There is a need for closer cooperation between the State and the Church

Beloved brothers and sisters in God

Today we can see a lot of grief, illnesses of the body and of the soul that need confront and healing all around us. The economic crisis has closed down hospitals, made doctors scarce, medication expensive and caused illness to multiply. In this unfortunate context, by proclaiming 2012 the Year of the Holy Oil and of Caring for the Sick People, our Church is however trying to make a bigger contribution to alleviating grief both by its liturgical, confessional and pastoral work (especially the Holy Oil) and its social charitable and medical work (clinics and medical centres), including by a medical culture of the population teaching people to price the gift of health more, avoid illness and be grateful to their healers, especially when, because of poverty, they cannot pay for their own visits or medication. For alleviating grief and cultivate health, there is a need not just for a tighter cooperation between the State and the Church, but also for a cooperation of the various social and charitable institutions and organisations, through a number of programmes which could be called solidarity for health. Anyway, we need to unite science and spirituality more, the medical art with praying, the soothing word with helpful deeds, the care for our health with the care for the health of people next to us and farther away. Today, priests in towns and villages, as well as those who live in monasteries are aware of the many problems old, sick, poor and lonely people, families with many children often hit by unemployment and many shortages are confronted with. This is why we advise them to insist on the brotherly helping of the ill and poor in their parishes, so that the healing love of Christ, who was crucified and who resurrected, can work through people with a good heart and with economic capability, in the knowledge that a good deed coming from merciful love will be repaid with blessings in this life and absolution hereafter, commensurately with the love we each showed to our fellow human beings in distress and in need (Mathew 25, 31-46). During these holy days of light and joy in our Christian life, I advise you all with fatherly and brotherly love of Christ to follow the light of straight faith and good doing wherever you are and to share with others the joy of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, our Healer and Saviour. On the Holy Easter we wish you all good health, absolution, peace and joy, together with the Pascal greeting ‘Christ Is Risen!’
Yours, DANIELPatriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

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