During the state of emergency, the Romanian Orthodox Church has intensified its presence both online and in society respecting all the required sanitary precautions.
Even before the state of emergency being declared in Romania, just as the authorities raised the level of alert regarding the coronavirus epidemic, the Church had started preparations to prevent a humanitarian crisis.
Throughout Romania, parishes, monasteries, dioceses and archdioceses help as much as they can. The coordination is local, at diocesan level.
They offer spiritual guidance and counselling, but also warm food for medical staff and frontier workers, for the elderly, the vulnerable and for those in self-isolation or in quarantine due to Coronavirus infection or the suspicion of it.
Some dioceses have donated medical devices to hospitals and have initiated fundraisers to be able to provide even more such devices, thus becoming a real social catalyst to support efforts in the fight against the pandemic.
This reflects the solidarity of the Church with the sick, the elderly and the vulnerable. It also shows that the Church values those who work in hospitals and other medical institutions, as reads a press release issued by the Press Office of the Romanian Patriarchate.
The National Institute of Infectious Diseases “Matei Balș” presented public thanks to the Romanian Patriarchate “for the material and spiritual support”: “In this difficult period, such evidence of compassion and caring for our peers is vital and very helpful, both for the medical staff and especially the patients as direct beneficiaries”.
The financial and material support of the Church has already surpassed 820,000 Euros to which other substantial measures of support were added.
Patriarch Daniel, other bishops and many priests donated money from their salaries to provide with devices and protection equipment to hospitals, volunteers and social workers. One of the archdioceses has worked with local authorities to redirect 300,000 EUR-worth of public money from church repairs to two local public hospitals.
The Romanian Patriarchate and the “Filantropia” Federation created the platform ajutacubucurie.ro (“help with joy”), which connects national efforts in the COVID-19 crisis. On this website and at the toll-free helpline 0800-800.368 people can ask for help and can also offer help to vulnerable or isolated people across the country.
Find below a synthesis of the measures and help actions made by the dioceses of the Romanian Orthodox Church between the 16th and the 31st of March, 2020.