In 2021, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church had three working sessions.
In February, the first meeting took place when two assistant bishops were elected for the Archdiocese of Iasi and the Diocese of Deva and Hunedoara. Also, in February, the Synod approved the solemn and commemorative themes for 2022.
Last year, one of the most significant decisions was to begin the canonization process of several confessors and great Romanian missionary priests during communism. The canonizations will take place in 2025 to mark the 140th anniversary of autocephaly and the 100th anniversary of the patriarchal status of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
In July, the synodal fathers approved the establishment of two new parishes for the Romanian Orthodox communities in Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Dubai (United Arab Emirates).
At the last meeting of the year, elections were held again for a new Diocesan Bishop of Deva and Hunedoara in December. At the same time, the solemn and commemorative themes for 2023 were established.
Last year, two new saints were included in the calendar of the Romanian Orthodox Church: St Nicephorus the Leper and St Diadochos of Photiki.
Considering the death of a child a few hours after the Mystery of Holy Baptism, in February in Suceava, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church made some clarifications recalling that the canonical doctrine, ritual or discipline cannot be modified.
- The Synod decided that: Before the Holy Mystery of Baptism, the priest must meet with the child’s parents and godparents, who, after consulting with a pediatrician, will present to the priest the child’s health and their desire to baptize the child;
- The Romanian Patriarchate’s Faculties of Theology will pay special attention to the liturgical practice regarding the act of the three “immersions” during the Baptismal service; this liturgical practice is compulsory for theology students in the final years at the Pastoral Theology sections;
- Each deanery of the Romanian Patriarchate will organize an annual meeting with the priests regarding the correct celebration of each Holy Mystery. Catechesis with the faithful on the spiritual significance of the Holy Mysteries will also be held.
The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church has also noted with concern the recent attempts to implement “sex education” as mandatory in the Romanian education system, as well as the European Parliament resolution of June 24, 2021, on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and related rights in the EU in the frame of women’s health (Matić Report).
The Romanian Patriarchate reaffirmed its position on maintaining the optional nature of classes on “education for life”. It warned against the risks of a “sex education” with an ideological content contrary to the values of the Christian family and inappropriate for the age of children.
At its last meeting of 2021, the Holy Synod approved the National Agency Against Human Trafficking’s request to publish a leaflet for the prevention of human trafficking and to distribute it throughout the parishes of the Romanian Orthodox Church.