The Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church met under the chairmanship of Patriarch Daniel of Romania at “Patriarch Teoctist” Aula Magna of the Patriarchal Palace for a working session on Thursday, September 29, 2022.
The main decisions of the Holy Synod are the following:
A. The Holy Synod established the “Praying Theotokos” Order for hierarchs, clerics, and laypeople;
B. The enrollment conditions for the doctorate in Theology were reconfirmed;
C. Several proposals of the Holy Synod’s Committee for pastoral, monastic, and social issues regarding the Sacrament of Confession and spiritual guidance were approved:
1. Holy Confession is performed inside the church, in front of an icon of Christ the Saviour, so that the person who confesses has the most vivid awareness of the presence of God by their side and by the spiritual father during confession;
2. The spiritual father has first of all the duty to listen and then to ask delicately, to help the penitent to be as sincere as possible during confession;
3. The Seal of Confession cannot be conditioned by any material or other interest;
4. Every spiritual father must also have a spiritual father to whom they can confess constantly;
5. The spiritual father must be a cleric with a mature spiritual life who has freed himself from the bondage of carnal passions and cultivates the virtue of holiness;
6. Strict observance of the appropriate framework for Confession, that is, its performance in the place of worship or, exceptionally, in an open and visible space adjacent to the church;
7. Avoid any gesture or word that could be interpreted as inappropriate familiarity with the penitent (inappropriate jokes or indecent gestures).
The Holy Synod requests the dioceses to periodically organize consultations with priests regarding the proper celebration of the Holy Mysteries, as well as catechesis with the faithful regarding their rite and spiritual significance.
Photography courtesy of Basilica.ro / Mircea Florescu