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January 23, 2021

BOR spokesman on St. Dimitrie pilgrimage cancellation: Arrogance, decisional autocracy never brought honor to anyone

The spokesman of the Romanian Patriarchy, Vasile Banescu, stated, on Monday, referring to the announcement of Prime Minister Ludovic Orban regarding the cancellation of the pilgrimage for the feast day of St. Dimitrie the New, that “arrogance, decisional autocracy, and moral solipsism have never and will never bring honor to anyone.

“The negative imagination exercises at the highest level referring to the behavior of faithful people (declared a priori suspicious), to the organizational capacity of the Church (otherwise an exemplary social partner of the authorities) and the importance of presence and manifestation of religion in society can be truly offending,” said Vasile Banescu, according to a release sent to AGERPRES.

Banescu accuses “the lack of inter-institutional dialogue”, which would lead to an “excessive and superior despise towards the immediate social reality.”

“The lack of interinstitutional dialogue, of coopting in the reflection on decisions with major public impact regarding to the suspension, even temporary, of fundamental freedoms, such as religious freedom, of some experts in domains conjecturally connected to the area of the political and public health denounces an excessive and superior despise towards the immediate social reality. This is much more complex than it seems to those who believe that it can be modified at any time and with any consequences. The community organism functions naturally only in a state of balance stemming from discernment and dialogue for which the Church pleads permanently. As for respecting all the health rules that are necessary now,” states the spokesman of the Patriarchy.

Vasile Banescu believes that “the rigorously organized pilgrimage, in exceptional conditions of respecting rules applied drastically and the infringement of which (now imaginary) can be punished at any time by the authorities, is not only one of the profound expressions of responsible religious freedom, but, in the current context, also a beneficial form of trust and respect towards the majority of quiet and faithful people of this country”.

The chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL), Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, stated on Monday that the pilgrimage for St. Demetrius the Myroblite and St. Dimitrie the New (or Dimitrie Basarabov) will not be possible.

On October 26, Orthodox believers celebrate the feast day of St. Demetrius the Myroblite, and on October 27 the feast day of Dimitrie the New (or Dimitrie Basarabov), patron saint and protector of Bucharest, the relics of whom are housed in the Patriarchal Cathedral in Bucharest.

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