistreatment of Christian iconography” on Wednesday. The posters, created by Romanian artist Wanda Hutira for the McCann Worldgroup ad agency’s “Thank you doctors” campaign and posted throughout Bucharest, have also offended the Medical Guild, Banescu said, reports the Romanian Church’s Basilica News Agency. The scandalous images combine eclectic elements of Indian religious art and Orthodox iconography. In one image, a character wearing a robe, goggles, stethoscope, and mask, blesses with his right hand, as does Christ in Orthodox iconography, while holding a medical chart in his left. In another, a nurse is depicted with several hands, as in images of the god Shiva, the creator and destroy of the universe in Hindu mythology. All the characters have halos in the shape of the coronavirus. Banescu responded strongly: “I think this is a ridiculous campaign to promote a dystopian vision of the situation caused by the pandemic; an embarrassing attempt at symbolic theft and visual mistreatment of Christian iconography, marked by bad taste fed by ignorance and a hideous ideology that only knows how to caricature Christianity.” The images are an affront to the hard-working doctors and nurses themselves, Banescu believes: “It is not just a blasphemous act but also an insult to the very honorable profession of doctors who, like all of us, do not think they are saints or improvised saviors and do not demand a public cult.” Bucharest city hall said it would ask the advertising firm to remove the billboards, “which could be replaced with images that bring homage to hero doctors without offending the faith of passersby,” reports Reuters. “[They’re] a daring artistic choice but one which is in no way following a political, religious or any other kind of purpose,” McCann Romania said in a statement. https://orthochristian.com/130765.html?fbclid=IwAR0QP7K5O9GDx_432tvZBZZC2ieE2lfGDc32AR5LrvSKHy8AcML0hxQ3nE8
The Romanian Holy Synod met today under the chairmanship of His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel for its first session of 2019. Among the agenda items was the ongoing crisis situation in Ukraine. In a January interview, Archbishop Daniel of Pamphylia of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, one of Constantinople’s two Exarchs to Kiev who helped prepare for mid-December’s scandalous “unification council,” predicted that the Greek and Romanian Churches would be the first to recognize and accept, by the end of February, the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” that was created by Constantinople at the “council” and given a tomos of autocephaly on January 6. In his opening remarks, Pat. Daniel spoke about the tension in Ukraine and noted that there are currently 127 parishes in Ukraine with Romanian communities, calling on the Holy Synod to consider their pastoral care, reports the Basilica News Agency. These parishes, mainly in northern Bukovina, are reportedly very troubled by the recent events in Ukraine. The Synod made several points about the Ukraine situation in the official communiqué on the session’s results. The bishops first note that the schisms in Ukraine have persisted for 30 years and that there was not even an appeal for pan-Orthodox mediation, as was done in the case of the schism in Bulgaria. Seeing this impasse, the Ecumenical Patriarchate granted a tomos of autocephaly to the hierarchs, clergy, and laity who were in schism from the Russian Church and the entire Orthodox Church. As the Synod notes, this tomos was accepted only by those Ukrainians not in communion with the Russian Church. It is important to note here that the Romanian Church thus still considered the members of the so-called “Orthodox Church of Ukraine” to be schismatics when they received the tomos on January 6, even after they were received by the Patriarchate of Constantinople on October 11. Therefore, ecclesiastical unity has not yet been achieved in Ukraine, “because there is a large population of Russian ethnicity that keeps a direct link with the Moscow Patriarchate,” the Romanian Synod writes. However, the canonical Ukrainian Church under His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine remains by far the largest Church in Ukraine, with millions of ethnic Ukrainians also remaining faithful to the Church that is an autonomous body within the Russian Church. The Synod then reiterates the view expressed at it May 24 and October 25 sessions, recommending that the Moscow and Constantinople Patriarchates find a solution to the conflict through dialogue, preserving the unity of the faith, respecting the administrative-pastoral freedom of the clergy and faithful of Ukraine (including the right to autocephaly), and restoring Eucharistic communion. In their October statement, the bishops emphasized that synodality is “a permanent necessity in the life of the Church.” In the event of the failure of bilateral dialogue, then it will be necessary to convene a Synaxis of the primates of the Orthodox Church to solve the problem, the Synod writes. For a concrete decision, priority will be given to the consideration of the 127 Romanian parishes at a future Synod session. It is necessary to consult with these parishes, the bishops state, as they are concerned about preserving their ethnic and linguistic identity. Thus, the Synod writes that it is necessary to obtain written guarantees from the Church authorities that the Romanians’ ethnicity and language will be respected and that they will have the opportunity to organize into a Romanian vicariate and to cultivate their spiritual connection with the Romanian Patriarchate. The statement also mentions that a Ukrainian vicariate has operated in Romania since 1990. The Romanian Church will also request that Constantinople clarify the problem of the non-canonical hierarchs and priests in the West, who belonged to the former “Kiev Patriarchate.” The Holy Synod will express its official position following the above-mentioned consultations. http://orthochristian.com/119511.html?fbclid=IwAR07XvnA1u84ZZAQCU9G3cUTS76OT9aE74H6Vulpcnj5bu9LqGWVaT3U18s
Timisoara , May. 27, 2008 (CWNews.com) – A Romanian Orthodox bishop has shared Communion with Catholics, causing a sensation in a country where Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox have a history of tense relations. At the consecration of the Queen of Peace parish church in Timisoara on May 25, Orthodox Metropolitan Nicolae Corneanu of Banat asked to share Communion. The Orthodox metropolitan approached the altar and received the Eucharist from his own hand. Romanian Catholic Bishop Alexandru Mesian of Lugoj was the celebrant of the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Catholic church; Archbishop Francisco-Javier Lozano, the apostolic nuncio to Romania, was also present. Although Orthodox and Catholic bishops often join in ecumenical services, and occasionally participate in each other’s liturgical ceremonies, they do not share Communion– an indication of the breach in ecclesial communion between the Orthodox churches and the Holy See. In Romania, tensions between the Orthodox Church and the Eastern-rite Romanian Catholic Church have been pronounced, adding to the surprise created by Metropolitan Corneanu’s action. With some Orthodox believers outraged by the metropolitan’s sharing Communion with Catholic bishops, the Orthodox Patriarchate of Romania issued a statement saying that at the next meeting of the Orthodox synod, in July, Metropolitan Corneanu “may be asked to give an appropriate explanation” for his action. The statement from the Orthodox patriarchate went on to say that ecumenical relations with the Catholic Church, “already quite fragile, cannot be helped, but are rather complicated,” by sharing in Communion. Metropolitan Corneanu– who was one of the first Orthodox bishops to admit that he had cooperated with the secret police under the Communist regime– has a record of friendship with Romanian Catholics. He was among the few Orthodox leaders prepared to return church properties that had been seized by the Communist government from Catholic ownership in 1948 and handed over to Orthodox control. http://patriot.rs/romanian-bishop-communes-with-roman-catholics/